*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 11 - COMPLICATIONS
Gym passed quickly as I watched Mike's one-man badminton show. He didn't speak to me today, either in response to my vacant expression or because he was still angry about our squabble yesterday. Somewhere, in a corner of my mind, I felt bad about that. But I couldn't concentrate on him.
I hurried to change afterward, ill at ease, knowing the faster I moved, the sooner I would be with Edward. The pressure made me more clumsy than usual, but eventually I made it out the door, feeling the same release when I saw him standing there, a wide smile automatically spreading across my face. He smiled in reaction before launching into more cross-examination.
His questions were different now, though, not as easily answered. He wanted to know what I missed about home, insisting on descriptions of anything he wasn't familiar with. We sat in front of Charlie's house for hours, as the sky darkened and rain plummeted around us in a sudden deluge.
I tried to describe impossible things like the scent of creosote - bitter, slightly resinous, but still pleasant - the high, keening sound of the cicadas in July, the feathery barrenness of the trees, the very size of the sky, extending white-blue from horizon to horizon, barely interrupted by the low mountains covered with purple volcanic rock. The hardest thing to explain was why it was so beautiful to me - to justify a beauty that didn't depend on the sparse, spiny vegetation that often looked half dead, a beauty that had more to do with the exposed shape of the land, with the shallow bowls of valleys between the craggy hills, and the way they held on to the sun. I found myself using my hands as I tried to describe it to him.
His quiet, probing questions kept me talking freely, forgetting, in the dim light of the storm, to be embarrassed for monopolizing the conversation. Finally, when I had finished detailing my cluttered room at home, he paused instead of responding with another question.
"Are you finished?" I asked in relief.
"Not even close - but your father will be home soon."
"Charlie!" I suddenly recalled his existence, and sighed. I looked out at the rain-darkened sky, but it gave nothing away. "How late is it" I wondered out loud as I glanced at the clocked. I was surprised by the time - Charlie would be driving home now.
"It's twilight," Edward murmured, looking st the western horizon, obscured as it was with clouds. His voice was thoughtful, as if his mind were somewhere far away. I stared at him as he gazed unseeingly out the windshield.
I was still staring when his eyes suddenly shifted back to mine.
"It's the safest time of day for us," he said, answering my unspoken question in my eyes. "The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way... the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don't you think?" He smiled wistfully.
"I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars." I frowned. "Not that you see them here much."
He laughed, and the mood abruptly lightened.
"Charlie will be here in a few minutes. So, unless you want to tell him that you'll be with me Saturday..." He raised one eyebrow.
"Thanks, but no thanks." I gathered my books, realizing I was stiff from sitting still so long. "So it is my turn tomorrow, then?"
"Certainly not!" His face was teasingly outraged. "I told you I wasn't done, didn't I?"
"What more is there?"
"You'll find out tomorrow." He reached across to open my door for me, and his sudden proximity sent my heart into frenzied palpitations.
But his hand froze on the handle.
"Not good," he muttered.
"What is it?" I was surprised to see that his jaw was clenched, his eyes disturbed.
He glanced at me for a brief second. "Another complication," he said glumly.
He flung the door open in one swift movement, and then moved, almost cringed, swiftly away from me.
The flash of headlights through the rain caught my attention as a dark car pulled up to the curb just a few feet away, facing us.
"Charlie's around the corner," he warned, staring through the downpour at the other vehicle.
I hopped out at once, despite my confusion and curiosity. The rain was louder as it glanced off my jacket.
I tried to make out the shapes in the front seat of the other car, but it was too dark. I could see Edward illuminated in the glare of the new car's headlights; he was still staring ahead, his gazed locked on something or someone I couldn't see. His expression was a strange mix of frustration and defiance.
Then he revved the engine, and the tires squealed against the wet pavement. The Volvo was out of sight in seconds.
"Hey, Bella," called a familar, husky voice from the driver's side of the little black car.
"Jacob?" I asked, squinting through the rain. Just then Charlie's cruiser swung around the corner, his lights shining on the occupants of the car in front of me.
Jacob was already climbing out, his wide grin visible even through the darkness. In the passenger sseat was a much older man, a heavyset man with a memorable face - a face that overflowed, the cheeks resting against his shoulders, with creases running through the russet skin like an old leather jacket. And the surprisingly familiar eyes, black eyes that seemed at the same time both too young and too ancient for the broad face they were set in. Jacob's father, Billy Black. I knew immediately, though in the more than five years since I'd seen him last I'd managed to forget his name when Charlie had spoken of him my first day here. He was staring at me, scrutinizing my face, so I smiled tentatively st him. His eyes were wide, as if in shock or fear, his nostrils flared. My smile faded.
Another complication, Edward had said.
Billy still stared at me with intense, anxious eyes. I groaned internally. Had Billy recognized Edward so easily? Could he really believe the impossible legends his son had scoffed at?
The answer was clear in Billy's eyes. Yes. Yes, he could.