Chapter 25

The moment I stepped out of the hospital, I knew I would never be able to think of my lie again. Although the hospital had kept him at a distance – or rather; Bella’s blood had, I knew that Edward would soon come to visit me, trying to quell his feelings of guilt. And I was right..

To my surprise, Mom and Dad let me go to my room almost instantly. No questions asked, no criticism about saving a girl, nothing. I wasn’t one to complain about this strange, but wonderful stray from their normal behavior, so I quickly made my way up the stairs. In case they would change their minds. I wanted nothing more than to go to bed, for somehow the day had left me exhausted beyond measure even though it was only five o’clock. Who knew saving the life of the girl you hate most in the world was so tiring?

I had been in the process of changing into my pajamas, when a knock on my window made me look up. Swiftly putting on a sweat pants, I moved to open the window.

‘I’m sorry for coming here, I know you’re tired.’

I pushed a hand through my hair. ‘It’s okay, I was expecting you.’

Edward didn’t laugh at my comment as I wanted him to. ‘I’m sorry for today.’

‘It’s not your fault.’ I made my way back to my bed, crawling under the covers.

‘I should have prevented you from getting hurt and have gone with you to the hospital. I..-’ he trailed off, looking down with a frown on his face. ‘You could have killed yourself in the process of saving her.’

‘Fitz, come here,’ I sighed, patting my bed. When he’d complied, I continued, putting a comforting hand on his cold one. ‘Don’t worry about what could have happened. I’m here, aren’t I? And tomorrow I’ll be hailed like a hero when I go to school.’ I joked, hoping to remove the frown from his face.

‘You’re an idiot.’

‘I try.’ I smiled, remembering a time when we’d both used that reply. Then I turned serious once more, and gave his hand a soft squeeze. ‘How are you?’

’I’m.. better. I’m not about to kill Bella for her blood anymore, so I suppose that’s a good sign,’ he smiled softly, though the undertone in his voice betrayed the guilt he was feeling for allowing the vampire to take over. ‘Is she alright?’

‘I guess so.. She came to my room when I was packing my things, so I think she was leaving as well.’ I hated myself as soon as the words had passed my lips. Why did I have to bring that up?

‘What did she say?’

‘Mainly thank you, I guess. And some other nonsense about how I knew and ehm.. she also asked about you.’

‘About me?’

I nodded, hesitatingly. ‘I told her you get sick of blood and apologized in your name for scaring her.’

Planting a soft kiss on my forehead, he gave me a crooked smile. ‘You’re the best.’

I sighed, pushing aside the feelings his act had stirred within me and nestled against him. Yawning, I dropped my head in his lap and draped my arms around his waist. This, I thought contently, was how I could spend eternity.

‘Good afternoon.’ I moaned. ‘Go away, I want to sleep.’ I wanted to roll over, but noticed that my body wouldn’t move. I was only then that I remembered where I was and – more importantly – what implications that had for my physical freedom.

‘I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dalia. But tell me, why are you so tired?’

I sighed, knowing that I wouldn’t get him to shut up unless I answered his questions. ‘I saved Bella Swan’s ass today.’

Mr. Hurst pulled up an eyebrow, looking down at the notepad in his hand. ‘Bella Swan, wasn’t that the girl who you think was trying to take Edward away?’

‘I know what you’re trying to say; I’m an idiot. And you’re right, I guess..’

He shook his head, smiling. ’That’s not what I’m trying to say. But I am wondering why you’re making things so difficult for yourself. Apparently life in Forks isn’t an easy escape to a better life anymore, so why not work on what’s really going on.
You can’t run from reality forever.′

Valentine’s day. The most wonderful day of the year. People sucking each other’s soul out wherever you go, stupid advertisements about stupid red roses, stupid cards and stupid heart-shaped things. I hated it. The only positive thing to it was that at least Edward was lonely and single with me – not that none of the girls had tried to change that, though. Edward had not talked to Bella ever since the accident. She’d been hailed as a survivor and had become the center of attention. In all the hubbub it was forgotten that I had been the one to save her in the first place, so my moment of fame stayed out. Not that I really minded. Anyway, the suspicious looks she was now throwing at the Cullens and me told us all we needed to know: she knew something was off. And so, Edward decided to keep his distance from her. Although this made me extremely happy, it was difficult to miss that he was sending her looks as well – sometimes of interest, sometimes of fascination and sometimes of something that I really didn’t want to think about, because I knew that if I would, I would break down. I kind of felt bad for him.

However, there was something almost blissful about not having to see your best friend and the love of your life tongue-tied with the most pathetic excuse of a teenage girl in the entire universe – which, I had learned ever since Bella Swan’s arrival, fortunately wasn’t me. This slightly eased the pain of knowing that he would never look at me the way he did at her.

‘You’re uncharacteristically silent,’ Edward noted with a smile. We were the only ones at the table, given that both Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice had opted to spend their Valentine’s Day more… privately. Guessing what they were doing right now, I couldn’t keep the image of hot, steaming, wild vampire sex out of my mind and I regretted ever even thinking about it. This would scar me for life.

‘Just Valentine’s Day,’ I sighed ‘I hate it.’

‘I’m with you on that. I don’t think I can stand another lust induced thought or sexual mental image.. Including the one you just provided me with.’

Despite myself I laughed at that, realizing just how horrible Valentine’s Day had to be for a mind reader. ‘Perhaps you could lock yourself up in an abandoned cabin somewhere in the woods next year? Although, that would mean I’d have to get through this day by myself and I don’t think I could stand that, either.’

He looked as if he was about to say something, then he offered me a smile. ‘We’ll survive.’

‘That’s easy for you to say. The only reason you’re still alone is because you reject every single girl that asks you to be her Valentine.’

‘I believe I recall someone asking you, as well, Miss nobody-likes-me.’

I rolled my eyes, not even wanting to think about the conversation. Unfortunately for me, my mind automatically played out the scene in my mind and I was forced to see it anyway.

‘Hey Dalia.’

I turned from my locker, only to come face to face with Derek who looked.. different. He’d had his hair ruffled in what I assumed should have looked like an sexy just-out-of-bed look, stylish clothes on and was that… was he blushing? ‘Oh hi.’ I wanted to turn back to my locker to get my history book.

‘Do you want to be my Valentine?’ He all but blurted out and I found myself frozen on the spot. He looked so desperate, with a small box of chocolates now presented to me and a hopeful look on his face.

‘I’m not..’ I sighed, why couldn’t the kid just accept that I didn’t like him and save me from having to be the bitch crushing his dreams every time. ‘I don’t do the whole Valentine’s thing. I think it’s stupid and pointless.’

He nodded, but somehow the look on his face didn’t waver. Still too hopeful.

‘And even if I did, the answer would still be no. I think you’re nice and I like you as a friend.’ I paused, even that was a lie. ‘But nothing more.’

‘I’m still convinced that he tried to look like you,’ I said, rolling my eyes at the stupidity of it. I mean, it had been more than obvious: the hair, the clothes, even the way he’d said hey.

‘I don’t see how that would have gotten you any closer to say yes.’

If only you knew.. I sighed, pushing that thought away. ’Please, in this break alone there have been.. what is it, seven girls venturing over here to ask you to be there Valentine. If that’s not enough reason for a guy to want to be you, I don’t know what is.’

He didn’t respond, so I guess that meant I’d won the argument. Then again, I knew that even he couldn’t deny the dazzling effect he had on girls, women and just people in general. He’d argue that it was a vampire thing, I knew that he would have made my head spin just as much had he been human.

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