Word Count: 2,197
Summary: In which it is a certain time of the month for Bella, and even Edward Cullen has trouble being a gentleman sometimes.
Author's Note: Hahaha, this is so hideously crass! And ‘hideously crass’ is so not my normal forte. But I am rereading this book for reasons of morbid curiosity and extreme literary laziness, and I’m sorry, but after experiencing the chapter wherein Edward details exactly how crazy it drives him to even, like, smell Bella while her blood is in her veins, I just don’t get how he could handle this particular situation. At least without it being super lolz-y. And yes, I know that SMeyer was once confronted with this very question and replied something along the lines of, Edward noticed but was too much of a gentleman to say anything.
To which I say … yeah, right, okay.
The phone rings five minutes before Edward leaves to pick up Bella for school.
“Where are you?” she demands.
A smirk curls his mouth.
“Be patient, Bella,” he instructs silkily. He listens for the hitch in her breathing, the small exquisite sign that he’s stirred her every bit as much as she does him.
Instead, she inhales jaggedly. Unevenly.
Hmm, he begins to think. That’s stra—
“YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO COME PICK ME UP THIS MORNING. Were you just lying to me, Edward?? Is it all just a lie? Because if you lie to me, if you’re not in this for real, if you’re just going to – to leave me every time I’m expecting you to be there, I swear to God, I don’t know what I’ll do. You can’t expect me to just … just go on living if you’re going to say you’ll drive me to school and then not show. And yes, I know that you said seven thirty, but it’s seven twenty-seven and I get that you’re fast but just because you’re a vampire with super speed doesn’t mean that you can just ditch people, you know, I need you to respect me! Unless you don’t want to respect me, because then I guess that’s okay, because you’re amazing and I’m such a freak, and I don’t even get why you look at me most of the time—”
“Um,” Edward says. “Bella? Are you … okay?”
“Why wouldn’t I be okay?” she snarls. “Do I sound not okay to you??”
“I’ll be there in thirty seconds,” Edward promises. He’s a bit frightened not to.
“You better,” Bella sniffles.
Edward hangs the phone up, and stares at it.
“Dude,” Emmett says, “this is why you should only date vampire girls.”
“What do you mean?” Edward asks.
Oh. This is what he meant.
“Why are you driving with all the windows down?” Bella asks.
“No reason,” Edward chokes out.
“I can’t even smell you,” she points out morosely. “it’s all just, like, fresh air.” She makes a face.
“I can’t smell you either,” Edward responds, with all the composure he can muster. “A fair trade, don’t you think?”
“We’re going like one hundred miles per hour,” she points out. “It’s going to mess up your hair.”
“That’s okay,” he assures her, even though under normal circumstances he would feel differently on the matter.
“I love your hair,” she says weepily. “Like, more than I love most of the people I know. Is that bad?”
“Nothing about you,” he says, “is bad, Isabella Swan.”
“Whatever,” Bella pouts. “I’m so ordinary. You’re perfect.”
“Surely you must know,” he attempts, although he is having a terribly hard time putting his heart into it at the present moment, a terribly, terribly hard time, “how much – how you – are – like a bouquet – with wine – fascinating to me – pretty – nice … skin … good throat – heroin – blood – blood – yummy, yummy blood – flowing—”
Bella frowns. “Are you okay?”
“Lovely,” Edward says faintly.
“Oh my God,” she moans, “I would kill somebody for some chocolate right now.”
“Mmm,” Edward manages.
“You’re so lucky you’re a boy,” she declares, “and you don’t have to deal with this kind of thing.”
“Yeeeepppp,” he squeaks, curling his fingers so hard around the steering wheel that it leaves dents there.
He hovers inconspicuously behind Bella while she borrows a few ibuprofen from Jessica in between classes.
Oh my God, Jessica thinks, she is like an actual human with actual human ailments and cramps and stuff, who could have seen it? Oh my God, I hope she skips out on gym today, and not just because she is on our team for volleyball and she is like as graceful as Dumbo, seriously, wait, is Dumbo graceful? God, I haven’t seen that movie in forever. I can’t remember. Anyway, as graceful as an elephant, not that I’ve ever seen an elephant fall over or anything, but I bet they must be pretty clumsy, they’re so HUGE. Greedy bitch, I hope she doesn’t take all my ibuprofen, like, hi Bella, guess what, there are actual other people with needs in the world too, and I might— Oh God, when was the last time I had my period, it was like, really long ago, wasn’t it, oh my God!, Maybe I’m pregnant, even though, okay, I haven’t exactly slept with anybody. Maybe it’s immaculate conception! Oh my God, that would be so bitchin’, I mean, I wouldn’t want to get all fat or anything but can you imagine how powerful I would be if my kid was Jesus II? So powerful. I bet I would be a total MILF, too, maybe Mike would finally ask me out if I mothered the second Jesus, and then he would stop making eyes at Bella, everyone thinks I don’t notice but it’s so wicked obvious all the time, hi, I’m not blind, God, how did she get a boyfriend and I don’t have one, even if Edward Cullen is kind of a super-freak, even though he’s so fine (I would totally let him tap this if I was Jesus II’s sexy MILF and Mike was still being retarded), and hey, it’s kind of weird that Edward is just hanging around, doesn’t he get that menstruation is LADY BUSINESS—
Edward turns around abruptly and focuses his attention on the first male he sees.
“Um,” Eric says. “Hi Edward?”
“How about that … game last night? Wasn’t it compelling?”
“Any of them,” Edward says hopelessly. For the first time, he briefly wonders whether it might be good for him to expand his interests, hobbies, etc. beyond Bella. And listening to Linkin Park. He has been flirting with the idea of taking up calligraphy.
“Uh, yeah,” Eric says. “It was great.”
Weirdo, thinks Eric, and walks away.
Edward tries to stare with casual fascination at his own shoes.
During English class, they get their essays on Macbeth back. Bella gets a 98 and a smiley face, as well as a few minor punctuation errors pointed out in red pen.
As soon as the class is over, Bella steps out into the hall and bursts into tears.
“Oh, Bella,” he whispers soothingly, pulling her into his marble embrace. “Don’t cry … don’t cry, my darling … you know,” he adds, sweeping one finger gallantly across her cheek to catch a teardrop, “even your tears entice me.” He considers the crystal teardrop on his fingertip for a second, then brings it slowly to his lips, his tongue.
She pulls away from him. “Did you just lick my tear off your finger?”
“Um,” he says, sensing he’s done wrong, “I love you?”
“Oh my God, Edward, have you ever heard of boundaries??” she demands, and storms off furiously.
Bitches be crazy, yo, says a voice in his head. He realizes after a few seconds that it’s his own for once.
Bella rushes up to him during the next passing period with a frenzied desperation that suggests they’ve been parted for a hundred years.
“Oh, Edward!” she cries, throwing herself into his arms. “I’m sorry! God, I’m so sorry! Let’s never fight again. I know I don’t deserve you. You’re so much better than me. You’re so beautiful and handsome and enticing and perfect and sexy and you smell really, really good, and I love you. And you look like a Greek god.”
It catches him off guard. He’s beginning to wonder whether maybe he ought to have spent more of the past century dating. Prior experience would come in very handy right about now.
“Bella, Bella,” he says as normally as he can, tracing her lips with his fingers, “you never have to apologize to me. Love,” he adds, on a stroke of inspiration, “means never having to say you’re sorry.”
She frowns, not getting the reference. “Was that on One Tree Hill?”
He feels very old.
Bella trips on her way out of the cafeteria, and the contents of her book bag spill all over the floor.
“Oh, holy crow,” she mutters crossly. She starts gathering them up, but a group of girls walks by. One of them kicks her water bottle across the corridor.
“Oops! Sorry Bella!”
“Ugh, I hate that bitch Lauren!!” Bella rages, watching them walk away.
“Who’s Lauren?” Edward asks absently. He’s having a dreadful time concentrating today.
“Who’s Lauren?” Bella repeats, her eyes narrowing dangerously. “Seriously, Edward? Have you ever even paid attention to a single facet of my life for like five minutes?”
“Yes,” Edward says truthfully. “I do – watch you sleep most nights—”
“Ugh, whatever,” Bella scowls. “I am just – I’m just not in the mood for this right now, okay Edward??”
“Okay,” he says, “okay.”
He gets down on his hands and knees and starts gathering the spilled items: a notebook, some pencils, a biology textbook, an apple, a copy of Wuthering Heights, two tampons –
Two tampons …
He stares at them a long time. Envy awakens and stirs in his chest, his limbs. Other extremities.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Nothing,” he says quickly, shoving them back into her bag.
Edward meets her at her locker with a chocolate bar at the end of the day.
“You,” Bella says, “are so amazing. I’ll never deserve you. Never. I can’t believe you waste all your time on me.” She sounds less sincere than usual. She’s more occupied by unwrapping the chocolate and shoving it into her mouth.
Edward notices that she’s got her sweatshirt wrapped around her waist.
“Why the sweatshirt?” Edward asks. “Aren’t you cold?”
“Ugh,” Bella says, “my life just continues to be the most humiliating one ever, that’s all.”
It takes Edward a few seconds to put this together. But when he realizes—
“I could launder your jeans for you,” he says, the words spilling out of his mouth with exactly none of his typical grace.
Bella frowns. “What?”
“Nothing,” he says quickly.
“You’re so devoted,” Bella says lovingly. She strokes his cheek. “It’s so romantic.”
“It’s kind of sketch,” Lauren says from a few lockers down, wrinkling her nose.
“Oh my God, go jump off a bridge, Lauren!” Bella snaps. “Have you even read Wuthering Heights?”
“Freak,” Lauren grumbles, and walks off.
“Plebeian teenage idiot,” Bella mutters. She turns her gaze back to Edward, smiling. “I’m so lucky I have you. It seems like all anyone my age cares about is, like, shopping and dating and getting into girls’ pants.”
“Pants!” Edward says. “Who cares about pants!”
“Your eyes are really black today,” Bella realizes. “What’s up with that? Didn’t you just go hunting like this weekend?”
“Ha ha ha!” Edward says. “How about that! Weird.”
Bella looks at him funny.
“Whatever,” she finally concludes, and goes back to her candy bar.
Edward rips the mountain lion’s head off without preamble and gulps down the spray of hot, sticky blood that rains violently over him. Esme is going to be upset – she just picked out this shirt for him at J. Crew – but some things can’t be helped. Blood, blood, glorious mountain lion blood—
Oh, it’s just not the same.
“I bet she would dig it if you turned her,” Emmett says from where he’s casually wrestling a bear ten feet away. “And then you wouldn’t have to deal with this crap.”
“No,” Edward says as nobly as he can, in between huge swigs of blood. It dribbles down his chin. “She – is pure, and innocent, and I need to protect her – no matter what urges I might feel – she is – my chance at redemption – and she deserves – a full human life—mmm, God, this is so good … Mmm – yes – yes – mmm – Bella – Bella – Bella!—”
He catches Emmett raising his eyebrows knowingly.
“Um,” Edward corrects. “I mean – mountain lion! Mountain lion!”
Edward takes one last noisy slurp, then reassumes his soulful, somber expression. He hopes its impact isn’t lessened by the fact that his face is blood spattered. “She is my world. And I will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.”
“Dude,” Emmett says, “I know you were fantasizing about being her tampon earlier.”
“Was not,” Edward mutters, blushing.
Emmett chuckles. “Pussy.”