Here we go again … the plot bunny just couldn't stay away. Persistent little fucker. Originally, this began as a dream. When I woke up, I wrote down as much as I could, but it's morphed into something different.

Dr. Edward Masen lived a lonely, miserable existence as an emergency room attending at Harborview Medical Center. He ate, breathed and lived for his job. He refused to even think about women. To him, they were only distractions and he didn't trust anyone, except his mother.

Dr. Isabella Swan just moved to Seattle, after completing her residency in Chicago. She was hired as a pediatrician at Harborview, becoming a pediatric emergency room fellow. She was not looking for a relationship, only focusing on her job. It was hate at first sight for both. Or was it? But, their attraction could not be denied.

Unfortunately, a natural disaster rattles their lives ... the world was turned upside down when escalating earthquakes plagued the Seattle area. Will they able to survive the danger of being onShaky Ground?

I'd like to thank Clo for creating the banner. She created it for me when I first posted my dream idea, but I've taken her idea and made it into a story. Also, thank you to Tiffany, Melinda and Clo for letting me bounce ideas off you when I was in the planning stage.

In regard to updates, I'm hoping to make this similar to TOTGA and post on Mondays and Fridays, with teasers on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but that's all based on whether or not I can get a surplus of chapters written. I also have a couple other active stories. Though, LMDC is getting close to being finished. Anyhow, I'm rambling. I'd rather get started with my newest story …

Shaky Ground

Chapter One

"I love my job," Dr. Edward Masen muttered as he sat in his Volvo. "I love my job. I really love my job." One of the nurses waved at him as she passed him. He growled and ran his hand through hair. He did love his job, but he hated the vapid, awful nurses and single, female doctors, who saw him as a piece of meat. Someone to be conquered. He was not some prize to be won, damn it. "Not today, bitches." He got out of the car, swiping his messenger bag, white coat and lanyard with his ID card.

Walking into Harborview Medical Center, he dropped off his belongings in his rarely-used office and got ready for his twelve-hour shift as an emergency room attending physician. He focused his attention on doing his job, healing the sick and helping people. He kept his interactions with the female coworkers concise, but professional, though he'd rather not interact with them at all. He focused on his patients. He treated them respectfully and with the dignity they needed, especially when they were sick and scared.

He worked diligently, helping his patients and smiling warmly at them when they thanked him. This why he went into medicine, to help people. Not to fend off horny females, swatting them away like annoying gnats.

"Hello, Edward," purred Heidi, one of the nurses who never took no for an answer. "You look stressed out. I can give you a massage. A naked massage." She trailed her fingers up his arm and she looked up at him seductively. "Come on, Edward. You're a sexy, sinful man."

He captured her fingers, glaring at her. "I'm not, Nurse Shapiro. And I could go to the head of the department, bringing forth charges of sexual harassment. I've told you, time and time again. I'm not interested. I never will be interested."

"I'm not harassing you," Heidi pouted, crossing her arms over chest. "You're just playing hard to get. I can make it good, Edward." He pursed his lips, pushing past her and making his way to the chief's office. "Okay, okay! I'm sorry. I'll stop."

"For now," he sneered. "Nurse Shapiro, your concession means little to me. And call me Dr. Masen." He continued his determined walk to the chief's office, lodging a sexual harassment complaint against Heidi Shapiro. The chief of the department sighed, taking it down and placing it Heidi's file. Edward left shortly after that, glaring at Heidi as she was called into the chief's office, but feeling vindicated, slightly.

Or was he just mollified?

He drove back to the home in Wedgewood he purchased when he thought his life was great. It was a contemporary four-bedroom home, that he'd hoped he could fill with children. Instead, they were empty and his house was a cold reminder of how lonely and miserable his life was. Making some dinner, Edward settled onto the couch and flipped through the channels, just to repeat the same pattern the following day.

"I love my job. I love my job," he sighed, turning off the television. "I love my life …" No, I don't. Dragging his body up the stairs, he lay down on the king-sized bed, staring at the ceiling until he eventually drifted off before he relived the same nightmare when his life irrevocably changed.

xx SG xx

"I appreciate you letting me move in, Alice," Bella smiled, unpacking her bedroom. Dr. Isabella Swan just moved to Seattle after completing her residency. She'd just been hired at Harborview Medical Center as a pediatrician. She was hoping to become a pediatric fellow in the emergency room, but for now, she was just working on the peds floor and floating down to the ER when needed.

"It's no problem. I had a feeling I'd meet someone to fill this vacant room," Alice chirped, folding a sweater and placing it into the sleek dresser. "I've been searching for the perfect roommate since my sister moved out. I thought I could handle the rent on my own, but no dice. Meeting you when you had your orientation was pretty sweet." She held up a slinky purple nightie. "Ooh, la, la. Have someone special to wear this for?"

"Shut it," Bella snorted, swiping the nightie from her new friend. "I was in a casual relationship with another resident in Chicago. He loved purple."

"Does this casual relationship have a name?" Alice asked, waggling her brows.

"His name was Garrett and we were a couple, but not a couple," Bella shrugged. "Anyway, he bought this for me. I wore it the last time we …" Bella blushed.

"Knocked boots? Got it on? Fucked? Played hide the sausage? Rode the baloney pony? Slept together?" Alice giggled.

"You could say that," Bella smirked. "But, there was very little sleeping involved, Alice."

"Niiice," she sang.

"Well, it's nice to get my shit out of storage and moving into a place that doesn't have room service," Bella retorted. "I finally feel like I can begin my life here in Seattle. Now, I have a job, a place to live and a kick ass roommate."

"I am pretty kick ass," Alice said.

"Though, I do have a silly question. You have a boyfriend. Why didn't you move in together?" Bella asked.

"We've been together for a while, but not ready to live together. We're committed, but not quite there to make that next step," Alice said. "For now, we enjoy many adult sleepovers. We tend to spend those at his place, while his roommate is spending time with his girlfriend, who happens to be Jasper's twin sister. You've met her. She's a surgical resident, Dr. Hale. She lives in this building, but in a studio."

"The tall, leggy blonde?" Bella replied. "The one that looks like a supermodel?"

"Yeah," Alice answered. "She's an amazing surgeon and capable of so much, but she can be a bitch. I've only now gotten on her good side. I've been dating Jasper for like two years? Or is it three?" She shrugged. "When's your first official day at Harborview?"

"I'm on the schedule on Monday. I have the rest of this week to get settled. Only a few more items on my to-do list and then I'm good to go," Bella said. "Are you on tomorrow?"

"I am, but I'm off this weekend," Alice said. "I know you have things to do, but I want to introduce you to Seattle night life! You in?"

"Considering my social calendar will be nonexistent once I start working in earnest, I'm all for it," Bella said. Alice squealed, rushing over and hugging her new friend. The clinked their wine glasses, to the beginning of a new friendship.

The next day, Bella ran her errands, picking up her car, grocery shopping, and getting her driver's license. When she was done, she called her father, telling him that she was all ready to go in Seattle. "You know, I wish you'd chosen to come work with me, baby girl," her father, Charlie, said. "It would have been so amazing to work with my favorite daughter."

"I'm your only daughter, Dad," Bella deadpanned, parking in one of the assigned spaces at her new home. "And I wanted to make a name for myself, without your influence. You're a wonderful doctor, Dad. Kind, compassionate, caring and brilliant. It was because of you that I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. Like you. But, I didn't want to be known as Dr. Swan's little girl. I wanted to make my own name. I'm Dr. Isabella Swan, not only Charlie's daughter."

"I respect that, Bells," Charlie chuckled. "But, you better not leave me hanging. Come visit when you can, baby girl."

"Of course, I will, Dad," Bella smiled. "Who's going to make sure you take care of yourself? Ever since you and Mom broke up during her mid-life drama thing right after I graduated from college, you've been a mess."

"I have not," Charlie scoffed.

"Dad, if I hadn't hired the maid service, you would have had a rodent problem," Bella deadpanned.

"That's because I was working," Charlie snorted.

"Overworking, Dad," Bella snickered. "But, you got better after you moved out of the house. New start and someplace smaller. You're better off without Mom. I love her and I love you, but she was too …"

"Bitchy, selfish, spoiled, entitled …" Charlie offered.

"Don't hold back, Dad," Bella said, putting her groceries in the cart near the elevator of her new apartment. "Look, I know you hate Mom. I don't blame you. I haven't talked to her since I got an invitation to her wedding. To a man, who was younger than me."

"Don't. Remind. Me," Charlie grumbled.

"Anyhow, I have to unload my groceries and finish unpacking my place. I love you, Dad. Please take care of yourself and talk to some pretty nurses. I know that Sue Clearwater is sweet on you."

"She is not," Charlie said.

"Oh, she is. When I picked up my car, she asked me if you were still single," Bella giggled. "She's pretty, Dad. And a better match for you than Mom ever was. She's stable and centered." Charlie was silent. "Don't discount it, Dad. You deserve happiness. Just as much as Mom and her boy toy husband. I'm going now. I love you, Dad. I'll call you when I can and once I get some time off, I'll fly out to see you."

"I love you, too, baby girl," Charlie whispered. "Kick some ass and make a name for yourself. I have no doubt that you will do amazingly."

Bella hung up, feeling happy that she had her dad's vote of confidence and his understanding that she had to make a name for herself, without his influence. Now, onto her new adventure, new job, new life and new friends … and maybe, new men?

A/N: So, there's the first chapter of my newest story, Shaky Ground. Pictures of Edward's home and Bella and Alice's place are on my blog. You can find the link to that on my blog. I'm also on Facebook, Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation and twitter, too: tufano79. I know that Edward seems like a bit of a curmudgeon, but he's got a reason. You'll find out, soon enough. And Bella? She's a hard-worker, but fun and spunky.

I hope you liked it. Thank you for reading and I'll see you on the flip side!