idiopathic neuropathy is a ficticious condition invented for the tv series, Haven, Nathan suffers from it, so don't try and fit it's symptoms into any existing real condition. I don't own Twilight, or Haven. I watch both , you will all guess I know nothing about American football, but if it's a comfort, I know nothing about Aussie football either, except it's banned from the tv in our bedroom.


Chapter One

"Edward, you need to put on a sweater," my Mom called as I walked towards my car. I scowled and tried to remember if I had left my coat in my car last night. No, I hung it up as always.

Mom met me at the front door and handed me the hand knitted abomination she knitted herself. I had never let on how hideous it was, why couldn't she have just knitted something plain in black yarn, something unnoticeable and boring?

Rainbow stripes.



The woman had clearly no idea rainbow was the icon of the gay community and me wearing this sweater said 'pretty boy looking for similar pretty boy for relationship'. Bad enough nobody had ever called me handsome, no, Edward was pretty. Slim fingers as pretty as a girls, well, less masculine than Madonna's or Angelina's hands. I watched their hands on the screen and wished we could swap, one of them at least must despair over their large, masculine 'man hands' and want to do an exchange for my pretty digits.

I pulled up at the side of the road and took the offending sweater off and pulled on the jacket I had grabbed 'in case of rain' and tucked the rainbow atrocity as far under the front seat as it would go.

No wonder Edward doesn't have a girlfriend, thought Emmett, shaking his head as his brother left in the sweater, as he hitched Roaslie Hale's right leg higher over his thigh.

Sex in the back seat of his car? Very racy and an instant turn on.

Everyone assumed he wanted the jeep because it was a typical macho symbol but really, it had the biggest back seat ever. The moment he saw that attribute in the car yard, he was smitten.

He watched his 'Mom' close the front door and return inside.

Esme Cullen was a wonderful woman. Unable to have a family of her own, she had gathered up and fostered all the 'orphan' teens in this small town and given them a place to turn to whenever they needed to escape.

Emmett's parent's had more children than they could cope with, him being the oldest of seven and the least manageable, he had been the sacrificial lamb tossed out to save his siblings. His overworked, over stretched parents had no time nor patience to wait out his early rebellion period and had given the state the job of finding him shelter.

Edward had already lived with Carlisle and Esme, he was their first waif taken into their hearts and home. His parents were too concerned with their careers to spend time with their only child and his wandering at night, looking for company, from his fourth birthday, had infuriated his father and by age seven he had been surrendered and placed. His bio's rarely sought contact, they were much too busy with their very important careers and their 'mistake' had been taken care of, so what was the problem? They were better off without him and he was definitely better off without them.

Elizabeth had her tubes tied after his unplanned birth and Edward senior had already been for a vasectomy the day the pregnancy test turned positive.

Everyone makes mistakes, they were just glad their's had been dealt with so simply. They had tried, they both assured themselves and each other, but he truly was a strange child. Born healthy, he had gradually lost all feeling in his skin so he had no idea what pain was, what cold was, what warm meant.

He had to be told to remove or add a sweater. His bathwater had to be tested or he would climb in and sit in freezing cold water in Winter or near boiling in Summer. He could not detect any hint of temperature at all.

He would bolt down his food before it had a chance to cool, and was regularly in hospital for touching hotplates before the power had been turned off, or burning himself by sitting too close to an open fire at camps and bonfires.

He had been entirely too much bother. It was fine for outsiders to judge them, but they hadn't been burdened with this strange, intensely quiet and introspective little chap whom neither could relate to. They comforted themselves that there had probably been a mix-up in the maternity ward, maybe some other green eyed, copper haired baby boy was born that same day and the babies had been switched. They would never have produced such an oddity. So, they hadn't even given up their own flesh and blood, really, had they? They had merely handed on the cuckoo from their nest into someone else's.

He had always been exceptionally bright so he usually followed the example set by others in his vicinity, adding or removing layers of clothing when they did.

The boys at his very expensive private school his parents had enrolled him in while he was still in their custody, thought it hilarious to all strip down to their Tshirts on icy days until Edward followed suit, then they would leave his area and hurriedly redress and grin and heckle him as his arms goosepimpled and turned blue.

What a hoot!

Masen was such a moron.

They delighted in handing him cocoa far too hot to drink and telling him it was cooled, and watching him not even flinch as he drank it down and it scolded his tongue.

He spent a lot of time with the school nurse when the master's noticed his injuries, but he was always unperturbed by them, seeing they caused him no actual pain.

His arms and legs were scarred from the many falls and scrapes and his feet bore the jagged reminder of the time as a toddler, he dropped a glass bottle on the concrete path and toddled across the glass, leaving a grizzly trail of blood that caused his father to swear and his mother to faint.

Dr Carlisle Cullen had stitched him up and looked after him from the day he was born, so when he expressed an interest in fostering, the Masen's knew just the child for them.


And it had worked out so well for everyone. Of course, they wished they could have kept in touch but their careers had necessitated a move to New York and that's so far from Washington state and they were so very busy.

Except for their dutiful gifts of a check Christmas and birthdays, it was like he had never existed and blighted their lives for those stressful seven years.

Edward had known enough to recognize Esme and Carlisle loved him in a way his parents never had even tried to, so he requested his surname be changed to theirs soon after they welcomed the skinny, intense child into their home.

Edward Anthony Masen Cullen.

Though more often then not, he neglected to even add the Masen in his name.

The third 'brother' Jasper, had come from a broken home, father had done a disappearing trick when he could no longer handle his wife's alcoholism, so Jasper had struggled to parent his mother and Social Services had stepped in and forcibly removed the child who desperately wanted to stay and look after her.

He was ten when taken, and he had been the challenge of the three.

Edward had adored his foster parents, whom he considered his natural parents, because they loved him naturally. Emmett was an eternal optimist who accepted his Fate and blossomed under the Cullen's care and he still thanked God every night for the fact he had his own bed and didn't have to share, and his very own bedroom.

Mind you, nowadays he shared that very same bed more often than not with Rosalie. She was always game to sneak over to the Cullen house and climb in his window. Her parents were somewhat like Edward's, incredibly driven and busy and as a result, neither were home long enough to know what she was up to or where the girl was.

Jasper had mourned and cried over being separated from his Mom and he fought them for two years before accepting until he was eighteen, there was nothing he could do about the situation. His mother spent most of her life in one rehab or another and Jasper planned to be there to care for her the day that magical birthday finally came around.

Alice was the final sibling by choice. Carlisle had treated the child and tried to reassure her parents the vision's of the future she had from her earliest memories, were not a sign of insanity or feeblemindedness so when they decided to surrender her to an institution and expected him to sign the forms, he had offered them an alternative, and the grateful pair had signed the fostering agreement so fast his head had spun.

Alice was a delightful child and no trouble at all, her visions were often very clear and always came to pass, but neither Carlisle nor Esme thought they were the work of the Devil as her parent's had believed, and they adored her.

Esme's only fear was their days of parenting were coming to an end. Edward was soon turning eighteen, as was Emmett, Jasper was seventeen next week and Alice was sixteen already.

Soon the big house with the many bedrooms and bathrooms and hallways that rang with laughter and childish glee and harmless pranks would echo with silence again.

The two oldest boys would be headed for college, and Jasper had expressed a need for a gap year when he finished high school so he could wait for Alice to go with him the following year. He refused to ever be parted from the little pixie faced girl he most definitely did not see as a sister in any respects. But she gave him something new to fulfil his need to care for now his mother's liver had given up and she had died the last month of Spring.

He barely knew her by then, she had changed so much as the demon drink gripped her tighter and tighter in it's grasp and Esme was ashamed to feel nothing but relief that Jasper had been cheated of his doomed to failure future, trying to cure the woman.

Esme knew about Rosalie, just as she knew Jasper and Alice often shared a bed, but she was realistic and didn't see the point in creating problems where none existed. They were needy individuals and they had found their mates at a young age, as those rejected by the parents who should have loved them often were. She provided contraception, advice not lectures, and accepted their love for one another.

She actually only worried about Edward.

He was so alone. He had dated girls but he lacked the lure of sexual gratification boys his age were inspired by. He could achieve erections and erase them by his own hand but the sense was merely one of relief, not pleasure, and kissing girls barely registered. A little pressure against his own lips, nothing more. No urges of desire when they put their tongues inside his mouth, no uncomfortable, desperate throbbing in his loins.

Jessica Stanley had been fascinated, maybe a little obsessed with him for a while, and her hand had substituted for his, but his reaction as his seed spilled soon bored her, he would often forget what she was working so hard on achieving and start to stare out of his bedroom window or even read as she gripped harder and moved her hand faster.

Sometimes he barely knew he had come. Just the mess told him so and he would casually clean up like other men took a tissue to their nose when necessary.

Her lips had no more success than her hand, she could bring him to climax, but he was so removed from the act she soon moved on to Mike, who yelled her name in a much more satisfying way as her ministrations brought him over the brink.

She shared his parent's opinion, the boy was strange.

xxx xxx xxx xxx

She was sitting in the bleachers, shivering and holding her hands between her knees, pulling the inadequate thin jacket closer around herself when Edward saw her.

Bella Swan.

Wannabe girlfriend of the football captain, Riley Biers, who knew she existed but had plenty of better options before he took her up on her obvious crush and what it would bring him. A night or two of sex and fun then he would move on. That's what popularity did for him, he could have any girl by clicking his fingers and they all came running and he amused himself with their bodies until he got bored.

Attention span of a gnat.

He knew that just as he knew he was glad college and new pickings loomed so soon. He had just about worked his way through the whole female population of the school by now.

Bella Swan was attractive and quite sexy in an oblivious way, but she reeked of being the type of girl Riley avoided. A girl who wanted more, a girl not willing to accept two nights was his limit. he had seen her write his name on her pencilcase since elementary school, so he had planned to give in and hook up with her exactly two nights before he left for NYU.

She was staying close to home, SeattleU, so he would probably never cross paths with her again.

He could be in and out, many times, he snickered, in two nights and then when she turned up at his house, as she inevitably would the third day, his Mom would tell her the news. He had headed off to college early, starting a sport's program that needed his full concentration before classes started and demanded some of his attention.

No doubt there would be texts and maybe even a loveletter full of pain and anguish but he could burn it without reading.

Girls like Bella Swan were the only problem his looks and charm caused. They all wanted him, the good time girls, the sad and pathetic librarian types, and the white picket fence brigade, of which Bella was clearly a member.

Her parents divorce had left her split into two.

One Bella wanted to regain trust and security by marrying straight out of high school or college, or during college, even.

The other rejected the very idea of marriage as an unworkable farce.

Riley preferred the latter persona but the looks of adoration she was giving him, he was pretty darn sure it was Bella #1 watching him play today.

He would double bag himself, two condoms, every time he fucked her, that was a given. Nobody was tying him down in this Godforsaken village that couldn't even be classified as a small town.

Edward took a seat behind Bella as he waited for Jasper to walk on to the field. Of the three boys, Jasper was the slightest built but he was quick and athletic, whippy and stronger than his looks suggested. His power was the fact the opposition always underestimated him and wrote him off from first glance so he often won the game for his team by hiding his talent under a bushel until the last few vital plays, when he would run like the wind and leave them all open mouthed and baffled.

Emmett finally arrived and he helped Rosalie from the jeep and walked over to leave her in Edward's care while he changed and took his position on the field. Emmett was an obvious and natural player, so large the other side were intimidated by his size alone. He knew he could have claimed the spot as team captain any time he wanted, he was stronger, faster and smarter than Riley Biers but he preferred to be vice captain. His college options were irrelevant, Carlisle could easily afford to put all his children through any ivy league school without a moment's hesitation so the scouts didn't bother Emmett.

If he got a sports scholarship to his chosen college, fine, but if not, no problem. he would not change to a different one just because they wanted him more.

Edward spoke to Rose then jogged to his car and returned with the bane of his existence, and she gently tapped the shoulder of the pretty brunette in front of where they sat, offering her the use of the rainbow embarrassment.

She raised her eyebrows at first sight of it, but relented and accepted, it was that cold here today. Edward smiled as the sweater enveloped her from neck to knees, hanging over her wrists to hide even her small hands, and she thanked them . Rose moved to sit beside her, preferring the company of females over males except Emmett, any day of the week. She knew Bella quite well but she was hardly a close friend.

"So, you are on Riley Patrol, Bella?" Rose asked.

Edward listened in, not really interested, watching his brothers warm up and toss the ball to one another.

"I really am getting close to giving up, Rose. You know he is off to NYU? I heard that from at least six different sources, though he denies it. I fear I am going to miss my chance with him."

She tossed her hair back and Edward gasped as her scent invaded his nose.

Fuck she smelled awesome.

He pretend to cough to cover up the audible gasp as they both turned to look at him.

"Swallowed a bug," he muttered, looking anywhere but at the pair of deep brown eyes looking curiously at him.

The girls faced away again and he edged in a little closer.



Something else as well.

"Bella, I know you think it would be the pinnacle of your high school career to get your cherry popped by Riley Biers but I have to warn you, he is nowhere as good as he thinks. He is extremely selfish in bed and never raises a finger to assist a girl along, if you get my drift. So long as Riley gets his, that's all he cares about.

And he is a freak for backdoor action. I suspect because he knows he can't impregnant anyone that way but the man is a beast. I say you would be way better off forgetting him and concentrating on the new pool of possibles at SeattleU. Maybe there will be a decent guy amongst the losers."

Bella laughed and Rose joined in.

"Okay, more decent guy. Wouldn't be hard to be more decent than Riley, anyway," Rose sneered.

"He is just, I dunno, sort of beautiful?" offered Bella.

"God no, he may be pretty on the outside but his soul is pure evil. Emmett already told me Riley has plans for you. Do you want to know?"

"Of course, Rose. Spill."

"He plans to invite you out two nights before he leaves Forks, and screw you senseless as often as possible in those 48 hours then ditch you and bolt for NYU and delete you from his phone and Facebook."

Bella looked at Rose and Edward saw a small tear escape and run down her cheek.

He wanted to reach over and wipe it away but of course, he didn't dare.

She was so small and frail, he was so large and strong, and he lacked the ability to judge how hard or roughly he was touching anyone.

He had trained himself to always hold back when touching girls in any way but the times he had pleased Jessica with his long, slim fingers had been so frustrating, he could not distinguish when he rubbed too hard,or probed too deep, her flinches were the same as her more eager responses when he had been getting it right. Their time together was always dotted with her alternately moaning in pleasure, and her cautioning him to be more gentle, to go softer.

Relationships were impossible for him, he had concluded, and starting anything that could only lead to more rejection in his life was not an option he relished.

He couldn't help being somewhat fascinated with this girl, though.

"Really? Well I guess I asked for that. Mooning after the most popular boy in school. How could I ever imagine he would want more than just easy sex from me? It's not like I am a catch."

Edward resisted the urge to growl at her.

She was being ridiculous.

Sure, the pairing of Riley and Bella would be lopsided but only because she was far too good for the likes of him.

He was simply an opportunist, a manwhore, a man with zero appreciation of the girls who willingly gave him their all.

"You can do a hell of a lot better than Riley Biers," Edward stated and stood and walked away, leaving both girls surprised at his comment.

Emmett signalled Rose to run down and give him his usual good luck tonguing, and Bella walked to where Edward stood, leaning against the wire fence.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"You are the smartest girl I know, you are the only girl Angela and I have ever had to compete against for top of the class in any subject, you are beautiful and sexy and have a killer body, and yet you want to waste yourself on a dick like Riley? I don't get it. He is a user. The girls he screws get joked about in the locker rooms with the rest of the team. He rates girls by their skills, he only spares a single night on those he deems unworthy of a second visit, and he tells every boy interested what each girl did to him, with him, what they prefer, what they hate. He doesn't care who chases after them and screws them next, he has no interest once he has used them himself.

He doesn't even see girl's as humans. More playtoys. Why would someone like you even look at someone like him?"

Bella frowned.

"All the girls here want Riley. He is the best thing on offer in Forks."

"Really? Bella, think about it, is he is the best thing on offer or the worst?"

Rose ran up to join them and the three watched the game and Bella was quiet, looking at Edward now and then, shaking her head.

When the game ended, she pulled his sweater off and threw it to him and stomped off to that appalling vehicle she seemed to like, and left before the team emerged.

"I think maybe, between the two of us, we may have convinced her to avoid Riley like the plague he is," said Rose.

"You did what? You two had better not have mucked up my plans with Bella Swan," growled Riley, walking up beside Emmett.

"Sorry, we just pointed out to her what a douchebag you are and how she was better off turning lesbian," Rose answered.

"You are just a jealous hag because you have never had the pleasure of a night with Riley and Big Riley," he replied, crudely grabbing his package and shaking it at her.

"Well that would never happen because I prefer real men, not morons who think with their dicks," she growled back, entwining herself in Emmett's arms as he reached for her.

"Oh well, if I don't get to fuck Bella, I guess I will pay a little visit to Alice, she looks like a girl who knows quality when she has it shoved up her ass," he quipped as Edward unthinkingly clenched his fist and punched the boy squarely in the face, breaking his nose with a satisfying crack.

Emmett was behind him in a second, preventing a second punch being thrown as he grabbed Edwards arms and pulled them behind his back.

"Edward, no, you put too much into that punch. One punch can kill, you know you can't hit anyone."

Edward turned and walked to his car, hiding the smile that threatened to split his face. The blood on his hand was his victory. Let's see how many college girls he beds with the misshapen mess of a nose Edward had left him with.

He drove straight home to report to his father what he had done.

He knew it had been stupid and foolhardy and Emmett was right, with him especially, one punch could kill, he had no idea how much strength had been behind that blow.

As Esme listened and clucked about and washed his hand, he was shocked to find the blood was not Riley's alone, his knuckles were split from the force as they met the boy's skin.

"Strictly speaking, you just exchanged fluids with the biggest whore in town, Edward, I will have to test you although I know the boy purchases more condom's than the rest of the male population put together. You are probably safe," sighed Carlisle.

Edward watched the blood be drawn from his arm and grinned.

It was still worth it.

Nobody messed with his Bella.

He stopped smiling and shook his head.

Of course, what he meant was, nobody messes with his sister Alice.

xxx xxx xxx

Rose walked into his bedroom and dropped the forgotten rainbow sweater onto his bed.

"Well done, I have to say that was the best punch ever. Carlisle is at the hospital putting a splint on the bastard's face and booking him into a plastic surgeon. I hope it's a really bad one and he comes out looking like Pinocchio."

Edward laughed.

"Come on, he seems to think bigger is better when it comes to dicks, why not noses as well?" Rose joked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Do you think we saved Bella from his clutches?" she mused.

"God, I hope so. Thanks for bringing home the beast. I do love it, because Esme knitted it for me, but I wish she had made me a pillow or something."

He lifted the sweater and folded it neatly and the aroma of Bella's scent hit him suddenly.

He bent his head and buried his face in the rainbow stripes, breathing her in.

"Edward, a little weird," chided Rose.

"Fuck she smells awesome," Edward replied, laying the sweater beside his pillow, hoping she had impregnated the fibres enough to hold her smell for days.

"Oh don't be using that as a showeraid," said Rose, then she blushed as she remembered.

"Sorry Edward. I forgot."

"Don't worry about it, maybe I will never get a bigger thrill than smelling girls, but if they all smell like Bella, it may be enough, who knows?"

"Look who I found out the front," trilled Alice, pausing at Edward's door and ushering in Bella herself.

Edward blushed self consciously but had no idea he had until she blushed in response.

"Oh my God, a match made in Heaven," Alice murmured as she went downstairs to find Jasper.

"I just wanted to say thanks to the two of you for the cold dose of reality. I have been so stupid, yet I have no excuse. Hormones, lust, whatever. I was a fool," she admitted.

"Well, at least you woke up in time," comforted Rose.

"Rosie, I need you for my victory celebration," called Emmett from downstairs.

"God, could he be more subtle?" she sighed and went down to celebrate with him in the media room in the basement where Alice and Jasper were already hogging the larger sofa.

She tossed a blanket over them.

"Please, there are some things I don't want to see," she commented.

"Yeah, sure, Rose, we are sure you have led a very sheltered life and never seen a penis before," joked Jasper, pulling the cover over both Alice and himself.

"Only one, and I have no desire to double that, so keep it in your pants until fully encased in a blanket in future, thank you."

"Come see what's hidden in my blanket" laughed Emmett, grabbing the girl of his dreams into his arms and wrapping her firmly with both the blanket and his body.

"God, this is probably a really bad idea. Can you people cease and desist and watch a movie for once?" asked Edward, walking in, sitting on the last sofa and indicating to Bella to sit beside him. She could hardly sit with the fornicators.

He selected a dvd and put it in, and faced the others.

"Keep it until tonight, when you have privacy in your own bedrooms, there's a novel idea," he suggested and sat down again.

The movie was long and pretty boring and he knew from the unsubtle quaking of the blanketed lumps in the room, his plea was being ignored, so he turned and tried to shield Bella from the view. She smiled and moved closer to him and before long, somehow his arm was around her, lying on the top of the back of the sofa. She fell asleep shortly after he put a second dvd on and he smiled as she fell against his body.

It was sometime before he realized something momentous.

He felt warm where her body touched his side.

He thought he had forgotten what warm felt like but vague memories stirred, he was wearing cowboy print pajamas and being wrapped in a blanket, someone holding him when he was small, the fuzzy feeling of bodyheat being exchanged as he drifted to sleep.

The face of Tanya, his babysitter when he was pre school age entered his head. She had held him and he had felt her warmth. Then it had stopped when he went to school and he never felt anything again.

Until today.