Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer.


Sorry for the earlier confusion. I am new to this and didn't realize that I marked it 'complete' instead of 'in-progress'. This is most certainly NOT complete yet. Thanks for all the love, guys. I've never written anything before and I appreciate the encouragement.


Cryptic Guy

As I half-ran to class, my head was spinning faster than the bottle cap. So few questions had been answered in comparison to how many new questions had been raised.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; Edward Cullen is an enigma.

If that wasn't just the strangest conversation of my entire life, I didn't wan to know what was. Did Edward really fess up? Did he really confirm – in a super cryptic and annoying way, that he is something more than human? Less than human? Subhuman? However you want to put it, he basically told me that, yeah, he's that.

Too much thinking for my brain, I shook my head of Edward – as well as I could – and hurried the rest of the way to class just as the first bell went off. I was only slightly late, but lucky as all hell that Mr. Banner had yet to arrive. I settled into my empty lab trying not to look at the seat next to me longingly.

I didn't want to be that pathetic girl. That wasn't me. Still – my eyes might have strayed that way a few times.

To keep my mind off the vacant seat, I let my eyes roam the room and noticed that both Mike and Angela were staring at me. Mike looked resentful, betrayed as if I sat with Edward just to hurt him. Angela just looked at me with that same polite curiosity, probably wondering what the heck the prettiest boy in school wanted with me.

Me, too, Angela. Me, too.

I offered them both an awkward smile as Mr. Banner finally came into the room, calling the class to attention.

"Okay, guys, the Red Cross is having a blood drive in Port Angeles next weekend, so I thought you should all know your blood type," he smiled proudly, juggling a few small boxes in his arms. He set them down on Mike's table, ordering him to start distributing them around the class.

"Now, let's get started, shall we? I want you all to take one piece from each box," he informed us as he pulled a pair of latex gloves from his pocket and wriggled his fingers into them. The sound of them snapping into place so sharply echoed ominously around the room.

He then reached into one of the boxes and held up a white card with four squares. "The fist should be an indicator card. The second –" he rustled through the box for a moment, then smiled broadly as he held up what looked like a nearly toothless hair pick, "– is a four-pronged applicator..."

I swayed in my seat, my stomach doing flippy-flops when he smiled like a mad man and pulled out what I, myself, recognized as a lancet. I looked at all the supplies laying around me on the desk and realization hit me like a ton of bricks.

My freshman year at my old school, we did this very same thing – it didn't end well for me. I pricked my finger, saw the blood, fainted, and ended up with a concussion and four stitches. Bad, bad, bad memories.

I gulped down the bile rising and closed my eyes, trying to block it all out. I could only vaguely hear Mr. Banner droning on about the assignment. I was too busy holding onto the table to keep from falling off the earth.

I breathed in deeply, out, in, out... with one last whoosh of breath, I opened my eyes, happy to see that the world was, in fact, not spinning. Just as I started getting a hold of myself, I looked over to where I could still hear Mr. Banner speaking and immediately regretted it.

He grabbed Mike's hand and jabbed the spike into the tip of Mike's middle finger, and... Oh, shipwrecked...

I could feel the cold sweat breaking out on my heated forehead and palms of my hands as I watched in horror, the blood being poked out of Mike's finger. I tore my eyes away, once again swaying unsteadily in my seat. I dropped my face onto the cool blacktop in a desperate attempt to hold onto my flurried consciousness.

All around me I could hear the playful squeals, half-hearted protests, and all out complaints as my classmates skewered their fingers.

"Good, everyone. Make sure to put only a very small drop of blood on each of the prong – Isabella!"

God?

I looked up through squinted eyes.

Nope, not God. Satan.

"Isabella, are you alright?" Satan shouted frantically. I could hear the scurry of several footsteps running at me.

"I..." I took in a deep breath, attempting to block out the smell of blood closing in all around me. "I already know my blood type, Satan," I mumbled into the table, drool leaking from between my parted lips.

"Are you feeling faint?" he asked.

"I'm feeling like I need to die, dammit," I growled, my stomach muscles clenching violently. I winced into the table spewing the leaking bile all over. If I hadn't felt so crappy, I would have had half a mind to feel embarrassed.

"Satan," I whispered, lifting my head, "May I please go tot he nurse? I think I'm gonna hur-!"

The word was barely out of my mouth before projectile vomit flew from me and hit Mr. Satan smack-dab on the crotch, cascading in pink lemonade waterfalls down the entire front of his dockers. And then, to my utter horror, I started crying. Big, fat tears and snotty sobs.

"Okay, okay, Bella," Mr. Satan tried to soothe me, patting the back of my head like a dog. "It's alright," he whispered.

"Could someone please escort Bella to the nurse?" he asked in a raised voice. "I think she may be delusional."

"ME!"

"Oh, God," I groaned, feeling Mike Newtons scrawny arms coming around my waist and pulling me a little too close to his body. "I've got her Mr. Banner," he said reverently, pulling me impossibly closer.

I made a weak attempt to loosen his hold on me, but he just held me tighter and whispered his hot breath over my ear. "Don't worry, Bella. Mikey's got ya."

Oh, dear God.

"You know, Mike," I said once we were in the cool outside air. The frosty breeze had me biting back the bile and clearing my blood-dazed head. "I think I can take it from here."

I'll crawl. Just let me go!

His hands were groping me relentlessly, and, seriously? Who gropes a girl who just blew chunks all over the Bio teachers crotch? That's just ten kinds of wrong.

"Silly, Bella," he chuckled, shaking his head and continuing to lead me in the direction of the nurse.

I was about to push him away from me, but a new bout of nausea rolled through me when I glanced down and saw the blood still stained on his fingertip.

"Get your hand away from me," I begged shakily.

"Wow, you're a little green around the gills, Bella," Mike said nervously, finally releasing his hold on me. I stumbled to the side and fell – happily – to the cold sidewalk. It was bliss as my overheated body slumped down on the freezing, damp cement. I closed my eyes in contentment.

I was sure that I'd have some mud splotches on my face, but I couldn't care less.

My bliss was short lived, however, as I heard thundering footsteps running toward my head. "Bella?"

Oh, shipwrecked. Please tell me I am imagining that horribly familiar voice.

"What the hell did you do to her?" he demanded angrily. I felt myself being lifted from the ground and thrown back into that bony side. I gave a half-hearted whine at the loss of the cool ground.

"I didn't do anything," Mike defended himself. "We were taking blood samples in class and she hurled all over Mr. Banner."

I turned my face into Mike's side in complete and utter humiliation. But Mike seemed to take it a different way and wrapped his arms around me, smoothing my hair down.

"Well, I've got her from here," Edward sneered. "Go back to class." He sounded really angry and I couldn't fathom why. No – more than angry, he sounded downright pissed and like he was restraining himself from ripping Mike to bite size pieces.

I cracked an eye open and peeked at him. He was glaring at the arm wrapped around my waist with such a fire I had to close my eyes to block out the harshness of it. Just then, I felt two cold hands wrap around my arms and start to tug me from Mike's uncomfortable, and unwanted embrace.

"No," Mike protested, pulling me back to his chest with a rough yank on my arm as I stood between the two. I was feeling so sick and weak by this point that I just fell into him, helpless and groaning like a madman. "I'm supposed to take her to the nurse. Beat it, Cullen," he bit angrily.

Mike pulled me closer – like, how much closer could I possibly get? – and started heading in what I figured was the direction of the nurses office, practically dragging me along with him. My feet sure weren't moving, yet he somehow managed to get me a few feet.

"Fuck off, Newton," I heard Edward growl somewhere close to me. Mike came to an abrupt stop and I slammed into him. I could feel the bile rising in my throat again and I didn't know how much longer I could hold off.

I just hoped that if I projectile vomited again, I was aiming at Mike and not Edward.

I felt those two cold hands grab at my arms again and suddenly the ground disappeared from beneath me. My eyes shot open in surprise and I looked up to see Edward's face hovering above mine. He had scooped me up in his arms, as easily as if I weighed ten pounds instead of a hundred and ten.

His eyes were glaring angrily at something in front of us.

"Run along now," he spat, holding me closer. Him holding me close didn't bother me in the slightest. "I've got Bella now." Something about his words, the way he spoke them, made me think he meant it as more than just escorting me to the nurse.

"But I –"

"I said she's mine!" Edward snarled, his arms constricting around me like a boa. I tried to ignore the rush of heat that consumed me at his words. Never had my body had any kind of reaction to...ah...sexuality...I guess.

My nausea was all but forgotten when Edward's eyes met mine. Shock and amusement ran through his dark eyes. That crooked smirk made an appearance and I practically panted in his arms.

How embarrassing.

We started walking – Well, Edward started walking while I held onto his shoulders for dear life. I could hear Mike following behind us, muttering profanities at Edward.

"You look awful," he told me, grinning. I blushed and turned my face away from him to watch as we approached the building.

He chuckled, "So you puke at the sight of blood?" This little tidbit of information seemed to entertain him immensely. "And not even your own blood," he mused, clearly enjoying himself now.

I didn't answer. I locked my jaw to keep from lashing at him for making fun of me. I didn't like it. I let go of his shoulders and crossed my arms over my chest, more than trusting that he wouldn't drop me from his iron grasp, and not really caring either way. The day couldn't get much worse.

"Oh, come now," he snickered. "Don't get angry," he prodded, shaking my body to get my attention.

Well, he got it.

My arms flew out, my right hand grabbing onto his shirt for dear life as the other covered my mouth in an attempt to keep the lemonade down. The nausea was back and he was angry. I shot a panicked look to Edward, but he just grimaced apologetically and held me at arms length.

"Sorry," he murmured and I believed that he meant it.

Finally, the nurses office came into view and a chorus of 'hallelujah' went off in my head.

I don't how Edward managed to keep me at arms length and still somehow open the doors to the office, but he did and I was safely inside. The heater was on high and I wasn't sure my tummy agreed with that.

"Oh my," I heard a female voice gasp.

"She puked in Bio, then Cullen here kidnapped her," Mike spat angrily, stepping in front of us.

Ms. Cope, the redheaded front office receptionist, looked between the two glaring boys a few times, before settling her eyes on me. "Are you feeling ill?" she asked me unsure, probably wondering what the heck the schools pariah was doing holding me while the scrawny water-boy glared on in dissatisfaction.

"Yes, Ma'am," I whined, just wanting to get to a bathroom already. If I blew chunks on Edward, I'd move to Timbuktu to escape the humiliation.

"Okay, c'mon now," she says rushing to a door off to the side. She opened it hastily and Edward breezed through and tossed me onto the paper covered brown vinyl mattress on the one cot like a freaking rag doll. The paper crinkled under my body loudly, and continued to do so as I tried to get comfortable. I glared at a snickering Edward, but he just held his hands up and moved to the other side of the room with bright excited eyes focused on my face.

The grandmotherly nurse lifted herself from the rolly-chair with some difficulty, hanging onto Edward's and Mike's battling words as they explained to her what happened.

"Okay, okay," she mumbled, "you two head back to class. I'll take care of her."

Mike grumbled as he left the room, but Edward didn't move a muscle. The nurse raised her eyebrows at him. "Mister Cullen?" Her eyes gestured to the open door, an obvious 'get the hell out.'

"I'm supposed to stay with her." He said this with such assured authority that – even though she pursed her lips and eyed him skeptically – she didn't argue it further.

With a sigh, she turned to me and smiled. "Just lie down for a minute, honey; wait for the nausea to pass."

"It's already passing," I informed her, but did as she said anyway.

"Does this happen a lot?" she asked me sweetly, patting my hand.

"Sometimes," I admitted. Edward coughed to hide his laugh. The nurse and I both glared at him, but he just pretended to study the poster next to my head. I found it hard to believe that he was that interested in the proper cleaning of genital warts.

"I'll go fetch you a toothbrush, dear." She gave Edward one last dubious look before bustling out of the room and leaving me alone with the Cheshire Cat.

"How you feelin'?" he asked, rocking on the balls of his feet.

"Horrible. You can leave now."

"Hey, I told you ditching was healthy," he said, walking over to me slowly. "If you had listened to me, we'd be in my car right now listening to Blue October and Mike wouldn't be at the top of my hit list." His smile was large and gleamed in the harsh florescent lights.

"Ha ha." I closed my eyes, his face so close to mine now had my stomach rolling for a whole other reason.

"Honestly – I've seen corpses with better color, Bella."

"Spend a lot of time around corpses, Edward?" I mumbled indignantly, hiding my face from his view. If he was just going to insult me he could damn well take a hike.

"You scared me for a minute there," he whispered after a long pause. "I thought that foul Newton," he spit the name like a bad word, "was dragging your body off to bury in the woods."

I looked up at him incredulously. "Seriously?" He looked dead serious.

"Mike isn't an altogether nice guy, Bella. Trust me."

"How would you know?" I asked, kind of-sort of-ridiculously believing him.

"Like I told you before. Some people are just easy to read."

"Ah... I see." I really didn't.

"No, you don't," he said seriously. "But you will."

Again with the cryptic.

"What does that even mean?" I was practically begging. I didn't need another night of wondering what the heck the infamous Cullen was yammering about.

"It means that you're not ready...yet. But you will be."

"Ready for what?"

He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off by the door swinging back open. The nurse – whose name is unknown – and Mike came in with a sallow-looking Lee Stephens between them, looking a little worse for wear.

"We've got another one," she warned. Lee's head lolled back as they dragged him in. I jumped off the cot, feeling okay enough to give it up to someone in much more need. I stumbled a bit and Edward grabbed a hold of me, bringing us against the wall to give them room.

"Oh no," he muttered. I looked up at him to see his Adam's apple bobbing profusely. "Go out to the office, Bella."

I stared at him, bewildered.

"Trust me – go!"

I spun and caught the door before it closed, darting out of the infirmary like my behind was on fire. For some reason, I didn't think Edward was the type to ask twice. I could feel him trailing close behind me.

"You actually listened to me." He was stunned, and a little smug.

"Yea, well, you're pushy as all hell," I muttered.

"He was bleeding," he sad with a raised brow and a smirk. "I didn't want you hurling on me."

"Oh," I wrinkled my nose, now smelling the foul stuff, "yeah, I can smell it." Lee wasn't sick from watching other people, like me.

"People can't smell blood," he contradicted with a roll of his eyes.

"Well, I can – that's what makes me sick. It smells like...rust...and salt. It isn't pleasant." I grimaced.

He was staring at me with an incredulous and slightly awed expression.

"What?" I asked self-consciously.

"It's, uh, nothing," he laughed. "You're just an enigma, is all."

"Funny. I think the same thing about you, Cryptic Guy," I challenged and he smiled unapologetically and shrugged nonchalantly.

Mike came through the door then, glancing from me to Edward. The look he gave Edward could have burned holes through any lesser man. He turned his face back to me, his eyes glum.

"You look better," he accused.

"Just keep your hand in your pocket," I warned him.

"It's not bleeding anymore," he muttered. "Here," he held a yellow toothbrush in a clear packet out to me. "Mrs. Gary told me to give this to you."

I guessed that was the nameless nurse.

I took the proffered toothbrush gratefully.

"So, are you going back to class?" he asked hopefully.

"Are you kidding? I'd just have to turn around and come back."

"Yeah, I guess... So are you going this weekend? To the beach?" While he spoke, he flashed another glare toward Edward, who was standing against the cluttered counter, motionless as a sculpture, staring off into space. Though I had a feeling he was hearing every word.

I tried to sound as friendly as possible, but Mike glaring at Edward like that irked me for some inane reason. "Yeah, Mike, I said I was in, didn't I?"

"Cool! We're meeting at my dad's store, at ten." His eyes flickered to Edward again, probably scared that he was giving out too much information. His body language made it clear that this wasn't an open invitation.

"I'll be there," I promised, offering him a tight lipped smile.

"Awesome!" He actually fist pumped. "I'll see you in Gym, then." He winked at me and was off.

"See you, Mike," Edward smirked at his retreating back.

"Great" I sighed, watching Mike skip away back to Biology. "Now I have to deal with that in Gym." I pouted, not liking the idea at all.

"I can take care of that if you want." I hadn't noticed Edward moving to my side, but he was suddenly right next to me, the coolness of his body touching the heat of mine.

"How are you going to get me out of Gym?" I asked incredulously. Better yet; why?

"Oh, I wasn't. I was going to go kill Mike for you," he pointed out in a serious tone.

"Funny." I rolled my eyes.

He shrugged his shoulders. "If you say so."

"So...?"

He huffed. "Fine, I can get you out of Gym if you're so set on it. Go sit down and look pale...er."

I glared at him, but obeyed. I didn't want to go to Gym for many reasons, and if Edward could get me out of it, I wasn't going to put up a fight. I had the utmost belief in him to get whatever he asked for.

I sat in one of the creaky folding chairs and rested my head against the wall with my eyes closed.

I heard Edward speaking softly at the counter.

"Ms. Cope?"

"Yes?"

"Bella is still feeling a little sick, and her next class is Gym. I don't think the janitor would appreciate cleaning up that mess too much," he laughed. "Actually, I was thinking it best for her to just head home, and to make sure she gets there safely, I'd like to take her."

I couldn't believe the foul place my mind went off too when Edward said, 'I'd like to take her.' Where the hells bells did that come from? I'm not usually such a pervert.

"Oh, sure. Of course. That's very sweet of you, Edward," she gushed. "Do you need to be excused, too?"

"Nah, Mrs. Goff won't mind."

There was some rustling and the tapping of a keyboard. "M'kay! It's all taken care of. You feel better, Bella!" she called kindly to me. I nodded weakly at her, exaggerating my condition just a bit. I didn't want her thinking I was skipping for the fun of it.

"Can you walk, or do you want me to carry you again?" Edward asked with a smirk, his back to Ms. Cope.

"I'll walk," I grumbled back, not sure I particularly liked playful Edward.

I stood carefully, wary of my weak stomach. He held the door open for me and gestured wildly and dramatically for me proceed him, that darn smirk in place and his eyes mocking me. I walked out into the fine mist that had just begun to fall. It felt wonderful on my clammy skin. I think it was the first time I'd ever enjoyed the constant moisture falling from the sky as it washed down my face, cleaning the sticky perspiration.

I immediately sidestepped Edward and walked into the bathroom just outside the main office. I brushed my teeth with the tiny packet of mint toothpaste rigorously, ridding myself of the foul taste of stomach acid and lemonade. I breathed a sigh of relief as I exited the bathroom and nearly jumped out of my skin when Edward popped up. I thought he would have taken off by now. I glared at him with one hand over my heart, the other covering my mouth.

"Didn't mean to scare you," he smiled apologetically.

"S'okay," I breathed, shaking my head.

I shoved my hands into my sweater pockets as we started off toward the parking lot. I figured I'd just worry about my things tomorrow.

"So...the beach, this Saturday," I looked up at him questioningly, squinting thought he rain. "You wanna go...with me?"

God.

Am I really asking him out?

No, no. We're friends. Friends ask friends to do things with them. That's why we have friends.

I was hoping he would go with me, but it seemed highly unlikely. I just couldn't picture him loading up to carpool with the rest of the kids from school; he didn't belong in the same world. He was a world above and apart from the rest of us.

Honestly, I just wanted to see him all wet and wild in the water.

Seriously, who am I?

"What beach?" he was looking ahead, no expression on his face; a mask of indifference, aside from the blazing in his eyes that I noticed never seemed to go away.

"First Beach. It's down in –"

"I know where it is," he cut me off abruptly, the fire in his eyes blazing brighter than ever before. "I wouldn't be caught dead there." He shook his head, smiling to himself. He looked up at me under those darn spider-lashes. "Besides, I really don't think I was invited."

"I just invited you," I pointed out with a sigh.

"Let's not push poor Mike any further this week. We don't want him to snap." The Cheshire Cat smile and dancing gleam in his eye told me he liked the idea of that a lot more than he was willing to admit.

"Mike really doesn't like you," I observed. And vice versa.

"Oh, he absolutely loathes me," he laughed cheerfully.

"How come?"

"Long story," he said, smiling down at me from his impressive height.

"What? Did you like, steal his girlfriend, or something?" I joked.

He snorted. "He seems to think so. But that isn't why he hates me so much."

I sighed. Mister Cryptic sure is a pain in the bum.

"So, you won't go with me?" I surmised, more upset about this than I should have been.

"Absolutely not. But we still have Saturday," he reminded me gleefully. "That's gonna be a helluva day. Trust me."

We were near the parking lot now, much to my disappointment. I would have liked to spend a little more time with him. He was annoying as all hell, but I craved his attention; Lord knows why. I veered left, toward my truck, and I heard a low growl as Edward grabbed a hold of my jacket, yanking me back forcefully.

"Will you people stop manhandling me," I yelled incredulously. "I may be lanky, but a rag doll I am not!" I tried to pry his hand from my jacket, but like I said, boa constrictor. Edward just tightened his hold and glared down at me, his eyes intense.

"Where do you think you're going?" He demanded, outraged.

"Home, if you'd let me the hell go." I tried again to wriggle out from his grasp as he started towing me to his pretty silver Volvo. I wasn't one to swear, but he was really grating my cheese by this point.

Seriously, what is with the Forks guys and manhandling?

"I know you heard me promise Ms. Cope that I would take you home safely. I don't break promises, Bella, so stop fighting me." With one hard tug, I was tucked under his arm, my feet lifted from the ground as he literally carried me like a suitcase to his car.

The mortification couldn't be described.

"My Dad's a cop," I told him, clawing at his pant leg. Is it weird that I, Bella Prude Swan, was getting a little, ah...turned around by this? Or...on?

He laughed. "My Dad's a doctor," he replied sarcastically.

"What about my truck?" I complained as a last ditch effort. I had a feeling that if Edward wanted something, he'd get it. And he obviously wanted me to take the darn ride from him.

"I'll have Alice drop it off after school."

"I can drive my own damn truck," I grumbled as he placed me on my feet next to the passenger side of the car.

"Not in your condition," he said simply, walking to the driver's side and climbing in gracefully.

"What condition?"

"You puked all over Mr. Banner's crotch, Bella. You're hardly well." He leaned over and smiled at me as he opened the door for me from the inside.

I could feel the feverish heat on my cheeks. "H-how did you know that?" Mike had tactfully left that part of my humiliation out. And he wasn't there, so how could he possibly know the lowest moment of my life?

"Get in," he said changing the subject.

Even though it was now raining rhinos and buffalo's, and my hair was dripping down my back, I stood my ground, fuming. I may have wanted to spend more time with him, but this was about principle. I won't be bullied into doing something that I said no to.

"The interior is getting wet," he mumbled, frustrated. "Get in!"

"No!" Kiss my petunias, jerk face.

I mentally calculated the distance between his car and mine and my chances of getting there before he could catch me. I had to admit, it wasn't looking good for me.

"I'll just drag you back," he threatened, guessing my plan.

"Fine," I huffed, climbing into his car and making sure to get as much water and dirt on my boots as possible. Teach him a lesson. Once I was seated, I turned to him with a frosty glare. "I would like to point out that the only reason I accepted this ride is because my car is slow and I want to get home a-sap. Not because you said so, so there."

I turned back around and glared at the windshield with my arms crossed over my chest.

"Whatever you say," he chuckled lowly, turning the heat up and aiming the little vents at me.

As he pulled out of the parking lot, I was preparing to give him the silent treatment – my face was set in full-on pout mode – but then I recognized the music playing, and my astonishment got the better of me.

"Mutemath?" I asked, surprised, as spotlight flowed around me.

"You like them?" he sounded surprised, too.

"Yeah, I mean, Mom thinks she's cool and is the one who introduced me to them, but I think they're amazing."

I listened to the music, relaxing as Edward stared ahead, a thoughtful look on his flawless face. As I looked out the window, I realized just how fast we were going; the car moved so easily, so steadily, you wouldn't be able to tell.

"Uh," I giggled nervously, "I know I said I wanted to get home a-sap, but I also said my dad is a cop."

"And?" he asked, obviously not picking up what I was throwing down.

"And – Slow down!" I demanded.

He rolled his eyes, but did as I said, bringing the car to a little less than acceptable 77mph.

"Tell me about her; your mother." he asked me suddenly.

"Uh, okay," I said, thrown off the by the question. "She's uh... I look a lot like her, only she's prettier," I admitted only slightly resentful. He raised his eyebrows questioningly. "I have too much Charlie in me," I explained.

"She's outgoing, brave...completely psychotic," I laughed, and then sighed sadly. "She's my best friend." I stopped there. Talking about her was making depressed.

"Were you held back a couple years?" he asked out of absolutely nowhere, sounding frustrated.

"Excuse me?" Offended – the hell?

"I mean, are you, or are you not, seventeen?"

"I'm seventeen," I responded, confused now.

"You seem a lot older than that." His tone was dubious, reproachful.

"Yeah, well...you, too."

He grimaced and changed the subject. "So why did your mother marry Phil?"

I was surprised he remembered the name; I'd mentioned it only once and that was a while ago. I waited a moment to answer – unsure of how to word it properly. I couldn't find a way so I just spoke out of my butt.

"Mom's a cougar," I said with a sure nod of my head and he laughed. "But she loves him. A lot. I don't really understand her, or her reasoning, but I understand that."

"And you're okay with that? Your mother shacking up with a younger man?"

"Does it matter? I want her to be happy, and Phil does that for her."

"That's nice of you," he smiled. "Most teenagers would be all over their parents for dating – better yet, marrying, someone a lot younger."

"Those teenagers are selfish." I shook my head vehemently trying to knock the thought out. I couldn't stand the selfishness some children had regarding their parents. "Parents aren't shoes, they deserve respect."

"I agree... I wonder..." he mused.

"What?"

"Would she think the same way you do, do you think? Like, if you brought home a big biker guy with his face covered in tattoos and his nipples pierced? Do you think she'd be okay with that?"

"Ah..." Now there's a scary thought. "I wouldn't."

"But, if you did..." he prompted.

"Well, I think she would be concerned in my taste in men, but if I told her that I truly loved him, I think she'd be okay with it. She's all about love. To her, it makes the world go round." I rolled my eyes. "I don't have the heart to tell her that it's actually inertia and angular momentum," I quipped like the total dork that I am.

He threw his head back against the headrest and laughed and I was concerned that his eyes were no longer on the road. I had to keep myself from reaching over and taking the wheel.

He shook his head and looked at me with bright and excited eyes. "So...you don't like scary guys, then?"

I grinned at him. "Scary suits me just fine," I said honestly, to which he took on a look of surprise. "It's the nipple piercings that threw me off." The silence in the car spread for a good minute before I was literally itching to hear his voice again. "So, are you going to tell me about your family? It's got to be a much more thrilling story than mine."

"What do you want to know?" His eyes crinkled in concentration now and I wondered why he was suddenly a cautious driver.

"I know the Cullens adopted you," I cleared up. "What I don't know is why. What happened to..." I stopped at the pained look on his face. "Sorry, this is rude and intrusive, isn't it?"

"It's fine, they died a very long time ago. I don't remember them that well."

"Sorry," I mumble again.

Way to go, you socially awkward pariah.

"So, do you like your adoptive parents?" I asked nervously, hoping I didn't step over the line again.

"Very much," he smiled at me. "I couldn't dream up two better people."

"What about your brother and sister?"

He glanced at the clock on the dashboard. "My brother and sister, and Jasper and Rosalie for that matter, are going to be really pissed at me if they have to stand in the rain while I'm pussyfooting around with Chief's daughter." I blanched at his choice of words, hearing that 'p' word come from his mouth did odd things to me.

"O-oh, s-s-sorry," I stuttered stupidly. "I guess you have you have to go." I looked out the rain-splattered window and glared at the two story house with its lights all off. It didn't look particularly inviting, especially when the alternative is spending time with Edward.

"And I am sure you want your truck back before your father gets home, so you don't have to tell him about the Biology incident." He smirked cockily at me. "I surely wouldn't want to rehash that again."

I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to punch his perfect nose. "I'm sure he's already heard. Forks has no secrets." Another reason this little po-dunk town wasn't for me. I liked my business to stay that; mine.

"Oh, there are secrets," he laughed and I looked at him with a raised brow. What did he mean by that? But he didn't elaborate. "Have fun at the beach. It's super weather for sunbathing," he snorted sarcastically, glancing at the pouring rain.

"Won't I see you tomorrow?" I asked a little too clingy-like.

"Nah. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early."

Sad...why?

"What are you going to do?" Throw me a bone here, I'm pathetic.

"We're going hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Rainier." I remembered hearing that the Cullens went camping quite a lot.

"Well," I sighed. "Have fun." I sucked in my bottom lip to keep it from pouting. I tried to keep the disappointment from my face, but I don't think I fooled him. A smile was playing around the edges of his lips.

"I will. But will do something for me?" He turned to look me in the eyes, bringing his powers down on me, full force.

Most definitely. I nodded helplessly. I couldn't deny him, he's too pretty.

"Don't be offended," Famous last words, "but I've noticed that you're a bit of an overachiever in the bad luck department. So...try not to get eaten by a whale or groped by Newton, alright?" He smiled crookedly, but I could see in his eyes that he was far from joking.

I glared at him. "I am more than capable of taking care of myself, but thanks!" I snapped as I jumped out into the rain and slammed the door in his face.

He still had that stupid smug smirk on his face as he drove away. I stood in the rain, watching him go for a few minutes before I heard the familiar sound of my truck chugging down the street.


So, what do you think? I'm actually considering taking this down and trying again. I think I can do better. But I haven't decided yet. Still, I hoped you enjoyed it.