Rating: T, possible bad language and nondescript adult themes.
Disclaimer: All characters that you recognise belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Esme and Renee were best friends in school and Bella and Edward grew up together. Bella's feelings for Edward are more than friendly but she worries about ruining their friendship and then there's the added problem of Tanya, Edward's new girlfriend.
You Belong With Me
"The wolves they howled for my lost soul,
I fell down a deep black hole,
He left me for another lady,
She poured the drinks and she poured the power,
Diamond girl who could talk for hours,
He left me for another lady."
-New York, Paloma Faith.
"Sorry, Ali," I said as she let me into the Cullens' house the following evening, "I've got to get this coursework finished tonight, it's due in on Friday morning. And Edward and I agreed to work on the finishing touches tonight."
Alice's face pulled into a pout, "but Bella, I wanted you to help me pick out a colour scheme for the wedding reception."
"I'm sorry, Alice, but I really do have to get this done, if it's late then Mrs Murphy won't give me the grade and I'll fail my course," I said, pulling my best "I'm-really-sorry-but-I-don't-have-a-choice" face.
"But why do you have to do it now?" Alice scowled, "I know you would rather spend time with E-"
I cut her off with a shake of my head as I noticed her brother walking down the stairs. I definitely didn't want him to hear the end of that particular sentence. Didn't want him to know how much every single moment we spent together meant to me.
Alice glared at me. "-but this is important," she finished.
"Alice," I said, trying to keep the amusement out of my voice. "The wedding isn't for a long time yet."
"A long time?" Alice whined, "do you know how long it takes to plan a wedding, Bella?"
"Yes, and I will help you as soon as I have finished this essay," I promised, knowing I'd regret it as soon as the words left my mouth.
"Well, go and get on with it then," Alice finally agreed, but the frown between her eyebrows didn't disappear. "And hurry."
I nodded at her and followed Edward up the stairs, where he had been waiting for our argument to end.
"What was that about?" he asked as soon as we got to his room.
"Alice just couldn't deal with the fact that I put my schoolwork before helping her plan her wedding," I said, looking at his stunning features. His forehead creased and he gave a grimace.
I sighed. "You still aren't getting on with her any better then?" I said, more as a statement than a question.
Edward nodded, moving to sit on his bed, where his apple mac laptop was already opened to his biology coursework. I took my laptop out of my bag and went to join him on the bed. I watched Edward open the large volume that was his biology textbook and found the file that contained my own project on my computer. I watched Edward run a hand through his hair and he sighed as he typed another sentence.
I gave him a small, semi-amused smile, "I can't wait for this project to be finished either."
Edward nodded and turned to look at me. "Agreed… I don't care whether antibiotics are overused or not. We could've at least written this coursework on something vaguely interesting."
"At least it's nearly finished," I replied, gazing into his stunning green eyes. I felt myself being drawn towards him and all I wanted to do was kiss him passionately. I was quite close to him and could feel his warm breath that sent shivers across my cheeks.
"Thank god," he said suddenly, ending the moment between us. He drew away from me and started reading through a paragraph in his textbook.
I felt the colour rising to my cheeks and quickly turned back to my laptop so as not to be caught staring again. I wondered if Edward understood just what my gaze had meant, whether he had felt my desire and passion.
We worked in silence for a while, I was embarrassed and Edward was concentrating on his work. Occasionally our eyes would meet or our hands would touch as we looked for something in our books and my cheeks would flush red once again. Edward just had that affect on me. And he didn't seem to know it either.
After we'd been working for just under an hour, Esme called Edward downstairs. He gave me a soft smile as he got up from the bed and promised to be right back. He left the door open and I could hear him going down the stairs.
"I'm sorry, Tanya, but I told you I had to work on my biology coursework tonight," I heard Edward's voice, filling the hallway.
Great, I thought, Tanya is here. Just what I needed.
"But she's here!" I heard Tanya whine. "Why is she allowed to be here and not me?"
"Because I'm working on the project with Bella," Edward said, emphasising my name. He gave a long sigh, before he gave in. "I'm nearly done, if you want to wait."
I heard the two pairs of feet coming upstairs. "Really, Edward," Tanya was saying, "we need to get as much practice as possible if we want the piece to go well and sound good."
Edward and Tanya made their way into the bedroom and Tanya made herself comfortable sat at Edward's desk, taking out her violin to set it up.
"Hello, Isabella," she said, her tone sickly and mocking.
I ignored her, not at all in the mood for her games. I watched out the corner of my eye as Edward dropped a quick kiss to her lips before returning to his work. Seeing them together made it feel like my head was tearing at each corner.
"Don't be like that, Bells," he told me, his tone holding a frosty edge.
I shrugged, pretending to be absorbed in my work. I could almost feel Tanya's amusement rolling off her in waves. Smug bitch. Seriously, what did Edward see in her?
We continued our work, whilst Tanya sat at Edward's desk, filing her nails and humming to herself. Every time I lifted my head to glance at her pointedly, she just looked at me, finding the situation hilarious. I knew she was enjoying my exasperation. It was very annoying.
Eventually I couldn't stand it any longer. I just had to get out of there.
"I'm going to get a glass of water," I told Edward, standing and moving to the door.
Esme was sitting at the kitchen table, reading a novel. She looked up as I helped myself to a glass and cooled water from the fridge. I gave exhaled deeply and lent against the worktop.
"You don't like her either?" Esme asked kindly.
I shook my head vigorously. "I don't see why Edward likes her," I said truthfully.
"Me neither," Esme replied, her eyes sad. "There are other, more suitable girls," she said quietly and I wasn't sure whether she intended me to hear.
"Yes, there are plenty of more suitable girls for Edward," I agreed. And I wasn't one of them. I would never be good enough for Edward and he would never see me as more than a friend.
Esme forced a smile upon her face and a turned to face me fully. "Don't worry, it will all work out, dear," she said thoughtfully.
I mirrored her smile, trying to make it seem like I believed her. I said goodbye to her and made my way back upstairs.
When I got there, Edward had left the room. Tanya was still sitting at the desk, tapping her nails on the hard surface. She looked very satisfied with herself.
"Edward went to the bathroom," she informed me.
I nodded curtly at her and went back to my coursework. The only problem was that my coursework was no longer there.
I tried not to panic, opening the folder (called "School Work") that it had been in to look for it. Then I flicked through some other files in case I'd accidentally moved it to another place. Finally I tried to run a search for it on the computer. It wasn't there. There was no trace of it at all.
"Everything alright, Bella?" Tanya asked, feigning concern.
Realisation hit me. "What did you do, you bitch?" I asked coldly.
"I don't know what you mean," she told me calmly, playing with the ends of her long blonde hair.
"You know exactly what I mean! What did you do with my coursework?" I demanded.
That was the moment Edward walked back into the room and heard my raised voice.
"Tanya's deleted my entire coursework off my computer," I explained angrily.
Edward frowned. "I seriously doubt she would," he said unsurely. "Are you sure you saved it?"
"Yes, Edward," I said sharply, "it was saved in exactly the same place it's been saved for the past two and a half weeks… it didn't just disappear on its own!"
"Perhaps you pressed the wrong key," he argued.
"No, it was open when I left and I saved it before I got up!" I replied, throwing my hands up in the air in exasperation. "Tanya did it!"
"Why would Tanya delete your biology coursework?" Edward asked, "what possible reason could she have to do that?"
"She wouldn't need one," I said stubbornly. How could he believe his bitch of a girlfriend over me, his closest, oldest friend? "Tanya was the only one here; she had to have done it!"
"Why would she, Bella?" Edward growled. "She doesn't care about what you do!"
I bit my lip. "Edward, she has to have!" I cried, looking at his face.
"Stop making lies about my girlfriend," he said coldly.
"But, Edward-" Even when I was angry his voice still rolled off my tongue in the perfect caress.
"Get out, Bella," he snapped; his sparkling viridian eyes, stormy.
I gathered my laptop and books and ran from the room, desperate to get out before I started crying in front of Edward and Her Royal Bitchiness. I made my way to the front door, avoiding Alice and calling goodbye to Esme in the kitchen before I made it to the safety of my car.
"Desperate for changing,
Starving for truth,
I'm closer to where I started,
Chasing after you."
-Hanging by a Moment, Lifehouse.
The next day was tense to say the least. Tense because Mrs Murphy refused to give me an extension on my coursework and I knew I'd never get it done by Friday. Tense because I had to pretend that I was still with Emmett when I felt nothing for him. And tense because I was still arguing with Edward which was tearing my heart apart.
In Music, I noticed that Tanya was sitting in my place next to Edward. I grimaced and went to sit on the other side of him. He didn't look at me when I sat next to him but moved closer to me to talk to me without Tanya hearing. Even though I was pissed at him for taking Tanya's side, I still felt desire coursing through my veins as his warm breath hit my cheek.
"Are you going to apologise to my girlfriend for the things you said last night?" he asked coldly. "They were uncalled for."
"Uncalled for?" I asked, disbelief written across my face. "Edward, I only said the truth! There is no-one else who could've done it! Unless you want to tell me it was you that deleted the file?"
"No…" he said slowly.
"Well, there we go then," I said. "Sorry, Edward, but there's no other possible explanation."
"I think you're wrong," Edward told me, out the corner of his mouth, as Mr Kershaw entered. "I'm not going to let this go until you apologise to Tanya."
We didn't talk for the rest of the day. At lunch I sat with Emmett, Angela, Seth, Jacob and Leah whilst Edward sat with Tanya and her "cool" group. I picked at my food and stole glances to where Edward was holding Tanya's hand and kissing her.
At the end of lunch, as I was putting away my tray, Rosalie Hale came up to me. At first I thought she was going to yell at me for the things I had said about her friend or deliver some message from Tanya that told me to stay away from Edward. It wasn't anything to do with Tanya though.
"Can I talk to you, Bella?" Rosalie asked me, her blue eyes gazing at me sharply.
I nodded mutely and gestured for her to start.
"What's happening between you and Emmett?" she asked me bluntly. "I know you're supposed to be together, but I don't buy it. You don't act like lovers."
I frowned. If Rosalie had noticed, who was to say that others hadn't? "What do you mean?"
"I know you like Edward," she told me. "You're always watching him. When he's in the room, it's as if no one else is. When he talks to you, you look as if you're in heaven… There's no way you're interested in Emmett."
"Have you-?" I started to ask, in fear. What if Tanya knew I liked her boyfriend? She'd never forgive me. And she'd try to turn Edward against me, even more than she already was.
"No, I haven't said anything to Tanya. She doesn't know and she's not smart enough to work it out herself," Rosalie promised. "This isn't about her. This is about me."
"Wh-y?" I froze halfway through the word and I began to understand why Rosalie was grilling me on the subject. "One minute… you like Emmett, don't you?"
Rosalie looked at me impatiently as if she was dealing with someone very stupid. "Well, yes, if you're going to put it that way. I like Emmett and I want to know what you are doing with him when you obviously don't like him."
I smiled my first real smile of the day. "That's sweet," I said.
Rosalie glared at me, not at all in the mood to be teased.
"Sorry," I said. I lowered my head in embarrassment, so that Rosalie couldn't see my face and explained everything. "Look, you're right. I do like Edward. And his sister came up with the idea to make him jealous by dating one of his friends… Emmett seemed a good pick. I don't know why I'm telling you all this, but basically there is nothing going on between us. Please don't tell Edward any of this though."
"One minute, you're leading Emmett on?" she exclaimed, looking scandalised.
"No, Emmett knows all this… he just wants to help me," I said softly. "He believes there's something between Edward and I."
"He's a lovely guy," Rosalie said, looking relieved. Why, I don't know. After all, she is Rosalie Hale and she is gorgeous.
"Thanks, Bella. I just had to know."
"It's okay," I said, smiling at her. "Please don't-"
"I won't tell anyone," she agreed, knowing my question before I asked it.
Perhaps Rosalie wasn't as much of a bitch as I'd thought previously.
I watched her walk off and made my way back to my table. Emmett was watching me with wide eyes.
"Were you just talking to-?" he began, shock evident on his dark features.
"Rosalie Hale?" he nodded. "Yes… yes, I was… and guess what? She likes you!"
Emmett looked liked he might faint due to surprise and joy. Oh well, at least someone was having a good day.
Hey everyone, so sorry for the long pause- I haven't felt like writing in a month or so and I haven't felt like Twilighting in ages, thankfully I am now. :) Anyway, I hope you like this update, I hope that I can stick at this story and get it finished now... but then again, I always say that, so we shall see.
I really really dislike Tanya! I hope we can get rid of her soon! :P
Once again, a big shout out for Cath for all her help on this chapter... good luck with all your exams!
Please, please review! :)
Love JLF xxx