"Do we have everything?" she asked Edward, noting the anger in his face. She couldn't help herself. "You are jealous." He tried to deny it with a scowl and a flat out no, but she noticed that he refused to meet her eyes. She punched his shoulder as friends would and chuckled. "It's all right, I like my men a little rough around the edges. There's really no one rougher than you for a hundred square miles."

He grunted and gestured toward the front of the store. She followed and found her strides didn't even come close to his long ones, making it hard to catch up. As if he realized it, he slowed and offered her a shrug as an apology. Speechless as ever, he paid for the materials despite her protest. It wasn't until she started to load up the materials in her truck that he spoke again. "Let me do it, before you get hurt."

"I'll have you know, I have lugged my cameras and equipment around all by myself for years." She even flexed her bicep, but he looked unimpressed.

"How old are you?" he asked, continuing on his task as if she said nothing. He even went as far as blocking her every time she tried to help, with his backside. She was ready to smack it if he tried that again.

"Hasn't your mother told you never to ask a woman her age?" She tried to act disgusted, but she wasn't very convincing since he cocked her a crooked smile. Oh, that's pretty. His eyes did the crinkle thing, too—nice.

"You are a walking contradiction. You act like a professional when it comes to displaying your work at the local gallery, but you listen to pop music and get drunk with my mother. That shows youth."

"I'll have you know, I'm nearly thirty." He looked at her and waited, just staring. She huffed and averted her eyes, because his were so intense. "I'm almost twenty-seven and I hadn't realized she spiked the lemonade. I listen to that kind of music because the beat is perfect for exercise. Besides I listen to just about everything."

She wasn't angry about his "youth" comment, since she knew her personality gave her age away. "Wait a minute? How do you know how I act when I'm dressed to impress the local gallery owner? The last time was months ago."

He ignored her. Oh, he was looking for trouble. She grabbed a box of tile caps but he took it from her, and immediately turned to put it in the truck. As if she had no control of her body, she smacked his ass and made her way to her door without a look back. It wasn't hard, but she instantly regretted it. She braced herself when she heard his footsteps behind her. Before she could fully open the door, his hand closed it.

His breath was harsh and hot against her neck, his chest an inch away from her back, as his hands formed a cage around her. With him so close, it was suddenly too hot.

"Besides your mouth," he said in a rough voice against her ear, not quite touching her. "Your hands are sure to get you in trouble."

"This hand?" She slipped her hand between them, to the small of her back. There, she felt how hard he was for her, a small moan escaped. His responding curse was thick with need and her knees buckled when he pressed himself against her more fully. "Oh my go—" One of his fingers moved her chin just so, right before he fit his mouth over hers. She whimpered at the bite of his teeth, the thrust of his hips against her ass and wandering hand.

"Fuck," he said and almost stumbled in his haste to back away. He shook his head, rubbing his hands over his face. "Let's go. Half the day is already gone." He opened the door and helped her inside, not wasting an opportunity to skim his hand up her thigh for a moment. He didn't look the least bit sorry for it, either.

He closed the passenger door, but something caught his eye and he bent to pick it up. Turning her attention to her purse, Bella looked over the receipt he let her have and noticed something missing.

"Oh shit," she said and went for the door handle when Edward opened his and tossed the fragments of her cell phone on the seat.

"That's the second phone I've found in that condition. Explain now." There was no questioning how upset he was now.

"You went through my trash?" She tried for righteous anger, but he saw it as an attempt to hold off on telling him anything.

"I thought you were fucking taken, what the hell was I supposed to do? Now quit avoiding this and explain why you've destroyed two phones. Two very expensive phones, for that matter. I've seen these used by the damn military."

She turned to face the window and said nothing. The door slammed closed as he started the truck and burned rubber as he exited the parking lot.

"If you're in trouble, I need to fucking know, Bella."

She had no idea what to do, but the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. "No one can know."

"I can't promise you that."

She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the window. "Then I don't have to tell you shit." The next sounds out of him were a series of curses and even a growl. He had a right to be angry, but she wasn't about to put anyone else in danger. His anger remained for several miles, when he tried to ask again. "We're just fucking, remember?"

She startled when he turned down some dirt road she hadn't even seen the entrance to, and spun to look at Edward. For weeks, as he worked on her house, she'd seen mostly two expressions on his beard-covered face—closed off and angry, which looked like his turned on face. Now that she was witnessing true anger, she felt scared of him for the first time.

The truck came to an abrupt stop, kicking up debris and dust, clouding vision for a few short seconds around them. Her breathing had picked up, but she tried in vain to stop it. Why did she forget to arm herself? Alec told her to always carry her gun.

Oh God, he's fucking trained in combat. I have no chance, she thought.

"Bella," his voice was a gruff whisper, his hands vices on her arms. How did she end up in his arms? Her brain checked in again, and immediately, she scrambled away from him, only stopping as her body hit the passenger door. "I'm not going to hurt you."

Her eyes darted from the window to him. Despite the fact that it looked as if could rain, she could run.

"Don't even think of running, honey. I will catch up. I'm not going to hurt you, I swear." His hand reached out and she tightened her body against the door further. "Who the fuck made you this scared?"

She closed her eyes and tried to gather control. Four years of running and crippling loneliness—Paul did not count—had led up to that moment. Body part by body part, she worked each one to a relaxed state, all under his unwavering gaze. The concern in his eyes was real, despite what he said that morning, but the anger was still there. She wasn't sure if it was toward her or those who were after her.

"For you to understand, I'd have to start from the beginning." She ran a hand through her hair and felt trapped. Despite his words, she threw open the door and jumped out. He was quick to follow, and when he realized that she wasn't going to run, he pulled down the tailgate for them to sit down. "I'm not ready to tell you everything, but I witnessed a murder and the killer has ties to the mob."

His reaction was exactly what she expected—silence.

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