Learn You Inside Out
Disclaimer: Yeah, I don't own Twilight still, but I own my ideas so YAY!
AN at the bottom.
Warning: Language alert…its rated M for that and other reasons.
"So, tell me what makes you qualified to be on the University of Washington's campus, let alone my football team?"
I clenched my hands onto the wooden arms of the chair I was slouched in, barely keeping myself from getting up and walking right back out that door with my middle finger shot in the air. The elderly man seated behind a cluttered desk stared me down and I returned his look. We both knew I was one wrong eye-twitch away from losing out on my last best chance. I needed him, I needed this football team and this college. I needed this new city and this new start.
But here is the kicker…that fat motherfucker behind the desk needed me just as much as I needed him. It was the only reason I was sitting in this office right now.
I managed to keep my insulting comments to myself…barely. I was just waiting for him to give in…they always did. Parents, teachers, coaches….they all caved eventually if you glared at them long enough. This old buzzard just hadn't realized the extent of my determination.
Needless to say, I was shocked as shit to find myself being the reason the coach of the UW Huskies was laughing his ass off. My eyes narrowed in anger as he clutched his gut and leaned back in his chair, the squeaky springs protesting loudly. My fingers dug tighter into the wood and I felt my leg twitch in irritation. Finally he calmed down enough to wipe the tears from eyes and grinned at me. I gave him the full force of my glare, clearly stating my displeasure. Fuck off Fatty.
"Does that stank-eyed look work on everyone?" He chortled at me. I turned my eyes to the trophy case on the wall behind him. I couldn't read the engravings from here, and they all looked well-taken care of, but the whole sports world knew that those trophies were from many years ago. The Huskies hadn't won so much as a free soda from McDonalds in more years than I care to think about. It physically hurt me to enter this office in hopes that I will walk out wearing a Husky jersey.
My attention was brought back to the amused coach. He had opened a thick folder that had been centered in the chaos of his desk. I didn't need to look at the label to know it was my records.
And they weren't thick with all kinds of academic awards. There wasn't enough room for that with all the criminal records stacked in it.
"Let me tell you what makes you qualified. We need a quarterback." He stated this simply and resolutely. There was no sugar-coating and no working around it nicely. I snorted at his statement of the obvious and he smirked at me. "Yeah, there is no big secret about that, son. Now what we have here is a thing I like to call a symbiotic relationship."
I waited for him to continue in his southern drawl, clenching my jaw at his patronizing tone and hoping to God he didn't call me "son" again. He leaned forward in his chair, folding his large hands over my file. "You and I both know that this is your one shot to get back in the game. It took a little bit of convincing and a lot of my aged Scotch to convince the Dean to let you even set foot in this office today.
"Here is how I see it: you want to be a football player and I want to see my boys through a winning season before I retire. In order to get what we both want, you are going to be on a short leash."
"How short?" I bit out. My voice sounded strange in the quiet room after listening to him for so long. To give the old man credit, he didn't even flinch at my tone. "You will get to play football and get your athletic scholarship, but you are going to be second string until I say otherwise."
I shot up out of my seat then, afraid if I didn't I would leave marks on the arms of it. I paced the small office, extremely pissed off. I let some curses fly out as I waited for the red haze of anger to leave my vision. The voice of Coach Meyers cut through the office. "Look here Cullen, I may need a quarterback, but what I don't need is to bring a huge embarrassment to this athletic department. You can be sure if you screw up again, I am not going down without bringing you with me." It was the first time I have heard him speak harshly, and it made me pause long enough in my pissed off ranting to focus on him. The coach pointed to my vacated chair. "Now, either sit the hell down and listen to the terms or walk out the door and quit wasting my damn time!"
I thought about walking out the door. I even took a step towards it. Fuck it. I was ready to leave. Before I could take another step, I thought about what my life would be like once I slammed that door. My grades weren't anywhere close to get me back into a decent college. No one else would let me on their team after I had been expelled from my previous university. And I had no work experience…all my life had been spent preparing for college. Endless football practices filled my memory, and it would have all been a waste. I held onto the memory of the last touchdown pass I threw and had the crowd on their feet, cheering and chanting my name. That memory made me plant one foot in front of the other back to the chair I had previously occupied. I sat in it again, this time leaning forward to rest my elbows on my thighs. I raked a hand through my hair and waited for coach to continue.
I was surprised to see a small smirk back on his round face. "Alright then. Here are the terms. No big surprise, but your grades will have to be brought up and kept up. I mean really up." I lifted my eyebrows at him.
"Think 'dean's list' kind of up," he answered my silent question.
I huffed out a breath and rolled my eyes. Perfect.
"You will have to submit to random drug tests. If you pop for any kind of illegal substances or if you refuse a drug test, that's an automatic dismissal from the team. That goes for anyone in the athletic department. If you are caught drinking underage or driving under the influence when you do become of age, you are out of here."
My hand moved wearily over my face, feeling the scruff stubble that needed to be shaved off days ago. I wasn't surprised at the list of demands so far. Hell, I expected at least this much.
"Any questionable behavior either on or off the field can send you packing, Cullen. That brings me to your housing situation. Now, from what the Dean tells me you are no longer well funded enough to live in a private apartment?"
"You could say that." What an understatement. My rich-as-shit parents cut me off the day I got slapped in handcuffs. I was at the mercy of my savings account and scholarship funding.
"Well after discussing it with the head-honcho, I have two choices for you. One, you live in a dorm room. You will have a private room, but you will be subject to random room searches and Dorm Advisor meetings. Basically, you will be under constant staff surveillance."
"Fuck no." I laid it out to him in a dead-pan voice. There was no way in hell I am living under a microscope.
He didn't even blink at my profanity. "I had a feeling you would say something like that. Your other option is to live off campus in a co-ed house with four of your peers. You will have your own room and the scholarship covers the basic costs of living in these types of houses. The catch is you will be watched there as well, but it will be by a teammate. Now, this kid is a good egg, but he got himself in a sticky situation. His place on the team is resting on how well he reports to me. You will be expected to assist around the house with chores and what-not as needed and be the model housemate for these kids. Your teammate will have full access to your room as well, so either way you are going to have to watch yourself closely."
I tossed his proposal around. The dorm idea was my version of hell, so that was not an option. Living in a co-ed house off campus definitely sounded like the ideal solution, but the thought of having a teammate watch over me made my skin crawl. I knew how easy it was to have someone stab you in the back and lay you under a bus. Either way I was going to be hovered and watched like a hawk. I didn't like either one of those choices, but I selected the lesser of two evils.
"I'll take the house."
The coach grinned. "I thought you might. You stick with these rules and we will have one hell of a season. Now, get your butt down to the practice field. The assistant coaches are down there with the boys already. Emmett McCarty will be one of your housemates and he will show you around the facility."
I nodded and stood, my entire body aching from the tension. I was itching to get out on the field again. My muscles hummed in anticipation. I grabbed the door knob but a grunt from the coach stopped me. When I turned back to him he threw a purple and white jersey at me. I held it up and read the back. Above the number seventeen was my name patch.
I looked at the coach again to see him smirking. "I gave you a new number, figured it would go good with your fresh start here." His face turned serious once more. "Don't screw this up, Cullen."
My anger over the entire situation was still humming through me, so I simply nodded instead of speaking and pushed the door open roughly. I let out a curse as the door slammed into something and bounced back to hit my head. I peered around the door to see a short brunette sitting on the floor where she obviously fell. She was looking up at me in shock and holding her hand over her hip. I took a moment to appreciate her attributes: long brown hair pulled back from her face, large matching brown eyes, pale skin, decent rack. It was easy to see she was small but toned due to the lack of cloth covering her body. She was wearing some sort of blue sports bra and matching spandex pants. Nice.
All positive thoughts of her flew out of my head when I saw the purple and silver pom poms spilling out of her bag. A cheerleader….fucking great. Not many other things annoyed me more than giggling, air-brained, bouncy blow-up dolls. I learned real quick from the last college I attended that they were nothing but perks for the athletic team, and once their welcome wore out they were useless. My eyes narrowed down at her. "Try not to walk next to closed fucking doors." I spit out the profanity, watching her face blanch in surprise. I didn't wait for her poor little mind to try to come up with a response. I took a giant step over her prone form and started walking to the double doors leading out of the building. A small voice teemed in indignation called out behind me. "Maybe you should try getting a life, creep!" I ignored her outburst, my mind was already on the field, and I followed the stadium lights shining brightly in the night air.
I sat on the floor, waiting for my heart rate to return to normal and my face to quit flaming. I was furious! How dare that arrogant bastard just step over me and stomp out of the building after slamming a door into me! Granted, I probably shouldn't have been walking so close to the office doors and I definitely should have been paying more attention to the area in front of me. I was always looking down at my feet, a habit I developed when I was little and had carried with me all of my twenty years. Unfortunately, checking to make sure my feet were okay all the time usually left my other body parts open for danger.
So maybe the door was not totally his fault. He did slam it open, but I practically walked into it anyways. Now I am sitting open-mouthed on the cold tile floor, holding a hand over what I am sure will be one ugly bruise on my hip. The guy who practically stormed through the double doors was not familiar, but obviously had some sort of affiliation with one of the athletic teams. Why else would he be coming out of Coach Meyer's office? Not to mention he undoubtedly had the body made for sports. In the brief moment I spent gawking at him from my floor view, I couldn't help but appreciate the fact he was easy on the eyes. If I wasn't so angry at him, I would have thought his rumpled, to-hell-with-the-world, scruffy-faced look absolutely endearing. As it was, I hoped I never had to encounter any part of that miserable excuse for a human again.
The door to the coach's office opened again, but this time slower and no where near hitting me. Coach Meyer glanced out and then moved his gaze to me, still on the floor. "Isabella Swan? Now what in the heck are you doing on the floor girl?" He reached a large hand out and I gratefully accepted. When I was on my feet I thanked him and blushed further at another person catching me on my rear. "Sorry coach, I kind of got knocked down and needed to wallow in my embarrassment for a second." I gave him a bashful smile and he chuckled at me. I always loved hearing him laugh, it was what I imagined my grandfather's laugh would sound like, if I had one.
"Well according to that clock you are running a little late for practice, so you better get going." I checked the clock he was referring to and swore under my breath. I waved back at his amused expression as I carefully jogged down the corridor. The steady thumping of music reached my ears long before I got to the door of the warm-up room. I pushed opened the door and the music escalated in volume, but not so much that it was unbearable. I saw that everyone had already started, dressed in the similar outfits to me and sitting on the wooden floor facing a mirror. All heads came up from their stretch to look at me. I gave them all an apologetic smile and threw my bag down before rushing over to join them. Not long after I joined the stretching routine I heard a loud clap and a musical voice call over the noise of the stereo. Our small, dark-haired leader stood smiling in front of us. "Alright ladies! We are going to start from the beginning today since some of you are new to the team this year. We already have our routine worked out for the first few games of the season, but we still need some fine tuning so those of you who are veterans, stick with the rest of us. We can all use the practice."
The music took over the room again and I stood as the girl approached me. I smiled at Alice, already rolling my eyes at the reaction she will have when I told her why I was late. "Bella! What was the holdup?" Alice was a regimented leader of the Husky dance team, but she also happened to be one of my best friends, so I didn't take her chastisement to heart. She scanned over my ensemble quickly and nodded approvingly. She should approve, she laid the outfit out for me before we left our house this morning. I was more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, but when that little pixie got a hold of me, there was no arguing.
I waited for my other best friend and roommate to approach us before I launched into my rant. Rosalie Hale was the essence of perfection. All guys (and some girls) wanted her and all girls definitely wanted to be her. Her long blonde hair was pulled back in a functional ponytail, but I knew once practice started it would be out and flowing down her shoulders. Alice insisted that the last few practices before the game we have our hair down, like we would during the actual performance. That also explains the utterly naked feeling I had walking around in a sports bra. Our dance uniforms had just about as much material as my current outfit did, and we all had to make sure that nothing popped out that shouldn't pop out when we did our elaborate moves.
When both of my friends stood with me I told them of my encounter in the hallway. As expected, Rosalie clenched her hands into fists and her blue yes flashed with anger. "Who the hell does he think he is? The least he could have done was apologize and help you up!" Alice didn't look too pleased either, but she had a speculative look on her face as well, as if her mind was only partially focused on our conversation. I learned not to question that look over the years and to just go with it.
Rosalie continued to fume. "You just point him out! I will….I will…"
I smirked at her, "You will what? Beat him up?"
Alice and I waited for her to calm down. Rosalie had been in trouble a lot as a kid for getting into fights…and winning them. Since college, she has worked hard to control her anger and turn it into more productive outlets, like dancing and working on cars. So far, her record has been clean. Rosalie closed her eyes and let out a breath. "No, I won't beat him up." Her eyes opened and a saucy smile flitted on her lips. "But Emmett will."
I shook my head and laughed at that. I had no doubt in my mind that my surrogate big brother, Rosalie's long-term boyfriend, would take great pleasure in throttling whoever dared mess with me. However, Emmett was being watched very carefully and the last thing he needed was to lose his place on the team over some jerk.
"Its okay guys, thanks, but I will just ignore him if I ever see him again. I am sure someone of his nature would find lack of attention more unbearable than a smack-down."
Alice nodded sagely, "Sure, sure. But this means that I will have to break out the big guns on makeup if that bruise isn't gone by the game." I looked down to the hip she was pointing a perfectly manicured nail at and groaned. It was already blooming with lovely purple and black colors. Wonderful.
Alice should just buy stock in the makeup company she uses…she is frequently using up all of our supplies to cover up my many bruises. Rosalie just rolled her eyes at me before dragging me over to the rest of the group lining up for the first routine. "I will never understand how you are so damn graceful when you dance, but so damn clumsy when it comes to something simple like walking."
I didn't argue with her, or even pretend to take offense to it. I had come to terms with my bizarre way of life a long time ago. For some reason the only time I was able to not be a walking disaster was when I was dancing. As long as I was lost in movements, I was able to be graceful enough to stay on the university's dance team…as long as I could stay out of the emergency room. My female house-mates and I all needed the scholarship money from being on the dance team.
Rosalie and Alice were the only family I had, and I had convinced myself that they were the only family I could ever want. I had lived with Alice since I was twelve and Rosalie was at our house so often she practically lived there too. They were my sisters in every way that counted. Emmett and Rosalie started dating in high school and we all knew it was just a matter of time before they finally tied the knot. Emmett was the only man I truly trusted and he was the best surrogate big brother I could ever ask for.
I stood in the line of dancers, there was a dozen of us in total. We were not cheerleaders, but we definitely drew a bigger cheering section at all the games. National dance competitions were not far from our mind, but right now we were concentrating on getting ready for the football season. Dancing was calming for me and I have been told that I am very good at it, but the UW Husky's dance team is as far as I care to take my dancing career. I was on the team in high school and that lead to my scholarship here in college. I was not a dance major, much to my peer's dismay. Instead I was majoring in English and wanted the peaceful solitude of a career as a writer.
Only my good friends knew why I danced but why I couldn't make a future from it. Rose and Alice were great at keeping me as comfortable as possible while on the team and since Alice was a Design major, she was the one who created all of our dance costumes. She absolutely refused to "skank out" like our cheerleader counterparts tended to do with their barely-there uniforms. Thanks to that, there were very little times that I had to wear revealing outfits. It was bad enough I had to dance in front of very large crowds. We usually wore pants with all of our costumes and the only time I put up a fight was when we wore our halter tops that revealed a lot more of my stomach and cleavage than I liked, but I always caved. It was the least I could do after all they had done for me.
The music started over and we dove right into the routine for the first game. I bounced back on my heels and swung my arms out, letting my hair fly about my face and slowly fell into my comfort zone and forgetting the stranger with the haunting green eyes.
The lights on the field illuminated the turf like it was the middle of the day, and not actually twilight. I took a moment to breathe in the scent of the grass and the sound of bodies clashing together. The cool fall air blew through my hair and whipped my t-shirt around my body. Now this was my heaven.
My anger simmered down to a manageable level. I knew I overreacted in the coach's office. I deserved far worse than the house arrest he has sentenced me to. I knew I was the luckiest bastard in the world to be given another chance to play again. I also knew I had a lot of work in front of me, both off and on the field. I needed to keep my grades up and my nose clean, but I also only got this chance because of my skills as a quarterback and I was useless without them.
The practice field was littered with equipment and players. By the looks of the sweat-stained jerseys, practice was almost over. I saw the freshmen quarterback practicing down field with a select few receivers. I rolled my eyes at his passes, the ball wobbling precariously in the short time it was in the air. If this is the guy I am supposed to be second string to, the team was screwed.
A whistle blew in the middle of a swarm of defensive players. A line of them had just pushed the sled impressively fast across the grass. My mood lifted slightly as I saw the defense work together. If the Husky's offense came together like their defense obviously was, then there just may be a chance of a winning season. The players bounced up and turned to the coach for their next exercise. I saw the defensive coach turn to one large player and then point in my direction. The dark-haired guy glanced over at me, then said something else to the coach before jogging away from the group. The rest of the defense continued their exercises as who I assumed to be my new jailer approached me. This guy was friggen huge! I was no short-fry myself…but damn. He had a wide smile on his face and an outstretched hand as he stepped up to me. I immediately became wary. People just aren't nice right off the bat usually, especially to me. I reached my hand out to clasp his, but didn't return the smile. It didn't seem to bother him. "You must be Eddie." His booming voice didn't make me wince, but the misuse of my name did. "Edward. I am guessing you are my nanny?"
He laughed at that. "Emmett McCarty. I don't plan on being your nanny or any shit like that, but I will lay it out for you straight." We started walking along the sidelines of the field and I felt all eyes on me. I saw the sour looks on the other player's faces as the "new guy" pissed on their property. I returned their stares with the meanest glare I could give them. If that's how they wanted to play it….
"Here's the deal dude. I am in a…shall we say…difficult position with the coach and staff right now. I had a little indiscretion recently and now my ass rests on keeping you in line long enough to get a decent season."
"What did you do?" I had to know. Maybe I wasn't the only messed up freak around here.
"I got caught with my pants down."
"What did you get caught doing?" I asked impatiently, not caring if I was being rude or not. Enough with the vague shit.
Emmett laughed again. "No…I literally got caught with my pants down. My girlfriend and I tend to get carried away sometimes. She is on the dance team and man, the ways she can bend…" I waved him off to keep from getting more than I bargained for out of this conversation. "This time it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the coach's desk to be exact."
I choked out something that resembled laughter. I had forgotten how to actually laugh a long time ago, but the thought of the coach walking in on a campus porno in the making was entertaining as hell.
Emmett continued, "Oh that wasn't the worst part. We certainly didn't expect company, but we really didn't expect the dean to have a meeting with coach that afternoon and get a front row seat. The guy wanted me off the team that second, but coach convinced him to let me stay on and he would make sure I stayed in line."
"And your girlfriend?"
"Her best friend is the captain of the dance team, so all she had to do was buy the girls a round at the bar."
That's life for you.
We continued to tour the practice area. I wouldn't be seeing the stadium until tomorrow night's practice. The game was this Saturday and I would be spending it on the bench. The worst feeling in the world is getting ready for a game and not being able to play a single second of it. I didn't care if I was going to hell or not…I wished the starting quarterback would fall off a fucking bridge by Saturday.
Emmett rambled on about who to watch out for on the team and who didn't care about my personality as long as I could throw a ball. After he cleaned up in the locker room and I found my new locker we started for the parking lot. "We don't live far from campus. Did you drive here?" I nodded to him and pointed at my silver Volvo sitting under a bright streetlight. Emmett whistled appreciatively. "Nice." I shrugged. It was the only thing of value I still owned. The title had been in my name from day one, so there wasn't too much of a stink about taking it with me when my parents kicked me out. Everything I owned was piled in the backseat.
I drove Emmett to our new house. I knew I could easily walk to the practice field from the house, which made my life a lot easier. I stood in the driveway for a second, taking in the large two-story structure that would be my home for the foreseeable future. It was painted the ugliest shade of…pink? Beige? It was hard to tell in the dim light of the front porch, but the blue shutters clashed with whatever color it was. I must have winced because Emmett sighed. "Yeah, it ain't much to look at, but rent is cheap and the inside is cool and it's got a huge deck in the back." I didn't even try to keep positive. I could give a shit less if Martha friggen Stewart was in the kitchen baking cookies and half-naked chicks were tapping a keg in the bathroom…the place was still depressing to me.
I jerked my bags out of the trunk and Emmett silently grabbed a few boxes from my backseat. He pushed open a side door that led into the brightly lit kitchen. I was surprised to see it pretty much immaculate. It was a far cry from the hazardous waste area of my last dwelling. Of course, it probably helps if your roommates aren't potheads. The living room was huge and, to my man-delight, was decked out in the latest and greatest of entertainment electronics. A flat-screened TV took up most of the area above the fireplace and I saw speakers placed strategically around the room, especially around the large sectional couch. Video gaming systems were stacked up on one shelf next to the fireplace and a large collection of movies took up the other shelf. There was another futon couch pushed up against the wall near the French doors and what looked like a dog crate propped up next to it.
I narrowed my eyes at that.
"No one cared to mention pets."
Did this guy ever not smile? "Yeah, there is one dog here. Is that a problem? You allergic or something?"
"No, not allergic. Me and pets just don't mix."
"Aww don't worry. You will like this one. Just don't be surprised if it takes him a while to warm up to you. And I wouldn't try to pet him or anything until he does."
I didn't know if he was kidding or not, but he didn't have to worry about me touching the damn thing.
Emmett pushed open the French doors. "And here we have my second favorite spot in the house." The deck was huge, he was right about that. Matching patio furniture was placed along the deck and in the corner a glass table-top bar sported a large blue umbrella. Tiki torches were at every corner and from what I could tell in the dim light, the back yard was a decent size. I nodded, impressed despite of myself.
"Dude, I am glad that you are moving in because we are in serious lack of testosterone around here." He shut the doors to the porch and we moved to a closed door off to the side of the living room, next to the stairs. "Even after the last guy moved out, the living room was still considered the 'Man Room'. It got harder to keep it that way when I was greatly outnumbered, but the girls have their own room to keep them happy." He pushed open the door and flipped on the light. This room was easily as large as the living room it was parallel to, but the lack of furniture made it seem bigger. There were full-length mirrors along one wall and a stack of work out mats piled up on the other. A decent stereo rested on the one shelf in the room and the only decorations in the room were various pictures framed along the otherwise empty walls. I didn't care enough to look too closely at the pictures.
"This is a good warm-up room if you need to stretch out or whatever, but if they are in here working then you better not even knock unless it's an emergency." He had a note of tension in his voice, and I almost laughed thinking about three girls scary him out of their domain. "So all of them are on the dance team?"
"Alice is the captain, she is the hyper one. If you fix coffee in this house you better go with decaf…or hide it. Trust me. My girlfriend, Rosalie, is the co-captain. She's got a bit of a temper," he winced while he was making that comment, "but just stay out of the garage and you should be fine." Before I got a chance to ask him to elaborate on that, we were moving up the stairs. "Bella is….well she is the best of all of us. She is quiet and keeps to herself a lot of times." I was half-listening to him until he stopped in the hallway and abruptly turned to face me. His expression was dark and I unconsciously tensed up in reaction. "Look man, I will stay out of your shit as much as possible. But there is one thing you need to understand clearly. If you mess with any of my girls, you are done…and I don't mean just done with the team." I almost rolled my eyes, but something told me that would have earned me a meeting with his very large fists. One of those fists came up to point a finger at me. "But that goes double for Bella. You just need to keep away from her as much as you can. If you upset her in any way, you will have this whole household rain down on you. Bottom line: Don't. Fuck. With. Bella."
I started getting a little fucking defensive at this point. I dropped my bags down and pulled myself up to my full height. "I may not have the best damn reputation on the planet, but I don't 'mess' with girls…unless they request it. So I would appreciate it if you would back the fuck up off me because you don't even know me."
Emmett shrugged. "You're right, I don't know you. I don't really give a damn about your past. As far as I am concerned your life started when you took that jersey." He pointed to the shirt laying over my shoulder. "I am giving you the same warning as I would any other guy moving into this house. I don't care if you are a saint, you will still stay away from Bella. If she wants to hang out with you, by all means….have fun! But she is not the kind of girl you can be careless with, so just watch yourself."
He reached out and slapped me heartily on the back and I barely managed not to flinch in surprise. His large smile returned. "Now, enough with the serious shit. Let's move onto the rooms."
Emmett pointed out his and Rosalie's room, Alice's room and Bella's room. I glared at that last closed door when I heard a faint growl come from under it. The last room was mine, but I had to share a bathroom with the two single girls apparently. That ought to be interesting. The room was a decent size and already furnished, surprisingly. "What happened to the last guy?" I wasn't about to stay in a room if there was some sort of murder or some shit in there.
"He was technically a basketball player, but he basically was a glorified bench warmer. He dated Alice for a while, but he got busted getting busy in the back of the team bus with a cheerleader, and Alice went a little nuts on his stuff. We helped her burn his clothes and stuff in the yard while he watched, but we convinced her to leave the furniture. I convinced him that it was in his best interest that he sit there and watch his shit burn like a man, then leave before the fire got, shall we say…out of control."
I chuckled lightly at his story, just imagining Emmett keeping a solid hand on a trembling little pipsqueak as he cried over the pile of ashes that used to be his belongings. I took that as a further warning. Don't. Fuck. With. The. Girls.
Thankfully, Emmett left me to unpack, saying something about getting quality Xbox time before the girls got home. Most of my boxes were full of cd's and they pretty much took up a whole bookcase against the wall. I glanced at my alarm clock when I was basically finished unpacking and pulled out my cell phone. After two rings a familiar voice picked up. "Hey man! How's the new dungeon?"
"Jazz…I need a drink."
Rose, Alice and I trudged up the few steps into our kitchen. It was fairly late, but Alice is nothing if not determined. The team couldn't leave until we had the routine perfect. We had one more practice tomorrow night before the game, and we will be practicing at the stadium.
"Alice, are we wearing our costumes tomorrow night?" I asked hesitantly.
The pixie-like dancer twirled to the refrigerator and took out three bottles of water and tossed them to us. I don't know what she was thinking. The bottle glanced off my fingers and rolled across the floor. Alice sighed while Rose snickered and skipped out to greet Emmett in the living room. The sounds of some sort of war game carried through the entire house. Boys and their toys. Alice picked my water bottle up then gently handed it to me. "Yes, we are wearing our costumes Bella. You know that our last practice is always full costume."
I groaned and she patted me on the head. "I can't wait until the day you see yourself for the beautiful, sexy woman you are." She and I headed for the living room as she continued talking. "Now, the only thing you should be worrying about is not getting that costume dirty or torn before the game. You should take it with you and get dressed right before we hit the field."
"Remind me to get it from your closet tonight. I am going to the library early tomorrow morning and won't have enough time before practice to come back."
Alice gave me a thumbs up and then we pounced onto the fluffy couch next to Rosalie and Emmett, who were currently ignoring the game in favor of a make-out session. I should be used to this by now, but it still made me squirm. Rose broke away from Emmett suddenly and turned to us, leaving poor Emmett dazed looking…lips still puckered.
"Oh! We totally forgot what day it was!" Alice and I looked at each other for some sort of clue as to what she was talking about. Rose jerked her thumb towards her boyfriend. "Emmett brought home our new house-mate."
Oh. Alice and I both blinked, surprised such a thing slipped by us. Alice had been excited about someone new taking over the old room that belonged to "he who shall not be named". I was nervous. I didn't like the idea of having a total male stranger in our house, but everyone assured me that one wrong move and he was out. Emmett was supposed to report on this guy pretty much daily to Coach Meyer, so we were all fairly certain he would stay in line. I had been given a brief history of Edward Cullen, but there was probably no athlete in the United States that hadn't heard the stories about him.
Everyone obviously already made their mind up on him. I admit I was having a hard time keeping an open mind myself. Supposedly, he was the star quarterback of the University of Maryland for two years before he took a nose dive. There was a press conference before the second season was even over, confirming that Edward had been arrested for driving under the influence and being in possession of narcotics. That made me not like him right off the bat. My mother had been killed by a drunk driver. I still didn't quite understand how he could be let back into any university.
Alice bounced up and down in her seat. "Is he here? How did he seem? Was he hot?"
Emmett groaned and tried to get back into his video game. "No, he's not here. He seemed okay…a little too quiet and broody. And Alice, you can't ask a guy if another guy is hot. It's just not right."
Rosalie stroked his arm. "Aww come on baby! You know I can always tell you when I think another girl looks hot."
"Hell yeah baby! You know how much I love that…but it's different with guys."
Alice sighed and grabbed my hand, pulling me to the stairs as Emmett and Rose continued to discuss their differences. After retrieving my costume from her closet, I said a weary goodnight and moved to my room. I shut the door and then, after a moment of deliberation, locked it for good measure. I tried to stay as quiet as possible for fear of waking Jake. I smiled to see him stretched out on the bed, snoring softly. I moved to my desk and flicked on my lamp and computer, only stumbling once in the dark over a small stack of novels. My room was filled with books, books…and more books. I had almost one whole wall completely covered in bookshelves. One small section of the shelves contained my own writings…ones I had no intention of anyone else seeing anytime soon.
I smiled at my desktop background. It was of Alice, Rose and I when we were around fifteen. We were dressed in an early creation of Alice's. The tops were bright pink and the bottoms a shiny silver. We all had big grins as we posed with our arms around each other. It was one of my favorite pictures. The only other picture in my room was a small one near my bed. It was the only thing I was able to take with me to my new life. My mom and I were hugging each other tight, my eyes squeezed shut in delight as she kissed my cheek. That picture had been with me so long I hardly ever cried anymore when I saw it. So many things had happened since the last time I saw her. I was usually able to hold onto the good memories and let go of the anger that almost consumed me.
I checked a few emails and logged off when nothing of importance popped up. After setting my alarm, I settled into my bed next to a warm Jake and just started to nod off when I heard the sound of an unfamiliar car pulling into the driveway. I almost got up to greet the newcomer, but I was already way too comfortable. I chose to go to sleep instead and made a mental note to make muffins for him in the morning. He may have a bad reputation, but people can change. At least, that was the hope I held onto for the last eight years.
Well, what do you think? Are you interested?
Let me get something straight before someone gets all defensive.
This is just a fun story…I have very little in the way of facts to back this up because honestly, I am too lazy and I care more about the characters than the facts.
So I will forewarn you that I don't know much about dancing, cheerleading, The university of Washington or the university of Maryland…so don't get mad if I don't get something right!
Also, I have no prejudice against cheerleaders, blondes, etc…but I needed the drama somewhere so there you go. Also, if you are offended by drug use, alcohol, foul language or sex... you have been warned, this story will be chock full of it.
Okay, Edward is a total dick in this story, but you find out there is a reason for it later on. Also, you will find out why Bella's friends are overprotective of her. Edward and Bella will be meeting soon, but maybe not the next chapter. I am hoping that the chapters will be better and longer than my other ones in previous stories… and I would love to have a story that got over 1000 reviews! So to all my loyal readers out there, keep up the great support!
I know I have more to write but I forget what it was, and I want to post this ASAP so I will get back to it later.
Oh…one more thing. I will update this as much as possible but don't expect it to be as fast as my last stories…I am trying to do this one right! : )