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Beautiful banner by eternitys_charm! Bella lives in Phoenix, along with Edward and the rest of the group. Everything is going great until Edward starts noticing marks on Bella's arms, and strange behavior from her. Then the storm hits, leaving Edward badly injured and Bella with no place to stay. Is distance enough to end the strongest of friendships? Of course not. ALL HUMAN. Awesome banner was made by eternitys_charm!

Hey look! I'm doing something serious! If you've read my stuff from FF you'll know this is a first... I'm not too sure on the title, so it may change. A warning: This story contains ABUSE. If you don't like that, then I suggest you don't read it. It doesn't come up until later, but it's still there.

2. Chapter 2

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1768   Review this Chapter

I was on a high all through Saturday. Game day. I couldn't get over the fact that Bella had said yes. Alice said I shouldn't be surprised, we'd known each other for years, but I was still shocked.

I ended up having to run laps because I wouldn't pay attention. I tried to focus as I ran. This was nearly the last game of the season. If we won this one, we'd compete against the toughest team in the state. We'd only ever beat them once, and they hadn't been happy about that. One of our best players had been hurt by one of their sore losers.

As I rejoined the team I saw Bella in the stands talking to Alice. I had barely wondered if I had enough time to go say hi when my breath was knocked out of me as I ran straight into Emmett's large frame. He reached down to help me up off the ground and said, “Come on, Edward! Get your head in the game! If you lose this because you were fawning over a girl, we will all get together, tie you up, and throw you over a bridge. And I mean that in the nicest way.”

I rolled my eyes. “If I lose the game? What about everyone else, huh?” I asked.

He shrugged and said, “Well, you'll be our excuse.”

Jasper had run over and was listening, trying not to laugh. “How could we lose? This team is a bunch of pansies. Push them a little and they pretty much run away. We've got this easily,” he said.

Just then, the whistle blew, signaling the start of the game. We ran out onto the pitch and got into position. The whistle blew, and we immediately had the ball.

Like Jasper said, way too easy. By half time the score was 5-1, and the one was only because Emmett was laughing so hard he couldn't see to block the goal. During a time out, one of their forwards had made an attempt at swaying the referee by a sad display of flirting. He got a flag. But who knows, maybe it would have worked, if the referee had been a girl. One of his teammates whispered something in his ear, and judging by the blush that put Bella to shame, he had been told of his mistake.

The game went quickly after that. The other team didn't really even try. They seemed to know they were doomed.

When it ended I went over to the bleachers to finally say hello to Bella. She ran to meet me half way and gave me a hug, saying, “You were great, Edward!”

I smiled at her and wrapped my arms around her. I didn't ever want to let go.

Just then I remembered the party. I reluctantly pulled away and asked, “Did you drive here? Or come with Alice?”

“I came with Alice,” she said.

“Good! That means I can drive you to the party,” I said with a smile. I took her hand and led her to the car.

“Alice will like that. She hasn't had much time with Jasper lately,” Bella said. “They're always studying.”

I snorted and said, “So they say. You don't have to hear the noises coming from her room...”

She slapped my arm lightly and said, “They're studying separately! And yes, I know this for a fact. I've been with her!”

“Sure, sure... Oh, wait!” I gasped with mock horror, “That means you were the one that was making those noises!”

“Edward!” she yelled. “It was not me!”

I laughed and said, “I know, I know. But your face was hilarious.” She scowled at me, and kept scowling until I poked her side, making her giggle.

We pulled up to the house that was holding the party. I was unbuckling my seatbelt when there was a thud and Bella shrieked. I looked over to see Andy, a guy in my Phys Ed class, laughing hysterically. Bella growled and got out of the car, hitting him repeatedly with her purse yelling, “You jerk, Andy! Why do you have to act like such a child?!”

Andy had stopped laughing and was now cowering away from her purse. “Stop! Stop! What do you have in there, bricks?” he yelled.

I pulled her away and asked, “What did he do?”

She frowned and said, “He jumped against the window... Scared me half to death.”

“It was just a joke! Come on, you can't get mad over a little joke, can you?” he asked.

She glared at him and I pulled her gently towards the door. “Let's go in, Bella,” I said. Normally, anyone would have just laughed it off, but I knew she got teased enough that things like this hurt her. I didn't really understand why she was teased. Alice told me it started with a rumor when she moved here. Add to that the fact that Bella was extremely shy and you have a perfect target for any bully.

We walked in, leaving Andy outside snickering. I spotted Emmett and headed towards him. I had wanted this to be a fun night, since it was technically our first date, and I was hoping Emmett would bring Bella's spirits back up.

We went over to him and once he saw Bella's frown he said, “Bells! What's wrong? Do you want me to kill them?”

She laughed lightly and said, “No, Em, don't kill anyone over me. Maim slightly, but not kill.”

He frowned dramatically and said, “Fine, fine! I won't do any... lasting damage.”

She smiled, which made me smile. “Hey, do you want a drink?” I asked.

“Sure. Water is fine,” she answered. I left her with Emmett and went to get the drinks. As I was walking back I noticed a group of girls talking and giggling. It wouldn't have mattered to me, but they kept pointing at Bella, who didn't seem to notice anything. I frowned. One of the girls in the group broke away and came towards me. She leaned up against me and said, “Hey, Edward, you're not here with her are you?”

“Yes, I am,” I answered. I backed up, trying to put some space between us. “Do I know you?”

She feigned a hurt expression and said, “Eddie! Of course you do! I'm in nearly all of your classes!”

“Ah. Too bad for me, then,” I said as I walked away. I ignored her glare. I didn't want to be mean, but she was too irritating for me to pretend to be polite.

I smiled when I finally got to Bella. I handed her one of the drinks as Emmett sighed and said, “You know what I miss? The pizza parties. These have nothing on those.”

I laughed and said, “You mean when we were twelve?”

“Hey, don't laugh. Those were great... We got to stuff ourselves with pizza, then play arcade games 'til we passed out. Here we just stand around... maybe dance a little,” Emmett said.

I was about to respond when someone bumped into me and spilled their drink onto Bella, who was standing right next to me. Bella let out a squeak of surprise. Emmett quickly went to get some napkins.

“Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't even see you there!” I heard an annoyingly high, familiar voice say to Bella. I turned to see the girl who had talked to me earlier.

“Oh, it's alright...,” Bella mumbled.

The girl nodded and said, “Yeah, that's not a big loss. That shirt does nothing for you... and who wears long sleeves in Arizona anyway? It's ridiculous.”

Bella shook her head and said, “It's not so hot at night, and—”

She was cut off by the girl rolling her eyes and saying, “Oh please! It's not night during school is it? Really, your only excuse is that you're just weird.”

I'd had enough. I took Bella's hand and said, “We're leaving.”

We got in the car and I said, “I'm sorry Bella. Are you okay? Alice should have a shirt you can wear.”

She shook her head. “It's fine, I brought an extra. Alice told me I was staying over tonight, so I brought clothes. I haven't seen her though...,” she told me.

“They're probably still at the party,” I said. We arrived home, it wasn't very far, and went inside. Bella went to change, and I went up to my room to wait for her. I was suddenly nervous again. I kept thinking to myself, How could I be so stupid? You don't go to a party for a first date!

It was in the middle of berating myself when she walked back in. We sat on the couch together, not really talking. Just listening to soft music.

“I'm sorry for tonight,” I finally said. “I hadn't thought that would end so badly...”

“It's alright, Edward. I like this better anyway. Just me and you,” she said with a blush.

“So, you don't completely hate me?” I asked.

She laughed and said, “I could never hate you Edward.”

“Well then, what would you think of going on an actual date? Just you and me, no clumsy party goers...,” I asked.

She smiled and said, “That sounds great!”

I grinned widely and leaned over to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. While I was over there, I couldn't help but to kiss her cheek softly. I pulled away only slightly, my hand still on her cheek. Our lips were only centimeters apart. I wanted to kiss her properly, but I didn't know if she would be happy about that. The question was answered for me when she leaned in and pressed her lips to mine. I gasped, as well as one can gasp while kissing, and pulled her closer. She pulled away slightly and looked at me for a moment. She bit her lip, and I couldn't resist. I leaned back towards her and kissed her again. She pulled me closer and ran her hands through my hair, sending shivers down my spine. After a few minutes, we slowed down. When we finally stopped, she yawned. I laughed and she blushed darker than I had seen before. I pulled her towards me as I leaned back on the couch so that she was laying with me.

We lay like that for a while. I was stroking her hair, and every once in a while she would place a small kiss on my chest where her head was resting. It wasn't long before we had fallen asleep.