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Close your eyes and make believe
This is where you want to be
Forgetting all the memories,
Try to forget love cause love's forgotten me
~Paramore (Decoy)

Decoy: Prologue
High School will kill you if you let it.
No, I'm serious. Just this past year my class has lost three students to car
crashes and two to suicide. Life is a bitch and high school is its big bully brother.
Not that things have ever been really hard for me, per se. I mean, I'm Edward
Anthony Cullen. I come from great genes. Great genes that make pretty babies.
And great jeans that cost six hundred dollars.
I don't buy that shit. Blame my mom.
I'm smart. I'm popular. I'm good at sports. Like I said, nothing has ever been all
that hard for me. But today, I'm dreading even walking into the brick stone
building that I'm staring at. Because, once I'm inside those doors, my life is going
to change forever, and I don't want it to.
It's times like these that I wish I smoked.
I brace my self and push off of the side of my ridiculously expensive car that I
couldn't give two shits about anymore. What I care about is standing in the
Commons area, waiting to make the biggest mistake of her life. I open the double
doors and walk quickly through the crowded hallway to the entrance of the
Commons, scanning the room to see if I can find her before she does this.
I realize just a second too late that I am searching the wrong side of the room. I
feel a hard slap against the back of my neck and I whirl around to face her,
staring down at the strange expression coloring her gorgeous brown eyes. I plead
with her wordlessly to stop, but she's too far gone.
"How could you?" She shrieks, a flood of pink racing across her neck and upwards
to her cheeks. "I trusted you…and you…you…I hate you!"
I'm rubbing the burning spot on my neck, trying to form words to get her to
lower her voice, but it occurs to me that the entire school is staring at us. My
eyes flick around nervously, taking in every member of our class watching this
unfold. "Don't do this," I whisper, leaning down to look into her eyes.
"Don't do this? Do what? You're the one who hooked up with that slut!" Her little
chin trembles and she blinks back what looks like real tears. Furiously, she yanks
on the pendant around her neck, breaking the clasp and holding the necklace
tightly in her fist. "Here," she shoves the jewelry at me. "Give this to your
I'm speechless and frozen. Her transformation is complete and I have no one to
blame but myself for changing her. I barely even recognize this creature standing
before me…only her eyes are the same. But now they are cold and void of any
and all emotion for me. She's gotten what she wanted and I hate myself for it. I
hate all of this. I didn't know…
"Isabella," I call after her as she is walking away.
She stops all of a sudden and turns back to glare hatefully. "My name is Bella."
With a flip of her hair, she is headed out of the building, her two best friends by
her side and that asshole Riley with his arm around her shoulders.

I don't even hear Jasper approach, but unexpectedly he's by my side. "What the
hell just happened?" he asks, compelling me to move from my spot and veering
me towards my locker.
"We broke up," I monotone.
"I saw that. In fact, the entire school just saw that. Edward…" He pulls on my
arm and I finally look at him, feeling like a zombie watching the entire thing
unfold from a few feet away. "What did you do?"
I shake my head to clear my thoughts and place the necklace in my jeans pocket.
"I did what was expected of me," I answer. He looks at me like I've lost my mind.
The bell rings and he pushes my shoulder once to shake me. "Meet me in the art
room during third. We need to talk."
My only response is a shrug of one of my shoulders. He shakes his head and
sprints off towards Biology. I stare dumbly into my locker and ignore the voices
of the kids that are scrambling past me to get to their classes. No one matters
I have no idea how long I stand there, but, as if out of a dream, I smell her. And
then I feel her warm hand on my hip. I can hardly believe she's actually there,
but when I turn, she's smiling at me…grinning like a crazy person and biting her
lip in that frustrating way that she does when she's excited.
"That went better than I expected!" She bounces a little on her toes and sighs.
"Yeah. We put on a good show," I agree and reach into my locker to get my
books. I close my locker door with a sigh and turn to face her again. She looks as
confused as I feel, but I can't fix it. She wants this. And I will give her anything
that she wants.
"You okay?" She cocks her head to the side and frowns, yanking on the end of a
strand of her hair, a sure sign that she's genuinely concerned.
I force a half smile and shrug both of my shoulders in what I hope is a show of
nonchalance. "Why wouldn't I be okay? This has been the plan all along, right?"
Bella nods once and looks down at her shoes. She clears her throat and shifts her
face to give me that electrifying smile that I've missed. "Well, thank you. For
"Like I said, part of the deal." And with that I turn and walk away, sealing the
arrangement and making it final.
Because I'm Edward Anthony Cullen. And everything is easy for me. Even
pretending not to care.
Well hey, hey baby, it's never too late, Pretty soon you won't remember a thing
And I'll be distant, the stars reminiscing
Your heart's been wasted on me
~Paramore (Decoy)
Chapter 1

ripped in perfect places and sewn back together with my own two hands to make them more authentic. I look older and she's smoking hot. I wonder how long it will take for someone to say something to me about the Stoli shirt. Winking at myself in the mirror. I grip the ends at the front and pull the strands taut so that they resemble a haystack. . My hair is ridiculous. again?" I ask Jasper. I can't pretend to care too much. I just go with it. And she can do splits and shit… I look around my room for my favorite pair of distressed jeans. I grab my messenger bag. I don't know who you're talking about. Kate…" I grumble into the receiver and hang up the phone in agitation. No one is in the kitchen in the mornings. so. It wouldn't be so bad that she left for college. honking his horn like the idiot that he is." Jasper is giving me the face that indicates he thinks I'm high. but not answering my calls for three days straight was pissing me off to the point of breaking things off with her. glancing back at her in the side mirror. We'd been together for a little over a year. It's been three days. I guess her mom couldn't make it this morning. but it's a two hundred dollar haircut and makes me look like I just woke up from a nap at all hours of the day. Plus we have all the same friends. rushing through the front door and almost colliding with the girl staring timidly at me from behind a long curtain of disheveled locks. Listen…just…call me when you get this. and it makes girls want to touch it. just like I haven't slept with every girl in our class…but rumors start somewhere. so I turn it off and shove it in the side pocket of my bag. As I'm chewing my bagel and staring at her moving cross the porch with her green water canister. Checking my reflection in the mirror. hoping to stop myself from looking at it again before lunch. Of course. I didn't see anyone." I give her a half smile and lock the door. I hear Jasper squeal to a stop at my mailbox. I vaguely notice that Pot Girl is watching me through her hair curtains as we drive off. I snicker. Scratch that…that chick that waters the plants is on my porch. the ones that look like they got caught in a bailer. so I throw on a grey vodka t-shirt and light hoodie to complete my 'I couldn't care less about being here another minute but I make straight A's to please my father' façade. It's exactly the look I'm going for. which is funny because I've never touched that shit. "Brenda?" "Dude. making a beeline to Jasper and jumping into the passenger seat of his convertible and smacking the side of the car to indicate that I'm ready to haul ass to my first day of Senior year. I check my phone again for the hundredth time and just decide that it would be best to enjoy my day. and I'm done. I head out. "What's that girl's name. it's me again./*/*/*/*/*/*/ 5 weeks earlier EPOV "Hey. and it doesn't surprise me just how quiet the house is when I'm the only one here. "Sorry. But I would have to be really stupid to break up with my college girlfriend…who happened to be on the gymnastics team. jogging down the stairs to grab a cup of OJ and a bagel. but it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.

I'd thought she was pretty until she opened her mouth. he's just a huge meatball…that is smart as hell. I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. Emmett is a few inches taller. The same one that stays empty for us." Alice shakes her head and bites the side of Jasper's jaw. And I'm met with a huge block of flesh known as Emmett and Rose. but doesn't let on at all. I'm bored beyond belief with the first day because essentially it's all of our teachers handing out a forty page syllabus and then talking about the syllabus after which they ask us to read the syllabus. but our space is empty. so I look like I'm taking notes. admiring us and talking in hushed tones. My hand reaches for my phone and I have to force myself not to take it out and check for a call. "Oh…geez. waiting until the very last minute to get their asses to class. Keep telling yourself that. I sigh and vault myself from the car before some form of saliva hits part of my body. the school's Perfect Couple. There's a loud squeal and a click of brakes before the unmistakable pop of backfire followed by a billow of black smoke. which is awesome for those of us on the baseball team that stand back and watch him bat. And we were all still here. I just do my work. It was only because it was the first day of school and I was in Cop-A-Feel-ia. I don't let people know that I'm smart. and a hundred pounds heavier. causing me to roll my eyes at their behavior. My family had moved to Phoenix when I was in first grade. We all turn at once to stare at the Pot Girl jumping from her broke ass orange truck that sounds like it's on its last leg and probably isn't even road legal.The parking lot is packed. He has kinda long blonde hair and he's tall. They are the same group of kids I'd known my entire school career. You'd think her dad would get her a better ride. Extraordinary. Cullen. I'm on my way to the cafeteria to Our Table. and I know that this is the year that I'll never forget. Alice on the other hand scares the shit out of people with her enthusiasm and school spirit. The bell rings and we wander into the building together. Our friends are all hanging around outside of their cars. Damn her for making me feel insecure. Otherwise. take my A's and go about living this glorious existence. I barely notice anyone around me for the remaining periods before lunch and once that bell rings. regardless of whether or not we're there. He's a cop and all. as usual. I spend my time writing in my leather bound notebook that no one else knows is a journal. I figured she'd be reading one . She's almost as tall as me and blonde. I watch as the other kids walk by. Alice greets Jasper by throwing herself across the open edge of the window and crawling into his lap to suck his face before he's even got the car in park. I strain to see what it is that she's reading and am pleasantly surprised to see 'Wuthering Heights' scrawled across the cover. with lazy good looks and a chill air around him that draws people to him. Senior Year. breaking apart when we hit our respective classes. which is exactly Jasper's opposite. The same one we've been in for the past three years. with killer looks and an even deadlier temper. Kind of like me. Otherwise. It's at that table that I first notice that Pot Girl is sitting by herself and reading a book. then I just wanted to bury her in the sand at low tide and watch as the water came in. She's tiny and dark haired.

but my mom taught me to be a decent human being. It's empty in the last few minutes before class and I check behind me to make sure that no one is following so that I can veer towards the library and pick up a few books of poetry before Biology. I look over at Pot Girl one last time before the bell rings and she's gripping the side of the table like she's about to combust. "Are you okay?" I ask. . Probably because it's now being filled with the stringy haired blond licking pudding off of her finger and trying to get my attention. so I stoop to help her gather her things and then I extend a hand to help her up. "I gotta go to. realizing all too late that Jessica Stanley is trying to get invited to eat with us…now that Kate's seat is open for the taking. but then the bell rings and she jets out of her seat so fast that she trips and falls into the hallway. "She's weird. nodding at people in the hall and stopping to make small chat with underclassmen that look lost and afraid. because Pot Girl is staring at me in fear from the stool next to the empty seat that I'm headed towards.of those teen-vampire-love stories that most girls our age are into. huh?" I look up and snort. This is the extent of her communication with me and pretty soon she fades into the background just like everyone else while I scribble away in my notebook and pray for the day to be over with so that I can leave school and get home. and there are goose bumps all over the back of my neck. And once was enough. Except for one. I'd gotten some alone time with Jessica once. but there's legitimately no other place to sit in the entire room. she looks down at the Formica top and makes this weird squeaking sound like the chick from The Breakfast Club…the one with the dandruff? "This seat available?" I ask and give her my trademark grin." she whispers and takes my hand gently. "I'm fine. As soon as I approach the table. shoving them in the bottom of my bag before the bell rings. she's nibbling a baby carrot like if she eats it slow enough it will last all day. The ignorant assholes around me laugh at her and step around her books that have scattered down the hall. I get the volumes I'm looking for and check them out discreetly. Instead. The only reason I know she's heard me is because her hair shakes a little and I take it as a 'yes'." I declare loudly. And God has a sense of humor it seems. because I've been there once before and it sucks. suddenly worried that maybe she's recently escaped a mental institution and I could be in mortal danger. I take my time. By the time I make it to Bio I realize that all of the tables are full. Home to what. I'd never go that route again. I wave my hand at the open seat and resume my staring at Pot Girl…but she's gone. though? My parents work late and Kate is…MIA. And for some reason I miss the view. She looks at me like I've just handed her a decapitated puppy head. But then she speaks and the hair on my arms stands on end. Her eyes are darting round wildly and it's making me uncomfortable. grabbing my debris and throwing it in the trash can before I hit the hallway.

" "Yeah. Which is strange. So. so it just sounds kind of Mickey Mouse-ish. and she rushes away from me so quickly that I have to shake my head at the audacity of it all. Like The Craft meets Lorena Bobbitt…I shudder at the thought." I'm pretty sure there was a Nutty Buddy in my hand. dangling them in my face. I am a man. arms folded and awaiting his stipulations to getting my ride back. though. or something crazy like that. stands up and crosses to stand behind me while I scavenge for sustenance. but I'm his son so it just looks weird and condescending. When I get home my father is actually there. I'm in a daze for the rest of the day and I can't figure out why. which wouldn't be so bad because he has friends that can fix that. "I wanted to personally hand over the keys to your car. "My car?" If I was a girl this would sound so high pitched that wolves would be running towards our house. Apparently my parents thought that was a lot of money. It can't seriously be the interaction with Pot Girl. I'd been in a tiny fender bender a few weeks prior. but it's on the floor now. ." he says. Like a deer caught in headlights. He's Satan. I groan and sulk past him to sit at the kitchen table. I have to figure out if that's her name before I call her that to her face. but I like my face. it was a good first day. He gives me this signature look of his that I'm sure makes all of the ladies in the hospital swoon and shit. She'd probably cast an evil voodoo spell on me and my dick would fall off in my sleep. As it stands. Like Grandpa died. and it freaks me out a bit because that could mean a number of things. She looked like she thought I was going to eat her alive. Suddenly she's on her feet and staring at me. It's like the room spins a little and the lights dim. because for the first time in my life. "There are conditions. Carlisle. Never before had he looked more like an angel: blonde hair and light eyes. "What are you doing home?" I ask suspiciously. He holds the keys out from his pocket.All air leaves my body in a whoosh when our skin makes contact. Son. too. Scratch that. why are you home?" The pantry door is slightly ajar and I get a little sidetracked by my stomach in need of a refill. I hope your day was good. And her eyes are the vortex to the afterlife. snatching the keys back into his palm. Mine was. so I swivel a bit to avoid impact. her palm sliding against mine and away as she gathers her items and finally looks me in the eyes. My father. but get brighter at the same time. But she can. And I can't look away. bright white teeth. I felt like the prey under her gaze. "Nice to see you. My head spins around so quickly I almost break my nose with my Dad's. because they are almost black and I can barely see them through her Cousin It hairdo and beyond her glasses…yet I do see them. What was the big deal? It was four thousand dollars worth of damage. Brenda? God.

Oh. dear god. Once I have my car back. manana.My father takes his seat and places the keys on the table in between us. As is your involvement in track and baseball. Now leave me the hell alone. teasing me again with how close they are." I'm pretty sure she's saying something atrocious about me as I hang up. Beer. And." He's dead serious and I'm rendered speechless at his words. what do you want? It's two in the morning. teasing me and making my palms itch at the sight of them. Dad. I do notice that she writes her name on all . I swear she's looking at me. I'm free. except for the weird vibe that rolls off of Pot Girl during Science. "I'm gonna go get high and drink until I can't see before I get a tattoo on my face and marry that weird chick down the street in Vegas. Edward." I only say this because as soon as I have my car back I can stop being a Shut-In and asking Jasper for rides. "If I give these to you now. but I really don't care. It was an accident. sucka." His voice is breathy and I'm slightly curious as to whether he's been working out this late or if he just got done with… "Bring beer!" Rose calls into the receiver. Other six. I know he is. shaking his head as he stands. And I'm not intending on doing anything stupid to jeopardize my Senior Year. It's not like I'd had six accidents." /*/*/*/*/*/*/*/ "Emmett. silently telling me he's serious. "I don't know where you get your smart mouth from. Once I have my car I can…find Kate. "Fine. she's staring down at the table. kid. I was right in the middle of a dream where I was watching Kate on the uneven bars… The week finishes out without incident. Maybe three. "Damn. His fingers push the keys towards me slightly. There was a couple of parking tickets and a speeding ticket or two. what are you going to do tonight?" I snort and roll my eyes at his line of questioning. "One more traffic violation of any kind and the car is gone. And watch your mouth. kill me now so I don't dream about the two of them having violent gorilla sex in Emmett's basement. but whenever I turn my head. Deal. "Grandpa." I press my phone against my ear and roll over on my pillow so that it's trapped between it and my head. Hands free. "Back to school soiree at mi casa. "Fine. please take a shower so you don't smell like…Rose…tomorrow. Carlisle tilts his head to the side and lifts an eyebrow." I rub the spot and give him my own trademarked smile." "As were the other six." he scolds quietly. I'm eager to get back to sleep." He slides the keys toward me quickly and then slaps the back of my head.

Of course. and sure enough…Kate is being interviewed about being a freshman on the Arizona State Gymnastics Team. on and around his pool table.of her binders. and she kinda bites her lip and bats her eyelashes at him while she thinks." "Sonofabitch. these thoughts don't carry enough weight to get me to speak to her. "Dude. so I'm now aware that her real name is Isabella. playing his Wii. on the other hand. The music is so damn loud. . but I really don't care. I. "Do you miss home at all?" He asks. "Refill. She doesn't even miss me? And she's said it in front of the entire state. There are no less than five texts from Jasper and Emmett telling me to turn on the television. is a far cry from Brenda. Screw Kate. Kate gives a flirtatious smile to him that makes my insides twinge with jealousy. What the hell is up with your woman. Which I have to admit. "Not really." I mutter under my breath and click the Power button on the remote. Or pick her up while she's walking home after school and I'm driving by her at eighty miles an hour. Cullen?" I push my way into his mansion and snatch the drink from his hand. slamming it and handing it back with a wince. I snatch my keys off of the dresser and stomp down the stairs in disgust. I just want to get drunk. The rest. I wonder what her face really actually looks like behind her drape of hair and the glare of her glasses under the fluorescents. mainly because there is an enormous chance that I am the only person home. "I love it." she coos. I assume. are getting laid upstairs. I saw the interview. "How do you like college life so far?" The news reporter is asking. but I can't help but to feel relieved that she's alive and breathing. Her blond hair is pulled back into a pony tail and she's got on a horrendous amount of make up. adding to the numbing that has settled in to my toes and fingers. Within the hour the main floor is packed and more people are crowded downstairs in Emmett's movie theatre room. I snicker a little when I realize that the Coke has barely gone down but the Crown has diminished substantially. because the one time I heard her voice. Screw reality all together. I wonder what her story is and why she's a Mute. "I'll be late!" I yell to no one in particular. Emmett answers the door with a Crown and Coke to thrust in my face." He's looking a little worried. I wonder what it would sound like to hear her read poetry or something. I'm getting ready for the party when my phone starts buzzing like crazy over and over again. it was really soft and pretty. but the steady beat is thrumming in my ears. am sulking in the corner with my bottle of Crown and a two liter of Coke. What's really strange is how much I think about Pot Girl.

it feels really nice and I'm not one to really push away female attention. don't let me have wet Emmett's Mom's bed. cringing when they roll over and creak out separate greetings. God…listen. I can see the splayed out bodies of people from my class in various degrees of undress and across random pieces of furniture or body parts. But. If you don't absolutely hate me. "Kate?" I mumble. Cracking one eye. Thankfully. There's a giggle and I feel myself being pulled to a standing position and I know that I'm climbing some stairs. I have to go and wash myself with bleach. preparing myself to charm my way out of whatever violation I may have incurred. I hope that I was too wasted to even function because not knowing if you've hooked up is one of the worst feelings in the entire world. Emmett's house is less than five miles from mine and if I book it I can make it home in under three minutes. My eyes are heavy and I have to strain to keep them open." I sigh and pull over. I'm puke free…but I also seem to have lost my pants at some point during the night. she's there with her sweaty digits caking up my hair with shit that doesn't belong there. This is perfect. hell. wanting nothing more than to be in the peace and quiet of my own bed.I'm pretty sure that Jessica Stanley is playing with my hair. This seems funny in hindsight when I realize that the extra three minutes of doing the speed limit probably would not have resulted in the flashing blue lights that are rushing forward to meet my back bumper like some awful scene out of COPS. And maybe piss. "Incredible. I land face first on a bed that smells like ass and sex. I don't bank on the guy . And to heave into a clean toilet. Oh. /*/*/*/*/*/*/ There is definitely vomit in this room. There is definitely vomit somewhere and I check my hands to make sure that it's not on me. I yank the denim from beneath their sleeping forms. Only. I shove my pants on and stumble down the stairs towards the front door to get to my car. I'm not blocked in and I jump in with haste. I sit up and my brain smashes against my skull and then floats in a wave of Crown. "I hate you. Too bad. plus beer and maybe…is that vomit? I love high school. Slowly scouring the area. man. Especially if there might have been an audience involved." I whisper into the comforter and black out. I crane my neck to look up and sure enough. Unceremoniously." I hear a saccharine sweet voice whisper in my ear. I realize that a couple of girls are using them as a pillow on the floor. then please…when I sit up. the head of blond hair in front of me looking fuzzy and a little like I'm underwater. Especially right now. "Poor baby.

he calls me a pretty rich boy and hands me a speeding ticket. He'd probably even go so far as to keep me from Prom…I know this about my Dad. shy and unsure. "Liar. I curse my bad luck and continue on home. I'm sure that the liquor is seeping from my pores and marinating me like a piece of meat in the car. suddenly aware that other people can see me and how stupid I must look sitting out here in Emo Town. Sure enough. knowing full well that as soon as my father finds out about this I am screwed.who pulls me over being a WWF wrestler. My back slides down the side of the building and I rest my forehead on my knees." Her mouth forms a small 'o' and she looks away suddenly. I scrounge in my pocket and pull out the offending paperwork. My entire Senior Year will be ruined and I'll miss out on my chance at a scholarship for track or baseball. He's never going to fall for the Edward Cullen Dazzle Mode. He's tenacious. Sweet and melodic. this turns out to not be my day whatsoever. Hell. I'm praying that the girl behind the counter is at least partially cute so that I don't have to try too hard to flirt my way out of it. Isabella. This only serves to make me feel shittier. shower and put on respectable clothes so that I can go plead my case at the police station before the ticket even gets filed. He's clearly not going to help me out and without even asking. I know this voice. by the way. at this point I would take her out for a coffee. He steps to the window right after I pop a piece of gum. "I'm fine. chalking my blood shot eyes and dry mouth to just having woken up. but at least I had the forethought to roll the window down. I kind of want to reach out and touch it. like she doesn't realize that I even really know her name. ." I lie quietly. praying for some sort of miracle. her curtains of hair falling forward and almost touching my face. And somehow. standing over me in concern. "A-are you okay?" It's that voice. thick. I turn back around and exit quickly. Lifting my head in surprise. "Maybe I am lying. The guy behind the counter is a tall. The only thing I can think to do is to beg. I'm relieved that no one is awake when I step through the doors. "Let me see it?" She asks in that tiny voice of hers. wondering how this could get any worse. I squint up at her. Our eyes connect and I shake my head to get a grip on reality. and I rush upstairs to puke." she whispers. I won't be allowed to attend any parties. "I got a speeding ticket and if it goes through then I can't play ball or do track and I'm grounded until college." Her eyes widen and she blinks a couple of times like she's trying figure out a complicated Trig problem. tanned Native American looking guy sporting a pretty bad ass cropped hair cut.

She unfolds it and nods her head slowly. "The way I see it. Edward Cullen. "Hey…wait. ." "Huh?" "My Dad's the Chief." she says simply." she says quietly. Give me a sec." My mouth drops open in surprise. She pats him on the head like a puppy and walks back out into the sunlight. Abusing you My little decoy ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 2 BPOV I should probably explain my irrational behavior: I have been in love with Edward Cullen since Second Grade. She smiles slightly." "You do. I grab her wrist lightly and she looks up at me in shock. playing with the ends of her hair and smiling innocently up at him while he shakes his head no over and over again. and adjusts her t-shirt so that it rides up a bit in the back. "You're free. Finally she leans completely over the desk and punches him in the arm. I pick up her jacket and follow her easily since she's so short and in flat shoes. Turning quickly. She touches his arm softly and pretends to laugh a little. to which he laughs and throws his hands up." I call to her. pulling her hair down again and grabbing her jacket from my hands. you owe me your entire existence at this moment. veering straight by me and walking quickly. Intrigued." She looks over her shoulder and sighs before shoving the paperwork in her pocket and yanking on the hair band around her wrist to pull her long locks up into a ponytail. I press her. I move to watch her through the glass and see her leaning across the desk. "You didn't have to do that. "And what exactly do I owe you?" She pulls her wrist from my grasp and sighs. the happiness not reaching her eyes. You heard me. revealing a pretty nice ass if I say so myself. "I can help." I tell her honestly. "But I'll settle for you letting me hang out with you for the next month at school. finally nodding and taking the ticket number from her. she strides into the station like she owns the joint. dropping it beside me. She sheds her jacket. talking to the big cop I'd run away from initially. "I feel like I owe you now or something." /*/*/*/*/*/*/ You've never been so used As I'm using you. She stops and hands over the paper.

No one greeted me and made a big deal about my return. I would try my hardest to not let him see my face in case his memory somehow became jogged and then I'd have to talk to him. until somebody develops a mean streak and then suddenly girls have cooties and you're a freak because your mom grows plants in the back yard and you're not allowed to eat meat. he'd stared at me like he was afraid my very touch would steal his soul. the first person I had seen was Edward as he was walking through the Commons area.He barely knows that I exist. Life is so different when you're a little kid. thinking I could find my old friends and they would have missed me. add the fact that I'm not the skinniest or prettiest girl in the world. when he'd helped me to my feet after Science. popular prick. and I am fully aware that he calls me Brenda. Okay…ever. So. I showed back up in Phoenix with my self esteem intact. I did what I wanted to do. which sent my insides running for my feet. So. and I wear clothes from second hand stores…and I might smell like incense and patchouli…people seem leery of even talking to me. But after seven years? I had to have been just a tiny bit delusional to think they'd even remember my name. She'd always been a free spirit. The playing field is pretty even at first. The saddest thing is that when I showed up for school at the beginning of Junior Year. much less want to hang out with the weird. But when I saw him outside of the station and he'd needed my help. And each day after that. long haired girl whose mom runs the herb shop in town and adjusts people's Auras. So I'd spend my days watching the cool kids that I used to be friends with living the life that I'd dreamed of for seven years while I pined away for a ten year old boy with crazy colored hair that reminded me of Colorado sunsets. And green eyes that haunted my dreams. Renee. because regardless of how he might feel about me. given the fact that they were never officially separated or divorced and he loves Renee like she's the best worst thing that's ever happened to him. Charlie. I was still infatuated with him. really. then he'd think I was even more of a freak than he already does. left my dad. But if he were to remember at some point that I'm Bella-Marie Swan from Second Grade and that he was my first kiss and the first boy to tell me that I was pretty when we were playing tag during recess. He'd had his arm draped across the shoulders of a beautiful blonde who had the most incredible set of legs I'd ever laid eyes on. And they'd proceeded to just full on make out before class. of course. So I ran. I'd been afraid that if he was that close to me he would recognize me and the whole thing would be ridiculously weird. No one recognized me. instead of my real name. Plus. No one spoke to me at all. Charlie. How quickly we forget those friends from our past. and I'd stared at them like a freak voyeur until the bell rang. Instead. Seven years later she was back on my dad's doorstep like we'd never been gone. Even if he'd morphed into some materialistic. when I was ten. We moved to a nudist colony and I was raised around a brand new kind of education that to this day I am not sure was a good idea at all. . let us back in and welcomed us with open arms. My mom. and deciding to become an herbalist nudist had seemed like a good idea to her at the time.

Four weeks." His voice was so sure. It's probably because I'd been thinking about how awesome it would be to become a part of that circle of friends and sit at lunch with them." "Okay. Cullen." Edward closed his eyes and took a calming breath before opening them and glaring at me." His jaw was working overtime. "Seven it is. "Fine. do you want to cut a deal?" "I don't even know what that means. if I could get them to let me in. "So. walk with me to class?" "That's it?" He'd looked skeptical. even if it was just for my last year of High School. The electric current that ran through my body at the contact made me feel weak in the knees. he'd looked like I'd just shanked him in the ribs with a whittled down toothbrush. I could see the gears in his head turning. or if having no life would be worse.What I hadn't expected was that he'd be grateful. I'd shuffled my feet a bit and looked back over my shoulder with a shrug. knowing that I had him between a rock and a hard place. And then I'd be able to actually speak to Edward and be invited to the same parties…I'd be accepted. It was just a handful of times that I'd experienced his skin on mine. "One month. gruff and authoritative and it made my heart flutter." I' tried so hard to sound like I wasn't falling to pieces on the inside." It had come out so cold and defeated. And that he'd have the conscience enough to think that he'd owe me for helping him out. "Stop. trying my hardest to exude some sort of confidence. I'd turned and looked up into his eyes. "One month. Say hi in the hallways. too. "See you Monday morning at seven. debating on whether being seen with me would be Social Suicide. I mean. but each time was more powerful than the next. When I'd blurted out that he owed me and that I wanted him to let me into his clique for a month." He'd huffed and looked stressed pulling at his hair and grumbling under his breath. "Four measly little weeks of your life. God…was I that bad to be around? "Come again?" He'd asked. "You're not going to negotiate rides to and from school? Sitting with me at lunch?" "Now that you mention it. I could become one of them again. I could always just go tell Jake to rip up the paper he just wrote your ticket number on…" Making a move like I was headed back to the station. don't even ask me how I came up with my request. "I mean." Taking a deep breath. You hang out with me at school." . that would work. swallowing like he was trying to keep himself from puking. How. maybe. I'd squared my shoulders and thought quickly. I felt him grip my arm and pull me to a stop.

" My answer is sharp and he shoots me a lifted brow in response. "I thought you might have changed your mind." I stomp my foot in a childish tantrum. He swivels around and appraises me with a nod. I'm frozen in place. clothes are?" I just nod. there's a beep outside and I glance out the window to see Edward standing outside of the driver's door looking put out and irritable. I walk back into the room and he's wielding a weapon of some sort." "It's only school. He sighs and points to my closet. lead him up to my bedroom." I counter. speechless. wondering just what he's so appalled by. and I'm not even aware of the fact because he's on top of me and his junk is on my stomach and his body heat is bleeding through the perfect denim jeans he's wearing like a model today. concerned about what's going to transpire in the next few moments. uh. "Better than a crunchy granola eater. "I won't look. but I can't show up to school with you if you're dressed like that. "Look.And now it's six fifty eight and I'm so fidgety I wonder if I could snake one of Charlie's Xanax from his medicine cabinet. I rush into the bathroom and put the contacts in. ." His eyes are darting around the room and they land on my dresser. Turning my back to him. just hurry so we aren't late. And smell him… I grab my food for the day and fly out the door. "Yes. "Is this where your. zipping the front of the sweater. honking the horn like an asshole instead of knocking on my door." he instructs. "No. I pull the jeans on under my skirt and shimmy out of it. He hands me a hooded sweater that zips in the front and I take it reluctantly. I follow slowly behind him and at his request. straddling my hips and moving my hair away from my face. "Won't I look like a hobo?" I ask quietly. "You have contacts?" "Yeah. blinking a million times to get them to settle. Edward's face goes from mild irritation to horror and he shakes his head rapidly as I approach. "God…wear them. he's here to pick me up and I get to ride in his car." "No. He turns off the car and marches past me into the house. The headband he has in his hands gets placed gently on top of my head. "Change into those. He's lunging at me and wrestling me to the floor. then." he mutters. leaving it unlocked for my mom when she returns from watering porch plants. Regardless. I look down at my broomstick skirt and peasant top. unsure of what to do." He shoves them at me and rifles through the rest of my belongings on my dresser. no offense. Quickly. I watch him rummage through some stuff and he throws a pair of jeans and a tshirt onto my bed ." I respond." I stop moving because of the look on his face. I remove the peasant top and shove the t-shirt on in its place. Before I can even get to the hallway.

He gives a nonchalant nod to his friends." "I've decided that I need more of a trade off for saving your Senior Year. "But there are five days in a full week."There." he is sighing while he pulls me to my feet ." "Two. My reflection mocks me as I open the door. Or. "Hey. I'm the one who is going to be bombarded with questions all day. "Just save me a seat at lunch. "People stare at us all day long. No holding hands. He's rushing past me to the car and I struggle to keep up so that he can't leave me behind on the first day of our agreement. okay? Do I have to pick you up from each class or something?" He asks lowly so that no one else can hear. ya know…ever. "No. He turns to me and gives a reluctant smile. "This will do for today." I whisper. "This was your thing. and we both know full well that his friends are staring at him like he's lost his mind when they notice me sitting in the passenger seat. Maybe this was a bad idea. He laughs and it sounds like it's for real. but I ignore it and slide into the buttery leather seats of his beautiful automobile. too?" "I could always just call Jake…" "Fine! One lunch." He veers me right by them and into the hall. Isabella. He's speeding the entire way and I bite my tongue to remind him that if I have to get him out of another ticket." ." He looks beyond pissed now and it both scares and intrigues me." "They're going to stare at me." He's acting like I have leprosy or something and it's starting to make me queasy. I press him more." And with that. who are staring with their mouths hanging open in disbelief." His frown is immediate. We got to his locker next and he silently walks me to my first class. Get out of the car. We're headed in. No kissing. "Let's go over this again. "Ready?" "No. he's out the door and appears at mine to open it and unofficially announce me as his…whatever I am. We only pretend to hang out. He sighs and braces himself to pull into his spot. Maybe I don't want people staring at me like this today. "Lunch? I thought I get lunch off. standing with me uncomfortably by my locker as I grab my books. he'll have to extend his time with me. See you at lunch. My stomach is in one huge knot when I see the parking lot come into view." I whisper. You'll get used to it. Edward." It sounds like a threat and I'm a little nervous by what this could mean for me." "Are you gonna try and get me to hold your hand.

Not ever. Which is ridiculous because Edward Cullen would never date the Pot Girl. I decide to skip First and hide out in the Library instead. He's probably doing some sort of charity work. my God. I can't do this. I bite my lip to keep it from shaking and immediately turn to run down the hall to the bathroom. I hear the door open and I clasp my hands over my mouth to stop the sounds coming out of my lips. "You did your Goodwill work. I settle into a table in the far back corner and curl into myself while I read." . "I know. Cullen."Three lunches. Instead." He's gone before I can react and I watch him stalk down the hall. And I hate it. A week's worth of lunch." "Puh-lease. but I hear someone approach and sit just off to my left." "Oh." This one snorts while the other cackles. throwing up and a bundle of raw nerves. "Screw them." He snorts. Not today. "The deal is off. "What is that all about?" "He just walked her to class like they're going out or something." "She's even dressed differently today. full of anger. The bell rings and I stand shakily to my feet. You know we agreed on a month. I shift even farther away from him. Fine. Just seeing if you remembered. so go about your life and leave me alone. I don't need this shit." "What shit?" He's hissing and I have a weird mental picture of a snake with crazy hair coiled next to me." It's silent and I like it. right?" "According to rest of the student body? Yes. And you sit with me during the pep rally. It's probably only five minutes that pass. Edward. They leave and I'm suddenly nauseous." His nostrils flare and he nods. Later. There are two voices. ready to strike." I lift my face to his and am surprised that he's totally serious. The tears overtake me immediately and I realize that my contacts are swimming around my eye sockets while I sob behind one of the stall doors. And we tell no one about this. "Look. Even just having him within arm's reach in silence makes me feel good. I face myself in the mirror and wince at the puffy eyes and lips that I have now acquired during my heaving and crying. "Because you're a charity case. and I recognize them but can't place the faces. Even a week from now when this is over. Like that makes a difference. It's backfiring. I was dumb for even thinking this would work. "Why aren't you in class?" It's Edward and my initial reaction is to hit him in the face with my book. you did me a favor and I intend to repay it. Ever.

and he smiles at each student as they pass. shouldn't you. Thanks for the headband. it's a thousand times worse now. loud as hell. "Weirdos sit over there." And just like that. Like he has ever known anything about me. but I suppress it because he shouldn't get the pleasure of seeing me smile. Isabella. he's up and walking towards another section of the Library. "Then I guess you should head that way. A real. we're going to the mall. turned on and giddy. betting a million dollars that he'll never figure it out." His eyes cloud over for a second and he looks at me strangely. leaving me speechless. Who knew?" This pisses me off more. We enter the cafeteria and his table is empty. He slips away to grab some pizza and I unpack my lunch. "See? Now you're making it a challenge. "There's a lot you don't know about me. checking out other girls' asses as they flirt with him and giggle. And after school." He's looking at me with another challenge. "What?" I ask quietly. "Whatever. Edward slams his plate down next to me and slumps down in the chair to my left. waiting for him to return. making me laugh. And apparently. He struts next to me like this has now become the funniest game in history."You did. "Are you lost?" I look up at Jessica Stanley. smirking at my irritation the entire time. guffaw. "You might want to call your folks and tell them you'll be late." His mouth is twitching and I want to lick it and punch it at the same time. I challenge his stare with my own. Her eyes dart to the left and she snickers." Edward picks a pepperoni from his pizza and flicks it onto his napkin. /*/*/*/*/*/*/ Lunch." I pause for effect. He does at the same moment that I hear someone talking at full volume in confusion. He holds doors for me. If I was nauseous before." ." she huffs. Jessica?" "She's sitting at our table. "never will." His hands rest on my thigh and immediately I'm squirming away from him because my body is a horny traitor bitch and wants to roll into them instead of run away. who is sneering at me like I'm lice in her stringy hair. so he ushers me over and pulls out my seat overdramatically. "You're actually funny. Edward is waiting for me as my class lets out. like he's trying to place whether or not he knows me. "What's the problem. "I'll walk you to lunch. He's laughing." I say dryly. Oh…please just let me survive lunch.

hoping I sound confident. "Really? I thought you said her name was Brenda?" Edward shifts uncomfortably in his seat and takes a bit of his pizza. "I'm on yearbook. "Where do you sit?" Emmett's perplexed. his voice slathered in uncertainty. Brenda?" My eyes snap up to hers in embarrassment. Alice is looking at me like I'm a fun new toy. "Whatcha got there. I offer her a slice of apple and she plunges the fruit into my Nutella. my food is gone." My voice fades out as I realize how lame this sounds when said out loud. shoving the bite into her mouth and pretty much having an O at the table. "Where have you been all of my life? I've been waiting for you. "Um…" "It's Bella. and I get the feeling he looks like that a lot." Edward corrects her. shoving him forward." he says loudly. "Oh my god. "Holy mother of god in heaven. cutting his eyes at Jasper. I'm half in shock and half disturbed by their voracious appetites. ." He mutters his agreement. opening it effortlessly and setting it back down on the table. Or catnip." I tell them awkwardly. "I don't eat meat so I have to get my protein other ways." I laugh softly. The four of them take my apples and Nutella and are going at it like a pack of wildebeests. I give a smile and push the jar towards her. "You're a great captain. so I take pictures. Made from hazelnuts and cocoa…" Alice's eyes widen and she grabs the jar. My hands falter with the jar in front of me and Edward takes it from me. She smiles in my direction and it doesn't really feel contrived. "I'm kinda all over the place. He steps towards us with Rose in tow." I say. It is a directive and she…complies. I turn towards Rose. "Pot Girl is there. "It's like chocolate peanut butter?" "Kinda. "And?" She asks. Jasper looks confused." "What?" Jasper chokes and Emmett pounds the table with his fist while he laughs. "I don't see you around much.It isn't a question. Rose is licking her fingers and looking me over. followed closely by Jasper and Alice." Taking a brave step. You and Alice are very…flexible. "What a lemming. by the way." "I go to the baseball games and football games." she gasps." she coos at the jar and I laugh at her antics. "It's Nutella." It's Rosalie Hale and she looks really irritated." I breathe in awe. "Emmett? What the hell is wrong with you? Did you take a blow to the head? Our table is right there. Emmett is chomping at the bit and suddenly.

"Invite them over for a slice. conflicted because part of this deal was to get them to be my friends too. "I'll pass out. "Go." I confess around the searing flesh that was once my tongue. What's the story?" Emmett's hassling me while we wander the mall." And this is how we end up getting pizza at the mall after school. Edward walks with me to Science and we take our seats at the table. burning my mouth in the process. Edward watches me with a mix of amusement and uncertainty. "Fine. Douche."I'm not…I didn't mean it like that. I thank him and relax once the sugar starts to spread into my veins." He's up in a flash and back with a mango Jamba Juice before I can start to see spots. "Why did you let them eat your food?" "They make me nervous. "My blood sugar gets low if I don't eat. and your friends devoured a week's worth of lunch. And they devour my pizza. Wanna go?" Edward cocks an eyebrow. She waves and passes by with Rose and the boys behind her. ." I say. "No story. By the time lunch is over." Edward smirks. I move my palms to press them together and settle them in between my thighs. "What's wrong with your hands?" He's asking like he cares. Cullen. chewing on the last piece of my pizza crust." He's smiling. Alice does an annoying squeal and motions for Rose to follow me to my doom. Bella. Alice leans closer. holding his gaze." And I do. My treat. "Can I just get a smoothie?" I beg him quietly. They're having a sale at Abercrombie. "Hey. "Go ahead. "Hey!" I recognize Alice Brandon's cheerleader yell anywhere and instantly my stomach is in knots again. A veggie pizza gets plopped down in front of me and I am so starving I try to bite into it before I blow on it to get it to cool down. I swear. "I don't really have the money…" I start and suddenly Edward's hand slaps a credit card in front of me." I mumble as my face flames red. finding seats a couple of tables over. I've simply watched everyone else eat. /*/*/*/*/*/*/ EPOV "Spill it. She's just a new friend." "And Kate?" Jasper always knows when I'm lying. I glance at them warily.

I want half of this damn store. I've got it from here. "You're not fat. Laurent's. Bella is trying to slink back into the dressing room. "Instead of buying expensive clothes that look Vintage. Her hair is cut and layered. but I stop the door with my palm before it closes. "Is that a question?" I counter. "Umm. I force her towards the third floor where my salon is and I insist that she be seen immediately. "No. And she has reddish highlights all through her messy new do. "What are those?" It's Alice and she looks like she's never seen a pair of jeans bigger than a size two in her life. you could just shop here and get the real deal." Bella's holding up an old. I think they are a ten?" Alice and Rose give bitchy looks to each other. And you have a nice ass." They hesitate for a second before I shoo them away. "Does this say 'Information Center'? She's a nice girl. "We can go somewhere else if you feel more comfortable. After two hours she emerges and I'm dumbfounded. so I head over in their direction.Turning to face them I press my hand to my face. her insecurity really pisses me off and I throw the door wide open. "You know." They drop it and I'm glad because I've sworn to take this secret to the grave." she calls to me across the racks. Ladies. "Where do you want to go?" I ask instead of telling her that she looks nice. styled with these thick bangs that fall across her left eye. She looks like she's going to be sick. We meander into Abercrombie and I see Bella step out of the dressing room like a scared kitten to stand in front of Rose and Alice. But maybe you need more than a new pair of jeans to help you see that?" Once she's changed. "Laurent's?" It sounds like she's asking. "These jeans run small. "Do they have a bigger size?" She asks looking down at the jeans she has on. worn Pink Floyd shirt. Bella. In fact." "Why? So you can tell everyone when this is over that you bought a fat girl some clothes?" For some reason." She looks like she's going to cry. "Thanks for your help. Why haven't I been here before? . pointing my middle finger at my forehead. We kinda look like we go together. and it kind of pisses me off. blocking her from escaping." We drive out to the second hand store and she looks relaxed for the first time all day. I want it.

" She shakes her head and pushes the car door open. unable to comprehend the transformation that stands before me. my little decoy My little decoy ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 3 BPOV Lie awake in bed at night And think about your life Do you want to be different? I stare at myself in the mirror." I gawk at her like she's lost her damn mind." /*/*/*/*/*/* A/Q: Did you ever forget that best friend you had when you were younger? /*/*/*/*/*/* Don't look so blue.. Try to let go of the truth The battles of your youth 'Cause this is just a game Now people know my name.. too. "Whatever." I groan. . I'm not sure I was prepared to have it be so drastic. "But you have to wear one of those dresses. Four hundred dollars later and we're back at her house.She loads up on old concert tees and I do. She's staring at the bag by her feet like she feels guilty. We get her some jeans and a couple of dresses. "Saturdays aren't part of the deal. Edward Cullen." I wait. And they think that I am actually friends…if not more…with Edward freaking Cullen. "I hate you. I close my eyes and listen to the music screaming through my speakers and focus on getting mentally prepared to be in a room full of people that only a week ago thought my name was Brenda." "It will be more believable." "Fine. which she looks at like they are foreign objects. "There's a party at Alice's on Saturday night." An idea hits me so fast I laugh. you should've seen right through I'm using you. "She invited me.

" He nods towards the window. . Ever think of that?" What a horrible truth. Walked me down the hall to classes. of course. looks like perfection from a spray can. It's time to forget about the past To wash away what happened last Hide behind an empty face Don't ask too much. A beautiful lie. staring at me in a weird way from my stereo. I'm kidding with you. didn't I?" "Please don't make me wear this as only a dress. Though. dearest Isabella. The dress is over a pair of jeans and looks fine in my opinion.It's a beautiful lie It's the perfect denial Such a beautiful lie to believe in So beautiful. But. "I said a dress. You look nice. bewildered." I wonder exactly when that transformation happened. I don't even notice the creaking of my door or the slight breeze that rolls in unexpectedly. He'd driven me to and from school. A beautiful lie. we both knew that wasn't the case. And it's just so effortless for him that it makes me a little angry." I plead. His hair is perfectly imperfect. Everyone's looking at me I'm running around in circles. "You're really just a huge jerk." "How are you so popular?" I ask. "Next time I'll just use the window. just say 'Cause this is just a game And now he was about to pick me up like we were going on a date. baby A quiet desperation's building higher I've got to remember this is just a game My eyes are still closed as the music slips seductively around my frame. beautiful it makes me We'd eaten lunch together all week. He. He glances me over me once and shakes his head. "I take it you didn't hear me knocking because of the concert going on up here. "It's fine. Miss Oblivious. my music is turned off abruptly and I'm face to face with Cullen. "That." He shrugs and gives me a smile. might just be why I'm so popular. he's wearing this amazing brown leather jacket and blue t-shirt with expensive jeans.

It burns and I stick my tongue out as I pull the cup away from my face. His eyes flash and he tips his cup back to empty it. Instantly he's in my face. "Yeah. Bella. But that would make me a whore. For some insane reason. "Who put fingernail polish remover in the punch?" I wheeze. I haven't been on many dates or to parties. unsure of whether I want to partake or not." He nods and gives me a wink. "Bella! You came?" I scrunch my face up in embarrassment. "No." I whisper and drop my eyes to the floor. "Hey. we came together." I laugh and take a drink of the liquid floating in the cup. Emmett. This only makes me more nervous and I chug the rest of the punch quickly to settle my nerves. . Edward appears by my side and hands me a red Solo cup. "Talking about my relationship with Kate is not part of this agreement. huh?" I hold the concoction in my hands. whatever Emmett and Jasper are doing is the funniest thing I think I have ever seen in my life and I'm laughing hysterically." Emmett laughs heartily and clinks my glass with his own."Come along. We were in the same car. We're in my room and I could seriously throw him down on my bed and have my way with him. and I have to take a lung full of air to get myself out of the car. "Welcome. "Punch. Okay…I've never been on a date or to a party. I mean. Bella. Oh…dear God. he picked me up. I'm not quite sure since money hasn't changed hands." I finish lamely. I steady my breath because he's touching me and I'm cross eyed because of it. which shakes me to my core." I call and wave at him. Edward veers off as soon as we hit the door and I'm left alone momentarily. Alice's house is just as palatial as Edward's." He turns to find Rose and I look up at Edward cautiously. The Kate situation makes me pissy. got it?" "I'm sorry. "Who would have thought. A strange numbness begins in my head and things are a little fuzzy. "Have you heard from Kate?" I ask. I'm sorry. Or a pimp. College just takes some getting used to and she's probably busy with school and gymnastics…" I look back up at him and his eyes have softened." I smile a little. crossing to me and planting his arm around my waist." he sighs. Edward laughs and pulls me to his side and I swear he kisses the top of my head." "With Edward?" "Well. "You'll have to forgive my social awkwardness. "What is this?" I ask taking a sniff. You didn't deserve that. "People seem to be buying it. "I'm sure she misses you.

like…how did you get Edward to hang out with you?" Jessica practically yells at me. "So. Plus. Leaning forward." Jessica cackles." he sighs. but it runs off as soon as I see the punch bowl and talk myself into a refill." His eyebrows raise and he nods.Edward takes my cup and shakes his head. "Have you never had a drink before?" "Not liquor. "Lightweight. and I really. "So…when you see it all the time and you're naked all the time. muttering under his breath." His mouth twitches in a smile and he leans against the door." "You trying to get him to screw you? Because I don't think he's into virgins. He jumps to his feet and shuffles me towards the bathroom." I say with a grin. Rose and Alice are talking off to my side and that Jessica Stanley bitch is giving me the perpetual stink eye. "Like Edward could be bribed." "What?" Alice is next to me in a flash. but I really don't care at the moment. ushering me inside." "I knew it!" She looks so pleased with herself. All day." There is a fleeting thought that I should have eaten some dinner before I came. it had been two years since I'd encountered any sort of sexual contact that wasn't from myself. Stanley. "You're an idiot. I purse my lips and stretch my legs out a little while I adjust myself into a more comfortable position. "But that means that you walked around naked all the time. I just hate that bitch. Another Solo cup later and I am curled up against the woofer. It's making me feel hot and ridiculously turned on. "I like it. Once he locks the door I laugh. If only he knew that I had wanted to wait for him… "I'm gonna puke. And this is where I start laughing like an idiot. Every day." I snort at the memories of the sunbathers. I shake my head like she's a moron. "Then we're okay. It was nothing but dicks and vag. They aren't all that special. do tell…" I sigh and lean back against the speaker. "I grew up in a nudist colony. 'Cuz I haven't been a virgin since I was fifteen. And some are downright freaky. "Yeah. "I blackmailed him. a nudist colony?" "No biggie. "I lied. It wasn't all that great. too. "So. Sounds like you do. too. giggling at the vibrations from the bass booming through the room. "Please. it's all a big sexual revolution." I'm starting to worry that I might lose my buzz soon." I announce." . really like it. full of cockiness and reeking sex appeal." Rose snarls at her. No big deal." I cross my legs at the memory. There's a soft cough next to me and I look over to see Edward staring at me with wide eyes. especially the first couple of times.

"Then why were you upset at the mall on Monday?" My mouth is too fast for my brain. But the truth is that if he ever saw me naked I would probably cry." "Is it?" I creak out. They were trying to make me feel inferior. "I think that's kind of sexy. Whatever he's fighting on the inside must give up quickly because he tilts my head back and runs his lips over my jaw. His mouth is only a fraction of an inch from mine and I'm straining my neck to look into his eyes." He likes the fact that I'm nervous around him and that he intimidates me? I'm breathing so wildly that my chest is hitting his with each inhale. He gives a low whistle and plants both of his hands on the sink at my side. "Care to renegotiate?" I attempt to answer but only air hisses out of my throat." He's only an inch away from me now and I can feel his body heat rolling off of him in waves." I murmur.The air in the room is suddenly thick with tension and I swallow. But I'm not. wondering when he's going to stop. "Breathe. His face inches closer and I stare at him with eyes wide open. "Kissing isn't in the deal. Isabella. My eyes blink and flutter and I stare up at his eyes as they look into mine." I say quietly. "So why have you been so quiet before now. don't you?" He breathes against my neck. I take a deep breath and then…nothing. "Yes. trying to focus on what he's saying." he instructs lowly. . "You intimidate me. "You know confidence is a massive turn on. His right hand comes to rest against my neck and he sighs. too. And the feel of my breasts connecting with his chest is making an ache grow between my legs." "How far are you willing to go. Isabella? To be popular?" His hands are sliding across my shoulders and down so that his thumbs are trailing lightly around the swell of my breasts." "That's an attractive quality in a girl. clenching his jaw and appearing conflicted. "I think we're going to have fun for the next three weeks. My stomach feels like I ate live goldfish and I'm thankful that I'm inebriated so that I'm not completely freaking out. His eyes lift from my mouth and he smirks. "I'm comfortable with my body." he says with a grin. He steps forward and I instinctively move back to find myself trapped against the sink. if you're as confident as you say?" This damn punch is like Truth Serum and I can't stop my mouth. "Because girls like Rose and Alice do shit like that on purpose.

I've dreamed of this for years… I open my mouth to speak and suddenly his lips are on mine. My fingers are frozen. He's humming a little at the contact." I'm shaking my head to clear my thoughts but the fire is too hot in my abdomen. He's sucking on my neck now and I think it's single handedly the sexiest thing I've ever encountered. these breathy mewling sounds that I've only made in the privacy of my own room before I make myself come. You won't. Our mouths work with each other and I gasp when his hand travels higher."W-what do you mean?" He tsks and places a soft kiss on my collarbone. And then his hands are gripping and kneading the soft flesh there. He shifts slightly. His left hand trails down and slips around the back of my thigh. I am so grateful that I have this dress on over my jeans because there is no doubt in my mind that I have a wet spot seeping through the seam between my legs. and sits. conforming to mine immediately and molding into me. One touch and I'm a dead woman. and I grip onto his jacket for support. turning us until he is against the toilet lid. and I can't concentrate because his fingers are roughly wrapped in my . wrapped around the soft leather and holding myself up. His hands are still roaming and they hit the hem of my dress. His body is so welcoming." I whimper. I am making sounds like a kitten. God." he's grunting out as my thighs slide up higher in his lap. and I'm ninety percent sure that if I sit on his lap any longer that is exactly what is going to happen. pulling roughly and I mirror his actions with my own. distracting me from what is right or wrong. "That's a bad idea. "What will you let me do to you? Touch you? Taste you? Will you let me inside of you?" I'm panting. Please…just touch me. as he leverages himself into me with his hips. raking my fingers through his wayward locks. The room is spinning and I'm dizzy. his fingers curling underneath my knee and pulling it up to wrap around his waist. still gripping my thigh and breast. I'll die… He moves both hands to my hair. I'm gone. Bella?" He manages to growl out. He brings me down roughly onto his lap and grinds my soaking wet arousal against his zipper. "How far. "What if I'm a bad person? What if I want to hurt you? Is it worth it?" His hands are up my shirt and I open my eyes in their lust-fueled haze to see his face. his fingers cupping my breast in his palm." I hiss and he slides his tongue into my mouth. "Oh. "I'll let you do anything. writhing in his lap without even knowing what I'm doing. his soft mouth pliable and forceful. "You're not. I'm shaking violently under his touch and can't form words. His right hand travels slowly up my ribcage and his fingertips sweep softly back and forth under the satin of my bra. running hotly across my own. And…holy shit…it feels so good. I'm in shock. where he begins to lift it slightly and settles it over my ass. I've combusted into a million pieces and am just obliterated shards of stardust on the bathroom floor. which pulls his body even closer to mine. so I just let out an absurdly loud moan instead.

My Dad. "You make me feel worse than any of them ever have!" . knowing all too well who it is. Isabella. but the roar of an engine pulls me out of my reverie." My hands are shaking nervously.own hair and working overtime until I'm sure it looks like a perfect replica of a bird's nest." I mumble and start off again. We're moving against each other. tongues intermingling. my brain malfunctioning under his tone. aren't I?" Turning quickly. I stop. no. I'm not sure how long I've been walking. and I ignore them. I fling the bathroom door open wide. I want to die like this. thankful that I know my way around this town like the back of my hand. sometimes." It's a command. He stands too and towers over me. I take off in the direction of my house. "Go on. "I want to go home. I'm struggling to breathe and my eyes close so that I can gather my composure. Oh. I just need a minute. "High School Politics. "No! You don't own me. His hands drop from my hair and he shifts a little. It's a job. Head out to the party. I backtrack and slam my hands into his chest. He pulls next to me. Rumors have to start somewhere. "But…we didn't. He pulls to the side of the road and jumps out. our mouths wet and warm. The night air is refreshing and I decide at the last moment that four blocks isn't too far for me to walk. pacing my steps with his speed. Lambchop. chasing after me. "I'm serious. Everyone will think we've had sex in here and you'll start your reputation off on the right foot. I know exactly how many streetlights are between the mansions and my Cape Cod. remember?" I'm pretty sure I'm screaming and someone is going to call the cops. a knowing look in his eyes. my legs sliding and his hips rolling. Lights are illuminating the sidewalk in front of me. gawking at me as I pass. "You're not going to come with me?" Edward laughs darkly and points at his zipper. "I'm giving you what you asked for. They'll probably figure I'm cleaning up or something. signaling me to stand up." he warns." He takes a deep breath and shrugs. "Get in the car. "Just leave me alone. I shake my head 'no' and keep walking." And with that. Suddenly he pulls back and a dark gleam appears in his eyes. I rise up on shaky knees. slamming it behind me and walking straight through the crowd of onlookers." I shake my head at the weight of his words. "What do you want?" He yells. You look thoroughly…ravaged. "If I walk out there like this then they'll know you're lying. Edward Cullen. praying not to fall over when my ankles seem to protest. I own your ass. Now. He sighs and runs his thumb over my swollen lower lip." My stomach lurches and suddenly I really do feel like I'm going to throw up.

" I huff." He bobs his head up and down in understanding. We're finally at my house and I stumble a bit up my first step and his strong arms wrap around my waist. I pull my key from my pocket and open the door slowly. I hear him turn back to the car and a door slam." I admonish him. Without another word. he's still there. I really don't want my parents to wake up and see me like this. I ignore the goose bumps that form on my arms from his breath on my skin. but suddenly he's by my side. "The tree outside my window. "Easy enough if the window is unlocked. shaken. "I had a friend when I was little that loved to read like you do. too. "What are you doing?" I hiss. "Do you have another way in?" Edward whispers into my ear. I'm resigned to the fact that he's not planning on leaving. and…Edward. I shut and lock my door with a quiet click and he glances up briefly to give me a small smile. trying to keep my voice down. It had already been hard enough to convince them that letting me go to a party wouldn't end badly. Looking at my bookshelf. which confuses me more than I already am. "Shit. but I doubt that this is a good time to try it. afraid I've said too much. "What are you talking about?" I clamp my hands over my mouth. wincing at the loud creak that accompanies it. "You like to read a lot. "In books." he states like it's a fact. It's coupled with the smell of Hawaiian Punch and vodka. These smells detest me at the moment." I'm not feeling even half as drunk as I was an hour ago. not speaking and not looking anywhere but ahead of us. He looks skeptical. Before books . I let the screen door ease shut and I bite my lip anxiously. I start walking back home. I'll be fine. "I'm a big girl." I assure him. When I re-enter the room. "Good. good friends aren't very hard to come by. keys dangling from his fingers. We'd talk about books all the time. I can smell the impending autumn air creeping in and the leather of his jacket. I turn to thank him and he's climbing inside. "Making sure you're okay.He staggers back a little. so I keep the lights off and throw my 'party' clothes into the hamper after I put on my shorts and tank top. steadying the branch so that I can slither into my open window and safely to the floor. huh?" I nod my head minutely and move to sit on the bed. You're too drunk to drive. And sure enough. I can't even bear to look at my reflection right now. assisting me to my door. so I scrounge for my pajamas and disappear into the bathroom." He says this like it is the most logical explanation in the world. He keeps my pace. but I can't gauge his current state of inebriation. he climbs it effortlessly and pulls me up with him.

" It could steal my soul. Not this cocky beast laying next to me now. But no face or name?" Relief washes over me and sadness begins to creep in at his confession. And from deep within his chest I hear him murmur. I yawn. "I'm sorry if I hurt you. "But…I really love Frost. "I have no idea. I just wanted you to see how things really work…" "But they don't have to be that way. "I'm not sure I know what you want out of this. "'That crossed me from sweet things…'" /*/*/*/*/*/*/* . wondering if he's talking about me. But I would get to be with you… Instead of telling him this. suddenly cold and feeling unsure of having him in my room. I smile a little when I remember what it was like the first time he kissed me when we were little." He's quiet and unmoving." My eyes close and I breathe one deep breath before opening them. And all I can hear is the rhythmic beating of his heart." I reply sleepily." "Better than most. And the façade gets old really quick. "Who's your favorite poet?" He sighs. sleep overtaking me quickly. "I have many." His head settles into the pillow and I raise my face to look at him staring down at me. He moves to sit on the edge of my bed and looks down at my face on the pillow. He shifts closer and settles into me." I insist. "You make no sense. "Yeah. like. "Haven't you ever just wanted to be someone else for a little while?" I ask quietly." He relaxes and leans back. Wow…funny how I can remember her. His head tilts a little in thought and he frowns. general outline. then. I'm not sure you understand how big of a cost it could be. I want to remember my Senior Year and not be Pot Girl or the weird hippie girl…or Chief Swan's daughter." he sighs. I crawl under my covers. the only movement in the room becomes the rise and fall of his chest. "Popularity comes with a price." He chuckles sadly and my heart dips. "I just want to be friends with you. "Must not have been that good of a friend. "It can be different if you let it. but it really is what I want. pulling my face onto his chest and draping his arm across my back. And I'm sure you think that's really stupid. "What was your friend's name?" I press. pulling his legs onto my bed and laying his head next to mine on my pillow. She left when we were in Elementary. then.became lame. 'Love at the lips was touch…As sweet as I could bear…And once that seemed too much…I lived on air…'" I yawn again and settle into his chest. He was so unsure." he murmurs. I want to know what it's like to be one of…you.

I call and she answers on the second ring. but I was with Kate and that girl could take up a line of vision unlike anyone else I'd ever met." She says sweetly and I can't help but smile. which is what finally got me to stop. Just held her on my chest while she slept. Because she was dead serious. God forgive me. But. her tongue. but those fifteen minutes in the bathroom with her were unbelievably hot. and I almost couldn't stop myself from ripping her clothes off of her to get inside. How can you make yourself the focal point of someone's life for a year and then just disappear? I scrounge around for my jacket and realize that I left it at Bella's in my haste to climb down her tree before her dad woke up. but she was there and talking out of her ass about sex and telling Jessica Stanley that she'd been walking around naked for years and had been having sex since she was fifteen. So I figured I'd help her out a little and up her popularity quotient if she was that desperate for attention. Or. the sweet smell of her skin and how soft everything was./*/*/*/*/*/*/* Living life inside a dream Time is changing everything Forgetting all the memories And I'm forced into you just cause you're into me ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 4 EPOV I slept with her. for some reason…I wanted Isabella there. That display at the party had been uncalled for. that's for sure. She was maddeningly familiar and it was killing me that I felt that way about someone I had just started noticing and talking to within the last month. without a doubt in my mind. or fill my palms with her tits. Then she flat out told me I could do whatever the hell I wanted to her. I know. Because that girl didn't act like she'd never been touched before. Make sure that I hadn't robbed her of her happiness in her sleep with my atrocious games. I'd heard that she was here last year. "Hi. I had been wrong. and I freaking recited poetry to her while she was all snuggled up into my neck like a little girl. I could sink my fingers into her and grab onto her ass. that I could have any number of girls in my bed tonight with just the snap of my fingers. maybe I wanted to be in hers so that I could just hold her and make sure she was sleeping well. I was the cheesiest of assholes. In a split second I figured out that she was lying to get them to think that she was cool. She wasn't taut muscle like Kate. And. apparently. really. and she wasn't overtly skinny like some of the other girls in the school. Which is probably what pissed me off the most. . It was everything. And she certainly didn't react to my hand up her shirt like a virgin. Her mouth. And I was about to take her up on it.

really good in it. I wait for Emmett and Jasper to walk in and while I'm there." I chide her. I turn her face to mine and kiss the tip of her nose. "Had to kill a guy for it. "See you at lunch." I point to her and give her a smile as I turn and walk away. And she looks really. That way you can talk to people in the hallway instead of hiding behind your hair. facing her. "You'll need to learn how to maneuver without looking at your feet while you walk. "I'm wearing it. if we're going to do this. dressed in jeans and one of the shirts we bought. The locker room is packed as we wait for Coach Gerandy to arrive. Righting her. "Because I have my arm around you and you're wearing my jacket? I figure." She nods. along with my jacket. but she might just be right. Hopefully she won't get eaten by wolves. and for the first time in a really long time. leaving her to try this on her own. We kind of clicked. Can you bring it to school? I'll pick you up in fifteen. People respond to it. too. . I think she might have been surprised by the same in regards to me. Remember: Eyes. It's inviting. "Nice jacket. She looks down at it and sighs. night walker freak. I turn and walk backwards. She was receptive to what I had to say." Oh. "Okay. We talked. People are staring and I force back a smile when I feel her body stiffen." Little does she know." "But…" she starts. well then. We pull into my spot in the parking lot and I open the door for her. and I found myself thinking of her last night before I fell asleep. I honk outside of her house and she's at my car within seconds. pushing down the urge to crawl into her window and spoon her while she slept. I found myself wanting to get to know her more and was surprised to find how funny and smart she was. That works. "I'll drive you home." And with that. She trips on her own feet." I'd called her on Sunday to talk with her about everything that had happened. I can overhear conversations around me that are starting to make my blood boil. I have to go meet with the coach before First. I left my jacket." She laughs a little. Like some kind of stalker. "Eye contact is crucial. See you soon. we might as well do it right. "Why are they staring?" She asks under her breath." We stop at her locker and I tuck her hair behind both of her ears to make a point. I felt like someone was actually listening to me. I chuckle. and for a little while I forgot that she was totally blackmailing me."Hey. placing my arm around her shoulders as we veer towards the school.

I'm irrational. Newton?" His head snaps in my direction and he snorts. Crowley. I sense that they don't know that I'm there. yanking me back before I bust Newton's ugly face open. pulling me to a bench and reminding me quietly that if Gerandy were to catch me beating Newton's ass. my fingers almost in between her lips with the way they're positioned from me attaching myself so forcefully to her. if she got it on with Cullen in the bathroom. and as soon as she steps into the hallway. too. Her eyes are staring intently into mine and I lick my lips before I speak. and again I am having a hard time not consuming her in a public place. I know for a fact that Newton and his assholes are only a few lockers over and they can see this entire thing unfolding. I storm down the hall to my first class. I'm ready to explode." My ears tune into their back and forth and I'm grinding my teeth as they continue. "Who knew all that was under that funky. and her lips parting to allow me entrance over and over. "WHAT THE FU…" Emmett has my arms and Jasper has my waist. I release her as quickly as I've accosted her. Mine. Not yours. We reach our destination and I turn her quickly."She's stacked." It's a group of them: Newton. Ever. and I place my forehead against hers. Like…I'd hit that in a second. I would be thrown off the team before the season even starts. "Slow down." she says breathlessly. so I decide to remedy that. I wait for Bella to walk out of her class. "What's wrong?" She asks. her tongue languid against mine. taking in large gulps of air. It's powerful and demanding. I can hardly concentrate the entire time we're there and as soon as we're dismissed. a bundle of angry nerves. dude. and she looks so innocent and breakable… My hand lifts to her cheek and I can see her eyes grow wide with a combination of fear and want before I press my lips to hers firmly. She's so responsive. She's finally done and makes her way to the door. "What did you say. Yorkie and Riley. "I said your rebound is a hot piece of ass. I have her hand in mine and I'm pulling her towards her locker. pressing her against her door. but my friends have me restrained. Hippie shit she was always wearing? Did you see her ass on Saturday? She's gotta be an easy lay. . desperate and breathtaking all at once. tapping my foot impatiently as she asks the teacher questions about her assignment. This only serves to aggravate me further and I lunge at him again. Riley is laughing and the other two are slapping Newton on the back for pissing me off. gripping the sides of her face with my hands. and I want them to see me pissing on my territory. By the time the bell rings. Can I hit that when you drop her?" I'm on my feet so fast he doesn't see me move. our eyes still connected.

"You may own my ass for the next three weeks, Isabella. But that means one
other thing."
"What?" She asks, barely audibly.
"That means that for the next three weeks you're mine. Period. No one else
touches you…"
"Of course not."
"Good." I lean away from her and skim my lips across hers one last time. "See
you at lunch."
We're in his room after school and I have my nose buried in my Bio book,
scribbling notes into a spiral notebook. He's staring out the window like his ass is
on fire. I don't ask. It would be too personal, I'm sure.
"I didn't ask you to come over and do my homework," he monotones. "I've
gotten this far without you doing it."
My lip is between my teeth in concentration and I release it quickly. "It's our
homework, and I don't mind. It needs to get done."
"You work so hard at things that matter. You're too smart for this, you know."
"The stuff you do is important, too. Baseball and track could get you into college
on scholarship."
"That's just it, though. Not that you'd know it, but I make straight A's. I'll get into
college no matter what. But what do people associate me with? Partying?
Whatever." He sits on his bed and flops backwards to close his eyes.
I close the book and turn towards him from the desk. "You can do anything you
want to. So, what do you want to do?"
"It doesn't matter," he says darkly. "People will have their opinions about me and
what I'm supposed to do regardless of what I want or am capable of."
I move slowly, afraid to cause too much noise at the moment. Sitting delicately
next to him, I place a hand on his head, running my thumb in circles over his
eyebrow. "Yes, it does matter. You can be or do anything in the entire world. You
have it in you. I know it."
His eyes open slowly and they focus for a second. Edward shifts and rises to his
feet, crossing to his messenger bag. He pulls out the beautiful leather bound book
I see him taking notes in during class and hands it to me.
"Here," he mutters.
"What is this?" I ask, turning it in my hands. It's heavy and smells of old leather,
worn around the edges by his fingertips. Cracking it open, I feel the blood in my
face burn hot, my cheeks aflame and mouth hanging open.
"Before you my life was like a moonless night…very dark, but there were starspoints of light and reason... And then you shot across my sky like a meteor.
Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When

you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went
black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see
the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything."
"E-e-edward," I stutter in shock. "You're a poet. This is…gorgeous."
He's not looking at me and I wonder why. "Is this about Kate?" He shakes his
head 'no'. "Who, then?"
His face is tight and he finally moves to face me. "A girl I can't remember."
It can't be…
"Does anyone else know that you write?" I hand him back his book and he smiles
almost shyly.
"No. No one."
"Your family? Friends? Your girlfriends?"
My heart almost crawls out of my chest to get to him, but I swallow it down and
take a moment to think. This is a really big deal. He's opening up to me and
sharing a piece of himself that no one else sees. I wonder if Bella-Marie would
have known this about him all along. "Thank you. For trusting me with that." I
hand him back the journal with a twinge of sadness. I'm sure there's more in
there that I'd like to read about.
"Another secret, Isabella. For life or longer. You take it to the grave, okay?" He's
pleading and I can't say no.
"Of course. But you should be really proud of yourself, Cullen. You have amazing
His smile turns to a smirk and he leans down to place the book under the bed.
His face is at my knee and he leans forward to bite it lightly. Raising back up
slowly, he locks eyes with me again, smirking when I blink and look away.
"Oh, I'm a very talented guy."
"You're an asshole," I laugh. He wrestles me to the comforter and pins my legs
down with his, holding my wrists next to my face with his palms.
"Want me to climb your tree tonight?" He wiggles his brows and I giggle at this
silly side of him.
"You can come in my window anytime you'd like, Mr. Cullen." I drop my voice in
what I hope is a seductive way, but with the way he's laughing hysterically, I
assume I'm just a little off in my delivery.
He slips off of me and lies on his back, choking from his laughter and trying to
form a sentence. I grab my book bag and slide the straps on, trying my hardest
to not laugh along with him since he's so hell bent on making fun of me at this
I step out of his room to make my escape.
"Come here," he says through his cackling, and he jumps up to lead me back into
the room. I feel him remove my bag and nudge me towards the bed. "I'm sorry,

it was just funny. You should like being funny. I think it's a side of you that a lot
of people would like."
"Whatever." I roll my eyes at him and scoot farther up on his bed.
"Come on. We'll watch a movie. Take a study break," he barters like he's talking
to a child. I watch him move about his room, grabbing a movie and starting it
with the remote. He settles next to me on the bed and curls my body into his side
so that I am watching the movie from his chest.
He's playing his part well. I mean, this isn't part of the deal, as far as I had
imagined it. Spending time away from school and the prying eyes of our peers is
bonus, as far as I am concerned. But I'll take any time with him that I can get.
And I'll pretend that this isn't some big scheme that I've cooked up to make me
less of an outcast at school.
I'll pretend that Edward Cullen could actually care for me.
I'll pretend that we're friends, and dream that we're more.
I'll picture that little boy with aquamarine eyes that stole my heart all of those
years ago. It's him that I picture as I close my eyes and rest my head on his
chest. It's him I imagine holding me now. Sweet and gentle. Smart and fun. Far
from jaded and proud. That boy was just like me…
I can feel his fingers travel down my back and begin to play with the ends of my
hair, relaxing me and making me smile a bit. It's sweet and affectionate and
before I know it, sleep overtakes me in his arms once again.
I dream of her.
I don't have the dream all the time anymore, but when I do, it's always the
same. We're playing at recess and she's facing away from me, her dark ponytail
blowing in the breeze and the sunshine casting a glow about her form that makes
her look like an angel. The field is full of flowers and she's picking a handful,
fisting them in her tiny palm as she moves forward to gather more.
I'm running…always running towards her. And she's always just a foot ahead of
"Wait!" I call to her and she turns, but the light is so bright I can't see her face.
And then I'm right in front of her, so close that I can't see anything but deep
brown eyes, soft and wide, full of childish wonder. "You're so pretty," I say,
completely out of breath and scared.
"You too," she giggles.
And then I lean in and press my lips to hers and my little heart swells to bursting.
She's real. She's there.
But then I open my eyes and I'm alone and the field is empty, flowerless and
barren. Just like my heart as it sinks with the realization that she's gone again.
I awake with a start, fumbling for my lamp switch. The light gently floods the
room, creating soft shadows in the corners and revealing my companion curled
into the fetal position, her hands curled under her chin. She's peaceful as she

pulling stray tendrils of hair from her face and move them off of her neck. sliding my hand across her hip and underneath the hem of her shirt. Deeper. I scoot closer to her. She bucks against me. "Wake up. making my hands twitch against her pliable flesh. It's just so effortless and easy. fully clothed and I'm kissing her viciously. pressing my hips against her thigh to find some sort of contact in order to ease a bit of the ache. her tongue flicking out to my bottom lip and running across it seductively. working their way up her rib cage. reveling in the sensation of her satin flesh against my palms. Instead. "Never stop. pressing against the stiff metal teeth of my jeans desperately. I'm hard and throbbing. attacking her neck in the process and biting into the supple flesh at the juncture of her throat and shoulder. . pleading for more. "You haven't called me that in a long time. Rougher. I roll on top of her." I whisper. Once again I have that eerie feeling that she's so familiar to me… My hands are under her shirt again. I move to pull her back against me and she sighs. Her bra is discarded and she pulls my shirt over my head before I work my jeans down and shake them off onto the floor." I call softly. Her eyelids flutter open and she smiles lazily. The way her skin feels under my fingertips is putting me into sensory overload and all I can think about doing is running my hands across every inch of her to see if she's this soft everywhere.rests. and I can't help but stare. "Wake up. placing a soft kiss on her eyelid. The instinct to kiss her is overwhelming and I'm trying to beat the beast back. She's my last hope to end this before it gets too far. Frustrated." My fingers are wandering of their own will.. "Tell me no. My name. her heat and body calling to me like some sort of drug for my soul." I call to her. My hand slides across her stomach and the muscles contract under my fingertips. and I'll stop. She loves it. She breathes out loudly and arches into me. "Damn me to hell. pinned into the mattress. she looks angelic…like my long lost dream." she moans into my mouth. I move with caution. Harder. but I'm failing miserably as I inch closer. shaking my head to clear my thoughts. letting out a soft moan and. panting and clawing at my back and shuddering under me. and I just need her to be awake in order to not feel so bad about this. I'm out of my mind with need for her. but she threads her fingers into the back of my hair and pulls my face to hers. I rock my hips into her. Silently." I manage out.. I pop the button on her jeans and stop. With her hair splayed across the pillow and around her face. "Isabella. she wraps her legs around my waist and pulls me down completely on top of her. Her fingers are tugging at my hair and she's lifting her hips desperately. She's crushed beneath me. gripping her tits in my hands and kneading them roughly. beautiful girl. kissing me softly." I'm momentarily confused. running off of pure instinct and I rip her shirt over her head. She sighs and calls my name again. like we've done this before.

"Let me feel you first…" I press my chest to hers and her short nails dig into my shoulder blades. but she's reaching for me. I kiss her stomach above the open denim and crawl my way back up her body. "Oh God. high on the thought of my dick being there. She reaches for me and I fall onto her. She's writhing."What?" She calls from above me. "Miss me. hearing her come. She's licking her lips and shivering. small whimpers escaping from between her lips while I explore. throwing them to the floor before I slide her panties down her thighs. cupping her sex and pressing the seam of her denim against her clit. long legs and soft hips. She smiles wickedly and leans up to kiss me. She's soft and curvy. I lower a hand to her center and slip a finger into her lips. Capturing one in my teeth. "Kiss me. and I move back to lower her zipper and yank her jeans off." I grind out between clenched teeth and try to pull myself from her grip. over her elbows and lower until I'm skimming the sides of her breasts. covering her and surrounding her. I look at her face and she gasps. watching my fingers trail down. Breathing unsteadily through my nose. She laughs and I raise my face to hers in question. nodding slowly and silently giving me permission." she begs and I dip my face to her hardened peaks. I raise her arms above her head. to find that it's not Bella…It's Kate. "You won't. . and hearing her make noises like that is making me almost finish before I get to start. running lazy circles around one and then the other. begging me with her eyes. "Eddie. resting on my heels and gripping her knees. She's still pulsing from her orgasm and my eyes roll in the back of my head. "Sure you did. gasping for air. wet and sloppy. so I pull back. feeling terrible and guilty." I beg. I believe her and I try again. You won't. begging me to continue. kissing me and holding me close as I begin to move. crying out and gripping the pillow under her head. She tenses and goes rigid. filling her until I hit her depth and she's twitching beneath me." she sighs. "I don't want to hurt you. Settling back." I murmur against her mouth. It's unbelievable how hard I am. "Not yet." she sighs and uses her ridiculous strength to pin my legs so that I'm held captive inside of her. flattening me and pushing all of my weight onto her frame." she repeats over and over. filling her and she sobs again. I roll my tongue over it and pull it between my lips to suck. She's pale and porcelain." Kate hisses. and I can't stop staring at how everything about her is so different than anyone else I've ever seen. My free hand wanders between us." I say. My boxers are gone and I'm positioned between her thighs. "She's not who you think she is. It's too much. baby?" "No. "Don't call me that. I slide in an inch and she lets out a sob. oh God…" she whines and clenches her thighs around my hips.

Aren't I? The hollow ringing inside of my ears is nothing compared to the ache that's suddenly become so apparent in my chest. Bella has left a note telling me that she wanted to let me sleep…and she went home. I have no willpower. I sit up in my bed. It was a nightmare within a nightmare. Everything we do is for appearances. Nothing about this is right. As if our existence was any better than her own. More disturbing than that is the fact that I don't want to fight it. Why do I suddenly want her so much? It is way too fast. I barely know her and I'm certainly not in love with her. I have no idea what's happening to me. But she's gone. something deep inside of me growls and I look out my window into the brisk night. And it will be the first of many nights that I run to Bella's room in the darkness and climb into her window to hold her while we sleep.I push up on my arms. She wants so badly to be what she thinks I am. I don't even know her. I wrestle with my conscience for only a moment more before I give in to my crazy desire to see her. looking frantically for Bella and fighting to get away. And I want to shelter her from the shit storm we're creating. But we're all pretending to be something that we're not. Whatever this is. As I read the note. I'm powerless over it. It's two in the morning and I'm lonely without her. both leaving me hollow and empty. there is a nagging feeling that I know her. really. /*/*/*/*/*/* /*/*/*/*/*/*/* Well hey. I jump up and turn on the light only to see that I am alone. it's never too late When I'm gone you won't remember a thing But I can't stay and you know I won't wait ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 5 /*/*/*/*/*/*/* . hey baby. Vanished. I can't control it. choking for air and gripping the sheets. Quickly. What she thinks we all are. It's not right because I'm doing all of this out of obligation. Just like the girl in my dreams. It's not right because this entire thing is a lie. But. covered in sweat.

"Bree. flirting unabashedly with a chubby brunette with shy blue eyes." Edward repeats her name like he is committing it to memory. "When Bree shows up on that morning to 'marry him'." he states. Every year…a couple times a year…he pulls the same move. Jasper drums his fingers on the table in a sign of boredom. resting his elbows and folding his hands like he is teaching a lesson." My eyes scan over the scene again. looking away from my face and back over the tables. My stomach knots up again and I'm queasy at how blasé everyone is about all of this. frowning and shaking my head. "What does that mean?" Edward leans onto the table. is leaning against a table of freshman girls. I pass by the mirror and turn away. is that he is talking to the girl with brown hair. The bile in my throat begins to burn and sicken me and I mumble something to him before lunging from the table and making my escape to the bathroom. but her friend will betray her and move in on James to get attention. The girl he's touching and flattering? That's…" He looks to Rose for help. "Uh oh. Then he does this lame thing where he'll pretend to propose to her. but she's too quiet." Alice gives a tight smile. not interested in seeing my reflection at the moment. even from this distance. She'll get all excited and come into school for a couple of days. he'll pretend like she doesn't exist. "She'll be devastated. he'll have made his move on his real mark: the girl across the table." I whisper to Edward." I stare at her in confusion. I push away all thoughts of how disgusting my environment is…and I'm not just counting the bathroom as my surroundings. I press my forehead against the cool metal stall door as I lock it and try to keep my lunch down by taking deep breaths in and out of my mouth. "Bree Tanner. .BPOV The sounds in the cafeteria are fading into the background as I watch the scene unfold across the room." Rose groans. but making eyes at her friend sitting across the table. "Then what happens?" I ask quietly." Rose shrugs her shoulders like it is no big deal to crush this girl's dreams. His friend watches with a wry smile as James twirls a strand of the girl's hair around his finger and leans in to talk to her." "Victoria. My heart breaks a little for her when I realize how truly wrecked she will be upon realizing that not only did this boy not like her." Emmett nods and chews his food. thinking he's actually interested in her. James will flirt with Bree for the next few days. and sure enough…Victoria and James are silently screwing each other with their eyes. "James likes fresh meat. "Looks like James is getting married again. too. "So. And then he'll go get head from Victoria in the theater sound booth or something. She's more outgoing than her friend. But by then. "She might just really…really…want to be popular. One of the senior football players. his cheeks too packed to join in on the conversation. She has an interest in cheering. What I can tell. And poor Bree doesn't see any of it because she is so transfixed by the male attention. too. James. "I talked with Victoria about her interest in cheer.

looking down into her concerned eyes. When we were younger and she was the smallest. "He's good at that. I take a deep breath and face her with a small smile.It's High School in general. Her feet shuffle a little and I feel her tiny body press against the door. you know. How cruel could people be? It baffled me to no end how we could use others and throw them away like they were pieces of a napkin. Damn you. everyone goes through it at one time or another. "Can you let Edward know that I'm headed home? I really think I'm coming down with something…" Like a conscience. I hear the door swing open and there is a light tapping of a foot by the sinks. I sigh and begin to wash my hands in the sink. "Do you ever wonder what it would be like if we all just…coexisted together on the same level? If we stopped acting like people are…Ego Food?" She tilts her head and looks thoughtful." I lie through the door. That might be what's making you sick. Miss Insightful. I release the lock and step back to open the door. They are tiny and encased in designer shoes… "Bella?" Alice's voice is filled with concern and I am both relieved that she's come to find me and horrified at the thought of speaking with her one on one. we'd carry her around on our backs to protect her from bullies." . "Jasper always cracks jokes to make me feel better. Like they were there to give us what we needed and then be immediately replaceable. Because she wouldn't want to hear that she was being used. Or maybe I was still living in the past because the present was so hard to accept. She would think I was weird and jealous. "It smells like ass and weed in here. Like I was using Edward? Everything is a jumbled mess of thought and I squeeze my eyes shut to focus. The sad truth of it is that if I went and told Bree what was about to happen." With a turn of the knob. We can't stop it…" Stepping by her. she probably wouldn't believe me anyway." she says and I can hear the smile in her voice. I wanted to hand her some Fun Dip and a Barbie to remind her of who she used to be. The feet move gracefully to stand in front of my stall and I watch in horror as they stop almost toe to toe with mine. or that I was trying to mess with her. "I won't need a ride. "The door is cold and makes my head feel better?" It's a question because it's a bald faced lie. Now she was one of the predators. "Are you in here because of the James bullshit? Because." I chuckle a little and relax. "Then why aren't you at the toilet?" She asks softly. "I think I have food poisoning. She asks. We all take hard knocks and get back up on our feet.

And we weren't in love…both of knew that. really. listening to the sounds of the woods as the nocturnal creatures began to appear for their nightly rituals. Only of curiosity." Without another glance in Edward's direction. With as much as I had learned from my schooling there. We'd go on nature walks and swim in the quarry. I make my way to my locker and grab my bag to walk home. But we loved each other and trusted each other. but I knew…I just knew in the back of my mind that I would be back in Phoenix one day and I would find Edward again. I make it home almost an hour later. and we'd been talking quietly about the moon when I'd first noticed that his hand was inching towards mine. My stomach is in need of food and I can smell my mom cooking something in the Crockpot. He'd held no judgment of me. One night. That was really what had brought me together with Stefan in the first place. Education. Or we'd watch the sunset and discuss the science behind what made clouds or colors in the sky. There was no pomp or circumstance in what he did. It had been impossible to push back those thoughts while we were together. Everything that people my age didn't care about because all they wanted was to be naked. He was mesmerizing and passionate. "By the way. Our fingers touched and there was this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that I couldn't place. then the other things that people take for granted are what you will focus on. we'd been at the top of a cliff looking out at the darkening sky. He'd been so gentle and reassuring. He'd leaned in so slowly that I'd had time to plan my escape if I wanted to. trees…sunsets and stars. And he was kind. but there was no feeling of impending doom. Living with a bunch of naked weirdoes had taught me one thing: there's always something else to look at if you need to. It is hours before my dad will be home and we'll be . I'd stared at our hands linked together for a good solid minute before I'd gotten the nerve to look at him. so there was no novelty in it. and had been in the colony since he was younger. Intellectual conversation. I think what had drawn me to him most was how free he was. He'd show me constellations and we'd watch for falling stars at night. I'd never seen him nervous before.She nods in understanding. seemed a hell of a lot better than the alternative of some random high school boy who would leave me red faced and ashamed after he bragged to the entire school about the fingernail marks I'd left on his back. By the time I'd turned fifteen. Which. we're ditching on Friday and camping out this weekend. sweating profusely and red faced from the exertion. Edward has the details. If that's all you ever know. he and I were good friends. But when I'd finally raised my eyes to his. He had no self consciousness. We were bombarded with nakedness on a daily basis. It was a warm night. they were filled with such kindness and he looked as scared as I felt. so I set a leisurely pace to admire the beauty surrounding me on each side. Stefan and I didn't have sex a lot because it wasn't about that with us. I'd spent a lot of my time looking at plants. now that I was back in the real world. I'd learned so much more by just listening to him talk. flowers. Nature. It was fascinating to watch. My upbringing was beginning to not look so bad anymore. It's a nice day. He was a couple of years older. Books. We'd kissed and he'd taught me more about my body than I'd ever thought possible.

" I giggle and shake my head at her tactic. "Pity. She's slight in frame with auburn streaked brown hair that she keeps cut in a long bob." I tell her. can you believe it?" She looks concerned again. "Yeah?" "If you need to talk about…anything…I'm here." she murmurs. "Yeah. "Hey. If he can't remember you…" She's running her fingers softly through ." She frowns and scratches her head." I nod my head aggressively. She releases my face and takes a step back. but her features are tiny and soft. her eyes roaming my face. "Sweetheart?" I look over my shoulder from the doorway. "I could have sworn the hummus was fresh. Her face is heart shaped like mine. I know the routine by now and take the ginger even though the reason for my stomach ache isn't an imbalance of any type. I refuse to tell her that I want so desperately to belong that I've created a whole new me to fit in. suddenly exhausted." "Like that Cullen boy." she calls softly. "Your skin looks perfect." "Even boys. "You okay. "I'm going to lie down. so I mentally go through the list of food items that I've stored under my bed to snack on in private so that Renee will never know. I can't tell her about taking advantage of Jake at Charlie's work. Mom. "Here. she hands over some ginger and instructs me to take them with water. My mom moves towards me and cups my face in her palms. She shakes her head and glides across the floor to pull me into her arms." "I know. moving to the cabinet. I guess." I reply instead of telling her the truth. I can't tell her that I'm making Edward spend time with me in hopes of him remembering me." Her light eyes sparkle in the light of the kitchen and I can't help but smile at her ethereal beauty. clearly pleased." "I know. "He doesn't even remember me." I peek my head into the kitchen and she's smiling back at me in surprise. to eat. so I came home. "Did you take your dailies?" I nod. "I just didn't feel well. a very cartoon-like gesture that means she's pondering something. "So…why is he hanging out with you? Taking you to and from school?" My mind falters and I bite my lip to stop from spewing the word vomit that I can't stop around my mother. sweetie?" She's always so worried about me. making her appear much younger than her actual years. "I pity him. She emerges with her box of herbal pill bottles and I hold out my hand expectantly. Must have been some bad hummus. As I know she will.

It's dark and I'm unsure of the time or how long I've been sleeping. I used the bathroom and brushed my teeth before heading downstairs to check on my parents.. It's a body. catching one of the headphones on my elbow and yanking it from my ear. swaying back and forth gently. I climb the stairs to my bed and crack the window to allow a breeze to roll in. Spreading myself out under the comforter. I change out of my clothes. Checking the clock above the mantle. Wide open. There is an awkward silence and I take the opportunity to make my way to the bedroom door. Huffing audibly. I walked back over to the bed and wrapped myself in the comforter. Renee releases me and I am hit with a wave of exhaustion. thoughts swirling through my head until they become so few and far between that I have no focus. Just don't…make any sounds. Crossing slowly towards the glass. get in and take a nap but you're…" His words trailed off and he stared openly at my chest. "I thought maybe you were sick? So I came to check on you and then I…umm. He shifts minutely in the chair that my father placed in the corner before we moved hair and sighing against my cheek. I set the unit to Shuffle and press my face into my pillow. I'm naked. "Good God. ya know. I don't remember leaving it completely open. but the moon is up and the air is chilly as it spills in through the wide open window. A creaking sound startles me and I spin around with a scream that gets lodged in my throat. she is home to me. . And that's when I notice the other sounds in the room. The house is quiet and dark.. wanting to be free of the confines of my new prison that I've created for myself. okay?" He nods and stills his movement in the chair. Her warmth is soothing and I instantly melt into her. /*/*/*/*/*/ The music in my ears is a haunting melody and I roll over too quickly. Big deal. but have already gone to bed. and a swift survey of the driveway reveals that they are here. Quickly. "There? Comfortable now?" I say and roll my eyes. Edward. I am butt ass naked in front of Edward Cullen. "What are you doing here?" I hiss at him in the darkness." "I can see that. I check the backyard for signs of any movement before I shut and latch the sill. I'm surprised to see that it's almost midnight. Someone who has not grown up around nudists and still thinks boobs are a big effing deal. Popping in my ear buds.was gonna. I sit up much too quickly and look towards the glass that's filtering in the small amount of light." he mumbles lowly. I reach for my iPod. God hates me. "I'll be back. "I'm sorry…I…uh…" Edward.

Reaching the top of the stairs. "And the spooning after dark?" I ask as I settle back onto the mattress. "You've been here all of a year and you think you know me and my family?" I bit my tongue so hard it made tears spring to my eyes. "I can see what you're trying to do. that comes with being a Cullen. He closes the book in his lap and stands to his feet so that he can return it to the proper place in my collection." "Bull. "Is that weird? Do you want me to stop?" A fleeting thought enters and exits my mind: Edward holding me in the darkness compared to sleeping alone. ." I let out a hollow laugh. a chill quiet where everyone just…is." "Good. taking in his cocky demeanor and the way his body is leaning against the shelf. There are certain standards that must be maintained. "I have no idea. suddenly looking uncomfortable. "No. but not because no one is here. It's like. "What's your obsession with climbing into my window?" I whisper with a shake of my head." Edward turns and leans against the book shelf. "What's an act?" "You. He's so beautiful that I can barely believe he's human." "What would you know about it?" He snickered. Edward?" The question sort of falls out of my mouth before I can process it. I look back at him. This. Whatever is inside of you wants out. don't cry. isn't it?" Edward takes a step in my direction and I brace myself for him to yell at me. Shit.I'll never get back to sleep now. "Your house is quiet. "You're just as unhappy with who you are as the rest of us. lowering himself to his knees to look into my eyes." he responds. My house is quiet because no one is ever there. He startles a bit and for a flash of a second I can see his wall begin to come down." he says quickly. and you're too chicken shit to be who you're really supposed to be because of social obligation. "Wait. Instead. His mouth perks up into a smirk. just like I told him to be. "Who are you really. I brace myself to find that Edward has escaped into the night. he plants himself directly in front of me." I point at his chest. taking my cheeks in his hands. "What do you mean?" He cocks an eyebrow and folds his arms across his chest. Constantly conflicted. "Do you really think that your family wouldn't want you to be happy? You should rethink that." It's all he says while he stares at me intently from across the dimly lit room. This is all an act. But he's as still as can be in the chair. I'm sure they would be elated to find out that you're talented and smart…instead of some jock party boy with a reputation." "Well. really.

" he murmurs. resting his forehead against the crook of my neck." "How?" "We could take this thing too far. There are a million tiny little earthquakes shaking my frame." he whispers. making me hot and flushed with desire. Edward. moaning softly into his mouth while his hands continue their descent down my back and under the remainder of the comforter covering my body." My instinct is to lean into his hand and I do. but I must. wrapping around me like a boa constrictor. "Edward…I'm…" I begin to tell him the truth when he moves in to close the gap. "There's something about you. He's breathing raggedly as he looks down . I just feel responsible for you?" His thumbs trace light circles over my cheeks. My hands begin to shake and I pull the comforter closer to my body to stop the shivering. and rests his lips against my own. ignoring the fact that the blanket has fallen away from my arms and I am now naked against his chest. "Breathe. His breath is moist against my lips and I can sense them hovering above my own."I'm not crying. "And so damn soft. And you keep me safe…" His mouth opens a little and he sighs. My mind is reeling with his cryptic words and I grip the front of his shirt. pulling on my lower lip with his teeth and strengthening his grip on my face. "You could always get hurt." His voice is filled with wonder and I'm fighting to remember every touch he's applying to my body. staring at my mouth. taking my air from me again." he instructs me. It's so incredibly different than Stefan. Edward's hands move down just enough to rest on my chin and he rises up in his knees. His face shifts and he makes this massively sexy grunting sound under my ear that causes my eyes to roll into the back of my head." "Why do you care?" I can barely get the words out. filled with a need I've never felt before. "In three weeks someone could be hurt. Isabella. My fingers release the blanket and I place my hands over his where they rest on my face. His tongue rolls out of his mouth. but it's like his proximity is suffocating me. originating in my legs and travelling upwards so fast that I can't stop my physical reaction to it. You're doing everything you can to give me what I asked you for. in between my willing lips and I mimic the movement. I can't pinpoint it. and I briefly wonder if this is what Eve felt like after she damned humanity to a life of shame and knowledge. "See? You're a good person. His hands drop across my neck and down my shoulders. settling my cheek against his palm. Isabella. You remind me of someone…" I can feel the tremor start just below the surface of my skin." he mumbles against my lips. "You don't have to…" I gasp out when his mouth pulls away from mine. pulling him closer. I don't want to be the one to do that to you. and I try to take in a breath. I can feel his hands on my sides and he tenses all of a sudden. It dawns on me that I am naked. "I know. Isabella. "I can't figure it out really. "You're warm. This is not the same at all…Edward's touch is claiming my body. "I just can't…not…I don't know…" He kisses me again. his face as close to mine as it can be without touching.

The whimper that escapes from my mouth surprises me. continuing to stare at his hands on my skin. "If you keep doing that. causing another set of earthquakes to erupt inside of my body. I'm about to explode. A strange sound erupts from my throat. unable to move them because I am mesmerized by what he's doing and how it makes me feel. his eyebrows knit together and lips pulled between his teeth. "Jesus. raking his fingers through his hair. I won't be able to stop you. "I didn't hear what you said. He looks like he's in come sort of physical pain. looking away. unsure of whether or not he even heard what I initially stated. "Holy shit…" I gasp." "What?" He asks. My fists are on fire from the way I'm gripping onto the sides of his shirt. It's some sort of seductive dance that he's doing with his tongue across my skin. "I can't think when I'm around you. His eyes are glazed over and unfocused as his hands finally journey upwards and his thumbs brush across the underside of them. yanking his head away from the intense pleasure that he's creating." He nods his head and stands up and suddenly I am face to face with the zipper of his jeans. I can't control myself anymore and I fist his hair hard. tender with arousal. a squeak of pleasure as his lips wrap around one and he pulls it between his teeth to suckle gently at first. His lips trail whisper quiet over every inch and I'm pulsating with pain in between my thighs. I jerk as a shiver runs through me." "I said we should stop for tonight. Edward laughs slightly and moves his arm to block it. We're both watching as his palms shift to cup both breasts completely and he applies soft pressure to them. . his eyes opening fully to gage my honesty. "They're perfect. His face dips and he kisses one calmly. He runs both thumbs over the swell higher and ghosts them across my aching peaks. Dear God…this can't be real. "And I've dreamt of this for too long to be able to say no." he breathes." he whispers in the valley between them." I whisper. Edward lets out this desperate sounding air from his lungs as he leans away. tracing patterns around and between these objects in his hands. "I did that?" I ask in amazement." I barely get out of my mouth." "I know the feeling. squeezing and kneading them lightly. the ripple effect making my nipples stiffen under his gaze. a type of punishment I've never been subjected to before. I've never had a reaction like this before. "Huh?" I where his hands have settled just under my breasts. It's too much. I lift a hand to stop him and stare in awe at the massive bulge in my eye line.

" He licks his lips and steps towards me. My fingers move across the shape and I can feel when I've reached the head.He lets out a weird huffing sound and shakes his head. Without thinking." I blurt out in wonder. letting out a surprised squeak when my hand comes into contact with it. working my hand fervently against his jeans. I'm covered from the waist down. running my thumb across the obvious ridge that I can feel through his denim." I promise him. "Which is why it hurts. So…I'll go. "Does this feel good?" I ask and make a pass over it again. There is a hesitation before I turn my face and kiss his lips softly. given that this is Edward Cullen." He's cocking his eyebrow at me again and I blush under his gaze. "If I stay…" he swallows loudly and bites my lip gently. "We didn't wear clothes. the blanket between us while he rests between my legs. "Umm." he says like he's ashamed. . He leans against me and I shift onto my back so that he's hovering above me." "Does it hurt?" I ask. but he misses and hits the side of my mouth instead. "Just this." His eyes go wide with the explanation and he shrugs like that's good enough for him. "It's kinda bent or something?" I don't know why it comes out as a question." "I can't promise that this will stop." he warns. "Fair enough. We won't. and his mouth is wide open while he watches me rub against him over and over. "Okay." I plead. bending to kiss my cheek. "Yes…" He responds like I am a child." His hand dips below the waistband and he adjusts himself carefully. I shake my head no. "It's so hard. "No. wondering if I'll ever get to really see it. "I thought you weren't a virgin." he moans and I can't help the flush of warmth that shoots through my abdomen. then…" I don't move since I'm unsure of what to do. yeah. finally looking away to his face. "Bella. It seems to be a perfect specimen of cock and I'm only slightly surprised. remember? I've never seen one caged up like that before. He's holding himself above me like a bomb is about to explode. after all. pulling his shirt over the head peeking out above his boxer line. So…like you said." he grinds out between his teeth. "Isabella. I snake my hand between us and run my palm across his zipper again. We should stop. "Don't go. my knuckles hitting my clit with each pass. I palm it through his jeans. "Yes. but the shape of it is captivating. I watch unabashedly.

" "Oh." he states and lifts his face to gaze into my eyes. "Oh God…" My eyes fly open to watch his face as it contorts in agony and pleasure mixed together. "You feel it too. technically you're my girlfriend. propping himself up on one elbow and covering my hand with his own. his hips still shifting against my our hands. "So good." I whimper as the white lightning explodes around me." He's stating things again." "I mean. "Bella…I'm gonna come. Edward. causing me to clutch my free hand to his neck. but slower and more gentler than before. slowing it down. and it takes me completely by surprise. I was in it. glancing towards our fingers entwined between my legs." He lifts our hands and stares at our fingers. "Edward. this isn't weird." I agree. "Yeah…that was intense. But I get what you're saying. and molding my fingers around his girth. and his pelvis is rocking into my hand. Too much collateral damage." I admit quietly. He sets his jaw and opens his lids to look me over." he confesses as his teeth clamp down on my lower lip. This was okay. It's the most intense orgasm I've experienced in my short life. Right." I manage to croak out." His frame does relax and he sinks onto the mattress next to me as we stare up at the ceiling. all air and sound escaping my body. My hips are lifting against each movement of our fists. right?" He smiles a little and kisses my hand again. too. "Do you want to come over and have dinner with my parents this week?" Edward's face kind of scrunches up and he turns to face me. Of course. My knees rise up and I bow off of the mattress suddenly. "Right. you're right. "No…that was weird. Silently. but we're working against each other in a steady rhythm with our hips. He makes a choking sound and rests onto me more forcefully. wrapped around each others." "So. "I didn't know that could happen. Kinda instigated some. Relax. so that our hands are between us. "If I come over and you introduce me as your boyfriend. he brings them to his lips and gives them a gentle kiss. "Are you okay?" He asks. His mouth finds mine and I start to moan and gasp as the hot waves in my abdomen move like warm molasses in between my thighs and settles. "Yeah.Edward shifts slightly. waiting for his eyes to open. "Edward?" I call quietly into the darkness. creating sparks that increase with the speed of our bodies. it could end really badly in a few weeks when this is over. . He turns to look at me instead of answering. His knuckles are now the ones hitting my clit and my mind goes foggy at how different it feels with his hand instead of my own.

humiliated." I almost screamed. It's what he does. "That is not worth it. I could hear his voice resonate across the laminate flooring. Like a lamb for the slaughter. She appeared to be confused and looked around to see if anyone was around that she could talk to. "James's an asshole. Bree. In the middle of the throngs of students. Edward had a hand around my arm to stop me from making a scene. And I stayed awake counting his breaths. leaning against the locker next to mine." I reminded him. she tapped James on the shoulder again and he finally faced her. "What if she thinks he is?" He shook his head and directed me towards my locker. someone caught my eye. "That son of a bitch. and Edward walked with me through the Commons area so that I could get some information from the bulletin board. She walked up to the group of people where James stood and she tapped him shyly on the shoulder." "Worth what?" He asked.For a moment in the midst of my post orgasmic high. forcing back tears as I realized that I really was in love with him and I would lose him soon. At lunch I looked for Bree. smiling wide and looking nervous." My hands clenched into fists and I turned swiftly to face Edward." He said it like it was just part of who the bastard was. holding my back to his chest while he slept silently and as still as stone. She was making her way through the crowds of people towards James. Her eyes were shining and her cheeks were pink with excitement. tears brimming in her eyes. "James is not worth it. In a last ditch effort. I had forgotten that this was all a game. "Selling your soul. The entire thing was surreal. but wasn't surprised . echoing down the hallways. He stayed again that night. I watched James make a hand job motion with his hand and laugh with his friends. "It's sick. /*/*/*/*/*/ Wednesday we made it to school early. dressed in a sweet white summer dress. And that was when James took the opportunity to lean into her ear and whisper something so horrifying that the poor girl burst into tears and ran out of the room in hysterics." The remainder of the day went by in a blur. "She'll be fine. I could only assume that this was her wedding attire and that she was on her way to present herself to James. He barely glanced over his shoulder at her and then turned back around. I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that everything was not okay. "What do you want?" Bree's entire body language changed and she looked down at her feet." he assured me.

Alice placed a hand on my shoulder and I shrugged her off." Alice's eyes were huge and her fingers were tugging at her bottom lip. "It's not worth it. "Bad night?" He asked quietly. You?" "I guess I've gotten used to being with you." My eyes rested on Edward's and my lip trembled. The school was eerily quiet as we walked inside." I cried quietly. I couldn't shake the mental picture of her poor soul being shattered into pieces in front of the entire school. The room shifted a little under my feet and I dropped my books to the floor. Even as I went to sleep that night…alone. I barely registered talk of the camping trip. /*/*/*/*/*/*/* .when I saw her seat empty at her table. "I told you both that it could have been stopped. Because I almost said. And when I woke up I felt like I'd run a marathon. My dreams were a never ending loop of her face before and after. And I paid no attention to Edward's kiss on the cheek as he dropped me off at my house after school. "About Bree…" My heartbeat began to pump viciously in my ears. "I knew it…I knew it. Edward looked as bad as I felt when he arrived to pick me up. Judas. My muscles were tense and my jaw hurt from grinding my teeth all night. "Hear what?" He asked. having told Edward that I wanted to be by myself tonight. What good is having the kind of power that you have if you do nothing with it?" I bent and picked up my books. Victoria's seat was empty too because she was perched on James' lap. All she wanted was to be…one of…" I choked as the last of the sentence started to leave my mouth. "Nightmares. "All she wanted was to be liked. Edward didn't speak and then I heard a quiet voice call from his side. Vandalism made people act like that sometimes. watching my tears hit the floor silently as a sob wracked my body. 'us'. and the somber looks on people's faces reflected my inner mood." he admitted without looking at me. no. But. We stopped at my locker and I scanned the hallways to see if there was anything obvious that had happened. I didn't listen to any of the teachers as I finished my day. The air between us was tense and I wasn't in the mood to fight it. "Did you hear?" I tilted my head to look at Alice who had planted herself by his leg. "She killed herself last night.

"Tom Petty?" She laughs. resting it over her shoulder. Too quiet. You're not a fifty year old guy who just aged well and likes to pretend to go to High School for kicks. She's really good at shutting people out and it's becoming increasingly more frustrating as we spent additional time together. not sorry. not sorry.) I won't be sorry at all (Not sorry at all. Like movies and music. Instead of saying anything else. are ." It's enough to make her smile. "I told my mom. I reach over and brush her hair from her face. Steve Miller or Buffet. No. No." Bella challenges me with her eyes.I'm not sorry at all (Not sorry at all. "I didn't tell her all of that. staring out the window. "My dad always jokes that every generation thinks they're the first to discover Petty. hoping to pull her from the small corner of her brain that she seems to be curled up in. You sure know a lot about old stuff. "Do your parents know you're skipping today?" I ask. "So…your mom knows you're spending the night in a tent with me?" Her mouth twitches a little and she slides her eyes toward me as she lets out a small laugh. "What?" I ask. pretending to be appalled. Bella shifts a little in her seat and shakes her head back and forth in what I can only discern as amusement. Just like I don't tell her about your nocturnal tree climbing habit. And then I remember that she's using me and I get conflicted and confused. as I seem to feel more and more lately. "How dare you suggest that I don't know good music? This shit is Classic.) I'd do it over again ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 6 /*/*/*/*/*/* EPOV She was quiet. I turn up the radio and sing along quietly to the music spilling from the speakers. I wonder if I could ever truly be like that and care for other people like she seems to. I've noticed that about you. "You know. obviously. Her heart is so tender and she's so…open to different kinds of people. and I relax a little knowing that she's not too far gone because of the Bree situation." she responds quietly. Guess he's right…" My hand reaches out and I turn down the music.

. I stop her from leaving the car. The second time… We pull up to the campground right behind the rest of the caravan of people from our class. Emmett scratches the back of his neck and looks towards where the girls have disappeared into the woods. Swan. scaring her and making her jump a little. I can see Riley watching from my periphery and I need to continue to piss on my territory until he gets the damn hint. Jasper pats me on the back and makes a caveman sound. Reaching for her arm. "You're gonna be okay." I drop my voice like I'm telling her a secret." Within minutes she is gone and all of the guys are left to set up the tents. his arms flailing in the air and trying to grip onto the soil below as Emmett swings him back and forth across the dirt and grass. "Sounds good. Newt?" Riley's calling from his tent." I laugh and try to bite back my smile. and Em has him upside down and face in the dirt before we can even blink. Her cheeks are a pleasant pink and I start to think about other pink places on her body… Alice appears at Bella's door. bracing herself. "Getting a good look at Emmett's junk. and suddenly I feel lighter than" Her brow is quirked defiantly. "I'm ninety…" She throws her head back and laughs. her eyes closing and then reopening when I pull away. Want I should remind you?" Emmett yells at him. "Sorry!" Alice says. "I could always wait until Jessica comes back so I can show her what a real Johnson looks like…" Mike is running full force at Emmett in seconds. I open the door and watch as Alice and Rose tumble from Emmett's Jeep." "Be a man. Scratch that. all chipper smiles and fairy dust. I lean over the console and give her a quick kiss on the lips. actually. Jasper and I laugh while Mike screams like a little girl. "This is bull shit." I call to her and she raises her chin a little. Newt. right?" She nods slightly and looks down at her lap. "I really love your peaches. There seems to be a ridiculous amount of seniors spilling out of cars and onto the camp grounds. "So…like I was saying…" "Shut up. "You're the cutest thing that I ever did see…" They sing to each other. laughing and singing loudly as music filters into the air. shaking his head as he starts to drive his stakes into the ground. and she's being playful…I'm relieved that a part of her is back. thrusting a thumb into the top of his waistband. This may be the first time in my life that I've had this kind of friendship with a girl." Newton calls from his tent. "Hey. "Actually. "The girls were going to head out and see how far the waterfall is." he grunts. "Time to make home for women. They should help too. It's a little obnoxious how many of our classmates have come along. "I am a man. She kisses me back softly. wanna shake your treeeeeee…" Bella bursts into laughter and gives me a pointed look. Want to come?" Bella's eyes flick to mine and she looks away again.

" I tease her. the hell you will. huh?" It's flirtatious and I smile wide at her. causing a puff of dirt to rise into the air. settling piggy back and locking her ankles across my hips.Yorkie and Riley don't seem to have one specific female companion for this trip." She shakes her head in irritation and marches past Emmett to where their tent has been abandoned. Riley's eyes glance over me once. Jasper grabs hold of Alice and puts her on his back. "I guess we have to do everything around here." "Step off. others join until I don't know who is who in the mix of arms. Obviously. "Screw that. Bella's arms locked tightly around my neck and her face tucked into my shoulder. grabbing her and slinging her over my back."I can go hunt while you nest. stopping at the clearing and tapping Bella on the leg to let her know that it's okay to breathe again. His retort is instant. taking a comical fighting stance. giving me an innocent look. "We leave you alone for ten minutes and it turns into this." Alice slaps my arm out of nowhere and steps on my foot." "You don't even trust Jasper?" She laughs." we hear Rose yell above the grunting and cheap shots being thrown around. "Oh. Riley?" I call to him. Jasper ducks low and rams Em in the gut and they land in the dirt. you shit head. "I have dibs on Cullen's mom…" Emmett drops Mike on his head in the dirt. "No. "My man uses those gifts on me. That's not going to happen." Bella offers. "Which of your regulars are you going to lure into your tent. "Race ya. grinning while we watch Rose begin to assemble her tent on her own. He's like mental Viagra…or the female equivalent. wondering if he's planning on trying to get Bella in there. I'm hitting the waterfall…" "I'll show you where it is. so I jump into the mix. I run as fast and as hard as I can with her on my back. "Ten minutes." Jasper calls to him. and I'm more than a little interested in who they try to lure into the eight man tent that they are setting up. I point at him and laugh loudly. rolling around and wrestling. . Smooth talking bastard. And like a gunshot we're off. I am required to fight for my mother's honor. kicking up grass and dirt in the process. knowing full well that he can hear the venom in my voice. only. I get on my feet and pull Jasper to standing. "Fight you for her. Bella steps up next to me and sighs. "Your Mom. harpy. and Jasper is only a step or two behind me when I spot a break in the trees and slow to a jog." "Whoa." Jasper snickers and pats his shorts." I say with narrowed eyes. "I'm not leaving you alone with Jasper. legs and jaws that are pummeled in a good natured scrap." he challenges with a wiggle of his eyebrows. and I stiffen." he says. getting in a few well placed elbow jabs and shin kicks. Rapidly.

" I admit quietly. In a move that I can only decipher as being her attempt at bravado. splashing and yelling beneath us until it's just the two of us alone on the rock. Taking a deep breath. "Yeah." I squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath as a strange feeling washes over me. I take a step forward and she stiffens a bit. I remove my shoes and socks. trying not to disturb the natural habitat. She stands back and watches curiously as clothes are discarded and body parts are revealed in the bright daylight. skidding to a halt before they fall over the cliff ledge. watching the brown turn lighter in the sun and flecks of gold appear near her pupils. It was weird." We listen as all of their bodies hit the water. but she stays quiet instead." . "Damn. "So are you. hooting and screaming loudly. "Skinny dip!" Bella doesn't even flinch as I set her on the ground. Did I say something wrong?" She asks. her hands clenching at her side and her eyes darting toward the water. "Not participating?" She seems to come out of whatever daze she's in and blinks a couple of times. "It's beautiful. I move to stand in front of her and place a finger under her chin to tilt her face towards mine. toeing her shoes off and finally standing before me in just her bra and underwear. Her hair gets caught up by a breeze and I watch as a couple of locks dance about her face and snake across her breasts. My eyes fall to her bra and I fiddle with my belt some more as she drops her shorts to her feet and steps out of them. Emmett purses his lips and rubs his hands together." I tell her. looking in her eyes. I love this place. She swallows quickly and pulls her shirt over her head. The rush of the waterfall fills my ears and I can smell the fresh water as it surrounds us. watching her eyes snap downward at the movement. I respond by unlatching my belt and popping the button on my shorts. following people with her eyes as our classmates are ogling each other and staring at inappropriate places. "I'm sorry. She kind of looks like she wants to say something. And then we're standing completely naked in front of each other. "No. her nipples puckering under the touch and silent breeze. I just had a déjà vu moment or something. and then my shirt and I turn towards her. Never dropping her gaze. cocking a brow at her as I fiddle with my belt. staring. I can't help but look over her form while I let my shorts and boxers fall into a heap at my feet.The sun is beating down on the rocks and twinkling off of the serene water that is undisturbed by human touch. Apparently. she locks eyes with me and reaches behind her back to remove her bra." Bella whispers over my shoulder. she slides her thumbs into the sides of her underwear and rolls them down so that she can discard them with the rest of her attire. My eyes open and I frown. She lets out a soft breath and smiles. I am. my cohorts are not as worried about disturbing nature because they break through the edge of the woods. "You're so pretty. and taking in what the other has been hiding under clothes all this time.

I rest my chin on my hands and stare at her as she admires the beauty of the falls. not liking the taste that accompanies his name on my tongue. "We'd swim and take hikes. She smiles at me when I open my eyes and I can't help but to notice the way the water is reflecting the sun in patterns across her face and eyes. After a moment of hesitation." "Was it good?" I ask. "I don't think that's what we were. "Was that your boyfriend?" She smiles a little and shrugs. Resting it on her hip. "You ready?" She nods slightly into my chest and I shuffle us over to the edge. Her heart it beating as fast as a hummingbird's wings against my chest and I can feel her body tense up before we plunge beneath the water. Folding my arms on the rock. "I used to visit places like this with my friend. swirling endlessly. Her feet are kicking out behind her lazily and I can feel her foot hit my leg every once in a while. "He was a good friend. feeling her soft skin slide over mine as I wrap my arms around her. she sighs." She moves forward and slides into the water next to me." she says quietly. In my mind. Her hands tighten around my back and she takes a deep breath before I propel us off of the rock and straight into the water below." "Maybe. I pull her against me. Her legs disappear from the water and I come up for air to see her reclining against a rock. Her hair is jet black and cascading around her like liquid. sliding inside of her and showing her what she was missing being with someone else." Her eyes are clouded over with memory and I stay quiet as she reveals them." I whisper into her ear. pulling her under and listening to her squeal above the water before she's face to face with me underneath. I see myself swimming up behind her and grasping her hips." "Is he the guy you had sex with?" Her eyes widen and she opens her mouth to speak. mimicking my position on the stone. And her tits are bobbing up and down. She's smiling and bubbles are trailing out of her mouth and nose before she twists and pushes off of my stomach to swim off towards the waterfall. sparkling in the sunlight as she treads water. Surfacing for air." I say and drop my hand from her face. covering her nudity with my own. "On the count of three. I plunge below again and follow her until the noise of the falls becomes deafening and I can see the water churning relentlessly. "Yeah. making me stare and have inappropriate fantasies about making her come by just playing with them. "I'm sure there's better. then closes it again. The sunsets at the colony were amazing…and you could see just about every star in the sky…" "Stefan. slicing through it like a knife and releasing each other as we fight our way back to the surface." I repeat."My mom says déjà vu occurs when your soul overlaps itself in time. Stefan. not looking at her. The sounds of the waterfall would drown out her moans and I'd make her come a thousand times. I slide beneath the surface and grab hold of her legs. watching the waterfall in wonder. I'd make her feel good…I'd make her feel pretty and wanted and like she was worth something… .

She sighs and I snap back to reality. you'll have dates lining up at your door. My arm floats out in front of me and I wrap my hand around her arm to pull her close. now fully aware that I've worked myself up and am completely hard under the water." Her face falls and she looks over my head at the water rushing down. I can see it going down. Make sure your investment pays off. She makes a small sound of pain and I release it to attack her neck. "Care to elaborate?" Her voice is so quiet and her eyes are wide. My mouth drops to catch hers in a rough kiss. I release her and swim away about a foot." she moans and presses into me with her hips. my teeth pulling on her lower lip and sucking it into my mouth with force. "I guess I should go hang out with the others then. hoping she can feel my body's reaction to her as she settles against me. Say the word and we'll go. Wherever Alice goes. "Don't tell me you haven't seen the way Riley and Newton have been looking at you. In my head. I'm drunk. after this is over. You'll see a side of love you've never known. . You'll be screaming more. I'd hate for all of this effort you're putting into this to be in vain. She's silently watching my face as I pull her body flush with mine. And then she and Rose act like they're auditioning for a music video or some shit. "Yeah…good to know." I call to her and she turns slowly towards me. she brings music. "Appearances." She chews on her bottom lip and her eyes close for a second before she takes a deep breath. In my head. right?" Bella's eyes open and she looks at me strangely. With a light kiss to it. sucking hard and nipping at the sensitive flesh. I watch her turn herself around and lean her arms back against the rocks. Isabella. "I guess you'll find out soon enough. /*/*/*/*/*/* Alice. I see you all over me. "Edward." I remind her before delving under the water to escape the intimacy of our moment. I'll be your teacher. It looks like your plan is working. "What do you mean?" "Well. I'll show you the ropes. still gripping the rocks. you fulfill my fantasy." "Wait. her nipples rising to the surface as she breathes and rests her head against the ledge. going down. Just stay with me now. I release her skin with a sloppy popping sound and run my tongue over the darkening mark there. " I bite my cheek to stop from going further. They're just waiting for you to be 'single' so they can have their turn.

Riley." he warns into my ear. I open another beer from the stash of six that I have next to me and take a swig." I snort and chug my beer. I leap to my feet and squint into the fading light to see Riley talking to Mike. Night has fallen and the bonfire is massive. It's in my blood… Jasper gets up and leaves me alone and I look back over to where I've been staring. I'm sitting in front of it. It's pissing me off. She lifts the object to her lips and inhales. it's all just a game. "You should slow down before you fall into the inferno. When it comes down to it. I'm gonna do all the right things to serve. but there's no one there. I'm already in the fire. In my head. "No. blue flames lifting into the evening sky. "What's up with your girl?" Jasper asks. settling onto the ground next to me. Yeah. She's telling him shit I should know. My mind can't comprehend what it sees next as Bella hands over her phone and Riley enters his phone number. letting the smoke out from between her lips with a sigh. The irony of it hits me quickly and I begin laughing like a madman. talking quietly about who-knows-what. calling her name with every other step. I keep glancing over at Bella as she sits off to the side with that asshole. "Making friends." My speech is slurring and I'm tired. disbelief apparent in my drunken slur. it's going down. not caring in the least that my face feels like it is about to melt off or that my eyes remind me of the crispy outside of a roasted marshmallow. "She's real friendly. Things I should hear and laugh at.I am so glad I'm drunk right now. My mind goes into overdrive and I sprint off in the direction of the woods. too deep to get out. "Are you smoking?" I ask." . There's a coil of smoke rising up over an abandoned cabin that looks like it's about to fall off of the supports it's been settled on. "Are you trying to fool people into thinking you're a dope head. but there is no sign of Bella anywhere. yeah…kind of. She startles and her eyes fly open before she laugh and shakes her head no. "No. too?" She looks momentarily hurt and runs her tongue over the blood blister on her lip. I round the other side of the dilapidated building and see Bella leaning against the wall with her eyes closed and something in her hand. Instead of talking let me demonstrate. Jasper sighs and pats me on the back. I mean. or ponder over. small embers crackling and popping as they escape towards the setting sun. The act of smoking relaxes me…" "It looks like a joint. handing it back to her with a stupid smile on his stupid ugly face that I want to beat in with my fists. It's a bidi." I chastise her. watching them lean in and laugh at whatever stupid thing he's telling her now. Herbal cigarette.

" "Relaxation isn't pointless. "I'm sorry. that's the rumor. didn't I?" Her head swivels back until she's staring straight ahead again. Want me to ask Riley to come over here?" I counter acidly. "I don't understand anymore. "James got beat up at school yesterday. who?" I ask her. I'm sorry. if I told you to jump off of a cliff. "You're a mean drunk." "Lots of rumors. I want her." she says without looking at me. But I always knew there was someone out there that would be worth living for. I am beginning to wonder who is using who. mostly. "Have you ever thought about it?" With a shrug. letting the smoke trail from my nose." My face is moving towards hers again. either. "I already did. like she's some sort of magnet. "I don't know anymore. It's like she never existed. "I've thought about it. you know that?" "Oh. "Hasn't everyone thought about it at least once? Life is hard." Her words seem to take on a life of their own and I take a sharp breath at the reaction that occurrs in my chest. "Look." I laugh. I plant my feet in front of her and take her wrists in my hands. unbidden. "Would you do everything I told you to?" Her eyes shift towards the ground and her silence speaks volumes." she murmurs. It's hard for me because what I want and what she needs are two different things.Leaning against the building next to her. At least. "Like. "You told me to talk to him. "Like. She hands me the bidi and I inhale a hit off of it and hand it back to her. here. I know I'm being rude sometimes and harsh…and I'm sure you're confused. but it's for the best in the long run. not pulling away or offering up any resistance. We're lucky to survive…" "Yeah." I whisper in between kisses." Truth falls from my lips." "Have you?" She glances up and then out in front of her again. I nod. She obliges. You understand?" She furrows her brows and searches my face. I don't understand. "No." I immediately know who she is talking about. . would you?" She finally moves her face to look at me and she sighs. She needs me to be cold and unaffected so that I can let her go. "That's disgusting." she sighs before finishing it off and flicking it on the ground to snub out with her toe. People change so fast. "Know what I noticed today? No one's talking about her. What a lonely existence that could lead to. I look towards the horizon. She shrugs. Isabella. Her feet shift and she looks down. "And pointless. Who was I living for? Myself. My lips land gently on the spot that I created. And Victoria is transferring schools." Moving slowly.

Alice and Jasper or something?" I'm so confused I can barely string together a sentence. "Earlier this week you didn't want people to get hurt. I balance one hand against the building and rest my face into her neck. Tugging slightly. "Yes." My forehead rests against hers and I make no move to retract my hand." Her eyes are…hopeful. If that's okay with you. overlooking the water as it reflects the moon hanging in the now darkened night sky. Edward…" It is how she says the last sentence that snaps me out of my lust-haze. Bellabellabella. a strange gesture of chivalry that seems out of place after I just tried to shove my fingers into her panties. "Should I go get. hugging me to her and holding on tightly. "Isabella. I don't want you to." I sigh. I raise her leg and hitch her knee over my thigh and rest my hand against her exposed flesh. Isabella." she replies back breathlessly." she says quietly. Bella stands beside . "Do you want me to stop?" I breathe out against her cheek. angling her closer by her hip. They dance softly across the swell of her cheek where it connects to the tendon between her thigh and the elastic of her panties. I know I'm drunk and taking advantage of our agreement…this situation that we've gotten ourselves into…but I can't stop my fingers from sliding around the back of her thigh and inside of her skirt. straining to make out her features in the fading light." This is affecting me too much. if that's okay. It's getting a bit chilly and I shrug off my brown hooded sweatshirt to place over her shoulders." I'm shocked. I can smell her hair as it lifts with the breeze. She's warm where I settle my hips in between her thighs.Her arms wrap around my shoulders and she pulls me close. the fresh smell of grass and her bodywash filling my senses. "I kinda just want to look at the stars tonight. But. like. We make it to the clearing and I sit down on the rocks. Her face pulls back and I look down into her conflicted eyes. "No. "We've already come this far. I drop her leg and shift off of her. and I sigh at the sensation. She's shivering against me and I let my hand wander lower to run across the swell of her butt and down to the hem of her jean skirt. Don't you want to make the most out of the next two weeks?" "You're drunk and making no sense. It doesn't make sense in my brain. That was just not what I had expected. What do you want?" She straightens her skirt and lets out a soft laugh. "Just with you. yes…we should. And you have no idea what I want. Wasn't this entire ruse to get her to be friends with all of these other people? And now she wants to take this golden opportunity and waste it on more one on one time? I take her hand into mine and steady myself as we begin to walk towards the waterfall again. "Which is it?" I'm suddenly so tired. "Then tell me. "No.

" I say evenly. "Do you see that cluster of stars?" I follow her finger and nod as they make a formation in my eye line. My buzz has worn down considerably. or explains how the stars have gotten their names. "And I'd appreciate it if you'd tell me who you really are. I listen. her teeth glinting in the moonlight as she looks at me." I place a hand on her thigh and the other to her cheek. Her hands move animatedly in the darkness as she points here or there. And we are only an inch apart when I say the words aloud. don't you?" I blink and shake my head no. "It's all so fascinating. . My little decoy You should've seen right through. "But I do think we've met before. She is adorable to watch and something in the back of my mind begins to nag me about her hand movements and excitable speech. leaning forward to brush my lips across hers lightly before I speak. I know this girl. She leans forward and points up into the sky. My little decoy ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 7 /*/*/*/*/*/* BPOV What a laughable for a moment and then settles in next to me. It is so familiar. smiling a little to myself as she describes her fascination with the subject. proud of the fact that she has so much knowledge. I don't think you're a geek. She begins to talk of the stars and the moon. "You think I'm a total geek. I am sure of it. you know? How everything happens for a reason and in a specific order? I…just…" Her voice fades and she grimaces with embarrassment. sharing what she knowa excitedly. before leaning forward and looking into her eyes. She takes a breath and smiles. "No. now. because it's driving me crazy trying to figure it out on my own…" /*/*/*/*/*/* /*/*/*/*/*/* Don't look so blue. and I am finally getting some of my clarity back.

but the thought of him pushing me away and not getting to spend the next two weeks with him overrules my honesty and dignity. "You think we've met before?" I ask." . "You know. flipping out and humiliating me in front of practically our entire class.Who am I really? I'm the girl that was forgotten and ignored. Maybe that's why?" "Maybe. "I'm serious." he chuckles and sits back a bit. And I was telling the truth. though. It's how you talk and your hands…they get all excited and shit when you talk about books or the moon. He's so close that I can taste the beer on his breath as it slides from between his lips against mine. I…I know I've seen it before. She's a skinny bitch. I can picture telling him this and the scenario goes one of two ways: He gets angry and screams and causes a scene. Not really…" My heart squeezes and twists in my chest. "I get told I look like this Indie actress a lot. "Out of curiosity. "You should probably save your conspiracy theories for when you're in a better mindset. "I'm…Bella." he murmurs and turns his face towards the moon again. He shakes his head and squints at me in the darkness. Or he'll kiss and tell me that he's missed me and we'll make love under the moonlight… I have got to stop reading so much Austin. "Good to know. Making plans for the future without me.. I'm the weird girl down the street that no one would talk to or help when her truck was broken down. And internally I struggle to stop myself from kissing him and rolling him onto his back so that I can hold him captive while I explain that I'm the little girl who has loved him for a lifetime and who thinks of him every single day…but not the person he has become: the person I built up in my mind and adored unconditionally for all of these years. The truth is just sitting in my throat. but there's just enough of a difference in them that you think twice about approaching them? A hair cut or ten pounds." I shrug and look back up into the sky."Exactly how drunk are you?" "It's getting better.. She's about our age." It wasn't my fault he couldn't put two and two together. "Somebody I knew when I was younger? I don't know…You know how you can go to the park or something and there's somebody a few yards away and they look like somebody you think you might know. Riley's not a bad guy. in essence. though…who did you think I was?" His response is quiet. I'm an inverted image of the girl I used to be so that you'll see me for who I'm pretending to be and like me for what I've changed myself into." I whisper. He's giving me away. At least the ones that matter.

Or tell the truth. There is a very real possibility that I am going to drown…and I will never get to say goodbye. And then the water that feels like a slab of concrete as I land with a sickening slap on the surface and sink beneath. "Breathe. His face flashes before my eyes and swims beneath my lids. but there is nothing there and all I can see is endless night sky as I flail helplessly to grasp onto something to stop my fall. as I sob and fight to breathe. Edward's horrified expression." Edward smiles sadly. "But wouldn't it be great to stay like this forever? If we're frozen in time in High School…in these bodies…it would be easy to remember everyone. "I'd know every single one of these people." I watch his eyes cloud over a bit before he sighs. I can feel his arms around my waist and I relax. I'll never see Edward again… My body begins to sink lower and I can feel the water weighing my shoes down. I turn to look over my shoulder so that I can see what kind of damage the dirt has done to the ridiculously short denim skirt I'm currently wearing. The black night sky whirring away from me as I screamed. I'd know you anywhere if you looked like this forever. I fall. Instead. and it's almost like I can see him in the water with me. The trees. filling them and pulling me under slowly. My chest hurts. right? I mean. Someone is hitting me and I want to scream for it to stop. do you think you'll forget who everyone is when you come back for our ten year reunion? I'm sure hair will be cut and people will be fatter." Standing to my feet. because I slip on a rock and my ankle rolls a little. he'll be there holding me… /*/*/*/*/*/* My mind begins to blur and flashes of white light pop and fizzle." It is too much and I press my hand to my mouth to stop from screaming at him that he is a liar and a hypocrite."So. tilting me sideways. I must be standing on a slope. I take a steady breath and blink back tears. It happens so fast and in slow motion at the same time. and I can feel the warm water spilling out from my lungs and spewing from my lips while I gasp for air. loud sounds of rushing water all around me and the echo of a voice that both soothes and excites me. Isabella. My arms shoot straight out and I grasp onto a shirt. I am disoriented and have no air." the voice is pleading. but I have no voice. Panic hits me and I try to inhale at the same time that another blow to the chest is applied. I can't breathe. pulling myself up and into his chest. "I'm tired. I think I'd like to head to the tent now. I have no air. . knowing that if I'm going to be in the abyss.

There's commotion." I cry into his neck. You're okay. "You're okay. . I can't open my eyes. She sounds so worried. Are you alright?" I'm a blubbering mess and I can't think or speak. it's okay. The rustle of fabric. It's too bumpy. "I'm your Bella…" I sigh right before the blackness overtakes me. My teeth are chattering and I'm hysterical…There's not enough air. "Shock. I want this car ride to stop. /*/*/*/*/*/* "What happened?" Alice. I'm shaking violently and my legs are having spasms against the rocks as I try to climb farther into his lap. "Don't let me go. "I've got you. Commotion. "I-I-I-I…" My mouth won't work. I love Emmett." His voice is soothing and wracked with the last traces of panic. "You saved her?" Emmett. There's another wave of lightheadedness that hits me and my grip on his shirt loosens as my head rolls backwards. Water." Rose. I can hear Edward speaking quietly but can't make out his words. my God…I thought I'd lost you. Noise." He's chanting it and I can't figure out who he's trying to convince. He's an idiot. A fire. so I just nod and clutch him tighter as I make these horrible sounds trying to take more air in and cough up water at the same time. I can smell the tent. Fire. "Shhh.His hands are around my back. Oh. holding me close and he's patting my back gently." Jasper? "I'll get towels.

Please be Edward. my hips and thighs. "Ugh. I'm screaming and screaming. though. and my head is killing me…and my hair is in matted knots all over my head. I squeeze my eyes shut and swallow the bile that is rising in my throat. "I've got you…" The air is chilly and I can feel tender touches along my legs. "No!" I'm screaming. They are naked too. arms crossed over me. Something is…off. my arms flailing." I groan and stretch my legs out…where they collide with another pair right behind mine. Crying soundlessly. I'm naked. I can't remember getting drunk. Blackness. My lids fly open and I look down at the sleeping bag that's bunched up under my chin. The ground is digging into my back. My hand trails behind my back and comes into contact with the body of the person snoring lightly behind me. beautiful girl. I move my leg and it dawns on me that I am naked. The soft feel of something light across my arms. Strong arms pushing mine down and reassuring words being whispered. A warm body pressed close to mine. pulling me close and lips whispering against my neck. Chattering. letting the darkness take me under. Please be Edward. I turn and look over my shoulder." I sigh and relax. I don't remember much from the night before. I'm cold.Air. Or…having sex… And that would be a shame if the person who is curled around me right now IS Edward. Taking a brave breath. "You're okay. Or naked. The sound of zippers. /*/*/*/*/*/* Light is creeping in between my eyelids and I open them just to shut them immediately to shield my retinas from the brightness. . That's not what is weird.

I thought you were dead. "You scared the shit out of me. "Everyone saw me bring you back. . "I'm sorry. "You cried all night. Instantly. unapologetic in his staring." "You saved me?" The question comes out so quietly as I stare at his face. huh?" He chuckles and it sounds like a growl in his throat. He simply nods. "And I'm worried about this thing on your head that was once your hair." he sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose and he takes a deep breath. Everyone's worried about you…" I sigh and lean into him more. "Bella. He startles and his eyes fly open before he sits up and blinks to get his bearings. His arms wrap around my torso and he lies down again." I groan as his crazy hair comes into view. hoping to escape to the bathroom before I have to see anyone else outside of their tents. "Was anyone else there?" He shakes his head. You wouldn't stop shivering and I couldn't get you warm. After a few minutes I can make out the sounds of the other campers moving about in their tents." "Yeah. "You're awake. "No. I just wanted to take his hands and put one where he was staring and the other where I was beginning to need his touch. really. I take his move as a dismissal and move to get my shower items again. He'd saved my life…the least I could do was to let him feel me up… He sighs and rolls over on his back. so I got in here with you and used body heat or whatever…" "But it was warm last night. I smile timidly and pull the sleeping bag away from my frame." I'm thinking back to what I can remember and it's a black void."Thank God. No…no. securing me against his chest. You went into shock or something and…I don't know…" His eyes rest on my face and he grimaces." he says against my hair. "Did we…uh…" His eyebrows shoot straight up his forehead and he blanches. He nods again and leans down to kiss my forehead." Silence envelopes us and I begin chewing on my lip nervously. "Quite the opposite. "You fell off of the cliff and almost drowned." I sit up and glare at him as he lets out a laugh." I whisper. I listen to his breathing and the sounds of birds twittering in the distance." "Damn. I guess I'm gonna get made fun of for my clumsiness now. covering his eyes with his arm. His eyes slide down from my face to my chest and I watch him fixate his gaze there. "Thank you. because it's really all I can think to say." I answer feeling a little disoriented. I am aching between my thighs." "Me too.

"I was okay on Saturday. B. right?" "I guess not. Isabella. You don't really care about what they think." she sighs quietly. "Yeah. "I get the feeling that they're all talking about me. I hear some loud chatter behind me and turn in time to see Alice and Rose stomping down the hallway in their matching cheer uniforms. her eyes darting back and forth across the hallway. Instead." she says through her teeth." They step away and I turn back to Bella with a smirk. "This is way too much like that old movie Clueless…" "Hey. "See ya at the Assembly./*/*/*/*/*/* EPOV The rumors have started even before we enter the school on Monday. I think." Alice pats her on the arm with a pom-pom." "She was in a fight with Jessica Stanley…" "I heard she was having a threesome and lost her balance or some shit?" It seems like every eye in the school is on her as we walk to class. I reach out and place my hand on her ass in his eye line and his head snaps forward." "Okay." She rolls her eyes and makes a strangled sound. Bella!" Her face spreads into a grin and she waves as Riley walks by. I nod and release her hand from mine. They both break into a run and envelope Bella in their arms as they squeeze her and chatter on and on about how glad they are that she's okay. Rose winks and shakes hers in my face. If I had almost died I would take. He's blatantly staring at her ass as he passes and I'm forced to try and stop myself from tackling him in the hallway and smashing his face into the floor." I remind her. "Yearbook. like." she giggles when they release her. But I'll see you at lunch?" . "You're terrible. "There's bound to be some jealousy and gossip." she giggles. "Are you sitting with me at the Assembly?" She shakes her head and makes a camera with her fingers. "See? Near death experiences suit you. "Our agreement isn't over yet. she was wasted and fell. You're tough. but you came to school. a month off or something. "I heard she almost died…" "I heard she jumped…" "Nah. Gotta take pictures. She's clutching my hand for dear life as we get to her door.

camera in hand while she checks her settings. With a nod of my head. The gossip mill is pumping at full volume as I settle into my seat. "Jane. "How old are you. Cracking open my journal." I give her a kiss on the forehead and make it to my class seconds before the bell rings. I turn back to my notebook. "You'll stop believing in superheroes soon enough. wondering who she is. The hour before lunch is for the assembly." The rest of the morning goes by in the same fashion: rumors and gossip abound. "Hi. thanks. How desperate and broken I felt when she had no breath." I say. I can't shake the image of Bella's lifeless body after I pulled her from the water. Newt? I know the feeling. it had grown too large to handle. Especially the ones that involved me sleeping with Bella. From Bree to James and Victoria. From my periphery I can see Bella enter the gymnasium. And while I had started out correcting people. saved Bella from drowning and fought off a bear or something? Killed it with your bare hands?" I snicker and shake my head. Some sort of underclassman taking Senior classes? "Jane. "Dude. I can't stop the smile that tickles at the sides of my mouth and I'm not the least bit surprised when she lifts her head and immediately finds me in the crowd." she smiles shyly. then. And I'm not interested in hearing any more theories." she whispers. I begin writing down some of the words that have been swirling around in my head for the past few days. Jane?" "Fifteen." I stretch out my legs onto the seat in front of me. have you heard some of what people are saying?" Emmett's rolling his eyes and shaking his head. to Bella and what may have happened on the camping trip. How purely elated I felt when she breathed that first breath… There's a soft tap on my shoulder and I turn around in my seat to face the curious eyes of a tiny blonde who looks much too young to be in this class."Of course. like. and I find my seat next to Jasper and Emmett while we wait for the Principal to appear. I don't even look at him." . "Isn't that just the cutest thing?" Newton is making a gagging sound behind me. "Is it true that you. She smiles and offers a small wave and I return it. What's up?" Her eyes shift back and forth and she leans a bit closer to me as if she's about to divulge a secret. "Still trying to get Jessica's taste out of your mouth. so eventually I'd just stopped answering questions and started shrugging my shoulders instead. "Yes.

how there were still counselors available in the school and by phone. It's kind of a bad secret. and I've never considered myself a bully or someone that harassed others. He gives a few announcements about games and then the cheerleading team comes out to introduce the newest members of the squad." I step towards her and she moves backwards. handing the camera over to me. I barely glance at them while they call names. is it?" I tease her. My head is elsewhere as I write and I only snap back into reality when the sporadic clapping around me starts. The speaker moves off of the stage and Principal Santiago takes his place again. "That's my favorite." She purses her lips and narrows her eyes." I chuckle. A speaker is introduced and I zone out for a while. There was a look of intense concentration on my face.My instinct tells me that he's going to try and punch me from behind like some kind of pussy. "Someone…somewhere…knows your secret. "What are you doing?" She hisses. but there…just at the corner of my mouth…it was pulled slightly into a smile. my attention having been diverted to Bella crouching down low to take pictures of the girls celebrating. "Have you told anybody?" "Please. She looks quickly over her shoulder to see what she has hit and I take the opportunity to push the door open and nudge her inside the room. She finishes taking her pictures and retreats back into the corner as the Assembly finishes. so I really didn't feel like it pertains to me. and how the 'offender' had been dealt with. "That's not going in the yearbook. hitting her lower back against the door that leads to the Ball Room. It is about bullying and harassment. "He's not dealt with until he's given a Viking burial. I was writing about Bella. She smiles and nods." I look into the viewer and rake my eye across the photo of me sitting on the bleachers with my head bent over my journal. Like Ricky Martin admitting he's gay. "Helping you become a deviant." "Really?" I challenge her. There's tittering all around us as he begins to talk about the funeral that had been held for Bree. I mean. it's not like the entire school sees you writing in that thing anyway. I fight my way through the crowds to where she is still standing and looking through her digital shots. Once we are dismissed." Jasper threatens lowly. I calmly take the camera from her hands and place it on a shelf. Edward Cullen. scribbling away. I'd hate to ruin your carefully crafted reputation. "Get any good pictures?" I ask. She shakes her head and takes the camera back. writing in my journal as she speaks. . remember?" "Damn straight. To the grave. Principal Santiago climbs the stage that's been assembled and addresses all of us. shutting the door behind us. "Of course not. But Emmett and Jasper give him warning looks and he mumbles something lame and stupid under his breath instead. Isabella.

In the sleeping bag with me…and I wanted to touch these so bad that morning. She arches her back. I'm looking right at you and it doesn't faze you at all. allowing my hands more access to her waist. so I place another kiss along the curve of her shoulder. "I mean. filling my palms and making her quiver under my touch. "Edward." she barely answers. I've wanted to do this for three days now. She whines when I remove my lips from her skin. too. This is what High School is all about." "What if we get expelled?" "Who is going to expel you or me? Hmm?" I have her backed up against a rack of volleyballs and she blinks furiously in the dim lighting. pink pebble. But all I can see is this beautiful body that I want to run my tongue all over…" . I undo the clasp of her bra and watch as she lets it fall from her arms quietly. She shudders and sighs. noting the wave of goose bumps that roll across her skin. "Plus. My hands come around to the front of her stomach and I trace patterns over her ribs with my fingers. stifling a moan. "Do you like that?" I whisper into her ear as I tug on her nipples with my thumbs and forefingers." My hands settle on her hips and I move her shirt up slightly to run my hands across the now exposed skin. You were right there you know. and I kiss it gently. They are heavy and soft. "You are infuriating." "I'm an eighteen year old dude. your ass looks really nice in those jeans…" She laughs lightly and relaxes against the shelf. I can still see the angry mark I had left there over the weekend. I-I don't know…" "Come on. making her cry out softly. dropping her face to watch my hands as they ascend. We're not that complicated. Me too." I move one of my hands to my lips and lick the pad of my thumb before placing it back against her pretty. I shift her hair across her shoulder and her neck cranes sideways to give me access."What if we get caught?" "Then you get to tell a story. "But I want to touch you other places." My right hand drops to her stomach and splays open as it lowers to the top of her jeans. barely touching them as they hover over the peaks. The immediate feeling of relief washes over my body. "Mmm. kissing lightly under her ear. you were right in my face under the waterfall. I step back and turned hero that she is facing the shelf and her back is to me. Lifting the hem of her shirt." I graze my nose across her cheek. "Live a little. She jerks and braces herself against the shelf. One minute you're hot and the next you're corpse cold. Edward. thrusting herself into my palms and I grip them slowly. I pull it over her head and set it off to the side. right? Risks. I take a moment to remove my own shirt and just press my chest to her back. "Yes. They settle on her breasts. as the pulse of heat hits me." I whisper. Her breathing is sporadic and I pull on them again.

Edward…Not at school. plunging into her faster and harder."God. "Tonight." I'm shaking with need and unable to control my breathing. "Shit. Her lips trail softly over my jaw and neck. She's scorching hot and slick around my fingers. shifting her ass into my dick and riding my fingers until her walls tense and she slaps the shelf with one hand. removing my head from her. please? This isn't how I want this…" Her hand is shaking and she pushes against me a little. Her face contorts a little and she shakes her head. I take my hands from her body and undo my own zipper and top button on my jeans." She kisses me. Her back goes rigid and she gasps for air. She's still recovering and shaking as I grip her hip and spin her towards me. causing her to writhe against my hand." I assure her as my fingers slide under her waistband. I drop my hand to her head and fist her hair. and I can't stop the visuals I am having of pushing my cock inside of her. She pulls back and places her hand where I'm pressing against her. "Tonight. "Okay. My initial contact with her clit sends her head flying back against my shoulder as she squeezes her eyes shut and bites her lip. Okay? Tonight. Isabella. Edward?" "Yes." she moans. bending my knees until the head of my hard-on slides against her clit. gropes and kneads. If you feel this good around my fingers…" I'm slipping two at a time inside of her at a frenzied pace. Her feet shift a bit and she widens her stance to let me move my hand farther down her pants. "I had to remind myself that you'd almost died that night so that I didn't try to wake you up in your sleep and have my way with you." I grind out between my teeth. to which she responds with a moan. getting more turned on with every wet sound her skin makes around my hand. She licks her lips and pulls my boxers down just a bit more before she leans forward and laves her tongue flatly over the head. "I want you. I slide my fingers lower and in between the folds. devouring her mouth and rubbing myself against her bare skin." My fingertips are hovering above the elastic of her panties and I'm trying to concentrate on the feeling there instead of the intense throbbing in my jeans that's painfully taking over every sense I have." she chokes out and jerks forward. "Unbutton these." I tell her and her hands release the shelf shakily to unbutton the jeans and lower the zipper. "Ed…ward. shifting them down slightly to pull my cock from my boxers. Bella's eyes go wide as they fall to my hand holding my dick. I oblige. "Why didn't you say something?" "I'm saying it now. downward over my chest and then she's bending at the knees and settling in front of me. My other hand is working both of her tits in a torrent of pinches and pulls. Edward. clearly remorseful. "Are you sure? Are you really…really sure that you want to have sex with me." I growl and pull her face to mine. quivering against me. "Faster?" She pleads and for some reason it's so erotic because she knows what she wants. "Hmm. Our tongues are working fervently and I angle myself forward. . my knuckles moving back and forth under the fabric of her panties. I've lost it and am overcome with a haze of lust so thick I can't see anything else around us." she almost shouts.

/*/*/*/*/*/* /*/*/*/*/*/* . But it would have to start with tonight. And now that my mind has cleared. I would need the strength to resist her. Like she would do anything for me…and I was a terrible person for doing this to her. "I'm so close. I might have won my internal struggle. I want to stop and tell her that I'm sorry. feeling her heart beat against mine. Not for any other reason than the right one. I cannot climb into her window tonight. She stands to her feet and I reach for her quickly. then it would get easier and by the end of the agreement I might have beaten back the beast." I whisper and she chances a look up at me. Her tongue slides against the underside of my shaft and I grip onto her hair again as I feel the tightening start in my stomach. I'm feeling…ashamed for some reason. Maybe it's the rumors about us being together.I have no idea what had gotten into me. because this feeling has never happened to me before and in all reality. but no words will come out. Maybe it's the weekend. it's scaring me a little. I know…I just know that I can't. topless in the Ball Room. We might have proven ourselves to be worthy of actually being with each other without false pretenses. I cannot let her give herself to me. I silently apologize for not being able to control myself and for making her do all of these unnecessary things that she allowed me to do. I'm so close already and I can't close my eyes as I stare at her on her knees. I tighten my hold around her and press my lips to her hair. With a sigh. If I could resist her tonight. She looked like…she loved me. It doesn't make sense and yet I want it so badly that I would have taken it from her if she hadn't stopped me. and after a moment I release her hair and she pulls her lips across the sensitive skin to clean me up. I can survive one week at a time. There are only moans as she works me into her mouth and sucks me as deep as she can before I'm hitting the back of her throat and she's pulling off to suck hard and repeat the motion. It has to be a combination of all of it. crushing her to my bare chest. Not for the sake of this agreement. Cradling her head. sucking me off. Just barely more than a week. I can see something there in her eyes…and it confuses me in the last seconds before I come fast and hard into her mouth. Maybe it's the knowledge that in a little over a week this will be over and I won't have access to her. Like what just happened was wrong on so many unmentionable levels. For her. I would have taken it. With her. I can't shake the feeling and I certainly can't stop the frozen picture of her face in my mind. She stills and waits as I pulse and finish.

I have this mental picture of her sitting on her bed. Adjusting my iPod farther under my sleeve. There are certain back roads that I am used to taking. My little decoy And so I'm using you. Bella. I've been thinking. I am too far inside of my own head and need to run. I quicken my pace. There is nothing better than hitting a stride and clearing my thoughts. My little decoy ~Paramore (Decoy) Chapter 8 /*/*/*/*/*/* EPOV "It's the right decision." I remind myself. As if my thoughts are the catalyst. I pop in my ear buds and secure my iPod to my arm.You've never been so used. I was trying not to picture her naked. Heading straight out the front door. what was I supposed to say? "Hey. but I don't really feel right about it because I may be developing feelings for you…you blackmailing she-devil with perfect tits. knowing that my subconscious has led me here. but wound up becoming way too fond of it in such a short time. I do a couple of preliminary stretches and then start off down the road. and the fading light of day is becoming even more obscured by looming rain clouds poised to unleash their fury at any second." Somehow I don't think that would go over very well. with that weird incense that her mom burns in the house that reminds me of vanilla and lavender. The air is thick and humid. but she seems to be alone tonight. But. I had expected that the combination would be nausea inducing. Never in a million years did I think I would be in this position. or kinda sexy." I mutter to myself as I pace. If I was acting on my gut instinct and actually wanted to take advantage . I wonder if she'll be dressed up in something sweet and frilly. I was talking out loud to myself like a lunatic. And it would mean that I wouldn't get to spend the rest of our time together. showered and smelling like fresh fruit and flowers. "It doesn't matter. She'll be expecting me any minute. I feel the first fat raindrop hit my ear. which is exactly what I needed at this moment. Changing quickly. I was talking myself out of going to a girl's house to have sex with her. Or if she'll just be straight up naked. My instinct is to check for signs of her parents. but for some reason I find myself going another block up and two more over. And when Bella's house comes into view I groan. like we had planned. I know that you're using me and all…and that you've been more than willing to ride my dick since day one.

She's lit candles and shit. hemp wearing. and I'm soaking wet. I would have screwed her in the Ball Room. leaning against the trunk. I press send and close my eyes as the envelope appears on my screen to alert me that the text has gone through. Wiping the water from my face. I CAN'T MAKE IT 2NITE. Never before. locking me out for the night. digging my fingernails into the softening bark. She's blowing out the candles and I can barely see her pass by the window to bend over the last one. My hand shakes while I pull my phone from my pocket and scroll through the contacts to her name. That was…too easy. trail mix chewing asshole who took her virginity was all kinds of Hippie Transcendental and probably had sex with her so slowly that she didn't even know he was there. K. My feet instinctively lead me around the side of her house where my tree is mocking me in the rain. I sink to my knees and look back up at her window and text five words that make feel like the biggest bastard on the planet. . shaking the volleyballs and making her…cry. pressing her hand to the condensation that has formed around the panes. Even if I'm doing it for good reasons. After a moment. Her body heat instantly fogs the window and I hold my breath as I see her approach the glass. Her hand print is all that is left behind as I watch with a sinking heart while she latches the window. There's no doubt in my mind that she has some sort of music playing right now…like she's setting up some romantic scene in which I'm going to climb in through her window and take her slow and gentle… I snort a little at the thought because this afternoon I would not have been sweet or loving with her. Was it actually possible that it wasn't a big deal to her? I watch for another minute. It's drenching my shirt. I raise my face to her room and see a faint shadow move…and then the flickering stops. probably. but it's dark and there is no movement. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that the naked.of her offer. sliding in between my partially open lips as I make my decision. The drops have picked up in size and pace. C U 2MORROW. The house is empty. flickering lights that make me shut my eyes and grit my teeth together. then the empty house would be the perfect backdrop for the twisted depravity my mind was cooking up. My phone buzzes and I swallow the water running over my lips while I open the new message. had I wanted someone so badly and denied myself. making it stick to my chest while I try in vain to even out my breathing. hoping for some sign of life inside of her room. With shaking fingers. I can feel it running from my hair and across my face. The rain is coming down in sheets now. in my entire sexual history. Night has finally taken over the sky and I can see a faint glow in her window. torrents of liquid pouring across the leaves of the tree as I stand under it gazing up at her window.

pleading for a reprieve from the errant thoughts running through my mind and the anxious feeling that has settled into my stomach."It's the right thing. wanting it more desperately I click on my iHome and settle on some Dave thinking that it will soothe me. like it is a live thing under my skin or in my veins…calling to me now that I've said no. . settling into my couch and staring out of my window into the cold. I sit up and pull at my hair angrily. On instinct alone. I am opening my journal. I'm begging. I'm lying in my bedroom. /*/*/*/*/*/* It's been three hours since I tried to make myself fall asleep. rainy night. I'm restless. It's this crazy craving I have. Because the chaos in my head is distracting enough without adding more voices or noise. I don't want to think about it. one leg hanging out of my comforter and both arms flung over my head." I groan into the pillow. I'll pick her up and we'll do our little routine and then she'll come over and we'll do homework. Now that I have tried to do a decent thing. I'm horny and I miss Bella…the smell of her hair and the taste of her… "Stop. and I'm thankful. I've rationalized that tomorrow will be fine. Just like we have been doing. I wonder if she's upset with me or if she's gone to find comfort in someone else's arms. There's no sound around me other than the rain beating down on the wet ground. I know I'll miss her later Wish I could bend my love to hate her Wish I could be her creator To twist her arms now I wonder what she's doing right now. Except now I've been in her pants and I can't stop thinking about every twitch of her body or the low moaning sound she made… "Stop!" I chastise myself and bite the pillow out of frustration." I remind myself and stand back up slowly. the monster inside is chomping at the bit. gripping the pillow as I press it to my face. I'm agitated. Throwing it across the room. She stares up at the stars when The stars fell from her hair then I bent down to collect them And then she was gone The thought of her with Riley makes my stomach churn and I wonder exactly when my feelings for her had changed.

Dread curdles my stomach and I drop my journal to the floor hastily. . running my hand over the fogged up pane to focus on the flashing lights rushing down the street. This façade I have created doesn't make me happy. I came there to find out Find out she'd made up her mind. I'm racing out the door when I hear my mother on the landing. I am myself around her and she…accepts it. It seemed so unnerving Still somehow deserving That she could hold my heart so tightly And still not see me here.Oh. Not there with me at lunch. oh How had my life slipped away from me so suddenly with this girl? I know I'll miss her later Wish I could bend my love to hate her Wish I could be her creator To be the light in her eyes She would destroy me. grabbing some shoes and a sweatshirt to throw on. And I want her to. Bella makes me happy. Happier and more alive then I had ever felt with Kate. I sleep just to dream her I beg the night just to see her That my only love should be her Just to lie in her arms When this thing was over…could we put it behind us? Oh. Something catches my eye in the window and I lean into the glass. Not sleeping in my arms. oh My arms are all tied up To me she was blind Did I want her to leave me? This space between us Where wingless dreams fall earless Will you not bear me witness With your back to me now I try to imagine not having her to drive to school.

"Alice called me earlier…told me you and Bella were in a fight?" That was news to me. "Oh…God." Jasper says. He looks up at me for a second and shakes his head as he backs up another foot. I start to back up when I see the top of a head that I know all too well. "You remember how hard it was. but at this moment he looks utterly broken." I look down at my feet and watch the thick grass cushion the soles of my shoes. his voice catching with emotion. I see a stretcher being pulled from the front door. Had she lived here long? Did I ever see her outside? I only knew her dad was Mr. "Yeah. In the most surreal moment I've had to date. Ed? To be new and shit. "Oh. panic thick in her sleep laden voice. It dawns on me that the officer holding the grieving mother is the same guy that Bella got to drop my ticket…Jake? Was that his name? He is just as big as I remembered. Can you imagine doing those years alone?" His face is twisted in the moonlight and it pains me to see him so affected. She's shrieking and wailing and I look over my shoulder to see some adults looking away and pressing their hands to their mouths. The sirens are blaring and I can see a fire truck parked across the street as people begin to gather on the street. "Everybody back to your houses!" Another huge officer is yelling at the crowd that has gathered. but it's not my place. Everyone looking at you like you were some kind of freak or fresh meat for the kill?" "We had each other. Like her pain is manifesting itself in his body. "J!" I call to Jasper and jog over to where he's standing. water rising and sinking from the soil with my movements. "I don't know. I recognize him as the cop that actually gave me my ticket and I can't help but wonder why all of the police in this area are so jacked and tall. Wolfe because he played golf with my Dad on Sundays."What's wrong?" She asks. And suddenly I realize that I don't even know the girl that is being carted off to her final destination. Her loss is not something that I can fix for her. "Underclassmen are dropping like flies. his face contorted in pain. There're police and firemen at the Wolfe house across the street…" I'm out the door and across the lawn in seconds. There are neighbors straining to see as police filter into the house and then I hear the most horrendous sound I've ever heard. Maybe he knew the girl. Why?" She's practically foaming at the mouth and I want to run to her and comfort her in some way. Like the city only hired mutants or something. like they are in pain. yeah? And what were we fighting about?" . so I don't remember it all that much. "Leah!" She's sobbing and clawing at the police officer as he holds her away from the stretcher. We move into my yard and stare across the street as the ambulance starts up and heads towards the hospital. we had each other. And then the most heartbroken woman I have ever laid eyes on stumbles out of the front door clutching onto the police officer holding her up as she screams and falls apart in front of all of the callous bystanders staring at her from her lawn.

But her eyes are wide and she's chewing her lip and pulling on her hair. playing the part of the dejected girlfriend to a T." It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Jasper.His eyes flicked to mine and then away. And what are we doing? How are we helping the cause? By repeating the bullshit lies?" "Calm down. I don't like driving to school without Bella's presence and her smell or the knowledge that she's safe with me… I park and I can see her amongst my group of friends. "Alice called around midnight and said that she'd been at Bella's house when a phone call came in and Bella's dad had to leave." /*/*/*/*/*/* Her text comes through at six thirty: IM RIDING W/ALICE Everything feels like an alternate universe and I can't shake it. either?" "The hell are you mumbling about. You don't need to get pissed at me. talking animatedly and shuffling her feet on the pavement over and over. dude. You didn't know?" "No. Shit Head?" I am losing my patience and without sleep I'm liable to lose my cool. Jasper. Apparently Leah's boyfriend was in the car with the cousin." I breathed. huh? This? People are dying. "It gets worse. He winced." "So all three? Just like that?" I snapped my fingers in disbelief." he scoffs. I half expect her to look overtly concerned about the chaos around us…about last night. but the car flipped and hit a tree. . "Riley? I guess he's been calling her and you're all pissed. "I know what's real and what's not. She said you stood her up or something. "Don't fool yourself. "I'm so sick of useless rumors. what if you started hearing shit about me? Huh? Would you just tell other people?" I glare at him in the darkness. There was a wreck up near the Mill. "I guess there were rumors about the cousin and the boyfriend. Leah's cousin just got her license and was driving home in the rain…she took a corner too wide and tried to correct herself." "Then I guess you don't know why Leah just did that." "Yeah? Well. No one knows what's real anymore." "Holy shit. And his best friend was in the car too. Jasper sighs and shakes his head. All of it was so ridiculous and ludicrous. I've never seen a dead body being lifted onto an ambulance. I've never blown up at Jasper before. "I know you. She's spending the night with Alice. I'm just telling you what I heard. What do they accomplish." Turning abruptly I walk towards my front door. She smiles shyly at me and waves a little.

"Huh? No."Hey. no." she makes a movement with her hand. "You're not supposed to eat a lot. Off to do what you do without me as dead weight. Said it's how she stays so damn skinny…" Her backpack slips a little and she fixes it. I figured since you keep talking about the end of the deal. blah. We'll watch a movie." She's shaking her head and laughing a little. too. "You don't eat enough to do that shit." She takes this deep breath and stiffens a bit when I settle next to her. "Hi. Then you'll be free. She looks at me quizzically and lets out a nervous laugh. it would be easier to have a bit of build up? Like…we're having problems and then we can break up and it will be more believable. Nooo. "I have plans with Alice and Rose. My hand lifts and rests along her neck. She fidgets again and I stare at her movements. "N-n-nothing. no." She jerks her head away and shakes it vehemently." She steps away a bit and shakes her head a little. "You're on something." She's smiling again and I notice it's not reaching her eyes. "Be rid of you?" I hiss. don't change for these people. It's the perfect combo. What have I done? What have we done? "Come over for dinner tonight. "What's wrong with you?" I whisper into her ear. Of me. "But did you know that Alice takes speed? That's why she's so. Why?" I tug on her hand and pull her away from the crowd so that we can speak alone. Free. Bella." I spit out angrily." Her voice is soft as her eyes stare into mine. No. "Yeah. "Are you on something?" I'm watching her fingers spaz a little." I say evenly. Her head snaps up and her eyes grow wide. "Well. Not if what I'm feeling is real." "Cancel them." I call to her and step up next to Alice's car. "Why did you tell people we were in a fight?" She blushes and bit and bounces slightly. "Bella." I grab her chin and look into her eyes. and she smiles a little again. She's making sense but not really." Her eyes move around my face.. And my dad. "Boys our age seem to like skinny bitches…" her voice trails off a little and she looks away. but not making eye contact. "My mom is actually going to be home. blah all the time." . "Rose gave me a couple of her diet pills." It's a swirling vortex of emotions that are threatening to suck me in and never let me go.. "I'm not changing for them." My hands ball into fists and I want to punch something. "She's all blah.

" I whisper. "No." She's shaking a bit and I pull her close to stop her tremors. She's back and I haven't lost her forever. "Appearances." /*/*/*/*/*/* We are here together." "Why aren't I walking you to class?" I ask.Her face is smooth but her eyes are sad." she whispers and suddenly my Bella is there in my arms. remember? I'm supposed to hang out with them…it lets you off the hook." Her lip trembles a bit and I reach out to run a thumb across it tentatively." Her hands snake around my back and she gasps. "You're mad about last night. "I have to go." "I'm so sorry. really wanted to be there. Bella. I step closer and drop my face so that my nose is touching hers. Bella pulls her body away from mine and tilts her head to look up at me. The bell rings and I hear Alice calling to us. "No. She's punishing me. confused. . and my second is to scream at her to mind her own business. "I saw Leah get pulled from her house." She's lying. It's been so long I've waited forever. sadness apparent in her features. She simply smiles. "Are you okay?" My chin rests on her head and I take a deep breath. She closes her eyes quickly and then reopens them. pulling her lips back into a smile. My first instinct is to flip her off. One word seals our fate and my heart stops as it falls from her lips. For this day to come And I won't leave you Alone tonight You're my heart Moving life inside ~This Beautiful Republic (Pain) Chapter 9 /*/*/*/*/*/* BPOV Shower…check. "I really. "This was the plan.

But I won't care…it will give us both an excuse to take our clothes off. My eyes scan the rain beyond the window and I smile a little…that will be a nice backdrop when we start. I felt it in the way he held me after we fooled around. He'll moan my name and it will be my final undoing. wet with rain and eyes filled with desire. kissing me and drenching my face with rainwater in the process. He has to love me. He should be crawling through that window at any moment. I would hate for my dad to sniff out the extracurricular activities when he gets home from dinner downtown with my mom. He's obviously slept here before. . Butterflies and anxiety are clogging up my airway and I have to sit down on my bed before I pass out. Candles and freesia. I'll open the window and he'll fall into my arms. Hair blown straight and teeth brushed…double check. Raindrops and moonlit nights. wondering if everything is up to Edward's standards. That I've imagined his touch and his body. My hands clutch at my comforter and I sigh. He'll want me so badly and be so happy to know that I'm the little girl who left all of those years ago. I'm his…I'm just his. I'll look him in the eyes and tell him that I love him and that I've waited for so many years to see him again and to feel him kiss me. taking in a calming breath before I open my eyes. And there's no way he'll be angry. He'll need more by that point. My eyes close then open again slowly and I can't stop the haze of happiness that is surrounding me. I have no idea what I'm supposed to wear for such an occasion and I briefly wonder if any other girls my age put this much thought into something like this. I look around the room anxiously. It was in the way he kissed my hair and gripped me so hard I could hardly breathe. He has to. but I figure its not good to look too eager when he crawls through my bedroom window to fulfill nine year's worth of fantasies. and that I love him – flaws and all. And as I crawl onto his lap. They're for aromatherapy or something and I get a little panicked wondering if they will accentuate the smell of sex in my tiny room. so I'll kiss him. but never after…sex. I'm the star shooting across his endless night. I close my eyes to burn these thoughts into my memory. He'll understand that I accept him for who he is. I stare down at the pajama shorts and tank that I have on and shake my head…I have on cute underwear and a frilly bra. and so will I. I turn on some music and light a few candles to calm myself. I'll hold him and try to warm him. I can imagine that I see him crawling towards the window. As a last ditch effort to focus on something else. And then he'll need to warm up so I'll suggest the bed and we'll crawl under the covers. And when he does. My stomach tightens at the mere thought of the word. And my fingers will wander until they find their target: hot and thick in my palm. I saw it in his eyes this afternoon. That I've dreamt of having him inside of me… I'll admit to him that I am Bella Marie and that I love him for who he's always been.Shave…check. but it won't be enough. my entire life will change. It is obvious to me now that I am the girl he can't remember.

trying to gain some sort of composure as I hit the reply button. He'll be joking and show up and then I'll smack him in the arm which will make him laugh…because. God…I love it when he laughs. I have to get to the bathroom…and then I am there and throwing up. all feeling begins to leave my body. I can't breathe through my mouth. I set about blowing out the candles and I turn down the music so that I can get a bit of peace in this moment of screaming chaos in my mind. The pain of his rejection is so immense that I can't focus on anything but the hysteria that I am drowning in. But just as suddenly as the numbness hits me. To forget that Edward Cullen ever existed and that I'd never had been stupid enough to believe that he could care for me or love me or even think that I was worth anything more than a blow job at school. My hands are shaking and I swallow the lump that has formed in my throat. I want to disappear…to start over in another state. For some reason I see him doing this type of thing in my brain and it pisses me off even more. I feel so cheap and stupid. Laying my head on my arm. tears and snot mingling on my palms while I gag. He saved me? He should have just let me die.A few minutes pass and my phone buzzes with a new text. So I lie on the bed and curl up into a ball as the sobs break free and I press my face into the comforter. crying so loudly I wonder if my neighbors can hear me. I stare at the face in disbelief. heaving every last bit of the day's food into the toilet. And soon enough. I begin to cry. And used…like all I needed was to do what I did in the Ball Room and now I was just as much of a whore as Jessica or her cousin Lauren 'Lick My Balls' Mallory. I clutch at the blanket and shove it between my teeth to quiet the screams and cries that I have no control over. I was going to give him everything. After my text is sent. Sliding slowly. making sure that he can't crawl in later just to sleep. I stop sobbing. I was going to tell him everything. There's a strange ringing in my ears like a flat line noise echoing through my room. But he saved your life… "So what?" I sob. my breath coming out in chokes and then gags. He's not coming. I can't see through my tears. Flipping it open. I can't breathe through my nose. only silent . I can't breathe and I don't realize that I'm not breathing until my heart begins to beat too loudly in my ears. But the words don't change and slowly. I lie on the cool tile of the bathroom floor and wait for the wracking coughs to ebb a little. My life…is…over. I sit straight up and wipe my face with my hands. I want to die. I'm blinking repeatedly. I flush the toilet and tremble against the bowl. I stalk to the window and lock it. I want a hole to open up in the ground and suck me in so that I never have to see the light of day again. like if I do it enough the words will change.

tears leak from the sides of my eyes. They slide across my temples and I focus
on the warm feel of them as they leave my ducts and how fast they cool before
they drip into my ears.
I'm so stupid.
So stupid.
He wants out of this. He's using me for his physical need while I use him to…get
to him.
A laugh escapes my lips and I close my eyes sadly. I'm not the kind of girl that
Edward Cullen would date in real life. I don't exist in his world without shoving
my way in and blackmailing him. I've tried so hard to stay true to myself…but I'm
gone. I'm so far gone I can't even recognize my own reflection in the mirror.
And yet, it's still not enough.
Scrambling to my feet, I stalk into my room and grab my phone. There are no
new messages and I can't stop the queasiness that has set up house in my gut.
He's so callous and uncaring. Just like that: I'm done with you. I don't want you.
He doesn't want you, Bella.
"I know," I whisper to myself. Taking a shaky breath, I scroll through my
Contacts list and press send.
God…she's so damn chipper all the time.
"Alice?" I respond with a tremor in my voice.
"Bella? What's wrong? Are you okay?"
I shake my head and feel more tears run down my cheeks as my face crumbles
again. "No. Are you busy?"
I'd like to say that I am surprised when she shows up less than thirty minutes
later, but I'm not. And I'm also not surprised to see that Rose is with her. Or that
they have ice cream. And vodka.
"You can't bring the vodka in," I laugh through my stuffy nose. "My dad's a cop,
Rose winces. "Right. Why do I keep forgetting that?" She returns the liquor to the
car and the three of us settle into my room. It's honestly the first time I have
ever felt embarrassed by my house or my room. These girls have sheets that cost
more than my entire décor.
Alice peruses my library and smiles a bit. "You love books, huh?"
I nod and dip a spoon into the melting goo that is in the ice cream carton.

Rose is looking at me silently, attentive to my movements. I turn and hold the
carton out for her. "Want some?" I ask through a full mouth of chocolate heaven.
She smirks a little. "No thanks. I've hit my calorie limit for the day."
Alice sits lightly next to me and snatches the carton from my hand. "Screw that."
She has a spoon shoved in her mouth faster than I can blink. Her knee is
bouncing up and down and she's humming happily while she devours the ice
"So, what happened?" Rose is asking like she really cares.
I let out a short laugh and look down at my hands. "We got into a fight, I guess.
He's mad about Riley calling me, I know that much. He was fine at school but
then he stood me up…with a text." I look up and can see them exchange some
sort of look.
"Do you like Jordan?" Alice asks as she licks the spoon clean. I stare at her in
confusion. "Jordan Riley," she explains like I have a learning disability.
"Oh!" I respond quickly. "No one calls him by his real name, right?" We all laugh
and I relax a little back against the side of my bed. "He's nice enough. Just a
friend really."
"They always start out as 'friends'," Rose snorts, making air quotes with her
fingers. "I can't believe you haven't slept with him already."
I grimace at the thought, realizing again that everyone thinks I've already slept
with Edward.
"I just don't feel like I'm good enough for Edward." It's the most honest thing I've
said to these girls since I've moved back.
"Well, you're the complete opposite of Kate, that's for sure." Alice is fidgeting and
skimming the rim of the carton with her finger to gather the excess chocolate
that has settled there.
"Really?" I ask. I'm truly intrigued by this statement.
Rose nods and yanks the carton from Alice's hands, shaking her head at the tiny
brunette sucking her digits clean. "Yeah. Kate was really short and blonde…a
gymnast…she loved to shop and party. She was loud as hell and kind of owned
any room she walked into." Her head tilted and she squinted a bit at me. "She
was tiny, too. Her body was sick…"
Tears formed again and I blinked hard to keep them at bay. "That sounds like the
exact opposite of me," I sigh. "Maybe if I was more like Kate…"
Alice groans. "Kate's a bitch."
"She's a hot bitch," Rose snickers.
"Maybe he likes bitches?" I ask, wondering if that could really be true.
"All guys like bitches. It keeps them on their toes. You can't be all sappy and
lovey dovey all the time, at their beck and call. No man in this day and age wants
a woman to meet him at the door in an apron and a hot dinner ready on the
table. He wants a woman in a leather corset with a whip to keep his ass in line,"
Rose explained.

"Shit. You and Em are really kinky." Alice shook her head and drummed her
fingers on her knees.
"He loves it. Stilettos and ticklers…"
"Oh, no," I whine, plugging my ears. "Please stop!"
Rose rolls her eyes. 'It's not like I wrap a rubber band around his balls…"
"Shut up!" Alice giggles, slapping Rose with a pillow from my bed.
"Oh, please. Jasper likes it when you ride his face. Don't act like you're all vanilla
and shit."
Alice laughs wildly and settles onto the pillow she's placed on the floor. Her eyes
scan over me and she lifts a brow. "What does Edward like?"
Oh, dammit. What am I supposed to say? He's liked dry humping me so far…
"He's into hair pulling…"
They both let out a girly moan. "Love that," they say in unison, dissolving into
I allow myself to smile a little. They really are nice…nicer than I gave them credit
for. Initially I had thought that being friends with girls would be hard. But, I was
being proven wrong.
They stay for a while longer, talking me through my sadness and right before
midnight I realize that I'm not crying anymore. Actually, I'm having a ridiculous
time laughing and watching the two of them dance around my room as music
pumps through my speakers.
Alice leans into Rose's face, singing at the top of her lungs, "Maybe I need some
rehab, or maybe just need some sleep…I've got a sick obsession, I'm seeing it in
my dreams…"
"I'm looking down every alley; I'm making those desperate calls. I'm staying up
all night hoping; hittin' my head against the walls." Rose is pretending to sing
into an invisible mic.
They shake their asses and sing together, "What you've got boy is hard to find. I
think about it all the time. I'm all strung out my heart is fried; I just can't get you
off my mind. Because your love, your love, your love, is my drug…"
"You two are stupid," I laugh.
"Come dance," Alice calls while she bounces from foot to foot.
"I don't dance. I fall. A lot."
She rolls her eyes and plants herself in front of me while circling her hips in my
face. She's over animated and red faced from dancing. "My friends think I've
gone crazy, my judgment is getting kinda hazy. My steeze is gonna be affected if
I keep it up like a love sick crack head…"
I push her away and stand to my feet, towering over her now that she's shoeless.
"You really are a crack head," I chuckle.

Be right there. "Ooh. "I'm a damn cheerleader. I actually have to order them online because they're not really…legal. His eyes search my face and he frowns." "My mom sells supplements. She smiles. "I have a slow metabolism so I take…supplements. They give each other that 'look' again "Come on. "Swan. "And you?" I ask her quietly. "Thanks. " Alice is bouncing quietly at Rose's side. you can still get it. Alice waves her hand like its no big deal. Anna Nicole." she chuckles. I get good grades." My eyes slide to Alice and she's yawning." His eyes scan the room and he nods grimly to the other two girls on my floor. pushing the door open with wide eyes. She rolls on her side and looks up at the two of us. The driver of the car had long brown hair…she hasn't been identified…I was…shit. Did you know Seth Clearwater and Sam Uley?" We all three shake our heads. "Are you okay? It's a little late for company isn't it?" . I'm sorry. "I'm not a speed freak. They take horse tranquilizers and stuff. "Thank God…you're okay. what's the big deal?" Suddenly I hear the front door open and frantic voices as the stairs reverberate with the weight of my parents' feet. "You tell me…" She says it like it's a challenge." I say nonchalantly. turning down the music. they work. "Bella!" My dad calls. You can trust me. chewing on my cuticles and waiting for her reply. "Then." I plead. "Pity." Rose is staring at me like she's waiting for me to yell at her. lightheaded. "Emily Young and two boys. For a price. "There's been a wreck near the Mill. And it's the only thing that works if you don't want to die like the actresses in Hollywood." His phone rings and he picks it up quickly. I just have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time." He pockets his phone and shakes his head sadly. crossing her legs and picking at my carpet. Rose shrugs and sits up. "Alice isn't a crack head. "But they work?" I ask. "You're gorgeous. "You know how that ephedra or ephedrine shit was banned a few years ago? Well. Extracurricular activities…I need all of these things to get into college." There's silence on his end as he listens." Alice kicks Rose's arm and squeals when Rose grabs her foot and pulls her to the floor.Rose laughs loudly and falls to the ground. amused." he whispers. "These aren't the stuff your mom sells. If I need a little more than coffee. She's breathing heavily and pressing a hand to her head. They're no big deal." "What are you talking about?" I ask." I tell her honestly. She's a speed freak.

It's starting to bother me that her bobby pins are all over her dresser instead of all in one container. I know where you live. pressing my hand to my gut. He has a tendency to speed and I worry about him in the rain. "Take two of these. Don't ruin this… He agrees and that's how I end up with Alice and Rose overnight. Not that I should. it got better. please…don't tell her. He calls her a few hours later to describe the scene at Leah's house. But mostly. Within an hour. The mood is substantially more somber while we sit in Alice's room. so that's cool. Alice pats me on the back and leans her head on my shoulder while the movie on her plasma casts blue lights across our bare legs." And that's how it begins. "I once stayed awake for three days straight. Oh. Alice calls Jasper to tell him the latest news. My stomach grumbles and I groan. After the hallucinations passed." Rose pulls a bottle out of her bag. But I am not hungry. I guess. And for some reason I have to resist the urge to do jumping jacks because I'm also a little nauseous. but that won't be a big deal. Alice." My dad chuckles and shakes his head. I can give you my phone number if it makes you feel better. . "It's too early to eat breakfast. I wonder if he feels anything at all. I wonder what he's feeling. They'll curb your appetite until it's time to eat." Her eyes grow wide and she looks from me to my father in disbelief. "I don't need your phone number. Maybe I want to clean Alice's bathroom. Or rearrange her closet. "Here.Alice jumps to her feet quickly." I laugh and close my eyes. I feel guilty for the happiness I experience knowing that he's at home instead of out at three in the morning. I'm exhausted but my brain is running a million miles an hour and I can't do anything but stare at the walls with my eyes open. And I picture Edward standing outside watching everything unfold as Jasper has described it to her. But I do. My heart is racing and I'm thirsty. And I have a tiny headache. hating the dry burning feeling that reminds me that I've been crying over a boy who doesn't love me. Take two. "Would it be okay for Bella to stay the night with me? I'm right down the street. I'm on fire from the inside." I lament. It'll be fine.

Check you out. I'm a nervous wreck because I don't want him to know that I've been upset. What did she like to do? What was she like? What did she eat? Wear? What did Edward see in her? And by the time Edward pulls up in front of the school. I can't focus. But he looks pissed and he's upset that I've had these diet pills? That's laughable." I mutter. but I got her alone one night and ended up leaving because she was acting so weird.And I also get sidetracked by the fact that she has a huge ball of jewelry that seems to be caught and wrapped around itself. "You have a clump of mascara right here. In my arms. And I don't want him to know how badly he's hurt me. I make a slice in the abdomen and flay the frog. It's Friday and we're in Bio working on a dissection. After school. She's gone to Alice's to get ready and I'm beyond pissed at how this situation has taken a downward spiral into Emo High School Hell. I can't make him. Without her chattering and shaking… . Ripper. "Give me that. In her bed. Moving quickly. so I'll just become the girl that he might want me to be in order to make him fall in love with me at a later time when neither of us are obligated to have to like each other… Holy shit. batting her eyelashes at me. I'm doing him a favor by planning the break up. I want my Bella back. She's writing sideways… And now she can't wield a surgical tool. "Whoa." I tell her and point at her face. I just want him to want me but because he doesn't. but her effing hands are shaking so badly she can't use the scalpel. snatching it from her palsy ridden hand." I huff. "Jack the Ripper isn't really someone to laugh at. None of us sleep and I keep asking more and more questions about Kate. Hyperactive and unfocused." she giggles. "Are you excited about the party tonight?" She asks. Kate was so damn tiny and that bastard screwed her like a bunny on crack. All she talked about was bullshit I couldn't care less about. She kinda shuts up after that. I stare at her for a second. I've noticed over the past few days that her handwriting has gone to hell. I'll be just like her. I drive home and shower for the party. So he can suck it. She's been like this since Tuesday and I'm over it. /*/*/*/*/*/* EPOV I don't like this anymore. So I spend the next three hours pulling her necklaces apart and untangling them to spread them out for her to be able to use. She's spent most of the week with Alice and Rose. My thoughts aren't making any sense.

She snaps the mini cake in half and…licks the center. What I can't really fathom is why I am at a party with a bunch of assholes who aren't the slightest bit fazed by what's happened over the past two weeks at our school. "I looooooove Twinkies." Bella gags. There are more people in the kitchen now." Bella sighs. All because we didn't know them. grabbing at a handful and waving them around. I can see Alice's car parked on the side of the street and I breathe a sigh of relief that Bella has got to be inside. "It tastes like cough syrup!" Emmett laughs and claps a hand on her shoulder. "Hey. Rose. I move to stand where I can see her and she has on this incredibly short skirt that's riding up so high that I can see her bright blue panties." Her eyes are already rimmed red and she smiles lazily as her gaze lands on me. The kitchen is where most of my friends are and I walk in just in time to see Rose pull Bella's hair so that her head falls back and Emmett pours a shot of Jager down her throat. Welcome to High School. Isabella?" I yell to her." "What the hell." Rose stumbles to the pantry and throws the doors wide. "You'll get used to it. You heard me. She takes a Twinkie from Rose and rips the package open. He's got what seems like a hundred speakers secured from the walls. thanks." Rose blinks slowly and presses her finger to her chin. Yeah. throwing the plastic on the floor. "You can't drink on an empty stomach!" She scowls and leans against the counter. nudging each other and talking into the other's ear. "TWIIIINKIIIES!" She screams. . Tongue. making what I can only guess is a Guinness World Record for surround sound. and I can see Riley and Newton from the corner of my eye.The walkway to Newton's house is already littered with trash and I wonder if he and his scumbag friends started right after school." she says brightly. She goes to move but stops suddenly. "I'll be fine. Bella claps her hands a little and slides down the side of the counter onto the floor. White cream filling all over the tip of her tongue. "Did you eat today?" Bella nods a little. Whatever. But not as much as what happens next. but it looks like it's been going on much longer than that. Cream. The music is so loud that I can't figure out whether or not we should be using sign language or smoke signals to communicate. "I don't feel good. "I had some carrots. The party was supposed to start an hour ago. And oatmeal. I know they're talking about my girl and it's pissing me off. "Ugh. I walk inside and the floor of the foyer is covered in baby powder which makes no sense until I see a couple of girls sliding across the floor in their socks and a couple of Mike's dress shirts.

"I want more. "Are you staying?" She asks softly."So good. We're all gawking as she scoops the last of the filling out…and then she shoves the cake in her mouth and I swear to God that there's an audible sound from behind me." she whines around her mouthful. making this popping sound when she's done. "I'm tired. At this party. I'm horny… Because I actually know what it's like to have her use her mouth on my cock. Even me. and every single one of them is slack jawed and sporting a hard-on. I can take you home later. She's standing in front of me in a blue lace bra and matching thong. And finally. "I just want to…hold you. My instinct is to say no because I'm pissed. you need to take a break." She nods and slips off her shoes. And I know that the pink flush on her cheeks is the same as when she's worked up into a frenzy. We maneuver our way up to the guest bedroom and I'm relieved to see that it's not being used at the moment." she moans and closes her eyes. And I swear to you. I motion for her to lie down." she grins. I hand Bella her water and lock the door behind us. "Whoa…slow down. Shoving past the idiots I call classmates. there are now twenty-five guys in the kitchen watching her finger this dessert. And then she does the same to the other side until the cakes are empty. She gives me a sad look. But there's no way I'm leaving her alone in this room. The she does it again. And then her shirt gets pulled over her head." I tell her quietly. "Yeah. "Come on. Then her skirt." she sighs. I grab a bottle of water off of the counter and stoop to pull her off of the ground. "Don't…" I say angrily." I say with agitation. I'm dumbfounded. She licks at it again." Turning the comforter back. It's been a while and…I miss you. I'm intrigued. Here." . Just lie down for a while. I'm staying. "Okay. I can't speak…she's so innocently sexy while she licks her fingers clean and then her lips." The dejected look on her face breaks my heart. And I know that the sounds she's making right now are the same ones she makes when she's going to come. And this is about the point that I snap. but I can't help it. "Don't ever call me that. Eddie. she sticks her finger into the middle of the cake and swirls it around. And I know that if I turn around and see Riley or Newton rubbing on themselves behind me I am going to kill a man. "I know.

"You don't want me…" It's too much for me to see. Just…please. I pull her arms from her chest and turn her chin with my finger so that she's looking at my face. looking away like she's embarrassed. even while I'm shifting myself closer. devour it and let it settle inside of me. "Hey." "I don't want to be me. "Pretty Girl…don't cry. sucking it in between my teeth. "Why don't you want me. Edward. Edward? Why?" "Oh my God. "I have to stop myself from…this. ." I tell her as I place a kiss on her cheek.It's so strange. "But I want it. Isabella. "We should stop. Her arms wrap around my shoulders and she pulls me close. "I want you. I get a taste of her tongue as it darts into my mouth and mine searches it out again. For people to see me. Popular? Pretty? Liked? …Loved? "That's it." Bella lets out a howl that sounds like she's in physical pain. Her legs wrap around my back and she's pressing herself into my chest while we kiss. I know what's wrong with me…" Her shoulders sag and she leans into my chest and she grips the sides of my shirt. okay?" My lips move to hers." I'm serious." I breathe. And I can't make her see… "Do you not see yourself?" "I see myself every damn day." she states. I know who I am." I call to her and move to stand in front of her. I mean all of it. She's leaning against me and staring at me with fear. "Why not? You're perfect…just like you are." I groan." "But they can't see the real you if you cover the beautiful things up in shit. She tastes like sugar and cake and Jager and salty tears." Tears are rolling down her face and she's sobbing. I just want to be. In my arms and half naked." I shift her over so that she's resting on the bed. placing my hand on her thigh. It feels as if a part of my own heart has been ripped out. as if that simple act can let me take her pain from her. "You think I don't want you? Are you insane?" Her eyes are shifting back and forth as I speak. "Why are you doing all of this? This isn't you." she admits with a sob. Don't cry. "I just want to be…" "Be what?" I ask her. She's so broken and I can't watch her be in pain like this. Isabella. I can't get enough of her now that I have here again. And then I see them…the tears in her eyes as she covers herself and blinks. but there seems to be so much more meaning behind her words than what she's saying out loud. kissing me through her tears. No strings attached. To matter. Breathe. "Shh.

But she's begging me…and the only thing that is keeping me from giving her what she wants is the nagging thought in the back of my mind that she may not remember any of this in the morning. If you will hold to me Never let go. I know that the real Bella is here beneath this charade that she's building. I don't know why. "Yes. If you will let me lead We'll fall in love. . but I do…" And I know exactly what she's talking about because it's the same for me. I am so sober and she's so wasted."Please. This need…this beast that cannot be satisfied with touching her alone…it won't let me sleep. I'm sober. She's the one I want. She's the girl I can't be without." I try to say in a soothing tone. Oh shit. It causes me to think about her every waking hour." she murmurs against my lips when I let her tongue go. Can a girl hyperventilate from taking pills? "Calm down. Edward. "Let's just lie on the bed and calm down. "If I give you what you want. endure the pain to find no pain at all ~This Beautiful Republic (Pain) Chapter 10 EPOV She's freaking out. She's the one who has stolen my soul. will you be happy?" I whisper against the racing pulse in her neck. /*/*/*/*/*/* We won't fall again. It's all I've ever wanted…" She allows her head to roll back and I place a reverent kiss there. I hate that I don't really know what to do. Oh shit. okay?" I'm patting her head like I would do with a dog or something. "I need it.

I've lost it. I walk out the door. Makeup is running everywhere and her skin is all blotchy. I move off of him and turn back towards the stairs to see the entire party staring at me like I'm a chainsaw wielding psycho. The. "What?" I spit out angrily. holding onto my shirt while she gains a bit of control over her breathing. "Just…" I close my eyes in frustration because I really do want it. She does as I ask and I flick off the lights. His eyes drift over to me and he snickers. He's hammered and leering at them. I let him go and watch as he puts a shaky hand into his pants and pulls out the key. Give me the key to the guest bedroom. . "I said: Give. demanding it." He wheezes and nods in horror. "I told you I would. "But…I thought…" She sounds so confused and ruined. My eyes have adjusted to the lack of light and when I am content with the fact that she's breathing and safe. "Damn it. She looks like she's sweating a little and her lips are swollen from crying. Me. I can pretend that we're in her bed. blanketing us in darkness. okay?" She relaxes into me and moves her hand to hold mine under the blanket. "Rest for a minute. I knew she was close to passing out or something…her hysteria was at such a high level. But it's not."You-y-y-y-you'll s-s-st-stay ww-w-wwith me. and I'm on alert to her movements. Away from the madness of all of this. She sighs a little as I let her hand go. "Pocket. Key. I wait a few more minutes to make sure she's out and I wiggle my way out from underneath her sleeping form. I wonder what Bella looked like as a kid… Pulling at my hair in frustration. but he's too slow. He lifts his arms to ward off my attack. I locate Mike on the couch watching two chicks make out. Her hands are shaking and she starts moving them down to my belt. so I stop her by grabbing her wrist. Mike is on his back and the beer he has in his hand goes flying across the dining room floor. asshole!" I'm screaming. and wraps herself around a pillow." I hold out my hand. Rushing down the stairs. Within minutes I can hear her breathing change and her head goes limp on my shoulder." I growl." he chokes out. right?" Her face is just wrecked. I've got him by the throat. clutching it to her chest like a child would cling to a teddy bear. But not like this. "No. so just…lie down. which feels nice. He narrows his eyes and shakes his head. toppling the couch in my haste." "I said give me the key. "You gonna lock her up so she can't go anywhere? You're more of a psycho than I thought…" I can't contain my rage any longer and I lunge at him. and I can practically hear his thoughts…"Newton. even though the music from the party is blaring through the floor." I'm so in over my head. I stand and stare at her in the bed. She clutches me. I can feel her face in the crook of my neck and if I close my eyes. I lock it behind me and reach above the door to confiscate the key that should be there.

" Jasper calls to me from where he's standing with Alice. like she's sweating the toxins out. amused in his inebriated state. I turn on the bathroom fan to drown out the noise and slip out of my clothes to crawl into the bed with her. Your version of fun is so jacked up it's not even funny." Taking them two at a time I race back to the door and use the key to unlock it and then secure it behind me. afraid that if I take a step in her direction I will hit a girl for the first time in my life." Her mouth drops open and she stares at me. Edward?" I nod and turn towards the stairs. I'm lucky Newton didn't call the cops. I'll be lucky to have any friends left in the morning. "She's better. "She's just having fun. "It'll get better. thinking that maybe I can stop her from shattering into a million shards of broken glass. "Do I need to relax? Should I just let that girl up there try to kill herself to be like us?" "Are you saying she's not one of us?" Emmett's asking. What the hell is your problem?" Rose is leaning against the wall. "Do I?" I laugh bitterly. She lets out a long sigh and I swear that she whispers that she loves me before sleep takes her again. Rose. you know that. But I hear Bella's quiet breathing and suddenly I don't care. "Shut up. I'm lucky Riley didn't have the key to this room. I stand my ground. I know. So I hold her tighter." I challenge him. her stance angry and irritated. I offer to help her but she declines my offer and I'm left standing on the other side of the bathroom door with nothing to look at other than the streak of light peeking out from under the frame. but he's not as stupid as he looks. /*/*/*/*/*/* She pukes three times in the middle of the night." she sighs. "You're such a hypocrite. pulling her back to my chest and wincing when she whispers my name in the dark. Why don't you go shove your body issues down someone else's throat and leave Isabella alone? She doesn't need to throw up her stomach lining like you do. Her back is clammy and her hair is soaked." I promise her quietly. . she crawls back into bed and I can smell the mouthwash that she's used to gargle the taste out of her mouth." her tiny voice floats above my head. "Yeah. "It hurts. you need to relax. "I'm sorry. I'm lucky Emmett didn't punch me. Cullen. Eventually."Dude.

I groan at the intrusion. "We're all sorry at some point. "I want you to stop taking those pills. I lean over her so that I am all she has in her line of sight. "Your empty stomach didn't like the diet pills and liquor you were feeding it. "I'm afraid to ask. watching her face. I convince myself that she is alright. Looking towards her side of the bed. and I want to tranquilize her for a few days so that she can get some rest." I say quietly. "I know that feeling. I brought you up here and you passed out pretty quickly. even in her sleep. "But you really liked molesting that Twinkie that Rose gave you…" Her hands fall away from her face and she winces. It's funny to me that I can pinpoint the exact moment that she realizes that she's not in her own house… She startles and her eyes snap open as she rolls over and cowers before her focus lands on me." she says with a slight laugh. I watch as her eyebrows draw together and she nuzzles her face against the fabric again.I sigh deeply and pull her closer." She groans and places her hands over her eyes. Her eyes open briefly and then close again as she snuggles her face into her pillow. Her eyes open again and once more I am taken aback by how pretty her eyes are. You're completely different on them. How deep brown they are. Her face turns slowly towards me and she blinks." "I know." She seems to buy my explanation and stares up at the ceiling. "That's the second time in a month that I've woken up and not known where I was. "What? Why?" Sitting up." I blurt out suddenly. "It's poison. I was having an intense dream about fighting for Bella's life against an army of hungry bloodsuckers." "Did I do anything else? Say anything I shouldn't have?" I want to tell her about her begging and crying and all around breakdown. They make you sick…they make . but also what designs and other colors are hidden in their depths. That she will be fine and that she'll make it through whatever weird phase of her life she's going through right now." It's the last conversation we have before morning. I should just let it go. She looks exhausted. but since she doesn't remember it. "I have no idea what you're talking about. but…what happened?" Her teeth are working her lip in worry. "No. I tore them apart limb by limb and lit them on fire. Don't beat yourself up over it. She seems to breathe a sigh of relief and her eyes close again while she shifts herself more comfortably against the pillow. And as the light of a new day announces itself unapologetically through the slits in the blinds.

This is our last week…" "You sure want a lot of stuff. Or Emmett picking up dead squirrels on the side of the road.Rose sick. The room has grown quiet and it seems like my attraction for her usually grows during moments of silence like this." She huffs exaggeratedly and moves her hands to her hair. too. Since you're such a beggar…" "Oh. Bella barely reacts. You're demanding. "You. I swallow the drool that's accumulated in my mouth and glance towards the bathroom. "The best ones are always worth begging for. Especially when she's staring at me as intently as she is in this moment. Or my parents making out at the breakfast table… She's still in that bra and thong. "I know. As expected. And I'm asking nicely. "And I want you to spend the rest of the week with me." "I feel like shit. I squeeze her hands. You won't feel good for a couple of days…and I want to make sure you're okay. "Fine. It's the mother of all hangovers…" Bella looks down and notices for the first time that she's almost naked. Her make up is smeared. Oh. She's been in the hospital before because she thought she was having a heart attack…do you need me to continue?" She shakes her head and drops her eyes. But she's also in that lacy bra and thong… I'm fighting it…I swear I am. She's such a mess. "Fine. "I'd rather you be alive than dead and scrawny. so that's probably a good idea." she whispers. She just kind of nods . Like always…" She shakes her head unhappily." I concede. Her eyes are swollen and red. begging you to hang out with me…" My words stick in my throat and I wince. Sitting up and placing my hands on hers. see? You're trying to make me look like a loser. Isabella…you have no idea what I want and how much I want it." "You've changed. "I've already lost six pounds." I tell her honestly. Her hair is in this clumped up tragedy on her head. "Isabella? Will you please stop trying to kill yourself with Rose's diet pills? And will you please spend the rest of the week with me before we 'break up'?" Bella smiles a little and rolls her eyes." she whispers. I guess I can hang out with you. "Maybe you should take a shower before we go? That way you won't be so…uh…noticeable when you get home. you know…" "I really don't care." "You're not asking at all." It's there again…that buzzing in my veins. I'm trying to think about crazy weird stuff like the Golden Girls Jello wrestling. she's not really worried about the 'naked' part.

And most drunk admissions were truth. rubbing her lower back. She's rinsing her hair and has her back to the water. Maybe I could just whack off here and she'd never know. Her eyes fly open and she stumbles a bit." she complains. I let my mind wander to her chest and the swell of her breasts. mini toothpastes and tiny bottles of Scope. I sneak over to the curtain." "Cute?" . Brushing my teeth proves to be a challenge as my cock keeps hitting the counter each time I lean forward. "That doesn't scare me. Instead. I listen intently while Bella moves around behind the blood red shower curtain. That's sick… But I'd do it. I will definitely be taking advantage of her wealthy hoarding ways. I peer in at her under the spray. She has a stash of extra toothbrushes. And then it's nothing but a haze of desire as I shed the last of my clothes and propel myself to the door of the bathroom. She said last night that I could. "I don't mean to scare you. "Should I be offended by that comment?" She laughs tightly and shakes her head no. the pink nipples and soft skin. right? I don't even realize that I'm stroking my dick. And now my boxers hurt.and rolls off of the mattress towards the bathroom. she said it was all she'd ever wanted. Pulling it back slightly. My eyes scan the bathroom counter and I have to smile at the ridiculous nature of people like Mike Newton's mom. It's overwhelming me…there again beneath the surface and clawing its way out of my skin. naked form. letting the shower head pummel her supple." I say with a smile. They widen and she sucks in a sharp breath." I tilt my head and purse my lips. I clear my throat quietly. and I'm trying to be as quiet as possible when I shut the door. It's really cute. "Take it from a girl who knows…you're perfect. and when I'm sure I've gotten last night's funk out of my mouth. until I grip it too tightly. "Ow. My eyes close and I can imagine every curve of her hips and the arch of her back…how her ass looks naked and the dimples above those cheeks. face up. falling a little into the shower wall. I listen to the door click shut and after a minute the water starts. It's steamy and warm within those four walls. This is about the time that I start fantasizing about her in the shower. "You scared me…" I take that moment to step into the shower with her and her eyes fall to my dick. I look down at my morning friend and set my jaw." Her eyes are trained on my erection and she shakes her head comically. "Sorry.

" she replies. I still and just feel her around me. "There you are. knowing that what I really want is to ram my cock into her and screw her senseless. She does. No makeup. And big." she says with a smile. planting my thumbs there and nudging them to make her look at me. Mimicking the placement of my hand on her neck with my other. No false words and actions. My fingers trail down and slide in between her cheeks. I want to fist bump my Johnson for being awesome. and my heart tenses under her gaze." "Cocks aren't pretty. "I don't know anymore. I'm right up against her. Instead. . grazing over her sensitive flesh and lower until I'm stalling at the outskirts of her entrance. It's starting to hurt…plus I haven't taken a piss yet. "I thought you didn't want…this. She's real and raw in front of me. Pretty. "All I know is that I want to touch you." she breathes out against my lips. Soon. I dip my middle finger in slightly. shivering as I move my palms across her skin. "Feel better?" I ask while I move my hands lower to rest them under her jaw." My stare is unwavering while we stand under the water. "I never said that." "And what's the right thing?" She asks. I want to feel you. I begin to work soft circles over her shoulders and up behind her neck. And I want to give her anything that makes her happy. "Fine. That's why I'm doing it. Isabella. "How's your head?" "There's an evil gnome with a pickaxe behind my right eye." I whisper. She's pure and clean. pressing my hard-on against her stomach. ya know? Yeah. You jump to conclusions. My head slowly lowers so that I can brush my lips against hers. We could be good together. It's the real Bella. scratching lightly against my skin in silent acceptance of my advances. sliding across the slippery wetness there. She said this was all she ever wanted." Pulling her closer. We'll take that compliment." "That one is." I take a step closer and relish in the feel of the water as it begins to hit my skin. I grip her ass harder when she pulses her hips and silently asks me to move. her eyelids flutter shut and she sighs quietly. I let my hands slide down her hips and around her ass until I can grab a handful with one and let the other slide lower until it hovers above the gap. I reach out and run a tentative hand across her cheek. One gentle movement later and my finger is encased in her slick heat. Her hands raise and she plants them along my shoulder blades. and she stiffens a bit before letting out a whimper. "I was trying to do the right thing. I laugh and run my hand down her neck to rest against her shoulder. Her head falls forward a bit and I step closer so that I can run my thumbs under and behind her ears." I admit. For her headache. resting my thumb along her other opening."Umm.

and in this position it's like she's a goddess splayed out before me for some sort of sacrifice. I let my hands travel across her nipples and run circles over them to watch each pucker and listen to her moan. "God. making me forget whatever I was questioning. "I want to be inside of you. Quickly." I moan. Edward. I can get her away from all of the bullshit that's around us. Catching her mouth with my own. . And now I need to be inside of her or I will die. "Huh.I know what I want now: I want to be good for her. I can do that. some unseen force between us making my head foggy and light while I press myself into her and feel her drop lower until I'm sliding into her depths and her walls are surrounding me tightly. And then I'm on my knees. And then we can sit down and talk about what we both want because I know for a fact that she isn't just in this to get laid." I instruct her. I can get her refocused on herself. I adjust the shower head so that it's hitting us that far back. conforming to me like she was made to be mine. My eyes raise to hers and they lock. "Put your feet here. my face buried in her folds while I run my tongue slowly between her lips and flick her clit. I'm here if you want me. "You haven't called me that in a really long time. She shakes and whines above me and I can't take it anymore." I confess." I gasp out. "Mmm. I'm so damn relieved that I get to do this and I know I'm leaking all over the place from my excitement. pulling her down a little until her entrance is lined up with the head of my dick." "You won't. Beautiful Girl. you feel amazing. But I don't want to hurt you. taking pleasure in how wet she is and how soft and swollen everything seems. lust and confusion in her eyes. I stand to my feet and grip her pelvis lightly. running it back and forth slowly." I whisper. Bella. I've tasted her and she's mouth-watering." I pull her leg back down and turn her towards the back of the stall. I've felt her…and she's just right. Sucking on them makes her moan louder and I can't stop from biting them lightly before I let each one go. my hand freezes and I back up a little. And for the rest of the week. Her hands grasp for the shower curtain rod and the top of the shower wall." she gasps as I circle her clit with my finger. sliding my hand between us and cupping her sex with my hand. She could do that with anyone now… "Bella. her eyes rolling and closing as her arms struggle to support her in this position. slipping my fingers inside of her again. I grip her thigh and shift her leg open to move it and rests her foot along the side of the tub. showing her where to plant her feet on the sides of the tub. She watches wide eyed as I hold my cock steady. I kiss her desperately. Her legs jerk and she moans low and deep. Immediately." Her fist moves upwards and she runs her thumb across the head. "What?" "N-nothing. I don't know…I…" She stops speaking and wraps her fist around my shaft. She raises her head to look at me. unnerved by her touch. "Here. I swear.

I shouldn't be allowed to feel this kind of pleasure. pulling on her hips to get her lower." I instruct her. "I said I was…" she whispers." Her breaths are fast and panicked." "House. shaking with confusion. Said it made the lifestyle easier…" I can't understand what she was saying. "More. Quickly. And just as suddenly as I find the will to move. "Do you think I would have been having sex with Stefan if I wasn't?" Stefan. Why do I hate the way she says his name? "Renee made me when I turned thirteen. Trust me. I can think a little more clearly." I choke out." she all but moans. Swan…or else I'm taking you to my house." "It will be. I'm not even all the way in. and I've pulled my hips back. I lick the water from my lips and take a step forward. "My parents are gone for the day. It shouldn't be in my lifetime that I get to have this…it's too much and we haven't even moved. and her body…the insane bliss that's overtaking my senses is leaving me reeling. "Oh…shit! Are you on the pill or anything?" I ask. "Get dressed. I pulled her to me again and kissed her firmly." she says quietly. but honestly the only thing I hear is 'yes'. "I heard you. My free hand slaps the wall next to her head and I squeeze my eyes shut as this sensation overtakes me. Her feet slide down one by one until she's in the tub again and leaning back away from me like she's terrified. Hell…maybe even the night. climbing out of the shower and handing her a towel. "How's your head?" "Better. And that was all I needed." I press against her stomach again and lift a suggestive brow." "You want to go to your house? Now?" Her astonished eyes make me chuckle. She's staring at me with those eyes that steal my soul when they're real and open. staring into my eyes. allowing me to nestle into her completely and I'm at a loss. But I don't have condoms here…they're in my room. I turn off the water and look back in her direction where she is still pressed against the wall. Her honesty slices me in two. And she bends her knees more." "Liar. yanking myself from her and cupping the head in my palm. I watch as she wraps it around herself and looks up self consciously." "Your room.I'm brain dead. "Back out now. I panic. "Yes. I'm shaking violently and now that I'm out of her." "At my house. smoothing my .

"I'm fine. Bella looks over at me and I can't help but smile as I notice something on the side of her mouth. Reaching out. "No. you hear me?" Her eyes go wide and she shakes her head." I give her my smirk and she purses her lips a little to stop from smiling.hand along her spine so that I can angle her against my woody. I grab her hand and we rush down the stairs. murmuring that I'll be right back. I try to will away my boner. putting my hand out to take the articles. I re-enter the bedroom to see her holding her underwear in her hands. And I leave her standing braless and pantyless in my room while I scrounge around for my stash of Trojans that I keep in my bathroom drawer disguised as a box of razors. The hand on her thigh moves higher and her legs fall open. And once I've emptied my bladder and am not as hard as I was. She's fidgeting and I wonder if it's an effect of not having diet pills today…or her blood sugar…or if she's nervous about what we're about to do. "Hurry." is all I can say. I'd just throw her down on the stairs and forget about taking off her clothes at all. She stalls a little in her seat. no. making it to the door on shaky legs. I try to force her to eat a biscuit. And then my mouth is on hers and my hands are in her hair and on her thigh. "Plus…I don't need you passing out on me…not in the middle at least. She rushes out and I try to calm my beating heart. looking unsure of what she should do. and she simpers when I retract it and step back. She nods and lurches from the car." I wave at her. "Let's go. "These are mine…" She smiles a little and hands them over." I grab my keys. Her mouth opens and allows my tongue to slip inside. We pull up at my house and I park in the garage. silently asking for more. Grabbing a few. "We're hitting a McDonald's and you're going to eat some damn food. I gently wipe the yogurt off with my thumb and bring it to my lips to clean it off. allowing me to maneuver the pads of my fingers against her clit and she cries out loudly into my mouth. . so I give it to her. I have a fantastic view of her ass cheeks under that short skirt and I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't afraid of bruising her back. anger starting to surface again. but she refuses and finally she gets a parfait and a bagel which she eats quietly and almost like she's embarrassed. slipping into my car and I direct us towards McDonald's while she calls her mom to lie about staying with Alice for the day. and I lean back to look at her. I let her go ahead of me and watch as she ascends the stairs before I do. not surprised to see that no one is home. I race back to my room and see her standing in the middle of my carpet. pulling her shirt over her head and waiting expectantly as I throw my own clothes on. Her hands are pressed together and I shake my head. Within seconds we're at my room and I open the door for her. Her soft hand land on mine and she squeezes. growing harder with each whine and moan she gives me. shaking while I move them farther back and slip them inside of her." I get out in a desperate breath." "Bullshit.

Her hands are shaking as she holds the package in her fingers and rips it open. twisting my fingers back and forth roughly and curling them forward to hit her sweet spot. She crawls up onto the bed and I kiss her again. Her head is bent and she's watching as we line up. all the while watching her face as I settle against the comforter. She shivers and I take it as a good sign." is all she can choke out as her hands wrap around my neck and pull my face to hers before she comes. I smile at her and her eyes close once before reopening. She shakes her head and pulls my mouth to hers with her fingers. "Ohgod…" Letting her leg settle back onto the carpet." I remind her. It was what I was waiting for. filled with a fire I'd never seen before. I drop my pants and toe off my shoes. "Oh…" she chokes. I walk backwards. gasping and shaking her head back and forth violently. I slip the condom into her palm and lift her hands above her head. just in case. This is the girl I want to be with…I lock the door behind me. so I move away minutely to pull my shirt off and then just as hurriedly. I'm not. "Last chance. "Uh. running my palm lower until it ghosts across her nipples under the soft green t-shirt that she's wearing.The light that's filtering in from my blinds is casting an ethereal glow around her and she's breathtaking. staring at each other in a new light…because this is actually about to happen. . Her legs buckle and her head flies back against the wall when I locate it and I watch wordlessly while she rolls her hips into me and shoves herself forcefully onto my palm. she raises her face to look into my eyes. My fingers immediately began to seek out her entrance and delve inside of her. pulling her with me until the back of my calves hit my mattress. I lay back onto it slowly. my head at the entrance to her opening and when I nudge inside of her slightly. She's naked. presenting the condoms. And then we are both naked. opening her eyes while it hits. She simply nods and angles her hips into my thigh. I'm frozen while I watch her place the latex onto the head of my dick and then slowly roll it down until it's on all the way. and stalk towards her while she stares back at me silently. It's like we don't need words. Kissing her again. lowering the zipper and then breathing a heavy sigh as the denim hits the floor at our feet. tasting her tongue with my own and nipping her plump bottom lip with my teeth. so I pull on her shirt and lift the fabric over her head. She slides her hand down the length and back up once. and I lose my control. She hisses in pleasure and I open my mouth to take hers. so I move lower to slip under the hem of her shirt and palm her tits softly. "Stop saying that…" We move towards the wall between my windows and I press her against it so that I can anchor my empty hand there. "Ready?" I whisper into her open lips. dropping my hands to her hips and guiding her over my pelvis where my body is screaming for friction or touch…or some kind of release. I slide my hands down her side and then inward to pop the button on her skirt. watching her damp locks fall around her shoulders and her nips pebble from the cold air in the room.

She stiffens a bit as she lowers herself onto me. I can't reach her breasts with my lips so I slam my hips into her and roll her over onto her back. She shudders and grips onto my thighs painfully. hoping that she doesn't want to. She begins to exert control over the position and I move my palms over her ass and higher to catch her nipples in my fingers. our hands helping to push her up with each movement. "I've never been this way…" Well. "What do you want. My hands slide under her cheeks and I nudge her to move upward and suddenly there is friction and heat and warm walls hugging me. elongating her form and looking perfectly pale while she rises up and almost off of me. gripping onto my skin and her lip trembles as she brings her eyes to mine." her voice cracks with her request. "If it hurts we can stop. "You…all of you. This time I want to retain the memory of every moment inside of her. hoping that she did too. And just as slowly. . surrounding my shaft with the movement. She shifts back a little and covers my hands with her own. Good God…who taught her to squeeze? I can't think as she settles again and raises slowly. she lowers again. She makes a whimpering sound and I stop her progression. making her tits jut forward. circling herself around my shaft. Ever. Her face is shaking with intensity and I can see the pink flush rush up her chest and into her neck as she relaxes her legs and slides her knees across the mattress. She quivers and shakes. Please. It's more…so much more than I thought it would be. and her head fall backwards. Just give me a second. watching her move lower and lower. I can't breathe because of the amazing feeling of being inside of her and her rocking-swirling movements that are making me twitch ceaselessly. Finally she stills and settles fully onto me. I've always gone straight in for the kill and gotten what I needed.I've never gone slow like this before. riding me faster. "No. she angles her upper body over mine and swivels her hips. Hell. "Are you okay?" Bella nods slightly and takes a shallow breath. I stretch my body above hers and hover my lips over her peaks. holding her off of me with my hands." she asks. Resting her hands on my chest. I'm so far inside of her that I can't figure out how we're two people anymore. and it is excruciating ecstasy. She's squirming beneath me and I look up into her eyes to see her desperate silent plea. Her calves slide across my sides and I pull them tight around my hips as I sink into her even more. inch by inch. settling into her warm flesh. But this time was different. taking a moment to calm down before this ends much too quickly." I say quickly. This feeling is momentous and unlike anything I've ever experienced with anyone else. She's gripping the comforter with both fists while I adjust to the new depth and her body accepts mine. I want to die now. conforming around me and squeezing. her breathing short and loud. Isabella?" I ask her breathlessly.

Every pump of my cock. I can do it. Mine. "Yes. It's done. Her chest is rising and falling with harsh breaths while she wraps her arms around my shoulders and allows her legs to slide down and rest on either side of my thighs. the intensity between us that's threatening to make me implode and take her with me… A thrill runs through my veins while my blood is pumping furiously in my ears. I've done this… And what scares me is that I have no remorse because it was something much deeper than I had expected. . making her writhe and choke for air. the pleasure and the pain. I want her to remember what this is like. and I can't stop. Over and over until I find a rhythm that sends me reeling into a haze of euphoria." she pants. like a wire being uncoiled and pulling taut before it snaps. Which is the thought that actually scares me in the long run. taking in the moment that I lose myself in her. "Like that?" I murmur. hard and with purpose. covered in a sheet of sweat that makes her skin slide underneath mine as I lay my ear to her heart. My hips slide back and slap against her again. Every slap of skin and moan of my name. I can give it to her like she wants me to because I need her to remember me every time she even thinks about being with someone else. pulling one of her pink pebbles in between my teeth. I'm too far into it. I come so intensely that I'm shaking and breathless. lifting her hands to grip forcefully onto my hair. gripping at her hips and pulling her into me with every thrust. Mine. It's beating much too fast and it momentarily frightens me.I move my hips back quickly and slide back into her with a snap of my hips and she lets out the most erotic sound that's a mix between a moan and a scream. but she's loving it and rolling her hips into me over and over. Mine. crashing into her one last time before an animalistic grunt falls from my lips and I land on top of her. She's got her legs locked around me and I grab onto them to push her knees father back into the bed and suddenly she's screaming my name and her back is arched off of the bed like she's unable to control her movements. Mine." I mutter under my breath when I feel the tightening in my balls. "Bella. She's jerking violently underneath me and I can feel her tense and pulse and her eyes are wide open. Mine. the burning in my stomach is growing and expanding and I'm hitting against her limit so harshly. I want it always.

plastic thing that she was trying to be. We did it and now it's all I can think about. She didn't matter much in my world. And then when I could finally get in between her thighs. giggling with the girls and talking about nonsense that I knew she didn't care about. The third time was one that made me feel kind of bad because we were supposed to be studying. Nothing had changed on the outside as far as anyone else was concerned. She complained of headaches and that her stomach hurt. but between the two of us it was obvious. It's done. she was so slick and ready that I almost didn't last a full two minutes./*/*/*/*/*/* Do you have any idea how ridiculously hard it is not to screw her twenty-four hours a day? Pun effing intended. As it stands. We were together and I watched over her. We were functioning as a real couple – like all we had needed was to take that next step and everything fell into place. Trust me…I wanted it a lot more than twice. But I really. though. and her hands were still a little shaky. Her window was always unlocked and I didn't spend one night in my house. Like I can taste it every time I look at her. If I was as big of a bastard as I pretend to be. and she did seem less agitated. except for Rose who was hell bent on making me pay for what I had said to her. I was fine. As long as Emmett was still speaking to me. it's Friday and I've allowed myself to indulge in her only twice more. Newton had eventually dropped his grudge against me. I was cool with the rest of our friends. as he usually did in those scenarios. as if our little quarrel had never happened. Not my proudest moment. At school we went about our schedules as usual. and I just wanted to feel her lips on my dick. It was so quiet and I wanted to make so much noise because she was so good at blowjobs. She thought that was ridiculously sexy and I got a shower and hand job out of that display of manly possessiveness. She'd told me that Riley was still calling her and I told her that he knew the Guy Code and needed to watch himself or else he'd be in a world of hurt. The second time was in the car after school…she was just sitting in the car listening to the radio and I just had to…had to…pull off of the road onto an abandoned driveway and shove her skirt up around her hips to get inside of her. I'd kept an eye on her for the first few days after the party to make sure she wasn't doing the pills anymore. but she was sitting on her bed with her hair twirling and her lip in between her teeth. . I wondered if maybe she was still on them but just taking fewer because she wasn't eating very much at all. making sure that she was exhibiting the behavior of the girl I was falling for…not the fake. I couldn't look at her for longer than a few minutes without remembering how she felt or sounded. Lunch was comfortable and Bella was playing her 'part' again. really want this week to be over so that we can talk and I can ask her to be my girlfriend because then we can do it all the damn time and I won't feel bad about it. but the girl is the best I've ever had and she's so comfortable with herself when we're alone…it's just a massive turn on. she would have had me up in her four times that day. but way more cranky up until yesterday.

There were lame sounds coming from the idiots walking down the hall. "Yeah. The one that would read poetry with me or listen to music that I thought she'd like. B? Is Jazz gonna like this?" "You in lingerie? I'm sure he'd be all about it. When the last bell rang. I walked down the hall towards her classroom and when she cleared the door. Previous lovers Look into my eyes. She pulled away and shook her head." She let out a startled breath and nodded slightly." I smiled at her and saw something flash behind her eyes before she let a smile form on her lips. "You're going to the mall with Alice?" She nodded. Bending to kiss her neck. Six days was all it took for her to become my world. "Bye. I'll meet you there for dinner at eight. and I smiled against her lips as I recognized the sound of Newton's voice. amused. "Territory pisser. "See you then. I whispered against her skin. And yet. Perfect. "Okay." "Damn right. I could see that sliver of my Bella that came out to play and laugh in private. beneath all of that…we still had this agreement between us and neither knew how to approach it. I caught her hand in mine and pulled her to my chest to kiss her. Edward…" /*/*/*/*/*/* Forget all the records. Her head is cocked to the side while she pretends to push her boobs up under the cloth." I laughed and kissed her forehead. . we were free to be us. Beautiful Girl. It's our last date after all. "What do you think. holding a nightie to her chest. No strings attached." I pretend to look at tiny little panties that are so complex I feel like I'm working on a Rubix Cube." I moved some of her hair from her shoulder and tucked the strands behind her ear with a sigh.And even though she still did things at school to fit in. To dissolve the others 'Cause I know where You have laid tonight I'm just one step away tonight ~This Beautiful Republic (Pain) Chapter 11 BPOV Alice is standing in the corner of Victoria's Secret. I think we both just figured that once Sunday night came.

And how much you need it after that…" I open the container and pop two. we aren't together anymore. After this weekend."Why don't you get something?" She asks while she shoves the pink lacy thing into her VS bag. Tears are forming and I almost can't speak because it just sounds like I'm crying. "Why would you ask that?" "I can see the signs. Pink taco…care for me to elaborate?" She shoots me a bitchbrow and I stifle a grin. Tell me about it. "Jasper's here. catching myself before I face plant in front of a thousand people. "The outburst at Mike's the other night did it. Bearded clam. yeah?" My hand reaches out and drags the heavy bottle towards me. huh?" I sit at a table and shrug. "It's a tiny twat. I give Alice a dirty look. The diddle box. grabbing my elbow and directing me towards the Food Court. "Your Snookie. "I actually don't remember anything that happened. "Nah…My brain's intact. But they work. . Ya know…your girly bits." "No. dropping the red lace mind game that I am holding. but I think I'm probably cranky from not getting the same amount. I'm just a perv. What else would you name it?" My laughter breaks free and I lean onto the display table to rest my forehead against my arms. Alice nods her head and bounces her leg. sliding it across the table top slowly until it's in front of me. "So. right?" I joke with her and she shakes her head. "I bet Eddie would love your Snookie in a lil' somethin' sexy…" "My what?" I snort. Bella? You look like something is bothering you." She pays for her purchases and we exit the store. It's weird how fast it works. We sit a little while longer at the table and finally Alice gets the text she's been waiting for. Regaining my composure. She has to take the regular dose or a little more now. meandering through the growing crowd." she says lightly." "Are you and Edward about to break up?" My feet stall and I trip over the front one. what's up. "Oh. I'm okay. Rose wanted me to give you these. You okay until Edward meets up with you?" I nod and give her a small smile. not looking at her." "Hate that feeling. "Why the hell would you name it a Snookie?" Alice sighs and rolls her eyes." she sighs softly. "Yeah." Edward only wanted me to stop them while we were together. "You were dropped from a high altitude when you were a baby. Before I forget." She digs in her bag and produces a new bottle of ephedrine. chasing it with the water I've been carrying around in my bag since we got here after school. "The smaller dose doesn't make me as jittery. "How have you been managing on the smaller dose? Rose says it doesn't do shit for her anymore.

which is making me feel like he's a huge bastard for being so excited about the end of our deal. "Thanks. or take in the smell of him while I bury my nose into his shirt. huh?" I have to force myself to look away and blink back the rapid tears that are stinging my eyes. loading the machine and turning the dial to produce a clear dome with a red top. Startled.And then I am alone. At least the rush will kick in a little and I'll be able to fake happiness for a while." he urges me. His lips twitch and he licks them a little. Hating the way the faceless stares are making me feel. he moves to stand behind me and places the pendant around my neck. I effing hate it. his voice filled with such happiness that it makes my stomach lurch. To be forgotten. Which means I'll need more water and will probably have to escape to a bathroom for a good ten minutes to empty my overexerted colon. But I remember very clearly throwing fits for quarters when I was younger to get those same fake things. "Come on. Edward smirks a little and produces a couple of quarters. I'm dying on the inside and he's buying me plastic jewelry to commemorate the moment? He pops the top and pulls out a gold looking chain with a plastic clear heart dangling from it. covering it with hyperactivity. "Did you like stuff like this as a kid? I bet you were cute. I want him so badly. To be that girl. clearing my throat. It's really cute." I say quietly. Some stuff never changes. "Remember those?" Edward's molten lava voice spreads over my body like wildfire. Not even waiting for a response. pulling me to him in what I can only assume is one of our final embraces. . "Here. He grabs my hand and intertwines our fingers. I washed my hair yesterday. along with some toy dispensers. It feels like people are staring at me and I'm not sure why. "Not really. I turn and give a quick smile before following the length of his arm where his finger is pointing towards a dispenser with plastic domes filled with jewelry." I reply. It's either that or the pills are kicking in. It's a ton of fake plastic crap and faux gold so hideous that it's laughable. I face him and pull on the chain a little to see the heart. I'm wearing my same Edward approved clothing from school. There are a ton of choices of candy and gum." he says…all chipper and shit. I can't resist the urge to wrap my arms around his torso. and I'm not sure what I want so I stare at them blankly hoping that something will catch my eye. I get up and wander towards the little area that holds all of the gumball machines. his eyes trained on the heart. It hurts too much.

We hear a couple of people making comments and he pulls away to give me an amused expression. Death. I don't scale fences. But instead of leading me to his car. Giving in. isn't it?" His grin is illuminating the dark interior of his car. "This is illegal. He shakes his head no. Since it makes him so damn happy. opening the trunk and pulling out a back pack. Why did it have to be this way? Why did our last date together have to be an actual date? In public? Why torture me like this? It's not a house party. She's a tenacious. I am at a loss for words and for clear thinking. Or sex in a car. "It's a surprise. "I'll help you up. He nods. Some gravestones in there are for people that lived to be over a hundred. It's warm and slow. Isabella. You'll like it. My dad's a cop. A goodbye kiss. suddenly nervous about this."Where are we going?" I ask." I watch his eyes sadden a bit. "I didn't say I couldn't." . "Let me guess. "Is this a graveyard?" I whisper in awe. I exit the car and follow him while he tracks the gates around to where they connect with the start of a brick wall. It's not making out at one of our houses. because I am weak when it comes to Edward Cullen. I suppose. he leans down and places a soft kiss on my lips. This is a real date? Edward slows his feet as we approach the doors to the parking lot. Locked with a padlock." I tilt my face to look at him and he has the most breathtaking look in his eyes. I promise. "Follow me. tiny twat. My heart overrides my brain… and my Snookie beats them both with baseball bats to get what she wants. "You can do it." So I follow." he says with a roll of his eyes. This must be our goodbye. Let's go. You're pulling the old 'we ran out of gas' routine?" My eyes search his face for explanation. My heart twists in my chest and I bite my tongue to stop from telling him that he's free of me. crossing my arms defiantly. "My Gran is buried here. his headlights illuminating thick iron gates. remember?" I am not budging. It's gentle and chaste." He ignores me and exits the car. Some only a day. "This is everything. "I have our dinner in the car. And now I am intrigued." he insists. He stops when we reach a dumpster and looks over his shoulder to see if I'm still here. He drives us in silence for a few miles and we turn into a dark driveway. you know? Life. In moments he is by my side and we both gaze over the wall at the same time that my breath leaves my body completely. bending his knee to hoist me up on top of the filthy trash container." "No! You're crazy. I said I wouldn't.

" It's a pity that we don't say what needs to be said to the living. "Edward. Quickly unpacking some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with a couple of cokes and baby carrots. None of them were ever told that they were an 'Adored Brother' or 'Wonderful Mother'. "The best. though…It's the saddest form of poetry. I wonder of he can hear it because it's practically the only sound I can make out around us. "Is it good?" He asks." I start to whisper. We walk in the moonlight around the gravestones and the only conversation that we have for the next hour revolves around how young or old the people are that have been laid to rest beneath our feet. but I am wide awake and jittery. He barely notices that I don't finish my food and soon he has my hand in his. The air is chilly. He can't be two people all the time. "If you were to die tomorrow. "I like to do grave rubbing. My stomach is already full and starting to hurt a little. I'm sure that no one looked them in the eye and said." We scramble over the wall and he leads me in the darkness towards a small gazebo set up near a mausoleum. But the sadness of Edward's truth makes it hard to fully enjoy the moment. Climb over and we'll eat. Can't." It's this…Edward right here and now. the world would be dim…like countless stars had fallen from the sky. he sets the food I front of me. the beat of my heart forceful against the inside of my chest. As promised. I can't do it. . there are quite a few incredibly gorgeous grave markers with seemingly beautiful words etched into the faces. almost shyly. the backpack securely in place and a flashlight pointed ahead of us to lead the way." "Robbing?" "Rubbing." I joke with him through my full cheeks. Like me. wondering vaguely if he detects my increase in fidgeting. "Are you okay? Your hands are shaky again…you need food. but I'm warm and my blood is pumping overtime. "Tracing paper and crayons? Some of the most beautiful words I've ever read were written about people after they'd passed." he chuckles. I guarantee they never heard them while they were alive."Why did want to come here?" Edward shrugs. I want to freeze him and make him stay this person forever. These people probably did not feel fully loved while alive. His head turns and he looks concerned. I have to shake my head at how proud he looks to have made this. I.

After a couple of hours, Edward and I make our way back to the gazebo to share
what we've found. He smiles broadly, his face flushed even in the darkness and
his eyes alight with a twinkle I'd seen very few times.
"Found one that reminded me of you," he spoke quietly, unrolling the paper in his
I bend over the paper and immediately feel that horrible lurch in my stomach as
my throat closes and a lump swells, overtaking my airways.
Thou didst not know, who tottered, wandering on high,
That fate had made thee for the pleasure of the wind,
With those great careless wings,
Nor yet did I.
And there were other things:
It seemed God let thee flutter from His gentle clasp:
Then fearful He had let thee win
Too far beyond Him to be gathered in,
Snatched thee, o'ereager, with ungentle gasp.
"Frost," I breathe.
"It was a stone for a little girl. Clearly taken too soon," he murmurs.
Leaning on the table, I hang my head slightly, nausea and dizziness hitting me
quickly with the spike of my heart rate.
"Are you alright?" Edward seems so concerned.
I nod a little and raise my face to his, trying to see if the real person is there or
not. I'm afraid I don't know the difference anymore.
"I don't feel well."
His brows furrow and he places a palm on my cheeks. "You feel really warm.
Maybe we should get you back?"
"Yeah. That's probably the best idea," I manage to get out without letting my
voice crack.
We pack up everything and I take my Frost rubbing, folding it and placing it in
my pocket, knowing that this will be the last thing I get from him. After Sunday
he's just a friend. We've accomplished what we set out to do.
He parks in front of my house and gazes past my face towards the front door.
"Want me to walk you to the door?"
I shake my head no slowly. "It's not necessary." My lip is trembling and the sheer
magnitude of this moment is making me unravel.
"Want me to come back later?"

My laugh is quiet and hollow. "I might be contagious."
The silence is hanging here between us and I want to kick and scream, or grab
hold of him and beg him to keep me instead of letting me go. I don't know what
he wants or needs, but I am sure I can never be it.
Taking a deep breath, he runs a hand across mine and pulls my fingers to his
lips. "About Sunday…"
My stomach rolls and flips, and I make a weird gurgling sound before snatching
my hand from his and throwing the car door open. And in my most embarrassing
display to date, I throw up what little food I have in my stomach.
Edward makes a move like he's coming to help me and I hold out my hand, a
silent gesture that he must know all too well.
"I'll call you tomorrow," I gasp. "We'll talk then, okay?"
"Okay…" He's saying the words but not moving and I'm too worked up to talk to
him now. So I turn and run up the steps to my front door, racing inside and
locking the latch behind me. My Mom is asleep on the couch and my Dad is on
patrol; this I am thankful for.
The stairs creak under my feet and I ignore it, wanting only one thing:
To lock my window and seal the end of our deal.
"Hey, I've been calling all day to check on you. Are you still sick? Call me back…"
She hasn't answered her phone all day. It's going directly to voicemail and the
similarity to the situation with Kate is making me anxious.
My phone rings and I flip it open hastily. "Yeah?"
"Hey. We're headed to a party at Alice's cousin's house. It's about an hour from
here, but…do you wanna come?" Jasper sounds like he's unsure whether or not
he should be asking me at all.
I'm torn. On one hand, I want to go to Bella's to see if she's okay. But if she's
really sick she won't want company and she could actually be contagious. And I
have nothing else to do…
"Pick me up in thirty," I tell him.
Two hours later I'm knees deep in college freshman. Alice's cousin Tanya is
ushering people in by the ton and her house is wall to wall ripples of half exposed
flesh, dancing and swaying as if the bodies within the walls are one and taking on
a life of its own.
I'm drunk so it looks really cool to watch.
"You okay, Tiger?"
My head swivels towards the voice talking and I smile, tipping my red Solo cup at
her. "Nice party, Tanya."

She laughs lightly and takes my cup from my hand. Sniffing it, she crinkles her
nose. "Is this straight? No mixer?"
I shake my head and grin like a fool. "Pretty sure I added Dr. Pepper."
"Great," she mutters and hands it back over. "You three are staying here tonight.
Who drove?" I point sloppily to Jasper and she makes a beeline to him,
confiscating his keys.
I couldn't give a rat's ass right now. My life is amazing: I've got a girl that I really
like and we're about to start really dating. My friends aren't mad at me anymore.
I'm still going to do track and baseball. And I should be receiving my college
acceptance letters soon.
Life is ecstasy.
Tanya is back by my side with a two liter of Dr. Pepper, filling my cup so that I
can slow my progression into blackout status. "Thank you," I give her a wink.
"You're all kinds of sparkly and happy, Cullen. What gives?" She's looking at me
"Taaanya," I snicker. "Maybe I'm just naturally sparkly and shit. Ever think of
She shakes her head. "No. You're Mr. Brooding and Jaaames Deeeeean. Not
happy, dazzly boy. 'Fess up."
With an exaggerated sigh, I turn to face her. "See, there's this girl…"
She rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "Enough said. I don't want to hear any
more out of you."
"What? She's amazing. I think you'd really like her."
Tanya smirks and ruffles my hair, which she knows is ridiculously uncool. "You're
so cute when you're twitterpated.."
"Pfft. Screw you," I laugh.
"No, no…High School boy. We tried that once, remember?"
"I can't believe you would bring that up! That wasn't seeeex. It was a really
interesting dry hump." I wave my hand at her and she snorts. "Plus, I
She bops her head along to the music and chuckles. "Best fifteen seconds of my
"Whatever. You're just sad we never did anything." I know I'm being obnoxious,
but this is Tanya we're talking about. We legitimately kissed once and she sat on
my lap…and then I came in my pants. Embarrassed? Yeah, I'd say so.
She leans over and presses her forehead to mine. "You wish."
I stick my tongue out at her and she wrinkles her nose before she pulls back a
little. "So, where is your dream girl tonight?"
"I dunno. Home. Sick?"

"What?" "Why are we in bed together?" She snorts lightly and winces. Please go puke and then brush your teeth. she plants a kiss on my cheek. /*/*/*/*/*/* "God. "I'mfind." Her eyes are really kind when she says this and it makes me smile even bigger. DO NOT fall asleep in there. "Cullen. Everywhere else was taken and you're too heavy to move. Red hair." There's a soft whimper from my right and I turn as slowly as possible to look at the person next to me." The banshee is maaaad. It hates me with its sunshine and…light. It has to be some sort of siren… "Edward! I swear…you're too big for me to carry out of here. asshole. It's hurting my ears. Long. And white socks. but I'm not worried. /*/*/*/*/*/* Sunday morning hates me. no. You can have the couch. Oh." the voice is whining and stomping her feet. I pull the covers back and note that I am in my boxers and t-shirt." I feel the mattress dent and then everything goes black again. . I specifically told you NOT to sleep in my room. There aren't any. She makes you this happy? I really do want to meet her. Are you deaf?" The noise is loud. "Because you can't follow directions. "I'm too drunk for this shhitt. Safe. That's not Bella. "My bedroom is the second on the right. Bella's at home. "Noooo. red hair."That's a shame. I roll over onto my back and swallow back the bit of vomit that rises from my movement. you came in and just went to sleep?" I'm pressing my lips together in worry. There's no way I would have done anything with anyone while still wearing my socks… "So. "Ooooh. And tomorrow everything will work out just fine." Hoping to be inconspicuous. no. So you did." Tanya? "Tanya?" She groans and pulls her covers up to her chin." She wanders off to tend to her other guests and I pull out my phone to check for any missed calls. Cullen…I said not in here. Leaning over a little. your breath is kickin'." I mumble into the soft sheets.

I start to get nervous. I attempt to call Bella again but there's no answer. Who could possibly be there? Maybe her Grandma? I NEED 2 C U. really. but my boyfriend was working last night so I couldn't ask him to come by and move you. . then I'll be convicted for manslaughter. But if it is her grandma then I don't want an eyeful of old lady boob. It's a whole bevy of things. I came in and you were passed out. Company? My mind is spinning a million miles an hour." I sigh. Did I do something wrong? Was she mad because I gave her the space that she asked for? Was she expecting me to come over anyway? Why are girls so damn complicated? I have half a mind to run to her house and climb her tree to see who is in her room. I HAVE COMPANY. Her response seems to take forever to come through. If it's Riley. CALL ME. Staring at the text." she mumbles and rolls back over. Accidentally sleeping with Tanya. Dressing quickly. MEET ME IN THE COMMONS B4 1ST. I feel terrible and not just from drinking. My mouth hangs open as her last text comes through. It's well after six in the evening when I wake up. We didn't even spoon." My heart lurches and I press my fist to my mouth in disgust. What the hell is going on? LETS TALK 2NITE. My fingers are twitching nervously. GOOD NIGHT. I thank Tanya and get her to give me Jasper's keys. I take this as a good time to leave and grab my belongings off of the floor. "Oh…shut up. After waking him and Alice. we head back to our neighborhood to get some much needed sleep."You mean after we had sex? Yeah. "Don't flatter yourself. After a shower and some light food on my stomach. Tanya opens her eyes and gives me a dirty look." "Thank God. I'd have kicked you out if I could. dude. I text her and then wait for a reply. Going out without Bella. Leaving her when she was sick.

" I'm caught off guard by the sound of my mother's voice and I drop my spoon with a loud clank that makes me wince. "Come on. That's one reason I'm glad she travels so much. Something is wrong. it seems like a good sign of some sort. "Is it about a girl?" She gives me the Mombrow and I roll my eyes. I close the door and grab some cereal from the pantry instead. My father and his fair-haired features and his perma grin are nothing compared to my Mother.I cannot. long brown hair…big eyes. I stopped to get your Dad some socks…" She stoops to pick up the ceramic bowl pieces. But. And even though I'm exhausted. worry creasing her flawless features. The rest of the night goes by so slowly that it seems as if time has actually begun to stand still. She looks at me strangely and tilts her head. I am awake to see the sun rise. think of one person she would ditch me for. Mom?" . for the life of me. Esme Cullen is gorgeous…pale skin. Not that I believe in that kind of stuff. You can tell me. I'm staring at the walls. There's everything I could possibly fathom to eat in the depths of the refrigerator. It's a little crazy how attractive my parents are. but you use phrases like 'stick in the mud'. thinking I've made it up in my head. but I stop her. "Isabella Swan? The girl you were with at the mall on Friday night? I saw you kissing her. "What?" I ask her." she whispers and I snort at her candor. What am I supposed to do with that?" I chug the remaining milk from the bottom of my bowl and stand to put it in the dishwasher. "Hey." "Yeah. I'm biding my time until I can see Bella again. I can feel it." I mutter. Edward. For the first time in a long time. so I didn't want to bother you. sweetheart. Trudging down the stairs to the kitchen. still. "Thanks. It's a wonder I don't have more of my friends trying to come over to my house in the summer to swim. "Is anything wrong?" "I don't know. barely paying attention to what I'm eating. pulling her upright to look in her eyes. and I realize that too many choices makes me unable to make one at all. skittering across the floor and landing all around my feet." I tell her honestly. "How do you know about Isabella. She leans over the counter. I open the fridge and peer inside to see what I can make for breakfast. "G'morning." She's graceful as she moves about the kitchen making coffee. "You look terrible. I'm not a stick in the mud. "Is it about Bella?" I turn so fast that I drop my bowl on the floor and it shatters.

trying to rid myself of the memories. Isabella just moved here a year ago…" Mom chuckles and shakes me off. Son. Because I do. My mother doesn't lie. remember? You cried for a week. She looks exactly the same. sweetheart. I could see her entire face. And this time. . It was something else…" I look up and blink hard as she thinks. "No. "You're wrong. And now I could see her. She showed me pictures of Bella…come on. "I gotta go. That's why the dreams are more and more prevalent since we started this agreement. That's why I feel like I know her." I gasp.Her smile is fleeting and suddenly she looks uneasy." I'm falling. No thought. I can't focus on anything. No words. It was Bella. No air. but it was your way of dealing with her loss." Her eyes were filling with tears and I shook my head back and forth." The floor slides out from beneath my feet and I feel like I've been punched in the gut. Her smile. "Edward! Are you okay?" My mother was yelling. "Edward…you and Bella were best friends for about three years before her mom took off with her. She just moved back a year ago. "You burned them after she left. Her eyes. Then you got mad and burned everything. She's not lying. Our doctor said it was irrational. It was Bella… "She didn't go by that name. Said you didn't want to have anything to remind you of her. "I see her mom in town sometimes between appointments. my eyes are blurry and my fists are clenching. turning quickly and stumbling out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Her cheeks. No. The cavernous hole of lies is opening up and turning me sideways and I can't find anything to hold on to. Where are my yearbooks?" I look at her hopelessly. I wasn't okay. All of it. though. She came over all the time…" My head begins to fog and I can feel my cereal working its way back up my throat. I thought you knew?" I can only shake my head no in response. We've even talked about getting dinner together. stepping back a foot. but I couldn't respond. I was running after her and she was picking flowers. as my mind unveiled the images. "Bella Marie. That's why she seems so familiar. "I don't believe you.

I could see everything. But she wasn't. I'd changed her and used her. I dive for my phone. I shower and dress." I answer curtly. It can't be." I choke out. Frantic. I'm going to her house to get her for school. and I have her. Jogging out to my car. Oh. my heart racing. the one I dreamt about and that haunted my dreams for over eight years…was the same girl who blackmailed me into being friends. "She's wrong. hoping he gets the message. praying that it's Bella. Instead it's…Emmett? "Yes. no. We need to talk but she won't answer her phone. Em." . I call her five times and it goes straight to voicemail each time. I'd manipulated her. Cullen?" "Elaborate or hang up. But she knew the entire time. What have we done? Lurching to my feet. Everything. No. Was she waiting on me to figure it out by myself? Why didn't she just say? Did she not feel the same way about me as I felt about her when we were little? Memories rush at me in a torrent.The girl…THE GIRL I had repressed memories of. "She's mistaken. It was wrong. I didn't remember her in time and she's given up. We have to talk. grabbing everything that I can for the day. The angel of my dreams is here. She was the best friend I'd ever had. sliding down the door until I'm on the floor. I refuse to text her or leave a message. "What the hell is going on. She's done. my phone buzzes in my pocket and I pull it out. And the only person to ever break me. She's done. I had wanted her for so long and now here she was. my head spinning and pictures flowing like water from a broken dam." I'm unsure of whether to be angry or relieved. That's the coward's way. I don't have time for this. We have to talk. It's me and her. Lovers.

And I can give you everything your heart's been craving 'Cause once I've held your hand. "NO!" I'm screaming and jumping into my car to roar out onto the open road. She was looking for them. I saw them. /*/*/*/*/*/* Say that you need me. I mean."Okay. I'm dreading even walking into the brick stone . No one showed her. I'm popular. man. Because. dude. What I got out of Rose is that Bella just started looking through her phone pics and saw you and Tanya. that's exactly what Edward Cullen would do. And great jeans that cost six hundred dollars. I cannot stand to see it waving goodbye Please don't go Stay with me Just stay with me ~This Beautiful Republic (Pain) Chapter 12 EPOV High School will kill you if you let it. I come from great genes. per se. I'm Edward Anthony Cullen. but…Bella knows. Blame my mom. Like I said. She found them. Not that things have ever been really hard for me. No. Life is a bitch and high school is its big bully brother. Great genes that make pretty babies. "I think they were on Alice's phone. And I gave her what she needed in the long run. This is her out. Just this past year my class has lost three students to car crashes and two to suicide. She called Rose and told her and they're riding to school together so that she can talk to you before First. I'm smart." Emmett sounds disgusted. I don't buy that shit. "How did this happen?" "I don't know. I'm good at sports." "Emmett…WHO TOOK THE PICTURES?" He's silent for a second before he answers. You and her kissing and shit. nothing has ever been all that hard for me." I take a deep breath. I'm serious. But today. How's this for to the point? Did you sleep with Alice's cousin?" "What?" "There are pictures.

I brace myself and push off of the side of my ridiculously expensive car that I couldn't give two shits about anymore. I hate all of this. but she's too far gone." I monotone. feeling like a zombie watching the entire thing unfold from a few feet away. "Give this to your whore. compelling me to move from my spot and veering me towards my locker. and I don't want it to. He looks at me like I've lost my mind. "What did you do?" I shake my head to clear my thoughts and place the necklace in my jeans pocket. my life is going to change forever. We need to talk. But now they are cold and void of any and all emotion for me. "Don't do this. scanning the room to see if I can find her before she does this. leaning down to look into her eyes. I stare dumbly into my locker and ignore the voices . Her transformation is complete and I have no one to blame but myself for changing her." I'm speechless and frozen. a flood of pink racing across her neck and upwards to her cheeks. but it occurs to me that the entire school is staring at us. "How could you?" She shrieks. "Meet me in the art room during third. but unexpectedly he's by my side. I plead with her wordlessly to stop. "I trusted you…and you…you…I hate you!" I'm rubbing the burning spot on my neck. Edward…" He pulls on my arm and I finally look at him. I barely even recognize this creature standing before me…only her eyes are the same. Furiously. She stops all of a sudden and turns back to glare hatefully. She's gotten what she wanted and I hate myself for it. "Don't do this? Do what? You're the one who hooked up with that slut!" Her little chin trembles and she blinks back what looks like real tears. her two best friends by her side and that asshole Riley with his arm around her shoulders." she shoves the jewelry at me. staring down at the strange expression coloring her gorgeous brown eyes. trying to form words to get her to lower her voice. "Here. What I care about is standing in the Commons area. she is headed out of the building. He shakes his head and sprints off towards Biology." I call after her as she is walking away. I open the double doors and walk quickly through the crowded hallway to the entrance of the Commons. "I saw that. I didn't know… "Isabella. "I did what was expected of me. I don't even hear Jasper approach. "What the hell just happened?" he asks. Because. In fact. taking in every member of our class watching this unfold. the entire school just saw that.building that I'm staring at. I feel a hard slap against the back of my neck and I whirl around to face her. breaking the clasp and holding the necklace tightly in her fist. "My name is Bella. she yanks on the pendant around her neck. My eyes flick around nervously. I realize just a second too late that I am searching the wrong side of the room." I answer. waiting to make the biggest mistake of her life. It's times like these that I wish I smoked. once I'm inside those doors." With a flip of her hair." I whisper." My only response is a shrug of one of my shoulders. The bell rings and he pushes my shoulder once to shake me. "We broke up.

That weird moment where you know that you've lost all of your senses and can't stop what's happening to your body? That one. she's smiling at me…grinning like a crazy person and biting her lip in that frustrating way that she does when she's excited." "Like I said. Because I'm Edward Anthony Cullen. I force a half smile and shrug both of my shoulders in what I hope is a show of nonchalance. No one matters now.of the kids that are scrambling past me to get to their classes. an out of body experience. but I can't fix it. And what I saw was pathetic: A shaking. sniveling mess. We put on a good show. I smell her. "You okay?" She cocks her head to the side and frowns. but when I turn. can't see. "Why wouldn't I be okay? This has been the plan all along. retching and choking type of sobbing. I mean.." And with that I turn and walk away. Like I could see it from above. And I will give her anything that she wants. part of the deal. And when I say cried. She wants this. right?" Bella nods once and looks down at her shoes. I'd allowed it to happen and this was my penance. "Yeah. It was a little much. thanking people for their sympathetic words and pats on the back. I can hardly believe she's actually there. even by my standards. but once he walked away from me the hours flew by in a rush and before I know it I'm at lunch and Edward is…not. . And there was even a moment when I was wailing into my pillow that I thought maybe I'd finally snapped and lost my mind. Even pretending not to care. She looks as confused as I feel. like. But the truth is that Edward looked genuinely hurt by the act. full on can't breathe. "That went better than I expected!" She bounces a little on her toes and sighs. A shell of a person that I couldn't even recognize. thank you. And everything is easy for me." I agree and reach into my locker to get my books. /*/*/*/*/*/* BPOV The day goes by like I'm in some strange sort of time warp. After he'd left on Friday I had kind of just curled up into a ball and cried. I close my locker door with a sigh and turn to face her again. I try to engage in the conversations around me. a sure sign that she's genuinely concerned. I have no idea how long I stand there. She clears her throat and shifts her face to give me that electrifying smile that I've missed. but. And then I feel her warm hand on my hip. It's like the first part of the day before my confrontation with Edward was creeping at half time. sealing the arrangement and making it final. For everything. "Well. as if out of a dream. yanking on the end of a strand of her hair.

We'd had an agreement and nothing more. I loved Edward. I began to get picture messages from Alice from some party she was at with Jasper. I didn't do anything that I shouldn't have: no hand holding. with their faces pressed together. Except. So. too. it wasn't crying this time. I really did. He was easy to talk to. I needed to man up and not take this lying down. It was pissed off anger that I could feel boiling in my veins. It needed to be the same for me. My reaction was that he really wanted to come over and talk about ending the agreement and I couldn't face him looking and feeling as bad as I did. She'd been more sluggish than normal while she dug through my closet and told me stories about the party. as I was sleeping in the early morning hours. but I was feeling terrible from the dehydration and lack of food in my stomach. there were Edward and Alice's cousin. I'd waved the evidence in Alice's face and broken down in more hysterics. so it wasn't all that hard to play my part. I started to get annoyed…and then a picture came through of Alice crawling on Jasper's back. After the third picture. so the thought of eating made me gag and then she left because she pukes when I puke and no one wants to see that awesome bit of Swan family time. She'd assured me that it must have been a mistake. But what I did do was call Alice over that night to pick out some clothes for the coming week. Eventually I ran out of steam and I slept for hours upon hours. but .At some point I had finally stopped crying and was just lying on my back staring at the ceiling. You know those? They suck. I wanted to set fire to my house and watch my entire existence go up in flames. I'd taken Riley's call on Sunday afternoon and we'd met up to take a walk around the park. There was no sleep that night while I tried to form my plan. My mom and dad came to check on me a couple of times. or his tongue peeking out towards her. or her leaning in to kiss him. I wanted to break every damn thing in my room. breathing in those God awful snivel-sobs that make your whole body shake and end with a weird sound in your chest. I wanted out of this deal early. And in the background of several of her pictures. there were a ton of messages from Edward asking if I was still sick. Later in the evening I had realized that my phone was dead and when I plugged it in and checked it. I mentioned that she had sent me some pictures and she'd stopped what she was doing to give me a quizzical look…which was when I'd confiscated her phone and shown her the pictures that she'd sent my way. and I must have looked enough like Death Warmed Over for them to take my excuse of feeling sick. But he had already moved on and if that was the case then I needed to get a head start on things. Whatever I had thought he was feeling for me was all for show. Renee attempted multiple times to shove some broth down my throat. no kissing. He was bent over and she was smiling like a fool…but behind her was Edward with some redhead who was pressed against his face…and I lost it all over again. nothing that would make me look like a whore when the walls tumbled down. And then. I wanted to throw shit. and really attractive.

So. I knew. I could smile a little at Riley. I'd given it to Edward Cullen and I'd let him take it when he walked away from me. But. in a word: awkward. And because of that. I could pretend that I hadn't just died a small death. Edward wouldn't even acknowledge my presence when I sat down next to him. The principal had wanted to cancel it because of the deaths of the four students that had occurred so recently. And Alice had been able to keep her mouth shut until the morning and then I had to rehash the entire scenario to Rose. To celebrate. but I did. I was the walking dead because I had no soul. when we'd gotten to school a bunch of people were standing around outside talking about how the Homecoming dance had been approved for the following weekend…and there was Riley. Which made me stop feeling altogether. ripping my heart out and taking it with him. To live this beautiful existence… This beautiful. . And this hole in my chest opened even wider than it had been over the weekend. fake. And that's the only way I'd made it to lunch at all. I shouldn't have been affected…but it happened. so I stared straight ahead for the beginning of class until the teacher finished telling us how to conduct our experiments and then I was left to face Edward while we did our assignment together. plastic existence that we made ourselves believe was real. but it had been overruled in a PTA meeting on Saturday night. he'd played along and allowed me to walk away. I could talk about dresses with Rose and Alice. Like he'd taken his beautiful hand and balled it into a fist. I knew that I was supposed to talk with Edward about our 'breakup' but figured that if I just took it into my own hands then I would be in control. I knew it was what he had wanted all along. We were all free to dance now. I asked Alice to stay with me for the night and not to tell anyone what had happened. I pretended to care that we were going to Homecoming. Then. He couldn't say words to break my heart if I didn't let him. If I didn't feel anymore then it didn't hurt. waiting to ask me if I wanted to go…and everything happened so fast that I just said yes and then went to find Edward…and my lack of sleep and anger and sadness and my feelings of rejection combusted when I smacked him and the words just flew out of my mouth until I was screaming and causing a scene. I shouldn't have been upset. but I was. which hurt just as bad the second time I had to explain it. So. /*/*/*/*/*/* Biology is.then I'd asked her the most important question: Where had Edward slept that night. I shouldn't have cared. When she didn't answer. I'd allowed him to wash his hands of me and had watched him walk away from his locker like we never…were. then punched an opening in my sternum.

we can't be friends now?" I'm honestly surprised by his behavior. he pushes the finished slides towards me and walks away. angry lines rippling into his perfect forehead. I still knew who I was. But there was one thing I knew for sure…it was better to feel nothing at all than to lose your best friend. "You did that publicly…get it? You made the whole school believe that I stuck my dick in someone else. from here on out. And I knew that. What the hell? My logic was so out of whack. His fingers move meticulously over the slides as he continues to not make eye contact. Appearances are everything. I just knew that I missed him." And with that. It was as if I were dead. And though I now existed to everyone else in the school…now that people knew my name and talked to me in class. He shakes his head and looks away again quickly. So act that way. even in a crowded room full of people. remember? We are. what were my options? Walk away from it all? All of that time spent getting here just to walk away? Or enjoy the time I had left here with people that didn't care about me? At least if I was going to be lonely. exes. He barely spoke to me for the rest of the week. He sighs in agitation and turns towards me. "Should I be?" He retorts sharply. Even when I was by myself and watching Edward from the sidelines. Like I didn't exist." I blink and stare at him for a moment before he speaks again. invited me to the mall after school or offered me rides…I felt more alone than I ever had. What part of this scenario makes you think we're supposed to be able to maintain a friendship?" His eyes are unwavering and filled with rage as he waits for my answer. "Appearances. and the person you were in love with. /*/*/*/*/*/* EPOV . "Have fun with Riley at Homecoming. lowering his voice so that no one else can hear. asking the teacher for a hall pass. "We can just say that we want to be friends…" I start lamely. I was alone. all in one day. Take my phone calls or answer my texts. I would have people around. At lunch he would purposely speak to only Emmett and Jasper. So. He wouldn't look at me."Are you not talking to me?" I ask him quietly. "So. after all. cutting off all communication with any of the girls at our table. Now I didn't. not making eye contact as I set up our microscope. Because the honest truth is that I didn't know it would hurt so damn much. My face lifts to see his and he's scowling. Speak to me. I knew that I was alone without him.

A sigh of defeat slips from between my lips as I park my car in front of my destination. He wanted to date her. But. Jasper had explained what had happened with the pictures on Alice's phone. I'd lain in my bed on Monday night. Like I said: stalker. My Bella Marie…sleeping peacefully and looking innocent. And this time I know I won't taint her. And then I'd get to take that dress off and be with her again like we were supposed to be. I was numb. Be with her in public from the get-go and take her to dances. Now that I knew who she was it seemed so obvious and it physically hurt to look at her sometimes…so I just stopped. Harmless. Not now. We couldn't be friends. I plaster a fake smile on my face and greet her father. and then I'd drive home and run back to her house to see if I could look into her window. shaking his hand and offering my most respectful words and promises to deliver his only child back to him in one piece. because she deserves it. One night. I'd drive by just to see if her car was there. Without so much as a glance at my reflection.I'm driving out of my way just to go past Bella's house. as Jane meets me in the foyer and I slip her corsage on her wrist. Riley had been there. I've been doing it all week. especially when I was around her. and it makes me feel like some kind of freaky stalker. by the time I got to a hundred. So I just stopped speaking to her. Wearing the flowers I had picked out for her. It didn't matter anyway. I assumed. breathing steady and dreaming right before my eyes. I know that she is safe. The thought made me ache. And then I repeated it so much that it was all I wanted to say. Meeting the parents. A couple of nights Alice was there. We both knew that there was an expiration date on this deal. Usually it was. I ready myself to be an acceptable date this evening. I know I won't do anything that I'm not supposed to. Because. And by the time I got to a thousand. For days I had fought the urge to climb into her bedroom window to watch her sleep. Because…ya know…their shit was legit and all. it had eased. Knocking on the door. I'd been deluded enough to think that it was anything more than that. I take the plastic box holding the white corsage I bought this morning from the passenger seat. The dance I should have been taking her to. The first time it had come out of my mouth it hurt so badly that I had to hold my breath to wait for the burn to pass. . It really wasn't anyone's fault. In the dress she should be wearing for me. And I will have her back before curfew. staring at stippling on the ceiling and counting a new one each time I said her name out loud. We'd taken what was perfect and had turned it into…this. One night she was gone for hours looking for a Homecoming dress. I mean you can't stop the inevitable avalanche once the snowball reaches a certain size.

Just because.We arrive at the school a little late and the dance is in full swing. Badly. "Look who I found." she sneers. Opening my palm. The stage has a pirate ship on it and the DJ looks ridiculously out of place. keeping my eyes on his face so as not to look around pathetically for Bella." "Sorry it's not sophisticated enough for you. waving my fingers again. I just don't get it. pretty girl?" She smiles up at me and nods. Two pulls from the flask and I'm already feeling better. I wave my fingers. My eyes travel over Bella's face and she looks…hurt. "She's doing girl shit in the Can." He's shaking his head animatedly and I smirk. gently pulling Jane behind me. She's wearing this really pretty blue colored dress…but under the dark lighting I can't tell exactly what shade it is. Jane's nervous and has been talking non-stop the entire ride over. All I know is that it makes her cheeks look pinker than usual and her skin seems to glow under the satiny fabric. "Hey. "You sure?" Jane shakes her head no and I roll my eyes. I don't know. "Why pirates?" I ask Rose and she makes a sour face." He lifts a brow and drops his eyes to Jane's head. This Bella is an imposter with a nice rack. "Care to dance. Until I hear Rose's voice…followed by Bella's. "Gimme. Emmett waves wildly at me from across the room and I nod in his direction. I have to bite my tongue from telling her that she's gorgeous. We move out to the dance floor and I let Jane settle against me to dance. Em…where's Rose?" I ask him. my fingers flexing and balling against my palms. My eyes flick to Riley staring at me from Bella's side and my first instinct is to punch him. My head swivels towards her and I have to fight to keep a dull expression on my face as my eyes fall on Bella." Rose sing-songs. "Perhaps you'd have more fun at a college party?' My blood runs hot and starts to boil. which has resulted in a dull throbbing behind my right eye. Because the real Bella would be gorgeous. and I focus on breathing and how weird it is to hold this girl or let her touch me…which . I take Jane's hand gently in mine and give her my Edward Cullen Dazzle Smile. "Pfft. The décor is pirate…or something. "Why not?" Rose retorts. knowing full well that he's got some liquor on him somewhere…most likely a flask of some sort. I don't know whether to laugh or scream. She's giving me a migraine and I want a drink. Instead. Her tits look phenomenal too.

I find myself wrestling with my own thoughts a lot. I might tear you apart Told you from the start Baby from the start I snap back into reality when something catches my eye across the dance floor. Girls played with my hair…rubbed my back…scratched my neck. She's not that shallow. . I couldn't be the only one who felt anything. The song ends and my mind is racing with too many thoughts. break your… break. Immediately I know that it is Bella because I see the crowd part a little and can catch glimpses of the fabric of her dress while her body is shaking violently. pulling me to her so that she can start some weird sort of snake charmer dance on my thigh. If you fall for me I'm not easy to please That woman got bent into a lot of positions in our conversations. It's like something inside of me knows the truth." I cal back to her while I propel myself forward through the crowd of onlookers. break your heart "Is she having a seizure?' Jane asks. Girls touched me all the time before Bella. It's not the least bit sexy or attractive…I can only imagine that she watches a lot of videos online. Too many possibilities. There is no possible way that she doesn't miss me and what we had together. But this feels wrong. recently. I'm only gonna break. I couldn't have imagined our connection. A fast song starts up and Jane grabs my hand excitedly. alarmed. Now listen to me baby Before I love and leave you Or maybe she ordered those StripTease workout videos that Carmen Electra had out a few years ago? They call me heartbreaker I don't wanna deceive ya I only know about them because Emmett would invite us over to watch them while we drank and discussed what vile things we would do with Carmen if she was there with strange because I never have a problem with that. There's not point trying to hide it No point trying to evade it "I don't know.

I blink. Jane is standing next to me. Whether or not you get it all together Then its finders keepers and losers weepers See I'm not trying lead you on. Because now Rose and Emmett are dancing. I blink again. too." she shrugs." She stares back at me sadly and I can't stomach it. I'm tempted just to leave her to find a ride home. And I know karma's gonna get me back for being so cold Like a big bad wolf I'm born to be bad and bad to the bone If you fall for me I'm only gonna tear you apart Bella still hasn't opened her eyes. It's bizarre. but she's moving maniacally. Jane." I snort and shake my head. drop and roll or some shit.I know I got a problem By doing this behavior My feet slide to a halt when I get closer and my mouth falls open while I watch Bella with her eyes closed. He's so damn embarrassed it's laughable." "Okay. It's wrong. They run off the cliffs in droves. Riley starts dancing. I make myself get to know her . "Come on! Let's dance…it looks like fun. "Let's go get some ice cream or something? This dance really sucks. now I'm only gonna break your heart And shatter and spatter it all into little itty bitty pieces "What the hell?' I manage to mumble as I watch her. the rest of the student body starts doing this weird spastic ritual-type dancing like Isabella Swan has just invented the Electric Slide and everyone is getting in on the next biggest thing from conception. "Don't be a lemming. It makes me want to vomit. Listen. He looks like he wants to run away. And Alice is doing the same moves. and I half expect that a teacher is going to show up and throw her to the ground…cover her in some sort of fire cloth and tell her to stop. So for the next hour or so. And I really didn't want to be held responsible for her selfesteem on Monday. and I have to stifle a grin. mimicking Bella's movements. contorting and kicking her legs around and flailing her arms to the music. This isn't happening. I stare in awe at Jasper as he takes in the scene and then. Instead…something totally different happens. but I promised I would deliver her home safely. watching with a grin on her face. no I'm only trying keep it real Riley's watching her with this look on his face. as if out of some weird She's All That synchronized movie dance choreography.

She's very basic and generic and there's nothing special about her.and I listen to her as she describes things that she likes and her interests." "Be friendly with your flock. I set about making a drink and the hair on the back of my neck is standing on end under the heat of her gaze. I've seen zombies with more individuality and self worth. But. There's an odd moment of silence and Alice looks between the two of us nervously. talking to Alice when I enter the kitchen. "The colony. "It's a big hit. It's noticeable the amount of weight she's lost this week. I told you: Don't call me that." I snicker." I'm losing my cool quickly. I want to punch a wall or kick a trashcan. ." She's looking so frail and shaky again. "I have to go…do…something else. Like she's suddenly embarrassed of where she comes from. Thanks." I practically spit the words out of my mouth like they're poisonous venom. "Her name is Jane. The place is packed and I roll my eyes at some people doing that stupid ass dance of Bella's while music pounds ceaselessly in the background. "I owe all of my friends to you…" My fingers crush the cup and I throw it away angrily. "Just say what you want to say." she finishes lamely. You've got a whole school full of lemmings making idiots out of themselves. downing the shot I concocted. Bella's laughing and drinking from a cup. And then it's just Bella and me. that's when my revelation hits: She's not special…to me. I want to break shit. so I move to walk out and I hear her call to me. "I don't want credit for this. "Like your little Jenny?" She yells. Isabella. like it's a dirty explanation. I'm sure there's someone out there looking for a Jane. where'd you learn that awesome dance?" I ask her. sarcasm dripping from my voice. "Can't you just be civil?" Her chin juts out." "I just wanted to thank you. She looks down at the floor and her face flames red. There's no way I can stay here and be around her. "I'm just trying to be friendly. Dropping her off at her house early. I give her a kiss on the cheek and tell her goodnight before heading back out to Alice's house for the after party. Just like I was looking for Bella." I roll my eyes and start to walk out. "So. This is going nowhere and just being around her is pissing me off. "Eddie?" "My name is Edward. Alone for the first time in a week. I wonder who it is that Jane is waiting for." she says quietly." I snicker.

My stare is unwavering and I don't have the strength to stop myself from hammering down the final nail in our coffin. "I said I miss you. He hates me." he grimaces and shakes his head in disgust." she whispers. but got back up again And then I fell apart. "You know who I miss?" Her eyes grow wide and fearful. "I miss that girl I knew back in Elementary. I could do a lot of things."Same difference. "Wha-what? What? Who?" I sputter and choke like a damn moron. turning back to see her face as we make eye contact. no alibi We faded faster than the speed of light Took our chance. when I hear her mumble something else. I'm unfocused and dizzy and his stare is so hateful I feel like he could actually splice my soul in two." Her face blanches and she bites her lip. Because I am. I miss Bella Marie. Words…words…I used to know how to speak. but got back up again ~30 Seconds To Mars (Alibi) Chapter 13 BPOV "Bella Marie. Before Edward." /*/*/*/*/*/* No warning sign. But now. crashed and burned No we'll never ever learn I fell apart. . My laugh is so loud and angry that it scares me. I've lost my patience and step towards the door. "I miss that girl. "What?" I ask." The words roll from his lips like those final drops of poison on Romeo's tongue. I'm mute. I used to be able to form coherent thoughts and sentences. If I had one anymore. "You heard me." she snorts.

shoving past Edward and crowding around me and the 'bar'. so he maneuvers me away from the kitchen and through the even more crowded hallway that is filling up with more and more people." he monotones. Maybe those are just the sounds in my head? I squeeze my eyes shut and open them again. but I can't think clearly and Alice is talking and Riley is breathing and Emmett is laughing…I gasp while Riley pulls my face backwards and Mike or Jasper or…I don't know anymore…it's too frantic. I'm right here and they are touching me and talking to me and no one actually sees me. I scan the heads and see nothing that resembles . but it is way too loud and we're all pressed against each other and everyone is talking. trying to find balance as my head becomes even fuzzier and my heart settles in my throat. I can't breathe. Alice is in my face and Rose is chatting away nonsensically and then there is Riley and he has his arm around my waist and he's talking in my ear. Talking. "Save it. feeling my heart beating so rapidly and so hard inside of my chest that I'm sure someone can see it trying to claw its way out of my shirt. And then everything happens at once."Edward…I – I…can explain…" I'm on my feet now. Screaming. But no one sees. No one sees me. There are too many people and too many hands on me…and my mouth is open and they are feeding me shots and I don't know how much time has passed but the room is spinning and I can't focus. choking out every last truth that I want to say to him. refilling my cup and holding me so close that I can't breathe. Only Edward ever saw me. My eyelids are heavy and I'm pleading quietly with Riley to get me out of the mayhem…and though he doesn't actually hear me he can kind of sense from the look on my face that I need to get some fresh air. I don't know what the trigger is that brings a thousand people into the kitchen at the exact moment that I need to be alone with Edward. Talking. I'm trying to tell them to step away or to let me move. "Breathe. My mouth won't work and my feet are planted on the ground like they are made of lead. My eyes are frantically searching the crowd for Edward but he's gone and Rose is shoving shots in my face. Isabella…" My eyes close as I conjure up the sound of Edward's voice soothing me when I have panicked in the past. but kids come rushing into the room in droves.

Moves wrong." he chuckles. too fast. My mouth is full of tongue and cotton. My arms are cooked spaghetti. "I think sumfing's wrong. but he doesn't sound mad. "Why ish mah head sho heavy?" I ask and Riley laughs again. Not Riley. And I can hear the slur of his voice and smell his cologne and then…I can feel him pressed against me as he lays me down onto the bed that's in the room. "Damn." he whispers into my ear." my words come out slowly and my tongue feels thick. And I'm only lucid enough to know that I need to talk to him. We haven't even had a real date. I haven't kissed him yet." I mumble as he moves his face higher and settles himself into my side. "I think that might actually leave a bruise.Edward. His face is right next to mine but I'm turned towards the window and he has to pull my chin towards him to get me to look at him. rubbing a spot on his jaw. I can't even see if he's in the living room. trying wake up from this horrible dream." I can't see much more than his outline and movements in the darkness. "Too many shots." I croak and then shake my head repeatedly. My legs are trees. "Wait. And I feel his lips that are not Edward's. Because I don't want to. my legs flailing and connecting with his head while I scramble away towards the top of the bed." Riley assures me as he crawls onto the bed next to me. And his hands are on my breasts and they aren't Edward's either. you're fine." he whispers as he nuzzles his nose against my cheek. Feels wrong. "Shtop. And I smell his breath that is not Edward's. No." I nod and feel the blood rushing to my face because my head is just kind of slumping forward instead of moving back. "You are so pretty. you need to lie down. my eyes closing a bit as they get heavier. And then his tongue is in my mouth and he tastes wrong. I try to say something but his tongue is on my mouth and his hands are relentless across and under my dress and I can't move because I'm pinned and my legs aren't connected to my body anymore. I mean. Panic grips me and I get a rush unlike anything I've ever experienced before. The lights are off and I can only see a small sliver of moonlight through a crack in the shades. so he moves his lips to mine anyway. "What?" He chuckles. "Nah. But he can't hear me because I don't really exist. No. Come on. "Where…wherrre's Ward?" I ask as Riley helps me up the stairs to a closed door. "It's loud out here. I can't know that until I see his eyes… . And then he's gone and I can breathe and I try to sit up but he's back and his face is at my knees and I barely register that he's got his hands on the outsides of my thighs until I feel the little sides of my panties start to roll down.

Riley. Oh. "I'll be gentle. there's no doubt. "I'm sorry. I've been used before. I'm even a little sure that Kate was using me at some point to maintain whatever front she was creating for her parents. EPOV If it's one thing I know about my friends. God. sitting here makes me more irritated by the entire scenario. and I'm halfway thankful that there are only a couple of other people out here. tears flooding my eyes and constricting my throat. I'm seconds from passing out. But Bella…I just couldn't handle it. listening to people being stupid and loud." I sob. I'm so sorry… I can't even look at him as I scramble out into the hallway and away from him to the landing of the stairs and fight my way through the crowds of people pressed against each other in every available open space. I shake them off and try to get a breath as I crawl towards the door and open it to get into the hallway. I scan the room to see what the deal is and I can just barely keep myself up when my eyes land on Edward in some sort of stand off. Not from her. "I can't do this. And just as Bella is getting ready to make up some sort of lame excuse about what she's been doing. Bella is staring at me like she's just had a stick shoved up her nose and some demented doctor has scrambled her brain. they can show up at the worst times. my underwear wrapped around my ankle. the acid bile and harsh liquor swimming in my throat. There's no telling how long I'm sitting at the water." he says with a stupid grin." His voice drops a little. all the while. I can't pretend that being near him doesn't make me physically ill. With Kate. I've had enough of the shit so I find a half full bottle of Jameson that's been abandoned and I head down to Alice's pool so that I can cool off and calm down. I can't let him touch me." he teases and crawls up to settle in front of me. "Unless you don't want me to be…" "Oh God. And it's not until I clear the stairs that I realize that the party seems to be spilt wide open like the parting of the Red Sea. And. "I don't like you like that…" "You don't have to like me to do this. "No." I manage to get out. His lips brush softly over my knee and I gag a little." I gasp and press my palms into his chest. I do need to like you…" My legs flail again and I kick him in the stomach where it causes him to fold in half so that I can tumble to the floor. except the other two are a couple and they are starting to strip . I can't do this. "Do what?" He breathes seductively. "I do. lifting one of my legs in his hand and running his palm across my calf."Come on. Instead. I just…can't…" My head is too heavy and my eyes won't focus. a limo full of people shoves their way into the door and then Rose is calling for shots and kids are shoving by me to get to the alcohol.

I'm not drunk…but I'm getting there. Kate. I've been busy. "What exactly did you expect? That I'd be all excited to see you? It's been almost two months. You don't call for that entire time and you think I'm going to be EXCITED to see you?" Someone is screaming. sputtering a little when she rights it again. That's not how I expected to be greeted at homecoming. I wave the bottle of liquor above her head and snicker. And the last two seem to be more powerful than the first. she kicks it back and takes a mouthful. "Why are you being such a drama queen. I can't even remember what I saw in her to begin with. so I go to look for Alice. "Busy? Really? Please. I fight my way back inside and push through the living room to see if I can locate Bella.on one of the pool chairs and I take that as my cue to exit before I have to endure seeing these two have sloppy drunk sex that will make the girl feel like a porn star tonight and a whore in the morning. Truthfully. I'm in a rage. and whoever is tugging on my shirt is about to make me lose my shit. "The hell are you doing here?" I'm seething. And that's when my stomach drops to the floor. tell me what you've been up to. my anger on overdrive and my feelings in a strange pulse that's growing by the second before I explode. "Stop!" I yell and swat at the offending hand. This is…all her fault. Oh. "Is that any way to treat me?" She's batting her eyes at me and I bite my tongue before I say something incredibly hurtful to her so that I can watch her cry. "Damn." . and there is absolutely nothing attractive about her at all. I need her and I want her. mostly her stomach. And apparently I'm drinking whiskey which makes me a mad drunk and now I want to punch Riley's face in and take Bella to her house because with as much as I hate her right now. but she's gone." She's got so much make up on and she's filled out more. Because I hear her voice and I want to vomit. furious over her thoughtlessness and callous attitude. She rolls her eyes and reaches up on her tip toes to pull the whiskey bottle from my hand. Eddie. Eddie? It's been a few weeks. It's me. Without a thought. "Or who you've been under. Get it?" My eyes close briefly and I force myself to turn around and immediately my chin tilts down because…Kate…is so short. when I feel a tug on my shirt. I figured it would be a good night to come home. It's irritating and loud and people are in the way and I'm getting more pissed by the second. There's no way in hell I am asking Rose." I give her a shit eating grin.

Eddie." I shake my head at her in disgust as the reality of the situation hits me." She looks around the room. She whispers something into her friend's ear and they both stare at someone behind me. drowning out all sound in my ears as she scans and takes inventory. wanting nothing more than to hurt her and make her pay. her bare feet stumbling a bit as she moves backwards. Pot Girl?" Kate calls to her. "Please tell me that you chose someone like Lauren to screw. "I'd hate to think that you ended up giving in to someone like her just because you were lonely…" "SHUT UP!" I scream and throw the bottle on the floor where it bursts into pieces around us. Edward. Kate. All I can hear is the blood rushing through my veins. sweetie. She's at least pretty." "Well. "Go to Hell. My silence tells her everything she needs to know. What did your mom say when you brought her home?" Kate's voice is getting louder and it's causing a short in my brain. I'm sure you've been around while I've been gone. She's wobbling and looks like she's breathing really hard. "I'm your guy back home. over breaks and the summer and I'm gonna take you back? Why? Why would you even think that?" Kate makes a face and flips her hair nonchalantly. Her eyes travel over the other party goers and she covers her mouth with a hand as she starts laughing hysterically. Edward. "I said: Why are you here. "Oh. Kate chuckles and shakes her head. You have no idea what you're talking about. my god. "Of course you are. Kate's mouth settles into a line and she shakes her head. My head swivels towards where her gaze is holding steady and I see Bella shrinking back a little. huh? You think you come home every few weekends. The room has kind of split between the two of us. One of her college friends is standing to her side and Kate reaches a hand out to grab onto that girl's arm. people lined behind her and behind me to watch everything go down. smiling with conceit now that the party has grown quiet.She slams the bottle into my chest and barks out a laugh. "Why wouldn't it be that way?" "Because I'm not your toy." She takes a step forward and places her hand on my shirt. did you screw Pot Girl?" Kate's voice is thick with sarcasm. "That is so pathetic! Did you dress her up and take her out to parties like a little Barbie doll? Oh. "Please. like you've kept your dick in your pants. . Bella's eyes blink frantically and she looks down at her feet. She snorts and pats my arm. "Why is she here?" Kate laughs hatefully. If I had known you would be so desperate…" I shove her off of me and take a step back. holding onto the wall as she tries to flee." I yell at her.

And I never thought it would work.And I know the exact moment that I snap. she blackmailed me. Just like me in the cafeteria. I hear her feet hit the kitchen floor and listen as the side door opens and she flees from the house. but said I had to let her hang out with me. All of it. Why?" Bella opens her mouth to speak but instead of getting words out." "Wait…" Alice steps forward. And then all of you…so gullible…you don't know anything about her. "You're…Bella…from…" Her voice trails off and she stumbles back a bit. Followed by a hollow thud. I put her in some jeans so you'd stop making fun of her. I got a speeding ticket. So I got shitfaced and then I got pulled over the next morning." Kate's mouth drops open and she seems genuinely shocked by the confession. "There. Chaos ensues as people scramble to get out the front door. my glare landing on Rose. Kate. You don't even know that she's Bella Marie from First grade! She was upset that none of us remembered her when she moved back so she used all of us!" My fingers curl and flex before I grip hold of my hair and clench my jaw. But this time. but I am faster. I never thought that she could just sit with me and suddenly people would talk to her…but they did. She used me to get to all of you!" I pointed around the room. But no one is…" My words stop short when I hear the squealing tires. Just like I thought you were. Publically humiliated. okay? Because I was pissed at you for practically giving that reporter a blow job while he was interviewing you. "And then she made up some story about me sleeping with Alice's cousin so that we could 'break up'. And everyone knows. Pot Girl got me out of my ticket. sobbing hysterically now that her game has ended so publically. "And you all fell for it. instead of running to kiss her in a field of flowers…I am running towards her lifeless body as it lays tangled in front of Tyler Crowley's car. And then a scream. From the corner of my eye I can see Riley watching her from the bottom of the stairs. Running towards her. looking between me and Bella in confusion. "Yeah. I thought she was someone else. She raises her face to look at him and he turns. she hangs her head and begins to cry. "I never 'brought' her home! Because she bribed me to be her boyfriend. Always running towards her. . And you all believed it. and got her a haircut. leaving the room…leaving her alone in this room full of people. It's out in the open. But I can't stop now. Are you happy now? That's the truth. Embarrassed. "You never said anything.

I stand. But in this moment. letting Bella's head gently rest on the ground again and flipping her skirt down to cover her. but they are all hot on my heels. She'll have heard me say that she used me. I am fueled with an inhuman rage. My hands shake as I cradle them around her face." Her head lolls to the side and I can feel the burning in my legs become a full. "Who?" "Riley!" I scream.We both could see. I want her. At every person here… My eyes scan her body and I lose my breath as they land on her hips then further down and I realize that her entire lower half is exposed. At myself. If she dies then the last thing she will have heard is me telling everyone the secret I promised to take to the grave. I'm screaming for her. . At this lie. but got back up again ~30 Seconds To Mars (Alibi) Chapter 14 EPOV What have I done? What have I done? I reach her before anyone else. Bella…please. Red haze and black spots appear in my line of vision and my head snaps around to the crowd gathered behind me. crystal clear That the inevitable end was near Made our choice. malicious thoughts swirl inside of my head. I'm breathing so forcefully that my mouth has gone dry and my lips are starting to crack. "Bella. shaking as the anger takes hold and violent. She is mine. I realize the truth: No matter how much hurt we have imposed on one another…I love her. Naked. a trial by fire Do battle is the only way we feel alive I fell apart. She'll have thought that I hate her. "Where is he?" I growl. I can't be without her. blazing inferno. calling her name and practically hyperventilating as I stoop over her limp frame. Bella. Emmett looks at me like he's frightened by my question.

" I grind out as quietly as possible. "did you do to her?" Riley's eyes go wide and he shakes his head frantically." . "What. "Everything we know…everything we say or believe. I swear. Or an ambulance. unwavering as she lets the truth sink in. For pushing her. I swear. Okay. My attention is back on Bella as I watch her chest rise and fall lightly and I can almost see her heart fluttering beneath her skin." I can hear someone pick up on the other line and Tyler starts talking at a hundred miles an hour. it is a LIE. asshole. And before she can retort.Instantly. Riley's eyes flick between Bella's body and my face and I know the moment that he knows…that I know. "It's a lie!" I scream. I swear…I didn't hit her. Nothing. "She could die." "You are on the inside. "Find Riley." Her mouth drops open and she blinks. I know that none of us can drive her to the hospital because every single one of us is too far gone." "Then leave." My jaw clenches and I take a step forward in warning." I instruct to no one in particular while I bend down to check her again. My hand grabs his shirt and I twist it in my fist as I drag him to my face until we're nose to nose." I stand and face the crowd. holding him in front of me by his shirt collar." I warn her lowly. "Did you hit her with the car?" Tyler blinks rapidly and shakes his head. My stance is defensive as I hold my ground in front of Bella's body. "N-nothing. "Or maybe I just figured out the truth. We all are. Emmett is pulling Riley through the crowd. changing her into what we want her to be…what she wants because she thinks we all have it so much better…" I can't stop myself as the fury inside grows into a living. Ever think about that?" Kate rolls her eyes. I am hit with a burst of adrenaline. She gawks at me in disbelief and I stare back at her. Eddie? You've lost it. "What happened to you. breathing thing fighting to get out of my body. you just told the entire class that you hate this girl and now…" I hear Mike talking but I have my eyes closed. like a lion on the hunt. I hit the brakes and she collapsed against my hood. "She ran out into the street and tripped. Get it? She could die and we would all be at fault. and no one wants to be responsible. "Dude. "I'm not ugly. "High School drama is so lame. My hate filled gaze lands on Tyler." He nods and fumbles with his phone." I assure her. She kicked me and left. I hear a snicker and whip my head to my left to see Kate looking at me like I'm the most pathetic thing she's ever seen. "Take your slutty ass back to college and pretend that you like yourself. "Call the cops. turning quickly. attempting to gain some control. But we all are. okay? Because I never…ever…want to see your ugly face again.

I am faster." I gasp and wipe my mouth with my forearm. Other than Tyler. but I am stronger. "Riley forced himself on Bella and I…" The words get stuck in my throat as visions of Bella's face fill the space behind my eyelids. "I embarrassed her at the party and she ran out into the street where she collapsed. I have tears in my eyes and spit is flying from my mouth as he attempts to fight back. I can't smell anything but copper. /*/*/*/*/*/*/* "What the hell is going on." Carlisle leans against the counter and stares at me balefully. And I wonder if Bella begged. taking huge gulps of air as my lungs scream for mercy. Edward!" My father's voice is amazingly emotional as he steps into my ER room. spitting out blood and holding his arms up towards me as if he can stop my advances with that pleading position." My hand moves so fast I can barely comprehend the speed or force as it connects with his jaw. Rose is leaning against Emmett and Alice is wrapped around Jasper's torso. pummeling his face over and over. Edward! Stop…the police are coming…" She's crying and I can't figure out why. She's clean. "I'll take the heat." My eyes drop to Riley's face and he's crying. "Okay. Jordan Riley may need to buy a new face. I have no more joy. "Stop!" Alice is screaming. we are all that's left. "We did a kit. her voice near hysteria. "Can you be more specific?" I ask him and give an empty laugh. sending him reeling away from me and his shirt is ripped from my hand. This is all my fault. There is commotion behind me as the other students begin their escape.I drop my voice even lower. Jasper is holding her back against his chest as I look up." His mouth is tight and I can see the anger in his eyes. "Get everyone out of here. It occurs to me that everyone else has left…even Kate…and I am glad. "I don't believe you." I whisper into her ear as I cradle her head to my chest. "Is that enough. I have no more pride. horrified. I have nothing to live for and tears are flowing freely as I rock her and wait for the ambulance to arrive. "Stop. Alice's eyes are wide and terrified and I chance a look around the people that are staring at me like I'm a monster." he snaps back. His hands go to his hips and his coat pushes back to reveal his beeper and phone hanging from clips on his belt. please. "I'm so sorry. I'm on him in an instant. smart ass? What the hell is going on?" I sigh and look down. And you're drunk with a busted hand and ten stitches. telling him how much I hate him and finally sticking up for Bella like I should have been doing from the start. My knees are stiff and feel bruised as I move myself from Riley's body and settle back down next to Bella. feeling even shitter than before." . Because I am. My knuckles are sore and I can feel the skin give way as they connect with his jaw and nose until blood is running freely and I can't see anything but red. "Isabella Swan is unconscious. most of them running on foot down the road towards their homes.

" "I don't know. my father looks disappointed in me. What the hell were you thinking? You're drinking and fighting…Are you desperately trying to screw up your future?" My mouth starts to work on its own and I break down." His mouth falls open in shock. let me stay in Track. then we will have People Magazine camped out in front of your school and the hospital." he counters with distrust. "I really am at a loss." His face rises to look at me again and I cringe. my voice catching as I relay the entire thing to my father." I moan and press my bandaged hand to my mouth. "Just. What am I supposed to do with you?" "Ground me. We'll run a couple more tests. Because. "Are you actually bartering with me about being grounded?" I nod. What I see there breaks my spirit in two and deflates me inside. or if this kind of behavior continues. "I just want one thing. Edward. Stay in on the weekends. 'Shit' is right. "Yeah. for the first time in my life. Guilt can be paralyzing. "You do realize that if any more kids die around here. Ground me. Dad. I don't care. "Diet pills and liquor on an empty stomach can cause someone to black out. but she shouldn't have anything else unless someone slipped something into her drink. Guilt can consume. She got it from…someone at school." "But that's it? She's not on anything else that you know of?" My father's eyes are searching for answers and I shake my head no. That means that everything really was my fault. Take away my car. "I haven't hung out with her for over a week. But what I see in my father's eyes does not make me feel guilty." he stops me letting out an exasperated sigh. "What?" "Ground me. I'll take a curfew. "Bella is on ephedrine?" "Yeah." He swallows heavily and looks down at the papers in his hand." I am practically begging." "What's that?" ." My hands are pressed together painfully as I continue." "No. "Wait." I stop myself from revealing the truth about Rose because that's her own bullshit that she needs to deal with. Just let me keep Track through the spring. numbing. "I assume the Swans don't know."Shit." His eyes close and he mutters something under his breath. "I'm serious. It can come on so quickly that your entire system will shut down. Edward. I come clean: every transgression listed in order starting with the ticket and then leading up to the present. or it can send you into a spiral of shame so deep that you can't see daylight anymore.

I did. Mom." I finish quickly. "Edward. I shrug and look down. And I thought she had…but after Monday I guess she was back on them…" My voice trails off as I see Renee expel a heavy breath. keeping my gaze focused on him." He straightens up and looks me over. Where did you learn to be so good at negotiations?" He asks wryly. you know?" I let my mouth pull up into a smile. crossing to the door. Edward? She was your best friend…" My throat tightens and I nod. the crazy mat of hair on my head." He nods again and stands. "You really kicked his ass pretty good. "It's decided then. "Mom?" I call to her. I'm asking you to please…please…help me make this right. "Yes?" "Did you know?" She asks. "I tried to get her to stop the pills. Son. her eyes burning into mine. "I'm pretty sure there won't be a lawsuit if you find a Roofie in her system. hiding the full on smile that has enveloped my face. trying to suppress a smile. Just until she's released." Carlisle's face grows soft." His face shifts back into 'Parent Mode'. I'm just saying a dinner once a week wouldn't…kill me. The desperate look on my face. And I know exactly what she's talking about." My legs slow and I look between her and Renee timidly. Stopping at the threshold. ." /*/*/*/*/* I wait to get my release papers and make my way through the hallway towards the Exit. "I know. "And you talked me into grounding you…on your own terms. walking faster as she turns and her face goes from concerned to angry. "The Riley's are talking about pressing charges. "I am dumbfounded. I need to know that she'll be okay. "Let me come up here to see Bella after she goes to sleep. when I see Bella's mom…talking to mine." And the enormity of my statement makes both of us grow quiet. "Grandpa. he turns and gives me a grin. taking in the bloody mess on my shirt. "Maybe if you and Mom were home more I wouldn't have had to find out the hard way.I take a deep breath and exhale slowly. "That's not hospital policy." he replies. "How did you not know who Bella was." she says through a sob. Are you asking to spend more time with us?" I laugh quietly and shake my head. That's why I'm willing to give up almost everything. My good hand flexes and I crack my knuckles against my thigh. "Don't go overboard.

My heart drops into my stomach and I face her head-on, looking into her face for
the first time in almost a decade. "What's decided?"
She sniffles and rubs her hand under her nose, blinking her red-rimmed eyes as a
tear escapes down her cheek. "Charlie is right…I shouldn't have brought her back
and expected that she could just function normally…"
"You shouldn't have left in the first place," I say loudly.
Renee straightens her shoulders and looks up into my face, her features tight
with worry and laced with anger. "Let me tell you something, Edward Anthony
Cullen: My daughter was perfect and unbroken before reconnecting with you.
She's smart and beautiful just the way she is. And you took her and made her
into something barely recognizable. I'd say leaving in the first place is what has
kept her safe all of these years."
My Mother's hand reaches out and she places it on Renee's chest to get her to
take a step back from me. "Renee, please…we're all hurting right now. Edward
isn't solely to blame."
I take a deep breath and swallow loudly, noting that Pride hurts on the way
down. "Mrs. Swan, please…believe me…I never intended for it to end up this
"It doesn't matter," she says with a shake of her head. "I'm pulling her out of
school on Monday morning anyway. She'll be Home Schooled. Or sent to Prep."
Her face crumbles and she shakes heavily under the weight of her emotions.
"Nowhere is safe…nowhere."
My mother pulls me to her side and wraps her arms around mine, pinning me in
place and watching as Renee disappears towards Bella's room.
"I need to see her," I tell her quietly.
"Absolutely not. You're going home and when you get up tomorrow we're having
a Come to Jesus unlike anything you've ever experienced. Now get in the car so I
can get back home and finish working." She turns on her heels and walks briskly
away, clearing the double glass doors with a slight wave at the Nurse's Station as
she disappears into the early morning darkness.
My head is killing me.
I groan and shift in my bed, but I'm kind of stuck and I'm bent at an odd angle.
Shifting again I wince and yelp softly when something pulls and causes resistance
on my hand.
"Ow," I whine and crack my eyes open a little.
"Bella, sweetie…are you awake?"
I can hear my mother's voice and I smile up towards the sound. "Five more
She chuckles tightly and sighs. "Honey, wake up."
"It's Saturday," I tell her quietly.

"It's Monday," she answers.
My eyes fly open and I sit straight up, my head surrounded by a vice and
pressing into my spine as if a boulder is resting on my skull. "It can't be Monday.
I was just at Homecoming," I remind her, pressing my hand against my forehead.
And that's when I hear it…the beeping. It speeds up and slows down to the beats
of my heart. It's a heart monitor.
I lower my hand and look down at the hospital bracelet around my wrist, and
then they wander to the other hand that has an I.V. attached to it.
"What happened?" I ask, panic erupting in my chest and causing the monitor to
spike wildly.
"You collapsed onto a semi moving car…" My mother's voice is soft as she
explains. "You passed out from a panic attack?"
I lift my eyes to hers and frown. "Panic attack?"
"Caused by your diet pills." Her lips have settled into a thin line and she's
awaiting my reaction.
"They're no big deal," I say quietly. "It's like the hoodia you sell, right?"
"No. Not right," she says angrily and then sighs. "Bella, you know better than to
put those poisons into your body! I sell things that make people better…not give
them heart attacks."
I settle back into my pillow and close my eyes, willing my brain to remember
anything. "I don't have any memory of it happening," I say softly.
Her hand is instantly on mine. "I know. It looks like you stopped eating? And took
those pills. Drank like a Sorority girl…and got slipped something in your drink."
The sour taste in my mouth magnifies by a thousand and I press my hand to my
lips to stop from vomiting. "Who would do that?"
Renee's eyes slide over my face and she shakes her head. "I guess your date did.
We're not sure. He can't…exactly…speak yet."
My head swims a bit and I blink. "What?"
"Edward beat him up when they found you outside and you…" She stops and
takes a sharp breath in. "Let's not talk about it now, okay? You just need to rest."
"I want to know." I have a horrible feeling that something worse happened than
what she's letting on. And the void in my memory is causing my stomach to roll.
Renee shifts and looks away. "In due time. But the doctor needs to see you and
make sure you're okay. You've been in an out of consciousness for a couple of
I swallow and nod my head, knowing better than to press her.
"But, you should know that I'm taking you out of that school."
"No!" I cry out, my throat dry and scratchy from lack of use. "No-n-n-no, you
can't! I just…please….Mom…I-I…"
Why can't I speak?

"Shh," she says with comfort, laying a hand on my forehead. "We'll talk about it
I can feel the tears welling in my eyes and I close my lids to stop them from
escaping. "I messed up so bad," I cry and press my hands to my face. "Please
don't make me leave again." The sobs are building and I can feel myself slipping
away as I envision my father's face as we drove away all those years ago.
"Well, you certainly can't stay here," she admonishes.
"There's not a lot of time left in Senior Year. J-j-j-ust let me…" I am coughing on
my tears, "Just please. Please."
She crawls up next to me on the bed and holds me as I cry. "My baby girl. What
happened to you?"
I let the tears fall as fast as they can now and shake my head at the idiocy of it
all. "I fell in love with someone who doesn't love me for who I am. Or who I tried
to be for him," I manage out in heaving breaths. My head hurts even worse now
and I feel like I could pass out again.
"Oh, no, no, no," she whispers and brushes my hair away from my face. "I think
you might just be wrong about that."
My eyes squeeze tighter, holding them closed as the images of Edward walking
way from me at the dance surface a little. And then the memory of him saying
my name: my real name floats to the top of my consciousness and I allow myself
to drown in my own despair because now he knows and still doesn't want me.
"I'm not enough…"
My mom shakes me a bit and turns my face to hers, tsking gently. "Baby girl,
open your eyes."
I do as she says and she blinks back tears of her own. "Open. Your. Eyes."
My eyebrows pull together as I look into her eyes. And slowly, as if I can feel his
presence around me, my head swivels towards the outskirts of my room. My
breath catches and I wipe my eyes repeatedly, wondering if what I am seeing is a
"For someone who doesn't care about you, he certainly has a terrible way of
showing it," she whispers against my cheek.
Because every last inch of available space is covered in flowers. Three days. I had
been here for three days, and I'd awoken to enough flowers to fill a meadow.
Tulips, daisies, lilies, roses…all colors, all sizes, every bouquet imaginable took up
my line of sight.
My heart lurches and I hang my head, crying now for an entirely different reason.
I still had no idea what had happened to me…but now I was sure of one thing.
Edward Cullen cared for me.
But where did we go from here?

So here we are, reaching out

It was obvious that I was not welcome to call her at home. So I could only email her if I wanted to.The quickest tongue to divide and devour Divide and devour If I could end the quest for fire For truth. but it just didn't seem like enough. but got back up again ~ 30SecondsToMars (Alibi) Chapter 15 EPOV She's been gone for a week. too. So. already. Heidi. Bella was released on the fourth day and I was relieved. She lit candles a lot. I had flowers delivered to her every day while she was hospitalized. Renee kept her home for three school days. but sad at the same time because if she was at her own house I couldn't sneak in as stealthily as I had in the hospital. And that's how I've become some creepy James Bond 007 stalker. This is why I had taken to watching her from beneath our tree until I couldn't hold my eyes open any . I would participate in Track practice. and I would make my way to her house in the darkness. for love. would call to let me know it was okay to sneak in. And after Renee and Charlie would leave her to rest. It was in the late evening hours when her household would rest that she was up. I had half expected that Charlie would have it cut down. avoiding the hateful stares of Newton as I smoked him time after time. But it offered me shelter when it began to rain and the leaves fell around me when it was dry and quiet while I sat beneath it staring up at her darkened window. I was surprised as the week wore on. the Head Nurse. wanting only to get home and finish dinner. to find that the tree outside of her window was still standing. What she did not do was answer her phone. but her parents had gone so far as to have her cell taken away. I could see her shadow moving about the room as light flickered and danced in dark corners. take care of my homework and then I'd be waiting on the edge of my seat for Heidi's call to come in. We were both to blame. And I would spend the nights watching her sleep and asking her silently to forgive me for what I had done to her. and my desire Myself And I fell apart. I spent limited time with Emmett and Jasper. What we had done to each other.

I was starting to like the thought of people fearing me. and she didn't say a damn word to any of us. I should call her and remind myself of what a shitty person I am?" Alice pulls her bag to her chest and gives a soft laugh. she blackmailed you and we all fell for it. "She thinks that we're terrible enough to not be able to accept her for who she is. And from the looks of it. spinning to face us defensively. in reality. so I kept it as short as possible and eventually started telling people to shut the hell up if they didn't want me to 'Riley' their asses. "Bella Marie wasn't just your friend. Then I would trudge back to my house to try and get some type of sleep before I had to be up again. She's not coming. remember?" "We wouldn't have accepted her. if I'm . Alice stops and shakes his hand off of her own. Word had gotten around school about Riley slipping the Roofie to Bella. Isabella Swan came back into this town and crept her way in. So. too. And I'd had to assure people that I hadn't been purchased like an Escort and that Bella hadn't threatened me with anything. as if I didn't even need sleep as long as I could see Bella. it probably only fueled their gossip even more." "Why not?" Jasper questions with a tilt of his head and a frown. "Have you tried to call her. knowing who we were. only shaking her head slightly.longer. thanks. Monday had rolled around again and I was surprised not to see Bella's truck in the parking lot. I stand outside of my car with my hands shoved into my pockets. the thought that she might actually show up at school made me jump out of bed every morning." Her mouth trembles slightly and she looks away." His eyes are saddened and I nod." I say firmly. scanning the last minute cars rolling into open spaces until Jasper pulls on my messenger bag. Although. "So. But explaining the real truth would have been much too painful and taken far too long. dude. Maybe then they would think twice about messing with me." My heart has been in terrible shape since watching Bella's body be rolled into the ER on a gurney." Jasper whispers under his breath. Your exact words. "C'mon. completely twisted by the time it got back to me. BPOV The herb store is quiet and Renee is in the back taking inventory while I sit behind the cash register. "I don't know that I have anything to say to her. I don't even have enough feeling in my chest to be hurt by Alice's words. Edward. "We didn't accept her. following behind him as he takes hold of Alice's hand and pulls her to his side. I'll pass. But. Alice?" I ask and she continues to look forward. Alice is trying to hide her pain. And the truth about our deal had made its rounds as well. But right now the only person who I am worried about is Bella. I'm bored and shifty and also a little nauseous. "No. It kinda worked. And I can't see her.

Obviously she didn't know everything and I highly doubted that Edward would have told her about all of it…I prayed that he was smarter than that. Edward would need to run away to some desolate piece of land in Alaska to get away from the Wrath of Charlie Swan. irritated at the fact that I can't go back to school yet. I've also been getting little bits and pieces of my memory from the Homecoming after party surfacing in my mind at all hours of the day and night. but Renee still insists on me doing lessons on my own. Not that the sex would have bothered her. Beautiful girl Stay with me Tears prick the corners of my eyes and I close them to will the pain back. I fact. but something catches my attention… Stay with me I blink and clear my vision as my ears perk up. And then there is the silence. The silence from my mother as she tries to figure out what to do with me. I know this song. My mind starts to wander and I fall into a kind of stupor as I stare out of the store front windows. All week long I have had this feeling that I'm being watched and I just can't shake it.being honest with myself. I really didn't need my mom knowing that I had blackmailed my childhood crush into being my pretend boyfriend and having sex with me. Beautiful girl Stay with me . I slump against the counter and open the book in front of me. The silence from Edward and my so-called 'friends'. She's so scared So very frightened Anything could happen Right here tonight Something flashes behind my eyelids and I take a sharp breath in. Music is filtering quietly through the overhead speakers and I've been attempting to ignore it all day. Only. at the Nudist Colony…I hadn't screwed up so much. It's not that I'm incapable of teaching myself and making good grades on my own – I did it at the Colony a lot. my stomach in a perpetual knot and my head in a constant haze over the entire ordeal. But she had a big mouth and it would definitely bother my dad. The silence of my father as he looks at me in disappointment. I'd finally gotten some pieces of what had happened out of Renee. it's been so sporadic that I haven't been sleeping much.

Of course. I mean. Take them to school and come straight back. My hands are shaking a little and I turn towards my backpack. I'd been off of the diet pills for over a week now. inevitably. Life made absolutely no sense sometimes. I wasn't hungry because I was so damn stressed out and nervous over everything that had transpired. They looked right through me for a year and now this was all my fault." I tell her quietly." "Oh…" I wince and frown. "I just got a call from your yearbook teacher. Back at my house I pull out the graph paper and pictures that I've been arranging for the past few weeks. I know that Edward beat up Riley after I came down the stairs looped out of my mind from the drugs. And the thought of seeing Edward makes me want to throw up but it also makes my chest burn with need." Her eyes seem to be looking into my soul as . And it's obvious that the reason I haven't heard from Alice or Rose is because they feel like I used them somehow. My eyes can't help but hover over the face of Bree in the middle of the page entitled "Lost But Not Forgotten. Renee steps out from the back room and pats me on the back softly. But. Nervous about that and." She seems unsure. but I'll take any chance I can get at this point. and I didn't feel like I was going to pass out anymore. And the memory of him spilling our secret had come to me the last day in the hospital. "If I leave now I can have them turned in before school lets out for the day. And that's how I know I freaked out and ran into the street. but everything from the time Edward said 'Bella Marie' to the time that I woke up in my hospital bed is way too fuzzy to put any belief into. They made fun of me behind my back. I know that Riley tried to attack me." She looks thoughtful and nods. you hear me?" A thrill runs through my body and settles like a lump of coal in the pit of my stomach. I know that Edward had an altercation with Kate and it sent me running from the house. she hasn't made an effort to contact me. wondering briefly if I should attempt to email Alice. They didn't remember me. My stomach tightens as I look at the layouts…I'd asked to specifically do some pages for the peers that we'd lost this year. I had no idea that I could ever feel this way about someone. the rest of my life.I open my eyes and focus on the early morning light outside the window. I'm almost done with them. "I was supposed to have my pages turned in this morning. I need…to see him. My mom was the one to tell me that there was an altercation of some kind. I can actually go somewhere other than my house…but it's to school. Which is crazy because…somehow…this has all become my fault. "Fine. Especially someone who outed me in front of my entire school. what he did was certainly for my own good. "Go home and finish them.

This is surrender To a war-torn life I've lived. and I actually feel like I could be in and out without any sort of scene. Over a boy and a shitty best friend. "I'm a terrible person. Reaching for the other two. Looking at it just reminded me of how far we'd come. All of us playing together on the playground." I lament pathetically as I set the pages on my bed. The butterflies are working overtime and I have to remind myself that it's just school that I am going to and not some kind of public stoning. Gone. I know that I'm about to walk into the Unknown. At least hers wasn't one and the same. There are small ones of Alice and I." I say quietly. They're ones I found in my attic when I first moved back…of all of us in Elementary School. "Keep your head up. Running my thumb reverently over the photo of Edward.her face is reflected back at me from the glossy pictures chosen to represent her in the yearbook. Bella. It doesn't work. Just like Edward. And how hard we had fallen. hoping to boost my last shredded bit of self confidence. I must be some kind of masochist for making myself go back inside of this brick building so soon. Rose with Edward and Jasper. I would." I whisper to the little face of myself that is far too innocent to know what I have done to her in the present. Levi's class. until I realize that I have shown up during Senior lunch. The hallways are empty as I make my way to my destination. And one of me and Edward that I'd carried around while I was gone. It's so damn shiny. My hands are shaking again while I turn off the engine and breathe unsteadily through my nose. And I must cross through the lunch room to get to Mr. No need to hide anything anymore. "I'm sorry. My truck lurches to a stop in the parking lot and I swallow the lump in my throat as Edward's car comes into view. . Scars and stripes forever In need of change I can't resist. I whisper an apology to him as well. I brace myself to face the pictures I've assembled. "If I could take it all back. Fifteen years old. but there's something drawing me there." Within two hours I am completely done and gather up my finished work.

I don't look at anyone. no one will take notice. Blood rushing to my face as sweat breaks out across my forehead.Can't return to who I was before. Two potato. One. But my legs can't hear my mind even though I am screaming internally for my body to function and suddenly I lurch forward into the bright light of the cafeteria. Numb fingers. staring straight ahead and walking as directly as I can to get across to the hallway that is my salvation. focused so that I can see my prize: the hallway. Four. ~Anberlin (Breathe) Chapter 16 BPOV One potato. The world feels revived. Suddenly alive. It is a good…what? Two hundred feet from where I am standing? I just have to get two hundred feet there. Three. Four. I have to do this. My mind reels with thoughts and panic as I stare at the hallway entrance directly across from where I am standing. I have to. I'm counting my steps as I walk towards my destination. I can finally breathe. I can finally move. I can hear people talking and I am keeping my eyes forward. If I walk slowly. No one will even see me. No one has seen me. I am invisible. In my head it seems less obvious for me to just travel across the floor at a slow speed than to run through like my ass is on fire. Six. Five. Two. And two hundred feet back. Heart beating over time. My knees start to go weak and I bite my lip as the anxiety begins to come in waves. . but I don't run either. Three potato.

Stanley? You're the pathetic one. And. looking as though she is forcing back tears. The ringing in my ears has grown to a full out blast…like a horn being blown for battle." As soon as the words leave my mouth I want to cry. Run. "You. "You spilled it. you twat. even in my broken state. who is sitting at a table with a few of the Track runners. "Who do you think you are? You tryin' to 'Swan' your way in? You're pathetic…" Angela cringes and sits back a little. What's even sadder than that is…you'll go . "See what you've done? Now every little broke ass whore in our class thinks she can entice her way in…" She turns to Ben and shakes her head. clutching my pages to my chest as I allow my face to turn towards her voice. Stanley?" I'm screaming and I can't stop. "She's tutoring me in Trig. "What did she do for you. Bella! My mind screams at me to flee because I haven't been seen and no one knows I am here. "What the hell are you doing here?" Jessica Stanley's bitch voice causes me to falter momentarily and I stumble a bit.Seven. "What? Do you think just because it happened once we're not all on to the games that you geeks are playing? Huh?" Jessica slaps her hand down on the table next to Angela's food. as Ben's eyes grow wide." she seethes." my voice cracks. But my conscience knows that this train wreck is in full effect and I can't move my feet to save my life. she is sitting with Ben Cheney. like Bella did?" Ben shakes his head and points a finger to the open book on his lap. Ben? Huh? Did she bribe you to get you to let her sit here. "What the HELL is your problem. But she's not talking to me. "Are you really THIS stupid? Or do you just not care?" Jessica's head snaps around to face me. Specifically. My whole frame shakes with anger and betrayal and embarrassment as I take a few steps in her direction. Jessica leans into Angela's face and gives her a disgusted look. and her eyes narrow. "Me." I can't help the laugh that escapes from my mouth that mixes with a sob as Jessica's face turns bright red. For thinking that this shit is important. sending her Coke jumping and it totters before it tips. "Yeah. "Bitch!" Jessica screams and jumps away from the table as Coke begins to seep off of the Formica and into a puddle around her shoes. "You know what. I can see the ridiculousness of the situation and my heart breaks for the horrible way that Angela is being treated and I…can't…take it anymore." Angela whispers. 'Pot Girl'. She's staring hatefully at another girl…Angela Weber. Take whatever stupid anger you have about your precious popularity being infiltrated out on me…bitch.

"We even had a funeral for them. a blush of embarrassment coloring her cheeks. Because…" The tears break college and surround yourself with others that are just as pathetic and narrow minded as you are. We buried them in your yard…and every time I have to water your plants and I get to the rhododendrons. "But you think you're better than everyone. "Remember?" My throat is tight with tears as I talk directly to him. "You were so scared." She looks away and then back at me. Her eyes scour the pictures and she blinks furiously before her eyes lift to mine and a tear slides down her cheeks. I kicked him right in the nuts and told him to leave you alone. "I knew these people when I was younger." My head tilts up and I scan the now quiet crowd in the cafeteria. "Remember when that boy was chasing you around the playground trying to look up your skirt?" I ask her quietly. "At least I'll have friends. "Because you were my friend. "I remember…" The tears are streaming down my face now as I look past him to Rose." she says quietly. All Angela was doing was helping Ben get good grades so he could stay on the team. And I also know…that he cried when his hamster had babies and then ate them. And after that. they prey on the weak in the corporate world. guess what? You're not. "I'd rather have no one than be in the same category as people like you. And I remember how hard you cried when we packed the dirt on that old shoe box…" Emmett takes a tentative step towards me. She nods and a small smile pulls at her lips. And even if they don't remember me…I know about them. I remember that they're there. I'm so stunned by her advancement that I don't see her hand reach out and snatch my pages from my arms. but these were my friends." she taunts. "Remember when you got stuck on the monkey bars and me and Edward had to climb up and talk you down? You were…" I choke as the memories come rushing back. A cold hearted bitch." It's the truth and I know it. Girls like Stanley find their kind and cluster together to keep the trend going even through college." Emmett's head lifts above the crowd as he stands and looks at me silently." Jessica's face blanches. taking a step in my direction. "You kicked him in the nuts. "And you…Lillian…" Rose's eyes grow wide as I call her by her middle name. There's a scuffle behind me and I turn to see Alice bending over to pick up my yearbook pages. You're a terrible person. You moved here after me. But we couldn't leave you up there. isn't that right?" I force myself to look at Ben and he nods." . "I know that Emmett is way smarter than he lets on. "I did. Jessica. And we were too. right? I hated those things but you were crying and I couldn't…stand…to see you like that. She could live her entire life feeling like everything she had ever thought was right. "Who needs friends like you?" I ask as I watch the papers float to the ground. Well.

Bella. My gaze never leaves Edward's face. Alice moves to stand next to him and hands him the yearbook pages she has in her possession. though. though. or couldn't shop at the same stores? Some of us liked books? Others wanted to sing instead of play football? WHO CARES?" My voice hits a fever pitch and I wring my hands with worry. "Maybe we did. He's so beautiful and looks just as broken as I am on the inside. his features are curious and controlled. my heart in my throat and palms sweaty against one another. "I didn't choose to leave." Her chin tilts down and she sighs. It's not a bad thing. And that feels like a lifetime ago. "You. but deep within the aqua rings around his pupils I can see…fear. everything changed. "Why does it have to be this way? I just don't understand…" Alice takes a step towards me and I lift a hand to stop her. A soft voice calls to me from my left and I turn quickly to see him standing at my side. "It may have been better to keep all of this in my head instead of screwing things up so badly. "Then why didn't you remember…me?" Alice shrugs and looks away. surrounded by photographs of the rest of our . but I can taste the warm saltiness as they seep into the sides of my parted lips.I turn back to look at the cafeteria full of people I once knew or had watched from afar. It's out there and I can't get it back." Alice laughs through her tears and nods. What happened? Some of us started looking different. you know. My ears perk up as I notice Emmett and Rose approaching me cautiously." The tears are coming slower now. Just. Jasper is between Edward and Alice. "We carried Jasper to Edward's house when he fell off his bike and almost lost all of the skin on his knee cap. stepping forward only slightly to test my response. "I honestly just wanted…" The truth won't come out and I'm ashamed that I can't tell him what I need to say so badly. smiling tentatively at me as he watches this unfold. And now he knows." I shake my head and let out a sobbing breath. no matter how hard I wish or pray or beg. "I never should have come back." Edward whispers. holding hands and eyeing me carefully. It's been a long time. "We were all friends back then." "Like that's a bad thing?" I question. letting my lips settle again after the truth floats into the space between us." Edward explains lowly. "Wanted what?" He murmurs. And I am partially devastated by this fact and elated that he…feels…something…for me. Edward takes it and lets his eyes fall from my face to the page and his mouth opens in surprise as he takes in the picture of the two of us that I have centered on the paper." I whisper so quietly that I'm sure only Edward has heard. "No. in memories. "When you left. "Maybe you remind us of who we were." I whisper back. A movement catches my eye and I see Jasper slide one of the yearbook pages against Edward's arm." I breathe. I've said it. "I remember.

I would have done anything for him. you know. No one person is to blame. I mean. As if Emmett is telling Edward something that only Edward can hear in the silence. "All of you. his eyes blazing and pleading silently as if they can read each other's minds. "I'm sorry. I laugh quietly and shake my head. We just weren't in the same world. I was not meant to be here. "And I did a terrible thing by tricking you. Go before you get reprimanded for causing a scene. "Wait!" Emmett calls as I pivot to flee. hot lava running upwards into my face and pinpricks of fear running down my legs. My feet. "It will change. Alive and happy. glistening like a mirage under his façade as he faces me and his mouth pulls up into a half smile. no matter how hard I plead with them to move. too. My salvation lies beyond those doors and ." His dark eyes are kind. but he looks pale and stressed." And with those last words I turn back towards the hallway that leads to my freedom from the confines of this place." Rose moves only slightly but her voice rings loud enough to be heard by everyone. shoving them at Mr." "I have to." I mumble and snatch the pages from Edward's hands." I gasp and clutch at the front of my shirt in panic. Been anyone for him. "Don't go. "Yeah?" Emmett looks towards Edward. Seeing him standing in the cafeteria and surrounded by the people I would sell my soul for had only served to confirm that fact. I'll leave. He smiles sadly and wraps his arms around her shoulders in a loving embrace." My attention moves to the others by his side. I turn to look at the still quiet lunchroom and feel the crippling embarrassment take hold. Go back to Florida or something. walking slowly and deciphering his next move. "I have to go." I say with a wave of my hands. You'll all forget me again and we can all just move on like nothing happened." I suck in a broken breath and squeeze my eyes shut before opening them as more liquid spills from my lids. Levi so that I can turn to go. Nothing will change around here…" My eyes are blinking furiously as I fight back more tears." Alice presses her hands to her face and sighs before nodding and turning into Jasper's chest." There is the soft sound of heels clicking down the hallway and we all turn at once to see Mr. like my very presence in this school is causing an issue. "I have…loved you…since I was eight years old.friends. An undetermined future ahead of us as we moved forward in wide eyed wonder. And in that moment I can see the real Edward. "We're sorry. stop and I turn back towards him dejectedly. "It won't. I never thought it would go this far. "Isabella…you should go. I never meant for this to happen. But now I know the truth: no change would ever be enough. Levi entering the room. "For everything. innocent and equally vulnerable.

He looks so incredibly desperate…and yet he has an air of cocky assurance about him that makes my heart rate spike. Heartbeat to matching heartbeat. the voice I have ached for with every fiber of my being each day for a decade slices through the haze around my head. "What?" I manage and turn to face him. But. swimming in the warmth of his words and the flood of emotions that have crashed down upon me. wide eyed and scared as a deer being hunted." I promise him and my chin trembles as the truth escapes my lips again. 'I love you'. if no one follows me. ultimately. "I'm right here. . Do you know how long I've waited for you?" I shake my head slightly and let out the breath I've been holding. I can only hear my own heartbeat and breathing as it rings in my ears. I'll still be free. The next few moments are frozen in my mind for all of eternity as I give myself over to him. "I always have. Yet. I'm clutching the metal behind my back desperately trying not to let my knees go weak or faint from his advancing form. softly and with a need that I've never experienced before. "The real you." "I'm here. liquid gold and tanzanite tinged. "I've loved you too. His feet propel him towards me and I turn to press my back against the partition as he approaches. The thought occurs to me that if I can make it to the door without being assaulted with some sort of food items. "I said. then I am still a loser. releasing all of the guilt and sadness that I've ensnared us in…the spider web of lies and deceit unraveling as we begin falling…falling…falling into each other." he repeats firmly. And by the time he is toe to toe with me." he all but shouts at my retreating frame." And it's all that he needs to hear as he cups my face in his soft palms and presses his lips to mine. Soul to soul. then I have won. I might just be able to walk away from all of this. threatening to drown me if I take a breath. My world flips on its axis and I clutch onto the metal bar separating the doors as I hold myself upright. I'm frozen in place as his face lowers to mine and his eyes line up to my own. My feet feel like they are encased in cement and quicksand pulls at my legs while I make my way to the exit. Time has probably slowed to a tenth of what it would usually be if I were watching this unfold as a bystander. And just as I hit the open doorframe. He looks like he wants to devour me. You're my Bella Marie. sparkling aura as his words reach my ears. Breath to breath. "You have?" His forehead leans lightly against mine and I watch the emotions pass behind his eyes as he tightens his jaw.if I can just walk out of this High School with my head held high. still standing a hundred feet away. engulfing me in a beautiful. Lips to lips.

" I counter and grip the back of his shirt in my sweaty palms. "The real you." I answer honestly. "I want you. It's not like in the movies where the claps turn into raucous screams and chants and everyone gets in on the love that we're exuding. waiting for an answer. my hands now deeply rooted in his hair and chest pressed flush to his." "How?" I whisper as his lips hover above my own." he says with a nod of his head. his eyes searching mine for acceptance." he begs quietly. The real…us. "I don't know. And then he turns me into his side and does. "Like. His gaze lands on my lips and he breathes a steadying breath in. pulling my face to his with his lips on my chin. But there's no scene where we skip off happily to the parking lot and ride off on a lawn mower or in my old beat up orange monstrosity of a pickup truck. A few people clap too. pulling me as close as he can without cutting off my air supply. "Please stay. in fact. There are no group hugs." His lips fall shakily to my neck and he wraps his arms around my back. There is only Mr. Edward's hands lift to the side of my face and his thumbs trace slow circles under my eyes to wipe the tears away as I stare at him. Please…" The sobs fall from my lips again. There are no squealing tires with theme music blasting as we hold hands. but this time they are not born of sadness or shame. he turns me again. My eyes scan the scene before me over his shoulder and I laugh for the first time in what feels like years."About damn time!" Emmett yells and I hear him start clapping like an idiot as the rest of our friends join in while I pull my lips from Edward's. your girlfriend?" . especially Angela and people at a couple of tables close to us. Once we're there." he murmurs into my hair and I sob at his words because they are mine too. slip his hand into mine as we maneuver our way through the still empty hallway and out to my awaiting truck. Will you go out with me?" A chuckle builds in my throat and I begin to shake with laughter. Edward. "I need you. "I just…" He seems on the verge of breaking and I'm too fragile to help hold him together. "The real you. There are no silly high fives or dance scenes that fade to black. "I really hope so. "Can we start over?" His chest is rising and falling so forcefully that I fear he might hyperventilate. Levi approaching cautiously to tell us that we need to leave before someone reports us for indecent behavior. "The real me. They are an audible plea from my soul. Edward smiles wide against my cheek as he thanks the teacher for his words of advice. "Can we try?" I nod and swallow the thick tears trickling down the back of my throat as I look up into the afternoon sky. "Isabella.

"Yeah. Like my damn girlfriend." I chide him with a smirk. since I'm stuffed up from crying so hard. A date. "But we've never been on a date." he murmurs. "Yeah. "Absolutely…" This long of a struggle Finally opened up my eyes. "We should do this the right way. though…like Tanya." Well. like. date. "A real. "Very chivalrous. It is there that I lost myself. And. defeated by the turn of events. "No. "Can I climb your tree tonight?" Want and intoxicating heat settle between my thighs as I gaze into his smoldering eyes. "Oh.He cocks his head to the side and smiles in disbelief. . Why is that so funny?" "Because…this is all so freaking messed up and backwards." he laments pathetically." The smile that takes over my face is ridiculous and I feel so stupid for my reaction. in public. "We need to talk about a bunch of stuff. been together…" I chew on my lip thoughtfully as visions of Edward beneath me flood my mind. Trust me when I tell you that this is not about chivalry. And it's there that I see the true me reflected back as I allow myself to answer him with the only word I can think to say under his hypnotic gaze. "I know. You ask yours." My heart drops and I plant my hands on his hips to keep them from shaking. I'll ask my Dad. out in the open. It doesn't sound quite as awesome coming out of my mouth as is did in my head though. "I have no phone. you know…we've already. And a movie. Nothing…" "That's okay. "I'm grounded. running his fingers through my hair. Revolution's not easy With a Civil War on the inside. but the swelling in my heart and the butterflies in my stomach take over my senses and I have no choice but to grin like an idiot." he offers." And then the most delicious smile spreads across his face as he leans in closer to run his soft lips over mine again." I mutter. And suddenly we both sigh and look away as the reality of the situation plays out in our minds." His eyes are shining and he looks elated by the plans. too. dinner." he assures me. that actually makes sense. "Me." He looks away across the parking lot before turning his attention back to me. And Riley. I'll pick you up for a real date…like.

then?" Charlie's jaw is set and pulsing as he clenches it. ." Charlie's fork hits his plate with a clatter and I jump. After I feel okay to speak. God. Sir. "He…what?" Renee asks as she settles back into her seat. "Yeah. This is embarrassing. Of course he can climb my tree." "Did you turn in your assignment?" "Yes. gathering the courage to speak. you got pretty up close with him. I respond. fine." I pick at the tablecloth and chew my lip. Dad. hoping to work some sort of charm on him that I clearly do not possess." Charlie bites into a roll and narrows his eyes at me suspiciously." "Please?" I beg. Oh. Why?" "Why? Because he's bad news. wide-eyed as he shakes his head violently. ~Anberlin (Breathe) Chapter 17 BPOV Can I climb your tree tonight? I smile and push my potatoes around on my plate as my heart flutters. "Why are you smiling like that?" My father's voice pulls me from my happy place and I realize that I'm not alone at the table. And he. that's why. "How's his hand?" "Umm. "Umm. "No reason." "Did you see that Cullen boy?" "Holy crow. I saw him.No need to hide anything anymore. I put my fork down and sigh. "Absolutely not. Like…talked. "Heaskedmeoutonadate. "So. Can't return to who I was before. "Yeah. And then he can climb me like a damn spider monkey. "Did you go by the school today?" "Yeah. umm…" The damn words wouldn't come out and it was making me flustered to say the least. Shrugging." My mind instantly conjures up the rough feel of the tape around his knuckles as he held my hand and caressed my face this afternoon. We talked." He chews on the bread a while longer and glares out the window." My face has flushed bright red and I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. It looks like it's healing pretty nicely. No. I try to keep my cool and do one of my breathing exercises to center my anxiety and channel my anger.

taking pills… your grades have slipped…No. I need some semblance of normalcy in my otherwise chaotic existence. "But Edward Cullen is not. "It wasn't Edward's fault." My father takes a sip of his tea and then pushes back from the table angrily muttering under his breath. I'm actually getting used to it a little. "I know that you want to protect me and everything. You can't…keep me here like this. if I get to go back to school then I can at least see and spend time with Edward. Renee nods and I turn quickly to race upstairs to my room." "Well then maybe I'll leave. but it's already been such an emotional day for me that I can't stop it. Why not dig myself deeper? "Seriously?" I counter. Edward can still sneak in at night. I can keep you locked up all I want to. stomping my foot like a child. Dad."You hung out with that boy for a month and started drinking. I just want…to finish the school year and get accepted to a good college." Charlie stands firm. . "May I please be excused?" I ask only Renee. he would probably know what time that was. "We're just worried about you." I don't want to cry in front of him. but I assume he'll know to wait until my parents are asleep. Charlie whips around and plants his feet firmly." My heart feels heavy in my chest and I start to argue." my mother interjects. And I've paid for them already. I know I'm acting stupid and childish…but I want Edward. and since this isn't his first time breaking and entering into my room. too. I'll take it. I made some mistakes. And I want to go back to school. "Bella. "School is up for discussion. I was already as low as I could go. And for the life of me I can't figure out why I want to go back into the lion's den. pushing away from the table." I whisper." He stops his march into the kitchen and turns to give me a mocking look. so there's no way to reach Edward to see when he's planning on coming over. "You almost got attacked. I do. And honestly." "You can't make those assumptions!" I yell." My hands flail wildly and I huff audibly. I still don't have a phone. "Am I really supposed to believe that. I wanted to do all of those things. young lady? You've never done anything like this before and now some boy comes along and you're barely recognizable. My house. ignoring my Dad's look of disapproval. It was…me. but know that it is useless." "Please don't worry about me. I've screwed everything up in such a short time. Daddy…but you can't keep me locked up here in this house and not let me go back to school or go on dates. My prerogative. And if Jake doesn't actually stake out my house. But. gripping his plate as his knuckles turn white. And I can have Jake on watch outside of our house all night if I want to. or have a chance at a real life.

With careful thought. I pull out a white cotton nightgown. Wrapping myself in my towel. Quickly. It makes me feel pretty. bare and honest. then… A sound from my window catches my attention and I turn quickly to see his fingers beneath my windowpane. My thoughts are racing and whirring through my head as I shut my bedroom door behind me and lock it quietly. I move to my door to listen as my parents retire to their room to sleep and I take a huge breath into my lungs before turning and facing him as he closes the window behind him. But another part of me is relieved that he's even shown up. with little straps made of lace. from my dresser drawer. I face the mirror on the back of my door and smile. there was probably no one person that had loved as long and as deeply as I had loved Edward Cullen. He thought I was beautiful. I go about making sure that I am ready. And if he still loves me. I try to will down my frayed nerves. I don't know how it will go or what will be said. I dip forward and wrap it around my head so that I can dry my hair while I put on my lotion and pick out something to wear. allowing my reflection to sink into my consciousness. Dropping my towel. And I was more comfortable naked than I was in any of the clothes he had bought me. I want to be with him more than anything else in this life. They just don't understand. There was no way I could let anything stand between us. I am ready. I stand back and stare at myself. but talking everything out with Edward will probably be really difficult. and it unnerves me to think that everything will be laid out on the table tonight. I will be me. After putting on my lotion and chapstick. I'm frantic within my own mind. Tonight. wondering if this is real and if we can make it through tonight. And once they are on. standing in my room now. Tonight I would be in my comfort zone. And if that means pissing off my parents or not having their blessing. I love Edward. facing away from me. They couldn't begin to understand what I feel for Edward Cullen. I needed to remember who I had been before everything had fallen apart. The real me. And naked. In the history of the entire world. pushing the wood and glass higher so that he can slide inside. No one could understand.The time I spend in the shower gives me some much needed relaxation and I calm down a bit from the altercation with my parents. . I've stood up for myself a lot today. Both of those were good feelings for me to have tonight. then I would have to live with that. And he loved me back. Free of everything that I've buried myself under. I needed to feel like myself in front of him. The last thing I need to put into place is my glasses. Bella Marie. Lighting candles and turning on the television.

Thank you. "I like them. I can hear his breathing change and he rests a hand along my elbow."Hi. but I must not have been thinking because I put it into the freezer instead and that's why it's all frozen and shit…" It is legitimately the first time I have seen him look anything less than confident and my heart swells as he continues to mumble and yammer away excitedly. My hands press to his chest and I stare up at him. I take a step in his direction." His lips purse as he tries to stifle a smile. pulling me closer to his chest. A smile pulls my cheeks up to my eyes and I press my hands to my mouth as I laugh lightly." I say quietly. There's no immense need or fear in these . testing the water before we take the plunge. coming to rest at his feet. It's not urgent like earlier in the day. "I got it after school and didn't want it to wither. nodding his head." Edward runs a nervous hand through his hair. "The real me. Immediately." His face leans towards mine and I hear him mutter something along the lines of. Edward. "Just…kiss me." My free hand travels up his chest towards his neck and I take a moment to gather my confidence. His face scrunches up and he winces as I take hold of it. That last thing is definitely happening tonight… "I got you something. "Okay. The chill rolling off of him is enough to make me shiver and I am thankful for the excuse to wrap my arms around his waist and settle my cheek against his chest. "And the real me is in love with this very beautiful girl that wears glasses and reads poetry. right? Well. From his gorgeous green eyes…framed by a pair of glasses." I whisper and his mouth snaps closed as his eyes grow wide. "It's beautiful. But I'm not sure what we're supposed to do first. so I went to put it into the fridge. I want to kiss him. the real me wears glasses and writes poetry." He pulls away from me and reaches his hand into his back pocket before thrusting a daisy in my face. looking suddenly unsure of himself. never dropping my gaze from his beautiful face. "And her boobs look fantastic in a certain night thingy right now…" "Do they?" My chin drops so that I can look down at what he's talking about and he laughs a little. Shaking my head. How have I never noticed just how amazing he smells? He's all boy…crisp linen and shaving cream…fresh deodorant and mouthwash. "What?" He asks. leaning against my bedroom door and pulling at the ends of my hair in trepidation. the leaves crisp and encased in melting ice." Our lips meet. soft and gentle. And then…he turns and I can feel my heart leap in my chest as my eyes fall on his face. "Shut up. watching his expression change from worry to embarrassment. The petals are limp and covered in a sparkling frost. Talk? Kiss? Take our clothes off and do the dirty in my room with my parents across the hall? Yeah." I whisper.

across my tongue and out my mouth. Our eyes connect in that moment and I can't hear anything around us. love and desperation that he's been hiding are revealed there for me to see. "I love you. the kiss broken and shy smiles given to each other. pulling him by the hand as I go. And he's beautiful. "I can see you. suffocating and intoxicating as I look beyond the glossy lashes and deep black pupils…and see directly inside of him. deep down inside. the words fighting to escape out of my heart.kisses. I see him too. My heart is his. slowly igniting flickers of heat along our sensitive flesh as they glide over the other in tentative movements." He calls me Bella. pulling his lower lip between my teeth and sighing as his tongue flicks out to run across them. planting his hands onto my mattress on both sides of my hips." he says with more conviction than he probably needs to. I place them both on my desk and walk backwards to my bed. the daisy lying crumpled by my side. "Can you see without them?" I ask. All of the longing and want. My other hand grips his neck as I pull him down onto me. My soul is his if he asks it of me…because I thought it was gone but I know. I can't feel anything but him. I can't see anything else. the words resonate with me. "I love you." I confess in a rush. And then our glasses kind of hit together and my eyes fly open to see his staring at me. lost in his eyes and kissing him fiercely. His pupils dilate and I listen as his breathing evens out before his lips open slightly. his knees settling between my thighs as his forehead rests against mine. Above me and against me. and I know he's letting me inside. "Me either. for some reason. allowing me past the perfectly built exterior and cracked façade that he shows everyone else. I open my mouth wider. to cover me with his body and wrap me in his embrace. He can see me. My body is his. . that it was only hiding and lying dormant while we waited for the truth to reveal itself and allow us to be together like we should be. Removing the frames." The back of my calves hit my mattress and I allow myself to settle onto it. Not Isabella. He hesitates for less than a second before he bows into me. leaning back onto my elbows and gazing up into his eyes. But. "Do you want to talk?" I ask and he shakes his head no. They are warm and tender. He calls me Bella… And I'm gone. Bella. crushed beneath my hand as I push myself into him. He has always seen me. warm breath sweeping across my lips before he speaks.

the mattress creaking in response. listening for any sounds from my parents' room." It's all I can think to say." Edward's hands are shaking as they travel down the outside of my thighs and across my knees. "What? Yeah…why…Oh. wet heat that he's created." I pretty much mouth to him. "No. but there are none. but as soon as his mouth settles onto the mound of flesh between my legs. He's so close. His tongue flicks out gently and I shift beneath him. I can't help myself. I smile up at his suspended face. kissing me seductively." My mouth is moving and words are coming out but I'm at a loss. "Because I don't want to force anything on you…" The ramifications of our actions will be longstanding. My vision tunnels and I can only see him. and I let out a strangled groan. Don't. His lips are hovering above my neck and his breath has stopped altogether as we wait. "We have to be quiet. "Why are you asking?" His eyes peer up at me and he swallows thickly. I know where his mind has gone and I don't want either of us to think about that now His brows pull together as he stares down at me. . it seems. revealing my lack of undergarments. "The last time I saw you like this…you were passed out in the driveway in front of everyone. I watch breathlessly as his mouth lowers to my skin time and time again. "Can I kiss you?" He asks against my leg. I'm panting into my hand to mute the sound. His hand slides up my knee and he presses it outwards to open me to him more fully and I can't help but grip the comforter in my fists as his other hand runs inward. tracing soft circles over my thighs with his thumbs as his face tilts into my inner thigh and he runs his smooth chin across my hypersensitive skin." "Don't. Edward. creating goose bumps and moisture with each breath he exhales. but not quite there and the delicious torture is too much for me to handle. and his jaw works overtime while his eyes scour my limbs. pressing a firm kiss to the juncture of my thigh and pelvis. My heart is pounding in my ears and I am afraid of him getting caught…but I'm even more afraid to let him go. His hands grip my nightgown and he pushes the material up until it's settled around my waist. his fingers sliding between my lips and into the slick. Placing gentle kisses in the wake of his touch. Loudly. Turning slowly back to him. "Did he hurt you?" I shake my head and run my fingers through the thick hair at the nape of his neck. "Please. There's a small moment of tension. my entire lower half exposed to him before my knees fall open a bit. He nods in shaky agreement and dips his lips to mine again." I beg him quietly.The sound of the mattress groaning beneath us makes me tense and I shoot a quick look at my door. he settles onto his knees in front of the bed. And he obliges.

shoving his face into me and choking on my air under the weight of my orgasm. "I heard noises…" She's surprisingly suspicious. "Yeah?" I call with a shaky breath." I stutter and grip his hair so violently I'm afraid I'll pull it out. "Oh. Shit times a thousand plus one. but there's no more control left in my limbs and I fold inward as the intensity hits and I unravel hard. The fire is making its way down to my toes and I can sense myself losing the battle as he twists his fingers gently inside of me. damn. "Edward. I grip the doorknob and unlock it. breath in short supply as he laps lazily at my center. Stepping around it. . pulling the door open to face my mom with what I hope is a look of embarrassment mixed with irritation. His lips are moving slowly and his tongue is circling as he brings his teeth into the mix and begins to suck firmly. "Hmm. biting my lip. Renee. grabbing what I need and throwing it haphazardly on the floor. "Why is your door locked?" I've never had to be devious before. his lips brushing against my clit and his thumb pressing into the soft spot just below it." I mumble and wince as her eyes narrow. his fingers are pressing into my entrance and slipping inside. "Oh…god…I…" I'm gasping for air and moaning. He's doing everything right and I can feel the hot burn in my abdomen pulling and drawing my legs up around his shoulders while I dig my hands into his hair and let my head fall back. I am a teenager after all. turning to Edward and shooing him with my arms and mouthing for him to hide in the closet. I panic and pull down my nightgown. And just when I think I can't take anymore." he hums and continues to kiss and suck steadily before my body goes limp. stretching me to fit around him before he pulls them out a little and then slides them back inside.My legs tense as his fingertips dance delicately along the swollen nerves beneath them before his face moves inward again and I feel his tongue run flatly over my clit. knowing what's coming next. shuffling backwards as he wipes his face with his arm. It's so slow and erotic and I can't drop my eyes from watching him move so reverently and lovingly against me." I mutter and rush quietly to shut him into the closet before I open my sock drawer and sigh. "I needed some privacy. given that she was the one to tell me to explore my sexuality…and live around naked people for the better part of seven years. inside of me. I've never had a reason to lie to my Mom…but glancing towards Edward's terror filled face and cock filled pants…I have to do what I have to do. on me. "Bella?" My legs flail and Edward jumps up. There's a jiggle of my doorknob and I freeze.

"Kinda like another boy you know?" Oh…no. Your father isn't THAT light of a sleeper." "I wasn't trying to be. I point to the television." She leans into the room a little more and drops her voice." "Goodnight. suddenly unsure of the new space I'm putting between us. "This is probably not the best time for you to watch that particular movie. Within seconds she does." "Really?" I resist the urge to hug her…since I'm still really turned on and it feels weird to have her touch me right now. No Mom Talk about Edward while he's in my freaking closet. Heathers? I hadn't even been paying attention to what I had on in the background since Edward had taken over all of my senses.Opening the door wider. "Kind of gravelly voiced and…a bad boy type." I repeat firmly. huh?" Her eyes sparkle a little and I bite back a horrified groan." A hot flash runs up my back and nausea settles into my gut as I realize that Edward's glasses are out on display atop my desk. trying my hardest to look put out. I struggle to come up with a good reason to be diddling my box to the sounds of high school debauchery that seems to be on my television. Yeah. Of all the dumb luck. God. 'Dear Diary. then. that's right. "Yes. "That Christian Slater guy is really cute. "Can we talk about this later?" I beg her." "Not funny. "Please stop making me feel like I'm on Suicide Watch. Renee peeks her head into the room and looks around. pleading silently with my eyes. "Just…keep it down. "Well." I roll my eyes. "But we're not done talking about Edward…" "Fine. goodnight." I snap.' Oh. The lit candles and teenage angst nineties movie on in the background have probably confused her even more. I threw my Rabbit on the floor to get her off the…scent…so to speak. my teenage angst bullshit now has a body count. For the first time in my existence. She smiles a little and nods." She hesitates. . Renee takes a deep breath and nods slightly. And the daisy is peeking out of my rumpled comforter." I almost puke in my mouth. "Oh." Her lips purse and she tilts her head to the side. hoping to cut her off before she does any damage. "By the way…we talked and you can go back to school on Monday. I hope that Renee notices the most embarrassing thing I've left out in the open so that she will ignore the other items that could get us caught.

"You sure you don't want to talk first?" . but the burden of truth that they could carry causes my heart to lurch. He's standing in between my rows of clothing. "Senior Sorry Letters." he explains. "Bella…listen. right." He smiles a little and shrugs. The audacity of the situation hits me and I chuckle. "Should I go?" Edward softly calls to me from the still closed closet door. locking it again and resting my forehead against the cool wood. "Okay. then? Oh. "Can I read these later?" I can barely find my voice to speak because my throat is so tight. Kind of clear the air and start off on a new foot." The weight of the papers is insignificant in my palm." "I needed to do something right. "It's a tradition. handing them over to me. hoping he hasn't seen what's on the floor. His forehead creases with worry and he grimaces. My parents are working tonight. "What time do you have to be home?" I ask. standing so close I can feel the heat from his body seeping into my back.And I feel like a complete and utter bitch as I watch her close her bedroom door behind her. But Alice and Rose wanted to do it early after your confessions today. "It doesn't matter. because he follows directly after me without incident. Prison Dad won't let me leave the premises. And I hate it." Why the hell didn't we meet there. moving to open the door. It seems we both must be nearsighted. squeezing my fingers softly. "Ever wonder how this would have turned out if we hadn't been so stupid?" He whispers. Guilt begins to creep into my consciousness as I close my door quietly. "Speaking of…" He drops my hands and pulls a few folded pieces of paper from his pocket." I confess. He simply nods and I move away to place the letters on my desk." he begins and I turn to face him." My hand reaches for his and pulls him away from the darkened box that he's standing in. This is probably the first time in my entire life that I have kept something from my mother. "You were brave today. swearing under his breath when I push back into him. huh?" "Not any more than they hate me…" My fingers lace with his and I gaze up at him. But I know I'll have to pick it up and put it away at any second. "Empty house. "Your parents kind of hate me. holding up a hand to stop him. "Every single day. His bad hand comes to rest on my waist and he presses his hips into my back a little. "You should stay." I turn towards my dresser. his eyes a little sad. I guess. I can feel him move behind me. Again." Edward chews his lip a little before speaking.

His hips flex into my lower back and I can feel him." he instructs with a shaky voice. And I do want him. "Talking can wait. I slip out from underneath his arm and turn off the television before flipping on my iPod. Talking can definitely wait. his erection hard and thick beneath his zipper. I've kept the memories of our few times on an endless loop in my mind that I can replay over and over…and I have a feeling that none of those times will compare to being with him tonight. Take me. A low rumble erupts in his throat and he squeezes. I am yours. And when we get home I know we won't be home at all This place we live . I can't think of a bigger turn off than watching Big Fun hang herself… I am instantly alight under his touch and my body arches into him. Desperately.And he's right because I've been without his touch for weeks. He plants his palms on the dresser top and leans his face lower until we are nose to nose. I spin around and face him. sliding them leisurely across my pelvis. Our lips move slowly. chest pressed to his and arms wrapped about his neck while my fingers delve into his hair and tug roughly until he bites my lip from the pressure." he sighs. "Why?" I ask. "And that movie is getting on my nerves." He's right. closing the gap between our lips and pressing his mouth firmly to mine. The dresser drawer inches closed behind me as he clutches my shaking form against him." I pant as he drags his fingers lower. shaking under his stare. Make me forget everything we've done wrong… Pulling away from him. "Turn on the radio or something. His hand that has lain dormant starts to rise up my hip and higher until he's got a palm full of my breast. leaving the music just loud enough to cause a barrier of sound into the hallway under the crack between the door and carpet. It's more intense now and I can feel the change as his mouth molds against mine. my chin tilted up to gaze into his fiery eyes. "Because it will drown out your moans. soft skin and wet tongues intermingling. one hand on my spine and the other dipping below my left butt cheek to hitch my leg over his thigh. teeth scraping lightly over soft flesh. his hands roaming slowly and reverently against my body. taking my breath away with the force. ready and wanting. Because tonight we know that we love each other.

"I don't cheat. Bella. "I mean. swaying side to side as the music plays softly around us. But I didn't have sex with her." he whispers against my hair. ." I promise him. "I meant it when I said that I've loved you since I was eight years old. I'm not that guy…So. So we stand here now and no one knows us at all I won't get used to this… "Then be with me. hoping he can understand what I'm saying before I have to spell it out. And it's not a hard promise to make. I haven't been with anyone other than you since Kate. he extends a hand to take mine. "I didn't sleep with Tanya. And I miss who we were In the town that we could call our own Going back to get away After everything has changed As my feet come to a stop in front of him." He breathes loudly out of his nose and smiles a little. "No matter what. He stills and lifts my face to his. what I'm trying to say is that I know you think I cheated on her with you…but we were already over and I just couldn't bring myself to accept it." He's worried about my perception of him? It's almost laughable. his eyes seeming to drink in every portion of it before he speaks. I want this. You. I fell asleep in her bed…passed out from drinking. And I always hoped I'd find you again some day. I thought of you all the time.It is not where we belong Edward's mouth pulls into a slight smile as I walk forward. We've survived so far." he blurts. Us. Bella. and I am sure he can see me physically shrink away from him." I tell him." Just hearing her name coming from his mouth makes me cringe. Together we could be impenetrable. pulling me flush with his chest." I say quickly. 'Cause you remind me of a time when we were so alive Everything has changed Do you remember that? Could you help me push aside all that I have left behind? "I want to be with you. "I never even kissed Riley." "We'll make it. My face scrunches up and I nod.

Edward's lips encircle one aching peak and he sucks gently. . He fumbles with his belt and I listen excitedly as his pants hit the floor. rolling his tongue in circles while pinching the other between his fingers. I kiss him as hard as I can to convey my love without words because. No more thoughts pass through my mind as I lift my hands to run up his sides and over his shoulders into the soft hair at the base of his neck. before squeezing one in each hand and making me cry out softly. As if losing him again could very well end my life. "Breathe. my stomach rubbing against his hard-on wantonly. painting a picture of him in my mind. and I can't stop myself from running my tongue over his pecs. I settle over the tip and feel it press into my entrance and I allow myself to gaze into his eyes before I drop down slightly onto him. at this point I couldn't put it into any sentence that would mean more than what I could show him with my actions. fear and happiness and unspoken promises flashing behind his eyes. and let it fall to the floor so that I am facing him in my most vulnerable and bare state. It's no longer a choice for us: being together." he chides me and I take in a deep breath. Gripping his dick in my hand. I ache and long for him in ways that make me feel weak all over. kissing every available piece of exposed skin that appears in the dim lighting. Knowing that I have him for a very short time. over my head. settling onto his knees to kiss each of my breasts tenderly. They pull him towards me and he wraps his arms around my torso. But I can't take it slow anymore and my body is screaming for him to be inside of me. or from digging my fingers into his arms. pressing every last hot inch of his immaculate form against mine. His skin is smooth and warm beneath my fingers as I allow myself to touch him slowly. and somehow I miss exactly how he rids himself of everything." I squeak out and allow myself to slide further down. sending him dropping onto his ass on the floor below.I hold my breath as his face hovers above my own. We're on a level playing field now. But once his shirt is off. The green of his irises are almost completely eliminated as his fingertips dig into my sides and he stiffens suddenly. but he is gloriously naked in front of me within the blink of an eye. causing me to jerk and press my thighs together at the delicious pain. "Just us. His lips work across my neck and I allow him to suck and nibble as my head dips to adore his shoulder and arm. I lean up and press my lips to his and it's as if a dam has opened. I attack his chest with my open mouth. I drop my hands to the hem of my nightie and pull it up. His chest is shaking and he's breathing raggedly while letting his shirt drop to the floor. It feels like I'm clawing at his clothes to get them off. and it can't happen fast enough. like my movements are brushstrokes across my psyche. I whimper as he slides down in front of me. My mouth opens to speak but only a squeak comes out. so I do what my heart says instead of my brain and I straddle his lap. Bella. We've known it all along.

His hand encircles mine lovingly and he brings my fingers to his lips. if he will let me." I nod and take a needed breath before planting my hands on his shoulders and settling fully onto him. It is warm caramel sauce dripping slowly across my limbs and causing me to go limp against him and bury my face into his neck to burrow away from the world for all of eternity. rolling in over and over until I can't breathe from the force. And the emotion there in his eyes as we become one breaks my heart but fills it at the same time. face to face in the flickering light of the candles as they dance and retreat into small. And I know when he is about to come because he presses his teeth into my neck and moans my name. glassy eyed and satiated as he holds my hand to his chest. I allow myself to bounce against him over and over as he claims me and makes me his. He's pressing hot open mouthed kisses along my jaw and moaning softly when I descend. "I'm sorry. My fingers rest open on his cheek and I breathe him in. "Ungh. dark corners of my room. making whatever slight physical pain I might be experiencing disappear immediately. creating a trail of warmth over and over again. . I feel his hands claw at my back." I moan against his lips as my chest slides over his. It wasn't as intense and earth shattering like the one earlier." he chokes out and shudders. stretching and allowing him to fill me completely until every last possible inch disappears inside. begging my body to bend to his will and take every last thrust and push and pull and kiss that he has to give me. wordlessly telling me back that he loves me too. Gasping. I place a single kiss there and promise to love him for all of eternity. Leaning forward. I've always loved you…" My words are cut short as his lips envelope mine and his tongue fills my mouth.He's blinking frantically and I watch his mouth fall open before his tongue flicks out across his drying lower lip. memorizing the sweet musk of the light sheen of sweat that collects on his shoulder while I caress his face. hot and thick. and I permit myself to feel him and love him and hold onto him as a small wave of release rolls over me a moment later. And I feel his heart beating rapidly under his strong muscles and porcelain skin. I shudder against him and cry out into his neck as he angles his cock upward and into me harder. "So much. Letting my fingers trail up his neck to tickle across the pretty little moles at his hairline. "I love you. and I melt when he rocks his pelvis forward and we meet slowly. A gentle movement sends us rolling onto our sides. filling me and pulsing." he grunts and I grip onto him tighter as he loses his restraint. long and low under my ear. one settling on my spine and the other sliding upwards to cup the back of my head so that he can hold my face to his while his panting breaths wash over my open mouth. My knees push forward slightly and I rise up. He smiles. This is what it is like to be loved. "You're so soft. desperate as he jerks beneath me. using his shoulders to balance while I shift my weight into him.

he will have to leave.M. Edward had stayed over three times since we'd become 'official' the previous Monday evening. But it wouldn't be forever. Beautiful Girl…" My face flushes pink as I sit behind the wheel of my truck. somewhere in the middle of the night. ~Default ( All Is Forgiven) o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o Chapter 18: The Final Chapter o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o BPOV "Goodnight. Like. And the waiting might very well kill me in the process. And in the morning he will go to school without me and I will be here. Because. .O. feeling safe and like all I need in the world is to be held by him like this forever. Along with some other words that made my knees quake. Love. locked in my wooden tower until I can see him again. Maybe. Good Morning. he had whispered those words to me. You'll get him back the next time I see you. the note he'd left on my bed the following morning that made me panic before I fell into a fit of laughter. I have T.Curling my body into his. And every night that I'd fallen sleep in his arms. As if the wait was not enough And one can only take so much You broke in to pieces Seems hopeless now but at least you know The tables can turn around And time will repair you And the rain comes and goes And all is forgiven Can we learn to let go? So all is forgiven. I let him wrap me in his arms.

"The Other Man." "Yes. "Right home after school. And then he'd been so eager to get into me that it lasted all of about two minutes. I should hardly have anything to complain about ever again. He acted like he could tell me what to do or something… My relationship with my Mom was beginning to suffer. He'd looked at me like I was the cutest thing he'd ever seen and pulled it out of his backpack. We couldn't talk about school because I was home all the time or working in her shop. Sir. At first. And then he'd proceeded to prove to me that he knew his way around using one. as well. but mostly towards my Dad. let's face it…I was having sex with Edward Effing Cullen. Love. as though it should have made all of the sense in the entire world. my temper surprisingly short and acerbic with both of them.I miss you already. His eyes are demanding behind the fogged up window pane and I hope he can't see the dirty look I am currently throwing his way. And then I'd had to wait two days to see him again to get what the acronym stood for. letting out a surprised scream as he jiggles the driver's side door handle. My thighs tensed at the thought. We couldn't talk about Edward because I wasn't supposed to be seeing him and I certainly couldn't talk about him sneaking into my window and defiling me in many more ways than Stefan had ever dreamed of." he says in his gravelly I-am-your-dad-and-you-will-obey-me voice "Yes. Rolling the window down. But I also knew that I was in love with Edward and Charlie was standing in the way of our happiness. brandishing it like a sword. I just couldn't talk to her anymore. but the way his eyes had fixed on mine while he leaned over my face and ran his free hand over my nipples made me thankful he knew what he was doing. Except my parents. I knew this. The remainder of the week had crept by and I was starting to get antsy. Sir. My father was a good man and loved me. "Behave." he'd snorted. "Home right after school." I reply quietly." . He just didn't seem to get it and that made me madder with each passing day. you hear me?" Charlie's voice scares me and I jump a little in my seat. I lean back as he shifts forward to invade my personal space. but I didn't care because. I'd been a little stand-offish to the idea because I didn't want to think about him using one of those with anyone else. E It had taken me all of two seconds to figure out that he had kidnapped and named my Rabbit.

And the truth of the matter was that Alice was still on speed and Rose was still on pills. "Hey. Swallowing my borderline hysteria. until they could see for themselves what the pressure to be perfect was doing to them. but we were too old for that now." I smile meekly and raise a hand towards them. I take him in. He backs away and I pull out of the driveway. Initially I had felt a flurry of butterflies in my chest and stomach. I was headed towards the inevitable and it both thrilled and scared me to the point of numbness. "Obviously. There aren't any and I turn to make another circle through the lot when a movement catches my eye. prompting Edward to lift a hand and flip him off before his lips release mine and he plants one last kiss to my forehead. It is a little more than ridiculous how much of an eyesore my car is in between all of these expensive automobiles." Emmett's voice calls to us. It was hard enough to be the real me today. I couldn't help. on my way to school to face my past and hope for a better future." he whispers and leans in to plant a kiss on my mouth. taking his hand and turning to face everyone for the first time since my life fell apart and got put back together with Duct Tape." I mutter and then give him a small smile before leaning towards him and planting a kiss on his cheek. I park my massive beast of a ride next to her shiny little sports car. letting my foot idle on the clutch. Their letters hadn't really said anything that I didn't already know. kissing him almost desperately and wishing we were anywhere but at school for the moment. Not to mention the fact that I had just gotten my phone back this morning so I hadn't been in contact with either Alice or Rose since I'd received their apology letters. In fact." I shake my head and put the truck into First. you. I had to laugh a little at how damn slow I was driving this morning. biting my lower lip forcefully as I scour the spaces for an empty one. My door opens as I am reaching for it and Edward appears. "Hi. unsure of how I am going to be received once I step back onto school grounds. . My truck lurches into the school parking lot and I hold my breath. The thought of parking my truck in the lot and having to walk towards that open door by myself was enough to make me want to vomit up my toast. What needed to happen was for me to face them and all of us just accept that we had royally screwed up so that we could move on. the bell is about to ring…you might want to let her get some oxygen. but they turned into tense knots in my shoulders and abdomen. So. heading towards the school. He helps me down from the truck and I slip my bag over my shoulder."Alone. smiling the most charming smile I've ever seen in my life. A part of me just wanted to write them back and have Edward hand them over. It's Alice waving her arms at me and then pointing at an empty spot next to her car. "Uh.

At this moment I suddenly wish that I had because it might keep me from getting punched… But. Over anyone else. "You're my freak. couple after couple marching inside of the school. I hear Mike muttering to Jessica and she scowls in our direction before nodding her head. Alice is lunging towards me and pulling me into a hug with her and Rose." I nod sadly and grip my bag tighter against my chest." ." "Or that you would choose someone like me over someone…anyone…else. It occurs to me that nothing has really changed much since I left. Edward stops next to my locker and leans against another one to watch me unload a couple of textbooks. So. asking if I read their letters." Edward's back stiffens a little as Mike and Jessica begin to pass behind us. All of them give me warm smiles and Edward's hand squeezes mine delicately to let me know it's not a show." Edward takes a huge breath and turns to face me." Edward calls to me quietly. Ever. His hand is in mine and we form some weird sort of line. it ends with squeals and these really loud girl noises that make me think they can only be deciphered by aliens in space. The stares are still hateful. "I am a freak. "Everything around here is still the same. "Yeah. "No one likes change. planting his hands on my shoulders. Emmett even winks at me and I can feel my cheeks begin to burn under his gaze. "Cullen's a freak." I murmur. I tell them that I have and thank them. but I have decided that I like the way that I look without them." His eyes widen comically and he wiggles his eyebrows at me. so I didn't put them on this morning. You. completely shocked. Students are still separated by their own idiocy. Faintly. watching his expression soften. instead of hurling insults or projectiles at me. His finger rests under my chin and he lifts my face to his so that I see his piercing green eyes sparkling under the fluorescents." "Why are they calling you a freak?" I ask. The cliques are still gathered in the hallways. "We should go in.My glasses are in my bag. "Why wouldn't they?" He laughs. "Exactly. "Don't let them get to you today. huh?" His face falls a bit before he recovers. the group…smiles. ya know? People can't accept that not everyone fits into a perfect box. And before I know it. we kind of just awkwardly stand and stare at each other. The two of them are chattering away and being apologetic. but can't really offer anything more than what I've already apologized for in return. "So…" I start and shut the locker door to face him.

so I didn't feel quite so lame. Obviously Charlie had been on-call and was the person to arrive onsite so that Edward could file a report. We'd talked on the phone for a while before his mom had asked him to hand out candy so that she could go into the office to finish a few things. given that teenagers didn't usually report things as to not seem like a snitch. Charlie had thanked him for being so thorough. thus being sent home for the day. o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o My boyfriend. I am still not exactly sure how he planned everything out so completely flawlessly. but it wasn't necessary. And then. So. He tried to tell Charlie that people had been harassing him there and saying terrible things about us. From what my dad had said. Two: Edward took it to the Cops instead of exacting revenge. he's damn near perfect. At three in the morning. . One: Charlie could tell that Edward cared about me deeply by the way he described how he was protecting me on a daily basis. but I was sure we could make it. and they ended up fighting or something else to settle the score. The halls had been littered with decorations and we were even allowed to dress up on Friday. My dad had been very impressed with Edward for multiple reasons. Edward seemed pretty shaken up and explained what had been happening at school since I'd had my episode at the party. but he did. is made of rainbows and kittens and mythological creatures that eat gold coins and shit gold bricks. shaving cream in the mailbox…lit dog shit on the doorstep…vandalized. That would have been cool except that a lot of seniors took the liberty of dressing like sluts and pimps. Edward Cullen. his house had been vandalized. But Edward had it wrapped in a plastic bag 'just in case' the police needed to see it. Edward told him that he thought the vandalism was part of that entire scenario. Three: The dog shit had been cleaned up before my father even stepped foot on the property. The first step is surviving today.The honesty makes my knees tremble and I smile. toilet paper in the trees. In other words. This was a priority for my dad. somewhere in the darkness of the night. he had handed out candy. letting his words settle into my heart so that I can lock them away forever. I obviously had no plans for festivities as I was still grounded. The week I went back to school was right before Halloween. I'm talking full-on eggs being thrown. but he had stood up for my honor on multiple occasions. like she asked. He filed the report and as he was pulling away he said he saw Edward walking into his yard with some garbage bags to begin cleaning up the yard. And so was Edward. We had a long way to go.

What we do It doesn't matter now Whatever it takes . My hands are clammy and I try in vain to clasp my necklace around my neck. right before Thanksgiving Break…I was finally being allowed to go out on a date with my boyfriend. The funniest part about the entire scenario was that Edward had actually been the one to trash his own house.So. And my favorite: Edward came from a good family and we should hang out more often on the weekends. the next few days were littered with little comments here and there about Edward being a responsible person. Edward was a better kid than my parents had given him credit for. So. Is it real? We're always the same We're almost undone now I was caught in the rain. I close my eyes and relax my thoughts… Waiting the call Of what would you say And can you come over? I was caught in the rain. It was you Who could get me high With whatever you say You're telling me something real Shaking the stress from my arms. He'd finally broken and told me. I was convinced that he was a genius…and then we had sex in his car surrounded by the plastic wrapping of the toilet paper he had forgotten to dispose of. Wasting my time on the ground. Edward's smile blossoms behind my closed lids and I grin. Wasting my time on the ground. I'm nervous for some odd reason…like this is what makes us official or something ridiculous. I let my head roll forward and I take a centering breath. but it's no use. Or. I'm too fidgety. looking a little scared that I would be pissed that he lied to my Dad. but I wasn't at all.

My head bounces to the beat of the music and I let my body relax in the knowledge that I am loved. We'd suffered enough. Feeling us fall. no longer worried about even putting my necklace on at all. When I was caught in the rain You made me feel…You made me feel "Careful. "Good. It's all just superficial additions anyway. Who would have thought?" My hands slide across the skirt of the dress and I nod. trying to sound lighthearted but coming across as annoyed." I repeat to myself as my chin rests into my chest. I sway side to side and do side steps. On the inside…" Her eyes begin to gather pools of water in them and she presses a hand to her mouth as she nods slightly. "I know. We needed this tonight. Her head cocks to the side and she looks over my outfit. Without an escape I almost let you down Singing along. Mom." she giggles and steps into my room. trying to mask the grin that is fighting its way across my lips. "About what?" I ask. "You in a dress…and heels. that's why." my mother's voice floats in through my bedroom door and I turn. "Are you referring to Homecoming? Or the night before we moved back to Phoenix?" I ask. wasting my time on the ground." . I really don't mean to be this way." she chuckles lightly. definitely not Homecoming. looking around pensively. remember?" "I do…" I let the smile burst forth and we stare at each other for a moment in silence. How is so unaffected by my tone? Because she loves me unconditionally.For you to stay with me "He loves me. Because you're gorgeous inside and out. Accepted for me. "You almost sprained your ankle. right? He makes me feel pretty. "Oh. Trading thoughts across from the room I saw you surrounded I was caught in rain. shocked at her intrusion. I just can't help it anymore… "The last time you danced like that you ended up getting hurt. her eyes taking in every last inch.

She's tried to shelter and protect me my entire life…and here I am: walking out of her house on a date. "I know you do." I assure her. we walk down the stairs together and I stop at the last step to watch Charlie and Edward as they face each other in the foyer." "I think I do." "Yes. "All I have ever wanted was for you to know who you are." Edward says. "I know. My parents move to stand off to the side and I walk towards Edward. But the reason is because I will be leaving soon." Edward murmurs. And I am growing up right in front of her eyes. "Home by eleven. holding me close to her body like she could absorb me back into her body if she tried hard enough. Sir." Renee clears her throat and both men turn to face our direction. Bella." Edward responds with a dead serious expression. Charlie snickers. He seems genuinely surprised at my appearance. It will feel like your entire life has flown by in the blink of an eye. kissing my temple. laughing. "I put pepper spray in your purse. Charlie rolls his eyes and pushes away from the front door to approach me cautiously. letting one of his dazzling smiles light up his face." my dad monotones."I'm only going on a date." "Of course." We pull apart and I gently kiss her cheek. "Heard that one before. And be safe." "I know. taking my coat and purse from the coat hanger in the foyer." Apparently it is hard for my father to let me grow up as well." She moves towards me and envelops me in a hug. "You're perfect. "It will be here so fast. Ever." I tell her softly and she wipes at her face." "I'll take good care of her. We turn and say goodbye to my parents before . unwilling to listen to the words that she's saying. But…you're going off to college in a few months and…I just…didn't ever think you'd be standing in front of me so…perfect. baby girl. Like a normal teenage girl." "Bring her back in one piece." My face drops and I look down at the floor. "No drinking. As if we could say goodbye. Without another word. "You look beautiful. Charlie has his Vitamin R waving in Edward's face as he shakes his head." she states. have fun tonight. wondering why this seems so final to her. my father's eyes softening as he takes me in and Edward's eyes are looking mischievous. Just in case. "So.

. we talked about the future. It melts my heart and I feel alight on the inside. I wasn't sure if we could make it work. We'd only just begun…it was too early to have these thoughts. He slides into the driver's seat and leans across the console to give me a soft kiss. Because. what we had been through and what was to come. mostly.Edward opens the door and escorts me outside to his car. we talked about life and school. He leans into the door and rubs his hand over his face. but I couldn't let on that I was worried. I blink as his face comes into view over the light of the flickering candles and he's smiling brightly at me. But. Laughter rings through the car as he pulls out onto the road. with this gorgeous man in front of me…our days numbered one at a time as we attempted to make this right between us. Bella…" he hisses and straightens back up in his seat shaking his head. I was living in The Now. Through the appetizers and first course. On a real date. chuckling. "I figured it was easier access…" "Holy shit. up in the high seventies. "We're going on a date. We talked about the Colony and what he'd been doing while I was gone. Edward made sure that I was comfortable before we were seated. "Tease. but the temperature was dipping towards the upper fifties. The day had been warm. lights hanging from the tree limbs and lanterns strung about creating a very romantic setting. "I like your dress. We'd applied to some of the same colleges and my heart stuttered at the thought of the two of us possibly going away to school together. And we talked. as if I could do anything with him looking at me like that." I tease and move his hand a little so that it's resting against bare skin. against my thigh. As if I was indestructible. "Fine by me. Even though I would die without him now. opening the door for me and acting every bit the gentleman. I was sure of it." he says matter-of-factly." I giggle and shift in my seat. "Exactly how are we supposed to get through dinner with me thinking about that?" "I'm not that hungry…" He sighs and reaches over to grasp my hand in his." he mutters. and then…we were sitting across from each other. letting our knotted fingers rest in my lap. We arrive at Cibo and are escorted to our table on the patio. honestly? I hadn't even thought that far into the future. The cloud of uncertainty hung over my head for the remainder of the dinner. We talked about our friends and our concerns for them. If he went away and we separated.

" "This is real. And it isn't until he begins to slow the car down in a parking lot that I register that he has been driving us somewhere. Because this is all we have right now." I confess to him as my eyes drift closed beneath his touch. I chased a girl on this very playground and told her that I thought she was so pretty…and I was nervous as hell." My throat tightens and I blink back the small tears that have begun to make my eyesight blurry. covering my plate with my napkin. He's not forcing me to be still or to stay here. In this moment. copying my action. sinking to my knees and folding my legs beneath me. "I missed you so much. "I have a surprise…" Glancing back quickly. We wait patiently as the bill was paid and then he stood and pulled me to my feet to take me back to the car. Unraveling the blanket. he lets it drift to the ground at our feet and settles onto it. She was my first love…" I can hear the breath in my lungs expel loudly as I listen and he runs his hand over my cheek sweetly. . helping him hold me here in this moment. "I loved you every day since that day. he gets out of the car and pulls a blanket from the trunk. patting the fabric for me to sit too." My lids open to find him gazing down at me with the most serene expression on his face. hoping he can understand that this simple movement means that I agree to stay here with him. And she kissed me back." he whispers. I lift my hands to cover his own." I announce. He turns off the ignition and pulls my fingertips to his lips. "Where are we?" I ask. "We're looking at the stars. Everything moves slowly as we kiss and my senses are writing down our story in my brain so that I can recall it later to experience over and over again as long as I can. "I can't believe this is real. In the place I first fell in love with you. but I kissed her. "Here. Once we reach a clearing that seems to be less maintained than the rest of the land. "My only love. almost reverent the way he's holding my face in his hands. Us. We ride in silence for a few minutes as I attempt to wrap my brain around the unknown and where it could possibly take us. It's slow and sweet. trying to make out anything in the inky fall night." he murmurs and leans forward to kiss me. Edward looks over at me in the darkness and his eyes twinkle." he says."I'm stuffed. his lips hovering above my own. he stops. "What do you mean?" His eyebrows raise and he leans forward to press a kiss to my nose. he's simply grounding me to the Earth with his touch. kissing them lightly. adjusting it under his arm before helping me out of the car. We pass a school building and walk around the back of it towards an open field." he says quietly. "When I was eight years old. The feel of the chilly night air competing with our overheated bodies as they press against the other. "Me too. "What are we doing?" I ask.

there had been an epiphany. There had been no need to lure him to love me…he already did. We had found who we were in each other's arms. The way the moon shines and absorbs the light of the other stars that it hovers around. promising him all that I have for as long as he wants it.The little pulses of wind that lifts my hair from my back and twirls it in the air and across my forehead. . That he had waited for the real me just as long as I had waited for him. The smell of his sweet breath and lips as they move quietly across my own. we had found the one we were meant to be with. And he was here. through our mistakes. I had tried so hard to be what he wanted. Because we were together. Locking him beneath me. inevitably. The sound of nothing around us but our own breathing and heartbeats. flaws and all. My thighs aching from the movements and my hands tugging at his hair while I move over him. and his love for me. The feel of my chest sliding against his. I never would have done what I did. my legs wrapped around him. If I had known. while staring into my soul. his mouth hot and moist against my flesh while he kisses and nibbles. In the pain. We moaned words of love and held onto one another as passion won out and pleasure erupted for both of us. All I had wanted was him. The way he moves within me. over and over. The feel of my dress slipping across my shoulders and lower until I'm exposed to his lips and touch. sucks like he knows I like. His hands working frantically to rid himself of his pants. buried deep inside of me. when all he had wanted was me. until we are bare and naked against the other. The moment we realize that I've crawled into his lap and am pressing against his hips. allowing myself to experience everything in this moment. We accepted one another for our real selves. With the one I'd wanted my entire life. wrapping around Edward's neck and dancing off into the night again. And the echo of my voice repeating each of his confessions in turn. In this place where it first began. powerful only due to the immense knowledge that we were going to try and make this work. And. gasping for his touch. and then my clothes. assuring me with his kisses and touch and words that he loved me too. regardless of what anyone thought. our touches rushed until we've become joined and are staring into the others' eyes. The feel of his fingers stroking my skin while he murmurs my name. My hands pulling and tugging at his shirt to get it off of him so that I can remove it and begin my assault on his neck.

But I love it like it was. it prompted me to take a step back and make a choice that I have been thinking about for a while. kissing slowly under a sky full of stars. Our faltered steps had brought us here to this moment. I'm not pulling any of my stories. Decoy Playlist update: Caught in the Rain – Revis A zillion and a half hugs and kisses to Katmom for just being awesome in general. or my FaceBook page. After having my Haiti One Shot plagiarized and having less than flattering things said about me on a couple of sites. (I am not doing this for attention or to ask you to beg me to stay. I don't want to call it any more than that because in six months I might be right back here. but our decoys brought us back to who we really were. So. to get to know me. Like Ross and Rachel. but by the end of the week I knew I couldn't do it. And for becoming a real life friend that I adore. I had been waffling on whether to have Decoy extend to 5 more chaps. lying spent on the blanket. but also for being such a wonderful beta and friend these past few months. to love my characters…to leave reviews when you never do. I went into Decoy thinking it would be my last story… and it looks like it is. I just won't be writing… Thank you to every one of you that has taken the time to read my stories. Us.But I wouldn't take back one minute of our journey so far. I will still be doing rec's on SouthernFanFictionReview. A zillion and a half bewbie gropes to Lori for reading my stuff first and letting me know when things are and aren't working for my characters from a reader's perspective. So. I'll be stepping back from FFN for a while to regroup after the Decoy Epilogue is posted. for now. Marking a new beginning amidst the end of our self created trap. last week really sucked. o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o A/Q: Remember how excited and scared you were to become an adult? o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o A/N: The Twilight Saga was not penned by me. blog or Twitter. not now. You've bettered mine as well. If I wanted to do that I would have announced this at the beginning of Decoy. or drop me line even though you felt weird doing it…for telling me stories about your life and opening up to me for any number of reasons…for saying that I have bettered your life somehow. tangled in our chilly embrace. We'd put ourselves into a situation that made us false. we will call it an indefinite break. o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o You're on your knees reaching out reaching for someone To lift you up right off the ground . ) A break is necessary for me at this time.

our parents. our greatest achievement in life is just simply surviving. I am amazed to be standing here right now. But I am. To survive our childhood. These were pretty steady occurrences. and I often wondered if it was just in Edward's best interest to dump me so that he could have his old life back. establishing ourselves as a couple regardless of the fallout. To survive our first true test in life… the epitome of Survival of the Fittest. actually. And by fallout. and if we can survive the hardest part at the most emotionally frail moments of our lives…then we may just have a chance after all. too. you're choking You'll make it through. But Edward would just smile and wrap me in his arms. Edward and I moved forward in our relationship. and our self imposed hatred and mistakes. And I understood every time he said it because those were my feelings. I mean the shit storm in the locker room before his track meets or baseball games. just keep holding on Ii know that it won't be long 'til somebody saves you And the rain comes and goes And all is forgiven Can we learn to let go so all is forgiven? When the clouds burn away All is forgiven When the night turns to day So all is forgiven Don't stop the rain from pouring down Let it wash the pain where it can't be found All is forgiven ~Default ( All Is Forgiven) Epilogue BPOV Sometimes. Looking back on the remainder of my Senior Year.Is anyone out there? You can't breathe. I mean. assuring me that there was no life if I wasn't in it. High School prepares us for all that we must face and endure for the rest of our lives. . constant harassment by assholes like Mike Newton had to get old just as quickly as the backstabbing bitchery that I endured at the hands of people like Jessica Stanley.

While they had been friends in the past. But. The agony of being…alive…remained. Edward and I didn't screw up like we had in the past. Not about anything. I had climbed out on the tree limb with him and we sat for hours. Every game. We spent weekends together and holidays with our families. We were not changed completely. Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent with both families. and it made me laugh because there was no way I could say no to him. And Renee's relationship with Esme seemed tighter than I'd ever dreamed possible. eventually. I supported him from the sidelines. now they were practically inseparable. as we had hoped that they would. I knew Renee had probably taught her a few tantric sex moves that Mr. And at the prom all I could think about was how much had changed and yet so little at the same time. giving her much more time with her family and in a much less frenzied state. those moments. Nothing mattered more to me than making sure I didn't lose him again. And by the time our college applications came in. He was my Forever. I knew. The Swans and the Cullens had grown closer. It was so few and far between.So. And New Year's Eve was spent at one of Alice's parties. Cullen was sure to have been thankful for. Which is why. and remained acquaintances. But. just enjoying the time we had together alone and without interruption. Now it was with him. I would go too. Not about prom. But he had been perched on the tree branch. Even if it was only by two extra points. His eyes twinkled in the glistening white reflection of the little lights and his smile was brighter than any star I had ever seen in the night sky. next to our friends or his family. his face tense and hopeful as I stuck my head out the window to see that he has strung white lights all through the limbs and in the grass below our tree he had lit candles to spell out the word 'PROM?' When his finger flipped the light switch to 'ON' and the tree lit up around him. though some showed . I endured. We enjoyed our time with friends …and I kicked Emmett's ass at Scrabble. Plus. So. kissing and talking. This connection we had. he came to realize that my mom had helped Esme find a balance between work and home. I went to every meet. This is why I was so thankful that we both got accepted to the same college and I wouldn't have to explain to my parents that I was going to a school for Edward. It was nothing but preparation to…leave. Carlisle and Charlie had more in common than I ever would have expected. The cliques remained. He was…nervous. It seemed like time sped up as the last of the year wound down. I had no doubt in my mind that wherever Edward went. when I heard a knock on my window one night in May. what with Renee being so flighty and organic. I think it worried Carlisle at first. There was no big revelation. This love. I didn't think twice about opening it to let Edward in.

They would never know that they had a whole other life in front of them past the doors of Phoenix High School. but then I had laughed. I had literally thought that she was going to punch me. but this time I didn't have a near death experience. Those of us that wanted to be different were. That the faces reflected back at me in black and white were hopeful and scared. Leah Wolfe would never throw her graduation cap. And I knew she still did it. Ever. when Edward and I had undressed each other in our hotel room. It didn't surprise me at all that when we got our yearbooks. . It was all petty bullshit that meant nothing…nothing AT ALL…as long as I had Edward by my side. I tried to retain every last moment of those days. and hold them in my heart so that I could remember how it felt…to be free and like the world was at my feet. Because I don't want her. and cherished his body on mine just a little more. but the fact that she was even entertaining the thought of trying to quit was a step in the right direction as far as I was concerned. of course. Bree Tanner would never wear a pretty white dress to the prom…or on her wedding day. but she'd agreed. I understood…I had everything that I needed. printed on paper for the whole school to see were these words: "To Edward Cullen. No one could hurt me. He was all I needed. dancing in the same circles and talking about the same people that they had been talking about their whole lives…and I felt bad for them. too. it was filled with pictures of the most popular kids in the school. I was open and free. I leave you Isabella Swan. But I had one condition: she had to quit the Speed. I held him just a little closer. Hesitantly. I had looked around at all of the people clumped up together. And it also didn't surprise me that when the Senior Wills came out…Jessica Stanley took one last opportunity to try and hurt me while she could. And those who hated us for it remained unfazed. We had gone camping again with just our friends. feeling a slightly bittersweet twinge as the last of my days before college were coming to an end. But once I realized that I was holding his hand in mine. And that night. That important rite of passage before adulthood. We had four people at our school that would never even see their prom." My heart had fallen to my feet initially. folding the paper up in my hands and looking up into Edward's concerned face as he deliberated on whether or not to actually hit a girl for the first time in his life.signs of evolving slowly. thankful that I had been able to have this experience at least once in my life. anymore. and we had agreed to be roommates. There. Alice and Jasper were going to school with us. around the same group of friends they had known their whole lives. The summer had gone by at such lightening speed it was as if I had blinked and missed it. but also way too sure of themselves. Because they would always remain that way.

Grabbing my bag. as we have been doing our whole lives. "Are you ready?" I ask softly." He doesn't have to be brave for me. and that I won't be alone in this. regardless of which direction she went this morning. as they always do under his gaze. moving as quickly as I can between the students walking towards their new lives…just like me. And now. I call out to him and his gaze unfixes from the stare he's been holding as he looks beyond the glass into the Quad. his confidence returning in my presence. Big Man on Campus. But it was her choice to make. I sling it over my shoulder and head out of our dorm. Approaching cautiously. He's sitting in the corner. as we always do. And that will have to be enough. Edward Cullen has been the apple of his parent's eyes. Because he is just as scared and unsure as I am to be starting this new chapter of our lives. . and for the first time in my life I can see him clearly. I chew on my lip and check the time. And I had resolved myself to that fact. I smile a little. Taking one last look around my new home. not mine. But Edward just nods and purses his lips. Because that's what friends do. he's a college freshman who needs a map to get to class. All I could do was be there for her. "Hey. Eat something. it had seemed to make even more of an impact on Alice. He smiles and my insides flutter. He knows only a few people in this sea of faces that are passing by us right now. the smirk returning when he runs his hands back across my shoulders and brushes my hair to my back. my brows pulling together as I try to fight off the worry that must be apparent in my face. We move towards each other. As I turn the corner into the cafeteria. staring out of the window as the early morning light is filtering in across his features. "Of course I'm ready. And I wrap my arms around his chest while he kisses my head and sighs with contentment. He's thinking and I allow him the moment before resting my palm on his cheek and bringing him back to reality. Even now. Pulling back a little.And when Rose had been hospitalized again the week before we left. good looking. as she slept peacefully in the bed across the room from me. I had a feeling it would be hard for her to get up today for our first day of college and not want to reach into her bedside table to pull out the little bottle she has stashed away there. I scribble my note down onto a Post It and attach it to the top of a granola bar before I place it on her pillow next to her face. He's always been the popular. playing up the red tones in his hair and casting an orange glow about his face. I see him. his hands move up my shoulders and his fingers nervously play with the strings on my hooded sweatshirt. today. His whole life. We only have each other. I only have five minutes to get across campus to meet Edward and then we have less than ten minutes to get to the lecture hall. He doesn't have to lie and try to seem like he isn't scared…but I am glad that he does. He looks pensive and unsure." he says with a smirk. knowing that we have a few classes together.

. we can be who we were always meant to be. And as we stand in front of the doorway leading us forward…on the precipice of a new future…I can't help but smile. Because life is truly about to begin. We can find ourselves. without any preconceptions about who we were or who we tried to pretend to be. And as I look at the enormous brick building growing larger as we get closer to it…and I feel his hand in mine…and I sense his pounding heartbeat through his skin…I become exhilarated. We can establish these lives anew. about who or what we were in high school. No one is following. We are starting over. I realize that he is my other half. And here. matching my steps with his own. It's a level playing field here. We are walking in perfect time together…as equals. College is a fresh start to be the real people we only imagined we could become. A new life. Not a single one of these people know.Because as he takes my hand and walks by my side towards the lecture hall. In a new place. No one is leading. or care.