My family walked into the Forks High School cafeteria. Even though this was another new school, another new first day, the cafeteria looked just like our last five schools. Gray tiles, white walls, students crowded around tables, laughing, talking. The noise slowly died as they registered our presence. The appearance of vampires could be shocking at times. When the five of us were together, I knew we made an impression.

We spotted an empty table and headed for it. As we passed by, I could hear the whispers beginning to start.

"Who are they?"

"They must be part of the new doctor's family."

"I heard that some of them are together. They're all foster kids."

"I heard…"

"I heard…"

"I heard…"

I smiled grimly as we settled in at our table. There was no originality here. Neither in their whispers nor their thoughts. A bunch of sexually-deprived teenagers, already coveting the new students. One boy seemed particularly enamored with Rosalie. I snickered as I listened to his thoughts. Emmett would break every bone in his body if he tried to act on them. Forget him, Rosalie would break every bone in his body if he tried to act on them.

At my laughter, every eye at the table turned to me.

Hearing anything interesting? Alice asked me silently.

I shook my head, glancing quickly around the cafeteria again. "The guys here seem to like you, Rose," I told her, still quietly laughing. "But they haven't gotten to know you yet."

Rose glared at me, her patrician features icy. "Yes, well, those girls over there are talking about your ass, Edward. I think one of them is planning to try to feel you up after lunch."

I laughed harder, looking over to the group that Rose was talking about. Ah, the popular crowd. As well-styled as you were going to find in Forks, three girls sat haughtily at one end of the table, three boys at the other. Two of the girls were deep in conversation about the new students, while the third applied makeup to her eyes.

"Bella, Bella!" One of the two tugged on the third's arm. "Look at those guys over there!"

So the third's name was Bella. She tugged her arm free from the girl's grasp, glaring at her as she ran a finger over her eye. She glanced in our direction, then glared at her friend again.

"You idiot! You made me mess up my eyeliner," she informed the girl scathingly. "For them? They're nothing special."

The girl's face fell at Bella's glacial tone. "Sorry Bella. I just thought…Weren't you talking about how there are never any new guys around here? And those guys are really hot," she breathed, her tone a bit awed.

This Bella girl tossed shiny brown hair over her shoulder as she replied, "Again, Jessica, nothing special. You've just been stuck in this rinky-dink town so long, your taste in guys isn't any good. If you manage to get into college, you'll see what I mean."

Always the same. The popular crowd wasn't kind to anyone, not even each other. I watched as Bella went back to her eyeliner and the other two continued talking excitedly about my family. Jessica's unhappiness at Bella's rebuke quickly faded as sexual fantasies about me rose in her mind. I choked back more laughter. Again, no originality. Sadly, there never was any in high school. College was a bit better, though not much.

No trouble anywhere? Jasper asked silently. That was, after all, my job at our new schools. Making sure all the students wouldn't bother us, figure out what we were.

I listened harder. The usual thoughts abounded, but nothing new. I winced at the particularly lewd thoughts of those two girls from earlier. I turned my attention to the third, but heard nothing. That didn't overly concern me. Girls like that were usually no more than empty-headed shells. Turning back to Jasper, I shook my head. "All good. What about on your end?"

Jasper closed his eyes, feeling the emotions swirling around him. Suddenly, his face contorted as if in pain. When his expression didn't disappear, Alice shook his arm. "Jasper! Jasper!"

His eyes opened slowly. "Sorry," he muttered. "That girl over there," at this, he inclined his head back over to the popular table, "is really…dark. That's messed up, man." He breathed in and out rapidly. Jasper's ability was overwhelming to him at times.

We all looked over to the table this time. "Which one?" Emmett asked.

"The one by herself," Jasper replied. I tried tuning in to her thoughts again, but nothing.

"Edward?" Alice looked at me.

"Nothing there, Alice. Never is with girls like that. Don't worry about it."


They were looking at me. Why were they doing that? I hated it when people looked at me.

Despite what I had told Jessica a few minutes ago, they were good-looking. Probably the most beautiful people I had ever seen. Especially the bronze-haired boy. At the moment, he was shaking his head as he spoke to his family. But they had all been looking at me. Why?

I pressed my lips together as I resolved that it didn't matter. I had developed a new persona since moving to Forks. It had been almost two years ago, October of freshman year. This new town had given me a new start, and for that I both loved and loathed it. Loved it for the fresh start. And loathed it because I loathed the new me.

I looked around at my table. My so-called friends. Jessica, Lauren, Mike, Tyler, Eric. I couldn't say that I particularly liked any of them. But I had decided after moving here that I would become part of the popular crowd. The popular crowd was safe. No one ever bothered them. No one hurt them. They were who I had wanted to be.

And now I was. In fact, I was their leader. I guess it was a better position than a follower. And it was safe here. I protected myself behind a cold, bitchy exterior. The students of Forks, especially the guys, had learned not to bother me.

"Bella!" Evidently Jessica was recovered from our earlier conversation. "Your birthday's in five days! What do you want to do for it?"

My birthday? Right, it was coming up. Sixteen. My mom and I had had such big plans for my sixteenth birthday. I swallowed hard to fight the tears that had suddenly risen to my eyes. My mom had been so hurt when I had announced that I wanted to move to Forks. She didn't know why it was that I had to get away from Phoenix. And she didn't like the new me any more than I did.

I shrugged in response to Jessica's question. "I guess we should have a party," I replied unenthusiastically. Part of being popular was that there were certain expectations. A big party was expected for birthdays.

"Great!" Lauren chimed in. "We figured that was what you would want, so we started planning one already. It's going to be at Mike's house Friday night, starting at nine. His parents are going away for the weekend."

I nodded. "Sounds good."

"So do you want to come over to my house after school today to plan it?" Jessica asked brightly. "We can go shopping after. You'll need a new outfit for Friday!"

I groaned inwardly, but after my earlier remark I knew I had to. There was only so far a leader could push her followers before they rebelled. "Sure."

"Great!" they both squealed. Then they returned to their conversation about the new family. I sighed and turned back to my makeup.


The bell rang just as I entered the biology classroom. I handed my schedule to the teacher, Mr. Banner, who signed it, muttering under his breath about "another slacker to teach". I suppressed a grin at this, for there was little this man was going to teach me that I already knew. Having taken innumerable biology classes in various high schools and attended medical school twice, I could have taught this class myself. Undoubtedly better than this disgusting man, whose thoughts were turning lustful about the teenage females in the room as he looked over the class to find me a seat.

He pointed to a seat in the back, where the brunette from lunch was sitting. "Edward, you can be Bella's lab partner." He muttered to himself, "at least until she runs him off like the last two."

I did grin at this. Unlike these mortal humans, the small brunette didn't intimidate me. I dropped down into the seat next to her, my books hitting the table with a loud thud. The girl ignored me, drawing circles in her notebook again and again.

I had been planning to ignore her, but my early-twentieth century politeness got the better of me. I turned to face her. "Hello, I'm Edward Cullen. You're Bella?"

She looked up at me, a sneer coming over her face. She was a pretty girl, slender with big brown eyes and that wealth of shiny hair. "Didn't Mr. Banner already tell you my name? No need to ask a question you already know the answer to." I raised my eyebrows at this, which just seemed to annoy her further. She tossed her hair and turned away, and I froze as her scent finally washed over me.

Her blood was the sweetest I had ever smelled, and my hands clenched on the lab bench as I fought not to give in to my animal instincts right there. Up front, Mr. Banner was droning on about the lab, but I didn't hear anything, as I shook with the overwhelming urge to kill the girl. Human blood…

But no! No! Carlisle would be so disappointed. Everyone would be so disappointed. We would have to leave immediately... My hands crushed the lab bench as I fought my instincts, turning away from the girl as I pictured my family.

"Edward? Edward?"

The girl was calling me. I turned toward her, leaning in closely as a war built inside me. Kill the girl, or leave her be? She shrank back as I leaned in, her eyes becoming frightened. Was I scaring her? Yes, I was.

I was pleased by this. How dare this human come along and make me want her so badly? I had been good for so long. I leaned closer to her, breathing in her scent again as she repeated my name uneasily.


A/N: This is my return to fanfiction. I haven't written in a while, so please review! Of course, Twilight and all the characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just playing with them for awhile...