A/N: I hope you like this chapter, sorry it took so long!
"You got WHAT?"
"Two detentions Dad, so I won't be home until late."
He closed his eyes. "How on earth did you get two detentions?"
"My teacher's insane," I mumbled.
"What was that?"
"My new teacher hates me."
"Bella, I'm sure that's not true."
"Come on Dad, when have I ever got a detention before? When have I ever got into trouble?"
"You never did, before you started seeing that Cullen boy."
"It's not Edward's fault."
"So he wasn't involved?"
I pressed my lips together. He obviously wasn't going to listen to me.
"I'll take that silence as a yes."
He held up a hand. "No Bella, I don't want to hear anymore, just go to your room."
Was everyone out to get us?
I dreaded the next day, as I got ready for school.
"Honestly Bella," Edward contemplated as he stretched out on my bed, smoothing imaginary patterns on my quilt, "I just don't see anyway she can get any worse."
I looked at him darkly. "I can."
He chuckled and then sat up to start massaging the tension out of my shoulders. I immediately relaxed to his touch, despite his icy hands.
"I think," he murmured softly, "that after this semester, we should go on a vacation."
I frowned. For the Cullens, I was sure vacation meant spending money, a lot of money.
"I'm not sure that would be a good idea," I muttered.
His lips met the nap of my neck and he gently kissed upward. "Love, I think it's a wonderful idea. And we haven't gone away for a while."
Relenting to his masterful skill, I sighed in pleasure. "Okay, I'll go with you on a vacation if," I held up one figure, trying to contain the excitement I was sure was entering his expression, "only if I survive Ms. Brodie."
As Edward drove to school, he seemed perturbed by something. When I asked him about it, he turned to me.
"Bella, don't you think it's odd that this teacher has been singling us out for punishment lately? I mean, I could explain one occurrence, maybe one problem she's found from us, but not all of them."
"Hatred on sight?" I suggested cheerfully.
"No, I think it goes deeper. Her thinking, it's almost like she has a grudge against us, but she only thinks about how much she dislikes us, never why. It's almost as if she knows that I can read her mind, so she is careful with her thoughts." He shook his head, almost as if he was trying to shake the thoughts from his mind. "But that's ridiculous. Why would a middle-aged English teacher have a grudge against us?"
"I don't know Edward, its weird."
He nodded. "Even more weird than life is normally around here."
At school, people were buzzing with the fact that we were deemed troublemakers and got our first two detentions. Jessica and Lauren seemed particularly gleeful over this.
I was hesitant, with good reason to go into English, but thank heavens, she had an in-teacher meeting, and so we had a substitute.
After that it was like a weight had lifted from my shoulders. I was free for the rest of the day. At least, the weight disappeared until Emmett not so kindly reminded me about my detention at lunch.
Math, Biology, and Government class all passed too quickly. Edward met me at the end of gym so we could walk to the guillotine together. As we got closer to the door, my feet became more and more sluggish. The door was wide open, and I peered inside cautiously.
"Come in, you don't want to be wasting any time now do you?"
Taking the command as a rhetorical question, we didn't respond to it.
She smiled warmly at us as we walked into the classroom.
"Good afternoon, Bella, Edward," she nodded to both of us as she spoke.
We muttered greetings as well.
"Have a seat," she instructed us kindly, which was strange for her, motioning to two desks upfront. She was smiling warmly at us. I exchanged a questioning glance with Edward, and he shrugged in response.
As we deposited our things by the door, he inconspicuously leaned over and whispered, "She's thinking that she's decided to be nice to us, but that's about all I'm getting."
He spoke so swiftly, I don't think Ms. Brodie caught on.
"Well," she said getting up and propping one hip on the edge of her desk, "I've been reevaluating my actions for the past week, and I think now that I might have been a little harsh towards you."
I don't think I was able to repress the look of disbelief that bloomed on my face.
"Of course, I can't exactly rescind my punishment, now can I?" She laughed. "But, I will let you have an easy detention period. You can grade these vocabulary tests. That should keep you preoccupied for about an hour. Then you can feel free to go."
Dutifully, Edward and I graded for the next fifty minutes. Well, actually Edward finished his pile immediately and then proceeded to stare at Ms. Brodie for the remaining forty minutes. He seemed utterly frustrated and I could understand what was going on. I mean, why would she not think about the reasons behind her actions? How would she know to block Edward from her mind? But that was crazy, how could she even know that Edward read minds? She couldn't, could she? Regardless, she seemed oblivious to Edward's staring as she worked at her desk.
She looked up at the clock and flipped her books closed.
"Good job today and I hope we'll be able to start over on a whole new page tomorrow."
She smiled sweetly at us, although it seemed a tiny bit forced to me, and ushered us out the door.
We got into Edward's Volvo and it seemed he was more perturbed than I had originally suspected.
"Ugh," he slammed his hand down on the steering wheel. "There is something going on and I can't see it. I am missing something. I feel like it's right in front of me and I just keep missing it."
I patted him comfortingly on the shoulder.
She was acting strange to me too.
At 5:45, a whole fifteen minutes earlier than when I'd promised Charlie, we arrived home. What was surprising was that the cruiser was already in the driveway.
"Edward, can you hear what he's thinking?" I asked nervously.
"Yes," he muttered darkly. "We were right, she was up to something."
"What?" I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.
"Oh, you'll find out very soon."
I grimaced as he led me up the porch steps. He kissed me briefly and then turned to walk back down the stairs.
"Wait," I cried out desperately. "You're leaving me?"
"Bella," he ran an idle hand through his perfect hair. "Trust me on this; it's going to be a lot better for you if you go in there alone."
"Just at least tell me what I'm walking into here."
He opened his mouth to reply and then abruptly scuttled (A/N: and I really can't see Edward scuttling, but it sounded funny, oh well) off of the porch and sped away.
The loud, clear, angry voice stopped me in my tracks. Charlie barreled into the living room.
"Would you care to explain to me why I was called in to a conference with your teacher, Bella?"
"Yes," he said grimly, "I was at the station. Imagine my surprise when the color id displayed the high school's number. Imagine my feelings when I was informed that I would need to come in tonight at 8:00 to have a conference with a," he paused to look down on a piece of paper, "Ms. Brodie. I'm assuming that that is your English teacher, the one you've been getting in trouble with?"
"One in the same."
He rubbed his forehead tiredly. "Bella, what's been going on with you lately? You've always been a good kid, but lately . . . I don't know."
The uncomfortable silence was interrupted by the shrill ring of Charlie's cell phone. He checked the number.
I walked into the kitchen and started making dinner. It was the least I could do, I felt guilty about bringing Charlie into this dispute now. He walked through the doorway.
"I have to go check out an accident; it'll probably take a while once I'm there, so I'll just go straight to the school from the accident, okay?"
"Yeah, sure, that's fine. I'll see you when you get home."
In an uncharacteristic show of emotion, Charlie briefly kissed my forehead and gave me a small hug.
"I'm sure things will get better Bells."
I gave him as bright a smile as I could. "I'm sure they can't get any worse."
A/N: Once again, sorry about the delay in getting this up. I hope you liked it. Review please.