Some Truth

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She did her best not to panic, and instead typed out one word and sent it. Password

Her heart was in her throat as she awaited his message. 

Good girl. It's Giles. 

If it weren't for the circumstances, she would've laughed at the Buffy reference they agreed to use. Had he used Wesley, she would've had to run.

"Bella?" Edward watched her for a few seconds, but returned his gaze to the road. "Is something wrong?"

She had stop singing. "Sorry, didn't mean to get distracted."

"It's fine. Any chance that whoever you're texting is the reason you left?"

She had to take apart her phone, every second it remained on could lead someone to her location. Even if they were already several minutes away from the small town, if they were coming for her, they'd ask questions in some of the surrounding areas until they found her.

Discreetly, she crossed her legs to hide the fact that she was removing the battery from her phone. Her handler said that they could force a phone to turn on as long as the battery was in it. "He's part of the reason." She loathed lying and decided right then to attempt to avoid it as much as possible, half-truths could work. At least with Edward, because he seemed to know when people lied. There was no way she could tell him everything now. If there was a problem, the last thing she wanted was for him to end up hurt because of her.

Edward's lips thinned as his jaw tightened. "He." That was it; he didn't ask who or why.

Bella thought he wanted to, but probably felt he had no right or he didn't care. Judging from his tightening grip around the steering wheel, she'd bet on the first.

When he said nothing more for several minutes, she asked, "Are you jealous of who 'he' may be?"

"No."

She had to look out her window to keep from reacting. Apparently, he wasn't the only one that could spot a lie. However, the accusatory tinge to his voice fueled her anger again. She hadn't had sex in over a year, and the last partner was less than satisfactory.

"He's forty-three years old and reminds me of my godfather," she said by way of answer. "Besides, I wouldn't have done any of the things we have if I was involved with anyone else, thank you very much."

She was a little upset, and her biting words made that obvious. Along with what he implied with his question after their encounter in the hall of her home, and his assumption now, he thought very little of her.

"I'm not that kind of person," she added and looked away. The grimace she caught in the rearview mirror was enough for her to know how bad he felt about what he said.

They exchanged no words for the rest of the ride. For Bella, it gave her time to come up with a way to check the personal ads for an out of state newspaper and hope that Alec would be able to chat soon. In that short period, she recalled all the little coded messages he could send her and their meanings. None of it was on any of his records or computers, so unless he was personally compromised, she should be safe.

"We're here."

She nodded and exited the truck quickly, snagging a nearby cart as Edward grabbed a large flat one for the tile. It was almost thirty minutes later, as she inspected some wood flooring, when he finally said something to her that wasn't job related. He had kept especially close to her, but hadn't touched her.

"Let's go now," he said. His voice deeper and rougher than ever, but she realized his gaze was on something over her shoulder. There was some asshole leering at her ass. She didn't react since her resting face was damn scary to most. It worked perfectly and sent the man scurrying away.

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