Welcome to my new story!

This is something different for me, and I really hope you like it.

I was going to wait until complete before I started posting, but I'm just too impatient. I am seventeen chapters in, so I should still be able to stick to a schedule of posting once a week.

Huge thanks to Pattinlethr, SparklyMeg, Iklepixie, Everydaybella, CruizFanfiction, Mariahajile & Marly580 for their support, pre-reading, and beta'ing skills. This fic would be a mess without them.

Chapter 1

The sun sets low in the sky, bringing a welcomed chill with it. Waves crash quietly as the tide creeps in, and I move back slightly to stay out of the water's way. Normally, the cool water would be enjoyable on a humid day, but as summer draws to an end, it's too cold for my liking.

A light breeze ruffles my hair, and I wrap my arms around my waist, knowing I should head back inside but wanting to stay here as long as possible.

I put my sweater on the sand and sit down, inhaling deeply and smiling as the smell of the beach invades my senses. I try to commit as much of it as possible to memory, not knowing when I'll next be back. Tomorrow, I'll be Chicago-bound, swapping my flip-flops for snow boots.

The thought doesn't sadden me like it used to, and I smile at the nervous butterflies that take up residence in my stomach. This will be a good thing for me.

I lie back and enjoy the peace and quiet, not caring that I have sand on my back and, most likely, in my hair. While the beach was certainly busier earlier on, most people have left for the day. Instead of doing the same, where I know I'll be expected to enjoy a last meal with my family before I move, I think back over the previous twelve months of my life.

My last year of school wasn't the carefree time I was told it would be. While it started off great - there were parties, kisses, and falling in love - there was also embarrassment, rumors, and heartbreak; all of which are reasons I'll be happy to leave this place.

Whispers and giggles interrupt my silence a short time later. The sky is darker, the only illumination coming from the porch lights of the houses that sit on the beach front.

A deep voice echoes through the dunes, followed by more of the same flirty, light giggles from his companion.

My stomach drops, dread settling in its depths. Silent tears fall down my cheeks. I don't wipe them away.

I recognize that giggle and the deep voice that is the cause of it.

I quickly stand, wiping any sand from wherever I can reach, and follow the sound of the happy couple.

I should turn back. I should walk in the opposite direction and pretend I didn't hear them.

I stop dead in my tracks when I see them. They sit farther down the beach. Their bodies are angled toward each other as the girl laughs at something the handsome boy says.

She's beautiful.

Her blonde hair blows in the low wind, the tips tickling him and making him laugh, her shoulders tan from the glorious weather we've had this summer.

I'd listened to the rumors, but I didn't believe them. I knew he was coming home, but I didn't think he'd bring anyone. And I didn't believe he would bring her here.

This was our spot. And now it's tainted.

He smiles at her — a huge grin — and even from here, I can tell it's full of love. My heart shatters. That smile used to be for me. I hate that it's now hers.

In those moments, I realize it really is over.

With one last glance at my past, I turn and go back the way I came.

Welcome to my new fic! For those of you who read Cocktails, this will be very different. A little angst at the start and, hopefully, a lot of swoon. I hope you all like!

Fic Rec:Rise by Rochelle Allison - Bella is a bad boy's girl, living a life she no longer wants. She's trapped, until one of the things that keeps her confined - her bodyguard - becomes the very thing that could set her free.