So I know it's been like.. 15 years. At this point, I won't even ask for forgiveness. I looked back and realize that I literally wrote this when I was 13 years old. That was five years ago. I think I'm going to give this story one more official go, but the plot and characterization will be headed in a pretty different direction, so if you've read this before, I'd suggest starting over. Trust me, this version will be a whole lot better. Thank you to all of you who messaged me and reviewed and still ask me to update. This is still going to be a slow ride, but I hope it'll be worth it.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns it all.
I bit my lip nervously as I headed out the door on my way to Fork's High. The new kids-the Cullens- were supposed to be arriving today. In such a small town, everyone was excited for some change. Honestly, I felt bad for them. I was the new kid here two years ago, and it had not been a fun experience. People stared, whispered, and spread rumors by lunch.
Jessica Stanley's mom told Jessica, who told Angela Weber, who told me, that there were two girls and three guys. Apparently, Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his wife Esme adopted five kids after finding out that she couldn't have children of her own. Jess acted as if that made them snotty or something, but I personally thought that it was very generous of the couple.
By the time I got to the parking lot, it was half full and everyone was still waiting for the new car to show up. I parked in my regular spot and made my way to the back of my truck to check if I had any homework I had forgotten to do. As I sat on the edge of the bed, I pulled out a water bottle and gulped it down nervously to ensure that the morning hours weren't weakening me, as it normally did around the beginning of the week. I really wasn't a morning person. I typically looked like a zombie until I was able to do my daily routines.
First, I checked for puddles underneath my truck where no one else could see and repeatedly froze and unfroze the water by twitching my hand. After that, I casually looked at the ground and swung my foot side-to-side, focusing on moving random rocks around or occasionally breaking them apart.
During my 'exercises', I hadn't noticed the shiny silver Volvo enter the parking lot and its five occupants until I looked up.
I felt my eyes widen as I noticed the incredibly beautiful people just short of twenty feet away from me, but what concerned me was that my instincts screamed at me to get away, to get far, far away. Something about their beauty just screamed 'unnatural'. I decided to shake it off and take a better look at them.
First, I noticed the females. The short, pixie-like brunette looked to be shorter than me by quite a few inches with grace that would put any ballerina to shame. As for the blonde, her long blonde hair and generous curves were sure to be plummeting teenage girls' self-esteems everywhere, including myself.
The tallest boy holding hands with the brunette looked as if he were in pain under shaggy locks of honey blonde hair. The wrestler look-a-like had his arm wrapped around the blonde's waist and a big, dimpled grin on his face. He had dark hair cropped close to his head and massive arms.
The last one was model free as I saw him exit the car last. He had unruly reddish gold hair that stuck up in every which way on his head, a chiseled jaw, and a lanky body. As I looked closer at his face, I noticed that he looked younger than his siblings, and for some reason I felt compelled to get closer. It was probably just my hormones jumping for joy at the fact that he was the only one who appeared to be single.
Making up my mind to try to investigate further, I jumped down as the bell rang, unsuccessfully avoiding a puddle and getting my jeans wet.
I groaned softly as I saw that the puddle was so deep, the water had splashed up to my knees.
Making sure that no one was looking at me, I made the water slowly evaporate by wiggling my fingers and than resumed walking to class.
Halfway there, I realized that I forgot to put up the thing on the bed of my truck, so I turned around … and walked right into what seemed like a stone wall. A very good smelling stone wall. A wall that smelled almost too good.
I stumbled back, confused, only to face a dark grey clothed chest. Looking up, I realized that I had just walked right into one of the Cullens-the bronze-haired boy.
Up close, he was even more handsome than I could have imagined. He had high cheekbones, a sharp square jaw line, dark pouty lips, and the most gorgeous eyes I had ever seen. They were a deep topaz color surrounded by long thick lashes. I felt my breath hitch as his intense gaze locked with mine. I vaguely noticed my heart rate start to pick up and sputter. We were in some kind of a trance where the rest of the world seemed to fade away, and it was just the two of us.
Without breaking our stare, I awkwardly stuck my hand out and introduced myself.
"I'm Bella Swan."
His lips turned up into a smile as he reached his hand out and softly gripped my own. I was too dazed to notice the slight electric current shocking me with his touch. Ugh, his hands are so soft.
"Edward Cullen. I'm new here. Might I ask where you're headed? The bell just rang…" Edward asked, somehow being able to pull off looking amused, confused, and sexy at the same time. God, his voice is like pure honey.
"Well, I-I forgot to do something, but I see that it can wait, considering that I'm gonna be late any minute now…Oh, um, do you, or maybe your family, need any help with getting around? I know it seems like a really small school, but for some reason the buildings that are numbered aren't located near each other in chronological order, not to mention the buildings that aren't numbered are just labeled with random letters and scattered throughout the campus…" I knew I was rambling, but between his sparkling eyes, crooked smile, and velvet voice, I was surprised my knees were still capable of even holding me upright.
This time he was blatantly grinning at me, which didn't help my current state in the slightest bit. Suddenly though, his amusement was replaced by annoyance. What the hell? How have I already offended him?
About a millisecond later, the smallest Cullen, the brunette girl who reminded me of a pixie, skipped up to his side. Literally, she skipped. She also pointedly glanced between Edward and I's hands, which were still locked together. I almost couldn't pull mine back fast enough as I felt my face start to heat up. I had barely noticed that we were still holding hands.
"Well, hello there. I didn't realize Edward was making a new friend. My name's Alice." She giggled. Her voice was like bells, high pitched and tinkling.
Alice had a very small and petite body, but no less feminine. She reached to just about my shoulder with a small heart shaped face and very delicate features. I noticed that she, too, had golden colored eyes. Interesting.
"I'm sorry Bella, but if you don't mind, I'm going to have to steal Edward away so we can pick up our schedules in the office." She gave me an apologetic gaze and looked at Edward, who was glaring at her. They shared a look before Edward sighed and turned to me.
"I do apologize. I hope to see you later, Bella." He smiled crookedly at me again and nodded his head before walking away with his sister towards the office building.
I blinked, wondering what the hell had just happened. And then started running towards my first class as I realized that the late bell had already rung. Fantastic.
By the time lunch had rolled around, the whole school knew about the Cullens.
I already knew Alice and Edward from the bizarre exchange in the parking lot this morning, which left Rosalie and Jasper Hale to be the blonde twins and the big guy Emmett. Everyone was trying to decide if the fact that most of them had paired off was creepy or not, even though the couples weren't blood related.
The boys tried pathetically to win the girls over while the female population was trying desperately to get Edward's attention.
Angela and I reached the cafeteria to find that the table we normally sat at was full of jocks planning to recruit the Cullen boys for the football team and 'popular' girls either sharing their brief interactions with Edward or plotting of how to get him.
We bought our lunch and headed to an empty table instead, not at all bothered by having to move. In fact, we were relieved to finally have an excuse to distance ourselves from that hellhole. The people who typically sat there were Mike Newton, Tyler Crowley, Eric Yorkie, Ben Cheney, Jessica Stanley, and Lauren Mallory. The boys usually talked about sports or who they'd smash, while the girls talked about lip-gloss and the latest fashion accessory. Not exactly Angela and my ideas of stimulating conversation.
"Hello. May we sit here?" a very familiar, very velvety voice asked just as I had pulled out my copy of Wuthering Heights. Edward and Alice stood in front of our table with their lunch trays, drawing the attention of almost all of the other tables in the cafeteria.
Angela looked up, widened her eyes and then looked at me, almost panicking.
I didn't know what to say, and couldn't very well tell them no either, so I just nodded.
I looked back at Angela and blinked, not knowing if we should even try to make conversation with the inhumanly beautiful people seated across from us, let alone how. When I looked back though, I was shocked to find Alice trying hard not to laugh at Edward, who was eyeing my book with mild disgust. My worry immediately flew out the door as hostility came rolling in to take its place.
I glared at him, which caused his eyes to meet mine.
"Do you have something against Wuthering Heights, Mr. Cullen?" I asked with narrowed eyes.
"Nothing, it's just, it looks very worn, is all...How many times have you read it?" He asked. Nice save.
Angela laughed and answered for me, "Oh, just about a million! I swear, every time she's not reading something on the required list for English, she's glued to that."
"Gee thanks, Ang." I said, pursing my lips. Edward noticed the action and seemed to be amused by it, although his eyes lingered on my lips long enough for me to notice.
"So, what classes do you guys have next?" Angela asked, thankfully changing the subject.
Alice answered, "I have History, and Edward has Biology."
"Angela and I have Bio next, too." I said. Just now realizing that there are three more in their family, I asked, "Hey, where are your siblings?"
"They didn't say where they'd be." Edward shrugged, but his eyes looked a little worried.
The bell rang and we all headed to our respective classes, but not before I noticed that neither Cullen had even touched their trays of food. I saved that thought for later and packed up my belongings. I heard a dull thud before Alice asked Angela to show her where the bathroom was and dragged her away before she could answer.
"Hey Bella, do you mind if we walk to class together? I'm not so sure where the room is yet." Just like that, Angela was the last thing on my mind as I tried to remember not to stare at Edward as he sheepishly smiled at me. Damn, even his crooked smile is perfect.
I blushed and nodded at Edward as we headed to the hallway. All he did was ask you to walk him to class, not for your hand in marriage.
I decided to try to be polite and start a conversation.
"So, why did your family move here? Most people in the world don't even know this town exists." He chuckled.
"My dad has this life goal of helping out as many small town hospitals around the world as he can." I raised my eyebrows, surprised at how good-hearted his parents really were.
"So how many times have you moved around? Where have you been?" Way to load the questions on him.
"We move about every three or four years, so roughly four or five times so far?"
I nodded thoughtfully and gestured to our classroom.
"Well, here's 21B. I'll let you introduce yourself to Mr. Banner. I think the only available seat is next to me, so I'll see you a bit." My calm façade was slipping rapidly as I realized that we would be lab partners for the rest of the year.
I walked towards my table, or I guess our table now, and had to stop myself from throwing my stuff down on the other side as I always did. Sitting diagonally from me was Angela, who dared to wave.
"How could you leave me alone with him like that?!" I whispered angrily at her. Her eyes widened.
"How was I supposed to know you're the only straight female on this planet who wouldn't want to be left alone with him?!" She whispered back.
I rolled my eyes at her and jerked my chin forward to let her know that Edward was making his way back here and that our conversation would have to wait. She could barely hold in her laughter as Edward politely thanked her for showing his sister where the bathroom was.
"Oh trust me, it was no problem at all."
Edward gracefully plopped down in the seat next to me and I had to physically restrain myself from straight up gulping in the sweet scent that filled the air around him.
"Long time no see," he grinned. Oh look, there goes my heart.
Before we could continue with any conversation, Mr. Banner started lecturing us on the water cycle. As if we weren't good acquaintances already.
I busied myself for the next hour and a half by doodling in my notebook and half-assing the notes we were supposed to be taking. Occasionally I could see Edward looking at me through the curtain of hair I had put between us and would blush, but was otherwise too shy to make any more conversation.
I didn't really know what to think about the Cullens, at least the ones that I've met. They say they're all adopted but that didn't explain how they all had golden eyes and pale skin and absolutely perfect features. Even though I hadn't met the parents, I had a feeling that they would look eerily similar. Maybe they all had some rare disease and Carlisle and Esme had sought them out in order to take care of them. That could explain why they didn't eat anything; they didn't have the appetite. My chest started to hurt at the thought that they all had limited time left in the world and were counting down their precious moments. Calm down, Bella, don't just jump to conclusions.
I took a deep breath to try to calm myself down.
Oh god, maybe that's why Dr. Cullen only likes working in small hospitals! To try to find more people infected and to take them under his wing!
I snuck another glance at Edward to see if he had any telltale signs of being sick. Thankfully, he was alternating between looking out the window and scribbling something in his notebook. The most obvious sign was the lack of color he had. He literally didn't seem to have any pigment in his skin. He had some dark circles under his eyes, but what teenager didn't? My eyes shifted down to his neck and shoulders and noted that he definitely had to work out. He was wearing a long sleeved sweater but it was thin enough for me to take in his tightly muscled arms and the way they flexed with every movement of his hand.
Someone definitely drank their milk and ate their vegetables growing up. There's no way he's in that good of a shape and dying. Fate wouldn't dare be that cruel to the female population.
The bell rang and snapped me out of my stupor. Shit! What if he caught me staring? I hurriedly stuffed my binder into my book bag and discreetly checked to see if I had any drool on my face. Real sexy, Swan.
"I'll see you around, Bella," Edward winked at me and left the classroom. I barely had time to respond before Angela swarmed me at my desk.
"So when's the wedding?"
"I'm thinking late fall; I don't wanna sweat like a pig on the best day of my life," I responded without missing a beat. Angela rolled her eyes at me and led the way out of the classroom.
"I better be the maid of honor."
"I'll think about it."
"What's there to think about? I'm your only friend." She had a point.
"You're still on probation for leaving me."
"What was I supposed to do, let Alice's bladder explode?"
"Obviously." We both knew my anger was long gone by now.
"Okay seriously, how did it go? You guys were making eyes at each other all period." I almost knocked over a freshman with my book bag in the hallway as I whirled towards her.
"Are you serious? Was it that obvious?"
"Not really, but you just confirmed it for me," she stated smugly.
"It's always the silent ones that turn out to be evil…" I muttered.
"You'll learn to be grateful when you guys have your third child. I fully expect it to be named after me," she grinned at me and walked into her last class of the day as I headed towards the gym. Shaking my head, I couldn't have been more thankful for a friend like Angela.
The rest of the day passed like a blur and I soon found myself walking to my car. Across the parking lot, I saw that Alice and Edward's siblings had returned, albeit not happily. They all seemed to be having a heated discussion before Edward suddenly looked my way. Shit, I really need to stop staring. The familiar heat crawled up my neck as I hurriedly started the engine and headed home.
I prepared some steak that I had left out to thaw that morning and than headed into the wooded area in the backyard to do some exercises. The deeper I went, the more jittery that I got. Something felt off.
It was a bit of a hike, but I finally made it to the familiar meadow that I had stumbled upon a few summers ago while looking for some peace and quiet.
Straightaway, I noticed that someone else had also found their way to the clearing. On the side opposite of me was a fresh trail that hadn't been there last week. If I hadn't been looking for it, I never would have noticed the slightly flattened grass or the broken twigs.
Curiosity got the best of me and I followed the trail while floating some small rocks around my hand, just in case.
After about a mile, I came to a very large white Victorian house with what looked to be three stories. There were separate, smaller buildings behind it and a long driveway.
And then with lightning speed, I turned around and started to head back home. Because not only was I trespassing on private property, but in that long driveway sat a shiny silver Volvo.
Edward Cullen's shiny silver Volvo.
I levitated a nearby boulder and sat on it before shooting myself forward as fast as I could. When I got to the clearing closer to my house, I moved the boulder into the more thickly wooded area and then ran the rest of the way back to my house.
By the time I came stumbling into the kitchen, I was panting as if I had been running a marathon and grabbed the water bottle from my bag and chugged it down before things could get out of control. After my bottle was empty, I still felt pretty flushed so I turned the sink on and let it naturally flow towards me so that I could absorb it like a sponge. I could practically feel my eyes turning into the bright blue they did every time I used my 'ability'.
After I was finished, I placed the prepared steaks into the oven and started working on the potatoes so that Charlie wouldn't have to wait long for a hot dinner. Just as I had finished setting the table, he walked in the front door.
"Hey Bells, what's for dinner?" He hung up his holster and jacket,
"Your favorite, steak and potatoes." I walked by and kissed his cheek before taking the food out of the oven where it had been kept warm. He blushed and pulled out a beer from the fridge before sitting down.
"Looks great. How was your day at school?"
"Interesting. Have you met the Cullens?"
"I met the father, Carlisle Cullen, today. Seems like a nice man, promised me that his kids wouldn't be any trouble. Pretty pale." I chuckled at his observation.
"His kids are like that too. I hope they didn't come here to get some sun." Charlie laughed and we finished our dinner silently.
That was how it had always been with us, quiet but comfortable. I liked to think that I took after both of my parents equally. Physically, I looked like Renee only with Charlie's eyes, but personality wise, I had his sense of humor with her brazenness while also finding comfort in solitude. Renee and Charlie had me right out of high school and had split up not long after. Charlie was too timid to try to fight for full custody, so I was left in my mom's care as we travelled around the U.S. and spent every other summer up in Forks. Two years ago, Renee married Phil, a minor league baseball player she was smitten for. I knew she wanted to tour with him instead of staying home with me, so I put my big girl panties on and decided to spend my last few years in high school in Forks with Charlie. There weren't many objections from either party.
After dinner, I stayed downstairs to work on homework while Charlie watched the game on TV. When I was done, we bid each other good night and I took a shower before going to sleep. I made sure that the cup of water on my bedside table was made of plastic. I shuddered as I remembered the last time I put a glass cup there.
Earlier I had checked the weather to confirm that it was raining, as usual, and left the window open and locked in place.
I fell asleep to thoughts of a particular pair of golden eyes and bronze hair.
I woke up in the morning with an unexplainable and excruciating headache. As I retrieved my toiletries, I found out why.
My window was closed.
I couldn't come up with a plausible excuse as to why or how my window could've closed during the night. It couldn't have just fallen shut because I made sure to lock it in place, like I do every night. I definitely didn't shut it myself unless I had a newfound talent for sleepwalking, and even if Charlie had unlocked my door to check on me, he definitely would've been too focused on the fact that his daughter looked like she was absorbing the rainwater than worrying about my chances of getting pneumonia.
It's too early for this. I pushed all thoughts out of my throbbing head and got ready for school, making sure to leave the bathroom faucet running so I could at least hydrate myself enough to make it through the next 8 hours.
When I came downstairs for breakfast, Charlie saw my grumpy expression and chose not to address it. I had to smile at how perceptive he was.
"Did you by any chance, come into my room last night?" I warily asked him.
"Why would I do that? Is something wrong?" Damn.
"No reason, I just couldn't find one of the flannels that I stole from you and thought you might've taken it back," I reassured him. Internally, however, I had chills crawling up my spine. If neither of us touched the window last night, who the hell did?
I looked at the clock and noticed that I had fifteen minutes until school started and ran out the door, mumbling something that vaguely resembled, "Have a nice day at work!" at Charlie.
My mood was instantly lifted as I noticed that the grounds were covered in ice. When it came to everyday situations, I had a reputation for tripping over my own feet, but walking on ice was pretty fun when you knew how to control it.
I slid my way to my truck and reveled in the fact that the whole day would be an exercise.
Thanking the heavens that Forks was such a small town, I pulled into the parking lot with five minutes to spare, surprised that my truck had barely slid on the road. I hopped out and slid to the back of the truck and noticed snow chains on my tires. Gotta love Charlie's overprotectiveness.
Just as that thought passed through my mind, a loud screeching made me whip around.
A dark blue van was skidding my way, and fast. Instantly, I flexed my hands and caused the iced in the path of the van to melt, but found that that had only delayed it by causing the vehicle to spin in the other direction, hitting the corner of a Sedan two spots away as it headed towards me yet again.
I cursed every tire company I could think of before tapping my right foot twice and watched as the pavement in the van's path crumbled to form gravel, but before I could turn it back into pavement, I saw a blur of white and bronze in my peripheral vision a fraction of a second before I was literally knocked off my feet. I felt my head snap back as two arms wrapped around my waist and pulled me upward to prevent it from smashing into the ground.
Once my vision stopped spinning, I noticed that my "savior" came in the form of a furiously suspicious Edward Cullen glaring down at me while he still had me in his arms.
"Your eyes are black." Edward blinked.
"I save your life and the first thing you notice is that my eyes change color?" His tone bordered between frustration and hysteria.
"No, the first thing I noticed is that the van stopped before it could reach where I was standing; the second thing I noticed is that you were across the parking lot, and the third thing I noticed is that people are rapidly approaching." He quickly let go of me and surveyed the oncoming crowd as I hastily took advantage of his distraction to refreeze the ice as well as reconstruct the pavement by clenching my fists. It only took seconds, but I still couldn't finish before Edward's eyes snapped back to mine and widened momentarily.
"Your eyes…" his whisper was cut off by Angela franticly pushing her way through the forming crowd while calling an ambulance.
He gave me one last look to let me know that our conversation wasn't over before ducking out of the scene. Jackass didn't even ask if I was okay. Not that I really gave him a chance.
I stood up to dust myself off and was immediately surrounded. Not long after, we saw the paramedics arrive.
No matter how much I refused, they still made me wear the damn neck brace. I conceded, but there was no freaking way I was going on that gurney, so I literally walked myself into the back of the ambulance, pissing them off profusely, and waited for them to ship me to Forks General Hospital.
It seemed that luck was not with me today as I was placed in the bed next to a bloody Tyler Crowley.
"I am so sorry, Bella, I didn't mean to-"
"Hey, hey, it's alright. It's, a, uh, good thing that Edward saved me." I stated, awkwardly.
"Edward? I didn't see him..." Tyler mumbled.
As if he heard his name being called, Edward appeared right as I muttered something along the lines of 'speak of the devil and he shall appear.
"Come here to gloat some more about how you saved my life?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm here to spring you out," Edward smiled tightly.
Just then, a handsome doctor who looked to be around his early 30's came into the room. I assumed he was Carlisle Cullen, from the paleness of his skin and his inhuman good looks.
"Hello, Miss Swan. My son here told me of the unfortunate events leading to this meeting," Oh, I'm sure, "-I wish we had met under better circumstances."
"I'm sure we would've met like this anyways; I have a notorious reputation here at ole' Forks General," I joked. I was grasping at straws to find ways to break the obvious tension.
"I can see that in your chart here," he noted amusingly. He walked closer to inspect my head. I briefly noticed that he, too, had golden eyes, just as I suspected.
His fingers were cold and hard as they probed for any obvious bumps. Satisfied, he concluded, "Well, you look to be just fine, but if you feel any pain or have any trouble with your vision just come back and see me, alright?"
I nodded and asked, "Does this mean I have to go home?" Dr. Cullen nodded.
"Then why does he get to go back to school?" I pouted, gesturing towards Edward.
"Someone has to spread the word that we survived." This time, a genuine, crooked grin appeared.
"Well, it seems that-"
Charlie walked in just then, interrupting Carlisle as he inspected me.
"Does your head hurt? Are you in pain? Who did this? Do I have to shoot anyone?"
Just as he asked that last question, Tyler stuck his head out and began to apologize profusely.
"I didn't mean to, sir, it was the ice, and it-"
Charlie shot him a dark look and pulled the curtain to separate the beds, effectively silencing him. "We're going home. Why don't you wait in the car while I sign the rest of the paperwork?"
I sighed and started to get down before Edward spoke up.
"Actually, sir, I can drive her home, with your permission. I know you're quite busy at the station and I don't mind. I've been excused from school for the day."
Charlie put his protective dad hat on and looked him up and down.
"And who might you be?"
"Chief Swan, meet my son, Edward Cullen. He was the one who pulled Bella out of the way before the van could hit her," Dr. Cullen answered.
Charlie looked at me and raised his eyebrow.
"As long as Bella's okay with it." I shrugged. "Thank you, Edward, Dr. Cullen. I owe you guys one. I don't know what I would have done if she had been hurt." He kissed the top of my head and made his way out, leaving me red in the face from his rare display of affection.
"You're all set, Bella. It was nice meeting you. Again, I'm sorry about the circumstances," Dr. Cullen politely excused himself, leaving me with his youngest son.
Ignoring his questioning eyes, I jumped down from the bed and headed towards the parking lot.
"What did you do back there?" He quickly caught up to me.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Edward."
"I'm most certain you do, Isabella." Hearing his silky voice say my full name did strange things to me, but I didn't stop walking.
"As I recall, I'm not the only one with questions to answer," I shifted my eyes up towards him as we walked out of the sliding doors. "How did you get to me so fast?"
His face hardened and he pressed his lips together.
"I was standing next to you, Bella." I scoffed.
"No you weren't. Tyler didn't see you either so don't try to play this off as a little hallucination of mine, because it isn't. Now, how did you get to me so fast?" I asked once again.
"Why do you care?" He asked rather harshly.
"I'd like to know why I'm lying for you," I retorted, just as curt.
"You hit your head, Bella."
"We both know that's a load of bullshit as you were the one who rescued me just in time to prevent that from happening," I narrowed my eyes at him.
"What are you hiding?" He asked rather bluntly. We had reached the parking lot and were glaring at each other over the car, neither of us willing to admit defeat first.
"What are you?"