Disclaimer- Twilight and everything in it belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I suppose I'll get over it one day.
The first thing I remembered from last night was, of course, my fake sleep talking, and what I'd accidentally let slip. I groaned, and slapped my hand to my forehead. The second thing I remembered was that this was Saturday… the day of my shopping trip with Alice.
Sleep muttering and shopping. How do I keep getting myself into these situations?
Sighing, I threw on a blue blouse and some jeans. I knew that there were probably plenty go good reasons to be having a bad day because of vampires. Being killed by them would be one. So would having a friend or family member killed by them. Perfectly legitimate reasons to be ticked. I didn't know much about vampires, but I supposed that having to go on a shopping trip didn't fit into the category of a good reason to be depressed.
I drove over to the Cullen's house after a quick breakfast of lucky charms. Probably not something socially acceptable for me to be eating, but who cared? They're "magically delicious."
Ringing the doorbell, I muttered a quick prayer, despite having no particular religion. Please don't let Edward answer, please don't, please don't…
It was Edward, of course.
Trying my best to act normal, I put a smile on my face. "Hey!" I chirped. "Is Alice home?"
He stared at me, studying my face, golden eyes burning into my chocolate ones. 'She doesn't look like she remembers… but does that mean it's not true? Ug, why can't I read her mind?'
"Um, Alice?" I reminded him. He'd been looking at me for longer than would be considered normal.
He didn't look embarrassed to be caught out. Instead, he called out "Alice? Your friend is here." i a voice hardly louder than normal.
As if that was her cue, Alice pranced down the stairs, yelling "Hi, Bella!" 'Stop looking at her like that, Edward, you're going to freak her out.'
Edward looked away. 'I just wish I knew who this girl is, and why I'm so obsessed with her…'
I straightened up and beamed. He could have meant something completely different… but I didn't think so. At least he wasn't avoiding me like the black plague when he found out how obsessed I was. Maybe I was being an optimist, but I took that to be a good sign.
I couldn't contemplate any longer, as Alice was dragging me out the front door. "C'mon, Bella! Bellevue Square is at least two hours away, and we need at least six to go shopping! And the return trip is another two hours, so if you want to get back before midnight, we've got to move!"
"Alice, Bellevue is four hours away."
She flashed me a wicked grin. "Not if you've got the right car."
"And aren't concerned with pesky things like speed limits," added Edward, his eyes filled with the same "need for speed" mania.
"Now I'm worried." I said, only half joking.
Alice feigned hurt. "Only now? Gosh, I must be loosing my touch." Then she broke into a dazzling smile. "Let's go!" 'Before Edward finds out I'm taking his Volvo… oops,'
Edward didn't miss this. "Alice, you're not taking my Volvo, are you?" he called as she pulled me out the front door. His thoughts were genuinely panicked. It was hugely funny. I actually giggled along with Alice. I repeat: I never giggle.
Is this what it feels like to be in love? Always happy, a completely different you? Because if it was, I never wanted to let it go.
Usually, I would get bored on long car rides. However, it was a bit difficult to do when one happens to be in a car that's going upwards of a hundred twenty miles and hour.
"Holy crow, Alice, I thought you were joking!" I said.
"Of course not!" she said, pretending to take offense. "I thought you knew I keep my promises!"
I moaned and put my face in my hands. "But if we get in a crash, I won't be walking away." Then I froze. Oh, please don't let her notice the emphasis on I.
She did notice. 'Hmm, that seems suspicious. She couldn't know… but I'd better ask her about it…'
"Bella," began Alice hesitantly, "why did you put an emphasis on I?"
I thought quickly. "Oh, haven't you noticed yet?" I said, working to keep my voice light. "I'm cripplingly clumsy. It's terrible, really. I can barely walk without tripping."
Alice laughed, relieved.
I laughed with her, thankful that I could think up that so quickly. I might've been slightly proud, as well.
The rest of the car ride was filled with idle chitchat. I made no more slip ups, and the conversation was easy. This must be what it's like to have a sister, I thought. And Alice was like a sister to me, despite the fact that I hadn't known her for longer than a week.
Any good feelings I had for Alice were crushed when I saw Bellevue Square.
"Alice, it's huge," I said. "And way too posh."
"But's it's got the best collection in Seattle!"
"I'm sorry, what?"
Alice sighed, exasperated. " . They've got all the cutest things! Really, Bella, keep up."
After a few minutes of begging, coaxing, and threatening my collection of Jane Austen novels, Alice finally got me in the store. We spent hours looking through ridiculously overpriced stores— BCBGMAXAZRIA, Farinaz Taghavi, Max Mara, and , as promised— none of which I had heard of before. Alice, of course, had a field day. I tried to humor her. We did go to some more well-known stores as well, but they were places like Nordstrom and Banana Republic. Alice wouldn't let me anywhere near the jeans or sweatshirts.
"I'm protecting you from yourself!" she said indignantly when I complained.
I had to roll my eyes at that one.
All in all, I only got around two tops and a pair of jeans that Alice gave the okay on. They were too fancy for my style, but Alice was truly a force to be reckoned with. All in all, we were there for about six hours, proving that Alice did, in fact, keep her word. I had to beg for her to stop for food at just after two in the afternoon. We'd been going nonstop for about four hours.
"Alice! I need food," I said pathetically.
She narrowed her eyes, but eventually gave in. 'Feeding time for the human,' she grumbled to herself mentally. We ended up at a place called Pagliacci Pizza. It was really good. However, it didn't escape my notice that Alice didn't touch her Pesto Salad. So halfway through my Spinach & Chicken pizza, I took a few bites, not wanting others to notice that she wasn't eating anything.
She looked at me, bemused. "What are you doing?"
"I'm doing the chef a favor," I said. "He'd be offended if he noticed you didn't even try your food.
Alice thought for a moment, then shrugged. 'If it makes me seem more human..."
After we ate, Alice dragged me relentlessly back to shopping, attacking the stores with a vengeance unlike any to ever hit Bellevue. It was mildly frightening. She literally had twenty bags at the end. Eventually, we noticed it was getting late. At around five, we left, thirty bags in tow. Only two were mine.
I was wiped out. "Alice," I moaned, packing bags into the back of the Volvo. "Never do this to me again!"
"Of course not, Bella." She said reassuringly. If not for my whole mind-reading thing, I wouldn't have noticed her crossing her fingers behind her back. I narrowed my eyes.
"Why do I get the feeling you're lying?"
"Because I am."
We looked at each other, deadpan, then burst out laughing.
All in all, it was a pretty good evening. Sure, my feet were killing me, but it was worth it. Alice was definitely the best friend I'd ever had, despite her strange obsession with shopping. We burst in her front door almost doubled over with laughter, towing just over half the bags, the ones Alice instructed me to bring in first. She was telling me about the time she and her sister, Rosalie, the one who didn't seem to like me much, pulled a prank on their brother Emmett. They went to a mall without him- and the mall was also a water park!
"You should have seen his face!" laughed Alice. Thanks to my talent, I did. His eyebrows were pulled together and his mouth was slightly open in an expression of disbelief. It was pretty comical, and I was shaking with laughter. That was how we burst in the door. Of course, Emmett was sitting on the couch kissing Rosalie, and that set me off again.
Emmett turned to me, feigning disbelief. "Hey, girlie, you survived!"
"D-did Ali-Alice and- and Rosalie really- really go to a water park- without you!" I got out between gasps of laughter.
His face turned to the exact same one in Alice's memory, which set me off again. "No fair!" he whined, looking like a big toddler. "She told you about that?" Then his face turned devious, and he grinned. "I bet she didn't tell you about the time..."
"NO!" said Alice, running past me at a speed to fast for a human and cupping a hand over Emmett's mouth. Than she seemed to realize what she had done and turned to face me in horror.
I really didn't want the Cullens to avoid me because. I knew their secret, so I thought quick. "Wow, Alice, you should be on the track team," I said, arching my eyebrows. She laughed nervously.
Just then, Esme distracted me. "Bella, dear!" she said, the image of motherly affection.
"Esme!" I said, hugging her, because it felt so natural. She stiffened, seemingly surprised, then returned the hug.
'What a sweet girl Bella is! She can't be a danger to us, even if she does have some strange power over her scent...'
I stiffened, and Esme let go of me. 'What did I do wrong?' she thought, concerned. I smiled at her, to set her at ease.
"It's very nice seeing you again," I said politely. "If you'll excuse me, I have to get home now." I smiled at Alice. "Thanks for the trip. I had lots of fun. Do you remember which of the bags left in the Volvo are mine?
Alice looked shifty, and strangely guilty. "Well..." 'I hope she doesn't mind that I bought the rest for her..."
My eyes widened, and I jumped half a foot in the air, screeching "What!?
Esme, Rosalie, Emmett and Alice stared at me, and I realized I had slipped up again. I shifted. "Uh, I just had an epiphany." Shen I narrowed my eyes at Alice. "You bought the rest of the clothes for me, didn't you," I said, accusatory.
She nodded her head guiltily.
"Alice," I complained, "That's hundreds of dollars in clothing! I can't pay you back for all that!"
Now Alice looked indignant. "I don't want you to pay me back, Bella! I bought you those clothes because they looked cute on you, and you wouldn't get them!"
"No buts, Bella! Consider them a present. Please?" she begged, turning her golden Bambi eyes on me. My heart melted.
"Fine, but never again," I warned.
"Of course not, Bella!" she said eagerly.
I walked to the door and was halfway out before calling back. "Alice?"
I paused for maximum effect. "Why do I get the feeling you're lying to me?"
She was still laughing as I pulled out of the driveway.
It was only later, when I was laying in bed, that I thought about what Esme had thought. Gosh, how strange was my life that I could even use that sentence? But still. They knew that I was hiding my scent from them. Granted, it was for my own protection, but still, they knew. I didn't think my experiment in biology was enough to reveal that to Edward, so it had been some new development. But I was shielded every waking moment...
Every waking moment.
Every waking moment.
Edward was in here almost every night, if last night was anything to judge by. Was I able to keep up my shield when I was asleep? With a sinking heart, I realized I probably couldn't. But then, why hadn't Edward killed me?
I shook my head. I would have to wait until the morning to get answers. Or would I? With a sly grin, I pushed open my windows.
This is sort of a filler chapter, but next chapter comes from Edward's POV, and comes with a major epiphany. I hope I've got you excited.