Chapter Ten: Edward:
"Edward! Let's go!" Emmett shouted.
"He's not going. Come on, it's Rosalie's turn to drive." Alice replied, grabbing his shoulder and rushing him out the door.
I rushed to Carlisle's study; he sensed me outside and asked me to join him.
"What's on your mind son?" He asked.
I didn't know how to start. I wasn't sure what I was feeling. I couldn't even look up at him.
"It's Bella..." was all I was able to utter.
She has had quite an affect you, hasn't she?
He was trying not to smile, wondering to himself what kind of advise I seek from him.
"I guess I wanted to speak to you about her gift." I stammered out.
"Yes, it is an interesting ability she possesses. Has she asked for your help yet?"
"Yes, we've umm... realized a few things. She can push it from herself. When she extended it over me, I could hear her thoughts. Well, we can hear each other..."
That must have been odd for you?
"Well Edward, this is really something. A shield can be powerful. Only time will tell what she is capable of," he said calmly.
I can see that you're taken with her.
I shifted in my seat as he recalled my behavior in the last few weeks, the blatant staring, my tripped up words if any at all. "At first I hated her. Not being able to read her was maddening. I would spend hours concentrating, trying to break into her mind. When I finally simply spoke to her, she didn't try to hide anything from me. She just let me in... And now I don't... I can't put it into words."
I needed to say it. "Carlisle, I am consumed by this woman. I find myself thinking of her constantly. When I saw into her mind… The beauty, the innocence, the hurt... Everything was so pure. I miss her right now. I just left her side mere minutes ago..." I raised my hands up in question then brought them down to my head.
It is about time. He deserves this. To find love.
Love? Do I love her? "Wait." I stood up, in shock. This is all happening really fast. "I feel like I hardly know her..."
Carlisle walked around the desk and motioned for me to sit...
"Do you remember when I brought Esme home?" He asked.
"Of course I do." I answered rolling my eyes. Perfect recall.
"I have seen so many humans fighting for their lives. So many people die every day. I've accepted that every mortal will die. I will continue to do my best to cure sickness and repair injuries, but I cannot act as god." He paused, closing his eyes and picturing Esme. "However, there have been moments in my life where my decisions were based purely on what I was feelings, instead of logic. The first time I saw Esme, something inside me changed. I know that you never understood why I felt the need to change her. I changed her because I couldn't bear the thought of her dying. I knew I loved her. Edward, it sometimes happens this way. Look at Rosalie and Emmett. Rosalie saw something in him immediately. She didn't recognize it at first, but she loved him, loved him enough to save him. Some bonds don't take time to grow. Our kind has unyielding emotions, much more powerful than a human's. Come on Edward, haven't you ever heard of love at first sight? It happens." He hesitated. "You look surprised..." Carlisle raised one eye brow.
"Not surprised, just overcome by her. She makes me feel so at peace, yet so afraid," I put my hands over my face.
"Just take things slowly, you'll figure it out." He wrapped his arm around my shoulder. "Don't fear this, embrace it."
"I want to tell her, but I'm afraid. This is all so new, I've never-"
He chuckled. Just take it slow. Let it happen and don't worry so much.
"Thank you Carlisle. I appreciate your advice."
I stood left the room. I couldn't help but give a smile at his next thought.
Alice was right.
I laughed to myself. Alice... I had been so preoccupied with Bella; I hadn't put any attention to her thoughts. She obviously saw this coming. That little pixie is getting too good at keeping things from me. I zipped downstairs to Bella's room and knocked on the door.
"Hi Bella, what are you up to today?" I asked, relief washing over me at the very sight of her.
"I'm trying to decide what to do with these walls, but nothing has come to me yet. No school today?" She asked.
"No, I'm taking the day off," I said as I walked toward her. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at the bare walls. "I was thinking about taking a little trip. There is a place I like to go just north of Olympic National Park. Would you care to join me? Perhaps you could find some inspiration for these walls." I approached her slowly, bending down to kiss her forehead. She smiled and took my hand.
"That sounds really nice. Are we leaving soon?" She asked as she rose from the bed and wrapped her arms around me in a light hug.
"We can leave whenever you like. I'd like to drive up and listen to some music." I said and she released me from her arms. She looked up at me. Her eyes were dark. I put my hands to her chin. "Are you thirsty? We can hunt today, if you need to."
She didn't answer. She continued to stare into my eyes, her fingers running up my chest. I brought my lips to hers. I tried to keep the kiss soft and light. I put both of my hands on her face and caressed her skin, so soft, so perfect.
"Bella, I-" Esme had entered the room. Her jaw dropped when she saw us. Her thoughts were excited and scattered. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you..." She had a grin from ear to ear. Bella buried her head in my chest. I couldn't help but smiling myself.
Oh, Edward, this is wonderful. Sorry to interrupt! I will leave you two.
"Bella, I brought you some supplies for the walls. I'll just leave them here." She put several bags down and left the room.
Bella shook her head and giggled. "I am ready to go when you are."
I got to the car first in order to open the car door for her. I slipped in beside her and tossed her my iPod. She browsed for a few minutes before making her selection. We both smiled as Radiohead started to play.
"What are you thinking about?" I couldn't help myself. I had to ask.
"Esme... I feel like I should have told her. I hope she is OK with this," she said and then took my hand in hers.
I laughed. "Are you kidding me? She is thrilled. Firstly, she thinks I have been alone much too long. Secondly, she loves you Bella. She thinks of you as a daughter and what she wants more than anything is for her children to be happy."
"How old are you?" She asked.
"Carlisle changed me 1918. I was seventeen when he saved me."
She smiled. "I love the way you put that. That he saved you." She kissed the top of my hand. 'I never would have thought of it like that, not before I met your family," she spoke softly and her eyes yet again drifted out the window.
I wanted to know what she was thinking, but I didn't dare ask. I was wondering what she would think of the meadow. She had let me inside her head so many times and I hadn't given her any of myself. I wanted her to see one of my most favorite places, a place that I have never shown anyone. It used to be my escape when I wanted some time alone, but I longed to share it with her.
"Penny for your thoughts," she whispered then laughed. "Funny, you're usually the one asking that question."
I had to laugh with her. I gently squeezed her hand. "Why don't you use your gift to find out?"
She let go of my hand. "I don't want to use it right now. I feel like I am forcing it on you." She looked down at her hands in her lap. I had upset her.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. Please forgive my lame attempt at making a joke. I don't mind telling you what I am thinking about and I have never felt as though you have forced anything on me." I said, but she looked out toward the forest. The truth is that I am somewhat relived that she didn't use it. I'm scared that she would hear the L word, terrified that she didn't feel the same way. I wanted her hand back in mine. I was kicking myself for souring the mood.
"I have an idea. I wanted us to spend the day together, so that we can get to know each other better, so I am purposing a little Q & A."
"A day of questions?" She asked.
"Yes, we can take turns asking each other questions and we have to be honest no matter what. What do you think?" I said and I gave her a big smile. "Would you like to get to know me?"
A slight grin crossed her lips. "I can ask you anything?"
"Yes, and I promise that I will answer honestly. Scouts honor." I winked at her.
"OK. Were you really a scout?"
I snickered. "Actually no, I just thought it sounded good. What about you? Are you girl scout alumni?"
"Yes." She grimaced. "My mother's idea. She always insisted that I participate in lots of after school activities. Girl scouts, dance class, soccer, karate, tee ball, you name it, I did it." she said unenthusiastically.
"Sounds like you were pretty athletic?"
She bust out into laughter.
"What? Did I say something funny?"
When she finally stopped laughing enough to answer me she said, "I was one of the most accident prone humans. Anything athletic was a really bad idea. I was so uncoordinated I couldn't walk on a flat, stable surface without falling at least once. Thank god, I have better balance in this life."
We drove for about an hour, asking each other very simple questions. What is your favorite color? Where were you born? Favorite song? favorite flower? We kept the mood light with small talk. We finally arrived; I parked the car of the edge of a thick growth of trees. "Are you ready?" I asked.
She nodded. I jumped out of the car and opened her door. Talking her hand in mine, I led her to the forest. "Are we going for a walk?"
"I thought we could run instead." I arched an eyebrow and she playfully slapped my shoulder.
"Follow me," I said then darted into the trees. I tried to keep my pace fast, but not too fast. I could sense her behind me as I weaved in and out through the trees, jumping up occasionally to swing from low hanging branches. I came to a stop when I couldn't hear her behind me anymore. I stood for a moment and listened. Then without warning, something slammed into me, knocking me to the ground. I heard her voice before I even opened my eyes.
"OH! Edward I am so sorry! You were running so fast, I was trying to catch up to you. Are you OK?" She said frantically. I was lying on the floor of the forest with her on top of me.
I chucked. "I'm more than OK." I said then lifted my hands to her face. She kissed me on the cheek, then my lips, my chin and my neck. She kissed my lips one last time and sprang up.
I sprang up after her and grabbed her hand. "Come, there's something I want to show you. It's very close by."
I led her through the forest toward the meadow. We ran together, jumping up in the trees; racing to the tops. I provoked her into another game of tag, and then I ran to the meadow, sitting down in the middle. After a few moments, she broke free of the thick woods and walked slowly toward me. She looked around in amazement. The grass was high and there were patches of vibrant flowers scattered throughout. There was a slight mist in the air.
"Wow, this place is incredible," she whispered as she sat by my side, our arms brushing up against each other.
"This is my secret place. I come here when I want to escape. I come to be alone." I said.
She looked at me curiously. "If you come here to be alone, why did you bring me?"
I shifted my body and faced her. "You have opened yourself up to me. I feel like you gave me a part of you. Now, I want to share something special with you."
My hands drifted over her shoulders and through her hair. She lay back in the grass and took a deep breath. I placed my hands down and hovered over her. Her dark eyes were smoldering. I leaned my body down and kissed her passionately. I could feel her arms around my back, squeezing me, trying to pull me closer and I was pushing back. Our bodies began to grind up against each other. She wrapped her legs around me and kissed me furiously. I started to feel her shield come over me. Her mind was fascinating. It was a warm, hurried stream of thoughts, with only a few words that I could make out.
Bliss... Fairy Tale...
Touch me... Please!
I love you...