Love After Love

He's magic and myth; as strong as what I believe.

Plot Summary: Completely human! Bella and Edward go to the same school, live in the same ridiculously small town and their parents are best friends. Yet the two of them have never really hit it off. Edward is a serious player but somehow manages to retain his manners and is a genuinely nice guy. Bella has never even considered the possibility of becoming close to Edward, but when the two of them find themselves spending more time together, what will happen? Will Edward be able to change the way he is with girls? Will Bella make the necessary sacrifices to be with him?

A/N: Okay so I decided to write this story because I can't find a Twilight Fanfic that I really love. Love After Love is a poem that we study in England and it's basically about learning to love yourself after you've been burned by loving someone else and I thought it was a very fitting title for this story. It's a really beautiful poem and in many ways is my inspiration for this. Enjoy and review please!

Edward's luscious scent fanned across my face and I momentarily forgot the purpose of my visit. He was as beautiful as ever and I realised too late that the adjectives I thought of really didn't do him justice. His eyes, a piercing emerald, gazed deep into my own yet I got the feeling that he wasn't intending to stun me; he was completely unaware of his magnificence- perhaps his most appealing feature.

"Er ... is your mom home?" I stuttered, blushing furiously. He gave a small chuckle.

"Still as flustered as always, Bella?" His voice was soft, tender. It was a rhetorical question, because to say that I didn't get flustered was like saying that Jellyfish were vertebrates.

"Er, yes". It seemed like everything I would say to him would begin with hesitation on my part. His plump lips formed a slightly off centre smirk and he moved to one side of the doorway, gesturing inside.

"I'll tell Esme that you're here; she'll be delighted". I smiled shyly as I stepped past his slender body. Time hadn't altered his perfect musculature either and his grey V-neck hung across his toned stomach nicely. The blush deepened and he seemed to notice. "It's been a long time since we've seen you here, Bella. What is the cause of this rarity?" As always, he was perfectly articulated and spoke with an accent that was impossible to place.

"My dad sent me round with an invitation for your folks," I muttered bitterly. This was a favour that I was determined to be rewarded for; my parents knew how difficult it was to retain my sanity around Edward.

"An invitation?" His faultless face was puzzled and his lips pouted slightly.

"Yeah, my mom is throwing a 45th for my dad and she said she'd love it if you could all be there". Edward smiled crookedly at me.

"Nice, Emmett's been rooting for a party for ages!" His enthusiasm was catching and I found myself laughing almost hysterically. We were walking at an impossibly slow pace down his impossibly long hallway. In an attempt to speed us up, Edward placed his hand against the small of my back and guided me into the kitchen. My heart was in my throat. His mother, a raven haired beauty, was leaning against their breakfast bar seemingly deep in thought. She glanced up once and then did a slight double take.

"Bella Swan? My God, I was just saying to your mother the other day that I barely see you anymore". Her arms wrapped around me and I found myself suddenly very comfortable despite where I was.

"Yeah, I've had so much to catch up on at school; I'm rarely out of my room these days". Edward grinned beside me.

"Translation- Bella lost all means of a social life a while ago". His ringing laugh soothed me yet I knew I should be seething at his comment. Esme shot him a warning glance. Edward and I had never really been great friends. We smiled at one another in the corridors, sometimes even speaking if there weren't many people around, but there was just something about him that really pissed me off. I wasn't entirely sure what it was but I had a feeling it was his arrogance. Edward was a nice guy- seventeen, well spoken and drop-dead gorgeous- but he knew it and that was his downfall. To less shallow girls than myself, this only made him impossibly irresistible, but to me, it simply made him irritating. His snide remark about my social life, or lack thereof, was below the belt in my eyes. He didn't know the first thing about me, yet he felt the need to embarrass me still. I was only grateful that he was never like this at school.

"I suppose Edward's right," I admitted cynically, "I should sort my priorities out". Esme gave a motherly smile. "Anyway, to cut to the chase, my mom is throwing a 'do' for my dad's 45th birthday and I know she'd love it if you and Carlisle could be there". Edward's parents and my own had a strange relationship. We all lived in the minute town of Forks, Washington where everybody knew everybody else and their pets. Even so, my parents struggled to make even so much as a fortnightly trip to the Cullen's house because of 'bigger concerns' yet they all claimed to be best friends. The unusual truce between them only made tension between Edward and me stronger; we didn't know whether to be close or not. On the rare occasion that I'd actually had a decent conversation with him, he'd admitted he wasn't sure whether we could class as friends or not. This hadn't annoyed me; I felt exactly the same way. Esme's answering grin was animated, though I thought genuinely so.

"Bella! That's lovely, tell them! Carlisle and I were saying yesterday that we'd come down to see the lot of you next week, but I suppose this party will serve as a perfect rendezvous. Make sure you let them know we'll be there, I'll give Renee a call later, sort everything out". She walked away muttering excitedly. I smiled shyly at Edward; it was just the two of us in the kitchen. He was leaning casually against a pale, white wall, his long legs stretched in front of him. He flexed them slightly before standing straight.

"I suppose I'd best escort you out, huh Swan? If you fall near Esme's new crystal, she'll kill you herself," he teased. I didn't retort because he knew rightly just how clumsy I was. I walked silently alongside him, past the priceless antiques and treasures that his hallway held. After a second or so of my slow pace, he bent his head slightly so that we were on the same level. "You're different, Swan," he accused, "I saw you on Friday, and in the space of two days, you've changed". My face formed the same puzzled structure that his had earlier, only much less beautiful, I was sure.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Don't ask me to explain myself," he chuckled, "I don't even know what I'm talking about myself. But you just seem different somehow". I shrugged nonchalantly. He raised his head back up to its normal peak of 6'1". "I guess I'll see you tomorrow then, Swan". I would have been annoyed that he was being so impersonal by using my surname, but I couldn't even remember what that surname was as he pierced my eyes again. I walked through his titanic front door and down his driveway. "Oh, yeah, Bella?" I recognised the first use of my name. I paused and turned back to him. He was leaning cockily against the doorframe. "I'll pick you up, give you a ride. Your truck looks more deadbeat every day". He gave a last crooked smile and retreated into his home. It took me a while to remember how to walk.

Okay, so I hope you like it. I know it isn't too exciting, but let me know what kind of things you'd like to see in the next few chapters and I'll update as soon as I can, taking your ideas into consideration. Ask if there's anything you don't understand. Thanks!