Your Pen Name: ***

Your Beta's Name: ***

Your Story Name: Everything

Song That Inspired You: "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley

Summary: For the first summer, ever, Edward has enough plans made that he hopes to be distracted from the suffocating boredom of Forks and the fact that he still can't seem to find the girl who matters. Will his summer plans bring him all he wanted, or is everything waiting for him in the last place he'd ever look? Entry for the Like Totally 80s Contest. AH.

Rating: M for language and mild citrus

Pairing: Edward/Bella

Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. "Boys of Summer" and any other songs and lyrics mentioned are the sole property of their owners and creators, and no infringement is intended.


August 16, 1984

Pulling my sweatshirt hood up, I walk down to the surf of First Beach. The sense of déjà vu isn't enough to soothe me – I know the last time I'd walked here alone, I'd seen her for the first time. Now? Nothing. I swear that Henley song couldn't have come at a better - or worse - time.

Nobody on the road,

Nobody on the beach.

I feel it in the air,

Summer's out of reach.

Empty lake, empty streets,

The sun goes down alone.

I'm driving by your house,

Though I know you're not home.

Better – I had someone's words and melodies to validate and give perfect voice to my mood. Worse – every forlorn note and longing word put an angry, paper-puncturing exclamation point on my loneliness. Fuck. That song is haunting me as much as the memory of her brown eyes and soft skin, her cool lips and her sweet breath, and her hesitant smiles and brave touches.

Shit, shit, shit!

Why'd she have to be here for only the summer? Why'd I have to spend most of the summer somewhere else? Why'd we have only eight days together before she went home to Arizona? Why, in my seventeen years of existence in this hole-in-the-earth town had no girl ever come close to capturing my attention, and when one finally does, she lives so far away?

I take a look around, wishing upon hope that I'll see her sitting there again, with her wild hair tangling in the sea-breeze and her book up to her nose.

Nothing. I'm stir-crazy. At this point, I want anything to distract me, but I have no friends here. Everyone else's plans have kept them away from Forks longer than mine did. Granted, I have only six more days to endure before the mild distraction of school has any chance of keeping me sane.

Six.

More.

Days.

She left only just yesterday…

"I hate this," she whispered.

"I hate it more," I countered, tugging a leg warmer up and over her knee and down again. She sat sideways across my lap, her cute ass and Tretorn'd feet rested on the driftwood on either side of my thighs.

"Not possible," she said, pulling my polo collar straight up and then smoothing it down again. Up, down. Up, down. Leg warmers, collars. Suddenly, she jumped up and came back down to straddle me, hugging me so tightly with her face in my neck.

"God, I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to be so weak." Her voice shook a bit as her shoulders subtly shuddered. "And I totally don't want to freak you out."

"Why would you freak me out?" I hugged her more tightly.

"Um, freakazoid chick you've known only eight days is a crying spaz who doesn't want to leave you, for starters." She laughed. "Guys don't like clingy."

"I like clingy, if you're doing the clinging. And I'm not most guys," I said. "Besides, maybe I'm the clingy spaz who doesn't want to let you go." I whispered the words, punctuating that last statement with a tighter squeeze to her middle, moving a hand to hold her head firmly against my shoulder. I nuzzled her hair and inhaled her clean shampoo-sea air-sunshine smell, trying my damnedest to commit it to memory.

"I have something for you." I nudged her back. Her shy smile warmed me as I placed my small token in her palm. "It's not much, but I hope it makes you think of me."

Laughing, she hugged me. "Edward, I love it. This is totally awesome, seriously! Where did you find this?" she questioned, twirling the tiny Rubik's cube key chain.

"I have my sources," I said, tugging the ends of her hair. "I know… I know it's kind of silly and it doesn't really mean anything, but I…I just wanted you to have something to remember me by. I…don't…want you to forget me." I lowered my eyes and stared at our laps, suddenly feeling a little too vulnerable.

"Edward, I love you."

I raised my eyes to watery brown pools of sadness. "Bella –"

"No, you don't have to say anything," she said. "I just…wanted you to know. This time with you? It has meant the world to me. Everything. This…" she waved her hands above and between us, then she raised the keychain. "…is everything. You are everything. I couldn't possibly ever forget you. You've meant – you mean – far too much to me. And I know I live in Arizona, but…this isn't the end, right?"

"No, definitely not the end," I said in earnest, tugging her up close again. "We'll write. We'll call. And maybe you need to visit your dad more often?" I joke, nudging her forehead so she'd look at me. "You know, like for every, single holiday, and two weekends out of every month?" We both laughed.

"Totally. I totally need to visit more often." She chuckled again, swiping a thumb under each eye.

I leaned in to hug her close again, trailing my nose along the shell of her ear and breathing in again her warm sweetness. The feeling crystallized a beat before the words formed.

"Bella, I love you," I whispered low in her ear, squeezing her to me almost as hard as my heart squeezed in my chest. She took a shuddering breath and leaned back to see my face, running her hands up into my hair and pulling me in for a heated kiss. We both let loose a low moan as our tongues met and slid together. I didn't want to move, but when I tasted a salty wetness on her lips, I pulled away and wiped the tears from her face with my thumbs.

"This sucks," I said. She only nodded. We sat, quietly staring at each other, our foreheads touching.

"I guess…I should go. I'm sure my dad is waiting." She swiped at fresh tears and made to climb off my lap.

I rode with her to her dad's so I could get my bike. We said our goodbyes, just feet apart, fumbling and mumbling, suddenly awkward where we'd once been bold. I saw Charlie standing in the kitchen window, so I didn't want to lay another kiss on her. Still, I couldn't just leave without touching her once more.

"Fuck it," I said, closing the distance and grabbing her up so tightly her feet leave the ground. "I'll miss you. I'll miss you every day. Never wonder. I'll always love you."

A fresh sob sounded from her near my neck. We stood that way a few moments before she loosened her hold and slid from my grip. I couldn't help but wonder if letting go of her right then was for good - if neither of us would see our first love ever again. She backed away slowly, and we let our arms stretch to their farthest length until our physical connection - and our hearts - broke.

She turned and ran quickly up the steps and through the door with one hand over her mouth. I stood statue-like, staring after her, not wanting to leave and acknowledge this was over. I finally snapped to enough to grab my bike from the side of the house, and took off for home as fast as my legs would pump. My eyes stung and blurred from a cold wetness. I blamed the wind, the drizzle, and my speed, but it was a lie.

.*:*:*.

June 11, 1984

Summer before senior year.

It was my last summer as a high school student, and finally – finally – I had something going on most all of the summer. No sitting around that sleepy town bored out of my mind. I don't hate Forks, but there just wasn't shit to do, and I was itchy for something - anything - different that year. I had a feeling about that summer. Big things were going to happen. I mean, I hoped so. Hell, even a bunch of little things would have been totally awesome. I'd have taken whatever I could get – anything beat languishing at home for nearly three months.

It would have been cool if I'd had a girlfriend to share it with, but my last girl and I broke up in the spring. Just…nothing there. Nothing there or anywhere. I'm not a snob, but this is a small town, and we'd all known each other forever, and if I hadn't gotten interested in a girl by then, it wasn't going to happen. I'd had two "serious" girlfriends, and a few casual single and group dates, but there was just no spark. At first, there was the thrill of interest, the nervous tickles of newness. Maybe we'd all always known each other, but not "that way." So the first kisses and touches, yeah, they felt good. Hell, I'm male. I'm a horny, teenaged male. If a girl was going to let me touch her boobs or finger her, I was going to. If she wanted to give me a hand job or a blow job, I was all for it. Sadly, a blow job still hadn't happened anywhere but in my fantasies.

I hadn't done the deed, either. I wanted to, but – and I'm not being a girl when I say this – I just didn't want it to be meaningless, you know? I mean, I don't think it makes me less masculine to prefer there be feelings involved. Not that I told that to my guy friends. And I suppose I could've screwed any of the girls I dated – maybe – if I'd wooed them some more. I just…didn't feel it. I didn't want to do it just to "do it and get it over with." Whatever. I'm not a pussy. I just wanted the right girl, with the real feelings, at the right time. I wanted it all. I wanted…everything, in one package.

Still, I was getting antsy. It was certainly an eye-opener last year to realize how naïve I'd been – to realize most of the people in my class were and had been "doing it" for a couple of years or more already. I didn't feel pressure because of that, but I definitely felt like I was excluded from some elite club, or like I was missing the punch line to a joke everyone else knew. Maybe I was too moral. Or maybe my fucked-up parents put too much fear in me. I swear my mom talked like you could get a girl pregnant every single time you had sex. I didn't know all the biology, but I was sure that was bogus. And then there was the whole "appearances" thing. She liked to think we were a cut above everyone else, that her son was above sleeping around for fun like all the other "common" boys. She didn't think anyone in this town was good enough for me, anyway.

"Edward, you can't be better than anyone else if you act just like everyone else," she'd say. News flash, Mom: I was probably the only virgin left in my class, so you needn't have worried. My virtue was safe, and you could be assured I wasn't "acting like everyone else." Still, I'd have been all over having some regular sex in my life, but I wasn't lying – I'd rather really love the person I'm doing it with. But as I said – this was Forks, and I wasn't into any of the girls there, so I'd resigned myself to having to wait until college to even hope I'd find someone interesting, let alone someone to love. Someone who is everything.

But that summer, who knew?

Maybe just a little making out? A little kissing? Touching? Hell, maybe I would go all the way if I got the chance – maybe. The bottom line was, I was looking forward to that summer and having something to do for a change besides ride my bike all over town alone.

June 18, 1984

First stop was Olympia and a visit to Nana and Papa. Two weeks of oversleeping, overeating and overindulging – all at their insistence, of course. If your grandparents couldn't spoil you, who could? I was a nearly-grown man, but I'd never be too old to let Gram and Pop coddle and spoil me. That shit would never get old, especially not when I was plied with endless amounts of Snickerdoodles and unlimited cable TV access. For some reason, Mom and Dad just didn't see the point in paying for cable TV. I mean, I don't want to sound like a spoiled brat or anything – It's not like I was dying without TV – but the rabbit ears and crappy picture just didn't seem worth it after awhile.

Being at home was just so damned isolating. Hardly any TV, no car, no one to really hang out with, and nothing to do in Forks even if there were people with whom to do stuff. The beach and arcade held my attention for only so long. So yeah – even though I was going to hang out with the seventy-somethings for a few weeks, it was better than being at home.

We fished. We watched TV. I helped Nana make cookies. I mowed their grass. I helped Pop in his wood shop. I changed the oil in their car. I slept, a lot. I ate, a lot. I watched my great-grandmother sew pillowcases and placemats. I went with Nana to the farmer's market to buy apples for the apple pie she made me.

It may have sounded dull, especially to the average teen, but it wasn't to me. These were seriously the best people I knew, and I was glad to have any moments with them I could get.

June 29, 1984

After two too-short weeks and several extra pounds on my gut, I left Nana and Pop and headed to my uncle's at Sequim for a few weeks. He was a little crazy and all over the place, but I knew I'd have a good time and enjoy some freedom. He was my mom's brother, but he didn't act like my parent. I mean, he wasn't going to encourage me to do something stupid, but he wasn't going to tell me what I could and couldn't do either. The rule at Uncle Garrett's was "don't do anything illegal, don't fuck up anything in my house, and we won't ever tell your parents anything that happens." That was really more for him than for me. He'd been known to toke up in my presence, as well as spend much of our time together totally shit-faced. I'd partaken a time or two, but I wasn't interested in getting fucked up with him – it would have been like the blind leading the blind. He wasn't completely irresponsible, but I had no desire to test how responsible he could be by pushing my own limits. Not to mention, I did not want to deal with my parents if I was caught drunk or high. Everything in moderation, I say.

Uncle Garrett dabbled in used cars, real estate, basically whatever tickled his fancy at the time. It kind of boggled my mind that he had a regular income, but he seemed to do okay. Every year at about this time, he sold fireworks, and that was primarily why I was there.

We set up the tent and tables on the side of the old two-lane highway and backed his small RV up to it. Once you set up, you were there for the duration, because it was too much shit to pack up nightly. So we sold fireworks. We drank some beer. We flirted with anyone female and bullshitted with anyone male. We made money, we got sunburned, and we ate junk food. I took a walk or rode my bike into town whenever Uncle Garrett decided to "entertain" a lady-friend. Sequim was not much different than Forks in the entertainment category, but at least it was different and being around Uncle Garrett was never dull.

One night, I was yanked out of a deep sleep in the RV to find Uncle Garrett shoving a .38 in my hands and telling me he'd be back as soon as he could. I had no idea what the hell happened, and I was a little freaked out. I'd shot a gun before, but only just goofing around with Dad and certainly not in a long time. Here I was with a gun in my hand at 3 a.m., in my uncle's RV on the side of the road in front of a tent full of expensive explosives, and I had no idea where the hell he went or why. Nope, I definitely didn't want to share that story with Mom and Dad.

A couple of hours later, as the sky started to tint from black to purple, Uncle Garrett returned with a bag full of fireworks that he proceeded to place back on the tables. Turned out, his second or third cousin so-and-so decided he'd collect on the money Uncle Garrett owed him by just taking whatever he wanted from the collection of pyrotechnic goodies, not realizing Garrett was sleeping just feet away. Apparently, they had it out. Uncle Garrett got his fireworks back, and his cousin got his money.

As July fourth rolled around, business was booming, no pun intended. Still, we had quite a stash of stuff left on the 5th, so what we hadn't sold, we set off. I had no idea how much of his profit we shot off, but it was his idea, so who was I to argue? After that, we spent some time at the bay, water-skiing and shooting the shit. The only "action" I saw at the bay was just an eyeful of some pretty girls in skimpy suits on boats. I couldn't complain about the scenery, even if that's all I ever had. A couple of Uncle Garrett's lady-friends seemed like they'd have loved to "teach me a few things," but that idea was just gross. No thanks.

The remainder of my time with him passed much as it always did – piddling about buying and selling stuff, entertaining his friends, smoking, drinking, eating for shit and being outside as much as possible. After about four weeks, it was time to move on to my last stop.

July 23, 1984

Late July found me in Portland, Oregon at my cousin Tanya's. Now that was going to be fun. I didn't remember how it worked out that that was my last stop before having to go home, but it was perfect. I could have definitely gone out with a bang there. If anything was going to happen, it was going to happen while I was with her, I was sure. She was a spoiled rotten, rich little brat who loved nothing more than partying. Her mom, Carmen, was my mom's sister, and she and her husband Eleazar were two of the snootiest people I'd ever known. It was no wonder that Tanya showed her bitchiness all the time. She learned from her parents how to be a snob and used her looks and money to get what she wanted. She wasn't above putting people down to make herself feel better, and she had no tolerance for anyone who wouldn't let her get her way, or who would get in her way.

Truth be told, I didn't even really like her. She was family, and I "loved" her in that way you're supposed to love people you're related to, but she was really a class-A bitch. My reason for being there was purely selfish – she knew how to have fun and she had plenty of resources to do so. But it was selfish on her part, too, as were most things she did. She was bored because her boyfriend was out of the country with his family for the summer, and I was just a warm body to have around to keep her occupied. She had promised girls, amusement parks, pools and plenty of alcohol. I didn't care as long as we had something to do and I didn't have to spend too much time alone with her. She creeped me out a bit, honestly. I almost felt like she'd jump me if I let her, and that thought was grosser than popping my cherry with one of Uncle Garrett's ladies.

Carmen and Elias were, conveniently, out of town on one of his business trips for my first two weeks there. Every day was an endless stream of her friends in and out of the house. I steered clear of the booze for the most part, but I could have stayed plastered twenty-four hours a day if I'd wanted to. She must have had the house staff restock daily or something. I stuck to the lightweight stuff – beer – if I was drinking at all. Mostly, I just tried to chat up anyone that seemed willing. I enjoyed their pool, and I really enjoyed seeing all her girlfriends in their barely-there suits and summer clothes.

One afternoon, there were a few of us lazing around her pool. There were a couple of guys as well as about five other girls besides Tanya. I was in a chaise nearby as a couple of the girls sat with their legs in the pool. They were giggling and talking.

"I know! It's so terrible! I'll have to watch what I'm wearing – no more strapless tops or dresses if I don't want to look like a total dork," one groaned.

"Are the different tan lines really that bad?" the other asked.

"Yes, LOOK!" She had pulled the thick strap off one shoulder to show her friend the varying white stripes that made up her tan lines.

"Show me," I said. I didn't know what the hell made me say it. She was cute, sure, but I didn't know her or anything. I was just…curious. Curious if she'd show me anything. Curious to see…something.

"Yeah?" she asked, eying me up and down with a smirk.

"Sure, why not? How bad can it be?" I answered and took a long pull from my beer.

She eyed her friend then, and they both burst into a fit of giggles. She turned a little more toward me. "Yeah, okay," she said, and she hooked her thumb in the strap and pulled it halfway down her upper arm. I'd wanted to see more. The milky-white curve of the top of her boob had been completely enticing, but that was all I saw.

"That's not so bad," I said, a little low and huskily. "I wouldn't worry about it."

She kept her eyes locked on me. Mine flickered from her eyes to her strap a few times before she moved. So fast I almost didn't catch it, she pulled the strap down a little before pulling it up. I saw a flash of darker, round, rosy-colored skin for the briefest of moments before she put the strap back in place, turned back around and giggled again. She threw her poofy, permed hair over her shoulder and looked at me heatedly, losing the smile. The sudden tightness in my trunks told me I needed to get out of there fast before I embarrassed myself. I grabbed my beer and ran into the kitchen to hide out until I could get myself under control.

I leaned against the refrigerator and willed myself to think of dead puppies and Nana sleeping in the nude to try to deflate my semi hard-on. I was so zoned out that I didn't realize anyone had slipped into the kitchen until I felt a warm body against my back. I practically jumped out of my skin and yelped. The girl from the pool snaked her hands around to my front. One hand rubbed my chest, the other palmed my erection.

"I can help you with this," she whispered over my shoulder.

My heart rate picked up and I looked down at her hand on me. "It was your fault, wasn't it?" I joked, trying to get my breathing under control and desperately wondering where I wanted this to go.

"Yeah, I suppose it was." She laughed. "But you did ask for it, didn't you?" She sucked my ear lobe between her teeth and I gasped.

"Uh…yeah, I guess I did," I stammered. I loved what her teeth and hands did, but I also knew clearly what I didn't want. "So, um – "

" – Heidi," she supplied in between kisses to my ear and licks up the side of my neck.

"Right, Heidi. I, um, I don't want to, you know-" I stammered, wondering where the fuck my ability to form coherent sentences went.

"Hey, that's okay, Edward – we don't have to, um, 'you know.' Just let me take care of this for you, yeah?" she asked and squeezed me through my trunks. I moaned and nearly came right then.

Do I want this? I thought. It's just getting off. I do that by myself all the time. Shit, okay. Yeah. I can do this. "Um, not here. Th-there's a laundry room right around the corner," I grunted.

"Works for me," she said, then grabbed my hand and pulled me into the small room. I had enough foresight to shut and lock the door. Before I could fully get turned around, she crashed her lips against mine and jammed her hand down my trunks, gripping me tightly.

"Fuck!" I yelled. "Take it easy. Shit!" She slid down to her knees. I didn't know what made me react the way I did, but suddenly the coveted first blow job seemed way too intimate for me and this girl whose name I only just learned. I knew it was going to fucking blow my mind no matter who did it, but I couldn't have explained even to myself right then why that wasn't going to be the time. I'm still wasn't a pussy – I just knew what I wanted, and what I didn't want.

I grabbed her upper arms and pulled her back up to me. She looked so confused, but I jammed my tongue in her mouth and grabbed her ass with both hands. "Just your hand will be fine, thank you," I said between kisses. "And I'll be happy to return the favor if you like."

She moaned into my mouth. "Fuck yes, I'd like."

It didn't take long before we both groaned and shook through our release, our hands hidden in each other's bathing suit bottoms. I found a towel nearby, and we each used an end of it to clean up before we headed back out to the pool. Yeah, it was a little awkward, but it had also felt fucking fantastic to get off by someone else's hand for a change.

I saw Heidi only once more on my break there, and we snuck away to suck face and dry-hump each other before she left that time. I really had no interest in her, but it was clear she had none in me either. We didn't even talk. And as amazing as it felt, it was still just empty.

On my last night there, we went to Oaks Park to ride rides and goof off. Tanya knew everyone, so it wasn't long before we chatted up a bunch of girls while in line for the roller coaster. I somehow managed to end up riding with her friend Kate, and purely out of nowhere we kissed on the way up the first incline. It was nice, and that was pretty much all it was. We rode the rides and hung out, but nothing happened after that. It was totally random, but I had no expectations. Kissing two girls and having a couple of hot moments at third base? I'm wasn't complaining.

I still just wanted…everything with one girl. I wanted the girl who mattered. College, I'd reminded myself. You probably won't find her until college, if ever.

August 4, 1984

My time in Portland ended…and I headed home. That was it – the last of my summer distractions. I was totally bummed, but I was also looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and taking some runs on the beach. I was ready for the routine again, or so I thought. It took me a day and a half before I was bored out of my mind again. I knew it was bad when I wished Alice would come home from Texas with Jasper. I loved my sister, make no mistake, but she was a handful. The fact that I was missing her incessant enthusiasm said a lot.

I even missed Emmett and his bitchy girlfriend, Rose. Hell, I think I'd have even gone for hanging out with the dweebs Tyler and Mike if they had been around. Seemed everyone else had something going on far longer than I did. It sucked, but what could I do? I tried to stay busy doing odd jobs for Mom and Dad, and that helped some. On my fourth day back, I headed down to First Beach on my bike. I took my runs around Forks most of the time, but there was nothing like running on the beach in the cool, misty air. Plus, the bike ride was more exercise and killed more time.

After I leaned my bike up against a tree near the sand, I shrugged out of my jacket and began stretching. I began a light jog down toward the sand and headed north. It got rockier, but it was a more interesting run, especially around the caves and alcoves.

Only five minutes in, I noticed a person up ahead, sitting on a boulder in the sand. As I neared, I saw brown hair waving wildly about the person's head, which was practically buried between the open pages of a book. Long, pale legs stretched out in front of the slightly hunched figure, which I could tell was a female. I thought nothing of it but continued to run. Still, as I passed the rock I couldn't help but look over my shoulder for another peek at her. I was met with a curious glance from dark eyes. I turned forward again so as not to look like a creepy letch. She was young – Iike, teenager young, but I had no idea who she was. That was an odd thing, considering the size of the town of Forks and the fact that we all knew everyone else. But then, we were technically in Rez territory, so maybe she had family here. Her skin was too pale to be full-blooded, though, I had guessed.

I made my way to my usual turnaround and headed back, wondering if she'd still be there. As I approached the rock again, I noticed she was no longer buried in her book but sat turned facing my direction, watching me. I was intrigued, but I didn't really know what to do, so I just threw a hand up in greeting as I continued jogging. She threw up a hand as well and smiled this beautiful, Mona Lisa smile that had me slowing down without thought.

"Hey," I yelled above the wind and surf.

"Hey," she said.

"You're not from around here."

"What gave me away?" she asked. "Only human being in the vicinity under the age of forty?" She giggled and flashed a beautiful, full smile.

"That and the fact that you look like you're my age but I've never seen you. And believe me – if you were at my school, I most definitely would've noticed you."

"That sounds like a line."

"Oh, no, definitely not – it's just that you didn't grow up here like every single person I know, so you would have stood out like a sore thumb."

"Oh, I see. So you're not coming on to me? I guess I feel so much better."

"Nope, I never come on to beautiful strangers. I'm Edward, by the way."

"Bella."

"Good, so now that we're not strangers, I can make my move on you properly."

She chuckled. "Right."

"Seriously, are you new in town? Just visiting?"

"Visiting. I came to spend the summer with my dad."

"Who's that?"

"Charlie Swan."

"Ah, the Chief's daughter."

"Great." She grimaced. "Yeah. The Chief's daughter. My reputation precedes me?"

"No, not really, but everyone knows Chief Swan and knows he has a daughter. Small town."

"Right. So, Edward, where are others of your kind? I mean, surely you aren't the only teenager in Forks?"

"Nope, most of them were smart enough to get the hell out of Forks for the summer break."

"So, clearly, you and I are not smart?"

"Hey, speak for yourself! I just got back a few days ago from being gone for eight weeks. You're the one who chose to come to Forks instead of staying in the likely more favorable climate of…"

"Phoenix."

"Right, Phoenix. See? You voluntarily gave up warm and dry for cool and wet. I mean, I don't want to make snap judgments or anything, but…"

"Okay, shut up!" She scowled but laughed nonetheless. "I don't get sympathy points for trying to be kind to my dear, old dad?"

"I'll think about it. Over lunch. You and me, Forks Diner."

"Edward, it's only nine-thirty in the morning."

"Crap. Well, then, I guess we'll have to figure out something to do to kill time, won't we?" I winked and smiled.

I wasn't sure where the self-assured flirt inside of me came from, but I was sure I wanted to spend more time with her. Intellectually, I knew she wasn't from here and wouldn't be staying and that involving myself in any way with her would be fruitless. But emotionally…I felt some sort of pull to her. I pondered whether it was just the allure of her not being from around here – of her not knowing every facet of my life's history like all the other kids I grew up with – but I quickly killed that notion. No, there had been something else. She was beautiful, sure, but not in some drop-dead, flashy, every-guy-would-die-to-have-her kind of way. I was most definitely drawn to her unassuming beauty. No, I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was just…everything. Her looks, her smile, her not being from around here, her boldness in catching my attention – everything. I just knew I wanted to know her, and that was good enough for me. It's not like I had anything else going on or anyone else to hang out with, and nor did she. Win-win.

She was driving a behemoth of an old truck her dad kept around and offered to stow my bike and let me ride with her back to town. I found out we were both going to be seniors, that we both loved classic rock and Reese's Pieces, and that we both thought Ghostbusters was one of the funniest movies we'd seen so far. It was so easy to talk to her, and I never once felt the suffocation of intense boredom I'd been feeling talking to the girls at school, or even the few girls I'd run across this summer. No, there was something about Bella. We just…clicked. We found ourselves finishing each other's sentences and even ordering the same food. The one dark spot in getting to know her was discovering that she would be leaving in eight days. I felt like throwing a toddler-sized tantrum about it, but instead I decided it was best to enjoy what time I had while she was still there.

The coolest thing about getting to know Bella was that it was obvious she was just as into me as I was into her. We had often find ourselves just sort of staring at each other with this look of awe and wonder, as if to say, "Are you real?" And just as often, when we caught each other looking like that, we'd turn pink, laugh and look away, only to sneak another sideways look at each other that elicited further giggles. It was really fucking cute if I did say so myself. I was still not a pussy.

Without really talking about it, we just sort of assumed we'd be spending our time with each other. She'd come get me and we'd go to the arcade. The fact that she kicked my ass at Pac-Man didn't even bother me, but I was not about to let her beat me at Asteroids or Galaga. Sometimes we'd go to the record store and sift through 45s. If we both wanted the same thing, one of us would buy it, and I'd make a cassette copy of it for the other. Sometimes we'd hang out on First Beach, just talking. I never got her to run or go roller-skating with me – she'd sworn it was an invitation for disaster to have her using gross motor skills or something. She had been afraid of showing how klutzy she was, but I was all for any opportunity to catch her if she fell.

I had already fallen.

On our third day together, all the flirting, glances, innocent touches and shy smiles gave under the weight of our feelings. We were sitting in her room on the floor, listening to music and talking. We were in the middle of trying to outdo each other with our E.T. impressions – a feat made all the more humorous because we had been downing Reese's Pieces like they were going out of style. We laughed so hard tears streamed down our faces, and we had both complained about the pains in our sides. Bella held out her index finger slowly, like E.T. and mimicked his "Oooooouch" line, which brought on a fresh round of laughter. Like the movie, I touched my fingertip to hers, and the universe suddenly shrunk down to that one point in space – the pad of her finger touching mine. Our laughter drifted off rather abruptly, and I ran my finger along hers to her hand, grasping it with mine before looking into her eyes. She was staring at our hands, and I noticed her take a deep, slightly shaky breath before looking back at me.

I swallowed thickly and looked at Bella's mouth and then looked back at her face. "Bella – "

"I know."

"I know you're leaving, but I – "

"Kiss me. Please."

We leaned together, slowly, and I reached my other hand up to cradle the back of her head. Her hair felt soft as feathers and smooth as silk against my fingers. I looked back at her eyes once again, only to see hers closed, trusting. Our breathing had picked up, and I was briefly baffled as to why this felt so heavy, so major – I'd kissed girls before, what was the big deal?

This kiss – this was the kiss that finally mattered. Bella was the one who finally mattered. That was the big deal. I knew this before our lips even touched.

I captured her bottom lip lightly, chastely. Then her top lip. Bottom, top, bottom – it was soft and slow, and I could feel my insides shaking and tickling and my heart pounding up into my throat. Bella leaned into me, and I chanced sneaking my tongue out to lightly touch her bottom lip. She immediately opened her mouth and our tongues met slowly. She tasted of peanut butter and Coke and something that just had to be innately Bella. She sighed out a small moan and breath into my mouth, and I thought I would explode right there on the spot. Her hands snaked around my neck and fisted into the too-long hair there, causing me to let loose my own quiet moan of pleasure.

After a few more moments of pure euphoria, she pulled away and rested her forehead against mine.

"Wow," she whispered.

"I know. I never…it's never been like that," I said. "Ever."

"Really?"

"Totally."

"For me, too, but then…" She trailed off, blushing a deep crimson and looking down at our now joined hands.

"What?"

"I," she began, then let loose a small laugh and shook her head.

"I'm dying here, Bella, please," I begged, squeezing her hands in encouragement.

"Thatwasmyfirstkiss." She rushed the words out on a breath and looked at me with – embarrassment? Uncertainty?

"Wow."

"That's my line," she said.

"I didn't know. I just assumed that…really?"

"Totally."

"That's my line," I joked back. We both laughed. "I just can't believe you've never been kissed. You're…you're gorgeous. And funny. And smart. And gorgeous..."

"You said that already! But you forget – I live in the land of suntanned Barbie dolls. I'm just sort of plain and invisible down there," she admitted, though she didn't seem all that sad. I was intrigued.

"Have you ever wanted to kiss someone? I mean, hasn't it come up at some point?"

"No, not really. I'm sure that makes me sound like a total spaz, but I just figured it would happen with the right person at the right time, and I haven't ever felt really drawn to anyone. Until now." She brought one hand up to my cheek and ran her thumb across my lips. "I'm really glad it was you, Edward. This was perfect. Thank you."

"You don't need to thank me. Just promise we can do that some more." I waggled my eyebrows at her.

She laughed. "You can't get rid of me. Those lips are mine until – "

I leaned in to kiss her quickly. "Don't say it," I growled against her lips before claiming them again.

August 11, 1984

The next three days passed in a blur of kissing, food, the beach, the movies, the arcade, the record store, and several humorous and failed attempts by Bella to solve a Rubik's Cube. It all started when we'd decided to hang out at my house one of those days. I showed her my room, and she was immediately drawn to my shelves and a row of five solved Rubik's Cubes.

"You did not solve these. Did you?"

"Guilty."

"What are you, like, some MENSA freak or something? Some genius in a hot guy's clothing?"

"You think I'm hot?"

"Shut up, dork! Duh."

"Wait – geniuses can't be hot?"

"You're missing the point, here." She sighed in exasperation, flopping herself onto my bed.

"I'm not a genius. I'm not in MENSA; I just happen to have a gift for solving silly puzzles. Does that answer your question?" I crawled up on the bed and lied next to her, placing a hand on her hip while she rolled one of the cubes around in her hands.

"A gift, huh? So, why so many of them? Isn't one enough?"

"I solved the first one I got and told my friends. My buddies thought I lied, and I was challenged to solve one right in front of them. They brought me a new one I'd never touched, just so they could be sure I hadn't 'tampered' with it. I solved it and wiped the shit-eating grins off their faces and told them I was keeping it."

"But there are five," she stressed.

"Let's just call it my party trick, shall we? People bring me new ones and challenge me. I solve them, and then they don't want to keep them. I guess they're like my trophies – my awards for excessive boredom and geeky-ness." We laughed.

"I'm impressed. I can't ever get more than three sides at one time," she said, twisting the cube to mix it up.

I scooted closer to snuggle her and line my body up with hers. "I'd love to tell you I really am a genius, that I'm gifted beyond all reason, and that I solved the first one within seconds of touching it, but the reality is, I've just had a lot of free time on my hands."

We both laughed, causing our bodies to move against each other in not-so-innocent ways, which effectively killed the Rubik's conversation and made way for more making out. Later, I demonstrated my Rubik's prowess by solving the one she'd mixed up in a matter of eight minutes or so. Her look of awe and jealous frustration was so cute; I took pity and tried to show her how I went about solving them. She'd work on it anytime we were at my house hanging out, at least until I could distract her with my lips some more. She never seemed to mind that she didn't solve the puzzle.

I think we both knew we were fitting pieces together in a much bigger puzzle.

August 13, 1984

We'd been left to our own devices most of the time, what with our parents having full-time jobs and all, but I had managed to have a meal or two with Bella and Charlie. Likewise, she'd had dinner at my house once as well. Our parents knew we were hanging out, and if they suspected we were doing more than that, they didn't let on, for which we were grateful. I certainly didn't feel like we were doing anything wrong, nor did Bella. Plus, they knew we were going to be separated in a matter of days, so I guess they just had mercy on our poor, teenage hearts and let us be.

Two nights before she was set to leave, I asked her on a proper date. It wasn't necessary, but I wanted her to know how much she meant to me and that I didn't want her to think this was just casual for me. She was leaving, and we couldn't do a fucking thing about it, but that didn't mean I couldn't pour all my heart into the time we had.

She drove us to Port Angeles for dinner. We ate at a nice little place called Bella Italia. She really seemed to love the food, as well as that the place was her namesake. I may have chosen it for that reason. I was still not a pussy. Shut the fuck up.

Afterwards, we walked along the dock and snuck into an ice cream parlor to share a triple-scoop cone of mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and strawberry because we couldn't decide on just one flavor. When ice cream dripped down her chin, I licked it off of her. When it ran down my hand, she licked it off of me. Neither one of us was necessarily trying to push the other's buttons, but something between us shifted; we found ourselves quiet, staring, and barely talking. It wasn't uncomfortable. On the contrary, it was as though that last puzzle piece was being locked into place. A quiet resolve settled over us, and inexplicably without words, we just knew.

Later, she drove us back to Forks, neither of us willing to disrupt the perfection with idle chatter. Instead, we let the local Top 40 station play on, occasionally singing along to the silly and the serious. We goofed and laughed our way through "Ghostbusters," then tapped our toes and fingers to "Footloose." When "I Can't Drive 55" came on, I made a crack about the rust bucket truck we were in and tried to avoid her playful slaps. The radio played those fun songs mingled with some that found us holding hands and stealing glances. Each song had a little something for me or her – writing a mini-soundtrack for our time together with a few lyrics here and there. "Missing You," and "Time After Time" made me ache. "Sister Christian" found Bella singing along and squeezing my fingers during the line, "What's your price for flight / you've got him in your sight / and driving through the night…" We both got a little fidgety in our seats during "Rock Me Tonite" and "Dancing in the Dark," but when "Like a Virgin" came on, we both looked at each other seriously before erupting in nervous laughter. Luckily, the exit for Forks was upon us, so I just turned off the radio.

We didn't speak. We still stole a few sideways glances at each other, small smiles and quiet sighs. Bella pulled into her father's driveway. I knew Charlie must have been working third shift that night or we wouldn't be here. She unlocked the door and led me straight to her room, just as we'd done most every time we'd been here in the past week. The difference was the weight of our anticipation and the magnitude of where we were taking "us." I refused to think there wouldn't be an "us" after this, but I didn't want to bring her down with the discussion of it – I just wanted to feel. I wanted the feeling of completion I already felt to be intensified and cemented and burned into my memory. I knew this was the time that I had been waiting for – the time when it meant something. The time when it mattered – the time it was everything.

Once inside her room, I shut and locked her door. I turned and found her standing by her bed, looking like my own, personal angel. It had been hard not groping her and making out with her all night, seeing her in that white mini-skirt and off-the-shoulder midnight blue top. And the legwarmers - those ever-present navy legwarmers. They covered her skin, but that only enticed me more. I knew her bare, smooth legs were hiding there, and I couldn't wait to unwrap her like a gift.

We stood looking at each other for a few moments. The look was heavy with our expectations, but it wasn't uncomfortable. She held out a hand to me, and I crossed to take her in my arms. I simply stood holding her for a bit, just enjoying her sweet smell and her warm softness pressed to me. Finally, I leaned back a bit so I could take her lips with mine, and we began a slow dance of discovery and trust. I knew that when it came down to the deed itself, it would probably go quickly, so I took my time, and she took hers. We weren't afraid to get there; we just weren't in any hurry to reach the end.

Clothes fell away slowly, each piece being replaced with fingers, palms or lips. We remained standing until we were both bare. I know neither of us needed to be ashamed or feel self-conscious, but I'd be lying if I said it still wasn't nerve-wracking to stand before someone like that, completely exposed and offered up for acceptance. I stepped back a foot, holding her hands, and chanced a slow glance down her body. She did the same. I hope my heart wasn't the only one trying to flee my chest at warp speed. Judging by her shallow breaths, I knew it wasn't just me.

"You're really beautiful, Bella. I mean, even that word isn't good enough, but I need you to know that you are, and not just on the outside."

"You're stealing my lines again." She laughed, and then grew serious again. "I just…shit."

"What?"

"I just – I feel so much right now I can't really put into words. Edward, I –" I placed my fingers over her lips.

"I know, gorgeous. Me, too." I came back to her and backed her down onto her bed, settling beside her on my elbow. "I only want to know that you want this, too. I know this is right, but I want you to feel the same way."

"You know I do – you don't have to ask, Edward."

"I know…I guess I just want to hear you say it out loud."

"I want this, Edward. I want you. I know it seems fast, but…I've never felt something more right in my whole life." She breathed out, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

"I know, me, too, me, too. Shhhh," I cooed and kissed under each eye to catch the tears before they fell.

And so we began. Our hesitant touches and kisses gave way to more confident ones under the deluge of our want and need. We explored each other's every inch, lips following hands following lips. The only sounds in the room were breathy pants, sighs and moans. I marveled at her body and how it was ready for me, and she did the same with mine. The only pause in our dance came when I retrieved the little foil packet from my wallet, the one my father insisted I always carry after we had "the talk."

When I finally pushed into her, we both cried out and gasped into each other's mouths. I saw her grimace of pain as silent tears slid into her hair, but her eyes spoke of nothing but joy and encouragement. There was no avoiding the pain, we knew that, but it still killed me to know I hurt her. She winced a few more times before letting me know it was better and that it was okay to keep going. I moved as slowly as my impatient body would allow, moving more quickly only when I felt my impending release and Bella's hands and heels pull me closer. When I came, I melted into her, cradling her head in my hands and burying my face in her neck. I hated that her pleasure wasn't a guarantee, but that was why I made her come with my fingers before. I knew it was okay – her caresses up and down my back and soft scratches through my hair told me she knew and understood. We sighed in contentment - spent, sated and forever altered, inside and out.

After a necessary quick clean-up, we lied together in her bed facing each other, softly touching and talking about everything and nothing. It seemed an unspoken agreement that we didn't need to recap what we'd done or how we felt about it – it was plain as day on our faces. We let it, and ourselves, just be. Even when, under her soft, innocent touches I felt the stirrings to have her again, I left her alone knowing that it would hurt her too much. She knew, though, and she sweetly took care of me with her hands without my asking. I gratefully and enthusiastically returned the favor for her, and it was then we at last let sleep take us under, tangled together. Every piece fit perfectly together.

It was with great hesitation that I left her that next morning. We knew we'd see each other later – that was her last full day – but it was that knowledge that threatened to quell all the happiness I felt after what we'd done. And not just for what we'd done the night before, but for the past seven days. As I'd ridden my bike back home to eat and shower, I couldn't help but marvel at how much things had changed in just seven days. I found it amusing and annoying that I had felt so smothered by the lack of female companionship in my small town and had sought excitement elsewhere that summer, only to find my perfect girl right there in my own backyard. I knew she didn't live here, but still. I also knew it was meant to be that way. And though I'd face my senior year without her, I saw things differently. I may not have had her by my side every day, but I would have her in my heart. I may not have had a girlfriend in Forks to share my year with, but I knew there was someone out there for me. We hadn't talked about it, and I wasn't sure if either of us would have been ready to try to define or decide anything, but I knew I at least had the idea of a future not spent alone – preferably a future with her.

Though only seven days had passed, we made a point to revisit our frequent haunts that last day. We lunched at the diner, goofed at the arcade, and spent a couple of hours with Mr. Rubik and the stereo in my room. I couldn't bear to turn her down, but when she'd asked if I wanted to join her and Charlie for dinner, I told her she should spend some time with just him. It sucked. I didn't want to tell her just how badly I ached to be with her every last second of her visit, but I also felt I'd monopolized her time. I didn't want to wear out my welcome with Chief Swan, either. I promised I would come by the following morning before they had to be off to the airport.

Back to August 16, 1984

Saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing I've ever done. Yeah, it's melodramatic, but I'm only seventeen. It's completely true.

I got home from the beach and the fruitless hoping that she'd somehow still be there, even though she left the day before. I figured I'd just have to endure the next six days and hope my parents had a ton of shit I could do for them. Emmett was due back the next day, I thought, and Alice would be back the day after that. I'd survive, but it would still suck.

I didn't even tell any of them about Bella. It was so fresh, and I guess I wanted to feel like we belonged only to each other – like if my friends knew, they could pick it apart, pick us apart, and make me feel even worse for not having her here. I just shot the shit with Emmett about kissing a couple of girls over the summer and generally having a good time while I was away.

At some point in every day, in the middle of all the remembering what we did, where we went and saying goodbye, I would start to feel like she wasn't real. Like she was just a fantasy, an impossibility I dreamed up in my loneliness. I found myself cranking up "Boys of Summer" every time it came on, getting lost in the memory of her.

I can see you, your brown skin shinin' in the sun,

You got your hair combed back,

And your sunglasses on, baby.

And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,

After the boys of summer are gone…

Goddamn that song. I even bought the 45 at the store so I could play it over and over. And wallow.

I never will forget those nights

I wonder if it was a dream

Remember how you made me crazy?

Remember how I made you scream?

Just the memory of her bare beneath me – the memory of what we both gave up and both gained that night – sent my mind and body reeling and into my shower more than a few times since she'd gone. In a way, it was more difficult to be with her and then know what I was doing without, but it was worth it – it felt right then, and it still feels right now. Plus, I'd always have the memory if fate was a cruel bitch that never brought us back together. For at least a few days in my life, I'd had everything.

.*:*:*.

Holy shit, I'm a Forks High senior. Fina-fucking-ly. It was easy to slip back into the expected roles, the easy schedule, the mindless note-taking and class participation. Bella was never far from my mind and was most often the subject of my artistic doodling and frequent daydreams. We'd spoken a couple of times a week since she'd gone, and she'd sent me a letter once, including some of the 3x5s we'd taken while she was here. I lived to hear her voice, but we couldn't talk long because it was so expensive.

A couple of weeks into school, I arrived at my locker with Emmett to more than the usual amount of buzz in the hallway.

"What's goin' on?" I asked Emmett.

"Hell if I know," he said. "Yo, Mike! What's the deal? Why's everyone in a tizzy this morning?"

"New student. Senior. A chick. And, I hear she's hot as hell." He waggled his eyebrows and popped his polo collar. "I'm gonna be all over that. I'll be her one-man welcoming committee."

"In your dreams, asswipe," I joked, shoving his shoulder.

"Don't worry, I'll share!" Mike said. We all scoffed at his false macho bullshit, but we all shared his curiosity.

"If she's not a complete airhead, she'll know better than to give you the time of day, dickhead," Emmett said, playfully punching Mike's shoulder.

"Whatever, dude. I'm so ready for some fresh meat in this place," Mike said. "Jessica is okay and all, but damn – " He stopped abruptly, looking over Em's shoulder. "Holy shit, that must be her. I think I'm in love."

All eyes turned to look down the hall where Mike had spotted the new girl. Fuck, she was gorgeous. I felt the air whoosh out of my lungs and a squeezing pain in my heart, and I'm pretty sure my jaw was on the floor. I was vaguely aware of the hooting and catcalls coming from Mike and the other dipshits who thought they stood a chance. I ignored them totally, pushing off my locker and moving to stand in her path in the middle of the hallway. Just as I stopped, her eyes found mine, and she stopped walking. We stared at each other, motionless.

"Edward, dude, she's mine! I called dibs!" Mike said, shoving me lightly in the back.

I smiled. She smiled back. We both walked slowly toward each other until we were just inches apart. I didn't care that we were in school in front of all the people I'd known forever. I didn't care that to all of them it would look like I was about to kiss a complete stranger. I didn't care that the warning bell was about to go off. I didn't see or hear anything but her.

I grabbed her face in my hands and brought my lips to hers in a desperate, frantic, searing kiss. I wrapped my arms around her so tightly, picked her up off the floor and swung her around a couple of times before pulling back for a breath.

"Bella." I breathed out, smiling more widely than I thought possible.

"Edward." She smiled back, mirroring my own joy.

"I don't – I can't…you're the new girl?" I placed her back down gently and ran my hands through her so-soft hair.

"That's me. It's a long story. One I'll be glad to tell you later," she whispered. "Much, much later." And she kissed me again, slowly this time, before pulling back suddenly. "Oh! I need to show you something." I just stared at her, unable to believe she was in front of me. At Forks High.

She reached in her purse and rooted around, pulling out a keychain. She held it up in front of my face and smirked. I found myself looking at the miniature Rubik's Cube keychain and all of its perfectly solved sides. I smiled ear to ear.

"It was a really long couple of flights home and back," she said, laughing, and I joined in before kissing her again.

I pulled back and just stared at her in awe for a few moments. Smiling wide, I put my arm around her shoulder and turned to start walking to class, oblivious to the slack-jawed staring and jealous glares of the seniors of Forks High. I wasn't able to look anywhere but at her gorgeous face and in those velvety brown eyes. I knew we'd have to come clean with my friends eventually, but right now nothing was going to burst our bubble.

"So, what's your first class?" I asked.

"Study Hall," she said.

"No shit? Me, too," I said, smirking and staring at her mouth.

"Awesome," she said, staring at mine.

"Totally."

As I opened the door for her to study hall, she caught my amused and confused expression. "What?" she asked.

"I just can't believe you're here. You're right here in front of me and I never imagined…" I trailed off.

"I know. Me neither."

I pulled out chairs for us as far away from anyone else as I could get. "I can't wait for you to tell me everything. But for right now, I just want you to tell me one thing."

"Yeah? How about this - I love you," she said, smiling widely.

"I love you," I said back, kissing her once more. Yeah. Everything was going to be awesome now, because everything was right here in front of me.

THE…BEGINNING


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