Chapter 1 Meeting Him

Bella's POV

She'd done it again. My best friend in the whole world had gone overboard again.

"Alice!" I groaned when I eventually caught up to her in the crowd of people, "I asked you not to throw me a birthday party this year!"

Alice Cullen rolled her eyes at me as if she'd expected my answer all along, which, she probably had. "Don't be silly Bella, it's your twenty first birthday! I can't believe you expected me not to go overboard." She feigned a hurt look and I found myself laughing and reaching out to ruffle her black spiky hair.

"I've got to go and sort out more music so go and socialize now, I invited plenty of really cute guys just for you." With that she darted into the crowd in a way that looked like she was almost skipping.

I rolled my eyes again, Alice had been trying to hook me up with guys as soon as she'd learnt I'd never had a boyfriend before- I'd just never found anyone I was interested in that liked me back. I sighed as I looked over the Cullen's large living room- Alice had decked it out to look like a night club and I had to admit grudgingly, it looked pretty good.

I decided to ignore Alice's socialising demand and find somewhere a bit quieter- there were too many people in here anyway, half of whom I didn't even know! I was trying to fight my way through the thong of people, my eyes cast downward to avoid tripping over myself when I walked straight into some one. Before I could get over the shock of that I felt the coolness of some one's drink cover the front of my brand new red shirt. (Alice had forced me into what she deemed as fashionable for the party.)

"I am so sorry!" I heard a shocked voice say as I looked up to see the most gorgeous guy I had ever laid my eyes on. His hair was a beautiful, unique bronze colour, his body was muscular in a sexy way, not a over the top body builder way and he had the greenest eyes I had ever seen. My heart skipped a beat when I met his apologetic gaze.

"It..It's okay." I stammered like an idiot, trust me to have my usual moment of clumsiness in front of the most stunning guy I'd ever laid my eyes on.

He ran his hand through his thick hair and grabbed my arm to pull me through the mass of people. I was about to protest but thought better of it when I realised how nice his grip felt. I should have been panicking, I didn't have a clue where he was leading me or who he even was, but somehow I just trusted him.

Next thing I knew we were in the kitchen and he had dampened a dish towel and handed to me. I looked down at my shirt for the first time and let out a low groan. Grape Juice. Alice was going to kill me. Either that or drag me on another shopping trip and between the two, I didn't know which was worse.

"I'm so sorry." The guy apologised again, probably hearing my groan, "I'll pay for a new shirt, I wouldn't count on that stain coming out."

I looked up and smiled wryly, "Thanks but its fine, it's not the shirt I'm worried about." My heart was beating at a scarily fast pace. "I'm worried about what my best friend will do to me when she finds out that I ruined a top I'm wearing that she actually approves of."

He laughed, his smile lighting up his whole face, "She sounds like some one I know."

"A girlfriend?" I asked curiously, this gorgeous guy had to be taken and even if he wasn't, I doubted he would even look twice at a plain girl like me.

He shook his head, "Nope, been single for awhile now, not that my sister hasn't been trying to set me up." His expression turned sour and I sensed a bad dating history so I decided not to pry, I'd rather see him smile again.

"I know the feeling." I rolled my eyes, thinking of Alice again. I stuck out my arm in front of me, "I'm Bella Swan by the way."

He smiled. Mission accomplished."Edward. Pleasure to meet you Miss Swan." Instead of shaking my hand, he took it in his and lifted his hand and placed a kiss to the back of my hand in a very gentlemanly fashion. I nearly forgot to breathe as a blush stained my cheeks.

He smiled and gazed into my eyes and I did forget to breathe for a moment before he spoke again, "Would you like to dance with me?" he asked, a hesitant look coming into his eyes.

I wanted to, I really really wanted to but my dancing could only be described as dangerous.

"I can't dance." I murmured, looking down at the floor."People tend to get…hurt."

He laughed, apparently thinking I was joking, "I'll teach you and be careful at the same time."

I smiled slightly and nodded, I couldn't refuse him when he was looking at me like that, pulling me into his eyes.

Edward was a good dancer, I shouldn't have been surprised really, he didn't seem to have any flaws. However, I was extremely surprised that I managed to dance so close to him without any casualties.

We talked a little over the loud music and I was surprised that we shared the same taste in music.

"I like almost anything. Try me." He said when I asked.

I smirked, "Classical?" I asked, what young man would own up to that?

He smirked back and leant into whisper in my ear, "Debussy is my favourite."

I literally gaped at him and the smile fell from his face, "What?"

I felt a smile spread over my face, I was definitely impressed. "I love Debussy! I'm more into newer music but he's my favourite from the classical genre. My mom…" I trailed off in shock, I never talked about my parents very openly and now I'd just been about to casually mention my mother to a guy I'd just met. My heart gave a painful thump.

A slow song came on and Edward seemed to see that something had upset me, "Do you want to carry on dancing?"

I should have said no, my grace on the dance floor at the moment surely wouldn't last, but the song was one of my favourites and I really wanted to feel his arms around me as we danced- I didn't know if he would want to see me again after tonight, most guys I liked didn't. I nodded and he pulled me closer, keeping an annoyingly polite distance between us, but I sighed, how hard was a gentleman to find now days? I met his gaze, he hadn't stopped looking at me since we started dancing. At that moment, dancing and looking into his eyes, something between us clicked. I felt completely whole and happy, like I'd found where I wanted to be. Before I knew it, I found myself blushing again.

Edward dipped his head and whispered softly in my ear, "You're absolutely beautiful."

I smiled slightly in disbelief, "Thank you." I whispered back, not wanting to ruin the magic we seemed to have weaved ourselves into by denying it, there was nothing in this room but him at the moment.

All too soon the music ended and the party began to wind down as a few people left.

"Can I take you out sometime?" Edward asked me nervously and I beamed, he actually wanted to spend more time with me!

"Yes I would really like that." I smiled and he relaxed as I gave him my cellphone number. Soon after that, he disappeared to the bathroom and Alice found me.

"Bella! You cannot tell me that wasn't a great party." She exclaimed as she took my hand and dragged me upstairs to her room. I knew I wouldn't be able to go back and say goodbye to Edward without Alice getting on my case- I would tell her soon and wait for his call. From tonight I was staying with the Cullen's for awhile, my land lady at my apartment had decided to stop renting out after my time there was up so Alice had immediately moved me into the spare room- I would meet the rest of the Cullen's tomorrow and I was slightly nervous.

I smiled as she closed her door behind her, knowing my answer would shock her and make her demand to know what happened," It really was Alice. Thank you."

Her mouth fell open and she spun round to look at me properly for the first time since we'd come upstairs.

"What did you do to your shirt!?" Alice exclaimed with a huff of annoyance. I just rolled my eyes.

"I walked into some one holding a glass of grape juice." I explained, knowing that my blush would give me away immediately.

"Oh Bella." She sighed at my clumsiness but then attacked my blush, "So who was it that was holding the grape juice?" she asked slyly.

I decided to tease her a bit more before telling her, "Alice do you mind if I take a shower first? I feel pretty sticky."

Alice groaned and shot me a look that told me she'd get it out of me sooner or later, "Yes I mind but the shower's through there." She pointed at the door to her bathroom. Of course the bedroom I was staying in had a en suite bathroom, all the bedrooms in the Cullen's huge house did, but Alice had said my room wasn't quite ready yet. I shot her an innocent smile and headed into the bathroom before she could protest.