This was for my FGB team. They were kind enough to let me post it!

Takes place the day that E and B first hook up. EPOV, baby.

As always, thank you to ShearEnvy, ilsuocantante, stephk0525 and bashful fan for ALL THE THINGS.


I go for days... weeks... months without looking at her.

So she doesn't exist.

Except today.

Today the universe has a fucking plan.

There's no other way to explain it.


Esme is fucking tricky.

I keep most shit to myself, but she catches me when I'm half awake in the mornings and my mouth moves faster than my brain.

She keeps asking me what my plan is. I keep looking at her like she's fuckin' crazy.

"Are you asking me what I want to be when I grow up?"

"I guess, but it doesn't have to be like that. It's not like you hit some magic age and suddenly become an adult. What would make you happy now? Because you aren't... I can tell."

I think about Jake and the boys, and everything I'm missing out there. I was a part of something, and now it feels like it's just me, on my own again.

"I don't know. I know I fucked up, so I just have to deal with that and try to... move on." Saying that out loud makes my stomach churn.

"As long as you stay out of a jail cell, I'll be happy."

She stirs the pot in front of her and smirks so I know she's joking. We can laugh about it now, but it doesn't make that shit less serious. I shake my head to push away the image of her face the night she had to come bail me out.

"I'm not writing," I tell her for the thousandth time since my last arrest.

She eyes the stains on my hands.

"I was sketching." She meets my gaze. "In a sketchbook," I clarify, getting kind of annoyed.

She sighs. "Alcoholics have what they call a 'dry drunk'. You and the sketchbooks? Hanging out with Jake and the boys? It's like a dry drunk. You know I love them all but I love you more."

"Whatever," I mumble. Her easy affection still catches me off guard sometimes. My face gets hot.

She smiles. "Edward, I mean it. There's a saying that goes 'If you hang out in the barber shop for long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

"I'm not gonna get a fuckin' haircut, Es." I rub my face with my hands as she slides a bowl of oatmeal in front of me. I open my eyes and stare at the counter, feeling guilty about being a dick. I'm lucky that I have someone who gives a fuck about me, even if that someone makes me eat healthy food that I hate.

"Sorry," I say quietly, glancing up at her. She just shrugs and keeps talking.

"You can't just sit around, though. You're bored. And when you're bored you get into trouble. You need a hobby. A legal hobby," she clarifies. "Maybe you should be a deejay. That would be... phat? Or would it be... dope?"

Esme can always get me to laugh. She mimes scratching a record, her bracelets jangling as she holds up one side of her imaginary headphones and bobs her head to a silent beat.

Jake tried to spin records a few years ago. His turntables are still in his bedroom, covered with dirty clothes and old Playboys. He was the worst deejay I've ever heard. Kid has no rhythm.

"Not my thing," I say, and she sighs.

"Guitar?"

I frown.

"Bongos?"

"You're trippin', woman."

She laughs. "There's got to be something."

I shrug.

"Maybe you could try to commission some murals!" She gets excited as she talks, and next thing I know she's flipping through her phone book looking for some guy's card that she met at the yoga studio.

"I don't know if I can do that kind of stuff, " I say, scooping my spoon idly through the oatmeal.

When I look up she's glaring at me.

"Don't you dare sell yourself short, Edward. Decide what you want from life and take it. Make it yours. You are so smart, and so talented. Don't waste that."

I have to consciously try not to make some self-deprecating gesture that will prolong the pep talk. Instead, I nod.

On my way to school I wonder if she's right. Maybe I'm on a fucking graf dry drunk, spray can in hand, just waiting for the right time. On my way inside I touch the corner of a railing that I hit last year with a marker. It's still there.

Not much else feels that permanent in my life.


At school I'm a fucking ghost. People talk to me... mostly girls talk to me... but I'm monosyllabic. I don't really look at people. I know the sound of my friends' footsteps.

I wanted to go to South but I'm just on the border of the district and Esme thinks the education is better here. In conferences when I was a kid they would tell my mom that I tested in the top percentile in my class, but that socially they thought there was something wrong with me. Teachers still think I'm stupid until I turn in homework. I skip presentations and only talk in class if they make me, but my grades aren't bad.

I figured out a long time ago that when you don't talk much, people really listen to the words you do say - like it's got to be some profound shit if you're opening your mouth.

"What are you doing this weekend?" The girl who sits next to me in English asks me this every week. Every week I shrug.

"You?" I indulge her today, but shouldn't have. When she gets over the fact that I actually responded, her answer is long and way too detailed. I don't really listen until she says Bella's name.

"What?" I demand, reacting before I can stop myself. Her mouth drops open and her cheeks get pink before she continues. This isn't a girl that would be accepted by Bella's crowd. She's the kind of girl that would do anything to get them to like her, though.

"Party tomorrow at Bella Swan's after the game. I guess she has a hot tub..." She clears her throat. "Are you going?"

"No," I say flatly, turning forward in my chair again.

I want to tell her that she shouldn't either, that either she's going to get drunk and end up with Chlamydia or with her ass on Facebook, but I don't say anything.

"She was really nice to invite me. Usually I don't hang out with them but I'm kind of dating Tyler Crowley..."

I try to convey that I don't give a fuck without speaking. She doesn't say anything else until the bell rings.

"Have a good day," she mumbles. I start to feel bad and turn, taking in her too-tight shirt and her heavy makeup. Her eyes widen.

I hesitate for a second. "You could do better."

I probably should elaborate but I can feel people watching us, slowing their steps to gawk.

She's still staring at me with her mouth open when I get up, grabbing my notebook. Whispers trail behind me to my locker.

I keep my head down.

Rose's footsteps vary with what's in her system. Booze is loud and lazy. Coke is staccato and directionless. Pills are smooth and hardly touch the ground. She slides up next to me and nods for me to follow, her eyelids heavy with dark eye makeup that looks like it survived from the night before.

Pills...and probably a little weed, too.

We walk out the side door and off campus, taking a left down the alley a block away. She slows down and lights the joint before we get across the street. I don't comment, I just flip my hood up and pull hers up for her, too. She lets me, shivering in her short skirt and knee-high boots.

"Why were you talking to Tanya Denali?"

I don't answer, but she responds to the face I'm making. She's fucking omnipotent.

"This is high school. Gossip travels at the speed of sound."

We get to the garage we always stand by and I lean against the peeling paint. I take the joint from her hand. She exhales a hit while she speaks.

"Anyway, Tanya Denali. She's in my homeroom. Decent rack. Pretty face. No self-esteem. She gave Tyler Crowley a handy on the bus after homecoming."

She makes a jerking-off gesture.

I laugh and choke, holding the joint out for her while I try to catch a full breath.

"Why the fuck do you know that?"

"Half the time I'm actually asleep in homeroom and the other half I'm listening to everything those girls say. Most of it is, like, really sad, but she's not a total asshole. So I say go for it."

I roll my eyes. No.

"Whatever, anyone would be better than Leah. That girl is caustic."

Leah's alright, and Rose knows that. She's just tough. We don't have some deep connection or anything like that. It's convenient, and it feels good. She straight up told me she didn't want a boyfriend when we started messing around.

"She's kind of cold, I guess."

"Cold?" Rose laughs, pulling on the cords of her hoodie and hugging herself. "I once saw her beat the shit out of Sam with his shoe. She beat a dude up... with his own shoe. She's not cold, she's the devil."

She pauses for a second. "Something to aspire to."

I smile.

"What are you getting into this weekend?"

"Nothin'." I mean that, too.

"Hang out with me. There are, like, a hundred parties."

"Where at?"

She inspects her nails, listing off people I don't know or don't like until she gets to the one party I know she's going to make me fucking go to.

"Bella's having an after-game thing tomorrow night."

Without moving, she raises her eyes to look at me, blinking her doe eyes a few times. We go through this pretty much every time she wants me to go to some school spirit, jockstrap party that Bella's making her attend.

I blink at her, expressionless.

"Look, I know you hate letter jackets but I have to go and I need backup if I'm going to make it through the whole night without going Leah-crazy on one of those douchebags."

She laughs, probably at the mental image.

"Whatever," I say, leaning my head back against the wall behind me. We both know I'll go.

She digs through her bag. I hear pills rattle in plastic and close my eyes. "Rose, it's like noon on a Thursday. Slow your roll."

Rose is one of the few people immune to the profound man-of-few-words shit. She blows past it like I didn't say anything.

"We can sit around and talk shit about all of them. Anyway, I think you should bang a cheerleader at least once before high school is over. I hear they're, like, super enthusiastic in bed." She drawls like a Valley girl.

"You just want to feel better about letting Emmett McCarty hit it." I open my eyes just enough to watch her expression change.

"Ugh, don't remind me." She shifts her gaze down the alley, hiding her eyes.

I smirk. She's transparent, pretending to hate things she loves for reasons she would never cop to.

I process that whole thought before my own hypocrisy doubles back around and slaps me in the face. My smile dies.

Fuck.

"There's no way I'm going to Chem. I'm so high."

"You're gonna fail that shit if you don't show up once in a while."

She deadpans. "You sound like Bella. Well, if she was all moody and wore hoodies. And had a penis."

I just shake my head while she laughs. She's right. She's fucking high.

We're quiet for a few minutes, and when she speaks again I stop breathing.

"She's really not so bad, you know."

Opening my eyes, I raise my head to look at her and we catch each other in a real moment. I look away first.

It always freaks me the fuck out how she can swing her moods like that, like an actor jumping in and out of character. Rose is performing most of the time, but every now and then she talks to the audience.

"Dude, just..." I'm afraid that I'm going to say something that sounds too angry or too sad, so I let the thought hang in the air unfinished. My head drops back against the garage again and I stare up at the grey sky.

"Sorry," she says after a minute.

From where we are we hear the second bell ring. We're both late, but I make sure she walks into her class before I go to mine.


"Your ass got me hypnotized, girl."

The girl Jake's hollering at throws an arm up and flips him off as she walks down the sidewalk away from us.

"Whatever. Everyone knows that girl's a trick, anyway," he says, focusing his attention on the next one.

We're waiting on Paul to get off of his shift at the record shop. Jake's been delivering a monologue for the last twenty minutes, spitting game at every girl who walks past.

I'm just...not in the fucking mood. He was standing on my front steps when I got home, rapping along to his headphones. If he's a shitty deejay, then he's an epically shitty rapper.

He keeps asking me when I'm starting up writing again. It's really getting under my skin today.

No matter how much Jake fucking bugs me about it, I'm still on probation and it's not worth it.

It's not worth it.

I'm reminding myself...or convincing myself. Whatever.

Jake stops harassing passing females long enough to harass me.

"We're hittin' that spot over by the school tonight. You in?"

He knows I'm not and the look on my face answers for me.

He humps the air in front of him. "Damn, E. You're pissier than Rose when I tried putting it in her-"

"Aw man, I seriously don't need to hear that."

He keeps thrusting his hips, laughing.

"Just kidding. You know she likes that shit."

I smile despite myself.

"Look at this fine piece," Jake says, rubbing his hands together, watching a girl come out of the coffee shop.

No, not just a girl...fucking Bella Swan.

I hesitate for a second, but before he can start yelling obscene bullshit in her direction I stop him.

"Not her." I almost say it under my breath, but he hears me.

He looks at me, dropping the act for a second.

"Who is she?"

I shake my head and he nods, glancing back at her but stepping back to stand with Sam and Jared. All three of them are fucking watching me, so I pretend she's not there. She sees me, though, and says hi like we're fucking friends or something.

We aren't friends.

I nod in her direction but don't say anything. I wish Jake would stop staring.

The only reason he helps her pick her books up when she drops them is because I don't move. I regret it immediately. He gets up behind her while she's bent over and mimes spanking her ass until she turns her head. He smiles innocently, handing her a notebook.

She looks up before I can wipe the smirk off of my face. I look away but I can feel her glaring as she walks around the side of her shiny rich-kid car.

I try not to be burned by the way she looks at me but for some reason that I can't explain, I still fucking care what she thinks of me, even though I don't know her anymore. I care more than I would admit even to my best friends.

"Asshole."

The guys freeze next to me. My response is immediate.

"Bitch."

I hear Jake laugh once.

Her car door slams. "What did you say?"

My eyes are trained on the ground like I don't hear her.

"Damn, E. Who is this chick?" Jake asks.

My skin goes hot. The last thing I want is for him to hear her name.

"No one," I bite out.

She flinches in my peripheral vision, and I immediately feel like a fucking prick.

I nod toward the door and the boys file inside reluctantly. I don't look at them.

When I finally look up at her I'm not expecting the look on her face. It's fucking defeated. It's pretty and sad and confused and angry.

The way she's looking at me makes my dick hard.

When she whispers "fuck you" it's the saddest thing I've ever heard. I can't stop staring at her lips and wondering why she's standing so close.

I want to hurt her and I want to make her feel good. I want her to want me and I don't want to want her back.

I know what's going to happen when I feel her grab my shirt and she pulls herself up to my height, but I don't react until her lips hit mine.

It's everything. I can't fucking see or hear - I can just feel her. My hand pulls at her waist so she's up against me, her pretty, dirty mouth biting at my lower lip and shadowing over my jaw.

When she pulls away her hand comes up to her lips and she looks scared, of herself or me I can't tell. My hand is still on her hip and I rub my thumb under the waistband of her jeans slowly.

I don't want to stop.

She holds my hand when we cross the street together. She holds it when I'm opening the door and we're walking up the steps. The second we're inside she drops it, though, and faces me, letting me make the first move this time.

So, I walk her backward toward my bedroom.

We crash in my room; her fucking lips are on my neck and her hands are up my shirt, gripping my belt and pushing down. When the backs of my legs hit the bed, we just... stop. Our lips part slowly as she takes a step back. I lick my bottom lip to taste her, and she watches, blinking rapidly as she inhales.

I'm afraid she's gonna walk out, but she reaches down with her arms crossed and grabs the hem of her t-shirt, looking at me like she's asking if I want her to do it.

Asking if I want her.

My head nods, and she slides the fabric up and over her skin, her hair spilling over her shoulders. I slowly move my eyes over the curve of her, the skin that's been hidden under her cheerleading uniforms and outfits from stores at the mall that I've never been in.

She looks down, her fingers reach out to grab my shirt and she pulls it up slowly, her eyes fixed on the skin that's exposed until she finally reaches my eyes.

We stare until I see something in her face that I thought I fucking made up over the years. I don't know what to do with it, though, because she and I can't be. She is who she is and I am who I am.

"What are we doing?" I hope she answers the way I want her to. When she doesn't say anything, I run my fingers up her arm, over her shoulder and across her chest, grazing lightly over her cleavage and down her stomach to the waistband of her jeans.

Her hands mirror mine, making my muscles tense, and she fumbles with my belt while my fingers fumble with the button on her jeans until I finally get it. She quickly moves her hands to slide them down over her hips.

We stop again, staring, until she puts a hand on my chest, pushing me back toward the bed. I back up until my back hits the brick wall, my eyes not leaving hers. The bed shifts when she puts one knee on it, leaning forward to put her hands down and crawl up to where I'm sitting. She stops when she gets to me, straddling my legs, her hands on my chest.

Her fingers run down over the chain of my dad's dog tags, holding the plates but not trying to read them. Her eyes are fixed on mine, her chest rising and falling, and I can't wait anymore. I sit up, pulling her closer and finally pressing my lips against hers again. She pulls her arms out from between us, wrapping them tightly around me. For a minute all I can think is that this is the closest I've ever felt to a girl. She moves her lips to my neck and her legs around my hips and even though I know what I'm going to do to her, for just a second I can pretend that this is something more.

I try not to get caught up in how good it feels to just fucking hug her.

She backs up first, like I expected, but she doesn't pull away. She searches my eyes and her hands search my body before moving behind her and unclasping her bra. The straps fall off her shoulders and she pulls it off, discarding it somewhere on the floor. She arches into me as my hands slowly move up her back and around her sides, my thumbs making circles on her ribcage. Her lips find my jaw and when I move my hands higher, she moans into my skin, pushing her hips into mine.

"Oh god." I can't stop the words from coming out of my mouth, not that it matters. She can feel how much I want her now.

I wonder if she knows how long I've felt this way.


It's the best pussy I've ever tasted.

I slowly kiss my way back up her body while she catches her breath. My mouth presses against her hipbone, then the curve of her waist.

"Whose dog tags are those?"

My lips pause between her breasts and I lift my head to look at where the metal reflects moonlight dully against her skin.

"My dad's."

We sit still like that for a minute until she moves her hand to my cheek, rubbing the backs of her fingers down my jaw.

I jerk back before I can stop myself, sitting on the edge of the bed with my back to her. It's tense and quiet. Somewhere outside the window a siren screams and fades. I'm not sure why I'm so fucking angry, but my muscles are tight and I feel like I can't breathe. She doesn't get that closeness from me.

No girl gets that from me.

When she moves to the edge of the bed I wait for her to leave, or say something about how sorry she is, or some other trite bullshit that people say when they don't understand. Instead she drops a pillow on the floor and lowers herself down to her knees.

I'm hard before she touches me. I can't hang on to my anger; it drains out the second her lips wrap around my dick. I hate that she knows how to do this and that she's so fucking good at it. I hate that when I pull on her ponytail she arches her back and looks up at me obediently with my cock in her mouth like a bad fucking porn. It feels rehearsed - a part she's played before.

When I pull her up onto my lap it's so I don't have to see that. Suddenly I want her skin, her lips and I want to see her eyes close to mine. She's got her fingers in my hair and her legs wrapped around me. She's rolling her hips and sliding against me and I know that if I don't do this now it's going to happen either way.

So, I shift and I'm inside her and that shit is fucking beautiful.

I watch her while she moves on top of me, her eyes struggling to stay open and her breath on my lips.

She does the work, her tight body tense under my hands, angling until she finds the spot she wants. My fingers find the spot I want and she makes noises that make me know I'm not going to last long.

She makes me come so hard that I'm silent. I don't close my eyes, watching her gaze travel over my face, as her fingers slide up my neck and across my bottom lip, then through my hair.

This time I don't pull away. I lean into her, catching my breath against her shoulder while she runs her hands over my back.

I want to tell her how bad I wish this was real.


I'm sure she'll leave after the first time, and the second, and the third, but she doesn't move to get up.

"Full moon," she says, staring out the window.

She falls asleep like that, with her head turned toward me, her hair spilling across my shoulder.


I wake up first. Well technically, my dick wakes up first.

It takes me a second to reconstruct what the fuck happened last night - that the shiny brunette hair on the pillow next to me belongs to Bella Swan.

I can tell when she wakes up. She arches her back and sinks deeper into the pillow before she figures out where she is. Her whole body goes stiff and when she whispers "oh fuck" I know this shit's over.

I should have known that from the start.

Willing away my hard on, I sit up, rubbing my eyes. When I open them she's looking up at me. I would give just about anything to see a hint of a smile there.

She sits up and leans back against the brick, covering herself with my rumpled sheet. I stare out the window silently. I can feel her work through it all in her head, and I want to make her stop before she gets to the part where she realizes what a mistake this is … was. All I want is to reach over and pull her closer, to kiss her, but I don't move.

This is going to hurt bad enough.

It's too quiet for too long, so quiet that I hear her breathing pick up before she slides to the edge of the bed. I don't watch her put her clothes on, even though I want to.

"Look, I…"

When I finally look at her I can't hide what I'm feeling. Her eyes move to my chest and over my arms, and she takes a deep breath.

Before she can say anything I ask the question that matters. "Are you gonna tell him?"

"I don't know."

I hate that she sounds sincere. My gaze goes back to the window.

"I have to go," she whispers.

The whole room is absolutely still for a long second before she turns and walks out the door.


Esme lets me bail on school for the day when she gets home. She spent the night at Carlisle's so she's in a particularly good mood, which is fucking gross. I think she can tell something's wrong, though. Before she leaves for work she feels my forehead and promises to bring home soup even though she knows I'm not sick.

I call Leah and tell her that I can't see her anymore. She calls me every foul name I've ever heard, and I deserve every single one of them. I fall asleep again after a while.

Rose calls after lunch.

"Where the fuck are you? And what happened to your car?"

"What about my car?"

There's a long pause, and laughter in the background.

"Did you or did you not give Leah the axe?"

"Fuck."

I walk out of my room and to one of the windows. Sure enough, I can see the scratch marks from here. I rest my head against the window and close my eyes.

"How did you know?"

"Leah lost her shit. Rachel called Jake. Jake called me. Oh, and Rachel says she's sorry about the car but she couldn't stop her. Whatever. Be ready around eight. I want to roll through Jake's before we go to this party."

Party. Oh, fuck that.

"Dude, I'm for real not in the mood for that."

"You promised."

"No, I didn't."

"If anyone needs to get drunk right now it's you. You, in one day, shunned the black widow, she keyed your car, and most importantly you missed the pep rally today, at which the mascot tripped and totally fell on his face. It. Was. Awesome. You can never recapture those precious moments, Edward."

I don't move.

"Pick me up at eight or I'm divorcing you as my best friend."

She hangs up and won't answer my calls or texts for the rest of the day.

I'm there at eight. She's not ready.


Tanya Denali is all over my shit.

I look around for Rose. I know where Bella is but I'm not trying to look over there.

"Can I try that?"

I hand the flask over and she chokes on the first sip. She spits whiskey out comically, her cheeks blown out like Jake when he gets a hit of weed that's too big.

She's embarrassed. Her face goes red and she won't look at me.

I lean over. "Hey, it's cool. This shit's nasty, anyway."

Her smile is too big. She puts her hand on my knee under the table. I lean back.

"You're so sweet."

Someone for real needs to tell this girl what's up. I just shake my head.

I make the mistake of looking at Bella, and all I can see is that fucker's hand all over her bare skin, like he owns her. My whole body strains against getting up to tell him I can still taste her.

Rose stomps up and grabs the flask.

"This is the worst party ever."

Tanya looks up at her in awe... or fear. Both, maybe. Rose catches her eye and tilts her head, taking her in. She bends over and tugs on the front of Tanya's tube top, which is already hanging on for dear life. Her words slur slightly.

"You've got the goods, girl, but you need a new marketing plan." Rose knocks back the flask again.

"What do you mean?" It's a sincere question, and I find myself thinking Tanya's not so bad.

"You need to work on acting like you don't give a fuck about these people."

Tanya nods and looks down. Rose grabs my arm and pulls until I stand up, and I nod toward Tanya, who is staring at the table. Rose takes a breath and leans over.

"Oh, and Tyler Crowley is a disgusting piece of shit. You're a good person for not telling everyone that he has a microscopic dick." She holds up a pinky finger.

Tanya's face turns red again as it dawns on her that Rose has been listening to her conversations in homeroom. After a second, she smiles, though.

"I'm not a good person," Rose whispers and winks at her before dragging me toward Bella's house.

I keep my eyes on the ground while we walk up to the house and Rose punches in the code. It's too quiet after the noise outside, and I'm surprised to see Bella in the kitchen, standing against the counter with a glass of water.

Before she sees me her face reflects what I'm feeling and I get a swell of something in my chest that makes me swallow hard.

"Feeling antisocial?"

Bella shrugs in response.

Rose gets a beer out of the fridge and looks between Bella and I, her eyebrows raised. It's not like we usually interact well but this is especially awkward. "Gotta pee. You two play nice." I avert my eyes when she walks past me.

I don't want to be this close to her. I hate her skirt and the headband that matches her sweater. I can't respect that she hates this party as much as I do but doesn't have the fucking balls to own it.

"How can you stand it?" I mean all of it. The party. These people.

She looks surprised that I'm talking to her, but doesn't respond. She looks out the window and frowns.

I'm about to walk away when she finally speaks.

"Wait."

I turn back, looking at the ground and she steps closer.

"Last night aside... why do you hate me?"

She whispers it, and when I look up she's got tears in her eyes.

I want to hate her so bad.

"Because it's all fake."

"Then why are you here?"

The truth is stuck in my throat. I've got to get the fuck out of this room.

"Open bar."

I walk back outside without waiting for Rose.


Rose shows up the next afternoon, sober and looking tired. She flops down on the foot of my bed, shoving her bag off the bed and onto the floor. She's watching me sketch.

It's a few minutes before I take a second to really look at her. "What's up?"

She rolls onto her side and props her head up on her hand. "I just hate seeing her like this. She's been crying for, like, twelve hours straight."

I frown. I can see Leah keying my car, but fucking crying?

"Damn, I seriously didn't think she'd take it that hard."

Rose looks at me like I'm nuts, before bursting into laughter. "Wait, did you seriously think I was talking about Leah? Oh, god, that's hilarious, E."

"Then who?"

Her eyebrow raises when her laughter dies down. "You really need to get a facebook account. Bella dumped Jasper last night."

My heart beats too fast, and I frown, looking back down at the paper in front of me so I don't have to look at her.

"Why?"

She lays back and stares at the ceiling. "The details on that are a little sketchy, but she keeps saying that it's all her fault, which... knowing Jasper, isn't true, but whatever."

My hand grips the pen hard, and I pretend that I don't feel sick...and responsible.

After a while I look up and she's watching me, squinting at my face. "What are you working on?" She looks suspicious, and I know that I fucked up because she can read my moods too well.

She grabs the sketchbook out of my hands, jumping off the bed before I can stop her.

"Fuck, Rose." I sit up but she's out of my reach. She turns the book to face her, smiling smugly until she sees the page. She stands very still while it sinks in.

Her gaze shifts to the bed, understanding on her face. When she looks at me again she looks sad, and kind of sorry.

It kills me that I give a fuck.

She hands the book back to me and carefully lays back down in the same spot.

"The ghost yard," she says finally.

My eyes still on the page. I should've known she would see that piece and get the meaning of it. I close my eyes. It's been years.

We're quiet for a long time. I feel fucking naked. I can't deny it, though.

"You really took my advice about banging a cheerleader seriously, didn't you?" She says it lightly, but when I look up her smile isn't mocking.

"It was a mistake," I lie.

She sees the lie but doesn't say anything; she just gets up and sits next to me with her back against the brick wall. We stare at my sketch of Bella's sleeping face, and she puts her head on my shoulder.

"It's beautiful, E."

I don't disagree.


Just a little glimpse. Thank you so very much for reading, my loves. xo