I sat with my fingers drumming on the small desktop in front of me. I didn't need the movement. But the humans around me did. They tended to be more relaxed and at ease in the presence of beings that could at least imitate their perpetual motion and constant state of aggravation. If my fidgeting could help them be more at ease while sharing a learning space with a one hundred and ten year old vampire… then I could make myself move from time to time. Besides not making meals of the people in my vicinity… it was the least I could do. Not that they were in any danger. I had given up drinking human blood more than eighty years ago. Now, I just tried to fit in to their world.

For this reason specifically, I tapped out a light rhythm on my desk and allowed my eyes to shift around the room as if I were actually interested in any of its inhabitants.

If I hadn't been looking around the room, my eyes might not have skimmed across the woman who had just entered. But they did. And on reflex, I did a quick second glance.

I wondered if the sight of thick, chestnut hair would ever stop catching my eye. Her hair obscured her face, as her head was turned away from me. She was apparently listening to the girl beside her. The blonde was chattering about a date she had the night before. It was completely uninteresting.

I wished I could control the irrational awareness my body always felt when someone like this brunette crossed my path. It was annoying. Her physical description was entirely too common. Brown hair… brown eyes… medium height. At least twice a day my attention would be captured by similarities. I huffed and shook my head, smiling a little at a sense of déjà-vu that came over me.

"You know, if she catches you staring, she'll probably call you an asshole."

The bell-like voice next to me caused me to turn my head with a wide smile. Bella shook her long hair over her shoulder and lowered herself into the seat to my left. She placed her bag on the floor and a diet coke can on the desk in front of her. I knew it was empty- a prop she insisted made her feel more natural.

"Feeling ok?" I asked quietly. Her wide golden eyes moved from mine to scan the room and the students who shared it with us.

"I'm glad we waited this long," Bella nodded. "But I can handle this. I feel fine."

Two years passed before we enrolled for classes at the University of Alaska. During that time, we lived together in a remote wooded area, introducing Bella to society slowly and only after we were sure that she was in great control of her new vampire urges. I placed my hand over hers and squeezed it reassuringly.

It had been her decision to come back to school. There was so much more in the world that she wanted to learn, rather than memorize. I conceded and let her choose our course of study. I wouldn't deny her anything.

And she never denied me.

When she awoke to a new world as a vampire, she was confused and disoriented. But our reunion was joyful and held not a single hint of anger or despair. Carlisle was right. Bella wanted to be with me. Perfectly equal, our definitions of 'forever' finally matched.

I straightened in my seat and looked forward as the professor started roll call from his class roster. Bella reached to pull her hair back into a messy ponytail, then turned her eyes to the book in front of her and tapped her pen against her lower-lip.

Her body temperature matched mine now. Her strength matched my own. Her big brown eyes looked like butterscotch, and her skin was a paler shade. But she was still the same girl I had fallen in love with.

"Edward Cullen?" My name was called.

"Here," I replied. I turned to watch as Bella doodled on the edge of her paper.

"Isabella Cullen?"

She looked up.

"Bella," she corrected him in reply. I smiled. Yeah. She really hadn't changed all that much.

The End.