Chapter 23

I was glad when I woke up that Monday morning to the feel of a familiar body – and to the absence of the headache that had plagued me all through my free Sunday. Going to that party had been a seriously bad idea.

‘Yes it was,’ a velvet voice agreed from next to me, then cold, strong arms gave me a slight push. ‘Now stop stalling and haul your ass out of bed or we’ll be late.’

Throwing him an annoyed look, I rolled my body out of bed, then continued dragging myself to the closet. As I was selecting some random clothes – which happened to be my favorite grey jeans, a white shirt with a rabbit on it and a jacket – I turned to look at the vampire still lounging on my bed. ‘So taxi Cullen is back in business?’

‘I guess it is,’ he flashed me a crooked smile, then eyed the clothes in my hands with a look of disagreement.

‘Not good?’

‘Not warm enough,’ he corrected. ‘There’s snow outside.’

‘Snow?!’ Running to the window, I dropped my clothes in a flurry, too busy with keeping myself from falling into another dramatic, teenage crying bout. I was really having those a lot, these days. ’I can’t go to school. I won’t. It will be the death of me.’

Edward was beside me in a second, pushing my clothes back into my hands and steering me towards the door. ‘Get dressed drama queen, we’re leaving in twenty minutes.’

Now when I told Edward I didn’t like snow, I wasn’t lying. The cold, wet substance seemed to make its way into my underwear from the very first moments I stepped outside and froze my ass off for the rest of the day. Apart from the obvious, direct consequences of the weather – namely that I was dying from the cold, there were also some other downsides to the white layer that covered Forks: snowball fights. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a cranky old lady who will yell at every person who accidentally (or not so accidentally) hits her with a snowball, but I certainly wasn’t enjoying it. Especially not since I was not just engaged in a fight by Derek, but also by a whole bunch of other people that I didn’t know the name of, but who had been at the party as well. Apparently I had been quite social when I was drunk. ‘Are you joining the snowball fight?’ Derek asked me, as we walked out of the classroom. I might have given him some false expectations by going to his party. And talking all night with him.. To his defense, I had to say that he’d not said anything about what happened that Saturday night, not even about when I completely freaked out at his touch and disappeared afterwards. I kind of respected that.

‘I think I’ll just eat lunch inside, I am not really feeling like spending the rest of the day with soaked underwear.’ Besides, I still needed to say sorry to Georgina for abandoning her at the party.

‘That’s alright, I’ll see you at..’ He trailed off in midsentence, staring at something behind my right shoulder. ‘Bye.’

Sighing, I didn’t need to turn around to see who was behind me. ‘And this is the reason why nobody wants to be friends with me..’

‘Like you want him to be.’

I said nothing, not wanting to admit he was right. ‘I will sit with Georgina today,’ I announced.


‘Because I owe her an apology and because I don’t want to sit at a table where they’d rather see me going. Which makes me rephrase my earlier announcement; I will sit with Georgina until the last day of eternity.’

Edward huffed. ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Alice didn’t mean it like that.’

I shrugged ‘I don’t care if she meant it like that or not.’

‘Fine, then I’ll sit with you.’

As we walked into the cafeteria, I looked amusedly at the glances Edward got when we took a seat beside Georgina. Though part of them could be explained by the fact that he’d been gone for a week – and another part by the fact that he was Edward Cullen – I knew part of them were also because a Cullen was taking a seat away from its family. The drama! After all that he’d put me through last week, I thought he deserved every single look he received. ‘Do you mind if we sit here?’

The timid brunette shook her head, taking a bite from her apple. If she was even the least surprised about Edward Cullen sitting at her table, she never showed it. ‘Go ahead.’

‘So…’ I started, awkwardly spinning the lid of my water bottle around in my hands ‘I am sorry for Saturday.’

For the first time that day, she looked up to meet my eyes and furrowed her eyebrows. ‘What do you mean?’

‘At the party.. for abandoning you.’

Shaking her head, she smiled softly. ‘You did no such thing. I thought it was even really nice of you for walking me to the car when I went home. I am sorry if I made you feel guilty, but I couldn’t accept your offer of going home with me. You seemed like you were actually enjoying yourself.’

Mentally, I let out a breathe of relief. So I hadn’t just forgotten about her in my alcohol induced state. ‘Well.. that’s good then.’

Silence ensued and I knew that all was good. I was glad drunken-me was a true gentleman. Thinking about men, I realized that Edward had probably known all along what happened when Georgina left. If not by reading her thoughts, I had a feeling that he might have been stalking me throughout the night.

’I was not stalking you,’ he scoffed while tearing his sandwich apart slowly. Then, he frowned and pinched the bridge of his nose. ‘Alice wants to talk to you.’

‘Tell her I’m not interested in more premonitions.’

‘She wants to apologize.’

‘I’m not interested in those either.’

He sighed, knowing that he would not be able to persuade me.

The second day of the week – and with that; the second day of snow – had arrived. Since there had been no new snowfall and the already present snow had turned mushy and in some cases icy, the road was even more dangerous than the day before. It was one of those few days that I was actually glad that I still didn’t have my driver’s license yet. ‘I couldn’t hear your thoughts again last night.’ He said it as if it were a casual remark about the weather, but I knew he wanted answers. Real answers.

I sighed. ‘I had a dream, a recurring one.’


‘I had it for the first time when I was figuring out what you were. Ever since I’ve gotten them more frequently and frequently.’

Edward frowned, seemingly lost in thought. ‘And it’s the same dream over and over again?’

‘The scenery is always the same, as are the people in it. The course is always a little different.’ I didn’t like the tone of our conversation. It was too serious. I mean, it was just a dream right?

‘I hope it is..’ he mumbled and I knew he’d responded to my inner thinkings. ‘Normally I can read people’s minds even when they’re asleep. But yours just seems to vanish as you fall asleep.’

‘Is that even possible?’

Sighing, he shook his head. ‘I don’t know, but I’ll ask Carlisle about it.’

We drove up the school parking lot that moment, Edward easily maneuvering his car through the people and over the slippery ground. He parked the silver Volvo in its usual spot, next to Emmett’s Jeep.

I got out with reluctance, noticing that the other Cullens were still by the Jeep. So that also meant Alice.. Swinging my bag over my shoulder, I was determined not to let her come close to me.

However, as if on cue, Alice caught me by my arm and dragged me away from the others. Giving Edward a betrayed look, he only smiled at me encouragingly. I would kill him for this. The little pixy stopped when we were about thirty feet away from the other Cullens and turned to me. ‘Dalia, I..-’


‘No, you’ll listen to me!’ she crossed her delicate arms in front of her chest, giving me a stern look. ‘I never wanted you to hate me. You’re my only friend and I truly care about you. But Edward is my brother and I want him to be happy.’

‘So you’re saying that I don’t make him happy by being his friend?’

She shook her head, her brown eyes pleading me to understand. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. ‘You do, I can see that just by looking at him. But you’re… you’re fading from this world and he needs someone for eternity. She can be all of that for him. I want you with us, Dalia, but I also want you to see that if you keep them apart and you’ll fade, he’ll be left with nothing.’

I didn’t understand anything she was saying. Before I had time to think about it, though, a loud, painful sound filled the parking lot and I looked around. Entering the lot, a large van was approaching at high speed with screeching tires. The boy behind the wheel was obviously trying to stop, but due to the icy ground this only seemed to cause him to lose more control over the car.

I dropped my bag, spurring into motion with only one thought on my mind. Bella. She was only some twenty-five feet away and I closed the distance in a speed I had never thought myself capable of – the van approaching faster and faster. Jumping, I caught the girl and brought both her and myself to the ground. We rolled a feet or so until we finally came to a halt, hearing the loud clash of metal against metal.

Judging from the look on her face, she was as surprised as I was about my sudden rescue and perhaps a bit in shock of what had all just transpired. I didn’t have time to comfort her, though, for at that moment Edward appeared by our side.
His eyes were pitch black and were transfixed on Bella. When he took a step forward, completely disregarding me or the fact that he was scaring the living daylight out of Bella with his murderous eyes, I realized Bella must have lost some blood. The vampire had taken over.

‘Edward.. Edward?’

Shaking his head, I noticed humanity slipping back into his being and he turned to look at me, his face twisted in pain.

’Go inside, call Carlisle. Take Jasper with you and don’t come out. Okay? I will take care of this.’

Nodding, he tore himself from the site with difficulty and I realized I had just saved Bella’s life for the second time that day.

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