*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 11 - COMPLICATIONS
By the time I walked out of the gym, I had just about decided to walk straight home without even looking toward the parking lot. But my worries were unnecessary. Edward was waiting, leaning casually against the side of the gym, his breathtaking face untroubled now. As I walked to his side, I felt a peculiar sense of release.
"Hi," I breathed smiling hugely.
"Hello." His answering smile was brilliant. "How was Gym?"
My face fell a tiny bit. "Fine," I lied.
"Really?" He was unconvinced. His eyes shifted their forcus slightly, looking over my shoulder and narrowing. I glanced behind me to see Mike's back as he walked away.
"What?" I demanded.
His eyes slid back to mine, still tight. "Newton's getting on my nerves."
"You weren't listening again?" I was horror-struck. All traces of my sudden good humor vanished.
"How's your head?" he asked innocently.
"You're unbelievable!" I turned, stomping away in the general direct of the parking lot, though I hadn't ruled out walking at this point.
He kept up with me easily.
"You were the one who mentioned how I'd never seen you in Gym - it made me curious." He didn't sound repentant, so I ignored him.
We walked in silence - a furious, embarrassed silence on my part - to his car. But I had to stop a few steps away - a crowd of people, all boys, were surrounding it. Then I realized they weren't surrounding the Volvo, they were actually circled around Rosalie's red convertible, unmistakable lust in their eyes. None of them even looked up as Edward slid between them to open his door. I climbed quickly in the passenger side, also unnoticed.
"Ostentatious," he muttered.
"What kind of car is that?" I asked.
"I don't speak Car and Driver."
"It's a BMW." He rolled his eyes, not looking at me, trying to back out without running over the car enthusiasts.
I nodded - I'd heard of that one.
"Are you still angry?" he asked as he carefully maneuvered his way out.
He sighed. "Will you forgive me if I apologize?"
"Maybe... if you mean it. And if you promise not to do it again," I insisted.
His eyes were suddenly shrewed. "How about if I mean it, and I agree to let you drive Saturday?" he countered my conditions.
I considered, and decided it was probably the best offer I would get. "Deal," I agreed.
"Then I'm very sorry I upset you." His eyes burned with sincerity for a protracted moment - playing havoc with the rhythm of my heart - and then turned playful. "And I'll be on your doorstep bright and early Saturday morning."
"Um, it doesn't help with the Charlie situation if an unexplained Volvo is left in the driveway."
His smile was condescending now. "I wasn't intending to bring a car."
"How - "
He cut me off. "Don't worry about it. I'll be there, no car."
I let it go. I had a more pressing question.
"Is it later yet?" I asked significantly.
He frowned. "I supposed it is later."
I kept my expression polite as I waited.
He stopped the car. I looked up, surprised - of course we were already at Charlie's house, parked behind the truck. It was easier to ride with him if I only looked when it was over. When I looked back at him, he was staring at me, measuring with his eyes.
"And you still want to know why you can't see me hunt?" He seemed solemn, but I thought I saw a trace of humor deep in his eyes.
"Well," I clarified, "I was mostly wondering about your reaction."
"Did I frighten you?" Yes, there was definitely humor there.
"No," I lied. He didn't buy it.
"I apologize for scaring you," he persisted with a slight smile, but then all evidence of teasing disappeared. "It was just the very thought of you being there... while we hunted." His jaw tightened.
"That would be bad?"
He spoke from between clenched teeth. "Extremely."
He took a deep breath and stared through the window at the thick, rolling clouds that seemed to press down, almost within reach.
"When we hunt," he spoke slowly, unwillingly, "we give ourselves over to our senses... govern less with our minds. Especially our sense of smell. If you were anywhere near me when I lost control that way..." He shook his head, still gazing morosely at the heavy clouds.
I kept my expression firmly under control, expecting the swift flash of his eyes to judge my reaction that soon followed. My face gave nothing away.
But our eyes held, and the silence deepened - and changed. Flickers of the electricity I'd felt this afternoon began to charge the atmosphere as he gazed unrelentingly into my eyes. It wasn't until my head started to swim that I realized I wasn't breathing. When I drew in a jagged breath, breaking the stillness, he closed his eyes.
"Bella, I think you should go inside now." His low voice was rough, his eyes on the clouds again.
I opened the door, and the arctic draft that burst into the car helped me clear my head. Afraid I might stumble in my woozy state, I stepped carefully out of the car and shut the door behind me without looking back. The whir of the automatic window unrolling made me turn.
"Oh, Bella?" he called after me, his voice more even. He leaned toward the open window with a faint smile on his lips.
"Tomorrow it's my turn."
"Your turn on what?"
He smiled wider, flashing his gleeming teeth. "Ask the questions."
And then he was gone, the car speeding down the street and disappearing around the corner before I could even collect my thoughts. I smiled as I walked to the house. It was clear he was planning to see me tomorrow, if nothing else.
That night Edward starred in my dreams, as usual. However, the climate of my unconsciousness had changed. It thrilled me with the same electricity that had charged the afternoon, and I tossed and turned restlessly, waking often. It was only in the early hours of the morning that I finally sank into an exhausted, dreamless sleep.
When I woke I was still tired, but edgy as well. I pulled on my brown turtleneck and the inescapable jeans, sighing as I daydreamed of spaghetti straps and shorts. Breakfast was the usual, quiet event I expected. Charlie fried eggs for himself; I had my bowl of cereal. I wondered if he had forgotten about this Saturday. He answered my unspoken question as he stood up to take his pate to the sink.
"About this Saturday...," he bagan, walking across the kitchen and turning on the faucet.
I cringed. "Yes, Dad?"
"Are you still set on going to Seattle?" he asked.
"That was the plan." I grimaced, wishing he hadn't brought it up so I wouldn't have to compose careful half-truths.
He squeezed some dish soap onto his plate and swirled it around with the brush. "And you're sure you can't make it back in time for the dance?"
"I'm not going to the dance, Dad." I glared.
"Didn't anyone ask you?" he asked, trying to hide his concern by focusing on rinsing the plate.
I sidestepped the mindfield. "It's a girl's choice."
"Oh." He frowned as he dried his plate.
I sympathized with him. It must be a hard thing, to ba a father; living in fear that your daughter would meet a boy she liked, but also having to worry if she didn't. How ghastly it would be, I thought, shuddering, if Charlie had even the slightest inkling of exactly what I did like.
Charlie left then, with a goodbye wave, and I went upstairs to brush my teeth and gather my books. When I heard the cruiser pull away, I could only wait a few seconds before I had to peek out of my window. The silver car was already there, waiting in Charlie's stop on the driveway. I bounded down the stairs and out the front door, wondering how long this bizarre routine would continue. I never wanted it to end.
He waited in the car, not appearing to watch as I shut the door behind me without bothering to lock the dead-bolt. I walked to the car, pausing shyly before opening the door and stepping in. He was smiling, relaxed - and, as usual, perfect and beautiful to an excruciating degree.