The first thing Bella noticed was his eyes, they were extraordinarily captivating, and she couldn't bring herself to look away. She couldn't quite place the color in the dim light, but she could she that they shimmered with a burning fire fed from his soul. She sucked in a breath and, forcing her gaze away form his eyes, she noticed other features. He had shoulder length dark hair. It fell in layers and softly flipped up right at his jaw. He was beautiful. More beautiful than any man should be allowed to be, and he was all male.
He looked to be in his mid twenties and was tall, nearly six foot five, and well built. He was not overly muscled as many gym freaks tended to be, but she could see, as her eyes strayed further down his body, definition in his arms and chest through the light shirt he was wearing. With each breath he took, Bella could see the defined outline of his chest straining against the thin material, and fought the urge to lift her hand to stroke it. Instead, she just bit her bottom lip.
She was standing a few feet away from him and she still felt the urge to move closer him. His very presence made her body tingle and a blush flood through her. She felt heat in places never before explored and, then, instantly felt shame for her body's lustful reaction. This was no boy, a man that she didn't know, and she was crushing on him. He stood there with an air of confidence that made Bella wonder if he knew what she was thinking. His eyes bored through knowingly her, and she realized that she was holding her breath.
She forced herself to take a deep breath and could smell his scent. He smelled of sunshine, soap and a musky fragrance she didn't recognize which must have been his own personal aroma.
Suddenly, her common sense kicked in, and she realized that she was out in her back yard, in the dark, with a strange man.
"Hello Isabella." His voice was steady and calm and she realized that it was the very same voice that she had heard calling to her earlier. The nearness made it sound deeper and husky.
She just stared, too shocked and confused to reply, but nodded in acknowledgment of the greeting. He'd called her Isabella. She had always hated her full name but couldn't find her voice to tell him. Looking at him closer, she realized that he looked familiar. She'd seen him before, she was sure, but could not place where. He was like an old dream from years ago that had come back to haunt her.
Bella's mind spun. He looked too old to be at school, and she had not been anywhere socially for two years. But, he was too young to be an associate of her mother. This was annoying her, she had definitely seen him before, but where?
He just looked at her, waiting for her to make the next move, but Bella held her ground and made a conscious effort to take deep breaths to control herself and avoid doing anything stupid. This seemed to help her clear her head and she found it easier to fight the unconscious pull toward him. She was now contemplating running inside, because that is what her good judgment was telling her she should do.
But neither of them moved.
He reached out slowly and gently rubbed his thumb over her jaw, wiping away the moisture that had accumulated there. Her skin burned where his finger were and flames leapt through her core and sent shivers of pleasure down her spine. Bella had forgotten about the rain. She regained her senses, his touch seemed to have completely severed the last tie she had to maintaining immobility. She took a small step back and gasped. Her heart was about to leap out of her throat and her skin felt clammy. She wasn't sure if she was covered by the rain or by a layer of sweat, but the moisture made her shiver.
What was she doing?
"Who are you? What are you doing?" Bella managed to garble out. She heard the tremble in her voice and cringed, she hated betraying any emotion.
"I came to see you." he spoke with confidence, like it should have been completely obvious.
"But who are you?" Bella repeated her first question and looked at him, hoping that she displayed more confidence than she felt. Looking back up at him was a mistake. She felt the emotion, the shuttering of heat that tingled through her body to her fingertips, surge through her again. She had listened to the other girls at school when they had gotten crushes, read romance books, watched movies, but had always rolled her eyes and snickered at what she saw as silliness. That sort of thing belonged in fairy tales and dreams for little girls. Things like that never happened in real life.
But here she was, standing in front of a complete stranger, wondering if the butterflies in her stomach would stop fluttering and if her pulse would ever slow to a normal speed. Her mind was screaming at her frantically over and over again that she shouldn't be out here, but her heart was telling her that her that they were meant to meet, that they were meant to be together. To justify the emotions she was feeling, she tried to convince herself that she was just frightened of what he might do to her and then, instantly, chided herself for feeling fear. This was her yard, and he was on her property, with her mother and sister just inside the house. He was in her place and she should have the upper hand and the decision on whether he was welcome.
In theory, she thought.
"My name is Edward," he stated. He had an accent that Bella couldn't place. It almost like he had picked up one from everywhere and then combined them into his own special version of lilting speech.
"Edward." She stated, her tone carrying across her irritation, which seemed to amuse him.
"Yes, Edward," he confirmed, humor glinting in his eyes.
Bella didn't have to feign her anger now, she was really furious that he had the audacity to come here, call her down from the house, and then give her some haughty attitude.
"You asked who I was…and I told you," he replied cheekily. Bella thought she saw a hint of humor glinting in his eyes and, when he moved the light from the house caught his eyes, she saw that they were the color of raw honey.
"Well then, Edward, what are you doing here? Were you calling to me earlier?" Bella knew the answer to this question, but felt she needed it vocalized to make a point.
Instead of answering her questions, Edward just stated, "You can see me. I need you to come with me."
Bella registered that this was an odd thing to say, of course she could see him, she was standing right in front of him. He was not asking her, he was telling her. He had a very strange pattern to the way he spoke. It was strained and uncomfortable.
But Bella did not like being told what to do. She never had. She had always been the kid that stood up to bullies and rebelled against the many silly teen clicks that always developed in school. This mentality came flooding back to her as soon as she heard the order in his voice, giving her a new surge of strength and confidence.
"What?" Bella said, harshly and a little too loudly, and quickly looked back toward the house, wondering if anyone had heard.
"This is crazy." she objected, not giving him a chance to respond. "You better go before I call the police." She had decided that things were getting more than a little weird, and that she had tempted fate a too much for one night.
Her mind wandered back to some of her earlier worries about who this man could be and now was a little concerned; he wanted her to go with him, and Bella knew that spelled trouble.
Bella turned to leave. It wasn't safe to stand here and talk to him; it had been a stupid move to come out here in the first place and she needed to just go inside and report a trespasser. She would let the good officers of Forks take care of him. She even thought that maybe he was mentally disturbed. Well, the authorities will make sure he gets help.
She turned to go, but didn't even move a single step; he moved in front of her, blocking her path. She gasped and wondered how she was going to get past him.
"Isabella, you cannot go back in there." Edward stated harshly with a more urgency this time. "I need to you come with me." His posture told her that he was ready to stop anything that she tried to do and she was frightened of what he was planning. This was serious.
"Hell no!" she exclaimed, making to back away from him. "I'm not going anywhere with you. You need to move. Now. I'm serious." Bella really was worried. She thought about screaming, and wondered if Jessica would be able to hear her if she did and have the presence of mind to call for help. She knew it was futile to hope for help from her mom. Bella knew that she wouldn't budge. A train wreck in couldn't wake her.
She tried to step around him, deciding that she would make a run for it, but he seemed to anticipate her movements and stepped to block her. Furious, she tried with a little more vigor, but again she found herself blocked. Fear taking over, she made to spin around and just run for it, but she wasn't fast enough.
His hand shot out, grabbed her wrist, and jerked her back to his side. For an instant, her skin once again came alive under his grip, and she silently cursed her body for reacting, she was trying to get away from him.
Bella pulled and twisted in an attempt to loosen his grip.
"You asshole!" she hissed. "Let me go!"
She continued to try to pull and jerk away from him, but was only successful in twinging her shoulder; although his unrelenting grip was solid and tight, he didn't hurting her, she only hurt herself. In desperation, she aimed a kick at his shins, but he dodged it, and she lost her footing, tripped, almost landing on her butt. Almost. Edward's grip changed instantly, and he caught her before she hit the ground. A small squeak escaped from her throat; nothing like the blood curdling scream that she had been planning on. It was merely embarrassing pathetic whimper.
"You are going to make this much worse than it has to be." Edward spoke to her as if addressing a child in the middle of a tantrum. "Look, you need to come with me. You can make it easy or hard, it's up to you."
Bella's heart pounded in her chest. He was going to kidnap her, and then what? Rape her? Maybe even murder her? All sorts of wild possibilities rushed through her head. She made one last ditch attempt to break free. She fought him as hard as she could, twisting this way and that, pulling with all her might, kicking out at him, desperately trying anything that might free her. Suddenly, her shoe made contact with his leg and she heard take a sharp intake of breath.
"Damn it!" he cursed, gritting his teeth. "Be good, will you?".
"Fuck you!" Bella hissed. She raised her free arm and used his momentary distraction to land a solid slap across his face. She wasn't going to make this easy for him. She sucked in all the air she could draw into her chest and prepared to make a sound that would alert not only those in her house, but the entire area, or her attack.
She didn't get a chance to scream, he wrapped his arms around her chest and held her firmly against him. His vise like grip all but took her breath away. Bella, with a last surge of adrenaline, pulled, jerked, kicked until her body was numb from the effort. He just stood there holding her. He only moved to dodge her attacks, but his grasp on her never loosened. Bella was getting more and more out of breath and, with her energy instantly draining, her limbs began to feel as heavy as lead. Eventually she stopped and was quiet.
She thought of her mom and sister in the house and hoped that when he was done with her, if she didn't get away, that he would leave them alone.
"There," Edward breathed, once she had ceased attacking him, pulling her closer to him with a gentle, yet uncompromising grip. He bent down and kissed her on the top of her head.
Bella couldn't form coherent words. He was too near to her and she had exhausted all over energy unsuccessful fighting him. Her reply sound more like a trapped animal's growl.
"Okay," Edward said softly. "I think that we have had enough."
He reached his hands up to her forehead, and gently caressing her, moved his fingers softly over her eyes and then to her lips, stopping at the trace of her jaw line.
"Sleep Isabelle." he whispered lightly into her ear.
She felt herself grow drowsy ,and Bella knew, she had collapsed into his arms.