A/N: Yes, I've started another story! A full explanation and longer author's note is at the end of this chapter.
Summary: Bella Swan starts her first semester as an English professor with just the right thing – a one night stand. But what happens when that one night stand shows up in the most unexpected place? All-human.
Note: Stephenie Meyer owns everything. I just borrow the characters. If I owned them, I'd never let Edward come out and play. Edward Cullen does, however, own me.
Chapter 1: Hangovers and First Days
The first thing I was conscious of was the extremely loud pounding in my head. Every sound was magnified. Someone had turned up the volume to maximum, hadn't they?
Holy hell. What happened to me?
I was lying flat on my stomach on my bed, my cheek pressed into the mattress. A chill ran across my skin and I shivered.
Wait … I'm not usually this cold when I wake up.
What's going on?
I slowly rolled over and the bright rays of the sunrise hit my eyes, sending my face quickly back into the mattress.
I groaned loudly and went to turn the other way to avoid the sun. My eyes opened reluctantly, still hurting from the blinding sun.
Through my haze of sleep, I could see my yellow sheets had been pulled back on my queen size bed on the other side of the bed.
I tried to rub the last remnants of sleep out of my eyes but only succeeded in making my throbbing head hurt more.
Painkillers. I needed painkillers. And lots of them.
My sore body pulled itself up in bed and another cold breeze ran across my skin.
And then I looked down.
I wasn't wearing a bra. Or a tank top. Or shirt. Or anything else for that matter.
I was stark naked on top.
Immediately the bottom of my stomach fell out and nausea threatened to overwhelm me.
What had I done last night?
My sheets were tangled around my legs and waist. Even though a part of me wanted to check under the sheets for what I expected would be the rest of my naked body, a much larger part of me didn't want to.
Because if I was completely naked there was only one thing I could have done last night.
I sat there in my bed, sheets curled around me and my heart heavy with anticipation. My thoughts swam with what I could recall of last night's events, but very little was coming back to me.
All I remember was Alice and Rosalie saying "Fuck boys! Let's go get drunk!"
That was never good.
The very last thing I remember was reluctantly agreeing to shots of tequila with Rosalie. The bartender pushed two shot glasses filled with the golden liquid towards us and handed us two limes. We looked at each other and hooked our arms so they were interwoven. One last deep breath and bottoms up.
And nothing else after that.
This wasn't good.
By now I was starting to hyperventilate from the broken memories. A flash of a smile here, a sweet smell wafting through my nostrils there.
I groaned loudly again, breaking the silence of my room.
Now or never, I thought.
My fingers curled around the edge of the sheet and I closed my eyes, afraid of what I would find.
Slowly I pulled the sheet up and steeled myself for the sight.
Another deep breath and I was ready. Well, I wasn't actually ready, but probably as ready as I would ever be.
I timidly opened my eyes and all of the air in my lungs whooshed out in a single exhale.
Yep, I was definitely completely naked. In my full glory. Bare as the day I was born.
Shit shit shit.
My head turned towards my nightstand and sure enough there was a little torn foil wrapper, teasing me of my night's activities.
My one night stand.
Well, I guess I should be so lucky that he'd used a condom. And lucky that I was religious about taking my birth control. Thank heavens for small miracles.
I was 24. I don't do this kind of things. Well, I usually don't do this kind of things. I was smart. A college graduate with honors. A teacher.
The sudden realization about what today was hit me like a ton of bricks and I jumped out of bed, the hangover suddenly the least of my concerns. I stumbled to my bathroom and threw myself into the shower, barely letting the water warm up enough so it wasn't icy cold. I would just have to deal with my broken memories and random sex later. There were much more pressing matters at hand.
Today was the most important day of my life! Today was the very first day of my new semester, my very first semester as a professor.
I'd graduated from college early and quickly pursued a master's in English literature at the same school. After all, I didn't feel like having to go through the trials of having to find a new school, new professors, a new thesis advisor, and worst of all … moving. I liked Washington, as green as it was. It was so different from Phoenix and after college I had wanted to stay in Washington.
So I stayed. And finished my masters in no time. Early even.
The school was so impressed with my dedication that they offered me a spot teaching one English lit class. I would be the youngest instructor in the department, and I needed to prove myself if I wanted to be hired as a full professor in a few years. I'd never thought about teaching during my own schooling, but when the offer had presented itself, I couldn't turn it down.
It was a comfortable job, though it would by no means make me rich. But it was comfortable. And safe. Two things I liked very much about the job. I didn't have to make changes in my life. I didn't have to leave my friends, my community, or my house.
I'd bought the small bungalow on the outskirts of campus last year, the final year I'd been in graduate school. It wasn't fancy, but it was perfect for me. There was just enough that it needed to make it a project, but not so much that the needed repairs overwhelmed me. My older brother Emmett had helped me with much of them, thanks to the fact he lived pretty close. His only complaint about the house was that it was too close to some campus fraternities for his taste, but I scoffed at his protests.
I quickly finished my shower and threw on the most professional outfit I had in my closet. A white button down shirt and slate grey trousers with a wide cuff at the bottom. I wrapped my hair up into a tight bun, already running too late to spend time drying it.
I silently thanked the gods that I'd already prepared my class materials, laying them out on my desk in my office.
The coffee maker's timer worked perfectly and was done just as I came out of my bedroom. The rich smell of the caffeine-filled liquid rid me of any remaining bits of drowsiness. I poured some into a travel mug and grabbed for my briefcase and purse.
The door swung shut behind me on my way out and I raced down the streets in my flats to get to the English building on time. Undergrads were everywhere, swarming the entrances and blocking off the crosswalks.
"Excuse me! Excuse me!" I shouted wildly and ran out in front of a few cars. The drivers honked and had to swerve to avoid me, but I couldn't be bothered by this. If I didn't get there on time I would be late to my own class. And that certainly wasn't acceptable.
The red brick and ivy covered walls of the English building found me in no time and I pushed through the doors, ducking around a few confused looking girls. Probably freshman trying to find their classrooms.
I unlocked the door to my office and threw my briefcase in the corner chair next to my desk. The stack of syllabuses sat right where I left them yesterday and once again I thanked my lucky stars for my foresight.
I checked my watch and saw I had only 15 minutes before my class was due to start.
Collapsing in my desk chair, I let my nerves overtake me.
My stomach was doing flipflops, reeking havoc on my breathing.
I can do this. No big deal. You're smart, Bella. You graduated with honors and the dean himself recommended you for this job. You can do this.
With my head between my knees, I tried to control my frantic breathing. I took one last look at my watch.
Well, no time like the present.
I swept the stack of papers into my arms and grabbed a pen.
After locking my office door, I found my way to my assigned classroom. From behind the door, I could hear loud chattering and boisterous laughter.
Oh, god. Why did I agree to this again?
You can do this, Bella.
The two sides of my brain were fighting each other for control. The nervous, unsure side wanted to win so badly, but I couldn't let it. I couldn't show weakness on my first day. No, I needed to be strong and set a firm example for this semester. I didn't want these students to walk all over me.
I took one last deep breath and opened the door.
Immediately a hush fell over the students and all eyes focused on me.
Please don't let there be toilet paper on my shoe. I hope I tucked my shirt in the right way. Good god, did I remember to put both earrings in?
My mind was running a mile a minute, but I pressed to maintain a calm, cool exterior.
I walked over to the little table with the small podium in the middle of the classroom and set the stack of syllabuses down. My hands instinctually gripped the sides of the podium and I finally tried to focus on all the faces in front of me.
Dozens of pairs of eyes stared back at me. Not a single sound could be heard except the pounding of my heart. I prayed nobody could hear it except me.
Finally, I was ready.
"Good morning class and welcome to English Literature 201. I'm Professor Swan. I look forward to getting to know you all this semester. Let's go over the syllabus," I said with fake confidence.
I could tell already. This was going to be a long semester.
A/N: Please let me know what you think so far. I'm sure you have questions, so leave them and I'll try to address them in future chapters.
Now I know I said school would take precedent over writing, but I couldn't stay away too long. But school is still more important, so don't except updates to come as fast as they did for Across the Airwaves. They'll probably be once a week, most likely on Fridays. And chapters will also probably be shorter, allowing me to get them out sooner.
Also, thanks to everybody who voted for me at The Twilight Awards. I am so grateful for the support and even though Across the Airwaves didn't win, the stories that did win were spectacular.