A/N: Hello there! Hope you all like this chapter! Things will start to mellow out a bit in this story and then, of course- Chaos! :) Huge thanks to Emma Lee Rose for being the best Beta! And thanks to Faith too for some awesome suggestions!
I walked into the cafeteria with a slight frown on my face. The rest of my classes up until now had dragged on. Not to mention the fact that Alice hadn't talked to me since English. Granted, the only other class we had together was Government, but it still made my smile disappear. She didn't seem particularly angry and I think that's why it's bothering me. Every time I had glanced her way during second period, I was met with her hurt expression. I'd shift in my chair and look away only to end up glancing back a few seconds later.
Is this the whole mating thing? 'Cuz I freaking hate it.
I grabbed an apple and made my way towards my usual table. Angela's eyes met mine and she smiled and nodded to the seat next to her.
I really liked this Angela girl. She seemed to really care about other people. I can't say the same about the others at the table. Well, Eric's pretty nice. Damn, he and Angela would make a cute couple.
What am I, a matchmaker, now?
I shook my head quickly as I unsuccessfully tried to stop myself from looking up to the Cullens table. Somehow my eyes snapped to Alice's which looked a lot brighter now. Her lips twitched into a small smile before she looked away. I couldn't help but notice that Edward wasn't sitting with them. There was an empty seat in between Alice and that Jasper guy. It still bugged me a bit that some people thought they were together- Jasper and Alice. She's way too good for him.
I sighed as I pulled out the chair next to Angela and tuned into the conversation they were all having.
"Have you ever seen them like actually eat though?" Jessica muttered quietly. She was obviously not talking to me but I did notice the direction in which she was so rudely staring.
I was faced with a bit of a situation here. Do I sit down and pretend like nothing is going on? And let suspicion fall on the Cullens? On Alice?
I inwardly groaned as I pushed the chair back under the table without sitting down. I took a deep breath and wondering how I was going to do what I was about to do.
"I'll see you in bio, Angela," I murmured. She looked up and nodded with a confused expression. I turned around slowly, feeling like everyone's eyes were on me and started towards the table filled with the species I am supposed to detest. None of them noticed me at first. It wasn't until I touched the chair next to her that Alice looked up, shock crossing her features. The other Cullens followed in her actions as I rolled the apple out onto the table.
"People are starting to notice that you aren't eating," I mumbled quietly, attempting to make it look like I couldn't care less what they did. Neither one of them moved or responded as I forced myself to sit down in the chair. Quite a large portion of the cafeteria had quieted down as they realized that a non-Cullen had sat down at the Cullen table. This was what I was afraid off. I didn't want to draw more attention to them. I noticed Jasper's eyes scanning around a bit before he faked a smile.
"Ha Bella it's good to see you!" He exclaimed rather loudly. I felt my eyebrows furrow but then I realized what he was doing. He was trying to turn the attention off the table. His siblings caught on and they all smiled, except for the blonde, who grimaced and glared at me.
"Yeah Bells! How's it going?" Emmett chuckled, obviously having fun. I felt my eyebrows twitch at the nickname.
"Fine," I muttered, partially playing along while trying to ignore Alice as she watched my face with a smirk. The chatter in the cafeteria picked up a bit and I felt myself relax before I realized I was sitting next to a bunch of vampires.
"Well," I heard Alice sigh. "If no one else is going to..." She trailed off as she reached an arm out and grabbed the apple in her hand. She threw it up in the air a few inches before catching it and looking around the table to see if anyone else dared to eat it. I'm not an idiot. I know what happens to food when a vampire eats it. I also know it's not a very pleasant experience which is why I'm feeling a little bad for Alice. Only a little. "Here it goes." She brought it to her mouth, and I watched her take a small bite of the fruit. She did a pretty bad job of trying not to look disgusted. I felt a smile break out on my lips as I watched her.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" Rosalie hissed suddenly from across the table. I bit my tongue to stop myself from snapping back at her and raised my eyebrow instead. She leaned across the table a bit as her glare grew darker. "Yesterday you blew up at my sister and today you think everything's all peachy? Huh? You think you can just be all buddy-buddy with my siblings all because you spilled a few secrets to Alice?!" She spoke rather harshly but it did make a bit of sense. I was acting differently today.
"Rose," Emmett mumbled, putting his hand on Rosalie's shoulder in an attempt to calm her down. It didn't really work. She didn't move an inch. I continued to bite my tongue, not wanting to cause any more attention to the table. I don't know why I wasn't just snapping back at her. Maybe it's because the way Rosalie had said "my sister" caught my attention. It almost sounded like she was trying to be protective instead of the idiotic claims Edward used to make.
"I don't like you," she spat. Really? That's all she could come up with? I felt my lips curl into a bit of a smirk and I leant forward, towards her.
"That's fine," I whispered, making her eyebrows raise in a bit of a challenge. "Because I don't like you much either." She huffed and leaned back in her chair. I followed and ignored the sigh from Alice as I did so. Rosalie continued to glare at me from across the table and I met her glare which I think just pissed the blonde off more.
"So Bella," Jasper started slowly, obviously hoping to change the subject. "How did you meet Renesmee?" The randomness of the question made me turn my head towards him. Everyone else at the table turned as well. "Well, I mean, from the sound of it there aren't very many hy-people like you so I'm curious how you found another one," he explained his question. I rolled my eyes and considered telling them the story of how Ren had I had met. I made the mistake of meeting Alice's eyes. She looked hopeful with her eyebrows raised a little and a small smile on her face. I sighed and slumped a bit in my chair.
"After I… became what I am, I did a bit of research. During that time, I traveled around a bit." I took a deep breath. "Two years ago, I stopped in New York. I had never been there and had heard that it was supposed to be amazing. On about the third day there, I was walking back to my hotel. It was late at night and in not the best part of the city. I heard a scream from one of the alleys next to a bar so I ran over to see what had happened. I found Ren backed up into a brick wall with about four drunk guys surrounding her." I couldn't help but notice Rosalie's glare falter. "They were shouting crude comments and it pissed me the hell off so I kicked their asses. By that point, Ren had passed out. I brought her back to my hotel room and realized that she was… well…" I trailed off with a small shrug. I realized she was like me, I continued in my mind.
"How can you tell?" Emmett spoke up.
"Can you tell right now?" I asked, honestly curious if they could tell from the smell of my blood.
"I mean you smell different. Sweeter almost," Jasper mentioned. I heard a soft growl next to me that Alice covered up with a cough. When she looked up, I smirked at her and gave her a knowing wink.
"It's the venom," I muttered. "Only people that have a clue that something is different can tell though. It's not so much that anyone can tell before they actually realize what they're supposed to be looking for. Which in a way, I guess, is better. Safer."
The bell rang, signaling the end of lunch. The volume in the cafeteria increased as people slid their chairs out and talked with friends as they made their way out of the cafeteria. The Cullens did the same. I had taken about three steps away from the table when a cold manicured hand grabbed my forearm, stopping me from walking. Before I could process who it was, Alice spun around, her eyes narrowing.
"Rose," she spoke in a warning tone.
"Rose," I warned. I forced myself to not rip my sister's arm off for touching my Bella. Rosalie had looked from Bella to me. In that short second, Bella had yanked her arm away from Rosalie's and had taken a step so she was toe-to-toe with my blonde sister. Oh no. I took a step towards them, silently praying that few students left in the cafeteria wouldn't hear the interaction.
"One, don't you dare touch me," Bella practically spat at Rosalie, who wore her signature smirk.
"Two, what the hell do you want?" I couldn't help the swell of pride that Bella just gave me. I mean technically I should be pissed. She's practically threatening my sister. But I'm glad she's not stopping herself anymore. That was bugging me when she wasn't snapping back at Rosalie when we were at the lunch table. She wasn't being herself.
Rosalie clenched her jaw and sighed. "You…" She trailed off and tried again. "You-"
"I-I what?" Bella mocked. From a few feet away, I could see Rosalie's posture slack a little and it was then that I realized what this was about.
"You saved her from… those men…" She trailed off again. I watched Bella visibly relax and I relaxed with her. She must have realized what Rosalie was getting at too.
"I don't know if they would have done that," Bella murmured quietly, a huge contrast to the tone she had been using. Rosalie took a step away from Bella to put some distance between them. I took another step towards them, but this time it was to comfort my sister. Rosalie nodded slowly before her eyes met mine again. We held each other's gazes. I hoped my face said I'm here for you, but I couldn't be sure. After a few seconds, Rosalie looked away, took a deep breath and replaced her mask.
"I still don't like you," she said to Bella, who chuckled a bit. Wow, I thought.
"Right back atcha," Bella muttered. Rosalie glided past Bella and then me. As she passed me though, she smiled softly and gave me a wink.
I was late to Biology because of the whatever-it-was with Rosalie. Mr. Banner was not happy. Especially since it was a lab day and my lab partner, Edward, wasn't here. Thank goodness.
I ended up working with Angela which I was perfectly fine with despite the fact that she kept looking at me oddly. By about the middle of class I was sick of it.
"What?" I attempted not to snap at her harshly but I don't think it worked. Angela shrugged.
"Nothing. It's just," she trailed off. "You sat with the Cullens today."
"I know. I was there," I murmured sarcastically. Angela rolled her eyes.
"Is it really any of your business?" She frowned at this.
"No, I guess not. Sorry," she whispered the apology and I cursed the guilt that I felt because of it. I wanted to say something else but I wasn't sure what so I kept my mouth shut. What was I supposed to say?
Oh well they're vampires and I'm half of one so we get along well. Uh hell no.
I wanted to take the suspicion off of them not eating. Ha, that's what I keep telling myself, isn't it?
I sort of have a thing for the little Pixie-like vampire. Although I would never admit it, that is probably the closest reason as to why I did actually go to that table.
But instead of giving her any sort of explanation, I kept my mouth shut for the rest of class. It was better that way. Despite the frown etched on one of my only friend's faces.
When Art came around, I had to admit to myself that I had been looking forward to it all day. I walked into the room, early as always, to see Alice sitting on top of one of the tables talking to her "mother."
"Hello dear," Mrs. Cullen warmly said as I entered the room. Alice looked up and her face broke out into a smile.
"Uh hi," I mumbled. Mrs. Cullen had always said that to me when I walked into her room but today it sounded different. I assumed that all of Alice's siblings would know about the whole mating thing but I hadn't even thought about her parents. Of course they knew, I thought, feeling rather stupid. I made my way over to the table that Alice and I usually sit at, dropping my bag down with a thump and pulling the stool out.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I looked up to see Alice saying something quietly to Mrs. Cullen who smiled and looked at me. I squirmed a bit in my stool under her gaze as I pulled my phone out of my pocket. It was a text from Ren.
You doing okay?
I felt my lips pull up into a smile and I quickly responded to the text before class started.
Yeah. Having fun with Jake?
"Who's that?" Alice asked, curiously. I jumped and sighed when I realized it was her. How the hell did she make it across the room that fast?
Oh, vampire. Right.
"Ren," I answered, noticing how Alice's eyes darkened a bit at the name.
"Oh," she mumbled quietly, while looking down at her backpack. I rolled my eyes and looked up to Mrs. Cullen who was trying to get the class's attention.
"Alright everyone. For the next two days and most of next week, we'll be working on portraits. I would like you to all partner up and attempt to draw your partners face," Mrs. Cullen explained. Little did she know, I already had a great drawing of her daughter from a few days ago. I turned to Alice, already assuming we were partners but she was still looking down in her bag. I sighed and swallowed my pride.
"Partners?" Alice's head snapped up and her eyes met mine. She looked shocked for a second before the biggest grin spread across her face, making me smile. She nodded excitedly. I watched her pull out her sketchbook and stand up. I was about to ask her where she was going but she rounded the table and sat down across from me. It'd be easier to draw her this way. My phone buzzed in my pocket again. As Alice was pulling out her pencils, I checked the text message.
You know it. ;) He says hi by the way. How's Alice?
I looked up before responding but was met with Alice's frowning face. I felt my heart drop and I felt like I couldn't breathe for a second. She was upset. With me.
"Renesmee?" Alice asked, sounding sad. I nodded slowly.
"She asked about you," I muttered, hoping it would help. Hoping it would show her Ren wasn't bad.
"She ask if you got rid of me?" I felt my eyebrows furrow. Why would she think that?
"She asked how you were," I told her honestly. Alice looked at me disbelievingly and I sighed. I moved my phone under the table and tapped her knee. Alice looked down and took the phone from my hand, our fingers brushing. As she was looking down, Mrs. Cullen walked over.
"Alice, you know I love you," she started, leaning down to whisper to Alice. "But if the other students see you with a phone that I don't take away-"
"I know," Alice cut her off while passing my phone back to me under the table. "Sorry Esme," she said with a guilty little smile. Mrs. Cullen laughed quietly for a minute before winking at my partner and walking to the next table. "Sorry," Alice spoke softly. I looked up and shook my head. I took one of the pencils in between us and brought it to my sketchpad.
For the rest of class, Alice and I were quiet. I'd look up at her to check how her cheekbones went or how her hair looked at the moment to make sure my drawing was accurate. She did the same, I supposed. Every now and again, we'd catch each other looking at the other and smile before looking back down at the sketches in front of us.
A/N: So what do you think? Any ideas of what's to come? Please review!
Next Chapter: Alice asks Bella an important question