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Love is Strange

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The people mingling around the venue were in high spirits, and Bella studied them all through the lens of her camera as she shot one candid photo after the other. Occasionally, she checked the photos and deleted the ones not even worth taking back to the studio for closer scrutiny.

Her favorite part of the job was doing exactly what she was doing right now; taking picture after picture as her inspiration saw fit. She wasn't the center of attention as she moved around the bodies and captured people's essence in its purest form. It was said a picture says more than a thousand words, but Bella had always believed, like her old college professor, that a candid photo spoke volumes higher. In that single moment when the photo was taken, it was impossible to keep the truth hidden. Any little thing could give a person away. The light in their eyes, the angle of their mouth, or even the captured tension in their posture.

Once Bella had decided she had enough photos of the crowd, she ventured backstage to photograph the models and the clothing line which, was the reason Bella was here in the first place. The paper for which she was working was running a feature in the fashion section about new, upcoming designers, and since Bella happened to be old friends with the designer of this particular clothing line, there had been no question about whether she'd take the assignment or not.

When she looked over her shoulder, she saw her colleague interviewing the designer, and a smile stretched across her face. She was really happy to see her old friend thriving and achieving her lifelong dream. Even as a child, her potential as a designer had already emerged through her sketches and coloring books.

Bella turned and walked up to the pair. “Hi,” she said pleasantly.

Bella! Hi!” Alice Cullen, the woman of the evening, replied enthusiastically. “I'm so glad you're here. What did you think of the show?”

Your work is spectacular, Alice,” Bella complimented earnestly. “I always knew you had it in you.”

You're just saying that to flatter me,” Alice insisted, but Bella was already shaking her head in disagreement.

I'm not. You know me, Alice, and I have no reason to lie to you.”

The two women smiled at each other, but then Alice was pulled away by business people who wanted to speak with her about the clothes and where she was planning on selling them.

Bella wandered back into the crowd and started to fiddle with the settings on her camera to take a few photos with a more artistic vibe, which she hoped to add to her portfolio. Bella absolutely loved her job and adored her colleagues, but a part of her still dreamt of showcasing her work in art galleries one day.

She held up her camera and looked through the lens to lock the frame around her intended subject when she sighted someone in the background. A certain someone who still caused her heart to beat faster after all the years that had passed since she last saw him.

He had been a boy then, but the one she was looking at now was undoubtedly a man.

As he placed a gentle hand on his twin sister's shoulder, Bella couldn't tear her eyes away. She'd just barely been able to keep a good grip on her camera to prevent the expensive equipment from smashing to the ground. The strap securely wrapped around her wrist and hand would also have helped, but her shock at seeing him there was so profound, only her basic instincts functioned at that moment.

Then, before Bella could get herself together, Alice said something that caused him to look her way, and Bella realized eight years had done nothing to dull Edward Cullen's piercing gaze.