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.

S Meyer owns Twilight. I own a plastic storage bin filled with notes from my husband and best friends that were written 1990-1995. Those notes and memories from those days helped inspire this story. Big thanks to my sis for looking over this. She doesn't have a degree in English, but she does have one in Law. So, play nice, and don't steal. Any mistakes left are mine.

If you are under the age of 18, please do not continue. This story is rated M for lots of reasons.

Welcome to the 90s.

Chapter 1

Shadow in my heart is tearing me apart

Or maybe it's just something in my stars

(Hole In My Life- The Police)

August 1991

My hands are tangled in long black hair as I pull him closer. Soft lips ghost across my neck, and I sigh. I'm ready. I'm moaning and pushing against the warmth. Just when I think he's finally going to give me what I want, there's a loud ringing noise. It starts softly, and I try to ignore it. The touches become lighter as the sound grows louder. He's fading. As I slowly wake, he disappears completely, and I growl in frustration.

So close.

Now that I'm fully awake, I glance over at the clock on the bedside table. It isn't even ten yet. Someone is going to die.

The ringing stops as I push the comforter away and sit up.

Before I can even stand, it starts again.

"Son of a bitch!"

Now, I'm pissed. Everyone knows not to call before noon in the summer. Or on Saturdays.

I stumble down the stairs as quickly as I can and make a run for the kitchen.

"Hello?" I'm out of breath and my voice is still scratchy from sleep.


I should have known. Only one person is stupid enough to call me this early and have the audacity to be cheery about it.

"Emmett," I hiss his name like an expletive. "You idiot! I was just about to have my wicked way with Chris Cornell. He was naked. Really naked and hot and what the hell do you want anyway?"

By the time I finish, I'm shouting.

And he's laughing.

I'm so pissed, it takes a moment to register that he isn't the only one laughing. There are definitely two male voices laughing at my early morning tirade.

"What the hell, Emmett? Do you seriously still have that piece of shit Swatch phone? Who the hell is on the other receiver? Alec? Felix?"

I can't believe he still has the same phone he had in sixth grade. Twin receiver phones were all the rage. In 1987.

"You know what? I don't give a shit who it is. I'm going back to bed. Goodbye, Emmett!"

The phone is almost in the cradle when I hear him shout, "Wait!"

It would absolutely serve him right if I hang up on him. I'm tempted to do it, but I know Emmett, and even if I hang up, he'll call back over and over again until I answer. Fucker.

I bring the receiver back to my ear, and I don't say a word.

"I think she hung up." That's not Emmett's voice. I don't recognize that voice.

"Who the hell is this?" I question. I'm tired. I'm certainly not in the mood to play games.

"That's Edward."

Right. I vaguely remember Emmett saying his mother's sister and her family would be moving to Port Angeles over the summer. I guess Edward must be the cousin from Seattle I've heard Emmett mention occasionally over the years.

"Well, nice to meet you, Edward. Hope you'll love it in the Port. Emmett, are we done here? I would really love to go back to bed." I'm not kidding. There are only two weeks left until school starts, and my plan is to spend as much of that time sleeping as possible.

"So I'm guessing you don't want the souvenir I picked up for you in Jamaica…"

He has my attention now, and he knows it. I love presents.

I take a deep breath, and dig around deep inside for the cordial person I know exists, but normally doesn't wake up until mid-afternoon.

"Of course I want it. What is it?" I'm so sweet you could add me to a cup of coffee.

"Ah ah ah. Not telling. When can we hang? Are you free this weekend?"

I rack my brain, not only because I want the gift, but also because I haven't seen Emmett since the last day of school. I spent the first few weeks of break wrapped up in Forks, and dealing with the aftermath of Jake and…

I stop that train of thought before the anger and disappointment swallow me.

Then Em left for Jamaica, and I left with Renee for Mexico.

I missed him. A little. I'll never, ever tell him that. He really is the only good thing about PA High.

"I've got plans with The Pack this weekend." I don't have to fake the disappointment in my voice. I'd like to see Emmett.

"The pack?" I'd forgotten that Emmett's cousin was still on the line. He's been quiet, but it sounds like curiosity may have gotten the best of him.

I open my mouth to explain, and Em beats me to it.

"The Forks Pack. Bella, Alice, Leah, and Carmen…all smoking hot, bad-ass bitches. They've been 'The Pack' since third grade. They're inseparable."

I swallow down the lump that lodges in my throat every time I think of my girls and how things were before Renee came back.

"Were inseparable, Em. Were." I whisper it, hoping he can't hear the tears in my voice.

"Oh, please! Like school really matters." Em is jovial and upbeat, and like always, he refuses to let me nosedive into negativity.

"How is Alice? Do you think she might be ready to let me in those panties yet?"

I have to laugh at this, because really, Em has been trying to score with my best friend, Alice Brandon, since seventh grade. She's told him a million times it will never happen. He never listens. Thank God one of them has a brain.

"Sure," I answer cheerfully. "Jasper Whitlock would probably rip your head off for even trying, though."

I give him the abbreviated version of the Jasper and Alice summer love story. The unabridged version isn't quite as flowery and picturesque. In fact, it's the stuff that pornos are made of, but those details are Pack privileged.

He's only mildly disappointed. It's not like Em has trouble finding play.

"So…." I can tell by the way he draws out the word, he is about to say something that will be at least mildly upsetting for me. "I ran into Embry the other day."

No one "runs into" Embry Call. He's the only decent source in the Forks and Port Angeles area. He grew up in La Push and moved to the Port as soon as he graduated from high school. He never liked the res. He works part time in a video rental store, but he makes his money selling weed and acid from a shitty apartment in the warehouse district. If Em "ran into" him, it was absolutely intentional.

I haven't seen Embry in months. I bought an entire summer stash since I knew I would spend most of my summer away from PA. I'm not friends with him, and I can't help but wonder why Em thinks I even care that he saw Embry.

Then he drops a bomb.

"Jake was there. When I was, I mean. I heard him talking to that guy Quil. He was wasted and talking about how that girl…that Maria chick?" He pauses, but he doesn't have to. Of course I know who Maria is. I'm not sure I'm still breathing. "Well, it turns out she gave him gonorrhea! He said he had green shit coming out of his dick. And you'll love this. The doctor had to stick some rod with spikes down in his dick hole and scrape out all the funk."

I'm stunned. I have no idea what to say.

"God, Emmett. It's called the urethral opening." Edward sounds exasperated.

"Sorry, Dr. Dick." Emmett is laughing.

I'm still silent, absorbing this newest revelation in the Bella/Jake Saga.

"Bella?" Edward sounds concerned. My silence must speak volumes.

I still haven't found my voice.

"Come on, Bella. I thought you'd appreciate that. It's like dick karma, or something. He cheated and ended up with rot dick. He got what was coming to him. I told him so. I just wanted you to know. Have you, ya know…been checked out since the break up?"

I blink.

"We didn't…not after…I mean…fuck." I'm dragging in deep breaths, trying really hard not to freak out. "Protection. We always used protection, and he broke up with me the day after they…"

It is so pathetic that I can't talk about this, three months after the fact.

"Hey," Em's voice is sympathetic now, and I hate it. "I thought you'd be happy the asshole got what he deserves."

Suddenly, I'm angry.

"I'm thrilled, Emmett. Now, I'm not just some pathetic chick who got cheated on and dumped. I'm the girl who got dumped for a skank with a crusty crotch. I feel so much better."

I hate that I sound so bitter, but I can't help it. None of this was supposed to happen.

"I'm going to go. I'll call you later when I find out what The Pack has planned for this weekend. Maybe we can hook up."

I don't have to elaborate. He knows by "hook up," I mean hang out. Any other context of hooking up between the two of us would just be gross.

"Sorry, Bella." And I can tell that he is. Even though none of it is his fault.

Thirty minutes later, I'm on Alice's bed relaying the entire conversation to her over bowls of Fruity Pebbles.

She cackles, and green milk shoots out of her nose. It's enough to make me laugh, too.

This is why I came here. If anyone can make things better, it's Alice. She's been my rock for ages, and she always knows exactly what I need. It turns out this morning I needed the kind of bowl you smoke on the back deck and a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

She recovers and tips the bowl to finish off the sugary milk, before slipping into the bathroom to clean the cereal debris from the stud in her nose. Gross. I like the way her nose ring looks, but not enough to deal with shit like that.

I carry our dishes down to the kitchen. Her mom, Jeannette, comes in through the back door as I'm rinsing them in the sink.

"Rough night?" I say it with a gentle smile, because I know Jeannette works her ass off as a nurse at the Forks hospital. She hates working night shifts, but the money is better so she does it. Alice isn't spoiled and her dad sends child support, but Jeannette puts most of that into a college fund. She told me once that she hated the idea of her asshole ex-husband "supporting" her. So, she does what it takes to pay the bills on her own.

"It wasn't too bad." She's smiling, but her eyes are glazed, and I can tell she's exhausted. There are grocery bags in her arms, so I step out to her car to help with the rest.

As we carry them in, she tells me about working late because her relief overslept and then taking care of errands so she can relax and do nothing until her shift tomorrow night.

Alice comes into the kitchen as we bring in the last bags. She hugs her mom, sends her off to bed, and the two of us put away the groceries.

"Really, Bella, I'm glad Em told you about Jake. It actually gives me a reason to look forward to the first day of school. Maria has always been such a bitch to everyone. It's nice to have ammunition against the stupid witch. Just wait until we tell the other half of The Pack. We'll make sure everyone at Forks High knows before the homeroom bell even rings."

"I don't know, Al." I shake my head, staring out the window. "It won't change anything."

"Yeah, well, she should have stayed away from Jake. She knew you guys were together. Everyone knew you were together."

"Everyone but Jake." And this is what it all comes down to. No matter how much I'd like to blame Maria and dog her out, Jake was the only person who had any obligation to me. "That's the part that hurts."

She moves closer, putting one arm around my shoulder. She doesn't say anything. She doesn't have to, and she knows it. We've been over this before.

Alice doesn't let me wallow. She pulls me into her room again, takes a seat on her bed, and pushes me down to the floor in front of her. I know what she wants, so I lean my head back into her lap. She brushes my hair and braids it as we listen to The Cure. I keep my eyes closed, and I relax.



"What are we doing this weekend? I know we have plans, but I can't remember. Em wants to hook up sometime before school starts and we all get busy."

"Peter's band has a show at The Hole on Friday night. We could go. I know Peter would love to see you."

Peter Whitlock is Jasper's cousin. He's eighteen, he's cute, and he's interested. I'm not.

"Sounds good."

The Hole is in PA, so Em should be able to catch a ride. I'll call him later to let him know.


She hums in acknowledgment, and I continue, "The show sounds good. But I'm not ready for anything. Peter is nice. I'm just not ready."


Alice won't push me. I know she just wants me to be happy. I tried the relationship thing. I tried, and I ended up miserable.

By the time Alice drives me home around six, we've smoked four bowls, she's painted my fingernails and toenails black, and she's braided a rainbow assortment of embroidery string into my hair.

Charlie glances up as I walk in the front door. He's planted on the couch with the remote and a six pack. He cocks his head to the side, inhaling deeply.

"You look like a hooligan."

I glance down at my all black ensemble and grimace.

"Thanks, Dad."

He chuckles. "Anytime, kid. Anytime. There's pizza on the counter."

I grab two slices and a glass of water before making my way back to Charlie.

We watch TV for a bit. He leans forward during a commercial break, hands clasped in front of him. For the second time today, I'm apprehensive.

"I talked to Billy today."

Fuck. It always comes back to Jake. I'm so sick of how everything always comes back to this. It's my own fault for ever believing that dating my father's best friend's son could end well.

I stand.

"That's great, Dad. Goodnight."

"Sit down." He uses his Chief of Police voice on me. He knows it's far more effective than trying to act parental.

I sit. I also cross my arms across my chest petulantly. My lips are mashed together in a thin straight line. I am pissed, and I want him to know it.

He sighs.

"I wouldn't bother you with this, but it affects you directly."

I think I might throw up. That son of a bitch told his father! Told his father about the crusties. He told his father, who told my father, and now Charlie is going to ask me if I have gonorrhea.

Shoot me now.

I close my eyes, waiting for it. There really isn't anything else I can do.

"I know you and Jacob didn't exactly end things amicably."

Understatement of the year, Pops.

"But Billy and I have always been friends. We'll always be friends. He offered to sell me the old red truck at a reasonable price. I know it isn't new or even nice, but your birthday is coming up in a month. You'll be able to get your license, and it would be something for you to drive."

My eyes and my mouth fly open simultaneously.

"Holy shit!"

"Bella." He's admonishing me, but he's also smiling.

"Sorry! I just…I…" And I really don't know what to say. So I close my mouth, and throw myself at Charlie, hugging him tightly.

He hugs me back, and I can hear him sniffing my hair.

That's my cue to excuse myself before he smells the pot. I think he knows Alice and I smoke, but he hasn't chosen to address this particular activity. Yet.

I gather all the dishes before making my way into the kitchen. The phone rings as I place them in the sink. I lift the receiver, expecting it to be Alice.

"Guess what, bitch?" I squeal into the phone.

"Um, Bella?" It's a male voice. Definitely not Alice.

"This is Bella."

"Hi. This is Edward. Um…Emmett's cousin." He stammers it out. The poor guy sounds like he's about to have a stroke.

"Oh." What the hell is Emmett's cousin calling for?

"I asked Em for your number. I hope you don't mind."

What the hell?

"Why?" It comes out sharply.

I don't know this guy, and he doesn't know me. There is only one reason I can think of for him to call. And I'm not interested.

I can hear him breathing. It takes a moment for him to answer, and when he does I immediately feel like shit.

"I, uh, I don't know anyone here except Em. He's the only person I've hung out with since I got here last month. School starts soon, and I just thought I might not seem like a total loser if someone other than my cousin spoke to me."

I'm an asshole.

"I'm an asshole." He should know this right away if we're going to be friends.

There is complete silence for a few moments, and then he laughs. He has a nice laugh. It's deep and rich and it doesn't sound fake at all.

"You're not like Emmett," I tell him.

I can just tell. Emmett is loud and obnoxious. Emmett is in your face. This guy…Edward…seems shy and hesitant. Emmett is anything but shy.

I suddenly feel very sorry for him.

Port Angeles High is a nightmare, especially for new kids. I learned that lesson the hard way two years ago. Emmett was the only person who spoke to me for the first week. I can be nice and repay that kindness by returning it to his cousin.

"No." His answer is quiet, and he sounds sad. "I'm not like Em at all."

"That's not a bad thing." I'm only half joking. I have a love/hate relationship with Emmett.

He doesn't laugh.

"So, Edward," I exaggerate his name. "Tell me about yourself." I use my best radio psychologist voice.

It works and he snorts.

"I can't just talk about myself. That's just weird." He's playful, but serious. I get it. I don't like talking about myself either.

"Okay. Fair enough. I'll ask you questions." I'm nosey enough to do it, too.

"Only if I get a turn."

"Deal." There can't be much he doesn't already know about me if he's spent the last month with Emmett. Since it's my game, I decide to go first.

"Why did you leave Seattle?"

"My dad's a doctor. He worked in an ER as a pediatrician in Seattle. I guess you could say he was burned out. He became a pediatrician because he loves kids. These last few years, he's barely been able to spend five minutes with his patients. He wanted something smaller. A smaller life. That's what my parents said, anyway."

He sounds like he's said this a hundred times.

"So you had to pick up and leave your friends and move? That sucks." I can totally empathize with this poor bastard. Only I got to keep my old friends. Forks is a lot closer than Seattle.

"I didn't have many friends. Just a few. I went to a private school. The kids there were all rich and stuck up. I hated it. I'm not really sorry that we left. What about you? Why are you the only one of The Pack that goes to PA?"

Huh. Straight for the jugular.

"My mom teaches at PA." I consider leaving it at that, but for some reason I feel like that would be cheating. "I went to Forks until eighth grade. When Renee, that's my mom, came back to Port Angeles, I agreed to live with her. The rest of The Pack is still at Forks."

"So your parents split up?"

"Yes. I was in elementary school when they split. Renee wanted to get her degree. She took classes at the community college in Port Angeles for a few years. She knew she wanted to be a teacher. She asked my dad to transfer to Seattle for a few years so she could finish up. He accepted the Chief of Police position and stayed in Forks instead. She left."

"I'm sorry." Everyone seems to be saying that to me today.

"Don't be. I'm fine. They're both fine. We're all better off." And that's the truth. It hurt when she left, but I'm older now, and I understand.

"So you stayed in Forks? With your dad?"

"I did. Renee was busy with school. I stayed with Charlie during the school year. During holidays and summer breaks, I visited Renee. She finished her degree, became a teacher, and moved back to PA."

"I see."

"We're supposed to be talking about you." He has sufficiently distracted me by managing to steer the conversation away from himself.

He laughs, telling me there is nothing interesting about him.

But as I listen to him talk about his parents and the books he's read this summer, I know that isn't true.

He turned sixteen in June, and his parents bought him a Volvo. He likes to drive fast.

He likes hair bands and grunge and blues guitar.

He plays Sega, he plays baseball, and he runs.

For fun. Why anyone would run for fun is beyond me. It took me over twenty minutes to run a mile in Phys Ed this past year. It took that long because I walked it. Bella Swan does not run.

Edward laughs when I share this with him.

He tells me the story of the first and only time he got drunk. He had four beers and threw up Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Emmett made fun of him for a week.

I only make fun of him for a few minutes.

I tell him about the first time I got drunk. There was tequila and, strangely enough, vomit and Emmett were also involved. I let him laugh at me again.

The house is dark and quiet and we've been talking for hours, when I hear a woman's voice telling Edward that she needs the phone. He's polite and respectful as he asks for just a moment to wrap things up.

"I've gotta go, Bella. Thanks for talking to me." He sounds happy and sincere.

It makes me happy too.

"Anytime, Edward." I don't remember the last time I had this much fun sober.

We're just about to hang up as I realize I am missing one important thing.

"Edward!" I whisper shout.


"What's your name? Your last name, I mean?"

"Cullen. Edward Cullen."

"Goodnight, Edward Cullen."