*by Stephenie Meyer*
NEW MOON - chapter 2 - STITCHES
“How does your arm feel?”
“Just fine.” Actually, it was starting to blaze under the bandage. I wanted ice. I would have settled for his hand, but that would have given me away.
“I’ll get you some Tylenol.”
“I don’t need anything,” I protested, but he slid me off his lap and headed for the door.
“Charlie,” I hissed. Charlie wasn’t exactly aware that Edward stayed over. In fact, he would have a stroke if the fact were brought to his attention. But I didn’t feel too guilty for deceiving him. It wasn’t as if we were up to anything he wouldn’t want me to be up to. Edward and his rules…
“He won’t catch me,” Edward promised as he disappeared silently out the door… and returned, catching the door before it had swung back to touch the frame. He had the glass from the bathroom and the bottle of pills in one hand.
I took the pills he handed me without arguing - I knew I would lose the argument. And my arm really was starting to bother me.
My lullaby continued, soft and lovely, and the background.
“It’s late, Edward noted. He scooped me up off the bed with one arm, and pulled the cover back with the other. He put me down with my head on my pillow and tucked the quilt around me. He lay down next to me - on top of the blanket so I wouldn’t get chilled - and put his arm over me.
I leaned my head against his shoulder and sighed happily.
“Thanks again,” I whispered.
It was quiet for a long moment as I listened to my lullaby drift to a close. Another song began, I recognized Esme’s favorite.
“What are you thinking about?” I wondered in a whisper.
He hesitated for a second before he told me. “I was thinking about right and wrong, actually.”
I felt a chill tingle along my spine.
“Remember how I decided that I wanted you to not ignore my birthday?” I asked quickly, hoping it wasn’t too clear that I was trying to distract him.
“Yes,” he agreed, wary.
“Well, I was thinking, since it’s still my birthday, that I’d like you to kiss me again.”
“You’re greedy tonight.”
“Yes I am - but please, don’t do anything you don’t want to do,” I added, piqued.
He laughed, and then sighed. “Heaven forbid that I should do anything I don’t want to do,” he said ni a strangely desperate tone as he put his hand under my chin and pulled my face up to his.
The kiss began much the same as usual - Edward was as careful as ever, and my heart began to overreact like it always did. And then something seemed to change. Suddenly his lips became much more urgent, his free hand twisted into my hair and held my face securely to his. And, though my hands tangled in his hair, too, and though I was clearly beginning to cross his cautious lines, for once he didn’t stop me. His body was cold through the thin quilt, but I crushed myself against him eagerly.
When he stopped it was abrupt; he pushed me away with gentle, firm hands.
I collapsed back onto my pillow, gasping, my head spinning. Something tugged at my memory, elusive, on the edges.
“Sorry,” he said, and he was breathless, too. “That was out of line.”
I don’t mind,” I panted.
He frowned at me in the darkness. “Try to sleep, Bella.”
“No, I want you to kiss me again.”
“You’re overestimating my self-control.”
“Which is tempting you more, my blood or my body?” I challenged.
“It’s a tie. “He grinned briefly in spite of himself, and then was serious again. “Now, why don’t you stop pushing your lock and go to sleep?”
“Fine,” I agreed, snuggling closer to him. I really did feel exhausted. It had been a long day in so many ways, yet I felt so sense of relief at its end. Almost as if something worse was coming tomorrow. It was a silly premonition - what could be worse than today? Just the shock catching up with me, no doubt.
Trying to be sneaky about it, I pressed my injured arm against his shoulder, so his cool skin would sooth the burning. It felt better at once.
I was halfway asleep, maybe more, when I realized what his kiss had reminded me of: last spring, when he’d had to leave me to throw James off my trail, Edward had kissed me goodbye, not knowing when - or if - we would see each other again. This kiss had the same almost painful edge for some reason I couldn’t imagine. I shuddered into unconsciousness, as if I were already having a nightmare.