He looks at her curiously. His eyes, usually alight with love, have a hint of humor and curiosity. She skips along the bubbling stream, her rich brown hair flying after her. She stops every so often to pick up a colorful leaf, examine it, and puts it with a bunch of leaves she has gathered in the fold of her skirt. Humming merrily, she finally reaches her destination, but to his discontent, after she dumps the leaves in the pile before her, she skips away only to restart the journey to gather more leaves.
He cocks his head to watch her in all her glory. Her eyes, bright with childish glee, her cheeks, flushed with the cold wind, and her soft full lips, bright red after eating strawberries, complete the picture of perfection in front of him.
“Bella, love, what are you doing?” he asks after some frustrating minutes pass by.
She stops her merry frolic to glance at the young man before her. His tousled bronze hair looks more messy than usual from the wind. His eyes smolder as they gaze at her, and she feels the heat rise in her cheeks. After a while, she sees his true confusion apparent on his face and knows he’s not teasing her. He genuinely doesn’t know.
Biting her lip to contain her laughter, she replies, “I’m making a leaf pile, Edward!”
An incredulous look passes over his features. “A leaf pile?”
Unable to hold in the laughter threatening to spill, she finally releases the peals of laughter. He childishly pouts. She gasps at the sight before her, and unable to step away from his irresistible lips, she walks forward and kisses his pout. A smile tugs at his lips as he looks at her in triumph.
His lips move from her lips, over her cheeks, and move over her ear where he blows softly causing her to tremble.
“What’s a leaf pile, Bella?” he whispers softly into her ear. She slumps against his chest.
“Breathe, Bella.” She takes in a small shaky breath as he softly laughs.
“It’s this small thing I used to do before I moved to Phoenix. I just pile a bunch of leaves together and then jump in it.” A devious smirk replaces his smile.
“I know that look too well! Edward Cullen, if you find a way to mess up my leaf pile, you’re going to be very sorry!”
With a huff, she walks away toward the ever growing pile of leaves. He watches as she suddenly trips over a small rock, and he dashes over to catch her. She gasps as he flips her around in his grasp. All the leaves in her skirt float to the ground, yet neither one notices, too lost in their small world.
She looks far too alluring with her chocolate eyes sparkling in wonder. A wisp of hair falls in front of his eyes, and she raises her hand to gently move it away. She traces his cheekbones and the shell of his ear. He takes in a broken breath as she finally rests her hand at the nape of his neck. He brushes his lips over her deeply flushed cheeks and over her delicate nose and kisses the corner of her lips. Heat bubbles in her lips as she takes matters into her hands.
She finally moves her lips to brush against his, teasingly. He moans softly as she escapes from his hold to pick up the fallen leaves. She blushes as she realizes that every vampire in the house behind her can hear her fast heartbeat.
A few stories above her, Rosalie watches the couple. She watches her brother chase the human girl around the backyard and catch her, giving her a soft chaste kiss. She sighes and sits down on her white bed, watching the pretty picture in front of her.
How could this happen? Why did Edward get so involved with this…this living thing! He wasn’t going to turn her anytime soon, so what was the point of him having her around? Was he trying to be masochistic?!
Large hands appeared at her shoulders, massaging and melting her anger away. She feels a presence behind her, and a peaceful feeling set over the two.
“Emmett, why…” she begins.
“Shh,” he interrupts. “Just watch.”
The two watch as Edward helps Bella pick up the colorful leaves and places them in a pile. He speculates at the size of the pile before gently picking Bella up.
“Edward!” she cries. “Put me down!”
He chuckls before softly dropping her into the pile of leaves. She looks up at him with a pout. Edward takes one look at her before he roars with laughter. Soon after, Bella joins in with her giggles. Edward, preoccupied, with laughing, is taken by surprise when a ball of colorful leaves hit him full on the face. He scowls as Bella falls over in the pile laughing.
“You want to fight that way, huh?” he smiles. Bella’s eyes widen at the sight of him crouched.
“Don’t you dare. Edward…”
He pounces on her lightly and starts to tickle her. She laughs heartily, and Edward joins in, too captivated by the beauty of her joy. He stops tickling to let her take a breath. Both of their breathing speeds up as the passion between them rides high. He cups Bella’s cheek in one hand and twists the other in her hair. She raises her head to meet his lips with her own. Her hands curl in his hair to keep them together.
“She makes him feel human again,” Emmett’s voice cuts into Rosalie’s mind as she turns away from the two lovers.
“She makes him feel like a young man and a teenager. She brings him to life. He feels emotions that haven’t resurfaced in a long time. He probably hasn’t laughed like that since he was changed. She completes him, Rose.”
“Why not just change her then? If she is so good for him, then he can quit playing with his food and just change her,” Rosalie snarls.
“Rose, have you not heard Bella make similar statements? He fears for her soul. He has the least faith of us all in believing that we have a soul. He wants her to live.”
“Well she is making the wrong choice by being with him. It doesn’t matter what choice she makes, for either way she loses. She has a chance at living, and she should take it.”
“If you were a human, and I was a vampire, would you give up humanity for me?” He looks at her with such adoration that she couldn’t possibly meet his eyes to respond to that.
“It’s not the same.” He booms a laugh.
“Rosalie, it is! I hope today proved to you how much Bella and Edward truly love each other.”
After a moment he says, “Give it some time, Rose. I know one day you’ll see my point of view.” The two turn back to watch Edward and Bella play in the leaves.