AN: Thank you for all your lovely reviews and to Eternally Edward's Girl and Chocaholic123.

SM owns Twilight.

~o~o~0~ Adagio ~0~o~o~

Chapter 53

Edward resisted the urge to throw the glass he held against the brick wall, to watch the amber liquid explode with shards of crystal. If someone had told him one weak moment with a beautiful woman, seduced by blood-red lips and a honey dipped smile, would cause so much distress, he would have put a thousand miles between them. There had been no foreboding signs: black cats, circling crows, no portent of the impact the lustful acquaintance would rain down on him.

He could almost feel the grip of her nails in his skin. Whatever he did, he couldn't shake her free, loosen her grasp. She was set on destroying him. For what reason he did not know, but it had to stop.

The girl curled into his side, her forehead creased in distress, her mind spinning like the wheels of a race car, didn't deserve to be entangled in this. Irina used people as pawns, bargaining chips, toys. She saw people for their potential to benefit her, to give her an advantage. Once she'd stripped them of their worth, she used them as stepping-stones to the next goal. Trampling without care or concern.

"What should I do?" Bella's voice was wispy and defeated. She wanted him to solve and cure, but he couldn't find the words.

Instead he pressed his lips to her hair and tightened his arms, pulling until she was cradled across him.

"I won't go." Her hot breath steamed across the skin of his throat, determination and fragility blended through her words.

"I can come with you." His plan was stamped with a finality.

"No, Edward."


Bella pulled herself up and out of his arms. "Because this will never be over. If you come with me. You'll lose everything you've built up here. Your reputation, the contract at the Hall. I can't be the one who destroys that."

"You haven't destroyed anything."

Her eyes closed as she leaned forward, touching her brow to to Edward's as she brushed her fingers across his jaw, tracing the beginnings of the rough shadow. "What about your mom? I can't … I won't be the one responsible-"

'Bella. Stop." He halted her words with his. Captured her sigh with a kiss. "Let me talk to Charles."

"He won't listen."

"Then he's a bigger fool than I thought."


AN: Thank you for reading oxox