Bella snapped out of her trance when she heard Esme’s voice. Opening her eyes, she saw that Edward had moved back, leaving her to feel that the almost kiss could have been a huge mistake. She was not worldly when it came to men. When she fell ill, she didn’t have the energy or the desire to date anyone. The unknown of when or if she would receive a heart transplant drove her to not want to put anyone else through the pain that she of her impending death. The pained looks of her parents as they watched her slowly deteriorate as her damaged heart continued to fail was enough of a deterrent. When she was fortunate enough and received her new chance on life, she had poured herself in living each day to the fullest and putting smiles back on her parents’ faces. She was busy with the studio and had not found anyone who interested her wants enough to pursue a relationship, well up until tonight. However, when she looked up at those crystal green eyes of Edward Cullen, her thoughts had veered in that direction. Esme’s interruption may have been a blessing though. She can see that was all a mistake. It was obvious he was still mourning his wife and had directed all of his energies into raising his daughter. Ducking underneath Edward’s arm, she quickly moved to the hallway.
“Esme, I just realized I have an early class tomorrow, so I am going to find my way back to the house,” Bella said as she kept walking.
“Bella,” Edward murmured.
“Oh, sorry, thank you, Edward, for the tour,” Bella blurted, hoping she would get out of the house before she broke out in tears. Rushing down the stairs and out the back door, Bella ran down the path towards Esme’s house, tears rolling down her face. Why had she even thought that someone like Edward Cullen would want to be with someone like her? As she neared the house she remembered that she had left her purse in her car, which she was thankful for. Climbing in her car, she laid her head on the steering wheel and bawled. How had she been so stupid to think that a man like Edward Cullen would find interest in her? Yes, she had a new lease on life, but she was damaged. Wiping her eyes, she started the car and headed home.
Driving down the dark lonely streets, Bella’s mind kept thinking about the almost kiss. She could still feel his hot breath on her lips, the warmth seeped to her very soul. Shaking her head, she had to stop thinking about something that would never happen. When she finally snapped out of it, she was in front of the studio. Pulling into her parking space, she got out and went inside. The one thing that could lift her broken heart was a twirl around the floor.
Changing into a white leotard, a sheer long flowy skirt, she looked at her pointe shoes and decided to go barefoot. Turning on the lights in the studio, but dimming them to the lowest setting, she then turned on her favorite song. The soulful voice of Norah Jones echoed through the speakers as she sang Come Away With Me. Bella allowed her heart to release the pain with each step, jump, and spin. Dance would never break her heart, the music would always sing to her soul, and it would always be her friend.
Edward stood for several moments wondering what had just happened. Had he said or done something wrong? Walking past his mother to Elizabeth’s room. “What is it LadyBug?”
“I just wanted to tell you that I really like Miss Bella and I hope you do too.”
“I know you do and so do I,” Edward said kissing her forehead. “Now remember what Miss Bella told you, you must get lots of sleep.”
“Love you, Daddy,” Elizabeth proclaimed.
“I love you, too,” Edward murmured kissing her once again on the forehead. Walking out of the room, he found his mother leaning against the wall.
She quirks her eyebrow at him. “Do you want to tell me what is going on between you and Bella?”
Edward ran his hand through his hair. “Mom, I don’t know. There is this strange pull towards her, damn it, I can’t explain it.”
“She has been through a lot and has led a pretty sheltered life,” Esme explained.
Edward thought for a moment and felt that perhaps he should go after her. It was obvious that she was upset after his mom’s interruption. Had he scared her, or maybe made her feel uncomfortable. “Mom, can you stay with Elizabeth?”
“Of course. Take your time and I would go to the dance studio first. When she is upset or needs to work out something in her mind, she dances.”
Edward kissed his mom on the cheek and rushed down the steps. Getting into his car, he began driving towards the studio. Thankfully there were no cops around and the traffic lights were on his side. A few minutes later he pulled up to the studio and was happy to see a faint light on in the one studio. Not knowing if the door was unlocked, he checked by pulling on the handle and it opened. Happy that it was open for him, it upset him that she had made herself vulnerable. Walking towards the music he stepped into the room and stopped. She was dancing, no she was floating in sync with the sensual notes of the song. Like a siren, she pulled his heart towards her. What was it about her that made him feel this way? Without even thinking, he stepped towards her. Bella was just finishing a series of pirouettes when she noticed someone in the room walking towards her. Noticing Edward had reached out his hand towards her, she placed her delicate hand into his, he lifted it up and twirled her to him. When her body became flush against his, he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her even closer. They were not two people but one. Dropping his head so the side laid against hers, he sighed.
They were dancing around the room in perfect rhythm as if they had been dancing together forever. When the music stopped, the only sound in the room was the sound of their breathing.
“What are you doing to me?” He whispered into her ear.
“I could say the same thing about you.”
Edward pulled back and looked into her eyes. They were the color of a melted chocolate. They were so impassioned, yet there was something else that he couldn’t quite describe. There was a familiarity there of something or someone. “Why did you run?”
Bella turned away, not wanting to see his rejection. “You were embarrassed by what happened with me. When your mother called, I could see that you were confused and bothered by what almost happened.”
Edward was shocked by her declaration. How could she think that? Taking his hand he cupped her face and raised it up to him. “Oh, my sweet Bella, I could never be ashamed or embarrassed by you or whatever this is. I haven’t felt this way for a very long time and I want, God no, I need to find out what is happening here. Why I feel so connected to you, when I hadn’t met you before tonight.”
Bella shook her head in denial. “Edward, you are so out of my league. For years I hoped and prayed just to live another day so that I could dance. I have never considered a relationship of any kind. My dancing was all I ever needed. Then you walk in and I feel as if I would throw that all away just to have a chance with you. I don’t understand the connection either, but I can’t deny the attraction I feel for you.”
“God, Bella it is the other way around. I am a broken man, so unworthy of your attention. But you’re right, there is a connection, attraction, whatever you want to call it, and I am at a loss as to why that is. I haven’t had any feelings of this sort since the death of my wife, but I’m willing to figure this out, if that is something you want to do as well?” He begged.
Bella really wanted to say yes, but she was so afraid. This was foreign to her. Relationships were difficult under the best of circumstances, but she would always have to worry about her health. She was afraid that he would tire of her, and the constant vigilance it would take to maintain her health for the rest of his life. There was no doubt in her mind that there was someone else out there better suited to be his partner. “I am afraid to try,” she replied as a tear fell from her eye.
Edward wiped the tear away. “So am I, but if we don’t we will never know what this attraction is between us. Don’t you want to figure this out?”
Could she take this chance, possibly allowing this man to break her heart? But then again, wouldn’t it break her heart to never know what could be, what this was between them? Looking into his eyes, she could just catch a glimpse of a beautiful future, happy in his arms and mothering Elizabeth. “Yes, I will take a chance. We could see what this is between us, together.”
Edward’s face broke out in the biggest smile and he picked her up, her feet dangling, he began dancing around the room.
“There is no music playing,” she laughed.
“We don’t need music when we are this happy,” Edward said continuing the dance. Finally stopping and slowly placing her back on her feet. Cupping her face within hands. “May I kiss you?”
Bella tilted her face to his, settling it even deeper into his touch, basking in the warmth, then sighed. “Yes, please.”
Edward lowered his mouth and gently touched her soft lips. A burst of energy surged between. He needed more. Angling his mouth he deepens the kiss, rubbing the tip of his tongue across her lips, begging, no demanding entrance. When she opened them, his tongue swiped inside her mouth, erotically dancing with her luscious tongue. When he heard her let out a throaty moan, he knew she was enjoying it as much as he was. They continued the kiss until their lungs demanded air. However, Edward did want to break the connection, so he placed kisses along her jawline to the ear. “Bella,” he moaned into her ear.
Bella was holding on to his biceps for dear life. The kiss had made her weak in the knees and she wanted nothing more than to have his lips on her again.
Edward finally pulled back after he had gained some control. “I want to do this right. We really need to get to know each other. Will you go out with me tomorrow evening?”
“I would love too,” she said with a smile.
Edward brushed his lips once more over hers. “Great. Now let me walk you to your car.”
“Wait, I need to change,” she said.
“Go quickly, I’ll be right here,” Edward growled. He almost lost control of the kiss; he felt so comfortable and relaxed. The thought of her naked in the other room, while she changed her clothes, was really taxing his control. He was still confused about the intensity and swiftness of their attraction.
Bella giggled and took off for her private dressing room. As she slipped off her skirt and leotard and stood before the mirror in nothing but a bra and panties, she thought of Edward and his eagerness with the kiss. It felt wonderful, comfortable, and even a little familiar. She was sure he might lose control. She wasn’t so sure she would mind that at all.
Running her fingers over her scar, she wondered what Edward would think about it, if or when he would see it.
“Hurry up or I am coming in there,” Edward yelled.
She giggled once again and quickly got dressed. Collecting her purse she went back out to the studio to find Edward leaning against the doorway. He looked so fucking sexy. “Alright, here I am.”
He pushed off the door frame and walked over to her. “Next time you come in to dance studio alone, please lock the door. I don’t think I could handle something happening to you.”
“Normally I do, but I was upset and unfocused. But I do promise to remember to do so,” she assured.
“Thank you, now let’s get you to car, because I have a date to plan for,” Edward advised with crooked grin.