I don't own Twilight.


Chapter One

Recapitulation


Three years ago, my father gave me a stack of Playboys so I could "take care of things," but they never really did it for me. The articles may have been surprisingly well-written, but the glossy, airbrushed photographs among them seemed far too artificial to be stimulating. I asked him if there was anything out there that was a bit more realistic, and we soon progressed to Hustler. These women were a bit more life-like, but they were also a bit more, for lack of a better word, coarse. I tried a few other magazines, but they were all similarly disappointing. I now had a parentally provided porn stash that would make any guy jealous, but I never actually used it for its intended purpose. None of it aroused me as much as my fantasies involving a certain teacher.

Isabella Swan taught freshman English at my high school, and physically she was my ideal. I'd seen her around the halls, but I'd lacked a sufficient reason to approach her. I never thought I would run into her outside of school, but the longer I watched the stunning brunette standing on the other side of the Art Museum's Great Stair Hall, the more convinced I became that it had to be her.

Maybe I was making a generalization based on appearances, but she didn't look like the kind of girl who would hang out in a museum, nor did she resemble the kind of girl who'd be out alone on a weekend. In all fairness to her body, she didn't look like a girl at all. Her fitted jeans and sweater left none of her curves to the imagination. Miss Swan was definitely a woman. And for whatever reason she was here--by herself at a museum on a Friday night standing less than twenty feet away from me. She looked more beautiful than I would have thought possible, and I spent a great deal of time thinking about Miss Swan. In my mind we were intimately acquainted, and I had an extremely vivid imagination.

At school she dressed modestly and professionally. Up until now I'd never seen Miss Swan wearing jeans, nor had I ever seen her with her hair down. I hadn't realized it was so long and I imagined how it would look against her bare skin. It would probably cover most of her breasts, leaving only their undersides exposed. Her nipples would peek through her curls...

I became a bit uncomfortable and excused myself to the men's room where I quickly took care of business. I also used the facilities, knowing I would hate to tear myself away again from the vision of Miss Swan's ass in those jeans. When I returned to the Great Stair Hall, the musicians were between sets. I scanned the room, fearful she had left. She stood just where she'd been before, holding a glass of white wine.

"You seem distracted."

My father's voice brought me back to reality. His eyes followed my gaze to the object of my preoccupation.

"Oh," he said knowingly. "She's very pretty. You should go talk to her."

"I'm not in the mood to be humiliated, Dad."

"What makes you think it will go badly?"

"She doesn't strike me as the type of woman who lacks male attention. And she's older..."

"She doesn't look any older than twenty-one, maybe twenty-two. She's probably an art history student. You have nothing to lose by trying."

Little did he know.

"Actually Dad, she teaches at my school," I clarified.

"You never told me you had a thing for one of your teachers."

I blushed. "She isn't one of my teachers, I've just seen her around. She's kind of hard to miss..."

"Hang on a second." My father walked over to the bar and returned with two glasses, one of which he handed to me. "I guessed which wine she's drinking. Why don't you bring this over to her?"

"And say what? 'My dad bought you wine so you'd talk to me? Cheers!'"

"Edward, trust me on this. You'll find most women will be polite to you if you treat them respectfully. I can't promise you she'll return your advances. Given the fact she teaches at your school, I'm fairly sure she won't. But the more you put yourself out there, the easier it will become for you. I know you're not very accustomed to the concept, but most people are not born with skills. Just because you have never had to work at anything, doesn't mean you won't in the future. There are things that require practice, Edward, even for someone of your intelligence. Interacting with the opposite sex is one of them."

"I get that, Dad."

I couldn't tell him that I had no desire to hone my pick-up skills on Miss Swan. I craved her attention, but not to 'practice' on her, and certainly not if she was only seeking to placate me. I wanted desperately for her to like me and to see me as an equal. Then again, I knew I couldn't approach her at school where she would surely disregard me. I may never get a chance like this again, and I needed to talk to her. If we had nothing in common, my obsession would resolve itself.

I walked across the Great Hall, pausing when I was directly behind her. I took a deep breath and inhaled her scent. Miraculously, I found my voice.

"Would you care for another glass?"

"Excuse me?" she said.

I faced her and smiled, replacing her empty glass with the full one my father had given me. She stared up at me, saying nothing. Her face was blank.

"Do you always react this way when a man buys you a drink?" I asked.

The half-smile she gave me was incredibly sexy. "That depends. Is the man in question old enough to legally consume the aforementioned beverage?"

She was teasing me, and I loved it.

"Touché," I replied.

"Thank you for this." I studied her full lips as she sipped her wine.

"You're welcome, Miss Swan."

Her demeanor immediately shifted.

"I'm sorry, do I know you?" she asked defensively.

"I'm Edward. Edward Cullen. And I don't believe we've ever formally met."

I nervously held out my hand. She shook it, but then quickly pulled away. My cheeks heated up at the touch of her hand, and I silently urged my cock to heel.

"I don't want to make you uncomfortable. I was just excited to see a somewhat familiar face here. I thought maybe until the music started again you might want to walk through some of the collections with me, but it seems like it may have been a bad idea. In which case, I'm sorry if you think I've behaved inappropriately. Enjoy the rest of your evening, and maybe I'll see you around school next week. Goodnight, Miss Swan."

I turned to leave when I heard her call out after me.

"Ms."

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"Ms. Swan. I find 'miss' outdated and borderline offensive. Tell me, Edward, would you like to be verbally defined solely by your marital status?"

I shook my head, unable to wrap my mind around the fact she was still speaking to me.

"Then I'm sure you can imagine why I would feel the same way. Now, which collections did you have in mind?"

I suggested European, and she began to walk in the direction of that gallery. I lingered behind in disbelief. She gestured for me to join her, and with one large step I was at her side.

"So, come here often?"

I laughed nervously, questioning the meaning behind her usage of a clichéd pick-up line as a conversation starter. As we settled into light banter, I studied her closely. Up close she was exquisite, far more so than even I had imagined. She would bite her lip and push her hair behind her ear while she listened to me speak and I briefly entertained the notion that perhaps she was as nervous as I was. I soon felt completely at ease talking to her. I wanted more...

When she mentioned she was looking for a piano teacher, I seized the opportunity.

"I would be happy to give you lessons."

I could see her weekly and impress her with the agility of my hands. Eventually, she may let me try them out on something other than the piano keyboard. I would still be sitting next to her on a tiny piano bench, and touching her would be inevitable.

God, I wanted to touch her.

"Edward, I couldn't ask you to do that."

"You aren't asking me," I insisted. "I'm offering."

"Don't you have enough going on with all of your classes and extra-curriculars and whatnot?"

I laughed. "You really have no idea, do you?"

I hoped she wasn't seeing me as an asexual wonder boy.

"Why don't I put this another way - there is nothing I would rather do."

"Would your parents mind?" she asked.

Highly unlikely, considering my father just talked me into hitting on you.

"Um, no."

We spent the rest of the intermission discussing each painting as we passed it. She was surprisingly articulate and well-educated. I didn't have to dumb myself down for her. This increased her appeal exponentially.

"They've started again," she said, as the jazz quartet's quiet wail followed us into the gallery. "We should go back before you miss the rest of the performance."

I hated the thought that my time with her was ending.

"If that's what you'd like," I said, dejectedly.

Somehow, I enticed her to stay with me. We sat on a bench and continued talking.

"How are things for you, Edward?"

I hated that my loneliness was palpable.

I sighed. "It's better than it was. I've never felt all that comfortable around my peers. When I was in grade school it wasn't too bad. And then when I went straight to tenth grade from junior high school, I was fourteen years old. I was little and I was different. It was terrifying. I was so sure I'd end up stuffed in a locker that I started spending hours each afternoon lifting weights. I still do. Now one ever harasses me, but no one talks to me, either. It's like I'm not even there. My parents are great though. My father is the best friend I could ever ask for, and my mother has never been anything but supportive. It more than makes up for everything else. At least, I tell myself it does. Besides, I don't feel like I'm missing anything. None of the whole high school thing holds any appeal to me. I kind of pity the people who claim these are the best years of their lives. For me, it's been purgatory at best and the third circle of Dante's Inferno at worst."

"Don't knock the third circle. Cerberus makes one hell of a house pet," she giggled.

"Well, I only have four months left and then I'm on to hopefully better things."

Like you. I want to get on you.

"You know, Edward, this isolation and feeling in limbo is just temporary. No one of any substance actually enjoys high school."

Interesting. Here I thought she was a former Homecoming Queen.

"So that's why you decided to spend your entire life there?" I teased.

"It's different when you're being paid."

"Most things are."

"Like piano lessons, for instance."

Yes! Please, teacher, let me show you what I can do.

"Piano lessons are a wonderful example."

"So what is your fee?" she asked.

"I wasn't planning on charging you."

"You should charge me," she insisted. "I don't want to take advantage of you."

"It's not possible to take advantage of the willing."

If she only knew how willing I was.

"Fuck," she muttered quietly, before quickly apologizing. "I'm sorry. I wasn't planning on staying this long and I have friends waiting for me across town. I shouldn't have sworn in front of you, though I'm sure you've heard much worse."

In all the time we'd been talking, she'd only cursed this one time. 'Fuck' was clearly her expletive of choice. She must like to talk dirty. My cock twitched at the thought.

"Wait, how old are you, anyway?" she asked.

"A hundred and seven."

"I'm serious, Edward."

"I am, too. There are days when I feel like I'm a hundred and seven. My father says I was born middle aged. If that's case, I should be geriatric by now."

I was hoping to avoid telling her, but I knew she'd find out eventually.

"Sixteen."

"Well, Edward, I had a lovely time with you tonight."

I knew my age would be a deal-breaker, but somehow I hadn't given up hope that our attraction was mutual. I stared at my lap bitterly, until she nudged my chin up to meet her gaze.

"Truly," she said.

I smiled. Maybe she hadn't been patronizing me.

"Now, about those piano lessons. I'll need to make sure it's okay with your parents."

I asked for her phone and quickly programmed both my phone number as well as my father's. I knew she would want to speak to him if we were to continue speaking, which I was sure would happen eventually. I just wasn't sure when or how. For this to work, I knew she had to see me as a man. I just wasn't sure how to make that happen. I imitated the way my father behaves around my mother. I walked Ms. Swan to the coat check where I insisted on helping her into her coat. I also offered to hail her a cab, but I felt like a complete tool when she told me there was a taxi stand outside the main entrance. She hurried off and I found my father waiting for me by the exit, shaking his head.

"Bros before hos, my man. Bros before hos."

"Huh?" I asked.

"Never leave a man behind. You should have sent me a text telling me you'd be a while."

I looked down at my watch. Ms. Swan and I had been talking for nearly two hours.

"Sorry. I guess I was a bit distracted."

"Is that a good thing?" he asked.

"I gave her my phone number."

"Did she give you yours?"

"No." I came to a sad realization. "You think she was letting me down gently?"

"That's usually what that means. But don't be discouraged. You knew it was a long shot. Did you enjoy talking to her?"

I felt my face get hot. My father smiled at my embarrassment and I knew a verbal answer was unnecessary. He put his hand on my shoulder and we walked out into the frigid night air.

"That's all that matters."

I knew his words were meant to console me, but they didn't.

"I need to see her again, Dad."

"Edward," he began, his demeanor shifting. "I would seriously question her morals were she to pursue anything with you while you are still a high school student. Just so we understand each other from the get-go, that's something your mother and I will not tolerate."

"You're reprimanding me as if I just banged her in a stairwell."

"Did you?"

I sighed. "Sadly, no."

He laughed. "There's plenty of time for that later."

"So you claim."

He sighed, finally beginning to understand. "You really like her, don't you?"

I nodded.

"Did you find out how old she is?"

"No," I admitted. "And I really don't care."

"As your father, I'm telling you to hold off a bit. If the attraction is as strong as you say it is, it will still be there after you graduate."

"I offered to give her piano lessons."

"I have no issue with that, provided they occur at our house."

"Dad, you're killing me here," I groaned.

"This is as much for her protection as it is yours. You wouldn't want her job to be compromised, would you?"

The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her, so I acquiesced.

I spent the rest of the night alone with my thoughts. I felt like I'd learned more about who I was and what I wanted in the brief time I'd spent with Ms. Swan than I had in all three years of high school. She was openly flirting with me until I slipped and called her by name. I wondered if she was the kind of person who would bring a guy she'd just met home with her, and if I would be holding her right now if I were not a student at her school. The feeling that I would be was overpowered by the understanding that because I didn't mislead her, I now had an opportunity for something far greater.

It was a chance I was going to take.