Edward flipped open his locker, keeping his eyes locked on the front doors to the school. He shouldn't have left the girls alone last night, that was a stupid thing to do. Especially with Bella there.
Not that he really cared much what they thought of Bella. Sure, she was nice and all, but she wasn't who he was worried about. He was worried about Rosalie, of course.
When wasn't he worried about Rosalie, he thought bitterly.
But Rosalie did have a decidedly rough night last night and then to throw her in a room with Bella, someone that she didn't necessarily trust or even like, seemed like a recipe for disaster. Rosalie probably ate Bella alive at that sleepover, Edward thought laughing internally.
He would kill to see Rosalie's reaction to her. There was no possible positive outcome for Bella that Edward could see; not when Rosalie was pissed off and upset.
He looked at the doors to the school again and again didn't spot Rosalie. He internally groaned, grabbing his English book and slamming the locker shut.
Glance at the door again.
Nothing again. Rinse and repeat about forty million times.
He checked his watch.
He had to be in class soon and there was still no sign of Rosalie.
He hovered by his locker, watching the students mill past him, a few girls stopping to flirt with him but he brushed them off. He just wasn't in the mood today. He was too worried about Rosalie to even pretend to care about other girls.
"Edward Cullen, are you running behind this morning?" A shrill voice echoed down the hallway, stopping Edward from checking his phone again for a text from Rosalie or Alice.
He turned to find Mrs. Miller making her way towards him, her morning coffee in her hand and internally groaned. Shit.
Good morning, Mrs. Miller. I was just grabbing my books." He tried his hand at a charming smile but it did nothing to lessen the principal's frown. He could not get detention again. One more and he would get a Saturday and he didn't want to deal with that bullshit.
Mrs. Miller was used to his antics. She frequently caught him cutting class, trying to dart outside for a quick smoke or to meet Rosalie to cut out and get lunch down the street. So, the sight of Edward idling by his locker wouldn't be an unusual one for Mrs. Miller.
She tsked at his half-assed explanation, seeing through his bullshit. Here comes the detention.
"Off to class before I change my mind and give you another detention." She said sternly.
Thank God. No detention meant no Saturday wasted hanging around the school, fighting off the boredom. Edward suspected that Mrs. Miller just didn't want to stay after school with him yet again.
Still, Edward nodded grateful that she had let him off with a warning, trying to look thankful instead of frustrated at not finding Rosalie. He sighed to himself; there was nothing he could do about that now. "Yes, ma'am."
Edward kept his eyes away from his teacher when he entered the room, not wanting to see Mr. Banner's frown as he entered the room late.
Banner shouldn't be disappointed that students showed up late. He taught probably the most boring subject that Edward could think of: biology.
Edward slid into his seat near the back of the room and pulled out his notebook. He flipped to a blank page and began doodling, not paying attention as his teacher droned on about mitochondria or whatever stupid thing he was hyped up about today.
Mr. Banner had a strange perception about what he thought was interesting that differed greatly from what his students found interesting. He frequently expressed disappointment that no student seemed thrilled to be learning about mitosis or anything related to biology.
Edward looked up at the board to at least pretend that he was paying attention before scanning the class.
Most students were either passing notes or trying to sleep without getting caught. Only one student sat up straight, looking at Mr. Banner and taking notes.
Bella. He had forgotten that she had this class with him. He could only see her hair, pulled back into a ponytail that looked like it hadn't been brushed, but she was unmistakable.
He was surprised Rosalie hadn't turned Bella into one of her Barbie dolls at the sleepover, like she used to do when she was a child.
Rosalie used to play a game when she was younger. She would invite a girl over to her house, only to use the girl as a literal human Barbie. Clothes, makeup, waxing, plucking, nothing was off limits.
These girls would come home completely Rosalie-fied and their parents shocked to see their middle schooler looking like a grown up adult. The game stopped once the parents started calling Rosalie's to complain that she was making the children look too "mature" for their age.
Edward was half expecting to see Bella completely made over in one of Rosalie's signature crop tops or in a short skirt with her hair done up.
Instead, she just looked like Bella, at least from what Edward could see. She wore jeans and a plain top and if her hair was any indication, the front would be as plain. The least Rosalie could have done was brush her hair.
Well, Bella wasn't plain, he thought to himself. She was more... relaxed.
Where Rosalie looked made up and stunning constantly, Bella was more underplayed, but there was still a beauty there. Of course, in Edward's mind, Bella couldn't hold a flame again Rosalie. Rosalie was a goddess, a supermodel, his dream girl.
He shook his mind from Rosalie to realize that he had been staring at the back of Bella's head the entire time. Well that's not creepy at all, to stare intently at her.
However, Edward noticed that he was not the only one paying attention to Bella. Mike Newton was struggling to seem like he wasn't staring at Bella. He was doing a terrible job of it. Newton kept glancing at Bella every two seconds, only to quickly look away.
Jessica, meanwhile, was struggling to get Newton's attention. Jessica had been trying to get in Newton's pants all year and the idiot didn't seem bright enough to figure that out but Edward wasn't inclined to help him get laid.
Edward wanted to laugh at how high school the situation was. Like something out of a bad TV show. So cliche. Jessica wanted Mike, Mike wanted Bella, and Bella wanted… well Edward wasn't sure who Bella wanted.
His stomach flipped at the thought that Bella could be interested in Newton.
But that was impossible, nobody but Jessica could be attracted to the guy. He looked like a mean, ugly bulldog.
Bella stared at the board and Mr. Banner, not looking around at any of the students around her.
Before Edward could linger too long on the uneasy feeling that maybe Bella would be interested in Newton, the bell finally rang and the class was free.
Bella was gathering up her notebook and things after what seemed like a never ending biology class. Mr. Banner always taught in a way that made the material impossible to care about. She needed a lively subject, especially after the night that she had.
She was exhausted, and not from staying up all night. She had excused herself to a spare room around eleven simply to escape from Rosalie. She was exhausted from the sheer mental Olympics that Rosalie had put her through. Every question felt and sounded like a test.
How did she enjoy the school? Where did she move from? Was she close with her dad? Did she like Angela? Emmett? How about Edward?
After every question, Bella stumbled out a vague answer, sure that Rosalie was looking for something specific but unsure as to what that was. After her answer, she would glance at Alice, hoping that her face would tell Bella if she answered correctly or not, but her face told her nothing. She showed little or no emotion all night.
Bella felt bad for Alice. She clearly cared for Rosalie and was letting Rosalie be the emotional one for a change last night. And after hearing Rosalie's family's story, Bella didn't blame Rosalie for being emotional.
If she was Rosalie she would be filled with anger and hurt, but Rosalie never came across that way. She came across as untouchable, like a marble statue. She reminded Bella of her house, huge, imposing, and cold.
Bella felt bad for Rosalie as well, a feeling she knew that Rosalie would not appreciate Bella feeling for her. Even so, as Rosalie's questions got more direct and it started to feel more like an interrogation, Bella kept it polite, telling herself that Rosalie was going through something right now.
Although, Alice didn't look surprised at Rosalie's behavior so maybe that was just how Rosalie was all the time. Bella shuddered at the thought that Alice would hang around someone so cold.
Bella was pulled from her thoughts by Edward appearing beside her.
Beautiful, lovely Edward. Bella gravitated towards him like a moth towards a flame. She yearned for his presence without knowing why. She wanted to be around him, to hang out with him, to just be near him and yet she barely knew him. And plus, if there was one thing that Bella had learned from the night before it was that Edward was off limits. He was Rosalie's property.
And it seemed like a two way street, at least to Bella. Just as Bella gravitated to Edward, so did Rosalie. She could tell from the way that Rosalie spoke about him the night before that she genuinely cared about him. Bella just didn't know if he felt the same way.
Bella seemed distracted when Edward got to her and he playfully pulled on her ponytail to get her attention without thinking. The action gave him pause. He hadn't decided to tug her ponytail, he just did it instinctively. And yet, that was something he only did with Rosalie. He didn't want to think about what that might mean and shrugged it off.
It was a childish move, it meant nothing. Just because he only ever pulled on Rosalie's hair didn't mean anything.
"How was the sleepover? I'm sure Rosalie was a super bitch." He said with a smile. He wanted Bella to feel like she could talk to him, vent about things. Whether he would tell Rosalie what she said, he wasn't sure.
"It was actually fine." Bella answered with a shrug. "Rosalie seems…nice." Bella paused, seeming to search for a word for a while to describe Rosalie.
Edward laughed, grateful that Bella hadn't said anything about Rosalie. If she had he knew would have had to tell Rosalie or it would turn into a whole thing. Edward tried not to get involved in drama if he could help it. Although being around with Rosalie, that was nearly impossible.
"There are a lot of words that can be used to describe Rosalie, but nice is not one of them." He said. Rosalie was opinionated and to the point, she was smart and funny, but nice was just not something she tried to be.
They drifted into the hallway into the sea of students. A lot of them glanced at Edward with Bella, but if Bella noticed she didn't let it show.
To Edward, it felt like he was cheating on Rosalie, just standing in the hallway with Bella, talking about whatever. His cheeks heated up; he didn't like their eyes on him.
Why couldn't they just mind their own business and go back to their own pathetic lives instead of staring at him?
Edward was just about to tell somebody, anybody, off and make a real spectacle when somebody brushed up against him.
"I heard my name." Rosalie's voice was in his ear.
He was far too eager to see her but damnnit he had been worried about her. He didn't need to be kicked out of the sleepover like that; he was who she was supposed to turn to. He was always the one to comfort her when she was upset, to sleep in her bed, hold her while she cried about how stupid Jasper was or how selfish her parents were. To be kicked out and cut off, with no clues as to how she was doing felt wrong, unnatural.
Without thinking, merely acting on instinct he pulled her into a hug and her hands wrapped around his neck. Relief filled his body. She didn't push him off, she hugged him back. Her perfume caused him to lose all focus and her soft body felt right in his arms.
He wanted to pause in this moment and live in it forever. This rare moment where they weren't fighting, where she wasn't pushing him away, where she was letting him touch her.
Too soon she pulled away.
Rosalie held him back for a only moment before pulling away with a kiss on his cheek, hoping that her body didn't display the longing she felt towards him, the regret at having to pull back. She struggled not to let the emotions show on her face, knowing that Edward would be able to easily read them. Her face fell back into her regular bitchy expression and she rolled her eyes at Edward's display like it embarrassed her.
"Desperate much, Eddie?" She teased, trying to lighten the mood, especially with Bella staring at them like she saw right through Rosalie's act.
Edward's eyes flickered with anger and Rosalie knew she had successfully pissed him off and pushed him back.
Rosalie hated making Edward angry.
She hated that she had to make him leave the night before. All she ever wanted was his presence; she craved him like an actual drug. And like any addict without a drug, she went through withdrawals when he left for too long.
That was why she had to make him leave. She was too connected to him, relied on him too much.
She couldn't allow herself to need one person that much.
She had once needed her parents that much at they had left her. She turned to Jasper and then he too left.
Jasper leaving had forever changed Rosalie. She had shared all of her fears, hopes, and dreams with him. He was her twin brother, her best friend and one day he was just gone.
She had known it was coming; she had been warned. Her parents had sat her down and tried to explain in a way that wouldn't hurt her why they were bringing Jasper with them to help with the business and not her.
They had failed. She was hurt. Forever.
She cried the entire first week without them. She thought she would never be okay again. And then she closed herself up. And now she knew that she wouldn't let herself ever need someone like that again.
She had actually gotten to speak to Jasper on the phone the night before, the first time in weeks, and while he was still vague about when he was going to return, even speaking to him calmed something in her that felt constantly restless.
Talking to him got rid of the urge to jump on a plane and fly to him and her parents. To show up and say I'm here, I'm your daughter, love me. Well, it calmed that urge for now. She knew it would return and most likely before her family did.
At least Bella had been tolerable the night before. Her presence gave Rosalie something to focus on that wasn't her yearning for a family and it distracted her.
Rosalie still didn't like the way she looked at Edward or the way that Edward acted around her, but the girl was nice. Just nice. She didn't have much of a personality that Rosalie could detect but that might have been due to her being scared shitless.
Rosalie hadn't missed the glances that Bella sent to Alice after Rosalie asked a question. Bella was shifty and nervous. Rosalie felt like she was a cop interrogating a suspect instead of a girl struggling to act friendly.
Apparently acting friendly did not work for Rosalie.
Trying to make conversation with Bella was like pulling teeth and Rosalie resorted to asking any question she could think of just to fill the silence.
Alice had been quiet all night and Rosalie knew she was tired of it all, but she was grateful that her friend hadn't left her. Alice was a ride or die bitch that was for sure. She had stuck with Rosalie through thick and thin. Rosalie trusted her with her life.
She just didn't fully need her. Rosalie didn't put her heart in Alice, as much as she wanted to. She's fond of Alice and appreciated her, she just isn't able to put her full self into the friendship. Rosalie knew Alice knew that and it hurt them both, but there was nothing Rosalie could do.
She couldn't need anyone.
Rosalie was pulled back to the present, where Edward's arm stayed around her shoulder as he chatted with Bella about some science related thing. Normally she'd shove his arm off of her but today she didn't mind it. She enjoyed the weight of it on her shoulders. She felt like Edward was anchoring her to the Earth.
Rosalie didn't miss the way Bella's eyes shined as she looked at Edward, or how they darted nervously towards her.
Rosalie found it comforting that Bella was so boring, but was less comforted by Edward's reaction to her. He was talking to her about science for fuck's sake. He had to be somewhat interested to even attempt to continue that boring of a conversation.
Rosalie pecked another quick kiss on Edward's cheek, looking at Bella the whole time. Bella glanced down, her cheeks reddening and Rosalie was pleased. But she was also too comfortable under Edward's arm.
She needed to leave. Now. As much as it pained her to leave Edward with Bella, it would pain her more to lead Edward on. She still isn't ready for him. She's too broken and he's too whole.
"Bye, babe. Bella." She left them standing in the hallway as she went off in search of Emmett.
She needed a distraction right now from the feelings rumbling inside of her. Anger, sadness, longing, they were all threatening to erupt to the surface and breaking down at school was simply not in the question.
She had a reputation to uphold after all.
So she left to find Emmett. To find her distraction.
Her relationship, if you could even call it that, with Emmett was simple with no feelings attached. At least none on her end.
She didn't miss how he would look across the room at her for too long as Angela stood beside him. Rosalie loved it. It made her feel powerful.
Knowing that she could have Emmett at any time, if she only asked was her version of drugs. It made her feel high with power to stroke his hand walking past him, making out with him in a closet with Angela looking for him.
That he would risk anything to be with her was the most exciting thing of all. But still, she felt nothing for the person. It was the power that attracted her.
If he ended their little arrangement, even though Rosalie knew he never could, her pride would be damaged, but not her heart.
It was her heart she risked getting too close to Edward. And not only that, but it was his heart.
She may be selfish, but with Edward it didn't matter how good he made her feel. She could never hurt him. She cared for him too much.
Them together, actually together, would be dangerous, deadly. It would set her on fire a million times over. She would love him with all of her heart.
But that would be a double-edged sword because just as she would love him with all of her heart, if he left her she would be destroyed. She would be nothing.
So, there was nothing between her and Edward. And there could never be. She needed to push her feelings for him aside, for both of their sake.
Before she could contemplate Edward any further she saw something in the hallway that made her freeze.
Alice was trying to find Rosalie before Angela did. Angela wanted to invite them to some miserable party. For some reason that Alice could not figure out Angela constantly tried to be Rosalie's friend despite all the awful things Rosalie has said to her over the years.
Alice just knew that if Angela reached Rosalie before she did, Angela was sure to regret ever asking Rosalie at all. Rosalie did have a limit of things she could deal with and Alice had a feeling Angela would push her far over that limit.
Alice was already having a terrible day and this Angela situation managed to worsen it. Once again she was in a situation involving Rosalie.
Alice had a miserable time at the sleepover. She was tired and wanted to go home for once and not have to worry about Rosalie.
On top of that, Bella kept sending help signals towards her as if Alice was supposed to care about whatever Rosalie was doing to Bella.
She did not.
She knew Bella was just looking for a friend but Alice was so tired of being the nice one. Of being the one people turned to when they needed help or saving. She was just tired.
Alice couldn't find it in herself to blame Rosalie, no matter how much she wanted to. She understood that Rosalie was struggling and Rosalie was the best friend Alice had ever had.
But, even as Alice sat there on Rosalie's couch, watching Rosalie grill Bella with a million questions, some polite but most not, she just couldn't care enough to step in.
Alice was already Rosalie's knight in shining armor, she didn't need to be Bella's as well.
Thankfully, Bella seemed to do just fine on her own and Rosalie didn't hate her by the end of the night. Maybe Alice would have someone to turn to for help. Maybe Alice wouldn't have to bear the stress of Rosalie and Edward's messed up relationship by herself.
Alice was finally feeling hopeful about the future when she spotted Rosalie.
Rosalie stood alone in the center of the hallway, staring at something that Alice couldn't see but that seemed to captivate the entire student body's attention.
Alice moved to stand next to Rosalie, about to ask her what was wrong when she spotted what everybody was focused on.
Her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught in her throat as she looked down the hallway.
There, by the front office, stood a face that Alice had pictured almost every day.
A face that haunted Alice's dreams and thoughts.
Jasper had returned.
A/N I know it's been like five million years since this has been updated, but I finally found some inspiration! I'm not totally pleased with this chapter, but I figured something was better than nothing. Let me know what you think!