Beams of early morning sunlight stream through the windows, dancing across the walls; the yellow lace curtains do little to block out the light. The room matches the rest of the house with its bright colors and furnishings; they make it look warm and welcoming. The way I imagine a home should look; the complete opposite of mine.
A warm body is cuddled up against my own, her cool breath fanning across my damp shoulder, still wet with last night's tears. Her tiny hand rests on my chest; I can't help watching it for a moment; the way it rises and falls with each of my breaths. I cup it lightly with my own large hand before gently raising it as I crawl out from under her, resting it next to her sweet face.
"Love you," I whisper, carefully arranging the blankets back up around her shoulders and kissing her lightly on the forehead before sneaking out the front door.
Soberly, I drive the few minutes home, wondering what will await me there. I only need to go in and out, I think, reassuring myself it will be quick. The red shack I call home is eerily quiet. I pause, anxiously feeling like I'm in the eye of a hurricane; the calm after the hell, knowing there is still more to come. The worst is far from over.
Last night I had been stupid, letting my anger get away with me, and I regret it. Not for my sake or his, but for her sake. She didn't deserve this.
Rubbing my sore jaw, I step off my bike, shattering pieces of broken and discarded beer bottles beneath my boots as I go slowly ascending the porch steps, preparing for whatever comes my way.
BPOV (Same morning)
The first day of junior year, and I'm already running late. With my backpack bouncing on my shoulder with each running step and my hands full, I desperately cling to the Pop-tart between my teeth, hoping it won't break and fall to its death in the dirt. Shifting the items around in my hands, I work at opening the car door. Tossing my backpack into the leather passenger seat, I stuff a change of clothes into the gym bag on the floor.
That new car smell still lingers in the air as I drive down the highway at speeds my father would ticket as "reckless driving." One thing's for sure, my old truck would never have been able to reach these speeds. I sigh; I can't deny that this is a beautiful car, and wonderfully fast on a day like today, but it still isn't my truck.
Everything about my flashy Mustang convertible screams Charlie Swan, from its patent leather seats to its "THAXDAD" license plate. He even special ordered the sky blue color. 'Nothing but the best for my little girl,' he would say, but the sad truth is, he didn't really do it for me. He did it to show off to his friends. You'd be surprised how much the Chief of Police makes, most people are, which I think is partly why Charlie feels the need to show it off. My dad's always been a 'keep up with the Jones'" kind of a guy. My truck never suited his lifestyle. He's a firm believer in keeping up with appearances, meaning expensive cars and clothing. These rules, by definition, extend to his daughter.
A few minutes (and several driving violations) later, I pull into the school; my car lifts and dips over the familiar speed bumps as I drive around to the secluded lot on the far East side designated the "Jock lot."
Stuffing the rest of the Pop-tart into my mouth, I shrug my bags over my shoulder as I exit my car. With a deafening roar, a sleek black motorcycle ramps up onto the median in front of me, breaking so quickly the tires squeal and skid; the smell of burnt rubber permeates the air. Had I not been slightly stunned and my mouth full of strawberry Pop-tart I might've pointed out that this wasn't a parking space, but as it is, I stand chewing, cheeks puffed out, ridiculously resembling a chipmunk.
Killing the engine, he swings one long leg over the contraption, easily dismounting and kicking the kickstand. I stare, mesmerized by the muscles of his arms and back flexing under the constricting tee shirt as he slides off his helmet. Tucking it under his chiseled bicep, his free hand runs through his disheveled black hair. I think I gasp in recognition, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'm even breathing, rendering me incapable of any kind of inhalation. The rider is none other than Jacob Black.
The truth is, I don't know much about Jacob, other than the rumors; he's a local bad boy, gangbanger, player, womanizer, you name it. If it's bad, he's probably done it. But I don't put much stock into the rumors; it's something my mother taught me a long time ago. You can't go by what other people tell you; it's like judging a book by its cover. You never know what's inside until you open it up and see for yourself.
To be honest, I hate stereotyping; if I believed in it, then I would be nothing more than that "nice cheerleader" and my best friend a "band nerd," while my boyfriend is a "football jock." So I don't see the point in automatically assuming Jacob Black is a bad boy, but he certainly does look the part dressed in all black with his motorcycle boots, black pants, black shirt and tribal tattoo. The thick black swirls of his tattoo lick around one bicep, half hidden under his tee shirt, completing the 'don't-mess-with-me' look.
Yeah, this boy spells trouble.
Almost mechanically, I step backwards into my door, shutting it tightly behind me. The slam of metal against metal is enough to gather Jacob's attention as he turns his piercing black eyes toward me. Wow, he really is gorgeous…scary gorgeous. He looks at me like he could eat me alive.
"Nice ride." He nods toward my car, his eyes slowly raking over me then focusing on the license plate. Normally I would smile, whisper my appreciation and brush past him, but right now my mouth is still too busy chewing down my breakfast pastry. Instead, I turn a bright shade of red, nod in thanks, and hurry past, praying he doesn't notice my chipmunk cheeks as I go.
I'm well aware of his presence behind me, his eyes burning holes into my back as I walk. All of my concentration in the short distance from my car to the doors is on my feet, pushing them forward in a straight line and avoiding tripping over any invisible obstacles. Once inside, I breathe a sigh of relief; the door closing behind me feels like cutting off an invisible cord from his eyes to my back.
Pushing into the crowded space, I glance at the clock, thankful that it hasn't rung yet. Working my way through the masses and towards my locker, I begin digging into my backpack for my locker combination. With my head down, I wander blindly until I reach my destination.
"Hey sweetheart," a velvet voice coos in my ear; I smile at the sound of it. Withdrawing the slip of paper with my combination, I look up into Edward's handsome face, his copper hair sticking up wildly from his fingers having run through it. Losing myself in the pools of his emerald eyes, I can't help but think how easily dazzled I am by him. He's perfect. I move up onto my toes as Edward leans down, sharing a chaste kiss hello.
"Hey, sorry I was running late this morning."
"Bella, you're late every morning," he chuckles.
"That's not true. I'm not late on the days I have cheerleading practice."
"That's only because you have practice before school, and in that case, you're usually late to practice."
Okay, so that was true.
"So I'm not a morning person," I shrug. "What can you do?"
"In your case, not much. I think you're already taking every necessary precaution you can. How many alarm clocks are you using now?"
I sigh, "Four," ticking them off my fingers as I continue, "One next to the bed, one on the other side of the room so I actually have to get up to turn it off, one in the bathroom telling me to get out of the shower, and one in the kitchen when it's time to go."
This earns another hearty chuckle from Edward as I finally open my locker. Shoving my gym bag inside, I remove the few books I need to get me through the morning. Luckily, our school has orientation a week before school starts, where we get our schedules, books, and lockers; everything I need is already good to go.
"Are you ready for the first day back?" I ask.
"No, I didn't have enough time with you during the summer." He leans against the lockers, his intense green eyes never straying away from me as he brushes his fingers around my waist.
"To think, next year you'll be away at college, and I'll be here all by myself." I fake a pout.
"Hmm, maybe I'll flunk this year, so I have to stay and graduate with you."
"Oh, I'm sure your parents will just love that." I avert my gaze onto my locker mirror, tucking a few hairs behind my ears. With a gasp, I notice a familiar figure in the reflection over my shoulder. Jacob is staring straight at me, his broad body leaning against the opposite wall, his hands shoved deep in his pockets with one foot propped against the wall. His figure is quickly replaced, blocked by a new face as Edward locks eyes with me through the tiny mirror.
"You look beautiful," he praises, resting his chin on my shoulder. I roll my eyes at him. I'm average, with long, chestnut hair and brown eyes; certainly not beautiful. Shaking my head, I slam the locker shut.
"Why don't you ever believe me when I tell you you're beautiful?" Edward asks exasperatedly.
"Because it's not true," I retort.
"Bella, have you any idea how frustrating it is that you don't believe me?" Taking my shoulders, he levels his face with mine. "You. Are. Beautiful. How many times must I say it?"
Thankfully, Alice chooses this moment to bounce up to us, ending the redundant argument. We say hello just as the first bell sounds.
"Bella, are you ready for Mr. Moore's class?" Alice's soft voice tinkles as she bobs up and down; I swear the tiny pixie-like girl is always bouncing. Honestly, I'm envious of her early morning energy. Here I am, the girl who needs four alarm clocks, whereas Alice is naturally indefatigable. Bet she only uses one alarm clock too.
"History at eight a.m.?" I let out a groan. "No, I'll never be ready. Whose bright idea was it to have history first period anyway? I'll be asleep in less than two minutes."
"It won't be that bad; you'll have me there," Alice croons.
"Just promise to nudge me when I start to nod off," I say with my index finger pointing at her nose.
"Of course; what are best friends for?"
"I'll meet you here between classes," Edward says, sweetly kissing me on the temple. "I've got chemistry this hour."
"Ugh, good luck; that's worse than history."
Mr. Moore's classroom is bustling as Alice and I take two seats next to each other near the center of the room, the second row from the back. The individual desk-chairs are lined into tight rows, the front of one desk nearly touching the back of another. As the classroom continues to fill, Alice and I talk in our usual banter, laughing until the tardy bell rings. Digging into my backpack, I begin pulling out my notebook and pencil as I feel a tap on my shoulder. With a questioning look, I turn to the seat behind me, my brown eyes meeting with ebony ones.
Jacob Black? What is he doing here? This is junior history, and he's a senior. Maybe his bad boy reputation isn't too off base if he's stuck retaking this class.
"Can I borrow a pencil?" Jacob gives me a cocky smile, one that I couldn't quite figure out the meaning of.
"It's the first day of school and you don't have a pencil?" I ask incredulously.
Jacob's eyes flash angrily. "It's just a pencil, Princess. Daddy can buy you a new one."
Excuse me? Princess? Daddy can-? Who does this guy think he's talking to? I think my own eyes flash back at him; without responding, I dig into my bag. An impatient sigh brushes against my shoulder as I produce a brand new, wooden pencil. He'll have to sharpen it of course, but for some reason, this makes me feel better. It's a little victory to me, like I'm making him work for the reward.
"Keep it." Smiling, I hand it over, refusing to let him believe his snide little remark has gotten to me, even if it has. A moment later, the grinding sound of the pencil sharpener fills the room, causing me to smile.
Class continues to drone on with Mr. Moore. After passing out a syllabus, he immediately gets us started on taking notes. Not a moment goes by that I'm not aware of Jacob's presence behind me. As hard as I try to ignore him, I swear I can feel his breath on my shoulder or the slightest touch to my hair. The chairs are close enough that it could be accidental. If my hair was any longer, it would be laying atop his desk. Uncertain as to whether or not he is doing this on purpose, I casually sweep my hair around front, resting it on one shoulder.
A minute passes. Concluding that the desks are just too close together, I allow myself to relax.
A hot breath descends down my neck, causing me to jump noisily in my seat. Several eyes land on me while Alice gives me a concerned glance. Resisting the urge to shoot a dirty look at Jacob, I duck my head. My cheeks burn pink as I release my hair, effectively covering my exposed neck, and fanning it to cover as much of my bare shoulders as possible.
For the next thirty minutes of class, I'm on hyper alert, my skin tingling with anticipation, waiting, expecting to feel his breath tickle my skin, the faint breeze through my hair, but I feel nothing.
During the last five minutes, Mr. Moore assigns us study questions from chapters one through six. Fifty questions, due tomorrow, the whole class groans in unison. As Alice and I stand to file out of the classroom, I allow myself to look at Jacob, still sprawled out at his desk with only a syllabus and pencil lying in front of him. No history book; no notes.
My mind boggles. He didn't take notes? Why did he need to borrow my pencil if he didn't even plan to use it? And why was he bothering me during class? Surely his breath on my neck wasn't an accident. Was it? Maybe I'm just reading too much into this; he certainly isn't paying any attention to me now, and I'm standing right in front of him.
"What's wrong?" Alice asks, snapping my attention to her, concern lacing her usually bubbly voice. In my peripheral vision, I see Jacob look up at us. Our classmates still filing out the door have forced us to stop next to his desk.
"You're biting your lip." She points. "You only do that when you're anxious or trying solve a problem." Damn Alice for being so perceptive.
"Oh." I stumble for an effective lie. "I was just thinking about how long it will take to do all those study questions. I wanted to spend some time with Edward tonight."
"Oh yeah, I know! What's Mr. Moore thinking? I mean, just because he doesn't have a life doesn't mean we don't!" Leave it to Alice to screech that our teacher doesn't have a life when he's still in the room. I quickly check him at his desk. Luckily, he didn't hear, or he just doesn't care.
"Where do you go next?" Alice asks, still oblivious to her blunder, or maybe she just doesn't care either.
"English, Miss Davenport. What about you?"
"I have band this hour, and it's my homeroom. So I'll see you at lunch?" Without waiting for an answer, she bounces in the opposite direction toward the band room, strategically placed at the far side of the school.
Rounding the corner, I spot Edward waiting at our rendezvous point with his back to me, much like the first time I met him. Only this time, he's expecting me. Practically running, I sneak up behind him, whispering in his ear, "Miss me?"
"Always." He turns around, smiling my favorite crooked smile; my heart flutters in response.
We met my freshman year, when his sister suggested Edward take me to the Valentines dance after he'd insisted he wasn't going. Of course, this didn't stop Rosalie.
At the time, Rose was a junior, Varsity Captain, and one of my only friends on the cheerleading squad. She had often given me a ride home since we live in the same neighborhood.
"Bella, do you mind if we stop and get something to eat? I'm starving," asks the beautiful blonde sitting next to me in her pristine BMW. Until she mentioned it, I hadn't realized we've turned off the main road, heading towards the Lion's Head.
"Of course not, Rose." Internally, I groan. The Lion's Head is the restaurant at the local country club. I think it's over-priced and a little too pompous for my tastes, but Rosalie loves it. The Country Club caters to all their members, and Rose revels in the attention. Thanks to Charlie and his 'appearances,' we're both well-known members as well.
Once inside, Rosalie surprises me by dodging the hostess and flowing right to an occupied booth in the back. Confused, I follow her, noticing only a mop of messy, copper hair waiting for us. When we reach the table, Rosalie unabashedly slides next to the handsome young man.
"Hello, little brother." She shuffles his hair. "How nice of you to save us a seat!"
"Us?" The boy asks, raising his gaze from his sister's to mine; his eyes flitter back and forth a few times. As it dawns on him what his sister has done, his cheeks turn a light shade of pink as I feel my own rival to match.
"Have a seat, Bella." Rosalie motions to the opposite side of the booth, smiling like the cat that caught the canary.
A few uncomfortable minutes later, Rose excuses herself to the restroom, instructing us to 'talk.' I admit I'm nervous. I've never had dinner with a boy before. I'm completely inexperienced when it comes to dating.
"I'm really sorry about my sister. She seems to think she's quite the matchmaker." Edward fiddles with the cloth napkin in front of him.
"So I noticed. Is she always so…" I stop, unsure of the right adjective.
"Meddlesome? Yes, though this is the first time she's ever tried to hook me up with anyone."
"Oh, lucky me." I wince at the sound of my own words. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that in a bad wa., I'm sure you're great. I just meant... it's not that I don't like you – who wouldn't? You're beautiful. I mean…oh God." Lifting the collar of my tee shirt up to the bridge of my nose, I hide my face, my knuckles covering my closed eyes. I'm mortified. What is the matter with me?
"It's okay. I understood what you meant…I think," he chuckles; I lower the shirt slightly, peeking out but still too ashamed to come entirely out of hiding. "You're going to have to come out from behind there sooner or later."
"No, I won't. I can stay in here a very long time."
"It'll be hard to eat like that." He has a point.
Slowly, I right my shirt.
"That's better," he smiles, and for the first time, I see his imperfectly perfect smile.
Still embarrassed, my eyes dart past him to the restrooms, searching for Rosalie. She's been gone a long time, and I need her as my buffer.
"She's not coming back, you know."
"I know my sister. She's not coming back."
"But she was my ride!"
"I'll take you home, Bella. I'm sure that was her plan all along."
Executed, Rosalie's 'plan' has worked, though neither of us like to admit it. By the time Edward had driven me home, he asked me to the Valentines dance. Afterward, we shared our first kiss under the stars on my doorstep. We've been happily together ever since.
"How was history? Didn't fall asleep, did you?" Edward's eyes are playful as he takes my hand and begins walking me to my next class.
"Nope, I was wide awake the whole time." Mostly because I was hypersensitive to the person sitting behind me, but I think it best not to mention that part. Jacob is still a mystery to me. I just don't know what to make of that first hour.
"Alice did her job then?" What? Oh, right, we're talking about Alice, not Jacob.
"Yep, Alice did great. You know how she is; she'd never pass up a chance at poking me with a pencil." The word brings the involuntary question to my mind. Why did Jacob ask me for a pencil if he didn't even need it? Was it just an excuse to talk to me? Not that he was particularly nice to me when he did talk to me. What was that about anyway? Does he not like me? What was it he called me? Oh right, Princess.
"Bella? What are you thinking so hard about?" Edward interrupts my thoughts. Damn, are my friends really this perceptive, or am I just that transparent?
"Nothing. I'm just tired, I guess." Still fighting to keep Jacob out of my thoughts, we stop outside of my classroom. "I'll see you in an hour?" Offering a small smile, I turn into the room when his hand clasps around my wrist and pulls me back.
"Wait, you can't go in there without giving me a kiss goodbye."
"Edward, I'm going to see you again in less than an hour."
"But you're leaving for that hour. You have to kiss me goodbye when you leave me." His eyes still hold that playful glow to them. I roll my eyes but oblige easily, lifting up on my toes and brushing my lips against his.
"Goodbye," I sigh.
"Goodbye. I love you."
I swear my heart stops beating. Using every ounce of dignity I can, I force my face into what I believe is a sweet smile. Awkwardly, I turn around and dart inside the classroom.
Don't judge me.
My thoughts are flying a million miles per minute as I walk straight to the back of the room and take a seat. I didn't know what to do; a wave of panic, dread, and guilt crashed over me, so I ran. Laying my forehead down on the cool table, I squeeze my eyes shut. I'm too engrossed in my own thoughts to look at the person who sits beside me, but I hear them, scraping the chair legs against the floor and plopping down. The desks are different in this classroom; each table has two chairs, sharing the desk space.
Sliding my head off the desk, I reach into my backpack, pulling out a notebook and pencil. This isn't the first time Edward has told me he loves me, though it's the first time he's said it in such a public place. Was he expecting me to say it back? I thought he understood my views on this. Not that I'm discouraging him from saying it. He has every right to tell me how he feels, but I hate not saying those three words back to him.
It's not that I don't believe in love or I have an aversion to it or anything, it's just that…I'm not ready. I know Edward loves me; he's told me several times before. I just never say it back. Not that I don't love him.; I do, but do I truly know what love is? I'm almost seventeen, and Edward's the first boyfriend I've ever had.
I hear half the student body say they love their girlfriend or boyfriend every day. They could be going out for a week and already they're in 'love.' It's a word that gets tossed around so much it loses its meaning. Love is too important a word for that. When I tell Edward I love him, I want to know it; I want to mean it with every ounce of my heart because once I say it, once it's out there, I can't take it back.
A husky voice startles me out of my thoughts. "Can I borrow some paper, Princess?"
My head snaps so hard it's almost painful. Jacob is my desk partner. He had been the one to sit down beside me when I was too preoccupied to notice. What's he doing here? This is junior English! Not only that, but he sat next to me. He chose to sit next to me and he called me Princess again. Does someone who dislikes you sit next to you?
"Little unprepared for school today, are we?" I begin ripping out a few pages of my notebook, lest he get the wrong impression and decide that I'm too snooty to give him some paper.
Unexpectedly, Jacob leans closer to me. Only a few inches away, I can feel the heat radiating off of his body as he shoots me a dazzling smile that could rival Edward's. I have to admit, I feel momentarily enamored. My heart skips a beat as I fight the flush on my face.
"I'm always prepared…" His eyes roam down my body and back up provocatively. "…when it counts."
Just like that, the enamored feeling is gone. I rip the pages out of the book, tossing them so they scatter across the table. His smile widens as he leans back in his seat, stretching his legs out diagonally, pressing his knee against mine. I jerk back involuntarily, as though his touch has burned me.
I try desperately to look anywhere but at him, ignoring the close proximity between us. Through my peripheral vision, I can see him staring at me, his body slouched back, facing mine, with one arm resting on the back of his chair, the corner of his mouth turned up. I notice he is still carrying the pencil I gave him first hour, not that I should care. I try to listen to Miss Davenport's lecture, but I can't concentrate. It's like he's assessing me.
I typically make it a rule to be nice to everyone, but Jacob Black is making that difficult. My mother always used to say that line from Bambi, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," or something like that. It's been a long time since I've seen that movie, probably as long as it's been since I've seen my mom. I still hold on to everything she taught me, trying to make her proud just in case she decides to call. She's called before to check up on me, and when she calls again, I want to have something to tell her that will make her proud. The real reason I'm a cheerleader is for her.
She would talk about her days in high school, how they were the best years of her life. She was captain of the squad while my dad was the captain of the football team; together, they won homecoming king and queen. I guess I just think that if I work hard enough to be everything she wants me to be, she'll come home.
Honestly though, I don't know where my mother is. And the last time she called, well…I was twelve. So maybe I'm crazy, thinking that being perfect for her and Charlie will bring her back. But I'd do just about anything to get her to come home. For the rest of the hour, my mind drifts back to memories of my mother, father and me when I was young, before I knew that our home in Crestwood Estates was viewed as the 'rich' part of town, before I knew what keeping up with appearances meant, and before my mother walked out of my life, and I was actually happy.
For the rest of the hour, I completely forget about Jacob Black.
Edward's waiting for me in the hallway outside of English. Walking straight into him, I wrap my arms around his waist in a tight hug. I don't care that we are in the middle of a crowded hallway and I don't care who is staring, I just need him. I need to feel better somehow, and this seems to be the only way. Resting my cheek against his hard chest, his warmth caresses my soul, effectively melting away my insecurities about my mother.
As we pull apart, Edward is shoved roughly, shouldered by a large, dark body.
"Hey," Edward calls at the retreating form angrily. It continues walking away, only turning back to glance at us, an unreadable expression across his face. Jacob. "What the hell is his problem?"
"I don't know," I shrug. I've been wondering that same thing all morning. "Do you know why Jacob would be in my English class?" My words are out before I'd thought to contain them.
"Jacob Black is in Junior English?" He laughs.
"And history," I add, though I don't laugh. I'm actually kind of peeved that Edward is laughing. It's rude.
"I'm surprised he even came back to school. I didn't peg him for the type."
"What do you mean? Did he drop out?"
"Dropped out, kicked out, I dunno, Bella. The stories are all different. The guy's a jackass," he shrugs nonchalantly. Apprehension then clouds his face as he grabs my wrist to stop me mid-stride. "Did he say anything to you?"
"He just asked to borrow some paper." And a pencil, but the way Edward is looking at me, it seems best not to mention the fact that he's talked to me not once, but three times today. And it isn't even lunch yet.
"You should stay away from him, Bella. That guy's bad news."
"Bad news how?" I ask, though I think I already have an idea based on his tattoo, his attire, and the way he's been staring at me all hour.
Edward's worried face smoothes into a smile. "You're so pure, Bella. You don't even notice those out there that aren't. Just trust me, okay?"
"I'm not pure." I'm offended but don't have a better argument other than just denying the fact.
"You are." Kissing our intertwined hands, he adds, "You're pure and innocent and decent, and that's why I love you."
I try not to bristle at his words, especially the last three.
Our homeroom stays the same from freshman year to senior year, thank goodness. For an hour I'm free from having to worry about Jacob Black unexpectedly walking in. Nodding hello to Eric Yorkie, I slide into the seat next to him; the same spot I've sat in since my first day of freshman year. Glad that I have an hour to start on homework, I pull out my history book. Mrs. Clark winks at me from behind her desk, and I smile back at her. Mrs. Clark is my favorite teacher. She's a little scatter-brained and not at all useful for helping with homework other than home ec, the class she teaches, but I can't help but love her enthusiasm. She seriously loves her job.
Eric abruptly jumps up; banging his knees on the desk, nearly knocking it over, he quickly grabs his books and runs to the next table as if he can't get away from me fast enough. Completely confused, I look up. My heart starts pounding erratically against my rib cage as my eyes focus on the person walking toward me. I didn't see how, but I know that, somehow, Jacob has frightened Eric into scampering away so he can take the seat next to me.
What's he doing here? He's not even supposed to be in this homeroom!
He walks around the desk slowly, holding my gaze; his lips turn up in the corners as though he's amused. His eyes show an emotion I can't quite place, whether it's humor for sitting next to me for the third time in a row or maybe it's sheer arrogance. With him, it's hard to tell, though I'd bet on the latter.
Our gaze finally breaks when Mrs. Clark starts talking. "Welcome to homeroom, students. If you're returning, then you know what to do. If not, I'll give you a quick summary. Homeroom is a study hour, not a playtime hour or naptime." Mrs. Clark giggles, as if she's made some sort of a joke. "There is no talking during homeroom unless it's with me. You may get passes from your other teachers and go to their rooms during this hour for help on your homework. Otherwise, you may ask me. Though I don't know how helpful I'll be, I'll do my best. I've converted the office into a student lounge, so you may help each other and not disrupt anyone. Please ask before using it as I will only allow two students in there at a time. If you don't have any homework, then you will use this time to read." Mrs. Clark gazes over each student, smiling, her hands shuffling excitedly. "All right, let's get to work."
Without so much as a glance to the person sitting next to me, I stick my nose back into the history book. Not that I can concentrate now, with Jacob's penetrating eyes watching me like a hawk. Again.
I don't know why Jacob has a sudden fascination with me, but I don't like it. I'm even more apprehensive about him now that I talked with Edward. What interest could he possibly have with me that he'd want to sit next to me for three classes? Does he just enjoy watching me squirm? He certainly doesn't act like he likes me. He even shoved against Edward in that hallway for no given reason. I'm beginning to think Edward is right and that Jacob is a jackass.
"Glad to see you've started my homework," says the jackass in a conversational tone, one I haven't heard from him yet.
"Your homework?" Is that really my best retort?
"You're going to give me your answers." His tone is still light, playful even.
"No, I don't believe I will," I politely reply.
Mrs. Clark puts a finger to her lips. "No talking, Bella…uh, Mr.…" Mrs. Clark looks down at her desk, rifling through the pages like she's lost something.
"Jake," Jacob responds.
"Jake?" She asks, a confused look on her face.
Mrs. Clark nods then squeals as she finally locates her student roster. Jacob cocks an eyebrow at me before continuing. "Mrs. Clark?" he says, using that dazzling smile of his. I curse myself for letting that same smile dazzle me only an hour before. "I was wondering if Bella and I could use the student lounge. I need some help with my study questions."
What? I snap my head up at him then at Mrs. Clark pleading with my eyes, no! Of course Mrs. Clark can't take her eyes off his toothy grin and agrees it's a wonderful idea.
And to think, I used to like you Mrs. Clark.
A/N: Maybe I'm too hard on myself, but this is not my favorite piece of work. I feel like it's much more casually written and that's just not my style but I had a really, really hard time with this. I've written and re-written this first chapter about a dozen times. The second chapter is my favorite. It's where the story really takes off but before we could get there I needed to get through this.
P.S. JPOV is relatively taking place at the same time as Bella's POV, this means that he is not waking up with Bella. And if it's not Bella who is it? :D
Special thanks to jkane180 for betaing this for me! *hugs*