A/N: And we're back! Ready for a new one?
Less angst in this one (*phew*), but it's me, so yes, there will be eventual angst, but not as much as ToH, and not for a while at least, so you can breathe easy (besides, you all know I always clear it up anyway.)
The format for this story will be different. We'll have BPoV and EPoV in each chapter.
Rated M for language, lemons and upcoming sexy times.
Michelle Renker Rhodes is my beta chicky now! Yay! Between the both of us we should hopefully keep the story straight. :)
All characters belong to S. Meyer.
Chapter 1 – Crazy and Shocked
Chapter Song Recs:
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
Break Even by The Script
The summer when you proposed that stupidly ridiculous scheme to get her back and I stupidly went along with it was the summer of the Olympic Region's worst heat wave on record...
He'd been staring at my breasts for the past half-hour.
Inconspicuously at first; a quick glance here, a flash of the eyes there. But over the past fifteen minutes he'd left inconspicuous far behind and fully embraced his inner perv with hungry eyes and greedy grins. It was a miracle he hadn't crashed the truck yet during one of his ogles at my admittedly pretty tatas. This is what I got for hitchhiking through the Olympic Mountains - with a white-bearded logger to boot.
I sighed and crossed my arms over my chest, my lips twisting silently around a few choice expletives my big brother Jamie would've been ultra proud of.
Dirty friggin flying son-of-a filthy rotten bow-legged whore
Big fat overgrown ass-ugly cock-sucking shrivel-dicked pencil-peened fucker of mothers
Despite my current predicament, remembering Jamie teaching a five-year-old me to string together a bunch of dirty words brought a smile to my face. If he'd been here right now, never mind stringing curses, he would've strung logger man up by his white beard. Then again, he would've chewed my head off for hitchhiking in the first place – especially while wearing a tank that showed off my breasts so nicely.
I tried to ignore my freaky admirer and whistled a happy tune to myself instead – like I tended to do when trying to distract myself. I purposely hit a couple of notes way too high. Maybe if I sang off-key enough I'd turn him off and his straying eyes would stray no longer.
No such luck.
"Sooo, pretty lady," freaky-logger-man said, mistaking my breasts for my eyes when he smiled a freaky toothless smile my way. "Where exactly ya headed?"
"Don't really know." I shrugged and turned to stare out my window at the thick, tall trees that encroached on us, creating a canopy high above that kept the strangely warm Washington sun at bay. "Anywhere and no where really," I mused.
"How comes a pretty little lady like you don't have a fixed destination? Don't you have anywhere specific you wanna go? Someplace to stay?"
I smiled to myself, keeping my eyes on the blurring trees, and blurted my thoughts – another thing I usually tended to. "Oh I've got tons of places to go. I just won't be staying at any of them. Why should I? There's too much to see and do to waste time in just one-"
And then I felt it. A warm, clammy hand suddenly rested on my thigh, right at the juncture where my shorts ended and my bare skin began.
Oh no the rat-faced-bastard-of-a-hairy-balled-pirate didn't.
He'd been staring at her tits for the past fifteen minutes.
Not overtly. We were in a hospital cafeteria and he was the hospital administrator. He couldn't openly ogle the way he wanted to.
But I could see it - the way his beady eyes would narrow, crinkling in the corners before shifting quickly to her small chest and then back up to her face.
He hid it well; I had to give him that. I wondered how long he'd been hiding it while she was my girlfriend, how many times he'd checked her out on the sly without my knowing. I wondered if she'd known – even back then; if she'd enjoyed it. I wondered if she still made the same sounds she used to make when she came; if she'd altered her repertoire in any way for him – to please his tastes. Mike tended towards the kinky, from what he'd told me a couple of times himself, while she…well she'd always been so shy in bed.
I bit into my apple and turned away, pretending to scan my pager. Still, I saw them laughing out of the corner of my eye. They made such a fucking handsome couple; I snorted internally, she in her pretty little skirt suits, him in his shirts and ties.
I got up and threw out the tray with the untouched breakfast and turned and bumped right into him. He grinned at me, the same friendly grin he'd been given me since back in high school. Too bad I'd never known what a two-faced, beady-eyed, girlfriend-stealing motherfucker he'd turn out to be. We could've spared ourselves this farce of a friendship.
"Hey Mike," I grinned, clapping him on the shoulder. It gave me a cheap sort of thrill when he almost lost his footing. I held in a chuckle.
'Yeah,' - a little voice inside of me taunted – 'but he's fucking your ex-girlfriend - the one you're still in love with - so who's really getting the last laugh?'
"How are you doing?" I asked instead.
"I'm good, I'm good," he grinned back, playing with his tie. "Just taking a quick breakfast break. How was Italy?"
Shitty. "Great man. Really good. Just got back last night, actually. You would not believe how relaxing the Tuscan countryside can be."
"Yeah? Good!" he exclaimed, happily nodding. "Glad to know you relaxed and took a much needed breather after all those years of med school. So are you ready to plunge right into the life of a first-year resident now?"
I gripped his shoulder, giving him a friendly shake and once again enjoyed the childish gratification that came from his unsteadiness on his feet. What a chump. He'd always been a chump. Would always be a chump.
Did she know she was fucking a chump?
"As ready as I'll ever be. We went over some protocols this morning and now I'm headed for my rounds," I said cheerfully.
"That's great, Edward. I'm glad to see you came back in such an upbeat, gung-ho mood." He fisted his hand and swung his arm in front of him in an arc.
"Yes, I did," I agreed in the same exaggerated tone - minus the chump arm gesture.
"Good." He moved in a bit closer and dropped his voice. "Look, Edward, I…I just want to make sure you and I are still good, buddy. You've been one of my best friends since we were kids and I want to make sure you know that I- I mean we," he blurted quickly and uncomfortably, "didn't plan this. You and she had broken up already when we-"
Fucking asshole. "Mike, Mike, Mike," I stopped him, in an equally low voice, "Don't give it a second thought, man. She and I have been over for a while."
"So we're good then?" he asked hopefully, obvious relief coloring his pale face. "Because you know, we're all going to be working together now and-"
"Of course we're good," I shrugged, and looked down at my pager as if it'd just gone off.
"Mike, I've got to run, my attending's paging me." I clapped my hands and grinned widely. "Time to get this show on the road."
"Oh. Okay, then. I'll see you later, Edward. Good to see you, buddy."
"Yeah, good to see you too." Asshole.
My eyes flashed behind him and landed on Bree. She was watching us anxiously, her dark hair pinned up in a bun, all professional. It made her already small features look smaller, more delicate. I grinned and waved, pissed off inside because she broke up with me. She'd moved on - to him. Yet she still looked at me that way. She had no right to look at me anxiously, maybe even…wistfully.
She seemed to hesitate for just a fraction of a second before she waved back, a small smile on her lips.
And I turned and left, pretending my heart wasn't falling to pieces.
I snatched the first chart off the board and quickly scanned it, ready to get to work and get my buddy Mike's two-faced words and Bree's delicate, unsure face out of my head.
"Your attending's not here yet, Dr. Cullen," a slightly bored voice called out from behind the nurse's station. Julia was head RN and, at this point in my career, my superior. "You aren't supposed to start without him."
I perused the chart in my hand and pursed my lips. "It's just a laceration, Julia," I said condescendingly. This was the Forks Emergency room for the love of God. Most emergencies consisted of scrapes, lacerations and bruises.
"There are still protocols, Doctor Cullen," she chided me. Julia had known me since I was a small kid and would come visit my father - the chief of staff. Therefore, she had no problem yelling her head off at me when I strolled away towards Examining Room One.
"Dr. Cullen! Doc! Edward, damn it, get your butt back- Damn it!" she muttered.
The patient was moaning – pretty loudly, I might say - when I walked into the room. She laid spread eagle over the exam table; her arm covered her face while her long hair cascaded all over the place, splayed like dark wildfire across her shoulders. Her other hand tightly covered an area on her arm. I frowned and took a quick look back at my chart. According to this, she had a small laceration that might require stitches. From the look and sound of her though, I'd thought she needed life-saving surgery.
Confirming that it was indeed, just a laceration, I took a step towards her and then stopped when her moans turned into humming – seriously out-of-tune by the way - before morphing back to moaning and then to tuneless humming again.
"Um, excuse me," I said.
She quickly removed her arm from her face and lifted her head and looked at me through the deepest, darkest eyes I'd ever seen in my life.
"Doctor, thank God," she breathed, eyes growing wide. "Are you here to sew me up?"
I blinked - twice. Something about her eyes had left me feeling…disconcerted.
"My name is Doctor Cullen. I'm a resident here and-"
She sucked her teeth; her Bambi eyes impatient. "Can we do the intros later? You need to sew me up stat!" She stuck her covered arm out in my direction and then slowly, lifted her hand, revealing a cut that seemed about two, two and a half inches in length.
But it might as well have been the end of the world, because she took one look at it and started dry heaving over the table.
What. The hell?
"Do you need a bucket?" I asked urgently.
"NO!" she yelled, heaving again. "No bucket! Just sew me up!"
I pursed my lips. "I'm sorry miss, but there is a clearly defined order in which we do things here. First we need to go over your personal history and then take a look at your-"
"Cullen, was it, doctor?" she asked, looking up at me through dark eyes. I nodded. "Well then Doctor Cullen," she moaned, closing her eyes tightly, "if you don't sew me up right now I'm going to barf all over this pretty little examining room of yours and then pass out and then your clearly defined order will be covered in a mess of clearly defined vomit!"
She snuck another peek at the almost insignificant cut and moaned again, heaving once more before throwing her head back against the table.
I blinked twice more - then went to the door. "Julia, I need a stitching kit. Stat."
Now curled into a fetal position over the exam table, the patient covered her face once more, and again returned to her strange vocal exercises – moaning and humming; humming and moaning. And then she added something new to her strange repertoire:
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger…"
What was she…was she…singing now?
Alright. So I'd gotten stuck with a nut job for my first patient ever. Yet as she lay there - moaning and humming and fucking singing - I couldn't help notice the pair of shapely legs that peaked out from her short denim shorts, or the tiny waist exposed under the white tank top that had ridden up her midriff. She had on a pair of dirty black high-top Converse, and as my eyes trailed higher I noticed a pair of very pretty, very perky-
Holy shit, I was checking Crazy Patient out.
Thankfully, Julia strode in just then carrying the stitch kit, and I plastered on a blank face and pretended my nutty-yet-pretty first patient ever wasn't giving me a boner.
Julia sauntered over to me, lips twisted in disapproval. Her brows furrowed when she took in the singing and moaning girl lying on the table.
"What in the world is she doing?"
"No idea. Just give me the kit," I said, frustrated in more than one way when Crazy Patient's volume rose even higher. I wrapped my hand around the kit, but Nurse Julia didn't let go.
"What are you planning to do with this?" she asked, raising a brow.
In the background, Crazy Patient's cries shot up a couple of octaves.
"What do you think I'm planning to do with it, Julia?" I countered, raising my voice over the increasingly shrill cacophony.
"But you're not authorized, Edward! Your attending should be here," she snapped back.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, STRONGER, JUST ME MYSELF AND I."
"It'll be fine!" I hissed loudly.
"For the love of all that's holy do you hear that?" I yelled, waving a hand towards Crazy. "Do you really want to hear that for the next half hour, until the attending gets here? Cause I sure as hell don't! And she keeps getting louder and louder and I swear to God I'll leave the door open so it reaches the entire nurse's station-"
"Alright, alright, Doctor Cullen!" Nurse Julia relented. "Just…" – Crazy's lyrics grew shriller and shriller – "just shut her up, please!" Julia hissed through clenched teeth before marching out of the room and closing the door tightly behind her.
I walked quickly over to the sink and washed my hands and then pulled up a chair close to the table, cringing at the bedlam erupting from the pretty-yet-crazy girl Fate had chosen as my first patient. I should've just listened to Julia and waited for the attending.
And then I reached out and took her arm...
…and that's when all hell really broke loose.
I pulled my hand back almost immediately. Crazy's head shot up, her chocolate eyes meeting mine, wide and startled.
"What did you do?" she cried, glaring between me and her arm.
"I didn't do anything!" I answered defensively, opening and closing the hand that still tingled from the un-friggin-believable shock that had just run through it. "What do you have in your hand?" I accused instead.
"I don't have anything in my hand!" she retorted. "You…you…you shocked me with something!"
"I barely touched you!" I countered, snapping my eyes to her arm. I put my hand out again and motioned for her to put her arm in it. With deliberate and cautious care, she slowly placed her arm in my hand…
…and pulled it back at lightning speed.
"You did it again!"
"I'm not doing anything," I whisper-hissed, starting to freak out a bit here because yeah, some crazy shit was definitely going on. It wasn't painful or anything, but it was effing mind-blowing – like being shocked by a live-wire.
But Crazy had apparently had enough. Her eyes dropped to her cut and the dry heaves started again.
"Doc," – heave – "please," – heave – "sew it," – heave – "Now."
I took a deep breath and reached out for her arm once more.
Sure enough that strange sensation hit me again. She gasped and I groaned at the burn and tingle. But she didn't pull away and I didn't drop her arm because damn it was intense - but not entirely unpleasant. Crazy closed her eyes and held her breath while I forced my hand to remain steady and pressed on, working as quickly as possible.
Ten minutes later I had her all sewn up. The charge from our connection had never fully abated, but after a few minutes we both seemed to have gotten used to it – or as used as you could get to being electrocuted. Crazy had even managed to remain still and silent.
As soon as I was done, Crazy sat up, swinging her pretty legs back and forth off the examining table and grinning widely from ear to ear. The prettiest smile you'd ever seen actually, now that she wasn't yelling and screaming and moaning and humming and singing like a maniac. Abruptly disconcerted again, I walked to the other side of the examining room and washed my hands, picking up her chart once more.
"Alright then, can we get back on track now?" There was an edge to my voice I couldn't quite control or explain. Something about this first patient of mine had me flustered.
Crazy was in a good mood now though.
"Gave you a bit of a scare there, didn't I doctor?" she chuckled sheepishly.
"Nonsense," I answered dryly, my eyes firmly on her chart. "I'm used to dealing with problematic patients."
Clearly bullshit, as she was my first patient ever and I'd gotten a boner just looking at her and then almost lost it from merely touching her arm. But she didn't have to know that.
"Problematic?" she chortled, still swinging her legs; her stitched and bandaged arm all but forgotten apparently. "I wouldn't go that far, doctor. I just get a little…squeamish at the sight of blood."
"Is that what that was?" I snorted incredulously, rolling my eyes. "I seriously thought you were having some sort of mental breakdown. I was getting ready to call someone down from the Psyche Department."
The Psyche floor made me think of Bree, since she was a first year Psyche resident.
Alright, so my words may have been a bit harsh, but Crazy simply laughed loudly - unfazed. And fine, calling her Crazy didn't quite feel right anymore anyway, because she wasn't acting nuts any longer. Instead she kept laughing and blushing all over the place. Admittedly, it may have been a bit cute in a weird sort of way. And admittedly she had a pretty laugh. It went well with those pretty eyes and that pretty face and that pretty body.
Fuck me. There I went checking her out again.
"Alright then," I said, snapping my pen on the chart. It frustrated me no end how easily distracted I was acting this morning. "Now that you have your precious stitches, can you please state your full name for me?"
She craned her neck, trying to get a look at the chart in my hands. "It should be there," she frowned, "on those forms they made me fill out, even though I was practically bleeding to death."
"First of all, you were definitely not bleeding to death," I clarified. "You got three stitches and they're probably the smallest stitches ever. And second, I'm having a hard time reading these chicken scrawls that pass for your handwriting here."
She giggled – a sound so much more pleasant than the caterwauling she'd been doing a few minutes ago. "It's hard to write legibly when your life-force is seeping out in a puddle before your eyes."
The girl was seriously deranged - cute, but deranged.
She must've seen me smirk again, because she laughed once more. The sound made me look up, and I was met by those deep chocolate eyes, amused and sparkling.
She stopped laughing, her pretty eyes glistening with mirth. "Bella Swan," she said then. "My name is Bella Swan."
A/N: There's your first chapter guys. The next will be posted in a couple of days. I'd like to post this story twice a week, probably Mondays and Wednesdays once we get on a regular schedule, but we'll see how it goes.
Leave me reviews guys. Let me know what you're thinking. I've missed you all…