Chapter 1

Edward knocked on the door and waited, his hands thrust into the pockets of his pants. He was just about ready to walk away when the door was flung open.

"Edward? What are you doing here?" Bella asked.

"It's your birthday. We always get together on your birthday."

"But Emmett and I broke up."

He looked at her, his face impassive. "Does that mean it's not your birthday?" A thought occurred to him. "Unless you have other plans? I shouldn't have just assumed…"

She gave him a small smile. "I don't have any plans. Come on in."

He stood awkwardly in the front hallway while she closed the door, his hands still in his pockets.

"I thought you'd side with Emmett," she said quietly.

He turned to face her. "Emmett's family. Doesn't mean I always agree with him."

She tilted her head to one side. "You don't think he should have dumped me?"

"I think that's between the two of you. That doesn't mean we can't still be friends."

"Does he know you're here?"

He shrugged. "I told Esme I was coming over. I don't know if she mentioned it to him."

She started to walk down the hall, obviously expecting him to follow her. "You want something to drink?"

"I'll take a beer if you've got it."

The kitchen was small but bright, every surface spotless. Edward knew it was because she rarely cooked, not because she was a neat freak.

She pulled two beers out of the fridge, handed one to him, and they sat down at the table. Absently, he began to pick at the label. He'd been here dozens of times, eaten take-out at this table…but never without Emmett.

"This is weird," Bella said.

"I can go, if you want."

She looked up from the beer bottle. "No, stay. I'm glad you're here." She smiled at him, and if it wasn't as sunny and bright as normal, he didn't mention it.