Guess who's on summer vacation!
Technically I've been on summer vacation since last Saturday, but I have been having quite a time getting used to living with my parents and not in a house of a hundred girls again! So, sorry for the delay- I will start updating all of my stories again soon!

I made a new journal post today for you guys to check out. It's short- but it's about Clandestine!

There's also a poll on my profile! I've asked a couple of close people if I should just finish one story at a time, or continue to update all of them. So, now you guys can have a say.

Surprise, surprise guys, I don't need you to pm me and remind me to update stories. If you haven't noticed I've been updating in a pattern. It goes like this; Camarilla, Clandestine, The Lighthouse and then Hot off the Presses (on Brunetteski's page). So, that's part of the reason for the poll, to get you guys to stop reminding me. I actually DO know I need to update.

That sounded really mean...

I'm sorry! But it's just hard to get through five final exams every day in a row with people making comments like that...

Anyway, here is a chapter! Hope you guys enjoy it!

Chapter Six: Doubt

I woke up feeling as comfortable as I'd ever been in my life. My bed had never been so warm and soft. I felt like my entire body melted into the mattress, and my sheets were curled around my side.

When I gained a state slightly more resembling consciousness, I realised there were sounds coming from downstairs. I tried to think of what anyone in this house was doing up at nine in the morning, and then realised that my parents' week long trip was at an end. That only meant that they were here now, to install their strict summer requirements upon my brother, Alice and I.

I pushed myself out of bed and pulled a t shirt on before I decided to go downstairs and face my mother. She was in the kitchen, looking at the clean dishes in the draining board disapprovingly, as if we'd left her house in a state.

"Good morning, Mother," I said, still standing in the doorway. She jumped and looked up at me with a smile.

"Oh, hello Edward! How have you been?" she gushed, walking closer and patting my cheeks with both hands. She pulled my head down and gave me a small kiss on my cheek before looking me over. I could tell she was looking for any signs of harm that would hinder my work in any way.

"I'm going to go back to sleep for a while," I told her. "I just wanted to come say hello."

"Don't stay in bed too long, dear. I've got a few friends coming over and I'd like you to play something quick for them, if you don't mind too much. I nodded and turned away. I collapsed back into bed the second I made it to my room.

Emmett crept into my room a couple of hours later and proceeded to throw a soccer ball at my stomach until I agreed to get up and play with him for a while. We spent ages in the backyard, laughing and running as fast as we could. Alice came out and watched us, giggling and fighting back when we tried to get her to play too.

When I finally tired Emmett out he headed inside for a shower.

"Edward, if I am not mistaken you look a bit worn out yourself!" Alice laughed as she walked to stand next to me. "Could it be you're getting too old for all of this physical exertion? I grinned and before she could tell what I was going to do I snatched her up and threw her over my shoulder.

"Put me down!" She shrieked and bellowed as I carried her into the house. I smelt awful and I was covered in grass stains. This should be enough to be considered payback. I laughed as I carried her into the house and she beat at my back furiously.

"Edward," my mother said harshly. "Put her down and go get cleaned up." I looked behind her and saw three older women and their daughters, all watching me with amused smiles. My mother was the only one who looked absolutely terrifying.

I went upstairs and cleaned up after Emmett finished in the shower. I dressed in a white button up shirt and black dress pants before I went back downstairs. All the women were sitting in the living room, facing the piano and waiting on me.

"Good afternoon, ladies," I said with a small smile. The young girls giggled and the older women shot looks at my mother. Clearly they had been talking about me. My mother beamed at me and extended a hand towards the piano bench.

"I've just been telling these ladies about how you play Edward, would you care to offer a demonstration?" I smiled stiffly, noticing how obviously the younger women were gossiping behind their hands, shooting looks in my direction after every comment.

I sat down to the piano. "Any requests?" I asked.

"Do you write, dear?" One of the older women suggested. I nodded, which was received by another chorus of giggles. I took that as my cue and rested my fingers against the ivory keys.

I didn't really know what I was going to play, but I found myself tapping out a melody that had been imprinted in my brain for quite some time. It was light hearted and calm, reminding me of a gentle lullaby. I added more full chords and found myself closing my eyes, a beautiful face pictured when they were closed.

The face that came to mind while I played was Bella's, I realised.

I smiled to myself and played around with the song a little while, trying to accurately express what I wanted to tell Bella. After a while, however, I had to wind it down to a close, and found it rather easy to do. I hoped it would be this easy to remember later on when I wished to write it down.

The women applauded me but then complained of hearing more familiar tunes, so for the rest of the afternoon I played whatever their fickle hearts desired, trying to ignore their obvious gossip, and the younger women's blatant conversations centered about me.

"It's getting late my dears," Mother said finally, after hours of sitting there and partaking in little conversation myself. "We must be getting dinner ready, so let me see you to the door." All of the women agreed, as if they actually cooked dinner at home.

"Edward come say goodbye to our guests," Mother called shrilly. I pulled on my hair in exasperation before walking out to the foyer and wishing everyone goodbye. I shook hands that were held with the intention of being kissed. I hoped that my smile was enough to make it seem like I didn't know what they wanted.

"I hope next time you won't bore us with such a strange piece at the beginning," Mother hissed when the door had closed behind them.

"You know I wrote that myself, right?" I asked her in a monotone.

"I don't care. Next time you'll play something that they know." Without another word she stomped off towards the kitchen, probably to call the cook and ask her how to fix dinner.

I glanced at the clock when I ran upstairs to change into a simple grey t shirt and jeans. It was time for me to head out to work for the evening. I couldn't help but smile.

"Edward?" Alice asked, stepping into my room. "Do you think you could take me over to see Jasper when you go out tonight?" I grinned at her. She was wearing a medium green floral dress. Her good mood was apparently still intact.

"Sure, I'm going to leave now, you ready?" She nodded with a smile and hurried down the stairs.

"Mother, we're going out," I called into the kitchen. Her head stuck out around the corner.

"Where are you going?!" she asked loudly.

"Work, remember? I'll be home in a few hours."

"Why is Alice going," she said angrily.

"She's going over to visit the Swan's," I said tiredly. "There are more people living there than Marie and Rosalie, you know." I watched as she studied us carefully, then shook it off and went back to whatever disaster she was going to cook.

I held open the door to the car while Alice got in. She grinned widely at me, no doubt thanking me for getting Mother out of her hair. She'd been waiting to see Jasper.

We drove wordlessly to the Swan's, the soft music from my CD player was all the noise we had. I pulled into the driveway and Alice hopped outside before I could finish parking the car. She ran up to the door and without even knocking Jasper had come outside and was immediately grinning at her.

"Would you like to go for a turn around the garden, Miss?" Jasper asked, laying on a bit of a southern accent. Alice giggled and linked her arm through his and began to walk through the garden.

"Hello Edward!" Rosalie greeted at the door. "How are you today?"

"I'm very well, Rosalie. Are you ready for your lesson?" Her face lit up and she smiled widely, nodding her head and racing me to the piano.

I stood behind her and watched as she easily played the songs we had last practiced. When she finished she turned to me with the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face.

"You're doing very well, Rosalie!" I said, sitting next to her. "How about we try some new music?" She nodded and I pulled out a song that would be a little bit harder for her to master, but I would be thoroughly impressed if she did.

We practiced for a couple hours, me explaining the various components of the song, and occasionally playing out parts of it for her. She caught on easily, but still had some technical things to deal with.

"Hello guys," I heard the most beautiful voice say behind me. "Time for a break, don't you think?" She set down a plate of sandwiches and Rosalie took one in her hand, eating neatly. Jasper and Alice came inside then and helped themselves to the food.

I smiled warmly at Bella and held my arms open for her. Though it hadn't been much time I had missed her sorely this morning during my torture with Mother's friends. She grinned at me and leaned in to kiss me, but sat at my side.

"Grandma suspects something," she murmured, handing me a sandwich. I watched her face carefully, trying to determine if this was upsetting her. She was silent while she leaned against my shoulder. I wrapped an arm around her and buried my face in her hair. "If she finds out, the first thing she'll do is forbid us to be around one another."

"She can't do that," I whispered. "I have to teach Rosalie, and you live here." Bella shook her head.

"She'll send me away, most likely, or fire you." My stomach plunged to my feet. That was wrong on so many levels. I wrapped my arms around Bella's waist and turned her into me, kissing her forehead. I would do anything for this girl, and the thought of her Grandmother separating us made my blood boil with anger.

"I won't let her," I whispered. She meant too much to me already. I knew that I couldn't let anything happen.

That was why when we heard the door slam shut and Marie's voice yell out "Isabella!" We immediately separated on the piano bench, sitting as far away as we could. Jasper and Alice were still glued to each other's sides, and Rosalie sat on the floor, looking up at us with a curious expression.

"In here, Grandma," Bella called out, straightening out the skirt of her dress and putting down her lunch. We all looked to the door as Marie Swan entered, dressed in her evenings finest, a flowered hat was even perched upon her head.

"You're home early," Jasper commented. Marie smiled at him and sat down on the couch next to Alice.

"I was hoping I could see Rosalie's progress," she said stiffly. "It has been a couple of months, after all. I want to see if your teaching is everything your mother has boasted, Mr. Masen." I clenched my jaw tightly as Bella helped Rosalie to her feet.

My hands clenched into fists as Alice introduced herself. Marie was immediately friendly, since Alice didn't have the same last name as me, I'd imagine. Rosalie sat down in the bench and reached for the sheet music she had played at the beginning of our lesson, the song she had nearly perfected.

"No," Marie said simply. "Play the music that is already on the piano." Bella sat down nervously next to Jasper.

"Mrs. Swan, Rosalie and I just started this song today," I explained. "We've only played the first page, and it's her first time playing I think—"

"I want her to play the music that is on the piano, Mr. Masen," she said shortly, shooting me a look that dared me to defy her. I ground my teeth together again and turned to Rosalie.

"Okay, you'll do alright. Just play as much as you can, and remember what we talked about earlier, alright? It's no big deal; your Grandma knows we're still practicing this one." Rosalie nodded but I could still see the bit of doubt in her mind.

She started the song and I stood to the side, my arms crossed in front of my chest. I stole a glance at the four on the couch. Everyone but Bella was watching Rosalie with mixed emotions. Bella was looking at me with a worried look in her eyes. I smiled at her gently, but couldn't get the emotion I hoped for across.

I stared at the coffee table as Rosalie played the beginning as well as she could. When she began to struggle I closed my eyes and hoped that the first page would be done soon. It came to a point where the technical elements were gone, and she was playing the correct notes, but the melody was seriously lacking.

The music stopped abruptly.

I looked at Rosalie quickly and saw her elbows resting on the edge of the piano keys, her face buried in her hands. Her tiny shoulders were shaking and I could not believe that this impromptu recital had caused such a strong girl to cry.

Bella stood up to comfort her sister, but I sat down next to her and rubbed her back before anyone else could move.

"Hey, Rose?" I said calmly. "It's alright. I told you this one wasn't ready yet. We'll learn it, don't worry, okay?" She shrugged out of my grasp and ran from the room. We could all hear her broken sobs and her footsteps as she ran up the stairs.

"Perhaps what Rosalie needs is less gallivanting with all of you on weekends, and more of a lesson," Marie said coldly, staring me straight in the eye. I forced myself to stay in my seat, to not stand up and say everything I'd wanted to say to her since falling for her granddaughters and seeing how tormented they were.

Without another word Marie stood up and walked out the door.

We all stared where she had gone for a moment, stunned by her actions. Bella was the first one to move, running up the stairs towards her sister. Jasper followed soon after, with Alice and I close behind him.

"Rosalie, don't you listen to what she said, alright?" Bella was kneeling at Rosalie's bed, the young girl was spread out, head buried in her arms while she sobbed. Her older sister tenderly stroked her hair away from her face.

"Now listen here, baby girl," Jasper said, plopping himself next to Rose on her bed. He pulled her up into his lap and smiled at her, wiping the tears off her cheeks. "This summer, we are going to forget all about that nasty grandmother of ours, and we are going to have a ton of fun with our new friends. This summer is going to be about the five of us, plus this friend Emmett of yours." Rosalie immediately giggled and a pretty pink blush painted her cheeks.

"Rosalie, we're going to practice hard, but just so we can show your grandma that you're better than she thinks," I soothed. "Your brother and sister are going to support you the whole time, and we are going to have fun this summer, alright?"

She nodded and smiled, though it wasn't as big as it could be.

Alice perked up as well and shot Rosalie the biggest grin I'd seen in a long time. "Rosalie you and I are going to do so much shopping this summer, and we're going to get your sister looking good, I promise you." I couldn't help but laugh then at Bella's horrified expression and the look of excitement on Rose's face.

"Don't worry about it kid," I said, ruffling her hair. I helped Bella stand up, her mouth still hanging open from Alice's comment. "You and I are going to have a good summer, too," I murmured, leaning in to steal a kiss.