Hey guys! This is my first fan-fiction in years, and I was a little hesitant to get back into writing, but I decided to give it a shot. I'd really appreciate reviews and constructive criticism from everyone if you can. I really want to improve my writing and give you guys a story you can honestly enjoy! Thanks to everyone who reads this, and I hope you like it! (=

Bella Swan had much better places to be than where she was at the moment. She had homework to do. Places to clean. Paint to watch dry.

Was it slightly pathetic that Bella had nothing even remotely more entertaining awaiting her? Was it completely and utterly pathetic that this would likely be the highlight of her day? It was certainly a first. This was quite possibly the last thing Bella had imagined herself doing when she had woken up this morning, and it was definitely the last place she wanted to be.

Friday afternoon.

Three hours.


Bella turned to stare intently at the only other person in the room. Edward Cullen stared right back at her unashamedly, while Bella blushed furiously and turned away under his intense gaze. The look in Edward's eyes was one she was completely unable to explain. Surely he should hate her. It was her fault he was here with her. And she didn't even know him.

It infuriated Bella to no end to know that he was here because of her. In fact, everything about the boy was infuriating. Edward was everything Bella had grown to hate. Reckless. Mysterious. Dangerous. Bella hated the way that he never had a care in the world, when she was always on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She hated the way that he looked at her, as if he knew things about her that she didn't even know herself. She hated how he was extremely intelligent, yet let it all go to waste. She hated his lazy, apathetic attitude and how he never smiled. She hated the sadness in his eyes, and how she didn't know the reason behind it. She hated how handsome he was, and how he had a body that would put any guy to shame. But mostly, she hated how much he intrigued her, how much she longed to speak with him, even if it were only a few words.

Bella took a deep breath and turned to face Edward again, this time determined that she would not look away. He was no longer staring at her as he had been before. Instead, he had put his head down, resting his face in his large, muscular arm. Bella noticed for the first time how weary he looked, and was instantly concerned. This only strengthened her resolve. She would talk to him. But what would she say?

"You're too good looking. It bothers me."

"You piss me off… Kind of."

"You intrigue me. I don't like being intrigued."

"You really, really, really piss me off. But not really."

Bella settled instead for something a bit more basic.

"Why did you do it?"

Edward lifted his head from its resting position and looked curiously at her. Bella waited nervously, without a clue as to why she was nervous at all in the first place or why Edward was making this so damn difficult.

The anatomy of a two-person conversation:

Person A makes a comment or asks a question.

Person B replies with a comment of his or her own, or responds to Person A's question.

Silence. Apparently Edward was having a bit of trouble understanding.

Bella just sat there, feeling more and more ridiculous by the second as Edward stared and stared but failed to answer the question.

Just one more reason why I hate him, Bella thought. She couldn't take the staring anymore. Bella blushed and shook her head, mumbling a quick "Never mind" under her breath.

"He was hurting you." Edward shrugged as he spoke, as if his response earlier that afternoon in the school's parking lot had been the most natural thing in the world.

Bella squirmed uncomfortably and tugged at her sleeves as she thought about the bruises marking both of her arms. She willed herself to ignore the thoughts crossing through her mind, the memories, the fact that Edward had responded at all, to pretend that he had indeed continued staring at her in unceasing silence. It would certainly be easier than thinking about it, than accepting the situation and admitting that it was more than just an awful nightmare. It was much less painful to simply wear long sleeves and go on with her life than to think about what had truly happened. But she couldn't pretend forever.

It was the tone in his voice more so than its unusually low pitch that startled Bella when Edward spoke, and rendered her incapable of ignoring him and the truth. His words reverberated with sincerity and sorrow, as if he truly cared about her well-being. If Bella didn't know any better, she might just possibly be fooled into thinking that Edward Cullen actually cared.

Bella scoffed at the thought just as soon as she had finished thinking it, and became annoyed once again. "Well, you didn't have to do it. I was fine. Now you've got yourself stuck in detention because you couldn't keep your fists to yourself… You should've minded your own damn business."

"Someone needed to put him in his place, and it didn't look like it was going to be you," Edward responded calmly, unaffected by Bella's attitude towards him. "If anyone doesn't belong here right now, it's you, but you just couldn't seem to keep your little mouth shut… Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate your attempts to defend me to the principal, unwise as your wording may have been."

Bella rolled her eyes. She honestly didn't know why she had defended Edward so emphatically, but at this very moment she was certainly regretting it. "I didn't want anyone getting in trouble over my problems… It wasn't your fault. I was just trying to tell him that."

Edward snorted. "Did you have to include the words 'ignorant,' 'biased,' and 'stupid' in your explanation?"

"…Probably not…" Bella blushed at the thought of the things she had said to the principal.

Edward felt as if it was his turn to ask a serious question. He just couldn't understand how someone would be capable of physically hurting the person they were in a relationship with, the person they supposedly loved. "… Why does he hurt you like that?"

Bella sighed. She didn't know why she was so willing to be completely honest with Edward, but somehow it just felt right. "I just… make him angry sometimes. It's really just my fault most of the time anyways." Bella shrugged and tried to convince herself of what she had just said.

Edward couldn't hide the scorn in his voice when he responded. "That's bullshit, Bella… What about today? What terrible thing did you do today that made him so angry he nearly broke your arm with his grip?"

"Today… I told him I would text him when I got out of class. I forgot…" Bella's voice was barely above a whisper. "I should've known better, I should've remembered."

Edward stood up from his desk and walked over to Bella. She didn't know whether to be excited or afraid as he got nearer and nearer. He put one hand on her desk and the other on her shoulder as he leaned down and whispered in her ear. "I know you might not see it right now, but the way he treats you… It isn't your fault. You deserve better than that, Bella. I hope you'll realize that one day."

Bella's heart was barely beating as she listened to Edward's words and felt his breath on the side of her face. She knew he was right, but it hurt too much to think about, and she just didn't want to think about it. All she wanted was to put her arms around Edward, to talk to him, to learn more about him. Bella looked up into Edward's eyes. So mysterious, she thought. So much that nobody gets to see. She didn't know what to say. She didn't know how to tell him what she was feeling at that very moment.

"Edward, I—." Bella stopped short as she heard footsteps echoing down the otherwise silent hallway outside of their temporary prison.

"That must be the principal coming to check on us to make sure we haven't gotten ourselves into any more trouble," Edward smirked. He let go of Bella's shoulder and went back to his seat.

Bella couldn't help but be sad when Edward left to resume his original position. There was something about being so close to him that Bella just found exciting. She looked at him back in his seat and frowned.

Edward had to laugh at the look on her face. "Lighten up, Bella… You're much too beautiful to be frowning like that."

Bella smiled. Not because he asked her to, but because his words were worth smiling for. She could hear the principal's keys as he unlocked the door to the detention room, and just hoped he would leave quickly so she could talk to Edward again.

Outside, the bells from the church across the street from the school tolled, marking the hour.

Friday afternoon.

4 p.m.

2 hours of detention left.

Maybe detention wouldn't be so bad after all.