Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

"You know I could call my mom and see if I could stay the night?" Vickie suggested with a grin as we sat in the driveway to my house. I looked up at the house and smiled as every light was on to greet me like usual. Dad was good to me even if I did question his innocence when it came to Edward.

"Do it," Edward whispered to me with a smile in his voice that made me giggle. I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking about Dad and how horribly uncomfortable he would be with Vickie hitting on him all night. It would be comical and no doubt worth the laugh, but I just wanted to be left alone tonight after my weird stare down with Mike.

"I don't think my dad could handle it," I snickered as she laughed with me.

"Who said anything about your dad?" she teased in a suggestive manner before giving me an exaggerated wink. It took a moment before she cackled with delight at my reaction of stuttering surprise. "We could have some fun, you know?"

"Come on, Bella, say yes. I kinda want to see where this goes," Edward said in a teasing tone, but I wasn't fooled by his casual encouragement for me to screw around with Vickie. I heard his gasp of surprise when she suggested us getting together.

"I am flattered, but not tonight," I managed to say as she laughed at me. I wasn't sure if she was teasing me or not, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to know either.

"That's not a no, Bella Swan," she called out to me with a loud laugh as I opened the door to the car to escape her while Edward followed me out. I waved at the strange girl and then ran up to the house. I flung open the door and ran inside before slamming it behind me.

"You home?" Dad called out, as if anyone else would come charging into the house with him.

"Yeah," I yelled as I started up the stairs in effort to avoid him.

"You're buddy with you?" he asked in a nervous voice that made me laugh out loud at him. I knew he was asking about Vickie, but my mind raced to the boy at my side. I glanced in his direction to find him watching me too.

"See, he wanted her here too," Edward teased as he elbowed me playfully.

"You shut up," I whispered to him as he laughed loud and boisterously.

"No, Dad. Your virtue is safe, I assure you," I teased as he appeared at the bottom of the stairs. The relieved look upon his weathered face made me laugh out loud.

"Oh, poor Dad, did teenage girl scare you?" I teased him as he rolled his eyes at me. There was no doubt that Vickie has scared the hell out of him.

"I think I like your other friend Jessica better," he commented as he turned to go back to watch whatever sporting show was on.

"Oh, and she likes you too," I teased suggestively as I watched him shudder with disgust before giving me the finger as he walked away.

"That's rude," I called after him with a laugh as I continued making my way up the stairs followed by his bellowing for me to go to bed.

I passed Bernice in the hallway as I made my way to my room. She breezed by me with a smile on her face. Tonight must be a good night of memories for her. Once inside the room I found Edward lounging on my bed. He had a grin on his face as if he was pleased to see me and that always made me smile.

"You know, your father would not have turned down a chance to screw around," he said as he watched me toss my bag down before turning back to face him.

"Well, that explains the weird loyalty thing you have going on with him," I laughed as I pulled pajamas out of my drawer. "You did say you two were very close, am I right?"

"Are you suggesting that I fucked around with your father?" he asked in a flabbergasted tone that matched the shocked look on his face.

"You're the one who said it, not me," I smiled as I turned to leave the room.

"I can assure you I did not. Now your mother on the other hand," he trailed off suggestively with a smirk that caused me to sputter over what he was implying.

"What?" I demanded as I choked over my words. I looked at the boy sprawled across my bed who was wearing an evil smirk. Edward watched me as I choked over his words, until finally he broke down in hysterics over my reaction to the idea of him and my mother.

"I'm kidding, Bella," Edward barked out as I swallowed back the bile that had risen to the back of throat.

"I swear to god I'm kidding," he proclaimed with a laugh as I continued to gasp for air. "She hated me, like totally hated me, so the last thing she would have offered would have been sex. Hell, we couldn't even be in the same car without screaming at each other."

I'm not sure how much I believed him since I knew my mother. She was an opportunist. If she thought somehow that screwing Edward Cullen would advance her, I had no doubt that she would do her best to make it happen.

"How am I supposed to believe you?" I asked him, unsure if I even wanted the answer since the mental image of him with my mother had turned my stomach.

"I was just trying to get a reaction from you, Bella. That's it," he practically pleaded as a blur of motion brought him before me. I looked at the boy who stood before me with a guilty look on his face and sad eyes that made me want to cringe.

"Why did she hate you?" I asked him and then watched him shrug.

"I don't know. Maybe it was the time I called her a jersey chaser or a mat back. It…It really could have been anything," he rambled as he watched me with a nervous look on his handsome face. He was waiting for my reaction to what he had done like a child waiting to be scolded, but I had nothing to say. I wasn't surprised by this or by what he had called her. I had heard the whispers from others, but more than that, I had lived it. I had witnessed the men that trailed in and out of her life. I had experienced the awkward morning after that resulted in some man sneaking out while I stared into my cheerios pretending not to notice.

"You called my mom a slut?" I asked as he cringed over my harsh word.

"Slut is such a harsh word, Bella," he sighed for with a grimace as I waited for him to continue on with his denial.

"Yeah," he finally admitted begrudgingly before launching into a rambling explanation that I did not need.

"She hung out with these girls who were always trying to get with a guy off the team. I mean, at first it was kinda a funny, but as they started dating some of the other guys it got annoying," he bitched as I watched him unravel.

"The one out of that group who wasn't a whore was Kate and well, Kate was…Kate. She wasn't like that. She just liked the sport. She was a fan and… and her dad was the coach so she was always there. It just fucking sucked that she brought her whorebag friends along with her," he continued on with a grimace as I stared at him in disbelief. This was the most information he had ever told me about his life and I was mesmerized by it. It was a little glimpse into what had been his world even if it was a narrow view that left me sick to my stomach as I thought about him with another girl.

"So, you didn't…" I began uncertain as to what to say to him since I wasn't sure as to what exactly I was asking him. I knew what I wanted to ask. I wanted to ask who he was with and what girl had caught his eye. I wanted to know why the thought of him with anonymous girl caused a knot in my chest instead of wondering if this was the person who had killed him.

"Date whores?" he finished my sentence abruptly before continuing on. "No, I never dated team skanks. I had no interest in them, but if I was being honest here, I would tell you how none of the girls ever caught my attention when I was alive."

"Why not?" I asked in a whisper as I felt the knot in my stomach tighten to the point of being unbearable. Edward seemed to since my nervousness as he stepped forward, closing the space between us so we were practically nose to nose. I could feel his hands ghost over my arms as he looked down at me with a grin that was a mixture of bittersweet amusement. It was the slightest of touch, yet enough to create a wave of goose bumps in its wake.

"I don't know. At the time I had dreams of the Olympics and traveling the world doing something I loved. There just wasn't a girl that I found all that interesting…. Until now," he explained with a soft laugh that as I found myself leaning into him. His eyes shined bright, resembling the moon as he laughed at himself.

"I don't think that all too funny," I managed to say as he trailed his fingers down my arms, tickling me with his soft touch before grasping both my hands in his. I wanted my words to be harsh, to remind him of the distance between us, the distance between the living and the dead, but they came out as a breathy whisper.

"It is, Bella," he assured me with a playful tug as he pulled me to the bed so that we could sit down together. "It's funny as hell when you think about."

Edward's hands felt warm in mine as we sat together while the radio filled the empty space between us. It did nothing to ease the knot in my chest as I looked at him.

"You see, I've had nothing but time to think about all of this. We are talking years to think about all of this and…after all the damn times Jasper would tell me that there is a plan and to be patient. I didn't believe him, but then there was you and maybe…maybe he was actually right," Edward rambled on as he looked at me with wide, nervous eyes. His fingers twisted around mine as I found myself pulling him towards me. Edward didn't resist, instead he just took a deep breath and squared his shoulders as if he was preparing for some great speech.

"If I were a live and seventeen I would… I would follow you in the halls and ask about you. I would try to talk to you and your friends to get to know you and to show that I wasn't just some asshole athlete. I would make a fool of myself asking you out since I never asked girls out so there no doubt I would fuck that up somehow and…And I would take the chance that you would change everything because you are just too incredible not to take a risk for," Edward confessed in a whisper as I watched him take deep breath that he didn't need while words robbed me of mine.

"You don't have to say anything, Bella," he whispered to me as he looked into my eyes with a bittersweet smile that made my heart pound within my chest. "I know. I have come up with every reason possible as to why this won't work starting with the obvious that I'm dead and you're alive. I know that this is crazy, but I can't help it," he continued on slowly as he watched me. It was as if he was waiting for me to run from him, but that wasn't going happen. I was tied to him, mesmerized with each small confession he had made.

"I like you, Bella," he admitted as he watched for my reaction while not waiting for my response. "I mean I like you. I don't know when it started or how and I know it's crazy. Fuck, I know it's crazy, but I just keep thinking about how if things were different…If we were different…We might have been amazing together," he declared with more confidence than before as we sat almost nose to nose on my bed.

I should have listened closer to him as he talked about how we were destined to fail, but I didn't. Instead, I looked into his moon colored eyes and dreamt for a moment over what might have been with this boy. It was intoxicating since I had never allowed myself to dream of anything except being left alone, yet somehow this boy had snuck into my dreams, coloring them with his laughter.

"I just wanted to try something because I have to know," he whispered letting his sultry gaze dip from my eyes to my lips for split second.

Edward wanted to kiss me.

I could see it in his silver eyes as he silently asked permission while I stared at him, stunned into silence over what to say. I wanted to kiss him, but he was right. We could not be, yet there was this piece of me that needed this, that craved him. It was maddening and so was he as he waited impatiently for me to say something over what he was proposing. I opened my mouth to speak, desperately trying to channel in my inner skeptic. I needed to put this renegade spirit who had over stepped the boundaries we had created in our business like relationship in his place. I knew this, yet looking into his eyes I couldn't think of a reason to say no.

"You can tell me no," Edward assured me as he leaned closer, but his eyes pleaded with me to say yes. His breath was cool against my lips as he slid his nose along mine. He gave me an syrupy sweet Eskimo kiss as he tried to wait for me to give him permission to move forward.

My patience had reached its limit.

I pressed closer until my lips brushed lightly against his in a soft kiss, giving him the answer he had been seeking.

AN:

Thanks for reading! Thanks to Sarah for reading this over. Sorry for not waiting for the others : ( With that being said, any and all lingering mistakes are mine.

Hope you enjoyed the early posting. The next one will be on Wednesday. I will be posting a teaser for ch 32 which will be an Edward POV and just might contain an angel Jasper appearance in all my review replies as well as on my face book group Mamasutra Moments and at A Different Forest (Thank you Bellebiter!)

As always thanks for the love & support on this adventure. You have no idea how much it means to me.

XOXO

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