Bella's long, white, feminine fingers slowly picked apart the chocolate chip cookie in front of her. She paused for a moment, put the cookie up to her nose, inhaled, then quickly returned to mutilating it above her tray, this time with a wrinkled nose.

She did the strangest things sometimes and not knowing the reasons behind them absolutely killed me. I was constantly asking her what she was thinking, for those precious moments when she would stretch her mind out and allow my entrance were few. I treasured these moments, and she knew it, but it took too much of her energy to do it often, though she was becoming excedingly better.

She had ripped through half of the cookie before acknowledging my stare and looking up at me with her breathtakingly beautiful smile. For a second I thought I had felt the brief, weak flutter of a long lost heart in my chest, but of course it was just my imagination. It amazed me how human she could make me feel sometimes.

I smiled hugely back at her, and her eyes brightened. If she was still human she would be undoubtedly blushing, for her eyes used to do that right when the pink would start to seep in.

I noticed her nose twitch a little, no doubt wanting to wrinkle at the vile smell of the pizza filled lunchroom, which reminded me of the maimed cookie. My eyes quickly flashed down to her tray at the remembrance, much to quick for any human to notice I had even averted my gaze from Bella's heavenly face. I wasn't quick enough for her though, for she smirked at the curious look I had.

"You can never mind your own business, can you?" Bella said playfully.

"Never," I replied, laughing quietly along with her soft bell-like laugh.

She gave me a daring look and let her hair slightly fall in front of her eyes. Then she closed her eyes and pressed her lips tightly together, with a look of intent concentration on her face. Excitement boiled up inside of me.

"I hate it when you look at me like that," Bella's familiar "voice" entered my head, teasing. I could have picked it out of a billion.

"Like what?" I said, leaning in a little closer to her.

"Helpless. Like your blind, deaf, & mute. Every other person in this world goes there whole lives without knowing what the people around them are thinking, but God forbid Edward Cullen goes an entire day without hearing one lone person," she smirked, obviously proud of the fact that she was that lone person.

I laughed quietly, already moving past our silent conversation and looking for the answers I wanted, not wanting to waste the time I had in Bella's head.

When I saw why she had been so fascinated with the cookie, I couldn't stop my laugh from growing in volume and length. Bella gave me a hard look.

"What are you laughing about now?" Rosalie asked suspiciously.

"God, I hate it when he does that," Emmett groaned.

"I don't see what's so funny about that," Alice said confused.

"You could try having your conversations out loud, you know," Jasper stated annoyed.

"I'm sorry you guys, Bella was just being unintentionally funny," I choked out between my chortles.

"Again," Rosalie, Emmett, & Jasper all said simultaneously.

"I still don't see what was so funny," Alice thought distractedly.

Then they all looked at Bella expectedly after noticing mine and Alice's silent conversation, obviously thinking that getting any answers out of us was not going to happen.

"I don't know what his problem is," Bella said loudly, still upset over my over-the-top laughter at her behavior, "It really wasn't that funny. I was just trying to remember what about the smell of chocolate I used to find so irresistibly overwhelming. I find it the most repulsive odor so far." She smiled hugely then and I caught sight of what she found so funny just before the strange barrier between our minds closed.

"Well aside from Jacob and his pack."

At this Emmett laughed hysterically, Jasper made a gagging sound, and Rosalie hissed quietly.

I laughed quietly with Bella, reaching to hold her hand in mine. Then something strange happened.

I heard a new voice. One I had never come into contact with before. I adopted a more serious mood, concentrating on listening in, and trying to find out who it was.

The group felt the change in atmosphere, and leaned in intently to hear anything Alice or I might have to say.

"They call this food edible? Houston High would have never allowed this outrageousness," the unfamiliar voice said.

"Oh my god." The girl, I had found out that much so far, had remarkably forgotten to breathe. She was staring directly at our table.

"Who are they?"she asked her neighbor, Erin, emphasizing the last word, and pointing a short bony finger in our direction.

Erin laughed, "Of course. the Cullens."

"They're the Cullens. They're all foster kids of Dr. Cullen, who's the head surgeon over at the hospital, and his wife Mrs. Cullen."

"God, they're gorgeous. And he's a doctor? So they have money too."

"Figures." she added silently in her head.

"Yeah. Um, the tall blond girl, that's Rosalie Hale, and the other blond is her twin, Jasper Hale. The short, spiky haired girl is Alice Cullen, the big burly one is Emmett Cullen, the smaller, bronze-haired boy is Edward Cullen, and the brunette next to him is Bella Cullen."

"So are the Cullen's all real brothers and sisters?" the girl asked curiously.

There it was. Haley. Her name was Haley.

Erin laughed again, this time a bit obnoxiously, "God, no. They're all together. Jasper and Alice, Rosalie and Emmett, and Bella and Edward. And they all live together!"

Erin's short sentence contained all the gossip of the small town we were currently living in just like Jessica's had that January eighteenth 6 years ago. I laughed quietly to myself at the irony.

"Woh, really!" Ashley said with unnecessary shock.

I turned and looked back at my family, all of them but Bella looking off at nothing in particular, nonchalantly listening in on Erin and Ashley's conversation. All of them were smiling at the reoccurence.

Bella was staring at me, with an unfamiliarly curious look on her face. Then she closed her eyes and concentrated again.

"Yeah we think they're married, because she is always wearing this amazing wedding set, and they're always affectionate. Anyways, we figure she probably got pregnant when she was a freshman or something and …." I chuckled at Erin's absurd rumors while returning Bella's intense stare.

"You can hear her?" she asked in her thoughts in an urgent voice.

"Of course," I answered, wondering why I wouldn't be able to.

"Oh," she sighed, relief washing over her. Then I got it. The irony was just a little too much for her.

She noticed the look on my face, which could only have been a mask of shock at the absurdness of her even thinking their was an ounce of competition on this earth for her. She laughed too, realizing just how insane it was to think that.

"So your not planning on leaving me for the new little human?" she thought playfully while gazing back up at me.

I chuckled darkly down at her while leaning in the little ways I needed too to close the space between us. "There's no competition," I whispered, before closing the distance.