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Immortal Beloved

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Sunday flew by, as I had kept busy tending to household chores, then found myself reading one of the books I had purchased in Port Angeles. It was a mystery thriller, written by a contemporary author, and the twists and turns in the plot had me hooked throughout the afternoon and night. I had finished it when the sun dawned on Monday.

I drove to school in sleety weather, being careful on the slick roads. I tried to fight the giddy feeling bubbling up in my stomach as I looked forward to biology. I tried to remind myself of the danger which Edward represented, but my body wasn't having any of it.

I spotted Edward's sleek little car immediately when I pulled into the school parking lot. It stood out amongst the more humble-looking vehicles of the other students. The town of Forks was full of well-off families, but most of the students who had their own car typically drove older models.

I knew Edward was on campus somewhere, and I was sure I could easily sniff him out. I resisted this tempting act, however, and met up with Jessica, Angela and Mike on the school's steps just like every day. I didn't fail to notice that Jessica had her hand locked with Mike's, and the sight made me smile.

As I sailed through the day, I noticed that I had come to pay attention more in class. English was actually rather intriguing. The professor had the class dissect an essay, and I found myself enjoying breaking down the meaning behind the author's word choice. Judging by the look of boredom and reluctance on the faces of my classmates, I figured I was the only one.

I discovered my government class was incredibly dull and involved more Latin than I was expecting. The real shock of the day came from my third class, Spanish. I didn't even know I was in a Spanish class until that Monday. Indeed, I had not paid attention so thoroughly the previous week that I didn't realize the entire class was speaking in a different language.

I realized that I was more than lost in my math class. I had basic math skills, and I was sure I could have handled the class better had I come in at the start. Starting off like this in the middle of a pre-algebra course, while the teacher rattled on about parabolas and other such nonsense, I could hardly keep up.

I wasn't dismayed by this, however, because it gave me an excuse to ask Edward about his competence in math. Perhaps he could be my teacher on this subject, as well. Any reason to speak to Edward was a good reason in my book.

At lunch, I sat with the usual suspects. I was listening on a discussion on the importance of matching one's shoes to one's outfit (headed by Lauren), as apparently Eric just couldn't seem to understand why girls kept so many shoes. It was during this conversation that a young man with wiry black hair approached me.

I looked up at him, noting that he smelled strongly of automobile oil and too much aftershave. He smiled wryly and stammered out an invitation to accompany him to the dance. I recognized this child as belonging to the sophomore class, and noted that he barely looked fifteen. I politely turned down his invitation, and after he had walked away several steps, Jessica and Lauren burst into giggles.

“Of all the people to ask you out, it would have to be Ugly Spencer,” Lauren said, her voice a little harsh with laughter.

“That's a bit of a harsh name to give someone,” I pointed out, glancing back towards the young man who had sat down at his own table. I was pretty sure he was still in ear shot.

Lauren shrugged. “It's just a nickname. Not like we say it to his face.” I noticed that she gave me a bit of a dark look, her jade eyes narrowed, the corners of her small mouth turned down. I took that cue to turn to Angela and strike up a conversation about hiking, which turned into a table-wide discussion about going down to the beach that weekend.

“We could go out and hang for the day,” Jessica suggested. “Maybe even have a camp out.”

“It's going to be way too cold for that,” Mike pointed out. “The forecast said it'll be snowing again by Thursday.”

Jessica grinned. “There's ways to keep warm,” she said, and I saw the pink rise in Mike's cheeks, heard his heart rate speed up, and I was sure he was imagining what those ways could be. “We could all go, and Lauren could invite Tyler, and maybe Bella could invite Edward.”

My eyes widened at the idea, and I stared at Jessica's suggestion. I could see what she was pulling – get all of the couples together alone in tents away from parents for the night. I could see everyone at the table wanted to do it. After all, these humans were just in the right age to be exploring the physical parts of their own and others bodies. And of course, I was all for getting Edward alone for several hours.

Still, I could see this ending badly for me. I could always explain the coldness of my skin away as the air's chill, but that would only work for so long until Edward and I were alone together in a tent. He'd start to wonder why I wasn't warming up. Then there was the issue of contacts, not to mention ensuring I don't bite anyone.

“I think we should put off camping for a little while,” Eric said, sounding uncomfortable. I glanced between him and Angela. I wasn't even sure if they were “officially” together or not.

“Fine, fine,” Jessica said with a wave of her hand. “But we should still go down for the day. It'd be fun!”

“Let's do it,” Mike said eagerly, and before I knew it, we had all agreed to a day trip to the beach.

“You should still invite Edward,” Jessica said to me with a nudge. I wondered when she had decided that Edward was a good match for me, considering what she had said about him on Saturday.

“Well, I'll ask him,” I said, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lauren roll her eyes. I knew Edward would not want to spend several hours around people who didn't like him. I wasn't even sure if Edward was much of an outdoors kind of guy. I had only seen him hiking once, and he was with Jacob. It wasn’t a stretch to imagine that the impetus of that hike had been Jacob’s.

I resolved not to even ask Edward and just tell Jessica he couldn't make it. It was for the best, in all honesty.

At last, the bell rang, and it was time for biology. I stopped myself from rushing there, telling myself to be calm. It would seem very weird and creepy if I rushed into class with a silly grin on my face, saying “Hey, Edward! I missed you all weekend, Edward! How's it going, Edward! Did you think about me, Edward?!” even though that was exactly what I wanted to do.

Yeah, that would drive him away faster than flashing my fangs would.

I walked into class and dropped down into my seat. Edward's stuff was on his side of the table, but he wasn't, nor was he in the classroom. I noticed his notebook was sitting on top of his biology book, and after a quick glance around, I nudged it open with a fingernail.

I was deeply curious as to who Edward was, and I wanted to know everything about him. I peered into the pages the notebook opened to, taking in the biology notes he had taken down. His handwriting was surprisingly neat, which was a rarity in humans these days. At some point, public education had dropped proper penmanship from the curriculum, which was a shame. I also noticed little doodles scribbled on the edges of the paper. They weren't great works of art, nor were the subjects anything particularly insightful: a dog, a tree, a cloud.

“Hello, Bella,” Edward's voice sounded behind me, and I jumped. I hadn't heard him approach. He chuckled and sat down in his seat, looking down at what I had been peering at without his permission.

“Sorry,” I said guiltily.

He just shrugged. “I don't mind. It's not like it's my diary or anything.” His crooked smile made relief wash through me, and I realized that I had been worrying he'd be angry with me. “Although, I must ask, were you looking to see what you had missed on Friday or were you looking because you're curious of me?”

I hadn't expected his bold question, and I found myself almost nervous to tell the truthful answer. “I honestly don't care what I missed Friday,” I said. “That is, nothing that the teacher might have been saying.” I saw his cheeks flush, and I couldn't help but smile.

I thought about my little dream, and of how warm and soft he felt. I remembered the feeling of his heart beating against his chest, and of his hot breath on my lips. I wondered how he would feel in reality. Would it be like my fantasy? Would it be better? Or would it not live up to what I had imagined? I found myself wanting to know, growing eager to touch him. I knew it would be beneficial for me to run to the girls' locker room and take a cold shower, as I could hardly contain myself.

I told myself I had to pay attention to what the professor was saying, but somehow the lecture on cell replication just couldn't hold my interest compared to the boy beside me. I watched him out of the corner of my eye, wondering what it would feel like to run my hands through his auburn hair, to feel his lips on mine. Before I even knew it, the bell for class to get out had rung.

He looked to me as he closed his books. “So how was that lesson for you?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I pretty much missed it,” I answered truthfully, though I didn't exactly say why.

He smiled, though. “Would you like to meet in the library again today?” he asked.

“Of course I would,” I told him, grinning myself. “And maybe every other day, if you’re not busy. I really just don't get any of this stuff when the instructor explains it. You explain it far better.”

“I wouldn't mind tutoring you regularly,” he said, and I just about jumped for joy at his words.

It was settled, then. We would meet every other day in the library to study. Honestly, I wanted to do far more interesting things with Edward, but perhaps something might happen in the hours we were to spend together. There was a voice in the back of my head that was trying to scream as loud as it could about the werewolves, but I could not hear her over the sound of Edward’s blood pulsing through his veins.

I couldn't decide if I was being foolish or simply following my vampire instincts. I wasn't sure which was worse.