Chapter 1
- Cool To Hate

Authors Note:
The Twilight Saga, and any related characters/plot do not belong to me.

listen grooveshark com/playlist/The+Handcuff+Bracelet/28554942
Cool To Hate- Offspring
Shut Me Up- Mindless Self Indulgence
Harder Than a Coffin Nail- Papa Roach
Inside of You- Hoobastank
Get Your Body Beat- Combichrist

Edward's Point Of View

It was my first day back at school and I was already bored beyond comprehension. There were no challenges left. I was a senior, grades didn't really matter provided I stayed above the C-line. I'd had my pick of the girls, not that there was a great selection. All of them fell short of my expectations. I ignored the vacuous stares as I vacated my silver Volvo. The women I could understand, but why boys like Newton continued to gape, I had no clue. One would think they'd be used to me and my car. Everyone in small-town Forks took things too seriously.

"Edward, my man! What's up?"

"Ben." I flicked a glance in his direction.

I wasn't the new kid anymore and hadn't been for a very long time. I didn't have to play nice with the locals anymore. While I couldn't bring myself to be a complete dick, like a certain role-model that came to mind, I certainly didn't want Ben latched to my ankle for the year.

"We're seniors, yeah, yeah!" I ducked to the side, narrowing my eyes in warning as he pumped his fist into the air.

I snorted and continued walking. His blatant abuse of the English language was too harsh a blow so early, especially without my usual calming remedy at hand. It was possible to be a stoner, and also be a functional human being. I was living proof of that. Sometimes it was the only way I got through the day. With everyone talking about their 'bff's' and wrapping themselves in bubbles of idiocy, I had to numb out to make it through the school year.

"Morning!" Alice was the only person to receive one of my real smiles. I couldn't help it around her. She had seen me at every emotional point on the scale. There was no use trying to hide things from her.

"I'm glad for you." I took the slip of paper she placed into my hand.

"It'll be a great morning for you, too," she smiled secretively.

"Eternal optimist," I muttered affectionately.

Carlisle, a premiere New York surgeon, and his wife, Esme, a well-known interior decorator, had adopted us together, though Alice and I weren't blood-related. They had given us a stable home, a fridge that always had food in it, cars, and anything else they thought we needed. They were our guardians in every sense of the word. Esme offered encouragement, praise, and warm cookies on cold days. I still felt stunned when we come home to freshly baked goods waiting on the counter.

When my inheritance hit, I made it clear that while I appreciated everything they'd done, I didn't want them to shoulder the burden of footing our entire bill. I knew what it was to support someone else, and that it had been exhausting. Carlise protested, but I insisted. In the end, he tapped out. I knew he did it to have me feel like a contributing member of the family, which, they had hoped, would bring me emotionally closer to them. It did.

They relocated us from New York to Washington for our high-school years. Forks was a small town. Esme said she had always wanted to retire in a nice country cabin. It amused me when she apologized for having to 'downsize.' Living in New York hadn't been... safe. I had gained a reputation in that area, though that had been done before we were adopted. Trouble found me a lot, and when Carlisle and Esme said that we were moving to a 'safer' place, I certainly didn't complain. I had lived in a lot of places.

They seemed to like the fast-paced, yet not frantic pace of Forks Medical Hospital. Carlisle liked that sleep was possible to find and family time didn't require an entire schedule rearrangement. Forks was very happy to have them both. Esme had started studying for the medical exam after she and Carlisle had gotten married. Many years later, they remained close despite sharing the same work and living quarters.

Whether I would pursue his career within the medical field was still unknown. I didn't know how to tell them, but I was still surprised by having options. I could remember a time where things had been do or die, black and white, survive or crumble. Though a lot of time had passed since I'd needed to physically defend myself, or Alice, the feeling stayed with me. The surprise was welcome, however. It made me value the small gestures without becoming too adjusted. The day I accepted what they offered us without a thank-you would be the day I rearranged my priorities. Again.

"You're grumpy in the morning," Alice bounced on tip-toe. I knew the warning signs. She had something that she was desperate to share. Despite her following of friends, I was still the first person she'd hunt down when there was helpful information to disclose.

"You have news?" I knew it was killing her to keep her excitement contained. She'd start jumping around in a second.

"Yes…" she drew the word out while smiling mischievously. I could see her taking stock of everyone who looked in our direction.

"Alice, if you have any love for me at all, you'll tell me now. There's no need for the public spectacle."

Since I hadn't gone out of my way to make friends, Alice was determined to make me appear more approachable. If I wouldn't go to them, she wanted to make sure they could come to me. Three years had gone by and she was still trying. It had only worked, our first year, due to manipulation on her part. When I realized that my glaring and stoic expressions were preventing people from getting to know us, either of us, I'd done my best to tone things down. Alice was more social than I'd ever be. Her attempts at friendship had been rebuffed, which pissed me off. It made me furious when I learned that they were judging her based upon my behavior.

I considered her my sister in every way that counted. We were both foreigners to the tight-knit student population. Forks was a small town, most of the students had known one another for years. We were pretty well-off financially, which separated us from the crowd even more. I did my part. I made short conversation with a few select people. I'd chosen based on their rank within their absurd student hierarchy. I had flirted with Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory; I seriously regretted the decision despite having gotten what I wanted. They didn't interest me at all physically, but they were influential people among their peers.

In old schools, a few well-placed punches and well-delivered threats had bought us respect. In a school like Forks High, subtle was definitely better. I tried my hand at "charming," and it worked worse than I had hoped. They fell over themselves trying to win my attention. Rather than allowing me to ease her into Forks High society, Alice took control and immediately banished me from center-stage, a role I was more than happy to escape. Keeping a sophisticated, cool front, she made them all but beg for her attention.

I had feared that the girls' catty, snobbish behavior would turn Alice into someone unrecognizable. I should have known better. Life hadn't beaten it out of her. A few shallow, self-absorbed teenagers stood no chance. Nothing could penetrate her natural kindness. The enthusiasm she held for life seeped from her in waves of excitement and energy. Unlike me. I wasn't big on wearing my emotions for all of the world to see. And now, it being senior year, she was determined to make friends for me. She didn't understand why I'd prefer to be alone reading rather than making conversation in between classes.

"You saved my ass," I folded the paper and put it in my back pocket. Without my schedule, I would have been wandering blind. "Thanks."

"I know," she stopped bouncing to look triumphant. "You owe me a favor."

"Good luck collecting," I snorted. Alice was very good at making full use of favors. Her main interests involved shopping and redecorating. I tried immensely hard not to fall into her debt.

I had spent more days than I wanted to remember acting as her mule. From store to store, not stopping to eat or rest, she piled bags into my arms until I was forced to excuse myself to the car in order to prepare for round- whatever number it'd be. When we took my car, I had learned to park far from the store's entrance. That way, on all of my trekking back and forth, I could sneak a cigarette or two in. Despite the long, tedious hours, I went along with her whenever she planned a big shopping trip. She knew what it was to have nothing. I, too, knew what it was like to live in squalor. Hunger like acid churning in my stomach, scraping money together for reject food; I'd never, the fuck ever, go through that again.

"There's someone new in school."

"Oh?" I stifled a yawn.

"Yeah. I don't know her name yet, but she's from Phoenix. I hear that she's a little bit of a bad-girl."

"Really." I couldn't bring myself to be excited. Both Jessica and Lauren had professed to be 'bad,' but black nail polish and dark eye-shadow didn't do it for me anymore. They had all but killed my pierced, tattooed, girl in leather fantasy.

"We're going to be close friends," Alice smiled in a knowing way. "Get used to her, alright? Be nice."

"I'll try." I had no defense against her sad-face.

"Bell's going to ring," she sighed. "I don't know if I'll be in lunch today. I've got things to check on."

"No big deal," I shrugged. "You don't need to monitor me, you know. I'm perfectly capable of handling things on my own."

"I know," her eyes held things better left unsaid. I grinned as Alice snorted at me to ease past the painful remembrances. She'd adopted another of my quirks.

"You could use the help," she said matter-of-factly. "Don't you want a date for prom? I want your yearbook to say more than 'Have a nice summer.' You wouldn't be so bored if you talked to some people, made a couple friends."

"I don't plan on going to prom. Nor do I intend on purchasing a yearbook."

"But- but you have to!" Her eyes were wide with fear, "Aren't there some memories here that make you happy?"

"Of course. I am grumpy today." I curbed my irritated sigh. "That doesn't mean I'm caving about prom, for the record… but if it'll ease your mind, I'll buy a class ring for memories. And I'll be nicer to people. Probably."

She hugged me impulsively. I returned the gesture as best I could while balancing two text-books in one hand and my book bag in the crook of my elbow.

"You hugged me back!" Alice's smile was genuine, I could see it reflected deep in her dark blue eyes.

"Yeah, well, I didn't want to cause your good day to take a bad turn."

"Love you," she all but clicked her heels together before she hurried off to her first class.

Classes passed in a blur. I read through most of them and got even further through my book during lunch-time. By the end of the day, I still hadn't seen the new chick. I tried to tell myself that I wasn't interested, but tension built and impatience burned. There was only one class left. After that, I'd gratefully go home and seek her out some other time. Finding ways to entertain myself in Forks, as small a town as it was, really hadn't proven to be much of a problem. I liked living the solitary life. It was easier only having to worry about me and Alice. Some books, some pot, maybe a random chick if she were interested… but if not…? I had plenty of ammunition thanks to online free porn.

I was still on my first book of the day, in the back row of fourth-year Spanish, when I heard the click of high-heels and smelled leather.

"Bella Swan, I presume?" Mrs. Petry looked over her bifocals at the late-comer. I followed her gaze and felt all my breath freeze within my lungs.

… Fuck me sideways…

I zoned in on her shoes to start, not wanting to spoil the could-be-dream by seeing her face too quickly. Her black, I-could-fuck-her-right-there, boots rose at least four inches off the ground. Her heels were stocky, the shoes ending at her ankles. Three buckles continued to rise along her calf ending just below her knee. I studied the worn areas on the right side of her boot. They were frayed in very specific places, and judging by the personal alteration's she'd made to her shoes, I could tell that she usually carried a knife threaded under the leather. I felt my cock twitch and rested my ankle against the side of my chair to feel my knife dig into my skin. It was comforting, reassuring. I was used to the slightly itchy feeling as the metal chaffed and rubbed during the day. Normally, I would have passed off my observation as wishful thinking. Yet the way she carried herself… defensively, almost predatory. She dared people to start shit with her, I was about ready to accept that challenge.

Her legs were toned, muscled, I could already feel them around my hips. The skin was pale, I could see a few scars along her calves and the lower part of her thighs. That was interesting. Aside from the football team, there weren't a lot of people with battle scars in Forks. I liked that she hadn't tried to cover them with fishnets or stockings. Her skirt was long in the back, yet short in the front. A layer of black lace wisped along the buckles of her shoes as she walked to the teacher's desk. Different, indeed.

"Seeing as it's your first day, I'll overlook your tardiness," Mrs. Petry's voice droned on and on. I didn't care what she was saying so long as she kept Bella Swan in front of me.

I'd be able to span her waist with my hands. Settled into the gorgeous swell of her cleavage- I bit the inside of my lip- was the top half of a skeletal dagger. I couldn't see the rest of it, but I knew it was functional. How she had gotten through the front doors was beyond me. Maybe they didn't have my eye for concealable weaponry. Her skin was really pale, especially in contrast to all of the black she was wearing.

She shifted and her jacket closed, I couldn't see as much of her throat anymore. And the jacket... I felt my eyes waiting to roll back into my skull. She was wearing black leather. A legitimate, worn-in, really comfortable looking motorcycle jacket. I couldn't even be pissed at her for the fact that I'd need to retire my similar-looking one for the year. I didn't want her to look like my twin, and I certainly didn't want her thinking of me as a brother. Way to jump the gun. I hadn't even seen her face yet and I was altering my wardrobe options.

Disappointment was going to be brutal and all-consuming. Taking a deep breath, praying to whichever dark god was tuning in, I raised my eyes northward.

She had long chestnut brown hair. Though most of it was over her shoulders, I could see where it ended, below her waist. I had a weakness for really long hair. Her eyes definitely took first place, no contest. They were chocolate brown. Warm, bittersweet, slightly edgy and very wary. I was humbled. Dark purple and black swirled on her eyelids, mascara made her eyelashes seem miles long.

Mrs. Petry was done with her. I watched, unobtrusively shifting in my chair as she stalked across the room. Bella Swan didn't walk, she sauntered. Her hips rolled, every step was purposeful. She sat down at a desk one row over and only one seat up. I inhaled deeply, the smell of leather sharper now that she was closer. Underneath that I caught a hint of papaya's and- I bit the inside of my lip harder- she smelled like sex. Rough, up against the wall, deep and hard and fast, no holds barred sex. My erection pulsed in time to her drumming fingernails. They were painted a metallic shade of purple. She wore five rings; two on her index finger, one on her middle-finger, and two on her thumbs.

The ring on her right hand, curling around the lower part of her index finger, was shaped like a claw. It looked sharp, vicious; I could feel it digging into my shoulders as she pulled me closer. Mine was better, but aside from Alice I had never seen another female sporting that sort of accessory.

I watched her take stock of our classmates. Her eyes went from one person to another. I saw her eyebrow raise as she quickly scanned over Jessica Stanley, Mike Newton, and Lauren Mallory. She barely gave them the time of day. I applauded her judgment. Pausing on Angela, she rolled her eyes at Ben, and- I knew I should look away, but I was captivated by the beat of her pulse against her nautical choker. She shrugged out of her jacket, pausing in her visual perusing. I nearly groaned aloud as papaya's and sex and leather wafted toward me.

I felt my neck and back prickle. She was looking at me. I braced myself and met her gaze. I felt my blood roar through my veins. I didn't care who was present, she was two seconds away from being pulled down onto my lap. Her full shiny lips curled into a smile, I saw lust flash in her eyes before it was replaced by curiosity. She hadn't looked away. I tipped my head without breaking eye-contact, acknowledging her dominant display. Her smile widened, became more seductive, if that were possible.

Mrs. Petry was speaking, but she didn't seem to notice. She rested her chin on the palm of her hand and did the same thing I had done to her. Having already seen my face, she worked her way down my body. And she bit her fucking lip. She was not going to be an easy conquest. Her hand emerged from the confines of her messenger bag. Simple, black, there were traces of white chalk on the back. She had random movie and picture buttons pinned to the bag's strap, I remembered Alice liking to collect those, too.

I lost the dominance struggle as my eyes snapped to Bella's wrist. She was wearing part of a set of handcuffs. Wrapped around her small wrist, along with a tribal spade tattoo, one cuff of steel taunted me. She would be underneath me by the end of the day. That half of a handcuff spoke volumes. Bella wasn't the fur-lined type. When I took her, she'd be my match. I'd have to pull out some of the fancier maneuvers to satisfy her. Finally, a challenge.

She turned her attention to the blackboard, ignoring me. I wanted to be annoyed, but I couldn't cut through my amusement. She knew how to play the game, too. A worthy adversary. Time passed as Petry warbled Spanish. I barely paid attention. Bella was quick. Her pen flew across her notebook as Mrs. Petry wrote notes on the board. As the rest of the class caught up, she drew sketches into the margins. About halfway through the class, she yawned. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she pulled a book from her bag.

That was it. My inner voice told me to throw the towel in. I was five seconds away from surrender. She was fuck-hot and intelligent. Tom Robbin's 'Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates' was spread across her desk. She'd highlighted words in the book, I had analogous marks in my own copy. Tom Robbins was a master of the English language. There weren't many books that required my constant use of a dictionary. Robbins had set the standard for me, few novels could compare. And she was more than three-quarters finished with it.

Bella was a pleasant diversion in what would have been a monotonous year. When I tired of her and she tired of me, as was to be expected- we'd both move on to better prey. There was more to the world than Forks, Washington. Carlisle and Esme knew her father, Chief Swan. …shit. The only good mark on my record was that no one I'd slept with could say I led them on. I was very clear about what would be happening, and not happening after.

Questions kept rising in my mind, and a few filtered past before I could stop myself. Was she high maintenance like her clothes suggested, or was she the down-to-earth, uninhibited kind? I had no use for drama queens or conceited cock-teases. What was her opinion on impersonal sex? And, if it weren't a favorable one, what were the odds I'd be successful in convincing her otherwise? If anything, Bella seemed to be looking for fun. The way she looked at the other boys and quickly moved on from each one. None of them impressed her, though a few had made her eyebrow raise in disdain.

The bell rang. Bella hastily shoved her books back into her bag. I watched her perfect ass move away from me. The sensuous curve of her hips, her defiant, yet confident, strides pricked along my skin as she walked out of the classroom.