A/N: you should all be bowing down to jenna009 right now, because let me tell you, if that girl had not PMed me 4 days ago, this chapter would be nonexistant right now. POOF! gone. never written. nada. not here. abd you know what? i actually really enjoyed writing this chapter. i hope you get a laugh out of it.
Disclaimer: Don't own Twilight. Or Edith Hamilton's Mythology.
Around and around we went, one arm on her waist, one holding her hand. We spun closer and closer, our faces inches apart. I could smell her hair. I could count every eyelash. The music was slow and romantic. Everything was perfect, all for her. She looked into my eyes, and we leaned forward, slowly, deliberately. Right before our lips touched, I murmured, "Bella, I lo—"
I groaned, rolling over and slapping my stupid alarm clock as hard as I could. Who had ever felt the need to invent such a horrible thing? I decided that whoever's bright idea it was must have ad a death wish. That was the only logical explanation. Or maybe whoever it was also wrote our math textbooks. It was a conspiracy theory. I didn't like it one bit.
"Good morning, Edward," my dad Carlisle said when I walked down the stairs. "I hate my alarm clock," I grumbled matter-of-factly. "They should be illegal."
He chuckled. "Ah yes, the fatal alarm clock. Is that why you're trying to murder your breakfast, by any chance?"
I stopped slaughtering my bagel with the butter knife. "Oh."
His eyes twinkled. "Well, I'm sorry your alarm upset you, but I do have some good news." He eyed me carefully. "If you put down your weapon, I'll tell you."
I rolled my eyes and put down the knife.
He smiled. "Our family from California is coming."
"Really? When?" my outlook on life brightened considerably.
"This weekend." He looked at me peculiarly. "Are you okay, Edward?"
I wasn't expecting that. "Yeah, I'm fine, dad. I love it when they come."
He shook his head. "Not that. I mean in general. You seem… unusual lately. Not bad, just… different. Is there anything on your mind?"
You mean besides Bella? Nope, nothing. "I don't know what you mean. Nothing's wrong, I promise."
I could tell he didn't believe me. But just like any real teenager, I completely ignored that fact and leapt up from the table. "Well, I have to get ready for school. See you, dad."
He downed his coffee. "All right, Edward, if you say so…" he was about to leave when he turned back to me and said, "I suppose you'll be inviting Bella?"
My stomach flipped involuntarily, and stayed there. "To our family party? That's okay?"
He shrugged. "Sure. She's practically family, anyway." He had almost closed the door when he said, "I'm sure Alice would like that, too."
"Wait, Alice is coming?" But the door was already closed.
I groaned. Stupid blood relatives.
Especially ones named Alice.
I walked into English, and my heart gave a quick, sharp lurch. It was almost painful. But I forced myself to keep walking.
"Hey Bella." I hugged her, which didn't help my stomach situation. I let go quickly, but she stayed attached to me, her head against my chest. As much as I loved it, I was too sleep-deprived to try to restrain myself for long. "Uh, Bella? You can let go now."
"I hate alarm clocks," she mumbled into my shirt. I chuckled as she sat back in her seat. "And you were so much more comfy than the desk."
"Well, I'm glad," I said, still laughing.
"Armph," she agreed sleepily.
Jasper came in soon after, and the three of us talked for a while. All the time, I wondered where Alice was. It wasn't like her to be late.
Just as the tardy bell rang, she raced through the door and sat down. The rest of us scrambled to find our seats as well. Bella made a face at me; she was next to Mike Newton. He had always reminded me of a Golden Retriever. I could just picture him with his tail between his legs.
The bad part was, he had the biggest crush on Bella. The good part was, she had been aware of it for some time now, and used every chance she got to discourage it whole-heartedly. I found it quite humorous, though I'm not sure he did.
I took my seat next to nice, quiet Angela Webber. She could always tell if something was bothering you, and could make you feel better instantly. At the same time, she would never make you talk about something if it made you uncomfortable.
A yawn slipped out as I sat down. She noticed; she always did. It wasn't that she had a crush on my or anything. She just cared.
"Long night, Edward?" She raised an eyebrow and smiled.
I just nodded, and smiled sleepily back. Mr. Mason stood up in front of the room and started talking.
"Settle down class. Tyler, pick up that paper airplane, I don't care if it is a 1950 Bomber, it doesn't belong in my classroom." We all turned and watched Tyler sheepishly pick up his airplane and put it in the trash. "Okay guys, today is everyone's favorite day: the day we get to start our Wuthering Heights reports!"
A universal groan spread throughout the room.
"Oh, come on gang, its not that bad. Classic literature is fascinating if you look hard enough!" He paused, taking a look at all our disbelieving faces. "And… you get to work with a partner of your choice!" he added, watching the class explode into noisy conversation.
I smiled, and started walking across the room. I knew who I was going to partner with, of course; no matter what assignment, it was always the same. I stopped short, however, when I heard Mike talking to Bella.
"…if maybe you'd work with me?" He made a face that I guessed was supposed to make him look irresistible. I thought it made him look a tad constipated… but that was just me.
"Sorry Mike, I can't." She smiled apologetically, smooth as ice. "I'm working with Edward."
"But you always work with Edward," he whined, looking more like a constipated crybaby than I had thought possible.
"I know," she said with a shrug, turning away from him and almost bumping into my folded arms. "What?" she asked, taking in my smug face.
"That was quite a confident let-down." I eyed her carefully. "How do you know I'm not working with someone else?"
Her eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't."
She was right. I wouldn't. Ever. But she didn't have to know that yet.
"Wouldn't I?" I raised an eyebrow.
She stared me down, and then shrugged. "Oh well. I guess I'll just go work with Mike then…"
"I was only kidding," I said seriously, reaching out to stop her. "There's no need to be rash."
She laughed, and I knew we were on even footing again. A sudden thought popped into my head. "Oh Bella, I almost forgot. What are you doing this weekend?" I had waited so long to pluck up the courage to use that line, and when I finally did, it was in completely the wrong context.
She didn't even look up from what she was doing. "Nothing, probably. Why?"
"We're having a Cullen Family get-together this weekend: my family, Alice's family, and my dad's other brother from California and his family. You're invited if you want to come."
She looked at me confusedly. "But I'm not a Cullen."
"You might as well be; you're as good as one," I said truthfully. Even though it's not in the way I wish it were.
Bella blushed, and a wide smile spread across her face. "Oh, that's so nice, Edward! Your family rocks."
I left class feeling considerably lighter than when I had entered.
I walked to the library for a study block, and almost walked straight back out when I saw what—or more correctly who—was inside.
Maybe if I just avoid her… She moved to the left; I moved to the right. She went down; I went up. She looked back; I hid.
After successfully sneaking past her, I found myself in a cozy little corner and sat down in a big comfy chair. I popped my headphones in, turned on my music, and I was good to go. I was in my own little world, oblivious to everything around me.
Which was probably why I jumped about ten feet in the air when a small, cold hand took one of my earphones out, and whispered, "You didn't really think you could get away that easily, did you?"
"Alice!" I yelped. "What are you going?"
"Shh! We're in a library. Be quiet." She took a seat right next to me. Wonderful.
Alice leaned down and picked up a book off the floor, putting it in front of her face to make it look like she was reading. "So how long have you liked Bella?" she whispered.
My eyes bugged out, unbeknown to Alice, who was still hiding behind some random book. "What… Alice, I don't—it's… it's not like that!" I hissed back.
"Really?" she scoffed. "Coulda fooled me."
I sighed. "C'mon Alice. We're just friends. And that's all we'll ever be." I couldn't quite keep the sadness from creeping into my voice.
Alice turned toward me, but I avoided her gaze so she couldn't see how depressed I really was. But when I heard her voice, I wouldn't help it; I wasn't expecting what she said next.
"Oh, Edward, I can't believe I didn't see it before. I had no idea!" Her eyes were full of understanding, and… did she actually look… sorry?
I must have looked shocked, because she started explaining in a hurried whisper. "Here I was, thinking that I was doing a good thing by trying to get Bella a secret admirer! It was all so perfect! Little did I know, it was actually eating you up inside!"
"Alice—" I said in alarm, trying to stop her. She was getting dangerously close to the truth. The web of lies I had so carefully concocted was very close to being discovered.
Of course, Alice didn't notice. "Don't say a word. I feel terrible! I should have figured it out sooner! I could have gotten you two together so much quicker! If only I had—"
"Alice!" I finally interrupted. "Stop! That's completely ridiculous! I don't have a crush on Bella. I am perfectly happy being her best friend." Lies. "You have been watching way too many romantic chick-flicks."
She stuck her tongue out at me. Then she leaned over and whispered, "Speaking of which… what do you thinking of this Romeo character?"
Oh no. Anything but that. What was I supposed to say about Romeo? Obviously not the truth. So… what? "I think he seems nice," I blurted out. Where had that come from?
She raised her eyebrows. "Really."
I shrugged. "Well, Bella seems to like him. So he can't be that bad, can he?"
"You're not mad that he's trying to steal Bella away from you?"
"Alice, no! I told you, I don't think of Bella that way." More lies. This time I couldn't meet her eyes.
"Well in that case, have fun working with her on your English project together. I'm sure you'll have a great time not thinking about her in 'that way'."
I huffed. "I will. Who are you working with, anyway?"
This time she was the one who didn't meet my eyes. Her cheeks flushed a dark red, so I had a pretty good idea who she was working with before she told me. "Jasper."
I snorted. "Have fun not thinking about him in 'that way'," I retorted.
"Shut up, Edward," she said, her cheeks still burning. "I know there's something you're not telling me," Alice said dangerously, "Mark my words, I will find out what it is. And when I do…" she looked at me menacingly, making sure I had a pretty good idea exactly what it was she would do.
She went back to the book she was holding, and groaned in disgust. "Ugh, who in the world cares about the rate of lactic acid fermentation in a South Eastern geranium plant?" She crossed her arms, throwing the book to her side. I smiled and turned up my music. I had won… at least for now.
I closed the door to my room, breathing a sigh of relief. I had successfully avoided another interrogation for Alice for the entire day, which earned me a gold star in my book.
I had brought the phone up to my room to so I could call Carlisle and tell him that Bella would come to our family party this weekend, and to ask if we could work on our Wuthering Heights report Friday afternoon. Before I called I decided to start on the massive amount o homework we had been assigned today so I could make more time to talk to Bella online later.
In the middle of Algebra, the phone rang. I picked it up on the first ring, looking for a distraction from homework. Boy, did I get a distraction. "Hello?"
"You're him. You're Romeo. Or Sincerely Yours. Or whatever, it doesn't matter. You're him! I told you I'd find out what you weren't telling me. And I did."
I almost dropped the phone. How had Alice found out? How much did she know? Maybe she was bluffing. Yes, that was it. I had to believe that this was just a lucky guess. A very lucky guess.
"Alice? Is that you?" I forced my voice to stay calm. I couldn't let her hear the gears in my head turning, trying to find a way out of this mess.
"Don't you dare play dumb with me, Edward Cullen! I have proof! I can read you the last ten conversations you've had with Bella. The gig is up."
No. It couldn't be. "I don't know what you're talking about, Alice. Do you mean Bella's secret admirer? Because if you do, there is no way that I am actually Sincerely Yo—"
"'I don't know. I still don't see why anyone would want to go with me.'
'I could think of plenty of reasons. You're smart, kind and funny… not to mention the most beautiful person I've ever seen. Anyone would be lucky to go with you.' "
My heart stopped. Alice was reading my and Bella's conversation from last night. The reason why I had wanted to murder my alarm clock this morning. How could this be? Was it even possible to uncover past conversations? Obviously it was. But how could Alice have figured out it was me?
Alice went on, using my silence as an excuse to keep reading. "'Um, wow… if only you could see how much I'm blushing right now.'
'I wish I could. The way you blush is one of my favorite things about you. It's what makes you who you are. Bella.'
'That's so sweet. You really have a way with words, Romeo.'
'"Never by night and never by day will I forget you, Juliet. And nothing but death will come between us."'
'Okay, now I'm really impressed. Shakespeare?'
'Nah, Edith Hamilton's Mythology.' Blah blah blah, some more mushy stuff… and then goodbye. Is that enough proof for you?"
I didn't know what to say. I couldn't see how I could lie my way out of this, but I would have to try.
"Alice, that still doesn't prove that this Romeo guy is me. It could be anyone."
"Who else would quote Edith Hamilton's Mythology?" she scoffed. And then: "Plus, no one but you makes their password 'password' anymore. It was the first thing I tried since I already suspected you."
I almost slapped myself. Only Alice would go to the extreme of actually committing a felony just to prove that I was Bella's secret admirer.
But no matter how she had done it, the facts still remained the same. I was Sincerely Yours. I was Romeo. And Alice had finally found me out. I hadn't even lasted a week, I realized with disgust.
And now that Alice knew, what was there to keep her from telling Bella? Not only would Alice doing so jeopardize my and Bella's friendship, but it would break her heart. If she never wanted to speak to me again, if she refused to do as much as look at me—well, it would kill me inside. But as long as Bella was happy, I wouldn't mind.
But if I broke her heart, broke all her hopes of ever being with Romeo, a much more worthy person than I… well, I would never forgive myself. How could I, knowing I had hurt her?
I was trapped, and I knew it. All I could do now was hope that Alice understood. I might as well have hoped that Hell would freeze over.
"Alice…" I sounded pained, even to my own ears. "Please. You can't tell Bella. Or anyone, for that matter. I just couldn't bear it if it turned out that I wasn't what she's looking for…what she thought she had. I'd understand if you don't want to do this for me, but Alice… please do it for Bella." My voice became very quiet, and I almost couldn't speak. "Please."
There was silence for a minute. Two minutes. Four. Finally I couldn't stand it. "Alice? Are you still there?"
"Oh my God," I heard her say in a very small voice. "You really care about her, don't you?"
I smiled a small, sad smile, though I knew she couldn't see it. "Yes. I really do."
"You obviously care about her as a lot more than a friend." I smirked. It had never been like Alice to be considerate. "How long have you liked her?"
I contemplated a moment, and then decided to tell her. What else did I have to lose? "Years," I said truthfully. "Probably since the first time I ever saw her. But I've only really noticed it… recently."
"Recently as in when? The past week? Month? Two months?"
"Erm… probably the past year, actually."
"The past year! Edward!" Alice was appalled. "And you haven't told her yet?"
"Alice! Haven't you been listening? I can't tell her. Not after all this. How could I do that to her?" I sighed. "She thinks that she's finally found someone: Romeo. To Bella, he's the prefect guy. How can I tell her he's a fake?"
"You know, Edward," she said in a more serious tone, "sooner or later you're going to have to tell her that you're Romeo. Either that, or break her heart by having him disappear. You can't protect her forever. Have you thought about that?"
I started pacing. "I know. Believe me, I know. I just… I just can't think about that right now. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it." I leaned up against the wall and put my free hand over my face in exasperation. "All I want right now is to make Bella happy," I said, almost to myself. "How could I have known what I was getting myself into?"
Alice was quiet for a while. "Edward," she started slowly, "have you ever thought that maybe she would be happy with you, too?"
I let my initial reaction take over. "Are you kidding, Alice? Bella would never like me. She likes Romeo—"
"And what makes Romeo so different from Edward?" Alice demanded. "I've looked through a lot of your conversations, Edward, and even though I was pretty sure it was you, everything you said to Bella confirmed it. You've never told her anything that isn't true. The only difference between Edward and Romeo is that Romeo isn't afraid of being rejected."
I started to retort back, but something stopped me. "Maybe… maybe you're right," I said slowly. "But if Bella wants Romeo, I still think that she deserves to get him." I sighed. "If only that were remotely possible…"
I expected something from the other end. Laughter, consent… something. But what I got instead was silence.
"Alice? What are you thinking?" I asked hesitantly.
"I think… that I have a plan."
I mentally prepared myself. This could either be a very good thing or a very bad thing. "What's your plan, Alice?"
She laughed. "You sound like I'm planning to kill someone!"
"How do I know that you're not?" I grumbled back. I thought it was a fair point.
"Don't you worry, Edward Cullen. Once you hear my plan, you may like me even more than you like Bella."
I groaned. "All right, Alice. Bring your worst."
A/N: gasp. cliffy! you guys know the drill. click that little sucker like there's a big ol' chocolate chip cookie and an Edward doll are waiting for you. and feel free to PM me too... you all see the result of a PM!
oh... and i found this thing online that said "Secret Admirer: a stalker with stationary." and i thought 'oh great... there goes my story.' haha, but don't you worry... i'll keep little stalker Edward going at it till the very end =)