Hey guys! This is my first Twilight fanfic, I'm just going to have some fun with it. I really hope you enjoy it. Hopefully it will turn into the incredibly sweet romance I'm cooking up in my head. PLEASE REVIEW! Thanks so much!
(I don't own Twilight. As much as I'd love to own Edward Cullen.)
I listened to my brown leather boots scuff across the pavement as I started the hike up to my apartment building. I didn't mind walking. It was September in Forks and I could smell the change in the air, I could feel it wrap around me with a new crispness. It was my favorite time of year. Time to pull out flannel pajamas and my favorite denim jeans.
I was finally living on my own. Charlie, God love him, as much as he had insisted I could always stay with him, I knew it was time to find my own place when he and Sue Clearwater hit it off. I was just finishing my senior year at the local community college when Sue made her appearances more frequent at the house. It made my heart warm to see my father turn into a shy gentleman around her. His eyes came to life when she came into the room, and his hands constantly sought the warmth of hers.
It was so good to see him so happy. It gave me hope to know that real love could happen twice in a lifetime - for both of them. When I graduated from college, I knew it was time to give my dad the space he and Sue needed. I wanted this happiness for him. I didn't want him to worry about me.
I had tied down a job working as an art therapist for kids with special needs. Every day I made the same trek down to the Rec center near the middle of town. I lived for my work. It didn't pay much, and most people didn't consider it to be a career, but there was something about it that filled me. Most of the children I worked with were autistic and struggling for a way to communicate and express themselves. Art seemed to be the answer.
I had formed close relationships with the children and with their families. It was this aspect of living in a small town that I was in love with. When I was first living by myself, I was thrilled to open my door to these families, bringing me plates of hot food during the holidays and checking in on me. People knew who I was. I was Bella Swan. I cared about this town, and they cared about me.
Life was simple and beautiful. I liked it this way. Some would look at the life I had made for myself and wonder how I got by in my tiny apartment, living in what most people considered to be the slum-side of town, without a car, and sometimes without heat. But I managed, and I was happy. Lonely sometimes, but fulfilled.
I was smiling to myself as I came closer and closer to Moss Apartments - home sweet home. I was flicking through the digital camera I had borrowed from the Rec Center, looking at the kids' latest art work. I thought of all the progress Noah had made, the spirit in Molly's finger paints, and the sweet smile little Aiden now used to light up the room after months of hiding in a corner. My feet knew the steps of the apartment building by heart. My bag of art supplies rattled slightly as I hopped each one and made my way to the elevator without even an upward glance. A familiar voice called my name.
"Bella!" came the warbling voice of my neighbor, Mrs. Faye. She was an elderly woman, short and round, with the smile of an angel and full pink cheeks. She sat in her wheel chair with the posture of a queen and warmth in her eyes as she called to me. I immediately smiled as I turned to greet her. I was alarmed to see her aid wasn't with her.
"Mrs Faye! What are you doing all by yourself? Where did Annie go?"
Annie was Mrs. Faye's live in nurse. She was prone to disappearing for a cigarette and leaving Mrs. Faye trapped in her wheel chair and without help. The carelessness of that woman! I thought to myself. Several times in my first year living at Moss I had found Mrs. Faye by herself in the lobby or just out of reach from the bathroom in her apartment. It was how we had first met. Mrs. Faye's mind was in and out of the present, so thankfully, she usually didn't notice when Annie had abandoned her.
"Annie? Oh I don't know my dear. Arthur and I were having tea when I lost my green glass earring....I can't imagine where it's run off to...." she bent her neck down to look around for an earring I knew she wouldn't find. Arthur was her husband, who had been dead for nearly 15 years. The green glass earrings had been a gift from him on their wedding night. Often when I came over to check on her in the morning she would ask me if I had seen them.
"Why don't we get in the elevator Mrs Faye. I'll help you look for your earring when we get to your apartment." I said softly, smiling down at her sweet face. We took good care of each other. We kept each other company, living alone the way we did. I cursed Annie in my head for being such an awful excuse for a competent nurse.
"Oh would you my dear?! That would be lovely. I don't know what I will tell Arthur if I can't find them...." she wrung her hands with those last words, her head still bent towards the ground, searching, as I wheeled her towards the ancient elevator. It broke my heart to see her search for pieces of a past she could never get back. As we made our way into the building's ancient elevator I heard a new sound rise above Mrs. Faye's mumbling. There were loud foot steps coming towards us. I figured someone was running to catch the elevator.
Without looking up, I situated Mrs. Faye's wheel chair in the elevator and instinctively reached out to catch the door for this frantic stranger. I looked out into the lobby to see the man sprinting towards us. His auburn hair blew in the cold fall breeze created by the closing doors behind him. His green eyes were filled with panic as he struggled to get to our elevator. Just behind him, outside the front doors, was a mob of shouting men with giant cameras and flashing bulbs. Paparazzi? We're in Forks for Christssake! Who is this man?
I pulled Mrs. Faye's chair protectively closer towards me and stood in front of her, shielding her from the mysterious, scrambling man. He flew into the elevator and clutched the wall, his momentum diminished. He turned quickly, reaching past me and jamming buttons until he found the one that closed the heavy doors.
I felt like I had seen him before. But where? He was an absolutely stunning human being of that I was certain - and I had barely seen his face yet. He was bent over, hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. His jeans stretched over his lean legs...his broad shoulders moving in time with his breath under his jean jacket...
"Thank you," he breathed, turning his face in my direction. He was utterly gorgeous. His chiseled features weren't harsh like most male models and actors. There was a softness to his face that made me feel warm. His green eyes were mesmerizing. I nodded my head in response, unable to form words.
I was suddenly frantic. I had no idea who he was. How embarrassing. I had to start keeping up with the times. I hadn't been to the movies in ages with a budget like mine. I didn't read gossip magazines when I was content with my extensive library of books lining my tiny apartment. Nerd.
"Bella honey, I'm terribly thirsty..." I heard Mrs. Faye sigh. I snapped to the present and immediately check the pocket in the back of her chair for a bottle of water. I opened the velcro pouch, intent on not staring at this stranger like a drooling fan. I fumbled around, looking for a water bottle. Clumsily, I dropped the contents of the pocket and cursed under my breath. I picked up a pack of Annie's cigarettes, and Faye's pills. Lying underneath her water bottle was Annie's stack of magazines. I stopped for a moment and picked up the one on top, hoping that maybe it would give me a clue as to who this breathtaking being in front of me was.
Sure enough, the face on the cover of Annie's latest entertainment magazine matched that of the stranger beside me. I knew I had seen him before. The water bottle rolled out of my grasp, only to be caught by the stranger beside us, who kindly handed it to Mrs. Faye. Before I could speak, the lights overhead in the elevator flickered and floor beneath us lurched violently. Crap. The red emergency light flashed and I came to the horrifying realization. I was trapped in an elevator with none other than Hollywood's rising movie star, Edward Cullen.