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Observant

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Hi, my name is Bella Swan, I'm seventeen years old, and I notice things. I notice things that no one else finds important, but to me, they are essential. I notice the way water droplets cling to the netting over Dad's tomato plant and shine in the sun when I water it. I notice how when you get in the shower, if the water is just right and your feet are cold, they burn from the contrasting temperatures, but in a good way. As I said earlier, no one else cares about these things, but I find them captivating. When I notice things, I write about them. I describe every last detail, and when necessary, I take a picture. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Reading, writing, and photography are my life. Besides noticing things, I have one other skill. I'm invisible. No, I don't have some freaky super power. I just blend in. No one, well almost no one, notices me when I don't want them too. I'm extremely normal. I'm not ugly, and I'm not gorgeous. I have medium length brown hair and brown eyes. So, I don't stand out in a crowd, and I don't dress flamboyantly to make up for it. I'm just plain.

Very few people are immune to my invisibility. One of them is Jacob Black. His dad, Billy, and my dad, Charlie, have been best friends since they were ten years old. So, Jacob and I have been around each other our whole lives. Mom and Dad even took me to the hospital when Jacob was born. I was two at the time. My mom left Dad when I was three, and she took me with her. But, when I was ten, she got re-married, and I decided to move back to Forks with Charlie to give her and her new husband Phil some space. Jake and I have been best friends since then. The only reasons he is immune are repetition and familiarity. Charlie and Jake have both seen my pictures, and they tell me I should be a photographer. My writing on the other hand, is very private. I never leave the house without my notebook, a mechanical pencil with lots of lead, a good book, and my camera. Charlie got if for me for my sixteenth birthday, and I absolutely love it. It's a fancy digital camera that looks like it would take film, has interchangeable lenses, and so many settings. It takes amazingly clear pictures. My writing consists of jotted down observations, prose, and even some poetry when I'm in the mood. I observe, notice, and write it all down. When it's something I can see rather that feel or hear, I capture the image in a photo. This is how I spend the majority of my time, and no one sees me doing it.

Chapter Text

It’s the first day of junior year, and I woke up late. My alarm didn’t go off, so when I did wake up, I had to book it. I brushed my teeth, threw on some jeans and a t-shirt, pulled my hair up in a ponytail, grabbed by backpack and a granola bar, and jumped in my truck. Considering my speed limitations, I was probably going to be late. Still, I drove as fast as my truck would let me. I love my truck. It’s an extremely outdated red Chevy that Jacob fixed for me. He loves to work on cars.

                  Somehow, I got to school on time but just barely. I pulled into the last available spot- next to a shiny silver Volvo that I didn’t recognize. Either we had a new student, or someone got a new car. I was leaning towards the second option since gossip spreads like wildfire in the tiny town of Forks, and I had heard nothing about anyone moving into town. I ran to my first class, English, and sat in my seat next to Angela Webber, a nice, shy girl who was actually worth talking to unlike some of the other girls here. Speaking of girls I didn’t want to talk to, I heard Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory behind me gossiping about some new kids. Even though it was the first day of the year, new people are a novelty in Forks.  I listened closer to see if it was anything worth recording. No, I wasn’t eavesdropping. I was just observing, it may seem similar, but observing is purely for my interest not gossip.  According to Jessica, there were two “gorgeous” girls and three “super-hot” guys. I tuned her out after that intellectual revelation. Note the heavy sarcasm.

                  I went through the rest of the day normally. The only exception was the gossip about the new kids that was buzzing through the school. Most of it was of the same gist. Oh that one girl/guy is so hot! Oh I wonder if he/she will go out with me. I heard the likes of these all morning. I didn’t see any of these new kids though. When I went to lunch, I was about to get in line to buy my food when I glanced around the cafeteria. As my eyes scanned the scene, they froze on one table where five beautiful teenagers were sitting. That glance was enough to tell me to get out my note pad. I backed up against the wall and sat on the floor where I wouldn’t be noticed. Then I flipped open my notebook and started writing.

                  New Kids – initial observations

-       Breathtakingly beautiful blonde supermodel type, extremely pale, shadows under eyes like lack of sleep or broken nose, topaz eyes

-       Giant bear-like guy, curly dark brown hair, dimples, huge and muscular, scary but good looking, dimples when smiling, extremely pale, shadows under eyes, arm around blonde, topaz eyes

-       Small pixie- like girl, black short pixie cut hair spiked in all directions, very petite, also beautiful, very pale, shadows under eyes, topaz eyes

-       Blond muscular guy, not as buff as bear-like guy but still obviously strong, slightly longish hair, looks to be in pain, holding hands with pixie, very pale, dark topaz eyes almost black, shadows under eyes

-       ]Bronze haired god-like boy, leaner than other two, absolutely breathtaking, either him or blonde are most beautiful, dark topaz eyes, strong chiseled jaw, him and pixie are younger, very pale, shadows under eyes as well

When I was finished with my initial observations, I pulled out my camera out of my bag and snapped a picture because no thousand words could equal the photo I had just taken. I shoved my notepad and camera back into my bag and stood up to get my lunch. As I walked to the line, the bronze haired boy looked straight at me. He had a somewhat frustrated look on his face, but never the less, he looked at me and noticed me. No one notices me! What was going on?

Not being very hungry anymore, I just got a soda. I then went to sit with Angela, my only friend at school. We weren’t as close as Jake and I, but Jake’s school was on the Quileute reservation where he lives with his dad. Sadly, sitting with Angela meant I had to sit with her other friends which included Jessica and Lauren. No one noticed me sit down until Angela looked my way. She smiled at me and continued the conversation she was having with Ben Cheney. I flipped open my notebook under the table and re-read my notes. Then I started a new section on the same page.

Similarities-

All are extremely pale and have the light purplish shadows under their varying shades of topaz eyes, other than this, they don’t look related

All are extremely beautiful

                  As I glanced back at the new kids, Pixie-that’s what I decided to call the tiny black haired girl-got up to dump her tray of barely eaten food. Her walk was very graceful. It almost looked like a dance. I added these things to her list: graceful, doesn’t eat much. I looked back at the table and realized none of them had eaten much or anything at all really. The food looks more picked apart than eaten. On my similarities list I wrote that they didn’t seem to eat much or at all possibly. As I wrote that down, I heard Lauren ask Jessica about them.

                  “Jessica, spill! I know you had a class this morning with some of the new kids!” Lauren commanded.

                  “Well Lauren, they are the Dr. Cullen- you know the new doctor that moved to town?” Jessica was saying. Lauren nodded, and she continued. Everyone at the table seemed to be listening now. “Well Dr. Cullen and his wife, those are their adopted children.  The blond girl’s name is Rosalie. She is in my history class along with the blond boy. His name is Jasper. They are biological siblings. That’s as much as I know right now because I didn’t have time to ask Rosalie any more questions before class started,” Jessica informed the table. For once, I was glad for Jessica’s incessant gossip although I would rather figure this out for myself.

                  As Jessica said all this I wrote it down in my notebook, revising the earlier entries. I wrote Rosalie and Jasper’s names down next to their descriptions, along with the fact that they are biological siblings. I also wrote “The Cullens” at the top of the page. I then added adopted to the similarities list. As the conversation turned towards how hot they all were, I started thinking. The Cullens were proving to be very interesting so far. There was something strange about them though, and I intended to keep observing. The bell rang, and I got up to go to Biology. I glanced the Cullens’ way one last time and noticed they were all dressed exceptionally well.

                  When I got to the Biology room, Mr. Banner showed me my assigned seat. I sat down and pulled out my notebook and added “well dressed” to the similarities list. Students began to file into the room, and Mr. Banner showed them their seats. As I started to doodle on the side of the page, the Greek god walked in. That’s what I had decided to call the bronze haired boy- yes I know I may be a wee bit infatuated with him, but the name fits. He was even more beautiful up close.  Mr. Banner asked his name, and he said something I couldn’t make out. He then pointed the Greek god to his seat which happened to be the one next to me.

                  I would get to observe him up close! This would help my observations a lot. I could talk to him and get to know him! Wait, get to know him? No, I’m the invisible girl. No one knows me, well except Jake, and even he doesn’t know everything. Oh who was I kidding! I was infatuated with this gorgeous boy. He walked over and sat down next to me at the lab table. The second he sat down, he froze. The Greek god stiffened up looking like he smelled something bad. Then, he got a murderously angry look on his face. What did I do? It couldn’t be me, could it? He didn’t even know me? He then proceeded to scoot his stool as far away from mine as possible. I let my hair form a curtain between us as Mr. Banner started to call role.

                  I learned that the Greek-god’s name was Edward. It suits him well. I realized that Edward, Jasper, and Rosalie all had older names. Hmm, I wonder why that is? I pulled out my notebook under the lab table and quickly added this to my list. The whole class, Edward refused to look at me. He didn’t speak either except when Mr. Banner called role. And even then he only said a short here that almost sounded angry. What was going on?

                  In Gym, my last class of the day and my least favorite class, Jessica started going on about the Cullens again. Apparently she had Pixie, whose name is actually Alice in her last class. Jessica said that Alice told her about the family. The bear-like guy’s name is Emmett. And I already knew Edward’s name. The three of them were not related at all. Apparently, Emmett was dating Rosalie and Alice was dating Jasper. Everyone listening to her story gasped at this. It was a little strange, but they weren’t related anyways, just adopted by the same people. After gym, I drove straight home. I went up to my room and added a few final notes to the list. I wrote Alice and Emmett’s names next to their descriptions. I wrote “they all have older names” under similarities. I also added a few random things.

                  Random Notes -

-       Edward was very hostile today for some reason

-       Alice is dating Jasper

-       Rosalie is dating Emmett

-       Something is different about them. What could it be?

 

 

                 

Chapter Text

That night, I looked at my camera. The picture I took of the Cullens is just as beautiful as they were in person. I decided that the next part of my project would be to figure out why Edward was so mad today. That might take a while, so I planned to continue the general observations as well. I still can’t believe that Edward noticed me at lunch. I’m sure he wasn’t just looking in my direction. His eyes locked with mine. He noticed me and then in Biology, he totally ignored me. This was making no sense.

                  The next morning, I actually got up on time. I tried to tell myself that it was because I was being more responsible, but when I really thought about it, I realized that I wanted to be at school early so I could see Edward. I was ridiculously too eager to see a guy who noticed me and then looked like he wanted to kill me minutes later. No matter what the reason was, I got to school fifteen minutes before my first class started. When I pulled into Forks High’s parking lot, I saw Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper get out the shiny, silver Volvo I saw yesterday.  Of course they would have the nicest car here. After all, their father is a doctor. I pulled out my notebook and wrote “drive the silver Volvo” under the random notes section. While I was getting out of my truck, I realized something. Edward didn’t get out of the car with the rest of them. Where was he? Why wasn’t he here? Maybe he was just coming late for some reason.

                  I went inside and got my books for English. Since I didn’t know where the Cullens were, I went ahead to English and sat down to read. We were reading Macbeth, and I decided to review it before class started. The whole day, I kept my eye out for Edward, and I didn’t see him anywhere. I saw his siblings around the school, always together and never talking to anyone else, but I didn’t see Edward at all. Either the Cullens didn’t want friends or were too shy since they were new. They didn’t seem to be the shy type though. In fact, Alice seemed very talkative, at least with her family. I had planned to talk to Edward today and determine if he was always angry or if not, what his problem was yesterday. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to work up the nerve to actually speak to him, so I was partially glad that I hadn’t seen him at all. I still had a slight hope that he would be at lunch today anyway.

                  It was a futile hope though. When I walked into the cafeteria, I only saw four Cullens at the table which seemed to be officially theirs even after two days. My last shard of hope was lost when Biology started, and he wasn’t there. If he had been at school at all, maybe I would have talked to him, but probably not.

                  Every day that week, I arrived at school hoping to see Edward, and every day, I was disappointed. It was a rather depressing week, all in all. It was raining everyday which is normal for Forks, but I also had a ton of homework. Both of these, combined with the fact that Edward was not at school, made my week bad. Friday, I decided to call Jacob and see if his week was any better than mine.  When I got home from school, I dropped my backpack by the door and went to the phone to call Jake. I picked up the phone and dialed his number.

                  “Hello,” Billy said as he answered the phone.

                  “Hey Billy. It’s Bella. Can I talk to Jake?”

                  “Oh, hey Bella. I’ll go get him,” Billy said and I heard the phone being set down.

                  “Hello,” Jake’s voice came through the receiver.

                  “Hey Jake. It’s Bella,” I said.

                  “Oh, hey Bella. What’s up?” Jake asked.

                  “Oh, nothing much. I just had a frustrating week and wanted to see if your first week back was any better.”

                  “Well, school is school. It’s never any fun,” he said wisely.

                  “Oh yes, the all-knowing Jacob speaks the truth,” I said sarcastically. “Seriously, did anything interesting happen?”

                  “Well, Embry and I have been working on his dirt bikes. Anything interesting happen to you?”

                  “Um, there are some new kids, the Cullens. Have you heard about the new doctor and his family that moved to town,” I said discretely telling him the reason for my frustration.

                  “Oh, yeah I heard of them. So, do you want to come over and hang out this weekend?” he asked changing the subject rather abruptly.

                  “Sorry Jake. I can’t. I have a ton of homework, and I have to make dinner tonight,” I told him.

                  “That much homework on the first week? And speaking of your cooking, can I please come over and have some?” Jake begged.

                  “Oh fine. Bring Billy too. I’ll call Charlie and tell him,” I conceded knowing how much Jacob liked my cooking.

                  “Kay Bells. See you at seven,” Jake said, and I could tell he was smiling.

                  “You’re welcome. See you later Jake. Bye!”

                  “Bye Bella,” he said, and then he hung up. I called Charlie and told him that Billy and Jake were coming over for dinner. He said that was fine. Then I got to work on dinner. I decided to make chicken enchiladas. They take a while and a lot of work, but they’re worth it. This job let my mind wonder though. I began to think about the conversation I just had with Jacob. I wonder why he changed the subject so quickly when I brought up the Cullens. I’ll have to ask him about it at dinner. This train of thought led me to start thinking about Edward again. I still can’t figure out why he wasn’t here this week. I don’t know why he was so angry either. I couldn’t just ask his siblings because one, they were very solidary, and two, I was too shy to talk to them, plus it might blow my cover.

                  When I got the enchiladas in the oven, I got my backpack off the floor and set out my homework on the kitchen table.  I decided to start with Trigonometry, my least favorite subject. After working through fifteen problems on sins, cosines, and tangents, I got out Macbeth and re-read the scenes from today, along with the scenes for Monday. By the time I finished, it was six o’clock. Charlie would be home soon.  I put away my homework and then set the table. After that, I made a salad. I was working on it when Charlie got home.

                  “Bella, is that you?”

                  “Yes Dad,” I told him. Who else would it be? “Billy and Jake should be here soon.”

                  “Alright,” he said as he hung up his gun belt. Charlie’s a cop. Then he went into the living room and turned on a baseball game. I finished up the salad and put ice in four glasses. Then I heard a knock on the door. I pulled the enchiladas out of the oven and went to answer the door.

                  “Hey Bella! I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever!” Jake said as he walked in pushing Billy’s wheelchair.

                  “Jake, you saw me Sunday. It hasn’t even been a week,” I scolded him. “Hi Billy. Charlie’s in the living room.”

                  “Hey Bella,” he said as he rolled in the living room to watch the game with Charlie.

                  “Hey Billy! Hey Jake!” Charlie greeted them. I filled the glasses with water and put the food on the table.

                  “Dinner’s ready!” I announced and the guys flocked to the table.

                  “Bella, this is great!” Jake complemented my cooking as he stuffed a big bite of enchilada in his mouth.

                  “Jacob Black, chew with your mouth closed,” I reprimanded him.

                  “Yes mother,” Jacob said sarcastically.

                  “Being the only female here and the fact that I’m two years older than you gives me the right to mother you,” I told him in a superior tone.

                  “No way, my mad skills make me older than you and I’m much more mature,” Jacob argued.

                  “Only less mature people argue that they aren’t,” Billy told him.

                  “Hah! See Jake, that proves it,” I said smiling triumphantly.

                  “Oh, fine,” Jake relented. The rest of dinner was rather uneventful. When we finished eating, Billy and Charlie went to the living room and turned the baseball game back on. After we washed the dishes, Jake came up with the idea to play a board game. He searched through the closet where Charlie keeps the board games from when we were kids. He pulled out

Monopoly. We played for an hour and a half while our dads finished watching the game. Jake got really competitive and set up a ton of hotels on all the expensive properties. I still won, but Jake refused to admit it. Before they left, I decided to bring up the Cullens, but Charlie beat me to it.

                  “So Billy, did you hear about the new doctor and his family that moved to town?” Charlie asked conversationally.

                  “Yes,” he answered gruffly.

                  “Whoa, what did he do to you?” Charlie asked after hearing the obvious dislike in Billy’s voice.

                  “It’s nothing you need to worry about. They just have a bad reputation on the reservation,” he explained vaguely.

                  “What kind of bad reputation? Is it all those adopted teenagers?” Billy shook his head. “What are they some monsters from one of your super-secret legends?” Charlie asked trying to alleviate the sudden tension.

                  “Humph. Jake, we need to go now,” was his only reply.

                  “You’re being ridiculous! Have you ever even met Doctor Cullen?” Charlie asked exasperated.

                  “No and I don’t intend to,” Billy said starting to get angry.

                  “Well that’s impossible if you ever have to go to the hospital,” Charlie exclaimed, his temper rising as well.

                  “I don’t plan on it. Now Jacob, let’s go,” Billy said angrily as he rolled out the door. Jake followed him.

                  “Bye Bella, sorry about my dad,” he said as he shut the door behind him.

                  “Superstitious old man,” Charlie muttered as he returned to the living room to watch more baseball. I decided to turn in early, so I headed upstairs, showered, and put on my pajamas. Then I put in a Linkin Park CD, turned the volume all the way up, and put my headphones in, effectively blocking out all my thoughts. I fell asleep during the third time the CD played through.

 

Chapter Text

Other than Billy and Jake coming over and the argument Charlie and Billy got into, the weekend was rather uneventful. I did manage to convince myself that Edward wasn’t coming back to school. As a result, I didn’t aim to arrive at school super early, and I succeeded. I got to school Monday morning with five minutes to spare. I parked at the end of the lot, and I saw the silver Volvo belonging to the Cullens. Even though Edward wasn’t coming back, I decided I should still figure out what was different about them. I went through the morning as usual, barely talking except to answer a question, and observing everything interesting, which at school wasn’t much.

                  When I entered the cafeteria for lunch, my eyes, of their own accord, glanced toward the Cullens’ table where the five of them were sitting. Wait! Five?! I looked again and confirmed that Edward was indeed back. After getting only a soda, because suddenly I was no longer hungry, I sat down at my usual table.

                  “Hey Bella, aren’t you going to eat something?” Mike Newton asked. I have been going to school with Mike since I first came to Forks, and just recently, he had begun to take notice of me, at least when I’m not trying to be invisible. Edward is the only one who ever noticed me when I was trying to be invisible. More people have interacted with me and noticed me ever since Edward really saw me on that first day. Not to the same degree, but still more than they used to. I wonder what’s changed.

                  “No, actually I feel a little sick,” I told him. Yeah sick of nervousness. I’m not so sure I can handle sitting by Edward in Biology if he’s going to be angry again. Maybe I can just go to the nurse and play up my ‘sickness.’

                  “Oh, sorry,” Mike said as he returned to his conversation with Tyler Crowley.

I made a deal with myself. I can look at the Cullens’ table, and if Edward looks angry, I’ll skip Biology, otherwise, I’ll go to class like I should. I glanced at their table and saw them all laughing and smiling.  Okay, I guess I have to go to class. He didn’t look mad at all. Maybe it wasn’t me. I mean, how could it have been? It was probably something else entirely. Yeah, I’ll go to class. For the rest of lunch, I glanced at their table and more specifically Edward every so often. A few times, he was looking at me too. Whenever our eyes met, I would blush and look straight down. As soon as the bell rang, I went straight to class and sat down. Edward wasn’t there yet so I decided to start doodling. I was drawing aimlessly when I heard the stool next to me being pulled back from the table. Edward was here. I continued to doodle while taking covert glances at him. He was still as breathtakingly beautiful as when I first saw him. Then he spoke.

“Hello, I’m Edward Cullen,” he said politely. His voice was mesmerizing.

“Um, hi I’m Bella Swan,” I said turning to look at him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself last week,” he amended.

“Oh, it’s fine. It was your first day after all.”

He muttered something that sounded like, “That’s no excuse.”

“So, um you weren’t here. Where did you go?” I asked only thinking about him and the fact that I wanted to know as much about him as I could, especially anything that would help me solve my mystery. I was definitely not thinking about proper social interaction, since it’s not a common occurrence in my everyday life. “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked I’m sure it’s personal,” I said after realizing my blunder.

“Oh, no it’s fine. It was just family stuff,” he said smiling a beautiful crooked smile. I started to get lost in his topaz eyes, which were brighter today than last week, when they were almost black, and then Mr. Banner announced our lab for that day.

“Class, today we will be identifying the stages of mitosis.” He walked around the room and put a box of slides and a microscope on each table along with a work sheet. “You will work with the person next to you and may not use your books. Begin.”

Edward shoved the microscope over and said, “ladies first.”

This lab was really easy, for me anyways, so it only took a few seconds for me to deem the slide, “metaphase.”

“May I see?” Edward asked slightly doubtingly but still politely.

“Sure,” I told him pushing the microscope back over.

“Metaphase,” Edward announced after looking at it for shorter than I had.

“Just like I said,” I replied. He smiled at that as he got the next slide out of the box after writing metaphase on the appropriate line on the worksheet in his amazing handwriting.

“Prophase,” he determined just as quickly as before.

“Can I look?” I asked as he wrote it down. Maybe he got it wrong. I grinned at the thought. He nodded and pushed the microscope over to me. I looked in. Dang, he was right. “Prophase,” I announced anyway.

“Yes,” Edward said smiling again. We finished the lab in this same sort of fashion. The rest of the class seemed to be having a much harder time. Some were even looking at their books under the table.

                  “So,” I asked wanting to find out more about his family, “where did you guys move from?” I was surprised with myself for asking but glad that he seemed like he was going to respond.

                  “We moved from Alaska because my father got a job offer here,” he explained.

                  “Oh, do you miss your old friends?” I asked trying to confirm my theory about them not having many or any friends at all outside the family.

                  “Not much, we didn’t have many friends there besides our cousins,” he explained. Everything he said gave me more insight on his personality and I filed it away to write down later.

                  “Oh, okay. So what do you think of Forks? You know, besides the rain,” I asked slightly jokingly.

                  “Oh it’s okay, it seems like the people are really nice,” he said smiling again. I couldn’t help but wonder if he meant I was nice, but I decided to file that away for later as well.

                  “That’s good,” I replied as Mr. Banner came by to see why we weren’t working. We then informed him that we were already finished.

                  “Alright,” he said and glanced at the worksheet. Then, he walked away mumbling.

                  “So Bella, tell me about you,” Edward said.

                  “Well, I’ve lived with my dad since I was ten, I’m an only child, my mom and step-dad live in Arizona, my best friend is Jacob from La Push, and I like to read.” Wow, I really don’t think I’d talked this much to anyone ever, besides Jake.

                  “That’s nice,” Edward said quickly as he stiffened up and turned away effectively ending the conversation. What’s up with him? Did I say something? Why is he so angry? Is he bi-polar? I decided against writing all this in my notebook at the time because if he saw, he might have thought I was a stalker or something. The bell rang a few minutes later, and Edward left as quickly as he had last time. There has to be something going on. After gym, I walked out to my truck. Before leaving the school, I recorded my new observations in my notebook.

                  Edward Cullen-

Frequently angry, maybe bi-polar, seemed nice at first but then stopped talking, doesn’t miss Alaska, thinks the people in Forks (and possibly me specifically, but my knowledge of flirting is small and uninformed) are nice, intelligent, still as handsome as ever, eyes looked brighter today, less black-ish and more topaz-y, polite, was gone for “family stuff”, has nice handwriting

Cullens-

Moved from Alaska, have cousins there

 

Chapter Text

                  A rainstorm, great. What a perfect way to start a Tuesday. Not. After getting ready for school, I headed downstairs and ate some cereal. Then I pulled on my raincoat, grabbed my backpack, and made a mad dash through the rain for my truck. By the time I jumped in, my hair was already damp. I tuned on the heater and switched the radio to a contemporary station. I drove slowly, for my truck -which was a snail’s pace compared to other cars- and carefully because of the torrential rainfall.

                  When I finally got to school and parked, I decided my best option would be to run to the school doors to avoid getting soaked. I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw Edward climbing out of his car at the far end of the parking lot, holding a huge umbrella for his siblings. That’s sweet of him. I decided to add that to my list. I would take a picture, but I left my camera at home because of the rain. After stuffing my notebook back in my bag, I pulled the keys out of my truck, jumped out the door, and began to run towards the entrance.

                  After getting a few yards, I heard tires squealing and spun around. Tyler Crowley’s van was hydroplaning out of control, and in his attempt to regain control, he was heading straight for me and coming closer by the second. My brain went into observation overdrive. Lots of students were staring at the van spinning towards me and not really me. The rain started coming down even harder. Edward and the other Cullens were staring at me, standing under their giant umbrella next to their car. My eyes flashed back to the van that was about to collide with me. Then I felt something cold -well everything was cold because of the rain, but the cold seemed important- pull me aside. I spun around and saw that it was Edward with his arms around me. Wait! He was over by his car. What’s going on?

                  “Bella, let’s go inside,” he said leading me towards the door.

                  “But you were by your car,” I said trying to make sense of my thoughts. No one else seemed to notice that Tyler almost hit me or that Edward somehow rescued me out of nowhere.

                  “Bella, Bella,” Edward said waving his hand in front of my face. He sounded worried. “Are you okay?”

                  “Oh don’t worry. I’m fine, just thinking is all,” I explained.

                  “Alright, if you’re sure. Alice will help you dry off,” he said as he indicated his sister who had walked up while we were talking.

                  “Hi Bella, I’m Alice. I have some dry clothes you can use,” she said as she led me to the girl’s bathroom.

                  “Um, thanks,” I muttered, still thinking about what I just saw. He seemed to vanish and appear behind me just in time to pull me out of the way.

                  “Bella,” Alice said waving her hand in front of my face.

                  “Oh, sorry. I was just thinking,” I apologized as I took the paper towels she was trying to hand me and began to towel dry my sopping wet hair.

                  “You might want to watch where you’re going next time you decide to take a run in the rain,” she said smiling.

                  “Yeah, I’ll remember that. Um, so how did Edward get to me so fast? You all were by your car,” I asked hoping desperately to get some sort of sensible answer.

                  “No Bella, we were walking right by you as it happened,” she insisted. “Now here, put these on,” Alice said as she handed me some dark skinny jeans, a black tank top, and a teal flowy off the shoulder top.

                  “Um thanks?” I said and it came out like a question. I slipped into a stall and pulled off my dripping clothes. My hair was slightly dryer now. When I began to pull the clothes on, I noticed that they were my size. I know that I definitely don’t wear the same size as Alice or Rosalie. So, how did she just happen to have these clothes in my size? My boots were squeaky and sloshy, so I decided to pull them off too. I guess I’ll just go bare foot.

                  “Oh Bella, you look great in that,” she said as I stepped out of the stall. “Here put these on,” she said handing me a pair of black flats, also in my size. This is strange.

                  “Thanks,” I said as I slipped them on. “Um, Alice,” I started to ask how she had the clothes in my size, but I hesitated.

                  “Yes Bella,” she said smiling.

                  “Never mind, it’s nothing,” I assured her as I changed my mind. She probably wouldn’t give me a real answer anyways. Just like with Edward saving me. It’s almost like they’re hiding something. I know they are. And I’m going to find out.

                  “Alright, now sit under the automatic hand dryer so we can get you hair a little less wet, and they I’ll fix it,” she said excitedly.

                  “Okay,” I complied. She really seems to like dressing others up. It’s like I’m a life size doll she’s playing with. After I sat there for a minute, she began brushing out my hair with the dryer’s heat still blasting down on my head.

                  “Aren’t we late for class?” I asked when I realized what time it was.

                  “Don’t worry, Edward went to the office and said we’d be late because you fell in a puddle, and I’m helping you clean up,” she explained. “He figured that since you weren’t hurt and since no one really noticed your part in the almost accident, you wouldn’t want people to make a big deal about it,” she told me, explaining the puddle part before I could even ask. It was almost like she could read my mind.

                  Don’t even think such ridiculous things Bella, I chided myself. But what about the clothes? I mean really, how did she just happen to have my size? Oh, I’ll just consider the possibilities later when I can use my notes.

                  “All done!” she exclaimed as she finished with my hair. I looked in the mirror to see what she had done with it. She had French braided it. It was still slightly damp, but not the dripping mess it was before, and it actually looked neat and shiny instead of matted and frizzy like I had assumed it would.

                  “Thanks Alice! You’re awesome,” I said smiling.

                  “You’re welcome Bella,” she said happy that I was pleased. “Can I put some makeup on you?”

                  “No!” I exclaimed quickly. She looked sad so I amended, “I just don’t like makeup is all. I bet you’d do a great job.”

                  “Awe, please Bella,” she begged. Oh man, that pout was hard to resist.

                  “Oh fine. Just not too much,” I gave in.

                  “Yay! Thank you!” she exclaimed jumping up and down a little. She actually listened and didn’t go overboard. All she put on was some light blue eye shadow, a little black eyeliner, and some pink lip gloss that tasted like raspberries.

                  “Alice, it looks great,” I told her, “but we need to go to class. In fact, I think first period is almost over.”

                  “Okay, I’ll see you later Bella,” she said smiling as she started to exit the bathroom.

                  “Thanks again for the clothes Alice. I’ll bring them back tomorrow,” I offered.

                  “No Bella, just keep them,” she insisted and waved as she walked off. I headed to English and sat down, eager to record all that just happened.

                  “I see you decided to join us Miss Swan,” my teacher said. “You don’t appear to have recently slipped and fallen in a puddle.”

                  “That’s Alice’s doing. I was late because she was helping my clean up and gave me some new clothes,” I explained. I almost said it very snarkily, but I refrained.

                  “Alright, get the notes from Angela after class,” he said and resumed his lecture.

                  I pulled my notebook out of my bag, and miraculously, it was dry despite all the rain. I then flipped it open to a new page, wrote the date at the top, and began to record my thoughts on the strange situation.

                  Rainstorm-

  •        Edward- far end of the lot, holding umbrella; somehow within about five seconds, he managed to make it across the lot, and pull me out of the way; cold arms (just the rain- maybe); denies being at far end of lot; takes care of siblings- umbrella; saw me- Again; perceptive- puddle thing
  •        Alice- had clothes in my size; chatty; somehow knew that she would be helping me dry off  when Edward never even asked her too (I mean there was never time); friendly; knew what I was about to ask before I asked it and answered as of yet unasked questions; stylish; also denying them being at far end of lot
  •        Possibilities : Edward can teleport or is the Flash, Alice can read minds or see the future, Edward is ice man too, oh and Edward and Alice have twin telepathy even though they aren’t twins or even biological siblings

After writing this, I laughed to myself. Wow, I must be desperate for ideas. There has to be a logical explanation. I added a footnote.

The possibilities listed are stupid and/or insane and are to be discounted.

When I finished writing it, the bell rang.

“Um Angela, can I borrow your notes to copy,” I murmured.

“Sure Bella,” she said smiling. “Are you alright? Mr. Connor said you fell,” she asked concerned.

“Um, yeah. I’m fine. Thanks. I’ll see you later,” I said quickly and walked off. I was headed to my locker, but then I heard Alice’s voice in a heated whisper argument around the corner. Maybe this will explain something. I couldn’t help but listen.

“Rose, its fine! I don’t see what your issue is! I’ve seen that it will be fine!” Alice whisper yelled.

“Well, what if she changes her mind? Not that I blame you, it’s his fault,” Rosalie countered, quiet but harsh. Who or what are they talking about? Then I realized that Edward was there too.

“Well what was I supposed to do?” his velvet voice said, exasperated.

“I don’t know! You just shouldn’t have interfered and risked exposure!” Rosalie said slightly louder.

“Guys, talk about this later, we have to go to class,” Alice informed them, and I realized that they were coming towards me. I walked calmly to my locker, not dashing away because that would look suspicious.  After getting my books, I headed to Spanish. Then I started to think about what I had just heard.

Edward did something that made Rosalie mad and Alice helped in some way, but Rosalie doesn’t blame Alice. Edward felt that what he did was the only option. Apparently he risked exposing them of something.

And there was something about a girl because Rosalie said “she.” And Alice said something really strange. Normally, people say, ‘I know that it will be fine,’ but Alice said, “I’ve seen that it will be fine.” How has she seen that it will be fine? I pulled out my notebook and wrote down all the thoughts I just had. What did Edward do? It couldn’t have been anything bad, could it? Ugh, all this unsureness is frustrating me! I will find out their secret, if it kills me.

 

Chapter Text

After school that day, I cornered Edward.

                  “Can we talk?” I asked.

                  “I suppose,” he said. “Alice, go tell everyone I’ll meet you all at the car.”

                  “Okay Edward. Bye Bella,” Alice said as she skipped off. I waved bye.

                  “Alright Bella, now what did you want to talk about?” Edward asked me. Whoa, he really is beautiful. My name on his lips gave me warm fuzzy feelings inside. I was too worried about what was going on this morning to really appreciate his arms around me or his intense gaze. But now, I was getting lost in his eyes. “Bella,” he said as if questioning if I was mentally competent. Ugh, focus! I’m really far too obsessed with him.

                  “Oh yeah. Um, how did you get to me so fast this morning to pull me out of the way?”

                  “What do you mean Bella? I was right by you. I just walked up and happened to see the van about to hit you,” he insisted.

                  “But no one just happens to notice me,” I mumbled quietly, but the look on his face made me think he heard.

                  “What?” he asked sounding concerned, but I was probably just imagining that.

                  “Oh, nothing. So you’re sure you weren’t by your car holding an umbrella when the van started hydroplaning?” I questioned him, trying to get a real answer.

                  He mumbled something that sounded like, “well, aren’t you observant,” but I couldn’t be sure. “No, Bella, I was walking by you. Please listen,” he adamantly insisted.

                  “If you won’t tell me then fine, but don’t lie Edward,” I reprimanded him.

                  “Bella, please just believe me,” he pleaded.

                  “Oh fine,” I sighed. “And just so you know, I’m not going to tell anyone,” I informed him. Since he notices me, he must have realized that I don’t talk much but maybe he didn’t. He seemed slightly relieved. Well, at least he believes me.

                  “Listen Bella,” he said. Yes, he is finally going to give me some information. “We shouldn’t be friends. I really don’t think I’m a good friend for you.” What? So maybe he realized that I was getting too attached and digging for information. Great, I thought sarcastically.

                  “What do you mean, not a good friend for me?” I questioned. I might as well take advantage of what might be my last chance to talk to him.

                  “Bella, I’m not good,” he said. Okay, so he is self-depreciating. I don’t see why. He’s a good person. He’s nice, caring, and loves his family. He may have a small anger issue and did something to anger Rosalie, but the good qualities out way the negatives.

                  “Edward, you are a good person. You obviously don’t see you self clearly,” I tried to encourage him. He smirked a little at that. What is going on?

                  “Bella, really I’m not. Just go please,” he almost begged, but I could tell he was frustrated.

                  “Fine, I’ll go, but you have to explain everything later. Okay?” I questioned. During the conversation, his façade dropped slightly, and he stopped overtly denying his miraculous rescue when I kept insisting it happened. That and the observant comment that he may or may not have made.

                  “Maybe,” he said with a tone that told me he was trying to make me leave, but I felt like antagonizing him a little since he wasn’t being helpful. I’m not sure where all the confidence came from, but maybe it was just that I felt like I could tell Edward anything for some unknown reason.

                  “I’ll take that as a yes,” I said in a slightly sing-song voice.

                  “Bella, just go,” he said getting frustrated. “My family is waiting for me.”

                  “Fine,” I huffed and walked off. Well, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. At least he never said no, I realized as I climbed into my truck and drove home.

***

                  Last night, I realized that it was probably at least partially my fault that Edward was so grumpy. I decided that I would be polite and decent today. After all, someone who already doesn’t see how great he is doesn’t need me antagonizing him further. When I got to school, I headed off to my first class. The day passed without me seeing any of the Cullens until lunch where I continued to observe them. Alice was chatting away as always, and Edward still seemed quiet and secluded. Hmm. After lunch, I went straight to Biology where Edward was already sitting at our table.

                  “Hi Edward,” I said smiling trying to show him that I had let go of what happened yesterday and was going to drop it like he asked.

                  “Hi,” was the only response I got, and then he turned away again. Well, if he doesn’t want to talk to me, then I’ll just go back to how I was before, invisible.

                  A week later and Edward was still ignoring me. This was also how long Mike had been flirting with me. Yay, of course I like you Mike. Not. What about “no thanks” when he asked me out made him think I want to spend every free minute talking to him?

                  “Hey Bella, do you want to go out Friday?” he asked Wednesday in gym.

                  “Mike, I have plans,” I said. Well I will. I’ll call Jake and make plans.

                  “Okay, maybe another day,” he said still smiling. Ugh. Will he never get a clue? We were playing badminton which was I wasn’t particularly good at. I wasn’t particularly good at any sport for that matter. So, I stood back and avoided getting in anyone’s way. When I got home, I called Jake first thing. After the phone rang four times, he answered.

                  “Jacob Black, mechanic extraordinaire, how may I help you?” he said.

                  “Wow Jake, is that your new catch phrase? Someone’s a little conceited,” I said jokingly.

                  “Bella! Hey! So you liked it? No, seriously, Embry dared me to ask the next person who called to marry me, but Quil reminded him that, technically, I’m too young to marry, and I had already refused because it was stupid anyways. So, he came up with the mechanic extraordinaire thing. I kind of like it though. So, what’s up?”

                  “That sounds like something Embry would do, but if you ever answer the phone that way again, I may have to come over and pop that big head of yours. Anyway, I wanted to know if you want to go to First Beach Friday afternoon.”

                  He laughed. “Sure Bella. Any reason why? Sounds like something’s up.”

                  “Does there have to be a reason for me to want to hang out with my best friend?”

                  “No, it just sounded like something was wrong.”

                  “Yeah, there’s this guy that won’t leave me along, and some other stuff. I’ll tell you more Friday.”

                  “Kay, so I guess I shouldn’t bring Quil and Embry since you need to vent.”

                  “Thanks Jake, you’re the best! See you Friday at four at your place?”

                  “Yeah, sounds good. See you Bella,” he said and hung up. Well now I have plans Friday. All I have left is to figure out why Edward is ignoring me. I know he think we should be friends but still.

***

                  Friday, Edward was still acting like I didn’t exist. Alice said hi when she passed me in the halls, but that was the only interaction I had with any of the Cullens since Edward started ignoring me. In fact, it was the last anyone had with them. People started to call them the reclusive Cullens. I still can’t figure out what’s up. After school, I went home and took my backpack to my room. I had a few minutes before I had to leave to go to Jake’s, so I decided to read over my Cullen notes. After skimming through, I grabbed my camera and keys and headed out to my truck. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining.

                  When I got to Jake’s, he came running outside because he heard the truck. He hugged me the second I climbed out.

                  “Bella!” he exclaimed. “How are you? I haven’t seen you in like a week!” he said mock-horrified.

                  “Hey Jake. I’m good. Ready to head to the beach?”

                  “Yeah, let me go grab the snacks,” he said heading inside. “Billy’s at Harry’s,” he commented randomly as I followed him.

                  “Jacob Black, if you keep eating so much you’ll get fat,” I declared when I saw how many sandwiches he packed.

                  “Awe, Bella, would you still be my friend if I was fat?” he asked seriously while trying not to crack a grin.

                  “Maybe. Now let’s go,” I insisted. Jake and I headed outside. We rode our motorcycles that we fixed up last summer. Well Jake did most of the fixing. I mainly watched and kept him company. After parking them, we walked down to the shore.

                  “So Bella, what’s up?”

                  “Well, there’s this one guy at school, Mike, who keeps asking me out. He won’t take no for an answer. It’s so frustrating. And then, this other guy started ignoring me for no good reason. I thought we were friends, well acquaintances at least. I can’t figure out what is problem is!” I vented. Jake is always a good listener.

                  “Nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep you up at night,” he commented. “So, want me to beat some sense into this Mike guy’s head?”

                  “No, I think he might just be dangerously ignorant. It’s been so quiet at my house without you and Billy coming over.”

                  “Yup, they’re both still mad because of their stupid argument. I mean come on; does my dad seriously think that the Cullens are one of the mythical creatures from our legends?”

                  “I know right! He can’t seriously believe in that vampire and werewolf nonsense,” I laughed. Jake had told me his super-secret tribe legends when we went camping in the woods by my house one time when we were twelve. That was also the day we decided that we were best friends.

                  “Yeah, he’s losing it. So, you hungry?” he asked, offering me a sandwich.

                  “Sure Jake thanks,” I said as we sat down by a driftwood tree. Jake told me all about his week while I snapped a few pictures and just enjoyed myself. Hanging out with Jacob always relaxes me.

 

                 

Chapter Text

When I got home from Jake's, it was late.

"Bells, I got pizza. It's in the kitchen," Charlie said as I came into the living room.

"Thanks dad. I'm going to turn in for the night," I told him and headed to the kitchen.

He knew that I was going to Jake's because I told him yesterday. Even if I hadn't told him, he wouldn't care. Whenever I'm not home, I'm at Jake's. It's a given. I grabbed two slices of pizza. He got half pepperoni and half how I like it: thin crust, extra cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and black olives. Yum! And no, I'm not a vegetarian. I eat meat just like the next girl. I took my pizza to my room, plugged my camera into my computer to upload the pictures I took today, grabbed my notebook, sat on my bed, and opened it back up.

Over the week, I had realized that the Cullens, specifically Alice and Edward, made really good grades. The reason my observation is mainly specific to Alice and Edward is because I was able to observe them the most since they are in some of my classes- I had found out that Alice was in my Spanish class. When the two of them talked, the conversation seemed disjointed, like I was missing half of it. I had overheard a conversation of theirs in the hallway yesterday. Even when they walked away to their separate classes, I still had no idea what they had been talking about. Alice walked- well more like danced- up to Edward and stated at him, smiling excitedly for a few moments. Then Edward said, "Alright, I'll go tell Emmett and see if he wants to risk a bet on the outcome," as he grinned his gorgeous crooked smile- which is beside the point, but I felt it worth remembering. Then they both laughed and walked away. Seriously, they have twin telepathy or something. But they aren't related; none of the Cullens are except for Rosalie and Jasper. But, they all have the same pale skin, topaz eyes that change color, and unreal beauty.

I also realized, now that I replayed the conversation in my head, that Edward was the only one who ever spoke. I know that nothing was said beforehand because I saw Alice walk up to him. It's almost like he could hear what she was thinking, but she couldn't hear his thoughts, otherwise he wouldn't have spoken. Can he read minds? Is that why he didn't want to be friends, because he knew I was seeing too much? But why not confront me? He could just claim to have seen my notebook or something. Ugh, this is stupid, and it's just not logical! And what about Alice? First the clothes, then she saw that it would be okay, and now it almost seemed like she already knew the outcome of whatever it was. Maybe she did, and that's why they laughed when Edward said he was going to bet Emmett. She must have known that Edward would win the bet somehow, and he read it from her mind. Whoa, hold up Bella. You are being absolutely ridiculous. I flipped back to my bogus theories list that I compiled earlier.

Hmm, now that I look at the evidence, maybe they aren't quite so bogus, well, not all of them. Maybe Edward reads minds and Alice… what about Alice? That's it! She sees the future! That would totally explain it! This is rather ridiculous, and it's stupid of me to even consider it, but what other explanation do I have? There isn't a logical one, so why not explore the illogical? I glanced at the clock and noticed that it was eleven. Well, Jake was right, there is nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep you up at night.

I continued to read my notes. Wait, what's that about Ice Man? Wow, I am so desperate that I guessed super heroes. It's stupid, but he was super cold. Come to think of it, Alice may have been too. She only touched me when my hair was under the hand dryer, which would make cold hands feel normal. I decided to make another list.

Similarities-

  •        Mind powers- Ed. and A.
  •        Super cold- Ed. and A.
  •        Pale skin- all
  •        Eyes change color: topaz to black- all
  •        Unreal beauty- all

Powers-

  •        Psychic- A.
  •        Mind reader- Ed.
  •        Super speed- Ed. (possibly others)
  •        Really muscular/ strong looking- all

Even the girls look rather strong, not muscular, but they do look strong. And the eyes changing colors from topaz to black, I wonder why. Okay, so when I first saw Edward, his eyes were a really dark topaz. That was the day he acted so surly to me for no good reason. When he came back, however, his eyes were a beautiful light topaz color. That was the day he actually spoke to me. He was kind and considerate, until the end of class where he took off abruptly like before. Maybe his eyes change with his emotions. Well, when Charlie or Jake act surly and mad, it normally means they're hungry, but Edward doesn't seem to eat. So why would he be so angry one day and nice, for the most part, another day. Maybe he is bipolar. Oh, who knows?

I glanced at the clock again to see that it was almost midnight. It really is getting late. Thinking about Jake's earlier sentiment, lead me to think about Billy and his crazy superstitions. I can't believe he would actually believe in the legendary cold ones. I chuckled. Wait a second, cold skin… cold ones. Whoa! Most of these qualities do fit the Quileute's cold ones. Pale, cold skin… check. Beautiful… check. Strong… check. Speed… check. Extra powers… check. Red eyes… no, but didn't Jake say something about some golden eyed "good vampires" in his story? The whole thing was rather absurd, but what else do I have to go by? I glanced at my computer screen while thinking and saw that my pictures were done uploading. The picture of the Cullen's at lunch that first day was pulled up. I studied it for a moment. The surreal beauty and grace captured even in a photo, the extremely pale skin that was as hard and cold as stone. Oh… my… gosh…! The Cullens are vampires, or well cold ones according to the Quileutes, but still!

Maybe Edward did get angry when he was hungry. That would mean that he was hungry that first day when his eyes were dark. And vampires don't eat food, they... drink blood. Yikes. He could have drunk my blood right then. I can't believe I was so close to a hungry vampire! Calm down Bella. I took a few deep breaths. They haven't hurt me, or anyone for that matter... yet. Oh, I'm just being pessimistic. They're so nice, well except maybe Rosalie, but I know that they won't hurt me. I'm safe. So this is why Edward said he was bad. It all makes sense. Who knew? It turns out Billy's right. Well, I can't tell anyone, obviously. They'd think I was insane. Plus, I respect their secret, and I told Edward I wouldn't tell. I can't believe it! I figured out the secret that has been bugging me to no end! I knew my observation skills would work. Well, I'll still need to continue observations to confirm my results. I already know that burning in the sunlight is bogus from Jacob. I also highly doubt that a wooden stake or garlic would affect them at all. So, I'll give it a week. By then I should know for sure. Then, I can confront Edward. I hope he isn't mad I figured it out. I closed my notebook, put my camera away, got ready for bed, and fell asleep, still thinking about a certain vampire-Edward.

The rest of the weekend was pretty boring compared to my revelation Friday night. The whole time, I was wishing it would go faster so I could confirm my theory and see Edward. Monday, I began to watch for certain traits instead of observing everything about the Cullens. Nothing countered my suspicion. Well, by then I was almost certain it was a fact. Tuesday, I overheard Jessica complaining that not only were the girls gorgeous, but they were athletic too, even Rosalie. It surprised most people that miss beauty queen was athletic, but to me it only meant one thing. They all are super strong and graceful. Wednesday, Edward didn't seem to be paying attention in Biology, but he still got the question Mr. Banner asked him correct. This added to my mind reading theory. So Edward could read minds, just maybe not mine. Either that or he doesn't care to. If he had read my mind, he would realize that I know what they are. I already had proof for the super speed. After this week, I am going to confront Edward about it. That is, if I can concentrate while looking into his mesmerizing eyes.

The rest of the week only gave me more observations to confirm that the Cullens were indeed cold ones. Everything I saw would go unnoticed by most people, but then again, most things I see are inconsequential in most people's minds. Thursday, Angela invited me to come shopping in Port Angeles Friday wither her and Jessica. When Lauren wasn't around, Jessica was actually decent to hang around. She just talks a lot. I would like to hang out with Angela, she's nice, and Jake already had plans with Quil and Embry. So, I accepted.

Friday morning, when I woke up, I looked out my window and saw a cloudless sky. Maybe it will actually be sunny today! I smiled at the prospect of sun and the fact that I would see Edward soon while I got ready for school. Once I finally pulled into the parking lot, the sun was shining. It was warm outside, and some people were wearing shorts. It was the first sunny day all school year. Strangely enough, when I drove through the parking lot, looking for a spot, I didn't see the Cullens' silver Volvo anywhere. I was oddly disappointed, more than I should be when some guy who has been ignoring me isn't at school. It's like something inside me was missing. Not only was I losing a day of observations, but I was also losing a day of being near Edward and sitting next to him in Biology. Even though he has been ignoring me, and I have gone back to being invisible to everyone most of the time, I still observe Edward the closest. It hurts to have him ignore me, but come Monday I'm going to talk to him again. I can't wait much longer. I really like him, more than is healthy. He doesn't even like me back, obviously. I mean, he is a vampire, and I am just a plain human. Hopefully, we can at least be friends.

But why isn't he here? It's not like they burn in the sunlight. Not even direct sunlight, according to Jake's legends. Maybe they are doing a family thing. Or maybe, Jake's legends are wrong. They haven't been wrong about anything else though, so I'm leaning towards the family thing. It surprised me how boring school was without the Cullens to observe. I was grasping at straws for what to do with my time. The only thing remotely exciting about today is going to Port Angeles tonight with Angela and Jessica. Maybe I just need a girls' night out.

                 

Chapter Text

After school I went home and dropped off my book bag. I left a note for Charlie, reminding him that I was going out. Then, I grabbed my purse and put my camera and wallet in it and then went outside to wait for Angela and Jessica. Jessica had the best car, nowhere as nice as the Cullen’s car, but it was still nice, so she was driving us. They were coming by my house after Jess picked Angela up from her place. I waited outside for about two minutes until they got there taking pictures of clouds, trees, and such. When they pulled up, I hopped in the back seat because Angela had already claimed shotgun, and we headed off to Port Angeles. We listened to the radio and just talked about random things on the one hour drive.

                  First, we went to a dress store. Yay, I so need another fancy dress. Yeah… not. I don’t even wear fancy dresses, but I need something to take up my time. Both girls wanted new dresses for the homecoming dance. I wasn’t planning to go, but Angela was going with her boyfriend Ben, and Jessica was really hoping Mike would ask her. I just hope he doesn’t ask me. So, I helped them both pick dresses. Jessica got one with a pink top with spaghetti straps, a silver sash under the bust with sequins on it, and a black tight fitting clinch skirt that came a few inches above her knees. Angela ended up picking a pale green dress that was sleeveless and a skirt that flared out to her knees. There was a black sash around the waist. It was simple but pretty, just like her. They both looked great. When they finished, it was about five o’clock. Jessica wanted to go to an accessories store next, but I really just wanted to go to the book store.

                  “Okay, ready to go?” Jessica asked after she and Angela paid.

                  “Um, guys, you go ahead to wherever. I just want to go to the book store, and maybe take some pictures. I’ll meet you at the restaurant at six thirty.”

                  “Are you sure you don’t want us to come with you?” Angela offered.

                  “No it’s fine.” I told them. I could see that Jessica really wanted to keep shopping anyway.

                  “Okay Bella, we’ll see you at La Bella Italia at six thirty.” Jessica said as they walked off.

I headed straight to the bookstore, stopping along the way when I noticed cool shadows or just really photogenic places and things. I got an amazing shot of the corner of a building. Because the sun was starting to set- miraculously, it had stayed out all day- one side of the building was dark and the other was brightly lit. It was a great shot. Then I got one of the clouds that the sun was shining through with the city as a foreground.

When I got to the bookstore, I looked around for a while. It was my favorite place to shop for books because they had a little café with coffee and muffins in the corner. I got my usual, a chocolate chip muffin and mocha, before starting my search for a new book. I’m more of a classics fan, so I started in that section. I ended up with East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It seemed rather interesting, and I had read most of the other books they had in stock. Another reason I loved this book store was that even though they had frequent business, it was small and out of the way enough that it was never crowded. After paying for my book, I realized that it was six fifteen. I really needed to get to the restaurant since it was on the other side of town. It was getting dark when I walked out of the shop, and I saw a silver Volvo drive by. It was too fast to catch the license number, but it looked exactly like the Cullens’ car. I wonder if they are here for some reason. So, I decided to follow the Volvo down the side street it turned down. Well, at least the one I thought it turned down. I was too preoccupied with the fact that Edward might be there to observe closely enough which street it turned down.

The street I turned down ended up being a deserted alley. I had walked halfway down before I realized it was a dead end. When I turned around, I saw a few drunken looking guys stumble towards me. I had to choose now: fight or flight.

“Hey sweetie,” one guy slurred as I started to take a few slow steps towards the closest wall. “Where are you going?” he asked. Well, great, there goes my plan to sneak past them. I tensed up. Okay, so I’ll fight. Not that I can do must, just basic self-defense.

“Stay back!” I shouted, well I tried to shout. It came out as more of a stuttered plea.

“Now, now honey. We just want to be friends,” the guys said as they came closer.

I wanted to run, or scream, but my body was frozen. Then I saw a silver Volvo whip around the corner. It skidded to a stop, and out came my personal savior, Edward. The second I saw him, my body unfroze. I felt safe and relaxed which was a stupid reaction to have around a vampire. But hey, I can’t control my involuntary reactions.

“Bella, get in the car, now!” Edward shouted at me. I complied before I made any conscious choice to do so. I couldn’t help but wonder what Edward was going to do to the men. He looked furious as he stepped closer. They all ran off. He looked like he wanted to follow them, but a flash of indecision was apparent in his eyes. Instead of chasing them, he got back in the car and drove off.

“Bella, are you okay?” he asked. Oh yeah, I needed to stop staring.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Nothing happened,” I assured him.

Edward mumbled something that sounded like “not to the consent of those dirt bags.” Then he turned to look at me, “Bella, you have to tell me, what were you thinking, just standing there?” The imploring look in his eyes made me know he definitely could not read my thoughts.

“I kind of froze from shock. I was going to run, or fight, or scream, but I just couldn’t,” I explained. “By the way, how did you find me?”

“I saw you go down that alley, and when I heard what those men were going to do I came after you,” he rushed to explain.

“You heard?” I asked. “Oh, never mind,” I said as Edward parked the car on some random side street. I looked over and realized that he was still angry about what almost happened. “Are you alright?” I asked.

“Bella, distract me, please,” he implored.

“What?” I questioned.

“Just, talk about something trivial until I calm down.”

“Okay, um I took some really cool pictures today. One was of the clouds with the sun coming through the edges and a silhouetted city scape at the bottom,” I started as I told him about my pictures. “I also got a new book,” I added not bothering to tell him which one since most people wouldn’t care.

“Which book?” he asked pinching the bridge of his nose. It looked like he was starting to calm down.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck,” I told him. “You have probably never even heard of it, but I’m a classics fan,” I explained.

“I’ve read that,” he said as he looked at me, grinning slightly.

“Really? Did you like it?”

“Yes, it was very interesting,” he responded.

“Wow, someone else who likes classics,” I said as I smiled. “So,” I started, “I have a theory about how you saved me from the van,” I said slowly as I glanced at the clock. “Oh, and I was supposed to meet Jessica and Angela half an hour ago!” I exclaimed. I had totally lost track of time. That was so unlike me.

“My apologies,” Edward said as he started the car back and began to drive to the restaurant. As he parked in front, I realized something. How did he know where to go if he can’t read my mind? I know I never told him. Oh well, I’ll ask him later, if I ever get a chance.

“Thanks,” I said as he opened my door for me. I saw Jessica and Angela standing down the sidewalk, looking around. “Jess! Angela!” I shouted.

“Bella! Oh we were so worried,” Angela said as they ran up.

“Where were you?” Jessica asked. I could tell she was annoyed.

“I ran into Bella at the bookstore and we got to talking. I’m sorry that she missed dinner,” Edward appologised.

“Oh, hi,” Jessica squeaked. “Do you want to like have dinner with us?” She asked.

“But Jess,” Angela said shyly, “we already ate.”

“Oh, um right,” Jess admitted. “Bella we’re sorry, but we were really hungry, so like Angela said, we already ate. Are you ready to go?”

“Um sure,” I said. “Bye Edward.”

“Actually Bella,” he said, “I think you should have dinner. I can drive you home.”

“Alright,” I said smiling. I would get to spend extra time with him, and I would have time to interrogate him about my theory.

“Okay Bella, see you tomorrow,” Angela said as she dragged Jess towards the car.

“Yeah bye Bella, Edward,” Jessica added.

“Bye guys!” I called. “So, do you really want to eat?” I asked Edward. He looked a little confused.

“I would like to make sure you get some dinner,” he told me.

“Okay,” I said smiling and headed towards the entrance. I was going to dinner with Edward Cullen. It was practically a date. Not that he would be interested in me, but at least we could maybe be friends, I thought as he walked up to the hostess.

“A table for two please, something private,” he asked as he slipped her a twenty dollar bill. Wait? Did he really just do that? Okay… She led us to a booth in the back as she gave Edward a flirty smile. Okay, he just asked for a private table. From her perspective, we are obviously on a date, and she is flirting. Ugh, I know he isn’t mine but it still frustrates me that she would to that. He smiled at her and she walked off, dazed looking. He affects everyone like that.

“You don’t have to do that,” I told him.

“Do what?” he asked totally oblivious.

“Just the way you… ugh… your smile… you dazzled her,” I stammered.

“I dazzle people?” he asked.

“Yes,” I muttered.

“What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Do I dazzle you?”

“Um…” I started as the waitress came up and asked what we wanted to drink. I noticed that she was only asking Edward.

I’ll take a Dr. Pepper,” I said, getting her attention.

“Okay, sure. And you?” she asked Edward as she batted her eyelashes.

“I’ll have a Dr. Pepper as well,” he said politely and she walked off.

“So you never answered my question,” Edward reminded me.

“Um, yes,” I whispered.

“Yes, I dazzle you?”

“You do alright!” I exclaimed causing him to give me a huge crooked smile.

“So, you have a theory?” he asked.

“Yes. I’ll tell you after dinner.”

“Alright. So, what’s your favorite color?” he asked randomly.

“Well, that was random. But, green. What’s yours?”

“Brown,” he said as the waitress brought our drinks.

“Have you decided what you want?” she asked smiling at Edward flirtatiously.

“Bella,” Edward said as he indicated to me. Ohh, I wonder what he is going to do about food.

“Um, I’ll have spaghetti,” I said without even glancing at the menu. Any Italian place has to have spaghetti right? Apparently not.

“We’re out” the waitress said cheekily. Okay then. I opened the menu and picked the first thing I saw. Well she isn’t getting a big tip.

“I’ll have the mushroom ravioli.”

“And you sir?” she asked turning back to Edward.

“Nothing for me,” he told her.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Alright then,” she said as she walked away. Edward pushed my Dr. Pepper closer to me.

“Drink,” he ordered.

“Um okay, but why?” I asked and then took a sip.

“You need the sugar in your system. I don’t want you going into shock,” he explained.

“I’m fine really,” I told him honestly and then drank some more Dr. Pepper. He was just looking into my eyes and I was staring back when I looked down and realized I had drunk all my soda. He pushed his towards me. “Thanks,” I said smiling and took a sip.

“You’re welcome,” he said as he smiled back at me.

Chapter Text

"So, I have a hypothetical question," I started. Maybe asking hypothetically would get a real answer out of him.

"Yes," Edward prompted.

"Well, say that one person had a way of knowing what everyone but possibly one person was thinking. Why would that be? And how would it work?" I asked, trying to get all of my questions in one, or three, sentences.

"Well, I think that person- why don't we call him John?" he suggested. Well he sure is taking this seriously.

"Sure, so John can…" I started. He hesitated for a moment but then looked determined.

"I suppose that John could possibly hear everyone's thoughts running through his head, sort of like a crowded hall of people but he could tune in on one voice if he wished. So, in a crowded room, John could hear everyone's thought's," he said pausing for a moment, "except for yours."

"Hypothetical case, remember?" I interjected. I concluded that he definitely couldn't hear my thoughts.

"Oh right, so how about we call this girl Jane," he teased.

"How did you know?" I whispered as I slid my hand closer to his on the table.

"Your mind really is a mystery to me," he said basically confirming my suspicions. Maybe he will tell me without any further prying, I hoped.

"Here's your food," the waitress said, inconveniently popping our tense little bubble.

"Thanks," I said indifferently as she sat my pasta down in front of me.

"Are you sure you don't want anything?" she asked Edward slyly. She was really starting to get on my nerves.

"Yes, I'm sure. Thank you," he said, surprisingly, not taking his eyes off me. She walked away slightly dejected, and we resumed our tense conversation.

"So, you really can read minds?" I asked him, my voice filled with awe.

"Everyone's except for yours," he admitted, staring at his hands as he spoke.

"Why?" This was one thing I actually wasn't sure of, unlike everything else that I was merely confirming. Edward looked back up at me. It seemed like the raw curiosity in my voice got his attention, or maybe something else.

"I don't really know. It's just like your thoughts aren't there. I can't hear them at all. At first I thought they were just indecipherable to me, but I can't hear them at all," he explained. Well that's great. I'm an abnormal freak.

"Is there something wrong with me? I mean, I obviously have thoughts," I told him.

"It really is a mystery," he admitted almost ashamed. Why would he be ashamed that he couldn't hear my thoughts? I took a bite of my pasta and chewed slowly. It was actually pretty good so I ate a few more bites. Edward was still staring at me.

"What are you looking at?" I asked as I reached my hand over the rest of the table and touched his with my fingertips. It was ice cold, but I didn't care. The sensation of our touching hands was like sparks shooting down my fingers and arm. I waited to see if he would pull away, and to my joy, he didn't.

"You," he admitted, grinning sheepishly. "Do you want to go home now?" he asked.

"I want to leave," I amended. I wasn't ready to end my time with him yet. When I was around Edward, I always felt safe, which was completely irrational, but still, I can't control my feelings. I felt sowarm inside. I really liked him, a lot. Although, there was no way he would ever in a million years feel that way about me. That, I knew for a fact.

"We're ready for the check," he told the waitress when she came back. She set the bill on the table and he began to put money down.

"No, I'll pay, you didn't even eat," I offered. There was no way I was letting him pay for my meal, when I was the reason we were at the restaurant in the first place.

"Now what kind of gentleman would I be if I let the pretty girl I took out to dinner pay?" he asked as he closed the bill with the money inside. Edward Cullen just called me pretty! Wow, I sighed internally, he really is perfect. We got up and headed to his car. His hand was so close to mine and I wanted to hold it, but I wanted him to make the first move. When we got in his car, he restarted our conversation. "So, you have a theory?" Edward reminded me. I was surprised he remembered.

"Yes. It's kind of hard to explain," I said carefully. Maybe he will let it go. No, don't chicken out Bella, I reprimanded myself.

"Well, why don't you start at the beginning?" he suggested.

Alright, well here goes nothing. "When I was ten years old, Jacob Black and I became best friends. We told each other everything. One night, he told me all his tribe legends. They are really kooky, but his dad actually believes them," I said with a nervous laugh. I was suddenly anxious; how would Edward take this?

"Anyway, they were supposed to be top secret but since we were best friends, Jake told me. I never thought much about them, but I recorded everything in one of my notebooks. So, now to explain the notebooks. For as long as I remember, I have been writing down everything I observe in notebooks. I love writing, not just prose but poetry too. I've also taken pictures. The way I do this without anyone thinking I'm a stalker is that well…I'm invisible. For the longest time, no one, except Jake and that's because we spent so much time together, has ever noticed me when I don't want to be noticed. Not until you came anyway. So, when your family came, I noticed that you were different so I started observing you. Not to tell anyone or because I'm some stalker, I was just curious. My observations are like food for my brain. So after you saved me from the van, I started paying closer attention. I noticed other strange things about you and your siblings, and Alice in particular. That's how I figured out the mind reading thing. So, this weekend, one night, I put the pieces together and realized what you are. All week I observed to confirm my theory, and I am pretty sure I'm right," I explained.

"So what is your theory, exactly?" Edward asked slightly strained. He had a pretty good poker face.

"You're a vampire. Not a bad one though. Your family drinks animal blood, so your eyes are gold instead of red. You won't hurt me," I hastened to explain.

"Bella that is ridiculous," he scoffed. But I could tell that internally, he was freaking out.

"I already said that it was ridiculous. But, that doesn't mean it isn't right," I insisted.

"If you already knew then why are you still here?" Edward asked. He sounded extremely confused.

"Because you won't hurt me, and I like spending time with you," I said and looked away from his face, embarrassed. My gaze happened to meet the speedometer instead. "Whoa!!! Slow down!!!"

"What?" he asked, apparently oblivious to the fact that he was going over one hundred miles an hour.

"You're going way too fast!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, fine," he said, slowing down a little. Now he was only going eighty-five mph.

"That's better," I sighed. Not much, but still better.

"So what did you figure out about Alice?" he asked.

"She sees the future, doesn't she?" I asked, smiling.

"Well, you really are observant," he said in response.

"I hope you aren't mad. I really didn't mean to snoop, but I am not one for mysteries. Unanswered questions really bug me," I explained sheepishly.

"Bella, it's okay. Alice is already confidant that you won't tell anyone our secret. When she told me originally, I thought she just meant about the van incident, but she was singing the Canadian national anthem in her head, so she was obviously blocking something from me, most likely this," he told me. "Even if Alice wasn't sure, I trust you."

"Thanks," I said still smiling. "So, can we be friends now?" I asked. I wishedwe could be more than friends, but since Edward will never think of me that way…

He hesitated a moment, looking conflicted, before he said "Sure. So, what's your favorite book?" he asked.

"Well someone is being random tonight," I commented.

"What? I just want to get to know my new friend better," he justified.

"Alright then. Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet. I can't really pick just one. And yours is?" I asked. We asked each other random questions all the way home, and I liked Edward even more. He was amazing. He loved old books and classical music. He understood me. Most people would find those boring and not worth their time.

We were talking about movie adaptations when we pulled up to my house.

"We're here," he told me.

"I guess I have to go," I sighed reluctantly. "Goodnight Edward," I said as I started to climb out of the car.

"Goodnight," he said back, "oh, and Bella," he started.

 

"Yes."

 

"I'm tired of trying to stay away from you," he whispered, staring into my eyes with a sudden intensity, momentarily taking my breath away. I sucked in a deep breath.

"I don't want to stay away from you either," I responded quietly.

"I'll see you Monday, Bella. Goodnight," he said as he looked away, breaking the connection and started the car.

"Bye Edward. Goodnight," I said back as I turned and walked up to my front door. I watched him drive away into the night. Then, I stepped inside and shut the door behind me. Oh my goodness, I thought as I realized, I just basically went on a date with the most perfect boy ever.

"Oh, hey Bells," Charlie said as I walked into the living room, smiling. "How was your night out with your friends?"

"Um it was good, you know shopping and stuff," I said quickly. "I'm kind of tired."

"Okay, goodnight Bells. I'm glad you had fun," he said as I headed up stairs.

Once I got upstairs, I showered and put my pajamas on before climbing into bed. I grabbed my note book and wrote down as much as I could remember verbatim of the conversations Edward and I had. Then, I replayed them in my head until I fell asleep. The last thing that crossed my mind before I fell asleep was that I can't believe Edward Cullen called me, Bella Swan, the plain invisible girl, pretty.

 

Chapter Text

After all that happened Friday night, I couldn’t find anything remotely exciting to do over the weekend. I just wanted it to be over so I could see Edward again. Talk about cliché. I ended up filling most of my time with homework. After that, I made a list in my notebook of question I wanted to ask Edward.

                  Questions:

                  -Why weren’t he or his siblings at school Friday?

                  -Why did he hate me at first?

                  -What are his hobbies?

                  -How old is he?

                  -Does anyone else in the family have powers?

                  -Where is he from?

                  -Why does he drink animal blood?

***

                  Monday morning, I woke up late. Charlie had already left for the station, so I got ready as fast as I could. I quickly brushed my hair and teeth, pulled on a green t-shirt with a tie printed on it, some skinny jeans, and my green high tops. I grabbed my grey sweater and ran downstairs, picking up my backpack and a granola bar on the way to the door. When I began to walk towards my truck, I noticed something that I should have seen immediately. Edward’s Volvo was parked in my driveway. What was he doing here? He climbed out of his car and walked up to me.

                  “Bella, I was wondering if you wanted to ride with me to school,” he said. I wondered what miracle had brought this on.

                  “Oh, um, sure,” I said, trying to sound nonchalant, and started walking towards his car. Before I could even reach for the handle, he had the door open for me.

                  “After you,” he said, gesturing inside.

                  “Thanks,” I said as a slight blush crept onto my cheeks, and I climbed into the car.

                  “You’re welcome,” he said sitting next to me. Apparently he used his super speed to get in the car. “So how did you sleep last night?” he asked with a slightly smug expression on his face. Hmm, I thought, I wonder what that’s about.

                  “Oh, fine. What about you? Also, I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind,” I added shyly.

                  “Well, first off, I can’t sleep,” he told me.

                  “You can’t sleep?” I asked incredulously. “As in, ever?”

                  “No never. And I’d be happy to answer your questions, on one condition.”

                  “And what might that be?” I asked warily. He might get me to unintentionally agree on something if he happened to dazzle me at the right moment. I had to try and be cautious.

                  “For every question you ask, I get one in return.” Okay, so maybe I had overreacted. That wasn’t some kind of devious request. It only seemed fair.

                  “Alright, deal. So, since you can’t sleep, what did you do last night?”

                  “Well, that, Bella, will have to wait because we’re at school.”

                  Oh, wow, I hadn’t even realized we left my house. I suppose his maniac driving got us here in plenty of time, but I was so preoccupied with the conversation that I forgot to even eat my granola bar. At least I wasn’t late anymore.

                  “I’ll see you at lunch,” he said as he opened my door. “Would you like to sit with me? You could carry on with your questions,” he suggested. As if being next to him wasn’t enough of a reason for me to want to sit with him.

                  “I’d love to sit with you at lunch Edward. See you then,” I said as I started to walk towards the school. After taking two steps, I noticed that basically everyone in the parking lot was staring. Great, I thought sarcastically. Maybe when I get to class, I can be invisible again since Edward won’t be there. It seems that Edward is causing people to notice me. “Um, Edward,” I turned to ask, “Why are people staring? Or really, what are they thinking?”

                  “Well, many of them are surprised to see one of the Cullens actually talking to someone outside our family. You must have been good at being invisible before I came because some are wondering who the beautiful girl next to me is,” he said smiling a gorgeous crooked smile, dazzling me for a moment. “Although, some of them aren’t worded quite that kindly. Many of the girls are jealous, but Angela is happy that you made it home last night. Jessica is very astonished and curious, and she is about to come talk to you,” he whispered the last part in my ear right before Jess walked up.

                  “Hey Bella. Hey Edward,” she said nodding at me then smiling flirtatiously at him. Jerk.

                  “Hey Jess,” I responded.

                  “Hello, Jessica,” Edward said politely.

                  “So you got home alright the other night?” she asked me.

                  “Yeah, Edward took me home,” I told her. “Listen, Jess, I need to get to class. We can talk later, okay?”

                  “Sure Bella, see you in Trig,” she said with a pointed look and rushed off.

                  “What does she want to know?” I asked Edward.

                  “And you’re sure you can’t read minds?” he asked jokingly.

                  “No, I just see things,” I answered, smiling.

                  “Well, she wants to know if we are dating, if we planned to meet up last night, how much you like me, and all the other usual teenage girl questions,” he explained.

                  “Edward, I’m a teenage girl. Do you really include me with the likes of Jessica and Lauren?”

                  “No, you, Bella, are much more mature than they are, and much more beautiful as well,” he said, staring into my eyes and smiling. “May I walk you to class?”

                  “I’d like that,” I said, blushing again and looked down to break eye contact so that I could think clearly. Whoa, Edward just called me beautiful! Don’t get your hopes up Bella. You’re just friends. When we arrived at the class room, Edward gestured inside and smiled.

                  “I’ll see you at lunch Bella.”

                  “Okay, bye Edward.”

***

                  When Trig came around, I had already mentally prepared myself for Jessica’s incessant questioning, because knowing her, there would be no subtly whatsoever. As soon as I took my seat next to hers, she started with the questions.

                  “So, Bella, how did you get Edward to talk to you? Did you plan to meet him last night? Are you two dating?” she asked without stopping.

                  “First off Jessica, I didn’t get him to talk to me. We have biology together. Second off, no we just ran into each other. And third, we’re just friends.” I sighed a little at the last part. Hopefully she didn’t hear that.

                  “But, Bella, he must like you to be talking to you. And he gave you a ride this morning. Do you at least like him?”

                  “Yeah, Jess I do.”

                  “He is gorgeous. When you start dating, you have to tell me everything,” she sighed dreamily. Yeah, as if that would ever happen.

                  “Jess, there is much more to Edward than his looks,” I told her harshly. I can’t believe she would say that.

                  “Oh, really, like what?” she asked happily, probably day dreaming fantasies of Edward.

                  “He is smart, kind, sweet, understanding, and an overall great person,” I explained, trying to describe his whole personality in one sentence. I didn’t feel successful.

                  “Oh, that’s boring. Really Bella, he’s sexy and is toned nicely. Did you even notice?”

                  “Jess, those don’t matter to me.” But yes, I did notice.

                  “Miss Stanley, would you please come solve this problem?” Thankfully, the teacher asked right as she was about to retort back. I didn’t think I could handle any more of the conversation.

                  My next period was lunch. When I walked into the cafeteria, Edward had already saved us a table. After I grabbed my food, he smiled at me and waved me over. When I walked up, he stood up and pulled out a chair for me.

                  “Would you care to join me miss?” he asked in a posh fake British accent.

                  “Why yes sir, I would,” I answered in the same tone and laughed as I sat down.

                  “So I was under the impression you wanted to ask me some questions,” he said.

                  “Well, actually, you were going to answer the one I asked this morning,” I reminded him.

                  “Oh, right. Bella, I’ll tell you later. I promise, but now isn’t the time.”

                  “All right, I trust you to keep your promise. But, you don’t get to ask your question until you answer mine,” I told him. He chuckled at that.

                  “It only seems fair. So what would your next question be?” he asked. I pulled out my notebook and flipped to the page with my list. I also grabbed a pencil. I wanted to keep track of all his answers. It looked like Edward was amused by this.

                  “Okay, why weren’t you or your family at school Friday?”

                  “Well, we don’t burn in the sun, but we can’t go out in it. At least not without totally freaking out anyone in the vicinity,” he explained.

                  “What do you do then?” I asked.

                  “I’ll show you at some point, but now, it’s my turn to ask a question. Did you really mean all that you said to Jessica?”

                  Oh, great. He heard that. I completely forgot about the whole mind reading thing. Wonderful, I thought sarcastically. Well at least he hasn’t run off.

                  “So you heard all that?” I confirmed.

                  “Yes, Bella did you mean it though?”

                  “Yeah, you’re my friend. I do think that you’re nice, sweet, smart, and a good person,” I told him. Maybe he won’t ask about the rest.

                  “Bella, you also said you like me. I’m not going to make you answer without telling you how I feel first because that wouldn’t be fair of me. If you didn’t mean it, that’s okay, but Bella, I really like you. I think you’re sweet, kind, smart, amazing, beautiful, funny, genuine, understanding, and a great person,” he told me looking straight into my eyes. His were a dark topaz today. But, no matter the color, they seemed like he was staring straight into my soul. They were so deep that I could get lost in them.

                  “I like you too Edward, a lot,” I whispered, smiling a huge smile. If only he knew how much.

                  “Bella, would you go out with me Saturday? I have this really neat place that I want to take you,” he asked. Edward Cullen just asked me out!!!! I mentally squealed. But I had to play this cool so I wouldn’t freak him out.

                  “I’d love to Edward. But now, it’s my turn for another question.” I was going to ask him why he hated me at first or seemed to, but I didn’t want to kill the happy moment. So, I chose another question. “What are your hobbies?”

                  “Well, I love music. I play the piano and compose. I also like playing sports with my family and hunting,” he told me smirking at the last part.

                  “Ha ha,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Seriously though, you have to play for me sometime. I bet you’re amazing.”

                  “Of course I will. But with as long as I’ve had to practice makes it a little unfair to compare me with anyone else,” he said modestly.

                  “So how long is it you’ve had to practice? Or really, how old are you?” I asked.

                  “Nope, it’s my turn,” he said grinning. “What are your hobbies?”

                  “Um, as you know, I love reading. I also like cooking, photography, and writing,” I told him.

                  “I’d really like to see some of your pictures some time,” he told me.

                  “If you really want to you can. The only people who have ever seen any of them are Jake, Charlie, and the lady at the Wal-Mart photo counter,” I added the last part on with a giggle.

                  “Oh I see. And what does the Wal-Mart lady think of your lovely pictures?” He asked jokingly.

                  “She said that I could sell them for millions of dollars and be a world renowned photographer,” I said laughing. Edward started laughing as well. His laugh was amazing. It was clear, rich, and bell-like.  His laugh had to be my new favorite sound, other than his voice.

                  “Of course, Bella Swan the world renowned photographer who gets her pictures by stalking people.”

                  “Hey! I told you, I’m not a stalker. I just really wanted to know about you and your family. But either way, it’s my turn for a question. As I said earlier, how old are you?”

                  “Seventeen,” he said smiling.

                  “Well, no duh. Really Edward, how old are you actually?” I asked. He hesitated for a moment and then answered.

                  “Well, Carlisle, my adopted father, changed me in 1918 when I was dying from the Spanish Influenza. Both my parents had already died, and my mother had told him to do whatever it took to save me. So, here I am today.”

                  “…Wow,” I stated simply. That’s amazing that Carlisle did that for her. He sounds so kind. “And don’t worry. I don’t find it weird or disgusting that you are technically a lot older than me. And I’m seventeen too. I didn’t want you to waste a question on it.”

                  “Okay, well, I am going to have to wait until after school to ask some more questions because we need to go now, or we’ll be late to Biology.”

                  Had it really been that long? I had totally lost track of time. When I’m with Edward, it’s like we’re in our own little world without the mundane high school dramas that surround us. I really liked Edward and couldn’t wait for Saturday.

                  “So miss, may I escort you to Biology?” he asked in the fake posh accent again, offering me his arm.

                  “Why yes, kind sir I would be delighted,” I said mimicking him as I accepted his arm. My arm was tingling, but in a good way, and I never wanted to let go.

 

 

Chapter Text

When we got to the biology classroom, Mr. Banner announced that we were going to watch a movie. Edward just gave me a dazzling smile as we sat down at our lab table. When the teacher turned out the lights and started the movie, Edward passed me a note.

Bella, do you play or have you ever played any sports?

Ballet (if you count that), until I moved in with my dad. It was fun, but there wasn't a ballet studio here, and it wasn't really something I wanted to do long term. Where are you from, originally?

Chicago. Have you ever had any pets?

I always wanted a dog, but Charlie is allergic. Does anyone else in your family have powers besides you and Alice?

Jasper can sense and control the emotions of others. That's it really. Wow. He made it seem so casual, as if everyone in the world could do the incredible things his family could. Vampire or not, well I suppose he has lived with it for quite a while. Who's your favorite band?

Paramore. And you?

They're really good. It changes all the time. Out of the current bands, I would have to say Train is my favorite. I also really like the Beatles. What is your favorite kind of food?

Italian. What's your full name?

Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. And yours?

Isabella Marie Swan. What's the age order in your family?

Carlisle, me, Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper (order joined family) or Carlisle, Jasper, Alice, me, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett (actual age). I wonder why there’s a difference. Tell me about your family.

That's not really a question but okay. My parents got divorced when I was three. When I was ten, Renee married Phil. Not that I didn't like him, but I came here to live with Charlie and give them some space. …Have you ever had a girlfriend?

No, never. Have you had a boyfriend?

Nope, not yet. Did you ever really like a girl before me?

No, Tanya wished, but I've never really been attracted to anyone's personality or beauty but yours. Awww, he is so sweet. Does he even know how charming he is? Has there ever been anything between you and Jacob?

No! Are you serious? He's just 15 Edward. Jake is only my friend. I don't see him like that. So, who is Tanya?

We are friends with another "vegetarian" coven in Alaska. She is one of them. They are Carmen and Eleazar, Tanya, Kate, and Irina. Tanya has always liked me. What are your favorite flowers?

Change the topic much? I wonder why… Daisies- white and purple. Where were you when you weren't here at the beginning of the year?

Alaska. Why? Did you miss me? He smirked. Edward Cullen just smirked at me as he passed me that note. Does he know how attractive he is?

That's two questions, but yes a little. Really it just confused me and made me more interested in you. Do your siblings know that I know?

Yes. It turns out Alice knew all along. She is very excited to meet you. Emmett thinks you will be entertaining. Jasper doesn't dislike you, but since he is our newest vegetarian, he will be a little distant. Carlisle and Esme are excited to meet you. And Rosalie, well she doesn't completely hate you, but she is worried and annoyed. Take nothing she says or does personally. She will warm up to you eventually. Well that's comforting, she doesn’t completely hate me. Sense the sarcasm. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Well, when I was 13 and Jake was 11 he decided to take me cliff diving. I ended up in the hospital with a broken arm. It was fun, until my arm hit the rock. Safe to say, I haven't been since. I saw Edward's face flinch slightly, and his sparkling eyes hardened a little at the mention of me hurt. For a second he almost looked dangerous; deadly even, as if he wanted to take out anything and everything that ever hurt me. Okay, time for some lightening up. Favorite board game?

Chess- with Alice. It's quite interesting considering what we can do. And you actually went cliff diving? Were you crazy? Did you not know it was dangerous?

Jake and I used to do some pretty crazy stuff. And I was young. I just thought about the thrill. And Jake had been before with his cousin. The excuse sounded lame even to me, but I couldn't think of anything else to say. I really had no idea what was going through my mind when we did it. I just, did. Edward, why did you hate me so much when we first met?

I promise that I will tell you, but Mr. Banner is about to come over here. I'll tell you on the way home today.

I'll hold you to that.

Edward grabbed the sheet of notebook paper out of his bag and put it away so quickly that if I hadn't known what he did, I would have thought it just disappeared. As I tried to turn my attention to the TV, Edward grabbed my hand under the table. I felt the electric spark run up my arm and all through my body. It seemed more powerful than ever before in the dark classroom with the only light emanating from the screen. There was definitely no way I would be able to focus on the movie now. It was a good thing we weren't having a test on it. I glanced sideways at him and saw him looking at me too. It seemed like his deep topaz eyes were sparkling. They mesmerized me. I could barely bring myself to look away.

I had to focus on breathing steadily. Edward's presence affected me so much. When our eyes met, the spark intensified tenfold. I knew it was crazy to feel this way for someone at my age, someone who wasn't even human. It didn't matter to me though. He was absolutely amazing, human or not. Edward was smart, caring, protective, chivalrous, kind, funny, and wonderful.

His foot nudged mine under the table, and I glanced toward him again. His eyes were still shining, and he was smiling a dazzling crooked smile. I had an insane momentary urge to kiss him right then during the movie. I brushed it off but knew that I was in deep. I had never had a boyfriend, or even a first kiss, but I knew that Edward was the one I had been looking for.

I knew this was intense for not having known him long. We had only even confessed our feelings today. But something just seemed right about us. Something was pulling me towards Edward, and I wasn't going to fight it. It felt like we were just meant to be. We were totally comfortable around each other whether being serious, joking, or just sittingin silence. I didn't care what others thought or if it was too soon, but right then during that movie I realized that I just might be in love with Edward Cullen.

 

Chapter Text

                  The rest of the day was amazing. After Biology, Edward walked me to my next class and kissed me cheek as he walked away, telling me he’d meet me after class. My last class, Gym, passed in a daze. I couldn’t tell you for the world what happened because I was too focused on Edward. This was not my normal behavior by any stretch of the word. I usually picked up on every minute detail, but today my brain was elsewhere. I wanted badly to tell someone about Edward, but I didn’t have any friends at school close enough for me to tell my suspicions. I decided that when Edward took me home, I would call Jake. I could tell him anything, and I knew he wouldn’t judge. I’d have to make sure he wouldn’t tell Billy, but I knew I could trust Jacob. Until class was over, I fantasized about Edward and our date Saturday. Where could he be taking me? What would we do? And how would I tell Charlie?

                  The final bell rang loudly snapping me out of my fantasies. I ran to the dressing room and changed back into my normal clothes before rushing outside to see if I could find Edward. He had promised to wait for me after class to walk me to his car. As soon as I stepped out of the gym, I saw him standing there smiling at me.

                  “Hey Edward,” I breathed out grinning at him.

                  “Hey Bella, are you ready to go home?” he asked. “Do you need anything from your locker?”

                  “Oh right, I need to go grab my backpack and trig book,” I told him sheepishly.

                  “That’s fine Bella. Let’s go,” he said and we headed towards building three where my locker was.

As we walked, his hand was really close to mine and I just wanted to grab it, but surprisingly, he took the initiative and enclosed my hand in his. I smiled up at him.

“Is this okay?” Edward asked, looking a little worried and shy as he glanced down at our hands.

“Yes Edward, it is perfectly fine,” I said squeezing his hand.

We walked in companionable silence to my locker as everyone stared at us. Yes, I exist. It’s me, Bella Swan, the invisible girl who you never noticed, I quipped in my thoughts. It seemed that spending time with Edward came with a price. I would have to get used to no longer being invisible. My observations would be a lot harder, but most people just stared at Edward anyway. I looked at it as a problem to solve. I would have to work hard and figure it out, just like any other mystery I was confronted with. When we got to my locker, I grabbed my books and quickly placed them in my backpack. I was about to pick it up and put it on, when Edward grabbed it and held it out for me to slip my arms through the straps.

“Thanks,” I said blushing. He really is so sweet.

“You’re welcome,” he responded quietly. “Are you ready to go now?”

“Yeah, let’s go,” I told him, grabbing his hand again as we headed towards his car.

When we got there, he opened the door for me before walking to his side of the car at human speed. After all, there were still humans in the parking lot.

“So, how was gym?” he asked.

“Oh, good I guess. I wasn’t really paying much attention,” I said mumbling the last part.

“And why would that be?” he asked smiling, speeding down the road.

“I was thinking about Biology,” I mumbled again.

“Why?” he asked smugly.

“Um, I was thinking about you and, erm the questions we were asking and what we talked about at lunch,” I confessed. Hopefully he wouldn’t think I was obsessive.

“So you were processing all your new knowledge and thinking about Saturday?” he asked to clarify.

“Are you sure you can’t read my mind?” I asked, giggling slightly.

“Yes Bella, I’m sure,” he said smiling. “I was thinking about the same things though.”

“Oh, I see,” I said with a knowing tone to my voice.

“Well, we’re here,” he said parking in front of my house.

“Wow! That was quick! I guess I can blame you and your insanely fast driving. Does the rest of your family drive like you do?”

“Um, yes,” he admitted, turning to look at me. “When you have reflexes like us and are used to the speed from running, you get a little frustrated by going slow.”

“Okay, I suppose I can see your point. Sort of, but I am going to continue to drive the speed limit,” I assured him with a tiny bit of a smug tone to my voice.

“You do that Bella,” he said smiling at me again. “I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.” He was so sweet, a little over protective, but still sweet. “Oh, by the way Alice wants to invite you over tomorrow after school. And my parents want to meet you,” he admitted.

“Edward, I’d love to come over tomorrow. And I’m sure Charlie will be fine as long as I get some homework done. He’ll probably want to meet you as well once I tell him about Saturday,” I told Edward.

“All right, I’ll tell Alice you can come, but she’ll probably want to talk to you herself anyway. She’s excited to get to know you.”

“I can’t wait to get to know her either. She was really sweet the other day with the clothes and everything.”

“Well, I suppose the young lady is in need to go inside and complete her studies,” Edward said grinning and resuming the posh British accent.

“Why yes I am,” I said. “But not without a proper farewell.”

“Oh we couldn’t let that happen, now could we,” Edward said still grinning as he gently took my hand and placed a kiss on the back of it.

I blushed and smiled hugely as he then proceeded to kiss me on the cheek as well.

“Bye Edward. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I told him as I climbed out of the car and grabbed my bag out of the back seat. He rolled his window down.

“Bye Bella. Can I pick you up again tomorrow?” he asked, almost sounding unsure.

“Of course,” I assured him. As if I wouldn’t let him drive me to school.

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning then,” he said smiling his crooked smile.

I blew him a kiss, and he caught it and mimed putting it in his pocket as he drove away, causing me to laugh out loud. After unlocking the front door, I walked inside and dropped my bag by the steps. Then I headed to the kitchen to call Jacob. I grabbed a banana out of the bowl in the middle of the table, grabbed the phone and dialed Jacob’s number. The phone rang seven times before he actually picked up.

“Quil! I said stop calling me. I don’t care how hot Meagan is!” Jake shouted into the phone. Well, he was ticked off, obviously.

“Well, excuse me. I just wanted to talk to my best friend and tell him something really important. But if you don’t want to talk to me then I’ll just hang up,” I threatened semi-sarcastically.

“Bella!” Jake exclaimed. “I’m so sorry. Quil has been pestering me all day about this girl he met yesterday. I’d love to talk. So, what’s up?”

“Hey Jake. I assumed as much with your overly friendly greeting,” I joked. “But yeah I wanted to talk to you.”

“About?”

“Um, I met this guy. And he’s really great and everything, and um he asked me out today.”

“You have a date?! When? Wait, did you even say yes? Who is this guy? I need to make sure he’s worthy for my best friend,” Jacob declared.

“Of course I said yes. Why wouldn’t I? Edward is amazing. I’m sure you’ll approve. We’ll have to get together some time so you can grill him to make sure he has my best intentions at heart,” I laughed.

“Wait, Edward as in Edward Cullen?” Jacob asked.

“Um, yes. Jake, could you not tell Billy. I really want to be the one to tell Charlie, and Billy would probably bug me about it.”

“Yeah sure Bells. I won’t tell, but I do want to meet this Edward guy. I can’t let my best friend go out with some jerk can I?”

“I’m glad you’re being open about all this Jake. I knew I could tell you about it. I’ve been just about to burst all day.”

“So you really like this guy Bella?” Jake confirmed.

“Yes Jake. He’s amazing. He’s sweet, caring, smart, nice, and chivalrous too. You’d be proud. He’s been opening doors for me and stuff all day.”

“Well since you like Edward so much, he can’t be that terrible, but I still need to meet him and figure out his intentions,” Jake told me causing me to crack up.

“Jake you sound like my older brother,” I told him once I stifled my laughs.

“Well, I do think of myself as such,” he said in an important sounding voice.

“Yeah, only problem being you’re two years younger than me. So, technically, you would be my little brother,” I told him.

“Yeah, but I’m taller,” he argued.

“Yes but I’m still older so therefore, you are my baby brother,” I told him a sweet voice.

“Oh fine. But I’m not your baby brother. I’m just your slightly younger brother who is still protective of his sister,” Jake insisted.

“Alright, I’ll go with that… for now,” I told him.

“So, can I meet Edward tomorrow after school?”

“Actually, his sister invited me over to hang out, and Edward wants me to meet his parents.”

“Well, he sounds like he has at least semi-honorable intensions since he wants you to meet his parents before the first date,” Jake said sounding slightly disappointed, but I couldn’t really figure out why. I guess he was just playing the over protective slightly younger brother like he said.

“Don’t worry Jake, as long as Edward isn’t busy Wednesday, you can grill him then,” I assured him.

“Okay good. Just let me know. Hey, want to meet up at the tree house so my amazing older sister can help me with my algebra homework?” he asked trying to butter me up.

“Well, I suppose since I don’t have too much homework I can help my baby brother out.”

“Hey, I’m not your baby brother. I thought we covered that.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know, slightly younger. I’ll be there soon Jake. See ya.”

“See ya Bells. Bye.” He said hanging up.

I left Charlie a note telling him where I’d be, grabbed a jacket, my backpack, and camera, and ran out to my truck to meet Jake at our tree house. When I got there, he wasn’t even there yet. Jake was notorious for being late. I climbed up with my bag and got settled. A few years ago, Jake and I had rigged a pulley and lugged an old couch up here so it would be more comfortable. I also brought up an old rug I bought at a thrift store. The walls were decorated with some of my photos and a few of Jake’s old motorcycle posters. It was really quite homey for a tree house.

I sat down on the couch and grabbed my trig stuff out of my bag. Just as I started the first problem, Jacob climbed up.

“Hey big sis, ready to help with my algebra?” he asked.

“Yup,” I sighed a little. “Let’s get to work.”

Chapter Text

By the time Jake and I finished our math homework, it was sstarting to get dark outside. I promised to ask Edward to come hang out Wednesday so that Jake could grill him and all. Like he'll actually find our anything incriminating. Edward is practically perfect despite the fact that he is a vampire, not that Jacob would ever know. When I got home, Charlie was picking up the phone, probably to order pizza.

"Hey Dad," I called as I put my backpack down by the stairs. "Don't bother ordering pizza. I'm making fajitas." I had bought the ingredients this weekend, and today would be the perfect time to make them.

"Thanks Bells. I didn't know how much longer you'd be out with Jacob," Charlie told me as he headed back to the living room to watch his football game.

I grabbed the chicken, onions, and peppers out of the fridge and a cutting board from the cabinet. As I prepared the food, I realized that I needed to tell Charlie about my date with Edward. After all, I was going to meet his parents tomorrow. I guess I'll just tell him at diner. But how to even bring it up? I've never had a boyfriend or even a date before, so this was totally foreign territory. Telling him that he wants me to meet his parents is probably a good thing to mention, I thought as I put the veggies and spices in the pan and turned the stove on. He'll probably want to meet Edward too. I just hope he approves. Saturday is fishing day, so having them meet before we go out is out of the question. Wednesday, Edward is probably meeting Jake... I guess I can see if he can come over Thursday or Friday after school to meet Charlie. We'll just have to come up with an excuse about diner. I guess that will work, I decided, still nervous about the whole ordeal, as I added the chicken to the sizzling pan. As it cooked, I grabbed the sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and lettuce from the fridge. After stirring the food around for a moment, I put two tortilla shells in the oven to heat up.

"Dad, diner is almost ready. Could you come fill up the glasses?" I called into the living room.

"Sure Bells. Smells good," he commented as he filled two glasses with ice and water before putting them on the table.

"Thanks," I said as I set the two plates on the table. "So Dad, tomorrow I'm going to the Cullens' house after school," I blurted out. Best just get it over with.

"How come?" Charlie asked in between bites.

"Well, um Edward asked me to go out with him on Saturdsy, so he wants me to meet his parents. And, his sister, Alice, also wants me to come over so we can hang out," I added quickly.

"You have a date?" he asked, a little stunned. It was obviously the only thing Charlie picked up from that whole statement.

"Yes Dad," I said slowly, "and he wants me to meet his parents." Hopefully after the initial shock he actually grasped what I was trying to tell him.

"So tell me about this boy..." Charlie said hesitantly.

"Well, Edward is a junior, like me," I added to clarify, "he is seventeen, really smart, chivalrous- he has been opening doors for me since we met- he has four siblings, and he was the first to be adopted. I really like him Dad."

I could only hope Charlie actually listened instead of antagonising over the fact that his little girl has a date. I didn't tell Charlie this much because I enjoy sharing my feelings with him.

"Well, Bells, he sounds like an okay kid, and I respect that he wants you to meet his parents. I would like to meet him before you go out though. Can you invite him for dinner Wednesday?"

"Actually Dad, I already told Jacob that he could meet Edward Wednesday- if he isn't busy. I could invite him over Thursday or Friday after school," I suggested.

"Okay. You must really like this boy if you want Jake to meet him."

"Actually, he's the one who insisted they meet. Apparently, he needs to make sure he is acceptable for me to date." Yeah, my best friend wants to play the big brother card. Knowing Jake, he'll even use the 'you hurt her, I kill you' line.

"I look foward to meeting him. Diner was great by the way," Charlie declared before putting his plate in the sink and heading back to the living room to watch TV.

Well, at least that was over with, and Charlie didn't freak out too badly. Really, that was extremely mild compared to what I expected. After I washed the dishes, I headed upstairs, took a shower, and put on my pajamas which consist of sweats and an old tshirt. Then I curled up on my bed and picked up East of Eden. It is definately interesting but not really my favorite book so far. After reading a few chapters, I turned out the lights, snuggled under my blanket, and went to sleep.

The next day, I woke up feeling well rested and excited about the day and, strangely, the fact that it was cloudy and drizzling outside. I would get to see Edward soon, which of course, was the source of my good mood.

I practically skipped to the bathroom. After brushing my teeth and washing my face, I pulled my hair back into a messy bun. Then, i ran back to my room and quickly got dressed, putting on some skinny jeans, a blue tshirt, grey jacket, and my black high tops with bright blue laces. I grabbed my backpack off the floor, making sure my camera and notebook were already inside. After stuffing East of Eden in there as well, I zipped it shut and carried it down stairs, setting it by the door before heading to the kitchen to make breakfast.

Charlie was already at work, as usual, so I just poured me a bowl of Fruit Loops and ate as quickly as possible, wanting to be ready to go the moment Edward arrived. I had strategically positioned myself so I could see out the kitchen window and see a glimpse of the driveway while I ate. I was also listening very carefully for his car. The moment I finished my cereal, I quickly rinsed out the bowl and left it in the sink to deal with later. Right as I decided that I wanted to take Edward's picture when I saw him, I heard his car pull up. Rushing to the door, I grabbed my camera as fast as I could before stepping outside with a huge, irreversible smile on my face. Edward stepped out of his car with an identicle smile, but somehow he managed to make it so much more attractive. I snapped his picture, wanting to document this- us- so I would remember it forever.

"Good morning Bella," he said smiling as I walked up to his car.

"Morning Edward!" I proclaimed cheerily.

"What has you so happy," he asked, chuckling as he opened the passenger door for me.

"Just today in general. I'm happy that you're here with me. I'm excited to meet your family. Speaking of which, Charlie wants to meet you, and so does Jacob. Would you like to hang out after school tomorrow so you two could meet? And then come over Thursday or Friday to meet Charlie?" I asked, my voice still holding lingering excitement and happiness that Edward is really here next to me, and yesterday wasn't just some wonderful dream.

"I think that is one of the longest things I've ever heard you say," Edward announced as he shifted his car into drive and headed off to school. "But yes, I'd be happy to meet Jacob tomorrow," he said taking my hand and making me blush simultaneously. "And I can't come over Friday, but Thursday is fine."

"Beware. You're in for some major interrogations from both of them. Jacob has decided to play the older brother role. Oh wait it's 'slightly younger brother who is still protective of his sister' as he put it. And why not Friday?"

"Oh Alice and I are going hunting. Since we're going out Saturday, I thought it would be best. And, it's alright. I will make sure they know I have good intentions towards you," he said smiling.

"Oh okay," I said before asking randomly, "What music do you have in?" I wanted to know as much about Edward as I could: what music he listens to, the books he loves, food he hated when he was human, and everything else in between.

"Skillet," he answered before pressing play on his stereo and a sort of classical and rock mashup music came out the speakers.

After listening for a moment, I announced, "They're really good. I like them a lot."

"I'm glad," he said turning and smiling his crooked smile at me. "By the way, we're here," he announced. I glanced out the window and realized we were already at school thanks to Edward's insane driving. It was weird. Whenever I'm around Edward, all my attention shifts to him and I become remarkably unobservant, missing obvious- well obvious to me- things. It seemed that he captured all my thoughts. I was still perceptive, regarding him, but it was as if the rest of the world didn't exist. Ah well, I suppose that's a price I'll have to pay to be with Edward, but it is well worth it.

"Beware of the insane pixie, otherwise known as Alice," Edward warned. "She wants to really meet you today."

I laughed at that.

"What?" He asked, confused.

"Pixie is what I called Alice in my notes before I knew her name," I told him, still giggling a little.

"You got that spot on then," he said. "That's what we all call her. Now are you ready to meet her?"

"Yeah, let's go," I said smiling.

Edward climbed out of the car and came around to my side to open the door. Normally, I would have gotten it myself, but I found his chivalry sweet and after the warning, I figured I might want to minimize my Alice exposure. After opening my door, Edward took my hand and helped me out just as Alice ran up.

"Hi Bella! It's so great to meet you! I can't wait to become friends! We have to hang out when you come over after school! It's going to be awesome! Did you like the clothes? You looked awesome in them! We should do a makeover!" she announced rapidly without pausing in between sentences.

"Whoa, chill Alice. It's great to meet you too. And yes I liked the clothes. They were a bit fancier than what I'd normally go for, but I liked them," I told her.

"Oh yay! Now come on, lets go to class!" she exclaimed grabbing my hand and starting to drag me off. Edward must have said something I didn't here because she quickly turned back around and said, "What? She's my friend and you've had her for the past few days."

"Bella do you want to go with her," Edward asked me, looking concerned that I might be scared of Alice or something. As if.

"It's fine Edward. I'd love to get to know your sister. See you later," I told him, walking over to give him a quick kiss on the cheek before running off with Alice.

Today was absolutely amazing, well except for all the stares I received. Alice and I talked on the way to my first class and again during Spanish. Alice was fluent, and I had gotten bored while Jacob was at camp two summers ago so I had bought Rosetta Stone and learned Spanish, so I am basically fluent as well. Neither of us need to pay much attention in that class and Mrs. Goff knows it, so she gives us leeway. I can definately see her as my best friend. Edward walked me to all my classes and sat with me at lunch again. In biology, we played footsies under the lab table, causing me to smile hugely and everyone else to give me odd looks. When Mike asked me out again after gym- seriously is he blind?- Edward informed him I was taken. It made me feel great to have him call me his. Then, we got in Edward's Volvo and headed to his house. The rest of the Cullens took Rosalie's M3- don't ask how I know what kind of car it is, I just hang around Jake too much.

We just arrived at his house, and I am insanely nervous. What if they don't like me or don't approve? I know Alice likes me, but what about the rest of his family?

"What's wrong Bella?" Edward asked, giving my hand a soft squeeze.

"I'm just a bit nervous, well actually a lot. What if they don't like me?" I voiced my fears.

"Bella, how could they not like you? You are amazing, kind, sweet, and beautiful. They will love you. Esme is just glad I finally found someone I care for. The others are happy for me as well. Rosalie might take a little convincing, but its not that she doesn't like you. She is just worried about you and the family."

"What do you mean worried?"

"Bella, you know that I'm not safe for you and yet you still choose to be with me, which I am extemely grateful for. But Rosalie is worried about what would happen if things went wrong," he explained softly.

"I trust you," I replied squeezing his hand softly.

"You are truly amazing Bella," he said placing a kiss on my cheek.

Ahh, now if he would only give me a real kiss. Maybe Saturday... I wish. But best not get my hopes up.

"Now are you ready to meet my family. They're getting a bit impatient," Edward said smiling, snapping me out of my fantasy, and inclining his head slightly toward the window where Alice was waving at me.

"As ready as I'll ever be. Lets go," I declared.

Edward dashed out and was opening my door in less than a second. It's a little disorienting but also, in a way, natural for him.

"Ready?" He checked one last time and offered me his hand.

"Yeah," I said grinning again. He is just so sweet.

As I stepped out of the car, I realized how amazing the house was. It was a huge white old timely house with black shutters and lots of windows. There were flowers of all sorts around the front and all throughout the yard. I could hear a faint sound of water, so there must be a river nearby. It was surrounded by huge trees, towering into the sky. Their leaves were just starting to turn into brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows for fall. Even with the grey sky overhead, it was one of the most beautiful places I had seen.

"Edward, could you get my camera?" I breathed in awe. I had to take pictures of this place. It seemed magical, like something from a book, and definately not where you would expect vampires to live.

"Of course," he replied with a slight chuckle at my amazement, handing it to me a second later.

I quickly took it from its bag and removed the case and lens cap before beginning to explore the yard and take pictures of everything. I was taking advantage of my artistic observant abilities to get amazing shots from all sorts of angles.

"Bella, I'll be right back. I better let them know you'll be a while," Edward's voice said from behind me.

"Okay," was my only response. I had actually kind of forgotten that we were here to see his family. As I took a shot of some flowers by the entrance, I heard voices at the door.

"Esme, I think she appreciates the landscaping and architecture," Edward's voice said. "She hasn't stopped staring and taking photos since she got out of the car."

"I'm glad Edward. And you were right son, she is beautiful," the female voice that I assumed belonged to Esme said causing me to blush a bit. After taking one last shot, I forced myself to re-cap the lense and take a break. I turned toward the door to see Edward standing next to a buitiful woman with wavy carmel colored hair who appeared to be in her mid twenties. This must be his mother, Esme.

"Hi, I'm Bella. I love your house!" I told her, extending my hand.

She grasped mine and then pulled me into a quick hug. It startled me a bit, but if also felt good. I hadn't received a mother's hug since early last summer when I visited Renee in Florida.

"Thank you dear. I'm glad you appreciate it. I'm Esme," she introduced herself.

"Who does your landscaping? It's beautiful!"

"I do dear. Thank you," she said still smiling.

"Bella, are you ready to meet the rest of my family?" Edward asked, wrapping his arm around my waist.

"I'm ready. Thank you for having me over Esme," I told her as he led me inside.

"Oh you're welcome any time Bella," she said.

The inside was just as beautiful as the outside. All the colors were varying shades of pale neutrals that went perfectly together, with one exception- a striking black grand piano that I assumed was Edward's. Most of the bottom floor was one huge living room with a spiral staircase leading upstairs. The whole back wall was made of glass so you could see the forest and river outside.

"It's beautiful. Did you design the inside too?" I asked in awe.

"Yes dear," she said smiling as a handsome man with blonde hair who also appeared to be in his mid twenties walked in. This must be Carlisle.

"Carlisle, this is Bella," Edward introduced me. His arm was still wrapped around my waist causing me to feel that tingly sensation all over.

"Hi," I said smiling shyly.

"Hello Bella. Like Edward said, I am Carlisle" he said, offering his hand.

I shook it, while saying, "It's nice to meet you sir."

"Edward, you never told me how beautiful your girlfriend is," he chided Edward jokingly, causing me to blush- again. It seemed that the Cullen family was very good at making me blush.

"Dad, stop embarrassing Eddie, that's my job!" Emmett called as he came down the stairs smiling hugely followed by a disgruntled looking Rosalie.

"Emmett how many times do I have to tell you not to call me that for it to sink into that thick skull of yours?" Edward asked with a twinge of sarcasm.

"It'll never happen bro!" he said joyfully, slapping Edward playfully on the back before turning to me. "So, you must be Bella. I'm Emmett the amazing. Feel free to grovel at my feet," he joked, causing me to crack up.

"Of course oh amazing one," I chocked out through my laughter.

"I like you Bella!" he announced. "Welcome to the family!" He said giving me a tight hug.

"Wow, you remind me so much of my friend Jacob," I told him.

"Who is this Jacob? Does Eddie have competition?" he asked with a gleam in his eye.

"No Emmett, Jake's like my brother. Plus, he's only fifteen. Edward has no competition," I told him as Edward grabbed my hand.

"Ah too bad. But, I think you are in need of another brother, so I proclaim you my little sister!" Emmett told me.

"Alright, big brother," I replied. I love how comfortable I feel with Edward's family. They are all accepting me so quickly. It feels like I can just be me around them.

"Now Emmett stop hogging my girl," Edward said making me scream with glee internally. Does he know how happy it makes me when he calls me his? It just confirms that he likes me out of all people. He chose me, an average little human.

"Alright. See ya Bella," Emmett said before settling into the couch and turning on the TV.

"Bella, you need to meet Jasper!" Alice told me as she ran over dragging Jasper by the arm.

"Hi," I said offering my hand and feeling more confident, probably because of his power.

"Hi Bella. I'm Jasper," he said politely with a slight hint of a southern accent.

"Nice to meet you," I told him.

"You too Bella," he said offering me a slight smile before joining Emmett in front of the TV.

I had met all the Cullens now- except Rosalie, who still hadn't spoken to me- and they all felt like family. It was more than I could ever ask for. Hopefully Charlie and Jake would like Edward. Though, what's not to like.

"Would you like a tour?" Edward asked.

"Definately," I said smiling as he took my hand.

Edward led me up the stairs and indicated what lay behind the doors: Carlisle's office- which was filled with so many paintings, Alice and Jasper's room, Emmett and Rosalie's room, Carlisle and Esme's room, and finally his room. It was amazing. The main colors were black and gold. The back wall was completely glass, and the wall opposite it was completely shelves filled with more books and CDs than I've ever seen along with a fancy looking stereo. The only furniture was a black leather couch. The two of us spent the rest of the afternoon sitting up there just talking and listening to music until it was time for me to go home and make dinner for Charlie.

 

Chapter Text

The next day went fairly well. All day, Edward held my hand and walked me to my classes. It was great, and the more time I spent with him, the more I liked him- or dare I say, loved him. I was beginning to get used to all of the stares, choosing to revel in Edward's presence instead of worrying about them. The gossip died down as well. In its place were snarky comments by jealous girls, particularly Jess and Lauren, consisting mostly of "how could a boy like him end up with a girl like her?" Mike even backed off once Edward made it clear I was taken. I couldn't wait till Saturday. First, we just have to get through Charlie and Jake's interrogations.

Since cold ones weren't allowed in La Push-even though Jacob didn't believe the legends-we decided to meet at the treehouse after school. Jake was a little tentative about the idea at first, not wanting to give away the location of our secret hideout, but eventually I cajoled him into it. Since Jake is notorious for being late, I planned to head over to the rez after school and make sure he was on time. I gave Edward detailed directions and trusted that he would find the treehouse with ease in plenty of time. After school, Edward drove me home.

"I apologize in advance for anything Jacob says or does," I told him as we pulled out of the parking lot.

"Bella, I'll be fine. No matter what he says, I won't break up with you or something crazy like that," he reassured me.

"And you remember the directions?" I checked, paranoid about the whole thing.

"Yes, Bella. I'll be there at four like you asked," he promised.

"Alright. I'm just nervous. What if Jake doesn't like you? He's practically my brother, so it would be like if Emmett or Jasper didn't like me," I explained.

Edward took my hand and squeezed it reassuringly."Are you saying I'm not likable?" he asked with a chuckle.

"No, definately not. You're very likable," I told him, smiling. "He's just really protective. What would you do if Alice didn't have Jasper, and then one day, he moved to town and asked her out?"

"Emmett and I would probably interrogate him, so I see where your worries are coming from, but it will be fine. He can't scare me off."

"Good," I said as we arrived at my house. "I'll see you in a little," I told him, placing a quick kiss on his cheek, before climbing out of the car.

"Goodbye Bella. I'll see you soon," he called before driving off.

I walked inside and took my backpack to my room. Thankfully, I didn't have much homework tonight. I only had to do a few trig problems. I was planning to work on them when I got home tonight, after dinner. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and tossed my wallet and notebook into a tote bag before heading back downstairs. I elected not to bring my camera sice we were just going to be talking. It was drizzling a little when I walked out to my truck, but by the time I arrived at Jacob's the rain had stopped. Instead of bothering to knock, I just walked back to Jake's garage where I knew he would be.

"Hey Jake!" I called as I walked in. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah Bells. One second," he said as he finished tinkering with something under the hood of the car he's building- a Volkswagon Rabbit.

"Wanna take the bikes?" he asked as he reemerged.

"Sure. It's not raining so why not, but lets go. We don't want Edward to beat us there," I said as I grabbed my helmet and rolled my motercycle out of the garage.

Jake did the same and followed me out. "Are you sure this Edward guy will be able to find it?" he asked as he straddled his bike.

"Yeah, he'll be fine," I assured him. "And Jake," I said as I climbed onto my own bike, "be nice and nothing too embarrassing. I really like him."

"Alright Bells. I'll be nice. I'm still grilling him though," he said as he

reved his bike up and sped off. I followed behind him on the familiar path to the tree house.

When we arrived, Edward wasn't there yet, so we parked our bikes at the base of the tree and climbed up. As soon as we both collapsed onto the couch, I heard Edward's voice.

"Bella?" he called.

"Up here!" I shouted, sticking my head out the window.

Edward smiled at me before walking over to the ladder and ascending it with ease. As soon as he came up, he looked around the treehouse, surprised by its homeliness.

"Jacob this is Edward. Edward, Jacob," I introduced them.

"Hello Jacob. Nice posters," Edward said indicating the motercycle posters adorning the walls. "Are the bikes down there yours?"

I guess Edward hadn't really thought about how Jake could somehow ride two bikes over here because he looked astonished when Jacob told him, "Nah, mine's the Harley Sprint, but the red Honda is Bella's."

"You have a motercycle?" Edward asked me, stunned.

"Yeah. Jake and I- well mostly Jake- built them a few summers ago," I said casually.

"Are they safe?" he asked, concerned.

"It's fine Edward. I wear a helmet," I assured him.

"Alright, enough about the bikes," Jacob said. "What are your intentions toward my little sister?"

"We've been over this," I interrupted him, "you may be taller, but I'm two years older."

"Okay. Chill Bells," Jake told me before turning to Edward again, who had taken a seat on the floor since there wasn't really room on the couch. "What are your intentions toward my older sister?" he asked again, emphasizing the word older.

"I really like Bella. She's smart, kind, caring, and beautiful," Edward told Jacob and then grinned at me.

"So you're serious about this? She isn't just some fling?"

"No, she is much more than 'some fling'," Edward said with a little harshness in his voice.

"Good. So how old are you?"

"Seventeen," Edward a answered placidly.

"What kind of grades do you make?"

"Straight A's."

"Can you change a tire?"

"Yes."

"How many girlfriends have you had?" Jake threw in with his simple questions he had been firing off. I shot him a condescending look.

"None before Bella," Edward answered, smiling at me.

"Okay," Jacob said thinking a moment before asking, "are you a virgin?"

I blushed furtively and turned to face Jacob. "Jake you said you wouldn't ask embaressing questions," I whined, but secretly, I really was curious.

"I'm just making sure he's good for you Bells. So are you?" He asked Edward.

"Yes," he answered as calmly as he had the rest. Well that's definately good to know, despite the embarrassment.

"Bella said she met your family. Do they like her?"

"Yes. Alice is convinced that she's found her best friend and Emmett thinks of her like a little sister. Jasper does as well, but he isn't as boisterous and obvious about it as Emmett. My parents love her. Rosalie is being an idiot right now, but its only because she's jealous."

"Okay what do you want to do after graduating high school?"

"I plan to attend college, hopefully the same one as Bella," he stated.

"Do you play any sports?"

"I love baseball but don't plan on trying out for the school team."

"What kind of car do you drive?" Of course Jake would ask that.

"A Volvo S60R. I also have an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish for special occasions."

Jake let out a low whistle. I had no idea what any of that meant-though I had ridden in the Volvo so I at least knew what it looks like- but Jake was obviously impressed. "You must have a lot of money to afford cars like that."

"We don't like to flaunt it, but Carlisle is doctor and my birth parrents left me money as well," Edward explained.

Yeah it's got nothing to do with Alice seeing the future of the stock market and the fact that your family has been around for at least a hundred years, I thought sarcastically.

"Last question, how long do you see yourself with Bella?"

"As long as she wants me around," he told Jacob. I got up and walked over to give him a kiss on the cheek before sitting back down on the couch.

"So Jake," I asked after he contemplated a minute, " what's the verdict?"

"Well you seem like a nice enough guy with good intentions, so I approve," he told Edward. "But if you hurt her, I'll break your face," he threatened.

"I have no intention of doing so," Edward replied.

"Well it's getting late, and I need to cook and do homework. So, I'll see you tomorrow Edward," I said, getting up and placing another kiss on his cheek.

"Do you want to ride with me again?"

"Sure," I said smiling brightly. My best friend approves of my boyfriend. Hopefully Charlie will too.

"Then I'll see you in the morning," he told me before climbing down and walking down the path that led to the road.

Jake and I climbed down, hopped on our motorcycles a and rode back to his place. I parked mine in the garage, promised to come over this weekend, and headed home to fix dinner. I planned on making Harry Clearwater's Fish Fry.

When I got home, the cruiser wasn't in the driveway. Charlie must still be at work. I began to prepare dinner anyway. If necessary, I could just heat his up in the microwave. After cleaning and preparing two fish, I coated them in the fish fry and placed them in a pan of oil to cook. While they sizzled, I thought about what went down this afternoon. Despite the awkwardness of some of Jacob's questions, I was relieved to know that Edward was still a virgin. And that he plans to be around as long as I want him. When he said that, I had been tempted to reply with forever, but I figured Jake wouldn't appreciate the sappiness. Kissing Edward on the cheek was already pushing it. As long as I had a say in it, we would be each other's first and only kiss, love, and everything else. Speaking of first kiss, I wonder when it will happen? It feels like we've known each other much longer than we actually have. It has to be coming soon. I can only hope. I started sliping into a daydream about what it would be like to kiss Edward when I heard a car pull into the driveway. Charlie was home, a fact that quickly snapped me out of my fantasy. I turned the stove off and was putting the fish onto plates when he walked in.

"Is that Harry's Fish Fry I smell?" He asked as he hung up his jacket and gun belt.

"Sure is," I told him. "Dinner will be ready in a moment. Could you fix the drinks?"

"Sure think Bells," he said as I fixed the salad, pouring me a glass of milk and grabbing a beer for himself.

I set the table and we began eating.

"Don't forget that Edward is coming over after school tomorrow," I reminded him. "So make sure you come home early if you want to meet him."

"Right. Your boyfriend is coming," he muttered.

"Dad, Edward is great. He even got Jacob's seal of approval."

"Well that's something all right. He must be a pretty decent kid. I still want to meet him though."

"Okay Dad."

The rest of dinner was pretty quiet. After we ate, Charlie volunteered to wash the dishes. I guess there wasn't a ballgame on TV. So, I headed upstairs to my room and did my trig homework before getting ready for bed and reading a little. I was almost done with East of Eden. I needed to plan a trip to Port Angeles sometime soon so I could go to the book store and get more reading material. I was thinking something more in the fantasy genre. Hmm, I thought sarcastically to myself as I drifted off, I wonder what brought that on? Definately not my vampire boyfriend...

The next day went great. Edward picked me up from school again, and since I know he enjoys reading, I asked him if he wanted to come to the book store with me next time I go. He happily agreed. Once again, he walked me to all my classes, holding my hand. I could see a routine forming. Alice and I talked in Spanish class, and she eventually got me to agree to a makeover at her house next weekend. Her pout was impossible to resist, so torture here I come... At lunch, Edward gave me a running comentary on Mike's and Jessica's thoughts. It was hilarious, especially when he mimicked their voices. You would never believe how much Jess uses the word like in her head. We spent most of the time cracking up and earning odd stares. I had a feeling that Edward wouldn't find their thoughts so humorous if I wasn't there laughing with him. I knew I wouldn't. We did a lab in biology, so we just talked and joked around for the rest of class after we finished.

"It's a good thing you're bulletproof," I told him quietly while the rest of the class was still working on the lab.

"Why is that?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Well, Charlie is a cop..." I hedged. "And you're the very first guy I've ever brought home for him to meet."

"Oh,"Edward said with realization. "Are you saying he'd have a reason to shoot me?" he asked putting a hand over his chest, feigning hurt.

"No. Charlie just has been known to over react," I explained.

"Well then it is a good thing I'm bulletproof," he said with a smile.

I quietly started to sing the song Titanium by David Guetta and Sia. "I'm bulletproof nothin to lose! Fire away, fire away!"

Edward chuckled but then began to sing the next part a little louder, "Ricochet, you take your aim! Fire away, fire away!" His voice was glorious. Mine was nothing compared to it, but I started the next line anyway.

"You shoot me down, but I won't fall. I am titanium!" I sang as Mr. Banner walked up unnoticed at first.

"Miss Swan, Mr. Cullen, may I ask why you are singing instead of working on your lab?"

"Um," I said blushing, staring at the lab table.

"We've finished sir," Edward explained, offering our worksheet as proof.

"Alright, but please no more singing in my class."

"Yes sir," Edward and I replied simultaneously.

He nodded and walked away to check on another group.

"Well that was embaressing," I muttered.

"Why? Your voice is beautiful and it was fun," Edward said smiling his crooked smile. It took me a moment to compose an answer.

"People were staring, and we got caught," I explained, making a point not to stare into his eyes too long.

"Alright, so no more impromptu musicals in class," he declared.

"Right," I said smiling as the bell rang.

We packed our stuff and Edward walked me to Gym. We were playing dodge ball. Whoo hoo my favorite! Not. I ended up hiding in the back most of the time. After class, Edward was outside waiting for me like always.

"Ready to go meet my dad?" I asked him, as he took my hand and led me too his car. I had started packing my backpack before gym to avoid the extra trip to my locker.

"As ready as I'll ever be," he told me with a grin as he opened the passenger door for me.

"I apologize in advance for any potentially embaressing questions he may ask."

"It's fine Bella. I'm sure he'll love me. I am 'Emmett the amazing's' brother after all," he said with a laugh.

"All right I get it," I saight with a light laugh, "I need to chill."

When we arrived home, the cruiser was already in the driveway. Well best to get it over with.

"Ready?" I asked to reassure myself more so that Edward.

"Lets go," he said smiling as he turned the car off.

He walked around and opened my door like always. I had learned not to try and do it myself. Both times I had tried, Edward argued that chivalry was a dying art, but he planned to keep it alive because that's the way he was raised. I figured that he enjoyed doing things for me, and his pleading was hard to resist, so I learned to expect things like opening doors from him.

After helping me out of the car, he took my hand, and we walked to the door. I took a deep breath and turned the knob.

"Dad, I'm home," I called.

"In the living room Bells," he called back.

I guided Edward to the living room where Charlie was sitting on the couch watching a ball game.

"Edward, this is my dad. Dad, meet my boyfriend, Edward Cullen," I introduced them.

"Have a seat Edward," Charlie said as he turned off the TV. Edward chose the armchair leaving me on the couch with Charlie.

"Now Edward, I'd like to get to know you. So, tell me about yourself," Charlie instructed.

"Well, sir, I'm seventeen and a junior like Bella. My father, as you probably know, is Dr. Cullen. My family just moved here this year from Alaska. I play the piano. And I care for your daughter very much," Edward explained politely.

"Humph," Charlie grumbled, seemingly struggling to find anything to criticize. "Ever gotten a speeding ticket?"

"No sir."

"Ever been to jail?"

"No sir."

"What kind of grades do you make?"

"Straight A's."

"How many girlfriends have you had?" Despite the fact that I knew the answer to the question, it was still a little embarrassing for my dad to ask.

"None before Bella, sir."

"Hmm," Charlie mused, "how long do you see this relationship lasting?"

"As long as Bella wants it to, sir."

"Why do you like my daughter?"

"She's smart, kind, caring, sweet, down to earth, beautiful, and much more," Edward said sincerely causing me to blush.

"Bella said you've been opening doors for her and such. Why?"

"My birth parents, and Carlisle and Esme as well, have raised me to be chivalrous and respectful towards women."

"I see. Well son, you seem like a nice boy, so I'll allow you to date my daughter. But, the minute she says its over, it's over," Charlie explained. I shot Edward a smile and a look that said never. "Her curfew on school nights is eight o'clock, and on weekends it's eleven. I expect you to respect it. And if I ever hear of you hurting her, just remember, I am a trained law enforcement officer with guns."

Yes! Charlie approved of Edward! I knew- well fervently hoped- he would! Now all my anxiety was dissipating. In its place, I only felt anticipation for Saturday...

"Yes sir. I understand. Thank you," Edward replied.

"Would you like to stay for dinner?" Charlie asked archly, as if hoping for a no. Even though he approved of Edward did not mean he wanted him around all the time.

"My mother wants me home for dinner," he replied.

Yeah, I thought, Esme wants you home for dinner... so you're not hunting over here.

"Alright son. I'll see you later then," Charlie said, clearly dismissing him.

"Thank you for having me over sir. Goodbye," Edward said as I led him to the front door. The moment we stepped outside, I closed the front door and Edward turned to face me. "Now that wasn't so bad was it?"

"No, definately not as bad as Jacobs questions," I replied with a smile.

"Would you like me to pick you up in the morning?"

"Of course," I assured him.

"I'll see you tomorrow Bella," he said softly as he hugged me gently and placed a kiss on my cheek. My heart rate increases exponentially. Just being in his arms did crazy things to me.

"See you then," I responded, and he smiled and stroked my cheek before walking to his car and driving away.

 

Chapter Text

Friday morning, I woke up feeling almost jittery with my excitement. Jake and Charlie approved of Edward. They were going to let me see him, and everything was going great. I had a feeling that today was going to be especially good. As the week had gone on, the leaves had continued to change into the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows of fall. That was one perk of having so much rain. In the fall, the colors are rich and vivid. As the leaves had changed, it had also gotten colder. I practically skipped to the bathroom to brush my teeth and such. I couldn't believe it. My life had improved tenfold since Edward came into it. I never had a problem before with being invisible and only having one real friend, but now that I had Edward and his family, I felt so much more complete. My life felt perfect. After taking care of my bathroom necessities, I headed back to my bedroom to pick out an outfit. I finally decided on a blue pull over sweater, a pair of skinny jeans, and my duck boots. Alice probably would fuss about it, but it was me. I'm not some fashion queen. I was about to run downstairs and get breakfast when I glanced at my clock. I did a double take, but sure enough, it was only seven fifteen. My excitement must have woken me up earlier than I thought. To pass the time, I decided to check and see if my mom had emailed me. After booting up my computer, I pulled up my email. I had been neglecting it lately, so there were three unread messages from Mom and a lot of junk mail. After deleting the junk mail, I pulled up the oldest one from Mom.

Dear Bella,

How are you? Phil and I are doing great. He just got a coaching job at a nearby private high school. He really loves it. Last week, I joined a book club. We are currently reading Wuthering Heights. Have you read it? How is the school year going so far? Do you like your classes? How is Jacob?

-Mom

After reading it, I clicked on the next one.

Dear Bella,

Why haven't you responded to my last email? Are you alright? I understand if you are busy with school, but please email me back. By the way, I quit my book club. I didn't enjoy the book. But, I have started taking an aerobics class at the YMCA. It is going well so far. Write back soon.

-Mom

And then I looked at the most recent, which she sent last night.

Isabella Swan,

Why have you not responded to any of my messages? If you do not respond by tomorrow night, then I am calling Charlie.

-Mom

I glanced at the clock and decided that I had time to write back before heading downstairs. I didn't want Mom to freak out longer than needed, and I did feel kind of bad for ignoring her messages.

Mom,

Sorry that I haven't been writing back. I've been busy with school and hanging out with Jacob. He's doing well, by the way. He's thrilled to be in high school. And yes, I have read Wuthering Heights. Mom, it's one of my favorite books. I'm sorry your book club didn't work out. Are you still taking the aerobics classes? School is going great for me. I love all my classes except for trig and gym. We have some new students this year. Yeah I can't believe it either. Someone voluntarily moved to Forks. There are five kids, but they're all adopted. Alice and I have become great friends, and Edward and I have gotten really close as well. We actually have a date Saturday. I hope you and Phil are doing well.

-Bella

I figured it would be better if I told her about Edward rather than letting Charlie tell her. Hopefully the email would pacify her, even though it would most likely bring on awkward questions. Oh well. I glanced at the clock again and realized that it was seven thirty-five. Edward would be here any minute. I quickly shut down my computer and grabbed my backpack before making a mad dash down the stairs. A few steps from the bottom, I started to trip. I closed my eyes and braced for impact, but two cold arms caught me before I hit the ground.

"Careful Bella," Edward scolded me with a slight smile.

"Thanks," I told him after I caught my breath. "How'd you get in here?"

"The door was unlocked, and Alice saw that you would fall," he explained.

"Wow, I'll have to thank her."

"Are you ready to go?" he asked.

"Let me grab a granola bar, and then we can go. Will you check if camera and notebook are in my backpack?" I asked as I walked to the kitchen.

As I stood in front of the cabinet and got out a granola bar, I felt Edward walk up behind me. I was about to ask if he needed anything when I heard him unzipping my bag, reminding me that I was still wearing it. Oops.

"It's in there," he assured me before zipping my backpack back up.

"Thanks. I'm ready to go then," I told him, spinning around with a smile adorning my face.

"You look lovely," he said as he took my hand to lead me outside.

"Thanks," I replied, blushing a little, "it's not anything special though."

"You still look lovely," Edward said with a smile.

I grabbed my rain coat off the hook by the door since it was pouring down rain and started to walk outside.

"We should probably take your truck today. Alice and I are leaving early and I want you to have a ride home," Edward explained, holding up my keys. I wonder where he found them. I thought they were in my room. Oh well. "Would you like to drive?" he asked with a strange look, almost as if he was hoping I'd say no.

"Sure," I grinned and took the keys from him. "Let's go. Hopefully we won't be late."

"We'll be fine," He told me, opening the door of my truck for me.

"Thanks," I told him and climbed in, but he was in his seat before me with his vampire speed.

"Now let's go. And please pay attention to the road," he pleaded, with a smile on his face, trying to dazzle me.

"What? You don't trust my driving?" I asked, feigning hurt. Though actually, it was a little insulting.

"No Bella, I trust your driving, but I constantly worry about you no matter what," he explained. Oh, well, that's sweet, a little overprotective but still sweet.

"So, do you have your English essay done?" I asked, conversationally and randomly.

"Yes I do. What about you?" he responded.

"I'm done. I finished a while ago," I told him with a smile.

"Oh I see. So, have you taken any new pictures lately?"

We talked the rest of the way to school about my photography. I even told him how I have always wanted to use a film camera and a dark room ever since Renee tried photography when I was seven. I guess that's what really got me started on photography in general. We also decided that he would come pick me up at around ten tomorrow. Once we got to school, Edward walked me to class. The day was great - just like every other day this week had been- until Edward and Alice left after lunch. My invisibility returned instantly without the Cullens around to draw people's attention. I was able to return to my usual observations, but none of it seemed as interesting as it did a few weeks ago. I was really looking forward to Saturday.

After gym class, I was ambushed by Mike since Edward wasn't there to protect me. Wonderful, I thought, apparently the Cullens absence doesn't make me invisible to Mike, unlike the rest of the school.

"Hey Bella," he said dogging me to the parking lot where my nice dry truck was waiting.

"Do you need something Mike?" I asked petulantly. I didn't want to be rude, but Mike's persistence was really ticking me off. Does he not know the meaning of no or taken?

"Actually Bella, I just wanted to know where Cullen is?" the idiot asked with a smile in his voice.

"First off, Edward and his sister Alice are visiting some of their family," I told him, using the cover story Alice prepared me with. "And second, go away," I demanded as I continued toward my truck.

"Oh," he said, cheerfully, in response to my first statement and obviously ignoring the second one. "Well then, would you like to go see a movie with me tomorrow?"

"No," I stated firmly and started to dig for my keys in my bag.

"Awe why Bella?" he asked with a pout. Ugh, just go away, I thought, yanking my keys out of my bag with more force than necessary.

"Because A, Edward and I have a date tomorrow, and B, I don't like you," I said harshly. I felt sort of bad about it, but I had already told him no who knows how many times in the last few weeks.

"You don't have to hang out with the weirdo and his family just because they're new," he insisted as I opened the door of my truck. Okay, scratch that. I do not feel bad for the idiot. Maybe he only understands the first half of any sentence. He grabbed my wrist to pull me back, but I twisted it out of his grasp with a self defense move I learned from Charlie.

"First, dont touch me. And second, Edward and his family are not weird, Mike. I like him, definitely a lot more than I like you, so I spend time with him. Understand? Now please go away," I said slowly and clearly before slamming the door of my truck in his face and driving off.

When I got home, I was still ticked off at Mike. I slammed the door of my truck after I climbed out and headed inside. After setting all my homework out on the kitchen table, I sat down and took some deep breaths. I needed to calm down. I don't want to be stressed during my date with Edward tomorrow. I decided to get all my homework done tonight so that I can have the whole day tomorrow with Edward. At the moment though, I was too annoyed to do trigonometry or even read. This wasn't like me. I'm not usually one to hold grudges, but Mike had no right to say what he did about Edward and his family. That on top of his persistance just pushed me over the edge. I really just needed to vent. That thought brought the solution to my problem to the forefront of my mind. I'll just call Jake.

I walked over to the phone, dialed the Blacks' number and waited.

"Hello?" Jake's voice answered.

"I'll take you up on that offer to punch Newton now," I said gruffly.

"Um, hey Bella. What's up?" He asked wearily.

I wasn't usually so violent, but when I got mad, I cried or yelled depending on how strong the emotion was. I don't think Jake wanted to deal with either at the moment, so he proceeded with caution.

"The idiot doesn't understand the meaning of no or go away and likes to insult people for no reason," I fumed.

"Elaborate, please. We already knew he doesn't comprehend basic English," Jake said. In other words, go ahead and vent. I'm ready to listen and take your side.

"Well, Edward and his sister, Alice, are visiting some family today, so they left school early. After gym, Newton comes up and asks me out /again. So after asking why Edward wasn't at school, he had the nerve to ask me out despite how clear Edward has made it to him that we are going out. I was very blunt and basically told him to go away because I didn't like him. So he had followed me all the way to my truck when he had the audacity to assume I am only dating Edward and hanging out with his siblings out of pity. Then the jerk grabbed my wrist to try and keep me from leaving. I used the self defense Charlie taught me and yanked it out of his grasp before explaining slowly and clearly that he needed to go away. And that's basically it," I ranted.

"Wow Bells. This guy has issues. And, no offense, but why aren't you telling your boyfriend so he can handle it?"

"Because I think Edward might kill Mike. Newton ticks him off more than he does me. And I know that you can get the message across without harming anything vital."

"Okay," Jacob said slowly. "Well I'm happy to be of service. When would you like your message delivered?" he asked chuckling.

"If you see him this weekend, feel free but if not, then Monday before school."

"Anything to protect my sister from creeps," he promised.

"Thanks for letting me vent Jake," I told him.

"Anytime Bells. Oh and is there a chance I can come over for dinner Sunday night? Billy has a council meeting," he pleaded.

"I'll ask Charlie," I assured him. "See ya Jake."

"Thanks! Bye!" he said before hanging up.

Well it felt better to get that off my chest. Now I could concentrate on homework. I sat back down at the kitchen table, opened my trig book, and began my night of homework. I took a break around six to fix some stir fry for dinner. Charlie got home when I was finishing it up.

"That smells good Bella," he said as he hung up his jacket.

"Thanks Dad. Oh and don't forget that I have a date with Edward tomorrow," I reminded him as I set plates at the table.

"Harry and I are going fishing, so I'll be gone before you leave. Be careful Bells. And remember, curfew is at eleven."

"Alright Dad. I will. Oh and Jacob wants to come over Sunday for dinner."

"That's fine. Just him?"

"Yeah Dad. Billy has a council meeting," I explained.

"All right Bells. Well I'm turning in. Goodnight."

"Goodnight Dad."

After Charlie went upstairs, I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen before heading to bed myself. Once I got ready, I laid restless in bed. What would happen tomorrow? Where was he taking me? Would he kiss me? Would he tell me more about who he really is? These questions and many more ran through my head, keeping me from sleep. To calm myself, I put in my Geoffrey Castle CD. His music is really soothing. Then I climbed back in bed and tried to clear my brain of all thought but the music. It worked, eventually.

When I woke up Saturday morning, it was around 9:30. I jumped out of bed and began to get ready when I noticed that the sky looked clear through my window. It was even almost bright enough to pass for sunny. That darkened my prospect for the day a little, but I convinced myself that Edward wouldn't canel on me. Alice would have seen the weather if it was going to be a problem. Yes there was a glimmer of sunshine but not enough to warrant shorts, so I ended up wearing skinny jeans, my duck boots, and a short sleeved light brown button up blouse. I also grabbed a navy jacket and my bag containing some of my pictures, my camera, East of Eden, a pencil, and my current notebook.

I was still fretting when I went downstairs to get breakfast. As I finished my bowl of cereal, I heard a knock on the door. After tossing my empty bowl in the sink, I dashed to the door and wrenched it open, ridiculously eager to see Edward. He was standing there smiling, looking beautiful as always. He was wearing a light blue long sleeved button up shirt open over a white tshirt, jeans, and brown boots, and he looked extremely handsome. I knew I was ogling, but I couldn't take my eyes off him.

He chuckled before saying, "Good morning Bella."

"Good morning Edward," I said grinning, slightly embarrassed.

"You look lovely," he told me, stepping inside.

"Thanks," I mumbled, staring at my shoes. He was too sweet. All these compliments were going to give me a permanent blush.

"Are you ready to go?" he asked, tilting my face up by placing a finger under my chin and smiling at me.

"Yeah I'm ready. Where exactly are we going by the way?"

"It's a surprise. Do you have your camera?"

"It's in my bag. Why?"

"Oh you'll see when we get there. Now come on slow poke," he said taking my hand and gently pulling me out the door. I still felt the tingly sensation every time he touched me and it was getting harder to ignore.

"I hate surprises," I muttered as I climbed into the passenger seat of the Volvo, only after Edward opened my door.

"I figured as much miss I leave no mystery unsolved," Edward joked as we drove off. "However, I think you'll like this one once we arrive."

"Or maybe I can figure it out before we arrive," I suggested, pulling out my notebook and pencil. I flipped to a blank page and titled it, "Surprise Date Location."

"Will you tell me what you write down?" Edward asked with sincere curiosity. He always wants a glimpse into my elusive mind, and most of the time, I'm happy to oblige.

"Sure. The title is "Secret Date Location." I began to take notes, reading them as I wrote. "Slightly sunny, so somewhere out of the way. Outdoors most likely."

"Where did you get outdoors from?"

"You're wearing hiking boots," I stated simply, causing Edward to grin his crooked grin and momentarily distract me.

"Your notes," he reminded me.

"Oh right. Picnic," I said as I wrote it down. "Before you ask, I smell the food," I told him, explaining where my note came from again. "Somewhere pretty. Hiking is involved to get there because you're wearing hiking boots like I said, and we're headed towards the trails. Although, I doubt we're taking one," I surmised.

"Bella, you really are observant. How do you pick up on so many little details?"

"Practice, and I pay attention. Oh and I have a surprise for you too," I told him, remembering the photos stashed in my bag. Edward had been asking to see some all week.

"Which is?" he asked as we came to a stop. I looked up and saw that we were at the trail head.

"You'll have to wait till we get there," I replied with a grin.

Edward climbed out of the Volvo and opened my door at lighting speed. I think I was finally getting used to it.

"Well then let's get going!" he said, helping me out of the car and locking it.

"Someone is impatient," I observed aloud.

"Well I, unlike some people, can't figure out the majority of my surprise," he said, taking my hand and leading me into the woods. He gave me a look that made me think he could feel that strange but pleasant sensation as well whenever we touched.

"Surprises are good for you. Especially since you can read everyone's mind but mine. Patience is a virtue you know."

"I'm not used to not knowing things," he grumbled jokingly as we walked through the green, slightly damp forest. My boots make squishy noises with every step I took, but there were patches of faint sunlight peeking through the leaves overhead. It felt like a fairy tale

"Well get used to it," I told him with a smile. "I plan on tormenting you with my mental silence as long as you'll keep me around." Wait, was that too much? I don't want to show him how obsessed I am, and I definately don't want to scare him off with over commitment. I silently gulped.

"I guess I'll just have to get really good at reading facial expressions then. Or you could just narrate all your thoughts," he suggested.

I let out the breath I'd been unconsciously holding. He obviously cares about me a lot too. After all, he just implied that he wants to keep me around too. I smiled hugely as Edward stopped walking.

"Okay we're almost there. I want you to get out your camera now and get it ready," he instructed.

"Okay." I did as he asked and pulled out my camera, switched it on, and removed the lense cap before setting the apperature and shutter speed for the forest lighting.

"Now close your eyes- no peeking- and I'm going to lead you foward into my meadow. It's a place I like to come when it's nice outside," he explained.

"Alright Edward. I trust you not to let me fall or run into a tree or something," I said, closing my eyes.

I felt a light pressure on top of my head-maybe his lips- before he began to lead me foward into his meadow. I couldn't wait to see it. I'd been looking foward to this date all week and now it was finally here.

 

Chapter Text

"Okay Bella," Edward said as he stopped walking and released my hands, "you can open your eyes now."

I blinked a few times, adjusting to the change in lighting. Due to the fact that there was no tree cover in Edward's meadow, it was much brighter. After the few seconds it took for my eyes to adjust, I gazed at the beautiful place in awe. The sight in front of me was even more magical than the Cullens' home. It was so perfect that it couldn't be real. I stood in a perfectly round clearing covered in grass that varied from a pastel spring green to a deep forest green depending on how the light and shadows hit each blade. It was just long enough to appear wild, but not so much that it seemed overgrown. Scattered around it were gorgeous wild flowers in every color from yellow to purple. The only sound that could be heard was the faint trickling of a brook in the distance. It was all so surreal. I lifted my camera from where it hung around my neck, fixed the settings for the brighter light, and began to capture the sight around me as best as I knew how. I'm not exactly sure how long I had been taking photos and marveling at the natural beauty that surrounded me when I heard Edward's voice.

"Bella, love, I know it's beautiful and you probably want to take more pictures, but its past noon and you need to eat. I also thought you wanted to know how the sun affects me," Edward said with an odd tone in his voice toward the end. It was almost as if he was worried about something.

The only part I really heard though was the "Bella, love" part. The back of my mind vaguely heard something about eating and sunlight, but all I could think was, he called me love. Edward called me love! Does that mean he loves me? Is it just a term of endearment without truth behind it? Or does he really love me, the invisible girl? My head was too clouded with these thoughts to determine the reason for the tone in his voice earlier.

"Bella?" I heard again, and this time, he sounded worried.

"Oh sorry," I replied, spinning around to see that Edward was still standing under the shade of the trees.

"Did you hear anything I said earlier?" Edwardth asked, grinning that crooked grin of his that had my heart beating a bit faster.

"Vaguely," I replied with an answering smile. "It was something about food and sunshine."

"Very good for someone so thoroughly distracted. I was afraid that I'd have to come stand in front of you in the sun to get your attention," he chuckled.

"Speaking of which..." I said gesturing him foward, implying that he should in fact step into the sunlight. He had promised after all.

"It's a bit silly," he replied, looking almost embaressed. That's rediculous. What would Edward have to be embaressed about?

"You promised," I reminded him. The suspense was only making me more curious.

Edward took a deep, yet unnecessary, breath to gather himself before taking three very measured steps foward. As soon as the first rays of sun hit him, his skin exploded into bright, glittering lights. The light reflected off of him like a prism in constant motion. It was as if he had glitter or maybe diamonds embedded in his skin. I couldn't take my eyes off him. I was in awe.

"Well?" Edward asked, walking slowly closer.

"It's not very manly, I'll admit," I told him, staring into his lovely golden eyes, smiling. "But, really, Edward," I said, taking a step forwards to close the distance between us and then put my hand on his cheek, "you're beautiful."

"So I don't repulse you?" he asked with a grin since it was already so obvious the answer to his question was a resounding no.

"Not in the slightest," I assured him. He answered with a smile that was so perfect that I just had to capture this moment. I reached for my camera, but before I could lift it to my face, a gentle hand stopped me.

"Lunch first Bella," he insisted.

"Fine," I grumbled half heartedly, as I sat indian style on the ground. Thankfully, the grass was surprisingly dry.

"I'm glad you're being sensible," Edward said with a smile as he took a blanket from a picnic basket that he must have carried here. I guess I was just too distracted by him to notice. "So I still managed to surprise you, despite how intuitive you are?" he asked as he took out a sandwich, some chips, a water bottle, and chocolate covered strawberries. Yum.

"You did. I never imagined somewhere this beautiful and perfect could be real. Don't tell Esme, but its better than you're home. Only because it's so natural though. How did you find it?"

"Being the only single one in my family for quite some time gave me an excessive amount of free time. I like to go on runs, and one day, I discovered this place. I like to come here because it's so peaceful. I don't have to hear the incessant mill of thoughts flowing through my head all the time."

"Well, it's wonderful," I assured him as my stomach growled. "Uh, I think I'll take that lunch now," I said with a small grin. "What time is it exactly?"

"One thirty," he responded with a smile, handing me a sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap. "Peanut butter and jelly."

I took it eagerly after realizing how hungry I was, unwrapped it, and took a big bite. After chewing and swallowing, I declared, "Best PB&J sandwich ever!"

"Esme will be glad you think so, love," Edward said, sitting next to me and taking one of my hands. There he goes again, calling me love. What does he mean by it?

"Edward," I said in between bites of sandwich, "I don't want to kill the mood or anything, but I have been dying to know. Why did you hate me so much on the first day of school?"

"Bella," he said, shifting himself in front of me and taking my other hand after I finished my sandwich.

He was staring deeply into my eyes and I had no choice but to stare back. Not that I wanted to do otherwise. I've never agreed more with the old saying, the eyes are the windows to the soul. Looking into Edward's, I could tell he was conflicted about something. His answer was obviously unpleasant, and he worried how I would take it. I hoped he saw in my own that I had no intention of going anywhere no matter what his reason was. I cared too deeply for him and I was already in too deep to get out if I wanted to.

Whatever he saw gave him the courage to continue. He steeled himself and took another one of those seemingly unneccessary deep breaths before continuing. "Bella, as a vampire, you already know I have some special abilities. I have enhanced senses, including smell. Just like certain food smells really good to certain people, certain people's blood smells better than others to certain vampires. When the scent of someone's blood is especially strong, that person is the vampire's singer, or in the original itallian, la tua cantante because their blood sings to them. Bella, what I'm trying to say is that you're my singer," he explained, causing me to gasp. "You know my family and I only drink animals, but when I saw you that first day in biology, I was so close to killing you then and there," he admitted ashamededly. I squeezed his hands comfortingly. This had to be hard for him to relive. "I barely managed to stop myself. After class, I drove home, took Carlisle's car since it had a full tank of gas, and drove to Alaska. Eventually I talked myself into coming back. My family missed me, and while I was away from the call of your blood, I could think rationally enough to decide that I could and would overcome my problem," he explained before watching my face cautiously for a response.

"Oh Edward, I'm so sorry," I said throwing my arms around him without a second thought. All I wanted to do was comfort him, but after a second, I realized that I was basically sitting in his lap. I could feel a faint blush creeping onto my cheeks as I tried to slide off. His arms however, encircled my waist and prevented me from doing so. "Is there anything I can do? And what about now?" Does it not affect you anymore?" I mean obviously I was very close to him and he wasn't trying to suck my blood.

"Bella, why in the world would you be sorry? I'm the one who wanted to kill you," he stated.

"I care about you. I don't like it when you hurt," I muttered.

"Oh Bella, love, thank you, so much. The fact that you sit here with me willingly is all I could ask. Yes your blood still affects me, but I care about you far too much to even think about acting on it," he assured me, and I felt that faint pressure on the top of my head again. I really wanted to look up and see if it was his lips, but I didn't. He cares about me. A lot, obviously. I wanted to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

"Thank you Edward," I said leaning my head against his shoulder.

"You need to finish your lunch," he told me with a full fledged smile. He looked free and exhilarated.

"Okay," I said scooting out of his lap, successfully this time, to return to my spot in front of him. I ate a few chips before I dug through my bag to find my notebook and pencil. After flipping it open, I began to write about the magical meadow where one of the best days of my life was taking place.

"What are you writing about?" Edward asked curiously.

"You, me, us, this," I said gesturing all around us. I had never felt more at a loss for words in my whole life.

"Before you continue your story, would you like some strawberries," he said, holding one up.

"Sure," I replied with a smile. They really did look good, but before I could reach up to take it, Edward was holding it in front of my lips. I took a bite and tasted the best chocolate covered strawberry ever. "Mmm this is fantastic," I declared with a smile.

"Would you like another one ma'am?" he asked, holding one up.

"Yes please kind sir," I answered before eating another.

After eating through the strawberries, Edward packed the picnic back up and sat down with his back against a tree and his knees bent. I followed him over and leaned against the side of his legs before pulling my notebook back out. I felt Edward's hand running through my hair sending a warm buzz through my scalp down to my toes. It was calming and felt wonderful. I began writing a fairy tale version of today where I was a princess and Edward was my Prince Charming. Eventually it began to develop into a full fledged story complete with Alice as a pixie who followed me around and Rosalie as the evil queen. All of Edward's family had roles, and I completely lost track of time as I continued to write. I did notice however when a cloud covered the sun, and the sparkles glinting off Edward's skin and onto my paper disappeared, reminding me where I really was. I turned to look at Edward.

"How long have I been writing?" I asked sheepishly.

"About an hour and a half," he said casually.

"Well I feel like a jerk. I've been practically ignoring you all this time."

"I didn't mind. I am curious about the surprise you mentioned earlier though," he replied with a smile that stunned me for a moment. Surprise... Surprise...

"Oh that!" I exclaimed as I fished around in my bag for the pictures I had brought to show him. "It's nothing huge, but you said you wanted to see my pictures, so..." I trailed off, offering him a stack of photos.

He flipped through them, intently studying each one without uttering a word. What does he think? Is he dissapointed? Ugh the suspense is killing me.

"Bella, wow. These are amazing. How do you do this?" He asked me, gesturing at them. "The composition and everything looks professional. It's not over structured. It all looks natural and beautiful. Now I don't think you were exaggerating about the Wal-Mart photo counter lady's praise," he beamed at me. His eyes were alight with an expression I didn't quite recognize.

He likes them, was the first thought that ran across my mind. Then I remembered his question. "I just pay attention," I explained. "Notice how the clouds cover the sun all but right there," I said indicating the rim of light lining the edge of a cloud. "See that shadow?" I asked pointing to the shadow of the two of us sitting that was a few feet away but not stretched. Edward listened with rapt attention. "It's created by that bit of light shining through. It gives it sharpness. Light, shadow, and sometimes color are all key components. Here," I said handing him my camera after tweaking the settings. "Look through, and tell me what you see in the view finder."

"Right now I see you," Edward said pointing the camera at me. "Yes, but look closer. Describe the way the light or lack of it affects my features," I instructed him.

"Well, there's a slight shadow around your nose and the corners of your eyes. Your cheeks, the tip of your nose, and your forehead are lighter. The bit of sun is shining on the left side of your hair, bringing out some red in it..." He listed off and then continued to stare, trying to find more to describe in the terms I asked for.

"That's really good for a first timer. Now let me tell you what I see," I told him, reaching for the camera. He handed it to me, and I moved so that I was facing him but more on his right side. I lifted the camera up and began. I didn't need the visual of the actual view finder, but I wanted to do it the way I had him. "From this angle, the sun, as its coming back out a bit more, casts a steep shadow from the bridge of your nose across the left side of your face. I can still see the light touching your cheeks and upper lip, though the right side is brighter and has a faint prism-like affect. The sunlight makes your hair almost seem to glow while creating a sharp contrast with your skin and individual sections of your hair itself. The edge of your ear is highlighted by the beam of sun that is currently hitting you. A sharp shadow strikes the tree behind you, and it's texture provides a nice contrast for a background. Your eyes glimmer with interest, awe, and something else I can't quite figure out. Your lips are beginning to twist into a smile-" I snapped a picture then, wanting to remember the moment forever. "That's how I see the world," I explained, putting my camera back in its case and returning it to my bag.

"Bella, you are truely amazing," Edward said as he began to lean in closer.

My mind blanked. I was dazzled. Was he going to kiss me? What should I do? I'd never kissed a boy before. These thoughts were still spinning through my head when I felt his lips softly touch my own.

All other thoughts left my head and my eyes closed as I kissed him back. My brain let go of the reigns and my heart took control. I felt his hands, one resting softly on my cheek, the other in my hair. They sent the electric buzz I normally felt when he touched me flow throughout my whole body. My hands went up to his shoulders on their own accord. The kiss was soft, sweet, loving, and much shorter than I would have preferred. Overall though it was amazing. As his lips left mine, I gasped slightly.

"Was that alright?" Edward asked a bit sheepishly.

"It was perfect," I assured him, scooting over to his side. He wrapped an arm around me, and I rested my head on his shoulder. "Today has been perfect. Thank you Edward, so much."

"You're very welcome my beautiful Bella," he replied kissing the top of my head again, though this time, I was sure that his lips were the slight pressure I felt. He called me his, for which I was glad. I was his and he mine, hopefully for forever.

"Bella, I'm sad to say, but the day must end. I ought to get you home. But first, I have one question. Would you be my girlfriend? It's not the right word for how I feel for you, but it does express an inkling of how much I care for you."

"Yes," I whispered, giving him a soft kiss that I intended to be short. Yeah, that didn't happen. After kissing for who knows how long, Edward pulled back and stood up, reaching for my hand to help me up. I took it and instead of just helping me to my feet, once I was up, he pulled my into his arms. I never wanted to move.

"Can I show you something," he asked, excitement evident in his eyes and tone.

"Sure. What is it?"

"I want to show you how I travel: running," he said shifting me onto his back.

"Okay," I said with a grin, though a little trepidation shown through.

"I imagine this will be like riding your motorcycle, only much faster. Are you up for it?"

"Definately. Let's go," excited now as well. Like my bike had been the magic words.

"Hold on tight," he instructed.

"And you watch where you're going. I don't want to hit a tree," I commanded before kissing him on the cheek.

"Silly, running is easy. We won't hit anything," he assured me before he took off.

It was amazing. Edward was right, it was like my bike, only a million times better. The wind wooshed through my hair as we practically flew through the woods. I wanted to be a vampire just so I could run like this. The wish caught me off guard a little, and I realized that there was much to consider on that front. Right now though, I just wanted to enjoy being with Edward. We reached his car in a few minutes- much faster than it took this morning.

"That was epic!" I announced as soon as I climbed down and Edward helped me into his Volvo.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it," Edward said with a smile, already in the drivers seat. He fiddled with the controls, turning on the radio and rolling down the windows, and took my left hand in his before driving back to my house. The sun was setting by the time we arrived and I insisted on sitting in the car and watching it.

"Why don't we at least sit on the front steps," Edward suggested.

"Okay," I agreed, and he helped me out of the car and sat down next to me on the front step, wrapping his arm around my waist.

"Now isn't this view better?" he asked.

"Much. It's beautiful. I make it a point to watch the sunset at least once a month. It reminds me of when I lived in Arizona with my mom," I told him. For some reason I didn't mind sharing little quirks like that with him.

"It is beautiful," he agreed, "but not as beautiful as you."

"Thanks," I said, resting my head on his shoulder. My heart beat rapidly due to his comment and the fact that he just placed a kiss on my temple. Edward really has to be the sweetest boy ever. As soon as the sun sank behind the horizon, I stood up with a sigh.

"What is it?" Edward asked worriedly.

"It's just that this day has been so perfect and now it has to end. You have to leave," I mumbled the last sentance.

"Can't I come in?" he asked with a little grin because the solution to my problem was so easy.

"If you want," I said fervently hoping the answer was yes.

"Of course," he said, and I led him inside.

"Come in. I have to fix dinner for Charlie, but you can watch TV or something," I offered.

"I'll just sit in the kitchen with you if that's alright."

"That's fine with me. Have a seat," I said gesturing to the table as I gathered the ingredients for homemade pizza.

He sat down and watched me intently. "Would you like to come over to my house tomorrow. Alice has been dying to see you again, and. I would like to play for you."

"I'd love to! I have to be home in time to fix dinner for Charlie and Jake though."

"It will be harder tomorrow when I haven't seen you all day. Being around you and having you so close is amazingly desensitizing," Edward said with a sigh.

"Then don't go," I whispered, wishing it were that easy. Like Charlie would ever let Edward stay the night, even if it was gaurenteed that nothing would happen.

"Really?" Edward asked.

"I wish, but Charlie probably won't be so understanding..."

"He doesn't have to know," Edward hedged. "I would know if he was coming and be able to leave..." he added hesitantly.

"Okay," I said with a smile. I didn't really like sneeking past Charlie, but really nothing would happen.

"Well he is going to be home soon, so I better get my car home. I'll be back later," Edward said grinning. He gave me a quick kiss before heading out.

"Bye," I whispered, knowing he heard me, as a huge smile took over my features.

Chapter Text

y relationship with Edward had been going along swimmingly. We ended up staying awake the whole night he stayed just talking and getting to know more about each other. Since then, he has grown more immune to my scent. The past five months had been practically perfect. We spent time together frequently without it becoming obsessive. Edward and Jake even became decent friends, though Jacob and I still hung out just the two of us some as well. Our friendship remained strong. We even spent the weekend in Seattle for a car show back in October for his birthday. It was great, but it was also the first time I spent an extended period of time away from Edward since we became a couple. I missed him a lot, but it was good too. I definitely did not need to become completely reliant on his prescreens, and it also helped prepare me for Thanksgiving when I went to spend a week at my mom's house.

Edward saw me off at the airport, and promised to pick me up when I returned before I boarded my flight to Arizona. I missed him while I was there, but we emailed back and fourth so it wasn't like we had absolutely no contact. Also, with my mom's house teeming with relatives from her side of the family—everything from third cousins to grandparents—it wasn't too hard to focus on other things. The food was delicious, as always, and I pitied Edward that he couldn't enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner. My mom—and other female relatives after they found out I had a boyfriend—questioned me relentlessly about him, wanting to know everything from his appearance to how we first met. As promised, he picked me up from the airport when I came home, and we spent the rest of the day in the meadow catching up on what happened while we were apart.

Christmas was a large ordeal as well. I didn't go out of town, but Alice invited me over to the Cullens' house the first weekend in December to take part in the annual Cullen Christmas Decorating Extravaganza. After that, I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see another reindeer or Christmas light or hear "Jingle Bells" ever again. The result was beautiful though, and I did enjoy spending time with the Cullens, who, for the most part, were practically like family. Despite my negative reaction to anything festive in the following week, I managed to get back in the Christmas spirit after midterms. I had one dilemma though. I wasn't sure what to get Edward for Christmas. I had already picked out small gifts for the rest of the Cullens, even Rosalie, who was gradually starting to accept me, but I had no idea what to get Edward. I was already expecting some extravagant gift from him due to the excessive wealth his family possessed, and I had no idea what to get him that he wouldn't already have.

Eventually, with the help of Alice, I picked out a new CD he was thinking about getting and framed one my pictures I had taken of the two of us for him. Alice claimed that he was going to love it, so I refused to stress over it any more. Christmas Eve, I spent with the Cullens because Christmas Day was when Charlie, Billy, Jake, and I all hung out at my house and watched a bunch of Christmas specials. It was a longstanding tradition, even before I came to live with my dad permanently. So, I exchanged gifts with the Cullens Christmas Eve. Everyone liked their gifts, especially Edward, and his gift to me was one of the greatest presents I've ever received. He got me a vintage Minolta camera—the kind that takes film—along with three rolls of black and white film and signed notes from both Mrs. Goff and Mrs. Rose, the art teacher, giving me permission to use the school's dark room during Spanish except on quiz or test days and that Mrs. Rose was going to teach me how to develop my pictures. I was ecstatic! I had always dreamed of learning to use a dark room, and now I was. I made sure Edward knew how much I appreciated the gift by kissing him right then and there. After realizing that the rest of the Cullens were still in the room, however, I backed off and waited to thank him again later.

When school started back, I began to learn how to use the dark room and fell in love with film photography. I took and developed dozens of pictures and even entered a few into a local photography contest. I now carried two cameras with me most everywhere, but eventually I had to cut back a bit on the amount of photos I was taking with my new camera because film and photo paper weren't exactly cheap.

For Valentines Day, Edward showered me with affections. I received flowers and chocolate amongst other things. I felt a little bad since all I got him was a picture of mine that he really liked, but he assured me that he loved it. He also tried to cajole me into accompanying him to the Valentines Dance, but I vehemently refused. Instead, we ended up spending the night watching old Disney movies at my house, and in my opinion, having a much better time.

Like I said, our relationship was going great. Of course we had a few arguments, like any couple and I even broke up with him for about an hour one day until he apologized for trying to do everything for me. I had told him that I completely capable of doing things like picking up my book when I dropped it, or getting my food myself, but he was still overprotective, doing every little thing for me. After our one-hour breakup though, that changed and Edward realized that he needed to let me be my own person. Other than the few minor bumps in the road, I would say we had a strong relationship, especially for high school students. As we entered March, however, I had a feeling that something bad was looming on the horizon and not just prom.

 

Chapter Text

As I said, I had a bad feeling about the upcoming weeks. I wasn’t sure what was the cause though. To try and determine it, I did something I regretfully hadn’t done it quite a while. I made a list in my notebook.

 

10 Possibilities of what the bleak event looming on the horizon (that isn’t prom) could be:

  1.      Evil unicorns are going to take over the world
  2.      I was right about my previous superhero theory about the Cullens (They’re vampires and superheroes) and The Joker, Loki, Zod, and that lizard guy from the most recent Spiderman movie are coming to take over Forks
  3.      Mike teamed up with Eric (the class nerd) to invent a ray gun to destroy Edward and his family so that he could date me
  4.      I’m wrong and it really is just prom
  5.      Evil vampires want to kill me because I smell so delicious
  6.      The Quileutes are really werewolves and they hate me now for hanging out with the Cullens
  7.      This is all a dream, and I’m going to wake up and realize that I never met the Cullens
  8.      I’m going to witness a heinous crime committed by some of the C.I.A.’s most wanted and be put in the witness protection program thus having to move to Australia
  9.      Other evil vampires are going to get mad at the Cullens and threaten to kill them and me because I know their secret
  10.   The zombie apocalypse is coming

 

So after making the list Tuesday night, I fell asleep without even bothering to read it over. Wednesday morning, I got up and put on some jeans, a pair of teal high tops, a t-shirt, and my favorite Forks High sweatshirt. After eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, and emailing Mom back—something I had been putting off for a while—I rode with Edward to school as per usual on rainy and overcast days. In English, since I had already finished the chapter we were supposed to be reading—and the rest of the book for that matter—I decided to read my list, and I realized how stupid and unlikely 99% of it was. While I was seriously contemplating where the whole evil unicorns thing came from, I had a brilliant idea. I should just ask Alice. After all, what is the point in having a best friend who can see the future if you don’t take advantage of it from time to time. Thankfully, Spanish was my next class, and today was a quiz day.

            When the bell wrung, startling me from my musings, I shoved my notebook and copy of The Great Gatsby—the book we were reading—into my bag before heading to Spanish, which conveniently (not) was located on the complete other side of the school. I was the second to last person to arrive in class, and the bell rang moments after I sat down. At the start of class, Mrs. Goff did a quick five-minute review session before passing out a relatively easy quiz that Alice and I both completed in less than ten minutes. The rest of our time was spent writing notes back and fourth in my notebook.

Alice! I need to ask you something.

Yes Bella?

I have a feeling that something bad is approaching. (Wow did that sound cliché or what) Anyway, have you seen anything?    

Are you sure you’re not just worried about prom?

No, I’m almost 100% positive that it’s not prom related. But, speaking of prom is Edward planning to force me to go?

Not telling :)

Oh come on!

If he does ask you, which he should if he’s the gentleman I think my brother is, then I want it to be a surprise.

Okay, fine. But back to my other question, have you seen anything, well for lack of a better word, ominous in the near future?

Well, I haven’t seen anything in the immediate future…

You have seen something though! I know it!

What, psh, no I haven’t

Your lying-through-notes skills need some brushing up on. Now spill!

I’m trying my hardest to keep this particular thing from my brother aka your boyfriend. He would freak out if he knew so, please drop it before he gets suspicious

Oh fine. But you will tell me later.

Look, just be careful okay.

Well that’s not ambiguous at all

Just promise me you will Bella.

Okay, yeah sure. Now do you promise to tell me what this is about?

Fine! I’ll tell you, just not now. So please just drop it for the moment.

 

Basically, I failed to get any useful information about much anything from her and spend the rest of class composing a cheesy poem in French—yes I knew I was in Spanish class, but I was board and knew enough French to write the aforementioned poem.

 

Les roses sont rouges.

Les violets sont bleus.

C’est n’a pas original,

Mais, je t’aime mon chou.

 

The English translation is as follows:

 

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

This isn’t original,

But I love you my cabbage.

 

Yes it’s cheesy, and yes it says my cabbage (which by the way is apparently a term of endearment in France), but I was extremely board and wishing that I were in the darkroom rather than in Spanish class, especially since Alice was being purposefully ambiguous. So when class finally ended, I was still clueless about whatever it was that was approaching, and Alice refused to tell me anything until after school, when we were apparently going on an impromptu visit to Port Angeles. And this time, as I was informed at lunch when Alice announced the trip, I was not to be left along at all, by orders from Edward, and strangely enough Rosalie. Maybe I was growing on her, which is good if I plan on being with Edward for well… hopefully forever.

Anyways… as the rest of the day carried on, I paid very little attention in class. Instead, I was thinking about what in the world Alice could have seen. Obviously the content of my list was ludicrous, however, I truly was worried about whatever it was Alice wanted me to “be careful” about that she felt she needed to hide from Edward. When the bell finally rang to signal the end of gym class, I was relieved. Edward met me outside the gym as usual and walked me to my locker.

“Have fun with Alice today,” he told me as we walked out of the school with my backpack filled with the necessary books.

“Thanks, I will,” I told him with a smile.

“Just remember, please don’t go anywhere without her. We really don’t want a repeat of last time,” he implored.

“I promise,” I told him, planting a kiss on his cheek. “I’ve got to go,” I said, indicating Alice driving Rosalie’s M3 which she had just pulled up in.

“I’ll see you tonight when you get back,” he told me.

“See you later. I love you,” I told Edward giving him one last hug before climbing into the passenger seat of the car.

“I love you too Bella. Be careful,” Edward said as he leaned over to give me a kiss through the open window. There was that phrase. Everyone seemed to be telling me to be careful lately. Oh well. Hopefully I’d find out soon what it was I needed to be careful of.

“Bye!” I called as Alice drove off.

“So, are you ready to go to Port Angeles?” Alice asked me.

“Yeah, let me just call Charlie first and confirm the plans with him,” I told her.

“Okay, here, you can borrow my cell phone,” she said handing it to me.

“Thanks,” I said before dialing Charlie’s number. “Hey Dad!” I told him when he picked up.

“Bella? Do you need something, sweetie?” he asked me.

“I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to Port Angeles with Alice for the afternoon. I don’t have much homework,” I assured him.

“Alright, just be careful Bells. I’ll see you tonight then,” he told me. And there it is again. Obviously I’m not the only one who has a bad feeling about the imminent future.

“Bye Dad!”

“Bye Bella,” he said before hanging up.

“Okay let’s see what this baby can do!” I exclaimed after putting the phone down, indicating Rosalie’s fantastic car. Jake would be sooo jealous when he found out that I got to ride in an M3, especially one as amped up as Rosalie’s.

“So you like speed? Figures since you’re on that bike all the time,” Alice said, muttering the second part.

“What’s that Ali? I can’t hear you over this fantastic engine!” I joked.

“I really don’t know why you and Rosalie don’t get along well. She absolutely loves cars too,” Alice said with a smile.

“There’s things I like better, but yeah, I guess I do have a passion for fast cars,” I told Alice with a grin.

“Oh, hey do you want to listen to some music?”

“Sure, do you have anything specific in mind?”

“Actually yes. Have you ever heard of Karmin?” Alice asked.

“No, who’s that?”

“Oh I guarantee that you’ll love them. Just press play. The CD’s already in,” she told me.

I did as she said, and the first notes of what soon became one of my favorite songs—I Told You So— came blasting through the speakers.

“Aye, aye, aye Is it time, green light Egotistic battle cry I was right, you was wrong Called you out, finished strong…”

“This is great!”

“I knew you’d love them,” Alice told me with a knowing look.

“So by that you mean you saw that I would,” I chuckled.

“Exactly!” she agreed.

The rest of the drive we rocked out to Karmin, and it seemed like we were in Port Angeles in no time. We parked outside my favorite bookstore, which I almost asked Alice how she knew to go here but then remembered that of course she would know where I wanted to go.

“So, I think we should do a bit of shopping, just so Edward doesn’t get suspicious, of course, before going to get dinner and having our little chat. What do you think?” Alice asked as she climbed out of the car.

“Sounds perfect!” I told, following her out of the car.

We spent the afternoon shopping and chatting about random things from what majors she had completed in her many years of college to favorite art styles to Jane Austen books. I decided to give the Harry Potter books a try after some convincing on Alice’s part and bought the first one. We also got some clothes, at Alice’s insistence. She practically had to shove me into dressing rooms. At around five thirty, we headed to a Thai place that Alice claimed I would like. We got a small booth in the back and ordered, well I ordered, before I could finally find out what she had been keeping from me all day.

“Okay, so what did you see?”

“Someone’s a bit impatient,” Alice mused.

“I have been waiting all day, that’s not impatient. Please just tell me,” I practically begged.

“Oh alright. So, last night when I was out hunting— thankfully Edward wasn’t there or he would already have you in a plastic bubble—I had a vision. You and Jacob were out riding your bikes and trying some stunts. You were both fine, but then you tried to do a jump off a big piece of plywood acting as a ramp, you landed fine, but a car came around the corner and hit you when you turned around to watch Jacob do his trick. So Bella, please please stop riding your bike for a while,” she pleaded, obviously very worried about me.

“Alice, I can’t just stop riding my bike. I already promised Jake that I would go next weekend with him. I promise to be careful and not try anything stupid. I’ll even triple check that there aren’t any cars around before we start riding or doing any stunts. You have to trust me,” I told her earnestly.

“Bella are you sure you can’t just reschedule?” she asked me.

“Alice, I haven’t been spending much time with Jake lately, and I already promised him I would come. We’ll be extra careful. I promise. Just trust me. I know what to look out for now, alright?” I explained.

“I guess so. It’s not concrete that it will happen anymore. So as long as you’re extremely cautious then I guess I don’t have to tell Edward about the vision.”

“Thanks Alice, you’re the best!” I told her right as my food arrived.

After I finished, we headed back to Forks, more specifically to the Cullens’ house. I took a few pictures of the car so I would have proof for Jacob, before waking inside to be greeted by Edward.

“Did you have fun?” he asked me with a smile.

“Loads,” I replied. “I even got a new book!”

“I’m glad. Are you ready to go home, or do you want to hang out here for a while?” he asked me.

“I’ll call Charlie and tell him that I’m going to finish my homework here before heading home,” I told Edward, wanting to spend a little more time with him since I had barely spent any with him today.

“Okay,” Edward said smiling, handing me his cell phone.

Charlie didn’t answer when I called, but I left him a voicemail telling him that I’d be at the Cullens for another hour or so doing homework with Edward and Alice. After that, Edward and I headed up to his room. I finished my homework in about twenty-five minutes with Edward’s help, and we spend the rest of the time talking. I decided that now might be a good idea to voice my thoughts about the future to him, but I wasn’t sure how he would take it. So, I put it off again. Maybe I ought to make a pros and cons list to show him before I told him. That way, Edward would know I really had thought about it seriously. I had even picked out a time—after graduation so that Charlie and the rest of Forks wouldn’t get suspicious. I planned to start the list tomorrow along with my next photography project: documenting my life here in Forks. As for now, I would enjoy my time with Edward before I had to head home.

Chapter Text

That night, after returning home, I completed my pros and cons list. The first and most important thing on the pros list was being with Edward forever, though there definately were other things, like no more of Edward's boundaries he so ridgedly followed for my "safety." The major con was that I wouldn't get to see my parents or Jake anymore once I was changed since I would be unstable and most likely blood thirsty the first year or so, and I would look different. It was something major to consider, but I decided it was worth it. The way I felt about Edward was most definately true love. I had never felt that strongly about anyone before, and the thought of us not being together someday was rather unbearable. I knew I could push it off and have as long as I wanted with my family and Jake before I asked Edward to change me, but I really wanted to be close to his age. I had till graduation at least— that is if he agrees to change me—to spend with Mom, Charlie, and Jacob, and I could deal with that. After all, it was over a year. I could come to accept it and make the excuse that I was going away to college, something I would have done pre-Edward anyways. Now all that was left was to present this plan to Edward and hope he agreed.

That afternoon, I was going over to his house to hang out and do homework. Apparently Emmett also wanted to teach me to play Halo—something I already knew how to do thanks to Jake—and he was in for a big surprise. Alice, grinning hugely, already informed me after Spanish, aka my unoficial photography class, that he intended to go easy on me the first time since I was a "newbie"and that I would beat him hugely. Edward told me he couldn't wait to see the look on Emmett's face when it happened. For that matter, neither could I.

After Emmett's spectacular beating that afternoon, he promised never to underestimate me again before proceeding to ask me if I knew how to play poker.

"Of course I do! Who doesn't?" I asked him.

"A lot of girls. You'd be surprised really. Anyway, do you want to play?" he asked with a mischievous smile.

"Sure! Who all's playing?"

"Everyone but Eddie and Alice because they cheat," he explained to me.

"Emmett, please don't call me Eddie," Edward sighed. "And I can't help it that I can hear you think about your cards."

"Yeah sure. Rose, Jasper, Carlisle, Esme, poker?" Emmett called, effectively summoning the rest of his family, including Alice.

"And why wasn't I invited?" Alice asked.

"Because you cheat!" Emmett insisted.

"Do not!" she quipped, sticking her tounge out at him.

"Do so! You and Edward can play chess while we see if Bella is fit to play poker with the Cullens!" he declared.

"Good luck, love," Edward told be before giving me a quick kiss prompting a quizzical look from me. "For luck," he explained with a grin before going over to where Alice had set up a chess board.

I followed him over and gave him a quick kiss, explaining, "You need good luck too!" Before heading back over to the couch to stake out my spot.

"Money out!" declared Emmett.

"Dear, why don't we use the coin jar? I'm sure Bella doesn't want to risk loosing her money," Esme told him in a way that clearly said this is a command not a request.

"Okay Mom," Emmett said a tad sulkily before grabbing a huge mason jar full of coins off the shelf behind him and divvying out the money.

After about six or so hands were played, and I won a fairly good amount, Edward and I decided to go upstairs, get our homework done, and spend some time with just the two of us before I had to go home.

After finishing our homework, we were sitting on Edward's couch in his room— well I was sitting and he was lying down with his head in my lap. As I ran my fingers through his hair, which was quite nice, I decided it was now or never. If I didn't tell him now, I'd never get the courage to any time soon.

"Bella," he said at the exact moment I said, "Edward."

"You go first," I told him with a grin to match the one he was flashing me.

"So, I was thinking," he started.

"Yeah," I prompted.

"We haven't been on a date in a while. In fact, I don't think we've been on one since early last month," he observed. "So, I was wondering if you'd want to go out with me this weekend?" he asked.

"I'd love to," I told him, still running my fingers through his hair.

"Great!" he said, as he sat up somewhat abruptly. "So, I was thinking, we could go to the meadow and have a picnic and you could take some more pictures if you wanted. What do you say?" he asked enthusiastically.

"That sounds lovely Edward," I assured him.

"Now what was it that you wanted to tell me?" he asked.

"Oh that, um," I sputtered. Come on Bella, if you don't tell him now, you never will, I thought to myself. "Well, Edward, you see, the thing is, I've decided I want to be a vampire," I blurted out.

Edward spun around so that he was facing me and put his hand on my shoulder, directing my gaze towards him. "Bella, no, you have so much life ahead of you. Don't throw it away for me," he told me.

"But Edward, that's just the thing. Yeah, I have life ahead of me, but I don't want it without you. I want to spend my life with you whatever that means. And don't get it into your head that you're the only reason I want to," I vented. "I need to do this. At home, I've never really felt very comfortable. I was the invisible girl to pretty much everyone until you showed up. I discovered who I was. This is my world too," I explained.

"Bella," he pleaded, "please don't. Have you seriously considered it?"

"Yes. I even made a list, and let me tell you, the pros seriously out weigh the cons."

"Bella, you could die. If I failed to protect you, if something happened to you, if something went wrong, how do you think I would feel?" he questioned.

"Oh Edward," I sighed, sliding closer to him and wrapping my arms around him, "I know exactly how you would feel. You would feel exactly the same way I would feel if I lost you," I explained.

"You'd get over it eventually, move on and find someone else," he stated.

"And that's where you're wrong. Edward, there is no one else for me. It's just you. And I'm not saying that I'm going to do it right now. I want to finish school first."

"Bella, I just think this is a bad idea. Would you please at least think about it a little longer?" Edward pleaded.

"Fine, I'll think about it. There's a very slim chance that I will change my mind, but if it will make you happy, I'll think about it a bit more. We've got time anyways."

"Thank you Bella. I love you," Edward said, pulling me close, into a hug and nestling his face into my neck.

"I love you too Edward," I told him, putting a hand on his cheek and pulling his face up to mine to give him a kiss.

Rather than the short peck I expected, though, it began to turn into something a bit more, something that pushed past a few of the normal boundary lines he adhered to, not that I'm complaining or anything…

When I got home that night, I told Charlie that Edward and I were going out Saturday. After that, I headed upstairs to shower and get to bed. It had been a long day, and I was extremely tired. My head was also somewhere else, which was probably why I tried to wash my face with conditioner… I was exhausted. The minute my head hit the pillow that night, I fell fast asleep.

The rest of the week went by quickly, and before I knew it, it was Saturday, the day of my date with Edward. He was right; we really hadn't been out in quite a while. I was thrilled. As soon as I got up, I began to pick out what to wear. Since it was warmer outside, I went with denim shorts and a yellow blouse. After getting dressed, I headed downstairs for breakfast. Dad had left a note on the table saying he was out fishing with Billy, so I had the house to myself. Being in an especially cheery mood, I began whistling the song "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beetles as I gathered the ingredients to make waffles. Edward wouldn't be here till eleven to pick me up, and it was only ten fifteen. Once my waffles were ready, I got out the syrup and some strawberries to complete my breakfast. While I ate, I listened to the radio, and ironically enough, one of the songs that played was "Here Comes the Sun." Just as I finished cleaning the waffle iron, the doorbell rang—Edward was here. I dashed to the door and threw it open with a smile.

"Well hello, what's got you so happy?" he asked, smiling back at me.

"Oh nothing, I just have a date with my wonderful boyfriend today. That's all," I said nonchalantly.

"I see. This boyfriend of yours is very lucky to be dating such a beautiful girl," he told me.

"Oh, but you've got it all wrong. I'm the lucky one," I told him, taking his hand and leading him inside.

"No, I definitely think that he's luckier," Edward replied, still grinning.

"Hey," I told him.

"Hey, Bella," he said before pulling me in for a kiss. "Are you ready?"

"Let me just run upstairs and get my bag," I told him, stepping back.

"I can get it faster," he chuckled before dashing upstairs and returning moments later holding my bag in one hand.

"Well, let's go then!" I told him, grabbing Edward's hand and pulling him towards the door.

"Someone's eager," he said as I quickly locked the door behind me.

"Yeah, I am, so come on!" I told him.

"Alright, I'm coming," he told me, and we headed off to the meadow.

Our date went wonderfully and made me remember how much I loved spending time just the two of us. Neither of us brought up our little pseudo-argument from earlier in the week about my future status, and we just enjoyed spending time together. I took some pictures for my "Document my Life" project, we talked about random stuff—somehow even getting to the topic of siblings (both of us were biologically only children, but Edward had his adopted siblings and I had Jake), and of course there was some kissing that went on… Overall, our picnic date went wonderfully. After spending some time at the meadow, we went back to Edward's house.

Alice invited me to spend the night, which I was open to. After all, the longer I could spend with Edward, the better. I called Charlie and left him a message, telling him where I would be, and then before I had a chance to do anything else, Emmett challenged me to another round of poker. I played cards and watched movies with all of the Cullens— surprisingly Rosalie participated too—for the rest of the afternoon. Esme fixed me a delicious pizza for dinner. For someone who doesn't eat, she sure makes wonderful food. After dinner, Edward told me that he was going on a hunting trip for the rest of the weekend with Jasper, Emmett, and Carlisle, and he wouldn't see me until Monday.

After all the Cullen women (and girlfriend) said goodbye to their spouses (and boyfriend), Alice insisted that we have a girls' night. She forced us all into cutesy pyjamas and then insisted we play truth or dare, watch chick flicks, and that I stay up at least until midnight. We all complied with the pixie's demands (Rosalie and I both semi-unwillingly), and the night turned out to go much better than I expected. We actually watched some good movies, and during the game of truth or dare, something that shocked all of us—well except Alice, but since she can see the future, nothing really shocks her—happened. Rosalie and I actually bonded. I found out why she hated me so much, only she didn't actually hate me per-say, she just wasn't a fan of how I was choosing to live my life. Apparently the whole family knew about my desire to become a vampire (because obviously I forgot about super vampire hearing during my conversation with Edward), and she tried to talk me out of it. After explaining my reasoning to her, we both agreed to disagree and found out that we actually have a lot in common, like our love for cars for example. From then on, Rosalie and I actually became pretty close, and she even agreed to let me bring Jake over to see her M3.

Now that I had a good relationship with all of my hopefully eventual family, it just made me want to become a vampire even more. I was sure of one thing though. I didn't want to wish away my senior year of high school. Yeah, I was excited about my future, but that didn't mean that I wouldn't miss Jake and my family. That being said, I would make sure to spend as much time with them as possible over the next year. Speaking of which, despite Alice's warnings, I was still really looking forward to going riding with Jake next weekend.

 

Chapter Text

After going riding with Jake and coming back unharmed, well except for a scratch or two, Alice calmed down considerably. The "be careful" comments decreased a significant amount, but the phrase still put me a bit on edge whenever I heard it. The end of junior year was fast approaching, and Mrs. Rose told me the other day that since my photography during Spanish was technically an independent study, I would have to submit a final portfolio of a series of excellent pictures on a theme for my final. Thankfully, I had come up with the perfect theme and title for my portfolio immediately: Life from an Unexpected Point of View. I was documenting my life here in Forks from interesting angles, and I was thrilled to get started.

As I sat in math Tuesday, daydreaming about all my awesome pictures, I heard Jessica and Lauren gossiping behind me, something I hadn't paid attention to in quite a while. I figured now was as good a time as any to get back into my observation habits.

"So, who are you taking to prom?" Jessica asked Lauren.

"Why, Tyler of course, but he hasn't asked me yet!" Lauren informed her.

"Well, I heard that he, Mike, and Eric were all planning to ask Bella!" Jess whispered a bit too loudly.

"Humph," Lauren scoffed. "I don't see why. She already has Edward," she said with a scowl.

"Well Katie told Becca who told Meg who told me that apparently she's not just dating Edward. She secretly is seeing a Quileute boy on the side!" Jessica informed her.

Wow, so now I was dating two guys at once. Sure (sarcasm intended). I didn't waste my time by listening to the rest of their mindless dribble. Instead, I pulled out some paper strips I had cut up a while back and began to make little paper stars for the rest of class. By lunch, not only was I dating Jake and Edward but also Mike five other boys whom I saw regularly in Seattle. Rose and Alice both found this hilarious, and so did Emmett. Jasper had to deal with all the jealous feelings emanating from the majority of the school's female population, so he couldn't really enjoy my discomfort. Edward was the only one who was sympathetic to my plight, though Alice assured me that this was one of the most entertaining things that had happened so far this year.

"Splendid," I replied sarcastically as we sat at the lunch table with me snacking off all the Cullen's trays.

"Oh but Bella, Jessica would love to have as many boys flocking to her as you do!" Alice insisted, barely maintaining a straight face.

"Oh! Bells, can I be one of your boyfriends too?" Emmett asked eagerly, cracking up as he said it.

That earned him a smack upside the head from Rose and prompted Edward to reply.

"Emmett, please don't encourage the rumors. This is annoying enough as it is," Edward told him.

"Sorry babe," he told Rose. "But really, come on Eddie, it'll blow over by tomorrow," Emmett assured him.

"Guys, I am a one guy kind of girl. End of story."

"You know what would end this gossip right now?" Rosalie asked me.

"No, what?"

"If Edward were to loudly and romantically ask you to prom now. Then you could declare your love for him, and yes they would sulk for a bit, but then it would be over," she explained.

"Ooh, that's good!" Alice told her. "I can't see if it would work though because dear Bella here has a strange and unnatural hatred for dances," she said, glaring at me.

"I don't hate them Alice," I explained. "I would just pick a quiet evening with coffee and a book over a dance if given the choice. I've never had a date to one before anyways. "

"Bella don't lie. I can feel the horror from just the mere thought of attending prom emanating from you in waves," Jasper told me.

"So what? Who cares if I don't like dances," I grumbled.

"It's fine Bella, we don't have to go," Edward told me.

"Thanks," I told him, giving him a kiss on the cheek as the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch.

The next day during Spanish, Alice was hanging out in the darkroom with me while I developed my initial prints for my project. I still had another roll of film to shoot, but I wanted to go ahead and pick the ones I liked best on this one, which featured my house, Jake and my bikes, his garage, and school. I was planning on getting pictures of the tree house, the Cullens' house, and the meadow with my next roll.

"Bella, you know that Edward really wants to go to prom with you right?" she asked.

"But he said he didn't care if we didn't go," I told her.

"He does thought. He would absolutely love to take you. He just said that to make you happy," she told me, rifling through my bag.

"Oh fine, stop guilting me, I'll think about it," I muttered.

"Yay! Oh, Bella he's going to be thrilled!" she announced as she came upon my paper stars I had made in math the other day. "Ooh these are neat! Did you make them?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'll show you how sometime," I said casually.

"You know I think of you as a sister, right Bella?" she asked randomly.

"Of course Alice. I think of you as one too. And not that this whole subject isn't extremely random, but one day, I'd like to officially be your sister too," I admitted.

"Oh Bella! That would be awesome!"

"Yeah, it would. Edward's not so keen on me joining the family the way I want to though," I explained as I took my test strip out of the developer and put it into the stop.

"We'll see," she hummed, flicking the paper stars into the air and catching them.

"What's that supposed to mean Alice?" I asked her.

"Oh, nothing," she said with a shrug of her shoulders. "And three two one," she counted down until the bell rang loudly.

"Perfect timing as usual Alice," I told her with a grin as I put my things away.

That night, I went over to the Cullens' house for the evening to spend some time with Edward. After we finished our homework, which thankfully only took about half an hour, we went up to his room.

"Edward," I started to say.

"Yes," he responded, sitting down on his couch and gently pulling my hand so that I sat next to him.

"I was thinking, and I decided that if you want to go to prom, well, I suppose dance's aren't all that terrible, and it wouldn't kill me, so if you want to go, we can," I explained.

"Are you sure?" he asked with a chuckle.

"Yes, I'm sure," I replied with a smile. I figured that if I went with Edward I would probably end up enjoying myself.

"Well then, would my lady do me the courtesy of allowing me to escort her to the school dance that is approaching?" Edward asked in a posh British accent, quickly moving to kneeling in front of me with a cheesy grin on his face.

"I would be delighted kind sir," I replied, taking his hand.

From there, he stood up and pulled me into a standing position as well. After picking up a remote and pressing a button, his stereo began to play "Claire de Lune."

"Would my lady care to dance?" he asked, bowing.

"Yes," I told him, accepting his hand.

He pulled me in, and before I knew it, we were dancing around. As I looked into his golden eyes, I could tell that he was truly happy. We waltzed around his room to "Claire de Lune," and when it ended, some more upbeat music varying from fifties to current songs came on and we danced around his room, smiling and laughing.

The last song that came on was "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. Edward pulled me closer and we spun in slow circles reveling in being together. As the song came to a close, Edward leaned in and kissed me, his hard lips moving against my own, creating sparks only the two of us could feel. Before anything could get deeper, he pulled away.

"I love you Bella," he whispered.

"I love you too," I replied honestly. "I probably ought to go," I sighed.

"Hmm, well, would you prefer me drive you home, or do you want to run?" he asked with a grin.

"Run!" I exclaimed. "But won't Charlie be suspicious that there isn't a car?" I checked.

"Alice?" Edward called.

"All clear. Charlie's asleep," she said loud enough for me to hear.

"Let's go then," I told him. "Bye Alice and Jasper!" I called out. The rest of the Cullens were out hunting.

I climbed onto Edward's back, and instead of him running down the stairs like I expected, he slid the glass wall of his room back and jumped down before picking up speed and running to my house.

"Whoo!" I screamed with giddiness as we sped across the ground. When I finally convinced Edward to let me become a vampire, I think the speed would most definitely be one of the biggest perks.

"Here we are," he said as he stopped in front of my house.

"Thanks Edward," I said still smiling hugely. "Goodnight," I told him.

"Goodnight Bella. I love you," he told me before pulling me in for a quick kiss.

I walked up to the front door, waved goodbye, blew him a kiss, and walked inside, being careful not to wake Charlie. I tiptoed up the stairs, strategically avoiding the creaky one before grabbing some sweat pants and a t-shirt from my room and heading to the bathroom to take a quick shower. I fell asleep that night with "A Thousand Years" running through my head.

The rest of the week went great. The rumors faded away, and I successfully shot the rest of my second roll of film, stopping by the tree house to help Jake with some of his Algebra and getting some good shots Thursday after school. I developed my film the next week along with making contact sheets for both rolls. I ended up choosing ten pictures to use for my portfolio:

The tree house from the view of someone climbing up with Jake sitting on the couch

My truck from the ground up

The Cullen's yard from Edward's room,

Our bikes and Jake's garage taken while sitting on Jake's shoulders so that it looks like it's from the ceiling down

The meadow with the camera sitting on the ground so the grass blades look huge

The Cullens' house looking up the side

My house at an angle so that the corner of the house is in the front

My favorite book store taken through a gap in the shelves so it's like the perspective of a book

A replica of the shot of the Cullens I took my first day of junior year from the same spot

The forest around the tree house upside down at sunset (I hung upside down on a tree branch and took the shot while Jake spotted me)

I was thoroughly pleased with all of them and managed to get good prints of them all finished the week before prom. The only downside was that I spent literally all of my free time in the dark room. Mrs. Rose had gotten permission to give me a key to the art room, which an entrance directly from outside so that I could work on the weekends and when she wasn't there. Because of this, I had spent very little time with Edward or Jacob since I shot the last roll of film. I still spent time with Edward at lunch, only because he insisted that I needed to eat instead of work during lunch as well. Not that I didn't want to spend time with him, I was just engrossed in my project. Alice and Rosalie managed to drag me out one weekend to find a prom dress in Seattle, and I had fun spending a day with the girls, but other than that, I hadn't hung out with them much if at all.

Now that I was done, Jacob who had been badgering me to come hang out with him for weeks, insisted that I had to go riding with him soon or else. I finished on Wednesday afternoon, and Edward insisted that he spend some quality time with me Thursday, so after hanging out at his house for a bit, we went to the meadow. Friday, as soon as I stepped into the parking lot after school, I heard the fine tuned engine of a motorcycle. I looked up just in time to see Jake swerve into the parking lot.

"Come on Bells! I haven't seen you in forever!" he called waving my helmet at me.

I shot Edward a pleading look before saying, "can you take my bag to my house please? I'll call you when I get home."

"Sure Bella, but be careful," he told me, pulling me in.

"I will," I whispered before giving him a kiss and then running over to the bike where Jake was waiting impatiently.

"Hey Jake!" I exclaimed, smiling like a lunatic. I had missed my little brother.

"Bella!" he shouted, pulling me in for a hug. "You ready?" he asked, matching my insane smile.

"You bet!"

"I love you!" Edward called as I strapped my helmet on and climbed onto the bike behind Jake.

"I love you too! Bye!" I shouted back and waved as we rode away.

"We'll stop by my house and grab your bike, and then I want to show you a new trick I've been practicing!" Jake yelled over the whipping wind as we sped down the street.

"Awesome!" I replied just enjoying the feeling of being on a bike again for the first time in what felt like forever.

We arrived at his place relatively quickly, and I practically jumped off Jake's bike and sprinted back to the garage where mine was waiting with a fresh coat of red paint.

"Oh Jake you shouldn't have!" I told him gleefully.

"I was board. My lousy best friend abandoned me for a month," he fake-sulked.

"Some best friend she is," I replied, stroking my bike tenderly. "I am sorry Jake. I just had to get my project done. You know how obsessive I get! You're the same about your car," I added, pointing to the Volkswagen Rabbit he had been working on forever. I did a double take just as Jake responded.

"It's fine Bells. I get it. At least—"

"You finished and didn't tell me!" I shrieked.

"My eardrums!" he moaned, but he couldn't keep the grin off his face for long. "Yeah, I wanted to surprise you."

"It's wonderful!"

"Yeah, she's a beauty. Now are you ready to ride or what?"

"Let's go!" I exclaimed hopping on my bike and revving the engine.

Jake matched my stance and we zoomed out of the garage and into the forest to our usual spot where we rode. There was this stretch of road that hardly anyone used, and it was a great spot to pull tricks. When we got there, I sped up and down the stretch of road a few times, laughing like a maniac before Jake pulled over and indicated that I should stop too.

"What?" I asked sulkily. I didn't want to stop riding. I had almost forgotten how much I loved it.

"I thought you wanted to see my new trick," he responded. "Bet you can't pull it off," he added smugly.

"Come off it Jacob. You know that I am the superior one here with regard to most everything, especially trick riding," I replied with the same smug tone and a matching grin. I needed to one up him and remind him that I was the older sibling here.

"Sure, sure," he chuckled. "Just watch."

"Aye aye captain," I replied, planting my feet as further proof that I wasn't moving.

Jake sped off into the woods, and I wondered what in the world he was doing. Before I knew it, he came flying out of a different spot between the trees, and he was literally flying three feet off the ground and turning in mid-air, before landing on the other side of the road.

"Whoa, that was some big air Jake, but I bet I can do better," I told him, accepting his unspoken challenge.

"Bring it!" he replied before coming to where I was and planting his feet on the ground like I had minutes ago. "There's a clearly marked trail to the ramp," he added before I took off in between the trees.

The path, like he said was obvious from the many tire tracks going along it. I continued to gain speed, getting deeper into my own little focused world before swinging around the turn and gunning for the last bit before the ramp. Just as I passed the edge of the ramp and began to get some height, I heard Jacob shout.

"Bella!" he screamed, sounding terrified.

Not even a second later, I heard the deafeningly loud sound of a truck's horn blasting through the silence as an eighteen wheeler rounded the curve ahead and barreled towards us. They were breaking, but it wouldn't be enough. I wasn't going to make it across before they smashed into me. In the mere seconds it took me to realize this, Jake had already frozen in terror. It felt like it happened in slow motion when I reached the height of the arc of my jump just as the truck crashed into me. The windshield shattered and glass flew everywhere, giving me numerous cuts. My leg and arm on the right side, the side the truck directly hit, hurt excruciatingly. The second my body and bike hit the ground, Jake unfroze and ran over and the truck driver, who had stopped by then, got out and dashed over as well.

One thought was running through my head over and over as I lay on the road. I should have listened to Alice. She told me so.

 

Chapter Text

“Bella! Bella! Can you hear me?” Jake practically screamed as he pulled the bike away, sounding like he was about to cry.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled, not really thinking.

“No Bella you are not fine!” he shouted at me. “I’m just so glad you’re alive,” he sobbed.

“Uh, kid, we need to get you to a hospital,” the truck driver said.

“Carlisle,” I mumbled.

“What Bells?” Jake asked, concerned.

“Call Edward… his dad… doctor,” I managed to get out as I lay there bleeding and in immense pain.

“Maybe I should call 911,” the truck driver suggested doubtfully, looking rather freaked out.

“No… call Edward,” I breathed.

“I am Bella. Hold on, stay with me,” Jake instructed as he found the number on my phone and dialed.

“Um, kid, what’s your name?” the truck driver asked me, though I wasn’t sure why.

“Bella,” I hissed in pain as I tried to turn over onto my back.

“Yeah, she’s hurt… We’re about a mile out from the tree house… that old abandoned street… yeah… okay… I’ll tell her… thanks,” Jake said in a slightly strangled voice before hanging up.

“Bells, stay with us. Edward’s on his way. He said he’ll get here as fast as he can and to tell you he loves you. He’s going to drive you to the hospital.”

“Kay,” I mumbled, closing my eyes to the harsh sunlight.

“No Bella, keep your eyes open. Edward will be her in a minute,” Jake insisted.

“Ch…Charlie,” I managed to say. “Call…”

“Yeah. Good point. Will do,” Jacob muttered before turning to the truck driver who was standing silently to the side.

“Is there anything I can do?” the guy asked.

“I’m calling her father, the chief of police,” Jake added pointedly. “You can just wait here, Jacob instructed before calling Charlie.

I couldn’t tell exactly what he said because the pain was getting unbearable. Just as I was about to close my eyes again, despite Jacob’s protests, I heard the sound of Edward’s Volvo. Seconds later, he was at my side.

“Bella, baby!” he cried out as he began to gingerly pick me up. “Are you alright?” he asked, fearful.

“It hurts, Edward,” I moaned.

“I’m so sorry baby. Alice saw it just before it happened. I didn’t have time to warn you,” he whispered. “Jacob, I need you to sit in the back with her and help keep her from moving around,” Edward instructed him.

“Her dad is on his way here right now. I figure that this guy should stay here and have a chat with Charlie,” Jacob informed him as the sirens of a police car could be heard in the distance.

“We can wait for him to arrive, but just that,” Edward told him.

“Bella!” I heard Charlie scream a moment later. “What exactly happened?” he demanded to Jake. “And you!” he must have been talking to the truck driver, “why weren’t you looking where you were going?”

“I was! These kids were just out riding in the street and the girl was doing a jump across the road. I tried to stop but well…” he trailed off.

“We’ll talk later. I need to get Bella to the hospital,” Charlie insisted.

“With all due respect sir, my father is getting an operating room ready as we speak seeing as there is glass embedded in her cuts. I can take her to the hospital while you deal with this, and you can meet us there afterwards,” Edward explained.

“All right, son I expect you to take good care of my girl. Jacob, are you going with them?” Charlie asked.

“Yes sir,” he answered.

“Good, you look after her too. And Bella, I love you sweetie. No more bikes ever,” he choked out.

“Kay Daddy,” I mumbled and then winced as I felt Edward carrying me to his car. He was being as gentle as possible, but it still hurt a lot. The worst part was when he set me in the back seat, my head in Jake’s lap.

“It’ll be alright Bella. I’ll get you to the hospital as fast as I can,” Edward assured me.

“Just hang on Bells,” Jake added and I felt the car start to move.

I barely managed to hold in my shrieks of pain, reducing it to just whimpers as my cuts rubbed against the seat. I figured my right arm and leg must be broken, and I felt bad about bleeding on Edward’s car, but I couldn’t really help it at the moment.

As soon as we arrived at the hospital, a team came out with a gurney and loaded me on before wheeling me into the operating room, and that’s the last thing I could remember before waking up in a hospital bed, hooked up to a bunch of machines and still in immense pain.

I could faintly hear voices outside my door and strained to hear what they were saying.

“Edward,” Carlisle’s voice said, “she’s lost too much blood and her body isn’t responding to the infusions. You have to decide,” he insisted.

“Isn’t there something else you can do?” Edward pleaded.

“I’m sorry son, she only has minutes left unless you act now,” Carlisle explained.

“She wants it Edward. She won’t resent you. It’s what’s best,” Alice’s voice said.

“I even agree Edward. Just do it,” Rosalie told him.

“Bro, it’s what’s best,” Emmett added.

“Edward, she really loves you, and she won’t hate you for it. Either she dies or lives as one of us,” Jasper said bluntly.

And that’s the last I heard before I blacked out again.

Later, I heard Charlie’s voice.

“Bella, baby, can you hear me?” he asked, and I could tell he was crying.

I managed to pull my eyes open.

“Daddy?” I whispered.

“Oh, Bella, I love you so much sweetie. I’m so so sorry,” he sobbed.

“What is it?” I whispered.

“Bella, the doctor, Carlisle, says you don’t have much time left. You lost too much blood and your body won’t accept any transfusions,” Charlie sobbed.

“I love you too, and I’m sorry,” I told him.

“It’s not your fault, Bella,” Charlie assured me.

“I shouldn’t have been doing such a dangerous trick,” I maintained my point. I knew better.

“There hadn’t been cars there before, and by what Jacob told me, it wasn’t even that dangerous,” Charlie assured me. “It was just a bad time.”

“I love you Daddy, so much. Thank you for taking care of me and letting me live with you,” I whispered.

“Oh, Bella, you’re so welcome. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come to live with me sweetie. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Now sweetie, I have to go, Jacob and Billy want to talk to you,” he sobbed.

“Bye Daddy,” I whispered, tears streaming down my face as Charlie planted a kiss on my forehead. “Tell mom I love her too,” I implored as I walked out.

“I will baby,” he promised as he walked out.

Jake and Billy came in moments later.

“I’m sorry Bella,” Billy told me.

“Look out for Charlie for me,” I instructed with a raspy voice.

“I promise Bella,” Billy told me before walking out, leaving me alone with Jake.

“I’m so sorry Bella! I should have never suggested we go riding,” Jacob sobbed.

“It’s not your fault. I wanted to go as much as you did, and you couldn’t know the truck was going to come,” I admonished him. I, however, should have known better. Alice had warned me after all.

“I’m going to miss you so much big sis,” Jake said still sobbing but managing a small grin.

“You too little bro. Promise that you won’t wallow. It wasn’t your fault. Promise you’ll remember that,” I instructed.

“Okay Bells,” he forced out, taking my hand.

“My bike and my truck are yours,” I whispered. “Take good care of them for me.”

“Will do,” Jacob whispered.

“I love you Jake,” I told him, barely managing to smile.

“Love you too Bells, always,” he responded. “You’re the best sister and friend ever.”

“Don’t tell Quil,” I joked. “He’ll think I replaced him.”

“You never had anyone to replace,” Jake assured me as I faded into the blackness and pain again.

The next time I woke up, it was Edward’s voice that I heard.

“Bella, I’m here. It’s going to be okay. We’re going to pull the plug and take you home so I can change you. That is, if you still want me to?” he asked, in a heart wrenchingly sad voice.

“Yes, please. Just make the pain go away,” I begged.

“It’s going to hurt a whole lot worse than this Bella,” Edward warned.

“I don’t care. It’s worth it. I’ll be with you,” I told him.

“I love you Bella, so much,” Edward told me, before placing a tender kiss on my forehead.

“Love you too,” I mumbled before I heard Carlisle’s voice say that it was time.

I heard a loud beeping noise, indicating a flat-line before the darkness consumed me again. This darkness was different and lasted longer. And eventually, I felt sharp pain on my neck, wrists, and ankles.

“It’s going to be okay Bella. Just stay with me,” Edward pleaded as the pain spread from the concentrated points, consuming my whole body with a burning fire.

I thrashed and screamed, not being able to hold back this time. It felt like I really was dying. The only constant through it all was Edward’s voice and his hand holding mine. It lasted for days. I was no longer sure of the time, but as it went on, I could suddenly hear more clearly than ever before. I could pick out each breath Edward took and every tick of the clock. I was able to determine the time as the fire condensed and got stronger before consuming my heart. I screamed louder making incoherent noises as it felt like my death was quickly approaching.

“It’s almost over Bella, hang on,” I heard Edward say, and moments later, the fire went out.

I was über sensitive to the hand in mine that was no longer ice-cold but the same temperature as me. I opened my eyes only to be captivated by the world around me. Everything was much more detailed than I had ever seen before, and when I looked to my left, I saw Edward. Any prior judgment I had made on his beauty was skewed. My human vision left so much to be imagined that I could barely remember how he looked then. It was nowhere near the perfection that faced me now.

“Bella,” he said softly.

“Edward,” I replied with a grin in a new version of my voice that was higher and more soprano sounding.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“I’m wonderful. Thank you,” I told him, pulling him in for a hug, my body moving the second I thought to. It was a bit disconcerting but something I could definitely get used to.

“Um Bella, a little less strength please,” Edward requested with a chuckle.

“Sorry,” I apologized.

“I love you so much Bella, and I’m so glad you’re okay,” he told me.

“I love you too,” I responded immediately pulling him in for a kiss where many old boundary lines abruptly disappeared. No more worrying about hurting me.

“Ooh can you hear my thoughts now?” I wondered aloud.

“No, I still can’t do that,” he assured me.

“Oh, well, so can I go see everyone now?”

“Sure, if you want. But don’t you need to hunt,” he asked in a concerned tone.

“Is that why my throat feels all sore and itchy?” I asked.

“One of the downsides I’m afraid,” Edward explained.

“Oh. At least there are some major up sides too,” I chuckled, pulling him in for another kiss.

He pulled away much too soon for my liking, especially since we didn’t need to breath now.

“Hunting?” he asked me.

“Right that,” I responded.

“Wait!” I heard Alice call. “We want to see her first! And she needs to see herself!”

“Fine but hurry,” Edward relented, and almost instantaneously, the rest of the Cullen family appeared at the door.

“Bella!” Alice shrieked before hugging me tightly. “You look lovely!”

“Thanks Alice!” I replied hugging my sister.

“You do look great Bella,” Rosalie told me before hugging me as well.

Esme did the same and then Emmett came and picked me up and swung me around.

“My little sister isn’t breakable any more!” Emmett shouted. “Welcome to the family sis.”

“Thanks Emmett,” I replied before Jasper greeted me as well.

“So, is it easier now that I don’t smell like a human?” I asked him.

“Much,” Jasper responded with a grin.

“I’m glad,” I told him, shooting him a smile.

“Is everything in working order?” Carlisle asked me, obviously in doctor mode.

“Everything’s great doc,” I assured him.

“I’m sorry there wasn’t anything else we could do,” he apologized.

“It’s fine. I mean, yes I’ll miss my family and Jake, but I get to be with you guys forever, and you all are family to me too,” I explained.

“I’m glad you think that dear,” he told me with a smile.

“Now can we go hunting?” Edward asked Alice.

“Wait, one more minute,” Alice said as she dashed out and returned with a big mirror. “Well, take a look Bella,” she instructed.

I stepped in front of the mirror, still moving faster than I was used to, and a lovely reflection greeted me. My skin was now the same color as the rest of the Cullens’ complete with the purple shadows under my now bright red eyes. Those were definitely a bit freaky, but I knew with a diet of animal blood they would eventually turn gold. My hair was shinier, and I was no longer covered in glass cuts, but otherwise, I looked about the same. I was still essentially me.

“What do you think?” Alice asked, curiously.

“I like it,” I told her, “but why on earth, may I ask, am I wearing the prom dress we got me?”

“I wanted you to look fabulous,” Alice explained. “Now go hunt! Shoo!” she directed.

“See you later Bella,” Emmett chuckled, earning a slap from Rosalie who grinned at me before Edward and I dashed out the door, out of the house, and into the woods.

After my first hunting trip, which went quite well, thank you very much, except for a few casualties—mainly the dress, Edward and I began to head back to the house. Before we reached the edge of the forest however, Edward stopped me. Before I knew what was going on, he was down on one knee in front of me proposing with a gorgeous ring.

“Bella, I love you and want to spend forever with you. Would you please do me the honor of marrying me?” he asked.

“Yes!” I exclaimed despite the fact that I was merely 17 years old. So, what. I figured I would be 17 forever, and since Edward was definitely it for me, I might as well marry him now.

“Thank you,” he said as he slipped the ring onto my finger and pulled me in for a passionate kiss.

A while later, we walked back to the house, and everyone began to congratulate us. Of course Alice already knew what I was going to say, so she began giving me suggestions for the wedding as soon as the word congratulations had left everyone’s lips.

“So,” she said, “I was thinking that you could have the wedding on Isle Esme—and island Carlisle bought for Esme quite some time back—and then you two can honeymoon there as well. It’s quite lovely, and since we have to leave Forks anyways, you two can spend your time there for a while, and we can pick out where we’re going next. I might be a good idea for you both to stay there until you get your thirst completely under control Bella. Oh it will be wonderful! Speaking of which, we need to get started on your dress!” Alice rambled.

“Slow down Alice! I just got engaged! Let it soak in a bit and then we’ll talk wedding plans, okay?” I said, effectively silencing her.

“Oh all right,” she consented.

Eventually we did have the wedding on Isle Esme, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Everything went perfectly, and as I later told Edward, it was much better than the prom that I missed. After the wedding, the rest of my new family was headed off to decide where we should live next, whereas Edward and I planned to spend a while here on the island. Life was going wonderfully, and I couldn’t have asked for a better family.

“Hey Bella! Don’t spend your whole stay writing in that book!” Alice called out as the boat containing the rest of my family was leaving.

“Yeah Bells, honeymoons are most definitely not for writing!” Emmett assured me with a sly grin.

“Oh shut up you two! I’m almost done! See you in a few months!” I called out to them.

“I’ll call you in a couple of weeks,” Rosalie assured me, “and I’ll make sure these two wait at least that long as well. Have fun!”

“Thanks! Bye!” I responded as the boat sped away.

And that is the story of how I met the love of my life, became a vampire, and got married, in that order.

The End