Hello there everyone, sorry for the lateness of this, my beta was extremely busy during the Holidays but now she is back on track.

To the guest reviewer who said that what kind of family Edward had for leaving him at the hospice all by himself. well I have to say that this was Edwards choice. everything will be explained in a future chapter. Hope that you are still on the run for this reader. Thank you for your thoughts, I really appreciate every comment.

Hope that you are all still following, and reading. Enjoy!

I don't own, SM does :-)

Chapter 4


His kisses were gentle and soft. Bella was so stunned, she did not respond with kisses of her own, yet she did not pull away from him. After a few breathtaking moments, he pulled away an inch from her face. He stared into her eyes again. Like Bella, Edward was beyond words.

He didn't understand what kind of feeling drove him into kissing her again. He barely knew her, but there was something about her that pulled him in, that made him like her; From the first moment he saw her, he didn't know why, but he wanted her, and those unwelcome, confusing feelings where the ones that made him act like a jerk towards her.

Suddenly, he took her out from the room, and towards the garden.

The garden was protected by six-foot-high stone walls. The perimeter of the fence was lined with flower beds of daises, roses and other clinging plants that Bella couldn't identify. Edward sat on the one of benches and smiled at Bella and then, looked off to his right.

"Don't you love it?" he asked her, finally breaking the silence.

She glanced in the direction his eyes were looking.

"Love what? The wall?" she asked sarcastically.

"No, you dummy, the colors of the sky at twilight," he told her

"All I can see is that it's getting dark, Edward," she said

"Take another look, Bella, and this time look until you really see," he interrupted impatiently.

"See what?"

"Humor me," he snapped. "I'm a dying boy. Just open your eyes and concentrate."

Bella clamped her mouth shut, took a deep breath, and stared around the garden.

The shadows had lengthened with the setting sun. The air was calm and smelled of grass and roses. She took a deep breath letting the sweet evening scent fill her lungs. But she didn't see any colors. She thought that maybe his illness and medications were messing up with his brain.

She felt his hand over her wrist as he tugged her down to sit beside him.

"Keep staring, keep looking," he whispered into her ear. "You won't see bright colors. You'll only see the pale muted hues of fading light. But they are spectacular. There are two or three different colors of lavender alone."

As he spoke, she suddenly understood. It was still daylight, but it did look different. The lawn appeared darker and richer, like a carpet of deep, rolling velvet. She stared, really seeing the twilight sky for the first time. Edward was right. There were colors: pale, ghostly, but delicately beautiful in the fading daylight. It was lovely, and it was the first time she'd ever noticed it.

"Feel it," Edward said softly.

She sighed as a deep sense of peace washed over her. The fading light seemed to soften the whole garden, making it for a moment almost a mystical place. Far off, she heard the song of birds; she curved her lips, and smiled.

Edward laughed softly.

"You do see the difference now, don't you?"

"I never noticed it before," Bella whispered, not wanting to break the magic of the moment with loud voices. "It's so beautiful, and the birds, I'd forgotten how the birds sound."

"Twilight's not the best time for listening. Wait till spring, the night birds sing then."

"The night birds, what are those?" She stared at him suspiciously, wondering if he was making fun of her.

"Who knows what kind of bird they are. All I know is sometimes they sing loud enough to keep you awake half of the night. I can remember dropping into bed at two a.m. exhausted from studying and those birds would start up like a blasted mariachi. It used to drive me nuts, and then, I started to like them."

"I´ve never heard them."

Edward shrugged. "You must be deaf then, they sing loud enough to bring you out of a coma," he joked, but Bella didn't like his choice of words.

His words brought her to reality quick enough, she frowned.

"Honestly, do you have to be so rude?" Bella said frustrated.

"It's a gift." He grinned, "Okay, okay. Sorry. Let's start over." Edward sobered and cleared his throat.

"What can I do you for, Princess Bella?"

She rolled her eyes. "For starters, you can knock that off."

"Your wish is my command."

She ignored his sarcasm.

She needed a favor. He and his retched nagging yesterday had pricked her conscience. But she wasn't about to tell him that. She had a book report due in September, it was part of her summer homework and she noticed that he had a lot of books on his room, she wondered if he would lend her one.

"I need to borrow a book."

His eyes widened in surprise, "You got a book report due?"

"Yes. But your rudeness also really bugged me. It kept me awake half the night," she told him.

What was wrong with me? Why in the world would I tell him that! She thought.

"I'm flattered." He puffed out his chest arrogantly. "Obviously, I have a greater effect on you than I realized."

"Don't let it go to your head," she told him. "Considering the emotional rollercoaster I've been on since I got busted, Bart Simpson could have affected me."

"Your conscience is bothering you, huh?" he asked her playfully.

"My conscience is perfectly clear. Since I wasn't going to steal the earrings, I have nothing to worry about!" She said loftily. "So, are you going to lend me the book or not?" she asked him. Edward sighed and got up. Bella noticed he had to use the top of the picnic table to steady himself.

"Come on," he ordered gruffly. "Let's go look in my bookcase."

It took almost ten minutes to get back to his room. He collapsed on the bed, his breathing hard and labored, as soon as they walked inside.

"Are you okay?" Bella asked, worry on her tone.

"Of course I'm not okay," he rasped, coughing. "If I was okay, I wouldn't be here."

He gestured at the bookcase. "Take a look. I'm going to rest a minute."

She studied him for moment, noted the determined set of his jaw, she heard him sigh and his breathing slow. Finally, when it seemed to have returned to normal, she turned away.

Bella spotted a book by John Wyndham, her favorite author, which she hadn't read yet.

Grabbing it, she turned to him. "Can I borrow this?"

He nodded. "But make sure I get that one back."

"You like Wyndham?"

"Would he be in my bookcase if I didn't?" Edward asked matter of factly, as he sank against the pillows. "I also like Heinlein. Have you ever read Stranger in a Stranger Land?"

Bella made a face. "It didn't push my buttons. I thought it was kind of boring."

"Are you kidding? That's one of the greatest Sci-Fi books ever written," he argued.

"Really?" she sneered.

Within seconds Bella was sitting on Edward's bed having one of those wonderful arguments that only true book lovers could understand.

For the next half hour they compared, argued, and discussed dozen of different books and authors. They didn't stop talking until Rose came with Edward's dinner tray.

"We're running late tonight," Rose pointed out as she put Edward's food down.

Bella glanced at her watch. "Jeez! It´s five past seven. I'm sorry, Rosalie, I lost track of time. It won't happen again."

"Time does fly when we you're having a good time," Rose chirped nonchalantly.

"Bella wasn't having good time," Edward smirked. "She was getting her butt whipped in an argument."

"In your dreams, Edward," Bella scoffed. "We'll continue this tomorrow. I I'm going to miss my bus if I don't get going."

But the truth was Bella had had a good time.

All the way from the hospice to her house, Bella thought about Edward: Edward and his kisses, Edward in the Twilight, and the things he showed her in the garden.

Edward was intelligent, indeed.

She still didn't know what to think of his confession, but of something she was certain: she liked him too. A lot.

Bella got home that night and noticed that her parents were not there. There was a note addressed to her on the kitchen island:

Bella, we had to work late. We will be home tomorrow- There is money for takeout. Remember to lock up before you go to bed.

Love, Mom and Dad.

There were twenty dollars inside the note, so Bella called in for some Italian and went to change while the food arrived. She went to bed after she ate. Her parents had never neglected her like this. She felt as if she was living alone.

Why the sudden change?

She didn't understand their behavior; she remembered the good times with a heavy heart. Silent tears accompanied the memories of her and her sister playing with her parents in the backyard. Long gone were those happy days; everything changed when Leah fell in love with Paul and got pregnant. Charlie and Renée treated her like scum and kicked her out when she didn't want to get an abortion.

She rocked herself to a fitful sleep.