Disclaimer – All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyers. No copyright infringement is intended.
A huge thanks to my wonderful Beta, shelikesthesound.
Can Love Survive
Senior year had finally arrived. Edward had been attending football practices for the past month, and that morning was no exception. He'd gotten up at four thirty a.m. to be at practice at five o'clock every morning for the past month, not getting home until after noon. Earlier, his dad, Carlisle, picked him up on his way to the hospital and dropped him off at school so I would have the car. I missed our usual routine on school mornings of showering together, then getting ready and eating together. As I got ready alone, I reminded myself to get him some breakfast bars to eat before school started. I also made sure to grab two waters and some lemonade mix.
When I arrived at the parking lot, I pulled into our usual parking space. I gathered both of our backpacks and his breakfast, walking to where several girls had already gathered to catch a glimpse of the football players as they came from the locker room. I met up with Alice, my best girlfriend for the past eleven years, and gave her a hug.
"Hey, Bella. Looks like there's a lot of newbies here this year," Alice said as she gave me a hug. "The guys haven't come out, yet."
"They sure do look young, don't they?" I said, waving at all of the freshmen girls who were jumping up and down as the door to the field house opened and several of the football players came out.
"Yeah, they do. I miss Rose. I hope she is having fun at UW."
"I'm sure she and Emmett are having loads of fun. He's still up for first string. I think he'll be playing offensive lineman, though. He said he's too little to be center up there."
"I want that one. The one with the sexy, bronze hair that just came out," one of the freshmen girls said.
"Oooh, yeah, he's hot. I wonder who he is?" her friend said. I looked up and leaned over, tapping the first girl on the shoulder.
"You're talking about the quarterback of the team, Edward Cullen. You think he's cute?" I said.
"Yeah, he's dreamy. I'd like to sink my teeth into him," the first girl said.
"Well, I hate to tell you this, but he's off limits. He's mine," I said as Edward walked up and kissed me. "Here you are, baby," I said as I handed him his breakfast bar and his lemonade.
"Thanks, sweetheart. I'm starving," Edward said, biting off half of the breakfast bar in one bite and gulping down half of his drink in one swig. "How are you this morning? You were sleeping really well when I left."
"I'm good. No problems. We'd better hurry though. We're gonna be late for homeroom." He took both bookbags off of my shoulders and put them on his, and, after taking my hand in his, we walked towards the cafeteria where the seniors had homeroom.
When we entered the cafeteria, we blended in with the rest of the senior class. Mr. Green was in the front of the room, trying to get everyone's attention, but no one was listening. Finally, Mr. Thompson whistled, and the room got quiet.
"Welcome to Fork High School's Senior Class of 2004. I know this is going to be a wonderful year to be a senior. I want to remind you that your senior projects are due in May. You must complete your senior project to graduate. Also, I want to remind you to check with Mr. Williams, the school counselor, if you have any questions about your classes. I don't want anyone to make it to next semester and realize that they need only one more required class to graduate. Finally, if you plan to drive to school, you will need a parking permit before the day is out. I am now going to turn you over to your Senior Class Sponsors," Mr. Green said.
Mr. Thompson stood again and faced the crowd. "If your last names begin with A through E, please come with me. Your area will be the first two rows of tables against the far walls. Please move quietly. We have a lot to get accomplished this morning."
Alice, Edward, and I gathered our bags and moved towards the tables he mentioned. We had all been in the same homerooms since kindergarten when our fathers started making donations to the school to make sure we were all together. That year would be the first year Jasper wouldn't be with us because his last name was Hale.
First, Mr. Thompson handed out our schedules. Edward and I had the same schedules. We had AP Calculus first period. It was good, because I liked to have math in the morning to get it out of the way. Second period was AP Biology. Third period was Government, and it was a required class for seniors. It was only one semester long, and next semester, we would have economics. Fourth period was AP English, and then we went to lunch. Fifth period was Spanish, sixth period was AP Chemistry, and seventh period was football for Edward and cheerleading for me. The schedule ended up being perfect.
Next, Mr. Thompson assigned lockers, and finally, he assigned parking permits. The lockers cost twenty dollars each, and the parking permit ended up being twenty dollars, as well. Edward made his way to the front of the line and paid our sixty dollars in cash. Mr. Thompson was somewhat shocked we would have the money, being a young married couple and all.
"It's okay, Mr. Thompson. We have the money. It's no big deal," Edward reassured him. Mr. Thompson nodded, wrote the receipt, and told Edward to make sure he hung onto it. Edward nodded and assured him he would.
By the time Edward returned to our table, it was time for first period. Mrs. Sims would be teaching us again, and we loved her to death. There weren't many people taking AP Calculus, so she passed out our books and told us to write our names in them ourselves. Then, when she called our names, she wrote down the numbers from the books in her grade book. We finished early enough that she was able to teach the first lesson and assign homework. Senior year was starting off with a bang.
The same thing happened in AP Biology. Mrs. Briggs was able to lecture for most of the hour, and I took ten pages of notes. When the bell rang for morning break, I was never so relieved. My hand was actually hurting. Alice wasn't taking AP Biology with us; she didn't like to dissect things, so when we went to our usual place at break, she and Jasper were already waiting on us. The only problem was they were surrounded by the same freshmen from that morning.
"Is it hard to play football?" one of them asked.
"No, not really," Jasper said, pulling Alice closer into his body.
"I can't wait 'till the game Friday night! What position do you play?" another one asked.
"He plays wide receiver. Do you even know what position that is?" Alice answered, not hiding her annoyance.
"Oooh, here is the other one. You're the quarterback, aren't you? That makes you in charge of the game, doesn't it?" the first one said.
I took Edward's hand and pulled him over to where Alice and Jasper were standing. We turned away from the other girls, and I asked Alice and Jasper, "How did your class go?"
"Pretty good. We didn't do anything. Just got our books. How 'bout yours?" Alice said.
"We got an hour's worth of lecture. My hand is hurting. Why are these newbies still here?"
"Don't know, but they're trying my patience," Alice said.
"Come on, girls. They're just trying to learn the game," Jasper said, laughing. Alice promptly hit him on the arm.
"Then they can come to the game and watch it like the rest of us. You two are obviously taken," Alice said.
"Don't be jealous, sweetheart. You know I only have eyes for you," Jasper said.
"Yeah, I remember. I just have two words to say to you, Jasper. Football Camp," Alice said. Jasper had cheated on her two years earlier while he was at football camp during the summer, and Alice was never one to forget or withhold throwing low blows.
"Alice, that was two summers ago. Please, let sleeping dogs lie," Jasper said, pulling her even closer to him and kissing her on the neck. "You know I love you."
"Okay, girls," I said to the two girls who were still gathered around the guys. "It's time for you two to scatter. You are not wanted here. You are butting into our private time with our guys. Please, leave. Find somewhere else to have your break. This is senior territory."
"Did you see where he had his hand?" the first girl said to the second girl as they were walking away. "It was practically down her skirt. I bet she puts out. I bet that's why he's with her." I laughed at her remark. It was true, though. Edward did have his fingers under the waistband of my skirt. In fact, they were under the waistband of my panties, as well, but no one besides me knew that. We spent the rest of morning break talking about our classes.
As we were going back inside after the bell rang, signaling the end of break, Cherish, one of the other cheerleaders, came up to Edward and me at our lockers and said, "Bella, I just thought you should know, some freshmen girls are asking around about you and Edward."
"What are they asking?" I asked her.
"How long you've been together, if people think you're putting out, things like that. I overheard her talking to Tanya. I don't know what their problem is, but I'd watch out," Cherish said.
"Okay, thanks for the information," I said. After Cherish walked away, I turned to Edward, and he looked at me.
"They can't hurt us. Everybody knows we're married. Maybe we should've told them ourselves, rather than just said we're together. I don't know why it's any of their business, though," he said.
"But Tanya will tell them about Jessica and Victoria, and I really don't want any of that to come back up. Jessica is in jail and will be for the next fifty years, at least. Victoria is gone, and I don't want to relive burying her again. It was hard enough the first time, and I'm not over it. I lost my daughter once, and I don't want to feel like I'm losing her again," I said, falling into Edward's arms.
"I know. I know you cry yourself to sleep every night. I know you try to keep it quiet, not to let me know, but I do know. I know you better than you know yourself, Bella, and I don't want to rehash Victoria's murder again. Jessica killed our daughter when she pushed you down the stairs, and I'm not over it either, but we have to go on…one day at a time."
"Let's get to class before we're late. Maybe nothing will come of it," I said, wiping the stray tear from my cheek.
"Yeah, maybe," Edward said, taking my hand and leading me to Mr. Thompson's Government class. He spent the entire class period passing out textbooks and assigned the first section to read for homework. The next class was Mrs. Ammon's AP English class. Neither of us paid a lot of attention during class, and we were lucky that Mrs. Ammon decided to give us a summary of how her class would be organized for the year. We would be starting with short stories, then we would move on to novels, then we would work on plays, and finally, we would finish the year with poetry. She assigned us a short story to read and questions at the end to answer for homework.
By the time we made it to the cafeteria, Alice and Jasper had already claimed our regular table. We were surrounded by football players at the nearby tables, the area traditionally belonging to the football team and their girlfriends. That just made it the hot area for the football chasers to be hanging around, and our two stalkers were right in the middle of it. Luckily, they hadn't spotted Jasper, yet. Edward and I made our way through the crowd to our spots and sat down with Alice and Jasper. I was still upset from thinking about our stillborn daughter and didn't take part in the conversation the others were having when Alice reached across the table and took my hand in hers.
"Why are you so down, Bella?" she asked.
"Just thinking about Victoria," I said. "I'm sorry. I can't get her off of my mind."
"What happened?" she asked.
"Cherish said she saw one of the newbies talking to Tanya about Edward and me. It made me think about Jessica and everything that happened sophomore year. I haven't been able to get it out of my thoughts."
"Well, Jessica isn't coming back. She was convicted of murdering Victoria, and she will be in prison for a long time. She can't hurt you guys any more."
"I know, but I still grieve for Victoria. We were supposed to have a one and a half year old by now."
"I know. Have you guys talked about trying again?"
"Yeah, we've talked about it. We don't know when we want to try again, not anytime soon, though. We'd like to get through college first."
"Yeah, and our schedules are pretty tough this year. I don't think that we want two a.m. feedings while we're taking four AP courses. We're both still in the running for valedictorian, and we don't need that kind of stress added to our plates," Edward said.
Just then, the two freshmen found our table. "Hi, again," the first one said as she slid into the seat next to Alice. "We've been looking for you two."
"Yeah, we thought for a little bit that you didn't come to lunch," the second one said as she sat down next to me.
"What are your names?" Edward asked.
"I'm Jill, and this is Amanda," said the first girl, "and you're Edward, right?"
"Look Jill. I don't mean to be rude, but the girls have been pretty plain today. Jasper is with Alice. They are engaged, and I'm with Bella. We are married. Neither of us is interested in getting to know either of you. Now, please leave us alone," Edward said.
"We know that you are married. We asked around about you, and several people said you were married, but one person told us why. She tricked you into getting her pregnant and then conveniently fell down the stairs and lost the baby after you had already married her out of obligation. You don't have to be with her anymore. There is no baby," Jill said.
I was shocked by what she said, and when the horror of it hit me, it took my breath away. I sucked back a sob as Edward jumped up from his chair and threw it backwards. He was trying to get around me and Amanda to confront Jill when he was slammed into the table by two of his defensive linemen.
"Woah, Cullen. Calm down. What's up, man?" Thomas asked.
"Let me go. I'm gonna kill her!" Edward said.
"Break it up! I said, 'Break it up!'" Mrs. Ammon said, coming between Thomas, Anthony, and Edward. The two let go of Edward who stood up and clenched his fists. "What is going on here?" Mrs. Ammon asked, looking at the three of them.
"Nothing, Mrs. Ammon. Nothing at all," Edward said, his teeth clenched.
"Nothing, Mrs. Ammon," Thomas said.
"Nothing, Mrs. Ammon," Anthony said.
"That's not what I saw. I saw the two of you holding Edward down on that table. Now I'm only going to ask one more time, what is going on?" There was a crowd surrounding our table.
"It was my fault, Mrs. Ammon," Edward said. "They were just holding me back."
"Holding you back? From what, Edward? This is not like you. Everyone back in your seats. Thomas, Anthony, take your seats," Mrs. Ammon said.
"Yes, ma'am," both Thomas and Anthony said, and they returned to the table behind us.
"Edward, I'm waiting for an answer," Mrs. Ammon said.
"I lost control. I'm sorry, Mrs. Ammon," Edward said.
"You lost control? After everything you've been through, you've never lost control. What happened to make you lose control?" Mrs. Ammon asked.
"This, this, freshman accused Bella of losing Victoria on purpose. She, she, she, basically said that our marriage is a sham and suggested that I step out on Bella," Edward said, his fists opening and closing.
"I see. Don't you think you could have thought of a better way of handling this situation, Edward?" Mrs. Ammon asked. "I would think that you would be more worried about your wife who is crying and looks like her world is over than about taking it out on a naïve freshman who didn't even know who you were two years ago."
Edward turned and looked at me. He sat down beside me. "Bella, are you okay?" Edward asked me. I shook my head, and he took me into his arms. "Bella, you didn't do anything to hurt Victoria. That's why Jessica is in jail, sweetheart. She murdered our baby. We're in love with each other. Don't listen to her." I nodded and dropped my head onto his shoulder. He wiped my tears from my face.
"Edward, you know you're going to have to go to see Mr. Green, don't you?" Mrs. Ammon asked.
"No, please, Mrs. Ammon," I begged. "You know he hates Edward. It won't be good. Please, just let it slide."
"No, Bella. I lost control. I have to accept the consequences for my actions. I'll be back. I love you," Edward said, and he leaned over and kissed me on the lips, much deeper than he should have.
"That's a freebie, Edward. No more PDA's in school. You two know the rules," Mrs. Ammon said.
"Yes, Ma'am," Edward said, and he stood after giving me another hug. Looking back at me, he walked out of the door towards the principal's office. I was worried because of the history between the two of them. When Jessica had accused Edward of raping her during our sophomore year, before Edward and I got together, Mr. Green had tried to kick Edward out of school. Of course Edward had been cleared of the accusation, but Mr. Green had believed the worst in Edward. He'd never really believed in Edward's innocence, even after his name was cleared. Then when Mr. Green found out about my pregnancy, he'd kicked me off of the cheerleading squad. To say that Mr. Green had it out for the two of us was an understatement, and now, Edward had to go face him again. This time, for something he did do. I was truly worried that it wouldn't turn out well at all.
"Gee, I didn't mean to get Edward in trouble," Jill said.
"LEAVE, NOW!" I said, my teeth gritted and my lips not moving.
"You'd better leave. And don't come back," Alice said, reaching across the table to take my hand in hers. Jasper reached across the table and took my other hand.
"What do you think Green will do to him?" Jasper asked.
"Oh, God! I don't know! I hope he doesn't suspend him. What will Coach Davis do if he gets suspended?" I asked Jasper.
"It may affect his playing time. He may not get to play Friday night," Jasper said, "but he can't suspend him if he didn't throw a punch, can he?"
"Green hates Edward, you know that. He'll throw the book at him," Alice said.
"Maybe he'll just get licks," Jasper said.
"We can only keep our fingers crossed," Alice said.
"Yeah, he's just lucky Anthony and Thomas got to him in time. If he'd thrown a punch, I'm sure he wouldn't be playing Friday night. I'm sure that he'd be suspended for three days, and Coach won't allow you to play if you miss that many days, not even Edward," Jasper said.