A/N: Hi All… We're back! This is the extended version of the one shot entitled 'London Calling' written by Risbee and Coldplaywhore. We got some great reviews with our initial one shot, and thanks to all of you, we decided to make this thing full multi-chapter story.
If you read the one shot, please note this story will revisit everything that happened in greater detail. Whereas the one shot started with their graduation, we have stepped back in time a little bit to help build their characters. So enjoy the additions.
We don't own Twilight, we just have vivid imaginations and lots of wine.
"You do realize you are being completely psycho right? Just calm down and stop stressing so much and the words will come to you. However, I think we should focus more on what we are going to do this summer. Emmett has mentioned a camping trip, but I'm not sure about it," I said to Bella as she tapped her pencil against her notepad. She had a brand new two thousand dollar laptop, a graduation gift from her parents, and yet she was going old-school with a pencil and paper.
"Edward, this is major and it's going to take more than five fucking minutes for me to write something epic that will stay in the minds of our fellow classmates and their families," Bella stated, the frustration clear in her voice as she tossed her pencil at me, missing by a mile, before she grabbed another one from her desk and went back to work. As long as I had known her, Bella always seemed to have an endless supply of pencils and highlighters. It was probably one of the reasons she was the valedictorian and had the highest GPA in the school. I was just her best friend who once cheated off of her on a history test. She didn't know that though.
"These are people you have known since birth, who live in a tiny shithole town in the middle of nowhere. Do you really think they will remember your speech? No offense, I'm sure your words will be fantastic, but these people can barely remember who the Mayor of Craptown is, let alone your grad speech," I stated, trying to be helpful, but apparently only succeeding in pissing her off further.
"Thanks for being so supportive Edward. Remind me to never let you give the eulogy at my funeral. 'Bella will be missed… thanks for coming, the reception is being catered by Domino's'," she retorted with a slight laugh as I sat down on the edge of her bed and began staring out her window. It was a gorgeous May afternoon, and here we were fussing over her damned speech instead of hanging out like regular kids. Of course, I wanted to be where Bella was, so here I sat.
"Why don't you find some meaningful quotes or something online? Maybe reflect a bit on the past several years at Forks High," I suggested as Bella nodded her head slowly, apparently liking my suggestion. "I know you want to do something serious, but you could also go the funny route and talk about Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Paige having an affair or maybe talk about when Mrs. Cope hit Mike Newton with her car. Sure, it was just a little scrap and his ankle healed quickly, but fuck it was funny."
"Yeah, I prefer your original suggestion, so let's skip the humor and look online for some quotes," she said sweetly as she pulled her laptop over to her bed and came to sit beside me, her scent overcoming me as the bed depressed and she pulled her legs underneath her lithe body. "Where do you think we should start?" she asked casually as I continued to watch her as she brushed her hair from her shoulder and I smiled without remorse, glad that she was my best friend if nothing else.
"How about Shakespeare, you love that old bard," I stated sardonically and Bella laughed as she typed in Shakespeare quotes into her Google search bar. I watched in awe as she began whipping through web pages like Usain Bolt running the 50 meter dash, her fingers dancing away effortlessly on the keys as she bookmarked a few items and took some notes. I just sat back, leaning on my hands and watched her.
Bella and I had been best friends since the moment she was born a few months after me. Our mothers had grown up in Forks together and had been best friends since they were embryos so it only made sense that when they settled down and had kids, Bella and I would be inseparable. The happiest memories of my life all centered on the girl with the flowing chestnut hair and soulful brown hair who was struggling to write her speech and running her fingers along the keyboard. The day I found out that we would both be going to the University of Washington together in Seattle, I did a little happy dance, of course I did it in my closet so no one saw me, but it was all good. No one knew about the dance, but there was something else no one knew.
I was in love with Isabella Swan.
I wasn't ashamed to admit it to myself, but I couldn't speak the words out loud. As much as I wanted her in every single sense of the word, I was unwillingly to ruin our friendship because I wasn't certain that we would work as well as a couple as we worked as best friends. My best friend Emmett was always trying to get me to go out on double dates with some of the girls he dated, which tended to make things awkward. He made me tag along to be the date of some friend that Emmett's girl would bring, but I always found myself thinking about Bella and wishing I was with her instead. I had yet to have a serious relationship, which was probably why I was still a virgin at seventeen, soon to be eighteen years old.
In the past few weeks I had been formulating a plan of sorts that I hoped would change everything. We had the entire summer to spend together and I wanted to make the most of each second, showing Bella how much she meant to me. I wanted to go camping, spend days hiking through the woods, tour the bookstores in Port Angeles that I knew she loved so much. Hell, I would even help her pack every single scrap of paper in her room to take to college if it meant I got to spend time with her. I was desperate to head off to college with Bella as my best friend and my girlfriend, and time was on my side to make this happen.
"Earth to Edward," I heard Bella say, pulling me from my thoughts. "Did you hear anything I said?"
"Honestly, no…" I admitted reluctantly as Bella slapped my arm with the back of her hand and groaned. "Would you have preferred I lied and said that yes I had heard you?"
"No, but pay attention jackass. What do you think of these quotes?" she questioned as I looked down at her screen and read the text gracing it. It was alright, but clearly wasn't written by Shakespeare, but it wasn't that bad.
"Meh… it's alright. You know, you could look up speeches given for university commencement addresses. Didn't Ellen give one down at Tulane last year? I bet that was funny. I think Hilary Clinton spoke at Columbia University, so you can try that too," I said earnestly as Bella wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me close to her. Her tits were pressed against my chest and my breath hitched slightly as she kissed my cheek. God, this was awesome and I would no doubt be beating off to memories of this later.
"That's a great idea Edward, thanks so much," she gushed as she pulled away and I watched her fingers type at record speed again. It was only fifteen minutes later that Bella declared herself done for the afternoon and she turned towards me, looking rather pleased with herself. "So, tell me about these plans you have for us for the summer."
We sat back against her headboard, playing random games of thumb war as I told her about what I wanted to do. I outlined everything I saw us doing over the summer, leaving out the hot sex and making out I had fantasized about, but I knew there would be a lot more involved than just hanging out. I had no idea how the hell I was going to verbalize my thoughts and feelings for her. Perhaps Hallmark made a card for such an occasion?
I'm sorry I'm emotionally stunted, but I have loved you forever. Wanna be my girl and have lots of sex?
"Yeah that probably isn't a good idea," I muttered quietly to myself as Bella looked up from our joined thumbs and stared at me curiously.
"What isn't a good idea?" she questioned, obviously having heard me.
"Umm… running with scissors?" I said randomly as I shrugged my shoulders and she looked at me with an endearing smile.
"You are so fucking weird, but I love it," she said sweetly as I pressed her thumb down and declared myself the winner of our latest battle. However, I would truly be the winner if she had said she loved me. That would be epic. I brushed my hand slowly down Bella's arm and watched as goose bumps broke out. I was about to say something in response to her, but the door suddenly flew open and there stood Bella's mom, Renee, looking frazzled.
"I hope I wasn't interrupting anything," she said with a sly wink as I heard Bella groan and my heart sank.
"You should know better than that mom. Edward has seen me naked before," she said and I wished she was talking about something more recent and not when we were three and we played in a huge mud puddle out behind my parents house one day, requiring us to have a bath together. "We don't think of each other like that." Think again, Bella.
"Sure, whatever you say Bella. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that dinner is ready. Will you be joining us tonight Edward?" asked Renee, her voice soft and genial as I shook my head in the negative. It was common for me to spend a few nights a month having dinner over at Bella's house, but it was even more common that Renee ordered pizza and we all sat in the living room and ate while watching SportsCenter with Charlie.
"Not tonight. My mom is making my favorite, tuna casserole, so I should head back to Casa De Cullen," I replied as I hopped up off of the bed and grabbed my backpack from the floor. We should have been doing homework while I was there, but I never even opened a single textbook, choosing to study Bella as intently as I could instead. "I'll see you soon?"
"Yup. Let me walk you out," said Bella as we both followed her mom down the stairs and into the kitchen. Her father, Charlie, was perched in his seat at the kitchen table and was still dressed in his uniform. He was the Chief of Police for our podunk little town of 3,000 and every single guy in our school was afraid of him. No wonder Bella rarely got asked out in our four years of high school. Then again, I might have scared a few of them away over the years as well, with some well meaning words that discouraged them from asking her out.
"Are you coming over tomorrow? I know Alice has been desperate to see you," I questioned as I stepped out onto her porch and Bella rested on her shoulder against the open door. "She mentioned something about you playing Disney Scene It with her. She says she's been practicing." Alice was my younger sister and she had just turned eight. If I thought I was overprotective of Bella, the boys in this town would rue the day they met me when Alice started to date.
Bella tapped her finger gently against the smooth skin on her chin, as though she was thinking of something intently. "Sure, I'll come over. Tell Alice that I've been researching online about the history of Disneyworld just to scare her. Of course, I've rarely had time to do anything other than think about my speech."
"You are the smartest girl I know Bella. If anyone can pull of this valedictorian speech and make it seem effortless, it would be you," I said honestly as Bella leaned forward and gave me a small hug. "If you come over early, Mom is gonna be making blueberry waffles."
"Well hell, I might as well just sleep over then," said Bella as she threw back her head in laughter and my eyes focused on the curve of her neck, which I wished with all my might that I was kissing right now. I also wished she was sleeping over at my house, which was something we hadn't done she Bella had grown breasts. Our mothers thought it would be uncomfortable and I just thought it was mean, especially since that was about the time I began to realize I felt something more for Bella than just friendship. "I'll be there around nine, alright?"
How Edward always seemed to know exactly what I needed, I would never quite understand. It was almost like he could read my mind by the way he constantly seemed to be one step ahead of my panic attacks. I had been stressing about my Valedictorian speech since our freshman year, because it had been a mission of mine since the first day of school, and now I only had days to get it done. I wanted it to stand out and be memorable, inspiring even. I wanted it to be the perfect combination of philosophy and humor bordering on sentimental overload. That wasn't too much to ask, right? I needed to make a lasting impression on the somewhat mundane minds of the people we were graduating with. Then when I was about to completely freak the fuck out, he had to bring up the time when Mrs. Cope basically ran over Mike Newton. Crisis averted.
Edward always knew how to talk me off the proverbial ledge. Inseparable since childhood, we always managed to get each other out of scrapes and less than ideal situations. If we couldn't, well then we usually ended up joining the other in whatever random situation we managed to get ourselves into. One of my favorite adventures was when he decided to steal a can of yellow spray paint out of his parent's garage and hit it with a hammer. I swear the tree we hid behind still has yellow paint on it. We were quite the pair when we were younger...and I'm not totally convinced he's not the reason why my parents didn't have more kids. They didn't need to. They had Edward.
Now we were graduating and finally leaving Forks for whatever it was that awaited us out in the world and I was beginning to get nervous about what that meant for the two of us together. I needed Edward in my life and the possibility of him making new friends and moving on without me scared the living shit out of me. We would always be friends, of that I was certain, but I had lots of friends. I only had one Edward.
But what happens when he finds a girlfriend, Bella?
I can't even begin to think about that. I'd spent the past four years trying to steer him clear of all the floozies and complete idiots that tried to get in his pants or to get him in theirs on a daily basis. Edward was fucking hot and the dumbass totally didn't see it. He didn't hear the explicit commentary from the girls in our class. He didn't see the looks they gave him as he walked across the cafeteria on the way to our table. Seriously, even the lunch ladies would stop and stare before watching him walk away, most likely having very explicit fantasies about him.
Don't judge. Have you seen the boy walk?
He'd gone out with a few girls here and there, but he always asked me what I thought about them, as though my opinion was the only one that mattered. I may or may not have been ridiculous with my assessments -- even going so far as to borrow the "Man Hands" excuse from Seinfeld. It wasn't one of my proudest moments, but what can you do? Was it jealousy? Hmm… possibly. Okay, absolutely - not that I was ready to admit it to anybody else at this point. There was too much at stake.
So yes, I wanted my best friend. Badly.
It was either my impressive self-control or total stupidity that kept me from jumping him in the hallways of Forks High School between classes when other girls were around and tried to get close to him.
What I felt towards Edward was unlike anything I had ever felt towards anybody else, ever. Sure I'd gone on dates with other guys and even used the term 'boyfriend' for one or two of them, but nobody ever made me feel as complete as I did with Edward. However, that wasn't something I could just throw out there. I needed a plan. Fortunately, I had all summer to figure it out.
When Edward started talking about all the plans he had for us this summer, I couldn't help but adore him even more. About a month ago, I had been rejected from a summer abroad program and when I found out, I immediately called Edward in tears and he came over and convinced me that my life was not over and that he was making it his personal mission to make our last summer in Forks the best ever. We spent the rest of the night talking and laughing and making a list of things to do...and by the time the sun came up the next morning, I had a new outlook on everything.
This afternoon on my bed while we were thumb wrestling, the feelings between us were intense. One minute we were joking and being our usual goofy selves and the next I couldn't take my eyes off of him or think of anything but the feel of his touch as he ran his fingers up and down my arm. The sensation of Edwards fingers on my skin as he traced up and down my arm...sweet jeebus that was hot. I could have killed my mom for barging in my room and ruining the moment between us. It didn't help matters that she thought something else was going on and she looked at me curiously when I tried to downplay the situation, which she just needed to stop. The last thing I needed was for Renee and Esme to get in on the plotting and make it their mission to get Edward and me together. They had dropped hints over the years, well… since I had developed and clearly wanted their children to end up together. However, if I was going to act on this, I was going to do it carefully… and without their interference.
I followed Edward down the stairs… again, don't judge, and walked him to the front door with the promise of seeing him bright and early the next morning for waffles. I knew he adored his little sister, that much was evident, but part of me was a little heartbroken that this was all set up so I could go drown in the world of Disney Princesses. I was always Belle... it was a little predictable. There was more to me than just books and taking care of my father -- sometimes I wanted to be Ariel, or even Jasmine. They got to have adventures, and got the Prince in the end. Though Edward's hair did remind me more of the Beast than of Prince Eric. Even underwater his hair was perfect...and that was such a waste. Apparently the effect of sex hair was lost on Disney.
Wow, I really need to get out more.
I was so caught up in Edward's hair that I barely caught myself before I started to run my fingers through it. That would have been hard to explain. Of course, I saw Renee looking at me through the kitchen window practically beaming again, before reaching for the phone on the counter. Did she just waggle her eyebrows? I needed to get inside soon before she started booking caterers and reception sites. She was probably calling Esme to tell her that Edward and I were having some sort of 'moment', which wasn't the case at all.
Since it was raining, again, I stood at the top of the steps and watched Edward dash to his car trying to avoid getting too wet. He carefully maneuvered down our driveway but before he took off down our quiet street, he stopped at the front of the house and opened the window. I could see a few raindrops as they freed themselves from the confines of his hair and trickled down his jaw line. I wanted to lick him.
"Is anything wrong," he asked looking a little concerned.
"No. Why?" I replied, suddenly well aware of the fact that I never walked Edward out when he left my house before, much less watched him leave. Fantastic. I can't let him figure out what's going on in my head until I figure it out myself.
"Nothing, I guess. I'll call you later. Stop stressing about your speech and don't forget to check your work schedule to see when we can go camping. I need to let Emmett know something soon. Gotta run. Tuna Casserole waits for no man."
"I see how it is. Your stomach growls and you leave me. I'll check my schedule after dinner and email you later." I grinned and turned to check the mailbox before opening the door, trying to appear like everything was cool. Renee or Charlie must have got the mail because there was nothing inside, so I tentatively opened the door and went in to help with dinner.
I watched my parents for a moment before letting them know I was back inside. Charlie was sitting at the table and Renee was off the phone but was still flitting around like a hyper-active bumble bee trying to get dinner ready. I let out a deep sigh and couldn't help but notice that the house seemed empty without Edward here. It was crazy since I'd seen him all day, would talk to him tonight and probably repeat the whole scenario tomorrow and the next day and the next. It's just what we did. Where there was one of us, you could usually find the other. Lately though, I had begun to feel empty when I wasn't around him.
I walked further into the room and noticed the curious and yet somewhat amused expression on Renee's face as I closed the door behind me. Then, I realized that she was actually cooking and I stopped still. Huh? I felt like I had been transported to the Twilight Zone because the table was set and there was real food on the stove. Even more curious was the fact that Charlie was still in his uniform and already sitting down at the table instead of in the living room watching the news or some sporting event...something was going on.
"Mom, is everything okay?" I asked nervously. Renee was usually so bubbly it was almost obnoxious. The energy was definitely still there, but the look in her eyes right now was almost sympathetic, and yet it wasn't. "Did someone die? You look like you did the day that dad accidentally shot my gerbil Clarence when he was cleaning his gun."
She looked like the cat that swallowed the canary and as I watched her movements and her expression, I suddenly felt like it needed to throw up. I looked over at her and stared as she picked up a large manila envelope from the counter, clutching it in her hands so tight her knuckles turned white, the logo in the corner looking all too familiar. It was not the small envelope that held my rejection letter from the summer abroad program, but a big fat 8x11 version. One that would only hold lots of information, because let's face it; you don't need a lot of paper to say 'no way José'. I was confused though, especially since I had already received all my college acceptance letters. I was going to UW, with Edward, in just over ten weeks.
"This came for you today in the mail, Bella." she said, hopping around like her pants were on fire. "I didn't want to bring it to you while Edward was here in case it is what I'm pretty sure it is, but you need to open it. Open it, open it, open it!" She was practically bouncing at this point and I couldn't help but start giggling at her enthusiasm, or maybe it was nerves. I took the large envelope from her hands and looked at the return address. University of Washington Exchange Program.
I opened it and with shaking hands pulled out the pages of information that was on the inside.
Dear Ms. Swan:
We are pleased to announce that you have been accepted in to the 2009 Summer Abroad program – The Grand Tour. In this program, we start in London and, following in the footsteps of the young men and women of a bygone era, will make stops in Paris, the Alps, and Rome. At each stage of our journey, we will get a taste of the literary, cultural, and artistic banquet enjoyed by these young people whose Grand Tour, centuries ago, taught them about the wide, wild world and their own privileged place within it.
Enclosed you will find a travel itinerary, class assignments and housing arrangements for the ...
No fucking way.
In the background I could hear Renee squealing and see her still bouncing around like a Jack Russell on crack. Somebody needs to get her a sedative. Oh my God, now she was crying? Dad was still sitting at the table, hands folded in front of him looking at me as if he could read my mind. I just needed to sit down and process this whole thing.
I mean, this was London, Paris, Switzerland and Italy. It was literally a dream come true for me.
This was the program I had dreamed about for months. The same program I was rejected from not four weeks ago. The very same program that would look phenomenal on my college records, resume and applications for grad school. The one that would take me away from Edward for eight weeks. Shit.
Pulling a chair out from the kitchen table, I sat down and stared at the pages, trying to comprehend just what I was holding in my hands. This was such a huge opportunity for me and I had wanted it more than anything else… at the time, but I couldn't help myself as my mind wandered to thoughts of Edward.
Could I survive eight weeks away from Edward? Did I even want to try? The longest we had ever been apart before was just over a week when his family went to Disneyland and I was stuck back in Forks, but he had called every night and told me in graphic detail about each ride, game and meal he had participated in.
I mean, I knew that getting into this program was huge, but I'd already reconciled in my mind that I wasn't going and I was looking forward to spending time with my friends for our last summer together. The beach, parties, camping. Camping with Edward. Open skies, campfires, tents and sleeping bags. Sharing sleeping bags with Edward.
Bella, get a grip. He doesn't know how you feel.
He has all these plans, though.
Yeah, plans he came up with because you were so upset at the idea of staying in Forks. You WANT to go to Europe. So what's the problem?
"Bella? Bella? Sweetheart, you need to breathe."
I looked up from where I was sitting to find Charlie kneeling on the floor beside my chair. Renee was frantically fanning me with the empty envelope until Charlie reached up and grabbed it from her. He took the information from my hands and smoothed out the crumpled pages, which I had grasped so firmly in my hands I was practically ripping them apart, before placing them on the table in front of his chair. He grabbed another chair and placed it next to mine, motioning for mom to take a seat beside me.
She sat down next to me and I leaned my head on her shoulder. As spastic as she may be, she was still my mom and knew better than anyone how to comfort me. She started combing her fingers through my hair and before I knew it, my breathing had evened out and I was ready to discuss the opportunity.
I watched as Charlie looked over the pages of information from UW, studying them intently as if they held clues to Forks' one unsolved mystery. He fired off questions left and right like I was one of his suspects in the interrogation room. It was somewhat intimidating, but it was the way Charlie worked. No nonsense and straight to the point and it was exactly what I needed.
"Bella, do you want to go to Europe?"
"Do you want to go for this program specifically?"
"Why do you want to leave here so bad? Would you be as happy taking classes at UW instead?"
I stared blankly at him. Did he really just ask me that?
"Dad, its EUROPE. There is culture and history and museums, well I guess that's the same as culture.... I can't really quantify it, I just know that I've wanted this for months and when I thought it wasn't going to happen I was a wreck. I need to experience life out there, Dad. Forks is great, but there's more out there and I need to see it. I need to breathe. Opportunities like this don't just happen to me."
Renee would chime in every now and then about the shopping and hot guys with foreign accents and I had to give her kudos for that one. I was a sucker for a good accent -- except for when Edward tried to channel Austen Powers. Yeah, that wasn't so awesome.
What was I going to do?
Two hours later, after we had finished dinner and my parents helped me weigh my options, I finally excused myself from the table and went upstairs to try and wrap my head around everything that had happened today.
I had until Friday to notify UW as to whether or not I was going to take the open spot in the program. Somehow, I had convinced Renee not to say anything about this opening, citing not wanting to risk losing my job at Newton's Outfitters in case I decided not to go. Yeah right, because losing that job would be so wretched.
I started picking up the pencils that I had thrown at Edward during the day and laughed at how he tried to dodge out of their way. I didn't want to tell him about the program yet because I knew what he would tell me to do. He was my biggest cheerleader, always believing I was capable of more than I thought possible.
It would be so much easier if I didn't want to stay home this summer or if I didn't want to go to Europe. Unfortunately, I wanted both, and unless there was a way to become two different people and be able to be in two different places at the same time, I had a big decision to make. Ohh, maybe I could get a time turner like Hermoine in Harry Potter. That would probably only work if I was in the same location though and I can't transport myself from London to Forks sadly.
I flung myself across my bed, avoiding the pillows because I knew they'd smell like Edward and I needed to think with a clear head. I rolled onto my back and watched the ceiling fan spin around and around, while I played out different possible scenarios for the summer. My phone buzzed on my nightstand and when I reached over I noticed the clock said 1:30 am. I should have realized I had been dreaming when I was suddenly in front of Buckingham Palace playing Harry Potter Scene-It with the Queen and J.K. Rowling. Why the fuck did Edward and I have to watch the Goblet of Fire the other night?
Is everything ok? You never emailed me your schedule and you didn't call to say goodnight... ~E
I quickly typed back my response so he wouldn't worry. I was just thankful that he texted instead of calling. There was no way I'd be able to hide anything from him if he could hear my voice.
Yeah, sorry about that. I didn't feel so well after dinner and I guess I must have fallen asleep. ~B
Do you need me to grab Carlisle's doctor bag and come over? ~E
Suddenly it was really, really hot in my room and my heart was pounding. The boy could distract me without even trying. The visions of him in a doctor's coat, tending to my needs didn't help matters either. There was no doubt in my mind that he was simply being sweet, but I couldn't help the lustful thoughts that crept into my mind.
I'll be ok. I think I just need a good night's sleep. I'll see you in the morning. Don't forget the waffles. ~B
I'll never forget Bella. ~E
I know. ~B
A/N: What did you think? Hate it… or are you really glad we extended the original? If you really love CPW, you will go review at Risbee's account… CPW is already an established writer with WAY too many stories under her belt, so go show some love for the newbie.
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