Home > Eclipse (Twilight #3)(9)

Eclipse (Twilight #3)(9)
Author: Stephenie Meyer

So we were both silent until we got to back to Charlie's house.

"Light homework load tonight," he commented.

"Mmm," I assented.

"Do you suppose I'm allowed inside again?"

"Charlie didn't throw a fit when you picked me up for school."

But I was sure Charlie was going to turn sulky fast when he got home and found Edward here. Maybe I should make something extra-special for dinner.

Inside, I headed up the stairs, and Edward followed. He lounged on my bed and gazed out the window, seeming oblivious to my edginess.

I stowed my bag and turned the computer on. There was an unanswered e-mail from my mom to attend to, and she got panicky when I took too long. I drummed my fingers as I waited for my decrepit computer to wheeze awake; they snapped against the desk, staccato and anxious.

And then his fingers were on mine, holding them still.

"Are we a little impatient today?" he murmured.

I looked up, intending to make a sarcastic remark, but his face was closer than I'd expected. His golden eyes were smoldering, just inches away, and his breath was cool against my open lips. I could taste his scent on my tongue.

I couldn't remember the witty response I'd been about to make. I couldn't remember my name.

He didn't give me a chance to recover.

If I had my way, I would spend the majority of my time kissing Edward. There wasn't anything I'd experienced in my life that compared to the feeling of his cool lips, marble hard but always so gentle, moving with mine.

I didn't often get my way.

So it surprised me a little when his fingers braided themselves into my hair, securing my face to his. My arms locked behind his neck, and I wished I was stronger - strong enough to keep him prisoner here. One hand slid down my back, pressing me tighter against his stone chest. Even through his sweater, his skin was cold enough to make me shiver - it was a shiver of pleasure, of happiness, but his hands began to loosen in response.

I knew I had about three seconds before he would sigh and slide me deftly away, saying something about how we'd risked my life enough for one afternoon. Making the most of my last seconds, I crushed myself closer, molding myself to the shape of him. The tip of my tongue traced the curve of his lower lip; it was as flawlessly smooth as if it had been polished, and the taste - He pulled my face away from his, breaking my hold with ease - he probably didn't even realize that I was using all my strength.

He chuckled once, a low, throaty sound. His eyes were bright with the excitement he so rigidly disciplined. "Ah, Bella." He sighed.

"I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not."

"And I should feel sorry that you're not sorry, but I don't. Maybe I should go sit on the bed." I exhaled a little dizzily. "If you think that's necessary. . . ."

He smiled crookedly and disentangled himself.

I shook my head a few times, trying to clear it, and turned back to my computer. It was all warmed up and humming now. Well, not as much humming as groaning.

"Tell Renée I said hello."

"Sure thing."

I scanned through Renée's e-mail, shaking my head now and then at some of the dippier things she'd done. I was just as entertained and horrified as the first time I'd read this. It was so like my mother to forget exactly how paralyzed she was by heights until she was already strapped to a parachute and a dive instructor.

I felt a little frustrated with Phil, her husband of almost two years, for allowing that one. I would have taken better care of her. I knew her so much better.

You have to let them go their own way eventually, I reminded myself. You have to let them have their own life. . . .

I'd spent most of my life taking care of Renée, patiently guiding her away from her craziest plans, good- naturedly enduring the ones I couldn't talk her out of. I'd always been indulgent with my mom, amused by her, even a little condescending to her. I saw her cornucopia of mistakes and laughed privately to myself. Scatterbrained Renée.

I was a very different person from my mother. Someone thoughtful and cautious. The responsible one, the grown-up. That's how I saw myself. That was the person I knew. With the blood still pounding inmy head from Edward's kiss, I couldn't help but think of my mother's most life-altering mistake. Silly and romantic, getting married fresh out of high school to a man she barely knew, then producing me a year later. She'd always promised me that she had no regrets, that I was the best gift her life had ever given her. And yet she'd drilled it into me over and over - smart people took marriage seriously. Mature people went to college and started careers before they got deeply involved in a relationship. She knew I would never be as thoughtless and goofy and small-town as she'd been. . . . I gritted my teeth and tried to concentrate as I answered her letter.

Then I hit her parting line and remembered why I'd neglected to write sooner.

You haven't said anything about Jacob in a long time, she'd written. What's he up to these days? Charlie was prompting her, I was sure.

I sighed and typed quickly, tucking the answer to her question between two less sensitive paragraphs.

Jacob is fine, I guess. I don't see him much; he spends most of his time with a pack of his friends down at La Push these days.

Smiling wryly to myself, I added Edward's greeting and hit "send."

I didn't realize that Edward was standing silently behind me again until after I'd turned off the computer and shoved away from the desk. I was about to scold him for reading over my shoulder when I realized that he wasn't paying any attention to me. He was examining a flat black box with wires curling crookedly away from the main square in a way that didn't look healthy for whatever it was. After a second, I recognized the car stereo Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper had given me for my last birthday. I'd forgotten about the birthday presents hiding under a growing pile of dust on the floor of my closet.

"What did you do to this?" he asked in a horrorstruck voice.

"It didn't want to come out of the dashboard."

"So you felt the need to torture it?"

"You know how I am with tools. No pain was inflicted intentionally."

He shook his head, his face a mask of faux tragedy. "You killed it."

I shrugged. "Oh, well."

"It would hurt their feelings if they saw this," he said. "I guess it's a good thing that you've been on house arrest. I'll have to get another one in place before they notice."

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