Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or its characters. I am making no money…
Special thanks to Jayeliwood for your support and ideas, but most of all for your help with commas. She is the best beta a writer could ask for. I must also thank ObsessingOverEdward and TheSpoiltOne for all their contribution. All three of you rock!
I just want to start again, What do you say to taking chances,
And maybe you could show me how to try,
And maybe you could take me in,
Somewhere underneath your skin?
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say?
What do you say to taking chances,
Taking Chances, Celine Dion
Chapter 1: Orientation
I was both excited and nervous as I sat in the passenger seat of Edward's Volvo. We would officially be starting Stanford Medical School in two days. Edward and I had known each other since the minute I was born, practically. He was only three months older than me, and we had done everything together. He was my best friend and my other half.
We weren't romantically involved, because it hadn't worked out. We had dated for almost a year in high school, but neither one of us really felt that spark. We loved each other, but I was not "in" love with him. He was my first kiss and the man who had made me woman. I had no regrets, and neither did he. I would never change that.
But, today marked the beginning of a whole new ball game. We had shared every moment of our life, and it only made sense to share the next step. We were about to embark on the hardest four years of our lives. We were going to medical school.
"You seem quiet," he commented, looking over at me. Edward had the brightest green eyes that I had ever seen, and he always seemed to know just what I was thinking. "Are you nervous?"
"Excited, mostly, but also bored." I clarified shifting position for what seemed like the millionth time. The drive from Forks to Stanford was about fifteen hours of complete boredom. I wanted to get out of the damn car.
"We have about ten more minutes." He added checking his GPS. "We should make it an hour before housing check-in is over."
"Do you think we got the apartment we asked for?" I questioned, biting my lip. We had requested the only co-ed apartments on campus, and I really hoped we had gotten them. They were quite in demand.
"My dad seemed fairly certain that we would get it." Edward stated with a shrug, his attention on the road. Edward came from a very wealthy family, and I knew that Edward Masen, Sr. had pulled some strings to get us the apartments. It just was the way he was.
He had even gone as far as to pay for my first year of tuition. He had refused to take no for an answer. He wanted me, like Edward, to have the best possible education. And, he knew how I had dreamed of attending Stanford.
"That doesn't surprise me." I teased causing him to roll his eyes. Edward didn't like to really talk about the amount of money they had. It was unimportant to him. He usually felt like an outsider because of it. He was definitely the polar opposite of his father.
"Don't start, Bella." He sighed heavily just as we neared the entrance of the school.
"We're here!" I squealed in excitement taking it all in. I was really going to be studying medicine at Stanford. It was literally a dream come true.
Just as I had expected Edward and I were given the apartment we had requested in Liliore Green Rains Houses. It was a two bedroom apartment, with one bathroom, a small kitchen, and living area. It was perfect.
"This is really nice." Edward said after we had finished looking around. "Which bedroom do you want?"
"You should know I want the one furthest from the door." I stated obviously before he picked up my bags and carried them into the room.
"So, now that were roommates I think we need to set up rules." I joked causing him to laugh.
"Bella, we've practically been living together for the past twenty-five years." He explained still laughing. "I think I know all about your habits."
"Fine," I said sticking my tongue out playfully. "Go unpack, because we have the first day of orientation bright and early tomorrow."
"We also need to buy groceries." He pointed out. We agreed to go after we got unpacked.
I woke up to daily morning shrieking of my daughter Alice and the loud laughing of my son Emmett. Being a widowed single father was not easy. How I was able to balance everything? I didn't know.
I groaned at the realization that I had to get up and make it to work. Plus I had to make sure that my teenage kids didn't kill each other. I looked at the right side of my bed and realized once again that it was empty. It had been empty for the last eight years, but I somehow I still believed it was some sort of nightmare. I still had hope that I would wake up one morning and find my Esme curled up against me.
"Leave me alone, Emmett!" Alice yelled and I knew I had put off getting up long enough. I had to send them off to school and drive to the campus.
"What's wrong?" I asked stepping out of the bedroom, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. I hadn't gone into bed until after midnight and it was too early to be up. I hadn't been able to fall asleep until after two. Sleep was a very rare commodity after my Esme had passed.
"Emmett is hurrying me up!" Alice stated with her hand on her hips.. "I need to have time to finish getting ready." Alice was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school, and the only female that was part of my life. I had no idea what went on in her head, and had no way of dealing with it all.
"What for?" Emmett asked in frustration. "I need to go pick up Rose."
"Things with Rosalie are getting serious." I commented, turning to my son. At seventeen he was the star football player, and almost three inches taller than me. He had been seeing Rosalie on and off over the past few months.
"I really like her." He mumbled before turning his attention back to Alice. "But, if Alice doesn't hurry up, we're all going to be late."
"He has a point, sweetie." I added causing Alice to sigh dramatically.
"Give me five minutes." She stated before closing the door to her bedroom.
"I'll be in the car." Emmett added before heading outside.
I retreated into my room picking a suit and tie. Medical School orientation was always a bittersweet time or me. I loved meeting all the new students, and watching the amount of excitement they carried. It gave me hope for the future.
But, at the same time it flooded me with memories of my wife. I had met her at my first day of my orientation. She had been an undergraduate student who had gotten lost and had somehow ended up in the wrong auditorium. I had instantly known that she and I were meant to be. I had helped her find her way across campus causing me to be late. I had been scolded by my professors, but I found very little reason to care. I had met the woman of my dreams.
After grabbing a coffee and a muffin that Alice had made, I was on my way. I arrived on campus a few minutes later already seeing the new students enjoying the pastries that had been provided for them.
"Good morning, Carlisle." I heard a voice say causing me to turn around.
"Good morning, Aro. How are you doing?" I asked shaking his hand. Aro was not only a fellow professor, but also the Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine.
"I'm doing wonderfully. Are you ready for a new group of curious minds to teach?" He asked as we walked towards the students who were picking up their schedules.
"I enjoy the change of pace." I answered truthfully. "I think it's a good that we progress with the students. It gives us the chance to work with them in an environment that is very unique." I loved the fact that we stayed with the students guiding their progress throughout the four years
"I'll see you after my speech. You'll be addressing the students this afternoon, correct?" He said, noticing the time.
"It's my turn this year." I replied before he sped off into the auditorium.
"This is great we have all our classes together." I heard a melodic voice say as a very beautiful woman appeared in the crowd. She had luscious, wavy, brown hair and the brightest brown eyes I had ever seen. She was definitely a sight to behold.
"All first years take classes together, Bells. We were bound to have our classes together." Her companion replied with a chuckle. "But, come on we have to head inside for the Dean's welcome speech."
I watched both of them leave in utter shock. I hadn't found a woman attractive since Esme had died. It was almost as if her appearance had triggered something within me. Seeing her had awoken a sense that I had pushed away. What did that mean?
I knew it was nothing to worry about. Esme had been gone for eight years, and I knew it was a matter of time before I found someone attractive. She was pretty, but she was my student. I had to have her for at least one of the classes I taught.
Whatever the case my personal life was not important. I needed to go over my speech one more time before this afternoon's activities.
"Do you think that the classes will be hard?" I asked Edward as we returned from our lunch break. We were about to be split up into groups and meet our mentors.
"Bella, we both know its going to be a challenge. But, we have each other." He added his arm resting on the back of my chair.
"Our next speaker will be Dr. Carlisle Cullen. He is a graduate of Stanford Medical School and has been part of our faculty for the past twelve years." The student introduced before taking her seat.
"Good afternoon," he started once he reached the podium. I was completely taken aback by the man who stood before us. He wasn't old the way had imagined. He didn't look a day over thirty. He was tall and appeared to be well built. He had dark blond hair and piercing blue eyes. I had definitely never seen such a good looking man.
"Close your mouth. Flies are going to fly in." Edward chuckled, tapping the bottom of my chin. Edward chuckled into my ear quietly, tapping the bottom of my chin with his pointer finger.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I whispered, my eyes not leaving the man on the stage.
"It means you are not very sly. And, that you have the hots for one of our professors." He replied, still laughing.
"How do you know he's our professor?" I asked, rolling my eyes. We hadn't even gone to class, yet.
"Check your schedule." Edward suggested before turning his attention back to the speech. I took the schedule out of my agenda and realized he taught two of my six classes. He was teaching Human Anatomy I and Molecular Foundations of Medicine.
"Told you!" Edward added triumphantly as I pushed him playfully.
"You have all accomplished a great feat by getting here. But, your challenges are far from over. The road to becoming a great doctor never ends.. But, it starts here and it starts today. But, the road starts here and we will start on it together today. At Stanford we pride ourselves in helping you develop the knowledge and skills to become great doctors. We encourage you to work together with your fellow students instead of against them. There are no letter grades, but rather a simple Pass or Fail." Dr. Cullen explained.
"Part of the way we encourage teamwork is by dividing all incoming students into groups of five. The groups are selected based on a variety of factors including achievement level and distance from your residency. In other words, most of your group members will be living somewhat near you and you will all share the same class schedule. These groups will be led by a faculty member, like myself. I will now begin by calling the first group. If I call your name, please meet in the front lobby." He said before shuffling through his papers.
"Edward Masen," Dr. Cullen began.
"That's me," Edward said with a shrugged, picking up his bags.
"Good luck!" I stated before he got and began to walk out of the auditorium.
"Jessica Stanley, Isabella Swan." I practically jumped up when he called my name. I was instantly relieved that Edward and I were in the same group. But, I was extremely excited that our mentor was Dr. Cullen. I had always had a thing for doctors.
"Angela Weber, and Jasper Whitlock." He finished just as I had reached the door to the lobby.
"We're in the same group?" Edward asked. He was standing next to a girl with curly brown hair.
"We sure are!" I said happily. I couldn't help but notice the angry glare on the girl's face as I spoke.
"Hey guys!" The other guy in our group said, joining us. He was definitely from the South and had a strong accent. He was very tall like Edward, maybe even taller, with blond hair and light blue eyes. "I'm Jasper, and this is Angela and Jessica."
"I'm Edward and this is Bella." Edward introduced us. "Do you three know each other?"
"I grew up next door to Angela." Jasper explained as Angela smiled.. I could instantly tell that she was shy, but she seemed very nice. We would probably get along. "And, we both met Jessica while studying at the University of Texas. How about you two?"
"We've known each other since I was born. Our mothers are best friends and so are we." I answered just as Dr. Cullen approached us.
"Welcome," he said with a smile. "I'm Dr. Carlisle Cullen as you already know, and I will be your mentor for the next four years."
He definitely had the most gorgeous smile I had ever seen. And, his smile almost seemed to make his eyes sparkle. I was definitely attracted to him.
I was surprised when the beautiful girl I had seen stood up. I hadn't expected her to be part of my mentoring group, but it looked as if her boyfriend was part of the group as well. Not that it mattered. I followed them out of the auditorium, and found them all talking.
After I had introduced myself, I allowed each of them to introduce themselves as well. I led the group around campus to the Medical School building. "My office is on the third floor along with the conference room we will be using to meet as a group." I explained, noticing that she was looking at me.
"What would we be doing in these group meetings?" Jasper asked after we had entered the elevator.
"Well, during the group meetings we will be discussing what was learned through the past week. It's your chance to ask questions and get clarifications from me and your fellow classmates." I explained just as the elevator arrived on the third floor.
"How about the individual conferences?" Isabella, or Bella, asked. She had quite the lovely name.
"Those are more to measure your individual progress." I added as we walked.
"We meet as a group every Tuesday directly following your last class." I explained as I walked into my office before them. "Your individual conferences are scheduled throughout the day on Friday. Are there any questions?"
"How can we contact you?" Jessica asked, batting her eyelashes. I had grown accustomed to having students flirt with me, but I always found the situation completely disrespectful. And, I tended to ignore their advances.
"My office hours and contact information is printed on your schedules. If I'm unavailable feel free to email me or leave me a voice message. I'm pretty quick with responses." I replied causing the girl to pout. I ignored her and continued "Anything else? Well, I will see you all at the stethoscope ceremony tonight. Welcome to Medical School."
I took a seat at my desk once they had all cleared out. I was very confused about my attraction to my new student, Bella. I hadn't looked at another woman in years, and now I was looking at one that was clearly unattainable. What was wrong with me?
A/N: My first venture into a Bella/Carlisle story. I know its not the norm, but I can assure you that it is a great story. I have written ahead, and I love this story. Give it chance, and I can promise you not to disappoint.
My updates will come weekly, but as many you have noticed my chapter length has increased dramatically. My updates for this story will be every Wednesday. Make sure to add me to Alert to get them.
Finally, my one shot for the Steamy Movie Crossover is currently in first place. I would love for you guys to vote for the Quiddicth Match in Round 1. My other story, Saving My Life, will be in Round 2. Link to vote is also on my Author Page.
Next Chapter: First Day of Class