You've all been asking for this story, and I think I could have some real fun with it. I'm a little nervous to be completely honest but let's see what happens. You'll need to bear with me. As much as I'd love to be able to post every day, it's just not always possible.
To save you all from confusion I'll explain how it's going to be written:
I'm going back in time, to before the party, and it will be written in two points of view; alternating between Edward's and Bella's. If you have questions, ask.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse or Breaking Dawn. I do not own Edward Cullen or Bella Swan or any other characters you may recognize from the series. I do however own the one-shot this is based on entitled 'White Carpet and Wall Sconces'.
Bella's Point of View
My desk was piled high with articles, none of them organized into any sort of order, my lap top trying to balance on the tiny square of space not covered in paper. I kept readjusting where it sat so it didn't come toppling off while I worked. My fingers flew across the keys, not sure exactly what I was typing, and at this precise moment, not caring.
I checked the clock beside my bed again. Three-thirty in the morning. I pushed a wisp of hair from my face and pressed my glasses back up my nose again, blinking and staring at the screen to see what I'd written. Mostly it didn't seem too bad, and I already had eight thousand words. That only left two thousand. Two thousand words I didn't have. I mentally kicked myself for leaving yet another essay to the last minute and put my face in my hands, rubbing vigorously to try and wake myself up.
I heard the door bang open, a small scuffle and then the door click shut much more quietly. A tiny, uneven clicking sound came closer to my closed door and I sighed, pushing some papers out of the way a bit more and setting the lap top in a safer position. The clicking became louder and the door opened to a tiny girl with big hair leaning dangerously on the door frame, eyes unfocused and wild. Her skirt was twisted slightly to the side and her jacket was unbuttoned to reveal a wrinkled blouse. She only had one glove. I let my eyes drop to her feet to notice that she was wearing terrifyingly high stiletto boots, which were obviously creating the clicking noise I'd heard. She was very obviously three sheets to the wind.
"Bella, you're still up!" Her voice was excited, her words slurred. "You missed the best party." She pushed herself off the door frame and teetered into my room where she collapsed on the bed. "Everyone was there." She looked at me through her wide, blue eyes expectantly.
"Hi Jess" I greeted her, spinning my chair around to face her.
"Hi Bella…didn't I already say hi?" She reached down to unzip one of her boots and pull it off. "Have you been doing homework all night?" She sounded shocked, as though she hadn't been living with me for the past year and a half. I just shrugged.
"I'm not done yet, and it's due at nine."
She stood up and teetered over, still in one heel, making walking even more difficult than it already was. She peered over my shoulder at my computer screen. "Another Philosophy of Feminism essay? That bitch has nothing better to do than read your million essays? The woman needs a life."
I kind of had to agree. It was a well known fact that Dr. Lindstrom was not well liked by her students. Feminism was a touchy enough subject anyway, but when taken to the extreme as Dr. Lindstrom did, it made it almost unbearable. I'd tried really hard to avoid the course but there was nothing that fit into the timeslot that I hadn't already taken, or wanted to take even less.
"Bella, you're taking a political science degree, this course is a crock of shit." Jessica was always one to have her opinions known. I shrugged. It was only one semester, I could survive. "You're less than a month into the semester and already how many essays have you had? Three? Four? Ten?" I found it strange how she always sobered up when she needed to complain about my course load.
"This is the fourth. It's only one a week." Jessica made a face.
"Ten thousand words a week, on top of an already heavy course load. Bella, drop it. You never leave this damn apartment anymore except to go to class. When was the last time you ate a real meal; one that didn't consist of pizza pockets and Pepsi? And copious amounts of coffee." I guiltily looked at my, now ice cold, cup of coffee, half drank on top of my printer. "It's getting bad Bella. You need to get out." I just shrugged again and helped her back to the bed where she took off her other boot. "Fuckin' cold out there by the way" she told me, rubbing her hands together. I laughed hollowly. She needed to go to bed so I could pull two thousand more words about feminism through the ages, out of my ass. "When was the last time you got some?" She lay back on the bed, her hair now even more wild than when she came in.
"What?" I swiveled by chair back and forth awkwardly.
"When was the last time you got laid? Had sex? Screamed someone's name in more than mere frustration?" She rolled onto her side and propped herself up on her elbow, looking directly into my eyes.
"Jess, I really need to finish this essay" I told her, hoping she would leave.
"That long huh?" She rolled her eyes dramatically. "Alice Cullen's having a party tomorrow? At their town house. You should definitely come."
I turned around and took my lap top from my desk and balanced it on my lap, fingers poised over the keys. If she wasn't leaving, I was going to have to work anyway. "I have homework" I told her, eyes on the screen.
"It's a Friday. You'll have all weekend."
"I need to do groceries this weekend. And clean."
She stood and walked over to the desk. My schedule was posted on the wall. She peered at it blurrily. "You have a break between eleven and two. Do groceries then. And then…" She ran her finger down the chart. "Clean up between three and whenever, and then we'll head over. Your two o'clock is only a tutorial; you'll be out within an hour." It was a known fact that Jessica never cleaned. Neither of us denied this fact anymore. Her room was like a war zone. "That leaves you all weekend to do your homework."
I told her I'd think about it, but only if she left and went to bed so I could finish the essay for Lindstrom. She agreed, but a few minutes later poked her head back in. "Bella, I'm frigging hammered and we don't have any pickles." Her pout was very pronounced. She needed her cheese and pickles. I shook my head.
"Sorry Jess, I'll pick some up. I think there's an old jar of olives in the back. Try that. I really need to work." Jess rarely did groceries either. I sighed and flipped through what I'd already written. I could probably draw my conclusion out to at least fifteen hundred words if I spun some crap back on what I'd already written. I didn't care if it was repetitive. It was four in the morning.
The next thing I really remember was hearing a shrill ringing near my left ear. I jumped, feeling my glasses shift against the bridge of my nose and hearing a weird, scratchy noise. I sat up, searching for the source of the noise, and found my cell phone telling me it was eight o'clock. At least I'd set the alarm. I'd obviously fallen asleep on my piles of paper and I knew I must have crease marks on my face. I pulled myself out of my chair, peeking at my computer screen, grateful that I'd pretty much summed up my stupid essay before blacking out. I set it up to print, making sure that everything was in working order (more than once I'd set stuff up to print and left, only to realize that it hadn't worked and was then going to be late), and headed for the shower.
The water was hot and welcoming, pounding down on my aching muscles. I reminded myself for the third time this week that falling asleep on the desk wasn't favourable. I knew I had to be quick before the hot water ran out. It was one of the downsides to living in an apartment in a house; the hot water tank wasn't very big. As I dried myself off in my thread bare, beach towel I began to think over what Jessica had said the night before. How long had it been since I'd been out? Before Christmas anyway. New Years had been a bit of a joke since I'd flown to Florida to visit my mother on Boxing Day and stayed until the end of the break. It wasn't like I had friends in Florida. If I hadn't been out since Christmas, how long had it been since I'd gotten some, as Jess had put it? I racked my brain, going back to first semester and realizing that I hadn't gotten out much then either. Hallowe'en? I had a vague image of dragging Dracula's cape from his shoulders in a dark room somewhere in a house I wasn't sure where was. Yes it must have been Hallowe'en. I winced inwardly. It had been a while. I'd quit thinking about it to be completely honest. I was focusing on my school work. Whoever said that PoliSci was a bird course was seriously mistaken.
I checked the time as I passed the kitchen, to notice that it was already eight thirty and hurried to my room, pulling on a pair of jeans and wooly socks and digging around for a half decent sweater. I'd have to hurry to make it to the main building in time and Lindstrom wouldn't accept it if it was even two minutes late. I yanked the essay from the printer, double checking to be sure all the pages were there and stapling it together before sliding it into my bag. I somehow found those stupid Ugg boots Jessica had convinced me to buy, thrown haphazardly under my bed, and tugged them on. At least they were
warm. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and pulled on my jacket as I ran out the door and down the street.
Jess was right, it was cold. January was my least favourite month in Washington. It was cold and grey and wet. None of the snow was fluffy; it was just drippy and slushy and clung to everything. And the wind was bitter. I cursed myself again for wanting to live by the water just for the stupid ferry boats. Ferry boats I never went on. I walked as quickly as possible, hitching my bag up on my shoulder every few strides and tip-toeing around slushy puddles when need be. My glasses were starting to fog in the cold and I pulled them off and wiped them on my mitten, hoping to be able to see again and cursing myself for not taking time to put my contacts in.
I rounded a corner and the main campus came into view, tall and imposing against the grey sky. I hurried through the parking lot, weaving between cars and into a door on the back side of the main building. If I took the back stairs I could make the class room just a little bit sooner. I checked my watch, not slowing down even for a second as my boot squeaked on the wet, slippery floor. Eight-fifty. I'd made decent time considering I'd only gotten less than four hours sleep the night before, on a pile of papers no less. I pushed myself the rest of the way to the top of the stair case and pushed the door open into the warm, institutional hallway, puffing and red in the face, but very much on time.
Paper handed in and much less stressed about the clock, I settled into my seat for the two hour lecture we had to put up with today. I didn't care what it was about. I went back to thinking about Jessica's offer of the party. It wasn't like anyone wanted to sleep with me anyway and I knew I'd have to drive since you couldn't trust her to, but it didn't seem like such a bad idea. The essay was done and the only papers I had due early the next week were a couple of article summaries for Concept of Political Power. Marxism or something like that. I should be able to get it done Saturday and Sunday.
I didn't know the Cullen's very well. Alice and I had been project partners in Intro to Labour Studies first semester since she was taking some sort of sociology major and it was a joint class. She was alright, reminded me a bit of Jessica in mannerisms. Super bubbly and opinionated. I knew her family was rich. I'd been to the town house once and wondered why on earth three students would need a house of such magnitude. Three students because I knew she had two brothers. I'd met Emmett once while I'd been there and I knew he played on the varsity basketball team since I'd had to interview him once in my freshman year when I decided to join the school paper. That hadn't lasted long, and why they would have thought it a good idea for me, Bella Swan, to cover sports, was beyond me. She also had another brother. She'd said his name was Edward, but I'd never met him. The day I'd gone to her house to work on the project we'd gone upstairs, only to be greeted by loud, scary music blaring from the bedroom at the end of the hall. She'd pointed, rolled her eyes dramatically and yelled over the noise, "Meet Edward!"
I'd never met Edward Cullen but he had a reputation that preceded him. Notorious partier, rule breaker, womanizer and general slacker, he kept much of the campus wondering how on earth he'd managed to stay in school. He was one Cullen I never cared to meet.
Lindstrom droned on and on and on about God only knows what for the full two hours. Every so often she'd readjust her cardigan or hike up the waist band on her granny jeans and someone in the class would have to stifle a giggle. This woman was just too weird. I imagined her sitting in a tiny apartment, cardigan buttoned to her chin, surrounded by cats, reading essay after essay after essay about views on feminism. And never getting laid. My day dream changed. Instead of Lindstrom sitting in the apartment
surrounded by cats, it was me and there was a scary echo in Jessica's high pitched, girly voice telling me I should have gotten out more. I shook my head and readjusted my glasses.
'Something wrong Miss Swan?" Dr. Lindstrom's voice broke through. I looked around, dazed.
"Oh, no! I'm fine. Sorry." I hung my head, embarrassed, and sure I was beet red, the image of me in a cardigan unable to leave my mind. It was decided. I was going to that damn party.