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Bella's cheeks burned beneath her tears when Edward returned to his seat, wondering just how many of her notes he'd read. Kate immediately scrambled into his lap, though she was a too big for that now, and whispered in his ear. Edward nodded to her and whispered something back.

And while he was doing it, his hand reached for Bella's, clasping it tightly and drawing it so it rested against his outer thigh.

What was he doing? He'd called her his wife up there. Not his ex-wife, but his wife. He clung to her hand as he wept for his sister. And what had he said about the reading? That he understood it now?

What did that mean?

Bella sat frozen, overwhelmed by the day's most awful feeling yet: hope. Irrational, dangerous and wild for a glimpse of sunlight and breath of air.

Truly, she could hardly breathe, and hated herself for it.

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