Author's note: this story was supposed to be out for Christmas, but between kids & travel, it took me a few extra days to get it edited. Let me know if you like it.

I don't own Twilight, but I spend way too much time reading it.

EPOV

"Bella?" I called as I knocked on her bedroom door.

"Edward? One second." I heard some shuffling of papers and books. "Come on in."

I pushed the door open. Bella was sitting at her desk working on some homework. I swung my backpack down onto the bed and sat down next to it.

Bella & I had been best friends since we were kids. Our families had been next door neighbors since we moved to Forks. when I was in first grade. Her parents treated me like I was her twin brother. I was the only guy to have bedroom privileges in her house. Everyone else was relegated to the living room or kitchen table, even for study sessions.

"I came to see if you could help me with our English assignment. I have my essay almost done but I think I missed one of the key points. Can you take a look at it?"

Bella smiled. English was her favorite subject. She could crank out an essay discussing the hidden symbolism in The Scarlet Letter in less than an hour. If she actually put some effort into it, she was guaranteed a spot at the top of the class. Our friendship, and her willingness to proof read my essays was the only thing keeping me above a C. "Let's take a look at it," she said.

As I dug it out of my bag, I asked casually, "So I heard Newton asked you to the Christmas dance tomorrow. Are you going to go with him?"

Bella had been acting strangely distant for the past few weeks, but I could never figure out why. Most of the time we were friends like we had always been, but every so often, I would catch a sad look in her eye. It was like she was in pain, but I had no idea what could be bothering her so much. Once I even caught a tear running down her face, but when she saw me, she brushed it off and started talking about homework. She must have a crush on someone, but Bella is too shy to admit it. I hoped to God it wasn't Newton. He was so self centered and egotistic that he could never deserve a girl like my Bella.

Bella tensed at my question. "I turned him down. I hate dances."

"Aw, come on. It'll be fun. It won't be the same without you there."

She turned back to her desk with my essay. "You'll be there with Tanya. You won't even notice I'm not there. Besides, I don't want to have to fend Mike off all night. Our last date was a huge mistake. I can't stand the thought of winding up under the mistletoe with him, or worse, in some dark corner with nobody else around."

Just as I was about to argue her mother called for her to help her finish preparing dinner. "Crap. I was just about to go down when you turned up. I need to do it now or I won't get any peace. You say here. I'll be back in fifteen minutes," she said as she ran from the room.

Great! I had a date with Tanya this evening. She could get really bitchy if you were even a few minutes late picking her up.

I got up from the bed and went over to the desk to retrieve my essay when I noticed a book with a red cover hidden under the other papers. Curious as to what Bella was reading now, I pulled it out. It wasn't a book, it was her diary.

Now I know that you are never supposed to read a woman's diary, but this was Bella's. Even though she was my best friend, she was the only girl in school that I couldn't read. I never knew what she was thinking. Her reactions always surprised me. Now I held in my hand a window into her mind.

I couldn't resist. I opened it up and flipped through until my own name caught my eye.

October 15

Today was the most wonderfully frustrating day of my life. Edward & I went hiking today on a trail north of town. He had discovered it while hiking with his brother last summer and wanted to show it to me. We seemed to walk forever. I couldn't believe that it could just keep going up and up, but finally after what had to be miles, we turned a corner and the trees opened up to a beautiful view of the ocean. It was one of those rare sunny days when it looked like you can see to the end of the earth.

We sat down on a rock on the side of the trail and ate our sandwiches while we talked about school, and life, and everything. I told him about how I want to go off to school to study English Literature. Edward is determined to follow in his father's footsteps and go to med-school. It's a little too early for us to start looking at schools, but I couldn't help wishing we could go off together.

After lunch, we gathered up our things and started back down the trail. About half way back to the car, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and slipped on a rock. I fell hard and twisted my ankle. Edward was so wonderful! He held my foot and turned it carefully to make sure it wasn't broken. Then he put his arm around me and carefully helped me up. I had never felt it before, but the minute he put his arm around me it was like a current of electricity passed between the two of us. I don't know if he could feel it, but it left me breathless. Edward just assumed that I was in pain. He kept asking if I wanted to wait while he went for help.

He led me carefully down the trail. It took us twice as long to get back down as it did going up. The sun was setting and the temperature dropped quickly, so Edward gave me his sweatshirt to keep me warm. When we finally reached the car, I didn't want to let go of him. I just wanted to wrap both my arms around his neck and kiss him, but I couldn't do it.

We've been friends for so long. Can I change that? I don't want to lose him if I tell him how I feel. What am I going to do?

I sat back on the bed, my mind returning to that day in the forest. I had felt the electricity too, but I was so worried about getting Bella back down the trail and to a doctor, that I pushed it out of my mind. She had seemed a little off for a few weeks after, but I just assumed her ankle was still bothering her. Did she get over it? I flipped ahead a few days and kept reading.

October 28

I think I am going to fail Biology. Sitting next to Edward is such a distraction! I have no idea what the lecture was about. All I could feel was this magnetic field linking me across the table to Edward. I was hoping this feeling would go away now that my ankle is feeling better, but it's like I wasn't seeing the world clearly before. No, it's not the world that has changed. Edward's place in the world has grown. Before, he was important, but one of many people who I though about and cared about. He has always been my best friend, but now, he's always first in my mind.

And the things I think about! Instead of listening to a lecture on cellular mitosis this afternoon, I spent the whole hour imagining what I would want Edward to do to me if we were here alone in this classroom. I imagine him sliding his arms around my waist and looking into my eyes. Those green eyes look at me and reflect back all the feelings of my own. Just as I get lost in those eyes, he leans closer and I can feel his lips on mine with a gentle pressure. It starts with one small chaste kiss, but it doesn't end there. My mouth turns up in a small smile, and it's like an invitation to him to kiss me again.

This kiss starts like the last, small and chaste but it lingers, and I feel his hand move up to the back of my neck, his fingers entwined into my hair. Suddenly the intensity increases. His breath is hot and his mouth opens, his tongue sliding between my lips before I can think what to do. So I don't think. I just feel. My hands slide up around his neck, my fingers running through his soft bronze hair and I pull him even closer to me.

Too soon, his lips slide away from mine, but they move to my neck planting small kisses down the side. Just as my dream Edward was about to slide his hand down to my ass to pull me tight to his body my real Edward kicked my chair hard, bringing me abruptly back to reality.

I guess it was for the best, because just then, Mr. B. called on me to answer a question from the lecture. Fortunately my mind retained enough of the question that I was able to stumble through a partial answer. I was still angry with Edward for waking me from my daydream though. I longed to feel his body pressed tight to mine, even if it was only in a fantasy world. Couldn't he let me have that much?

I had to sit back and catch my breath. I could imagine the scene just as she described in her entry and I wanted to live it. I wanted to taste her lips and run my own down her neck! But wait a minute. Bella was my best friend. Are you supposed to feel this way about your best friend?

If Bella had been fantasizing about me for the past month, how had I missed it? I looked at the date on the entry again – October 28. That was the day before I met Tanya. Tanya! Oh my God! What did Bella think of that? I quickly flipped ahead in the diary, all regrets at the thought of reading her private thoughts long gone.

October 29.

I picked Edward up for school in my truck. He was his usual handsome self, with his messy bronze hair, and the green eyes that looked like they could see to the very depths of your soul. How I wished that he really could look in my eyes and see everything I couldn't tell him!

Everything was fine until we got to our first class. There was a new girl there, Tanya, who had just moved to Forks from a small town in Alaska. She was dressed in this low cut top and mini skirt that just screamed slut! Just my luck, Edward was assigned to show her the way to her next class. So instead of spending the day with me, he spent it with her, walking her to class, introducing her to all of his friends, drooling over her while she ate her lunch. I just couldn't take it any more.

When the day was over, I jumped into my truck and drove home without waiting for Edward. How could he forget me like that all day? I thought we were best friends. I guess a friend is only good for so much.

I couldn't believe that I had done that to her. How had I hurt my best friend like that? When I asked where she disappeared to after school, she gave me some excuse about needing to run to the store for her mom on the way home. I had no idea how she really felt. If I had made her that miserable on that first day with Tanya, I new it could only get worse.

November 14

Edward and Tanya had their first date tonight. I say first because it sounds like it will be the first of many. Edward called me as soon as he got home to give me a play-by-play recap of their entire evening. I had to sit through a description of how hot she looked in her red tank top, to her reaction to each of his jokes. As if that weren't enough he launched into a physical description of their first kiss and how hot it was. Apparently, a simple good night kiss was not enough for Tanya. They had to suck face on her front porch for ten minutes before her dad finally came out and scared Edward away. It served him right in my opinion. I finally had to pretend my mom was calling me so that I could get away from him.

I've been crushing on Edward for a month now. You'd think I could just get over it and go back to just wanting to be friends, but I think I'm even losing my friend. I can't stand to be around him when he is with Tanya, or when he is talking about Tanya, or when he just came back from seeing Tanya! About the only time I can stand to be with him anymore is when we are studying, and even then it is almost impossible to keep him focused on school work. I'm so miserable!

Maybe I should go out with someone else to get my mind off of him. Mike asked me out to a movie this weekend, but I told him I already had plans. Maybe I will go out with him. After all, how bad can it be?

I flipped ahead a few pages. Bella had gone out with Mike Newton, but the few details I got out of her made me think she didn't exactly have a great time.

November 21:

Tonight I finally gave in to Mike and went out on a date with him. It was a total disaster. He took me to the movies to see 2012. It was completely unbelievable yet predictable with action scenes coming so fast that I figured the characters must be going in adrenaline overdose. Anyone living in the state of Washington under the shadow of Mt. Saint Helens could have told the movie makers that the people would have been dead within 20 seconds of the first explosion, but I guess reality would have made for a short movie. I found myself looking at my watch every fifteen minutes waiting for it to end, but Mike seemed to be enjoying it immensely.

As if that weren't enough, about half way through the movie I felt Mike's arm reach around my shoulder. It stayed there for a minute, but at the next explosion Mike jumped and it slid down to grab my boob. I elbowed him hard in the ribs. I didn't even have to think. It was like a reflex reaction. Mike pulled back and apologized, but I saw him grin when he thought I wasn't looking.

I closed my eyes wishing the whole scene would just go away. There was only one person I wanted to be with. Before I knew it, I was imagining myself in the theater, but it was Edward sitting next to me. Edward's arm wrapped around my shoulder. His fingers slid down my arm to caress the side of my breast leaving my skin tingling in each spot he touches. A chill runs down my spine as he leans in and kisses the nape of my neck. His lips linger there for a moment before they are replaced by his teeth. He bites down just hard enough to leave a mark, before sliding slowly up to my ear leaving small kisses all the way. His other hand touched my knee and started to slide slowly up my inner thigh.

A voice called my name softly, but it wasn't Edward's low velvet tone. I opened my eyes and realized it was Mike staring at me with a strange look in his eyes, his hand resting on my knee. I jumped in my seat and pretended I had been asleep, but I don't think he quite believed me. I decided I obviously wasn't trying hard enough to drive Edward from my mind.

Mike spent the entire ride home reviewing every action scene from the movie we had just watched. He was intent on making up for the scenes I had missed. Fortunately, his babble required little in the way of conversation from me beside the occasional murmur of agreement.

When we finally got home Mike pulled the car over in a dark spot a little way up the street from my house. He unbuckled his seat belt & turned to me with that same grin I saw in the theater. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and decided to give this date one more shot.

He leaned in to kiss me and I responded. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled his face into mine. My tongue slid out to touch his lips and he opened them for me. His tongue met mine and we were locked in the most passionate kiss I've ever had in my life. That is, if you like kissing a wet fish. His mouth left mine and started leaving a wet trail down my neck as his left hand moved in again to squeeze my boob.

I knew at that point that there was no hope. Making out with Mike was never going to take my mind away from Edward. I disentangled myself from Mike, told him good night and scrambled out of the car. I felt bad for using Mike like that, but not too bad. He had clearly enjoyed it.

In about two minutes time, I had gone from thinking of Bella as my best friend, to wanting to kiss her, to thinking of her as a sex kitten that I wanted undress slowly as I ran my tongue over every inch of her body. I also wanted to pound Newton's face flat for touching Bella like that.

My mind was reeling, trying to absorb everything it had just learned and reconcile it with its former reality, but Bella would be back soon, so I kept reading.

December 2:

I got into a screaming match today with Tanya. She had the nerve to walk up to me as I was standing by locker and accuse me of trying to steal her boyfriend. She said that she saw the way I looked at him and that if I didn't stay away she would make sure Edward never spoke to me again. Then she said that Edward needed a real woman to take care of him, not some sad pathetic virgin who could never give him what he really wants. I called her a lying bitch and told her that if she did anything to destroy our friendship she would have to answer to me.

Unfortunately Edward appeared sometime during this exchange. I don't know how much he heard, but at that point he told us both to shut the hell up, that neither of us owned him, and stomped away. I figured that if he was going to be mad at me, at least he was mad at Tanya too.

This didn't last too long, because Tanya took off after him. On the way out of school that afternoon I stopped in Mrs. Cooper's classroom to ask a question about our English homework. When I got there I saw that her desk had been cleaned up and her things put away, but a noise in the back of the classroom caught my attention. Edward and Tanya were there making out like the end of the world was coming. It looked like her tongue was about halfway down his throat. His hand was up under her shirt massaging her boob while she ground hard into his crotch. I almost gagged.

Edward didn't know I was there but when Tanya caught site of me she attacked his body with a new ferocity I didn't know was possible. I couldn't stand to be in that room another second, so I ran slamming the door behind me. It must have brought Edward back to his senses because a minute later, I saw them both with flushed faces and tousled hair heading through the parking lot to Tanya's car.

The worst part of all of it is that Tanya is right. Edward will obviously never want me when he can have someone like her, and I don't think our friendship can take much more.

Reading this was like a punch in the gut. Tanya had lied to me, and I was about to lose my best friend as a result. Could I still fix this situation? I flipped ahead to the last entry. It had today's date. I must have interrupted her writing.

Dec 10.

If I could have one wish this Christmas, it would be to be given a new life in which I had never met Edward Cullen. All right, my first wish would be to have Edward realize that he loves me and dump Tanya. Then he would declare his love to me and kiss me as no one has ever kissed me before. Ah hell! Who am I kidding? That is never going to happen, especially after what I heard today.

I was in the bathroom when I heard Tanya's piercing voice from over the stall. She was talking to her friend Kate, who follows her around like a lost puppy. They were talking about her date tonight with Edward when Kate asked her how long she was going to string him along before she gave in. Tanya told her she had been working up slowly. Tonight she was going to give him a taste of things to come in his car at the end of their date, but tomorrow night after the dance she was going to "rock his world".

This may just be the end of our friendship. It's been only hanging by a thread these last few weeks anyway. After toorrow, I don't think I'll ever be able to speak to him again.

Mike Newton asked me out to the Christmas dance this Friday. I told him I would have to think about it. Maybe I should go. Oh, yeah! It worked out so well the last time I tried to use Mike to drive thoughts of Edward from my mind. Who knows what stupid things I would do this time? Besides, if I went to the dance I would have to watch Tanya pawing all over Edward all night, knowing what was about to happen when they left. I just don't think I could handle that. Better to stay home and suffer in solitude, alone in my room.

I'm so sorry, Edward, but I just don't think we…..

I heard a noise from outside that sounded like Bella headed up the stairs. I quickly put the diary back under the papers like I found it and dove back to the bed. I barely had time to stretch myself out again before she poked her head back in the room.

"Edward, I'm sorry that took so long. I thought my mom would make me to scour the entire kitchen. Let's see that English essay of yours." Bella said.

"That's ok, Bella. I had a nice nap, but if I don't get moving, I'm going to be late for my date." Her face fell as soon as I mentioned my date again. How had I not noticed her reaction before? I couldn't let things go on like this.

"Listen, Bella, will you be around later tonight?" I asked.

"I don't have any plans. I'll be here finishing my essay, or re-reading one of my books."

"That's great, Bella. I'll give you a call later this evening."


BPOV

As Edward closed the door behind him, I slumped down on my bed. I don't think I can bear to hear any more details about his dates with Tanya, especially this one. Why does he even bother anymore? It just keeps getting worse. She has completely stolen my best friend and my love. My heart breaks a little bit more every time he turns from me to go to her. Why couldn't he see her for what she was? This time I don't think I'll ever be able to let him back into my heart. There just won't be anything left of it. I still had Edward's shirt form that day he helped me down the mountain trail. I pulled it out from under my pillow, and cried into it until I fell asleep.

I jerked awake to the sound of my cell phone ringing. I hated to be startled awake because it made my heart race. "Hello?" I gasped into the phone struggling to catch my breath.

"Bella? Are you ok?" Edward asked through the phone.

I looked at the clock. Only two hours had passed since he had left my room.

"Edward? What are you doing back so soon? Is something wrong?" I asked, worry clouding my voice.

"Something wrong? I guess it depends on your point of view. I broke up with Tanya. I would have been back sooner, but she got hysterical. It took me a while to calm her down enough to get her home."

Suddenly, my heart dared to hope as it hadn't done since that day on the mountain when it felt like I first opened my eyes. But wait, just because they broke up didn't mean that Edward felt differently about me. He could be dating some other slut next week, or worse yet get back with Tanya. I couldn't let myself get hurt like that again.

"Edward, why did you do that? I thought you liked her. I thought she had plans for you tonight."

"Yeah, I heard about that. So did every one else in the restaurant as a matter of fact. She was screaming hysterically about how she was sorry she didn't do it me sooner and if we could just go out to my car, she would make everything ok. It was really embarrassing. I'm only telling you now because I'm sure you'll hear all about it in school tomorrow anyway.

"Bella, you know she's a bitch. I should have seen it long ago. I was sitting across from her in the restaurant feeling her run her foot up my leg, when I realized that I really didn't want to spend another minute with her. I decided it would be better to just break it off on the spot, rather than dragging it out. I'm not sure if she was most upset because I broke up with her or because I did it the day before the Christmas dance."

"Well," I replied with more enthusiasm than I heard shown in months, "Mike doesn't have a date. Maybe they can go together. They deserve each other."

"Listen, Bella. I've been thinking. Maybe we could go to the dance together. You're my best friend. We haven't done anything like this in ages. You know we'd have a great time."

Edward wanted to go to the dance with me? My heart leaped again, and then crashed back down to earth. Do I really want to be his second choice? His fallback plan for when his hot date didn't pan out? I don't think so.

"Edward, you just broke up with your girlfriend. I really think you should take some time to sit back and figure out where you go from here."

"Don't be ridiculous, Bella! I've been practically ignoring you for over a month now. Let me make it up to you by taking you to the dance tomorrow night. I won't take no for an answer."

"But I don't have anything to wear. There is no more time to go shopping for a dress. Besides, you know how I hate dancing."

"Bella, just wear that midnight blue dress you bought when Charlie dragged you to that wedding last summer when your mom was out of town. You looked so hot, I was jealous that you weren't going out with me that night. Please!"

Edward thought I looked hot! My heart was soaring again, but this roller coaster ride was getting to be too much for me. I decided to end it on a high note, and deal with the consequences in the morning.

"Okay, Edward, I'll go with you."

"Great! I'll pick you up at 7:00. We'll have an incredible time. You won't regret it. I'll see you in class tomorrow."

"Good night Edward," I love you, I added silently.

I got up from my bed and danced to the bathroom to brush my teeth and change into my pajamas. Falling back into bed, I curled up with Edward's shirt again, this time with a bigger smile on my face than I had felt in months.

___________________

My alarm jarred me awake the next morning. I rolled over and shut it off, then sat up and rubbed my eyes. Just then it hit me. Everything that had happened the night before came back in a rush. Edward broke up with Tanya! He was taking me to the dance tonight! I can't dance. I'm going to look like an idiot. Edward is going to realize what a dork I am and go running back to Tanya. I started to hyperventilate.

I told myself to calm down. We were just going as friends. Nothing had really changed between us. I could go on longing for my best friend in silence. At least Tanya wouldn't get in the way now.

I managed to settle down enough to drive to school without my hands shaking, but still had some trouble dialing the combination to my locker. As I was turning the knob again, my friend, Angela walked up.

"Bella, did you hear about Tanya and Edward at the restaurant last night? From what I heard she made quite a scene!"

"Yes, Edward called me and told me about it when he got back last night."

"Ooh, spill the details!"

"He didn't give me any details. He just said that he suddenly realized that he didn't want to spend another minute with her and decided to break it off on the spot. I guess she freaked out in the middle of the restaurant."

Angela giggled. "Freaked out is an understatement! From what I heard, she tried to drag him out to the car so she could do him in the parking lot. He actually had to call her friend Kate to come and pick her up!

"He probably didn't even want to get in the car with her. Then all the rumors would have said she blew him and he dumped her anyway."

I couldn't say anything. I was just glad that he managed to get away from her before she could sink her claws in too deep.

Angela went on, "So why do you think he dumped her? Do you think he finally realized he has something better right here?" Angela was the only person I had confided in about my feelings for Edward.

"No, but when we were talking on the phone it felt like I had my best friend back. That's enough for me," I said. "We are going together to the dance tonight though," I added quietly.

"I knew it!" Angela squealed.

"Just as friends!"

Before I could explain, Edward appeared next to her.

"Good morning Bella, Angela," he smiled and I couldn't help but smile back.

Angela gave me a look that said this conversation is not over yet, and said "I have to run. I'll see you in trig." She disappeared around the corner.

"What's up with her?" Edward asked.

"Oh, she was just filling me in on the latest gossip from your spectacular breakup last night."

"Wow. I didn't expect it to get around so fast. I should have waited till we were alone to end it," he said ruefully.

"Don't worry about it. At least this way everyone knows the truth. It will blow over in a few days."

I turned to look into his eyes. "Are you sure you did the right thing? You seemed to really like her." I had to know that this was really over. That he wasn't going to rip my heart out and stomp on it, then go running back to her again.

He looked at me, his expression firm, "Bella, it's as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I've felt nothing but relief since the moment I told her it was over. There is no way I will ever change my mind."

The look in his green eyes was intense. For a moment, I forgot about Tanya, school, and everything else around me. It was just the two of us, alone in the hall. Suddenly the bell rang, bringing me back to reality. We were the only two left in the hall, and we were late for class.

By lunch time everyone at school was getting into the Christmas spirit. Eric was running around in a baseball cap with a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the end, trying to count how many girls he could kiss. I dodged around him and headed to the lunch table. Edward was already there, sitting with Angela and Ben. It was great having him back. We all laughed and talked, just like we had at the beginning of the year. I got a nasty look from Tanya when she walked in, but I ignored her. Edward didn't even notice her.

I had started to imagine that the look we shared this morning had been nothing but my imagination, and I was starting to think that going to the Christmas dance with my best friend might be a mistake.

Edward met me by my locker at the end of the day to finalize plans for the evening. As I reached in to put my books away, Eric dodged around the corner with his mistletoe hat, trying to kiss me again. Before I knew it, Edward slammed him with one hand up against the locker by the throat.

He snarled, "If you come near Bella again, I will rip your head off! Do you understand?"

Eric just stood there shaking. Edward snatched his hat off his head, ripped the mistletoe off of it, and shoved the hat back in his hands. "Now get lost!"

Eric took off running down the hall. I was stunned. Sure Eric was annoying, but I had never seen Edward react that way to anyone. He turned to me and in a still agitated voice, he said, "Bella, I'll pick you up at seven. See you tonight."

_________________

7:00 PM

"Bella," my mom called up the stairs, "Edward is here."

I was dressed in my best blue satin dress, the one Edward had specifically requested, and a pair of heels that my mother had insisted that I buy to wear with it. I teetered down the stairs holding tight so that I didn't tumble down and break my ankle. As I turned the corner on the stairs, I saw Edward and my parents waiting at the bottom. He was wearing a dark grey suit that looked like it had been tailored to fit him, with a plain with dress shirt and red Christmas tie. He was so handsome that my heart jumped.

The minute Edward saw me his face lit up with a huge smile. All my nerves seemed to melt away with it. He was really here, waiting for me. "Wow, Bella, you look beautiful," he said.

At the bottom of the stairs I let go of the hand rail and wobbled dangerously. Edward reached out quickly with one hand to steady me. "You're going to need to hang on to her all night long, so that she doesn't break a leg," my dad said sarcastically.

"I intend to." Edward mumbled, not taking his eyes from mine. He blinked and shook his head, then held out a small box in his other hand. "This is for you."

I opened it. It was a delicate white orchid wrist corsage, tied with a red Christmas bow. It was so beautiful I was afraid to touch it. Edward pulled it out of the box for me and slid it carefully onto my wrist.

"Oh, how lovely," my mother sighed. "Time for pictures!"

I groaned. Once my mother got out the camera, there was no stopping her. After several shots throughout the house I finally convinced her that we needed to go or we would be late.

As I put on my coat and headed for the door, my dad called from behind me, "Don't forget curfew is at eleven."

I turned to look at him, shocked. I had never had a curfew before when I was with Edward. My dad wasn't looking at me. He was giving Edward a hard-nosed look that before had been reserved for the likes of Mike Newton.

Edward took my arm and led me out to his dad's Mercedes waiting at the curb. He opened the door and helped me inside, then darted around quickly to the driver's side and hopped in. We were both quiet for the short drive to the school. My nerves were starting to set in again, and I clasped my hands together in my lap so that they wouldn't shake. Edward looked over at me. He didn't say anything but he smiled like he knew a secret that I didn't.

Edward parked the car and before I could get my door open and step out, he was reaching for my hand. "Bella, I told your father that I wasn't going to let go of you all night and I meant it." He wrapped my arm around his and led me up to the entrance.

The gym had been decorated with Christmas garlands and wreaths decorating the basket ball hoops. Twelve foot tall Christmas trees graced the corners. The dance was already in full swing with a fast song playing over the speakers. At a table to the left we found Angela & Ben in front of the sound system. Ben was playing DJ for the first hour.

"Hey guys," Edward said to them.

Ben replied, "Hi Edward, Bella," but did a double take when he saw me, making me turn red.

Edward laughed and put his arm around my shoulder pulling me tighter. Angela was almost bursting with excitement, but I knew I would get her real take on the situation tomorrow morning. "Wow Bella, I love your dress!" she said.

"Thanks. This is just an old one I found in the back of my closet from last summer. I love your dress too." Angela was wearing a red strapless party dress that hugged her waist & hips, but flared out at the knees.

"So are you guys stuck here behind the table all night? Ben, I thought you'd want to get Angela out on the dance floor," Edward asked.

"Don't worry," Ben smiled at Angela, "Eric is taking over at eight. We'll get our turn, but if you have any special requests, let me know now. I've got a waiting list."

"Actually there is one thing I'd like to hear," Edward said. He leaned over and whispered into Ben's ear.

"I think we have that," Ben replied, flipping quickly through his music. "This one is almost over. I'll put it up next for you."

"Thanks, man, I owe you one." Edward said as he turned us away from the table and led me out to the dance floor.

"Edward, you know I can't dance! What song did you ask for?"

"Don't worry," he grinned at me. "I just thought it would be nice to slow the tempo down a little. And you can dance. Trust me."

The last song drew to a close, and I heard Ben's voice call out over the speakers, "This song was requested by a good friend of mine. To Bella from Edward."

As the words to "Vulnerable," by Secondhand Serenade filled the air, Edward placed his arm around my back and pulled me to him and I was in heaven. Two months of anger and heartbreak were instantly forgotten.

The words to the song seemed to say everything that I wanted to hear from Edward. I wanted to think that he was born to tell me he loved me. That he felt just as scared as I did. I had a friend but I needed a lover. Oh, Edward, I wish you could be that for me!

As we swayed to the music, I lay my head down on his shoulder. I felt him pull me tighter. He started to run his fingers up and down my back as he whispered the words to the song in my ear. Each movement sent a tingle down my spine. The evening would be perfect if he would just lean down and kiss me.

All too soon, the song drew to a close and Edward pulled away a little. I looked up and saw a pained expression in his eyes. I thought the moment had been so perfect. What could be wrong? "Edward?" I asked.

"Bella, let's get out of here. I need to talk to you," He whispered.

Just as we walked out of the gym, I caught sight of Tanya walking up the hall towards us. I tried to pull Edward the other way, but we weren't quick enough.

"Oh, I see!" Tanya screeched as soon as she saw us together. "You don't need me anymore. She's wormed her way back in! Like she could give you what you want!"

Sauntering up to me, she leaned in and said "Just you wait, little girl. Two weeks of you and he'll come crawling back to me. I'll treat him like a real man!"

No reply came to my mind. Instead, I reached up and smacked her across the face. Tanya was stunned at first, but then she shrieked and lunged at me, knocking me back against the wall. Her left hand grabbed my hair jerking hard, as her right hand pulled back to hit me. I put my arm up just in time to block the blow, as Edward and Kate pulled her off of me.

"Get her out of her!" Edward screamed to Kate before turning back to me and brushing my hair out of my eyes. "Are you hurt?"

"No," I replied, "but I think my corsage is ruined," I looked down sadly and pulled the crushed orchid from my wrist.

"Come on," Edward said, pulling me down the hall. "Let's find someplace quieter."

We weren't supposed to be roaming the school, but while the chaperons were dealing with Tanya's outburst, we ran down the hall and around a corner. Edward found an empty classroom and pulled me inside into the darkness.

At that moment, the stress of the past too months became too much, and I couldn't control the tears that started flowing.

Edward pulled me close again, wiping the tears from my eyes. "Bella, I'm sorry about that. Are you okay?"

I couldn't take it any more and sobbed into his shoulder, "No, Edward, I'm not okay. I can't take it anymore. It feels like I've spent the last two months on a roller coaster ride. One minute is perfect, the next is horrible. I just want to know how it is going to end."

"Bella," Edward said, stroking my hair, "I think that is up to you." I picked my head up and looked at him, but he pulled away looking serious again. "Bella, I need to tell you something. You might be mad at me, but please hear me out before you say anything."

"Edward what is it?"

"Last night while I was waiting for you in your room I found your diary. I read some of it."

I gasped, "How much did you read?"

He looked intently into my eyes. "Enough to understand what you've been going through these past two months.

My diary? He read my most intimate secrets? How could he? I felt like I could never trust him again. I took a step back from him and slapped him across the face as hard as I could. Edward didn't even flinch. "How could you do that? How could you invade my privacy like that?" I screamed.

"I'm so sorry, Bella! I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't help myself. You've grown so distant the past few months. When I saw it lying on your desk, I just had to know what was going on inside your mind."

"So was it worth it? Was it worth betraying the trust of your best friend?" I screamed, pulling back my hand to hit him again.

"Yes it was worth it!" He shouted as he reached up and caught my arm. "If I hadn't read it, I may have lost you entirely!"

"Bell, I was so blind. I should have seen what was going on, but you are the one girl whose thoughts I can never figure out. When I think about all the time I wasted with Tanya…" He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.

My resolve was starting to waver, so I turned my back to him in the hope that he wouldn't see. Instead I felt him walk up behind me his arms circling around me, pulling me in tight to his chest. It felt so good, but I was still too angry with him to forgive him.

"Bella, please let me make it up to you."

Against my will, I felt my body melt back against him. "How do you plan to make it up to me?" I whispered.

"Let me be your friend again. You know I'll do anything for you." he wispered back in my ear.

I couldn't say anything, so I just shook my head. It just wasn't enough. If he had read any of my most recent diary entries, then he knew how I felt about him. I couldn't stand the thought of spending time with him as friends, knowing that he knew, but didn't feel it too.

As I started to pull away, he reached into his pocket. I tried to step forward but he grabbed my arm and spun me around as he held something up just above our heads. "Look, Bella, mistletoe."

I froze as I looked at the piece of mistletoe that he had pulled off of Eric's hat earlier today. My mind wasn't processing the implications, until I dropped my gaze lower to see the determined look in his eyes.

He leaned in slowly. I closed my eyes just as I felt his lips on mine. It was a soft gentle kiss, like I always dreamed a first kiss should be, and I felt my mouth curl up in happiness. The kiss ended all too quickly as Edward's face pulled back to take in my reaction.

He still held the sprig of mistletoe above our heads as he looked into my eyes searching for some hint that he was forgiven. He moved his hand up, releasing his grip on my arm to run his fingers down my cheek. He leaned in again, and this time I met him half way.

His lips were hard against mine. I reached up and wound my arms around his neck. Feeling my response, he deepened our kiss. Opening his mouth, I felt his tongue roll along my bottom lip. My mouth opened to his and hesitantly slid mine out to meet his.

Like flipping a switch inside him, all the passion I had dreamed to be locked inside him came pouring out into that kiss. His other hand dropped to my back, pulling my body tight against his as our mouths moved passionately against each other. This was the Edward I had dreamed about for so long. The tall, strong sexy Edward that wanted me just as much as I wanted him. I was getting dizzy and had to pull back to catch my breath.

Edward was breathing heavily too as he wrapped his arms tight around me whispering, "Does this mean you forgive me?"

I looked into his piercing green eyes and knew that I could never stay angry with him. "Edward, you know I forgive you, but is this really what you want? It's all happening so fast."

"Yes, Bella. These feelings have been inside me for a long time. Even before that day we hiked to the lookout. Once I realized the truth yesterday, I knew I had to set things right. I wanted to tell you everything in your room last night, but I knew I couldn't do it until I was free of Tanya. Then, all day at school today I was aching to wrap my arms around you. When Eric tried to kiss you under that stupid mistletoe hat I couldn't take it anymore. I just snapped."

He bent over and picked up the piece of mistletoe that he had dropped. Holding it out to me. "I thought that if I could just kiss you under the mistletoe tonight, everything else would work itself out."

"Edward, you don't need mistletoe or any other excuse to kiss me," I said before reaching up on my toes to press my lips to his again.


Later that evening as Edward walked me from the car back to my front porch, I thought back over everything that had happened. After several more minutes spent making out in the dark classroom we went back to catch the last half hour of the dance. Edward had held me close the entire time, kissing my hair, my neck, my lips. There will be no doubt in school on Monday that we are now together. It was still hard to believe that everything had worked out for us, but I was happier than I had been in months.

Edward lingered over our goodnight kiss, neither of us wanting to let go, but we had no choice as my dad called out from inside, "Bella, curfew was 5 minutes ago!"

Edward jumped as I called out, "I'll be right in!"

"I think your dad isn't very happy with me," He whispered.

"Yes, you've definitely lost your bedroom priviledges," I laughed back.

"That's okay. I'll take the trade-off any day." He said leaning in to give me one last kiss. "Besides, my dad promised to buy me a car for my birthday next month. We'll be able to find plenty of time alone then. ;)

So? Did you like it? I was going for sweet. Please review and let me know what you think. I will now admit that this is the first fiction piece I have ever written. I've done plenty of technical writing at work, but there is just something much harder about writing a piece for pure entertainment and putting it out there for strangers to read. I have some ideas for longer stories, leaning more towards the "M" rating, but I wanted to start with something simple first.