Submission Heading:

"Showers to Flowers" O/S Contest

Number of Picture Chosen: #4

Title: New Beginnings

Word Count: 4,592

Rating: T

Pairing: Edward & Bella

Summary: Playing with someone else's feelings for your own needs seemed selfish but sometimes to get your own needs it always is.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

~Sometime in May~

"Congratulations Isabella, I knew you could do it. You are now officially under foster care by me and my wife. I'll get the paper works soon. Contact your mother too."

The phone clicked shut, she sighed being that badly skint, she wanted to pay the bills for her dad's operation and not mess with danger. What were the chances of this guy falling for her? Yet, she honestly disliked the way she was going acquire this money, playing with someone else's feelings. The idea was ruthless but she had no choice so with a heavy exhale she closed her eyes to dream of a happier time. This time she was successful.

\|/

BPOV

"Bella, darling you have to go your father."

I looked up in shock at my mother. I knew there was a reason why mom had called me for an "important" talk but I suspected it was something more like my "grades" every teacher was lecturing about. It was the summer vacation and I had three months before my senior year started.

"W-what do you mean?" My voice shook. Nervously, I twirled my brown hair with my index finger.

"Honey, I can't explain. It's for the best. It's only a couple of years."

"I...," I let the sentence trail off. There was no point in arguing with my mother. After all, she always got what she wanted; whether it was force or persuasion she used. That's all I had heard all my life. 'Mother knows best, no need to argue.'

That was the motto I was forced to live by.

"When am I leaving?" I said with resigned sigh.

"Two weeks time."

"Why don't I, just go now?" My anger evident in my tone, only my mother didn't perceive this. For this first time I felt I had some kind of hatred for her.

"You would!" Her mom's voice laced with excitement.

"I mean, uh, I would get Phil to change the flight for tomorrow evening."

With that, mom skipped out of the room with a bounce to each step.

I kept her anger in. It took everything not to lash out. Yes, my mother was flighty and spontaneous but she was meant to love me, right?

Clenching my hands, I walked in her room and flung all my clothes on my bed. Once I was sure all the clothes from my closet were on my bed, I took a glance around my room.

It wasn't the average typical teenager room. The walls were a creamy yellow and I had a small light on the white ceiling. It was plain.

Maybe because it reflected my personality; I had never done anything to stand out in my life. I found it easier to go with the flow.

That night, I heard hushed whispers coming from the room next to her. Listening quietly, I could make out my mother's and Phil's voice.

"She's going now, we can have fun. You know the trip around the world."

"Yeah sweetheart, I'll take you to all these places and we could do so much..."

I heard mom's giggling and knew it was the best time to stop listening.

Later that night I found myself comparing myself with my mom.

\|/

"Sweetheart, are you okay?" My mom's voice wafted through my daydream I hadn't recognized that she was at the airport already.

"Yeah, I'm just great." I huffed, walking out of the car. I retrieved my suitcase from the trunk and took off without a second glance.

I knew my reaction towards my mom was immature but I couldn't help but feel unloved.

The journey towards my dad's home in Forks –a little town situated at corner of Washington State – was tedious.

The plane ride was full of obnoxious kids and old, snoring men with belly beers.

Considering now that my mother was rich, I expected at least an upgrade but seemed like my mom would only do that while I was traveling with them.

\|/

"It's, uh, good to see you kid." her father spoke hesitantly. He never knew how to make heartfelt speeches but that's what I liked about him. He didn't need to show emotions in words. They were just there for you to see.

"Thanks dad." I heaved my suitcase into the trunk and for once I noticed how small it was compared to other people. My mother only brought me the necessary clothes. Sometimes, I would be treated with a book but otherwise, I was left with the bare necessities.

The drive home to my dad's house was silent and awkward. He told me the main points like: I would be enrolled in Forks High School, the times his 'regular' shifts were at; he wasn't the best cook to which I told him I would cook for us and he was generally pleased at that comment.

Within two hours I was already happy with my mom's decision to move me here. My father may be a man of a few words but he knew how to make his daughter feel accepted. Something my mother does not wish to do After a while of drying the dishes, I decided I would maybe go upstairs and unpacking my clothes hopefully give me some time to waste.

It didn't. My packing was over in fifteen minutes.

Lying restlessly on my bed, I stared at my ceiling. I imagined my future after high school; maybe I would get a good job and live somewhere like New York or L.A.

Anywhere but here. Hopefully and mostly, away from my mom.

It had been three days and my father had become an enormous part of my life. He helped me settle in, helped me in what I wanted to do with my future and treated me like a person, not a thing.

He was the chief of police so he had an erratic time table but we managed to work out a middle ground.

The day I dreaded came, I had returned from a walk and found my dad collapsed on the floor. I rushed to call 911 and had him submitted in hospital as soon as I could.

The doctors' said it was a heart failure and all I could think about was how I couldn't lose him too.

I was under a stressful mood, so when I bumped into this freakishly tall guy, I lost it.

All through my rant of 'him looking where he was going' he smirked and then at the end he had the audacity to laugh. Freaking Hell.

My father's doctor was meant to be a brilliant surgeon called "Dr Carlisle Cullen".

"Miss Swan, your mother is away in another country right now and she says she is unable to come back soon. As you are only seventeen and you have no legal guardian. I am offering to make you a deal." Carlisle sounded demanding like he knew I would accept. Yes, I wanted to make sure of my father but it had to be something that I would not down grade the Swan name for.

"Consisting of ...," I let my sentence trail off.

"My son, I adopted him a while back, he has social problem after his parents death. He seemed clearly taken by you in the corridor. So if you can be his girlfriend and make him more social able, I'm willing to pay for your College tuitions and fees for one of your choice. Even Ivy League. And try to see if your dad can be treated."

"I'll see." I responded, I need a clear head to think through.

"A response soon, Miss Swan."

That night, I couldn't sleep at all. I was worrying about my dad and my mom hadn't returned my calls.

I checked the clock. It was nine o' clock. That meant they could be awake; testing out my luck I dialed their number.

I was lucky.

"Hello, Carlisle Cullen here. How can I help you?"

"Hi, Mr. Cullen. I was thinking about your offer. I think I accept."

"Congratulations Isabella, I knew you could do it. You are now officially under foster care by me and my wife. I'll get the paper works soon. Contact your mother too." The phone clicked shut. I sighed being that badly skint, I wanted to pay the bills for my dad's operation and not mess with danger. What were the chances of this guy falling for me? Yet I honestly disliked the way I was going acquire this money, playing with someone else's feelings. The idea was ruthless but I had no choice so with a heavy exhale I closed my eyes to dream of a happier time. This time I was successful.

\|/

~A Week Later~

It had been a pretty heavy week. After all the paper works and phone calls, I had finally been accepted into the Cullen Household.

I knocked nervously on their door, with my suitcase behind me.

"Hello, dear." a kind faced woman spoke as she opened the door.

She pulled her hand out to me which I shook gently.

"I'm Esme Cullen." she introduced.

"Hi, I'm Bella Swan."

"Come on in and make yourself at home."

I walked into the luxurious home they had. It was pretty big.

"Hiya!"

A bubbly girl popped out of nowhere. I took a sudden step back and watched her giggle at me.

"I'm Alice," she said. "your new sister."

"Hi, I'm Bella. I guess I'm your new sister."

She smiled and gave me a quick hug.

"Your room is upstairs, first door on the left. I'll help you settle in a minute."

"I—I think I'll be fine, thanks."

Esme and Alice both smiled at me.

I made my way upstairs into a large room. The tall guy I ranted into was sitting on of the bed.

He looked up when I knocked on his door. And it wasn't friendly look; he actually glowered at me.

"Umm, I..." I was speechless. After all I was meant to be helping him. His glaring was really making me nervous. "Hi, I'm Bella Swan and I recently got adopted so I–I'm getting home tutored by your mom too. Can I know what you are doing?" Well, pretending I am.

He turned around and for a second I thought he wasn't going to reply until he chucked an A4 notebook at me. I flipped through it. The notebook was filled of poetry, stories, music compositions and drawings.

This was simply unfair. This guy was talented and he was gorgeous. He had a little problem.

After it will be fixed, he would be the most perfect person on earth. It was now possible to be perfect.

"All of these are yours?" He gave me a curt nod and went back to his book. Absolutely perfect. I sat down nervously on my bed as I flicked through his notes on Emma by Jane Austen. His character analysis was something else.

The description on Emma—who I as a reader I had never felt sympathetic too—was that she needed sympathy because she was too comfortable in her life that she takes her decisions too harshly.

"Edward these are beautiful." He didn't reply nor did he show any sign he had heard me. I sighed it was going to be a long year.

\|/

~ One Month later ~

"Bella I can't drop you off today, you're going to have to ask Edward." Alice gave me a quick peck on the cheek and hurried off.

She and I became good friends over the month and I was more comfortable with her than Carlisle and Esme.

It had been a month and there had been no response from either my dad or Edward. My dad was still coma and they hadn't been able to process how long it would take him to acknowledge. Edward, on the other hand, was colder than ever. Maybe I was a bit too pushy but I left him alone the couple of days.

Today I had to been pushy again I treaded carefully to our bedroom again. Knocking the door, he looked up instantly and when he saw me, he turned back to the TV. Alright.

"Edward, could you give me a lift? Alice is too busy." I blurted out before I could stop myself; this got his attention. He turned around and...glared? He's definitely not going to help.

I turned around; I would have to go some other day seeing as Edward wasn't going to help. Just as I was going to walk away, I heard him clear his throat behind me then he gave me a look before walking ahead. Maybe he is I followed him down the stairs closing the door and locking it behind me.

He had the ignition running as he tapped against the steering wheel impatiently. I got in the passenger seat next to him, pulling my messenger bag over my shoulder. As soon as I had closed the door, he started to back the driveway.

"Thanks." I muttered. He gave me one of his infamous curt nods before staring straight ahead.

I looked him once over and realised he was wearing a grey pea coat from the other night. His posture was stiff and icy. It was such a difference.

"Forks library, please." I spoke as I watched him do a sharp left turn at the stop lights. I hadn't realised how fast he drove until I saw the flash of green out of the window. Looking over at his speedometer it was sixty miles per hour. In a hurry much. Due to his speed, we were there within seconds.

Forks Library was a depressing building with its plain red brick wall and its thick, black old fashioned door.

Edward found an empty spot in the empty parking lot and slid in smoothly. Switching the engine off, he looked at me expectantly but I couldn't meet his gaze.

Taking deep breaths, I exited his car.

Stepping outside I felt the breeze sweep across my hair blowing it sideways and all over my face.

I tried to push it away but it was an effort that went into vain and it wasn't helping that the sky was progressively getting darker.

So I pushed past the wind, trying to get the door of the library; and it didn't help that the door was so stiff it wouldn't even budge.

Finally I gave up until I felt Edward's hand over my head on the door and he pushed it open swiftly.

It was tense in the library. I could feel Edward looking at me as I browsed through. He was sitting lazily on the chairs with his feet rested on the table–swinging on its tips.

It was completely empty (except for the librarian who was in the stock room) so when his chair touched the floor it gave a clang.

I watched him for a second as he answered his phone. All of sudden his face turned pale and he rose.

"Bella," he croaked.

He spoke!

"You have to get to the hospital now."

Hospital. Dad.

Dropping the books I held, we rushed into his car. He drove like a flipping maniac but I suppose it was considerable as to what was happening.

Carlisle met us in the front of his room his face grave.

"I'm so sorry, Bella. he didn't survive through."

I let out a mini scream of despair.

"You promised." I accused him.

He only bowed his head.

"Let me see him, now."

I wasn't going to let him control my decisions today.

He opened the door to let me in.

I stood next to my dad's pale body. He looked like he was sleeping.

"Hi daddy, I am really going to miss you. You were so nice to me and everyone else. Saving everyone's lives being the strong chief of police. I hope you enjoyed your life and I'll really do my damn hardest to make you proud."

Tears bubbled over after I finished speaking. I really was going to miss my dad.

"Edward take her home, give her some rest."

Edward came up and slipped his arm around my waist and he dragged me away from my dad.

\|/

I was rocking back and fro when I felt a pair of strong arms wrap around me. They were both strong and comforting that I leaned back unconsciously. It wasn't until my tears subsided and the person had laid me down on the bed and tried to pry my hands away from his shirt was that I realised it was Edward. I snuggled in towards him; breathing in his scent. He smelled wonderful, like an earthy smell with a hint of honey. So comforting.

Thankfully, he didn't care. He let me snuggle into him. Right now I didn't care about embarrassment. I savored the comfort he was giving. The night was full of dreams with lulling lullabies and silky hopes.

Waking up in the morning was the hardest part. It was time for me to fulfill the expectations of life. Trying to get up was even harder, I was perfectly snuggled up to Edward. His legs intertwined with mine.

Basking in his warmth provided the best sleep ever. My bed sheets were a bundle at our feet but it was warm enough to sleep without them. Checking the clock, I realised it was only five a.m. and I had time to go back to sleep; only, I was really thirsty and the bottle of water was on the bedside table next to where Edward, who was sleeping. As I was too lazy to get up, I tried leaning over Edward as I managed to extract one leg; I had it almost when it knocked down on the floor.

Pushing back, I went lower across his body. One leg still tangled with both of his. One hand gripping the side of the mattress and the other reaching for the bottle.

"Bella," his voice was a muffled cry.

I jerked back in shock and my face landed in his...oh shit.

"Bella?" his tone was strangled this time and my face was absolutely red in embarrassment

"I am so sorry Edward, I mean I-no, I had to get the bottle, need water... so sorry..." Edward raised an eyebrow as he propped himself up on his elbows, that's when I realised how near my face is to his lower body. Oh fuck.

Hastily, I pushed my face up. My very red coloured face was never going to see daylight again; that I promised myself. I was heavily face palming when I heard Edward's chuckles. How could he find this situation funny? Just how? I looked up at his gleaming green eyes and my face softened. He was like a perfected picture when he was happy. This was the first time he had left his defenses down and I was pleased he was opening up.

"How you feeling?" He asked me another flipping question! I think I did small fist pump at that.

"Uh, good. It's hard getting over initial shock. I might be able to pay for his funeral. Hopefully he'll rest in peace." His smile was sympathetic but I didn't want sympathy anymore. I was going to be mature about it. I can do it! "Uh, I have to go. Get a shower."

Scrub all the awkwardness off me. I scrambled off the bed, trying to untangle my hair.

Poking through the wardrobe, I found a satisfactory pair of denim shorts and blue t-shirt. Locking the door behind me in the en

suite bathroom, I sat down on the cool marble tiles trying to sort out my thoughts. After a while of rubbing my fingers against my forehead, I decided to strip and head into the shower. The water, as it cascaded down, helped to relieve the jumble my brain was in.

When I stepped back into the bedroom, I found it empty which meant either Edward was having his shower or he was downstairs eating breakfast. Brushing vigorously through my hair, I tried to straighten the brown knots.

After fifteen minutes of pulling out the teeny little twists, I fixed it up in a ponytail and made my way downstairs where the aroma of pancakes hit my nose.

Like I predicted, Edward was downstairs with Alice and Esme. Esme was standing at the counter drinking her coffee while Alice and Edward were at the table eating breakfast. Giving everyone a smile—Edward an awkward one— I joined them for breakfast.

"Bella honey," Esme began. She took a deep breath and then continued. "we have your father's funeral arrangements, if that's okay?"

I nodded.

"I hope you don't mind, but we have decided to adopt you until, uh, you do not wish us to."

I tried smiling at her and she was kind of enough to offer one back.

Swallowing slightly I bit back the tears.

"Bella, there's something else..."

I watched Edward and Alice leave the room, probably to give us some privacy.

Esme gauged my reaction before speaking.

"Your mother has denied, taking you in. So that's the reason we are taking you in."

The looks I kept getting throughout the whole day bugged me, for example when I went shopping with Alice, I met two girls called 'Jessica Stanley' and 'Lauren Mallory' who both approached me and pulled me in for a hug.

I patted both of their backs awkwardly before they started gushing about how sorry they were about my dad.

The funeral was the worst though; it was hard watching the minister drone on about how good my dad was. It didn't seem like he wanted to be at this service.

All the town folk though and offered me their condolences.

I didn't need them.

\|/

~One Month Later~

"Bellaaa," Edward's voice broke the silence. Apart from the swishing off the water where I feet currently rested in and the occasionally tweet from a bird, it was mainly silent.

"Can we do something really cheesy?" he asked mockingly.

"Sure."

When I looked at him there was a mischievous smirk on him. He pointed at the fallen tree in the ruckuses of the forest. "Let's scratch our initials on there."

"Aww." I cooed. Who knew my boyfriend was such a romantic? Needing to kiss him, I lifted my feet from the water and sprang on him for a hug. He pulled my closer on his lap for a hug nuzzling his nose in my neck. After couple of minutes of sitting together in the embrace, I pulled out.

"Let's go, I wanna do it." Pulling ourselves we headed carefully towards the tree. Edward picked up a thick, hard stick which he started scraping the end off to make a bit sharper. Once he had it in an almost pencil like shape, he held up the end product for analysis. I nodded happily, a smile shinning on my face. He started tracing his 'E'. The wood rubbing against wood let out splinters all over the mossy ground on which we were sitting. I hadn't acknowledged how hard the wood until Edward was sweating on his 'C'.

"Can I have a 'C' as a last name." I whispered into his ear blushing shyly ever so. He looked at me astounded his eyes sparkling with happiness.

"You want be in our family?" He was generally unsure. "Of course."

I told him then like it was the most obvious thing in my world which

frankly it was. He lent toward me giving me a sloppy kiss. "We will be the best family – together."

Once the carving was done, I took over drawing a heart around it. The wood on the stick now was splayed like bristles on an old brush. Drawing on it was difficult but I was convinced I could do it. It took a while for me to be completely satisfied with the end result but I managed to find some kind of comprise.

"Ta da!" I proudly said showing off my new art piece.

It's amazing." he whispered in my ear giving me a kiss at the corner of my cheek before continuing them downwards. "Hmm..." My thoughts were getting hazy.

Pulling his mouth up, I kissed him fully on the lips. When we finally pulled away we laid on the grass looking at the now darkened sky with purple and red streaks with then sun setting soon. Shadows were beginning to fall all around us.

"Do you ever think about the future?" he asked suddenly, his hand grabbing mines.

"A little. What do you think of?" I smiled as he kissed the hand he was holding.

"I—I wanted to be a lawyer, like my dad."

I had never heard Edward talk about his real dad before so I propped myself up on my elbows motioning for him to continue.

"My father, he was always working in his office trying to get justice in the world and he tried so hard to love my mom and me, but for him it was never enough.

It was on the day of my seventh birthday...the crash happened..."

He hesitated before speaking again. "And all I knew it was my fault, even the kids at my party said so..."

He buried his face into my neck, his tears falling softly against my skin.

I brought my hand around to stroke his face, letting him cry it out.

"You can't blame fate on yourself," I spoke after a while.

"But I can't blame it for my selfishness for having a party."

"Edward, you were seven, all children need parties and yours had to end in that way."

He shook his head fiercely.

"Edward, honey, you have to let the guilt go and live your life for a while. Is it because of these children that you can't go to school?"

If it was, I was going to hunt them down.

"Yes," he whispered in a small voice.

"You can't hide away forever, you know. You have to show them you're strong enough to be on your two legs."

"I can't." he muttered.

"Edward, I have an idea, please hear me out." I said quickly knowing he was going to interrupt me. "Look, as practice, we'll enroll into Forks High School. Like a test for College, and if you don't like it we can leave and if you do then it will give you a chance for you to open up."

"But–"

"No buts, you can argue later."

He scrunched his nose up adorably.

"Edward, I have to confess something. The day my dad was submitted into the hospital, your dad made a deal with me. I had to be your girlfriend and he would help my dad get better. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you at all."

I gauged his expression was going to run and decide he didn't want me anymore or would he be angry and forever resent me.

Nope, he did the opposite, he laughed.

"I know," he replied, "I accidentally heard you and Carlisle speaking."

"So you're okay with it?"

I still had a bit of uncertainty.

"Yeah, why not?"

I knocked him back down on his back giving him a hug.

He laughed again.

\|/

~After Summer Vacation~

"Bella I don't want to go." Edward moaned.

We were standing outside his car in front of Forks High School.

After a whole month of complaining he finally gave in.

"Edward, you got to try. Please? We're here already."

"Come on."

I held out my hand and he grasped it gently.