Wow, so much has happened to keep me from updating this story... and writing, actually. I won't bore you with details, but please know that I didn't not update for any other reason than simply being unable to.
This is not preread or beta'd or anything. I wrote this quickly in the last few hours after realizing what day it was and just how long it had been since the last update (sorry 'bout that). I'm headed to bed after posting this - very tired.
So, please go forth and read with a nice, forgiving heart. ;)
Hope you enjoy...
We pretty much flew through the queue, quickly showing passports for verification. There were no problems and in no time at all, we were out to roam and wait for the others.
The whole time, Edward and I were completely normal; Edward's hand was in mine, our bodies as close as was acceptable in society's eye. We shared smiles, laughs and sweet, chaste, quick kisses. Part of me knew that it was somewhat for the cameras—I mean, they definitely had no proof of a "kidnapping" now, huh?—but another part (a larger part) reveled in it. I was never an attention-grabbing kind of girl, but I had to admit that I loved Edward's shower of affection. And there was a certain look in his eyes every time they connected with mine that told me he knew it, too. Hopefully that meant it wouldn't stop after we were safely in London.
Having so little knowledge of London—and Europe in general—I hadn't yet broached the subject of just where we'd be living. I fervently hoped that I could convince Edward to live with me alone; somewhere close to our family, but still far enough away for us to consider the place ours. Hopefully, a cute, warm little apartment: someplace close but not quite in the city of London.
"Let's sit and wait for them here, darling," Edward said, pressing a kiss to my forehead. He tugged me softly with him to the right, and pulled me closer to him, an arm now around my waist, as he pulled me along through the crowd walking in both directions. We finally made it to the wall and sat down on the seat there. "We'll get the bags when we're all together before we leave."
Since we'd taken the first class seats, Edward and I were ahead, but my mate was keeping tabs on his family. From what he could hear from Alice, they'd be out in ten minutes, at which stage we'd walk together as a family down the ramp and out the door. There was sure to be two taxis waiting for us.
I nodded and sighed next to him, leaning my head on his shoulder. I stifled a yawn with my hand and took a deep breath as I nuzzled against his topper arm, closing my eyes to the sight of a small smile on my mate's face as he watched me.
I nodded, and stifled another yawn, my eyes watering behind the lids. "Yeah, funnily enough; strange—I've been sleeping so well recently."
"Hmm," he said in response. "Well, when we get to the house, you can sleep right away. Unless you are hungry?"
I shook my head slowly, lazily. "Not hungry."
"Okay," he said softly, sweetly. "Baby, please try to stay awake; just a little longer. I can't have you falling asleep on me yet, and I know you want to see the house before. Hopefully, in the morning, you'll remember it."
I smiled and giggled tiredly before taking a deep breath, sighing, and opening my eyes. I lifted my head of his shoulder and kissed his cheek. "Coffee?"
He frowned. "Is that really a good idea? Wouldn't it keep you up for the next few hours, make it harder for you to sleep?"
I shrugged then shook my head, and his frown deepened. "If it's weak enough, it should only give me a small kick—that's all I need. How long is it to the house anyhow?"
He was silent for a moment, a small look of concentration on his face. To the outsider, it would look as though he was thinking, but I knew he was hearing the answer from Alice. After another few seconds, he looked back down to me and answered, "About half an hour."
I nodded and stood up slowly. "Then a slow coffee for me, it is. You wouldn't happen to know where I could get one, would you?"
"Just around the corner, actually," he said, standing up with me and taking my head. "We'll meet the others there instead."
I nodded and let him lead me, my mind already waking up at the mere thought of coffee. I was irrationally excited by the prospect; it had been far too long since the last time I'd had one. Jacob hated me drinking coffee (among other things)—he said it made me taste bitter when he kissed me. I almost did it out of spite, and would have done so were I not fearful of what he'd do in return.
With Edward, I didn't have to worry about that—funny, really, considering he can't even eat human food and it repulses him. You'd think he'd be the one with the problem.
Edward ended up ordering for me; I sat down not too far from him in a booth, waiting for our family. He kept looking over at me, and I quickly discerned it was whenever the chick in front of him did something in an attempt to grab his attention. First, there was the flutter of the eyelashes. Then it was a casual unbuttoning of the first four or so buttons on her shirt when she went to make the coffee (personally, I thought two was a bit much, but four? Seriously?). When the bitch actually grazed her fingers against his and licked her lips when she handed him, I decided that was enough. Without a thought, I got up and walked over to the two. I smiled at Edward as his eyes widened and kissed his neck then his lips—adding in a little tongue for an extra punch in the woman's face—before leaning back.
"Thanks, baby," I said to him, grabbing the cup from his hands. I took a sip and hummed at the taste, licking my lips as my eyes connected with his; I smirked when I saw his eyes darken.
"Anytime, love," he said after a moment in a low, gritty voice.
I turned to the woman, smiled, and took Edward's hand to lead him back to our bench. "Well," I said lowly, "I think that showed her."
"I should think so," Edward replied, letting out a breath. He smirked. "I do love it when you get all… possessive like that."
I giggled and licked my lips. "Ditto," I whispered, leaning in to press a kiss to his lips quickly. He moaned and I leaned back quickly, making him growl. I managed to keep a straight face when I asked him, "where are they now?"
"They'll be here in a few minutes," he said, "they've just come through." He chuckled after a moment, shaking his head.
"What?" I asked, cocking my head to the side as I eyed him, my hands cupping the coffee. I loved the warm feel of it in my hands.
"Alice is very upset," he said with a smirk.
"Why?" I asked slowly, brows furrowed.
"Because this shit's going to get a taxi to the house with Carlisle and Esme, while the rest of us will be stranded for the half an hour," Alice's irate pixie voice sounded. I blinked and looked up at her, then back at a smug Edward who was trying—and failing, miserably—to hide his smirk.
I snorted. "Well, sucks to be you, huh?"
Edward's chuckle burst through and he kissed me on the lips. "Oh, how I love you, sweet, sweet Isabella," he laughed, slapping his pale hand against his jean-covered thigh with a soft but sharp slap.
I laughed and looked up at our little elfin sister. "Sorry," I said, snorting in laughter as I shook my head, shoulders quaking with laughter. "I'm so… so… sorry," I gasped between giggles, my body bowing toward Edward.
"What would you rather?" Edward asked. "We take you and Jasper, Alice? But we couldn't—it would be terrible of us to do that to our parents."
We snorted; Emmett lifted a hand and high-fived Edward, both laughing. I caught Esme and Carlisle rolling their eyes, amused smiles on their faces. But poor, poor Jasper was the worst—lips pressed together, he was having a truly awful time stopping himself from laughing else he find himself in the dog house.
I laughed even harder—louder—at that thought. Given the context of where I'd lived and with whom, that thought was fucking hilarious.
"I hate to be a party-pooper, but could we leave now?" Emmett asked, desperation making pitching his voice at least an octave higher than its norm.
Edward looked at me, and I nodded quickly, completely sympathetic with Emmett; the thought of being away from Edward for much longer than a few minutes—much less the distance Emmett had had to endure—was harrowing.
I grabbed my coffee and stood up, seeking Edward's hand. The others had already made their way out, Emmett leading them as they started walking slowly to where we'd pick up our bags before leaving. My left hand was in Edward's, my right holding the cup of coffee as my eyes wandered around in what I hoped was a casual manner. My earlier show of possessiveness had sparked a brilliant idea in my head, and all I needed was to locate a nice little camera near the door for this to work. Small kisses, caresses and a whole lotta hand-holding and arm wraps were enough for some, but I wanted to throw my new-found happiness in one Jacob Black's face…
… starting with one holy fuck of a kiss.
I smiled to myself as I quickly found one. Quickly twisting and letting go of Edward's hand, I spun and threw the mostly-empty polystyrene cup in a nearby bin. Edward stopped and looked at me questioningly, a raised eyebrow on his face as he looked at me. I smirked and wrapped my arms around his neck, and with one last smirk at the camera, I pressed my lips to his. He gasped and grabbed my hips, moaning as he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer.
"Bella," he gasped low against my lips, returning only to kiss my lips with fervor. I opened my mouth as his tongue swiped across my bottom lip, and we tilted our heads, movements in perfect sync as we kissed thoroughly for all to see —including the wolves if (and hopefully when) they came here to check.
Only the clearing of someone's throat stopped us. We pulled away, panting lightly, and looked to the right. I blushed when my eyes landed on our family, brows cocked and barely hidden smirks on their faces.
I opened my mouth. "I'd say I'm sorry…"
"… but I'm not," Edward finished for me, a smirk of his own on his face. He then wrapped an arm around my waist and began to walk us forward. "I think we should go get our bags now, huh?"
I nodded, blowing out a breath. "Good idea."
He led me away from them, advancing faster than the others; we still heard their snickers behind us as we shared our own little satisfied smirks.
"Anytime you want to use me and abuse me in one of those plots again, my sweet, innocent girl… be my guest," Edward whispered into my ear.
I giggled; so he had seen what I'd been hoping to achieve.
"Yes, sir," I breathed back, licking my lips. I snickered at his answering growl as his hand tightened on my hip.
I hopped into the back seat and scooted over into the middle immediately. Behind me, the taxi boot slammed with a thud as Edward closed it and walked to the street's side. He opened it and hopped in. A moment later, Carlisle was also in the car, sitting down on my other side. Esme was in the front seat, quietly telling the driver where we wanted to go and what route to take.
I had quickly warned our family to again only speak of the house on the ride over, just to make sure in case the wolves—through the police here—got ahold of the drivers or the taxi company.
I leaned my head on Edward's shoulder as the taxi pulled out. I didn't pay attention to my surroundings, or to the almost-to-low-for-my-ears conversation that the three Cullens were partaking in. Edward's fingers danced up and down the skin of my covered arm and I smiled, my eyes closed as I relaxed into him. The coffee had worked, but I was still very tired and I wasn't in the mood for much more than some quiet time and a little cuddling with Edward.
I couldn't wait 'til we were on that jet.
I did catch one comment Edward said, though, about their travel agreement with Alice. Apparently, we were to go ahead and meet Rose. Alice had given Edward all the info needed—I obviously hadn't been paying much attention since I missed that—so we were armed and fully prepared for the last little trek of this adventure. They'd catch up—apparently there'd be a taxi fifteen minutes after ours (not exactly the half-hour Alice had predicted, eh?).
I was very close to asleep when the car stopped and I barely stopped myself from groaning when the door opened and Edward moved from my side. Reluctantly, I opened my eyes, blinking rapidly and trying to keep my eyes open to wake up. I yawned and Edward smiled, unbuckled my belt, and took my hand to help me out.
"We're gonna go on a small tour of the house," he whispered low in my ear as he closed the door and walked me around the other side. I looked around to see Esme holding our bag and Carlisle holding theirs. "Just so when the wolves come, our scent is inside."
I nodded and yawned again. "'kay… sounds nice. And thanks, Esme, for taking our bag."
She probably replied, but I don't think I heard it. Maybe she didn't.
I heard the taxi drive away behind us as Edward fumbled for the key in his pocket. The clanging of them as he dug them out, quickly found the right one, and pushed it in then opened the door woke me further, as did the lights that flickered on when we stepped foot in the door.
The tour was indeed a short one, but I had to say I really wanted to stay in the house; the furnishings were gorgeous, and each couples' room was well-fitted to the pair's tastes. I had to admit Edward's room was more for him than for me, but it could easily pass as ours during a wolf-inspection. Rosalie had been here, apparently, so there was now a picture of each couple in each of their rooms—further evidence. I made a mental note to ask for the one hanging in ours; it was a truly lovely one that I believed Alice had taken of us together.
All too soon, to my dismay, Edward led me back down the stairs to the bottom floor of the house. He pulled me through the kitchen and an open door at the far end that was already open, the light in the room on already. It was the garage.
"Alice, Jasper and Emmett will be here in about ten minutes," Edward whispered as he quickly opened the door of the car we'd be taking with Carlisle and Esme, who were sitting in the back quietly, and helped me in. He rounded the car and slipped in after me, putting the key in the ignition; the car purred to life, the dashboard lighting up, but he made no move to leave. "We'll wait here for them."
I nodded, not really caring since I was so tired. I closed my eyes and waited.
Ten minutes was much faster when you were tired and had your eyes closed. Soon, the car was in motion, and Edward peeled out of the garage and sped down the road toward our destination. I had to assume that the others had sped through the house, not disadvantaged by having to pull a slow, tired human through the house.
This drive was also short, and I frowned pathetically as Edward stopped the car, and ran around to my side. He opened the door, and one look at me—my eyes blurry as I looked back—he smiled and pulled me up into his arms.
I assumed the others said hello to Rosalie, but Edward walked me right up and through. He made a b-line for the seats, and sat down with me still in his arms—though now I was more laying across his lap. I sighed and relaxed into him, curling up against him. One arm was wrapped around his neck, the other against his chest next to my head.
I was already falling asleep, sounds around me becoming less and less clear. The last thing I heard before I succumbed to the darkness was Edward's melodic voice.
"Go to sleep, my mate. I will wake you when we arrive in London."
How was that?
Next chapter: London! (You have no idea how excited I am! Eep!)