Author's Note: Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. I had both real life issues AND writer's block. Hopefully the next chapter will be out much faster.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

xXx

Once a few seconds pass, I look away, unsure of what the hell just happened.

Jessica chuckles. "Looks like someone's interested in you, Bella."

I shake my head to clear my mind. "Whatever," I say with a shrug of my shoulders.

Thankfully, Jessica takes that as her cue to stop talking to me and turns back to talk to the others as I continue to push food around on my plate.

xXx

After lunch, I'm distracted. Why the hell was Edward Cullen looking at me like that? It made me feel as if I were an item on his lunch menu. An item that he really, really wanted to take a bite out of.

The feminist in me finds this to be disrespectful, but there's a small part of me that wants him to look at me like that all of the time. As corny as it sounds, it makes me feel all warm and tingly inside.

I decide that Edward Cullen is definitely someone that I need to stay away from. His presence in my life would only serve as a distraction.

I get lost on my way to my Biology class, so when I walk in everyone is seated already and the teacher has begun his lecture for the day. He sees me lingering in the doorway and glowers at me.

"Ms. Swan," he says, his tone caustic. "How nice of you to finally join us. For future reference, I expect you to be on time to class." He looks at me, clearly expecting me to say something.

Asshole. I raise a single eyebrow and respond with a sarcastic, "Yes sir."

He sneers and points towards the back of the classroom. "Have a seat, Ms. Swan. Lucky for you, the only available seat is next to Mr. Cullen. I'm sure you two will be fast friends."

Mr. Cullen? No, it can't be. I look to find the open seat that he's talking about and see that the only seat is right next to the very last person I want to be sitting near.

Edward Cullen. Shit.

I make my way slowly down the aisle, hoping that by some miracle another empty seat will appear. Unfortunately, it doesn't. What shitty luck I have.

As I get closer to Edward, he raises a single eyebrow at me and makes a sweeping gesture to the chair next to him. Jerk. Who does he think he is? There's something about Edward Cullen that I find to be very unnerving and it makes me want to run far, far away from him.

Instead of running, though, I plop myself down in the seat next to him and glare at the smug grin stretched across his face. He seems to be a little too happy that I'm sitting next to him. I do have to admit, though, that the boy smells good. Like, really, really good.

He winks at me and then returns his attention to the front of the room. He scribbles furiously on the piece of paper in front of him. I might find him to be infuriating (for reasons unknown even to myself), but at least he is studious.

I inwardly retract that statement once he slides the piece of paper over to me and I see that it's a note.

Dear Ms. Swan,

I would like to sincerely welcome you to this fine institute of secondary education. Since I am also a new student, I thought that perhaps we could be friends. I can already tell that we would be quite suited for each other. Mr. Banner is also not a fan of mine (not that he truly enjoys anyone's company, but he seems to have taken a special disliking to the two of us).

It would bring me much pleasure if you would join me for a cup of coffee after school, so we can commiserate about the perils of being a new student in this most wonderful establishment.

Best Wishes,

Edward Cullen

My first thought after reading the letter is, what the hell? He writes in the style of a Victorian gentleman. It is simultaneously cute and creepy.

Then I realize what the content of his letter said. He wants to have coffee with me. He wants to be my friend. Both of these are things that I am unwilling to do. No attachments, Bella, I remind myself.

I decide to write back to him anyways, but I don't bother with addressing his invitation. All I write is, Ms. Swan? I take my time folding it into an origami swan. His style of writing might be fancy, but my style of note delivery is even fancier.

I flick the swan-shaped note over to him so that for a second it looks like it is flying in the air. It hits him in the face. Ten points for Bella!

He picks up the swan-note from where it had fallen in his lap and casually unfolds it, a hopeful look on his face. He frowns when he reads the contents and quickly scribbles something back. Then, he quickly folds the note into a swan that far surpasses the one I made.

I glare at him and he simply raises an eyebrow at me and flicks the paper swan into my lap in what can only be called a swan dive. Ten points to Cullen.

I hastily open the note and read its contents.

Yes, Ms. Swan. You did not answer my invitation: yes or no?

I take out my set of sharpies from my backpack and remove the red one. I make a heart around the "no" in his note and just slide it over to him this time.

He looks at it quickly and his face goes completely expressionless. He seems surprised. I bet Pretty Boy has never been rejected before.

I allow myself a small smile before turning my fullest attention to the front of the room. Unfortunately, I do not like what I hear.

The asshole teacher—Mr. Banner, Edward's little note said—appears to be assigning us group work with our lab partners. Great. "Please identify the stage of cell division of the slides that I've given you," he instructs us. "I'll be keeping a close watch on some of you, since there are those of us in this class that have trouble following basic instructions," he says with a pointed look at me and Cullen.

I roll my eyes. Whatever. I'm awesome at science. I won't be needing any help whatsoever.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around to see Edward staring at me. He gestures to the microscope and says, "Ladies first."

It's the first time I've heard his voice and I'm surprised. He's not American. His accent is almost British, but not quite. I can't tell where he's from.

I realize that I've been just staring at him for the past few seconds and hastily pull the microscope over to me. I put one of the slides on it, take a quick look and say, "Telophase. Your turn, handsome."

He gives me a haughty look. "You barely gave that a glance. How could you possibly have gotten that right?" He takes the microscope out of my hands and proceeds to look at the exact same slide that I just identified. While he's doing this, he decides to make conversation. "So, if you think I'm so handsome, then why did you turn down my invitation?"

I bare my teeth in him in what could never be considered a smile. "First of all," I respond, holding up one finger, "I know my science shit, that how I know the answer. Second," I put a second finger up, "you're not all that handsome." Okay, so I'm lying about this one. He doesn't need to know that, though. I bring a third finger up. "And, finally, I turned you down because that note was ridiculous. Are you for real with that shit? Because I don't think so."

Although I've just insulted him, all he does is smile at me. "What interesting manners you have, Ms. Swan. I can see that this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship." His smile widens. "My note was completely well-intentioned, I assure you. I am not quite sure what it was about it that you found so offensive, but I apologize for having caused you any hurt. Also, I apologize for insulting your knowledge of biology. You were right. It is telophase." He hands me back the microscope and bows his head towards me in a manner that is almost regal.

I gape at him. One second he's unbelievably rude and the next he's polite. This is exactly what I do not need in my life right now: having to deal with Edward Cullen's mood swings.

I square my shoulders and try to make sure that my face does not give anything away. "It's not a big deal. Forget about it. Let's just finish the assignment."

His eyebrows pull together and he looks displeased with what I've just said. Tough luck, buddy. "If that is what you wish, Ms. Swan."

"Bella," I correct him.

He ignores me and proceeds to identify the next slide. We spend the next few minutes passing the microscope back and forth and identifying the slides in silence. Neither of us bothers to check the other's work.

We finish the assignment and continue to sit there not talking to each other. I am glad for this. I do not need Edward Cullen's friendship. He's a weirdo. An intriguing, handsome weirdo, but a weirdo nonetheless.

Eventually, Mr. Banner comes around to check our work. "Cullen, Swan, I see the two of you are lazing around," he scolds us.

Edward smiles politely at him and holds up the worksheet that we had to complete. "Actually, Mr. Banner, we're all finished here. Bella's quite the scientist."

Mr. Banner scans over the sheet and looks frustrated when he sees that there are no errors. "Swan, have you done this lab before?" he barks

I have, but he doesn't need to know that. "No sir," I reply sweetly, giving him my best innocent look.

He scowls at the two of us. "Fine. You two can clean off the dirty slides in the back of the class, then, since it appears that you have nothing better to do."

Edward and I head over to where the sinks are. I hand him a towel. "I'll wash, you dry?" I murmur.

He looks at me, confused. "Pardon me?"

My eyebrows climb up my forehead. Seriously, what planet is this guy from? "I'll wash the slides and you can dry them with this towel." I say the words really slowly and demonstrate drying a slide.

He finally seems to get it. "I am to dry these slides with this towel then," he says, distaste dripping from every word. He takes the towel from me and looks at it in disgust.

I roll my eyes at him and proceed to start washing the slides. He's acting as if he's never dried anything before. Ridiculous.

Edward struggles to keep up with my pace at first, but eventually he catches on. Unfortunately, once he does, he decides to talk to me. "Please have coffee with me after school, Bella. I am sorry for my earlier actions. Let me make it up to you." He looks at me pleadingly.

Some guys just don't know when to give up. I realize that I actually have a good excuse not to meet him after school, though. I smirk in triumph. "Sorry, Edward, but I really can't meet with you. I'm trying out for the cheerleading team."

To say he looks shocked, would be an understatement. "You're on the cheerleading team?" he asks, seemingly dumbfounded.

"Yes. I was captain at my old school," I reply, looking at the clock. Only five more minutes left of class.

Edward also looks over at the clock and he starts to look desperate for reasons completely unknown to me.

I put my hand on his arm and ask, "Edward, are you okay?"

He looks into my eyes searchingly. "I'm sorry that I have to do this, Bella, but you've left me with no other choice," he whispers. He picks up one of the slides that he just dried and proceeds to make a cut on his hand with it. Blood begins seeping out.

I'm about to start freaking out when I smell . . . it. The greatest thing I have smelled in my life. And it's coming right from Edward's hand. His blood. I know I should be disgusted, but I'm not. I simply want it and I want it now. It's mine.

I grab his hand and bring it to my face. There's an odd aching in my gums that I've never felt before. His hand is almost in my mouth when I hear someone scream.

I snap back to reality. I look at Edward and there is a triumphant look on his face. Whatever reaction he wanted, he got. I need to get away from him.

I run out of the classroom and into the first bathroom that I can find. My mouth is killing me now.

I splash some water on my face, hoping to wake myself up. I take a good look at myself in the mirror and freeze. What I'm seeing can't be real. No fucking way.

I close my mouth and then open it again. Nope. Still there. Now, at least, I know why my mouth was hurting. It was so that my fangs could come in.

Yes, fangs. Shit.