Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

I made my way down the steps, prolonging the moments I had alone before facing Mike. It gave me enough time to actually think about what I had done.

I had invited Edward to the homecoming dance.

A dance that I had another date for.

A dance that I was dreading.

I was standing on the bottom step contemplating my epic fuck up when Dad rounded the corner to find me there.

"Come on," he muttered as I stood there, waiting for divine intervention to save me from the hell night I had in store, but just like always not one damn angel in sight to step in and stop this train wreck.

"Okay," I muttered as I glanced over my shoulder to see if Edward was watching, but only found Bernice at the top of the stairs. Her blind stare was far from comforting as she watched me go.

I marched into the living room half expecting to find Mike with his happy grin and nervous demeanor waiting for me. Instead, I was greeted with the last two people I was expecting to see tonight.

"Hey," I greeted James and Vickie with a smile that was actually real. "What are you doing here?"

"What up Swanny," James called out as he lounged on the couch with a teasing grin. He looked every bit the asshole that he normally was, except for the ice blue tuxedo with matching ruffled shirt he was wearing. It was clear he had gotten the relic at some resale shop cheap from how grungy it looked.

"Wow, James." It was all I could mutter as he grinned me pleased with my reaction of disbelief.

"I told you not to wear it, that you look like a dick, but noo don't listen to me." Vickie growled with just enough irritation to rip my gaze away from that horrendous tuxedo to look at her.

"You look great," I motioned towards her as she picked at her lacy white dress that had a ribbon belt that would have matched James tuxedo if it had been clean. It was no lie; Vickie looked great with her almost too short of dress and her fiery hair pulled back in a tight bun that somehow made her look young instead of harsh.

"You too, doll," she smiled bright for me before looking over my shoulder to my father. Her smile narrowed with wickedness as she eyed him trying to hide in the shadows from us.

"Your dad thinks I look great too, don't you Mr. Swan?" Vickie teased softly as she grinned like the cat that ate the canary.

"Dude, I told you before and I won't say it again, so stop checking out my girl," James quickly added in a menacing tone while Dad gawked at them both in what appeared to be horror.

"Wow, Dad, have some class," I deadpanned causing him to turn and look at me with a shocked expression on his weathered face before stomping out of the room. I listened to his grumbles of needing to find the camera mixed with how he hated kids as he disappeared.

"What are you doing here?" I asked them once Dad was out of ear shot. We hadn't made any plans to meet up and up until this moment I had no idea that they were even going to the homecoming dance.

"Like we would miss out on this," James snickered as he lounged lazily on the couch before me. I just stared at him unsure of what he meant.

"Jamie has his money on the idea that your ghost will go all Paranormal Activity on Mike before the night is out," Vickie explained with a bored shrug before turning to check her hair in the mirror behind her.

"He better not," I whispered as I glanced back towards where Dad disappeared to in hopes he wasn't listening in on our conversation. He wasn't, but that didn't matter since him listening had nothing on the idea of Edward acting out against Mike. I could pretend that he wouldn't, that he would have enough sense to understand that Mike was Mike and one dance was meaningless, but Edward didn't always use common sense.

"Come on," James whined to me. "Mike needs a smack down and ghost boy is just guy to do it."

"At least someone has faith in me."

I turned to find Edward leaning against the wall watching us. He was dressed in a gray suit that would have been just fine except for the truly outdated skinny tie he wore. His hair was tamed a bit, but not so perfect that he wasn't recognizable. He looked handsome, too handsome if I was being honest myself.

I stepped closer to him without even thinking about it.

"What do you think?" he asked with a wide grin that told me everything I needed to know. Edward knew he was handsome, so stroking his ego was something I had always refused to do since it only fed his need to be an asshole.

"You look like a douche bag with that skinny tie," I whispered to him with a smile while James and Vickie bickered amongst themselves over who would win the battle between Edward and Mike. I was with James. Edward would no doubt win, not that I was about to give him approval to be a dick to Mike.

"Yeah?" He questioned with a soft laugh. It was almost seductive, yet I knew I had irritated him. Edward had an ego and the idea of him being anything less than perfect would completely bother him.

I fought back the sigh as his hands connected with mine, holding them loosely as he pulled me towards him. It always amazed me how bright his eyes could shine with amusement as he leaned into as if he were about to steal kiss before stopping short of my lips.

"You look like you should blow me," he whispered with a devilish grin on his handsome face. His breath was cool against my lips and caused an instant reaction of nervous energy to burst through me before escaping in the form of mad laughter. Thankfully, Jams and Vickie were used to my odd behavior, so they didn't even look in my direction.

"You think?" I sputtered with laughter as he shook his head at me while not giving me an inch of space.

"You could if you wanted to. I won't stop you, if that's what you're asking," he teased me with a side grin as I rolled my eyes at him.

"You wish," I snorted with laughter that he joined in on as well, but his laughter was different. It was darker and held a hint of wistfulness.

"You're right. I totally do," he agreed with a before stealing kiss. It was feather soft against my lips, yet just powerful enough to rob me of the air I was breathing.

"So where the hell is Newton?" Dad asked, making his presence known before entering the room again. It didn't matter since Edward had stepped back, letting go of me except for his hand in mine. We stood like that for a momnt just as door bell rang loud announcing Mike's arrival.

"Go let him in," I mumbled as Edward made his last pleas for me to skip tonight. I didn't bother responding since there was no going back now.

I watched as Dad led Mike into the room while Edward griped my hand tight in his.

"This is fucking stupid," Edward mumbled loud over James's giggles as Mike took in the scene. While I knew he couldn't see Edward, but there was no doubt in my mind that he had to feel him. Edward's instant frustration seemed to fill the room making everyone uncomfortable.

"Hey, what's going on?' Mike asked in a nervous tone as he watched James wave at him while Vickie picked at her nails.

"She invites us to join you," James interrupted gleefully. "Hope you don't mind."

It was a good excuse as any to use so I just nodded my head in agreement while Edward moved beside me. He shifted so that he was half standing in front of me like he would protect me from the idiot boy who was my date. He had no idea that Mike was harmless.

"I don't like how he looks at you," Edward stated firmly as I smiled at Mike like nothing was wrong. "He looks at you like you belong to him."

"Edward," I hissed lowly, hoping like hell no one would hear me.

"Well, you don't," he corrected as I continued to smile like a jack ass for the human boy who looked like he was being punked. "You're my girl."

I had no time to address Edward and his ridiculous behavior before Dad had us posing for pictures.

"I'm sure your mom will want a copy," he announced as I rolled my eyes at him. She wouldn't, but I wasn't about to correct this fantasy he had when it came to mom.

"Yeah, my mom will," James chimed in with a grin. "She also wanted me to remind you that she would be at the dinner at six if you wanted to join her."

This was news.

"Really?" I questioned Dad who only scowled at me.

"Oh, yeah, Charlie has been calling her after you're in bed," Edward added as he continued to hold me to him, creating a space between Mike and me as the flash went off. I glanced over my shoulder toward my ghost to silently question him, but Edward only shrugged.

"Sometimes I sit with Charlie after you're asleep," he admitted almost sheepishly with a shrug. "We watch Cops together and talk. It's cool."

I had no idea that Edward would do that, but if I was being honest I had no idea how Edward spent his time. He was still very much mystery to me no matter how much he claimed to be an open book.

"Smile, Bella," Dad called out reminding me to be present in the moment even though it was the last place I wanted to be.

AN:

Thanks for reading!

I have plans to update again this weekend.

XOXO

Mamsutra