All I can say is that I've been busy with other things and have not been doing a great deal of writing. Though this chapter seemed difficult to write for me. I rewrote the beginning probably four times before I came up with something that I deemed acceptable. Anywho, here's the next chapter...finally.


"I can't believe you're making me go through with this," I groaned from the passenger seat of Kyle's Audi. Where all his cars came from I would probably never know. Yesterday after I agreed to ask Edward Cullen to the Girls Choice Dance this weekend Kyle had driven off in the Aston Martin for several hours and came back just before dusk in the Audi that we were currently in.

"Bella what's the worst that could possibly happen?" Kyle asked, braking for a stop sign, "You take him to the dance, have a lovely evening, explain to him what the situation is and request their cooperation in any ongoing incidents."

"I…Uh…He…The heels might not be able to hold my weight for the dance," I spouted out randomly. It was a likely concept. I did weigh nearly a hundred and eighty pounds and it was possible that the plastic heels couldn't hold that kind of weight.

"Bella, you're talking to guy whose sister designs weapons, clothing, shoes, houses, interior and exterior façades, and does art while having advanced degrees in microbiology and chemistry," Kyle laughed as he accelerated forward, "Godfredson has a soft side for her and helps her test things out. Including shoes. If she can make something that will hold him up you're two hundred pounds lighter than him."

I closed my eyes and leaned back in my car seat. I was doomed. I wasn't worried about getting a date with the vampire I was quite sure that he was attracted to me. What I was worried about was the fact that this was indeed my Very. First. High School. Dance. Ever. I couldn't dance to save my soul and I had a week to learn how to.

"What is that ruckus?" Kyle grunted. I felt the car take a right turn, likely onto the street that my school was on. I sat up and opened my eyes. I couldn't hear anything other than typical urban traffic sounds and the sounds of our breathing.

"What are you hearing?" I asked, knowing that Kyle's hearing was far more acute than my own.

"Sounds like a fight of some kind," Kyle said slowly, narrowing his eyes.

Closing my eyes I concentrated on listening intently on what Kyle might be hearing. So far I still couldn't hear anything beyond regular traffic, the sounds of our car, and our breathing. My heart was pounding in my ears now to make matters more difficult. Breathe, I told myself, breathe and let everything drown away. Slowly the sounds of cars and my heart sifted away until I heard nothing but the hum of nothing. I inhaled slowly and held my breath. What was it that Kyle could hear?

Then I heard it. Angry voices yelling. Concentrating harder they sounded like a few of the boys that I had been told were on the football team. With all the other ambient noise around me it was too difficult to pick up on what the fight was about, but I could discern a few words like "car, totaled" and "parking." Enough to tell me that the fight was over who got to the prime parking spaces today.

"Ah, the days when the most concerning part of life was who got the good parking spot," Kyle chuckled, "That would have been around 1739 for me."

"Did you even have parking spaces back then?" I asked, doubtful of his answer.

"There were the preferable stalls in the stables and hitching posts," Kyle answered.

Touché.

By now Kyle had pulled into the High School parking lot. The scuffle was easy enough to spot from here. Two overgrown idiots in letterman jackets shouting and pointing fingers standing next to their cars which had collided as they fought to reach the same parking space first. Not a lot of damage was done to either car: a bit of body damage and the loss of a headlight. Nothing a good body shop couldn't fix for a small fee of a few hundred dollars.

"Just pass them by," I said, "they'll fight over it until the coach comes out and settles it for them."

Kyle apparently didn't hear me, or at least chose to ignore me as he pulled the car to a stop just short of the fight and put it into "park." Unbuckling his seatbelt he got out of the car and walked toward the two boys despite my protests. Fumbling with my seatbelt I threw open my door and started to hurry after Kyle. Hopefully he wouldn't do anything too stupid considering how much self control he had. However, Kyle didn't tolerate idiocy well and, well, let's just leave it at that…

I was halfway to Kyle when I noticed that he wasn't walking to the fight but to the back of the nearest car. Bending down he grabbed the back bumper and with a grunt that was more for show than actual strain proceeded to pull the car away from the parking space. Needless to say this got the attention of the muscle headed dimwits that owned the cars in question. One of them managed to stutter a few words before Kyle calmly walked around to the other car and repeated his actions, this time making the muscles in his upper body bulge so that you could see the definition of his body through his black muscle shirt, creating enough space between the fronts of the cars that another small car could fit through.

I watched dumbfounded with the rest the crowd that had gathered to watch what was happening as Kyle returned to his car and pulled into the parking space he'd freed up for himself, got out, locked the doors, and walked over to where I was standing.

"And that, little sister," he said as he handed me my bag, "is how you break up a fight without throwing a single punch."


Word of Kyle's exploit traveled fast through the small student body of the school. By lunch the entire school had heard about what happened in the parking lot. Granted, half the student body was present and witnessed the bloody event it wasn't hard to pass the information on the other half who was either not at school yet or already in the building.

"Oh. My. God!" Lauren squealed to me as I sat down at the lunch table, "That is your older brother?"

"Older half-brother," I said rolling my eyes, "He has a different father."

"I'd hate to see what his dad is like," Mike said in an impressed voice, "the guy just nonchalantly walks over to the cars, pulls them apart with his bare hands and walks away."

I hid my smile as the rest of the table glared at Mike and he sheepishly started eating his potatoes. Apparently the fact that "my parents were dead" had slipped his mind.

The rest of lunch held a subdued atmosphere and I wasn't the only one that seemed glad to hear the bell ring. Kyle, who had been leaning against the wall near my table, pushed off the wall and began to follow me. I managed to reach the exit to the cafeteria when I felt my phone vibrate. Pulling it out of my pocket (I was not one of those frilly girls that carried a purse around wherever I went) I read Kyle's number on the caller ID screen.

[The Cullen's are curious as to why a vampire is claiming to be the older brother of a human,] Kyle texted me, [The blonde one asked the smallest male what he was hearing from me.]

[That would be Rosalie, the blonde one, and Edward, the male,] I sent back, [The big one is Emmett. The smallest one is Alice. And the middle sized male is Jasper.]

[Right. Edward said he can't hear what I was thinking and was apparently rather annoyed about this saying that it was like the Chief and you.]

[Interesting]

[I agree.]

[Other than Edward seeming to be some sort of telepath is there anything else of note?]

[Jasper said that your emotions do not correlate with your words when you talk about your past. And when Emmett asked Alice if she saw anything she giggled and refused to say. Did Charlie say anything about them?]

[Yeah, Jasper is an Empath so he can feel emotions. Alice he didn't know anything about.]

[Don't forget to ask Edward to the Dance.]

I groaned inwardly, [You had to remind me didn't you?] I asked. Kyle didn't respond to this and I stowed my phone back in my pocket. I had reached Biology and after I told Mr. Banner what was going on with Kyle I nervously took my seat next to Edward.

I fidgeted all throughout Mr. Banner's lecture, not really paying attention to the class. I think we may have watched a video at one point as I was suddenly blinking as the lights turned back on. I suppressed the rush of blood to my face as I heard Edward chuckle at my reaction to the sudden light. Holy Shit, the man had a wonderful laugh.

"Apprehensive, much?" he whispered softly.

I shot him a glare. He had spoken so softly that only Kyle and I would have been able to hear him. This fact, while not escaping me, didn't startle me as Rosalie had most likely told him everything she had heard when she and Emmett were spying on me two weeks ago.

"Jessica and Lauren convinced me to ask someone to the Girls Choice Dance and you are the only male in the school who won't suddenly believe that this makes me their girlfriend," I grumbled.

"That's what you're squirming over?" Edward grinned, "A 'bad-girl' like you getting nervous over asking someone to a dance?"

"I can't dance," I hissed at him. It was now lab time and we moved over to our station to start the last count of plant organisms in our river water containers. As I had suspected after reading Silent Spring the plant life in the jars had plummeted. Counting quickly I finished well before everyone else in the class and moved to finish the lab write-up.

The lack of noise in the room, only the scrape of pencils on paper as students tallied organisms could be heard, was unnerving. To make matters worse I could feel someone's eyes burning into the back of my head. Breathing heavily through my nose I gripped my pencil hard until it snapped in half, a feat indeed considering that it was a .9mm graphite mechanical pencil. Those things were thick. Growling I threw the broken pencil in the trashcan and fished a new one out of my bag.

Just then I heard it. A low seductive chuckle that made my knee's feel weak though I was sitting on a stool and my insides turn to goo. Spinning around I grabbed my lab sheet and stool, dragging the latter over to sit next to Edward.

"Alright, if you want to know why a 'hardcore bad-girl' is stumbling over asking a boy to a dance is because about seventy-four years I was raped while working as a bargirl. It took fifty years for me to look at a man as just a person of a different sex than me and when I met you I suddenly have the gushy teenage girl feelings that come from looking at a hot boy," I hissed to Edward while scrawling my lab response angrily across my paper, "So stop laughing at me!"

"I didn't laugh at you," Edward calmly replied as if someone confessing to having been raped long enough ago to make you his grandmother (if he hadn't been a vampire that is); "I think it was him." He pointed over to where Kyle sat in the back of the room.

Kyle lazily glanced in our direction and winked. [Someone needed a push] he signed to me.

"What was that?" Edward raised an eyebrow at me as I growled.

"He told me I 'needed a push'."

This time I could tell that the laugh was Edward's. Unlike Kyle's this one seemed to make my whole body turn to mush. I looked away quickly as Edward looked over at me but I could tell that he could hear the change in my breathing and heartbeat.

"Don't worry about being able to dance," was all he said, "We can fix that for you."


The rest of the school day was uneventful. Well, other than Rosalie pairing up with me during Gymn. But then again we were doing wrestling for class and the only person she wouldn't kill would have been me. The guilty empathetic look she gave me confused me a bit. I guessed she had at least heard some of my conversation with Edward from him before coming to class. She also whispered to come to their house after school in my ear telling me that she knew I knew where they lived.

"What do you make of that?" I asked Kyle as we walked out of the schools doors. It was now raining, typical of Forks, and Kyle had donned a heavy leather jacket to act as a rain coat.

"Probably is telling you to come over to learn how to dance," Kyle shrugged. I glared at him, flipped him off and strode ahead to his car, growling as I heard him laugh. As much as I liked hearing my friend laugh after years of gloom I figured that his laugh was fake. Kyle was not exactly a jovial person.

"Hey!"

I groaned. One of the meatheads from this morning had just yelled at Kyle, or at least I was assuming that was who he was yelling at. This was likely to end in a couple ways for this to end: Kyle beating the shit out of a dumbass, Kyle ignoring him, or Kyle destroying something.

I turned to see the two of them glaring at each other. I focused on listening to what they were saying, though the rain was not helping. Most of what I could make out from what Meathead was saying was something about touching his car and how he'd cave Kyle's head in if Kyle ever came near it again. Snorting I tried to imagine what Meathead would try to do to Kyle and how epically he'd fail.

"Can I ask you a question?" Kyle asked in a bored tone.

"What?" growled Meathead.

"WHY ARE WE YELLING AT EACH OTHER FROM OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE PARKING LOT?" Kyle bellowed as he appeared next to me making me jump. Everyone in the parking lot gaped openly at the sudden change of Kyle position. Meathead was opening and closing his mouth like a fish gasping for water as it flopped about on dry land, pointing from where Kyle had been to where he was now.

Kyle grunted and climbed into the driver's seat of the Audi. I opened my door and sat down, glancing at Kyle as I closed the door behind me.

"That should keep them guessing for a week," Kyle grunted, putting the car into Reverse and pulling out of the parking lot at breakneck speeds. "If anyone asks you about what happened just tell them I was standing next to you the entire time," Kyle instructed me, jerking the wheel around while making a sharp ninety degree turn.

"Too much duncicality for you?" I queried.

"Only among those individuals that you call (what's the slang for them?) Jocks. All of them thinking all the girls in the school secretly want to fuck them, half of them competing to see who can sleep with the most girls in the off season and complaining about how the teachers are trying to keep them from playing by giving them bad grades," Kyle growled.

"Typical," I sighed. We drove in silence for several minutes before I noticed that we were not driving back to Charlie's but were driving up the road that led to the Cullen's house. Groaning inwardly I wondered if Kyle was trying to torture me by not putting anything off.

"Hey!" Kyle said to me, "You've got a week to learn how to dance. Judging by the way the Cullen's move I'd bet a lot of money that they aren't the type of people who just sway back and forth when the slow songs happen."

"You mean that's all I have to do?" I screeched at the vampire in the driver's seat of the car.

"Not if you're dancing with someone who will do more than that," Kyle replied, turning onto the road that the Cullen house was on, "and there's not going to be that many slow songs any way. Most of what you're going to be seeing at the dance is similar is the kind of dancing you'd see piss drunk people trying to do in bars at around eleven at night."

"God forbid I degrade myself that far," I said, slapping my hand to my face. Watching teenagers who were barely old enough to drink trying to have sex with each other while still fully clothed, a drink in hand made my stomach queasy. I hoped the Cullen's were more refined than that.

By now Kyle was turning into the Cullen's driveway and pulling to a stop next to an immense garage. Glancing at my vampiric superior I noticed the look of awe and wonder on his face as he stared at the garage. Getting out of the car he walked over to the side door of the garage, peeking inside as he opened it.

"Sweet Creators of V8," he whispered. He looked back at me and I saw a brief moment of indecision on his face before, "I'll be in here for a little while," he told me while ducking into the building.

I didn't have much time to try and comprehend what he was going to do in the garage because I was suddenly blasted by a missile coming from the front door of the Cullen House.

"I'm sorry," a very distraught Rosalie whispered into my shoulder as she tried to squeeze the life out of my.

"What?" I managed to choke out.

"I'm sorry," the blonde beauty repeated, lightening her grip on me. I stared at her confused. She didn't need to apologize for being protective of her family. Well, maybe a little because she practically stalked me for three days after I came here but I didn't hold it against her. Why was she apologizing and why did she look like she was about to cry if she was human and could?

"I'm not saying sorry for being overly suspicious of you," Rosalie said as she pulled away from me, keeping her hands on my shoulders, "I'm sorry that you had to go through what no one ever should."

"My rape?" I asked quietly.

Rosalie nodded and pulled me back into a hug, a much gentler one this time, like she was a mother hugging her crying daughter. I hugged her back slowly trying to make sense of this sudden change in the blonde's behavior. Then it clicked. I had seen many women, and a few men, in shelters who had been victims of abuse and rape. They tended to stick to one another for support, though the men tended to go off alone. Was Rosalie…?

"It happened to you, didn't it?" I whispered, pulling her in tighter, feeling my rare tears welling up in my eyes.

"It was my fiancé," Rosalie whispered back, "and a group of his friends. He had just proposed to me and I was at my friend's home showing her my new ring. It got late and I was walking home when I came across my fiancé with his friends. They were drunk and my fiancé wanted to show his bride off to his friends. They beat me and gang-raped, then left me for dead. Carlisle found me shortly after and changed me. I don't know why and all he says about it was that he felt compelled to."

She was shivering by now and her voice was cracking, something that vampires do not do, which showed just how much emotion she still had from the incident. A memory struck me at that moment.

"Rosalie Hale? Was your fiancé Royce King?"

Rosalie pulled out of our embrace and looked at me with an astonished expression. "How did you know?" She asked me.

"I was living in New York at the time," I explained, "I would have looked like I was around thirteen. We wouldn't have known each other I lived in a very small rural community and you were a rich socialite. But I do remember my parents reading about the gruesome murder of a wealthy young man and his friends shortly after the strange disappearance of the young man's fiancé."

"You have a good memory," Rosalie said smiling, "But enough, the others will be back from hunting soon. Let's go inside."


Hopefully it won't take as long to write the next chapter. Let me know how you like it.