A/N: Well, here it is folks. The end of A Brave New World. I'm a little sad, but also excited to be looking into creating new stories that I hope will be as well received as this one.

WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA

Throughout history, influenza viruses have mutated and caused global pandemics, but none has of yet overshadowed the pandemic of 2009, which spread across the Earth, killing 45% of the population. Of the seven billion people on the planet, approximately three and a half billion people died. Many call it the greatest medical holocaust in history.

According to the CDC, patient zero was identified as a man with the first name Edward, but whatever other identification has been lost besides one grainy photo taken from news footage.

Patient zero was admitted to a Vancouver hospital with atypical pneumonia. From the first-hand account of one of the surviving nurses, the young man had no memory and seemed confused and distraught about his situation. Merely three days later, he disappeared along with all samples taken from the heavily guarded quarantine zone. This was a devastating blow for the scientific community since at that time patient zero had been the only one to survive the deadly virus.

Multiple doctors and nurses were infected before patient zero disappeared, and they, in turn, transmitted it to others, rapidly spreading the virus to locations all over the world through international flights to and from the U.S. and Canada. Many people believe the pandemic was made worse by the WHO failing to stop international flights at an early enough stage.

Shortly after the outbreak, North Korea took credit for the attack, claiming to have used germ warfare. However, before soldiers could be mobilized the disease spread like wildfire through army barracks.

Luckily, war never came to fruition as it was later found that North Korea had not been responsible and was one of the countries desperate for help.

Almost six months into the pandemic, mysteriously the basis for a vaccine appeared at the CDC in the form of a serum created from a survivor's blood. At the time, only a few scientists were left either as a result of abandoning their jobs or by their deaths, so no one really knew where the serum had come from. However, scientists are now convinced that the serum came from patient zero. Remarkably, scientists discovered that there were elements in the serum that had never been seen in any other human.

Suspicious, government officials did not want to use the created vaccine because of its mysterious origins. But after the vaccine was tested on gorillas and found to be 90% effective, the government made it mandatory for each citizen to be vaccinated.

Still many citizens refused the vaccine saying that it was unnatural due to its unknown origins. Therefore, it took almost five years from the time the vaccine was introduced to eradicate the disease from the general population. By this point, the population of the earth had been greatly reduced.

Now, 150 years after that black period in our history, civilization has bounced back stronger than ever. Using the serum from patient zero's blood, many deadly diseases such as cancer and HIV, have for the most part been eradicated.

So, who or what was patient zero? Many people think that he was not human at all and that he'd brought an inhuman virus to lay waste to the world. An urban legend still circulates that patient zero is still wandering the earth, waiting for another opportunity to either damn humanity or save it.


BELLA

Edward threw me onto the bed and jumped on top of me, pulling my shirt from my jeans to tickle my stomach. He grinned suggestively, white teeth glinting.

"Looking forward to tonight?" he asked, running his fingers up my sides tickling along the way until they were running through my hair.

"Come on. Admit it. You're looking forward to it. You always look forward to it."

I shrugged.

I loved messing with my husband. I was the one person who could keep secrets from him and he both loved and hated it.

"Liar. You're excited," he said as he nuzzled into my neck.

Joy and love and fire slowly spread across my skin to the very tips of my fingers as the moon crested the horizon.

Edward's eyes glinted as he rolled onto his side and began to stroke the inside of my forearm, causing me to shiver. My skin...my skin was completely electrified. Every touch, every accidental brush of my skin was the most amazing sensation I'd ever felt.

I swept my hair up in my hands and wrapped the long tendrils around my wrist, the texture of it sending sparks across my skin as it slipped through my fingers.

Turning his head to the side, Edward looked out the window at the gathering dusk all the while his fingertips grazed the inside of my elbow. My gaze swept his face taking in the sharp line of his jaw, the tendons on his neck, the dark bronze hair sweeping across his forehead, and the curve of his lips, turned up at the edges. At that moment, Edward turned back to face me. His pupils were dilated and I could smell his excitement as I'm sure he could mine. He gave a hoarse chuckle before leaning over me and whispering those three magical words in my ear.

"Time to hunt."


Every full moon, Edward and I found ourselves almost high for want of a better word. We were fully vampires now, but the power that the moon had on us never fully went away. We found ourselves practically giddy during the peak of the full moon which both amused and annoyed the rest of our family because our nervous energy would cause us to feel the need to play and hunt and make love constantly. Emmett thought it was hilarious. He called it our very own "Woodstock." Edward told me that during Woodstock Emmett had been so jealous of all the people high on ecstacy because he thought it looked "super fun" and even tried it hoping that it would have an effect on him.

We were teased mercilessly until the night Jasper decided that it would be funny to spread it to the entire family. The night that followed was one that would go down as a highlight in our very long lives.

"And so it begins," Emmett said with a chuckle.

"Screw off, Emmett," Edward growled as he brushed the back of his hand across my cheek and down the column of my neck.

I shivered at the sensation and pulled him down next to me where I lay sprawled on the couch.

"God, you smell amazing," I moaned into his neck.

"Jesus, you guys. Take it outside," Rosalie snapped, looking up from her magazine.

"Do you want to hunt?" Edward murmured against my throat nipping at my skin.

With a growl, I pulled his face away from mine and looked into his eyes.

I loved the look that Edward would get when the full moon was out. Hungry. Physically … and yet so much more. It was there all over his face. His jaw would clench and unclench as pent up energy built inside of him. His eyes would get a gleam in them that was almost feral as he stared at me.

Suddenly, the couch dipped down next to us.

I looked up in surprise because usually the family avoided us when we were like this.

Jasper looked at me with a grin and just laid his head back against the couch and closed his eyes.

"I'm really craving a polar bear," Edward murmured into my hair. It was his favorite prey in Alaska.

I moaned in agreement.

We kissed for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes.

Sooner than I would have liked, our moment was interrupted.

"I'm so not hungry right now," I looked up at Jasper in surprise because he was always hungry. "Are the lights brighter in here? They look brighter," he said with a look of awe on his face.

A small smile graced his face as he looked across the room at Alice who was busy sewing her latest outfit. She had since moving to Alaska started an online clothing boutique. Her designs had become quite popular.

"Are you feeling alright?" Alice asked, coming over to him and perching on the arm of the couch. She ran her hands through his hair, causing him to lean into her hand.

"I'm great, sugar. Just awesome…" he said, pulling her down onto his lap and kissing her passionately.

Alice giggled as she pulled back from him.

"Jasper, what's gotten into you?" she laughed, kissing him hard as she flipped around and straddled his lap. Jasper was usually not this affectionate in public.

Edward laughed and then whispered in my ear.

"Look at his eyes," he whispered.

Jasper's pupils were dilated and a little wild looking as he pulled Alice against him.

I smothered a laugh as I realized that Jasper had absorbed some of our "high."

"Watch, he's going to spread it to everyone else," Edward chuckled in my ear, causing me to shiver.

Alice suddenly jumped off Jasper's lap, pulling him to his feet.

"Jasper… I need… I need to…"she babbled and then took a running leap across the room onto Emmett's back with a loud squeal.

"What the hell, Alice!" Emmett growled, trying to pull her off his back.

"Hey! Stay away from my woman," Jasper laughed, lunging at Emmett and playfully throwing him across the room.

A scuffle ensued that left broken furniture and holes in the wall.

Edward and I just lay on the couch watching the others in fascination. Over the years, we'd learned to control our pent up energy, but the rest of the family had not developed that skill. Even with our control, Edward couldn't help running his hands over me and kissing my neck.

I shuddered and shivered at his touch, but couldn't pull my eyes away from our family.

By now, in a blur of arms and legs, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper were giggling and gasping as they tackled each other, trying to pin each other to the floor.

Finally, almost as one they fell back on the floor and stared up at the ceiling.

"God, I need to hunt," Emmett blurted out.

"We need to get Carlisle and Esme in on this action," Jasper chuckled.

I sat up, excited about what would happen next.

With a laugh, Rose called out to Esme.

"Esme, come down here. The boys are destroying the furniture again."

I heard a sigh and then saw a blur coming down the stairs.

"What in the world-" she began, but was cut off as Jasper pulled her into his arms in a bear hug, spinning her around.

"Nothing to worry about, mama. We're just havin a bit of fun," he chuckled.

"Jasper! Put me down! What's wrong with you?" she gasped in shock.

Letting her go, Esme spun around in a circle from the momentum and fell to the floor. For a woman normally so graceful, it was hilarious to see how she splayed across the floor.

But when she lay still, everyone fell silent.

"Esme, I'm sorr-"Jasper began but was interrupted as she began giggling and then broke out into a full-blown laugh.

The whole room sighed in relief and then laughed uproariously.

Suddenly, she sprang to her feet.

"Let's ambush Carlisle. He should be home any minute now that his shift is over," she whispered conspiratorially even though there was no one in the room to keep it secret from.

It wasn't long after the plan was set that we saw the headlights of Carlisle's car through the window.

As we waited, we had to shush Emmett who couldn't help giggling in anticipation.

"Knock it off, Emmett," Rosalie hissed.

"Sorry, babe," he said, but then snorted in glee.

Unaware that we were all laying in wait for him, Carlisle opened the door and tossed his keys on the kitchen counter.

"Esme? I'm ho-" he began, but was cut off as Esme spun around the corner and jumped on him, kissing him passionately.

At her amorous attack, Carlisle made a startled grunt that turned into a moan before pulling away.

With a quizzical smile, he looked down at her.

"Not that I'm complaining, but what was that for?" he asked with a grin.

"GET HIM!" Emmett shouted, causing us all to jump out of our hiding places.

As a family, we tackled Carlisle to the ground.

"Get him, Jasper!" Rosalie laughed.

Carlisle struggled under us as he looked around in alarm.

"What's going on?!" he asked in alarm.

"It's okay, papa bear. Just go with the flow," Jasper said with a laugh, placing both of his hands on either side of Carlisle's face.

All the tension leached out of Carlisle's face as the power of the moon took hold of him too.

"Oh god, what's happening?" he said with a sigh.

Jumping off of him, Jasper pulled Carlisle to his feet.

"It's a full moon party, papa bear," Jasper laughed.

Since then, we had our regular full moon parties where we'd get as far away from humans as possible and go wild.

We were especially excited this full moon cycle because we'd recently returned to Forks after having lived away for close to 150 years. Of all the places that we'd lived over the years, Forks felt the most like home.

It was late summer, so we had time before the beginning of the school year at Forks high to return to the lake where Edward and I had rekindled our love so many years ago.

Because of the strange circumstances of my transformation, I retained most of my memories from my human life., leaving the memories of those early days of Edward's and my relationship just as clear today as if they'd happened yesterday.

The shock, the fear, the sadness, the love, all of it was etched into my brain.

With the death of Oscar and the cure provided by Carlisle for the influenza pandemic, we were left with dealing with the aftermath. The Quileute were devastated. The loss of Leah, Sue, and Paul as well as the werewolf infected community members left a hole in the soul of its residents that nearly broke the tribe apart. For some, that hole was filled with anger towards us for causing their young to turn into shifters in the first place, while others felt that it wasn't our fault that Oscar had been allowed to invade the community. Regardless, we knew that we had to leave. The pain we were causing our loved ones was too much.

Together with the tribe's elders, we agreed to leave Forks for a minimum of hundred years which would cover the life span of the humans harmed by what had happened. We had only one condition and that was that once Charlie was too old to travel to see us on his own that we'd be allowed to visit. They readily agreed, not wanting to separate Charlie from his daughter.

I worried incessantly about Charlie in the beginning. His lonely existence broke my heart. It was made even harder because he had to deal with Rene. She would never have been able to handle finding out what I'd become, so we'd been forced to fake my own death. Charlie had to go through the motions of a funeral and comforting my devastated mother. And I thought that in a way, Charlie mourned my death too because I was no longer his normal little girl.

However, five years after we'd left Forks Charlie met someone. Mary was perfect for him. Her youthful energy balanced Charlie who could often be such a stick in the mud. Mary was from a nearby native community that had close ties to the Quileute, so Charlie didn't have to lie to her about me. Her ancestors had passed down the lore of the cold ones too. At first, she'd been distrustful of us, but once she'd fallen in love with Charlie she learned to accept us.

I used to tease Charlie about the fact that she was ten years younger than him but in truth I was thrilled for him. I was even more thrilled when Charlie called me one day in an absolute panic to tell me that Mary was pregnant. Charlie was terrified about having a child later in life, but once Finn was born he showed himself to be a wonderful father, just like I knew he would be. Finn was a mini version of Charlie in every way. I limited my exposure with Finn because I knew that it would be hard to explain to a child the reason for me never growing older, but I watched him from afar. I watched how even after Charlie passed away, his legacy lived on in the man that Finn became. It helped me when dealing with my grief, knowing that Charlie would never be completely gone.

With our absence, the Quileute were able to heal as a community largely due to Jacob. Three years after our departure, Sam stepped down as alpha. Emily became pregnant with twins and Sam wanted to focus all of his attention on his family. But everyone knew that his decision wasn't only based on this. Sam was never the same after the deaths of Sue and Paul and the loss of Leah, so everyone had known that it was only a matter of time before he relinquished the position. Not only did he step down as alpha, but he also chose to stop shifting into his wolf form. As long as a shifter changes regularly, they will not age. But if a shifter stops changing for long periods of time, they start the aging process again. Sam couldn't handle outliving Emily, so he chose to age so that they could live out their lives together.

Jacob who had alpha blood flowing through his veins stepped up to take his place. Jacob's priority from the very beginning was to bring the community together again and foster pride in who they were as a tribe. To heal the tribe, Jacob built a community center dedicated to the memory of the Clearwater's where children could celebrate their heritage by learning about their histories and the lore of the protectors of the community. Each of the pack was expected to contribute in some way to the center and as a team, they not only filled in the void that was left by Sue, Leah and Paul, but the community thrived and grew.

One of the pack that I'd been the most concerned about had been Seth. I learned from Jacob that Sue had been killed by Edward while he'd been in the throes of the madness of the full moon, causing Leah to leave the pack. Edward felt a lot of guilt about it and it took him a while to come to terms with the fact that he had taken Seth's last remaining relatives from him. We both worried that his loss would destroy the happy young man that he'd been. That was part of the reason that we'd left Forks as quickly as possible. We didn't want to cause Seth to suffer any more than he already was. To Jake's great relief, Seth chose to go to university with the money that had been raised for him by the community and by us through an anonymous donation. He became a teacher and eventually returned to the reservation to teach the next generation of Quileute. Over the years, Seth's anger towards us diminished. With the perspective of years, he realized that we were not truly to blame for what happened to his mother. Also, the pack suspected that he'd been in contact with Leah and was content with whatever situation she was currently living in.

Tonight was our first full moon party in Forks and we were itching for the night to come so that we could race back to the place that felt the most like home to me. It was where I fell in love, the place where I became the "real" me—the lake.

"It's time to go love," Edward said, pulling me up off the bed.

Pulling me into his arms, he kissed me and lingered, just brushing his lips back and forth against mine, enjoying the sensation.

"Come on! Get a move on guys! Let's get this party started!" Emmett bellowed up the stairs.

With a startled gasp, we pulled apart and laughed.

"Emmett's ready to get his freak on, so we better go," I said with a grin.

Edward chuckled, his lip curling up on one side.

"Don't you just love being everyone's happy pill?" he said with a smirk.

I laughed in response. I loved these nights. It was so amazing to be so care free with my family.

Then I remembered what had me even more excited tonight.

"Do you really think that he'll come?" I asked.

Every emotion that I had was amplified, so I couldn't stop feeling excited and nervous at the same time.

"What did he say when you talked to him on the phone? Jacob said that he'd meet us there at 1:00, right?" Edward responded, although I could tell that he was distracted by the way that he kept looking out the window.

I couldn't believe that I was going to see Jake again after so many years.

Would he look any different? Would we still be friends?

"Come on, love," Edward said, tugging me down the stairs and into the coming darkness.

As we reached the lake, I inhaled deeply reveling in the smells of the moss-covered trees and lake water. This smell was a part of my very soul and was something that made me want to cry with happiness. Then, the trees fell away in front of me and I was confronted with the most beautiful view.

Shades of silver, white, blue and green reflected in the depths of the lake made more brilliant by my vampire sight.

I heard Edward sigh next to me and I reached out and caught his hand. Reaching down with my other hand, I grabbed a handful of sand from the shore line, marveling at the millions of oddly shaped pebbles.

Suddenly, Edward was not by my side anymore. With a loud splash, he had disappeared into the water.

His t-shirt and shoes were discarded in a trail on the ground, joining the items his brothers and sisters had already discarded.

Popping up out of the water, he flicked his hair to the side to get it out of his eyes.

I paused, looking at him with so much love.

The past hundred and fifty years only made my love for him stronger.

I felt the moon call me to him, but I resisted the urge. If I gave in to my need for him, I knew that I wouldn't be able to stop and I really wanted to spend time with Jake tonight.

As if he could tell what I was thinking, his eyes gleamed with happiness as his lips spread into a crooked smile.

"What are you waiting for?" he said, quirking one eyebrow.

"You'll see," I said with a smile.

I looked around for Alice and Rose and found them lounging on an outcropping of rock like mermaids in a lagoon, staring up at the stars in their full moon induced daze.

"Rose, Alice?"

At my voice, they both jumped, which caused me to laugh.

"Cannonball?" I asked, laughing.

As one, they both jumped up and ran to me. Rose counted down from ten.

When she reached one, we ran together towards the water and jumped as far as we could. We surfaced, laughing, and looked at the boys for a critique.

"A seven!" Jasper shouted.

"Hell, no, an eight and a half," Emmett retorted.

"A ten for sure," Edward said with a grin.

"Shit, Edward. Can't you ever be objective? It was definitely not a ten," Jasper said.

We swam back to them and Rose swam directly to Emmet.

"Jerk, that was at least an eight," she argued, shoving his head underwater and holding it there as she giggled.

Emmett fought his way to the surface and continued to argue about the finer points of cannonball diving. He said we were not synchronized and our cannonballs were not tight enough.

Swimming over to Edward, I wrapped my arms around his neck.

"You are a little biased, my love," I murmured in his ear, causing him to shiver.

"You think so?" he said with a grin before launching me into the air.

I spluttered as I crested the water.

Alice and Rose had joined Edward and were now tag-teaming him to try to throw him like he did me.

I swam over to help, by tickling him mercilessly. I was beyond thrilled when I discovered as a vampire that Edward was ticklish. As a human, I wasn't capable of getting that reaction, but now it was the one way that I could overcome him. Together, we got control of him and launched him into the air too, which caused us all to laugh hysterically.

Suddenly, I noticed that the other boys weren't there.

"Where are Emmett and Jasper?" I asked, on guard for a sneak attack.

We scanned the waters for ripples, but couldn't see any.

Then, suddenly Jasper burst out of the water behind Alice showering her with water as he tickled her sides. Alice let out a squeal and tried to swim away, but she wasn't fast enough. Wrapping his arms around her, he let out a loud growl that in any other situation would have been really scary.

Jasper was hilarious during the full moon because he was the one that behaved the most out of character. Usually Jasper was so reserved and much quieter than the rest of us.

But during the full moon, Jasper was the life of the party; the one that liked to trick, scare and tease people.

"Watch out Rose!" gasped Alice, looking over my shoulder.

Distracted by Alice's warning, Rosalie didn't notice Emmett creep up behind her until it was too late.

She let out a screech before being yanked under the water.

Instead of being angry, when they finally emerged, her arms were wrapped around Emmett and a smile was plastered to her face along with her hair.

Edward grabbed me from behind and spun me around in the water.

Then, he suddenly stopped, his eyes faraway.

A grin then spread across his face.

Leaning in to me, he whispered in my ear.

"There's someone here to see you."

"JACOB!" I shouted in glee and sped out of the water.

Once I was on the beach, I immediately found him by his scent. While he still smelled like wet dog, it was a scent that made me ridiculously happy.

"Hey there, Bells," he said, stepping out of the woods.

He looked older which surprised me. Shifters didn't age unless they stopped shifting which didn't make sense since Jake was the alpha of his pack now.

We stood looking at each other for a few minutes, grins on both of our faces.

Then, almost at the same time we lunged forward and threw our arms around each other.

"I missed you so much, Jake," I said with a lump in my throat.

"I missed you too, Bells," he said hoarsely.

Pulling away, we looked at each other intently.

"You look different. How do you look different?" I asked, curiously.

"Well, as the leader of the community, I couldn't look like a teenager. People outside of the community would never take me seriously. So, I stopped shifting for a while. Don't I look distinguished?" he asked with Jake's classic smirk.

I looked him over in wonder. The boyish roundness to his features was gone, leaving in its place the defined features of a thirty year old man. But his eyes still had the youthful glow that I associated with Jake.

"Very handsome," I said with a grin.

"You look just the same as the last time I saw you, Bells. Even though I knew that you would, it's still strange," he said, pulling me into another hug.

"Forever, twenty-one," I said, squeezing him tight before letting him go.

"Where's everyone else?" he asked, looking around.

"I think they're racing each other," I said, looking at a trail of white foam indicating their path. And in the distance, I could hear them whooping and shouting insults.

We took a walk along the beach catching up, reminiscing about the past as well as what had happened to us over the past hundred years.

Before we even knew it, the rest of the family had joined us.

"It's good to see you, Jake," Edward said with a one-armed hug.

"You too, man. It's been a long time."

"So, who won the race?" I asked him.

"I did, of course," Edward replied. "I don't know why they persist in challenging me."

"Cocky as ever…" Jake said, but there was a fondness in his voice that I would never have predicted would exist so many years ago.

"Jacob! My main man! How's it hanging bro?" Emmett boomed coming up behind us and grabbing Jake up into a bear hug tossing him this way and that.

Jake's eyes went wide and he fought to get out of his arms.

"What are you-" he began, but before he could finish Emmett slapped his shoulder.

"Good to see you buddy!" Emmett continued as if he hadn't just startled the crap out of Jake by picking him up.

"It's good to see you too. What's new?"

"Not much, man. Just enjoyin my full moon experience…" he said and then giggled.

It was beyond bizarre that such a large man was prone to giggling.

Jake looked at me with one eyebrow quirked.

"Is he high?" Jake asked, incredulously.

"Just a little," I responded.

"Do you wanna join us?" Jasper asked, reaching out and grabbing him.


We spent the day together at the lake talking about the future.

The Quileute were accepting of us moving back to Forks, but the treaty still stood. We were not allowed on Quileute land.

Because of our small number, Jake didn't expect that any more of the tribe would turn. But he said that if it did happen, that might be a deal breaker.

We readily agreed that if we did cause any more of their young to change, we would leave.

I was so excited that we were going to be able to rekindle our friendship.

Then, Jake brought up something that absolutely shocked me.

"Bella, did you know that the Swam family has moved back to Forks? They have a son who's in grade 11. And you won't believe what your great grand-brother's name is."


CHARLIE SWAN

Another boring year at Forks high. God I hate this place.

Why did Mom decide to move back here? Sure, she grew up here, but there was nothing to do, not like Toronto.

Thank god for Laura, my beautiful girlfriend. With strawberry-blonde hair and a spattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, I was done the moment I saw her. Then, once I got to know her better, I only fell harder for her. I met her last year shortly after moving to Forks and we'd been together ever since. Mom didn't approve of us. She thought we were too young, but I just knew Laura was it for me.

Sitting in the cafeteria with Laura, I looked around at all the familiar faces. God I was bored.

"Charlie, did you hear about the new family that just moved here?" Laura said, picking away at her slice of pizza.

"No, who are they?" I asked curiously. It wasn't often that a new family moved to town.

"Their last name is Cullen. If you trust the gossip queen Sandy, they just moved here from Alaska. The father is a doctor and the mother is an interior designer," she said with a small smile.

I leaned over and kissed her cheek and then her neck, not able to resist.

"Why is that of interest to the gossip queen?" I asked, more interested in her neck than the gossip.

"Charlie, stop," she laughed.

With a chuckle, I moved away from her and picked up my can of coke.

"Well, I guess there are six kids in the family, all gorgeous. But what really got Sandy going is that they're all together, as in coupled up."

I choked on the large gulp that I'd just taken.

"What?" I croaked.

"Not incest, perv," Laura said with a laugh. "The mother and father were single parents who met each other when their kids started dating. Then, I guess they started dating and got married," she said with a shrug.

"Uh huh," I said, losing interest.

"Don't you think that's weird? They're living together and dating each other at the same time. What if they break up? That would be awkward…" she said, leaning into my shoulder.

I shrugged.

Then, I noticed that a hush fell over the room which did catch my attention.

Everyone was looking towards the entrance to the cafeteria, so my eyes turned that way too.

The first person I saw was a large barrel-chested guy with curly brown hair, but then my eyes trailed to a hot blonde who was hanging off his arm. I heard a murmur in the crowd as the woman looked around disdainfully. I almost laughed at the murmur of interest, but then disappointment from the guys in the room because they saw that their competition could kick their ass. I chuckled and took Laura's hand.

Another couple then strode in. They were a cool looking couple. The guy was tall with slightly long shaggy blonde hair. The girl whose hand he was holding was small, almost child-like with dark brown hair. They were opposite in almost every way. He was dressed in a casual almost cowboy-style, while she was wearing the latest fashion.

The two couples strode over to an available table in the far corner that was separate from everyone else and sat down. I sympathized with them; it's not easy to be the new kids.

After a few minutes of silence, the noise in the cafeteria returned, even though surreptitious glances continued to be thrown at the new kids.

I continued to look at the door because Laura told me that there were six kids, so two were still missing.

About ten minutes later, a tall guy with weird copper colored hair, strode into the room. He looked around the room, his eyes never resting on one person for long. I saw how the other guys sitting around the cafeteria bristled defensively, jealous at how good-looking he was. His looks didn't bother me in the least because I had no reason to be defensive. My reason for being was sitting next to me.

My gaze shifted from him to the girl standing next to him. She was small with long brown hair that hung almost to her waist, but what I noticed was her eyes. There was something about them that seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. She looked pretty cool, wearing a hoody and converse sneakers. Those had always been my standard wardrobe until Laura came along. I looked at the two of them and noticed how pale they were, actually all six of them were pretty pale, but I guess coming from Alaska they would be.

The girl scanned the crowd curiously as if looking for something.

When her eyes met mine, I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu, like I should know her.

She stared at me for a moment, a small smile gracing her lips before taking her boyfriend's hand and continuing to the table where the rest of them were seated.

"Charlie?" Laura said, nudging my shoulder, but I continued to look at the girl, trying to place how I knew her. "Earth to Charlie."

I snapped out of it and turned to her.

"Yes, my love. What can I do for you?"

Whenever I called her that love, she would giggle so I did it as much as possible.

"Should we go welcome them? You know how hard it is to be the new kid."

I looked at the group of them and noticed how they huddled together, looking so out of place that I felt sorry for them.

That's how I met Laura. She was the one person that came to speak to me in the cafeteria when I was sitting alone in the corner.

I picked up my can of coke and chugged it before taking her hand and standing up.

"Why not?"

Little did I know that that small decision would open a world of wonder for the two of us that we'd never known possible.


I hope you liked reading my story as much as I loved writing it. I would love to hear from you, so drop me a line.