All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I just like to play with them. This is story of human Edward, Bella and the Cullens. I do not use the usual pairings for this story and there is plenty of angst down the road as well as mature language and themes.

Chapter 1

"So I met this chick!"

My brother burst into my room uninvited, as usual. "Cool," I replied knowing he would continue with or without a reaction from me. I turned the page of my book and tried to look engrossed in it.

"Dude, she is totally hot."

"Great. Go for it."

"Seriously man, I know I said the last one was the shit but this one blows her away." Throwing himself on my bed beside the chair I was in, he grabbed my book and tossed it across the room.

"Emmett! Christ! That's not even mine! If I return it damaged there'll be hell to pay."

"Boo-hoo. It's just a book. Are you interested in what I have to say or not?"

Making a show of actually giving it some thought, I stroked my chin. "Not," I replied. "But I'm sure you'll tell me what a great lay she is... uh, tomorrow?" My brother fell in love practically once a month. One out, next one in. I was somehow lucky enough to be privvy to all the dirty details.

"Better! You get to meet her!"

"Wow. Must be serious." I rolled my eyes as I stretched my legs out and yawned.

"Tonight," he announced, smug smile on his face.

"Oh? She likes hanging in dorms on dates? Classy."

"No. You're coming out with us."

Swivelling my chair around to face him, I raised an eyebrow. "And if I said I have other plans?"

"I'd say you're breaking them. Besides, who are we kidding here? You never have plans."

"I do, in fact, have plans. Why would I break them for you?"

"Because your plans are lame and mine are cool."

"You don't even know..."

"Don't have to." He sat up and swung his legs around so he sat on the edge of my bed, flashing a grin. "Come on bro... I really need you to back me up tonight."

Sighing in resolve (somehow Emmett has always gotten his way) I went and retrieved my tossed book. "What time and where?"

"Let's say 8..."

"How 'bout we say 9 so I don't bail on Jasper entirely?"

Jasper was my roommate and best friend since 7th grade. His band had a gig booked and I'd promised to help with the grunt work of hauling and setting up. It sucked that I'd miss the performance but at the very least I could fufill my promise.

We finalised our plans and Em left me to let my friend down on my own. Wanting to get it overwith, I rang his cell rather than telling him face to face. Having known me and my brother so long, he understood my plight and let me off the hook, no hard feelings. Except there was on my part. I would rather spend the evening as I had planned. Why had I allowed Emmett to goad me into this?

Rather than sit around beating myself up over my weakness, I decided to at least help with what I could here, in our room. I packed his guitar, including his favourite gig strap, numerous picks and an extra set of strings. Setting the case on his bed, I went to my closet and dumped the crate I used to store crap. By crap I mean anything that's laying about when we have unexpected visitors. I keep meaning to clean it out... Anyway, it was needed tonight for toting cords and pedals. Adding a finishing touch to my packing job, I tossed his favourite hat into the crate as well. I kicked all the crap that now layed on the floor of my closet further in so the door would close.

"Hey! My White Stripes CD!" I often spoke to myself. Not only did I listen to what I had to say, I was actually interested. "Haven't seen this for months... guess I owe an apology..."

Pushing more debris in with my foot, I unearthed 10 bucks. "Awesome! My luck is turning." I scooped it up before grabbing a light jacket and slamming the door shut. Dropping both on my bed I went to take a pee and brush my teeth. Examining my image in the mirror, I raked my fingers through my mop. It didn't help. Oh well. I locked up and headed downtown. There was a used bookstore near the pub I was meeting Em at that I wanted to have a look in. At least I'd do something for myself today.

I waited outside for Emmett. 9:23. Typical. I was about to send a nasty text when he ran up and grabbed me in a headlock.

"Ass," I said, squirming out of his hold. "I was just about to ditch. Still might."

"Edward, you can't! I'm really counting on you to pick up the slack."

Rolling my eyes at him, I snickered. "Yeah well I don't do circus tricks these days so I don't know how much 'slack' I'll be picking up."

"Not so much slack... What I really need is for you to give me time with my chick, one-on-one."

"Great! I'll leave now then."

"Not a chance!" He laughed and placed his arm around my shoulder. "Your mission tonight is to occupy the friend..."

I stared at him, mouth gaping. "A set-up? Really? Jesus Em, some warning would've been nice. I could've showered. At least changed..." I glanced down to see how bad my situation was. Jeans had a torn cuff but weren't too filthy. I noticed two buttons missing on my shirt for the first time. Shit. I undid the rest and let it hang open over my t-shirt. Not so noticable... I hoped.

"How bad is she?" I asked as Emmett pulled the door open.

"Why do you anticipate the worst?"

"Why would she need a hot friend to hook her up on a blind date?"

"Why do you?"


"Anyway, I don't think she's hideously deformed or anything."

"Great news."

"She's new or something. Hasn't met many people yet."

"So I'm the lucky guy."

"I don't see them." Emmett craned his neck to take a look around the crowded pub. Half the student body was here already.

"She totally stood you up!" I teased. "Probably got sick of waiting."

"There!" he called out proudly and pulled me over towards the corner by the billiards room. "Ladies! Please accept our apologies for keeping you waiting. Buddy had a wardrobe malfunction." He indicated me, still behind him while I rammed my elbow into his ribcage. "Edward, meet..."

"Alice." I finished for him, no introduction needed. Alice and I knew each other well.

A/N~I welcome feedback especially since I'm new to this site and this is the first chapter I'm publishing. If anyone would care to be a Beta for me, please contact me. Thanks for reading.~SR