Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, not me. I do, however, own this story.
The bold, italicized statements are from the website www . textsfromlastnight . com. If you haven't checked it out before, do it now. You won't regret it!
Story is in Bella's point of view, unless otherwise noted.
Chapter One: Tour de Franzia
I walked down to the beach, a large bonfire acting as my Northern star. As I drew closer, the people that had helped me find myself came into view and I smiled. Though everyone else had arrived earlier in the day, I hadn't been able to get a flight out of New York until late that afternoon, so I was a little late to what I was sure would be first of many parties during the upcoming week of celebrating all things Jasper and Alice.
The past five years had changed us; we'd grown older, gotten real jobs, moved to opposite ends of the globe, and fallen in love. The only constant in our crazy lives was this: our friendship that lasted through four outrageous years of college and into our roaring 20s.
As I approached the crackling bonfire, the sand rustled beneath my feet and I saw up close the faces of the people who knew me better than I knew myself. The people I had spent my first nights away from home with and complained about cranky professors to, the people I shared countless nights I can't remember with and, most importantly, the people I would always consider my soul mates.
A little over a year ago, Jasper had finally swallowed his fears and popped the question to our fair Alice. Finally, after a year and a half of planning, the event was here: their wedding in Charleston, South Carolina.
It wasthe first time we would all be together in the same place since the summer after our graduation from Yale when we had spent two weeks at the beach house Emmett's parents owned off the coast of North Carolina, drinking and laughing and saying goodbye to our reckless college years and each other.
Alice, always the obsessive-compulsive planner, was the master of ceremonies for the week ahead, right up until the minute she and Jasper were to say 'I do.' Because it was her wedding and she had been planning it since birth, no one dared to even think about making his or her own plans. We had learned quickly not to question Alice. None of the other guests or members of the wedding party were arriving until Friday, the six of us having coordinated our calendars a year in advance to spend a few days just being together again before two members of our tight knit group became a unit for all of eternity.
"Swan's here!" Emmett bellowed as I came into view. He stood and lumbered over to me after putting his red Solo cup onto the ground for safe keeping, wrapping his big arms around my waist and lifting me off the ground in a big bear hug.
I smiled; this was familiar. "Put me down, McCarty," I squealed, having a little trouble breathing due to his mass of arm muscles and their tightness around my midsection.
He chuckled and released me. "You're looking hot, Swan. Look out, Rose, you might have a little competition," he joked, winking in his girlfriend's direction.
"Yeah, you better stay on your game," I said, carrying on with the joke. Rose shook her head back and forth in a knowing way at Emmett's typical actions.
By now, everyone else was standing to greet me. Alice was the first to move in, squealing and jumping up into my arms like a monkey. "I'm so glad you're finally here!"
I grinned and held my best friend to me; living on separate ends of the country had made me miss her desperately. "I've missed you, A," I said as she unwrapped herself from me.
"Look what Em bought," Jasper said from behind the small crowd surrounding me. I looked over Rosalie's shoulder to check it out; he had a box of the terrible boxed wine, Franzia, in each hand.
Oh shit. "You didn't..." I said fearfully, shooting daggers in Emmett's direction.
Edward piped up from my right side as he handed me a red cup of my own. "Of course he did," he said, "and you have some catching up to do." After my cup was securely within my grip, Edward greeted me with a hug as well, though he didn't attempt cutting off my air supply like Emmett. So kind of him.
"Tour de Franzia, round," she paused, unsure of how many years this tradition had been carrying on, "five or six?" Alice announced as she held her plastic cup up in a toast. Apparently we were going to start the week off just like many weekends in college; with terrible boxed wine that we used to think was hilarious and ironic.
None of us bothered to figure out the correct year as we nodded in agreement, joining our cups together and cheering.
I giggled and took a sip, the sour liquid coating my throat. "It's only fitting," Jasper added, "after all, Franzia is what what brought us all together."
September 2006, Freshman Year
(518): apparently people get pissed when you take the bag of wine out of the franzia box and put it in your purse before leaving the party
I warily followed my roommates, Alice and Rosalie, across campus towards the rambunctious fraternity house. Flashes of reminders from Renee and Charlie that I be careful about leaving my drink unattended and avoiding guys that seemed 'sketchy' ran through my mind.
I could hear the rented 80s cover band playing from the back yard. On the front of the house a sign had been hung announcing the event of the evening, 'Sigma Pi Alpha presents: Tour de Franzia 2006.'
It was mine and Alice's first fraternity party. Jasper, Rosalie's twin brother who we had yet to meet because of his crazy pledge process, had invited the three of us. Only Rose, who had been to the house a couple of times before to see her brother on the rare occasion he wasn't being ordered around by the brothers, knew what to expect. Apparently, the only beverage available for the entire evening was a terrible boxed wine, carrying on a yearly tradition of at least five years. They thought it was original and ironic. I thought it was an opportunity for free alcohol.
I looked at Alice to gauge her initial reaction. Her face read an emotion of excitement and apprehension; I felt roughly the same way. We headed towards the door, Rose in front with her head held regally, and were greeted with red solo cups full of the liquid of honor.
"Welcome to Sigma Pi Alpha, ladies," a burly guy with massive forearms welcomed us as we stepped through the front door. He seemed immediately in awe of Rose. "I'm Emmett."
"Hi," Alice stepped forward and extended her hand, "I'm Alice Brandon. This is Bella Swan," she gestured towards me, "and Rosalie, Jasper Hale's twin?"
"Ah," he said, recognition flashing across his face. "The infamous and beautiful, Rosalie Hale. Off limits, of course. Damn."
"What?" Rose seemed appalled.
The guy boomed with laughter. "Jasper's one of my pledge brothers. He threatened us all on our pledge retreat last weekend. Apparently, we touch you, we lose the, uh, ability to reproduce."
Rose giggled. "I love my brother and his good intentions," she said, "but you're hot." For extra emphasis, she winked.
He grinned and stood up straighter. "Damn straight," he agreed proudly. Clearly he didn't have an ego problem. "Well, ladies, enjoy yourselves. Jasper is manning the Franzia pong tables downstairs." With the instructions, we turned and went in search of Jasper.
"Franzia pong?" I yelled to Rose over the music as we fought through the inebriated, loud crowd on our way towards the door that led to the basement of the house.
Rose nodded. "Beer pong with that boxed wine shit. They think it's clever," she seemed annoyed. I didn't know her that well yet, but, judging by the high number of designer bags in her closet, she was probably inclined towards more expensive wine that had been aged in wine cellars for decades.
I chuckled. This. was. awesome.
When we arrived downstairs, Rose spotted her brother instantly and dragged us over to meet him. Introductions were made and I couldn't be sure, but I think Alice fell in love on the spot.
"You ladies wanna play?" Jasper gestured to an empty table. Alice instantly agreed, pairing off onto a team with Jasper, while and Rose and I followed suit, forming a team of our own.
I was shocked by my superior Franzia pong skills. Jasper said something about beginner's luck, but I disagreed. My clumsiness and overall lack of hand eye coordination meant only one thing: my talent in life was, clearly, drinking games that involved ping pong balls. College was going to be incredible.
After the first game (Alice and Jasper won), a beautiful guy with a mess of bronze hair approached us. The owner of that head of hair and Jasper did the man handshake and he was introduced as "Edward, one of my other pledge brothers." I was suddenly in lust.
I heard the boys discussing an emergency situation involving solo cups that required Jasper's assistance, so Edward joined Alice's team and the game resumed.
Somewhere between midnight and two a.m., things started to get fuzzy. All I remembered was playing several rounds of Franzia pong and then going out back to hear the band play with Rose and Alice once Edward left for 'pledge duty' upstairs.
Things were a little less fuzzy beginning around two thirty a.m., I guess Alice and Rose cut me off after a while and I came out of my mini blackout. Yes, I was being that girl.
"I'm hungry," I announced at the same time Emmett and Jasper approached us. Edward was trailing behind them, attempting to remove a blond bimbo from where she had attached herself to the right side of his body like a leech.
Emmett grinned. "I'm always hungry, Swan!"
"We're officially off pledge duty for now," Jasper added, "Do you ladies wanna go grab a bite?"
Alice bounced up and down, playing it off as 'getting into the music' or something.
"Let's go," Rosalie answered for all of us.
Once we were sitting in the large, round booth at a diner a few blocks away that I think we walked to, the conversation quickly began to flow. We learned each others hometowns and that the three boys were roommates in the dorm across from ours. They had decided to pledge the fraternity in the fall so that by the time rush came around for the ladies in the spring, they could participate in the chauvinistic festivities that went along with it. Typical men.
After we ate, I looked into my purse to pull out my wallet and was greeted by a plastic bag filled with a pink liquid. 'No wonder it had been so heavy on the way over,' I thought. I pulled it out, a questioning look on my face as I held it up for examination. "Uh, guys?"
"Oh my God," Rose shot me a look of disgust while the other four began to laugh hysterically. I'm glad I was around to provide comic relief.
"What?" I asked, waiting for an explanation.
"Swan," Emmett gasped between his laughter, "you stole a bag of Franzia from my fraternity."
I dropped it on the table with a bang, knocking a fork into Alice's lap beside me. "No I didn't. Someone must have put it in here when I wasn't looking."
"You did," Alice added, her laughter starting to fade.
"After your last game of Franzia pong," Edward said with a smirk. "You said it was your 'trophy for being kick ass with balls and cups'."
My mouth gaped. "Shit," was the only word I could think of. "Do you think anyone noticed?"
"Nah," Jasper patted me on the shoulder with a reassuring smile.
I admitted to myself that it was actually kind of hilarious and made a mental note to put it up after we got back to the dorm. It didn't look like it had been opened after it was removed from the cardboard box it came in so maybe it would last a few weeks in the mini fridge that Renee had insisted we buy at Target on our way into town. I'm sure this wasn't the way she had envisioned me using my new appliance, but what she didn't know would definitely not hurt her.
"I miss Franzia nights," Alice whined as she leaned her head onto my shoulder.
By now, we were sitting on the logs that had been placed around the campfire before my arrival. Emmett and Rose were sharing a log, his arm tossed around her shoulders as she cuddled in his side; it was a rare moment in time where they weren't either all over each other or bickering. Edward was next to them on a log by himself, his guitar propped up on his knee as his long fingers strummed against the strings, a calm melody floating into the air. Jasper was inside getting snacks because Emmett was, not surprisingly, hungry, and Alice and I were sitting together on a log.
I nodded in agreement. "Remember that Sunday after Tour de Franzia sophomore year?"
Alice groaned. "I wish I didn't."
"Pretty sure I was hungover all day..." Edward said.
"Me too!" Alice agreed. "I had to skip chapter."
"I didn't get off the sofa at the guy's apartment all day," Rose chimed in, sitting up out of Emmett's grasp.
Jasper had returned with snacks and Emmett was too enthralled with the food in front of him to add a comment. After catching on to our conversation, Jasper just groaned and sat down, shaking his head back and forth at the memory.
September 2007, Sophomore Year
(203): franzia sundays are my new favorite holiday
Alice, Rose, and Bella had learned the art of pre-gaming by November of our freshmen year, so by the time they showed up at the party around eleven, it was game on. Bella, as usual, exhibited her Franzia pong skills, occasionally throwing in a flip cup victory, and everyone else reaped the rewards.
Around two a.m., Alice started to get a little more touchy-feely than normal. For the past eight months or so, we had been dancing around each other in a weird game of cat and mouse. She would flirt, I would flirt, we would occasionally make out when we had both been over-served, but nothing beyond that. I swore it would be the death of me. To make matters worse, somewhere along the way I had picked up morals and didn't want to sleep with my friend while we were both too drunk to form complete sentences. It was terrible and, more than once, I had had to take a cold shower under the influence.
"Jazz?" she cooed in my ear, using the nickname that had been adopted for me by my college family as she walked towards me and stood in front of the stool I was sitting on, her petite body fitting in between my legs.
There were two of her when I looked up so I had a hard time deciding if she was in a playful mood or just wanted something. "Yeah, babe?" Franzia made me loving and protective, I suppose. My arms wrapped around her tiny waist.
"I'm tired," she was rubbing her tiny hands up and down my thighs. "Can you get us a ride home from one of the little freshmen?"
I looked over her shoulder and saw two Bella's and two Rose's looking in our direction with anticipation. Alice was such a little trickster and totally knew my weak spots. She was so adorable with her begging puppy dog eyes, though, that I couldn't say no. One day, I knew, when we were both ready to settle down a bit, I would make her mine. Not now, but someday.
"Sure, sweet thing, let me find Em and Edward, you all can just come stay out our place tonight," I pushed her gently away and stood, wobbling up the stairs and through the house in search of my boys. The house that the three of us had rented was closer to campus than their high-priced apartment complex and we had a couple of comfortable couches they could crash on.
When I returned to the basement, I found the girls in the corner acting secretive and knew they were up to no good. I snuck up behind Alice and wrapped my arms around her waist, lifted her up, and turned her around to face in the opposite direction.
"Ladies," I greeted Rose and Bella, wrapping one arm around each other their shoulders and pulling them close into my sides. Alice was fighting to get her way around me but I wasn't moving. Ha.
Bella looked up, panic in her eyes. "Hey, Jazz," she smiled.
"Hello, dear Bella. What's going on over here?" I looked down and found the reason for their privacy: three shot glasses and a bottle of Patron that was probably provided by Rose.
"Shots?" she asked, her eyes wide with mock innocence.
I grinned, this was going to be too easy. "And you aren't going to share with your dear brother?"
Her eyes cut to Rose, asking permission. She simply nodded, but rolled her eyes. "It was supposed to be for us girls..." she mumbled under her breath.
"Our little secret," I said calmly.
Two shots and a little more drunk later, Emmett and Edward found us and dragged us upstairs to the waiting SUV driven by a nervous freshman who stared at us in bewilderment as we tumbled through the doors.
Rose glared at him. "What? Haven't seen drunk girls before? Welcome to college. Now, take me home," she slurred. It's possible that her underwear or bra, or both, were showing, but that fact has never been confirmed nor denied.
Emmett laughed and patted her on the head with pride.
The kid's eyes widened and he mumbled, "Yes ma'am," under his breath, and turned out of the driveway.
And that's the last thing I remember.
The next morning, I rolled over onto someone. Uh oh. Did I bring someone home last night? I hoped it wasn't that girl, Charlotte, who had been attempting to get in my pants for the past three months because she was, well, kind of dirty.
My eyes were still closed so I opened them slowly, carefully.
I lifted the covers. Boxers and jeans on, thank God. I glanced at Alice; she was still wearing her jeans and top from the night before.
She rolled over and groaned. "Jazz, quit breathing on me. You have morning breath." Such kind morning words.
I closed my mouth. "You slept in your jeans and top," I countered, knowing it would bother her.
She sat up quickly, too quickly. "It'll be ruined," she said before suddenly clamping her hand across her mouth, "I'm gonna be sick," she said through her fingers before dashing into the hallway and towards the bathroom.
"Bella, move!" I heard her say on the way.
She returned a few minutes later, a disgusted look on her face. "Bella puked before me. I could smell it," she announced with her nose scrunched up. It was way more information than I cared to know. "Let's go check on everyone else."
I watched as she walked slowly out of my room and could tell she was hurting. I climbed out of bed and followed.
In the living room, Rosalie was sprawled on one couch, her leg hanging off and mascara smeared down her face. Bella took the other, though she was awake and curled up in the fetal position. On her face was a look of pure pain and agony. My hangover, suddenly rearing its ugly head, came in the form of a splitting headache that made me hate my sister for sharing her Patron. Why couldn't she have just said no like she normally did?
I fell onto the couch next to Bella and closed my eyes. This sucked.
"I need food," Emmett walked in and announced. Imagine that, I thought.
Bella and Alice groaned. Rosalie didn't move. I hoped she was still alive because mom and dad would have definitely killed me if I let her die of alcohol poisoning at one of our parties.
Edward came out of his room shortly after with a similar expression of pain on his face. "Em, you wanna go grab food?"
"Is that even a question? Where's T-Monster?" T-Monster was the loving name that the five of us used to refer to Edward's on again, off again girlfriend, Tanya. She redefined the word psycho. Usually we refrained from referring to her in our not-so-kind way in his presence, but it slipped sometimes. Too bad.
Edward ran his hands across his face. "We're on a break, Em," he groaned. "Food?" He seemed very eager to change the topic, probably because he knew how much we all despised her.
Bella and Alice waved him off, Rosalie was still in a coma, and I offered to join them.
We returned from the local diner to find the girls awake, their eyes trained on the television as they watched E! True Hollywood Story: Child Stars.
"We have an announcement," Alice said once we were all inside.
"Let's hear it," Edward said warily as he fell onto the couch beside Bella and stretched his arm across the back.
"Bella," Alice said, "will you do the honors?"
Bella nodded and stood. "The three of us," she looked to her female partners in crime, "would like to formally announce a new tradition: Franzia Sunday."
The boys and I stared at her blankly, so Rosalie added an explanation.
"I hope none of you boys have any tests or projects due tomorrow because, from now on, the Sunday after Tour de Franzia will forever be a holiday between the six of us; laziness, greasy food, and bad TV shows all around." She actually threw her hands into the air like an exclamation point.
I nodded slowly. "I like it," I said.
"I'm in," Emmett agreed.
Edward seemed to contemplate longer than most of his, probably because he had a thing for doing homework on Sunday evenings. Nerd. "I guess I'll do it," he finally conceded. Bella beamed at him in that way she did sometimes that made us all wonder why she was on/off with that Jacob guy.
Alice grinned widely. "You guys," she sighed whistfully, "I think Franzia Sunday might be my new favorite holiday!"
"I was literally hung over until dinner that night," Emmett said, finally in on the conversation. There was a cheeto hanging from the side of his mouth.
I giggled in his direction. "I just realized something," I announced, "tomorrow's Sunday!"
Alice stood up and did a happy dance. "Franzia Sunday," she chanted as she pumped her fists in the air. "But, you guys, Monday we really have to do a lot for the wedding."
We all rolled our eyes and downed whatever was in our glasses.
"It's official then," Edward announced with a crooked grin in my direction, "Tour de Franzia 2013 has begun!"