A/N This is my first fanfic...

Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to any publicly recognizable entities, including Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and its characters. I don't own any songs either.

It's a new dawn It's a new day It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Feelin' Good, Nina Simone

Today had to have been the best day of my miserable fucking life. Graduation Day. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, just run as fast as you can. "Free at last," I muttered to myself because as usual, I was alone.

I walked around to the trunk of my car, taking off my Spartan-blue cap and gown, and forcefully shoving it into the trunk. I should've turned around and put it in the trash where it belonged, but the nearest one was in the auditorium, and I refused to go back. There was barely any room for it in my car anyway; I spent most of last night filling the Volvo with everything I'd need to get by. My clothes, shoes, baseball card collection, and keyboard were stuffed in the trunk. My books and CD's were in the backseat, and a map to my new place in Portland was strewn across the pile of crap that overflowed from the passenger side of my car.

Completely ignoring the tiny scrap of blue fabric dangling out of the trunk due to my half-ass packing, I leaned back against the scorching hot back panel of my car. The heat seeped through the thin fabric of my shorts as I took a long look at the small campus of Forks High. The parking lot was still full, but I didn't remember it ever being so quiet. Everyone was still inside. Most of them were waiting for their names to be called, telling each other well-intentioned lies about keeping in touch. But as soon as I walked across that stage and grabbed my diploma, I high-tailed it out of there.

I wasn't looking around because I enjoyed the scenery, nor because I was feeling suddenly nostalgic. I gazed out at the pitiful cluster of buildings in goddamned elation. I promised myself that once I got behind the wheel of my car, I wouldn't look back. Shit, I wouldn't even chance looking in the rearview mirror—lest I be turned into a pillar of salt. Clallam County had nothing to offer me, it never had. So I was taking one last look at the shit hole because I knew things were going to change.

I wouldn't live this life anymore.

Working hard the last few years gave me a plethora of schools from which to choose. I was expected to attend Dartmouth, but I enrolled at Portland State University instead, which pissed off Daddy Warbucks. I didn't do it because the school had a specific program that appealed to me. I enrolled there because I'd grown accustomed to the Pacific Northwest and I wasn't ready to leave.

The wet days and crisp air I once dreaded were now relished .It didn't faze me that most of the days were gloomy; they fit my mood perfectly. Portland would be the best of both worlds, giving me the luxuries of a big city, and the kind of weather l loved. It was a fucking bonus that all the sheep of Forks High who could afford college were going to the University of Washington, far enough away from me. That was what excited me the most.

After moving from Chicago—the only home I'd ever known—I immediately hated Forks. One day I was playing soccer with my friends in Illinois, and a week later my parents and I were dashing off to West-Bubba-Fuck, Washington. I wasn't asked my opinion, just uprooted and transplanted without a second thought.

Edward Senior and Elizabeth Masen, better known as Daddy Warbucks and Mommy Dearest, decided to retire some place quiet, saying they needed a change from the city life. Ironically, they hadn't actually stayed in Forks for longer than a few weeks at a time, preferring to jet set across the globe. I still didn't see the point of our relocation. We moved to Forks four years ago, and apart from a handful of nannies and maids, I had practically raised myself.

Despite the normalcy we established during our first few months here, something still felt off. As soon as I learned my way around the pitiful town, the 'rents jumped ship, disappeared in some kind of Criss Angel type shit. A few weeks later, the postcards started showing up. They came from Paris, London, Dubai. It was like they forgot I ever existed. Worst of all, they couldn't even be bothered to show up to my graduation! I shouldn't have been as surprised and disappointed as I was, but…fuck.

And no, I'm not bitter.

I knew I seemed ungrateful, but I wasn't. The 'rents had always been there for me financially. Every physical need I'd ever had was met, and my trust fund runneth over. Daddy Warbucks even sprung for a waterfront condo for me in Portland so I wouldn't have to live on campus. Okay, so, maybe that wasn't the reason he did it. He said, and I quote, 'it's bad enough my only child is going to PSU, but God forbid you live amongst commoners.'

I rolled my eyes long and hard but didn't complain. At least I'd get my own space and wouldn't have to worry about a nosy roommate. And even though freshmen were required to live on campus I was granted an exception. One call to the Dean from Daddy cleared that up, because money could do things like that.

Since the post cards had stopped coming, and the visits had become sporadic at best, I thanked them the only way we seemed to communicate anymore. One quick press of my thumb and the text was sent. It simply said 'thanks,' because truthfully, I didn't have the balls to send the picture of my one-fingered salute.

It was time for me to stop screwing around unless I wanted to be dragged to the after parties. I turned each and every graduation party invite down, telling everyone I wouldn't be around. Since the ninth grade I had told everyone that come graduation day, that would be the last anyone in Forks would ever see of me. I figured when I failed to show, those fuckers would see once and for all when I didn't show up that I was a truly man of my word.

I gave my car a quick once over, kicking the tires to make sure I wouldn't get derailed by a flat, and eased myself behind the wheel. I reached over and grabbed the map, backed out of my spot without checking the rearview mirror, and got the hell out of Forks.

***

I was completely lost in thought as I drove, which wasn't an unusual occurrence. Luckily for the other motorists my reflexes were intact, and I managed to obey most of the traffic regulations.

I had a tendency to space out. Sometimes I got entirely caught up in my thoughts, letting my attention stray during whole conversations. As a result, some people thought I was mute or high. But I shrugged their opinions off—they were idiots anyway.

Because of this,I preferred to keep to myself, but I hadn't always been that way. When I first moved to Forks I tried to be social, but everyone was just so…trite. It got to the point that even when I was surrounded by people—classmates, coaches, tutors or whatever—I still felt alone. I wasn't sure what I wanted or expected from people, but I was definitely left wanting, needing something more. And ultimately I found it easier to escape within myself.

I didn't mind the insipid girls. As long as they could keep their chatter to a minimum I was content.

They were all just so conniving and easy, yet for some unknown reason they wanted me. Not one to pass on having certain needs met, I tolerated them. I wasn't a man-whore or anything; I loved my dick too much to risk it stupidly, but I wasn't afraid of the pussy either.

It didn't take much to get those chicks worked up. After flashing my crooked grin, panties dropped, and I was willing to catch a few. Getting some was the easy part. It was the basic conversation that was difficult for me. Trying to have an intellectual conversation with those girls was like trying to get Joan Rivers to register some type emotion on her face. Impossible. I made a foolish attempt once or twice, but it didn't take long for me to learn my lesson.

None of that mattered anymore. I was going to college, and hoped that I could change things up before the new semester started. Start a new life of sorts. No, I didn't hope. I would start a new life. Get to know people, and fill the void where my heart used to be.

That was the plan anyway.

After driving the entire way to Portland in La La land, I followed the directions I'd printed out from MapQuest, finally leading me to my new place. When the building came into view, my jaw dropped. There was no way I had the correct location. Just to be sure, I circled around the building to check the address, and after I confirmed I was indeed in the right place, I smiled.

I can't believe this is my new beginning.

The building was easily thirty stories, and architecturally stunning. It was covered in glass, giving each resident a view of the South Waterfront. And to top it all off, I saw a covered parking area off to the side.

That's right, got to keep my baby safe.

I turned off my iPod, which had been blasting Thibaudet's Postcard to Henry Purcell onrepeat forthe whole trip and hopped out of the car. I couldn't believe something good had come from my birthright, but it was a welcomed bombshell. As I popped the trunk, I was greeted by an older dark-haired man in uniform. I assumed he was the doorman. He was a few inches shorter than me, and had a huge smile on his face, making me feel all welcome and shit.

"Mr. Masen?" he asked.

I nodded, still too astounded to speak.

"Great, we've been expecting you. Your parents had some things delivered for you yesterday. They said you wouldn't waste any time in getting here," he chuckled. "My name is Ross, I'll see to it that your belongings make it upstairs, and I'll have your car moved into the resident parking area. Are you ready to see the penthouse?"

I nodded again. Apparently the people in Forks were right; I was mute.

I grew up with an insane amount of money, so the fact that my parents were putting me up in such a nice place shouldn't have surprised me, but the penthouse? Daddy Warbucks really must have felt guilty about missing my graduation, but fuck if I was going to whine about it. The building was exquisite.

I did my best to feign indifference, finally getting my vocal chords to work.

"Thank you, Ross. Is there a restaurant nearby? As you mentioned I didn't waste any time getting here, and I haven't eaten since breakfast," I inquired.

"Your fridge has been fully stocked sir," he replied. "If you find nothing to your liking I will be glad to have something delivered," he smirked.

OK, so, screw pretenses, my jaw was completely unhinged and that jackass Ross knew it. I seriously needed to work on maintaining my facade.

I followed Ross into the building's lobby and observed everything. The place was so much more than I expected. There were so many layers of light shining through the wall of windows that it felt like I was standing inside of a diamond. Paintings adorned the walls, and all the furnishings were sleek and stylish, giving the building a modern edge. I loved it already. We made our way onto the elevator, and Ross pressed the button taking us up to the thirtieth floor.

It was right about then that he started babbling.

He explained that as the doorman (he preferred the term 'concierge'), he heard all of the gossip about the neighbors. Apparently, a Dr. Cullen and his wife Esme lived above me on the 31st floor, the most exclusive condo in the building. They didn't have any kids so I wouldn't have to worry about any upstairs noise, which was fine by me. Esme Cullen decorated my place as a favor to mommy dearest Elizabeth, and if the Cullens were acquainted with my…creators. Well, there was no telling what kind of people they were.

The condo below me belonged to an Emmett McCarty. I was pretty sure I knew what to expect from someone named Emmett. I pictured a country bumpkin in a red and black plaid shirt for some reason, and that shit made me laugh. Luckily Ross ignored me and continued.

"His parents helped fund the building, and supported it when the community was concerned about developing the area. As a thank you of sorts, they were gifted a place to stay if they ever needed it. Coincidentally, they had a son going to Portland State University, so he moved in last year."

While I was trying not to zone out on what Ross was saying, the elevator chimed on the 28th floor. When the doors opened, in walked the biggest guy I'd ever seen. I felt like an old church lady, curious to know what kind of gossip Ross had on him.

The guy was clearly on some type of human growth hormone, and looked seconds away from having roid-rage. Instinctively, I stepped back, giving him plenty of room to accommodate his large frame.

"Ross, my man," the hulk said. "How's it hanging?" Ross pressed the button for the 29th floor as I stood there staring like an idiot.

"Very well Mr. McCarty. I was just telling Mr. Masen about you," Ross said, quickly turning in my direction. Fuck, I hated that I couldn't blend into the wall.

This guy was Emmett?

Apparently my judgment was off, he was no Paul Bunyan. He not so subtly gave me the once over, and I just stood there, nervously shuffling my feet for some reason. Well, I was nervous because Emmett was huge, and that shit just made me uncomfortable. I finally stopped being a pansy and looked him in the eye. He had the goofiest grin on his face. I held out my hand to formally introduce myself, but Emmett balled his hand into a fist, prepping for the manly fist-bump. We ended up doing a weird rock-paper-scissors deal before he pulled away while I muttered an apology.

Yep, that's how I roll.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Edward," I said.

"Same here. You can call me Emmett, even though this guy," he stopped, pointing to Ross, "never will."

Lucky for me, the elevator chimed, offering me a retreat from my embarrassment. Emmett said goodnight and told me he'd see me later, and I breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily forgetting that I wasn't yet alone. Ross continued on speaking as if I hadn't almost wet my pants just seconds ago.

"Emmett's a sophomore, and a fine young man. He has no verbal filter though, so don't be too put off by him. He means well," Ross added. "He was just leaving Isabella Swan's; her father is the retired Chief of Police for Portland. He works as some type of consultant and now.

Ms. Swan's mother recently married Dr. Phil Dwyer, head trainer for the Portland Trailblazers. Bella decided after splitting time at both parents' homes that it was time for her to be alone, so they put her up here," he finished.

Well aren't you just a fucking wealth of knowledge?

I didn't stop Ross from talking, even though I thought he was rather nosy. Instead, I took all the information in. If I was going to change, make friends and what not, any information he could offer me would help. He was oblivious to my internal ramblings anyway.

"…she's a beautiful soul," Ross said.

Wait. Who?

"The name really fits her too. She's always so lively, always smiling. She and Emmett have been joined at the hip since the day they moved in the building, and they spend a lot of time with the Cullens. Esme acts as the housemother to Bella and Emmett, and I'm sure now that you're here you won't be any different. In fact, they've already requested that you meet them for brunch at ten tomorrow. Should I confirm your attendance?"

I agreed, still trying to focus on what he was saying. Well, as much as I could focus. My figurative A.D.D wasn't helping.

"So enough with the building gossip, we're here."

"Holy shit!" I exclaimed, walking through the front entrance.

I'd gathered from the moment I drove up that Mommy and Daddy were feeling guilty, but I truly underestimated to what degree. I sprinted to the center of the room to the raised platform where a Bechstein polished black grand piano sat. I could see Ross watching me as my jaw dropped for the second time in ten minutes.

As I stepped up onto the platform, I noticed a silver frame placed on the piano bench, a note sitting beside it. I grabbed them both and sat down too look closely at the picture within the frame.

I had no idea when the picture was taken even though I was in it. I looked maybe eight or nine, and Daddy Warbucks was covered in flour, standing in front of the ugliest fucking cake I'd ever seen. I forgot how much we looked alike, both of us sporting lopsided grins. Mommy Dearest was only a blur of flesh in the corner. I put the photo down and read the note.

Nothing can make up for memories that were never created, but I hope that the joyous times in our past will suffice until we can make memories anew. We love you more than you know. Congratulations and enjoy!

Love, Mom and Dad

To say that the note was a surprise would've been the understatement of the year. It was almost personal, and they just didn't do personal. I snapped out of my fog, completely forgetting about the doorman, fuck…concierge dude. But when I turned around he was gone and I was alone.

I tucked the note into the corner of the picture and stood up so I could get a better view of my new baby. She was beautiful; her craftsmanship, her elegant lines. Everything about the piano was perfect, right down to its smooth black finish. My hands trailed the soundboard and ribs, and the European spruce felt silky under my touch.

I shook my head in amazement.

After feeling up my new piano, I sat down and lifted the lid covering the keys. I skipped all the scales I would normally warm-up with, and let my fingers glide mindlessly.

I'd take the time to check out the rest of the place later, because as soon as my fingers began massaging the black and white keys, it was as if nothing else existed.

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