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Tender Thrills

Chapter Text

A hefty sigh escaped the young teenager's lips as she plopped down on the bed. She peeled off the yellow rubber gloves that she wore and pulled off her scrunchie to fix her hair. Her body was covered with a slight sheen of sweat.

Mia rested her arms on her knees as she sat in a crouched position with her eyes analyzing the nearly bare room. Not much remained within the colorful walls; she had almost finished putting away most of the items. There were a couple of boxes set up by the wall, all full of Mia's items. And all ready to be shipped to another place by tomorrow evening.

So many years had passed since she actually spent time with her dad. Too many in the opinion of the young adolescent confined in the room. Mia had forgotten how her father had even looked like. So with constant begging, crying and emotionally blackmailing her sister and her mother, she was allowed to continue her high school life in the 'cold and dreary town of Forks'. Those being her sister's exact words with an enormous grimace.

But Mia couldn't wait, she would finally be with her dad who was equally excited. Though he hid it better than she did.

The day she found out was during their weekly call from Charlie (weekly and not daily due to the huge bill that always came from the long distanced calls). It had been a brutal day with the dry heat of Phoenix. Mia had been complaining about College opportunities because all of her classmates had an idea of where they would go.

'"Sara has been over the moon about the response UCLA sent her. Junior year is about to finish and practically every classmate of mine has found some kind of place to go. It would be fine if the teachers weren't hounding me to pick a place."

Charlie hummed over the phone.

"Well, have you thought of what field you want to go in?"

"I thought medicine could be a great choice. Every college councilor thought it was a good option but I don't like the University and colleges they showed me."

"Medical is very hard from what I've heard. But I think you made a good choice," Charlie spoke. "And, what's wrong with the Universities?"

Mia sighed and lied back on the couch, "Some of the Universities are too far, some are far too expensive and none seem to have a great advantage to them. If I do decide to go to the more well-known ones, the dorm fee itself could be the fee I could pay at a lower, less known university.

I'm just tired of constantly worrying about the future. I mean, I'm not even this stressed about senior year."

"Well, it's good you still have a year left. That's plenty of time to figure out the entire issue."

"Yeah," Mia sighed. "How's Forks? And how's the gang?"

Charlie spluttered from his end making Mia burst into giggles.

"Gang?"

"Well, you know, the 'Dad's gang'. Its what I call all of your friends, because, honestly if I asked about each one of them separately, it would end up with the call being 2 hours longer than usual."

"Well, everyone is good. And, honestly, they all seem very excited."

Mia perked up.

"Wait! Why?"

"Forks is having a newcomer soon, and you know, this town loves new people."

"That seems nice. No one even notices if a whole group of people appear out of nowhere in Phoenix. Do you know who the person is?"

"Yeah, I think you'd be really excited to find out who it is."

"Robert Downey, Jr.!"

"No Mia," Charlie snickered, "It's not Robert Downey, Jr. It's you!"

Mia paused and cocked her head to the side. Had she heard wrongly?

"What do you mean 'it's you'?"

"Well, Ren-your mother and I decided it would be nice for your last year of high school to be in Forks."

"No way," Mia breathed out. Her words cut off Charlie's worried chatter, "Oh my goodness! I can't wait!"

She heard her father breathe out in relief.

"I can't believe it! How long ago did you decide this?"

"Well, it's been well over a week. We were just figuring out how to transfer you over without any issues."

Mia had squealed and thanked her father over the phone. For the first time since the beginning of the second semester, Mia smiled happily.'

And here she was, nearly finished packing her things. Her soul content with the move. Unlike her sister, Isabella.

For some reason, Isabella shared her mother's dislike about the small town. It wasn't just the place, but the lack of opportunities as well, or so Isabella thought. Not to mention, Isabella never truly liked the rain. She had always found it troublesome. And she didn't make any attempt to hide that fact either. So whenever she had visited Charlie in the past, it was blatantly obvious she wasn't happy, putting a strain on her relationship with Charlie.

It also didn't help the case when he overheard Bella call him Charlie, his first name, instead of his righteous title.

Ugh, Bella, Mia thought.

Being the younger child meant a lot of things; having certain expectations, always being the best like the elder child as well as making up for the other's mistakes. Not to mention the constantly disappointed glare of the parents when the child wasn't what they hoped for. But Mia Swan was used to it and let it not hurt her, for, she knew her dad would always love her, more than her mother did. But Bella, she never tried making it easier for Mia. She just thrust books upon Mia, forcing her to try to like the same things Bella did as well as never letting Mia have her own opinion. But what was worse in Mia's opinion was that she tried to connect with Bella (accepting those old boring books of hers, letting Bella ramble on her beliefs) but Bella didn't try the same.

Mia remembered when she picked up her first book, a fictional. She was obsessed with it and hoped that Bella would share that love but Bella just made a face and never even tried to read it. Then, when Mia found refuge in anime, Bella gave her a lecture. A lecture! Of all things, a lecture about liking weird cartoons.

But the last straw for Mia was when Bella dissed their father's efforts to rekindle their relationship when he offered to have them in the summer. That was how it became, the rift between the two Swans. Though they would smile and laugh (only to appease their mother) with each other, Mia never felt like she could call Bella her sister; the one person she could always count on, the person who she could share her deepest secrets and desires with and the one who always cared for her. No, that person didn't exist for Mia but she prayed, Lord she prayed that it could be her dad.

So, on one hand, she would be losing her 'relationship' with her sister, but on the other, she could finally be with her dad. Which was why her flight had been the exact day after the last day of junior year.

It took more than a month to fix all problems with the living accommodations as it turned out that Swan residence was rarely taken care of. Her dad had been very busy with work which led to his accidental neglect to the house.

Workaholic, Mia thought with a fond smile.

Charlie had given a tiny overall on everything that was missing and they both promised to fix out the house when Mia went there.

Though it ruined Mia's wish to be finished with moving things around and fixing things, Mia realized she could spend more time with Charlie that way. Making a mental note to buy a phone before she left after tomorrow, Mia's stomach growl shook her out of her silent mussing and brought her back to reality. With worn out eyes, she got up and finished packing. She couldn't wait to go back home.

Chapter Text

Mia woke up to the sound of her sister arguing with her mom.

"I don't care if she wants to go! She's going to ruin her entire future! Forks doesn't even have any good options and she's going to end up losing her grades!"

"Bella, sweetie," Renee's soothing voice floated towards Mia who lay in bed. "You should let your sister decide for herself. I don't want her to go either but it's her decision honey."

Mia strained her ears for something more but all she could hear were the occasional stomps her sister did. With a sigh, Mia stretched out of bed. A quick glance at the only accessory left in the room revealed the timing to her.

I've got plenty of time to take a shower, Mia thought as she exited the room and made her way to the bathroom.

The flight was late at night, which meant Mia had around 15 hours to finish up everything she had left till the last moment.

Mia hopped out of the refreshing shower. She wiped off the fog from the mirror and quickly wore her clothes. She grabbed her scrunchie which she used to quickly tied her hair in a high ponytail.

At least now I won't feel my shirt stick to me due to the wetness of my hair.

Mia glanced at herself in the mirror and smiled.

This is going to be a great day and nothing will stop it.


(~'3')~


A disgruntled smile sat on Mia's face as she sat in the diner with all of her friends.

"You never mentioned this before," Blake cried out with anger. "What the hell Mia! You can't just tell us you're leaving today without expecting us to get mad!"

Mia shifted uncomfortably as everyone watched the blonde tear, Mia a new one.

"We were supposed to stick together! And now you're just leaving without a second thought! I can't believe you, Mia Swan!"

Blake collapsed in her chair with a huff. Mia stared at her cold coffee with a frown and she shook her head.

"I know it was rude of me to not tell you guys earlier, but I swear I just forgot. AP Physics was brutal this year and I had my entire focus on the exams. Plus, the only time I was allowed to leave the house was because of my job or exams. Mom wanted my entire focus on my grades."

"But what about Prom," Clarice whined. "It was supposed to be everyone together!"

Mia bit the inside of her cheek before shrugging, "I can always attempt to come back here for Prom. As long as it doesn't clash with my school."

Eliza stared at Mia with intensity.

"You guys, the only thing is, at least she's told us now. I mean, she'll be gone by this time tomorrow which means we don't have enough time left with her," she addressed the group before addressing Mia head on. "Do you have any things to do?"

Mia smiled weakly, "Well I wanted to buy a phone. And Mom thought it would be nice to go to the Salon to trim my hair before I left."

"Do you have a time limit to go home? Like, you mentioned how you packed yesterday. Do you have to be there when the people come to ship your things?"

"Phil said he'd handle it. And Mom expected me to be out late, so I can stay out late. Only until 10 though, I need to go to the airport early."

"Perfect," Eliza rubbed her hands with a wide (almost too wide) smile. "So this is what's going to happen. You, Mia, are going to go select your phone, but before you buy it, call Alex. We'll all come to the store, and from there, we're all going go out with you for the last time before your flight."

Mia knew better to argue with the redhead so she cautiously nodded her head.

"We can't have you forgetting how nice Phoenix is you know!"

Alex snickered at Mia's pale face, "You should've told us before. It would've stopped Eliza's need to be able to control everything. But I guess now you'll forever remember how bad she can get."


(~'3')~


 

Mia sighed and walked across the street towards the payphone. She punched the numbers on the dial and waited with anticipation.

"Hey Alex," Mia said once the ringing ended.

"It's Blake, Alex went to the bathroom. Did you select your phone already?"

"Yeah, the guy is just getting the boxes out and everything."

"Alright, listen. Just wait by the counter alright, we'll be there in a few minutes. And don't move from your place!"

Blake hollered those words out making Mia wince.

My ear, she thought mournfully. But Mia jumped up when she finished comprehending what Blake had screamed out.

Mia nearly ran across the street and re-entered the Electronic store. Her mind replayed the fact that Blake was quite acquainted with baseball.

God have mercy on the day Eliza found Blake's aluminum prized bat.

True to her words, Blake and the group appeared at the shop in under ten minutes.

"Sorry," Alex spoke up bashfully. "Eating a taco ended up being a bad idea."

Mia stared at Alex before bursting out into laughter.

"Hey! There's no time to waste," Eliza snapped before she dragged Mia over to the counter where the cashier had packed up Mia's items.

"Ma'am, the cash?"

Mia straightened up from where she was trying to get her breath back after laughing so hard.

"One minute," she replied as she took out her wallet out of her side bag. But before she could hand over the money, Blake grabbed Mia.

"Stop struggling," Blake said with an eye roll.

"What're you doing! Blake, please stop it!"

But Mia's cries fell on deaf ears and she watched as Eliza pulled out her own bag and got out some bills.

"No, you guys! Guys, stop it! Please!"

"Don't be such a worry wort, Mia. Since you decided to tell us you were leaving so late, we didn't have any time to get you a goodbye gift. So this is it," Eliza scolded.

Blake let her go as soon as the cashier placed the money into the cash draws. Mia rubbed her arms where Blake had grabbed her.

"You guys, I don't feel right letting you-."

Eliza snorted, cutting Mia's words off.

"Listen to me, Mia, you didn't let us do anything. We did it by ourselves. Now stop whining and trying to fight us pampering you."

Mia fell silent and she glanced at Alex who smiled smugly at Mia.

"Thank you guys for buying it for me," Mia sighed out.

Her defeated posture made Clarice snicker.

"Don't lose all of your energy just yet. We still have a lot to do!"

Mia's look of horror made the entire group burst into giggles.


Mia grabbed her carryon and hiked up her bag. Renee leaped forward to pull Mia into a hug.

"I know this is your decision. But are you sure you want to go through with this?"

"Mom," Mia dragged out. Her act was ruined however when she failed to stop her lips from twitching upwards. Mia inhaled her mother's smell for the last time before she pulled back.

"Don't worry. Plus, think of it like this, now that there's one less person in the house, there's one less person who'd interrupt Phil and your 'alone time.'"

"Mia!"

She giggled and pulled out of the way where her mother blindly swiped at her. Renee's face was hidden behind her hands and Mia caught Renee's wild blush when she dropped her hands a second too early.

Overhead, the airport's speakers crackled before the announcements began. Mia tilted her head sideways.

"That's me," she said with an anxious grin.

"Oh baby, don't forget to message me once you settle in properly!"

Mia nodded before rushing into another hug with her mother.

"Will do! Love you!"

With her documents in hand, Mia spun around on the heel of her feet and marched onwards. Her heart was heavy with fear and anticipation yet, her mind completely void of thoughts.

Her eyes must've given away her dilemma because an elderly lady leaned over from her place and clasped her hand around Mia's.

"Could you please help me, honey?"

Mia's mind halted to a screech and she nodded before registering the question.

"Sure, Ma'am."

"Oh! No need to call me Ma'am, it makes me feel older than I am. My name is Patrica."

"Oh, sorry Ma- Patrica."

"No worries sweetie," she smiled as she used Mia as support. "Where are your parents, child?"

Mia grimaced, "I'm traveling alone."

"Oh, dearie. Where to?"

Mia hesitated, you don't tell so many personal things to strangers. But then again, it's just an old lady, not a mass murderer.

"I'm going to live with my dad. In Forks," she added a second later.

"Here is fine. Thank you, sweetie," Patrica sat down in one of the chairs in front of the gate. "You know, that explains it."

Mia looked at the elderly lost, "Explains what?"

"Oh sweetie, just remember this. Be natural at heart and new in mind. All other good things will come along genuinely."

Mia's face froze. She then very slowly moved away from Patrica.

"I have to go, it was nice to meet you. Bye!"

Mia practically ran away from the woman.

A smaller voice in her head scolded her, That was rude. It was just an old lady trying to give advice.

But it was completely random! Mia shot back to herself. And I doubt the first person I'd talk to about these issues is a stranger in the airport when it's nearly midnight.

"Passport?"

Mia handed it over to the air hostess who looked at Mia's ticket.

"Have a safe flight, Ma'am."

"Thank you," Mia said with a loose grin.

I can't believe this is actually happening, she thought as a thrill of excitement traveled her body.

Bring it on Forks! This is one person who you won't scare so easily.


Turns out, you gotta go to Forks and declare that. Not before.

It seemed like God had heard her and decided to test her patience. The connected flight she had in Nevada had been delayed 3 hours. And on top of that, the late night was not kind on her hunger. Which, any other day, wouldn't be an issue because Mia always carried around spare cash. Yet, due to her mother's fear, the majority of the pocket money Mia had taken with her was in the other luggage that had already reached Forks. The airport loved exploiting the young by extreme prices. The hot chocolate Mia managed to buy was 19 dollars itself. So Mia was all alone, hot chocolate in her hands with fearful thoughts clouding her mind.

Patrica had mentioned being normal. But it was easier said than done!

What if dad didn't want her around? Could it be that she was just annoying him by going to live with him? Worse of all, what if they never truly got along? Mia thought with a crestfallen face. Talking on the phone is one thing and then actually living with the person is a completely different thing.

The hours soon flew by and Mia was on the flight and off of it before she even knew it. The flight had given her enough time to calm herself down. Well, calm herself down to a point where she no longer had the need to throw herself out of the plane.

With an awkward shrug to herself, Mia grabbed her luggage and set out to look for her dad. The flight barely had anyone except Mia and a handful of people she had only known about due to the luggage being loaded above her head therefor, she spotted her dad rather quickly. He stood comfortably against a railing talking to a gorgeous man. It took all her might to ignore the unknown male and drink up every detail of her dad.

He had been wearing his police jacket and a regular looking t-shirt under it. His black jeans and dark sports shoes allowed him to stand out in with the washed out surroundings. But what had genuinely caught her eye was his crinkled face when he threw his head back and laughed. Mia could see his eyes sparkle heartily as his smile grew.

Mia took small steps towards her dad as her mind went into overdrive. She wanted to cry out in happiness and call him out but he looked so flawless. She couldn't believe that she was standing so close to her dad after so long. Her hand clutched her backpack straps in worry and she moved towards her dad. The extremely good-looking person smiled at her dad before turning away and she took that as her window of opportunity to greet her father.

"Dad!" She called out with a worried smile causing her father to look at her. The smile directed at her allowed every fear to melt out of her body so she ran to him and pulled him in a hug. It was rather surprising for him, she could tell by the stiffened shoulders but he soon relaxed into it. Dad pulled away but not after he kissed the top of her head.

"I missed you Mia so so much."

She looked at him and had difficulty keeping her tears at bay. He was more perfect up close as she could see every detail of his face. His lips rose in a gentle and loving smile as he peered at her face.

"You grew up so much," he continued, oblivious to her inner thoughts. "Your hair changed since the last time I saw you."

She let out a chocked cry and buried her head in his chest, letting him hold her. Mia was mortified to be so emotional at the time but she couldn't help it. She missed her dad so much that she couldn't help but cry in happiness to be able to see his face once more.

"I missed you, dad," Mia whispered into his chest before pulling away and wiping her tears sheepishly. She let out a strangled laugh as she noticed her dad's worried face. She reassured him that she was well and that she was just happy to see him.

"Oh, Mia, I would like you to meet Dr. Cullen. His children were on the flight with you," her dad said with a smile.

Mia greeted as well though she felt a bit confused. She hadn't seen any kid or kids on the flight but just a group of teenagers. Shrugging it off, she smiled at the doctor before getting awkward as a silence grew upon them. Her eyes shifted on the floor uncomfortably due to the intimidating look of the doctor. He looked quite young and handsome so it was both surprising and bizarre to find out he was already working as a doctor with children. His striking eyes bore into Mia's as he made small talk, making the small hairs on the back of her neck stand up in something that resembled horror (quite to Mia's confusion).

Mia froze in her position. She quickly shook her head mentally and focused on her dad who continued his conversation with the doctor.

Mia half-heartedly listened to the conversation, her eyes drooping due to the lack of sleep. It was suddenly broken by Mia's long yawn (which she attempted to hide but failed) that led to the trio apologizing and setting off.

"Sorry Mia, I didn't realize how late it was," her dad apologized once they were both in the car. He turned sideways to look at her and smiled softly (albeit a little bit awkwardly as well). "The ride from Seattle to Forks is around 4 to 5 hours so you can go take a nap until then."

Mia nodded with great exhaustion, using all her effort to stay awake and listen to her dad's low voice. But her eyes betrayed her and she quickly fell asleep. Charlie started out on the road as he gripped the steering wheel with a bit more force than usual, his thoughts focused on the negative worried emotions. He thought back to the time where life wasn't so hard and he still had his family together.

Before he could think more of the issue, a quiet snore broke him out of his musings. He looked over at her and sighed.

He couldn't believe his baby girl was back home.

Gentle swaying woke Mia up from her sleep. Her body hurt from the hunched position she was in while she slept.

"Mhmm G'd' mo-morning daddy," she whispered as she opened her bleary eyes to peer at her dad.

"Sorry Mia, I know you're tired but we're almost in town. I thought you'd like having me point places out so you don't get lost so soon," her father vocalized. "It's been years since you've been here so I didn't want you to get uncomfortable not knowing where you are. Though, you know, i-it's alright...you know...to go back to sleep," he continued uncomfortably once he saw his daughter's small grimace.

Mia quickly reassured him it was alright.

"I just hate waking up," she laughed. "Not really a morning person."

Charlie smiled at her before he turned his attention onto the road and started pointing out the shop names and such. Mia listened with one ear open while she stared around at the enchanting greenery around her.

The sun was still rising as it was around 7 in the morning but it managed to enhance the beauty of the land below it. The slight fog covering the road created a mystifying atmosphere to the newcomer whilst the cloudy sky protected Mia's sensitive eyes from the glaring sun.

"Also, I was wondering, since school in Forks High is still going on so if you want, we can fix everything this week for next year's school year," he said softly.

"I'd like that."

A comfortable silence fell over the duo.

"So what made you decide to dye your hair?"

Mia instantly pulled a strand of her newly colored hair. Her fingers weaved through the short hair that fell to her collarbones.

"I thought it would be a nice change you know," she mentioned with a nervous smile. "Does it look bad?"

Charlie glanced at her and he shook his head.

"No! No, it looks fine. I was just surprised."

Mia nodded as her face heated up.

She did think it was a nice change. But it wasn't like she would tell her father that she fell asleep at the Salon which led to her friends deciding to change the color of her hair.

They passed so many stores and houses before her dad pulled up in front of a small house.

Mia moaned once she was out of the car and stretching her poor numb legs. Her back cracked and protested with a groan as she stretched out. Her father laughed as she lost her balance and fell down on the moist grass. With a grumble, Mia got up and helped her dad get things out of the car boot.

Charlie smiled at her, more at ease now, "I doubt you'd remember anything about this house so I guess a tour is needed. But the layout is very simple. Your room is upstairs on the right while mine is on the left. The kitchen is on the left here," he trailed off with a wince. "We'll be sharing a bathroom though."

Mia looked at her dad who, in return was looking at Mia, waiting for her to say something. She noticed the slight fear of a tantrum in her dad's eyes which confused her.

"It's alright, I mean, it's not a big of a deal. Plus, I barely take that much time in the bathroom so I won't bother you too much," Mia said. Honestly, she thought, what was so bad about sharing a bathroom. Mom and I did it in Phoenix before; Isabella didn't like having to share her space.

Her dad's shoulder's sagged in relief and he seemed lighter. He excused himself and went back outside to grab more things while Mia took this time to look at her surroundings.

She could see the paint practically washed off of the walls whilst the numerous pictures of Bella and her plastered onto the yellow walls. Her eyes moistened at the thought that her dad never really moved on since they left making Mia want to cry in sorrow. She hastily wiped her eyes as she looked over a picture of Bella, Dad and her all posing under a fish holding a fishing rod. She looked around 4 at the time of the picture and she could see the look of delight on her father's face.

Her dad had never truly gotten over the loss of his two daughters, the entire house had shown it. With a tired puff, she rubbed her eyes with the palms of her hands. Mia grinned and followed her dad once again as he led her to her room.

"I actually just bought the bed and a few bed sheets but I hadn't gotten any free time to finish the room up," he said sheepishly as she peered into the messy room. The walls were bright pink making her eyes hurt but she could see a half set up bed in the middle of the room. The dresser and side tables were all set up as well and place in front of the closet. The walls were covered in the remains of teddy bear stickers which made Mia shudder. Their eyes followed her as she walked inside the room. But all in all, she could tell her dad had put in a lot of effort to fix the room. A few cans of paint were stacked up against the wall as were many tools and shelves.

"It's perfect, dad. Don't worry, we can both finish it," she replied to his silent question with a smile. "Though, can we eat before we start? I'm starving," she finished with a wince, wrapping her arms around her stomach.

Her dad laughed and beckoned her to follow him as he went back downstairs to the kitchen. Mia looked around with a pout. So more work to do, she thought before she ran after her dad.

Chapter Text

Turned out, her dad did not have anything other than fish and beer in the refrigerator. So with a tired moan, both father and daughter had to drive to a nearby diner which turned out to be her dad's regular destination. During the ride over, her father bashfully admitted that he had only made food at home when he wasn't tired; much to Mia's horror, which turned out to be one day every two weeks at most.

Sure, Mia wasn't a prodigy when it came to cooking but living with her mom, it was a means necessary to survive. Though it was often Bella who cleaned things like the insides of a chicken. Mia's thoughts trailed off as she imagined the terror of cleaning the slick bloody insides.

The breakfast passed soon as her dad and she were the only ones present in the diner at the timing. Something Charlie was thankful for or else no one would let her go. Apparently, Forks wasn't big with newcomers.

Dad lied to me! Mia thought with a pout.

Her father caught sight of her face and shook his head.

"Everyone I like knows you're here. And they were all excited. But I didn't tell anyone else, because, well, people talk and I didn't want them to be rude to you."

Mia hummed and Charlie tackled on with his explanation in a nervous manner.

In his logic, as long as loquacious people don't get a whiff of her, she would be free from the rumor mill. Though he had admitted that he hoped she would be alright talking to some of his more friendly associates.

"It's alright," Mia laughed, cutting through her father's word vomit.

He looked relieved and Mia focused on her milkshake.

"You know," her dad said after a while before he took a sip of his coffee. "I was thinking about the whole 'healthy' eating you said we would be doing but I haven't exactly worked out the amount of money needed. What was the grocery fund with Reneè?"

Mia licked her lips clean of the apple sauce from her Waffles and thought.

"Usually," she trailed off, "it happens to be a monthly allowance where the last month's remaining money is either added or taken as pocket money. Since Bella did a small job, she would also contribute to the fund. Which is something I want to do as well so we don't have a big problem. As for the money itself," Mia winced, "we had around a hundred and twenty dollars."

"But that was usually due to extra people around the house. And since it's just the two of us, it'd be like a third of the amount," Mia rushed out as she noticed her dad wince a bit.

"No, no. I just," he trailed off.

"I haven't exactly spent much on groceries since I usually don't bother with homemade food but it's more reasonable than I've spent outside so it's okay."

Mia laughed awkwardly and the rest of the breakfast went by without much talk.

By the time it was 9, Mia was back home trying to finish the setup of the bed with her dad. Almost every few minutes, she noticed Charlie dozing off only to wake up abruptly with a head jerk. Mia's eyebrows furrowed together.

Dad must've stayed up late last night to get my packages that were shipped, Mia thought with a snap. No wonder he's so tired!

"Dad? Could I please do the painting? I mean, you could take a nap or something while I do it? Please," she begged her dad. He shook his head in reluctance, believing they should both do it but in the end, he gave up.

"Wake me up if you need any help okay," he replied with a yawn. Mia agreed and waited for her dad to leave the room before she set to work.

Mia gently picked up the toolbox and placed it right outside the room. The bed was quite light to move and Mia found herself pushing it in exactly the middle of the room.

Don't want to accidentally pour paint over the new bed, Mia thought. That reminded her, how could she paint the walls without accidentally splattering some on the floor?

Mia rushes downstairs to change into something more comfortable.

I actually really like these clothes and in no way am I making an amateur mistake! Through past experiences, Mia knew that her clothes were bound to get some paint on them. Mia opened up her carryon and pulled out some casual clothes to change into. Mia leaped back upstairs and entered the bathroom.

At least Dad has obviously marked my place in the bathroom for me, Mia thought as she wore a grey shirt with matching sweatpants. The rest of the house however still screeches of Bachelor pad!

Mia brushed aside her hair from her eyes and looking for her box that contained her art supplies.

Quiet as a mouse, Mia tiptoed towards the kitchen where Charlie had placed her packages. Mia cut open the top of the box with the knife she found in the drawer to her left. The skin colored tape made a crumpling paper noise as Mia pulled them off. She slowly opened the box and started looking for her brushes. It took her several minutes to locate them and pull them out.

Oh what beautiful brushes, Mia thought with a glint in her eyes. Now all I need are some old trash bags.

Mia found what she needed quite easily when she opened up another drawer.

For the next six hours, Mia had finished painting nearly all the walls, moved her bathroom items into the bathroom and sent a quick message to both her sister and mother that she had arrived safely.

The wall surrounding the window was the last part of the room attacked by the teal haired Swan. Mia had finished the light drawings on the wall and was being painted carefully. The swirl of colors she had used intensified the atmosphere of the room, providing sweet comfort to the young teen. The warm orange her dad had bought was all used as the background of the eye-catching picture she had painted.

I honestly can't believe in a million years that this would be such a good choice. And the fact this isn't a blinding orange vest color but rather a more pumpkin color helps to make the room better.

With a few minutes until three, Mia groaned before unpacking her other art items. She worked hard, making sure everything went into its rightful place.

Placing the skateboard under her lamp, Mia transported the heavy item towards its respectful place. Her study table was already halfway done so Mia collapsed on the floor, taking a breather.

The room was nearly complete. All that remained was the setting up of the table and unpacking of her clothes.

Once Mia could feel the tremors in her legs stop, she stood back up.

The faster I do this, the faster I can go back and spend time with dad, Mia thought optimistically.

Oh, who am I even fooling? This will never work!

Mia glumly set back to her work. The time flew by as she was absorbed in her thoughts. Mia hung up the last of her clothes on the hanger before she sighed in relief.

Finally done!

Mia surveyed the room with a critical look in her eyes. The bed was all ready and set by the drywall. She had found some white and black bed sheets that she used on her bed. Her side tables were a dark brown color and were respectfully placed next to the table, adorned with Mia's vanilla scented candles. Opposite of the bed was her tiny but wide study table. The sleek black table held a framed picture of her friends as well as her box of art supplies. On the right side of the table was the heavy lamp Mia struggled to move.

Just in case I need more light for studying.

There were white shelves lined above her desk, all bare of Mia's books. Meanwhile, the closet she had was brimmed with her clothes and Mia placed her shoes in the low rack by the floor Charlie had installed.

Mia went back downstairs and collapsed onto the couch with a tired groan. Every part of her body ached with pain which made it hard for Mia to move around.

It must've been ten minutes before she heard her dad's footsteps. Her bleary eyes focused on him as he stood on the last step of the stairs.

"Why didn't you wake me up," he wondered as he gave his daughter a one over. He could see some dried paint on her chin and the exhausted look she was fighting off.

"It's no good if you exhaust yourself out and get sick you know? Plus, I could've fixed the shelves for you," he continued before walking over to her.

"Maybe you should go take a shower, clean up and feel more refreshed while I'll order takeout. Do you want pizza or burgers?"

Mia scrunched up her nose and almost groaned out loud when she accidentally hit her leg on the table.

"Can we order a burger? And I'll have anything you'll be having," she yawned out. "Maybe some curly fries as well."

"So Double Bacon Cheese Burger with curly fries and some coke?" His teasing reply was straight up without a pause making Mia almost trip.

Mia let the groan escape her body this time. "We'll fix that messy eating habit of yours, tomorrow dad. Maybe I should just put a ban on junk food in this house."

Mia quickly grabbed her shower cap and her scented body lotion before she got back in the bathroom. The hot water did wonders for her aching body as the knots unveiled.

Mia grinned tiredly as she remembered one of the amazing perks of coming to Forks.

No more time-limited showers! I won't have to worry about running out of water because of a water limit.

But her happy mood slowly extinguished when the water started turning cold and Mia took it as her cue to get out. Wearing her previous clothes, Mia went downstairs and greeted the sight of her dad holding a big, mean burger.

They had lunch quietly, both people were so highly focused on the meal in front of them to have a conversation; the only sound that would be heard was the slurping and crunching sounds as they devoured the food.

"So Mia," Charlie wiped some of the sauce of his mouth. "Reneè told me you were looking for a part-time job? I don't know how much the pay is but the Newton's have a store they need help with," he continued as he nervously peered at his daughter, "I sort of told them how you needed a job and all and they wanted to meet you to see when you could start."

Mia stilled, the food still in her mouth and she contemplatively chewed," That's really nice, dad. Thank you, it's probably saved me a lot of deal."

Charlie shrugged uncomfortably and looked down on his fries.

"Least I could do, you know."

The duo fell silent as they finished their food. Mia got up to pick up the trash but Charlie stopped Mia with his hand.

"You should rest up. I'll just do the dishes real quick."

Mia thanked him and stretched on the coach. Within the next five minutes, Charlie reemerged from the kitchen.

"So what do you wanna do now kiddo?"

Mia looked at him confused and then at the clock.

"We can't go to the school right now can we?"

"We can go tomorrow if you want? Everyone leaves by 4 so it's too late. But if you want, we can go grocery shopping or you can go sleep for a while."

Mia shook her head, "If I sleep now, I won't be able to sleep at night. And then my entire sleeping schedule will be messed up."

She tilted her head to the side with a frown.

"And I kinda don't want to go shopping right now either. Maybe we can go early tomorrow when we finish dropping off the documents in school."

"Hey dad," she started off after a pause. "You mentioned how you wanted to renovate the house? We could do that," she trailed off as his eyes bore into hers.

"A lot of the paint was left over and I was wondering if we could use it to paint the house," Mia coughed into her hand before continuing, "I could also clean the fridge before we buy the groceries. The fridge smells of fish and is probably going to end up affecting the groceries we put in it."

Her father winced at the mention of the unclean fridge.

"Aren't you tired though? I don't want you to push yourself," Charlie asked with a worried frown. "We can always do this later."

Lifting her shoulder up, Mia disagreed.

"I thought it would be better this way, you know. If we finish cleaning everything up earlier, we can spend some more time together without needing to do chores."

Charlie blushed but nodded nonetheless.

"Just tell me if you feel sleepy alright?"

After agreeing to his conditions, Mia set off to go to the kitchen while her dad went upstairs to get the paint.

Mia felt a little awkward changing everything in the house but her dad reassured her it was alright.

"This is now your home too. You should feel comfortable living here. Plus, I've always wanted to do this."

About two hours of harsh scrubbing, Mia emerged out of the kitchen, still wearing her yellow rubber gloves and helped her dad. Her father may have lived like a bachelor and although he lacked in the care of his house in some ways, Mia noticed the care he still put it.

But living with Renee and Isabella had caused her overly clean personality. And Mia knew she wouldn't stop until she made sure that every inch of the house was completely drenched in cleaning detergent.

She gently shifted the couch away from the wall to only dry heave at the mutant looking dust balls. With a hand glued to her lower face, Mia found the brush and swiped it all away. And so the process repeated; she found numerous more items under the couches or the tables like small batteries or a few plastic spoons and Mia swiped them all away. By the time the sun had gone down, they had finished the lower part of the area and the stairs, painting it sky blue. But before Mia could grab a can of paint for the hall between their rooms, Charlie forced her to relax for a bit.

"Your body will be in a lot of pain tomorrow if you don't pace yourself," he spoke as he handed her a bottle of water.

His own was downed within a few seconds.

"Hey, dad?"

He grunted.

"If Forks is so small, how do you always end up being flooded with work?"

Mia thought her question was simple but she could see that Charlie was surprised.

"Mia, Forks' Police Department also takes care of all of the nearby settlements. Our forces are spread to the outer parts of Portland as well," Charlie said with a frown. "On certain occasions, we end up teaming up with the Portland folks or we take some of their cases. And if there are some issues in Seattle, we go handle them as well. But it's rare that Seattle is under-prepared for things they handle."

"Oh."

"I'm guessing you didn't know that," Charlie stretched.

Mia shrugged, "I guess I didn't really think of it."

They didn't talk much after and Mia got up after a while to close the windows when a strong storm started.

"These won't stay long. It's always hard and fast with this type of rain."

"Does it ever hail here?"

With that, the duo settled in asking each other questions as they painted the hallways. Within the next hour, the halls which were painted a light lavender which was more pleasant than the hurling yellowish green.

"Finally," Mia breathed out. They were finally all done with the makeover and Charlie collapsed on his recliner while Mia fell on the couch.

"I don't think I can handle any more of the fixing. Even my hair hurts," Charlie groaned out. Mia hummed in response and shut her eyes. Even though her entire body ached again, she was content with the time she managed to spend with her dad.

"We still have to get up to eat food dad," Mia pointed out.

Charlie looked at Mia in disbelief.

"I haven't felt this pain since I was in high school and the football team dogpiled me. And even that pain compared to this one is like trying to compare a tofu burger with a whole meat burger!"

Mia snickered, "Not my fault I can't handle a bit of messiness. When you live with Mom and her crazy experiments, you end up being scarred for life!"

"Oh please don't tell me she still leaves her food in random, crazy locations so she could come back a month later. Only to see which one had rotten the most!"

"Yeah! And it's so annoying because one-time mom forgot she left her fries out on the porch and so many ants swarmed our house. Phil had to call an exterminator because of it! The worst part is I still have no idea why she does that from time to time."

Charlie shook his head weakly, "When we were in Forks, she thought it would help figure out where to eat in different seasons. This one time I went against her scientific experiment and ate on the couch during winter, I was forced to sleep on the bed for two weeks."

Mia shuddered.

"I once found a moldy apple under the bathroom counter. God knows why mom thought we would eat in a bathroom."

"You know, I think my appetite has vanished," Charlie mumbled looking a bit green.

"C'mon Pops, this is nothing. Let me tell you of the time Mom thought it was a good idea to mix the-."

"If you be quiet, I'll do anything you want! No more speaking of Renee's experiments today, please!"

Mia burst out into laughter as she noticed her father's pale complexion.

They both dragged themselves off the couch and grabbed the leftover lunch before munching it down. Mia didn't say anything related to Renee's experiment that night. But I will in the morning, Mia thought humorously.

Chapter Text

Mia moaned in relief when she finished writing the long list of items needed. The minimum time she could estimate of spending in the stores were around three hours. Majority of the items were fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and some frozen foods like pizza, chicken pieces, and French Fries. Though the rest of the list was bombarded with pepper spray (courtesy of her dad), some insect spray and detergents.

Mia rubbed her wrist as a cramp started to make itself known.

I should've listened to dad when he told me to slow down on the cleaning yesterday.

Charlie slipped into the kitchen. Mia glanced up at him but saw him make a pot of coffee. Her eyes fell back to the list and once she finished going through it again, Mia openly stared at her father.

Mia leaned forward and watched him move comfortably about in the kitchen. A tense atmosphere could be felt from Charlie making Mia worried but she pushed it down.

Stop overanalyzing everything he does. It's probably work related; you haven't even been in Forks for a week, her mind scolded her.

"So," Charlie trailed off, looking more awkward in his police jacket, "how'd you sleep?"

Mia looked up from the list in confusion before she nodded a bit awkwardly, adding to the sudden bizarre atmosphere.

"Okay, I guess?" She whispered out as she scratched her temple in confusion.

"Have you talked to Renee yet," he asked timidly as his eyes jumped from place to place, avoiding looking into her eyes.

Mia felt like such a jerk at that moment and mentally slapped herself. She let out a strained smile and shook her head. How could she forget that her dad never truly felt like he belonged next to his daughters from all the neglect Renee pushed onto him.

(In the back of her mind, she berated herself for being rude to her mother. It wasn't like she could have controlled her Postpartum Depression.)

"I like it here dad. I love being here with you, even though I've just been here for a day," she mumbled just loud enough for her dad to hear her. She could see the tips of her dad's ears burn as his neck took a similar color, but who was Mia to say, she knew she would be blushing as well. That was one of the traits she loved having from him. The others would include being able to eat a lot of pizza. But that would be irrelevant at this shy moment.

Charlie cleared his throat, "We should probably get going if we want to get everything today."

Mia quickly nodded as she picked up the list after placing the dishes in the sink. She followed him into the police cruise but her mind was still stuck on how nervous her dad looked. His unusually reserved eyes looked like an open book, betraying his casual stance. Mia couldn't help but resent Bella. If she could only cut Charlie some slack, it wouldn't have had such a deep and long psychological effect.

Her eyes turned into slits as she glared out the window. Why hadn't Isabella called already as well? Mia knew that Bella knew that she was still getting used to the new phone but she could have still checked up on her. Mia had emailed her mother in the morning as well, hoping to get used to the idea of emailing every day. Yet Isabella was a no show. But none of that mattered at the current moment as anger brewed up inside. Mia mentally vowed to never push her dad out into exile as the other Swan child did.

The car ride went smoothly as they turned on the radio and talked gently. Listening to Charlie talk about himself helped calm Mia down and soon, she found herself laughing along with Charlie.

After Charlie finished his hilarious story about the time he was stuck on a boat in the middle of the lake without any peddles, they pulled up in front of the school.

"How about you stay here and I just quickly pass these papers off to the receptionist," Charlie asked.

Mia leaned forward and grabbed the heavy bundle of papers she placed in the car's glove compartment. He got out of the car after emitting a grunt from the stares the entire student body was giving the car.

Mia took this lonely time to observe her new school and the students. She noticed that the parking space was filled with cars and trucks making Mia frown. Obviously, the rain prevented it, but Mia had still hoped someone would at least have a motorbike. Mia's forehead furrowed before smoothing out. A bored sigh made itself known and Mia yawned soon after as she leaned on the window to plop her head and continue watching.

People watching. Boy aren't I such a fun person, she thought.

After a few moments, she felt someone staring at her in the corner of her eye. Mia timidly moved her head to look at the person. Her breath was knocked out of her as though someone punched her in the stomach as looked into the fuming black eyes of a god. The male was beyond, without a doubt, a god. He had to be; his ruffed up blonde hair, his beautiful cheekbones, the broad shoulders and the slim body was too good to be true for a human being. But what intimidated Mia the most wasn't his flawless pale skin, but, actually the balls of maddened hate instead of eyes.

Sweat started to slip down her back and she gulped shakily. She could feel the fear build up in her stomach as her breathing started to quicken. A short pixie-like girl raced towards the boy and placed a hand on his arms, breaking the spell. Mia let out a heavy breath in relief but stopped short when she noticed they were arguing tensely. That's why she almost cried of happiness when her dad came rushing back into the car, eager to get out of the cold drizzle.

"Everything okay Mi?"

Mia smiled shakily at his question and concerned eyes.

"Just the humidity," she lied guiltily, still feeling the throbbing eyes of hatred follow her.


(~'3')~


Mia looked at the list and back at the shelves before glancing back at the list. Mia hadn't added pads to the list in fear of her dad going through the list and now she was confused whether or not to buy the cotton soft night pads or the daylight ones. With a quick look around, she grabbed a random packet and threw it into the shopping cart, trying to drown it under the other items.

Not even one-third of the list was covered and it had already been an hour. Majority of the time, to be honest, was due to waiting for the chicken to be cleaned and cut up. Mia had taken the job of getting half of the household items and the fresh vegetables while Charlie tackled the frozen food and the other items.

By the time everything was gathered, taken to the cashier and scanned, Mia's aching feet almost made her crazy.


It was right before their lunch in the diner when Mia remembered the person from the school and got chills. But something didn't make sense, he looked similar to how Dr. Cullen did; pale, flawless but giving off predatory vibes.

"Hey, Dad?" Mia started off quietly. "The person we met the other day at the airport-"

"Dr. Cullen, you mean?" Charlie cut in.

Mia nodded and continued, "You said his children were on the plane but there weren't any kids running around?"

Mia left the unknown question in the air for her dad to realize. After all, it would seem pretty weird asking about the age of another person's child, especially if she didn't know them at all.

"He doesn't, well, he doesn't have any kids of his own Mia," Charlie started off softly. "His wife, Mrs. Cullen couldn't have children so they looked upon adoption. Truth is, it's a pleasure having these saints here. They adopted five teenagers who were all alone. You'd think a family would adopt a single child but, somehow, they have so much compassion in them that they overlooked the idea of a single person and focused on a group of people who would need a family. It's quite amazing, y' know, the Cullens are so happy together and don't make any trouble at all.

I think it was Emmett, Rose, Jasper, Alice, and an Edwin? I honestly haven't met any kid personally so I don't know their names properly. But they are good people," he paused to finish his coke. "Why the sudden interest though?"

Mia blanched as she remembered the person in the parking lot and replied awkwardly.

"I just saw someone in school that had looked like how Dr. Cullen did."

A silence fell again and Mia leaned on her hands while looking at her dad. She could feel the empty sadness return to her as she realized that she didn't want to leave her dad ever again. He was staring at the plate with a happy twinkle in his eye as he devoured the berry cobbler. Mia laughed as a spoonful slipped from him and smeared everywhere on the table. Leave it up to her dad to mourn over a spoonful loss of dessert.

After the pair was fed with a feast, they set out for the last thing on the list; meet the Newton's for the job interview. The car pulled up in front of a small, but clustered shop.

"Newton's Olympic Outfittersas the name suggests is a sports and hiking shop which is pretty popular during hiking season and with the tourists," her dad explained. "Lately, Mr. Newton has been getting busy to open another shop in Seattle so they need extra helping hands. I called them in the morning so I could ask about the requirements. They have a payment of 5.5 dollars per hour and have only one helper, their son Mike.

Not a lot of people usually want to spend their summer working in Forks so the employee list is very short. They owed me a favor from a while ago and so I told them about how you needed a job and all. Though they were already looking for more people no one applied for the job here. They also mentioned that they would be willing to pay extra if you could do more than eight hours of work done. Each hour spent over two pm has pay of 7 dollars."

Mia nodded before letting out a sigh. She cracked her knuckles and mentally prepared herself for questions in the job interview. With a mental push, she got up and followed Charlie into the store.

Within the next hour, they finished the job interview. Mia walked out of the store with a smile; as of today, she was now a current employee of Newton's Olympic Outfitters.

Starting tomorrow, she would have to go to the shop from seven till two which per day, if Mia calculated correctly, forty-four dollars per day. Which all in all, was pretty sweet if Mia was to help contribute to the grocery costs. With hopeful eyes, Mia looked around her and thought, this place could be my perfect sanctuary. A fresh start. As Mia sat in the car, she couldn't help but let out a happy laugh as a slight drizzle started. Maybe things could finally look up for the Swan.

Oh how wrong those thoughts were, but Mia was still oblivious to the perilous danger in the future if she stayed. Not that it matter anyway now, events would soon start unfolding that could either make Mia or break her forever.

Chapter Text

Mia woke up early the following day. A peek out the window revealed that it was still dark outside. Her bare feet come in contact with the cold floor making Mia shiver. She moved attentively. Her ears sucking in any hint of her father waking up.

It felt like she was aware of everything in the house. Her mind pushed in overdrive as she journeyed from her room to the bathroom.

Mia took heed of every sound she made while she took a quick shower. Although she had enough time to get ready for her job, Mia still wanted to make sure she looked presentable and eat a big breakfast.

Once she finished showering, she wrapped herself up in the bathroom robe she had bought with her. Her hands dutifully worked through her hair, adding her essential oils in her hair. Mia slinked around in the shadows to get back in her room. She carefully grabbed her clothes and her make up kit.

The bathroom has better light than the room does, she thought.

Mia quickly changed into her clothes. She then spritzed the Heat Tamer spray the salon had given her to use on her hair.

Her hands delicately unscrambled the wire of her curler. Once she managed to straighten out the cord, Mia plugged it in the socket and opened up her kit.

No need to waste time waiting for it to heat up.

Mia grabbed her concealer and dabbed some under her eyes to hide the dark circles that formed from the stress of moving. She blended it in her skin with her brush. Next, she grabbed her mascara bottle that was filled up with coconut oil. Her eyes were quite sensitive and she couldn’t handle anything on them. Which was why using Mascara always ended up with being a bad thing for Mia.

But coconut oil provided no bad reaction which was why Mia used it religiously. Her eyelashes had also naturally grown quickly after her regular use of the oil.

Her eyes caught the sight of the green button on her curler when she looked through her kit for her lip gloss. Mia abandoned her search for the gloss and quickly set to curl her hair.

SHIT, Mia screeched. The hot iron barely grazed her hand but the heat emitting from it warned Mia.

The now curled hair bounced around by her lower jaw while Mia moved about. She quickly unplugged the machine and wet her lips with the Beauté lip stain.

After she placed her things back in her room, Mia went to the kitchen to make something to eat. Her body fleeted around the kitchen. The only thing Mia couldn’t make during breakfast was eggs. No matter what, she always overcooked or undercooked them. So by the age of 12, she had given up ever making eggs.

Mia grabbed the all-purpose flour out of the cupboard and set to make waffles.

There’s still twenty minutes until 6:30 and I can ask dad to drop me off instead of walking the first day.

Mia seized a small cup which she filled up with the batter. She poured it over in the waffle maker and closed the lid.

Mia sighed and placed her weight on the counter as she leaned on it. The kitchen was filling up with light as the sun finally rose.

Dad loves his coffee in the morning, she thought with a grimace. How the hell do I make coffee?

Mia was an avid hot chocolate drinker, no warm coffee or tea could curb her desire for the chocolatey drink. Drinking any other hot drink always made her sleepy, no matter the amount of caffeine involved in it. Which was why she only drank cold coffees; the ones that were hyped up on sugar.

Mia fumbled around the coffee pot and pressed a button.

That should do it, she mused.

Mia turned around and yelped. The spoon she had held in her hand clattered on the floor as she took in the figure in front of her.

“Holy hell dad!”

Charlie lowered his shotgun and his shoulders sagged down.

“Don’t teenagers sleep in,” he asked aghast over the fact that he nearly shot Mia.

“I have to go to work at seven,” Mia exploded as she held her hand over her chest. “I think I lost ten years of my life already!”

Charlie took out the bullets and placed them on the table before apologizing.

“It’s okay,” Mia promised. Charlie looked terrified at the aspect that she would react negatively. “It's fine. But I guess I’ll knock on your door next time I wake up early.”

The rest of the morning went by quickly and before Mia knew it, they were driving off to work. Charlie hadn’t spoken up since his apology and Mia shook her head.

“Dad, please stop it. You didn’t shoot me! It was just a misunderstanding so please stop beating yourself down,” Mia said with a frown.

He sighed and after a moment, he gave a curt nod.

Mia looked out at the store they pulled up in front of.

“I’ll see you after I’m done at two, dad,” Mia announced. Mia’s hand lingered by the car’s door handle but she quickly turned around and threw her hands around her father’s neck.

“Thank you, dad.”

Mia rushed out of the car, willing herself not to turn around.

“Good morning Miss Swan.”

“Morning Ma’am.”

“C’mon, let’s get this show on the road,” Mrs. Newton declared.

 


(~'3')~


 

As the days rolled by, Mia had managed to convince Charlie to let her walk to work every day in the excuse of keeping her healthy and well exercised. Soon enough, they managed a schedule where they both got up early (around six twenty), ate breakfast and quickly helped clean the house. After the rooms were clean, Charlie stayed behind to do some police work while Mia set out for her work. Mia's main job was working behind the counter and making a list of restocking, though she helped open up the store as well as clean it up before opening time. The first week of work was a breeze for Mia; Karen Newton had helped her settle in by showing her the ropes to everything.

She had even stayed behind the first two days to make sure Mia really understood everything. But after Mia seemed to pass Ms. Newton’s test, she was left to the store alone for days.
Ms. Newton decided to go over to Mr. Newton in Seattle to help with the new store.

After the week passed by, she started working alone until somewhere between two or three. Since school had finally ended in Forks, she was joined by Mike, the Newtons’ kid.

His summer was staying up late and sleeping in, Karen had told her. So it was due to Mike’s presence, Mia finally had a breather during her shifts. It wasn’t like she stopped having longer shifts than 8 hours, but at least Mike could close up the shop by himself.

Charlie thought Mia was exaggerating but being alone in the store for ends didn’t help her. After the first five days, Mia realized that she should bring in a small notebook or a story to keep her entertained. Forks may be a great hiking place for tourists but so far, Mia had yet the pleasure to meet any tourists properly. Her customers consisted of locals who lost or misplaced their gear ever so often.

That’s why it was particularly nice for Mike's friends to drop by sometimes to visit Mia. She couldn't help but feel thankful for their company and remembered the first time they met.

"And that is how we are supposed to clean the storage room," Mike said as he pulled off the apron. Mia made a mental note and nodded before helping him put away the bleach.

"A lot of the windows still let in a lot of dust so the storage room needs to be cleaned almost every two weeks. But, we need to dust the room every day," he continued as he looked around. He smiled at her and held out his hands for the items in Mia's hands, who was looking around confused for their place. She passed them to him and he leaned up and placed him on a tall, white cabinet on their right.

Mike had a different system than his mom did. But thankfully Mia quickly caught up.

"Can you open up the windows as well? The room is getting stuffy," Mike asked. "Oh! But don't forget to place the screen on so insects don't fly in."

Mia nodded and quickly set out to do as he asked. As she passed by, she couldn't help but notice the well-maintained shelves that were fully stocked with a range of colorful items. Mia paused for a moment to pick up a heavy hiking shoe that managed to fall out of its place and place it back. After she managed in pushing the heavy glass windows open, Mia grimaced as she noticed the dust smeared on her hands. With a quick look around, she wiped her hands on her jeans.

"Ah," Mia dragged out. "So annoying."

During her walk back, Mia heard loud laughter emitting from the counter. Mia sighed and put on a warm smile on her face. When Mia finally got back, she noticed two very skinny males and three giggling girls crowded over the counter. One of the darker skinned guys leaned forward and ran his fingers through his short hair. The other let out a boisterous laugh simultaneously lightly punching Mike on the shoulder, who was smiling widely as though pleased with himself. Mia looked around in awkward confusion as she stood a bit far from the group. Her worried eyes focused on Mike, managing to catch his attention rather unintentionally.

"Hey, guys!" Mike tried to catch everyone's attention. "This is Mia. She moved here about two weeks ago. Mia, these are my friends. Tyler, Eric, Jessica, Angela, and Lauren."

Mia smiled nervously and held out her hand to the long-haired blonde who grimaced before shaking Mia's hand (Lauren, Mia mentally noted).

"Mia Swan. Nice to meet you," Mia said with a shaky grin.

"Pleasure, I'm sure," Lauren replied before rolling her striking green eyes.

Mia looked around timidly, did she offense her in any way?

A sweet looking girl stepped up in front of Mia and shook her head.

"Ignore Lauren, she's been having a bad day. It's nice to meet you. I'm Angela," she smiled and her gentle brown eyes twinkled.

"Jessica. I love your hair so much," a curly brown haired girl smiled and shook Mia's hand.

“Thanks,” Mia replied with a smile.

The boys waved and Mia nodded at them awkwardly.

After moving behind the counter next to Mike, Mia grabbed several stools and handed them out for everyone to sit comfortably.

"So," Lauren started with a distasteful look," Mia was it? Why move here?"

Mia looked up bewildered a bit.

"I just wanted to see my dad for a while and thought, why not just move here to finish my high school years."

"You mean to start it?" Angela asked with a welcoming grin.

"I actually skipped a year when I started school and moved up a year in middle school so it'll be my senior year when school starts."

"So you won’t be in the same grade as we will," Tyler (was it?) asked.

"Nope," Mia replied with a shrug.

Lauren's eyes widened and she hastily asked another question.

“So, how old are you? Seventeen?”

Mia shook her head, “Still sixteen.”

Lauren’s scowl slowly left her face.

Mia’s face fell for a second, please don’t call me a child.

Tyler leaned forward and winked.

"Enough about boring things, what about boys? Do date?"

Mia let out a peal of awkward laughter and scratched her neck stiffly.

"I-I don't...I'm too young," Mia stuttered. "I mean, I'm-I'm too young to date...and I honestly don't understand the appeal of dating. Wait! I mean," Mia scratched her head.

"I just don't think I'm ready since I'm too young. I don't understand the whole, 'kissing is attractive' thing either," Mia managed to finish.

“Dude, do you wanna die,” Mike asked. “Chief Swan would have your head!”

“I heard good girls are more fun,” Tyler replied with a smirk. He muttered something else as well but it was too low for Mia to catch what he said.

Lauren swatted Tyler’s arm and sent Mia a genuine smile. 

The conversation was pushing into another direction and soon enough, by the time Mia's shift finished, she had five new numbers on her phone.

But that wasn't the end of the list of new numbers in her phone. Bless Angela; she had managed to get the majority of the new batch of junior and senior students for a gathering so everyone could meet Mia. It was at that gathering where Mia had met Clara and Ben who then introduced her to Danielle. Those three soon became Mia's closest friends and they met up almost every week to keep each other posted and what not. Though, it became rather hard once Clara and Ben traveled.

The first time Mia met Clara was over the corner of Jessica's garden.

Jessica had decided to host the party because apparently, her parents were traveling to Seattle for a couple of days. She dubbed it as a perfect way to have a party.

 Mia had started to have an enormous headache from all the talking and she managed to slip away in the corner. Mia could remember seeing a green-eyed girl talking animatedly about the new Star Wars film with a brown-haired boy. Of course, it took all Mia's willpower to push aside her shyness and approach the 'couple'. Who actually turned out to be cousins.

By the time the party was over, Mia had managed to outwit the pair with her theories on the next episode/movie. Several days later, Clara introduced Mia to Danielle, the extremely fast reader who loved classics. Though she reminded Mia of Bella, her open expressions and ability to try everything was definitely what made the two different.

Even though Mia found herself in a tight group with the three, she still hung out with Jessica and Angela, though rarely with Lauren, who always seemed busy.

Her attention always became swamped by her friends. When she wasn’t at work, she would be hanging out with Ben, Clara and Danielle or Jessica, Angela or at home, messaging Blake. (Apparently, all of her other friends seemed too busy out of nowhere. So her only contact left in Phoenix was Blake.)

And once Mia let it slip she had a free day, Jessica roped Mia into going to Portland with her.

“What do you think about this shirt,” Jessica asked as she held up a pale blue crop top up to her face.

Mia grimaced at the frilly side arms, “Maybe something less puffy. And something darker? You look great in darker blues.”

Jessica placed the shirt back in its place with a detached sigh.

“I don’t think anyone can pull off blue like you,” Jessica hinted at Mia’s hair with a grin.

“It’s teal,” Mia corrected as she weaved through the clothes. She pulled out a dark green crop top and stared at it.

“What about this,” Mia asked as she held up the item up so Jessica could see it.

A grin unveiled across Jessica’s face, “That’s so pretty!”

Mia smiled bashfully and placed the shirt in Jessica’s arms.

“C’ mon, try it on.”


 

Mia grabbed her marker and quickly filled in the empty paper. The marker glided across the paper, leaving imprints behind.

Her job at the store seemed to take a turn to the better once Mrs. Newton found out about Mia’s artistic nature.

It wasn’t something Mia liked to brag about but her father did. Charlie wouldn’t stop boasting about it during one time he bought Mia her snack she forgot at home. It was awfully so convenient that Charlie started praising her work when Mrs. Newton was in a hearing range.

But then, Charlie started bringing her small works to her job and Mrs. Newton caught sight of it.

“Oh, Mia! I never knew you were so good at this,” she gasped prettily.

Mia had blushed so hard that Charlie and Karen made fun of her. They hadn’t brought it up for another week. But then Karen had rushed to Mia after coming back from Seattle, begging for Mia’s help with the banners and flyers.

“We’ll pay you a huge sum as well! Every other person we go to is taking it out of proportion with the amount due to it being a store issue,” Karen pleaded while Mia ate her lunch.

And Mia couldn’t say no, after all, they were willing to pay one grand for the whole shebang. All Mia had to do was make some banners, flyers, and posters that would be perfect to be distributed all around Portland and Seattle. Karen set Mia home as soon as she agreed. So for the past entire week, Mia had been absent from work, working on the papers.

No biggie, Mia thought while she leaned over the dining table at home in the middle of the night. Just three hundred of these flyers left. And a hundred more banners. And thirteen story sized posters.

No biggie.

But Mia didn’t manage to finish the flyers that night. According to Charlie, he caught her slumped over her chair at five in the morning.

“Must finish the flyers,” Mia groaned out, resembling a zombie.

She waved away Charlie’s concerned pleas and set back to her work.

I’m going to finish this even if it takes me all day!

 It took her four more days. She didn’t sleep at all the first two days, opting to do everything quick and fast. But once she was halfway through the banners, she took periodic breaks to catch up on her sleep.

Everything she had done was through the hand. So by the time she was finished with all the physical advertisements, Karen had had over five visits bringing Mia a box load of supplies.

“Eight hundred flyers, two hundred and fifty banners, and thirteen one story sized posters,” Mia patted the boxes next to her as she declared.

Mr. Newton raised an eyebrow and went through one of the boxes.

“This is,” he trailed off in astonishment. “These are beautiful!”

Mia frowned at the shock in his voice, “Do you want me to uglify them?”

Mia dodged Charlie sharp elbow and Karen’s loud laughter.

“I told you we’d be saving up by hiring Mia,” Karen sang smugly in front of her husband. She then turned around to address Mia.

“Is there anything we should know about them?”

Mia shook her head.

“They’re already waterproofed so there’s no issue with the rain. And as long as no one tries to flame them, they won’t be harmed.”

Mia listened with satisfaction as she heard Mr. Newton splutter.

“You- you waterproofed them?”

“Laminating them is so expensive, especially the banners because of the size. And I hoped you wouldn’t want the papers to get ruined.”

Karen said something in front of her but it was too low for her to catch it.

Mr. Newton cleared his throat and pulled out his wallet that seemed to be bursting with bills.

“We were going to spend some money on the waterproofing itself. And since you already did it for us, it would only be fitting for you to take the amount we were going to pay for the proofing.”

Mia dismissed the notion.

“I’m already being paid a lot for the art, it doesn’t seem right for the extra pay.”

Karen shook her head and spoke up.

“You deserve it, I mean these posters are even better than what the other shops' ideas were. And you delivered everything so quickly.”

“Karen is right,” Mr. Newton insisted. “We’re not taking no for an answer here.”

Mia looked at her father and then back at the Newtons before giving in.

Both Charlie and Mia left the house with three grand in their pockets. Mia didn’t speak up until they were far out on the road.

“Dinner’s on me,” Mia laughed weakly.

Charlie glanced at her momentarily and chuckled.

“Holy hell Pops, this is practically the amount I got from working for four years!”

After a moment of silence, Mia spoke up again.

“How in the blazing hell do they even have that much money to pay me?”

Charlie looked at her word choices uncomfortably before shaking his head.

“The Newtons don’t only own the store here in Forks. They have one in Vancouver as well. The one in Seattle is the third store they’ll open up so I’m pretty sure they’re really good with business opportunities.”

“Oh c’mon Pops! You can’t act like you aren’t freaking out about the money!”

Charlie shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t think you’d appreciate my language if I thought about the money.”

“Pops,” Mia whined.

“Mia, I’m being serious. Because holy fuck, I am hella surprised!”

Mia let out a hysterical laugh, “Holy fuck indeed.”

Chapter Text

Mia rubbed her neck harshly as she stared at the disastrous shed outside.

What is up with this entire house being so messy! All I wanted to do find the screwdriver to add another shelf!

With a loud groan, Mia turned around and marched back into the house. After changing into a proper cleaning outfit (some old light sleeping clothes), Mia returned with several pieces of cloth, a spraying disinfectant, nails, and a hammer. With a dissatisfied explosion of breath, she slipped on some rubber gloves.

Making sure she was all set to clean the shed, she marched inside.

Mia had taken everything out of the shed and placed them in three piles; the items that needed to be cleaned, items that were to be thrown out and the things that could be reused later. After that, she dumped a load of disinfectant everywhere and cleaned the dusty shed. It might have taken her around two hours until she finished the insides and set off to sort the items.

Maybe this could be my new workout. I mean, my entire arms have gained some muscle from all the bustling around.

Mia carried all the rusting instruments inside and threw them in a large bowl filled with vinegar.

Several hours were used up in the redecoration of the shed making Mia's back hurt. By the time she was finished placing tiny pots filled with flowers near the window, she was covered in soot, dirt and reeked of death. She might as well take care of the shelf tomorrow. Mia grudgingly walked back into the house to place some ready-made pizza in the oven. She quickly went into the bathroom and had a quite quick shower before running back down.

One of Mia's hand busied itself by patting at her hair with the towel while the other grabbed two plates. With about thirty minutes to spare until Charlie came back, Mia grabbed her phone and slumped down on the couch.

One new message from Danielle (The Reading She-Devil)

Did anyone hear the new rumor that the Lord of The Ring: Return of the King movie is being shot right now?

Mia smiled and replied to the group chat.

Yeah, there was an interview about it yesterday - Mia

It's almost complete - Ben

How do you know - Dani

When we were in New Zealand, there was a fan meeting where they announced that the movie was almost finished- Ben

Egh, I hope its better than the books, let there be more action - Clara

Whatever I just want the game to be released soon. They didn't release the deadline yet - Ben

True - Dani

Hey, does anyone want to go catch a movie later on this week? There's Final Destination 2, Underworld and 2 Fast 2 Furious on this Saturday - Mia

Mom could drop us off at the cinema - Clara

As long as Clara is there, I'll be able to go - Ben

Since everyone will be going, my parents will allow me - Dani

G8 - Mia

Guys, I gtg but ttyl - Mia

Mia shut her phone off when she noticed the headlights of her dad's car shine inside through the window as he pulled up. Mia quickly went into the kitchen and pulled out the two different pizzas out after placing the Motorola (her phone) down.

The sound of the door opening followed by heavy footsteps echoed throughout the house.

"Hey dad," Mia leaned up to kiss his cheek as well as balancing out the pizzas.

His cheeks turned crimson red and he stammered a hello back.

At least he didn't faint this time, Mia thought snarky. Immediately after, she felt guilty. Gotta stick to baby steps. Been more than a month but at least I've made progress.

He swiftly went upstairs to change clothes and was back within moments.

"So Mia, how was your day? Do anything fun?"

Mia swallowed her large bite of pizza and nodded.

"It was alright. Work was fun, some tourists came for some camping gear. And I attempted to fix the shelf in my room, but I got distracted by the shed," she trailed off. "Oh! I was wondering if I could be able to go to the cinema this Saturday? Clara said her mom would be able to drop us off."

Charlie looked contemplatively at his plate, "I was, well, I-I was hoping we could go together to watch something on Saturday. And I wanted to take you to a bank so you can have an account. It's not safe to keep so much money at home, especially in small towns like Forks. "

Mia looked surprised at him and nodded quickly.

"It's okay, we still can. I'll just tell them that we're spending some time together," Mia reassured Charlie.

"Nah, I'll just stay at work and see if there's anything I can do," Charlie brushed aside with a hope to look nonchalant and failing to do so.

"How about we go earlier? Go see a movie, spend some time together going to the bank and if you feel tired, I'll tag along with my friends to the movies again and come back home with them?"

Charlie looked up hopefully and let out a gentle smile with hopes not to break this tender, sweet moment with his daughter.

"It's a deal then."


 

Mia pulled the string of her hoodie in a nervous habit as she stared at herself in the mirror. She had spent the entire morning in Portland with her dad, but Mia knew it would be too true to be real if the day went by all happily. She had just received a message from Bella, demanding why Mia hadn't called or emailed them this entire week.

But I did! I emailed mom twice a week, Mia cried out. Mia had felt tears build up in her eyes as she read through the 'ungrateful sister' line. In Mia's defense, Isabella never asked about her and since Mia was now in Forks, Charlie didn't even have the monthly calls anymore. How was Mia supposed to know Isabella wanted to hear from her?

But reading through the hurtful things her sister had to say about her just brought so much agony to the fragile girl. A tear fell onto her cold cheek and Mia hastily wiped it away with the back of her hand. Of course, she hadn't meant to ignore messaging Bella, but she just forgot. A choked sob broke past her clamped lips and her eyes watered at a faster rate. Mia dug the palms of her hands into her tightly shut eyes as she broke down. A heavy sob wracked her body making the young teen slip slowly onto the floor. Footsteps neared the restroom causing Mia to bit her fist to stop any noises from escaping. Her snot dripped down her nose causing her to sniffle.

"Mia? Is that you?" Dani's voice drifted through the shut door.

Mia swiped her face clean with her shaky hands and quickly washed her face.

"J-Just a minute," she replied, mentally cursing the crack in her voice.

She swiftly opened up the door and sent a false smile to Danielle. Danielle looked at her with concern, not buying her act.

"Is there anything I can do?"

Mia sniffed and let out a giggle, "What do you mean? I know I look like a wreck but you would be too if you watched the ending of Underworld."

"If you say so," Dani said quietly. "We bought the tickets to 2 Fast 2 Furious and everyone is waiting in line," she continued before looking down. "Listen, I know I can't do much if I don't know the situation and I won't push you into telling me. But-but if you ever need anything, I'll be here okay?"

Mia looked up and wiped her teary eyes again before nodding.

"Thank you."

As Mia followed Dani up to the stairs, she quickly grabbed Dani's free hand. Mia looked up fearfully at Dani who just let out a sad smile and ruffled Mia's hair with her other hand.

What struck a happy chord in Mia's body was not just that Danielle hadn't let go of the hand, but also, that she might just find the sister she had wished to have since her childhood.


 

Ben collapsed on the sidewalk as he sobbed from laughing too hard. His hands clutch his sides and he started gasping out from laughter.

"Too much," he went crazy with his laughter.

"D-don't look b-back," he bellowed out.

"Oh my god," Clara groaned in embarrassment as her palm hit her forehead.

Mia shook her head in defeat and giggled at Ben's antics.

"Stop it!" Danielle hissed, "people are looking here."

Ben's laughter subdued as his aunt pulled up in front of the cinema and ushered everyone to quickly sit inside. Mia's hair flared around her as she shook her head to get rid of the humor bubbling inside of her when she noticed someone from the corner of her eye.

She squinted her eyes and thought she saw Jasper (the boy who had acted extremely weird the first time she was in the Fork's High parking lot) before a blur overcame her sight and she no longer saw him.

Hmmm could've just been my imagination, she thought to herself and quickly entered the car.

The ride back was filled with silence as everyone was worn out with the movie. Mia's head drooped slowly as she dozed off into sleep lightly.

"Mia? Mia wake up, we're here," Clara leaned over and shook her awake.

Mia's eyes flew open and she quickly looked around. The pathway to her house shone through the streetlight creating an eerie glow.

"Thank you so much, Ma'am," Mia said as she got out of the car and leaned inside to grab her purse and shopping bags.

"Goodnight Mia, safe dreams," the mother-daughter chorused making Mia pause and laugh.

"Bye."

As Mia pulled up ahead of the door, she noticed a shiny Volvo parked right outside the house. A wave of confusion passed her making her cock her eyebrow, or at least try to. Mia heard loud laughter and the drifts of conversations. The keys jingled as she opened the door with one hand while the other tried to balance out the bags. She practically stumbled inside once the door opened and the quiet chatter slowed to a pause.

"Mia? Is that you?" Charlie asked as he wandered out of the kitchen holding a wine glass.

Mia nodded slowly before she blanched.

"Y-you k-know I'll just go see if I can stay with Clara tonight," she quickly hurried out as she tried to twist around and leave.

Charlie looked at her confused and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Mia? What's wrong," he asked softly as he grabbed her hands in his and looked into her eyes.

"W-what do you me-mean?"

Mia mentally cursed her stuttering," Don't you have a date?"

Charlie let out a bark of laughter and ruffled her hair with one hand.

"What gave you that idea?"

"I mean, you-you never drink wine and yet you have some in your hand? It also sounded like there was a feminine voice drifting through the doors outside."

Charlie's eyes twinkled in amusement and he guffawed, "No I don't have a date. But I was just celebrating with Dr. Cullen for being promoted and we ended up opening a wine bottle."

"Dr. Cullen and his family are back," Mia asked in surprise. "I thought they were going to be in New York for longer."

"Apparently, one of his sons was stressed over school and wanted to come back early. So they cut their trip short."

Mia nodded her head before remembering her mortification, "We never speak of this moment again."

He let out an obnoxious laugh before waving her inside the kitchen.

Mia smiled at Dr. Cullen, congratulated him and quickly excused herself with the excuse of being too tired.

Mia jumped into the bathroom to take a shower. The shower was quick and Mia was out within the next ten minutes. Mia quickly dawned on her matching pajama set and went back to her room.

What can I do?

The answer came to her as she stared around her room. Mia pulled out her books for the soon-to-be start of school. She lied down on the bed on her stomach whilst leaning on one hand so she could start writing her notes. Many notes later, she completed the fifteenth chapter in her physics book.

Man, I am so lonely and desperate to be doing this to myself, she thought.

School started in six weeks and soon enough, she would've been done writing notes for the entire year. Well, at least then she could have more free time to relax. Mia tilted her head back and let out the yawn she had managed to keep inside for so long. Her eyes slowly watered causing Mia to rub them due to exhaustion settling down upon her.

Light, petite footsteps pulled up in front of a room just as the knocking started.

"C-come in," Mia said as she tried to stifle a yawn.

The door opened and Dr. Cullen stood there leaning against the door.

"Oh hello Dr. Cullen," Mia quickly pulled away from her books and sat upright.

"Hello," his melodic, sweet voice replied.

"Umm, is there anything I can help you with Doctor?"

Mia looked at him confused as to why he suddenly came up to talk to her.

"Oh! Well, you see, my youngest daughter took Art as an elective for her junior year. But she's always been shaky over the subject. And well, the entire town has mentioned your artistic skills," he replied, his posture screaming friendly.

"I mentioned it when we met in the hospital today-."

Mia cut in with wide eyes and a frantic wave.

"Dad was in the hospital?"

Dr. Cullen looked stunned at her interruption before understanding dawned on his face.

"He was looking for someone who had gotten in a bar fight."

Mia sighed out in relief.

"Sorry about that. You were saying?"

"It's alright. I can't believe how bad it must've sounded. But Chief Swan mentioned that you were free in the evenings, and I was wondering if you could tutor her?"

Mia looked at him while mentally going over her schedule. She pursed her lips before nodding hesitantly, "The entire town exaggerates."

"Quite to the contrary, I asked Mr. Newton about a flyer you made and I was in awe of its beauty."

Mia blushed, damn son, you sure know how to butter someone up.

"I guess I could give it a try. But I have to warn you, I've never taught anyone before."

"I believe in you," Dr. Cullen smiled warmly. Mia's heart leaped out of her chest and into her throat.

Mrs. Cullen sure is blessed to have him, Mia considered. But then again Mrs. Cullen is so freaking pretty, even more than Dr. Cullen so it would mean he's blessed to have her.

"I'll have to check with Mrs. Newton about my timings so I can tutor Alice. But other than that, there's no problem," Mia pondered. "Did dad give my number to you for Alice?"

Dr. Cullen laughed, "It was the first thing he did when I mentioned Alice's troubles."

Mia fought down the blush and nodded, "Alright then."

"Thank you so much, Mia," Dr. Cullen mentioned. "You should go to sleep sometime soon, your eyes look swollen."

Mia laughed and nodded, "Alright doctor."

Dr. Cullen turned around and Mia remembered why he was in the house the first time.

"And congratulations on the new position!"

Dr. Cullen's eyes twinkled, "Thank you."

He stood up straighter before flashing his pearly whites off with a smile. He then shut the door and the creaking in the floors indicated him leaving down the stairs.

Mia groaned and rubbed her neck. She didn't even know why she said yes because she knew she sucked when it came to explaining stuff to other people.

At least Dad won't think I hate his man crush's children. Although the same can't be said about them not hating me, Mia winced as she remembered the time in the school parking.

Mia heard Charlie close the front door. His heavy footsteps could be heard as he walked up the stairs.

"Goodnight Mi," he called out through the shut door.

"Night daddy!"

Once she heard his door close, she tiptoed around to turn off the lights and grab her computer. Flopping back onto the bed, she turned it on. She quickly entered her password and logged onto her favorite website, Fanfiction. net.

But what she didn't know was that two pairs of eyes monitored her every move; even after she fell asleep around three in the morning. The previously glowing screen which had lit Mia's room up powered down, leaving behind complete darkness in the room.

Yet it didn't deter the duo from analyzing her.

"Are you sure that was a good idea? I just don't want anyone to find out and now you just practically placed a cake in front of a hungry child."

"Hush, she is important. I need to know she is or then why would I get constant visions of her? And I know you felt the same thing I did that day! Now that everyone has managed to get used to the unnaturally good smell of her blood, all we have to do is watch her. Just wait, something important is coming right up and I honestly believe it'll change our lives."

The male sighed and pulled his mate closer. He pressed a kiss on top of her head carefully as he looked at the female affectionately.

"Alright, but you have to remember that one of the wolves just phased so we have to be extremely careful if we involve her Alice."

"Definitely."

Chapter Text

 

The next day, Mia got up chilly and shivering. She yawned and looked at the window that had seemingly opened up last night. Mia was pretty sure she shut the window last night.

Maybe I forgot, Mia thought with a disgruntled sigh.

She let out another groan and rubbed her eyes to get rid of the sleepiness. She dragged herself out of bed and into the bathroom. After nearly falling asleep in the bathroom, Mia got out ready and stomped downstairs to get some hot chocolate.

Right before she left her room, she grabbed her backpack which she quickly filled up with some sketching papers and a couple of papers.

Mia dragged her feet on the floor while she moved about.

I'm so not ready for today.

"Rough night?" Charlie snickered at her. Mia dropped her head on the table and shut her eyes.

She let out a brutish groan in response and dramatically flailed her arms around.

"I'm so sleepy. Let me sleep!"

"You could take a day off of work, get some extra sleep. Also, remember, Alice is supposed to call you for those extra lessons," as Charlie said that, Mia let out a pathetic groan and pulled herself upright.

"No can do Pops. Mike has been sick all week and Mrs. Newton is staying home to take care of him," she pouted. Mia chugged her mug down and poured some more hot chocolate.

"Can you please drop me off today? I don't feel well enough to walk," Mia glanced at the clock.

It's way too late to even attempt to run.

"Let me go grab my coat, and then we'll leave," Charlie moved up from his chair.

Mia took that time to turn on the phone and saw a new message.

One new message from Unknown

Hey! It's Alice XD I wanted to ask if you wanted to meet around 4 at the libs

Mia nodded tiredly as she added Alice's number to her contact list before replying.

Sure, that sounds G8 – Mia

"You ready Mia?"

The young adult looked up from her phone. She placed her phone in her back pocket before slinging on her bag.

"Not really!"

Charlie drove quickly towards her job. A comfortable silence fell over the two whilst they passed a couple of cars.

Gotta love the fact that dad's grumpier than a grizzly bear after hibernation in the mornings.

Mia rushed in the store to avoid the hail that started up. Mia pulled out the store keys from her bra and bustled around the store.

But as usual, the day after that passed quite suddenly; only a handful of people visited the shop. Particularly, a couple of tourists wanted some new camping gear that was waterproof.

Forks is THE town of rain. How the hell do you miss that and buy non-waterproof gear?

By three thirty, Mia was ready to leave.

"I'll see you tomorrow Ma'am," Mia exclaimed. Karen gave her a smile and returned to her knitting book.

"See you, Mia."

Mia took her time walking towards the library in the cool heat of the pavement.

Mia skipped over a couple of twigs on the ground next to the road. Mia recalled Charlie warning her about the disadvantages of walking around in Forks.

'"I know this town is no Phoenix, but what the numbers they have with murders, we have with car accidents," Charlie grimly told Mia over brunch. "The people in this town are so used to the weather that they know how to deal with it. But there are always issues with cars. Last year, the number of car accidents was fifty-six, and although, only twenty-two of those had fatal injuries, the numbers don't really make a parent feel safe sending their child outside."

"So you want me to stop walking outside?"

"No, I'm just saying, be careful outside. And try not to walk on the road. Just walk off the road and always make sure your phone is easily accessible in case something happens."'

Mia had taken his words to heart. She walked on the sidelines of the road, never on the concrete roads, had her phone tucked inside her pants and always focused on her surroundings.

All things that seemed to appease her dad.

She pulled out her phone from its place tucked in her pants.

I'm at the library dad – Mia

It wasn't like Charlie always nagged about Mia's location, but she found it safer by having him informed of her visits to places.

Just in case something happens and I can't call anyone.

"Good afternoon," she chirped up at the girl working on the computer.

"Afternoon," she grunted back, not once looking at the teal-haired girl.

Mia pulled up a chair on a desk that seemed directly under the lights. After a few minutes of waiting, she got up and picked a book. She was so absorbed in the book, she lost connection with the world. Her breath quickened as the scene deepened and a quiet gasp left her lips when the main character ran after the other character who got dragged off a cliff. Mia's heart raced and her hands went clammy quickly as she read on about the agony the young hero was feeling. Suddenly, a loud clang forced Mia out of the circle she was enchanted in as she flinched and almost fell out of the chair.

Mia looked at the messy and overflowing library shelves where she found the source of the clang. One librarian had slipped and pushed over a lot of books making them scattered all over the floor. Should I help her, Mia asked herself mentally.

Mia moved towards the librarian.

"Here you go Ma'am," Mia spoke once she finished collecting the books that spilled over the floor.

"Oh thank you, dearie."

Mia gave her a quick smile and went back to her table. After a quick glance at the clock, she noticed that the time was already four making Mia look around to see whether or not Alice had arrived. Mia scanned the area near the entrance.

Where is she?

Mia slumped back in her chair and picked up her book.

At least I get to read this book. God knows, I would've been forced to wait to the next trip in Seattle to get my hands on this.

Mia read quickly, her nerves jumbled up with anxiety.

'As Blackjack flew back toward my cabin, I happened to glance at the dining pavilion. I saw a figure—a boy hunkered down behind a Greek column like he was hiding-.'

"Hi! I'm Alice, Mia, right? I heard such great things about you from Mr. Swan. How do you do? I love your hair! It's so pretty and looks so soft! How did you ever decide on the color?"

Mia jerked away from her book and gaped at the Goddess in front of her. Mia's grip on the book loosened up. A sudden heat engulfed Mia, lighting up every nerve in her body. A familiar warmth could be felt from her cheeks.

The person in front of her was about two heads shorter than her. It seemed like the word beauty had nothing on Alice. She was far much alluring.

Her waist seemed far too skinny for it to be normal. A bit of discomfort started brewing up in her chest at the idea of her not getting enough food.

Mia struggled to breathe out and she picked up her jaw. She swallowed her spit which suddenly seemed to be coming out in waterfalls.

If you drool, you'll forever regret it and she'll forever judge you for it!

Mia cleared her throat and held out a hand for a handshake.

"Nice to meet you. I'm good, you?"

IM NOT DOING SO GOOD ACTUALLY! I JUST CHECKED YOU OUT FOR A WHOLE MINUTE THERE! Please don't judge me.

Alice took Mia's hand in hers. A delicious shiver ran down her spine, like a bolt of electricity. Mia's breath once again got caught in her throat. Her lips curved into an unsure smile.

Alice's eyes widened momentarily which forced Mia to look up into them for the first time. A soft gasp escaped Mia's lips as she took in Alice's eyes. They looked beautiful in all their golden glory framed by long, delicate eyelashes.

Alice pouted making Mia's heart constrict in shock. HOLY HELL! ISN'T SHE PRETTIEST GIRL I'VE EVER SEEN, Mia's thoughts screamed at her.

"I don't know anymore. I'm so nervous, what if I do bad and get low grades in Art."

Mia gave Alice a reassuring smile, "It'll be alright. Art isn't about getting a standardized beautiful or 'amazing' picture, but rather about making a creative masterpiece that helps tell a story whether you do it consciously or not. Art is creating new perspectives on different things. Trust me, you would be just messing around and could get a wonderful masterpiece in the eyes of another."

Alice smiled back at her and reached for her back to pull out a sketchbook.

"When you make it sound like that, it doesn't sound so bad."

Mia's stomach tightened as the warm feeling swept over her again.

God give me some strength, Mia pleaded. Don't make me do something to blow off her attention.


 (~'3')~


 

Mia picked up her pencils.

"Is everything alright," she asked when she turned around to face the Goddess.

Goddess Alice stared at her phone in shock before snapping it shut. She sat back down, pushing her bottom lip outwards in a pretty pout.

"Yeah, my ride is going to be late for a bit. Edward is out eating and everyone else is busy."

Mia frowned, "Do you want me to drop you off? I could ask Dad to pick us up?"

"It's alright," Alice (Goddess, her conscious hissed) leaned forward in her chair.

Mia glanced at the clock and then back at Alice.

"You know, I'll wait with you until your brother comes. It's not safe to be alone."

Alice rewarded Mia a bright grin which forced Mia to test her self-control at not swaying in her position. Every look Alice sent Mia bought a quick burst of affection out of her. Every gaze ignited her body. Every touch seemed to make her heart jump.

Mia never felt so alive before. It was as though a part of her was being filled up.

"So how are you liking Forks so far," Alice asked.

"It's nice," Mia mirrored Alice's leaned forward posture. "It kind of sucks that there's not much to do here because of summer. All of dad's friends traveled as have most of the Fork's student population. But at least my job keeps me busy.

"What about you? Dad mentioned that your family moved here last year?"

"I like Forks! It's got quite the character," Alice cheered. Her eyes bore into Mia's.

"I-."

Mia's words trailed off when she noticed Alice's blank stare.

"Alice!"

Mia flinched at the sharp voice that cut in. She turned around and saw a pale, tall boy (DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!) standing ever so still.

Alice pulled out of whatever trance she was in. Her face was aghast as she whispered 'Edward'.

Mia glanced between Alice and Edward. She could feel herself curl into herself when she was pinned in her place with a stare from 'Edward'.

Alice looked apologetically at Mia who just flinched at the sound of a low growl.

"I'm sorry, I'll see you tomorrow," she promised. Mia couldn't take her eyes off from 'Edward'. All her senses were screaming at her to move, to run. But she was frozen in her place.

The boy (NO! NOT BOY! THE MONSTER!) turned on his heel and pulled Alice with him.

WHAT THE FUCK!

After an eternity, the cold chill that had seeped into her bones and gripped at her heart fell away.

"What the fuck," she echoed.


Almost every day, Mia would meet up with Alice to help her with her skills. They never bought up Edward, her adopted brother, or how he acted the first night of her tutoring session. But Mia caught Alice peering at her at times when she should be looking at the sketchbook in front of her.

It seemed like whatever happened that day opened Alice's eyes to something. Her posture no longer seemed uncomfortable. Quite to the contrary, Alice never seemed more comfortable around Mia. She constantly lost respect for Mia's personal space. Something which made Mia blush over and over again about.

But in the end, Alice always looked at Mia in a soft, gentle manner.

Some of their study sessions became monopolized by her siblings that came over with Alice. Her adopted brother, Emmett would join the classes. He actually contributed to the classes by asking the differences between things and how they would affect the outcome. Mia liked him better than she did Edward.

Though she hadn't seen him since that night.

Someone else who Mia shied away from was Rosalie. The girl didn't outright glare at her as Edward had. But she constantly had an angry look on her face. She never spoke to Mia either the first couple of times she came. Yet the last two times she came, she seemed softer and more accepting of Mia.

But that wasn't all!

Alice brought boyfriend, Jasper for the last three classes they had together. The first time they appeared together, Mia choked on her water. It was so sudden that she was left reeling from the image of them together.

The pleasing heat that appeared because of Alice seemed gentle when it was Alice and Jasper around her. With both of them, she felt content. Her entire mind, body, and soul were at peace.

Mia found it hella weird though she never voiced her feelings to them. Can't scare them away.

Jasper would sit quietly on the edge of the table with a book in his hand. No one brought up his initial reaction to her and there was no hint they would ever bring it up. So Mia let it go.

Give him a little benefit of the doubt. This can be his second first impression.

Through those sessions, Mia got closer with the trio and sometimes even just talked in some of their sessions than actually practicing. Soon, Alice became a great friend and even the ice-queen Rosalie was less hostile to her. But something disrupted her peace with the Cullens when Mia brought up she was swamped with work.

"Take a break from work," Clara insisted. "You work the most! Mrs. Newton would give you free time if you ever bring up your working hours."

"It's not that," Mia said with a sigh. "I have to tutor Alice in the evenings."

"You can't be serious," Danielle exclaimed in shock. "The Cullens are perfect at everything, there's no way it's possible they would ask you for tutoring. No offense. But especially Alice, her Art is amazing."

Mia looked at the group in confusion as they were all nodding to what Dani said.

"B-but?"

"That's just plain weird and creepy. Or maybe she just finds Mia pretty," Ben said with a boyish grin.

Mia hummed and continued the day as though she didn't hear anything. It stayed on her mind for countless days but Mia ignored asking about it to see if Alice would come clean with her. When Alice didn't say anything for another week, Mia placed the information away from her mind and focused on other things. Like her dad. And the fact she only had two more weeks before school started.

"So Mia," Charlie said in between chewing as he wiped his mayonnaise hands on the tissue paper after placing his burger down.

"How's everything?"

Mia swallowed roughly and wiped her mouth to get rid of the ketchup stain on the sides of her lips.

"Everything's alright; work at the shop is less now and tutoring Alice is okay. Everything is just fine," she replied with a quick smile. "What about you, dad? How's work?"

Charlie smiled, "Alright I guess. There's still the problem about the huge bear that attacked one of the campers. She's alright but we have to hunt down the animal who hurt her. But other than that, everything is just calm and quiet."

He paused as he took a sip from his Coke.

"Well, truth is, Billy and the 'gang' are back. So I was hoping you could spend some time with us. Billy has invited us to his place on Sunday. His son Jacob is also going to be there, so you wouldn't be bored you know. And well, everyone has been dying to meet you."

Mia nodded in return, "I'll ask Mrs. Newton about a day off. Is it a regular get together? Or is there a special event?"

Charlie smiled and shook his head.

"Nah, we just want to spend some together. And the only special part would be you meeting everyone. Do you remember anyone?"

Mia frowned.

"Nothing pops in mind, to be honest. I only remember someone called Rachel. But that's it."

"Oh! That's one of Billy's daughters!"

Mia smiled and listened to her father talk about the children who he looked at as his own nieces and nephews. Mia spent the rest of her dinner laughing about old funny stories he told.

The following day, Mia got up earlier than usual to get a head start on cleaning the house to get some uninterrupted time to think. Life was going so different than she had anticipated but that was a good thing as everything was happening with her instead of against her. Mia reminisced about The Alchemist, a book she had read at first and hated. But once she had been so immersed in it, she was surprised about how it helped her and brought much needed positive energy towards her. But something that stood in her mind at the moment was how well she had gotten along in Forks.

Must be fate that I was supposed to end up here, she thought with a smile as she finished placing the pillows on the couch properly.

Mia walked into the kitchen with a thoughtful look on her face. Maybe she should make some dip when they went over the Blacks. Mia sighed and massaged her neck before starting on a bacon-flavored dip. As she fried some bacon in the frying pan, she remembered Bella and how it was Bella who had taught Mia everything on cooking; as she felt the painful tugging in her heart start again, she heard a creaking from upstairs and noted that Charlie must be up.

Just as Mia placed the dip in the oven, she heard the familiar heavy footsteps approach her. She turned around and saw her dad wake around with closed eyes and searching for the coffee maker. After making his coffee and sitting down, he noticed her presence and smiled half-heartedly.

"How long have you been here for?"

"Been here since you woke up. You're losing your touch old man," Mia cackled as she watched him cradle his warm coffee against his chest. Charlie stuck his chin out and mock cried. Mia laughed and immediately felt happier than she had when she woke up.

They both sat in silence and ate breakfast quickly.

"What's on the agenda today dad?"

The silence grew and Mia looked up only to see her dad dozing off with a half-chewed bite in his mouth. WIth a soft snicker, Mia sneaked away to get the camera and took a picture of his slumped figure. As she gazed upon him, all his stress-induced wrinkles disappeared making him look even younger than he was. A sob logged itself in Mia's throat as she saw the man who worked hard every day to protect his family and the town; she saw the man who lost his daughters in the custody battle between her mom and most importantly, she saw the man she wouldn't want to leave at all.

Mia looked at the awkward position and got up to guide her dad onto the couch. Once he looked like he was comfortable, Mia called the Fork's police station.

"Hello, this is the police station. How may we help you today?"

Mia stammered, "Um, this is Mia Swan and I just called in to tell you that Chief Swan may not come to the station today."

The other person hummed and thanked Mia, before ending the call. Mia slumped down and wondered what she could do. Surprisingly, she wasn't in the mood to read or study so she ended up going upstairs to paint something. Once the bare canvas lay in front of her, she looked at it with a sinking feeling, she still didn't have any ideas of what to do. Mia looked around and remembered Jasper Hale, how could she not!

I can't paint a picture of him! I was literally crushing on his sister over our sessions! It would be prosperous for me to do to pain him!

But she ended up pulling her more pale paints out and started out his face. Throughout the painting, all she could think was how stupid her little crush seemed, right until she finished the painting later.

Damn, son. Is it even to be crushing on two people at one? All with the same intensity?

Mia's eyes drank in the picture in front of her; for the first time in her life could she finally brag about creating a masterpiece. The painting was portrayed exactly how she saw Jasper; a gem. Looking at the time, Mia quietly cursed before rushing downstairs to wake her dad up.

"Dad?" She called out softly as she rubbed his shoulder resulting in a snort from him. He swatted her hands before falling back to sleep.

Mia looked around in wonder, what could she use to wake him up.

Mia looked at a full glass of water and back at her dad. Should I?

With a firm mind, Mia got up and grabbed the glass of water. She sent a silent prayer to not die before emptying all the contents onto his face.

Her dad jerked awake and Mia jumped back. She could see his murderous face and stammered out an apology.

"Y-you wouldn't wake up a-and you pro-promised them we would be there by now."

Boy, did she get a lifetime lecture after that!

The car ride was silent after that as Mia looked down on the bacon dip in her lap and her dad glaring out in disappointment.

As they pulled up in front of the house, Charlie held out his hand, eradicating a sigh from Mia but she nonetheless handed over her phone.

The house was adorable but was presented as though it was overlooked; the railings looked fragile but Mia shook away those thoughts. She wasn't going to be judgmental and rude to the Blacks.

Charlie knocked on the door making the loud racket inside quieten before the door swung open by a long-haired kid. Charlie and he grasped arms before he pulled Charlie inside.

"Mia this is Jacob. Jake, this is my daughter Mia."

Mia nodded along awkwardly as she held the large dip in her hands.

"Oh hey, let me take it from you," Jacob offered.

Mia gratefully dumped the dip in his hands and rubbed her arm.

"That was surprisingly heavy," she said as she followed him inside.

Jacob laughed making his hair fly around.

"This is nothing compared to all the stuff Pops makes me carry out."

Mia nodded along before she rubbed her neck.

"So, what's up?"

She let out a grimace after she heard her own awkward dry remark.

Jacob let out another laugh (was the boy always that happy, she thought to herself, astonished at his laughing at everything). "Nah it's okay. As for your question, nothing much. Dad roped me into all this because I needed some money to fix this cool machine I found last month."

"That's nice?"

Mia frowned, why am I being so dull all of a sudden?

"So Jacob? What kind of things are you into?"

Jacob brightened up, seriously how could he even do that she thought, and turned around to face her.

"I love fixing up things. There a lot of car pieces I found I want to fix them together to make my own car. But I end up fixing little machines for more money if I need more money to build a Rabbit."

Mia shrugged, "Why a Rabbit?"

Jacob copied her action, "Why not? Plus, its easier than a bigger car but still challenging enough."

"I'll admit, I don't know much about cars but I love motorbikes and everything related to them."

Jake brightened up and the rest of the visit was spent with them in the garage as Jacob showed Mia the motorbike he had been fixing for someone. In the end, Charlie had to pull Mia away from the garage as she and Jake, both ended up working on it.

"Everyone, meet Mia," Charlie introduced.

A young woman stepped forward and hugged Mia.

"Charlie mentioned you didn't remember us. It's fine considering you haven't been here since you were 8. I'm Sue."

One by one, she met everyone. They all had brought up her childhood stories.

So fun, her grin fixed on her face in surprise. How the hell did I accidentally swallow a stone?

"C'mon Mi, it's time to go now," Charlie said making Mia look up from her conversation with Jake.

"I'll see you before school starts," Mia called out hopefully and Jake nodded.

"See you later," he called out as she slid inside the car.

Mia waved at him and when she pulled back to sit properly, she noticed a smug and happy face on her dad's face.

"What?"

"Nothing," her dad replied as he started to smile happily.

Mia felt her cheeks burn with some emotion that confused her.

"I can't wait for the wedding, honey."

Mia spluttered in defense.

Charlie let out a loud laugh making Mia pout and turn away but she could still feel her cheeks warm up.

Chapter Text

Soon enough, it was the last day of summer. Mia had invited Jacob, Ben, Dani, and Clara over so they could have one last day of fun before they would all be drowning in school work. Mia had also invited Embry and Quil over but they had both declined.

It had seemed like a really good idea at first but as the day moved on, the heat waves had become so strong, they had all become useless and lazy.

Clara moaned from her place as a small breeze drifted in through the windows. Although it was late afternoon, the heat had still affected everyone. Mia let her head fall on the table with a noticeable 'thud' which rattled all the water bottles.

Dani leaned up from her position before speaking up.

"If it's this hot right now, we could just go to the beaches. Maybe catch some waves, swim in the cool water," Dani almost purred out.

Ben looked up from his Spiderman comic book and shook his head.

"Within an hour, the heat will disappear and we'll be left in La Push with the extremely cold water without anything to do."

Jake sat up from the little nap he took. His cheeks had turned rosy due to the heat a long time ago so it was no surprise when his flushed face appeared. He grabbed everyone despite their moans and set them up straight.

"We play Truth or Dare or Two Truths and a Lie."

Mia shot up from her inclined position from Dani's lap, nearly missing the other's chin and shouted Truth and Dare.

Ben grumbled while Clara just nodded.

"C' mon, please Ben," Mia dragged out the words.

Ben looked at everyone's face before giving up meanwhile, Jacob cleared the table and found a bottle to spin with.

They all played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would start. Mia and Ben were the first ones out and with many ties and rounds, so was Clara. In the end, it came to just Jacob and Dani with Dani as the winner.

Dani let out an evil laugh as she rubbed her hands and started. The bottle spun in all its green glory before stopping at Ben.

"Truth," he shouted out before she could even ask making everyone laugh.

"What is the weirdest rumor you have ever heard this summer?"

Ben frowned as he thought before nodding," Apparently Jessica heard from her mom who heard it from some store clerk in Seattle who saw it happen that Jasper Hale and Alice Cullen broke up because he stopped feeling romantic feelings for her."

Mia frowned, feeling sad for them as there was a twinge in her heart that felt a lot like pain.

What is wrong with me, Mia thought to herself. Yeah, they're my friends but why would I feel pain from it?

Ben's bottle fell on Mia and she looked up in fear of what he might ask or make her do.

"Dare?" Mia's once so confident answer came out as a question when she saw everyone's evil grins.

"I dare you to call Alice Cullen and ask her to have dinner with you today."

Mia let out a choked gasp at the sudden question and quickly shook her head.

"I can't do that. Nope, sorry. No. No and NO!"

Dani quickly jumped at Mia to grab her phone and opened it up.

Jacob who had been sitting on her left, captured her in his arms as she protested to get out.

Mia shrieked out to be freed but was only let go when Dani released the phone with a smug smile.

The phone vibrated all of a sudden making everyone pause in shock. Mia saw everyone eyeing each other before lunging at the phone.

Mia managed to reach the phone the fastest and she ran into a corner to see the reply which made her halt suddenly making everyone else behind her run into her. Mia groaned from the added weight above her once everyone had ended in a topple above her.

Clara who had managed to grab the phone out of her hand squealed once she saw the reply.

And in that exact moment, Charlie walked into the living room. He stopped briefly before shaking his head muttering he didn't want to know.

"Mr. Swan, Alice Cullen invited you and Mia over for dinner and Mia accepted," Ben lied through his teeth.

Mia gasped in outrage and was about to tell Ben off when Jake kicked her stomach with a meaningful look. The kick made Mia wheeze out a yes when her dad looked at her but as soon as he agreed and went to change his clothes, Mia punched Jake in the shoulder.

"Why'd you do that? You know I don't want to go," Mia grumbled as she rubbed her sore stomach.

"You have to go now," Dani sang out while pulling herself out of the mess.

Clara grabbed both boys by their shoulders and dragged them to the front door.

"You two need to go get a couple of snacks but you both need to walk and take your time or there will be consequences."

Clara pushed them out of the house before running back in.

Mia looked at Dani and Clara's face before shaking her head and rushed past them both to escape whatever plan they suddenly cooked up.

Clara lifted her leg making Mia trip while Dani grabbed Mia by the arms.

Mia's bootless cried fell on useless ears that late afternoon.


 (~'3')~


 

Mia stood outside near the car nervously as she twisted her hands.

Charlie took one of her hand in his and gripped it tightly.

"It'll be alright you know; you just need to calm down."

Mia let out a breathless laugh, "You do realize that that was the start line of a horror movie."

Charlie smiled comfortingly at her before gently pulling her towards the house. As soon as they were about to ring the bell, Mrs. Cullen opened up the door.

"Sorry, I saw the car headlights and sort of got too excited to wait."

Charlie laughed in reply while Mia said hello quietly.

She led them into the house and Mia's mouth dropped open from the beauty of it all.

She voiced her thoughts making Esme thank her with a happy smile.

"Jasper is out with a couple of friends from Canada so he won't be here today."

Mia slowly let out a sigh of relief once she heard that. It's easier pretending I don't have a crush on them with one less person. Easier to fool them and myself.

As the living room popped into view, Mia saw Rosaline standing near Emmett while Alice stood near the fireplace just a few steps ahead of where Edward was sitting.

Alice suddenly sprung from her place and danced her way towards Mia to grab her.

Mia held in a wince as Alice suddenly pulled her into a hug, accidentally holding Mia's sore shoulder tightly.

Curse you Jake, Clara, Dani, and Ben. Just wait until school starts up again, Mia mentally promised vengeance.

Alice pulled away with a blinding smile, "I'm so happy you called."

Mia nodded once she realized her voice failed her. Alice's face slowly fell and it seemed like she sniffed at Mia's hair for a minute.

Don't be absurd, you're imagining things now, Mia thought to herself.

Rosaline gave Mia a tense smile which Mia returned meanwhile, Charlie was talking to Dr. Cullen.

"Mrs. Cullen?"

"I insist you call me Esme, Mia, none of Mrs. Cullen, it makes me feel old."

Patrica!

Mia gave a troubled smile and nodded before holding the box in her hand out.

"We didn't know what you'd like so we got some wine and a Glow perfume?"

"Oh honey, you didn't need to get anything."

Mia nodded as she suddenly felt awkward and lost.

They were suddenly ushered for dinner was turned to be a very awkward event. It was filled with questions being thrown everywhere and the longer she spent time with the Cullens, the harder it felt to hide her crush on Alice.

She blushed at Alice's gaze and tensed up at Edward's glare at her. Throughout the dinner, she noticed his penetrating gaze on her. A sharp pain erupted in her head making her wince.

Alice, who was talking to Charlie, immediately looked at her in horror.

Mia gave her a convincing smile back. It didn't do anything other than making Alice even more worried.

"Please excuse me for a moment," Alice said as she pulled Edward into the other room.

As soon as Edward's stare was no longer concentrated at her, Mia felt the aching pain decrease.

Soon enough after dinner, Mia rushed to the bathroom. Edward came back and although he wasn't staring at her, she still felt pain explode behind her closed eyelids.

It's just half an hour more, Mia mentally sobbed to herself. Just breathe, breathe.

She leaned against the staircase of the living room. Alice engaged Mia into a conversation, her hand holding Mia's gently.

Mia let out a smile and nodded to what Alice was trying to say even though she could barely make it out through the rough whistling in her ears. Alice's presence made the pain better but it was still there. Like an old ache.

"It was nice of you to come here," Alice twirled out on the porch.

"Thank you for saying yes to me," Mia grinned weakly.

"I hope you feel better soon," Alice leaned up and hugged Mia. Mia froze up before hugging Alice back.

This feels so good, Mia thought before pulling away.

When they sat in the car and drove away, Mia nearly sobbed in relief. Every single ache she felt simply disappeared once she far away from the prying eyes of the Cullens.

Charlie sat in the car with a happy smile. He tried to speak to her on the way home but once he turned his eyes sideways, he noticed her tired form slumped in the car seat fast asleep.

 


 

Mia woke up to the birds shrilling out their not so quiet song early in the morning. As she did her daily routine, Mia stared at the mirror in the bathroom with a determined face. She was a woman on a mission when killing the idiots who forced her to suffer but the more Mia stared at the mirror, the more she realized she wanted to look the best she could once crush her former friends' souls. Metaphorically though, as much as she wanted to torture them, she'd rather not get a police record while still in school.

The next half hour was spent as Mia curled her hair. She quickly added some hair cream to make it stick before shaking her head to see her hair bounce beautifully. Mia glanced at the time before quickly smearing some red lip gloss on her faint lips and raced downstairs to get started on her breakfast. She rushed through the batter of waffles and simultaneously made some hot chocolate-coffee combo she loved. At 7:00 exact, her dad came down the stairs with his jacket in his hands.

Mia placed some waffles, blueberry jam, and the coffee in front of her dad who kissed her forehead as a thank you. Once she placed all the dishes in the dishwasher, she sat down and golfed her breakfast down while shoving her feet in her favorite black converse. They both rose at the same time though her dad rushed out of the house with his car keys in his hands leaving Mia to rush after him but only after she picked the school bag she nearly forgot.

Once they were both in the car, Mia let out a sigh of relief.

"How do you feel?"

Mia looked at her dad with a joking tearful face.

"Can't I just become a dropout?"

Charlie let out a laugh as he shook his head.

Mia smiled a bit before sighing tiredly, "I don't want to go. Going means I'll be stuck in school with annoying people for the rest of the day which I don't want to do."

"It'll be alright," her dad said as he grabbed one of her hands in his and kissed it gently.

Mia smiled softly at her dad as he pulled up in front of the school. Mia let out a shudder as she remembered the last time she came to the place before shoving it in the back of her mind. She leaned over the car divider and kissed her dad on his cheek.

"See you at the end of the day," Mia called out as she quickly waved bye. Charlie smiled and stayed a few more moments until he saw Clara heading toward's Mia and took it as his cue to leave his daughter in good hands.

Unknown to him, Mia glared at her group of friends and suddenly engulfed them in an angry rant. A few mock hurt tears and jumping on backs later, Mia looped her arm through Ben's as they trailed behind Clara and Dani.

"What happened to you yesterday after they made you leave," Mia whispered as she trained her eyes on the duo in front of her. Ben let out a shudder as though he was pained to remember the agony of his mission yesterday.

"Jake and I walked around the town yesterday and we saw Evie, you remember her right? Well, she and this girl got into a huge fight and we ended up having to separate them. Although I managed to call her mom and calm her down, Jake had to hold the other girl down as she tried to escape and slap Evie. It was pure hell and when the other girl's dad came, he punched Jake since the girl lied and said that Jake attacked her out of nowhere but since Evie hates her guts, they gave a full testimony and we left the place but by the time we came back, everyone was gone. In the end, I called mom and she managed to get Jake to La Push," Ben replied as he leaned down to whisper into Mia's ears.

"The worst part is that the girl is now moving into Seattle due to the whole blowup and she had been treading on thin ice already," Ben groaned out as his guilt built up.

Mia winced as she saw some red marks on his neck, "Are those from the fight?"

Ben traced the marked place with a grimace and nodded.

"Man, I can't believe that the fight was all over Tyler. Am I glad that I don't have people who like me," Ben laughed while Mia stopped in her tracks with a wide, open mouth.

"Tyler?!"

"Yeah, apparently he was leading both girls on at the same time but each is convinced that the other is forcing him to be unfaithful."

Mia was about to ask how he knew that before she shut her shocked mouth once the duo in front of them turned around in annoyance.

"Hurry up you two," Clara called out before flickering her hair out of the way and strutted forward only to slip due to her untied shoelaces. The image broken was suddenly back in place once Dani lifted Clara back on her feet. Clara continued her way as though there was no tripping but judging by the tight lines on Ben's face, it looked like he was doing everything to not burst out in laughter.

Although Mia smiled at the scene in front of her, she couldn't stop worrying about Jacob.

The day passed relatively fast as it was mainly requirements and rules given in each class. The only class they took was biology but it was due to the fact the syllabus was huge this year. In chemistry, they had a fun quiz with their newly appointed teacher who had just gotten married. The chemistry period had been the most fun even though she shared it with no-one she knew particularly (Emmett and Rosaline did not count after all since she could barely say hi to them without people gaping at her).

In English, Mia spent the entire class half-sleep as she lay her head down on the table. Soon enough, when lunch break rolled by, Mia hid in the bathroom away from everyone. Dani had been worried sick outside the stall but Mia couldn't bring herself to tell Dani how she was avoiding the Cullens and the weird thing that happened yesterday.

Worst of all, Mia shared class with Jasper Hale so it took all her will to look straight forward without any glance in his direction. If Mia ignored her problem with him, it would leave her; a horrible technique but Mia still hadn't found out a way to ignore or remove those feelings.

"Hey," Jasper leaned over to Mia's desk. "Sorry I wasn't home yesterday, Alice mentioned how you came over."

Mia smiled tensely back at him.

There goes all my effort to stay away.

"It's alright. Though I thought you wouldn't be in school today. I mean, we left really late last night," Mia brought up.

"I came to the school directly from Canada. Rose grabbed a couple of things from home for me to change into in school."

Mia hummed as her hackles rose.

Fuck Edward for scaring me, I really liked Alice and Jasper. But now I can't even look at them in case I end up in pain again.

"And I wanted to apologize for Edward's behavior. Alice told me what happened."

Mia looked at Jasper sharply and she shivered when he took her hand in his.

"I swear to you, you're safe with Alice and me," he continued.

Mia's heart stopped for a second before the bell rang which reminded her of where she was. Mia ran out of class freaked out about how he knew what kind of pain Mia went through.

What if they did something to me? Maybe someone tried to do something to me?

Mia hissed at herself for even suggesting an idea.

They live with a doctor. They probably know how a migraine feels like. That's all it was, a migraine. After all, what else could it be? Nothing. Just a migraine!

Chapter Text

Mia pushed aside all thoughts of her suspicions of the Cullens. Her suspicions of their weird family. Because it wasn’t her place to demand things.

They all just have similar skin tones, the same eyes, and the same poor circulation. Maybe Dr. Cullen adopted them all because of them being sick or something. Or maybe having a similar condition! After all, what else could it be?

Mia wasn’t proud to admit that she had gone through the internet to see if she could figure out what was up with them. But the results were outrageous. So Mia let it go. No one other than Edward seemed to be dangerous. And it was rude to judge one entire family due to one member.

Time flew by for Mia as she adjusted her routine due to school. Since she no longer had to tutor Alice, Mia found herself with more time on her hands.

The Newtons had also come back from Seattle. Their new shop had made its debut and Mr. Newton found it more convenient to decrease her time at the shop. Now that she was a trusty employee, they had kept her pay at 8 dollars per hour.

Her contact with Blake dwindled off. Their time zones often getting in the way as well as the school’s stress. So her emails were only to her mother about school.

On weekdays, Mia focused on working and studying. School was easier in Forks than it was in Phoenix, but due to her young age, Mia often got picked at by teachers and students.  Jasper had come to her defense one too many times, causing rumors to fly around the two. But they died off again once Jasper glared at people who tried to hurt Mia. Meanwhile, at home, her father helped her out with her search for universities to apply for.

But on weekends, Mia went wild! Her weekends would alternate between visiting the Reservation one week and hanging out with her friends the other week. Although it sucked to have friends who were juniors, Mia found it fun winning over everyone’s parents.

I wanna see their accusations and glares fade! No wonder mom ran away so quickly! They’re all so judgmental.

Mia picked up on how to shoot a gun with her father. And she began fishing with Charlie occasionally. The actual activity wasn’t so bad, it was only the fact they had to get up even before sunrise that really annoyed her.

Life was good.

Of course, with everything going so smoothly, it was no wonder that the surprise she got one day after coming back from school brought her to her knees.

On the porch of her little house were two of her dad's colleagues. Mia looked at them with a sinking feeling in her stomach as she neared them. The atmosphere around them was more than enough to scare her. One of the colleagues noticed her and whispered to the other making him turn around.

No, please don't- it can't be, Mia gasped as she noticed the somber looks on their faces.

Shivers ran through Mia's body as she felt time standby and she could faintly hear a dog barking in the distance but everything seemed to be rushing in her head. Mia could feel the blood drain out of her face leaving her so cold and lost.

"I'm so sorry Mia, but your father is in the hospital."

That statement felt like a blow in her stomach as she suddenly couldn't breathe.

"W-what happened?" Mia stuttered through her dry mouth.

The two police officers shared a look of concern but Mia was too out of it to notice.

"Maybe you should sit down first," the brunette said worryingly.

Mia followed him mechanically and sat on the porch swing in silence before staring at him.

The other officer cleared his throat making Mia shift her attention to the blonde this time.

"There was a shooting accident in the woods. The shooters thought your father was an animal and shot him in the stomach. The wound was too big and he was bleeding too fast so we focused on getting Chief out of there. But because of the bullet’s force, he fell backward and off the cliff," he grimaced.

So the shooters weren't followed, Mia thought blankly.

Mia felt her eyes burn as the fear suddenly smacked her.

She couldn't live without her dad, oh god. Tears fell out of her eyes as Mia's breathing became more uneven. Oh god, she couldn't live without her dad.

Fearsome thoughts raced through her mind and suddenly she was bawling her eyes out. She dug her palms into her eyes as choked sobs racked her body.

Someone sat next to her and rubbed her back as she tried to get her emotions under control. After a few more minutes, Mia rubbed her eyes away and looked at the duo.

"Can-can I go see him?"

A grimace was shared between the two officers and they both looked hesitantly at Mia.

"They still haven't stabilized him yet."

Mia's eyes prickled once again before she wiped them with her sleeve.

"Do you have any place to go for this week? Just until he recovers?"

Mia reached for her phone after she nodded bleakly. Her trembling hands turned on the phone and she stared at the screen; it was of her and dad when they went out for dinner once. His arm was wrapped around her shoulder and they were both grinning at the camera.

Mia let out a choked sob before dialing a number down. One ring passes, two rings passed and Mia was about to close the call before it was picked up.

"Hey there Mia! What’s up," Danielle answered happily.

Mia opened her mouth to reply but she let out a loud sob.

"Mia? Mia, are you okay," Dani asked frightened.

Mia let out a shaky breath, “D-dad's in the hospital. He-there was a shooting and-and-.”

Mia cut off as her tears suffocated her. Mia gasped as her breathing seemed to be harder and she started to heave from the lump in her throat.

"Mia, just wait a moment. We'll be right there," Dani promised in a hurry. There was a thumping from the other side of the phone.

After a moment, Dani's voice called out to Mia once more.

"Where are you?"

"Home," Mia whispered hoarsely.

"Just stay right there."

The phone cut off leaving Mia to stare blankly at the screen once more.

"Do you need anything?"

Mia jumped and she turned around, she had forgotten about the two officers. She shook her head, her hair flaring around.

"C'mon, let's get you packed up sweetie."

She followed the officers into the house quietly. The blonde went into the kitchen while the other supported her up the stairs. She let him lead her to her room and she quickly went on packing a bag to take with her. Her mind went on autopilot as she finished packing and went downstairs to lock everything up. The blonde held some hot tea in his hands for Mia in a thermistor, which she took unemotionally. They led her out of the house once more worried.

Mia didn't speak up for the remaining time until Dani came rushing out of a car that pulled up in front of the garage. Mia had no time to hold herself against the barreling girl who shot herself at her.

Dani's mom walked over to the officers and talked to them softly while Dani and Mia clung together. Dani gently supported Mia to the car once she noticed Mia's tearful face.

The time quickly flew by and before Mia realized it, they were in Danielle's room. Danielle gently guided Mia onto her bed and sat next to her.

"Hey," she whispered worriedly.

Mia let a weak smile spread across her lips before she let out a shaky sigh and looked back down at her twisting hands.

Danielle grabbed Mia's hands and rubbed them soothingly.

"I'm scared."

Mia's declaration may have had been really quiet but in the still room, it sounded as though she shouted it.

Dani's rubbed away the tears that formed in her eyes and slowly pulled Mia into her arms.

"I-I can't lo-lose him," Mia hiccupped into Dani's arms.

"Shh," Dani whispered and rubbed Mia's back soothingly.

The time flew and Mia slowly felt her eyes close in exhaustion. Dani gently pushed Mia on her back and pulled the duvet over her. Just as she was about to get up and leave, Mia grabbed her wrist and spoke softly.

"Can you stay?"

Dani smiled at Mia before scooting on the bed and spooned Mia, "Of course Mia."

The sound of Danielle's heartbeat lulled Mia back to sleep.

 


 (~'3')~


  

Mia sat in the chair next to her dad's hospital bed slowly, trying to not make much noise and disturb him. Multiple bandages ran secured around his torso and multiple wires were hooking him up against the machinery of the hospital.

There had been a shortage of supplies in the Fork's Hospital which was why they had transferred him to the hospital in Portland. However, Carlisle pulled some favors and managed to be the one to do the surgery. Mia would never admit it to anyone but she felt a lot better knowing it was him doing the surgery rather than any other doctor.

Her dad mumbled incoherently as he shifted around uncomfortably making Mia's eyes flicker back up to his face from the grey speckled floor. A tear dropped on her pale cheeks and Mia hastily wiped it away. She leaned back and stared at his face.

His forehead had a slight crease on it, making Mia want to do nothing other than lean over to smooth it out but she couldn't, she didn't want to shift the bandages on the side of his head. His nose twitched repeatedly (almost every twenty minutes, he would look like he was about to sneeze but wouldn't) and his mouth quivered in discomfort.

Mia sighed and closed her eyes. The faint smell of disinfectant entered her senses as Mia dully nodded off slowly. Footsteps became louder as they came closer making the teenager open her eyes in confusion.

At the entrance of her door stood Alice freaking Cullen holding a cup of warm hot chocolate with a lunch box. Mia stared at the girl with a slightly tensed jaw as Alice slowly came into the room, careful to not make any loud noises.

"Hey," Alice whispered at Mia, "how are you doing?"

Mia ran a hand over her tired face and shook her head lightly.

"I'm fine. What are you doing here?"

Mia would've slapped herself at the rude and sudden question any other situation but with everything going on lately, she couldn't care less. Yes, they had been friends, but her reaction to seeing Alice and Jasper and feeling that warmth spread was causing Mia to go crazy.

It just isn’t natural!

Mia expected Alice to look hurt or at least awkward but she just smiled softly at the sixteen-year-old.

"Dad said you were here for every day, almost all day since the incident happened and because you didn't reply to the messages or calls, I got worried," Alice spoke sadly as she stared at Mia once more.

"You do realize that you need to try to move on right? He's fine and would need more help after the hospital visit, not just during it when he's asleep right?"

Alice continued, cutting off Mia's reply, "I'm not saying to stop visiting or anything but-but I think you should come back to school or at least talk to someone Mia. Everyone is freaking out with everything due to your disappearing act at school. Just- just promise me you won't waste away sitting here worrying yourself away."

Mia looked at the floor but all she could feel was the exhaustion and sadness smack against her. Tears gathered up in her eyes and before she knew it, Mia was in Alice's arms, sobbing her heart out.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Mia smiled at the duo who stood outside the door at the crack of dawn. Alice giggled and skipped into the house before greeting Mia with a hug and kiss on the cheeks but also leaving Jasper with the grocery goods to handle all on his own.

Mia was about to go help Jasper with all the lifting when Alice shook her head.

"Don't worry about Jasper Mia, he can handle it," she exclaimed before dragging her into the kitchen.

Mia let Alice dag and boss her around, only speaking up when needed.

"Dishes?"

"Upper right cabinet, the one with the whiteboard on it."

"Decorations?"

"Already set up and prepared."

"Cleaned up?"

"Done last night."

Alice looked up from her small notepad and grinned at Mia.

"You're good at this."

Mia spluttered in protest, "You're- That's so mean Alice! Seriously, no need to sound so surprised."

Alice giggled at Mia's exaggerated hurt face, "Boohoo."

"Hey, everything is set up, maybe you two should get ready," Jasper drawled out as he rubbed his wrists.

Mia neck flush as she heard his southern accent seep through the words. She felt Alice's amusement as she wrapped her arm around Mia's and pulled her towards Mia's room.

Jasper shook his head, laughing quietly at Mia's pleading look for help.

"I need to see your closet," Alice begged, "You can't say no!"

Mia laughed before opening her small closet up to reveal her clothes. Alice gasped before rushing over to examine the pile of clothes that covered the small space known as Mia's closet.

Mia laughed and threw herself on the clean bed. As she made herself comfortable, Alice excitedly gestured to the dress section of the wardrobe.

"Why don't you wear any of these dresses, Mia?"

Mia looked over from under the arm she had thrown over the face before looking back at Alice with a surprised look. Mia smiled weakly at Alice as she could hear Bella's words replay in her head. Alice noticed Mia's change in mood and leaned towards Mia concerned.

"Mia? Is everything okay?"

Mia gave Alice a fake smile and nodded.

"I don't really fit those dresses anymore. I look-"

"Bullshit," Alice snorted, "You can't lie to me, Mia. What’s the real reason?"

Mia looked at Alice with a weak grin as she laughed. Once she realized Alice wouldn't let the matter go, Mia's head lowered so she would only be looking at the floor. Mia knew she could lie but her entire body screamed at her to tell her the truth. So she did.

"I-," Mia swallowed the lump in her throat before starting again. "I was told that I looked like a-a whore," Mia's voice cracked as she felt the tears built up in her eyes.

"Who in the hell told you that," Alice growled out.

Mia shook her head before letting out a resigned sigh, "It doesn't matter."

Alice looked at Mia with a stumped look on her face before she walked over to the bed and wrapped her hands around Mia's arms. A tingle of love shot through Mia’s form.

"Hey," she called softly. "Mia, please look at me."

Mia slowly lifted her gaze off the floor into Alice's dark eyes. Alice leaned over gently and wiped away Mia's tears. Mia nearly forgot how to breathe as Alice leaned closer until Mia could feel Alice's breath on her face.

Mia's eyes fluttered close as Alice closed the distance and kissed the path of where the tears flowed on her cheeks. Distinctly, Mia heard the door of her room open and shut before the bed dipped behind her.

The air around the trio crackled as Alice continued leaving little kisses on Mia's face. Mia was breathless with delight as Alice showered her with gentle, soft kisses, each with its flicker of warmth. Mia leaned her face back so she could get a better angle when Alice nearly crawled onto Mia's lap and finally kissed her parted lips. An instant moan left Mia's mouth as Alice pressed her body against Mia's. Cold tiny hands wrapped themselves in the sweater Mia wore, the cloth above her shoulders bunched up in Alice's fists. Another set of hands made themselves known to Mia's waist, making her gasp in pleasure. Mia pushed her body against Alice's snuggly and ran her hands up her body before settling on hand on her neck and the other against her shoulder.

Alice took that gasp to her advantaged and slowly graze her tongue between the lips before sliding in. Mia panted against the lips right before gently sucked on Alice's bottom lip. Mia's heart raced and she could feel her lungs burn for some air so, with a pout, Mia pulled her lips away from Alice's. Her eyes remained shut as she panted heavily, her chest feeling lighter than before. Once her breathing was in control, Mia opened her eyes and nearly melted in desire as she noticed Alice's messed up appearance. A wave of smugness flew through Mia's body as she realized she was the cause.

Only then did she realize that she had been leaning against Jasper making her shiver in desire again. Alice's pitch-black eyes noticed the shiver and she grinned darkly. Alice leaned over and gently pushed Mia's head to the side and onto Jasper's.

Mia moaned out loud, brimming with desire when she noticed Jasper's eyes had turned the same color as Alice's. A deep animalistic growl filled the room before Jasper was the one who closed the distance with Mia this time. He kissed her and the world fell away. His hand rested on her ear, his thumb caressing her cheek as their breaths mingled. She ran her fingers down his spine, pulling him closer until there was no space left between them His lips were pressed against hers harshly and frantically, more rushed and hands-on (pun intended) than her kiss with Alice. Mia felt her head spin as she suddenly felt lightheaded due to the heavy pace. They pull apart and take shaky, shallow breaths. Jasper's forehead is pressed against Mia's, both of their eyelashes gently kissing each other's cheeks as they try to calm their fast-beating hearts.

Mia felt Alice lean over as Mia pulsed away from the tight embrace of Jasper's arms. His lips brush Alice’s'; not innocently, like a tease but hot, fiery, passionate and demanding. Their lips melded together perfectly as the frenzied kiss slowed down into a gentle loving one.

Once they both pulled away, Mia felt her head clear and suddenly realized what had just happened. It had felt so right but the stress of everything finally got to her. A thrill of panic passed her body and she pulled away from the embrace quickly.

"I-I need to use the- bathroom," Mia stammered out as horror clutched her veins. Alice opened her mouth as if to protest but Mia all but ran out of the room.

Mia shut the bathroom door behind it, leaning against it for support. Tears of frustration built up in her eyes as she slid down the door and rested her head on her knees.

What just happened, she thought to herself stunned.  Mia slowly stood up and leaned over the sink, staring at her pale reflection.

“Okay,” Mia whispered to herself weakly. She nodded and washed her face with the cold water. Her clammy hands smacked her cheeks as she weakly glared at herself.

With a deep breath, Mia opened the door and marched back to the room before faltering at the bedroom door. A shaky sigh left her body and Mia softly opened the door.

Alice looked up from her place in bed and sent Mia a small smile. Mia awkwardly looked back at the floor while shutting the door behind her with her back.

A moment of silence fell over the trio. Tension grew high as Mia fidgeted uncomfortably in her place whilst glaring avoiding the other two’s eyes.

“W-what is this?”

Mia stumbled over her words but both Jasper and Alice heard her loud and clear.

Jasper elegantly got up from the bed before crossing over to Mia. Mia’s shoulders tensed and she slowly hid in them. Her heart felt like it was about to collapse from all the confusion and fear that seemed to circulate her head.

Jasper wrapped his finger around Mia’s chin and lifted it so she could finally look into his eyes.

“Mia,” Jasper murmured as his eyes searched hers for something.

Mia eeped as Jasper’s cold hand wrapped around her left wrist and tugged her forward. Her eyes widened as he hugged her, digging his head into her shoulder. Tears of frustration built up once more and Mia pushed him away from her angrily. Her palms smacked at his hard, stone-like chest. She felt as if he was just humoring her by actually being pushed away.

“I don’t know what is going on so can someone please enlighten me what the fuck just happened?”

Mia dragged her hands through her blue hair and scrunched it up in frustration. She moved away from Jasper and started pacing around the room.

“I mean, I like it but what and why in the world would you do that,” Mia growled out as her tears fell. She stared at the duo as she felt her heart twist uneasily, “Wh-.”

Alice stood up abruptly, shutting Mia up.

"Mia! What just happened was intentional," Alice rubbed her hands over her face wearily.

“We both like you Mia, it isn't some game on playing with someone's feelings. Mia, there is something else you should know but we can't tell you right now because Charlie needs you at the moment. I swear I know I'm not making much sense but just trust us for this.”

Mia let out a sigh as she dropped her aching head in her hands.

"B-But this isn't a one-time thing," Mia cursed herself for using such a weak tone.

Jasper pulled Mia in his arms again and tucked her head under his chin, "It was never a one-time thing and never would ever be a one-time thing."

Alice joined their little embrace after a moment of gazing fondly at Mia and Jasper. Mia shivered lightly at the cold bodies that sandwiched her before pulling out and giving them both a kiss on the cheek.

Chapter Text

Mia ran her clammy hands over the dark green dress as she gazed at herself in the vanity mirror in her room. The dress was a simple one; it was midthigh long and had a double knotted black belt around the middle. Mia gave a small twirl before stopping to pull up the long sleeves so they rested on her elbows. A confused hum filled up the quiet room as she looked between the leggings and the thigh high socks. Mia disregarded the leggings on the bed and leaned down to pull the black socks on.

Mia's face twisted in confusion as she looked over at the shoes she should wear. She rubbed one hand over her tensed shoulders before sitting on the edge of the bed to peer over the rows of shoes sitting at the bottom of her closet.

Considering the fact it was currently mid-November, the dress seemed perfect for the chilly weather.

Maybe I should bring a jacket in case it gets too cold-.

A sharp knock broke Mia from her silent musings.

"Come in," she called out once she stood up and quickly pressed her hands against her dress to get rid of the non-existent creeses.

Alice peeked her head into the room and let out a low appreciative whistle once she noticed what Mia was wearing. Mia immediately ducked her face as her cheeks turned rosy. Alice skipped into the room with an appreciative hum.

"Are you done," Alice asked as she ran her intense eyes over Mia.

Quickly bending down to grab her heeled boots, Mia nodded and let Alice drag her downstairs.

Mia pulled away from Alice's grip with a laugh, "I'll be right back."

Without waiting for a response, Mia rushed back upstairs.

"Hey dad," Mia asked as she poked her head into her dad's room. "You sure you'd be alright?"

Her dad looked up from his book with a sigh, "Yes, I am. Now get to school before I get another call from them telling me about your absence."

Mia let out an awkward laugh before shutting the door and rushing downstairs to catch up with Alice and Jasper.


 

Mia gasped in wanton desire as Alice backed her up the bathroom stall. Her mind spun with the lack of oxygen while her blood raced with need. Alice’s cold lips peeled off of Mia’s and attached themselves to Jasper’s instead who was standing behind Mia; his chest flushed against Mia’s back as the Cullens sandwiched the Swan in their passionate embrace.

Alice looked apologetic as she pulled away from Jasper and moved over to the door of the bathroom.

“I’ll be on the look-out for a bit, okay? I don’t want any teachers on our tails for ditching class to make out,” Alice joked with a grin. “Don’t mess her up too bad Jaz, we still have one more class until school ends.”

With that said, Alice quickly left the bathroom, leaving Mia and Jasper together. Mia’s chest still heaved as it attempted to replenish the oxygen lost from her when Jasper spun her around and placed his forehead against Mia’s. His topaz eyes darkened with lust as he gazed upon the beauty in front of him. His eyes roamed over Mia lazily but heavily, as though he couldn’t believe he got such a catch. Throughout the trio’s time together, all he could get from Mia’s emotions were love and care. With a gentle brush of his hand, Jasper chastely kissed Mia before pulling away to gauge her reaction.

Mia’s crimson cheeks puffed up as she smiled at Jasper lovingly, her cherry red lips stretched across her face.  The feeling of affection growing from Mia making her lean up and plant a kiss on Jasper.

They gently swayed together, lost in the moment until Alice came rushing back into the bathroom.

“We gotta go Mia, but see you tomorrow,” Alice exclaimed as she grabbed Jasper by his wrist and rushing out of the restroom, not before giving a loving kiss to Mia though.


 

Mia shut the door with a tired yawn, allowing her bag to drop on the floor next to the clothes rack as she hung up the rain jacket. She trudged towards the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to grab the cold water bottle. She let out a sigh of relief when she noticed they still had leftovers so she wouldn’t have to cook dinner. Mia pulled away and detected a note on the refrigerator.

Mrs. Cullen came over and offered to take me out for some air

Be back by seven

Dad

Mia let out another yawn before going to pick up her bag and moving to her room to start on the homework.

She made a face at the calendar hung on the back of her door when she noticed that she had a test in chemistry coming up. With a quick twirl, she turned around and sat at her study table.

The next three hours passed relatively quickly as Mia went over the notes she took in class. She was so focused on studying that she missed the sound of her dad pulling up the driveway. She squinted at the book with a glare as she went over the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Mia banged her head on the book, hoping some of the information would get stuck through the process.

A chuckle made Mia pause in the action of slamming her head.

Her dad stood in the doorway with one of his hands over his mouth as he tried to keep his laughter from coming out while holding a camera in the other, filming Mia’s demise. Mia’s eyes widened and she quickly pushed her chair back, but she miscalculated the amount of strength she used so she ended up tipping the chair over and falling face front onto the floor.

The smacking sound echoed the room before her dad lost control over his laughter. He kneeled over and smacked his knee repeatedly as he died of laughter. Mia let out a groan and picked herself up.

Her dad gasped out through his laughter and wiped away the tears that gathered in his eyes.

“Oh, that was solid gold,” he cried out as his chuckles began again as he thought of what just happened.

Once he calmed down, Mia stopped pouting once she noticed a melancholic look on her dad’s face.

Mia opened her mouth to ask if everything was alright but then paused and shut her mouth again in confusion.

“I’ll go reheat the food, alright,” her dad said once he broke free of his thoughts. “Why don’t you finish up and meet me downstairs.”

Mia nodded resulting in her dad turning on his heel and leaving. Mia stared at the space where her dad was in concern, had something happened while she was in school. After a few moments of silence, Mia stood up and stretched, feeling her joints pop as they moved out of their stiff position.

Mia quickly left to go help Charlie with setting the table.

While Mia set the table, she wished time would fly faster so she could find out what was bothering her dad so much that he wouldn’t even crack a joke when Mia almost fell on the last stair.

The subject wasn’t breached at all during dinner and Mia let it go.

He’ll tell me when he feels comfortable enough.

“So, how was school today,” Charlie washed up the dishes after dinner.

“Good! We had a test in English today but I feel really good about it,” Mia replied from her place in front of the TV. “How was work?”

Charlie took his time drying the dishes.

“It was okay, things have been slowly calming down.”

He took his place on the couch next to her. Mia sent him a grin when her father kicked his feet on the coffee table.

“There’s a game on tonight. Do you wanna join me?”

“Which sport is it,” Mia disliked Football and basketball. She could tolerate all other sports but those two.

“Volleyball, Greece versus France.”

Charlie flicked through the channels and stopped on the sports one. A content sigh left Mia’s lips as she snuggled back into the sofa.

“No way! That was so stupid,” Mia shrieked, throwing her hands up in the air. “That last point came out of nowhere!”

Charlie snickered at her face. Mia rounded at him and he quickly suppressed his laughter.

“How am I going to sleep now? Now all I can think about is how stupid that last shot was! They could’ve blocked but didn’t!”

Mia pinched the top of her nose. The adrenaline wore off and Mia fell back on the couch. She tried not to think of the disappointing game.

“How was Mrs. Cullen?”

A blush came over Charlie’s face making Mia gasp. She shot up from her hunched up position.

“Dad! She’s married,” Mia teased.

“That’s not it,” Charlie insisted to the teenager who didn’t look like she believed him. “I don’t see Esme that way.”

He ignored Mia’s choke at his mention of her first name.

“We just walked out a bit and we got on talking about kids. I didn’t know you were close friends with Alice,” he side-eyed her.

Mia rolled her eyes, “Ever since tutoring, we’ve become friends.”

Remember the same tutoring position you thrust upon me, dear father.

“I feel beat, goodnight dad,” Mia said as she feigned a yawn.

Talking about the Cullens is going to make me slip for sure. Friends with Alice? Sure. But being more than friends with Alice? Danger zone. And if dad ever finds about Jasper being a third person in the relationship? God save her from the day she told him.

It would probably break him.

His youngest daughter at the age of sixteen dating two people who just happen to be his Man Crush’s children.

HA!


 

When Mia woke up in the morning, it wasn’t to the sound of her alarm or due to the Sun coming out of its closet. No, it was due to an email on her computer that pinged loudly.

Mia,

Wear your pretty black and green striped Sweater ~

Alice

Postscript, I think you should come over to my place in the first week of December (4th December to be precise). Ask Chief Swan soon, I’m 100 percent sure he’s going to let you come.

Mia groaned at the email and shut her laptop. She stretched in her place and let out a purr when her muscles felt deliciously stretched.

Mia quickly got up and got ready for school. As she ate her breakfast, Mia ran her hand through her hair with a frown.

Maybe it’s time to go and redo my hair again. Or should I just let it grow out again?

“Good morning Mi,” a voice said from in front of her.

Mia flinched and her eyes popped out. She relaxed once she noticed it was just Charlie.

“Morning Pops,” she grabbed the coffee she made for him.

He moaned at the taste of the coffee, “You’re getting better at preparing the coffee day by day Mi. I feel spoiled.”

Mia shrugged as a smile played on her lips.

“Who else is going to take care of you?”

Charlie blushed, ducking his head. Mia sighed and shook her head in amusement.

5 months in Forks and he still blushes like a lost kid when you express your love, Mia thought, finding it impeccably funny.

Mia shook her head and got up. A glance at the clock made her sigh.

“Have a good day at work dad,” she called out before she rushed out of the door.

Mia let the rain slide off her raincoat, foregoing the umbrella she had stashed in her backpack. A cold breeze traveled the street she was power walking on forcing her to shiver inside the raincoat.

A speeding car honked at her and Mia turned her head to look at it.

Clara pushed her head out of the car window.

“Get in loser, we’re going to school.”

Mia shook her head but listened to Clara.

“Be careful with your language. I heard Chief Swan’s daughter is a stickler for rules,” Mia teased as she wore the seatbelt.

“Oh well, I guess she won’t ever ride with me then,” Clara teased back. She pulled up in the school’s parking area.

Mia let out a gasp at the newly designed school. All the students gathered around to stare at the school building front that seemed to be covered in flowers. Not one piece of the building (other than the doors) was left alone. Mia couldn’t take her eyes off the beautiful orientation of the flowers.

“Holy hell! That’s so….,” Clara trailed off.

A soothing, loving feeling started acting up again making Mia’s heart pound in anticipation.

Could it be?

She let her gaze run free across the parking lot, over the heads of the students, hoping to find the familiar black, short-haired lover or the honey, blonde one.

Mia gasped inaudibly at the sight of her lovers leaning over the car. Both Alice and Jasper seemed to be wearing a matching outfit today.

Alice wore dark-green lined with gold accessories adorned on her hair, ears, and fingers. Her outfit resembled Mia’s but a skirt rather than the dress-pants Mia wore. Jasper was the opposite; he didn’t wear a green and black striped sweater. His jumper had gold thin lines instead of black bold ones.

Did we just attempt at a trio’s couple outfit?

Mia nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard someone squeal at the flowers.

Their eyes clashed together and Mia noticed a smug smile spreading over the face of her Texan partner.

Mia quickly snapped out her phone and sent a message.

Please tell me what I think is right? – Mia

Alice plucked out her phone from Jasper’s pocket and opened it with a well-pleased grin.

Whatever do you mean? – Alice

Had it not been for the high-five Emmett gave Jasper, Mia wouldn’t have pushed.

So what do the flowers mean? – Mia

How about this? You guess the flowers and their meaning before lunch and you’ll be rewarded. Fail to do so, you’re not leaving our arms until late tonight – Alice

Mia choked on her breath and her wide eyes rose from her phone towards the family. Rosalie was leaning over Alice’s shoulder reading the messages.

A whimper made itself known and Mia quickly typed out the next words.

I thought if I fail to do something, I get punished. This hardly seems like a chastising to me – Mia

Trust me, you’ll understand why we call it punishment – Alice

Unless you’re scared – Alice

Mia snorted and shook her head. Clara was still in awe of the pretty flowers so she was in the clear.

Game on – Mia

“C’mon. Everyone might be outside gaping at the flowers, but the teachers are bound to come and put us in detention if we’re late!”

Mia tugged Clara out of the car and towards Dani who, too, was busy looking at the flowers.

“Guys! This is so freaking romantic, I wanna die,” Danielle gushed. Her hands were completely free of a book this time.

“What do you mean,” Mia asked.

Imagine if she knows all the answers! I’ll have won their silly little game in no time.

“Well, it’s not like this has ever happened before you know. And this is literally straight out of a romantic storyline. Those flowers symbolize nothing but love,” Danielle’s eyes sparkled. Mia pulled them out of the way of a honking car when no girl paid attention to it.

“Hidden love I think,” Danielle continued.

“Do you think someone is having an affair,” Clara gasped out.

“Oh my god, I don’t know but this is the most interesting thing that’s ever happened in Forks!”

Mia rolled her eyes at her two best friends who seemed to be chattering faster than ever due to the flowers’ appearance.

“Y’all do what you want, I’m going to class. I have a history first period and we have to present our projects,” Mia said as she hiked up her bag.

With a sigh, Mia pushed past the other students and entered the building. It wasn’t like she wasn’t affected the flowers, but rather the fact she couldn’t loiter around. If anyone saw her face as she gazed upon them, she would be ratted out.

This town would have a field day with the rumors. It’s better to look at them later, just not when you’re surrounded by people.

Mia sat in her chair and patiently waited for the students to start filing in. Within minutes, Mia caught the teachers escorting the students back into class.

“Morning class!”

Mia opened up her notebook as the teacher started talking. Her mind caught half of what the teacher said as she copied it down.

“Mrs. Davis, you’re up for the presentation…” Mia tuned out. She felt the coldness emitting from Jasper as he shifted closer to her. Mia attempted to push her thoughts away from her lovers. But they kept popping back in her mind.

Mia let out a sigh and blankly listened to the presentations. Jasper leaned back and sneakily placed his hand on her back. A few moments of tense silence, Mia relaxed.

He’s not going to do anything.

But Mia was wrong.

She ignored Jasper’s cold fingers when they made circling motions during history class.

“The battle was tough but,” the student droned on.

Everyone was staring at the presenter who had his face hidden behind his papers. No one was paying attention to the duo who ironically sat in matching colors.

Mia shivered once again as Jasper’s dancing fingers leaped across her back. Every touch left a fire in its wake. Every nudge made Mia’s heart leap. And every time she turned more and more red on the cheeks, Jasper couldn’t hide his smirk anymore.

“Thank you Mr. Clays. Ms. Swan, you’re up,” the teacher called out.

Mia’s cheeks trembled as she made her way across to the front. With everyone’s gaze on her, it felt like they all knew about them.

Calm down, you’re legs are shaking, she thought to herself.

Clearing her throat, Mia placed her model on the teacher’s desk.

“In the year 1863, the peak of the war had started…”

Slowly by slowly, Mia pushed on past her embarrassment.

You’re doing great love!

“…the battle was one of the most important reasons why the state pulled out.”

Mia confidently looked over the classroom.

“Thank you, Ms. Swan. You honestly did your homework well,” the teacher said in astonishment.

Mia dropped her gaze onto the floor with embarrassment. Before she could say anything else though, the bell rang.

“Mr. Bridget, Mr. Hale and Mrs. Sharpe, you’ll present tomorrow. I expect nothing but perfect! No homework today, just go through pages 110 to 122!”

Mia rushed back to her chair.

One class down, a hundred more until Lunch.


 

Mia dropped on a seat in the Study hall with a thud. Her teacher gave her a look but she couldn’t seem to mind it. The study hall was just another classroom the administration placed for Mia. Her AP classes in Phoenix meant she was eligible to skip taking them because of her high grades. That meant she was the only student in the room with the teacher.

I feel like my legs are Jell-O, Mia complained to herself as she opened up her notebook. I couldn’t even concentrate on my class with them today! My heart hasn’t even gone back down to its normal rate! And at this point, I’ve been asked by multiple people about my ‘love-struck eyes’.

Dropping her face over her arms, Mia let out a muffled sigh. She picked up her pen and started on her homework.

Do they want me to fail the challenge? Maybe I shouldn’t tell them I know what they mean. If they want me to lose so badly, maybe I should. I mean, I am hella curious about my so-called punishment.

A chair scraped at the floor somewhere across the room but Mia paid no heed to it.

But then again, what if the punishment is something horrible. Rosalie had mentioned Alice’s obsession with shopping. What if Alice forces me to go shopping with her? I wouldn’t be able to survive!

So many ideas, so little time! Or you know what, I’ll just -.

“Hey kid,” a cheerful, velvety voice said from her left.

Mia jerked out of her chair and would’ve fallen if it wasn’t for a large hand catching her. She mechanically turned around slowly to look at the person.

“Holy hell Emmett! You scared me!”

Mia looked over at the teacher’s desk but found it void of its person.

Emmett smirked at her and nodded at the paper, “I know you were in deep thoughts. But I thought our Physics homework was on ‘Star’s luminosity’ not Alice and Jasper.”

Mia frowned at him and opened her mouth to tell him off. But her voice died in her throat when she noticed she had written their names on the paper instead of the chapter’s name.

She pushed away from her mortification and ripped the paper.

“Thank you,” she said more softly.

“No problem-o kid,” Emmett wiggled his eyes in amusement.

Mia let out a groan and hid her face behind her hands.

“What’re you doing here? I thought you had Gym right now,” Mia pondered, starting her homework anew.

“I-I…uh…twisted my ankle. Can’t play Gym for these two days,” Emmett peered at his foot. He rotated it and faked a wince.

Mia humored him and nodded along.

“Of course. Does it still hurt?”

Emmett shrugged.

“I wanted to ask you if you had figured out the flowers yet?”

“As help? Or as a scout for Wonderland and Boots?”

Emmett sent Mia a peculiar look that screamed out seriously?

“Alice in the Wonderland dude. And Jasper told me his love for Cowboy boots! But ain’t there a world where I’m sticking to the general nicknames of Cowboy for him,” Mia elaborated with an eye roll.

Emmett burst into loud guffaws, his fist smacking on the table while one hand covered his chest.

“Ah,” he dragged out as he shook his head. “I might steal those names from you.”

Mia rolled her eyes good-heartedly, “I heard you call Alice pixie. It’s cute and all but she’s got far more energy than any pixie I’ve met before. And stop evading my question!”

Mia lifted her heavy textbook and smacked his arm with it.

“Alright alright. Alice sent me to tell you to make up your mind. You’re sending her in a tizzy with your indecisiveness.”

Mia’s humor slowly bled out.

“This related to what they can’t tell me yet,” she asked. Her eyes avoided Emmett’s as she observed the classroom.

A soft reply came from the teddy bear beside her which confirmed her suspicions. Mia let out a hushed sigh.

“Yeah. I know what the flowers mean,” her throat hurt with the intensity of how gently she spoke her words. They were firm yet the tenderness made them float towards Emmett.

Her eyes alleviated as she stared at the paper feeling overwhelmed.

“Did you help them do this?”

Emmett tipped his chair back. There was a comfortable fondness in the air. His hands crossed themselves behind his head as he gazed upwards.

“They made us all get up in the middle of the night to do it. Jasper even pulled Dad out of his night shift for it. Mom wasn’t so amused with the idea of us doing anything that could seem as illegal. But she buttered up to the idea when she saw which flowers they picked. Everyone liked the idea, well mostly everyone. It took almost all night for us to get the perfect arrangement Alice wanted.

Thank goodness Dad was there, or else Alice would’ve started on the parking lot as well. But Dad put his foot down. They both wanted the world to know about how much they lo-like you.”

Mia’s body tingled. Her silence was enough for Emmett who understood she was overtaken by the fierceness of their love.

“Mrs. Cooper isn’t going to come back to class. You should talk to them you know. Let them know before the bell rings,” Emmett gestured to the door. As if right on cue, Alice and Jasper appeared holding a lunch bag.

“See you tomorrow Swan.”

Emmett quickly made himself sparse from the room. Mia sighed and looked at the duo softly.

The classroom slightly echoed their footsteps as they pulled up in front of Mia.

She peered at them with a warm smile, “So ‘Secret Love, Gratitude and Unwavering Love’ huh?”

Jasper reached across the table to pick her hand up. Mia shivered at the feeling of his cold hands.

“I was really hoping you didn’t get the meaning. It would’ve been fun for us,” he smirked. His eyes seemed to melt with the heavy affection in them. Mia’s breathing stuttered and she looked at Alice.

“So can I ask you where you got the Acacia, Chrysanthemum, and Bellflowers from? Cuz I know Fork’s flower shop doesn’t have that many flowers.”

Alice’s lips quirked up a satisfied smile.

“You can ask. But we might not answer,” she teased.

Mia’s heart lightened at the sound of her voice.

“I’ve never done this before,” Mia remarked offhandedly. She packed up her books and pulled out her lunch.

“I’ve never been in a relationship before. And I’ve never truly expressed my sexual identity before.”

They both looked so understanding of what Mia was trying to say. And she nearly stopped. But she needed to say those words out loud. Not for their sake, but hers.

“As long as you wish to have me, I’ll be with you two. No matter what.”

Jasper bought her hand up to his lips and he placed a lingering kiss on her knuckles.

“Forever and Always huh?”

Mia pulled up from her position and pulled Jasper in a caring kiss.

He lowered his face to Mia’s and their lips met. He placed one of his hands on her waist and kept her at a distance. As they parted Mia saw his eyes sparkle and lips curve up into a smile.

Mia shyly smiled back.

“Forever and Always.”

Mia looked at Alice who seemed to be studying Mia with a knowing grin. Mia tensed up and moved towards Alice. It was often eerie at how well Alice could predict Mia’s behavior.

Alice held her gently, cupping her face with one hand. She leaned down and softly kissed the tender area at the corner of her ear, right next to her jaw. Mia’s body went rigid with surprise as trembles shook her body. A euphoric warmth blossomed within her once more.

“Forever and Always.”

 

Chapter Text

The days started to pass by quickly as it got colder and colder. Bitterly cold and humid – a combination Mia learned to start to hate. Every time she walked outside, she noticed that every surface, every blade of grass and twig felt like brittle ice under her feet.

On the metal mailbox outside of the house, the box was always adorned with an ice sweater; the frost clung on it. Whenever Mia gazed into the distance, she notices the fog that seems to linger more and more. Like a hidden lover, seeking it's beloved. She feels it too. A bellowing, unnatural winters breathe on her skin. It whisks heat away leaving her pale. So pale that even she looks only a shade darker than the Cullens.

Night falls faster than Mia's used to. The sky which was painted with hues of red, orange and pink, slowly fades leaving only a black, twinkling canvas behind. The darkness is thicker, and it frightens her at times. The house is blessed with its warmth. But it's still not enough at night.

She scrambles the house in a frenzy at night. She needs multiple quilts to cover her when sleeping. Making the mistake of little protection against the cold seems like it could shatter her. She mentioned it to her father of course, and he found it worrying.

Mia wasn't one for the cold weather and it showed. Her winters had always been spent somewhere where the temperatures never dipped below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So he invested in helping Mia find warmer clothes.

Her days had felt numbered. And she felt the cold getting to her. But then, as time slowly passed, her body got used to it. She got used to the chilling breeze that flitters around her as she walks to school. She got used to drinking warm drinks only, resisting the urge to drink some Cold Coffee.

And it worked. She doesn't look like a pale corpse anymore and the color has been slowly seeping back into her face.

Though she's well acquainted with the cold now, Mia found herself huddling in bed earlier than her sleeping time, either with a book or some hot cocoa almost every other day.

Due to her birthday coming up, Mia started browsing the net for cars. Her funds are well enough for her to buy a good second-handed car (or even a new one).

Ever since her fiasco about her art had gotten out, Mia has had people lining up to her to make them something. So her trips to the bank became more often due to all of the cash she had laying around in the house. And Mia noted how hard it was for her father to drop her off in places since winter started.

Getting a car would help in being faster in getting school. Which means I can sleep in later than I usually do!

Mia held the hot chocolate between her freezing hands. Her body was covered with large quantities of blankets.

Of course, the heating system just had to break down in December!

Mia let out a ferocious yawn before she shivered again. Her newly dyed hair fluttered around her.

She browsed the internet once more. The website she was currently on kept lagging.

If the computer doesn't start working now, I'm going to throw it in the blender!

A headache started up making Mia let out a groan. She gulped down the hot, scalding drink, ignoring the burning of her tongue.

"It's official. I hate winter," she grumbled to herself.

The pink-haired teenager pulled herself out of bed and made her way to the kitchen. She peered into the pantry with a sad look.

I can't believe all the cookies are done. What am I going to snack on now?

Mia trotted out of the kitchen. A loud thud was heard from the front door causing Mia to freeze. She sent a quick prayer before calling out.

"Hello?"

There was no reply. Mia grabbed the aluminum bat by the door and tightened her hands around its end. She rose it above her head and carefully moved about.

"Hey!"

Mia let out a strangled scream and dropped the bat.

"WHAT THE FUCK EMMETT!"

Said boy only grinned at her.

"You really need to learn how to pay attention to your surroundings kid. This is the second time I've frightened you."

Mia let out an animalistic growl at the hunky male.

"I'm not amused! If I didn't recognize your voice just then, your brains would've been splattered all on the floor!"

"It takes more than a bat to take me out," Emmett argued. He crossed his arms and sent her a mischievous look. Mia picked up the bat and placed it back where it belonged before mirroring his stance.

"How did you get in here? I know the door was locked."

Emmett shrugged, "You'll be in the know soon enough. Then you'll understand how. Anyways, Mom sent me to deliver some snacks for you. We all know Chief Swan is doing double duty these days."

He lifted a large duffel bag (How did I not notice that?) and placed it on the table. Mia gaped at the bag and shook her head faintly.

"Your family spoils me too much," she tried to reply without stuttering over her words. She tried to hide her shock when she opened the bag and saw all the containers filled with food. She failed. Because Emmett started snickering at her.

Her mouth was wide open as Emmett helped take the containers out of the bag.

"This is way too much," she could barely speak up.

"Mom thought it would be nice. Since you know, you'll be home alone most of the time. And Jasper found it therapeutic helping her make food. It kinda slowly spiraled out of hand as you can see."

Mia struggled to accept it which made Emmett sigh softly.

"Just accept it, kid. Everyone really likes you and this won't be the last time you'll be spoiled like this you know."

Mia froze, staring at Emmett is horror. She opened her mouth to argue only to be cut off.

"Nope. Not listening to you! The faster you give in, the easier it'll be for you!"

"That's never going to happen," Mia argued. "I'm not letting anyone buy me anything. The next time you appear at my place with something, it's going right back!"

"You want me to take back the food," his eyes went wide and he stared at Mia like she was an alien. He placed his cold hand on her forehead which she smacked off.

"No! I said next time. Esme's food is great! I practically died and went to heaven the last time I came over. And I don't want to push it away. Plus food is food. It would be a sin to waste it."

Emmett still stared at her and before he could attempt to check her forehead for fever again, she opened up a box.

"Are those chocolate chip cookies," Mia gasped out in excitement.

Emmett looked like he was struggling to keep on the same path they were on. He rolled his eyes, his war won by Mia's good mood.

"Jasper was in a baking mood since he came home," Emmett leaned forward. "Apparently he learned that they were great comfort food."

"Learnt? Do y'all not eat real food?"

Mia had said it jokingly, peering at Emmett through her hair. Emmett's eyes widened fractionally before he masked it. Had Mia not been so focused on his face, she wouldn't have noticed it.

Great, another secret…

"Oh, Mom doesn't buy a lot of sugary things. The diet we all follow says no sugar whatsoever. But we find something sweet every once in a while."

Or not.

Mia nodded through her mouthful of cookies.

"You should try these, I won't tell. They're so good, I wanna drop everything and marry Jasper this very moment if he promises to make these every week," she ignored Emmett choking on the air and plowed onwards. "Maybe I should have that written in my vows; the cookies for wild, wild sex."

Emmett's expressions reminded her of a goldfish. His eyes bulged out of his face and his hands twitched every minute or so.

"Damn, I think I broke the teddy bear."

Mia carefully pulled out the food containers and placed them in the refrigerators.

"So why'd you come over? I thought you and Rosalie were going out on a date today," Mia called out, walking into the living room. She shifted into the make-believe bed on the couch Charlie had made in the morning when they had found their issue with the heating system.

"Chief Swan had mentioned how the heating system stopped working when he saw Mom at the grocery store today. And so Rosalie thought she could drop by to fix it when she heard. She doesn't want you to get sick the day before you meet our parents as a proper person. You know, being the 'girl who Jasper and Alice bring home'."

"Did you leave Rosalie in the car," Mia smacked Emmett lightly, ignoring the other part of his dialogue.

Must not blush, must not blush.

"Oh young duckling, Rose has been working on your system since I scared you."

Mia fell silent, going deadly serious.

"Can you repeat that?"

"Rose has been working on your heating system since I scared you?"

Mia got up from her comfortable position and went towards the storeroom which was also the place of the main controller of the system. The door was open, light spilling out from the room.

Mia spied Rosalie tinkering at one of the wires and she leaned across the door.

"Hey Mia," the blonde said, not looking up from her work. Rose shifted something on the wall and pulled out a screwdriver.

"Hey there Rosalie," Mia replied with her arms crossed. "Emmett didn't tell me you were here til right now. Do you want anything to drink? I can make some coffee or tea if you want?"

Mia's hint didn't go over Rosalie's head who just smiled in amusement back. Rosalie was wearing clothes that seemed far better for summer than the cold winter of Forks.

"No thanks, I'm fine."

A comfortable silence fell over the two. Mia watched in wonder as Rosalie finished working on the unit on the wall and packed up. She grabbed the little broken pieces of metal and wires, throwing them in the trash can.

"It's a wonder the heating system hasn't broken down earlier," Rosalie glared. "The wires were old, overheated and could've started a fire if I hadn't fixed them right now."

Mia's eyebrows rose in surprise, though, before she could say anything, Rosalie flicked on the switch.

"I-."

"Rose!"

Mia swerved around and hissed at Emmett.

"Dude! I'm going to end you! I thought I asked for no more jump scares!"

Emmett shrugged, "I didn't promise anything. If anything, that'll help you stay more alert."

He turned to Rosalie who was watching the duo with a mask of indifference.

"Alice called. We have to go now," he emphasized on the now.

Mia watched them awkwardly, feeling like an intruder. Rosalie's dark brown eyes flickered to Mia and she nodded.

"We'll see you tomorrow alright," She spoke to the younger female in the room.

"Alright," a smile graced Mia's face. "Thank you for coming over and helping with the system."

Rosalie sent Mia a warm (a warm smile compared to all of Rosalie's normal cold ones) smile. Mia walked Emmett and Rosalie to the door.

"Thank you for the food and the help," she called out as they got in a massive red jeep.

Emmett waved at her from the car as they pulled out.

Mia watched the car disappear around the bend, her hand tight around the doorknob. She let out a sigh and headed back inside.

It's getting hard not asking questions. It's literally killing me to push down my curiosity.


(~'3')~


Mia's leg bounced up and down. She couldn't believe she was doing this.

I can't believe I'm doing this!

Jasper's hand tightened around hers.

"Hey, you need to relax. You've already met our parents and they've loved you," he placed a thumb under her chin and pushed it up so she could see him. His amber eyes seemed to be light and twinkling. "It's just a formality."

Mia stared at him carefully, taking in his wildly tossed blonde hair.

"How'd you leave the house without Alice seeing you?"

Jasper scoffed jokingly, "How are you so sure she hadn't seen me?"

Mia sent Jasper a patronizing look.

"You know she'd never let you out of the house like that."

"You know, maybe she likes the color in your cheeks when you blush because of your naughty thoughts. We all know how much you love my hair and Alice's hands!"

Mia squeaked in embarrassment and nearly fell on her back when she stumbled behind.

"You guys know that? Since when?"

Jasper chuckled and pulled Mia back up.

"Since that time behind the school lockers."

Mia let out a groan and buried her face in her hands.

"Mamma mia, you guys are going to be the reason why my heart decides to jump out of my chest one day."

Jasper pulled her into a flushed hug, "Don't worry about it. It's flattering that we have that kind of effect on you."

"I'm gonna go inside. Do you wanna come," Mia desperately tried to change the topic. "Cuz you know, it's not nice to keep people on the wait."

Jasper tried to neutralize his face but Mia noticed the laugh lines on his face become more prominent.

"Oh hush you," she said tiredly. "I want your parents to be okay with this you know. And you keep laughing at my worries."

Jasper sobered up and listened to her.

"Dad just wants to be able to give you the 'dad' speech. He loves having you in the family already so please don't be too worried."

Mia swerved her head sharply at him with wide eyes.

"How scared of this speech should I be?"

"I think he's planning to bring out some old guns out for this."

Mia leaned forward and her head fell on Jasper's chest with a loud thud.

"Great. Just great."


Mia knew she couldn't do something big like they did for her but she does try.

Dr. Cullen let it slip that Alice and Jasper's birthday has long passed during September (Jasper's) and August (Alice's). So Mia pulled in every type of favor she has ever had and bribed people with free food before jumping towards a payphone.

Her old-time friend, Hazel, had once mentioned her moving to D'Iberville (which was the city in Harrison County, Mississippi, immediately north of Biloxi). It would've been better to just email Hazel, but Mia knew how bad Hazel was at checking her mails. The only way of their friendship surviving was the extremely elongated, detailed texts of their lives sent. They would be about twelve thousand words of information that counted everything that happened within three months.

So rather than trying her luck, Mia used up a large number of coins she had saved for the bus to call her friend.

Mia was well aware that the Cullens didn't age normally. After all, it was Alice who told her; she had mentioned it at one of their shopping trips (although Mia hadn't been so sure that Alice truly remembered it because Alice was looking dead ahead with a blank look on her face). Mia also knew that Alice hadn't had the best re-collation of her past. So using the information she did know about, Mia utilized her friendship tie to scour Biloxi, Mississippi.

Hazel thought that Mia was trying to find a friend's great aunt and was ecstatic about helping out. It felt weird to the sixteen-year-old for lying but the thought of the actual truth canceled it out.

Hazel did everything she could to try to find anything, a diary or a journal or even just a hint of what Alice's life could be before. (Mia knew she was over in her head for trying to find something Jasper and Alice hadn't. But it didn't hurt to try from a different angle.)

While her old friend searched for something of the 'original' Alice, Mia spent days calling up all over Seattle (and then Vancouver) for clothing shops. It was all for some specifically tailored clothes made of the softest materials she could find. It was more expensive than anything she spent alone, but she found the idea better than all the others she had for Jasper. The shirt she had made was a Prince Caspian styled shirt with its flowy arms and crossed strings at the upper chest area. The shirt was embroidered with actual gold so it could mean much more than a simple, regular shirt

The time spent over preparing the gifts was far too much for Mia to give the gifts. There simply wasn't enough time to rest between the days and Christmas. Her wallet cried with its bareness and so to keep from overspending again, Mia fused up the gifts with her Christmas gifts.

 


There was a faint buzzing in the air.

She's coming here.

The silence was deafening. Every tick of the clock boomed across the house. A low murmur of concern started up from the participants in the room.

Her face was stiff and she robotically moved past her father. Mia wanted to crumple onto the floor, scream, and wail until her throat was sore or even burst into tears. But she didn't. She just got up and left the room.

Silence.

It followed her.

Silence. It was unnatural, void, refusing to be filled to prolong her suffering.

"So I heard that your other daughter is coming to Forks as well," Dr. Cullen questioned Charlie.

What? What's going on?

Charlie peaked at Mia as if in guilt.

No, no, no! Please!

"What do you mean," she asked with a sinking feeling.

Charlie looked like he was having a problem speaking up so Mia repeated the question as fear bubbled in her stomach.

She noticed the Cullen's exchange a look.

Please don't say it!

"Yes, my eldest daughter Isabella is coming to live in Forks. She'll be starting school after the winter break as well."

Silence.

It clung to her being, tormenting her.

Betrayal.

Mia carefully exited the house, opting to take a deep breath of air. The exhale leaves a puff of white above her. Staring up at the sky, she recalled what she had once read in a healing book.

There's a purpose behind emotional pain, a biological purpose. It's supposed to teach and educate people from unhealthy patterns and relationships; protect your heart from betrayals.

I've been pushing back against the pain for so long. Staying strong yet it always returns in the worst times. It wrecks my mind and soul. How do I understand it if it hurts too much?

Mia heard the door open behind her. The pavement grovels under their steps as they join her. Mia let out a sigh before shifting her body to look at the person.

Esme gave Mia a carefully guarded smile. Letting out a flinch, Mia stared at the sight of the motherly woman standing outside in the cold with her.

She said nothing. Though it did seem like Esme wanted to speak up, she pursed her lips and waited for Mia to finish taking a breather.

Esme's cold hand enveloped Mia's. Mia's anger slowly dimmed out until she was left with nothing but disappointment.

He could've told me before I had to find out from someone else. It sucks having to unload everything on people who aren't my close family…

Esme leaned down and placed a loving kiss on Mia's crown.

"If you ever need someone to talk to. I'll be here, I'll remain here. And if you don't want to talk, I'll stay with you until you feel like you again."

Mia stayed in her place for a minute longer before she nodded back.

"I promise if something is too much, I'll call you."

Esme squeezed Mia gently before pulling back from the hug.

"Let's go make some hot chocolate," Esme pulled Mia into the house.

Thank you…mom.

Chapter Text

Mia tried. She tried to listen to her father and not change her behavior towards him. But it was hard. She wasn't angry at him. Just disappointed. How does one treat the person who has hidden things from them?

Mia snickered at herself due to the hypocrisy at the thought.

It was a blessing in disguise when there was a huge scandal that occurred a few towns over. It was big enough to have her father preoccupied at work; he didn't even come home for a few nights. So her suddenly pensive atmosphere hadn't affected Charlie. Mia just needed some time on how she would deal with Isabella being back in town. Plus, she knew her father had questions that needed to be answered but she still didn't know what to say.

Her sudden quietness in her classes hadn't been overlooked by her fellow mates. She knew that they thought that she was worried about her grades which caused them to be smugger in class.

(If she had a penny every time people doubted her due to her age, Mia would be as richer than her entire class combined.)

Her teachers thought it was related to the winter break coming up. But her friends weren't fooled. Mia had told countless lies that week, all since she had found out till the last day of school before the break.

Mia was in a constant state in which she felt like there was something eating her up from the inside. She wasn't oblivious to the worried look on her lovers' faces when they noticed her blank state. But she feels like she'd be eternality grateful that they don't bring it up. They trust her and are willing to wait for her. They are willing to patiently stay by her side.

Mia felt like she stood on the brink of something she couldn't describe. The weight of everything seemed to press down on her shoulders and she struggled to take even a single step forward. It was too much. All of it. And somehow, she kept moving. But every step cost her. The darkness grew darker; the pain grew sharper; all of it seemed to only grow in strength and Mia began to wonder if things could ever get better.

But she never said a word. Not to Esme, not to Jasper or Alice and most definitely not to her father.

How can you describe something that you're still struggling to grasp at?

Mia had called Esme a few times but had lost her nerve whenever the phone was answered on the other end of the call. She knew Esme knew who the caller was, but Esme never pressed her for anything. Not yet at least.

Sometimes Mia wondered, how her life would be if she wasn't so controlled – if her soul hadn't been thrashed by Isabella. She sat down and thought really hard.

What would it be like to not look in the mirror every day and notice the sad, broken look in her eyes? And then she wonders how the world would react if they knew the beauty they see is nothing but ugliness.

Mia doesn't eat. Her mind is overwhelmed and every piece of food feels too heavy. She missed dinner one day...then again and again...

Her mind feels too empty yet overburdening at the same time. Nighttime flew by, and it's only when her alarm rings, that she realizes she hasn't slept. The cycle continues on and on. Her sleeping time is the naps Alice and Jasper force her to take after the second day of a sleepless night.

The tighter hugs or lingering looks can't seem to escape from her mind; she doesn't deserve Alice and Jasper. And she knew that her self-insecurities are so high that when Isabella comes, she'd end up messing things up.

Mia wore more makeup than she previously has. She needed it to cover the dull skin and dark under eyes. Nothing can be done to have hidden the dull shine in her eyes so all she did is decrease her eye contact with people.

When she doesn't have any class, she ended up finding herself in the library. It's quiet and she isn't forced to talk to anyone nor does she have to bear with their pitying/worried looks.

Dropping onto her favorite seat in the place, Mia pulled out 'Look Into the Stillness: A Spiritual Journey Through Inspirational Quotes' – a story Esme recommended.

More like dropped in the mail with a letter about self-healing and trust.

Mia had ignored the book once she got it. She didn't want to be set in a path where anyone could control her. But then she replayed her memory of Esme's silent support. With a heavy and a paranoid heart, Mia opened up the gift. It's a great choice. One she doesn't seem to be able to drop any time soon.

'At the heart of all anger, all grudges, and all resentment, you'll always find a fear that hopes to stay anonymous.'

Mia snapped the book shut. A deep sigh was emitted from her.

Everything felt so bland. Mia stared outside at the rain drizzling. Her eyes burn with the crisp air that smacks her. But she doesn't close them, she likes the itching feeling, its better than the worry she's felt the entire week.

I'm scared, her thoughts revolt to submitting under that girl. But you owe it to yourself to keep moving on. So you better pucker up and be kind to yourself.

The ringing of the bell did nothing to pull Mia out of her thoughts. With a grimace, she grabs her items and sets off to her study hall.

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

That one thought lingers in her mind. It loops around over and over.

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

At the heart of all anger, all grudges, and all resentment, you'll always find a fear that hopes to stay anonymous.

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

What can't she always shake off?

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

What is she so afraid of?

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

What is the reason why she ends up submitting to Isabella?

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

Mia grabbed her phone from her bag and quickly texted her friends.

You can't heal in the same environment that made you sick.

A flash of light. A stumble over her seat. Her mind brings up another thought.

I don't have to be so alone anymore.

 


It started off with her room. As soon as she got back home, she gently moved towards her room. The silence is therapeutic as it embraced her. She knew when to pull away so she didn't get sucked in anymore.

Her tired eyes gaze at the messy room. With a pursed lip, she set to work. She picked up the mess thrown on the floor and tidied up the room. It wasn't much. But's it was still something. She silently did her laundry, folding the clothes that have been washed and dried. Her hands trembled when she moved them.

Maybe I should eat some food.

With her clothes folded, she abandoned the laundry room.

There are some beans Mrs. Cullen packed for her when they visited. Mia let out a flinch at the reminder of that day.

Beans.

Her mind shoved past the incident and she recalls the atmosphere before she found out.

Happy, content.

Naïve, stupid.

The microwave lets out a beep, making Mia sigh since her concentration is disturbed.

The spoon full of the beans doesn't taste as heavy as everything else that week.

It nearly tastes of happiness.

Her mouth was watering due to her hunger. But she ate slowly, savoring each bite. Her swallow is thick and loud in the empty house. She felt the food taking up every little space in her mouth. The mixture of spit and food is too much and it nearly spilled out of her mouth. But she swallowed it all. As soon as the food started piling up in her stomach, she felt a cramp coming on. Her stomach let out a ferocious growl, long and gritty.

The acidity of her stomach is too much. But is she doesn't eat enough food, she'll pass out.

She has to do this. No matter what it takes.


(~'3')~


She ate on Friday.

Her room was cleaner on Sunday.

The house was stripped and scrubbed on Wednesday.

The kitchen was occupied for the first time in two weeks.

Her drawings and paintings disappear from her room soon after.

On Thursday, she slept for the first time.

She wakes up late on Friday, the sun has been in the sky for a long period. She should care, but she doesn't. She finally slept without the aid of a sleeping pill or it not being a nap.

She took a bath once she managed to consume something.

On the very next day, she lit up her candles, letting the aroma drift around the house.

It's hard. But she was cooping. She is cooping.

Mia ignores the text messages from Jacob. Something happened, and she's already deleted that incident from her mind, but she can't forgive Jake. He hurt her with his words and she can't handle his lies anymore.

She left the house for the first time on her own. Taking a bus to Portland, Mia blankly listened to some music.

Christmas was in a week. And she hasn't prepared anything yet (nothing other than for Alice and Jasper). So she browses.

She purchased her gifts. Each one custom made with a heavy discount (Buying in bulk is nice, she thinks).

She went back home.

Charlie's car is in the garage.

Mia skipped out of view from her father.

On Sunday, Charlie isn't home. And Mia went to the Cullen's house so she can ride with them to a church out of town (The one in Forks is too intrusive and intimidating).

It's the first time she felt safe. When the priest pulled her aside to talk to her, she broke down. He mentioned that doing a Confession is free and looks like it would really help Mia out. But she rejected the proposition through a weary shake of her head.

She has Esme for that. And she's going to be talking to her on Tuesday. Because it's the only day Esme is off work. That and the fact that the family is all going hiking for a bit. Esme was supposed to go but she canceled last minute. Which gave Mia the confidence to actually talk to her.

On Monday, Mia wrapped her gifts and pulls herself together.

On Tuesday, she took a self-care day. She spoiled herself with a spa day. Once she finished indulging herself, Mia waited for Esme to come around to the house.

Mia lay on the couch with her arm slung over her eyes. In the background, she could hear the documentary on Penguins.

Worry has colored every inch of her body, but she doesn't act upon it. She won't.

The sound of sleet plattering against the rooftop soothes her. There's something therapeutic about the entire atmosphere; the low lighting due to the grey clouds, the way the house practically glowed with its newly painted walls (Mia still called the walls newly painted because it doesn't feel like a lot of time has passed since her arrival), or the soft chill that drifted around the house from the open window.

Mia held out the embroidery loop in front of her. She'd been attempting something new and fresh. Her work on paper was over, doing the same thing over and over again was hard to handle – it's exhausting. But with picking up embroidery, Mia felt like she hit jackpot. Not only was it a cute way to spicing her own clothes without spending so much money, but the fact that Alice liked doing it too really sold the idea.

We can spend time doing projects together. Huh, that sounds like a cute date idea…

Another glance at the clock revealed that Esme has been running late. The floor swirled underneath her as she got up from her place. With a loud, angry growl emitting from her stomach, she rushed over to the kitchen.

"-some extinct penguins grew more than 5 feet tall. Recently discovered fossils indicate that an ancient breed of penguins once stood taller than the average adult man today at 5-foot-10. Back in its heyday 60 million years ago, Kumimanu biceae probably weighed 220 pounds."

An image of Alice standing next to a large penguin had Mia in tears. Her laughter burst out of her chest. She had to hold onto the cold counter so she wouldn't collapse from her hysterics. A little while after, she managed to control her laughter and snuff it out.

The penguin being larger than Alice would be hilarious…Maybe I can convince Jasper to dress up as a Penguin next year.

Mia snorted at the thought. Alice would never allow Jasper to change his idea for a costume.

Her hands tore (rather quickly due to her eager desire to eat) at the aluminum foil of the Shawarma she had made. Her first bite had her moaning in delight as the garlic mayonnaise exploded on her taste buds. The lovely thin flatbread broke under her teeth's assault, exposing the juicy slices of chicken that were assembled with some green pickles and fried potato chips.

Like a flower bouquet. But for shawarma…A shawarma-bouquet?

It felt hard to control her hunger because it was a peculiar thing. It acted like a child at times. Somethings she felt too hungry and had to eat, or she felt hungry but she couldn't keep the idea of food down. Others, it was as though her yearning for food disappeared, leaving just the idea/thought of wanting to eat food. If not only to pass time.

Her hands fumbled at the bottle of Sprite. The sudden, sharp hiss of the bottle being opened refreshed Mia. Mia poured herself some in a large stemless wine glass (she was allowed to indulge herself alright!) and carried on her eating.

Nearly three-fourths of her shawarma finished, the bell rang. Mia lurched from her place.

Shit! Esme's here!

Mia rushed to cover the shawarma in its foil and wiped harshly at the corner of her mouth.

"Coming," she called out as she straightened out her clothes quickly.

She swung open the door.

"Hey Mrs. Cullen," she swept her arm into the hallway while she took a step backward so Esme could have enough space to enter.

The motherly Cullen smiled gently at Mia before pulling her into a brief hug.

"Good afternoon Mia."

"Here, let me take your coat."

"Thank you, sweetie!"

"No problem. I'll hang this up while you can make yourself at home."

Esme took a seat on the couch with an attentive smile.

"Would you like to drink something? We have water, juice and several types of teas," Mia asked as she hung up the slightly wet coat.

Esme shook her head, "I'm alright sweetie."

Mia nodded and took her seat opposite to Esme's. Her hands went under her thighs and she lightly rolled back.

"So how are you?"

Esme let out a soft chuckle. Mia knew she was delaying the inevitable but she really didn't want to jump right into everything. Because she knew if that happened, then their entire conversation would be very deep and low. But that knowing look in Esme's eyes made Mia slump back.

"Just ask whatever you want Mrs. Cullen," she said dejectedly.

"Mia…," Esme trailed off with a heartbroken face. She let out a sigh and gripped her hand, looking down at her own clasped hands before speaking up again. Her eyes seemed teary yet her face is set in stone. She's made a decision to tell Mia something that Mia just realized was probably very personal to Esme.

"You know, before I met Carlisle, I was with someone. I thought he was the love of my life and that he was perfect. But I was blind to the actual truth – he was far from it. My life was unhappy for a huge period of time, I found faults in myself and he always told me to control them.

I listened to him when he told me he had the best thoughts for me. But things that made me happy were seen as my flaws. Trying to change myself became a hard habit I could barely get out of, my mind became paranoid at myself. I didn't know how it was killing me at the same time. Meeting Carlisle changed a lot of things. For one, my eyes opened to the fact that pushing away the pain only prolonged it. Keeping the pain underneath was difficult for when in truth, it always rises up.

One day, I lost someone very important to me," Esme choked out. Her hand fisted over her mouth, she paused for a minute. And then she continued with a stronger voice.

"That day, I made a new choice. All I had to do was welcome the pain as a friend, to let it teach me what it must. You may be weaker at the moment, but you will always become stronger afterward. I let it in through my doors, sit at my table, converse with it until I was wiser even though each word is a silver blade. The saying 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me' became something I could relate to. Wise men say only the strongest of warriors choose their battles. I chose mine and it earned me more than anything I could imagine. I am free of my clutches with a family I never thought I could ever have.

I do not know what pain you are going through, nor can I feel it. But I can relate to it in some way. Because the reaction you just had back there was not one that seemed comforting to the mind.

My words may sound extreme but being a victim of emotional abuse really blinds you. Your reaction is not normal and it scares me. Because that's the way I seemed when I was being mistreated."

Mia stilled. The fear sat on her as a pillow over her mouth and nose. Enough air got by it, allowing her body to keep functioning, but it was crippling all the same. She barely noticed how Esme got up from her place and pulled Mia into a loving hug. A sharp pain snapped Mia out of her thoughts as it felt like her insides are dying slowly.

"Mrs. Cullen…," she trailed off trying to control herself. "Isabella would never…"

Esme said nothing. Mia pulled away from the hug and shook her head. It felt like panic and despair were crashing into her, like wild waves.

It's not that serious! I swear!

"Isabella would never…," her voice was like a broken record. "Isabella didn't…I swear! It isn't that serious…"

Mia felt tears of frustration built up in her eyes. The dam that held all her feelings had been chipping away since she found out and now, it finally broke.

"Mrs. Cullen, Mom," she tacked on with a sob, "It's not like that. I swear! Isabella is controlling and overbearing. But she loves me! All her decisions made were in a way to protect me! And I get it, she shouldn't have been too dominant, but I swear she can't control it! She loves me! I know she does!"

Mia's dried tears feel frozen on her skin. She needs to control herself, but it's hard to.

"When I found out, I didn't want her to come here because she could always read me like an open book! And I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Alice and Jasper! If Isabella ever found out, she'd ban me from seeing them or any of you guys-."

Esme hushed Mia, swaying with her. Mia cried like there was too much raw pain inside her to be contained. She cried like her spirit needed to break loose from her skin, desperate to release an elemental rage on the world. The soothing words of Esme made no difference at all. Nothing could calm her down without it being her reigning in those tears herself.

Isabella loves me. I know it. She just worries too much. Her words are to help me, not punish me.

But the wonders of Esme's speech has affected her.

Yeah, we never got along, but she…

Mia couldn't lie to herself.

Why are you defending her? You know how she is. You know her toxic behavior; the fact she would bully you into doing something because she insisted it was for a greater good. All because she 'loved' you and wanted to protect you. Then why? Why are you defending her?

The answer came to her after a pause.

She won't be able to hurt you. You're on a different league now.

"I'm so sorry you had to go through that," Mia buried her face in Esme's shoulder.

"I was sorry for it myself before I realized it bought me wonderful things in life," Esme tight grip is loosened up. "I just don't want it to be too late for you to handle it."

It isn't too late anymore…Thank you, mom.


(~'3')~


It's only the very next day that Mia decided to visit her mates (she likes calling them her mates because it reminds her of soulmates. And, well, she feels like her admiration for them is far too much to be regular. So, mates, it is. Though she'd never say it aloud. She didn't want them to tease her, thank you very much). Dressed in comfortable clothes, Mia took her time walking to the Cullens Residence.

The flowers Mia gripped in her hands felt so out of place with her loitering around the house. Mia took in a deep breath. And then another one.

Don't think. Just do.

And she does.

She rung the bell, careful not to press it too hard. Her long nails cut into the stems, coating her fingers with some of the liquid that gets released.

Fuck! You can do this, you beautiful specimen!

The door opened, revealing a confused yet concerned Esme.

"Oh Mia," she gasps out. Maybe it's because of Mia's 'deer in headlights' look she's sporting or the fact that Mia no longer has that dead look in her eyes.

"Good afternoon Mrs. Cullen. How are you," she asks politely.

Ha! Like that'll hide the fact that you were crying on her shoulder just yesterday.

"I…" Esme trailed off for a bit. Esme's eyes widen for a moment before a new light enters them. Her amber eyes get warmer. "Why don't you come in for a bit? I had just put the kettle on. It's better than being outside the house for sure."

Esme's teasing brings back a flicker of embarrassment. It's nowhere to her original reaction (not even close to her previous reactions) but it's better than anything she's truly felt this week.

"I didn't know you were coming over," Esme poured the boiled water in a cup. "Chamomile or Lavender Tea sweetheart?"

Mia asks for the latter tea.

"It was in the spur of the moment," her grip tightened around the flowers as she sat stiffly at the marble table.

Please don't bring up yesterday, her mind pleaded. I know what happened, happened. But I don't want to recall that panicked feeling.

"Alice and Jasper are upstairs in their rooms. I'm pretty sure they already know you're here," Esme places her own cup down. "Just don't forget to keep the door open."

Mia blinked in shock.

I'm transparent.

"How are you so sure I didn't come to see you, Mrs. Cullen?"

Esme's eyebrows rose up and she giggled.

"I had no idea you had a thing for married women."

Her heart felt less anxious.

"Thank you."

There's no reply from the motherly woman, only a soft, knowing smile.

The house is not completely quiet – she can hear the loud sound of a video game being played (Probably by Emmett) and some music coming from the room she passes by. Her body trembles as it rests in front of the shut door.

You can do this. You can!

Mia raised a hand and knocked on the door. Her knuckles rapped at the door three times before she let her hand fall down.

A faint 'come in' is heard from inside the room.

I can do this.

Mia turned the cold knob under her hand, its solidity calming her down.

"Hi," she breathes out to the occupants of the room. Alice who was doing her homework snapped out of her chair. She rushed into Mia and pulled her into a hug.

Jasper, who had been going through a magazine, waits for Alice to finish hogging Mia before he too, pulled her into a hug.

There's no judgment in their eyes, just relief at her.

Mia held out the flowers in her hands.

The watering of Alice's eyes doesn't go overlooked by Mia.

Daisies and sunflowers.

"I'll go put these in a vase," fleeing from the room, taking them with her.

Jasper let out a deep sigh.

"I'm so glad you're here now."

His hands intertwine with Mia's. She shivers at the feeling of electricity run through them.

"I'm glad you let me come back."

Jasper pulled Mia onto the bed. She let him shift her place until she was on his lap, lying on his stomach. Her face pressed up against his chest.

The feeling of vulnerability was everywhere but because it was with someone she trusted, so she doesn't dwell on it. Mia shifted until only her face is on his chest.

"I'm sorry, but I was getting too cold."

Jasper pecked her forehead, "Don't apologize."

Jasper was content holding her. She knew this by his happy purring.

The door lightly opened behind her. A few moments pass before another body joined her on the bed.

Alice's hair tickled Mia's face when she joined Mia lying on Jasper's chest.

There was nothing to be said between the trios.

A warm feeling seeped into her heart as she gazed at the people she's pretty sure she's falling in love with. Mia rested her hand on Alice's cheek, caressing it slowly. The tears of relief in Alice's eyes bring a mixture of emotions. Mia was happy Alice missed her but it tore her inside to see Alice so deeply affected.

Mia breathed out slowly before she pulled Alice in for a loving kiss.

The kiss obliterated every thought. For the first time in a while, Mia's mind was locked into the present. The worries of that girl evaporated like water being poured onto a hot car.

Mia pulled away once it felt like too much. She sat up on the bed. After a moment of hyperventilating, Mia felt something wet on her cheeks. Her fingers touch her face and she sagged down once she realized what happened.

Jesus, I cried!

A larger hand came into her view and pulled her up. Jasper's comforting atmosphere dulls the sensory overload until all it does is leave behind what she felt like once she started to know them; the wanton to love them.

Time is irrelative to them as they enjoy themselves with the company. Mia's slight cold façade melts away due to the tender warmth in their eyes, sending thrills to her heart.

"Come to my place on Christmas eve," Mia perks up.

"Isn't your dad not able to come back home?"

"Yeah, which is why I'm asking you to come over."

Jasper's facial expressions contort as if he was listening to someone. A moment of silence is passed before he regards her idea.

"We're going to Denali tomorrow to spend Christmas with our cousins."

Mia lets out a hum to show that she understood, "When will you all be coming back?"

"On Wednesday, the 29th," Alice replied with a frown. "You know, we can always cancel-."

"Babe! No, stop being so self-sacrificial," Mia whines out.

There's a new spark in Alice's eyes that make Mia feel way too warm.

"Babe?"

And that's when it hits Mia, she had just called Alice by a pet-name. No wonder why Alice looked like she was about to devour her. Jasper hooked his arms around Alice, preventing her from stalking over to Mia's shell-shocked (if not amused) body.

"Maybe I should've called you that earlier."

Mia's pretty sure she muttered that to herself at a low volume, but Jasper's amused look shot at her ensures her that he heard her.

FUCK!

Chapter Text

Mia smiled softly at the duo as she opened the door, laughing as she noticed Clara glaring at the sky.

"I thought you guys were going to come later," Mia asked as she rushed to find some dry towels for the soaking duo. "How'd you convince your parents to visit early?"

Danielle took a towel and ran it through her soaking hair.

"I threatened my mom not to study if I didn't see you-"

"As did I," Clara cut in.

"...so they dropped us off," Dani continued with an eye roll at Clara's behavior.

Mia let out a shocked laugh as she stared at the duo. Dani sighed at Clara's exciting jumps before elaborating.

"I didn't want to go to every person I know, only to sit there with the adults who'll be insulting our lack of work."

Dani frowned momentarily, allowing Clara to seize the moment to cut in.

"Dani's parents wouldn't stop bugging her so we threatened to start yodeling out of nowhere. My mom ended up duck taping out lips shut. So we promised not to study for the coming semester," she let out a whoop.

"Our parents may have acted disappointed but we both knew that they knew we could've acted worse! So our sleepover is officially extended with these few hours!"

Mia let out a silent yay before hugging them tightly.

"Thank you," she whispered as she pulled away and stared into their eyes. "I'm serious, you guys are so nice and thank you."

Clara laughed as she put an arm around Mia's shoulders and walked inside, "Don't worry Mia. We'll always be here."

"And, this gives us some time to grill you about everything going on," Clara continued with a pout. "You can't deny it! I know somethings up. I mean seriously? Danielle and I keep so much watch over you, we feel like young parents. But seriously! I know something is up with you and the Cullens though. Since your aura started changing after you hung out with them."

Mia's eyes popped out and she grimaced at the wet arm around her shoulders. Her words were cut off by Danielle.

"Think it of this, you spill and we won't be forced to go behind your back to find out what's going on."

Mia stared at Danielle's serious face before shrugging off the embrace.

"You guys suck."

"If you think we suck, then you shouldn't be surprised that we attempted to interrogate Jasper and Alice about whatever's going on."

Mia let out a sardonic sigh and lifted her eyebrow. There was no way Alice and Jasper would've spilled a thing. Her thoughts may as well have been written above her head because Clara replied to her.

"I know! It literally felt like we were trying to get rocks to speak! So that was a total bust. But I threatened to burn Jasper's books if he attempted to tell you we interrogated them. Alice was too busy laughing at our threats but she told us she'd hide it from you!"

Mia snickered at the thought of her friends attempting to bully her partners into spilling anything.

But slowly, a sense of dread piled up in her gut. What if Clara and Danielle found out and didn't want to stay friends with Mia anymore? She'd known a couple of people who came out as Lesbian and she knew the backlash some faced from different communities. Not to mention, there was a lot more bullying for Bisexuals because most people called them two-faced or sluts. Mia swallowed hard and avoided eye-contact with her friends.

Her moment of silence made Clara suddenly shrunk inside herself.

"Hey, we were joking about going behind your back," she said softly with her hands raised up. "Honest. You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

Mia turned around and looked at Danielle, who too, looked worried.

Mia chewed on her tongue and made up her mind in that instant. She'd tell them, just not right now.

"I should have this convo with you guys later," she said softly, "Maybe when I'm too hyped on sugar to feel nervous?"

Mia put up a weak smile and shrugged, "I actually have a lot to tell you guys. So we should keep those talks for later tonight."

Clara saluted and then suddenly rushed out of the hallway.

"Oi, Clara, what are you doing," Mia asked at the shifty-looking girl who bolted from her crouched position towards the stairs.

"Hush little peregrine," she demanded as she tried to run up the stairs.

The odd and weird moment was ruined when Clara tripped over her own shoelaces and plummeted onto the top last stair.

"Pfttttt," Danielle guffawed.

Mia shook her head in exasperation before following the duo that went into her room.

The next couple of hours went by pretty quickly even by Mia's standards.

The night had been the exact thing she needed to get her mind off of all of the drama that had been eating her away. Clara had been more than happy to add corny innuendos everywhere throughout the night, trying to make Mia admit she was in a trio. They pleaded with Mia to be told the truth but Mia stood firm and didn't mention anything, not even when Dani used her puppy eyes on Mia.

I need to be hella high on everything first so I can handle the judgy eyes and pitiful smiles.

In the end, they both got their wishes when they handled a sugar rush which was induced from a drinking challenge.

(Alcohol replaced with a soda and sugar candies, of course, Mia adored staying alive thank you very much!

They gulped down a shot of Pepsi every time ring affected Frodo's behavior, whenever he said Sam or tripped over his own feet.

They ate some Jell-O shots with powdered sugar on them whenever Sam said 'Mr. Frodo', looked like he was about to cry, and supported Frodo who messed something up.

When Aragorn appeared on the screen, Mia pulled out the lightly toasted marshmallows which were consumed whenever he killed something, was doubtful of his ability to be the rightful king of Gondor or smiled like an idiot.

Legolas's character was treated with ice cream bowls whenever he said something vague or looked off into the distance.

Lastly, for Gimli, they pulled out the triple chocolate brownies for when he said 'dwarf' or 'elf.' They also took a scope of ice-cream with the brownie, if he mentioned using his ax to kill stuff.)

Mia pulled Clara up from her place on the bed where she had fallen off due to giggling.

"Whatever I tell you guys, please don't repeat it to anyone other than Ben alright?"

Dani wrapped her arm around Mia's midriff and gave her a quick squeeze.

"We promise."

Mia put up a weak smile and shrugged, "I don't want Isabella to come here; I thought I would be far enough from her and all the drama but when I found out she's coming here, I can't but feel like bad things are going to happen."

"Bad in what sense?"

Mia swallowed hard as she sighed sharply.

"I just feel like," Mia scoffed, "I feel like everything wouldn't last anymore. All of this happiness would be replaced with secrets and issues."

Clara went dead quiet.

"Mia, could you explain why you think things will change?"

Mia's hand trembled as she took in a deep breath. For the first time (technically second time but with Esme, she hadn't gone into a lot of details), she was going to spill everything that she's ever gone through because of Isabella. She doesn't stop once she starts talking, her voice carrying on in the darkroom. She revealed Isabella's controlling nature, the reason why she becomes so self-deprecating, how her entire life was dictated by Isabella.

Time is stilled when she's speaking. And when she finished off to how she realized it isn't normal, Mia's voice is gone past hoarse.

There's complete silence over the trio before Daniella snarls out.

"That bitch!"

Clara gasped at the sound of Danielle but seemed to agree with her. Sending a scared look at Dani, Clara cleared her throat.

"That…uh...bitch won't be hurting you. I won't allow it. And if she does, then she'll have the unpleasant revelation of how territorial we Forks people can get!"

Mia snorted with a weary grin.

"Yeah, I remember Ben telling me about your homemade itching powder." Mia's arms are suddenly thrown around the duo and she pulled back before they can even realize what happened. "But I'm pretty sure I got this."

Danielle and Clara exchange a concerned look between each other. After a moment or so, they turn around to look at Mia.

"Alright, but please let us know with a heads up if there's any problem. With the sudden behavior change, we all got worried. You looked so dead," Danielle choked out.

Mia's eyes fell onto the floor and she felt like shit.

"I'm sorry."

"Don't! Please don't apologize for something you couldn't control."

Clara leaned over and comforted the nearly crying teen.

"I know you just said you have it under control. But if you need any help with anything, I can come along. So if anyone tries to do something to you, I'll be able to knock them down with my fist," Clara spoke quietly by Mia's left shoulder.

"I can't really fight but if you need someone to help throw insults, I'll join Clara," Danielle added from Mia's other side.

Mia felt her heart warm at the words and nodded.

"You guys are the best. Thank you for being my friends."

Clara patted at Mia's head.

"Look at us, Dani! Seventeen and already have a teenage daughter! We're living the lesbian dreams!"

Mia snorted at Clara's exclamation.

"Which reminds me! I want to clarify what you were saying about Alice and Jasper."

Clara shifted the pillow under her and nodded.

Playing with her nails, Mia thought of the message she had received from Alice. Mia rolled over the green light Alice had once again, known Mia would contemplate about. Mia's nerves felt frayed with her previous worried state so she couldn't feel so anxious spilling everything to Clara and Danielle. Mia stuttered in the beginning but managed to control it. With slight pauses over the censoring, Mia conveyed everything that had happened between her and the Cullens (well, one Cullen and one Hale).

The pauses were also for when her mouth was too dry. So she drank some Pepsi before she mentioned everything that had happened, how Jasper, Alice and she got together and how she wouldn't trade it for the world. As she spoke, she dropped her gaze to the floor, unable to see their expressions as a dark blush overtook her face.

Clara and Danielle both listened with wide eyes. They aw-ed when appropriate and gasped at some parts. When she came to a stop, Mia heard Clara cooing at them.

"SO the flowers were for you! That's so fucking precious!"

Danielle let out a loud squeal and grabbed Clara by the arm, shaking the teen harshly.

"I knew it wasn't a coincidence at them wearing similarly styled clothes," Danielle addressed the person she was bullying before looking at Mia, "That was a nice touch with the matching colors for a try at a couple's outfits."

Mia sheepishly rubbed the back of her neck, "That was all Alice, to be honest."

Clara rolled her eyes at Danielle. She mumbled something out which was drowned by Danielle's excited babbles.

"- rest of the school may be oblivious but I knew something was amiss. Though I'd never have guessed it was with you being a poly relationship! Oh! There's been nothing exciting as this to talk about or be in the know since…well, forever!"

Mia and Clara looked at each other with a deadpanned expression before rolling their eyes in synchronization.

"Yeah, yeah. I get it! We're freaking precious," Mia tried to get Danielle to stop waxing poetry about Alice, Jasper and her.

Preciousssssssssssss….

(Cue the mental image of Gollum standing in front of Mia all the while clutching a picture of Jasper, Alice, and Mia instead of the One Ring)

The trio went quiet.

"You know," Clara spoke making Mia look at her, "at least you'll be able to explain how a threesome works."

Mia made a dying whale sound and dropped her head in mortification.

"Oh hush you," Dani pointed at Mia. "You know she could be doing a lot worse than she is right now."

"Doesn't make it any less embarrassing!"

Dani nodded with an understanding look on her face, giving strength to Mia to continue. She admitted that she didn't want to talk about it because she didn't want them to judge her.

"Plus, I'm kinda curious about that too. Like, how y'all make out. Like, do you kiss one person and then the other or is it just a messy jump at each other?"

Mia choked on air as her cheeks reddened making Clara giggle out loud.

"Y'all dirty minds cannot corrupt me! And I won't be sleeping with anyone anytime soon! We've only been going out for nearly three months now. Not years!"

Danielle snickered but shut up about that subject. A guilty look fell over her face.

"What?"

Danielle startled, "What, what?"

"What's with that look on your face?"

"What look on my face? There's no look on my face!"

Mia deadpanned and asked again.

"If I ask something, will you promise not to be mad? Like, just listen to for a second okay? If you're that scared of Bella coming and ruining this, why don't you tell Chief Swan? I get that you guys are keeping it a secret because most people don't understand the relationship and you want to protect each other from harm but Chief Swan isn't most people. You know him and he loves you.

Sometimes holding things it is hard and I just don't want you to break down because of the stress of keeping others from finding out. Plus, if you do tell your dad, he can cover for you if you need to spend time with your partners so Bella doesn't get too suspicious" Danielle questioned.

Mia sighed before shrugging.

"To be honest, I wasn't planning on telling him at first. I was just so scared that dad doesn't like this whole ordeal. I mean, we're all so serious about being together that I'm just worried that it might scare dad away, regardless of the fact that he said he would love me forever and nothing would change that."

Mia paused as a wet sheen glistened in her eyes and rubbed her eyes.

"As a kid, Mom preferred Isabella over me because she was more mature and just seemed more capable. Dad promises he loves both of his daughters the same amount but I'm was just worried he'll wake up one day and not want me around anymore.

It sounds crazy I know, but I'm so used to feeling this from before I traveled to here. Not to mention that Isabella always had a say in what I could do or what I couldn't do, who I should be friends with, what I should spend my money on, and how I should present myself. Now that I've finally been able to be myself, it seems hard to go back to being known as only 'Isabella's little puppet'. I had thought that if dad found out, he'd accidentally spill everything or something. Then she would totally use this to fuck me up!"

Mia sucked in a deep breath to avoid becoming over-hyper. Her racing heart tried to regain its lower pulse point and she started again. But at a softer pace.

"But that changed when I talked to Mrs. Cullen yesterday. She made me realize that I had to give more credit to him than I already do. He's a cop you know! He should be able to handle things like this. Things that need hiding. And so I planned on having a get-together or some kind of meeting between Jasper, Alice and Dad so he can know."

Danielle hummed from her slumped position.

"I don't know, I still have to find the right time to tell him."

Clara carefully navigated across the floor and placed her head-on Mia's head.

"There, there my child. I can act like a cat and you can pet me to feel better."

Flaring her nostrils at her in mock anger, Mia made a show of pushing Clara's head off her lap.

"Jerk," Clara sleepily whined before snuggling into Mia's carpet. Not even a moment later, Clara's gentle snores cut deep into the drunk infested atmosphere.

"Oh my goodness, she actually fell asleep," Mia voiced in shock.

I thought the sugar was going to be still riding on her adrenaline! I still have so many things planned for the sleepover!

Danielle let out a slow controlled breath, "Yeah, she hasn't had a good night's sleep because of cramps lately. It's a wonder she even managed to stay awake this long."

"Well shit."


Mia spun around the kitchen as she searched for the chocolate chips she was sure she put beside her. She nearly looked through the kitchen a second time when she heard Clara's giggles.

"Hand them over," Mia said after marching up to the culprit hiding next to the stairs; a place that gave a direct view into the kitchen.

Clara smiled guiltily through a handful of chocolate chips shoved in her mouth, "Sorry."

Mia just sighed and nodded her head to forgive Clara before going back to finish making pancakes.

Once everything was made, Mia placed two plates stacked with chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes on the table as well as the large jug of orange juice.

"Food's ready," she hollered as she only peaked her head out of the kitchen, attempting to keep an eye on the smoothie being made.

A large thud was heard from upstairs before a loud string of curses were heard making Clara and Mia wince.

"Sit down, I'll pour out the smoothies," Clara demanded once she noticed Mia's red eyes. "Did you guys even go to sleep?"

"Yeah we did," Mia let Clara direct her to the chair to sit.

"Doesn't seem like it," Clara sighed. "Just be careful, you look like a vampire with your red eyes."

Mia laughed and agreed, she had had of course noticed the recent paler skin and puffy eyes.

"What an epic vampire, with pink hair and red eyes," she snorted to herself.

With the smoothie poured, Clara sat next to Mia and started plating the food on her plate, not waiting for Danielle, whose footsteps could be heard from the stairs.

"I feel bad for whenever you sneak in someone," Clara grimaced. "The stairs seem like a nightmare."

Mia grinned widely, flashing her pearly whites at Clara in a wolfish manner, "You seem to forget that I have a tree next to my window."

Danielle waved her fork at Mia while quickly swallowing, "MNOFF."

Mia stared at Dani in amusement.

"Alice and Jasper aren't allowed to be in your room after dark!"

Mia shot another exasperated look to the duo when she noticed Clara nodded to what Danielle started ranting about.

"Alright, alright," Mia exclaimed with her hands up in the air. "It's like you forgot that I mentioned not sleeping with them so early in the relationship."

"NO! You'll stay a virgin until 25!"

Mia let out a deep sigh and shook her head. She knew better to argue with her friends and just nodded along.

"Good."

"What are you up to after this?"

Dani and Clara spoke at the same time making them glare at each other.

"Durururuuu dun dun dunnn," Clara hummed making Danielle crack up and lose the staring match.

Mia sighed and slammed her head on the table.


Mia stretched out her lower back whilst watching the TV. It was Christmas Eve, and she was all alone.

The sky outside seemed to oppose her melancholic mood with its light clouds and gentle snowing.

"-and release! Now, we'll be reaching down to attempt to touch our toes. Beginners, remember to go on your own pace! We don't want to pull a muscle by going too hard!"

Okay, so she was bored out of her mind. It wasn't like she had anything to do though. Her father had mentioned going over to The Blacks for the day, but Mia didn't want to walk the entire way to the Reservation in the cold. That and the fact she wasn't ready to see Jake's stupid face again. So she stayed home.

Mia's limbs protested fiercely as she pushed herself. She could feel the scabs on her fingers pull when she reached down. There was a lingering pain but Mia ignored it.

There are worse things in life than simple stab wounds from needles, she thought. Her fingers were covered in bandages, and although she hated putting on Band-Aids (peeling them off always pulled at her skin and left it sticky and messy), Mia had to cover her wounds up.

Any contact between her fingers and a surface kept popping at the scab which led to a fresh pour of blood from her skin. Walking all the way to the hospital was way out of question as well since the roads had turned icy; it could lead to more injuries than she already had. So she just covered all seven of her fingers in Band-Aids.

"-and release. Great job everyone! Hope you had a good time, we'll see you again next time!"

The screen faded off and the DVD player let out a whirling sound to show that the CD was done playing.

Mia grabbed the remote beside her on the coffee table and shut off the TV. Pangs of restlessness were going through her, making it harder for her to stay still.

After a moment or two of lying on the soft carpet, Mia pulled herself up. She poked the flat tummy that felt like a hardened board with a grin.

Beautiful abs here I come!

Though Mia still felt her boredom. She let out a bored sigh and grabbed her phone.

The website insisted that the store would be open today. And since I have everything ready, just have to wait for them to bring in the thing, maybe I should follow up on the item.

Her fingers crunched at the numbers she was forced to memorize and she waited. The call was immediately picked up.

"Good morning, this is The Foreign Car Workshop of West Seattle. This is Serena speaking, how may I help you today?"

Mia gnawed at her tongue, "Hi. I recently bought a Suzuki Swift S. I was wondering what the update was on it? Like, has it arrived at the workshop yet?"

"Please hold a minute," the woman replied. Mia heard the clicking of the keyboard and absentmindedly nodded her head. "Ah, yes. The car bought by Mia Swan?"

"Yes, that's me."

"Well, there was a delay due to the festive holiday cheer over where the car was supposed to be collected and shipped to the Workshop. But, it's not a major time delay compared to last year's disastrous delay. The car would be collected by Mr. Simons himself on the 30th."

Mia hummed to show how she understood.

"And once it'll be collected, when would I be able to get it?"

A few more moments of clicking passed through the speaker of her phone.

"The shop is normally closed from Christmas to New Year's. So it would be any day after the 2nd of January."

Mia thanked the woman and slowly hung up the call after exchanging goodbyes.

I'll have to wait nearly 8 more days for the new car! This is going to be epic!

With a better mood, Mia turned on the TV and flickered through the channels. She stopped at the Food Network channel that revealed a gingerbread recipe. Humming a Christmas carol under her breath, Mia watched the show religiously, taking notes of the different techniques used.

Long hail the Queen!

Chapter Text

Standing under the newly decorated tree, Mia posed with a paper that illustrated the date. Her dad gave her a thumbs up.

"One, two, three. Say cheese!"

The flashes of the picture he took made Mia's eyesight go blank for a second.

She shook her head quickly and with the heels of her hand, rubbed her eyes.

"Now, it's your turn dad," Mia grabbed the camera from his hand and made him take her place.

"No," Charlie protested with a shy blush. "It's fine."

Mia placed her hands on her hips. If she wasn't going to get a full-on photoshoot of her father, then her entire Christmas would be ruined. She repeated the thought out loud, which caused him to let out an embarrassed laugh.

"Please! Please dad," Mia whined. Every time she begged, his ears turned even redder.

"Alright! Fine," he gave in. "But only 3 pictures!"

Mia let out a cheer and immediately dropped on a knee.

"Move a little to the left please," she muttered quietly as she gazed through the eyehole in the camera.

"Hey, dad?"

"Yes, Mia?"

"Do you know why the coffee filed a police report," she paused for a moment so her words could reach him. "Because it got mugged."

An awkward silence fell over the duo as Charlie attempted to reign in his laughter from the terrible joke. The fight was lost because he dissolved into chuckles.

Click-click.

Mia took the picture quickly so she wouldn't lose his genuine smile.

"That was terrible, Mia."

She looked at him with a deadpanned look, "If that was so terrible then you just have to wait."

She looked at the picture she took and let out a hum.

"Now by the stockings!"

Charlie shook his head in glee.

"Alright, alright Miss Bossy."

Mia rolled her eyes.

"I saw that Missy."

Mia aimed an innocent smile at her father, "Saw what, Pops?"

He didn't reply. Mia gazed at the image in front of her. After tugging her father into a better pose, Mia stood by the side and bought back the camera up to her eyes.

"Dad? Why don't skeletons ever go trick or treating," she started again. "Because they have nobody to go with."

This time her father didn't even attempt to hide his merriment on her horrible jokes. He just let out a small cackle at the joke (click-click) before he smiled patronizingly.

"Mia?"

She looked up from inspecting the photo she just took.

"What do you call an American Bee?"

"Huh?"

"A USB!"

Mia just froze. Her eye twitched and she bit her lips. But the laughter seemed too hard to hide. Mia's face contorted before she began to laugh.

Utter embarrassment fell upon her. The joke was horrible yet so funny.

"That…that was so lame," she huffed out, wiping away the tears of amusement that appeared.

"Now you feel my pain," he admonished.

Mia scoffed, "Yeah right! You love my jokes."

Charlie winced.

"No! C'mon," she complained. It took her a moment before she saw his tilted lips. "That wasn't funny!"

"You aren't funny," her dad retaliated.

"Really? Fine then! I was going to make a pizza joke but it was too cheesy!"

Charlie shook his head in false sadness.

"Here lies Mia's entire comedic career!"

Mia had no regrets of the pillow thrown at her father's head in retribution. Nor of the immediate last picture she took; the one with her father's face colliding with the pillow.

It's good to be back.


They cooled down from the sudden pillow fight. It was such an odd concept to Mia but even her father looked confused at first. The idea that the Chief of Fork's Police was having a pillow fight with his daughter had Mia laugh herself silly. Making her forget that she never truly ever did those cliché things teenagers were known for.

"What're you doing," she asked as she picked up the pillows tossed on the floor.

Charlie looked up from his place and blinked slowly at Mia. His confused stance changed to bewildered.

"I'm placing the gifts under the tree," he spoke slowly as though talking to a child. Mia noticed the boxes in his hands and she flushed.

"Oh…I didn't see that," she muttered, gesturing to the gifts in hand.

"Obviously."

Mia rolled her eyes at the smirk adorned on her father's face. She quickly rushed up, to her room to grab her own gifts.

Mia had already fallen asleep by the time her father had arrived. It was very late which was why she hadn't stirred up due to the sound of his car pulling up in front of the car. She hadn't heard the sounds of him pulling out a tree from the car and placing it in the living room. Nor did she wake up when he swiftly fixed around the house for a more festive holiday feel. (There were Christmas ornaments placed on the fireplace, adorned with some very cute stockings Mia had never seen before. The pillows' covers on the sofa were changed to covers that held Christmas designs. And there were Icicle Lights decorated on the tree branches. )

Mia had only seen fairy lights on TV programs but these were better than she ever thought of. They were bigger than the normal ones; resembling crystals rather than the twinkles often seen.

Mia had woken up to the sight of her father ready to decorate the tree with his daughter. He had held a small cardboard box that held the ornaments.

It melted her heart when she first saw him. He had put in so much effort, trying to make up for the missed days at home.

Mia thundered down the stairs with her presents.

"I'm back!"

"You don't have to announce your arrival every time you enter a room, Mia," Charlie rolled his eyes.

"Can't have you panic and pull out your gun on me again Pops," she teased back.

Charlie froze for a second before he shrugged.

"Maybe I should teach you some self-defense," he muttered to himself. But the sound was loud enough to be carried over to Mia's position. "It would be a good choice. Especially since there are times where you're home alone."

"Who would think of attacking The Chief's daughter though," Mia asked, fixing the bow on one of the gifts.

"Yeah. But you'll be going to Seattle by the end of this school year. And Seattle can be really messy if you can't protect yourself," Charlie frowned. "Maybe, I can see if you can join the Police training …just for quick reflexes you know."

Mia felt a panicked laugh build up.

She wasn't going to be caught in the cross-hairs of a gang fight…was she? After a moment of thinking about it, she waved the thought away. That stuff only happened to the main characters in books. And she was a real person in the real world.

Mia focused on the other concept her father (un)intentionally bought up. The idea of living far away from her dad was slowly sinking in. She barely had enough time to spend with him and then she'd be far from him again. A cold chill went through her body. But, she forced her still head to nod along.

"Nothing too extensive! Just something so you can defend yourself against a drunkard," her father rushed on once he caught the look on her face.

Making a face, Mia (finally) let out an incredulous laugh.

"Alright, dad."

Only you can make me freak out about having to fight off gang leaders if I move to Seattle, her thoughts pipped up. And during Christmas to add.

"So what are we doing now," she asked after a few minutes of straightening out all the bows on the boxes.

Charlie leaned over the sofa and stuck one of his hands under it. He swiped his hand across the area under the green accessory in the living room. His face contorted as he pulled something heavy from under the sofa.

"The Cullen's mailed some gifts to the station yesterday."

Mia raised an eyebrow and moved towards her father to help him.

"I got it," he waved away Mia's insistence to help. "I think, maybe we should eat food first. And then open up the presents."

Mia sheepishly smiled and agreed. Her stomach had been growling at her since forever. Setting a brisk pace, Mia went into the kitchen. She pulled out the Chicken bread she had made the previous day. She also pulled out the precut salad, the baked potato chips, and the slightly fried vegetables.

Charlie was still in the other room when Mia finished setting up the table.

"Food's ready," she called out, pouring out the Guava juice in the glass.

"Coming," Charlie called out in a reply.

Staring at the slightly squared plates, Mia blanked out.

I can't believe the reason plates were originally round because of the fact that making flat round plates was easier since they were originally made out of clay on a potter's wheel. And thinking of a potter's the wheel, it's kinda mind-blowing that Ancient Italians invented it. Who knew Italians invented stuff other than Jacuzzis and Expresso Machines.

Mia paused for a second before crossing out that thought, they also invented Ballet. And the first medical thermometer originates from Italians in the 1600s. I don't understand why people degrade Italians to inventing pizza. And Italians didn't completely invent it!

In the case of Pizzas, a lot of nations already used to bake flatbread baked in mud ovens. Like, in the Middle East, the ancient Babyl-ones…, Israelites, and Egyptians all ate flatbread baked which they topped with multiple things. Not to mention, the ancient Greeks and Romans; they both ate baked flatbreads topped with olive oil and spices. They were all the original fundamental parts of a pizza.

But like, the way Italian Pizza was made was from an adaption of Chinese Scallion pie.

Marco Polo bought back the recipe of Pizza from China which they later adapted and changed up. Marco Polo encountered a Scallion pie which was made of flatbread folded with scallions. And then that other dude made the first (modern) pizza with tomato, cheese, and other toppings and seasonings. Apparently, he was called to make some pizza for the visit of King Um-something and Queen Margherita of Italy in the late 1800s. And Queen Margherita liked the pizza with mozzarella and tomatoes so much, that the chef named it "Pizza Margherita."

Like it's so weird how the basic part of Pizza was based on different cultures and-

"You good?"

Mia snapped her gaze up to her father.

"Huh?"

"You were glaring at the plate," he spoke carefully, taking his seat in front of Mia.

"Oh," Mia shook her head. "I was just thinking."

Letting out a sheepish laugh, she leaned over and cut a piece of the food.

"Oh, anything interesting?"

Mia dipped her chicken piece in ketchup, "Did you know if you dip your knife in olive oil before cutting into them that there's a lesser chance of tearing up?"

Charlie raised his eyebrow. He'd been long acquitted with Mia's new, more formal vocabulary.

"And how'd you find that out?"

"I was bored. And I wanted to make some onion rings but my eye makeup was too fly for me to ruin."

Mia plopped the food in her mouth and shrugged. She had nothing else to do other than laze around the house.

Her father hummed in response.

Mia mentally let out a snort. The rest of the time on the dinner table was spent silently bar the clinking of the cutlery every so often.

As soon as the last piece of food was scraped off the plate set, Mia's heart started to race. Her throat felt dry, despite the numerous sips of water she took.

I wonder what they got me, Mia blushed inward. I just hope it isn't something too embarrassing considering Dad would see the gift.

Mia bowed her head and grinned shyly at her plate. She mused on about whether or not they'd like the gifts Mia had gotten for them. It had been kind of awkward for Mia when she handed them all to Mrs. Cullen rather than her partners. But she knew that they both couldn't handle any kind of waiting so they would've opened the boxes way before it was time.

Mia gently tugged on the single string bracelet Jasper had placed on her wrist. She felt goosebumps while she recalled that moment. How his cold hands grazed at her open palm. Or how he slowly leaned down, his face practically glowing with care as his mouth pulled in a soft smile before he tenderly kissed the pulse rate on her wrist.

Mia couldn't fight the smile off of her face and she impatiently wiggled in her seat for her father to stand up. Which he did. Only when he noticed her pouty look.

"Sheesh! I'm getting up, I'm getting up."

Charlie laughed jokingly so Mia would realize he wasn't actually annoyed at her sudden impatience.

"At the rate, you're going, it'll be Easter," Mia begged the dramatic parent in front of her. He looked up with the speed of a sloth making Mia let out a groan. She dropped her head and let it bang against the table with a 'thud'.

"Dad," she dragged out.

He chuckled and got up faster than before.

Mia let out a whoop in a cheery manner and rushed after him into the living room.

She sat on the floor crossed-legged impatiently.

"Can I at least go get some coffee first?"

Mia let out an unamused sigh at her father's question and looked upon his face. His blank face peered back down at hers. Mia mentally questioned whether he was joking or not. But then, the corners of Charlie's eyes crinkled upwards as a smile spread over his lips.

"Not funny," Mia grumbled grumpily.

Chuckling to himself, "Oh it was. Your face was hilarious."

Charlie pushed aside his amusement and grabbed the gifts for Mia, handing them to her while she did the same.

Mia stared at the range of different shaped boxes in front of her in confusion. Placing them in a semi-circle in front of her, Mia read the label of the gifts.

A miniature sized package was sent from Lauren, who covered the entire box in purple wrapping papers. There were two slightly larger boxes, one covered in glittery hearts and one which was poorly wrapped, respectfully from Jessica and Ben. There was an oddly shaped lump from Danielle and Clara's gift was a palm-sized dome. Mia's eyebrows raised up when she noticed a gift from both Billy and Jacob.

Mentally scoffing, Mia pushed the gifts to the side. The way Jacob had behaved with her was unbelievable; and for him to send her a Christmas present as though everything was alright felt like a low blow.

There were three other boxes, all of which were from the Cullen Household. Mia nervously tethered her lower lips with her sharp teeth before she took in a deep breath.

Let's go in order, she thought, moving towards Lauren's gift.

Mia grabbed the scissors from her feet and gently cut away the scotch tape. After a few boring moments, the wrapping paper fell away to reveal a small black box. Lifting the cover of the box, she placed the box in her lap. The box was balanced perfectly on her ankles while she inspected the contents.

It was a Bath and Bodyworks shower set. There was a shower gel, body lotion, hand cream and body mist in the box.

Warm Vanilla Sugar, Mia read off the label. Is Lauren trying to tell me I smell? Or does she want me to smell nicer? Or does she just think I'd like this smell?

Mia scoffed at herself and her overly suggest full mind before placing the gift to the side and diving in at the other gifts.

Jessica's gift contained a fifteen-dollar gift card for some spa in Portland as well as a new midnight blue scarf which had a note attached to it.

'I remember you really wanted this but didn't have enough money. You went outside to get yourself a water bottle and I quickly bought it for you.

It's evening out the score for you buying me those jeans I was short on money for.'

Mia let out a disbelieving laugh and gently ran her fingers over the soft scarf. Taking it out of her box, she wrapped it around her neck.

Mia opened Ben's box next and let out a loud yelp at the present. There lay a thick, red, humongous Grimm's Fairytales Storybook. The book was gorgeously bound in red leather with a silver inscription for the title name. Mia giggled at the first page (the very first page that held the 'Dedication to').

'Whatever you say, Little Red Riding Hood is NOT the scariest/darkest Grimm Fairy tale there is. And now you'll have the evidence in your hands all the time.'

Mia still snickered as she placed the box on top of another and grabbed the odd parcel.

Please don't be anything weird, please don't be something weird, she chanted in her mind.

To her utmost displeasure, Mia was wrong and way too late in her pleading. Shoving the horribly short night suit under the wrapping paper pile, Mia grabbed the last gift she was going to open in the living room.

The small-sized Dome was actually a tiny box that opened up to show the gemstone necklace Mia had eyed in Macy's one day.

Sniffing at her emotional….well emotions, Mia carefully lifted the chain out of the box. She placed the scarf off to the side before sliding the chain in its place, wrapped around her neck.

"Are you crying?"

Mia flinched and shook her head before hiding her face from her father's peering eyes.

"No," she said, her voice cracking slightly. "I think I got some eyelash stuck in my eye."

Charlie breathed in sharply and gently turned Mia around.

"Kiddo, what is it?"

His reassuring, earnest face seemed to be the one that pulled down the walls of her boxed up emotions. For, she burst into a blubbery mess of tears and snot.

She felt Charlie jerk back due to being startled.

"Oh my goodness, kiddo,' he trailed off in a panic.

Mia sniffed and rubbed her watery nose, "Don't worry. I just - I just freaked out for a second."

Her weak voice did very little to convince him. Which was why it was no surprise when he pulled her into a hug.

The hug itself was stiffer than the ones Mia had gotten accustomed to. The warm embrace was made more awkward when her father patted her back in a robotic manner. Mia could've sworn she heard him say 'There, their child' but it could've been her imagination. Either way, awkward back pats aside, Mia could feel Charlie trying to convey his love and warmth to her through the hug.

Mia snuggled deeper in the embrace.

"It's stupid. It's just – I just realized it was the first good Christmas I've spent since being a kid. And I just got over-emotional," she tried to explain to her father.

Charlie's wide-eyed gaze turned soft and he literally melted. For a moment, Mia thought everything was all alright. But then she caught the watering of her father's eyes.

Suffice to say, the rest of the hour was spent attempting to calm each other down before one of them burst into tears again.

By the time there was no chance of them tearing up again, both father and daughter raged a heavy headache that seemed to knock on the corner of their heads.

"I'm gonna go lie down for a bit," Charlie tiredly murmured out.

Mia nodded gently, as to not aggravate the headache she was sporting.

"Do you want me to wake you up by five for the board games?"

"I'll put an alarm. So you can take a nap too if you want," Charlie moved up the stairs.

Mia leaned back against the armrest of the couch and closed her eyes. Her breathing carefully lowered to gentle sighs. Yet for some reason, after a while, she grew agitated. Her mind raced with some unknown emotion that seemed to overpower all of her thoughts.

It took some time for her to identify the emotion but she managed in the end.

It doesn't make sense though, why would I be worried?

The feeling only intensified as time passed. It felt as though worry and anxiety slinked onto her through the shadows which seemed to elongate their figures until they covered Mia's lower limbs.

Letting a shiver, Mia stood up. Her legs threatened to buckle under her as they moved after a long period of lack of usage. Pins and needles prickled her calf as she took a few, small experimental steps. Once she can no longer felt her leg in all its numb glory, Mia pulled out the three gifts.

She arranged them on the glass coffee table so they were all visible in front of her. The expensive wrapping hugs the boxes in an intricate manner that has Mia stumped at finding the location of the beginning of the paper (– It doesn't feel like paper though; the covering is much thicker and softer than what a paper would feel like. Not to mention, the firmness was greater than wrapping papers. If anything, its touch resembles that of a high-quality fur coat. One that just has a firmness unyielding to its cloud-like touch.)

There's a nervous, bubbly feeling in her stomach, unlike to the butterflies she occasionally gets. This feeling is akin to when a car is rising up a steep slope and gravity feels wonky. The anticipation makes her want to bury her face in her pillow and just scream. Even if her dad was the world's most oblivious dad, which he wasn't, the packaging itself would've clued him in on the fact she was unruly close to the Cullens. Sure they were rich and could afford good wrapping paper, but this was on a whole different level of the paper. It was a gift on its own, fit for royalty.

And I just had to get three gifts instead of one like what dad got!

Abandoning her action of caressing the gifts, Mia opts for burying her face into her knees. She feels like such a weirdo. Who else would get so emotional over gift wrapping?

It's just gift wrapping!


"Don't you dare do it," her father narrowed his eyes. They trailed after Mia's hands which had risen in the position to roll the dice. "That hotel is mine!"

Mia just smiled obnoxiously and let the dice in her hand fall onto the board. With each tumble, Mia's heartbeat got louder until they finally fell static.

Two!

The exact number she needed to land on the hotel. With a vindictive smile, she moved up her piece to the new location and grabbed at the monopoly money she had stashed under her knee.

"Payback for sending me to jail two times in a row!"

Charlie slumped against the footrest, "Can we call it a truce?"

"Afraid I'd beat you on your turf," she asked jokingly. Her attention was on rearranging her money.

"I could see all of your cards from here," he shrugged. Mia's jaw dropped.

"That's-you cheated!"

"Both of my legs fell asleep and I couldn't move," his statement came out more like a question. But it does nothing to stop Mia from sending a betrayed look towards her father.

"I trusted you," her voice is painted with annoyance. But it's the smile on her face that ruins the image she was trying to put out.

"I'll clean up and do the dishes?"

"Maybe also forgive me for going out to the Sanctuary without you?"

"You did what," he turned on her. His face seemed aghast. "When? Wh-why?"

Mia flashed a guilty-innocent smile, "I was feeling lonely and wanted to see some babies."

"Those babies were supposed to be seen by both you and me. Not just you!"

"If it makes you feel any better, I stuck towards the cats and birds side. So we can go on that day you took off to visit the puppies."

Charlie stayed silent for a moment.

"You drive a hard bargain," he teased her. He tipped forward, pulling her closer. His arm wound up across her shoulders and he pressed a light kiss on her forehead. "Could never get mad at you."

Without tears involved, he's such a natural at hugs.

Mia squeezed his mid-section in a quick hug.

"Now go find a movie for us to watch."

Mia saluted at his order and practically skipped out of the room.

Although the TV was right there in the living room, Charlie had shifted the little bookcase with the movies out to make room for the festive spirit. In its space was the tiny table ordained with tiny snow globes Charlie had collected over the years.

Mia crouched and flicked through the movies piled up. Her body rocked back and forth as she attempted balancing herself on her toes.

'Men In Black', 'Me, Myself & Irene', 'Donnie Darko', and 'Nemo.'

With a contemplating hum, Mia picked up the movie she decided on and gently rose upwards.

"So, I don't know if you want to watch this, but I wanted to watch it again without falling asleep. Is it o-?"

The rest of Mia's question drowned out when the bell rang.

Both father and daughter looked at each other in confusion. Mia looks away and towards the white Ikea clock. 7:33. Who would appear at their house at this time in this weather?

"I got it," Mia waved away and moved towards the door. She swung it open casually. It wasn't like anyone dangerous would walk up to the Chief's house.

- In the corner of her mind, she let out a wince. Another habit to fix for when she went to her Uni. -

But as she found herself staring at those colored eyes in front of her, she seized up.

"What are you doing here?"

.

Chapter Text

Edward’s facial expression seemed to shatter like glass. Instead of the annoying look he usually got when he looked at her, he seemed more desperate at her words. His hair appeared to look more looming than normally as though he had his fingers tangled up in them just moments ago. Meanwhile, his shoulders were hunched in, making him seem much more vulnerable than his usual unapproachable self. He furrowed his eyebrows and his eyes looked into hers desperately.

“Edward,” Mia questioned gently. It was extremely shocking to see her least favorite Cullen in front of her. But with how torn up he looked, Mia couldn’t ignore the worry bubbling up inside her.

Edward flinched at her voice and opened his mouth to speak but his words seem to have failed him. Mia patiently waited for him to gather his wits up and express himself.

“When – when you said ‘Forever and Always’, did you mean it? I mean, when you said it to Alice and Jasper?”

Mia’s body seized up and she took a step further away from the door. They had all agreed not to tell her father before they could tell Mia the ‘big’ secret they hid from her. And she sure as hell wasn’t going to let Edward spoil it for them.

“What’s going on,” her body struggled to take another step towards him. She’s close enough that she has to tilt her head up to look into his eyes. This new proximity has Mia nearly tucked under him.

“I need to know. I need to know that you won’t hurt them,” he said somberly.

A sinking pit built up in her stomach. So, he wasn’t here to mess things up with her dad.

“Edward. I can’t imagine a life without them,” Mia tensed up. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m being serious. If you’re told what they most probably will tell you, there’s no going back.”

Mia got ready to cut him off but Edward rose a hand and he shook his head.

“It’s a matter of life and death.”

Mia trembled and looked straight up at him.

“I can’t imagine a life without them,” she stressed at every word.

“Alice got your gift and it…it shook her up. She isn’t talking to Carlisle nor is she letting Jasper see her.”

“The diary?”

“Please, you have to help her. You’re probably the only person who could keep her from having her disappear.”

“What do you mean disappear,” Mia snapped hysterically. Edward had no answer for her.

Figures, she nearly snarled at him.

“Edward?”

“Please, I can’t handle Alice hurting,” he plowed on.

“It’s late,” she hissed. “My dad’ll never allow it this late.”

“If I handle him, will you go change into something warmer?”

Mia crossed her arms and leaned forward so he could feel her displeasure with the lack of answers. A moment of silence passed and she spun around. Reaching behind to grab his wrist, she bullied him into the house.

“Dad, it’s Edward Cullen,” she spoke out clearly. Then, she hissed to Edward, “You’ve got exactly 40 seconds.”

Charlie looked up from where he had been spooning food onto his plate. He sent a confused look towards Mia, to which Mia just shrugged. Realizing she was being too shady, she smiled but her eyes glared out like she was just as confused as he was. Charlie gave a light, barely-there nod before he addressed the surprise guest.

“‘Evening Edward. What brings you to the Swan Residence?”

Mia walked by her father. Once she was hidden by the kitchen wall, she rushed, taking two steps at a time when moving up the stairs.

“Jacket? Beanie? Gloves,” she twirled the room for things. Her leg tripped over the side corner of her bed making her body jolt with pain once she fell on her hands. The items in her hands scatter and she scrambled around to gather them again.

With her items in her hands, she rushed back downstairs. The sight of Edward standing by the door greeted her.

“You took six seconds longer,” he bullshitted.

Mia rolled her eyes. How she was actually handling him right now, she had no idea.

“It’s all right, sweetie,” her dad said as he brought over a scarf. “Edward explained to me what happened, so it’s alright for you to go over to their house.”

Mia sent a confused glance at Edward who just smiled charmingly in response.

“Don’t forget to ask Dr. Cullen to call me when you reach there.”

Mia grinned, hoping her worry wouldn’t show up on her face and leaned up to kiss his cheek.

“Love you,” she called out as she followed Edward out the house.

The reply was weak and low, but still there, “Love you too.”

Mia balanced carefully across the wet sidewalk. The snow which had happened two days prior to Christmas day had still not yet melted and with the rain, it created an odd slush.

“Wipe your feet on the ground before you enter,” Edward swiftly sat in his car and opened up the door for Mia.

She did as he asked and sat by him. She would’ve marveled at how she finally sat in the car Emmett told her was impossible to sit in when Edward disliked you, but Mia’s mind seemed to be more focused on pressing issues.

“How’d you convince my dad,” she wondered while buckling herself in place.

He placed a hand behind her headrest and looked back as he backed out of the area. The car revved and once they were going straight, he tinkered with the heater controls. The hot air blasted on Mia’s shoulder and she fixed the position of her body so she felt the hot air all over her face. Coincidently, it had her look out of the window. Something she was extremely grateful for. After all, she didn’t want to end up staring at Edward’s face.

“I just had to mention Carlisle and Chief Swan bent.”

Mia sharply turned over to look at his face. Her body was completely angled away from her window through which she had been staring out.

“You-?”

Edward cranked a quick crooked grin, “I’m kidding.”

Mia let out a sigh of relief but then jumped to explain why she had been so worried.

“It’s not like that! I mean, it’s alright if a guy wants to date another guy but your dad is married and happy and,” Mia struggled to make sure she hadn’t offended Edward.

Her words trailed off and she gave him a side glance, which he caught. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped.

“Do you- You think I’m gay,” his voice jumped several octaves.

“Aren’t you?”

“N-No! I’m pretty sure I like girls,” he rushed out. “Well, sure-sure not pretty sure.”

A moment of awkward silence passed before he spoke up hesitantly, “Well, maybe fifty percent sure.”

Mia noticed he seemed to have an existential crisis so she gently changed the subject.

“So can I know what truly happened with Alice?”

Or not so gently.

But either way, the topic has Edward’s face shut down from his kind-of-nervous smile.

“We’ve been trying to find any link of Alice’s past for decades,” Edward breathed out in hurt. “And now, you just pop up with a diary that’s perfectly preserved containing information of everything that had happened to her before she was taken away!”

Mia flinched.

“My friend, Hazel, lives in D’lberville. I thought that she could visit Biloxi and try to see if she could find anything about an Alice,” Mia spoke hoarsely. “I wasn’t really expecting anything but Hazel never gives up once she sets her mind to it.”

Edward’s hands pressed down on the steering wheel a little harder causing indents to start forming.

“But why haven’t we heard of a Hazel,” Edward pressed on as the car speed doubled.

“Hazel and I’ve been close for ages,” she cried out. “It’s not like we talk daily or anything, but we keep in contact over the years at least bi-yearly or more if we aren’t swamped with things.”

She didn’t think he’d hurt her. But the way he tried to interrogate her made her hackles rise.

The trees around them got closer and closer as they entered the off-road path to the Cullen Residence. The darkness from before they entered the forest couldn’t even begin to compare to the utter-pitch black of the forest. The trees were utterly drenched with the slosh-like snow-rain mixture. It brought a discomforting feeling to her. Due to the temperature, the slosh had managed to nearly freeze onto the tree leaves. Somehow looking as unnatural as the situation Mia found herself in.

Edward looked away from the road and straight at Mia. Her confused eyes peered back at him. After what seemed a millennia later, he looked away.

“Alice found out a lot of shit. And it’s practically tearing her down –.”

“– I didn’t mean to –.”

“– I know you didn’t Mia! But this…this entire thing is so painful for her. And I’m not blaming you; just warning you ahead of time so you don’t feel hurt by anything she tries to throw at you.”

Mia’s eyes turn damp and her voice cracked when she spoke again.

“I never – with the book. I never read it because I didn’t want to overstep…but what happened?”

Edward sighed but it seemed very stifled and harsh, “There was some stuff about her family that had her suddenly shut down. That’s all I can say because it’s not my place to tell you anything more.”

Mia nodded and looked away from Edward. Her mind felt so lost and she let herself sink into its disorderliness. Countless scenarios flew through her brain.

What was she going to say to Alice? Would she just stand there looking lost? Or was she going to start off with an apology? Was it even going to be okay for Mia to apologize? What was Alice’s reaction going to be when she saw her? Was she going to get mad and blame her? Would Alice even accept the apology?

But before Mia could plan out what would come after, Edward pulled up in the driveway.

The worry and panicking ten folded as they exited the car after Edward killed the engine. Right before they opened the door, Edward turned towards Mia.

“Please…just be careful with her? And try not to take things too personally if she lashes out on you?”

Mia bit her tongue and nodded, her voice too hoarse for her to even attempt to talk.

Edward opened the door and Mia followed him. Her body was hiding behind his, but it wasn’t as intentional as Mia thought it would be.

The warmth of the house was only degrees more than the outside. Mia shivered as her footsteps echoed through the dead silence of the house.

Where was everyone?

Her voice cracked as her question was voiced.

Edward glanced back at her, “Emmett and Rosalie are in their room unpacking everything. While Carlisle and Esme took a step outside for some fresh air.”

They stopped short outside of Alice’s room, where Jasper sat on the ground with his back on the shut doorway. Mia’s eyes drooped as she noticed Jasper’s worried state. Her hand trembled with sorrow when she reached for him.

She faintly noticed that Edward disappeared, “Hey.”

Jasper looked up at Mia and slowly stood up. Mia frowned at the tear-tracks that had been on Jasper’s cheeks. Her hand moved from his shoulder and she cupped his cold cheek.

He leaned forward and pulled her into an embrace, “Hey.”

Mia closed her eyes. Being in Jasper’s arms after a while had her reeling with how much she had missed him. How she had missed them both.

Although she would’ve wanted nothing more than to stay in his arms for eternity, she pulled away. Alice’s health was far more important than any of Mia’s yearnings right now.

Jasper’s eyes are shut as well and he trembled when Mia placed careful kisses. They followed the tear tracks that stained his cheeks. His breathing came out like tiny puffs as he tightened his grip on Mia’s mid-section.

His eyes open and they seem to be less sorrowful than before. The silence between them seemed warmer and more comfortable than the entire house.

One of his hands rose from her waist and wound around the back of her neck. He pulled her closer and kissed her tenderly, pouring all the care and love into the kiss. It warmed her up and left her feeling utterly loved.

Their lips are pressed together in such a way, Mia nearly lost all of her senses yet somehow, gaining a hypersensitivity with them.

The kiss ended up Mia pulling away and taking a deep breath to keep herself from drowning in his love. She took a step away, forcing Jasper to let go of her waist. She, instead, took one of his hands and intertwined their fingers together. Facing the door to Alice, she let out a deep and careful exhale before placing her hand on the knob and turning it.

The door clicked open.

Both Jasper and Mia tiptoed into the room. The normally clean room was a wreck. The desk that usually had all the magazines had been haphazardly tossed to the ground, its contents spilled all over the floor. The chair laid on the floor, broken and crushed.

But worst of all, Alice sat on the bed, silently watching the duo enter the room. Her glassy eyes drooped onto the floor and Mia took a step towards her, without thinking. But Jasper pulled her back.

“There’s glass on the floor,” he pointed out.

Mia looked around for the source of the glass and there, in one of the mirrors was a crack as though Alice punched it.

It just made Mia want nothing more than to go to Alice.

Jasper let Mia’s hand go after a quick squeeze, “I’ll go get a broom.”

He disappeared from the room. There are certain places on the floor that are glass-free, which is where Mia tipped at until she can reach the bed.

Alice’s shiny eyes drink Mia tiptoeing in the safe zones on the floor before reaching her. Mia just reached the side of the bed when Alice flung herself at Mia. The trajectory wasn’t something she had expected. So it’s no surprise when Mia felt herself nearly lose her balance. Yet, right before Mia slipped backward, she tilted her body so she fell on the bed rather than the floor.

Mia lay on the bed awkwardly. Her back was hunched while she rested her head in the air. Holding in a wince, Mia shifted upwards so she can hold Alice properly in her arms.

Alice’s cold face dug in Mia’s neck. The trembling of her tiny body has Mia’s heartache at her girlfriend’s distress.

The silence felt too brittle to be disturbed so instead of speaking as she had planned to, Mia just tightened her arms around Alice and comforted her.

Minutes pass by as they stay in their embrace before Alice pulled away.

“Thank you,” Alice tenderly whispered to Mia.

The guilt was like gasoline in Mia’s guts. Her insides died slowly in the toxicity, needing no more than a spark to set it ablaze. The pain she had unknowingly caused to Alice burnt her out so badly there was nothing left but worry and self-condemnation.

Just as Mia opened her mouth to apologize, Alice placed a hand over Mia’s.

“It’s not your fault,” she smiled faintly. The tear tracks shone out under the lights. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“But it hurt you,” Mia’s voice came out meek and heartbroken. “I hurt you.”

“You freed me,” Alice’s eyes filled up with tears again, “You set me free from this burden I thought I’d never been able to shake off.”

Mia’s mouth trembled as her emotions started to become too hard for her to keep under wraps.

“I love you,” she sobbed. Fat, crocodile tears started to escape her eyes. “I love you so much.”

Alice’s throat made a keening sound and she placed her forehead against Mia’s. Her hands came up to cup Mia’s cheeks and she pulled her closer.

“I love you too. So god damn much,” Alice whispered back wetly.

A tear fell from Alice’s eye and fell onto Mia’s cheek. They stayed in place, both overtaken with how much they cared for.

 


 

Jasper met Mia outside the room. His face had been washed and he held the broom in his hand.

“Why didn’t you come inside,” she questioned him gently.

Jasper shrugged and pulled Mia into a hug.

 “I didn’t want to disturb you two.”

Mia scoffed and pulled away to kiss Jasper, “We missed you in there.”

“Next time then?”

Standing on her toes, Mia wrapped her pinky around his. As their fingers intertwined, she pulled him into a kiss.

“Pinky promise.”

Jasper gave Mia a warm smile before placing a kiss on her forehead. The pink-haired girl blushed at his intense eyes.

“What?”

“I love you,” Jasper said smoothly.

Mia’s cheeks burned and she squirmed.

“I love you too.”

There was a drop in Mia’s stomach when she heard a throat clearing out beside her. Instinctually, Mia jumped away from Jasper but his tight arms kept her from flying away.

“Hey Rosalie,” Jasper grinned at the blonde.

“You two should go eat something, I’ll sweep the floor,” she rose an eyebrow, completely ignoring the growingly embarrassed girl in her brother’s arms.

Mia eeped when Jasper spun her around and helped her march downstairs. But right before they took a step on the stairs, Rosalie called out to Mia.

“You probably don’t know this, but the walls are extremely thin around here.”

It didn’t take a genius to know Rosalie was teasing her, but Mia still gasped out her explanations.

Emmett’s booming laughter rattled the walls, even though he was inside the room. Mia’s face burned and she prayed the earth to suddenly open up and swallow her whole.

“It’s cute,” Jasper pouted, his face the perfect copy of a baby attempting to console someone.

“At least your parents weren’t home,” she shrugged. An uncomfortable smile took its place on her face, “I’d jump in front of a bus if they were.”

Jasper let out a hysterical laugh, “Yeah, good thing that they were – that they were out.”

Mia paused, her leg halted in the air from making its next step into the kitchen. She turned around slowly with a low keening sound. Her wide eyes desperately sought his.

“They were out…out of the house, right?”

Jasper’s own eyes blinked uncomfortably and he nodded his head vigorously.

“Yes, they were…out.”

Mia felt traumatized. Her head fell forward, thumping against Jasper’s chest.

“Of course.”

Taking a deep breath, Mia turned around and marched into the kitchen. Her fake confidence faltered when she noticed Dr. Cullen and Esme sitting on the chairs against the counter, holding cups. Two pairs of eyes stared down at her, following her movements like a predator would with a prey.

“Oh good evening Mia,” Esme smiled blithely. “When’d you get here? Oh, sweetie, you know Carlisle and I just came back and Edward made us each a cup of coffee.”

Mia’s eyes crinkled as she turned to look at the third person standing in front of the stove. Her smile transformed from its awkward side to a murderous one. Her fake laughter echoed in the silent kitchen, everyone watched her with such dedication.

“How,” she paused for a moment. Words she would have no worry using suddenly seemed impossible to get out so she settled on the second best thing, “nice.”

Mia’s teeth ground together through the wide smile she shone at the trio in front of her.

“Would you please excuse me for a moment,” she giggled out. Her cheeks ached from being pulled back so far.

Without looking at them allowing her to leave, Mia stepped around Jasper and left the kitchen. She took a few steps away from the room she just left and came to a stop. Her smile dropped from her face and she let out a muffled whimper into her hands.

“What’s wrong?”

Mia’s heart stopped and her body stilled. But the moment her body caught up to the racing thoughts in her mind, she sprung three feet into the air.

“Wha – you – how – huh?”

Alice stared at her, her eyes trailed Mia the same way her parents did in the kitchen.

“Hey! No creepy watching okay? Human here, alright,” Mia exasperatedly whined. “We have extremely delicate hearts when in panic mode. Or delicate hearts in general.”

Leaning forward, Alice tugged at Mia’s sleeve making her lower her face to Alice’s. Mia could feel Alice’s cold breathe on her face and anticipation slowly but surely filled her up.

“Are you just gonna stare at me? Or-,” Mia’s teasing murmurs were cut off when Alice took the bait before she even laid it out.

Mia’s eyes fluttered shut, the butterflies in her stomach felt like they were woken up from a nap. Swaying her body in unison with Alice, Mia let out a gentle mewl as Alice swiped her tongue on Mia’s lips.

It was like pulling away from an addiction; difficult and painful, but Mia pulled away. Every part of her body screamed at her to stop retracting.

“I want to,” she explained. “But I just survived the intense mortification of learning everyone heard me saying sappy things to both Jasper and you. And I don’t think I can survive with the knowledge your parents can hear us French kissing.”

The petite girl in front of her nodded before a smile grew on her face, “Carlisle and Esme heard us say ‘I love you’?”

Mia threw her hands up in chagrin and rolled her eyes.

“You focus on that part. Figures.”

Alice gave her an apologetic grin.

“It’s just – now we can tell you something that we couldn’t before,” she tried to get herself out of the grave she had dug for herself.

Mia crossed her arms and stared down at Alice. A moment of soul searching went on and then Mia let out a tired sigh.

“If this is about what you are, can I try to figure it out before you tell me if I’m right or wrong?”

Alice opened her mouth, the word ‘no’ on the tip of her tongue but then leaned to the side so she could look by Mia’s side into the kitchen. A few seconds passed and she nodded slowly.

“Carlisle thinks it’s okay.”

Mia rose her eyebrows and uncrossed her arms, “Yay for me.”

Alice giggled at the dead reply, “Why don’t we go drop you off?”

Alice squirmed in her place, standing on her toes so she could reach Mia’s face. There was a mischievous glint in her eyes, and she slipped her tiny hands over Mia’s jacket button. She twirling it between her fingers.

Mia’s face reddened and her heartbeat skyrocketed.

“You know, my window might not be locked tonight,” Mia hoarsely flirted back, “just for cuddles, though.”

“Breaking the rules, huh,” Alice’s own voice dropped to a low level. The honey-covered words made Mia bite her lip to keep the extremely wide smile from forming on her lips.

“What can I say? I missed you,” Mia muttered before planting a gentle kiss on her girlfriend’s lips. “And you guys practically messed up my sleep.”

“Oh do tell,” the heat behind Alice’s words made Mia pause. She pulled away and looked at Alice’s face before she registered what Alice would’ve gotten from her words.

“Not like that! I – I just had dreams! Wait, no! Not those kind of dreams – just – I just missed you guys! And I couldn’t sleep with you guys gone so far! And -.”

Alice’s freezing hand placed over Mia’s mouth, causing her rambling to become muffled.

“I get it,” she giggled. “But it’s cute.”

Mia gave Alice the skank eye for letting herself nearly ramble into a panic attack. But Alice just smiled like the cat that swallowed the canary.

“Let’s just get you back home,” she grabbed her jacket from the stand in the corner of the room. “I’ll drive while Jazz and you sit in the backseat.”

Mia opened her mouth to disagree, after all, she had gone to the Cullen’s house to take care of Alice. But she found herself enveloped in a hug from the back.

“It’s better to bow down to her demands,” Jasper’s familiar smell invaded her senses. The puffs of air from his mouth when he spoke tickled at Mia’s neck.

He placed a soft kiss on her pulse point making her shiver even more. She sagged against him before letting him tug her out of the house and into the back of the car.

Chapter Text

Mia can’t put it off any longer.

She had already eaten and done her nightly routines. Any whimsical ways of procrastinating pop out of her mind making her sigh.

Mia pulled her hands away from her freshly braided hair and pulled out the laptop from her table’s drawer. Whilst changing into her comfiest pajamas, Mia turned on the computer. Her bed looked far more comforting than the desk in the dreary wintery night. But with a lingering look at the bed, Mia just donned on another jacket, unlocked her window because she was only half-kidding about letting her lovers slip into her bedroom at night and then took a seat.

The metallic handles on the chair made her shiver terribly when her ankle accidentally touched it. Her crossed legs rested carefully on the swivel chair. The light from the computer washed over her body as it slowly powered up. She leaned forward and opened up the search engine.

I’m really doing this!

Her fingers come to a pause just millimeters above the keyboard as a thought popped into her mind. What was she going to search up?

Mia let out a groan and tipped her head backward. The chair lets out a little ‘kree’ sound but it doesn’t topple back.

I’m so bad at beginning stuff! Jake would know what to do.

He’d always be ready to help her out in any issue. Mia rolled her eyes at the thought then. Jake was helpful but he became a real jackass these days…

Mia suddenly straightened her body up and rushed over the keyboard. Carefully, she typed in the word ‘Vampire’.

When the typical movie stuff popped up, she went back to the search bar and added two new words.

‘Vampire – Quileute myths’.

But like she had thought, there were no websites that had any information freely available. Mia scrolled down a website mindlessly. To get more information, she’d have to sign up for the website and provide a credit card number. She moved the cursor to the top corner of the page, ready to exit the site if she couldn’t find anything. But she came to a stop when she noticed a phone number and book store address in a pop-up from the site.

If I can’t get the legends online, I’ll just buy the book of legends!

The darkness of the room reminded her of the time. She shook from the cold before deciding to call quits for the time being. Only until the morning. That would be when she’s call up the bookstore and attempt to get the book she prayed they had in their stock.

A wave of sleepiness came over her when she pushed down the top of the laptop. Yawning widely, she stretched her arms. Her shirt slightly lifted up when her arms crossed each other over her head.

Tears of exhaustion popped up in her eyes. Letting another yawn rip through her mouth, she slipped out of her jacket and lifted the comforter on her bed to slide in.

She closed her eyes and attempted to bury herself deeper into the pillow she’s cuddled up against.

Mia was nearly fast asleep when she heard the sound of her window being pushed up. Instead of opening her eyes, she just shifted to the side so Jasper could slip in by her. He does not speak up. Instead, he just pulled her into a spooning position.

Pushing back in his embrace, she let out a groan of appreciation when he started to rub circles on her stomach which had been slightly exposed when she shifted forwards.

“Two hours,” Jasper murmured against Mia’s hair. “Two hours but it took you seconds to piece it together when you put your mind to it.”

Smiling sleepily, Mia turned over so she could be closer to him. (It isn’t that she wasn’t close back when they were spooning, but rather that intimate position kept pushing thoughts of things in her mind she could yet not commit to doing.)

The new position has her buried her head in his chest as they both lie on their sides, “So I’m right?”

“You didn’t mention it by name to us.”

Mia lifted her head and pulled back. Resting her head on her hand, she dug her elbow into the mattress.

“Do I have to?”

“Edward thinks you need to say it out loud to understand the implications when being with us,” Jasper rolled his eyes. He mirrored Mia’s pose.

“Yeah, well Edward needs to understand that one of these days, I’m gonna kick his ass,” she leaned back so she could lie down again.

Jasper chuckled warmly and loomed over her. His cold hand cupped her face gently. Mia let out a loose sigh when he placed his thumb on her bottom lip. Jasper’s hand tightened around her jaw before he let go of his grip.

He caressed her lip with fixated curiosity painted on his face. Mia felt herself go boneless in his hold. His thumb slipped into her mouth and she bit down carefully on it. His golden eyes darkened.

Mia scrutinized him through her narrowed eyes. Jasper smiled wolfishly before leaning down and captured her lips in his.

Smiling against his lips, Mia tried to drown out all the vampire puns that seemed to rush into her head. As though he could read her mind, Jasper pulled away.

“What?”

Mia swallowed the squeal that threatened to escape her throat at his deepened, husky Texan accent.

“So your favorite fruit must be blood oranges, huh,” Mia giggled.

Jasper gave her a fond smile, “Here come the over-rated jokes and puns.”

But his own face split due to the smile he couldn’t hold back.

“You mean the hilarious vampire jokes and puns that’ll turn you batty?”

Jasper sprung himself at Mia. She let out shrieks of laughter as his cold fingers blurred around her body, tickling at her sensitive spots.

Chapter Text

Hey guys. I'm so sorry but I'm no longer going to continue writing this story. For those who don't immediately close this tab and stop reading immediately, please listen.

I'm nineteen years old and I know I'm kinda spacy when it comes to history and way of life (for others). I grew up in a community that may not have been close-knit, but everyone cared for each other. And I'm pretty cut off from the world so I only know the basics of what's going on in America. Everything I know is from newspapers and as you can see, articles of the BLM have significantly decreased. So my knowledge and background of this are very little. Again, since I don't live in the states or ever really had to think about it.

But I just found out yesterday what the Confederate (as well as the American Civil War) was. My brother and I were watching Night At The Museum and he just offhandedly mentioned that it was ironic that you can't see any differences between the North and Southside even though one side actually had a moral compass. Yeah, when my sibling puts it like that, I'm going to ask why.  

So imagine just learning one of your favorite characters is a dude who fought against the idea of freeing people who had been oppressed and wanted that oppression to continue.

I spent the entire time yesterday going over the books and I noticed how Jasper seemed to use fear and cruelty to get results out of J. Jenks. Stephanie Meyer (from what I've read so far) hasn't said or written anything to delude the fact Jasper is a huge ass.

I can't write or romanticize someone who fought in a war trying to win a right to hold slaves. Maybe other authors, more experienced authors, could give him a character refit. But I can't.

This story can't continue for obvious reasons. If you guys want, I can upload the storyline of this, so you can end this book. But I'm pretty solid on the fact I won't continue writing this story 

Chapter Text

Mia wakes up to the next morning with this nervous/happy anticipation. It's been so long since she'd been unconsciously ignoring anything wrong with the Cullens that it's now easier for her mentally, to be in the 'know'. Alice and Jasper come over that day, just after Mia has breakfast. They tell Charlie while Mia is dusting Bella's room which was Charlie's old study/junk room. Charlie is like 'duh. Mia had that glow about her that gave it away'. They stay to help Mia and Charlie set up the bed in Bella's new room and all the other things like a desk, wardrobe, and the mirror.

Rosalie visits Mia that night and is a mix of supportive and Eclipse persona. Mia is a bit put off but insists that she loves Jasper and Alice and so cannot leave them. Since Mia now knows everything, she remembers what Jacob told her and what their fight was about. Cue flashback to Jacob telling Mia to stay away from the Cullens because they aren't what she thinks they are. He's being rude and insults them a whole lot making Mia pissed off and her refusing to talk to him.

She feels guilty because she knows he was right when saying they weren't who they said they were (aka Human) but his prejudice is stifling. 

She gets her car soon and spends time with the Cullens. Her time revolves around chilling in Alice and Jasper's room whenever she can sneak out. Life is good.

Bella arrives and the Blacks visit. Jacob is buff (but not yet a werewolf). He apologizes. Mia is annoyed when he says that he was just listening to what his dad was going off about and it just got inside his head. She accepts his apology and so they become cordial once again. She gets a text from Alice to go ahead (who can see her because Jake isn't a wolf yet) and she tells him that he was right. About vampires. He freaks out moderately but then controls his freak-fest because of Mia's lack of patience.

Bella is constantly giving off backhand insults to Mia who finds herself short of tears. This happens for a week. Bella does find Edward interesting but he doesn't give her much attention as he's contemplating his sexuality. So she's on quite a self-pity party. Mia is annoyed and Charlie gets Pizza to make his daughters chill. Bella gives a speech about how Meat is bad while eating meat. Mia is annoyed at Bella's hypocrisy and loses her temper. Bella gets more pissy.

Jasper has to be restrained by Emmett as to not storm into the house and murder Bella. Alice in the meantime is busy handling Edward who is having a gay meltdown. She does ruin Bella's clothes by shrinking them while Bella sleeps before school, though.

Alice protecc, she attacc but most importantly, she snack (on mountain lions).

Charlie who had started to take cooking lessons from Esme in December continues to take them. Esme, along with Carlisle, invite Charlie over after his shift ends and so he heads over to the Cullen's house immediately. Therefore Bella has no idea about her family being close with the Cullens. 

The icy patch incident with the truck happens but this time Bella is nowhere near the truck because she's annoyed with Mia who decided to ride with her because they didn't have two sets of snow chains. She doesn't realize the fact that something supernatural is up with the Cullens and so she's just interested in Edward's weird inhuman behavior. (The barely eating, the ability to hear what she said to Angela from across the cafeteria). She's a bit biased at Alice, Jasper, and Emmett who seem to highly dislike her without her knowing why.

Ben in the meantime is chilling with Angela and they start to skirt the line between friends and something more. Life is normal. They hit a plateau. Bella and Mia acknowledge each other's existence but nothing else. Bella is getting more and more annoying with her quest to uncover the 'cult' of Cullens that she believes has Edward brainwashed. She only likes Carlisle and Edward but one of them is, according to society, thirty-plus something, and the other is 99% sure he gay. (The one percent is because he believes his inexperience holds a path to his TRUE sexuality). Who knows...

Anywho, Bella goes to see Jake who doesn't spill the stuff about the Cullens but she manages to get Paul to angrily spill some tea. She now knows something weird is up.

Jake shifts at night when he sneaks out to go talk to the Cullens about having more peaceful negotiations. Considering his best friend is dating two bloodsuckers. No one is hurt but Jake takes it an incentive to not visit the Cullens for a while.

Mia gets the mail that she got into Uni but she switches over to online classes option and is now in Psychology rather than MBBS. Alice and Jasper celebrate at night by throwing a barbeque party. Bella is busy shopping with Jessica and Angela. They had invited her by the side but since they know Bella is always rubbing elbows with her sister.

It's at the barbeque that Mia realizes that her mates' powers bleed into each one of them. The feelings, the weird deja vus all make sense now.

The nomad vampires start to appear all around. They don't cross paths with the Cullens because the Cullens end up not going to play baseball. This is because Bella lashed out on Mia and the siblings had a screaming fest. It was so bad that Mia ran out of the house and went to see Alice and Jasper. Everyone stays inside as they try to work on helping Mia get over the trauma of having a shitty sibling. 

Carlisle gets a notice from the Volturi asking about if he's heard anything about the nomads as they have been avoiding the guards and have nearly exposed their world to the public. Carlisle is like, 'no' and Aro is like, 'chill bro. Thanks. Also, how you doin'. They start communicating again.

Mia goes off to college. Where in reality, she moved in with the Cullens off in Alaska. The Denali is all 'you have made us an accomplice in the crime of not killing her/turning her.' but then become all 'ahhh she's your mate, cool'.

Bella is off in school suffering thru teen angst. Mia is chilling with vamps 24/7. Life is nice. Then horror strikes. Laurant joins the Denali clan because he meets his mate. He is all 'you can't befriend a hUman. she is food.' But his mate sucker-punches him because mate is life and 'would you really kill her. What if we were in this position?' And he just can't vibe with them. He calls his ol' pals and James decides he wants to take Mia away because he wants to play with a trio. 

He bitES her!!

She turns and while she's turning, Victoria is attacked and Carlisle calls the Volturi who take her down. Laurant is all 'babe forgive me.' His mate does forgive him but she is still weary of him. 

The volturi are about to sink their teeth in Mia (most figuratively as she's already been turned) but she uses her dad's political police speech powers to slink her fam away.

Charlie visits and he's like 'did you cut your hair?' but he knows. So he promises not to press until she's ready. She has to fake dying. (The wolves don't do anything because Jake takes up the mantle three days of the week. It's a divorce custody battle. But his way is the way.)

They all live together, forever.