Isabella Swan had never been what one would call outgoing. She thought of herself as conservative and smart. She kept her grades up so she could get scholarships for college and make Charlie proud. She always kept her Father in the loop of her social life so he didn't worry, and by default, let her do more. Bella knew she would go far with her intelligence. Hell, she was brilliant.

Until it came to Edward Cullen.

Edward had caught Bella's attention from the moment she ran into him in the hallway of his Grandmother's boarding house. He had stared at her stupidly while she stammered apologies, and his expression only changed when Rose came. Bella could tell they had a close connection, odd but close, and before she found out they were cousins she was jealous. For the first time in the sixteen years she had known Rose, she had wanted to slap her friend. Bella had thought he was beautiful.

Of course, Edward had not felt the same way about her. Bella knew that. He had only developed an interest in her when she had dressed like a street walker. Rose could pull it off as sexy, but Bella thought she herself just looked like white trash.

That night, Edward had come knocking on her door late at night. He had been drunk and smelled like marijuana, but he was there all the same. He staggered and leaned on her door frame.

She had only cracked the door, being dressed in one of her big sleeping t-shirts and underwear. There was no use for her to wear a bra. She was way too skinny and short to have a chest or behind.

"Bella?" he asked.

"Edward? What are you doing up?"

His face broke out into a goofy grin that made her heart stop. She opened the door wider and stepped aside for him to come in. He did. She hastily put on some shorts and sat on the bed, her modesty getting the best oh her.

"Why are you here?" she asked.

He shrugged. "I just wanted to talk." He laid down on the other side of the bed and smiled at her again.

"Okay…What do you want to talk about?" She had a fleeting wonder as to why it was so easy for her to talk to Jacob, and why she felt nervous around Edward. Why was he here anyway? She didn't know him, what could they possibly talk about?

"Did you know my parents are dead?" he asked. Bella wondered if he was only talking about them in a drunken rave. She doubted he would ever talk to her while sober.

"Um, Rose said, uh, something about them dying. But I don't know how." Despite her own insecurity she laid down beside him.

"My Gran says I look just like my Dad, but that I have my Mom's hair and eyes. They died when I was five. House fire. I was at Rose and Jasper's house at the time." His random confession caused her mind to reel, and she didn't know what to say. In an unconscious effort to show her grief for him, she grabbed his hand. He looked at her, and after a tentative squeeze, laced his fingers with hers.

"So what about your folks?" Edward asked with a nervous laugh.

"I love my Dad. His name is Charlie. He's such a great person. My Mother is another story, though. She hates living in Montgomery, wants to move to Florida or California for bigger cities. She blames my Dad and me for her being 'tied down'." Bella inhaled and blew her breath out in a burst that ruffled her t-shirt.

Edward rolled on his side and looked at Bella in understanding. Though his Grandmother and Grandfather were small town to the bone, he had wanted out. When his Grandfather died a few years ago he began to feel responsible for Gran. He had taken over responsibility for the farm. He had grown more reliable, sure, but he felt tied down. He could relate to Bella's Mother.

Bella's deep eyes seemed to see into him. He thought she was a pretty girl, but he didn't want to taint her. She seemed innocent. Too innocent to be running around with his cousin Rosalie. He especially liked her hair, thought it gave her an interesting air. She was pale for someone here in the south, and she didn't wear clothes like little Alice and confident Rosalie. Bella wore what she was comfortable in, which as Edward had gathered, was a t-shirt and jeans. When she had come downstairs in her shorts it revealed a side to her that she rarely showed. Bella was hot. Seeing her now, unembarrassed in a huge men's tee was impossibly sexy. He had never met anyone like her.

Bella felt sweetly trapped in Edward's cool jade gaze, and picked at her fingernails so she had something else to do. He made her feel vulnerable. The way he looked like he understood made Bella think he could read her mind. Bella glanced at the clock. 3:29.

Edward propped himself up on an elbow and touched his lips to Bella's. Her mind went completely blank. She tangled her fingers in his hair to bring him closer, and she admitted him access to her mouth at the first touch of his tongue. Edward's hand moved up her shirt and onto her breast. He pinched her nipple expertly, and thus she was putty in his very talented hands.

"I don't want to rush you." Edward said, licking her ear. Bella nodded, his nudges and kisses making her legs tingle. At least one of them was rational. She leaned back and sighed. She would have let Edward do whatever he wanted with her.

Edward threw an arm over her abdomen and put his face in her hair. She listened as his breathing evened out, and didn't relax until it did. When she knew he was asleep, she ran her hands through his hair. Soft and the color of copper. His face was lax and happy while he slept. Bella fell asleep soon after, Edward's breath tickling her face and her fingers tangled in his hair.

She woke up the next morning alone. She had to work hard not to think it wasn't all just a vivid dream.

Friday, apparently, was grocery day. She put on a happy face and followed Rose around while they cared for Zeus and Annie. Bella spoke soft whispers of endearment while she patted Annie's cheek. Her mare whinnied and cooed in response. Bella had always had a close connection with Annie, just as Rose did with Zeus.

Zeus was Rose's rock. He let that girl do anything to him, from braiding his hair, to painting his sides with watercolors when they used to play Indians. Bella couldn't remember a time when he had bucked or shuffled out of Rose's reach. Zeus was always ready to do whatever Rose wanted.

He hardly let anyone else touch him. No one had ever ridden him besides Rose. Bella didn't think she would even want to try. He towered over her tiny frame, and Bella knew he could do a lot of damage with his size and weight.

That night when Rose snuck out Bella hanged out with Alice and Jasper. Every time she saw lights go over the windows she thought, hoped, it was Edward. But it was always a boarder. Alice begged Jazz to watch a movie and she was relieved Rose came home halfway through it. Bella, like Rose, felt lonely every time Alice and Jazz displayed affection.

Every time Rose saw a display of affection her body tensed, as if she would have to go through Royce all over again, and wanting to. She had loved him so much. Rose tried to hide it, but she was still torn all the way to her soul. Bella tried to talk to her about it, but Rose always cut her off. Most of the time viciously.

Bella could remember Rose coming home after they had searched for her for hours. Prom dress rumpled and ripped. Bruises…

Bella shook her head. Her phone vibrated.

Meet me at 2a in yur room –E

K —B

Bella shifted her position and tucked her phone back into her pocket. Excitement and also fear bubbled inside of her. She had it bad for Edward. He was so smart and interesting…if only she could change him…get him to realize he was amazing…kiss him forever…

But Bella wasn't so naïve to think she could work a miracle like that. Edward was…weird. He was a druggie and a drunk. Bella couldn't bring him out of that. She was screwed up herself. And then there was Jacob…

Jacob. Warm and happy Jacob. He was so happy when Bella finally showed interest. She felt sort of bad now, seeing how petty her 'love' for him really was. Now that she had met Edward, another futile relationship, she didn't want Jake. What she felt for Jake was only school year love. Edward was fast becoming her summer love.

AN:

I own nothing! So what did ya think? I didn't want to go too much further. I like Rose's POV better… : ( If you want another one of these suckers you'll have to ask. I'll write for loyal fans…

Love you all!

-Marie