7. Introductions

If we could sit together a moment

And talk forever just to pass the time

I would smile as the shivers and chills run down my spine

Where your eyes are locked on mine

~I'll Meet You There; Owl City

Edward stood behind me, pulling a comb through my matted brown hair.

The comb caught in each of the many clumps of tangled hair at the nape of my neck, making me grind my teeth together in an effort to disseminate the pain. The pulling was giving me a headache. Instead of relief like I desperately craved, the pulling continued. He was getting rougher, obviously from frustration.

"I don't…" He cut himself off with another deliberate yank of the hairbrush; making me yelp, "Love. I can't do it." He dropped the comb and instead of falling down my back and landing on the plush bed, it caught and clung to the strands.

I sighed, unraveled by legs, and walked to the floor length mirror directly across from where Edward sat.

"It's fine Edward." I mumbled, while I tried to pull the brush from the iron tight grip it held on my hair. I scowled and gave up on being gentle and instead wrenched it out. The sound of hair ripping made me wince.

"Am I bald!?" I screeched, while frantically patting the back of head that throbbed with pain.

Edward chuckled from his spot on my unmade bed, "No Isabella. It's perfect." I turned to look at him and sure enough a coy grin blazed across his face.

"I can't tell if you're lying."

In response he walked over to me and gently took the brush from me. He kissed my eyebrows, and my eyes fluttered closed in response. "You're too rough. Let me try again." His delicious velvet voice mumbled against the bare skin of my neck. Cool air, wafted down my skin, sending pleasurable tinkles to rush up my spine.

He ran the brush through my hair again. The pain had alleviated some. The tugging that I had done had loosened the strands of hair caught together. I breathed a sigh of relief as the brush tugged through the final knots. Edward put the brush down on my nightstand and instead ran his fingers through the free strands, "Have you learned your lesson?"

"You mean am I ever going to put those stupid curlers in my hair before I go to bed ever again? Absolutely not." I said assertively.

"Good." He turned me around to face him, and pulled me into a snug hug. I relaxed into him and pressed my nose to the soft cotton of his t-shirt, breathing in the intoxicating aroma of his skin that seeped from his pores, "Why did you put them in, in the first place?"

"I told you." I huffed, "Derek and his friends are coming over to live with us. I have to look at least presentable." I rolled by eyes to help convey the fact that it should be common knowledge. I certainly wouldn't have gone through the torture for no reason.

Amusedly he said, "Alright, alright. It's just your so beautiful already."

I rolled my eyes and looked up at him. He stared down at me, the crooked smile that I desperately loved cascaded across his features. I leaned up to kiss him. His buttery lips enveloped mine and I became lost in the kiss. He pulled again like always, much too soon.

"They're here." He mumbled. The doorbell rang not a second later. I dashed down the stairs, smoothing out my hair on the way.

Slowly, I pulled the metal handle of the door open. Derek stood at the front entranceway, a small blonde girl hidden beneath his monstrous arm that belittled her. Her skin was fair, like mine. She held only gentle features; doe like eyes that twinkled light blue, full cheeks, and a narrow nose that was smooth from all angles but appeared to be to small for her face. She must have been only 5 feet tall even in shoes and compared to Derek she looked even shorter.

I must have been staring because her aqua blue eyes narrowed into slits and she scoffed, "Is everything alright?" The confidence in her voice surprised me, it was sharp and smooth, not timid like I had assumed.

"Y-Yes of course." I stammered, while a cherry red blush seeped onto my cheeks. Behind me, I felt Edward's cool skin breath assurance through my pores, and the blush dissipated.

I looked at Derek to see his reaction but instead he was focused on Edward, his nose scrunched up in apparent disgust at his presence.

"Come in." I said awkwardly and moved aside so they could walk in. Derek tugged Chloe inside and two people, a boy and a girl; who were hidden by Derek's massive size, followed suit.

Beside me, Edward was as rigid as a rail. I tried to push against him, to move him out of the way, but he was steadfast. His eyes lobbed daggers at Derek. Derek's armor must have been thick because no matter how sharp they were, they did not seem to penetrate his tough exterior.

Brief introductions were made. The silence emanating for the room was deafening. Chloe was indeed Derek's girlfriend; he introduced her as so. Simon and Victoria were the two people that had come in after. They too, introduced themselves in a simplistic matter. Which was perfectly acceptable in my book, I was still, and never will be, a big conversationalist.

However, though introductions were comfortably short, Edward's apparent immediate distrust of our new housemates made the experience awkward. Of course he was nothing but courteous, but it was to the point of extreme It looked stiff, robotic. It seemed that Edward tolerated Derek the least. He accompanied a smile to each member except for Derek. His introduction was simply, 'Edward'. Nothing more. Nothing less, and Derek continued to appear disgusted. It was all very odd.

The two girls were struggling to bring their bags through the door, when Charlie spoke up,

"Edward." He said Edward's name in a similar fashion to how he had introduced himself, "I know you know where the spare bedroom is. Show em' the room?" He tilted his head in Simon and Derek's approximate direction.

His posture was unceremoniously taut, and his blank facial expressions expressed his displeasure clearly. "Of course." He replied after a few silent moments, "I'd be honored."

Usually his voice was velvety smooth, but at that moment in time it was as rough as freshly cut wood. With a gracious nod of his head he led the two boys to the bedroom.

Charlie pointed at the stairs, "Bella? There'll be enough room for all of ya right?"

I nodded, "Yup. Edward helped me arrange the furniture so we could put in a cot or something."

"I am NOT sleeping on a cot." She sneered the word.

"I'll take it. You guys can take the bed. It's clean I promise." I smiled at Victoria, who's scrunched up face relaxed at once.

Charlie helped Chloe and Victoria take their bags upstairs. They didn't have much, just a few odd ends here and there; toothbrushes, maybe a hairbrush, change of clothes. They did have a fair amount of money so I promised I'd show them around to a mall once they settled in. Even though I hated shopping, it would be nice to hang out with a couple of girls. Something I had been lacking at that particular moment.

Maybe the outing would be even enjoyable, fun possibly. As long as they weren't into Bella Barbie like Alice was. Though judging by Chloe's simple, almost boyish clothing, I figured she wouldn't enjoy it as much as I didn't.

"Got a problem?" She snapped. An unfriendly edge lingered in her quiet voice. I jerked my eyes upward from my gaze at the hem of her jeans. I hadn't even realized I'd been staring.

"Of course not." I mumbled, while I busied myself with tidying the edges of the comforter, and fixing a book that had been out of place upon my bookshelf.

The room fell into silence. I moved some of my clothes to the far side of the closet so that if they wanted, they could hang what little clothes they had. I took the items that needed to be washed and put them in distinct baskets that they could locate as theirs. Everything had to be comfortable for my new, old, forgotten brother's best friends and girlfriend, so that's how I determined it would be.

Neither of them said much, not to themselves only to me to request or ask where they should put something. Most of the time, Chloe was bent over her small bag, searching for something I didn't know. She only righted herself to look for it on the ground near her bag.

"Are you missing something? I asked. I tried to make my voice sound as sincere as possible without being pushy.

"My necklace…I'm sure…it-" she reached into her pocket and let out a breathy laugh. "Never mind."

Victoria, who had requested to be called Tori because Victoria sounded too formal and she didn't like that, laughed. "I can't believe you almost lost that!"

They talked amongst themselves in a secretive approach, each sounded annoyed with the other's presence. I took that as my pass to go and walked down the stairs, looking for Edward. I rounded the corner and ran smack! into him.

His marble hand reached out and steadied me. No smile, whatsoever, was on his face. "Bella?"

"Yes?" I frowned at the rude, politeness of his voice. He had never talked to me in that manner before.

"I need to go home." He pressed his cold lips to my forehead and rested them there for a few moments. He spoke against my skin, "I promise I will be back after sunset. Would you like that?"

"Of course." I pulled away and managed a smile. "Go ahead."

He ran a hand through my mat free hair and turned around and headed back down the stairs. I could briefly smell the musty scent of freshly fallen rain and felt the whoosh of air that indicated his leaving.