I leaned against the side of my truck-bed, reading. Jasper was next to me, strumming absent-mindedly on his guitar. It was a rare sunny day in Forks, Washington, and we were going to relish it as mush as possible.
"Hey Bells. Hey Jazz." I looked up to see Rosalie, in all her blonde glory, leaning against the back of my truck, a bored expression on her face. "Today's such a nice day. We doin' anything?"
I grabbed a chip from the bag at my feet and said, while munching on it, "Yeah. We were thinking about going to First Beach. Wanna come?"
"You need to ask? Shyeah, of course I want to come. Maybe I'll even get a tan!" All three of us laughed at this impossibility.
"Where's Emmett? " Rose enquired.
"I was hoping you would know. I'm waiting for him, he has the keys. Jasper was keeping me company by playing his guitar, because he doesn't do enough of that." I added sarcastically. Rosalie rolled her eyes at her twin brother.
Suddenly we heard shouting. It sounded like a fight.
"Uh, oh." I froze. I could hear Emmett's booming roar above the others, shouting profanities left and right. "Crap. If he gets caught he'll be suspended. Again. Charlie's heart can't handle that again." I jumped out of the truck and started running towards the fight. Jasper and Rosalie followed right behind me.
"What did you say, Jackass?!" Emmett had Tyler Crowley pinned against a wall, a mob of students forming around them. He was tall and muscular, with a mop of dark, curly hair. His face, which was usually carefree and goofy, was pulled into a glare.
"I just said that Hale girl was hot; No need to get defensive." A smile played on Tyler's lips.
"Oh, really. And what about that part where you were telling everybody that you two slept together?" Emmett's grip tightened on Crowley's shirt, raising him a little higher off the ground.
"What can I say? The girl's got taste."
"It's a lie! She would never sleep with scum like you! Just 'cause you're a perverted loser with no friends doesn't mean you need to give her a slutty rep! That's what Lauren's for."
"Hey!" I heard Lauren shout from the crowd. I decided it was time to interfere.
"Em, put him down. If you get suspended again Charlie will freak!" I grabbed Emmett's arm and tried to pull him away.
"No! He's spreading rumors about Rose!" Emmett was fierce, like a grizzly, and very protective. When we were little, if anybody made fun of me, Emmett would come to my rescue, and that usually ended up with somebody receiving a bloody nose and Emmett taking a trip to the principal's office.
Jasper spoke this time, his voice calm and careful. "Emmett, that's her problem, and she can deal with it. She'll be pretty upset if you get sent to military school, though.
His words hit their mark. Emmett slowly let Tyler down and let us lead him away.
"That's my big brother." I smiled at him and patted his arm. Technically, he was my cousin, not my brother. When I was five his mom, Charlie's sister, died, and Emmett was sent to live with us. It was hard at first for Charlie, raising a five-year-old wallflower and a six-year-old wild-child, single-handedly, seeing as my mother left him a couple months after I was born. But thanks to our neighbors, The Hales, we all survived, and made two best friends, Rosie and Jazz, in the process.
Emmett smiled back and put his arm around my shoulders. "Thanks, little sis. Thanks, Floppy hair.
"No problem, Hulk." I smiled at their nick-names.
"So, sister-bear, what's on the agenda for this afternoon?" Emmett asked me as we reached the truck. I held out my hand for the keys.
"Well, brother-bear, we're going to first beach. It's a little too cold for swimming, but we can still sunbathe and whatnot." Emmett fished through his pockets until he found the keys, dropping them in my hand.
"Did you call Jacob?" Rosalie asked.
"Yeah, he has to work today." Jacob and I had been dating for a little over a year, after being reunited at some football party of Charlie's. He was so sweet and caring, but it was unusual for him to have a job. I hadn't even been aware that he had gotten one.
We drove to Charlie's house to drop off our bags and change into our swimsuits. Rosalie and Jasper ran next door to do the same. We met back at the truck and drove down to La Push. Rosalie looked stunning in a red bikini, with a black sarong tied loosely around her waist. Jasper had on dark blue swim trunks that brought out his eyes, and a black concert shirt. Emmett was sporting red and gold swim trunks, with a white, cut-off shirt, revealing his huge muscles. I had on a blue one-piece and darker blue shorts. Rosalie eyed my outfit disapprovingly, planning all the ways she could force me into the bikini she bought me for my birthday two years ago.
"Not a chance, Rose," I laughed. She scowled. We all laughed this time, even Rosalie. When we reached First Beach, Emmett and Jasper jumped out and raced to the ice-cold waters, determined to prove they were the toughest. Rose and I laughed at our brothers, and settled on towels on the sand. I started to read Wuthering Heights, an old favorite of mine, while Rosalie stretched out to take a nap. I heard Emmett squeal when Jaspers pushed him all the way in, then I heard Jaspers yelp as Em tackled him. I laughed.
"Bella!" I turned and saw Embry and Quil, Jacob's best friends, striding towards us.
"Hey, guys!" I stood up to greet them. Embry gave me a big hug and Quil kissed my cheek.
"What're you doing here? Where's Jake?" Quil asked.
"He had to work." They both stared at me incredulously.
"Jake…has a job?" So this was news to them, too.
"Yeah. He didn't tell you two?"
Weird. Maybe it was something really embarrassing. We left shortly after this disconcerting chat, the inevitable rain finally arriving. But all the while I couldn't help but feel suspicious. It's nothing, I told myself. Jake loves you and would never lie to you. You're just being paranoid. I went to bed that night, unaware that the events of the next day would eventually change my life forever.