Enjoy and don't swoon too much ;)

*Chapter 1*






Today would be uneventful, I thought as I stirred creamy cake batter round and round the bowl. My boyfriend Jacob was out at work so I wouldn't need to worry about him coming home until at least five.

I poured the batter into a tin and set it in the oven to cook for an hour.

I washed up carefully and untied my apron, hanging it on the hook on the back of the door. Jacob worked in a factory downtown, far enough away for me not to worry about him coming home early each day. I shuddered as I touched the fresh bruise on my neck where he had squeezed just a little too tightly.

Pfft, too tightly my ass. He near enough strangled me.

I covered it self-consciously with my hair, and a layer of foundation. I didn't want people getting the impression that I was a 'show-your-hickeys-to-everyone' kind of girl.

I often wondered why I stayed with him, why I made myself his punch bag. I turned on my stereo, blasting my Bastille playlist as the beautiful smell of baking filled the small apartment.

I heard a horn beeping outside and flew to the window, nosy as I was.

I peered through the blinds, looking down onto the forecourt.

I saw a beaten up old truck in one of the empty spaces - a Chevy by the look of it. 1950's. It was basically a heap of rust, but managed to look good to my eyes.

What came out of the driver's side door was even better looking. A tall, lanky, bronze haired man slid out and shut the door, leaning against it as if to prepare himself mentally for some sort of gruelling challenge. I noted that there was boxes and bags piled up in the truck's flatbed and wondered if he was the new tennant Riley had told me about who was moving in this month.

Riley was the landlord of our four-storey apartment block and we were good friends. He went out with a gorgeous blonde model called Kate who occasionally popped round for tea and cookies.

I focused my attention back to the new man on the block and saw he was now unloading boxes, piling them up on the ground like a mini skyscraper city right there on the concrete. I felt like a complete nosy creep, ogling this perfect specimen of a man out of my own window.

Eh, what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

It was going to be a struggle for the newbie to get everything up three or four flights of stairs, seeing as the only empty apartment was on the top floor. I didn't want to be seen as a nosy busybody and annoy him by questioning his masculinity.

Jacob sure went on about it enough for me to know better.

But I didn't want to watch him struggle up and down with heavy boxes again and again. I did it with four bags of shopping every few days and that was Hell enough for me. No one needed to go to the gym in this block if you lived on the upper floors.

My instincts got the better of me and I slipped on my best blue sandals, applied a little mascara and checked myself over in the mirror. I knew I shouldn't be dolling myself up for a stranger but Jacob didn't exactly appreciate my looks.

Besides, girls couldn't help wanting to look good, right? I figured I didn't look like a slut or a whore so I took off out the door and down the stairs. When I reached the front door, the man was coming through the door with two boxes stacked on top of each other in his arms.

"Hey," I said softly, not wanting to seem like a psychopath. A beautiful head topped with a bronze disarray of hair peered round the boxes, his eyes curious.

"Oh, hey," He smiled and God what a beautiful smile it was.

"Need some help? I live on the third floor," I offered, hoping he would accept. His mouth wavered slightly but he regained composure and smiled again.

"Sure, that'd be really nice…thanks," He hesitated, rocking back on his heels, maybe regretting accepting my offer. I needed to work some trust between us.

"I'm Bella," I smiled timidly.

"Edward Masen," He replied with a gentle grin that would have any girl melting, "I would shake your hand but…" He snickered softly, jogging the boxes in his arms. His laugh twisted pleasurable knots in my stomach that I hadn't felt for a long, long time and I giggled softly in return.

"So, can I go grab a few?"

"Sure, just don't nick anything," He teased. I shook my head and laughed.

"Nah, I'm not that kind of girl,"

"Good to know," He remarked with a smirk. He headed up the stairs, his jeans scratching together softly at each step. He had a nice backside too, I noted.

Why didn't Jacob affect me like this anymore? Oh, I know; because he uses me as a punch bag.

I carried various boxes and bags upstairs for the next half an hour or so, Edward following and chatting to me eagerly as we puffed upstairs and downstairs repeatedly. I was glad to have some company for once. Jacob forbade me having visitors, except Riley and Kate but only when he was around to keep an eye on things.

It wasn't like I was going to bang every man that came along but if I did happen to be single, I would definitely consider pulling some strings on Mr Hotty here.

"Done, at last," He panted, dumping the last box at his door and taking out his key. We leaned against the wall, regaining our breath and smiling at each other timidly.

He looked flustered, tired and completely and utterly hot. He ran a hand through his tangle of wild hair and sighed softly.

"I'll bring these in later," He gestured to the boxes, straightening up to open his door and look in. It smelled of a 'new house'.

Everyone knows that smell. You know - the powdery, concrete, dusty-musty smell that is in every new house when you first walk in.

To me, it smelled beautiful.

"Coming in?" He asked almost shyly. I nibbled my lip, considering. Jacob wouldn't be home for ages. I needed to stop worrying.


And we went inside. It was bare mostly, some paint cans here and there, an odd bit of carpet and planks of wood with nails protruding out of them. Otherwise, it was a really decent living space and looked so much bigger than my own apartment downstairs.

"God, I can't believe it's this tidy," He let out a huff of laughter.

"You mean you didn't come to see it before now?" I asked incredulously, "Gambler," I added teasingly.

He laughed, "Nah, just thought I'd take a risk. Besides, this is luxury compared to my old apartment," He breathed out steadily, looking more relaxed than before.

"Where'd you live before?"

"The J.F. Estate. Bad place, nasty people," He shrugged, regret clear in his eyes.

"I'm sorry,"

I knew that area and there was some right little shits that lived there. It was the kind of place where people pissed in elevators, shoved fireworks through your letterbox and would rob you blind if you left anything unlocked, sitting or open.

"Don't be sorry, I'm here now and…I think things will be better," He murmured, looking up at me with his gorgeous emerald orbs.

I melted.

I looked away, blushing profusely, my eyes scanning the bare flat, noting we hadn't brought any actual furniture up.

He didn't have a cooker, washing machine, sofas, nothing.

"Don't you have a bed?" I asked aloud by mistake, then blushed at my words.

That sounded so prude.

Way to go Bella.

"I'm sorry I-"

He cut me off with a shake of his head.

"Hey, don't worry about it," He said softly, smiling at me to let me know I was forgiven. "And no, I don't have a bed," He mused almost thoughtfully. "Yet"

He scratched his stubble-covered jaw and oh, if my panties didn't squeal. For some reason, the angle of his jaw made him more manly than ever.

"Do you have anything to sleep on?"

"Nope," He popped the sound playfully and pulled out a lone fruit crate to sit on. He rested his hands on his knees, his elbows jutting out as he leaned on his hands, staring at the floor.

I didn't want him to sleep on the floor…But I didn't know what else I could do.

I didn't want to end our easy conversation either.

He seemed so nice, but so lost in a weird kind of way.

I made a quick decision

"Want to come downstairs for a little while?" I asked shyly, wondering if this was a good idea.

I guess there was only one way to find out.




End Notes: Well, what do you think? I know it's maybe a bit clichéd, but I hope this story will be good. Edward certainly made me swoon in this chapter. Jacob sounds like a bit of an ass, huh?

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