I do not own anything Twilight. It all belongs to SM. No copyright infringement is intended. However, characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details of this story are mine. No copying or reproduction without my permission.
I know this might seem like your typical Bella/Edward in highschool fanfic, but it'll veer off to something different. I'm just setting the stage. ;-)
"I don't understand," I whispered.
"What's there to understand?" He spoke flatly, eyes averted away from me toward the boxes of inventory lining the far wall in the backroom of my parent's store. But his normally confident self was faltering, visible by the slight tremor his hands made at his sides.
"You just said… you wanted me." I bit my lip, feeling the heat begin at my face, whispering its way down to my chest. I hated being this transparent.
"Yeah." He still remained indifferent, still keeping his eyes off me.
"I mean…" I paused, hesitant to continue, but the curiosity won out. "I didn't expect for you to feel… that way. Are you afraid or embarrassed to… uh… want me?" I rationalized that this could be a trick, that he could be bating me for some kind of self-enjoyment in torturing me. And though I accepted that was a possibility, something in my gut told me that wasn't the case.
His head snapped in my direction, eyes flaming with what appeared to be anger, darkening the bright green of his eyes to an almost black tinged with a red fire of lust. Finally, there was some kind of emotion. The right side of his lips turned up as he smirked, but his eyes still burned with rage and desire. "It's not that I'm afraid or embarrassed of wanting you, Bella. It's not fear or embarrassment of wanting. You wanna know what it is? It's about wanting you too much, especially when I shouldn't want you. I've tried not to. God knows I've fucking tried not to feel anything for you."
I stepped backward as he stalked toward me, coming to a halt as my body collided with a wall. I was thrilled and terrified by his reaction. He placed his hands on either side of me, blocking me from moving, and my body instantly ignited from the proximity of his nearness. I could feel his warm breath on my mouth, taste him as my tongue dipped out to drag a path across my bottom lip. Being this close to me, this was not something Edward did. "I fucking want you," he admitted through gritted teeth. "And I fucking hate that I do. So stop. Stop whatever it is you're doing."
Chapter 1: Welcome to Forks
"This could be good for you, Bella, for all of us. Your father and I have a good feeling about moving here," My mother assured me. I wasn't sure who she was trying to convince more, me or her. The scenery was breezing by as I glanced out the window into unfamiliar territory, but I could make out the wind whipping her short, light brown hair in every direction through my peripherals as she rolled down the window, throwing out a piece of now tasteless gum. I'd just barely blinked when the sign "Welcome to Forks" came into view, now pelted by freshly fallen rain. Apparently, where February meant snow for some, it meant rain for Forks.
Seeing that sign, knowing that I was here instead of in Phoenix, made my already sour mood peak. I realized that moving here and taking over the Higgenbotham Store from my mom's Uncle Bart - who was finally going into retirement at eighty years of age - would benefit us financially because Charlie's less than stellar income as a cop wasn't paying the bills we accumulated, but Phoenix was my home, where my friends were. And even though Charlie had been transferred to the Forks Police Department and was okay with the relocation, I wasn't okay with it. Now I had no one and was left to start all over again.
At least in Phoenix, everyone knew my medical history, knew why I always wore turtlenecks. I hated looking in the mirror, seeing the mark on my chest. It was a constant reminder of the stress I'd put on my parents emotionally and financially, while screaming out harshly how damaged I was. I'd never be normal, never be pretty.
Most people felt pity for me, which I didn't want, because I was the girl who had had a bad heart that needed replaced, but there had been just a handful that made fun of me, saying the new heart I was given belonged to an animal. They'd obviously watched Untamed Heart one too many damn times.
"Well, we're here." Charlie pulled into something I assumed was supposed to be a driveway - one that was obviously taken from its mother too soon, because you could barely fit one vehicle on it - that sat adjacent to a small, two-story white house. There was one giant tree nestled in the front yard and a few bushes that etched either side of the stairway leading to the front door.
"It's…quaint," Renee responded. That was her polite way of saying she hated it.
"So, Bells, what do ya think?" Charlie asked as we climbed out of the old 4-door Sedan.
I glanced over the top of the car, shrugging as I pulled the hat of my sweatshirt over my head.
"Look, Bella, I know you don't want to be here, but we are. You're just going to have to learn to accept it. This is home now."
"This might be home to you, but it's not home to me. I miss Phoenix," I huffed. I was acting childish, I knew this, but I'd just been taken from the only home I knew with very little notice and no allowance of my opinion.
"We had no choice. It-"
"Yeah, Dad, I know," I interrupted harshly. "I'm the reason we went bankrupt and had to move. I already got the memo about how burdensome I've been."
"Bella, that's not what your father-"
"Can we just go inside?" I slammed the door and marched up toward the stairs, not glancing back.
The house appeared smaller inside than it did outside. As soon as we entered the front door, there was a wooden staircase off to the left and a long hallway beside the stairwell that led to the kitchen. To the right of the front entrance was the living room, which had a tiny fireplace in the center, and off the living room was the dining room.
Charlie had already had our belongings, other than clothing and necessities we needed, delivered by movers several days prior. We'd only stayed behind to tie up some loose ends. Most of the furniture was set in place and boxes marked "living room" in black permanent ink was stacked against the far wall.
I stepped forward, observing each room and its contents. Of course, the movers were efficient, leaving each labeled box in its appropriate room.
"What's all upstairs?" I asked, coming out of the kitchen.
Charlie set the two boxes he was carrying on the couch and faced me. "The bedrooms are upstairs, and so is the bathroom."
"Okay." I approached the stairs, carefully moving up them. "Well, I'm going to go find my room, I guess."
"Yours is the first one to the left," Charlie called up to me.
"Thanks," I mumbled back.
The door was already open, my bed and belongings sitting inside. I didn't own much, so there weren't many boxes with my name on them inside.
I searched for the box with my name that was outlined by a heart, opening it carefully to find Mitzi Belle, the stuffed rabbit I'd had since I was five. My nana, Marie, bought it for me for my fifth birthday, and I kept it, unable to part with it after she passed away. It was the only thing I had left that was just between me and her, other than my middle name.
I pulled Mitzi Belle to my chest, wrapping my arms around her stuffed body as I pressed my nose against her soft fur, inhaling a scent I knew well, one I'd grown up to, one I'd forever miss; Phoenix.
"Well, Mitzi Belle," I sighed in defeat. "I guess this is home sweet home."
The next two days were spent unpacking all the boxes and putting them where Renee wanted them, all done in between trips to settle the legalities of the store's ownership being transferred over to my parents. It wasn't an issue because there was no one to contest, considering we were really the only family left in the Higgenbotham line.
We must have moved the furniture around in the living room at least a dozen times before Renee was satisfied. By the evening of the second day, everything was organized, but we were exhausted.
We ordered pizza for dinner, and once we were done eating, I showered and headed to bed, trying to ignore the tension settling in my body. I was starting Forks High School tomorrow, and I wasn't looking forward to it.
I tossed and turned most of the night, slamming my fists into my comforter as I growled in a low whisper my aggravation. I was too nervous to sleep. I'd only been asleep for a couple hours when my alarm went off.
I begrudgingly got out of bed, throwing on the skinny blue jeans, a white long sleeve turtleneck and blue sweater that I'd laid out the night before. I completely disregarded the full length mirror that Renee had Charlie install to my bedroom door. The mirror was useless, considering I didn't really want to see anything below my neck if I had the choice. When I'd actually gotten the courage to look at that scar, with much pressure from Renee to do so, I didn't see that it was just over my chest, I saw it covering my entire body, and I spent the better part of an hour in the bathroom emptying my stomach from disgust.
I attempted to tame the rat's nest I called hair, but my curls had a mind of their own and usually did what they wanted. I settled for wetting them down, a little hair gel and a headband.
I didn't really wear makeup other than a small amount of mascara, so waking up forty minutes before I had to leave wasn't an issue for me. I threw on my black flats, grabbed my book bag and headed downstairs with just enough time for a cup of coffee and a muffin.
"You ready to go, Bells?" Charlie asked.
I glanced down at my watch and nodded after seeing I had no time left. I was really left with no other choice; I had to go to school. I swallowed thickly and followed Charlie out to the car.
Charlie climbed in the driver's side. He'd already started the car to warm it up. He waited to speak until the car was moving. "I didn't have a chance to talk to you last night before you went to bed."
I turned my head away from the window and watching houses blur by to face him. "What about?"
"Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but with the mood I can see that you're in, I figured telling you now may cheer you up a bit." A small smile pulled at his lips.
And now I was curious where this conversation was heading. "What surprise?" The moment the words left my mouth, I had a flash of Renee planning a gathering of some kind, inviting stray children over to introduce me to. I cringed internally because it was something she'd do. "Please tell me mom isn't throwing me some kind of welcoming party with strays?"
He laughed. "Strays?"
"You know, neighborhood kids we don't know. You know how she gets about my social life."
"I promise, Bells," he chuckled. "That's not was I was talking about."
My brow furrowed. "So… uh… what were you talking about then?"
"Your own car." His smile grew wider. "I don't have much in the way of money, as you know, but I managed to scrimp and save a little over a grand."
My mouth dropped open in shock. "How, Dad? We didn't really have-"
"It doesn't matter how," he said, cutting me off. "I just did. So after school, I figured we could see if we can't find something in our price range. Sound good?"
I may have been irrationally angry at my parents for the move, but I didn't expect them to spend money on me I knew they didn't really have. But no matter how much I protested, I knew Charlie was reaching out to me, trying to do something to make me happy because he knew I wasn't. I felt guilty for giving him such a hard time, because I knew what they'd sacrificed for me, what they were still sacrificing for me so that I had a chance to live. And as unhappy as I was, I vowed to keep it to myself, buried inside with the heart that wasn't really mine, to give my parents the chance they'd given me.
After Charlie dropped me off in the school parking lot, I shuffled slowly toward the entrance doors, trying to block out the sight of lowered heads and whispers falling from lips that ricocheted off the dampened asphalt toward my line of hearing. Of course they'd be discussing the new girl.
I found the office easy enough and spoke with a Mrs. Cope, who gave me my schedule, locker and combination. She introduced me to a mousy little dark-haired girl that had to have been stunted once she reached nearly five feet. I almost laughed because she seemed too young to be a high schooler, but the joke was obviously on me. She was instructed to give me a tour of the school, then show me to my first class. Mrs. Cope gave us both passes, knowing we'd be late, then excused us.
The moment we stepped out of the office into the hallway, she morphed into this chatty ball of unending energy while grabbing my schedule from my right hand. She reminded me of that energizer bunny in the commercials.
"So, I'm Alice Cullen. I think you already know that because Mrs. Cope told you that, but yeah… I'm Alice. So where did you come from?" I went to answer her, but she continued with her questioning, nearly bouncing with each step we took simultaneously. "So how do you like it here so far? I bet you hate it, right? I hate all the rain. It rains here all the time. And there's not really much to do either. That's why most teenagers spend their weekends up in Port Angeles."
She inhaled sharply, because she'd practically rushed everything she said in one breath, before speaking again. "That's the auditorium where we have gym." I nodded, knowing exactly what an auditorium was. We walked a bit further, with unending conversation on her part, before she stopped, pointing out another room that happened to be the lunchroom. I was able to get in a few words as we continued our trek around the school, me skirting around people so I wasn't knocked over and her pointing out all the places I'd need to know, including my classes.
Alice was interesting to say the least, but even though she exuded enthusiasm and energy, I actually liked her. She seemed to be a genuinely sweet person. I think I learned more about her than she learned about me – which was okay, in my opinion. I found out she had a brother, Edward Cullen, who by the look on her face told me wasn't a very nice person. She may have even implied he was a bit of a troublemaker. Her mother, Esme Cullen, was a homemaker who liked to make crafts as a hobby, and her father, Carlisle Cullen, was the Chief Physician at Forks Hospital. I was even informed of the "must knows" as she referred them. That group included Emmet McCarty, his girlfriend Rosalie Hale, her brother Jasper (Alice's boyfriend), Jessica Stanley, Mike Newton, some Lauren girl and a few others.
By the time we reached my first period class, which had been in session nearly fifteen minutes, my ears felt like they were about to fall off and my brain was going to implode from information overload.
She stopped abruptly, bouncing on the heels of her feet as she handed me my schedule back. "Okay, Isabella, here's your first class… English."
"Just Bella," I corrected.
She rolled her eyes, laughing. "Okay, just Bella, here's your first class."
Up until this point, I'd felt at ease. Alice's constant conversation had helped me to forget for just a little while that I was somewhere new and alone. "Thanks," I whispered. My heart was starting to bang in my chest again, my stomach once more unsettled as the tension crept its way back through my body.
"Okay, I'll see you later then." She turned around, taking two steps before spinning around where she stood. "Oh, I almost forgot. We have Trig and Spanish together, and there aren't assigned seats in those classes so we could totally sit together, then you could sit with me at lunch if you want."
I was normally the "suffer in silence" type, well, when I knew where the hell I was, but I was beyond thankful for Alice's offer. "Sounds good."
She clapped her hands together excitedly, and I had to suppress outright laughing at her, settling for a grand smile instead. "Great. I'll see you third period, Bella."
She practically skipped off to class, and I had to wonder how someone could be so animate about school. I laughed to myself, then turned to face the classroom door and the onslaught of unknown that would follow once I entered that room.
I swear, the moment I opened the door and stepped inside, twenty pairs of eyes latched onto my form like parasites, moving with me. I was beyond uncomfortable. I approached the teacher, who I learned was named Mr. Berty, and gave him my office pass.
He handed me an English book, embarrassingly introduced me to the entire class, then instructed me toward a seat beside a tall, rather beautiful blonde. To say I looked plain beside her was an understatement. Her icy blue eyes were watching me, sizing me up, as I sat down. I gave her a small smile, to which she sneered before her focus turned back toward the front of the class.
I suppose her reaction to me wasn't unexpected. I mean, if you looked at her, then looked at me and added in the fact that I was new, well, it made perfect sense.
So I made no further attempt to converse with the girl, though I hardly considered smiling conversing but whatever. I at least made an effort.
I caught a few people staring back at me, heard a few whispers regarding me, but I steadied my shaking hands as best I could and looked forward at Mr. Berty for the remainder of class.
I made sure to be the last out the door when the bell rang and decided to head straight to my next class in hopes to beat most the other students there. My next class was Government. There were only a few students seated inside and when I approached the desk I was assigned, I kept myself pretty well curtained by my hair. Yeah, I was definitely being cowardice, but I didn't want a repeat of English.
I sat down, keeping my head lowered, eyes on my desk. Unfortunately, when I heard loud laughter, my need to know who was causing it overrode my need to hide. I looked up, noticing a head of dark curls amass the head of the biggest body I'd ever seen. His size was beyond intimidating, but the twinkle in his eyes as he laughed and the way he carried himself blatantly stated his bark was worse than his bite.
He was followed by two others, but I couldn't make out one of them because he was cloaked behind the human Gargantua and they were stalled near the entryway. The one I could see was blonde, tall as well. He was cute, very cute, but was definitely that beach bum type. He had nice dimples when he smiled, though. He was so not my type, not that I had the intention of searching out my type or anything. I was all about the academics and shit. I lowered my head, feeling my lips turn upward involuntarily when I realized I was being sarcastic and it was mentally with myself, which clearly did not count because it was aimed at me and not someone else. I was definitely inane, but I spent a better part of my days emotionally alone, and sometimes being snarky with myself was all I had.
I repeated the same technique through Government, refusing to look at anyone but the teacher. And if anyone looked at me, I didn't know about it. They certainly didn't try to talk to me.
I was thankful I wasn't embarrassed with introductions this class, so I was free to sit in the back of the room in solitude.
The next two classes did, in fact, have Alice in them. And true to her word, she sat beside me. I could tell it was a difficult feat for Alice not to talk, but she managed.
When lunch came around, I grabbed an apple and a juice, my stomach still unsettled so I wasn't chancing it with food, and followed Alice to a table. She introduced me to everyone at the table; Angela Webber, Ben Cheney, Jessica Stanley, Mike Newton and Eric Yorkie. We were soon joined by Gargantua, who I learned was Emmett McCarty, Dimples Jasper Hale and the blonde I dubbed Frosty, Rosalie.
Everyone was extremely friendly other than Rosalie. She wasn't rude, per say. She just never even spoke to me.
"You'll have to forgive Rosalie." Alice leaned in and whispered. "She's not normally this rude, honestly. She's got a lot going on at home, and it's affecting her more than Jasper."
"It's alright," I whispered back.
She smiled. "But if it's any consolation, she's treating us all the way. It's not just you."
I finished lunch, speaking only when I was spoken to – which ended up being more than I really wanted to on my first day. Everyone seemed to have so many questions, and some I wasn't comfortable discussing.
By the time I reached fifth period, Biology, I was once again conversationally exhausted. Mr. Banner welcomed me to class, handed me my book and seated me at the last open seat. I was just opening my notebook, readying it for notes, when a blur of color breezed by me, seating itself in the seat beside me in a fury.
I glanced up, meeting steely green eyes. I think I gasped. It's quite possible I did, and if so, it was for a number of reasons. I'd never seen eyes so green. It was to the point I felt as if I were staring into one of those glow sticks. And they were hard, angered, but set in the most beautiful face I'd ever seen. His features were a bit angular with high cheekbones, chiseled jawline and a straight nose. His lips were full, but there was a fresh cut across the bottom one, like he'd been punched in the face. My eyes lifted just a fraction, noticing a large red mark underneath his left eye. He'd definitely been fighting. I barely made it to the copper toned disarray of hair covering his head when he spoke, effectively making me feel fifty times smaller than I was.
"Quit fucking looking at me," he growled.
I immediately turned my head - briefly catching the blood on his knuckles as he tapped his fingers against the table - burning with embarrassment for being caught ogling him, but also because his words dripped with so much venom I felt like someone had literally slapped me in the face.
I hid my face even deeper inside my hair, willing my overly thumping heart to calm, because I was sure if he listened, he'd hear it. Obviously, if I had no inclination as to how the rest of the school year would go, I did now and it did not look good.