Special THANKS to celtic mommy; I've had this vhapter stewing on my computer for weeks, but didnt know if I wanted to post it. I thank her for giving me such a sweet review and needing to read more! I swear I upped my viewer rating just by being on her favorites list! Check her out she has some awesome stories.

If you haven't read my Valentines contest entry please do and make a mental not to vote please!



Her stockinged foot dangled over my tub, only inches from my face. Drenched in the warm bath water, a small puddle was beginning to form on the tiles beneath it, droplets hanging from her exposed toes as they wiggled freely. We had been sitting here for what seemed like hours now, immersed in quiet conversation. She was far more inteligent than she let on, her quick witted come backs made that evident. Her mind was lashing out in the form of sharp tongued retorts, screaming to let others know she hadnt successfully snuffed the intelligence out just yet.

My skin was puckered and pruney, not wanting to get out and risk loosing the moment. Her head lulled over the other edge as she stared directly into the light of the window above us. The white glow of morning light framed her face as she seemed unafraid to look upon it directly.

"You'll go blind," I chided her, like a grade school know-it-all. She did this to me, had me reverting to the tact of a teenager while trying to get her to notice me.

"Seeing is over rated."

My brother had been rustling about the house for a while now, and as I heard a door slam I had only seconds to mutter Emmett's name under my breath before I heard his booming voice shout out my own. "EDDWAAARD?!"

Feeling her slip slightly deeper into the large tub, I looked over to see Bella's face; half submerged as she held her breath. Seeking cover in the clear depths of bath water seemed a correct response from her.

"In here," I called back reassuring her with a look. Emmett was, well, a bit much to take; even as his brother I could recognize that. Loud and obnoxious; words that spewed from his mouth had a short, if any, detour through his mind to be filtered. I inwardly chuckled at the irony; in my family, he was the responsible one, the good son, the cop.

I had for fitted the right to 'apple of my parent's eye,' that was fine; I had accepted this through my own callous actions. But that those eyes were constantly clouded in doubt, or worse pity, was more than I could stomach most days.

Moving to Washington had been a God send; jamming the rambling thoughts coursing through my brain with constant work. This house was like a quiet vacation from myself, a distraction. When I found it, dilapidated and worn, I knew I could fix it, bring out the beauty that was once there.

It ate at me that I had to be away from my family to actually heal properly, but it was what I needed. I stopped calling a month into my self exile, and it was only a week later that Emmett had shown up on my doorstep. Being transferred to bumble-Forks Washington through his job as a cop was a thinly veiled excuse, I knew that, but I didn't think he meant for it to be anything more than a lie. Emmett had always been very upfront, the move did however drip with my mother's intentions to ensure my safety.

The bathroom door swung open, wrenching me from my memories. It shifted and creaked with his force, I could tell that new hinges were in order simply by the sound, Emmett had a habit of un-doing most of my restorations.

"Woa, dude" his hand quickly slapped over his eyes as he placed an exceptionally dramatic emphasis on one of his favorite catch phrases, elongating 'dude' and adding more syllables than necessary. "I thought we agreed, gym socks over the door knob when we bring back lady friends and are-"

"Em, I don't think I ever agreed to something like that, besides if one of your stank gym socks are on a door knob, I can assure you there wont be a female for miles." I cut him off before he could get out his own insult, "This is Bella, Bella this is my older brother, in years only."

At the introduction Emmett let his fingers part slightly, his hand still firmly clasped over his eyes he peered in her direction before dropping his mouth open in shock. "The Swan Screw up?! God Edward, do you have any idea what this could do to me, my job? Are you harboring her from some sort of robbery?!"

I tensed at his rediculous reaction, awaiting the short fused bomb next to me to explode into a million pieces, as she had done to me so easily last night. Hearing her sigh softly before extract herself from the tub, I watched as she simply sauntered past my aghast brother, dripping blue panties and all, before exiting my bathroom without so much as a word.

Emmett's eyes followed her as well before turning his slack jawed expression on me. I knew exactly what he was thinking before his own brain was able to form it. Our family had been so conditioned to this reaction, as his facial expressions began to contort into a familiar mask, I found I couldn't look at him directly anymore.

"Edward, I'm just worried, worried for you." Worry God I hated the word, and I hated the emotion even more. It sucked at people's souls, shaking them awake at night, consuming their thoughts, burdening them with the problems of others. Over what? Wasted time, wasted emotion.

"Stop. Don't even say it. I'm fine, I just took her home from a bar last night, she was out of it and needed to get out of there." His breath hitched at this statement, worry staining even his labored breathing.

"Okay, okay, I believe you. I just think hanging out with her; it's not good for you Eddie,"

"Just keep your opinions to yourself Emmett, I know whats good for me, I'm an adult, in fact you are currently standing in my house. I can make decisions for myself." I amended my last statement with a final sigh "responsible decisions."

"Right." I had stung him a bit; the feeling was now evident on his clearly readable face. Lashing at him wasn't some thing I was fond of, I'm jackass for taking it out on him. "Hell do I sound like mom or what?" He chuckled at this and I let him see me crack a smile in return, my current state of anger wasn't his fault and I needed to let him know this. "God, the Swan-slut, really Eddie? Do you just go looking for trouble or does it find you?"

"You don't even know her, keep your pet names to yourself," I stated briskly "But yea, trouble seams to be stalking me huh?"

We left it at that, Emmett retreating back to his room as I went in search of trouble once again.

I followed her voice to the kitchen where she was obviously chattering away on the phone with someone. Finally tracking her down, I took in the sight of her. She had propped herself up on the counter, letting her long legs dangle as she spoke. She seemed almost modestly covered up compared to before, having pilfered one of my dark blue button down dress shirts, her legs were now bare, stripped of her torn stockings. She idly played with the cord from the phone curling her toes around it as her hands were occupied; a fork in one and a half open can of peaches in the other.

I thought of what audacity she must have, wandering through a stranger's house, borrowing his clothing, using his phone, and steeling his peaches. Well that wasn't completely fair, I hadn't even known I owned peaches, and I vaguely thought whether she would be prudent enough to check an expiration date, do canned peaches go bad?

But there she sat, swinging her legs as she spoke, using her hands to emphasize her words to some one who couldn't even see her. I smiled to myself, trouble never looked so good.

Leaning on the door frame I listened as she continued her conversation, not noticing me just yet.

"Yep, and he owns the mansion at the outside of town, yes, my mansion! Oh, Jesus and Rose? He is fu-cking beautiful, like a God or something…" Her eyes shot to me, I must have made a sound at that last statement.

"Gotta go Rose, see you in a few." She reached to place the phone on the receiver, not taking her eyes off me, her mouth still full with the remnants of her last bite of peaches.

"Like a God?"

"Flattery not intended, maybe I was talking about one of those six armed thingies, you know they worship Bulls as Gods some places?" She back tracked as she swallowed her last bite.

"Hmm, I suppose, though I don't think they describe Bull Gods as beautiful," I teased pushing myself off the frame and starting towards her. "Hey I'm sorry about my brother by the way; there is absolutely no filter in his brain,"

"What ever, I like it, I'm infamous, like Paris or Lohan"

"Don't do that, why do you do that?"

She looked shocked for only a moment before composing hersel, "Do what?"

"Act dumb, which you're not,"

She was quiet now, apparently there was no answer for her sharade, and I hadn't really expected one. As I advanced towards her she stopped me, still silent, placing her bare foot at my chest and noticing how absolutely freezing her skin was. Looking down at it, I saw the same chipped blue nail polish that covered her fingers, adorned her toes as well.

"I had peaches?" She cocked her head to the side, staring into my face as she took another bite. She looked confused for a moment, as if she was trying to wrap her mind around something that she couldn't quite figure out. It amused me to no end, that she could be trying to understand me, while she sat as the embodiment of an enigma before me. Bare foot wearing my shirt, eating the peaches she some how found.

"Yep, it was this or canned franks, I felt better with the peaches." She spoke matter-of-fact, while bring her feet into her body, suddenly aware of the chipped nailpolish and in need of closer inspection.

"So you're driving me to meet my friends in maybe an hour. We're going to 'Jacobs' the owners a friend of mine, do you know Jake?"

I knew Jake, I knew him too well. How could some one like me not know Jake? So I lied "Nope, I don't know Jake."

She hopped off the counter taking two steps towards me before her face lit up, her perfect mouth curling into a grin, "We're going to have so much fun."