Chapter 14 They Meet

WAITING IN THE TWILIGHT

CHAPTER 14

EPOV

Three days! Three long fucking days and nights and not a word! She had simply vanished. I had finished the WFE tour, the premier, returned to LA and recorded the lullaby for Breaking Dawn.

Then I was given three and a half days to do as I damn well pleased, released to the outside world and, the very night I am free to spend time with EDGe, she leaves me this “love you but leaving you” message and then…nothing! What. The. Fuck? I PM’d her, I e-mailed her, but was greeted with only silence from my laptop. I had searched MEoW, LTE, EdAttack, Edsessed and still nothing.

On the third day, even her friends and commenters had started asking about her. No one knew anything. They had all started asking TexasTornado where she was since they knew “TT” was her editor/beta and friend, but not even TT knew where she was. She had not replied to anyone’s e-mail asking if she was alright. Gone. Just gone. She had not posted a single blog or anything else since she had PM’d me last. From what I could tell on all the comments, I was the last person to hear from her.

Pointlessly, I searched dozens of other Edward Cullen fan sites looking for her, knowing all the while she wouldn’t be there. I poured over every word we had said to each other, from that first comment I saw her make on LTE and Meow, to the last PM she had sent to me, trying to see if there was somewhere, something I had said or done to frighten her. Maybe there had been some hidden message that I hadn’t caught telling me that she was in trouble, but I could find absolutely nothing. Whoever said hind sight was 20/20 was full of shit!

I paced relentlessly back and forth across the floor, nearly tearing my hair out. I was frantic with worry and desperate with the need to know she was okay. I couldn’t eat. The thought that she was out there somewhere, possibly hurt or in trouble and I couldn’t help her, was gut wrenching. I slept, but only from sheer mental and emotional exhaustion. And, to make matters worse, the nightmare was back with a brutal vengeance.

I walk through swirling fog up to my waist. It enshrouds the barren landscape. What was once a warm summer night, strolling through a glorious meadow by full moonlight, is now a deathly, dark and barren grove of withered, twisted trees.

 

What sprawls eerily before me is a land laden with dead trees rooted closely to one another as if to form a natural barrier. Their roots curl and jut out of the mud. They do not want me here. Faces, dark and sinister, seem to stare at me from the very bark of the trees, watching me while someone else stares through their dead eyes.

 

The fog inside the forest’s depths is thick, while the air above is moist and heavy, blotting out the moonlight. Is there even a moon? I cannot tell. The dead branches tangle overhead, twisting wickedly towards the sky like hands with no flesh upon the bones. They blot out any source of light or comfort from above. Any sound inside the forest echoes back like a scream inside an empty room. It’s cold here, painfully so. I can see my breath and it hovers in the air like a solid, weightless object.

I begin walking, anxious to be done here. Need to find my way out. Must leave. The cold is so bitter, it makes my bones ache. It is difficult to move, or think, or even breathe. Not even death could be this cold. Then I hear a distant sob. It’s as though the woman crying is trying not to be heard but her fear and sorrow is so great that the sound escapes her and she covers her mouth to prevent it.

“EDGe?” I whisper.

I hear a rustling among the dead leaves and turn towards it. Breaking into a run, I follow the sound, fear weighing me down like an anvil tied around my neck.

“EDGe!” I yell.

The sound of my own voice echoes back at me in a hollow sounding scream, making me feel even more desperate and alone. I stop to listen and, once again, I see her bare feet and the sight of them terrifies me. They are blue from the cold. Dear God, I hope it’s from the cold. She’s not walking, but is being dragged along by something I can’t see. She’s struggling, but barely able to resist in her weakened condition. I don’t know how I know she has no strength left, but I know.

“EDGe!”

I scream her name and tear through the forest, just catching a glimpse of her feet as they disappear behind a gnarled old tree. I’m coming baby, hold on. The thought is in my head and yet I hear her reply.

“Edward?”

Her voice is weak. It’s not playful and light as it has always been in the beginning of the dream. She sounds afraid.

“EDGe!

I’m out of breath and feeling panicked. “Where are you?” I whisper. I look around and, in the encroaching darkness, things begin to look familiar. I turn to where our tree is supposed to be. There! I can just barely see the deepest part of the V against the cold, black night. I begin to run towards it, but the tuxedo I find myself wearing is constricting my limbs.

“EDWARD!”

I hear her desperate cry in the night and charge through the darkness towards our tree.

“EDGe!”  I scream in desperation. The sound echoes back to me in a mocking tone as though the mist had become a solid wall with the sentience to provoke.

“EDGe! EDGe! EDGe!”  I hear a soft but dark, evil laugh that seems to be coming from everywhere.

I have almost reached the tree. I can see her small delicate hands clinging to the trunk. Her slender fingers clutch the spot where she usually reaches out to me. She grips the tree so tightly that her knuckles are white. She’s just a few feet away. I charge through the night mist as fast as my feet will go, but the gnarled roots of the trees seem to reach up and grab at my feet and ankles. I will not be stopped. I will save her.

“Hold on, baby! I’m here!” I yell.

“Edward? NNNNOoooooo!!!!” She cries faintly, and I see her forearms and hands scrape across the bark of the tree, leaving her blood behind. I lunge to grab her hand but she’s gone…just gone.

“Oh, God! NO! EEDDDGGGEEE!!!!!!!”

 

* * * * *

 

 

BPOV

I couldn’t believe this was happening. Jake had been so right…“Living out here all by yourself in the woods, anything could happen. You’re miles from town and anyone could just come knocking on your door and do God only knows what…” I don’t think this was what he had in mind, though. I stole another peek out the window. They were all out there, pushing and shoving, clamoring to get the best view. No wonder we all hated them so much.

I thought back to three days ago. The two men in black and their pinched-faced little female counterpart had barged into my home, scaring the hell out of me. The men had searched my house as though I were hiding Al Capone while the woman stood like a statue in the foyer, clutching her briefcase. Once they were certain there was no one in the house but me, they took up positions by the front and back doors like a couple of sentinels. Then the woman entered my living room, sat down on my sofa, and opened her briefcase.

Twelve hours later, I was here in LA, ensconced in one of the most extravagant luxury hotels the human mind could conjure up. When Summit said they wanted absolutely no leaks about Breaking Dawn, they were fucking serious!

I had entered the contest and, to my utter astonishment, I had won! I not only won the contest, which meant that my rewrite of the not so very epic non-battle scene had already been filmed into an epic battle scene, but it also allowed me to spend the weekend with Edward Freakin’ Cullen! (FTMFW! YEAH!) But there was much more to it than that. I had read the contest rules, the gist of which had been that absolutely no one could know that you had entered the contest and that the scene was not to be discussed with anyone until after the winner had been announced. And I had read all about the fact that the winner would get to spend the premier weekend with Edward Cullen, attending all public appearances with him. That was the furthest I had read. I hadn’t cared about anything else. But the woman in black had informed me of everything I had neglected to read. From that moment on, I would be accompanied by security at all times to ensure that I divulged no information, and to keep my identity a secret. It was for my own protection, as well as for Edward’s and the studio’s.

They had subjected me to a criminal background check. I also had to show them proof via my Word documents that I did, in fact, write the scene. Apparently, Word kept track of each saved file, as well as each time it was saved, and that had been the proof they were looking for. Then they informed me I was not to contact anyone about my winning or where I was going. I was not to use my laptop or my phone until the announcement had been made. The list of “Must Not’s” was very long, but I didn’t care. I had other thoughts weighing on my mind. I was going to meet Edward and, when I did, I had to think about EC.

I had once thought Edward had ruined me for other men, but now there was another man in my life. I had no idea how he felt about me, but I knew without a doubt that I loved him very much. I didn’t care if he didn’t look like Edward Cullen. I didn’t care that he might be fat and bald. I loved the man that he was, my man with a heart of pure gold. He was kind, loving and devoted to his family. He was hard working and supportive, encouraging and kind. He was everything a girl could possibly want in a man. Looks didn’t matter when you had everything else and then some.

“Miss Pinched Face,” as I had come to call her, had gone on to inform me just how extensive my winnings were. In short, it was as follows: Summit would pay for all travel expenses, including food and hotel accommodations. They would also pay for “suitable attire” for the public appearances I made with Edward. Not only that, they would pick up the tab for all accessories, make-up, hair styling and jewelry (on loan) necessary to make my appearance acceptable for being seen with Edward. Sheesh! What was I, an ugly duckling?

And, to my utter amazement…praise the Lord and pass the biscuits for it, too…I had also won one hundred thousand dollars for the rewrite, plus one percent of the royalties from Breaking Dawn, and a writing contract with Little Brown!

Hallelujah! I was set for life! I’d never have to work again, even if I never published an entire novel.

Now, here I stood in one of the most stunning hotels in Los Angeles, California, staring out the window at the crowd of fans, paps and news media, just minutes away from meeting Edward Freakin’ Cullen. I was nervous as hell, and yet all I could think about was EC.

I wondered what he must be thinking. I was, after all, extremely curious.

* * * * *

 

EPOV

Today was the fourth day, the day the breaking Dawn promo tour begins, and it was already turning out to be a horrendous day. Summit had put me up in a luxurious hotel suite for the weekend, but I couldn’t have cared less.  I barely noticed my surroundings anyway.

 

There was still no word from EDGe and the freakin’ paps had somehow broken through the less than impressive security provided by Summit and the hotel. They were hovering and drooling outside my hotel room door like a slavering pack of starving, rabid wolves, and that was the kindest description I could come up with.

I had made a decision and called Jasper to my room. I was due to leave in just a few minutes but I wasn’t going anywhere until I set my plan in motion. I was going to have Jasper hire a detective to find out who EDGe was and to locate her. And when they did, I didn’t give a fuck who, what, or where I had pending commitments with, I was going to go straight to her side to see with my own eyes that she was alive and well. I was going to sit down and explain everything, and pray she would forgive me for deceiving her. I didn’t care if I was risking exposure anymore; all I cared about was her safety.

I was pacing back and forth through my hotel living room feeling every bit like a caged animal. I wanted out! I wanted to find her myself, but I had no idea where to begin. I’d been surviving solely on nicotine and caffeine from sodas and coffee for days now. I was chain smoking and I was sure my hair was a wild, tangled mess after the many times I had run my hands through it with worry.  I was overwhelmed with anger, frustration and a feeling of helplessness at the entire situation.

Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe! My feet were frozen to the floor…I couldn’t move!  My vision turned black and I thought I was going to pass out, when the sound of my Coke can exploding against the pristine white wall of my hotel room wrenched me back from the brink of madness. I hadn’t even been aware that I’d thrown it! This was getting ridiculous!  I needed answers and I needed them NOW!  Where the fuck was Jasper? 

I could hear the ruckus of reporters out in the hall as the security was team tried to keep them at bay. No one knew how they had managed to get up here but there were dozens of them, all clamoring to get into the room at me. The police had been called in to have them removed but they wouldn’t get here in time, so I was going to have to fight my way through the masses. Every time the door opened, I could hear them shouting my name as hundreds of flashes from their cameras went off. I couldn’t take it any longer. Apart of me did want to go out in that hallway and push and shove my way through all those vicious paps, taking all my anger, frustrations and worries out on them as I fought my way through the crowd. 

Emmett kept telling me we had to go, but I wasn’t leaving until Jasper got here. I had to find her, I had to know. I was pacing back and forth across my hotel living room as I had been for the past hour and a half, every possible scenario as to what might have happened to EDGe replaying like an endless loop in my mind.

I didn’t want to do this right now, I didn’t want to go downstairs and face all those people and reporters and fans. I sure as hell didn’t want to have to deal with the contest winner of Bill’s stupid idea, even though I had to admit the dailies from that extra month of shooting had looked fucking awesome. Give the devil his due, that writer had created an amazingly brilliant concept, turning a boring non-battle scene into and epic, ten minute supernatural war. Still, I wasn’t in the mood for it, or anything else for that matter. I had only one thought, only one concern, only one thing mattered to me, and that was EDGe. I just wanted to find her and talk to her. I had to know if she was alright. That’s all I wanted…no, I needed to meet her face to face.

The door opened and, to my great relief, Jasper and Alice entered the room. Poor Alice! Those fucking rabid paps could have trampled my tiny, delicate sister. They were screaming, pushing and shoving, practically climbing over each other just to get a glimpse of me in their lenses. It was a good thing Dean, Emmett and Jazz hovered over and around her, basically forming an armored barrier to protect her. So why she seemed oblivious to it all, looking as happy and joyful as ever, I had no idea.

“Jasper! Thank God! What took you so long?” As if I needed to ask. I nearly killed myself rushing across the large room to get to him. I tripped over the leg of the coffee table and banged the shit out of my shin in my haste but, other than a little fancy foot work on my part in order to stay up right, I barely noticed the pain.

“Edward! What’s wrong? Why are you refusing to go downstairs? People are waiting for you. The non-battle scene winner is here and waiting to meet you, as well. You’re supposed to spend a half hour with her in a meet and greet, and fill her in on what to expect before you share the limo ride over to the book signing,” Jasper said.

“You got five minutes, bro. Then I’m coming back to get you even if I have to drag you downstairs,” Emmett warned angrily as he shut the door. Emmett and Dean were trying to push the paps back at least far enough so that, when the door was opened, they didn’t tumble through the door like a row of dominoes.

“You have to find her, Jasper. I can’t stand it anymore. I don’t care what it takes. Spare no expense. Just find her!” I said in desperation. I couldn’t go out there till I knew Jasper would agree.

 “Find who, Edward?” Alice asked. She was smiling brightly and nearly bouncing with joy, as usual. I gave her a look that I’m sure looked tortured. Seeing her so happy and joyful when I was this miserable was killing me. How could she? Hadn’t she seen what EDGe’s disappearance had done to me?

“We don’t have time for this, Edward. People are waiting. You’re going to be late, if you don’t get going. There are hundreds of people here waiting for you to meet and introduce the contest winner alone. You really need to get down there to her.” Jasper said. His smile did not fit his words. He was grinning like I’d never seen him do before, not even when I first admitted that I liked her. What the fuck was wrong with everybody? Couldn’t they tell I was falling apart?

“NO! Damn it! Find her!” I yelled. Jasper looked at Alice and they both grinned. What the hell?  Were they enjoying my pain? Or had I just completely lost my mind and was now suffering from paranoid hallucinations? By my own admission, I had always been a little bit paranoid anyway, but this?

“Find who, Edward?” Alice repeated.

HER! EDGe! The dream girl, the poet, her, damn it!” I yelled in frustration. Damn, why didn’t I know her name yet! This was just fucking impossible. Were they deliberately being obtuse? Jasper and Alice looked at each other again and smiled. Alice eventually giggled.

“Oh, well I’m glad you both find this so damned amusing! That you think the fact that I’m miserable is funny? I don’t give a shit about the premier, the movie, Bill Condon, Summit, the reporters or the fucking contest winner! They can all go straight to hell! I haven’t seen or heard from EDGe in days. I don’t know where she is or if she’s okay. I can’t take this… ”

Emmett entered the room as if to drag me away as he had threatened he would and I whirled on him, “Don’t even fucking think about it!” I snarled at him, pointing a finger directly at his face. Emmett stopped in mid-stride, shocked by my anger. He recovered quickly and came towards me with new determination.

“She’s here,” Jasper said softly.

“Edward, we have to go! I’m not taking no for an answer.” Emmett snarled at the same time, and he continued towards me.

“Find her, damn it, or I will.” I growled at Jasper, just as Emmett grabbed my arm. I’d put myself at risk if I had to, but I was going to find her.

“Back the fuck off, Emmett!” I yelled, jerking free of his grasp and shoving him backwards. They all looked stunned by my outburst.

“I have,” Jasper said calmly.

“Edward! We have to go NOW!” Emmett yelled at the same time. He was pulling me roughly by the arm towards the door. When he opened the door, the sound out in the hall from all the paparazzi yelling and the camera’s flashing was deafening.

“Wait! What?” I yelled over the noise, still facing Jasper as Emmett tried to drag me away. I dug my feet in trying to keep Emmett from dragging me out the door.

“She’s here.” Jasper said softly. I really couldn’t hear him over the din of all the reporters and flashbulbs, but it looked to me like he’d said “she’s here.” It was enough. I jerked free of Emmett’s grasp and darted back across the room to Jasper and Alice. Jasper was smiling brightly now and Alice was literally jumping up and down in place at his side, clapping her hands gleefully. She was absolutely giddy and it was becoming contagious.

Emmett was left struggling to fight back the paps far enough to close the door and lock it.

“Dammit, Edward! You’re really fucking pissing me off!” he yelled, as he pushed against the door, smashing a pap’s arm in the process. Dean was out in the hall yelling at them to back up. He warned them that they were all going to be arrested for trespassing, but they didn’t care.

“She’s here?” I asked stunned. Jasper nodded with a huge smile plastered on his face.

“She is? Seriously?”

“Yes,” Jasper said.

“No fucking way! Really?”

“It’s true.” Alice chimed, clapping her hands yet again.

“YES!” I shouted punching the air. “How? Why? Seriously?”

“Yes, Edward, seriously!”

“Is she alright? Where is she? When can I see her? Is she hurt? What’s she like? Is she okay?  When can I meet her? She’s not out there with…” I was so thrilled, so elated I couldn’t even finish a sentence.

“Edward! Damn it! C’mon!” Emmett yelled, cutting me off. He started across the room towards me once more, looking angry and determined to drag me off using bodily force if necessary. I knew I only had seconds left. Jasper grabbed me by the shoulders and smiled. Somehow, I instantly felt calmer, more at ease, but still excited. Was it Jasper or just knowing she was here? She was here. Those three words were like filling my lungs full of air when I had been near drowning with worry and desperation. I could breathe and exhale at last.

“She’s here and she’s fine. She’s waiting for you downstairs. Edward, you got your wish. She is the contest winner. You are spending the entire weekend with her.” Jasper exclaimed.

“No, you’re wrong. She didn’t enter the contest. I tried to talk her into it but she wouldn’t do it,” I said. I was beginning to worry that he was wrong, that it wasn’t my EDGe at all.

“She couldn’t tell you, brother. I couldn’t stand what this was doing to you so I looked her up on my own. It took a few days to track her down, but I did. I was going to surprise you but, by the time I learned her identity, I also found out she was the contest winner and she had to sign an NDA. If I had told you any sooner, it would have disqualified her. You wouldn’t have gotten this time with her and it would’ve taken this opportunity away from her.” Jasper explained.

I stood there staring at him in disbelief, still waiting to find out that I was dreaming again. EDGe entered the contest and won? YES! Alice threw herself into my arms at that moment, bringing me out of my stupor.

“Oh, Edward, she’s absolutely beautiful and so sweet and shy.” Alice said looking up at me, “She’s exactly how we thought she would be! You’re going to love her!” Alice exclaimed.

Closing my eyes, I returned her hug warmly sighing in relief to know EDGe was here.

“I think I already do.” I said.

Suddenly, Emmett grabbed me by the arm and jerked me towards the door. I went willingly, stunned by the words I had just heard coming out of my mouth.

Just before we reached the door, I turned back to Jasper and Alice,

“Alice! I… what if…” I was trying to say so much without the time or words to convey the multitude of thoughts and images and questions running rampant through my mind. Alice seemed to understand, she always did.

“Don’t worry, Edward, you’ll do just fine. As long as you keep your scheduled appointments for the week, whatever either one of you wants or needs is, and will be, at your disposal 24/7…anything at all. All you have to do is ask.” Alice said with a smile of silent understanding.

I nodded my gratitude, unable to say more, and I knew by the expression on her face that Alice understood that as well.

Emmett looked at me with one eyebrow raised to make sure I wasn’t going to put up a fight again once he opened the door. I nodded to him that I was ready. My voice seemed to have been swallowed by my thoughts and the lump in my throat. Emmett opened the door and the sounds of people screaming my name exploded. Once again, I was blinded by the camera flashes.

I stepped out into the hallway, with Emmett clearing the way, when I suddenly realized I didn’t even know her name.

I turned and grabbed onto the door frame just a second before I was shoved too far away and pulled myself back towards the hotel room, gripping onto the door frame for dear life. Emmett wrapped his arm around my waist tugging on me with considerable force, trying to pry me loose from the door. I managed to get my left knee and foot around the door frame for extra leverage, causing Emmett to lose his grip on my waist and grab me by the right ankle.

I would not be moved until I had my answer.

“Alice! Jasper…” I yelled.

“Swan! Her name is Isabella Swan,” Jasper said with a smile. Alice put her head on his shoulder and grinned at me. They knew me too well and I had never been more grateful for it. My smile grew to enormous proportions. I knew her name, at last! I let go of the door frame and ducked under the protection of Emmett’s left arm.

Within seconds, Emmett, Dean and I were in the elevator. I had to straighten my denim jacket and shirt from fighting my way through the crowd. For once, Emmett looked a little rattled as he dragged his fingers through his hair in exasperation.

“You know, for a skinny guy, you put up one hell-of-a-fight! You’re pretty freakin’ strong when you have to be!” he stated.

I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing.

As soon as I heard the “ding” of the elevator doors opening, I sobered immediately. This was it.  I was suddenly very nervous. She didn’t know that I knew her. She didn’t know I was EC. She didn’t know I knew all the wonderful, loving, flattering, sexy, seductive, F*ck Hawt things she had said about me.

Oh, shit! She DIDN’T KNOW!

I stopped dead in my tracks.

Both Emmett and Dean took three steps past me before they realized I wasn’t with them.

“What the fuck, Edward? You’re not going to start this shit again, are you?”

“Em, she doesn’t know that I know who she is!” I told him. Foolishly, I had expected Emmett to be understanding and help me figure out how to tell her the truth.

“Hey, bro! Just thank your lucky stars she didn’t turn out to be a he! Now let’s get movin’!”

“I don’t know what to say to her. How do I tell her?”

“Dude, you’ve been talking to her for months! What’s the big deal?”

“She doesn’t know I am EC!”

“Look, bro, you’re an international superstar! She writes a daily blog about you. She makes videos about you. She writes books and poetry about you! She rewrote the final scene that, quite frankly, saved the film and your career and reputation, as well. Do you really think she’s going to care if the guy she has been chatting with for months, the man she has confessed falling in love with, turns out NOT to be just an average guy on the street but is, instead, the man who has been her entire life’s focus for over a year now?” Emmett said.

It was the most I had ever heard him say at one time and the most sense he’d ever made, as well.

I started walking again.

I supposed he was right; she could have done to me what I had inadvertently done to her. For a short while there, she had thought I was another female blogger. Thank God, I had realized what she had been thinking and cleared the air before she had learned she had feelings for me, and before I got the chance to tell her I was in love with her.

I stopped dead in my tracks yet again.

Emmett was not amused.

Wait! What? I’m in love with her? AM I in love with her? I’m in love with Isabella Swan. I tested the words to see how they sounded. Ho-lee shit! I AM IN LOVE WITH HER! Fuck! I’m in love with a woman I’ve never met!

I was pacing back and forth, one hand on my hip while the other gripped a fistful of hair. I was aware that Emmett and Dean were looking at me as though I were completely barking mad, and then I stopped. 

I suddenly realized it didn’t matter that I had never met her. I loved her. I was in love with her. Why wouldn’t I be? I knew she was an honest, loving, beautiful, woman with a heart of pure gold, a fiery temper, the protective nature of a lioness, wickedly funny, incredibly talented, sexy, shy, seductive, passionate. I knew my feelings for her would not change regardless of what she looked like. The trouble now was that I was more nervous than I had been just a moment ago. Not only did I have to find a way to reveal my true identity, but I had to do it soon, this weekend, and I had to let her know that both ExtremelyCurious and I were in love with her. I knew how she felt about me, sort of, from the blog and our chats, and the last message she had sent to EC said she was falling in love with him. But then she had disappeared and now I knew why. NDA’s were a fucking bitch all the way around.

“Dude, seriously! We have got to go! You’re on a tight schedule today. Whatever is bugging you, put it on a back burner till later,” Dean said.

I ran my fingers through my hair, straightened my denim jacket and started walking.

This time, Emmett and Dean got behind me and stood shoulder to shoulder to prevent me from stopping again. It was a testament to what a pain in their ass I had been for them to allow me to walk into another room without one of them in front of me and the other one behind me.

Isabella Swan was waiting in the hotel lounge, which had been sealed off from all other patrons and news media. There were two guards standing outside the double doors and they each took a door and opened them as they saw us approach. She was there, standing by the window, peeking out through the closed blinds at the media circus outside. They had told her to dress casually and that I would explain the day’s schedule when I came to meet her. She wore blue jeans, high heels, and a white cardigan sweater. She had a necklace of some kind around her neck and she worried it back and forth along the chain. She was nervous. Her long auburn hair trailed in shiny waves down her back and looked as soft and luxurious as anything I had ever seen. I stood there for a moment drinking in the sight of her. She was safe. She was here.

I breathed a sigh of relief. She was just as I had pictured she would be. Long, slender but shapely legs, delicate pale skin, small, precious looking hands with well-manicured nails. She was delicate and fragile looking and I loved her with all my heart and soul. My hands and arms ached to touch her and hold her.

Emmett gave me a gentle shove towards her. When I looked back over my shoulder at him, he was grinning from ear to ear. Despite all his teasing and harassment, he was as happy that she was here as I was.

Not wanting to frighten her, I soundlessly crossed the carpeted lounge until I was just two feet from her. She didn’t seem to know I was there yet.

For the first time in my life, I had to contain my own inner *squeeee.* Now I understood what all my girls meant when they said that. I wanted to jump for joy and do my own version of the Snoopy happy dance!

I thought back to all the things she had said about Edward, and about EC as well, and I couldn’t help the heated blush I felt creep into my own cheeks.

 

“Hello, I’m Edward. Edward Cullen,” I said, just as she began to turn away from the window.

Her eyes flew open wide and only one sound escaped past her beautiful lips…

“G*A*S*P”