Bella’s POV: After I finished my breakfast, we wandered into his living room.

I remembered an obvious question I should have asked already. “Is Alice back yet? What was that about last night?” “Oh she called and said she and Jasper wanted to go on a little trip. She stressed the importance of the alone time involved.” He chuckled. “I did not ask for more details.” Huh. That does not seem right. She had seemed..panicked. Maybe I would call her myself. “She apologized for leaving you alone. I was not too happy about that,” he added. I nodded absentmindedly. “You okay?” he asked, noticing my distant look. “Yeah. I just hope she’s not gone too long; I’ll miss her.” “They probably won’t be gone too long.” My phone buzzed. I read the message and laughed. “What is it?” “A text from my mom. I really need to tell her that chatspeak is not cool, especially when you’re nearing 40.” Edward chuckled and I suddenly felt guilty. “I should go visit her. I haven’t seen her in almost a year, and the last time I saw her--” I stopped when my heart pained and I saw his guilty face. “Well, I should be seeing her more often, while I can.” “Can I come?” “To sunny Florida? You’d be stuck inside.” “That’s okay. I want to meet her. Well, officially. She was weary of me when we first met in Phoenix, and after what has happened..she probably thinks me a fiend.” “No, don’t say that. She knows how much I love you. And she didn’t dislike you in Phoenix; she just disliked the idea of me committing.” “I’d just like to give her a better impression, that’s all.” “I know.” I rubbed his arm. “I want to cram in as much time as I can with Angela before she leaves for State in two weeks, so maybe we can go at the start of September. Before my party.” “Okay.” He kissed my forehead. Edward, Angela and I decided to go to Port Angeles for a matinée movie. It was really nice to hang out with Angela again, and I couldn’t wait to be going to the same college as her. She and Ben were doing great and were thinking about living together when they got to Seattle, like Edward and I would be. Of course, her mom was encouraging the dorm option instead. I hadn’t told my parents that we would be living together, but I didn’t think they would fuss much. After all, we would technically be living together during our 2 month vacation before then. Actually, I had not told them that I was going to college at all yet, since I just decided last night. Maybe I’d tell Charlie tonight at dinner. _________________ Edward’s POV: Bella wanted to get home in time to make dinner for Charlie, so we went there right after the movie. I helped her cook but then went home after he arrived. She needed alone time with him and I had something to do as well. It was time to have

possibly the most awkward conversation I’ve ever had. At least the rest of the family was gone, aside from one member. I went upstairs and knocked lightly on the wooden door. “Carlisle?” __________________ Bella’s POV: I picked at my plate and decided now was a good time. “So dad, I decided to go to Washington State with Edward after we get back. I’m not sure if I’ll like it but we’re trying it out.” I smiled. “Oh that sounds good, Bells. Would you live in the dorms?” “No..we’d probably share a house or something.” ____________________ Edward’s POV: “So Carlisle, you know me and Bella really love each other and everything. I was just wondering if it was possible-- if we could-- without umm--” I froze. “Are you talking about sex? While she’s human?” “Yes. I think it might be okay if I don’t touch her.” ______________________ Bella’s POV: “Alright, I guessed as much. Just remember, sweetie: No glove, no love. Keep it under wraps. If you can’t shield your-“OKAY DAD! I got it. Thanks.” “Are you sure? I think we still have some bananas?” ______________________ Edward’s POV: Carlisle’s brow furrowed. “I don’t understand. I mean some contact is obviously necessary..?” “No, I mean my hands and arms. Not my--” ___________________ Bella’s POV: “No offense, sweetie, but I’m not sure you have it down. You have to pinch the top just so-- I’ll go get them. Lubricated or non?” _____________________ Edward’s POV: “This won’t be your first climax, will it?” ___________________ Bella + Edward’s POV: “DAD!!” ___________________ Edward’s POV:

“Sorry. I can’t tell you what to do here. Of course, waiting until she’s a vampire would be safer. But if you can manage the no touching..well you’ve already shown a great deal of restraint in your relationship. I trust you to keep her safe.” “Thanks, Carlisle.” __________________ Bella’s POV: “Fine,” he sighed. “I can take a hint. Just take care of yourself.” “So we’re done here?” “Yep.” I started to walk away. “Wait, Bella?” I cringed internally and turned around. “If he hurts you again..” I shook my head. “He won’t.” He nodded but did not look convinced. But I think my main purpose was to convince myself. “Night, dad. Love you.” I turned and walked to the stairs. “Always,” I whispered as I climbed them. I sat down on my bed and tried to shake my head of everything that just happened. I was still worried about Alice. She obviously did not want Edward and her family to know the truth so I decided to call her now, while I was alone. She picked up before the second ring. “Bella?” “Hey Alice. What’s wrong? Where are you?” “What do you mean? I’m just on a trip with Jasper.” “Alice, I know there’s something wrong. You were worried and rushed out without even packing. I don’t even know if you had your credit card with you. It must have been an emergency,” I said wryly, trying to lighten the mood. She laughed. “Oh Bella, I always have my credit card with me. I grabbed my purse on the way out.” “Please tell me, Alice. I won’t tell anyone.” “Sorry Bella, it’s not my information to tell. Everything is fine though and we’ll be back as soon as possible. I love you, bye.” She hung up before I could protest. Not my information to tell? Unfortunately (or fortunately for my sanity), Edward arrived via my window 10 minutes later, before I could analyze the conversation into the ground. _________________ Edward’s POV: My Bella looked troubled as I climbed on her bed, but I didn’t know why. I got the feeling that she wouldn’t tell me so I thought I should tell her what I had decided. That should cheer her up. “I have good news.” I sounded more hesitant than planned as I continued. “We can..” God Edward, spit it out. You’re not 12 years old. She looked at me expectantly. I smiled. “We can have sex, if you still want to.” Her heart picked up. “Oh my God really?” She pounced on me to give me a hug.

“But the only thing is..for safety reasons..I can’t hold onto you or touch you when I’m..unfocused.” And I plan on being unfocused a lot. “That’s okay, I don’t mind.” She beamed. “And if I hurt you even though I’m being careful, you have to tell me.” She agreed. “So..when?” she asked after a moment. “What?” I was lost in my own thoughts, trying to tell myself that this would work. “When can we?” She blushed slightly. “Oh. I’d like to pick the time and place, if you don’t mind.” “Sure, that’s fine. But I’d like some warning.” “How much warning?” I had forgotten about her hesitance toward surprises. “Umm..I don’t know. 10 hours or so?” “Sure, no problem.” “But Edward,” she stared into my eyes. “Soon,” she ordered. I pressed my forehead against hers. “Soon,” I agreed with a smile. ___________________ Bella’s POV: The rest of the night passed in a blur. I was so happy and sure that everything would go well. My pleasant dreams trailed off in the morning and I was welcomed back to consciousness. But I didn’t mind. I reached out for Edward but his arm seemed thinner than I remembered so I opened my eyes. I gasped and shot up. “What the hell, Alice?” I rubbed my eyes and stared at the pixie sharing my bed. “Alice!” I tackled her into a hug. “Is Jasper back too?” “Nope, just me. Now come on, get ready.” “Where are we going?” “You have to ask?” “But I don’t want to go shopping,” I whined. I pulled the covers back over me. “I thought you were happy to see me. Can’t I pick what we do?” she pouted. I sighed. “Fine. But where’s Edward?” “Home, probably. I told him we needed girl time.” I got dressed, ate food that Alice scowled at, and got in the Porsche that Edward promised her in Italy. She just wasn’t willing to wait for Christmas. She pulled out of the driveway and started driving at her usual illegal speed. “So why are you back so soon, and without Jasper?” I asked. “I’m here for a special occasion. I’m heading back afterwards.” “What special occasion?” She looked at me and smiled. “Consider me your 10 hour notice.”

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