I do not own Twilight or its characters. Stephenie Meyer does.

April and Gabby, thank you for pre-reading, and Fran, thank you for editing. Any mistakes left are my own.

Ch. 21

"One more pin and some hairspray, and I think that will do it." Esme worked on my hair for the dance.

Esme had been a godsend to both Alice and me. Last weekend, she took us to some shops in Olympia to look for dresses. Mine had a navy blue lace top with a chiffon skirt and beaded waist. Alice chose a pretty purple, sleeveless chiffon dress with sequin detailing.

Tonight, Esme was helping us with our hair and makeup. She French braided my hair then tucked the end up and inside. She even managed to give Alice's hair more body, by using hot rollers to give it some soft waves.

"You girls look stunning," she complimented us.

"Thank you so much, Esme." I got up from the bench in front of her vanity.

"It was my pleasure. Now spin for me so we can do one final check." She twirled her finger in front of her.

We spun side by side, and I lost my balance slightly and bumped into Alice. She caught my eye, and we both giggled. Esme grinned, shaking her head.

"Yes, flats were definitely the right choice." She snickered. "Okay, you two look perfect. You'll have the boys eating out of your hand tonight."

"I don't know about that," Alice said shyly and ducked her head.

Esme reached over and cupped Alice's chin, tilting it to look into her eyes. "Don't sell yourself short, dear. You're a beautiful young lady inside and out, and your parents were fools not to see it. Hold your head high, show the world how special you are, I suspect there's a young man downstairs who already knows."

"Yes, ma'am….I mean Esme." Alice nodded.

Esme hugged her tightly and kissed the top her head. At dinner, she had been floored to learn about Alice's situation. She knew Viola fled town, but not why. To the best of her knowledge, Alice's dad was always on business trips, she didn't know he left too. She tried to insist that Alice moved in immediately and was on a rampage that Carlisle should call child services. She relented when Alice begged her not to, and I told her my dad was looking into things.

Esme still insisted that Alice was to come over on Sundays for dinner and at least one other night a week. She let Alice know that her offer to stay at the house was always an open invitation.

She took a step back and wiped a stray tear. "Are you ready, girls?"

"I am." I grabbed my wrap and clutch.

Alice nodded and adjusted her shawl.

"Then it's show time." She winked and led the way out of the room.

RR

After a series of photos, Esme let us leave. Emmett went ahead in his Jeep since he was going to a party after the dance—the team was celebrating their win. The rest of us weren't interested in going to Tyler's house, so Edward was going to drive us to the dance then drop Alice off with me after that for a sleepover. Dad was going to be out late tonight and felt more comfortable with someone in the house with me.

"You look beautiful tonight," Edward whispered in my ear as he opened the car door for me.

"Thank you." I blushed and kissed his cheek.

We had slowly started with more PDA in front of others. We held hands in the hallways and snuck a chaste kiss here and there, although, we have grown increasingly bolder when alone. What started out as a small kiss when we went out for ice cream to celebrate our bridge placing first, ended up in a heated make-out session in his Volvo.

On the way to the dance, Jasper and Alice talked about the Lord of the Rings movies. Apparently, both of them were Ringers and were excited that the second movie; two something or others, was coming out in December. They talked about going to a midnight showing together if it came nearby.

Edward parked, and we sat staring at the gym, watching the others arrive before getting out. Emmett approached with his hands in his pockets; his eyes scanned the parking lot.

"I guess we should go in," Edward said after a moment.

"We can always leave early if it's lame," I suggested.

"Why not just leave now," Jasper said.

"Bella and Emmett were nominated so they should go in," Alice said.

"Right, you didn't bring pig's blood, did you?" I glanced at Jasper.

He smirked. "Naw, Posey would kill me for real if I did."

"Bella could win," Edward said defensively.

"Bella doesn't want to win." I shook my head.

"Then Bella shouldn't talk in the third person." Jasper snickered.

"Let's get this over with." Emmett scowled in the direction of a fancy car that Rose was stepping out of; I couldn't see the guy with his back towards us.

She looked stunning and older in a vibrant red dress with spaghetti straps. Her neckline dipped lower than I would've ever dared to wear and there was cut-out around her waist. On her feet were dainty high heels that added to her height.

"I'm getting cold, can we go." I tugged on Edward's hand.

"Me too," Alice agreed, shivering when the wind picked up.

"Of course, do you want my jacket?" Edward asked, looking worried.

"No thank you, I should be fine once we're inside." I started to pull him along with the others falling in step behind us.

The gym was decorated with streamers in the school's color and with strings of white lights. The D.J. had set up in the far corner of the room, with large stands of multicolored lights that flashed to the beat of the music. Around the outskirts of the gym floor, tables had been set with groups of six chairs.

"Would you like to dance," Edward asked once we staked out a table.

"I don't dance." Jasper shrugged as he slumped in a folding chair.

Out the corner of my eye, I saw Alice's smile wane as she dropped her purse on the table.

"Then why did you come?" I asked.

"Nothing better to do," he answered.

Alice looked crushed, and Jasper glanced at her with an unreadable expression.

"I'll dance, come on, Alice, I'll swing you around the dance floor and make Kevin Bacon proud," Emmett offered to her.

"Um…okay." She glanced at Jasper before taking Emmett's hand.

Jasper glared at Emmett's back, as they headed out to the floor. Edward shifted nervously beside me and tilted his head towards the dancers. I nodded and let him lead me away from the tables.

"I have no idea, what I'm doing," Edward confessed as he tried to move to the beat of the music.

"Don't worry, neither do I," I comforted him. "I would suggest watching Emmett, but I'm not sure if he's having a seizure or knows what he is doing."

Edward glanced to our left and started to snicker. Emmett had one hand behind his head while the other was extended. He only moved his upper body in a circular motion then suddenly changed and moved like a robot. Alice was swaying to the music, her lips were pressed together tightly, and she looked like she was trying not to start laughing.

After a few songs, Edward and I decided to take a break and sat down at the table. I surveyed the gym and spotted Rose and her date on the other side. Even though it was a fast song, the guy had her pressed up against him. He was practically grinding on her and groping her butt.

"Who's the loser," Emmett asked, his voice dark and deadly.

"The son of one of my dad's fraternity buddies. I think his name is Royal or Royce, something pansy like that," Jasper answered.

"He looks like a prick," Emmett muttered.

"You're not too far off; Roy Boy has a reputation my parents have either chosen to ignore, or they're just ignorant about. He wants a career in politics starting with running to be the next state senator. Rose makes the perfect arm candy for his campaign. Being the wife of a senator and possible first lady would make my parents proud," Jasper scoffed.

"Does Rose even want that?" I asked, and Jasper shrugged.

"Can I have your attention, please." The music stopped, and Principal Greene spoke into a mic by the DJ stand. "I need all nominees for homecoming queen and king up here with me."

"Good luck." Edward kissed my cheek and helped me to my feet.

"Thanks." I suppressed a grimace as I walked to the front with Emmett trailing behind me.

He had been very quiet for the last few minutes. He glanced at Rose wordlessly as he passed her to join the rest of the boys. She seemed oblivious to him but smiled at me.

"You look great. Good luck," she said.

"Thanks, you too," I commented.

"Please," Katie scoffed as she walked by us so she could be in front.

Rose rolled her eyes theatrically and shook her head. She smoothed her hair and adjusted her dress.

"Can I get a drum roll, please?" Principal Greene spoke into the mic, making it emit a high-pitched noise.

The DJ hit a button on his sound board, and the rumbles of drums filled the air, as well as kids banging on their tables nearby.

"Okay…okay, that's enough." Principal Greene held up his hand. "Your 2002 homecoming king is…Emmett McCarty."

There were cheers, and someone somewhere yelled 'I love you, Emmie bear,' as Emmett stepped forward. Rose surprised me by muttering slut under her breath. Once Emmett was crowned, he stepped back.

"And now, your 2002 queen. May I get another drum roll and easy on the tables," Principal Greene asked, then paused dramatically.

Kate started forward with a large grin on her face.

"Rosalie Hale."

Thank God.

Katie froze in her spot, struggling to keep her smile plastered on her face. Rose walked forward and gracefully avoided Katie's out stuck foot. Rose smiled demurely at our classmates as our principal placed the crown on her head. Emmett whispered something to the DJ, who gave him a thumbs-up and nodded.

"Congratulations, Rose." I hugged her.

"Thank you." She beamed.

"Ready, Rosie." Emmett appeared at her side, holding out his hand.

"For?" She looked confused.

"Come on, it's tradition, just one dance." He pouted.

"Oh…I guess that will be okay."

I headed back to my table as music filled the air.

They read you Cinderella

You hoped it would come true

That one day your Prince Charming

Would come rescue you

I glimpsed back at them and couldn't help but grin. Emmett looked happy spinning Rose around, holding her close but not pressed up against her. Rose was smiling back at him not looking annoyed for once.

Well done, Emmett.

I arrived back at our table to find it empty. I glanced around to see where everyone had gone. Edward and Alice were on the dance floor dancing together. Unlike most of the other dancers, they had a large space between them. I took my seat and waited for the song to be over.

I looked back at Emmett and Rose to see how they were progressing, and something had changed. They were in a heated argument; Rose pulled away from him and stalked down the hall and out of the gym. After staring after her, Emmett turned and stomped towards the parking lot.

When the song ended, Alice came back as Edward went to the concession table. As she got closer, her head ducked. She took the seat beside me, looking worried.

"I hope you don't mind that we danced. I know you two are together, and…," Alice said nervously.

"Alice, it's fine don't worry about it." I waved off her concern. "Friends can dance with each other."

She sighed in relief. "Good."

"Where did Jasper go?" I asked.

"I don't know. He said he'd back in a bit. Probably smoking again." She shrugged frowning.

Edward arrived carrying three cups of punch, which he carefully handed us before taking a sip out of his.

"Thank you," I said then placed my cup on the table.

We watched the dancing for a bit, and I was starting to get bored. I was curious where Jasper had gone and if Emmett was coming back. Speak of the devil; Jasper entered the gym looking pissed. He sat down in the seat without saying anything to any of us.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Peachy, remember your promise," he said curtly. "Can we blow this pop stand?"

"I was hoping for one more dance with Bella," Edward told him just as another slow song, This I Promise You started.

"Uh…" I glanced at Jasper.

"Whatever…don't let me stop you." He leaned back in his seat and stared at the ceiling.

I glanced at Alice, and she shrugged and shooed me away, so I took Edward's elbow and let him lead me to the dance floor. I leaned into his arms, so our chests brushed. His hand rested just above the small of my back.

"I vote that for Prom we do this as a couple rather than this group thing," he commented.

"Aww…it hasn't been that bad. Something must have happened; Jasper was in a fairly good mood up until a few minutes ago. I think it was sweet you asked Alice to dance." I gazed up at him.

"Yeah…well…I felt bad. She was just sitting there most of the night except for the one dance with Emmett." The tips of his ears turned pink.

I glanced back at her; she was staring at the dancers with a wistful expression. Behind her, Jasper was looking at her with a perplexed look. After a moment, he slowly got to his feet and said something to her. She blinked in surprise and nodded, a shy grin lit up her face.

"Well look at that." I nodded my head in their direction, where they were slowly moving in a circle.

Edward looked over the top of my head as he spun us. "About time," he muttered.

I rested my head against his shoulder and closed my eyes. I felt his arms tightened around me. If I could stay this way the rest of the night, I would be content. All too soon, the song ended, and a faster, louder beat burst my bubble.

"Do you mind leaving," Edward asked.

"Naw, I think we made enough memories for one night." I kissed his cheek.

RR

The ride to my house was fairly quiet. Jasper went back to his sulking mood. Edward walked us to the door while he stayed in the car.

"I'm going to say goodnight to Edward, I'll be right up," I said to Alice.

"Okay, do you mind if I use the shower?" she asked.

"Nope, go right ahead. If you need shampoo or anything else, it's under the sink. Towels are in the linen closet, second door on your left," I told her.

She went up the stairs, and I turned back to Edward. "Thank you for a wonderful evening."

"You're welcome." He leaned down brushed his lips against mine.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him closer. My lips parted, and his tongue slid into my mouth while his hands slid up and rested just below my breasts.

A loud meow interrupted us, and Nessa brushed against our legs. Edward suddenly jerked away.

"Ow." He shook his leg, as Nessa clung on tight to his pants.

"Nessa, no," I scolded, removing her.

"I think your dad has been training the cat behind your back," he teased.

"That's all I need." I cuddled my purring kitten. "Maybe she was trying to say hi to you."

He scratched behind her ears, and her purring grew louder, and she head butted his hand. He laughed and kissed the top of my head.

"I should go since Jasper is waiting." Edward jutted his thumb towards the door.

"Right." I glanced out at the car. "Maybe you can find out what's wrong since I'm not allowed to ask, without him thinking I'm trying to psychoanalyze him. Something had to happen for such a sharp mood change."

"I don't know if he'll tell me." Edward looked unsure. "But I'll try."

"Thank you." I pecked his lips lightly.

"You're welcome, I'll call you tomorrow," he promised.

A/N: There seemed to be a near even split for either Rose or Bella to be queen. With everyone in agreement as long as it wasn't Katie. I hope you're as pleased as Bella is with the results. If you like to see the dresses, they are attached to the teaser that I posted Weds. on Facebook (May T. Brown)

TLS once again pimped my fic on their blog again, thank you again, for the rec.

Songs mentioned in this chapter: I Can Love You Like That -All-4-One and This I Promise You - *NSync

Thank you for all the love and reviews you have given my story.