A/N: I finnally got this here!
The beginning is kind of slow but it will get better :) Anyway I hope you like it and please review and let me know what you think!
And lots of thanks to my beta EvangelineHale for correcting all my stupid mistakes and making the text better :)
Game of Love
When I arrived at Huntington Beach, everything seemed to be wrong. It was hot, bright and the sun was too close. I mean, I knew that it was going to be warm; we were in California, after all, but still. And the colors were all wrong too – I immediately missed the greenness of Forks when I stepped out of the plane. I missed forest, the trees, and the meadow. The meadow was my place, that's where I went whenever I needed quiet and peaceful place to think, or when I just wanted to be alone. And that happened quite often. I was the kind of person who didn't mind to spend time alone, so I was fine living in a small town. A complete opposite to all the other girls in my class, who dreamed about big cities and new places. Not that I didn't want to leave someday, because I did. But just not yet. I was fine living there now. I and mom were fine alone. We didn't need anyone else.
Or at least that's what I thought. When Phil came into the picture – everything became complicated. Phil didn't like me and I didn't even bother pretending that I liked him. And when Phil moved in, I moved out – it was that simple. My mom felt terribly guilty about the whole thing of course, because that's what mothers do. And I guess that she was going to miss me too, but I knew that it was the right thing to do; there just wasn't enough space for both, Phil and I. It probably would have made more sense for Phil to go, after all I was there first, but mom was happy with him and I couldn't take that away from her.
So I found myself here, in my new room, in a completely new town where I didn't know anyone – I don't think I had ever felt so lost in my life before. After I'd left the plane, I had met Charlie in the airport and he had introduced me to his new wife, Sue, who wore thick piles of makeup, high heels and giggled a lot. Then they took me to their big, luxurious house and showed me my new room, which was only about two times the size of my old room. So there I was, sitting on the edge of my large bed and wondering what the hell I was doing here.
Someone knocked my door and woke me from my thoughts.
"Come in", I said and Sue walked in with a cup of tea and chocolate cookies.
"I thought you might want a cup of tea or a cookie – I made them myself – and then we'll talk what you want to do this evening."
I took the cup she was handing me and tasted the tea. It was good, vanilla, and I realized how hungry I was, as it had been a while since I'd last eaten, so I took a chocolate chip cookie too.
Sue watched happily, as I bite my cookie, and then she started to speak again. "So what'd you want to do tonight? There's a big mall, near our house, or we could show you the beach or we can go eat outside."
"Um… I would just like to be at home tonight", I said. "I mean, it's late already, and school starts tomorrow."
"Oh, come on, don't be boring!" Sue said. "It's your first night here, we got to do something fun."
I smiled a strained smile. I didn't know exactly what her idea of fun was but I was pretty sure it didn't match with mine. "I'm actually a bit tired still, and I haven't unpacked everything yet", I tried to explain.
"Well, we could at least go eat out?" she asked hopefully. "I mean, I'm good at baking, but I honestly can't cook. And you must know that your dad doesn't even know how to boil water."
"Yeah", I admitted. "I know."
"Yay!" Sue cried, apparently taking my answer as an agreement. "Come on, let's go."
She pulled me out of the bed, and danced downstairs, my teacup on the other hand and cookies, on the other. I followed her little more calmly.
We got to Charlie's new, expensive car and I wondered again, when did Charlie start to buying expensive cars and live in houses with big swimming pools? I mean, I knew that he was wealthier now than he had been back then when he was still a small town's chef police, but I hadn't actually realized, that my dad was now rich.
During our drive Sue and Charlie were chatting about some charity party that they were going to go next week, and I sat quietly and looked out of the window. Every house looked as fancy as Charlie and Sue's, or even more, and everybody had at least one swimming pool. I felt so wrong here.
We drove to the beach; Sue told me she wanted to show me the beach first, since it was the best part of the city. I thought I agreed with her on that. The smell of sea, and the waves reminded me little about home. We used to go to La Push beach with my mom sometimes, but even the smell was wrong and again I had to remind myself of all the reasons why I'd left.
The beach was beautiful and we walked a little before we went to an Italian restaurant and ate our dinner. Charlie and Sue were talking and laughing; apparently trying to make me feel more comfortable, but I didn't play along. I didn't belong here and we all knew it. I didn't even know these people. I saw Charlie about once a year and I hadn't even met Sue before.
After the dinner I finally got back to my new room and got to be alone. I was so tired, but I couldn't sleep. I missed home, I missed my old bed and I missed my mom. I started to feel that I would be even unhappier here, I didn't fit in with these rich kids and their fabulous life. And I was sure that tomorrow would be a nightmare.
Why was the light so bright? The ending of March was supposed to be cloudy and rainy and miserable in Forks. And why it was so hot? Even the summer wasn't so hot in Forks. Something was wrong. I opened my eyes, and realized that this wasn't my old room in our house in Forks. It took me another second to realize, that this was my new room at Charlie's big, fancy house at Huntington Beach, California. Oh. That explained the hotness. And the sun.
I rose up and sighed looking around. It was Monday. My first school day at Huntington Beach High. Great.
I brushed both my teeth and hair and dressed up in my old faded jeans and t-shirt. Then I grabbed my backbag and hurried downstairs, where Sue was already waiting me with breakfast.
"Here", Sue said dropping car keys on my palm. "You can use my second car for now. You know how to get to your school, right?"
"Yeah", I nodded. I had checked the map earlier and my new high school was close to Charlie's house.
After I had gulped a glass of orange juice and ate one sandwich that Sue had made me, I was ready to go. Even though actually I didn't feel at all like I was ready to go. I hadn't been this nervous for a long time, I was sure that everyone was going to hate me and I wouldn't fit in.
Anyway, I just smiled to Sue as bravely as I could and went out of the front door, because I didn't have any choice.
I hopped into Sue's red Chevrolet and drove to my new school. Less than twenty minutes later I'd parked in the school's parking lot and I was looking up at the big white building and the parking lot that was full of laughing people and fancy cars; and I felt so … outsider.
I took one long breath and closed my eyes for a while. Then I opened them, got my backbag and stepped out of the car. It was going to be ok. It was all going to be ok, even though I missed my mom and Forks and the trees and everything, but I needed to do this, and everything would turn out ok, because it had to.
I walked inside the building and into the huge lobby. It was full people, smiling and talking to one another. They all seemed to be gorgeous and rich – I couldn't help but wonder why Charlie had sign me into this elite high school full of rich arrogant kids. He should have known me better than that.
I realized that this school was so much bigger than mine, and that there wasn't a chance that I'd be able to find my way around here by myself. I asked help for one friendly-enough looking boy and he directed me up the stairs to where I finally found the principal's office.
The principal was a young, friendly woman. She gave me the map of the school, my new time table and a locker key, wished me luck and let me go. I went back to the lobby and started the long search my locker, finding it in a corner near the stairs.
I opened it and realized that someone had left some of their stuff there. There were two books, lip gloss and an old picture of a kissing couple. I throw them to the trash bin and then put my own books in their places.
I was just closing my locker again, when a girl walked beside me and opened the locker next to
mine. Something about the girl grabbed my attention. Maybe it was her short length or the fact that she was breathtakingly beautiful or maybe it was just the way she walked, in a long light steps, more like she was dancing.
When she noticed that I was looking at her she turned to face me.
"Oh, hello, I'm Alice Brandon. You must be the new girl", the girl said and smiled at me sweetly. I looked her more closely. She had a short, black hair that stuck out in every direction and brown eyes and she looked like some kind of exotic pixie. She was wearing strapless blue dress and black ballerinas and had an expensive-looking hand bag. Despite her short length, she looked like she belonged to a catwalk rather than in a high school. She appeared to me like some kind of magical creature and a little out of place. Or maybe it was me that was out of place.
"Yeah, I'm Bella Swan. Nice to meet you", I said little warily, rich and beautiful people weren't usually nice. Rich and beautiful people didn't usually talk to me.
"Nice to meet you too. If you need someone to show you places or something just ask me", she said smiling. "I would like to get to know you."
"Umm… thanks", I said a little puzzled. "I mean, that would be nice", I added, not wanting to sound rude.
"Anyway, I gotta go to my class now, see you later Bella", she said, slammed her locker door shut and danced away.
I realized that I was almost late and hurried to my first class, English. That was good, I thought, I liked English. My new English teacher, Mr. Mason was tall and balding man, though he looked nice and friendly enough.
"Good morning, kids", he said, as he walked in front of the classroom. "This is our new student, Bella, I hope you all make her feel very welcome. Take a seat Bella."
I sat in the last free place in the class, at the back, next to honey blond haired guy. He was tall and masculine, but still skinny. He looked somehow like he didn't belong there any more than I did. He had ordinary white t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and he looked like he was deeply in his thought as he didn't even look at me when I sat next to him. Or maybe he just wasn't interested.
Mr. Mason clapped his hands together. "Okay, class, let's start. You should all have finished Wuthering Heights by now, so let's discuss about it a little first, before you start to do your essay."
That was easy, I thought, I had read Wuthering Heights many times before, it was one of my favorite books.
"So Jessica, will you tell us little about themain characters and the relationship between the two of them."
"Um", the girl called Jessica started unsurely. I was pretty sure she hadn't even opened the book. "They loved each others, right?"
Mr. Mason sighed. "Thank you, Jessica; that's not the way to pass high school, you know."
"Does anyone else have anything to say? What about you, Bella, do you want to say something about Heathcliff and Catherine?" He looked at me, but I could tell that he didn't really expect me to have anything to say.
"Well", I started. "They are not typical literature characters. Catherine was selfish and married a rich man, instead of the one she loved, Heathcliff was evil and selfish too, and he's described rather ugly than beautiful, unlike the male main characters usually are. Some might say that Catherine and Heathcliff couldn't even love each others, but I believe that their love to each other was the best part of them."
Everyone was silent in the class, when I finished and I noticed that Mr. Mason looked impressed. Then the boy next to me opened his mouth. "I agree with you. And after all these are the traits that we all have, we are selfish, we don't always make the right choices, we don't do, what our hearts tells us and we think ourselves first, but still we can love. Actually the characters are much more realistic than in many other books."
"Thank you Bella and Jasper", the teacher said, pleased that someone had apparently read the book. "And now back to your exercise…"
I stopped listening to the teacher and turned to face Jasper. "You've read the Wuthering Heights?" I asked surprised.
"Well, it was homework", he said and shrugged. Though it was clear, that he would have read it anyway. "I'm Jasper Whitlock by the way."
"Bella Swan", I smiled. I liked Jasper.
"So, where are you from, Bella Swan?" he asked.
"Forks, Washington", I said.
Jasper nodded. "I've hear about it. The cold, rainy small town. They have an interesting history, werewolves and cold ones and everything."
"Just old legends", I said smiling, surprised that he knew about the legends.
"Mr. Whitlock and Ms. Swan, I don't allow speaking in my class, when I'm trying to give you exercises, even if you are the only ones who have done their homework. If you have something to say, you can say it to all of us, after I've finished."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Mason, we don't have anything to say", Jasper said to him and gave me a smile before he paid all his attention to the teacher. Jasper seemed nice and friendly, I thought. Who knew, maybe we would become friends.
After English class I had boring math lesson that I spent dozing alone in the back seat and after that was lunch break. I hesitated at the door of the cafeteria, which was already almost full of people. I didn't see Jasper anywhere and I didn't know where I could sit.
"Hi Bella", I heard a voice behind me and when I turned around I saw the pixie-like girl, Alice Brandon.
"Hi Alice", I said relieved. At least there was someone who I knew.
"You can come sit with us if you want to", Alice said smiling and looking excited, like she actually wanted me to sit with them, and it felt nice.
"Thanks", I said smiling back at her.
"Alice, have you seen the new –" someone called her and we both turned around and I saw the source of the voice, bronze haired boy, who was walking towards us. His eyes spotted me in the middle of the sentence. "- girl yet", he finished as he turned his eyes on me.
First I noticed his beautiful, green eyes first as they turned to look at me. It was a bit of a shock, like something had hit me when I looked into his eyes. They looked so... knowing. Like he knew something I didn't have any idea about. He looked at me up and down and suddenly I felt nervous, I was awkwardly aware of my worn out jeans and shabby t-shirt and I wished I had picked something nicer to wear. I couldn't understand the way my body reacted to his appearance, my heart was beating faster and it felt like I couldn't breathe. Of course he was handsome, absolutely breathtaking, but it still didn't explain my reaction. I didn't usually react like that.
"Bella, this is Edward Cullen", Alice said after a while. I didn't have any idea how long I had stared at him.
"Hello Bella", Edward said sounding slightly amused for some reason and gave me a crooked smile.
I blushed and mumbled "Hello", and then blushed some more, imagining how idiotic I must look in their eyes.
"Shall we go?" Edward said and winking to me. For some reason Alice looked little irritated and gave Edward an odd look. Edward just grinned to her and I wondered what was going on between them.
We took our lunch and Alice lead us to the corner table, where were two people already; A blonde girl, who was extremely stunning, maybe even more beautiful, than Alice. She was wearing black high heeled boots, gray jeans and a blue top. Her clothes were simple, but she still looked amazing in them. A guy, with a curly dark hair had thrown his arm around her shoulder and they were talking to each others in low whispers.
"Those are Rosalie and Emmett", Alice introduced. "They had had an on-off relationship going on like forever. They're fighting all the time, or if they're not they're making out – sometimes they even make out while they fight."
"Okay", I said laughing at Alice's introduction. Emmett has raised his head, when he heard Alice's voice, and now he was grinning at me.
"You must be the new girl?" Emmett asked.
"She's Bella", Alice said, until I had change to answer him.
"Nice to meet you, come sit", Emmett said and patted the chair next to him. I smiled at him and sat next to him. I looked at Rosalie, who was looking me with an estimating look in her face and I felt uncomfortable. I smiled at her shyly and she nodded back to me. Edward sat opposite me and Alice on the chair next to him.
After we all had sat down, they started to chat lightly. Edward smiled at me again and I thought that it was good thing that I was sitting, because my knees went weak and I might've fallen if I'd been standing. Almost immediately after that, I thought how stupid I was. I, Bella Swan, wasn't that kind of girl; I didn't lose my mind if a cute guy smiled to me.
Okay, a handsome guy.
Okay, extremely good looking and absolutely gorgeous guy, but that was so not the point.
I didn't notice that I had fallen deeply in my thought, until Edward spoke to me. "So where are you from, Bella?" he asked smiling.
I jumped a little. "Um", I started. It took me some time to get my thoughts back together. "From Forks, Washington", I mumbled.
Edward looked slightly amused, and I wasn't sure was it my words or my expression. "Forks, Washington", he repeated. "Did you like it there?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. Guess so."
"Well, I'm sure you're going to like it here", Edward said and winked at me again. I saw that Alice gave Edward cautionary look again, though I still didn't understand why.
Then Edward changed the subject suddenly and turned towards Alice. "Party, tonight. At Lauren Mallory's place. You coming?"
"Fine", Alice said shrugging. "Don't have anything better to do anyway. Bella, are you coming?"
"Um, I don't know. It's a schoolnight?" I said and it sounded more like a question that I had meant it to.
"So?" Alice said laughing like I had just said something extremely funny. "Oh come on, don't be boring."
I though it for a while. I didn't usually party at schoolnight. Well, I usually didn't party any other night either. But on the other hand, I've just found friendly enough people that seemed to want to be my friends. "Okay then, fine", I said.
"Yay!" Alice cried happily. "I'll pick you up at seven."
When we had finished our lunch and were going to go to our next class, Alice pulled me aside. "Bella, I need to tell you something", she said. "About Edward."
I looked at her curiously, wandering what she was about to say. "Yes?" I asked her. Edward, Rosalie and Emmett had already left the cafeteria so we were alone.
Alice was quiet for a moment, like she didn't know what to say. "Bella, you seem nice, so I thought I should warn you. You shouldn't fell in love with Edward."
"Why not?" I asked frowning, confused. And why did Alice thought I would fell in love with Edward? Surely I wasn't that obvious.
"Well, Edward is one of my best friends and he's a really nice person, when you get to know him. But he's not exactly one girl's man. He gets bored easily, his longest relationship lasted about four days and pretty much every girl, who had fallen in love with him – and there's lot of them – had broke their heart", Alice explained.
"Oh", I said. I should have known it; Edward was a player and a heartbreaker. I knew there was something wrong with all the handsomeness and winking. "Why do you think I'd fell in love with him?"
"Well, because, who doesn't?" Alice said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "I'm just saying that you don't want to mess with him. Believe me, he can break girl's heart in a second if he wants to. And he's far more experienced than you are."
I was about to mention that Alice didn't actually know anything about my experiences but I had to admit that she was right. I didn't even have any experiences.
"Well, don't worry, because I really don't have any intensions to fall in love with him." Or fall in love with anybody else for that matter, it would just make things even more difficult.
Alice didn't seem convinced, but she just nodded. "I just thought I should warn you", she said shrugging and walked away.
I walked to my next classroom fallen in my thought again. I thought about Edward and what Alice had just said about him. Even if I'd started to fall for him, from the very first moment, I've seen him that was over. Like I had said, I really didn't have any intensions to fall for Edward, especially, now when Alice had made it extremely clear that he would just break my heart. It still didn't explain why I felt slightly disappointed.
My next class was biology. I got lost and when I finally found the right classroom, I was already late. Great, must have made quite an impression to the teacher. But Mr. Banner seemed to be a nice teacher. He just smiled at me and said that since this was my first day, it didn't matter. And then he just ordered me to my place, without any awkward introduces.
The classroom was almost full. There was only one empty seat - right next to Edward Cullen.
I sat next to him unwillingly; having already decided that it was better if I stayed as far away from him as I could. There was something weird with the way that my body and mind reacted to Edward Cullen, something I hadn't experienced before and it terrified me. I knew that this guy would only know trouble, so I've decided that I'd better stay away from him. But avoiding him was going to be tricky, since we were now lab partners.
"Hi, Bella", Edward grinned, as I sat down.
"Hi", I mumbled and felt like a total idiot again. What was it about this guy that I just couldn't act like a normal person around him? And what made my heart beat a little faster and my breath to get heavier.
Mr. Banner started to teach but I couldn't concentrate. I didn't even know what the subject was. I was just oddly aware of Edward sitting next to me, just few inches away.
We didn't speak to each others during the whole class. After Mr. Banner stopped teaching, he told us some questions to answer in our note books. I just drew something random in my notebook unable to focus on the questions.
When the class ended, one page of my note book was filled with hearts.
Outside of the classroom Edward just smiled at me and went away for his next class. I walked in my next class, thinking of Edward's smile. How his lips curved, little amused, showing his perfectly white teeth.
What the heck was I thinking? This is not how you stay away from Edward Cullen.
I barely survived the gym and after that, my first day in Huntington Beach high was finally over. Alice waved goodbye to me and said that she would pick me up at seven.
On the school yard I meat Jasper Whitlock from the English class again.
"Hey Bella", he said and smiled at me.
"Hi", I said and slowed down my steps, so that he could reach me.
"How was your first day?" Jasper asked me.
I was quiet for a while. It wasn't that bad really, Alice seemed fun and Jasper was nice too. And Edward was… well, he was something new. Something I didn't actually know how to react to but it would be fine. I would figure it all out.
"Fine, really", I said truthfully.
"So the rich kids aren't driving you crazy yet?" Jasper asked, grinning.
"They're not all that bad", I said.
"Yeah, well most of them are, anyway", Jasper said shrugging.
"Probably", I admitted.
We walked in silence for a moment towards the parking lot. "So, what are you planning to do tonight?" Jasper asked after a while.
"Well, Alice is taking me to some party", I said.
"Alice?" he asked quickly, snapping his head up to me a lot faster than usual.
"You know Alice Brandon?" I said.
"Yeah, I know her", he said and there was something weird in his eyes as he said it.
I hesitated for a while. "You should come too, it's at someone named Lauren Mallory", I told him.
"I don't know", he said. "I'm not really a party person."
I smiled. "I'm not either. But you should come, if it's horrible, at least I know someone nice there."
"Maybe", he said, smiled at me and walked to his motorcycle. I watched as he drove away; I wouldn't have guessed that Jasper would have been a motorcycle person either.
When I got back to Charlie's house – I mean, home – Sue was already waiting for me.
"Hey, darling!" Sue cried and came to hug me. I got a feeling that she was being just a little too melodramatic. "How was your first day?"
"It was fine, thanks", I said and stepped few steps away from her.
"Oh, I'm so glad to hear that!" Sue smiled, "Did you make lots of new friends?"
"Um… yeah", I mumbled. "I met couple of nice kids."
"That's so good. I knew you're going to fit in well here", Sue said.
Yeah, sure, I thought nodding my head.
"But now," Sue said and got something from her pocket. "Your dad forgot to give this to you", Sue said and handed me something small and flat.
I took it and realized that it was American express card. I looked at Sue, for an explanation.
"It's for emergencies," Sue told me, "every girl needs a credit card for emergencies."
"Right," I nodded, "for emergencies." I felt like pointing out to her that I never had a credit card for emergencies, and still somehow, I had survived for seventeen years.
"Emergencies like a sudden, irresistible urge to go shopping", Sue added winking her eye.
I nodded. "Yeah."
I didn't know what to do with my new card and after a while I just put it in my jeans pocket.
"So what are you going to do today?" Sue asked me then, smiling all the while.
"I'm going to a party," I said. "I mean, if it's okay with you guys", I added, not really knowing how they would take to my plans. I knew that my mom wouldn't allow me to go to a party in the middle of the week – not that there would have been any in Forks.
"Of course! You don't have to ask things like that, I mean you're a big girl now, right?" Sue said.
"Right", I said. Apparently Sue wasn't like my mom with rules. Not that I had needed them anyway; I spent most of my free time at home in Forks.
But this wasn't Forks, I reminded myself. Things were different now. And who knew, maybe it would be a good thing in the end.