SHE SAID…HE SAID.
There are two sides to every love story. Bella Swan, a photography major at a liberal arts college in Indiana had a lot to contend with…overbearing parents, a roommate she didn't know at all, and a prankster brother who brought along a best friend for whom she fell hard. Unfortunately, she couldn't tell him or show him, but it didn't mean that she didn't have the feelings.
Edward Cullen's best friend was a great guy, if not a bit over-the-top. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The problem he had with Emmett Swan was…his little sister. Waiting for her to grow up and get out of the clenches of her family had been difficult. Once she did, could he act on his feelings? Would she return them? What would he do about his own overbearing parents?
A/H. E/B and canon couples all around. OOC, of course. The first half of the story is told by her. The second half is told by him. Rated M for all the right reasons…language, under-age drinking, lemons, adult situations…you know the drill.
A/N: So, we finished up "Trip of a Lifetime" and I'm ready to put up another story. Now, do me a favor and don't just write it off as another "college love affair." I have it on very good authority that it's different than many others, so give me five minutes and give it a read.
I'm happy to say that I've been able to coerce the lovely Scorpio11 to pre-read for me. She's been so kind as to agree to offer her insights into my grammatical shortcomings and errant punctuation errors, but most of all she's going to keep me on the rails. Oh, P, you didn't know you signed up for that? Oops : )
So, shall we? SMeyer owns all Twilight characters. I own this idea, but I'd never infringe.
The A/N's won't be this long, I promise…
Chapter 1. Welcome to Blaire House
"Emmett, please be careful…" Crash…" with that box. Dammit, you ass. That has pictures in it," I snapped as I walked into my dorm room behind him with an armload of clothes on hangers.
"Hey, you should have labeled the box like I suggested, Silver Bells," he teased. I cringed. As much as I loved my stupid oaf of a brother, I hated most of the shit he did, and the nickname he'd hung on me wasn't the worst of it.
The first best day of my life was the day when my mom and dad took Emmett to college. It was his freshman year, and he was going to Notre Dame on a football scholarship. I was fifteen-years old at the time, and he had tormented me from birth, so I was looking forward to having the rest of my high school years Emmett-free. He was a jock in school, and I was the ugly little sister who was forced on him when he went out to do things with his friends. It didn't promote a lot of unconditional adoration between us.
Emmett teased the shit out of me because of my braces. I'd fallen…been shoved by my brother…off the front porch the summer before he started college, and of course, I landed on my face. I broke my nose and loosened my two front teeth, thus the metal in my mouth. Emmett started calling me Silver Bells, and all of his friends picked up on it. I'd hoped that it would be forgotten when he went away, but alas, as my luck always went, he most certainly didn't let it go.
"Bella, where would you like this?" Edward asked sweetly. He was the reason for the second best day in my life. When Emmett came home for spring break his freshman year, he brought Edward with him because Edward's parents were taking his little sister, Katelyn, on a cruise and he didn't want to go.
When he walked into our house, my world stood still. He seemed shy, and he blushed all the time when my mom talked to him, but to me, he was the most beautiful boy I'd ever seen in my life. The week they were at our house was the best and worst week of my life.
The best because I could sit across the dinner table from Edward and stare at him, and the worst because he'd brought Emmett home with him, and my brother, the Prince of Pranks as he referred to himself, was in fine form. The three months between the hell of Christmas break and his return in the middle of March had only given him time to refresh his arsenal of ways to completely humiliate and infuriate me.
One of his best pranks, in his opinion, was putting up flyers around our small town that I had started my own business…"The Poop Patrol", as he aptly named it…and I was seeking customers who needed someone to clean up dog poop in their yards.
Before I knew he'd even done it, he'd committed me to fifteen of our neighbors to do a weekly walk around and clean up dog shit. What the ass didn't count on was that I'd be able to find one of those pooper scoopers on a handle and actually make a pretty decent amount of money at it.
Jobs were limited in our little town of Bluefield, Indiana, and you'd be surprised how much money people will pay to keep from having to clean up after their dogs. Fifteen people at ten dollars a week for fifty-two weeks a year added up to a lot of money for me. That shit definitely paid off…pun intended.
But, I digress. Edward was standing in my tiny dorm room holding a rubber tub of my clothes, and I was unabashedly ogling him. I snapped out of it and replied, "Just put it on that bed." I pointed to the bed closest to the window that appeared to be mine because the other bed was made up and half of the room was decorated with multi-colored fabric wall hangings. I was really worried about my roommate.
I was a mid-year transfer student. My parents made me take a semester at the community college before they'd agree that I could go away to school. After Emmett screwed off so much his first year that he came dangerously close to losing his scholarship, they decided that they wanted to see how seriously I was going to take my college career before they signed on the bottom line for my financial aid. Apparently, my straight A's in high school didn't convince them that my brother and I were nothing alike.
So, there I was settling into a dorm room the size of a porta-potty in the middle of January at Stovers College, a liberal arts school in Mishawaka which was on the outskirts of South Bend. My brother had been forced to bring me with him after Christmas break was over and help me move in, and he wasn't happy about it at all.
He'd planned to leave a week earlier and go to Chicago, unbeknownst to Mom and Dad, so he could party with Edward and his friends. I threw the proverbial monkey wrench into that plan, and he'd bitched at me the entire trip from our house to campus.
One of the conditions for Emmett to get to bring his Jeep back to school with him was that he'd drive me around for shopping and stuff since his campus was only a few miles from mine. He wasn't happy about that rule either, and even after Mom had ordered that he take me to dinner a few times a week so that I didn't get homesick, he'd laid down the law on the drive to campus.
Shopping day was Sunday afternoon, and he'd drive by a McDonald's on the way. I was to report to our parents that he was being the kind, considerate brother he'd never been before, and he wouldn't hang out at my school and humiliate me.
As I was wedging my hanging clothes into the crack that was supposed to be a closet, I heard, "Bella Swan?" called behind me. I turned around and saw a tall, beautiful blonde with a clipboard looking Edward and Emmett up and down. I could tell that she was around their age…twenty-one…and I could see that she was right up my brother's alley. By the look on his face, she appeared to want to be up Edward's alley as well.
"Yeah," I called as I tossed the rest of my bulky winter clothes onto the unmade bed and stepped in front of Edward to protect him from the blonde Amazon that was brazenly batting her eyelashes at the two of them and not looking at me at all.
Finally, she looked in my direction and smiled…sort of. "Hi. I'm Rosalie Hale. I'm the RA for this floor. Welcome. You're roommate, Alice won't be back until tomorrow, but she called to ask me to check and see that you have everything you need. Here's a list of rules and my phone number if you need anything. I'm in room 234 at the end of the hall. Welcome to Blaire House," she announced as she handed me a sheet of paper aptly entitled "List of Rules."
I'd talked to my roommate over the break, and she seemed like a sweet girl…albeit, a little weird based on the way her side of the room was decorated…so I wasn't surprised that she'd have someone check on me. "Thanks, um, Rosalie," I answered. I felt a nudge behind me and turned to see Emmett was standing right behind me.
"Oh, uh, this is my brother, Emmett, and his friend, Edward. They go to Notre Dame," I introduced, seeing the two mute idiots both stick their hands out at the same time. Somehow, I got shoved back against the bed, and the two of them were standing in front of the woman looking like cartoon characters with their tongues hanging out, eyes spinning, and steam coming out of their ears.
"Nice to meet you," Rosalie replied, shaking first Emmett's hand and then when she stuck hers in Edward's, he pulled it to his lips and kissed it. Smooth fucker. Where had the shy, geeky freshman gone that I'd met two years earlier, and why couldn't I be a foot taller and two cup sizes bigger?
"So, Rosalie, what's your major?" my blood-related moron asked. It sounded just as cheesy as 'what's your sign'.
"Mechanical Engineering. Yours?" she asked as Edward stood there still holding her hand. I wanted to slap him in the back of the head to wake him up, but I thought that would be a bit obvious that I was in love with him, so I simply turned back to my task and began loading my clothes into the shitty dresser that was to be mine.
"I'm pre-law," Emmett announced. I was pretty sure that was going to be news to Charlie and Renee Swan. As far as we all knew, Emmett's official major was "undeclared." I chuckled and shook my head.
"And you, handsome, what's your major?" Rosalie purred.
I knew the answer to that, much like many other answers with regard to the personal dossier of one Edward Anthony Cullen. He was pre-med, having chosen to follow in his father's footsteps. He drove a silver Volvo that his parents had bought him as a graduation present when he graduated from St. Patrick's Prep in Chicago. He was six-foot, two-inches, and it appeared he'd put on a little bit of weight over the Christmas break, so I was going to judge him at about one hundred and ninety pounds. He was all muscle, but he looked like he'd bulked up since I'd seen him at Thanksgiving when he came home with Emmett. It was a blissful…Edward…tortured….Emmett…holiday.
"I was pre-med, but I changed my major over the break. I'm going into finance," he announced, catching me off guard. I didn't know if he was telling her the truth or not, but if he was, I was curious as to what had taken place over Christmas in Chicago that had caused him to change his mind.
"Ah. Well, you two sound like you've got your shit together. So many people our age just amble through and then have to cram a lot of shit in during the summer between junior and senior year, and then all of senior year. I took heavy course loads my first two years so that this semester and next year I won't have to bust my ass so much," she answered as she gently pulled her hand from Edward's…finally.
I looked in my brother's direction and saw that he was a sputtering mess because it was exactly what he'd done…screwing around his first two years of college…and apparently, it was dawning on him that the young lady was a hell of a lot more together than him. I was pretty sure he could see his shot at a love connection drifting off into the atmosphere like so much smoke, just as I could.
"I did a summer abroad which caused me to rethink medicine, and after a strained discussion with my parents at Christmas, I decided to change my career path. I'm much more interested in international emerging markets and plan to make that my niche. I'll be getting my MBA after I finish undergrad, and then I'm supposed to move to London and work there," Edward volunteered. That was news to me as well.
I could see that Rosalie was quite impressed, which caused my brother to start fake coughing "dick" behind his hand, looking in Edward's direction. That brought an embarrassing snort from me, which in turned caused the other three people in my room to turn and look in my direction. I simply blushed and looked down at my tub of clothes again, continuing to unpack.
"Yeah, well, I guess with Bella living right down the hall from me, we'll run into each other from time to time. I need to go because I've got two other freshmen to check in. Bella, if you need anything, call me. Nice to meet you two," she called before she sashayed away causing both of the dicktards to step out into the hallway to watch her walk away.
As I'd turned to say good-bye, I noticed a silver chain with what appeared to be a diamond engagement ring around her neck. I doubted that Dumb and Dumber, who were eye fucking her the whole time she stood there, had picked up on the fact that Rosalie Hale was taken.
I just sighed and dumped my bras and underwear into a drawer. No boy had ever looked at me like that because, unfortunately, I was built like a boy. Flat ass, no boobs…well, not much…and no hour-glass figure for Bella Swan.
The only boy who'd ever shown an interest in me was Tyler Crowley, a boy from high school who moved to Bluefield during my junior year. We went out on two dates the summer between junior and senior year. When he didn't get very far with me, he dumped me.
It was only mildly comforting when I saw him at his job at the McDonald's drive-thru a week later and noticed he had the remnants of a black eye. Someone had decked the prick, and I wished it could have been me.
I guessed Rosalie was out of eyeshot because they closed the door and began yelling at each other, effectively stepping on each other's rants.
"She was into me and you…" Emmett began, arms gesticulating wildly.
"Pre-law my ass…" Edward's witty retort.
"…future Heisman trophy winner…" Emmett predicted.
"…successful career instead of praying that I get picked up in the fifteenth round of the Draft…" Edward responded.
I couldn't take any more of it. I put my pinky and my index fingers in my mouth and whistled to shut them both up. When they looked at me, I planted my hands on my hips and happily reported, "I don't know if either of you howler monkeys noticed, but she had an engagement ring around her neck. I'd say this whole argument is probably a waste of time…at least of mine…so get out and take this shit with you."
They both looked at me with big eyes and then looked at each other. "Did you notice it?" Edward asked, like he thought I was making it up.
"I did, but on a chain around her neck ain't on her finger. Silver Bells, you hook that up for me, and I'll take you out for a nice dinner once a month," Emmett proposed. Ass and hole.
"Hey, all you've ever done is torment Bella, why would she want to help you? I've always been nice to you, Bella. Please put in a word for me. I'll let you use my car when you need to for the whole semester," Edward challenged.
I wasn't planning to help either of them, but I damn well wasn't going to help Edward. I almost considered helping Emmett just to keep her away from Edward, but then I decided that I was going to have enough on my plate what with my heavy course load, and their love lives were the last thing on my mind.
"I'm not helping either of you. Now, get out. I've got a lot of shit to do before my roommate gets here tomorrow, and you two are taking up a lot of floor space that I need. Good-bye," I ordered as I walked over to my door and opened it, grabbing Emmett by the ear and dragging him out of my room first. Edward followed reluctantly, and once they were both out of my room, I slammed the door and locked it so that I could have my mini-breakdown to myself. Edward Cullen would only ever see me as Emmett's geeky little sister, and it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Now, a few things…Stovers College is fictional. Bluefield, Indiana, is fictional, but hell, I had to take a bit creative license on it because I don't live in Indiana.
I hope you'll give it a shot. It's a lot of fun.
I await your judgment.
Thanks for reading…xoxo