The Mall

CHAPTER 1 BellaPOV

I was wandering through the Seattle mall, wondering how much clothes I could really get for a hundred bucks. Not many, I knew, but I needed as many as I could get. My current wardrobe consisted of clothes fit only for warm, dry weather. Of course, that wouldn't be suitable for Forks, Washington, a place where it seemed to never stop raining and was warmest at bout sixty degrees, and even that was lucky. I sighed as I pulled out a long-sleeve shirt at the cheapest store in the mall, and glimpsed he price tag; it said $17.00. That was almost a fifth of my money. I groaned, when I saw the rest of the surrounding tags read the same.

"Something wrong?" a soft, musical voice asked.

"No. No, I'm fine," I said. My tone clearly told her otherwise.

"Hardly," the voice said again as a stunning, pixie-looking girl came around the other side of the rack I was by. She was short, about 4'10", had short spiky black hair, had skin paler than the purest snow, her eyes were a molten gold, and moved so gracefully it looked as if she were dancing every time she moved. She completely stunned me. When I looked in to her eyes, I seemed unable to lie to her.

"I'm beginning to think I'm going to be starting school this year with absolutely no clothes," I told her, not knowing why I had just told this beautiful stranger my problem.

"That would be interesting," she said laughing. Her laugh sounded like tinkling bells. "Why is it that you won't have clothes?"

"I don't have enough money to buy more than three shirts and two pairs of pants," I answered, still not knowing why I was telling her this. I didn't even know her name.

"I'll buy them," she said brightly. I looked at her shocked. She seemed rather surprised herself.

"No, I couldn't accept that. I can't let you do that," I mumbled, embarrassed. I didn't want her money.

"It's okay. I have more than enough money, and I love spending it, especially on clothes. I even love the mall so much I can't leave. That's why I have this job. I don't need the money," she insisted. What's up with this beautiful, generous stranger?

"I don't even know you name," I don't know why I was arguing with her. I should just shut up and accept luck where it comes.

"I'm Alice. Alice Cullen," she told me, holding out a tiny hand. I took it and shook. I almost gasped at the icy feeling of her skin, but managed not to.

"I'm Bella. Bella Swann," I replied, grudgingly letting go of her small, cold, hard hand. It felt like a rock draped in velvet, then jammed into the freezer.

"Come on. Let's get you some clothes," she said tightening her grip on my hand and dragging me off. I was surprised at her strength; she was just so tiny.

A few hours later I left the store, arms full of bags, and my hundred bucks still in pocket. I kicked myself though for not getting Alice's number at least. It would have made it easier to pay her back, because that's what I planned to do. Also, the thought of never seeing, or hearing from her again made me sad. I don't know why but it does. When I arrive home, Charlie doesn't ask how I managed to get so many clothes for a hundred dollars, but that's because he's too interested in some basketball game. I quickly hide the clothes in my room. I fall back in my bed, and replay my day in my head, smiling and laughing out loud often at something funny Alice did or said. I think I smiled just thinking of Alice.

AlicePOV

I was bored. There wasn't anything to do at the house so I did my favorite thing, I went to the mall. The mall is my heaven on earth. I love shopping, and the mall is the best place to do so. When I was done shopping, I still didn't want to go home. The others had gone hunting, and I didn't want to be home by myself. I got a job, for lack of anything better to do. I got a job at the cheap store, so no one I knew would see me working. Not that I don't like to work but in order to keep up the human fa├žade I needed to pretend to care bout my reputation.

As I was walking around the store, waiting for someone to need me, I heard someone sigh, a ruffle of clothes, then a groan.

"Something wrong?" I ask whoever had groaned.

"No. No, I'm fine," a sweet voice answers, but the tone says something different than the words.

"Hardly," I disagree as I come around the corner, and find myself face-to-face with a gorgeous girl, about my 'age.' She has soft brown curls framing her pale, almost translucent, skin, and chocolate colored eyes that were very expressive. She was simply breath-taking. I didn't realize it, but I must have been using the power of my eyes, because her next answer was completely honest. I could hear the truth in her tone.

"I'm beginning to think I'm going to be starting school this year with absolutely no clothes," she told me. 'She's looking for school clothes here?!' was the first thought that ran through my mind. The next thing was that I pictured that; her arriving at school naked. I had a pretty even amount of lust (for some strange reason) and the urge to laugh. I suppressed the first as I replied.

"That would be interesting," I said, laughing. I see something strange, and unidentifiable flash through those expressive eyes of hers. Before suddenly it was gone. "Why is it that you won't have any clothes?"

"I only have enough money to buy three shirts and two pairs of

pants," she told me the truth again, though I could tell she didn't know why.

"I'll buy them," I said brightly, surprising both her and myself.

"No, I couldn't accept that. I can't let you do that," she protested. I could tell she was proud. Most people would have just accepted. I was intrigued by her actions. Hell, to be totally honest, I'm intrigued by her.

"It's okay, I have more than enough money and I love spending it, especially on clothes. I even love the mall so much I can't leave. That's why I have this job. I don't need the money,' I assured her. I still didn't know why I was doing this.

"I don't even know your name," her argument was weak, and I could see her resolve wavering.

"I'm Alice. Alice Cullen," I said as I extended my hand. She took it and shook lightly before stating her name.

"I'm Bella. Bella Swann," she said and let go of my hand rather reluctantly.

"Come on. Let's get you some clothes," I said grabbing her hand again, slightly tighter, and pulling her off.

Several hours later, I drove off with a few hundred dollars less than when I had left, but that wasn't unusual, so no one would say anything. When I reached the house, I saw that everyone is back, and quickly diverted my thoughts from Bella, lest Edward find out. I wanted so bad to replay the day in my head, but I couldn't risk it.