To Die in Love

School

1.

I woke up eight minutes before my alarm went off. I hadn't slept so well last night and I knew I was just being stubborn; I didn't want to go to school. My initial excitement lasted exactly five months, then it turned to boredom. I realized that the curriculum was less than stimulating, I knew most things already. My interactions with my classmates provided most of my entertainment.

At first it was all excitement and politeness, everyone was very nice to me. Then time went on and I gravitated towards the people whom I actually liked like Angela and Mike. Jessica and Lauren were another story, they were very capricious. Or total bitches. Jake was still doing his best to teach me to speak like a seventeen year old, he called it normalizing.

"Come on, Bella, breakfast is getting cold!" Jake shouted from the kitchen. The only reason why he woke up so early and cooked at all was because of his insatiable appetite. His stomach roaring was more effective than my alarm clock.

I finally sat up. My room was a rectangular bedroom, with a tiny bed, an old red kid's dresser and piles of books on the floor supported by the walls and barely any room to walk. I could've gotten a larger dresser but I needed the books a lot more than clothes. For that purpose, I had appropriated the linen closet outside the bathroom. Billy and Jake got used to storing the towels in their rooms. Somehow I'd also managed to fit in a tiny purple night table that held my cell phone and a single picture. A framed Polaroid of Charlie with a big smile on his face, he'd caught a large fish. Every morning I woke up to it and smiled. I love you, the only thought in mind.

I dressed quickly, as usual, jeans and a t-shirt would do. I'd just grab a jacket on the way out so Billy didn't go on about me catching pneumonia for not wearing a coat. My fifteen printouts of how you don't catch pneumonia from the cold but because of a virus did nothing to dissuade him from lecturing me.

"Want some pancakes, gorgeous?" Jake wiggled his eyebrows as he spoke as I walked in the half living room half kitchen rubbing my face. The kitchen was small, but whenever Jake was in it, it looked ridiculous. Like an adult playing in a kid's plastic kitchen. He was uncommonly tall for a seventeen-year-old boy. And his pronounced musculature only made him appear older.

"Stop calling me gorgeous, its fucking creepy!" I said loudly with a disgusted expression. Jake laughed.

"Bella! Language!" Billy yelled from the other room and it only made Jacob laugh harder. I smacked his arm when I walked around the bar that divided the kitchen and living room to get a plate, he chuckled, and nudged me in the ribs with his elbow.

"Come on, eat! You'll need your strength for today. I'm sure Mike Newton will be dying to know how you spent your Christmas break. " Of the multiple mistakes I'd made when first learning to interact with Jake, telling him about Mike Newton's interest in me had been by far, the worst one. I had expected some form of chivalry to arise from him, a promise to take action if I was unable to handle him by myself or something alike. Instead, I'd gotten an unspoken promise to never let me forget it.

"Hey Jake," I raised my voice and took the spatula from his hand to put a pancake on my plate "How did your paper end up coming along? It's due today, isn't it?" Jacob's eyes widened. Billy heard of course. "I thought you said it was half of your grade." I added that to instigate a sense of urgency. It worked.

"Jake? Did you finish that paper?" Billy said from his room. In the early hours of the morning, Billy Black was nothing but a voice in the other room to us.

"Yeah, dad, I just need to print it out!" he was a poor liar when he was surprised. He shot me a glare and I took a very unattractive mouthful of pancake smeared with syrup. There was a pause, eternal to Jake, as we waited for Billy's verdict. Finally, his calm voice interrupted Jake's obvious search for an excuse in case he demanded further proof.

"Oh, ok son." said Billy. Jacob sighed with relief and spoke in a low voice. I was laughing quietly at his deep blush. He blushed when he was angry or flustered.

"That was low, Bells. What if he'd asked to see it?" he whispered. I could hear him clearly, better than he thought. He tried very hard to not let Billy know what went on at school, that way he could get away with many things. Since I'd gotten here, I'd made sure to use that for my benefit.

"Shut up and eat your bacon, Jake." I said and he smiled. Even when things calmed down at school and I lost the perks of being the novelty, Jake's attitude towards me remained the same. He never seemed to be angry, or not to me at least. He got pretty pissed when Quil and Embry super glued his tools to the bottom of his toolbox. He yelled at them but not at me, even after he found out I'd given them the idea. It made it really easy to like him. Despite all the arguing, which was basically the entire basis of our friendship, he was my best friend. And arguing, made us just, us.

We argued about who was lamer for the duration of our breakfast. Then, we silently made fun of Billy and his humming as he shaved and finally he imitated Sam Uley because he took himself too seriously. He really made me laugh. Time was up though; I had to go to school.

"Have a great day at school, kids!" Billy said as he finally came out of his room. He smelled like toothpaste and aftershave. His dark long hair was still wet from the shower.

"See ya, dad!" waved Jake from the door before slamming it behind him.

"Bye, Billy!" I said and lowered down to kiss his cheek. He smiled warmly at me. I knew he loved Jacob because he was his only son, but in the short amount of time that I'd lived here, he'd developed a deep affection for me. He always wanted a daughter and that was what I was to him. Jacob often complained about the marked preference his father had and I feigned ignorance. I did get the larger piece of cake every time, though. I left the house I found Jake looking under the hood of his car.

"Your piece of crap broke down again?" I said triumphantly. It was another one of the many ongoing arguments we shared.

"Don't call her that!" he was always offended when I spoke badly of his car.

"Again, calling your car 'she' is not only disturbing but disgustingly sexist." he slammed the hood down and threw a self-conceited glance in my direction.

"All done. She's fine." I rolled my eyes at him; there was nothing I hated more than an arrogant fool. I walked towards my truck.

"Sure you don't need a ride?" I knew exactly what he would answer. He snorted.

"I rather walk five miles in the snow than ride that old monster." I gasped, offended.

"He is not a monster!" I softly touched the door of my rusty old truck as I said it, to cover its imaginary ears.

"Great. So you calling your piece of crap a he and covering its ears is not sexist or disturbing?" he knew me too well.

"It's completely different." I mumbled as I got in.

"Sure it is," he mumbled with a wide smile "say hi to Newton for me, Bells." He yelled as I pulled away. I flipped him off and heard him laugh. He was pleased when he coerced me into being crass. He thought it was a sign of victory. Truthfully, I just liked to make him laugh.

2.

I drove into the school parking lot and easily caught the eye of several familiar faces. Most people were still nice to me, but not as expressive as in the beginning. Which was a pleasant change from constantly being the topic of conversation.

I had just parked my truck in my usual spot when I felt it. A bizarre sensation, that I could only compare to that feeling you get when someone is looking at you from a distance. I looked around, there were several people in the parking lot but no one was watching me. The feeling was faint, and so strange I barely had time to recognize it. For as soon as I felt it, my reaction was to repel it, and once this was clear I felt it no longer. I was thinking about it and trying to define what it was when I was interrupted. Mike had a true skill for materializing out of nowhere.

"Hey, Bella!" He looked excited to see me; I made an effort to smile. I would think about the strange sensation later. Being so different from other people, I was used to having to get over weird things fast.

"Hi, Mike." He looked excited, and honestly he wasn't unattractive. I just didn't see him that way. We began walking towards the school.

"How was your break?" I groaned internally. I did not enjoy small talk, least of all when I already knew the answers to all of the questions. I knew that he'd gone with his parents to his aunt's cabin up North. He knew I'd stayed at the reservation with Jake. Fortunately, I managed to find a credible excuse for a change of topic as I looked around in the parking lot.

"Great. Hey, someone got a good Christmas present!" Mike quickly followed my gaze towards the Silver Volvo parked near to the entrance of the building. I'd never seen it before.

"Oh, no, that belongs to the new kids." That was a very good change of subject.

"There are new kids?" This was quite the event, before me, they hadn't had a new student since Mike moved up from California and that had happened ten years ago. Now there were new kids, plural.

"I think so. Three or four. I didn't see them but Tyler did." I nodded. We were already in the building and approaching the classroom. We had English first. I hadn't even opened the door when I heard a loud shrill coming from down the hallway. Both Mike and I jumped, startled.

"Bella!" Jessica said gravely. I turned to her voice as she all but ran towards us, her curly hair bouncing around her head chaotically. I paid attention to her expression, looking for a hint of grief or another intense emotion that was making her sound so shocked.

"Hey, Jess, what's up?" I used more of Jake's vernacular. She stood very close to me, she always did, she had no regard for personal space.

"New students!" The emphasis on the second word was unmistakable. They had to be appealing to her in some way if she was being so dramatic. I suspected at least one of them was male.

"Yeah, Mike said-" I didn't get to finish the sentence. She clutched my arm tightly. Her eyes widening as she spoke every word with great care. Like every one of her gasps was essential.

"No, you don't understand, they're hot!" Yes, I suspected as much. I didn't miss Mike's groan next to me. Or Jessica's complete ignorance of his presence, he might as well be somewhere else. He didn't budge though. Mike was very determinate when he wanted to be. I knew that well enough.

"Oh, great! How many are there, again?" She would have the entire report already and even though I could've waited to learn these things myself, it was the only thing that kept me from going over a recap of the holidays.

"Five!" she screeched excitedly, she even gave a little jump. "Three guys and two girls." her eyes now had a dreamy quality to them and Mike rolled his eyes. I was certain their reactions were the consequence of the same piece of information: there were more guys than girls.

"Why are they here, anyway? It's the middle of the school year." said Mike grumpily. He was usually nice to me but he easily lost his patience with Jessica.

"Who cares?" she dismissed him rudely "The important thing is that they are here and according to my sources, they're really, really, really hot." It said a lot about how much attention she paid in English class if that was all the vocabulary she could think of using to express herself.

"You'd say that about any new guy just because he's new." said Mike and Jessica finally looked at him. It wasn't a friendly expression. Time to intervene.

"What do you mean your sources?" Mike looked at me and it was clear he understood deflection when he saw it. He gestured toward the room, letting me know he was going in. We still had five minutes before class.

"Lauren." Just as she said that, her phone vibrated. I stayed closer to her because I had no intention of going in and listening to Mike sulking. She squealed again "Two of the guys are seniors, the other one is a junior!" Her excitement was increasing. Could a person get a stroke from sheer excitement?

"How does Lauren know all of this anyway, did she talk to them?" her thumbs were moving quickly over the keyboard of her cell phone. She would definitely have carpal tunnel syndrome by the end of the day.

"Of course not!" she said aggressively, that tone made me feel really stupid when I first met her. It implied everything she thought was obvious. "She overheard a conversation one of them had with Ms. Cope." Of course she did. I didn't feel so bad for not liking Lauren at present. Mr. Mason opened the door to the room with a look that definitely indicated his vacation was over.

"Are you joining us, ladies?" he sounded tired already and the day hadn't even started. I nodded and went in. Jessica reluctantly put away her cell phone that didn't stop vibrating.

3.

After Trig, Jessica and I had Spanish together. We usually met up in the hallway, and true to our habits she was there. The only difference was that she was hunched over her cell phone with a frown on her face. We walked side by side, she continued to text.

"What's the matter, Jess? Did you see the new kids and turns out that they're ugly?" She would hate them for it if they were. It was just the way she was. We began walking towards the classroom.

"No, everyone agrees they're ridiculously hot," she mumbled, still looking glum. "But Lauren says that they're together." The disgust in her tone baffled me. What did I miss?

"What does that mean?" she sighed, her impatience as evident as her lack of interest in explaining herself.

"Two of the girls and two of the guys are together," I must have missed something in deed, if that meant what I thought it meant.

"Wait, how is that possible? Aren't they related?" For some reason I had assumed they were.

"No, they're actually adopted so it's not really illegal. But they were adopted by the same parents and they live together, how is that not weird?" she was still repulsed. I, on the other hand, was suddenly interested. They were adopted?

"Adopted? By whom?" Five teenagers? I was impressed. I knew I'd been lucky to have Charlie as my dad, getting adopted was not easy.

"The new Dr. in town, a Dr. Cullen. He and his wife adopted them when they were kids. Now that they're older they hooked up, don't you think there should be a law against it?" Trust Jessica to want to separate people that cared about each other simply because they got in her way of getting a handsome boyfriend.

"If they are not biologically related, I don't really see the problem." I said and she pursed her lips and went back to her phone. She always did that when she disagreed with something I said but preferred not to make a big deal about it. Which was often. I wonder why she even bothered to be my friend sometimes.

Jessica was too busy ignoring me to notice my sudden pause, but I couldn't help it. It was the second time today that I perceived something peculiar. But this time, it was not the odd sensation from before. It was a scent. The most fragrant scent I had ever smelled. I was appalled not only by the appeal it held for me, but by the powerful familiarity it aroused. Of all the extraordinary things I was used to feeling, familiarity was not a common one. I resumed my walk but I was dazed enough to run into Jessica when I didn't see her stopping in front of the classroom's door.

"Oh, sorry, Jess." I said and gave a step back. Jessica didn't move, the bell was about to ring. "What's the matter, Jess, get in." I said and when there was no reaction I moved aside and entered the room. Now I knew why Jessica stopped.

He was sitting in the middle of the room, his long legs stretched out in front of him, giving the impression of being very relaxed. Mildly bored, even. He wasn't looking at anyone, but was staring at the pen held in his right hand instead. His skin was abnormally pale. So white and soft in appearance it made me want to touch him to see if he was really soft. His features were long and sharp; he had very defined cheekbones and jaw line. His eyes were a shade of gold I had never seen before and he had tousled bronze hair that looked perfectly disheveled. Overall, it was a very pleasing effect. What a shock, for once, Jessica and Lauren had not exaggerated their evaluation of his appearance.

"Come on, Jess." I managed to regain my composure and nudged her in the right direction. She finally woke from her trance and blushed furiously as she walked to the back of the classroom where we usually sat. He still didn't look up. My seat was as far from him was the room allowed. He was in the middle right; I was in the far back left.

Señora Goff began her class. She stood in the middle of the room with her black polka dot dress, red heels and a tan that suggested that she had gone to her home country during vacation. If she followed first day back from break protocol, she would be telling us all about it in a minute.

"Welcome, back, guys," said Señora Goff. "And welcome to the new student. Mr." she looked at a piece of paper on her desk. "Cullen." He sat up as the teacher said his name. He was taller than I had initially thought. "Edward Cullen." she said with a wide smile. She looked nervous. I was almost amused by this, because the teacher was being affected by something I was certain every female of the school had already noticed: he was extremely attractive. "Welcome, Señor Cullen. Tell us something about yourself." For a moment I pitied him, having teachers wanting to hear more about you was annoying. "Where did you move from?" I wondered why his answer seemed so crucial to me.

"My family and I recently moved from Alaska." My heart beat faster at the sound of his voice. Again, the familiarity was overwhelming. He had a beautiful voice. Effortlessly musical.

"Alaska, that sounds very interesting!" I kept trying to remember if Señora Goff had ever paid attention to anyone's personal life before and couldn't come up with anything. I mostly remembered her telling us about the new Spanish speaking country she had visited with her husband and their Chihuahua named Taco. "And did you have Spanish as an elective there?" I looked at him and his entire lack of expression.

"Yes." He was curt without being impolite and Señora Goff's attention looked effectively averted. Impressive. She turned to the rest of the class now.

"Very well, as a warm up I want you to write a short paragraph about what you did during the winter break. Then, we can talk a little about what the program will be for the rest of the semester and before the class ends I want you to watch an interview I recorded from the TVE. You have ten minutes to do your writing." Basically, we wouldn't do anything. I focused on writing my paper simply because I didn't want to pay attention to him. When I was finished, I toyed with the pen in my hands and looked around, everyone was still working except for Edward. In front of him, his paragraph already written. I was usually the first one to finish. Señora Goff was partially hidden behind an ancient looking VCR and Television set. She turned it on an off several times, the screen never turned blue. My eyes turned to Edward once more; I couldn't help but feel curious about him.

"Bella, are you done?" Señora Goff asked moving away from the television, I blushed, unable to contain my embarrassment since she'd caught me staring at Edward.

"Yes, Señora Goff." I said and I could tell Edward was looking at me now.

"Very well, can you do me a favor and go to the office and tell Shelley that I do need the other VCR. I couldn't get this one to work." I nodded and went to her, now I knew he was looking at me. Señora Goff unplugged the VCR and handed it to me.

I didn't look back, but I saw Edward staring intently at me through my peripheral vision. His eyes on me alone were very unnerving. And to make matters worse, the odd feeling from before was back. Only this time, it was a lot more intense. Like feeling someone's gazing directly into your eyes. I rejected the feeling, again, it retreated momentarily only to come back again. It went back and forth, I never let it overcome me. I was almost at the office when it finally ceased, never achieving its purpose. I didn't know which I found more disconcerting, this strange new struggle I just knew was going on solely inside my head, or the fact that I felt so shaken after seeing Edward. Where the rest of the new kids like him?

After returning to class with the chord, I refused to look at him. Edward on the other hand, stared at me the entire time I was at the front of the classroom with a deep frown that I couldn't understand. The bell rang and Edward was one of the first to leave.

People started leaving after him. Jessica, no longer in the presence of Edward, hurried to reach me while she texted. I was certain she was telling Lauren she had just taken Spanish with the future father of her children.

"Oh. My. God." A dramatic pause between each word, this wouldn't be good for me. "Did you see him?" I turned my head to roll my eyes, for some reason I had little patience for this. Of course I had seen him, how could I not?

"Yes, I was right beside you, Jess." And his scent still lingered on the air.

"He is just so..." she trailed off, it seemed that no adjective did him justice. While Jessica stared into the distance, my mind raced. I may not have been planning my wedding to the guy based only in his looks, but honestly, I was curious.

4.

"Do you think they're rich? I bet they're rich, I mean just look at his watch..." Jessica went on like that until we reached the gym. I simply took on the same attitude that had kept our friendship alive for two years. I nodded, grunted and inserted a "Oh, totally," for her benefit every now and then.

"See you at lunch." Jessica barely heard me; she was texting with Lauren again.

Gym was boring but since the only one I shared it with was Mike, it wasn't so bad. I bet he wouldn't want to talk about Edward. Then again, he wasn't the only Cullen at school.

"Cullen, Alice!" Coach Clapp shouted as we got in line for warm up. It wasn't hard to recognize her, she would have stood out in the middle of a hundred people. Unlike her brother, she was tiny with delicate elfin features. And very much like her brother, she was outstandingly beautiful and had intriguing golden eyes. She moved gracefully from the back of the room to the line.

Everyone inside that gym threw a curious glance in her direction at least once, yet no one talked to her. Which was odd because on my first day of school, a lot of people struck up a conversation on the silliest premises. Coach Clapp asked us to find a buddy for badminton. Mike usually was my partner, but when I saw that irremediably no one was approaching Alice Cullen, I stepped up. A strong sense of camaraderie for the new girl who also happened to be adopted moved me to be outgoing.

"Hi, Alice, I'm Bella." I said with a smile and she immediately smiled back. Her beauty was undeniable. I saw Mike stopping mid step.

"Hi, Bella." she said with a voice that like her brother's, tugged at my memory. Her scent was also delightful, if not as appealing to me as his had been.

"Want to be my partner?" She looked around with child like wonder.

"I thought you were with that guy," she pointed discreetly to Mike who looked really sullen as he stood next to Ben Cheney.

"Mike? He'll do fine without me for a day." she smiled widely and Coach Clapp called for our attention. We were handed out birdies and rackets and specific instructions that everyone forgot the second the Coach stopped talking and then we were off. Sports were boring as there was nothing to them, really. Alice served first and soon we were having the most perfect match of badminton I had ever had. She was really good, perfectly balanced.

"You're good!" I said as I hit it back effortlessly. She was very perky; she had barely stopped smiling all the while. She vaguely reminded me of Jake's unwavering enthusiasm.

"Thanks, you too!" she answered and we continued in silence. I didn't want to overwhelm her with questions, but it was very curious. And to be honest, she seemed a lot more accessible than her stoic brother.

"Did you play much in your old school?" she shook her head.

"No, we were only required to do two years of P.E. in Alaska. And my brothers, well, they prefer other sports to badminton."

"Like what?" What kind of sport was available in Alaska?

"Like hiking. We love to hike." she said with an easy smile.

"Now help me out, which ones are your brothers?" I asked honestly, enough with the confusion and bits of overheard conversations. She laughed, her laughter was like a torrent of bells.

"It is a bit confusing, there's just so many of us." she said and served again "My brothers are Emmett, who is a senior, and Edward, who is a junior like us." I answered her serve easily.

"Yes, I had Spanish with him earlier." She smiled in approval.

"We were adopted first and then our father adopted Rosalie and Jasper, the twins. They're both seniors." I had not seen them yet. Or Emmett.

"That is so nice of him, to adopt all of you." I really was impressed.

"He is a wonderful man." she said "And Esme, our mom, couldn't have children. It was very easy for her to take us in, she is like a true mother to us." I smiled; I'd never actually had that. "How about you, do you have any siblings?" she asked and until her curiosity betrayed her, I didn't realize that her smiling face was almost as indecipherable as her brother's seriousness. It was hard to discern what they were really thinking. Right now, I knew her curiosity was authentic.

"I guess you could call Jake that, he is a pain, as any brother ought to be." She smiled at that "but no, I was an only child. When my dad adopted me, I was all by myself." She had stopped smiling now and looked focused.

"You are adopted as well?" she said with enthusiasm, I was excited to meet someone adopted, too. "That's amazing!" it wasn't really, but when you meet someone you share something so important with, it kind of feels like it is. "Did your parents adopt someone else? Or who is Jake?" she said confused. It was kind of confusing.

"Ok, my dad adopted me but he recently passed away and now I live with his friend Billy and his son Jake. I have for the past two years." She stopped playing altogether.

"Oh, Bella, I'm so sorry." to my surprise, her sorrow was genuine. She did feel bad. And for some reason, there was a sense of kinship that I felt with her that I hadn't felt before. I guessed it had to do with the fact that we had some things in common.

"It's all right, it was a couple years ago. And life with Billy and Jake at the reservation is quite great." If possible, her curiosity grew in that instant. Her eyes widened slightly.

"You live at the Indian Reservation?" I nodded. "Wow, Bella, you sure are interesting." she said with a look that I knew I couldn't grasp the meaning of. Then she snapped out of it "But listen Bella, if you ever need to talk about what happened, I know what its like to lose your parents. To feel like you don't belong." I smiled genuinely.

"Thanks Alice, that's very nice of you." she beamed at me.

"And of course, since you know Forks better than I do, you need to tell me where we can go shopping!" My elation was extinguished.

"Why, Alice? I was just starting to like you." I said with feigned disappointment. She seemed completely unconcerned with my antics. She smiled wickedly. The bell rang.

"I am serious. A girl's gotta shop, Bella. Whether she likes it or not." I rolled my eyes at her. The threat in her words sounded real.

"If you're going to force me to shop at all, I demand compensation. For every store you take me to, we will spend twenty minutes at a bookstore." She frowned.

"Five." She negotiated quickly.

"Eighteen." I was unmovable when it came to bookstores.

"Ten." she was quick.

"Fifteen and that's the best you can hope for." She gauged my expression.

"Deal." We both smiled. I don't think I had ever felt so comfortable with someone new before. We changed and walked out of the locker rooms together. She looked at my clothes, now that we were out of the infernal yellow sports attire, and shook her head."Let me know about that shopping trip." I must like her, I didn't find her obvious criticism annoying.

"Fine, but remember, fifteen minutes!" I said as she walked away and she giggled. I had the certainty that she had no intention of keeping that promise. I smiled.

Government went in a blur and finally, it was time for lunch. Not that I enjoyed pretending to eat something other than pop tarts, but it would be a nice break. I entered the cafeteria a little late and went towards the line to get lemonade. It took me a second to realize why everyone kept looking towards the end of the room. The Cullens were all assembled there. All five of them and they were quite a sight to behold.

"Intimidating, aren't they?" said Angela as she took her place behind me. I smiled. She wasn't so far off the mark. I realized now that the friendlier looking ones were Edward and Alice. The other three were another story. I could guess which one was which with the little information Alice provided. Rosalie and Jasper were both blonde, and most likely the twins. Rosalie was an exceptionally beautiful blonde girl with a body that I knew would torment the minds of the entire student body for months to come. Jasper on the other hand, I found very disturbing. He was handsome, indubitably, but he also was covered in scars and look very menacing. Did anyone else not see that? The answer was probably no, since I'd barely seen them, so I mentioned nothing. Emmett was huge, bigger than Jake in the muscle department. He must be Alice and Edward's brother. They all shared the same pale skin and golden eyes, and even without being in proximity I knew they must share other peculiarities with the siblings I had previously met. My curiosity raged, but fortunately so did everyone else's so I did not have to be interested in them for other reason than their good looks and recent arrival.

Angela and I walked back to our table, she had stopped looking in their direction because it was just not the way she was and I did the same. All around me, everyone was discussing them.

"Bella!" Jessica shouted before I reached the table.

"What's going on, Jess?" Like I didn't know. Lauren was sitting right beside her, and she was actually acknowledging my existence by looking at me today. I wondered why that was.

"Mike says you were talking to one of them!" I threw a betrayed look in Mike's direction who suddenly seemed very busy with a piece of paper Tyler was showing him.

"Yeah, so?" Lauren rolled her eyes. Now I knew why she was here.

"What do you mean? Tell us everything! Did she tell you something interesting?" she asked desperately.

"I don't know Jess, we just talked. But if you are so curious, you should go up and talk to them." Both Lauren and Jessica rolled their eyes at me at the same instant. Angela giggled under her salad; she found it amusing when people were being absurd. But my attention was not focused on them.

I was sitting with my back to the Cullens because I knew that was the only way to not stare at them the entire time. But I knew where they were, and I could hear them. I didn't usually indulge in eavesdropping, but I needed to know. The problem was, they weren't talking.

"Hey Bella!" Eric said happily as he sat next to me. I smiled at him, all ready to hear him babble on, but then I heard something else.

"Bella, her name is Bella." said Edward. I heard his voice as clearly as if he was sitting right next to me. Why was he speaking? No one asked him anything. I was sure that even if I hadn't heard any of his siblings before I would know their voices immediately.

"And then we went to Minnesota, Bella," I hadn't realized Eric was still speaking. "Bella are you listening?" he said and I gave him another smile that attempted to distract him.

"Yeah, of course Eric, go on." I said and he didn't need a second invitation.

"I don't know." Edward spoke again and his voice sounded frustrated, irritated even. And then, the weird feeling from before was back. Now that I'd felt it before, I pushed it away easily. It lasted for a while, it wouldn't let out.

"Nothing." Edward said. For the wildest of moments, I wondered if he had anything to do with it. There wasn't time to determine that, the bell rang.

5.

"Hey, Bella, so my parents and I are going to the cabin this weekend," this was a new record, Mike usually waited until the end of the week. "And I was wondering if-" I already had an excuse.

"Sorry, Mike, Jake made me promise that I'd help him with his Chemistry project this weekend." He nodded, shrugging it off.

"No worries, then maybe next time." he said, and we'd reached Biology. And so had Edward Cullen. He was sitting right behind Mike's seat. I knew because I sat right next to him, we were lab partners. He looked as relaxed as he had in Spanish. But that of course, lasted until he saw me. He didn't even try to be discreet, he looked directly at me. Again, he frowned.

Mike was not happy to see Edward for some reason. It was official, guys were insane. Mike didn't like Edward and apparently, Edward didn't like me. And why was he talking about me at lunch? I took my seat and felt his eyes still boring into the back of my neck. If he had a question, why not just ask?

And just as swiftly as before, it was back again. The intensity of the strange feeling was growing, but as if provoked by the challenge, my determination to keep it at bay grew as well. It had to be related to him, I was almost certain. I didn't know why, it just felt like it did. Whatever it was, and if it was he who was doing it, I wasn't going to budge.

He went on like that for the entire hour. By the end of class I was almost tired, not because it wore me out at all to push the feeling back, but because since I had decided to associate it with Edward I'd been thinking about him for the entire duration of the class. Forget about Mr. Banner's lecture on cellular reproduction. When the bell rang Edward left quickly. For some reason I found that incredibly annoying.

The rest of the day was uneventful. I really wanted to go home now.

"Hey Bella! Don't forget about tomorrow, my mom is making meatballs!" shouted Angela when she spotted me on the parking lot.

"Tell the twins I'll bring candy!" she immediately frowned.

"No more candy, Bella, not after last time!" so what if I'd given them their weight in gummy bears and they had thrown up all night? They'd seemed to enjoy it while it lasted.

"But they love it!" I whined and she rolled her eyes at me before getting into her mom's old van. I waved goodbye as she pulled away. When she did, the silver Volvo was visible. Alice was there, leaning against it, looking at Jasper who looked miserable. Alice on the other hand was smiling. I didn't eavesdrop though, I'd felt bad before and didn't want to do it again. Suddenly Alice caught my eye and waved at me with a wide smile on her face. I couldn't help smiling back and waving, although I was terrified of Jasper who was now looking at me. He gave a stiff nod in my direction and I answered the same way. How could Alice not be terrified of him? I was still watching them when Edward came out of the building. I looked away and got on my truck. I didn't want to admit that I was avoiding making eye contact with him, but I was. I just didn't understand why.

Mercifully, I reached home twenty minutes later. Jake was there, sprawled on the love seat that was all the sofa we had, he was watching something with cars in it. I had no idea what it was. I dropped my bag on the floor and went around the couch to push his legs away and sit down. I felt exhausted for some reason. Jake moved and put his legs on the coffee table in front of us, he was sitting now and his right arm was on my shoulders.

"Rough day?" he asked, taking his eyes off the screen for a second to look at me. I wanted to tell him all about the Cullens, but not right now. I wanted to spend at least an hour without thinking about them before getting into details. Jake would want to know everything.

"Just long." I sighed and then looked around, noticing what I should've noticed right away.

"Where's Billy?" Jake shrugged.

"He left a while ago, there was an emergency meeting or something." I turned to look at him.

"Since when do they have Emergency councils?" He chuckled.

"Since their arch enemies moved back into town." I stared at him in confusion.

"What? What are you talking about?" He sighed; he looked more tired than I felt.

"Some family moved into town, they're not happy. They are having a special assembly to address the issue," his last words were mimicking his father's grave voice. "I'm telling you, dad looked like he was going to pop a vein. I don't get what the big deal is."

"Jake, you're not making any sense." I said impatiently and just as he was about to answer back, I heard Billy's chair up in the driveway. I got up, too curious to wait. Harry Clearwater was pushing him in, I opened the door widely to let them in. Jake wasn't kidding, his father was angry. Even Harry Clearwater looked grave.

"Bella, I'm glad you're here. I need to speak to you." I was nervous now.

"What's wrong Billy?" I asked once he was in the house. Harry went to the kitchen and got a glass of water. Jake turned the TV off.

"Nothing to worry about." I didn't believe him. "But as of tomorrow, you are no longer going to school in Forks anymore. You will go to the school here, in the reservation." I couldn't understand what he was saying. Mostly, because it made no sense. All of this could not be happening because of the Cullens.


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