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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!