Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
Summary: After rebelling at school, Edward is forced to participate in the school play as the male lead along side the shy, somewhat nerdy Bella Swan. When their worlds collide, he struggles with where he fits and who to stand by. ExB
Chapter 1: Drama & Detention
"Mr Cullen, we have given you many opportunities to redeem yourself. We've given you many chances but now we're drawing the line."
My father, Carlisle, shifted beside me. I knew he was uncomfortable with not being able to influence the principal to overlook yet another one of his son's fuck-ups. "What will the punishment be?" He asked.
"Detention every Monday for the remainder of the semester." Great. Three months left. "Also Edward will be assisting with the production of the school play."
"And what exactly does that entail?" I interrupted.
"Well Ms Reaser will assign you a place, whether it be cast or crew is up to her..." the principal trailed off.
"Yes, well that is perfectly reasonable. Edward really should start getting involved in more appropriate activities at school. I can assure you that there will be no more slip-ups. I apologize for the way my son has behaved." Carlisle, the good samaritan with the troubled, rebellious son. What a fucking cliché.
"Of course, Dr Cullen. Hopefully we won't be seeing you back here anytime soon."
I took that as my cue to leave. I stood up from my chair and walked out of the principal's office without a word. I'd been there many times over the years. First it was for swearing, then smoking on school grounds, showing up drunk. The usual shit. I guess the combination of all those things at once really set the Man off. Well what can I say? I was hungover (or just still drunk) and wanted a cigarette and fucking Mr Banner was annoying the shit out of me.
Really, the man schould know to not get in my face after a big night.
Carlisle looked like he wanted to smack me straight across the jaw by the time I'd walked back to his Mercedes. Pretentious prick. He unlocked the car and I wordlessly opened the door and let myself in, waiting for his wrath. It would be the usual shit, "You've embarassed your mother and I. Why can't you be more like your sister? Why are you rebelling against us? Why? Why? Why?"
He didn't operate the way normal parents do. He was all about trying to talk you through everything and making you feel guilty, which I'll admit, I did sometimes. He was a master at that. I'd rather he just tell me I was worthless and to get my shit together, I was a no hoper – you know, that kind of stuff. Just shows, the man's still got faith in me. Or so I thought.
I waited, but the drive home was silent.
"What, no lecture?" I scoffed.
"No lecture," Carlisle confirmed. "There's no point anymore. Do what you want. Smoke, drink, swear. I can't control you."
"What strategy are you playing at now?"
"No strategy. I'm not trying anything anymore. You've made it clear you won't change your ways and as much as I hate to admit it, a lecture won't change anything." I expected him to tighten his grip on the steering wheel, but he didn't. I expected him to grind his teeth, but he didn't. He was calm. He wasn't lecturing me.
Then it hit me. He just doesn't give a shit anymore and rightfully so. I should've felt elated but really, I just felt bad. The one time he wasn't trying to guilt-trip me, I actually felt guilty as all fuck. Could it be that Carlisle had lost faith in me?
After our short exchange, we said nothing. The ride home was silent and as soon as we were in the front door, we parted ways. He moved to the kitchen, no doubt to discuss me with my mother, Esme, while I walked up the winding staircase to the third floor where my bedroom was located. I plonked down onto my bed and fell asleep.
"Edward?" A soft voice called. "Dinner's ready."
I slowly opened one eye and saw my petite pixie-like sister standing at the end of my bed. Her short brown hair was in it's usual spikey array, but her face ws missing it's usual glow. She looked sad.
"What's wrong, Al?" I asked.
"I think you've driven Dad insane," she murmered, but she wasn't judging me. She never did. She was my best friend and sister, always understanding.
"I think he's given up on me," I sighed.
"Don't pity yourself. We're all sick of you behaving this way and we don't even understand why you do. We're your family and you can't even talk to any of us." Alice looked on the verge of tears.
"Maybe it's because I'm not really related to any of you," I replied. "I'm just the royal screw-up in an otherwise perfect family."
"Whatever you say, Edward. Thanks for telling me once again that i'm not your real sister. I appreciate that." With that, she moved away from me and walked out my bedroom door, shutting it quietly behind her. What the fuck was with my family?
I didn't go down for dinner.
The following morning, I awoke to the irritating beep of my alarm. Another day of school aka a waste of a day. I showered and gathered my things then grabbed a slice of toast and headed out to my Volvo, successfully avoiding my family.
"Cull-en!" Jasper exclaimed after i'd pulled into the parking lot and gotten out of my car. "What may your punishment be this time?" The fucker rolled his eyes at me and threw down his Merit, stomping it out.
"Weekly detention 'til graduation and i've got to help out with the school play," I replied. Jasper laughed at me, but I dismissed that fucker. "Speaking of which, I can't go round James' at lunch to pick up the supplies," aka some good cheeba, "got some meeting for my 'community service'."
"That's fucked. Hey, where's Alice?" I'd momentarily forgotten about my best mate's obsession with my sister, but of course, he had to bring her up.
"I don't know. She is pissed with me so she rode with your sister and Emmett this morning. You should know that."
"I don't know or care about what Rose does. Though, I need to ask Alice something so i'm going to go find her," he informed me. I knew better, though. He wanted to stare at her and fantasize about her. That shit was fucked up, but I liked Jasper so I let it slide. Better him than any of the other wankers of Forks High School.
The day managed to pass in relative unexcitement, a typical school day.
Tanya, my ex-slutbag was absent for the day for which I was incredibly thankful. I couldn't stand her getting in my face.
When the lunch bell tolled, instead of heading to the cafeteria, I was headed towards the drama classroom like a fucking douche.
I pushed the door open and noticed most of the students were already assembled. I recognised a couple of people; Ben Cheney, Angela Weber...but no one I really talked to. Ms Reaser, who was head of the drama club, entered the classroom followed by that Isabella chick who I sat next to in Biology. I'd never had much to do with her, for obvious reasons.
Between her glasses, ugly sweaters and the messy bun she threw her hair up in, she certainly made herself unappealing. Maybe that was her goal. If so, she certainly succeeded in alienating herself.
I let myself get comfortable in a seat at the back, hoping to go unnoticed. No such luck.
"Ah, Mr Cullen. I was told you'd be joining us, it's great to have you here!" Ms Reaser announced. She reminded me of Esme which probably meant she could guilt me into doing something I really didn't want to do.
"Uh, yeah," I mumbled.
"Okay, kids as you know, we've got a whole new production this semester. Myself and Bella wrote the script and it's something new and fresh which we hope you'll thoroughly enjoy," she laughed. "Bella, honey would you hand out the scripts?"
Isabella Swan handed out several booklets and when she approached me, she handed it to me without even looking at me. Like I even needed the thing. No way in hell would anyone ever catch me acting.
"Okay, i'll give you the run down and we'll select a scene and give it a run through," Ms Reaser informed us. "It's basically a vampire love story. Lily, the main character, falls in love with Blake who is a 108-year-old Vampire." Fucking ridiculous in other words. "Okay so potential Lily's, form a line here please." She gestured towards her right side. "And potential Blake's, my other side."
I watched as those dumb sluts Jessica and Lauren stood beside the teacher, Isabella behind them. Jessica, one of my mistakes of Junior year constantly made eyes at me when we passed. We had a thing, but shit like that never lasted. Lauren was just fucking rank. What I ever saw in her beside her ability to deep-throat, is beyond me.
The fucker from the reservation, Jacob Black stood in the male line even though that dick is tan as fuck and couldn't pass for a vampire if his life depended on it. A guy I didn't recognize stood behind him, but apart from that, no one else stood up.
"Edward, perhaps you could try for Blake? You've certainly got the brooding aspect down pat," the teacher chuckled.
"I'd rather not."
"Well it's my choice, so humour me." Her tone told me I had no choice in the matter so I stood up, preparing to completely slaughter it.
"Okay turn to page 45 and Lauren and Jacob you're up."
"Lillian," Jacob began. "Lily, I couldn't live with myself if I ever hurt you. You don't know how it's tortured me." Black looked down, probably trying to get a feel of his character. To me however, he just looked like a pussy. "The thought of you, still, white, cold....to never see you blush scarlet again, to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretenses....it would be unendurable. You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever."
"You know how I feel, of course," Lauren rang in with her nasally voice. "I'm here, so like....I don't care. I totally don't want to stay away, I'd rather die. God i'm an idiot."
"You are an idiot," Jacob said in a monotone voice and I got the feeling he wasn't acting anymore.
"Okay! That's great," Ms Reaser said but I could tell she was lying. Maybe Jacob was passable, but Lauren was only useful when she's got your dick in her mouth and you don't have to hear her.
Jessica and the other boy, who Ms Reaser referred to as Seth, went much the same. Jessica was only mildly better.
"Good guys. Edward and Bella now."
"Okay, Bella. We'll go down a bit. Start at line 12."
"You already know how I feel, of course," Isabella said in a quiet, but even voice. "I'm here....which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you." A frown fell on her features and she looked away from me. "I'm an idiot." I could tell she actually gave a damn. She easily got into her character and from only those short lines, she was obviously far more superior in comparison to Lauren and Jessica.
I looked down at the script and read, "You are an idiot."
"Don't be so rigid, Edward," the teacher intercepted. "Try again and don't forget the laugh."
"You are an idiot," I said trying to inject humour into my voice just to shut the bloody teacher up. I even chuckled a bit.
I looked down at the script again. "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb...." I murmered. Isabella looked up at me with an expression I couldn't read.
"What a stupid lamb," she sighed.
"What a sick, masochistic lion," I almost growled. The script directed me to look away, so I did just that. Who the fuck says masochistic these days?
"That was really good, guys," Ms Reaser informed us, but I couldn't tell whether or not she was bullshitting again. "So take home your scripts and we'll do another scene tomorrow and pick our Lily and Blake!" Damn. I'd have to do that again the next day. I was about to leave the room when the teacher's voice called my name. I turned towards her and she was walking forward to meet me.
"You were quite good," she told me. She seemed just as surprised about that as I was. I was hoping I was absolutely terrible, besides, I didn't even do anything. Just read the lines and that makes me 'quite good'?
"Yes. I think you fit the character," she informed me.
"I only read three lines. Acting really isn't my thing." That much was completely obvious to me.
"I think that if you put some effort and work into it, you'd be very good. It's not like i'm asking you to go to Hollywood or anything. It's just a high school play. Besides, someone like you starring in our play is bound to create some more awareness."
"Someone like me?"
"Yes. Someone who supposedly doesn't give a damn. Please just think over it, Edward." With that, she exited the classroom leaving me standing there. No way in hell was I doing that play.
History was a snore-fest, as usual and when the bell rang Iheaded for Biology which was bound to be equally as unstimulating.
Isabella Swan was already seated at our lab table when I arrived and I recognised the paper she was shuffling through – the dreaded script. I sat down beside her silently as usual and prepared for the next hour.
I looked up from the desk and noticed Isabella was watching me. I looked back at her expectantly.
"I...um was wondering if you think you're going to do the play?"
"I have to," I reminded her.
"I know that, I mean whether you want to do the male lead."
"No," I told her. "I bet you're relieved about that. I can't act and i'm fully aware of that. I'm sure that Black will be more than happy to do it."
"He's not very vampire-like," she sighed.
"Can't help you there, Isabella."
"Bella," she murmermed.
"Oh, um...Isabella is so long and formal. Bella is just....it's alright don't worry."
"Okay, Bella." I flashed her my crooked smile and she blinked momentarily before shaking her head. Dazzled. Girls are so easy to manipulate, even from short conversations like that – which also happened to be the longest her and I had ever talked at that we had ever talked outside our reading of the script.
I'd never really looked at Isabella...Bella's, I mentally corrected myself, face before but she wasn't that bad. Her lips were nice and she blushed a lot which was kinda fucking cute. The girl had potential if you got rid of the glasses, messy hair and ugly sweaters. But she was Isabella Swan. No way could I stand up on stage and pretend to be in love with the girl.
I tried to find Jaz after school, but Emmett detatched his lips from Rose just long enough to tell me that Jaz never came back to school after lunch so I got in the Volvo and drove home. Cruising along the highway, I noticed an old red truck sitting on the side of the road, broken down. I was about to laugh at the poor fucker but I looked in the rear-view mirror and noticed it was Bella. I'm an asshole alright, but it'd be too cruel to leave her there without even asking if she was okay.
I did a rouge u-turn and sped back up to where her Chevy was pulled over. She was standing with her forehead resting against the driver's side window and didn't even turn at the noise of my car. I pulled off the road behind her and only when i'd slammed my door did she look up. She looked startled and shocked to say the least.
"You alright?" I asked.
"My car died," she groaned. "Stupid rusted thing." I walked closer to her and she narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "I'm fine, really."
"Do you have a ride?"
"I've tried to call my dad but he's not answering, he's probably not at the station. I'm sure he won't be long though," she answered.
"Come on," I said. "I'll drive you home."
"I don't want to inconvenience you," she murmered.
"It's fine," I stated, not wanting to play the guilt-game, then walked back to my car. From the mirror I watched her hesitate but she turned to her truck, grabbed her book bag and hurried towards my car and sat down in the passenger's seat. "You'll just need to direct me."
She fidgeted all the way home and I found myself watching her little hands move together, then looking at her slender wrists. Her eyebrows were knitted together, as if she was deep in thought. I heard her sigh a few times and wondered what she was worried about, but didn't ask.
She lived in a small two-storey house in what I could only call the 'poorer' part of Forks.
"Thank you so much," she said once I'd arrived at her place.
"No worries." I flashed her a smile then quickly drove off, eager to get home and concentrate on something else other than Bella Swan.
When I pulled into my driveway I noticed a blue Audi out the front of my house – the car I recognized as belonging to Tanya.
"Oh Mrs Cullen, you're so funny!" I heard her shrill voice coming from the kitchen, along with her high-pitched laugh. I cleared my throat and walked into the kitchen. "Eddie, you're home late! Did you go somewhere after school? I was just talking to your mother about our future."
"We have no future," I said in an icy voice. "I broke up with you."
"But i'm here to take you back."
"I don't want you back."
"We had one little fight Eddiepuss, it's no biggie."
"I hardly call you fucking half the football team a little fight," I snarled.
"Language, Edward," my mother warned, reminding me she was indeed still in the kitchen. I glanced at her with an expression that said 'get Tanya the fuck outta here' but she smirked at me. She seemed to find the whole thing quite amusing.
"Get out of my house, Tanya," I ordered. "Now."
"You're an asshole," she growled, loosing her calm demeanor.
"And you're a slut. Point being?"
Tanya mumbled a few choice words that even made me blush before storming out of the kitchen. By the time we heard her car driving away, Esme and I were in stitches. "I think she may be psychotic," Esme offered once she'd finished laughing.
"Insightful," I mumbled sarcastically. "You shouldn't've let her in."
"I didn't even know you two had broken up. You never tell me these things," my mother pointed out. "You do have pretty bad taste in girls sometimes though. Tanya, Lauren, Jessica..." she prattled on. "You need to find a nice girl. How was drama class?"
"Sorry, mum. It was crap. They want me to play the lead," I scoffed.
"Are you going to do it?"
"Do you even have a choice in the matter?" Esme questioned.
"I don't know," I growled. "I'm going to my room."
When I arrived in my room, I did something that surprised me. I pulled out my script.
AN: Bella's POV next chapter : - )