A/n: -shrinks into fetal position- don't hate me! i swear, i didn't plan this. i just want to get into the groove of writing again. and i missed this. i'll admit it.

i promise i'll give you guys a little warning next time i decide to be a retard and quit abruptly. i'm planning on finishing Where You Want To Be, and possibly taking another look at My Way Home Is Through You. it might take me a while; i'm in college now, i have no privacy and practically no time alone. seriously. ugh.

so please don't expect updates like i used to do. i know, in a perfect world, that would be absolutely amazing, but i can only do so much.

tell me what you guys think of this, i want a lot of feedback. love you guys! enjoy!

disclaimer: i'm not cool enough to own Twilight.

It took him a few minutes to recognize me by the baggage carousel. When he did, he walked the few feet to stand in front of me and quirked an eyebrow. It was the most emotion I'd seen out of him since we'd met.

"Pink hair?" he asked, picking up a lock of my bangs and just as quickly dropping it.

I shrugged, smirked and gave my signature line. "It happens." He hadn't noticed the lip ring yet, and I definitely wasn't about to point it out to him. I was actually surprised he noticed my hair, of all things. It was a little ostentatious, come to think of it, though. So maybe him noticing wasn't that big of a deal.

We went silent, as per usual, and looked at each other for the longest time. It was incredibly awkward. I didn't think there was any situation more uncomfortable than this one. I tried to wrack my brain. Nope. Nothing.

I started nodding slowly, waiting for him to say something, but it just wasn't working. My hints were apparently too subtle for him.

"So," I said, rocking back on my heels, drawing out the word.

That seemed to knock him back into consciousness. "We should go," he said hurriedly.

I nodded again, curtly, and shifted my backpack on my left shoulder. When I bent down to capture my bags, though, they were gone. I looked up, confused. My father was already walking away, bags in hand. Well, at least he was nice enough to do that.

The car ride was silent, except for my iPod, which was strategically placed in my right ear and just low enough for Charlie not to hear it. No need to freak him out yet with my music. The hair was pushing it enough for one day.

He didn't even bother waiting for me when we pulled into the driveway in Forks. I took a second to observe the house before grabbing my stuff and going inside. So this was where he lived. It was cozy. If you liked the look of peeling paint, dirty windows, and ripped screens, that is. No wonder my mother left the guy.

I rolled my eyes and carefully stepped through the muddy lawn to the front door, which was still open, and walked through. Charlie was taking off his jacket and putting it in the hall closet, while pulling out another one.

He cleared his throat and spoke for the first time since the airport. "Your room is upstairs, second door on the left. The bathroom is at the end of the hall. I have to go to work; I won't be home until late. There's food in the kitchen, help yourself."

I blinked, stunned into silence for a second. I think that was the most I'd ever hear my father speak. Literally.

"Um, yeah," I said, shaking my head. I put on a smile, fake as can be, but he bought it. He said a quiet goodbye and left again, closing the front door behind him.

- - - - -

I spent about forty-five minutes wandering around the house, getting myself acquainted with my new surroundings. I thought for a moment about possibly calling my mother, but quickly killed that train of thought. I couldn't call her now. That option was, unfortunately, impossible at this present time.

I did some heavy lifting in my bedroom, rearranging the furniture to better fit the limited space I had (and make it as close to my old room as possible. Of course). I sighed when I realized I couldn't hold off on unpacking much longer. It was then that the whole reality of the situation hit me like a deer in headlights. I really was in Forks. I really was living with Daddy Dearest. I really wanted to kill myself.

Ugh. I needed a cigarette and my best friend.

So, in an attempt to further distract myself from the truth that had become my life, I grabbed a pack of cigarettes, my iPod and my cell phone and left the house.

I didn't exactly know where I was going, so I picked a direction and just started walking. I stuck an ear bud in one ear and shoved my iPod into the front pocket of my jeans. I was glad it wasn't so cold at the moment, although that probably wouldn't have deterred me from my plans anyway. I would have left that house if it was snowing. Okay, that's a lie, but still.

After dialing Cara's number and getting her voicemail, I groaned with as much enthusiasm as I could muster without crying and put my phone in my back pocket. I was hoping she wasn't too busy with her son to call me back a-sap.

It was at this point that I realized I didn't remember to bring a lighter.

Damn it.

That just left me with listening to music, trying not to cry, waiting for Cara and having a massive need for nicotine. I was officially in hell.

- - - - -

In the time it took my best friend to call me, I had gotten myself sufficiently lost. How, I don't know, but I seemed to be good at getting lost. I was always doing it back in Phoenix, except it was worse because I should have known where I was going in the first place.

"You don't recognize anything, do you?" Cara asked with a gurgling 20 month old in the background.

I sighed. "No," I whined. "This is so not cool."

I could just tell she was rolling her eyes at me. "It's your fault you got yourself lost, Bells."

She'd been saying stuff like that ever since we met my freshman year in high school. She was an army brat, so she'd seen her share of new homes and new schools, and it just so happened that she moved to Phoenix that time around. We were kindred spirits; she understood me, I understood her and all was right with the world when we got together. I'd never met anyone like her and I doubted I ever would.

Cara was two years older than me (hence the baby and fiancée) so according to her, she knew so much more than me. Sure, she had the life experience since she did get pregnant senior year, and she'd been around the block (so to speak), but still, I felt like a child every time she chided me. I'd never admit that, though, because she'd just have a field day with that kind of information.

I sighed again and continued walking down the tree lined street. It was too green here. I was used to desert; browns and warm colors. This didn't fly with me. At least I wasn't completely immersed in forest. Every now and then I would pass what looked like warehouses. I hoped they were warehouses, at least, and not those places that serial killers take their victims to torture them to death. Okay, distraction please!

"Maybe if I keep walking I'll get back to the right place," I said, more to myself than anything.

"Yeah, if you're walking the right direction," Cara snorted, which caused Evan to laugh.

"Distract me, please. Forks is so much creepier than I thought it would be." Of course, I wasn't exactly sure I was even still in Forks.

"Um," she said, struggling for a topic. "How was meeting father dearest?"

My shoulders slumped. Of all the things for her to ask me, she had to talk about that, didn't she? Cara was the only person (aside from my mother) who knew about my dad and my relationship with him. And while she related somewhat, it still wasn't the same. I didn't think anyone would truly understand how I felt about Charlie and how he felt about me.

"I'm sorry, honey," Cara apologized. "I love you. You don't have to talk about it."

"No," I said softly. "It's fine. The airport was weird. And he actually said more than four words to me. I don't know how I'm going to live with him for two years, but I guess I'll have to deal."

"It'll be over before you know it, I promise."

I felt the pain clutch at my stomach again for the millionth time. I hated this subject. I hated thinking and knowing that I had family that would much rather take me in and yet they couldn't. I hated these stupid child laws and I hated social services for thinking they were doing what was best for me. What did they know about me anyhow? All I was to them was another kid with a dead mom and a cigarette habit. I was another problem on their hands that was easily dealt with by shoving me into my father's capable reach. I had no say with them because I was still technically a minor.

Cara sighed, bringing me back into reality. "I miss you," she said lamely, changing the subject.

I almost started crying right there. "I miss you too."

We didn't talk again for a few minutes. I noticed the warehouses had dissipated and I was in a more residential area. Okay, so more like one or two houses, but they were houses all the same.

"Hey, Care," I said, interrupting her rant about her fiancée. "Can I call you back? I think I found a house. Maybe they can help me."

"Don't get raped, okay?" she said sternly. "I love you. I want you alive the next time I talk to you."

I laughed. "I love you, too. And tell Evan I say hi and I miss him and I better be able to talk to him next time."

"Yes ma'am."

"I'll call you when I get home, okay?"

"Yeah, sure," she replied and I heard her snap her phone shut.

I practically ran my way up the mostly hidden driveway until it opened up into an almost meadow. In front of me lay possibly the biggest house I'd ever seen (in person anyway). It was at least three stories high and god knew how many square feet. I was about to walk up to the front door when I heard a bang and some muttering. I turned to my left and saw what could only be the garage, but damn it was huge, too.

There were two people, a guy and a girl, tinkering under the hood of a shiny silver Volvo. As I neared them, they got clearer and clearer until I could make out every detail but their faces.

"Um," I said, stopping about ten feet away. "Sorry to bother, but, could you possibly help me?"

Both boy and girl looked up at me, startled at my sudden appearance. They must have been really into whatever it was they were doing, because I knew for a fact that I wasn't, at all, trying to be quiet about my approach.

They stared at me for a few minutes and I took the time to assess their looks. They both looked to be about my age, maybe a year or two older. I would have pegged the boy to be one of those Indie guys I'd seen at shows all the time in Phoenix (you know…the guys who wore tight white v-necks with vests, skinny jeans and chucks and had tattoos covering both arms) if I didn't notice his completely designer outfit. He had the most beautiful hair I'd ever seen and I was completely jealous because I knew it would never be fully replicated in the hair dye process. The girl looked like she could be on any catwalk in the world. Even wearing the grease stained shirt and jeans, she was easily the most gorgeous woman I'd ever laid eyes on. The two looked nothing like alike, except for their beauty and the color of their eyes. Their eyes were exactly the same in every way.

"Ugh," I groaned, when they didn't answer my question. "I'm probably totally interrupting. I'm so sorry, I'll just go now."

When I turned to leave, though, the guy stopped me.

"You're lost?" he asked and I could hear the girl mutter something to him but he ignored her. I immediately fell in love with his voice. I would have swooned right there if I knew I wouldn't make a complete fool of myself.

"Just a little," I shrugged, turning back around. "I'm new around here so I have no idea where anything is. If you could just direct me back to town I should be able to find my way home."

"Did you walk here?" the girl asked, looking at me curiously. Her voice was just as silky smooth as the boy's, but it wasn't as attractive to me.

"Uh, yeah, I did actually."

"Well, it's about a three mile hike back to town," the guy informed me. Great, three miles and god knew how much longer back to Charlie's house.

I was about to say thank you and ask which way to walk when the he started talking again. "If you want to wait a few minutes for my sister and me to finish up with my car, I can drive you back."

My face instantly lit up. "Would you?"

He seemed to like my reaction. "Yeah, sure. I'm Edward by the way, and that's Rosalie. I'd shake your hand but you probably don't want grease all over the place."

"I'm Bella," I replied. "Nice to meet you, and thanks for not greasing my hands."

He laughed and turned back to his previous task. I stood there awkwardly for a few minutes before turning away and walking up to the front porch. I walked up two of the steps and sat down, hoping I wasn't being too bold in doing so. Edward and Rosalie didn't seem to mind, though, as they didn't even look up from their work.

I sighed and rested my elbows on my thighs and put my hands under my chin. I looked around the yard and marveled at its beauty. This place was like a sanctuary in the middle of the forest. It felt like a completely different world with the wide open space and couple scattered trees.

As my eyes continued to roam, they slowed when I came to the Volvo and stopped completely when Edward was dead center in my view. I couldn't see his face, but just seeing him was enough to make me want to hyperventilate. I didn't understand the feeling I was getting when I looked at him. Sure, I'd had butterflies in the past when I had a crush on someone at school, but this was something entirely different. This was something that could potentially be disastrous.

I faintly heard the front door open and close behind me. Someone sat next to me, startling me for a second.

A tinkling giggle filled the air. "Sorry," the person said. "I didn't mean to frighten you. I thought I'd heard somebody out here and I wanted to investigate. We don't get many visitors around here."

I looked to my left and I could have sworn I was hallucinating. I would have bet my life that the girl sitting beside me was a fairy, but they weren't real, so I quickly pushed that thought aside. She looked at me and smiled and, as if it was contagious, I smiled too.

"Did that hurt?" she asked, staring at my face and crinkling her nose a little.

"Did what hurt?"

"Your piercing. I've never met anyone with one before, so I've never been able to ask, but I've always thought they'd be slightly painful."

"Oh," I laughed. "It didn't hurt at all, actually. And that's saying something because I'm a total baby when it comes to pain."

"You know smoking is bad for you, right?" she said, turning her attention to the pack of cigarettes still in my hand.

I nodded, and couldn't help myself from making a smart ass comment. "I think I've heard that somewhere before."

The girl next to me just laughed, though. "I like your sense of humor, even if you are slowly killing yourself."

"Thanks…" I trailed off, not knowing her name.

She caught the implication immediately and smacked herself in the forehead. "Where are my manners?" she rolled her eyes. "I'm Alice, Alice Cullen."

"Bella Swan," I responded.

"I really like your hair," she blurted suddenly.

I looked at her for a second and then burst out laughing. "Thanks," I said, still giggling.

"No really," Alice kept going. "Pink really suits you. And I don't really listen to All Time Low, but I like that shirt, too. And I'm thinking I might have to get some more skinny jeans."

"Are you on a compliment spree, or am I just special?"

Alice laughed. "You're just special, Bella. I think I'll go to Seattle soon and get some new jeans."

I shook my head quickly. "You don't really have to do that. I made all my jeans."

"You did?"

"Mhm," I nodded. "All you have to do is re-hem them. It's super easy and way cheaper. More comfortable, too, actually, because they're practically custom."

"Huh," she said. "You'll have to show me sometime."

I smirked. "I guess I will."

We stopped talking after that, but it wasn't uncomfortable at all. I started playing with the cigarettes in my hand and tried not to think too much about them. I was desperately in need of one and the withdrawal symptoms were starting to kick in. if I didn't get home and to a lighter soon, I was going to go crazy.

As if on cue, I heard the hood of the Volvo shut and two pairs of feet come toward Alice and me. I looked up just in time to see Edward stop in front of me and Rosalie start climbing to the stairs.

"Done already?" I asked.

"There wasn't much left to do," Edward said. "I see you've met my other sister."

Beside me, Alice glared at her brother. "It isn't a crime, Edward."

"I wasn't saying it was."

She sighed and stood up. "Be careful on the road, it's going to start raining again soon. Bye Bella, I hope I see you at school tomorrow."

As Alice went back into the house, I looked up at the sky and noticed the clouds were visibly darker. She was right; it was going to rain soon. She was good.

When I looked back at Edward he rolled his eyes and smiled at me. "You ready to go?"

I smiled back and nodded and followed him over to his car. I was about to open the passenger side door when I heard the yell.

"Wait!" Edward and I stopped short and looked to the house just in time to see Alice running down the stairs, frantic. Edward looked at her, his eyes narrowing and then, out of nowhere, his face grew tight and void of emotion.

He strode over to his sister, towering over her. It was the first time I noticed how short Alice was. She honestly was tiny. She whispered something in Edward's ear and I caught them both glancing over at me before going back to their conversation. I felt out of place suddenly, like I shouldn't be there at all. I wanted to hide myself and become invisible.

"Hey Bella," Alice called suddenly.

I'm sure I looked utterly confused when I looked at her. "Yeah?"

"Do you mind if I drive you home instead of my brother?" My stomach dropped. Damn. I was hoping to get to know him better. Perhaps create a friendship. Or something more. I definitely wouldn't mind. "Our dad needs him for something here and it can't wait."

I tried not to look too disappointed as I answered. "As long as I get home, I'm good," I said, lifting my hands as if in surrender.

Alice smiled at me and then said something else to her brother before they both turned to face me.

"Sorry," he apologized, smiling apologetically. "Next time for sure."

"I'm holding you to that, I hope you know."

Edward's smile grew. "I'll be sure not to disappoint."

And with that, he turned abruptly and walked toward his house.

- - - - -

Alice smiled wryly at me as we stepped into her brother's Volvo.

"You like him." She stated bluntly.

I hid my face in my hands and tried as hard as I could not to blush too much. This was thoroughly embarrassing. My new friend laughed and turned the key in the ignition.

We were silent as Alice maneuvered the car down the driveway.

"I wish I could give you directions, it'd be so much easier," I said, breaking the silence.

Alice waved a hand in my direction and hung a sharp left at the end of the drive. "No worries. Everyone knows where the chief of police lives."

I cringed, I hated being associated with that. "You know I'm the chief's daughter?"

"The last name kind of gave it away."

I nodded in agreement and then turned my head to look out the window. There were a few water streaks on the glass; it was starting to rain. Wow, Alice was like a little personal weather girl. A few seconds later I heard the windshield wipers drag across the windshield.

"So what brings you to Forks, Bella?" Alice asked. It was a lighthearted question, completely normal to ask the new girl, but of course I choked.

I cleared my throat. "Um," I hesitated. Should I tell her the truth this early in our friendship? Or should I lie? I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to even answer the question. Evasive maneuvers worked best anyway. "It's a long boring story," I said, putting on my best fake smile. I wondered if it would work as well as it did with Charlie.

"You're lying," Alice chided, not taking her eyes off the road. "But that's okay. You'll tell me eventually."

I breathed a sigh of relief, which cause Alice to giggle. We didn't talk the rest of the way to Charlie's house.

"I'll see you at school tomorrow, Bella," Alice smiled.

She was contagious; I found myself smiling too. "I'm sure I'll never be able to bet against you, so I'll just go with it. I'll see you tomorrow Alice."

With that, I waved goodbye and watched from the shelter of the porch as my new friend drove away.