**I do not own the rights to Twilight or its characters, but I do own this attempt at fan fiction. Thank you - the management **
FYI to readers, there will be no Jacob. Sorry. I'm Team Edward!
This is stupid. I thought to myself as I wandered around Newton's Olympic Outfitters while my best friend, Alice Cullen, threw various camping gear in my general direction and into our shopping cart.
"I can't believe you don't own a sleeping bag Bella, or any camping gear. We practically live in the wilderness." She huffed as she kept tossing items into our cart, but she was right; we did live in the wilderness of Forks, Washington. We live in a VERY small town in the upper northwest of the state, on the outside of the Olympic National Park. Some days it was more common to see a deer cross my front lawn than a neighbor. There wasn't much around, no major malls, no major highways, and no major excitement. This end of year camping trip which Alice was meticulously planning was the most excitement in the past 4 months.
We were heading to Pacific Beach State Park for four days and three nights of camping with a big group of friends from school. Sure, it would be fun, in an end of high-school kind of way, but it would also be excruciating because I can hardly walk on a flat surface, let alone the uneven ground of a campsite covered in rocks, twigs and god knows what else. I shuddered to think of all the flora and fauna I would have to endure because of this trip. Thanks to Alice's extreme excitement, I figured the easiest thing to do was get this over with before I headed to the University of Washington in a few months. I didn't need to face the wrath of Alice Cullen all summer long.
"Here Bella, go try on this bathing suit?" asked Alice, although it was less of a request and more of a demand. I held up the small bikini and wondered what the hell she was thinking. It was barely two pieces of blue fabric being held together by string. I couldn't believe she thought I would wear this.
"Alice, you can't be serious?" I exclaimed, and then she looked at me as though I had just broken her heart. "It's the Pacific, and it's salt water" I remarked again hoping she would catch on that it would be a bit cold for a bikini.
"Bella, you can just wear it on the beach while we get some sun. Would it kill you? Pretty please…." Alice looked at me with such a big smile; I just put my head down in defeat and stormed into the changing room.
After an hour of trying on various clothes and selecting various gear, Alice ensured me that we had everything we needed. We paid for our purchases and then with the help of Mike Newton, took all our gear out to my old truck. Ah, my trusty old truck. Alice was not a fan but she didn't want to bring her Porsche because she didn't think there would be enough room in the truck for all of our gear. Too bad she spent the entire drive town complaining about the speed, or lack thereof, that my truck went at. It had been a gift from Charlie when I first moved to town last fall. I think he felt awful that I was being uprooted from Phoenix after my mom died, and was required to come live with him by the good folks in the Arizona Court System. He was my dad after all but we hadn't spent much time together in the past few years. We used to spend time together in the summer, but the older I got, the less fun it became, until it eventually went away completely. I always regretted losing touch with him and thought of my moving in with him as a second chance.
I dropped Alice off at her house and noticed two unknown cars in the driveway. My first thought was that Carlisle, her dad, was having colleagues over from the hospital again. Every now and then he brought some of the doctors over for a poker game. On those nights, Alice was usually at my house trying to curl my hair or making me listen to some generic pop band. The more I noticed the cars, the less likely I thought they were Carlisle's friends. One of the vehicles was a gigantic Jeep outfitted with some huge obnoxious lights on top, someone obviously liked off-roading, and the second was a sleek silver Volvo. "My brother's are home for the summer" Alice noted casually. She grabbed her items from the back of my truck and I waved at her, agreeing to meet her tomorrow morning for our trip.
I hadn't had the chance to meet anyone in Alice's family, with the exception of her parents, Esme & Carlisle. She had 2 older brothers, Emmett & Edward, but they had left for college before I moved to Forks last September. As I went to pull out of the driveway, I saw the front door open and one of her brother's join her on the front porch. He didn't look much older than me, maybe a year or two but even from a distance you could tell he was strikingly handsome. He held his hands out to help Alice with her packages and then went inside the house behind her.
I didn't think much more of the exchange until Alice called later that night. She had convinced 20 of our friends to come camping, which was located a few hours south of Forks. There were campgrounds a lot closer to home, but Alice wanted to be as far from the watchful eyes of our parents as possible and I agreed wholeheartedly. After all, it wouldn't be much fun if my father, the police chief, was called to a disturbance at the local campground and I was involved. I wouldn't hear the end of my idiocy for a week, at least!
Alice was calling to complain that her brothers wanted to come camping with us, and she was worried how they would react to her and her steady boyfriend, Jasper. You'd probably call them more then "steady" though. Jasper had moved to Forks around the same time as me, with his parents and twin sister Rosalie. Edward and Emmett had only met Jasper once, and completely lived up to the hype of the "over-protective" big brothers. Alice told me Jasper was scared to even touch her hand for 2 straight weeks after they met.
"I don't want them to join us, Bella, they will be so defensive, I won't get to enjoy myself and all this will be for nothing." She screeched into my cell phone. I tried my best to reassure her that they would be sufficiently bored with the high-school outing and would probably head home early when they realized how harmless the camping was going to be.
"Jasper and I won't be able to get the 'privacy' I intended Bella," she moaned unhappily. I knew her and Jasper had yet to have sex because she kept insisting they were waiting for the right moment, but as my history can attest to, when is the right moment? I think she thought that camping would be the right moment, but I hated to inform her that doing it against a rough tree or on the bumpy dirt wasn't as exciting as she made it out to be. Interesting certainly, but not romantic.
Alice laughed my jokes off and went back to fretting about her brothers.
"Alice, think positively, maybe some of the other girls attending could distract your brother's enough so that you can jump Jasper's bones" I laughed.
"Well, Emmett did express a little interest in Rosalie when she was over yesterday, maybe I can…." she stopped talking, obviously too wrapped up in her own thoughts to verbalize anything. "Too bad Edward is moodier than Emmett. Maybe it won't be so bad after all" she commented.
After thanking me for calming her down, she commented that we would meet at her place at 9 the next morning.
"You are not bringing your old beast of a truck" she wailed. "We'll never get to the campground before sunset if we have to drive that."
I had to agree with her, it was a bit slow, but it was mine I thought over protectively. She then informed me we would be taking her brother's cars and there would be plenty of room for all of our stuff, even without the huge space in the back of my pickup. Ah… Packing, right, I needed to get that done. I just needed to bring some food and all the stuff we bought earlier that day, plus some actually comfortable clothes. Maybe a book or two I pondered as I filled my large duffle bag. Ok... three books. After all, lying on the beach won't be that exciting.
The next morning, I said my goodbyes to Charlie. He insisted on making me listen to him explain the proper way to light a propane camp stove, even though I knew full well that I wouldn't be the one doing it. After the 10 minute lecture I finally made my way over to Alice's. I had Coldplay blaring from my truck as I pulled in the Cullen's driveway. I hoped no one could hear me singing along.
Alice was standing outside with her brothers, loading the Jeep and Volvo with as much gear as possible. I watched in awe as I saw her brother Emmett lift a keg into the back of his truck with ease. I jumped out of my truck and went to grab my bags, when I felt someone standing behind me.
"Coldplay huh?" he asked casually. I looked into his deep green eyes and was kind of mortified for a moment, clearly horrified that I had been heard.
"Uh yeah…" I stammered as I stared from his eyes to his lightly bronzed hair. "Alice calls me a Coldplay whore because of how much I love their music. Are you a fan?" He nodded his head indifferently and grabbed my duffle bag from my hand.
"I'm Edward, by the way. I'm assuming you're Bella?" He commented quizzically as he walked over to his trunk and put my first bag into it.
"Yeah, Bella Swan" I explained as I reached into the bed of my pickup for the rest of my bags. I felt him behind me, reaching in with me to grab my sleeping bag and other items I had packed. It was probably just my mind playing tricks on me, but when I felt him behind me, I could have sworn there was a small shock between us.
"Just static electricity" I mumbled quietly as I grasped my last bag and tossed it onto the ground. Apparently I had mumbled that louder than I expected as he gave me a puzzled look as we loaded the last of my bags into the trunk. Fuck, I thought to myself. This is going to be a long 4 days.