Disclaimer : I own nothing, Sthepanie Meyer's characters. Still the introduction, next chapter- more action, have fun reading

OK, I officially hated change. It wasn't much, I was used to taking to school a small group of kindergarten-brained teenagers, but the addition proved more annoying than I firstly imagined… At least with my brothers we had made something kind of a truce, we would not invade our morning habits and thoughts, and we frequently went to school almost in silence, or with some humming the song which was on, Alice wrapped in her world of Jasper and Rosalie at Emmett's arm, myself left to my thoughts… Well, goodbye, peace and tranquility! Hello, The Swans' interrogation…

We had a big van so it could easily fit the two new members of the "kindergarten group", but I don't know if it fit the noise… I must say…Alice could easily win a contest for throwing the most questions at a person in a minute. Poor Bella was doing as best as she could to try and answer at least half of them. There were mostly really stereotypical ones, the ones you ask a person when she first moves to a new place, what was your home like, do you miss it, do you like the new place? Somehow Alice managed to put all her charm in asking them, like she really wanted answers, and Bella remained composed as she talked.

"Well, our mother remarried last month. We aren't so little not to be observant and hang out like a big happy family, but not as grown-up to move by ourselves, so we just thought moving in with Dad for a bit, and trying to know him better for a change. I mean, we must have been like 10 when we moved away from Forks and went to Chicago…" and she suddenly became quieter

Alice sighed "I know what you mean, we were in Seattle till Carlisle got this "great job" two years ago as the director of Forks Hospital, I swear we were all excited for him when we heard, but when we got here…God, if we didn't damn the place, excuse the language (Bella was he kind of person one avoided cursing with), and then well, it actually grew on us", she laughed and turned around to face Jasper. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it seemed she had done it on instinct.

Yes, I could resonate with their feelings at moving to a new town, especially when you came from a bigger one, but I wasn't willing to have this discussion in the morning. I instinctively turned the volume on. It was a classical piece and it sort of relaxed me.

"Could you turn the damn thing off?" a sharp voice interrupted my calmness. I wanted to growl. It was Marie, of course. She looked kind of tired, and like this was just additional noise she couldn't handle. I was getting pissed. It was a non-spoken rule I would pick the music on the way and back while I drove. Bella threw her a glance and touched her gently. Marie turned towards her, then spoke again

"Or can you at least change it? God, not that I have something against your choice of music, but it sounds like mourning…Oh, are we mourning somebody and I didn't know?" There was more sarcasm in her voice than sympathy. I arched my eyebrows and turned to the local radio.

"Way-to-go, Marie, I couldn't make him change one of these songs for dear life", Emmett chuckled and the others laughed too. Bella just smiled to me in the mirror. Well, it wasn't all bad I guess.

Just that…it was. I forgot how people used to watch us a school. Though we were here for two years already, people still threw us glances and seemed uncomfortable around us. Heck, we were the Cullens after all, who had the money, the looks and apparently brains. Not the ears as we the comments around us never ceased. Alice always laughed and said they were intimidated by our looks, but what did she care, she had Jasper and cared only of his opinion. Even Rosalie, who seemed the most arrogant of us, dated someone from Forks, but then Edward Cullen was so full of himself – he would never lower himself to dating someone from this small town. That was what it was said on my expense, and I must say from girls mostly and I frankly couldn't care less. It wasn't like I was trying to impress anybody. It only came natural. (smirk)

Now imagine on this background the arrival of the new girls in town along with the Cullens. I just wanted to get the hell quicker to class. In my rush to do so, I forgot to ask Bella what was her class and maybe direct her. Well, I bet Alice already figured it all out. And Marie…well, I had the feeling she would find her way to class, though I internally smirked at the thought of her getting lost and being to proud to ask for directions.. So not little was my wonder as I strolled into class only to find Bella in my Biology class. Well, maybe it wasn't all bad, I might find some fun in school today.

I went next to her and without a moment's thought I took the seat next to her.

"Sorry, I didn't ask if it was taken"

"Kidding? I thought I would beg someone to sit here just so I wouldn't be the only one unpaired". A very natural smile crossed her face.

"Well, glad I made it then. It's more easily to stand out when you're new and have no one in the seat next to you, right?" I involuntarily remembered my first days of school in Forks, or better said the days spent in pubs or libraries rather than classes.

"I see you know what I'm going through", she smiled again. "Well, it's not easy to come in a new place and draw attention when you don't have the qualities necessary to prolong the attention. I mean, I'm not that beautiful, nor intelligent, and I'm so clumsy I spend more time on the floor than on a chair…" She said that looking directly at me, no self-pity, no exaggerations, just the plain truth. The way she saw it at least.

"Look, Bella, I don't think you do yourself justice. And believe me, the appearances don't mean anything, they would talk about you even if you were The Queen of Egypt. It's just gossip, it will pass..."

"Yes, I know that, but it depends how they would talk about me…" and she turned her eyes admiringly to her sister, who was surrounded by a group of students, already high in her social status. "I just wish I could handle being with people more, swiftly talking to them".

I didn't understand. Alright, so her sister was getting more attention, heck, even a lot of attention, but what did that count in the overall? There were just people trying to be polite, and getting something to say so they could say they interact. Not like they were actually communicating.

"Well, this will pass and you will get to make friends. Look, you've been like what, a week in Forks and now you already have a Biology partner ". I tried to keep my humor, and to my surprise she made some big eyes and answered

"You're right, Edward. Thank you". That was a nice moment, but didn't last long as we were interrupted by loud laughter.

Marie had come to see if Bella was Ok and found herself her class, always followed by a large fan group, she moved her glaze from Bella to me as she wanted to say something, but was interrupted by more laughs and then three boys suddenly started to talk all together and as her to this stupid dance this Saturday. She was answering politely all their questions until now, with a trained smile she didn't bother to show us, but now she only raised her eyebrow and tried to concentrate as the three dumbasses Mike, Eric and Tyler were inviting her in the same time to the dance. She concentrated a while to figure out what they were saying and as they finished with these stupid smiles on their faces, each thinking she would choose him over the others, she quickly responded

"Sorry, guys, I have plans on Saturday". Simply as that, of course with a charming smile, then came up to our desk.

"So, Bella, were you already invited to this dance?" she looked intently at me for a minute, then returned to Bella, who answered smiling

"Marie, I don't think you know, but it's a girls' choice...". Her response surprised me, I hadn't paid much attention to the ball, wasn't much of a partier, but now I was caught by surprise even a new girl knew about that, but not me. As I thought about it, Alice might have mentioned it to her, and maybe to me, only she had a better memory.

"Oh", this surprised Marie as well, I could tell, but she quickly composed and smiled "All the better, now you can take your time and pick your target". I didn't like how she spoke of it as planning a crime, and more so as she was challenging her, but I couldn't actually interfere now, could I?

Bella smiled and looked a little embarrassed, and Marie just wished her good luck and left for her own class.

Bella turned to me and the hour seemed to pass quickly, while I was thinking maybe if she spent more with us and less with her sister, Bella might get the chance to interact more. I bet it was difficult being permanently compared with a sister her age who was so social outgoing when she wasn't.

I tried to help her mingle, as I couldn't say I was a social outcast myself, although people gathered around me all for the wrong reasons, but still – no man is an island. But by the end of the day, Bella was sitting comfortable between me and Alice, at our Cullens table where few dared to join, while Marie was Mike Newton's table, laughing with all her teeth out and not bothering even to come to our table and say hi.

So it was strange when at the end of the day, she still came to our car, her smile gone from her, only to sit next to Bella, ask her a few questions about today and then falling quiet.

"yeah, my day was just fine, Marie, Edward was especially nice to me and took me around so I guess I won't get lost on campus". She smiled her small smile and I felt content. I seemed useful for once. She was so sweet and I felt the need to protect her. Today she had almost fallen ten times, she was surely a trouble magnet. So she needed attention, lots of it, attention no one seemed willing to give. Not her parents, not her sister, who seemed to be wrapped in their own world, maybe… a friend? I turned my gaze to the road. Did I want to be Bella's friend? Or something more? I had never felt the urge to protect somebody, I knew I had to think about it, but I didn't want to get to the bottom of this as well, afraid of what I might find out.