Author Note: Okay, so a new story I've been working on forever! Thanks heaps to Mrs. Bella Masen, my most amazing beta and online friend who made this story so much better than it was!
Chapter 1- Meeting Him
I smiled with satisfaction as I put up the last picture. I was now officially moved in. Well apart from a few boxes I didn't plan to unpack anytime soon. I was so proud of my little house. It was my first big buy with the money my grandparents had left me. It wasn't huge by any stretch of the imagination but it was mine and perfect. The living room I had painted in a soft blue with a beige corner sofa and matching chaise lounge. The TV was in a build in a storage system and I had put little things everywhere to soften the comfortable room.
The kitchen I loved and was the bigger of the two downstairs rooms. It had gorgeous hardwood flooring and white cupboards which contrasted the black work surfacing. There is plenty of storage and I had even put a black gloss table in the room with cream leather chairs. The fittings were all chrome and set the room off perfectly. My bedroom was painted in a light cream with sleek modern furniture and cream carpeting. I had a huge balcony which showed the sun rise, I had even put out some comfy chairs so I could enjoy the view. I loved the house and I loved the fact that it's mine.
A trip to the market was definitely needed, my house may be completely unpacked and decorated but I didn't have any food. I had plates of course but you have to have something to eat off them and pizza gets old really fast. I grabbed my things, locked up the house, and walked out to my brand new Blue Volvo SUV. I settled into the soft leather seat, buckled up and headed for the market I had passed earlier today.
An hour and a few hundred dollars later I had enough food to feed an army. I made quick work of unloading the cart and started the drive back home. When I got there I reversed into the drive and made hasty trips inside to have everything unloaded faster. When I walked out to grab the last little bit there was a guy leaning against my car. A really attractive guy to say the least.
"May I help you?" I asked politely.
"Hi I'm your neighbor. Edward." He said holding his hand out to me.
"Oh hi I'm Bella." I replied softly sliding my hand into his large warm one.
"I bought cookies. I'd like to say I made them but my mother did." He laughed. I laughed back and accepted the tupperwear dish from him.
"Thanks." I said tucking my hair behind my ear. He smiled and leaned back against the car.
"Are you unpacked yet?" he asked.
"Pretty much. I was just out getting food. I can't keep eating pizza and Chinese." I said.
"Yeah it gets a little repetitive after a while." He agreed, "Well if you need anything I'm just next door. Feel free to ask." He said with a smile.
"I will thanks." I said with a smile. He nodded and pushed off my car, walking back to his house. I put the dish inside one of the bags, locked the car, grabbed the last little bit, and shut the door. I unpacked the groceries in record time and ended up ordering pizza because I was too tired to cook. One more night of pizza wouldn't kill me.
I started work in a weeks' time. I was the new kindergarten teacher for the local school when summer ended. I received plenty of offers from other schools but I wanted to move somewhere sunny, that's how I ended up here in California. At the age of twenty-eight I needed to get away from everything I knew and was stuck in, so the move from Washington was a great idea. I went to bed early, tired from a day's work of unpacking.
The next day I decided to go shopping. My clothes aren't really summer appropriate and I needed lighter clothes. Once I was dressed, I had a quick breakfast and then locked up going out to the car.
"Hey Bella." A masculine voice called. I turned and saw Edward leaning on the fence between our drives.
"Hey Edward, going out?" I asked.
"No, just getting in actually. I've just got off a night shift, one of my last thankfully." He said tiredly.
"What do you do?" I asked.
"I'm a Pediatrician. I work at County at the moment. I've recently bought into a private practice and I start next week. I just had to finish out my time so I wouldn't breach my contract." He said, resting his arms on the fence and his chin on his arms.
"Does that mean better hours?"
"Yeah it's a normal nine to five type thing. Obviously there may be a few unusual situations but for the most part it will be more normal. What do you do?"
"I'm the new kindergarten teacher. I teach the kids you look after." I said.
"So you start work next week huh?" he asked.
"Yep, next week." I replied, "I'm going out to get supplies and some more summer friendly clothing." I said leaning back onto my car.
"Well you might want to go check out my sister's boutique Pixie's Clothes. It's on Main Street just take a left at the third traffic light and you'll see it on the right."
"Thanks. I'll go have a look." I said with a smile.
"You do that. I'm going to bed. I'm sure I'll see you later." He said with a smile.
"Have a nice sleep Edward." I said softly. He smiled and waved before ducking inside. I climbed into the car and set off, following the directions Edward had mentioned. I pulled up outside and parked in the little parking lot right next to the store before grabbing my purse and wandering inside.
"Hi there, welcome to Pixie's Clothes, my name is Alice." A short girl with dark hair and the same green eyes as Edward said brightly.
"Hi Alice, I'm Bella. Your brother recommended I come here." I said.
"You know my brother? Edward?"
"Yeah I'm his new neighbor." I told her.
"Oh I didn't know anyone had moved in?"
"I only moved yesterday." I said.
"Well what can I help you with?"
"I just moved here from Seattle and my wardrobe is only fit for a cold rainy climate. So, I need to buy a whole new wardrobe."
Okay, you can buy some of the stuff here but you'll have to go to the mall to get the rest. I don't carry undergarments or jeans. I can help you if you like. I can use a trip to the mall."
"I would love the help. Thank you."
"This will be so much fun." she said bouncing over to grab an empty rail. She chattered at a million miles a minute while searching through the clothes on the aisles. She grabbed a load of things in my size and hung them on the rail while we walked around the store. We chatted about everything and anything we could. She seemed to be in her element and we made sure to get enough of everything. Cute tops, trousers, skirts, dresses, cardigans, shoes and bags.
"We need more than this but we can get that stuff at the mall," She said as she hit a few things into the register. The total seemed to be under what it should but as I opened my mouth to question it Alice shot me a look and I shut up, opting instead to hand Alice my Amex. She quickly swiped my card, handed me a receipt to sign, and gave me back my card.
"Instead of folding it all why don't we just hang it in your car. It will make it easier when you get home." she said as she put the shoes and bags in reusable bags.
"Okay my car is in the parking lot next door." I said. She nodded, wheeled the rail outside, and I opened the back. There was a hook on both sides of the door and we started hanging things. Anything we couldn't fit we laid out neatly on the floor
"Give me a minute to lock up then we can go," She said. I nodded as she hurried back into the store to lock up while I put the bags in the back seat. I slid into the driver's side, cranked the car, and waited for Alice. She came bouncing out a few moments later sliding into the passenger's seat.
"Now, we can go." She said pulling her seatbelt on.
"Okay then." I laughed. We set off and Alice directed me to the mall and I parked up as close as I could to the door. We got out and Alice led me inside and straight into American eagle.
"We can get some awesome jeans from here." she said happily. We wandered around and got different styles in different shades. I tried them all on and once I was happy with them I bought them. We moved on and the next store we went too was Hollister and they had some really cute tops that I thought would be good for work. We bought a load and then carried on shopping.
Two hours later I was exhausted and we were done. Thankfully, I had everything I could ever need.
"Thanks for this Alice." I said as we sipped our milkshakes. We had stopped at shaken cow milkshakes on the way back to the car.
"No need to thank me. I needed this trip just as much as you did." she said as we put our stuff into the backseat and climbed inside the car. I dropped Alice off at her shop before heading to Staples to grab the supplies I needed for my classroom. I made quick working grabbing what I needed and I actually spent less than what I thought. After I loaded everything up carefully avoiding my new clothes I started the drive back home. I pulled into my driveway thirty minutes later and tiredly put the car in park.
"Hey neighbor." A cheery voice called.
"Hey Edward." I replied.
"You look tired." he stated.
"Your sisters fault. We shopped a lot."
"Wait that's what you're getting in from?" he asked shocked. "You left like 6 hours ago."
"I know. I think I need a bath and bed." I said and he laughed.
"Do you need help getting stuff in?" He asked.
"Please." replied. He smiled and walked round the fence. "There is stuff in the back seat and in the very back." I said. He nodded and walked around to the back. I unlocked the door and we worked together to unload everything.
"Just put it all in the kitchen. I need to sort through it anyway." I said leading him.
"Will do." He said. We unloaded everything and I offered him a drink. I pulled out two cans of coke and handed him one.
"Thanks. So what are your plans for dinner tonight?"
"I dunno. I'm too tired to cook. Takeout again I guess."
"Why don't you come over and have dinner with me." He offered.
"Yeah. Come in an hour. Is lasagna okay?"
"I love lasagna," I said with a smile.
"I'll bring the wine." I promised.
"I'll see you soon." He said with a smile. I showed him out and then put away all of my shopping into the walk in closet.
I changed out of my jeans and into some black leggings, a bright pink silk vest top, and some back flats. I grabbed my phone, keys, and the bottle of red wine I had selected from my wine collection. I locked up the house and walked across the lawn over to Edward's. I knocked gently on the door and a few seconds later he pulled it open.
"Hey, thanks for inviting me." I said handing him the wine.
"It's no problem Bella." He said opening the door to let me in. He showed me around his house before we settled in the large kitchen at the breakfast bar. His place was very different to mine, in all ways, from layout to decorations. His downstairs was an open floor plan and very masculine, whereas, mine was sectioned off and feminine. Edward had already opened the wine and poured us each a glass while I was lost in thought.
"Dinner will be about fifteen minutes." He said handing me a glass.
"Okay." I replied.
"So did you get everything you needed today?"
"I did and then some. I don't think I'll ever need to go shopping again." I laughed.
"There's no way Alice will let you get away with that, especially now that she has her claws in you." he replied as he took the lasagna out of the oven. We chatted while he cut into it and served some up for each of us.
"Right come on, let's go sit." He said grabbing both plates while I grabbed both glasses of wine sticking the bottle under my arm and following him to the table. After he had sat the plates down and grabbed the glasses and wine from me, he pulled out my chair and waited until I sat down before venturing to his chair.
"This looks amazing." I said with a smile.
"Thanks, I like cooking but with my hours I don't get to do it all that often." He said.
"Well at least that will change with your new hour's right?" I asked, cutting into the slice.
"Yeah, I should have a lot more time now." He affirmed with a smile.
"That's good." I replied putting the forkful in my mouth. "Oh my god this is amazing." I said once I had swallowed my mouthful.
"Really?" he asked.
"The best I've ever had." I assured him truthfully. He smiled and started eating his plate. We talked about ourselves while we ate, learning about each other. Truthfully it felt like a date but I wasn't sure. He had lived in Chicago when he was younger and understood my want for sun. They moved here when he and Alice started high school because his dad had been offered a better job. They were all very eager to make the move, loving that they would have tons more sun.
"I prefer shorts and t-shirts as opposed to jeans and coats." He had said.
"I'm the same way, the fact I don't need my coat every time I leave the house makes me very happy."
"Enough about me, tell me about yourself."
"What about me?" I asked as he stood and took our plates. He put them on the side and grabbed the bottle of wine.
"Come sit in the living room?" he asked. I grabbed both our glasses and sat with him on the sofa. He topped up both our glasses and then put the bottle on the glass coffee table.
"Why did you move here? And don't tell me it was because of the sun."
"Ha-ha very funny, I recently went through a bad breakup. I caught the guy I had been with for nearly seven years in bed with my so called best friend, apparently it had been going on for a while. Anyway, I didn't have anything else tying me to Seattle anymore so I decided that I would look into some schools with a little sun and accepted the offer here when it came through." I said.
"I'm sorry about what happened to you but I can't be all that pissed because it brought you here." He said softly. I blushed and took big gulp of wine.
"I'm glad I'm here too." I said gently. He smiled happily before stemming the conversation in another direction. We ended up talking about why we had gone into our careers.
"I always wanted to help people. My father was a doctor and I looked up to him from a very young age. One of my rotations was in Pediatrics' and I ended up falling in love with them. When specializing came up I decided to go into Pediatrics." He said, "I decided to buy into a private practice to give myself some sort of stability. I'm getting older and I do want to settle down. I want the whole nine yards, children and a wife. I want a family." He said.
"Planning ahead then?"
"Yeah I guess so. What about you? Why teaching?"
"I don't know growing up I was always the girl with a book in one hand. I'd rather spend an evening reading at home than going out, getting drunk and having meaningless sex like others my age were. I did a lot of babysitting when I was a teenager to earn money. I was always good with children, they liked me and I liked them. I love the way they are so innocent and have such an enthusiastic approach to learning. The look on a child's face when they finally get something is amazing and I wanted as much exposure to it as possible so I got into teaching. I didn't want to teach teenagers, I wanted to teach the little ones and kindergarten seemed like the perfect age." I said.
"You speak really passionately about it. It's very refreshing to meet someone who genuinely loves their job." He said with a smile.
"I love working with the children. I don't love the early start so much but yeah I do love it." I said happily. We spoke for a little while longer before we ran out of wine and I started constantly yawning.
"I need to go to bed." I said after yet another eye watering yawn.
"I agree. I'm beat myself. I did make some chocolate cake for desert but we can have it another time." he said.
"Thank you for dinner it was lovely." I said, "Next time I'll cook." I promised as we stood. He walked me to the door and reached past me to open it up.
"Good night Bella." He said softly before leaning down and pressing his lips to my cheek.
"Good night Edward." I replied. I smiled softly before walking back across the lawn and to my door. Edward had waited until I had my door open before going inside. I locked up and went straight upstairs. Deciding I could shower in the morning I changed into my new pajamas and climbed into bed. The day caught up with me and soon I was fast asleep.
The next morning I woke up and decided to lounge around today. I needed to write up some lesson plans and decided to relax a little and get them out of the way. I liked to be organized so I tried to have at least the semester written before we started it, that way if anything happened I was covered. I had a light breakfast and showered before dressing in some leggings and a knit top before going into my office. The room that had been used as a dining room I decided to convert into an office so I would still have two spare rooms. I didn't need a dining room anyway; the kitchen is big enough for a table.
I grabbed all the bags I got yesterday and got myself organized. Everything was unpacked and given a place. I sorted out my things into the right drawers before I got my two diaries out and marked out the semesters. I had one diary that I would keep in my bag and one to be kept here in case I lost the other one. Once that was done, I loaded up my laptop and looked over the plans I had already done, adjusting them a little here and there before starting on the next ones. I printed copies of each, one to be filed away in the cabinet, on to go in my folder to be filed at the school, and one to be kept in my folder in my desk. Each one was dated properly and I made sure I had the supplies I needed for the first few weeks of lessons. I was midway through November when there was a loud knock on the door. I quickly saved my work and went out to the hallway and the front door.
"Hey neighbor." Edward said as I opened the door.
"Hey, what can I do for you?" I asked leaning against the frame.
"Well, I was wondering if you wanted to get some lunch with me?" he asked.
"Is it lunchtime already?" I asked, shocked.
"Yeah, what have you been doing that caused you to lose track of time?"
"I've been doing lesson plans and arranging my office."
"Ahh well then you must need feeding." He said.
"Okay, I need to change. Do you want to come in and wait?" I asked.
"Sure. I can nose around." He said coming inside.
"I'll be quick. Where are we going?"
"Umm I was thinking a little café near Alice's shop." He said. I remembered that being a really nice area so I would need to wear some nice clothes. Heels probably, he was dressed smartly so I would have to be too. I took my hair out of the ponytail it had been in and let it hang around my shoulders in soft curls before washing my face and brushing my teeth again and putting on some makeup. A light layer of foundation, some eyeliner, mascara and gloss was all I put on. I pulled out a strapless bra and put it on before pulling on a black bandeau top and a beige pleated skirt. I looked through my new heel collection and pulled out some black heels with an ankle strap. I slipped them on and grabbed a black handbag and threw my stuff in it before going downstairs.
"Ready?" he asked hearing me on the stairs as he came out of the living room. He was fiddling with his phone but looked up after a second. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped a little as I got to the bottom step.
"You look incredible." He said.
"Thanks. Shall we go?" I asked.
"Yeah, I booked us reservations while you were changing for in twenty minutes so we need to leave now." He said. I nodded and grabbed my keys off the table. I locked up and Edward led me over to his black SUV and opened my door. He helped me in and then went to get in on his side. He drove us over to the café and parked up outside before switching the car off. I unbuckled my belt and went to open the door.
"Wait." I turned to him with my brows furrowed. "Just wait a second." He said. I nodded and he jumped out of the car before loping around to my door. He opened the door and took my hand to help me onto the pavement. Our hands remained connected as he led me to the café. We were greeted by the professional hostess who led us to a secluded table near the window and placed our menus down.
"Your waiter will be with you shortly." She said before walking off. Edward pulled my chair out for me before sitting down in his seat.
"Thanks for agreeing to this." He said softly.
"It feels like a date to me." I stated as I opened my menu.
"Can it be?" he asked hopefully.
"Yeah I don't know why it wasn't anyway." I replied.
"I guess I was worried if I asked you out and you said no, I wouldn't get another chance. Dinner last night was the same really." He said.
"It felt like it. And for the record I wouldn't have said no." The waiter came over and took our drink order, both of us opting to get diet coke before shuffling off.
"I guess I was worried because you recently ended a long term relationship. I thought you might not want to jump back into something new."
"I guess I see your logic but I think by the time Jake and I ended I wasn't completely in love with him. Not the way I should be. I'm not sure I ever was. We didn't really seem like a couple in a committed relationship."
"How so?" he asked as the waiter set down our drinks and quickly took our orders.
"Well we were together for seven years but didn't live together, no sign of any further commitment like an engagement and we were both fine with that. It seemed like we were more friends who slept together occasionally, and it really was only occasionally, as opposed to two people in a loving relationship." I said taking a sip of my drink.
"Really? So you didn't love him?"
"Not the way I needed to, to be in a committed relationship. I think I had a love for him but it's more the love you have for a lifelong friend as opposed to the love for a boyfriend." I said. He nodded.
"I get that." He said softly.
"What about you? Any past girlfriends I need to be aware of?" I asked as the waiter set out plates in front of us.
"Umm I was with my ex Jessica for a year. I caught her stealing from me she had managed to make a copy of my card and was using it to support her shopping addiction. I found out when my accountant rang and I was going to confront her and when I got to her apartment I found the door unlocked so I went in and saw her fucking another man on the sofa. I told her it was over and that I wanted her out of my life. I also said I wanted every penny back and I would be involving the police. She now has to put a certain amount of her check into my account every month and is slowly paying the money back." He said.
"That's awful. How long ago was it?"
"About a year ago." He said.
"Not that long ago then. Have you dated since?" I asked as we ate our lunch.
"No not really. I did have a one night stand just after but I think that was me dealing with my emotions." He admitted seeming embarrassed.
"Having a one night stand isn't really an awful thing Edward. I assume you were safe?"
"Then it's fine." I said reaching over to touch his hand. We had both finished our food and our waiter came over and took our plates away. He offered dessert but we both declined instead asking for the check.
"Come on. Let's get going." Edward said once he had paid for the lunch. He helped me out of my chair and grasped my hand in his. We left and went back to the car. Edward helped me into the car again before climbing in and setting off for home. He pulled onto his drive and ran around to my door making me giggle as he helped me out.
"What?" he asked.
"You're really cute, you don't have to help me out of the car all the time." I said.
"It's how I was raised." He shrugged as he walked me to my front door.
"Well thank you for lunch, I enjoyed myself." I said with a smile as we got to my front door.
"I did too. Can we go out again?" he asked.
"I would love too. I owe you a cooked dinner anyway." I said. He smiled.
"You do. I should cash in on that huh?" he said.
"Whenever you want." I replied, leaning on the door. He smiled and placed one hand above me on the door, caging me in slightly but I didn't feel even a little bit trapped. He reached up and brushed a tendril of hair away from my face before gently cupping my cheek. His eyes flicked between mine a few times before he ducked down and lightly brushed his lips over mine before coming back firmer, surer. It was almost as if that first kiss was a test to see if I would push him away.
Ha, as if.
His lips brushed over mine a few times before he took my top lip between his. My head tilted and I pushed up onto my tip-toes, still needing extra height even in heels. My hand slid up his stomach, chest and neck to tangle in his hair gently. He slowed our kiss before pulling back.
"I've wanted to do that since I saw you pull up when you moved in." he said. I giggled into his neck. His arms worked their way around my waist and pulled me to him tightly. My other hand went round his neck and we embraced on my porch for the longest time. I sighed and pulled back.
"I have to go. I need to finish those plans. How about you come tonight for dinner? I'll make pasta." I said.
"Sounds perfect, what time do you want me to come over?" he asked. I looked at my watch and saw it was now two.
"Umm let's say half past six. But very casual, I may be in jammies." I said.
"Alright then." He laughed pressing his lips to my forehead, "We can have a movie evening and snuggle then."
"Sounds perfect. I'll see you later." I said pressing my lips to his one last time before unlocking the door and going inside.
I kicked my heels off as soon as I walked inside and headed for the kitchen. Once I had all my ingredients ready I threw them into the pan with a splash of white wine. I made sure the pan was on medium heat, gave it a twirl, covered it, and left it to simmer for a bit before I came back. I put my dishes in the dishwasher and headed toward my office. I worked on the plans for the next thirty minutes, occasionally getting up to stir the sauce, and I had up until Christmas done. I put the plans in their assigned places and run up the stairs to change into my jammies. I wasn't joking when I said wear your jammies. I put on my cream leg warmers with my peach shorts and its matching vest top. I brushed my hair into a ponytail, removed my makeup and hurried toward the kitchen to put on the pasta. I had just draped a blanket over the back of the couch when there was a knock at the door. I skipped to the door and threw it open, before throwing myself into Edward's arms. He laughed as he scooped me up into a hug, with my face buried into his neck as his hands ran up and down my back.
"Hi." I said pulling back before pressing my lips to his.
"Hi baby." He replied against my lips.
"Come in." I said tugging him over the threshold.
"I like the jammies." He said appreciatively.
"Well thank you, dinner shouldn't be long." I said.
"That's fine." He said as we got to the kitchen. He settled at the breakfast bar while I mixed the pasta in with the sauce. Once I had it all plated we walked over to the dining room table.
"So I was thinking earlier, you know a lot about my family, you've met my sister but I don't know much about yours." He mentioned while we were eating.
"Well my parents divorced when I was two. I moved with my mother to Phoenix and my dad stayed in Washington. I went to visit him for two weeks over the summer and either thanksgiving or Christmas every year. When I was fourteen my mother met Phil Dwyer, he was a local mechanic who helped her when her car broke down. They married when I was sixteen and I decided to move back with my dad to give them some space and lived with him until I went to college. I stayed in Washington for college and went to U-dub which was three hours away from Forks where my father still lived. He was the chief of police there, when I was nineteen he was killed on the job. He had responded to a report of a robbery and the guy shot him. The doctors believed he died quickly which is something I guess." Edwards hand grasped mine tightly. "My mother didn't come back for the funeral, we drifted apart after I moved out. She had never really been a mother to me in the first place; she was more of a close friend or big sister as opposed to a mother. I took care of everything for her once I was old enough and it seemed like she adopted an out of sight, out of mind approach to me once I was gone. She recently had another child. Mia is almost 6 months now and I've only seen her a handful of times."
"Wow. So you're not close to your mother?"
"No we email twice a week and generally they surround Mia but that's it." I said as I cleared our now empty plates away.
"I'm sorry about your father." He said as he came up behind me at the sink. His arms wrapped round me and his lips pressed to my shoulder.
"Thanks. It's been a long time now and I've dealt with it." I said turning in his arms. He smiled sadly at me before gently kissing me.
"Come on. I want to make you watch a chick flick with me." I said pulling away. He groaned and buried his face in my neck making me giggle.
"Come on it won't be that bad." I told him, pulling out of his embrace and going to the living room. I grabbed 'A Walk to Remember' and put it in the player before joining Edward on the sofa. He opened his arms to me and we snuggled in the dark room. I grabbed the blanket and covered us before grabbing the ice cream and two spoons from the table handing one to Edward.
We ate ice cream for a little while before we decided we had had enough and discarded it to snuggle. We ended up lying on the sofa with my head on Edward's chest under the blanket my hand was on his tummy under his shirt while his was on my back under my vest. I cried at the end and Edward gently swiped the tears away before pressing his lips gently to mine.
We ended up making out gently on the sofa for a while before we both started yawning into each other's mouths.
"I should go." He said into my neck.
"Mmk." I said sleepily.
"Come on. I'll help you to bed then I'll go." He laughed standing. He pulled me to my feet and wrapped an arm around my waist and helped me up the stairs. He got me into my bed and under the covers.
"Goodnight beautiful. I'll see you tomorrow." He whispered, gently kissing my forehead. I think I mumbled back some form of response and then he was gone.
Let me know what you think! :)