EBS's 2nd Anniversary Challenge

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Entry type: Twilight

Name of entry: Scenting You

Primary prompt: Second time around

Secondary prompt: Sense of smell

Categories: Romance, Supernatural

There it was again. Not a smell. More like an aroma. Enticing me. Pulling me. Calling me.

Oh, how I'd missed it!

I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. I still couldn't understand why, but this scent filled me, completed me. I'd given up fighting its pull, and was here now because of it.

I remembered the first time her scent enveloped me. I'd arrived at the first class lounge at O'Hare and was looking for a place to sit, only to suddenly stop, dazed. Where was that bewitching fragrance coming from? I felt the venom pooling in my mouth as I zeroed in on the brunette I'd noticed earlier. I walked over, helplessly feeling a pull in her direction.

She was working away on her computer, oblivious to the fact that I was standing close by, battling my baser instincts. I struggled to control the hunger waking in me as I stood still, holding my breath, and reached out to listen to her thoughts.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing was coming from her. Yet she was clearly there, working away so *some* thoughts must be going through her brain. The surprise I felt from her blank mind snapped my thoughts away from my hunger, and awakened my curiosity. How was she able to block me? Perhaps if I spoke with her I could decipher this mystery?

I walked to the chair next to her and dropped my computer bag on it.

"Excuse me miss, do you mind if I sit here?"

She jumped in surprise; clearly I'd broken her concentration. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you", I said, with a smirk.

"Oh! No worries, I startle easily. Please feel free to sit there", she stammered, then returned to her work.

I pondered how best to coax her into talking with me. Her scent still tugged at me, but her blank mind intrigued me more.

"Terrible timing for this storm to hit the area", I said. "My flight is unfortunately delayed by 2 hours. I was looking forward to returning home sooner."

She looked up at me. Success!

"Me too", she responded. "Unfortunately with this weather we can't do much about it. My poor cat will have to wait a little longer for me to get back home also."

Talking about the weather somehow transitioned to talking about movies, music, and places we'd been. Next thing I knew, my flight was called for boarding. Where had the time gone? I was still no closer to discovering why her mind was closed to me, but now I was strangely fascinated by this woman that did not instinctually shy away from me. Glancing at the luggage tag on her briefcase, I memorized her contact information as I said goodbye and left for my flight.

Once in the airplane, I took my first class seat and closed my eyes. Pretending to sleep usually kept the flight attendants from offering me champagne or juice or whatever vile liquid they usually offered.

And then I smelled her. Again? I opened my eyes, not believing it, but yes, there she was!

"We meet again!" she laughed as she sat on the seat next to me. "Since we're going to be neighbors for a little while, I might as well introduce myself. My name is Bella."

"A pleasure to meet you Bella, my name is Edward. So you live in the Seattle area, then?"

"Yes, I do. And you?"

"I live in a small town in Clallam County.

"Really? My father was from that area, and I used to visit him in the summers. Very rainy and green," she mused.

"I take it he's not living there anymore?"

"No. I lost him about 5 years ago," she said softly.

"I'm sorry to hear that." I recalled that her nametag had the last name of Swan, which reminded me of the gossip I would periodically hear about Chief Swan's disappearance a few years ago. Was she his daughter?

"I still own his house, and have considered selling it, but… it holds memories for me. It almost feels like putting the house on the market would be equivalent to letting him go, so I've just kept it." Her obvious sorrow at her loss tugged at me inexplicably. I put that puzzle on the side for now and began chatting about other more cheerful topics.

Four hours later our plane was landing and I was saddened to think this might be the last I saw of her. We silently gathered our items then wished each other safe travels.

Though I smiled as I said goodbye, the smile did not reach my eyes. Why did this parting sadden me so? And why was she looking at me like she wanted something? I needed to leave though; I was in desperate need of fresh air.

Since then, I'd been going stir crazy, thinking of her. So crazy that I had been stalking her home, watching her routine, and now I was here, at the coffee shop I'd seen her frequent every morning for the last two weeks.

She turned around after getting her coffee cup, and gasped softly when she saw me staring at her. Was that a smile peeking on her lips and eyes?

"Edward?" She asked as she approached me. I invited her to join me by pointing at the chair next to me. We finally were connecting, and she looked like she'd missed me?! Dare I believe?

As she sat down, I inhaled her scent gratefully and softly said her name in relief and in hope. "Bella."