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Edward drives Bella to school in the morning. His siblings drive in a separate car, and Edward explains that he’s breaking all his of family’s rules by being with her. He reads Jessica’s mind and tells Bella that Jessica will ask her if Bella and Edward are dating. Edward is right, and when Jessica asks, Bella tells her that Edward offered to drive her to Seattle on Saturday, and Bella admits that she likes him more than he likes her. Edward and Bella have lunch together. He’s bothered that Bella told Jessica she likes Edward more than he likes her, and he tells her that she’s wrong. When Bella claims that Edward is special and she’s ordinary, he says that she doesn’t know what every boy was thinking about her on her first day at school. He then offers proof of how much he cares for her by saying that he would rather hurt himself by leaving her than ever hurt her.
To change the subject, Edward asks if Bella would accompany him somewhere other than Seattle; the weather is supposed to be sunny that day, and he wants to show her what happens when he goes into sunlight, but he can’t do so in public. They begin to discuss how his family hunts, and Edward flashes his teeth. When Bella asks if she might see him hunt someday, Edward’s furious refusal frightens her.
In biology, Bella feels an electricity sitting next to Edward. After class, Edward strokes her cheek with his ice-cold fingers, yet she feels warmth. In gym, Mike tells Bella that he disapproves of her relationship with Edward, adding that Edward looks at her like she’s something to eat. After school, Edward admits that he eavesdropped on Bella’s conversation with Mike by reading Mike’s mind. To make it up to her, Edward offers to let Bella drive on Saturday. Later, Edward explains why Bella cannot come to watch him hunt: when his family hunts, their sense of smell overtakes their reasoning, which means that he might perceive Bella as prey.
The next morning, Charlie expresses his concern that Bella isn’t going to the dance. Soon, Edward picks Bella up for school. Throughout the day, he asks Bella about her likes, her dislikes, and her home in Phoenix. After school, they sit outside Bella’s house and talk in Edward’s car until twilight, which Edward explains is the safest time of day for him. As Bella steps out, another car pulls up. Edward speeds away, but not before he is caught in the other car’s headlights. Jacob Black steps out and greets Bella. His father, Billy, stares anxiously at Bella from the passenger seat. She can tell that Billy recognized Edward.
Bella admits to Jacob that Edward was in the car that drove off as Jacob and Billy drove up. Billy warns Bella to be careful. Charlie informs Bella that he plans to go fishing all day on Saturday. On Friday, Edward tells Bella that he’s leaving school early to go hunting with Alice so that it will be safer for him to be alone with Bella the next day. He says that Alice is the only sibling who’s supportive of his relationship with Bella; the others don’t understand his attraction to and fascination with her. When Bella notices Rosalie glaring at her, Edward explains that he’s endangering the family by being with Bella, because if he accidentally harms Bella, it will draw attention to the entire Cullen family. Alice comes over to introduce herself, and she and Edward leave.
By the end of the day, Bella has let Mike, Jessica, and Charlie know that she won’t be going to Seattle after all, but she lies about her plans to spend the day with Edward. On Saturday, Edward appears at her house and, as promised, lets her drive. They drive until the road ends at a deep forest and then hike for five miles to the edge of a bright, sunny meadow. Edward steps into the sunlight.
In the sunlight, Edward’s skin glitters as if it is made of diamonds. Bella strokes his arm, but when she leans too close, Edward instantly moves twenty feet away, fighting to control himself. He demonstrates how fast and strong he is to show Bella that he’s dangerous, but then he tells her not to be afraid because he won’t hurt her. Edward explains that he’s more dangerous to Bella than to anyone else because he has an intense craving for her. His brother Emmett has twice met strangers he craved in a similar way, and though Edward won’t tell her what happened to the strangers, Bella infers that Emmett killed them.
Edward confesses that he was tempted by Bella that first day in biology and tried to rearrange his schedule to avoid her, even driving to Alaska out of fear that he might hurt her. Once Edward convinced himself that he was strong enough to resist her, he returned and tried to treat her as he’d treat anyone else, but his attraction to Bella compelled him to save her from Tyler’s skidding van. Bella asks what she can do to make it easier for Edward to be near her. He slowly touches her neck and brings his face to her chest, listening to her heart. Edward then tries to explain what his internal struggle feels like, and Bella seems to understand. Edward lifts Bella onto his back and speeds through the forest, reaching the truck in minutes. They kiss, and Bella has an intense physical reaction, blood rushing to her face and her breath coming in gasps. Edward is happy that he was able to control himself. Bella feels woozy, so Edward insists on driving.
While thus far the novel has focused on Bella's perception of the budding relationship, in these chapters the reader gains insight into Edward's side of the story. Edward’s driving Bella to school rather than riding with his siblings shows how his allegiance is shifting from his family to Bella. It also reveals that most of Edward’s family disapproves of Edward’s relationship to Bella, and that they see that relationship as a potential threat to them. In light of these developments, Edward's trepidation about pursuing a relationship with Bella makes more sense.
At first, Edward lets down his guard and explores his feelings for Bella gingerly, mostly to test his ability to control himself around her. He still holds back, grimacing in disbelief when she suggests the possibility of watching him eat, worried he wouldn't be able to control himself in the moment. Bella wants to get close to Edward, but every time she does, he jumps away—a good metaphor for the dynamic between them. In fact, much of their conversation in the woods is Edward trying to scare her away while simultaneously telling her not to be afraid. While romantic, all of this emphasizes how conflicted he is about his attraction to her.
This section of the book revolves around the developing love and lust between Bella and Edward, who are no longer able to mask their yearning for one another and choose to accept it. Their emotional desires are now heightened by physical desire. Their restraint is palpable while they watch a movie in a dark room during biology class, their hunger for closeness portrayed by their rigid body language and clenched fists. Observant of the hunger for Bella burning in Edward’s eyes, Mike suggests to Bella that, “He looks at you like … you’re something to eat.” This dramatic irony is comical given what the audience and Bella know about Edward. His ultimate and primal desire is the lust for her blood, and these lines are a subtle nod to the underlying danger in his attraction. Edward's love is evident in his ability to hold himself back. He seems more concerned with his ability to stay in control of himself than to satisfy any romantic desires.
One dynamic that amplifies Edward's attraction to Bella is that he doesn't have the ability to read her mind. After a decade of knowing every single human's mundane thoughts, the one person whose thoughts he most wants to know is off limits to him. Edward must learn about Bella by listening to the minds of others, watching her from a distance, and asking her questions to fill in the blanks. In this way, Edward must feel much like his old 17-year-old human self again. The confident superhuman becomes the insecure, vulnerable teenager, a transformation that likely feels both uncomfortable and exhilarating. In a way, romance is a new unfamiliar challenge for the old soul who'd thought he'd experienced everything.