*by Stephenie Meyer*


Under the shelter of the cafeteria roof's overhang, Jessica was waiting, her eyes about to bug out of their sockets. Over her arm, bless her, was my jacket.
"Hey, Jessica," I ব্যক্ত when we were a few feet away. "Thanks for remembering." She handed me my জ্যাকেট without speaking.
"Good morning, Jessica," Edward ব্যক্ত politely. It wasn't really his fault that his voice was so irresistable. অথবা what his eyes were capable of.
"Er... hi." She shifted her wide eyes to me, trying to gather her jumbled thoughts. "I guess I'll see আপনি in Trig." She gave me a meaningful look, and I supressed a sigh. What on earth was I going to tell her?
"Yeah, I'll see আপনি then."
She walked away, pausing twice to peek back over her shoulder at us.
"What are আপনি going to tell her?" Edward murmured.
"Hey, I thought আপনি couldn't read my mind!" I hissed.
"I can't," he said, startled. Then understanding brightened his eyes. "However, I can read hers - she'll be waiting to ambush আপনি in class."
I groaned as I pulled off his জ্যাকেট and handed it to him, replacing it with my own. He folded it over his arm.
"So what are আপনি going to tell her?"
"A little help?" I pleaded. "What does she want to know?"
He shook his head, grinning wickedly. "That's not fair."
"No, আপনি not sharing what আপনি know - now that's not fair."
He deliberated for a moment as we walked. We stopped outside the door to my first class.
"She wants to know if we're secretly dating. And she wants to know how আপনি feel about me," he finally said.
"Yikes. What should I say?" I tried to keep my expression very innocent. People were passing us on their way to class, probably staring, but I was barely aware of them.
"Hmmm." He paused to catch a stray lock of hair that was escaping the twist on my neck and wound it back into place. My হৃদয় spluttered hyperactively. "I suppose আপনি could say yes for the first... if আপনি don't mind - it's easier than any other explanation."
"I don't mind," I ব্যক্ত in a faint voice.
"And as for the other question... well, I'll be listening to hear the answer to that one myself." One side of his mouth pulled up into my পছন্দ uneven smile. I couldn't catch my breath soon enough to respond to that remark. He turned and walked away.
"I'll see আপনি at lunch," he called over his shoulder. Three people walking in the door stopped to stare at me.
I hurried into class, flushed and irritated. He was such a cheater. Now I was even আরো worried about what I was going to say to Jessica. I sat in my usual seat, slamming my bag down in aggravation.
"Morning, Bella," Mike ব্যক্ত from the আসন পরবর্তি to me. I looked up to see an odd, almost resigned look on his face. "How was Port Angeles?"
"It was..." There was no honest way to sum it up. "Great," I finished lamely. "Jessica got a really cute dress."
"Did she say anything about Monday night?" he asked, his eyes brightening. I smiled at the turn the conversation had taken.
"She ব্যক্ত she had a really good time," I assured him.
"She did?" he ব্যক্ত eagerly.
"Most definitely."
Mr. Mason called the class to order then, asking us to turn in our papers. English and then Government passed in a blur, while I was worried about how to explain things to Jessica and agonized over whether Edward would really be listening to what I ব্যক্ত through the medium of Jess's thoughts. How very inconvenient his little talent could be - when it wasn't saving my life.
The fog had almost dissolved দ্বারা the end of the সেকেন্ড hour, but the দিন was still dark with low, oppressing clouds. I smiled up at the sky.
Edward was right, of course. When I walked into Trig Jessica was sitting in the back row, nearly bouncing off her আসন in agitation. I reluctantly went to sit দ্বারা her, trying to convince myself it would be better to get it over with as soon as possible.
"Tell me everything!" she commanded before I was in the seat.
"What do আপনি want to know?" I hedged.
"What happened last night?"
"He bought me dinner, and then he drove me home."
She glared at me, her expressioon stiff with skepticism. "How did আপনি get প্রথমপাতা so fast?"
"He drives like a maniac. It was terrifying." I hoped he heard that.
"Was it like a তারিখ - did আপনি tell him to meet আপনি there?"
I hadn't thought of that. "No - I was very surprised to see him there."
Her lips puckered in disappointment at the transparent honesty in my voice.
"But he picked আপনি up for school today?" she probed.
"Yes - that was a surprise, too. He noticed I didn't have a জ্যাকেট last night," I explained.
"So are আপনি going out again?"
"He offered to drive me to Seattle Saturday because he thinks my truck isn't up to it - does that count?"
"Yes." She nodded.
"Well, then, yes."
"W-o-w." She exaggerated the word into three syllables. "Edward Cullen."
"I know," I sgreed. "Wow" didn't even cover it.
"Wait!" Her hands flew up, palms toward me like she was stopping traffic. "Has he kissed you?"
"No," I mumbled. "It's not like that."
She looked disappointed. I'm sure I did, too.
"Do আপনি think Saturday...?" She raised her eyebrows.
"I really doubt it." The discontent in my voice was poorly disguised.
"What did আপনি talk about?" She pushed for আরো information in a whisper. Class had started but Mr. Varner wasn't paying close attention and we weren't the only ones still talking.
"I don't know, Jess, lots of stuff," I whispered back. "We talked about the English essay a little." A very, very little. I think he mentioned it in passing.
"Please, Bella," she begged. "Give me some details."
"Well... okay, I've got one. আপনি should have seen the waitress flirting with him - it was over the top. But he didn't pay any attention to her at all." Let him make what he could of that.
"That's a good sign," she nodded. "Was she pretty?"
"Very - and probably nineteen অথবা twenty."
"Even better. He must like you."
"I think so, but it's hard to tell. He's always so cryptic," I threw in for his benefit, sighing.
"I don't know how you're ব্রেভ enough to be alone with him," she breathed.
"Why?" I was shocked, but she didn't understand my reaction.
"He's so... intimidating. I wouldn't know what to say to him." She made a face, probably remembering this morning অথবা last night, when he's turned the overwhelming force of his eyes on her.
"I do have trouble with incoherency when I'm around him," I admitted.
"Oh well, he is gorgeous." Jessica shrugged as if this excused any flaws. Which, in her book, it probably did.
"There's a lot আরো to him than that."
"Really? Like what?"
I wished I had let it go. Almost as much as I was hoping he'd been kidding about listening in.
"I can't explain it right... but he's even আরো অবিশ্বাস্য behind the face." The vampire who wanted to be good - who ran around saving people's lives so he wouldn't be a monster... stared toward the front of the room.
"Is that possible?" She giggled.
I ignored her, trying to look like I was paying attention to Mr. Varner.
"So আপনি like him, then?" She wasn't about to give up.
"Yes," I ব্যক্ত curtly.
"I mean, do আপনি really like him?" she urged.
"Yes," I ব্যক্ত again, blushing. I hoped that detail wouldn't register in her thoughts.
She'd had enough with the single syllable answers. "How much do আপনি like him?"
"Too much," I whispered back. "More than he likes me. But don't see how I can help that." I sighed one blush blending into the next.
Then, thankfully, Mr. Varner called on Jessica for an answer.
She didn't get a chance to start on the subject again during class, and as soon as the ঘণ্টা rang, I took evasive action.
"In English, Mike asked me if আপনি ব্যক্ত anything about Monday night," I told her.
"You're kidding! What did আপনি say?!" she gasped, completely sidetracked.
"I told him আপনি ব্যক্ত আপনি had a lot of fun - he looked pleased."
"Tell me exactly what he said, and your exact anser!"
We spent the rest of the walk dessecting sentence structures and most of Spanish on a মিনিট বিবরণ of Mike's facial expressions. I wouldn't have helped draw it out for as long as I did if I wasn't worried about the subject returning to me.