A/N: Sorry this took forever, real life got pretty complicated fast and it's too personal to share really... Anyway, thanks for staying with me and I hope you enjoy this ^_^ I can't promise when the next update will be, I have a lot more responsibilities now than I did when I started this, but I can promise you that it will be finished - and hopefully it won't take a year to do it

I want to thank Ginginleelee for beta'ing this and NondiRochelle for pre-reading! You girls made it fantastic :D

Disclaimer: As usual I own nothing Twilight related


My moment of peace didn't last as long as I hoped it would after my epiphany during Chemistry. By the time I got home, not only was I back to my state of blah and freezing various body parts off, I was also worrying about what I'd just done.

I didn't regret telling Edward the truth. I knew that because I felt like an immense weight was taken off my shoulders. However, I was worried that he may tell his family. I mean I knew they never really talked to anyone outside their close-knit "Cullen clan," so I wasn't worried that they would tell the gossip loving people of Forks. But the ego-harpy side of me was thinking that they would treat me nicely if they knew. The logical part of me, however, knew that even if they did know they would still act the same. Still treat me the same.

Inside I was fiercely split down the middle – part of me hoping for everything to go on as it had been, and the other hoping that I would have at least one person I didn't have to pretend for.

After trudging up to my room, I peeled off my soaked clothes and threw on my pajamas – shower be damned.

˳̊

Heading into school the next day was a bitch, and I was a walking ball of nerves because of it. I'd barely gotten a wink of sleep last night due to the fact that every time I closed my eyes, all I could see were a pair of dark gold ones, their intensity marred by the wet strands of hair that fell over a pale forehead.

It was like he tattooed his image to the back of my eyelids.

I hated that I closed my eyes more and blinked longer than necessary just to see them when the real ones were unavailable to me.

Hopping out of my beast of a truck, I kept my head down, my hair acting as a curtain around my face, and trekked my way to my locker. Hopefully nobody with the last name Cullen, or the first name Edward for that matter, would notice me. I knew eventually I would have to face the reality of the situation that I put myself in, but I also knew that I couldn't have that talk with Edward right now. Too many things were still too raw to talk about, and a lot of things still hadn't been figured out. Emotions and questioning thoughts that hadn't been answered...

Spinning the lock that was on my door, I slowly entered the combination.

In case you don't watch horror films, let me just say instead of trying to break the door handle off in frantic terror, calm down and twist the damn thing! You escape faster.

And that's exactly what I was doing now. Escaping the open hallway, and running to a more enclosed space called a classroom. I wasn't afraid of being confronted by the man who I no doubt burdened with my... troubles, I suppose you could say. We only had Biology together.

No way of seeing him before then.

I would be stealth like.

I would be a ninja. Okay, nix the ninja – that just made me think of Tom Cruise... Ew.

The school day began to pass by in hippy-dippy swirls of colors, too much cheap perfume, and conversations about nothing with random people whose names I didn't remember.

There were intervals when I could remember things with too much clarity. It was as if all my senses were heightened and I could feel an almost nonexistent draft as it crossed my skin, feel the grooves and grains of the wood of the pencil I picked up off the floor, and I could hear the rain makes its own tap-dance on the roof of the small school.

It was those times when I felt as if I were fading. A human's senses should never be that powerful... Not unless their body was giving all it could to hold on. To stay above the proverbial waves of death that wanted to slowly drag you down in its torrents.

It wasn't until I felt something cold on my arm that I forced myself out of my robotic stupor.

"Bella? Bella?"

"Oh, hey, Alice. Sorry...didn't see you there," I said quietly as I turned to face the little pixie standing to my left.

"It's fine. I was just wondering if you were okay. You seemed kind of out of it..."

Looking down, I was met with the sight of big round eyes that held nothing but concern, a little crease between two perfectly sculpted eyebrows, and tiny lips that were frowning slightly at the corners.

The face of a concerned friend.

To some extent I felt as if I owed Alice the truth, the knowledge that I shared with her brother, but I was done telling people. I didn't want anyone else to know.

Especially if it wasn't Edward.

"I'm fine, Alice. Really."

"If you're sure," she said, her voice uneasy.

"Hey, is...um, Edward here...today?"

"No, he wasn't feeling well so he decided to stay home. Why do you ask?"

"No reason. Just wondering."

Alice's expression shifted from one of concern to suspicion.

"Do you want to eat lunch with us today?" As Alice was talking, I watched her lean forward slightly and sniff the tiniest bit. Almost instantly, she jumped back a little, her tiny nose wrinkling as if she smelled something repulsive.

"Are you okay, Alicat? You look kinda...weird," I stated warily.

What the hell was that all about? I thought to myself as Alice continued to stare at me.

"It's nothing. So lunch. You coming or not?"

"No thanks, I'm not all that hungry."

There was no way that was nothing. That was the most something I had ever seen in my life.

"Um, anyway, thanks for asking but I'm just gonna... head to the library. Yeah, I'll do that. See ya," I yelled over my shoulder as I began to make my way towards the exit, not even waiting for a reply.

Great. Edward was out sick. I traumatized the guy to the point of sickness. Fan-fucking-tastic... I thought bitterly as headed towards my truck. Screw school. I needed a nap.

I knew that I shouldn't be ditching school as much as I had been – I'd probably get the truancy officer called on my ass – but my body had been in turmoil all day, stressing about the reaction that apparently wouldn't come, and it didn't take much to drain me of energy these days...

Getting home, I dropped my bag at the front door and ran as fast as I could to the bathroom while clutching my midsection. I was really starting to wish for the sake of my health – and the wood floors – that the house had another bathroom downstairs.

Two steps from the top I could feel my stomach convulsing in jerky forceful movements. Not five seconds later there was hot liquid spilling from my mouth and over my fingers, running over to coat my chin.

Once in the bathroom, I dropped to my knees, sending a sharp pain up my legs, and collapsed over the toilet. The stomach acid burned slightly as it was forced out of me. A few minutes later my insides had calmed, but the bathroom smelled sour and down-right gross. My joints popped as I slowly stood and walked over to the sink – refusing to look in the mirror. I knew that I wouldn't like what I saw.

After washing my left hand five times for good measure, I scrubbed my face to get rid of the sweat that had already begun to dry.

Come on. You can do this. Just breathe deeply. One day at a time. Deep breaths.

Taking a deep breath, I made my way to my bedroom and changed into my clean zombie pajama pants and a black tank top. Finally allowing myself to look in a mirror, I padded the short distance to my dresser and grabbed one of the many hair ties that were thrown all over it. They were simple and black, and randomly snapped when I barely stretched them, but they didn't tangle and they didn't have that annoying piece of metal to keep it together.

Gathering all my hair in left hand, I used my fingers to pull the unassuming hair tie off my right wrist and threaded my hair through it three times – making it tight. Closing my eyes, I started dragging my fingers through the soft ponytail as I headed towards my bed. I raised my hand to play with my hair some more but stopped mid way. All of me stopped.

Clenching my eyes shut tighter, I silently begged that this wasn't happening. I could already feel moisture gathering in the corners of my eyes, just waiting to spill over and show the world how weak I really was.

Slowly, I forced myself to open my lids and look down at my hands.

My hands that were clutching long strands of brown hair.

It wasn't just one or two... I could take one or two – that was normal. But this...this was...

A strangled sob ripped itself through me and my chest started heaving painfully.

There was too much.

This was too much.

I didn't want to do this anymore.

˳̊

You would think that after having an emotional breakdown you could try and recover by staying holed up in a small space and bury yourself under a heavy comforter, but sadly that didn't happen. I had every intention of doing exactly that; forgetting what I saw last night and just losing myself to a world made by my subconscious. If anything just os I could process everything...accept as much as I could.

However, my self-preservation was cut short when Charlie chose this morning to come in and check on me, only to find me on the floor – still clutching those damn chunks of hair. The man had a mini heart attack so I thought going to school would calm him down a little.

Was I there physically? Yes.

Was I there mentally? Hell no.

I couldn't think about anything – my brain taking in nothing it was hearing or seeing all morning.

When I finally pulled into the tiny parking lot the school had to offer, there was no one out. Not surprising since class technically started 30 minutes ago. Pulling into the nearest empty space, I cut the engine and immediately wished I could turn it back on for the noise. I was suffocating in the "beautiful silence of wilderness." Out of nowhere, the driver's side door was yanked open, causing flakes of dust to ignite the air, and I was being pulled out of my seat forcefully yet carefully.

The door closed, giving everything a more ominous feeling.

"We need to talk."

Even with my ability to think on hiatus, I knew that voice. That voice was anger and velvet, snide comments and gentle manners. I knew that voice more than I knew about the person it belonged to.

"About the charges for assault? Yes, I'd say we do."

Rolling his black eyes, Edward fixed his hard glare on me.

"No, Isabella. We need to talk about what you said yesterday."

"You're going to need be a little more specific than that. I tend to talk a lot throughout the course of a day."

"You know what I'm talking about."

Neither of us said anything after that. We both just stared at the other – refusing to give in and break the silence.

"Well, as fascinating as this is, I think I'm going to head to class. You know, actually do something with my time," I said, pushing myself off the side of my truck and walking towards the English building.

"You mean what time you have actually have left?" Edward called from behind me. My muscles instantly locked, keeping me from smashing his face in.

"I take it you remember what I'm referring to then," he said once he was standing in front of me again.

"What do you want?" I hissed.

"I just want to talk."

"Then say something instead of giving me demands!" I exclaimed, frustrated.

I watched as his expression softened, and I didn't like it. It rubbed me the wrong way. It irritated me.

"What you said, well, was it true? Are you really...sick?"

"What kind of fucker would lie about that?" I asked, my voice cold.

"You're right...I just...I'm sorry," Edward rushed out in the same breath.

"For what? What exactly are you sorry for?"

"I'm sorry that you have to go through this...but mostly I'm sorry about the way I've been treating you."

And there it was. His guilt. Turing on my heel, I hastily made my way back to my truck. I felt as if I was hanging on by my fingertips, and I didn't know what to expect when I finally fell.

"Bella, come on! Where are you going? Please just listen to me," he pleaded.

I knew that I should stop running away from this, and face him. Hear what he had to say.

I owed him that much at the very least.

"Just leave me alone, Cullen." I was almost screaming at his point.

"No," he said stubbornly as he ran to catch up to me.

"Fine then," I conceded, abruptly spinning to face him. "But answer me this: why?"

"Why what?" He was beginning to look confused.

"Why now? From the first moment you saw me you hated me! So why now? Because you found out I'm dying? Trying to clear your conscious of something – don't want to feel guilty when I finally keel over?"

I couldn't do this. The all too familiar stinging behind my eyes was making itself known and the tears demanded to be set free. No, I was done crying. I wouldn't cry in front of him. I refused to let him know just how much power he had over me.

"No! That isn't it." There were so many emotions racing across his face that I couldn't keep up. I thought he looked sad at one point, but I didn't have it in me to care...

"Then tell me! Please explain to me why now you decide to actually acknowledge my presence."

Edward looked as if he was trying to figure out what to say – like he didn't even know himself what he wanted to say. His mouth opened a few times, but nothing came out. A voice in the back of my head was fighting to find a reason that didn't involve him being one of those people that were only nice to others that are dying so they won't be alone, but the logical part of my mind was yelling at the other voice to shut up.

I didn't want his friendship if was born out of pity. I refused to be pitied.

"Cat got your tongue, Cullen?" I asked sardonically.

His gaze finally met mine again, and this time when he opened his mouth it seemed like he was actually going to say something, but I didn't give him the chance. I didn't want to hear the pretty, corny Lifetime movie words that I knew he would most likely say.

"Just fuck off!"

Jumping in my truck I turned it on forcefully and drove away.

Running to the only constant in my life. I was tired of feeling ungrounded – like no matter where I went I was never where I was supposed to be.

The drive to Seattle took longer than it should have but eventually I made it to the crappy apartment complex and was banging on his door.

"What the – "

At the sight of Leonard, I lost it and launched myself at him. My arms clinging to his neck as everything that I was feeling burst out of me in choked sobs.

"Lizzy? Lizzy," he said exhaling loudly. I felt his arms circle my waist, pulling my body closer to his. His bare shoulder now covered in salty tears and snot.

"You can't keep doing this, Lizzy," he said softly, as he ran his hand over my hair,

The reminder of the night before only causing me to sob harder. The pain in my abdomen started to flare again, and it reminded me of how all this started.

Just a stupid side pain.

"Bottling all this up isn't healthy. You're only hurting yourself," he said sounding tortured.

˳̊

"Thank you," I murmured to the waiter as he set my chicken dumpling soup down in front of me.

"No problem, ma'am. Just let me know if you two need anything."

"I like you in brown – it brings out your eyes," Jacob said as soon as the waiter was out of earshot.

It was a few hours after my breakdown at Leo's when I got a text from Jacob asking if I wanted to head to Port Angeles for dinner with him. My idiot brother immediately stole my phone and texted Jacob saying that that sounded like a great idea – conveniently forgetting to mention it was him saying it. Not me. I couldn't get too mad at him though, he was only trying to help me feel better...

Admittedly I was a little less angry when he offered to drive me. In my truck there was no telling how long the trip from Leo's apartment in Seattle to the Italian restaurant, Fairmount, in Port Angeles would have taken.

"Thanks," I said with forced enthusiasm. I actually hated wearing the color, it grossly reminded me of poo. "Alice picked it out for me."

"Alice?"

"Yeah. Alice Cullen. She's really compact, you know like a Polly Pocket? Plus she's really energetic, happy, and a shopping nazi."

Jacob visibly tensed before me, his hands forming fists on top of the table.

"So...are you friends with all the Cullen's then?"

"Um, not really... I get along with Alice and Emmett great, but not so much with Rosalie, Jasper, and Edward. Why do you ask?"

"Nothing. It's nothing..."

"You kinda suck at lying, Jake," I said laughing a little.

"Okay, well...what if I asked you to kind of...stay away from them?"

"Why?" I asked, suddenly becoming confused by the turn of our conversation.

"Like I said it's nothing... Just –"

"Quit bullshitting me. If you didn't really want to talk about it then you wouldn't have brought it up. Now spill." I admit that I was acting a little bossy but Jacob was starting to irritate me a little by spiking my curiosity then just shoving evasiveness in my face. I bet he's secretly an attention whore...

"I would Bella, trust me, I would. But I'm not really allowed to tell you...so please, just trust me and drop it."

If he was expecting me to "just drop it," he was sadly mistaken.

Instead I just sat there staring at him as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Damn it, fine," he snapped, sounding as irritated as I felt. "But don't tell anyone I told you. Okay?"

"I promise."

"The Quileute people have a lot of legends. A majority of them have a tie to the origin of our people, but none of them are as widely believed as the legend of the Cold Ones." Jacob may have been irritated at first but his expression was quickly morphing into that of storyteller with his first audience – a mixture of thrill and secrecy.

Over the next half hour Jacob went on to spin a horror filled fairy tale, for lack of a better term. According to ancient legends of his tribe, there was a battle many years ago – around the time that his great-grandfather was living.

It all began when a vicious vampire came upon the tribe and began to brutally slaughter the people – snapping their necks with its bare hands and draining the victims of their blood.

The tribal leader at the time, Ephraim Black, Jacob's great-grandfather, made a desperate and cursed choice in the chaos. While the people of his tribe, the people that he was born to protect, were being savagely robbed of their lives, he fled. Ephraim ran as fast his body would let him only stopping when he reached the Quineayla River. It was there he fell to his knees, but not from weakness of physicality. Rather it was the power coming from the river that knocked him to the ground.

Ephraim, with his head in the mud, begged for four days and three nights. Never sleeping. Never eating.

Finally the gods listened to his pleas to help save the people of his tribe – but it was not in the way that he had planned or even thought.

The gods rarely answered the cries of the mortals for they were selfish and corrupted beings, but when they did, it was not without their own amusement in mind. Instead of easily wiping out the monster, as they could have done, they turned Ephraim into a monster of their own creation. They made him neither man nor beast.

The mind of a human trapped in the body of a wolf when emotions were out of balance and uncontrollable.

Quickly getting over the shock of what had happened to him, Ephraim bowed to the gods one last time and raced back to his village. Less than two miles away from the edge of the tribe's home he could hear the screams and smell the blood of the people dying. But he could also smell a sweetness so strong and tart it burned his nose and watered his eyes. It was unnatural and he instantly knew it belonged to that of the monsters.

Looking around he realized that though he had begged for days surrounded by the spirits the Quileutes worshipped, no more than maybe an hour had passed in the world of man. Surrounded by the smell of the cold one and drinking in the sight of the ground stained crimson, the last of his humanity fled. The instincts of the wolf took over his being.

The huge black wolf that he had become lunged at the monster. His sharpened canines, curved to a point, pierced the hard flesh and tore it open as they fell to the dirt. The few screams that survived fell silent as the two monsters fought.

Snapping filled the quiet as the wolf attacked relentlessly, and growls erupted from the vampire as she tried to kill the animal that was interrupting her feast.

Eventually Ephraim Black defeated the cold one. Seeing that the vampire was no longer moving, the wolf lowered his head to humanity and the tribe leader resumed the shape of a man once again.

After that the monster was burned, the ashes put into a bag strung around the neck of the fiercest warrior, and both were taken to the bottom of the sea, where they remain to this day.

The cold one forever guarded by the Quileute warrior, even in the afterlife.

Time passed for the tribe. Bodies were buried. More wolves were born without the knowledge of man. But then came a day when the wolf made itself known to the vessel in which it lived. The cold ones returned but their number was greater.

The new monsters froze when suddenly four wolves of different sizes and colors appeared, baring their teeth and growling in warning. The cold ones explained themselves that day. They took the name of Cullen and fed from the blood of the wild creatures that roamed the dense forest. Ephraim Black listened to the words of the monsters and saw the unstable anger in the eyes of the gods cursed. And, in his old age, Ephraim stepped forward and made a pact with the enemy of his people.

They would not bite a single human in the vicinity of where they resided in this land and the Quileute would not hunt them. Along with the agreement, they divided the land so neither race would be tempted to harm the other. It went without saying that if either were to cross into the other's territory, they were free to hunt the enemy.

"The same treaty is still upheld by those who made it," Jacob finished.

"Wait, so you're saying that not only was your great-grandpa a werewolf, but that the Cullen's are vampires and have been around for a few decades?"

"That's just the legend, Bella."

"So why are you telling me this in the first place?"

"Because, even though they're legends many people on the reservation still believe them. I just wanted to warn you to stay away from the Cullen's, because I don't want to see you hurt. They're not safe."

"So you're saying that I can't take care of myself? That I can't even judge someone properly?"

"No! That's not what I'm saying at all, it's just – "

"Just what? It's either one or the other. Make up your mind, Jacob."

I knew I was being hard on Jacob, and if I was being honest with myself, I was twisting his words a tad, but just the way he spoke of the Cullen's made me want to defend them. I'd only known them a few weeks but I'd grown close to Alice and Emmett in that small amount of time. It was like we were closer than just friends, and there was no way in hell I was going to let someone bad mouth them. Not even Jacob Black.

"Ugh, why are you acting like this?"

"Because you're speaking as if you know them! All you know is the stories of old men. I refuse to let you talk badly about people I care about."

"Even if they're blood sucking monsters?" he asked scornfully.

"Vampires don't exist, Jacob."

"I bet you don't know them any better than I do, Bella."

"Okay, that's it, I'm going home. If you even think about speaking to me again, I'll reach between your scrawny legs and rip off anything that dangles, no matter how small."

"How are you planning on getting home? We're in Seattle!" he yelled as I pushed the door to the restaurant open.

"Cab."

I'd only walked a little ways down the street before I ripped off the gross brown shirt and pulled Leo's cut up hoodie from my messenger bag throwing it on over my white cami. This was not how I saw the night going... That jerk had to go and bad mouth my friends because of some stupid prejudice. And he expected me to just sit there! Stupid asshat.

After trudging through the annoying maze of streets in Seattle for half an hour, I was ready to give up. My anger had died down, and now I was just filled with a nagging feeling that was harassing my conscience. I felt like I might have overreacted towards Jacob, but then I remembered what he said about the Cullen's...

Looking around, I saw the mall right across the street and decided to head there for some food before I keeled over from starvation. After all, it wouldn't matter if I knew how to get home if I was dead. That's how 20 minutes and two slices of extra pepperoni pizza later, I was roaming the mall, looking for inspiration.

I was exploring the wonders of TJ Maxx when I heard a more than familiar deep laugh. It sounded like battleship canons and instantly calmed me. Following the sound of voices arguing and distinct slapping noises, I was face to back with Emmett, Alice, and Jasper.

From the looks of it they were in the middle of a...heated argument.

I took the few steps that placed me right behind Emmett as quietly as I could and gently poked his shoulder once.

"Sir, can you get me some water? Because you are too hot."

Within a second three pairs of eyes were on me – all of them wide with shock.

Emmett's expression was quickly replaced with a devious smirk as he flung one of his giant arms around my shoulders.

"Baby, did you fart? Cause you blow me away."

I couldn't stop the giggles that erupted from me. My mood was vastly different from what it was earlier and for that I was thankful...and a little worried, this could not be good for my mental health.

"That is the worst pick up line I have ever heard," I managed to get out as I tried to catch my breath.

"Oh yeah? What has 132 teeth and holds back the amazing Hulk?"

"What?"

"My zipper," Emmett said waggling his eyebrows like a villain from a black and white movie.

"God, Emmett you're so gross," Alice scolded.

"Hey, Bella's not complaining."

"Calm down you two," I chided the two. "It's nice to see you, Jasper. So what are you guys doing here?"

"Treasure hunting," Emmett said simply.

"Ignore him, Bella," Alice said sighing. Reaching forward she grabbed my hand and began to tow me out of the store.

"Alice?"

"We were just heading home. Do you want a ride?"

"Um...sure, that'd be great actually..."

The walk to the parking lot was quiet with the exception of Emmett and Jasper whispering as they walked behind us. My mind went back to what Jacob had told me and I was surprised when I noticed how cold Alice's hand actually was. And how hard – almost like granite.

"Come on, Belly Button, you can sit in the back with me," Emmett said, grabbing my hand from Alice's and lifting me into the back seat of the world's biggest jeep. Okay not the biggest, but it was a beast...

No one said a word the entire way back to Forks, and it wasn't a comfortable silence.

When Jasper finally pulled the jeep to a stop in front of Charlie's house, I practically jumped out of my seat in my haste.

"Thanks for the ride," I said slamming the door shut.

That wasn't weird in the least...

˳̊

They're vampires. They're not vampires. They're vampires. They're not vampires.

I honestly tried to keep my mind from wandering to the whole can of worms that Jacob opened with that myth of his; however, sitting through a lecture of why Hamlet basically called Ophelia a whore isn't really something that can keep anyone's attention. So in true me fashion, without even realizing it my notes were covered in doodles of flowers. Some on them had petals of elegant curves and smooth dips, some were broken and looked as if a fire burned the life from them not moments before.

All of them made a tangle web around words that I'd already heard from my old English teacher back in Phoenix.

But like I said earlier, this was me. Instead of just leaving my flowers they way they were, like anyone else would do, I sat there crossing off a petal for every silent declaration. Out of every flower, so far five of them has petals with little x's on them – three "are vampires" and two "not vampires."

I didn't know which outcome frightened me more.

If the Cullens were somehow vampires, walking myths, I should be running for the hills, or at the very least FoxNews. However, if the Cullens weren't vampires, just normal humans with a common surname, what does that say about me for even considering the other option?

They're not vampires, I thought as I crossed off the last petal on another flower.

The bell rang for lunch, effectively ending my pointless musing and fake flower killing.

Is there a name for that? Flower killing? Serial flower murderer? Serial de-flowerer, maybe? Did that make me a de-flowerer? Why does that sound like it should be the name of a cheap porn?

My appetite was non-existent, so when I finally got to the cafeteria, I just headed straight for the empty seat in one of the corner tables. I didn't think that I could actually sit next to Cullens at the moment. Not when 87.5% of my thoughts have been solely about them ever since that night in Seattle.

Pulling the wobbly chair out I took my time and sat down gingerly. To people who may have been watching it probably looked weird, but in my honest opinion I didn't care and they could promptly shove it. Once I was settled I pulled my old copy of Dracula out of my messenger and opened it to where the bookmark was. I had the urge to read it last week, before all of this...whatever this was, started and the irony was not lost on me.

Nope. Not me.

Not in the slightest.

I wonder if I chucked it at Edward's head would it actually hit it...never was good at aiming...

I was in the middle contemplating skipping my least favorite part when I saw a pair of really long, dark jean clad legs in front of me. Legs that were being tapped incessantly by a nervous pale white hand – with long pianist fingers.

Insert mind into gutter here...

"What do you want?" I asked, not looking up from my book.

"I don't want anything. I just thought I'd come say 'hi,'" a ridiculously attractive voice said, while the long fingers pulled out the chair he was standing behind. "Maybe even see how you're doing, but I'm still unsure about the last part. I mean I wouldn't want to cross the line and actually be friends with you. No, that would just be weird."

Forgetting my irritation I looked up at him incredulously. Was this guy serious? He only stared back at me like an expectant eight year old. ...It was kind of cute if I was being painfully honest.

Oh hell, who am I kidding? Everything he does is cute. He could put on a chicken suit and still make girls, and let's face it most guys, swoon. Sexy bastard.

"Well now that you said 'hi' are you going to leave? I mean you could ask how I was but that is crossing the whole sworn enemies line. Seriously, if you do people will probably think that we actually tolerate each other," adding the last part in a frightened tone.

This whole conversation was crazy...oddly enough, it was exactly what I needed.

"Well we can't have that, now can we?" he continued with mock seriousness. Edward was overdoing it slightly but instead of looking like an idiot it was funny.

Shit I need to be careful – I think I like this too much.

"Absolutely not. Unless the whole apocalypse thing is going on – then that would just be a waste of a perfectly good cliché."

"Yes, Hollywood would scorn us for our individuality."

"An angry mob would come after us with Botox needles," I replied, a small laugh escaping at the end.

Finally his serious mask cracked and he started laughing. I think it was at me rather than my pathetic excuse for a joke, but it was nice to hear all the same.

"That would be a sight to see."

"Yeah, but you know I would trip after like, five seconds," I said.

"Yet another thing to see."

He was just teasing but I still had to resist the urge to give into my inner kindergartener and stick my tongue out at him. My friends that knew me just laughed because it was just something that I did, though strangers tended to mock when I did that... One of the transfer students in my class in Phoenix, Young Min, actually started to call me "ST" – it stood for "strange tongue."

"So what now?" I asked after a long silence.

"What do you mean?"

"What do you want to talk about now?" I asked quietly.

"Hmm, we could play twenty questions."

"How about we play random questions? Twenty questions is a little too personal for our first conspiracy meeting."

"So this is a conspiracy meeting?" he asked while raising one eyebrow.

Dang it, I wish I could do that...

"Is that your question?"

"I don't think I understand this game of yours."

"It's like twenty questions but instead of answering the question you just come up with another one. I made it up when I was eleven to distract Leonard..." My rambling slowly died off as I thought about the shitty childhood my brother had in every way. It wasn't as bad as some kids you hear about, but it wasn't ideal either.

Shaking my head in hopes of clearing it, I turned my attention to the guy sitting in front of me. I hated that it was so easy to like him.

"I understand now. Ladies first?"

"I do believe I will give man a chance first," I said smirking.

Edward looked around the cafeteria for a short moment, as if he could find a question written on the walls. His hands were folded under his chin and he had a slight crease between his eyebrows. When I first met him all I thought was that he was nice to look at but now...now I wanted to know him...it would be too easy to want to stay close to Edward and never leave, and I hardly knew a damn thing about him...

Oh Lord, help me...

"Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs?" he asked, breaking me out of my reverie.

"Wow. That's a good one...okay umm, how far east can you head before you're heading west?"

"If ghosts can walk through walls why don't they fall through the floor?" he asked, waggling his eyebrows for affect.

"Every time someone mentions ghosts the first thing that pops in my head is Loony Toons," I replied laughing, earning a smile from him in return. "Sorry, back on topic here. Okay, do Jewish vampires avoid crosses or Stars of David?"

I thought it wouldn't be considered too random since he just asked a ghost question and my book that I was clutching in my hands, but really I just wanted to see his reaction to the subject of vampires.

It was nothing big, and had I not been watching him like a grade A stalker, I would have missed it. Edward flinched minutely before tensing, and just sat there starring at me with eyes that told nothing. He didn't look the type to be afraid of fictional monsters, so maybe there was something else.

Filing that reaction away for something to think about later, I tried to recover from the now tense atmosphere.

"You okay there? Listen if you're afraid of vampires I'm sorry I brought it up... Or are you just trying to stall so you can come up with a different question? Because let's face it, mine was pretty boss," I gloated, adding a smirk.

Honestly I thought that my acting skills weren't that great in that moment but he must have bought it because he seemed to relax and even chuckled a little.

"Well, aren't you perceptive."

"Well in that case I'll go again. What if you weren't running out of questions?"

Edward seemed fine on the surface but his eyes still held the tightness from the previous tension. Being the idiot that I am I let myself stare at his eyes too long and didn't realize I was getting lost in his angry golden gaze until it was too late.

"What if you decided to love completely because you realized that this is it?"

"What are you saying?" I asked, completely baffled of the sudden direction things were going.

"What if this is it?"

My eyes still never left his.

"What if it isn't?" I shot back.

"What if you let it?"

Finally breaking away from his gaze I glanced over his shoulder and with a shock realized how much time had passed since we started our little game.

"What are you implying?" I asked, sounding irritated to my own ears.

"What are you so afraid of?" he asked then stood up collecting his back pack. "Move it, Swan or you're going to be late," he said seconds before the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch.

Frozen, I just sat there watching as Edward pushed through the cafeteria doors. His questions were on repeat in my head; turning my thoughts into a Merry-Go-Round of endless questions with no answers.


A/N: Feel free to tell me what you think! ^_^ Just follow the arrow

**Also huge thanks to everyone that sent in pick-up lines. You guys made me laugh so much :D (Sadly, this didn't go the way I planned but I'm glad that I was still able to use some).

**I heard that authors come off as bitches when they don't reply to reviews...do you guys want me to? I usually don't, unless you ask a question, because it makes me feel clingy or some shit. Just saying :\ Anyway, I wouldn't mind replying if it helped show how much I appreciate you guys ^_^

**As always, I'm on Twitter if you want to Follow.

THANKS FOR STICKING WITH THIS STORY! :D

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