I am re-writing. Clark Gable-Postal Service, filtered through my big kid headphones as I edited this.
Chapter 2 "Sway."
Rose decided not to come to school on Friday. It wasn't like she had anyone forcing her to. She lived on her own in a big apartment complex. Her neighbours weren't particularly polite and she lived next to a deaf lady who had six cats. As a child Rose had done some modelling. Her parents had embezzled some of the money and so as of her sixteenth birthday, Rose had been emancipated from them.
Rose loved the independence; it made her feel older than her eighteen years.
Charlie, my father, refused to let me stay the night. I was to be picked up or dropped off before 2am. Yes I still had a curfew; I think on some unconscious level it was my father's way of proving to my mother he was a good father despite his absence in the first twelve years of my life. Alice's parents had no qualms, she was allowed out as late as she wanted. Actually I don't even think her parents were aware of Alice when she was home. Her parents thought she should be locked away and heavily medicated. Rose and I just felt she needed a good talking to when she got out of hand. So Alice spent more time at Rose's than her own. It made me jealous. The two of them had met before I entered the picture and it seemed to be just another thing the two of them shared.
But then again, Rose had chosen to message me. I understood on some deeper level because although I loved Alice like a sister, she had a flair for the dramatics which made telling her secrets a pain in the arse. Perhaps it's because Rose thought I'd relate better. Whatever the reason;
Rose deciding to skip school the next day meant one thing; avoidance.
You see, I had planned on kidnapping her in Alice's car, getting the truth out of her before the nine o'clock bell. She knew me alas she knew I'd be thinking along these lines. But she messaged just after two am.
In response, the guilt had over whelmed me, I'd bitten all my nails to the quick and I'd barely slept. I had dark bags under my eyes. Alice had offered to fix them. I told her to get lost. She didn't really appreciate it. I didn't dare let her know about Rose's text message.
What does one say?
'oh by the way Alice, Rose thinks she loves someone other than the delicious fuckhot lead singer she's dating?'
And also, it was quite possible I have the teeniest crush on him.
Well, if I was honest to myself. It wasn't possible. It was reality.
Oh god, there was no way I could tell Alice. Yet there was no way I could lie if she asked straight out. Alice wasn't stupid either. Friday morning, she had picked up the fact I knew something she didn't. At first, she actually accused me of having a relationship with Edward. She said the way we looked at each other was eerie, like we had known each other before then. I giggled uncomfortably. I hated how her words made hope spring in my chest and how much I rejoiced at her accusations. Instead, I reminded her of Jake. So she moved on and the secret conspiracy theories leaped to a pregnant Rose. I had felt mildly sick before snorting while drinking coffee.
It wasn't a good reaction.
While I was recovering from practically third degree internal burns, Rose, did however call. It was during my free third period. I was in the library and I had to hurry out. The librarian was a calming elder lady; who wore her hair in a tight bun, called me pet, helped me with any research I needed but wouldn't hesitate to toss me out if she caught me talking on my mobile inside. Rose was prattling on about some party that the Cullen's were having that night. I didn't want to go. I wouldn't know anyone. And I was unsure how many more ways I could embarrass myself in front of the band. The squishy feelings I felt in my stomach at the prospect of seeing Edward again had me wondering how I'd react.
Rose wasn't listening though.
"You have to come! You met Edward last night, Bella, so it's not like you don't know anyone."
"So? That doesn't mean I am automatically invited to one of his band mates party things."
She sighed loudly. "It does so! He said I could invite whoever. I want you to get along well with him Bella." I felt a wave of unease wash over me. Why did she want me to get along well with Edward?
"Well Rose, I embarrassed myself in front of him last night. And I also have the whole guilt festing about your text declaration…."
"Yeah…well, Emmett will be at this party so please come. I want you to meet him."
"It doesn't work like that Rose! I can't meet the boyfriend and one you love….please tell me nothing has happened between you and Emmett?"
She let out a coy little chuckle. "Bella, you know me."
I tried to take a deep breath but I couldn't. I tried to make sense of my own rambling but I don't think I could. "Exactly! How could you! To look is one think, but to touch! Fuck you know what it was like for Alice to be on the receiving end of that Ryan's cheating ways…You can't expect me to be cool with this. What am I meant to do Rose? I am forced to keep your dirty little secret, why did you tell me? Of all people…do you want me to crumble in front of him? Did you want me to blurt it out suddenly at the most awkward time?"
"Jesus. Someone has their panties in a bunch."
"I don't, sometimes I'd wish you'd grow up and stop treating people like your toys…I just think you should consider how Edwa-"
"Edward? You think I should be worried about that selfish bastard? HA! Bella haven't you been listening to me? The way he treats me is disgu-"
"Why does it always have to be about you Rose? Why? What has Edward done for you to cheat on him with his band mate? What? Because from where I stand, all you're concerned about is how this affects you!"
"Fuck Bella, you seem far more concerned with Edward than I'd thought possible…" she was silent for a moment, my heart thumped in my chest. I honestly felt sick for Edward. I was mad at Rose for treating him that way, I was mad that she was letting such an opportunity go to waste. I wanted to be sick. Why was I reacting to her news like this? "Shit Bella, you like him don't you?"
"No." Fuck my life. I answered far too quickly. Too certain. Too obvious. She knew. She fucking knew.
"You do to! Oh my god. This is fucking fantastic. Well I don't share, so get over it."
"Rose, he is not a play thing!" I wanted to stamp my foot but it already felt enough like primary school.
"Well, he is my boyfriend. And I say, you can't have him." I didn't really know how to respond. For starters, she had no real claim. And secondly, why would she bother telling me this, clearly I had no chance anyway, what did it matter.
"What? Rose what are you talking about? You're the one cheating on him!"
"I don't care. I want you to come tonight to meet Emmett."
"Well I don't want to meet him Rose. Plus, Charlie won't let me go. He said I was late back last night so…."
"Have Alice ask him. You know he can't refuse."
I bit my lip. She was right. But I really didn't want to go. I didn't want to hang out with Edward, when I knew what Rose was doing. Meeting the other guy wasn't something I felt I was cut out for. I wasn't a soap opera drama type person. I wasn't built that way. That was Alice. Not me. So I answered with the only acceptable response in Rose's book. "I have plans already."
"With Jacob Black?" it was an excuse I had. I rarely used it and I hated lying to Rose, however this called for it.
"Yes Rose, with Jake so….'
"Jeez you could have just said I plan on having sex with my fuck buddy. BUT I will text you the address in case you change your mind." She hung up abruptly. I felt shell shocked. The jealousy knife cut deeper, leaving me perplexed. If I 'had' Jake, why did I care about Edward so much?
How does one explain the confusing relationship I had with Jacob Black? Jake was I suppose, my second real boyfriend. Second, only to Michael who dumped me after I refused to have sex with him. Michael was a filler guy. And at first, I'd thought Jake was the real thing.
He was in a band. They were bloody good, not as good as 'The Cullen's but those boys had a few years on Jake. They performed at local places, much like Edward did. After the initial month, it slowly became obvious to me that Jake had never asked me out nor did he refer to me as his girlfriend. We had met through an ex of Rose. We hung out, listened to the same music, laughed at our mutual love of horror films and played lawn bowls on the reservation. Jake and I had some weird bond that made us best friends. He understood some parts of me better than Rose or Alice.
On my 16th birthday last year, Jake had told me he liked me. In my eyes, our friendship was purely platonic. When he told me it became fuck awkward. I ditched him a lot and tried to put space between us. He didn't like me cutting him out of my life and he eventually talked me into trying. We didn't have a relationship as such, because it seemed like our friendship had just escalated.
I had decided one late night that committing to Jake more would make the relationship seem real. Perhaps it would fill the void I had when I saw Rose date boy after boy, or when Alice would call me at 2am declaring she'd met 'the one.' Jake had taken my virginity exactly two months after we had begun what I referred to as "semi -dating." And now, he still wasn't my boyfriend in the traditional sense, he wasn't even my lover though Rose called him that. Jake was Jake. A guy who I had a good time with, a guy I slept with occasionally but spent more time just hanging out with. Maybe it was because he was also in a band and constantly surrounded by groupies, maybe it was because he didn't get along with Alice or Rose, maybe it was because our past had been based on a plutonic friendship, maybe it was because he had to 'talk me into dating him,' maybe it was because we got along so well; but Jake made me happy, not ecstatic.
The 'relationship' always seemed one sided. Rose claimed he chased me like a dog in heat. Alice tried to be a bit more understanding but she really didn't like him. Their feelings were mutual. Like Charlie, Jake said that Rose was a bad influence. And something about Alice rubbed him the wrong way. Therefore, the four of us never hung out. I separated my friends. I kept him away from them.
I tried not to read anything into it, when he answered on the second ring, on a Friday night at eight pm. He should have been in band practice. I worried he'd been waiting for my call. He whined when he heard my reasons for calling.
"You said you didn't want to catch up, so I made plans Bells." Damn.
"Oh, yeah…I changed my mind…But its fine."
He took a frustrated breathe. "Did you want me to change my plans then?"
"No Jake, don't worry about it. I'll call Alice, maybe she wants to do something."
"Are you sure? It's just band practice….I'd invite you over like usual but no chicks allowed." I heard the beginnings of an argument in the background, the boys hated when he dismissed their practices. Or when I attended and 'distracted' him.
"Jake its fine."
"Ok…You're coming tomorrow though right….maybe you can stay over?"
"Yes I am coming…I still have to ask Charlie but I said I would…Maybe, I'll stay…see ya then, bye Jake."
'Bye babe." I shivered when he hung up.
The night stretched on before me.
By nine thirty I was antsy. I changed my clothes, wrote a note to Charlie (he was on his night shift,) and skipped off to the address Rose had sent me. I called a cab, keen on drinking. Perhaps that would take the edge of Edward's looks.
The music was loud. Nothing new for a party. I knocked on the door. Some girl let me in; she looked me up and down. I was nervous as all fuck. I hadn't known what to wear so I'd thrown on Jake's band t-shirt. My jeans were tight and I needed new ones. And I'd worn my security blanket which Alice hated; my leather jacket. It was casual sure. But honestly, I didn't care anymore. This girl was in a dress, a cliché red cup was in her hand. I felt underdressed. I cringed when I remembered the plastic bag I held, holding the booze Jake had bought me last week. I didn't recognise anyone else. I spotted Edward's bronze hair from the door. I lie; I was drawn to Edward like some crazy light and moth affect. He was tucked up in the corner with a blonde guy. He was wearing a leather jacket. He looked just as beautiful as the night before. I took a deep breath to prevent the same reaction as last night.
Feeling anxious, I glanced at my phone and messaged Rose. Where are you? I'm here. I steered myself towards Edward expecting him to know where she'd be. My phone vibrated in my hand at the very last second.
I am at home. Where are you exactly?
I felt the regret wash over me. Fuck. I knew I shouldn't have come.
Rose, what the fuck does that mean? You're joking right? I am at the party, YOU INVITED ME TO!
I turned; ready to walk back out the door and run home hiding under my bed when his head snapped up. A puzzled look washed over his features. I shot him the nervous, lip bitten smile. The type that projected the 'fuck my life' emotions I was currently feeling.
He mouthed "Bella." I smiled in retaliation and his face broke into a crooked grin.
Suddenly my abrupt departure seemed foolish. Imagine if I had missed that smile.
He took a step closer to speak to me I guess. The draw I had to him was creeping me out but it was unstoppable. There was a static in the air. The blonde haired guy who was next to Edward shot me a strange look; I think he was trying to place me. In retaliation I gave him another anxious grin. He shrugged his shoulders and turned around.
What the hell was I doing here? How was I meant to explain to Edward that I wasn't some crazy fan that decided to crash the party without the invitee? I wanted to hit Rose. At this point, I'd settle for Verbal assault. After last night's message and today's phone conversation, she owed me, and now? Two favours. I smirked at the possibilities. Then I remembered the very attractive lead singer that was currently standing in front of me, questioning me with his looks.
"Hey Edward…Rose invited me and I only just found out she bailed like twenty seconds ago…." I trailed off. He nodded. I nodded in retaliation. He gestured to his cup, I nodded. He held up two fingers, signing he'd be back in a second. Fat chance. There was no way I was going to wait for him in a room full of strangers. I shook my head. He took a deep breath before leaning in close to my ear.
The hyper awareness of him in my personal space scared me. Shockwaves of butterflies filled my stomach. I wanted to slap myself. "Fine, follow me, just stay close ok? James is here and I really don't want to deal with him."His voice was love. Rougher than on stage last night. He smelt of liquor. Cigarettes. Booze. And boy.
I was suddenly glad Rose wasn't here. I shook my head, to get out of the daze.
"James?"I questioned. His green eyes drilled in to mine.
"Please, don't ask." He grabbed the plastic bag from my hand, I blushed. His fingers slid into mine, grasping tightly. He lent closer again. "Onwards through the masses." I took an uneasy gulp. I wanted to ask if he was quoting Orwell, or some other writer, but I couldn't find the words. We stared at each other for a second. He shook his head slightly and pulled me in the direction of the kitchen.
There were less people in the kitchen. When the door revolved shut behind us it was quieter, the music became a soft thump. The guitarist with a giant 'C' stood in front of a blender. He looked perplexed. A short girl with long light brown hair stood next to him. She was animatedly waving her hands around describing actions for the blender. Edward lent back into my ear, though it was pointless, I could have heard him without it. Goosebumps prickled the back of my neck.
"Carlisle's soul mate," I scoffed in retaliation. He shrugged. I got lost looking at him again. He smirked. I felt stupid.
"BELLA?" my name was screeched by Carlisle's soul mate. Edward's hand tightened in mine just as I recognised the voice.
"Esme?" Rushing at me, I was suddenly encompassed in her little arms. She was muttering over and over "I can't believe you're here." On about the fifth reassurance I realised she was quite drunk. And most definitely as high as a kite.
Esme didn't let go of my arm for the next ten minutes. She literally dragged me over to Carlisle whose eyes seemed glazed over unless he focussed on her.
My introduction was quite simple. "Carlisle, this is Bella she was in my English class. She is great. I didn't know she was coming." I laughed unashamedly as Carlisle's eyes grew in size. He was probably wondering why he'd never heard of me before. I grinned back sheepishly. He held out his hand and I shook it.
"Carlisle Cullen." I wondered if that's where the name of the band had come from. I figured it was as a good time as any to find out.
"As in the Cullen's?"
He nodded like one of those dogs that bounced on your dashboard. His body twisting towards Esme without any thought. "Yep. I am the only actual Cullen. Eddie's a Masen. Technically Emmett's a McCarthy...he changed his name when our parentals married…though both go by the surname Cullen also. They think its rad."
I felt Edward's presence next to me. He pinched the bridge of his nose, "Edward not Eddie, Carlisle." They both laughed boyishly. Goosebumps erupted up my arms. Edward continued, "Carlisle, I knew she was young, but hell Bella's year? Jesus." I felt my stomach drop.
As she had done the entire year of English, Esme came to my rescue. "Shut it Masen. Bella is the smartest girl ever. Anyway, I am two years older; she skipped a year."
"What?" his joking demeanour was gone. He looked at me, trying to decipher what Esme was talking about. I felt about five centimetres high. Here I was, the nerdy kid, talking to the fuckhot lead singer of an amazing band, who just happened to be dating my best friend and we were talking about how I was more intelligent than the normal kids my age.
"It's true. I was in an accelerated course…that's why I am still only 17."
His eyes widened in shock. I nervously bit my lip and fidgeted with my jacket's sleeve. "You're only 17! I thought you'd at least be Rose's age…"
"Nah, I skipped a year when I was fifteen and then last year I did what would have been two years above me English…it's kind of complicated and not really party conversation." I tacked the end bit on, hoping he'd drop the subject.
Carlisle smirked. "She's like the English you, Masen."
It was my turn to question. "What?"
Edward smiled at me. "Oh, I did my final year of music like you…it was two years up on me."
"Oh. I have…never expected…no wonder you're amazing on the stage." He laughed nervously. His hands ran through his hair.
"You've seen me perform once."
"Yeah, but I've been to a lot of gigs. And you guys were…I have no words." Edward grinned widely, like my opinion was worth something.
Carlisle muttered a thanks. He swung Esme's hand back and forth in front of us.
Esme started kissing Carlisle then, cooped up in the dimly lit kitchen, with the 'soul mates' and Edward, became quite awkward. And in true Bella style, I started giggling like the child I was. Edward raised his eyebrows at me, after passing me a drink.
Edward nudged my arm. He gestured a smoke. I nodded. Delusional in his presence, I would have followed him anywhere. He took me outside. We sat in the cold air on porch steps, watching the stars and drinking my cheap booze from a plastic cup. We giggled like children as we became drunker and higher. We shared smokes and stories. I worried he was being a bad host. He shrugged it off.
I felt guilty. I liked him. More than I should. More than Jake. I wanted him. He was Rose's boyfriend. The butterflies catapulted around my stomach.
"So you're Rose's best friend?" he must have been psychic. How else would he know what I was thinking about?
"Unless you ask Alice." I laughed. He laughed. The air was tense. He was holding something back.
"Does she..." he trailed off, "a lot?" how was I meant to answer. Rose was Rose. You knew what you were getting into.
I went for the politest term I could think of. "Date?" he nodded. I sighed. "You're her first musician."
"Hers….so does that mean you date muso's?" Something tainted his voice. If I couldn't pinpointed it but the booze told me it was jealously. Perhaps, hope also told me that. He took a long drag of the smoke. I thought about the question, Jake made my stomach flip. I did not want to discuss him.
"Why would you be interested in who I date Edward?"
"Just being nice Bella." He had another motive; I could hear it in the way he asked me.
"Oh." I didn't know how to answer. "Is Rose your type?"
"Why would you be interested in who I date Isabella?"
I bit back the sarcasm as much as I could. "Just being Nice Edward." He grinned. A sour look crossed his face.
"She was." The coolness of the porch washed over me. It was like a bucket of water being thrown over me. It wasn't in what he had said. But the past tense. We both knew.
He inhaled deeply. He took a sip of his drink. I took a gulp of mine. We sat in silence. His fingers wrapped around the label, and he fidgeted with it. In my mindset, it was a nervous action. He gazed up at me, "What do you think about Rose and I?"
I closed my eyes tightly. Anything to avoid his stare. I answered quickly and quietly. "No comment."
Silence penetrated our easy comradeship.
"Wow…That sounds promising….listen I know Rose and I have a fairly unconventional thing going on…but if she wanted out, she'd tell me straight away right?" Emmett's name was on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to spill. It was like Edward could sense the guilt seeping off me and had decided if Rose wouldn't say anything, surely I would. "The silence makes it worse you know...if I wanted out, I'd let her know. I'm sure I'd need a good reason though. Like some sort of guarantee…fuck." I still didn't answer.
My heart was thumping away.
Taking a deep breathe I put on the best friend shoes. The cop out. The good girl. The liar. "Edward, I am not the one you should talk to about this. I advise Rose on things I don't know anything about…my advice is find out what she means to you and vice versa."
"Bella, just tell me the truth. What was the last thing you said to her about 'us,' I know you're the best friend and I know this is Rose. And I'm the lead of a band. Neither of us wants anything serious." I stood up. He stood up. In the darkness we were facing each other but I couldn't look him in the face.
"Fine, you want my blunt truth?"
"Yes." He sounded sure.
It was the alcohol. That was the only excuse. "The last time I spoke to her, I told her I wanted you to break up." I bit my tongue immediately and tasted copper blood.
"Break up with me?" I nodded. Silence clung to the darkness. I wanted to turn the light on, but it was too far out of my reach. Edward shuffled closer. I backed into the railing. "Why would you want Rose to break up with me?" he took another step.
My voice dropped to a chill. "No comment." Now he was close. Too close. I couldn't move back anymore. I didn't know if I wanted to. I tried to take a deep breath. It didn't work, all I could sense was Edward. All I could hear was Edwards breathing. I inhaled his scent as he stood in front of me. A mix of my leather jacket, his smell and booze and cigarettes. Not for the first time I was mesmerised by his presence. He put his arms down on the railing, on either side of me, he was locking me in.
"What are you doing?" my voice quivered. Edwards face came closer. I put my hands behind me, not anywhere near his. And I, myself gripped the wood, desperately hoping to find something to cling onto that wasn't Edwards's hair, that wasn't Edwards's face, that wasn't Edward. His lips smirked up and I could only watch them. His eyes bore into mine. Shit. Focus. Rose. Rose. Edward is Rose's boyfriend. Rose. Rose. Rose. It was no use. He was so close. His face was coming closer. I felt the adrenaline propel through my body, I wanted, no, I needed to kiss him.
"I know you can feel it to Bella." I nodded. We needed no words. It was the stupid connection thing I had sensed all night. It was the stupid desire I had in my body that had existed since the first moment I had seen him. It was the lust, the need and the want to be with him. Edward wasn't Rose's, not in the way I was connected to him. And I knew it wasn't just some crush. Or maybe it was. But it didn't feel like that. My face inched closer to his. We were both wearing subtle smirks. We both knew it was wrong. It wasn't fair to Rose. It wasn't fair to Edward. But it was out of our control now. I didn't care what Rose had said about his lousy reputation. I didn't care. To me this was it. And just as we were about to kiss, a car door slammed out the front of the house.
I thought I heard movement. The mood was broken, I pulled myself sideways. Away from his gaze. Away from him. I slumped down on the steps. I fiddled around for my drink. Grasping its edges I took a drink. I stared out towards the yard.
I watched him from my peripherals. I didn't know if I was relieved or devastated. My heart wouldn't slow down for me to decide. Edward stayed standing. He ran his hand through his hair. He gripped onto the ends of it. He muttered something and stormed inside. I closed my eyes in frustration.
He came out with two more drinks about ten minutes later.
"We'll behave alright?" I nodded. We both understood it couldn't happen. He gritted his teeth and launched into a story about Carlisle attempting to make pina coladas inside. I laughed at all the right moments. But something was off. We were both on our best behaviour. Without me realising it, at some time, he had gripped onto my hand.
We didn't talk about Rose. It seemed to be an unspoken decision. I wondered how he felt before he performed. I wondered what it felt like to perform. If he got nervous.
He used his fingers to trace shapes on the back of my hand. The cold air caused us to huddle closer together and the unconscious touching seemed to elevate my heart rate. Made the emotions that were filling me up, scream at fool force. He was humming softly. His eyes closed. A smile on his face.
"What's it like up there?" He didn't need to ask what. He knew what I was referring to. The grin on his face stretched. A look of contentment deepened. His hands didn't cease the patterns on mine.
"Live music is everything. Everything comes to life. Performing is...everything in the room suddenly hits me. It's a rush I guess."I didn't feel the need to respond. Because I knew exactly what he was talking about? I'd seen it on his face when he was up there. I got a similar feeling when I stood in crowds.
Esme and Carlisle eventually joined us. Esme filled us in on the antics of the pina colada saga. This time I laughed because I was there, listening. Carlisle explained the moment he met Esme and 'just knew.' The music from inside thumped away. I also told them I felt bad, taking them away from the party. They all shrugged and said, they'd rather be here anyway. He talked about composing. And performing. He took my phone away and added his number. I stole Esme's and took photos. The night was unreal. I never wanted it to end.
I felt sick because I had almost kissed him.
And he was dating my best friend.
And I knew she was cheating on him.
It wasn't until 3 am that I got home. I snuck in the backdoor. Tip toed up the stairs, I tripped on the top step. Giggling I pulled my phone out to message Esme that I was safe and sound. I noticed Rose had responded.
"AHHH SORRY. GO HOME. EMMETTS WITH ME ANYWAY ;)"
My sudden good mood was gone. The night's events caught up to me and I rushed to the bathroom and vomited up all my feelings.
The hallway light went on. I heard footsteps creeping.
"Isabella Swan, it's 3am."
Charlie was awake.
I was so fucking screwed.
High, drunk and underage. Man I was in for it.
Charlie was awake when I got up for work. He sat at the kitchen table. His eyes drilled into me as I stumbled down the stairs. I tried to not dwell on the fact I had a hangover. I had to focus on getting as little a grounding as I could manage. I tried to not think about Edward tracing patterns on my hand. But it was hard. I tried to not think about how sweet Esme had been. Or how Rose had messaged another apology. She had even called this morning. I told her I'd stayed because I'd seen Esme, she laughed and offered to come inside, face Charlie and take the blame for breaking curfew. I'd declined. I already felt guilty enough. I was worried how she'd react to me spending the night with Edward.
"Good morning dad." He looked up from his paper.
"Bella." I rummaged through the cupboards, pulling out a bowl and a spoon for my usual cereal. Hearing his voice though I knew it was inevitable, so I spun around to face him.
Channelling Alice, I apologized with a sweet sincerity. "Ok. I am sorry, I got carried away meeting some new friends and I didn't keep a close enough eye on the time." I turned back to my breakfast.
Charlie grumbled a response. "Bella." It came again. I turned and looked him straight in the eyes. With as much conviction as I could muster while my head thumped painfully, I coughed out a weak apology. I hoped it was good enough.
"I am sorry."
"For what this time? Not coming back in time, being drunk? Being high? I am a police officer Bella, how do you think this makes me look….but I understand. You're a young kid. You have a good head on your shoulders…when you're not hanging around that Rose. But Bella, you're almost 18."
It was the new punishment tone. Charlie had been doing this a lot lately. The 'you're almost an adult' start acting like one. He wanted me to focus on school, forget the other stuff. I wanted to scream at him every time he did. What adult at 18, didn't fuck up? Hell, it was the beginning of licences, drinking and voting. Why did he feel the need to freak out over a small indiscretion?
Because he is your father Bella. The chief police father. Besides, since when did breaking the law become a small indiscretion?
I suddenly remembered I'd told Jake I'd go tonight. I guess there was no time like the present to tackle this battle. "Continuing with this trust and acknowledgement that I am also 18, I am just letting you know that I am going out tonight to see one of my friends perform in his band."
"Jacob?" Charlie had no issues with Jacob, his father, Billy had done some litigation work for the station and Charlie had formed a close bond with him. They talked football constantly. It was strange, having Charlie actually approve of a boy I was possibly interested in. I wondered what he would think of Edward. Probably hate him. I sighed.
"It's getting serious ey?" I gave him the look that basically meant shut up. The relationship between Jake and I was at best awkward, so Charlie's interference was only increasing the awkwardness. I didn't want Charlie calling Billy to talk about us. The two of them would probably make it worse. Charlie's face dropped with worry suddenly. "Is Rose going with you?" I never understood why Charlie hated Rose. Alice, he had absolutely no problem with. In fact, he loved Alice and on more than one occasion had pressured me into inviting her over. But as soon as Rose was mentioned his face tightened and he stepped up father concern mode. I hated it.
"No…Rose will probably be doing something with Edward." I couldn't help the pain in my stomach erupt. I couldn't help closing my eyes for a second trying to block out all the mental images I had conjured up of interactions between Edward and Rose. It made me feel sick and I pushed my breakfast away.
"Edward?" I nodded. "As in Edward Masen?" again I nodded. "As in the same boy who know goes by the name Cullen?"
"Yeah." This peaked my interest. How did Charlie know him? "Do you know him?"I tried to act casual.
"Yeah." That was it? No further stories? Nothing? He was leaving me with a sullen, yeah?
"How?" Charlie scratched his chin and looked up at me. I felt like he was accusing me of something.
"I thought you were interested in Jake?" yes well Charlie I was. But then I met Edward. And you know him, how the fuck do you know him Charlie?
"Jesus dad. I can't even ask how you know one of my friends, without you jumping to conclusions." My inner monologue snorted, correct conclusions. But still, irrelevant.
"Friends? Bella," he sighed and I watched intently. This wasn't normal Charlie behaviour. "I know I can't really tell you who to be friends with but please, trust me on this one, please….I don't want you to be friends with Edward Masen." It wasn't much of a warning. But I could hear the subtle threat. The subtle concern leaking in.
My heart constricted in my chest. I thought about the words on the porch. The cigarettes in his fingers. His coat. The laughing. The way my body hummed in agreement when he was close. The way we had almost kissed. fuck. I was screwed. And Rose would kill me. "Sorry, dad it's too late."
"Bella, Please." Charlie was pleading with me? He hadn't pleaded with me since I had moved back home.
"What am I meant to un-friend someone?" Charlie glared at me. "Tell me why and I'll think about it."
He sighed, annoyed. "Fine. He has a record."
"And? I'm sure Jake has a record for numerous things… one if I remember correctly you arrested him for."
"Yes, he does. But Jakes are the usual young kid things; underage drinking, speeding… etc…Edward's record is a bit more diverse than that." I felt a slight nervousness creep in. What did that mean? What past had Edward hidden from me?
"Yes. His more serious charges had him arrested for possession and intent to sell." Oh. In the grand scheme of things I guess it didn't really matter. But it didn't add up. And my father had mentioned it. The same father who had dismissed the way I'd been high last night. Edward had to have been seriously packing from dad to remember it. But the Edward I knew was not a drug dealer. The Edward I knew was in a band. He was sweet. And incredibly good looking. And liked to trace patterns on my hand. He liked to drink bourbon. And spoke of the rush he got on stage. The Edward I knew almost caused me to betray my best friend. Caused the void I thought Jake had filled, to burst. The Edward I knew was not an addict. And just like that it cleared. I really didn't know Edward.
"Oh." I blinked back the tears. "Ok nice chat dad but I have t get to work now." Charlie smiled at me I could tell though, he had seen the tears. He knew I was upset.
"Sure thing Bells, just be careful ok?" I nodded, still beyond words.
Who the fuck was Edward Masen?
A/N: Have you ever been warned about someone?