Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CBWR? Chapter 69

Author’s notes:
If you were confused by Bella’s reaction, don’t worry about it.  It’s not that you missed anything anymore than Edward did, because all you know is what he knows, and he’s a little dense in this whole “relationship” thing…just in case you hadn’t noticed.
“I won’t push it,” I told her.
Chapter 69
I had no idea how long I had been sitting there before I ran out of cigarettes.  I had mostly sobered up, at least.  Bella was still in the bathroom, and the hour was getting late.  Without smoking to keep me occupied, I decided to bite the bullet and try to apologize for whatever the fuck I had done.  If nothing else, I had to pee…again.
After ten minutes of begging her to come out, then threatening the break down the door, she finally emerged, red eyed and sniffing.  Of course, once she was out, I had no idea what to say to her.  I was pretty sure whatever came out of my mouth would be the wrong thing to say, so again I was silent at first.  Bella walked past me and went to the little dresser against the wall, pulled out some sweats and a T-shirt, and then went back into the bathroom, but only for a minute.
I sat down on the edge of the bed, wondering if I could call room service and order up another pack of smokes.  Bella had already been wrinkling her nose at the smoke-filled room, so maybe that wasn’t the best plan.  Besides, my throat kind of hurt. 
“I’m going to choke on the smoke in here,” Bella remarked, confirming my suspicions that additional cigarettes would not be welcome.
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
“Have you been smoking for the last two hours constantly?”
“Pretty much.”
I watched her walk over to the little vanity with her hairbrush in hand.  I thought about telling her I ended up having to pee in the sink when she wouldn’t come out, but figured that course of action probably wasn’t any better than the acquisition of smokes.  I didn’t want her to be even madder at me, though I didn’t know what difference it was going to make now.
“I’m sorry,” I finally said again.
“For what?” she glanced over at me, then went back to brushing.
Damnit, if I had to figure out exactly what I was supposed to apologize for, I’d go buggy.  Couldn’t I just offer a blanket “for anything and everything” apology?  If I had to list all my transgressions, we’d be here all night and into the next day.
“Whatever I did that made you mad?”  It ended up sounding like a question.
Bella sighed and put the brush down.
“How did you know about my dad?”
“The picture from the first article I found,” I replied.  She looked over at me, confused.  “He was wearing a uniform.”
“Oh…I didn’t notice.”
“You’re probably used to seeing it.”
Bella fiddled with her hairbrush for a while.  I watched as she flipped it back and forth between her hands, then took a deep breath.
“I thought you guys might kill me,” Bella said softly.
“If you knew my dad was a police officer,” she clarified.  “I know you guys don’t like police – I mean, that’s part of being a crime lord, isn’t it?  I thought if you knew about him…”
“I wouldn’t hurt you,” I said softly.  “I wouldn’t let anyone hurt you.”
“I know.”  She walked over to the bed and sat down beside me.  “I’m sorry too.”
“For slapping you.”
“I shouldn’t have,” she went on.  “It’s just…none of this is funny to me.  And I really haven’t thought too much about…well, I haven’t thought past the next few days, you know?”
I nodded, though I really had no idea.
“I guess I was thinking maybe we’d still…I don’t know…see each other?  I hadn’t really thought about how Charlie would react to you.”
“My dad.”
“Even if we could somehow keep him from knowing about,” she waved her hand in the air, “all of this, he’d still check up on you, wouldn’t he?  My guess is if he did a background check he probably wouldn’t like what he found.”
“Probably not,” I said with a nod.  “I’ve never been convicted of anything, but I’ve been investigated plenty of times.  I’m sure he would have the resources to come up with some of that.”
We sat in silence for a minute.  She was stuck with me for now, and she knew it, but she wouldn’t be for much longer.  A few days at most.  After that…well, she shouldn’t have to worry about after that.
“I won’t push it,” I told her.
“Won’t push what?”
“Seeing you after all of this is over.”  I turned towards her.  My next words were going to just about kill me, but I didn’t want her to think I would pursue this.  “I won’t get in the way of your life.  I know you…don’t want anything to do with me now, and I want you to know that I won’t try to stop you…from leaving.”
“Edward, I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“You were…angry.”  I closed my eyes for a minute.  “You don’t…want me anymore.  I know you…you hate me again.”
“I was angry,” she admitted.  My chest tightened up again.  “But that doesn’t mean I hate you now!”
She pulled her leg up underneath her and twisted around to face me completely.  She grabbed my hand and held onto it.
“We had an argument, Edward,” she said.  “I was angry, but I’m not now.  I also overreacted, and I’m sorry about that.  It doesn’t mean I hate you now.”
“It doesn’t?”  I was so fucking confused at this point I couldn’t even think straight.  Fights lead to being left – that was just how it worked.  You had a fight, and then she walked out.  That was life.
Bella’s hand came up and touched the side of my face.
“I care about you, Edward,” she whispered.  “That doesn’t change just because you drank too much and I got mad.  I still care, and I’m not going to just walk away from you because of it.”
My eyebrows strained together as I tried to comprehend what she was saying.
“All the others did,” I said.  “They all left.”
“I’m not them,” she replied before her lips met with mine.
In a complete daze, I kissed her back, instantly ecstatic that this simple act – one I had never appreciated in the past – had not been lost to me forever.  We kissed slowly, and briefly, but it seemed in that moment, everything was all right again.
Bella pulled back, her hand dropping slowly from my face to my shoulder, and then down my arm.
“You smell like smoke,” she announced with raised brows.  “This whole place smells like smoke.  I’m going to air it out – you go shower.  After that, we’ll talk some more.  Okay?”
I wasn’t about to argue.
While the steam from the hot water rose up around me, I tried to figure out just what the hell had happened since dinner.  She was mad…so mad she had slapped me.  Surely if she was that pissed off she wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me.  Did she just mean she wouldn’t leave me for now?  But that wasn’t right, either – like she had said, her father would check me out.  Once he did – even without a conviction – there was no way he was going to let me near his daughter.  I also didn’t want to come between her and her parents – I had done plenty on that front already.  She also still had a year of high school left, and lived roughly three thousand miles away from me.  I would move – that didn’t bother me in the least – but what difference would it make?  I was not about to let her sneak around behind their backs to see me.
Was there any way I could possibly make myself acceptable in her parent’s eyes?  I could turn over my less that legitimate business ventures to someone else, move my tech company to Seattle, and attempt to establish a normal life, couldn’t I?  I had more money than I would ever be able to spend.  I would be able to take care of her.  Wouldn’t that count for something?
There had to be a way to make this work, right?
Chapter end notes:
Is there hope?
I know, I know...I should ahve had oral in chapter 69.  Sorry about that. ;)
Might update again tonight…maybe.