Discalimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I own nothing.
A/N: This is my first attempt at Twilight fan fiction, I hope you enjoy.
Thank you to herinfiniteeyes for betaing and encouraging me to post this (finally). If you like awesome lemonade go check out her stories.
I didn't bother to lift my feet as I shuffled out of my room and down the stairs into the kitchen. It was honestly not a very smart move on my part. I was accident prone to the core and could usually manage to trip even if I deliberately paid attention to where I was going. Thankfully I arrived at the table in one piece as I sat down with a bowl of cereal and the newspaper.
I opened the paper to the classifieds and scanned the apartment listings quickly. I had checked them a few days ago so I didn't expect to find too many new ones. I had called on a few earlier in the week and even went to see one the day before, but the place was far below human living standards. Of course, with my budget, I couldn't expect too much.
I had been avoiding the ads listed by those looking for roommates. I didn't really want a roommate, especially one I just met. It seemed disastrous to move in and live with someone you barely knew. However, I was running out of time to find a place. I sighed and finally made myself glance at a few of them.
One caught my attention immediately.
Looking for roommate. Located close to campus. Low rent.
It seemed simple and honest so I made a note of the number. Low rent probably meant that it was a dump, but being close to campus without living in a dorm was all I could ask for. The fact that it mentioned campus allowed me to hope that the person placing the ad was a student as well.
I was very excited about starting college. Actually, I was more excited to offically leave high school behind. I had grew up in Forks, Washington, small town USA, where everyone knew everyone and no one had any secrets. It seemed that everything I hated about high school like wild rumors and relentless gossip followed you into adulthood. It reminded me of a soap opera, where everyone was tangled into everyone else's life and there was a constant stream of drama. I couldn't much blame them, what else was there to do? Nevertheless, during my 18 years spent there I cherished my privacy and had successfully kept to myself, and I was quick to make my exit.
I was temporarily bunking with my brother, Emmett, and his wife, Rosalie. They lived in Seattle and not too far from the University of Washington. They had offered their extra room to me once I decided on UW and I had been staying with them for the latter half of the summer. However, they had recently discovered that they were pregnant. They insisted I was still welcome and there was no rush to move out, but I knew they needed their space and would want to prepare their nursery.
Emmett walked into the kitchen and playfully tussled my hair as he passed.
"Mornin' Bells," he said way too cheerfully for the early hour. He grabbed a bowl from the cabinet, sat down next to me and poured himself some cereal.
"Morning," I said gruffly. I looked around. "Where's Rosalie?"
"Puking," he said causally without looking up, adding milk to his bowl.
"Emmett!" I scolded. "Why aren't you up there with her? You should be soothing her!" I swatted his arm with the back of my hand.
"Hey!" he flinched and looked at me wide-eyed. "I tried ok! She told me to get the hell out!"
I rolled my eyes at him, but in all honesty it sounded like Rosalie. She was a nice person and I found living with her fairly manageable, but she had a strong personality that could be very intimidating. I went back to searching the ads, biting on the end of my pen cap.
"Any luck?" Emmett asked after a moment.
"Um, yeah. I may have found one."
"There really isn't any rush, you know." He looked up at me as he stuffed a heaping spoonful of cereal into his mouth.
"I know. But you will need me out eventually, and I would rather not have to move in the middle of the semester."
He shrugged. "Well, don't take a place just because you feel like you need to get out. We have a long nine months before we need your room."
I smiled and nodded, then returned my attention to the paper. Unfortunately I didn't find any others worth calling.
A few hours later I reluctantly called the number I had noted.
"Hello?" a chipper voice answered after only one ring.
"Um, hi. I was calling about the apartment."
"Of course! What's your name?"
"Bella," she said testing my name out. Apparently my name saficed as she followed up with, "Are you a student?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Perfect! Now, what time can you come by?" she asked cheerfully.
I paused for a moment and consulted the clock. "Four?"
"Sounds great. Come to 878 Forest Grove, I'm in apartment 621. See ya then!" She hung up.
I pulled the phone from my ear and looked at it in confusion, not sure how I felt as I pressed end. I began to question my decision to consider roommates, but figured I should meet her in person before jumping to any conclusions.
I arrived at the building at ten til four, parked and got out. Looking around I quickly realized there was no way this was low rent. The grounds around the building were beautifully landscaped and the building itself looked fairly new, not to mention my rusty truck stuck out like a sore thumb next to the newer coupes surrounding it. Maybe the perky person on the phone had a different definition of low rent than the rest of the world, or at least the middle class.
I shook my head, knowing it was a waste of time, but decided to go through the formalities at least, as she was expecting me.
I easily found my way through the building and to her door. I raised my hand to knock but the door opened before I could touch it. A small girl who seemed to be my age with short, dark hair and bright emerald eyes appeared before me. Her face was lit up in excitement.
"You must be Bella!" she claimed cheerfully. She grabbed my hand and pulled me through the doorway.
"I'm so excited about meeting you! You have no idea how many calls I have gotten and people coming by. It's honestly been a nightmare, but my last roommate transferred to UCLA and all my friends are in the middle of their leases and I had to find someone to live with. I can't live by myself! I mean, Angela has been gone for over two weeks and I am about to go out of my mind." She talked a mile a minute and I started to wonder when she would take a breath.
"Anyway, when you called I got so excited! I could tell from your voice you were friendly. You have no idea the weirdos that I have been through here!"
Throughout her rambling I had stared in awe as she pulled me through the apartment. If I hadn't know it before I got into the room, it was obvious now; the place was not in my budget. The living room was as bigger than the one in my childhood home and was decorated extravagantly. It looked like something out of a magazine with its sleek furniture, expensive art pieces and hardwood floors. The ceiling was high and the room opened to a large balcony.
The small girl next to me watched as I looked around.
"So, what do you think? Do you like it?" she asked. "If you have things of your own, I might be able to work them in somewhere, but I will have to see them first."
I looked at her in disbelief. She was practically offering me the place with me having said only a handful words to her, all of which had been over the phone up to this point.
"It's very nice--," I started, about to inform her I could never afford it, but she started pulling me in another direction.
"Great! I knew you would like it. Let me show you your room!"
She pulled me across the room and down a short hall that consisted of four doors.
"Bathroom," she listed as we passed the first one.
"Closet," she pointed to the door across from the bathroom.
"My room," she motioned to the second door on the right.
We approached the last door on the left and she pulled it open dramatically slow. "And this will be yours."
I walked the rest of the way in. The room was huge, painted a soft lavender color with thick brown curtains drawn back from the oversized window located on the far wall. It was completely furnished with dark mahogany bed, dresser and a nightstand that held an expensive looking lamp. I wasn't usually one for the formal look, but it was beautiful. I wished badly I could take it.
"Nice, huh? You can change the color if you want, and bring your own furniture if you are more comfortable with it. I just keep it this way for guests. Oh, and the hallway bath will be all yours, I have my own in my room," the small girl said from behind me. I turned around to face her.
"Look.. this place is great, but it's obviously out of my price range."
She narrowed her eyes and smirked at me. "What's your price range?"
I looked at the floor and bit my lip. "Well, I have a job lined up with the campus library. I should have about $400 for rent."
"Perfect," she said as grabbed me again and started pulling me back toward the living room.
"Now, when can you move in? The movers who moved Ang out were really fast and I could call and have them at your place tomorrow. Well, wait; are you already living in the city? I'm sure it doesn't matter, they can go--"
I stopped in my tracks, causing her to stop and spin toward me.
"Wait; didn't you hear what I said? I can't afford to live here."
She laughed and waved her hand dismissively. "Don't be silly. What you have is fine. I can cover everything else."
I stared at her incredulously. "Really, that's very generous, but I couldn't accept. I wouldn't feel right about not being able to pay for my own part."
"Bella," she laughed again, "its honestly no problem. Money is not an issue. I could afford the place by myself, but I like the company. You'll be doing me a favor."
I frowned at her. I didn't want to disappoint her, but there was no way I was going to let a stranger pay part of my rent. She noticed my expression.
"Oh come on, Bella! Please! Don't make me have to sift through more crazy people! I promise it's not a big deal. Plus where will you go? I know what the pickings are like out there. It's only a 15 minute ride to campus and I'm great to live with!" Her eyes pleaded with me.
As much as I wanted to tell her how I loathed depending on others, I knew she was right. There was no way I would find a decent place and move in before classes started in under two weeks.
She must have seen my defenses weakening because suddenly she squealed, jumped and clapped simultaneously before crushing me in a hug. I was taken back by the force of her small frame.
"Oh this is so exciting! Now, like I was saying, I can get those movers to you by--," I cut her off.
"I don't need movers, my brother and his friend can handle it."
"Great! So just call me tomorrow and let me know when to expect you," she said as we started toward the door. I was almost in the hall before I paused and turned on my heel to look at her.
"I don't even know your name," I realized.
Her smile widened. "I'm Alice."
The next afternoon I arrived in my truck loaded down with my belongings. There wasn't a lot to move as I had decided not to bring my bedroom furniture. Alice insisted it was fine to use what was in there, and I didn't see the point of making her go to the trouble of moving it all out and having it stored somewhere.
I grabbed a large box from the back of my truck as Emmett and Rosalie's younger brother, Jasper, discussed how best to handle my desk. When we got to the door Alice opened it again before we could knock.
"Hi, Bella!" She greeted me as if I had known her my whole life instead of just a little more than a day. She stepped aside as I walked in with Emmett and Jasper on my heels. We all headed back to my new room and I directed the boys where to place the desk. Once their hands were free I introduced them.
"Alice, this is my brother, Emmett, and his brother-in-law, Jasper."
Alice stared at them and although I hadn't known her long, I was fairly positive that it was the longest amount of time that she went without speaking. Her gaze seemed to linger on Jasper, and I noticed a slight smirk on his face as he returned the stare. Emmett took a step in her direction and held out his hand.
"Hey there," Emmett grinned. His voice seemed to break the spell on her and she took his hand.
"Hello," she smiled sweetly. "You must be Bella's brother, you have those doe eyes just like her. Plus you seem just as friendly." She turned to face Jasper with her hand still outstretched, but instead of shaking it he pulled it to his mouth, kissing her knuckles. I rolled my eyes.
"Alice, nice to meet you. I'm Jasper." I thought I saw him wink. She just smiled in return.
Finally we left to get the next load, Alice in tow.
It only took a few hours to unload everything, but Alice talked the entire time. I was relieved when her focus drifted to Jasper, asking him numerous questions. At one point Emmett gave me a concerned look that seemed to be questioning my choice in roommate but I just shrugged. Alice was harmless and her chatter didn't really bother me all that much.
Once everything was in I collapsed on the couch, letting my eyes close and taking a deep breath. After seeing the guys out Alice joined me.
"Jasper seems really nice," she said softly.
"He is," I said without opening my eyes.
She was quiet for a moment. "Do you know if he is... seeing anyone?"
I lifted my head from the back of the couch and looked at her, smiling just a little. "I don't know. I don't think so."
She smiled sheepishly. "Well, I hope I get to see him again soon."
I shrugged. "I'm sure Emmett will have one of his cookouts soon enough. I'll take you if you'd like."
She jumped slightly in her seat. "That would be great!" She then allowed herself to collapse against the couch as well and sighed happily. She seemed so easily pleased.
"Thanks again for the room, Alice. I wish I could--," I started but she stopped me.
"Bella, it's fine. I'm just glad you accepted. Now we can be best friends," she said very matter-of-factly.
I smiled at her as we began talking. We discussed a little bit of everything; what we were going to school for (me for English and her for Psychology), our likes and dislikes, etc. I found her very easy to talk to and we stayed up late getting to know each other.
Sometime after midnight I told her I was spent and walked back to my new room. I frowned at the unpacked boxes and dreaded tomorrow, but pushed it to the back of my mind. I changed, flicked the light off and pulled the thick curtains together. With the curtains drawn the room became pitch black and I had trouble locating the bed. I searched blindly with my arms out in front of me, but my toe found it first. I yelped slightly, but it was quickly forgotten once I crawled into the bed. It was amazingly soft and I sunk into a peaceful sleep almost immediately.
I woke the next morning to rustling movement in the bed. I fought to stay asleep, but only seconds later felt the movement again. As my mind started to clear, I realized that I hadn't moved. At least I didn't think I had. I worked to open my heavy eyelids.
Only a touch of the morning's sun leaked into the room, but it was enough for me to see the form of a stranger - lying right next to me.
Thanks for reading! Leave a review! Next chapter should be up in a few days.