chapter twenty-sixMature

Chapter Twenty-Six
Word Count: 1,362


I was breathless and elated by the time we came crashing through the front door of the house, racing each other to the bathroom for the shower. The idea of dragging him in there with me did pass my mind a few times, but I'd decided that a three-hour romp beneath the waves of the ocean was enough water play for one day. I slammed the bathroom door behind me with a loud burst of laughter.

"Told you I'd get here first," I mocked. His laughter on the other side of the door told me he'd let me get here first, which was fine by me. I hadn't said I would beat him here by my own abilities, in fact I'd been counting on him being a gentleman. It was in his nature. I smirked to myself as I peeled of my wet undergarments and dragged a hairbrush through the tangled, briny mess that was my hair. Once it was knot-free, I turned on the hot water for the shower and watched as the steam filled the bathroom before climbing in. The hot water felt amazing in contrast to the temperature of the ocean which hadn't really affected my skin at all. The heat did wonders. As I took my time washing my mind wandered to what James and I had spent so much time doing beneath the disturbed glassy surface of the ocean.

And it was dirty.

And it was thrilling.

And it left me aching all over again.

I giggled to myself as I scrubbed a loofah over my skin. I just lost my virginity. The idea sent a cold shiver down my spine. To James. I giggled some more.

It was times like this that I really missed having girlfriends. Shouldn't I be calling someone and gushing? I pouted lightly but shrugged it off as I looked in the mirror, wetting my toothbrush and squirting out some toothpaste and proceeding to stick the toothbrush into my mouth. I studied my eyes, noting the burnt hazel color that had become more noticeable around my pupils. I loved it, if I were being honest. I turned to my right and studied my towel-clad body in the full-length mirror. My arms had become more firm, my legs having developed small, hard calf muscles. My collarbones were more defined, my throat was thinner which made it look a bit longer. My face had thinned out as well.

I was just thinning all over the place. I dropped the towel and refrained from gasping. My body looked so incredibly different. I'd always been on the slim side but this was ridiculous. There wasn't an ounce of fat on my body. My thighs were slimmer, lean and rock hard. My abdomen was fucking gorgeous, small little ab muscles forming in a delicate four-pack, leading up to my ribcage that was defined but not in an unhealthy way. My breasts were perky and eventhey seemed to be made of muscle and not fat, though that wasn't possible. I turned around so I had to peer over my shoulder to see my backside. My butt was small and perky, fitting my waist just right. My shoulderblades were defined and shapely, every little muscle in my back rippling whenever I moved.

This was unbelievable. No wonder Rosalie and Alice were so gorgeous, they didn't have to worry about muffin tops or rolls or if their thighs were too wide. I made the decision to re-try-on all the clothes I'd purchased a few weeks ago. I didn't want them to not fit properly anymore, so I'd have to take them back if they were baggy.

And it took one planned shopping trip for me to think, 'If Alice knew about this, she'd be bouncing around the room, begging me to go now.' If Alice knew.

Alice always knew. One decision and Alice would always know. I dropped down and scooped up my towel, wrapping it around me and rushing to the bathroom door. Yanking it open, I bolted into the bedroom in a panic.

"James! Alice knows!"

He looked up at me from his book, setting it aside on the bed and leaning forward, uncrossing his ankles and pulling his legs toward him.

"Why do you say that, baby?"

"Because, James, she's a precog!"

"Can she scan the future or is she subjected to only random visions?"

"She can scan as far as I know. But of course she gets the random visions, whenever someone makes a decision." I watched as James's eyes closed for a moment, clearly he was thinking. I waited. He always did this.

"She won't be able to see you at all, Bella."

"What? Why?"

"Because of your power negation."

"But I can't control that yet, how can I be controlling it enough that she won't be able to tell? And what about before I was changed, James? She could see me then! Oh my God, James, they all know! I don't want them to come here!"

The panic was swelling in my chest and even though I didn't need oxygen, my lungs were burning without it as the panic kept me from breathing. James was at my side, rubbing my bare back and humming against my temple.

This wasn't my first panic attack around him.

He lifted me off my feet, removing the toothbrush from my hand and wiping my mouth with his sleeve. He set the toothbrush on the dresser and carried me to the bed, where he seated me in his lap. Running his hand through my damp hair, he continued to hum against my temple, his free hand rubbing small circles on my thigh with his thumb. Eventually, the panic attack passed and I was just sitting in his lap quietly.

"I'm sorry, I hate doing that."

"Shh. Don't be ridiculous. It's understandable." There was no arguing with him. So I didn't bother.

"So how am I negating her powers when I don't even know where she is?"

"It's not that your powers are reaching out to her, it's more like her powers would have to be reaching out to you - and your ability to cancel out powers would stop hers from ever getting close enough to predict anything about you."

"But what about when I was human?" My question caused him to pause and for a moment, he had a sheepish look on his face. "What, James? What is it?"

"Well, I didn't want you to panic over the plan before we could put anything into action and I could tell you were going to so I... I kind of supressed a few things in your mind." His voice was low, quiet in the way that only shame can make it.

"You used mind control?"

"Not necessarily. I simply kept you from thinking about things, like I'd flipped a light switch. And since I'd made it so you weren't even thinking about your decision there's no way Alice could have had any visions pertaining to it."

"What about you? She can see you and you made a decision." Now his expression changed completely to shame.

"I wasn't one hundred percent sure I'd go through with it."

"Oh." I frowned heavily. So he hadn't been sure he wanted me to be a vampire with him. I suppose I couldn't fault him for that, I mean, we'd barely known each other. But I'd needed his help. He lifted my chin up until our eyes met.

"Bella, stop. It had nothing to do with anything you're thinking. I was afraid for you. I didn't want to get my hopes up in case you somehow changed your mind."

I scoffed at him, playing it off, "how do you know what I was thinking?" His smirk was cocky. Jerk.

"I know your expressions, Bella. I don't need to read your mind."

I took in a long, steady breath.

"So she can't see me at all? She doesn't know?"

"The odds are quite against it."

"So won't she panic, thinking I'm dead?"

"Baby, you're forgetting the wolf. She can't see with the wolf around, she probably just figures you're hanging out with him."


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