Your pen name(s): ***
Your beta's name: ***
Your story name: Fast Times At Plano Senior High
Song that inspired you: Papa, Don't Preach
Summary: Bella (who channels Molly Ringwald) moves to Plano, TX, 4 months before she graduates from high school and meets a hot cowboy, Edward Cullen, heir to the Cullen Oil fortune and estate known as South Forks Ranch. Trouble finds them after the lovers unite.
Pairing: Bella and Edward
Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
I inhale deeply, lower my head and walk through the open double doors. My head rises up only enough to allow me to keep from running into the brightly painted concrete walls or some other student.
Seven hundred fifty. That's the number of students in my soon-to-be new senior class. Two thousand seven hundred and fifty. That's the number of student's in my soon-to-be new high school.
So here I find myself, Bella Swan, country bumpkin, from the heart of deep Mississippi, in a high school nearly the size of my former hometown. I knew that moving to Dallas, it was going to be big, well, like everything else in Texas, but I never realized just how big it is here. Even the skies stretch out over the horizon and extend on forever. It's kind of creepy at night looking up at the stars against a pitch-black backdrop when the moon's hiding away. As I gazed at the millions of twinkling stars my first night here, I felt so small and inconsequential, which is pretty much how I'm feeling today as I walk into the admission offices of Plano Senior High School.
I see Mrs. Cope's desk situated against the far right wall. She smiles as I approach and I notice a petite black-haired girl with a pixie-type cut, all spiky Pat Benatar style standing next to her.
"Hi, I'm Bella Swan. We met last week…" As I address Mrs. Cope, I'm interrupted before I can even finish my second sentence. The pixie girl is literally jumping up and down in excitement.
"Oh my God, you're Bella Swan!" I look at the girl and then back to Mrs. Cope who seems content to have this wild banshee take over for her.
"I'm Alice. Alice Cullen. I've been so excited to meet you! Like, you can probably tell, right?" She flashes a dazzling smile at me and all I want to do is run away fast and hide. Yes, hide. That had been my plan. Hell, with a school this size, I was hoping to coast out the rest of my senior year, all two months of it, blend in and then make a mark in college back at Ole Miss. But this little fireball appears hell-bent on ruining those plans.
"Nice to meet you, too, Alice." I'm relieved as my well-bred Southern hospitality speaks for me. It's implanted so deep in my veins that I don't even miss a beat.
"Oh, Mrs. Cope, do you hear her? That Southern accent is so adorable." Alice, or Ms. Pixie Stick, walks around the desk and links her arm with mine. "We're going to be great friends, Bella Swan. You just wait and see."
I turn as Alice whirls me around to face the door of the offices that leads to the hallway. I glance over my shoulder and mouth the word, "Help," to Mrs. Cope as I come to the conclusion that I'm being kidnapped.
"Good luck, Bella. Alice has promised to go with you to all your classes today. She'll be your student guide." Mrs. Cope waves her hand as if she's surrendering to the force known as Alice. "Come back at the end of the day and check in with me before you leave. Okay?"
All I can do is nod in stunned silence as Alice and I bound into the open, busy and humming hallway. She leads me down a hallway packed full of students, many congregating in front of various lockers.
"Excuse me, Alice, but where are we going?" I whisper to her as we pass by a group of girls all waving and saying hello to us.
"We're heading to your locker and then to our first class, Honors English. With the exception of biology, we have every class together. Mrs. Cope thought it was a good idea." She laughs and I nearly faint.
After a brief stop at my locker, which just happens to be a couple down from hers, and numerous introductions to girls that Alice is friends with, we arrive at first-period English class. I take my place next to Alice, of course. She's already placed the books I'll need for the class in my hand, which I place on my desk.
Miss Ward calls the class to order and begins taking the attendance. "Class, it appears we have a new student joining us this morning. Alice Cullen is going to introduce her. Alice."
"Thanks, Miss Ward." Alice pulls on my arm and I reluctantly stand up on two unsteady feet. "This is Bella Swan. She just moved here from Carthage, Mississippi. Her father is the new Sheriff in town or Chief of Police, officially. And she has the most adorable Southern accent, y'all."
I quick say hello and unconsciously add on the term, y'all, before falling ungracefully back into my seat. I can feel the flushing of my face and imagine it being as pink as my argyle sweater. Something tells me this is going to be a long, long day.
By the third period of the day, I give up trying to fight Alice for my privacy. There's just something about her that's irresistible and even though we're total opposites, I think she was right when she said we'd be great friends. Truthfully, I can't imagine a better ally in this jungle of a school than her. I really should count my blessings that she's taken me on as her "cause du jour."
As the class ends right before our lunch, I dutifully follow Alice out of the classroom. "We'll drop off all our stuff at our lockers before we go down to the cafeteria. I have to warn you about the food. It's the closest thing I can imagine to eating slime," she tells me.
"I usually bring something from home, but didn't today. Hopefully, they have something like a burger." I wasn't sure how something greasy would hit my already upset stomach, but I needed to eat since I'd skipped breakfast, much to my mother's disdain.
"They have burgers, or slime between a bun, as I call them." She laughs and I cringe knowing that I'll be passing those burgers by in the line after all.
"Oh well. I'm sure I'll find something to eat. Maybe some chips or cookies. Those are hard to do wrong."
"You'd think that wouldn't you? But don't get your hopes up. When I say the food stinks, I mean it." Alice scrunches up her nose in disgust.
"Alice, like, thanks so much for all you've done for me today. I can't imagine what I'd be doing right now. Probably hiding out in the restroom instead of going to the cafeteria by myself," I confess.
"It's nothing, really. When I heard you were coming to town, I couldn't wait to meet you." Alice's comments make no sense to me. Who was I really? Just an average brown-haired, brown-eyed girl who knew nothing about living in a big city.
"You couldn't wait to meet me?" I just didn't get it.
Alice quits walking and turns to look intensely into my eyes. "Bella Swan, you have to be the bravest person I've met. Who comes to a new school over halfway through their senior year? Especially a school like Plano. It's full of richie, stuck-up mall rats." She continues walking down the hall and from the noise buzzing ahead of us, I know we're close to the cafeteria.
"I never thought of myself as brave. Moving was something my parents insisted on. I didn't really have a choice." I still didn't see the logic in them forcing me to move since our family friends, the Montgomerys, had agreed to let me stay with them in Mississippi until graduation. But there's no going against my father. He wanted his family with him when he started his new position, so here I am.
"Mrs. Cope told me about you moving here a couple weeks ago. I work in the office after school and help her sometimes. Let's just say, I knew that I had to be your friend. I hope you're okay with that?" Her eyes search my face for an answer.
"I am. You've been great. I can't imagine anyone treating me better today. I really owe you," I say with promise.
"Don't be a ditz. You owe me nothing." Alice grabs my arm and the next thing I know we're standing in the line for lunch, and the smell reminds me of… slime.
After buying a bag of Fritos and a carton of milk, we head to a table of smiling, laughing girls. Each one of them is gorgeous and I'm totally intimidated.
"Oh my gosh, Alice, is this Bella?" a pretty, blonde girl asks.
"Like, it is her, airhead. Who else would it be, Jessica?" Everyone laughs including Jessica, so I do the hospitable thing and giggle too.
"Here, Bella, sit down and I'll introduce you to the gang." I watch Alice take a seat and I join her trying to smile back at the eight faces around the table looking directly at me.
One by one, Alice names the girls and gives me a few details about them, mostly whom they're dating or whom they'd like to be dating. Over the shoulder of one of the girls I see a boy, for lack of a better term, entering the cafeteria. He stops and looks around; I assume he's probably looking for his friends.
The first thing that catches my eye is his hat. Even though we're living in the outskirts of Dallas, I haven't seen a genuine cowboy hat yet. I consider this my first real cowboy sighting.
As he turns his head toward me, our eyes meet and I am dazed. I've never seen a more beautiful boy in my life. How could someone be that drop-dead gorgeous in high school? He's completely rockin'. Tall, dark and handsome with a bad boy look like James Dean in the movie, Giant. I find myself leaning into the table to get closer to him. And much to my amazement he smiles and tips his tall hat at me.
I totally freak out as he moves toward our table with his smile still intact. I lean over and nudge Alice never turning from the locked staring contest I'm having with the pretty cowboy.
"Oh my God, Alice, who is that guy walking over here?" Unfortunately, my question is heard by everyone at the table, so of course all the heads turn to see who I'm referring to.
"Oh, that would be Edward Cullen, my twin brother," Alice answers, and all I can do is sit there with my mouth hanging wide open in shock.
"He's your fricking brother?" I spit out, continuing my freak out.
"Yes, since before birth." She giggles and the next thing I know he's standing right next to us still looking at me, our staring not broken yet.
"Hi, Alice," the tall cowboy named Edward speaks and I nearly pass out.
"Hi, Edward. What do you need?" Alice replies, sounding annoyed.
"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?" His smile changes and it's more cock-eyed now. Damn, he's hot.
"No, I'm saving Bella for myself. Now run along and find your druggie friends." She moves her hand to shoo him away.
"Nice to almost meet you, Bella." He says my name and tips his hat again and this time I'm completely lost.
"Wow," says Jessica. "You're all starry-eyed Bella and did you see Edward? He never thinks anyone here is good enough for him, but he seemed to like you."
"Oh, shut your face, Jessica. He may be my brother, but he's a total dickweed and I don't want Bella getting mixed up in all his shit." She places her fingers to her lips like she's smoking a doobie. "Believe me, you can do so much better than him."
Silently, I watch that sweet ass of his walk away and I want to cry out, "There goes my Jake Ryan," but I don't. If he's into weed, Charlie would kill me anyway. However, he's too fine to be a complete waste, maybe just maybe…
"I think he's the best looking guy I've ever seen," I comment before I realize that I said those words aloud.
"I think everyone agrees with you, but he's wasting his life away and my dad is furious with him. They fight constantly over what he's going to do after college." Her voice sounds tired and I get the feeling that their fighting has been wearing on her.
"What? Edward doesn't want to go to college and your dad wants him to go?" It seemed like the mostly likely scene for their fights.
"No, he's going to college. He's actually really smart and wants to be a doctor, but my father wants him to work with the family business, Cullen Oil." The company name is familiar to me, but I can't place it right away.
"Cullen Oil?" I ask.
"Have you ever heard of South Forks Ranch, just outside of the city limits?" I turn to Jessica who's asking the question.
"I don't think so. Is it a cattle ranch?" I reply.
After the laughter dies down, Jessica fills in the blanks for me. "Alice and Edward's parents own that ranch and most of Dallas for that matter."
Alice draws her fingers across her throat while looking at Jessica, clearly wanting her to end the conversation.
"Come on, Alice. We know you're not a snob, but Bella needs to know the truth about your family." Jessica rolls her eyes and looks me straight in the eye. "Thanks to all their oil, they're just about as rich as God, I kid you not."
"I can't believe you, Jessica," Alice says. "Like, I'm so sure. God? You've gotta be kidding?"
Who would have thought sweet and slightly mental Alice is a rich kid. It just didn't compute. I would have never guessed it in a million years.
The period after lunch is the only class that Alice and don't have together, but she walks me to it anyway. It's Honors Biology, and I've been waiting to take this class. Next to English, biology was my favorite class back in Mississippi. I loved learning about life and how it started and worked.
Alice waltzes into the room and I follow behind with a little skip in my step. Maybe this school is going to work out great after all.
"Mr. Banner, this is Bella Swan. She's the new girl and I'm her student guide for the day." Alice beams at my teacher and then back at me.
"Hello, Bella. It's good to have you. I've received your records from Mississippi and you seem to be a good biology student, so I've paired you up with someone equal to be your lab partner." He looks toward the back of the room and I follow his eyes. All I see at first is that tall cowboy hat and my stomach ties in knots. Oh please, God, let it be him. Then the hat moves and I see him, Edward Cullen looking up at me.
"Alice, take her back to your brother. And, Bella, here's your book." Mr. Banner holds out a book and as I take it from him I'm pretty sure it weighs close to ten pounds.
"Thank you, sir," I say to Mr. Banner.
As I follow Alice to the back of the room, I hear her mutter. It's obvious that she doesn't approve of Mr. Banner's choice for my lab partner. "I can't believe this. It's like fate is working against me…"
But I'm all smiles behind her as I see the cowboy god ahead of us and he's smiling too. I'm suddenly feeling all warm and delicious inside and it's followed by a strange tightening in that "unmentionable" place, as my mother calls it.
Still muttering, Alice marches right to Edward. "Listen, Banner has paired you two up, but I don't want you messing with her. Do you hear me, scumbag?"
"I hear you, sis." Edward laughs and winks at me and I feel a rush of heat speed through me and I'm certain that my face is on fire. I almost feel like I'm going to combust.
Alice turns to me to leave and I wipe the silly grin off my face. I need to look serious and uninterested in the hot boy toy sitting at the lab table in front of me.
"Just be careful, Bella. It's only for an hour, right?" She quirks her brow and looks at Edward and her eyes have daggers in them, I swear to God. "I'll be back to take you to French class, okay?"
"I'll be fine, Alice. He doesn't scare me."
"Yeah, but he does me," she replies and leaves the classroom, but not before giving Edward one last pointed look.
I hear Edward clearing his throat next to me and I look his way to see him gazing at me intently. For the first time today, I notice his eyes, really notice them. They're this almost inhuman shade of green like one of those off-color green crayons with a weird name. All I do is stare back because I'm lost, completely lost.
"I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Edward Cullen and you're Bella Swan, right?" I just about fall off my stool when he utters my name. I wish he'd say it again.
"That's right, but how did you know my last name?" I'm confused because Alice didn't bring up my last name in the cafeteria.
"Let's just say that I've already been acquainted with your father. It seems he has a thing for pulling over suped up Camaros. I think he's a little jealous," he jokes. At least I think or rather hope he's joking.
"My father? Like, as in Chief Swan?" Oh my God, my father has pulled him over. This doesn't bode well to me ever having a date with him. As if I, plain Bella Swan, had a chance anyway, but still a girl can hope.
"Yes, the Chief." Edward chuckles. "He's given me two tickets since last weekend. I'm just glad he didn't look under my seats because I'd probably be in jail instead of sitting here talking to his beautiful daughter."
I blush at two things. First, I'm pretty sure he called me beautiful, and second, I believe he just admitted to having drugs in his car.
"Thanks for saying that. And I probably should thank my father too, for not finding what was under your seat." I clasp my hand over my mouth realizing how stupid that sounded.
"You're a funny girl, Bella." After his lips move, I watch his long fingers reach for a lock of my hair and twirl it around his finger.
I'm staring at his fingers in my hair as Mr. Banner calls the class to order and we receive the assignment for the day. I believe he said we're comparing different fungi under the microscope, but all the teacher's words blur as Edward moves his stool over to me and our thighs touch. I can't think of anything else when he's touching me. I see his lips moving, but I hear nothing.
He pulls the microscope and slides it in front of us. All I'm left to do is watch and observe him. I want to reach out and touch him, but that's too forward since we've only met. For some reason, I feel like I've known him for years.
"Let's do this lab quickly, so we have some time to talk." I nod my head in agreement and he squeezes my leg before he turns toward the microscope. I'm done for now as I still feel the tingles from his touch.
Somehow we complete the task and record our results. We're finished and as I look around, we're the first ones done. I realize that Alice was right, he's really smart.
"So tell me about yourself, Bella, or better yet, let me guess." He rubs his chin as I watch him. "You're a quiet girl that obeys her parents. Never gives them a reason to worry. Am I correct?"
"I guess so." I really don't want to answer that question. It makes me sound like such a bore.
"However, I think I see a little fire hiding behind those big brown eyes of yours. You're curious to see what you might be missing in life, aren't you?"
Again, what can I say to that? "I guess." I'm totally flustered now.
"I'd like to find out if I'm right. Would you go out with me?" He whispers his question so close to me I can feel his breath as he pronounces each word.
"But what about Alice?" I want to include my dad in that equation, but think better of it. I'm eighteen after all. I think his green eyes are making me a little crazy.
"Leave Alice to me. Give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure she'll give in." He brushes against my leg again but this time his hand lingers and gently caresses me and a strange, quiet moan leaves my lips. I lower my head to the desk and wonder if someone can die from embarrassment.
I'm sitting in the doctor's waiting room with my mother and I'm afraid it's not the flu. I can't believe it could be what I'm thinking it is. Surely not; he promised me after all. I need to throw up again as I remember back to a night two months ago…
Three weeks had passed since the first day of class, and it was fair to say my life would never be the same. I'd become completely and utterly obsessed with a guy. Me, serious-go-to-college, be-your-own-person, Bella, had become a quivering mess whenever I'd see Edward. I became almost catatonic when I sat next to him in biology. His eyes, scent, and fingers drove me bonkers.
It was Saturday night and Edward had devised a plan so we could be alone that night. My knees felt weak just thinking about it. I'd been worried that I'd give away our plans as I sat watching Sixteen Candles with Alice and the lunchroom girls. They kept looking at me probably wondering why I looked as if I was about ready to pass out. Most likely it was because I was about ready to pass out, kerplunk, onto the theater floor.
Finally, we arrived back at South Forks ranch. It'd become my second home since I met Alice and I was fine with that because on rare occasions I'd been able to talk to Edward by myself.
One night, Alice was taking a shower and Edward crept in and pulled me down the hall to his room. He didn't say much as he closed the door behind him. The next thing I knew I was being pushed into the wall and his lips were on me everywhere. I didn't know someone could be kissed like that. And I swore I saw stars as he literally took my breath away.
We'd exchanged subtle touches and stolen hidden kisses since that day and all I could do was burn for the boy. I was sure my parents wondered what had happened to me because I kept spazzing out over every little thing. I felt strung as tight as a drum.
Alice parked her car and commented that Edward must have been out for the night. But Edward was hiding in his Camaro behind the horse barn so she would think he was away. However, I knew the truth. He was waiting for me, and I could hardly wait.
A couple of hours later, Alice finally fell asleep. I sneaked out of bed, dressed quietly and made a beeline toward Edward's car. He was smoking a cigarette, but dropped and squished it the moment he saw me running toward him. He took me in his arms and pulled me close. I felt his warmth and heard his heart beating just like mine, furiously.
I asked where he was taking me but he said nothing as he led me into the barn. I thought I knew what was going to happen in there and my excitement left me shivering. He thought it was from the cold, but I knew it was from my need for him.
We found a room above the stables. He told me it was for the stable manager, but that he'd taken off that night, so it was ours. I saw the bed in the corner and he picked me up in his arms and softly laid me down on the white bedspread. I stared up at him, panting, shaking and wondering if I'd ever feel warm.
But quickly he descended on top of me, his warm skin absorbing my chills. His lips kissed. His hands explored. Clothes were tossed to the side. I was amazed at how warm I felt then. My skin was on fire. He caressed and prepared me for the pain. He whispered words that he'd be gentle but part of me wanted him to take me with force.
He rose above me, so beautiful. He was glowing in the faint light. His eyes spoke the words I wanted to hear. They were filled deep with feeling and he moved into me. I felt pain, but pleasure replaced it. His lips found my lips. His need met mine. We were finally one.
My father is yelling at me. Screaming at the top of his lungs. I think he's called me every sordid name in the book. Whore! Tramp! Hussy! Yes, he's said them all. My favorite is Jezebel. Please, I hardly wear make-up.
But it's my poor mother in the corner crying that touches me. She looks at me like she's lost her daughter. I even had to drive home from the doctor's office after he'd told us what we were "dealing with." Mom had been inconsolable. She kept mumbling that I had choices and that this "thing" didn't need to ruin my life.
But this "thing" belongs to me and Edward and that's who I need to talk to right now. I steel myself against the battle to come as I lift myself out of the kitchen chair and face my red-faced tyrant of a father.
"Dad, I'm keeping this baby. There's nothing you can say that will change my mind."
He stops yelling and looks at me as if I'm from another planet. "But it's going to ruin your life, Bella. Will you at least consider going to stay with your Aunt Charlotte until you give it up?" He looks like he's aged ten years tonight.
"Give it up? Who said anything about giving my baby up?" I turn to my mother hoping to find a sympathetic ear. "Mom, I need to go over to Alice's. I really need to talk to her."
I can see that she is torn at what to do with me. "Please, Mom?" I beg.
"Charlie, I think she should go so we can talk. Look at it this way, what kind of trouble can she get in now?" My mother laughs and it sounds strange. I grab the keys to her car and flee out the door before another word is said.
As I my car flies down the long, paved road to South Forks Ranch, I spot Edward standing next to his car. He's been worried about me. He knows something is bothering me, but he doesn't know what the hell it is. Well, he's about to find out.
I park and run toward him, so reminiscent of the night we'd had two months ago. Now there was one more of us in the embrace, our baby.
"Bella, baby, what's the matter? You're crying." He cups my face looking into my eyes, searching for anything, I can tell.
"I'm pregnant, Edward. Do you understand me? I'm pregnant and my parents know. What are we going to do?" I plead for an answer.
He throws his head back and laughs. It's totally unexpected.
"Hell, Bella. Marry me."
And with those four words, I relax into his arms.
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