disclaimer: i dont own twilight. i luff it but i dont own it :3

Bella opened one eye, and then the other. Shit. What time was it? She shifted her eyes lazily to the open window. It was dark outside. Probably still the middle of the night. Bella's eyes shifted lazily to the clock. 4:37 am. She stared blankly at the hands of the clock for a minute before jumping out of bed.

"SHIT! I'M LATE!" she yelped, forgetting that Charlie was snoring peacefully in the other room. Today was the first day of school and she was already going to be late? What inhumane sort of luck was she born with?! She was supposed to be at her first class at 7: 30, and on the way, she would have to swing by a Barnes and Nobles to get a copy of the book she needed for English class. The drive to school was THREE HOURS. Obviously, since it was in another state.

This left her two options: either be tardy and have the English book she needed, or just screw the book for the first day and get to school on time. Either way, she'd be in trouble…. OR she could always just hurry up and try getting the book and arriving to school on time. Was it possible? Well, Bella was a pretty quick runner and she didn't need to eat breakfast. Or lunch… which she hadn't packed. Damn it, she could just starve for the day.

So… get dressed, shower, brush teeth, drive to Barnes and Nobles, get to school, hurry to find dorm room, throw suitcase onto bed, and charge to class. Good plan, good plan.

Bella quickly got dressed, throwing on a pair of faded, black jeans and a plain, gray t-shirt. She stuffed her notebooks into her backpack, heaved her duffel bag over her shoulder, and stuffed her feet into her old black Converse high-tops. Upon bursting through the door, she realized that the weather was definitely way too cold for late August. She ran back into the house and threw on a sweater.

At Barnes and Nobles, she immediately charged toward the Classic Lit. section of the store and after finding the right book, skipped quickly over to Starbucks for a cappuccino. Fortunately, the line was short and she dove clumsily back to her car, keeping a hawk-eye on the time. Shit. I'm running out of gas too. What a screwy day.

Finally, finally, she got to Hallmark Preparatory Academy. There was utterly nobody on the road at 5 am in the morning, so she had managed to drive to New York in only two hours. The gates were just closing as she drove through in her beat-up Toyota. The guy closing the gates looked her over sharply. What the hell ever, jackass. I made it on time.

Looking at her pass, her dorm, 427, was on the FOURTH FLOOR. WHAT. THE. HELL! Ack. Bella moaned and flew up the stairs, meanwhile knocking into a guy and spilling her precious last drops of coffee onto his shirt.

"SHIT! Sorry!" Bella exclaimed, as she helped the guy up. He raised his eyebrows as she gave him a hug to make up for it, and then continued running without another word.

Finally! At the dorm. Her cell phone said 7: 20 am. Oh, crap. Bella threw her duffel bag onto the bed and then charged out the door. She could unpack later. As she flew down the stairs, skipping every two steps, she passed the guy she had spilled coffee on. She vaguely noticed him but decided not to stop and apologize again, and attempted to fly onwards. Unfortunately, he tugged her hood, nearly choking her.

"Hey! What are you doing? I'm LATE!" Bella said. His eyes narrowed.

"You forgot your uniform," he commented impassively. Did the guy BLINK?

She was already on the first floor. Did she honestly have to run all the way back to her dorm? She looked at her faded jeans, ripped at the bottom, and riding low on her waist. Her t-shirt was pretty wrinkled since she always forgot to iron her clothes, and the sweater she was wearing an old guy sweater that she had to buy in size XXXXS since apparently, guys were all the incredible hulk.

Then, she looked at her hair, which had cooperated surprisingly well this morning, considering she had spent five seconds combing it. Her scarf was sliding off, and it was torn at the edges. Admittedly, she looked like shit but there was NO TIME! And the damn guy woudn't let go of her.

Was this revenge for spilling a drop of coffee on him? But he had already CHANGED! And it had been only ONE minute! Did he just strip right there on the stairs or something?

"Err… well, I'm sure the teachers will let it slide the first day and I'm really sorry about that coffee-spilling incident. But I'm in a rush…" Bella said, as she pointed down the stairs to all the other kids hurrying to their classrooms.

He was tall, sturdy, good-looking. He had soft features, a flat but hard stomach, cute biceps that weren't bulging too prominently, and tousled, bronze hair. Admittedly, he was hot. However, Bella honestly didn't care right now. She noticed that the hypocrite wasn't wearing the uniform either! Did she spill the coffee on his uniform? Nah, he had been wearing a t-shirt, Bella remembered!

"What is your first class?" He asked serenely, completely unperturbed. Bella inwardly groaned. Honestly. What the hell. But just to appease him, Bella pulled the wrinkled schedule out of her pocket.

"Calculus with Mrs. Penny. Room 143. Where the heck is that?" Bella mumbled to herself, forgetting that the guy was there. Great, now she could spend another twenty minutes getting lost in this huge-ass academy.

The academy was for rich people, the sons and daughters of celebrities, huge corporate businessman, successful lawyers, foreign-exchange royals, etc. and etc. Bella was getting dizzy just looking around at the people, with all their Louis Vuitton and Prada and DKNY and whatever. Obviously, Bella did not belong here with her 20-buck jeans from Pac-Sun, 10-dollar T-shirt from Target, and 30-buck shoes from Journeys. She had gotten into this academy on scholarship, so clearly, she was not of the rich and famous type.

Bella eyed the guy holding onto her sweater. This guy didn't look all that pretentious. At least he wasn't completely decorated in high-class designer brands, like everyone else in the school. He was wearing a polo with a blazer, a tie, and jeans. Seemed casual enough, but Bella had no time to be observing this weird-ass guy right now.

"I can show you where Room 143 is. It's also my class," the guy said evenly. Bella eyed him suspiciously. What was with this kid? Clearly, he was delusional. She had spilled coffee on him and now he was offering to show her to class? Maybe he would bring her to some abandoned classroom three miles away from room 143 and beat her up. Or he could lock her into a closet and steal her identity. Like anyone would want to steal her identity. Especially a hot guy like this one. Either way, she did not trust this kid.

"No thanks. I can manage on my own. But thanks anyway," Bella said as she attempted to let go of his tight grasp on her sweater. Geezus christ. He was strong too. Good-looking and strong. What a jackass. Just trying to make her heart jump everywhere. Right when it was already jumping everywhere in panic about being tardy.

"Come on," the guy said and began walking, as if he did this everyday. Kidnapping poor, clueless strangers. Bella, seeing that she pretty much had no choice, trailed listlessly after him, applauding herself for an excellent start on the first day of school. NOT.

Two minutes later, they were in front of the classroom. Oh, phew. Not late. Just a minute away from the bell ringing.

"EDWARD!" a girl's voice called out. A gorgeous girl skipped daintily over. This girl must be Edward's girlfriend. She had golden, honey-colored hair that curled at her shoulders. Her eyelashes were long and thick. Her skin was pale and smooth, and all her accessories were probably the cost of Bella's house.

Upon seeing Edward holding the hood of Bella's sweater, the girl glared.

"Edward… who's the peasant? Don't tell me you're starting a charity project now. You're doing more than enough to get into Harvard and you never have enough time to be with me," the girl pouted. Edward winced, his face deadpan. Ohh. Smart, hardworking, hot, and strong. Was it possible for people to be this perfect?

"Actually, Hailey--"

"Err… thanks for showing me the classroom…" Bella cut Edward off, and pushed the door open. The door shut behind her with a low thud. All eyes turned to her. Jesus christ, everyone in this school was not only rich, but gorgeous. Bella rolled her eyes to the ceiling and then found a seat in the back of the classroom to sit at. All eyes followed her warily.

When Bella sat down, Edward came into the room with Hailey. She was clinging onto his shirt and he looked a bit pissed. Bella twirled her pencil lazily and fell asleep… eh.

She was poked awake by a cute, pixie-like, petite girl with short, black hair and a cheerful face. She was smiling and her eyes danced with merriment.

"Haha, class is over. What's your name?" the girl asked. Bella blinked for a few seconds before processing what the girl had just said.

"… You can call me Bella," Bella said tiredly and stretched.

"Hehe. My name is Alice Cullen. And this is my boyfriend, Jasper!" Alice said, pulling over a tall, lean guy. He gave Bella a slight smile. Alice laughed, a tinkling, melodic laugh, and snatched Bella's schedule with her free hand, still holding onto Jasper's arm.

"Oh! You only have Calculus with me," Alice said despairingly. Bella blinked, not sure how to respond. She never knew it was this easy to make a new friend. Or, really it wasn't easy for BELLA. It seemed pretty easy to ALICE, who seemed like a playful, little kitten.

"HEY! But you have EVERY class with Edward! Haha. Well, it's okay. You can always sit with us at lunch!" Alice said warmly. Bella blinked some more.

"Uh… how do you know Edward?" Bella asked, blinking. Wasn't that the psychopath from this morning?

"Edward Cullen. He's my brother. He's in this class also," Alice said simply.

"Oh," Bella said. They were siblings? But Alice and Edward were completely different. Well, to be specific, Alice was sane whereas Bella wasn't sure about the mental conditions of Edward…

"Speaking of which, have you already met him? Because he usually sleeps in class, and today, he was all awake, staring at you. Completely pissed the hell out of half the girls in the class," Alice said, still smiling.

"Err… he showed me to the classroom because I didn't know where it was," Bella said. Why the hell was the psychopath staring at her during class? Crreeeppy.

"Let me tell you about Edward Cullen. He doesn't give a shit. About anything. He skips school and sleeps in class. He doesn't listen to anybody. Half the time, I don't even know what the hell he's doing. He got into an argument with Dad and ran away from home. He's cold and calm and doesn't take anything seriously. He just doesn't care. So the fact that he actually walked you to your classroom and kept looking at you during class definitely means something," Alice lectured like a college professor.

"Erm… I don't know… I spilled coffee on him?" Bella blinked. She looked at the time. When was her next class? There was a free, ten-minute period between every class. The academy was obviously pretty liberal if they thought the students needed ten minutes between every class to, quote the pamphlet, "freshen up." A large, sturdy guy came in, holding hands with a beautiful, blonde girl.

"EMMETT! ROSALIE!" Alice said, getting up to give the guy and girl a hug.

"Who's the homeless kid you're harboring?" the girl's eyes narrowed.

"This is Bella! Bella, meet Emmett and Rosalie. Emmett is my brother and Rosalie is his girlfriend," Alice said, grinning.

Just then, the bell rang. Bella stared at her schedule. Oh great… next class was three floors up and on the other side of the Academy. Heaving up her black Jansport backpack, Bella shot out of the classroom to get to class on time. She waved to Alice, who grinned back.

Bella got into the classroom just as the bell rang. As usual, she headed to the back of the classroom. She twirled her pencil and began to doodle all over her shoes with Sharpie.

Five minutes later, the door opened and a certain psychopath, ahem EDWARD, appeared at the doorway. All eyes looked up. Every girl in the room seemed to melt into their seats. Bella could even hear wistful sighs. Bella went back to doodling on her shoes. She didn't really care about that psycho, and his girlfriend scared her. Bella wondered how badly injured she could get from coming into contact with Hailey's long, sharp, painted nails.

"Late again, I see, Mr. Cullen. Take a seat," Mr. Baker said dully and pointed to a seat right next to Bella. "Mr. Cullen" swept easily to the back of the room and all eyes followed him… except for Bella's. She was obliviously drawing on her shoes.

She didn't look up until he sat down and chuckled.

"What?" Bella asked. She yawned.

"Are you tired? Need some sleep?" Edward chuckled. Somehow, whenever he laughed, it seemed like a smirk. Whatever. Why was her overwhelming fatigue even so amusing?

"Sure," Bella said simply, shrugging. This guy was wack. For some reason, Edward glared a little at the ground and turned around.

"He's disturbed that you are completely unbothered by his sexual harassment," the guy next to Bella poked her in the arm.

"Oh," Bella said, "What the hell?" Jacob cracked up and Edward glared some more.

"My name is Jacob, but you can call me Jakie," the guy said flirtatiously.

"Sure, but you hit on me, I hit you," Bella said curtly. The corners of Edward's mouth curled up in a cynical smile.

After five minutes, Bella fell asleep. She hadn't slept at all last night because of all the Coke she had drank to calm her down after realizing she had forgotten to get her English book. Instead, she had been chatting online with her California friends to help her forget about her problems.

This time, she was awoken by some loud giggling. She cracked an eye open and saw Hailey with some other girls.

"Hey. Can I help?" Bella asked, not moving.

"Yeah… uh, honey, what's your name?" Hailey asked sweetly. Bella didn't answer and Hailey's eyes narrowed menacingly.

"Well, look, slut, I just wanted to warn you. Don't get too close to Edward Cullen, or you'll get it," Hailey hissed. Bella shrugged.

"Okay. Sure. Are you his girlfriend or something?" Bella asked impassively. She was really not awake enough to be dealing with any bitches right now.

"Well, I am pretty much his girlfriend. He's definitely going to ask me to the Autumn Homecoming Dance, so you better back off and know your place. It's as if you think someone like EDWARD CULLEN, who is the hottest guy at this academy and also my destined soul mate, would even twitch an eyebrow at a loser like you," she said.

"Whatever. It's not like I'm interested," Bella said, shrugging. What the hell? Did she honestly have to deal with jealous prima donnas the first day of school? All she wanted to do was SLEEEP.

"Ugh. Of course you are interested. EVERY girl and even some GUYS at this Academy are interested in Edward. Don't LIE to me. It's so pathetic."

"Uh… sure. Well, if everyone is interested in him, then why are you just hissing at me and not every girl and guy at this school?" Bella asked, blinking.

"Shut up, bitch. It's because you're annoying and ugly and your fashion sense is shittier than a rat's. So just crawl into a hole and DIE there," Hailey said. Bella shrugged. She was expecting bitches to have aversions to her status at the bottom of the social ladder. It wasn't something she was concerned about. All she wanted to do was survive here for the next two years and then go happily off to Princeton, where she would major in Literature and then get a good-paying job to pay the bills.

"Okay… well, are you done? Because I need to get a Coke before my next class," Bella said, pointing at the door. Hailey snorted just as Edward stepped into the room. Apparently, he'd gone out for an errand for the teacher, since he was carrying an enormous stack of papers, which he dumped onto the teacher's desk inadvertently.

Hailey glared at Bella and then smiled sweetly to Edward. It was so fake, Bella smirked. People at this school are lunatics. Bella swept past Edward and Hailey, and went out to the vending machine to get a Coke.

At the vending machine, Bella stuffed her hand into her pocket and removed fifty cents. Shit. She needed another dollar to get a Coke. How could she have come to school with no money? All her cash was at her dorm. Bella moaned. AGH, what a horrible day.

"Hey," a voice called from behind her. Bella turned around and saw Edward's face… about a hair's width away from her face. She would have punched him, but she was so damn tired, she didn't even have the effort to be bothered by his disturbing closeness. Instead, she just sighed.

"No. I do not need help. I was just going to get a Coke, but I am a miserable charity project," Bella said, quoting Hailey. I should be a charity project. Seriously, my life is such a demented hell hole… AND I JUST REALIZED I LEFT MY GYM SHORTS IN MY DORM! AND I HAVE TRACK AUDITIONS TODAY!

"SHIT!" Bella exclaimed. Edward raised his eyebrows as he paid for two Cokes in the vending machine. Bella didn't even notice. She just picked up her backpack and hurried off to her next class ten minutes early so she could be prepared for a car crash on her way. She didn't even hear Edward calling her name.

The rest of the morning was a numb blur. Bella didn't even notice that Edward hadn't shown up to any of his classes. In Physics, Bella was assigned Jacob's partner. He just sat there and whistled while Bella worked her ass off, meanwhile making pissed glances in Jacob's direction. Jacob grinned toothily and sometimes pretended he was doing something by fooling around with a beaker. What an ass.

At Lunch, Alice called her over. Bella hadn't brought a lunch and school lunches cost too much, so Bella was left to starve. Edward came over halfway through lunch, carrying a Coke bottle. He set it in front of Bella and smirked. The other four looked at him.

"I got you a Coke, but you ran away," he said to Bella. Bella stared at him.

"Uh. Thanks," Bella said, immediately opening the bottle and guzzling half of it down. It tasted GOOD, and Bella didn't even care that the psycho may have snuck drugs into it or something. She just needed the Coke.

"I'll pay you back tomorrow," Bella said, to which Edward politely refused.

"Hey, Edward, my man! You're at school?" Emmett spoke up. Edward smiled cynically, looking at Bella, who was still guzzling down the Coke.

"Wouldn't you be skipping by now?" Alice said, as Edward chuckled and sat on Bella's lap. She nearly choked on her Coke.

"But I had an important mission," Edward said, pointing to the empty Coke bottle.

"Why… are you on my lap?" Bella hissed.

"Because I have nowhere to sit and your lap is cozy," Edward said innocently, without smirking this time. Bella raised her eyebrow. So did the other four. Then, Bella just leaned back and shrugged.

"Bella, aren't you going to push Edward off of you?" Emmett asked, goggly-eyed.

"I don't care. Besides, it's his problem to taint his rich ass by sitting on my cheap jeans." Edward chuckled, leaning back into her shoulder. In two seconds, he had fallen asleep like a little puppy. Bella grimaced. Hell, he smells good… For the rest of the lunch period, Bella pretended to be part of the conversation and occasionally subtly inhaling the scent of Edward.

The rest of lunch, Bella pretended to ignore Edward's existence and once the bell rang, Bella was almost late to class again because she had to shove Edward awake. Edward wasn't in class for the rest of the day.

After school, it was raining mercilessly. Bella moaned. I don't have an umbrella… And today was track auditions… It was pouring way too hard; Bella would have to skip this track audition and plead to be rescheduled. The Academy was made up of four buildings. The Main Building was the biggest building where all the main classes were. The Gymnasium was about a mile away from the Main Building. The Electives Building was a mile away from the Main Building in the opposite direction, making a triangle. Then, the Dormitories Building was situated in the middle of the triangle.

If Bella wanted to make it to the track auditions, she would have to walk all the way to the Dorm Building, get her gym shorts and pick up her car, and then drive to the Gymnasium. Meanwhile, she would have to grab some food. She was fucking starving. Most of the kids were taking a simple taxi, but Bella had no cash on her. Besides, it wasn't like she had had a choice with Edward tugging on her sweater and dragging her over here.

She was already soaked and shivering when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and realized that once again, Edward had managed to stalk her. He held an umbrella over her head, and he was grimacing.

"Gee, what are you doing, standing out here in the rain?" he asked. Was that concern Bella heard in his voice? Crazy psychopath was now going to play the role of mother.

"I have track auditions in an hour, but I'm considering skipping," she mumbled. Why was she even telling the truth? She could have just been like, HEY, BRITNEY SPEARS, and made a run for it. Pshaw, like Edward was that dense.

Edward nodded, and then edged closer to Bella so that they were sharing the umbrella. Bella didn't say anything as he walked with her toward the Dormitory Building. After a while, she realized that most of the umbrella was covering her, and Edward was getting pretty wet. He showed no sign of being cold. He just smirked when Bella glowered up at him. She pulled him towards her so that he was under the umbrella too. Now he was so close and his arm kept brushing against her shoulder… Bella bit her tongue. What the hell was she thinking? Crazy hormones.

"Uh… so where we going?" Edward was shivering. Bella was going to say "anywhere," but then Edward passed out right on top of her. Awkkkward. Damn, , the guy was heavy. Bella could smell the clean soap smell of Edward and the closeness was just a little awkward, but for some reason, it felt almost comfortable. He felt gentle and yet protective. Even though he was unconscious. Spazzing and out of breath, Bella pushed Edward off.

Shit. And I have to go to the first day of my new job at New York in an hour. Holy crap.

phewie. long chapter. R&R, kids :)