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Chapter 4 - Excursion

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1 Chapter 4 - Excursion on Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:38 pm


Chapter 4

“I’ve got a surprise for you.” I waited for her typical reaction to the word surprise.

Bella stared at me warily. “What kind of a surprise?”

“A pre-wedding excursion, expressly chosen for my bewitching bride.” Bella’s eyes narrowed as she gave her best attempt at looking irritated. I loved to watch her expression when I was intentionally vague.

“Where?” She was very suspicious. I laughed out loud.

“Ask me another ‘w’ question. I’ll tell you where once we’re in the car.”

Her brow creased. “Fine. When?” She exaggerated the word and rolled her eyes.

“Tomorrow. Clear your calendar until Sunday night.”

“Just because we’re engaged doesn’t mean Charlie’s going to let you whisk me away for an overnighter alone,” she chided.

I laughed again. “I already asked him – you have his full permission to travel alone with me.”

“How’d you manage that?”

“I’ll tell you later. Now go pack.” I gently pushed her towards the stairs.

“Will you at least tell me what to pack?” she asked sarcastically as she headed for her bedroom. I followed close behind.

“Alice is bringing an outfit over for you to wear tomorrow evening. Otherwise, just pack your normal clothes.”

Bella stopped and turned to look at me. Her eyes narrowed. “What kind of an outfit?”

I took a step up towards her. “Don’t worry, you’ll like it. And you’ll thank her later because I’m fairly sure you don’t have the right kind of dress for this occasion.” I silenced her protests with a quick kiss.

“Won’t you at least give me a hint?” she begged, leaning into me. Bella had recently discovered the key to getting me to crack – her irresistible begging skills. I decided one little nugget of information wouldn’t hurt the surprise.

“More music lessons,” I whispered in her ear. Then I lifted her into my arms and carried her the rest of the way to her room.

I set her down next to her desk, then went to the closet to retrieve an overnight bag. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a garment bag lying on the bed - Alice had already been here. Bella had spotted the bag too.

“Can I take a look at it?” she asked. I shrugged - better to find out now if the dress was truly appropriate or not. Bella slowly unzipped the bag to reveal a handsome midnight blue gown. She sucked in her breath sharply.

I watched her reactions carefully. Our excursion wouldn’t be as enjoyable if she fretted about the dress the entire time. But Alice had done well – the gown was long, very elegant and absolutely perfect for the occasion.

“I think it’s safe to assume it’s your size, so no need to try it on,” I commented. “Do you like it?”

“Edward, it’s gorgeous! I just can’t imagine where we could be going that would require a dress like this.” A sudden shadow crossed her face as she turned to face me. “Please tell me you’re not going to make me dance!”

I chuckled softly. “No dancing, unless you suddenly feel the urge,” I promised as I reached over to help her replace the dress in the bag. “Now finish packing, and then go to bed. You’ll need to get up very early tomorrow.”

“How early is early?” she asked warily.

“Five. I’ll pick you up at five-thirty sharp.”

“You’re not staying over tonight?” Again, she was using that begging tone. I cringed, fighting the urge to give in and stay with her.

“Bella, I can’t. I need to pack too, and you’ll sleep better if I’m not here.” She frowned at me, apparently disagreeing with that statement. I reached out to cup her dejected chin. “I promise I’ll stay the entire night with you tomorrow.” I kissed her quickly, then made my exit out the window before I was too tempted to stay.


I had all of my things ready to go well before five. As I carried my own luggage outside, Alice slipped a small bag into the trunk of the Vanquish.

“Just a few more essentials for Bella,” she chanted merrily.

I rolled my eyes and searched her mind for the contents of the bag. But she was too quick – all I got were X-rated visions of Jasper.

“Cut it out,” I growled.

“Stay out of my mind. You’ll thank me later.” She hopped up to kiss my cheek. “Have fun! Tell Bella to call if she needs any help getting ready.” Then she danced back into the house.

I climbed into the car and drove quickly to Bella’s. Charlie was already gone, presumably fishing for the day. I let myself inside the front door and found Bella half-asleep, listlessly eating a bowl of cereal.

I couldn’t help but smile at her. “A little early for you?”

“You have a lot of explaining to do,” she mumbled, shoveling another bite into her mouth. “Starting with why we’re up so early.”

“I told you I’d tell you once we were on our way. Finish your breakfast and I’ll get your things.” I rushed up the stairs and retrieved her bag before she had taken another bite. As I watched her continue to eat, I realized it had been nearly eight hours since I last held her in my arms.

“Don’t I get a proper ‘good morning’?” I teased.

Bella sighed loudly, pushed her bowl away and standing up slowly. Her eyes were still droopy and utterly irresistible as she looked up at me. I pulled her against my chest, and whispered in her ear.

“Good morning love.” I brushed my lips along the edge of her neck, savoring the warmth of her silky skin.

She rested her head against me, snuggling into my embrace. “I missed you last night.”

I stroked her hair, still lost in the cloud of her body heat. “Not as much as I missed you.”

She pulled away to gaze up at me, her eyes still sleepy.

“Are you ready to go? I promise my absence last night will be more then repaid tonight,” I said earnestly.

Bella nodded and started to turn back towards the table to put her cereal bowl away.

“Not so fast.” I spun her back around so I could properly kiss her. She suddenly didn’t seem half-asleep anymore. Her hands were around my neck instantly, pulling herself closer to me as her lips worked hungrily against mine. This was the only good part about being away from her for any length of time.

I reluctantly pulled back, but continued to savor her intoxicating scent as I inhaled deeply while her face was still close. “We really need to go or we’ll be late.”

“I’m ready. For some answers,” she qualified, smirking at me. I took her hand and led her out the door.

“We’re taking your special occasion car?” She sounded surprised as she caught sight of the Vanquish sitting in the driveway.

“It’s faster then the Volvo,” I replied quickly as I opened the door for her and helped her inside. I was around the car and in the driver’s seat before she had a chance to respond.

“Explain please.”

I peeled out of her driveway and headed south on the one-oh-one at breakneck speed. Hopefully she wouldn’t chastise my driving this time, because there was a really good reason why speed was essential.

I grinned. “What do you want to know first?”

“Where are we going at five-thirty in the morning?”

“San Francisco.” I glanced over and saw her eyes were wide.

“San Francisco has to be 1000 miles away, Edward! It’ll take us all day to get there!”

“Actually, it’s more like 850 miles.”

Bella gave me an exasperated look. “It’ll still take us all day and half the night to get there.”

“True, if we obey the speed limits. That’s why we took the Aston. We should be able to make it in about eight hours or so.”

“What’s in San Francisco that’s not here?” she asked suspiciously.

“A renowned symphony orchestra that is playing some extraordinary pieces this evening.” She gasped loudly and I tried to stifle a laugh. Her responses were terribly amusing. Again, I wished I could hear what she was thinking.

“There’s a symphony in Seattle that’s a lot closer!” she challenged.

“Yes, but I didn’t care for their particular repertoire this evening. Some stuffy Mozart symphonies and a flute soloist. Not enough piano for me.”

Bella held her breath for a second before responding. “Is the San Francisco Symphony playing the Schumann concerto?”

“Unfortunately not. However the St. Petersburg Philharmonic is performing that particular concerto tonight.” I snuck another look at Bella as we raced south. The dumbfounded look on her face was absolutely priceless. I couldn’t contain my laughter.

“St. Petersburg….Russia?” she stuttered.

“Yes, that St. Petersburg. Trust me, if I could have figured out a way to get us there in time and with Charlie’s blessing, we’d be heading to the airport right now. But I had a difficult enough time convincing your father to let me escort you to San Francisco.”

“About that. How did you convince him?”

“First, he thinks we’re flying down to California. There was no way he’d buy us driving down there in one day. So keep that in mind if he brings it up.” I didn’t like lying to Charlie, but it was a necessary evil at times.

“I told him that I wanted to take you to see a concert tonight, and due to the distance we’d need to spend the night. I assured him I booked two rooms.” She was staring at me intently now. “I offered for him to chaperone us, but apparently the symphony is not his idea of an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night. So he gave me his blessing when I promised to have you home by tomorrow night.”

Bella digested my speech before responding. “Two rooms, huh?”

I smiled impishly. “This way you’ll have the privacy you need to get ready later today.”

“Do I dare ask where we’re staying?”

“The Four Seasons Hotel downtown. I was able to get us a couple of suites.”

She gasped again. “Edward! That’s the nicest and one of the most expensive hotels in San Francisco!”

“I know. Thankfully they weren’t booked up, or we might have had to downgrade to the Ritz Carlton.”

She smirked at me. “Very funny.” I laughed again.

“So you’re taking me to the symphony this evening. I assume you already know what they’ll be performing?” she asked curtly.

“Of course. Sadly, no Schumann. But they will be performing Le Carnaval des Animaux, by Camille Saint-Seans.”

Bella’s face lit up with recognition. “I’ve heard of that one before. I think they played it for us in school.”

“Yes, it’s a popular suite for children.”

“Does it feature piano solos?” she asked.

“Yes. It was actually written for two pianists and a chamber group of strings and woodwinds. However most orchestras perform it with the full string section today.”

“Have you played it before?”

I chuckled. “Yes, many years ago. I convinced Rosalie to play with me, but we never made it through the entire suite.”

“Why not?”

“We got into a fight over which part each of us would play on the very first movement. She got angry and snapped a few keys off of my mother’s Steinway in protest.” I could vividly remember the entire scene; in hindsight it was rather funny.

Bella giggled. “I’ll have to ask her about it sometime.”

“I wouldn’t recommend that.”

The sun was slowly starting to rise to our left as we continued racing towards California. Bella leaned back in the seat and pulled her knees up to her chin. I could tell she was still tired from the lack of sleep the night before.

“Rest my love,” I said softly, reaching over and running my hand across her cheek. “I wouldn’t want you to fall asleep during the middle of the performance later this evening.”

“Just a couple of more questions.” She sighed softly as my fingers traced her jaw. “What else will be performed tonight?”

“Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. It’s very passionate; I think you’ll love it if you enjoy Schumann. And Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor for violin, another one of my favorites.”

“Mmmm,” Bella muttered in response. Yes, she was definitely exhausted. The lull of the car seemed to have a hypnotizing effect on her. I pulled my hand away from her cheek to briefly insert a CD into the stereo as her eyes began to droop.

Chopin’s nocturnes began to play softly from the speakers. Bella closed her eyes as my hand returned to gently stroke her cheek. She was asleep in moments. I couldn’t wait to arrive at the hotel and begin our special evening together.

Ageless in my Big Brother From A Different Mother I love you
Daughter Of Nyx - My Sister I love you
Fuarie - My Seestor From A Differnt Meestor Smile I love you

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