Chapter Two-New kid on the block

The next morning I woke to the sound of my alarm, the song 'I'd Do Anything' by Simple Plan. I let the song keep playing as I got dressed in a pair of jeans, they were low rise and form fitting, with my boots from yesterday. I grabbed a plain t shirt that hugged my curves and accentuated my features. I pulled my side fringes back in a ponytail, leaving the rest of my hair flowing gently down my back, then, grabbing my mp3, and other stuff, I bounded downstairs. Charlie was gone and I ate a quick bowl of cocoa pebbles and ran outside. It wasn't too cold, and my car, which I absolutely love by the way, was amazing!

I could still remember my hilarious and childish display of when I first saw it.

"Hey Izzy, when you finish packing, come on downstairs, I want to show you your mystery car!" I dropped the piece of clothing in my hands and practically ran downstairs.

"Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?" I demanded excitedly, jumping up and down, giggling like an idiot. Charlie just laughed at my enthusiasm and motioned for me to tag along, I did, and boy, did I not disappoint my dad.

I practically screamed when I saw the car and bounded happily over to it.

"Oh my god! Dad, it's beautiful, I love it, and I love you for even getting this for me!" I turned on my dad and nearly tackled him to the ground, had he not caught me. He just laughed again and held me for a moment before letting me go.

"Well munchkin, this is your homecoming present of sorts" my eyes widened before they softened, I gave him a soft smile as I gave him another tight hug, burying my face in his chest. Why does everyone have to be so damn taller than me?

"I'm going to take it for a spin" I told him, only to laugh myself when I saw he was already holding the keys out for me. Snatching them fro my father, I ran to my car, got in, blasted the radio, which works and zoomed off.

The car, which I forgot to mention, was a rusted red truck, it looked like it was from the 1950's, but I didn't care, as long as it ran and had a working radio.

Getting in and escaping the cold air, I took my mp3 and plugged it into the speakers on and put the song 'All to Myself' by the Marianas Trench, on repeat as I drove to school.


While the song blared, I couldn't keep the relaxed grin off my face, I just felt totally chilled out, but that's just how my personality normally is, carefree, relaxed, chill kind of gal. Back home, it used to freak Ash out, thinking of my energetic basketball player best friend made me feel nostalgic for some reason.

Ashlynn 'Ash' Cross, is my number one pal back home. She comes from a damaged family where the word 'emotional' is like setting a bomb off. Her family never really talks much about emotional issues and just leaves everything be without talking about it, so, that's how I became her surrogate sister. From within the first few hours of knowing her, I knew practically all of her family's dirty little secrets-which is also a good song-and had then become a humanoid diary for her. For awhile Ash used to be so angry at everything and everyone, taking her anger out at the other kids at school during P.E. So, when the teachers caught wind of what she was doing, she had been given a reprimand and a choice, go to a school councilor, or take up a hobby. She picked basketball. At first she hated it, skipping practices, not taking it seriously, then, after their first real game, which they lost horribly, she somehow sobered up. She went to practice, she put more effort in it, she started to have fun. Then, after their second game of the season, she won them the winning shot, by the time the season was done, she had been nominated as co-captain.


Seeing the sign of Forks high school brought me from my musings and turned into the parking lot and pulled up in the front by the offices, since there was still plenty of parking spaces to choose from later. Grabbing my mp3, I paused the song and turned the speakers off and plugged in my ear buds again, and hopped out. Closing the door I headed to the front office and opened the door. All I could think of when I first entered was, green. There just as many plants in the office as there were outside, at least, that's what it felt like. The woman sitting at the desk was a plump old woman wearing a simple purple shirt and glasses hanging around her neck with a simple chain. When she looked up and spotted me, I thought I saw something in her eyes shift as she assessed me,

"May I help you?" she asked, I nodded and walked closer to the desk,

"I'm Isabella Swan, I'm new here" her eyes brightened as she took more of my appearance in and I barely resisted the urge to glare, I may be a chilled person, but one thing I really hate is gossips, and I could just imagine the rumors about me that had most likely been spread. Daughter of the outsider ex-wife, coming home at last.

"Here you go dear, your schedule and a map of the school" after highlighting the best routes to class and the cafeteria, I nodded my thanks as she handed me a slip of paper,

"That needs to be signed by all your teachers and handed to me at the end of the day" nodding again, I walked out of the office and put my ear buds in and got back in my truck and parked it a few rows away from a silver Volvo. It was the nicest car here, with mine beside it. Those kinds of cars were typical back in Phoenix, hell, Ash had a convertible that her grandfather had given to her as part of her inheritance. "Untouched" by the Veronicas, played loudly in my ears, and from the looks some of the other students were giving me, they could either hear it, or they were just staring since I was the 'New Kid.' Looking to my schedule, I saw I had English Lit, trigonometry, and then Spanish, after that was lunch, then I had Bio, and finally, Gym, fun. I shook my head at Gym, sure I'm good at it, I'm pretty coordinated, but doesn't mean I like it. Funny how it was my best class when it was my most hated one.

I turned my mp3 off, letting the ear buds dangle out of my jacket and opened the door. The class was full already and what was worse was that they looked up at me as the door opened. Going in the room farther, I handed the slip to Mr. Mason,

"Hi, Mr. Mason?" I asked, he nodded, I sighed, relieved and gave him the slip,

"I'm Isabella Swan" his eyes lit up in recognition and he took the slip, signing it,

"Okay Isabella-"

"I prefer Izzy" he nodded and made a marking on the attendance sheet, he pointed to a seat in the back which I was grateful for. Though, somehow, the students were still able to watch me as I sat in the back while I took my jacket off and let it dangle off my chair.

In my Trigonometry class, I couldn't stop chuckling at remembering the anger Mr. Varner gave me when he caught me asleep in his class. What made it even funnier was that when he asked me to solve one of his "harder" equations, while I was still sleepy, I managed to get it right, now I think I just made Mr. Varner my enemy. That was another problem I had, I sleep, a lot in the mornings. I think it's because at night I don't get enough sleep, there have been times when I'd sleep in the afternoons. Back in Phoenix, since I was smart, and was good grade wise, as well as a good student, the teachers didn't mind if I slept in class, as long as I didn't bother the other students. Guess my new teachers are either going to have to get used to it, or we're not going to get along very well.


After that, my entire morning passed by super quick, like Ash when she has caffeine quick, which, trust me, is fast as hell. I think of it like the saying 'A bat out of hell' on an adrenaline rush, mixed with crack, and the drug known as Speed. Now, give her coffee, and well, she then creates her own time space continuum. I had made a few acquaintances, though seeing how tight the group I had integrated with made me wish Ash was here all the more. The first girl was Jessica Stanley, she was shorter than me, at five foot one, but her big curly dark brown hair makes up for her lack of height. The second was another girl, Angela Weber, whom I've thought of as a doll. She's very sweet and the complete opposite of Jessica. She had long light colored brown hair, almost blonde, was tall, modest, shy, and never stuck her nose where she thought it didn't belong, unless invited politely into the inner workings of a persons mind. Next was once again, another girl named Lauren Mallory. She was blonde, average height, and didn't seem to like me, since the object of her affections, Tyler Crowley, seemed to take an instant liking to me. Next was Mike Newton, with his mousy features and short blonde hair, he made me think of a mouse, or a gold retriever the way he kept panting after Jessica, which she seemed to thrive in his attention. Then Eric, he was an Asian with seriously gelled hair, he wore more hair gel then Robert Pattinson in his movies! While we were talking and getting to know each other, two things happened simultaneously. First, my cell rang, the song "Apple Bottom Jeans" rang loudly, and next, the most amazing group of people appeared.

The first was a tall, long blonde haired beauty. She was the type of woman you'd see on an issue of Sports Illustrated, with curves and a vivacious body any girl, woman, even man would kill to have. She was graceful, ethereal. The second was another girl, though she was holding the hand of a boy. The girl was pixie like, the type who would be into ballet. She had short, spiky black hair that stuck up in all directions with bangs that hung just under her eyebrows. She was small and petite. The boy's hand she was holding, had the same honey blonde hair as the first girl. He, as well as the girls, seemed to have a grace and beauty all of his own, usually men were never like that. The second boy was more on the lean side, with wind blown copper like hair that stuck up in a cowlick that looked good on him. He still looked well muscled like the blonde boy, but, he looked just a bit smaller compared to blonde boy. The final boy, or, man, I should say, was by far the most attractive one. He was well muscled, like, body builder muscled almost. He had short, dark brown hair that had slight curls at the ends, normally guys look bad with curly hair, but he pulled it off quite well.

Feeling a nudge at my side, I looked to see Angela looking at me in concern,

"Aren't you going to answer your phone? It keeps ringing" blinking, I looked to see everyone looking at me, nodding I stood on slightly shaking legs and walked by the exit door. Unfortunately, the five, incredibly beautiful group was sitting near it, and I tried not to get in their space as I finally answered my phone,

"Hello, you've reached the Krusty Krab, may I take your order?" I grinned,

"Yes, I'd like to order a Bikini Bottom Special and a side order of WHY THE HELL YOU DIDN'T PICK UP AFTER THE FIRST RING?!" she was so loud after that I had to actually pull the phone away from my ear, I held the phone away from my ear as she kept up her rant. I could hear her perfectly fine from where I had it outstretched, and, peaking to make sure no one else had, I saw the body builder shake in silent laughter, while the others just smiled softly to themselves. Ignoring the fluttering feeling of seeing the body builder laugh silently, I pulled the phone back to my ear and turned my back to them. Jutting out my left hip, I put all my weight to my left leg as my left hand was placed on my hip.

"You done yet?" I asked, there was static noise on the other side,

"Yes" I just let out a light laugh, talking to Ash always made me happy.

"Anyways, meet any new victims-err-friends?" I giggled, shaking my head,

"No, not really, more like acquaintances for the most part. Though there is a girl I like, Angela Weber, she's such a sweetheart, the complete opposite of this other girl, Lauren Mallory who doesn't seem to like me too much, but, hey, I'm not complaining. Though, her crush seems to like me and I don't really care for him," I could hear Ash laugh a little at that.

"Really now? That will be fun to mess with. What else? Give me every little dirty secret of Forks high's dynamics" letting myself lean against the wall to my right, I felt like the epitome of casual.

"Naw, maybe later. Anyways, how's Gramps?" I asked, feeling my throat tighten just a bit, I felt myself lean more into the wall, pretending that someone was standing beside me, holding me, it was times like these I miss Ash being with me physically, instead of just over the cell phone.

"Oh sweetie…he's actually doing a bit better" her voice faltered just a bit, before it turned optimistic, Gramps' current position was hard for the both of us, me especially. He's my only grandfather, and he's been one to Ash ever since I introduced the two of them. Right now he was currently in the hospital, he had a seizure not too long after I decided to go to Forks. I placed my hand over my chest, right where his dog tags hung around my neck.

"Oh, sweetie, please, please don't fret over this, I'm taking great care of him, Phil and Renee call in daily to check in on him. Please, just try not to think about Gramps for awhile. Besides, he's survived a war, three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a hip and knee replacement, the passing of his beloved, and many a broken bones. He's the toughest old man I'd ever have the pleasure of knowing. You want to hear a secret?" she asked suddenly, I turned so my left arm was pressed against the wall and I regretted it instantly. The beautiful group had given me sympathetic looks, feeling freaked out, I looked away, shame filling my being for being caught like that.

"Yeah, sure, what secret?" I asked softly, hoping they wouldn't hear. Ash took a moment before talking, this was just as hard for me as it was for to talk about the stubborn old man, and I say that with the most greatest of affections.

"He said, that after his knee replacement not too long after his last tour, he felt like such an empty shell, that the man he was before he went to war, was not the man he came home as. He felt so drained of life and joy, especially after Elizabeth passed on" Elizabeth was my grandfathers wife for the past fifty years, he often told me she was the light that always guided him, especially after it was discovered he had PTSD. She was the one that helped him overcome it.

"He told me that when you were five, you woke up because you heard him talk in his sleep and went to go help him, he told me that when he woke up, you had fussed over him, forced him to talk what had been bothering him, even if you didn't understand half of what he was saying, deep down he knew you understood him somehow. Then, ever since that night, even if you didn't fully comprehend the severity of everything he told you, he still told you. Want to know why?" I nodded, even if she couldn't see it, but, knowing Ash, she understood.

"He told me 'Because when I look at Izzy, I see a light in her, the same light I would see every time I would see in my dearest Elizabeth' his exact words Izzy, no joke." Suddenly, all the bullshit had been feeling melted away, and I felt lighter, lighter than I had felt in days, weeks even. That was Ash's gift, seeing past whatever bullshit you felt at the time and gave you the words that you needed to hear the most. It was one of the reasons I liked Ash, she always knew just what to say to make me feel like less shit. Pulling the phone away, I rubbed a hand down my face, letting it drag to where the dog tags rested again. I let my hand linger there for a moment before letting it drop and putting the phone back to my ear,

"Ash?" I said, a soft smile on my lips,

"Yeah Izzy?" her voice was knowing, she already knew what I was about to say,

"Tell Gramps I love him, and I'll call later when I can"

"Yeah, leave it to me, Gramps will feel light again knowing you send your love, well, I got to go now, lunch is almost over, love you"

"Love you too" I smiled and hung up, closing my eyes, my smile stayed on my lips as I let my head stay against the wall for a moment longer, then, feeling an undeniable, final peace within me, I put my phone back in my pocket and walked back to the others, a new bounce in my step.


By the time lunch was over, I was walking with Angela to my next class, Biology, which I didn't mind, I was actually pretty good at it, though I'd prefer to be in my Gym class.

While we walked, I asked Angela about the Cullen's, she happily explained their family dynamics, only the parts that she knew from Jessica. Apparently the two blondes, Jasper and Rosalie Hale, are twin siblings who had been with their Aunt since they were eight, she apparently can't have kids which is why the adopted the five. The other girl was Alice, she, Edward-Cowlick boy-and Emmett-Bodybuilder-were all siblings, though still adopted. I nodded, thinking about Emmett. Normally I'd be more attracted to guys like Edward, or Jasper even, but, for some reason they just didn't cut it for me the way Emmett did. She also told me that Alice and Jasper were dating, but Rosalie, Emmett, and Edward were single. Actually, Rosalie and Edward are on an on and off couple, currently, to Jessica they seem off, though you can never tell too much. Emmett is the only single one. Though, Angela did tell me that a few of the other girls at our table had been upset because apparently Emmett kept looking at me when I wasn't looking, I grinned at that,

"Wonder how many times he rejected them" I laughed, she laughed along too, from what I can tell. Jessica and Angela's 'friendship' is quite strained for some reason, which is why she seems to not like me too much since I'm more gravitating to Angela, and not her.

"Funny thing, he never did, but he never accepted either, the other girls always got too tongue tied before they can utter a single word, so, knowing you caught his eye pisses them off to no end" I grinned, tuning into my own inner Ash,

"You know, I can have some fun with that, some of the girls at this school seem too high on their horses." I said thoughtfully, Angela seemed to agree. Somehow, 'sweet' and 'innocent' is just a façade Angela uses to hide her slight wariness of the gossip junkies.

We soon both fell into silence after that, it was an act appreciated by the both of us, I may be a talker in some cases, but in others I'm even more quiet than a mouse unless talked to directly.

We entered Biology, and I handed my slip of paper to the Bio teach. Mr. Banner, I grinned at that,

"Okay, you probably get this a lot, but your first name wouldn't happen to be Bruce right?" I was grinning hugely, anticipating his answer, Mr. Banner just gave me a look that said 'really? You going to pull that one on me?' he just shook his head at me and handed the now signed slip to me, not answering my question, which was still fine with me. He pointed to the only empty seat in the house, a lab table by Cowlick-Man, grinning, I gave him a head nod, he blinked before giving an easy going smile. No, I don't think that counts as flirting, I think it counts as acknowledging the other's presence. Lifting my bag over my head, I let it rest between my feet as I got out a notebook, a pen, and a pencil. I turned to a new, clean page and started doodling. Seeing shifting to my right I saw Cowlick-Man, he seemed a bit tense and his breathing seemed strained, looking to almost face him fully, I bit my bottom lip before tearing a small slip of paper and wrote in my usual neat handwriting,

"You okay dude? You don't look too good. Oh, right, I'm Izzy Swan, nice to meetcha Cowlick-Man!" he looked to the note and wrote quickly and only passed it when Mr. Banner wasn't looking.

"Cowlick-Man, how'd you get that? Anyways, I'm Edward Cullen, nice meeting you too" I quickly wrote back,

"Cowlick-Man, is because I didn't know your name, and you've got this totally rad cowlick working for you! When I was little mine always looked silly, Ash would always make fun of mine until I had to run my bangs through the tap water"

I was proud that he cracked a small smile as Ash's antics, even if hadn't met the crazy girl. After that we kept passing notes back and forth, I had asked him about what Angela said about Alice and Jasper, him and Rosalie, which he says are both true, and that he and Rosalie are currently off for another two days. I had even asked if Jessica did in fact, get rejected by Emmett, he grinned at that and wrote how the girl couldn't even sputter out a 'hello' without fumbling over her words, Emmett didn't even need to say anything. For some reason, that was way more hilarious than I originally thought and couldn't stop the silent laughter from making me tremble. When I was finally able to calm down, he asked how I liked Forks, what friends I may or may not have made, small, opening conversational things like that. I tried to answer as best as I could without giving too much away. Edward may seem like a cool dude, but I so did not want to get in anyone's way of a romantic relationship. That Rosalie chick seems cool, but if I get too close, she may not like that, neither would Jessica if I became too good of friends with Mike.

After Biology, Edward and I parted ways, he seemed more relaxed after talking and I was glad, I was happy knowing that I had something to do with a persons good mood. Shrugging my backpack on my back, and happily went to Gym class with Angela. Back in Phoenix, you only had to do two years, which wasn't too cool, but here, it was all four years, which was the bomb, I was happy, way too full of energy, and itched to get into the field. I walked up to Coach Clapp, he signed the slip and told me that since it was my first day, I didn't have to do anything, I pouted and grudgingly sat on the bleachers. I thought the point of P.E. was to give the students exercise, I thought sourly. Sighing, I looked up and couldn't believe it. There, playing basketball, was Emmett Cullen. For some reason I felt myself perk up at this, why though? I didn't even know the guy, except the small things Edward told me, even then that was vague. I watched him, I watched as his muscles worked underneath his P.E. clothes as he made shots, lay ups, and even a slam dunk a few times. I noticed that his sister, Alice was in the class too. I decided to do something I normally wouldn't have done, but I thought it was too funny to pass up, Alice though, seemed to be trying not to laugh as she scored another point on her side of the court.

When Emmett passed by, I licked my lips, brought my index and thumb a little bit into my mouth, and wolf whistled as he passed. Emmett blinked, then looked at me, grinning, I sent him a wink just as class was finished, he smirked and wiggled his eyebrows.

Shaking my head, I grabbed my stuff and hopped cheerily down the bleachers.


Walking to the truck, I managed not to get run over by the cars in the parking lot, or run into other students. Getting to the truck, I noticed the Cullen's standing by the Volvo and tried to ignore their looks they sent me. When I caught Edwards smile, I gave him a small one and a friendly, two finger mock-salute and hopped into the truck. I put the backpack on the passenger's floor, then I took my mp3 and put on the speakers again and put "Untouched" by The Veronica's on repeat and listened to it, letting it drown out my thoughts as I drove home.

By the time I got home-after buying groceries-it was pretty late. I needed to start dinner before Charlie got home, after witnessing his cooking skills, which consisted of bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast, I feared for my father's eating diet. He handed all cooking rights to me, which gave me a warm flutter, given that Renee's 'cooking' was disastrous. It wasn't until I was ten that I realized her 'cooking' was actually experiments on different types of food that should never mix, no wonder my stomach always felt so terrible after her 'meals.' So, after that, I would cook from then on, which she had slowly became accustomed to, as well as Charlie, I hope.

I decided to make steak, baked potato's, and a salad. While the potato's were baking, and the steak soaking in the sauces and seasonings I added, I went to quickly check my e-mail. The computer was pretty slow, it wasn't dial up, but it might as well be, there were at least three e-mails from Renee, one from Ash, and one from Gramps. The last one surprised me, Gramps hated using computers "They're too advanced for my old fashioned brain to understand" is what he'd always tell me. Smiling I checked Renee's first.

Izzy,

How are you doing? Do you like Forks? Have you made any new friends? More importantly, have you met any cute boys? ;) Anyways, I wanted to know if you knew where the yellow blouse went, the one with the pink petals on it. I can't find it and Phil says I'm worrying too much. I love you baby girl, and I hope the rain doesn't get you down too much.

-Love Mom

I chuckled, then proceeded to the second one.

Izzy,

Hi baby girl, you haven't really answered my e-mail. I understand if your busy, but never be too busy for your mother. Anyways, Phil says hello, so does Ash, and your grandfather.

-Love Mom

Short, sweet, to the point. Knowing her, she'll be flipping out in her last one.

Izzy,

Alright, Isabella Swan, e-mail me back by five thirty today or I'm calling Charlie!

-Mom

Ouch, I winced, she didn't add 'love' by the endings of her e-mails like the other two. Looking to my wristwatch, I had about ten minutes before she'd call and harass Charlie's ass about me. Rolling my eyes I hit 'Compose' and started a new e-mail to her. Happily, the last one was sent this afternoon.

Mom,

Chill okay? I'm writing right now as I write this. Anyways, Forks is great! I love it here, I've made a lot of acquaintances, I wouldn't really call any of them friends, except one girl, Angela Weber, she's a pretty cool chick to know. Anyways, It's Forks mom, of course it's raining, and I love it, it doesn't bother me at all, actually, I feel really energized because of it. Tell Phil I said hi too. No I haven't really met any boys that I feel that way about, I just got here! Anyways, your blouse was supposed to be at the dry cleaners, so don't worry about feeling crazy. Tell Gramps I say hi, I've already talked to Ash today during lunch. Don't call Charlie okay? Seeing as how I'm about to finish this e-mail. Well, that's it for the time being, I'll e-mail you later mom.

-Izzy

After hitting send, I leaned back in my chair and went to check on the food.

The steaks were doing good and were just about ready to be frying up in another minute. The potato's were good too, so, when that was done I headed back upstairs to finish sifting through my e-mails. The next one was from Ash, it was sent not too long ago and I smiled at that.

Izzy,

Hey, what's up girl? I miss you tons, I wish I were with you, I'm sure we'd give them hell, we could be Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum! Or devil twins, anything to stir up some random crap. Oh, hey, listen, I was wondering how you'd feel if I send you something, it's a dress, now, before you ignore this, hear-err, read-me out! It's a kick ass dress, remember how you texted me that you wanted to stand out? Well, you can do that with this outfit I have organized for you, you'll be the beauty queen of the century, the girl that men will flock to and women shy away from, feeling imperfect in your presence. Tell me what you think, well, actually I'm sending it either way, I'm only doing it because I love you Izzy. Also, wear those smoking hot leather boots with it as well, it'll definitely help factor in. Love and miss you like crazy Izzy!

-Love, your soul mate ;)

I chuckled at her ending. Ever since Ash and I had been friends, we believed in soul mates, and not the lover type when it came to us. Turns out, you can have a soul mate without it being about lovers, I like thinking of it like her being my missing twin, the whole 'We're twins that were separated at birth' situation. I shook my head at her antics but felt such comfort from the simple e-mail. I opened a new compose and started writing her back.

Ash,

I miss you too! I wish you had come with me as well, Forks is so BORING without my soul mate around to liven things up. Anyways, I digress, I think the outfit idea is actually pretty cool, as long as I have leggings underneath. I refuse to wear any dress or skirt without leggings underneath! Well, what else should I do? Alright, send the damn dress, and if I think it's appropriate for school, or raining weather then I can wear it, if not, I'll have to wait until another day. Sorry love, but that's just how it is here in Forks. I'll wear it in the house and take a picture and send it to you so you can see how horrible-or incredibly smoking-I look.

-Love, your other half ;P

Then the last one, from Gramps, but I decided to wait to read that until after dinner. Sighing, I got up and headed downstairs and started working on it again.

By the time I had put Charlie's hearty plate full of food in his usual spot, I got to work on fixing his salad, and grabbed him a beer while I got myself a Dr. Pepper. When I was finished with cooking myself some, I had to ask Charlie about the Cullen's, I wanted to know what he had to say. When I did ask him, it actually ended up with him red in the face as he spoke highly of the Cullen's, and lowly of the townsfolk.

"People in this town" he muttered,

"Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon who could probably work in any hospital in the world, make ten times the salary he gets here. We're lucky to have him-lucky that his wife wanted to live in a small town. He's an asset to the community, and all those kids are well behaved and polite. I had my doubts, when they first moved in, with all those adopted teenagers. I thought we might have some problems with them. But they're all very mature-I haven't had one speck of trouble from any of them. That's more than I can say for the children of some folks who have lived in this town for generations. And they stick together the way a family should-camping trips every other weekend…Just because they're new-comers, people have to talk." That, my friends, was the longest speech I have ever had the pleasure and dis-pleasure of hearing from Charlie's mouth. Blinking, I took a tentative bite of the steak, chewing thoughtfully and swallowed before re-wording my next sentence,

"What I meant to say was that, I noticed they mostly kept to themselves during lunch. They're also very attractive" especially the bodybuilder, Emmett,

"They seem nice enough to me. I actually got to talk with one of them earlier, Edward was very polite and civil" I helped in defense, Charlie looked a little amused,

"You should see Dr. Cullen" he laughed,

"The nurses can't seem to think straight when they're around him. If it weren't for the fact that he was happily married, I think there would be underground fights over the Doctor's heart" I laughed this time, I hadn't met him, but I'm pretty sure, from seeing their kids-adopted or not-that Dr. Cullen and his wife were just as beautiful. The rest of the night was spent in silence as we ate, and when we finished, Charlie went to watch the game while I cleaned up the dishes and left them out to dry. We didn't have a washer, but I didn't care. Heading upstairs, I grabbed a towel and headed to the bathroom. While I waited for the shower to heat up, I brushed my teeth, loving the mint, refreshing goodness that my toothpaste brought me. I know, I'm a dork, I can't help it, I hang out with Ash a lot, she's bound to rub off on me.


Hopping into the shower, I loved the hot water running down my body. I used my Garnier Fructis, shampoo and conditioner in my hair, loving the silky feeling my hair will be like when it would be dry. The hot water loosened my muscles, and I used my Honey and Vanilla body wash to scrub myself. When I finished rinsing my hair and skin, I couldn't stop the giddy feeling that being clean, straight out of the shower brought me. Wrapping a towel around my chest, I grabbed my things and quickly scampered to my room, where I dressed in a black and red flannel pajama bottoms and a dark, rose red spaghetti strapped top that showed a little bit of my stomach. Towel drying my hair, I looked to my grandfather's dog tags and remembered the e-mail he sent me and went to check out what he wrote.

Opening the file, I was surprised at it's length, I figured since he hates e-mailing, that it'd be short, sweet, to the point, the way Renee sometimes e-mails when she's mad. Instead, it was pretty long and I was even more curious.

Soldier,

There are things you need to know, I know it's not fair of me to tell you all these things like this, over an e-mail, but you need to know, the sooner the better. Isabella, I want you to know, that when your grandmother Lizzy was pregnant with your mother, I hadn't felt as much joy as I had felt since Lizzy had agreed to marry me. I digress, your mother was such a blessing to our small family, she was so sweet, and silly, and always put a smile on our faces. Years later when she had met your father, I was happy for them, that they found love in each other, and, god, when they brought you home from the adoption agency…My dear sweet Isabella…your grandmother and I…we were so over joyed and euphoric that you had been brought into the world.

When I had been brought into a period of depression and anxiety over the loss of your grandmother, I had never felt such devastation before, not even when I was on those tours with the other soldiers, and boys that I had come to think of as my sons in some ways. Anyways, I knew I had to live, so that I could be a part of your life, I needed to know what kind of young woman you would turn out to be, who you would take after, the kind of life you would lead. Soldier, you want to know why I call you that? Well, I'll tell you. It all started when you were five years old, I had a nightmare, and your sensitive ears at the time, had picked up my sobbing. You came to me, stubbornly refused to leave me, no matter how many times I ordered you to leave me behind, you just pouted, and, in a quivering voice, you stuttered,

"Soldiers never leave their men behind. Especially when they are hurting" at that moment, I knew who you took after in personality, you had your father's stubbornness, your mother's humor, your grandmother's light, and my war hero's honor and spirit. At that moment, I knew, I just knew that you were going to be the strongest of all of us Swan family members, you have a fighting spirit I hadn't seen since my time in the wars. I hope that, someday Izzy, that spirit will someday save you, and help protect the ones you love. Alright Soldier, a few more things and I'm letting you go.

When I say you have your grandmother's light, I mean that, during my mourning period, you helped me, you made me talk about it with you, even if you didn't quite understand the severity of the situation quite yet. You guided me the way Lizzy guided me through PTSD when I first came home from the tours. You showed me the way to a better future, you showed that life is a beautiful thing, and I never want you to forget it. I hope that, someday, the lucky man you meet, will feel the same way about you, that I did for Lizzy, that you will be his light, and show him a path and future full of love, life, and light. Know that, Soldier, even if I'm not always there with you physically, I will always be with you in spirit, as well as those dog tags. As a reminder of how much of a joy you are to this family, I want you to keep them permanently, take care of them Soldier, take care of the people you love and trust, but, most importantly, take care of yourself.

-Love, your Gramps

I saved the e-mail in drafts, I stumbled to my dresser as tears spilled past my eyes, running down my cheeks like two waterfalls as I brushed my hair and fluffed it out again. I went to sit on my bed and sat against the headboard, knees pulled to my chest as I grabbed the dog tags and clutched them to my chest.

"Why did that feel like a final goodbye?" I questioned the tags softly, hoping they'd have an answer, like usual, whatever answers that they held secret, stayed secret. I sighed, putting the necklace around my neck, letting them dangle as I got on my knees and turned, getting under the blankets. On my side, facing the window, I reached over and turned off the lamp light and burrowed deeply into my blankets and sheets, letting the silent tears fall as I clutched my grandfather's military dog tags to my heart. The last thing I remember was feeling some kind of love and warmth surround me, like my gentle blankets as I allowed sleep to finally take over.


Kitsunekit75: Okay, so again I remind you, that not all chapters will have a whole bunch of editing, but I suggest you go back and re-read the whole thing anyways, just in case you don't want to miss anything new.