Edward hovered near me for the rest of the day and glowered at Riley. Hell, I glowered at Riley. Why he was here was beyond me? As Edward was putting the decorations away and pulling out the holiday decorations from the store room, Riley came over to me.
“Can we talk, Bella?” he asked, blinking at me and giving me his seductive grin.
“No. We can’t. You’ve done enough, Riley. You robbed me blind and …” I growled, not wanting to say the other thing. My heart deadened and all I wanted to do was to take all the sleeping pills in the bottle and never wake up. “I think it’s best that you leave.”
Riley’s eyes flashed angrily and he moved closer to me. “I’m working, babe. I can’t leave.”
“Back off,” Edward snarled, stepping between us and growing almost twice his size. “I don’t know what you did to Ms. Swan, but obviously, she’s not comfortable with you.”
“Oh, the boyfriend,” Riley sneered, his nose wrinkling and his facial expression turning more menacing.
“Right. The boyfriend,” Edward said, twining his fingers with mine. “Why are you even here? You’re the night custodian.”
“Shawn called in sick,” Riley chuckled, gazing at me and licking his lips. “I’ll see you later, Bella. In more ways than two.”
I shuddered, remembering that tone. Edward moved me behind him, clenching his hand into a tight fist. Riley took the hint and left my classroom. I released his hand, but Edward held firm until Riley was in one of the fifth-grade classrooms. “I’m not leaving you, Bella. He is truly evil,” Edward muttered. He looked at me and his green eyes were glittering with tears. “He will … He will not stop.”
“How do you know that?” I asked. “Can you read his mind?”
“No, but I know men like him,” he choked out, pulling me into his arms. I felt a stronger connection around me and I felt so protected. A few moments later, Edward released me, cupping my cheeks with his hands. “I’ll stay until you get ready to go bed after we leave school. Okay?”
“Okay,” I conceded, not wanting to be alone. Being so close to Riley unnerved me.
The kids came back in just prior to dismissal and we sent them on their buses or with their parents. Angela left immediately after school, wishing Edward luck before she met up with her fiancé who was driving her to the Port Angeles airport to catch a flight to SeaTac. Edward and I left shortly after that, getting ready to drive to my apartment. “Do you want to go out? I mean, have some drinks or dinner?” Edward asked.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “I’m tired and I’ve got a migraine.” Edward nodded and helped me into my coat. He gallantly carried my bags and helped me into my truck. He followed me back to the apartment. “Do you want something to eat?”
“I took the liberty of ordering some pizza,” Edward said. “I figured out how this cell phone contraption worked and it’s really quite convenient, yeah?” I giggled, seeing his expectant smile. We went inside, taking off our coats and sitting on my ratty couch.
“So, I have to ask. Why do you float from job to job?” I asked. “You’re clearly college educated and compassionate. The kids love you. Why don’t you just teach full-time? Are you some trust-fund baby?”
“I can assure you that I’m not a trust-fund baby,” Edward snorted, taking a sip of the beer I’d offered him. “I just like flexibility. I go where I’m needed.”