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One – The Tempest
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Sunlight streamed through the window of Bella’s bedroom; the sparkle from Edward’s skin reflected on the walls as if they were covered in stardust. They weren’t worried about exposure, though – Charlie was away fishing. They were alone together in the house – the afternoon sun warm on their skin as they lay tangled together on Bella’s bed. Edward kissed her deeply, pressing her down into the mattress and comforter. She sighed when he finally released her lips and a smile spread reflexively across her face.
“I could stay like this forever,” she said, her words a whisper of air.
Edward grinned back as he pressed his nose against the hollow of her throat, breathing deeply. Savoring. “So could I,” he said, finally. “So could I … but,” he continued, pulling away with a sad sigh, “Alice would explode if we stood her up.”
Bella groaned and tugged on Edward’s shoulders to pull him back to her. “I don’t want to look at wedding things.”
Edward laughed at her. “You sound like a child,” he said, grinning. “But believe me, it would be better if we just left now and appeased Alice. I know what she’s thinking – and it won’t be pretty if we make her wait much longer.”
Begrudgingly, Bella agreed and forced herself out of bed and out of Edward’s arms. Together, they trudged downstairs. Or rather, Bella trudged – Edward glided. They stood together in the doorway, looking up at the sky. It was blue, the color of a robin’s egg, with only a few, fluffy white clouds punctuating the canvas.
“That could be a problem,” Bella mused hopefully.
Edward’s lips twitched. “Alice said it wouldn’t be.”
Bella groaned. If Alice said it wouldn’t be a problem, then she was probably right. Bella had learned long ago never to bet against Alice. She was also more reliable than any meteorologist. And that afternoon was no exception. In another moment, a gust of wind swept a thick cover of graying clouds overhead, blocking the sun from view.
“Come on,” Edward said, tugging Bella by the hand outside and onto the porch. He locked the front door for her and together they began walking towards Bella’s aging red truck. They were halfway across the driveway when the wind arrived.
It whipped up around them like a torrent, growing stronger with each building gust. This wasn’t like the normal wind storms that blew in off the coast. This was something else; something stronger. The wind came from all directions, twisting and bending and twirling around them. Bella’s hair flew up around her face and she found it hard to see. Edward held her hand tightly, as if willing her not to blow away in the tempest.
“Edward?” Bella called over the torrent. “What’s going on?”
He shook his head, his eyes pulled taut in distress. “I don’t know. This isn’t normal,” he said. He looked up at the sky, at the swirling mass of clouds above them – they looked green. Then his eye caught something else; something not so far in the distance – coming towards them. It was moving too quickly to escape. His eyes widened in fear; this was something he could not fight. “I think it’s a tornado,” he said.
“What?” Bella screamed. “Here? In Forks?”
His head whipped down from the funnel cloud spinning towards them. “It’s not impossible,” he said. “They happen here sometimes. In the 60s there was one near Portland … it killed six people. And there was another one in the 90s. They’re rare – but not unfeasible.” He had to shout so Bella could hear him over the howling. It sounded like a jet engine roaring in their ears.
“What do we do?” she begged, clinging more tightly to his hand.
He looked around, panicked. She’d never seen him like this. He’d never felt like this before. He was used to being in control of a situation, knowing everyone’s thoughts, knowing he was the strongest of any opponent. But that was no longer the case. He could not outwit a tornado or stand against it. And it was too close now; he couldn't outrun it. He looked back at Bella, despair flooding his face. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t know.”
He meant to run with her back to the house and hide her away in the farthest space. But it was too late. The twister bore down on them and all he could do was pull her into his arms and hold her against him. But the wind was too strong, swirling around them like a vortex – pulling at his arms, pulling at her frail body. She slipped from his embrace and fell – pushed by the wind – to the ground, her head smacking loudly on the pavement. She felt blood pooling on the back of her skull and she grew dizzy. She looked up at Edward, his head framed by a swirl of dirt and leaves and branches and bits of houses and cars like a halo. She watched his eyes tighten and his face harden as he stopped breathing.
“Edward?” she said, and then everything faded away.
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