Chapter 5

Playlist selection: Anxiety by Black Eyed Peas & Papa Roach

Bella POV
I toss the covers to the foot of the bed and throw my arms out to grasp onto Edward's body.  I'm so happy he's finally home, and I just want to cradle him to me, kiss his mouth, and breathe in his scent.  But, the body that sits next to me on the bed is not my fiance's, but my father's.  My sudden movements practically knock him to the floor. 
Charlie? What's he doing here? 
“Whoa!  Got a hot drink in my hands, Bells!”  My father scolded as he lurched from the bed, holding the mug away from his body.
I look at Charlie, confused. “Dad?  Wh-Where’s Edward?”
He sighs. “He’s not here, honey.  We haven’t heard from them yet.”  He sits the ceramic cup on the nightstand and wipes the spilled liquid from his hands onto his pants. Clearing his throat, he continues, “I take it that you didn’t hear from them last night either, huh?”
“No,” I whisper, shaking my head slowly. He will be there, I tell myself. He has to be there. 
Tears collect in my eyes again, and I furiously blink, attempting to keep them from spilling.  I slump down onto the mattress, inhaling deeply and praying that I can muster enough control to prevent a break down. 
After a moment of awkward silence, Charlie says, "C'mon, honey.  Your mom is making breakfast... and you need to get ready for graduation."  I nod, but don’t offer a reply, afraid if I open my mouth, I will scream or cry.
I find my cell phone tangled within the blankets of the bed and notice there’s no response from Edward.  I send him a quick text, begging for a reply, a phone call, a fucking smoke signal… anything!  Slapping my phone shut, I reach for the mug of tea and shuffle toward the bedroom door.
Downstairs, Carrumba is causing a ruckus in her cage.  She has upturned her metal water bowl and is dragging it across the bars of the enclosure like a prisoner in from an old movie.
“…GWAAAWWK! Hel-lo. Doo-doo-DOOOO!...”
“Mornin’, Carrumba,”  I mumble as I pass her cage, heading for the kitchen.  She stops squawking and eyes me through the bars as I gather her food, a wooden cutting board, and a knife. 
The silence in the house is deafening, so I resort to talking to her while I’m assembling her snacks.
“What’s going through that little bird brain of yours, huh?  Are you wondering where your family is? Are you missing your beloved Edward as much as I am?” 
As I am slicing through an apple, I inadvertently cut my finger. “Mother fucking cock-monkey!”
Shut up, bird.
Sucking the drop of blood from my finger, I grimace at the metallic taste and wonder how wild animals can relish the flavor of a fresh kill.  I couldn’t do it.  I’d be the only vegetarian lioness on the prairie. 
I replenish Carrumba’s food dishes and clean up my mess in the kitchen.  Glancing at the clock, I notice that it’s nine o’clock and I have to be at the graduation venue at 11:30. 
Slipping on my flip flops, I wave good-bye to Carrumba and exit through the front door, locking the dead bolt.  As I trudge across the front lawn, I attempt a call to Edward’s phone.  The connection rings once and then his voicemail picks up.  My chin quivers at the sound of his silky voice and I dab my eyes, ridding them of the collected moisture.
I turn to see Angela, her hair in curlers and barefoot, calling me from the front door of her house.  She asks if I've heard from the Masens yet and I tell her 'no' and that I am extremely worried. Tightly wrapping me in a hug, she says a prayer for their safe return, and gives my shoulders one final squeeze before holding me at arms length and looking into my eyes. "He'll be here, Bella. I just know it."
Giving her a small smile, I tell her that I will see her later and turn to continue through the yard and over to my house.
Our classmates are gathered in the backstage area of the US Airways Center in Phoenix - the venue for our graduation ceremony.  With nearly eight hundred seniors in our class, we needed a large arena to accommodate the graduates and their families. 
During rehearsal yesterday, we were instructed to pair up with a "walking buddy" for the processional as we enter the arena and take our seats on the main floor.  Angela paired up with Ben, and Peter chose Charlotte, of course.  Naturally, Edward would be my buddy, but I have a sinking feeling that I will be walking alone.  And to make matters worse, the school administrators have opted to allow buddies to sit together throughout the entire event, instead of separating us into alphabetic order.  Now, it seems I will be sitting by myself too.  
"...going to Andy's party tonight?"
"My parents got me a..."
"...heard back from ASU..."
The lively voices of my classmates drone on like a distant thunderstorm.  Their words rumble around me, muted, and don't make much of an impression.  I can't concentrate on any of their conversations.  My thoughts are distracted by a boy with emerald eyes, a wicked case of bed head, and the softest lips on the planet.   
"...and I are staying at the..."
"Cancun, here we..."
"...plans for the summer?"
I look up at the boy standing behind me.  He smiles, then redirects his attention to his blue graduation gown.  His long fingers press against the polyester fabric, trying to iron out the wrinkles.  I watch as they travel back up toward his head and adjust the tassel.
At the sound of his name, I whip my head to look at the squinty-eyed girl to the boy's left... his walking buddy.  I think her name is Christine.
"I said, 'Where's Edward?' I haven't seen him."
"I, uhh, I don't know."
"I thought I saw him over by the refreshment table," the boy said.  "He's friends with Peter Weber, right?"
"YES!" I shout, turning to frantically look for Edward in the direction of the reception area.  I sprint from the group I was standing near toward the lobby doors and spot Peter as he nibbles on snack mix from the refreshment table. "Pete!"
"Hey, Bells.  You ready for this?" he asks, gesturing to our caps and gowns.
"Yes and no," I shrug.  He nods, popping a pretzel into his mouth.
"Uh, Pete? Where did Edward go?"
Peter furrows his brows. "Edward...? He's here? Where?" He cranes his neck around, looking for his best friend.
"Someone told me that they saw you and Edward talking a few minutes ago..." 
"No. I haven't seen him since last week, Bella.  You know that."
He still isn't here.  The roller coaster of emotions was really starting to mess with my head.  Elation, disappointment, anxiety, and overwhelming dread have been wreaking havoc on my heart the last few days, leaving me feeling exhausted and weak. 
I practice deep breathing, trying to calm my fears, as I return to my position near the end of the line of students.  My hands are shaking slightly, and the sense of foreboding is threatening to overtake my body.  Deep breath in... Deep breath out...
One of our teachers claps her hands to gain our attention and instructs us to get into formation.  As the first sounds of Pomp and Circumstance begin, my chin begins to tremble, and I lose the battle to control my tears as one slips down my cheek.  Christine notices my silent sob and envelopes me in a hug, assuming that I'm emotional over the significance of the day.  Glancing toward the front of the line, I notice Angela staring at me as I try to regain my composure.  She breaks away from Ben and runs to me, gripping me in a quick hug and whispering, "He'll be here," and runs back to her place in line.
As the class of 2010 walks through the doors to the main floor of the arena, I can barely focus on my surroundings.  Shouts and whistles from family members can be heard from every direction, but I mindlessly follow the couple in front of me.  As we walk down the aisle and break off to our assigned rows, Christine slides into the seat next to me.
"NOOO!"  I slap my hand down on the metal chair, preventing her from sitting down. "This is Edward's seat... he'll be here."  Christine furrows her brow, shrugs, and sits in the next seat." 
The school's principal scampers onto the stage and introduces the panel of guest speakers behind him.  The Salutatorian and Valedictorian deliver their generic speeches, claiming this time as the beginning of our lives and all the opportunities that are in our future... blah, blah, blah.  I can't pay attention to their incessant babbling.  Nervously looking around, I pray that I will spot Edward sneaking into the arena and searching for me.  But my prayers go unanswered.
Lifting the skirt of my graduation gown, I rummage in the pocket of my dress slacks and pull out my cell phone.  Christine notices my fidgeting and I glance at her, seeing her frowning at me.  I roll my eyes, muttering that she should mind her own fucking business as I type out a quick text to Edward.
The house lights dim and a slide show of pictures of students and events from our senior year is projected onto the oversized screen above the stage.  Ushers stand at the end of the rows of students, signalling our turn to stand and exit the main floor to maneuver backstage.  Before my row is called, I climb onto the seat of my chair, surveying the stands for my parents... and hopefully, Ed Senior and Elizabeth.  No luck.  I make a slow circle on the seat, nearly losing my balance, as I search the exit doorways and dark recesses all around the main floor for any sign of Edward. 
Nothing.  Dammit!
"C'mon, Edward, please!" I say to myself, not caring if anyone around me hears my desperate plea. 
As my row is escorted toward the backstage area, my hands begin to shake and I feel the prickling of tears forming in my eyes again. Where the fuck is he?  I clench my jaw, grinding my teeth and tap down the threatening emotions.  Deep breath in... Deep breath out...
I vaguely notice the voice of our principal booming over the mic, announcing the graduates' names. 
"...Janet S. Chandler..."
"...Ryan B. McCormick..." 
"...Aaron J. Parcovich..."
Maybe they are stuck in traffic, or can't find a parking spot... 
"...Allison M. Nelson..."
"...Benjamin S. Cheney..."
Maybe Edward is rushing through the arena's lobby, looking for the best entry onto the main floor. 
"...Angela J. Weber..."
"...Andrew B. Castillo..."
Maybe he's standing next to the stage, waiting until his name is called to rush to the podium and receive his diploma.
The line begins to move forward, and I mindlessly follow the person in front of me, winding around the backstage area in an S-formation.  Peter and Charlotte peer back at me from their place in line with sad smiles.  I return their smile and wring my hands together, fighting off the shakes again.  Something is wrong, I just know it.
My stomach is twisting, and I swallow the sudden reflux of bile in my throat.   
Maybe he's... maybe he's dead.  
"...Charlotte J. Keane..."
"...Peter W. Weber..."
No. No, he's not dead.  He can't be dead.  He's just... late.   
"...Christopher M. Yochem..."
"...Lindsey A. Thompson..."
My sandals clang against the metal stairs that lead to the stage.  The red-haired girl standing in front of me steps around the curtain and into the spot light, crossing in front of the podium.
"...Isabella M. Swan..."
There's a nudge at my back and I whip around to jump into Edward's arms, but find myself staring into Christine's blue eyes.
"That's you, Bella." She waves her hand toward the stage. "They just called your name."
I slowly turn toward the curtain opening, moving one foot in front of the other, and come out onto the stage.  Glancing at the panel of school administrators and guest speakers, suddenly I feel dizzy.  The combination of my overwhelming emotions and the blinding spotlight causes me to lose my direction, and I stall midway to the podium.  I look behind me, momentarily, hoping to see Edward next in line... but he's not there.  I whirl around and scan the perimeter of the stage, but I don't see him anywhere.  Tears spring into my eyes, and my chin begins to tremble.  Principal Adams is smiling brightly at me and holds out his hands; one with a scroll, tied with a blue ribbon, and the other for me to shake.
"Congratulations, Miss Swan."
Robotically, I reply, "Thank you."
I continue to the opposite side of the stage as the tears fill and blur my vision, my stomach knots and my heart begins to pound in my chest.
"...Edward A. Masen..."
His name forces the tears to fall, and I stop at the top of the descending stairs, turning to look behind me.  Is he here?  Has he shown up?
Principal Adams repeats, "Edward A. Masen?"
No Edward.
He continues, "...Christine J. Brightman..."
I stumble to the bottom step, gripping the handrail to steady my suddenly weakened knees.  With my vision impaired, nausea coming in waves, and legs threatening to give out on me, I stagger to the first row of students, clutching the chair backs as I try to return to my seat.
He didn't make it.   
Sobs erupt from my chest as I fight to return to my chair.  My legs give away, causing me to collapse against the cool, concrete floor.  My fellow classmates are probably wondering what the fuck is wrong with me, but I don't care.  The only thing that matters is Edward, but he didn't show up.  How could he do this to me? 
Paranoia rises in me, once again.  Did he beg his parents to allow him to skip graduation because he didn't want to see me?  Did he meet someone else while they were camping?  He wouldn't do that to me, would he?
Voices are shouting, and confetti and graduation caps are falling around me, but I can't seem to give a damn.  My whole world is fading away, and these dumb, teenage dip-shits are celebrating? 
"Noooooo!" I yell, or whisper... I can't even tell anymore.  How could he do this to me?  If he wanted to leave me, why would he humiliate me at graduation?  Couldn't he wait until afterward, when we were alone, to break my heart and destroy my soul?
Unless something horrible has happened.
"Bella?" Angela's panicked voice rings through my ear. "BELLA!"
"I've got her, Ang."  Charlie's voice is closer and eerily calm.  His strong arms pull me to my feet and hoist me into his arms, bridal-style. "It's going to be okay, Bells.  Let's get you home."
I punch the button on the car door handle to roll down the backseat window.  The warm breeze is soothing.  My father raises his voice to speak over my loud sobs, "I'm going to drive to Apache County and meet up with one of my friends from the sheriff's office.  I'll call him on the way and ask if he'll meet me at the national forest's ranger station.  We've got to figure out what's going on."
"I- I- I'm going w-with you."
"No, Bella.  I want you to stay with your mother in case they call... or come home."
My shaky voice is stronger now. "No, Dad.  I'm going with you."
He ignores my declaration and turns to my mother, "Renee, when we get home, help Bella upstairs and get her into a bath or something.  Get her to calm down somehow."
"Bella, I need you to help your mom call hospitals, and someone needs to stay home in case they show up."
Now I'm getting angry.  The love of my life is missing, and he wants me to sit at home and make phone calls?  No fucking way.
I've gone from hysterically crying to screaming, "Would you want to sit around and make phone calls if it was your wife missing?  Would you want to wait for someone to call or show up?  No.  You wouldn't.  Well, neither do I.  I am NOT sitting here waiting.  I am going with you to find my fiancé, Dad."  I huffed and crossed my arms across my chest, stubbornly refusing to give in.  No. Fucking. Way. "Besides, if I don't come with you, then I will just take Edward's truck to go look for him."
Charlie stews over my outburst, glaring at me in the rearview mirror with narrowed eyes. "Fine."
We arrive home, and I dash into the house, making a quick trip to the bathroom, and then to my room, packing an overnight bag.  When I get downstairs, Renee is sitting at the computer in the kitchen, pen and paper in hand, and writing down hospital names and phone numbers on a legal pad.
"Bella, you guys be careful.  Do you have your phone charger for the car?  Can you call me as soon as you get there?"
"Of course, Mom.  Thank you for not making me stay here.  You know I would go insane."
She smiles and kisses my forehead. "I love you, babydoll."
"Love ya, too."
I enter the garage and find Charlie rummaging through his gadgets, tossing items into his daunting, yellow tackle box... knives, rope, and flashlights.  I climb into the passenger seat of the truck as he runs into the house for a moment and returns with two gun cases - one containing a .45mm Glock and the other, his sharp-shooter rifle.
"Don't you think that's a little extreme, Dad?"
"You never know," he mutters, more to himself than to me. "Now, let's get on the road."
Renee wears a sad smile as she steps outside, waving goodbye, as we pull out of the driveway.
An hour or so into our journey, and I'm fed up with the country music station blaring in the car; I reach for the volume knob and twist it.  Charlie cocks me an eyebrow, silently asking,  "What's up?"
"Yeah, Bells?"
"Um... What do you think is going on?"
He releases a heavy sigh and grips the steering wheel tighter. "I don't know, hon."
Silence ensues as we sift through the scenarios in our heads.  Could they be injured and in a hospital?  Maybe a gang of gypsies kidnapped them, holding them for ransom... or maybe they are lost in the wilderness of the national forest.  Oh, God!  What if they went hiking, and they all slipped and fell into a hidden cave, and they are screaming out for help!?  What if Renee calls to tell us that they've returned home, each wearing embroidered Mickey Mouse ears from Disney World, and they simply lost track of time, forgetting all about graduation today!?
Yeah, I know that last thought was ridiculous, but fuck it... I'm starting to lose my mind!
Charlie flips the turn signal on and exits the highway, decelerating on the exit ramp.  He pulls into a gas station and hands me a twenty dollar bill, asking me to get him a combo meal from the fast food restaurant next door while he pumps the gas.  I return several minutes later, juggling super-sized sodas and a large bag of fatty, greasy goodness and slip into the passenger seat of his car.
"...uh huh... right... We'll be there in another two hours... No... Just meet us at the ranger's station... Okay... great... Yeah, thanks, Randy."
"Who was that?  Your deputy friend?"
"Yeah, uhh, he's going to meet us at the ranger's station."
I nod, situating the food bag between us on the center console of the car and securing my seat belt.  Charlie exits the gas station and turns onto the on ramp of the highway.  As he merges into traffic, he clears his throat nervously.
"So, um, Bella? I, uh... I filed a missing persons report for them."
The muscles of my neck fail, and my head falls forward.  Tears form in my eyes again, and suddenly the chicken sandwich in my hand has lost all it's appeal.  I wrap it up, shove it back into the bag and turn to gaze out of the passenger side window.  Rolling it down, I rest my elbow on the sill and prop my head up with my hand.  My left hand is clawing into the fabric of the seat as I try to ward off another round of inconsolable crying. 
Charlie pats my knee awkwardly, unsure of how to handle delicate situations, especially when it comes to me.
"I'm sure there's a logical explanation as to what's going on, Bella.  I just thought we should do it because this is unusual behavior for any of them."
"Yeah..." My voice is meek and muffled by my hand.
He turns up the music again, using it as a distraction for himself, but it doesn't matter to me.  My mind is a whirl of torment.  So many questions, so many possibilities, and one overwhelming sense of dread.
Two hours later, we arrive at the ranger's station of the Apache National Forest.  Charlie helps me out of the car, wrapping his arm around my shoulders and pulling me against his side for support.  Escorting me into the building, he leads me to a wooden bench against the wall, then turns to the reception desk.
A young blonde man, wearing a muted green uniform shirt and dark pants, approaches my father at the desk. "Can I help you, sir?"
"I'm Charlie Swan.  I spoke with Ranger Tomlinson this morning, and I'm meeting an Apache County Sheriff's Deputy here."
The young man nods as two muscular men emerge from a glass-walled office.
"Hey, Charlie!"  the taller man calls from behind the reception desk as he walks to greet my dad.  They shake hands and Charlie turns to introduce me to Officer Randy Baker.  I offer an unenthusiastic, sad smile from my bench. Someone clears his throat, and Randy snaps his head to the other man. "Oh! And this is Ranger Tomlinson."  He points to the short, balding gentleman behind him and Charlie exchanges introductions again.
"So, uh..." My dad looks warily over his shoulder at me, probably judging my current emotional breakdown level. "Can we talk in your office?"
"I'm coming too!"
Ranger Tomlinson and Randy appear shocked at my sudden outburst, and Charlie sighs.
"Bells, why don't you wait here, while we discuss-"
"I said I'm coming with you.  We are looking for my fiancé and his family.  You will NOT leave me out of the loop!" I fold my arms across my chest and march up to the reception desk. "Well?  Are we going to talk in the office, or not!?"
Charlie looks into the amused faces of the two gentlemen and shrugs his shoulders. "You heard the woman... let's all talk."  He waves his hand toward the office and ushers me around the desk, holding me close to his side with his arm around my shoulders again.
Ranger Tomlinson flops down into his worn office chair as Charlie and Randy sit in the metal folding chairs across the desk.  I stand out of the way, leaning against a bookcase near the corner of the room, and admire a detailed map of the national forest that hangs on the wall behind me.  The three discuss the entry logs from the station, as well as strange occurrences in the area.
Randy points to a map underneath the plexiglass on the desk. "We've received reports of a mauled auto mechanic from Eager and a handful of break-ins noted in Springerville within the last week.  That's really unusual in these little towns."
"Yeah, uhh..." Randy briefly glances in my direction, but proceeds with his statement. "Like he was attacked by some kind of wild animal... or a vicious murderer. "
"Whoa," Ranger Tomlinson replies. 
"Really?" Charlie looks a little excited. "What kind of animal?  A bear?!"
Randy shakes his head and glances at me again. "Um, no. Well, he wasn't hiking or hunting, actually... He was in his living room."
Collective gasps echo throughout the room as the four of us contemplate the possibilities of wild animals breaking into a house to eat the inhabitants.  There is silence for a few moments before Ranger Tomlinson interrupts our musings.
"There wasn't any evidence of an animal in the house?  No tracks?  Fur?"
Randy shakes his head. "The strangest thing was that the body sustained such horrific injuries - a missing arm, flesh ripped from his neck, a crushed leg - but there wasn't any blood.  It was like it all evaporated or... was sucked out."
"Huh," Charlie replies, ever the articulate one.
Ranger Tomlinson bows his head to stare at his boots. "Damn."
A few more moments of silence ensues until Ranger Tomlinson looks up quickly at Randy, and then to my dad. "You know... now that you mention there wasn't any blood on the scene, we had an incident over the weekend with a few of our deer being killed, but no blood was found near the bodies, either.  One of the rangers found a small grouping of them in a meadow near one of the camp grounds. They weren't mutilated like that poor guy up in Eager, thank God, but the four of them had large tears in their necks - right through the jugulars - but it was like they were drained and the carcasses left to rot.  What kind of animal would do that?"
I have had enough of this talk about savage animal attacks and am desperate to get to the bottom of why we were here.  Edward.
"Dad?  Can we revisit this thrilling conversation at another time?  We have to get up to the cabin."  My legs are bouncing uncontrollably, and I am biting my nails, anxious to get to to bottom of our situation.
Ignoring me, they continue the discussion for a few more minutes before Charlie confirms the route to the Masen's cabin.  He continues to try to persuade me to stay at the ranger station while he and Randy "go have a look see".  Being the stubborn female that I am, I refuse to be left alone while they traipse around the trails, looking for my fiancé.
After standing my ground for what seemed like an eternity, I declare that they are wasting precious daylight arguing with me about going up to the cabin.  I have been there several times throughout the years with the Masens and know it is a long drive along the trails.
Finally, Charlie, Randy, and I climb into Randy's SUV and set out to search for our friends.
For the next twenty minutes, I'm tossed around the backseat of the vehicle, thanks to the rough terrain and Randy's unfamiliarity of the roads.  We emerge from the tree covered dirt path and pull up into the open front yard of the Masens' cabin.   
The sun is fading in the sky, and the shadows of the trees surrounding the clearing creep across the grass, shading most of the property.  Elizabeth's hammock is still sitting on the far side of the lawn.
"Dad..." My voice wavers as I point toward the lawn furniture and miscellaneous camping equipment that are sitting in their typical places.
"I see 'em, honey," he replies grimly. "I don't see their minivan.  Maybe they left to get more supplies and will be back in a little bit.  Why don't you sit here by the SUV while Randy and I check things out, okay?"
He doesn't wait for my response and leaves to join Randy as he walks up to the front porch of the cabin.  They chat for a minute, and Randy walks out toward the perimeter of the clearing, flashlight in hand.  Charlie starts toward the opposite side of the cabin, peering in windows and then checking out the equipment sprawled across the property - a gas grill, lawn chairs, two ice chests.  Feeling completely useless sitting here and twiddling my thumbs, I decide to head into the cabin.
Maybe there's a note, or some clue. 
While my dad is around the back of the cabin, I sneak onto the porch and use my t-shirt to twist the door knob - just in case they have to dust for fingerprints or something.  Suddenly the weight of that thought registers in my head, and my chest begins to ache.  That heavy sense of foreboding descends upon me, and I fight to swallow the bile again. 
I push the door open, noticing a slight musky scent, but it's not overpowering. "Hello?" I whisper into the empty living room. "Hellooo?"
No answer.
The cabin is sparsely decorated, so I don't notice anything missing or out of the ordinary.  As I creep further into the room, heavy footsteps are pounding on the front porch.
"I thought I told you to wait by the car!"  Charlie yells, standing with his hands on his hips.
"I have to do something, Dad.  But I promise, I haven't touched a single thing!"
That seems to appease him somewhat.  He nods and heads off toward the small kitchen area.  I move in the opposite direction, heading for Edward's room. 
I push open the door, immediately noticing the sweet smell of Edward.  I inhale deeply, quickly feeling a sense of calm wash over me. Basking in his tiny room, I wrap my arms around my body, wishing they were his strong arms squeezing me tight as he places a tender kiss to my temple.  
I open my eyes and notice the dresser mirror hanging unhinged from one side.  That's odd.  The wood around the disconnected piece is smashed and splintered, and on the wall next to it, there seems to be scratch marks and a dried smear of something. Huh?
Not giving it another thought, I back away from the mirror, bumping my thighs into the bed.  I sit down on the mattress and smile to myself, remembering the tryst Edward and I had in this room when I joined the Masens on a camping trip two months ago.  Bouncing a few times, I recall how squeaky the springs were that night and how we had to keep very quiet, as to not wake up his parents.
Looking at the rumpled bedding, I whimper, remembering the way he held the sheet around his naked body as he walked me to the bedroom door, kissing me goodnight, before I tiptoed back to the open sofa-bed in the living room.  God, Edward is sexy wrapped up in a sheet.
Running my hands over the soft fabric, I can never forget the texture of it on my skin as I gripped it tightly during my orgasms that night... all three of them.
Finally, I reach up toward the pillow, recalling Edward having to bite it during his climax, to prevent himself from groaning too loudly.  My memories are halted by a dark stain down the side of the pillow and onto the fitted sheet below.  I stand and pull the pillow closer to me, trying to get a better glimpse of it in the fading light streaming through the windows. After a moment of deciphering, a realization hits me and I gasp, wide-eyed, and toss the pillow back to the bed roughly.
Things happen so fast after that - a loud, panicked wail comes from the room beside Edward's, Randy hollers from outside the cabin, and I release a piercing scream...


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