I spent the rest of the week thinking about what Jasper and Alice told me. I didn’t agree with everything they said, but there was merit in showing Bella that I didn’t think she was stupid. Honestly, why she would feel this way was beyond me. I knew she was intelligent and she proved time and again what a fast learner she was. She was adapting to our life together faster than even I thought possible. So far her mistakes were minor and I had only needed to direct her.
I loved coming home after being at the hospital all day. I loved that as soon as I opened the door each evening she was there, waiting for me. Whatever happened during the day melted away as soon as her lips touched mine. I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to come home to this angel every night for the rest of my life. I can’t wait for the day that I’m opening the door to our home. To see her there, her belly swollen with my child, that sparkle I have seen in her eyes shining with the same look of love that Alice showed Jasper.
I am determined to have that dream come true. Bella will love me. I love her too much not to have that in return. I need her love like an addict needs heroin. As much as it goes against everything we have been raised to believe is right and wrong, I will follow Jasper’s advice. I will even listen to Alice. She seems to be my only insight into what Bella is thinking. She knows so much about Bella. I’m jealous of whatever relationship they have formed in the short time Bella has been here. I want that same level of intimacy with her. I want her to lean on my shoulder for comfort and confide in me the same way I witnessed her doing with my mom.
I smiled. It was becoming easier to call Esme, ‘mom’ in my mind now. I felt the light go on in my mind. She obviously has that same relationship with Bella that Alice does. She is another source of information for me into Bella. And since she’s my mother and I am her son she won’t hold back on me like Alice and Jasper are. This would be much easier than patiently waiting for Alice to give me the crumbs of knowledge that I crave. I would need to find a time I can talk to her without Carlisle around. I know it will only cause her trouble if Carlisle catches any hint of difference in my behavior with her.
As I left the hospital I thought about how close I was to her growing up. I was sick a lot when I was very young so I spent a lot of time at home being cared for by my mother. Emmett and Jasper were already in school so it was just the two of us. We played games and she would hold me in her lap reading to me. We baked cookies together in the kitchen. She had told me this was our secret only. I realize now that it was because Carlisle would have punished her for making me do ‘women’s work’. Cooking was her job. Even something as harmless as a child making cookies with their mother wasn’t allowed, unless I’d been born a girl.
I saw now why Carlisle was always so hard on me. He drove me to succeed and was always pitting me against my brothers or my cousin. He saw how close I was to her. He was driving that wedge between us, separating me from her. He considered it weakness on my part. I wasn’t becoming a man in his eyes. As a child I was so in awe of my father that I hated to disappoint him, and I was a constant disappointment. Even though he was a doctor, he had no tolerance for illness or weakness. Cullen’s were better than that. The fact that I was sick so often just made me less in his eyes. I had to fight harder than Emmett or Jasper for his approval. This was why I was a perfectionist. I had to prove that I was better than everyone else, that I wasn’t weak. I played every sport and was captain of the team each year. I held top honors in school and even graduated early from high school. I worked even harder in college and medical school. I became a doctor just to show him that I was every bit as good as him and worthy of being his son.
Well I would be even better. I would have the relationship I wanted with my wife. I would even let my sons be close to her. I would have everything I want in my life. I even know where to start to get it. My first step would be to change her school schedule. She was obviously capable of taking honors classes instead of the basics Carlisle and I had decided upon for her. I didn’t even think about her electives when I chose those for her. There were so few options that were acceptable to me for her to take. I remembered what classes she had told me she wanted to take. I decided there was no harm in her taking Philosophy if it made her happy. She would still need to take Child Development though. After all, we would be having children soon. I only hoped we had an easier time of it than my brother’s wives. Rosalie has already miscarried twice and Alice has never even been pregnant yet.
I stopped by the administration office before picking Bella up from school and discussed the change with her counselor. He thought it was odd that her ‘brother’ would do this instead of Carlisle. I explained Carlisle was busy at the hospital and asked me to take care of this for him. He told me that normally they didn’t allow changes this far into the semester; however Bella’s teachers have been coming to him for a couple of weeks recommending that Bella be placed in other classes already. Her teachers said she was bored and the work was beneath her abilities. He was planning on talking to Carlisle at the board meeting in a few days. I was glad I preempted this conversation. Being that it is ultimately my decision what to do with Bella he didn’t care. However, he would not appreciate what he would consider outside interference with his family. I didn’t bother to add that I was letting her take Philosophy. That would have been a little harder to explain to him. This decision was solely to make her happy.
I checked my watch as I left his office. Bella still had a few minutes until the bell rang. I decided to surprise her and meet her inside instead of waiting for her in the car as I usually did. I knew her last class was Economics which was just a few doors down from the office. She would have to pass me to get to the car.
As I leaned against the wall waiting I smiled thinking what Bella’s reaction will be to her schedule change. I stood as the bell rang and watched kids pour out of classrooms like ants. I watched for her to appear. I heard a shriek that sounded like my Bella. I was instantly concerned that she was hurt. As I looked over the heads of everyone I saw her. She wasn’t hurt. She was laughing. I watched in awe. I realized I had never seen her laugh before. She was walking with a couple of girls and a boy who had his arm thrown over one of the girls, obviously a couple. He had reached across his girlfriend’s shoulder and tugged Bella’s hair. She was slapping his hand away, laughing and sticking out her tongue. She looked so carefree and her eyes were sparkling. I felt my heart swell. She was even more beautiful than I had ever seen her before. This is the sparkle that I want her to bestow on me.
As she flipped her hair back she caught my eye. I was stunned at the transformation in her. It was like I was seeing two different people. Her step faltered and the sparkle extinguished from her eyes. She no longer resembled the young carefree girl I just watched. This was the Bella that I knew. She and her friends were close enough that I could make out their conversation as she approached me. They wanted to know what was wrong with her. She turned to them and told them everything was fine and she’d see them Monday. She stood in front of me.
“Hello Edward,” she said.
“Hello Bella. Did you have a good day?” I asked. I took her backpack from her shoulder and put my arm around her to steer her toward the car. I noticed several kids looking at us. I realized that with my arm around her waist I looked like her boyfriend. I liked that. I decided this was just as good of a time as any to step up our relationship in public.
“Yes thank you. It was fine,” she replied.
“Do you have homework this weekend?” I asked. I didn’t want my plans to interfere with her schoolwork.
“No, I don’t have any homework this weekend,” she responded. She seemed nervous but I didn’t understand why. I just wish she would talk to me or I could read her mind.
I watched her closely as we left the building trying to figure out why she acted so differently. As we walked out several students passed us each saying ‘bye’ to Bella. She barely acknowledged anyone other than to give them a brief smile. Was I the reason for this behavior?
I turned to her as I drove her home. She was chewing her bottom lip and kept glancing over to me. She seemed worried about something. I stroked her thigh reassuringly through her jeans. I can’t wait for spring when she can go back to wearing dresses. I miss seeing her legs. It would be at least a month before it was warm enough again. I smiled at my plans for the evening. I’m following Jasper’s advice and taking her out. Bella would have her first date tonight. I punched the remote for the gate as I looked her over. She was still gazing out the window.
“Bella, I’m glad you don’t have homework. We’re going to Port Angeles tonight,” I smiled.
From 7:30 am until 4:00 pm I am normal teenager to everyone around me. I have a few friends in classes that I eat lunch with. I laugh and joke with them- to a point. I always remember who I really am, but it’s getting easier to turn off Barbie during the day. Classes are so boring. I’ve done this work before. There isn’t any challenge in it. The only reason I ever have homework is to give me something to do in the evening while Edward works at his desk. I’ve reread the books he bought me twice and am on my third time. As much as I love the stories I knew them by heart. I couldn’t even pretend to be surprised at the endings or even the next page now.
I stared at the clock above the chalkboard counting down until school was over. I had 5 minutes before I would need to turn Bella Barbie back on. As much as I hate school, I’m going to miss it also when I graduate. It’s a relief to get to pretend to have a normal life 5 days out of the week. I have less than 4 months left before there is nothing other than Edward for the rest of my life.
I am so grateful to have Esme, Rosalie and Alice. I wouldn’t survive without them. They kept me firmly grounded so I didn’t slip completely into Barbie mode. Without them I wouldn’t have even known how to be two people in one body. I wouldn’t think it was possible. But I saw every afternoon that it was possible and I could even make a game of it. I was myself every morning as soon as my hand touched the cold metal door to the school when Edward drops me off until my hand touchs that door again in the afternoon. I knew he was always sitting there watching and waiting for me so I became Barbie the moment that door opened.
I would play Barbie on the drive home as he asked his routine questions; how my day was, did I have any homework, and did I need his help with anything. I always responded with my stock Bella Barbie answers. If he only knew that my teachers now had me helping to tutor kids in class who were having trouble. My teachers knew I was bored but couldn’t do anything about it. They were stuck with me just as I was stuck with them. When we arrived home he would walk me to the door and I would kiss him ‘goodbye’ before going in the house to close the door on Barbie again for a few hours.
This was my time. I didn’t have any pretenses. Everyone here knew the real me and I could tell them anything. I would run down the hall to the kitchen where I knew everyone was waiting for me tossing my backpack at the stairs to take up later before Edward or Carlisle got home. This was my time to laugh and joke, play cards and giggle like a teenage girl should. We shared everything. I even told them about the boys who asked me out at school. Being ‘fresh meat’ made me interesting. Being a Cullen just added to the mystery in their minds. Esme was fast becoming my second mother in my heart. She, Rose and Alice helped me to mourn my mom and Phil. I was finally healing from the accident. I still missed them terribly, but at least now I had someone to share my memories with to keep them alive.
Of course, Carlisle was still my secret. I didn’t share this with anyone. I thought about it a couple of times if I should confide in someone, maybe Alice since she had Jasper. I realized though that there was nothing anyone could do to save me from him if he carried through on his threat. This would only upset them so it would be my burden to carry alone. So far nothing has happened so I refused to dwell on it. I would face it if or when it happened. I survived Charlie, Paul and even James. I could survive Carlisle.
I was pulled out of my thoughts by my friends talking about their weekend plans. Everyone was going for pizza and a movie.
“Hey Bella, you in?” Jeff was asking me. He had a crush on me but I continually shot him down. He was such a sweet boy. In my previous life I would have begged my mom to let me take him up on his offer of a date. Before my birthday I wasn’t allowed to go out on dates, but I could have friends over to hang out anytime I wanted.
“Sorry, can’t,” I replied.
“Aw come on. You never come with us.” he begged. “I promise you’ll have fun.”
“Yeah come with us,” Angela jumped in. “Please? If you family is worried about the time you can stay over tonight. My parents won’t mind.”
“I’m really sorry guys. Honestly I can’t.” I scrambled for an excuse. I ran down my list for one I haven’t used before. “My family is going to Seattle for the weekend and we’re leaving tonight.”
I hated lying to them, but they would never understand the truth. I would have loved nothing better than to just hang out eating pizza and watching a movie like a normal teenager. I would love to have the experience of a first date, a first kiss all of the firsts that life offered everyone but me.
I shook myself. There was no purpose in feeling resentful for the direction my life was going. I knew my life and I would make the best of it. I was even starting to see things in Edward that I liked. He continued to be patient with me. I was learning everything he expected of me. The mistakes I have made only resulted in him scolding me. He hasn’t physically punished me since that first time. I knew the possibility was there. I knew he had a scarf and paddle hidden in his desk drawer. I’d seen it one day when I was looking for paper. He didn’t know that I knew they were there. At least there wasn’t a gag. When I found them I vowed I would keep him from ever using them on me.
I still didn’t understand my feelings though. My fear of Edward was slowly dissolving. I know he tells me he loves me every night and wants me to say it back to him. I’m just not ready to do that. I don’t love him, but I feel something. Maybe in time I would grow to love him. After all Rosalie loved Emmett and he’s still a lot like Edward. He just isn’t as intense about everything. Rose said it was easy to fall in love with Emmett after he got past the concept of abusing her. She called him her big teddy bear. He was still domineering and she still wished for some things to be different between them, but he was easygoing enough to soften this side of him.
Fortunately the bell rang to stop them from trying to convince me to go any longer. Ben was waiting at the door for Angela as always. He was her boyfriend. Jeff waived as he headed the other direction. I walked with Ben and Angela. She asked him what movie they were seeing and he told her it was the horror movie that just came out.
“It’s supposed to be really good,” he told her. “Lots of gore.”
“Yuck! Why can’t we see something else?” Angela whined at him.
He started teasing her, “Because I want an excuse for you to cuddle up to me during the movie. I love it when you’re scared. You squeal just like a little girl.” He laughed.
“Ben, you’re so mean,” I told him laughing with everyone else. This was normal. It was nice.
Ben reached across Angela and pulled my hair. “You’re just jealous that I won’t protect you from the big bad monsters. Jeff would if you’d let him.” He laughed.
I screeched as I slapped his hand away and stuck my tongue out at him. As I flipped my hair back I was shocked. My step faltered. Edward was standing in the hallway. He wasn’t waiting in the car. Oh crap. How much had he seen? Was I in trouble?
Angela looked at me with concern as I approached him, Barbie firmly in place.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
I glanced from Edward to her and Ben. I knew they didn’t understand the change in my behavior. “Yeah, fine. I’ll see you Monday. Have fun.” I prayed they would take the hint and leave.
Angela glanced toward Edward as they walked away.
I faced him, “Hello Edward.” I wanted so bad to know if I’d done something wrong. I didn’t think so, but did he witness my behavior before I saw him there?
“Hello Bella. Did you have a good day?” he asked as he took my backpack. He was watching me carefully. He put his arm around me as we walked through the hall that led to where he was parked.
We passed several of my friends who noticed Edward’s arm around me. I guess we were moving up in our PDA toward his ultimate goal. Well at least it would stop Jeff from asking me out all the time. Maybe now he would settle for just being my friend.
“Yes thank you. It was fine,” I replied.
“Do you have homework this weekend?” he asked.
“No, I don’t have any homework this weekend,” I answered. I glanced up at him. He didn’t seem angry with me. He just seemed frustrated for some reason, but until I could get a good look in his eyes I wouldn’t know for sure.
I was too busy worrying about why Edward was inside my school to really acknowledge anyone else walking by. I wish he would just come out and say what was on his mind. As we drove home I ran over the last couple of days in my head to see if I could find any mistakes that would let me know if I was in trouble. I couldn’t think of anything. His breakfast and dinner were always on time. I served him correctly. Our room was clean. I thought about our activities in bed. He was happy with me there also. The only frustration he voiced was how long away our wedding was, which he still hasn’t told me a date yet. He was talking about being more creative soon. I had no idea what that meant.
I turned to him when I felt his hand on my thigh.
“Bella, I’m glad you don’t have homework. We’re going to Port Angeles tonight,” he smiled.
Ok, good mood. I must not be in trouble then. This was a relief.
We were home and he walked me to the door. I turned to him.
“May I ask a question, if it’s ok?” I asked. Sometimes he allowed questions and sometimes he didn’t. This was one area I was still clueless in so I’d learned to ask for approval to ask the question. Stupid, I know, but it kept me out of trouble so what the hell.
He sighed, exasperated. “You may ask one question.”
He was happy and I was rocking the boat. I decided my question wasn’t that important.
I shook my head, “Never mind. I don’t need to ask anything.”
He sighed again and pulled me into his arms, “its ok love. Ask your question. I won’t be angry with you.
I looked in his deep green eyes. There was something there that I couldn’t put a finger on.
“Can I ask where we’re going so I know how to plan our dinner this evening? I just want to know my time frame so I can have dinner on time for you.” I explained.
“Hmm..I guess I’ll have to give you a hint then. You won’t need to cook for us tonight. I am proud of you though. You’re learning to plan and organize for our life together. As to your question about where we’re going, I’m not telling. That is my surprise,” he grinned.
He was up to something, but I could tell he was trying to be playful so I wouldn’t ruin it for him. I would go along to get along.
I stuck out my lower lip in a playful pout. “Well never mind then. Just be that way.” I kept my tone light and playful so he would know I wasn’t being defiant.
He laughed looking down at me and hugged me close. “I love you so much Bella. I can’t wait for tonight,” he hinted.
I reached up to pull him into a kiss before he could ask me if I loved him yet. I couldn’t answer that question and I didn’t want to ruin his good mood. He was always easier to get along with when he was happy.
I laughed at Bella’s attempt at being playful and tightened my arms around her. “I love you so much Bella. I can’t wait for tonight,” I said.
She reached for my neck pulling me down to her lips. I knew she was distracting me and I was willing. I snaked my arms around her waist holding her against me. I parted her lips with my tongue and explored her mouth. After a brief moment her hands slid into my hair and she moaned into my mouth. I may not know Bella as fully as I want, but I do know that she loves our kisses. She is a very passionate woman when I get past her barricade. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds now.
I finally pulled away from her lips and kissed her nose as I looked into her face. Her eyes slowly opened to gaze into mine. I smiled at the flicker of passion I could see. I knew that once we were in our bed that flicker would develop into a flame at my touch. She always cries afterward so overwhelmed by her feelings. I wish she would just express them to me. Maybe tonight she’ll be ready to tell me.
“I’ll see you this evening, love.” I told her.
“I’ll see you tonight,” she responded. She gave me a brief smile before taking her backpack from me and going into the house.
I stood a moment after she closed the door. As I turned back to the car I thought I heard her boots running through the house. I shook my head at the thought. Bella wouldn’t run in the house. It wasn’t ladylike. Then I remembered her sticking out her tongue in the hall at school.
I drove back to the hospital thinking about the evening I had planned. It was going to be a good night.
I got home earlier than Bella expected so I knew she wouldn’t be waiting for me. I was hoping to surprise her in our room. I noticed Jasper’s truck in front of the house. Being Friday he probably was picking up Alice. He always took her to his club on the weekends. I hoped I could catch her alone for a minute. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I want her opinion on my gift. I can’t believe I’m turning to a woman for help, but there it was. I wanted to give her the diamond earrings I had been saving. I wanted to make them a gift instead of a reward. I thought she would like them and they would look beautiful hanging from her delicate lobes.
I caught Alice in the hall and discreetly showed her the earrings being sure no one saw me.
“What do you think, Alice?” I asked, “For Valentine’s Day for Bella?”
She held the little box in her hands and looked at them before giving them back to me. “They’re very lovely Edward.” She patted my arm and smiled. “I know you’re really trying but can I give you a hint? Bella is rereading the books you bought her for the third time.”
I looked at her in confusion then I remembered Bella has been a little antsy lately in the evenings while I worked. “I get it Alice.” I put the earrings back in my pocket and turned to walk away.
“Edward?” she stopped me.
I turned back. “Yes?” I asked.
She looked at me and then glanced up and down the hallway to be sure we were still alone. “If Jasper had just helped you would you have thanked him?”
“Of course,” I answered. She stood there waiting. I realized what she was waiting for. “You’re right Alice. Thank you.”
She smiled, “You’re welcome. I promise it gets easier with time.”
I offered her a smile in return. “Well I guess Jasper will be proud of you dictating my manners to me tonight.”
Her look faltered. “Ed-“
I shook my head at her, “No Alice, I’m not trying to upset you. You’re right I should be able to thank you for your help just like I would Jasper or Emmett. I do appreciate the help you’re giving me with Bella.”
I stood by the bed staring in frustration at the books in my hands. I really didn’t want to read them again, but there was nothing else to read. I should have just brought home a text book. It was going to be a long weekend. I sighed putting both books back on the nightstand. I screamed as I felt arms grab me and throw me on the bed. I looked up into a set of laughing green eyes as they pounced on top of me.
“Edward! What are you doing?” I screeched.
“Nothing,” he said innocently. “I just missed you, that’s all.”
He leaned in and began trailing kisses from my shoulder up my throat and along my jaw line. I finally grabbed his hair and brought his lips to mine earning a groan from him. He deepened the kiss until he had to release me so I could catch my breath.
I looked at him closely searching for what I didn’t know, but something was different tonight.
“Are you ok Edward?” I asked.
“Never better.” He answered smiling. “Kiss me again, Bella.”
I was still playing with his hair so I curled my fingers into his bronze locks and pulled him back down to me. I liked kissing this Edward. It was funny but I was learning the difference in his kisses. It was almost like there were two Edwards just as there was two of me. These kisses were from my Edward; the one I liked. I just wish he stayed around more often, but he always disappeared on me. Almost like he was never there. This was the Edward that I could fall in love with. He was nicer to me than the other Edward.
That Edward wasn’t so nice. That Edward liked Bella Barbie too much. I didn’t like that Edward. That Edward scared me. That was the Edward that punished me and was trying to destroy me. That was Carlisle’s Edward.
I thought back to my conversation with Esme telling me I could be Edward’s salvation. Could this be what she meant? That my Edward was really in there waiting for someone to find the key to unlock him from his prison? Could I be the key? I wanted to be. It would mean a better life for me. Even if I did have to give up my dreams, I could spend my life with my Edward. I didn’t think I could survive with Carlisle’s Edward.
Edward pulled back from our kiss stroking my hair. “I love you Isabella Marie Swan. I love you more than life and I can’t wait until you are willing to tell me the same.”
I lay there silently watching his expression. He meant what he was saying. His eyes were full of love but I knew this would change to frustration in a moment. I couldn’t return his feelings yet and I knew this frustrated him. I stroked his face with my hand while I continued to graze his hair with my other. I followed the arch of his brow and the contour of his cheek. I brushed my fingers across his lips and he held my wrist kissing each fingertip.
“Bella?” he asked.
I knew what he was waiting for and I was going to disappoint him again. I saw the frustration growing in his eyes as he knew what was coming also.
“I’m sorry Edward. I’m trying,” I whispered. “I’m not afraid of you any longer if that helps. I think I can grow to love you. I am starting to care. I hope you can understand. I don’t want you to be angry with me. Please?”
He sighed before giving me a brief kiss. “I guess I’ll have to accept that for now. At least you’re not afraid of me. That’s progress. I never want you to fear me ever again. I’ve promised not to hurt you and I’ve kept that promise.” He cupped my face with both of his hands staring intently into my eyes. “But please, Bella, know that you can turn to me if you’re ever upset or afraid. I am going to be your husband soon. I want you to always come to me. Can you promise me this?”
“I promise, Edward,” I assured him. I prayed he didn’t see the lie in my eyes. I could never come to him about his father. I didn’t think he would believe me over Carlisle.
“Well, lets get ready shall we?” he said as he pulled me to my feet.
He came out of the closet with one of the dresses he purchased for me and a set of heels. It was still cold out but he recently bought me a second coat that came to my knees so I guess I wouldn’t be too cold.
We drove to Port Angeles. I assumed we were going for more clothes. Oh well, I’d keep my mouth shut and play Bella Barbie. I know the correct responses now. I started thinking about my Horticulture class. I had a test coming up in another week. We had to know the meaning behind each color rose since Valentine’s was coming up. Seriously! I don’t think this teacher ever took her head out of a trashy romance novel.
I was startled to feel Edward squeeze my hand. I looked up and saw we weren’t at the mall but the little strip center with Mr. McGee’s jewelry store. I guess I was getting jewelry instead.
Edward opened the door for me to get out and guided me down the sidewalk to the store. As we walked past the bookstore I felt Edward tug my hand. I looked at him in question.
“Love, this is where we’re going today,” he smiled.
He was holding the door open to the bookstore for me. I looked at Edward then the door and back at Edward. My brain was having a hard time comprehending what was happening.
I saw his smile start to slip as he let go of the door. “Bella love, don’t cry,” he whispered holding me close.
He was stroking my hair and whispering soothing words in my ear. I hadn’t even realized I had started to cry. I held him close squeezing him with all the emotion I was feeling.
“I’m sorry, Edward,” I cried “I don’t know why I’m crying. I’m trying to stop. Please don’t be angry with me.”
He pulled me to a bench and sat down pulling me onto his lap.
“Shh- its ok love. I understand,” he assured me. “I just wanted to surprise you today. I thought you would like to purchase some books since I know you’ve finished the ones you have. I know they make you happy.”
He brushed my hair out of my face tilting me to look at him. He used his thumbs to wipe my tears. He was searching my face.
I took a deep breath to stop my tears and smiled to him. “I’m ok now. Thank you for bringing me here. I love your surprise. Can we go in now? I promise not to cry anymore.”
He smiled and stood setting me on my feet. He held the door for me again and as we walked in he stopped. I performed my ritual and closed my eyes to take a deep breath. When I opened my eyes I turned to Edward who was smiling at me.
“What?” I asked.
“We should find a candle that smells like musty paper for our room, I think,” he laughed.
“Why is that?” I looked at him curiously.
“So that I can always see that look of rapture on your face even when you’re not in a bookstore,” he grinned.
I surprised him by jumping into his arms and giving him a kiss. “If you could find a candle like that I’d be the happiest girl on Earth,” I assured him.
I was happy. I was at a bookstore with my Edward. Carlisle’s Edward was locked up for now.
We spent two hours while I picked out books I wanted to read. Edward just watched me and held the books he approved of buying. Afterwards we went to an Italian restaurant “Bella Italia” for dinner. He liked the idea of the restaurant having my name. He asked me about school; did I like my classes, was I making friends? Naturally I gave my standard answers; school was fine, yes I had a few friends.
After dinner we walked along the waterfront. He told me about the home that he is building for us. The location had already been cleared and the slab poured. He asked me about the details I would like to see in the home. He told me several funny stories about he and his brothers growing up and asked about my childhood in Phoenix. It was the first time he ever asked about my life before he chose me. We stopped to watch the sunset over the water as Edward held me in his arms. As the last sliver of sunlight disappeared in the water he turned me to face him. He leaned down and I willingly parted my lips to him. As we kissed I realized I was getting to experience one of my firsts; Edward had taken me on a real date. I felt that ember of feeling grow just a little more.