They get to Port Angeles quickly and go straight to its one large department store. Angela tells Bella that Tyler has already told everyone he is taking Bella to the prom--and that this is why Lauren doesn’t like her. When Bella has a moment alone with Angela, she asks if it is normal for the Cullens to miss school a lot, and Angela says that they often skip class, apparently to go camping, when the weather is nice.
After buying the dresses they still have some time before dinner, so Angela and Jessica walk down to the bay while Bella looks for bookstore. She gets lost and ends up in an unsafe part of town. A group of men in their twenties pass her and say some things to her, but she keeps walking quickly and gets more lost in a deserted area. She realizes that two of the men are still behind her, following her.
She starts to walk more quickly, and they let her get further ahead, but they remain behind her. She thinks she is coming upon a busier street, but when she turns onto it she sees that it is completely empty--and the other two men are waiting there for her. She is forced to go past them. As she starts to do so, they step closer to her. Right as she is about to panic, a car comes screeching around the corner and the door pops open, and she hears Edward’s voice telling her to get in.
She immediately feels safe, but as they drive away it becomes clear that Edward is furious. He stops the car outside of the city and tells her to distract him until he calms down. He explains that he has a problem with his temper, and he is trying to restrain himself from hunting down the men who wanted to hurt Bella. He takes Bella back to the restaurant where she was supposed to meet Angela and Jessica, but they have already eaten, so Edward tells them he’ll eat with Bella and then drive her home.
At dinner, Bella tells Edward she will explain her new theory on his moods and his eye color if he answers some of her questions. She asks how he knew she was in trouble, and he explains that he followed her to Port Angeles to make sure she was okay--and because he cannot hear her mind, he was reading the minds of the people in the town to try to find her when he saw what her attackers were thinking.
They get into the car, and Edward lets Bella ask a few more questions. She asks how he knew that she hadn’t gone into the bookstore, and he explains that he followed her scent. When she asks further about his mind-reading ability, he replies that he is the only one in his family who has it. Once he has heard a “voice,” he can recognize it or focus in on it within a few miles, but otherwise it is just a kind of background hum. He doesn’t know why he can’t hear Bella’s thoughts.
Bella then tells Edward how she flirted with Jacob to get him to tell her the old vampire legend, then did more research online. Finally, she tells him that she has decided that it doesn’t matter what he is. He is shocked but admits that her theory is right, admitting that he has been seventeen for quite a long time. She asks how he can come out during the day, and he says that the idea that vampires cannot do so is a myth. Also, he doesn’t sleep in a coffin; actually, he never sleeps.
He also confirms that his family doesn’t hunt people, but he emphasizes that this does not mean he isn’t dangerous to Bella—he is. They only hunt animals, which never fully satiates them but keeps them strong enough to survive. He also confirms her theory about his eyes: they are gold right after he hunts, then blacken as he gets hungry again.
They get back to Bella’s house, and Edward makes her promise that she won’t go into the woods alone because he isn’t the most dangerous thing out there. He also promises that he will be in school the next day, which is a huge relief to Bella. She goes inside and goes up to her room recognizing that yes, Edward is a vampire, and yes, she is completely in love with him.
The next morning Bella is excited to see that it is foggy out, meaning that Edward will be in school. As she gets into her truck to go to school, Edward’s car is suddenly behind her, and he offers her a ride. Jessica sees them come in together, and Edward tells Bella it would probably be best to tell Jessica that they’re secretly dating. This is the simplest explanation.
Jessica corners Bella in Trigonometry, and Bella manages to appease her with as few details as she possibly can, distracting her by talking about Jessica’s date with Mike. After class Edward is waiting for Bella to go to lunch with her. He questions her about some of the things she said to Jessica, which he knows from reading Jessica’s mind. Edward asks if Bella would do something else instead of going to Seattle. The weather is going to be nice, so he will be staying out of the sun and the public, but he wants Bella to come so she can see why he avoids the sun.
In this section, Bella’s different nature comes up again. Although Edward can read minds in general, as he had hinted, he cannot read hers. Somehow her mind is on a slightly different frequency compared with everyone else’s. This seems to be a physical manifestation of Bella’s different nature. When Edward admits that he can read minds, this is what she is most struck by—her own different nature.
In contrast, Bella barely reacts to the fact that Edward has this highly unusual skill. She takes rather quickly to the various ways that Edward is vastly different from the other people she knows. Her love for him is such that his differences are just part of what makes him amazing. Since she does not have quite the same faith in herself that she has in him, she feels disturbed by her own uniqueness. But she makes the most of his skill and her own uncertainties in a very self-aware, self-referential scene when she talks with her friend about her relationship with Edward, knowing full well that he is probably reading her friend's mind, so she makes sure to say things that will put thoughts in her friend's mind for Edward to hear.
Bella loves Edward, regardless of the fact that he is a vampire who has killed people, although she cannot understand why he loves her in return. What does she have going for her? She does not understand it, but she is starting to have faith in his love for her; he loves her for who she is, as she loves him for who he is. His love (or at least infatuation), after all, is one of the things keeping her alive. In this section, he not only restrains himself from hurting her, but he saves her life.
That Edward saves Bella from others brings up the theme of restraint in relation to good and evil. Although Edward’s instinct is to kill humans, he has risen above those feelings. Thus, he protects Bella, while her attackers, who were born without that killer instinct, have given way to their most base feelings and have chosen to attack her. Thus, again, it is self-control that keeps Edward from being a monster. The plot suspense, however, is in the reader’s not knowing what will happen while Bella is in danger.
Yet, at this point in the novel it is still not clear just how far his self-control goes. He has decided that he will stay around Bella no matter what, as long as she is willing, even though he does not yet trust himself to be around her without killing her. Bella remains unaware of just how powerful his motivations are. Ironically, when he says that he would hurt himself in order to keep Bella from being hurt, he also says that Bella would never be in a similar position. In fact, toward the end of the novel she is the one who engages in self-sacrifice for Edward, as the prologue suggests.
More broadly, the romantic themes continue in the high school context with frequent talk about dating and with considerations about what to say about who is dating (or hoping to date) whom.