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Messaggio  simona80 il Ven 04 Mar 2011, 13:00

Chapter Six
Six years earlier in Forks, Washington . . .
Bella parked her truck in the driveway of the Cullen‘s large, white home and skipped up the stairs. She never knocked when she visited the Cullens. So she pulled the screen door open and was shocked at what she found inside.
The glass coffee table in the living room was smashed, blood spattered on the carpet. Chairs and cushions were strewn about and Alice and Jasper stood huddled together in the centre of the room. Alice was sobbing.
―What happened?‖
Alice took Jasper by the hand and they walked over to Bella.
―Edward? Is he hurt?‖
―He‘s fine!‖ Alice laughed bitterly. ―He‘s been home less than twenty-four hours and he‘s already gotten into a shoving match with Carlisle, made Esme cry twice, and sent Emmett to the hospital.‖
Jasper began to rub circles on Alice‘s back to soothe her.
Bella gaped at Alice‘s words. ―Why?‖
―Who knows? It‘s Edward. No one ever knows what‘s going on with him. He got into an argument with Carlisle, Esme stepped in between them and Edward shoved her. Emmett said he‘d kill him if he ever touched her again. So Edward broke his nose.‖
Bella gazed down at the pieces of glass that were now embedded with blood in the white carpet.
―And this?‖ She pointed at the mess.
―Edward pushed Emmett through the coffee table. Emmett and Carlisle are at the hospital, Rose went home in hysterics, Esme is locked in her room and I‘m spending the night at Jasper‘s.‖
Alice began to drag Jasper to the front door.
Bella stood frozen to the spot, unable to leave. ―Maybe I‘ll talk to Esme.‖
―My family has just been destroyed. I don‘t know if I‘m ever coming back. Call me at Jasper‘s tomorrow.‖ And with that, Alice and Jasper fled.
Bella thought about going upstairs to find Esme, but she heard a noise coming from the kitchen and so she quietly padded to the back of the house. Through the open back door she could see someone sitting on the porch, swinging a beer bottle to his lips. A shock of bronze hair shone in the fading sunlight. Bella recognized the hair from Alice‘s photographs.
Before she had time to think about it, her feet walked out the back door and she found herself sitting some distance away from him, her knees drawn up under her chin. She wrapped her arms around her knees and looked over at him.
He ignored her.
Bella traced his face with her eyes, hoping to burn the vision into her memory. He was far better looking in person. She looked at his green and bloodshot eyes, which were startling under his darker brows, and his messy, tousled hair that he pulled at from time to time. She followed the angle of his high cheekbones, his straight, noble nose and the squareness of his jaw, noting the two or three day‘s growth of beard that shadowed his skin and the kiss of a dimple. Her eyes came to rest on his full lips, noticing the curve and fullness of the lower one before she was able to drag her gaze reluctantly to look at his bruises.
Edward had bruises and blood on his right hand and something purple on his left cheek. Emmett‘s fist had met its mark, but surprisingly Edward was still conscious.
―You‘re a bit late for the six o‘clock show. It ended thirty minutes ago.‖ Edward‘s voice was almost as beautiful as he was, velvety rich and musical and Bella thought momentarily about what it would be like to hear that voice pronounce her name.
She shivered.
―There‘s a blanket right here.‖ He gestured to a large, plaid wool blanket that was bunched up near his hip. Without looking at her, he patted it.
Bella watched him warily and then satisfied that his anger had cooled, walked over to him and sat cross legged, still keeping a healthy distance between them. She wondered how fast he could run. And how fast she could run if he was chasing her.
He handed her the blanket.
―Thank you,‖ she murmured, pulling it around her shoulders.
Out of the corner of her eye, she took in his figure and noted how he had folded his considerable height casually on the porch. His wide shoulders appeared wider in his black leather jacket, the planes of his pectorals visible underneath the fabric of his tight black t-shirt. His long legs filled out his black jeans well and Bella noticed that he was heavier and bigger than he had looked in the photos standing next to Emmett.
She wanted to say something. She wanted to ask him why he‘d gone berserk on the nicest family she‘d ever met. But she was too shy and too scared of him to do that. So she asked him if he had a bottle opener, instead.
He frowned at her and then pulled one out of the back pocket of his jeans and passed it over.
She thanked him and then sat there quietly.
He turned to the now half empty case of beer behind him, chose a bottle and handed it to her.
―Allow me,‖ he said, seeing her now and smiling. He took the bottle opener and opened her bottle with one swift movement and then clanked their bottles together. ―Cheers.‖
Bella sipped her beer politely, trying not to choke as the strange, yeasty flavour entered her mouth. She hummed unconsciously to herself and waited.
―Ever had a beer before?‖ Edward grinned.
She shook her head and smiled.
―Then I‘m glad I‘m your first.‖
She blushed and hid her face behind her long brown curls.
―What are you doing here?‖
Bella paused, wondering how best to put it. ―I was invited to dinner.‖
I was hoping to finally meet you.
Edward laughed. ―I guess I ruined that. Well, Miss Brown Eyes, add that charge to my tab.‖
―Will you tell me what happened?‖ She kept her voice quiet and tried not to let it shake.
―Will you tell me why you haven‘t run away screaming?‖ His green eyes found hers and he stared at her sharply.
She ducked her head again, hoping the act of submission would cool his sudden anger. Sitting with Edward after what happened was a stupid thing to do. He was drunk and there was no one left to rescue her if he decided to get violent. Now was her chance to leave.
Inexplicably, however, Edward‘s left hand reached out to close the gap between them. He pushed her hair back behind her shoulders, his fingers tangling in the waves slowly, very slowly, before he withdrew.
Electricity flowed from his fingers and into her hair. Bella absorbed the sensation and hummed softly, forgetting his question entirely.
―You smell like strawberries,‖ he remarked, shifting his body so that he could stare at her properly.
―It‘s my shampoo.‖
He finished his beer and opened another, taking a long pull from the bottle before he turned to her again.
―It wasn‘t supposed to be like this.‖
―They love you, you know. You‘re all they talk about.‖
―The prodigal son.‖ Edward laughed bitterly and finished his beer in almost one swallow, before opening another.
―They were so happy you were coming home. That‘s why Esme invited me to dinner.‖
―Maybe Esme invited you because she knew I needed a brown eyed angel to watch over me.‖
Edward leaned closer so that he could cup her cheek. Bella inhaled sharply as a shock jumped from his skin to hers, his large, green eyes gazing at her in intoxicated surprise. He moved the pad of his thumb across her blush and hesitated, almost as if he was absorbing the heat from her skin.
When he withdrew his hand, Bella‘s face almost cried out at the loss.
Edward placed his bottle down on the porch and stood up quickly. ―The sun is setting. Would you like to go for a walk?‖
Bella bit her lip. She knew she shouldn‘t. But this was Edward. And possibly her one and only chance to see him and spend time in his presence. After what had happened earlier, she doubted he‘d be coming home again. At least, not for a long, long time.
She placed the blanket to one side and stood up.
―Bring the blanket,‖ he said and when she had scooped it up under her arm, he took her little hand in his.
She gasped.
Once again, the charge between them was electric. A tingling sensation began at the tips of her fingers and traveled slowly through her arm until it reached her shoulder and then skated to her heart, causing it to beat much faster.
He brought his head closer to hers. ―Have you ever held a boy‘s hand before?‖
She shook her head and he laughed softly. ―Then I‘m glad I‘m your first.‖
They walked slowly into the woods behind the Cullen‘s house. Bella liked the way her hand fit into his, and the way his long fingers curved across the back of her hand. He held her gently but securely, squeezing her from time to time perhaps to reassure her of his presence.
Bella began to think that this was the way holding hands with someone was supposed to feel. Not that she had any experience.
She had only ventured into these woods a time or two before and then always with Alice. She knew that if something went wrong, she‘d most likely get lost trying to find her way home. She pushed such thoughts to the back of her mind and focused her attention entirely on what it felt like to hold the beautiful Edward‘s warm, strong hand.
―I used to spend a lot of time here. It‘s very peaceful. Up ahead there‘s a clearing with a meadow. Has Alice shown it to you?‖
Bella shook her head.
Edward gazed down at her with what looked like a serious expression.
―You‘re awfully quiet. You can talk to me. I promise I won‘t bite.‖ He flashed her one of his winning smiles, a smile Bella recognized from Alice‘s photographs.
―Why did you come home?‖
Edward flinched.
He ignored Bella‘s question and kept walking but she noticed that he began to grip her hand more tightly. She tightened her grip on his as well to signal to him that she was not afraid. Even though she was.
―I didn‘t want to come home, not like this. I lost something and I‘ve been drunk for weeks.‖
Edward‘s honesty surprised her.
―But if you lost something, maybe you can try to find it.‖
Edward glared at her and narrowed his eyes. ―What I lost is lost forever.‖
He began walking more quickly and Bella had to quicken her strides just to keep up with him.
―I came home for money. That‘s how desperate and absolutely fucked I am.‖ Edward‘s voice softened and Bella felt him shudder. ―I was fucked up even before I destroyed everything and everyone. Before you ever arrived.‖
―I‘m so sorry.‖
He shrugged and began to drag her to the left. ―We‘re almost there.‖
Through an opening in the trees, they entered a clearing that was carpeted in thick grass. Wildflowers in purple and white grew haphazardly across the meadow. The air was quiet and vibrated with peace.
―This is it.‖ Edward gestured widely. ―This is Paradise.‖
He pulled Bella to a large rock that stood inexplicably at the edge of the meadow and lifted her by her waist so that she was perched on top of it. Then he climbed to her side.
Bella shivered. The rock was cold in the shade of the setting sun and was already sending chills through her thin jeans.
Edward shrugged out of his jacket and placed it around her shoulders. ―You‘ll catch pneumonia and die,‖ he said absently, placing an arm around her and drawing her close to his side. His body heat radiated through his bare arms and his t-shirt, warming Bella immediately.
She inhaled deeply and then sighed with contentment, marvelling at how well she fit under the crook of his arm and into his side. As if she had been made for him.
―You‘re Beatrice.‖
―Dante‘s Beatrice.‖
Bella flushed. ―I don‘t know who that is.‖
Edward chuckled to himself, his breath warm against her face as he nuzzled her ear with his nose. ―Didn‘t they tell you? Didn‘t they tell you the prodigal son is writing his book on Dante and Beatrice?‖
When Bella didn‘t answer, he brought his lips to the top of her head and brushed a gentle kiss against her hair. ―Dante was a poet. Beatrice was his muse. He met her when she was very young and he loved her from afar his whole life. Beatrice was his guide through Paradise.‖
Bella‘s eyes were closed as she listened to his voice, inhaling the scent that clung to his skin. He smelled of musk and sweat and beer, but Bella ignored all of those distractions and focused solely on the scent that was Edward, something very masculine and potentially dangerous.
―There‘s a painting by an artist named Holiday. You look like his Beatrice.‖ Edward reached down and brought her pale little hand to his lips, kissing her skin reverently.
―Your family loves you. You should make up with them.‖ Bella‘s own words surprised her, but he only pulled her in more closely.
―It‘s too late, Beatrice.‖
Bella started at the name and realized that all of the beer had definitely caught up with him. But she didn‘t move her head from resting on his shoulder.
A short while later he was rubbing his hand up and down her arm, trying to get her attention.
―You haven‘t had your dinner.‖
She shook her head. ―No, I haven‘t.‖
―Shall I feed you?‖
Though it made her sad to do so, she lifted her head from his shoulder. He smiled at her crookedly and her heart leapt in her chest.
Edward walked over to an apple tree that was at the edge of the meadow. He studied the boughs of hanging fruit and chose the largest, ripest red apple. And then he chose a smaller one. He put the smaller one in his pocket and then walked back to her.
―Beatrice.‖ He smiled, and extended two hands cupped together, as if he was holding water, with the beautiful shiny apple poised in the centre of his hands.
Bella stared at it entranced, as if it were a treasure.
Edward laughed and moved his hands, extending the fruit in his right palm, the way a child would hold a sugar cube to a pony.
Bella took the apple from his hand and brought it immediately to her lips, taking a firm bite.
He watched her chew; he watched her swallow. And then in silent satisfaction, he resumed his former position, his arm tight around her waist. He pressed her head gently to his shoulder and began eating the smaller apple that he had hidden in his pocket.
They sat very still as the sun set and then just before the meadow was covered in darkness, Edward took the blanket from under Bella‘s arm and spread it like a bed on the grass.
―Come, Beatrice.‖ He held his hand out to her.
Bella knew it would be a very foolish thing to take his hand and to sit with him on the blanket. But Bella didn‘t care. She‘d fallen in love with his photograph the first time Alice had shown it to her, and had stolen it behind Alice‘s back.
Now that he was here, real, breathing, alive, in flesh, all she could do was take his hand.
―Have you ever lain next to a boy and looked up at the stars?‖ He pulled her down to the blanket and watched her as they lay on their backs.
Edward threaded his long fingers through her tiny ones and placed the connection that was their's on top of his heart. She could feel it beating slowly beneath her touch and she took comfort in its steady rhythm.
―You‘re beautiful, Beatrice. Like a brown eyed angel.‖
Bella turned her head so she could look at him and smiled. ―I think you‘re beautiful.‖ She shyly began to run her hands through his tousled waves.
He smiled at her touch and closed his eyes. She played with his hair gently for a long time, until her arm began to grow tired.
He opened his eyes. ―You have no idea how good that felt.‖
Bella smiled and squeezed his hand, feeling his heart leap at her movement.
―Have you ever been kissed by a boy?‖
She flushed deeply and shook her head.
―Then I‘m glad I‘m your first.‖ Edward propped himself up on his side and leaned over. His eyes shone gently and he smiled down at her.
Bella managed to close her eyes before his perfect lips found hers.
Bella floated.
Edward‘s lips were warm and inviting and he spread them over her mouth carefully, as if he was worried he might bruise her. Not knowing how to kiss and still slightly wary, Bella kept her mouth closed but unlocked her jaw. Edward brought his hand up to cup the curve of her cheek, caressing the skin with his thumb as his lips moved softly over hers.
This kiss was not what she expected.
She had expected him to be careless or slightly rough. She had expected his kiss to be desperate and urgent and perhaps for his fingertips to trail along her skin and down her body to places she wasn‘t ready to let him touch. But he kept his hands where they were, one caressing the small of her back in gentle circles and the other at her cheek. His kiss was tender and sweet; the kind of kiss she imagined a lover giving his beloved after a long absence.
Edward kissed Bella as if he knew her, as if she belonged to him.
His kiss was beautiful, and passionate and full of emotion, as if every fibre of his being had melted and spread itself on his lips only to be given to her. Her heart skidded in her chest at the thought. She had never dared to hope for such a first kiss. Somehow as the pressure of his lips lessened she felt like bursting into tears, knowing that she‘d never be kissed like that again. He‘d ruined her for anyone else. Forever.
Edward sighed deeply as he released her and pressed his lips gently to her forehead.
―Open your eyes.‖
Bella looked up into a pair of green eyes that were startlingly clear and very emotional, but she could not read the emotions. Her breathing hitched.
He smiled and pressed his lips to her forehead again, before rolling onto his back and gazing up at the stars.
―What are you thinking?‖ Bella shifted herself so that she was curled up at his side, close to but not touching him with her body.
―I was thinking about how long I‘ve waited for you. I waited and waited and you never came.‖
He smiled at her sadly.
―I‘m sorry, Edward.‖
―You‘re here now.‖ He pulled her closer, snaking his arm beneath her neck and down to her waist, where he splayed his hand, fingers wide, at the small of her back. ―For the rest of my life, I‘ll dream of hearing your little voice breathe my name.‖
Bella smiled at herself in the darkness.
―Have you ever fallen asleep in the arms of a boy before, Beatrice?‖
She shook her head, suppressing a moan of desire.
―Then I‘m glad I‘m your first.‖ He pulled her so that her head rested on his chest near his heart and her little body moulded perfectly to his side. ―Like Adam‘s rib,‖ he whispered into her hair.
―Do you have to leave?‖ She whispered back, running her hands hesitantly over the planes of his chest, up and down and back and forth.
―Yes, but not tonight.‖
―Will you come back?‖ Her voice was almost a whimper.
Edward sighed deeply. ―I‘m going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterwards. Look for me in Hell.‖
He gently rolled her onto her back and then placed his hands on either side of her hips, hovering over her. Eyes wide. Staring longingly and intensely down into two deep dark chocolate pools. Pools that had never been breached.
And then he brought his lips to hers . . .


Messaggi : 74
Data d'iscrizione : 01.01.11
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