Please Take Notice: The last few chapters of This story has been removed from fanfiction dot net, but is available in alternate locations. Please see my profile for more information
Disclaimer: I do not own the original Twilight Series, I do however take full credit for the Twilight Fanfiction, Femme Docs and Kevlar Knights, from which these one shots originated.
Author's Note: As promised, this is the first of the Summer One Shots featured in Femme Docs and Kevlar Knights. This one will be more familiar since I posted a portion of it in Chapter 30, Focus Fluctuations. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks again to everyone who posted reviews for Femme Docs! Thanks to my pal AgoodWITCH for doing the speed beta thing with this chapter.
The First Summer: June 2002
I sat curled up on the couch, staring unseeingly at the worn copy of Jane Eyre in my lap. This was how I spent most of my free time since moving to Chicago. It was so large, loud, and downright overwhelming. I hated it. I hated the crowded streets, the unending sea of concrete all around me, making the whole world gray with the rare splashes of color when someone would finally get creative and use something other than black or gray for the façade of their particular building. I hated the constant hum of traffic on the street below our apartment window. I hated almost everything about this city, the only exception being my big brother and his friends. They made it at least somewhat bearable, but it didn't change the fact that I missed home.
I missed the quiet of our house in the country. I missed the long stretches of green all around us and the familiarity of our neighbors and friends in town. Chicago was cold and unfriendly…too many people crowded into too small of a space, forcing them all to focus on their tasks ahead of them to take the time to greet those around them. It was so foreign to me. I really, really missed home.
I sighed as I tried to focus my eyes on the tiny black print to re-read the same sentence again for the fifth time since I had sat down with the book an hour before. I managed to push past the period at the end to start the next sentence when Emmett came bounding in, laughing with Edward and Jasper right behind him. The trio came to stand in front of my seat, all with wide grins and crossed arms.
I looked up at them blankly for a moment before sliding my bookmark back into the margin and folding the flimsy pages carefully closed. I looked back up again with a furrowed brow. "What?" I asked nervously, feeling a bit uncomfortable with the way they were looking down at me with devious expressions.
"Enough with the wallowing squirt," Emmett cheered, reaching down to grasp my shoulders while yanking me to my feet. "We are taking you to the beach."
"The beach?" was my big insightful reply.
He scoffed, "Yeah, the beach. Go dig out your swimsuit; grab a beach towel and whatever else you want to take along. Meet us back out here in ten minutes. We're going to hit Oak Street Beach today and enjoy some of this great sunshine."
I nodded in reply before walking back to my bedroom where I rummaged through my drawers. I knew I had a swimsuit somewhere, if only I could remember where I had tucked it. It had been late February when we moved into this place and I found homes for all of my belongings. At that point, swimming had been the furthest thing from my mind.
I burrowed into the bottom of my underwear drawer, finally pulling out the purple one piece. I always felt so infantile wearing this swimsuit. It did nothing to help the look of my body, flattening what little chest I had and blurring the slight curvature I had developed in my waist so that I looked like a glorified stick figure with long brown hair.
I stared at the mirror in front of me with a forlorn sigh. Mom had promised that this summer she would take me shopping for a bikini. All of my friends wore bikinis now and I had just talked Mom into helping me find one that would make my body look a little less like a surf board at the end of last summer. Of course neither one of us knew at the time that she wouldn't be here come spring. She wasn't here and it was all because of me and my stupid school play.
I took a deep breath letting it out in a long labored sigh. Drowning in my own little pity parade wasn't going to help me put on the brave face that Emmett and the boys needed to see. Even if I was completely miserable, I had to let them think I was enjoying myself. I certainly didn't want Emmett to feel any worse than he already did.
I threw on a gray Lincoln High School t-shirt and a pair of cut off blue jean shorts before sliding my feet into a pair of sandals. I yanked my blue mesh beach bag out of the closet, tossing my beach towel, walkman CD Player, sunscreen, and my worn copy of Jane Eyre in before shuffling back to the living room.
The boys were gathered on the furniture texting on their phones and chattering with each other excitedly. It was obvious they were psyched as Joey and Danny talked about the ratio of hot chicks that would probably be there today.
I rolled my eyes, not even bothering to be subtle as I plopped on the couch next to Emmett. I glanced at him before realizing the room had gone silent. I glanced around to find all six pairs of eyes in the room were trained on me. I swallowed hard past the lump in my throat as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.
I had only known them all for less than four months and while they were all nice enough, it was still just strange to be surrounded by so many guys all the time. The only guys I ever spent much time around were Emmett and Dad. My mom had insisted that I be a girly girl for the most part and I never really had a problem with that. I loved going shopping with my mom and doing makeovers. Along the way, I had gravitated to mostly girl friends at school. Yeah, I had my more butch hobbies like shooting with Dad and survived well amongst the local cops who would hang out on the range, but this was so different. These weren't middle aged balding guys with beer bellies. No, these were unbearably attractive college age guys who smelled even better than they looked and that was without even seeing any of them shirtless. Lord help me when we got to the beach where they would be running around in swim trunks! I hadn't even kissed a guy yet, much less seen shirtless guys!
I admit. It had been my idea for the beach trip. She tried so hard to hide it, always the brave little trooper, but she wasn't a good liar. Her eyes gave her away every time. Bella was so unhappy here. Hell, I couldn't blame her. She lost both parents and her whole life in the course of a few seconds. She left everything behind to move to a strange city to be surrounded by a bunch of jackass guys who were barely mature enough to take care of themselves, much less a teenage girl.
Thank God she was a good kid. I don't know what Emmett would have done if Bella had been a hellcat. At sixteen she was more mature than the rest of us were at twenty half the time. She was smart and funny on the rare occasions that her sarcastic wit managed to push past her depression.
The more I watched her, the more worried I got. I didn't know her well yet, but I could tell she was struggling. I just wish I knew what to do the help. The only thing I could really think of for the time being was to get her out there and teach her to love her new city. Things wouldn't be changing for her anytime soon, so the sooner she grew an appreciation for the city I grew up in and loved, the sooner she would learn to acclimate.
We waited, keeping ourselves busy as she dressed and got her things together for the trip. Another thing we were all grateful for was that she wasn't a high maintenance chick. Most of the girls we knew would insist on spending half an hour or more to do their hair and makeup before we could leave. Not Bella, though, she would slap something together and come out looking fresh and ready to go, and actually look better than any of those other girls would after spending forever forcing themselves to look attractive. Bella was a natural beauty and we were already anxious for the day when the guys in her school would start to notice.
When she came into the living room, she looked more uncomfortable than usual, a fact that wasn't lost on any of us as she stared at her feet, cutting through the room to slouch on the sofa next to Emmett. I still couldn't believe that this tiny thing shared DNA with the monster of a man sitting next to her. They were like polar opposites.
After a few awkward moments, we finally piled into a couple of cabs and rode to the beach. We pushed through the crowds to find a place where we could all spread out together, laying down our beach towels in order to claim our tiny pieces of sandy property.
The guys all threw down their towels as they eyed the pickings around us unabashedly before taking off for the water to get wet before working their mojo on their picks of the day. All that were left within a few short moments were me and Emmett. Bella hadn't noticed much of anything going on around us she settled into place. She eyed the bikini clad Barbie clones around us, her posture melting before my very eyes. I still didn't understand why women constantly measured themselves against others around them, inevitably finding the one thing that they felt was inferior to the rest and letting it smother their self confidence.
I shot a look at Emmett telling him I had it covered as Bella set about digging in her bag to drag out her outdated Walkman CD player with cheap little ear buds. She slid them into her ears before pulling out a pathetically worn out, yellowed book. She sat it next to her before beginning to settle back with her shirt and shorts still on, obviously too shy about her appearance to take them off.
It was pretty much one of the most fucking ridiculous things I had ever seen. The girl was about as slender as you can be, before it became unhealthy, with creamy skin that practically shimmered in the sunlight. I glanced to see more than one of the crispy fried clones around her eye her smooth perfect skin enviously…not that Bella would ever notice that. Her hair shimmered in the sun as the rays picked up different colored strands mixed in with the brown, which made it far more interesting than the flat bleach blonde color that most of the women around her sported. Her long hair was healthy and smooth, earning more envious looks from the world weary women around her.
Each of them should be envious too, because young Bella was most definitely a vision. For the four short months she had been a part of my life, and a great many times throughout those months I would have to remind myself that she was far too young and innocent when the errant thought would push through to the forefront of my mind. In so many ways, her innocence was far more appealing than the overt sexuality of the vixens who typically threw their attentions my way. I longed to find something more pure, and yet the purity I knew first hand was far too sacred to be polluted by me.
She settled back onto her towel, raising the book above her head to read and I found myself speaking before I had even thought. I really felt the need to not let her disappear in her books. We brought her out to have fun and partake of a part of what the city had to offer. I needed to help her reach out and do that.
She jumped at the sound of my voice, slowly lowering the book to her chest as she squinted at me, her eyes drifting from my face down to my chest as she swallowed hard. She stared blankly a few minutes and I couldn't help but feel excited that she was finding my body appealing. I shouldn't have felt that way, but it was an involuntary reaction. I liked that she liked me.
I smiled my trademark smile at her as I shifted closer to her, settling on Emmett's towel just to her right.
"I asked if you were really going to keep that shirt and shorts on all day, or if you were going to actually absorb a few of these great rays today."
Her cheeks stained pink as she glanced down at her shirt and shorts. She sighed before standing up, unfastening the shorts and shimmying them off of her hips with a little wiggle as they fell to pool at her feet. She grasped the material of her t-shirt, tugging it over her head, revealing a great deal of hidden skin from the deep plunging back of the suit. I swallowed, shutting my eyes and willing my thoughts to stay innocent. Her hair fell back down, sweeping across the creamy white flesh of her back, once again concealing the newly revealed skin from my view to my relief.
My relief, however, was short lived as she yanked out her bottle of sunscreen and began spreading it on her arms and down the smooth long lines of her legs. I tried to focus on other things, but it was hard, in all senses of the word, when her hands drifted from her legs to grab a fresh dollop of cream to spread on her face, neck, and chest.
By the time she was finished, I was an internal mess, but I was keeping a fairly cool external façade, or so I hoped. She looked up, flushing at my expression before dipping her head to hide behind the shimmering brown curtain of her hair while simultaneously attempting to apply the cream to the exposed skin of her back, displayed once more before my eyes.
I cleared my throat and offered to help before I realized what I was even offering. Smoothing the white cream onto her perfect flesh of her back was the total opposite of what I was attempting in order to keep my mind focused correctly.
She blushed nearly violet before nodding awkwardly. My heart was beating furiously in my chest as I massaged the lotion into her cool skin. I felt more than a little panicked that a teenage girl could be making me act so fucking erratic. She was only sixteen for crying out loud, and yet rubbing fucking lotion on her back was making me lose my shit like she was laid out for me in a damn centerfold.
I tried to make myself hurry, but the feel of her skin was too tempting. I worked as slowly as I could without being suspicious, finally yanking my hands away when I was done, making a loud announcement of the fact. I picked up her yellowed book at her side immediately to distract myself and hopefully her as well.
"Jane Eyre huh? My Aunt loves this book. I personally didn't think it was quite that amazing when I read it at her request." I shrugged with a smile, enjoying her blush in reaction to it. "Must be a girl thing."
She smiled sheepishly, reaching between us to take her book back gently, with the care one might treat a rare treasure. "Must be." A look of sadness crossed her face. "It was my Mom's. It was her favorite actually."
I looked at her, my heart aching for her loss. I could relate. My mom didn't die, but she might as well have. I knew that feeling of loss and could relate more than most.
"You must miss her a lot. It's always hard to lose a parent, but it must be hard as a teenage girl, just when you're reaching the point that you want to talk to her the most about things."
She sighed, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them protectively. "Yeah, it really is. I miss them both so much. I just keep thinking about all of the important things coming up that they are going to miss. Mom always talked about taking me prom dress shopping, where I would go to college, and how she would help me decorate my dorm. I'm already starting to miss her. Even this stupid swimsuit…I've had it for a couple of years now and at the end of summer she promised to take me shopping for a bikini, and now she's not here to go with me. Every day little things just seem to slap me in the face, you know?"
I nodded in compassion and silently thanked the heavens that she didn't already have the bikini. I was having a hard enough time keeping my head on straight as it was around her. She was just a kid and I had to stop letting my hormones get the better of me.
I decided it was probably best to change the subject, getting her to tell me more about her old high school and her friends. I could tell she missed all of that too. I asked about her hobbies and tried to bring up things in Chicago she might like, hoping it would help her learn to appreciate her new home.
Eventually I even got her loosened up enough to laugh…and by laugh I don't mean those little shy laughs she occasionally allowed to escape these past few months, but rather some real true deep belly laughs. Occasionally I would catch her checking me out a bit in her peripheral vision. I tried not to let on that I noticed because I knew it would embarrass the hell out of her.
Eventually she started asking me some shy quiet questions about me. I answered as honestly as I could, skimming over a few of the less than savory details. She was just a kid and certainly didn't need to know about some of my less than wholesome pastimes during my later high school years.
I noticed her gaze drifting to my birthmark several times. I could tell she was building up her nerve to ask me. Normally I was a little self-conscious about it, but for some reason with Bella, I really wanted to tell her. I wanted her to know more about me than I had ever cared to share with any girls before. I chalked it all up the fact that she was underage and thus safe. Even if I had some level of attraction to her, it was never going to happen. I liked the fact that I had someone safe like that in my life.
When she finally worked up her nerve, she looked over sheepishly, asking me about the kiss shaped birthmark in a tiny, timid voice. I looked down at it, brushing my hand across it with a chuckle.
"It's a birthmark actually. When I was little, my Mom used to say it was my angel's kiss. She said that when I was born my guardian angel must have kissed me to welcome me to the world and his magic filtered onto my skin and left a special mark to let me know I was special."
"Awe that's sweet," she blurted out loudly before covering her mouth with wide eyes making me laugh.
"Yeah, I thought it was so cool when I was a kid, but now I pretty much forget it's even there. God, I haven't even told that story in years..." I trailed off getting lost in my memories of my mother, which inevitably made me remember my father's death and her subsequent abandonment of me. No matter how much time passed, it always made my heart crumple with pain when I thought of her dumping me off with the maid and leaving me in a crying heap on my aunt and uncle's couch.
I was completely lost in my memories, my eyes gazing unfocused at the water in the distance when I felt a tiny warm hand settle on my arm. It patted me gently a couple of times, a slow comforting tingle emanating from her smooth finger tips and sizzling up to warm my cold aching heart. It was a simple gesture, but it really did help so much.
Before I realized what was really happening inside me, her hand lifted to settle back at her side on the towel. She looked over shyly to see me looking back at her with a very similar expression. She was still such a total enigma to me. I couldn't make sense of everything surrounding her. I knew she was a sweet and obviously very caring kid. She was beautiful too, there was no denying that…but there was something else there. Her presence comforted me in a way that none had before.
We sat there a moment, continuing to stare shyly at one another when the distinctive click of a camera rang out from in front of us just before Emmett laughed loudly at us as he stood less than a foot in front of us. We both jumped a little, neither of us having noticed he was there.
"Come on you two! What's the use in being at the beach if you don't go and enjoy the water! You need to go get wet!"
I shook off my confusion with a laugh before standing up, offering a hand to help Bella rise from the ground. She looked up at me through her eyelashes, still seeming so innocently shy. As our fingers connected, that tingling hum started again, sizzling painlessly straight into my heart. I blinked down at our hands, by brow furrowing a little in confusion. In all my twenty years, I had never encountered or even heard of anything like that from simply a touch. I tried to figure out if it was the girl or just the fact that she was someone safe.
As soon as she was steady on her feet, I let go of her hand, watching as it dropped lifelessly to her side. She looked nearly as bewildered as I felt. I took a step back, giving her more space before shaking my head to rid it of my confusion. I smiled, gesturing with my hand toward the water, offering for her to go first.
She smiled as she stepped off the towel, releasing a high pitched yelp when she was caught off guard by the heat of the sand under her bare feet. I couldn't help but laugh as she hopped and skipped from foot to foot while chanting "hot, hot, hot, so freaking hot" all the way to the shore. She sighed contentedly when her feet hit the cool wet sand at the top of the tide wash.
She tipped her head up at the sky with a serene smile that was breathtaking and I found myself mentally chanting a new mantra, reminding me that she was just a kid. I was inexplicably drawn to this shy quiet girl. I didn't know why, but I certainly knew I couldn't let myself be pulled in too far. All that would accomplish would be to hurt her or me, or possibly even both.
I heard Jasper jeer at me from his place in the deep water, snapping me back from my musings. I yelled back, looking at her once more with a small smile of farewell, before rushing into the water knowing I needed to put some space between us. The cool water helped soothe my issues slightly, but it still didn't take away my concern about my draw to the tiny young girl.
The guys started a splashing war before a group of hot girls swam up, flirting with us all without reserve. They were hot as hell, hair choices from any one of the colors one might prefer, figures ranging from curvy to ultra slim. Oddly enough, I couldn't really keep my head in the game.
My eyes kept drifting back to the shore where Bella stood talking with Emmett, kicking water at one another occasionally. I could tell Emmett was trying to talk her into going for a swim, but she kept shaking her head adamantly. Finally, he decided to strong arm her, swooping her up over his shoulder as he stomped into the lake, splashes flying high above him with each step.
Bella screamed as she flailed her arms and legs against him, but underneath the yells were unmistakable giggles. Once he got deep enough in the water, he flung her off of his shoulder, dumping her unceremoniously.
I laughed as she broke the surface, grasping his neck desperately. Once she caught her breath she began to verbally browbeat him as he threw back his head and laughed. She stopped, cocking her head at him in confusion as he smiled down at her.
"There you are, squirt. I was wondering when you'd come back to me. I've missed you. I'd rather you yell at me any day than do that pretending to be happy shit and failing miserably that you've done these past three months. Be yourself, little sis. That's all I really want..okay?"
She frowned at him, but slowly began to nod before releasing his neck and sliding into the water where Jasper snuck up behind her, grabbing her around the waist and pulling her back quickly. She yelped before turning with a devious smile. She hopped out of the water, taking Jasper completely by surprise, before planting her hands on his head and pushing him under.
From there the water war ensued as we all laughed and splashed, trying to dunk one another. Above the sounds of our laughter, Bella's bell like giggle rang out making my heart pulse with joy. She was going to be okay as long as we helped her remember she was just a kid and it was okay to have some fun.
By the time we went back to the apartment that night, we were all exhausted, but happy. Bella was more relaxed and humorous than I had ever seen her before. She was really quite funny when she let go and allowed herself permission to enjoy life. I knew from this point on, that things were going to start getting better.
Author's Note: Okay guys, first summer trip and we got both POV's…what do you think? It's very close to B's POV in chapter 30, except that of course we didn't know what E was really thinking, just her impressions of his reactions. Hope you all enjoyed!
I also have the second summer written as well as having a new inspiration for another possible story that I'm falling in love with already. It's a period piece with Princess Isabella of Spain, who is facing an arranged marriage to the renowned English lothario, Prince Edward, in the early 17th century. Let's just say that watching the Showtime Series The Tudors this last week haunted me a bit, leading to this much later and very AU adaptation. I'm going to get a few chapters built up before I start posting, so you won't have to wait as long between chapters since I want to do these and wrap up BTI first.
I also wanted to give a big thanks to the ladies that came to the Live Author's chat at The Writer's Coffee shop. We had a total of seven people pop in to say hi and we had a ton of fun. Thanks so much to AgoodWITCH, Mizzugirl, elohcin, SnowWhiteHeart, Patti996 (in absentia through texting with her sister AGW), the two ladies from writer's coffee shop that dropped in but had yet to read my stories yet… I hope you are liking it, and last, but not least, our moderator, Girl Who Reads! You guys were awesome!
And Finally, thanks for all the awesome reviews on the epilogue of FDKK, I have gotten 171 reviews so far for that chapter and still counting. I tried to reply to everyone…if I missed you, I am really sorry. I appreciate you all so very much!
I hope to post the next chapter soon, The Second Summer, June 2003. It's a lot more of an emotional rollercoaster than this one was. There's been a whole year of built up emotions and angst brewing next time around!!!