Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns all.
Rated M for several reasons.
Prologue: Swan Neck
Halfway through my penultimate year in High School my mom, who I grew up with in Phoenix, married a jobbing baseball player. They wanted to travel, and I could not think of anything worse, so I moved back to my dad's in Forks, Washington, to finish out my studies.
Charlie, dad, and I always got along fine one during our bi-annual visits, but I had not lived in his dreary hometown since I was a toddler. It was not an easy adjustment; the constant damp of the Olympic Peninsula was anathema to me after all those years in Arizona, but dad was great, and the people were friendly and welcoming. I made more friends in that tiny little High School than I had made in all those years in Arizona. And that was despite me being awkward, introverted and a little bit weird. They thought I was exotic and not completely uncool. Bless them.
There seriously is not a lot you can do in Forks if you are not into hiking, hunting, fishing or drinking. And so, I excelled in my studies, won scholarships and came top of my class at medical school.
I had my pick of jobs, cities and specialities but I chose to come home. There are many reasons. I am a grade A coward and the opportunities scared me. I love and missed my dad - mom and Phil now have my little brother, Clarence (do not ask), and are happy in Florida. My old doctor in Forks, Dr Gerandy, had just retired creating a vacancy. And recent arrival Dr Carlisle Cullen, whose much more adventurous curriculum vitae I was hoping might inspire me to be braver by association.
"Gah!" My heart sputters in my chest and my hand automatically flies up to protect it. "Yes, sorry, that's me."
Of course, the hand that flew to my defence was the one holding my coffee. Which is now flowing languidly between my still slightly heaving breasts, soaking and staining everything in its path.
"We're so pleased to have you here! And your father, the Chief, he is so proud! We are all so proud! And excited! Welcome to Forks Community Hospital."
She proffers her hand and I shake it awkwardly with mine, the one not holding the now empty coffee cup.
"How did it go?" Charlie asks as I enter the kitchen and dump my things on the counter.
"I embarrassed myself," I sigh.
"Oh good," he chuckles, "at least they'll know you're a Swan."
"Through and through. What is for dinner?"
"Is that a thing?" I ask, mildly revolted.
"Only if I am really, really, bored. Relax, I'll order in, Double Pepperoni?"
"Please, can I hop in the shower first though?"
"Hop away," he allows, going back to his paper and his beer.
He is still not a hoverer; I think we will do fine.