Did I say Wednesday? I meant really late Sunday night/early Monday morning :) Thank you all for the reviews, fav's and alerts!

Thanks to Kitty Cullen-03. She's my beta goddess and I couldn't do this without her. Also to TwiOthGirly, who has agreed to pre-read. You girls are amazing.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all of its characters.

Don't Want To Try

My arm fell limply to my side as Ben released me and ran. He cut over a few yards before disappearing into the darkness, leaving Rosalie and me alone to deal with what I was sure would be a mess once the cops arrived. The click of her phone shutting caused me to cringe. I wasn't scared of Ben, not really, but after the night's turn of events I was on edge. Every little sound was startling as we waited for him to come back. He didn't.

Rosalie was looking at me expectantly. All I could do was stare at her through narrowed slits and wonder what she was thinking. It wasn't the first time the police had been called into one of our altercations, but it was the first time that I knew for certain who made the call. It was also the first time that things resorted to physical violence of that magnitude. Humiliation and anger caused a painful knot in my gut.

My relationship with Ben was complicated. We were both brats with inflated egos; neither of us willing to let the other go, yet, constantly trying to get them to change. What we had had nothing to do with love. We were sick – obsessed – and didn't care who we brought down in our game. Of course, we went through the motions of a normal, happy couple. We said our "I love you's" at all the right times, our families spent holidays and birthdays together, I cheered him on at his baseball games, and he supported me in any new activity I picked up. In the beginning, "the newlywed stage", things were great. So many times I tried to pinpoint when and where the change took place, but if I was honest with myself I would have seen that the answer was as simple as – we just didn't belong together.

Five minutes passed and the police had yet to show. My body and my mind were both exhausted. Rose took a step forward and reached for my hand. I let her take it. As much as I wanted to believe that Ben and I would move past another fight, my heart was broken and somewhere deep down I knew that that was it. Things would never be the same.

Brenda, Ben's stepmom came out of the house wearing her pajamas, a pair of boxer shorts and an oversized t-shirt. She didn't say anything as she made her way over to us, simply slipped her arm around my waist and laid her head on my shoulder. Brenda was young. Only eight years older than me, but her soul seemed ancient. She and Mark were married when she was twenty-four and him a young forty. I didn't know much about her. I didn't want to pry, but from what Ben told me about her I gathered she had been in a similar relationship to mine before she married Mark. Somehow having her there made the clenching of my heart a little more bearable, so I welcomed her embrace.

"What happened?" she finally asked.

"Rose called the cops and he ran," I responded a little too harshly.

"More than that happened, Bella," Rosalie glared at me as she spoke. "He almost broke your arm, not to mention those nasty cuts on your neck. You make it sound like I did something wrong. If I hadn't called do you really think you'd be standing here right now? No," she answered, not giving me time to speak. "You know why? Because you would most likely be on your way to the hospital to have a cast put on. Quit deluding yourself, Bella. Ben's not a good guy."

"You didn't have to call them. I would have been fine. You know he wouldn't have done it," I lied. Not even I knew he wouldn't have done it.

"Bella, sweetie, Rose did the right thing." Brenda looked up at me with an expression I didn't quite comprehend. "I wasn't here to see what happened, but this thing between the two of you has gone too far. I love you both and the last thing anyone wants is to see one of you hurt."

"Thanks, Brenda," I sniffed, tears beginning to well up in my eyes once again.

"You're welcome, Sugar. I'm going back inside. Ya'll want to come in?" She looked at us, waiting for our answers. We both shook our heads. "Alright, I'll send Mark out once the police get here."

"What a fucking mess," I grumbled, moving away from Rosalie and taking a seat against the curb.

A couple minutes later a white and blue cop car rounded the corner. I sat still, burying my head in my hands to hide the rolling of my eyes. I knew the motions. It was always the same. He'd ask me if I want to press charges, give me his best shot at a brief counseling session, hand me a card with a bunch of domestic violence help numbers on it, and give me a few last words of encouragement before leaving.

The screen door opened and shut behind me. I turned to glance at Mark. His face was emotionless as usual. The officer stepped out of his car and stated that someone had called. Of course we all already knew that. Traitor Rose was standing right there and didn't hesitate to speak up, telling him that it had been her and explaining the situation. He wanted to know where Ben was. None of us knew, and frankly, Rosalie was the only one that cared. Mark was tired of our shit and had already threatened to ban me from his home.

As expected, Officer Wilson took me to his car and asked if I would like to press charges. Twenty minutes after saying no I stepped out of the car fully stocked; one white card, two pamphlets, and an ear full of "you are worth it". I smiled and waved as he drove away. When I turned around to face Rosalie and Mark he was watching her carefully. She wasn't his favorite person and just like his son, he didn't mind letting her know.

"Well that was a waste. Thank you, Rosalie. I'm going to head out," my voice was softer and smaller than I'd intended.

"G'night, Bella," Mark drawled in his heavy Southern accent. He didn't appear to be too upset, at least not with me, so I smiled genuinely when I replied.

"Night, Mark." I waved before watching him turn on his heel and head back into the house. I was acutely aware of Rosalie standing off to the side watching me.

"Bella-" she began. My hand shot up as to say 'not now'. I didn't want to hear her excuses. We all, Brenda, Mark, and I, knew why she did it, and in truth couldn't blame her. I just wasn't in the mood to discuss it.

"I'll call you in the morning, Rose," I said with a sigh. She didn't reply or make an attempt to move. I walked back over to her house and got into my truck.

All the lights were off at my house as I pulled up to the curb. A gush of air left my lungs. I was relieved that I wouldn't have to deal with my parents. Charlie, my dad, was ready to throw me out. Not because he didn't love me, but because he was worn out. He was ready to stop raising kids and settle into retirement. I knew I should have gotten my shit together and at least tried to move on, but I wasn't ready, and Renee never made me. She was more than willing to foot the bill for my lifestyle.

My parents had me late. Renee was forty, Charlie was forty-six. They both worked hard to insure our family's happiness and well being. He was a Vietnam Vet without a college degree, but managed to open and solely run two successful courier services. Renee was an attorney for the state, and a class A workaholic. She used to joke (sometimes still does) that she had to keep up the hours to keep up with her daughters.

My sister Cass and I were never super close. She was six years older than me, and in her eyes it wasn't exactly cool to have her little sister tagging along. Once I hit my teens she was the first person to give me a cigarette, take me to a drag show, get me stoned, and the one that convinced my parents I needed birth control. She was the person I called the first and only time I tripped acid and freaked, but those instances were rare. She knew little about my life, and the things I knew about hers were because I read them in the pages of her journal. Occasionally she would want to hang out and took me places that were way out of my league, but I always had fun. I looked up to her for her strength; she admired me for my sense of fashion. When I was sixteen she moved to Florida. I would visit her at least once a year, and she would come home for holidays, but still, we rarely talked otherwise.

Mom often paid the bills Cassie couldn't cover which infuriated my dad to no end. He thought we should be able to fend for ourselves once we left home. She told me once he threatened divorce if she didn't go to therapy. He believed that her desire to take care of us was also her way of controlling us, and that the longer it continued the worse off we would be.

Cassandra was married just after I met Ben, and but other than that, not much had changed.

We were a pretty average American family, but what family doesn't have their shit?

I walked through the front door, feeling much calmer than before. My parent's home had that effect on me. That was one of the reasons I found it so hard to leave. The long hallway that ran from the front door to the kitchen was illuminated by a nightlight, making it much easier for me to get to my destination without killing myself along the way. As I rounded the corner at the split, just before the kitchen, I was nearly run over by my dad.

"Bella? I didn't expect to see you tonight." He didn't look shocked to see me at all. He probably heard my car pull up and ran out of his bedroom.

"Yeah, well, I thought I could spend the day with mom tomorrow." I offered a small smile, hoping my answer would appease him. I just wanted to go to bed.

"She'll like that, honey. It would be nice if you could do that more often. She really misses her girls you know."

"I know."

"What happened?" He pointed to my chest. I silently cursed the nightlight. He didn't need yet another reason not to like Ben. Things were strained between the two of them as it was.

"What?" I looked down as if I had no clue what he was referring to.

"What happened to your shirt?" I could almost hear the rolling of his eyes.

"Oh, um, nothing. Ben accidently scratched me." I looked down. I was a terrible liar and he could see right through me.

"Hm, accidently, huh? Were you guys fighting?"

"Yeah." My hand came up to my face, rubbing over it vigorously. I hated talking to Charlie about things that happened between Ben and me. Out of all my family and friends he was the most opinionated on the subject.

"Look, I know you don't want my advice, but I'm your father and I am going to give it to you anyway. You and that boy are no good for each other. One day something's going to happen, he's going to hit you, or you're going to hit him, or even worse one of you is going to end up dead. You need to leave him alone, Bella," his tone was harsh, just as he intended. Charlie always meant well, but it was my life, I was an adult, and I had to make my own choices. He was stuck in his ways, and once he had an opinion there was no changing it, so there was no point in arguing my side. Besides, after what happened I wasn't sure I had anything to defend.

"I know. Thanks, Dad."

He grumbled, shaking his head, as I walked past him to my bedroom door. We both knew that while I heard what he said I hadn't really listened. That was how ninety percent of our conversations went.

"Goodnight," I said softly.

"Yup. Night, Bells," he called over his shoulder before heading for the kitchen. I sighed, pushing open my bedroom door. Even if I didn't want to listen to what he had to say, I felt bad that I continuously disappointed both him and my mom.

Closing the door behind me, I dropped my bag onto the floor and trudged the short distance to my bed. My room was average for a second bedroom. The south, east, and west walls were all a bright cherry red and the south was wallpapered with black and white swirls. There was a white wicker dresser that sat against the east wall. It was short and I often used it as a desk. On the south wall was a smaller wicker chest that held my TV. My bed was pressed flush against the west wall with the headboard up against the north. I had two large closets that were completely stuffed with clothes, shoes, and books. It was a comfortable environment which is why I jumped on the opportunity to take it once Cass moved out.

I sat down and took off my shoes before fishing through my sheets for the remote. I turned on the TV and found myself lucky that reruns of That 70's Show were playing on Fox. I needed something light hearted and comical, and it happened to be one of my favorites. The only noise in the house was Charlie scrimmaging through the refrigerator. Not wanting a confrontation I decided to wait until he went to bed to perform my nightly routine. He let me off pretty easy when I came in, but once he had a few minutes to think about it, I knew he would have more to say.

Fifteen minutes later, Charlie shut the door to his and Renee's bedroom. I jumped up, really needing to use the restroom and scrounged around for a pair of pajamas. My bathroom was right next to my room and everything I needed to get ready was already there. No one ever used it unless I had guests, which was rare.

After taking a quick shower, brushing my teeth, throwing on my boxers and tank, and thoroughly towel drying my hair, I stood in the mirror inspecting my chest. The cuts weren't that deep, but would definitely leave scars if not properly taken care of. I fished the first aid kit out from under the sink and dowsed the three long lines with peroxide before smothering them with an antibacterial cream and covering them with gauze. They still felt fresh, especially after the shower. The sting wasn't anything unbearable, but definitely an unwelcomed reminder of the night's events.

When I got back to my room I fished my phone out of my backpack. The tiny alert indicator was flashing blue. With a sigh I flipped it open and sighed again when I saw three missed calls, one voicemail, and two texts. I had hoped that it was just Rose calling to apologize. No such luck. All six alerts belonged to Ben.

Thinking the voicemail would give me more insight as to what to expect when I did talk to him, I listened to it first. The only thing he said was "where are you?" before Mark told him to hang up the phone. For some reason I felt lighter, nearly relieved, knowing that he was home. I read the text messages next.

How could you let her do that?

Are you home? We need to talk. I'm so sorry.

And the sad thing was… I believed him.

So I sent a text back.

Home. Not tonight. I'm worn. See you in the morning. I love you.

Two minutes later he replied.

I love you back.

Those words flowed so easily for us both, even though I doubt they were ever true. Obsess, possess, lust, and settle would have been more fitting. However, I guess "I settle for you" wouldn't be the appropriate thing to say to a boyfriend.

I didn't lie when I told Ben I was worn. My body was tired, as was my mind. I plugged my phone into the charger and sat it on the nightstand. My alarm was set for eight since he had to be to work by noon and I had every intention of going to his house the next day. I climbed into bed, snuggling under the covers, and turning towards the TV. My body immediately relaxed and thanked me for getting off my feet. I watched That 70's Show until I drifted into a peaceful sleep.

When my alarm went off the next morning I woke with a smile on my face. I slapped the alarm, effectively cutting the noise, and closed my eyes. Edward Cullen's beautiful face was all I could see. A funny feeling, something similar to déjà vu, washed over me. It took me a few minutes to recall why, but when I did the revelation took me by surprise. The night before my dreams were filled with malachite pools, unruly hair, and long fingers running through it. I grew irritated at the warm feeling reliving my dream brought me. While I was normally a great sleeper, I didn't often dream, and when I did I usually tried to analyze them. I believed that your dreams stemmed from your subconscious, but there was absolutely no reason for my subconscious to care a thing about Edward. We (my subconscious and I) didn't even know him.

I huffed, sitting up, and throwing the covers off of my body. My room was still dark thanks to the black blinds, so I switched on a lamp. A smile spread across my face at the sound of my parents sitting in the kitchen having their morning coffee. Charlie and Renee weren't overly affectionate in public, but there were little things in their daily routine that showed how much they cared for one another. Like the way he woke up before he needed to spend time with her each morning, or the way they pecked each other's lips before pulling out of the driveway when they rode together. I wanted that one day - those tiny declarations of love.

I slipped on my big fluffy blue robe as to not assault Charlie's eyes and walked out of my room to the kitchen. I stopped and smiled at them in the doorway. Neither had noticed me, so I took a few minutes to admire them before walking in further and kissing the top of Renee's head.

"Morning," I said, pulling away and walking over to the cabinet to pull out a coffee cup.

"Mornin', baby. I'm glad to see you up and in such a chipper mood," Renee said, the smile evident in her tone. "Your dad mentioned that you may want to spend time together today. I was thinking we could go shopping."

My words from the night before came rushing back to me. I had intended to spend the day with her, but after Ben's text I knew we did need to talk. I sat my mug on the counter and deliberated as I poured and fixed my coffee. Turning on my heel, I noticed both of my parents' gazes were on me. I took a seat in the chair across from Renee and stared down at my cup. Shopping did sound nice, and I knew that the time to myself, without Ben's influence, to think would be good for me. On the other hand, if I didn't go to his house it would only cause another fight. I decided I didn't care.

"Shopping sounds great, Mom."

Charlie acknowledged me with an approving nod and a smile.

We finished our coffee in relative silence. Charlie was going into the office early, so he left us to get himself ready. Renee said she had a few things to do online, but would be ready soon and left the room as well. I sat, picking a napkin apart, trying to decide whether or not I even wanted to call Ben.

Standing up from the table, I hit my hip on the sharp edge. A hiss escaped my lips before a string of profanities were muttered under my breath. I made my way into my bedroom and picked up my phone. I figured a text would be best since we hadn't actually spoken since he ran off. Besides, if I had called he would have talked me into coming over. Renee would be upset about the extra charges, but I had a month before the bill came and would warn her before it did.

Sorry. I forgot I told mom I'd spend time with her. Pick you up 6?

Ben worked at a barbeque place down the street from his house, so he would usually walk and I would pick him up on my way over to his house. I thought if he realized I intended on seeing him he might not be as upset about me bailing on him that morning.

I sat my phone down and started to get ready. A few minutes later my phone chirped.

See you at 6. I love you

I smiled at the simplicity of his reply and sent one equally as simple in return.

I love you back.

Two hours later Mom and I were walking around Cool Springs mall with one bag in each of our hands. Renee believed that shopping could solve anything, and I must admit, it did seem to always provide temporary relief for whatever problem I was having.

We stopped to grab a cup of coffee and biscotti from Coffee Bean. Renee and I both liked to people watch, so it became a regular occurrence for us to sit and chit chat outside of the coffee shop for a while. She told me that Dad had informed her of my condition the night before. I had no reason to be embarrassed. She knew what mine and Ben's relationship was like, but for some reason I was ashamed. There was no doubt that she understood on some level what I was going through. She had been married two times prior to marrying Charlie, and her first husband was an alcoholic. While their relationship was never physically abusive, she endured emotional abuse to an extent that I would never be able to comprehend. The difference between her and me, though, was that I encouraged and often started the fights Ben and I had.

The afternoon wore on. I was always ready to stop shopping before Renee. She could spend from opening to closing in a mall, where I could only last a few hours before I was itching for a change in scenery. I never complained, especially not that day. I enjoyed the time we spent together. My relationship with Ben had become suffocating. It was nice to do something that didn't involve him.

When we pulled into the drive way at 5:30 I quickly jumped out of the car and helped Mom carry the bags into the house before kissing her goodbye. I wasn't sure if I would be back, but opted to forgo an overnight bag. If I ended up staying I could just borrow something from Ben or Brenda. I did, however, grab my laptop. That thing was like an extension of me, and I had missed it that week. Besides, the thought of having to watch Ben and his little brother watching Halo all night wasn't in the least bit appealing.

I skipped out of my house, happier than I'd been in two weeks. Our outing had been good for me. Getting in the car, I threw my laptop case in the passenger seat and turned on the engine. Whitt's was only a couple miles from my house, so it wouldn't take me long to get there. As I got closer my anxiety started to grow. I fidgeted with the radio, looking for something to distract my mind. Thinking about the pending argument wouldn't do me any good.

Ben was waiting for me outside, even though I was a couple minutes early. Seeing him definitely didn't bring me any relief, but it also didn't spur the feelings of awe and lust I was used to feeling either. He was, without a doubt, one of the most attractive men I had ever seen. His dark chocolate hair was cropped short in the back and he had longer bangs hanging in the front. His brown eyes were almond shaped, rimmed with thick, brown, feather lashes. His heart shaped lips made it appear as though a smile was constantly adorning his face. He had flawless olive skin that anyone could admire. He was always well dressed, even at the gym he only wore the best. That day was no exception. He had on his appointed uniform shirt, with a pair of distressed jeans that had been slashed to perfection. His Nike's were crisp white, without a single smug, and his hat was canary yellow, to match the lettering on his t-shirt, with a blue hornet in the center. Any other day I would have been wiping the drool from my chin.

He walked to the car at an agonizingly slow pace. I could tell he was happy to see me. I frowned. If only the feeling had been mutual. Once he was inside I lowered the radio and put the car in drive. Ben leaned over the console and placed a kiss on the side of my neck.

"How was your day?" he asked, placing my laptop under his legs.

"Good. We went shopping. How was work?"

"Long. I couldn't wait to see you." His placed his hand on my leg and began rubbing circles on the inside of my thigh. I pursed my lips. He definitely had a one track mind. If we hadn't been together for a year I would have chalked it up to him being an eighteen year old male.

"Stop it, Ben. You said you wanted to talk. That's why I came."

"I do want to talk, but I missed you. You already know I'm sorry, Bella. We can talk about what happened later. Right now I would like to just spend some time with you, if that's okay."

"I think we should take a break." My eyes widened. What the hell was I saying and where did it come from?

"What?" He pulled his hand away quickly. He adjusted his body so he could look at me head on. I gulped, trying to gather my thoughts. I knew how I was feeling, but putting it into words proved to be difficult.

"We've been spending too much time together lately. I can't breathe, Ben. We're both angry all the time, and last night… We can't live like that. Maybe some time apart would be good for us." Yes, that sounded much better than saying, 'I don't think I'm in love with you'.

"No. I don't want that." He shook his head. The way he spoke made it sound so simple. Like he wasn't happy with my decision so it wasn't an option. I pulled up outside of his house and cut off the car. I sat back in my seat and tightened my grip on the steering wheel.

"But I do." I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

"Are you coming in?"

"I don't think I should." My eyes didn't open as I answered him. Everything with Ben and me was more complicated than it should be. Everything.

"Please, come in," he said quietly, brushing my cheekbone with the back of his hand.

I sighed, grabbing my laptop, opening the door, and climbing out of the truck. Ben looked a little smug as we made our way to the front door. Inside, Brenda, Mark, Jared, and Ben's younger brother, Seth, were sitting in the living room watching television. Ben said a quick hello, prompting me to wave as we made our way to his room. I sat my laptop down on his desk and turned to face him. He was stripping out of his clothes. I quickly averted my eyes. After telling him I needed a break watching would have felt like an intrusion.

"Why are you trying to leave me?" he questioned walking towards me. I chanced a glance at him and was thankful that he'd already slipped on a pair of basketball shorts.

"I'm not leaving you. I just think we could both use a break." He continued walking. With each step he took, I took a step back. My knees hit the back of his queen size futon, causing me to fall on my ass with a thud.

He took my chin between his fingers and lifted my head. Tears formed in my eyes as I saw the resolve on his face. There was no way I was getting what I wanted without a fight, and I had no fight left. His knees came up to sit on each side of my thighs. The heat from his body on top of mine was making it hard for me to think.

"You don't love me anymore?" It was a question I had heard from him before. He was trying to guilt me into staying.

His lips brushed over my jaw line as his fingers trailed gently up my arms. An involuntary shiver spread throughout my body. He chuckled against my skin before kissing his way down to my neck.

"I do," I whispered, tilting my head to give him greater access. His hands gripped the hem of my shirt, tugging it up over my head. I didn't protest, although I knew I should have. Ben didn't miss a beat.

"You have to be quiet or they'll hear you," he said, nipping at my collar bone. He planted two solid kisses across the mesh that covered my wounds, and with his hands on my shoulders, pushed me to lay back.

I remained completely silent as he kissed down my chest, stopping to lick over the plush skin of my breast that had been pushed up by my bra. My nipples instantly puckered under his touch. I should have put a stop to it. I still had every intention of us spending some time apart, but in my mind I concluded being with him one last time would make for a happy goodbye.

His hands roamed my body freely as he licked down my abdomen. My belly quivered as his tongue swept across the skin just above the waistband of my jeans. Up until that point I had resisted the urge to touch him. I tangled my fingers in his hair, moaning in encouragement.

"I need to taste you." He popped open the button of my jeans and positioned himself between my legs.

"We need to talk," I said gruffly.

"Later," he insisted, sliding down the zipper. He palmed my pussy, giving it a gentle squeeze before standing up.

He pulled my pants down in one swift movement. We both laughed as the left leg caught on my foot and he struggled to remove it. He crawled between my legs and looked up as me as he placed a single chaste kiss on the lace covering my sex. The look in his eyes nearly took my breath away. It was at that moment I realized that Ben was grasping at strings. He was using sex to try and put us back together.

"Stop." I sat up quickly. He looked up questionably, but didn't say anything. "We can't. Not without talking first. Last night…" I shook my head, unsure of how to describe the way he made me feel. "Things got out of hand and you really scared me."

"I wasn't going to break your arm, Bella. That crazy bitch next door was chasing me with… I don't even know what that was, and I needed to get her off my back. Did you really think I was going to hurt you?" He sat up on his knees and took my face between his hands.

"You did hurt me," I whispered, looking down.

"I know and I'm sorry," he sighed, moving to sit beside me. He rested his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands. If he was trying to break my resolve he was doing a fine job. He really did look regretful.

"Why did you run?" I asked suddenly.

"Why did you let her call the fucking cops?" he snapped back at me. That wasn't the reaction I was expecting. I knew he was mad, but how could he be upset with me about that? If it hadn't been Rose it would have been another neighbor. It wasn't like either of us worked to keep our argument quiet.

"I didn't have much of a choice. You had my arm twisted behind my back. The whole thing could have been avoided if you would have just listened to me."

"No, the whole thing could have been avoided if you didn't insist on spending time with your ex-boyfriends." I lay back, pulling the cover up my body and tucking it under my arms.

"Mike's my friend," I stated in a matter of fact tone.

"A friend you've had sex with a lot. I remember your stupid arrangement. I know the second this is over you'll be with him again." He was wrong. There was a chance that Mike and I would be together again, but it wasn't something we planned.

"That's not true. Yeah, we hooked up occasionally when we're both single, but that's not the case right now for either of us. He really is a good friend, and has been for a long time. There is more to our friendship than sex."

"I'm sorry I overacted," he said without emotion. His apology left me feeling emptier than I had before.

"But you can't promise that it won't happen again," it was a statement, not a question.

"No." There it was. I appreciated his honesty, but almost wished he had lied. He couldn't tell me that things would be different. He couldn't promise that in two years we wouldn't be in the exact same place. I knew I had to stand my ground, and at the very least take a few days to think.

We talked awhile longer before Brenda knocked on the door and asked if we were hungry. We sat and ate dinner with his family as if nothing happened, but the looks of disbelief Brenda was shooting me didn't go unnoticed. I had never talked to her about our relationship before and wasn't about to start. She was a sweet woman, but in the end, she was still Ben's step-mother.

The boys wanted to play Halo after dinner, so I went to get my laptop. I sat in an AOL chat room for a little over an hour before my lids started to get heavy. I got off of the couch and walked back into the bedroom to get my keys.

When I walked back out Ben was glaring in my direction. I sighed heavily, knowing he would want me to stay. He stood up; tossing the remote in front of the game console, and telling the boys he was done. I guided me back into the bedroom by the elbow. He begged me to stay the night, and I agreed on one condition – he would let me leave the next morning and give me a few days to myself.

He didn't try to have sex with me again that night. I was irrationally disappointed. Taking a break was my choice, but feeling like he didn't want me was a blow to my ego. When we went to bed we snuggled and laughed like nothing was wrong. That was the way things always were. All of our problems were stored away for the next big fight, where they would undoubtedly surface.

I didn't remember falling asleep that night, but when I was woken by my cell phone, at one-thirty the next morning, Ben's arms were wrapped around me tight. I snaked my body out of his arms and got up to see who was calling so late. Squinting to check the caller ID, I cursed. It was a number I didn't recognize and was pissed that someone had brought me out of my slumber for what I presumed was nothing.

"Hello," I snapped.

"Uh, Bella?" the liquid sex sounding voice of a man asked. I pulled the phone back again to check the caller ID. I knew that voice. I had dreamed about that voice the night before.

"Yes?" I said wearily.

"Hey, it's Edward. I, um, got your number from Mike." I was glad he sounded almost as nervous as I felt.

"What's up?" I asked, trying to remain calm. Butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I chanced a peak over at Ben to make sure he was still sleeping.

"Where you sleeping?"

"Mhm," I answered, nodding, even though he couldn't see me.

"Oh. I should let you go. I'm sorry. I'm at this party and I needed a ride. I shouldn't have-" I cut him off without thinking. I couldn't explain why, but I wanted to see him and wasn't going to pass up the opportunity.

"Where are you?"

"Brentwood." It was roughly a twenty minute drive, depending on where in Brentwood he was, but I couldn't bring myself to care. There was no way I would be going back to sleep anyway.

"I'll come get you. I'm going to have to call you back, though. Is this your number?"


"Give me like 10 minutes to get ready. I'll call you when I'm in the car."

"Thanks," he sounded happy, or relieved, or maybe both. I don't know. I just knew I was going to pick up Edward Cullen, repercussions be damned.

"You're welcome."

I flipped the phone shut, ending our call and looked over at Ben's sleeping form. I debated on whether or not I should wake him up and decided on the latter. As quietly as possible I changed out of Ben's button down and got dressed before walking around the room gathering my belongings. Luckily, I slipped out of the house undetected and ran to my car. Digging my phone out of my pocket, I went to my call list and found Edward's number. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face and took a minute to calm myself. I didn't want to sound overly eager or giddy.

Just as I was about to hit the talk button I saw movement in my window. I jumped, startled, and turned to see who was there. It was Rose. With my hand over my chest, I rolled my eyes and motioned for her to open the door.

"What are you doing?" Is what she said, but 'what happened?' was what she meant. She always assumed the worse when it came to Ben and me.

"Going to pick up Edward." I heard her audibly gasp. My smile turned into a smirk.

"Shut up. Why?" Her eyes were wide with disbelief. I knew she had many questions, but I didn't really have the time to give her a lot of answers.

"He's at some party and needs a ride home." I shrugged.

"I'm coming," she said excitedly. Her eyes were dancing in delight. I could tell she was scheming, but didn't care to ask what was going on in that demented head of hers.

"Get in," I chuckled. She plopped down in the seat beside me, nearly bouncing. I went back to my phone and found Edward's number again. Hitting talk, I silently questioned my own intentions.