A/N: Here we go folks, the Eclipse version of the Sun Never Sets. Eclipse was my favorite of the four books so I hope I did it justice here. Unlike the New Moon version which most of the beginning was written when I uploaded it and just had to tweak the end, for this fic most of the end is completed, from about the training scene with the wolves up until the last part of the battle and beyond. So I will be working diligently to update this as often as I can, but keep in mind the beginning is not 100% complete and will take a little time to be done. So we'll be looking at updates every other week, if I am able to I will update earlier than that. I want to thank trouble97018 and Malehkia for their wonderful title suggestions and I give credit where it's due that they both helped with the title. Thank you everyone for your continued support and acknowledgement of these fics, it really means a lot to me that Chris is so well received in the Twilight community. Till next update! Glad to see you all again!
I wasn't sure how things would be going back to school at Forks. I had made sure that leaving my Forks friends would be barely missed by them, even Marie. I mean I stayed in touch with them, but it was a pen-pal kind of deal, with the silent understanding that eventually we would all lose track of each other, as we "got older". Going back now, would I have to start over again as far as distancing myself from my friends? I wasn't sure, heck I wasn't sure I would even be able to now, or even want too at this point.
I hate going into a new situation basically blind, but I was both surprised and pleased that it was as if I had never left Forks high school, at least within the small group that made up our English class who all welcomed me back easily. I mean we all had homeroom together so when I walked into the classroom the first Monday we returned to school, there was surprised looks all around.
Marie practically flew out of her desk to hug me, Sarah right behind her. Like I said it was if I had never left, both in the social aspect as well as the academic one.
Within a week of being back, Marie began inviting me over to her house for dinner. I was hesitant about doing so and managed to put it off for a while, a week turning into two weeks. We were loaded down with midterm projects and reports so all of us were occupied with them, leaving no time really for socializing.
But it finally reached the point nearly three weeks later, where I could not make up any more excuses and just had to give in. We made plans for the ninth of April, a Sunday, I was going over to the Burke's for dinner and family game night.
I was really concerned about how dinner at a friend's house would go, I mean it's not like I get invited places on a regular basis. It was easy to pretend that I was eating at school, and of course when Marie, her grandmother, and I had gone out to dinner last year, I had managed to put on a show regarding the dinner.
At Marie's graduation party last June, her father was grilling hotdogs and hamburgers for everyone and still I was able to keep suspicion away from the fact I wasn't really eating. But it would be different with just the Burke family and me. That and this would be the first socializing between Marie and I outside of school since we moved back, we had studied together at the library for some of our projects, but it had been in groups and it had been school work so it didn't count.
Edward had spent the last few weeks kissing up to the entire family individually; he took the opportunity to continue this trend, by offering to drive me to Marie's house.
"So, things are settling back in okay?" Edward asked as we pulled off our driveway. I nodded, glancing out the window, wishing I could actually be four-wheeling instead of going to dinner. Don't get me wrong I was looking forward to hanging out with the Burke family, I just wish there was no dinner involved. "Chris?"
"Sorry," I replied looking at my brother quickly "yeah, things are good. It's like I never left." I paused "how's Bella doing?" this was a serious question, I saw her at school of course, but we never really talked with everyone around us and she hadn't been over our house in a while.
I knew she was grounded, pretty much forever. Chief Swan was really hit hard by Bella's out of the blue escapade to Italy with Alice. Granted who could blame him, I guess one of his best friends died the day before (hence the funeral that Edward thought was Bella's) and then he came home to find Bella gone with just a simple note. I think that would give anyone reason to be angry and of course hurt.
Then if the situation couldn't get any worse for Bella and Chief Swan's already short fuse, that Jacob kid, the werewolf, showed up at the Swan's house wheeling a motorcycle.
Apparently Bella had found two old motorcycles and had enlisted wolf boy to restore them, something about becoming an extreme sports junky (hence the dive off the cliff).
Anyways she must have kept the bikes with Jacob because Chief Swan would've killed her if he saw them and for some reason Jacob felt the need to return Bella's, right when Chief Swan was home.
I haven't been able to decide if Jacob did it on purpose to get Bella in trouble and keep her from hanging out with Edward or if he didn't care one way or another and just did it out of spite. Either option fits in my mind.
I guess he blew another gasket and grounded Bella for an even longer sentence and had made her get rid of the bike.
She did technically get rid of the bike; it was living in our garage, parked right next to my Kawasaki. Bella's bike was kinda sweet in its own way, and I hated to admit it, but Jacob did a decent job of restoring it, better than his crappy old rabbit anyways. It ran pretty smoothly for its age and the condition that Bella said she found it in. I didn't know if Bella would ever have the bike back, but till she decided what to do with it, Jasper and I had taken to enjoying it.
The funny thing about the whole situation (Bella being grounded, not Chief Swan's loss of course) was that if Bella was grounded so was Edward technically. Chief Swan had made a curfew deal with Bella and Edward, Edward was allowed to visit her from seven to nine-thirty and only if Chief Swan was home.
I found it hilarious, Edward and Bella not so much, though they took it in stride. Though I'm not really sure what they were complaining about, it wasn't like they didn't spend pretty much every waking second together anyways, I mean Edward still stayed over Bella's house at night.
"She's doing better, she's a little worried about her classes." My ears perked up "and yes I was going to ask if you could help her out when finals come closer. She won't let me help, but for some reason I don't think she'll refuse you."
"See she does love me." I said grinning wide.
"So a little nervous about dinner tonight?" Edward asked, changing the subject
"Gee, what was your first clue Professor X?" I replied, my tone a little sharper than I meant too.
Edward didn't comment on that, he gave me a hearty smile as if he hadn't heard my tone, I was still trying to figure out this new and more forgiving Edward. I should be thrilled about him, but it's a little weird.
"Marie definitely missed you," he continued "actually everyone missed you, you and Alice, I'm kind of in the doghouse still."
I raised an eyebrow
"Everyone?" I repeated
"I don't just mean your freshman friends, a lot of Bella's friends missed you as well."
"Angela for one, Ben too,"
"Come off it Edward," I replied as we pulled closer to the Burke's street "they knew me for a few weeks, if that."
"Angela is empathetic if you hadn't noticed."
I nodded slowly; I had certainly profiled that about her. I knew Angela's personality last year when I first saw her, she was my main pick for Marie's senior friend, unfortunately things worked out different and Marie ended up with another one of Bella's friends Jessica Stanley, who is not as attentive, I'm not saying she's an awful person, because from what I've experienced and profiled she's not, she's just a little narcissistic, a lot more in comparison to Angela and Bella, but a lot less than some others who sit at that lunch table.
There's a girl named Lauren who has this aura about her that screams egotistical, If I didn't know any better I'd swear that Lauren and Janet were sisters.
Anyways, Angela is the kind of person who wants to help everyone and be friends with everyone, so she kept Marie close that entire day and continued to do so into our freshman year of high school.
"Right," I answered wondering where he was going with that, it was stating the obvious, at least I thought so.
"Angela saw how much Marie missed you and empathized with that, and Ben followed her lead. You said that Marie joined the school chorus?" I nodded again "that was on the pushing of Angela and your friend, Patrick."
I sighed and grinned, I was going to have to get Angela a big thank you gift, somehow. I really owed her a lot.
"Well I wouldn't call Patrick a friend exactly, he tolerates me." I replied chuckling "he'd never say it out-loud but I can read his body language, in the back of his mind he was hoping I wouldn't come back."
"Yeah those thoughts were pretty loud that first day back. He was obviously ashamed of thinking that, but it didn't change the fact that he took your request to look after Marie above and beyond." I sighed again and Edward looked at me quickly "Chris?"
"We came back." I said softly, Edward could see where the conversation was going, but instead of picking my brain like he usually does, he just let me lead the way. "I made it last year so that if we did leave, my friends." That word felt so foreign as I said it, we have vampire friends, and I've had acquaintances at school, but Marie, Sarah, Paul, and the others, even Patrick they weren't just acquaintances, they were actual friends. "I knew that when the time for us to leave Forks, I would be able to break ties with them slowly. They'd move on with their lives with no problem. And they did, I mean you said Marie missed me, that my other friends missed me. But in reality if we hadn't come back they would've been okay."
"That's certainly true." Edward replied
"Then bam, we come back, it's like we never left and here you are driving me to Marie's for dinner."
"So? What's the problem?"
I'm pretty sure by this point Edward was trying his best to NOT read my mind, I think he just wanted to see where I was going and see it the non-telepathic way.
"I've been thinking about this since we got back, am I doing more damage than good here? Should I have just left well enough alone as far as coming back? It's like I'm going to have to start over again and it'll be that much harder when we leave before next year."
"What makes you think we're leaving before next year?"
"We have to right? I mean you and Alice are graduating, that leaves me as the last one in school. Do you really think we should try me at sophomore year again? Remember how bad that went last time?"
The last time I stayed a school past freshman year had been a while ago. Rosalie, Alice, and Esme tried their hardest to make me look fifteen and it was a disaster, I ended up looking like a little kid trying on his older brother's clothes, with a stunted height and a voice that sounds like a thirteen year old.
No one said anything aloud, but Edward could hear the questions in everyone's thoughts, I could read it on their body language. It didn't fool anyone and we moving shortly after the start of school. I for one never wanted to try it again, at least not until recently.
"I think we should, I think we might be better prepared to try it this time around. It's worth a try Chris, we find a situation to do a test run and see how it goes from there."
He was right of course, I did want to give it another go, now that I was back where I felt the most comfortable I wasn't ready to leave just yet.
I wasn't sure why Edward was the one making this suggestion though, but I figured it was just more of him making up to us, he knew that I wanted approval for my decision to try one more year and he was giving it to me
"Yeah I guess." I said as we pulled into the Burke's half circle driveway. "thanks for the ride."
"What time do you want me to pick you up?" Edward asked grinning, I glanced at my watch, it was quarter of six.
"Dunno I'll call you."
"Be forewarned." Edward said mischievously, his grin getting bigger.
"Coach Burke is competitive when it comes to board games and he's ready for new competition and guess whose it, you could be here all night, school night or not."
I groaned and rolled my eyes, as I slammed the door to the Volvo shut as hard as I dared and headed for the house. Edward drove off and I swear I could still hear him laughing as I walked up the steps to ring the doorbell.
Mrs. Burke spent the entire meal asking if I'd had enough to eat. She had loaded my plate with meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green-beans and it was all I could do to keep a grin on my face instead of a grimace.
I'm 100% sure Mrs. Burke is a fantastic cook, but to me the food was disgusting going down, even sitting on my plate. Even though I took my time eating, pretending to savior every bite, the minute my plate looked even remotely clean, she piled on more food, it really was a no win situation.
Luckily, the entire Burke family liked to talk during dinner, so the focus wasn't on my plate, but on talking to me. Mr. and Mrs. Burke asked me all sorts of questions about LA and how my parents were doing, I wondered if the Burke's were planning on a get together with Carlisle and Esme at some point. I could see Mrs. Burke wanted to have get together with my parents and she was trying to determine the best time to do so.
I answered the questions as best I could and made up most of it especially regarding LA. I've read enough about the city to pass it off that I was there for months, but LA is not a top vacation spot for a vampire, it's barely a good spot to drive through let alone live. The Burke's were none the wiser and it gave me the chance to move stuff around on the plate to make it look like I had eaten more than I actually had.
I was thankful when Mr. Burke pushed his chair back and thanked his wife for a wonderful dinner, before carrying his plate into the kitchen. I watched Marie and when she did the same I followed in suit. Mrs. Burke reached for my plate insisting that as the guest I was not required to clear the table, but I protested and said I would like to help.
Ten minutes later, the table was clear, the dishes were running through the dishwasher, and the Burke family and I were once again seated around the table, a board game waiting for us.
I've never really been a big fan of most board games, to me bored is right, I'll play trivial pursuit and stuff, but games like monopoly fail to hold my interest very long. So when I saw that the game Mr. Burke had planned was a game called the Game of Life, I was prepared to face it.
Just judging by the board however, I could see this game perhaps would go by faster than any monopoly game I've been subjected too; this at least had an end in sight.
"Chris do you want to be the banker?" Mr. Burke asked grinning I shrugged hoping there wasn't anything complicated to being the banker. Taking my shrug as a yes answer, Mr. Burke plopped a plastic container in front of me, with sections dividing each of the different dominations of fake money. "Okay everyone, get your car and person," Mr. Burke continued handing a bag of little people pegs and cars with six notches in it for said people around.
Mrs. Burke took the orange car, Marie the blue, Mr. Burke took white, and I grabbed the green one and watched Marie as she put her little pink peg in the driver seat of the car. She glanced up at me and nodded to the car, I grinned mischievously and put my little blue peg in the driver seat as well, only the driver seat if the peg was in England, IE the right side of the car. Marie saw that and burst out in quick giggles.
"Chris, sweetie when is your birthday?" Mrs. Burke asked as we all put our cars near the spinner and I handed out the correct amount of money.
"December 24th." I replied suspiciously
"So you're two months younger than Marie."
In theory I thought and tried not to grin
"That means you don't get to spin first Ri Ri." Mr. Burke teased; the confused look on my face caught his attention
"Dad!" Marie exclaimed as her dad called her a pet name that she always seemed embarrassed by.
"The youngest spins first to see who plays first." He explained, "Marie has been used to going first all the time. It's a good change for someone new."
I was still confused, but I spun the little spinner carefully, it landed on a six, which I assumed was a good thing, six out of ten. Marie went next landing on a five, her mother a two and her dad a three.
"Looks like you get to go first Chris." Mrs. Burke said "you have to choose college or career."
I chuckled and looked over at Marie who grinned
"If you pick college you get a better career and salary option, but you have to pay money and you'll be in debt for a while. If you choose career you're limited on what you can pick for careers and salaries, but you have the option later in the game to go back to school and get a better career." Marie explained and I rubbed my temple, apparently this game was going to hold my attention for a while, it was actually interesting. I decided to go to college for the heck of it, taking the loan out from the bank.
The game progressed pretty quickly and I had to admit, I had fun with it. When we reached the end and each of us "retired" we sold our properties and counted up our profits.
I ended up with 3.5 million thereabouts, which I thought was pretty good, Marie beat me by about a fifty thousand bucks, her dad he barely made it into the two thousands and was sulking about it, but it was Marie's mum who blew us all away with 5 million dollars. Mr. Burke was convinced that she cheated somehow and made it a huge discussion about it, during which Marie and I packed up the game and put it away, laughing at her parents the entire time. They obviously weren't actually fighting, but it was still like watching a pair of little kids arguing back and forth.
"I'm glad you guys came back, I'm sorry the study didn't work out." Marie said softly as I followed her down to the hall closet where the Burke's kept their games.
"I'm glad we're back too, and the study worked out. My dad's going to video chat his colleagues down there and stay informed on the study and do his best to help from up here. Mum just wasn't happy in LA at all, and to be honest neither was I. It'll mean my dad has to take some short business trips, but if it keeps us here in Forks for a while longer I won't complain."
Marie handed me the game and I reached up to the top shelf to store it there. We exchanged a grin and headed back to the dining room where her parents were still arguing goodheartedly about who really won the game.
"They do this every time; you should see when we play monopoly. You got off easy tonight, they had a game go so long I ended up going to bed four hours after it started, I declared bankruptcy and went to bed. I woke up around midnight, came out to get a glass of milk and they were still going."
I blinked, studying Marie's face to see if she was serious. I mean there's been times when Emmett and Jasper will have a chess game that goes on for hours, but that's a vampire thing, for the Burke's to have a board game go that long is pretty hilarious.
"Was it regular Monopoly?"
"It was actually Lord of the Rings Monopoly. My dad had hotels on the shire only, mom was winning easily owning pretty much the entire board and dad wouldn't give in."
I started laughing and Marie joined me, both her parents looked up at as from their argument and started laughing as well.
"Come on you too, I think there's some chocolate chip ice cream in the fridge, ice cream for all!" Mr. Burke called triumphantly leading the way back into the kitchen. I groaned and hit my forehead, more food…great.
When Edward came to pick me up an hour or so later, I thanked the Burke's for their hospitality and promised to come again soon. Marie hesitated for a second, but she hugged me tight before darting back inside with her parents. Mr. Burke waved as I slid into the Volvo next to my brother and Edward honked the horn in response.
"So, did you have fun?" Edward asked with a grin, he could read my mind, he had seen the gaming night, the dinner, the argument between Mr. and Mrs. Burke and he was just as amused as I had been.
"It was interesting and amusing." I replied, "I thought Emmett was competitive, Mr. Burke makes Emmett look normal when it comes to competition." I paused "you going back to Bella's tonight?"
"Chief Swan had me out at 9:30 on the dot. After I drop you off I'm heading back over there." Edward replied grinning,
"Did you send Bella's application to the University of Alaska out?" I asked, my grin getting wider.
"As a matter of fact I did, and my own as well." Edward said speeding up a little towards our house.
"I get the hat right when you get accepted?"
"Yeah, yeah, you get the hat and the sweatshirt." He paused "don't you already have UA?"
I thought that over. I've got so many hats and sweatshirts from different colleges and universities I'm not only starting to lose track of them all, but I'm also starting to run out of room for them. Who knew that there were so many schools in the country?
"No, I'm pretty sure that's one of the only ones I don't have. Besides if you get Bella to apply to and be accepted to Dartmouth or even Harvard I can mooch those acceptance hats too." The look on Edward's face told all "you're already planning on applying her there aren't you?"
"What makes you say that?"
"Trying to delay Bella's decision?" I asked my question completely serious this time.
"Of course I am. I'm hoping she at least tries that human experience and enjoys it so much she'll want to hold off even longer."
"You mean besides the human experience of prom, graduation, marriage?" I was still serious; there was no trace of joking around with this part of the conversation.
"Yes, I did give Bella the alternative as far as that last one is concerned."
I took a deep breath
"She really is hopeful that you'll do it after graduation. It's in two months Edward and Bella is pretty stubborn, what are you going to do?" We pulled into the garage and Edward parked the Volvo neatly in between the Mustang and Rose's Beemer. "Edward?" I repeated tilting my head a bit.
"I don't know Chris to be honest, I'll think of something. We'll see how it goes." He paused and hit the brim of my hat. "Tell Esme I'll be home in the morning."
"Always do." I replied as my brother shot off into the woods and I wandered slowly into the house, ready to face my sisters and mother, as they would want to get details about how my first dinner over the Burke's went.