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Love's Light

Summary:
Loves_light.png banner picture by munky_hashmi This beautiful banner was made by the amazing Marauder by Midnight! thank you! The sequel to My One Love! Life and love can only meet through colossal experiences…like turning into a vampire. This story is all about life with Bella as a vampire with Edward at her side, Jake and Ally's love, Emmett and Rosalie, Alice and Jasper, Carlisle and Esme, and of course, Dan's new life. We all do crazy things when in love, imagine being a mythical creature when in love! WELLLL. Chapter 30 is up and ready to read.


Notes:
Please read My One Love before you read this, or some things might not make too much sense for you! :) Things are about to get a little crazy in the lives of our beloved characters.


8. Jane Shuler's Day

Rating 3.3/5   Word Count 9923   Review this Chapter

Jane’s POV:

The first thing I noticed as I opened my eyes were the shadows on the ceiling, battling for dominance of the space. One shadow was from the curtain ruffling in the breeze, the other from the lone painting hanging on my wall. The painting that Alice Cullen made. The painting’s shadow was winning right now, and it was working hard to keep it’s place in my ultra-clean bedroom.

Suddenly, the Ipod docking station next to me buzzed, and I looked over at my bedside table. It was 5:00 in the morning. I always woke up a minute before my alarm these days. I smiled as the alarm song came on. I knew it by heart and I let it play even though I was already awake. I mouthed the words and I put the volume down a little, not wanting to wake up Dad.

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know were it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of broken dreams
Were the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone
I walk alone I walk alone
I walk alone and I walk a-
My shadows the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Till then I'll walk alone
Ah..ah..
I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line of the edge
And where I walk alone
Read between the lines
What's fucked up and everything's alright
Check my vital signs to know I'm still alive
And I walk alone
I walk alone I walk alone
I walk alone and I walk a-
My shadows the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Till then I'll walk alone

While the hard rock pulsed, I pressed the off button and it went silent. I turned and lay on my back, wincing when one of the bones made a small popping noise. Of course, a full night on one side would make my back uncomfortable. I was always like that. I never moved once during my sleep, so my muscles would always be tense when I woke up.

My thoughts drifted back to San Francisco. How my kitty, Snowy, would always wake me up by jumping onto my bed and licking my nose. Another thing I sacrificed. I didn’t mind, at least Dad was happy. I was kind of happy too…this new town gave me a chance to start off on a new foot. A chance I didn’t have back in California.

I cringed. No, Jane! Don’t let your thoughts drift back. I scolded myself. It was a rule of mine: don’t stay in bed too long unless you’re asleep---staying in bed brings back memories. Memories of when I was in a mask. Wincing again, I sat up carefully and stretched my arms above my head, then twisted my back, smiling slightly as the space between the bones popped up my spine.

I rubbed my fingers against my eyelids, getting out the sleepiness. Throwing back the covers was kind of hard to do, since it was so cold. Do temperatures even get this low? I chuckled to myself as I swung my legs lightly to the side of my bed.

I felt the bed skirt’s ruffle, then the soft carpet underneath. My toes tried to find the fuzzy--ah, there it was. My fuzzy pink slippers that graciously kept my feet warm these days. It was only October, for God’s sake!

Slowly shuffling off the bed and up to a standing position, I stretched some more by reaching down and touching my slippers. My knees popped this time. I lifted the leg of my pajamas, staring at my knee.

I narrowed my eyes and pouted my lips at the scar. I hated it with a passion. It was an ugly burn mark. First season sophomore A-team basketball, horrible crash and burn on the court. Then I grinned smugly, knowing how demented I must look in the dark right now. They thought I wouldn’t be able to play after that, but I showed them wrong. Who got MVP for three years in a row? Yeah, the one with the burn mark.

Letting go of the soft material, I stood up and scratched the back of neck. Walking to the side of my room, I turned off the pink nightlight and straightened back up, flicking on the light that made the room bright again. The walls were a perfect white, only interrupted by the painting in the middle of them. It was so awesome to have such a cool painting on my wall.

I walked to the closet, opening the door. Strolling down past the clothes, I smiled as I saw them hanging in color-coordinate fashion. So organized, so perfect. I thought as I opened the door on the other side. I smiled again when I walked into my new bathroom. I had forced Dad to look for a house like this, so I could have my “organized luxuries” as he said.

Whatever, he’s the one who wanted to move to this small town anyway. I thought as I looked into the mirror. After washing my face and brushing my teeth, I slipped on my comfy sweats and pulled my Ipod out of the dock. Scrolling down the play list, I pressed the “running” list of songs.

Strapping the Ipod onto my arm, I pulled on my socks and sneakers. I quietly opened my bedroom door and walked out into the hallway. Quickly, I went downstairs and grabbed my water bottle out of the fridge. Taking a long gulp of the cold water, I put it back and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.

I put the ear buds in and made sure my cell phone was in my hoodie’s pocket. After making sure Dad’s door was closed, I opened the front door and closed it quietly behind me. Pulling out my key, I locked the door and took a deep breath. Pressing play on my Ipod, I grinned as one of my favorite songs came on.

All The Same by the Sick Puppies. I matched my footfalls with the drum beats and soon enough, my heartbeats were just as fast. The leaves crinkled under my feet and I sighed in relaxation.

While I was running, so was my mind: constantly thinking. I had done this every single weekday morning since I turned 14. So what if I wasn’t on the team this year? That’s ok, I should still keep in shape as best as I could. Today was a beautiful Tuesday morning and I waved at the old man that was wearing a cute Hawaiian shirt and walking his dog. He smiled and waved back kindly.

Yesterday I had checked out all the pathways around our new neighborhood, looking for the best route to run in the mornings. I had found a beautiful trail through the luscious green trees, leading to a small gazebo. It was so adorable and a great place to sit and think some more.

Once I got there, I was breathing in huge gulps of cold Maine air and my lungs burned. My strong lungs weren’t accustomed to the slightly salty air of being this far up north. I smiled when the trees parted and I saw the white wooden gazebo. I slowed my run and then went up the stairs, sitting down on the slightly damp benches. I inhaled a big breath and let it out slowly.

I looked around and I couldn’t hear anything…except a small ticking noise. Looking down, I saw that the noise was coming from my Gucci watch. A birthday present from Mom, even though she knows how much I don’t like designer accessories.

Suddenly, the memories came flooding back. I couldn’t stop it this time, so I just let them come. At least no one could see me here. Pulling my aching legs up on the bench, I wrapped my arms around my knees and hugged them closer.

It was killing me. Slowly but surely, the sound of my watch ticked endlessly. Tick, tick, tick. Like the seconds of my life…they matched the beating of my heart, and the speed of my thoughts.

No matter how hard I tried, I was still ticking…each tick of that damn watch sent my panic into frenzy. Why? Why the hell would I put myself through this torture? I knew he couldn’t hurt me anymore…I was miles away from him.

3,274 miles to be exact. Miles away from his groping hands, his smoldering brown eyes…his shiny white teeth. Away from his blonde hair that shined in the moonlight, and big strong demeanor of football jock.

You aren’t worth shit. No wonder you try so hard…student council president, star of the basketball team, editor of the paper, the list goes on and on doesn’t it? Who really gives a shit, Jane? Yeah, that’s what you’re afraid of. You hide behind your meetings and your church and your stupid paintings. I can’t believe I wasted four damn months on you!

I wished I could press rewind. I wished I could stop pretending and stop living my life with the seconds of the clock. The sound of his voice was ringing in my ears and I felt my heart break a little more.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Never a second of peace, never a second I wasn’t reminded how worthless I was. He was so right--the only reason I tried to do anything was to hide who I really was. Did I care when I got MVP last year? Did it really matter when I got a scholarship for best writer in southern California?

No, of course not. All that mattered is that people liked the Jane Shuler they saw. They liked her because she seemed perfect. Sure, they were jealous, but they hid it…just like she hid who she really was.

Nothing was worth this--this agony. This constant feeling of wearing a mask. No one could see me, so no one could touch me. I was unstoppable and I was strong, I never lost.

Except once. Except the day that I fell…just an ordinary morning run, just another day before another big B-ball game. I still remember the feeling of dizziness, the old lady who screamed for help when I fell. I had pushed too hard, that was all. I had run 12 miles that day, coming to a halt only when my face hit the sidewalk.

NO! I yelled inside my mind. Don’t let it go that far! Don’t think about that. I’m fine, I’m ok now. That was almost a year ago. You only run two or three miles a day now. That won’t ever happen again!

Oh, but it would. I knew it would. My thoughts fought each other just like the shadows on my wall. It would happen again and again. Until I came to the realization---until my dad gave me the physical check-up that finally crashed through the impenetrable wall I had put up to protect me from the real world.

I remembered how I cried that night, when I found out the truth. I remembered how much I wanted to hurt my dad for telling me the truth. I remember how much my heart hurt when I thought about telling people. So I didn’t tell anyone. I made sure NO ONE other than my dad and I knew.

Not my mom, not my brother, and definitely not Logan. I knew I should have never gotten so close to him, I knew I should never lay out my heart only to let it be smashed on. Crushed by my crush.

But I was gone now, right? Now I didn’t have to hide behind the “perfect Jane”. I don’t have to put on a mask in front of everyone here, they won’t have to see the MVP, the editor, or the president. Here, I was just a new kid, the doctor’s daughter. So, it’s all good, right? That was one reason I moved out here with Dad…oh, but there were so many reasons.


Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey
Boys Say, Boys Say
Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey
All the boys get the girls in the back

I grinned as my cell phone’s ring tone started to play. I pulled it out of my pocket, and sure enough: Brittany’s adorable picture showed up on my Razor’s screen. I flipped it open and was still smiling as I answered.

“Hey, Britt!” I answered.

“Janey!!! I’m getting ready for school and I miss you SOOOO much! I need you here to help me pick out what to wear!” A girl’s voice complained on the other line.

I talked her through her outfit, pretending like I was right next door to her in San Francisco again. She told me about school and everything else that was going on with her hot new boy toy, Michael.

Brittany was a stereotypical teenage cheerleader. You know those movies like “Bring It On” and all that? Yup, that was Britt. Bleach blonde hair, baby blue eyes, white skin that was always slightly tanned, hot boyfriends, and perfectly manicured nails all the time. I played on the court, and she cheered with her pom-poms ---it was that way since I made the team and she made the squad.

After talking to her for a couple minutes and lying about how Augusta, Maine was as boring as it sounded, I hung up. Brittany was great and everything, but she didn’t really understand me. She was shallow and I was deep, she was superficial while I had lots of layers to the real me. She wouldn’t get why I had chosen to come out here anyway, so she definitely wouldn’t get why I was enjoying it here.

I had to detach…I had to break the links between my old life and me. It was all in the past and I knew I would have to discontinue my constant chattering with my old schoolmates. I went through my phone and deleted all of the texts I had received since I got here, and made sure not to answer too many phone calls anymore.

New life, new Jane. No, not new Jane…the real one. The one that doesn’t have to hide. That one that’s going out with sexy Daniel Cullen on Friday night, I reminded myself.

I grinned the whole way back home. I pushed my lungs to the point that they screamed for help, but it felt good. I felt like I was actually running to something real this time…the real me.

******************************************************************************************

I pulled out my keys and was breathing raggedly as I opened the door and let myself in. The delicious smell of instant coffee burned my nose and I smiled.

“Jane, that you?” A deep male voice asked from the kitchen. I slid out of my shoes and jogged to the kitchen, where a man in a blue apron was cooking something that looked like French Toast.

“Hey daddy.” I said, kissing him on the cheek. I pulled out my water bottle again and took a much longer drag and saw out of the corner of my eye that he was staring at me.

“What’s up, Dad?” I asked, finally getting my breathing under control.

“Why must you push yourself every day, sweetie? You’re in perfect shape, why don’t you relax for a couple weeks?” He asked, worry in his green eyes. I smiled and leaned against the counter, ruffling his graying hair.

“Daddy, I know my limit. I won’t pass it, I promise. If I don’t run, I won’t be able to kick your butt in b-ball, remember?” I said playfully. He smiled, but I could still see the worry in his eyes.

“All right, as long as you don’t push yourself too far. I trust you, you’re smarter than me in some things. Oh, and I was just letting you win those games.” He played back. I grinned and fixed up my breakfast and his own, pouring the coffee and taking out some strawberries.

“So you’ve been letting me win for the past two years?” I pouted, pretending to be insulted. He smiled that genuine smile. I got my dimples from my dad. In fact, I barely got anything from my mom except her short height. My brother was like my mom, while I was like my dad. I didn’t mind at all, really. I was a genuine daddy’s girl.

“Don’t worry, I only spied you a few points.” He chuckled. We ate breakfast in comfortable silence and then he told me how the new hospital was going.

Dad was a cardiologist. He gave up the big bucks to come here, but I knew we would always have more than enough money. Dad liked the simple life, and the only thing he divulged on was his daughter. I wasn’t spoiled or anything, but yes, I lived a good life.

“Daddy?” I asked, not sure how to put this.

“Yes?”

“Well…did you meet a Dr. Cullen at the hospital?” I fidgeted, playing with my ponytail.

“Actually, yes I did. Very nice man, he showed me where my office was and everything. How did you know?” He looked up. I shrugged and tried to look nonchalant.

“Well, his kids go to my school, and I made friends with a couple of them.” I said. He looked interested and asked me about them. I told him about Alice, Bella, and Edward…then Daniel.

“And the one that’s name is Daniel is a junior, like me. He’s not in any of my classes or anything, but I met him. He works at the bookstore, you know, and when I went there after school, I saw him.”

“Oh really? That’s nice. I’m glad you’re making such good friends already.” He said, seeming oblivious to my discomfort. I wrinkled my nose and looked down.

“Yeah, he’s really nice. In fact, he kind of, uh…invited me to a concert on Friday.” I finished.

Yup, that got his attention. He looked up, startled and raised an eyebrow.

“You mean, as a…date?” He asked uncertainly.

“Well, not really, I mean, kind of.” I stammered. “I’m kind of a last-second replacement. Edward couldn’t go with him, so he invited me. I just wanted to ask if that was ok with you?”

He looked perplexed. “He asked you on your first day? Wow, boys move fast these days.” He mumbled.

“No Dad, it’s not like that.” I muttered. I truly know how fast boys move.

“I guess it’s fine, if you’re back by curfew. Eleven o’clock still means eleven o’clock, Jane.” He said sternly.

“I know, I promise I’ll be back by then.” I smiled, kissing him on the cheek again.

“I’m going to get ready for school.” I said, taking a last sip of the coffee and getting up. He got up also and started to clean up a little.

“Right, I’m going to work too. I’ll see you late tonight, ok honey?” He asked. I nodded and gave him a quick hug. Running up stairs, I grinned into the mirror above my vanity. I knew it would pay off to live with Dad. Mom would have asked a billion questions and probably grill Daniel before he could take me anywhere.

I walked back into my closet again and turned on the light. Biting my lip, I ran my fingers through my clothes. What should I wear? Should I go for cute and sweet or hot and confident? After a moment, the outfit clicked in my mind.

Soon after I took my shower, I had my clothes on and my hair was falling in its usual messy layers. Perfect! I stood in front of my full-length mirror and smiled. I guess I had a knack for picking outfits, because I wasn’t pretty or anything, but I looked good.

I was wearing a black tank top, then an Abercrombie polo, topped off with a hoodie, but the zipper was open. Then, I wore these adorable low rise, boot cut, jeans. Oh, they made my butt look good. I grinned and pulled on my shoes, dark brown Abby clogs. Perfect!

I was hot and sweet today. I don’t know how I did it, but I finally managed to put all my new books into my bag. It was a blue messenger bag, so my shoulder would probably hurt all day, just like yesterday.

While I was going downstairs, I put my cell phone, Ipod, and wallet into the front pocket of the bag. I may be looking prep today, but I didn’t want to wear a purse all day. Purses just annoy me, and I only wear them on dates or stuff like that.

I swallowed the dreaded pill and quickly drank water over it, making sure not to spill it on myself. I hated taking pills---it made me feel weak and unhealthy. I took one last look at my face and smiled. If I was in San Francisco right now, I would be caking on my make up, making sure I looked like all the other preppy girls…but today, I just put on some pink lip gloss and dropped that into my bag also.

Taking another deep breath, I went outside and opened my car door, then jumped inside, sitting and waiting for it to warm up a little. How was I possibly going to survive when the actual winter comes? I thought as I started driving down the road. When I got to school, I parked and got out, slinging the bag over my shoulder.

I locked the car and walked to the main doors. This school was so much different from back home, where the main building was bigger than this whole school. When I got inside, I was happy to go straight to my English class. I hated being late, and yesterday I had been a full 20 minutes late because I had to get my schedule and all that stuff.

I got to class and pulled out my Light in August book. God, I hated this book. I was so glad I already read it back at school so I wouldn’t have to read it again.

Second, third, and fourth period flew by, and I was soon standing in the cafeteria line. French, Trig, and Biology…boring. I remembered the closet-crying disaster from yesterday and looked around, my eye catching the perfect people sitting in the way back.

“The perfect people.” That’s what I’ve been calling Dr. Cullen’s family from the second I saw them. They were truly perfect in a way that made your heart break. The girls were all like models, especially Bella. She was the prettiest out of all three. The boys were…

You know the huge posters of male models that you see when you walk into a Hollister or Abercrombie store? Yeah, that’s what the Cullen/Hale boys looked like. They were opposites, but equally beautiful. Especially Daniel. He was my favorite…maybe just because of what he said to me, but whatever.

Before I could get out of the line, I saw Alice get up and walk straight towards me. She was smiling and she waved at me. While paying for my pizza and water, I smiled back.

“Hey Jane, I was waiting for you!” She said in that amazing voice of hers.

“Hey Alice.”

“You’re going to sit with us, right?” She asked, a hopeful look in her golden eyes.

“Uh, I guess…if you want me to.” I said unsurely. She smiled again and nodded.

I followed her to the very back and I could feel people staring at me. I ignored them and smiled when I saw Edward and Bella grinning at me. Daniel was also smiling at me and I felt my heart jump…I thanked nature that no one had strong enough senses to hear my heart pounding in my chest.

“Hey Jane!” Bella said, patting the chair next to hers. “Sit next to me.”

I sat in the seat between hers and Alice’s. Jasper was on the other side of Alice, next to Daniel, and then it was the big body-builder guy, the model-looking girl, Edward, and coming back to Bella.

“Jane, this is Emmett and Rosalie. You haven’t met them yet, have you?” Alice said, gesturing towards the other couple. Emmett grinned and waved hello, and I waved back, a little nervously. The blonde didn’t even look away from the window she was staring through.

“So you’re seniors?” I asked.

“Yup, senior year.” Emmett said, grinning. Rosalie still ignored me. I had a feeling she was going to ignore me, even if I started to throw out confetti and do a clown dance on the table.

There was a silence and the awkwardness was almost tangible in the air. I took a sip of my water when I noticed that none of them were eating. Sure, they all had food in front of them, but not one was eating.

Just then, Edward leaned forward, taking a bite of his bagel. I sighed and mentally slapped myself. I’m going crazy. Of course they’re eating! I’m just not catching them in the act. Which is stupid, because I don’t like to watch people eat anyway.

“Jane, where did you get your shirt? It’s so cute.” Alice said, fingering the collar on my polo.

“Oh, I got it from Abercrombie. Thanks.” I smiled at her. She was just trying to make me feel less awkward, I knew.

“So…do any of you play sports?” I asked timidly, looking in between all of them.

Suddenly, they all started to laugh. Emmett burst out laughing louder than the rest, and Bella was giggling. Even Rosalie smiled. I saved the most beautiful for the last. Daniel was chuckling softly, staring at me with a fond expression. His laugh was like musical wind chimes. In fact, all of their laughs were beautiful.

“What’s so funny?” I asked. Edward shook his head and smiled at me.

“Nothing. We all play baseball once and a while.” He said.

I hung unto the subject like a lifeline. I hated awkward silences more than anything. Thank God I watched sports, unlike most of the girls these days.

“Oh, so did you catch the Rangers vs. Dodgers game last night?” I asked.

Emmett seemed to like me much more after that.

We talked about that game, and the conversation easily flowed into basketball, my personal expertise. We compared predictions about our favorite players. Mine was Manu Ginobli, and Emmett’s was Dirk Nowitzki. Edward was on my side when I said how much better the Spurs were, and Jasper and Daniel started to argue about the playoffs with me until I was laughing my ass off.

Then, the bell rang and there was a collective sigh between most of our lunch table. We all got up and threw our trash away. I said bye to Alice, Daniel and Emmett, then walked with Edward and Bella to her English class. He kissed her goodbye and she had that starry look in her eyes. When he kissed her goodbye, she got this totally sweet starry looking in her eyes that almost made me jealous.

Edward was easy to talk to. He didn’t mind talking, and he didn’t mind listening either. I bet Bella got some competition for him sometimes. He seemed much older than a freshman, but I guess that’s just because the whole family looked smarter than their ages.

“You two are so cute together,” I said to him while we walked to the gym.

“Yes…she’s quite cute,” He grinned. I laughed and waved bye to him when we went to change into our work out clothes. When I got into the locker room, I had to ignore more stares while I changed. I pulled my hair into a ponytail again and took off my silver earrings.

“Hey, new girl!” A snotty voice sneered from behind me. I pulled my t-shirt over my head and turned around. A blonde girl was speaking to me and she didn’t look too happy about it.

“Hi…” I said.

“How’d you get in the Cullens’ circle?” She asked bluntly. A lot of the girls stopped what they were doing and stared at us.

“Uh…I didn’t really do anything,” I replied, blinking like an idiot. The girl snorted rudely and turned around, slamming her locker shut and walking out. I raised an eyebrow and closed my own locker slowly. Exhaling exhaled sharply, I went outside, and saw Edward waiting for me.

The rest of class, we just played soccer on the same team. I wasn’t too good, but I was all right. I mean, I made a goal and Edward gave me a crooked grin that was adorable. When he made two goals right after that, I told him he should go out for the team and he just laughed and shook his head.

I changed out of my clothes and sprayed some body spray all over me. I still smelled like sweat, but I didn’t have enough time to take another shower, so I just put my hair down and hoped I didn’t smell bad. I waved bye at Edward and turned to the right, heading down the fine arts hallway and to my art class. Finally, a class that I could seem more normal in.

I walked in and took my seat, taking the sheet off of the canvas. I ran my hand across the crisp white paper and smiled. Nothing was better than this. The intoxicating smell of fresh paint and the feel of your hand moving with the brush onto a new piece of canvas paper. It was my favorite thing to do; better than running, playing b-ball, and much more than watching TV.

“Hey Jane,” A soft musical voice said next to me. I turned and smiled at Alice, watching as she pulled off her own sheet and turned to me.

“Hey Alice. How’s it going?” I asked.

“Pretty well. How about you?”

“Eh, better than yesterday.”

We both smiled and then looked forward as the teacher called the class’ attention. She explained that today we would be painting a portrait. She then introduced us to---drum roll please---Daniel Cullen.

My mouth fell into an ‘o’ shape when she announced his name and I turned to Alice. She looked just as surprised as me, and gave me a bewildered shrug with her small shoulders.

“Class, Mr. Cullen has decided to graciously miss his own 5th period class and be our model. I saw him in the hall earlier and I just had to get my paintbrush to paint him! He was fairly unwilling at first, but I beat him down to it eventually!” Mrs. Cancade clapped for herself victoriously.

The door opened and there he stood. He was furious---that much was obvious---and he still looked perfectly gorgeous. He practically stomped in, plopping onto the stool and crossing his arms---more gracefully than a trained professional model. The perfect features of his face were twisted into a scowl and he glared at Alice, almost as if daring her to laugh.

I waved at him and his face suddenly cleared, making my heart jump again. He smiled at me and gave me a small wave back, sending my heart into frenzy. My stomach was doing the classic gymnastics and it made me grin helplessly.

“That’s it, Mr. Cullen. Give us a smile. Now, class, see the features…” She went on explaining how to measure the angle of his nose with the angle of his brown hair that fell down to below his eye. He kept running his hand through it nervously and Mrs. Cancade kept scolding him for it.

I couldn’t stop grinning the whole time. Every time I looked up to see him, he was staring at me. Then, I’d just bite my lip and look back down again. Suddenly, a girl that was sitting two tables away exploded into a fit of giggles. I rolled my eyes and mentally groaned. All the girls probably loved this assignment. Right, who wouldn’t love staring at a gorgeous, amazingly perfect, hot guy for an hour and a half?

I was so close to being done…I just needed one thing. His hair. The color was so hard to put my finger on. It was brown of course, but not…just a light brown or a dark brown. I peeked at Alice’s and saw that she had just went ahead and done it light brown. The guy ahead of me did it dark brown.

I didn’t want to waste my time being picky, but I wanted to get every detail of him right. He wasn’t just another object that I could paint in my free time or something like that. This was probably the only chance I would ever get to paint someone so perfect.

“Ah, I see you’re troubled with the color of his hair?” Mrs. Cancade’s crazy voice said from behind my shoulder. I jumped slightly and cursed myself. I was so jumpy when I was painting---it was a habit of mine.

“Yeah, I don’t know if it’s more of a dark brown or a light brown…I thought about mixing in some more yellow, but that just looks gross.” I replied, sighing. I was never going to get finished and poor Daniel was just going to have sit there like a beautiful statue all day. Although that wouldn’t be too bad for me…I snickered to myself.

He seemed to have heard our conversation, because he cocked his head to the side and ran a hand through his hair again. He raised an eyebrow at me and I wrinkled my nose rolled my eyes. He chuckled and shook his head.

“I think, maybe you could mix some dark and light together…” Mrs. Cancade continued, oblivious to our silent conversation. I tried to mix them together, but that just looked…weird. Like mud--gross again.

Suddenly, I had a stroke of brilliance and I mixed in some deep blue, bright pink, and yellow, making a rich brown---like chocolate. Then, I threw in some of the original light brown and there it was. Perfection, if I must say so myself.

“Amazing.” Mrs. Cancade whispered behind me. I smirked and stood up, taking my plate of new amazing brown. I walked up to Daniel and stared into his golden eyes. He looked confused but excited at the same time.

“Hold still, ok?” I asked him. He nodded and froze. He was really good at doing that. It didn’t even look like he was breathing. Only his eyes moved as he watched me get closer and rub my fingers into the paint. I put two of my paint-dipped fingers and raised them to his hair. He amazingly didn’t even flinch as I put my fingers right next to his hair. I resisted the urge to touch his hair and put my fingers back down.

“Perfect.” I breathed, biting my lip again. He unfroze as one side of his perfect lips quirked up. He stared at me until I felt my knees go weak. What was happening to me?

“Uh, thanks. I just wanted to make sure.” I mumbled, turning around. Stalking back to my seat, I started to paint his hair and finally finished.

“Wow…” Alice said next to me. She reached out her fingers and touched my painting. Hers was so gorgeous; I didn’t know why she liked mine.

“It looks so real!” She exclaimed. I shook my head and smiled.

“Alright class. I put your grades in, you’re free to roll ‘em up!” The teacher said, giving me a wink. I hid my laughter and started to roll up my painting.

“Wait, I didn’t get to see it.” A cool breath prickled the back of my neck making me shiver. Turning around, I looked up at Daniel.

“You don’t want to see it.” I said.

“Oh, but I do,” He grinned, making me melt. He pulled the paper gently from my hands and pried it open. I watched nervously as he stared at it.

His brow furrowed, causing a small wrinkle to appear between his eyebrows. I just wanted to reach out and kiss it…wait, WHAT? I mentally slapped myself really hard.

“I love it very much…” He said, rolling up the paper again. He leaned closer to me than I was used to. His nose was inches away from mine and I couldn’t help but flicker my eyes down to his lips. They looked…inviting.

I blinked and that broke the stare between our eyes. I looked down and took a deep breath. He chuckled softly and handed me my painting.

“That’s not fair,” he said. I looked back up and saw that he was pouting softly. God…I wanted to…no, stop right there, Jane! I scolded myself again.

“What’s not fair?” My voice sounded breathy. Great, now I was going literally insane. I’ve talked and flirted with tons of guys, but with this one, I was like…girl jelly.

“You get to have a picture of me, but I don’t have a picture of you.” He said.

“Well, you’re just going to have trust your memory. I hope its good…” I smirked, finally getting my brain back into order. He raised an eyebrow and I turned around, putting my stuff into my bag. Alice was cleaning up our stuff, but I could tell she was listening very closely.

“Or I could get a picture of you.” He said, still behind me. I turned around and saw that he was holding his phone. It was a silver camera phone, simple and sleek.

“Ok!” I smiled, turning around and grabbing Alice’s wrist. She looked up and smiled. “Alice, take a picture with me.” I said to her.

“All right. Wait, look at me.” I looked at her and she moved half of my hair back, and half of it in front of me. She grinned and put her arm through mine. We both faced Daniel again and he smirked as he raised the phone’s camera to us.

“Smile.” He whispered, and I gave him my best smile, knowing I must look horrible next to the beautiful Alice Cullen, but whatever. The snapshot was made and I blinked.

“Let me see it!” Alice said, snatching the phone out of Daniel’s hand. She seemed pleased and gave it back to him.

“Happy now?” I asked him. He nodded and grinned. All three of us looked up when we heard the loud “BRING!!!” of the last bell. Kids started to whir all around us, running for the exit as if monsters were on their tails. I sighed and turned to pick up my backpack, then saw that it was gone from my stool.

Frantically, I spun in a circle, looking for the bag, but finally saw it under Daniel’s right arm. I felt my eyebrow rise of its own accord, and I stuck out my arm, waiting for him to give it back. He shook his head and smiled.

“Thief!” I smiled back, pointing my finger at him. He glared at me playfully and then shrugged.

“It’s too heavy for you.” He said. I gasped dramatically and put my hands on my hips.

“First you steal, then you insult me! Do look weak to you?”

“No, but I bet your shoulder hurts, right?” He said, seeing through my dramatics. I glared at him…he knew the truth. No guy I had ever met would offer to carry my books for me before. It was so…traditional.

“Well, thank you.” I sniffed, unable to resist his offer. I stomped behind the laughing Alice and glared at her. She just chuckled some more and walked---no, danced---out of the room. I followed her and we headed out to the parking lot. It was raining and my fake anger seemed to wash away.

I turned around and smiled at Daniel who was walking behind me. He stood right next to me and looked out at the leaving cars. Alice smiled and gave me a quick one-armed hug and ran out into the rain, towards the two cars that the Cullen/Hales were currently sitting in.

I saw that Emmett was waving at me, and I waved back, seeing him grin from behind the steering wheel of his big jeep. In the passenger seat, Rosalie was looking into the flip-out mirror and fixing her hair, completely ignoring me. In the back, Jasper was waiting and then kissed Alice on the cheek as she slipped in next to him. In the other car, Edward was in the driver’s seat, saying something to Bella, who laughed and shook her head.

“Which car is yours?” Daniel asked me. I pointed to my blue car that was in the very back of the parking lot and came up with an idea

“Let’s race. I bet I could beat you!” I smirked. He chuckled and shook his head.

“What? You think you’re faster than me?” I asked disbelievingly.

“No,” he said. I was confused---I thought he would fight me for it. “I know I’m faster than you.” He finished.

“DANIEL, LOOK!” I yelled, pointing behind him. He whirled around and I took off. The water splashed under my feet and I ran to my car as fast as I possibly could. I heard him laughing behind me and I ran faster, swerving smoothly around the cars. God, I hoped one doesn’t hit me.

I knew I might have a chance, although his legs were five times longer than mine. He was carrying two backpacks, while I carried nothing, so when I finally reached the very back of the parking lot, I grinned. Jumping up, I planted my butt on the hood of my wet car and raised my hands in victory.

“WOOH! I WON!” I screamed as if it were the Olympics. He jogged to a stop in front of my car and I dangled my legs, grinning at him.

Oh my God, my heart nearly stopped when I saw his wet hair falling across his face and then I let my eyes travel downwards, seeing his shirt…it was a white one that came to his elbows (showing his really pale skin) and it was damp and clinging to his body, so I could see his perfect muscles underneath.

I felt my mouth water and it wasn’t because of the rain.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to run in the parking lot?” He smirked. I shook my head and stuck my tongue out at him.

“So, where’s my prize?” I asked him.

“You cheated--you don’t get a prize.” He said, putting our bags on the hood, and then sitting next to me. I felt some sort of…chill emanating from him and I shivered again.

“You’re going to catch a cold.” He said, frowning when he saw me shudder.

“I don’t care, I want my prize.” I grinned and looked up into his golden eyes.

“You’re a cheater.” He said.

“So? You’re a thief, remember?” I replied. He sighed, smiling; and then looked up. Two cars were driving past us---a silver Volvo and a big Jeep. Edward and Bella waved at us and drove out of the parking lot. When the Jeep passed us, Emmett turned the tires only a fraction, causing the water to splash all over us.

“Ugh.” Daniel grimaced. I just laughed and wiped my soggy hair back. I bet I looked like a drowned cat, but I was having so much fun and it was only my second day at school! It was already better than San Francisco.

“Looks like your ride just drove away,” I said. He sighed again and looked at me with a puppy dog look.

“Jane…” He started. I raised my hand and stopped him.

“Sure, I’ll drive you to work,” I said.

“Well, I wasn’t going to ask you that, but thanks!” He grinned.

“Oh…what were you going to say?”

“I was going to say that you’re a really fun person.” He said. I felt a thrill go through me and my heart would not calm down.

“Well, that makes two of us.” We both smiled at each other and I felt myself smolder under his hypnotic eyes.

Suddenly, he lifted up his hand and brushed a few tendrils of my hair off my forehead. The second I felt his fingertips, I noticed how freezing cold he was…but when he touched me, a rush of heat came up to my face and I felt sparks between us. Literally.

“You’re really going to catch a cold.” He whispered. Like I cared about my health right now?

“So are you…” I said.

“Right, and our books are probably soaking wet by now.” He said.

Still, neither of us moved. We didn’t even look away from each other. I had a strange urge to press my warm lips against his cold skin. I wanted to know how he would taste, how it would feel. So…I did it.

I reached up very slowly, and closed my eyes, turning my face to the side so he wouldn’t think I was kissing his lips, and pressed my lips to his left cheekbone. It was cold, but so…heart-maddeningly sweet. I felt my lips tingle as I pulled away, and when I opened my eyes, I saw that his eyes were closed and a smile was playing around the corners of his lips.

“Thanks for the great prize.” I whispered, causing his eyes to pop open. I got off the hood of the car and grabbed my bag, which was dripping wet. I hurriedly unlocked the car and put my bag in the backseat and watched as Daniel did the same. We got into the front seats and I started the car quickly, turning up the heat to full. He was right---I was going to catch a cold.

When I turned the car on, the radio blasted on and he jumped slightly. I giggled and turned the volume down, reaching for my seatbelt. I looked at him and raised my eyebrow.

“What?” He asked.

“Seatbelt!” I reminded him. He rolled his eyes and put his belt on, pushing his hair back off his face.

I drove out of the parking lot and noticed what song was coming on the radio.

“Oh, I love this song.” I said, putting the volume a little higher, but not too high.

“What song is it?” He asked.

You’re Beautiful by James Blunt,” I said, smiling. I got onto the highway and I could feel him staring at me. I looked at him with the corner of my eye, and sure enough, he was. I distracted myself by singing softly with the music.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.

I parked in front of the bookstore and turned the radio off. I looked towards him and he was grinning at me.

“What?” I asked self-consciously.

“Nothing…you’re a really good singer.” He said. The way he said it made me blush and I looked away.

“So…when does your shift end?” I asked casually.

“Around six thirty.” He sighed, taking his seatbelt off. “Can I call you later tonight?” He asked.

“Yes.” I smiled.

“All right. I’ll see you tomorrow then, Jane.” He smiled. I nodded my head, not trusting my voice to say anything.

He took my hand from off of the steering wheel and another shock ran down my spine. He kissed the knuckles of my hand and a thrill shot down my arm. Again, he was so traditional, so unique.

“Bye.” He whispered, before opening his door and getting out. He took his bag out of the back seat and then shut the door. While he walked to the store, I couldn’t help but notice his hot butt. Turning back, he smiled and waved at me, mouthing the words ‘thanks’. I grinned and waved back.

When he left my eyesight, I instantly felt the car turn colder. Or maybe it was just me. I felt alone, and it made me sad. Turning up the music to full blast, I drove out of the parking lot and headed for home.

******************************************************************************************

I threw my bag on the floor next to my bed and stripped off my still damp clothing. I sneezed loudly and blew my nose. Great, I’m already getting sick. I took a long hot shower and toweled off, slipping into some comfy sweats and a t-shirt. While I was brushing my hair, I threw my clothes into the laundry and took out all my soggy books. I quickly laid them out on my bathroom counter and plugged in the hair dryer.

I dried my hair and the books at the same time---fun idea, right? ---And got my homework out. Thank God none of papers got wet. I only had a few study questions for English, a few practice words for French, and a couple Trig problems to finish up.

After homework, I started to clean up around the house. We had moved in on Friday, and got everything unpacked by Sunday night, but we still needed to make the house more…’homey’. I flitted around the place, hanging paintings on the wall, putting sugar into bowls, and making a grocery list. I didn’t feel like going now so I’d just tell Dad to get the stuff tomorrow.

Putting some pasta on the stove, I kept running back and forth from the kitchen to the TV in the den, checking scores on ESPN. I hoped everyday was like this…I could definitely get used to it. While I was doing all of this, I was getting whiplash. Every five minutes, I would crank my neck by checking my watch continuously. I was jumpy, restless, and couldn’t sit down for more than a minute.

When the phone rang, I could have sworn I jumped a foot off the ground.

“Hello?” I answered. I knew it wasn’t Daniel, since it was the house phone and I gave him my cell number.

“Janey? How are you doing, sweetheart?” My mom asked.

“Great mom. You?” I asked while I was draining the pasta.

“Oh, I’m doing fine. So how is…your father?” She asked uncertainly. Yep, it was still a touchy subject.

“He’s doing fine. How’s Kevin?” I asked her, looking at a picture of my brother and I that was sitting over the fireplace. He was trying to pinch my arm and I was laughing at him.

“He’s great. He’s actually going for another karate test today.”

“Hmm, sounds like fun.”

“Yes. How is school?”

“Pretty good.”

“Did you make any new friends?”

“Yeah, a couple.”

“Meet any new boys?”

Mom.

“What? I was just asking!”

“Actually, I kind of met a guy.”

“Ooooh, tell me all about him!”

“Uh…well, his name is Daniel Cullen and he’s a junior like me. He has brown hair and pretty eyes and he’s really tall and very nice. He asked me to go to a concert with him on Friday,” I sighed. I might as well tell her all of it now, since she was just going to force it out of me later anyway.

Really? Well, what concert is it? What time? Is his family rich?” The questions spilled out of my mom’s mouth and I rolled my eyes. Of course she would ask something like that.

“I don’t really know yet, he’s going to call me later. And his dad works at the hospital. Oh, mom, the stove is beeping, I have to check on the bread.” I made up an excuse, even though I just put the bread in and it would probably take another twenty minutes. I just couldn’t talk to my mom like this. She always made me so uncomfortable.

“Oh, don’t let it burn! Call me later, ok honey?”

“Sure thing, mom. Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetheart! Bye!”

“Bye mom.” I hung up with relief and rolled my eyes again. I checked the time and saw that I would still have an hour until Daniel got off of work. I can’t believe how obsessed I am! Time to get my mind off of this. I pulled off my watch and went upstairs, dropping it onto my desk. Putting my hands on my hips, I looked around for something to do.

Then I remembered the box that Dad was supposed to put in the attic, and I decided to do that. I flicked on the light and pulled on the string, dragging down the ladder and pulling it out. I took the box under my arm and climbed up slowly. It was dusty and everything was made out of wood, just like I had expected.

But what I didn’t expect was the pile of boxes that were sitting on the right side. I put my own box on the left and climbed the rest of the steps until I could step inside. Crawling up to the boxes, I could see that most of them were filled to the brim with…junk? I knew someone owned this house a long time ago, and that’s why we got such a good price on the beautiful Victorian-style home.

Some were filled with costume jewelry, and others with long, feathered dresses. Some had a few trousers and top hats and one of the bigger boxes was overflowing with books. I pulled out the top book and saw that it was a leathered journal. Flipping open to the first page, I saw elegant cursive handwriting.

Dear journal,

Today was such a tremendous day! I had so much fun shopping with Eric and Adriana. They really are the best siblings a girl could ask for. Tomorrow should be much more exciting…I can’t believe I’m finally turning a full 16 years old. Father and mother are planning a surprise; I just know it! Nothing can ruin my life now, not even that horrible sickness!

Love,

Heidi

The girl had such classic language and phrases…I knew it must be very old. I looked on the back of the journal and a small inscription was made in the bottom left corner. Heidi Smithson, 1905

Wow, that is old. I perused the rest of the journal entries, but they were all the same. Always explaining a bit of the day and a bit of how her sickness was going. She seemed like an elegant and smart girl, but she complained a lot. Even the last entry was about being in the hospital and not receiving any flowers from a boy named Elliot, even though he had shown interest in her at the ball.

The other books were all shockingly empty. I opened every one and ran my fingers through every page, but they were all blank. None of them even had inscriptions on the back, and so when I checked all of them, I counted up fifteen black, empty, leather journals. I put them back in the box and carried it downstairs. I didn’t write in a diary, but I could use them for drawing, right?

Closing the light, I smelled something very good. I went downstairs and checked on the bread, seeing that it was nearly done. I checked the scores and clapped excitedly when I saw that the Spurs had won the game.

Suddenly, my phone started vibrating and I pulled it out of my pocket grinning wildly. I saw that it was an unknown number and I took a deep breath, flipping it open. Checking the clock, I grinned. It was only 6:45. He only waited fifteen minutes to call me!

“Hello?” I asked unsurely.

“Jane?” A beautiful voice asked on the other line.

“Yeah, hey Daniel,” I said; my heart was singing in my chest and I thrummed my fingers on the kitchen counter. “How was work?”

“It was good…the manager finally gave me Friday and Saturday off.” He said. His voice was like the kind you hear on TV, so perfect and musical.

“That’s good. So, did you catch your cold yet?” I asked, smiling.

“Nope, I guess I got lucky. My mom’s still drying out my books though.” He laughed. I loved his laugh…

For the next two hours, it went like that. We would exchange random questions, flirting like there was no tomorrow. We told each other about our favorite things—I made mental lists of his favorites.

Favorite color: green

Favorite sport: basketball to watch; baseball to play

Favorite food: He said he liked steak, but he laughed really hard when I asked him.

Favorite book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (I had never read it, so he told me I should. It made me smile.)

Favorite band: Life house (I did a small cheer for him---that was one of my favorites also.)

Favorite song: Hanging by a moment by life house (thank gosh he had good taste in music)

Just random stuff like that. I looked at the clock once and saw that it was close to 8:45. Two hours? I had to admit, I must really like this one.

“Daniel?”

“Yes?”

“My dad should be coming home in like fifteen minutes, and I have to go set up dinner…” I trailed off. Man, I really didn’t want to stop talking to him.

“Oh, that’s fine. I should be getting some dinner also.” He replied, chuckling again.

“What are you laughing about?” I asked.

“Nothing. So, I’ll see you tomorrow?” He asked. It made my heart flutter when I caught the hopefulness in his voice.

“Sure thing. Unless I die of my cold, of course. Then I’ll blame you.” I laughed. He didn’t laugh, so I stopped. Was that not funny?

“I hope not---don’t die.” He said solemnly, and I got scared. Did I ruin his good mood? “My sister says you won’t die if she can help it.” He laughed.

“Alice?” I asked, relaxing at the sound of his laugh.

“The one and only. She says hi.”

“Yay! Give her the phone.” He must have obeyed because in the next second, I heard a beautiful female voice.

“Jane? Don’t talk about dying, my brother nearly had a heart attack.” She said. Soft tinkles erupted, and I realized that it was her laugh.

“Alice, tell your brother that death is an inevitability. He should get used to that,” I laughed also.

“He said that he doesn’t think that you will die any time soon.”

“Oh yeah? Why not? What if I get hit by a bus tomorrow?” I asked.

“He says you’re too stubborn,” she laughed. “And that he would save you and kill the bus driver.”

I laughed and sighed. I really really really liked him.

“Well, tell him I’ll see him tomorrow, and that he better keep his heroic outfit on.”

“All right. He says that you should be ready to be the heroine.” She laughed.

“Ok, bye Alice. Tell him bye for me.” I said, sighing.

“Goodbye Jane. Dan says bye, cheater.” She sighed also.

“He’s the thief!” I smiled. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

“Until tomorrow then, Jane.” Daniel’s voice said before we both hung up at the same time.

I leaned against the back of the sofa and closed my eyes, willing my heart to calm down. I ran upstairs and stared at the painting I just put up on my wall. It wasn’t good as the real him, but it was close enough for right now.