My alarm went off. Its cheery bleep cut through my dreams and made me wake up with a start. I groaned and pummeled it with a fist. It sailed across the room, bounced once on the spare bed and then hit the wall with a crack. It slid down onto the floor where it mercifully stopped bleeping.
I staggered up and managed to regain some humanity. A memory flashed up. I glanced at the wall. Several rooms beyond, Noelle had just spent the night with her new roommate. I winced as I remembered Noelle's face. She had been angry from the moment she looked out on the new boys. Rosalie's announcement had just made things even worse.
My stomach rumbled.
"Okay, let's go find some food," I mumbled and left the room. In the entrance hall I found one of the new girls, Bella. She was staring intently at one of the photos of past Billings members. She laughed at something on it.
"Morning!" she said brightly without looking round. I blinked several times. Then she turned to face me. I gasped.
"Your eyes!" I breathed. The smile slid off her face though her eyes still held some warmth. They were a spectacular golden colour. It was amazing and I had never seen anything like it.
"They're nothing special," she said flatly. "Everyone in our family has them. It's a rare condition caused by some sort of fungi in the air, I think. Coincidently, all the Cullens suffer from it. Do you know where I can get some breakfast? Edward said he would meet me but he hasn't."
The last bit about breakfast threw me. We walked out of Billings together. As we entered the cafeteria I noticed Josh, Dash, Trey and Gage sitting with the new guys. Unlike the hostilities running rife in Billings, the guys were getting along perfectly. Bella and I waved at them as we got in the queue.
"Do you know them?" Bella asked.
"Yeah. The one with the blonde curly hair and paint-splattered t-shirt is my boyfriend," I told her as I picked up a carton of cereal. I noticed all she picked was a red apple. She held it in her palms, looking down at it thoughtfully. I noticed how pale her skin looked. It was almost completely white. The guys also had the same colour of skin.
"Where have you guys come from?" I asked.
"Forks, Washington," came the reply. That was probably why their skin was so white I thought. Not enough sunlight under all those clouds.
We reached our table.
"Brennan! Good of you to join us!" yelled Gage. Josh rolled his eyes and slipped an arm around me. I stared at Bella as she sat next to the bronze-haired guy. He had also slipped around her, but it wasn't in the brotherly way. It was more like the way Josh was holding me.
"Get a room, Ed," muttered the blonde haired guy. Edward laughed and started rolling the apple backwards and forwards over Bella's palms.
"Reed this is Jasper, Emmett and Edward," said Josh, indicating each of them as he said their name. I nodded and said hi to them.
"You might want to tell that friend of yours to quit licking the glass when she wants to look at us," said Emmett teasingly. I remembered Noelle standing watching them and I scowled.
"Who was licking the glass?" asked Gage eagerly.
"Her," said Jasper, pointing behind me. Noelle had just strode into the cafeteria with the other girls, minus Rosalie and Alice. She noticed us staring at her and glared fiercely. When she had gotten her breakfast she walked over to the table and slammed her tray down.
"Morning, Glass-licker," said Edward coolly. She looked daggers at him.
"I'm not the Glass-licker around here," she sniffed, glancing at me. I felt my cheeks turning red.
"Whatevs. You are Glass-licker to us," said Emmett.
"Oh shut up can't you? I've had the worst night's sleep in ages. That bitch kept me awake half the night IMing with someone in Alaska," said Noelle, sipping her coffee. Emmett, Jasper, Bella and Edward exchanged a look. Kiran stared at Edward and Bella's entwined fingers.
"Incest is not cool, you know," she said. The Cullens roared with laughter.
"We're not related by blood! We're married!" chuckled Edward. All the girls stared at them.
"We are all adopted. We just share a last name to avoid confusion," said Jasper.
"Are any of you related?" asked Taylor.
"Rose and Jazz are twins. Alice is my kid sister. That's it," Emmett told her. "We're all foster kids except Bella but we've been with Carlisle and Esme so long they treat us like their own children."
"I'm just Edward's wife. I moved in with the family when we got married, that's all," Bella added.
"Holy shit. I have died and gone to chick heaven!" said Gage suddenly, rubbing his eyes and gaping. We turned around. Alice and Rosalie had just come in. Rosalie was wearing a gorgeous lilac dress which showed off all her curves. Alice had on a white blouse and some skinny jeans. They both looked like angels. Every guy's eyes were on them as they made there way to our table.
I heard Gage say, "I am defiantly getting to know her," and Emmett said, "Dude, you dare try to make it with my girl and I'll rip your arms off."
Jasper added, "You try with my girl and I'll rip your legs off and if you so much as give Bella a flirty eye Edward will tear your head off your shoulders. The Cullen girls are off limits."
Alice came running up and leapt on Jasper's back.
"Good morning Major Macho!" she trilled and kissed him on the neck. He looked embarrassed.
"Alice, don't call me that in front of everyone," he said.
"Major Macho?!" snorted Emmett.
"Didn't you know Alice called him that, Teddykins?" asked Rosalie, running a hand through his curls. This time it was Emmett's turn to look embarrassed.
"Babe, don't," he said, taking Rosalie's hand and staring at her imploringly. She laughed.
Noelle glared at her.
"Did you manage to sleep last night? I thought I might have been a little loud while I was talking to Tanya?" Rosalie asked innocently. Noelle stood up and walked away from the table. Dash followed her.
"Oh, there's Carlisle and Esme," said Bella and waved. I turned to look at Dr Cullen. He looked so young! It was impossible to think that he had raised seven teenagers and had welcomed an eighth just like that and still manage to look not a day over twenty. He walked towards the teachers table with his arm linked through Esme's. They looked so perfect together. They were the perfect example of a couple in love. They just – fitted so well together.
Taylor was staring at them with her mouth open.
"If you keep staring, a fly will fly down your throat," said Cheyenne. Taylor turned and stared at the Cullen kids.
"It's not possible…." she breathed. Edward shot up, a look of panic flashing across his face.
"C'mon Bells," he said. Bella stood up. She looked between Taylor and Edward with a look of confusion. Alice was staring straight ahead with a dazed expression. Jasper waved a hand in front of her face.
"You OK?" he asked. She blinked a few times. She gave Taylor with a look of fear.
"I'm fine. I just have to go talk to Carlisle about something," she said. She also stood up and walked after Edward and Bella.
"What is going on?" hissed Vienna at Taylor. Taylor glanced at the Cullens. They were looking at her curiously.
"Nothing. I've just met the Cullens before! Seeing Dr Cullen brought it all back!" Taylor said brightly before sipping from her orange juice.
"We've met?" asked Emmett.
"Do you not remember? My parents were hosting a dinner party to welcome you to our hometown. My father was working in the same hospital as yours."
"Where are you from?" asked Jasper.
"Chicago," she said sweetly. A look of panic passed over the other Cullens' faces. They all jumped up and ran to join their siblings and parents. Taylor went back to her oatmeal, a small smug smile playing on her lips.
"What the hell happened?" asked Gage. We all looked at Taylor. She laughed but didn't say anything.
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