Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, me Major Misconduct
Huge with a capital U thank you to my betas silentnc and Sarahsumbrella - they've agreed to stick with me and that means more than I can say.
This is rated M for language, adult situations (citrus), and violence. It's all BPOV.
CHAPTER 1: Starting Lineup
I officially met Edward Cullen the first day of my junior year in high school.
I'd known who he was, of course, since we were freshman. Even then he was abnormally cute and charismatic, while the rest of us wrestled with our awkward teenage uglies. I'd seen him mostly from a distance, in the halls, the lunchroom, those really stupid pep rallies. I mean, seriously, how can your force someone to have school spirit? We just didn't run in the same crowd – he was tall, talented, smart, and stunningly gorgeous – and exceptionally good at sports. Hockey was his jock of choice. He was some sort of prodigy, a superstar on the ice. I was short, had no talent (other than really bad luck), smart, and let's face it, plain – and exceptionally good at being clumsy. Shyness was my attitude of choice.
Gossip and sighing admirers followed him everywhere. Yeah, I listened to all the rumors about him – I just couldn't help myself. I found myself fascinated whenever I heard his name mentioned; the kid was just so amazingly good-looking and kind of intriguing. He seemed quiet, not the stereotypical loud, obnoxious, self-esteem grabbing high school jock. Edward Cullen was one of those figures you noticed no matter how hard you tried not to – whether you wanted to admit it or not. I found myself checking him out in the hallways, just as much in awe of his tall, lean figure, tousled dark bronze hair, and piercing green eyes as the next hopeless groupie. I had a Hollywood movie star kind of reverence for him – those beautiful, practically fictional creatures were not for common folk to mingle with, and neither was Edward Cullen.
The Cullen family consisted of Dr. and Mrs. Cullen, Edward, and his older brother Emmett. They lived on the north side, the good side of town. It was miles away in circumstance, if not distance, from our solidly middle class neighborhood. My dad was the Chief of Police in our small town, and while it afforded him a bit of notoriety, it certainly didn't lend itself to a salary that put us in a league with a well-known doctor. I knew Dr. Cullen pretty well, unfortunately. He was head of the Emergency Department at the hospital. We had frequent occasions to meet; I think I mentioned I had a tendency toward klutziness. Dr. Cullen had those blond, movie star good looks about him, too. I think he considered me mentally deficient as well as clumsy, though, since I could never speak in complete, coherent sentences around him. Mrs. Cullen was an interior designer. She had this amazing store downtown that I stuck my head in once and left immediately for the safety of all the lovely things inside. Both she and the store looked like something from a fancy magazine. Emmett Cullen was a few years older than I was, and had been an All-American quarterback, kind of like an All-Star, at Forks High School before going on to play at some big college in California. Both of the Cullen boys were wildly popular and sought after. Their good looks, money, and physical attributes assured them of that.
So, when I trudged through that fateful first day of school, my first day as a junior, I wasn't expecting my life to change. I made it through the first round of classes before lunch, happy, at least, to see that I had a couple of classes and lunch period with my best friends, Angela and Alice. I'd grown up with Angela, and Alice had moved from somewhere in Alaska, of all places, this past summer. Although Alice came more from the Cullens' world than mine, we had become great friends over past few months.
The three of us sat together at lunch, and I cornered Alice, who had been vibrating and jumping out of her skin with anticipation to tell us some news.
"Okay, already, what's up with you?" I asked, twisting the lid off my Coke.
I watched in amusement as she grinned, scrunching her neck into her shoulders and giving a short squeal. She was my exact opposite, happy, enthusiastic, and outgoing, but for some reason we were very close friends. She was short – shorter than me, even – with cropped black hair that shouldn't look good on anybody of the female gender, but just seemed to fit her small, fine features.
"I met someone." She clapped her hand over her mouth in glee, like she couldn't believe she'd said anything. Excited? You bet.
Angela and I eyed her warily. "Met someone? Who? When?"
She tossed her head back and laughed, bouncing in her seat and tucking her hands under her thighs. "Oh, you know him, or at least I think you do." A frown crashed down over her features, and then her face lit back up with happiness. "Doesn't matter, you'll know him now! I met him a couple of weeks ago, you know, when I went to Port Angeles and got those shoes. The red ones? Anyway…" she flicked her fingers dismissively at our blank looks. "I was at the mall, and went into the music store – there's a CD I wanted – and there he was, in the alternative section. He was looking at the CDs, too, all intense and serious and hot as hell." She did the shoulder scrunch thing again and laughed.
Angela and I exchanged bewildered glances, shrugging at each other. "And…?" I prompted when she just sat there grinning at us.
"And, silly, we ended up staying in the store forever. Just really talking back and forth – he's hilarious – then going and getting a drink in the food court. We were there for hours." She bobbed her eyebrows. "We've been out a few times since then. God, I've been dying to tell you!"
"Who is it? Why didn't you say anything before? Someone in school here?" Angela asked.
Alice leaned forward conspiratorially, and we found ourselves following her in, intrigued. "Jasper Whitlock," she whispered. She let out an undignified squeal and sat back in her chair.
"Jasper Whitlock?" Angela breathed in disbelief. I couldn't say anything—my face was frozen in shock.
"Yep." Alice looked completely smug at our stunned reactions.
"But…he's gorgeous," Angela stammered.
Alice scowled. "Yes, he is. Thanks a lot!"
Angela blushed. "Oh, Alice, you know I didn't mean it like that! You are, too, it's just…" her voice trailed off and she look at me frantically for help.
I had nothing. I was still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Alice had used the words "Jasper Whitlock" and "hilarious" in relation to one another. Jasper was tall, brooding, and looked like a bad-ass (albeit a gorgeous one) with his thick, shaggy blond hair and dreamy grey-blue eyes. He was always so serious and intense with his music and rock-star attitude. Hilarious was not a word I would have associated with him. His father was some big-wig retired military guy and they lived right around the corner from the Cullens. Jasper and his sister Rosalie grew up with the Cullen brothers, and he and Edward had been best friends since forever. Rosalie was Emmett's age and stunningly, perfectly gorgeous. She had graduated with him a couple of years ago, probably off to start a supermodel career or something. She and Emmett Cullen were legendary in the annals of our high school. They should have been a poster couple for teenage pregnancy, if even some of the rumors were to be believed. To solidify the legend, they made it out of high school with no Rosalie or Emmett Juniors, still together and off to fulfill Emmett's legacy as the next Peyton Manning or whatever.
Alice was actively scowling at us now, which was not a natural expression for her. "Well, I told him I wanted him to meet you guys. He should be here any second. You had better be nice and not embarrass me or I'll kick both your asses!" She could, too. She was small, but she could be downright scary.
"Here?" Angela squeaked, and I managed to snap my mouth shut.
"Yep." And then her face just, well, lit up again. She waved over our heads and we turned, still somewhat stunned, as Jasper Whitlock himself strolled up to our table with a full lunch tray in his hands.
"Hi," he said quietly, leaning down to kiss her cheek before turning to us. I had to snap my mouth closed once more. "Hi," he said again, this time to us. A friendly smile tugged at his mouth, and wasn't he just cute as hell? "Mind if I join you today?"
Angela and I both shook our heads dumbly, and he pulled out the chair next to Alice. She beamed up at him—he had to be well over a foot taller than she was—and took his hand. "Jasper, these are my friends I was telling you about. This is Bella, and this is Angela."
"Hi Bella, Angela. It's a pleasure to meet you both." He took each of our limp hands and shook them briefly. Did he have a faint southern accent? Kill me now.
Alice shot us another scowl that was plainly a warning to quit acting like brainless zombies.
"Um, hi," Angela managed.
I took a breath to shake off the surprise that had lingered over me since the beginning of this odd conversation, and womaned up.
"It's nice to meet you, too, Jasper. Sorry, Alice just told us about you. It's a good surprise," I grinned at him.
He smiled back, and just like that we were all easy with each other. We talked through lunch about a variety of subjects – I think we were all surprised at how it felt like we'd been doing it for years. He was incredibly smart without being annoying about it. As lunch ended we left for our separate classes, Alice still holding hands with Jasper. She sent us a grin and a wink over her shoulder as they walked down the hall.
Join us next week, when Bella realizes:
Oh my God, I just felt up Edward Cullen in the middle of Biology class.