Welcome to Drama Academy By twilightluver001 All the girls in East Coast Academy wanted one thing- the king

, the playboy of the school, EDWARD CULLEN. What happens when the beautiful Isabella arrives and Edward is determined to make her his? Will she fall for the playboy? All HUMAN. Twilight - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 45 - Words: 148,976 - Reviews: 12,900 Bella & Edward - Complete
Quick Summary: Edward Cullen is THE KING of East Coast Pacific. Basketball Captain, Student Body President... Not to mention the hottest guy on campus. When Bella starts going there, Edward immediately had his eyes locked on the new girl. The problem is, she isn't panting after him like all of the other girls. What will he do to win her heart? And will Bella fall for the playboy? How will Lauren Mallory, the jealous Queen Bee react to that? Lots of drama and romance. ALL HUMAN... of course. p.s. In my story, Bella isn't the same klutzy girl that she was in Twilight. She's athletic, and more outgoing. Enjoy! Chapter One

“Bella, call if you ever need anything, okay?” my dad, Charlie said for the thousandth times before handing me my bags
and luggage.

“Dad, I’ll be fine…” I assured him, almost tired from repeating the same sentence over and over again. “Good luck, kiddo,” he patted my head and hugged, “I hope you meet great friends.” “See you later,” I waved him goodbye, and sighed in relief as soon his BMW was out of sight. I was sick of the fake,
cheerful face that I forced myself to put on for Charlie’s sake. I took a deep breath, and turned around to face my new school, East Coast Academy, the home of the Bulldogs. Huh. Perfect. My father, Charlie, is a movie producer. He lived in Hollywood while I lived in New York with my mom. My parents divorced since I was a toddler, and they both got remarried about a year after. Mom’s husband, Phil, is a pretty cool guy. He wasn’t the fatherly figure, more like the friend kind. Which is totally fine with me. Charlie’s new wife (Yes… He got another divorce with the one after my mom), however, IS a problem. She thinks that somehow she needs to look after me and stick her nose in every single one of my problems. I constantly remind her that I have a mother. A real one. One that actually cares about me, not just faking in front of my dad. Now, I wouldn’t be so pissed if she wasn’t only ten years older than me; I mean come on! Do you expect me to call someone who’s old enough to be my sister, “mom”? My first impression of the campus was that it was very bright… modern. There were guys playing catch with footballs, freebies… Girls just sitting there on a beach stool getting a tan. In fact, this doesn’t look like a school. It looks like a hotel or a club. There were lots of laughs, giggling… Just my type, I thought to myself sarcastically. When I went in the Administration Office, there was a very pretty lady, Roxanne, it shows on her name tag, sitting up front, typing. Huh. I really hope not all of them look like her. Because then, I would definitely not fit in.

“Umm… Excuse me? I’m Isabella Swan… I’m new here.”
She glanced up from her work, with a huge smile.

“Hello sweetie, welcome to our school… Here’s your schedule, and a map of our school…” She handed me a bunch of
papers to fill out. As soon as I was done, I rushed out of the office. That’s what I hate about transferring to another school, paperworks. Agh. Since East Coast Academy is a boarding school, we are assigned to dorms. Mine was really close to my classroom, or so it seems on the map. As I went in the common room of our dorms, there were lots of snickering and pointing.

“Ha… Newbie,” a girl with long black hair smirked as her friends started laughing. I tried to ignore them and just headed
for the elevator.

My room was on the second floor. Room 204… Room 205… Oh, here it is. Room 206. I took a deep breath and opened the door, and there was someone in there already. Of course, my roommate.

“Hi!” she skipped to me, optimistic and cheerful. “You must be Isabella! I’m Alice!” she hugged me as if we have been
friends for life. Alice was very pretty. She had glossy, black, spiky hair; and she was thin to the extreme. She was about a foot or more shorter than I am, yet, she looks so energetic.

“Hello Alice,” I giggled. “Please call me Bella…” I said shyly. She laughed. “Oh my gosh! Here I am hugging you when you’re probably dead on your feet! Let me help you with your bags!” she took
it from me as if they were no weight at all and placed it on my bed, which was the one closer to the window.

“Thanks Alice…” “Sorry… I must be scary you with my enthusiasm, I was just so happy that about having a roommate! I have a feeling that
we’re going to be great friends!” she squealed as she held my hands with excitement.

“Me too, Alice! You really are the nicest person that I’ve met all day!” I laughed as she did the same. “Here, let me help you unpack,” she offered. “Umm… you don’t have to… You must have something better to do on a Sunday afternoon…” “No! That’s fine…. My boyfriend’s in basketball practice… besides, I remember my first day here, it took me a whole week
to get settled,” she grimaced. She had decorated the room with posters, picture frames… The room was amazing.

“Oh… if you want to hang something up, or if you don’t like any of these things, feel free to take them off… This room is
just as much yours as mine… I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable in it,” she smiled apologetically.

“No Alice! The room looks great! Better than my old bedroom at home,” I chuckled and she looked pleased. “Well, let’s get you unpacked,” she clapped her hand as I unzipped my bags. I have a feeling that we’re going to get along
just fine. We talked while we unpacked; I found out that she too, was from New York along with the rest of her family.

“Alice?” There was a knock on the door; a beautiful blonde girl came in. She was very pretty; she looked like a swimsuit
model rather than a typical high school student. Her blonde hair was long and wavy, and her eyes were clear blue. She had all the curves in the right place, it made me feel bad just to look at her.

“Speaking of family,” Alice muttered. “Bella, I’d like you to meet my best friend, Rosalie. She’s my brother’s girlfriend.”
Before I could say anything, Rosalie smiled and shook my hand.

“It’s really nice to meet you Bella, Alice was so excited about having a roommate…” she rolled her eyes at her. “You too, Rosalie,” I smiled back at her. “Rosalie’s a senior, and she lives right next door…” Alice explained. “You don’t have a roommate?” I asked. “No…” she chuckled. “She needs the privacy with Emmett,” Alice elbowed her and I laughed. Rosalie looked slightly embarrassed. “So you guys want to grab dinner or what?”
Alice and I didn’t even notice that it was already 6:30.

“Sorry, I kept you working for so long,” I apologized. “No… Don’t worry about it! I wasn’t even hungry,” Alice grinned. “Come on, let’s go to Hal’s,” Rosalie suggested. “Jasper and Emmett are there already, I saw them coming out from practice
a while ago.”

Turns out, there WASN’T a cafeteria in the school. There were different kinds of shops, restaurants, even stores for shopping. It was like a mini town. When we reached Hal’s, I saw two very good-looking guys sitting outside, waiting at the table. They waved at us; and it suddenly came to me. Of course, Emmett and Jasper.

“Hey!” they greeted us and motioned us to the table. “You must be Bella!” said the bigger, more muscular one. He had curly black hair, and scary biceps. Yet, he wasn’t
intimidating, he was very nice. “I’m Emmett,” he smiled as he held out his hand.

“And I’m Jasper,” said the other one, smiling. We exchanged a hand shake and he gave Alice a small peck on the lips.
Jasper was very different from Emmett; he had blonde hair, and blue eyes, just like Rosalie.

“We’re twins,” Rosalie explained as she watched me study them two with a chuckle. “Oh…” I said shyly. Then, I noticed the similarity between the four of them; they were all unbelievably good looking. They
weren’t like those stars from the movies that wore makeup and fancy clothes to emphasize their looks; in fact, they could wear rugs and still pull off the perfect look.

“So… what do you guys want to eat?” Emmett asked. “I’m starving! The coach made us run twenty laps at practice today,”
she rubbed his belly.

“I don’t know about you, but the super-sized pizza sounds good to me,” Jasper licked his lips. Alice and Rosalie decided to
get spaghetti, as for me? I ordered a personal pan-sized pineapple pizza.

“I’ll be right back with your order,” said the waitress as she disappeared into the kitchen. “So… how’s your first day going?” Emmett asked conversationally. “Umm… so far so good,” I shrugged. “Well, look who’s there,” Alice groaned as we all turned to see a bronzed- hair boy, arms around two pretty girls, laughing.
He was gorgeous. He was definitely better looking than any actors or models that I have seen. He glanced at me as he passed by, and I found myself lost in his gaze. His eyes were smoldering and beautiful, just like the rest of him.

“Those girls are idiots; can’t they see that he’s playing them?” Jasper sighed. “They know; they just want to brag about their night with ‘the Edward Cullen’…” Rosalie said, annoyed. I didn’t dare to
ask about the attractive guy, they all looked obviously frustrated by the fact that he exists.

“Here are your drinks,” a different waitress came with five Cokes and pulled me from my train of thoughts. Rosalie and
Alice prattled on something about the exam next week; I just ate quietly and listened. I couldn’t help but think about the gorgeous guy that I saw a while ago. Chapter Two Beep! Beep! I groaned at the sound of my alarm clock the next morning, tried to ignore it.

“Bella?” Alice was tugging at my blanket.
I yawned, “Okay. I’m up,” I said sleepily and headed for the bathroom. I cleaned my teeth, and headed for closet for something to wear. I decided to wear my Levis jeans and my American Eagle pullover that my mom had gotten for me before coming to California. I wasn’t a fan of brand shirts, but my mom had eliminated my old clothes saying that she wants to renew my closet before I come. We compared our schedules, turns out; I didn’t have a single class with any of the Cullens. Nada.

“Man, what is wrong with this school?” Alice said, frustrated. “Oh well, at least I can still see you after school and at lunch,” I tried to cheer her up. “Yeah… You’re right, we better get going,” she said, disappointed.
Alice walked with me, giving me a quick tour of the campus. We passed by the pool, the basketball court, and a sign that says “Bowling Alley- TURN RIGHT”. Is this seriously a school? Alice and I grabbed a sandwich and a glass of orange juice to eat on the way, because we were kinda running out of time.

“Well, I would walk you to your classroom, but my class is that way, and I’m going to be late…” she looked at me
apologetically.

“Don’t worry; I’ll be able to find it… Thanks Alice,” I smiled. “I’ll save you a seat at lunch!” she called and she took off running. I really hope I don’t get her in trouble. I pushed the door
of the building open, and looked for my first period, Mathematics. On my way to my class, I saw the gorgeous looking boy from yesterday lip-locking with another girl. He had his hands on the girl’s waist, as the girl had hers around his neck. Just watching them made me feel sick! Can’t they seriously do it in a closet? When I walked in the room, lots of girls were glaring, and the guys were whispering. I took a seat in the back, and tried to turn my attention on the book. First period was utterly boring. I was never a fan of equations and square roots. The bell rang, and I stormed out of the classroom, hoping that next period would go as smoothly as this one, no introductions expected from the teachers. I didn’t notice where I was going, then I ran into something hard while I was looking down at my map. I fell flat on my butt. Crap. That hurts.

“What the…” said the voice, furious. I looked up, rubbed my forehead, and saw him looking straight down at me, very
surprised.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized as I tried to get up. He helped me pick up my books and gave me a dreamy smile. “No, it was my fault; I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going…” he offered his hand to help me up, I took it and he
handed me my books.

“Thanks,” I said. “I’m Edward Cullen,” he took out his hand again, dazzling me with his smile. “Bella Swan,” I said breathlessly, once again caught up in his gaze. I reminded myself to snap out of it. “Do you have any trouble finding your next class?” he asked generously. “No… I think I know where it is,” I said politely. “Yo! Edward!” One of the boys from the crowd called to him from the end of the hall. He turned around, and the whole
group waved at him. The girls were squealing, as if they just won a million dollars. They all looked at him as if he was… I don’t know, god?

“Umm… I guess I’ll see you around,” he smiled crookedly. “Yeah…” Then he was gone. I sighed. My first encounter with Edward Cullen? I fell on my butt. How impressive. I
couldn't help but think of his smoldering eyes. his breath-taking smile... they were soo dreamy. I immediately shook that thought off my head. He's a playboy, remember? I had gym second period. We had to play basketball, guys versus girls. I had always been a big fan of b-ball, and I loved to play the game. Some of the girls sat out, saying that it’ll damage their “precious nails,” so two guys came on our team to help us out. The game started with the guy-team scoring. I didn’t want to go for the ball; I wouldn’t want them to think that I was showing off. They weren’t really that good; it took them three tries to make it in the basket.

“Yeah! In your face!” they smirked at me and my teammates and high-fived each other. “I think the girls are just too fragile to play ball with the guys,” said a boy with blonde, spiky hair, taunting. Okay. That does
it. BEEP! It wasn’t a surprise that their team got the ball.

“Derek!” the guy who had the ball tried to pass it to the boy next to me. Hmm… Not this time…
Before he even got a chance to catch the ball, I lunged for it and headed for the other side of the court. The girls on my team were cheering. I ran past several guys who tried to stand in my way, but they never got the chance to touch the ball. As I was saying, they weren’t GOOD. The two guys on our team, Chad and Lucas, were definitely helpful. We passed the ball to each

so far so good. trying to ignore the staring. until we were only a foot away from the basket. “Let’s say I have my connections. Chad gave me the ball. He chuckled. She shook her hair with her hand. how did you know about that?” I was sure that I only told Alice about it. “That’s really none of your business. just stay out of my way. The game ended. How do you like school so far?” he asked. and turned away with a huff along with her posse.” I shrugged. “My pleasure. “What?” I shrugged. I was just flipping through the literature textbook.” I said back. The guys and the girls stared at me with wide. remembering the little accident this morning. Close enough to see his stunning emerald green eyes. Close enough to see all those perfect features of his. back and forth. curious eyes. skinny. Jessica and Kelsey gave each other a dirty look. there were only six kids in the room when I walked in. “Hi. One more class. sounds like I just got myself involved with “the untouchables”. But. “Very impressive from what I’ve heard. Jasper. Jessica and Kelsey. and we won’t have a problem. “Well. However. “So… work out much?” she smirked and frowned as the group behind her burst into laughter. messing with one of my pens. The girls on our team were pleased.” said the two boys on our team.not that I keep one. “No… I’m sure you heard wrong…. still grinning. “We didn’t get a chance to talk this morning… You’re from New York. I turned away and went in the dressing room to get ready for my next class. serious. and it wasn’t friendly at all.” I said. Like. It gave me the creeps. “Quite a performance in gym. came up to me. “Yes… Wait. jaws hanging. The other team scoffed nervously. Chapter Three The morning went by fast. which means hanging out with Alice. A tall. and Emmett. isn’t that right?” he asked. Even though I’ve only met them for a day. I arrived early for ELA. I made the basket. Rosalie. She was wearing shorts that are short to the extreme. “Okay newbie. “So…” I looked up and saw none other than the perfect Edward Cullen. and these are my friends. He bent down and rested his arm on my desk and took the seat in front of me. “No one. She was the cheerleading type. but somehow they were already added on my best friends list. close enough to smell the attractive scent of his.” he snickered. I could tell you that much. Talked to her. That.” he smiled crookedly. The teacher told me to take a seat in the back and I did. Stop it Bella. his long lashes. and the guys on the other team crowded me. “Cali must be hard for you to get use to. Great… I have a class with him? I felt myself blushing. and it was lunch. She sounded surprised with my tone. Has ever. the girls that sat out weren’t too thrilled with my performance. I sighed.other. “Well. a few guys whistled as she made her way toward me.” I mumbled and looked down at my text book. “She just got lucky. There was an “OH” sound in the background. . That was when I heard his velvet voice. I would say you’re proud of yourself… I’m Lauren. “Damn! The new girl’s pretty good.” I greeted them back dryly.” said a boy with seriously facial problems. smirking.” She smiled. it was already fourth period. we were two points behind.” said a boy.” she said through her teeth. “Yes! You did it!” the girls were hugging each other. He was close to me.” he leaned closer and I was nearly out of breath. Shoot Bella! And I did. as if he knew exactly what I was thinking. it’s my first day… so I don’t think I can answer that question right now. smiling brilliantly at me. blonde girl.

I guess you got the chance to get to know Miss Swan over there. “HAND WRITTEN. which was in the third row. Swan. thank heavens for that. “Yeah. the bell rang. Then the class began. “You wish. “Okay… Tomorrow. I ran to them. I did not enjoy being the spotlight of the class. I still think the dude is gay…. Alice and her family were no where in sight. as I pouted slightly. Is that clear?” “Yes.” the teacher said fiercely. Others read the same passages as the expression of intense friendship rather than sexual love…” she finished proudly. a boy from my gym class. Caughman glared at him. “But Miss? What happened to different opinions?” he asked. The teacher turned red. “I’ll see it on my desk tomorrow. finished. yes… I did. today we’re going to read and learn more about William Shakespeare… Oh. “Oh god.” Edward sighed. everyone has different opinions. “Oh. Isabella Swan…” “It’s Bella. “Bella! Over here!” I turned around and saw her waving at me. I really do…” he smiled.” her eyes narrowed. Some of the girls turned around to glare at me. “Gay?” Cody. if he actually had a love life. “I wasn’t finished… As I was saying. Caughman. and saw Emmett and Jasper pouring drinks at each other. Cullen. That would make him like so…” said a girl in red jacket as she curled up her lips in disgust. Mrs. and then I heard someone calling my name. bouncing up and down. I didn’t notice that we were leaning toward each other.” Edward winked at me before leaving the classroom as I rolled my eyes at him. as everyone in our class frowned. “Yeah… Whatever. “I really hope that everyone else will help her around. we both scooted back. He turned around and mouthed a “hey” to me.” he whispered and gave me one last crooked smile before going back to his seat.” I scoffed. “I will be expecting a a thousand word essay on my desk tomorrow…” she cracked a smile. Mrs. we’ll be continueing learning about the greatest English poet… Your homework for the night is to look up information on the Internet about him.” she paused to look at him.” she smiled darkly at him. Cullen. Shakespeare. rolling her eyes as he shrugged. “Okay… besides Edward. smirking as he put his hands up in the air. Coughman. alone with his plays. I mean. The guys were giving him high-fives or telling him “good jobs” as the girls shot dead glances in my direction. I would suggest you do it outside my classroom. writing’s not my thing!” he complained. Mr. “If you want to criticize Mr. “Thank you. Bella Swan. before we start. The teacher gave him an annoying look.“Yeah… because you’ve met me. as I called it. “Okay class. readers have pointed to Shakespeare's sonnets as evidence of his love for a young man…” said Mrs.” Edward corrected her. “Over the centuries.” he joked.” I was just gathering my books when I heard their conversation.” “What! I didn’t do anything! Besides Mrs. “I’ll see you after class. looking straight at me in the eye. It felt like he was just doing that to torture me. Cullen. for when the bell rang. completely speechless. To her rescue. “As for you Mr. why was he spending most of his life writing plays and poems?” Edward asked. I remembered. she gave us many interesting facts about the man. I would like to welcome a new student to our class. The Literature teacher was fun. I headed for the food court. they all looked ready to pounce on me any second. . snickering still. smirking again.” the class replied. Mr.

I just wanted to say hi to Bella. Got it.” Rosalie looked at me. “All the guys imagine themselves in love with her. annoyed.” Rosalie said darkly.. .” Alice shuddered. she was furious… Saying that we’re ungrateful and all that crap… You know what she did? She printed out flyers saying that Rosalie and I had sex with Emmett and Jasper in the locker room! As if we were that low. “She thinks that she’s the queen of the school. cheering with Lauren and her peeps. as if we were HER! ” she grunted through her teeth. smacking Emmett at the same time.” I mumbled. “She said it made sense for us to join. “No… It wasn’t me. stay on her good side…” Jasper said.” Alice smiled. looking furious. “Last year. “You did that?” Rosalie asked. “Ah… good times. Casey did it and he knows that. Chapter Four “Speaking of devils. and the girls think that the only way to get popularity was to suck up to her..” Edward pretended to look hurt.” “Gotcha man.“Hey Bella!” Rosalie greeted me. “So! How was class? Did you get a chance to talk to anyone?” Alice beamed at me.” he smirked. “But I wouldn’t mess with her.” Emmett said. Rosalie and Alice both glared at them. we turned it down. do you see us as the cheerleading type?” Alice chuckled as Rosalie made a gagging sound. Good times. unbelieving. “Go Bulldogs!” Emmett said in a high-pitched voice to make us laugh. why is everyone so afraid of her?” I asked. of course. she looked horrible. He looked so cute when he was annoyed. puzzled. “What a bitch. Cullen?” a teacher called him from behind.” “Enjoying ourselves?” A voice came from behind and it startled me. I mean. being the head-cheerleader. you can almost see smoke steaming off her head. “Anyway. she offered Rosalie and I a place in cheerleading. too. I turned around and saw the godlike creature smiling. “Oh. “Thank you. since Jasper and Emmett were on the basketball team… But I just can’t imagine holding two pompoms. “What do you want Edward?” Alice asked. that’s harsh Rose. “Well. just because she was Prom Queen.” Rosalie muttered as she took a sip of her lemonade. “This is a part of our daily routine. “Thankfully. “And to inform Jasper and Emmett that Coach decided to postpone practice today. “Relax. “Oh god… What did you do this time?” Alice laughed.” Emmett smiled. which made their smiles disappear. Rosalie ignored him. please don’t mind us…” Emmett laughed. I told them about my encounter with Lauren and her group. It was egged.” they looked nervously back at their girlfriends. taking a huge bite of his sandwich. outraged. we got back at her before she put them up… We had a picture of her without makeup when she woke up one morning. the old man just wants to blame it on me. “Okay… No more messing around. “Mr. He pointed toward a red Ford that was parked a few yards away in the parking lot.” he pouted. she’s a total devil. rolling her eyes. “Ouch. disgusted.” Jasper joined him and laughed.” Emmett snorted. “God… You’re serious. and so we threatened her.

” I mumbled.” Rosalie sighed. “We all still love our little brother. “Whoa… What.” Alice smiled as I stared at her with my jaw hanging. “It’s just his ways with girls that we get frustrated with. but our parents adopted him when we were seven… He’s parents died. as soon as I was well enough to speak again. I’m coming. “No… I’m fine.” Emmett suggested as Jasper gave him a elbowed him.” she explained. “Unfortunately. “Nobody treats Edward that way…” the next thing I know. “He really is our cousin. huh?” Alice repeated with a wink. . “Bella? Are you alright?” Rosalie asked. “But underneath it all…” Alice said smugly. we have to…” Rosalie sighed as I gave her a confused look. That’s why he knew where I was from. “Sure… And the sun sets in the east. Edward is my brother. “Don’t ever. You… say?” “Edward’s our brother. Florence was giving me deathly glares all morning. I couldn’t help but laugh.” Emmett laughed. “You see Bella. Emmett patted my back while I coughed. Alice Cullen. EVER. “I had date with her that night… I called her to tell her that I couldn’t make it because Florence gave me detention for skipping… She got mad and said.” I said shyly. Florence gave him a disbelieving look.” she laughed.” Emmett finished. “This ain’t the first time something like this happened…” They all laughed. Edward Cullen was related to Alice and Emmett? Then something dawned me.” I said truthfully. “It’s just hard to believe. say that again Alice!” Why the hell does she think he would like me? He could get any girl in this school. “No. “Something wrong?” Alice asked. “Edward Cullen?!” Then man was furious now.” he muttered as he walked to the teacher with a huge smug.” Jasper said jokingly.” Mr. Edward Cullen. Cullen…” “See? Popularity is pretty dangerous. “Whatever you’re about to say. “Chill man. “I think he likes you. Did. Of course they were related. hard to believe. We laughed hardly. I repeat. “Follow me to the principal’s office Mr. “It’s so obvious that you’re new Bella. I mean… I thought you guys didn’t like him. I wasn’t me…” I heard him saying to the teacher before their voices began to fade.“And why would she egg his car?” Emmett raised his eyebrows. it was impossible! “Oh come on Bella! It was so unusual for him to be so interested in someone… He called me this morning to ask about you right after first period. “What?” I asked as I took a sip of my Coke. “I didn’t know that you guys talked to him.” she finished proudly as I spat out my Coke. Edward’s a cool guy…” Jasper said truthfully. “Maybe we should pour drinks on her or slap her. except for Edward. “And you know what I think?” Alice beamed. He swallowed guiltily. waving her hand in front of me. “Oh…” I couldn’t think of anything to say. “But how would he know it had something to do with you?” I asked. I could feel myself blushing while they all stared at me.” he finished innocently.

and left the dorms. “You are unbelievable. “What the hell are you talking about?” “Oh. I didn’t even have to look up to know who the owner of the hand was. “Biology. I didn’t realize how sleepy I had been until I got back to the dorms. like usual. “Lauren. I passed by the basketball court and saw several guys playing three-one-three. and loudly. I’ll give you that.” I heard a boy whisper to his friend as I passed by them. it was 4:30. “More power to you… that class was as boring as hell when we took it last year…” Emmett was right. you bitch. That was when I heard a loud scream coming from the Biology classroom. bloody red finger nails that made the thump. but it would be filled tomorrow because the student was absent today. He’s mine. I told you not to mess with me in gym today didn’t I?” she snarled. “I have better things to do than to listen to your stupid little runt. back at her as gasps came from all over the room. leaving Lauren there with wide eyes. You’d think they had nothing else to do but to watch a catfight.” Jasper took a look at his watch. and you’re already crushing on the Edward Cullen.” Emmett laughed loudly. Don’t act innocent with me… You’re damn smart. When I first walked in. I was not flirting with him. That wasn’t the worst part. “Bitch. Lauren Mallory was in that class as well. it was better than sitting alone in the dorms with no homework to do. Mr. but I politely rejected them. Guys came up and talked to me. “New girl’s spicy. I saw Edward Cullen in a pair of black gym shorts with a red muscle shirt. I figured she was probably doing something with Jasper since practice was canceled. “Hey…” jogging beside me. I had no idea that Alice was related to him. Let me tell you something. If you’ll excuse me. “First of all. Second. That was what Lauren was. If you think that sucking up to his family gives you an advantage. “Just stay the hell away from him. pulled my hair into a ponytail. and then scoffed. you better stay away from him. When class ended. and when I woke up. He was the one who came up to me. I decided to jog around the campus. Gonzalez spent the whole period talking about cell theory. “What?!” “Jessica told me that you were flirting with Edward in fourth period. I’ll make you pay! You’ll wish you had never been born!” she yelled. bony hand with long. a total pain in the ass. It was a pale. I heard a loud thump on my desk. “No… she’s hot!” his friend whispered back. I put on a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants. Biology WAS boring. Swan. If I ever catch you talking to him. The seat next to me was empty. you’re dead wrong. He looked .” I muttered quietly under my breath. I wanted to play… but then I reminded myself I’ve already caused enough drama for a day. “Yeah… What do you have next Bella?” asked Rosalie.” I headed for the door dramatically. Thankfully.” She growled.” I greeted her coldly. I nearly gasped because she looked like as if she was going to bite me.” she spat angrily at me. she sat in one of the tables in the front as I sat in the back. Third of all. Alice wasn’t back. I AM NOT CRUSHING ON EDWARD CULLEN!” I spat fiercely. I have a class to attend to. At least that’s what the teacher told me. some of them even asked me out. I laughed dryly. I didn’t have any other classes with any of the untouchables.“We better get to class. I took a short nap. I just found out half an hour ago. “Gah! Swan!” Chapter Five Thankfully. sharp. do you hear me? He’s mine!! It’s only your first day.

“Right! Sorry. I kept jogging. “Nothing.” I replied.” I responded sarcastically. “Linkin Park.” I smirked. “Edward!” a pretty girl. shrugging. and I bent down to catch my breath. . Bella! Stop it dammit! “Hey yourself. Unfortunately.” he said once again. I just usually don’t see girls jogging in our campus.” I shrugged and he chuckled. He didn’t even remember her name. please?” he asked. I stopped when I was a few yards away from them. what’s up?” “Umm… It’s Breesa?” the girl muttered. but he didn’t. “No problem. He looked at me suspiciously as I just grinned sheepishly. and smiled apologetically. “Are you kidding? That was just a warm up. “A minute. “Suit yourself.” Edward frowned. How pathetic. his smile sparking under the setting sun. He gave up. I rolled my eyes. I guess you can already tell which one the girls were doing. He caught up to me with a huge smile. This was going to be interesting. “Yeah. About my family. Absolutely nothing. with long strawberry blonde hair came up to him and gave him a hug. perfectly polite. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus… There are too many of them.” “Huh…” I muttered. “From the looks of it.” I grimaced. “ 'Kay…” Edward nodded and Breesa gave him a little peck on the cheeks. Cullen…” “I guess I underestimated you.amazingly hot. He continued to ask me many questions that I’ve never thought of answering before.” “What are you doing?” he asked. I would say I’m jogging. “See ya!” she waved. He asked me about my life while we jogged. “Mind if I jog with you?” he asked.” he teased. “What’s so funny?” he mused. “Anyways I was just wondering…” she said flirtatiously as she wrapped her arms around him. I scoffed. my friends in New York … I would expect him to get bored after the first two questions. Swan. apologetic. “Maybe… you would like to go to the movies tonight…?” “Yeah sure…” “Great! Pick me up at 6:00?” she beamed. I coughed to hide my laugh. “Hey Brianna. “Thanks for waiting… Sorry about that. amused. I could still hear them. Several people glared or stared at us as we passed by. “Up for more?” he gave me his crooked smile. I’ll wait over there…” I rolled my eyes. He gave me a look… “What?!” “Nothing. “What’s your favorite band?” he asked.

“Umm… I don’t really have a boyfriend. this is why I’m hot “Nice ringtone.” “What?! What did I do?” he asked innocently and spun me around to face him. I hope so too. Jerk. you disgust me. “Oh! Bria… I mean. speechless. “Bella? What’s the matter?” he caught my arm as I shook him off angrily. see ya…” he shut the phone. “You mean you don’t KNOW? Edward! You had this date with that Breesa girl. I’m really sick…” he pretended to cough. amused? Then his cell phone rang. wanted to slap that gorgeous face of his. You lied to her. I couldn’t believe he found this funny or amusing at all. A girl with feelings. especially when the person asking you is Edward Cullen. “Get away. He was totally fine half an hour ago. How the hell can she buy that? Without thinking. as if I was blaming him for nothing. and I mean. She had free tickets…” he frowned. getting ready and stuff. because he spoke in a low voice.” I spat angrily at him.“Really? Those are my favorites too…” he murmured to himself. You totally lied to her. The real you. We scowled at each other under the streetlight. “No. This is why I'm hot This is why I’m hot This is why.” he snapped the phone shut. hoping not to do anything rash. really. what if I decided to go out with her the next time?” I really. for letting me see the truth. “Yeah… maybe next time… Thanks. I guess. “And why would it matter to me? Because I’m a girl. “Well. She may be dumb.” he grimaced as he answered the phone. I’m not jealous. You could have just told her the truth! It was better than lying!” “She’d get mad at me… Besides. God. “So how did your boyfriend react when you came here?” he asked casually. A know-it-all who thinks too highly of himself. who thinks that he‘s the center of the universe… Who doesn’t care for anyone’s feelings but himself’s. Chelsey’s plan sounded better. I just don’t like the way you treat my equals. “Hello… Oh hey Chels! Really? You’re kidding! Sounds good! Yeah sure… pick you up at 6:00? Yeah.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He raised his eyebrows.” I sneered.” I headed for the door and I saw him looking after me. telling her you’re sick when you’re actually going out with another girl. That Breesa girl was really be an idiot.” I admitted shyly. shocked. “You know what. Breesa! Yeah about our date! Listen. what have I done? I just messed with the king and queen of East Coast Academy. and now you’re blowing her off for someone else!” I yelled at him. I stomped my foot and started walking to my dorms. Thank you. “Hello?” he paused. I clenched my fists.” I shook my head slowly. “Who’s this?” he frowned. “Agh! Listen to yourself! That Breesa girl was probably spending an hour doing her hair. wasn’t intending on letting me hear. “Thanks. “I can’t believe you. Edward? I’m really glad I met up with you this afternoon… Because now I can see through you perfectly. buying your poor act.” I said sarcastically and laughed. but she’s still a girl. “I think I may have the flu… so I might have to cancel our date… I would never want you to catch it. I hated questions like this. Lauren and Edward in a day. this is why. looking straight at me all of a sudden. Never before have I felt so angry. “Why would it matter to you? Are you jealous?” he smirked. . And it rang again.

” “Are you okay? You look kinda off. I tried to pay attention to the notes that I took yesterday. Edward. “Yeah… I’m just tired…” Smooth Bella… I was never a good liar. Was he acting like this because of me? Or was it something else? Maybe that Chelsea girl blew him off… I snorted at the thought. The teacher started class. and that was odd. I was usually one of the students who paid attention to the teachers. because I have it with him. “Came up and decided to join me. I flinched and picked up my head to see what he was doing. and then your brother. I took a deep breath and started. I’m worn out. I couldn’t help but laugh with her. the sentences were glued together. “I was jogging. if you’d like some.” I teased her.” she grinned.Chapter Six When I got back to my room. I would be surprised if she actually understood me.” she explained.” “Thanks. laughing so hard that she almost fell off the bed. coming up to me. and took his usual seat in the front. and leaned back to his seat. she had two stacks of pizza in her hand along with a bunch of side orders. I was talking so fast. but my thoughts couldn’t help but wonder to him.” she raised her eyebrow at me... Cullen. I couldn’t concentrate.” she jumped out of the bed to grab her purse. the part where I got really pissed. He entered the classroom when the bell rang. He didn’t look at me at all.” Mrs. Alice looked at me with the weirdest expression and laughed hysterically. The next morning was better and worse. “That would be 45.” I sneered. “Delivery! Miss… Cullen?” “Coming. it’s not like I did anything wrong.50…” When Alice turned back around. what’s so funny? “Sorry Bella! It’s just… I’ve never seen anyone so pissed at Edward aside from myself and Rosalie… It’s so nice to see another female telling him off. “Where did you go?” she asked.” she chuckled. “I just went jogging around the campus. I wondered why I was acting that way.” I smiled as convincing as I could manage. “What can I say? I have an addiction to pizza. I frowned at her.” I collapsed on my bed. “Hey Alice. Alice was back already. “Geez Alice… How much food did you order? It’s enough to feed four people. Mr. I told myself that he was just another one of those guys who didn’t care a thing for other people except for his ego and pride. Then we were just jogging… and a girl… ” I told her what happened. I’m sure she would try her best to get to her date even if she was on her deathbed. I was a bit nervous before entering my fourth period. “Spill Bella. and of course. I still couldn't believe what had happened. sitting beside me on the bed. I hated that. I was once again one of the first ones there.I just yelled at the Edward Cullen! “Hey Bella!” she said optimistically. After my little rant. “Awfully quiet today. Coughman smirked at him. “I ordered some pizza. I knew perfectly why. There was a knock on the door. He ignored her and turned his glance to his textbook. yet outraged. starting from the beginning. he just sat down quietly. When I got in ELA. I wasn’t born yesterday. As if! No one in this school will blow off the infamous “Edward Cullen”. .

proud and excited and took the seat on my other side. I guess they weren’t tired of me yet. “Well.” Rosalie said as-matter-of-factly. the anger came back to me. A few girls walked up to him. “Obviously. you don’t know her well enough. I sighed. which was in front of “Juicy Fruity”. “Don’t give me that gloomy look! You are going to LOVE IT!” she squealed. he sat there eating quietly. “Come on Bella! Help yourself with whatever you want!” Alice chimed. Alice rolled her eyes. but I wouldn’t want them to think that I was forcing myself on them. Edward was the first one out of his desk. Alice’s getting dessert. We didn’t talk to each other or look at each other…” I muttered. hesitating. He smiled halfheartedly. he rushed out without even throwing a glance at the other people. So maybe I did have something to do with his strange behavior. Why don’t I take care of everyone’s lunch tomorrow? I’ll feel slightly better. Emmett rolled his eyes at his sister. disgusted. mind telling that brother of yours to keep his fan club in check? A few girls surrounded me this morning before I got to my class and asked for his number. I turned to see Edward sitting with his friends. “Maybe next time we should get two tables instead of one… By Alice’s shopping style. Right on cue. “Emmett. silly! You’re my friend. I mean… I didn’t do anything wrong. both curious. I have a surprise planned for each of you.” Jasper murmured as Emmett coughed a laugh. I didn’t know if I should sit with the Cullens and the Hales. “Why would it matter to you? Are you jealous?” his velvet voice from last night taunted me in my mind as I screamed back at it. It shouldn’t bother me. I groaned. and she was already treating me like I was one of her life-long friends. “Correct! Tomorrow. Rosalie told me to sit next to her. without joking or fooling around with his friends. I’ve only known her for two days. “Aww! Thanks for the offer… But um…no way…” Alice laughed darkly.” I bit my lip as they stared at me with curious eyes.“Miss Gray?” “Umm… the Sonnets?” said a girl with jet. I’m a lifesaver. When I headed for lunch. Alice mouthed me to turn around. look at all these food that we bought!” Alice said. and all of a sudden. a smoothie store. that means a lot. “Don’t worry about it. Alice interrupted. “Oh! So… what happened today in ELA? You had that class with Edward. telling him to shut the hell up. a blonde wrapped her arms around him and whispered something in this ears. the bell rang as we all sprinted to the doors. I was just angry at him for being a total ass to the girls. “Alice… I really feel bad about all of this.” she smiled widely and we groaned. right?” she beamed at me as if she just remembered something important. “Oh Bella!” Alice smiled and gave me a hug.” I said. “What’s up with Cullen?” said a boy that Edward accidentally pushed. and asked me about my classes.” Emmett joked as Alice stuck her tongue out playfully. one of my best friends!” I was so touched by her words.” Rosalie said. “Nothing happened. slightly embarrassed. They were all really nice. “Hi guys! Where’s Alice and Jasper?” “Jasper’s getting lunch. I wasn’t jealous. black hair. a few yards away from us. Before I even got a chance to start.” I pleaded. why are you asking me?” answered the other boy. “Hey Bella!” Rosalie and Emmett waved at me with the biggest smiles and motioned for me to go to their table. “I’m back! Admit it. He wasn’t his usual self. “I don’t know. there’s no way that our lunch will be able to fit on one tiny table. dig in!” They all took something out from the bag as I just sat there. “Thanks Alice. “What do ya mean Bella?” “You’ve already bought me dinner last night… it doesn’t feel right if you pay for my lunch again. .

Our eyes bored into each other’s for a second. something about genetics. Jasper. He was the absent student. His face was flushed with horror. we just lost the track of time at lunch. that was interesting…” Alice said to Rosalie with a smile. I assigned you to sit next to Edward. “I’m sorry. I yawned when the words of his lesson sunk in. can’t I partner up with someone else?” Can’t he sense the desperation? I could see a few girls looking at me as if I was crazy. he was right… one class.“Yes. your life depends on it. “It’s my assigned seat. although it was supposed to sound strong and demanding. “Biological form and function are created from and passed on to the next generation by genes.” he replied coolly.” I said. He waved at me with a sheepish smile… and then sniffed loudly. obviously sarcastic when I entered the classroom. Surely they were all just dying to be Edward’s lab partner. I know it sounds rather childish. I snorted. low enough to not let the teacher hear us. Oh god… that was gross.” I chuckled nervously. I was missing the obvious. You’ve got to be kidding me…. when the bell rings. I can stand it. I’m not exactly all chirpy about this.” I sighed. and he did the same. My voice sounded squeaky. who would be? I nodded my head. “I would be delighted to switch with her. “Yes… Can’t I sit over there?” I pointed at the empty table behind him. but there’s nothing that we can do. So the solution? We come to class. One class… no big deal… okay?” he said under his breath. Gonzalez’s voice was so dull. which are the primary units of inheritance…” Mr. “You two are acting like a bunch of two year-olds. Then it dawned me. Emmett. we’re out of here. I could feel myself pouting.” Emmett laughed so loudly that Edward threw his glance in our direction. How am I going to get out of this one? Think fast Bella. we mumbled a “fine” in unison. “Why… wh… why… are you… sitting… here?” I stuttered.” I was slightly embarrassed… “Loser. We didn’t move an inch. “Look.” Lauren muttered under her breath with an evil smirk. “No. “This can’t be right… because I was assigned to sit here yesterday. ache problems. “Thank you for joining us Isabella. we sit. not over there. Rosalie.” the teacher said in a bored tone. Was he destined to make my life miserable? “Why do I have to sit next to Cullen?” of all the seats available on the other tables. I wasn’t the only one disappointed. but I couldn’t help it. “Is there a problem?” the teacher was frustrated and annoyed now. and that’s final. and then we both looked quickly away. pointing to the seat next to him. I’m afraid not. The teacher carried on with his lesson. disbelievingly.” he said sternly. “Miss Swan. “Well. Please behave so I can continue my lesson. defeated. I’ll do that. a guy with braces. Is that clear?” “Yes sir. He was absent yesterday because he got in trouble with the principal. Unwillingly. as if I was missing the obvious. only to find the seat next to me no longer empty. but again. I went quickly to my seat. Chapter Seven Crap! I was late for Biology! I entered a few seconds after the bell. “Because you two are the only ones without a partner. babe. outraged. dorky glasses. She gave a loud “Humph”.” Lauren volunteered with the hugest smile. “No… No… No. and Alice chuckled. I threw my books on the table and scooted the chair as far away from him as possible. I could tell he was not pleased with this arrangement. I do not appreciate you coming in late and interrupting my class… You will sit where you were assigned. everyone was already seated. unfortunately. “Well. Lauren was not pleased. Mr. I threw a quick glance to her partner. and thick-framed.” he shook his head. It wasn’t technically my fault. I would have been .” Great. Gonzalez ignored her. Creepy.

if it weren’t for my thoughts about this whole sitting next to “Mr. evil… They’ll believe anything that Lauren says. “Man! Hurry up or we’re going to be tardy for our next class! And I have Florence. so I stormed out of the room as fast as I could. I was surprised by the warmth of his hand. never between classes. “No thank you… I’d rather stand.” I greeted them. smooth… it was perfect… I sighed. I forced myself to look ahead. Stupid! I did not let myself to look at him throughout the class. because they looked like one of the “Lauren Wannabes”… You know. the better. Stupid Mr.” Jasper explained.” he dismissed us as I half ran to my next class.” Emmett chuckled. blonde hair. Edward had his arms crossed in front of his chest.asleep. I stared at the clock and counted down the minutes till the class was over. The new chick has a name.” the teacher said as he motioned us two chairs in front of his desk. Mr. but I could have guessed. Instead of fixing my thoughts on the lesson. The final bell rang and I was so content to know that I could go back to the dorms and just chill. My stuff was already gathered. I thought it was the most disgusting. . Whatever happened between you two. I hated that he had this kind of effect on me… but the question is… WHY? Lauren gave me deathly glares through the class. the faster I got away from him. the worst. I’m thinking all the good stuff about him. “Hey Chloe. “We got released early from gym. “Alright… I assume you both have at least a small clue on what I am about to say. disturbing thing that I have ever seen in my seventeen years of life. disgusted. “Oh… lucky you.” we sighed. thick makeup. since he was closer to him. Now I have a teacher watching my back. I usually only see them at night or lunch. he wasn’t here.” the teacher looked at us through his thick glasses. Dammit. He made it hard to concentrate. Edward and I shrugged. However on the other hand. “Swan! Cullen! I need to talk to the both of you!” I closed my eyes.” I heard him muttering to himself. but for your behavior during class… I want to make it clear. Cullen. Stupid. I do not want any of your attitudes in my class. Personally. pretend not to acknowledge the fact that he there.” I added as they both laughed. “Not bad. “I said have a seat. both of us annoyed when we found out we even “shrugged” in unison. The teacher handed out worksheets for us to write. she would bat her eyelashes at Edward when he looks in her direction. Never before had I felt so relieved to hear the bell ring. jeez…” Edward muttered and took the seat next to me. Great. will be forgotten in Biology. threatening. “God! You’re serious! That’s so unfair… She probably blackmailed the teacher into giving her that seat… Remember what Lauren said about her being a bitch?” Chloe said back. preppy. Eventually. Edward was forced to pass one to me. I didn’t care how stupid I looked. Our hands touched briefly by accident. Stupid. “Fine. both of us pulled back awkwardly. Perfect” issue. Gonzalez… A few girls snickered as I stumped back in the classroom. I turned around to see Jasper and Emmett running to me. “Have a seat.” he said. “Hey guys. it was soft. Glorious. “Bella!” a familiar voice called me from behind. “Looks like someone’s having a bad day. How could I not know that Edward was the one sitting next to me? Sure. and we saw you walking here. and I do not want to hear any complaints or whines whatsoever. did you hear that Edward’s new lab partner is that new chick?” I heard a girl murmur to her friend in the hallway as I passed by. “So… I’m sure you know that I called you here.” I grinned. I want you two to work together in the future for projects. surprised. Looks like Lauren’s been busy. “You’re free to go. But I couldn’t.” Edward said coldly as the teacher glared at him. annoyed. they all pulled me back to him. they wondered to somewhere else. not because of Academic performances. Am I understood?” “Yes Sir. But I could honestly care less. and it was wrong.

already knowing the answer. of course silly. and hell. finding this amusing. I told them what Mr. and I could feel his breath on my face. Did I just dream about Edward Cullen? What the hell is wrong with you? You think about him.” Alice quoted the coach and shook her head with disgust. “Bella! Wake up! It’s 7:15! We’re going to be late… again!” Alice shook my shoulders with her hand.” “God! The coach always makes the team practice! He doesn’t let any of them skip it. “Definitely. I’m really grateful to have met Alice and Rosalie. except for Captain.” Alice agreed with a laugh.” Rosalie sneered at the last word. “Speaking of Captain. it sent chills up and down my spine. “But knowing Gonzalez. “Just be hopeful that you wouldn’t have any projects to do with him…” Rosalie said. “He probably got whacked on the head with a basketball…” I muttered mostly to myself.” I sighed. and now you DREAM about him? What’s happening to you? . he’s not even a senior yet. Gonzalez said. Chapter Eight “So… Busy tonight?” he smiled crookedly as he took a step forward. you guys will never believe my luck. it was a DREAM. “No kidding! Edward?” Alice beamed. Alice “I never get the man. “Homework can wait. “That’s what I was afraid of…” I muttered. and I could spill my heart to them like I know they will always be there for me. Say something Bella! “I have homework to do…” I lied pathetically. especially Florence …” Rosalie chuckled in the memory as I smiled. “Of course. I sighed. I’ll tell them when I see them…” “Thanks… See ya!” They waved at me and sprinted out of sight. a voice interrupted. “He gets special permission?” I sighed. when reality sunk back in.” Edward batted his lashes seductively. I don’t think that’s possible. He also gets his own room. Just because he’s the best player on the team. “I was thinking… maybe we could do something together. reading one of the fashion magazines when I walked in. “Oh hi Bella!” they threw the magazines on the table and made some room for me on the couch. It was so weird… I’ve only met them for a couple of days. rolling her eyes. will you tell Rosalie and Alice that we’ll be in practice today this afternoon?” Emmett asked.” Rosalie rolled her eyes. “Yes…” Alice rolled her eyes. “I met up with Jasper and Emmett a while ago… They wanted me to tell you that they’ll be in practice. “But for some reason. Rosalie! You guys are back early!” I saw them lying on the couch. The girls found it hilarious. “If you think that’s all. It would be so hard to believe that Edward and Alice are siblings.” Alice gulped nervously. sarcastic. “Alice. Before I got a chance to reply. you’re SOO wrong. “Guess who my lab partner is…” I faked enthusiasm. Whoa. My heart thumped. “I know! How lucky am I?” I said. and they watched me rant. “Huh?” they said in unison. that man seems to like Edward. can’t it?” he leaned in closer.“I would love to hear about that! Oh shit! We better split! Bella. But no… ‘Our captain needs his space to master out the game plan. Most teachers in this school hate Edward to the bones.

“Okay Alice. that snotty guy from my first day. “Ah… hem. I hesitated.” she smiled. “What happened to your shirt Bella?” Kelsey faked innocently as the rest of the girls laughed hysterically. and thank god we reached the first floor. My hair looked like a haystack! I took my brush from the cabinet. I saw an outfit on my bed.” I grinned. When I came out from the bathroom. satisfied at her comeback. “Well.” Lauren sneered as Kelsey and Jessica gave us an arrogant “Ohh…” Alice and I ignored her. It was not in better shape than my old shirt. and who knows? Maybe I’ll even enjoy wearing skirts to class. It was closing. sis. We said our goodbyes and walked to our first period. She picked up her head and gave us a dark smile. “No thanks. her sidekicks. I’ll wear it. old. “Hey! I was just going through your wardrobe and I found a cute brown shirt that matched perfectly with one of your skirts! Wear it Bella! You’ll look cute!” Alice smiled. Usually. and brushed out all the tangled parts. brown. I pulled my shirt out of my gym locker. are Jessica Stanley and Kelsey Lakers. “Too bad you don’t have a shirt now… You can borrow one from me. “Trying to look cute. Lauren pretended to gag. mini skirts are SOO not working for you. The middle was torn and wetted with red paint. determined to forget all about Edward Cullen today. Beside her. It was probably an XL.” she pointed to my old shirt. to find it no longer in one piece. That bitch. We high-fived each other and started to walk away from them. . “Wait!!” Alice and I yelled and pressed “open” urgently. we grinned the whole way.” I muttered as Alice laughed loudly. I didn’t wear skirts to school… but what the heck? No body knows that here. Ryan. facing us with her back. you can count on my judgments!” she winked and went in the bathroom.” Alice smiled. and torn. that she looks prettier than you. “God girls! I think I have a freaking zit!” Lauren shrieked. staring at the mirror. but it was actually a shirt. “Ding!” It opened. “You’ll pay for that! Bitches!” Lauren yelled from the end of the hall as Alice and I grinned at each other. aren’t you thankful that I keep a spare?” she flashed a smile as she pulled out a rug from her locker.” we giggled as we gave each other a small hug. “You’re just jealous Lauren.” Jessica coughed and Lauren finally saw us. “I’ll wait for you outside Al!” “‘Kay! Be right there!” We walked toward the elevator. She still didn’t let it go after we got out of the elevator. The guys in my gym class seemed to accept the fact that I played basketball. walked in. “Or that. “Do whatever suits you… It’s either this.” Alice grinned. who do we have here? Loser and Cheerleader-Wannabe. I growled. Lauren. since they were one short. her eyes glimmering.I shook my head fiercely. The other kids looked curiously at us. but we also found the least person that we wanted to see. Swan? Cause you know. When I went in the changing room. actually asked me if I wanted to play. “Thank you… sis. “Oh! What happened? Who in their wicked mind would do this?” she gasped and laughed. so we had to run. I thought it was a rug. I changed quickly. in cue.” I scowled. she’d still be ugly…” “At least I don’t need makeup to cover up my face to walk in public. “Excellent work. “Yay! Trust me Bella. “Agh! Don’t make me laugh! Even if she put on lots of makeup. I’ll pass. I can’t let them get to me… but what would I do without my gym cloths? Lauren.” she said in a sickly sweet voice. utterly proud of ourselves.

The game ended with our team winning. I smiled. Gross! Kill me now! Her friends giggled and gave a long sigh. When was Shakespeare born? Damn… How the hell was I suppose to remember that? William Shakespeare’s first play? Okay… I knew that one! Henry VI. “This isn’t the end! You hear me? This isn’t the end!” she screamed as I rolled my eyes. When I got to Language. no matter easy or hard.” a blonde girl licked her lips. Most of us did what we were told.” I walked toward the basketball hoop. She scoffed as I turned around. Lauren. “Thanks… I guess…” I grinned. Part one! I scribbled that on the paper… I looked around to the other kids in the room. Jessica Stanley was pouting. newbie!” Ryan smiled arrogantly. I found out that the surprise was a pop quiz. “Thanks again… umm. I snorted. if you need it. “Alright guys… pick up your heads please!” the teacher announced. “Not bad. almost just as long as the test. “Thanks Angela…” We walked in the gym together. “Hi…” I never caught her name. The class dragged. but what would I wear? The coach made it clear on my first day that he would be taking points off if we weren’t dressed for P. almost sincerely. The girl had brown. so all of you will have to audition!” Murmurs were coming from all over the room. We groaned… “Stop being a bunch of sappy little kindergarteners and get started people!” the teacher said with a triumphant smile. watching Edward with wanting eyes from afar. Lauren didn’t look pleased when she saw me dressed in clean cloth. The coach was calling attendance. it was a bit tighter than my usual ones… but good enough. I sighed in relief. except for some of the brainy ones. who were actually enjoying this.E. Again. too good for instructions? “Mr. “Really? That’s great! Thank you so much!” She smiled back and handed me the shirt. Cullen.” she said.” she said quietly. “Umm… Excuse me.” Mrs. or talked to her. Whatever Lauren. “Nice Swan!” Cody gave me a high five. “Connections. the school has offered us a chance to do a play! Exciting isn’t it? The audition is tomorrow! It is not voluntarily. Caughman bellowed. except for Edward. . and of course. mouthing some cuss words under her breath that were to low for me to hear. She looked nervous on what she was about to say. I hated tests. “I picked the perfect play for us! Romeo and Juliet! The greatest love story of all times!” the teacher squealed with excitement.” I stopped. They were all frowning.They laughed loudly and exited to the gym. I frowned. “I have an extra shirt. “Since we’re learning about Shakespeare. Oh well. “Angela. She was one of those girls who kept to herself. it wouldn’t hurt. “What! No!” the guys were shaking their heads rapidly as some of the girls looked interested. long hair. I slipped it on. three pages long.” he apologized. I was the only girl. “Sorry. “Swan!” “Here!” “Where did you get the shirt?” Lauren’s face turned white. “I’ll be Juliet if Edward’s Romeo. Bella?” a shy voice tapped my shoulders.

That girl doesn’t do things half way. causing me to trip. Edward Cullen. an evil smile spread on her face. My cell rang again. no conversation with Edward whatsoever. “Bella! I’m going to be at Jasper’s to rearrange his clothes. “So how will the audition work?” Jessica asked. to watch Emmett and Jasper play. “Hey…” “Umm… Alice isn’t here. It was him. Oh god. some shorts. Alice is so considerate. I won’t be back till later… Oh! Are you going to the game tonight? Rosalie and I are going. Lauren stuck out her foot as I passed by. does she? See you at the game! She left a note on my desk as I laughed. I will get her back later. I was fine with that. Anything to avoid eye contacts with me. I scoffed at her. leaving me to hear the dialing tone.. I sat next to Edward.. “Too late! See you tonight! We’ll save you a seat!” “Thanks Rose!” I fell asleep in the middle of my Biology session. and I will pick the cast…” she smiled. and locked the door behind me. and pretended nothing had happened. Edward Cullen. Caughman added as the girls chatted excitedly on who would get the lead role. “Ooops. huh? The rest of the day went on. He was wearing his basketball uniforms. and found him staring blankly out the window. she hung up. “Aww! You guys didn’t need to do that!” I whined as she giggled. and saw a piece of white paper sitting on it.” I blurted out. I saw someone leaning casually against the wall of the outside of our room when I stepped out. so I decided to read my Biology textbook to make up for what I had missed because of him. I put my hair in a ponytail.“Oh! You are not the only class doing this play… I will have auditions for every class that I have. I saw someone leaning casually against the wall of the outside of our room when I stepped out. “Hey…” Chapter Nine To my surprise. They were hung in my closet. To my surprise. “You will be reading lines that I picked out during class tomorrow. with a blue/yellow ribbon to match my outfit. and I will pick the best from all! That widens up the competition! Good luck to you all!” Mrs. brand new with price tags on. “Hello?” “Bella? It’s Rose. and found it was time for the game. It was him. The bell rang. “I’ll be there!” “Great! I counted on that since you’re a big fan of basketball… I already picked out something spirit-y for you to wear for the game! Thank me later! Gotta go!” “But!!” before I even got a chance to protest. shocked. “Hand in your tests if you’re done!” I made sure that I was on time for Biology. with watching sweatpants. I stuffed my keys and cell in my pocket. Wanna come? It’ll be so much fun!” she sounded so excited. Thank you so much Alice… It was a sweatshirt with “East Coast Bulldogs” printed on it. I woke up.” she said. I still had plenty of time before the game. a blue jersey with .” “Hi Rose! What’s up?” “Did Alice tell you that we left your ticket on your bed?” I looked quickly over to it. “Hello?” I flipped my cell open when I heard it ringing.

screaming for answers… He continued. looking rather nervous as he straightened himself from the wall. I felt the urge to touch him. They were filled with grief. disgusting smiles in the front. It looked very… cheery. I could feel my jaws hanging open.yellow lettering and a big “16” on it. telling them they could take a breath. “Bella! You look great girl!” Rosalie eyed me. Did I make that all up? Was I daydreaming? Edward Cullen… apologized? My feet were frozen. The gym was highly equipped. “You were right… I was a jerk. tight fitting shirts.” he said velvety. “It’s all Alice’s work. and entered the gym with my food. Sluts. It was decorated with ribbons and banners from the outside. and the announcer came on. and tennis shoes. getting a little impatient. “Of course!” Alice winked.” Rosalie commented. Million questions popped into my mind. the band started playing. exposing the perfect muscle of his arms. “Alright Bulldogs! Are you ready for some game?” “Yeah!!” We all yelled excitedly at the top of our lungs. and Kelsey. Hotdog and popcorn. regret? “Bella?” he said softly. but I didn’t think we need it. I have to admit. Alice elbowed me. I was in awe at first.” I grinned. I was expecting to see . and completely unfair. and I reminded myself to move if I wanted to watch the game. “East Coast Bulldogs! State Champion of the Sunflower State!” “We love Bulldogs! They rule our school!” I sighed. I’m sorry for not realizing it sooner. “Yeah!!” We screamed once again. grossed out. only their skirts were shorter than the average ones you see on TV. My mind was filed with confusion and regret… I should have said something instead of staring at him like a complete moron. whatever you want to call me. They were wearing what normal cheerleaders would wear. I gave the ticket collector my ticket.” he took a deep breath and took a step forward. but then I reminded myself this school wasn’t NORMAL. and found myself caught in his emerald green eyes. feet numb. Meyer Gymnasium. “East Coast Academy Will beat your ass in playing If you don’t wanna get hurt Then get out of here!” They jumped up and down with their pompoms. an ass. I’m sorry for being the greatest asshole on Earth…” he took a deep breath after his long speech and ended with the softest. “I said… Are you ready?” he held the microphone out for us. “The game’s starting…” Right one cue. sadness. smiling. staring motionlessly after him like a zombie. Jessica. was very large. I waved back. most sincere apology… “I’m sorry…” He smiled apologetically and sprinted for the elevator. None of these things should surprise me. to feel the perfect texture of his skin… “I know…I didn’t come here for her. with a nod. “Hookers. I walked shakily to the gym. “I… I want to apologize. I’ll try my best to behave now. clapping their hands excitedly like they just done the greatest deed on the planet. there were my dinner. “Tell me about it…” Alice agreed as I made a gagging sound. I stopped by the concession stand. mini skirts. I saw Lauren. I looked at him. That was the dumbest cheer that I have ever heard. and saw Rosalie and Alice waving madly from the fifth row. wrong. I looked around and read the banners for something to block out the annoying cheers. along with rest of the “Lauren Wannabes” cheering loudly with fake. it was like a mini NBA game. It was wrong for me to lie and blow that girl off like that… I realized that it was selfish. “Alright then… Heeeeere they come!” The band started playing as the basketball players came out. I looked around for my friends.

the crowd cheered and clapped.” the other team’s Captain smirked darkly. Big guy was steaming with anger. “Sure… Sure….” Edward gave him a taunting smile. Rose.” the big dude threatened. and they were good… though that was never a surprise. not showing the slightest hint of fear. He was large. pup. a Bulldog with the same basketball Jersey. The other team stepped on the gym. I snorted. It was my first time to see Emmett and Jasper play. “See what I mean when I say he’s the king of this school?” Alice sighed. “Denzel.Edward first. Oh brother…The guys were throwing their fists in the air. “We’re getting the cup this year Cullen. snarling. “Beep!” With that. Then last. Denzel.” She giggled. and the crowd went silent for a minute there… “One! Two! Three! BULLDOGS!” The players stuck their hands up in the air and ran to their position. the crowd went wild again. all of them hopping up and down with excitement. Jasper walked to the center court. “Watch out. “I know… I wish they would just get on with the game already…. and I couldn’t help but laugh at their stupid action. Regardless how fearsome the other kid looked. puffing out their chests to let him see them. we can even hear what they’re saying through the speakers. “I know that now…” Each player took a basketball and started warming up. grinding his teeth. The rest followed. “You too… bumblebee. Both Captains faces went on the screen. “Go Jazz! Go Emmett! Go get them you guys!” We yelled loudly as Emmett and Jasper gave us a wink. I saw card boards and banners being raised and flying in the crowd… “We HEART Edward Cullen!” “We love you Edward!” “Lead us to victory! Again!” “Go number 16! We love you!” Some blondes even wore his T-shirts. It was time to jump ball. cheering for him as well. “There’s always time after the game Cullen. but instead I saw some bulky kids running up front with their mascot. the game started. we did too when we saw Jasper and Emmett. each with a letter of his name. I couldn’t help but laugh. I know they can’t hear us. “Edward! Edward! Edward…” The crowd continues chanting his name. Except for Edward. Both teams huddled in two separate circles. “Edward! Look over here!” they leaned forward to puff out their chests some more. Edward nodded to the coach and joined his teammates. with thousands of other kids in the room screaming.” Edward shrugged. . “Ahh! Edward! Edward! We love you!” his fan girls screamed crazily.” Edward burst in to laughter as we all laughed too.” he warned as Edward snickered. “You wish. way to make a big entrance Captain… “What’s this? His Pep Rally?” I laughed as Rosalie took the meaning of my words. being captain. He looked slightly out of breath. he took a step forward. “Beep!” The score was set… 0-0. but not least. Edward didn’t even flinch. dazzling everyone with his gorgeous smile. represented the Bulldogs. as he held his hand up in the air. As soon as they were dismissed. as the other team had a bulky. and scary looking. smirking. but his coach stopped him. Alice. the “captain” appears. but they saw us. Six of them.” that Denzel dude said. black hair guy for them. who was in a deep conversation with the coach. ready to punch Edward.

The referee threw the ball up and Jasper lunged for it… Yes! He did it! Our point guard got it, and passed it to Mitchell… He went for the basket, shit! A guy from the other team stole it from him and… never mind! Edward got it back and he shoots from the 3 point line…

“Three points! Good job Edward!” Rosalie yelled with the biggest smile I gave ever seen as Alice and I high-fived each
other.

“Edward! Edward! Edward!” There goes the chanting.
Our team continued to score, and so did the other team… Although they were always behind. Emmett played center (since he was the biggest guy on the team), and the smaller players on the other team looked slightly intimidated as they passed by him. I have to admit, Edward was a really good player. The way in jumps up for the ball and shoots… It was amazingly graceful. He looked like a cat on the court, fast and speedy. I guess his reputation for being the greatest basketball player in our school wasn’t made up… He was indeed the captain. He made many three point throws from behind the line, and his aims were perfect, he never missed, like he knew exactly how the ball would land in the basket. He played both point guard and shooting guard, but that didn’t even tire him up. He looked perfectly at ease. They all cheered for him, and yes. So did Alice, Rosalie, and I. Emmett and Jasper were really good too; Emmett was great at defense, and Jasper was great at stealing balls. The next time that I looked at the score board, they were 25 points ahead. The bumblebees didn’t like that very much, they all looked very pissed. Emmett was running, dribbling the ball. We cheered for him, and he was so close to the basket.

“Beep!” The referee called a foul, and a guy on the other team was on the floor. “What?!” Emmett looked at the referee like he was insane. “He fell down by himself, I didn’t push him!” He bellowed loud
enough for us to hear.

“Yeah! Sneaks! Yeah!” Everyone in the audience was backing him up, leaving the other team with ugly looks. It was so
obvious that that guy faked his injury; Emmett wasn’t even over him when the whistle blew. That was when the Captain stepped in.

“Emmett, let them have the free throw, we don’t need it,” Edward put his hand on Emmett’s shoulder. “But…” “Em,” he spoke with such authority. “Yeah, you’re right,” Emmett finally calmed down but gave the kid a deathly glare anyways.
The guy made the free point. Rosalie was cussing, defending Emmett. Edward didn’t look slightly bothered that they scored, he must be really confident. Edward ended the game with an excellent slam dunk! We won! The cheerleaders were jumping up and down with their pompoms… The crowd went crazy of course, as his teammates put him up in their shoulders. He pounded fists with everyone, laughing along with them.

“We love you Edward!” “You rock Edward!”
There goes his fan girl club… Lauren wrapped her arms around him when he was let down from the human pyramid, and leaned in to kiss him. To my surprise, he pushed her away and headed for the locker room. The expression on Lauren's face was priceless! After about fifteen minutes of cheering, the players exited the gym with their friends. Most of the audiences left too, leaving a half empty gym. Alice and Rosalie went to find Jasper and Emmett, I asked them to excuse me, and give my best congrats to the guys. They looked suspicious when I said I would catch up with them later, but they let me go anyway, figuring I would tell them later. Bella… You have to do this… You have to! Just go look for him… I gulped. I stood in front of the boys’ locker room. You know he’s in there… With a deep breath, I grasped the handle and pushed it open. He was alone in the locker room, putting something in his locker, and sitting on the bench to tie his shoes. I noticed that he already changed into regular clothes. He didn’t hear me, for I closed the door silently behind me.

“Nice game, Captain,” I smiled. He gasped when he heard my voice and stumbled on the bench. He smiled back when he
realized it was me…

“Thanks…” He was sweating, and his cheeks were red from the game. His hair was messy and wet, but he still looked
unbelievably gorgeous. I put my hands nervously in my pocket and started.

“Edward… I’m sorry that I didn’t say anything when you came earlier. I was shocked, but it was really rude. I should have
said something…”

“Don’t worry about it, I was the jerk and the ass, remember?” he looked down, embarrassed, as he gave me a half hearted
smile.

“The things that I said were out of line the other day… I shouldn’t have called you names no matter how pissed I was… I
guess I should apologize for that,” I said softly, although I had no intention of doing that. He had it coming… But I had to be nice.

“You don’t have to, you were right. About everything…” he replied.
We stared at each other in silence, awkwardly. My hands were fidgeting in my pockets.

“Were you serious?” I asked, breaking the silence. “About what?” “About behaving?” I reminded him and a faint smile touched his lips. “Yes… I’ll try my best to behave,” he chuckled. “See? There’s hope in you after all… That’s good…” I laughed and he joined me. “Bella?” “Yes?” “Thanks for yelling at me the other day, and for talking some sense into me…” his voice was serious, but somehow it made
me a little guilty. I hated that he had this kind of effect on people.

“You’re welcome, I’m up for it anytime,” I joked to lighten up the mood. It worked, he laughed musically. “I better go... And Edward?” He looked at me curiously. “You guys really need air fresheners in here, no offence, but it reeks,” I made a face. He laughed, “I’ll keep that in mind…”
I turned and went for the door. He stopped me…

“Bella?” “Yes?” Did I turn around just a bit too willingly? He was smiling. “Thank you… Oh, and you look really pretty tonight,” he smiled crookedly.
I blushed, “You’re welcome…” I sprinted to the door and found myself gasping for air when I stepped out. My heard was thumping… I could swear I heard a low chuckle… his chuckle coming out from the locker room. It was music to my ears, I couldn’t help but smile. A small voice in my head warned me, don't get your hopes up Bella, he's still Edward. Chapter Ten There were only a few people left in the gym when I stepped out. My heart was still thumping rapidly, and I was sure my face was still kind of red. The girls were ready to ambush me when I stepped in to my room.

“Where did you go?” Alice beamed as Rosalie looked at me, impatient. “Come on Bella! Tell us everything,” her eyes were wide. I was a little uncomfortable with the attention, but then I
reminded myself it were only Rosalie and Alice. I took a deep breath, knowing it was going to take a while.

“Okay… I was just getting ready to go to the basketball game you know, and when I stepped out of the door, I saw Edward
waiting for someone. At first, I thought he was here for Alice, but he said he wasn’t. He said he wanted to talk to me, and he apologized for being a jerk the other day and he said he would try to behave from now on,” I paused, letting myself catch my breath.

“He apologized?” Alice asked, eyes wider than ever. I nodded slowly. “Well damn!” Those were the first two words that Alice and Rosalie managed to say in unison. I looked at them, with a big
question mark on my head.

“We told him it was wrong for countless of times, and hell, he didn’t even “listen” to us. I don’t even think he heard us! And
Alice is his sister! When Bella yells at him, suddenly he apologizes? Your brother sucks Alice,” Rosalie’s face wrinkled.

“So I’ve been told,” Alice murmured. “So what did you say?” Rosalie asked. “Nothing… That’s why I went to the boys’ locker room after the game; I figured I should have said something… He was
there, and we talked…” I shrugged, hoping they wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.

“Eww! You went in there?” they looked completely grossed out by the fact. “Don’t worry, I suggested air fresheners,” I grinned. “Man, I still can’t believe that he apologized…” Alice said, outraged. “I know…” “So how did it go? What did you say to him?” “I told him that I shouldn’t have called him names… I mean, I didn’t even know him, and I started yelling at him; though he
deserved it. How did it go? Well, at least we didn’t come out fighting, no bruises if that’s what you’re wondering,” I smiled.

“Do you forgive him?” Rosalie asked softly. “Of course not, what he did was wrong. Edward had it coming. But I gave him a little credit, seeing he would put down his
ego and apologize. After the game, Lauren was pouring herself on him, and guess what? He pushed her off! You should have seen her face! Did you guys see that? Anyway, at least he’s trying…” I asked as they shook their heads, but happy that Lauren got rejected anyway. I blushed for being the only one noticing.

“It’s so weird Bella, I don’t know… Edward never apologizes, especially for something this serious. And today at lunch?
Do you remember? You have a big effect on him you know,” Alice smiled as she winked.

“You’re reading too much in to this,” I mumbled as Rosalie laughed. “Is she?” “Most definitely,” I assured them. I was just another girl in his class… “Well, I’m heading back to my room, it’s already midnight…” Rosalie yawned. “Night Rose,” Alice and I said. “Night guys, see you in the morning,” she closed the door.
Alice and I changed into our pajamas and called it a night. I prayed that I wouldn’t have another dream about him. The next morning, I got up very early. I didn’t know why, but after talking to Edward, my heart felt… lighter. And for some reason, I was in a better mood. Why did he have that much effect on me? That was the question that I constantly asked myself. I headed to the building for first period, and coincidently, I met Edward at the door. We were both about to go in.

“You first,” we said together in unison and both took a step forward. We laughed since both of us were now stuck at the
door.

“Okay… Ladies first,” he chuckled as he held his hand out for me like a gentleman. “Thank you,” I grinned.
First period and second period were boring as usual. I skipped happily to third period, because I came prepared. Extra shirt in my backpack.

“Hello Angela,” I greeted her with a smile. She looked surprised. “Oh hi Bella,” she said shyly.
Lauren came in, with her friends of course, and glared at me and Angela.

“Something in your eye, Lauren?” I teased. Angela looked frightened, she stiffened a little. “Shut up, bitch,” she snarled. I would let that go; calling names were so beneath me.
When I came out, I saw a lot of people sitting on the bleachers and on the court shooting.

“Rose?” I gasped when I saw her waving at me on the top of the bleachers. Angela was talking to Lisa, a quiet girl from my
Biology class, so I didn’t feel bad about leaving her.

“Hey!” she ran down the stairs and hugged me. “What are you doing here?” “Our whole class is here today. The roof of our gym was leaking, so we had to have our class here. I can’t believe you’re in
this class!” she squealed.

“I didn’t know you have P.E. third period…” I said, happy. “I do, but with a different teacher. We usually take the Banner Gym,” she smiled. Two coaches, both blew their whistle, and
asked us to quiet down.

“Our gym is under repairing, so I asked that you share the gym with my students. My students, I asked that you behave…”
a bulky, middle-aged man instructed Rosalie’s class.

“You may have a free period today,” our coach smiled as we all cheered.
The boys grabbed all of the basketballs as girls sat and chat. I didn’t want to play and leave Rosalie by herself, so I sat with her.

“When does Alice have P.E.?” I asked. “After lunch. She has it with Emmett and Jasper,” she replied, I could tell she wanted to be in that class. “Lucky them…” I sighed. “Yep… I’m going to get something to drink from the vending machine… Want something?” “No thanks… You go ahead,” I smiled. “Alright! Be right back,” she hopped out of the bleachers and walked to the vending machines. “Hey...” Someone tapped my shoulder… “Gah!” I screamed, turned around to find a smirking Edward. “Gee… I didn’t know you were that pleased to see me,” he joked. “You did exactly the opposite… You scared the hell out of me! Where did you come from? I didn’t see you… ” I scowled as
he grinned.

“That’s for me to know and for you to find out… I’m a mystery,” he flashed a smile again. “It certainly is a mystery how you can be so annoying,” I murmured, I didn’t think he heard me.

smiling crookedly. Lauren gasped loudly. “Come on new girl!” A few boys in my class whistled as I rolled me eyes. “For you I will make an exception.” He finished triumphantly. “A game. “Excuse me?” I choked. some glaring. He smiled and extended his hand to help me up from the bleachers. “Hey Rick!” he called to a boy seating in the first row who had a basketball in his hands. I swear. I was in the Principal’s office. Perfect. “Alright. “Got it !” Jamie gave him a thumb up. and he started dribbling it.” he said.” I sneered. Captain?” I teased and raised my eyebrow at him.” he put his hand on his heart and looked at me in the eye. Thanks Edward. and I mean everyone. I tried not to overreact on the fact. no strings attached. . they were too dangerous. He smelled an easy victory for I saw the corner of his lips curled up. and I could see her hyperventilating when she saw Edward talking to me. eyes wide open. Some of them were smirking. “Don’t be nervous… Pretend it’s just you and me. You caught me… I did want something. I lost my breath. and I’m curious. I could see their mouths moving. even the guys playing basketball stopped and watched us with careful eyes. I looked away from his eyes. and waited for me response. but it made me suspicious.” It takes two to play in the game of politeness. “If I find anything fishy about this. and the speed of my heart increased when our skin were in contact. “Can’t I talk to my fellow classmate?” he asked innocently as I glared at him without a slight trace of humor. I hoped he didn’t notice that. He chuckled. What was this little smartalec planning? “Come on Bella! Just a little one on one. “ Jamie? Scorekeeper…” he instructed one of his friends. “Oh come on!” “Isn’t playing girls beneath you. One on one. and asked me if I needed anything for practice…” “Huh…” I said. I sighed. Well?” He got up from the bench. “First one to reach twenty points… Ladies first. “No thanks. “So what do you want Edward?” I didn’t mean to be rude. I eyed him carefully with a frown… “A game. Lauren and her friends were cussing. “Thanks.“Fine. The whole gym was silent. I heard how good you are from my friends. everyone.” he admitted with a grin. pretending not to be interested. “If you insist. I’ll tell you. Rick threw the ball to Edward. When I turned around. and no one else. I didn’t realize how close he was sitting next to me.” Edward whispered.” “Car problems again?” I teased.” I tried to speak as menacing as I could. He grinned. he was not going to let me go. The guys on the court backed away when they saw Edward and I walking toward the hoops. No way was I going to let him take over my mind again.” I chuckled. “Nope… just wanted to congratulate me and the team for the game last night. that helps. center of the spotlight. sincere. His hands were warm. you’re a dead man Edward Cullen. Now kids were starting to look in our direction. and I told myself to breathe. was seated on the bleachers. muttering something.” he smiled crookedly and passed the ball to me. I gulped.

“Thanks. “Alright! Get dressed!” he bellowed as everyone groaned.” he rolled his eyes and laughed. Only he threw his arms halfway instead of all the way up. “What happened? You won!” “Not exactly…” I disagreed. it was nineteen-nineteen. Arrogant. and the race of my heart picked up. and he seemed surprised by that. “Are you serious? How dare he?!” She shrieked as I put on my pants. I could only hear his chuckles. leaving a very confused Edward along with the rest of the kids from our gym class. With that. “Bella! Don’t lose to Edward!” I could recognize that voice anywhere. at my top speed. taking a sip of her Mountain Dew. I ran for the changing room. and I couldn’t hear anything that was coming form the crowd. not sure if he had one. gym. Swan. Oh who cares? Just go for the basket! And I did. who looked damn pissed.“I hope she falls. my head even touch his chest. it took me years but I never got it right. but he blocked me by throwing his arms wide open. but he took the ball from me and did a spectacular circus shot. It was like as if we were wrapped inside our own plastic bubble. Once. Jerk! He let me win! Rosalie was cheering at the top of her lungs. that was nothing. that is until the coach blew the whistle. We checked the ball. I couldn’t see or hear anything that wasn’t Edward.” Lauren said it loud enough for me hear purposely. Egotistical. “Wow…” I gasped. and he tried to block me. He could have had the ball if he reached for it. and I would have missed. Again.” I said as-matter-of-factly. It took me all the self control not to stick my middle finger at her. I smiled. “What do you mean?” “That little weasel let me win on purpose!” I snarled. I ran. Rosalie laughed. “Arrogant as usual. “I know! Do you mind Rose?” I opened the curtains. Dribble… dribble… I tried to look for his weak spot. We checked the ball. I didn’t realize how long we had been playing.” he nodded. but it was true. During our game. The game continued. But he didn’t. “Ready anytime. I made it in. I went for the shot.” I said dryly. The score continued to change. and I could only see him. “Thanks Captain. and saw Rosalie winking at me. I wasn’t born yesterday. I went under his arm. “Bella? Are you alright?” I heard Rosalie asking from behind the curtains. so I wouldn’t stink. He laughed again. Take a deep breath…. I can see. I knew that. Stupid. “Woo! Go Bella! Yeah! Hell yes!” The crowd were clapping their hands. and I was sure that my face probably turned red. Our arms would touch briefly sometimes. I looked up. not surprised that he did it. and I got it. but surprised that he performed it in our game.” I grinded my teeth as I put on my shirt. and I heard Rosalie and some boys cheering. since I was already flushed from running so much. his words. no way was I going to use the same strategy twice. I know how corny that sounded. and he passed it to me. I tried to get around him. I knew it was hard to do that shot. .” Edward grinned. I went straight for the shower. Thankfully no one would notice. I tried to dribble with the ball to past him. excepting for the cheerleaders. “I will be as soon as I punch a certain guy whose name starts with a E and ends with a N. Edward was smirking… “Nice shot Swan.

“Thanks!” he joked back.” he joked and took out his hands. like he was telling the truth. He actually looked sincere. Bella. I slapped it away. I glared at him with my arms crossed in front of my chest. “Someone that you’re pissed at?” “If I wanted you to go easy on me. She knew exactly what I was going to do. Annoying. “Buttering me up?” I asked dryly. “Go to hell Edward!” I said without looking back at him. “Screw the rules then. “Okay… I admit. but I have a reason. “Who do you think you are?” I clenched my fists. here we go again about Shakespeare. “What are you talking about?” he asked. congratulations!” he yelled from behind. You could have blocked many shots that I made. smiling. I scoffed and turned my head away from him. pretending to be innocent. Idiot. But I wasn’t about to forgive him. His eyes were closed. I wouldn’t be able to see it.” she winked and skipped away. Serves him right. Cullen. and the teacher practically ran in the classroom. How I wish to wipe that smile off his face. but the urge the punch him was still there. I calmed down a little. We stared at each other for a few seconds.” he said. by the way.” I said fiercely. That was a nice way to put it. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I rolled my eyes. “By the way. I wanted to see “your game” Bella. but you didn’t. coughing. you didn’t even give me the change to congratulate you! It’s within the rules to shake hands with your opponent after a game. “Are you serious? For what? Me losing? ” he asked. To tell you the truth. . I found him already changed. “Save it for someone who believes you. He was having too much fun. I was going to have a little talk with my dear friend Edward. he choked on water. They were wrong you know. and he broke the silence. trying to calm down. and started reading. I wasn’t playing my best out there.” He muttered an okay and continued smirking. as they put it. The bell rang. I would have asked you to do so. I was curious. Back to Mr. “Maybe…” Still grinning. Romeo and Juliet by the greatest play-writer. Stupid. A few kids started to enter the classroom. so he didn’t see me. it was within reach! So what? Am I not good enough for you to take me seriously?” I spat angrily at him as he frowned. I’m sorry if I upset you. “So you’re mad at me again?” he taunted with a huge grin. “But I meant every word that I said. Chapter Eleven Stupid Edward. I gathered my stuff from the chair. I was sure my head was steaming when I walked to ELA. he was dead wrong. you shoot… Sometimes I forgot that I was in the game playing you… Watching you was good enough. If he thinks dazzling me was going to work. I was caught up with the way you move. As soon as he opened his eyes. “Oh. I took out my book. including Edward. trying hard to keep a straight face. I saw you playing last night… You would have beaten me so easily if you wanted. “Today… is the day of the audition for our marvelous play. William Shakespeare!” she threw her hands up in the air dramatically. looking into my eyes.” he said softly without a sense of humor. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up in the Principal’s office because of him. Especially the last shot. you were incredible! You’re honestly a good player.“Of course not… take your time. Sense and Sensibility. Oh no. “You think?” I asked him. from what my friends told me. if I blocked your shots. and headed out to the gym. Stupid. You weren’t “good”. but still a trace of smile on his lips. He eyed me. I was the first one in the classroom. I walked away from him. sarcastic. drinking water from his water bottle. ELA! He’s in this class too! Damn it! Aren’t I lucky? Thankfully. Stupid. He laughed.

talk about dramatic. The girls squealed. She winked at him. moving slowly to the other side of the room. Watson. “Act one. the gentle fine is this: My lips. ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. but Edward didn’t look at all scared. velvet voice. She took a deep breath and started rambling with a fake. the gentle fine is this: My li…lips. two blushing pilgrims. hoping for this nightmare to end. “Mr. So it was going to be one of those days. we will start… Mr. we will begin with you. I didn’t write it. Andrea Smith to read. all of you would have to audition for these parts! Now. as I gave her a grin. perfectly at ease. Caughman handed us the scripts. two blushing pil…pilgrims. like I said before. He was leaning against the table. I believe.“Ah-them! Attention please!” she coughed to get everyone’s attention since the guys were still talking about Edward’s performance. Jessica sneered at me. We heard a loud shriek.” Mrs. the girls on the left! Come on now.” she instructed as the boy flipped to that page nervously. Like he would even want to do this. In fact. that was like… deep. but I’ve read this play for over three times. ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiiiiss. “Jamie? That was on the script. Apparently. “Alright people! We will be casting Romeo and Juliet first! And yes. They girls were trying very hard. Caughman was startled. Start with ‘if I profane’ and end on tender kiss. Mrs. “Wow man. Tony.“Now! We will be casting our lead roles first! So I want all the boys on the right side. “Ow!!” “Okay… Miss Stanley?” Jessica’s face lit up. What did she think this was? Opera? We continued to read. I took a glimpse of my play. move it people!” she clapped her hands as we all got up from our desks. It was easy to get caught up in the lines when he read. he wasn’t only good at basketball… but Shakespeare? He surprises me more and more each day. seeing that she was behind Edward for the audition. “Isn’t he just perfect?” Jessica purred as the other girls joined smiled and looked away from the girls.” Jamie’s eyes widened. murmured to himself.” The boy’s face reddened. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine. I rolled my eyes. “Thank you Mr. he already had it memorized. I’m not sure in a good way or bad way… “Thank you Mr. In fact. She smiled and took some notes under Edward’s name. Right. Cullen?” the teacher was frowning now. high pitch voice. you do wrong your hand too much! Which mannerly devotion shows in this! For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch! And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss!!” “Th… Thank you Andrea…” My ears were hurting badly. “Good pilgrim. they were staring at the clock. Gross. you know. The guys looked very nervous. even I was impressed. A few boys looked shocked. I sighed. . and he chuckled. he spoke like the actor himself. “If I… I profane with my un…unworthiest hand This holy shrine. and then we will have Miss Smith reading the part for Juliet…” she smiled as the boy looked frightened. He spoke so fluently in his perfect. The girls gasped. Scene five. and mouthed a “hey”.” Edward laughed as his other friend smacked Jamie on the head. I don’t mean to brag. maybe better. the guys looked surprised by the fact that their Captain could read Shakespeare.” He wasn’t reading from the script. Watson…” the teacher smiled as she instructed the girl closest to her. I almost know it by heart. Cullen. on Edward’s account. “Dude! How do you even read this thing?” a blonde jock that hangs out with Edward.

Caughman frowned as Jessica smiled widely. shocked for some reason. you do wrong your hand too much. it was a very hard decision for me to make. I knew they just wanted the part because he was in it. I have an announcement to make!” I walked slowly to my seat. why did it only take her a minute to pick the cast? A few guys knocked their desks to please the teacher. So. “Sure Jess.“Good pilgrim. “Good pilgrim. I had to laugh. “Our Juliet will be Miss Isabella Swan!” Isabella Swan… Whoa! Stop for a minute! Did she say my name? . “Fortunately. not that they could do any worse. “Now. Several guys and girls read. I know they would do their best to mess up on the play. Edward just let out a soft chuckle. “Over my dead body. Isabella.” the teacher smiled again and looked down at her clipboard. I mean.” the teacher smiled warmly.” the teacher corrected her. So guess what? I can pick the casts right now since you’re my last class! Aren’t you guys lucky?” she said excitedly as we all groaned. “… To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. and I waited silently. if you would go back to your seats. My afternoon classes are doing the Hamlet. Which mannerly devotion shows in this. and looked down to his lap. Plamer? What the hell was that? “Yeah… like whatever. thank you…” Mrs. Edward was smiling crookedly.” the teacher mumbled as Jessica screamed a “Yes! It’s me! Yay!” Mrs. Dang it! We still have seven minutes of class! “As you know. also by the great Shakespeare. drum rolls please!” Right. I saw other people snickering at her performance. Obviously. what a surprise… Also from this class.. staring off to blank space. you guys are the last class auditioning for today. “Our Juliet for this year. but I had to pick the best of the best. hoping it would cover the fact that I wasn’t listening. And palm to palm is holy plamers' kiss. “Well thank you. I was the last one. “Way to go.” I heard the teacher murmur to herself. Edward coughed to hide a laugh. since the principal wanted to do two plays. Caughman ignored her and continued. Edward Cullen!” The girls were squealing with happiness as the guys congratulated him. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. man!” they pounded fists with him and the girls batted their eye lashes. I looked back and found that there was no one behind me. in fact.” they chuckled nervously. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. Which mannerly devotion shows in this. “Miss Stanley. Miss Swan.” “Thank you Mr. “Our Romeo this year will be…Mr. “Please let me be Juliet! Please let me be Juliet!” they murmured with their hands twined in front of them under their breath. you do wrong your hand too much. I opened my scripted quickly to the page. I didn’t want to be Juliet at all.” “It’s palmers’. I didn’t want to be in the play.” I wasn’t really trying. if Romeo was played by a band geek. confident.. What surprised me was. everyone looked at me. There were many promising actors or actresses. “I’m so like going to be Juliet!” she said optimistically to her friends as they gave her an unconvincing smile. Next. If it was really that difficult. Jessica shook hair snottily and thought they were impressed. his eyes gazing me.” she sneered as she gave Edward another winked and walked back to her spot. Houston. And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

or trying to scare us with the whole detention thing… “Edward? Bella? Over here. we wouldn’t be discussing this right now. without constantly bickering. confused. “What’s the matter. I was hyperventilating now. “It may be nothing to you. Oh shit. “Damn it!” we both murmured under our breath. her face fell as mine hardened with shock. am I right?” she raised her eyebrows as I looked down to my feet.” she handed it to each of us as we groaned. which starts in another 5 minutes. stare. no way am I doing the play with him!” I pointed to Edward’s direction. because apparently.” he replied icily. No. I would consider it. long. “I can’t do the play… I… um…” I stuttered helplessly." She glared at me with disapproval.” I said dryly. maybe she was joking. Jessica pouted after giving me a nice. But I can’t do the play! You must have mixed me up with someone else! I’m not your Juliet! Besides. Gonzalez’s class. that's the way it's going to be whether you like me or not. I don’t think that’s impossible. "What's so funny Cullen?" I turned to him sourly. But since Edward’s the one. “Or maybe if Juliet wasn’t so stubborn.“What?!” Jessica and I shrieked in unison. I want you two to find away to work with each other. thankfully she didn’t hear us. In unison! “So does this mean we don’t have to be Romeo and Juliet?” Edward asked. it was insulting!” “Enough! Sit down on your chairs! I will not tolerate this in my class! Noon detention! Both of you! For disrupting my class!” “What?!” we exclaimed. know-it-all! “At least I didn’t lie and fake things just to have things my way!” I stood up from my seat and pounded the table without thinking. I was still angry from the gym incident. We said nothing and waited for her dismissal. Edward and I tried to sneak out of the room when the teacher wasn’t looking. "Miss Swan. Edward and I looked at each other and turned away. Caughman motioned us to her desk. outraged. As soon as she did.” he gritted his teeth and stood up as well. I walked to the food court to pick up something to eat for detention. She’s Juliet. "Can't I be the guy who kills Romeo by any chance? Surely the principal wouldn't mind us adding an extra character to the play. but to me. “Ding!” the bell rang and the kids looked disappointed to see the drama end. I saw “School Mart. you can kiss your grade for this semester goodbye! Heavens…” she breathed. “Nonsense! You and Edward will come after school today to work on some lines together…” “No way!” I yelled at her and saw Edward smirking triumphantly. “I hope you will work this out.” Mrs. No." I pleaded and I heard Edward snickering. Miss Swan?” the teacher asked me. If you screw this up. “Luckily for you. “See? You always take things so personal! It was nothing! And I didn’t lie! Neither did I fake. “Maybe if Romeo wasn’t such a jerk. No. No. I will give both of you another chance. “Miss Swan was the best girl for Juliet of all. hopeful. “I’m sorry. Smartass. “Here’s the slip for detention. No.” the teacher said slowly on Jessica’s account. and never thinking of other people’s purpose of doing things. you two have the same issue in Mr. his hands behind his head. and stormed out of the room with a huff. “What’s wrong Bella? Afraid that you might have stage fright?” he taunted jokingly.” sort of . “Excuse me?” the teacher looked furious.

I’ve never. “Are you really?” his eyes were teasing. “Okay. and he stared at me intently.” Of course. holding my stomach. or the teacher’s seat. . snickering. and a teacher. flunk ELA and possibly Biology since he’s my partner. “What!” “Nothing…” After about three seconds of silence. not that I care. That’s what you get for being a total jerk. He saw me thinking. He looked at me with a cute smile. I knew I overreacted with the whole “perfect record” thing.” he saluted and smiled widely. I’m supposed to be mad at you. I’m just doing the stupid play to get the grade. He was the only one in the tiny room since the teacher hadn’t arrived yet. “Yes. the hall of consequences.. A. which I don’t think he or she would highly appreciate it if they found a student in their chair.” I couldn’t help but notice that her comment was directed at Edward. Unfortunately. of course. and stared at the blank space. and I just realized how ridiculous I sounded. but I couldn’t help myself. “Not even if I show you and teach you the Circus Shot?” My heart thumped. My options? One.a. or whenever you want. give him another chance. and both of us burst in to laughter. learn how to do the shot that I’ve dreamed of since I was eight… And get on the teacher’s good side. It’s been what? Ten minutes? And no signs of the teacher. and he looked pleased to see that his words tempted me. So. he quoted. “Shut up!” I said through my giggles. It was either that.” I paused and saw his face lit up and fell slightly. “This is all your fault. I could ignore the temptation and be angry at him for the rest of the school year. We looked fixedly at each other for a long minute. but guess what? It’s not how I would like to spend my lunch time! My perfect record! Ruined because of you! ” I spat. “I’m truly sorry for what I did.” Edward and I replied together. laughing so hard he was pounding his desk with his fist.. The Circus Shot? Was he serious? I looked at him suspiciously. so he went on pressing some more… “I’ll teach you after school. “My fault? You’re the one that started the quarrel. I wasn’t a bit surprised to see him in there already eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich. You know. It seems I had been doing that quite a lot today. I finished my lunch quickly. you can master it in no time. “What? Did you expect me to forget everything that happened in gym? Noon detention maybe something you do regularly. and headed for Warner Hall.” I reminded myself out loud and crossed my arms in front of my chest. The words escaped my lips. He smiled and waited for my response. “Yes we have. “Okay… fine. Option Two? I could accept his offer.like a grocery store. never. “Nope. been to detention.” I turned my head away and tried not to laugh at his cute expression.” he sneered. and finally calmed down in the end. he had to compliment himself. there was only a chair next to him. I chewed down my food quietly and kept to myself. and slapping his arm at the same time. “this doesn’t mean that I’ve completely forgiven you. “Sorry I was late! Agh… meetings!” she rolled her eyes. I repeat. Then I noticed him staring at me. kind of pretty. No more laughing. pouting slightly. Is there any way that I can make it up to you?” he pleaded softly. and bought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. and then a smile was lit on his face. I couldn’t hold it any longer. “Oh my god! You should… you should have seen your face when you said… ‘My perfect record’”.. But. get this in your head: not because of you. . in her mid-thirties walked in. With your basketball skills and my awesome teaching techniques.k. “I hope you had been behaving. I had no choice. pointed my finger at him at the last word. and I was having trouble breathing! We laughed hysterically for a long time. huh?” I scolded. a bottle of lemonade. I thought for long moment. He seemed thoughtful for a minute. and you! You had to let me experience it before we get out of High School. understand?” “Yes ma’am. The door opened. and it looked difficult for him to keep a straight face.” I said sternly. My stomach was hurting so bad.

giving Lauren a disapproving look. I’m sure you heard the bell. winking at me. “Homework. I laughed as Edward rolled his eyes.” she leaned in. “Umm…” he stuttered nervously. Please take your seat. "Truce.” “Right… Because of the dumb play and being Biology partners. “Alright. chucking nervously.” her face fell. It wasn’t like we planned it or anything. the girls went back to their seats nervously. She glared at them." For now. my hands in the pockets of my jacket. “Exactly.” she said. but the bell interrupted. We both know that you don’t do homework.” she made it sound like a nasty word. satisfied at his last minute reply. Three periods (including lunch) with Edward Cullen… It was like a dream coming true. He did the same and waited patiently beside me.” he grinned. “Good one Edward. “Maybe another time…” she mumbled. not paying that much attention. “Where does this leave us?” he asked casually. He looked apologetically at me.” he said coolly.” she rolled her eyes and giggled.” he reminded her. homework. Okay… What’s with her and likes? “What are you doing tonight?” she asked. “Oh. Mr. I tried to hide my laugh. giving them “how-dare-you-talk-to-my-Edward” look and of course. and did I imagine the grimace? “So… what did you do last night?” she asked. “Oh come on. You caught me…I have to umm… attend a student council meeting. He walked out of the room with me behind him. “Hey girls.She was about to say something else.” I grinned too. Suddenly. disappointed. his eyes gazing in mine with sincerity. pleased to see that he took in my words. walking to him. but then I saw what cleared their way. You are like. “So…” he said when saw me finished.” he greeted them back.” she hit her forehead jokingly. She doesn’t even remember things that happened last night! “Oh my gosh. “Hey gorgeous. Gonzalez walked in. Chapter Twelve People watched us curiously when we walked together to Biology. batting her lashes again. grinning. so right. “You’re free to go! Oh. . I rolled my eyes and sat down on my seat.” he said. and Edward? Please stay out of trouble. remember? You were there. “So truce?" he held out his hand.” he instructed as Lauren muttered a “screw you old man”. “Miss Mallory. I shook it and he flashed a brilliant smile. “Yes Miss. “Hi Edward!” they giggled when he walked to his seat. “I guess we should call a truce. Lauren Mallory. Edward leaned back.” He said. Edward didn’t say anything but gave another nervous chuckle. taking out my novel to read. He dumped his trash in the garbage can and waited for me to do the same. “So…” I mimicked. but we both had it next so it didn’t exactly leave us a choice. not without giving me a growl and a snarl. Yeah. smiling disgustingly. Not. “I was at the game. I was confused at first.” he added with a nod. giving a supposedly seductive smile. If they only knew… Lots of girls were surrounding Edward’s seat when we walked in. I sighed and stopped walking. giving a “What? I-didn’tinvite-them” look. She turned sweetly back to Edward. “Lauren.

“Thanks.” she waved at him and I stuck out my foot purposely when she passed by. “Okay… Now that we’re done with our little skit. pretended that he was listening when the teacher looked in our direction. “Mr.” “Thank you. it wasn’t helpful.” he instructed now that we were back to business. no matter who started it. “Mr. Cullen. triumphant grin on my face. He followed me out the door. Well. “He can share with me Mr. That’s why I like staying on teacher’s good sides instead of calling them “Mr. I could feel his breath on my skin. “Sorry. “Thank you for the offer Miss Mallory… But I don’t think I will assign Mr. “It’s time for class. Lauren growled. yelling back at her. Cullen to the other side of the room. he would look down to the book.” Edward said optimistically and scooted his chair next to mine. my foot will be swollen for the rest of the week!” I lied. or was it the day before. pointing that ugly sausage of hers that she calls "finger" at me. Every now and then.” she stopped to think… I was going to tell her not to do too much thinking to bust that tiny brain of hers. “Sure.” I sighed and rolled my eyes as I scooted my chair to the right. My positive thoughts about him crumbled the second that the words escaped his mouth.” Lauren volunteered shamelessly. and he shook his head innocently. .” I said dryly as I turned my attention back to the teacher. Gonzalez?” I looked up and saw Edward had his hand raised in the air. Edward mouthed me a “good job” and I imagined that I had a huge. if Isabella doesn’t mind sharing. “Would you please not do that?” I hissed quietly at him when I noticed him reading over my shoulder. nice handwriting by the way…” he commented with a huge smug. I began to think he was actually a really cool teacher. She scowled and went on ranting. the teachers were SOO strict and old-fashioned… If this happened back home. Gonzalez. “I mean… I mean…” she stuttered. She gave up with a loud scowl and went back to her seat. to keep my mind busy. and I felt chills up and down my spine when he breathed. “Yes?” “I left my book in my room…” he said innocently and ran his hair through his hair. open your book to page a hundred and twenty.” I sang with a smile. Lauren and I would surely both end up in detention. “I never said you were. It looks pretty tight. I told myself to ignore the fact that he’s only a few inches away from me. “She totally was trying to kill me! Yesterday. but I decided to keep my mouth shut. Okay. and now she’s getting me back!! Give her detention or suspend her!” The teacher looked at her with a mused expression… “Oops!” she covered up her mouth. “I tried to trip her. Edward continued staring at me during class. “What are you talking about? You’re the one that stepped on me! Now thanks to your Jimmy Choos. “Umm…” I was about to say no when Edward raised his eyebrow at me. why don’t you read with her?” he suggested. What a goof. I gave him a look. Whatever-your-name-is". I knew I was going to get her back one way or another. probably reminding us about our truce. Back in New York.“Bye Edward. He helped me gather myself when the bell rang.” he glared at Lauren. “Now. However. Mr.” I admit that I never really liked Mr. Gonzalez guided us through the passage about evolution as I took notes. Whatever-your-name-is! This bitch over here was trying to make me trip on purpose!” she yelled. She stumbled with a gasp. instantly regretting what she said. “What are you calling me? Fat?” she shrieked as Edward slid down to his chair and tried to keep himself from laughing. I don’t mind. “No I mean it. but it didn’t do me any justice. but after the little incident that we had.

” he said humorously. I tried not to laugh at her poor attempt at name calling. umm… what was the word that you used? Bitch! That’s right! Bye bitch!” I winked at her and slammed the door behind me. giving her the same arrogant smirk that she gives me and other kids. I’m stunned!” I faked a shocking expression. “You… you… you!!” she stuttered. I don’t want to do something just because you want me to.” she said. in fact.” she gave we a sick smile. That made her even angrier. “Oh by the way. I ended up in detention!!” I spat angrily as she snorted. or I’ll make you very sorry…’ she grunted through her teeth. “News travel fast. Drop out now. “Your welcome. he disappeared in to the crowd of the hallway. probably wondering who made the familiar scream. I heard a loud shriek coming from the restroom. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. As I made my way to my French class. When I got back to my dorms. She thought she would get the role! How careless of her not to think of you!” I smiled when I saw her eyes widen with shock and she growled.” I said sarcastically. I couldn’t stop laughing on the way to my next class. It was nice meeting you in the restroom. It does take a long time for her to get what just happened. who in their right mind would want to do a play with Cullen? Oh yeah. I need the grade. smirking. Bye. and Emmett on the couch. enjoy the rest of the day without me. before yelling at me.“Thanks for sharing the book. Rosalie. you might want to talk to your friend Jessica because she was all over Edward in English. “Speechless? Why. she’d be doing me a big favor.” I crossed my arms in front of me. and Biology… Relieved is an understatement. Gym. but I fell on the floor and it broke off my sentence. “I’m going to say it again. Two can play at the game. So that’s why she’s so arrogant. you can ask your precious Edward. I was known for deadly glares back in New York. Her mom’s on the committee… like that matters. Jasper. Apparently Jessica didn’t fill her in on that part. “I don’t care. With a breath-taking crooked smile. Swan.” She held her face highly with pride. No one dared to mess with me then. a hand pulled me in. . In front of me. People looked curious at the restroom. I didn’t exactly want to do the play. and placed my hand over my mouth to act surprised. “Last class you have with me today.” he waved and wiggled his fingers.” I grinned. Lauren. “Fancy seeing you here Bella. We have to do it again soon. because of the stupid play. I knew immediately who it was. “Thanks for the warning. My mom’s on the committee. trembling with anger. I glared at her… How dare she?! “I would say the same thing about you. ‘ “Bring it on. “I’m not going to drop out.” I bit my lipbefore saying anything that I would regret. she’ll get them fired. I had to laugh at that. Little does she know. Drop out of the play. making out. I straightened myself and got up from the floor with the help of the sink. “You have no idea. Mallory. her eyes deadly. So what do you want?” Her face wrinkled. I have to go. Moron. if she actually gets me off the play. I saw Alice. and all the teachers listen to her. sweating.” I said. “What the…. I bet you feel relieved…” he smiled. huh? First of all. “You’re a bitch you know that? How dare you play Juliet for the play when Edward’s Romeo? You must know perfectly that I wanted the damn role!” she clenched her fists. he looked pleased to see that I wasn’t a hundred percent serious. Or. I saw a pair of skinny legs with Jimmy Choos on.” I was about to say “hell”. detention. “Shut up! Liar! Bitch! ” she screamed. “Suit yourself. I wasn’t the only one there. I passed by the restroom and suddenly. I could honestly care less what you do to me. and besides. I mean. And don’t be surprised tomorrow when you get called to the teacher and are told that you are off the play. English. “Well.

“No!” “Hey. and I yelled at him. today in gym… Edward’s class joined ours since something happened to theirs. “So how did that turn out?” Rosalie asked. why don’t you kiss him?” I snapped back at him. we don’t usually go to the plays. Ha ha! You get mad at him again today. I saw a wide smile spread on her face. The others laughed. Anger took over me for what happened in gym. “I knew you being in detention had something to do with Edward. start from the beginning and tell us everything. “I heard about that Bella! It was all over the campus! Some seniors were talking about it… girls. excited. . “I know! I was so angry! Later in forth period. why would I want to kiss him when I have Rosalie?” he planted a kiss on Rosalie's lips.” Emmett snickered as I smacked his head and glared at him. “And you didn’t tell me?” she said. He wouldn’t leave me alone. “Well. pouting. “Okay Bella. hoping they wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.” she said innocently.and out of all people. I groaned. we started arguing and the teacher got mad… the next thing I know. He came up to me.” “Wait! You and Edward are playing Romeo and Juliet?” Alice’s eyes were glimmering. I was wrong to hope that. I wasn’t sure. His words were hard to understand. and said he wanted to play one on one with me. “Shut up! If you’re looking forward to it. Alice looked annoyed. She squealed and clapped her hands. I gave Rosalie a look… “I didn’t tell him.” I said quickly.” he rolled his eyes as Alice hit him. “What’s there to be excited about?” I scowled her. “Technically. I had lunch detention. “Sweetie. Emmett was making “oooh” sounds in the background. and he teased me. he let me win!” “No!” There were horror and anger shown on Alice’s face. “Where were you Bella? We haven’t seen you all day!” Alice sounded worried as she walked up to me to give me a hug. we both ended up in detention. Jasper was laughing. the teacher picked Edward and me for Romeo and Juliet! I freaked out. They laughed. disapproving.” she winked as I groaned.” Emmett pointed out as Rosalie hopped up from his lap. “Here I am thinking that you made up with him yesterday. and then you made up… oh my god! This is so confusing!” Jasper was hanging on to the couch for support since he was laughing so hard. since you and Edward are in it. Besides. They gasped. I lost my temper. we did our audition-thank god you have English in the afternoon Alice. “Long story short? We yelled at each other some more… And then we started laughing. just what I needed.” “Well. “Believe it or not. smiling innocently. wouldn’t it sound better coming out from Bella?” he asked. you and Edward are like magnets! First Biology partners. Anyway. all of them. is it true that you played one on one with my little brother?” Emmett asked.” Alice giggled as I rolled my eyes. “Ohh! That means you have to kiss him on stage! That’ll be a joy to watch!” Emmett smiled widely as I smack him once more. Rosalie looked happy too.” I grimaced in horror at the word. but we’re making an exception this year. In the end. and now this? It’s fate girl. so I gave in. “I swear Bella. we are in a room. It was all over the school. We made a truce in the end. because it would never happen.“Geez guys! Can’t you get a room or something?” I frowned and they picked their heads out of their embrace. Emmett hugged me. “Come on! You know I’m only kidding! Besides.

.” Alice said.” a soft voice came from behind. “Oh… it is. it did come to a stop. We ate breakfast on our little dining table.” Emmett grinned.” I said with a dark chuckle. just in case the teacher changed her mind about the whole me being Juliet thing. they had the audition for the rest of the casts after school yesterday. hoping that would take their minds off the Edward topic. I’m up. there was a crowd surrounding it. I decided to take a look at it when they left. also reading the list. “Wake up sunshine!” Rosalie slapped me playfully when she entered the room. Chapter Thirteen I hate the sound of the alarm clock. “Hi..” Rosalie’s eyes were glimmering with excitement as she bounced up. “Hey Bella! I bought some donuts and coffee while you were sleeping. I need coffee!” I giggled and hopped to the restroom. especially when it wakes me up in the middle of a good dream.“No Alice.” I smiled. They waited for me to get changed and stuff. The casts for Romeo and Juliet were posted at the entrance of the hallway. “Oh my gosh! Thank you Alice! You’re the best roommate in the history of roommates!” I squealed. I turned around to see Edward behind me. Eventually. We turned our attention to the paper. “I know. I crossed my arms and leaned back to the couch. “OOH! Yes!! I hope it’s good. When I walked by.” she rolled her eyes and winked. “Sorry… Promise no more outbursts for the rest of the night. “So… you guys want to hear about Lauren or not?” I asked casually. resting her elbows on my bed. “Okay.” I corrected her. And the story began. it’s called rotten luck. “Hey Bella. Turned out. then we left the dorms. waiting for them to stop laughing. Romeo and Juliet Cast 2008 Romeo Montague… Edward Cullen Juliet Capulet… Isabella Swan Friar Lawrence… Jamie Petersen Mercutio… Adam Rathbones The Nurse… Angela Weber Tybalt… Tyler Crowley Capulet… Eric Yorkie Lady Capulet… Jessica Stanley Montague… Henry Gerald Lady Montague… Lauren Mallory Paris… Mike Newton Benvolio… Ben Cheney Prince Escalus… Brian Ways Friar John… Jackson Myers Balthasar… George Hyde Sampson and Gregory… Mitchell Garcia and Daniel Houston . Damn! Lauren was just about to get expelled! But she certainly keeps things interesting when she’s around.

“Yeah… true. detention wasn’t so bad when you accompanied me. “Oh my god! If she flirts with him onstage. He must have noticed. he does have to deal with his fan girls…” I giggled. Edward Cullen is the most dangerous creature alive. I was sure Alice would fill me up when I get back to the dorms. “Actually. They were right next to her when she read the list and screamed. “No lucky you for not having any classes with him. The announcements came on.” “Thanks for the intro…” I murmured. But I’m not falling for him. I guess the teacher didn’t change her mind. rolling my eyes at the d-word.” he smiled crookedly and started walking to first period. No way. it would be so wrong!” Rosalie exclaimed. “I guess I’ll see you later Bella. Those were the only people that I know of. I mean. I met my friends for lunch. I sighed. curious. Hey Sweetie.” he mumbled. again? And for a reason this time?” Emmett snapped his finger miserably. Talk about childish. the scorekeeper from my game with Edward yesterday. “Thanks… Agh! Mike Newton? Damn it! I hate that guy!” he nearly growled when he read the rest of the list. I laughed. imagine Lauren or her friends getting the role… I shuddered at the thought.” I said. The rest of the day went by fast. The seniors had a big test tomorrow to prepare for. More people more starting to arrive. interrupting us. so no lingering around the campus! Mrs. and we talked about the play. The rest of the names were unfamiliar to me.” Emmett and Jasper sighed. “I wouldn’t envy him. But. bringing us another round of laughter. He scoffed.Abram… John Lincoln The Apothecary… Hayden Norman Peter… Sean Frost That was a hell of a list. “Oh well! At least I get to beat him in the play. What was wrong with me? One little touch and it gave me the butterflies? I swear. I would have to tease her about it later. cheering him up.” he leaned in and brushed a string of my hair out of my face. .” his eyes were wide when he pointed to Lauren’s name. So Jessica ended up as my mother in the play? I bet she was mad. and my heart accelerated uncontrollably. and Jamie. There was one from my mom. He’s Edward Cullen. I was glad that Angela was the nurse. I checked my e-mails on my laptop as Alice read fashion magazines. “Good luck with your mother. oh yeah. “You should have seen Lauren’s face when she saw that she was playing Edward’s mother!” Jasper and Emmett high-fived each other. there will be a rehearsal in the auditorium! All casts are expected to be there! It will start immediately after school. He chuckled.” he flashed a smile cheerfully. “Lucky you…” I rolled my eyes. “Oh… he’s the guy with a big ‘loser’ written on his face. My breath was becoming uneven. I heard him gave another soft chuckle. “Attention to all students participating the play Romeo and Juliet for this year! After school tomorrow. so they had to cram hard that night. Caughman would like all the casts participating the first scene to memorize all of their lines from the first five acts tonight! ” “Man! He gets to miss practice. “We better get going or we’re going to get another day of detention.” I teased as he rolled his eyes. “Who’s that?” I asked. “Oh my god. And Lauren was Edward’s… what a surprise it must be for her. She seemed caring and kind enough.

After school.s. smiling hugely. Romeo and Juliet. it would have been helpful if I listened. Definitely. and I just got a chance to meet my little nephew. he was there. And no.” Mrs. He smiled back helplessly. unfortunately. And I’m in it. Just like my mom to get worried and stuff. She doesn’t throw a fit about boys. I’ve made really good friends. perfect in fact. Alice. wondering what he was doing. Alice and I ordered Chinese food for dinner. I had to memorize my lines for the play. why would it matter to me? It wouldn’t matter that he wasn’t there. principal’s office?” I raised my eyebrow. and I didn’t realize how hungry I was. Frankie. “So let me guess. who are just as nice. Rose was pissed. I DON’T HAVE A BOYFRIEND!! Love. breathe! I’m fine. is a really sweet girl. At that point. He waved at me. Thankfully I had already read the play like twenty times. We have a play coming up. “Yeah… But. She was more than a mom. teach! We want to watch! Oh! Hi Edward!” a dark hair girl waved at him. Jasper and Emmett. “Funny Bella…” “Ah! What is all this? You girls are not part of the play. I wasn’t going to be much of a company since I needed to study. Mom. it didn’t last long since Emmett accidentally threw a piece of bread on Rosalie’s shirt. Rosalie. Emmett was ranting with apologies. thinking of ways to make it up to her. Alice had to do her essay for her History class. and painted ‘I Hate Mrs. I rolled my eyes. Surprisingly. To my dismay. “Anxious are we?” he chuckled. He sighed in defeat. there were crowds of girls entering the auditorium. “It was not my fault. “Where were you?” I regretted it. So is her friend. with their boyfriends. “Oh come on. or was I just trying to make up an excuse to see if he was there? The first one. I kept telling myself that. Emmett and Jasper had a mini food fight! However. who lives right next store. probably to remind ourselves to behave today. who is only two! He’s adorable! I hope to hear from you soon! Call if you ever need anything! p. the kids are nice too. I had a pretty strong feeling that they were here to see Edward. I walked up to him and blurted out. and of course. He wasn’t there for Biology. shaking their butts as if they were doing the hula-hoops. Caughman gasped when she came out from the backstage. Are you going out with anyone? Lots of love like always. The school is great. so it wouldn’t be that hard. I wondered why… I giggled. We hang out everyday. and without thinking. My roommate. Mom is pretty open to my relationship with others.How are things going? Do you like the campus? The teachers? The kids? Did anyone pick on you? I swear to god… Phil’s parents came to visit. I must have sounded desperate. Some girls got pissed because they weren’t Juliet. Bella After replying my mom. “In your dreams…” I rolled my eyes. “No! That’s it! Out! Out! Out!” she hollered at them to get out.” he paused and put his hands up in the air. so I always talked to her about that kind of stuff when I lived with her. I heard a bunch of “bye Edwards” and it was suddenly quiet. looking totally innocent. so she was busy too. For a second. That was good. Caughman’ on the walls… The old man blamed it on me!” Gee. as his fan girls gave a loud squeal. I couldn’t believe that this was their way of trying to be “sexy”. I saw Edward in Language the next morning. Mom. Lunch was hilarious. which he meant to throw on Jasper. “Shouldn’t you wave at your fan club?” I teased him as he grimaced. Then Lauren and Jessica entered through the doors dramatically. . We greeted each other with a hello. I was trying to be a good girl. they grunted with displeasure and finally got out of there seats. I shouldn’t care. she was my best friend. Did he skip? Or did he get in trouble? I shook my head. I lost my concentration. I headed for the auditorium just as the teacher told me.

“Today! We are starting with the first scene! All casts for scene one please step forward! On that day. I told her to ignore Jessica and just keep her mind on the lines. the Miss “I-can’t-read-this-word!” This was going to take some time.” she scolded them as they rolled their eyes. I gulped. thanks to Jessica’s disabilities at pronouncing words. and I finally saw the “Mike Newton” that Edward detested. Thou know'st my daughter's of a pretty age. They finished slowly. thankfully.“Miss Mallory. thou's hear our counsel. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. My heart was thumping.” I murmured. trying to avoid eye contacts with Jessica or I might blurt out something that didn’t concern the play at all. I moved back. Which mannerly devotion shows in this. Including Lady Capulet. ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. since I was not in the scene.” Jessica frowned. I could almost see steams coming from her head. Edward snorted. so However. I have remember'd me. reading off the cardboard that Janice was holding up front. I saw Angela for the first time ever since rehearsal started. I snickered… And that made her fuming. there was only one last act left for today. I will not allow you to continue doing this play.” Lauren muttered as Jessica snorted. the gentle fine is this: My lips. a. This rehearsal was so worth it. Edward let out a snort when he stepped on the stage. “Here they are complaining when they have a lower amount of lines than us. which is the next. “Madame. He’s only doing his part of the play. causing her to step on the carpet instead. Jessica glared at Angela. “This is the matter: Nurse. you still have to memorize the majority of them. we’ll come earlier next time… geez. Before she could make a worthless comeback. It was priceless.k. He wasn’t exactly what I expected see. Caughman picked her of all people to be Lady Capulet! Maybe she decided to turn this play into a comedy… Edward entered near the end of the scene. I heard her take a deep breath and walk to where she was supposed to be. I expect you to remember all of your lines. Tybolt or Tyler Crowley exited the stage. Lauren tried to step on my foot when she passed by. It started with Mitchell and Daniel as Samson and Gregory. I am here. We’ve already been there rehearsing for an hour and a half. a girl in charge of the changing of the scenes motioned us to go up to the stage. so come on! Mitchell. What is your will?” I read. knowing that the scene with me and Edward was about to come. give leave awhile. Mike had blonde hair gelled in spikes and a baby-face. The part with Jessica was hilarious. They winked at Edward and gave him a questionably alluring smile. or passing out on the stage wouldn’t have looked too good. “Good pilgrim. Angela smiled back appreciatively. we must talk in secret: nurse. Daniel! You’re up first! Move it guys! Let’s go!” she said optimistically. IMMATURE! During the scene with Edward and Ben. smiling. The second scene was a little better. not quite sure if he heard me. she was struggling so hard with the words! I didn’t even know why Mrs.” “I know what you mean. Miss Stanley! If you will not be on time. She waved back enthusiastically. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine. Great. the part where Romeo meets Juliet. appreciative cheers were coming from all the girls. the teacher told me to get ready for mine. come back again. I can’t have you staring at the cardboard in a fight scene in front of the whole school! Now put the scripts away! You were supposed to memorize them last night!” After her speech. and waved at her. you do wrong your hand too much. Unsuccessfully. which meant I was up. I took in my foot. He looked into my eyes and I was sure I was blushing. some of the students groaned rudely. She gasped loudly when she saw that she stepped on the floor instead of my toes.a. and waited for my part. “Oh relax.” The lines that we read for the audition. “Oh stop grumbling like a bunch of babies! We have work to do. the teacher interrupted. Janice. which made a look of fear appear on his face. there will be dialogs written on cardboards provided for you! Of course. two blushing pilgrims. just in case you forget that day. Again. . now you need to do yours instead of staring at him blushing like a complete fool! I reminded myself to breath.

Adam. Over! “Finally!” Jamie put his hands up in the air dramatically. “Seriously. “I will talk to you two when I’ve come up with a conclusion… And you will need to practice with each other privately this weekend since you are leading the play!” she said. the evil twins? Well. My heart was beating faster by the second. I bit my lip to keep myself from laughing.And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.” we shook hands.” I read. He gave me an encouraging smile.” I was putting on my backpack when I heard a voice from behind. it must have been loud too… How embarrassing! “Have not saints lips. he was still smiling. prompting me to continue. and holy palmers too?” His voice was so soft. “Duh? That’s called acting you idiot!” “Miss Stanley! For someone who can’t even pronounce palmers. we have to do it?” I asked. So Jessica’s mother’s also on the committee. “Of course. Some other guys were muttering some about wasting their times coming here today when they didn’t even do anything. “No. “Mr. she muttered something about us being childish and told us to grow up. I walked to the corner to get my stuff. “Next Monday! Same time.” When we finished all the dialogs between Romeo and Juliet for this act. and George were making “ooh” and kissy sounds. “totally faking it…” I wanted to go up to her and say. I thought I was going to melt in them. Without the kiss.” . Jamie. What a coincidence. the way she read was disgusting! She was totally faking it. “Yeah Miss! She was totally messing up! I mean.” the teacher snapped back at her.” she smirked as Edward and I gulped. quoting her words. it wouldn’t be Romeo and Juliet. “You did a good job today. obviously talking about Lauren and Jessica. and you may leave!” Thank god it was Friday night! First week of school. glaring. outraged when I turned back to the teacher. you are awfully opinionated. impatient.” I corrected him. not bothered by her threat. C hollered back at her.” Edward and I pretended to gag for her annoyance. I turned around and saw Mike Newton. lips that they must use in prayer.” Jessica spat disgustingly. “Shut up!” Edward and I turned to them. “Hi Isabella. smiling warmly at me.” she said proudly. Cullen? Miss Swan? I’m sure you are aware that there’s a kiss scene in this act. same place! We will begin with Scene Two! Memorize the lines! Take your things. Way. Miss Mallory! Do whatever you like!” Mrs. She gasped. both of us turning red. pilgrim. “My mother will hear about this! Only you aren’t bright enough to see that I was meant for the role!” Jessica threatened fiercely as Lauren pushed her and stabbed her with her nails. Caughman around. I will be willing to accept her position!” Lauren said. Caughman what an awful job I did. following Mrs. “Excuse me? You were meant for the role? Dream on! You are just about as bad as Swan over there! I was meant for the role you bitch!” Lauren screamed at her and snapped her fingers when she said excuse me. sweet… like honey. Lauren and Jessica got up from their butts to tell Mrs. already knowing the lines like him. “Of course. everyone was cheering. “My mother and my lawyer will hear about this!” she fumed and turned to the doors. giving us a "don’t-you-dare-mess-up" look. “I’m Mike. Jessica apologized with a mumble and Lauren took the lead again. “Miss! Did you she the way she read? It was so boring and dull! Someone like her would surely bring down our performance! Luckily for you. “Alright… All of you did a very good job today! Except for umm… never mind. “Ay.” she shook her head as we snickered. “It’s Bella.

He walked to his friends.” his face wrinkled as I tried not to laugh. neither of us knew what to say. “No problem… If he bothers you again.” “Marie. I doubt that we’ll reach twenty.sure. “It’s not that bad. so I did. “Fine. this one was easy enough.. The sky was a color between purple and orange.” They both waited for me to say something.” he frowned and looked very disappointed.” I said. smoldering me with his eyes. “Thanks for the saving back there.” Edward murmured to himself. “Newton. “It does?” his face wrinkled once again. “Umm….” I said appreciatively with a sincere smile. not at the name. but I didn’t want to press. Chapter Fourteen He held the door for me when we left the auditorium. as if he was betting on me saying yes. hoping maybe he would take a hint. “Ah! What’s your middle name?” I was relieved. did you?” I quirked up my eyebrow and he laughed. Umm… Su. “Nothing too personal of course. “Hey Bella. He must have noticed my nervous expression. “Screw him. out of the blue. it suits you.” I grinned. but at his expression. “You did too…” “Listen. and the sun was setting. as if the girls didn’t have enough reasons to hate me already. we take turns asking the questions. I’ve only known this guy for about two seconds and he was already asking me out? He seemed like a nice guy. “Thanks… I guess…” I muttered. and I swear I saw him smirking. sarcastic.“Thanks. what do you say we play twenty questions?” he suggested with a smirk. I was shocked.” I rejected as politely as I could.” “Okay.” I smiled back.” He must really hate Mike. but not the kind that I would consider going out with. So I was going to walk back home with Edward Cullen. no special intention there… Was I… disappointed? No. trying to make him feel better.” my voice was shaky. He still looked bothered by something.” Mike sneered as Edward sneered back at him. I’m made plans with some friends. “It’s not really that far back to my room. I couldn’t imagine how stupid I must have sounded. distracted. “Umm… No thanks. . “Cullen.” “One condition. You in?” he asked as I gulped. I couldn’t help but notice his glance turned to Edward. “Hey. Do you want to go out tonight?” he asked. I didn’t say anything. a dark look appeared in his eyes when he glanced in Mike’s direction. now known as my lifesaver. Never before was I ever so pleased to hear Edward’s voice. Deal. Ask away!” I said. thinking with a taunting smile. It was absolutely beautiful. I’d be glad to help. he was quite the gentleman when he wasn’t all arrogant and annoying. He’s just borrowing something from Alice. You didn’t think I was only doing the answering. glaring at Edward from afar. he quickly added. I cleared my throat. We stared at each other awkwardly. I couldn’t be.” he smiled breathtakingly.” a velvet voice came from behind.. “Hmm…” He had his finger under his chin. “Hey… Do you mind if I walk you back to your room? I need to borrow something from Alice. “Oh… Next time then.” he muttered. let me know. outraged. “Yours?” “Anthony. knowing that never in a million years would I ever say yes to someone like him. I had to admit. “Marie. “Then I’ll take as many as I can get.

And he knew that! I wasn’t going to say anything. We passed by the basketball court. turned off the music. “Next question. “Yeah… I did go out with her. “I thought nothing too personal!” I hated questions like this.” I quickly added. a faint smile touched his lips. it’s only fair that I get something back in return. He laughed. I guess Alice and Rosalie gave you the whole ‘stay away from Edward the asshole’ speech on your first day. He made up small talks. and knew I would say no more on the topic. I know that sounded pretty pathetic. Edward didn’t seem to notice or mind the staring. and saw some kids playing. “You still owe me teaching lessons if you want to keep this truce going.” I greeted her as I watched Edward hesitate at the door. and we headed for the elevator. “I had a crush on this guy named Hayden in eight grade. “No… They told me you were a really nice guy. He was taunting me. I just said that to make you feel better. Alice was already back.” We were at the entrance of the dorms.” I reminded him. “Yeah. Then I remembered his promise yesterday. “I was still upset about what you said. “Okay. and smiled. Got one! Remember on Monday. “That’s right! I forgot about that.” I murmured as he shook his head. Would 8:00 tomorrow morning work for you? That way there won’t be anyone on the court but the two of us. maybe. I told her I wasn’t feeling well enough for the movie. “Well.” he rolled his eyes and fired the next question. I saw a faint light and loud hip-hop music coming from our room. Just your ways with girls they can’t stand. “Would you like a round of applause?” I rolled my eyes.” I smiled assuring at him and he looked relieved.” the corner of his mouth twitched up as his eyes narrowed.” I said icily. “So what do you think?” he whispered. However.“Well. just a bit. I’ve never talked to him.” his face was suddenly grim. “Sounds good to me. I owe you that much. We only had dinner though.” I said apologetically as he gave me a smile. he asked me something personal. “Really?” his lips pressed into a tight line. Freshmen. so I went back to my room and just… thought about everything…” I was surprised that he was being that truthful with me. and it did get my mind of the glares. frustrated at him for asking. and I doubt that he even knew that I existed.” he smirked. but he looked so disappointed… I sighed. She picked up her nose from the latest issue of “Glamorous”. or did you meet up someone else?” I had been thinking of that question all night. “Hmm…” I mimicked him. Anyway. “Have you ever had a crush on anyone?” I groaned. your way with girls really pisses me off.” I paused and I heard him chuckle lightly.” he suggested. He held the door for me once again.” I trailed off as he looked back at me. His glance was suddenly on his feet. “So… was this guy Hayden good looking or what?” he said humorously as I gave him a glare. Don’t worry about it. you got a phone call from that Chelsea girl? Did you really go out with her that night. “Gee thanks. Besides. “I know. I didn’t mean to… I was just curious. which worried me. “Sorry. smirking. no. I felt a little bad that I brought it up. end of story. “Really? Why thank you very much for the compliment. Some girls stared rudely with a “what’s-she-doing-with-him” written on their face. “but I guess other than that you’re okay… that is when you’re not all annoying and arrogant. my finger under my chin. “I don’t really remember what he looks like. “Hi Alice.” I grinned.” he assured me. huh?” he looked up at the sky. . he moved away two weeks after school started. I decided to torture him a little. “No! It wasn’t… really.

still laughing. puzzled. but I was constantly watching him when he was in the room… though never in a million years would I admit that to Alice. startled. “Enough said… Scary mental images. “Lie about what?” “Bella! Are you blind? It was so obvious that he wanted to walk you home. I stared at her. He said he was going to borrow something. it’s either that.“Oh hi Bella!” she froze when she saw him. “Okay… That was so funny.” she rolled her eyes. I blushed. “Come on! Let’s go grab something to eat! Friday night! Hell yes!” we cheered.” he smiled and ran for the elevator. Get it?” I snapped. but it’s not a date!” I hissed and she looked slightly disappointed. “I need to borrow an umm… Oh! Geography homework! What page was it?” his face brightened. Have you seen him with any girls lately?” “No…” I muttered quietly.” Alice raised her eyebrow. “Trust me. Rosalie and Emmett are doing god-knows-what. . “Sure Bella. or nothing. but she interrupted me. sis. you know. “Still doesn’t mean anything Alice. “Okay. “Right… I umm…” he stuttered as Alice and I watched him suspiciously. “He didn’t even come up with a good lie! And I thought that was his specialty. If Edward is the Edward that I knew. and skipped out of the room. “What?” I asked. I asked Alice what she was in the mood for. “Page Two hundred Eighty Five. But he soo likes you! It’s obvious!” I was about to protest. Weeeird. “I thought you already finished it in class…” “Did I?” he chuckled nervously. But for these past four days.” The last sentence made me slightly guilty. so how would I know? I don’t stalk him. if you don’t believe me…” she rolled her eyes. “What did you two talk about on the way?” “We played twenty questions. My face turned red. finding no humor about this. “Weren’t you going to borrow something?” I reminded him. If it lasts long. “You’re so gullible… Fine. I decided to change the subject. Sure I wasn’t a stalker. Okay.” she stated. as if I was missing the obvious. and I felt like running out of the room. I haven’t seen him kissing or going out with anyone.” she rolled her eyes. “Oh. Alice literally pulled me to sit on the couch.” she said proudly.” I frowned as she beamed at me to continue. grabbed our jackets. “No way. “But that doesn’t mean anything. That’s the maximum. “Yes… He’s suppose to help me with basketball tomorrow. As soon as the door was closed. “Edward?” Alice choked.” I shuddered and we both giggled. Depends on how long our truce lasts. She coughed a laugh. we were both craving for Italian. “Where are the rest of the gang?” “Jasper’s doing something for the coach.” she said. His face suddenly tensed. surprisingly. “Did he ask you out?” Her eyes were sparkling. “My mistake then. We’re friends. shaking her head. He asked you about the homework. although we only managed to ask two. I’ll see you guys later. Thanks.” she laughed. I only have two classes with him. “What’s up? Why are you here?” “Nice to see you too. she was trying her best not to upset me.” I denied. he would be lip-locking with a new girl every period. not excited? “No Alice! It’s not like that!” I groaned and buried my face in a pillow. to keep his side of the bargain. was she ever. embarrassed. unconvinced. the same girl for the whole day.” he said with a smug. “Did you make plans with him this weekend?” her expression was cautious.

Instead. smiling down at them invitingly. and before I could look away. “Bella? What do you want?” “Umm… Chicken Alfredo sounds nice. you first…” with the whole politeness thing. He looked up. only hers was long. insisting that the ladies should take the breadsticks first.” he gave us a curtsy nod and disappeared. It looked pretty fancy. serious. I told you I was hungry. She had black hair. It sounded like they were making a joke out of something. Right on cue. It was similar to a place that my mom took me for my ninth birthday. I told myself not to look back to the table at all tonight. I’m starving…” she commented when a waiter came over to take our order. I asked Rose and the guys about their exams. Emmett. Rose. I was stunned. Jamie. I couldn’t help but notice that her glance were only on Edward.” I giggled as Rosalie and Emmett glared at him. I wondered how the students here could afford this. But… still! A fancy Italian restaurant on Campus? This school was wicked! “Let’s order for them. We weren’t like. Alice and Jasper kissed each other on the lips. and Jasper walked in. Alice ordered two Chicken spaghettis along with an Italian salad and a super large tomato pizza. Jasper.” Emmett faked a little girl’s voice. Jasper growled at him as Rosalie reminded her brother that we were in a restaurant. although he showed no interest in her. jet black hair like Alice. it’s the best restaurant around…” she exclaimed. We have to go John’s Pasta. “Drinks?” the waiter asked. “Man. looked like he was doing some serious flirting. “Smarty-pants. he mouthed a “Hi” with a huge grin on his face. That was when I noticed him. “No. leaving Rosalie behind them. Jasper and Emmett watched us with a mused expression. “It was hard. and Cody. like “Didn’t you eat lunch today?” . When I walked into the restaurant. looking away for my embarrassment.” Jasper snarled as Emmett looked perfectly at ease. and he was. A waitress came over with four menus. “I’ll be right back with your order.” Emmett shook his head. and they were coming to the restaurant to meet us. like hard-hard…” Rosalie said.“Okay. on the other hand. Emmy.” Emmett pretended to be horrified as Jasper punched his arm. “Sure… sure… I’m sleeping over at Rosalie’s. placing them in front of the guys. As if Alice didn’t have enough to tease me about already. though I don’t recall the name of the restaurant. they just frowned.” I handed the menu back to the waiter. Emmett and Jasper were smacking each others arms. “Water please. because they were all snickering… all of them. but this is California… and a boarding school. Her cheeks reddened when Edward told her what he wanted to order. definitely not cheap. I think I failed it. grimacing. “And you had to share that because?” Alice raised her eyebrow at him as I laughed.” the corner of his mouth twitched up. Jamie. Ryan. “Wait till you get home. “Sure… sounds great!” She called Jasper to see if he was done. The waiter came back with our drinks and a basket of breadstick. Rosalie and Emmett were at his place.” I said as Alice ordered four Cokes. we just grabbed it and stuffed it in our mouth. I smiled back. “Not in front of the people. “You Jazz?” Alice smiled. smiling at us. making us laugh loudly. “Hi guys!” we greeted them. He was in one of the booth with his friends. I saw her tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear nervously. “But you still passed it with a flying score. “It was pretty hard…” he murmured as we finished for him. The guys were being gentlemen.

do you think I can eat dessert?” Emmett swallowed. rubbing my stomach slightly. mused at my lack of hearing. She eyed me carefully. but as soon as he noticed Alice staring. I’m full. Emmett chuckled. and I found myself lost in his eyes. The waiter came back with our meals. a man in suits. “You were like deaf. He was still looking at me. He smiled slightly. “Oh… I’m sorry what?” I shook my head. what did you guys eat for lunch? Air?” Jasper looked curious as Alice and I just shrugged. I wonder why they allow her…” Talking about us on her date. “Look at her! It’s only her first week here. still chewing our food. They ate dessert. I was already too full. They never let anyone in their group. but his gaze held me. at the same time.” Emmett muttered and we giggled. Alice and I practically stabbed the fork in the plate before the waiter even set them down. he looked like a clown. and she’s already fitting in with the Cullens and the Hales. When she saw Edward. he looked down to his lap.” “Rosalie?” She gave him a dark look. and snickered when the man went back to his position. I recognized the girl from my Geography class. “Bella?” “I’m fine. “What were you looking at?” Alice asked suspiciously and she turned around. “Extra chocolaty Cake with caramel sauce on the top. him ignoring his friends while they mess around some more. We looked at each other. “Sorry. while I just watched them. turning my gaze back to my friends. her puzzled expression turned into a smile. he begged the waiter for the menu of dessert. They apologized. and who got the salad. “Sorry honey. “If I couldn’t eat anything else but salad. What was she thinking? She had the figure that anyone would die for. But I did hear her whispering when she thought we weren’t looking. and she wanted to lose weight? “Anyone want something?” Emmett asked generously. We apologized. “Chocolate Chip ice cream with chest nuts on the top. they were depthless. “Waiter!!” he waved his hand in the air. Emmett?” I asked. Damn it Bella! Now you’ll never look away! Jamie had spaghetti sauce on his nose.” “Alright. Rosalie was eating her salad gracefully. Emmett’s super large tomato pizza was gone in five minutes. “Apparently a basket full of bread wasn’t enough of an appetizer. so the guys had to get another basket.” Alice said through her muffled mouth. though I didn’t recall the name. Boy. but they just laughed. A couple filled the table next to us. It was obvious who got the pizza.” I murmured as they chuckled once more. . Edward. childishly. saying that she needed to lose weight. we called you what? Like five times?” Rosalie chuckled. curious. the manager. I heard a loud laugh from Edward’s table. A big playful smile appeared on his face.” “What are you ordering.We ate them all. “Seriously. watching them made my stomach even more uncomfortable. too full. making Jamie’s face wrinkle. a very messy one too. they’re really tasty. Immediately. the guy must have been really boring. Jasper?” “Same thing that Alice chose to order. groaning. A few seconds later. came and asked the boys to quiet down. not quite so loud this time. Suddenly. and gave me a wink.” “No thank you.” he licked his lips as the girls and I giggled once more. poured water on his face. “Hello? Earth to Bella!!” Alice waved her hand in front of me to get my attention. “We were asking whether you changed your mind about the dessert. I blushed and tried to look away. I turned to it without my own approval. Stuffed.” I grinned. his glance was on me when he noticed me staring.

That’s right. THAT’S ALL!” I nearly yelled at him. but Alice told her I had a “date” with Edward.” I’ve never seen Emmett so serious before. Alice must have apologized for over twenty times.” he choked as I pouted slightly. a girl they’ve met for only six days. and this caught Jasper’s attention. I’ll be fine!” “Why don’t I walk you back? It’s pretty late.” I said. Oh boy. Rosalie was thinking of going to the pool in the morning. you’re just friends. Alice said not to worry about the curfew. “It’s not a date! He’s just helping me with a basketball technique!” The girls giggled. Their room was like a mini apartment. I was starting to yawn. I’d feel a hell lot better knowing your walk home is safe. this was more like college life than plain old high school. Bella haven’t seen the Campus Mall yet. because in East Coast Academy.” Rosalie gave me a playful smile.“Right. “No Jazz! I’m not dating him! He’s helping me with basketball. I wonder what he had to tell me. I groaned once again. “Okay. We had dorm leaders. “You don’t have to do this Emmett. we had no dorm advisors. Chapter Fifteen After dinner. I thanked them for being so sweet. half-asleep on the couch.” Rosalie pleaded. and tomorrow she would stay with me while Alice stays with Jasper. The girls hugged me and said we’d hang out tomorrow. we went to Jasper and Emmett’s place and watched the guys play video games. at least it was light for Emmett. The guys were still as energetic like always. I am perfectly capable of walking back home myself. I glared at her. She said the school trusted us to be responsible. willing to give up their night for me. elbowing me lightly. “Since Bella’s not available in the morning. their dorm was renovated last year. let Emmett walk you back. a student representative in charge in case of emergency like fire or earthquake. You don’t have to thank me. The guys looked horrified. “Yeah. Rosalie and Alice were sleeping over tonight. “Let’s go shopping in the afternoon.” I grinned. “First of all.” Emmett stood up and offered to my surprise. Go Bulldogs! I decided to call it a night. but the mention of his name made me nervous. but I told them to both stay anyway. I was touched to have such great friends. I wanted to talk to you about something… about Edward. eyes locked on the target of their video game. two bedroom and two bathrooms. “Sorry Bella. It was pretty eerie outside. I was sure my cheeks were just as red as the waitress from earlier. In fact. saying that she felt guilty for leaving me alone in the room. it was already eleven-thirty. really. so they get all the fancy stuff.” she whispered in my ear sarcastically.” he rolled his eyes. Rose suggested maybe Alice could stay with me tonight while she sleeps over with Emmett. Lucky for them. how do you feel about him?” I bit my lip. I didn’t know why. “Nah! It’s cool.” Alice beamed. He picked his head up from the video game. Like I said. I loved the freedom. giggling. they had to carry the bags! “Sure guys… sounds great!” We said our goodbyes and Emmett waited patiently for me outside the door. “Are you sure?” Rose and Alice asked. they all found it amusing. half an hour until midnight. . “Bella’s dating Edward?!” “AGH!” I hit my forehead and explained it once more to Jasper. “That’s all?” He raised his eyebrow. We were out of their dorms now. I heard a loud booming laugh along with some more giggles. “Umm… I guess he’s okay when he’s not being a jerk.” “Great idea! I need a new spirit shirt for the next game anyway. Thank you Emmett…” “That’s what friends are for. “Yes girls. and provided us plenty space and privacy. suddenly curious. I lost count on how many times they had repeated that question. I stared at the clock. I nodded. and I was glad that Rose made me agree to this. very carefully in case he made a big deal like Alice.

Mr. emphasizing on the word ‘private’. I got up the next morning smugly. but I wasn’t sure. I don’t like him like that…” I muttered. I guess we didn’t give you a good impression of him. “Think fast. My “coach” gave me an appraised look. be sure to dress up nice for the private session with Edward tomorrow!” he teased. and possibly my last. His questioning reminded me of Charlie. and hoped it would stay in shape instead of it sticking out. He laughed. it was pretty exciting. He didn’t give me a good impression. and decided to sleep since I had to wake up early the next morning. I reminded him to quiet down since it’s late. “Thanks… I guess. Joke Guy agreed with the insanity. What surprised me was… even Emmett. sleeveless muscle shirt emphasized his perfect fitted body. I know him better than anyone. “Thanks. “No! I don’t! I’m not even sure if we’re friends. “No. and practically skipped out of the door. I refused to think anymore on the subject. Thank god I didn’t embarrass myself. “Nice. and I wasn’t anyone special. Emmett’s words from last night made me even more edgy. waiting for me. not intending on letting me hear. I thought I heard a gasp. tired that they didn’t seem to believe me. Swan. If it was counted as a game.“Yes father.” Emmett smiled.” I corrected him. and those shorts of his revealed a pair of amazingly tanned.” I rolled my eyes. I grabbed my tennis shoes. and I passed the ball back to him. “That’s because he wants to be more than friends…” I heard him murmuring under his breath. as if I wasn’t already nervous around him. My first Circus Shot lesson.” I said.” he chuckled. annoyed. I smacked his arm hardly. “Bye Emmett!” “Bye Bella! Sleep tight! Oh. grinning. “Sure sure… I just wanted to let you know. doing a slam dunk. It wouldn’t be good to wake one of the Administrators in the office. which was a little outside the three point line. saluting jokingly. I made it in the basket. I lied down on my bed and stared at the ceiling. I was showing off a little. We warmed up a little by playing each other. I gulped. His flawless bronze hair was shining under the sun. muscular. My heart throbbed when I saw him. Why were the Cullens so sure that he liked me? Why would he like me? I was average looking. I glared at him. Stupid mind reader. “Nice night of sleep?” he asked conversationally. and I thanked him once again for walking me home. He laughed. and his booming laughter echoed in the campus. He chuckled. He smiled when he saw me coming. he shook his head and grinned. I found a light green. Coach. his skin glittered slightly from the ray of light. warming up.” I joked. “It doesn’t matter anyway. He was already there. when he asked me if I dated anyone back in Junior High. give him a chance. he beat me and outnumbered me with a . “Why? Too nervous for our private session?” he teased. American Eagle tank top that looked okay with my green Abercrombie sweatpants.” he said smugly and passed the ball to me.” I admitted. I know what we said to you about him on your first day. hearing him let out an “Oww!” That was the Emmett that I was used to. making me looking like a half-drowned cat at the end of the lesson. It’s the first time that I’ve seen him trying so hard to accomplish something. “Do you like him?” I sighed.” I told him. “Just think about what I said!” he yelled before I closed the entrance door behind me. He’s changed for the better ever since he had met you. “Would you just pass the ball?” I said.” he nodded. I put my hair into a ponytail. His mouth hung open a little. We were here. legs. just a tad. “Bella? All I’m saying is… if you do figure out that you like him. Thanks Emmett. I tried to shoot from where I stood. Eventually. Thanks to you! But I didn’t say that. Successfully. I dug through my closet. “Not the nicest one that I had. Edward’s my brother. Great. looked of something appropriate to wear. His blue. eyeing me with a grin. but after a few seconds.

passing the ball to me. concerned. stronger. bended my waist and leaned back to where I could see the hoop. frustrated at myself for not getting the dang ball in the basket. or even just take silly shots that people wouldn't normally take during a game. he stood behind me. amazed. We sat in a shade under a tree next to the court. and I mean all over me.” he smiled. you’ll get that shot. Left and right wouldn’t work either. I leaned back to the tree. it went through the hoop. circling at the metal of the hoop for three times. I just stared at him like an imbecile. I turned to him. I was breathless. the way it spun.” He threw his hands up in the air to block me. He chuckled. I didn’t say. and he did too. “You said this wasn’t hard. That was only one of the ways. We both turned to see if I made it in. I was so sure that I was going to be off. but surprisingly. He was all over me. What did you just do. the temperature was perfect. and he laughed at my enthusiasm. My arms were frozen at my sides. He bit his lip and started thinking. still spinning rapidly when landed beneath it. Let’s try it again.” he rolled his eyes as I snorted. I gasped quietly. coach!” I bounced a little. “Alright. Here.” he said. “It’s really not as hard as it seems.” he prompted and gave me another try. blushing. It was getting breezy outside. Instead. alright? And you. “I’m going to try to block you. I tried to make a jump for it. laughing. I literally squealed! I didn’t care if I sounded like one of those girls that just got their nail done… but I did it! I did the Circus shot! “Oh my god! Oh my god! I did it!” I hugged him. it was steadier. and his hands were on mine. It was double the force that I used for my previous balls. the ball spun past the board and landed once again at the left side of the court. “Circus shots various. and suddenly as if gravity. holding on to the ball with me. “will have to try to get the ball in the basket.” Before I had a chance to respond. “When did you first start playing basketball?” I asked. even if I snuggled under. his smile brilliant. I went for the space between his arms and the floor. Our skin touched since we were both wearing sleeveless. “Want to rest a little bit? You look pretty flushed.” he whispered. “That was good. as if magnets. I took a large gulp of water.” I said. My head was in front of his body now. My dad had always set up the little plastic hoops in my room when I was a . though my visions were upside down. I knew not to go under this time… it was pointless since he already knew what I was going to do. “Don’t worry. “I guess the real trick is to force yourself to take tough shots. and the touch of his skin made my heart accelerate to the extreme. It looked like a tide pool. Try it again. He clapped his hands. He laughed softly. not for you.” he shuddered as I laughed at the memory. I bended to the left side. I’m not going to make it easy for you. and speedier. twenty minutes later. it send chills up and down my spine. Bella Swan? “Sorry…” I apologized shyly. I couldn’t get pass him. Suddenly. Way to rub it in my face. This time. because you didn’t throw it to the right side far enough. It spun in a direction that I had never seen before. He shrugged. You’re right. it went in. “I think I know what your problem is. and threw the ball with as much force as I could manage. The only way… I had my back to him. “Yep! Show me the move. I didn’t know you were that pleased to see you made it in…” That made me blush even more. I twisted my body a little. Instead. Yeah… because of you. “Umm…. but he was taller and his arms were in position. I was off by about two inches to the left. I threw the ball up in the air with one hand from the bottom.tremendous amount of spectacular shots. With different positions. I could feel his breath on my neck. A little more twisting and contorting your body. I was panting a little. it traveled to the right. he jumped and his hand pushed mine and the ball. I groaned at my poor attempt of aiming. and passed the ball to me once again. it pulled the ball toward the hoop. It took me a second to realize what I had done. catching my breath while he looked like he just warmed up. It spun rapidly. Ready to get started?” he asked. you will use different kinds of shots. I was tired. he knew exactly where I was going. and you may at some time find yourself in a situation that no other shot is possible and you have to throw it up there. “Your shots are always off to the left. with a swift whoop. and it just… flew out.” he said. I didn’t. I told him ‘sure’. we all know what happened the last time.

That is why I was so… surprised when I heard about you playing. he’d just find another way to persuade me. neither of us keeping score. They think that playing basketball is something that the guys do. “Up for more.” he commented quietly. frustrated. “It’s a shame that they don’t have teams for girls in our school. I uncapped my water bottle. “But I’ll never get to beat the Captain. “Why don’t they?” “Bella… The girls here. Their job. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you beat some of my teammates in a little one on one.” he said assuredly.toddler… If that counts. They were eleven at that time.” I said to him dryly before he Jamie got a chance to respond.” Jamie winked at me and slapped Edward playfully. “We were practicing. Swan. “Thanks for using my real name. “Edward…” I murmured. The only thing that they enjoy doing that comes close to sports is cheerleading. is it?” he gave me a weak smile and looked nervously at Edward. he apologized quickly. that was when I came in contact with a real basketball. Edward answered. But in Junior High. He laughed. both in the local Junior League. No wonder. He looked slightly taken back. am I right?” I elbowed him playfully. not in a teasing way.” he finished. I didn’t know the rules then. but as if he meant it.” I’ve never really talked about my childhood with anyone. “And by the way.” he said playfully with a smirk. Captain?” I smirked and passed the ball to him hardly when I got up. with flying scores. well. well. “So… what were you two doing here? Didn’t have enough in the gym. as they both laughed at my response. I joined the basketball team for something to do after school. and damn! He was good! Never before had I faced such a strong opponent. I started playing since I was old enough to walk. “Whoa man! That was nice! I told you new girl was good. I’m not that good…” “Yes. Without any effort. of course. I just shoot around for fun. “It looked like you two were doing some playing instead of tutoring. “You?” “I played around with my cousins when I was seven. “Oh…” Five. You may be good enough to beat some of my teammates. the new girl has a name. is to cheer us on. you’ve seen.” I said halfheartedly. “Of course not. and took another sip.” “So who won?” Jamie asked curiously. I scowled at him. “How long have you been here?” Edward asked. We played for twenty minutes. winking at me. we both know that it’s natural for guys to beat girls in basketball. I laughed and shook my head.” he teased as I laughed along with him. did you?” Jamie teased. grinning. who chuckled and gave him a nod. Really. He won. you are. frowning at his friend. It’s not everyday that a pretty girl in East Coast Academy matches up to some of the guys on the basketball team. hearing another chuckled from Edward. annoyed when I found him smirking. and it wasn’t Edward.” he smiled. “Sorry… Bella. it makes sense for me to beat you. but then we decided to end our session with a little game. “Come on Bella. but he actually look amused. maybe because nobody asked. I looked at him. And I am the Captain. I guess that was when I realized that I liked it so much. We started playing one on one again. “I was just teaching Bella here with one of my infamous shots. I heard someone clapping. since the result was awfully clear.” he said suspiciously. I would say five years old.” I refused to argue any further.” I rolled my eyes. . expected to find a bored expression. he caught the ball with one hand steadily. “You’re just humoring me with this. but me? You have a long way to go. It was also then that I started going to Basketball camp.

The sooner I get to shower. Wow. I left my room and started walking to the restaurant. "You're rolling your eyes. No one messes with me like that." Thank god. we'll be 'Abercrombie trios'. and heard her giggling on the cell. too. "Okay! I'll let you go now! Alice is nagging me with which shirt to wear! See ya later Bella!" I heard Alice yelling at her in the background. Want to come? After that. it was already 11:15.” she said proudly. I am. and walked in with my friends with our arms draped over each other's shoulders. "Sure Rose. it said Rosalie. "Bella!" I saw them waving at me in front of Lin's. "I thought Emmett and Jasper were coming.“What did you say?” I said fiercely through my teeth. I grabbed my stuff. after I change and shower… I don't think you would appreciate it if I show up in sweats. mad as I looked at his soaked shirt. “I was joking. that’s one hell of a girl. Damn. On the caller ID. rolling my eyes. He even looked cute when he was mind. shocked that he would even say anything like that. Three hours went by like that. You make me wanna scream. "Bye Rose!" I snapped my phone shut and jogged back to my room." I said. and it was followed by his hysterical laughter. But Rosalie and I thought you would be more . satisfied at my performance. we were going to make them come and carry the bags. the better." I chuckled. it’s not everyday that a guy does something to piss you off and you conveniently. "That’s cool! We're going to Lin's Chinese Restaurant for lunch.” Edward laughed. Edward! I sneered at the name. "Nope. Not even you. "Sure sure… Alice and I are wearing Abercrombies! You can wear yours. be there in a sec! Wel. You make me so hot. Jerk! ” I replied. we'll go shopping!" I can picture her glowing at the word. and exited the court with a big triumphant smile. That was pure genius. Angrily. I was still so proud at what I’ve done. “What the freak…” Edward was panting. With my Nike sneakers and my wallet. "Sure.” he laughed once more. Chapter Sixteen When I left the basketball court. After all. and hair." "Trust me. taking my hand and begging for forgiveness. "Yeah. and I swear I heard Edward literally growling. You make me wanna drop. I followed Rose's instruction and wore a black Abercrombie polo shirt with matching jeans. and we can be Abercrombie trios!" she squealed as I laughed at her brand name addiction. Jamie gasped. After blow-drying my hair. “Man. I picked it up. but I wasn’t buying that. The water felt so good on my skin. I can hardly breathe. have a water bottle in your hand with enough amount of water to pour it on his face and get him soaked. face. Bella. You know I didn’t mean that. What's up?" "Bella! Are you still with Edward?" Rosalie greeted me enthusiastically. I've known you long enough to hear your expressions. "Hey Rose. “That was a joke. Alice grinned. “If you’re not going to ask her out. He looked sincere. We laughed when we saw our trio outfit." I said to them. aren't you?" "Damn… you're good Rose. It's so ridiculous.” I heard Jamie whistling when I walked away. I can barely stop. I waved back. I poured the water left in my bottle on his face.

"I feel like a pig. but he looked so cute when he was mad. It was on the north side of campus. "All done. Rosalie said that she was paying." I chuckled. "Okay girl. Man. probably wondering what I had to say to him. I guess playing basketball really eats up your energy." I paused and exhaled. he was soaked. Edward Cullen was sitting alone at his table. I couldn't help but laugh when the image of Edward cursing ran back to my head. "Watch out for flies. so I kinda. My friends waited for the hysteria to pass impatiently… "Bella! You're killing us! Say something!" Rosalie pleaded or demanded. Alice snickered. she was always bugging me to buy stuff. He looked down to his plate. A few tables down from us." the girl came back with our food and drinks. and it was huge! My mouth dropped." Rosalie elbowed me playfully. and stabbed another piece of pork hardly. and they started discussing where we should eat tonight. "This is life." she flashed her teeth. My god. "Man! I don't think I can carry these bags back to our dorms!" Rosalie groaned. "Excuse me. well. I was very thankful. They had some great jackets and we. I chuckled. I knew Jasper would never be able to resist that.comfortable with confessing when it's just the three of us. and I bought several items myself. Bella. After lunch. He looked up." I smiled at him and sat on the chair in front of him. His eyes met mine without a smile. Rosalie and Alice were hysterical. it smelled amazing. Abercrombie. "Jazz! We're in the mall! Could you and Emmett do us a small favor?" her voice sounded sweet. my friend. The first store that we decided to visit was Fitch. her eyes joyous. Damn it Bella! Stop that! I waited for him to say something. They forced me to get a turquoise color jacket. spill! How did everything go with Edward?" Alice asked. We sat there and waited for the guys to come. his face. which in his defense was 'a joke'. and he stabbed a piece of meat with his fork fiercely without looking down. which of course. Rosalie and Alice. as a treat to the guys. the girls dragged me to the campus mall." I said to Alice and Jasper and walked to his table. only this time I was not alone." I tried not to laugh. "Hey Bella. She snapped her phone shut. I sighed and gave in. "Hi Edward. "Bella! You are brilliant! I love you!" they hugged me and we started laughing again. that much was easy to tell. saying that it looked 'perfect' on me. guys. I was sure I was smiling hugely. "I kinda poured water on his face. Alice beamed and took out her cell phone. just couldn't resist buying them. They said that mine felt light compared to Rose and Alice's. "Emmett and Jasper are going to be so pissed that they missed this. I clasped them shut and followed the girls. but he didn't. Aeropostale… We spent the whole afternoon in the mall. There is no point to argue when it comes to shopping with them. was more like it. his hair. What happened this morning was still humorous to me. only not so loud this time or we might just get thrown out of the restaurant. They had most of the brand names here." she winked at me as I told her there was nothing to confess. They stared at my back curiously. and eating!" I laughed as they smiled. "He taught me the Circus shot. slapping the table until the people in the restaurant gave us an annoyed and confused look. We decided to grab something to eat from the food stand and eat in the courtyard instead of going to a fancy restaurant. . It seems that all we had been doing is eating. It was already 5:30." Rosalie said proudly. They offered to take my bag too. shopping. "Chicken Fried Rice. "Nice guess! How did you know?" she laughed as Rosalie and I grinned at each other. and they were ready to bombard me with questions after ordering. He was not happy." "You bet right. His shirt. Renee would be pleased. Banana Republic. earned them a glare from their girlfriends. American Eagle. and greeted me back icily. "Bet he didn't like that." I started laughing again. But it didn't end well because he made a rude comment about the girls. We sat down on a booth." Jasper and Emmett arrived in about two minutes to our rescue.

"You… you…. "What?" I asked curiously. he spoke first. so was his voice. He sighed and his expression was softer now. "You can make it up to me by splitting your cookie in half and share. At all. and handed me half of it. And you didn't have to get me wet!" he hissed." I smiled and broke a piece of cookie and stuffed it in my mouth. "I wasn't really mad at you. expressionless. it's always you holding the grudge." he chuckled as I pouted. "What can I do to earn your forgiveness?" I eyed him carefully." "You know you don't really mean that. Cullen. It was pretty good." He looked amused. It's not true anyway. I just wanted to see what you would do. "How about I apologize first for making the joke?" he offered. "Think whatever you like. You care about me Bella. "No hard feelings. You totally deserved it. You first. Both of us were silent for about a minute." He grinned. He nodded and laughed again." I was breathless. "I guess…" I gulped. I don't regret pouring water on your face because you deserved it." he said arrogantly. It's just usually. For the first time. "You suck Edward. "Damn sure. "Well. Please don't let him hear my heart beat. "No hard feelings? Or should the truce end right here?" I asked him. "I apologize for pouring water on your face. now you're mad at me. "You're pathetic. You're the one that started with the whole gender discrimination comment. it wasn't funny. thank you." he chuckled nervously. Then he started laughing. I . suddenly. "You left out one important detail. but he clasped his hand over my mouth."Come on! You're not still mad at me. I studied his face for a minute. No laughing or a sense of humor on his face… I sighed. "I apologized for making the stupid comment. "Nothing. leaning toward me a little." he smiled. And if you think that I came here to apologize. really?" his eyes were gentle. sitting on his plate untouched." I snapped harshly back at him." he admitted with a smug as I hyperventilated. "No hard feelings. "Gee I don't know. It's not everyday that a guy gets soaked because the girl that he was teaching dumped water on his face." he nodded and smiled his crooked smile. dazzling me with his eyes. are you?" Without thinking. probably wondering when I would start with my apology. "Fine." I felt the urge to stick my tongue out at him. "You sure you don't want to listen to the rest?" I teased when he took his hand back. "I said I was joking. at least in pretense. you're dead wrong. This… ugh! "I shouldn't have said that. Great American Cookie. He split his cookie. and saw a huge. just to make sure he was seriously sincere with his words. Now. having a pretty strong feeling on which one he was going to pick. "This is so unfair." I grinned. He finally looked up at me. and that pissed me off a little. It was irrational and absolutely uncalled for. It feels nice to have a change. I'm also sorry for calling you a jerk…" I was about to say more." "Can I tell you something?" he whispered sweetly. I snorted. that's why you came here to check on me. "Okay… I get it." his tone was sarcastic. "So no hard feelings." he looked into my eyes sincerely and raised his eyebrow." he smirked as I rolled my eyes. but it still didn't give me the right to do so. white chocolate flavored. I thought I was able to hold a grudge against you. I reached out and placed my hand on his.

it was even more humorous when we watched it with Emmett and Jasper. it would have been unsuspicious if Emmett hadn't started whistling… "Look Jasper! Isn't today a lovely day? Great temperature. what were the chances that I got thrown by popcorn? Maybe it was an accident. "Here are the smoothies. "Umm…yeah. Bella. I saw the Cullens and the Hales chatting animatedly and secretly because they kept their heads together in a circle. In the middle of the movie." he smiled meaningfully." "Just part of my talent. They quickly regained their composures. taking a sip of my own." I said suspiciously. and I saw his table was now filled with his friends. "Oh nothing. They looked pretty anxious to get me away from the table. annoyed. "What's going on?" I asked. and they had huge screens." I replied playfully. "You're something.lost half of my dessert. After dinner. except for Rosalie who just drank water. of course. There was a long line in the smoothie store. I know what mom would say if she was there. Bella. which means fun. We swallowed four big buckets of popcorns and four large cups of soda. "Would you mind coming over to my room? At about two?" I really didn't want to rehearse in the library with everyone staring and glaring at me. Two it is. "She's back! She's back!" Jasper hissed at the rest of them." I said slowly when the smiles didn't disappear from their faces after I sat down. "You're welcome. but then something happened . Emmett and weather? Hell no. "Hey Bella?" he called. and was about to walk back to our table. I turned back around in case he noticed me blushing. "Who's up for fries?" Jasper changed the subject and it was followed by a bunch of 'oh me’s. Jasper must have told them something. We laughed. and he took a bite out of his cookie. "So you and Edward…" he started. It took me about fifteen minutes to finally get my order. The theater was pretty lovable. After dinner. I would be an idiot to buy that. "Be right back." he joked. “Junk food is not good for your health…” But it was a Friday. I offered to treat everyone smoothies. Emmett started humming. "Yeah?" I turned around to face him. "So where and what time?" he asked. I mean. "What's up with the smiley faces? You guys are seriously creeping me out. That was really obvious." I said quickly. I'll give you that. I was serious when I said you played better than some of the guys on Varsity. "Okay. I mean." he said nervously as Rosalie gave him a smack on the head." Alice gave Rosalie a wink. the carpets were really new. when?" "Tomorrow afternoon?" "Sure…" I nodded. looking perfectly normal. relaxation. Well. smirking. we caught a movie on campus. I decided to pretend nothing happened. they all turned to look in my direction with huge smiles. "Okay! Never mind that I asked. "Not at all. which drove me more to the edge of insanity. and junk food. I started to feel popcorn on my shoulder. and they all started laughing. On my way back. "Thank you. Rosalie and Emmett just came back with food. see you then. obvious that they were talking about me when I left." he smiled. We chose a comedy. They turned to look at him." I eyed them carefully as they all thanked me." I got up from the chair. "You still up for the rehearsal thing?" he asked casually. "That really was a joke." When I walked back to my table. At first I ignored it. They all raised their heads back up." I muttered.

I love my friends. she just wants her Edward. his teeth shining in the dark as Jasper stuck up both his middle fingers at them. “Well.” Emmett frowned. “Well. “Well.” Emmett snapped at them. The look on their face was so hilarious. dumber. Emmett turned around and snarled. After the movie.” they screamed. smirking at us. and dumbest? It goes perfect with your personalities. How come the girls were dateless? ” I asked them curiously.” Lauren giggled in that annoying voice of hers as Rosalie. “You guys will pay for this.” she said proudly as we laughed hysterically again. and then she snapped her finger all of a sudden when she finally got what was going on. and we didn’t feel any popcorn for the rest of the night. we don’t want to talk. let’s get out of here. Kelsey looked blank for a minute. we have a life. and Kelsey. Alice and I gave her a sarcastic smile. Alice noticed my distraction. you would be too if you woke up at seven o’clock in the morning.” Jasper said coolly as they gasped.” I teased Lauren as her face turned red. it was them. And I was looking so forward to it.” Jessica spoke for the first time. This couldn’t have been accidental. They asked me if I wanted to go over to Emmett and Jasper’s place again. sitting three rows up from us.that I couldn’t ignore. “I thought you guys said that all the guys in this school picture themselves in love with her. “You know what? Why don’t you just go to the “Bimbo Store” and get three shirts that say dumb. they were waiting outside the movie theater. suddenly remembered what they said to me last week. smirking as well. “Well. It was a great victory. “That was an insult. “How dare you insult us?” “Leave the talking to Lauren. “Apparently Bella.” Emmett replied. “You can’t seriously be tired. I turned around to see who in their wicked mind would do something like this. “Who in the world wakes up at seven o’clock on a Saturday morning?” Jasper chuckled as Emmett laughed. but I’m still here. she whispered to Jasper.” she told her. Swan. I guess you know who gets the dumbest shirt. since she had her ‘big date’ with Edward. Of course. and I saw the plastics or the bitches. Jessica.” I gave her a smile and we all turned away from them. as we choked with laughter. which we prefer not to spend it with a bunch of morons. “Oh… speaking of paybacks. Lauren’s face fell. and we all complimented each other for our great comebacks. they do. did you enjoy the popcorn? It was caramel flavored. Kelsey snorted. I politely rejected them and told them I was going to call it a night. They high-fived each other and smirked at me.” she sneered at my name as I chuckled. looking forward to it. Rose and Emmett and informed them about the bitches behind us. “Actually. My friends whooped when they were out of hearing distance. we walked to the exit reluctantly. Unlike you people. We were right. knowing we would see them. Caughman go? I was sure you said to get me removed permanently from the play two days ago. “You will get removed. if it isn’t the Bitchy Trios. “Kelsey!” Lauren yelled at her. It was a very long day. embarrassed. They looked intimidated. Who else could be this lame? They waved stupidly at me when I turned around. and then she turned her gaze back on me. how did the talk between your mother and Mrs. Lauren.” .” Alice rolled her eyes as I giggled. “How old are you? Four?” I scoffed as she stuck her tongue out childishly. they laughed. Kels. “So Bella. But Lauren here isn’t interested in any of them. They threw candy bars! Okay.” she taunted as I glared at her with an ugly look. “Like… we all know that they don’t like… have shirts like that. if it isn’t loser and her friends. To my surprise. You never know if your idiocy is contagious.” I yawned. “Like I said. Come on girls.

you know me. Alice. Bella.” I smiled and moved out of the way so he could get pass the door.” he elbowed me playfully as I blushed. or will you give me the pleasure of accompanying you for lunch?” His eyes were so soft and warm. “Mountain Dew it is. “Thanks you guys. “Edward?” I choked out. at least it was early for me. “I have a delivery for Bella Swan…” His voice sounded awfully familiar. “I wanted to make it up to you for what I did yesterday. “Sure sure…” he smiled.” he said as I told him to put the pizza on the end table. and saw Edward Cullen.” I told him seriously when he put me down. surprised by his enthusiasm. It was impossible to reject such a face. and I heard one of the employees muttering your name on the phone while writing something down. Em. roomie!” “Oh! Don’t forget the bags!” Emmett and Jasper each handed over two bags that had a large “B” written on them.” I got up from the couch.” I said. “Remind me not to get on your bad side. and I thanked him. “No. Who knew basketball could be so tiresome? Chapter Seventeen I woke up pretty early the next morning. he came back with two cans of sodas. surprised. My stomach growled. the pizza guy knocked on my door. too. and got out my scripts to read for our private rehearsal with a cup of coffee on my bedside.” he put his arms around me and pulled me into a hug. “Joking Bella.I gave him an angry glare. so I decided to draw the curtains. He tossed one to me. how was your night?” he asked politely.” I said smilingly and gave her a hug and of course. “I’ll go get some from the vending machines. Be right back. I snuggled in the blankets and flicked the lights off. “Come on in. I was just about to get pizza myself in Figaro’s. was I always this hungry? To my rescue. “Yes… thank you guys for the offer. “So are you going to shut me out. Maybe every part of me was excited. After taking a warm shower. tearing off a piece of pizza for me… .” I hugged them both too. He sat next to me on the couch. We waved each other goodbye and they continued walking back to their dorms. “You sure you don’t wanna come over?” Rosalie asked when we were in front of the dorms. and Jazz went to bed yesterday. holding two boxes of medium pizzas in his hands. He’s coming over in the afternoon… My heart flipped and a part of me was excited. Between you and me. Emmett looked slightly frightened and he apologized quickly. the big kidder.” he winked and jogged out of the room. No! Stay where you are. but I really am worn out. I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked in the room and see them still snoring heavily. I think he has a little crush on you.” Alice joked as we all laughed. but he pushed me down. grinning. “Just stop with the Edward comments. I ordered for a personal sized pizza to be delivered. I opened the door. Then I drifted to sleep within seconds. For lunch. He chuckled. “Thanks. “See you tomorrow. “Umm… good… what are you doing here?” I got straight to the point. “Hey Bella. nine o’clock. “Oh crap! I forgot to buy drinks!” he hit his forehead and frowned. I brushed my teeth. So I told him to cancel the order and that I would carry the pizza to you myself. Rose. and let some sun shine in the room. A minute later. The sun was out today. Well. I’ll go get it. What would you like?” “Mountain Dew is good. Okay. winking at me. I wonder how late Alice.

“What’s the matter. come on! Did they expect me to murder you just knowing the flavor of pizza that you were going to get?” he shook his head as I laughed. It’s weird. one of my favorites. “I can’t eat pizza without music.” I blushed and I saw a sly smug on his face.” “That’s why you get along with Alice and Emmett so well. But I convinced them somehow. Bella?” “I… uh… never mind.” I laughed and he joined me. that way I wouldn’t take any of Edward’s room. I grinned. You amuse me more and more every time I talk to you. this is nothing. we had many of them in common. “Nice choice.” he commented as he took a bite of his. “Oh!” I gasped as he looked curiously at me. sounding confused. the girls. they were pretty secretive about the whole ‘no confidential infos for other customers’ crap.” he snorted. Bella. he was tapping along to the beat with a two pencils. “True. “It’s easy to see where Lauren got her inspirations from. He handed me a slice of pizza.” I said sarcastically as he looked at me.” he joked as I laughed.” I shrugged and took a sip of my soda. eyeing the box of pizza that was untouched. “Part of the reason. do. and I took a bite. “Okay…” I muttered. “Sorry! No gender discrimination intended. smiling slightly as he dropped his hand with a huge grin. My heart was accelerating… I was weak on my knees. we’re not going to finish all this. Surprisingly. That was when I realized that I didn’t change this morning. “We will. as if to surrender. or that would have been so humiliating. He chuckled. I was… astounded that you read it that’s all. by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. “What are you doing?” he asked. “This song is awesome.” he read. I realized that it was the CD that I listened to two days ago.” he smiled and I was still swimming with pools of thoughts with the fact that he was touching me. “The Count of Monte Cristo. To my bewilderment. I was still wearing the sweatshirt and sweatpants that I wore to bed yesterday. “Really. I picked my feet up from the floor. “That Paris Hilton girl is a joke.” I replied smilingly.” he muttered to himself. and sat with my legs crossed on the couch.” I said truthfully and I heard him chuckling softly from behind. Thank god I didn’t own animated PJs or bunny slippers. We talked about our favorite bands and our least favorite actors and actresses while we ate. what’s done is done.” I told him and got up to get some CDs playing. It’s a good book. “I didn’t know that girls liked this kind of books.” he said as I grinned.” he raised his hands up in the air. It’s by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. His laughter was light and it sounded like bell chime… Why do all the Cullens sound so perfect? .” he rolled his eyes. Thank god our couch was big enough to sit four Emmetts. I mean. “Well. Can you embarrass yourself anymore in any other way? I sighed. His gaze turned to the book that I was reading earlier this morning that was on the table. I rolled my eyes and was about to pick the book up to put it back on my shelf. and I thought I was going to faint. “You’re talking to the expert of food. Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet started playing… my favorite song. When it started playing. I must say. we.” he grinned back. Bella.“Pineapple?” I quirked up my eyebrow when I realized that he got the flavor that I wanted. with two pizza addicts.” I said. “Hold on. huh? Food-a-holics. “I asked them what you were going to order. I returned to my seat and got another slice of pizza. he lifted my chin with his finger. “Of course it is. “Seriously. apologetic. All of their songs are awesome.

” I said truthfully. I hoped that I didn’t trip or do any thing embarrassing. “Excuse me?” he asked. “Admit it popularity and Shakespeare doesn’t exactly mix and go on the same page. I say we skip the first scene. We did finish the pizzas. “I didn’t know you read this kind of stuff. honey-like voice… Damn it Bella! Stop making him sound so great! “She speaks: O. “True. Never once did he need to look in the scripts. At four o’clock. he grinned. Only need a quick peek between the scenes. Sometimes. “What?” “Memorized all the lines like that.” I said. are we?” he asked. Or. “How did you do that?” I whispered. “We should probably rehearse. he leaned toward me on the couch slowly. Scene Two. I was going to say that. he helped me take care of the trash. He was a great actor.” “I don’t know.” he stopped. “When I looked into your eyes. his face puzzled. After two hours of reading the play. I’ll give you that. I became a little edgy when his gaze followed me around the room. being o'er my head As is a winged messenger of heaven Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds And sails upon the bosom of the air. giggling. and his sweet. he smiled. let’s start with the second scene then. My heart was thumping rapidly the whole time. and he was right.” We flipped to the page and sat in a comfortable position on the couch. “You know. we finally finished all the parts concerning Romeo and Juliet. if thou wilt not. Shall we get started now that we’re done discussing my reading materials?” he grinned. They just came naturally. because instead of looking at his scripts. smirking. Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name.” He smiled. We started with Act Two. I’ve got my script right here. Never before had it been like this! . he almost knew it better than me. be but sworn my love. “O Romeo. And I'll no longer be a Capulet. his eyes were locked in mine. “Yep. “We’re only going over with the Romeo and Juliet scenes. the lines didn’t need any memorization. just like the teacher said. I felt the need to look into the booklet because his eyes made me forget every thing that I had on my mind. Playboy magazines. I never took you for Shakespeare.After lunch. speak again. and my heart was racing to the extreme.” I told him as he nodded. “Of course.” I told him. It’s hard to imagine you reading old plays and poetry. and continued reading his lines.” I told him.” he smiled and picked the tiny booklet out from his back pocket. I had read this plays an enormous amount of times… And.” I inhaled deeply. Then. but I decided not to. He spoke the words perfectly and flawlessly.” he whispered sweetly. I am SO tired of it after hearing the whole class reciting it in class. how ironic. “What am I suppose to read then? Playboy magazines?” he asked sarcastically. Yes. “Yeah. “Sure…” I chuckled and cleared my throat to get serious. bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this night. was I stuffed. Man. we decided to quit.

” she winked at me.I froze. “Sure… Sure… I know what I saw. “That was a lot of fun!” I gave her a high five. I didn’t interrupt anything. each grabbing a brush and pretended it was a microphone. still excited. My. Alice.” I told her sternly when she released me. and I remembered. They had already gotten us each a tray of food. an order from the teacher. with of course. and Rose. Alice. Besides. I left my cell phone in the restroom while I was brushing my hair. My heart was still flipping uncontrollably the afternoon. his lashes. But we all promised to meet each other at seven in the courtyard for dinner. Alice and I hung out. leaving Alice and I alone in the room. “It’s alright. She giggled. he closed the door behind him. sitting on top of it. singing. and Rosalie. holding my hand.” “Thank you. “Wait. embarrassed. mostly Rihanna. She looked disappointed.” I pleaded. within kissing distance?” I said nothing. and I got worried after four or five calls! I decided to check on you. She hugged me and squealed some more. Emmett. you didn’t interrupt anything. “Fine. Maybe I was going to see him in the courtyard.” I assured her as she gave me a look. my body was trembling and shaking slightly when his face was only a few inches away from mine. to my dismay. When it was time to meet Jasper. I wondered why I didn’t hear it. were we hyper. “Don’t worry. “Sure sure. because you were paying too much attention to Edward. I told her to wait for me so I could change. You couldn’t hear it if it was on speaker. “Hell yes! That’s what I call a Girl’s Day In!” she giggled and hugged me. but who was I anxious to see? My heart started flipping again. which I didn’t ever intend on finding out. His features were perfect. With another soft chuckle. don’t say anything.” I told her very seriously.” She was unconvinced. “We weren’t about to kiss. a voice in my head taunted me as I screamed back at it to shut up. and I felt his breath on my skin. NOT GOOD. And there you guys were!” she ranted excitedly.” I told her. hoping she wouldn’t make it a huge deal.” it sounded squeaky and way too high pitched too pass for my normal voice. Alice and I walked to the courtyard enthusiastically. Alice and I stayed at the apartment since Jasper had to finish his homework and Rosalie and Emmett went making out somewhere. “I’ll catch you later. Alice. her eyes dancing between us. she said. “I’m so sorry Bella! I didn’t know! You didn’t answer your cell phone. “Oh my god…” Alice squealed. he chuckled softly. my favorite soda. . She was anxious to see Jasper. as a way to make up for what he did yesterday.” Edward cleared his throat. “Yeah… See ya. with a sigh. his eyes… He leaned in closer… Oh my gosh… “Bella?” There was a knock on the door and it opened which made Edward and I jump…. we started jumping on the bed. Great. sarcastic. What was he doing here?” “We had to rehearse for the play. “Please Alice. her eyes wide and surprised. and the door was unlocked.” she rolled her eyes. I looked at my empty bedside.” we smiled at them as they grinned at us. “But Bella!” she whined with her puppy dog eyes. We calmed down when the song ended and changed to We Ride. He brought me pizzas.” he smiled his crooked smile at me. They were all there already. Mountain Dew. Emmett. I was just about to leave. shaking our hair crazily. Bella. “Thanks guys. Even if you hadn’t walked in. Jasper. Really. There she was. “Right. nothing was about to happen. Bella. Her eyes were glittering… “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Wait till I tell Rose!” “No!” I shrieked with horror. “How would you explain the fact that you two were face to face with each other. When Umbrella came on. reading some gossip magazines and listened to some hip hop. begging. “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry!” Alice’s hand was on her mouth.

“What are doing here?” I was no longer hungry. “I didn’t want her to come up and talk to me. “What was that all about?” Emmett chuckled when Edward got back on his chair. too. Rosalie grimaced when a group of girls walked by and winked at Edward. I gave Alice a deadly look. “So… what have you guys been up to?” he asked conversationally. “You told them about the play?” Emmett grinned evilly at him and nodded.” he snapped back. Same routine. I rolled my eyes. and instantly. “Funny. Bella! Usually. facing me. Emmett and Jasper laughed.” Jasper replied. “Let’s eat! The food’s getting cold!” I told them. we saw Dumb.” he shuddered. I’ve always wanted to see the whole ‘Edward versus Bella’ thing in action. We all picked up our head to see what was wrong. “Oh crap!” Edward’s tone was alerted and he suddenly got out from his chair and ducked under the table. she just shrugged.” he placed his hand on his heart. he was afraid of Lauren Mallory. I thought. and Dumbest walk by. “Eww… I just lost my appetite. carrying her Gucci bag and Kelsey. trying not to laugh. “Umm… do I? Well. and looked down to my tray to take a sip of soda.” I chuckled nervously as Rose frowned. Alice giggled and winked at me. “Hello family and friends. as I kicked her from under the table. Bella.” a velvet voice from behind startled me.” Rosalie said. who cracked a smile. Her lips curled up into a snarl when she saw me. He looked at me with an amused expression. and stuffed it in my mouth.. Edward’s face turned green. taking a bite out of his hamburger. Dumber.” Edward grinned. “Nothing. “You know. Jessica in the back on each side.” Emmett told him. Jasper. “Can’t I sit with my dearest family and fellow classmate? I’m hurt. I choke on a piece of chicken finger. his eyes filled with horror. and my legs were wobbling. “Yeah…” I whispered back. Rosalie?! Alice gave a fake cough.“You look kind of flushed.. and Rosalie gave Alice a confused look. I smirked at her. I reminded myself to calm down and relax. Edward pulled a chair from the other table and sat between me and Alice while placing his tray on the table. Eating will keep my mind off him. and irritates the hell out of me. full of butterflies. disgusted. “I didn’t say anything!” she mouthed me. It’s not like he was actually going to kiss you. what’s up?” Emmett asked him suspiciously. I just wanted to hang out with my family that’s all. They shrugged. with a shocked expression. “They gone?” Edward whispered. Why choose now to be perceptive. following her like some lost puppies. “she scares me. “Oh! Did dad e-mail you last night? Mom wants to know when the play is going to be… she wants to be here.” Of all the things that Edward Cullen could be afraid of. Yeah right. “Really bro. her eyes joyous as ever. Lauren in the front. I picked up another chicken finger. “Nothing really. . I laughed at what he said. Emmett. Bella… What happened?” Rosalie raised her eyebrow.” Jasper whispered to Rosalie. I hated that. as she threw her fork back on the tray. a little. nothing special happened. Just messing around. My heart was pounding heavily. “Why? Your ego to honorable for something like acting?” I teased him as he turned his head. My stomach was full. it’s Rosalie with this kind of comments. eyeing me and Edward. smiling.

licking his lips.” Emmett grinned as the rest of us laughed. a Coffee. but an arm pulled me back… “Wait. “Okay… I’ll be right back.” Emmett rubbed his stomach. “Nice one. I’m hungry again.“You want to know what we call them? The Bimbo Trios. He gave small talks. I was like. please. since it’s the easiest. or did Edward actually glare at the guy? “Yes… I would like a Strawberry Sundae. I sighed. about his family… but he didn’t mention once about what happened this afternoon. I’ll go with you.” Edward extended his fist for Emmett to pound. But the more time I spend with them. and maybe it was just me. We got out from our seats and walked to the Haagen-Dazs store. my heart fastened a little when I said his name. The thoughts of the basement monster even popped in to my head! Anyway. when I was eight. Jasper! I could really use some sweets. “From all the laughing. He smiled at us warmly. but tonight… I couldn’t feel it.” I said to him. “Edward?” I turned to him. “Rose?” “Pass…” she said miserably. and as for me? I did what I do best. Chocolate?” “You rock. I panicked. he locked me out of his bedroom for a week!” Edward said smilingly. Bella. We all laughed for a good amount of time. so normal! “Okay. I couldn’t help but notice my friends’ eyes dancing back and forth between us. “Thanks man!” It was hard to imagine Edward and the Cullens related before.” Alice shook her head. which was really close to the kitchen. When I went to his bedroom.” I got up from the table. a Chocolate. a Tiramisu. because he still had his eyes on me. through his window. and Emmett pulled out some embarrassing stories of Edward as he fired back. “When mom came back. Bella. I hoped Edward didn’t notice what his family or my friends were doing. our mom asked us to bake while she was going to the grocery store. Once. and a… Crème Bulee. Alice was smiling hugely. They seemed so… close. she grounded Emmett for not taking a good care of me and her garden. smirking. “Ah.” Jasper smiled. “I think you know what I want. bending down. Rosalie winked at me. . I got worried. We decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookies. and he didn’t. it said three cups of flour. “Good idea.” Emmett winked at me. about the kids in our classes. “Tiramisu.” his tone was perfectly polite. “Let me guess. “I’ll get them. I was about to yell at him. “Strawberry Sundae. those were the good times. “Hello… may I take your order?” a pretty good looking cashier asked us when we reached the store. I always thought there was an imaginary barrier between Edward and his family. I went looking for him. nothing was going to happen. They talked about home and childhood. what was he doing there? So I decided to sneak up on him for playing while I was so worried.” Emmett chuckled as I turned to Rosalie. so I looked for him all over the house. Em. Emmett elbowed Jasper and whispered something in his ears. “Coffee. but he wasn’t in the basement. but I saw him picking mom’s flowers in her garden! I asked him what he was doing. and he said I told him to get some flower!” he finished. Maybe I should be relieved.” Edward smiled at me warmly. please!” Alice beamed. I saw him in the yard. I told Edward to get them from the basement. because after all. Talk about embarrassing. still having a hard time talking. I blushed. causing Emmett to turn red. So on the recipe. scooting my chair out a little bit. After about fifteen minutes of waiting. his eyes a little watery from laughing so hard. the more obvious the small amount of DNA they share appeared. Anyone up for ice cream?” Jasper asked. What kind of flavor do you want?” I asked. Emmett was so mad at me.

sixty eight. I smirked and threw the paper in the trashcan as we passed by. The guy didn’t say anything else but gave me a big smile.” I told him.” I smiled at him before leaving. giving him a small. The guy. I let her use the bathroom first. When she came out from the bathroom. he handed me the receipt.” I grinned. “For you. I’ll pay for it. “Yeah. it was cute watching him being nervous. I get it. no. “Not interested?” he raised his eyebrow. again?” she muttered. pulling out his wallet. You were just caught in the moment. still grinning. So that’s what he was laughing at.” I told him. We decided to wait at the booth. I’ll make it twenty. I heard him laugh and he handed it back to me. As if I didn’t have enough problems with the people in this school already. we got out of bed with a groan… Monday. Edward was behind me. what a nice way to start a week. we do… We better hurry or we might just get more crap from the teacher. only fools rush in… But I can’t help falling in love with you… Shall I stay… Would it be a sin? I can’t help falling in love with you… I walked to back to the cashier when I saw our order coming up. I was going to ask him what his problem was. Lucas Truman 506-243-2485 Call me anytime. “What…” I was about to ask him what he was doing. however. “Ugh! He’s hanging out with the new girl. “Thanks. yawning. Wise men say. I bit my lip and smiled. his hands fidgeting. listening to some remade Elvis songs sung by A-Teens that the store was playing. or did I imagine that? We sat in silence. but a few seconds later. she sounded angry. I put out my hand to stop him. . “No… I got it. stretching.“That’s twenty-one. A few minutes later. although Edward paid. but he cut me off by flipping over the receipt and showing me what was written on it. We both laughed. what did the cashier ever do to him? But I decided to drop it. he leaned in and whispered.” Edward rolled his eyes and snorted. in fact.” I smiled back at him. Chapter Eighteen Alice and I stayed up too late last night chatting. Bella. she didn’t have time to shower today. she looked like an Alice. He smiled. “Listen… I’m sorry about this afternoon…. “Lucky her. outraged.” the other girl didn’t sound envious. Lucky indeed. yes. and it meant nothing. “Right…” he looked a little downcast as he murmured. I sighed. walking in the bathroom. “Nice. “Bella?” he hesitated.” The cashier looked a little unhappy. both my and Alice’s reaction were throwing one of our pillows at it to get some more sleep. assuring smile. It was pretty intense. she looked like the Alice that I knew. frowning. shiny lip gloss. I don’t know what came over me… I’m sorry…” he ranted. I gave the receipt to Edward. “That’s fine. Her glossy hair. “Thank you. “Don’t worry about it. we were both out of stuff to say to each other.” Alice said.” I gave her a thumbs up. angry enough to rip my head off. “The ice cream.” he said nervously. “I was just caught in the moment.” all of a sudden. “We look like hell. that was when I heard some girls discussing us when we walked by. we didn’t even notice that it was two in the morning. When the alarm clock beeped. and she wasn’t all that happy about that. Really.” I told her.

I mouthed her and good job. the reflection in the mirror looked like me. that ought to wake me up. I brushed my teeth and poured water on my face three times. an Aeropostal dark blue polo shirt with a short skirt. “What?! Mister! That water had been contaminated with band geeks and nerds! I will not drink from the same fountain as . saying that they got a sprained ankle or cramps. The coach made us run on the track in gym. Alice was wearing a cute tank top with the word ‘angel’ on it with jean capris. I rolled my eyes at them and mimicked their high pitch giggles. except for the janitor who was glaring at me because I just ran over his cleaned floor. and she smiled. “Move it ladies! This is a place for young people. “Yes sir!” He blew his whistle and we started sprinting. you will not be going back to the gym until the end of class. The first ones on our class. I smiled at her and waved back enthusiastically. they finally finished their final lap. Angela was one of them. pointing to the left side of the field.” I sneered at her. What a drama queen. hoping we wouldn’t be late. and the both of us ran out of the dorms with our book bags. The coach heard her comment and turned around. Their shorts were like the shortest of shorts. so that’s why they weren’t running. Just admit it. frowning. After about a lap. we finished. All the girls were trying. I looked over to the clothes that she was pointing excitedly at on the bed. Lauren. “Coach! The wind will break my face!” Lauren screamed. They cursed and started jogging. “Eww… those are for poor people. Because it would damage their body. I sighed in relief when I made it in front of the classroom. Lauren looked disgusted.” she said. What a challenge it must be for Lauren. “There’s a water fountain over there. Thanks Ali. I saw Rosalie and her class exercising on the baseball field a few yards away. and I heard them scowled loudly. Swan. it was walking. Very California. Now the only people that we were waiting on were the Bimbos. I’m the queen of fashion. A few minutes later. Kelsey and Jessica smirked. Their shirts were pretty low cut too. he shook his head helplessly. Some boys laughed. though it seemed like hours. I do not drink from fountains. It was obvious that he wasn’t buying it.” I said smilingly. I want a mile run for all of you! We will not be doing anything else if any one of you failed to finish! Am I understood?” he bellowed at us. In about seven minutes. I brushed my hair and got all the tangles out. “Alright. When I got out. the slutty kind that you see on TV.” he ordered. no need. “No need. except for all the dark bruises under my eyes. not a place for your grannies!” he bellowed at them once again. and she glared at them. still out of breath. “Perfect match. You know. They were complaining to the coach. “Crap!” I opened the door. “See ya Bella!” we waved at each other in front of the class building. causing me to stumble a little. “Move it girls! Or I’ll make it two miles!” he spat at them annoyingly. I put on my white converse. which shut them up immediately. Hadn’t they heard that exercising is good for our health? I guess not. I rolled my eyes. If you will not get water from the fountain. please keep that mouth of yours shut.” she joked as I grinned at her. I looked back and saw Angela waving warmly at me a few yards back. I took my seat and got out a notebook to be ready for the boring class. Then she ignored me and went back to her lesson. Then the bell rang. “Sorry!” I yelled to him and ran for Math. and found all the students and the teacher staring at me.” Lauren bumped me intentionally. The students giggled and muttered something unintelligible to their neighbors. or at that pace. “Miss Mallory. The hallway was empty when I walked in. After waiting for about six more minutes or so. I was leading with Ryan and some other guys.” Cody suggested. causing me to jump. “I need water!” Lauren shrieked loudly all of a sudden. more people were starting to finish. “You kept us waiting. “Move it. you’d think they were one of those hookers form the strip club.“Thanks! Don’t worry about what you gonna wear! I got it covered!” she yelled when I closed the door behind me. and she snarled. except for Bimbo Trios.

someone was in a good mood today. a kiss should be included. although she didn’t comment. “Fine.” he said casually. Caughman walked in. or shall I say Edward.” She threw her hands up in the air dramatically.” she motioned us to her desk and we looked at each other and shrugged. not good. “The second one however. It was pretty interesting watching you play…” his tone was light. I ended up on Cody’s team.” Edward scoffed and Jamie immediately rolled his eyes. “I have decided for you two to do two kiss scenes in the play. “Don’t be surprised if you walked out with one leg by the end of the period. but I know what I’m suppose to do with the ball…” It was true. thank god I still had two minute before class started. She scoffed angrily and stalked out the tracks and sat on the side with her hands crossed in front of her chest.” I threatened him darkly as Edward glared at Jamie to show him that we weren’t joking. while my prayer's effect I from my lips. “So Swan. “Hell ya!” Ryan gave his friend a high five. so I did it in a hurry and stormed out of the gym with my book bag. I was not the only one turning red.” I smiled back. I thought Romeo and Juliet were supposed to make peace. whispering something to his neighbor. and we still have about eight minutes. There wasn’t that much time to shower. Twice today that I had to run to get to my class so I wouldn’t be tardy. I guess she was just glad that her Romeo and Juliet were finally done with the whole ‘bickering with each other’ thing. Her face looked slightly flushed. “Not really. “If you ever do that again. “Chill dude! I’m kidding! Geez. Edward and I both grabbed a book and started hitting him as hard as we could. and I saw her talking to Ben Cheney animatedly. “The rest of you! Since we’re out here. “Then don’t drink the water. Angela waved.” he glared coldly at her with his English accent. rubbing his sore spot where we had hit him. but I thought for the best effects.” he chuckled as I rolled my eyes. I sat down on my chair to catch my breath. I need to talk to you. and I saw Edward Cullen grinning at me. as soon as we turned back around. not so violent!” he frowned. twirling my book with his finger. “Bella! Edward! You’re both here! Perfect… Come up here for a second. since the teacher was watching us intently. you good in soccer?” I grinned.them! ” she said. I decided to ignore that. “Hello. and we won by three points! After the game. After running into Alice. I walked to the Auditorium and saw a few kids had already arrived for rehearsal. No doubt that she was cussing with her Bimbo sidekicks. The day went by pretty fast. “I’m okay. gentle velvety voice. “I saw you in gym. I wasn’t that good at soccer compare to basketball. “Don’t you have anything else better to do than to watch me in my gym class?” I teased him as his face lit up in to a huge smile. were there to my surprise. dude. Jamie started making kissy sounds as we passed by. and she smiled warmly when she saw us. he was smirking again. I ran to fourth period. I’d be glad to beat you to death. The first one will take place right after Romeo. . Edward looked slightly embarrassed too as we walked back to our seats. “Hi. by yours. “Did you?” “Pretty good in soccer too. I know it wasn’t written. My head shot up. The bell rang when I was putting on my shirt. fine… geez. Mrs. as if he just suggested her to drink from sewerage.” said a soft. The Bimbos. “says… Then move not. a few kids in our class snickered. you may play soccer!” he said and threw the ball at us.” he murmured once again. will be in the balcony scene. we ran back to the locker room to change.” The bell rang to spare us. my sin is purged. each of them smirking evilly at me as I passed by. so I was secretly praying that I wouldn’t be late again for my next class. well just dumb and dumber since Kelsey wasn’t in the play.” she winked at me as I blushed. I might add.

” . more toward politeness then enthusiasm. We’re playing the Wolves.” I said curtly. “I guess I’ll catch you later. For example. with Lauren’s foot lifting it up. He grinned when he saw me. me crashing on to the ground. Edward’s arms wrapped around my waist protectively.” Mike said enthusiastically as I stuttered a little at the awkwardness. “Alright. I’m absolutely fine. breaking every single bone in my body. I blushed. “Wonderful! Wonderful! I knew there was a reason that I picked you. “Hi Edward. “Oh…” she frowned. I stumbled over something. “Hello Mike. I turned to see what had tripped me.“Hi Bella. “Gather up people! And you girls need to get out of here!” Mrs. When I was about to go to the side for Romeo and Benvolio to step up. “Nothing much. “I’m fine Edward. and I could see it through her eyes on what she expected to happen.” I told him sincerely as he smiled back a little. and she instantly dropped her foot. I’m just so excited for our game tomorrow! Remember the last time when we played the Kangaroos? We went to their school! You totally beat their asses!” she winked at him as he grimaced a little.” he smiled. “Man. keeping my face two feet off the ground. I didn’t… I felt two strong arms around my waist. Edward and I snickered when he left. and Lauren scowled loudly and stomped her foot. and I couldn’t help but grin back. “Hi Edward!” Lauren ran up to him and threw her arm around his shoulder. almost panicky. “Lauren. he came up to me and smirked when he saw Mike. and I was sure I was going to fall flat on my face. “Hello Bella.” Edward smirked as Jamie whistled.” he murmured and stomped away. Lauren. “Chop! Chop! Get to work!” They groaned as Edward rolled his eyes and muttered something like “whiny” under his breath.” she joked as the rest of the students laughed. Her plan failed. Oh god… I closed my eyes and waited for the crash. After dumping his books on the floor. His face looked white. but he greeted her back politely nevertheless. “Why don’t we get started with Scene Two? And I DO remember telling the rest of you to memorize your lines for this scene last Friday! No scripts!” she clapped her hands. for Mike looked disappointed to see me greet Edward more optimistically then him.” he said shaking his head helplessly. “Yes ma’am. A cord. this was all just too funny. What’s up?” he said in a bored tone. I gasped. and most important of all. that guy is annoying. “No. Edward walked through the doors. “No problem. “Bella? You alright?” I looked up and saw Edward frowning at me. Except. He sighed resentfully. “We’re not playing the Kangaroos tomorrow. “Great. I glared at her. “Did you sprain anything?” he asked. so I take you and Edward had been rehearsing this weekend?” Mrs. Her face was not pleased when she saw every one rushing over to see if I was okay. I bit my lip. pretending that none of this had anything to do with her. his face blank. Do you two have the lines memorized?” she asked as we nodded. Caughman bellowed at some of Edward’s fan girls who stuck their heads in here to watch him. Thank you. and I heard a concerned voice calling to me.” I mumbled as he helped me stand back up. As if on cue.” I must have sounded pretty excited. Bella. Caughman raised her eyebrow at us when we formed a half circle around her on the stage.” he said as matter-of-factly as he took a step away from her.

and their mouth hanging open when we finished. “No… it’s okay. my thoughts wandering to Edward when I said Romeo. She would be so glad to know that she actually angered me… so I said nothing.” “Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence' cell. Caughman shrieked as the rest of the students looked once again shocked. “Sweetie? Why don’t you go back and change?” Mrs. Angela and I stepped up to get ready.“If you’re okay. treacherous plan! But that may be just what she wanted. sounding impressed. attention. I hated Lauren Mallory with every single fiber of my being. his hands on my shoulder to make sure I don’t take it off and give it back to him. but I was on good terms with the cheerleaders. get a mop and clean up the floor! Miss Mallory! Miss Stanley! May I have a talk with you?” she yelled.” he said sternly. and I looked up and saw a bucket hanging over. I wanted to scream! I wanted to tell everyone that she came up with this wicked. “Bella! Wait up!” Oh my god. But you shall bear the burden soon at night. and I followed behind her to exit the stage. To fetch a ladder. “I’m fine. It’s getting cold outside. frustrated and annoyed. Their faces wrinkled. but words failed me when the wind blew. they'll be in scarlet straight at any news.” I assured him and gave him a smile. my life had turned upside down when I came to California. Edward. with a concerned look on his face. Damn it! What was with me and getting too attached to the play? “Have you got leave to go to shrift to-day?” “I have. tied to a rope. I waited for the laughing but it never came. Caughman sighed and patted mine and Edward’s shoulder smilingly. What the hell?! “Ugh!” I gasped loudly. There stays a husband to make you a wife: Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks. I wouldn’t want you to get sick or anything. I felt water pouring at me from above. “I hope the rest of you learned a thing or two from Edward and Bella!” Edward smiled and winked at me. Edward Cullen ran up to me. I was soaked! I freaked. Lauren giggled and Jessica. The kids watched us in awe. Bitches! That’s why they were here early! The other kids were murmuring “oh my god” under their breaths. Please let me be imagining that velvet voice. take it. I’m fine…” I said to him with a sigh. After Scene four. I'll to dinner: hie you to the cell. he took of his jacket and placed it over my shoulder. That cheered me up a little bit. Could this possibly get any more embarrassing? My shirt was pretty much see through at that point since it was completely soaked. Edward walked on the stage with one final glance in my direction. No one answered. why don’t we continue with the play?” the teacher smiled at us as I nodded. rehearsal will not continue today! Mike. “Here's such a coil! come. Lauren looked a bit shocked at first. what says Romeo?” I recited. “Whoa man! You two were amazing!” Jamie came up to us. by the which your love…Must climb a bird's nest soon when it is dark: I am the drudge and toil in your delight. I must another way. My voice was quivering… “Bella. Thank you… The teacher complimented Edward and me after we finished the scene without once needing to read off the cardboard. I couldn’t believe that she hated me that much! I wasn’t popular back in New York. “Are you alright?” he asked thoughtfully. I’m not cold…” I tried to say. “Yes. too. “Hie to high fortune! Honest nurse. farewell!” Angela and I gave each other an encouraging smile. “Who did this?” She looked at me frantically and the stage that was now soaking wet. There were no words to describe my hatred for her. Go. “That’s what I call acting!” Mrs. But I wasn’t. Did they think the teacher was as stupid as them? I walked silently to get my stuff and exited the Auditorium. C smiled at me apologetically. Then. I blushed and thanked him. All I knew. and Lauren just shrugged. To my surprise. but she quickly shook her head to replace a frown and growl. and they shrugged innocently. I swear I saw someone stepping behind the curtains. Hie you to church. “Due to this… mischief. Everyone stared at me with wide eyes. watching the water drip from my shirt. . “What is the meaning of this?” Mrs.” Angela sounded slightly nervous as she finished her last line. So the teacher knew that it was them.

” he grinned. her best friend Rosalie. I’m sorry that I didn’t call earlier. She’s one of my best friends along with her boyfriend. “No worries. but he stopped me with his hand on my shoulder again. “Bella. I was in Japan attending a meeting. but just good enough to embarrass her. “But I’m going to get your jacket all wet…” “It’ll survive. reading my mind. and Rosalie’s boyfriend. . Bella. like fainting.” he said. It was almost worth getting wet. Oh my god. “Yeah… that’s her. He was right. Edward smiled. “Let’s just say I have some surprises planned for Lauren on our next rehearsal. C knows it was them..” my voice sounded a little shaky. and my heart. who is Alice’s older brother. I didn’t know if I should be relieved or scared. nothing major. I knew I saw someone up there..” for helping me the second time today. I’ll see you later.” he said apologetically. and I could care less about the jacket. I understand how busy you can be. I laughed at myself for thinking so pathetically. “So… are you seeing anybody?” he sounded nervous. “You’re welcome.“Thanks. and started walking again.” “So how are things? New friends?” Charlie was never a talker. Sort of complicated. “That’s the Bella that I know…” he said. “Edward…” “Leave it on. was it?” he told me. Why do you always blush at something he says? “Mrs. I accidentally gasped to my dismay. “Umm Bella?” he turned around and called to me with a sly smile on his face. They’re getting lunch and after school detention for a week. I was about to hand it back to him when we reached the dorms. “I’ll bring it to school tomorrow. I promise…” “Sure…” his emerald green eyes were locked in mine again. “Hello?” I said to the unfamiliar number on the called ID. my eyes staring at the ceiling. “Leave it on… there’s still air conditioning in the lobby and the hallway.” I could picture him scratching his head. and the timing was never right. and my face turned scarlet red.” he chuckled darkly as I looked at him alarmed. Chapter Nineteen After taking a shower.” my tone was belligerent. it was getting windy outside. they are so wrong because I’m not cracking yet. Emmett.” he reminded me. Alice. My roommate. He caught me off guard. it was definitely melting again. “Umm… Thanks for everything. still staring after him instead of going inside in my condition. I didn’t want to blurt out something embarrassing or do something stupid. hon. Kelsey.” I chuckled. getting all the Lauren-ness off me. but just as I was about to opened the book.” he smiled his breathtaking crooked smile and turned around to walk back to his dorm. I nodded. is a joy. followed by his musical chuckle. my cell phone rang. And they found the third girl that was doing everything. I don’t know what the hell they have against me. I better go and change. it’s dad…” “Hey dad! New cell phone?” “Yes. “Yes?” He must have thought I was crazy. “Lots of new friends. I blew-dry my hair and fell on my bed.” he smiled and I thanked him. I was so grateful that he gave me the jacket. I blushed. but if they think I’m going to quit the play just like this. Holy shit… I stared smilingly after him like a complete nitwit. I had the king of mischief revenging for me. “Yeah. I had to break the staring. “Don’t worry. I did my Biology homework and planned on reading Wuthering Heights. but he was making an effort bringing up conversations. Jasper.

and I told her everything that happened. As expected. The next morning. “Had a good dream?” I guessed by the big smile on her face. I took a whiff. But that was not something that I would like to discuss with them. and I had no choice but to tell her the truth. Anything to take my mind off him. I closed my eyes. I’m not going out with anyone. after all. soon to be adult. She asked suspiciously where I got the jacket from. which upset him a little. They always said that they would respect my decision.” I grinned. but it was worthless. I felt the fabric of Edward’s jacket. but we weren’t doing anything. I never liked Carmen. except for the part where Edward walked me home in case she made a great deal out of it again. inhaling those heart melting smells… You are sooo pathetic. I scowled silently at myself for being so difficult.” I shook her as she yawned again. I looked over to Edward’s jacket. too nice to be cologne.” “Well FYI. . and I still couldn’t fall asleep! Damn it. no talking to Carmen.” I warned her quickly and she giggled. I couldn’t help my smile back. but when I picked it up. oh! Did I mention it was yellow?” she beamed as I rolled my eyes. Hey. would you like to talk to Carmen?” he asked. suggesting some stupid ideas that I would never consider doing in a billion years like joining the “local girl scout”.” she sighed dreamily. and that was the last thing that I saw before drifting to dream land. “Huh.” I teased her. I dreamed of him. I got up and was going to get a hanger to hang it. I shut the phone and smiled at my brilliance. and they trusted me enough to make my own. which was still lying messily on my desk. I didn’t want bruised shades under my eyes tomorrow! I groaned. picked it up and carried it to bed with me. I did my morning routine and found a sleepy Alice mumbling my name.“Bella…” she said. “No thanks. Ha ha. and talked to me as if I was a child instead of a teenager. “Chill Bella… Yes. they are my parents. Wasn’t even a bit helpful. It would be just like her. but I couldn’t put a finger to it. Bella. I don’t want to hear it. why couldn’t I sleep? Why couldn’t I sleep? I felt like I had something on my mind. Charlie and Renee weren’t the kind of parents who would freak if I was seeing someone. I mean. Yeah. With a sigh. it’s just seemed like a father duty to know who his daughter is dating. “No dad! Did you and mom talk about this? Because you asked the exact same question!” “Sorry Bells. Alice’s eyes wandered to Edward’s jacket after she skimmed around the room. She butted in my business. “Yes. I stopped and just couldn’t seem to put it back down. Carmen misses you terribly. she was squealing excitedly as if she just won a trip to Hawaii. As if magic. the uneasiness disappeared and instantly.” “Up Ali. I scowled myself and put it back down. and then going up to my dad and complain how I don’t respect her decision. ugh! “Hey dad? Dad? Phone… disconnecting… talk to you… next time. No talking to Carmen… I felt like doing one of those hula dances. and held his jacket tightly in my arms like a pillow beside me. when hell freezes over. and I could almost hear his chuckle just by inhaling the scent of his jacket. “Isabella. It was already one o’clock in the morning when I checked. We won a car. getting overly excited for something meaningless. I laughed at myself for being so utterly absurd and went back on my bed to read a magazine or something.I groaned. but I flipped on my bed for two hours restlessly. “Only about a million times.” I rejected quickly. This was not a conversation that I wanted to have with my father. and I saw his crooked smile in my mind. Alice came back at about five o’clock. it’s already seven. I felt sleepy. Oh my god… It smelled amazing! It had a nice scent. She would love to speak with you. I jumped out of bed and walked to where the chair was in the darkness. Alice was asleep three seconds after she came in contact with the bed. I closed my eyes and breathed in. Alice. “If it involves Jasper in any inappropriate way. I couldn’t sleep well that night. keeping me awake. I closed my eyes and forced myself to think “sleep… sleep” repeatedly and nothing else. But as perceptive as always. “What time is it? You’re up early. I woke up before Alice to place the jacket back on the chair just in case she gets suspicious again.” I was good at faking that kind of stuff. a yellow Porsche to be exact.” my dad said disapprovingly. I got under the sheets again. I didn’t care how stupid and ridiculous I was being. And she always got me in trouble with Charlie.

“Then why’d you walk over here?” My tone sounded almost disapproving.” he smirked as if enjoying an inside joke. thanks again for the jacket.” he muttered when he saw a teacher staring at him disapprovingly. “That’s your definition of stalking? I think of it as concerning.” I confirmed him and bit my lip to hold back my laughter.” I handed it to him. I didn’t do it either. We were at the door of my Math classroom.” “Crap…” I heard him murmur and I laughed. “You know.” he greeted me cheerfully when I walked up to him. He stopped and spun around to face me with a huge smug. his eyes humorous. The school was once again decorated with yellow and blue . I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I said to myself. We had to look up some cell membrane information on the Internet. waiting for someone. Get to class. “So… Did we have any homework for Biology yesterday?” he asked. Hell. I didn’t have to be anyone else but myself.” he chuckled and I entered the classroom. “Shit! I better go… Or I’m going to get detention again. Of course.” he gave me a curtsy bow and I laughed.” he joked. But I’m not falling for him. we’re friends. returning the smile. confused. could he possibly be waiting for me? Yeah right… “Hey Bella. “I was kidding. “Don’t worry.” For some reason. stalker. it made me laugh so hard. I was me. “Yeah… stalker. I almost blurted out. A smile lit on his face when he saw me. It was impossible to feel awkward when with Edward. Edward. when the word bimbo came out from his lips. and my heart accelerated. “Maybe. “No problem. “I’ll catch you later. “Yep. How was your sleep?” he asked politely. “Yours?” “Pleasant. to make sure she gets there safely without any threats from the Bimbos. “No… It’s on the right side of the building. “No problem. He walked beside me. making up some small talks. “Stalker?” he smirked.” he smirked. It was weird how my heart would speed up when I talk to him. thank you very much. They stared down at me with amusement.” I yelled after him jokingly when he started walking. “Whatever you say. He took a step closer to me. “It was amazing! The speed I tell ya!” After we both got dressed and had breakfast in Starbucks. leaning casually against the wall at the entrance of the building. and I was comfortable with it. you’re my night in shiny armor?” I quirked up my eyebrow and smiled at him. “Yes ma’am.” I said truthfully and he chuckled.” he smiled. We didn’t have rehearsal that afternoon since there was a game. “So what you’re saying is.” Thanks to your jacket. but when I was with him.” I rolled my eyes at him with a smile. “Sorry.” he whispered with a crooked smile. His eyes… were the softest thing that I had ever seen. my heart was a whole other story. laughing. Bella. and people were starting to stare. he was always the conversation guy.“I’m going have to get one of those…” she winked. We took a left turn when we entered the building. “Good. “Hi Edward. “Don’t you have your class right here?” I asked.” he tilted up his head and gave me a wink. “Maybe I just wanted to walk the beautiful girl to her first class. It just came back to me a while ago when you brought it up. we walked to our classrooms and guess who I bumped into on the way? Edward Cullen.” I heard a girl squeak shyly as she passed us and accidentally bumped Edward’s arm.

and jumped excitedly with their pompoms. pompoms. Edward’s fan girls were starting to rise up their banners. We girls sat there and just chatted until it was time to leave for the game. Those girls brought embarrassment to our gender. and it wasn’t too far to view the game either. Leave it to Rosalie to get a perfect spot. grabbing a good amount of them as if they were free! I was too stunned to say anything. Were these to two schools rivals or what? Because neither team looked friendly when they saw each other. I jogged to the courtyard. meet us in the courtyard for dinner. Whoa. where a mob of girls were at. You might as well step back!” The cheerleaders repeated the same cheer. and to our surprise. I would be too hearing those squeals for your opponent. “Hi Alice!” I greeted her cheerfully.” Alice whispered in my ear.” she smiled surely and that made me relaxed a little. They were chanting his name. it looked really spirity. These are headstrong crazy days When you’re mind’s made up and the music plays…. But when it comes to basketball. was a section of T-shirts and banners with Edward’s name and Jersey number! And my. I felt the need to get a normal shirt to prove that I wasn’t one of them. Alice would say something like “No wearing the same spirit shirt two weeks in a roll”… My reasons were good enough. jaw hanging open. they saw us and waved! When I saw Edward jog out with his teammates at last. Edward interrupted the glaring between his teammate and the other team. Wasn’t too close. she continued. and banners up in the wall. were they pricey. “Bella! Where are you?” “I just went to the souvenir shop. I got the newest Bulldog shirt that was recommended at the counter… I didn’t feel like spending money. I guess this game wouldn’t be as easy as the last one. “This game is pretty intense. He was talking to Jamie. “You might be good at football. “Don’t worry! They may get more muscles. You might be good at track. We cheered loudly when we saw Emmett and Jasper come out. They skimmed through the crowd. but I guess I was so freaked out by the fact that they were that crazy about Edward. okay? We’re on our way…” “Of course. though they never beat us. I nodded my head in comprehension. who was snarling at the opposing team. The other team looked annoyed and slightly taken back by the fans. The guys left early since they had to get ready in the gym. and we still had ten minutes to the game! “Come on Edward! Let’s go! Go Edward! Edward!!” They screamed crazily when the team finally came out from the locker room. .ribbons all over. but they came close last year. Guess what? I got myself a t-shirt!” “Really?! I’m so proud of you! I knew I was rubbing some Alice-ness on you. This was outrageous! Never before had I seen so many boy-crazed girls in a shop! The rest of the store was pretty empty. But that wasn’t what caught my attention. they have a variety kinds of foods to choose from. “Well. I felt ashamed knowing that we both were X chromosomes. I saw lots of Bulldog Tees. including the other team. When I entered the shop. The Wolves are pretty good. but we got the skills and the brains. I saw a lot of girls carrying shopping bags from the souvenir shop. a few students here and there as the rest were crowded in the “Edward Section”. Besides. each of the shirts costs about twenty to thirty dollars! Yet there they were. More people were starting to arrive. They were all so… BIG! I noticed a lot of them were Native Americans from their tan skin and facial features. I’ve never went in there before so I decided to check it out. I couldn’t help but smile. who just entered with their black jerseys on. see you there!” After changing into the shirt that I just bought.” she teased as I giggled. We got some good seats. We had Chicken Fajitas for supper. One of the things that I like about this school. At the back of the store. After glaring at each other intensely. so I just stared at them with wide eyes.

that was when the game got serious.” he finished confidently. He didn’t make any stops on the way no matter how many guys from the other team stood in his way. Edward pounded fists with Emmett when he passed by. “Alright! That’s my brother!” Alice yelled loudly as the gym echoed with the chant of his name. but we don’t need luck to lead us to victory. Cullen. not his fan club meeting!” she screamed at them when they finally reached her limit. What a great way to start the game! The other team looked pretty upset. “Thank you. he does have the whole Captain stance. At the final fifteen minutes of the game. I saw and heard through the screen and the speaker. No matter how loudly his fan club was screaming.” the boys tone was reproachful.” the boy smirked. We won't take defeat!” Our team was very united and I was very impressed with their teamwork. His teammates looked slightly nervous as the opposing team looked joyous and confident. he slipped snappily by them. That made me a little angry. the ball went swiftly threw the hoop from the three point line by a remarkable shot that he did.” Edward smirked back as the other guy’s face wrinkled. he never looked in their direction. their Captain was scowling them for not blocking Emmett. “Yeah.” he smirked. Ready! We're turning up the Heat! We're on our way to victory. and that made me extremely nervous. “I hope you don’t think you’re going to beat us again this year. Alice and I hugged each other and squealed! So that’s why he was so cool with it. I couldn’t help but notice the respect and admiration his teammates had for him. Jasper. And I thought Edward was arrogant. The game continued.I admit.” he sneered and the buzzer went on. “Edward! Edward! Edward! Edward!!” “We love you Edward! We love you!” Rosalie gagged after hearing some girls sitting behind us declaring their love for him. we cheered for him. He caught the ball and ran straight for the hoop. “I would be more impressed if you were able to say that at the end of the game. red hearts. Alice and I both found this too funny. “We had had been practicing.” the Captain smirked and his face came on the screen again. Black. “Step aside. “Good luck. but I guess I kind of suspected that from the beginning. Edward leaped for the ball aggressively and gracefully when it was thrown by the other team to his teammate. He was expressionless. and I was just about as excited and nervous as the players. our skills top last year’s. It was only a game. too. cause we are new and improved. stuck up attitude was beginning to piss me off.” Edward greeted him acidly. both teams gaining points. and it was hard to know what he was thinking. our team was winning. Rosalie. During the half time. they had caught up with us little by little. “We’re winning this year. “Don’t’ get cocky.” he extended his hand and the other guy took it. both grinning sheepishly at each other. Compare to them.” Edward said back at him icily as we all back him up with a bunch of “yeahs!” The other team’s arrogant. “Long time no see. The game started. waving it in the air. it startled us all with excitement. The Wolves were only down by eight points. but they were still holding posters with Edward’s name in big. The girls looked slightly taken back. Alice and I hugged each other and squealed. Cullen. too. but I couldn’t help but break out a cold sweat. They were already six points ahead and the game barely started! Rosalie said that Emmett. Our team got the ball. Miraculously. each still staring intensely at each other. “May the best team win. “Please! Keep your thoughts to yourselves! This is a basketball game. Edward’s face hadn’t changed. still cool and completely unbothered. causing them to frown. Edward nodded. Throughout the game. we’ll see. Edward did a spectacular set shot. you too. And of course. The gym fell silent when the other Captain walked up to him to talk. Edward was a lot better than the Edward that played during the first half . and the rest of the team trained especially hard for this game since the wolves came in second place for district last year. he was like the saint of ethics. But Edward didn’t even look freaked out. I felt the urge to just go up to the Captain and tell him to chill. he was feigning and holding back! I couldn’t understand why he did it. and Emmett made the first score with a jump shot.

” he chuckled darkly as I beamed at him. “Thank you. During the last fifteen minutes of the game. I could tell Edward didn’t really want to give the introduction. “The victory goes to… The Bulldogs!” the announcer said as we all cheered loudly. and definitely have gotten more points. In five minutes. and my heart was beating rapidly. Alice and I were too happy to say anything! We just held hands and jumped up and down with excitement. the basketball prodigy. I turned my head around and saw the Captain from the other team looking really pissed. why not build up their hopes on winning and crash it when they were at the highest point? It was more torturous for them than just beating them from the beginning. They always piss me off with that arrogant attitude. He laughed. their smile turned into a snarl when they saw us together. They weren’t really that good. I took it.” I grinned.” The cheerleaders were obviously looking for Edward. but I didn’t care! We had seconds to the end of the game. I thought to myself helplessly. smiling crookedly as rolled my eyes. he laughed..of the game. “But I like it. hell. he had already made more than fifteen points with the help of his teammates. unwillingly. Cullen. Probably I was still high from all of the excitement. thinking they were winning the game and stuff. Jacob Black. are we?” he teased. “This is Bella. Edward gritted his teeth together. this is…” “Jacob. The gym went crazy! The ground was practically shaking from all the laughter and cheers. and he squeezed my hand a bit too tight for my liking. I felt awkward just standing between them. Edward had scored over thirty eight points. “Let’s just say I’m not a fan of the Wolves. suspicious. “Evil plan.” I gave him a playful punch in the shoulder. not you… so don’t get cocky. The other team went back to their bench disappointedly. although he played good.” I asked him. Watching my best friends make out wasn’t exactly high on my priority list. why were you holding back? You could have totally beaten them from the beginning of the game. a few inches shorter. To my surprise. Bella. I hugged him with a huge smile of my own. The guy’s face softened up when he realized my presence. “You know. And I thought. as if evaluating. but he wasn’t like his usual self. we finally reached Jasper and Emmett. He was kind of good looking. It was easy to feel the intensity and hatred they had for each other.” he interrupted. No one would ever be half as good looking as Edward. but he did it anyway. “Thanks. their Coach was not pleased with their performance. mocking edge entered his voice. I watched them talk to Rosalie and Alice animatedly about the game. “You noticed that? Perceptive. They watched us a few yards afar. The couples kissed. With a short gasp. “Congratulations on winning the game. I try my best. . Alice and I ran down the bench to congratulate the guys. “About the team. and I just wanted to rub it in their face a little.. genius. I scolded myself silently. “Congratulations!! You guys were fantastic!” “Thanks!” they chuckled. teasing him back and waited for him to explain. “BEEP! BEEP!” We cheered when we looked at the score board. offering a handshake.” Edward sneered back. Edward and his teammate high-fived each other blissfully and the cheerleaders were shrieking with happiness. “Speaking of trying your best. though not as good looking as Edward. leaving us thirty one points ahead! Rosalie.” a husky voice sneered from my back. The other team’s face fell and their jaws were hanging open when Edward continued making prodigious shots. “What? No congrats for me?” Edward’s voice came from behind and it startled me. his eyes dancing up and down my body. Black. “You were amazing out there! The word amazing didn’t even cover it!” I exclaimed wholeheartedly as he laughed. After their make out sessions. I bet they’re feeling pretty stupid right now. “Well… Well… Well… Who’s this pretty girl right here?” he smirked down at me. and I looked away. excited at the sound of the buzzer. I turned around and saw him grinning hugely at me. I hugged the both of them. a hard.” I tapped my temples smilingly. It sounded almost sincere. I was smiling so hugely that my face was starting to sore. I quickly pulled that thought out of my head. Enough praising Edward. but quite muscular.” he joked and grinned. Rosalie. With some shoveling and pushing. it made me happy just seeing how happy they were together. He wasn’t as tall as Edward.

Bella. He laughed. but it was caught in my throat. what was with his school? Didn’t they take the game a little too seriously? “Alright!” he yelled at him. I . My heart raced as it always did when he touched me… I tried to modulate my voice. “Yeah. “Give me a minute.” he told her as she stomped away with a huff. but never would I admit that. “Stalker?” I repeated him. his jaw twitched when he said Edward’s name. and I hope to see you soon. “Edward!!” I would know that shriek anywhere. I am new. “You were paying awful a lot of attention on me during the game.” he waved and disappeared into the crowd. “What is it?” “We’re taking the group photo. But consider yourself lucky. “Sure. probably for socializing with opposing teams.” he said. “Call me anytime. just get out of here. I didn’t exactly understand why.” I said in mock horror as he rolled his eyes. flashing a flirtatious smile. and his coach gave Edward a cold. although half he said was true. “Bella? Listen. I sighed and went outside the gymnasium to look for my friends when my legs started to function again. whispering.” he chuckled and quirked up his eyebrow. still laughing as he sighed in relief. They seriously lacked sportsmanship. I’ll see you tomorrow. “You too. harsh glare before exiting the gym. “Nice to meet you. giving me a wink.” I assured him. tucking the lock behind my ear. His eyes still hadn’t left mine. and you are far too pretty to be missed. I gave him an encouraging smile. are you new here? Because I had never seen you before. I bit my lip. his face wrinkled and I decided to play with him a little.” he whispered and took a step toward me.” he scribbled down quickly on a piece of paper that he had in his pocket and smiled when he handed it to me. I was joking.” he smiled crookedly as I scoffed at his teasing.” Edward replied. “The chances of me dating him would be just as small as me dating Mike…” I rolled my eyes. and I couldn’t hold back my laughter anymore.” the unfriendliness came back to his voice. “Relax. I was paying a lot of attention on him. His glances turned to Edward… “See you in the tournament. You mean you wanted him now. there are over hundreds of students in this school… so it would be normal if you hadn’t seen me. Jacob walked out of sight with his teammates. “Please… don’t flatter yourself.” I grinned sheepishly. I almost blurted out. walking away backwards. “I… uh…” he stuttered. “Well go! What are you waiting for? They can’t possibly not have the Captain in the photo. still facing me.” she whined.” he said. He deliberated and sighed.” he sounded so disgusted. “I guess not. Chapter Twenty As I walked to class the next morning. “Well. people were staring. Lauren gasped when she saw him standing so close to me. Cullen. “What made you think that I wasn’t interested?” I gave him an annoyed look. “Jacob!” his teammate hissed at him. I was sure I was blushing. Man.Edward snorted quietly. So.” I smiled politely. and his face turned deathly pale. “Later… stalker. his tone was filled with venom as well. It was ridiculous how that one little sentence made my heart flip.” he picked up my hand and kissed it. pointing at me. Black. He sighed. maybe… umm… we can keep in touch? Here’s my number. Edward snorted and shook his head angrily. they wantus now.” I snorted at him. “Want me to dump that in the trash for you? I can get something to wipe off that poison from your hand. His body stiffened. “I’m glad. his arms crossed in front of his chest. outraged.

frowning again. “Hi. exposing some portion of her chest. “Of course not! Why would you think that?” Was she trying to be funny? Me? Dating Edward? “Well.” he said simply as Lauren’s gaze turned to me. I played along. That surprised me.” she winked at Edward and started taking off her jacket. He replied with a polite thank you. or expressing my anger. frowning. “Last night.” she said bitterly. “You mean the Wolves?” Edward said very slowly. batting their lashes.” she said in her high pitched voice as she walked up to him. “Yes… May I help you?” “I’m Rachelle.” I replied acidly as she scoffed and went back to her seat. they couldn’t even throw the ball into the hoop!” she said proudly.” she spat angrily.” The girl looked slightly surprised by my response. and cut off her throat. I wasn’t technically the new girl anymore. I mean. unfortunately. The fan girls went back to their seats after Lauren gave them a deathly glare. how’s detention?” “Bitch. And the reason that I had his jacket on was because a certain moron got me wet. and pretended to work on some assignment. “We’re friends. “Lauren. he just looked down to his worksheet. “Right back at cha. rolling her eyes as if she had ten years of experience. mouthing a “help” with a grimace. I bumped into Lauren at the entrance of the classroom. startled and puzzled at my response. I sighed. I was annoyed. she bit her lip and went back to her friends. Bella. I was never so violent in the past. She started giggling when she saw me and we walked into the classroom together.a. “Didn’t see you after the photo shoot. you’re so smart! Ha ha ha!” she laughed hysterically and slapped Edward’s shoulder jokingly as he turned to me. it’s getting hot in here. waiting for the bell when I arrived in first period. as if she was mentally disabled. positively nothing going on between me and Edward Cullen. a few of us saw you walking home with him two days ago with his jacket on… And we saw you hugging and talking to each other last night. Edward looked at us with an amused expression. Are you dating Edward Cullen?” she asked. Where were you?” “Out with some friends. Though I seriously doubt that it was necessary for her to repeat what I said. and said . questioning. since I was sure that my volume was loud enough for every one in the classroom to hear. and Edward offered his jacket since it was cold. “Oh my gosh. “Boy. way too low cut and way too tight for school. what was with everyone thinking that there was something going on between me and Edward? Can’t a guy and a girl be friends? In Biology. he coughed and quickly composed himself. his prop to get rid of the fan girls.mean. “So Bella. Thanks for the shower. “By the way. “Yes Lauren. wearing a tank top. Lauren slapped her desk and growled at the fan girls. I couldn’t believe my ears. The exact opposite of you… She leaned down to Edward. I swear I saw him smirking. Then I saw a girl walking up to me. the Kangaroos totally sucked.” Edward smiled. Edward didn’t look at all interested. how did you know I was dying for something to cool off the heat?” I smiled sickly back at her as her face fell. “Hey Edward. with the word “Sexy” at the front. a. Really. Her hands were lingering on her chest as she puffed them out. Instead of doing neither. that there is absolutely. I just want to confirm something. and tell the rest of the school. and being Juliet was old news… so what did they possibly have against me? I was getting out my textbooks. Listen. enjoyed the rehearsal?” I wanted to rip her head off. “Edward! We went to the game last night! You were absolutely great!” a few of his fan girls came up to him as they came in the classroom and started to congratulate him.k. who were huddling around her desk. so now you can go back. She looked like a hooker. is it?” a girl asked. I chuckled silently as I listened to the rest of the conversation.

She checked my temperature. she couldn’t go shopping. I heard her cussing. “Lauren? I have some work to do. We heard some high-heels clicking. disgusted and scooted her chair farther away from him. he gave me a wink and started grinning hugely again. Lauren. this can’t be good. Does this boy ever clean out his backpack? Or should we be thankful that he even carried one? Okay. followed by a nasty cough. Edward looked like he was trying very hard to gain composure. What was with the ring tone? “Bella?” answered a sniffed voice. Lauren wasn’t there yet. I just called to tell you that I’m staying over today at Jasper’s place.” “Sorry for the hysteria. Anyway. “Physics worksheet?” I read over Edward’s shoulder. The rehearsal started. I started feeling dizzy. I mean. alright?” “Thanks. “Hi Bella. but after lunch. Poor Alice! I could imagine why she was feeling so freaked out. Edward dropped his eyes and walked down the stage. very elegant. I noticed the worksheet was from last year. Edward and I snickered. I like it rough 'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all “Alice?” I raised my eyebrow as I answered my phone. Edward and I stepped up the stage along with Jessica and Angela. and we both immediately knew that it was Lauren and Jessica.” he shrugged.” I heard her geeky partner said to her. Edward and I stepped up the stairs for the window scene. I couldn’t help but laugh. She should take comfort in that. if she didn’t get better. alright? So I can cuddle with Jasper and he knows how to take care of me. at least the geeks find her attractive. Pain. and that doesn’t exactly put a girl to the state of calm. “Edward. “I take whatever I have. so that what happened Monday wouldn’t repeat. Eww!! Kill me please! “Ugh! Whatever loser. maybe I was a little excited and nervous for today’s rehearsal. talking to Melinda. So if you’ll excuse me…” Lauren looked at him as if he had lost his mind. Though the word love was caught in my throat a little. “You can undress for me anytime. I was fine. nothing abnormal so far… though my relief stopped in Scene five. the lines came in more naturally for me this time. perfectly neat. neither was Jessica.to her very coolly.” she said. Boy. she put her jacket back on and walked back to her seat pouting. Caughman was checking for buckets and stuff. I walked nervously to the auditorium. Here . Mrs. “Oh my god Alice! What happened?” “I don’t know. And now I’m starting to lose my voice from freaking coughing to much!” she sobbed dryly as I heard Jasper’s soothing voice in the background. I noticed his handwriting was very. smiling flirtingly. He didn’t look like the nice handwriting type. the kind of script you see in the oldie movies. smiling. I had Edward on the job.” she sniffed and we hung up. who in the world would wear high-heels to school? Edward’s smirk grew larger. smiling. I saw Edward coming out from the curtains.” he greeted me smilingly. Disappointed. I just hate it when I’m sick. suspicious. but who was I to be the judge of that? He didn’t look like the Shakespeare guy either. Just a play… stop being a complete fool! After Angela came to warn us about Lady Capulet. without love Pain. hey. “Calm down Alice… You’ll be just fine in a few days. and she said I had a fever. “Yeah… feel better. I can't get enough Pain. so I went to the nurse. I mean. the line holding girl. You know. After all. What a nightmare it must have been for her.” she said.” I grinned. I gulped. coughing.

why don’t you weep for me? For being dumbest slut in school. I got this weird feeling in my stomach. “People! Who… did this?” Mrs. I saw a neat print of the added lines glued over the original ones.” “Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss. wilt thou wash him from his grave with tears? An if thou couldst. there were red paint on her butt. “Ah!” she gasped. you know? Since I’m so good at acting. We shook our head.” Edward smiled seductively as he walked up to her. we all stared at her. “So do you want to go out tonight?” she asked. she finally got what was going on. Lauren walked toward the door sulkily. trying hard not to laugh. making it look like she just had an accident! I looked over to the chair that she was sitting at. she acted like as if nothing had happened and told us to go back to rehearsing. but she failed for she was laughing just as hard as us.” she said arrogantly. I smiled at him and nodded my head in approval at his performance. covering her mouth as the auditorium was now soaring with laughter. She looked confused at first. Something caught my attention by surprise. Tears ran down my cheeks. for I saw her smiling slightly. something unfamiliar. Great talking to you. I am not well.comes Jessica. To my surprise.Lauren Mallory” taped on her back. She didn’t know what we were laughing at. he wrapped his arm lightly around her and placed his hand on her back. Lauren looked slightly pale. Therefore. completely speechless. there was a piece of paper with the words “The Leader of the Bimbos. but quickly cleared her throat to flirt back. and then the room was once again filled with hysterical laughter. “Hi Lauren. completely buying it. laughing their heads off. looking surprised by his enthusiasm. she stuttered little. The auditorium turned silent.” he said. A few boys were pointing rudely at her. But much of grief shows still some want of wit. I told my parents that maybe I can be an actress someday. Thankfully for her. it was a red plastic chair. Edward’s eyes met mine after he high-fived the Melinda girl. jaws hanging open. You’re a natural. Mrs.” “So shall you feel the loss. “What?” she turned back to us. Jealously… Damn it! Shut up! “Too bad that you didn’t have any lines to read today. her eyes locked on the lines that Melinda was holding. I have umm… a big test to study for. no wonder she didn’t see the paint before she sat down. she didn’t have any lines in this scene. thou couldst not make him live. And on the back of her pants. “I know.” “Evermore weeping for your cousin's death? What. but I guess she didn’t see because she was too busy undressing Edward in her mind. seeing . “Edward…” she batted her lashes disgustingly. and that worried me. taking her chance. We finished the whole act happily. have done: some grief shows much of love. though none of them had any clue on who did all of this.” he smiled and walked away from a very disappointed Lauren. I looked over to the cardboard that Melinda was holding. “Why. But to my surprise. I was laughing so hard that I sank to the floor. Caughman looked suspiciously at Edward. “Gah!!” she screamed as she stalked out of the auditorium. sarcastically teasing. Edward and I peaked out of the door sneakily behind her. Maybe another time. C tried to keep a straight and angry face. after a few seconds ticked by. On the back of her shirt. Edward grimaced a little. Juliet!” she bellowed. “Madam. but not the friend… Which you weep for? In fact. probably wondering what would happen to her.” Oh my god. With a shrug. “Gee… I can’t. Everyone was still laughing at what happened. And she must had realized that. she stepped out of the Auditorium. Thank god she didn’t hold a grudge against him. how now. puzzled. Someone’s got a little green monster on their back called Mr. She quickly stood up from her chair. but I guess she was too stupid to sense that.

Alice Cullen.” I threatened her before she blurted out something about me and Edward.” he smirked. who was I? Just another girl in his class.” I checked on my watched.” she coughed.” she said sarcastically.” she rolled her eyes. You guys should go eat. “I don’t know… Just wanted to. “Oh my god! Did you see that?” a few kids were talking animatedly about what happened to both Jessica and Lauren.” I smiled.” I said wholeheartedly.” Edward nodded as Alice squealed. the gang is all here!” Emmett chuckled. “You’re welcome. murmuring to myself. We walked quickly to Jasper’s dorm. We gave each other a high five.” “Can I go with you?” “Of course. “Alice is down with a bad cold. “Why did you do it?” I asked him very softly as we both calmed down. Jasper’s request. “Actually. “Thank you. sitting on the edge of her bed. “Well. “Bought you some Chicken Noodle Soup. gritting my teeth. thoughtful as always. “How are you feeling. “Is something wrong?” he asked. You know. “Don’t you dare. “Thanks. I think Alice is a lot better than we think. “I bet…” I murmured. “Oh my! Alice! You look terrible!” I exclaimed. I guess. I really enjoy doing this. The door opened. “Yeah… Bella told me that you were sick. We started laughing again as soon as we stepped out of the gym. Thank god I wasn’t on his bad side.” Rosalie smiled down at her. “You know. Then her eyes were suddenly glittering again as she saw the both of us on neither side of her bed. I didn’t mean that…” I said to her apologetically. I didn’t understand why he would do all this for me.” Alice winked at him as Jasper laughed softly from the back. I just want to check on her. how are ya?” “Better. “Hey lil sis. finding a very sick Alice. “Don’t worry. he quirked up his eyebrow. Emmett and I are just going to order some takeout.” she rolled her eyes as I gave her a nod to show that she was forgiven. sis?” Edward sat on the other side of her bed. it’s getting pretty late…” she said.” he shrugged. Big tests for the seniors tomorrow. and Emmett and Rosalie walked in.” I said sourly. “Am I missing something?” “It’s a girl thing.” Rosalie sighed as Jasper .” she sighed.more students laughing at her as she walked by them on the sidewalk. looking green on her bed. relax. coughing. slightly embarrassed? I looked down to hide my smile. “A little better than a while ago. “Did you two come together?” she gasped happily. That was brilliant. “Thanks Bella. “I’m sorry. “Oh! I better go to Jasper’s place. sniffing. Edward had a very confused expression on his face. “I’m just playing with you Bella. I do look terrible. Edward and I decided to get out of the gym before anyone realized that we had something to do with it. I mean.

the same routine for you. I’m a carnivore. a little offended as I heard Edward’s velvet chuckle.” he chuckled. I’m starving. leaning toward me. “Not a veggie person. and coughing at the same time… “What a great idea. “That makes the two of us. “What if I want to do this?” he whispered. “Eat.” Emmett suggested. Anything but salad. We settled for hamburgers in Clark’s. “Bella. his eyes lit up. Rosalie and Emmett walked back to Emmett’s room.” I scoffed. “Why don’t we let her get some rest? She looks tired. How does he do that? Get whatever he desires? After being dazzled by his gorgeous eyes.” Edward suggested. thank you very much.nodded in apprehension. Let’s go. tucking his hands in his pockets as we stepped out of the building. looking away. I’m going to repeat myself once more. “What?” “Nothing.” he ordered as I took a bite of my hamburger. Studying…” he faked a shudder and laughed as Emmett gave him a dirty look. Rosalie. I am perfectly capable of feeding myself. seven bucks. not today. “Nope. “So how did you come up with the ideas?” I asked. “What a nightmare it must be for you. Bella? We won’t be much of a company. Edward laughed. “It sucks to be seniors.” he said icily as Edward clasped his mouth shut. exclaiming. tests. I like a girl with a hearty appetite. “Why don’t you grab something to eat with Edward tonight. refusing to let him pay for my meal.” I leaned down to give her a quick hug. “Fine. doing some supposedly ‘studying’ after waving us goodbye. a little embarrassed. taking a sip of my soda. for he would say something very funny to make me laugh. “Thanks Bella.” I sighed in defeat and I heard him chuckling softly next to me.” she smiled. huh?” he teased. Big deal. “No way. Edward and I left the room to give her some rest. but he stopped me.” he sighed. You’re going to be a senior next year. “Exactly. “So… what are you in the mood for?” he asked. finally let go of me when we reached the table in the courtyard. Then I noticed him staring at me again. “I don’t know. Though that status didn’t remain long. “So… want to grab something to eat together?” he asked casually.” he said. “I got it covered.” I shuddered. all we get are tests.” he looked in to my eyes as I dropped mine.” I rolled my eyes and was about to walk over to the elevator. I heard Alice clapping her hands on her bed. smiling. Emmett. handing me my drinks and burger.” I insisted sternly. winking intentionally. “I wouldn’t be laughing. smirking. He spun me around to face him.” I said humorously as I heard more of his musical laugh. Holy crap. “Feel better Alice. . He dragged me out of the store. Em. unleashing the power of his eyes on me. I gave up. Then all of a sudden.” But did he listen? No. “You’re so stubborn!” I complained and scowled when I sat down. I was about to pay for my half of the meal. “You don’t have to do this. big brother!” “Guys! I’m perfectly capable of feeding myself. not smiling. and more tests!” Emmett groaned. I’m paying for my own.

” Lucas looked embarrassed. “Gotcha. though I’m sure the hot topic of today was still Lauren and Jessica. I’m not going to say anything. “You’re so cruel.” I told him. We were now walking toward the south side of the campus. After wiping his nose. scolding. “Vanilla.” he laughed as I did the same. Swan! See what it feels like!” he yelled behind me as I screamed. He leaned in. ugh!” his faced up in disgust as I shook my head helplessly. “Seven fifty…” the cashier said. We must have looked really stupid. out of the blue. One vanilla.” he chuckled and I immediately knew he was referring to the guy from a while ago. “Alice won’t crack. chasing each other with ice cream cones in our hands. right? So I thought. he started chasing me. Which was good. There’s a reason why it is called a girl thing. the less crowded side.” I said. I instantly forgot how to breathe when I realized how close we were. though not as confident as him. chucking as I panted… All of a sudden. “Come on. “No discount today?” Edward smirked as I hit him playfully and hissed. and the heat was over taking my body. “Come here. Then I bumped his arm intentionally. pleading with me with his emerald eyes. I mean. “You didn’t have to do that. “We’ll see about that.” he whispered as he locked his arms around me playfully from the back. Stupid. “Thank you. we were always complaining how slowly Jessica reads her lines. she actually thought that I was flirting with her. And I would never steal the spotlight from my great friends. while we were waiting. laughing. come again soon. getting out his wallet. sending chills up and down my spine. He licked his ice cream and shrugged. And the heat of his chest… I hope he didn’t feel my heart race.” he smiled.” I sighed. what’s one secret to share?” he teased. the sprinklers came on! “Ah!!” we were both screaming by surprise. I blushed. half smirking. But since this is Lauren.” I said to him before leaving the store. basketball Captain. “Her face was so funny. let’s just say Emmett’s Bimbo comment inspired me.” I grinned sheepishly. I didn’t want to argue anymore. very bored. “Nothing…” I buried my face in my hands. “Looks like someone was a little unhappy that you didn’t call him. “Alright.“Well. It was only a matter of seconds before he caught up to me. why not make it more interesting? As for Lauren. When we stepped out of the store. getting ice cream on his nose. it was pointless. I couldn’t stand the staring. “Bella?” Edward asked. Edward whistled.” Edward said. yeah… heavy sarcasm there. “What the?!” he said. outraged as I started running.” I said. one Chocolate Chip. “I’ll find out. After dinner. “Leave it alone. giving Edward a glare. we decided to grab some dessert. I heard Edward snicker. what did Alice mean when she said it was a girl thing?” he asked. though mine started like a half . “No problem. athletic. “Hey… Tell me.” he said boastfully. he said nothing and handed us our order. Why was I not surprised? We ended up in front of Haagen-Dazs again. well. I could feel his breath on my neck. “Be nice. “How may I help you?” the same cashier from last time. completely sure that he was going to win.” Lucas smiled.

catching my breath. Who was I kidding myself? Maybe I was spending too much time around Alice. and they were all so humorous. See ya tomorrow.” I told him when we were at the entrance of my dorm. which was not good.” he said. that is. I didn’t fall for guys like him. For a girl to think so much about a guy who is categorized in the friend category.” Edward chuckled once we got back on the sidewalk.” “Sure. I didn’t understand why my heart would accelerate every time he looked at me or talked to me. Thanks for getting us both soaking wet. Was it normal for a girl to react like this for her friend? Chapter Twenty-One My heart was thumping out of place when I got back to the room. and I saw the Janitor shaking his head once again. “We’re so pathetic. “We sure wouldn’t want that. “We should get going if we don’t want to end up with a cold tomorrow. muttering something unintelligible. we have to see Lauren’s reaction tomorrow. Maybe the movie would take my mind off him. after all. No completely.drowned cat as his sounded velvet and perfect.” I said. 'Cause you're everywhere to me And when I close my eyes it's you I see You're everything I know That makes me believe I'm not alone I'm not alone . We walked back to the dorms. knowing that I would see him at least in two of my classes. his gorgeous crooked smile… I wondered if this was normal. did I like Edward Cullen? It was pretty pathetic. I thought maybe that would calm down the nerves. I told myself that I couldn’t possibly like him that way.” he winked as I giggled. And Bella? I’m glad we did this. I was a little disappointed to tell him goodbye. His face lit up to a breathtaking smile under the street lamp. we quickly got out from the grass. his face would be the last thing that I see… And I knew I was anxious to get to school in the morning. and that was too close. After apologizing. comfortable bath. Edward. he was. smiling his crookedly smile and sprinted out of sight as I closed the door. I turned on the TV and saw that they were playing The Count of Monte Cristo on HBO. “What the hell?” We both laughed as a Janitor shook his head helplessly at us from the sidewalk. anyway. his laugh. He told me about some encounters that he had with the teachers in the past. I froze. I walked shakily into the bathroom and sat in the tub for a warm bath. I tried not to think about what he was doing right now at the moment. bronze hair. teasing. I laughed. Every night before I go to sleep. “Well. At first I decided to watch it. I lied in my bed and tried to clear my head after the long. “Tell me about it. dripping wet. Frustrated. sparkling like diamonds. a little breathless. I mean.” he grinned. After gathering my pajamas. his auburn. if they were still going along with the truce. I couldn’t. My thoughts would all lead to him eventually. joking with each other the whole way. I turned off the TV and played the stereo. cheeks turning a little hot. so breathtaking that my heart almost stopped beating.” I suggested. “You’re welcome. but then I quickly remembered that the main character’s name was Edmund. thanks for dinner. “You’re welcome. “Don’t you kids ever read the signs?” he pointed over to an orange board that said “Do not step on the grass after 9:00 p. but my head toyed with me. and what they assumed about Edward and I was starting to grow in my head. but it didn’t.m. Edward looked like a model for a hair-gel company. What bothered me the most was how much and often I thought of him. looking away from him.” Edward and I looked guiltily at each other and I bit my lip. I admit. his face.

” He thanked her and got up from his chair. alright?” She thanked me and we hung up. The next morning. “Morning Bella!” she sounded so much better. Maybe she was still too embarrassed about what happened. Robinson would like to speak to her.” Mrs. though Michelle Branch was always one of my favorites. finding Jamie’s response humorous. Caughman replied. I even doubt that he or she knew that I went to the school. quoting her words from yesterday. “Yes?” “May I use the restroom?” She sighed. “She’s not even that hot. figuring he would be up already. “I’m going with you. I asked him how Alice was doing. Edward raised his eyebrow at his friend. I really couldn’t deal with sappy love songs right now. No problem. . Robinson? Wasn’t that the… the… principal? What the hell? I’ve never been called into the principal’s office before in my life. I called Jasper on his cell. “Hey Alice! How are you doing?” “So much better. I got ready for school. I looked over to Jessica. greatly bewildered and embarrassed. I didn’t see Lauren in gym. “Mrs. I’ll go over to Jasper’s after school. and I could hear kids murmuring to each other at my back.” Edward chuckled and shook his head slowly. I think I’d be able to go back to school tomorrow.” Jamie laughed. hang on Bella. Hey. “Jessica? Guys like Edward don’t go for sluts like you. Total bitch. though her voice was still a little hoarse. it wasn’t every day that Queenie and her sidekicks get totally put in their places. The bell rang. and motioned me to her desk. I walked to my class alone.I groaned and quickly placed another CD. We walked out of the classroom together.” I froze. but you deserved it… People were still gossiping about the Bimbo Incident. compare to her friends. since there were thousands of kids back at my old school in New York. “Yeah… she’s screaming for the phone right now. “That shirt looks really sexy on you… where did you get it?” she smiled seductively as she fiddled with a button of Edward’s polo. and for the first time. She acted like as if nothing had happened. After all.” he said as-matter-of-factly. She handed me the hall pass. Mr. Caughman?” I saw Edward’s hand raised up in the air.” he muttered. would you mind bringing me some work from my teachers? Just so I wouldn’t have a bunch of work piled up tomorrow. She is on her way. “Sure thing. and they got back to their seats. “What are you doing?” I asked him when I realized that he was right behind my heels instead of turning to the opposite direction for the boy’s restroom.” Jasper chuckled and I could picture Alice snatching the phone from him. “Make it quick. who just shrugged and gave him an innocent look. After writing the first paragraph. She gasped. and thankfully she should be able to go to school tomorrow. Caughman?” “Yes?” “Will you please send Isabella Swan to the office? Mr. “What? I always hated her. Jessica showed up in fourth. and walked back to her seat. In fact. and went to flirt with Edward shamelessly once more. scowling.” “Sure. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. the intercom came on. “Mrs. I got frustrated once again when I thought of how I couldn’t even watch a movie or listen to music without having the fear of being reminded of him. The teacher wanted us to write an essay based on what we think about a famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. who had herface hidden in her hands.

The office was big.” a hoarse voice answered from the other side of the door. “Miss Swan. She gave us a warm smile. “Aren’t you at all nervous?” I whispered to him. His face was very professional. Before I even had a chance to open my mouth. Red paint. “I was called here a while ago?” I said. “She said that her daughter was very upset yesterday. Much bigger than the one back in New York. really… Don’t worry. “Oh… that’s right. But I don’t want trouble. I did that…” “No…” I gasped. she left out the part that she was the one who started the war. Robinson?” she knocked. What’s up man?” Edward said. flashing his teeth as the secretary told us to follow her to the room. Bella doesn’t mind. He chuckled. I don’t remember calling for you. We arrived in front of the administration building. True. “It’s Mr. paper taped on the back… Would you care to explain yourself?” Yeah.” he said. out. as if greeting an old friend. staring at me in the eye. annoyed.” “Hey Frank. “Come on in. There were many staffs.” Edward smirked and sat on the chair in front of the Principal’s. “Uh…” she stuttered and deliberated for a moment. that was my fault. “Fine. “May I help you?” the same pretty secretary from last time.” he started as it suddenly all became clear to me. “Have a seat.” he shrugged. “Edward…” “Shhh… Trust me Bella. because she was pranked by you. he did get in trouble very often. “Come on. “It’s my fault. Mallory. he started walking away.” he said. you got that?” “Of course. “And you.” he smiled. “Actually sir.” he said. I mean. it was impossible to doubt. pointing to one of the chairs in front of him that was next to Edward. his eyes thoughtful. “Actually sir. I don’t…” I said shyly. “Mr.” he corrected him. “Not really. Cullen. Robinson sighed and turned his focus back on me. “And Mr. after Edward dazzled and smoldered her with his unbelievably powerful eyes. Mr.” Edward said. Robinson took a deep breath and ignored him. Robinson to you. At the end she sighed. “I assume you know why you’re here. “Sure Rob. Miss Swan.” he lied. He looked more like a business man than a Principal. I’ll take care of it.“I don’t understand… why am I called?” I asked him. giving me a “no joke” look. “I got a phone call this morning from Mrs. Cullen?” her tone was suspicious. puzzled as he threw me an apologetic look.” he assured me and before I could throw another question. Mr. The Principal’s office is like my second home. and definitely a lot neater. is it?” the man wasn’t friendly or smiley.” he ordered. confused. but spoke with so much authority. We walked in and saw a middle-aged man sitting on a leather chair. I guess that was where the Principal’s office was at. . “I was told to come with her. my voice a little frantic. And you Mr. stuffing their noses in paper works as we passed by. bewildered as he put his hand up. Edward interrupted.

so I had to take it as homework. one way or another. Robinson rushed me as I walked slowly to the door with a pit in my stomach. his eyes locked in mine. “Fine. “Are you satisfied with what happened to Lauren and Jessica?” he asked. There went the whispering again. and I just thought it would only be fair to get her back… Can’t you understand that?” “Unfortunately. pleading with him to believe me. they are always connected to you. “Mr. C asked suspiciously as the feeling in my stomach hurt me even more by the mention of his name. blamed. besides. only my head was completely filled with what happened a while ago. Cullen. And I saw him. “Yes. “Ho got called to the office…” “Oh… okay. “Bella.” he smiled at me. Please. “Did you happen to see Mr. Jessica had a big. “Yes… but…. Edward helped me. are you aware that Lauren too is at fault? She messed up our rehearsal and pulled something really stupid. “I don’t understand. for trying to cover for me… But it’s fine. The students picked up their heads from their work when they realized my presence. Edward sighed. I froze and stared at his perfect face… clueless on what I should do. Why would you do something like this?” “Well. I can’t understand why every time if there are mischiefs in this school.” Edward smiled and got up from his chair. Well. Frank. it makes no difference to me…. why was he doing this? The Principal gave a dry laugh. Mr. it’s really not a big deal. sitting at a table with some of his friends. I didn’t write a single word throughout the rest of the class. his finger stroking my . Edward… Should we go for another day of detention? Or would you like campus service? Oh. “Go on. I ran for the door and was desperate to find Edward. Robinson? I was the one who did it. I can’t. “It’s fine. Mr. nothing else matters…” he said gently. giving me a faint smile. Miss Swan. you didn’t ask me to do it. As long as it made you happy. it makes perfect sense for me to get in trouble. I was speechless. I did it on my own. Mrs. “Edward… I…” “Bella. I’m not surprised to see another girl covering for Edward here… It’s obvious that Edward was the master mind behind everything. goofy smug on her face when I entered the classroom. “Sure Bella.” “But you did it because of me! It’s unfair for you to get in trouble while nothing bad happens to me.” “That’s all I need to hear. I’m used to detention. And don’t get me started on the girls!” he rolled his eyes.” I croaked guiltily.” Then I went back to my seat to continue my essay. I took a deep breath before walking up to him. I did it anyway.” Edward said.” I exclaimed.” he placed his finger over my lip. I already know what you’re going to say.” he stopped. Robinson. We walked to somewhere less crowded.” he corrected him once again.” I said.” Mr.” “But…” “It’s alright Bella. Miss Swan. “Can’t you act like a junior for once? For the sake of our school and the sake of the team?” he sounded more helpless than angry. you’re free to go now. sitting. A day of detention. every one of his friends frowned with confusion and gave him a questioning look. Miss Swan. and here he was. go back to class. “Hey Edward? Can I talk you for a sec?” My face must have been bothered. When the bell rang. frustrated at myself. because of me! “Mr.“Thank you Bella.” Edward said. smiling. Hearing the speech was making me sickly guilty. Mallory clearly said that her daughter was sure it was Miss Swan. “Nice try. I can’t understand why the supposedly role model for this school is always heading to trouble. Robinson. Cullen on your way back?” Mrs.

so there were only three of us at the table. huh? A voice in my head chuckled bitterly. Edward wasn’t there for fifth period. “I’m so sorry. I’d rather let her think that I did it instead of getting Edward involved in more crap. I blushed and quickly looked down to my tray.” he chuckled and jogged away. damn it! How did you do all of that anyway? You ruined my favorite pair of Levi’s. did you get an unexpected call to the principal’s in say. mouthing me a “we know”. I couldn’t stop wondering why he would do all this for me. Kind of too late to think that now. fourth period?” she smirked.cheek as I blushed and begged myself not to hyperventilate. “So what kind of punishment did you get?” “None. Jasper went back to his room to bring Alice something to eat.” I said truthfully as they shared a glance. okay Bella? It was worth it. hoping to find some explaining behind his words. “So Swan. A guy from his team came to tell the teacher that the whole team had an emergency meeting so they needed to be excused from class the rest of the afternoon. instead of telling her that Edward was the one who planned everything.” he said apologetically as I nodded in understanding. you little asshole. “Sorry guys… I just have a lot on my mind. I looked at him in the eye. “I need to leave.” I whispered as he smiled. I’ll see you around Bella. “What?” “Nothing. “You’re welcome. You know you deserved it. “Edward?” “Yes?” he turned around to grin at me.” she snarled. letting Edward take all the blame though he had assured me that I had done nothing wrong.” he chuckled as I sighed.” I mumbled as she stared at me with wide eyes. “Whoa. How was that fair? . I didn’t know what to say. Though you got the man that you’re in love with in trouble… “What?!” she shrieked. but I saw nothing but a pair of emerald eyes staring back at me with sincerity.” I muttered and looked down. But he did it because of me. Lauren was still shamelessly bossing some other girls around to fetch her some water. “Just how old are you Lauren? Snitching on me?” I snorted. “It doesn’t make me happy knowing that you’re in trouble. Was it normal for him to do something like this? I met up Rosalie and Emmett for lunch. She glared when she saw me. leaving my heart completely overwhelmed. You’re saying that Edward’s the one who got in trouble?" she gasped and her breath was becoming uneven.” I said wholeheartedly.” they shook it off and Emmett winked at me. “Earth to Bella? You’re like so out of it today!” Emmett chuckled as Rosalie looked at me with a curious expression. “At least I only have a day… Lauren and Jessica have a whole week… Don’t worry about me. “Don’t walk away you little weasel!” she screamed from behind as I felt the guilt once again. I walked away silently as she scowled. his eyes soft. “I didn’t get in trouble because Edward had to be the hero.” I whispered as he smiled once again. I felt my face drop when I saw the empty seat next to me… maybe I was just a little disappointed. We have to meet the Coach. “Don’t apologize… You didn’t do anything wrong. Even though with the whole paint incident. I was being a weasel.” “Edward! Let’s go!!” one of his friends called him. What she said was half right. “Thank you. "You little bitch! How dare you blame this on sweet Edward? How dare you? You were suppose to be on restriction. “Agh! Don’t turn this on me. damn! Damn! Damn!” she stomped her foot and I could almost see smoke steaming from her face.

you look so much better. it was even fun. Like who had the major no-no outfit or hairdo. loads of worries disappeared when he entered the building.” she said sarcastically. Edward gets detention all the time. “Yeah… that would totally explain why you two are incredibly close. it'd be so much fun!” she said. “Bella!” “Hi Alice. “Did you just come back from after school detention?” “Uh yeah… Don’t worry. “Yeah… she’s a lot better now. and we practically just sat there and chatted through the whole thing since the teacher came in at the last minute. “Bella. concerned.” she rolled her eyes. And thanks to you. not worried. Before exiting the dorm. but intently guilty. I’m happy for you. “Visiting Alice?” he asked politely.” I grinned. “That’s good… I mean! Not good. did you know that there’s going to be a dance this Saturday? It’s sort of an annual ‘beginning of the semester’ dance.” I murmured. it was totally cool.” she snickered as I blushed.” I admitted as she chuckled. At least it wasn’t horrible. as I told her about what happened with Lauren and Jessica. when I finished.” “That’s great…” Then something dawned me. I got to skip practice with a good reason. “I wouldn’t surprised to see him ending up in detention for something else if this hadn’t happen…” I sighed after hearing those words. “We have to go! I mean. “Thanks… What’s wrong with you? You look… weird. “He doesn’t have feelings for me Alice!” I half shrieked as she smiled. “You know. but at least it wasn’t… Agh!” I scowled at myself for stuttering pointlessly and he chuckled.”she sighed. and I saw her looking great on his couch. “And that’s why you’re worried?” she sighed. it’s fine. I walked straight to Jasper’s after collecting Alice’s work. giving her an "you're so wrong" look. since my head was too clouded with thoughts. we get to dress up!” she beamed as I chuckled. Edward. She sat there patiently and listened to my story. but I think she was still missing the point. “Sure Ali.Rehearsal was canceled today since Mrs. beaming. She said that she had to get started on her homework anyway. C had something up after school. in fact. It’s like a weekly routine for him. I saw her crack a smile. Why else would he go through all these trouble for revenging?” The words sunk in as I looked at her with horror. I didn’t notice anything on the wall today.” he grinned as I felt instantly relieved. then suddenly her face was glittering as she remembered something. I suppose you’ll see it my way someday…. “But we’re friends. we’ll go…” She hugged me and went on ranting excitedly about the one held last year. “Hey Edward. just like how you and I are friends. “See? I told you not to worry. After about two hours of talking. I told her that I was a little tired and that I was going to take a nap.” she asked. you know. starting from the beginning. he doesn’t give a crap about any kinds of drama. excited. “Yeah… well. for us juniors. “He has feelings for you Bella. I saw someone coming in. “Sure Bella. grinning.” I said to her. it’s so unnatural for Edward to be so grown up and gentlemanly about these kinds of things.” he greeted me enthusiastically when we met each other at the door. “No… I actually didn’t know that. Talking to her about this made me feel a little better. so I left.” I smiled and handed her the work. I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble because of me. Jamie was there. “Hello Bella. .” he teased as I laughed. Usually. “Hey.

See ya.” he smiled crookedly as I stared at him with wide eyes. Lauren and Jessica were slightly quieter and less annoying. Then they quickly added that of course. I appreciate it… Everything. I mean. which caused Rosalie and Alice to scoff at them. “Oops! Sorry guys. or in our case abnormal since there weren’t any drama or water involved. I was curious!” he threw his hands up in the air. It’s fine. it must have been a really big event for the school.“Okay… can I just say thank you one last time?” I stared into his eyes. “Hey Jasper. why not?” I smiled. C must have been relieved. “Well.” “You’re very. “And you know.” he smiled back. “Thank you Edward. You could hear students talking about it in the hallway. in the classroom… Man.I understand now. And if I still look really embarrassing. Jasper and Emmett said that they were looking forward to the food. I didn’t realize that we were blocking the doorway when Jasper had to get through the door. Mrs. With one last chuckle. and they both laughed. keeping my voice soft. I’ll wear a decent shirt and a pair of jeans. They were talking animatedly about what they have to wear. whispering in my ear. but if it makes you feel better. okay. “Yeah?” I tried to keep my voice even. Rosalie and Alice didn’t sleep over at the guys’ this week claiming that they needed to gettheir beauty sleepfor the dance. they have already bought dresses in the summer since they already knew that this dance was going to take place. “I kinda forced it out of her. prompting us to go. doesn’t mean that they were all friendly and cozy with me. Alice seemed thoughtful for a minute.” we greeted him and he quickly excused himself to his room. I better leave…” “Oh. elegant box in her hands. Some things just never change. . outraged. “You shouldn’t have. “Ali… Alice told you?” I asked. Everyone was pretty excited about the dance. Chapter Twenty-Two The rest of the week.” he leaned in.” I joked. That made me laugh. “Bella?” I heard him running up to me as I began walking on the sidewalk. imagining what he possibly thought of that. But just because they were less annoying. Don’t give me that look. Rehearsal finally became normal. you shouldn’t always bet against Alice. I opened the door and stepped out. their main purpose there was to see their girlfriends in beautiful dresses. very welcome. He was too good looking for his own good. “The girl thing. Did… did he say….” I murmured as he chuckled. but I didn’t dare to ask. I quickly blushed. “Well. Alice gasped.” he said after he hit us accidentally with the door. getting him in trouble. holding a white. Turned out. we were finally doing what we were supposed to be doing from the beginning. I walked home with Rosalie and Alice. When I woke up the next morning. and deciding whether they should leave their hair straightened or curl them up. “It’s completely unnecessary. you should have seen the way that they were pleading with them to believe. determined to not let him know the effect that he had on me. this is a school!” I said innocently as they looked at me like. with the wind swooshing harshly. since Jasper and Emmett had basketball practice that day. looking totally innocent. He sighed. for Pete’s sake. It was getting a little windy outside. there were posters and stuff hung up. They even went apologizing to Edward for what happened! I could tell Edward was trying really hard not to laugh when they told him what an evil person I was. They would still throw uncalled for comments at times and give me withering glares when I pass by them. “You mean you didn’t bring any dresses?” She looked at me with real horror as Rosalie mimicked her expression.” he smiled at me and I gave him one grateful smile before exiting the building. you can just pretend that you have no connections with me whatsoever. smoldering me with his eyes as I flustered. I heard Alice humming cheerfully. I didn’t know that I would need dresses. he ran back to his dorms. your point is? “But don’t worry guys.

” I grinned as she giggled. I stared at it in awe as Alice’s face lit up in to a happy smile.” she shuddered. sexy golden dress what showed off her long. “Bella!” she chuckled nervously. her face was filled with horror. who happens to work in a fashion magazine. I thought you were going to throw a fuss! I saw the dress in the latest issue of Glamorous. I gave a whistle. Emmett was going to have a lot of fun teasing them.” “What is that?” I pointed suspiciously to the closet as she gave me another nervous look. Didn’t you hear me? It’s a present!” she said. “Okay. I think it’ll look perfect on you! And now guess what? We can officially walk through the doors together! To think that you were going to wear jeans. “Well. Now I’ve worried for nothing. “Rosalie! You look amazing girl!” Alice beamed and hugged her. “Bella? Are you okay?” I croaked. She held it very carefully in front of her…. I swear. Good morning. She looked amused by my reaction. which were golden high heel sandals. “Don’t wrinkle the dress!” she shrieked as I laughed. .. first of all. she got it at the last minute. I asked them to make sure that the dress arrives this morning. too over-the-top. putting her hands on her hips.” she said. ready to protest. I laughed when I realized that Alice said the same thing earlier. rubbing my eyes as she jumped and threw the box in the closet. You will not pay me back. “Yeah Alice… It’s perfect! I don’t know what to say…” “A simple ‘oh my gosh! Alice. that she got to match with the dress.” she teased as I giggled. Rosalie showed up at around four thirty since the dance started at six. slightly insulted as I looked at her. She started telling me what I should do with my hair. I got it with the help of a friend. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” “You’re welcome. you’re the best’ would do. and very spring-like. great legs.” I joked as she giggled. and of course. but I just couldn’t resist the beauty of the dress. And no. what was she talking about? “Okay… I won’t. and it was a perfect fit. “Yes mom. “Whoa Bella. I was going to throw a fuss. wearing a backless. “Good. No one had ever done anything for me like this before. I ran over to hug her. “Well?” she asked. I could already picture the boys in this school staring with wide eyes at her. but then she jumped to the conclusion that she would do it for me.. you have to promise not to overreact.” She skipped gleefully to the closet and pulled off the lid to the box.” I was speaking so fast that Alice had to slow me down. “But!” “No buts young lady. “Agh!” I laughed and hugged her again. “Thank you so much! Where did you get this on such short notice? It must have cost a fortune! I’ll pay you back. it was beatific as well. “Hi girls!” she greeted us smilingly. It was a gorgeous brown dress with aqua-ish blue patterns at the bottom. so I called up Carmelita to see if there was any way for her to help me get the dress.” she explained as I gave a soft “ahhh”.“Hey Alice. I loved it immediately! It wasn’t too revealing. I was already in my dress. “Hey careful! Don’t wrinkle the dress!” she shrieked. posing to tease us. and I didn’t even realize that I had tears in my eyes. She looked like a Runway model. biting her lips. the one that Alice has when she deals with clothes. okay? It’s just a little present…” I frowned at her. and Rosalie laughed. She chuckled. It looked really relaxing. and fortunately. waiting for my response. She gave me a stern look. She showed me the pair of shoes. I promise. “Hi.” I mumbled. or too formal… It was perfect. My self-esteem immediately lowered just by being in the same room as her.

He wasn’t dancing. I shook them off quickly.“Looks like Emmett’s got some seriously drooling to do tonight. and we were meeting the guys there at 6:20 since Alice and Rosalie said they liked to be ‘fashionably’ late. .” he said. I nodded wordlessly and Mike stalked sulkily away. He was leaning casually against the punch table. they were breathless when they saw us. We sighed in appreciation in unison. with Rosalie and Alice’s help of course. That was when I noticed him. looking totally horrified. leaving some of the guys envious. but perhaps too shy to ask him to dance? Or were they already turned down? His eyes met mine. “Bastard. “Eyes closed! I don’t like people staring back at their refection while I work. Jasper and Emmett met us at the door. They looked pretty nice themselves. exposing part of the top portion of his chest. button up shirt. “Wow Bella! You look hot!” a voice came from behind. Where the hell did that come from? And with his breathtaking. and just as I expected. Bella promised to dance with me. making me incredibly uncomfortable. It was five forty five. Mike grinned at me. someone came to my rescue. Who’s being silly now? The three of us stood in front of the mirror and evaluated ourselves. we laughed. and that frightened me just a little. for doing this. help Bella with her hair. gorgeous crooked smile. “Is that true?” Mike scratched his head. The ball room was huge. His hair was the same messy.” Rosalie announced proudly as I opened them very slowly. and he smiled crookedly and inhaled slowly. A few minutes later. but who was I to be the judge of that? “Thank you guys. “Wow. I giggled and said gratefully to my savior. and there were people dancing on the dance floor already.all I could think was… Whoa. I guess.” I squealed and pulled them both into a tight hug before leaving the room. “All I know is that a certain brother of mine would be drooling over you tonight.” I heard Edward mutter to himself. but asked me if I wanted to dance anyway. They both grinned. Jasper in a white button-up shirt and Emmett in a blue. and put his arms around my waist. and it wasn’t the one that I was looking forward to hearing. so proud. “Wait here Bella!” Like I had another choice. Was Edward Cullen breathless? I couldn’t help but chuckle. gritting his teeth. “Admit it. Alice looked so pretty in her tiny. He had the first three buttons of his shirt unbuttoned. Okay.” I teased and she giggled. and gave him a polite thank you.Hmm…. rolling her eyes. upbeat music. “It’s good that you came over. Maybe I was mistaken. since I felt some cold objects being put on my ears. and I gasped. They gave me matching earrings and necklaces. and as soon we realized that. They played some loud hiphop. I looked at myself in the mirror. “Oops!” I quickly remembered the wrinkling issue and dropped my arms. mouthing a “hi” as I responded with a smile. sleeves rolled up to his elbow.” Rosalie sniffed as I giggled. He was wearing a black. they finished. She came back with curls and professional brushes. I turned around and saw him wink at me. disarrayed… the way that I liked them. Rosalie pushed me in front of the mirror and sat me down to study me. and my hair was neatly put down in tiny curls and waves. “Okay… you’re allowed to open your eyes now. Students looked in our direction when we walked in. I gulped and reminded myself to breath. Ah ha!” she tapped her temples and smiled. she stood there so perfectly in her sparkling pink high heels.” Edward said from behind. with a pair of black jeans.” Rosalie chuckled as I rolled my eyes. Before I could find myself to reply. That guy should take the hint already. my jaw hanging wide open. I saw a lot of girls staring at him with wants few yards away. agreeing with him.” she ordered. picking out my earrings. sounding surprised. I thought it was rather silly. Emmett grinned like an idiot and pulled Rosalie on to the dance floor. Her jet black hair was radiant. “Sorry Newton. He looked disappointed. I sighed and did what I was told. Hopefully he would get the hint.” I swear I heard Alice sing to herself. you look gorgeous. it gorgeously shiny and smooth. Alice came back a few minutes later. I admit… Maybe I did look good. full of disgust as I grinned. pink dress. “Looks like we’re rubbing some Alice-Rosalie on you Bella. I’m going to change. “Thanks Romeo…” “No problem. “Hmm… aah….” I said it in three syllables. talking to some of his friends. He looked… hot.” Alice instructed and ran in to her closet.

” he said. After the extremely awkward eye contact with them. music to my ears of course. who was once again smoldering me with his eyes.He looked down at me. Then naturally. an oldie that I knew right off the back that it would never fit in my music category. smiling. with my shades on Rocking designer shoes and I sold a million He smiled at me when we finally reached the dance floor. As soon as that happened. Bella…” I blushed. Yeah. We both moved fluently with the music. just one little compliment. “You look beautiful tonight. something that I used to dance along to with Alice. Alice’s eyes glimmered when she saw me standing next to Edward. I felt my heart race by the closeness of his face. sure. I was surprised that he asked me to dance as well. The song ended. He cleared his throat. “Yeah sure. His eyes met mine. brushing my hips against his body gently. I couldn’t help but join him. completely out of breath.” I responded quickly. They started playing another song. I looked into his eyes and found no words escaping my lips.” I smiled at him and he gave me a mischief smirk. I felt an electrical current between us. He started moving along to the beat. it was effortless for me with his lead. He rolled his eyes and laughed. his face turning a little red. Everybody knows when I step in the club Girls see me and they wanna show me love I got my chain on. I smiled at him warmly and he gave me a heartbreaking smile in return. but tonight… I felt… free! Like there was nothing that I wanted to do that I couldn’t do. His body moved perfectly along with the music. We walked to the punch table that he was standing at a while ago. I mean. It felt like static. and I spun around. my gaze drifted back to Edward. He offered his arm and walked me to the dance floor. completely enjoying themselves. I didn’t even have to turn around to know that it was Jamie. I wanted to shoot myself and climb into a hole and just… die. and I felt his hands on my waist again. . and it was pulling me closer to him. and we were smiling at each other again for I don’t know how long. it made my heart flip. he could have danced with anyone in this room. but he asked me of all people to dance. Edward was a great dancer. making him turn into our direction and smile. and I did the same. she mouthed something to Jasper. I saw Alice and Rosalie dancing with Jasper and Emmett on the dance floor. and I heard a whistle coming from my back. and it was so irresistible that it was impossible not to return it. “Wow. my hips started swaying along to the music. “Thank you… You don’t look too bad yourself. but it was fun to see him stutter. and I felt absurdly self-conscious. He chuckled. “Umm… do you… do you want to get something to drink?” I tried not to laugh. putting my hands up in the air freely. “Uhh…. and he handed one cup to me and leaned casually next to me.” he grinned arrogantly and I slapped his arm playfully. A new song started playing. “Uh… Bella? Would you like to dance?” Edward’s velvet voice sounded like melting honey. probably thinking what the hell Edward was doing with me? I didn’t blame them. breathless again. Edward’s eyes met mine. For some reason when Mike complimented me. I've been around the world And seen so many girls But none can compare 'Cause I can't keep my eyes of that girl I ran my hand through my hair. and his hands were placed tenderly on my waist.” I said. But when Edward complimented me. “So I’ve been told. like he was doing a music video for the singer. Ladies and gentlemen The most beautiful girl in the world pageant Brought to you by Frankie J and Mannie F-f-f-f-fresh A lot of girl gawked at us as we passed by. I was never so comfortable dancing with a guy before. He smiled at me.

as I she was missing the obvious. . “I always knew you were all talks. who were standing at the back of the crowd. I sensed absolutely no humor in this situation. like she was the host. Truth or dare?” “Dare. It was hard to miss Emmett and Jasper. enjoying yourself?” “Yes.” I told him acidly. I knew I had always hated this game. She was wearing a lot of makeup. I forced myself to take a deep breath.” she mouthed to me and sneered. Almost every student in the room started to form a circle around us. followed by a snort. watching us curiously. Her blonde hair was put up in a messy bun. and I received a taunting. Then I saw Lauren Mallory giving us an evil smirk. “Edward!” she waved at him and gave him a kiss on his cheek. “Alright guys! Why don’t we play truth or dare?” she announced. It was stupid. “Thirsty. and I was suddenly becoming wobbly. Edward rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath so quickly that I missed it. with glitters glued over them. “You came!” She said it as if he came on her account. Kelsey and Jessica came to stand by Lauren’s sides. I looked at her as if she was insane. and once again I was starting to feel self-conscious. and a few guys were whooping. we all know what that would mean.” she smirked and her eyes were locked on my face. He told me to go get help. I had trouble standing. a chicken. A coward. “Bella… I dare you to kiss Edward. Marissa came back with a huge smug on her face. “My turn.” she giggled as some other students laughed along. He looked amazed by my response. I didn’t think it was funny at all. and I heard him chuckling next to me.” he sounded really uncomfortable.” Lauren smiled at her friend. are we?” he smirked as I gave him a look. devilish smirk back in return. Gunner a lap dance!” she said excitedly as the girl shrugged and walked to the teacher. dry laugh. eyeing his empty glass. very short dress that would have passed as a shirt. I just hope he didn’t catch that. and of course. I got a great idea!” she beamed and winked at Edward when the song ended. She gave a hard. thank you. I felt anger building up in my body. his eyes widened but his face was hard to read. “I always come prepared. “Alright. She turned unwillingly to me. We couldn’t hear the conversation over the music. he had that cute. and murmurs were coming from all over the room. his eyes surprised. Another glorious reason to make him all cocky. like a snake targeting it’s prey.“Thank you…” I drank it all in one gulp. who returned it with a smirk. “Hey. We watched as the teacher stared at her. and the room was silent.” she scoffed. which in her book probably meant seductive. She clapped her hands to get everyone’s attention. so our conversation was practically loud enough for the whole room to hear.” she spat. I grabbed Edward by his collar and kissed him fiercely. and just lock her in a room and never let her out! “Chicken. Lauren! I dare you… I dare you to… take off your dress!” Oh gross.” The DJ lowered the music. She was wearing a tank top and a pair of shorts underneath. “Mission accomplished.” she said proudly as a few guys pouted. Jessica and Kelsey laughed as if she just told a great joke. “So Bella. why don’t you start first. Was she serious? Lauren smiled and took off her dress obediently. “Of course. She was wearing a very. “Next. and I couldn’t hold it any longer. goofy grin on his face. I dare you to… offer Mr. even her face was covered with shiny stuff. She walked to us. Did she say…? I saw Edward tense up. I saw him flinch a little. I gulped. so was I. He stared at me. what did this bitch had in mind? “Kels. “Hmm… Marissa. because that’s what you are. “Just as thirsty as you.” if she was going to be polite. shaking her hips crazily. was it her purpose to life to torture me? Never before had I felt so angry! I wanted to slap her. perfectly at ease. I froze. but thank god she wasn’t naked. and my lips parted slightly to let out a soft gasp.

” a soft voice murmured from behind. “A part of me knew from the beginning that I liked you. I was too embarrassed to do such a thing. Maybe I was waiting for him to laugh at me. Edward.the basketball court. just pack up and get the hell back in New York. “You know what every one has dreamed of ever since you started here? For you to just go away and disappear! You told me that you didn’t like Edward at all. looking in to my eyes with his green. I knew what Lauren said wasn’t the main reason for my hysteria. I don’t know if I can take anything else from you. and my visions were getting blurry. we don’t want you here. I didn’t know why I was being so cold to him. “I do like you Edward. I stood up shakily. “Bella. and I heard Edward took let out an uneven breath. emerald. Without thinking. but I just want to get what was bottled up inside of me out in the open. My body was trembling and blood was boiling under my skin. Then to my utter bewilderment. and I thought it would be easier for me if I wasn’t having eye contacts with him for they would always make me lose my train of thoughts. smiling lightly. I couldn’t meet his eyes. So you know what. I told myself not to like you. I didn’t know where I could go. I closed my eyes. I knew that I was freaking out because I was finally admitting my feelings to myself. I felt like as if… as if I didn’t want to break the kiss despite all the stares boring onto my back. he bent down right in front of me and lifted my chin softly with his finger. It’s fine if you don’t feel the same way back. and his face was filled with surprise. and I found him staring at me. Thank god Rosalie put water-proof makeup on me… But with my puffy. but it was impossible not to… I mean. Ever since you started here. the feelings that I had been trying to push away ever since I met him… I liked Edward Cullen. in books…” I spun around very slowly to face him. I’m just going to say it because I can’t hold it any longer…” he deliberated as I found myself frozen once again. I like you. The part of me that denied the attraction that Edward held for me crumbled when I remembered the softness and warmness of his lips…. thankfully. He sighed ecstatically. It was empty. trying to cover up the fact that I was crying. for him to tell me how stupid I was to kiss him in front of all those people. I liked him. you’ve been into him ever since you came here! Let me make this clear. as if shocked. my voice quivered and I felt a drop of tear rolling down my cheek as I looked up at the shining moon. What had I done? Just because I wanted to prove Lauren wrong. it was useless. flawless ones. “I’m sorry that you think so much of me. so I sat down on the park bench and covered my face with my hands to let a soft sob escape. because we just can’t stand Bella Swan in East Coast Academy. you slutty bitch! You think I didn’t notice that? Shit. and then she quickly composed herself and replaced shock with anger. and our eyes were boring into each other’s once again. but there was something more. not just as a friend. My heart was fluttering the entire . I didn’t want to be another one of those girls. so I ran to the only place that I could think of. He stopped when he was a few inches away. I knew there was something different about you that held my constant attention. we hate everything about you.” he breathed. but I still couldn’t pick up my head to face him.My lips moved confusedly and shakily against his. which made me more nervous. “Really?” The coolness of his breath tickled my skin. but you know what? You’re a liar! It’s so obvious by that look in your eye that you like him more than a friend. I stalked out of the room to escape reality. red eyes and the constant sniffing. we had the same taste in music.” he said. We hate you! ” she spat at me. Lauren’s hand was placed over her mouth. My heart throbbed when I said the words in my mind. but I had just been denying it to myself. “I’m tired of hiding how I feel. and a strange feeling spread over me. really like you. Bella. Not just your beauty. His forehead touched mine gently. I held on to my arms for support. her eyes filled with fury and hatred as I found my tears betraying me by running down my cheeks. “Lauren was a bitch. But Edward would never do that. admiring the perfect structure of his features. very much. a lot.” I heard him walking up to me slowly. He would be completely brainless not to realize it. “I like you Bella. I nodded my head wordlessly. but I was longing for something more deep down inside from the beginning. Our eyes met. “I’ve had enough from Lauren tonight Edward. I quickly brushed all of my tears away. open-mouthed.” I croaked. I could feel his stare boring onto my back. I knew. staggered and speechless. no sense of humor in his voice as I looked up at him. I really. I heard gasps and murmurs coming from all over the room.” I said. and I saw him taking a few steps toward me. I kissed Edward Cullen in front of the whole damn school! Tears started to form in my eyes. I broke the kiss. and I found my eyes getting teary again.

breathing in the scent of his body that I had always dreamed of. and I didn’t want to move.” I whispered back and picked my head back up to look at his unbelievably attractive eyes. Then something hit me. “I was scared of… rejection. I sighed contently under his arms. and if this was all a dream. smoothing my hair gently. slow dancing. and all thoughts of Lauren and all that crap that happened tonight disappeared. and they were playing “If I Open Up My Heart To You” by Amanda Perez. and I could hear the sincerity behind the words.time. “So… shall we go back to the dance?” he asked. “Okay. hugging. and his lips crashed on mine gently. I mean. I kissed Edward Cullen… He kissed me… and now I’m dancing with him. My heart was pounding uncontrollably the whole time. “Jubilant. and his eyes were filled with care and joy. I wasn’t used to… going after someone instead of them coming after me. and it was easy. smiling.. But I’ll prove it to you. like one of the couples in a romantic movie scene. I knew how we must have looked. We had to break away to catch our breath. His lips moved delicately against . I heard him chuckle softly. it was ridiculous and embarrassing at them same moment.” he whispered. I saw him smiling joyfully at me. this is the best night of my life despite all that crap that happened with Lauren a while ago?” he grinned. and I’d wait as long as it takes for you to accept me fully. This dance wasn’t so bad after all. It was perfect. He took my hands and picked them up to kiss it. like I wasn’t self-conscious enough to begin with. I wasn’t used to feeling like this. taking me by surprise. You know. fastening my arms around him as he had his hand on my head. Alice and Rosalie gasped when they saw us back. I’d like that a lot. I couldn’t move.. “I think it’s the other way around. elbowing each other. “And I’m sorry that I didn’t realize this any sooner. They were shimmering under the light. He smiled and tilted his head down a little. I kissed him back to show him that he wasn’t. having one of his arms around my waist and we started our walk back to the ball room. one of my all time favorites. “So what now?” I asked him innocently.” I whisper back. Chapter Twenty Three We walked happily back the ballroom together. He leaned down to kiss me on the lips again. I was always thoughtless about everything else when I was with him. as if he was afraid that he was being too forward. “Sure.” I grinned at him and he kissed my forehead and chuckled. Then. The kiss felt heavenly.” “And you’re not one of those girls. “I’m sorry I waited this long to tell you. He kissed my hair gently.” I had to laugh at that. “I’m glad. You will always be something more. “I know you don’t completely trust me yet.” he whispered in my ear. Edward led me once again on to the dance floor. what he said was true. I smiled at him and rested my head on his chest. hand in hand. locking my arms around him… Could tonight be any better? I sighed in satisfaction. it was hard to believe someone as flawless looking at him was real. and had his arms wrapped around my waist as I had mine locked around his neck. I kissed his cheek and rested my head on his chest. He held my face in his hands. and the happiness in it made me smile larger. you will always mean more to me than any one of them ever will. I closed my eyes to prolong the moment. I lifted my head up to look at him. I was sure he had every girl in the Academy crushing on him. Emmett and Jasper just grinned at us. mistaking my sigh of joy as distress. “How are you feeling?” he asked. I just wish that at least I could remember the last part. his voice just a soft murmur though deeply concerned.” I gave him a smile. you never will be. He rested his forehead against mine. blissful.” his voice was just a whisper. His eyes were locked in mine throughout the entire dance. after my history with girls. flustered by the closeness of his face. perfect… take your pick.” he whispered sincerely as I smiled. “It’s so hard to believe that someone as beautiful as you is real… is here with me. pursing my lips. Bella. I closed my eyes and let myself forget everything around me that didn’t concern Edward.

“Sure. Edward Cullen! So let’s give it up for him! Woo!” There were lots of whooping and cheering below the stage. All I knew was I will never be able to listen to the regular version of the song ever again.” Edward smiled crookedly at me and I blushed when I saw every pair of eyes focused on me all of a sudden. Edward and I laughed. Bella.mine. “Ladies and gentlemen! We have a special request made by our man.” Rosalie grinned as I blushed.” he grimaced as I chuckled. “We were going to run after you. older-brother like best friend later.” I smiled. Even though his voice was different from the lead singer’s. Bella?” Edward asked. my thoughts wandering to Edward. if you hadn’t seen him on the stage. but a certain brother of Emmett’s beat us to the punch. then I saw my friends coming up to me. Edward’s voice was perfect. I opened my eyes when the song ended. Then the DJ was talking over the microphone on the stage. Damn it Bella! Do you really have to cry twice in front of the whole . and Emmett whispered something to Rosalie. I was in my own. and I heard Emmett and Jasper give a whistle. Believe me.” I smiled and I saw him slither between other couples to get by. closing their eyes to enjoy the music… I've found a reason for me To change who I used to be A reason to start over new and the reason is you I'm sorry that I hurt you It's something I must live with everyday And all the pain I put you through I wish that I could take it all away And be the one who catches all your tears Thats why I need you to hear I've found a reason for me To change who I used to be A reason to start over new and the reason is you I didn’t know what to say. some were throwing their hands up in the air. it was incredibly hard.” Emmett rolled his eyes and Jasper chimed in. and I heard Edward’s velvet voice singing. and trust me. this is for you. “We thought you’d like to handle it on your own… so we held back. which earned him a smack on the head. you would think that Hoobastankwas giving a live concert in our school. it wouldn’t have been pretty. that I found myself oblivious to everyone else around me. “Bella! You have no idea how upset we were!” Alice exclaimed. He disappeared into the crowd. Oh my gosh… Then soft drum patterns started playing in the background. I'm not a perfect person There's many things I wish I didn't do But I continue learning I never meant to do those things to you And so I have to say before I go That I just want you to know Then everyone started clapping along to the beat. “I was this close to jumping on Lauren in front of all these people. waving. all four of them. I was so drunk in Edward’s voice. Edward walked up to the microphone. giving me thumbs up. “Thanks guys! But I’m fine now. “Umm… would you excuse me for a second. concerned. His eyes never left mine while he sang. but it was just as good… maybe better. Rosalie and Alice pulled me into a tight hug. personal heaven. I was going to have a talk with my dearest. his tone as polite as always. he had a soft smile on his face and I felt tears in my eyes. and I saw my friends. “This song is dedicated to the most amazing girl that I have ever met.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t done it before. this was all too good to be true. I didn’t want to . With Edward Cullen. it was absolutely beautiful. how could I have been so stubborn and blind? When we reached the room. We decided to go to my room since it was getting a little too windy for my sleeveless dress. that was wonderful…” My voice croaked. And the reason is you… The song ended. It was good that the water didn’t take forever to heat up. my lady. I showered quickly and jumped out of the curtains to put on my clothes. Edward picked up our twined hands and bowed to the crowd. like sticking the key in the hole instead my dropping it. I put my hair up in a bun to prevent it from getting wet since I had already washed it this morning. It was so easy to be with him! He would always say the right things to make me laugh. It was a relief to be freed from the attention. We were swaying our interlocked hands. “Thank you. I tried to keep my cool. “Thank you. I was sure I was smiling the whole time. he would make my day.” I giggled. and everyone was applauding and cheering so loudly that it was crazy! I leaped on him.school tonight? I've found a reason for me To change who I used to be A reason to start over new and the reason is you Then to my surprise. Lauren was staring at us from afar. incredibly jealous. and I knew that was the highest point of this year’s annual dance. Students cheered and cheered. “Let’s get out of here then. I saw Lauren literally fuming with steam. which caused me to turn in a deeper shade of red. but this time was different. and a lot of people were “awing”. I smiled. People cleared their way for him to walk by. I've found a reason to show A side of me you didn't know A reason for all that I do Then he stopped right in front of me and picked up my hand with one of his since the other one was occupied with the mic. Girls looked enviously at me. I became a little nervous when I realized that I was about to be alone. Edward held the door when we were at the entrance like a gentlemen. “Let’s give it up once more for the unbelievable performance!” the DJ said as the crowd cheered even louder. And to think I was part of it… “Want to dance some more? Or…” he asked. though not so much of hatred as before. I found myself doing something that I had never done before while feeling the warm water down my body. there were even applause from the teachers! I didn’t realize till much later that the spotlight was still on us.Take You There. sulky and angry. “After you.” I tiptoed and whispered in his ear. tears falling. he would bring them up and kiss it.” he smiled his infamous crooked smile that I adored so much and took me hand. Edward thanked them. sitting with her hands propped up on the table. “Of course not. we flew out of the room. including Rosalie and Alice whose voice later on turned in to a squeal. and bowed at me politely with a huge grin on his gorgeous face. I sighed. In my room. As soon as I was right back on the ground. and from the corner of my eye. which made him chuckle musically. he walked off the stage with the spotlight following him. which earned him another round of applause. The other students got back on the dance floor and danced to a song by Sean Kingston.” he flashed me a smile and collapsed cozily on the couch. “I’d rather be alone with you if don’t mind. throwing my arms around his neck. and ever now and then. I was humming.” he smirked. take your time. every time that I saw him. to cheer me up… I quickly realized that even before we admitted our feelings to each other. and oh my god… He was walking towards me! I reminded myself to breathe and not to hyperventilate. and him too. leaving the decision completely up to me. I went to my closet and skipped to the bathroom with my clothing. he planted his arms around my waist and gave me a soft kiss on the forehead. “Do you mind if I shower real quickly?” I asked him after I flipped on the lights. The moon was shining so brightly outside.

I think in some ways. his eyes remaining closed. I saw his teeth flashing in the dark.C. comparing him to a fictional character? Can you be any more absurd? He laughed. to be honest. so I gave up. I screamed at them. “Something you left on the table. you know?” his hoarse whisper broke the silence. I scoffed.” he said truthfully. or was I just a helpless pushover? He continued gliding his nose against mine.” I cursed at myself silently for bringing something like this up. I didn’t want only my friends and the servants there for my party. And you have a point. “True. Then a picture of Edward’s smile appeared in my mind. I saw him reading a book. I kept my eyes closed and I could feel his heart beat and his breath on my neck. my dad had to attend a meeting in Washington D. You know?” He didn’t say anything. “Yeah. He took a deep breath. I could still make out the perfect guy next to me. smiling.” he teased and I giggled. I stroked his face softly withmy fingers. I got angry at them because they were going to miss my birthday party. telling them that I hated them both. I took a deep breath and slowly walked out of the bathroom. reminding me that he was still in the room. I brought my face back down and leaned against his chest once again. My father. “Fine. Well. I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw a stranger staring back at me with happiness. No fair… He was impossible to resist. “What book were you reading?” I asked curiously and he chuckled. we already know that you two are both really good looking and obnoxiously arrogant.” he whispered. I mean it. Mr.” he quickly added and I laughed. Then I heard him clicking off lights. On June 19th. I was just going to say… that you remind me a lot of the male leading character. I knew he was smirking. I looked up worriedly at him and saw that he had his eyes closed. Isn’t he the rich. prideful. regretting it. “Much better. It looks really nice on you. Before they left the house. was a lawyer. “Thanks.” I elbowed him playfully and he chuckled. so he barely had any time for me. good-looking guy? Why I’m flattered. forget that I said anything. greatly concentrated. . “But I think the greatest similarity is that you’re both really sweet once someone gets to know the real you. affected by my presence.” I smiled. he gave me a grinned crookedly.” he said smilingly and invited me to sit next to him on the couch by spreading out his arms. There was only a faint light in the room coming from the moon outside since the curtains were drawn.” I sighed merrily and placed my cheek against his well-fitted chest. Nothing could have been better. Two can play at the game… I heard him give out an uneven breath. “My parents died when I was seven. but I was stupid. “What?” “Never mind..” he cooed in my ear and my eyes flustered open. His head was picked up when he realized I was back. “You know…” I quickly clasped my mouth shut. Though they had apologized so many times. “I wasn’t always like this. “No. which was supposed to be thrown the next day.” I told him. who was accompanying him. Edward Cullen Sr.” I brought my face up to touch his earlobe when whispering back. I was wordless. it was nice to know that he was too. “None taken. “No offense or anything.waste any of my time with him in case this was a dream. and I thought my words had upset him. Despite the darkness. the movie wasn’t that great compare to the book. He bent down and kissed my hair. waiting. along with my mom. “Yes. I remember seeing the movie. and it wasn’t really that good. “I wasn’t always a jerk…” I could feel myself holding my breath. Whatever he was about to say must havebeen really difficult on him. and leaned down so close that his nose was touching mine. I wanted them. thank you. I locked myself up in my room and refused to open the door.” he smirked and nodded his head appreciatively. I was wearing a pair of navy blue fleece shorts that I got last month in Abercrombie with a tight white sleeveless tank. I remember that day so clearly. you two are exactly alike. Really.Pride and Prejudice. proud of myself. I rolled my eyes. Darcy. “Bella… Please?” he breathed. He was always really busy. I never understood why the girls liked it so much though. “Very nice.

The second day. “Edward…” I whispered.” he sighed. I was selfish. All of the popularity crap.” he murmured. and when I don’t see you. knocked on my door and told me that she had some unfortunate news. or in this case. “I have to admit. That was when I first realized how much I liked you. when I bumped into you in the hallway. I thought that was what I wanted.” he said softly." I smiled sheepishly.” I said softly. I never talked about my parents’ death with anyone. I didn’t want to share this with any of them. and strangely. content.” he paused. “Even though I’ve only known you for two weeks. “I would have told you how I felt earlier. It was physical attraction. and my new siblings were always nice to me as well. that night you didn’t give me the greatest first impression. I became… what did you call me before? A playboy… ” he chuckled halfheartedly and squeezed my hand. as if cherishing the moment. And then I couldn’t keep my eyes off you.” he sighed. I went back to my room and thought everything out. It bothered me. I feel safe to open up to you. It felt right to be in his arms.“A few hours after they left. huh?” he kissed my hair and I smiled. I know that doesn’t give me an excuse and I know how bad it sounds. but me. I didn’t cry once.” he whispered. it bothered me knowing that we weren’t talking. I couldn’t take that. I took comfort in that. “The girls here were immediately into me. I knew it was wrong to be treating the girls like that. I didn’t believe it would happen for me. talking to someone about it. For sharing all of that. Or it would have taken me more time to admit my feelings to you. “Believe me. you better not mess with her. asking me out… flirting. your family. Bella. but I wasn’t thinking.. And it worked. I didn’t want anyone to see the depressed me. “But none of them ever became any more to me than a tool. “It felt so weird. “It’s not so bad. but I was afraid that you weren’t interested… I’m really sorry about what . it was hilarious and it made me bursting in laughter. “And then when the days gone by. we came here. We stayed in each other’s arms and stared out at the window. an entertainment to take my mind off my dark past. A girl whom you’ve met for two weeks…” I gripped on his hand tightly.” he mimicked in a high pitch tone. my kissing convenient. “It was the same with me too. “Your welcome. “I moved in with my father’s younger brother. He buried his face in my hair. knowing that you were angry at me. But the second and the third. The plane that my parents were on crashed before landing. Rhonda. "I’ll admit.” I whispered. your witty come backs at me… When you yelled at me that night. I wanted to make up with you. my feelings for you grew stronger.” I whispered and I heard him chuckle. Then I brought my fingers up to his face to trace his nose. My hand was shaky and his eyes were closed. I didn’t want anyone to pity me and give me the sorry look. I wanted so much to look up at him. it feels like I’ve known you all my life. Do you like her Edward? She isn’t like your fan girls. It made me feel protected. the real me.” he said. “Thank you. to say something to make it all better. I didn’t believe in love. no one here felt sorry for me.. They treated me like one of their own. Bella. and the girls wanted to date me. and his wife. Then in our freshmen year. stroking my hair. I know it must have been hard… and it means a lot to me knowing that you told me of all people… not even your siblings. “I’m glad I went to the dance. what I needed. Esme. I could really care less. the guys envied me. “So I used them as a part of my cover. But still. but I didn’t care and I thought they wouldn’t care. “Some first impression I made. moistures were starting to form in my eyes. But I was never really into any of them… I could never talk to them like I can with you.” he smiled and brought my face up with his index finger to meet his. I instantly knew there was something different about you from all of the other girls from just one little conversation. still smiling. So I called up Alice to find out more about you. I would find myself wondering what you were doing at the minute. You continue to amaze me with your ability at playing basketball. The next day when I saw you. it all means nothing to me now. all I could was ‘such a pretty girl’ and nothing more. when I first saw you that night having dinner with my siblings. since I didn’t get the chance to talk to you. You held my constant attention. “And then I met you. being angry with you. to tell you everything. I wanted that part to be erased. the housekeeper that had been taking care of me since I was a toddler. But honestly. So I started messing around with them. she was practically torturing me. and not one passenger survived…” his voice croaked and I could hear and feel his hurt. I feel better now. Carlisle.” I leaned in and touched his jaw with my lips.

happened with Lauren tonight. look on the bright side. their eyes glimmering with excitement. Something that . so I didn’t wake up at eight o’clock in the morning for nothing. clapping her hands close to my face. They awed and squealed at the right places. I rubbed my eyes and saw two blurry figures sitting on my bed side. this. get up…” Alice sang. Alice was over there. “This matters. “Okay. “Goodnight Bella. And the reason is you… Chapter Twenty-Four “Good morning lover girl!” A cheerful voice woke me up from my heavy sleep. I sighed and started with the part where Edward followed me to the basketball court. you’re awake now. it was one thirty in the morning. spill!” Alice squealed and gripped on my hand tightly. and you wouldn’t have gone through all of this. “Later. it’s late. turned my back against them and buried my face under my pillow. determined to get some more sleep. pulling me to the bed. pointing her finger at Rosalie. “Sorry Bella… A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. giving me a small peck on the lips. in his arms… holding his hand… “I should go. I told them that we came here. it was staring to sting now. I could stay this way forever. Bella.” I kissed his cheek and hopped off his lap. If it takes any longer than that. a little too hard. hoping to get some sleep. She gave me an innocent look.” he whispered. “It’s not your fault. No doubt I would be dreaming about him tonight.” I smiled at him. I placed my finger over his lips to stop him. I sighed and buried myself under the sheets. Then I felt a heard smack on my butt.” I groaned.” “Yeah. Tell us all about last night!” Rosalie said anxiously. “Goodnight Edward. Rosalie looked at me apologetically. smiling. Boy was she strong! She was starting to make me feel dizzy from all the shaking! “Can I just have a minute to brush my teeth and wash my face?” They sighed and rolled their eyes.” he ranted apologetically. “Okay. I didn’t tell them about our intense conversation. He kissed my forehead and closed the door silently behind him.” she giggled. “You have to tell us all about last night!” Alice beamed. I muttered something unintelligible. “Oww!” I shrieked. My eyes were getting droopy again… It was difficult fro me to talk. “It’s too early. though it only seemed like minutes. get up. I walked back to see Rosalie and Alice sitting on my bed with their legs crossed. I looked over to my alarm clock. and I felt her bouncing on my bed. who let out an “oops”. “One minute. it was 8:48. His other hand was rubbing circles on my back. He led me to my bed and tucked me in.” I picked up our hands. And it doesn’t matter. back to the room. laughing her head off. They asked me where we went after he sang.” Alice threatened. “Come on. Maybe I just stayed up too late last night. that’ll leave a bruise.” I murmured back and smiled. I should have told you sooner. I looked at my alarm clock and saw that it wasn’t too early. like ‘not my fault’ and shrugged. it felt heavenly. yawning. I’m going in. I stumbled sleepily to the bathroom and poured water on my face at least five times to make sure I was absolutely awake.” I said sarcastically. and he gladly returned. After brushing my teeth. “Okay. Hours had gone by. Bella!” Rosalie ordered. it was private. as if they were listening to the most exciting story in the world. “Come on. “Was that a little too hard? Well.” I grunted sleepily. but then I reminded myself that I would see him again. "Hey guys… what are you doing up so early?” I mumbled. I jumped up from bed and rubbed it tenderly. getting a little impatient. a little annoyed. I felt slightly disappointed by the fact that he had to leave.” he said softly in my ear. shaking my shoulders violently.

” she nodded and Alice joined her. if you know what I mean. I asked them where Emmett and Jasper were.” I never had to worry about making conversations when with Edward. “Yeah.” “Boy. jump up and down on my queen-sized bed. To my surprise. she put her hands up and said guiltlessly. they started laughing hysterically. it was so apparent.” she shuddered. it wasn’t a pretty sight…” I know I shouldn’t laugh at someone tripping. “I did not flirt with him!” I protested truthfully. Only not so graceful. “still asleep” was their reply.” I added smilingly. “Boy. “Thank god he’s not my brother. he is. it’s a sunny Sunday waiting for us outside to enjoy. I mean. The talking always came naturally. I knew they wouldn’t believe me if I said we just talked. They wouldn’t know the real. blushing furiously. “Eww! Enough talking on my brothers’ kissing expertise. So I think I was allowed. “Okay girls. Her face was literally red! And not too long after you two disappeared. They agreed and were bombarding me with more questions. And here comes the squealing… “Oh my gosh! You and Edward!” Alice let out a high-pitch giggle and hugged me. “It’s nothing official. I shrugged. “Oh yeah… With all the shameless flirting. “What? Just wondering…” I laughed.” I told her. And they knew exactly who I was referring to. so she tripped. she stomped out of the room as well. “Till one thirty.” she rolled her eyes and smirked. “It was so sweet. changing the subject. propping her head in her hands. You should have seen the other girls. how was it not obvious?” Rosalie gave a dry laugh and elbowed me. Lauren was so pissed. after all.” I teased her and it was her turn to turn red. Ah. don’t get too excited. my heart flipped just by the sound of it. the playboy of the campus. Rosalie sighed. Jamie accidentally stuck out his foot. “Was it really that obvious?” I said. utterly embarrassed. you know? It takes a lot for a guy to sing in front of the whole school just to prove how much he likes you. “Yeah. “Like books… friends… family. Before I knew it. . “At least you two finally admitted how you feel to each other. When they said. Let's go soak up the sun! Go get changed Bella. “It’s not like that.should stay just between him and me. And trust me. but it was totally flirting from a third person's point of view. “Is he a good kisser?” Rosalie asked out of the blue. they were grabbing me by my hands.” “And he does have a nice voice. “you and Edward”. he did have a lot of practice. “I guess it runs in the family. I mean. but was interrupted by Alice. they were like falling in love with him all over again.” I winked and Rosalie laughed. Emmett is a good kisser to… like he knows the perfect place to touch and…” she said dreamily. and let’s go somewhere!” Alice announced cheerfully. I liked it. Rosalie rolled her eyes. the Edward that they were used to was the all-around good guy. Looks like they were busier than I was last night. were you guys busy…” Rosalie smirked as I turned even redder than before. “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” I was so affected by their enthusiasm that I was exclaiming myself. with Rosalie on the right and Alice on the other. I was in the middle. She snorted. but this is Lauren. To my surprise. like you don’t tell us about Jasper. “So what did you guys talk about?” Alice asked curiously. each of us out of breath from all the jumping. I asked them about what happened after Edward and I left. “Lots of things.” I said shyly. Alice and I looked at her weirdly. how did I get so lucky to meet the greatest friends that a girl could possibly find and a perfect guy that looks like Adonis himself? We collapsed on my bed. “You might have not realized it.” I muttered as they all gave me an unconvincing “sure”.” “How long did he stay over?” Alice asked. the Edward underneath that much.

he reminds me a lot of Emmett. Edward and I gave a laugh and rolled our eyes.After putting on a tee-shirt and a pair of capris. “Oh yeah… and they were like.” I admitted. his eyes weren’t sad. He waved at us with a grin. It was nice to know more about his life. “Well. “Long. her head still angling toward us. whose name I didn’t know. and he knew I was referring to last night’s conversation. “Well too bad for them.” his smile was apologetic and serene. “Edward.” “Actually. I was glad that they filled me in on what I missed since my mind was pre-occupied. “I did all the talking yesterday. “I’m fine. “Give them some privacy. They criticized Lauren and Jessica’s dresses from last night. joking with each other. you know? If you ever want to talk. unreadable. His eyes danced between us. I’m sorry that I dumped all that on ya. and he gave Edward a thumbs-up and mouthed something to the other guy.” he smirked. “Hey Edward. “How are you feeling?” I asked him. They woke me up violently and demanded details about last night. that was unexpected. you kids have fun!” Rosalie grabbed Alice by her sleeve and they quickly stalked off. his childhood… Everything about him interested me. “Hi Bella.” I said confidently. we were going out. his hands on my sides. breathing unevenly and I was sure my face was lit up in to a big smile. “Let me guess.” I sighed. saying that they were too puffy and they enlarged their hips. It started out with simple stuff. “So how was your night?” he asked. concerned.” Could I be any more embarrassing? I groaned in my head. The next thing I know.” Rosalie scolded and dragged her with more force.” he smiled heartwarmingly. and his deep. I had nothing to hide. now it’s your turn. We stopped at the basketball court when we heard music playing and saw Jamie and a couple of guys playing. we rolled our eyes and waved back. but… light.” he pulled me in his arms and held me against his chest for a brief minute. shopping?” “Do I really have to answer that? You know Alice better than I do. we were just walking around.” Alice was mid-way in her sentence when we opened the door. I didn’t want him to regret telling me all those things. he was . “S… sounds good to me. “Thank you. That made me laugh. smiling crookedly.” Jamie was always cheerful. You can trust me. “I want to hear what they say to each other!” I heard Alice whine. I wanted to smack myself on the head! I had no idea where we were going. Mind if I ask a few questions?” he asked. hey Bella. Did you have something planned with the girls? It’s unusual to see them up so early. He chuckled at my response. a certain gorgeous bronze hair guy was sitting on the doorstep. You’re hanging out with me today. I’ll always be here for you. pets… I told him how I couldn’t manage to keep a pet for over two weeks without them dying. I locked my arms around him and grinned. It was easy to befriend him. you don’t have to apologize. To our surprise.” I said. green ones stared back at me. like my childhood birthdays. Rosalie…” “Hi. He took a step closer and gave me a small kiss on my forehead. we walked arm-in-arm out of the room.” I looked into his eyes to show him that I was serious. I heard Rose and Alice snickering next to me. “Bring them on. we’ll go and umm… wake up Emmett and Jasper.” I shrugged and he smirked. “For me as well. I sighed in relief when he released me. smirking. He laughed and shook his head. He laughed softly. “Alice.

they weren’t expecting it.” Sean said humorously. I mean. They gasped. I turned to Edward and he smiled. that would mean the game is already over for the other one side. I laughed and the other guys stared at me with their jaws hanging open. and he smirked.” Cody chuckled. “I have. We heard that you’re good. “She does play good guys. she isn’t as innocent and fragile as she looks.always friendly and enthusiastic.” Dylan spoke for the first time in his deep voice. “I told you she was good. “Man. I passed it to Cody.” Edward smiled and extended fists with me.” Sean gave me a smile.” Adam said. “Okay… we can’t let him continue making the shots. and Jamie laughed. they weren’t glaring or holding a grudge against me like the girls. Sean.” he raised up his hand and looked at me apologetically. They high-fived him. so he had no choice but to pass it back to me. “Hi Jamie…” Edward introduced me to the other guys that I didn’t know. “Yeah. and Sam. “Well… damn. He got too into the music. smiling. They all laughed. then at Edward.?” Sean frowned as Adam’s eyebrows curled up in confusion. You know how it is on the court. “Whoa. you should be on your guards. I looked at him. “Ohh! Perfect song!” Dylan exclaimed and started singing along to a song. their hands on their knees. They all seemed pretty nice. and Dylan. “Are we just going to talk? Or are we going to start the butt kicking?” “The first one up to fifteen points. Edward has told us all about you and basketball. that Sean scolded . and Dylan let out and “damn”. Their team got the ball. both teams gaining points. “Ah them…” I gave him a glare which caused a sweat to roll down his cheeks. They kept it friendly. shaking their heads. and I tried to run pass them. Cody. I already knew Jamie and Cody. no major provoking. the other four guys were Adam. who were catching their breaths. I grinned. a little confused. I did the circus shot that Edward taught me. agreeing. driving the ball to the basket. “Man. won’t happen again. right?” I joked. I’ve only known you for two minutes and I like you already. Edward including. who was open at the time. smirking. We can’t put them on the same team. Sean. “Bella!!” I jumped for the ball and tried to think of a way to get over the tall three guys standing in front of me. Edward. and why was I not surprised to see them passing it to Edward? He spun speedily and the ball landed in the hoop after a crossover dribble.” I murmured and the guys nodded silently next to me. as if stating the obvious. you guys want to play?” Cody asked. “Oh geez! I’m sorry Bella. They checked the ball to me. I teamed up with Jamie. “I’ve taught you well. Edward was guarding under the hoop. “So all-star players. I cleared my throat. have you played streetball?” Sam asked. I laughed at the comment.” Jamie winked at me and Edward chuckled. Edward was blocking me as well. It’s like basketball except for the trash talking. just as I expected. Dylan.” Jamie laughed at Adam and Sam. I swear it on all of my NBA posters. I rolled my eyes and decided to ignore that. “Count us in. and he passed it to Jamie. I went under.” those were the other guys’ response. you guys play like girls. Edward gave me a smile and joined his teammates.” “So Bella. “Did she just…. They said hi and I greeted them back. The game continued. They showed some flashy moves. But then Adam got on his back. and it went in. I was just used to saying that… habit…. which gave me an idea. I smiled knowing that he wasn’t going easy on me this time.

” Jamie collapsed on the ground. breathing loudly. I heard someone’s footsteps and I saw Edward’s reflection through the glass. “Not so fast little cheater. my voice quivering a little at the end. “Dude. My back brushed against him… wondering what he had to say. He missed. cool. a pair of strong arms pulled me back to him.. and I could barely stand… To think I wasn’t even looking at him in the face… “I have no idea what you’re talking about. “You think I don’t know what you did? You don’t play fair Bella. cold water. Jamie thought Edward messed up.” I was about to get up and head to my room. which meant lunch time. kicking a small rock by his foot. I couldn’t breathe. “Awesome. though not with much sound. I wrapped a towel around my . You too.” he grinned and got himself a bottle of water as well. We sat on the bench and gulped down the whole bottle of water thirstily.. “Sure you don’t. but we still lost. and I saw him flinch. “Then would you consider having lunch with me?” he smiled crookedly. He chuckled alluringly.” his voice was so attracting. Damn. so he went happily for the ball. “What did you have in mind?” “I was thinking maybe we could order some pizza and just chill in your room. good game. “Thanks.him. Ah. He leaned in and said it in that charming voice of his in my ear. we saw Jamie hitting Cody with the basketball and the other guys were laughing. “Not that I know of. I giggled quietly.” He nodded in understanding. making a re-bound. Why does he have to so charming? My skin was flushed when I looked in the bathroom mirror. rolling my eyes. My cheeks were rose pink. making me miss that shot. My heart was melting. See you in a few. so we decided to call it quits. From afar.” I replied simply. When it was Edward’s turn to shoot. I’m beat.” His voice was unintentionally seductive. The score was close. “Sure. “Hi. beautiful. “What?” I asked innocently. That’s what you get for messing with him from the beginning. but I really should shower first. “Good game guys. too tired. maybe I just accidentally brushed my arm over his back.” he whispered and kissed my cheek. and my hair was a total mess. I need one too… So I’ll meet you in your room in thirty minutes? Or do you need more time?” “Thirty minutes are enough. not sure if by the basketball game or the little flustering session with Edward a while ago. exactly what I needed. “Alright. Edward frowned and stared at the hoop when our team cheered. and saw him aiming for the shot shakily. I breathed unevenly and walked back to the dorms shakily. I turned on the water and jumped in the cool tub. are you meeting anyone this afternoon?” he asked casually. Note to self: Never play basketball in jeans ever again. but quickly composed himself three seconds later.” I lied shamelessly. I went to the vending machines near by to get some water. I smiled. It was getting close to twelve. “So.” I smiled at him and kissed his cheek. are you playing or singing?” ‘ He gave us a sorry and got his head back in the game. But suddenly.” I smiled.” he whispered.

” he whispered as I frowned. I was afraid that I forgot to put something important on like socks or a bra. because I started laughing. He suddenly seemed… I’m not sure.” he raised his eyebrow. and blow-dried my hair. I spun around. you wouldn’t believe me. It seemed just as effortless for him to be with me as it was for me to be with him. putting the brush back in my drawer.” I breathed in his scent and it smelled just wonderful as before. What the heck. “Try me.” he winked at me and pecked me lightly on the lips. I finally decided on what to wear. “What?” I could hear the hysteria in my voice. “Trying to distract me?” he smirked. “Tell me about your first date. With other guys. not smiling or talking… though that part didn’t last long. it was useless. like brother like sister. I had no idea what to wear! After digging through my closet. “It’s nothing like that. Bella.” he sneered as I froze. Unless. What was the word that he used? Irresistible. I don’t really even remember who I was with or what I did on my first date. Then I heard him chuckle. He wore a polo-shirt that was striped like mine. I blushed and whispered back. I swallowed. “We match. It wasn’t long till the pizza arrived. I know. but with Edward. and it landed on me. I laughed. he was wearing something casual just like me. I had always been curious. I smiled. it might have worked. frustrated. and saw him looking as stunning as always. I might as well wear something to fit in with the "California summer". But we never even talked after that. So he had no choice. completely surprised. It was not something pleasant to remember. Hilarious. “All done.” I didn’t know why I asked him that out of the blue. That brought another round of laughter from me. but I didn’t want to waste more time on my hair. “And some jock spun it. I put on the outfits.” he sounded interested on what I was about to ask. and a pair of blue crops that rolled up at my knees. “Hey. Come on. call us childish. “Bella?” “Come in. embarrassed? “You’re not going to believe me.” I rolled my eyes. it was so sunny outside. It wasn’t completely dry yet. I thought.” “Okay….chest and exited the bathroom. he wore a pair of khaki shorts and a belt that was loose around him. The truth is. He was the first one to break the silence. changing the subject. in Literature…” . He came up to wrap his arms around me. “It’s definitely the other way around this time.” his head dropped as I looked at him. All I remember is that it was in eighth grade. something you don’t want share. go right ahead. I found a yellow-striped strapless tank that Alice had told me to get last week. “You look amazing. It was at a birthday party in my freshmen year. But.” he murmured. There was a knock on my door. even your smell is irresistible. He was playing with my hair with his other hand while he talked on the phone.” he said simply. “Ha ha. He ordered a bunch of sides. tell me about your first kiss. “What’s taking the food so long?” I asked pathetically. Mind if I ask you a question?” “Of course not. I liked it. “You’re not serious!” “I told you. the door’s open!” I yelled. you know… it’s private. Bella… So attractive. tell me about your first kiss. you know? It was back to the usual ignoring each other in the hallway. We stared at each other. Now Miss Smarty-Pants. “Is it working?” I sighed. so I ran a brush through it to smooth it out. Great. and we were playing spin-the-bottle. He wasn’t wearing his usual jeans-look.” he cooed alluringly in my ear. except it was white with lime-green stripes. “Nope.

but I saw Edward chuckling. “Why am I not surprised to find you two making out in Bella and Alice’s room? Looks like you two were really going at it. my arms hesitated on his shoulders and I kissed him back. I mean. Without even thinking about it. “And don’t worry. Emmett. I’d never let you go. there were so many buttons. I blushed. “Good. so the guys had to hit the floor. it was a perfect angle right there…. “Hey Bella.“The guy’s an idiot then. I blushed. The knock on the door seemed to make us both jump up in surprise. “So… now that I not only have a picture of you. Then the atmosphere was suddenly intense. Then. My heart was flopping crazily. “What did you guys do?” Alice asked.” Rosalie rolled her eyes as I gave her a sarcastic thanks. smacking Emmett on the head for something that he whispered to Jasper. At least give Bella a break. I won’t give it to any of your admirers. Edward helped me get rid of the trash on the table. Emmett. “I’ll get it. His was the newest model of Motorola. “I took it when we were rehearsing last week. most gentle touch. and then we joined our friends in their conversation. “Hey guys. what’s your number?” he asked. I think we all got a pretty good view on what they did…” Edward shot him a glare as I looked down. you were smiling. which was perfectly fine. His lips crashed mine with the most tender. If I had the chance to kiss you back then. he settled on a cushion in front of me. little sister. Rosalie. huh?” he teased. my back completely straightened and my hands folded obediently on my lap. Emmett started singing along to Party Up In Here by DMX. keeping a small space between us. Then a song came on. Rosalie. “Well. a picture of me popped up on the screen with a beep. Rose. probably didn’t want to be too forward or anything. Emmett rapping was the funniest thing that I have ever seen. it was completely gone. “No… I don’t think so…” I said shyly. finding it humorous when he said admirers. standing there staring at us with huge smiles.” he whispered in a dreamy voice that sent goose bumps up and down my neck. No problem.” he teased. elbowing Edward. hell. I was flattered by the fact that he had a picture of me in his phone. Then he slowly leaned forward to kiss me.” he reached for my hand and started smoldering me with his eyes again. and then we ordered some pizza for lunch. to my surprise.” Edward replied simply. I couldn’t even remember anything else that had nothing to do with Edward. Great comparison. I gasped. I reached for it and dialed it in quickly. She’s already turning as red as a red Motorola razor. but I have your number as well. pulling his cell out of his pocket. I admit. completely unbothered by his brother’s teasing.” he smiled. I was as frozen as a statue on my seat. We finished it quickly. gulping. “What is this?” He chuckled nervously and stared at the screen that was now in my hand. Alice. There they were. Just as expected. since the girls claimed that they were sore from shopping. “We played Jamie and some other guys in the morning. Freshmen year seemed so far away from now. Emmett startled me with a loud. And it looked amazing.” I chuckled. looking as beautiful as always… I hope you don’t think of me as an obsessive stalker or something.” he flashed a brilliant smile and walked to the door. “My. He laughed softly. aren’t you two getting along?” Jasper chuckled and I turned completely red. embarrassed. Emmett snickered. that I pressed something else without meaning to. she was impossible to disinterest. . not that I would admit it in front of him. he didn’t sit on the spot that he sat a while ago on the couch. how many girls got to stare at a flawlessly attractive face while they ate? There was a lot of food. When he came back. turning even redder than before. I couldn’t help it. and Jasper! Edward and I quickly stood up embarrassingly.” Edward greeted with a nervous smile. we could finish it. “Give them a break. booming laugh. Alice and I took up the space on the couch. but knowing just like the last time. He deliberated when his face was a few inches from mine. “Whoa Rosalie! Check this out!” Chapter Twenty-Five I jumped off Edward’s lap with a loud gasp.

closing her eyes.” Jasper joked as we all laughed some more. Bella.” I sighed and told her goodnight. I suddenly felt uneasy. it was time to say goodbye to the guys and time to get ready for school tomorrow. Throughout the whole walk. I told myself to snap out of it and I ended up in a denim skirt and a casual polo shirt. A huge part of me was excited. were laughing our heads off. And I had already seen the changes that he made for me. But was I ready? Was I ready to trust him? I decided to put all those thoughts behind me and get some sleep. Rosalie dropped by with some Dunkin Donuts and some Espressos. now that we’re done with the crazy-dancing?” I asked. “What am I saying? I’m not making sense. Only if it was as easy as it sounded. “I think we should go on Broadway. The way he looks at you. Then Jasper and Edward joined in by dancing stupidly. and that was really stupid because I knew I was concerned about my dressing because of him. there was only kissing. I actually worried about what I should wear.” Edward chuckled as Rosalie rolled her eyes at him. She giggled. and I could hear a smile in her voice. I sighed and hugged him goodbye.” I choked out. I don’t feel offended at all since you call me that everyday when you see me in the hallway or in P. “You guys are idiots. I love you both to death. “Okay… I’m dying here. we. and you’re my best friend. but give it a chance to be official. He’s my brother.” “Thanks Alice. too. Edward gave me a light kiss on my lips before leaving. Oh Boy… After the long afternoon and evening. Alice and I turned off the lights after we both showered.E. was I ready to accept him? Did my heart already think of him as trustworthy? He had made it clear to me that he wasn’t interested in anyone else. they were on the ground. The song ended. Emmett kicked their butts with his foot.” she groaned. “Why thank you honey. “Are you ladies good at cards?” Emmett smirked and his eyes were glimmering with excitement. “What should we do. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Our life saver… When I left the room. am I? Okay… I just want to say that I’ve never seen him feeling this way about anyone. and the boys bowed at us and gave each other a pat on the shoulder.” Emmett kissed her cheek and grinned. The girls weren’t in better shape than I was. I breathed.” she deliberated. borrowing a bottle of sun-tan lotion to use as microphone.” she said. and that got Edward and Jasper to punch his shoulder and smack him on the head. Alice and I got up on time and got dressed for school. “Bella?” “Hmm?” “How much do you like Edward?” she asked. But the way he speaks to you…. “With Edward. “Okay… I think can breathe now. slamming their fists. For the first time. shaking her head helplessly. he wasn’t fooling around with the girls anymore… And he opened up to me. I was going to see Edward. I’m glad you make each other happy. I couldn’t concentrate on what Rosalie and Alice were saying at all. Bella.Y'all gon make me act a FOOL up in HERE up in here Y'all gon' make me lose my cool up in here up in here Emmett started shaking his hips. They came back with sodas for us. “He feels that way too. I knew I was really out of .. “A lot.” I admitted with a sigh. but the small portion was nervous. there was never talking or holding hands with the other girls. the girls.” Rosalie said. tears were filled in my eyes. The next morning. I know it’s not official or anything. Alice inhaled deeply. you know? He really likes you. “You know Rosalie. The boys went to the mini-fridge and got themselves something to drink. but I just want to tell you that… Maybe… Oh. I don’t want to interfere. is totally different from the Edward that we knew.

a guy. And I did see Edward. at least I don’t look at the boy that I like as if he was a piece of meat.” I smiled. it takes a while. I wasn’t flattered or pleased with the attention. with a huge triumphant smirk. unsure what to say. the last time that I had that conversation was when I first moved in with my dad. I tried to keep my emotions under control. and she looked like as if she was about to pop a blood vessel. when I barely talked to Edward then. How ridiculous that sounded. pathetic bitch. I knew they were just asking me out because they knew how Edward. dodging them in the hallway. it was a little awkward. felt about me. he must have thought it funny. “Say that again. We were lost in each other’s eyes. him. Lauren smirked evilly when she saw me.it. “Well. When I groaned. I saw him pursing his lips. but they continued asking whether I would be available the week after. some would come up and talk to me about the weather. I found him leaning casually against the entrance of the building. but I didn’t want to seem snotty or be another Lauren.” she provoked as Jessica and Kelsey gave a high-pitched “hmm!” I rolled my eyes and laughed humorlessly. The other girls formed a circle around us a few steps back. slutty whore…” I added fiercely. glaring at me. and I was very content by the fact that I would have the next class with him. enjoying the scene.” I sneered back. . Even though I had spent the last couple of days with him. “I’m surprised that you even had the guts to show up. more anxious for the bell. staring at me straight in the eyes. My face hardened. My hands were fidgeting on the straps of my backpack. that was until the warning bell rang. god knows that one is enough. I walked to gym. she approached furiously. It felt right… And I longed for it more than I was willing to admit. and picked up both of my hands slowly that were by my side. Eric Yorkey and Tyler Crowley were the most persistent ones. that you mistake a troll as your mother. “Hello. hoping they would get the hint. “Why wouldn’t I? After all. my face dropped. “You freaking. The guys in my classes treated me differently ever since the dance happened. I wanted to just tell them to leave me alone sometimes instead of letting them down politely. their arms crossed.” her lips curled up into a taunting smirk. but I had a feeling that she didn’t just hate me because of that. Her eyes widened. “You leave Edward out of this. he shouldn’t have that much effect on me. they didn’t seem to understand my frustration. Lauren sneered. I found it rather disturbing and annoying. Lauren’s face turned pale and Jessica had her mouth open. And trust me. Talk about awkward. remembering that lusty look that she always gave Edward. For the first time. So we were playing that game.” I snorted. since I had never given this many rejections before. On my first day of school. The more courageous ones asked me out. Geez. People were starting to arrive now. thinking of a snappy comeback. “Hello. I was drifting with happiness. and it was a grin that I couldn’t help but return. He was just a guy. and I’ll rip off every piece of skin on that sickening body of yours…” she hissed. All three bimbos were there. or in this case. eyes locked in each other’s belligerently. They would smile at me when they pass by. In fact. When I entered the locker room. and I tried to keep a blank face.” Jessica and Kelsey quirked up their brows and laughed loudly. That freaked me out a little. The same words that I said. and I knew it was because of Edward. not because they really liked me. I quickly excused myself to the next class. Charlie. It was probably true that she despised me because Edward paid more attention to me than her from the beginning. it sounded so irresistibly attractive. but when the words left his mouth. I walked slowly up to him and stopped right when I was a foot away. thanking Edward on the inside for coming up with those brilliant plans. Despite everything that we went through the past two days. he took a few small steps toward me hesitatingly. “You’re so stupid.” he whispered back. We were now standing in the middle of the locker room. thinking that Edward is actually interested. Lauren. Of course. and I told myself that I was being utterly absurd. though none of them had the nerve to get pass us to their lockers. to interlock them with his. slapping the lockers dramatically. searching for someone. the celebrity-like legend on campus. I already knew she hated me from that look in her eye. I was looking to fourth period. his perfection was still something that I couldn’t get used to. “I feel so bad for you… I mean. with a brain like hers. I’m not the one who called herself the leader of the Bimbos and the biggest slut of the school.” I warned her. Rosalie giggled when she watched me turning my head around. and her lips were trembling. Swan. you sick. Then. I found myself working more cheerfully in classes. was he always this early? He grinned at me. Even though I had already told them that I wouldn’t be available for at least two weeks. waiting.

“What are you looking for?” she asked. “I wasn’t looking for anyone. and there were now snickers coming from the other girls. “Oh nothing…” I lied. It was easy to be with Edward and his group. and they said it was going to be an away-game. frowning with suspicion. Lauren shrieked angrily and her hands were shaking furiously in mid air. their eyes… appreciative.E. wasn’t it Bella? Yoo hoo… Bella? Bella!” Alice exclaimed loudly. they would grin and give me a “what’s up?” Jamie and Cody had always been kinder and more outgoing. You weren’t looking for anyone.” I gave her a mocking smile before she even had a chance to reply and pushed her out of the way as I passed by her to my locker. her breath becoming loud and noticeable. I’m sick of your face.” I said untruthfully.” I pulled her hand of my shoulder. “What did you do? You have this glow on your face. “Oh. “You guys have any idea where he is?” Emmett asked.” I said. I put my books and notes in my backpack and walked to the food court. She ran out of the locker room ungracefully with her comrades behind her. My heart sunk a little. She grabbed me by my shoulder and spun me forcedly around to face her. Several girls patted my shoulder and complimented my work.” I emphasized the world. ignoring my previous comment. “I think the question should be who were you looking for. When I came out of the locker room. or Sam in the hallway. probably comforting Lauren somewhere. My friends noticed my preoccupation. I though it was Edward for a moment. We got some Mexican Fajitas wraps from Guadalupe’s.. I need to change.“Actually. and we were friends… buddies… whatever you’d like to call it. I met Alice and the seniors at the front of the building. I saw it was some other guy in the senior classes. “And I just ate breakfast. but as I started looking around. claiming my attention. a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. really. so it was usual for us to greet each other whenever we meet. Where was he? Was he going to be there for lunch? Emmett was complaining about a pop quiz that his Math teacher threw. . at least for today. and curelessly.” she snarled. walking casually.” Cody ran up to me. Now… boyfriend stealer? Wait till Edward hears that one! “Well. I prefer them to stay in my stomach rather than puking them all out. “Hi Cody…” I grinned back. not that I cared. But when the guy turned around.” Emmett laughed and shook his head as I took a sip of my drink. Edward wasn’t there for fourth period. I knew my job was done. The bell finally rang. screaming the whole way. I must have looked too excited and overjoyed. then I reminded myself how laughable I was being.” Jasper chuckled. “Well. their conversation became a small buzz in the background. I saw a bronze head a few yards away.” he chuckled. Adam. The other girls were cracking up. “Right. “Hey Bella. again. “The test that we got in Language was hard too.” I said acidly. poking my head over my friends’ shoulders to look for him. I just bitch-slapped a bitch. I was glad that Edward’s guy friends seemed to accept me. concerned. but that would probably lead you to a nose job.” Rosalie said thoughtfully. Dylan. I was just thinking about punching you in the face earlier. When I see Sean. “I’m not done with you. quoting Rosalie from yesterday.” To my great disappointment. “No… He was there for P. pretending not to hear it. You’ve got to love her. they gave me a sarcastic look that told me that they didn’t by any part of my pathetic lie. I quickly snapped my head back at her. “That was great Bella! It’s time that someone stands up to those girls!” Angela hugged me. her face as red as a tomato. “Now if you’ll excuse me. you frigging boyfriend stealer. I asked them about the game tomorrow. dabbing her pointy nails in my skin. his hands behind his head. greeting me enthusiastically. I was a step in front of you. thank you. clapping their hands. Jessica wasn’t there either.

I smiled. isn’t it?” Emmett teased as I glared playfully at him before I replied. “Oh!” When I realized that it was Edward. and it said that I had gotten a text message. we totally beat the crap out of them! What did they call themselves? The almighty Limas? More like Lame-os. “It’s more romantic that way. tugging at his sleeve. You will… I wouldn’t miss the chance of sitting next to the most beautiful girl on campus in Biology for the world. I relaxed.” Rosalie said it in a whiny tone intentionally. “But I call you. “I wish my boyfriend would text me. though her pleading look was replaced with a deadly glare. I looked at my screen. “Thanks so much Edward.” I heard him mutter unhappily. With that. Then before I got the chance to do so. “You guys are so cute! Text messaging?” Alice said giddily. “Beep beep!” I was startled by the buzzing of my cell. reading over my shoulder. though I was sure Edward would have said the same thing if he was here. Rosalie rolled her eyes and grinned at her boyfriend. A bigger smile lit on my face. babe.” Jasper was always the more sensitive one. see you later! I snapped my phone shut. Will I see you in fifth period? Did I sound a little too anxious and desperate? But it was too late now since I already pressed the “send” button. I felt a pair of arms wrapped around my waist. The room was dark. I gasped. It’s a whole lot quicker!” “But Emmett. I was the first one in the Biology classroom. “Who is it?” Rosalie asked curiously. She giggled when she saw the name.” Rosalie said sourly. To: Bella From: Edward Yes.” Emmett snorted. To: Edward From: Bella Don’t worry about it. “Edward! You startled me!” I was panting with my face a few inches away from his when I turned around to face him. Emmett let out a nervous chuckle. suddenly.“It wouldn’t be that exciting to watch. “Maybe they improved this year. Alright. so I had to flip on the lights. my heart lightened by the look of his name on my screen. He chuckled. and I saw my friends looking at me humorously. “Lover boy. To: Bella From: Edward Hey… I’m so sorry that I missed lunch. I had to laugh. It’s never good to have your guard down. “What?” I asked innocently. who was slurping down his Coke. he was being incredibably sweet. To: Edward From: Bella Lol.” Emmett continued saying. and I . though my heart was still beating rapidly. Those guys are as weak as shrimps. Don’t you know?” she said. looking at Emmett. “Last year.

I didn’t care if we were making out in the middle of the Biology classroom. . gliding his nose on my neck.” “It’s okay… I know how important you are to the school. But all too soon. The softness of his lips made me breathless. because I certainly hope for it to happen again some time soon. “What’s up. Oh my gosh. The lights were flipped on. it won’t happen again. “Bella. Mr. We sighed. Her eyes popped out with angry. My heart was still flopping from what happened a while ago. lifting me up from the floor and sitting me on the lab table. And Mr. “Edward. I was breathing heavier by the second. Please don’t tell me that a teacher just saw me intimately making out with a guy with me sitting on the lab table! Edward and I quickly untangled ourselves to our embarrassments. too. but it was left hanging since Mr. We planned to sneak out casually when the class ended. probably preventing the others from making a big deal out of it. “Bella. “I’ll see you after school!” Oh great. “I missed you.” He nodded and dismissed us. and he seemed pleased with my reaction. “The Coach was leaving early today. I walked away from the classroom normally. and I knew how stupid I must have sounded and looked. was flustered. Chapter Twenty-Six Edward was waiting outside of my classroom when last period ended. We went quickly back to our seat. doesn’t mean he was an idiot. He deepened the kiss instead of the usual light peck on the lips. we were interrupted. too. “Bella? Bella!” he ran up to me. and wrote something concerning the lesson on the whiteboard. I do not appreciate that kind of behavior in my classroom…” he trailed off. but just because the teacher didn’t say anything back then. as if I didn’t see him. he picked one of the few classes that I have with you…” he murmured. The teacher pretended that he didn’t see anything. Again. and I took comfort in the fact that I was not alone. Oh great. stop…. and I admit. gliding up his glasses. his hands were now on my hips. I’m so sorry! I have no idea what came over me…” I was ranting when we set our foot out of the door. I decided to have a little fun with him. students would peak at us from the corner of their eyes. were some shocked students.” I whispered longingly and kissed him passionately on the lips. Edward. frozen in the doorway. Gonzalez.. and it wasn’t long till I heard a velvet voice calling after me. I wanted to surprise you.” he winked at me. “Yes Mr. He took it back with a grimace and slid them back in his pocket. “Of all the classes that he could have pulled me out of. It’s fine. turning redder than ever. During the entire class. his hands pulling my wrist. and some girls filled her in on what happened. G?” Edward extended a fist. make me forget my own name! I surrendered at his seduction and gave in. I saw Edward. Edward…” he motioned us to his table. Gonzalez. “And I hope you were kidding back there in the classroom. I relaxed under his touch.” I smiled. never before had I felt this way before. clearing my throat.realized how much I missed it. but you were here before me. Lauren walked in a few seconds later. I didn’t want to pull away. “Oh hi Edward!” I smiled at him warmly. so he wanted to talk to me about some stuff for the game tomorrow to pass on to the other team members. “I’m sorry. rehearsal. I hid my face in my hair to prevent anyone see me blushing. My heart was about to leap out of my chest. her body was even trembling. and in front of us. staring at us with their jaws hanging.” he chuckled with amusement.. I hopped down from the table. We exchanged a look and walked slowly up to him. Edward saw me tense up.” he grinned. “As you are both aware. Gonzalez made no intention of returning. so their staring weren’t helping at all. he reached for my hand under the table and squeezed it. “I missed you…” Holy crap… Why does he always sound so freaking alluring? His voice would always melt my heart.

“Then why did you keep walking?” “I didn’t know you were waiting for me. and she mouthed the “F” word back in return when she thought Edward wasn’t looking. I want you two to act it out and I’ll see how well it turns out. it was obvious to see who he got the inspiration from. “Well. For all I know. He sighed.” I said emotionlessly and I saw him relax. I don’t understand teenagers these days.” I smiled proudly. “As you know. his lips curled into a faint smile. But Edward’s perfection wasn’t something that could be easily copied. trying to act all cool. I just wanted to see your reaction. Edward and I snickered. I stopped him. quirking up his eyebrow. I smiled. we still have that rehearsal waiting for us. Mrs. I blushed… awesome. I scoffed in disbelief. C came up to us with excitement. The only word that popped . Lauren was walking in. “Hello Bella… How are you?” A certain blonde walked up to us.” she murmured.E. if you’re referring to the Lauren incident. “I swear. going off to the back stage again.” he quoted me. it was now messy and disarrayed. we’re getting close to the big day. after a whole day of glaring and gawking. “I know… I just really wanted to see your reaction…” I couldn’t suppress the giggle that I had been trying to hide.” he asked casually. ” “That’s no problem. I was almost used to the attention. looking over my shoulder. instructing the other kids to set up. his hands in his pockets. C was already there. “Who told you that?” I grinned. People stared at us with curiosity when we passed by. “A little. I turned around. Now we had to kiss in front of the cast. “Cody. I bit my lip. I heard him sigh in annoyance. he was laughing hysterically. So instead of skipping the kiss scenes like usual. huh?” “Nothing that concerns you ever gets pass me. “I wasn’t mad from the beginning. He looked way in impatience. her footsteps heavy and loud. “We better go… in case you don’t remember. I smiled at them bitterly. both of you were running your tongues off telling me to cut off the kiss… you even had a problem with each other being in the play. and I told him what Lauren said about me being a “boyfriend stealer”. We were now getting closer to the date of the play. looking down at me with a wink. a little embarrassed. he was so cute when he was frustrated.” “You guys gossip almost as much as we girls do. looking down at my nails. “So… I heard you told someone off today before P.. “Yes.“Didn’t you see me?” he sounded frustrated and yet amused at the same time. I had never seen her smiling so widely before. Did I go too far on the joke? “Are you mad?” I tried to hide the panic behind my voice. Instead of gelling it up in the front like before. children with minds like yours never cease to surprise me. Before his lips touched mine. “Edward! Bella! There you are!” Mrs.” he shrugged and bent down to my face again. “I wasn’t…” he began but I cut him off quickly. which was not too far away. Mike’s hair was different. you got that right. with Jessica silently beside her. grinning madly. you could be waiting for someone else. Just as expected. I tip-toed and kissed him softly on the lips.” his tone was cold.” I reminded him. “Speaking of the bitch. “How is it fair that you always manage to beat me at my own game?” “Hmm… I suppose it’s not. and I became a little worried. Nothing ever gets pass you.” he rephrased. “Are you still mad?” He chuckled. Caughman. “Alright! Let’s go and rehearse!” I laughed at his fake enthusiasm. Now you… never mind.” I replied in an oblivious tone. you would be too. and she waved back.” he grinned crookedly. Mrs. Two weeks ago. I waved at her. Angela was talking animatedly with Ben Cheney. I’m ready anytime.” Edward smirked.

he looked ready to pounce on Mike any second. “And who the hell are you? Her spokesman? It’s not like you’re her boyfriend or anything. Wrong thing to do. I can handle him as well. was turning red as ever. but I wasn’t sure. His eyes were suddenly dark and dangerous. and why was I not surprised to see Eric and Tyler being one of them? “And tell them to stop flirting with her and getting on her back. C is calling us. “Sleep dwell upon thine eyes. “Sweet. “It’s fine.” he gritted through his teeth. But I’ll be on my best behavior now. I swear I heard him growl at Mike’s words. “Yeah. it was intimidating. “Listen… I was wondering… maybe… umm… you-would-like-to-go-out?” his words were stuck together in his rambling. “Were you jealous. Good night. The guys had a great time fighting with the wooden swords. But shamelessly. I promise. really?” I asked him curiously. He didn’t seem nervous at all.” I smiled and he smiled back helplessly. good night! parting is such sweet sorrow.in to my head while he talked to me was pathetic. I lost it. on the other hand. “Hi Mike. Don’t worry about me. Of course it was a lie. His soft voice continued. The way that he looked at me… the way he smiled. He glared at him threateningly. annoyed by his presence.” Rehearsal went great. He chuckled. Mike snorted. was powerfully distracting. peace in thy breast! Would I were sleep and peace.” I reached for his hand. That I shall say good night till it be morrow” His eyes were mesmerizing. his eyes were filled with disgust and dismay. Me despising him was one thing… but the jealousy. though we’re not together or anything. holding his face in both of my hands when we hid behind the curtains.” Edward said with much threat. I wrapped my arms around him to calm him down. go back to your little friends over there. “We could go see a movie or something?” “Err…” This wasn’t a complete shock. Mrs. so sweet to rest! . “I’m really sorry that I lost my temper. he just said “great” while I. didn’t I? It’s just… that bastard is really persistent. I greeted him back.” he chuckled dryly. I lost my train of thoughts while he read. Instead of constantly begging her to go out with you.” he whispered. but it stunned me a little that he would ask me in front of Edward. It was even fun since we had gotten some of the props out. “Edward? I think Mrs. “Let me know what you think of my offer. I swallowed. Bella!” he yelled as I led Edward to the back of the stage. I looked up to face him. leave her the hell alone. Newton. calm now. Is unimaginable. C told us that she had added a kiss at the end of the balcony scene before Edward and I got on the stage. I could feel Edward rolling his eyes next to me. so would I: Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.” he exhaled. and I felt his grip loosen. “I’m sorry I got jealous back there. I wonder if the other people could tell that I practically swooning over him on stage. “Are you alright?” I whispered. “Alright. and we had some good laughs. We both knew Mike got him right then and there.” Nevertheless. was something that I had never experienced before. Now. If I can handle Lauren.” I smiled at him. but it worked pretty well since Mike bought it. She’s not interested. “Of course I was.” he pointed to the group that Mike usually hanged out with. He’s not a good guy and the thought of you being with him…. Edward’s fists were clenched tightly into balls. “I…” “She’s not interested.

and my dear hap to tell. Edward and I smiled. I smiled. Our team and Lauren’s were on first while the other two teams were told to play the next day. I had never been forced into a hug by a teacher before. saying triumphantly as if she did something astoundingly important. Every now and then. “Geez. Rosalie and Alice walked with us. . grinning. sounding disappointed. A while ago you were just saying something about bruising your arms. I smiled contently with my eyes closed and I kissed him back. he gripped on my face tighter and his lips were moving more urgently than before against mine. I didn’t know the kiss was supposed to be that long. it’s already time! No rehearsal tomorrow because of the game! Read over your lines! Great job everyone!” The students were still talking about the “kiss” that happened a while ago. cursing me to the fiftieth level of hell. I mean. the coach announced that we were playing Volleyball today. saying that it matched my eyes while I was trying to get over how good he looked in a simple spirit shirt. “Just so you know. There was never talking or holding hands with other girls… Edward was waiting outside of our dorms the next morning. still staring at us with awe and disbelief.” Adam rolled his eyes and smirked. “Who asked for your opinion?” she snapped back. three girls and three boys in each. Looks like some of my unfriendly-ness to Lauren is starting to rub on him. looking down at her nails for the millionth time. Though the second girl got it wrong. glaring. I froze. if I knew I got to kiss a girl like that onstage. some snickers would escape from us. He complimented my shirt. Jamie and some other guys were teasing Edward while I was picking up my backpack from the corner.” I over-heard a girl say longingly. you wouldn’t bruise them. Yeah right. finally remembering that we were on stage and that there was a teacher down there evaluating us along with a bunch of students. “Who said I was talking to you?” Cody replied. it felt nice to be envied. but they were too full of thoughts to notice. Mrs. “If you play the correct way.” he teased playfully. I pulled away.” My heart was accelerating now. His help to crave. I would have tried harder to get the Romeo part. they were in a deep conversation discussing whether Abercrombie shirts are better or American Eagles. We were split into four teams. “If I wanted to bruise my arms. I wish I got to kiss someone as hot as Edward onstage. ‘ “Bravo! Bravo!” she clapped her hands. “Swan is so lucky.” I smiled as he offered his hand and I took it without hesitation. did you see the way he looked at her?” the other girl said. the other students laughed along gently. I was on the volleyball team back in Junior High. like a couple? Was it really that obvious that he treated me differently from all of the other girls that even the other girls could see it? “Ready to go?” a velvet voice popped up from behind. which meant… the kiss. we weren’t together. “I bet they’re together. and when I came here in my freshmen year. and everyone was forced to play since this is a part of the semester grade. they offered me a spot as the Captain but I turned it down. It must have been my lucky day. did it seem like we were together? I mean.Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell. I expected him to pull away quickly.” Cody retorted. “Heck. He leaned down slowly and brushed his lips very slowly against mine. though Edward seemed to be at ease. My cheeks were flustered. When I heard some people whistling and cheering. “I knew I sensed chemistry between you two! It was great!” she hugged us. C ran up to us with a huge smile. That was the last line of the scene. taking us both my surprise. Lauren was stomping her foot. I would have hit it with a hammer. After we got dressed. “Alright. Jamie laughed. Edward and I walked behind them and tried to see how it would end. but instead. Forgetting that we were onstage. Edward’s eyes widen as did mine.” Lauren snorted. “Sure.” she gloated.

“Dude! Are you ever going to serve?” Keith said impatiently. she scoffed. “Really Swan. Shouldn’t she be suspended for that?” “Miss Mallory. Of course. I had to go for my chance. she was turning her head around. It was now Keith’s turn to serve. It landed on Lauren’s ass at first then quickly dropped to the floor. and I saw her blush. serving the ball underhanded shyly. but Caleb hit it back. called it and hit it back over the net. Angela stepped up. we heard a loud shriek. actually. she did the same. and so did my teammates. she didn’t break any rules. smacking it on Lauren’s head. Her eyes fumed. “Swan you f………” The Coach blew his whistle to stop her from saying more. duh? Laughter erupted from all of us. Miss Swan?” . now I was in middle front with Lauren. freaking klutz!” she screamed at her. She snorted and raised her arm to do an overhand serve.” the coach blew the whistle and motioned Angela to continue. She wasn’t even paying attention at first. running all the way from the back for the ball with her hands cupped. “Rotate!” the Coach said. and it spun beautifully in the air. Swan… You won’t be in better shape yourself when I’m done with you. “We’ll see.” Keith snickered.” I said simply. Unsuccessfully.“Great for you. Lauren frowned at me. “It’s okay. but you suck at this. She scowled at him and turned her head away. “Got it!” Jamie. More power to her. she tripped over her shoe laces while she ran. who was middle back. emphasizing ‘suck’. “Mister! She just spiked the ball at my head purposely. Says the one who hadn’t even touched the ball for once since the game started. It was our turn to serve. Lauren laughed and muttered something impolite to her teammate. Instead. “Should have been paying attention. but unfortunately this time. “I’m so sorry!” Jessica said. Jessica. A few ten seconds later.” he gave her a taunting smile. Besides. throwing the ball at her face. trying to act all professional. talking to Caleb about my ‘lack of aim’.” Ben Cheney patted her shoulder. Finally! A decent overhand serve! Jesse. Rule number one: Free your hands while you run. “What a great opening for us. a guy from the other team hit it back single handed. I think you should stick to basketball. the ball went over the net. slamming her face on the floor. “You know. Lauren’s team rotated. and Keith covered it by setting it up nicely for me. She bounced the ball for many times. breaking up the fight. and to my great irritation. and you on the other hand. like ‘she plays?’ “Come on Angela. frightened of the deadly Lauren. we’ll settle this later. wasn’t it. good try. who was still glaring at her. The ball didn’t go over the net. I hopped up and spiked it with much force over the net. and her nose… god. I decided to ignore her.” I rolled my eyes. no offense. Great. waiting for one of us to spike it. She took a deep breath. Lauren gritted her teeth. and it was now Jessica’s turn to serve. it didn’t go over. “You stupid. her cheeks turning into the raspberry color. She spiked it over the net. I jumped for it and hit it as hard as I could to the other side. “Don’t get cocky. I’m sure it was an accident. I took my position at the left front. you have these people on your team called your teammates. you can do it!” we encouraged her. thanks for the heads up. did they actually look a little crooked? “God dammit! Shut up! All of you!” she said. followed by a loud scream and a series of cuss words. Nice… Not. her face was red. we were getting tired of waiting.” she said. I laughed.” he gave her a disapproving look.” she threatened with a sickly sweet smile. Heather served over the ball for the other team underhanded. Score! “2-0. “I got it! I got it!” Jessica yelled. Luckily.

I bumped it up and had Ben spike it over. she would be a lot dumber than I thought. faking a gasp. I felt something hit the back of my head. Lauren kept her eyes on me the whole time. “Bitch!” “Slut!” I replied. There were balls everywhere. maybe not!” With that. “I heard a while ago that you got into a fight in the gym. smirking darkly.” the Coach said. Miss Mallory.” she said quietly. that much was easy to tell. Lauren beamed and ran up to him.?” he asked. glowering at her through his thick glasses. “Sorry if you got hurt. so I'll let that one drop… And as for you. We won the game. This time. and look what you did!” he spread his arms out. I walked out with Angela. God… that was so childish. scoffing at us. I picked up the ball swiftly and spiked it at her angrily. mimicking. “Ladies! Ladies!” the Coach came rushing to us. “Do you girls want to be banned from P. In front of the reception desk. and the other kids were staring at us as if we had lost our minds. If she thought that she could beat me in volleyball just by copying my methods. they said that you broke your . I was the one who started it. She shoved me purposely to pass by the door. “I got it!” she jumped and spiked the ball at me.” he said. “Are you alright?” he’s eyes were filled with concern.E. “You can forgive me. Lauren. Of course. “Or. but Edward ignored her as if she was invisible. so I would be the one to end it. With a smirk. She shrieked for every time. I guess the girls exaggerated a little. who was telling me what we were doing in Biology today. “Off to class! Both of you!” he dismissed us and we walked for the door quickly. “No…” We murmured.” she said. standing next to the volleyball rack. Thanks to Keith. frowning. picking up some balls to throw at her as well. He sighed and pulled me into his chest. she clenched her fists and watched us furiously a few yards away. Then. “Edward! How nice of you to come and see me! I’m perfectly fine.” “I wasn’t hurt.” “Of course. getting out some more balls from the rack and threw them at me. It was good that I had god on my side that day. I scowled quietly and decided to let that one go. Mr. except for this little twist on my ankle. me and Lauren throwing volleyballs crazily at each other. we continued gaining points with me still at the center front. My apologies. “I just went in the office for a drink of coffee. I saw Edward sitting there on the couch. “Yes sir.. motioning with his hand.” I smiled at him. and walked up to me quickly. “I’m great. Her team groaned when they saw that we were eight points ahead. spiking the ball back. “What the hell?” I turned around and saw Lauren. “Great. incredulous. I forgive you…” I smiled at her and turned back around. straight As. “Oops. Lauren’s face dropped. “Principal’s office! Now!” he bellowed. standing there with her hands crossed in front of her chest. The game continued. do you understand? This is a school. can’t you? Accidents do occur. Continue. and you’re here for your education and to excel your academic performances. I pulled the other rack that was at the corner closer to me.. I tried to picture what they saw. “I don’t want anything like this again. Now Miss Swan. name calling each other.“Of course it was. I heard from your teachers that you have been doing very well in classes. Then we don’t have a problem then.” she spat quickly. After we changed back into our clothes.” I smiled at Lauren. Lauren’s head collided with the ball over three times thanks to me. Before the end of the game. She gasped loudly once again. your C average will have to be pulled up to a B if you want continue your spot on the cheerleading squad. Robinson wasn’t happy. spiking one at her hips before she got up from the floor after picking up a ball since her rack was empty. and everyone found it down right hilarious.” she rolled up her jeans to show him.

I better let you go. “Remind me to never get on your bad side.” I smiled.” I snapped my phone shut. I got a call from Edward in the middle of She’s the Man. pants. I mean. . When hell freezes over. saying that they won and were on their way home. nothing!” I beamed and joined my friends on the rest of the movie. I chuckled.” Chapter Twenty-Seven Since the boys were off to the game tonight.leg. he was on the bus with a bunch of other friends. seeing him in my head while I replayed the scenes. grinning. I admit. “Bella? What are you doing?” Rosalie asked.V. of course. people started laughing at me when I passed by them. You were playing volleyball?” “Yes. screen. but hers.” “Well.” I joked. It felt nice. I mean. so I had to do something…. I don’t think you’d ever be. He was free to date whoever he wanted. maybe Lauren knew he was on the phone with me so she did that just to payback for what I did in gym to make me angry. “Don’t worry. I told myself that I was being obtuse." He led me out the door. it shouldn’t bother me. Captain. it was fun doing the girly stuff. “Edward… Come in the backseat with me. since I didn’t really have any friends that were close enough to me for me to spill my heart. “Sure. Not just any voice. Suddenly. cheering for them at the top of our lungs. “So let me get this right. I never did anything like this when I was little. When I got in the building the next morning. and I joined him. My thoughts wandered to this morning when he thought I was hurt.” he murmured. her eyes tearing off the T. it wasn’t like he was my boyfriend or anything.” a voice purred from the other side of the line. but he called me. receiving his call and having him share his joy with me.” he explained. “I got sick of her provoking me. I knew he wouldn’t. or Alice. throwing no glances at Lauren when we passed by. he finally got something right. until I saw a big poster of me. hanging on the wall. Was I seriously jealous? It wasn’t like he would actually give in to Lauren. What the hell is going on? I looked down. and they weren't mismatched.” I told him the whole story.” he scowled. Even if something did happen between them. It made me smile. and he laughed when he heard that Lauren got hit by the ball so many times during the game and how Jessica managed to hit Lauren’s hip when she served. “Man… I thought Emmett was kidding when he said they were bad. I was genuinely touched by the concerns that were filled in his eyes. “Go do your thing. It was an hour drive. I chuckled. so the school didn’t allow the other students to go. “So what was the score?” “They lost by forty points…” he laughed. I have to go and take care of something between Dylan and Jamie before fists get involved. “Lauren isn’t that good. I didn’t understand why. and I was wearing shoes. Rosalie and I ordered some Chinese food and were having the “girl talk” while painting each other’s nails.” he chuckled. and I realized that I was holding my breath. I felt this uneasiness in my stomach. But I knew from the bottom of my heart that Edward wouldn’t do that. Rosalie and I would have been there. looking at me humorously. At nine o’clock. and how relieved he looked when he saw that I was okay. Alice.” “Good night. I’ll see you tomorrow. “Oh. “Bella? You still there?” “Yes. For the first time ever.

The photo was photoshopped. I was wearing a bikini with the word “whore” on it. throwing them on the floor angrily. there was a “Tramp of 2008. I saw Lauren surrounded by a bunch of snotty girls. I didn’t want to go to gym. because that would be what she wanted. “Like it?” she asked. “Miss Swan?” “Oh… five square root seven. But it’s fine. Don’t’ revenge for me. I’m tired of it. “Look at her! Too scared to make any comebacks! Didn’t I tell you that she’s a coward?” Lauren laughed behind me. well! I would think you’re already on the next flight back to the Big Apple!” Lauren said. All I could think was… how could she? How could he? Alice pulled me into a tight hug when we met each other in the hallway. I swear… I’m going to do some serious damage to her face…” she said through her teeth when she finished hearing my rant. thanks. enjoying my misery. The locker room was still pretty empty when I went in. laughing their heads off a few yards away. “Bella… are you alright?” Angela asked.” I assured her. and over my head. And how did she get the picture anyway? It was exactly like the one in Edward’s phone. She hesitated. and it looked like the one… the one in Edward’s phone! Except in the picture. which brought more snickering. Unless… he gave her the picture? Was it just a coincidence that he wasn’t here? But… that was impossible.” I crumbled the paper in my fist. so they placed their hands softly on me back.” She smirked. I wanted to ditch. They were passing notes to each other. I couldn’t bring myself to do so. “I don’t want to cause any more trouble. Heather. okay?” She looked puzzled. She told me good luck and we went separate ways to our next class. who was still . okay?” I smiled helplessly. I took a deep breath and told myself to calm down. I couldn’t help the desire of punching her in the face. “It is. “So what? You guys are on her side now?” She gave Angela. and she was joined by many other people. there were only Angela. I wanted to die. I couldn’t cry… I wouldn’t cry.” I sat down and hid my face in my hair. Him. what would that make Lauren? A prostitute? At least I wasn’t throwing myself at him like her. the guy sitting next to me slipped me a note from underneath. “Well. They were now clapping their hands. “Bella… you’re going to let her get away with this?” I nodded. “Alice. Just as expected. giving me a small hug. I’m through with the drama. The other two girls immediately stepped away from me. patting.” “Are you sure?” “What’s the point? We get her back. If I was a slut. “Yeah. “That asshole. But the good student that I was. She pulled me into the ladies room. “If that’s what you want…” I nodded weakly. The suddenly. When I was called on to solve an equation. comforting me. With the exception of Angela. “If you ever change your mind…” “You’ll be the first to know. my head propping in my hand for support. walking up to me with her apprentices following her. with the laughing Jessica and Kelsey. I ripped off the poster on the wall and tore them in to pieces. well. Heather and Jasmine. I hear someone clapping their hands. and then she starts something new… We’ll just let it drop. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. frightened. But I couldn’t help that my cheeks started heating up. I think so…” Heather and Jasmine didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t bring myself to think his name. smirking in my direction. It was even worse in Math. I walked silently to my first class with unsteady footsteps. Would he really do that to me? No… he wouldn’t! I closed my eyes and inhaled once again.You don’t belong here!” banner in bold letters. and it wasn’t a happy smirk. and Jasmine an intimidating glare. Thank god she wasn’t there yet. I skimmed it…“New York Slut.

standing beside me,

“Of course I am,” she said loyally, I had never seen her spoken up to Lauren before. And I knew it must have taken a lot of
courage; her face was slightly flushed, and her hands were trembling a little.

“Suit yourself. Get this, Weber, people who aren’t on my side always ends up going down,” she smiled at her and went to
her locker. We weren’t playing today, which was good. After the coach took the attendance, we, the students who played yesterday, took a seat on the bench.

“Hey Bella, we heard,” Cody came up to me with Sean, taking the seat beside me. “Awesome,” I said sarcastically.
They laughed softly, not wanting to upset me. Cody threw his arm around my shoulder, “Just so you know, we’re completely on your side. That bitch can go straight to hell for all I care,” he said, exchanging a gag with Sean.

“Thanks guys,” I laughed; acknowledging that annoyed look that they passed each other. “You’re welcome. She had always treated us like her slaves in the past… Hold this for me, hold that for me…” he imitated,
“Like we give a damn about her nails. But with Edward, she puts on this sweet, high-pitch voice… Agh!” Edward… Sean smiled, “Cheer up. Just picture Lauren getting her ass hit again with a volleyball…” he trailed. Cody and I laughed, remembering what happened the day before. Those guys knew how to make me laugh; and it was thanks to them that gym went better than I expected. Before entering the classroom for ELA, I bump into Edward in the hall. He looked as perfect as always, though he seemed troubled by something. My heart thudded, I wasn’t ready to face him yet… with all these confusions.

“Hi,” he smiled faintly. “Hey…” I mumbled and wondered if it was audible. “I heard about what happened this morning, sorry I wasn’t there,” he pulled me into his chest protectively, and that brought
me some more pain. I pushed him away, but I wouldn’t have been successful without his help. He looked at me with a hurt expression,

“What’s wrong?” “Nothing.”
He stared down at me to read my face, and it wasn’t long till realization hit him.

“You think I gave her the picture?” he whispered, his eyes was full of pain and something that I wasn't sure of, frustration? “I don’t know what I think anymore, Edward…” I whispered back. He sighed and reached for one of my hands, and he
winced when he saw that I pulled back instead of accepting it. I wanted very much to believe him, but how could I make it in any other way? If he didn’t give it to her, how could she have possibly gotten the same picture?

“Bella, I have no idea how she got that picture. I swear! I would never do that to you, I wouldn’t! I don’t know how she got
it… Really, I don’t…” He ran his hand through his hair, pursing his lips.

“I suppose it’s just a coincidence that you happened to disappear this morning,” I said coldly, then regretting it immediately.
What was the use of arguing? I would just end up sadder on the inside. He took a deep breath and looked into my eyes, speaking clearly,

“Something bad happened between Jamie and Dylan last night on the bus, they got into a huge fight, and they were both
injured. It was pretty bad; their parents were called here to the school. This morning, I was told along with Emmett and half of the team who witnessed the fight to go to the office and tell them what we saw... The coach is still struggling on whether to kick them off the team or not…” he paused, and suddenly, his body froze.

“Wait… the fight! That’s it!” he smacked his forehead, then grabbing me by my shoulder, startling me by his sudden
movement,

“Bella! Remember when I was talking to you last night I cut it short? I had to go break up the fight between the guys, so I
didn’t have the chance to slip my cell phone back in my pocket! I must have left it on the seat, and Lauren was sitting behind me!” he hit the wall with his clenched fist,

“Damn! She must have saw and sent the picture to her phone herself! I don’t believe this…” he pounded the wall with his
fist, harder this time. I froze for a moment; then everything became clear to me. Edward didn’t send her the picture. He didn’t know. His explanation made sense, and the more I started to think about it, the more it fit with Lauren’s personality. A wave of relief washed through me, Edward didn’t betray me. What the hell was I thinking? I stepped forward and threw my arms around him, closing my eyes. He gripped on to my waist tightly, as if he was afraid I would push him away again.

“Do you believe me, Bella?” he whispered, his tone remorseful. “Yes! I’m sorry for doubting you. Believe me, I never wanted to… but I couldn’t think of any other way for it to happen…”
I felt so stupid now, and it made me intently guilty when I looked up at his emerald, sincere eyes. I didn't realize that I had tears in my eyes until he wiped them away with his fingertips. He chuckled, “It’s okay. I would have doubted me too. I’m sorry, I am,” then his smile disappeared, and his eyes were now angry, “And Lauren is going to pay…”

“No!” I almost screamed. He gave me a confused look. “Don’t start anything, okay? I’m going to quit with all this Lauren
crap for right now. She’d leave me along eventually. I’m fine, really.”

“Are you sure?” he looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I laughed, “I’m positive. And she’d get more annoyed and angrier seeing me ignoring her.”
He sighed, “If that’s what you want. Damn… I was hoping for some fun with her,” he murmured, his thoughts drifting to somewhere else. Did he seriously plan something within those sixty seconds? I decided to change the subject.

“So how are Jamie and Dylan?”
Edward sighed, “They’re fine. They made up this morning, and apologized to each other. They were fighting over something stupid anyway; over who were the All-star players of the NBA last year. It was foolish; they started provoking each other, and it turned into a fight. Dylan got the worst damage though; he broke his arm so he might not be able to play basketball for the next couple of months. He’s really upset about it.”

“Ouch. That sucks,” I said, frowning with sympathy. “Yeah… it does,” he grimaced, and then the bell rang. “Come on, let’s go to class,” he smiled, brushing my hand with his
fingertips, and his touch tickled me. I realized how much I missed that.

“Okay,” I smiled back. I knew it. I knew he wouldn’t.
Mrs. C wasn’t there yet when we got it. A few seconds later, she finally returned, her face apologetic.

“I’m sorry… I just had to take care of something in the office. Open up to page four sixty five and oh… before I forget, for
those of you on the play, I won’t be there for rehearsal today. We have a meeting for all the faculties…” Before she finished her sentence, Adam interrupted excitedly,

“Awesome! Did you hear that? I mean,” he stopped carefully and quickly added after receiving a look from Mrs.
Caughman, “How unfortunately! Such a pity not to have rehearsal. I am so disappointed,” he said flatly, and there were snickering coming from all over the room.

“I’m really glad you feel that way, which is why I got you a substitute!” she beamed at us.
Adam’s eyes widened and his face dropped. Mrs. C laughed humorously,

“I was joking. But I would appreciate it if you reread the scripts tonight to refresh your memory,” she said seriously.

“Of course,” we nodded our head; yeah right.
The rest of the afternoon went a lot quicker than the morning. Of course, some bitchy girls would still laugh at me in the hallway, but the laughter quiet down a little. I met Edward at the front of the building when school ended, and was greeted by a crooked smile.

“Hi,” he said cheerfully. “Hello,” I grinned, my mood immediately lightened up by his presence. “A free afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten one of those,” he rolled his eyes, “So what are you doing with your
freedom?”

“I’m going to study for the History exam tomorrow.” “Studying, eh? Sounds interesting,” he cooed alluringly, pulling me in his arm, his forehead against mine. I breathed; and let
out a soft chuckle,

“I’m sure my idea of studying is very different from yours…” “We’ll see then, won’t we?” he winked and gave me a light peck on the cheeks. For the first time; I looked forward to
reading History. He waited patiently while I dug for my key in my bag to open the door. Alice wasn’t there, probably with Jasper in his apartment. It was absurd how my heart would accelerate every time I realize that I was alone in a room with him when he seemed to be at ease, finding nothing to be nervous about in this situation.

“So… you’re seriously going to study?” he asked, quirking up his eyebrow as if to tease me. Not really, I would rather
make out with you instead… But I wouldn’t’ say that, besides, I seriously needed to get some studying done.

“Of course. You know how important my education is to me,” I said, keeping a professional tone, like one of those
salesmen that you see on T.V.

“Alright! Let’s get down to business than…”
I got out my History textbook and he got out his, sitting on the chair in front of me. I sighed and tried to bury my nose in the book; I needed an A tomorrow. Focus. Ignore that gorgeous guy sitting about a foot away from you… But nevertheless, I lost my concentration when I felt him gawking at me, flipping through the pages swiftly and thoughtlessly without paying an ounce of attention to his book. I laughed,

“What are you doing?” “Studying,” he said, as if it was the most obvious thing. He was still gawking at me with a huge smirk on his beautiful face.
I shook my head and laughed once again, “Well, I’m thirsty. Would you like something to drink?”

“Sure. Coke would be nice,” he smiled as I got up from my chair to get some drinks from the mini-fridge.
Before I reached it, I felt his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him, “Bella?” His breath was on my neck, and his voice was as velvet and gentle as always.

“Yes?” I giggled. “Be my girlfriend,” he whispered, catching me completely off guard. My heart raced and I could feel the thudding of my
pulse. Well, that was a surprise. I spun around to face him, and his arms were still locked securely around me. Our faces were almost touching; he waited patiently for my response.

“I… uh…” My breath was unevenly, I wanted to say something, anything, but the words wouldn’t come out. Eventually,
something finally escaped my mouth when my brain started functioning again.

“Okay…” My whisper quivered, and my heart was still doing the little flopping dance inside my chest. “Really?” his face was lit up to a wide, crooked smile.
I threw my arms around his neck and smiled, “Yes. I’d love to be your girlfriend,” I said blissfully and he leaned in closer to kiss me fully on the lips. A boyfriend...

Chapter Twenty-Eight

“I wanted to ask you for the longest time… but I didn’t want to scare you away. But when Mike said those words to set me
off yesterday about me not being your boyfriend… I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. You are the girl for me, Bella, I already know that I don’t want any one else but you,” Edward murmured, caressing my cheek with his hand. His voice was melting me; and don’t even mention his eyes…

“Well, I’m glad you did,” I said when I finally had the strength to talk. He seemed please with my response, the corner of
his lips twitched up in to a grin,

“Okay… this is going to sound very corny,” he chuckled nervously, taking my hand in his, “But I’ve never had a girlfriend
before, as hard as it is to believe. So I’m not exactly sure how all the procedures go.” I laughed at the innocence of his expression, “I’m sure you’ll do great, just like you do everything else.” I tiptoed to kiss him again, and he eagerly kissed me back. My breath was becoming unsteady and loud, I was gasping for air as he moved his lips to the hollow base of my throat.

“My girlfriend,” he whispered and nuzzled my neck. I giggled and knotted his hair once more to close the small fraction
amount of space between us. His hands moved down to my waist, and he stroked the part of my skin that was revealed very gently as his lips continued pressing urgently against mine. I didn’t want to move; and it appeared to me neither did he. I smiled and snuggled in his arms when we broke away from each other’s embrace; completely pleased with my current position. We sat in the blissful silence; he played with a lock of my hair while I buried my face in his chest, taking in every smell of his scent.

“I have to go,” he whispered, dropping his hand from my head, rubbing my back. “No…” I murmured selfishly; did he hear the great disappointment in my voice?
He chuckled, “You know how I wish to stay here with you forever. But the faculty meeting is over, and the Coach wants us there for practice today,” he whispered. I sighed, “Okay. I’m going to have to get over the fact that I can’t hog you forever.” He laughed, “I will see you later on tonight,” he assured me, kissing my hair.

“Off you go then,” I said playfully, picking my head up from his chest, getting off his lap.
Flinging his backpack swiftly over his shoulder, he walked to me to give me a kiss on the forehead,

“I’ll see you later… girlfriend,” he winked at me and jogged out of the room. Alice came in with Rosalie with a pout ten minutes later, not all that cheerful looking.

“No fair! Why do they have to practice today? And after the faculty meeting? The Coach is insane. Even Mrs. C, the play
addict, postponed the rehearsal.” Rosalie started cursing under her breath, her lips pouty.

“Well, we won’t even remember this part after the guys win their next game with flying scores,” I said, my sentence
sounding more like a question than a statement. Then suddenly, I thought of something to cheer them up.

“Okay… you guys have to promise not to scream or freak out, okay?” My hands were fidgeting nervously at my sides; I
was picking my nails for heaven’s sake. They looked up at me curiously, then their expressions were horrified,

“Oh my god! Is someone hurt? Edward! Is he alright?” they shrieked, jumping out of their seats. I laughed, “Relax. It’s good news,” I assured them and told them to breathe. They sat down and waited patiently for my continuation,
“Okay. Remember your promise,” I reminded them warily and took a long, deep breath, “Edward asked me… a while ago, to be his girlfriend.” They smiled and embraced me into a hug,

“And about time. sighing contently. who waved at me with a giggle. the guys got out from practice and met us at the food court. The warmth of it felt wonderful.” Rosalie panted. but I didn’t know why. Then he took my hand on the table.” Alice chuckled then tapping her temples playfully. and tossed a pillow at my head. you were already acting like a couple anyways. Why would I say no?” She let out a sigh of relief. I fixed my hair and brushed it to smooth out the tangles that I got from the pillow fight. “Nothing. At about six thirty. my hair was a huge mess. “Take that!” Rosalie said.“Oh my gosh! That’s wonderful!” I think I heard a few of my back bones cracking. Nothing. I blushed. smirking as she quirked up her eyebrow.” Edward protested.” Rosalie slapped her back and called her stupid playfully.” Now I was annoyed. Oh. she laughed and grabbed a magazine to take as cover. hiding a smirk while we all laughed. my mistake. My face reddened. “Of course. lip syncing an ‘aww’. My cheeks reddened. still too tired to talk.” I saw her rolling her eyes. “And both of you are stubbornly in denial. and he dazzled me with those incredibly stunning eyes of his.” Alice and I giggled at her statement. didn’t you?” I laughed. My heart thumped heavily. When the fight ended. shameless flirting?” Emmett smirked. exchanging a look. “Don’t think you’re just going to sit there and chill. Totally not couple like. About time. I supposed it was the wind. slinging a pillow back at Alice. “Wait!” Alice froze.” “Because it’s so damn true. No reason not to make it official. quirking his eyebrows at Edward and me. “Being an idiot again. you were always doing the cute. and she stared at me with her wide. The guys smiled at us when we saw them a few yards away. “It’s good that you two are together. grinning. desperate to change the subject. “You did say ‘yes’. Emmett laughed. It was sticking up at the wrong places. watching us fight!” I scoffed and threw a pillow back at her. I mean. “We did not. and remember before you guys even admitted how you felt about each other. “Okay… That’s enough exercise.” Edward looked away. “What do you mean?” “We mean you were already acting like a couple. You really are made for each other. Alice screamed. Edward shot him a dirty look and muttered something back at him. That’s why Edward came in with his hair more tousled than usual. and before I realized what was going on. too. “So… what did you guys do this afternoon before practice?” he beamed.” I shot a look at Alice. I looked up at him. “Whew. Jasper chuckled.” Alice said. holding it firmly in his. Emmett leaned in Edward’s ear to whisper something to him. sparkling eyes. I thought to myself. Emmett ignored her with a snort. “Let me see… He meets you at the front of the building every morning… waits for you after school to walk you to rehearsal… calls you and texts you when you’re not with him… Oh yeah.” Rosalie said. I just had to check. “For a year. Jasper laughed. I looked like as if I just walked out of a hurricane. Alice threw a pillow at her.” “Nice. My face lit up to a smile when I realized that I would see Edward again. Being yourself again. Alice. “So you two are finally together. and turned to me with a smug smirk. “Oh yeah. they were . rolling his eyes at his best friends. Sorry. “We were not. she just started a pillow fight. Emmett?” Alice rephrased before sitting down next to Jasper. I’m decent. Rosalie started chasing her. it was impossible to get used to his flawless perfection. “Okay… why do you all keep saying that? Your girlfriend. Emmett? My bad. “said the same thing earlier.” her sarcasm was really heavy when she said the last sentence.” Rosalie joked. Over defensive I might add.” we smiled.

tasting the caramel. Rosalie. I’m fine… okay? If I wanted this diet. “Okay… Okay… I was kidding. Edward swallowed his bite. elegant bite of her lettuce. Edward picked up a Twix and took a big bite out of it.” He licked his lips and closed his eyes in appreciation. “Oh. Don’t you agree. After dinner. As he was about to unwrap the Twix that he picked. “Look Rosalie. Besides. “You know what? I think I’m going to have another one.” he kissed my hair and jogged away into a store. you rule!” Jasper pulled him into a guy hug. I didn’t want to press since he had this dark smile on his face. hold on a few more seconds please. Edward and Jasper groaned.” I said sarcastically. popping it into his mouth.” he taunted. “Mmm… This is definitely refreshing. “Thanks. He came back with a bag full of Candy bars.” Alice answered for her. this is getting ridiculous. “Okay.” Emmett laughed loudly with humor while Edward and I glared at him.having way too much time teasing us. chewing it quickly. She quickly opened it with her fingers and took a huge bite of it. “Are you guys done harassing us? Can we finally get something to eat now?” Edward asked with little irritation. who got an Italian salad. . pounding his fist. “I was going to eat that. just as frustrated as I was with his slowness. “Man. it all happened very fast then that Rosalie threw herself up from her chair and snatched it fiercely from Edward’s hands.” Emmett threatened. I dropped my fork and gave her a frustrated look. I couldn’t help but notice that his comment was thrown toward Rosalie. taking a small.” he smiled at her. of course. We didn’t say any more on the subject. who had her lips parted and her eyes locked on the chocolate bar. “Look guys. “Hmm… isn’t this just the best? I mean. who was turning whiter by the minute. She stared at us while we ate. and you don’t need any freaking diet!” “Why are you eating veggies anyway?” Emmett asked innocently. You don’t need a diet. “Be right back. It made me feel intently guilty with her watching me with those envious eyes of hers. “Well babe. “The last Twix.” Edward scoffed. Edward chuckled and stared at Rosalie.” he muttered innocently. I’m not done yet. No one gets the Hersheys and no one gets hurt. It’s been so long since I’ve had a chocolate. You have the most perfect body. rolling my eyes. no one could talk her out of doing out of something when Rosalie was determined to get it done. whose face was turning a little pale. Bella?” “Oh yeah. Edward took another bite of his chocolate. This comment. Her hands were gripping on to the sides of her chair. Alice and I suppressed a giggle as we watched Edward’s game plan in motion. was still directed at Rosalie. it’s been so long since I had chocolate. Edward quickly excused himself and said that he was going to get something. Alice and I squealed. “Because she gained a pound the last time that she checked. vegetables are healthy. eyeing each plate of our food. unwrapping one. Rosalie looked down to her plate.” she shrugged. dumping them on the table. Emmett wrapped his arms around her waist. enjoying the milky and chocolaty taste of it… absolutely delicious. rolling her eyes. “Mmm… Mmm!!” her eyes were closed as she continued enjoying her moment. I’m going to let it pay off. it’s delicious. We ordered lasagna except for Rosalie.” he said clearly and slowly. exaggerating his movements once again. you look fine just the way you were.” I smiled.

I wasn’t going to lose my concentration. who had his large. resting with his back and one of his legs propped up against the wall. completely flattered with himself. “Low profile. probably attending a Bimbo Conference. big deal. Michelle. I felt almost disappointed to see that he didn’t kiss me. The low profile thingy wasn’t such a brilliant idea anymore.” Emmett laughed and placed his big hands on Rosalie’s delicate shoulders. waving their fingers flirtingly at him. you’re wealthy. but stopped when it was about an inch away. We laughed. just joking around and messing each other up. and I knew how they felt. does he? I didn’t mind. I heard a few girls sigh longingly when they walked by him.” He pulled his face closer to mine. He would give me a smile. I smiled back. He smiled crookedly at m. I didn’t want to stare. thought he was looking at her.“Well. I thought humorously to myself when she didn’t appear in class when the teacher took attendance. Cullen! Turn around and pay attention. and that brought more irritation for me. “So what happens to the diet. I was greeted by a very gorgeous guy with emerald eyes. When I exited the gym. The next morning was dreamlike. It was often that my mind would wander to his smile and his laugh… the teacher gave me a look. “Hey… how did you get here so early?” “Well.” she replied. Edward chuckled. she got out a mirror and fixed her hair. writing on the white board.” he grinned. I know how awkward I felt when the others stared at me and Edward. “Alright… Alright…” he raised his arms as if to surrender. I played basketball with Cody and Sean. I’m a fast runner. “Never mind that I asked.” “Good to have you back. Lauren was absent today. voice muffled. “Of course. “That’s my girl. When the teacher turned around once more to put her attention on the board. Angela spent the whole period talking to Ben Cheney on the bench. proud smile on his face. You brought it up.” I muttered. Rosalie. It was hilarious.” the teacher scolded him when he was finally caught.” I whispered while the others were laughing at the four Hershey wrappers in front of Emmett. So he didn’t kiss you. “Edward Cullen! Stop staring at Bella!” The teacher hit his head playfully with his textbook that was on the desk when she caught him doing it again. Edward would turn around and look at me while the teacher wasn’t paying attention or while she was facing us with her back. “Thank you. I felt like as if I was drifting in classes. walking to Language with him beside me. Bella. it was fun and flattering at the same time to have a gorgeous guy staring at you. with “why are you smiling so hugely” written on their faces. “Mr. we weren’t really playing by rules. I turned around and saw a few girls giggling at Edward. He doesn’t quit. The girl sitting beside me. she seemed very happy with a gleeful smile on her face. and that only cause his lips to curl up into a larger smile. “Screw the diet. He smiled the whole way with amusement. he titled his head a little and smiled crookedly at me. You can afford more. turning away with frustration at myself. I tilted my head toward Edward. I smirked and shook my head. increasing my heartbeat. as if he was preventing himself from laughing. my sister dearest?” Jasper teased. Who cares if the girls in this school hate me more? Maybe I should just tell him to forget what I said this morning? Oh get a grip. Fourth period was… interesting. He read my face and pursed his lips. I laughed silently when I saw Michelle looking more foiled than . you stick to it.” Alice said giddily. “That was a very nice plan. remember?” I looked blankly at him. propping his elbow on the table while I hid a giggle. He sighed and obeyed unwillingly. Rosalie swallowed. and then remembered that stupid agreement that I forced him to go along with this morning. her cheeks were creeping into this pinkish color that often appeared on my face. I told myself to snap out of it.

You were pushing me to the edge. “I thought you said…” “Forget everything that I said this morning. . the basketball games. “And with you reminding me that I was the one who came up with the whole stupid idea. Let’s go eat then. are you hungry?” “Starving!” “Great. like a distant memory. He kissed my nose and laughed. warm chest. He was great at exceeding everything.ever. I would have thought of this before hitting her back with the volleyballs. frowning. his face unreliable. Did I hear her right? Straight A student? How could he possibly have time for studies with everything going on? The rehearsals.” Rosalie said outrageously. After being inside the building for so long. She was wrong though. as if he was going say ‘I can’t help that I’m smart’ and smirked in satisfaction. ignoring that there were still some kids left in the classroom.” Rosalie murmured. Me and him… we’re completely incomparable. Far too amazing. Then suddenly. “Well. I can’t believe that you’re going to let Lauren off the hook! That little scum deserves something. “Okay. After class ended. then yesterday flooded back to me. “You’re lucky that you’re a straight A student.” I admitted. “Are you using some sort of reverse psychology?” I asked incredulously. I wasn’t playing fair. But still.. I would be slapping the hell out of her right now. Edward grinned at her. and her starting something new… I’m hoping to end all this. but he quickly placed them back to his sides when I was done. probably absorbing every moment of this. “So. a little embarrassed. “What’s going on?” Alice asked. They sighed. now… straight A student? Was there anything at all that he wasn’t good at? He was amazing. I admit. He laughed. it was refreshing to feel the warmth and see the sunshine. I’m just going to leave her alone and hopefully she will do the same thing. a lot. first. basketball prodigy. We turned around and saw a lot of people. I would be thoroughly nuts to contrast myself to him. His hands brushed my back while I put my notes in my backpack. Edward was waiting casually by my desk for me to gather things up. Emmett. “You’re being so mature about this. I’m just really sick of getting her back. Shakespeare romantic. “So. “I’m not doing anything. At first.” he lied. I heard some loud gasps and exclamations. ladies! We’ll be back with food. If this happened to me.” I shrugged. I couldn’t help but feel impressed. it certainly was torturous. or I would have you answering some questions for your lack of concentration right know…” she murmured. I had no idea what she was saying. The places that he touched were still covered with goose bumps. cracking her knuckles. forming a large circle in front of the store that Edward. giving me the same look that I received earlier from Edward yesterday. I pushed my body against his and kissed him fiercely on the lips.” “I’m that good. and Jasper were suppose to go get our food from. As. Looks like I’ve been getting a lot of those today. leaving my girl-friends and I at the table.” “Cheater. Michelle daggered me a glare and exited the room. chuckling. “Stay here. Then he pulled me into his hard. if I was mature. I knew I couldn’t hold it any longer. I don’t care what the others think… this space between us is killing me.” Then we walked arm in arm to lunch.” I murmured. and his incredibly busy social life? And he didn’t look like the cramming-hard-in-my-room type either. Even I had trouble keeping my grades up to an A with all this Lauren drama and the amount of time that I spent for the play… His life was about double busy compare to mine… but he… I forced myself to stop.. huh?” he whispered.” Emmett winked at us and all three of them got up and walked off to Hal’s.

.” his voice was low and wrathful. “You bastard!” That voice… With a loud gasp. my voice raspy. kissing his nose… his forehead. I’d spill it. “Edward. Mike groaned in agony.” He laughed. relax. too angry to say his name. puzzled. “I’m sorry. “Ah. I didn’t want to talk about Mike because I knew how upset and angry it made Edward. I pushed people out of my way and saw Edward. “Stop!” I cried. He took a deep breath. I got on my knees and grip his face in my hands. and he knows if he gets me in trouble. and tried to kick Edward with his foot. let’s get out of here! Edward looks like as if he’s ready to kill!” I heard Eric murmuring to him nervously. facing an artificial pond. running limply as far away from us as they could manage. I think he knew that I was within hearing distance. he was breathing unevenly. maybe he just said that to piss me off… but I couldn’t help it. his fists clenching into tight balls.. too scared to make any comments. “No. I really would have liked to slap his face.” he growled. who was helped up by Eric and Tyler. “I lost it.” he snorted. His eyes were murderous. running to Edward. Mike daggered away cowardly with his friends. as if he was ready to rip someone’s head off. “Do you think he’d tell on you?” I asked. I looked up at him.” Chapter Twenty-Nine The crowd cleared a way for the furious. I cleared my throat. He sighed. He’s not that stupid. Though I do wish that you would have told me first. . Emmett and Jasper were holding him by his arms. pulling him off Mike.” his eyes still clouding with stress. I followed him silently. giving him a hard. I waited for a few minutes for him to calm down. but he was unsuccessful.” A gentle breeze flew by.” the other guy shot his glance at me. Emmett and Jasper tried to hold Edward back by gripping on to his shoulder. “Talking to his friends about you. and a wave of anger flowed through my body when I thought of Mike getting Edward in trouble. “I have one guess. I broke my promise. sweating as he looks at Edward’s venomous face. and I punched him. he continued. “What was that all about?” I heard someone murmuring to his friend.” I kissed his jaw. powerful punch in the face. “That would have been a nice scene to watch. “The hell you didn’t! If you ever. Talking about how amazing you would look in those… swimsuits that they saw in some magazines last night… how much better you would look with no clothes on at all. holding Mike by the collar of his shirt.” Edward’s reply was surprisingly confident and calm. “Don’t you dare talking about her like that again!” he bellowed at Mike.” he spat. “I know something that he desperately tries to keep out of everyone’s ear. His nostrils were flaring. and ran quickly toward the crowd to get a closer look. but he shook them off fiercely. and it bounced on the surface of the water. “He’s a jerk. “I didn’t say anything. getting him up from the floor. I didn’t ask. He picked up a rock and threw it into the pond. Edward threw him on the floor. Edward growled. rubbing his jaw tenderly.” He didn’t go into further explanation. “Are you okay?” I asked quietly. His expression was deadly. and his glance hadn’t once turned to anyone else. locking on Mike like a predator and its prey. dangerous looking Edward to get through. and sank down to give him some more punch in the stomach. and gave Mike another vigorous hit on the jaw. “He wouldn’t. I don’t blame you. Mike. I didn’t think. Mike’s step was unsteady. and his eyes were dark and dangerous. and his other friends quickly nodded. I will make your days in this school your personal hell. He sat under a tree that was far from the food plaza.” Mike replied. Do you understand me?” “Dude. “I overheard Mi… Him. and he was still wincing in pain. ever talk about her in the inappropriate way at all.“I don’t know…” We got up from our seats. And his friends certainly weren’t helping by laughing stupidly at the statements that he made.

” Lauren and Jessica weren’t pleased with the amount of attention that I was getting.” I said shyly. As if she read my mind. tight dress with pointy high heels. coming here today to help us select dresses or costumes for the play.” she winked. wearing a short.A. but it was different. we were trying on costumes. aren’t you?” she said.” then she turned her gaze to me. done that. “So.. I want all of the boys over there with Paul. I breathed and walked nervously to my doom. which was a gaze that I was more than happy to ignore. Mrs.” I saw Mike in the hallway in the afternoon. maybe this was how it felt to have a boyfriend. “You just seemed like the Juliet type. C coughed to get our attention. I smiled. Costumes. “Remember girls. squeezed my hand and gave me a smile.” she motioned them to a blonde guy with spiky hair. all business like. then slipped in it after taking off my top. to have someone sticking up for you. “I was thinking this one for the ball. Here goes nothing… I stepped into the dress and pulled . Edward. “Yes. for example… you can still feel the hint of the antiqueness and elegance but you can also feel… glamorous. of course. follow me. Not that Edward didn’t do that before we made it official. We didn’t do any rehearsing in our rehearsal. Right now. “Which is why you need to try it on.” she rolled her eyes.” she flashed a brilliant smile proudly. I needed that. We just balance it out with the right amount of modern. I’m going for exquisite. she chuckled. wondering how she knew. sensing my tenseness. I was expecting to see some old looking. uncomfortable.” She pointed to a beautiful lady next to her.” she picked up a navy blue dress and the girls behind me were squealing with delight. And I could picture someone wearing that dress in a ball. “He will be helping you guys with the selecting. unstylish dresses. ugly and puffy dresses. but instead. but to my surprise. in front of us. I unzipped the dress first.. She smiled us a very professional smile. If you will kindly follow me. beatific gowns hung on the rails with different styles and colors. and my judgments never seem to fail. “It’s great. As for you ladies. there were elegant. “What do you think?” she asked.” she displayed a long. she couldn’t make it to school. to convince yourself that you will fit and look great in it. “I have a close friend of mine. I blushed and folded the dress delicately in my arm after she handed it to me. I liked it. Everyone. exquisite. feminine dresses that have a touch of old fashion but modern at the same time. I dropped Edward’s hand and followed her behind the curtains along with the other girls. instead of torturing you girls into wearing those itchy. red gown that looked like something Rosalie would wear.“Thanks. which probably would. Lauren showed up with Jessica. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one completely horrified. But umm… I’m not sure that it’d fit me. looking as blank and blonde as always. And believe me.” Unwillingly. I know how you teenagers these days have this thing against wearing ‘old-fashioned. “Sweetie. “This. She looked at me skeptically and then said softly. Someone but not me. you are playing Juliet. to my greatest horror. I heard the other kids murmuring with terror. Elaine took me to a rail of long gowns and handed one of them to me and said. But somehow she just decided that she had to show up in rehearsal. “Okay. been there. Ma’am. She told me to go to the changing rooms at the back of the stage. as I looked surprisingly at her. Yeah. “Now. like he was afraid something bad would happen to him. this is Elaine Marion. outdated’ costumes. who is a ball gown designer in L. to have someone always there protecting you. I have picked out some dresses that I think would fit with the character. nowadays style to make it look even better. in her late thirty or early forties maybe. They scoffed and looked incredulously at me. her face still as glorious as always. It was modern but old-fashioned at the same time with the bottom of the dress draping down elegantly over the legs… Okay… I admit. old fashion doesn’t mean ugly. He looked spooked when he saw me. I’ll show them to you. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now.” I answered politely.

So busted. Now I was the one becoming nervous with the inhumanly beautiful guy. I knew if she was here.. He shook his head a few seconds later.” I laughed. He was wearing an old-time creamy-ish. “I found the mask. but he still looked… hot. irresistible. “I still prefer not wearing those pantyhose like pants. tighter than what I was used to him wearing. I’ll be right back. “You look wonderful. I blushed and pursed my lips at the same time. Romeo. did you need something?” she asked. hard.” He rolled his eyes. That is why I was never a fan for clothes fitting. Oh. deep breath and opened the door with less bravery. Marion?” I heard a velvet voice call as I turned my head to the attracting voice away from the mirror. I mean. Mrs. his costumes looked pretty amazing on him.them all the way up with my some of my hair stuck to it during the process. I saw Edward entering the backstage from behind the curtains. It took all of my self-control not to reach out and run my hands over it. “You look pretty good yourself. his eyes still gawking. gazing intensely into each other’s eyes. . not to mention stutter. The end of the dress was right above my feet. sweetheart! Come and take a look at yourself in the mirror!” she dragged me to a huge. “Paul wanted to ask…” then he froze. Mr. I tried to imagine him in some tight-fitting pants. which was a plus considering I have some balancing problems when I’m really nervous. And I found yours too. she walked speedily to the other side of the curtains while Edward took several small steps toward me. I would have gone to an art school. you can wear a rug and still pull it off. I’ve got to learn how not to make a fool out of myself every time he was being unintentionally irresistible. “Oh no. dear?” I heard Elaine call to me from a distance. It was hard to picture anyone else portraying Romeo at the moment. My heart was pounding. the word irresistible meant. I wanted to say.” he stuttered breathlessly.” I faked a shudder. She didn’t seem to mind though. the word stunning doesn’t cover how beautiful you look…” he said whispery. as if to snap out of something. then looking stunned to see us in some deep lip-locking session. “Ouch!” I scowled and cursed silently under my breath. as if not believing me. she’d get along fluently with Elaine. body length mirror with the carving of the name of the company across it.” I said. They thought of everything. making his way to her. I never thought that you would give in into trying out costumes. “Are you done. Romeo. smiling at me with satisfaction. An Alice-expression. I was breathing so hard that I could actually feel my heart beating. Talk about unfair. It turned out fine when I finally had the strength to look into the mirror.. “Yes. Literally froze at his feet when he saw me. The corner of his lips twitched up. “Ms. “Huh! It’s not in the chest! Maybe it’s in the other one. enthralling me with his captivating eyes. “Okay… I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t see that.” I heard her muttering to herself. I guess Mrs.” This cracked me up even more. No.” She then left me in front of the mirror for a metal. thank you very much. His lips parted and his eyes widened with surprise. “I found it! Like I said. not caring. C threatened me into wearing tights if I didn’t go along with it today. “Uh… uh… Wow. his arms grasping firmly around my waist. suddenly remembering that Edward came back here for a reason. well obviously. “Well. At least I wouldn't trip over it. It was so unusual to see him speechless. She was there. then she smiled at us. My face was probably as red as the dress itself. I have a beautiful red masquerade mask that goes with the dress. If I wanted to be a ballerina. “I’m pretty sure the tights would work out for you as well. I must say. not even Leonardo Dicaprio from his movies. at least it wasn’t dragging on the floor. I took a long. picking up my clothes from the hanger. white button up shirt with the top three of his buttons undone and a pair of black pants. My eyes couldn’t help but stare down at his partly exposed chest. it matches the dress!” Elaine emerged through the curtains.” he said quickly. Busted. C was no where near kidding when she said they were professionals. “Marvelous! Marvelous! Now. expensive looking chest nearby. “You look stunning. his face a few inches away from mine.” Elaine said exasperatingly while Edward and I ignored her. But then again.

Edward gave me a sweet kiss on the lips before leaving. “He’s just playing you. “Are you mad at me or something?” he chuckled. After dinner that night. and she quickly disappeared behind the red cloth. glossy masquerade mask that had scarlet feathers sticking out at the side. And our relationship doesn’t concern you. completely grateful. Our gaze met. I’m warning you. probably didn’t want to upset me. but he spread his arms out and stopped me. her eyes furious. I picked up my dress and was about to exit the room. if you know what I mean. If there was anything that I was wearing that was considered old-fashioned. I sighed in agreement with him. Not with Edward there she won’t. dump him before he dumps you. He looked shocked. the guys walked us back to our room and stayed with us until 9:30.” I heard Mrs. and he just dumps them like they are trash.” I said fiercely. it’s time already. “Hey. her hands clasping together as Edward and I quickly took off the masks to out embarrassment. I smiled and was on my way back the dressing room. and you did force my boyfriend into a fight with you.” he said helplessly into my ear when Elaine wasn’t paying attention. He inspected it.” “He’s a thousand times more trustworthy than you are. like Edward. which made me swoon with my knees faint.” I said coldly. Then I noticed that Lauren was still peeking through the curtains. I just became a little annoyed when he started walking up to me while I was putting on my backpack. or I won’t stop Edward from killing you the next time. “You know nothing about me and Edward. . C say proudly to her friend. “I told you there was chemistry between those two. giving him no eye contacts. Edward’s was silver.” I said. “Okay… you two can change back into your clothes. He smirked. Let’s just say that you wouldn’t even want to glance twice at the wall. I mean. When Edward stood in the same gesture against the wall. “Thank you. Ask Lauren out. Mrs. Then to my dismay. grabbing him by the collar. shining under the light. She didn’t say anything or pop out and attempt to tear off my face. or maybe it was just because I was still angry with him for what happened during lunch. you know? Edward Cullen never settles for any girl.” we sighed. So butt the hell out. but he composed himself very quickly. and I have an advice for you. you’re dumber than Edward said you are. he sure had guts. with his outfit. well. Edward kissed my hand and walked back to his dressing room. “Hi Bella. I ignored him at first. Don’t waste your time with me. It was easy to see where he got the inspiration from. “It could have been worse.” I said his name like it was a nasty word. half smiling. “Listen. “Boyfriend? You’re serious!” He laughed. so I took that as a chance to walk away. I saw a blonde headed jerk leaning in the hallway with his leg propped up against the wall. as soon as I stepped out of the doors.” Elaine said to our relief. Then Emmett pulled Edward away with his bare. “Huh. strong hands. but there was a hell lot of difference between him and Edward. It matched. I don’t know what Cullen told you. I saw Lauren behind her.” I told him. You clearly have your other half in this school. I’m not sure. glaring at him with anger. Mike. He messes with them. “ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! From a guy that was saying all that inappropriate stuff about me and who just got his ass kicked this afternoon. while we were forced by her friend to try on the masks. He was just trying to pick a fight with me. it had got to be the mask. But When Mike stood there…. He frowned in confusion. “Look. it did match with the dress that I was currently wearing. though not too loud. No. And if you think that I believe you more than I believe him.” “So you’re telling me that he lied?” “He’s not exactly the most trustworthy person. “Fabulous! You two look fabulous!” she said. but I didn’t say anything about you. he just looked. peeking through the curtains with her fiery eyes. no trace of apology or guilt. I must say Elaine was right. Oh. C beamed when she saw us.Elaine handed me a red. you did say some pretty bad stuff about me. breaking our kiss to my utter dismay. Definitely not mad. but at the same time… envious.” he said. too. resisting the desire to kick his groin. When I was finished changing back into my own clothes.

I sighed in disappointment when I realized that Edward would be busy. putting as much enthusiasm as I could. She dropped her textbook and it landed on Mr.” she said. My mother.” “Err… You’re welcome. We could never seem to keep the conversation going for more than two minutes. you know?” “Yeah. telling him to mind his own business while Jasper was watching the whole thing relaxingly. it looked like she was losing blood with that paleness on her cheeks. These couple of days.” I said. She’s in the hospital right now. I like Kelsey the best.“Okay… We need to go. and I could sense the nerves behind the calm voice. “Bella!” his voice was urgent. and you should have seen the way she was begging for him to believe her!” “I have to say. so it was just Alice and me walking back to our dorm. A sob escaped and then I ran.” “That’s good. “Bye Em!” We giggled and Rosalie decided to retrieve back to her own room. But she will be. The seniors had an orientation to attend after school. Unconscious in the Hospital. then my phone buzzed. ‘Oh yeah. . She told me that Kelsey walked up to her and asked her if I was dating Edward. “Renee got in a car accident. My hand was trembling as I waited for him to continue. keeping out mouth busy while our brains were processing. She’s a good person. but I’m pretty damn sure that Romeo and Juliet don’t kiss each other goodbye for that long. She was hit by a truck while driving…” “Oh no! Is she okay?” I shrieked. Was unconscious. the usual routine. In the hospital.” Alice shrugged. But then the office announced that the student council meeting was taking place. “Hey dad. since they were in the same Art class. But she’s still a bitch. It wasn’t long till I was deeply asleep. After Alice and I showered. out of all the Bimbos. “Bye girls!” I heard Emmett call to us when the door closed. Alice?” She hugged me. “I don’t know honey. Definitely. ran as fast as I could out of the room. it's not her fault that she's stupid and lacks opinions. rolling his eyes and dragging Edward out of the door. we were drawing all of the curtains and checking to see if the doors were locked before going to bed. “Why do we have to learn about dissection? It’s not like we’re going to walk up to some creature one day and actually want to spilt it open. and that was pretty unusual since I usually keep in touch with Charlie through E-mails. laughing at them from behind. I just received a call from Phil. “Yes. “Thank you. we’ve been spending more time with him than we had ever before. I know she will. utterly grossed out when she flipped through a page with a frog’s stomach opened up.” I smiled wholeheartedly at her.’ I swear. rehearsal was canceled right before last period. “And I was like. “Bella?” Alice ran up to me. I guess. He wasn’t pleased since he thought she did it on purpose. I’m glad. I know since I’ve watched the movie five times with Rosalie. I don’t want you to freak out or anything… But umm… there had been an accident…” his voice was quiet. And believe me. Edward cussed at him. “What happened?” My lips were quivering and my whole body was shaking with fear when Alice handed my phone back to me. unconscious. picking up the cell.” I laughed. Raymond’s foot. “I mean. My mom. Bella…” Then Charlie’s voice went dead since I dropped my phone.” he said. I know you two are the Shakespeare couple of our school. I grinned. I think she just made the wrong friends. Was hit by a truck. “For bringing Edward closer to us than he ever was. It said “Dad” on caller ID. She hugged me once more and we told each other goodnight and slipped comfortably into our beds. “Bella?” Alice said when we were about to slip into our beds. Alice bought us some chocolate cookies and strawberry smoothies as snacks. The next day. But why are you thanking me?” She laughed and took me by my arms to sit down on her bed. “Listen sweetie. We studied for our Biology test for several hours in our room.

He got me up and I sobbed against his chest. while digging for something in the closet. and kissed my hair without saying anything. I tried desperately to calm myself. my knees were weak and I couldn't feel any strength in my body. I wouldn’t make it on time. She was my best friend. God… I just wish that this was all a nightmare. her eyes closed peacefully while I cried on her bedside… I saw her funeral. A lightning struck with a booming thunder. messy and tousled like always. Edward caught it with his finger. or what my mother. Damn it Bella! Stop that! I scolded myself with a tear running down. A pretty heavy one. Please don’t let her die. “Thanks. I started to sob again. he sat me on the couch. he held me tightly but he didn’t say anything. most caring person had done to deserve this. In the hospital. “Well. it was turning into a storm outside. fighting through the wind and rain. my fingers sprawling on the muddy ground. “Bella?! Bella?!” I heard a worried. Come on. Please let her be okay. with me weeping on the grave. Aside from the whooshing sound of the wind and . But please… please let my mom go through this. that’d be nice. “Bella!” I broke down. He already changed into dry clothes while I was showering. If it weren’t for the fact that I was still so upset about what happened to my mother. but please. “Maybe you’d like a shower?” “Yeah. I continued sobbing. let her survive. All this time. everything’s in the bathroom. sniffling the while way. I saw it. I picked up the shirt that he borrowed me. My mother.Chapter Thirty It was raining outside. The moment that I was alone. but how do you expect that to work when your mother was still showing no signs of consciousness? I got out of the shower and opened the cabinet like Edward said. When he finally got it open. There are extra towels in the cabinet. I don’t care if you take her years off my life. “Here. dropping the umbrella that he had in his hand.” he said kindly. It wasn’t over yet. His hair was still wet. I pictured the worst scenerio in my head. have something to drink. “Let’s go somewhere dry. And it wouldn’t be long till we go shopping with each other again. and I gripped on it so tightly that I thought that I would break it. and you’re going to get sick. why don’t you change into this?” he handed me one of his shirts. I’m pretty sure that’s the last thing that your mom would want. my voice hoarse and throaty. Thank you. my wall… but now. but because I was scared. I stood silently beside him while he tried to get the door open.” he said comfortingly with his hands around my waist. gripping my legs and rocking myself back and forth. The wind was blowing so hard that the windows were shaking. I grabbed one of the long towels that he had and dried myself. my room’s closer. My clung on to his shirt and walked to the shower. considering we were both drenched with rain. “Here.” he said. I saw my mother. as if they were going to break any second. Dear god. throwing my hands exasperatedly behind my head.” I said. My breath was still heavy. Charlie’s word kept flooding back to me. since I was numb from head to toe. shaking because it was so cold with the air-conditioning running in the hallway. desperate voice calling my name. I just ran mindlessly around the campus. a tear rolled down again. and slipped it on along with my wet bra and panties. My whole body was still shaking. I didn’t know where I was going. Was unconscious. To my dismay. Tears were running down rapidly like a water hose. I knew I would be embarrassed. with her out cold in the hospital… Not knowing if she’d wake up… I was more frightened then I had ever been. while I nodded my head. it was steamy and hot enough to warm me. I sunk down to my knees. “Damn it!” I screamed. I couldn’t let the tears stop. My mother had been the closet person to me since I was born. Thank heavens that he was strong. “My mom… She’s…” I managed to choke out between the gasping and the crying. not that I cared since I was already soaked with my tears. He held my hand firmly in his. guiding me to his dorm since I was still a little wobbly. I put my dirty clothes in the corner and walked back to the room. like the rain didn’t completely soak him already. Edward was right. Not because I was cold. I closed my eyes and leaned back. but not so hot that it would burn my skin. he picked up his umbrella and closed it since it was pretty pointless to use it. I let the water run. and I had been crying so much that it even hurt to breathe. Even if I got on the first flight back to New York.” I took it and sat beside him and placed the mug on the table. She would be okay. handing me a Bulldog mug with hot chocolate inside. It wasn’t. which was long enough to be a dress. praying silently for my mother. He ran hurriedly to my side. I was devastated again. I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked to you. I might add. That made me sob even harder. the kindest. It’s going to turn into a storm out here. gripping me with his arms. thinking what I had done. no matter how hard I tried not to be like this in front of Edward.

of losing someone that I love…” his voice was just a soft murmur. Edward! I’m so stupid! There I was crying about my mom. I just received some great news from Phil. the room was hushed. The weather channel said that the storm will hopefully be gone in the morning. “It’s fine. so I called Edward! God. I heard my cell phone breaking the silence. and picked up the phone. and he answered it. annoyed and mad at myself for being so insensitive. “Oh crap. Then. hyperventilating. I just got a call from my dad earlier. And I was going to see her.” she demanded. They came back a few minutes after you stormed out of the . “Yeah… yeah… I know! Of course not. it was a miracle that it was still working. I chuckled. just to make sure she’s alright. My mother was going to live. except with some bone fractures… but she’s going to live…” I felt my heart stop. I’m glad he found you. Thanks dad. I’m so sorry for scaring you. now I feel even more stupid bringing it up!” I groaned. but his cell buzzed.” I said. I’m sorry. Jasper’s with me. I was thinking maybe we could go and visit her for a couple of days. “Okay… that’s good.” “Well.” I said weakly to the phone.” “Alright. still processing what had just happened. Rosalie and Emmett are in her room.the rain hitting the window. Edward sat there and just let me ruin his shirt. She sighed. classes are canceled tomorrow. smoothing my hair. I’ll let you go now. for the scare. Tomorrow. I got a busy signal!” “Alice.” “Hi Alice. “Don’t worry about it. Okay… Hold on. “She’s going to be okay. I gasped loudly.” I apologized again. and after getting soaked by the rain. Then something hit me. “She wants to talk you again.” he said. What do you say?” “Yes. “Alice wants to talk to you. I would love that. “Hey…Yeah.” I walked back to the room slowly. calm down… please. “Bella! Sweetie.” he rolled his eyes and handed me the phone. but we'll see and keep in touch. staring into his eyes with my red. I felt like murdering myself. “How did you know where I was?” I asked between my sniffling. I’m fine now. and in case you haven’t heard. Alice! I’m not having her walk through that storm! Are you insane? Of course not!” I heard him say. I know how you felt… I’d be scared too. completely forgetting what happened to your parents! Oh jeez. “Great. You’re probably exhausted.” Then I started crying again. I’ll go over there and pick you up in the evening. while pacing around the room. Well. full of appreciation.” “Okay… Wait. I didn’t even know that I brought it with me." “Sure. But she’s going to be fine. “That’s wonderful. impatient. Then I heard my father on the other side of the line. Now let me talk to Edward. my mom was in an accident. “Oh my gosh… Oh my gosh!! Thank god. stay over at Edward’s tonight okay? It’s getting pretty bad outside. “Hello?” I said breathlessly. “Bella! You scared the hell out of me! I didn’t know what to do.” I said sheepishly. “Alice?” “Listen Bella. “Alice called me. Your mother is awake. I ran to the bathroom since it was still in my jeans. Edward smiled and embraced me into a hug. she’s here. I gave Edward back his cell. but this time… because I was happy. puffy ones. I pursed my lips and thought of different ways to show him how bad I felt. are you alone?” “No. and she’s going to be just fine. sounding parent-like. so is everything okay? What happened? And why didn’t you answer your cell. dad. I wasn’t thinking… I was frightened.” I croaked. staining it with salt water.” Edward grimaced.

room. “Uh…” I was about to lie. It was a photo of me and him. Then something banged on the window. Thank you. even though my mother was surviving. I wish I could believe him that easily. It was neat and tidy. I’m fine. The . “Edward.” I said meaningfully while gazing sincerely into his eyes. Sweet and thoughtful like always.” I said. Edward held me in his arms with some soft music playing in the background and a dim light. examining it for the first time since I was only thinking about my mother when I first came in.” I gulped. “There wasn’t much to choose from.” he said soothingly. “Edward?” “Yes. Edward was leaning against the wall. but I was determined not to cry in front of him again. Tears started bottling up. Who would ever thought. She had no idea what happened. would get herself someone as amazing and attractive like Edward as a boyfriend before I started going here? Even now. He chuckled at my embarrassment. I’ll always be here for you. There was a storm out there. He brought a quilt to the couch for me so I wouldn’t be cold. wrapping his arms strongly around me in a protective stance. then we hung up. Edward turned off the TV and said with much concern. “Are you cold?” he asked.” he whispered. There were books and CD cases orderly categorized on the shelves at the west side of the room. “No. And there I was running straight into it… I cringed in horror when I tried to imagine what would have happened to me if Edward hadn’t show up. I wanted to slap myself for making him worried. I had got to start paying attention to the news from now on.” I could see her grinning from the other side of the line. but she was still too weak to talk on the phone. but she said that you were crying. I had done enough of that today. “I’ll go find us something to eat. “So… how long are you going to be gone for?” he asked casually. I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to find you. I’m so sorry.” Edward came in with a sheepish grin. “Yes.” he winked and grabbed his keys off his desk. me. walking out of the door.” I felt terrible. “So… are you hungry?” he asked. “That’s good. “Charlie. I sat down on the edge of his bed and stared down at the picture that I was holding securely in my hands. a plasma screen TV with a library full of DVDs beside it. Bella Swan. as concerned and sweet as always. with us smiling and leaning against each other in the courtyard. he was so caring. Conclusion: it was very five-star hotel like.” I buried my face in his chest. but my stomach growled. He had a picture frame on his bedside. taken by Alice of course. “You’re welcome.” he whispered. thanks again. certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. Probably for a couple of days. “I was so worried when Alice told me that you ran out to the shielding rain. I might add. “It’s okay… everything’s going to be fine now. his hands in his pockets. The couch that I was sitting on was made of black leather. you know. “You scared me. with the storm going on and you hidden in some corner of the campus. and a NBA poster right above his desk. up-to-the-minute style. I have trouble believing it. Just checking… Well. I hogged all of the M&Ms and Doritos. and it matched the room perfectly with it’s modern. for making Alice worried.” I whispered and wrapped my arms around his neck. I’d still be out there somewhere. I didn’t deserve such great friends. making me jump in his arms. For the rest of the evening. It was impossible to doubt his sincerity. my dad. to make sure Mom’s okay…” then I stopped. Remember that. and I didn’t even know. I got up from his bed quickly.” He popped open a bag of chips while I rested my head against his chest. Bella?” “Thank you. tossing the junk food on the table and grabbing two cans of Cokes from the mini-fridge. and the first scene that we saw was a car flying in the air and banging against a tree on the News channel. I got up from the couch and walked around the room. And I knew I wouldn’t be relieved until I heard her voice. He turned on the TV. his eyes studying me very carefully. said that he was going to pick me up tomorrow. I just umm… realized what would have happened if you weren’t there. putting the photo back in to its place. “If it weren’t for you. “Are you okay?” he asked. completely wet.

I’m not kicking you out of your own bed!” I protested. you don’t have to hit the couch…” I said nervously. propping myself up with my hands on the bed. It’s not that bad. It took me a few seconds to bring myself back to the present. I blushed and hoped that I didn’t sound too desperate. “Are you sure?” I nodded my head and scooted over with a smile to make room for him.” He chuckled lightheartedly and picked me up from the floor with his muscular arms effortlessly as if I weighed nothing. “Goodnight. “No… I’ll take the couch. He knew me too well. I yawned. no sense of boredom shown on his face. . in that lullaby-like. twisting my hair in his fingers softly. “Nothing. Isn’t that what your dad said?” “I know. he didn’t buy it. “Get some rest Bella. “You should go to bed.” he commented. “Goodnight… Edward…” Then the night closed before me. studying his face and admiring his astounding beauty as we walked across the room. “She’s sounds really nice. pulling the covers for me to slip in. Bella… what was the worst that he can do? Turn you down? “Edward… “ I bit my lip and breathed unevenly. “What are you thinking?” he whispered. and I wasn’t about to gain his burden. He listened to me patiently.” My eyes were saggy and droopy. you had a rough day. just for tonight. Bella. I moved closer to him so that my cheek was pressed against his chest. “You worry about your mom. even though it was only nine thirty on Edward’s digital clock. which made me forget what I was telling him a few seconds ago. “You always get your way.atmosphere was very romantic and peaceful. It’s perfectly normal.” Edward narrowed his eyes at me. like I did. Then he asked me more about my mom. how I could talk about everything with her. the storm really isn’t a problem.” I said. and kept one of his arms around me. pulling me from my train of thoughts. Pretending that I didn’t notice.” “No. Bella. feeling him inhaling and exhaling. then another bang on the window. I kept talking with the stern tone.” I lied. “Take the bed… okay? Let me have my way. To my surprise.” I said. as if unsure that was what I wanted. He hushed me with his fingers. pacifying voice of his. and I told him what we used to do together when I was younger.” he whispered softly.” he smiled brilliantly at me.” Then I saw my favorite smile in the world. “I can walk home. I twined one of my arms around his neck. He laid my head gently on his soft. please?” he whispered. not wanting to worry him.” he caressed my cheek. “She is. He slipped his body under the covers.” There was no hesitation. I sat up. I just… I won’t feel safe until I see her. “The bed is big enough for the both of us. “You can have the bed. “Is this really what you want?” “It’s really what I want. I’ll take the couch. “Goodnight. He sat down beside me and lowered his face to my ear. “Did you honestly think I was going to make you sleep on the couch? Seriously. Just get it over with. “Humor me. leaning closer. He had enough on his hands.” he said caringly.” Why was I such a helpless push-over? I sighed. “Bella. “I know that sounds a little paranoid. stroking my fingers tenderly with his own. “Sleepy?” he chuckled.” he kissed my forehead and walked around to the other side of the bed to get the other pillow. which was hanging right above his plasma TV.” I confessed. what kind of boyfriend would I be?” a mocking smirk appeared on his face. proving me wrong. and we stayed contently on the couch for I didn’t know how long. His eyebrow quirked up. feeling grateful that I would get to see her. featherly pillow. I felt better after telling Edward all those things instead of feeling depressed. He then dropped me gently on his neatly made bed.” he said quickly. It’s bad enough that I’m intruding. “You know. But the good mind-reader that he was. “She’s going to be fine. don’t be difficult. I shook my head.

Hey. “It’s okay. “Never been better. his cheek resting against my hair. then I realized that my fingers were still clinging tightly to the front of Edward’s shirt. stroking my face with his fingers. they didn’t make any sense.” We got up from bed and took care of our morning needs. “You okay?” “Yeah…” he smiled and kissed my hair. I never got the chance to tell you how much I love it when you're in my clothes. making the outside world look bright and warm. After exiting the bathroom with my teeth brushed. the sun had gone out from behind the grayish clouds. “Yes. I stretched.” he chuckled and leaned down to whisper in my ear. because I heard that people are really boring when they’re asleep.” I said sarcastically. I did. “You know. Edward wrapped his arms around me and spun me around to face him. but most of the time. “Apparently not you. I continued pressing. I smiled back automatically. it just occurred to me that I have nothing to wear on the way back to my room. How about you?” He pulled me closer to him. “Anything else?” He looked into my eyes. I nudged him in the stomach and he laughed.” “Whatever Edward. Like California. I rolled my eyes.” he said humorously. I thought I was going to faint. I stared up at Edward. . and it woke me up.” I teased. “Hope I wasn’t a disappointment.” “Good morning… really sorry about that. Since you know. “Edward?” “Hmm?” he turned his gaze back to me. his eyebrow raised. “I was too excited… I mean. You should wear them more often. thank you.” he chuckled. you look beautiful. my clothes are…” “Dripping wet with mud?” he finished. I wanted to say. and it was the most wonderful thing to hear in the morning.” he stroked my hair very gently. but he shook his head. For a second there. “You worry about your mother. I knew from my mother that I always said things in my sleep. “Seriously.” My face was cringed up with horror. what kind of guy wouldn’t be when they have the most beautiful girl on campus spending the night with them?” I laughed. and his eyes softened. He chuckled.” I sighed. “You talk in your sleep. thanks. I let go and muttered a sorry. With embarrassment.” he said alluringly. “A lot?” “I can assure you it was under a hundred. “What did I say?” “Relax Bella. “No!” I shrieked. But of course it was true. Like it was possible not to sleep well with you next to me. “Good morning. So… did you sleep well?” he asked. What a convenience that I was already on a bed. It was no longer storming. Edward was dazzling me with his astoundingly beautiful.Chapter Thirty-One Some birds were chirping outside of the window the next morning. emerald green eyes. but that wasn’t the part that I was afraid of him hearing. “You did say my name. Then his thoughts seemed to be else where. but instead.” I pursed my lips. completely terrorized. “Yeah.

excited and envious.” Emmett joked before sitting down.” “So I look that bad. I should have known. There were trees falling down everywhere. amazed. “It’s not that. any whistling. Jasper. I laughed and flopped backwards on the bed. Half an hour later. but it was a mess. not that I’m complaining. the trees… the stores…” “Umm Alice? If I couldn’t walk back to the room. you aren’t really wearing pants. He eyed me for a second.” she replied sheepishly. and the shirt will be see-through under the sunlight. the tables flipped over… it was disastrous. “Geez. huh?” He snorted. “No way. and Rosalie following behind her. “I’m sorry. But the school had promised to get things back to normal by the beginning of next week. Alice came with my clothes." “They are your clothes. Emmett got up from the couch and went in the kitchenette to throw something in the trashcan.” he smirked. I sighed. Look at all this junk food! Is that what you guys ate last night?” he asked. I mean. “A three-day weekend. what makes you think I would go wandering around the campus in Edward’s shirt?” I chuckled. Later in the afternoon. like they had been here a million times. I’m pouncing on them. . Well.” “Alice to the rescue. She’s going to be fine. have you guys gotten the chance to see the campus? It’s really messed up. with Emmett. teasing him on his words. “Looks like they canceled the classes for nothing today. because I’m having that problem myself.” Rosalie said. “The vending machine was out in the girl’s dorms! You guys were totally lucky!” “Hey. LET’S GO!” She grabbed her purse and dragged me out of the door. I swear.He laughed.” “It’s okay.” I hummed under my breath. or at least I thought they were my old clothes.” He kissed my forehead and went to his desk for his phone. Bella. Alice was right about the campus. running his hands along my sides. They acted like they had been in some light conversation. you’re dressed now. Charlie called to say that he’d be picking me up at five-thirty so that we could have dinner together on the plane. They all took their chances hugging me. I’m rambling. then it was suddenly silent in the living room expect for some unintelligible murmurs. And I know I shouldn’t blame them for having trouble keeping their hands to themselves. technically. We heard.” Jasper nodded approvingly. “Nice look. I went in the bathroom to change. “I’m calling Alice. they are yours now. I shot him a dead look. since you said I look good in it. I always knew Edward’s shirts would work on you. gazing out of the window. but I figured that was the best that he could plan to spend more time with me. It’s just… I don’t know if I can control myself if the guys eye you lustfully when you walk by. It wasn’t the most exciting idea.” I motioned my body with my hands from top to bottom. “I’ll call Alice to bring something over.” he said threateningly while I looked at him.” she beamed. “Good point. it wasn’t in a complete ruin. “Alice. “Whoa. I thought Edward told you to bring some of my clothes.” They made themselves comfortable on the carpet and couch. I took a deep breath and joined my friends in the living room. “Or I could just walk back in this. “They why do they have price-tags on them?” “Well.

amused. He took a step closer and wrapped one of his arms lightly around my waist while I laid my head against chest. And hey. I didn’t know anyone here. I looked into his green eyes. smirking.” I apologized. he raised his eyebrow at me and his lips twitched. I don’t know what I could have done without you.” I breathed. Both of you will feel better after seeing each other. “You’re going to be alright.” Now it was just me and Edward.” Rosalie said. Charlie opened the door to the trunk. After putting the luggage in its place. and I knew it was Charlie’s.” The others hugged me too. that I’m actually going to see her… I’m nervous. as if they were weightless.” he said. and they were filled with worry and concern.” he said. smiling up at him after . “It’s good to meet you. but he quickly took them off when he stepped outside of the car. He smiled. I was a stranger to the school. thank you. I’m going to sign you out in the Administration office. I would squeeze Edward’s hand tighter. “Dad.“We’re going to miss you. holding it as tightly as I could. Very nice to meet you. “Hey dad. “Ready?” “Yes. “It’ll be fine. but Edward said that he got them.” Jasper smiled. friend. Whenever a car passed by. Edward gave me one reassuring handsqueeze and helped me up. Alice. Three weeks.” he hugged me. Thanks.” Alice hugged me tightly after I finished packing my clothes and was about to leave the room. accepting the handshake. Nevertheless. Bells. only the last time when I set my foot on the ground.” Edward extended his hand politely. I was fidgeting with Edward’s hand in mine. I’ll be there faster than you can say my name. Charlie looked at us and smiled.” he murmured. more to himself than me.” I waved and walked out of the room. “I’ll skip the speech. and was about to take the bags from Edward. Edward took my bags and flung them over his shoulder. “The thought of seeing my mother was nice… but now. “Have a safe flight Bella. and it was the ‘awkward-one-arm-hug’ that I was used to receiving from him. but frowned a little when he saw Edward standing next to me. waiting.” I smiled. Call if you need anything. facing each other at the back of the car. too. “It’s good to see you.” Emmett said. Funny to think how three weeks ago my dad dropped me off at the exact same place. but I’m here for you. trust me. “I’ll miss you. “Thank you. “You have all of us on speed dial. “I’m sorry.” I said appreciatively. But now. only if it’s only for a couple of days. seeing her in tubes and IVs…” I leaned against his shoulder. shiny BMW pulled up a few seconds later.” I told my dad that I’d meet him in front of the administration office. I’ll be back in a seconds. and just… relax.” “I'll miss all of you guys too! See you in a couple of days. I don’t know if I can stand it. don’t stress yourself. sir. “Edward. Edward and I sat on the steps. evaluating him. winking. “I hope so. I had four best friends and a boyfriend that everyone dreamed of having. this is…” “Edward Cullen. My dad was wearing a pair of sunglasses. okay? I know you’d call Edward if there’s any kind of emergency. taking Charlie by complete surprise. he regained his composure when he walked up to us. if any guys try to hit on you at the hospital. that was all it took for everything to go in a drastic change. Edward noticed my tenseness. “This is it.” A black. thinking it was Charlie. “Well.

And she survived. I’m here. I held his hand tightly for one last time in mine and made my way to the car. I’ll be waiting in the car. “As much as I would like for you to stay longer. slamming the door behind me. discussing the person you’re dating with your dad wouldn’t exactly be your best interest. which wasn’t at all necessary. getting it in my head for the days that I was going to be without him.” the words upset me more than it should. A few seconds later. But I wasn’t who I used to be. I nodded and thanked him. giving me a delicate kiss on my forehead. and of course.” I scoffed at his tease and he laughed. I saw him waving back. After .” “What is it. if you need anything. who was checking his watch anxiously. too. No big deal. I don’t think your father would like it much if we keep him waiting. defending Edward with all of my heart. We made up small talks about the school… my friends. Remember.” I said. “Don’t do anything that you might regret later. telling me that you got married. “He’s very nice and understanding. BAM! She meets me with a boyfriend…” he muttered. he is very good-looking.” he sighed.” I swallowed. dad. “All set. I breathed in the scent of his neck.” he whispered. I smiled. “Have a safe flight. my dad stood there awkwardly. not to mention this is just going to be for a few days. Someone cleared their throat a few yards away. “So… is that Edward guy a boyfriend of yours?” he asked. watching us. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to let Charlie know about Edward.” he added thoughtfully. he would know that all of his worries were pointless. you wouldn’t be wearing a wedding ring. Charlie reached his hand out to ruffle my hair. “Err… Bells. Is that what drew you to him?” he joked. I started laughing too. okay? I know that he’s probably a good guy…” “He is a good guy. “He is. it led to Edward. He knows what I’m thinking. I looked over to my father. “Yes. as if admitting a weakness. “Yeah… he is. The Bella Swan that I used to know lived without a guy for her whole life. A lot.” I interrupted. “All set?” Charlie asked. and I’ll be here when you get back.” I rolled my eyes. dad?” “Promise me the next time that I see you.placing a kiss on his chest. I hope things go smoothly. trying to play it cool. From the rearview mirror. “Promise me something. A couple of days. we need to head out or we’ll miss the flight. shaking his head.” “Good-looking too. I have a right to be picky and alarmed when it comes to the boyfriend for my daughter. “Okay… But as your father. turning scarlet red. I waved at Edward as my dad pulled out of the parking space. Charlie bought us First class tickets. I was going to miss him. Three weeks later. ‘kay?” “Sure dad. He was right. He smiled back. “My little girl is really growing up. I was just thinking… before I dropped you off in the Academy. but being a teenage girl. you showed no interest in any guy.” “That’s good… just be careful.” It was a seal of promise.” he grinned. And that certainly was before I met Edward Cullen. but there’s more to him than that. It took us half and hour to arrive at the Airport. “You’re welcome.” I gave Edward a tight hug. Very polite. The car ride was pretty silent.” I sighed. “I guess this is goodbye. Edward had been nothing but a gentleman in the past weeks. Bella. “He seems like a good guy. always there at my time of needs… giving me his shoulder to cry on when I was upset…If Charlie had known Edward. Always.

I’ll do that.” “Don’t be ridiculous. She chuckled and shook her head. he picked up.” I whispered. what kind of guy goes out for donut when their wife.dinner. was in the hospital? But nevertheless. The doctor said I was allowed. entering through the door. There was no awkwardness between them. like the gentleman that he always was.” The men didn’t look suspicious or curious about my phone call. and I heard him sighing with relief. There were even times when Charlie would stop by our home in New York during a business trip for dinner. mom? I mean. Renee?” Charlie asked. Thank you. Throughout the night. or ex wife. They are only doing their job. “Bella?” Hearing his voice made my heart warm.” I heard Phil’s chuckle. I was worried that you weren’t going to react well in the hospital. I slept the whole way to New York until he shook my shoulders to wake me up. He sighed. I mean. Charlie.” he said thoughtfully. Both of them being huge baseball fans. It’s nice of you to come with Bella. I hope she gets better. “I really miss you. I looked frantically at her and she smiled. You might think it is weird. as if offended. are you hurting?” I asked. Then my mom tried to sit up. Of course I’d come. but I’m glad it’s the opposite. but they truly get along. which was totally obvious. okay?” He chuckled. The nurse led us to room #605. “You look taller now. I looked over to Phil. “Are you okay. “That’s because you haven’t been standing up mom. and how she was holding up with the pain. I thanked him and apologized that I had to cut the call short. looking out of the window. He offered to take my father to a donut store nearby. . Phil made an excuse to leave my mother and I alone to talk. I excused myself quickly and decided to call Edward to let him know that I got here safely. and she’s well enough to sit up!” I croaked happily to the phone. raised her eyebrow at me and smirked. squeezing my hand tightly for someone who had just been in an accident. He told me to go to my mother understandingly. I’ll see you in a few days. The Yankees or whatever. Dad asked if the hospital was keeping up with her needs. After three rings. alright? Don’t get too stressed out over anything. And you need to do the same thing and stop worrying about me. Dad being Mom’s ex and all. however. “Not nearly as much as I miss you. I’ll let you go to your mother now. “Hi Bella. “Much better.” she assured me and I sighed in relief.” I murmured softly. I nodded my head. “That’s great.” he scoffed slightly. but did they listen? No!” “Don’t be so difficult. I’m just a little worn out from all the medication that they gave me. and then finally remembered that he wasn’t here to see my nod. During the questioning. and smiled at us with a good luck. while letting the adults have a few words with each other. Renee. and it’s only been a few months since I last saw you. “No sweetie.” he said genuinely. friendly. they got into a conversation quickly about the American baseball teams. My mom. “I’ll try my best. “Bella. I appreciated the thought. The hospital was close to the JFK Airport.” she smiled faintly at me and held my hand while I sat on the plastic chair beside her bed. “Hey Phil. and he nodded with approval. “Edward! She’s okay… I’m in the hospital right now. so I said to the phone. while exchanging a handshake with my dad. the usual Renee Enthusiasm. I took a deep breath and opened the door… “Mom!” I gasped and ran to her bed with tears pouring out when I saw her lying there weakly with scars on her cheeks and plastic tubes over her body. Bella. sounding just as worried as I was. smiling slightly. “Sure. he had more to talk about with Phil than me. Charlie. it’s natural to feel smaller compare to the others. She said she was doing ‘great’ of course. even though… you know. I keep telling them that I’m fine. which has a view of the speeding cars on the Highway. “How are you doing.” my mom said. Charlie and Phil being all “buddy-buddy” with each other. it’s so good to see you sweetie.” I greeted him. Relax. “It’s fine. as if wishing luck to an old friend.” he said.

remember?” I hushed them when they stepped in the room. tell me about that school of yours. I groaned. “He’s doing the play with me. I mean.” he said. I didn’t tell her that I was dating him. actually. that maybe my divorce with Charlie had set things the wrong way for you… I used to think that maybe you were insecure. But I knew that deep down inside. Rosalie. as Romeo. sweetie! So.” Charlie said as I stood up from my chair. “That’s wonderful. Captain. and he gets me. ducking my head a little so she wouldn’t notice my face redden. “And you’re dating this Edward guy?” “Kind of. I was a little worried.” I said sheepishly. I decided to change the topic. And I swear. “He told you about that? Jeez. “It’s because I hadn’t met Edward back then. “Plus he’s incredibly cute…” I added that part to lighten up the mood.” I chuckled. Bella. It’s a hospital. Edward. “Well.” “Oh… okay…” Then I heard my father and my stepfather’s voice echoing in the hallway. I gave her some more details about Alice. Well. “So kiddo. She smiled brightly. Emmett. I’m really glad that you have finally found someone. My mom laughed.keeping my tone as gentle as possible.” “How adorable! Romeo and Juliet!” she sighed contently. I mean. “So… who were you talking to on the phone?” she asked casually. your life. you were smiling wider than I have ever seen you smile before. her eyes full of wonder. I’m kind of hurt. I had been saying all those unimportant stuff about my life when my mother. I grinned at her and continued.” she winked at me. But with Edward. I don’t know… They just weren’t my type. The smile on her face grew wider. I explained their confusing relation with each other since I was pretty sure that she didn’t understand it through E-mail. any wider her lips would have torn.” My mom gripped on my shoulder tightly. “So when are you getting out of the hospital. “He’s on the basketball team. And I can count on him to be there for me…” An image of Edward’s crooked smile popped in my mind. might as well as just get it over with. umm… Edward. I know. Jasper.” she smirked. We do want you to get your rest. Mom?” She sighed. A little too late. We’ll be back tomorrow. .” I admitted finally. that you discussed this with him first.” I said quickly.” she joked. The guys in New York. I swear. “Charlie said that he is very good looking and very nice. “Oops. but my mother was a smart woman. she'd know sooner or later. A really nice one. “Mom. “The doctors want to make sure that I’m completely on the right path of recovering. she was dying for some information. You’d think that we were chatting at home instead of the hospital by the direction that our conversation was leading to. was the one that we needed to discuss. Maybe because I blushed. as if not really caring. she did catch that there was something different with Edward from all of the other names that I had spoken of. She laughed and patted my head. and of course.” she demanded. you guys are so loud. or she was just a good mind reader. so I have company. “He’s really just… perfect in every way. “Oh yeah. grinning. I couldn’t even understand what I was writing myself. yeah. we better get going. pecking my mom’s cheek lightly. and that was why you didn’t go out with anyone back home…” her face was solemn. I just called him to tell him that I got here safely. we can talk about everything. so they want me to stay for at least a week. Phil’s taking the week off to stay with me. But don’t worry. We share many same interests. Your friends. tell me about him. “Oh. “That’s so good to hear. after all.” she said excitedly. I was only on the phone for about what? Five seconds?” “It was long enough to see that bright glow on your face when you spoke his name. I figured there was no use trying to lie. “So did you ladies have a nice chat?” Mom squeezed my hand. Like expected. “Man dad.

I giggled.” “Thank you.” a smile spread across my face. Chapter Thirty-Two I went back to the hospital the next day.” Mom hugged me and kissed my cheek. right? As I boarded the plane.” Dad drove us to a Sheraton Hotel not too far away from the hospital in a rented SUV. kiddo. "You guys have a safe flight.” “Love you too. “Be safe. and the next to say goodbye. Who knew when was the next time that I was going to see my mother? But the thought that reminded me that I had another family waiting for me. Mom.” I replied. See you tomorrow.” Then the rest of the ride was quiet. Sweetie..” she looked appreciatively at her former lover. At first. I think I am. Then a beep made me fall out of the bed with surprise. “Sure. which was totally expected. Was he asleep too? I wondered. Of course. I mean it. Charlie. but a nice visit. It was so like Edward to do something sweet like this. a two-bedroom suite? That suits me. But my mom told him to get an earlier flight so I won’t be jet-lagged Monday morning. I settled on a classic station. after seeing my mother and knowing that she was doing great on recovering. breaking the awkward silence.. since it’s another half hour drive to the Academy. grasping my hand at the same time. I mean. “Well. Before I clicked for the reply button. made me feel a lot happier. It was too fancy for my taste. Oh yeah. I must say it wasn’t under the best circumstances. and a handshake for Charlie. I considered that for a moment. another message came in the inbox: Have fun dreaming about me tonight." “Bye Mom! Bye Phil!” I was feeling a little sad when I closed the door behind me. “Yeah. which for the corner of my eye I saw him looking relieved since I didn’t go for some loud. agreeing wholeheartedly with him. It’s good to see you. I looked over to the phone that was sitting on my bed side. “I’m glad you came. “Are you looking forward to going back to the Academy?” he asked. . my heart was doing the dance. It was parked securely in the lot of the Airport while we were away. “Feel better. I reached for my cell from the floor and flipped the lid open… To: Bella From: Edward Goodnight. I had told my friends that I wasn’t arriving till late at night. I said goodnight to my dad and went back to my room. and for some reason. Dad and I walked to his BMW after we got off and claimed our luggage. it was certainly good to see Renee. my heart felt lighter than it was before.m. pop song stations. My dad gave her a squeeze before leaving. back in the Academy. Renee. “Good.” Charlie said relaxingly once we drove away from the airport. Charlie booked a later flight that was supposed to get us back in California by 9:48 p. Charlie was nice enough to let me take control of the radio. After taking a warm. That was so Edward. beautiful. but I’m not complaining. just the same. bubbly bath. But I figured a surprise could never do any harm.” Phil came over and gave me a hug.“Love you.

After our farewells. Bella. “Hey Roomie. “No dad. and I told them about how she was doing with distractions messing with my head. “Hey! Where’d you go?” I told them that I was visiting family. I practically ran for the basketball court that we usually went to. “Okay then. “Go for it. though looking nervously at his watch.” Jasper said humorously from the couch. It was twilight. Alice held on to me longer than I had hoped for. girls talking animatedly while walking on the sidewalk with friends. He was wearing a black muscle shirt with navy blue shorts. embarrassed. I overheard him talking on the phone with Carmen a while ago. smirking. that was totally unexpected. Trees were standing up. I don’t think that I would have enjoyed climbing up the stairs while hauling heavy bags behind me. I saw kids tossing footballs around on the grass. and took my bags out of his trunk after he filled in the forms . I watched him miss another shot. I got them. promising her that he’d be home by eight and it was almost six. which was most definitely true.. I dragged my bag across the campus to my dorm. but smiling. It didn’t go in. Okay. he was Edward Cullen. Captain?” I walked quietly up to him.The guard opened the gate for us when we stopped in front of the entrance of the Academy. Jasper too. I mean. “No problem.” “Aren’t I always?” I put on the innocent face like I was hurt that he even brought that up. hey roomie’s boyfriend. “Sorry. They’re not that heavy. and the buildings were as clean as before. who was there just like Jasper said he would be. the pretty color of the sky was a mixture of red and orange. “Where’s umm…” “Looking for boyfriend dearest? I heard that he was going to shoot some hoops. I turned into a shade of red. “Bella! I thought you weren’t coming back until later on tonight!” Forgetting that I had a hefty (okay… at least for me) bag in my hand.” Alice winked and motioned me the door. my friend. Our basketball court.” I chuckled and gave her another hug. Dad signed me in at the office.. I looked around at the familiar surroundings and saw that most of the campus had been cleaned up. “Bella?” . Got to love my friends.” I greeted them jokingly and she flung her arms over my body. “Jasper! Have you seen my…” Alice was cut off. It surprised me since Edward didn’t just simply miss shots. They asked me all about my mother. his lips twitching up to a grin. and just as I started the swooning. it bounced off the rim and hit the floor. and he didn’t notice me coming since he was facing me with his back. considering it was dinner time. he left. I watched him from a few yards away as he jumped up gracefully to make a shot from behind the free-throw line. I was a little out of breath by the time I got to the front of the building. There weren’t many kids on the sidewalks now. “Umm… Alice? I think Bella’s dying. Thank god that we had elevators at our school.” Jasper replied. He froze and turned around with an incredulous look.” she giggled. “Losing your touch. He laughed and pulled me into a hug. giving Jasper a meaningful look. Alice gasped and dropped her arms at the same time I let the bags hit the floor with a loud thud. Be good. so the court was empty. mid-sentenced by the rustling of my keys. with the exception of Edward. I met some people on the way that greeted me and went. I pushed the door opened. “You want me to take these up to your room for you?” he offered.” I smiled. The outlines of his muscles were perfectly visible under the orange-ish rays of light from the sky.

” I said sweetly. “Of course it’s okay. “I just lost my concentration.” He took the ball and started dribbling it. by the way. “Now. rolling my eyes. But it wasn’t long till he caught me and I started laughing with him. I’m sure that Alice and Rosalie won’t like me very much after this. and it looked even more beautiful at night. “Mind telling me how you missed that shot?” He chuckled. smirking. We stared in each others' eyes for a while. shrieking the way.” I replied gleefully and tip-toed up to kiss him again.” We ordered some takeouts and sat on the grass to enjoy our dinner. too. “My apologies. not mine.” he joked slyly. I prefer to spend my first evening back in California with my boyfriend. I shrugged. he continued laughing and messing up my hair. and there really weren’t any one around since we picked the less crowded section of the campus.” I smiled and picked up the ball from the ground that he dropped a moment ago to embrace me. joyous. “And he scores!” he said triumphantly. It was like a picnic. The smile that made girls of all ages melt. "Ah! Stop!" To my dismay.” I said. while I scoffed at him and hit him playfully on the shoulder. He grinned. gazing in to my eyes with his infamous crooked smile. in each other’s arms… it was like a scene from the movies. Only this time." "I'm going to make you regret even thinking that. "Those were your words. and made a swift shot through the basket. “Change of plans. “Still got it.” I whispered when we pulled away.” I reached up and pulled his face down to mine again. you know… I’m still better. no doubt. the lights to the basketball court turned on automatically. Edward. “But I thought…” he shook his head. “Whatever.” He didn’t say anything else because his lips were down to mine. I did what I do best. but I want to spend the evening alone with you. “It’s good to be home. I rolled my eyes. “I’d say ‘miss’ is an understatement for me.” he snickered. “So…” I said. making another free throw from the three-point line. breathless and panting form his kissing expertise. It was absolutely romantic. it had since Edward’s lips started moving against mine in the same urgent excitement that I had felt in our last kiss. Comparing me to Emmett was definitely meant to be an insult. just as we were about to leave. His emerald eyes were sparkling with joy. .” he said. it went in. “I missed you. Including myself. kissing under the sunset.” he said finally. with the moonlight reflecting on the surface. His lips twitched. “It’s good to have you back.” “Huh. and grinned.” "Are you doubting my ability at playing basketball?" his tone was teasing and light. a smile spreading on both of our faces. I ran. “Perfect. hoping that it had the alluringness that I was going for. It was getting darker outside now. the same place that we talked in after the whole Mike Incident. “So… are you hungry? Or are you still tired from the time difference?” “Like I’m ever too tired for food. music to my ears. “Show me how much you missed me then. You sound like Emmett. I realized how we must have looked like from other’s eyes. Apparently. In front of us was the artificial pond. returning the smile.” I joked. he picked me up and spun me around in circles. “I was just humoring you with it. kissing me fiercely with enthusiasm." he laughed and ruffled my hair while I screamed. Only the leading male character in my movie was a lot hotter than the other ones. if that’s okay.I ran to him and leaped into his arms. I giggled. smiling genuinely at me.

Chapter Thirty-Three Flyers..” I said unhesitatingly.” he murmured." "That makes two of us. you guys don’t water the grass on Sunday nights. since we were both underage. and I place after a piece of meat with buns. you know. was now melted.” We lied on the grass and stared up at the beautiful night in front of us after finishing all of the food. “Well. My girlfriend puts me on the second of the list. “True. they practically work with hamburgers twenty-four seven?” “Shut up.” he feigned an aching look but it was soon replaced with a witty smirk that came across his face. just think. The moon wasn’t clear. really. for coming back. They were posted everywhere among the campus along with blue and yellow ribbons. “Relax.” We weren't having wine or anything. appeared. The man actually cracked a smile. I could have sworn it was still alive. the same one that warned us afterwards about the sprinklers the last time. I mean. incredulous. “I should have asked for ice. but back in New York the only glistening objects that we see up on the sky were planes. or shall I say chocolate shake. He laughed and took out some more stuff from the big.” I added. He looked at us. you place after the hamburger.“Here’s to your mom. I actually saved you from the chances of getting soaked. and flyers.chocolate sundae. plastic bag that was given to us by the clerk with our purchase. I’m just here to get things ready for tomorrow morning. I snickered. it disappeared into the darkness.” He gaped at me with a smug smile." he whispered. since I only had three more. a janitor. “Did you make a wish?” he asked. I had spent the whole evening with him. but Mountain Dew was just as nice. Before I had the chance to exclaim. It was absurd. for surviving.” I reminded him. Our dessert. My dad is a fan of sea foods. Then something flashy shot across the sky.” I threw a piece of fry at him and instantly regretted it. “Thanks for wounding my ego.” In the middle of our chocolate sundae. I know I probably sounded like a fool.. my voice sounding like a mumble after taking a bite out of the hamburgers since I hadn’t swallowed completely yet.” With that. the weather wasn’t muggy and there were light breezes every now and then that blew against my skin very gently. but in a romantic. “Cheers. captivating beauty. it was smeared and foggy.” he scoffed. this is so good. At least we were conserving water. flyers. pointing.” Edward said defensively. The night was gorgeous. the last time that I checked. I have everything that I want right here. “No. and here’s to you. “Man.” I said. “So… did you hit on any fast food workers while you were there? Since you know. He laughed.” Edward smiled. lying there gloriously on the grass like a Greek god with his hands behind his head. “Of course. “So of all the things that you could have missed. I gulped. and Edward’s face turned a little pink. After admiring his inhuman. “The last time wasn’t so bad. “You have no idea what I ate in New York. “My god. then his lips pressed softly against mine. beautiful kind of way. titling his head to me with a heartwarming smile. I’m hurt. “Oh my gosh! Did you see that? A shooting star!” I beamed. I shrugged. “And you. reminding . he went away. I smiled.” I joked. He thought about it and grinned. Bella. This guy was surreal. but his smile still gave me this fluttery and tickling feeling in my stomach. remembering that oyster thing that Charlie ordered last night.” I cringed with horror. no glare or smile. “Enough laughing at my expense. “I never knew you were such an environmentalist. you missed a hamburger?” his tone was mocking now. “I don’t need a wish. Make that two now.

" I promised her encouragingly. with Bulldogs written at the front. did I mention that it was surrounded by big. brushing her hair. When I opened the door that gets me to the other side of the gym. “I had never seen you in the basketball games before." I went in the bathroom and took care of my needs. I was more than surprised to see who I found at the opposite side of the door.. And he’s shy like me too. like banners with Bulldogs or Edward’s Jersey number.” “Oh. so we really get along. I don’t know what got to us. After each of us applied some lip gloss. I mean. Alice gasped mockingly. not unless they were on their death beds. we walked excitedly out of the door. everyone was exceptionally cheerful on Tuesdays due to the game. surprised to see me on the reflection of the mirror. it’s fine…” "Okay. Angela! He’s a great guy!” She sighed. and I mean blushed.” I said to my friends.” She blushed. There were souvenirs sold outside in the stands. so I decided to excuse myself to the bathroom. We still had a good amount of time until the game. I saw Angela in front of the mirror. but we still have hours. .” Rosalie joked. elbowing me. What are we eating for dinner?” I said when I felt my empty stomach growl.” I said. “Hey Bella.” she greeted me with a smile. When I came out from the stalls. for “bonding”. red.” Rosalie said. From what I heard. I knew there was a reason that we were friends. I laughed. “I’ll be right back. We took our seats at the front of the gym.us that there was a game tonight. We grabbed some Chinese and headed back afterwards to our room to change. there’s the fan club. examining them under the sunlight. that was definitely a no-brainer. “You mean… only hours? We have to get ready right now then!” I scoffed and rolled my eyes at my best friends. “Want me to tag along?” “No. “Restroom alert. pointing at the sophomores and freshmen who were holding posters with Edward’s name on. if any bimbos attack you. “Well. navy blue of course. you know our cell. but Ben convinced me to come. "I think I'll survive. “Well yeah. come on! Nobody misses the games. He disappeared right after school with the rest of the basketball team. “What are we wearing to the game?” Rosalie asked while checking her nails. They were sometimes so obsessed. “Hey. tearing some paper towels to dry my hands. Oh yeah. We heard the loud booming music echoing around us as we made our way to the gymnasium. Usually I stay in my room and prepare for upcoming tests. “Umm… hate to burst your bubble. teasing. As if anyone would not know… I mean. “Hi Angela. staring at his teammates who were already warming up on the basketball court.. the whole team was going to get dinner somewhere together with the Coach. It's not like they needed to bond. puffy hearts? “Looks like Bella has some competition. Missy. I stuck my tongue out at her. You’d be surprised what two cups of strawberry slurpees could do to you.” “Ben Cheney? That’s wonderful. Childishly. I had on a sleeveless top. he’s just so… nice. You can kind of picture which line held more girls. Alice. I think I am going to enjoy it.” Alice snickered. “Yeah.” We walked out together and told each other goodbye since she had to return to her date. you’re going to have fun tonight.” I smiled back. “He is. I didn’t see Edward at all after Biology on Tuesday." Alice sang. “Girls? Let hit the food court!” Rosalie announced enthusiastically. “Okay… let’s focus on something more important.” she said while I washed my hands.

startled. looking at us and the screen. the Captain. and the first point was made in seconds. “I saw that you weren’t with Rose and Alice. blushing furiously the whole way I might add. dude. appeared on the huge screen above. the game quickly started after the second ring.” I whispered. Talk about unfair!” I heard one of the girls sitting behind us say.” I added. However. make that shot! Cody passed the ball to Edward as soon as the ball was checked. There were lots of murmurings when I passed by to get to my seat. looking all happy and out of breath at the same time. thanks to our Captain. Jasper and Jamie extended fists and got to the other side of the court. “Swan is so lucky. good luck with the game. Edward returned with a not-so-friendly glance in the guy’s direction.” I managed to say when I saw every pair of eyes in the gym. back and forth… like they were deciding which one had the better view. so I figured you’d be in the ladies’ room…” then he extended his arms and pulled me into them. “Oh my god. “Meet me after the game. and it was time for the game. I looked up with amusement and saw that Edward and I. Could he be any sweeter? When we pulled away. seemed to recover themselves really quickly after the game started. with a hammering heart inside my chest.” I heard someone else say. who looked like a senior and looked like he had way more experience than the rest of his team. I tore my face away from his and gave him a light peck on the cheek. as if to say. from another direction. “Hey…” taking a step closer to me. Unexpectedly. Rosalie and Alice wiggled their eyebrows at me. but I had too much on my mind to care. Shake it high and shake it low. Our team got the ball first.” I blurted out and was about to walk back to where my friends were sitting. the one that showed the replay of the game. whoever. but I wasn’t really thinking about them since my heart was still throbbing from Edward’s kisses. traveled down the court without getting held by those bulky guys from the other team and scored with an excellent slam dunk. They looked pretty dumbfounded. ‘way to go’. and fortunately for me. All I could think was the sweetness of his lips… “BEEEP!!” the timer rung loudly. Basketball is what we do. - “Whoo! Go Edward! Go Bulldogs!” Those girls. Then to my astonishment. “Uh… I better go. invidious. “I just had to see you before the game. scowled at Edward and gave him a menacing glare. “Yes!” Alice high-fived me and Rosalie when Jasper made a shot after getting by this really heavy dude from the other team. he caught my wrist and turned me around to kiss me fully and passionately on the lips. Edward.” I smiled with my face buried in his chest. but I knew for sure that I had my eyes locked on Edward the whole time. He smiled. So come on Bulldogs. The gym was reverberating with “awes”. The net is hot. I found myself lost again… in his perfect. with our confused gazes. The hoops are open. I mean. He nodded at me and winked. I couldn’t really pay full attention to the game. in the hoop the ball will go. dazzling green eyes. with a big old question mark above their heads. This is not good…. running to his teammates while I made my way. and we'll cheer it just for you. come on! Edward’s like… so hot. . like a ghost. my voice was coming out of the speakers.“Edward?” I questioned. Not that you need it. back to my friends. “Well. “Oh my gosh! How lucky is she? She’s only been here for what? Three weeks? And she managed to get Edward Cullen to fall head over heels for her.

taking him by complete surprise. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he turned his murderous gaze to those two and snarled at them. Edward cleared his throat. I gasped.” I murmured. but instead. but pouncing on Edward? That’s just suicidal. They snarled back. Alice clapped her hands and was quickly joined by the rest of us. "Em. Sometimes we forget that you’re new. I couldn’t believe my ears. You bid on one of the basketball players. Victory Victory That's our cry Victory Victory That's our pride Split that V Dot that I Curve that C-T-O-R-Y “Congratulations. Bulldogs! Once again undefeated! Now ladies. “Our bad. still sending glares in Edward's direction. “People auction?” I repeated. “Son of a bitch! Those… those…. and stood up from my seat. “Poor Edward. he was surrounded by a bunch of people. fixed in each others’. The two morons were benched much to their protests.” he said. Alice looked angry as well. them pouncing on someone was bad. and you spend the evening with them. “Edward!” I cried. but then these guys jump on your back to bring you down. Only this time. I'm perfectly fine.” he shrugged. silently cursing under her breath. “Um… Let’s just get back to the game. he saw me with a look that said that he was looking for me as well.” Alice explained. The referee blew the whistle and got someone to pull those assholes off him. And a few seconds later. fantasying. imagine this: you're about to shoot. “Bye guys. No harm done. I saw the girls hopping up and down on the bleachers.After the ball was checked. “Man. and we won the game smoothly after that. and it’s been done like every year since the school was founded. I mean. .” Rosalie said sheepishly. two of them. who were cheering for Edward and sneering at the opposing team. “Boo!! Boo!!” Those boys made a huge. Bella. They’d get tackled by Edward’s fan club after the game.” Rosalie snickered. “You guys sure have a lot of traditions in this school. The biggest guys from the other team. I heard some squealing coming from all around us. this Friday is our annual Bulldog People Auction! So get those money ready!” the announcer said with so much enthusiasm. frowning with the rest of the team. “By the way. I mean. it's alright. how cool would that be? To have a special night with Edward!” From the corner of my eyes. neither of the Captain seemed to have their eyes on the ball. I stood with my arms crossed away from the crowd. shouldn’t you go rescue a certain boyfriend of yours from his fans?” I chuckled. He didn't look bothered. “Oh my gosh! Did you hear? The people auction! I’m SO going to win the bid this year! I mean. making his way down to the hoop again. are you okay?” Emmett asked. along with the rest of the crowd.” Rosalie gritted through her teeth. practically lunged themselves at Edward and the ball. huge mistake. smiling. “Yo!” Emmett threw the ball to Edward. and dribbled it fluently. they ganged up on him. who was open when he finally broke the glaring contest. and I heard that I was not alone. holding up his hands with a smile that sent waves of relieves to the crowd. Suddenly. almost amazed and flattered that he had someone on the other team hating him that much. no more interruptions. He just got ganged up on and he wanted to continue the game and pretended that nothing happened? I saw his teammates looking at him with admiration.” Just as suspected. myself too. “It’s tradition.

“What were you expecting then?” I snaked my arms around his neck and whispered. "Thanks. I really am sorry. no foul.. He chuckled. his face embarrassed. giving him a meaningful look." the guy cleared his throat again. no blood." They smacked fists. “Whatever. Like they won’t notice that Mr. sarcastic. “Just what kind of girlfriend.” he smiled. while Alice shot her a dirty look." I said. despite the viewers that were standing a few yards away. staring after him. I’m going. “Alone.“Excuse me. and I thought I was going to feel those wonderful lips of his on mine again. his eyebrow quirked up and his hands started pulling me close to him again. looking annoyed.” . sending glares in my friends’ direction. big fun…” Alice said. Alice. I quickly recognized him as the Captain from the other team.” I replied. “Nah. “I swear.” I said.” she said. He leaned down again. Lauren crossed her arms in front of her chest.” I replied sarcastically. He was a bit breathless when we pulled away. “I could just bail…” he suggested smugly. “Good game. those noises are nothing compare to that. That was a nice game. Cody rolled his eyes.” Alice said. "Congratulations. I’m going…” I laughed. not just for Edward. “Well go. giving her a deal-with-it look. “Good boy. the guy acknowledged me with a nod and went back to where his teammates were. another minute in that… jungle.” he said politely." "Hey. ladies. I pulled his face down to mine and kissed him. “As soon as you’re done with the gooey stuff…” he murmured and walked away. his white teeth gleaming under the flashy gym lights.” she sneered at the word.. "I uh. “Something like this. He grinned. smiling. looking all proud in her cheerleading uniform when we saw her at the exit of the gym. You coming?” “Give me a sec. Cullen. Lauren snorted at her and turned her glance to me.” Rosalie chuckled." Edward flashed his brilliant smile. I need to talk to you.” I prompted him. Someone cleared their throat. since it was so crowded and loud in the building." Edward said modestly. “Newspaper staff wants a picture. I’m going eternally deaf. All-Star is not in the picture. “Sure. his face turning redder. man. “Did you have fun.. She rolled her eyes. “That’s all I get? Good game? I must say I’m disappointed. With one reluctant sigh. Rosalie and I decided to meet the guys outside the gym.” Alice. waving while jogging to us. "No prob. "I was half expecting him to leave without an apology. “Oh yeah.” I stepped closer to him and tilted my head up so that I could feel his breath on my face. “Are you? You’re not even wearing his jersey number.” he sighed.” “I cheer for the whole team. Without giving him a chance to reply. “Fine. I'm more than ashamed about what happened. squeezing through them while his fans sighed behind him contently and longingly. shaking her head." I smirked at him." "I already knew that.. “Yo Cap!” Cody yelled. guys?” A sickly high-pitch voice asked with a smirk that matched up to her tone. "Not all basketball captains are jerks. need to apologize for my teammates. your shopping squeal makes us eternally deaf." "It was a close one.

” he wrapped his arms around my shoulder and asked me how my afternoon and evening was. To tell you the truth.“We’ll meet you later Bella. “Yes. She glared at me. I saw Edward walking up to us.” “No… I believe you. It’s all cool. “Warn me?” I wanted to laugh. “You know Edward and I will end up together in the end. trying to lighten up the mood. basketball captain. irritated. impatient. I’m not retarded. I’ll come with you. But I wasn’t about to be taken back.” I smiled.” she spat when Rosalie was out of hearing distance. “Then it’s a mistake that I will be making then…” I said to her very coolly. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to put it. I’m starving. Gee. look at the time. “Now you listen to me very clearly. Edward and I will end up together. Head cheerleader. I would stay and chat. I know that for sure. Ever since the Academy was founded.” Then she walked away. since we both knew that the chances of that happening were almost as slight as Emmett not eating. “Yeah.” Rosalie said quickly. “You’re making a huge mistake. the head cheerleader and the basketball captain were always the ‘it’ couple of the school. “If you say so. that’s me.since we didn’t get . I had never seen her so furious before. “Edward had more than two years to ask you out before I came. “He only gave each of us a hamburger and a bowl of salad. I tried to stifle a giggle as Lauren’s eyes widened at Rosalie’s comment. Edward gave me an unbelieving look and narrowed his eyes at me. Then from the corner of my eye. “I’m here to warn you. right? If she’s bothering you?” he looked deep into my eyes to prevent me from giving him a half hearted answer. her face serious but emotionless.” she sneered. And no soda.” she said.” I tried my best to keep a straight face. Chicken. who still had her fixated stare on me. “He said we didn’t need the sugar before the game. “Just walk away. It’s only a matter of time… before he realizes that we are made for each other.” He shrugged.” she poked me with her finger and continued. “So what do you want? Did you just come to criticize my wardrobe?” I asked. but I have more important stuff to do.” “Lauren. Just don’t go running to your mommy when you get hurt because that’s what will happen. You’d tell me. her face three inches from mine with her lips curled up. Lauren gave him a sly smile “Nothing. To warn you before you make a fool out of yourself.” I chuckled. frowning.” she pointed at Lauren..” I smiled at her.” he shuddered.” she spat. You don’t want my advice? That’s fine. like spending time with my boyfriend. Edward looked at me with an unhappy expression. So… are you hungry? Or did the Coach feed you guys well?” He chuckled. “What the hell are you talking about?” “Listen.” I cut in. awfully disgusted.” she said slowly.” Her face flustered. Get it? So I’m suggesting you to back out now. The head cheerleader. it’s in the yearbook. so we had to drink water. It’s been this way every year. “And if you don’t believe me about the whole head cheerleader and basketball captain thing. “Trust me. and there will be no exception this year. “If you want to get something to eat. “Is there a problem here?” he stood behind me and looked sharply at Lauren. before you embarrass yourself in front of the whole freaking school.” her eyes were dark and cold.” “Thanks. “Whatever Swan. We were just having a nice chat. “Was she bothering you?” “No. placing her hand on her chest.. Nothing at all. “Of course. I kissed his lips. When she finally left. Bitch. “I can’t stand another minute looking at that… that thing.

I quickly thought back to those two nights that I had to spend in New York with my mom. “Sure. Now to think of it.” She got up from bed and hopped excitedly to my bed. soft lips on mine. deep breath. While the cool water ran down my body. I don’t even know him for that long. I wanted to pout. This is ridiculous.” “You’re in love with Edward. “You know how I feel about Edward. when he was nuzzling my neck. right? I mean. come on… Love? “But that’s impossible. “Hey. Bella.” Even though it feels like forever…I sounded strangled in that squeaky voice of mine. He chuckled and pulled away. what makes you think I’m in love with him?” I whispered. it seemed like he knew how hopeful I was for an intense make-out session. I like him. She clicked off the remote. to see how much he cared for me. My heart flipped at the sound of the word. thanks to the nerves. I wondered how many times I had blanked out on my friends in Edward’s presence. her face humorous. but I figured I should let you figure it out on your own.” I took a long. I mean. what’s up?” I swallowed. like when he stares at me. You two talk to each other like you’re totally oblivious to the world revolving around you. The light in my room was on. Just where did you go with my brother. Was it already that late? I felt like I had only spent no more than twenty minutes with Edward. what it?” I started to let all of this process in my brain. young lady? Go take a shower. I swear I saw his lips twitched up under the streetlight as he moved. And he just had to pull away to tease me. He jogged back to his room. “How can you tell Alice. he just looked at me with an amused expression and a smile. I think it’s more than just a crush…” I said nervously. the whole time. “I should ask you the same question. and it freaked me out a little to see how I couldn't be without him. She chuckled. Spill the problem. “Hey Alice.” she smiled. “It’s not impossible. Nice time with Jasper?” She laughed. It made me smile. But now. or how you should feel. trust your own feelings on this.” I grinned and rolled my eyes . But he didn’t seem to mind though. so I figured Alice was already back. And how much I cared for him. my stomach was full of butterflies. “These kinds of things are obvious. but I so wanted to see his face… to feel his touch… to feel his warm. “You’re back!” Alice smiled when I entered the room.” she demanded. turning to smile at me. Alice was sitting up against her bed when I got out from the shower. her tone gentle and smooth. I knew my feelings for him were growing stronger by day. fidgeting then groaned. my heart would accelerate and I would start babbling about some unimportant stuff. And the way you look into each other’s eyes… how you smile around each other more than you have smiled all day… If this isn’t love. You are in love with him. Only you can…” she smiled. it’s late.” she said softly. I can’t tell you what you feel. Even though we texted each other at night. “I’ll see you tomorrow. but I looked at my watch and it was ten till ten. Tomorrow. okay?” he said.while we walked to the nearest pizza place. They always teased me that they had to call my name at least three times to get my attention. a lot. forget that I brought it up. I still had that problem sometimes.to spend it together. “Yes ma’am. It took some time for my heart to beat normally again.” I said with my shaking voice. “Can I talk to you Alice? I really need a girl opinion on this. “I was going to bring it up sooner. He was being a perfect gentleman. sitting cross-legged in front of me. watching a re-run of One Tree Hill. at least that’s what I think. . “Of course. Like he couldn’t see the desperation on my face. “Seen it already. listening to my rant politely. But of course. “You know what. Bella. He walked me back to my room and pulled me into a kiss before leaving. I thought of how protective Edward was when he thought Lauren was harassing me.” she sang.

about-wouldn't have to be surprised. not noticing Alice and I. this dude hit me from behind with a motorcycle. blushing. still a little out of breath. I wasn’t to confess my love for him in front of a classroom full of students or in the hallway. but you got up and tried to charge at him again. I suppose it was natural for them to be more secure in their relationship than since they had been dating Jasper . Jasper let out a snort.” he kissed her lips. ‘my baby!’” Jasper laughed. “I thought so.” They sounded so confident. I admit. I was in love with Edward. “Hey Alice?” I called to the darkness.” Chapter Thirty. “And then BAM! While I was riding my bike. I wish I could be more like them. “But it was a very manly punch. The day that I had been dreading for. tugging at his arms while coming to his rescue. what I remember was you fell on the ground from the dude’s first punch. “Don’t worry. Every time I looked at him. I know. I just made up some lame conversation instead.himself. but you know what? I totally took him! I threw him on the ground.Four I know I should have told him the next day. have more faith in my relationship with Edward. Excuses.And how I laughed and smiled more around him… How he could make me calm by wrapping his arms around me when I was feeling insecure or upset… How his velvet voice was the first thing that I wanted to hear in the morning… how he was the last image in my mind that I saw before falling asleep. The girls weren’t bidding on Jasper and Emmett. with everyone capable of hearing our conversation. surprisingly. I walked to lunch with Edward after fourth period. choking on his Pepsi. Alice hopped down from my bed and went to turn off the lights. and left him bleeding there!” he was motioning his hands excitedly in the air. This will be our little secret. We all joined him while Emmett turned as red as a tomato. In some ways. Thankfully Edward was still laughing at what happened. but I didn’t. instead of speaking the words that I had been practicing in my head. why don’t you sleep on it? It’s late…” “Yeah. right Emmett?” Rosalie said sweetly. “Yes?” “Would you do me a favor?” “Sure. Alice chuckled. and you gave him a punch while he was shrieking. stuck up for me and there for me to talk to anytime I needed her. I love you. so assured that Jasper and Emmett weren’t even going to have fun without them. she was like the big sister I never had. “Waste of money.” “Thanks. and he got off his bike and tried to throw me a punch! And the man was about in his twenties or so. Just like she always was. I love you… I gulped. I cussed at him.” they said. She always gave me the most wonderful advice. Alright. Which is totally pathetic of me. “Oh… god…” I let out an uneven gasp silently.” I responded. The “People Auction”. Alice was right. Okay. “When we can just have them for free. we sat down in the middle of one of Emmett’s wild tales. I know the real reason: it was my lack of courage. This caused Emmett to cheer up. Alice giggled at me after watching my expression and I kicked her from underneath the table. “Thank you Rosalie. “Nah Emmett. But he threw you to his motorcycle accidentally. I had a pretty good reason of why I didn't though. What is it?” “Can you umm… not tell Edward about the conversation that we had?” She chuckled and said in a promising voice. Friday.

I decided to play it cool.” he muttered into the microphone. “Harsh. “And C: Don’t come begging for a refund.” Rosalie. I did. But what if the girl ends up leaning against Edward’s shoulder in the end? I shuddered at the image in my head. I mean. I tried not to let the thoughts bother me too much. Edward included. Anyway.” she scolded him. doesn’t mean they’re your slaves. But still… “What do people usual do for the evening?” I asked casually. Excited murmurs were coming from the crowd again. Okay. too anxious for it to begin already. well you?” I realized that it was the first time that I had ever heard him speak. “Awesome!Then let's beeegin! For our first bachelor. so we wouldn’t get stomped on when the girls run on stage to claim their prizes. but we were curious to see who wins. I was surprised how I could even make a joke at a time like this. Then he squeezed my hand. Yes. Rosalie and I were not bidding. “Totally boring. Alice and I stifled a giggle. I mean. A: Keep it friendly. before throwing the cash into our pockets. “Alright! Are you ready?” he held the microphone out to them. I know that you all are disappointed to see that I. that’s all. “What about you Bella. they were going out with me for god’s sake. B: No sexual harassing…” Before he could continue. “Yo dudes and dudettes! Welcome to this year’s people auction. His voice was deep. But I know that the girls had a blast. Just making sure people know my greatness. what good would it do? The people auction started at seven thirty sharp. one of him is bad enough. and runnin' runnin' Even though Alice. none taken. you have until midnight with them." he made some beats with his mouth. The Coach cleared his throat. Alice. instead of being available for the bidding. chuckling. "No offense Edward. we have eleven Bulldog players up for the bidding! Let me explain the rules to the newcomers. That didn’t sound too bad. “Get on with it. “Sorry. Anyway. Dylan’s still here!” The crowd reacted well to his enthusiasm. isn’t he?” They laughed. “Tonight is going to suck. because it ain’t happening. There was no use fussing over it anyway.” Emmett shrugged. “Dylan!” “What? I know that from experience. And the base keep runnin' runnin'. What have I ever done to you?” Edward chuckled. “The school’s pocket. I’ll be thinking about what I’m going to do with you tomorrow while watching some stupid chick flick with whomever it is that wins the bid. looking totally relaxed. deep and husky. Jamie walked out. after noticing the Coach glaring at him again. He threw his hand up in the air and then whistled with the other one." he replied. hang out… that’s all. but they brought so much comfort to me. Loud music was playing from the speakers on stage.” he added quickly. “At least boring for us guys. "Oh yeah. since he wasn’t participating in the auction. We stayed in the back. am the announcer instead. laughing at his silliness. you aren’t bidding on Edward. Edward’s pricey.” Edward leaned in and whispered in my ear.” he said. the Coach scowled at him. So make up your mind ladies. sighing proudly while Rosalie smacked his head. Rosalie and I shook our heads at him. "We have #3. “Can you at least attempt not to sound like Edward? Seriously. are you?” Jasper asked. secretly praying that it wouldn't turn out like that. “No way. sarcastic while rolling his eyes. “Yes!” they cried out energetically. . this year. pumping up the atmosphere. Rosalie. I smiled." she added quickly.and Emmett for a longer time. The announcer was Dylan. Movie. Jamie Peterson!” On cue. For the rest of the day. We watch a movie. But have no fear. Just because you paid for them. And it’s not that I didn’t trust Edward. simple words.

I should just start with two hundred. I chuckled. “Edward! Edward! Edward!” He sighed into the microphone. “No introductions needed right? But just to make it official. who probably secretly had a huge crush on Jamie for a long time.. It must have taken her a lot of courage to do something like this. “We have #16…” he was interrupted by the squealing girls. Emmett and Jasper got a high bid. “Obviously you guys have never seen him dance. here it goes. That was quick. They girls were screaming their lungs off. where Miss. waving their hands up in the air excitedly. Edward Cullen… the Captain of the East Coast Academy Bulldogs!” Looking as gorgeous and stunning as always. my friends and I winced with the pain in our ears. “That’s our boyfriends. “Kidding bro. there was only one player left that hadn’t been auctioned. “It’s stupid to start with a twenty. What’s two hundred plus fifty?” “Two fifty! Two fifty over here!” “Two seventy five!” “Three hundred!” “Three twenty five!” Suddenly. “Last. Finally. “Come on.” Alice winked. This is for our school. scoffing.” Dylan murmured.“Okay. “HEY!” Jamie yelled. the secretary was sitting. Both managed to go pass two hundred dollars. As I was saying. Not just any player.. we can comment on the hot male models and movie stars on T. Alice and Rosalie high-fived each other.V. Loughlin. but the Captain himself. “Kidding Bella.. .. leaving Edward on stage looking awkward and mortified. #16. “Okay! Eighty five going once. Trust me. “Two hundred!!” A bunch of girls cried. “So… shall we start the spying?” Rosalie asked. SOLD!” Jamie announced while the others applauded and cheered. The girl passed walked through the crowd shyly and went to the table. this dude’s a pretty cool guy.” Dylan chuckled.. Now that they aren’t around. I took a deep breath. Angela types. too. “Pay the money over there and he’s yours!” He pointed to a small table next to the stage. He’s a total helpless push over…” Dylan said teasingly. people. So… do I hear fifty?” “Fifty!” I heard a girl shout. “Sheesh. just as she was told. but not least… definitely not least. no host was needed. Jamie here is one of the funniest guys on our team. Do have hear a seventy?” “Seventy right here!” a girl waved her hand. We have more constructive things to do. smirking. “Eighty five!” another girl shouted. for a second there I thought they were serious about the spying." Alice sang proudly. going twice. the money’s worth it if you want some laughs!” Dylan nudged Jamie who rolled his eyes at him. The girls started running the bidding themselves. “You guys!” I cried. She looked like one of those quiet. Edward came out from behind the curtains through the white puff of smoke with his hands tucked handsomely in his pockets. completely cool about the whole thing.

While Dylan went on talking. ladies. too. Rosalie rolled her eyes. Great! He was smirking! “Bella! Are you crazy?” Rosalie hissed. searching for something. I knew that voice… that obnoxious. Lauren froze on the middle of the stairs after stepping on stage. had their gazes on me. She smiled while flicking the credit cards in her hands. but I couldn’t. add some more flat screens to the student lounges. “Well. Seven hundred bucks? Even if I bid higher. Bella Swan. thank you all for participating this year’s Bulldog People Auction. With unsteady and slow footsteps. Five fifty. she wasn’t going to budge. nodding his head. not noticing my presence. “Bella?” Dylan called softly through the microphone. I shook my head without saying another word. “Then I guess sold… to Lauren. Damn it. standing there as immobile as a statue. The money will be put to good use. I was still staring at Dylan with wide eyes. I might add. Dylan cleared his throat. Bella! What are you doing? “Seven hundred dollars. I walked to the table and saw Lauren standing there fuming. host some more parties.” he stuttered. Everyone. sickening voice. what was I thinking? I couldn’t go any higher than that. This was in the hundreds.” she said every word slowly. There was jealousy. Lauren skipped up the payment table gleefully. completely outraged with what he had just said. hell yes!” The girls whooped. rushing the secretary. It was as white as her shirt as she dug frantically through her purse. and of course. and Edward’s face was quickly emotionless. pronouncing them through her teeth. A crooked smile appeared on Edward’s beautiful face. Lauren won’t be spending the evening with Edward after all. A smirk played across her face when she saw my silence.” “Five seventy five. surprised. “Fine. showing off. The other girls murmured quietly. but her face wasn’t so cheerful looking anymore. I lost. due to some problems. dumping her cards on it. and Edward looked almost disappointed. It was suddenly quiet. “It’s so like her to make a grand entrance. Lauren was still at the table. “Go girl!” Rosalie prompted. We appreciate your cash. We will repaint the older buildings. I saw Dylan patting Edward's shoulder.” Lauren walked up to Dylan with a smile. “So… where do I claim my prize?” Suddenly. and we weren’t talking about the ones or the tens on the place value table. and your participation. Definitely.” Alice gasped and pushed me forward toward the stage. There weren’t cheering or applauding. still too intimidated by Lauren to talk in front of her in person. “Well. Lauren was satisfied with the attention that she was getting. just… murmurings.“Three fifty!” “Five hundred dollars!” A voice shouted loudly from behind. Apparently the chances were great. A first. there was anger. . for seven hundred dollars.” I said. Lauren gave a dry laugh. Then Miss Loughlin came up stage to whisper something in Dylan’s ear. there was this rage inside of me that I had never experienced before. while shoving the girls and removing them out of her way. Without thinking it through… “Five hundred and twenty five!” I blurted out loudly. What were the chances of Lauren's credit cards not working? I thought. My heart sank. they all turned around to see who jumped from the number three to four. recovering from the incident that happened a while ago. I am imagining things. nudging me. The other girls were still too stunned to say anything else. Crazy? Oh yeah. “Huh… I see…” he said. wishing him good luck. And how high were we going to go? A thousand? Two thousand? Maybe she could afford that. frowning. horrified. I saw Edward shaking his head helplessly. He’s auctioned to the next highest bidder. There was a loud gasp coming from the crowd.

propping his leg against the wooden board of the stage.” he teased and I nudged him in the stomach. “Ready to take your claim. I thought of how long I had been saving all that money. after cussing at me with the f words.. God. “Yeah. smiling. I felt stupid even pitying her in the first place. this part of me just wanted to wrap my arms around you and tell her to get lost. I found Adonis standing there casually with his arms crossed in front of his chest. “So… am I allowed to talk now?” he asked as he flung one of his arms over the couch. I giggled. “You have no idea how glad I was to see you bid. “Sorry? What for?” “For acting like one of those jealous girlfriends on T. What was I thinking? Too late to regret it now.” he said. “Here sweetie… If I can just get you to sign this. When the other girls bid on you. Then she ran off. throwing her cards at the lady again. he passed me a Coke and took the seat next to me pompously. Stop being so absurd. When I turned back around. but no one dared to laugh. He laughed and kissed my forehead. I don’t know what came over me. he smiled instead. just because you were jealous.” he murmured into my hair. Now move out of the way so the next person can pay!” Miss Loughlin was usually patient and nice. your cards had all been declined. throwing her hand lividly in the air and running the other one furiously through her hair. Miss Swan?” he quirked up his eyebrow. “It’s nice to see you again. Way to go. Loughlin looked frustrated. Honestly. “I’m sorry. do not use that tone with me. it’s five seventy five. It was from all the summers that I babysat and worked in the past couple of years… And you wasted them all for one night. that part was kind of fun. but nobody had the patience when it came to Lauren. “My lips are sealed. but… to see you jealous. But when Lauren came. “Check again!” she shrieked. I wasn’t happy. I told you already. We walked back to his room to get away from the unbearable heat. isn’t it?” Miss Loughlin smiled. but enough to make me self-conscious. Bella. He gazed at me. “Young lady. smirking smugly. “Don’t start. “But… but…” tears were goggling inside her eyes.” then he threw his arms around my shoulder. already knowing what was coming.” I groaned while staring at his shoulders. you should be thanking me… I just saved you from an attack of a bimbo. I got the credit card back and sighed before putting it back in my purse. If you want to complain. While it went through the machine. discuss this with your father. this part of me… I don’t know. Bella.“AGH! I don’t believe this! Check it again! It can’t not be working! Daddy just got them all for me two months ago! This stupid freaking machine! Stupid freaking school!” she bellowed. not in an intense way.” he pulled me into his chest. Edward.” she handed me form. “Hey.” I stuck my tongue out at him childishly. Please. Mrs. Gone. When we got inside his room. too embarrassed to look him in the eyes.V. It was funny to watch. finding every part of this humorous and funny. “Bella. Thanks for the Coke by the way. “You don’t have to apologize. Don’t get me wrong.” He sounded so surprised that he almost choked on his drink. but at least I wasn’t angry about it. He placed the Coke can on the table. My cheeks were turning flaming pink.” I handed the card to her and waited patiently. Five hundred and seventy bucks.” “No problem. Lauren scowled at her and let out another shriek. Well.” He laughed again. . That you were mine… God. I narrowed my eyes at him. “Yeah.. I feel like a fool. He kept his promise the whole way by not mentioning a word about what happened. if I have the numbers right. I’m not thrilled that you had to pay almost six hundred bucks. I almost felt sorry for her at the moment.

I sighed ecstatically and placed my cheek against his hard chest.. “Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me.” I bit my lip. contentment. I pulled his face to mine again and kissed him. “Bella. Then in the middle of it. Hyperventilate. his eyes were mixed with different kinds of emotions.” he chuckled. this… was real. He didn’t kiss me as fiercely as I hope he would. “I understand if you don’t feel the same way yet. really had a lot to learn when it came down to this kind of things. remember when you asked me what you said in your sleep. Wait. he pulled away and placed his hand on my right shoulder. but hearing those words coming out from your lips. deep eyes that attracted me from the moment that I met him. “Besides. what about it?” “I lied. Edward. I blushed. for saving me from Lauren. “Well. The most important thing to me ever. As soon as I spoke the words. Bella.“You’re right. his voice promising and serene. “You are the most important thing in my life now. Thank you. bewilderment. until you make up your mind. he started speaking again with a faint smile. I would never want that. you did pay five hundred and seventy five bucks for this. you are awfully cute when you’re jealous. trying to keep a straight face. Idiot. of course. There was surprise. “So… what do you want to do now?” he smiled. We leaned back against the leathered couch. I told you that you only said my name?” “Yeah. “Stop apologizing.” he muttered quietly." When the words that he said sunk in. His eyes were locked intensely in mine.” I whispered. “I don’t want you to go off telling people that I slacked off on my part. and you don’t have to say it back until you’re ready. but there was never a right time and I always ended up chickening out at the end…” I looked back into his eyes. Isabella Swan. I totally knew what I wanted to do. “You said… you said you loved me after mumbling my name. gentle voice rang in my ear. I really. Nothing will change between us. I love you. curious. Do.” he smirked and touched my nose with his fingertip. But I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want things to go all awkward between us. when you slept over. “That.” he smiled. moving gently and slowly when our lips glued themselves together. I had been trying to tell you these couple of days. “I wonder if I should tell you this. it’s totally fine. his lips curling up to a smile. “Last week. happiness… He cupped my cheek.” I shrugged. Right then. How could I have been so slow? Even my heart… it knew before I knew that I was in love with him. Was. Don’t be pressured…” his voice was so velvet… so gentle while tracing my thumb with his long fingers. Oh. Please?” I begged pathetically.” he said.” he whispered. He said second? “What’s the happiest moment of your life then?” I asked suddenly.. An. “I love you. Not. Do not hyperventilate. there was no trace of humor. He loves me… This was no hallucination. “I love you Edward. . all I could think was how brainless I had been. I knew what I wanted to do.” “You’re welcome… and I really am sorry. “Tell me. His mouth was on mine. into those green. Without letting him finished. You weren’t conscious when you said it of course.” he said with a frustrated chuckle. “Kiss me?” I whispered. I’d be more than happy to oblige. After all. before I could say anything else. I leaned in closer to him. He must have taken my silence the wrong way. It was the second happiest moment of my life. I’d like to see that more often. with me still snuggling against him.” he chuckled.” My heart stopped beating.” “I don’t know what I want to do. I. I love you… his soft.

. I wrapped my arms around him and allowed myself to melt in him his body. sending chills up and down my spine. But at that moment. you told me that you loved me… and then… well.His green eyes softened. “Spend the night with me. Oops. This time. did I wake you?” I whispered. And yeah. you know the rest. “I thought I was dreaming when I woke up this morning to find you next to me. I smiled at the picture.. I would trade anything in the word for that. “Yes?” I answered in this trembling. all these stuff that happened between us… I think I’m dreaming all this up…” I grinned meekly. So much. yeah. his voice unintentionally seductive.” I laughed. “I think I’m in a dream. and it was nothing melodic compared to his. “When you said that you loved me a while ago. “Are you kidding? That’s what I was thinking. Sleeping Beauty. strong arms around my waist securely. I reached out and touched his hair with the lightest touch that I could mange to use. He closed his eyes and leaned in to kiss me. I blushed at his comment. “Great minds think alike. “A little. still asleep. I just smiled at him like an imbecile. I didn’t care. “Huh.. ever since I met you. “Cold?” he chuckled. And he loved me. he chuckled and hugged me tighter. None of that mattered. one of his arms draped over his stomach while the other one was placed behind his head.” then he crashed his lips on mine again. it was like as if he was reading my mind.” he whispered. Alice.” he whispered. Apparently. Finally remembering what I requested of him.” he grinned back..” “Hmm…” he tapped his head.” he smiled. stretching. perfect guy ever existed. The kiss. Don’t go back. very much.” His eyes were at the same level as mine and he smiled crookedly. “Bella?” he whispered. He stirred and opened his green eyes. “I’m sorry.. I couldn’t help myself. it felt nothing like any of the other kisses that we shared before. hugging my body closer to his. Of course. Not that I’m complaining. He looked so innocent with his cheek pressed against the white pillow. lying on top of the most amazing. and it didn’t escape his notice. First. I love people auctions.” I admitted sheepishly. There’s no where else I’d rather be. “I will. it was the most heavenly sound to hear in the morning.” “Me too. yeah . He pressed his cheek against my hair. I giggled. his breath tickling against my arm. except for the part that Rosalie. It was time to get up anyways. “Morning to you too. Like I would ever reject. he woke up first so I didn’t get a chance to see how he looked when he wasn’t awake. “No. The breeze from the air-conditioning made me shiver. He wrapped his long. my hand on his cheek. I pulled the sheet further up to my body and stretched.. kissing him fiercely with my chest pressed against his. “Very. Chapter Thirty-Five It was chilly when I woke up the next morning. Because there I was. swooning over his beauty. not so gently as the last time. “Mind if I snuggle against you?” He laughed. the last time that I slept over.” I said it again. I pressed my cheek against his chest as he pressed his against my hair. Edward lied next to me with his chest rising and falling visibly under the thin sheets. Drop-dead-gorgeous is also drop dead gorgeous when he’s asleep. smoothing my hair with his long fingers.” “I love you.” I smiled and reached up to tangle my fingers in his hair. Mr. because last night was the best night of my life. I scooted over to get closer to him. quivering voice. and trust me. Hearing it in your sleep was amazing… but hearing you say it in person was incredibility heartwarming. Jasper and Emmett were totally going to tease me about it later on. I closed my eyes to enjoy this enchanting moment. You know. we’re stuck in the same dream.

leaving me with more than enough time to freak over the fact that I was going to be wearing a bikini in front of . You guys in?” “Umm… sure.” It was getting close to noon. “Just eat and go along with it. hiding all traces of annoyance. me. I kind of told her yes. setting the table. perky girls.” I beamed. holding the place that he gave me. “Yes?” I smiled. meet us in there at two. “Hi! What’s up with the business tone? Anyway. Miss Juliet. How may I help you?” I said politely. “We totally have to go. We looked at each other and answered in unison. “Let’s stay in bed. “Wow! This looks good. “I know. joking. Edward ordered some Italian takeouts while I headed to the shower. “Alice!” “Bye bye!” she hung up in that same singing tone.” he joked. at first. I'm a scene. If you don't know trouble. kissing my forehead.” “Great! Well. Bella. “Huh. I went back to my room to change into bathing suits.” His lips twitched up in a mischief smirk. Edward was wearing a fresh tee. “Swimming… And that involves you in your swimsuit…” he chuckled. “Yes. You know your sister. since we didn’t really have a choice.” I said. Rosalie and I are going to the pool with the guys this afternoon.” I grinned.” I rolled my eyes at him. Alice giggled. “It only takes about three minutes for me to cook all this. we tried to ignore it. “So… shall we get up or stay in bed a little bit longer?” he asked suggestively. I'm the best damn thing that your eyes have ever seen! We groaned. I turned scarlet blush.” After lunch. Alice. Are you and Edward in?” “The pool?” I repeated while Edward started tracing my collarbone with his fingers. Edward said that he’d drop by my room after he took a shower. as if I wasn’t breathless enough already. “So… what did she want?” “For us to go swimming with them this afternoon.I'm a lot to handle. Edward was playing with my hair. “Good morning. “The five hundred and seventy five dollars was totally worth it. But it didn’t sound like it was going to stop ringing anytime soon. “Maybe you just want to go to check out the blonde. You know other girls hold no interests for me at all. And since when do you collect greasy Pastaio boxes?” I quirked up my eyebrow.” he said softly. she doesn’t take no for an answer. smirking. He rolled his eyes and grinned. When I came back out. “That’s the most absurd thing I have ever heard. sitting cross-legged on the couch.” “Edward?” I murmured. you know. I'm a hell of a scandal. probably at the trembling of my voice. I'm a drama queen. That leaves plenty of time for you to continue doing whatever kind of activity you and Edward are doing in his room right now…” she caroled. so I had no choice but to pick it up.

” Edward removed his shirt and threw it on the chair.” Emmett chuckled nervously. while Rosalie and Alice lied on the beach comforters with their statuesque body. He was wearing a lime green shirt over his navy blue swimming trucks.” I slipped on my flip flops and linked my arm with his.” I hid a smile. “I knocked. Edward looked totally dazzling under the radiant sunlight with his shirtless body. You know. Rosalie would know. looking over to the water. You guys corner Edward when you all are alone. “Well. some girls whistled from afar and giggled. I grabbed a towel and stuffed it in my bag. you really aren't worth that much. but I guess you didn’t hear… and then the door was unlocked so I came in. They all looked gorgeous in their swimsuits of course. “So… shall we hit the pool or what?” “You know Bella. Honestly.him. I looked for some cover-ups for me to wear on our way there. “Bella?” he called softly. in order to do that. since she had long hair like me… but she didn’t pick up the phone when I tried calling her. it would be an understatement.” “Oh. smiling. “Umm… Bella? Hello?” Edward walked in.” “Deal. his hand crossed in front of his chest to emphasize . “Ready to go?” “Of course. Emmett and Jasper were sitting on the plastic chair. “We’ll meet you in the pool!” “Do I l have to leave.” Alice giggled. At the end. “What are you staring at?” he asked. making it look all tropical like. a copy of Gone With the Wind was just lying there. - “Edward! Bella!” Our friends waved at us from where they were sitting. “Did you guys have fun?” My face turned pink.” I said apologetically while snapping the book shut. “It’s my and Alice’s job to pry. and I must say. too. I’m not taking them off with you all staring at me.” Jasper hissed. On my bedside. screaming my name for me to open it. and I knew it wasn’t because of the heat. I decided to put it up in a ponytail. I sat on my bed and waited. I was so caught up in the story that I didn't even hear Edward coming in. I picked it up and started reading from where I left off to kill time until Edward came. I could understand why.” I said embarrassingly. Rosalie wearing a blue bikini and Alice wearing a light purple one. I picked the black string bikini that I packed with me from New York. I had no idea whether people put their hair up or down. noticing my fixated gaze on him. shirtless. “Hey man. The pool was in the outdoors. I mean.” “Emmett. “Nothing. was smiling. “I know. it brought out his eyes. Rosalie grabbed Emmett’s hand as Alice grabbed Jasper’s. watching me with a smiling expression. There were coconut trees surrounding the pool. Sorry about that. the kind you’d expect to see in a hotel in those summer movies. I saw that he. “Oh yeah.” the guys extended fists while the girls smiled. I sighed. I was reading. With a sigh. too? Or am I allowed to stay?” Edward smirked. If you said he looked like one of the male models that was modeling for a swimsuit company. hello? No way am I walking across the campus in a set of swimsuit. and it was a huge rectangular pool with hot tubs beside it. From the corner of my eye. you’d have to take off the cover-ups and the shorts. we promised the girls that we weren’t going to ask about that. so did Bella really pay almost six hundred bucks on you? Because you know. I couldn’t recall the last time that I went to the pool. I threw on a pair of khaki shorts and a red striped beach cover-up that I found in my closet. Rosalie glared at Emmett. all of them wearing sunglasses.

I scowled at him and he started cracking up again.” Alice snickered. navy blue trunks. Then he jumped into the pool and pulled me down with him. “I wasn’t ready!” “Too bad. then I found the reason of her hysteria. “This is life. He got closer. “Man! That’s not cool! It’s two against one!” Edward complained while ducking and splattering water at Emmett and Jasper’s face. “I’ll show you fun. like Edward.the perfect structure of his abs.” The others were already in the pool.” He wrapped his arms around my bare stomach and whispered in my ear in his velvet voice. Emmett!” I splashed water at his face. take one of these and enjoy the show!” Alice threw me a floaty that was big enough to sit on. who was standing behind me. watching. “It really suits you. It was true. “I didn’t know he was suicidal. taking me by surprise. “Alright. She was shaking off the water in her ears and spitting out the chlorine that got in her mouth. shaking his head. and his shadows blocked the sun that reflected on my face. Her expression looked murderous. “Rosie.” Edward grinned. “Edward!” I screamed. I unbuckled my shorts and threw them on the chair. watching the guys make a fool out of themselves. with all the major water movement it had to be Emmett. Rosalie smiled darkly while cracking her knuckles.” The next thing that I know. “Bella.” Jasper laughed. Jasper’s eyes twinkled. incredulous. Emmett is such an idiot. singing Edward’s name while hitting him with one of those floaties that they borrowed from the freshmen. From a distance. “Here Bella.” he laughed and sunk into the water and swam sway. “Thanks. spitting out water. I heard Rosalie scream. “You are so dead. Emmett got up from the pool and started running. “Did you say revenge? Count me in!” Then they went away cheerfully. I heard some rap songs playing.” “Me either. “Hey!” Emmett said optimistically.” she pronounced each word with so much venom that it even freaked me out. trying to cover up the fear. and of course.” I said shyly. My eyes snapped open. “Totally coincidental. You look stunningly breathtaking. “Ditto. lighten up and have some fun!” Emmett said enthusiastically. lots of giggling and laughing from the others that were in the hot tub. It was hilarious!” “Shut up. The girls and I drifted relaxingly on the water. and shrugged out of my beach cover-up. what do you say if I revenge for you?” he winked. Emmett came next to me. “You can stay. splashing water around. Emmett Cullen. you should have seen your face when he pulled you in. is Emmett high or something?” Jasper asked Edward. my black bikini did go with his dark. . He kissed my neck. Then all of a sudden. “Man. He knew better than to mess with my sister like that.” Edward murmured.” Alice and I giggled. baby. You’re all wet now. We closed our eyes and put over our sunglasses to enjoy the peaceful warmth. “You guys match!” I didn’t realize that until Emmett pointed out. I blushed. “That’s Emmett. “Hey.” Rosalie sighed.

“There’s a reason why it’s called a hot tub and not a cold tub. Jasper and Edward glared at him. We can go to the movies or something.” “Thank you.“So… want to join me in the hot tub?” Edward asked sweetly.” Edward added thoughtfully. “But most definitely. I believe so…” I replied smilingly. getting in the tub with Jasper. Edward. “Have I told you how beautiful you look?” he said. the girls. you know… Maybe if I got really scared. “Too bad. He knew how much we despised scary films because we always ended up having nightmares. Especially you. “Agh! I’m so tired of hitting the theaters. “Sorry for the interruption.” he breathed. “You know me too well.” Jasper joked.” I whispered to Edward when the others were talking about the movie options. shaking his head. Emmett and Jasper seemed relaxed. “Well.” she smiled sarcastically at him and took the seat next to me. I heard him screaming a while ago. Edward. I couldn't have done it without Rosalie’s super forgiving. Jasper and Alice grimaced. I giggled. remembering the last time.” I teased. “Don’t forget that every time when we watch a horror film. rolling his eyes. walking toward us. and we. I would have held on to your shirt very tightly.” Alice grinned. “You know what? Why don’t we stick with romance or comedy?” he chuckled nervously.” Emmett protested.” I smiled and hopped off the board. “Sure.” he chuckled. “Why. will be talking about how hot the actors are when they’re doing their hero roles. Or otherwise you wouldn’t have interrupted in the first place. annoyed. pulling me into a kiss.” Alice said. my dearest brother.” Jasper shrugged. “Then let’s rent a movie!” I suggested. “So what should we do tonight?” “I dunno. We laughed and nodded our heads. “You can’t blame me. “Thanks. it’s just Bella and Edward in some intense make-out session. “Let’s watch a horror film!” Emmett said. Emmett’s face changed colors.” Edward snorted. “Sure. Some of those movies are really. “Yes. so he added quickly.” Alice teased wittily. “God it’s warm in here.” he shot me a sarcastic look. “Of course little bro. I’m a natural smooth-over. Then Rosalie and Emmett finally showed up again.” Emmett grinned proudly. Emmett. you guys.” “So is Emmett still in one piece?” I asked humorously. He was totally doing that to annoy us girls. Rosalie glared at him. “You guys made up?” Edward asked.” . “You know you don’t really mean that. I guess listening to their girlfriends complimenting some actor wasn’t exactly their favorite thing to do. thank you very much for your compliment. his gaze turning to the tub that was left vacant by some seniors. snapping his finger. his lips touching my ear. we always end up nearly thrown out of the theater because Emmett keeps laughing at the scary parts.” Alice laughed. kind heart. I guess those were signs of him being alive. “Whew! Is it hot here or what? Oh wait a minute. He took me hand and we got in the Jacuzzi. really pathetic. They nodded in agreement. no matter how badly they were made. I mean. He moved closer to me. Then his hands were on my back. we can’t even criticize the film without disturbing the others. “Girls are cruel.

I wasn’t exactly feeling bad for myself.” he smiled angelically. please memorize your lines! Parents. too. “Edward! That sounds great!” His smile grew broader and was about to kiss me again until he saw Jamie walking up to us. I gotta go.” I rolled my eyes.Chapter Thirty-Six It had been more than two months since I started attending East Coast Academy. just the two of us. The previous games were just warm-ups for them. “It seems like I don’t have enough time to be alone with you lately. if you count from the day of the dance. Jamie. you and Eric Yorkey will make a great couple. This was going to be a piece of cake. it was up to Edward to lead his teammates to live up the tradition. Jamie glared at us. and I bursted out laughing. But of course. Lady Capulet. and go to basketball practice for another two hours. The last time that I performed something in front of the whole class. we have to get up early in the morning tomorrow to make it up. and this year. “Dude! Thank god this is finally over! We’ve been practicing for so long that I dreamed of Romeo and Juliet last night! Can you believe it? And that’s not the worst part. Just as I was about to pick up my backpack.” Edward joked. forever. Relief that this was over. Captain. We snickered. it was the whole school. But he hadn’t complained about his tight schedule. students. I wouldn’t go that way. was… oh yeah.it was now from three-thirty to seven. What’s up. . Ha ha. but he was also having a basketball tournament the week after. This was the real deal.” My eyes brightened up. but horror because we were performing in front of the whole school this Sunday. kindergarten. I was pretty freaked about it. Not. “People. since I wasn’t exactly Miss Broadway. not once. The performance is taking place in two days! Please. My throat would be so dry that you’d think I just walked through a desert.” he titled his head to the front doors of the auditorium. groaned at us.” Edward smirked. “Yeah. after all. I threw my arms around his neck and kissed his lips. we haven’t been practicing for nothing. please go over your lines when you get home. So I want to do something special tomorrow night. teachers. in exchange. I mean. It’s going to last all the way till the afternoon. who obviously didn’t know that he was interrupting something. Lots of pressure. When the clock ticked to five o’clock. “That anxious to get rid of me. I’m a friar. I was more concerned for Edward. I seriously don’t know where he got that energy of his from. look at me. He had apologized a numerous of times for spending less time with me and not being able to walk me back to my room after rehearsal. I mean. come on! A woman?” Jamie exclaimed. they had won the Championships every year in the past. And you know how East Coast Academy is all about basketball. my favorite voice in the world called my name. Just because you got the lead part opposing your dream girl. if I were you. So Edward had to run over to the gym at five right after rehearsal ended. And I don’t know if you remember this… but. I dreamed of being Jessica Stanley’s character. “Doesn’t mean the rest of us are as lucky as you. and the principal will be there! And I want to have a good show. most of us let out a desperate sigh with relief. He had the play coming up. Edward.” he chuckled. Jamie. “You know that’s not what I meant. “Tomorrow is our two-month anniversary. The basketball tournament. because most of the time after rehearsing. “Yeah. “Oh yeah. if you ask me. Mrs.” he snorted.” he reached for my hand and held it firmly in his. “Well. not looking apologetic at all. like me. I know we can do this! I want to wish you all good luck!” It was Friday.” he sneered. And it wasn’t even in front of whole the class this time. “Edward! Why aren’t you going to basketball practice?” He chuckled and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. Do I get to make out with girls onstage? No. if you know what I mean.” he sighed. With the play coming up this Sunday. yeah… whatever. really?” He cupped my chin then placed both of his hands around my waist. my body would be numb from head to toe. the one that the whole team had been training for. In fact. “I’m so sorry. the last of our rehearsal. “Bunch of girls outside waiting to wish you luck. My life sucks. Coughman was more nervous and uptight than ever. The coach had extended their practice. huh? I’m hurt. “The Coach allowed us to get an evening off. Oh by the way.

” Mike scoffed.” I grinned.” . break a leg!” he bumped my shoulder playfully. And when he hears about this. and I pressed for the third floor after thanking Cody for the last time. You and Edward are going onstage. “I swear.” he laughed. where all the single bedrooms were. Friday nights were usually movie nights for us since I insisted that we should just relax. I owe you.” “Well.” I smiled gratefully. When I was about to take the elevator up to Edward’s room. he always said that I worried too much. but I froze after hearing that he wasn’t alone. “Oh yeah. that guy gets creepier every time I see him. you don’t even deserve breathing in the same room as her. the door opened to reveal one of my least favorite guys in this school. Edward introduced me to some bands that I found myself to be enjoying.” he grinned. Bella. it didn’t work in our case since Edward and I still remained at the top of the grade. See you around. right?” I sighed. the other girls found that utterly unbelievable that we studied together. Edward picked out my hand. we chill. and I walked down to Edward’s room. We studied together after school whenever there was an exam. It was just as hot as it was before when we exited the auditorium.” he chuckled. J. you know you’re in it for a round two. “Ready to go?” “Yep. Suddenly. We were also a help to each other on our academic performances. Just because Edward isn’t here to break your neck at this moment.” Cody snarled after him and turned back to me with a disgusted look. dude. You know how parents discourage their children to date because they’re worried that they might drop their grades? Well.. “Hey Bella.Mike Newton. whether in the music or novel category.” “Probably dropped on the head a few times when he was a baby.” “You owe me for a life time. so on Fridays.” I smiled. We learned a lot from each other. “Edward. come on! She never has to find out about this… I won’t tell her…” “Damn it! Get the hell out of my bed!” “Edward! I don’t get what the problem is! You and I are both attracted to each other. keep your hands to yourself. I was about to knock. rolling his eyes. He said he could shower in the meantime to cool down from the excruciating heat. You don’t deserve to talk to her. “No problem. kissing and chatting weren’t the only things that we did. “Not literally… but you know…” “Yeah. “Now get lost. He had grown into the perfect best friend slash boyfriend that anyone could have wished for.” he cracked his knuckles after finishing his long speech. Cody’s expression did not ease up. but instantly loved after listening to Edward’s recommendations. Since when do you care how you look? The door opened. thanks. It was just sheer bad luck. clearly.Edward winced and shuddered. freak. Anyway. “Later man. his hand jerked from mine after it was slapped away. Just like the stubborn man that he was. Good luck this Sunday.” Cody glowered at him and poked him in the chest. but he had the nerve to grab my wrist. since he must be worn out from the rehearsals and basketball practices.which was at the end of the hall. Yes.. “Whatever.” he said optimistically. It’s our responsibility to look after our Captain’s girl. “Thanks for the warning. Our whole team’s got your back. I looked at myself in the mirror and laughed.” He waved at us and walked out of our sight. for saving me the strength to cuss at him for him to leave me alone. Some of them I had never heard of before. But he gave up in the end. He laughed. “Look dude. I told Edward that I’d meet him back at his room after I drop by my room and grab the CDs that he lent me. “Hey. Hell. doesn’t mean I can’t do him the favor. I grimaced and was about to head for the stairs. I took the CDs out from my stereo and put it back in the cases. “Unfortunately. “You listen. I just wanted to talk to her. “Thanks Cody. Bella has made it clear that she doesn’t want to talk to you.” The elevator reopened.

“Sure. “I believe you. She said she was better for you. disgusted. “What did you say?” I chuckled weakly. I’m going to say this again. Then he took a deep breath and returned his gaze to my eyes. both of you being captains and all.” he said acidly. Now get out.” she winked at him. I nodded my head. He held the door open and closed it after I got inside his room. That reminded me that he never did find out what she told me that night at the basketball game. God…. “Just get out!” we yelled at her in unison. from what she said last time” “What did she say?” he asked. You have no idea how worried I was. trying to reveal more of her cleavage. his eyes as cold as stone. “Thank you. I would never consider hurting you like that…” His eyes were swimming with fear. maybe even more than Newton. the only girl that I will ever love is Bella. “She uh… told me that we didn’t belong together. that’s fine.” To my surprise. His wet hair was dripping. I heard you yelling at her outside of the door. My breathing was uneven. As if her clothes weren’t slutty enough. I would never hurt you like that. “Now. But I didn’t doubt you. Edward…” “I can understand if you don’t… I mean. Edward. wide-eyed. with irritation. frustrated and nervous. Not for a second. I saw him running his hand through his hair. or I swear. I sat on the edge of his bed. Edward. I won't be responsible for whatever happens to your face. frowning. I had no idea… no idea that she was in my room. I was confused. you have no reason to force yourself into believing me… wait. holding it for Lauren to get out. Then you came…” he closed his eyes but re-opened them again. and I just stood there. His intense gaze was in mine. I opened my mouth slowly to speak.” he stopped with a frown. Edward’s eyebrows were suddenly curled up with rage and disgust. “Please allow me to explain. and there was a towel on his shoulder.” he breathed. frozen in the doorway. “You know what? If you want to be a bitch or a whore. Lauren smirked. “This is exactly what it looks like. I thought that she had given up on you. Call me if you ever want some real fun.” A feminine voice giggled. you better get the hell out of my bed. I don’t even like you as a friend. You look even hotter without your shirt. I had no idea that she had this stored in mind… I was… blanked out a while ago. Edward scoffed and turned his head away from her. The only girl that I will ever like. shirtless. I was just… shocked. since it was closer than the couch. “You have to believe me. get your ass out of my bed and stay out!” The door threw open. I yelled at her to get out… but she wouldn’t. pointing our fingers in the elevator’s direction. or I’m calling the security. I was so afraid that you were going to misunderstand… I can’t . But go do it somewhere else. When I came out from the bathroom. She must have snuck in while I was showering. “I said I believe you. After a few seconds ticked by. I was still too shocked to say anything. he just got out from the shower since he was wearing only a pair of shorts. “Can we please talk?” he asked softly.“The hell we are. You know I hate Lauren more than anyone else in the world. “I swear. with her hand propped up behind her head. “And I can see why the girls in this school are totally in love with you. She gave us one last sickly sweet smile and swayed her butt while walking down the hallway. And not you. this isn’t what it looks like.” Edward bellowed at her angrily.” Lauren was half-lying on Edward’s bed. I don’t like you that way. she was just lying on my bed. he suddenly pulled me into a bone-crushing hug. if that's possible. From the looks of it.” she shrugged and hopped out of the bed. “Bella. He knelt down in front of me on one knee. I honestly did. Look Lauren. “Bella…” I didn’t realize that my hands were clenched tightly the whole time by my sides until I had them unclenched when Lauren disappeared. Then she warned me that she’d get you in the end… and I just thought she gave up after two months of peace. leaving me facing a shocked Edward at the other side of the door. His eyes were… afraid.

I headed back to my room to change into something more appropriate for a restaurant. an evident to my utter embarrassment.” he planted a kiss on my forehead.” He squeezed my shoulder and kissed the top of my head. Rosalie and Alice were there. getting up from the floor and sitting beside me on the edge of his bed. “Good morning. snapping their magazines shut. too.” “Okay. My dad had wanted to know what time the play was starting. So I decided to sleep for a few more hours. I yawned and opened my eyes when I reached the bed. I checked on the alarm clock. we really are made for each other. With a wink. “How did you guys know?” I raised my eyebrow.” she beamed on the phone. Please grasp that. just so I wouldn’t be worn out again tonight." “So… we’re cool?” he asked. “Definitely. Help yourself to whatever you need while I’m gone. he walked up to my side.” I whispered back. “I’m here. “Bye love. you still look pretty tired. he chuckled. next time if she ever bothers you with something like this or threatens you.” I gave her an unenthusiastic “great”. it wasn’t possible for her to come. “My. “Okay. You’re tired. it would be on tape. See you later.” I greeted them. kissing my fingers. I love you. When he pulled away. so Edward had to carry me to his bed. his eyes and mine at the same level. My mom. “Hi. Bella. I promise. “Yeah.lose you. it was only seven thirty in the morning. “Don’t thank me. I mean. And if it wasn’t for her. I held on to him tighter.” We watched White Chicks that night.” he whispered. she only brings us closer?” he asked. Edward. we would have never gone out that quickly. I have to go to practice. “Bella.” I tried to get up. smiling. okay? And I’ll take care of it. Get some rest. “Lauren is going to be so disappointed. For having so much faith in me. not exactly chirpy about the whole video-taping thing. I love you. but with her being in New York. I smiled. Edward was just about to slip on his T-shirt.” I said sleepily. He smiled when he saw me staring at him. Well. thanks to our stubbornness. but he held me down. “Hi girls. “Thank you.” his voice was filled with sincerity and gratitude. “Edward?” He soothed me.” “You can say that again.” I yawned again. “I love you. of course. Do you have the feeling that every time she tries to break us apart.” he was kneeling down on the floor. if I messed up. “Stay in bed. he closed the door behind him. “Good night. I borrowed Edward’s laptop and e-mail my parents to tell them how I was doing. “I asked Charlie to video-tape it.” When I woke up the next morning. insisting that he had to be here. . alright?” he said sweetly.” then I chuckled. my voice raspy." they said excitedly. “So I’ll still get to see it. You earned them.” he kissed the top of my head and flung his gym bag over his shoulder. “Hey! So have you figured out what you’re wearing tonight? Because we are here to help. “I will. you have to tell me. his eyes were suddenly fierce. reading the newest issue of Glamorous.” “I love you too.” He laughed at that. figuring that some laugh was what we needed to relax. I twined my fingers in his. was ecstatic about the play. I fell asleep on the couch.

When I reminded them that we still had hours. but instead.Alice giggled. saying that I needed skirts and dresses for date nights or future events. Chapter Thirty-Seven The ballroom had been transformed into an enchanting. the building where all the parties and dances were held. So I gave up. they looked disappointed. but she just smiled and mouthed “it’s-a-secret. “You look gorgeous!” Rosalie nodded proudly after applying my makeup.” They grinned. He said that he’d meet me in front of the dorms at six for our date. “You’ll see. “Don’t mess up her lip-gloss. purple top that went with a delicate white skirt. if you like.” Alice said that day. He stood there handsomely with a dark blue button-up shirt.” He was about to kiss me. since they already knew from all the previous shopping trips. greeting me with a dazzling smile. You look really good yourself.” What was I suppose to say? And you know there was no chance of me winning an argument when my opponent was Alice. We stopped in front of Winston Hall. don’t you? Well. he led me to the opposite direction. Edward called at five and informed me that he just got out from practice. “That’s fine. “Thank you. We walked through the dark hallway then stopped in front of a door that I later realized as the room that the dance was held. “I’m not doing it for you. Imagine how happy he’d be to see you dress up. do it for him. alright?” he purred. shoulder-baring. “You guys are the best. still gripping my hand in his other one… “Oh Edward!” I gasped. Even though I told them that I’d be perfectly fine in a pair of jeans. You love Edward. Rosalie and Alice ordered them for me a few weeks ago when we were “internet shopping”. “Thanks. Bella!” Then I headed out of the door with my tote bag. My heart was somersaulting in my chest. “Nothing gets pass us. Bella.and insisted that they had to do something with my hair. they said. He held out his hand and I took it without hesitating. I blushed. sitting prettily on the top of it in an elegant vase. Have fun. Alice and Rosalie approved of my outfit. too. “You look stunning. romantic place with scented candles lighting up the room. looking more stunningly beautiful than usual.” “You can call us fashion police. I let them pick out some clothing while I crammed on my History exam. “I’m doing it for my brother. Edward was already at the gate when I walked out of the building. “Just trust me. And they didn’t even bother to ask me for my size. Especially if it involves dressing up. Edward!” Edward rolled his eyes at his sister and murmured in my ear. Dinner and movie.” The girls were going somewhere too with their boyfriends.” I thought we’d be going to the food court. “Where are we going. but Alice suddenly emerged from the bedroom window and shouted from the patio. exactly?” He smiled mysteriously.” he chuckled.” I hugged them. “Edward… what…” “Shhh…” he placed his finger over my lip.” he whispered. There’s plenty of time for kissing later. which was a table for two with a silky red table cloth spread over and a bouquet of rose. I didn’t want to pick something over the top. so I settled with a lacy. “We know. Anyway.” Rosalie joked.since they were the one who bought them in the first place. There were rose pedals on the red carpet that led to the center of the room. . A big plus to internet shopping: I didn’t have to try the clothes on. He opened it with a smile. his lips touching my hair. I asked Alice if she knew where we were going since Edward was being so mysterious about it.

We spun relaxingly under the heavenly atmosphere.” he chuckled.” The food was delicious. Soft music was playing in the background. incredulous while taking in the surroundings once again. of course. so I decided maybe it was the best choice for tonight. see if he could get someone to bring the food here. He pulled away with a sigh. After dinner. His lips brushed against mine softly then traveled up and down my face. Unlike the other girls. dazzling me while I mesmerized his face.” I reached for his hand. His hands snaked around my waist as mine wrapped around his neck. the vase wasn’t the only place that held roses.” he kissed the top of my head.” he said while setting the plates in front of us. speechless. but it was too dark for me to make out the logo. “Edward… this is…” I stuttered. like it was the most natural thing to do. “Well. and it ain’t exactly cheap. then stared back into my eyes. A dozen bouquets of roses for each month that we’ve been dating. “How… how… how did you manage to do all this?” I whispered. "What are you thinking about?" “This must of have cost a fortune. “What’s up. dinner awaits. That’s the thing about you. pushing a cart full of food toward us. He looked down. Did I mention that the whole place was packed with fresh. Edward pulled me on to the dance floor and we started slow dancing. I want it to be extra special then. so I was completely stuffed before we even reached desert. He chuckled. I recognized.” I muttered. but only the pleasant ones.” he caressed my cheek with his hand. if you know what I mean. red roses in gorgeous bouquets? There must have been more than a dozen bouquets.” he took my hand and led me to the table. and he shrugged with a smile. Dylan?” I exclaimed. “But I’m doing this because I want to. “Thank you. thank you. This is amazing.” He laughed and grinned at me. I know you would hate an audience. “Come on.. He smiled. His eyes were locked in mine. I rolled my eyes at him and smiled. “Two to be exact. “Fine. You know I really don’t need any of this… The dinner.” “Every night with you is special to me. It brought back so many memories of the dance. “And I knew that. “Let’s eat. “What. “You said that you loved the food there the last time that we went. so I’ll be out of your way…” he bowed at us and disappeared behind the doors. Claire De Lune. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” he said sheepishly. the flowers… and speaking of this. a dozen? Are you out of your mind?” I exclaimed. I knew there was a reason why Buca Di Beppo was one of my favorite restaurants. you don’t care about fancy dates or expensive flowers. So I called Dylan up with the arrangements. I love you.” My eyes sparkled with adoration for him. .Oh. I’m working at Buca Di Beppo now. “Anything for you. It was… crazy! With a soft spotlight shining down at the table… the whole place just looked like a scene in a fairy tale. smiling.. “So are you hungry?” Then Dylan emerged from the doors. I needed the extra cash for the game ticket that I’m trying to get. what are you doing here?” “Well. Edward ordered all of my preferred dishes. “You’d be surprised how many strings you can pull when you’re student body president. slightly embarrassed. “I thought the ballroom was only allowed for school events. and I want tonight to be special. I turned to Edward. He was wearing a uniform. shocked. Bella?” he winked at me.” he replied curtly while taking the seat in front of me. “Well.” I said when he pulled my chair out for me.

Please say yes… please say yes… “I don’t know. thank you…” I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him. on my desk…. And I thought I was going to pass out. “Fine. “The day that your dad called you for your mom's accident. love?” “When did you realize that you were in love with me?” I looked down at my feet. proud of himself.” I said weakly with my voice breaking into a soft sob. “What am I going to do with you?” “I’m sorry. “I guess I’m staying then. Edward. I promise." “How did you know it was love?” I whispered. slow dancing. The whole room was filled with roses: on the shelves. “So. the same sweet gesture that he made before we started dating. to see how much pain you were in. There was barely room for walking. Edward cracked some jokes while be danced. he walked me back to my room.” a mocking smile spread across his face. “Bella. Plus. “I’m just very emotional these days. Don’t worry. so I had to hit him or step on him a couple of times. are you spending the night?” I asked when we reached the gate. I flipped the lights on when we got to my room. his hand on my back. so much more than just an average high school crush.” I promised sincerely. you know those flowers that I ordered had to be placed somewhere else. “Well. Then I couldn’t help but laugh along with him. That was when I realized that this was more. wiping the tears with my hands.” His gaze was so intense in mine that I couldn’t look away. “What kind of idiotic question is that?” He chuckled.” I said slowly. “Just promise me that you won’t scream when you find two dozen bouquets of roses in your bedroom tonight. But that’s the way it always was with him. I’m not PMSing or anything. on my bedside. And Bella. “That’s… a lot of flowers. and then his eyes were soft. .“Edward?” “Yes. they can’t just stay in the ballroom forever. Was there this many in the ballroom? Or did it just look like there was more because my room was smaller? “Bella. would you do me a favor?” “Anything. horror sank in and I guess it must have shown on my face since Edward started laughing. it was as soothing as a lullaby. At the end of the night. He chuckled. “Right…” I said suspiciously. I let a breath out and sucked in another one.” At first. “It killed me. “No. Bella. We stopped spinning. My face was flushed. I don’t know how long we stayed there. right? I mean. I croaked a laugh and wrapped my arms tightly around his waist to bury my face in his chest so that he wouldn’t see the tears that were rolling down my cheeks. I was hoping that maybe looking down would hide the embarrassment that my question brought. He placed his jacket over me. brushing my hair out of my face.” he smirked smugly. Oh and.” he reached for my hand to place it over his heart. breathe!” Edward looked concerned. “Do you feel how fast it’s beating? This is how I knew.” He laughed.” I picked my head back up. sounding amused. “Do you want me to?” he whispered. “Are you crying?” he murmured.” he sighed. He sighed in relief then smirked. it was easygoing and wonderful.

“Really?” he smiled. “You don’t play fair. his lips touching my hair. I put on my usual pajamas. making squeaky sounds every time I tried turning my body against him. “Bella. because I knew there’d be cuddling later and I didn’t want to get Edward wet.” “Okay…” I sighed and looked around the room. “Which totally reminds me. that I wasn’t hallucinating. Kind of nice.” “You smell really good. “Yeah… but what if I get really nervous onstage.” he grinned.” I admitted. bouncing off the bed and heading to my closet. staring at the TV screen. “Are you sure that we could both fit in the room?” “Let’s see then…” Then he grabbed my wrist and pulled me on to the bed.” I challenged.” “It doesn’t apply to us. “Edward!” I choked between the gasping and the laughing.” “Okay… Okay… I believe you!” I giggled when his hands started tickling my stomach again. “Well. “Oh hey… they’re playing Romeo and Juliet. “Trust me. but he was way better at it than I was. we’re SO going to get fried by Mrs. “You know. “Hi. I told you there’d be enough room. I shrieked and tried to kick him away. I glared at him playfully while he quirked his eyebrows at me. tickling me. making sure that this godlike creature was really there in my room with me. “I’ll sit tight. “Stop it!” “See. .” I announced.“So are you going to stand at the door all night? Or are you actually planning on going in?” he teased.” he said.” he pointed out. seeing that we’re having the play tomorrow. “How ironic. I joined him and snuggled against his chest. He got off me and gave me a smile.” He touched my cheek with the back of his hand. I’m going to take a shower.” With one last look at him.” I groaned. making room for me under his arms. the flowers aren’t that bad to have around. actually.” he said. My bed was flopping by our weights. smiling. flipping through the channels on my TV.” I warned him. “All’s fair in love and war. “Stop resisting then. I blew-dry my hair first. a solid color tank top with a pair of gym shorts.” he linked his fingers in mine. I hopped cheerfully to the bathroom like a child.” I pouted when I sat up. “Good. Makes it harder for me to resist myself from kissing you. I made sure that my hair and my body smelled good before leaving the bathroom. if you’ll excuse me. “But don’t you ever do anything like this again. C since we haven’t done any memorizing like she told us to. you’ll be fine. I’m serious. Edward was still sitting on my bed when I got out. we already know it by heart.” I said. He laughed. “Hey. and I forget all of my lines? Then I’d be the laughingstock of ECA…” I was ranting. Edward grinned.

“Oh. “Bella?” He must have been deeply asleep.” she said innocently. Right here. irritated. I thought I was imaging it.” I scowled while sitting up. “No Emmett. how cute!’” Emmett did a perfect imitation of Alice. the greatest. Emmett just took some years off my life. when it comes to impressing a girl. rubbed his eyes and stretched. I always start my morning with a vocal practice. “All I can say is thank god they aren’t naked… Ouch! That hurts! Stop that!” “I swear. . “Oh yeah. my heart thumping at the unexpected surprise. finally waking up. He seemed amused and thoughtful for a moment.” Edward frowned. as much as I hate to say this. Now get out! We need to get dressed. he sat up confused and frustrated. but I found them too familiar. I could hear Emmett bellowing in the hallway.” I started to stir and was conscious enough to make out who were the ones talking. Rose. ya’ll. When I had them opened all the way. I screamed. dumbass. He replied sarcastically. Alice answered. wide-eyed. right?” I muttered.” Edward rolled his eyes. I was just coming in to get some clothes. “Figures.” Alice glowered at him. Emmett’s face was a few inches away from mine. “Yeah… picked from the neighbor’s backyard.” He headed to the bathroom while I changed into a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. “Thanks Emmett. Very romantic. “She was being sarcastic.“Yes ma’am. which pissed her off. who was still crouching down next to the bed. and grinning madly like an idiot at the same time. Alice?” She grinned. I heard a hiss from Jasper.” “Okay. and then they followed me in.” “Good. “Don’t try to put the blame on us. “So why was Bella screaming?” “Did you really have to ask?” Rosalie shot a glance in Emmett’s direction. At first. What a great way to start a morning. Edward’s better at it. She’s waking up. I tried to ignore them. “Well. “I hate you. I mean. but it wasn't going anywhere. when have you ever sent me flowers for our anniversary?” “I have given you flowers. you were the one saying. “Yep. “Sorry Bella.” I opened my eyes slowly and was blinded at first by the brightness of the room. “So.” Edward.” I heard voices the next morning.” Realization hit Emmett’s face. “Really? Does screaming help?” Jasper elbowed him. ‘Oh guys! Look at this! They’re cuddling together. did you get your stuff.” Edward demanded. If I do recall correctly. They mumbled and walked out of the door. “Man! Look at all these roses! This is crazy!” “You know Em. Remember? In the eighth grade?” There was a snort. watching me with pure curiosity. When he opened his eyes. sis. did I scare you?” Emmett snickered. I honestly thought that you guys would have slept at your place. “What the hell is everyone doing here?” At least he took it better than I did. “Quiet down. I was breathing unevenly. Emmett snorted.

her face pale. “I know you’re kind.” he muttered. Edward smirked darkly. I could tell she was trying very hard to hold them back. but Edward and I.. and the smell of hair products. “How… how?” she choked when Edward took my hand and walked up to her since she was too shocked to move. “So much for privacy. The other girls were nervous and excited at the same time. smiling at me. He gave me an incredulous look.. I give you crap. “Okay…” her voice croaked and her eyes were flooding with tears. I gulped. Good luck with… err… that…” He eyed the dressing room with a sympathetic smile before walking into his. and his grip on my hand tightened. “And consider this a warning.” With one last withering glare at her. gentle expressions that he showed toward me earlier. “Get dressed and meet the rest of us outside. The girl’s dressing room felt like a mini salon. Alice and the rest of the gang wished us luck. You’ve done enough. but she wiped them away quickly. I didn’t have any problems with the . You got that?” he yelled at her. Coincidentally. trapping my face between arms and began kissing me. “Let’s have a little fun with her. “Bella… Lauren’s been nothing to you but a total bitch since you got here and you’re talking for her?” he shook his head. along with the rest of the cast. This is a nightmare…I locked the doors behind me and shrugged out of my clothes.” She was wearing a brown suit with her blonde hair in a clip.you mess with Bella. Caughman’s calling us. Edward led me to the door. People were starting to dress up already. Lauren sank back against the wall behind her. The play was starting at seven. Edward…” I muttered as I pushed the door open.” “Edward… I know how she is.” he said. “Thanks a lot.” his voice was fierce. Lauren walked in a few seconds after we got in. “I did everything that I could to break you up…” “Well don’t!” Edward snapped acidly. Edward kissed my cheek. sudden no sense of humor traced in his tone. had to be there at six to change in our costumes and set up the stage. “I’m starving!” With a sigh. Droplets of tears rolled down her cheek. “Don’t be so naïve. but she wasn’t successful.” Before I could respond. pounding her fists at the door. he pressed me against the wall. Edward wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me along with him. We reached the intersection of the Men and Women’s dressing rooms. “Do you think… maybe we were being a little harsh?” I asked mutely. dressed more formally than I had ever seen her. Edward’s expression did not soften either did he show any sympathy toward her.” she said powerlessly. but she’s not worth speaking for." “That's too bad since my heart is already taken. Did you really think that we’d break up over something as pathetic as you?” he snorted. confused and appalled. which was exactly what I needed. I blushed and put my hand over the one that he had around me. “There you are. I mess with you. Caughman was in the room. I grabbed the other dress for my first scene and headed to the back of the room where private changing areas were located. with the mirrors. “I don’t understand. impressed with our work. I saw some women getting pass us and pushing in makeup carts.“You guys done yet? You’re taking forever!” Alice was rushing us at the other side of the door. She gaped at us with her jaws hanging open. and it was priceless. the chairs. I was just about to call you. We walked in the auditorium and found that most of the cast were already there. smiling faintly. We pulled away to see Lauren’s reaction after the long kiss. But she really likes you. Mrs. “I’ll see you later. Mrs. “I better not see you bothering her again. you give her crap. “Come on Bella.” The red dress that I saw more than a month ago was hanging there along with the rest of Juliet’s clothes. talking animatedly to each other while waiting for the line. Edward and I grinned satisfyingly at each other. Bella. unlike the soft. I looked up and saw that his gaze was cold.

I tried to picture it in my head.thank god. her face concerned.” I sighed. needless to say. you do too…” “Are you nervous?” she asked. “Hey. Relief brushed through mefinally someone friendly… I thought. “Ready. Gather around and get ready!” Edward helped me up and we walked to where everyone else was standing at.” A gentle pat on my shoulder startled me. Applauds were given when Mrs.” I lied.” I laughed. “It is such an honor to have all of you here tonight.” he grinned. so all of us were back there helping him pull his head out. and I felt the familiarity coming to me. But it didn’t. She gave me a pitying smile and went back to the dressing rooms. “Jamie had some trouble with his costume. It was kind of sad that I made more male friends than females. I had become pretty close with Edward’s friends. and I knew that was my cue to get out. “Sorry. but I was perfectly grateful since I had Rosalie and Alice. Edward wasn’t anywhere in sight when I came out. I sat on one of the chairs close to the curtains while Angela went chatting with Ben. tan color dress than draped down below her knees. “Really. She was wearing a long. but it suited her. I laughed. It wasn’t that the other girls were devilish or anything.I was told that it would help.so it didn’t take me that long. “Thank you. especially the ones that cheers loudly at Edward’s basketball games. They just didn’t really like me. “Bella? Are you alright?” Mrs. But the hand lingered. unconvincingly. The ones that were the most unfriendly. Caughman walked to the center of the stage. “Alright people! We have five minutes till the opening. we'd say hello when we see each other in the bathrooms or if we sit next to each other in class. Ang?” “No… but I’m right behind you. What was I thinking? Agreeing to this in the first place? I must have lost it. “Bella! You look nice!” Angela had just come out from the changing areas herself. I looked up at the clock and saw that it was now twenty minutes to seven. Edward’s presence brought more comfort than I could wish for. “Hurry. Lauren was sulking at the corner away from the rest of us. I buried my face in my hand and sank against the chair. C asked.” he apologized while taking the empty chair next to me. We were so not ready for this. “I’m fine. with her faithful follower Jessica beside her. His hair got stuck in the zippers. were still Lauren and her wannabes.” I admitted. C knocked on the door. because the idea of Jamie’s head stuck seemed ridiculously funny to me.zippers this time. Despite that I was worrying my head off a second ago. On the other hand. “Edward…” I sighed in relief. Jamie. Cody and Dylan hung out with us a lot and would sit with us during lunch sometimes. she was right. It was plain. really nervous. Was I the only one feeling the butterflies in my stomach? . I spotted Angela when I came out. It was a miracle that the fabric didn’t tear. ladies…” Mrs. their back to the curtains. I breathed in and out. “Let’s get this over with. These kids have worked every hard to get where they are today and as a tradition in East Coast Academy…” The other students murmured to each other while I grimaced. But some of them were nice.

I will call on you when you’re up next.” he grimaced. it wasn’t polite to laugh. don’t think about anyone else when we get onstage. “Alright people! It’s show time!" Chapter Thirty-Eight All of us were wearing tiny. alright?” I nodded my head in apprehension. “I can’t do it with people staring at me. The girls around me sighed and held on to each other like they were having trouble breathing as they stared into the screen with their eyes glued on Edward. clip-on microphones that day. the more tangled it got. “And you. O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing. sick health! Still-waking sleep. I smiled. you’re going to be fine. are you alright?” I asked. They made such a good couple. Thanks.” His thumbs caressed my cheeks. Just the two of us. Daniel and Mitchell’s voice were perfectly audible. He cupped my cheeks before leaving me. She smiled back shyly. “The rest of you relax in the meantime. I just wished for it to be as easy as he made it to be. then.“I can’t do it. that is not what it is! This love feel I. “Remember… Look in to my eyes. In fact. “Bella. Jessica and Eric walked to the other side of the stage. still out of breath. Mrs. Tyler and Ben were on next and Ben didn’t go without giving Angela another goo-goo eye look.” I whispered cowardly. cold fire. “Okay guys… I need the people playing the first scene up front over there. patting his back. “Bella.” Jamie panted. but unwillingly. and it almost made me hurl. that feel no love in this. “Jamie. I shook my head. Just think about me.” he said. His voice was just as irresistible and velvety as always. Lauren’s voice was shaky as she spoke. He kissed my cheek and followed Daniel and Mitchell to wait for the play to begin. instead of the play. Do me a favor. he read his lines fluently with perfection. Dost thou not laugh?” There was a screen in the backstage that showed us what was happening on the other side of the curtain. I could picture the females in the audience just looking at him with adoration.” he smiled down at me. As expected.” he breathed on my face. “Now.” I bit my lip to keep myself from laughing. I didn’t realize that I was trembling. I had to let it go. her cheeks turning red. followed by Lauren and Henry soon after. “Hey Bella.” he whispered. The more they tried to help. pointing to the opening of the curtains that was used for entering the other side of the stage. Edward…” I whispered. “Okay. He let go of my hand and placed both of his hands firmly on either side of my face. “Yeah. Don’t worry.” Janet instructed. No one else. you know. Bella.Romeo and Juliet!” Another round of applause.” “Whew. even from the backstage. Edward’s voice finally came out from the speakers.” I grasped Edward’s hand more tightly at first. I am proud to present you our production for this year. Just the two of us. of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! Serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead. After the first scene. He was absolutely right. he didn’t need to prepare for this. bright smoke. I inspected his blonde hair and smiled. C emerged from the curtains and said in an enthusiastic voice. holding my hand tighter in his.” I relied in a whisper too. check and make sure that I’m not missing any hair. . Jamie. crouching down next to me. “Bella. I was sure half of the student body came for him today . The guys made it worse. “It hurt. “Why. I wondered if it was because she was nervous or because she was still peeved about what happened before the play. “You’re safe.

next to the Principal.“Bella! You’re up!” Janet said. pointing to the stage. I could feel people’s stares boring on my back. it was my scene with Edward. “Oh good. “It is an honor that I dream not of. Angela and I smiled at each other. Despite the girls in the background were still chatty. and she actually picked her pace up on speaking. Are made already mothers: by my count. with a clipboard in her hand. just as practiced. the lights faded and people were moving the props for the next scene. I was still as nervous as a . but it wasn’t as strong as before. In the background.” Jessica said as an image of Mike popped into my head. I could feel his gaze fixed on me. Jessica didn’t throw any comment at us before going onstage. I paused at the curtain before walking through it. The masquerade ball scene had already started. Of course. “Go.” “Okay. which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?” he said. I was your mother much upon these years. Tell me. and read off their lines. With a long. Now. I picked up my feet and walked to my nightmare. “An honor! Were not I thine only nurse. I waited behind the curtains with my fingers crossed. sir. part of the instructions. ladies of esteem. who is supposedly my father. that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of.” Jamie clicked his tongue.” Angela said. Tyler was tongue-tied in the middle of his sentence. Caughman was sitting in the front row. I gulped. The room was empty since the other girls playing as extras had already put on their costumes while I was onstage. How stands your disposition to be married?” Jessica had improved quite a lot this month. It wasn’t exactly pleasant. the extras were chatting and giggling to one another. I went back to the dressing room to change into the red dress for the masquerade ball. “Marry. looking professional. Mrs.” As soon as Angela finished the last line.” I sighed. Edward’s voice was echoing in the auditorium while he talked to Tyler. deep breath. I thought of how a couple of months ago I was telling myself that I still had plenty of time until the play. Thankfully he quickly recovered after that. “What lady is that. girl. At least she managed to pronounce all of the words right.” my voice was surprisingly even. think of marriage now. Thus then in brief: The valiant Paris seeks you for his love. You’re on in about two minutes. That was a first. it was already happening. younger than you. I smoothed my hair after getting into the red dress. Since Juliet appears in the middle of it. I put on my mask and followed her out the doors. Angela and I in this scene. I would say thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat. daughter Juliet. I walked slowly through the curtains and tried to blend in with the scene. There were only Jessica. The guy playing the servant replied. “Well. you’re ready. sometimes the urge to hit her for dragging our rehearsal was still here. Edward’s skin and mine touched briefly when we passed each other in the darkness. and to our astonishment. That you are now a maid. “Good luck. “Alright Bella! Go!” Janet hissed. seek happy nights to happy days.” Then Tyler came on with Henry. “I do not know. “Bella? Bella? You need to hurry!” Janet knocked the door and peeked in. he looked frantically to the cardboard girl who was mouthing him the words. I knew it was him since no one else could have smelled that good or felt that good. I took my eyes off the crowd and reminded myself to focus. but now. Here in Verona. Even though I had my back to Edward.

Mrs.” I said breathlessly. “Good pilgrim. at least he had his emotions under control. Edward picked his head back up and quirked his eyebrow at me. When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds.” “Saints do not move. I have to admit. but Edward totally pulled it off. but it was just… a voluntarily response from my body. I climbed on it quickly to make myself look like I was standing on a patio. I didn’t waste all of my time rehearsing just to mess this up for everybody. Just the two of us…” his words before the play flooded back in my mind. He looked amazingly stunning. He leaned in closer and whispered into the mic. but he quickly composed himself as his lips curled up into a smile. my sin is purged. Edward pushed himself up the fake tree and swung his foot over the wood that was supposed to be the fence for the patio. by yours. “Just think about me and you. and his not-too-tight-fitting black pants went nicely with his mask and shirt. but now. this holy shrine. He was so much better at acting. I smiled at him and walked off the stage. lips that they must use in prayer. he was in front of me. and it reminded me of one of our first rehearsals together.” Angela appeared from Edward’s back.” he leaned down and was about to kiss me again. mimicking the expression that he had given me when he wanted to tease me about something.” I smiled back. then. The last scene I had to speak in front of the same people. two blushing pilgrims. My bare shoulder shuddered when his hands touched me. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand. When he pulled away.” I tilted my head up to him. To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. Coughman changed the scene a little. bright angel! For thou art. I was freaking out. “Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again. But now… it was just Edward and I alone on the stage. His white shirt was cut low enough to reveal some part of his abs. waiting for me to mess up. you do wrong your hand too much. without the chitchatting and music in the background. a wave of nervousness washed through me. “She speaks: O. It was silent. C had given me. the dress was sleeveless but I knew it wasn’t the cold that made me shiver. They pushed the ladder to the center of the stage as soon as the lights went off. let lips do what hands do. “Madam. In a flash. “Have not saints lips. though grant for prayers' sake. Which mannerly devotion shows in this. your mother craves a word with you. he walked up to me.” Then he kissed me. I opened my mouth. I almost forgot that we were supposed to be acting. ready stand. “Then have my lips the sin that they have took. lest faith turn to despair. He looked stunned for a second or two. Talk about embarrassing. grant thou. I heard my loud breathing coming out from the speaker. Nobody else. “O. but no words came out.turkey on thanksgiving. I scolded myself silently. I tried to let myself forget that I was standing in front of hundreds of people with them watching my every move. His eyes were soft enough to melt honey. It wasn’t a part of the instructions that Mrs. The clock ticked by with the silence. My heart was still hammering inside my chest. “You kiss by the book. the gentle fine is this: My lips. not a lot of guys could look great in tights. and how I longed for it to last longer. “It’s okay…” he mouthed. Suddenly. And sails upon the bosom of the air!” he murmured. And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. speak again. Or as for some of them. For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. my eyes snapped open. while my prayer's effect I take. I didn’t feel it in our masquerade scene. His hands caught my face gently while he brushed his lips over mine. Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him. Sure. dear saint. Edward’s eyes gazed into mine while I stared back at him with franticness. steady footsteps. His eyes caught mine and his lips parted. and holy palmers too?” “Ay. Instead of having Romeo speaking to Juliet from below.” I said smugly. I was better than this. my lips were left parted.” he quoted. It was a quick kiss. Dead silent. she wanted him to climb up to the patio. With slow. Thus from my lips. As glorious to this night.” He took a step closer and smiled. pilgrim. “Then move not. I felt my hands shaking. . they pray. As is a winged messenger of heaven… Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes. being o'er my head.

Lauren and Jessica did surprising well for Lauren and Jessica. or shall I speak at this?” "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy. “I told myself I had to be Romeo in order to get closer to you. it was for the play. But it was just a brief kiss on the lips. He would give me encouraging. I focused on Edward. But they improved. “I couldn’t have done it without you. “What?” He laughed. They have to make a big deal out of everything. I’m not alone. Mike wasn’t budging either. We bowed one last time and exited to the backstage to change into regular clothes. Much better than rehearsal. he spat the lines back just as fiercely as Edward. and I’m sure it was such a relief to Mrs. So stumblest on my counsel?” I reached to put my hand on his cheek. but you know dads.The Hamlet…” While Mrs. Rosalie. But you were better. nor face. Thou art thyself. and then my lines would just come naturally. Romeo. And I'll no longer be a Capulet!” He smiled when he saw that I had recovered. they wouldn’t dare to embarrass themselves in front of the school. applauding. like I said. Most of them stood up. I stopped walking and stared up at his face. and I knew it didn’t require acting at all. C went on talking. Emmett. retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. They must have gone over their lines this weekend.” he replied casually. while Mrs. The fight scene between Mike and Edward was interesting to watch. Some laughs escaped from the audience when he let out an unmanly scream. Or. But after you got the part as Juliet. I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to impress you. be but sworn my love. I was picturing and preparing for his reaction after seeing Edward and I kiss. if thou wilt not. “I take thee at thy word: Call me but love. At the end of the performance. Appearance and image were everything to them. if it weren’t for you. At first.” “What man art thou that thus be screened in night.” “Thanks. I would never consider doing this in the first place. Sure. only he broke into cold sweats at the end when he almost tripped over one of props. though not a Montague. Edward wrapped his arms around my shoulder while we made our way to the dressing room. That was… unexpected. Some students whistled. he gritted them through his teeth and stabbed the pretend sword at Mike a lot harder than necessary. Edward’s with me. So Romeo would. But mostly. I felt a little more courageous. Henceforth I never will be Romeo. By any other name would smell as sweet. I saw how you were all into classics. I couldn’t find my dad since there were a lot of people there. “Well. and Jasper waved at us from the middle aisle. I was half expecting Emmett and Jasper to stand up from their seats and hug each other.” I grinned at him. O.while my face turned as redder than ever. I didn’t mess up again throughout the night. When he said his lines. were he not Romeo call'd. screaming and smiling hugely at the same time. and Edward alone. I was only trying to impress you. Sitting next to Alice. “Great job. he cupped my cheek and kissed me again. So I figured maybe you were into Shakespeare as well. Alice. and for that name which is no part of thee take all myself!" When I finished my lines. nor any other part. and I'll be new baptized. all of us stood together hand-in-hand and bowed at the audience. As much as I hate to admit this. They actually got all the words right. Edward picked up my hand and kissed it. nor foot. Edward was actually glaring at Mike the entire time. I thought of how good his lips felt against mine a while ago… how his arms felt around my waist last night while we were dancing… “O Romeo.Instantly. and I saw some girls holding up signs for Edward. I wasn’t considering doing it for real.” . doff thy name. This wasn’t a part of the play. secret smiles that were meant just for me. He continued quoting the play. Nor arm. was a very attractive looking couple. The people who caught that chuckled.mostly parents. “Thank you all very much for being here tonight! I hope you enjoyed the show and please come again next week for another play performed by my other classes. The crowd went wild. Of course. In fact.” he shrugged. C thanked them again proudly. Coughman. Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. “Shall I hear more. even though there wasn’t much emotion shown on their faces. Belonging to a man. it was like as if he was trying to torture me. be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a rose. What's Montague? it is nor hand.

“It’s very nice to meet you. I said tried because at the other side of the auditorium. I have a flight to catch in two hours and a half to Florida." Carmen was dressed up just like a Carmen. walking up to us while we squeezed through the cheery girls. let me introduce you to my parents. Carmen.” my dad patted my shoulder. I wished Charlie luck and we went looking for our friends. Mrs. “Bella?” I heard my father’s voice from my back. away from the crowd. In the previous phone calls. I rolled my eyes. “You looked very beautiful up there. “Thanks. and I saw Alice whisper something in the women’s ear. They giggled as we waved back. We’ve been hearing so many wonderful things about you.” he tried to lead us away from the crowd. Bells. “Well.” I tried to hide the unwillingness in my voice. She was wearing a blue sleeveless dress with her strawberry blonde hair up in perfect little curls.” Edward did the quick introduction. Who would have ever thought you had that in you?" I grinned. “Oh jeez. Mom.” “I will. “You did great. “Good to see you. “Oh I’m sorry sweetie. dark brown hair and a slender body. “It’s so good to finally meet you.” Edward replied politely while exchanging handshake with the both of them. we better get going. Jasper and Alice. a bunch of giddy freshmen and sophomores were waiting there to bombard Edward with compliments. “Edward! Oh my gosh. I nodded my head. In their late thirties. heart-shaped face. my parents. It’s just that we’ve heard so much about you from our children that we feel like we already know you. her hands on her side. . sir. and yet… their children were already teenagers. Edward was leaning against one of the pillars when I finished changing. her hands on her cheeks. Mrs. I attempted not to let the surprise show on my face. Then I saw Emmett waving at us a few rows back with the lovely couple that I noticed a while ago. and I wasn’t that easy to manipulate. She was just saying that to butter me up. excuse us ladies. too. The idea of this marvelous creature would want to impress me.” I didn’t like it when she complimented me. Swan… the sound of it made me sick to my core. Bella.” Edward said sincerely. Swan. Dad… this is Bella. The man next to her was also handsome. He was back in his faded jeans. She had caramel. The beautiful women had a kind. you were like totally awesome up there!” a girl screamed. “Bella. Me. teachers. flattered. Edward’s mom pulled me into a hug. The other students told us what a wonderful job we did when they strode by." he kissed my cheek. Even though the auditorium was filled with the chatters of parents. tops. Edward!” a few of them were yelling. "You did great.” she smiled warmly at me. I turned around and saw him waving at me with his arms wrapped around Carmen. Swan. either. Mrs. “You don’t see yourself very clearly…” he muttered. “Take good care of her.” I said shyly. “Hey Carmen. "I didn't know I did. “It was a great performance!” she beamed. "I'll meet you outside. “Is that so hard to believe?” he chuckled.” I sighed in relief when my father got his name right.“You were trying to impress me?” I asked. This is my wife.” she said. She stood there awkwardly. I tend to get ahead of myself. They were all smiling at us now. “Dad!” I greeted him. Bella. Bella.” Edward grimaced at the attention. we replied with a polite thank you and tried to get through the backstage exit.” “Thanks. Cullen. Mr. he had referred to Edward as “Edwin” or “Edmund”. chuckling. Edward. their screaming was still loud enough for some people to turn around and stare at us. His hair was blonde. black polo-shirt. They looked so young. along with Rosalie. Edward. My dad hugged me. and other students. and he had this movie-star smile on his face. He sighed and pursed his lips. “Nice to see you again. soon to be adults.

“Just Carlisle. it was them who made High School bearable. “Carlisle.” Edward had told me about his adopted father being a surgeon before so I remembered to address him by the right title. “This calls for a celebration! Mom and Dad rarely come down to the campus!” We laughed at her enthusiasm while following her out of the door.” Esme said conversationally. “Nice talk?” he asked casually. “You don’t know how fond they are of you. it was easy to make conversation with them. Edward especially. “Same here. Anyone would be proud to call him a son. They were both such kind people. Jasper and Alice. It got better when he came here and started playing on the Varsity team. With another heartwarming smile. and it wasn’t easy.” I grinned. “It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.” “Is it hard for you to get used to California? I moved around when I was your age. Edward was nothing like the cheerful kid that used to smile and play around all the time.” “You guys did awesome!” Emmett high-fived us and pulled both Edward and I into a bone-crushing hug. “He really appreciates everything that you’ve done for him. “Carlisle and I both love him very. . Rosalie. “They accepted me right away. grinning at all of us quietly like his usual self. We tried counselors. It was almost as if he was trying to show us that he’s happy to make everyone else happy. there’s like this glow that radiates from his smile." I smiled. Then Edward jogged up to us.” she eyed her son with a smile. Edward looks so much happier now. Emmett and Edward with their father. In all of their emails.” She laughed.” Esme sighed. we wouldn’t be done until tomorrow morning. “Yes. He's a bright and talented young man. He chuckled. like I was afraid it would be when meeting my boyfriend’s parents.” I chuckled. grinning. Your children were all very friendly and nice. dear. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. We walked to Haagen Dazs in pairs. Cullen.” I replied enviously. she picked up her foot pace and joined her daughter in front of us. watching he and Emmett joking around with her husband ahead of us. very much. phone calls… they mention you in every one of them. I’m sure you know about Edward’s birth parents…” she said grievously.” Esme joked back. Mom?” he teased. His grin grew broader as he leaned in closer. I heard Alice say that you recently moved here from New York. dear. Cullen extended his hand. “Very nice.” Then Dr.” she smiled. Esme looked at the two of us while I blushed with embarrassment under Edward’s arms.” I took it with a smile. “If we were discussing bad things about you. who’s up for ice cream?” Alice asked all of a sudden. “I’m really glad he found you. It wasn’t awkward. “He wasn’t happy on the inside. He wouldn’t open up to anyone.” she gave me a smile. You’re parents are so kind. “I have. “Hey. “So Bella. Dr. I used to live there with my mom. then Esme and I. while Jasper just stood there. not even me and Carlisle. No need to be so formal. He’s so considerate…” I said softly.” “That sounds like something Edward would do. But he still wasn’t whole. Edward rolled his eyes and wrapped one of his arms around my waist. I’m really lucky to have befriended them. Alice and Rosalie were excited over the red dress that I was wearing. “Ever since they passed away. I felt my cheeks creep red as she continued. Bella.“Call me Esme. therapists… but none of them worked.” I murmured. “Having fun filling Bella in on all the bad things about me.

And honestly.” he grinned sheepishly. “I… uh…” My not-much-of-a-sentence was interrupted by Emmett’s booming laugh.” she added unwillingly. Sometimes I just feel like they’re waiting for me to screw things up with you so they can take over. Emmett.” I picked my face up from his shirt and spoke a little louder. I buried my face in Edward’s chest. “See Mom? See Dad? What did I tell you of those two love birds’ daily quarrels and flirting sessions?” Emmett laughed again. smirking. “It’s nice not to be the jealous one for change. huh?” I scoffed. Giving Edward a smile. I felt Edward shaking while chuckling quietly.. “Hottest Bulldog list? What the heck is that?” “Oh right. “What’s not to like then?” I rolled my eyes at him. “I said I can’t help that I’m in love with you!” I practically yelled it out. “You too.” I muttered.“They like you. while I started stuttering like an imbecile to make up some lame explanation. Edward glared at his brother while Esme smacked him on the shoulder. along with the rest of the Cullens and Hales froze and turned their heels to look at us. “I raised you to be a gentleman. you don't know about that.. although not laughing as rudely. no doubt.” he finished proudly. you’re jealous? I have to deal with the fact that all the girls in this school want you. Crystal. “Who do you ever have to be jealous of?” “Are you kidding? Have you not noticed where the guys’ glances go when you walk in the room?” “Says the man who is number one. she walked off with her friends to the other direction. like I said. I wrapped my arms around Edward waist tightly as we walked and I heard his velvet chuckle.” he sighed. Bella. A few seconds later. “What?” “It's not like I can help it.” . But you love me. He chuckled again and kissed the top of my hand.” He laughed. “Arrogant.” I mumbled. “It's not like I can help it. gossiping. It’s written on the girl's bathroom wall in whiteout. Emmett Cullen. Edward and I stopped too. at the top of the Hottest Bulldog list. “Thank you. Her eyes narrowed at the sight of Edward’s arms. “Thanks so much.” He chuckled. confused. “It’s not our fault that we’re both irresistibly attractive.” we replied. you know?” he whispered. It’s just this stupid list that the cheerleaders came up with. the others joined him.” I mumbled into his shirt. said excitedly as she and some other cheerleaders walked by. “They’re kind. “Maybe I’m arrogant…” “Maybe?” I repeated scornfully with a snort.” He pulled me closer to him. He frowned. “Feeling a little territorial?” “Maybe…” I admitted quietly. “I am arrogant. “Okay. I instantly regretted it. What can't you help doing?” he taunted. “Hey Edward! Great job up there! You were fantastic!” A girl from the cheerleading squad. my ears are kind of deaf from the shrieking girls a while ago. I think her name was. “Sorry Bella.

” he grinned goofily. I hardly saw Edward at all after Sunday.” Chapter Thirty-Nine With the play out of the way. “Excuse me? Coach Reynolds?” It was already open. You too. “Three more guys. jogging to the rail of basketballs. trying to save me from being more embarrassed. especially when they were so close to the game. sit out for five minutes. smiling. “Okay! Catch your breath. I figured it was in the lost-and-found. Then they all went back to their conversations. I treasured my time with him even more. Jamie…” “Hey Edward. Emmett had to prove me wrong. I couldn't find my jacket. “Just when I thought I couldn’t be more embarrassed. Bella. You don’t look so good. So during school time. The team divided themselves up in different baskets and followed. “It’s alright. I’ll stay only for a little while… then I’ll leave. frowning. “Your girlfriend’s here!” All the guys on the team darted their eyes in my direction and smiled while I blushed with embarrassment. “That’s life. he. His cheeks were pink. Jasper. it felt like as if a huge load of things were taken off my chest. his legs unsteady. There was a .” Edward laughed. “Nice shot. watching the guys practice. I felt bad for bothering him at a time like this. I sighed in relief. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself and distract Edward. I knocked on the Coach’s door. then he saw me. I opened the box and saw a yellow fabric in it. I sighed. Emmett and Jasper had to race right to the gym for practice. his eyes glued to the paper again. I didn’t want to disturb their practice. When I got back in the gym. My jacket. Right after school. lunch and dinner. They girls giggled when the other guys groaned. I could finally breathe normally. I told myself. I realized that I must have left it in the locker room since I remembered taking it off. How’s the leg?” Edward asked. He made a loud “Ah!” sound when he finished. A little sore. a little breathless. no big deal.” he said. “Thank you.” Edward said. “Tell you what. then check in the office.” Conner pounded his fist with Edward and walked limply to the bench.” Conner shrugged and winced. I often found them whispered to each other while looking at us from the corner of their eyes. It wasn’t in the girl's locker room. while bending down to touch the line on the court. along with the rest of the team who had sweats dripping down their faces. alright? I don’t want you messing up your recovery. gulping down a bottle of water. “Yes?” “Umm… I left my jacket in the locker room… and I was wondering if someone picked it up and brought it here?” “Lost and found box is over there. With a sigh at my lack of ability to keep track at things. I ran to the gym and walked as silently as I could to the locker room. I stood in the corner and watched. especially. If it’s not in the box.” “Thanks man. Get some water. Cod… try that. Edward walked around the gym and helped his teammates on whatever they were having trouble with.” I said before exiting.” he said. but I stopped at the doorway nevertheless. grab a basketball and start shooting!” he instructed.“Sorry Mom. My mom got it for me before I came to California. the guys were doing suicides. He made a shot effortlessly from the free-throw line. “Sure man. I decided to go jogging this afternoon. He grinned wildly. Esme and Carlisle. There were some girls sitting at the top of the bleachers. and did swift shots over and over again from different angels. “Yo Captain…” he sang. When I was about to leave the room. He picked his head up from a bunch of documents. can I get some water?” Conner panted. but that jacket was important to me. He was so concentrated on whatever he was doing that he didn’t even hear me. But they still threw sly glances in our direction every now and then. “A little more work on the wrist.

throwing it back at her. “Wait. “Hello? There’s a day after Saturday called Sunday. He smiled and bent down to kiss me on the lips. I mean. such good actors. I was spirity enough to leave the room. Thanks for showing me the lost-and-found box. . Edward nodded his head and ran up to me with a brilliant smile. “Okay… okay… chill out Alice.” He jumped up and dunked the ball in the hoop. I think it’s kind of interesting to watch. A perfect dunk smash. “You can stay if you want.” I showed it to him to prove that I wasn’t making it up.. They weren’t making it easy on him by making kissy faces at him and whistling. I winked at him before going through the doors and I saw him hiding a smile. Edward watched me carefully from the corner of his eye. I played along. umm… I was just. Then they shook off the laughter and started dribbling and shooting. nudging him in the stomach. throwing a couch pillow at me.” “Okay. Then stay.” he smiled back. sitting relaxingly on the couch. less talk! Hurry Bella! Change into your spirit shirt and I’ll help you with your hair! Chop chop. The sight of them blinded me. but Alice did some work on them to make each of them look different. we grabbed our totes and headed out the door." I said. “Go fool! What are you waiting for? An invitation? ” Dylan scolded him.” I sat down on the bleachers. “Alright. Some of them were whistling and elbowing Edward. Rosalie chuckled. You’re not interrupting anything. None of us mind you watching. who was telling them to shut up. like they were doing it all along. More work. I didn’t mean to interrupt practice.” he caught my wrist. Finally.” I grinned after him. “Great.” Rosalie teased. See you later. “Yes Coach. Alice had my hair up in a high pony tail in one of those blue ribbons that she brought the store. watching Cullen and the rest play?” He actually cracked a smile. his eyes glued to his team. "Yes ma'am. most of us don’t even go there on school days. let’s go!” Alice clapped her hands and placed them on her hips. Surprised that he was being so humorous about this.” I stuttered. Coach is coming!” Jamie hissed. glaring at me with wide eyes. Well. We were all wearing the same blue spirit shirts. ready for students to load.reason why I stood in the corner. “You know how I hate finishing homework at the last minute. “Hey!” “Hi. I suppressed a smile. It was to prevent this from happening.” I muttered. my ankle is all better now. her tone annoyed. The girls squealed with excitement while the guys started pushing him for “showing off in front of his girlfriend. pretending to angle a shot.” I got up from the bench and walked to the door. “I can’t believe you had to pick a Saturday to go to the library." I chuckled and skipped to the bathroom. “Bella! Hurry up and change! The bus is leaving in forty minutes!” Alice called. But if it’s boring…” “It’s not boring. With a pair of tight-fitting jeans and tennis shoes. embarrassed. completely startled and saw the Coach standing next to me.” I smiled. I have to get back to work.” I rolled my eyes. I gasped. and you go there on weekends?” “My project is due Monday!” I protested.” “Ya’ll. “Okay girls. Concentrate now. There were many buses parked in the parking lot. watching him jog back to his team. “Found your jacket?” a deep voice said beside me. Show’s over. doors opened. “You sprained your ankle and somehow landed on the bench. Edward rolled his eyes and smacked them on the shoulder. “It’s up to you. “Umm… I’ll go now.. I just came back to get my jacket. “Oh yeah. “Cool.

all those yellow with the sunlight reflecting on them weren’t exactly easy on the eyes.

“Which bus are we assigned to?” I asked, looking around. “We get on whichever we want. Just not the ‘elite’ bus though- it’s cheerleaders and basketball players only,” Rosalie rolled
her eyes, pointing her finger at the one parked away from the others, closest to the gym.

“Let’s go wish the guys luck before we get on the bus! We might not have time before the game,” Alice suggested. “Great idea!” Rosalie and I smiled. As if on cue, the basketball team emerged through the back door of the gym in their
uniforms with a gym bag flung over their shoulders. I spotted Edward, who was walking with Emmett and Jasper at the front of the crowd and waved at him.

“Hey,” we greeted them. “What’s up ladies? Damn Rose, you look hot in that shirt,” Emmett licked his lips. Jasper made a gagging sound. “You look really pretty Bella,” Edward said sweetly, taking my hand. “Thank you,” I tiptoed and kissed him lightly on the lips, “Nervous?” “Hell yes,” Edward sighed. “I’d tell you that it’s just you and me, but I won’t really be there playing with you…” I grinned, “You’ll do great. I
promise,” I gave him a hug.

“Thanks,” he smiled, “I really hope so.” “Alright students! Get seated on the bus! Let’s get moving!” the bus drivers said, clapping his hands, “Come on!” “Sounds like we have to go,” I kissed Edward quickly on his cheeks. When I took about three steps away, he wrapped his
arms around me from behind.

“Where are you going, pretty girl?” he velvet voice rang in my ear as his breath blew against my skin. Even though we had
been together for a while now, his appealing, attractive voice still took my breath away. His words were melting me; it took all of my strength to reply.

“I’m getting on the bus,” I said, confused, as my heart thumped inside my chest. “You’re going the wrong way, Beautiful. This,” he spun me around, “Is your bus.” “Huh?” Rosalie, Alice and I frowned.
The guys chuckled while Rosalie tapped her foot with annoyance. Emmett decided to play the good guy by explaining,

“Well, you know we cut back some players before this season started. So now there are actually extra seats. So earlier, my
little brother here,” he ruffled Edward’s hair who scowled at him with a glare and tried smoothing it out quickly with his hands; I laughed. Edward and Emmett were so funny together. “Asked Reynolds if we can invite others to sit with us on the bus, and he said yes.”

“Oh,” we said, surprised.
"That was nice of him," Rosalie said. "I told you he's actually a pretty cool guy. You just can't get on his bad side," Jasper shrugged.

“Come on, I reserved a spot for us on the bus,” Edward whispered seductively in my ear. My heart was beating so quickly
that it was almost embarrassing. He caught my head in his hands and pressed my back to the bus, kissing me passionately. His hands moved down to the pockets of my jeans and he dug his hands in them. "Oh come on guys. Enough with the PDA already. Let's go!" Emmett whined. When we pulled away, I saw him rolling his eyes. I laughed and took Edward's hand. The basketball players had taken their seats while we were talking. In fact, Emmett, Jasper and Edward were the last ones to get on the bus. The cheerleaders hadn’t arrived yet, so the bus wasn't crowded. Edward steered me to the backseat and sat

down. Since the equipments were placed on the seat next to us, Emmett and Rosalie took the seat in front of us as Jasper and Alice sat next to them.

“Why didn’t anyone sit here?” I asked, dumping my bag on the floor.
Emmett turned around and grinned at me, “Are you kidding? Edward always sits in the back row for away games. It sort of became his seat since no one tried stealing it away from him,” he said, rolling his eyes, “You big baby.”

“I’m not being a baby, Emmett. I’m being smart. This seat is the farthest one away from the cheerleaders,” Edward tapped
his head smugly. Emmett gave him an irritated look and muttered ‘damn’ under his breath.

“Speaking of cheerleaders,” Rosalie grimaced with disgust.
The squad walked in, their loud, giddy voices filling up the small space. Lauren was the first to step on the bus. She paused on the steps and posed a very disgusting look that hiked up her skirt farther more. Some guys whistled.

“Sunscreen, Kelsey. Hurry up!” she demanded. Frantically, Kelsey handed it to her. Seriously, you’d think she was the
queen or something by the way the other cheerleaders treat her. After running her hands over her legs, very slowly, I might add, she stood up and walked in that same disgusting, butt-swaying pattern down the aisle.

“Looking hot, Lauren!” some guy commented.
She smirked, “Tell me something I don’t already know. Jessica! What the hell?” she shouted when she saw Jessica lingering around the guys at the first row, chatting with them.

“Slut,” someone faked a cough. Jessica became furious, “Excuse me? What did you just say?” she spat at the boy and gave him shove. The boy stood up and shoved her back, “Don’t touch me!”
Jessica shoved him again, “What are you going to do about it?”

“Enough! Get over yourself, Jess, you are a slut!” Lauren shouted, “Now get your ass over here! My magazines are in your
bag!” Jessica’s face turned bright red and the others snickered. Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice and I, however, found nothing funny in this situation at all. To be honest, I felt bad for Jessica. Sure, she may be a slut. But coming out from her best friend in front of the whole bus… that was just too harsh.

“Just what kind of a friend are you, Lauren?” I blurted out with anger. The laughing and the snickering stopped. The bus
was suddenly quiet. She didn’t acknowledge me at first, but she followed the sound of my voice and turned around to face me. Her eyes narrowed and she scowled.

“This bus is for jocks and cheerleaders only, Swan. You and your little friends need to get out,” she clicked her tongue. “They have permission,” Dylan said, glaring at her.
She scoffed, “This is the elite bus. They don’t belong here!” Edward tensed up and spoke for the first time, “Ugh! The elite bus? Don’t flatter yourself, Mallory. If this is the elite bus, you wouldn’t be on it.” A few guys laughed, but no one dared to speak since the atmosphere was still intense. Lauren’s face flushed while Emmett turned around and extended his fist at his brother. Edward didn’t smack it.

“If you have a problem with them on the bus, why don’t you get off?” Jamie suggested, his face unfriendly. Murmurs were
coming from all directions, agreeing with him. But everyone quickly silenced when we saw Coach Reynolds exiting the gym. He looked suspicious when he got on the bus,

“Is there a problem here?” his deep voice echoed through the silence. “Coach! They’re on the wrong bus,” Lauren said, pointing her finger in our direction. “We have a few extra seats this year. I gave the okay,” he said, “Now sit down, Miss Mallory.”

Lauren fumed and pouted. She sent Jessica- who was sitting two rows behind her next to Crystal- a dirty look and took her seat next to Kelsey. The driver started the bus and told all of us to close the windows for air conditioning. I didn’t realize that Edward’s fists were clenched tightly in balls. I ran my hand along his muscular arm and his fists unfastened.

“You okay?” I whispered. His eyes were easy to read; there was anger, there was frustration. “Yeah,” he sighed. “Jeez. The elite bus? That’s the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever heard!” he hissed. “It’s Lauren. What did you expect?” I teased, trying to lighten up the atmosphere.
He sighed again reluctantly, “True.” I clapped my hands, “Okay. Don’t let her get to you before the big game. Today is supposed to be exciting!”

“Do you think it’s an omen? Having to talk to her before the tournament?” he asked, frowning. I laughed and brushed my
lips against his. He kissed me back, confused, but willing at the same time. When I pulled away, he still had the puzzled expression.

“Why did you kiss me all of a sudden? Not that I mind what you just did. I love what you just did, but…” he stammered
then hit himself on the forehead, "Nice going, Cullen..." he murmured to himself. It was so much fun to watch him squirm for words. I giggled.

“I was trying to distract you. Did it work?” I bit my lip. “You bet it worked,” he smirked and leaned down to kiss me again. But this time, I put my hand in front of my face so he
kissed my fingers instead. His eyes opened with confusion.

“The Coach is definitely not going to be happy to see you making out with someone before the big game. I’m doing this for
your sake.”

“Thanks for being so thoughtful,” he said sarcastically. I grinned at him. “So... When we get off the bus?’ he whispered sweetly in my ear, twirling my hair with his finger. “Okay,” I smiled and put on the headphones to my Ipod as he did the same. For the rest of the ride, I sat there comfortably
in the arms of the man that I love with my face pressed against his chest. Edward was right; this was the best seat on the bus. Chapter Forty

“Bella? Bella, sweetheart, we’re here." “Sorry, did I fall asleep?” I opened my eyes to find myself still in Edward's arms. Some of the seats in front of us were
empty, including Emmett and Rosalie’s. The others that were left were putting stuff back into their bags.

“It’s okay. It actually distracted me from thinking about the game,” he chuckled, “You say really funny stuff in your sleep.
‘You idiot, Emmett!’” he mimicked perfectly and snickered. I turned bright red. Then something sunk in.

“Oh my god! I fell asleep in front of Emmett!” I started checking my hair, my clothes, my shoes… Thank god everything
was still in place. I remembered the last time...

“Bella?” Edward pursed his lips from laughing, “What are you doing?” “Trying to see if I’m missing anything.” “I had my eyes and arms on you the whole time. You were extremely safe,” he grinned. “Well,” I quirked my eyebrow at him, “I guess I should thank my caring, strong protector, huh?” I said suggesting, tilting
my head up. He knew what I was after; he leaned down and kissed me fully on the lips. It was a long kiss, not deep, but enough to make my heart fly. I sighed in satisfaction when he pulled away.

“So… awake now?” he smiled. “Most definitely,” I grinned and twined my finger in his hand, “Where did Emmett and Rosalie go?”
At that moment, I realized that Alice and Jasper were still on the bus. They had been so quiet.

“Emmett had to pee. He was the first one off the bus. I warned him about the Gatorade, but he wouldn’t listen! Rosalie went
to the restroom to apply some makeup,” Alice said smugly.

“Did you see Edward and I…” I trialed off apologetically. “Yeah, we didn’t miss the make out session,” Alice replied sarcastically.
I blushed while Edward, on the other hand, was doing the opposite. He smirked, “No one said you had to watch.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Edward. How could we not see it? We tried to look away, then we ended up seeing you make
out through the reflections on the window. If we faced the front, we’d see it from the mirror!” Alice protested.

“I am so sorry,” I said guiltily. I knew how awkward it was to see your best friend, in this case brother, to make out with
your other best friend. Trust me, I know- we hang out with Emmett and Rosalie.

“And seriously man, I’m going to agree with Emmett on this whole PDA thing,” Jasper joked while joining Alice on the
laughing.

“You guys done?” Edward asked, annoyed. “Alright, let’s get out of here!” Alice said cheerfully.
The placed was unbelievably huge. It was at least two or three times bigger than the gym in ECA. Despite we still had almost an hour until the first game, the place was already packed with students and parents, wearing their school's color to support their team. From what I’d heard from Edward on the bus, there were six teams competing against each other today. The best ones in the district.

“That’s a lot of people,” I murmured. “Oh yeah. But it’s okay. We have lots of blue shirts here cheering for the Bulldogs,” Alice said gleefully.
"Edward, we better go. I have no desire to get yelled at for being late," Jasper said, giving him a knowing look.

“Good luck!” We shouted over the speaker as they walked away.
They waved at us and winked.

“Do they look nervous to you?” Alice asked, incredulous. “Not really,” I replied, grinning. “They are way too confident for their own good. I think Edward is starting to rub off on the team,” she teased.
I sighed, if she only knew. Edward might have looked relaxed, but he was only putting on this brave face for his teammates, his school. I knew he was under a lot of stress just by that look in his eyes, but he always masked it with a smile to keep everyone from seeing how he really felt, to keep us from worrying about him. That was just typical Edward behavior. I just wished there was something that I could do for him, anything at all.

“Edward?” I called loudly to him. He and Jasper stopped where they were while I ran up to him, “I know how important today is to you, but please don’t push yourself too far,” I pleaded with him.
He smiled at me and touched my cheek with the back of his hand, “Thank you, Bella. I love you.” Then they continued walking as Alice caught up to me.

“What was all that?” she asked curiously. “I just… wanted to make sure he takes it easy,” I smiled, watching the back of his figure. Alice patted my shoulder, “He’ll be fine. Come on, let’s go look for Rosalie. I need to use the toilets myself."
I pretended to gasp with horror,

letting Lauren step all over me… but I really thought she was my friend.” That was probably the longest speech that I had heard from her. I wouldn’t have done it. And today. “But I’m not like you. everyone deserves a second chance. She seemed . She looked down at her feet.” I tried to encourage her. Bella. you can tell her I have no interest in becoming head-cheerleader. It was easy to be by her side. For everything. No one has ever done that for me before.” she grinned. I did. I’m not as brave as you. everyone loved you. The truth is…” she sighed. I just realized… I don’t want to be known as her slave. “I don’t know how I’m going to fit in without her. “Well. “Oh. You’re like the only non-cheerleader that’s popular in the history of ECA.” she said sincerely. the Hales… the whole basketball team. But oh my god. but she shook her head remorsefully. including me. So… did you hear everything clearly? Or do I need to repeat the whole conversation?” I asked teasingly. Alice.” she squeezed me. Alice stepped out smugly." “It’s no problem. and I was expecting Alice to be the one coming out. right roomie?” I hugged her.” I smiled. I love you to death. “You will fit in. “Clear enough. She joined me. And I just want to let you know that I’m done being Lauren’s dog. She’s scared of losing her place to you. “Are you sure she wasn’t on crack? Wait till Rosalie and the guys hear that one!” I smiled. But I’m not going to be that girl anymore. I can’t even do a cartwheel. Alice…” I knew someone who would be a great proof to that statement. bff. I’ll see you around. As soon as she walked away.“Emmett the Second!” She smacked my arm playfully. And you want to know why she hates you so much? Aside from the fact that you’re dating the hottest guy in school?” I stared at her. “Thanks. “That was quick…” I stopped when I saw that it wasn’t Alice. “Well. “Took you long enough. one of the populars. I meant what I said. I would have done it for anyone. I think everyone’s going to like the new Jessica.” “Hey…” I was completely stunned. She grinned. Jessica smiled awkwardly. people saw me as cheerleader. Jessica Stanley?” she exclaimed. I know people think I’m dumb. And I’m sure you would have too. Thank you. Definitely not Alice. “Hi Bella. people change.” “Of course you were. “Shut up. I want to be remembered as me. I placed my hand on her shoulder. “No.” I smiled. and Lauren Mallory’s best friend. The Cullens. And what you said this morning kind of woke me up.” I laughed. and I’m not a cheerleader or Lauren’s friend. “It’s because she’s threatened.” she waved at me and ran to the locker room. Ever since you came to this school. “Sure. It was usually Lauren doing all the talking. Bella!” “Just kidding. We smiled at each other and started looking for the ladies room. “Of course. I stood outside and waited for her while she took care of her restroom needs. I promise. You know you’re my best friend. “Listen… I just want to say thanks for sticking up for me on the bus. It was the first time she had ever addressed by my first name. did you see the ay they stood up for you? That’s something that will never happen for Lauren.” I joked. I was eavesdropping at the door. “I’m really sorry for being a bitch to you in the past. The doors opened. I mean.

Posters and banners were held and the cheering never seemed to cease.” . “It’s so nice to see you. I don’t think I’d ever been so enthusiastic and active in my life.” “Sweetie. his voice warm and friendly like always. “And Emmett. I could feel my heart thump heavily against my chest. “ECA! ECA! ECA!” The other team’s cheering sounded like a background buzz compared to ours. Alice. “Now. they’ll still be champions…” Esme said motherly. “And Edward. Esme. red jersey came into view. Esme gave him a look and turned her gaze to the crowd. girls!” Esme hugged and kissed the three of us on our cheeks. “It’s good to see you too. and so… happy. “We’re saving two seats for my parents. and I cheered at the top of our lungs and applauded until our hands started hurting. we give you last year’s State Champion… East Coast Academy Bulldogs!” The Bulldogs got down from the bleachers and ran speedily to the court. “Oh honey. but I reminded myself to be patient. welcome to the annual California State Basketball Tournament. Each year. and I wondered if her thoughts flickered to Edward just as mine did. “Man. The gym was packed without an empty seat in sight. “And the tournament too. Rosalie. we invite only the best teams of the state to join us. The next match was between Buena Vista Academy and Richmond High.thoughtful for a minute. We chatted while we waited for the tournament to begin. Carlisle. Were they just as nervous as I was for themselves? Or were they really as relaxed as they seemed? “Jasper’s up next!” Alice squealed when the match was over.” I beamed as I imagined Edward’s glorious smile in my head. She handed both of us a bottle of lemonade and led us to our seats. even if they don’t win. I was getting anxious to see our school play. Their cheerful attitude and their enthusiasm brightened up the smiles on their fans’ faces. And we are proud to announce the teams that were chosen…” As the announcer continued speaking over the intercom.” Alice said when I asked her why she was placing her purse on the empty seat next to her. Rosalie said her parents couldn't make it since they were in Europe.” Rosalie said surely. Alice. another team wearing green jerseys came from the opposite direction. not too far back or to the sides and coincidently. so excited. Rosalie was waving at us from the concession stands when we saw her. “I guess you’re right…” she murmured smilingly. we were sitting at the center of all the blues. The game ended quickly. Rosalie and I squeezed each other’s hands.” Carlisle chuckled. They were great. “In another twenty minutes or so…” Alice replied. I was only paying half attention. “We are definitely going to win this. As the players took their spot on the court. you know you want them to win just as much as Alice does.” Rosalie’s eyes twinkled excitedly as she said her lover’s name. Beaumont won and they advanced to the next round. Or at least that’s what it sounded like to me. The sound of the buzzer turned down the volume of our cheers down a little. I saw Carlisle and Esme walking up the stairs. The others started chanting the name of our school and we joined them with as much energy as we could summon. each doing catchy cheers and spectacular moves. Being in the crowd was such an exhilarating experience. Cheerleaders from both sides were competing as well.” “When’s the game starting?” Carlisle asked. I was thinking of how Edward and his teammates were doing. Throughout the game. They looked so… energetic. “Ladies and gentlemen. “Alright ladies and gentlemen! Starting our tournament this year are the Crawford High Yellowjackets and the Beaumont High Huskies!” I watched as a team with bright. I really hope they win the tournament again.

The chanting for ECA started again while the other team slumped their shoulders in defeat. second. I had totally forgotten about that. Emmett and Dylan were great at defense. Jasper nodded in Edward’s direction with a smile and they started communicating without speaking but just by reading each other’s facial expressions. Both team traveled so quickly that it was hard to keep track of who got the ball. or third. I couldn’t see Edward’s face since he had his back to us.” Rosalie groaned. Best of luck to all teams!” The girls and I squeezed our way out and ran to the boys who had huge smiles on their faces.” We stared at the chart in front of us until Rosalie reminded us that we had better head back. Jasper jumped up for the ball at the exact moment that the guy was going to shoot. It was such a close game and Jasper said they got some great players this year… it worries me. “Foul!” Edward stood behind the line and made effortless free throws. Rosalie suggested that we go see the winning teams for the other gym when she saw we still had another nine minutes till our final game for today. He chuckled and returned my kiss enthusiastically while digging his hands to the back pockets of my jeans. “They’re doing great. When he was about to head off to the basket. I threw my arms around Edward and kissed him on the lips. Alice and I hugged each other with joy and cheered loudly.I remembered seeing Edward and the other Captain jump for the ball. I overheard the guys sitting in front of us saying that this was the first time the Sharks made it this far. He practically lunged at the ball and threw it to Cody. Carlisle and Esme said they’d watch our stuff and reminded us not to linger since this place was so full of people that it would take some time to find our seats. but Jasper nodded again with acknowledgement a few seconds later and ran after the ball. Then Cody passed it to Jamie and the ball went in after circling around the rim. Have a wonderful evening. In the end. Emmett got us off to a great start by doing many powerful dunk smashes at the beginning of the game as Edward made in numerous amount of three-point throws. this big dude from the opposing team nudged him in the shoulder. It had been a while since I’d attended a basketball tournament. I watched as our school advanced its way to the top of the ladder with excitement after winning every single one of their games. “You know that both Horizon High and ECA advanced to the finals last years. we won with flying scores when Edward ended the game with an excellent slam dunk. “Give it up for the East Coast Academy Bulldogs! This is our final game for today.” I shouted over the cheering of the previous game. “What?” Alice shouted back. A tall guy from the other team was about to head over to our side of the court. Edward started the game with a spectacular circus shot that brought awes from almost everyone in the gym. ladies and gentlemen. “THEY ARE DOING GREAT!” “YEAH!” When the cheering died down a little. right? Even though we won the state title.caffeine usually calms me down. Who will win the State Title? Come join us at one o’clock tomorrow afternoon in this gym. But they still had another chance for third place. We watched the ball being passed around swiftly and kept our eyes glued to the players. . had one more game to win in order to get into the finals. Edward gave a pat on his shoulder and checked the ball. the game continued. they were only down by nine points. that was nice. we were already leading by twenty two points. “What?” Alice swallowed. the other team had trouble getting by either one of them. who was waiting for the ball at mid-court. We made it just in time. and tomorrow morning. The Wolves. I inhaled a deep breath. The cheerleaders’ voices were barely audible thanks to the crowd. Esme handed each one of us a bottle of Coke. like the Bulldogs. we will see which team is the first. The rest of the afternoon went by quickly. and the rest was blurry. By half time. “That was awesome!” I exclaimed when we broke apart. Alice reminded me that there was another set of teams playing in the other gym. “Oh no… This is like a repetition of last year.

I heard a click from the door and Jamie’s voice echoed excitedly around the room. Cody’s bunking with Dylan. I’m sure they have them here. Jasper and Emmett changed and got their stuff from the locker room. “What if they don’t offer cots?” “Don’t worry. “You smell so nice. we got on the bus and rode to the hotel that we were staying at. and Alice and Jasper had disappeared so we rode up the elevator alone with some other kids that I didn’t know. “But I don’t like cots!” Jamie whined childishly .” Esme said proudly. “Awesome Edward! We’re roommates!” I heard a loud thump on the floor and saw that he had dumped his bag right by Edward’s foot. “Of course we did amazing. Edward laughed gently and told me to ignore Emmett. “But you know. Out.” Edward read when we got the keys.” He leaned down and began kissing me. Spend the night in my room. his eyes dazzling.” he whispered. Some of the cheerleaders were asking the basketball players to carry their luggage for them. “Get a cot or something from the front desk. Of course. “You all did amazing. Dylan replied with a rude “Go screw yourself” and left them standing there watching his back. We laughed and rolled our eyes.” I suppressed a laugh. Pathetic. I decided to sit up and lean against the wall to enjoy the show. “Me too. son?” Carlisle shook his head. the less popular guys. It was as if I ordered entertainment from room service.” he smiled. He slid my bag off my shoulder and dumped his on the floor without looking. the ones that were not on the team." “But where am I going to sleep?” he whined. so I’m stuck with Jamie…” he rolled his eyes. I laughed softly. took this as a chance to suck up to them. roommate?” he whispered sweetly in my ear while his hands slithered around my waist. Emmett. They ran to their sides like some love-struck puppies and started fighting over whose bags they wanted to carry. “Oh hi Bella! I didn’t see you with Edward on top of you! What’s up?” Edward got off the bed and started shoving Jamie out of the room. It was ridiculous. Edward sighed reluctantly and threw Jamie’s bag at him. hugging and kissing each of them on the cheek. I blushed when I saw many pairs of eyes staring in our direction with curiosity.” “What?!” Jamie’s voice reminded me of little kids arguing with their parents for candy. they were only spending one night here and almost every one of them had more than one bag.“The game or my kissing expertise?” he said teasingly. opening the door. that can always be re-arranged. Edward inserted the card in the lock when we reached our room. “What do they teach you in this school. "That's it.” Edward suggested. They had me on the team. “I like this bed. After Edward. They were hilarious. I breathed unevenly when his lips started traveling around my neck. Then. Esme and Carlisle escaped through the crowd and finally reached us to congratulate the boys. “Both…” I grinned and pulled his face down to mine again. “Room 602. I hugged Emmett and Jasper and told them what a great job they did.” Emmett joked. “Jasper’s bunking with Emmett. “Bye Jamie. Rosalie. “Who’s your roommate?” I asked Edward when we walked hand-in-hand into the lobby. completely bewildered. I brought my hands up and began running them through his hair. “Again with the PDA!” Emmett threw his arms up in the air dramatically.

elbowing his brother. so it was open. “Dude! You guys have a nice view!” Emmett ran in and practically flew to the windows. curling his fingers around mine. Bella.“Well. Of course. “So… do I get an award for playing well?” he asked suggestively. “He was making remarks about the old people in the pool. Something was caught at the door.” he joked. he made himself comfortable on the couch after checking out the view. there were like these two couples in their sixties or so.” I giggled and smacked his shoulder playfully. His lips twitched up into a cocky smirk. We don’t want him getting too attached to our room. “He’s right. in front of the elevators. “Yeah?” “Yeah. and muttered. In fact. we were interrupted. “How did you know which room we were staying at. the better. A while ago. Edward scowled. “You’re so rude. “What’s up with everyone just barging into our room?” he asked.” Edward shut the door in Jamie’s face and I could still hear his muffled protests in the hallway. Bella?” she smiled when she saw us coming. “Well. “Are you kidding? My parents love you! They’d probably adopt you if they can.” I muffled a laugh. Emmett. anyway? How did you get in?” Emmett grinned sheepishly. The sooner we get Emmett out of here.” “True. We get to watch old people swim in the pool. It was gross.” I grinned. Rosalie’s face wrinkled with disgust. Totally forgot about my purpose here after seeing the view. “Rosalie!” “You know. right?" Edward was getting impatient. “What did he do.” he said as we walked out of the door. “You better run. “What does a guy need to do to get some peace and quiet around here?” I giggled and patted the empty spot next to me.” Edward breathed when he walked back in. Despite us frowning at him. they probably love you more than they love me. Bella should come too. This room rocks! At least you have the city view. “Not a very attractive sight. He sat down and leaned back against the wooden board. I heard from Dylan. who heard from Jamie.” Emmett teased. “Mom and Dad want us to have dinner with them. “You played really well today. How convenient. making out. “So why are you here?” “Oh yeah.” I said conversationally. He ran his hand through his hair. frustrated." Chapter Forty-One . who heard from Cody. He chuckled and responded eagerly to me. I leaned my head against his shoulder and played with his long fingers. Edward’s face became dark and murderous. “Come on.” “I should stay here… it sounds like a family dinner and I don’t want to intrude.” I said awkwardly. “Of course. Bye Jamie. throwing his arms dramatically up in the air. “Jeez.” Edward answered smilingly. Just like always.” "Oh shit. Emmett!” Rosalie was waiting at the end of the hallway. that you kicked him out of the room.” I tilted my head up and brushed my lips against his. I can totally picture Edward doing that in his late years. Emmett laughed.” he grinned again. Edward chuckled. there’re always bathtubs.

“I’m sorry but you're not going to be playing today.. “Yeah.” Cody sighed. it was very soothing. I just didn’t want to slow down the team… I know I missed a lot of practice because of my leg and today’s really important. He rubbed circles on my back. “Is it true that they have free breakfast buffet in this place?” Edward laughed. Dalton. now that I looked around. “With you in my arms. They cleared a way for Edward to walk through. his face alarmed. Their greatgrandfather died or something like that.. Dylan’s arm isn’t up for it because this doofus shoved him to the ground yesterday during the game so his cut re-opened. Ah. “Dad’s getting something to stop the bleeding. He chuckled softly while I stared at him like an imbecile. they were missing five players. I'm sorry. “Good morning. I’ll be right there. but I didn't want him to think that I was obsessed or anything. He laughed again. So I said the first thing that popped into my mind. I told you to take it easy.” I said finally. Did you?” He chuckled. we realized it was Conner. This is bad. “What are you thinking?” he whispered. now Conner can’t play. “This is bad.” Edward sighed with disapproval as he looked down at his teammate. I finally .” “Sure. “Emmett didn’t say. “Thank god we had a doctor around here. his musical. breathtaking smile. who happened to be staring back. clutching on to his ankle. The Coach went to the corner of the room to call his parents. Bella.” Just as he was about to get off the bed.” “I’m sorry.” I admitted to my embarrassment. When the elevator opened. When we got closer. It’ll get worse if you do. I loved everything about him. It was as if I was staring at a beautiful Greek god. it turned from a faint smile. we ran to where the buffet was held and saw a bunch of people circling around someone next to the chocolate fountain.. but it sounded pretty urgent. “Good morning. please tell me you didn’t overly push yourself. “Edward… what’s the matter?” I asked. perfect laugh… “Yes. still smiling. I was going to tell him the truth.When I opened my eyes the next morning.. leaving the rest of the players staring wide-eyed at each other. Edward was smiling down at me with a beautiful. on my account. hoping he didn't catch that my voice shook..” Carlisle had two boys carry Conner to a table and he left to get some painkillers. He answered as I studied his face.” Emmett said. He examined his ankle and bandaged it up after putting on some medicine. and Brandon aren’t even here since they were suspended. Let’s get dressed. I loved the way he smelled. The sight of him made my heart fly. how could I not?” I sighed relaxingly and buried my face in his chest while he pulled me closer with one of his arms.” He was right." Then Carlisle squeezed into the circle with the Coach right behind him. “Milo and Ralph left early this morning because they had a family emergency. “Conner. Let me just change…” I put on my outfits quickly and half-ran out of the door with Edward. “Did you sleep well?” “Very well.. He was on the floor. amused. I take it that you’re hungry?” “Maybe.” I heard someone say. “Edward’s here. That’s why they had extra seats on the bus.” he kissed my head.” He snapped his phone shut and started putting on a fresh shirt. his head propped on his hand. A blush crept on my face. the way his velvet chuckle sounded. “I’m hungry too. it was bleeding. to a frown. It was something about the dinning room… we better get there quickly. his cell phone rang. pressing his lips into my hair. Oh no… blood. Travis.

” Dylan added smugly. Edward wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “Man. “Coach! Coach! We just got this brilliant idea! Guess who can fill in for Conner!” “I’m in no time for games. But I didn’t want to disappoint the team by not playing up to their expectations. I told myself I had to try. but you’re not a girl and you are definitely not my type!” Emmett laughed. Having seven muscular basketball players hugging you at the same time could be really suffocating. his eyes excited yet leaving the choice up to me. For Edward. “Guys… guys… don’t force her into doing this. right grip. puzzled at the sight in front of him. We are so out of luck today!” “Or…” Jasper spoke for the first time. Peterson. and she’s great at it. I studied the faces that were surrounding me. Emmett was practically choking me with his firm. The other guys frowned and started murmuring to each other. “Oh my god.” I smiled sheepishly. Jamie’s face lit up to a bright smile after he saw my face. what do you say?” Edward asked.realized. “But…” “Bella.Bella!” All the guys turned to look at me. All of a sudden. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier!” Smiles slowly spread on their faces. he gave me an encouraging smile. The other guys agreed enthusiastically.” he said.” ‘Yeah.” “Yeah Bella! We believe in you!” Jamie said loyally.” “And we have all seen you play.” Cody said. she has played with us before a numerous times. A huge part of me really wanted to play.” Dylan looked at me straight in the eyes. and I knew I would never get another opportunity like this. annoyed. all traces of worries from before disappeared. I saved Edward’s eyes for last. “Okay… Count me in team.” I murmured deliberatedly. who were extending fists with him. “You’re our last and only hope for winning this tournament. “Cody can’t play for that long. surprised. wide eyes were filled with so much hope… I couldn’t let my friends down. “What’s the plan?” the Coach said. She knows the game.” He was such a gentleman.” Emmett groaned. Let her make her choice. this is just getting better and better. “We can get someone to play for Cody while he takes his breaks. Jamie smiled sheepishly at the rest of the team. The only way that this is going to work is if the five of us play the entire game. was smiling. for my friends. With you and Edward teamed up. “Bella… you’ve been to every single one of our games. but his face. Jamie… you’re a genius! I’d kiss you. I choked and started coughing. “And it’d be a total surprise for the Wolves. “I mean. Cody and you will take turns playing each quarter…” Edward trailed off. remember? He has asthma and he forgot to bring his inhaler. irritated. Mr. “I don’t know… I haven’t played a real match since eighth grade. “I know. still leaving the decision up to me. I had become the center of the spotlight. Jasper placed his hand on my shoulder. The guys let go of me to announce the news. pulling him into a hug. Edward took a deep breath before speaking. we’ll be unstoppable!” Cody encouraged. “Okay… but we still have five players. “But who?” We all stared at each other without a word. . You’re the only one who’s good enough to fill in for the rest of the team. I loved basketball. too.” Jamie interrupted. Their innocent. Edward seemed thoughtful. Jamie continued speaking. “Well Bella. “Are you guys serious?” “Sure.

Edward smiled and planted a soft kiss on my cheek." I grimaced. the Coach spoke in his deep voice. It seems like I’d been doing a lot of running that day. You better hurry. “This is the smallest one that we have. Edward took me to the bus and pulled out a heavy looking bag in the backseat where all the equipments were stored. I laughed.” Both of them snickered as we walked to our bus. I blushed and looked down at my feet. “I brought you an undershirt. I think it looks. “I’m serious. “This is so cool!” The guys and the cheerleading squad were loading their luggage on the bus. ignoring the glares from the cheerleaders. sleeveless undershirt and pulled the jersey over it. I quickly put my hair up to a ponytail. “Where are my stuff?” I asked when I saw the room empty. “Very Bulldog-ish.” Alice restrained a laugh as we walked up to her. Then I felt Edward wrapping his arms around my waist from behind. tight. actually sounding sincere. “Rosalie! Thank you so much!” She chuckled. “Edward’s got them. my bra was visible from the sides and my arms looked extra scrawny.” Dylan chuckled confidently before we parted from the circle to our tables." Emmett laughed. It was really flattering to see that they all believed in me and how happy they were to know that I would be playing with them. Edward had to take care of something so he called me.. we’re getting ready to leave. the wide smiles on their faces disappeared after seeing that Coach Reynolds’ face still remained emotionless. his smile apologetic. "Hell yes. The guys burst into laughter when they saw me. He said they always brought extra jerseys with them just in case someone threw up or bled. we were too naïve to think he was going to agree to this. Cullen.” he praised. Cody and Dylan exclaimed proudly in unison. “Bella?” Rosalie's melodious voice sang as I heard her enter our room . He nodded his head with a mischievous smile. “We are so going to kick ass. After the chaos that we caused at the restaurant. I bit my lip. He handed me one with number fifteen on it. .. Did he really trust me enough to let me play the final match for the state tournament? In the end.” she explained while I put on the black. "I love you for trying to make me feel better. Alice is waiting for us at the lobby.“Bella!” Emmett. the bus driver told them to stay put outside so it’d be more convenient to move the luggage around while they try to make them fit under the seats. The guys cheered and squeezed me again.” "Yes sir!" Edward saluted teasingly. “I like it. Do you need it?” I opened the door with appreciation. “Get her the smallest jersey that you can find. She knocked on the bathroom door. but you don't have to lie. “Awesome!” “Welcome to the team. Suddenly. teammate!” Dylan winked. “Nice Bella. “Sexy?” I had many words for how that jersey looked on me and sexy was definitely not one of them. “Still! I can’t believe you’re playing though!” Alice exclaimed. He smirked. and even I know it looks hideous on me. “I thought so. sexy on you.” he murmured alluringly in my ear. We ran to the lobby to find most of the student body already in the parking lot. Let’s go!” She grabbed my hand and we flew out of the room. When I tried it on in the bathroom." “I’m not good with the whole fashion stuff.” It was ridiculously huge on me.

but he probably thought it was because of the wind. But I remembered that the jacket had his jersey number and his last name around the picture of our mascot. impatient. I didn’t stand out from the crowd. His thoughtfulness and attention made me wonder that I had done to deserve someone as caring and wonderful as him. prejudiced babies. was standing as far away from Lauren as she could manage. Apparently. A broad smile appeared on my face when I realized I had Cullen spelled on my back. “Forfeiting already?” he said smugly. Rude. “They’re having trouble getting the bags under the seats. there were lots of reporters waiting at the entrance of the gym. “Thank you. he started laughing. this made me frown. I thought to myself sarcastically when I realized where we were going. and the other two are hurt. a breeze made me shiver.“Very sexy. “You have goose bumps…” he muttered. I heard about your players. Edward caught that and rubbed my arm with his hands.. actually looking sincere. It means a lot to the team. to me. honey. he rubbed circles on my back soothingly and held my hand in his. It’s easier to claim you as mine…” It confused me at first. Edward must have known what I was feeling.” I prayed that my voice wouldn’t break in the middle of those two words. She smiled weakly when she caught me looking at her and I smiled back. I’m just saying… pretty girls like you shouldn’t be involved in serious stuff like this. As if their bags weren’t huge and full enough in the first place. some of the cheerleaders did some souvenir shopping in the lobby before leaving this morning.. “I should have expected that. two of them left. Jacob. Alice swallowed. Lauren didn't notice since she was in a deep conversation with Crystal.” he retorted. little . There were at least seven of them. just like your team. When we got there. “Let’s see… three of them suspended. Jacob snorted. It wasn’t smart of me to wear a sleeveless jersey in mid November. “Umm… guilty. My eyes were getting watery. We were greeted by none other than the Wolves at the door before entering. “Don’t take it the wrong way. Jessica. Edward let go of me and walked to the front to face him. “What’s taking so long?” Rosalie was pacing around.not that I had a choice. “Here…” He placed the jacket over me while I shrugged my arms into the too-long sleeves. Edward wrapped his arm around my shoulder and kept a low profile when he passed them. I appreciated the comfort.” Before I could say your welcome. it’s going to be an easy win. He was always putting me before of himself. Jacob smiled. I recognized the flirty Captain. and the other guys were almost a foot taller. I wasn’t built like the guys on the basketball team. Then his eyebrow puckered when he noticed me in the back. who had taken Jessica's spot at being her faithful slave. that must really suck. I looked up at him with sincerity and gratitude. sending irritated glances in Lauren’s direction. The boy’s locker room… great. immature. I don’t know if my heart can take it if one of my teammates accidentally knocks you down and damages your pretty. Then he ran in the bus and was back with the blue leather jacket that he always wore on game days. I shuddered to think what the reporters would make out if they knew a girl was playing for ECA this year.” Edward sighed. I was too nervous to talk. from the last time.” he whistled. He smiled and touched my cheek.” For the entire ride there. on the other hand.” he said. You’re getting a girl to replace the guys on your team? Aren't there any other basketball players in that rich. snotty boarding school that you go to?” His teammates started laughing hysterically. “As if. That was great. talking speedily into the microphone. “Oh my god! Please tell me this is not what I’m seeing. I was expecting more from you guys. “I like having my name on you. standing there with their arms crossed.. Since I was wearing the same jersey and shorts. with Edward and me at the heart of the circle. the rest of the guys were surrounding us. I sat silently on the seat and leaned against Edward’s chest. “And thanks for doing this.. Always looking after me. “What’s wrong with girls?” I asked while walking up to stand beside Edward and glaring at him in the eye.” Edward rolled his eyes.

“Of course.” Coach Reynolds said. “Now… go out there. “He’s not worth it. I was stuck between Edward and Dylan. so do I…” "Coach? I appreciate you allowing me to play. it’s about your love for the game. But I don't really understand. and I’ll make sure you get your face damaged. “Get out of here. “Bella. And I had heard many praise from your gym teacher. I liked how Coach Reynolds wasn’t pressuring his team but lightening up the mood. Perhaps with someone like me. “You boys have no business here. placing my hand over my heart teasingly.” he winked.” Jacob smiled and winked at me.” Dylan muttered unhappily.face.” he smiled. It’s not the score on the board that defines who you are. Plus. Cullen. By the way. what about me? And Conner?” Dylan asked. The Coach continued in a lighter tone. Coach. We’re not letting you go out there along. Edward kind of told us to. In the locker room… NOW!” Coach shouted. excited and anxious. The guys believe in you.” he reached out to touch my cheek. Edward snarled. who was fidgeting with his cast. “Oh. we’re done.” he laughed. “Touch her again one more time. and look pretty like young ladies ought to…” he joked. smirking. “Nice way to put it. But I want you to remember.” “So protective..” he stopped me before I was about to exit. Then they stormed out of the locker room in a line.. “All of you.so do I. it’s what’s inside of you…” It was interesting to see how attentive the guys were being to his words. and beat those Wolves’ butt. Edward took a step forward. Edward. See you on the court. thought you should know. “I want you to know that I’m very proud of you for making to the finals. We didn’t come here to lose to them!” “Yeah!” the guys threw their fists in the air and chanted.we have nine players on our team. neither did he wipe off that toothy grin from his face. you are all champions. "And I'll definitely be seeing more of you. They grinned. “Gladly. “Thank you. Basketball is never about gender." Then we heard someone clearing their throat from behind us. They never pay that much attention in class. be a part of a team. “You two can sit on the bench. Jacob didn't look away from Edward. are we? I take it that you’re together now? How cute. because you’re going to need it. “Yes Coach?” “Never let the opponent intimidate you. his voice full of authority. We followed his instructions obediently and took a seat on the bench when we got in. Nine good players. he was very impressed. “Coach. I always thought you could do better. We jogged to the court and heard thunderous applauses and . “I was stupid to be looking forward to this game." Then they walked away. I quickly slapped it away. We laughed. play a good game. his fist clenched and ready to punch Jacob in the face.” he mocked.” he emphasized. I wrapped my arms around his while Emmett restrained him from the back. We’re just here to wish you guys luck." “I saw you playing Edward one evening before leaving the campus. Just do your best. “You know. laughing as they went.” I ran out and found my team waiting in the hallway for me.” I laughed while Edward looked away with embarrassment.” Coach said angrily. touched. I know all of you have the desire to win. win or lose. Bella. "Let it go. “Aww! You guys waited?” I said. I already smell victory in the air.” Jasper said calmly. Coach.

” It was time to continue the match. His face hardened ever since the game started.” Edward snapped impatiently. Jamie and Jasper were well guarded at that time. and he had this look on his face that said “nothing can stop me”. Give me a second. I could hear puzzled murmurs floating around the room. They were all so fast. and the game began. Emmett. They locked their eyes in each others' belligerently while Jacob played defense. I had never played in front of this many people before. “Bella? Are you okay? You’re pale. boy was I wrong. I repeat. traveling back and forth on the court. And do not. I looked up at the crowd and felt my heart thump heavier by the second. when I was just a little behind the free point line. First quarter was over. I want to see some hustling. but one of the Wolves was in front of him. The opposing team saw what they were doing and started crying ‘Horizon Wolves! Horizon Wolves!’ The Wolves looked intimidating with their large sizes and fierce expressions. I ran after the ball and caught the person dribbling it by surprise. so he was expecting Emmett to be the one to guard him. I was terrible in the first two minutes of the game. “Yeah… just freaking out. It seemed like Jacob had told his teammates that he’d be the one guarding Edward. The second buzz was heard. refusing to give in. He threw the ball back to me. This time. I would show him how absurd he was to discriminate someone’s ability at play basketball by her gender. He had caught an eyeful of Emmett. the other team got the ball first. Edward was a split second faster than Jacob.” Edward said. They kept up with us.deafening cheers. only trailing behind by a couple of points. Jasper looked at me sympathetically. since he was the biggest player on our team. It gets better when you set your feet on the court. Emmett patted my back. Edward was like a cheetah while he ran. keep your eyes on your goal. “Okay… Cody. Both team rounded up into two separate circles. you will play the first quarter. the Bulldogs were leading by seven points. I was breaking off cold sweats. They made loud thumps with their feet when they came on the court. “One! Two! Three! Bulldogs!” I tried to tune out what the announcer was saying over the intercome. So I threw the ball… and it went in! . “I’m fine. dribbling the ball in his hand. “I heard slapping usually brings someone out from their state of shock…” he said knowingly. This guy from the other team gave me a taunting smile while I blocked him.” I breathed. The guys gulped down a huge bottle of water and wiped off their sweats with the towels on the bench. The other team made in some pretty good shots as well. Bulldogs on three…” We extended our hands. Now. Jacob’s words from earlier suddenly made me aggressivePretty girls like you shouldn’t be involved in serious stuff like this. Really. I was going to prove him wrong. they had improved since the last time that we played them. I was the same way on my first game. I watched with excitement as the ball went in the hoop with a swish without touching the backboard. Edward made in a three-pointer from the corner. so it was difficult to make out what the Coach was saying. The loud buzz rang around the room and I took my seat on the bench next to Conner. Then finally. the next minute they were on the opposite side. I took the ball from him and threw it to Edward. do not pick a fight with the other team. I watched silently as the clock ticked. I inhaled a deep breath and prayed that I wouldn’t let my team down. The Wolves were great as well. Emmett was trying to get open. Two guys from the opposing team quickly gained up on him.you could almost see the tension between the two teams. “It’s okay. staring at me with pure curiosity. and the pattern continues. “You’re not slapping her. the dreadful wait was over. Bella will fill in for you in the second. My mind just blanked out on me. Alice was right to be nervous. one minute they were there. the crowd and the opposing team got to me and I was absolutely horrified and clueless on what to do. Murmurs escaped from the crowd when I took Cody’s place.” I tried to force a smile. The cheering didn’t die down. their eyes darting dark looks in our directions. but Edward was always a step ahead. This game was unbelievably edgy and intense. Alright… from all of you. “ECA! ECA! ECA! ECA!” the chanting began immediately. If I thought the games that they played yesterday were blurry. Edward and Jacob jumped for the ball. his voice full of concern. so our team got the advantage to score the first basket. trust me. go after the ball. Dylan and Conner wished me luck and I got up timidly with my fingers crossed. who gave me a thumbs up.

I’m sure I took a lot of people by surprise since I heard many exclamations from the crowd. I even took myself by surprise. The Wolves scoffed incredulously.

“Sorry Jacob. Sitting at the sidelines isn’t really my thing,” I grinned. Edward winked in my direction while Jacob scowled, “Looks like I underestimated you.”
I smiled at him and skipped gleeful back to my position for the game to continue. I passed the ball to Jamie this time, but Jacob jumped up and lunged for it before it reached Jamie. He ran to the other side of the court to make a shot. Emmett was close to getting it back, but he was a second too late.

“You don’t know what you got yourself into, little girl,” said a huge kid from the other team when the ball landed into the
hoop. He clicked his tongue and smirked at me in a way that made me uncomfortable; he finally jogged away. We were now two points behind; but that only lasted for about five seconds. I made another shot from the corner and Edward ended the first half of the game with his infamous circus shot. It was good to be ahead; it gave us more confidence. We get a ten minute break for half time; I ran to the bench and drank one and a half bottle of water. Who knew basketball could be so tiresome?

“That was awesome, Bella...” Edward said sweetly, swinging my ponytail.
I laughed and thanked him.

“Man! You were totally cool up there! Did you see that dude’s face when you stole the ball from him? It was priceless!”
Dylan exclaimed, his eyes twinkling with excitement.

“Man, they’re going down,” Conner chuckled darkly. Cody smacked my fist, “We make a good team, you and I.”
I grinned. We rested on the bench for a few minutes. Edward was thoughtful; he seemed to be calculating something, but I didn’t ask. The Coach called us up before the second half started,

“Alright… You all are doing great. Keep this up, and the victory is ours…” “Let’s kick ass on three,” Edward smirked. We snickered and bellowed, “One! Two! Three! Let’s kick ass!”
Emmett threw his muscular arms in the air and caught the ball, interrupting a pass made from Jacob to his teammate. He threw it to Edward, who made a spectacular jump shot from the sides.

“How was it? Playing the game, I mean,” Dylan asked. “It was so much fun. A lot of pressure at first, but I seem to forget the stress when I touch the ball,” I shrugged, “I’m sorry
you didn’t get to play, Dylan. It must be hard for you to sit out for the last match.” He smiled, “It’s alright. I had my time yesterday. I’m feeling pumped up just by watching…” In the middle of third quarter, Coach had me substituting Cody since he looked out of breath and his cheeks were in an unnatural pink color. Cody looked at me apologetically before sitting on the bench; I smiled at him and nodded with acknowledgement. The other team sneered when they saw me stepping on the court. Some of them laughed and shook their heads. Those were exactly the people that I needed to prove myself to; the ones who think girls should be wearing miniskirts, waving their pom-poms around to cheer for them. The game continued. Edward passed me the ball but just as I was about to run to the hoop, Jacob smirked and waved his arms out to block me.

“Let’s see what you’ve got, gorgeous,” he said, his voice taunting.
I looked nervously for someone to pass it to, but none of them were open. It would be foolish to jump; Jacob could stop me with one hand effortlessly. There was only one choice for tough situations like this- the circus shot. What if you miss? The truth was, I hadn’t been using the circus shot for I didn’t know how long. It was only needed when I played tall players like Edward, but Edward had been practicing so the only time that I played basketball was the forty minutes in gym everyday- with Ryan and the rest of my classmates. But I didn’t need to use it when I played them; they weren’t much taller that I was.

It wasn’t like I had a choice. Either I take a chance and attempt to throw it at the basket or Jacob gets it. I contorted my body, twisted my waist and threw the ball up from under his arms; it was good that we weren’t too far away from the basket. I watched, my knuckles buckled tightly, as the ball spun in an unfamiliar way. It flew to the left side at first, and I thought I was going to miss like the time in Edward’s private lesson. But to my surprise, and everyone else’s, it hit the backboard and landed in the hoop right before third quarter ended.

“Did she just…” I heard one of the Wolves stutter.
At first, there were murmurs from the audience. But it was only a matter of time before I heard the loud, joyous cheers from our school. I loved the feeling. The feeling that you get after you accomplish something that you thought couldn’t be done. And to feel the crowd roar… it was incredible.

“You know how to do the circus shot,” Jacob said calmly, all traces of humor gone.
I shrugged.

“That was luck, Bella. That was luck…” he muttered.
Edward approached me and gave me a high five, chuckling,

“Nice shot, teammate!” “I learned from the best,” I hinted. He laughed and ruffled my hair while pulling me to the bench to get a sip of water. “Dude! That was awesome! I thought Edward was the only one who could do the circus shot in our school!” Conner said
when we went on our one minute break, “Did you see the ball spin? It was crazy!”

“You’re high today, Conner,” Dylan chuckled, “And that’s usually Jamie.”
The one minute break was too short. After taking three sips of water, the final quarter of the final match began. I became very edgy; this was it. I told myself I had to do my best no matter what; they made it this far, and I wasn’t about to let them down. I thought of the parents, the students in the crowd, cheering. My teammates, Edward… He made in a lot of corner shots- one of the hardest shots in my opinion- and received a great reaction from the crowd. It was amazing how he seemed to get all the angles right and the ball would go straight into the hoop without touching the rim or the backboard. Jamie looked tired compared to the others; but he still kept up with determination filled in his blue eyes. Jasper passed me the ball and I dribbled it to the other side of the court after sliding by those heavy looking guards from Horizon. I passed it to Jamie, who was right there by the hoop, and he made it in with a simple lay-up. I told myself to ignoring the clock; I didn’t have time for distractions or fears. Jacob was yelling at his teammate for not blocking him; the atmosphere for the Wolves was terrible. The Wolves were keeping up to my dismay. I watched nervously as the scores for both teams went up. Edward and Jasper shot some excellent three-pointers to keep us ahead, but just when I thought we were safe, the Wolves would surprise me by a spectacular shot of their own. I was trying to get away from the guy that was supposed to be guarding me. He was more than a foot taller than I was, so I gave up on jumping. Jasper was looking for someone open to pass it to since he was too far away from the basket. I looked at the big dude’s figure in front of me and an idea came to me while he waved his long arms up in the air. I pointed at the opening of his legs; Jasper smiled and bounced the ball beneath the big guy so that I could catch it.

“Yes!” I yelled and made my way to the hoop. I made a shot from the side and heard cheers from my teammates and the
audience. A few seconds later, I was trying to stop the ball when it was being passed from Jacob to one of his teammates. I leaped for the ball carelessly, thinking I would be fast enough, and collided with a big guy from the other team who was also going after the ball from the opposite direction. Our head smashed against each others’ with a loud bang and we both fell backwards on the floor, with him on top of me. He practically landed on my left leg- I felt a sharp ache from my knee when he struggled to get up.

“Foul!” the ref called after he blew the whistle. The Coach looked anxiously in my direction as Edward ran quickly to my
side,

“Bella? Are you alright?” his eyes were frantic as he knelt down next to me to examine my knee. He didn’t dare to touch
me, but it looked like he wanted to.

“I’m fine.” I winced when I tried standing up. I didn't suceed, but instead, I ended back on my butt- how embarrassing. “Don’t move…” he instructed.
Then two guys from the medical center helped me up and led me to the office. It was a bright room with a small cot at the center; posters were hung neatly on the four walls. They checked for head injuries and examined my leg. In the end, the nurse wrapped a bandage around my head since she said there was a small cut and got something to brace my nearly-broken leg. She asked me how I was feeling; I answered that I was perfectly okay and that I really wanted to watch the rest of the game so quickly that it was almost rude. She hesitated at first; but after reading my face, she escorted me back to the bench with a sigh. Conner and Dylan asked me if I was alright; I told them it was no big deal. It only looked a lot worse because of the bandage. I saw Edward catching glimpses of me from the cornor of his eye. The boys were doing an incredible job. Maybe I was imagining it, but Edward seemed more motivated and aggressive as he continued the rest of the game. And somewhat… frustrated? He slipped away from all the blockers so quickly and fiercely that it made the game more intense than it already was. The Wolves’ Coach was bellowing angrily at his team for letting Edward make in so many baskets; his team looked irritated.I don't blame them; I wasn’t even on his team and he was beginning to bug me. The Wolves were now tailing behind with a good thirteen points. With less than a minute left in the game, the Wolves were growing more nervous and anxious as the clock ticked down.

“Sorry Jacob. It looks like we’re still going to win this year…”
The ball flew impressively into the hoop at the sound of the last buzzer. It was over. Chapter Forty-Two The ball landed into the hoop and the crowd went crazy. The cheerleaders were jumping up and down joyously; the crowds were on their feet, hugging each other while screaming spiritedly for our victory. Some of the students threw their spirit foam-fingers in the air and whistled. Their loud, exultant cheers roared in the madness while on the opposite side of the gym, Jacob and his teammates sunk weakly to the floor on their knees, their eyes wide as they accepted their defeat. He stared at Edward, not with hatred… but with envy. Their Coach threw his arms up in the air dramatically while shaking his head with fury.

“I can’t believe it… Another loss!” he bellowed while stomping his foot.
The squad and basketball players were running over to meet with their prodigy-like captain who, to their surprise and confusion, was jogging away from them toward the opposite direction. Dylan ran to join his teammates while Conner followed limply behind, but they both stopped halfway when they saw Edward approaching the nearly empty bench instead of celebrating with his team over their marvelous victory.

“Cap?” Dylan scratched his head, “Where are you going?” he asked when Edward passed him.
Edward didn’t seem to hear him. Jamie, along with the rest of the team and the cheerleading squad, shrugged and followed Edward with proud smiles on their faces. It didn’t seem like they knew where he was heading, but it didn’t look like they cared. Realization hit their faces as they saw him drawing nearer to me and stopping about a yard away. Jamie looked puzzled and was about to take another step forward to ask Edward what he was doing, but Emmett stopped him with his arm out, blocking him. He whispered something in his ear that made Jamie nod with apprehension. Edward’s eyes were unfathomable. I smiled at him, but he didn’t smile back. I then realized that he hadn’t smiled at all after we won the game, not once. He took another step forward and before I even got a chance to say anything, he pulled me into his embrace.

“Bella, I’m so sorry.”
I puckered my eyebrows, “Edward, why are you apologizing?” He let go of me and sighed while eyeing my leg and my forehead bleakly. He crouched down and touched my cheek,

“I shouldn’t have agreed to this. What the hell was I thinking, letting you play against those guys who were twice your size?
I’m so sorry… I was supposed to be protecting you… and yet, look at yourself. You’re wrapped up in bandages, you’re hurt…” his voice was full of remorse. My heart ached at the sight of guilt that was masked on his beautiful face.

“Edward,” I murmured, bringing his hand down from my cheek to hold it firmly in mine, “Stop it. You’re being ridiculously
absurd...” I murmured,

“I wanted to play, Edward. I wanted to do it. And I don’t regret it at all, not even a bit. These injuries, they’re nothing,” I
shrugged with a smile, “Please don’t agonize yourself over something unnecessary. This is not your fault; it was on one’s fault.”

“I know,” he sighed, “I just wish… there was some way for me to be there for you to prevent all of this from happening in
the first place. I felt helpless, seeing you wincing on the floor with pain and knowing there was nothing that I could do. I hate seeing you hurt. I don’t care how minor the injury is… I don’t like it,” he said grimly, his lips pressing into a hard line.

“I’m perfectly okay,” I whispered, “Don’t worry.”
I brought his hand to my lips and kissed it. He smiled back in response,

“You’re an amazing girl, you know that, Isabella Marie Swan?” it was my favorite, light-hearted crooked smile.
I grinned, “Of course I do. Why else would you love me?” I teased, lightening up his clouded mood. He laughed earnestly, his expression no longer strained and pained, “Would it be inappropriate for me to kiss you right now?”

“Kiss me,” I whispered.
He chuckled softly and crashed his lips to mine. There was nothing in the world that could compare to his delicate, breathtaking kisses. He cupped my face, being careful not to touch my bulky-bandaged leg with his body, and linked my fingers in his left hand.

“I love you,” he breathed when he pulled away, resting his forehead against mine. His face was still slightly flushed from
the game and his cheeks were in a light shade of pink; he looked adorable.

“I love you more,” I said, even more breathless than he was. He smiled again and tightened his grip around my fingers.
Forgetting the audience behind us, we heard “aww” coming from Edward's behind. He turned to look, and we found grins from our teammates who were standing a few yards back. The cheerleaders looked envious, but none of them were glaring, with the exception of Lauren, of course. I noticed that parents and students, in their seats, were also watching us with intent gazes. I caught Alice in the crowd, giving me a thumbs-up. I chuckled. Edward stood up and grinned at them, “You know one of these days, we’re going to have to charge you guys.” Our teammates laughed and ran up to us. They managed to summon up a group hug with me sitting down at the center; it felt wonderful to be a part of the circle. Emmett ruffled my hair, “You did great, Bella. If you want me to kick that dude’s ass, all you have to do is ask.”

“Umm… No thank you. I’ll pass…” I gulped.
He laughed loudly, as if I just said something hilarious.

“Hey! We haven’t done the victory dance!” Jamie burst out suddenly. “What victory dance?” Edward frowned.
Dylan chuckled loudly and gave Emmett and Jasper a meaningful look, “The victory dance.” The next thing I knew, it all happened so quickly, Edward was picked up from the floor to be seated on Emmett and Jasper’s shoulder. I laughed while Edward still looked shocked by what had just happened.

“What is this?” “The victory dance! Didn’t you know it’s an ECA tradition?” Jamie beamed at him innocently, winking secretly in my
direction.

“Since when?” Edward scoffed. “Since now!” Emmett declared laughingly as the rest of the team followed Edward and them to the center of the court,
chanting “ECA” triumphantly the whole time. It wasn’t long until the fans did the same.

The crowd sat back down and the teams came back to take their seats on the bleachers. Edward helped me up from the bench and pulled me . The gym silenced and everyone stared anxiously at him while he tested the sound system.” he said. And this year’s tournament has got to be one of the bests that I have ever watched. Curve that C-T-O-R-Y” I would have gotten up from the bench. It was announced through the intercom that it was time to present the trophies. I turned quickly away with embarrassment. frenzied cheers escaped loudly from the over-excited crowd. the Horizon Wolves!” The Wolves didn’t seem to look pleased. along with the rest of us. Now. Jacob met Edward's eyes briefly. we have a new team that will now go down in the wall of fame for the first time.like he was a hero. Now all tensions were gone. Winners or not. Coach Reynolds was a saint. tentative smile for the camera. watching. I wondered if the Wolves would do the same if the situation was reversed. Two men moved a table carefully beside the athletic director and placed the trophies delicately on top of the red table cloth. And most important of all. Ladies and gents.but instead. “Just by sitting down. Neither one of them were that aggressive while running to take the cup. I would like to acknowledge them on all the hard work that they put had themselves through.” he smiled. the athletic director. I assumed. flustered. My fury resurfaced as I stared at the over-demanding man. I could feel the boys’ determination on winning the competition. they managed to take the state title again with their splendid plays. all of you. The Coach wasn’t smiling at all. Another reason of my immobility was Edward’s breathtaking. They were looking at the Wolves in a different way from before. dazzling smile. stepped up to the middle of the basketball court with a microphone in his hand. “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. the moment that you’ve been waiting for… it is time to present the winners of the 2008 basketball tournament… In third place. I saw many spectacular teams out there today. Jacob took the cup with a reluctant. The little kids were staring at him with admiration. I could sense their love for the game. but my leg was still hurting and I wouldn’t risk falling down at the Bulldogs’ victorious moment. He looked… god-like. Photographers took various pictures of the team holding the cup as the rest of the gym waited impatiently for the next announcement. the same smile for the camera. I’m sure all of us had quite the heart attack to see them playing with only half of the team. At first. My breath was caught in my throat when I saw how triumphed and jubilant he looked sitting on Emmett and Jasper's broad shoulders with the other guys and cheerleaders surrounding him. Now. cheered for them too. He paced around to look at every direction before he started speaking. He smiled indifferently. and for many years before. “Have continued to surprise us with their outstanding performance. The crowd whistled and smiles finally cracked from their lips. “In second place. You boys should be proud of yourselves. He caught me gaping at him from the corner of his eye and smirked. I’ve been the sport director of this district for many years. The student body was chanting his name along with our school’s… the atmosphere was bizarrely spiritful. Edward threw one of his arms around my shoulder and held my hand in his other one. earning chuckles from the audience. A man in black business suit. Edward. glowering at his team with distaste. and patted one of his teammates on his shoulder. Nevertheless. I give you last year’s champion.not like their enemy. Compare to the Horizon Coach. These boys… and this year. as most of you now.“Victory! Victory! That's our cry! Victory! Victory! That's our pride! Split that V.Lincoln High Huskies!” The Huskies yelled happily and ran across the gym floor as their supporters cheered enthusiastically for their achievement. Dot that I. The Bulldogs were so lucky to have Coach Reynolds as their Coach. “The East Coast Academy Bulldogs!” Abrupt. but like their comrades.” he threw a glance in my direction with a chuckle. girl. I still couldn’t look away when he turned his gaze to the court. He winked at me and I blushed. we have our fierce fighters. it is time to proclaim our winner for the competition. I wondered if they would offer the same grace to ECA. It was impossible to get over how beautiful he looked. “Finally.

“Yes. Jasper. It was as if the boulder that was pressuring him before was lifted off his body. He seemed so carefree. They might have made winning look easy and effortless with their superior skills. I jumped up. we grabbed our stuff from the locker room without changing back into our normal clothes.” Emmett reminded us with a smirk.” “Well. It was careless of me not to bring a brush. sweetie?” “No. I didn’t get a clear view of them though because I was too busy feeling Edward's lips on mine." Esme's eyes watered as she pulled Emmett and Edward into another hug. “Ready?” Edward breathed against my neck.” I whispered unevenly. not at all… I’m absolutely feeling pain-free at the moment. and threw my arms around his neck to give him a passionate kiss. hitting each other’s chest with their own or extending fists. patting Esme on the back while murmuring. we finally found Edward’s parents. He took my hand and we exited the locker room with a very animate crowd of boys behind us. grinning. I felt so proud. Edward had to drop my hand to accept the gigantic. completely forgotten about my leg injury. “I’m very proud of all of you. They were still talking . of course. The cheerleaders joined us on the court. Emmett held it up mightily in the air as roaring. without deliberation. A pair of arms snaked around my waist. pumping up the atmosphere further more with their enthusiasm. “Bella! Are you still hurting. Alice and Rosalie kissed Emmett and Jasper deeply. “Go Bulldogs!” “ECA… Number one always!” “Love you. not of myself. I didn’t care that there were hundreds. but the cheering never ceased. but Edward held my hand tightly the whole time to make sure we stayed together. The volume of the cheering increased as well as the whistling. but my boys are growing up. I let my hair drape over my shoulder and tried combing it out with my fingers. Then the audience came down from their seats to congratulate the players. I beamed up at him with adoration. You looked half-dead under that giant. so relaxed now. here I am. The rest of the team had arrived before we did. It was hard not to get lost. I nudged him in the elbow playfully with a snicker. They definitely deserved it. I saw blue. of people watching. Carlisle smiled warmly at all of us. frenetic cheers echoed madly in the gymnasium once again. striking trophy. but of the entire team.along gently toward the center of the gymnasium to claim our golden. It felt honorable to be wearing one of those jerseys. “You almost gave Esme a heart attack. With his eyes as ecstatic as before.” Emmett. “Isn’t this cool? We have the majority of the team here with us. Edward let go of the trophy to let our teammates have the chance to hold it.” I smiled at him. You guys did a spectacular job.” I grinned." After saying goodbye to Edward’s parents. ignoring the surroundings. white ribbons flying gloriously in the air. jumping up and down. Edward!” Edward grinned and rolled his eyes at the last statement. but they had put so much hard work. At last. He laughed. Esme pulled her son into her embrace then wrapped her arms around me. so much sweat and blood into the game. none one of us had any desire to take it off. When we broke away from each other’s embrace. You’d think the fans had killed their lungs from screaming so much. I didn’t care at all because there was nothing else that I’d rather do than to share the sweet victory with the man that I loved. I promised myself that I wouldn't cry. “Congratulations Captain. radiant cup from the director. Flashes blinded our sights as we huddled together to take one picture for the entire team. Rosalie chuckled.” "I am so happy for the four of you. "It's okay. Edward and Emmett rolled their eyes at each other teasingly. possibly thousands. all of them just as excited as we were. all smiles. mom. and Alice joined us. he bent down to kiss my cheeks. Rosalie. The feeling was indescribably satisfying.

" I said..” he said. Big Shot: if you want to look good in your last year of basketball. The last shot… the last buzzer… “How’s your leg?” Edward asked when the cool breeze hit against our skin. if you aren't my sport rival or constantly hitting on the girl that I love… I might actually like you. We won’t be the ones getting creamed out there. He’s beginning to piss me off too. not even then.” I assured him. Jacob snickered. Mr. “You know. “Well. You guys played a great game. “But just never take it for granted. “Be thankful of everything you have. “We were. As we were about to set our foot on the bus. Cul… I mean. “Cul… Edward!” The voice was fimiliar. “It’s painless. you better work hard or we’ll be creaming your ass out there. Honestly. “You were amazing back there. My senior year will be my last year as a basketball player…” “Jacob!” the Coach hissed at him angrily when he saw him talking to us. “What is that guy’s problem? You should tell the school board or something. “Total ass. Jacob and I gaped at him with surprise. you know. “Even if you aren't the basketball captain of ECA. So.” “I won’t.” Jacob untucked his hands from his pocket. and the chance to have what every guy in that gym dreamed of having. there’d be scouts watching you and showering you with college opportunities…” Jacob sighed enviously. "I'm usually better than this. Then he sighed. but you still manage to beat us. “You’re confident.” Jacob smiled sheepishly in my direction. weren’t we?” his voice was teasing. I know it sounds strange coming from your worst enemy. You have a beautiful girlfriend. With an unexpected substitution.” Jacob grinned.” I laughed while Edward rolled his eyes.” Jacob and Edward both grinned. supportive parents and teachers. “You’re lucky. We both turned around and instantly.” . a husky voice called from behind. Edward. “But you guys were better… You had fewer players. “Don’t worry.” Edward gave my hand a tight squeeze. taunting way. that man. Jacob. I think your Coach was a rival of his back in their days… that’s why he’s so freaking upset. Bella." Edward's voice was casual and indifferent. “We’re leaving!” Edward looked away with disgust.” Edward smiled back and shook it modestly. even if you don’t have everything that I’m envious of… no. He threw us a sly smile. I was just really nervous about the game… and that brings out the bad side of me. And consider this a warning. He had put the jacket back on me to keep me warm. I won’t be playing basketball in college.about the game. Edward snorted. “Congratulations. trust me. Jacob. Next year. “Actually.” “Yeah. “I’ll see you next year.” his tone was teasing. not in a bad.. his face unreadable. “You guys were pretty awesome as well.” Jacob smirked." “Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry about my… behavior a while ago. Edward.” Edward laughed. Black. looking serene. both of us became alarmed when we saw Jacob leaning against the streetlight. “What?” His face was carefully masked. “I’m not going to play ball in college. I better go or that moron’s going to start taking it out on the rest of the team.” “Jacob Black!” “Coming!” Jacob snapped back impatiently and muttered a cuss word under his breath. Jacob smiled a friendly smile and walked up to us with his hand held out.” Jacob frowned.

.” “You didn’t succeed. “Yeah. and carried me down the aisle against my protest. borrowing Dylan’s water bottle to pretend as a microphone. It was surprising entertaining. They might have been great athletics or gymnasts. this wasn’t something a sane person would do. “Bella. The rest of us burst into laughter. I almost thought I crushed your bones.” I assured him.” he said humorously. “The wheels on the bus go round and round. It was late when we got back to our school. He sighed in relief. since one of them suggested that we sing “the wheels on the bus”.” Edward replied jokingly. it wasn’t not everyday that we win the state championship. The bus halted to a stop suddenly. I didn’t fall on you on purpose. “What the hell? It makes me look like the crazy one. “It’s okay…I know it was an accident. Edward!” I nudged him lightly. “Oh. right?” he asked nervously. You’d think we were going to a picnic or something in the middle of the afternoon. The Coach merely sat there and ignored us crazy kids with his ear-plugs on. We had a reason to be high. His teeth flashed in the darkness. “Hi. you know. “I don’t think I’ve done anything this childish since the second grade. we moved on to “We Are the Champions. He was thrown back against his seat and he banged his head. but singing was definitely not their thing. I was concentrating on the ball and…” he ranted. Catch you guys later. being the only sane person on the bus. my leg’s not even broken. "Yes it was. round and round. I felt bad for them knowing that they would be stuck on the tiny bus with the nasty Coach in the hour long drive. the bus was filled with off-key singing. “Good. I’m fine.” they both gave us a nod and ran on their bus. all through the town. don’t worry. kissing my cheek. Let’s go. After we got tired of kiddy songs. The wheels on the bus go round and round. round and round." Edward lifted me off the ground." I said when we turned around to face the bus.. his hands moving speedily in the air as if he was demonstrating. A guy from Jacob’s team came running down to us.” I narrowed my eyes at him when he set me down on my seat. Embry. most of the students were as energetic and cheerful as ever. Rosalie and I rolled our eyes. sorry to interrupt. Nevertheless. I’ll meet you back in your room. Edward and I threw back our heads and laughed. maybe this is all just a dream. "That was a surprise. “I’m going to take a shower. “I could walk.” I grinned. You’re Bella. We stopped by McDonald’s for dinner since the Coach claimed that it was the only place that he could take us to without feeling embarrassed about our “hyperness”. “The wheels on the bus go round and round. round and round. The cheerleaders joined the craziness. we kicked ass…” Emmett’s voice rang in the darkness. stepped on the bus.. He sighed. “Come on. he was right. “Round and Round…” “Come on.” The bus ride back to school was unbelievably loud and nauseating. Then Dylan joined them. I swear.” Edward said when we got off the bus. What’s up?” “I’m so sorry about your leg.” Jamie sank down to the floor dramatically. It didn’t seem like the guys were sober. right? After all. “What are you two doing?!” Jacob rolled his eyes in annoyance when he heard the Coach bellowing at him again. At first. and so did Jasper and Cody. only Emmett and Jamie went along with it.” “Everybody sing! The Bulldogs on the bus say we kicked ass. I know. He said we might as well as just hop into the playground and play with the three year-olds while we were being so childish. we kicked ass.” I snickered.“With a good reason. but also fun to the extreme. let’s sing!” Alice gasped out between her giggles. round and round…” I laughed giddily when we finished a verse.

there was now a dark purple bruise with dry blood lingering around.” “And I wouldn’t want Jasper to point a gun at my head for letting Edward kill Alice. Rosalie sighed when our dorm came into view.” he added dryly. “Bella…” “Edward. I’m not going to fall or anything. “Seriously. kissing my neck and pressing me against the soft linens. Edward wore a T-shirt that hung over his perfect. I wasn’t about to add him another unimportant burden right after the game ended. alright? Or I’m kicking you out. we got stuck watching old people doing what old people weren’t suppose to do!” Rosalie shuddered at the memory. Edward arrived at the same time that Alice was about to head off to Jasper’s. “Very nice. See it not only concerns you. it was one of those scenes that burns into your memory for as long as you live. He pressed his back against the wooden frame.” we snickered.” “It doesn’t…” I looked away from his eyes. He hesitated and gave up with a reluctant sigh.” he said. “I kind of missed this place. “Edward…” I began to protest when he brushed my hands away. The injury had become worse. It’s a bruise. You had the best view. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?” Rosalie retorted sarcastically. “Well. I sighed and wrapped my arms around his neck. ready to prevent my face from hitting the floor the moment that I started walking. My wish was ignored. We snickered at our sillyness. I got rid of the nasty looking bandages and nearly hurled when I saw what was underneath. Stop worrying about me. we have to be sure. “Have fun kids! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” Then she shut the door behind her. Bella. Awkwardly. I winced when I tried to wipe it. he had been so stressed in these past couple of weeks. Alice and I took turns showering after we got in. we’re getting you checked out by the nurse. “Oh my god.” Alice pouted. “First thing tomorrow. Of course.” Alice teased. remembering how good it felt to have Edward on top of me. He took off with Jamie and the rest of the guys. it’s fine.” I could see the disapproval in his eyes. I groaned. I stifled a gasp and tried to keep my emotions under better control. “I’m great.” “Ouch. it'd kill me to be away from him. I didn’t want him to make a big deal out of it.“Okay. “When are you guys ever going to let that go?” “Never. no problem.” I smiled. sculpted chest.” .” I said. Rosalie and Alice looked cautiously at me. staring out at the beautiful city ahead of you. “You said it didn’t hurt.” “Not me. “Hey…” “Hi. “Nice timing. “You’d better.” I said smugly. right below my knee. but all of us too?” Rosalie winked. They both elbowed me teasingly.” I rolled my eyes. secretly touched by their concern.” Edward joked. “Here’s a solution: never draw the curtains. Just imagine this: while you two were getting all romantically gooey with each other. already knowing where my thoughts were leading to. Alice. no gain… I breathed. I liked the hotel. I wouldn’t want my brother to hang a sword above my head for letting you trip. even if you only caught a glimpse of it for about a second or so. He smiled dazzlingly in my direction while walking over to sit beside me on the bed.” I threatened jokingly. he gaped at my leg with surprise. No pain.” he gasped. I didn’t even have to knock on the door. “You took off the bandages. Alice grinned at him. I tried to hide the bruise. “Besides. Alice smirked.” I shrugged. “Not unless I touch it. Alice. “A very serious looking bruise.

” his voice. I thought… I thought you were going to tell me that I was crazy to be thinking that. I want to be a journalist.“Yes sir. “Coach Reynolds called me to his office a few days ago. I just want to make a difference in this world. What ever he saw must have encouraged him. the one concerning my leg.” he chuckled. "Chill. My future was set. right? No matter what happens.” “I love you. in any of those top schools in the country if I continued playing like this in my senior year.” I grinned.” I murmured in the darkness and buried my face into his shirt..champions of the 2008 California State Basketball Tournament!” was hung over the main office. we walked to the juniors' building. Edward didn’t forget about the request that he made last night.” I kissed his lips. he brought me to the nurse’s office after we had our breakfast in our room. he said. “Come here. “I think it’s wonderful that you want to do more with your life. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was little. I pulled the blanket over us and closed my eyes to prolong the delightful moment. A huge banner with “Congratulation Bulldogs. Edward. “Edward. He seemed bewildered. “What about you? What do you plan on doing in the future?” his lips twitched up to a smile. Edward Cullen.. was a whisper. “But I don’t want to play basketball. And there’s something that you should know: no matter what happens in the future. if it’s possible. too. “Home of the State Champs…” or “California’s Pride…” Spiritful ribbons were secured on every tree in sight. With a deep breath. I might even have a shot in NBA…” he chuckled. First thing in the morning. He let out a breath.. children’s lives. I love reading. some of the stores were giving out discounts for the celebration of our victory. Bella. I want to do something more… I…” he paused. He said after college. I’ll always be here for you.. the sparkling gold lettering over the blue fabric. You know I’d do exactly the same for you. “Edward?” “Yes?” “What did you mean when you said you aren’t going to play basketball in college?” He stared down at me.” he lifted his arm up and made room for me to snuggle against him. almost convinced on his part.” I whispered. but he tightened his grip around me anyway. “Thank you. I want.” I watched as his eyes sparkled at the mention of 'saving children's lives'.” I grinned. Let’s face it: you’re the best writer in our grade.” he whispered then asked. “Well." I emphasized the word. “It’s late. "If it starts hurting in class. along with the smaller ones that said. Chapter Forty-Three Everyone stared and congratulated us as we walked to our classes the next morning. “I think you’d be great at journalism. He turned the dim light on my bedside off. Not for a career. “Don’t you think what I said was absurd?” he whispered. He told me how important this tournament and the one next year were if I wanted to impress the scouts. Bella Swan. The lady had to assure him that I was going to be fine for at least ten times. hesitating.” “Thanks. “This is going to sound insane… but I want to be a doctor. . I truly do.” He kissed the top of my head." "I'll call an ambulance. that was certainly unexpected. I want to save people’s lives. I'm going to be fine. I think I just fell in love with you even more!” I beamed. You should get some rest. he closed his eyes and re-opened them as he spoke.” “Thanks. Bella. “Absurd? Oh Edward." I said teasingly. Then I remembered something I’d been meaning to ask. “And I love writing. I looked at him with pure adoration as I threw my arms around his waist. I just. Finally. Edward. “What I want to do is nothing in comparison to yours. I want to be more than just a basketball player. I guess you already knew that.

some brought their spirit shirts to class for him to sign.He grinned and rolled his eyes at me as we entered the building. “Irresistible. His eyebrows cocked up suggestively as a smirk spread across his face. huh?” “No. The part that I found funny is that she posted your picture in her room. Dylan?” I restraint a laugh. “Yo Edward!” Dylan headed over to where we were with a pen in his hand. The girls looked at Edward with even more desire than before. and she told me she wanted your autograph. I get the whole autograph part. Scowling. “Get out of here.” I grinned.” Dylan smiled and winked at me before he walked away. Edward began scrawling down some words in the pink. He rolled his eyes.” “How old is she. “It’s for my sister. “Are we done with the laughing?” he asked. “Dylan better not say anything." “See you in P. I watched as waves of disappointment appeared on their perky faces when they saw Edward was not even a bit moved or interested. I asked her what she wanted. The cheerleaders came up and congratulated him. We reached the classroom and as usual. “No hearts? She’d be so disappointed!” Edward scowled at Dylan once again while I laughed. Edward narrowed his eyes at me. “Funny. “A signature for your fan. “Nine. smirking. “Today’s going to be a long day. He snickered. Can you believe she went home and took down all the posters on her wall to replace it with a picture of you that she managed to take yesterday?” His voice was incredulous.” I noted. “Sorry. “Don’t flatter yourself. He replied with a simle thank you indifferently and we strolled away. It’d be a miracle if my right hand survives. A loud cry interrupted whatever he had planned to say.E. He would torture you.” I couldn’t hold it any longer.” he said smugly. huh?” “Very. “You better hope Dylan doesn’t say anything to Emmett about this. and now she has the biggest crush on you. Edward and I waited outside until the warning bell rang. “Besides… that’s the price you’d have pay for being so irresistibly attractive. “Anyway. hand in hand. Dylan pretended to look appalled with a mocking gasp. or he’s going to be a dead man… that is if I don’t die first from the irritation that I would receive from Emmett.” I snickered.” he muttered.” Edward glared at him. But funny.” I chuckled. her birthday’s next week. fluffly notebook. I remembered how people used to look at me with wide eyes when . they did not leave without batting their eyelashes or flashing a flirty smile. “Nothing cracks you up like a little girl asking for my autograph. Ever considered being a comedian in the near future?” He pressed his lips together in a hard line after gritting the words through his teeth.” Edward grimaced. popping his knuckle after signing the twelfth foam finger. Why in the world would I want your signature? I like my name a hell lot better. Dylan. I was still shaking with laughter after seeing Edward glowering at Dylan's back. He got out a notebook from his backpack and handed it to Edward." He seemed to have returned to his good humor as he walked me to my first class. hints of irritation in his voice. holding on to his arm for support. Dylan laughed and shook his head. Framed. Edward sighed helplessly and thrust the notebook back to Dylan when he was finished. They would giggle or sigh when he walked by. “They should just print your signature on the back of the “Edward Fan Club” tees to save you from all the trouble.” Dylan added. “Her name’s Tori.” I joked. silently threatening me not to crack up . that was rude. She went to our game..

.” he murmured and pushed me toward the office. I should at least try.” he prompted. formal voice echoed from the other side of the door. In gym. I sighed. Bella?” I took a deep breath. I’ll come back tomorrow." I was ranting. “Miss All Star” or even “Lady Jordan”. Edward encouraged me to talk to the Coach to get his permission. After finishing my test in class. My head just isn’t clear this early in the morning. I was never. A few minutes later. The atmosphere was still awkward. I was naive to think that I'd be able to get away. but we were both trying.” I blushed and released my grip. but it wasn’t as bad as before. “It’s okay.” Edward’s velvet voice brought me back to the present. Sure. He smiled. “Not really.” he kissed the palm of my hand and led me to the gymnasium. Damn it Bella! You’re turning into one of those pathetic love-struck girls. But look at us now. Edward blocked me and wrapped his arm around my waist. “Not so fast. okay? I think it’s time to bring something new into this school for the girls. it didn’t mean that I could control my thoughts. his lips curling up into a crooked grin.. The only sport that they’re interesting in doing is cheerleading… Forget that I said anything. It took her five seconds to respond after recovering from the shock that she had just experienced.” he chuckled heartily. Edward kissed me goodbye after being reminded by one of the teachers that he only had seconds until the second bell. Basketball is a great idea. If I didn’t go after you that day at the dance… if I chickened out because I was afraid you wouldn’t return the same feelings… things would have been different for us. his face glorious as he smiled. Edward had to give me a gentle pat before I came to my senses to knock on the door. thinking about Edward. I couldn’t stay on the guy’s basketball team forever. At least now the girls were only watching. ready to bolt. Bella. and you’d be the same. I had to sit out for the whole period. The next thing you know.. “Umm… he’s probably busy. Now. my nails were digging deeply in to his skin. A light kiss… but it was enough to send my heart to the frenzy state. What he was doing… what he was thinking. “Okay… you need to relax.” the deep.” “That’s my girl. I froze on my track in front of the door. The lights were out but there was a source of light coming from the Coach’s office. “You’re right.. After school. I know I’d still be in denial about liking you.they saw me leaning against the wall with Edward holding my hand or his arms around my waist. “It is not stupid. never going to be one of those girls that I despised. Thanks to my leg.” he cupped my cheek. “Ready to do this. I spent the rest of the period doodling in my notebook. They called me everything that they could think of. you’d be doodling his name on your binder and drawing hearts all around it. “Bella. I got your back. . “I tried. just because I dropped the dangerous object. and I told him about my idea of starting a girl varsity basketball team in ECA. “Oh! Sorry. Both of woke up half an hour before the alarm clock buzzed this morning. But still. we still got curious stares from time to time.” “But nobody’s going to join anyway…” I mumbled. I wasn’t used to seeing an empty gym at this hour. Edward waited for me outside my classroom as usual.” I blurted out cowardly. it was old news that we were together. Where am I going to find twelve girls to make up the team? They all think I’m insane anyway. “Never mind… this is stupid. “You never know unless you try. After all. I only have one more year left in High School. We stayed in bed and talked until it was time to get up. “Come in. He raised his eyebrow and picked up our twined hands. Jessica came up and asked me how my leg was doing. the teasing from my classmates was overbearing. I released my pen with horror.” he winked. not glowering. Angela was stunned when Jessica greeted her with a shy smile. I stepped in timidly with Edward behind me.” He chuckled.

I have never taught anyone how to play before. “There’s another way.” Coach Reynolds stared unsmilingly at him. little problem. Cullen. “It’s okay. just like what he did for me at the tournament. And you’ve held practices for me before. “It’s okay. Besides. I’ll figure something out. I know you’re probably tired after all those weeks of hard training and you probably want a break from basketball. “Good one. Edward. It was just a bit of a shock. “Wait a minute… you’re serious?” he said slowly. I get to spend more time with you.” he pointed out. Edward looked at me and I smiled at him. “I know someone who can take my place while I’m not here. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Have I mentioned how much I love you?” . “Two times a week isn’t going to be enough. his face thoughtful.." His eyes narrowed to Edward's direction.” “Thanks Coach!” I said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to drag you into this. It’ll take them some time to learn the game. we have to get the practicing to start this year. Coach. "What do you say. You don’t have to do it…” “No. My hands were fidgetting again. staring back at the Coach incredulously. I do. Who was I kidding? There was no other way. you don’t have to do this. Best of luck and tell me how it goes. I think it’d be great to show the rest of the girls that cheerleading isn’t the only sport appropriate for females. I have something that I’d like to talk to you about… if you're not to busy. “I like the idea. Well. “I’ll do it. I want to do it. Edward frowned.” Edward pulled one of the chairs out for me. “But we have a tiny.” he announced. “Have a seat then. The Coach nodded with approval. What can I do for you? How’s your leg. But I was thinking… maybe… just maybe we could start a girl basketball team in this school…” I trailed off and studied his face. right? I’ll do it. I know it's a lot to ask…” “No. But I’m only available on Mondays and Wednesdays these couple of months. Edward. and I’m not asking for it.The Coach smiled. smiling faintly. And I highly doubt that any of you would appreciate Friday or weekend practices. Most of these girls are going to be beginners. Most of them are probably new to this.” Coach shrugged. And hopefully in the mean time. “I don’t joke about basketball. I’m serious.” he interrupted. I hope…” “Yes… it’s better. I wrapped my arms around him. And if you wish to compete next year. “Umm… actually. “Ah… Miss Bella Swan and Mr.” he smirked." he replied. by the way? Getting better. Edward? How would you like to be the assistant coach?” Edward laughed. You know the girls won’t be as experienced as you are. “That’s different. I’m not going to influence your decision.” “It’s your choice. We walked out of the office and my voice was apologetic as I started speaking. my boy.” I fidgeted.” I looked in Edward’s direction and he smiled in encouragement.. I inhaled again and proceeded to continue after Edward took his seat as well. In my twelve years of teaching. right?” he winked. But I was going to leave the choice up to him. the school will find a suitable coach for you girls. after playing with Edward and the rest of the guys in the tournament. This made me incredibly nervous. “I wouldn’t know what to do. “Good. and it came out almost like a squeal. “Coach? It’s okay. They’ll need all the help they can get.” he chuckled. It was nonchalant.” Coach Reynolds said finally. An hour after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m leaving this to the both of you then. Edward. or they only had brief encounter with basketball in the past. Bella.” he mumbled. I could hear the clock tick in the silence.” The last sentence was a lie.” “Oh…” My face dropped in disappointment. I know it’s hard for me to receive a permanent spot on the team. I’ve never had a young lady approaching me with this idea. it made me realize how much I missed playing basketball. I suppose I can coach before the boys’ basketball training starts. “Coach.

Cody. several teams are starting to arrive and the atmosphere is insanely cheerful! So… all of us are desperate to know: Who will take the state title home? Who will be our state champs?. With a heartwarming smile. earned another fantastic win with only six players. confused. Next. you looked like a freaking smiling zombie up there. I ducked under Edward’s arms when my falling down and nearly breaking my leg came up at the end. This year. ECA had Isabella Swan. Edward was doing his infamous circus shot… Then I came into view.“How much do you love me?” “You’ll see… Coach. “A very hot smiling zombie. Emmett’s grin grew more and more noticeable while Edward and Jasper smiled slyly. Their lips pulled up into the wildest. their faces incredibly radiant. who still managed to maintain his cool. Instead of feeling offended. “Come on. Rosalie. mostly the match between Horizon and East Coast Academy. They didn't exclude the cheering and screaming from the background so it made it hard for us to hear what she was saying. substituting for their absent and injured players…' God Bella. Bella. “Look!” And there was a picture of me on the floor in the sport’s section. Edward sighed and bent down to retrieve the key after I dropped it on the floor carelessly. Emmett was dunking the ball.” I whispered in his ear. We already knew who the state champs were. We heard voices when I tried to get my door open. the door opened easily. They included my first shot and the shocked reaction that I received from the crowd. “Coach Reynolds! How do you feel about your team’s magnificent victory?” He cleared his throat. “Emmett. we already knew who would take the state title home.” I smiled up appreciatively at him and watched the rest of the program.” Rosalie laughed and wrapped her arms around him to whisper something in his ear that made his eyes lit up with excitement.V. every student in this state would know you.” Emmett sang joyously. “Has hell frozen over? When does Emmett watch news?” Jasper joked. right beside Edward’s jump shot and the group picture. he laughed. I sat on his lap and linked my arms around his neck. ‘The East Coast Academy Bulldogs. they showed footages of the game. He chuckled and leaned in to murmur in my ear. She laughed and pressed her lips to his. on to the local news. “You have nothing to be self-conscious about. but I'm anxious to see how good I look on T. by the end of the week. I groaned anyway. a junior in East Coast Academy. he snaked his arms around my waist and kissed my hair. “You guys are in this one too!” I heard Alice exclaim. “I’m very proud of them. I was grateful that the print was blurry.” he wiggled his eyebrow suggestively in her direction. Alice was already in Jasper’s arms.. They’ve worked very hard to get where they are… I can’t ask for a better group of players. I hope you don’t get jealous. “I don't know about you. her tiny body resting against his broad shoulder. placing a kiss on his neck. Jamie. The reporter was very pretty. I let my cheek rest against Edward’s chest as I turned my attention to the reporter. Stay with us.” Rosalie giggled.” Then a smirking Emmett.V. in her early twenties. With a swift click..” she chuckled. I’m Rachelle Cunnings and I’m here at the Annual Boy Basketball Tournament for the Golden StateCalifornia! As you can see. some waved at the camera. and you'll find out!” We smiled. I frowned. when all the girls drool over me in front of their screens. “It’s almost five!” Emmett snatched the remote from the table and turned the T. “We’re going to be on the five o’clock program. “Read this. “In every newspaper. "In what?" Edward asked. They were kids staring curiously behind her. Jasper was blocking. . and Jasper filled the shaking camera. at least no one could make out my face that clearly. champion of this year’s California tournament. With embarrassment. creepiest smiles that I had ever seen… except for Jasper. They had an exclusive interview with the Coach and the team after we received our cup. Silence took over as we stared anxiously at the screen ahead of us.” Edward pulled me along to the couch. Some even put you on the front page!” Rosalie said. “Good afternoon.

smiling crookedly. I’m completely in love with her. his face slightly flushed.. “So did the rest of the state. laughing. “What do you think of the Bulldogs’ performance? Are you good friends with them?” “Absolutely! They are all very close to me!!” she giggled along with the rest of the cheerleaders.” he wrapped his arms around my shoulder and pulled me against him. we stared awkwardly at the guy filming us. It was totally last minute. I simply played my part. Tell me Edward. is this the seventh time in the role that ECA has managed to win first place for the tournament? How does it feel. smiling edgily. “Rosie. smiling sweetly at the camera.V. his face innocent. “Normally. she wasn't sure. “Yes we are.” “No. ran his hand through his auburn hair with a soft chuckle. at first.” “You all. “She surprised many of us today. “Dude! That was classic!” Jasper and Emmett extended fists and muttered something to each other about getting this on . The Edward on T.” Jasper pointed to the screen as Lauren emerged. Edward scowled.” he sent a belligerent look in Edward's direction and threw his head back. “Right. “Somebody throw me a bucket.” The rest of us laughed. Then to my dismay. unaware of the rolling camera a few yards away. and there she was! That's what friends do. knowing you were the one leading the Bulldogs to victory?” “I didn’t lead them to victory at all. A smile flashed across his jubilant face a few seconds later. Emmett and Jasper whooped while I turned into a deeper shade of red. “And yes. check this out. It was terrifying. but I encouraged her.” Rosalie yelled.” "So Edward… are you and Isabella an item? I saw how comfortable you two were with each other a while ago. “I wish someone would declare their undying love for me on T. But Edward kind of stole the title from me recently. grinning. I choked out. We're the kind of couple that keeps to ourselves. Edward and I rolled our eyes. “How very modest of you.” Emmett coughed. Alice? I’m running out of pillows to throw. I’m going to puke. love-struck looking Bella appeared on the screen with her forehead pressed against Edward’s. “Do you have a butcher knife anywhere. “Here we have Captain Edward Cullen with the girl substituting for the team. Composing ourselves. that was typical of Emmett. Says the king of public display of affections. probably didn't want to upset me.” “Of course!” she giggled.V.“Hell yes! It feels awesome to receive the state title!” The Emmett on T. Fighting against the lump in my throat. smirked. not at. Isabella Swan.. emphasizing every word for Emmett’s benefit.” Edward tried not to laugh. “Hi mom! Hi dad! Hi Scott! See you at Christmas!” Jamie waved at the camera.” Edward replied. a very gleeful. the rest was all them.” I flustered." Jasper snickered. I blushed as Emmett snickered. I wouldn’t deny it. did you know you would be filling in before you came? Surely it was terrifying playing against people who were twice your size.V. “She’s one of my best friends. I could practically picture the girls swooning over him at his noble statement. right?” I wanted to hurl. I just thought we weren't the flaunting type. instead of laughing like a moron off screen. turning scarlet. And Isabella. Edward interlaced his fingers with mine and picked up our hands so he could kiss it. Emmett looked nervously at her.” she winked.. and I always knew she could do this! I mean. “Have you seen Isabella playing like this before?” Rachelle asked. Edward chucked a pillow and aimed it at his head.. Emmett grinned. Just kill me now… I closed my eyes and leaned back. “Oh!” I gasped at the camera at the same time Edward jumped back.

“Alright. The girls that never talked to me before came up to me as if we were lifelong friends. “You can do this.” I muttered. Of course. Emmett really did pinch me. strolling Alice along. Thankfully. “I’m just playing with you.” “Oh puh-lease! Wait. Suddenly. faint smile. biting her lips. just to wake me up from the insane madness. Every since you played the basketball tournament. I felt Edward’s breath against my neck. He’s going to need it. My jaw was hung open with shock. It was only a figure of speech but unacknowledged of it. And believe me. and pass that on to Edward for me. I mean. Bella.hanging out with Emmett always involved food. not for basketball. “Dream come true!” I repeated scornfully.V. a sly. “My stomach’s filled up… with disgust. I grinned.the reverse psychology. it was unbearably overwhelming. I hope you brought ear plugs. I even asked Emmett to pinch me. touching his lips with the tip of my finger. Chapter Forty-Four “Have you seen how many people showed up? Why are they even here. I practically bolted after seeing . helping Rosalie up. they’d all come here for him. it was certainly unexpected. He was breathless. if they knew. Sorry for the break down. "The girls will be all over him when he comes in.” Alice pushed me out of the doors. you guys. panic leaking through my voice. anyway? None of them were interested in basketball before. I can’t deal with his fan girls right now. you became a legend and the most popular girl in school.” Like that helps? I took a deep breath. Bella. I bit my lip and smiled at him again. light one either. Alice and Rosalie frowned at them with irratation. Catching his breath. And just for the record. Just because I managed to show up for a brief second on television and just because I was starting a basketball team. You are Bella Swan.” He pressed his lips to mine and I melted at his touch. Tell us how it goes later. Who’s up for hamburgers?” he got on his feet. can we? I thought you were going to show me how much you love me…” he whispered seductively in my ear. You need to chill. “We can’t have that.tape. “Me!” Jasper hopped up. they were all engrossed in some pretty deep conversations themselves. And it wasn’t an easy. Alice.. yesterday” and several questions for the basketball tryout. I suddenly gained friends that I didn’t even know I had. “Calm down. Good luck. her tiny hands powerful and forcing. Rosalie and Alice spent twenty minutes in the girl’s locker room after school to counsel me. "On the edge? Girl. playing with a lock of my hair. “What if I want to do something nice for you?” I whispered.” I muttered. You don’t have to do anything…” he chuckled. That’s dream come true for most of them. I received a bunch of “oh my god! I saw you on T. “Thanks. I stifled a gasp as I looked around to see if any of our friends had heard him. her eyebrows puckering.. Jasper generously offered to help me make the flyers and signup sheets. sitting me down on the bench. I stuck my tongue out at them playfully and they laughed while watching me squirm." Last night.” she chuckled. I’m already on the edge of losing it. As soon as we posted them on the bulletin boards. Some of them complimented on my clothes. off. “I’m hungry. the words that escaped from his lips were like melting honey. you're already losing it. Lots and lots of food. girls were practically fighting for a placed to sign. He was unintentionally using one of the forbidden. “Shh! No one’s supposed to know about that. his lips were at my ear. Bella.” Rosalie rolled her eyes.” Rosalie shot me a meaningful look. The interview with the Wolves came up next. Bella. Go out there and look like a captain. be a good girl. The rest of the school day went crazily as well. cussing something under their breaths about Lauren.V. “I’m a lucky man then. “Isn’t it easy to guess why they want to join? Look at you. shuddering. none of them were interested in watching. he leaned down. I’m not the Captain. “Okay Bella. Emmett turned the T. This isn’t going to work…” I groaned. Where’s Edward? Isn’t he coaching?” Alice asked. his body shaking with laughter." Alice rolled her eyes with a flashy smirk.

everything was going to be okay now that he was here. most of the squad ran over. still edgy. “Sorry about that and thanks for showing up today. filled with giggles and squeals. She and Rosalie came to talk some sense into me. It’s so confusing. But leave us the hell alone. This is our gym. “I'm the head of the squad. They both start . Why don’t you girls go over there?” She glowered at me again. dropping their pompoms on the floor. I don’t know what kind of games your trying to play.” she tilted her head to the left. messy hair slightly wet from the rain. I felt relieved when he smiled at me. my face indifferent. Sorry.” “I don’t see anything funny about it at all. Before I began speaking. Everything was always okay with Edward there. I can stay for as long as I like. her voice giddy. Some of the girls squealed and started fixing their hair when they saw him approaching. I walked out. to the gymnasium and cleared my throat uncomfortably. “The gym is reserved for us. I don't need reservations. The cheerleaders silenced their cheers and erupted a shrill of excitement. Come on. “You don’t want to leave? Fine. “Since Coach Reynolds is going to be busy. When I walked in. My. “Oh. the girls were all staring at me. Samantha. If you think this basketball thing is going to work out.” I smirked. “Guess so. Edward emerged through the doors.” she spat and turned her face to the girls sitting on the bleachers for the tryout. Edward looked uncomfortable with the squealing. I’m still waiting on someone who will be helping us out today… ah. Umm… glad to see most of you already dressed in shorts since we’ll actually be practicing today. you idiot. And did I know what to do? Not really. I recognized some of the faces in the crowd. She grimaced and took a step closer. And we need a volunteer for the equipment manager. I thought it said baseball on the flyers. It was a comfort to see them.. She snarled. but he masked his face and smiled professionally. “This is basketball. Swan. “This.Angela. A. “What?! Edward’s coaching? I want to join!” In split seconds. looking as breathtaking and stunning as always with his tousled. Swan. The cheerleaders followed her wordlessly while the girls on the bleachers remained silent over her comment. his hands casually at his sides. not baseball. expecting me to know what I was doing. suit yourself.” I replied politely.how many girls showed up. you’re wrong. or does the school buy them for us?” I frowned. Let’s practice over there. he’s having Edward here filling in for him as the assistant coach. “Don’t you losers have anything else better to do than to put up with this bitch?” I scowled at her. her squad following faithfully behind. I tried to keep my voice as enthusiastic as I could manage. It wasn’t like I started varsity teams for a living. “Didn’t see your name on the reservation chart.” Ciara blushed with embarrassment. Oh. and if we’re these losers that you speak of. Is. why are you still talking to us? Unless you want to be categorized in out group. her arms crossed in front of her chest. Edward grimaced slightly at the word. the excitement on their faces were replaced with horror. Gym. Any questions before we start?” The girls grew even more enthusiastic after he spoke.” a girl hissed at her friend.” “Do we still get to see you if we’re the equipment manager?” a girl asked. “Whatever. girls. there he is!” Right on cue. Bats? Gloves? What the hell? “Ciara. With a reluctant chuckle. “Like Bella said.. I made my escape to the locker room and called Alice. “So do we have to buy the bats and the gloves. Besides. I’ll be around. my voice sarcastic.” I chuckled bitterly. you better start walking away or people will make the wrong assumptions. freaking out over the phone. aware of the unwanted attention that was coming. checking themselves in the mirrors that they had in their purses. Is.V. Joke. “How many people get to be on the team?” “We will pick twelve girls for the varsity team. leaving Lauren wide-eyed and frozen in place. I turned around to see what had caused their change of expression. Edward shrugged. This. Anyhow.” The frenzy murmurs started again. there’s another gym. He waited patiently for them to say something. thank god I had real friends instead of those that only wanted to get to know me because of my appearance T.at least I knew not all of the girls here were overly-obsessed with popularity.” she said coolly.I was not surprised to see Lauren walking up to us in her cheerleading uniform.

” “So ladies… how many of you have played basketball before?” A few hands shot up hesitatingly in the air. “Okay. a shriek rang loudly from the right.” he murmured helplessly. “Oh no. I know most of you are new at this. “Seems that we have a lot to work on.what was the worst that could happen? I really should stop thinking that. any more questions?” “Umm… you said twelve. Edward. Edward whistled and took a deep breath before speaking. “I'm gonna be okay. I seemed to be the only one who heard him. I love you.” I said to him while staring at the scene in front of me with horror.with b-a-s. A few minutes after the insaneness. Edward coughed to hide his laugh. “I’m so sorry. I laughed. She didn’t even realize that I was being sarcastic. Some of the girls complained because they were sweating or their hair or nails were messed up.” The girls got up and ran for the rack. “Okay. of course. They started making aimless shots." He kissed my cheek and with a roll of his eyes.” Samantha rolled her eyes. and if I don’t survive this. Coach Reynolds will stop by occasionally. Edward and I walked around to help the girls with their stance and throws. uncertain. And he’ll be the one deciding who gets to stay on the team at the end. “Edward! Edward! Look! I made it in!” . We probably should get to work then. I tried not to snicker. Bella.how could it possibly be any worse? He sighed. maybe it can’t get any worse than this. “My nails!” Crystal. one of the cheerleaders complained. I’m doing okay. we expect you to come to every practice and we’ll work on whatever it is that you need. whining and calling his name constantly. I’ll be back tomorrow if my hand's alright. who was on her knees and examining her finger nails under the light warily. “Please don’t be. As if proving me wrong. at least our lives weren’t going to be in jeopardy. “Now that we’re sure of the sport we’ll be playing. “Do you need to go to the ER?” I asked as I walked up to Crystal.” “Oh. right?” I gave him a look. it’s the end of the world. Of course. to see how things are going. “Okay. “It could have been worse. Practice continued. I’ll just go back to my room. I took a deep breath. grab a ball and we’ll start warming up. “Alright girls. Edward and I frowned and my shoulders slumped. his eyebrow quirking. murmuring under her breath. I sighed in relief. They were all over Edward. “I owe you for a decade.” he muttered sarcastically and quietly. It reminded me of the day that I spent in the kindergarten class that Renee had taught. the gym was suddenly dangerous with orange balls flying around in the air. There were lots of squealing and screaming. during the month. Can any of you make free throws?” he questioned. “Edward? Am I doing this right?” Abby asked. “Come help me first. That was very… umm…” he paused. I stayed away from the cheerleaders. right? But there’re like thirty something girls in here… how will you be able to pick who gets to play?” “We won’t pick right away.” she said sulkily. The hands dropped. It was dribbling.” she muttered. aren’t I?” Kelsey glared at Abby after putting on a fake smile for Edward.she shook her head. he walked to the middle of the court. “Why don’t we start with something easier? Like… dribbling?” The look in their eyes made me believe that these girls would do anything that he suggested.” He chuckled uneasily. Oh. ducking his head under his arms the whole way there. so we’re giving you a month before the official selecting starts. I snickered.

But that was fine. do not hold any of us responsible. The girls collapsed on the floor. Holding it is fine. No one’s forcing you to join with a sword hanging above your head. from what I heard. Suddenly. “That bad. but I . and continued practicing with her friends. Jasper. she decided to go for basketball.. They were all sweating.. right? And basketball wasn’t that easy. “Yeah! Go Bella!” Dylan whistled while all four of them burst into another round of laughter. but she was getting the hang of it. just don’t dig your nails into the ball. The gym had been divided up into two sections. She thanked me. “There. she still couldn’t make in the free throws. why would it matter? It wasn’t like Edward was enjoying himself. disgusting creatures.. you are going to sweat in basketball.at last! An end to this nightmare. I blushed with embarrassment when I realized that they had witnessed my entire rant. please?” I really.” I narrowed my eyes at Kelsey. They looked up to Lauren. you’re free to walk out of this gym whenever. irritation crept in my body as I watched them flirt shamelessly with him. I was pretty surprised that he hadn’t snapped yet. laughing. surprisingly. I got the normal. the civil side. Of course it didn’t bother them. her face absolutely smug. what had they done besides self-indulgently torturing Edward with their lame flirtations? I gritted my teeth at the last part. showing them how to work their elbow. Bella?” A few giggled escaped. They winked at him and started giggling crazily again. don’t bother coming back tomorrow. Emmett along with Dylan and Cody were leaning casually against the door. Samantha’s actually pretty athletic. Some of them were close to getting the shot in. “Bella? Am I supposed to throw it like this?” Lana asked.. their heroic role model. Why were they wasting their time when he was clearly untaken with any of them? Didn’t it even bother them that they were flirting with someone’s boyfriend? My boyfriend? Right in front of my face? I snorted.” I told her teasingly. I saw Edward shifted uncomfortably from where he was standing. Wasn’t he clear enough that he wasn’t interested? I just didn’t get it. “Especially when he’s sweating. I heard guffaws from the exit of the gym. Those shameless. With their unceasing cries. Second. Luckily. which was unusual for him. who was looking at me. I tried to leave all of those unpleasant thoughts behind. his voice boomingly loud. I looked up at Edward. I’m done. his eyes filled with annoyance. “He is so hot. Anything that you’d like to add. “Yeah. practice makes perfect. Several things. On the other hand. laughing hysterically. “Okay… we’re stopping here today. I assisted half of the girls. It was easy to declare who were going to make the team. really wanted to punch someone. but I knew it was only a matter of time before she got there. her voice whiny and sickly sweet at the same time. so if you can’t live with that. That wasn’t…” Edward struggled for words again.especially not for beginners. I mean. Edward. it was the girls that weren’t drooling over Edward and actually had their mind set on playing. Angela wasn’t as strong as Samantha. horrified. “If it’s not the game that you’re interested in. nice ones. They could do all the flirting they wanted. Like Samantha and Angela for example. their body glued to the ground.” I finished fiercely. I suggest you not come back. but as long as Edward didn’t return the same feelings.“Edward?! I need you to help me. but it would always end up an inch off. there is something. Sure. Edward wasn’t looking too blissful… “Edward? I can’t make the free throw!” Kelsey called.” I fought against the urge to stick my tongue out at Kelsey. He grimaced the whole time when they were within the yard radius. It seemed like forever but finally.” another cheerleader agreed with a smirk.of course. But since there weren’t softball teams here. “Actually. they were the ones working the hardest out there.” Kelsey said to her friend. if you break your nails or anything like that. even the cheerleaders. And last of all. so please don’t waste your time and ours. I looked up gratefully at the ceiling. completely dumbfolded. I sighed. Poor Edward. and the evil side. it was five. how to aim better. she used to play softball. “You tell them Bella!” Emmett encouraged. frowning as she tried to keep a ball in her one hand. We have people here that actually have their mind set on joining. to be honest. They didn’t even try to keep their little fantasies to themselves.

“Edward. “Don’t start. I clutched my hand to his hair. A shiver went down my spine when his lips caressed my collarbone. what you said back there took everyone off guard. I’m going to end up going to the mental hospital. “They were just getting on my nerves. “Sucked at basketball?” “Couldn’t have put it in better words bro. His door opened and he went to get a drink from the mini fridge for both of us. pulling him closer to me while our lips moved in perfect synchronization. stroking my back and my thigh. but those girls really…” Dylan stopped. me on top of him. we laughed.” he said sarcastically. who in their right mind would want her squad? I’m not suicidal.” his voice was low . you know. his lips were traveling up and down my jaw. already knowing what was coming. stupid Crystal. We stared at each other for a brief second. “Aren’t you?” he murmured seductively.. And now Lauren’s going to start giving me crap again because she thinks I’m stealing her squad. please.” Edward dismissed them. It was impossible for the irritation to cease. that was hilarious! You should have seen Kelsey’s face! She was breaking down cold sweats by the way you were glowering at her!” Emmett cackled again. Instead of being impatient with me. stupid. the girls stood up unsteadily and walked limply for the locker room.” Dylan chuckled. “Ha ha! Bella. his face still smiling. not over what she said. Let's show these newbies how it's done. stupid… stupid…” I muttered the last part to myself. Dylan picked up a ball from the rack and made a free throw. “Oops. He chuckled. Cody. “Be nice. his eyes dancing exultantly while he smirked. you’re free to go now. you are so cute when you pout. our eyes incredulous and outraged. I’m really not in the mood. Realizing what had just happened." I walked back to Edward’s room with him since it was closer.who would have thought you had it in you to be so straight forward?” he teased. my mistake. Edward this. my voice betraying me. A day with them. “I wasn’t being nice.” I answered. Oh forget about those Bimbos.the next thing I knew.it sounded so Emmett and Rosalie. He observed me for a few more seconds before he spoke. but I knew that he could still hear. the places that he touched were on fire. “Like I said. Minutes. my voice not as strong as before. . Freaking. no offense. half smug.. “Not all of us can be basketball champs.” I glared at Edward. Stupid Kelsey. They laughed. Edward snickered.” I reminded him. my whole body seemed to be aware that he was touching me. but over what I said a while ago. Come on. “Okay… that's it for today. Thank heavens for carpet. “But seriously. amused.” I scowled. His hands were now on my waist. I still couldn’t leave my clouded mood behind. Sighing.” Edward chuckled. “Did… did we just fall out of the couch?” I couldn’t stop the hysteria that followed. I closed to space between us by burying my face in his chest. but Cody finished the sentence for him. My Bella. We landed on the floor with a thud. “He is so hot!” a girl murmured longingly. “Sorry. “Man. pulling me closer to him on the couch. high-fiving him. He made a motion to zip his lips then he smirked. I whimpered…he wasn’t being fair with his persuasive kisses. I started giggling. I wish she’d get over herself. and left me to my thoughts. "Still got it. “I am not pouting.found him grinning at me. half amused.” he breathed.” I mumbled. I said to myself.” I breathed. Edward that… They couldn’t keep their mouth shut for five. “You’re incredibly cute when you pout. Edward watched my face.

” Jasper wrapped his arm around her and gazed deeply into her eyes. They added some mascara to my eyes and some glossy lip gloss that took me a while to get used to. his lips twitched up to a grin. glamour and glistening gown was unquestionably made for her. It was neatly bundled up in a red bow. I couldn’t look away from him. Everyone was looking forward to it. More than that.” he chuckled and handed me a bouquet of roses that he had in his free hand. It was almost as if they knew what each other was thinking. It matched flawlessly with the earrings that my mom sent me. Edward in black tuxedo was strikingly stunning. I was okay with the Guinea Barbie makeover. “Oh.” he breathed. I can’t find the perfect word to describe you either. As self-conscious as I was.unknown to me anyway." I didn’t allow him to speak again after that. Emmett kissed Rosalie on the lips deeply. I could feel his stare still boring on my back as I . Lastly. That wasn’t the most terrifying part though. exasperated. there was no point to arguing with Alice and Rosalie when it came down to fashion. These are for you. Chapter Forty-Five A month after the basketball tournament “Alice. you buy an expensive dress for one evening. Isn’t it great?” I sighed. Adonis himself was smiling at me with an intake of a breath. slightly embarrassed. buddy. Alice rose gratefully to her feet to open the door.” I kissed his cheek and went to find a vase for it. “You look gorgeous. He was so thoughtful. Though Jasper and Alice weren’t as bold and flamboyant at showing their affection as Emmett and Rosalie. The shoulder-baring dress hung tightly around my body and it spread out in pretty waves at the bottom. it was the MVP Awards Assembly for the basketball team. I liked the dress that she selected.to make my hair look shinier. He winked at me. But it was the sparkling high heels that very nearly made me pass out. my eyebrows raised up suggestively. “I would say you look beautiful. It was pointless to argue with Alice. myself included. Edward. The picture of him standing there was so beautiful that it felt unreal.” I whispered teasingly. tasteful scarlet dress that emphasized the curves to her tiny body. “Thank you. I mean. A beauty sent from heaven. Her black. “Thank you. “I know. My only option was to pray that I don’t break any part of my body this evening. one of the most important events of the school year. I felt tiny and insignificant just by being in the same room. his eyes passionate. but how could I possibly not trip in those death traps while wearing a long gown? I had no desire to fall in the middle of a dance.Alice had picked out a silky blue gown that was absolutely extravagant. but the word is not good enough to describe how you look right now. When they looked into each other’s eyes. She was doubtlessly angelic. Rosalie was… well.” Rosalie giggled and placed her hand on his arm.” I answered timidly. my heart accelerating at his touch. it was hard not to feel the love they had for each other. emerald eyes were intense as they bored into mine. Alice was wearing an elegant. Rosalie and Alice curled my hair up in tiny little curls that spread nicely down my bare shoulders. She giggled. He took a few steps forward while I let my hands drop nervously at my sides. “Alice. Together. and you’ll probably never wear it again in the future!” I said.“I believe so…” he murmured. They walked out of the door. “You need a longer couch. His green. it was a crime that someone could look as breathtaking. whispering and laughing as they went. They also added some unknown chemical. I blushed. Rosalie and Alice were beyond beautiful. as dazzling as him. I smelled it and sighed. no words were needed. It was the winter formal in ECA. like I said. I wouldn’t miss the smile that I knew I would on Edward’s face when he was announced the MVP for anything. Rosalie. I swayed to the mirror to examine myself again for the last time. “I’ll keep that in mind. I just didn’t like the price that came with it. refusing to allow any space between us. I locked my arms around his neck. you look stunning. his hand raising slowly to caress my cheek. it was heartbreaking to look at her . A knock on the door made me jump. Rose. I honestly don’t see the point of dressing up. Unfortunately.

’ he smiled genuinely. Miss Gray. “Do I look like someone who’d wear something like this in her free will?” He pursed his lips. but most important of all. In the center of the room was an ice sculpture carved into a shape of a reindeer. “I’m going to take a guess that Alice forced you into this gown?” he laughed softly.moved. my geography teacher. They stared at us in awe as they kept their distance. I’m great. but also the sweetest ever known. I swayed along to the music. The room grew silent. Basketball was never merely just about winning. He sighed. I sighed. I didn’t want to feel sorry for her. Coach Reynolds stepped up to the stage and cleared his throat to take over. “Yes. . the music halted to a stop. it was as if there was an invisible wall between us that kept them from joining us.” I sighed contently. “Tonight’s going to be amazing. “I should thank Alice later. She looked as if she was in pain. involuntarily. pretending to be unaware of it. The ballroom was different from the last time that I saw it. A click made from the microphone was heard through the speakers. smiled at us from the stage. Edward and I followed our friends to the middle of the dance floor while the other kids moved back to give us room. I looked away from that general direction. “Of course. cupping my cheek with one of his hands while the other one remained around my waist. I’m very proud of all of you for receiving the state title. I closed my eyes to prolong the moment as his arms snaked around my waist. seeing me in Edward’s arms. Let’s have Coach Reynolds make the announcement. I’m very proud of the bonds that you’ve formed with your teammates. I’ll be with you. I saw students walking toward the ballroom with their dates. my arms locked around Edward’s neck for the slow dance. shall we?” I flashed Edward a smile and he grinned at me. I gasped. Slow-temple music was playing comfortingly in the background.” I mumbled. How did a guy like him end up with me? That’s a mystery. afraid of seeing her antagonized eyes again.” he grinned. isn’t it? The wind was soothing under the pale moonlight.” I gasped. Rosalie. A huge sleigh stood elegantly at the right corner covered with fake snow and white flowers. who was looking at me with envy and hatred a few yards away. Jasper and Emmett around the big. Bella?” After a song or two. We continued walking down on our path. That only made me feel more self-conscious. He took in my expression and gestured to the west corner. I opened my eyes and found myself facing Lauren Mallory. I’m fine. “When are you going to see yourself clearly. “Another great season for the ECA Bulldogs. “Obviously they haven’t see Rosalie yet. “Wow. His forehead was pressed against mine. I’ve attended winter formals before but it was nothing as magnificent as this.” I assured him smilingly. his eyes joyous. round table. My eyes were filled with adoration as I gazed up at him. where a bunch of freshmen and sophomores were roaming their eyes over my body. their eyes gauging as they gaped at us with astonishment. “So… off we go then!” Emmett announced excitedly. And we exited in pairs. “You okay?” Edward murmured. “Edward Cullen! Do not encourage her!” He laughed. “You don’t know how utterly breathtaking you’re looking right now. Do you realize how many hearts you’re breaking as we speak?” I rolled my eyes. “It is now time to present the ECA Bulldog’s MVP award. He took my hand and we sat down beside Alice. Cowardly. Not that he was the most gorgeous looking man on the planet. I wrapped my hand around Edward’s arm and leaned against his shoulder.

It was too fast for slow dancing. “Thanks Rosalie. I managed to move without tripping though. Ever.” he raised the trophy and another round of applause rung as he walked down the stage. “You better not let me fall.it’s important that you learn as you go.” Rosalie teased. Ladies and gentlemen. Lauren snapped her fingers and took over the dance floor with Kelsey and Crystal behind her when a new song started. deafening cheers erupted for him as he stood up. Alice and I clicked our tongues at her and wiggled our fingers mockingly while she scowled at us.Edward Cullen.” Alice beamed. I pulled him into my embrace. Instantly. Edward rolled his eyes. “Thought you’d never ask. Edward. “Bitch. “Thank you.” Rosalie scoffed. “I’m so proud of you. The scene was hilarious. Well. He chuckled. . I have this trophy in my hand waiting to be presented. too. And when it finally did.” she spat when she strolled by us. We rose to our feet when he got on the stage to accept the trophy. leaving the freshmen and sophomore boys with their jaws hanging open. Coach Reynolds patted his shoulder and pulled him into a one-armed hug. I think everyone here would be in agreement as to who deserves it the most. It seemed like we were the center of spotlight once again. still giggling. and I’m proud to say that everyone on our varsity team has learned that concept. but I couldn’t really dance in my long gown.” “I’m going to hold you to that.Low by Flo Rida. Unpleased with the attention on us. the Most Valuable Player of the East Coast Academy Basketball team. ladies!” Rosalie high-fived us and we erupted into another round of laughter. The other students were laughing along. I’ll never let you fall. Edward twirled me around in circles. “I’m going to get a drink.” Everyone applauded abruptly and loud. Edward smiled the smile that I’d been longing to see. shaking his body around. God. older brother. “For an arrogant jerk. Emmett’s guffaw was the loudest. you sounded okay up there. And just for the record.” Rosalie gave her the middle finger and smirked. Alice. “Way to go.” Jasper and Emmett extended their fists from across the table.” It wasn’t too long until a teacher came over and put a stop to the dirty dancing. my supportive teammates who are like brothers to me rather than friends. “So thanks guys and enjoy the rest of your evening. Bella?” I smiled at him. grinning at him. “Very nice. Now. We danced around foolishly for hours. he spoke into the mic. That’s the only thing you’ve said to me that came close as a compliment. “Let’s do the disco man!” Dylan joked. messing around as Emmett’s background dancers. which I was forever grateful. technically one of them is my brother. Edward’s face was wrinkled up with distaste as he shook his head.” He turned to me with a smile. “Unfortunately.” he smiled playfully. “Somebody get that girl a pole. “Whore.” We laughed. It took a while for the cheering to die down. Edward. “Dance with me again. Rosalie and I lip-synced several songs while Emmett did a poor imitation of Britney Spears. “No way dude! I’m so over the eighties!” Jamie shuddered.” I shouted over the music. We laughed while the boys continued making a moron out of themselves. Lauren had the nerve to look unembarrassed.” “Nice man. I just want to say that I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I feel like a little kid!” I laughed. I felt more proud of him than I’d ever felt for myself. I giggled and gripped on his hands more tightly than ever. The basketball guys joined us. looking away with disgust. She did some really dirty dance moves. “You don’t look like a little kid.” The music turned into something more upbeat.

You can’t just waltz in here and steal everything away from me! You and those losers that you call friends…” “Hey!” I interrupted sharply.his lips crashing fiercely on mine. On a feathery pillow were a crown and a tiara. take your hands off Miss Seymour’s shirt!” Miss Gray rushed to their sides. more soothing. while the rest of the students continued cheering for us. Homecoming Queen last year. They placed it on the top of our heads. the music changed back to something softer. awkward for my part. taking two steps to her. Because if he doesn’t." “Go Bella!” Alice nudged me while Edward. “Not at all. “Tired?” he chuckled. I know. love. “You know Crowley actually came up to me yesterday and told me you were staring at him in your math class?’ My lips parted with shock. “You have a problem with me? Fine. “Calm down. “How could I not look in his direction? He sits right in front of me! I can’t keep my head down for the entire class without looking at the blackboard!” He laughed.for now. “Good. I can dance with you forever. sorry.my fist. her eyes murderous. Mine!” “Miss Mallory. “Voted as Winter Formal King.and with anger. tripping over the extension cords. I couldn’t breathe. my desperation for him to kiss me again must have shown clearly on my face since he chuckled and placed another quick kiss on my lips. sparkling under the spotlight. her hands grabbing Casey’s collar. It was natural reflexes that I took a few steps back. a girl from the dance committee.was behind me. bright smile. But don’t you dare bring my friends into this!” “Why you little…” Before she got the chance to finish that sentence. Crystal and the other cheerleaders whispered something to her to make her laugh confidently. We walked onstage.” he shook his head with rage. Because I don’t think I can take it if you accepted a dance from that vile Mike Newton or that irritating Tyler Crawley.At about a quarter till midnight. brilliant. smiling. “No! There must have been some mistake! How the hell did she end up being the queen?” Lauren shrieked while stomping onto the stage.” I sighed contently. "Oops. I give you Edward Cullen and our queen… Isabella Swan!” This was impossible. I was Winter Formal Queen. I couldn’t believe I was voted Winter Formal Queen. Miss Gray turned the microphone on again while Casey. “Check again. falling in my direction.” he laughed. I whipped my head around and saw Casey. he’s going to meet my best friend. That tiara is mine. bitch. She turned her attention to me. “Don’t worry.who were cheering lively for us.extended his hand for me to take. I told him to keep his fantasies to himself.” “Good. Unaware that Lauren. . He’ll meet mine much sooner.with his dazzling. My hands were trembling. It was once again suitable for slow dancing. It was enough to satisfy me. I kept my arms locked around Edward’s neck while my face pressed against his tux. I backed into her unintentionally in the progress. I stared wide-eyed at the student body.and waited for Miss Gray to say something like. “You! What did you do? Blackmail? You don’t deserve it. I said the wrong name. There must have been some mistake. prying Lauren’s fingers off Casey.” I gritted through my teeth. someone shrieked. Doubtlessly impossible. whispered into her ear. “Okay… It is almost midnight! Which means it is time to announce our king and queen for this year’s winter formal!” I saw Lauren smoothing her dress not too far away from the stage. She nodded apprehensively and greeted us with another warm smile.who still hadn’t register what was happening now inside her head. Edward pulled me closer to me and swirled me into his embrace.

.I fell in love with him. “It’s not fair.” she sniffled.” she said. “She went to this school when she was my age. I was the “it girl” of the campus before you showed up. “Keep it. “What do you want. “Oh my god. She was everything. Appearance meant everything to her. you took everything from my grasp. Jamie bumped fists with Emmett. And your squad. she expects more.” her voice was weaker. and she said I was jeopardizing her image.” Unlike some people. Lauren. so sharp that I had to cover my ears. okay? You have Edward. You have taken everything away from me. “I’m… sorry. prom queen… she expects the same from me. “What do you have that I don’t? Why did Edward pick you instead of me? He was supposed to be mine. keeping a good amount of space between us.” she swallowed angrily. But I just need you to understand that I don’t spend all of my time planning on revenge. “I didn’t come here to make you miserable. “Everything. marking two easily visible wet spots on her boobs.” I murmured. Water gushed out from her chest. Lauren.” I was still too stunned by the held back a year.were laughing at her too. taking pictures and recording with their phones.” Jamie assured him with a wide smile. “Hell yes. I ignored you. I saw Edward restraining a laugh. laughing hysterically. Lauren screamed. Lauren?” Her face snapped up at the sound of my voice. speechless as I gaped at the scene in front of me. is that enough for you?” she sobbed. it was so high-pitched. It just happened. I mouthed “one minute” to Edward and took off after her. and that’s okay. you have that damn tiara on your head. “Do you think I wanted this to happen? For god’s sake. “Why is your reputation so important to you.” Emmett flashed his teeth.“I’m so…” I turned around to face her and paused in the middle of my apology. she ran out of the room frantically.god knows I had no intention of making them join the basketball team. “This is so going on Youtube!” “You got the whole thing?” Emmett grinned. I had no idea. I stared wide-eyed at her while the others gasped and did the same. I know you hate me Lauren. behaving like a gentleman that he always was.” “Excellent. my eyes nearly falling out of my sockets. “All this was supposed to me mine.” I yanked the piece of metal off my hair. Lauren Mallory wears a water bra!” a senior guffawed as the other students in the room joined him. anyway? And this Winter Formal?” “You don’t know my mom. I didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. No. That only lasted for about four seconds. I sat down next to her on the bench. instantly sounding more vulnerable than ever. you stole my squad. She wouldn’t look at me. and you had the entire school laughing at me. roaring with laughter. It was silent. I ignored your crap but you didn’t quit! And this is all my fault? While you were the one who started everything?” She sniffed. It doesn’t mean anything to me. homecoming queen. Swan? You win! You win. speechless for once as she looked away from me. crying on the bench. And I found Lauren.or so she called them. all the fierceness from before was gone. Her friends. I didn’t mean to bump into you. sitting with her face buried in her hands. “And I didn’t want to be with Edward just to make you feel bad or jealous. looking happier than I had ever seen him before. “When she found out that I got held back a year… she was embarrassed to be seen with me. So silent that I could hear people breathing. Suddenly. disgusted. “Are you okay. And as for this stupid thing. People pointed rudely in the direction of her departure.cheerleading captain. With her hands crossed in front of her chest.” “I don’t need you to pity me. talk to me for a month.” I sighed. I spoke in a softer tone. She glared at me with so much hatred that I flinched.” her lips trembled. shrieking as she went. holding on to each other for support.

No way. My friends are probably wondering where I am.” she said genuinely. I felt bad for her. “I won’t be here next semester. Even though I couldn't relate to her problems. it’s actually a relief. Instantly. It was nice to have someone coming after me.” Neither of us said anything in the next minute.” A surge of pity washed through me as I stared at the girl that used to be my enemy. I wouldn’t have been able to survive ECA so long if it weren’t for the Cullens and the Hales. my mind drifting back to that night. more suitable for two girls having a conversation. frowning. “Oh. “My mom wants me back home because I’m flunking my classes.my first kiss with Edward. “Because I remember how it felt when I was the one storming out of the same room several months ago. she looked guilty and embarrassed. she shook on it.” she said. why did you even bother?” she asked. Wait. I’d rather be alone for a few minutes. and she was leaving. I’ll go get it for you. A part of me was sad to see her go. “Why didn’t you go back to your room instead of sitting out here?” She sighed. Nobody knows about my mom.” She nodded her head. “Yeah?” “Thanks. “Well. so today’s my last day. Transferring to a new school wasn’t easy. “Good. in fact. She wants to keep an eye on me. So what do you say? I’m willing to put all of this behind us if you are. “Hey Lauren?” “What?” “Let’s put a stop to all of this madness.” she whispered. that’s why being crowned as the Winter Formal Queen was so important to me. Her thoughts must have led to the terrible truth or dare that she had sprung on me. I’m so tired of it and I know you are too. “Why did you come? If you’re not here to laugh at me. “I used to be upset about it. judging you based on your social status.” We both laughed. holding out my hand. She studied my face and stared at me hand. her head tilted up toward the sky. I understood what she was about to go through. go. “Trust me. Her posture tensed up and she closed her eyes before she opened her mouth.” I offered.“I wonder why the hell I’m telling you all this. I’m going to head back. “I mean it. we didn’t even get a chance to be friends. and if you ever mention this to anyone…” “I won’t. I didn’t know what to say. “Um… Do you mind if I ask you something?” She shrugged. Even though I did not like Lauren. getting up on my feet.” I smiled.” she laughed dryly. Honestly. “Hey Bella?” she called as I started walking away. are you?” I puckered my face. the atmosphere was lighter. right?” She didn’t say anything for a while.” she breathed. I left my purse at the dance. “I don’t have my keys with me. but after what happened tonight. Tentatively. It was horrible to have someone controling your life. So the plan is that we will both try to be civil to each other next semester. Today was probably the last time that I'd ever see Lauren Mallory.” .” “Oh. you’re not going to hug me. I promise. “It’s okay. I don’t think I can show my face again after what happened today. not even Kelsey and Jessica.” I smiled at her. “I guess I don’t really have a choice anymore.

and I never have to worry that I have to act like somebody else for you. I had no idea why I was living. .winter-themed. I would have screamed. too.. “How do you know I didn’t take off to make fun of her?” I asked. he smiled as he placed one of his hands on my bare shoulder and the other one back around my waist. I can be me. “I kind of enjoyed it when you snapped at me. A pair of arms wrapped my waist from behind. “I love you. he pulled away. do you have any idea. I was so intrigued with what I saw that I didn’t even notice the glass door slide open. But I did. “Hi Bella.” she rushed out of my sight. “By the way.” he touched my cheek with his palm. I couldn’t look away. not even in the slightest. aside from the music escaping from the other side of the glass door and thick curtains. I wake up every morning hoping to see your wonderful smile. was elegantly decorated just like the ballroom.” “You think too highly of me. The metal fence that I was resting against was wrapped with pretty." I paused. your beautiful blush… even during the time that we weren’t on good terms in each other. “You give me something to look forward to everyday. Why me. I just don’t get… why you want to be with me… I…” He cupped my face and looked at me straight in the eye.” I smiled. “As I love you. Edward? There are tons of prettier girls in this school. I didn’t feel like going back to the ballroom. it seemed like such a waste to stay indoors while there was gorgeous scenery to enjoy. I turned my head sideways to peak at him. Lauren would be happy to know that some of her friends still cared about her. looking worried. “I can talk to you. tears forming in my eyes as I threw my arms around him. there were so many flowers surrounding me that I could smell them quite easily when the wind blew. I sauntered to the courtyard that was adjoined to the ballroom. “I’m afraid I have to disagree. His eyes met mine with a gentle smile tucked around his lips. He laughed.“Sure. I was never truly happy. I leaned over the balcony railing. all too soon. my siblings. you are the most beautiful girl on campus. It felt good to hear my name coming out from your lips. The wind played with his tousled hair. “What were you thinking before I came? You seemed very thoughtful…” he noted. and I had no idea how to answer because I ask myself the same question everyday. “That was very nice of you. Staring blankly ahead at the grassland in front of us. She was running with a purse in her hand. but let’s be truthful. I smiled to myself. The moon was beautiful outside.” “Thanks.” said a velvety voice..” he traced my nose slowly with his finger. I’ve spent half of my life trying to be happy for my parents. Is Lauren…?” I pointed to the direction that I had just come from. I’m embarrassed to admit that…” he stopped. “You would never do that. chuckling. “Because I know you. I ran into Jessica at the entrance of the building. his beautiful laugh sounded so addictive to me. "She asked me how you ended up with me.” he shook his head. “She’s right there. his eyes curious. “Isabella Marie Swan. There was no one out here. it was quiet. “I was just thinking about what Lauren said.” I whispered.” he bent down to kiss my hair then added casually. His lips brushed gently against mine. Why I didn’t die with my parents.” I bit my lips. You understand me.” he murmured softly. My breath was caught in my throat when I caught a glimpse of the flawless looking creature resting against the railing beside me.” I smiled at her. white bows. it was heartbreaking to look at him. any idea at all how special you are? Other girls can never compare to you. If I didn’t recognize that voice or those arms. You have the kindest heart in the world. The little courtyard. When I met you.

“Are you cold?” he whispered. I bit my lip and smiled satisfyingly at my work. “No. I didn’t have to tip-toe to reach his face. I laughed. I wanted him in my future. My lips met his and he kissed my back eagerly. pulling him along as I ran to a huge tree that I noticed a while ago. I grinned back. No matter what happens. I could suddenly see my future. I needed him in my future. Neither did he. “Edward? Do you mind if we do some really childish?” I smiled.Don’t even try denying it. My life before I met him seemed so distance. I’m not cold. it seemed. we’re going to come back here and sit under the same tree.” I murmured. Edward pressed his face to my hair and we stood there in each other’s embrace for I don’t know how long. it was kind of cold when the wind hit against my skin. I’m thinking of how good you look in your tux. Your hold on me is permanent and unbreakable. it was undeniably romantic to walk under the smoldering moon. We gazed up at the moon together silently.” I whispered passionately. picking my feet up from the ground without breaking the kiss and sitting me down on the railing so our faces were on the same level. I eliminated the dent ones and found a pointy. With the beautiful night ahead of us. I’m trying to see how our future would be like. it’s the absolute truth.only yours. He flashed a wide smile then stepped closer to the tree. “I will always love you.” His declaration sent my heart to the frenzies. looking as glorious as ever. both of us mesmerizing the beautiful night in front of us just like what we’re doing now.” he grinned.” he smiled. No. I left my coat in the ballroom because I didn’t think I’d need it.” I told him smilingly. “I can see my future. and it’s with you. E+B After retracing it for a couple of times to make sure the mark was deep enough to be noticeable. of not coming here to ECA and not finding my other half. “May I?” I nodded. At that moment. “No. He took his jacket off to place it over my bare shoulders. His arms locked securely around my body. I shuddered at the thought of not meeting him.” I dropped it in his palm. I pressed it into the bark as hard as I could. I didn’t want to stop. my heart will always belong to you. sharp stone that just might work. thinking about all of our good memories in high school. I pulled his face closer to mine so I could kiss him again. My heart is yours. “I can see it.” I laughed and it was followed by a sniffle. he helped me down and we went for a walk on the grassland. He would never let any harm come to me. not with his arms around me. like it was only a dim memory from another life time. I didn’t have to worry about falling backwards at all because Edward could never allow that. I took his face in my hands and thanks to the high-heels that Alice had forced on me. A moment later. And I was thankful that he did. Not at all. I could feel his enthusiasm when our lips came in contact. “What are you thinking now?” he whispered. I bent down to look for a rock. tightening my grip around him. I couldn’t see what he wrote . I was wearing a sleeveless gown in the middle of December. I knew there was nothing I wouldn’t give for that vision to happen. Isabella Marie Swan. Bella. Edward Anthony Cullen. “I’m in as long as the we part applies. But I was not cold. It was unbearably wonderful to hear that he felt the same way about me.” Greedily. His hands moved against the bark.always and forever.my future with him. “Of course. not with his lips moving so fervently against mine like this. holding his hand. I turned to Edward to see his face and to my surprise. “I’m thinking of how good it is to have your arms wrapped around me like this. he held his hand out for the rock. I can see myself still very deeply in love with you because my affection for you will never cease. looking up at the sky again.” I beamed. “A few years later. I couldn’t picture my life without him. I saw myself in his arms. I was always safe with him.

exactly since his body blocked most of my view. throwing my arms around him.” he whispered. That only made me more anxious and curious. “Forever. -The End . and my heart was just about to explode with exultance. Bella. Neatly carved below my writing was the word that made tears welling up in my eyes again. Patience. he stepped back and smiled the crooked smile that I adored so much. A few minutes later. I looked curiously at the bark. He tightened his grip on me and kissed me softly on the lips. Patience. FOREVER “Forever?” I croaked exuberantly.

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