Author's Note: Warning - Guy on guy action and other 'M' rated scenes in this chapter. Don't read it if you don't like that sort of thing. Reviews appreciated!

Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight universe and I'm just taking liberties.


So I'm sitting in the lunchroom, bored out of my mind, surveying the crowd. Had him, had her, had her, had him (makes cute noises when he comes). Really I've almost exhausted all the acceptable possibilities in this backwater.

Bored bored bored. I stretch languidly and decide to tease Jazz, just to pass the time. I like teasing Jazz. Want to do more than just tease him, but these days he always draws the line. And he is my best friend - not that that ever stopped me.

I reach out and massage the nape of his neck, above his Strokes T-shirt and below his curling fair hair. He lets me touch him for a moment, arching back into my hand. Hot - he's almost got me going there. Then he twists gently away, shooting me a sidelong look and shaking his head disapprovingly. Cocktease.

"Hands to yourself Edward," he reminds me.

Yeah yeah, I'd promised. "What? You just looked a bit tense there Jazz. Pining for Alice? I'd be happy to tide you over…" I grin suggestively, putting my head down as I stare at him from under my eyelashes and make licking motions with my tongue. Yes kiddies, it's the Jazz and Edward show.

"Knock it off ." He snorts and cuffs me lightly across the back of the head. Oooh yes Jazz, hit me, hurt me. But mind the hair, I don't want to have to go and artfully muss it up all over again.

He didn't always play so hard to get. Time was…no, not the place to reminisce, not unless I want the entire school to see me with a massive hard on.

"I'm going for a smoke." I get up and stretch again, giving the assembled masses a pelvic grind to keep them alert, then saunter out to the parking lot near the woods. Leaning on the hood of the Volvo staring unseeing at the trees as I blow smoke rings and think about me and Jazz.

Friends since we were five, always getting into shit together. He was always the cavalry soldier hero, and I got tied to trees quite a bit, victim of Indian attacks and the like. And I did like, though I had no idea why at that stage. Then puberty hit and I was aware of him in a new way. Aware of boys and girls in a new way, alive with hormones.

First it was just the usual early adolescent stuff - looking at each other and comparing erections (his is thicker and shorter by half an inch, mine's longer and slightly thinner). Then jacking each other off to see how it felt.

It was never much more than that to Jazz, just fooling around, but I wanted a lot more, dreaming about him doing things to me I'd barely heard about, unclear longings troubling my days and nights and adding to Esme's laundry load.

Then one summer Saturday when we were both fifteen and very stoned on JD and several joints, lazing about on the floor in my room listening to CDs, I rolled him over on his back and kissed him, taking his hands in mine and pinning them to the floor beside his head, my hips grinding into his.

He struggled a little but he was too stoned not to be turned on, and after a while he relaxed into it and opened his mouth. He tasted so fine - whiskey and dope and salt and sweet and I pushed my tongue in to taste him better and he let me. And he let me kiss his ear and his neck as I slid my hands into his hair and across his chest. And he let me pull up his T-shirt and lick a trail down to his jeans. He was groaning softly, pressing up against me now and opening his legs as I slid down between them, and I was so hard it hurt, and so happy and excited I thought I'd die.

I licked and kissed the skin of his belly and hips along the top of his jeans, sticking my tongue into his navel as he shuddered under me. The trail of hair below almost undid me and I kissed it as I unfastened his jeans and opened them, sliding my tongue down to his cock and taking it into my mouth. He was hard, and I licked the salty slickness off the head of his cock and swirled my tongue around it and up and down the shaft, then I took him in my mouth and sucked. He gasped and bucked his hips up. I think he'd have come right then if we hadn't been half-drunk and stoned - thanks again, Jack.

My cock was aching so I undid my jeans and stroked myself as I held Jazz, licking and sucking him. I expect I was clumsy and inexperienced but all I remember is the magic of finally having him in my mouth all hot and hard, just as I'd dreamed. He whimpered then and quivered all over and I took him in as deeply as I could and sucked him and he came in my mouth. He tasted of salt with a slight bitter edge.

I came hard in my hand between his spread legs and then I pulled off my T-shirt and cleaned us up and kissed his belly, doing up his jeans again, and my own. I think I knew he'd need to feel safe as soon as the stoned lust wore off. I slid up beside him, lying in the crook of his armpit, drinking in his musky sweaty smell.

He lay there for a while breathing deeply, eyes shut, then he turned his head and looked at me with those big gray eyes.

"That was fun, but I'm not gay Edward." Straight to the point, that's my Jazz.

"Yeah I know. Thanks anyway. I don't know what I am, but that's covered quite a few of my better fantasies."

He grinned and reached for the JD and we lay there on the floor getting companionably drunk. I got to tongue-kiss him again one more time before he had to go home and do chores.

He let me do it again a few times across the next year, always when we were half-cut and stoned. I'd give him head and once or twice he jacked me off afterwards, and there was kissing and touching, but no more than that. I wanted more, but I had the sense not to push it.

I was developing my look across that year too, getting more confident and eyeing up other prospects at school. No-one appealed like Jazz, but some of the girls were shaping up OK and Mike Newton was begging for it. I gave in finally and fucked him even though he didn't really do it for me. I wanted to see what it would be like, and it was alright, but not a patch on fooling around with Jazz. Mike was irritating afterwards though and I had to make it clear that I wasn't interested in a relationship. Not with him or any of them…except Jazz. And I had Jazz, just not quite in the way I wanted.

Then when we were sixteen Jazz got it on with Alice. I mean we'd always hung out together, she's my sister after all and only six months older than Jazz and a class ahead, but when you're younger that makes a difference. Who knew that he was carrying a torch for her, he kept it quiet. So they started dating and that was the end of our make-out sessions.

I flick my butt into the undergrowth and sigh.

I've fucked several of the better-looking girls at school and a few more boys apart from Mike, and it's OK as far as it goes, which isn't very far. In the last few months I've started going to a gay club in Seattle where the doorman responds well to a folded C-note and doesn't do ID checks. That's led to some one-night stands where I've had fun and polished my skills, but it's all a bit empty. Or maybe that's just me.

I slip into the Volvo and check myself out in the rear-view mirror. Jazz hasn't fucked up the hair and the guyliner's still looking good. I gaze at my familiar face and blow myself a kiss. Pretty boy, one of the guys from the club called me. I don't seem to have any trouble charming the pants off most people I set my sights on, except for Jazz.

A gold ring in one ear and four silver studs in the other, curving up my earlobe. Green eyes. The decorations aren't strictly within the Forks High dress code but the staff give me more leeway than most, partly because Carlisle's a big-shot doctor, and partly as I unnerve half the teachers and charm the rest. Being a straight A student doesn't hurt either.

Haven't fucked a teacher yet so that's a possible goal for this year, to cut the boredom. Perhaps one of each sex, as a matched set?

A week later and we're in the lunchroom again ho hum. Except for Emmett who's off somewhere probably making out in a broom cupboard with his new squeeze Rosalie. Alice is back from her shopping trip in San Francisco with Esme so Jazz is happy, his arm around her, fooling with her breast until she slaps him off playfully.

Then I notice someone new across the room. She's talking to Jessica Stanley (been there, deeply average and unpleasantly clingy afterwards). I nudge Alice, social database extraordinaire.

"Who's the new girl?" Indicating her with my chin.

"Bella Swan - Isabella. Chief Swan's daughter. Just arrived from Phoenix to live with him. I sat with her in English and she seems nice. A little shy."

I stare at her. She's oddly pale for someone from Arizona, must have lived in a crypt or something. Her hair's dark brown, a thick mass around her face. She's lovely and I feel a surge of interest. At last, something to do.

Someone to do.

Then she looks over and stares back at me. Wide deep brown eyes rimmed with black and a serious expression, almost haunted. She's got an eyebrow stud and several rings and studs in her ears. Interesting. She's wearing a long-sleeved black top with a fringed brown leather waistcoat over it so not entirely a Goth look. Maybe Phoenix Goths have a cowboy edge to them.

She stands up to return to class and I see black jeans and brown cowboy boots. And a thick black leather belt with studs around her hips. Good and totally un-Forks-like dress-sense, so she looks like an alien species among the blue denim, pastel and sports labels. I watch her cute ass sway as she leaves the room. Oh yes Bella, Edward wants you.

And what Edward wants, Edward gets.

I don't see her again until Biology when she sits beside me because that's the only free seat. It's free because I like it that way, but I'll make an exception for Ms Swan.

She's even better close up. Delicate features and she smells somehow floral, and of fruit. I find I'm leaning in and inhaling as she tosses the mane of hair back and turns to look at me.

"Hello, I'm Edward Cullen and you're Bella Swan," I say politely, turning on the charm.

"Yes I did know that," she says, smiling wryly. "You're the doctor's spoiled brat son who fucks anything that moves, I gather."

I raise one eyebrow. "Oh please, I assume Stanley's been dishing the dirt. Sour grapes, believe me. I'm very choosy in fact." I give her the crooked smile, always a winner, and lean in further. "And I choose you," I whisper, soft so only Bella can hear me.

Her chocolate brown eyes turn dark as her pupils dilate. That's my girl, gotcha.

But she's not smiling now and neither am I as our eyes lock. I feel my breathing quicken and for some reason I can't look away. Get a grip Edward. I shake my head slightly, feeling dazed. My heart's racing and I want to brush her hair aside and kiss her neck. I want to take her hand and pull her outside and fuck her in the woods. My cock's hard, and all I can think about is this girl. What the fuck's going on?

Christ knows what the rest of the class is about. Something with microscopes and we take turns. I try and brush against her every chance I get, and when our hands touch a shiver goes through me. Jesus this is intense, it's like I'm on some mind-altering drug.

So fucking hard not to bury my face in her soft sweet hair when she leans across to peer into the eyepiece. My cock's in torment and I have to discreetly adjust myself once or twice. She notices and smirks at me, the knowing little bitch. It makes me want her more, if that's humanly possible.

Finally Banner releases us and I let her leave and just sit there shaken, until my dick subsides. I've never reacted like that to anyone before. Not even Jazz - but it's different with him, we've known each other forever.

She's gone by the time I get outside and I drive home with Alice and Emmett, unusually quiet as Alice prattles away about her day and Emmett puts his head back and nods off in the back seat.

I need to think.


Fucking rain. Jesus I hate Forks. I'm in bed and it's the first day of school and I just want to pull the covers up over my head and never leave my room.

But I don't because I'm a good girl and I have no goddamn choice. I can't go back to Phoenix so I have to live with Charlie.

I don't see how I'm going to survive at all but I drag myself into the shower and get dressed. I spent some time yesterday choosing what I was going to wear so as to cope with how shitty today's going to be. Being stared at, being analysed and discussed. I can feel myself start to tense up and hyperventilate at the thought so I do the breathing exercise Gillian taught me and it helps. Slightly.

I'm sad to have to stop seeing Gillian, she was a good therapist. And I'll miss the sun. But I won't miss Renee and I sure as shit won't miss Phil. Or James. My stomach ties itself in a knot and I do the breathing thing again to squash the James thoughts.

I put on a lot of eyeliner and mascara as a disguise - too raccoonish? Nah, fuck it. Charlie blinks at me when I get downstairs - I guess he's never seen me in full armour and warpaint before. But I need it to cope with scary old Forks High. God I'm pathetic.

Then I have to drive the ancient old truck Charlie bought for me. It's a stick shift of course, being from before the flood, and I crash the gears a few times before I calm down and remember the lesson he gave me yesterday.

Why in hell he couldn't get me an inconspicuous old Corolla automatic I do not fucking know. He really has no idea who I am at all. Probably as we never talk.

And it's bad. Not unbearable but it's pretty bad when I arrive and have to get out of the truck that suddenly seems like a haven not an eyesore. And I've totally misjudged it with the outfit which would fit right in at my old school, but here, to quote Chandler, I'm like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.

The rain gets all over me as I dash inside because I have no slicker - who needs one in Phoenix? So my hair goes completely fucking feral and I have to sit through the morning classes all damp and probably smelling like a wet dog. Could it get any better?

An airhead called Jessica chats with me but her smile never reaches her eyes, and a jerk called Mike tries to hit on me. He's trying too hard, probably gay or something. English is a little better as I get to sit next to a girl called Alice who seems a lot more genuine and friendly. Then we go off to different classes before lunch and I'm back with Jessica again in trig.

I end up sitting with Jessica and her friends at lunch because I don't know anyone and it would be so much worse to have to sit alone. I had no appetite at breakfast and I have none now, but I force down an apple and a soda so as not to faint and call even more attention to myself.

Jessica's gossiping about the kids around us, telling me who's a skank and who had to get treated for crabs. Mental note: do not let this bitch find out anything about me. I nod and smile and look vaguely around through my wild hair at the sea of Nike and Adidas clones.

The only ones that aren't in the same boring mold are across the other side of the room. One's Alice who I was with in English, and there are two guys with her. I study them surreptitiously. Alice is tiny but she's very pretty with well cut short dark hair that must take a lot of product to keep in that spiky do. Designer labels again, but better taste and a more romantic look.

She's with a big blonde who obviously wants to take her outside and have her up against a wall. His hands are constantly touching her and she doesn't mind a bit though she keeps him within bounds in public. It's kind of cute how into each other they are. He's a looker and a bit more alternative with a ratty Doors T-shirt and torn jeans, a plaid shirt hanging open and old scuffed sneakers.

The third guy's the really interesting one though. He's sprawled out, one of his long legs up on a nearby chair, staring out the window, fingers drumming impatiently on the table. He looks bored and he's incredibly hot with a beautiful arrogant face and red-brown hair that's perfectly disarranged.

His hair looks as though he just got thoroughly fucked in the back seat of someone's car, which is a possibility I guess but I doubt he'd be looking so irritable if that were so. He's wearing black boots, black cords and a fitted dark green shirt over a long lean body and I can see that he's got studs and shit in both ears. Oh right, he must be gay, that explains it.

I lean over to what's her name - Jessica Stanley, that's right.

"Jessica. Who are those three over there?" - trying to indicate them without pointing.

"The Cullens and their hangers-on. The two dark ones, they're Cullens. She's Alice and he's Edward. And the blonde's Jasper Whitlock, Alice's boyfriend. And Edward's as well would you believe. He fucks absolutely anything, he's a complete whore. Just last week I saw Edward feeling Jasper up right here in the lunchroom. Believe me - stay away from that one, cos who knows where his cock's been."

She giggles but she sounds bitter and I wonder what her history is with him. But she's off again, her eyes hard and her small mouth pursed.

"Edward thinks he's God's gift. Their father's Dr Carlisle Cullen at the hospital - now he's a hottie, almost worth getting a broken leg just to have him examine you. So anyway the Cullens're rolling in it and Edward gets away with murder cos he's like the youngest."

OK I'm intrigued now although he does sound like a piece of work and he looked every bit as full of himself as she's saying. I turn and look back at him, curious, and find he's staring right at me appraisingly, and I feel a chill run through me and the hair stands up on the back of my neck. I see that he's wearing eyeliner and it makes his stare more intense. He's stopped drumming his fingers and he doesn't look bored any more.

I feel like a bird trapped by a snake and I wrench my eyes away, starting to hyperventilate again. Jessica babbles on some more about trivial crap as I do the deep breathing again and try to pull myself together.

I don't dare to look at him again and it's time for class so I gather my things and escape, trying hard not to stumble even though my legs feel strange, like jelly. I can feel his eyes on my butt as I leave, but that's probably just me being paranoid. I often think people are watching me make a fool of myself when of course no-one actually gives a shit about me at all.

The afternoon goes much like the morning except I'm not damp any more even if the hair's still impossible. Then it's Biology and there's only one seat free, and just my stupid luck, it's next to Edward Cullen.

So I shake my hair around me and try to hide behind it but I can feel him looking at me and I decide this is ridiculous, I have to make some attempt to act normal.

I push the hair back and turn around to introduce myself like a sane person would, and he's right there, much closer than I'd expected, which throws me off a bit and I can't speak for a moment. So he takes over, Mr Smooth in person.

"Hello, I'm Edward Cullen and you're Bella Swan."

Yeah, I know who I am Edward but thanks for the reminder. "Yes I did know that." I guess he asked Alice about me. He's smirking at me insufferably so I just let rip. "You're the doctor's spoiled brat son who fucks anything that moves, I gather."

He does this eyebrow-raising thing, so gay. "Oh please, I assume Stanley's been dishing the dirt. Sour grapes, believe me. I'm very choosy in fact."

Then he gives me this quirky smile that's just so hot, the bastard, and he so knows it too, Jesus he's such a flirt. He leans in closer and he's whispering now.

"And I choose you" he says, staring at me.

Where the fuck does he get off saying that? Like do I get a choice in this? Asshole. Christ he's hot but he's such a controlling prick and he's the Forks High whore and I cannot go there again with a bastard like this, not again.

But he's staring at me with such hot green eyes and there's an odd look to him now like he's hungry and almost afraid, and we're both breathing fast and I try to slow it down but my fingers are tingling. I can't look away, and my mouth's open like a fool and I'm wet again but not from the rain now and I can't do this again, please God no.

The teacher Mr Banner snaps us out of it and we blunder through some science lab which thank Christ I did before in Phoenix so I don't have to think about it.

Which is just as well because I can't think, my brain's turned to custard and it's like my whole body's an antenna tuned to him and he keeps brushing against me and every time it's like electricity and I can't breathe. And he smells so good when he leans across for the microscope - like toffee and mint and spice and fucking. And I want to grab him and rip open his shirt and press my nose against his chest and just breathe him in until he fills me up.

I keep my hair between us as much as I can but he keeps leaning in and what the fuck's he doing? Is he inhaling me like I'm doing to him? I probably still smell like a damp dog and my panties are so wet between my legs I'm terrified he'll smell that too. I want to push him up against the lab bench and kiss him hard with my tongue in his mouth but that's the stupidest idea I ever had and believe me that's really saying something.

I see him adjusting his pants so I know he's turned on too, and suddenly I feel happy and powerful and I grin a little and his eyes narrow and he shakes his head as if to say just you wait. And that's pretty goddam scary so I panic and hide behind my hair.

Then it's over and I scrabble for my bag and just get out of there and run through the rain for the safety of my truck. And I lurch out of the parking lot crashing the gears and cursing, with tears in my eyes because I cannot do this shit again, I just can't.

And especially not with Edward fucking Cullen.


Hey – exciting news!

The extremely clever Eccentric Lisa (huge thanks!) has made a playlist of the music mentioned throughout Acting Out. It's in the order that the track or artist crops up in the fic. Here's the link - remember to replace the (dot) bits with real periods.