Twi-Fic Promotions "Don't Mess With the Help" Contest

Story Title: Breaking Free
Pen name: earthprincess4
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters involved, Stephenie Meyer does.

To view all other entries for the "Don't Mess With the Help Contest" visit the C2 community here www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/~dontmesswiththehelpcontest

"I can't believe you're making me do this," I complained, as my mom and I stood in the airport.

"You'll be fine. Your dad misses you and really wants you to come visit him," my mom, Renee explained.

"Or is it more that you want to follow Phil to Tokyo, while he films his new movie and you don't want me tagging along?" I accused. She looked away, ashamed, because she knew I was right. Her husband of seven years, Phil Dwyer was a huge movie star and going on location in Tokyo for the rest of the summer and my mom is planning to follow along. So, she decided, I should go visit my dad in the sticks. I could have gone to Cancun with my friends, but no, she decided, since I was only seventeen and still legally a minor, I have to go to Forks Washington and stay with my dad.

I haven't talked to my mom much since she decided my life for me. I've been giving her the silent treatment up until today. But still, she didn't budge on her decision.

My dad runs a horse ranch up in Washington, now that he has retired from the rodeo. I haven't been back there since my parents divorced. I don't know why I'm being forced to go now. I'm almost a legal adult. I guess they both figured this was their last chance to ruin my life.

"You'll be fine. You're going to enjoy spending time with your dad. He misses you and can't wait to see you."

I rolled my eyes, picking up my bag. "Whatever," I mumbled, as I headed for the gate at the airport. I didn't even give my mom a hug goodbye. I just left. I was severely pissed off and didn't want to talk to anyone at the moment.

I boarded the plane, stuck my ear buds from my iPod in and closed my eyes, until I arrived in Washington. My dad met me at the airport and drove me back to his house. I was silent the entire way. I wanted him to know how mad I was too. He tried to make conversation, but I was short with him and barely responded at all.

As soon as we arrived at his humble abode, I internally scoffed at the place. I was used to what Phil had provided us. He had a large home in the Hollywood hills, with round the clock staff to wait on us hand and foot. I had three cars back home, yet here I don't even know if my dad has anything other than his work truck. He doesn't even have a swimming pool. He has horses though, lots of horses, which I could smell the minute I stepped out of the truck. I gagged when the smell of horse poop and rotting grass heating in the sun, hit my nose. I was seriously considering running away. I could get a plane ticket for anywhere I wanted to go, and he would never know where to look.

At least inside the house didn't smell as bad. It just smelled like a bachelor lived here, which is easier to live with than the smell of horses.

"As soon as you get unpacked, I want to bring you down to the barn. I'd like to introduce you to a couple people and give you a surprise," my dad announced. I nodded my head, unenthusiastically. I would have to unpack rather slowly, I thought to myself.

I took well over an hour unpacking and even changed my clothes into one of my favorite bathing suits. I knew I had no use for it here, but I like it and I wanted my dad to know what I gave up by wearing it. I bought it with the intention of wearing it while in Cancun.

I figured I'd kill a little more time by calling my best friends Alice and Rosalie, whom are already in Cancun, having the time of their lives, without me.

I let it ring many times before voice mail picked up. "Hey, this is Rose, if you need me, leave a message, but don't expect me to get back to you because I'm probably too busy having fun here in Cancun. Later." I rolled my eyes and huffed at the message. Of course she's not going to answer now. I texted both of them instead, knowing a text might actually get them to respond.

-I can't believe you bitches left me for Cancun. I'm in a living Hell right now. Some friends you are.-

"Bella," my dad called. "Are you ready yet?" I sighed, rolling off my bed, and walked over to the window. I pulled back the curtains and stood in the window, looking out at the horizon. There was a huge field with high growing grass and in the distance lots and lots of trees. About a hundred feet away from the house stood the large barn. The barn was about three times bigger than my dad's house. They're just horses, why do they need so much space? I noticed two men standing beside a horse out near the open area in front of the barn. They looked sweaty and dirty and completely disgusting. When I noticed the darker skinned guy, with jet black hair, motion his head towards me, the other guy who was very light skinned with a reddish-brown color to his hair, turned to look up at my window. I got a sick feeling in my stomach. These guys were repulsive staring up at me the way they were. Who do they think they are?

"Bella," my dad called again, opening the door.

"You could learn to knock dad," I scolded. He stepped back and shut the door half way.

"I'm sorry. I just want to know if you're ready to go out to the barn yet."

"I guess I have to get this over with," I whined, grabbing my Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses off the dresser. I put the sunglasses on my face, waiting for my dad to lead the way.

"You're going to want to put some clothes on." I looked down at the bathing suit I had on.

"What's wrong with this? It's what I'd be wearing in Cancun on the beach if I was there."

"I have a couple boys who work for me and I'd appreciate it if you had a little more clothing on. I don't want them ogling my daughter," he warned.

"Well, if I was in Cancun, where I was supposed to be, there would probably be quite a few guys ogling me right now." I emphasized the choice of word he had used. "Besides dad, they already beat you too it. You have two guys standing out there by the barn who thoroughly checked me out, while I was standing in the window." I grabbed a wrap from my drawer, wrapping it around my waist. Then I threw on a thin button down shirt, tying it in a knot around my midriff. I slipped on a pair of sandals, before waiting in the doorway for my dad. I didn't why he was choosing to be a father now, after seventeen years. I barely saw my dad in the last ten years. All I ever got from him was a birthday and Christmas card every year. He didn't even bother putting money in either of them. He knew it wouldn't be enough to even make me get excited about.

"There, are you happy?" I asked, in an irritated tone, motioning to my clothes.

He shook his head, sighing heavily before leading the way down the stairs and outside. We had to walk out to the barn along a cement path. Even the path seemed filthy. I couldn't believe I was ruining my sandals to walk out to a dirty old barn.

We stopped in front of the guys who were holding the horse by a rope. I crossed my arms across my chest and leaned my weight onto one foot.

"Bella, I'd like to introduce you to my ranch hands. This is Jacob Black." He motioned to the darker skinned boy. He looked to be about my age. He still looked innocent. He nodded in greeting. I gave him a weak smile in return, not impressed at all. "And this is Edward Cullen." He pointed towards the other guy. His shirt was unbuttoned in the front and I could see the beads of sweat, running down his chest. He was definitely the dirtier of the two. I grimaced at the sight of him. He smiled at me with this crooked smile, which made me feel like he knew some deep park secret about me. It made me uncomfortable. "And this is Apple." my dad motioned towards the horse.

"You named a horse after Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter?" I smirked.

"Who," Jacob asked. Edward chuckled.

"Um… yeah… I guess," I was sure my dad had no idea who I was talking about. "Anyway, she's yours."

"Who's mine?"

"The horse," he clarified. "Apple is yours. You can go riding on her any time you'd like. You can take her out anywhere within the perimeter of the fence line, which is pretty large."

"Dad, what am I going to do with a smelly old horse? I don't even know how to ride one."

"What happened to all those riding lessons I paid for?" He questioned.

"That was like eight years ago. I haven't ridden a horse since."

"It's not like it's hard," Edward added. "It's like riding a bike. Once you learn, you don't forget."

"Did I ask for your opinion?" I scolded, placing my hands on my hips.

"No, but you're acting like a spoiled brat." I raised an eyebrow, pulling my sunglasses off my face.

"Excuse me?"

"Your dad is trying to do something nice for you and you act like it's the worst thing ever," he accused. "You could show a little appreciation."

"Who the hell are you to tell my how I'm acting and what I should be doing? You're not even someone I would ever associate with, so why does your opinion matter? What I do or say to my father is my business, not yours."

He laughed and shook his head. "I guess you were right, Jake. She is more of a bitch than I imagined she'd be." I clenched my teeth together and glared at him as he stood there and smirked like it was some big joke.

"Are you going to do anything Dad?" I whined, angrily.

"Okay, Okay, that's enough from all of you," my dad cut in. "Edward, I appreciate you sticking up for me, but I have to ask you not to disrespect my daughter, either of you." He glanced over at Jake, giving him a warning look, as well. "Bella, I'm sorry if you don't like the horse. I thought you would like to have something to do while you're here. There are lots of trails and places to explore in the woods, so I just wanted you to have access to a horse. You liked riding when you were little, but I guess I should have realized you wouldn't be into that sort of thing now. If you change your mind though, just ask Edward or Jake to saddle her up for you."

"Whatever. I'm not much into exploring the forest," I informed. "Is that all, because I'd like to go inside and take a bath to get the stench of this place off me." My dad sighed, running his hands over his face and nodded his head. I turned on my heel, glaring once more at Edward, before storming back into the house.

I went to the bathroom and started a bath. I was still angry about what that Stable Boy said. Who does he think he is? No one ever treated me so bad before, especially not someone who worked for my mom or Phil. We had staff members at our house, who took care of the grounds and cleaned the home. Then of course since my mom was a horrible cook, we had a live-in chef.

My dad didn't even seem to care about what he did. That fact made me even more upset. Back home if an employee treated me like that, they would have been fired on the spot.

While my water ran in the tub, I walked over to the window and noticed my dad standing out by the barn with Jake and Edward, chatting and even laughing occasionally. It made me even angrier. Were they down there talking about me? What were they saying that was so funny?

My phone alerted me of a new text message, just as I was about to get in the tub. I grabbed the phone off my dresser, seeing a new message from Rosalie.

-Don't be so dramatic Bella. It's only a couple months, then we'll come see you on your birthday and get you out of there.-

I rolled my eyes, realizing they were not going to be any help what so ever.

After my bath, I stayed in my room a little longer before going downstairs to see my dad.

I sat down on the couch, glancing towards some baseball game he was watching. "I left you some food in the kitchen. I'm not sure if you're hungry, but help yourself to whatever you want."

"Alright." I got up and walked to the kitchen, seeing a plate with a steak, baked potato wrapped in tin foil, and peas. It all looked repulsive, especially the steak. I searched the fridge, but there was nothing in there appetizing. I walked back in and plopped down on the couch with a huff. I noticed my dad look in my direction from the corner of his eye.

"Did mom forget to mention I'm a vegetarian?" I asked, irritably.

"I guess she did. I'm sorry. I'll be sure to get you whatever you need if you just write me a list."

"Don't bother," I complained, crossing my arms over my chest. "I'm sure this little town wouldn't have anything I eat anyway."

"If you'd like to go into the city tomorrow to do some shopping you can. I can give you some money and you can get whatever you need," he offered.

"That would be nice. But I don't need money. I have a credit card I can use," I replied. He nodded his head.

"Bella, can I ask you a question?" I met his eyes with mine, waiting for him to ask. "Well, you just graduated from high school. Do you have any plans for the fall? Are you thinking of going to college at all?"

"No," I answered, shortly. "I'm not the college type. I'll probably look into acting or something. Phil can get me an audition I'm sure. Other than that, I'm not doing much of anything." His eyebrows furrowed at my revelation, but he didn't say anything more on the subject.

We sat there silently for a long time before I spoke again. "So, are Jake and Edward always here?"

"Yes. Jake still lives with his family, but he's worked here the last couple summers on weekdays. Edward lives in the barn loft. He's been here for about five years."

"You mean Edward lives here permanently?" I asked, shocked by his reveal.

"He does," my dad agreed. "He doesn't have any family and when I hired him, he was living in his truck. I got him off the streets and gave him something to focus on. He's a good kid and a hard worker. He just needed someone to give him a shot. He's much like a son to me." I watched as my dad smiled proudly of talking about Edward.

"You said kid. How old is he? Jake looks closer to my age than Edward does," I pointed out.

"Jake is actually sixteen now. Edward just turned twenty one, about a month ago." I nodded my head, thinking I was pretty close to my guess of how old they were.

"Did you hire him because you wanted a son, not a daughter?"

"What?" He gasped. "Why would you think such a thing?"

"You haven't called me or visited me in years. All I ever got was a birthday and Christmas card. I just always wondered if you didn't ever want me. And earlier when I saw you out the window chatting and laughing with them, being all buddy, buddy with him, after what Edward said to me, it made me wonder why."

"Bella, I'm not going to lie, I do see Edward as a son. We've become very close over the years, but he could never take the place of my daughter. I haven't called or visited because I didn't think you wanted me to. And now that you're here, I'm really trying to relate to you and find common ground, but it's tough. We're two entirely different people now. You're too much like your mother. It's why she left, because she hated the horses and the ranch. She wasn't one for hard labor. She's happy now and I'm happy for her. But I'd really like to get to know my daughter before it's too late. Edward and Jake know this. They were just trying to give me some encouragement." I suddenly felt a little guilty about what I said about the horses. He was just trying to be nice and give me something he could relate to. Then I turned around and threw it back in his face. I didn't hate Edward so much now for saying what he did. He was right, and I hated that.

"Dad, I'm sorry," I apologized. "I really do like the horse. I just need some time to adjust to being here."

"I know," was all he said, ending the conversation.

After a while, I went to bed still feeling guilty about earlier.

The next morning after sleeping in until almost noon, I came downstairs. My dad was gone, but he left me a note informing me he was out in the barn. I got myself dressed and walked out to the barn to find him. The first person I saw was Jake.

"Hey Bella," he greeted. "Are you ready to take Apple out for a ride?"

"No thanks. I'm just looking for my dad."

"Oh, he's over there working on the baler." I turned my head in the direction he pointed and saw my dad over by some tractor thing with Edward.

"I nodded my head, turning to walk over towards him."

"Hey Bells. I was wondering, when you were going to get up," my dad said. "If you still want to go into the city, Edward here will drive you."

"I can drive myself dad. I just want to know what I'm supposed to drive," I wondered.

"It's a busy city Bella and you've never been there. I don't want you getting lost or in an accident. I'd prefer you let Edward drive you," he explained. I looked over at Edward, who was tightening a bolt or something on the tractor.

"Dad, I'm not a little girl. I don't need someone to hold my hand while I shop. Mom would never make me take someone along. Why can't you be more like her? At least she treats me like an adult. Just let me drive myself," I begged.

"I'd feel better if you had someone drive you."

"This is ridiculous. I can't believe you're treating me like a little kid."

"Bella, please just do as I ask?" He pleaded. I could tell I was wearing him down.

"Why can't Jake drive me instead? Or even you?" I pleaded.

"What, are you afraid I'm going to bite you or something?" Edward questioned, standing to his feet and turning towards me.

"No, I'm more afraid you might try to kill me for the fun of it," I answered, angrily.

He started laughing. "The thought has crossed my mind." I glared at him, clenching my teeth.

"Edward," my dad, warned. I watched him role his eyes and huff, as he walked away.

"Dad don't make me go anywhere with him. There has to be someone else who can drive me."

"Jake has to leave early today and I have to go meet someone about a horse. I'd feel more comfortable if you had someone who knows the area well, drive you. It'll be fine," he promised. I wasn't so sure, though.

"I guess I have no choice then." I started walking away. "Thanks a lot dad. I'm so glad you chose now to finally be a parent. Too bad it's too late," I shouted behind me, as I walked back to the house. I noticed Edward and Jake were both standing in the barn listening to my rant. I glared at both of them as I walked by.

I went in the house slamming the door behind me. I ran up to my room, pacing the floor letting out strangled, cries of frustration. I hated it here. I wanted to get out of here and go home. Why was I being forced to stay here against my will? I was nearly eighteen. A couple months meant nothing.

I called Alice, needing someone to talk to. I was so thankful she actually picked up.

"Alice, I am going crazy here. I need you to come rescue me from this place."

"Why? What happened?" She wondered.

"My dad gave me a horse yesterday. What am I supposed to do with a fucking horse? Today he treats me like I'm a little kid and I need a chauffeur to drive me into the city. And then on top of that he has this disgusting, arrogant, asshole working for him who treats me like shit and my dad does nothing about it. I swear if he isn't careful I'm going to kill him."

"Why don't you tell your dad and have him fired?" She suggested.

I rolled my eyes. "My dad knows about it. He's right there when it happens. But he said he looks at Edward like a son." I emphasized the last part. I don't like how my dad lets him get away with this shit. I'm his daughter. He should be sticking up for me and firing his sorry ass.

"Bella, are you maybe, exaggerating a little?" Alice asked, questioning my sanity, I'm sure. "I can't imagine it's that bad where your dad wouldn't fire him. He's the help. He's nothing and can easily be replaced. I think you should put your foot down and demand your dad fire him or do it yourself. You're his daughter. You have every right to fire him if you want. I know if a staff member was treating me that way in my own home I wouldn't care who they were. They'd be kicked to the curb."

I sighed. "Right, but will my dad be mad at me, or him?" I wondered. "I swear, I think my dad would rather have him as his flesh and blood, over me. I don't know why my parents forced me to come here. My dad and I have nothing in common."

"Just relax, Bella. I'm sure it's not as bad as you're making it out to be. Go shopping for the day. I'm sure it will make you feel better. I know it always makes me feel better."

"I'm supposed to, but I have to driven by Edward, the Stable Boy, who can't seem to keep his mouth shut."

"Then have him drive you and see what happens. If he does anything else disrespectful, demand your dad, fire him."

"I'm sure it won't be long until he does something stupid."

"Good luck getting rid of him. If anyone can do it, you can," she insisted.

"Thanks Ali. I'll let you know what happens." After I hung up the phone, I took a little time to fix my hair and put on some more appropriate clothes for shopping.

I came out and noticed an old beat up truck sitting in front of the house with Edward sitting in the driver seat. My dad came walking over and opened the passenger door for me.

"You have got to be kidding me."

"You'll be fine. Edward's truck may be old, but it's in excellent condition," my dad explained. I took a deep breath and got inside. My dad shut the door behind me. "Have fun and please try not to give Edward a hard time. He's doing me a favor by driving you."

"Did you give him the same lecture?" I asked.

"He's promised to be on his best behavior," my dad explained.

"Yeah, right," I said, in disbelief.

"Just be good. For me," he begged. I sighed, nodding my head in agreement.

The drive there was pretty much silent. I had nothing to say to him. I told him I wanted to go to the best mall in Seattle, then a whole foods store. He didn't comment on what I told him. He just drove. He dropped me off at the mall and I told him to wait for me. There was no way I was going to be walking around the mall with him.

I shopped for a good three hours, taking my time to try things on and searching for the right brands. I even stopped and got a manicure and pedicure. It was pretty late when I finished. I had bought quite a few things and I was feeling really good about my day. I walked back out to where Edward had parked his truck, but when I reached the truck, I noticed he was gone. I searched all around, wondering where he went. I waited for nearly an hour before I pulled out my phone, calling my dad's house. No one answered though. He was probably still gone and he didn't carry a cell phone. If Edward happened to carry a cell phone, I didn't have a number for him. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. It was starting to get dark and there was still no sign of him.

After almost an hour and a half of waiting, I finally spotted him walking up the sidewalk. I sighed in relief, but I was more mad than happy to see him. I put my hands on my hips, looking at him expectantly, when he reached the truck. "Where the hell have you been?" I questioned, angrily.

"Did you honestly think I was going to sit here all day waiting for you?" He returned. "I had some things to do."

"What? Did you need to go pick up a hooker or something?" I accused. He just laughed, opening up the driver side door. He didn't even open my door for me or offer to help with my bags. He reached across the seat, unlocking my door for me. I shoved all my bags in roughly. I got in, sighing in anger every chance I could get. I wanted him to know how mad I was. I slammed the door shut with another huff. I heard his grumble, but he didn't say a word. He drove out of the parking garage and on to the street. I crossed my arms, rubbing my shoulders to warm them. It wasn't extremely cold, but it was getting a little chilly. I heard Edward rummaging around for something behind the seat.

"Here," he offered me a dirty, old sweatshirt.

I took one glance at it and turned my head away. "No, thank you." He grumbled again, throwing the shirt in the back seat.

"I thought you might be hungry, so I picked you up a burger," he informed, handing me a small paper bag.

"Are you serious? I don't eat that garbage. I'm a vegetarian."

He hummed in response. "Is that a personal choice or a social status?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "It's none of your business."

"Whatever," he said, taking the bag back.

We were silent for a few minutes before he spoke again. "You know when someone attempts to do something nice for you, normally you would show some appreciation, whether it's the right thing or not."

"Is that what you want? You want me to say I appreciate you leaving me sitting on the side of the street for well over an hour while you did God knows what?" I questioned.

"For your information, I was just around the corner at a bar having a drink and something to eat. I had been sitting in this hot truck for well over two, maybe even three hours, waiting for you. I got hungry and needed a drink," he explained.

"You didn't stop to think about leaving me some sort of note letting me know?"

"Do you happen to see any paper or a pen in the truck?"

"Whatever. Just drive me home." We drove in silence, only the sound of the loud engine and our frustrated sighs were heard. He pulled into a parking lot of a grocery store and parked the truck.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Your dad gave me strict orders to make sure you ate and bought food. Obviously the burger I bought you wasn't right and I doubt you were able to buy food in a mall, so this is the best I can offer you. I'm sure they have fruits and vegetables here. I assume you do eat those, right?" He asked sarcastically. I glared at him, opening the door to get out. I walked away, but turned back around when I remembered what happened earlier.

"Are you planning to go anywhere or are you going to wait here?"

"I'm planning to come in with you," he replied, opening up his door.

"I would rather you not."

"Don't worry, princess. I'll go my way, you go your way. You're not exactly someone I'd care to be seen with either," he revealed. He walked past me, heading for the front door of the store. "We'll meet back here when we're done."

I took a deep breath, clenching my teeth together. I followed behind at a safe distance. He was right; he is someone I didn't want to be seen with. I grabbed a grocery cart, and started filling it with things I ate. At least this store did have a small selection of vegetarian items. It wasn't exactly what I was used to, but it would have to do. I passed Edward a couple times in the aisles. He had a bunch of junk food in his cart. It disgusted me.

When I finished, I paid for my purchases and walked out to Edward's truck. He sat in the driver's seat, his stuff already packed into the back. I put my couple bags of groceries in the back and got in the truck. We drove back to Forks in silence. Today had been tense enough. I didn't want to make it worse.

He pulled up in front of the house, turning off the engine. My dad walked out, helping me carry things in. "Thank you, dad," I said. "I appreciate you helping me carry my things in." I wanted Edward to hear. He had been rude to me all day and I wanted him to know I could be kind to someone who was kind to me in return.

"So, how did today go?" My dad asked, glancing back and forth between the two of us.

"It was fine," Edward said.

"Hah," I scoffed. I saw my dad smirk. "First, he drives like a maniac all the way there. He droped me off along the curb, and then when I was done he left me standing next to his truck, by myself for over an hour. Dad, I can't believe you haven't fired him yet. I feel like you're being taken advantage of by him."

"Bella, I'm not firing Edward just because you two don't get along," my dad informed.

"Are you serious? He's been mean to me the whole time I've been here," I exclaimed, angrily.

"You haven't exactly been nice to me either, you know?" Edward retorted.

"Was I talking to you?" I shouted. "I don't have to be nice to you. You're the help, which means I'm your boss. I guess you didn't get that memo though."

"Bella, hold on," my dad interrupted. "I don't treat Edward like the help. I know you have servants or whatever you call them back in California, but here Edward is a friend and an equal. I asked him to be nice to you and I expect you to do the same."

"I can't believe you're taking his side. Obviously, I was right last night when I said you never wanted me. Thanks a lot, dad." I turned, running up the stairs to my room. I can't believe he's so blind to see who Edward really is. He obviously has my dad manipulated in some way.

I went to bed that night still angry at both Edward and my dad. I felt like I was the bad guy in all this, when I knew I wasn't.

Weeks went by and I pretty much stayed in the house all day. I was bored to death. I had done everything imaginable I could do. I talked to Alice and Rosalie a couple times, and they, of course, said they were having a blast in Cancun and wished I could be there with them. But they promised they would come visit me on my eighteenth birthday.

I got a few emails from my mom, but I barely replied to them.

I stayed clear of Edward and even Jake. Although, I did feel like Jake probably wasn't as rude as Edward was, but I still kept my distance.

Things started getting better with my dad too. We were sort of communicating and spending a little time together. Things were still tense, but it was getting easier.

It was early August, and we were sitting at the table eating dinner, when my dad informed me he would be gone for a few days. He was traveling down to California to pick up a horse who had been beaten most of his life.

"I didn't know you took in horses like that," I inquired.

"I don't normally. But a friend of mine came to visit me a few weeks ago. He took the horse in once it was rescued from the abusers, but no one can seem to break him."

"Break him?" I questioned, cringing at the words.

"Train him," he clarified. "Anyway, this place down in California trains horses for the rodeo and since they can't train him, he's no use to them. He asked if I would take him off their hands. Whether or not he'll ever be able to be ridden isn't a concern to me. He needs a safe place to live out his years, so that's what I can offer him." When I thought about what he meant, it made me smile. My dad was always so giving and thoughtful, not only to people, but to animals, too. I wondered why I had never noticed before.

"So, if you have any problems or need anything while I'm gone, Edward is not very far away." I rolled my eyes at the thought of being here alone with only Edward around. "Please try to be civil with both him and Jake. They'll stay out of your way, if you stay out of theirs."

"What if I need to go somewhere?" I asked.

"Like I said, if you need anything, just ask Edward," he replied.

"And is he going to do whatever I tell him or is he going to be rude about it?"

"Just be nice and he'll be nice in return."

"How long are you going to be gone?" I wondered.

"It shouldn't be more than a week, maybe a little more. I've been asked to judge at a rodeo down in Crescent City, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it or not. I haven't been back at the rodeo for years and it'd be fun to go. It's quite the honor to be asked to judge, but I hate leaving you here by yourself."

"Dad, I'll be fine. Take all the time you need. I can find things to do. Maybe I'll even ride a horse," I joked. He chuckled at my obvious joke.

"I know you can take care of yourself. I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried about you and Edward killing each other while I'm gone."

"We haven't even spoken since you made him drive me to Seattle. I think we'll be fine, as long as he stays out of my way."

"I hope so. But if there are any problems, I'll leave the phone number of where I can be reached on the fridge and I'll call you every day to check in."

"Dad, I'm not a little girl. I'll be fine," I insisted. He nodded his head, ending our conversation.

The next morning, I was awoken quite early by a loud commotion coming from the barn. I got out of bed, and looked out my window, seeing my dad and Edward loading the horse trailer to the back of the truck. I huffed at the loud noise they were making this early in the morning, but I got up and dressed, so I could go down and tell my dad goodbye.

He left shortly after sunrise and as soon as he was out of the driveway, I went back to bed. I slept for a few more hours until I was awoken once again by a loud noise coming from outside. I jumped out of bed, running to the window. I pulled the curtains back, seeing the same tractor they were working on a few weeks ago, out in the field. Jake was driving it. Does he not have any respect for someone who's trying to sleep? I pulled on a hoodie and a pair of sandals, still in my pajamas, and rushed outside. I walked across the field, straight for Jake. When he saw me coming, he stopped and turned off the engine.

"What the Hell do you think you're doing?" I asked, fuming.

"Uh… Well… I…" he stuttered.

"I'm trying to sleep. I was already woken up once today, when all of you were getting that trailer hooked up to my dad's truck. Now you're going to drive this tractor around and wake me up again?" I questioned. He looked at me with shock and confusion. I waited expectantly for him to answer.

"I have to bale hay," he replied, nervously.

"You don't have to do it right now, do you? Wait until later. I'm ordering you to stop now," I expressed.

I heard Edward come up behind us laughing. I turned around glaring at him. "You can't order him around, Princess."

"Like Hell I can. My dad said you both have to do whatever I say."

"No," he corrected. "He said if you needed anything then we're to do what we can to help you, not that we have to do as you say."

"Well, waiting to run this loud tractor until later in the day, not first thing in the morning, would help me," I informed. "So, do something about it." I heard him sigh and watched as he ran a hand through his hair.

"Jake, just get going. I'll handle this," Edward said. Jake nodded his head quickly, starting the tractor up and driving off.

"There's something you obviously don't understand about farming, Princess," Edward began, angrily. I placed my hands on my hips and narrowed my eyes at him. "We have to work to keep this place running. The horses need food and bedding which means we have to bale the hay. So, get over yourself and learn the world does not revolve around you." He turned around and walked back towards the barn. I was mad about being woken up and about what he said, so I followed him.

"Who the Hell, do you think you are? From the first day I arrived here, you have been nothing, but rude to me," I yelled after him, as we walked into the barn.

"Really, because I could say the same thing about you, Princess," he accused, turning around to face me. I could see his jaw clenching from anger.

"I haven't done anything to you, Stable Boy," I remarked, emphasizing the nickname.

"You walk in here and act like it's the worst place in the world. You put your dad down left and right for what he does and what he enjoys. You scoff at the gift he tried to give you. You walk around like you own the place and we're supposed to whatever you say. You aren't the boss around here and you definitely aren't now, just because your dad's gone." I glared at him, my heart racing from the adrenaline rushing through me.

"Let me make something very clear to you." I stepped a couple feet closer to him. "You are nothing more than a hired hand, just a stable boy. You are easily replaced. I don't care if you've been here for a few years. I don't care if my dad lets you live in the barn, like an animal. All I would have to do is tell him I wanted you gone and he would do it." I took a couple more steps closer, seeing him cower slightly at my words. "He probably wouldn't even ask questions. I don't care how close you are with him or if he thinks of you as a son. I'm his flesh and blood daughter. I come first. So unless you wish to lose your job, Stable Boy, I suggest you do as I say. "

His eyes narrowed as I stared up at him, only inches away from his face. I was feeling confident with what I said, even though I wasn't sure if I was right. Before I could stop him, he wrapped a hand around the back of my head, pressing his lips to mine, kissing me with so much force. I tried to push him away for only a second, before I molded in to his form, returning the kiss with such fervor. Our lips moved together and I allowed his tongue access to my mouth, with no protest at all. My conscience was telling me this was wrong and I should make him stop, but my mind and body, was enjoying it thoroughly. Just as I started to wrap my fingers around his sweaty, matted hair, he pulled away. We were both panting from the suddenness of what just happened. Our eyes met for a brief second before he turned around and headed towards the stairs in the corner. I followed.

When he reached the top of the stairs, he swung a door open, which led into a room, I assumed was his. I could see him pacing the floor and pulling at his hair in frustration. I stepped in behind him a few seconds later, I could hear him mumbling something, but I couldn't make it out.

"Who the Hell, do you think you are? You can't just kiss me any time you want. Why the Hell did you do that anyway?" As I continued to shout at him, he took two steps towards me, closing the distance between us, grabbing my face between his hands and kissed me again. I wanted to protest. I wanted to yell at him and tell him he was disgusting for even attempting to kiss me. But for whatever reason, as soon as his lips touched mine, all rational thinking disappeared. I wanted him. I needed him.

He pulled my body closer to his, pressing into me, revealing he wanted me just as much. He took one step, moving me with him, and shut the door. He pressed me up against the door and quickly started kissing along my jaw and down my neck. I let the hoodie I was wearing fall to the floor. His hands traced down my sides, lifting one leg and hitching it around his hip. I reached down, and unzipped his pants, tugging to remove them from him. He reached down taking them the rest of the way off as I took my tank top off. He took one sight at my breast, and instantly his mouth was around one of my nipples, nipping and tugging on it while he massaged the other with his hand. I moaned in pleasure, closing my eyes to revel in the sensation.

I pulled off his shirt, leaving him only in his boxers. He grabbed my hips, pulling me across the room and plopping me down on the bed, roughly. I wanted this. I wanted to feel him inside of me and have the release I knew he would give me. He hovered above me continuing to kiss my body. It felt so good having him touch me, even with his rough and calloused hands. I didn't care. His touch made my skin feel like it was on fire.

He pulled off my pajama bottoms with one quick move and removed his boxers just as fast. He kissed my lips fully, once again and reached a hand behind my knee pulling one leg up over his back. I wrapped my other leg around him, pulling him closer to me and allowing him access. With one swift movement, he was buried deep inside of me. I moaned in ecstasy as he began to move inside of me. I heard him panting and moaning as he buried his face in my hair, kissing and sucking on my neck the entire time. My fingers gently traced a line down his back, making him shiver. We didn't speak. All that could be heard was our heavy breathing and our bodies moving together, with the hum of the tractor outside.

As I felt my well needed release coming, he sped up his movements, his breath hitching with every thrust. I knew he was getting close and I wanted to make sure I got mine before he did. I closed my eyes, reveling in the feeling he was giving me. I gave myself to him completely as I reached the most intense orgasm I had ever felt. I screamed as it hit me. Within seconds, I felt him come inside of me, with one last thrust and growl from deep inside his chest. He slowed his movements and pulled out of me. He opened his eyes looking down at me, sprawled out on the bed in front of him. We were both still breathing heavily and trying to come to terms with what just happened.

He leaned up balancing all his weight on his hands. He took a deep breath before he sat up completely on the edge of the bed. "Fuck," he shouted, putting his face in his hands. "What the fuck just happened?"

"It's not exactly one of my proudest moments either," I retorted, sitting up and pulling the sheet up around me.

"You didn't seem to be complaining."

"It's not like you gave me much choice," I argued.

He picked up his boxers, putting them back on before gathering up my clothes and throwing them at me. "Just put your fucking clothes on and get out," he yelled.

I grabbed my shirt, pulling it over my head roughly. "It's a good thing I'm on birth control. Thanks for asking, by the way. You better not have given me any diseases. I swear if you gave me an STD of any kind I will cut your dick off." He laughed dramatically.

"I think I should be the one worried about STD's. I know how you rich girls are. You change guys like you change shirts. This obviously wasn't your first time," he retorted. I glared at him from across the room.

"It wasn't yours either. And whether it was my first time or not, I don't go around having unprotected sex, like you obviously do. I'm not that stupid."

"I guess you're stupid now," he chuckled. He grabbed his shirt off the floor and walked out the door. I screamed out of frustration. How could someone who gave me so much pleasure make me so angry at the same time?

I put the rest of my clothes on and walked out the door, being sure to slam it as I did. I walked down the stairs, seeing Edward in one of the horse stalls with a shovel. He glanced in my direction briefly. "Be sure to dock those five minutes from your pay," I shouted. I heard him groan and throw the shovel at the wall. I smiled, feeling vindicated in what I said. I walked back to the house, staying there for the rest of the day by myself.

That night, I had a dream from when I was a little girl. I was on a horse with my dad as he took me for a ride. I looked happy and so did he.

When I woke up the next day, I was so extremely bored all by myself, so in the late afternoon, I decided to walk out to the barn. The dream I had was still very prominent in my mind, so I thought maybe I'd attempt to ride a horse. I did remember how to do it. I just didn't want to before. But there really wasn't much else to do.

When I got to the barn, I saw Jake putting some stuff away.

"Hi Bella," he smiled.

"Hi," I said politely. "I'm wondering if you could saddle up Apple for me."

"Really?" He questioned, his eyes growing bigger.

"Yeah, I think I might give it a try. I'm pretty sure I remember the basics."

"Okay," he agreed, running off to get the horse ready.

I looked around trying to find Edward, but he was nowhere in sight.

A few minutes later Jake came around the corner, leading Apple out into the open. "She's a really gentle horse and well mannered. You shouldn't have any trouble with her," Jake explained. I grabbed the reins from him, placing my foot in the stirrup and pulling myself up. I was nervous, but as soon as I was up, all the training I had all those years ago, came right back. I led her out into the pasture slowly, getting more and more comfortable as I did. I noticed Jake was on a horse, riding out towards me.

"Do you want me to show you some places you can go?" He asked, looking more enthusiastic than he really should have been.

"Sure, that would be great." Slowly, but surely, we made our way out into the trees, getting lost among the leaves and branches. It was so peaceful out here. I wondered why I didn't come out here sooner. I remembered when I was a little girl, my dad would bring me out here and I'd build little forts out of the branches. I'd always find somewhere I could hide and be by myself.

We came across a little stream deep in the woods, which was so beautiful. It almost seemed like it was hidden away so well, no one ever knew it was here. I got off Apple, letting her get a drink and graze along the stream. I sat down on the edge of the water, closing my eyes to listen to the soothing sound of the water flowing. It was so relaxing. I don't think I've felt this relaxed in so long.

Jake came and sat down next to me. "It's nice out here, isn't it?" He asked.

"It is. I remember coming out here when I was little."

"Why did you move away?" He wondered.

"My parents got divorced and my mom had full custody."

"Hmm," he hummed in return.

"So, how did you start working for my dad?"

"He knows my dad. They're good friends, so your dad wants to help me out. I'm trying to work on my car and make it go faster."

"That'll be nice," I said, laughing at his enthusiasm about making his car faster. "What about Edward? What's his story?" I tried to sound as casual as possible and not let on, I was far more curious than I should have been.

"I don't really know. He doesn't talk about his past much with me. I know he's talked to your dad a little about it, but I'm not sure your dad even knows the whole story."

Hmm," I returned. "He just seems sort of rude at times."

"It's not that he's rude, he just doesn't like you."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you're mean to your dad, I think."

"I'm not mean to my dad. I just don't relate to him. And why is it any of his business what I do with my dad?" I asked, getting angry again.

"I don't know, that's just my guess," he replied, defensively. "Look, I have to get home. Do you want me to show you the way back?"

"No, I'm going to stay for awhile." He nodded his head, mounting his horse and riding off.

I stayed out there for quite a while, not even paying attention to the time. I laid back on the ground, looking up at the sky through the trees. I thought about when I was little and how I used to come out here with my dad. I remember always begging him to stay out just a little longer. I never wanted to go back to the house. I was happy getting lost in the trees, being among the quiet and peace it offered. I wondered when and why I changed. Was I happy with the life I was given by Phil? A month ago I would have said yes, but now, I'm not so sure.

When I went back towards the house a little while later, it was already getting dark, which meant it was probably pretty late. I got off Apple just as I reached the barn. I spotted Edward instantly, standing at a work bench, hammering on something. His eyes glanced in my direction briefly, before he went back to his work.

"Apple and I went for a ride. She needs to be cleaned and fed," I ordered.

"She's your horse, Princess," he reminded. "You can take care of her yourself. I have work to do."

"I don't know what I'm supposed to do," I whined.

"Figure it out."

"What is your problem? One day you hate me, the next day your fucking me, then you're back to hating me. What the hell did I ever do to you?"

"Nothing," he answered, coldly.

"So what, you treat all girls like this?" I wondered. "No wonder you live in a barn and work as a stable boy. No girl in her right mind would be stupid enough to want to be with you."

"You know, I'm getting real fucking tired of this 'Stable Boy' shit," he shouted, walking towards me with anger in his eyes. "I have a name. You could at least give me the dignity of addressing me by my name.

"Well, I could say the same thing about you with the whole 'Princess' shit. What the hell do you mean by that anyway?" I shouted back. He glared at me, only a few feet away. "If you want respect you have to give respect." I walked a step closer. "If you want me to address you by your name, then learn to address me by mine." I stepped closer again. "Until then, 'Stable Boy' will have to do." I dropped the reins, from the horse in front of him and turned on my heel to walk away. I only took two steps before I felt his arm snake around my waist and whip me around to face him. His lips once again consumed mine in a frantic kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck, tangling my fingers in his hair. I didn't know why I kept doing this. I hated him, yet I wanted him at the same time.

He walked me across the open area of the barn, never breaking the kiss and leaned me up against the workbench. He grabbed my jeans, removing them without even a thought about what he was doing. He whipped me around, bending me over the workbench. I began to moan as he kissed the back of my neck. His hands came up underneath me, grabbing my breasts.

I could hear him unzipping his pants and I knew any minute he would be inside of me. I was trembling in anticipation. He rubbed against my clit, teasing me. I bucked my hips back into his, letting him know I wanted him.

"Say my name," he demanded, breathlessly. "Say it out loud and tell me how much you want me. Just say it, Bella." I didn't know what he was getting at, but I was desperate to have him inside me.

"Edward," I breathed. "Please, Edward. I need you." With one quick thrust, he pounded inside of me. I flinched at the suddenness. He paused for a second, giving me time to adjust. When I started moving my hips back into him, he started a steady pace. I had never experienced sex from behind. It was an all new sensation and it didn't take me long before an orgasm hit me hard. My freshly manicured fingers dug into the wooden workbench in front of me from the intensity.

As the orgasm subsided, Edward turned me around, lifting me up on the workbench and once again slid inside of me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him hard. I wanted to consume him. I felt like I couldn't get close enough to him. He grabbed my hips, thrusting into me. His face was contorted in concentration. He was breathing heavily as I made a trail of kisses along his hot, scruffy, chin. I wasn't expecting, I would orgasm a second time, but before I knew it, I could feel the release building in my stomach. Seconds after I clenched around him, he let out a guttural moan, closing his eyes as he came.

I was trembling as he slowed, and pulled out. I put my feet back on the ground, barely able to stand, as he stepped away. I picked up my pants, slipping them back on.

"That was no five minutes," he announced, arrogantly. I looked over at him, watching as he pulled a condom off, before buttoning up his jeans.

"I take it you planned this?" I asked, pointing out the condom with my eyes.

"I didn't plan anything."

"Right, so you just happened to have a condom in your pocket, when yesterday, while in your room you had nothing?" I asked. "You expect me to believe that?"

"Again, I didn't hear you complaining," he acknowledged. "I think you got exactly what you wanted."

"Whatever," I huffed, rolling my eyes. He walked over, grabbing the reins to Apple. I put my shoes back on and started walking out.

"What were you doing with Jake today?" He asked, stopping to face me again.

"That's none of your business."

"You were gone for a long time today. He came back without you. Why?" He asked, further.

"I went for a ride. Jake came with me, so I knew where to go, but I decided to stay longer and he needed to get home," I answered.

"Are you fucking him too?" He wondered, feigning to be uninterested.

"What?" I shouted.

"I'd just like to know where I stand. I'm not sure if I want to be screwing the same girl he is."

"Not that it's any of your business, but no, I'm not fucking Jake. As for where you stand, that would be nowhere, because this will never happen again," I insisted.

"Fine, no big loss," he scoffed. I sighed, glaring at him. I turned, walking away. "If you plan to go riding again, tell me where you're going. I was worried." I smiled when he said it. He was worried about me? "If something happened to you it'd be my ass." My smile dropped when he added that. He was only worried about losing his job and his place to live.

I stormed off to the house, slamming the door behind me. I paced the floor, feeling the anger rushing through me. Why did I let him get to me? Why did I let him have me? I was disgusted with myself. What the Hell am I doing anyway? I don't have sex with random guys, especially not guys like him. I really need to get out of this place. I need to go home.

Once I calmed down a little, I took a shower, attempting to wash away all the shame I was feeling. I went to bed that night, tossing and turning. I was so confused by what I was feeling, why I was doing this, and what was happening to me. What happened was wrong and I knew that. It has to stop.

The next couple days, I stayed in the house. I only left once, when I asked Jake to drive me into town, so I could buy food. I noticed Edward clench his jaw and slammed something against the workbench when he heard me ask Jake, but I couldn't ask him to drive me. I didn't trust myself with him.

Jake was overly enthusiastic to drive me. He had a huge grin on his face the entire way into town. He tried to start up a casual conversation, but I wasn't in the mood to talk to him. Once I finished buying what I needed, he drove me back home. He got out, helping me bring the grocery bags in.

"Thanks, Jake," I said. Edward walked across the field towards us, wiping his dirty hands on a rag. "I appreciate you taking the time to drive me into town."

"Not a problem, Bella."

"Did you get everything you need?" Edward asked.

"I did," I replied, coldly. "Now, if you'll both excuse me, I'm going inside." I turned around, heading towards the door.

"Bella, do you want to come to a bar-b-que tomorrow?" Jake asked. I turned around to face him, curiously. I noticed Edward give him a warning look and shaking his head. "My sister's visiting from college and we're having a little party to welcome her home. It's nothing big or anything, just family and a few friends. You're welcome to come though. It might be nice for you to get out of this house and meet some people."

"Sure," I agreed with a smile. I heard Edward sigh heavily, from frustration. But I wanted to get out. Maybe if I could make some friends in this town, I wouldn't be so bored and be turning to Edward to entertain me.

"Great," Jake said, excitedly. "Edward is in charge of the grill, so I'm sure you could ride over with him." We both glanced over at Edward, waiting for him to agree.

"Sure," he agreed, sounding forced.

"Awesome! I'll see you both tomorrow." Jake jumped back in his little car and took off, leaving me and Edward standing by the porch alone.

"I'm leaving at two," he announced. "I hope you're ready, because I don't plan to wait."

"I'll be ready," I declared.

I made sure I got up a little earlier than I normally do to ensure I had plenty of time to get ready. I chose a white, strapless, Chanel summer dress and a pair of red strapped, high heels. It was very comfortable and light. I pulled my hair up into a messy bun of curls and added a touch of make-up. I thought I looked pretty good. It was the first time since coming here where I actually felt like I could dress up a little.

At two in the afternoon, right on the dot, I went outside. Edward came walking across the yard in a pair of khaki pants and a light blue, button down shirt. I could tell he had taken a shower and shaved. He even attempted to fix his hair. He stopped in his tracks, with his mouth hanging open, when he saw me standing on the porch.

"Well, are we going or are you planning to stare at me all day?" I questioned, sarcastically. He blinked his eyes a few times, shaking his head.

We walked out to his truck and he opened the passenger door, holding it open for me. "Now you choose to be a gentleman?" I observed, rudely, hopping inside his truck. He shut the door, with a huff and ran across to get in.

The drive there I noticed he kept opening his mouth and taking in deep breaths, like he was going to say something, but he never did.

When we pulled into the driveway, Jake came running across the yard. He had a big grin on his face. "You came," he exclaimed.

"I said I would. Now, why don't you introduce me to people?" I linked my arm around his, as he led me out to the backyard where everyone was. I knew Edward was angry. I could hear him cussing under his breath. I really had no intention of driving him crazy today, but I was actually enjoying his frustration. I was determined not to give into him in any way, though.

Jake introduced me to his family and a few of his close friends. Everyone was very nice and polite to me. I was actually having a really good time. I caught Edward in the corner of my eye, flirting with quite a few of the girls while he worked the grill. I had a bad feeling, whatever was cooking, was going to burn, because he wasn't paying much attention to it. Even later in the day, when everyone started eating, I noticed Jake's sister, Rebecca, came over and was sitting on his lap and flirting big time with him. I didn't want it to get to me, but it did. I didn't like it. So I did the same thing he was. Two could play this game.

I flirted with Jake, hanging off his arm and even hugging on him. I flirted with all his friends who were all smiles and red faces as I spoke or touched them. It was actually quite comical watching all these teenage boys get all worked up.

After a while of flirting with all Jake's friends, I sat down on a bench by myself, letting the sunshine warm my face.

"Here Bella, I brought you some food," Jake offered. I looked at the plate he held out for me. It had a hotdog and some other side dishes, that didn't look very appetizing.

"Uh, thanks," I said, trying to be polite. I heard Edward laughing as he came up behind us.

"You know, I find it really funny how you can be polite to everyone else but me," he observed. "Jake, she won't eat that." He grabbed the plate from me handing it back to him. Jake looked confused. "She's a vegetarian."

"Oh," Jake said, bashfully. "I'm sorry, I didn't know."

"Here," Edward offered me another plate of food. "I'm pretty sure you'll eat this." I looked at what he gave me. "It's just one of those Boca soy burger things and some fruit." I stared at him quizzically. "You didn't think I'd actually come here and not make sure you had something to eat, did you?" He asked.

"I guess, I never thought about it. But thanks," I smiled.

"Yeah," he responded, before walking away. I watched him in disbelief. He actually did something really nice for me and we didn't fight about it.

"I didn't know you're a vegetarian," Jake said. I turned back around towards him, giving him a smile, but didn't respond. I was still in shock.

A few hours later, just as the sun was going down, it started to rain pretty hard. Everyone started running around bringing things in and protecting everything from the rain. I tried to help, but I think I was more in the way than anything. I felt Edward grab my hand, and lead me under a covered area where everyone was gathering.

"Well, I guess the parties over," an older man I didn't know, announced. People started dispersing, sadly.

"Are you ready to go," Edward whispered in my ear. I turned towards him nodding my head. We went over thanking Jake and his family for inviting us before we dashed out towards Edward's truck. He held the door open for me once again, which I was very grateful for. I was already pretty soaked, but I didn't want to be any more drenched.

We rode in silence for a while. "I want to tell you thank you for thinking of me. It was really thoughtful of you to remember I don't eat meat and bring an alternative to me."

"Well, I was in charge of the grill. It's my job to make sure there was something for everyone," he explained.

"I see."

He pulled up in front of the house, turning off the engine. Neither one of us made a move to exit the truck. It was still raining pretty hard and I was just starting to dry off.

"Bella, can I ask you something?" I turned towards him, waiting for his question. "Why do you hate me?"

"I could ask the same thing from you. I think you hate me just as much. And I don't hate you. I just get irritated by you," I replied.

"Then why is it you can be nice to everyone, but me?" He wondered. "You flaunt yourself around in these irresistible little outfits, you flirt with Jake and all his friends right in front of me, just to drive me crazy."

"Don't flatter yourself. I didn't do this for you."

"So, who did you do it for then? Jake? Because I can tell you right now, Jake was bragging to all his friends about you being his girlfriend."

"Just because I want to look nice for a party doesn't mean I did it for anyone. If anything, I did it for myself," I disputed.

"This is what I mean. Everything I do or say is wrong."

"I said thank you today."

"It's not the point," he stated, getting out of the truck. I got out chasing after him as he headed towards the barn.

"Then, what is the point? I don't want to be rude to you all the time. But sometimes you say things and do things that piss me off and I react," I pointed out. "You get mad at me for flirting with some guys, but what the Hell were you doing all day? I saw how you were with all those girls. I saw Rebecca sitting on your lap and you seemed to be enjoying it quite nicely. So don't stand there and make me out to be the bad guy when you were doing the exact same thing." I stood there a few feet away from him in the pouring down rain, waiting for some smart comment in return, but he didn't say anything. He just stared at me.

After a few seconds, he slowly walked towards me, taking my drenched face in his hands and kissed me. I was not going to let him do this again. I was not going to let him have this type of power over me. I pulled away, pushing him off me. He stumbled back in utter shock when I did.

"We can't keep doing this. We can't fight and then have sex and make everything better again. It doesn't work that way. I can't do this anymore," I explained. I rushed back to the house, locking myself inside. I pulled the ties out of my hair roughly and kicked my heels off my feet. I ran upstairs and lied on my bed. I was still soaking wet but I didn't care. I was practically in tears and I didn't know why.

I thought back on all the things, which led up to this moment, trying to make sense of what was going on inside my head. Why did seeing him with those girls today make me so mad? Was I jealous? Was I actually falling for him? Everything inside of me was screaming yes, but I didn't want to listen. I couldn't fall for someone like him. He was nobody, a hired hand, a stable boy. What could I possibly ever see in him?

I peeked out my window, seeing him in the barn, getting all the horses in, out of the rain. I knew in that moment, I couldn't deny what I was feeling. I had definitely fallen for the stable boy and I wanted to be with him. I rushed down the stairs and out the front door, barefoot. I ran along the path to the barn through the rain, stopping about half way when I saw Edward look up from what he was doing. We stared into each other's eyes for a brief second. He dropped the rope he had in his hands and started running towards me. I rushed to him, colliding into him with an urgent kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling myself closer to him. His arms were wrapped around me tightly, lifting me up. I wrapped my legs around his torso as we kissed with so much passion and need. He carried me back into the barn and up the stairs to his room.

Once we were in his room, I removed the wet dress from my body and helped him remove his drenched clothes as well. He gently laid me down on the bed, hovering over me and kissed every imaginable part of my body. His lips and warm breath felt so good against my wet, cold skin. Things were different this time. He took things slow and he wasn't as rough or forceful. He was gentle and caring towards me. I liked it. I had never had someone give me so much tenderness before. When he finally entered me, it wasn't forceful like the other times. He was slow, letting me feel every thrust. It made the intensity of the orgasm so much stronger. Every time I cried out his name, he would tremble. He whispered sweet little things in my ear, between nipping at my neck. It made me smile with every word he spoke.

After, well over an hour, of foreplay and actual sex, I fell asleep in his arms, exhausted, from the day. He held on to me tightly, intertwining our legs, as he gently traced a line down my side with the tips of his fingers.

Sometime in the night, I woke up to a loud booming sound. I jumped and even whimpered from the sound. Edward moved beside me, coming closer to me on the bed.

"It's okay, Bella," he insisted. "It's only thunder and lightning. It can't hurt you." He brushed the hair out of my face with his fingers, looking deep into my eyes.

"It sounds really close," I revealed. "What if it hits something?"

"It's not as close as you think. Watch out the window and when you see the flash, start counting the seconds until you hear the thunder," he suggested. We both watched out the window, waiting to see the flash. Once we saw it, we started counting in sync. "One… Two… Three…" We counted until we reached twelve and that's when the thunder started rolling in the sky. "Now, divide twelve by five and that's how many miles away it is. So it's about two and a half miles away."

"It's still really close," I agonized. He chuckled.

"Didn't you ever have thunder and lightning in the Hollywood hills?"

"Not like this." He sighed, wrapping a protective arm around my shoulders.

"Sleep Bella," he whispered, kissing me on the forehead. "I'll protect you." When he said he'd protect me and he held me close to him, I believed him. I knew as long as I was with him, I'd always be safe.

Important A/N: When I first started writing this story, I knew I was going to be pressed for word allowance. When I hit 17,000 words and I was no where near being done, I decided I needed to break it in half. So, this is the first half. I'm irritated because I really want to tell the whole story, but I'll go over my word allowance, which would disqualify me for the contest. So if you like where it's going so far, then come back after the contest is over and I'll be posting the second half. It's pretty much already written so it'll just wait on my desktop until I can post it. Hope everyone enjoyed this first half and please don't forget to come back to vote on June 25th-July 9th if you liked it. Thank you for reading :)