A Million Shades of Grey


She seemed perfect in every way. But I realized she was different. She was a liar, and a damn good one at that.

"What's your story?"

"I could ask you the same thing."

He leaned back, not bothering to mask the smirk at his lips.

We sat together in silence while he finished off what was left of his cigarette. The full moon floated high over our heads, illuminating the darkness and shining its light down on us. It was clear why Jessica and the others fawned over him. He may not be the obtrusively muscular and bronzed male the average girl would pursue, but he was mesmerizing in a dark and intangible way. His lean frame and fiery copper colored hair complemented his pallid skin tone and mysterious demeanor.

"I'm sure the loquacious student body has already filled you in," he absently stated, throwing his cigarette on the ground.

We both simultaneous glanced back at the home full of rambunctious and drunk party-goers. As if their opinion held any significance. Out of all people, I truly understood the meaning of the phrase 'don't judge a book by its cover'. "They've tried too," I responded, turning back to him.

A hint of surprise flickered across his eyes before he began scrutinizing me. "Tried," he mumbled to himself, as though he was clarifying what I had said.

I nodded in response. "Tried," I reassured. "It's only made me curious as to who the elusive Mr. Cullen may possibly be."

He chuckled half-heartedly, a deep throaty sound. "I'm sure it has," he looked back towards the house for a moment. "They feed on new arrivals."

He pursed his lips and a glint of disdain crossed his face. A subconscious reaction I assume, because he didn't bother to elaborate. I wonder what had happened between them. "I'm a big girl. I think I can handle the wolves," I joked, trying to distract him from his stream of consciousness.

He looked back at me, eyebrow raised in questioning. He seemed to be debating whether or not he should say what he wanted to. "It's a tough life," he murmured after a few moments, now frowning slightly.

Tough life? I thought back to what Alice had told me. Quite frankly, she hadn't told me much at all. Her description of her brother was vague in contrast to the bombastic rumors which circulated amongst the small town of Forks. I hardly knew him, but I already hoped he would one day tell me what he meant by his last statement. "I can manage," I responded.

I had been managing it for years now. I thought back to Charlie and what he would say if he could see how I had taken responsibility for everything he left behind. Would he be proud? Disappointed? Apologetic? At one point, I realized it didn't matter. I would never know, so I avoided dwelling over the issue.

He reached into his black leather jacket and pulled out a pack of Marlboro. He pulled out a cigarette and held it out to me. "No thanks, I don't smoke," I refused shaking my head.

He nodded in acknowledgement and placed it between his lips. Under the moonlight, he looked like a figure from the 80's. Tall, mysterious, handsome, and captivating. He lit the cig for himself and swiftly tucked the pack away. He took a long puff and leaned in towards me. The smell of peppermint and smoke clouded my senses. "So what's your story?"

I mirrored his actions and our faces were now mere inches apart from each other. His eyes were beautiful, to say the least. I recalled Angela gushing about how entrancing the moment was when you looked into his eyes. They were mesmerizing. His emerald eyes glinted with unadulterated and guarded curiosity. "Asking the second time doesn't change my response, Edward."

His name rolled off the tongue with ease. Sophisticated and classic, just like him. What about this man besides his reputation wasn't perfect? It was hard to imagine. He flashed a crooked grin which gleamed white under the moonlight. "What if I asked a third time?"

I laughed. My thoughts were muddled, maybe it was the smoke, or maybe it was just him. It occurred to me how we were only a kiss distance apart. He had asked with such a genuine curiosity, I didn't have the ability to walk away without giving him an answer. I could only tell him so much though. "It's not all black and white Edward," I said softly.

I looked down at the ground. It wouldn't satisfy him, and I knew that. We were similar in that we didn't take anything less than what we wanted. It was a habit of Charlie's I inherited. "Life isn't black and white. It's endless shades of grey; some areas are just more clear than others."

I looked back up at him. Judging by his gaze, he still wanted an explanation. But he would let me get away with it- this time.

A/N: So this is just the prologue, but for those of you wondering where in the world this story is headed, here it is. Although I can't reveal what the big secret is, becaue that will come along as the story goes on. Bella has a very big secret that was the reason she moved to Forks. She wins everyone's heart and even gets through to infamous Edward. However, Edward being the critical person he is, figures out there's more to Isabella than what everyone thinks. And the only thing keepin her from falling off the edge, is staying off the radar. But not for long, because the game's almost over.

Anyway, I've had this story in mind for a while now. And because of the many encouragements to post it, here it is. Thoughts and criticisms?