DISCLAIMER: I hate disclaimers. Stephenie Meyer obviously owns all Twilight characters, not me... I mean, I'dve kept writing them just to keep Rob around if they were mine... so yeah.


CHAPTER THREE:

The sun was setting as the water lapped against the dock. Sounds of Bob Marley wafted out from the stereo, down the dock and into the giant square space that opened to bench seats all around.

We lined the wooden bench seats, each with cups of beer in hand. A large tree stump sat in the middle of the dock with cups lined up for beer pong. I watched Paul toss the ball as Emmett looked on with a taunting "Pussy!" in his ear. It was all in good faith. I liked watching them get the best of each other this way. It made me feel like I had been gone for so long. I really loved going to see my dad... but a summer away, when you're eighteen, is huge.

I felt my pocket buzz and pulled my phone out. Jake had called six times since we had dropped his car off. Jasper and Jake had never gotten along so Jasper was more than happy to have me climb into his backseat after Alice and I parked Jake's Jeep. I didn't bother to take the keys back to the locker room, I just left them in his cup holder and sent him a text letting him know that I borrowed his car, left the keys inside it and that we needed to talk later. I mean hell, I had just gotten back yesterday and already I had doubts about Jake's faithfulness.

After seeing that Jasper and Alice were an obvious couple, I didn't feel like the note had anything to do with Jake and Alice anymore but I knew there was something going on. Something that Alice was trying to get to the bottom of herself by talking to Jake about it.

I looked at Jake's text, pressed ignore and looked up to see Mase had finally arrived back. Trying to act nonchalant as I noticed him walking down the dock towards us, I became extremely interested in the text I had just ignored. If he could so nonchalantly stay away from me for so long after that Disney introduction we had, then I could certainly act the same about remembering I had met him in the first place.

Don't look up. Read that text again.

Bella I need to see you tonight. I can explain everything she saw.

Delete.

Menu.

Don't be mad. Do not obsess on what "she saw" and what that last text means.

Scroll

Scroll

Open Twitter

I type out a passive aggressive tweet, aimed at Jake, because I'm immature and that's what I do. Bad idea. Jake follows me, he'll just send more texts and I really don't want him to harass me right now.

I decide to just send Jake a text back, to appease him so that he won't continue on. I tell myself not to look up, to keep focused on the text.

I'm hanging with Alice tonight. Be home later. Call you tomorrow.

Act cool, act cool. He's got to be close by now.

The sun is setting and I can see the glow of the tiki torches from the corner of my eyes. I hear his footsteps as he comes closer but remain looking at my phone until I sense a shadow and can feel his energy.

Scroll

Scroll

Don't look up. Oh man, it's totally obvious that I'm not having a conversation, he probably knows I'm deflecting.

I feel him sit down beside me, his arms stretch wide, one behind me and the other out to his side and I can't help it. I've got to participate now. It's undeniable that he draws me in.

I turn in his direction looking straight at him and smile with a "Hello," as he smiles back, licks his lips, hands me a cold beer, and speaks in the most quiet voice.

"Bella."

And he just looks at me. Like he's known me forever. Like I'm not the most nervous girl in the world right now.

And I just lock up.

He smiles and waits for me to act like a normal human being.

I smile back, open mouthed and paralyzed by him. And so I let out a small laugh and a "Hey."

My chest feels like it's filling with tiny tickle-ish marbles. I'm not used to being around, or being this close to guys this compelling so I feel a slight tinge of embarrassment and I also feel a little shy. I know that If I say anything right now, my nerves will give me away, so I chug the beer I'm holding.

Gulp

Gulp

Gulp

Sip

I compose myself by sitting up straight and taking a breath as I wipe the corner of my mouth on my sleeve.

I notice he's staring and I feel timid but I look anyway. He looks like he wants to laugh at me.

"I guess it's a good thing that I brought you a fresh beer. Remind me not to challenge you to a keg stand."

"Hiccup." I grab my mouth and internally roll my eyes... at myself.

His deep voice booms next to me. "Jasper, pass me the Mossberg?"

Jasper puts his beer down walking to the corner of the dock, grabbing the shotgun and bringing it back in our direction. Mase stands quickly, grabbing the gun that Jasper holds out to him from across the bench. I look up at Mase as he turns away from me, bringing the gun up to aim and a loud shot rings out over the water, scaring me enough that I let out a loud squeal.

He unloads another round before laying the gun on the bench beside him. My heart is racing... it isn't just from the gun shot, either.

When he sits back down, his legs spread wide apart and so close that his thigh is flush with mine as he lays both of his arms out behind us. His long legs stretch out and his posture screams his comfort here.

"Did I scare your hiccups away?"

He's looking at me with a beautiful smile. His face is close. And I think that maybe this guy is a little too much for me.

"I think you did," I smirked.

He stands up, moving in front of me while reaching for my hand.

I feel his fingers touch mine, and they're rough. Not smooth like Jake's. He has man hands, big, strong hands with long fingers. "Good. finish that beer," He squeezes and let's go of my hand. "Let's go for a boat ride."

Wow. Confident doesn't even cover this guy. He's actually a little bossy.

"I'm kind of comfortable right here." I tell him just to put up a little front of rebellion. I've never been one to embrace authority, and besides I am comfortable right here... with him.

He squats down in front of me and grabs both of my hands this time, while looking at me as we come face to face. He leans in and says "You aren't scared to get in my boat are you? You can swim, right?"

I lean in closer and whisper "I was a guppy on the swim team when I was little. I grew to win plenty of awards. I can out swim you any day."

I feel his mouth press against my ear as he says "I got a good look at your legs earlier, I believe you. I won't ever challenge you in the water, how's that?"

"Smart guy," I said while thinking to myself who am I and begging myself to please quit being a dork. I drank the only sip of my beer that remained as he jumped down to the lower dock and into the boat to crank it. I might have a little buzz. I might be drunk. I'm definitely one of the two.

Alice heard the boat start and she had Jasper by the hand, dragging him over and down to the dock to come along as well. "Please let me drive this time!" Jasper and Alice move down the stairs hand in hand. They really are a cute couple. I wonder why they've just come together, over this summer, while I was gone, when we had all been friends for so long. What changed? What made them decide, all of a sudden, that being together was a great idea? Not that I wasn't for it... just.

I walk down the steps and I see Mase came over to the edge of the boat helping Jasper and Alice climb aboard. The torches light up his face so that I can see his tanned skin, right where the sun kissed his cheeks today. His hair isn't sticking up all crazy like it was earlier. Looks like the long day has relaxed it and it lying against his forehead now. He's just some kind of beautiful.

As I come closer I can smell the gasoline and I like the smell. It reminds me of all my years here, when my father still lived here. Memories of Charlie and I flash through my mind. I remember the day Charlie taught me how to fish and how excited I was to catch my first one.

Charlie used to wake me up when it was still dark outside and take me to the diner. We would ride in his old red truck with the bouncy seats. Cars don't have those bouncy seats anymore with the old, old leather smell. When we would arrive at the diner and take a seat at our usual table, the order would always be the same. Both of us would have a sausage biscuit with a side of gravy. Mom couldn't cook to save her life, so having a home made biscuit was more than a treat for us, it was heaven. I would eat, as Charlie would tease me about how he was going to catch more fish than me and when we finished we would tell Delilah, the waitress, goodbye. With full bellies, we'd head to "the honey-hole" as Charlie called it, and go fishing.

.

.

.

Charlie taught me everything I know. It's only been two days, but I miss him already.

.

.

I see Mase holding his hands out to help me onto the boat. My tummy does that nervous thing it does when I get excited, or when I see a handsome guy named Mase reaching his hands out for me.

For me.

I take a step to grab his hands and as soon as I have them he reaches with both of our hands to my waist, and picks me up, bringing my torso to his chest while carrying me over the boat and setting me down on board.

My hips stay a blaze even after he removes his hands. This guy. There's something about him. He makes my heart race.


A/N: This chapter update goes out to LadyNiki, JadoreJAC, Nicficwhisperer, Erikajo and evilnat because they are my only readers LOLOLOL (with the exception of you phantom alerters out there, I see you guys too). No beta guys, sorry, I'm just too lazy to burden someone with my stuffs. So umm, I'll just drop this here… if you wanna chat you can find me PAWsPeaches on twitter … I, originally, didn't intend to let anyone know my alter because my other story, Here In My Room, is special to me and I'm passionate about it so that can be VERY scary, putting yourself out there, but now that friends of mine are reading it, it's time I let you know…As always, many thanks to surething302 for always being there. XOXO