“Dad?” I asked when he was almost done.
“Um, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to Seattle for the day a week from Saturday… if that’s okay?” I didn’t want to ask permission – it set a bad precedent – but I felt rude, so I tacked it on at the end.
“Why?” He sounded surprised, as if he were unable to imagine something that
Forks couldn’t offer.
“Well, I wanted to get few books – the library here is pretty limited – and maybe look at some clothes.” I had more money than I was used to having, since, thanks to Charlie, I hadn’t had to pay for a car. Not that the truck didn’t cost me quite a bit in the gas department.
“That truck probably doesn’t get very good gas mileage,” he said, echoing my thoughts.
“I know, I’ll stop in Montesano and Olympia – and Tacoma if I have to.”
“Are you going all by yourself?” he asked, and I couldn’t tell if he was suspicious I had a secret boyfriend or just worried about car trouble.
“Seattle is a big city – you could get lost,” he fretted.
“Dad, Phoenix is five times the size of Seattle – and I can read a map, don’t worry about it.”
“Do you want me to come with you?” I tried to be crafty as I hid my horror.
“That’s all right, Dad, I’ll probably just be in dressing rooms all day – very boring.”
“Oh, okay.” The thought of sitting in women’s clothing stores for any period of time immediately put him off.
“Thanks.” I smiled at him.
“Will you be back in time for the dance?”
Grrr. Only in a town this small would a father know when the high school dances were.
I don’t dance, Dad.” He, of all people, should understand that – I didn’t get my balance problems from my mother.
He did understand. “Oh, that’s right,” he realized.
The next morning, when I pulled into the parking lot, I deliberately parked as far as possible from the silver Volvo. I didn’t want to put myself in the path of too much temptation and end up owing him a new car. Getting out of the cab, I fumbled with my key and it fell into a puddle at my feet. As I bent to get it, a white hand flashed out and grabbed it before I could. I jerked upright. Edward Cullen was right next to me, leaning casually against my truck.
“How do you do that?” I asked in amazed irritation.
“Do what?” He held my key out as he spoke. As I reached for it, he dropped it into my palm.
“Appear out of thin air.”
“Bella, it’s not my fault if you are exceptionally unobservant.” His voice was quiet as usual – velvet, muted.
I scowled at his perfect face. His eyes were light again today, a deep, golden honey color. Then I had to look down, to reassemble my now-tangled thoughts.