“Are you all right?” Edward still didn’t look at her, but the fury was plain on his face.
“Yes,” Bella croaked softly.
“Distract me, please,” he ordered.
“I’m sorry, what?”
He exhaled sharply.
“Just prattle about something unimportant until I calm down,” he clarified, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
“Um.” Bella hesitated for a moment to think. “I’m going to run over Tyler Crowley tomorrow before school?”
He was still squeezing his eyes closed, but the corner of his mouth twitched.
“He’s telling everyone he’s taking me to prom - either he’s insane or he’s trying to make up for almost killing me last… well, you remember it, and he thinks prom is somehow the correct way to do this. So I figure if I endanger his life-”
Suddenly Edward shot to attention, “You’re bleeding!” he roared, causing Bella’s to leap in surprise and give a startled shriek, “They cut you!”
“Jesus Christ Edward, what the hell?!” Bella exclaimed, trying to calm herself down, “You almost made me pee my pants!”
“But they cut you!” he protested, frantically trying to look her over, “Are you okay?! We should really get you to a-”
“They didn’t cut me!”
Edward paused. “Yes they did,” he replied after a moment.
“And how the hell would you know?” Bella demanded, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I- well, see- that is to say-” he frantically searched for an excuse, any excuse. Bella was obviously bleeding, he had smelled it the moment the blood left her body. As it was he was barely resisting it, focusing with all his might on Carlisle’s teaching. He was only breathing when required to speak, but still rhythmically moving the muscles in his shoulders and chest to give the appearance of breath. He thought harder, but the smell made it hard to focus. “I, um, guess I saw a shadow on your face…or something,” he muttered, he was usually a much better liar then that; but of course, his brain wasn’t usually soaked in the forbidden ambrosia of the gods themselves either.
They sat in silence again, Edward rolled down a window and leaned slightly towards it. The burning in his throat was killing him, but he denied it.
He was not a monster.
Bella glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was past six-thirty.
“Jessica and Angela will be worried” she murmured, “I was supposed to meet them.”
Wordlessly, they drove to La Bella Italia, where Jess and Angela were just leaving. “One minute,” Bella said, and ran to meet her friends as Edward parked the car. They were whispering, but he could her their conversation as if they’d been speaking to him.
“Bella!” Jessica cried, then glanced in Edward’s direction, “Where have you been?” she hissed suspiciously.
“Oh, I almost got raped, but then Edward saved me.” Bella replied, “That’s not really important, do you have any tampons?”
“Raped?!” They both exclaimed.
“Not important!” Bella hissed frantically, “Tampons! Now!”
Realization hit Edward, Of course she lied, he thought, chuckling with relief, She isn’t bleeding, she’s menstruating!
“Don’t you have any?” Angela was whispering, trying unsuccessfully to be subtle while handing Bella a handful of Tampax Pearls.
“Why a whole handfull?!” exclaimed Bella as she grabbed them and proceeded to drop them all over the parking lot. The three girls dove to the ground to start picking them up. “Angela!” Bella hissed, “Edward’s right over there! He can probably see this!!!”
In truth, Edward was had been sitting in his car, trying to give the girls time to sort themselves out. He rolled his eyes at Bella’s comment, of course he could see them, but he didn’t care. Not only was he eternally aware of exactly when any female around him had their period, he also got up-to-the-second olfactory reports on the heaviness of their flow.
“Why don’t you have tampons then!?” protested Angela as they finished picking them up.
“I forgot okay? And I just got it! In Edward’s CAR!!!”
“Oh my gosh!!” they both screamed.
“Did you leak?”
“Does he know?!”
“Did you stain your pants?!”
“OH MY GOD!! DID YOU STAIN HIS CAR?!?!?!!”
Edward had been about to get out and break up this nonsense when he heard those words and froze. His eyes immediately went to the seat Bella had been sitting in, and instinctively, his nostrils flared.
“I don’t know, I don’t know!” Bella cried in dismay.
“Spot check!” Jessica announced, spinning Bella around and inspecting the back of her pants, “All clear!”
“Oh thank GOD,” Bella sighed in relief, “I would have died if he knew.” She paused and looked around, “Where is he anyway? How long does it take to park a car?”
“This is so wrong,” Edward mumbled to himself, face pressed to where Bella had started her cycle only moments ago. “Oohhh, but its sooo gooood…” She hadn’t, in fact, stained the seat, but that was probably for the best because he didn’t have an excuse for the Volvo suddenly having a huge bite out of it.
“Edward?” Bella called from behind him. He shouted and jumped in surprise, slamming his head against the roof of the car. He’d been too distracted to notice her approach, and was not used to being snuck up on. He realized he’d probably dented the car’s ceiling and hoped she wouldn’t notice.
“Um, yeah?” he finally replied.
“What were you doing?”
“Oh, just looking for my contact lens.”
Bella eyed him suspiciously, “You said you don’t wear contacts,” she reminded him.
Edward paused, “Oh, right. Well, I guess I don’t need to find it then!” he replied cheerfully, hopping gracefully out of the car and shutting the door.
Jessica cleared her throat for attention, “Okay, well, thanks for saving our friend from being raped and all, but we should really be getting her home…”
“Actually,” Edward interrupted, “I was going to take her to dinner.”
All three girls stared at him in surprise.
“I really think she should eat something,” Edward explained, dazzling them with his gentlemanly concern, “And I could drive her home so you wouldn’t need to wait…”
“All right!” Angela was dragging a bedazzled Jessica away, “See you in school tomorrow Bella!”