Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or Dirty Dancing. I just thought they'd be cute together.
A/N - March 2012 - I finally decided to read this again and discovered I was actually embarrassed by the really simple sentence structure, among other things. With as picky as I am about which stories I read, I might have passed this one by if it wasn't my own! So I decided to edit, but don't feel like you need to re-read it. There are no major changes, just minor tweaks to make it flow better, I hope. I'm posting all chapters at the same time to avoid confusion. Thanks for reading!
Dirty Dancing in the Twilight
Green. More green. Green is blurring past the windows of Charlie's cruiser faster than I can focus on anything. Yeah, I said cruiser. Somehow, I managed to forget how embarrassing it is to ride in the Chief's cruiser, just like I forgot how green everything is here. My lapse in memory probably makes sense because I very purposefully haven't been to Forks in years. When I was growing up, I spent many summers in this constantly wet town, but for the last few years, I insisted Charlie vacation with me in California instead.
My mom, Renee, realized a little too late that being the wife of a small town Chief of Police in this sunless corner of Washington was not the life for her, so shortly after I was born, we left. The two of us moved around a lot before finally settling in Phoenix. Last year, my mom married Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Nobody knows where his career will take them, so when it was time for me to choose a college, I realized my dad's house in Forks was the only stable home I could rely on. Next fall, I'm going to major in English Lit at UDub, but I can't move into the dorms in Seattle until September, right after my 18th birthday, which is why I'm spending the summer in Forks.
My dad, Charlie, also got married last year – to Sue Clearwater, the widow of one of his good friends. I think they're trying to create a bonding opportunity, so I get to spend the next month sharing a room with Sue's daughter, Leah, who hates the world. Okay, in all fairness, I don't think she hates the entire world. Just the male half of it. Although, she doesn't seem too crazy about me either. On the drive in from the airport last night, Charlie may have casually mentioned that she was just dumped by Sam, her boyfriend of four years. Last I heard, they were planning on getting married, then he suddenly dumped her for her cousin. It seems like a pretty crappy situation, but I've never even had a boyfriend, so I can't really relate.
How would I have a boyfriend when boys don't even know I exist? I'm nothing special to look at. I'm 5'2" and weigh about 100 pounds. Luckily, I must have inherited great genes because I'm slender, even though I don't have an athletic bone in my body. You would think I'd have a great tan after living in Phoenix, but no such luck. My skin is so pale that I may actually blend in here in this sunless place. My long hair is boring brown. My eyes are boring brown. Like I said, nothing special.
My name is Bella Swan, but I am definitely not a 'beautiful swan.' I guess it would be weird for me to be named Plain Jane or Grace McClutz, but it would be more fitting. See, in addition to being plain, I have the added bonus of being ridiculously uncoordinated. I've spent my whole life just trying to blend in, but I'm constantly tripping over nothing and landing myself in the emergency room. Add to that the fact that I would much rather hide out in the library than go to a party. High school boys don't look for girlfriends in the library – or in the school nurse's office.
I still can't figure out how Alice and I became such good friends. We're complete opposites, but somehow we complement each other. She is really outgoing and could have been the center of all the social circles at school, but instead, she was always happy to hang out with me. We've been inseparable for years, so of course, we applied to the same colleges. Alice will be at UDub studying Fashion Design and Merchandising, but she has to spend the summer in Phoenix and won't be here until September.
Since graduation, I've realized I'm tired of watching from the sidelines while everyone else enjoys life. I'm sure it won't be easy, but I've decided to create a new image for myself in college. There will be no more shy Bella. Whenever I feel like hiding behind a book, I'm going to force myself to be brave and join in the fun. If I act confident, no one will realize that I don't belong there. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
The first phase of my new image will be to get Charlie to realize that I'm grown up now. I don't spend much time with my dad, so he still thinks of me as a baby. In fact, he calls me "Baby." I really hate that, but it seems no matter how often I correct him, he just doesn't hear me. He also still thinks I'm going to major in Criminal Justice and follow in his footsteps. I don't know how many times I've told him I want to be a writer, but he just doesn't hear me. It's going to be a long summer.
I snap out of my trip down memory lane when we round a curve in the road and I suddenly see the Lodge. Charlie was so excited to hear that I was coming to Forks for the summer that he booked an entire month at Newton's Lodge on Lake Pleasant. Charlie and Mr. Newton used to be fishing buddies before the Newtons moved up to Beaver – yep, Beaver – to open their Lodge. I know Charlie misses his old friend, but I really don't want to listen to fishing stories from before I was even born.
I sit up and take a good look out the window. This place is actually really pretty. There's a big, three-story wooden building in front of the shimmering lake and a lot of small cabins spreading up the hill. I can see pedal boats lined up at the dock.
As I climb out of the car, I hear a man with a megaphone talking about the available activities; dance lessons, softball, horseshoes, volleyball. I roll my eyes and tune Leah out when she starts whining to Sue about not bringing the right shoes. A furry reddish-brown puppy playing in the bushes draws my attention away from an older man who walks up and starts talking animatedly to Charlie.
"And this is my daughter, Baby." I cringe when I hear Charlie's introduction.
"Bella," I say, but it doesn't faze either one of them.
"Nice to meet you, Baby," says Mr. Newton. I just smile, bite my tongue, and head to the trunk to start unloading luggage while Mr. Newton tells Charlie about the former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader who gives the dance lessons.
"Hey, thanks a lot. You want a job here?" I look up to see a tall, blonde guy laughing at me. He's actually kind of cute in a laid back way. His hair is sort of long and shaggy, and he has a great smile. "I'm Jasper," he drawls.
The girl giving dance lessons in the gazebo has those looks that make all other girls feel inadequate. You know the type. She has a curvy figure that looks like it belongs on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Her long blonde hair falls in waves past her shoulders and her bright blue eyes are framed by long, thick lashes. It's really not fair.
She gives a few dance instructions and I bite my lip to stop from laughing when she tells us to shake our maracas. Then she tells us to turn and "find the man of our dreams." I smile when I see Charlie across from me, but suddenly the gorgeous blonde is dancing with him, leaving me with a little old lady. What. The. Heck?
As the sun is setting, I decide to explore. "I'm going up to the Lodge to look around," I shout to no one in particular as I wander off the porch of our cabin. I quickly realize that we must be one of the first families to arrive for the summer because it's pretty empty. In fact, when I walk into the Lodge, there's no one there but employees. I overhear Mr. Newton talking to a few waiters in the dining room and find myself eavesdropping when I realize what he's going on about. It's kind of funny, in a sick way.
"There are two kinds of help here. You waiters are all college boys. I went to Harvard and Yale to find you. Why did I do that? I shouldn't have to remind you this is a family place. You're here to keep the daughters happy. I want you to show all the daughters a good time, even the dogs," Mr. Newton says. Dogs. Hmmm. I wonder where that puppy is.
"Got that, guys?" says a smooth, velvety voice, stopping me just as I'm turning to leave. His voice sends tingles up my spine and goosebumps down my arms. Out of instinct, I back into the shadows in the hall.
Then I see him, the most beautiful guy I've ever seen. He has wild brown hair that looks like it would be a completely different color in the sunlight. He's wearing sunglasses that somehow define, rather than hide, his perfect features. His jaw is sharp, with a hint of stubble, and he has a devilish smirk on his face. He must be over six feet tall. He has an incredible body - not overly muscular, but definitely not skinny. Starting at the bottom, I see black boots, black jeans, and a white t-shirt under a black leather jacket. He looks like a modern day James Dean.
I shrink farther back against the wall, out of sight. I try to get my breathing under control and realize Mr. Newton is telling him to keep his hands off the daughters. Well, that's sure a switch from the last speech. Maybe I'm not the only one who senses something dangerous about this guy.
One of the waiters starts mouthing off to the gorgeous guy. They're arguing about something as they move closer and closer to me. I can't seem to make my feet leave, so I shake my hair forward like a curtain around my face. If I can't see him, he can't see me, right?
"You just put your pickle on everybody's plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me," he smirks as he brushes past me. My heart is beating so loud that everyone in the room can probably hear it. I'm pretty sure my knees are wobbling.