A/N: Shorter than usual, but this is all I had time for today. Enjoy.


"Bella...?"

"Hm?"

"Time to get up." She said before planting a light kiss on my shoulder.

"No..."

I felt her smile against my skin as she moved up an inch, kissing my skin again.

"Please?"

Another kiss, higher than the last one.

"Mmm...why?"

"One, it's after noon. And two, you didn't have any dinner last night, so I fixed you a big lunch."

"Can I have it in bed? I don't want to get up yet."

She sighed before moving away from me, instantly missing her warmth.

"Well, I was hoping to take you on a picnic..."

Aw, get up and let her take you on a date.

Wait, was it a date? Or was it just a friendly lunch? I wish she was more specific.

Just get up and go with her!

"Okay...I'll get up."

"Yay!" She squealed as I heard her clap her hands together. "Put on comfortable clothes. I'll meet you outside!"

After I got up, brushed my teeth and fixed my hair, I picked out my clothes. I decided on my red plaid shirt, and my short jean shorts, sure to make her eyes go wide when she saw me. Smiling to myself as I fastened my belt buckle before I headed down the hallway, only to be met with Heidi's glare.

"So that's how it is, then? You won't go on a date with me, but you'll sleep with Alice?" She asked crossing her arms over her chest.

"I didn't sleep with her, not like that anyway. And it's none of you business who I share a bed with..."

"Why won't you just give me one fucking chance?"

"Because, I don't have any feelings for you, other than friendly ones. But if you keep doing this, I don't even know if we can continue being friends. Besides, I don't understand why you want me so much..."

"Bella...you're smart, funny, attractive...what's not to like?"

"A lot. You don't really know me, Heidi. Sure I may seem like all those things to you, but I have things in my past that I'm not proud of, and things that I'm sure you wouldn't like."

"You won't even give me a chance to find out. It's not fair..."

"If I had a connection with you that was more than friends...than I would tell you. But I don't...I feel something for Alice. And I'm trying to let myself be with her."

She uncrossed her arms and plopped on the couch in failure.

"Heidi..." I said as I sat down next to her. "I think there is someone that likes you, and you are too absorbed with me to see it."

She furrowed her brow as she looked at me. "Who would like me?" Her tone was sad.

"You really can't think of anyone?" I asked.

She shook her head.

"Hey, you two." Jane said casually as she walked past us and went into the kitchen.

I nudged Heidi in the arm and gestured in Jane's direction with my head.

"Jane?" She whispered.

"Uh, yeah. I see the way she looks at you..."

"She never said anything to me about it."

"Maybe she is shy. All I know is what I see, so take a chance on her, or don't...it's your choice. I have to go though, Alice is waiting." I said giving her a pat on the back before I left her to her thoughts.

Thinking about what I said to Heidi, I headed outside, where Alice was lounging against her green four-wheeler. She smiled when our eyes me, urging me to hurry up and get on because she was starving. I saw the big picnic basket tied to the back of the four-wheeler, and as if on cue, my stomach growled. I got on behind her, wrapping my arms around her torso tightly, before she took off.

She was driving slow, compared to the speed she usually goes. Most likely because she didn't want the food in the basket getting all messed up and bounding everywhere. Relaxing against her as I took in her scent, I laid my head down on her shoulder, closing my eyes as I enjoyed this feeling. Soon, the road became more bumpy and had to raise my head once again. We were heading up the side of a hill along a used dirt trail.

After a little while of riding, we came to a stop on the top of a hill. We got off and Alice took the big basket in her hands and gestured for me to follow her. When we came to the edge, I saw a blue lake down below and off to the left, the rest of the view was beautiful green grass with all different colors of flowers mixed in. It was perfect.

She laid the blanket down before we sat, then unloaded turkey packed sandwiches, a container of potato salad, chips, and a few water bottles.

"It looks delicious." I said as I licked my lips.

"It's only sandwiches, can't get much simpler than that."

"Well, I'm a simple girl. I'm easy to please."

"Oh, really?" She said as she wiggled her eyebrows at me.

My eyes went wide and my throat went dry. I was not talking about that.

"Bella, I was just kidding." She said in her fit of giggles. "You should have seen your face!"

"Yeah...funny...ha ha." I said as I tried to hide behind my hair.

"You're too cute, you know. Sometimes I can barely stand it."

She reached over and took my hand in hers, bringing it up to her lips to kiss each knuckle, which send a shiver up my spine. She let me go after that, urging me to dig in, and I did. My stomach was happy when I filled it was such good food, and forgave me for not feeding it in twenty-four hours.

But the whole time we sat there and ate, even as we made small talk, I couldn't get one thing off my brain. I know I couldn't relax until I got an answer, so I built up my courage, and broke the silence.

"Can I ask you something?" I said, nervously playing with my food.

"Of course, anything." She replied.

"I was just wondering...is this...a date?"

"I was hoping, but it can be anything you want. I understand it you aren't ready for it to be-"

"Alice?"

"Yeah...?

"I want it to be. A date, that is." I confessed. "Besides, we already slept in the same bed together. Seems right to have date."

"For 'taking it slow', we seemed to skip a few steps."

"Yet, oddly enough, I wouldn't expect it any other way."

"I know what you mean..."

A few more moments went by before she cleared her throat and spoke up.

"Can I ask you something, now?"

"Go ahead."

Though I had a feeling about what it was she wanted to talk to me about.

"Esme told me that the Sheriff wanted to keep you in there because of your past. He was afraid that you'd try and run away."

"That wasn't a question, but yes, that's true."

"What did you do to get here?"

"What I did to get here, was different that what I used to do, which is why he was worried."

"You can tell me. I'm not going to judge you, or be afraid of you. Nothing can change how I feel." She said as she took my hand in hers again, this time scooting closer to me.

We'll see about that...

"I don't know where to start exactly."

"The beginning is always good." She smirked as she nudged me with her elbow.

I couldn't believe I was actually going to tell her, what was essentially, my life story. No one had ever asked, or rather, cared enough to ask before.

"When I started having...feelings...towards other girls, I started to do things to get my mind off it. First I started drinking. My mom was a drunk, so I had no problem getting the alcohol. It lasted a while, but then that stopped working, and I fell into the wrong crowd. I started doing drugs with them. At first it was only when I had my...urges. But when they became more frequent, I was doing them pretty much every day."

Alice remained quiet, nodding at the right times, and squeezing my hand whenever she thought I needed comfort.

"One day the cops busted us, but I ran, and didn't get caught. The next time I wasn't so lucky. I was charged with drug possession, and served my time in the Juvenile Detention Center in Rio Falls. When I got out, I still hadn't learned my lesson. I was still fighting my feelings, trying to find a way to get rid of them, and so started to get back into drugs again. One night I stole a car while I was high, and was arrested again so I spent more time in the Detention Center. When I got out again I decided drugs wasn't the best way, so I never touched them again, even though I still had no idea how to get rid of, or deal with my feelings, it was better than spending all my time surrounded by women in the Detention Center."

Her brown furrowed before she spoke up, her voice quiet.

"So how did you end up here?"

"After I got out a second time, I didn't go back to my mom's place, I was afraid I might fall back into drinking if I did. I found a low rent apartment and stayed there for a few month by myself, and found a job at a farm. It was so much different than this place, but it was a respected farm, so I took the job. I mostly did crop work, but it wasn't long before I noticed that the animals were being abused. I couldn't take it, knowing that they were hurting the poor innocent things, so I kind of took the law into my own hands. One night I snuck back onto the farm and was in the middle of freeing the first horse when he came out. I jumped on and rode off, all the while him firing his shotgun at me. I hid in the woods until daylight, but by that time, the cops were after me. I rode him as far as I could, trying to get away...get him safe, but I accidentally rode through private property.

"I think I heard about that...that was you!"

"Yeah..." I lowered my head in embarrassment. "Since the judge was impressed with me though, even though I broke the law. I had animal right activists on my side, so that made me feel better. At least now they know about the farm, so the abuse can stop. The judge gave me a reduced sentence because of it, and gave me a choice between the Detention Center, and here. I didn't even know about this place, but Carlisle was there in the courtroom, offering me this job without even knowing me."

"And you took it." She said with a smile.

"Yeah, best decision I've made."

She smiled before slowly leaning forward. Before I turned my head, not ready for a kiss on the lips, but she turned hers instead, kissing my cheek softly. The corner of her mouth touching mine made it hard to control myself.

"Thank you for telling me."

/-/

"I forgot to ask you, how was the slammer?" Jane asked as we walked the mulched trail to the construction site.

"Not all it's cracked up to be. I think you should get arrested in a bigger town if you want the full experience. I think the three of us were the only ones in there."

"He probably just wanted more than one person to arrest. Being Sheriff in this town has to be boring as fuck, since not much goes on here."

"He was a bit of a jerk. If it weren't for Esme, I'd still be in there."

"Well, good news...he was fired."

"What? Really?"

"Yeah. Jacob told his dad that the Sheriff didn't allow you guys to make your one phone calls, which is legally required. This was like his 'third strike' or something. Apparently he breaks the law himself, often. He was fired this morning and the new Sheriff is already on his way."

"Wow...let's hope he's nicer..."

"Bella, there you are!" Esme called. "Someone called for you."

Who could it be? I pretty much had left everything and everyone from my old life behind me.

"Here's the number."

She dug in her back pocket and pulled out a scrap piece of paper.

"It sounded urgent. Go on in our house and use the phone, dear."

"Oh, thanks."

I took the paper and walked back the way I came, and headed into the Cullen house. I found the phone easily and punched in the unfamiliar number and waited.

"Hello?" A man answered.

"This is Bella." I said, not really knowing what else to say.

"Bells, it's so good to hear your voice!"

Wait a second...

"Dad?"


A/N: Oooh, cliffy! So what did you think of their first date? Can you guess who the new Sheriff is going to be? ;) And what do you think Bella's dad wants? Hm...

P.S. - I sketched a little map of the Cullen Ranch, so if you want to see that, the link is on my profile. I hope that gives you a better idea of where things are.