Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Chapter 1


I groaned out in frustration, allowing my head to fall back against the driver's seat as I gathered a deep breath in the hopes of calming myself down. Smoke billowed from the hood of my Audi as I swiftly pulled over to the side of the road.

Preceding the smoke had been a series of gurgles and sputters that I assumed wasn't normal for a one-year old German-engineered car.

With a sigh, I pulled out my cellphone, dialling triple A at once and immediately being transferred to monotonous server for ten whole minutes as I provided details of my location as well as the make of my car. Ultimately, I was bluntly informed that it would be another half an hour until I was rescued.

I was pretty sure that the big guy up there had something against me, what with my week being all kinds of levels of trying.

Instead of continuing to wallow in self-pity as I was very much inclined to do, I decided that a better use of my time would be keeping my family posted on the situation. There wasn't really anything they could manage to do on their end to assist, but it would be nice to have someone to complain to, if nothing else.

Starting with my brother, I scrolled through my contact list looking for 'Emmett' before hitting the 'Call' button.

"Bells?" he answered, sounding out of breath.

I subconsciously smiled at the nickname. He'd been calling me that since he was old enough to sound out words. 'Isabella' had been too long and complicated for his then undeveloped brain to pronounce.

"Why do you sound like that?" I frowned, referring to the fact that he was practically panting into the mouthpiece of his phone.

But then I remembered, just as the words came tumbling out of his mouth, "I'm at football practice. Coach is making us do drills to get us prepared for the big game next month." I heard a few words being spoken in the background, before Emmett came back on the line, "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah," I hurried to reassure, "my car just broke down. Triple A should be coming in a little bit though. Just figured I'd tell you."

Not wanting to keep him away from his practice for any longer, I told him that I'd see him later. But before I could hang up, he interrupted, "Do you want me to come over there and wait with you?"

Ever the overprotective older brother. A smile touched my lips, and while that thought was significantly more appealing than waiting in boredom all by myself, I decided against it.

I laughed lightly, "No, I should be fine. It's okay. Get back to practice, Em."

"Are you sure?" he asked, sounding wary, but slightly relieved that I had turned down his offer.

Obviously, he cared about my safety and well being and all that, but the situation wasn't that dire.

"Yeah, yeah, have fun," granted, I couldn't understand how overworking oneself for several hours could be seen as something fun, but to each their own. With a quick goodbye from my brother, I hung up.

A succinct text to both my mom and dad followed, knowing fully well that neither would've been able to answer my call had I rung.

It was something that I was surprisingly used to what with them both having wildly demanding jobs. Renée, my mother, owned a chain of furniture stores across the state, while my father, Charles, was the local district attorney.

Disappointing as it was that I barely got to spend time with them, I tried not to make a big deal out of it. It came with the territory, and it was after all only because of their jobs that I could afford to go to the best private school in Chicago: Haydn's College for Girls.

It was also thanks to their generosity that I even owned my car, which... I guess... wasn't such a good thing now, considering my predicament.

Ah, life.

The next morning, I sighed, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes as I heard the radio blast Chris Brown's 'Don't Wake Me Up' in the form of an alarm.

I wasn't personally a fan, but I appreciated the irony of his lyrics as I forced my eyes open, slamming my hands against the 'Snooze' button.

I drew the covers off of myself unceremoniously, deciding to get ready for yet another dreadful day of high school. After my terrible day yesterday, I was pretty sure that this week could not get any worse.

Well actually, school wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, mostly because of Rose and Alice. Both were seniors, while I was a junior. And though I'd known Rosalie for a little over a decade now - coupled with the fact that she'd been my brother's girlfriend for four of those years - the closeness that I shared with Alice was fairly comparable despite her having just moved from Alaska this past term.

It had been three months of us being a somewhat inseparable trio, and the thought of them heading off to college while I stayed back for another year was one I did not relish.

But, I supposed classes were manageable. And the views outside some of the classroom windows were pretty stellar.

Now I know what you must be picturing right about now: orange autumn leaves falling off the tree, blue birds soaring and chirping overhead, clear blue skies.

Um... Well, yes. We had some of that.

But I'm talking about a different kind of view: teenage boys.

Yes, you guessed it. Right across the street from our high school was Jarvis High, an all-boys private school, which my brother and most of the state's wealthiest boys were in attendance at.

Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't one of those lunatics that giggled at the sight of a cute boy every time one came into sight, but I was still a girl who appreciated attractive guys in uniforms. And there wasn't really a shortage of that at Jarvis High.

I showered and quickly got dressed, pulling on my school uniform consisting of a white cotton shirt, dark green pleated skirt that arrived just above my knees, and finally, a dark green blazer.

Emblazoned on my uniform blazer was the school's emblem: an owl holding a scroll.

I didn't wear much make-up to school, but on days where I looked particularly sleep-deprived, I dabbed on a touch of foundation. Today was one of those days.

Combing through the knots in my long mahogany hair, I threw it up into a high ponytail before taking a quick look over at myself in the mirror.

My skin - forever pale no matter how many times I tried tanning at the beach - clashed against rosy lips, which complemented a heart-shaped face.

My cheeks, which seemed to be permanently red due to my ability to blush at any and everything, were set against high cheekbones and a petite nose. My eyes were arguably my least interesting feature, being an incredibly common brown.

Without wasting any more time critiquing my physical appearance, I flew down the stairs, throwing a generous amount of cereal into a bowl, before proceeding to await my brother's arrival.

I'd resorted to carpooling with him what with my car being at the mechanic's for another day.

My mom, in the midst of getting ready for work, interrupted my hurried morning routine.

"Bella, I almost forgot! Would you mind taking the bus home today? I don't think I'll make it in time to pick you up, and you know your dad has that big case..." she trailed off, her amber eyes looking apologetic.

It had been wishful thinking asking either of them to pick me up from school today; both were always swamped with work. Difficult as it was, I tried not to let my disappointment show. Not necessarily at the fact that I would be missing out on some quality mother-daughter bonding time, but more so at the painful fact of me having to take public transportation.

Taking the bus was always the worst, and if I could, I avoided it at all costs. The bus driver was almost always grumpy and in an unmistakable rush, the seats were always filled. The people were obnoxiously loud and always in far too close proximity for my liking.

Overall, it sucked.

And I couldn't bank on Emmett giving me a ride home unless I wanted to wait a solid two to three hours for him to finish football practice. Which I would have, in any other circumstance, if it weren't the huge biology project I had yet to start - due in a week's time.

Despite this sticky situation I was being placed in, I still kept my composure, shrugging it off, and assuring my mom that I was "okay with taking the bus". But obviously, that was a complete and utter lie.

Anyway, it was only for today. I could suck up my intense distaste for the half an hour I'd be spending on the bus.

At least my Audi would be up and running by tomorrow, thank God.

I shot a smile towards my mom as she waved a quick goodbye to me before leaving the house, watching my dad do the same a few minutes later.

I chewed my food slowly, knowing fully well that Emmett wouldn't be ready for another ten minutes, if I was lucky. He didn't really pay much attention to punctuality. I couldn't rush him. I'd learned years ago that it only ever slowed the process that much more.

As I finished my last spoon of 'Honey Nut Cheerios', I heard the familiar thud of footsteps running down the stairs, mouth falling open at the sight of my brother in a disarray.

His curly brown hair was uncombed, while his uniform looked to be done up halfway. White shirt un-tucked and navy blue tie undone, he really earned a whole new meaning to the term 'hot mess'.

"We have to haul ass. Now. I forgot my Chemistry binder at school and Mr. Wilson is gonna kill me if I don't hand in the homework by first period," Emmett explained grimly in one breath, scarfing down the bowl of leftovers my mom had heated up for him before leaving for work.

I was surprised, nonetheless, at his request. But then again, this was Emmett we were talking about. It wasn't uncommon for him to leave his homework for the last possible minute. He was rubbing off on me lately.

Nevertheless, I obliged, "Yeah, sure," slinging my two-strap MCM backpack onto my shoulders.

We both headed out the door, and as soon as I was all buckled up in his burgundy Jeep Wrangler, Emmett drove to school at a speed that would've gotten him pulled over had there been any cops around. I definitely hadn't gotten that gene, gripping onto the seats for dear life as my eyes widened at the trees flying past us.

When we finally arrived at the school compounds, he dropped me off quickly at Haydn's College as I all but kissed the floor at having gotten there in one piece. Meanwhile, Emmett only had time to give Rosalie a quick peck on the lips before leaving our compound and hurriedly speeding off and parking in his own.

"What's with him?" Rosalie raised both perfectly groomed eyebrows as she watched after Emmett's departing figure, in more of a frenzy than usual.

I rolled my eyes, a smile playing across my lips, "The usual. He left his binder in school, so he has to rush down his homework due today."


"Remind why you're dating him again?" I joked, heading to my locker. My comment earned me a nudge in the shoulder as Rosalie laughed, taking it in stride.

It wasn't long before the moment of quiet was interrupted by a black-haired pixie greeting us in sing-song voice, "Good morniiiing."

"Someone's in a good mood. Well, better than usual," I speculated, giving Alice a once-over.

It was only then that I noticed her flushed cheeks, and slightly ruffled clothing.

One person came to mind.

"I see you ran into Jazzy on your way to school," Rosalie observed, grinning at Alice, who frowned a little at her mocking nickname for Jasper, but nonetheless grinned right back.

Jasper and Alice had just started dating about two weeks ago, after months of shameless flirting.

"Oh my gosh, you guys wouldn't believe what happened!" Alice shrieked, looking ready to explode.

"Oh please, spare me the gory details of what you and Jasper just did," I cringed, beginning my walk to class with Rosalie and Alice on either side of me.

"No, it has nothing to do with Jasper. Actually yes, it kind of has everything to do with Jasper. So anyway, we were getting really heated behind Building B at Jarvis- " Rosalie cut her off, mumbling, "Go figure."

Nevertheless, Alice continued her story, "-when all of a sudden, we hear this weird, coughing sound coming from behind us. Low and behold, Edward's standing right there, looking sick," Alice giggled at the end, as I shot her a somewhat unimpressed look at his expense. Though I had yet to meet Alice's younger brother, Edward, I felt a great deal of sympathy for anyone who had to experience the sight of PDA.

Thoughts of Edward caused my mind to wander back to the many conversations Alice had shared, wherein she'd insinuated me and her brother having an "instant connection". Needless to say, she'd been dying for us to meet, and I'd been none-too-subtly avoiding the prospect.

I responded to Rosalie and Alice's laughing fit by grimacing, "I feel for him, that's awful. I remember when Rosalie and Emmett first started dating, and I'd walk into the living room only to be bombarded by the sight of them making out on the couch."

If possible, my comment only made them laugh even harder.

I'll admit, I even cracked a small smile at my own expense.

Following our playful banter in the morning, the day passed by slowly and uneventfully with Rosalie and Alice waving their goodbyes to me at the end of the day as they headed over to Jarvis High. They were both off to watch their respective boyfriends at football practice, while I was inevitably headed to the bus stop.

The fact that I also had to carry two, massive textbooks and one binder in the crook of my arms, in addition to my school bag, really wasn't helping this situation get any brighter.

As the bus rolled to a stop in front of me, I slipped the appropriate amount of change into the coin slot, creeping down the narrow passage in search of an empty seat.

Now as you can assume, my large pile of books substantially hindered my vision, and to be honest, I hadn't really been watching where I was going.

Which was why it shouldn't have been that much of a surprise to me when I felt a solid impact in front of me, making me lose my grip on my books, sending them flying to the ground.

The stranger I had bumped into also happened to be harbouring a few books themselves, which rained down to the floor following our collision.

My embarrassment spiked. I began my apology as I stooped down, hurrying to collect my things.

"I'm so sorry. I should've been paying more attention to where I was going. Ugh, I'm such a klutz," I muttered the last part to myself, in the midst of scooping up my binder when a melodic chuckle froze me in my place. In the next instant, a velvet-smooth voice was responding easily, "It's no problem at all."

I chanced a glance at the stranger I had bumped into, holding my breath when I saw a pair of sparkling, emerald green eyes staring right back into my brown ones.

My only thought right then was how glad I was that I'd decided to take the bus, after all.

A/N: Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed the improved version of this chapter :)