AN: Alright my dear readers. This is the last of the tidal wave of updates. I'm working on the next few chapters but have hit a little bit of a wall. Any ideas on how I can get through it are completely and utterly welcomed.
I've also read from your reviews that some of you are upset at how I've treated Edward. And well, he was a bit of a douche so I'm going to hate on him. True, he couldn't have known what his actions would have started but they did in fact start the dominoes. Don't worry, I'll give him a break...he needs to grow and develop like Bella did. Sometimes the more physical approach works when you're being very thick.
Anways, enough with my rambling! get to it!
Edward still didn't eat lunch with us, but the others seemed to have made contact with him. I didn't ask and they didn't say.
It was better that way.
I was burning to ask why Jasper showed up to school black and blue. But I didn't ask and he never said. I figured it out for the most point though when I went to science that day and saw Edward looking definitely worse off than Jasper. I assumed that they finally came face to face and resolved the majority of their issues.
What was even more curious was that even though I let everyone free to communicate with him if they wanted, Edward still didn't try anything. Not a word, not a lingering glance. So far in regards to Edward-Barbie Bella was a failure, with the rest of the male population at Forks High School however a resounding success.
I had been approached by boys, Mike Newton numerous times, but not one that caught my attention and held it.
Not until Tuesday.
Tuesday passed without incident until science class. Edward was being his respectful and annoying when Mr. Cermona made an announcement.
"Settle down everyone, we have a new student transferred in from the reservation. Let's welcome him."
The boy held his head down awkwardly but when he raised it he was grinning sheepishly. I heard myself gasp. W-o-w! His russet skin was warm, but his green eyes seemed out of place yet perfect all at the same time.
"Holy Crow," I mumbled brushing at my hair with my fingers. Never before have I ever really tried to make a good first impression, I usually just settled for being a boy. But I'm a girlie girl now, and Momma wanted to meet the new boy.
I felt Edward start at my verbal expression and then look at me. He followed my gaze and it actually became chillier in the room. Ignoring Edward I watched the boy scanning the room for an empty seat, to my immediate left one, the only one, sat patiently.
I watched Lauren physically trying to push Eric out of his seat but he wasn't budging. I watched with satisfaction when the new boy noticed the open seat and looked over our table. Heaven knows what Edward was doing, probably trying to kill him with his mind but his light green eyes met mine and I felt myself beaming at him.
He grinned back and started making his way over.
With my heart thundering in my chest I couldn't help remembering Jacob's words in my kitchen so long ago now:
"Jesus! Have you ever dated anyone else"?... and… "Honey, you need to get out there. You haven't even tested the waters—how do you know you're done?"
He had a point, so let's test that theory. The new boy settled down next to me and turned, his black hair falling over his eyes as he grinned at me.
"Hey, I'm Lee," He held out his hand. I giggled and slipped my own into his, "Bella."
"Nice to meet you," he shined at me, and I just let myself bask in his light , "You too Lee." He stared at me for a moment longer until Edward shifted restlessly.
"Oh hey man, I'm Lee," He nodded at Edward.
Edward nodded back but said nothing. He just returned his glowering in silence.
Lee was just being friendly and didn't deserve such behavior. I glared at Edward before turning to Lee and I rolled my eyes with a smile. He seemed to relax again and started asking me whispered questions about the school and our class.
The bell rang and there was the general shuffle of people retrieving books and bags that always seem to get so scattered during the class. Lee however didn't have a lot to gather it being his first day, yet he stood by our table and seemingly waiting for me to finish up. Hehehe! Suck it Lauren!
"So what class do you have next?" Lee asked as Edward stalked past purposely hitting his shoulder as he passed.
I sighed. What a child.
"I have painting, how about you?"
Lee light up, "Me too!" he exclaimed immensely pleased at his good fortune. Oh he was dangerous, I liked him already.
Walking to our next class I couldn't help but feel like we were being watched, but chalking it up to being paranoid I gave all my attention to Lee.
He looked troubled and then blurted out, "Are you and that kid from science a couple?"
I threw my head back and laughed. I really couldn't help it.
"Oh Lee, no we're not and never were. He's actually one of my best friends."
He seemed to like hearing this and relaxed. Lee, I was quickly finding out, was very easy going, easy smiler, just easy to be around. Hmm, maybe just what the doctor ordered.
I chatted easily with him and led him into our class. I introduced him to the girls but he had to sit across the room from me at the only available easel.
"Bella, where did you find him? I want one," Alice winked.
I smirked and replied, "Science class."
Alice laughed like a breeze through a wind chime.
Rosalie was pleased, "Excellent," She grinned already setting up her paints.
The girls didn't press, they just seemed satisfied to find me relaxed and smiling.
This is how it continued over the next few days.
Lee started meeting me in the parking lot and walking me to my truck at the end of the day. He even joined us for lunch.
Boys put up a terrifying front but Lee was able to talk cars and motorcycles and immediately had them eating out of his hand. Even Rosalie seemed to love him.
"He said he knows a trick to make my car run quieter and faster. I think I might marry him," I knew she was only half serious so I felt comfortable giggling.
I haven't felt this at ease or carefree for a very, very long time. I found myself smiling all the time, that my dad was so happy about the change that he couldn't find the heart to criticize me for my new clothing choices.
Lee fit seamlessly into our little group, we were all a lot happier about this new kid.
The only person not happy was Edward, he was getting if possible worse. He was cold and indifferent to begin with but now became surlier as the days went on. He made it a point to make science class a living hell for Lee that I finally snapped.
The bell rang and Lee started to leave but stopped when he saw I was still packing up.
"Go on, I'll catch up," I smiled at him. He didn't look like he wanted to leave but finally nodded and joined the line filing out.
Immediately once his bag disappeared from sight I rounded on Edward. We were the only ones left in the classroom. Even Mr. Cermona had fled at the bell, he might have sensed what was coming and got the hell out of dodge. Edward seemed to know that I wanted a word because he lagged behind, taking extra care as he packed up his bag.
Today I was wearing a plumb colored dress that billowed out around me as I turned on him.
"What is your problem?" I demanded. This was the first I have looked him straight in the eye since the traffic jam on the first day of school.
His face was carefully arranged. It displayed confusion and surprise, but his eyes flashed behind his mask.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Edward said softly, getting to his feet.
Anyone else might be terrified by his quiet tones, sense danger was approaching but I plowed on. I have been to hell and back, he sent me there. I could take whatever he threw at me.
"Liar! You forget that I know you better than anyone. Better than you know yourself and I know you're lying. You know exactly what I'm talking about! You've ignored me for weeks, and finally someone else pays attention to me and all of a sudden you have a problem with it. Get over yourself Edward," I yelled at him clenching my hands into fists.
He took a step toward me, his eyes blazing and for a moment we just stood there toe to toe. We glared at each other until he finally broke the stalemate.
"I haven't ignored you but I figured I was the last person you would want bothering you so I backed off. And of course I have a problem with this kid tripping all over himself to impress you," He hissed back at me.
I recklessly continued even though warning signs lined the road ahead.
"Problem? What could possibly be wrong with you?"
"I'm in love with you, that's the problem. I don't like any other guy smiling at you, or looking at you or anything with you. That's my job and my alone."
A ringing silence followed that proclamation. I came to notice how close we were standing. Our chests were brushing with our quick angry breaths. His nose brushed mine as he glared down deep into my eyes. I became aware of a heat in the pit of my stomach—a fire that had been extinguished was slowly sparking to life and licking at my insides.
I stumbled back from him. I broke the spell that was holding us in that moment.
"You had your chance, and you left. You're going to have to take a number now," I paused picking up my bag and throwing it on my shoulder. I hesitated and looked up at him, "You broke your promise. Leave him alone."
And with that I was gone, and my heart breaking all over again. I half expected him to run out after me but only the soft clicking echo of my shoes followed me down the hall. I stopped outside my art class and caught my reflection in the door. I was pale and drawn and…when had I started crying? Alarmed I wiped away the tears.
I couldn't go in there and expect to paint my feelings. I didn't even know what they were anymore. So I left and walked out to my truck.
Luckily no one saw me or tried to stop me. I just unlocked my door and as I was climbing in I felt eyes burning into my back.
I didn't turn, I knew whose hot glare that was. I shook my head and slammed the door shut. Taking a few deep breaths I brought my old beast roaring to life with a simple turn of the key. I drove away without looking back and acknowledging his presence.
I left, and skipped school for the first time in my life.
I stayed in bed the whole next day. The second time I have ever skipped school.
I looked really bad I guess that when my Dad got home told me not to worry about cooking anything, and sent me to bed with his assurances he'll take care of it.
By taking care of it he ordered a pizza. Whatever. He brought me a couple of slices that I managed to eat without really tasting them.
I fell into a restless sleep. I didn't have any nightmares per say, but I woke up more tired than when I fell asleep and I was tied up in my twisted covers.
My Dad came in to check on me and I told him I wasn't feeling good. He kissed my forehead and told me to relax. He'll call the school.
As he carefully closed the door, I straighten my covers out and rolled right back asleep.
When I finally felt refresh, the sunlight was coming in at a slant telling me it was late in the afternoon.
I sat up and reviewed the events of the last few weeks in a pro and con list in my head:
Edward was there
Edward was ignoring me
Edward is making science akin to a vivisection-like-fun
Edward was being awful to Lee
Edward told me he loved me
My makeover went well and I got the desired attention from Edward finally
My friends were all supportive and awesome, especially concerning Edward
Lee is beautiful and easy on my heart...even with Edward-the tool-Cullen harassing him
I'm mature and can handle myself like a lady around Edward
Edward told me he loved me
—Well that was helpful. What it comes down to is Edward, like usual. He admits that he loves me, and it's what I hoped and prayed for so long. But is it enough after everything? What about Lee?
With a groan I threw myself face first down into my pillow. Screaming out my frustration, I laid there with the soft cotton pressing on my face. Maybe it all would have been easier if I remained a tom boy, being a girl is complicated.
So there it is. Any ideas? Feelings?...good or bad? How about Edward or new boy Lee? He's kind of yummy... Lots of love dear readers~Paperairplanes