Texts From Last Night Contest

account name(s): freefallinginlove

Title: Merely a Foil

Pairing: Kim & Jared (Angela makes a considerable appearance, Paul, Jake and Rachel are mentioned)

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I Own neither Twilight nor the characters, nor, sadly, have I ever seen a Chipotle Burrito. This should be interesting, no? The 'T' is for mild-to-obscene swearing, and a little making out. I also took the liberty of giving Jared a second name. It's necessary.

There is a Wicked Reference. There are countless other references. You spot them? Let me know...

To read more entries in the contest please visit:

http : // www dot fanfiction dot net / community/ Texts_ From_ Last_ Night_ Contest / 79665


A/N: I would like to thank Stevenlover101 and Mouse555 for being awesome beta readers and making me laugh my face off in the face of... this. I really enjoyed it, and it was definitely something different. Enjoy – and reviews are always appreciated! Xxx


FOIL: (n) [foyl]

1. Metal coating on mirror – the thin reflective metal coating on the back of a mirror.

2. Those Characters which throw the characteristics of other characters into sharp relief, such as Jacob Black, to Edward Cullen

Merely A Foil

"What Happened?" I blinked twice as I got out of Danielle's car, and my phone beeped with a text from a friend in Forks – Angie Weber, who had been waiting on this party so she could finally find out how Jared took to me dressing up. As usual, it hadn't gone well, leaving me with dulled brown eyes that were brimming with tears, and a pale wash to my usually copper-coloured skin.

"While I was dancing with him in my foil dress he said, "You're like a Chipotle Burrito. Don't worry, that's the best complement you could get from me."" I cringed, because as pathetic as I knew it would sound, I had... maybe, expected something more of him. He was my age. He should have known I would make an effort tonight, right?

It almost felt like an insult, to be honest, and I didn't know whether to be surprised, humiliated or simply annoyed. I, Kim-The-Quiet, which, I personally thought sounded better than Kim-Jong-Il, had just been to one of Rachel Black's epic house parties, just before she left the reservation for good... and I'd even tried to talk to Jared. He had been drunk. I hadn't. I had, however, apparently resembled a burrito. Part of me actually wanted to kill him, or kiss him, or something, I really wasn't sure. But really, a burrito? That must have been a joke – and Paul had certainly found it funny, as had Jacob, Rachel's little brother.

As I crossed my lawn, I stuffed the stupid phone in my bag, and I hoped Angela wouldn't have stayed up too late tonight, or that she was out with Ben, because that would mean she wouldn't even read that message until tomorrow. And that would only prolong the agony, Kim-The-Quiet. That nickname didn't sound as cool when I thought about it for a little longer.

"Honey?" My mother called out to me as I pulled on the door and it swung open in my hand. We usually didn't bother with locks on the reservation – we were all family, really, so we didn't have to worry, "Kimi?"

"Yeah, mom? What's up?" I glanced up as she came into the hallway, and offered her a half-smile.

"You're home early, aren't you? It's only ten thirty." Oh. I shrugged, trying to brush it off and gave her a half smile.

"It's not... I guess it wasn't my scene, mom," I crossed my arms and sighed, "I didn't really... enjoy it." I shrugged again and looked over at her, "I'll be back in fifteen minutes, and maybe we can watch a movie?" I phrased it as a question, knowing she would be concerned about me and hoping that I could placate her well enough so that she would let it drop.

"Yeah, sure." She nodded, and I made my way to my room, "Oh! Your father called," Her three words managed to stop me as I laid my fingertips on a picture frame on the wall, making a show of trying to straighten it. "Kimi?"

"What did he say, mom?" I found my feet again and carried on to my room.

"Just that he misses us, and that when he comes home, he'll do a big beach barbecue." She coughed, her throat clearly constricting because her voice jumped an octave, "He wants to meet all your friends," She paused, "And I may have accidentally told him about Jared."

"Mom! No!" I threw my hands up even though she couldn't see me, cringing and frantically smoothing down my dress. Rationally, I knew there was no way I could be being Punk'd or anything like that, because hell, nobody I knew could afford that amount of secret cameras, but it didn't stop me from being scared and thoroughly embarrassed whenever Jared was mentioned, let alone when we were standing in the same room. I heard my mother coming down the hallway, and bit my lip, hoping she wouldn't see my activity.

"I'm sorry, honey, but he was only asking about school, about you." I nodded, even though my eyes were only interested in the floor. "Hey, I only told him you had a tiny crush on a boy." She heard the sigh that immediately escaped my lips, and immediately, her warm hands were on my shoulders, surprising me greatly. I hadn't even heard her come in. "I am sorry, Kimi..." She said softly.

"I know, mom. I just... he doesn't even notice me. He won't even look at me usually, and..." I sighed again, harrumphing loudly. "Would you unzip the dress for me? I can't get it off otherwise." She complied and I bowed my head as I pulled the dress off, unashamed of my nakedness because hell, that was my mother standing there, not Jared, not Rachel, nobody that would judge me.

"What happened?" She asked softly, and I shrugged as I pulled on my pyjama top, then tugged my shorts on underneath my dress and pulled the skirt away, so that as I turned to find my slippers, I caught myself in the mirror and sighed. The dress had been skin tight, yes, but I was tiny, even by normal standards. I was a size six at worst, most of the time fitting easily into a size four.

"He said I looked like... like a freakin' burrito." My voice cracked halfway into the sentence, and I felt the tears spilling over and down my face, the stupid, self-hating sobs slipping out of my mouth as I sat down on my bed. "I know he was drunk, and I know he probably doesn't even realise what he said..."

"Shh..." My mother sat down next to me and gently rubbed her hand on my back, trying to calm me down.

More than six years of putting up with this shit meant that I had finally hit my tipping point, however, and, wiping my eyes and glancing up in the mirror, I found that I was making myself into the burrito Jared I had told me I was. I was blotchy, poorly made up and falling apart at the seams. Oh, Jesus me, this was not good.

If I didn't know better, I would swear the boy was playing me, toying with my emotions, because I had been ignored, neglected, given the silent treatment, cold shouldered... call it whatever you would, he had not spoken to me in three years, and because I was stupid, and masochistic, and ridiculous, I believed that if I kept hoping, and wishing that he would notice me, he would.

Yes, Kim. Of course. That's exactly how the world works, isn't it? You get what you want by sitting back and looking at the pretty like he sparkles in the sunlight.

There was a low buzzing in my bag, and I jolted to look over at it, hoping that it wasn't what I thought it was. Unfortunately, because I have the worst luck in the world, it was.

"2 things. 1, you spelled compliment wrong, and two... What did you tell him?" Angela, I looked at him and ran, no sprinted away in tears.

"That he should go get something to eat if he was hallucinating THAT badly." Because I lie awesomely, and it's obvious you'll buy that.

"Nice response. I approve, sexy ;) x" You would, Angela. You're too kind to tell me I'm a fool.

I put my phone back after replying to her, and ducked my head, pressing the heels of my hands into my eyes as my mom watched on, wringing her hands awkwardly as she stared at me, clearly worried because she had never seen this side of me.

"I'm done." I managed to splutter awkwardly ten minutes later, my voice hoarse from crying out the embarrassment and stress of the moment, and my hands covered in the makeup I had worn for the dance.

"Honey?" Clearly my voice had more conviction than I had assumed it had, because she was watching me with a clear, almost glowing expression, some way between pride and concern as she stood in my doorway holding a washcloth.

"I said I'm done, mom." Looking up at her, I could see the hesitation in her eyes. "I'm not going to keep on with him. He's just..." I blinked twice, "Oblivious? Is that the word I'm looking for? Or just completely stupid. Both of them work, right?"

My weak laughter placated her enough for the minute, and she crossed the room, handing me the cloth as I wiped at my eyes with the back of my hand. My fingers were black with eyeliner and silvery shadow by the time I was finished, but there was nothing that made me want to get into the shower tonight. I would do it tomorrow, and in doing it, I would get rid of it, of him. I would get rid of everything. Tomorrow would be the start of something completely new – a brand new Kim.

Of course, I knew it wouldn't be that easy, but it was nice, I supposed, as I stumbled into bed, that it would be a good idea to have a positive outlook on the situation.

---

I woke up at eleven the next morning, four hours later than I had originally planned, because my alarm clock was running out of batteries and today appeared to be the day it had given up the proverbial ghost. I had never felt the need to get much sleep, and the usual eight or nine hours was good for me, so I was wholly surprised when I felt the light streaming over my face and heating me quickly. It was going to be one of those rare, sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, and I was going to make the most of it.

"Mom?!" I yelled out as soon as I was dressed, because if I was going to do today right, I would need her help, and I would need a ride.

"Kim?" She called back, a smile in her voice. Part of me wondered whether it was because she was glad I wasn't sad any more, or whether it was because she was just glad I hadn't died overnight.

"Can you give me a ride into Forks?" I picked up my phone as I spoke, and left my room to go to the kitchen, suddenly really rather hungry.

"Hey, A. would you be up for a shopping trip to PA?" I quickly texted Angela, hoping she would be willing to go with me.

"I'm in. Is it a special occasion, or are you just wasting your money ; P?" I smiled – only Angela would say that to me.

"Not as far as I know. See you in an hour?"

"See you x"

Mom was watching me with a small smile on her face.

"I guess so, why? Special occasion?" I couldn't help but frown.

"Why is everyone assuming I'm shopping for a reason?!" Mom was stunned by my outburst, and honestly, I was too. I smiled sheepishly as I realised I sounded like a complete bitch, "Sorry... I just..." She shook her head and shrugged.

"It's okay; everyone's a little cranky when they want to change their lives for the better." She winked and I couldn't help but smile back at her.

She had never liked Jared. The three or four times he had been to our place, he had been aloof, and didn't speak much, despite any and all attempts either Jake, Rachel, Paul, Danielle, Mari or anyone else had tried to make, and in the end, I had simply given up, because even though I liked him, his arrogance was draining, and we were all getting bored of it. I was going to give up on him.

"Thanks, mom." I paused and smiled at her, "You know you're too good to me sometimes."

"You're my daughter. I have to be." She winked again, and my laughter was probably audible from down the street, until, of course, I made the unladylike mistake of snorting out loud. "Come on, we can get breakfast on the way?"

"Sure. Give me ten minutes, and I'll be ready." I looked up at her and loved the smile that lit her face. This was Super-Kim she was seeing, and it clearly made her smile.

We drove in relative silence, and when we reached Angela's place, she was already leaning against her porch railing, the keys to her car dangling tantalisingly from her fingers.

"Are you sure she's passed her test?" Mom asked me as I climbed out of the car. I nodded with a bright smile.

"Course." I looked over at Angela, "Angie, have you got your license there?" She nodded and went to the car, pulling down the visor and crossing the street to hand it to me. "All present and correct, mom." I smiled and she grinned back at me.

"Have a good time, girls. And Kimi!" She looked at me as she started the engine, stopping the window as it closed to halfway, "Don't waste your money!"

"No mom." I sighed as Angela grabbed my hand and pulled me across the street. "See you!"

Angela pulled me to her car and we sat in it as mom pulled off, literally trying to keep straight faces until she was out of sight. When she was gone, Angie grabbed my arm and pulled me to face her.

"What?" Though I was trying not to smile, and almost biting through my bottom lip in doing so, she knew by the tone of my voice I was messing around.

"Well! Spill about..." She looked at me, screwing her face up as though she was trying to think of something funny, "About... Burrito-gate." She ended with a wink and a smile, and I buried my head in my hands, more than humiliated. "Aww, c'mon, I wasn't even there! You can tell me everything or nothing, whatever!" She playfully bumped her elbow with mine and I cringed even more, ducking my head and shook with embarrassment and laughter.

"Fine," I sighed and dropped my shoulders sadly, "Well, I put on my dress – you know the one I got with you, the foil one. And anyway, they were drinking, and I wasn't and when I was sitting there, he grabbed my hand and told me to dance with him... and I was hardly going to say no, you know? And then we were dancing, really close, and laughing and stuff, and I could smell the alcohol on him, but I was trying to ignore it, and then... then he goes 'you're like a chipotle burrito', so I ran, and I locked myself in Rachel's bathroom for like, twenty minutes... and then I texted you and called Danni for a ride home..." I said it all very quickly and ducked my head again, trying to look anywhere but at Angela. "Was he calling me fat? Or just telling me I looked like I was going to fall out of my dress?" My voice had dropped and I must have sounded as though I was insane.

"I don't think it was either," Angela grinned at me and lightly patted my back with her hand, "Maybe he's just..." Trailing off and glancing into the distance, she started the car and shrugged, grinning, "You said he was drunk, right?" A pause, "Maybe the beer goggles were on backwards?" She grinned back at me, and I shook my head, frowning, "What? Maybe he was just out of it. Like, way out of it."

"Hmm." I nodded disbelievingly, rolling my eyes at her. She glanced over at me and poked her tongue out, "Keep your eyes on the road, Angie; I've got money to burn today, and I want to spend it before I die."

"Very funny," She growled back, though, for the next half an hour, she kept her eyes on the road, speaking very little other than to allay my fears and halt my constant monologue, about how she was amazing, and I was an idiot, and that Jared would never look at me, and I would never be able to look him in the face again. "Right." She said finally, pulling into a space at the mall, "If you mention Jared in the next four hours, I'll kill you. If you buy a dress in the next four hours, I'll kill you. Hell, if you mention last night, I'll kill you. You're breaking my brain here, Kimi."

"Sorry," I bowed my head and she simply laughed.

"Don't sweat it," She laughed lightly again, and I smiled back at her, feeling lighter and smiling brightly as she pulled me out of the car by force and dragged me into the first store she saw. "So," She asked as she thumbed through some of the jeans on the rack, "Why're we really here? I promise I won't kill you for ten minutes," She winked.

"What do you mean?" I raised an eyebrow and smirking at her, "This has nothing to do with Jared being an asshole." A pause, "And everything to do with me wanting to change my look."

"Huh?" Angela stopped and looked up at me, "You're going for a style rehaul? Now?" She stopped, "But..."

"I figured now would be as good a time as any?" I shrugged lightly, and she looked me up and down. "I'll give you any and all vetoes, because you've got a better sense than me." She grinned as she looked me up and down and asked me my size again, shrugging lightly as she adjusted her glasses a little way up her face.

"Well, I don't know about that, but I'll give it a go."

We spent the best part of the morning spending our money – though I didn't have much of it, I was sensible and bought everything I didn't need. The money I did have was from my birthdays, and Christmases, and though mom was really up for me saving for College, I liked the idea of spending it today – it made a change, and I wasn't going to go crazy. I ended up with a couple of pairs of jeans, some shirts and a wealth of unnecessary accessories that I just loved, and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to buy.

"So," Angela said as we sat down for lunch and I looked at the array of bags that were sitting by my feet and getting heavier and heavier as the day wore on longer, "Transformation under way? Or Transformation complete?"

"Underway," I nodded lightly as she put her bags down too, and we looked between us at the menu we were sharing, and decided on decent and awesome burgers, along with strawberry and vanilla milk shakes. "And I think," I said as I trained my eyes on the ass of the guy just getting up from the table across from us, "I'm getting on... just fine...." Angela laughed aloud and grabbed the table as she tried to lean with me, successfully overbalancing her chair and almost collapsing to the floor as she grabbed onto me as well, tugging at, and successfully ripping the bottom half of my aging t-shirt. "Angie! Are you alright?!" She looked up at me, pushing her glasses up her nose and blinked, a huge blush across her face, her eyes wide.

"Yeah, I..." She tried to stand up and her knee failed her, sending her almost collapsing back into her seat. I glanced up at the guy who had been about to leave, and saw that he was standing at the exit of the restaurant and looking back over at us, his eyes dancing with a mixture of concern and amusement, clearly having both seen and heard what had just happened. "I'm okay," She grinned, bending down to check her ankle. "But I think I'm gonna need to sit here for at least three milkshakes." She giggled, and I grinned back at her, glancing up to look at the guy again, only now he was about eight tables closer and his eyes were trained on me.

And he was gorgeous.

"Hey, are you and your friend okay?" He said as he came and stood over our table, watching Angela roll her ankle and stretch her elbow out. "That looked hella painful."

"We're good, thanks, er..."

"Damon," He held out his hand and I couldn't help but take it, feeling a jolt as his warm fingers wrapped around, "And are you sure? I mean, I heard your shirt rip from over there, and you," He glanced down at Angela, whose eyes were flickering between Damon and me ridiculously quickly, "You look like you caught yourself pretty badly," He smiled at her and her mouth dropped open, her eyes sparkling as she looked at me.

"I'm okay," She said, "And I'm Angela." A pause, and he nodded, "This is Kim."

"Hi," I managed, and his lips curved into another ridiculously breathtaking smile. That, coupled with his dark hair and his bright blue eyes left me almost giggling and laughing as he looked away. "Sorry to have disturbed your Saturday morning," He laughed and shook his head.

"No, no, you're not disturbing me at all..." He grinned, "I'm rather enjoying your vibrant grin." He winked, then his face flushed bright pink and the confidence shattered a little way, his eyes darkening a little way. "You wouldn't be interested in getting dinner with me sometime, would you?"

Assuming he was talking to Angela, I sat back and looked in every direction but at him, immediately feeling the proverbial burn of a rejection he didn't even know existed, until I felt Angela kick me under the table. Glancing over at her, she jerked her head at him, and I looked up at the poor boy, whose face was probably a mixture of rejection, hope and failure all at once.

"You have a boyfriend don't you?" He said slowly, "Oh, man, I feel really..." he bowed his head again and took a step back. "I'm sorry, Kim..."

"No!" I threw my hand out and caught his wrist before I could even think, and his eyes went wide as he stared at me, probably really confused. "You meant me? Not her?"

"She has a name!" Angela growled at me, and I looked at her again, flashing a smile at her and looking back up at Damon with a small weight lifted from my chest.

"Not Angela?" I reiterated, and she laughed as Damon shook his head, running a hand through his hair, "Me?" A vigorous nod and I felt the blush creeping up my cheeks and into my face, "I guess I could handle that," I laughed and his nervousness dissipated immediately, his eyes creasing slightly as the smile lit his face and his hands dropped from tugging at his scalp.

The exhale he let out was immense as he pulled out his phone and asked me for my number. I gladly repeated it, and with a promise to call me either tonight or tomorrow, dependant on his workload, he drew his jacket around him and looked over at me again, before pocketing his cell and leaving with a kiss to my knuckles as he shook my hand.

"Okay," Angela grabbed my hand and looked at exactly the place where Damon had pressed his lips only minutes before, then grinned at me, her eyes lighting up wildly as she released my palm, "How the hell did you manage that one? Seriously? Are you wearing some kind of magnetic perfume, or something?" She giggled, "Oh, I know!" She looked left and right and grinned, rubbing at my torn shirt like it was lucky and practically grinning her face off, "I'm done with Ben, he's an asshole," She paused, looking left and right and seeming put out as nobody materialised and reached out for her number or her body. "Damnit!"

We laughed, and analysed that conversation more and more as we sat over three, then four milkshakes as we took the afternoon slowly and tiredly, comfortable that we had enough things in our bags to last us a good life time – or the better part of six months, although Angela now was adamant I needed to buy a new set of clothes for the date that I was apparently obviously going on, and I needed to be prepared for anything.

I shook my head every time she mentioned that as fated, or as incredible, because in all honesty, it was just a coincidence, and surprised me probably more than it did anyone else. I looked across at Angela eventually, and saw that she was almost vibrating in her seat, grinning at me as I grinned back at her.

"What?" My voice was actually cheerful, and I could feel my cheeks pulling as I smiled, a sensation I genuinely hadn't felt in a very long time. "I look like an idiot, don't I?"

"Of course." She laughed, "But very, very cute." She giggled again, and pulled me up from my seat as she put money by the receipt, and we left the cafe, my brain still wondering what the hell had been in the milkshakes to make Damon look twice at me. "And he was... oh so hot!" She giggled again and tugged me toward one of the bigger dress stores, but I held my hand out and stopped her before we could even begin.

"No dresses. Not after..." I trailed off and she shrugged, a smile lighting her face and the pair of us relaxing as she pulled me in another direction, away from the dresses and skirts and toward the clothes I felt more comfortable in – jeans, t-shirts, and new jackets, the latter being something I seriously needed.

I had spent more than two hundred dollars in a day, and was down to my last fifty bucks, having spent literally everything I could afford to – birthday money, Christmas money, and wages from my job at the library... I would be broke by the time I got home, but that didn't matter. This was going well, and I wondered, as I picked up a cardigan that I knew would look good against my skin, and realised that it was the perfect size, the perfect shape, and the perfect price.

Everything seemed to be going far too well. Part of me wanted to wait until it all went wrong, and then tell myself I told myself so. Which made sense in my head, but probably was made of nonsense as I spoke the words aloud to Angela.

---

I lifted my head in a groan as I looked around Angela's bedroom and realised I was laying next to her. I had obviously crashed out in her room when I realised that it was nearly past eleven when we got back from our impromptu shopping trip and I knew my mom wouldn't want to be out so late. I remembered that I called her, and then blinked my way into the present, staring up at her ceiling and realising that my cell phone was vibrating on the nightstand.

"Hello?" I answered the private number and waited for them to speak. I was completely stunned by the response I got.

"Hi! This is Damon, am I speaking to Kim?" I let out a groggy 'mmm-hmmm' and looked over at Angela, hoping our exchange wouldn't wake her from whatever slumber she was in. "Oh! Awesome, listen, I'm really, really sorry that I've called you at such a strange time, I mean, eleven AM is brunch, isn't it?" He rambled, and I wondered for a second if he was nervous, or ill.

"Yeah, er, can I ask you why you've called? I... er," I swallowed back the sleep in my voice and spoke through the yawn that surfaced. "I've just woken up."

"Oh! God! I'm sorry!" There was a quiet smacking sound, and I wondered whether he had walloped himself in the face or whether he had beaten up the wall he was standing by. "Er," A pause, "I called because... well, I wondered whether... this afternoon, what're you doing?"

"Er? Eh? I don't know," I replied, "You're kinda speaking rather quickly..."

"Sorry," He apologised again, and I imagined him running his hands through his hair and tugging at the roots plaintively. "I really am, I just wondered... what're you doing this afternoon?"

"Nothing," I reiterated, grinning to myself at what appeared to be a backhanded way of asking me out on a date, "Why?"

"What would you say to going on a picnic?" A picnic? Certainly something different, I guess.

"I'll need to check that it's alright, but sure," I looked over at Angela, now debating between waking her with a gentle shove or a smack in the head with one of her very overstuffed pillows. "Where would we be going?" I settled for a nudge in the space between her shoulder blades with the sharp end of my elbow. She gasped and rolled over, looking at me with seriously narrowed eyes, but I pressed my finger to my lips, bouncing ridiculously cheerfully on her mattress.

"Oh, Clallam Bay?" He said it as though it was a question, though I wondered, once again, whether he had been sitting on the thought for a rather long time.

"Okay, that's awesome." I grinned and looked over at Angela, who looked extremely confused. "What time would we need to meet?"

"I thought I could come and pick you up at one-thirty?" He asked again, and I smiled. He could drive? Mom would like that, I think.

"Okay," Angela's eyes widened as she realised exactly who I was talking to. "Er, can I call you back in twenty minutes? I'll need to make sure everyone's okay with me going."

"That's fine, I'll wait right here." He laughed.

"Where are you?"

"The gym," He laughed again, "I'd been debating on twenty minutes of the rowing machine or calling you for about an hour." There was a pause, "So really, another fifteen minutes will kill me, but I can get the rowing in while I wait."

With that admission, and the realisation that he hadn't been able to get me out of his head, I said goodbye and called my mom, hoping that she would both be home, and happy. It was the first of the many struggles I assumed I would have, however, and I was barely expecting it as I watched Angela get up from her pillow and stumbled to her bathroom.

"Mom? Are you busy?"

"Hey honey, do you need me to pick you up?" She sounded as though she was entertaining – the kettle was clearly audible in the background, and there were voices audible in the background.

"No, mom, actually..." I paused, "I was wondering if you'd mind me going out this afternoon. With... a guy?" There was a serious pause, her breathing the only thing audible in the background. "Mom?" A rumbling in the background told me she was closing our back door and standing outside on the deck, wanting to talk to me in relative private.

"Honey, I'm thrilled for you, but when did you meet him?"

"Yesterday."

"And he wants to go out with you today? This afternoon?"

"We won't be back late, mom, I promise," I stopped and glanced over at Angela, who was just emerging from the bathroom, hoping she would be able to help me out. She shrugged and turned to her dresser, searching for some underwear. I sighed, "I've got my cell phone..." I paused, "And pepper spray if it gets bad."

"Well..." She drew out her acquiescence, and I was sure there was about to be a solid 'yes' coming from her, until there was a loud shattering in the background, and mom yelled out a name I was hardly expecting to leave her lips. "Jared! Damnit! Can you not break my crockery?"

"Sorry, Mrs C, I really am." His voice was muffled, but it was there. I steeled myself and bit my lip.

"Why's he at our house?" Angela turned at my tone and mouthed 'is it Jared?' My nod was more than enough to send her scurrying for the bathroom again. "Mom? Did something happen?"

"No, honey, nothing happened," She paused, and when her voice returned, it was in a hilarious, conspiratorial whisper, "But he came over to apologise to you. Paul told him how rude he had been on Friday."

"Oh. Right." I didn't really know what to say.

"Well, I said you weren't happy about it, but now I'm going to tell him you're going out with someone and won't be back until tonight. Just to rub it in for my Kimi."

"I love you, mom."

"I love you too, Kimi," As she spoke, I heard the door reopen, and knew she was going to rub this in Jared's face in a thoroughly spectacular way.

"Is that Kim?" Jared's voice filtered through the speaker, "Can I talk to her?"

"I'm sorry, Jared, Kim's out, getting ready for a date she's got later. She only rang to let me know she's sorry she didn't come home last night..." She was smiling, I could tell it in her voice.

"Is she okay?"

"So now he cares, huh?" I couldn't help but say it aloud, and my mom laughed. "I love you, mom. I'll see you tonight, yeah?"

"See you, honey." She hung up and left Angela and I to giggle at Jared's clear path to doom and embarrassment.

---

It was one-twenty-eight, and Angela and I were sitting on her front porch, talking about nothing in particular and finishing off a large pot of iced tea. It would only take forty minutes for Damon and I to get to Clallam Bay, and Angela was about ninety percent sure he would have petrol and everything, so we should be there and back safely.

That was until the familiar roar of a motorbike shattered the quiet of Angela's street. She looked over at me, clearly wondering if Jared would care enough to cut me off, or whether I knew whose bike it was. I was staring back at her with the same expression, feeling a little more frightened when I saw the picnic basket strapped to the back of it.

"It's him?" I managed to splutter, and Angela's answering giggle was enough confirmation for me. He had told me to wear a solid jacket, and to wear my hair comfortably, but I didn't know he would be on a bike.

Even if it was a really, really sexy sight to see him climb off of it, pulling his helmet off to reveal his eyes bright and his smile ridiculously wide as he saw me.

"Kim?" He asked, it seemed everything was a question to him. "Are you ready?" I nodded mutely, still staring at the bike. "I should have told you? I kinda wanted to impress you, and... Well..." He shrugged, looking back at the bike with an embarrassed smile. "I'm really stupid, aren't I?"

"No," I murmured as he strode up to the porch and held out his hand to me. "Not stupid at all." He quirked an eyebrow, and I wondered whether I was breathing like a lunatic, or going all porn-star voice and moaning at him. "In fact, I'm really rather into bikes." It wasn't a lie. I was used to being around Paul, Embry, Quil and Jacob, and their obsession with machines, so it was all good.

"Damn!" He let out a whoop and took my hand, "Are you ready?" Another pause, "I've asked you that already."

"Don't worry," I shrugged, "Give me five minutes?" He nodded, and, grabbing Angela, I practically sprinted inside and to the bathroom, doing my hair again, getting my jacket and pulling it on swiftly, giving Angela a thank-you hug and telling her I'd see her later on, before practically sprinting out of the door and into Damon's solid chest. We laughed about it as he handed me a second helmet and I pulled it on as we clambered onto the bike together.

And that was how my afternoon seemed to continue. Among all the fun of clinging onto Damon, and breathing in the honest, fresh smell of the park as we arrived at Clallam, my mood was lifted considerably, and I had a fantastic time. Damon was funny, charming, sweet and yet somewhat secretive and dark at the same time.

At a half past eight, the sun went down, and Damon pulled me toward him, so that we could watch it together, one of his hands resting on my hip as we leaned against each other, my head on his shoulder with a comfortable intimacy that we had fallen into with our close proximity on the bike. I was comfortable with him, and I knew I would be comfortable with him again. That's why, when he dropped me off at home on the rez, I let him wrap his arms around me, blatantly palming my ass because I felt the squeeze, and press his lips to my forehead, then my cheek.

"G'night, Kim." He murmured as I stretched up and kissed his cheek this time. "I'll see you Thursday?"

"I'll either be at the high school you saw was we pulled in, or at the library in Forks," I murmured, because he was going to get out of school earlier than I was, free periods and speeding on his bike notwithstanding. "Be safe, and call me when you get home?" I reached up and tugged his hair, because he seemed to like that.

"Later, Damon," I said softly as he gunned the engine, and I stood at the junction between my yard and the sidewalk until he had turned the corner and I could no longer hear the roar of his bike over the cool of the night.

This time, mom was standing at the window, watching me as I walked up the driveway. She opened the door with a half-scowl and a frown on her face.

"A bike? Really?" She folded her arms across her chest and I bit my lip, a flush crossing my cheeks and my neck, complete embarrassment slashing my features. I waited for the tirade about danger and injuries and dying, but she simply shook her head and sighed. "He didn't tell you, did he?"

"Not until he turned up." I paused, "But he's really sweet, and funny, and I really like him, mom," She looked at me and stared into my eyes for a long minute, trying to read me. "I didn't even think about..." I paused and shrugged, "We watched the sunset and went on a walk up at Clallam Bay. It was a picnic, and it was so beautiful." She softened and reached out to touch my cheek.

"Kimi," She warned lightly, "Be careful?"

"I always am, Mom." I nodded back at her and she squeezed my hand, pulling me into her arms with a huge smile again. "Thank you." I said softly, "For letting me go this morning... and being you." She shrugged and gave me her hand, pulling me into a hug and kissing me on the cheek.

"Night, honey." She whispered, "Get a good rest." I nodded at her, following her to the kitchen to get a drink before I went to bed, and went to stumble into bed. "Oh! By the way, honey..." I stopped as I touched my door jamb and looked back at her, "Jared... he was kinda pissed you were on a date."

And that tiny, short admission meant I went to bed with a very, very large grin on my face.

---

It had been three weeks since Damon and I had first gone to Clallam. I was fitting into my new routine well – running a couple of miles in the mornings before the birds could start to sing, and keeping my head down around Jared – ignoring him in Spanish, at the lunch table, in the hallways, you name it, I kept my head up, my eyes away from him, and my head filled with thoughts of Damon.

That was the easy part – he was all consuming, in every sense of the word, with eyes bright enough to burn themselves into my brain as he looked at me with such sincerity that my heart would flutter and my fingers would clench in on themselves because I wanted to grab him.

He had met my mom after our second 'date', where, effectively, we had sat on the marble steps in front of the Forks library that gave the impression that the place had delusions of grandeur, and talked for about three hours, until the sky had darkened, and I had taken my place on the back of his motorbike, hugging him tight for reasons of not only safety, but honest-to-god need to be close to him. He was addictive, and he was... I found him indescribable. It was a feeling I had never really had when I was attached to Jared. He had given me that lift home, and I had felt the need to bring him inside. He was polite, honest, and a little bit cheeky, and mom was enamoured. She actually used that word, as well. Enamoured. He was so different to Jared – so open, happy and funny, and I loved every minute of it.

Angela had seen the change in me too, told me I was funnier and more alive than she had seen me before, and that made a change for her, because she was stuck with Bella Swan in the middle of a depression Angela couldn't begin to fathom, and it was wearing on her, making her days seem longer because she wasn't such a friend any more.

Then everything changed, and it threw me. And I hated it. And I didn't understand the world any more. Jared was away from class for more than a week, and though his absence didn't bother me, it was his return that destroyed everything.

It was my month's anniversary with Damon, and our thirtieth day marked our eighth date. He was going to pick me up from school – I was going to work in the Art Rooms for an hour on a couple of sketches I hadn't finished, and he was going to pick me up, because it took him an hour to get to La Push from Port Clement. That was beside the point, however.

I was wearing the Jeans I had worn on my first Date with Damon, and his hoodie, because he kept telling me that I never wore anything on my arms, and that if it turned cold and he wasn't around to hug me, he wanted me to have something that would. When I got home the night he had given it to me, I had slept with it. I wasn't weird, or anything, I just really liked the smell of him.

But today marked more than just our anniversary. It marked a month of being happy to be ignored by Jared. It marked a change in me that I was sure I would never be able to doubt or double back on, because I was comfortable, I was happy, and I think I was falling in love with Damon.

I stepped into Spanish, looking over at Danielle, who smiled at me and waved me over to her seat. We giggled for a little while, and I told her all about my plans with Damon for tonight. She 'ooh'ed and 'aah'ed in all the right places, and as I sat down in my seat, Mrs. Pross calling us to attention, I had a smile across my face that nobody would be able to displace. Twenty minutes into the lesson, the door banged open, and I glanced up from my notes, seeing Jared's elongated and bulky frame filling the doorway, eyes turned to the floor. I wasn't the only person to gasp at the sudden difference in his appearance. Still, the muscles were nothing to me – I had never been interested in guys that were built like brick outhouses, and I wasn't interested in that.

He came down the aisle and sat down beside me, his eyes still on the floor. He hadn't looked up at all, keeping his eyes on his shoes, but I felt as though there should be some kind of pleasantry exchanged between us as we were about to be partnered up for a conversation exchange.

"Hey, Jared. Are you better?" I didn't even glance over, instead tracing my pen over the date that I had already underlined at the top of my notebook page. When I felt the heat of his gaze on me, I glanced up and stared straight back, the intensity of his stare unnerving me as I pushed my chair back and tried to force myself through the short exercise without snapping at him for his overactive reaction to a simple question.

He didn't respond, and he didn't move, all throughout the lesson. I looked at him maybe twice more, and at the end of the lesson, I packed my stuff up and walked away without even looking back.

"Kimi!" His voice made me stop in my tracks, and I wheeled around to stare at him as he practically sprinted up to me in the corridor.

"That nickname's for my friends." Goodbye, Kim-The-Quiet. Hello, Kim-Gone-Mad. "What do you want?"

"To... er..." He stopped and looked at me, staring into my face. "Do this." And he gripped me around the waist and kissed me.

Asshole.

"Asshole!" I shrieked at him as soon as he released me, and I threw a punch at his jaw. It was wayward, but connected solidly, and I hoped it would do him some kind of damage.

He laughed. I screamed.

"Asshole!" I screamed again, feeling the burn across my fingers as he reached out to take my hand again. I wrenched myself away and my wrist erupted in agony as I stormed out of the building and decided to call Angela to try to get a ride to the hospital.

As I climbed into the car and crossed my hand over my chest, calling Damon and catching him between classes to let him know where I was going to be, I became sure of three things. One, I was Kim Connweller, somebody who was far stronger than she had been just four weeks ago. Two, I was his foil – the person who was becoming everything Jared wasn't – happy, healthy and in love, and was overjoyed to be that way, and three... Well, number three? I was happy to be ignored.

Jared Cross could go to hell.

---

Best Of Luck to Every Entrant, and I hope you enjoyed it?!

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