Guys I knooooow, you hate me! It has been so long, I am so, so deeply sorry! I mean, I had school and then final exams and then first couple of weeks of vacation I just did nothing and then I went to the South with my parents and this chapter took me almost four months to write and I feel sooooo ashamed! :$ I am so sorry, please forgive me. Find forgiveness in your hearts, I am begging you!Okay, after this moment of drama, please read and I hope you like chapter 16 :D
BTW, I turned 17, an age that I totally think suits me perfectly and my parents gave me a freaking iPad! How cool is that?!
PS: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
January, 2005 – Forks, Washington
The weekend at her cousins' home had been… Good.
After that touchy talk with Edward – and those heavenly minutes inside his muscled arms – he had asked her if she wanted to see a movie. Bella had agreed.
But, at some point, her eyes started to get extremely heavy and she fell asleep right there, on Edward's bed.
In the morning, Bella woke up alone and, truth be told, disappointed.
Stupid little girl. He wouldn't sleep right here. Not next to you. He was just being nice…
Alice entered inside her brother's room moments after Bella woke up.
"Morning sunshine! Just so you know I am mad at you. You fell asleep right here, before I was even home to take care of you! Although, Bells, I have to say that I am proud of you! Smart move: falling asleep in his room!" Alice was already all jumpy and cheery and smiley in the morning.
"It wasn't any smart move, Al. I was just tired and I was comfortable in here." She admitted, in a whisper.
"Yeah, too comfortable!" Alice giggled.
"Shut up, pixie! He didn't even stay here; he probably just left the room right after I fell." Even Bella could notice the sadness present in her voice.
"Aww, aren't you all blue 'cause of that, lil' cousin! Well, if you're interested, I can tell one or two things that I know about where Edward was and how he spent his precious time, after you fall asleep." Alice's smile just got even wider.
Bella looked up to face her cousin, quickly.
"Is that hope what I'm seeing inside your chocolate-brown eyes, Bells sweetie?"
She blushed once more.
"What I know is that when I came home, mom said you were upstairs with Eddie and I came here and oh! Surprise, surprise, what did all-mighty Alice see? Eddie-boy all mushy slushy ogling and drooling at baby cousin Bella's peaceful sleeping figure. It was disgustingly cute!"
Bella's heart was beating furiously inside her chest and she could feel her cheeks burning.
Alice laughed once more.
"That was exactly Edward's reaction after he realized I was at his door! He just grabbed a pillow, mumbled a couple of unintelligible things and left the room, saying that we should just let you sleep here. It was hilarious, girl!"
"He stayed with me until you came back?" Bella whispered, looking at her hands.
"And I even think he came back after we were all in our rooms! Gosh, he watched you sleep! My baby brother's a creep!" Alice exclaimed, with her nose wrinkled, making a funny face.
Bella ignored her comment.
"Do you think he slept here?"
"Why? Do you like the thought, Bells? Ohh, aren't you a dirty little mind!"
Bella was almost exploding with embarrassment, at that point.
"Come on, Bells! Let's have breakfast! I still have your nails to paint and I want to play with your beautiful hair!"
Bella looked at her cousin, terrified.
"No! Not the hair!"
During the morning, Edward was all cute grins and smiles at Bella, which caused her mini heart attacks from 5 to 5 minutes, but they didn't talk much.
After lunch, Bella said she still had some homework to finish and Alice offered to take her home, saying that they had "girls' stuff to discuss".
Esme hugged her and Carlisle smiled at her, saying goodbye.
When it came to Edward, he just leaned and suddenly, he was kissing her cheek softly and sweetly for what it seemed an eternity.
"I'll see you tomorrow." He whispered.
That definitely left a huge smile on Bella's pale face for the rest of the day.
On the next day, when the alarm clock rang, she quickly jumped off the bed to get ready.
She wore one of the favorite shirts and the ballerina flats with the hairband she had put on Saturday.
Bella run of the stairs, humming one of Renée's favorite songs, that used to be always playing on their house, back in Arizona.
She prepared her breakfast and sat down, on the kitchen's table, eating.
After a couple of minutes, Charlie entered the room, almost dragging himself, looking like a perfect zombie.
"Morning dad!" She said and looked at him, closely. "Oh my God, dad, are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, fine, kid. Just a cold, I forgot to take my jacket yesterday, to the lake…"
"Dad!" Bella exclaimed, sounding like she was the parent and he was the child. "You have to take better care of yourself! What am I going to do with you, now? You have to go the hospital! Or maybe call Carlisle to stop by; maybe it isn't just a cold!"
"Bella, relax! I'm fine, okay kiddo? I'll just stay home today and I'll be good by tomorrow! Healthy as a horse, remember?"
"I can clearly see that!" Bella mocked.
"Wow, irony, kid?! What has gone into you? Yesterday, you were all smiley, five minutes ago you were singing and now you use irony? Who are you and what did you do to my daughter?"
"Ha. Ha." She said, clearly uncomfortable, looking at her cereal bowl. "Now, you're the one who's being ironic. That's not your usual self too, dad."
"Yep. I guess you're right, Bells…"
The bell rang.
Bella's eyes sparkled and a grin started to form, in the corner of her mouth.
"It's Edward." She whispered, before standing up and almost running to the door.
Charlie raised an eyebrow when he saw his daughter's reaction and watched her leave the kitchen.
Bella opened the door and there he was, marvelous, gorgeous, handsome and amazing.
Perfect Edward is perfect…
"Good morning, Bella." He whispered, with her favorite crooked grin on his lip, in a voice tone that made Bella want to jump to his pants.
Did I just think that?!
Edward laughed and got closer.
"Already blushing at 7:30 am, Bells?" He whispered at her ear.
Bella started to breathe heavily.
"You can't do that…" She whispered.
"Do what?" He asked, biting his lower lip.
"Dazzle people… Especially, in the early morning."
His smile widened and he picked one of her brown curls with care, putting it behind her ear.
"So, I am dazzling you. Is that what you are saying?"
"You have no idea how…" She admitted looking at the floor.
"Huh, huh!" Someone coughed behind Bella.
Edward let go of her hair curl and she quickly turned around completely red, facing her father.
"Good morning, kid!" Charlie greeted, not looking happy at all.
"Dad! Go inside, you can get worse!" Bella exclaimed, embarrassed.
"I just came to see what was taking you to so long!"
Bella looked down for a minute. Then, she looked at Edward, from the corner of her eye. He was all red and flustered too. She smiled.
"I haven't finished my breakfast. Come in!" Bella said to Edward. "And you! Go to the living room and get a blanket… Or four!" She said to her father, who coughed after her sentence.
Edward got inside and looked at Charlie.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
"Just a cold, don't worry, kid." He answered looking at him, then at his daughter and at Edward again. He noticed how close they were.
"Dad, do you want anything from the kitchen or…"
"Yeah, I'm coming with you, Bells."
"You don't have to."
"But I want to!"
The three of them went to the kitchen and an awkward silence floated over them.
Bella finished her cereals as fast as she could and quickly dressed her coat and picked her bag.
"I'm ready, can we go?" She asked dying to get out of that suffocating house and to get rid of her dad's accusing stare.
"Yeah, sure, Bella." Edward answered also looking completely uncomfortable.
He stood up and looked at Charlie who was clearly over analyzing the situation.
"Get better soon." The boy whispered.
Bella looked at her father too.
"Have a nice day, dad. Please take some rest."
"I will kid. See you at 3:30 pm, Bells!" He pointed out, making sure his daughter would return home right after school.
Bella rolled her eyes and Edward suppressed a laugh.
They both got out of the house and entered in the car.
The girl sighed and looked through the window, not facing her cousin.
"I am so sorry for this moment." Bella whispered, shaking her head, sheepishly.
"Bells…" Edward called her.
"Huh?" She mumbled, not facing him.
"Can you please look at me?"
Bella sighed and looked up.
Sparkling green eyes and astonishing crooked smile blurred her sight.
You're going to be the death of me… Bella thought.
"You're doing it again, Edward." She admitted.
"What? Dazzling you?"
"Yeah! And it's not fair! I don't know how to dazzle people; how can I have my revenge?"
Edward blushed and his cocky smile turned into an embarrassed one.
He started the engine and drove to school.
"Oh… You know how to dazzle people. Trust me, Bella…" He whispered, with his mind clearly in some distant place.
Bella bit her lip, containing a small smile, and looked at her hands, while Alice's words from the previous day filled her head, once again.
Eddie boy ogling and drooling at little cousin Bella's peaceful sleeping figure! And hours after, on her ride home. In my humble opinion, he didn't just want to kiss your lovely cheek, cous. He wanted to ravish your right there, against a freaking wall! I am telling ya, I know these things!
Bella laughed, remembering Alice's cute face, so serious in that moment, as if she was reading the Bible or the Declaration of Independence.
"What?" Edward asked her, surprised to hear Bella laughing.
"Nothing. Just thinking about how funny Alice can be, sometimes."
He raised one of his perfect eyebrows and looked at his cousin, in shock.
"That devilish little imp? Funny? She's a pain in the ass, most of the time!" Edward was now all flustered.
They finally entered in the school's parking lot and Edward stopped his car in his usual spot.
"No, she's not! I know Alice can be… quite persistent sometimes but everything she does, she does it with the best of the intentions. Come on! You know your older sister is adorable!"
His eyes widened although Bella knew Edward was now just joking.
"Please!" The boy almost shouted. Then, he picked one of her hands and looked directly at her nails, now navy blue. "You didn't think such thing while she was torturing you, yesterday morning!"
"I think they're kinda cute…"
"No!" Edward screamed. "She took you to the dark side of the Force!"
They both laughed.
"Come on! We're going to be late." Bella said, looking at the car's clock.
They got out of the car and Edward almost glued himself to her.
"Do you want me to walk you to your class?" He asked.
Bella blushed and looked around. Almost every kid in that parking lot was looking at them.
"Everyone's already staring at us…" She whispered.
He smiled, with a plan forming inside of his head.
In the next moment, his arm was around Bella's thin shoulders and he was whispering in her ear:
"Let them, Bella."
The girl didn't know if she wanted to jump with joy and pure bliss or find a giant hole to hide herself for the following thirty years.
"What are you doing, Edward?!" She asked, in panic. "Trying to provoke a heart attack to all the girls in this school?"
"No." He assured, with his crooked smile on his lips, caressing Bella's brown curls. "Not all."
Holly fudge! Bella thought. All her body was tingling and shaking, while they walked towards the English building.
The boy let go of her at the entrance.
Bella sighed heavily.
"I won't make out alive, today, Edward. These chicks are all going to torture and murder me! Please, tell Charlie I love him!"
Edward laughed quietly.
"You're the one who's funny and adorable, not my sister, Bells…" He whispered.
What? Me? Adorable? He saw my… My wrists and he still thinks I'm adorable? Oh my… I'm going to throw up…
Edward laughed again, watching her cheeks turning into a thousand shades of red. Then, he kissed one of them, slowly. Bella froze.
"See you at lunch, Bella." Then, he turned around and she saw him walking away, towards the gym building.
The girl started to breathe heavily and suddenly everything around her was spinning.
Bella sat on the floor, with her head in her hands.
"Ok, calm down. Everything's alright, it's all ok, Bella, all good…" She whispered.
The bell rang signaling the beginning of the classes but the girl couldn't find the strength to get up and walk to the room so she just stood there. Someone would find her… Eventually.
At some point, Bella started to hear some steps. Moments after, someone was shaking her shoulder.
"Bella? Is that you?"
Bella raised her head just to find a tall, brunette girl facing her, with a worried expression.
"Angela? Weren't you supposed to be on class?"
"So were you! But Mr. Mason didn't show up so we're all by ourselves, inside there. So, I got out to go to the bathroom and looked to the exit and there you were."
"Hum." Bella just said.
"What are you doing here? Are you ok?" Angela asked.
"I just… I wasn't feeling very well, so I had to sit down for a while…" She whispered.
"What? What happened? Do you need something? Maybe a cup of water?"
"No, Angela. I'm better now, thanks."
Angela sat on the stairs too, next to Bella, in silence.
"You're his cousin, right?" Bella suddenly asked.
Angela looked at her in surprise.
"His? You mean, Edward's? Yeah, but so are you."
"Yes but you have been with him in the past four years…"
"What about Edward?"
"Is he trying to make anyone jealous? I don't know, maybe some girl left him for another guy and he wants her to regret her actions…"
Angela started laughing.
"Edward never dated anyone, Bella. Sure, he made out with a couple of girls a while back, but nothing serious. Why do you even think that?"
"He's getting… Close. Like flirting and hugging and... Stuff. And I don't know! I've only been here for a week, it doesn't make any sense! And then we have Alice, our dearest cousin, wanting us to be a thing no matter what! Who are those people, Angela?"
Angela had a reassuring smile on her lips.
"I know. Those two are a strange combination sometimes. But do you want to know something? He has this crush on a girl for quite some time, a girl he could have never had before because she was far away… And now she's here."
Bella looked Angela in the eyes, skeptical.
"No. Not you too, Angela!"
"Just think about it, Bella."
"It doesn't make any sense! I've been in town for only a week! We haven't talked in four years and before that we were kids! And now, suddenly he likes me? No. Sorry, but I don't buy that."
"Bella, it's in his eyes. I've seen it. Every time you walk into the same room he's in, it's like everything around him just disappears and there is only you…"
"You're imagining things…" She whispered.
Angela sighed and looked away.
"If he has been so into me, all this time, why didn't he call? Or sent a letter, or an e-mail? Why didn't he say anything?"
"Who knows? Guys are complicated…" Angela commented, sighing after.
Bella looked at her, with a questioning look.
"You ok, Angela?"
The girl sighed again.
"Do you know Ben? Ben Cheney? From our English class?"
"Yeah, I think so…"
"He has this… Thing that I can't explain and… I don't know, I think I like him. And sometimes it looks like he's into me too but others… It's like he doesn't even have a clue…"
"I don't know what to say. I am definitely not a relationships' type of person… But I'm sorry to know that, Angela."
"It's okay, Bella. I'm getting used it…"
The two girls got quiet for a while.
"Do you really think Edward likes me? Or are you just being influenced by Alice's wish?"
"Bella?" Angela started, before looking at her, with a lovely smile on her lips. "Can't you see how obvious that is?"
SO, did you like it? Reviews!