Chapter Forty-Nine: Separation Anxiety

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Welcome to Chapter 49! I can't believe that this little story, started almost a year ago, has reached nearly fifty chapters! Wow!!

And, as always, thank you for reading!!!

Chapter Forty-Nine: Separation Anxiety

Bella slept in my arms, a tiny smile playing at the corners of her beautiful mouth; I couldn't help smiling, too. She looked so satisfied, so pleased that tonight she had broken through almost every rule we had carefully built.

She looked so...happy.

So why, despite her smiles and mine, was my heart sinking?

I felt my smile fade as a strange sense of anxiety sucked me into its vortex...again.

I knew that I should be ecstatic. I had touched Bella in wonderful, exciting ways this evening, and I had not hurt her; in fact, I had pleased her.

And I couldn't deny that I had been just as pleased and thrilled by the scope of our activities, far beyond what I had believed was possible...what I had believed was safe. The almost uncontrollable passion of this night illustrated more strongly than ever that Bella and I belonged together.

Forever.

But this intractable feeling of anxiety continued to hound me, nagging at the very darkest recesses of my mind. It had come over me a few times over the last week, and I had dismissed it, repressed it.

But there was no dismissing it now.

And I think I figured out the source of this uneasiness: Alice.

For a while now, I've had a sneaking suspicion that my sister is hiding something from me. Alice and I have always been close, but over the last few months, since the end of the school year actually, I have sensed a distancing between us. Although I was incredibly wrapped up in Bella who had become my entire world so completely over the course of this magical summer, I missed my sister's formerly constant presence. But now Alice rarely allowed herself be alone with me so that we could really talk, and whenever I tried to delve into her thoughts, her mind became suddenly preoccupied with Michael Kors' new fall line or a new pair of Jimmy Choos she just had to obtain. And she would flit away from me, always with an excuse about going shopping with Rosalie or hunting with Jasper.

It was getting quite annoying.

And more than a little frightening.

What terrible vision was my sister hiding from me?

And thus the nagging feeling of unease never totally left me, even when I should be deliriously happy. I was in love with the most beautiful, the most engaging, the sweetest girl on the face of the planet. I must not allow this odd anxiety ruin my and Bella's happiness, especially as our wonderful summer drew to a close, our senior year looming ahead of us.

The final year of high school seemed to be a huge deal to most humans. Despite Bella's unimpressed attitude, I wanted to make this school year special for Bella's sake, even though I had experienced more senior years than I would care to count. I wanted to hold her, love her, experience every human milestone with her this year. I wanted to buy myself a class ring for the first time and present it to Bella on a delicate chain, even though the old-fashioned gesture originated in the 1950s. I wanted to take her to the senior prom (despite her objections and certainly without Jacob Black's presence this time), and sign her yearbook with kitchy words of love. I wanted to fill this year with beautiful human memories with her, memories that would sustain her long after she outgrew me and wanted a “real life.”

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