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A Mage's Twilight

Summary:
Alma Stewart and Nara Paterson are no ordinary sixteen-year-old girls. They've got a secret, one they have to guard with their lives. They move from their home in Australia to Forks, to see what life in America is like. They attend the local high school in their junior year, the equivalent of their school year in Australia, and notice the Cullens aren't exactly...normal. Bella's still there, and - just a warning - Nara and Alma share a very close, serious romantic relationship. Hence the teen rating.


Notes:


4. Frustration

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Edward returned to school later that day, obviously. Nothing could hurt a vampire…well, apart from werewolves and – apparently – my fist. What was with that? Was it a mage thing, or just an Alma Stewart thing? Nara glanced at me and caught my eye during third hour, and I just shrugged. I knew my thoughts must be driving her mad, and I apologised.

‘Sorry, Nara. I guess I'm just a little confused, and worried about Bella. How do you think we're going to get home this afternoon?’ I asked belatedly. It had only just come to me.

‘We can walk, or run…or perhaps give one of those nice hormonal teenaged boys who have been drooling over us for the last two weeks a chance to drive us home,’ she giggled mentally. I ducked my head to hide my smile, so the teacher – a prac student – wouldn’t think I was laughing at her awkwardness. The rest of the class was already sniggering at her behind their hands, and not paying attention. I decided I'd give her a bit of confidence by answering the next general question she asked the class.

‘We'll see if Lee can drive us home. He still has the hots for you,’ I told Nara silently. She groaned internally.

‘Can we walk home?’

We did end up finding our own way home, keeping to the forest and running as fast as a vampire could so we wouldn’t have to deal with asking one of the boys in our year to drive us and have to put up with their drooling the entire way. We weren’t about to expose our relationship just because of some hormonal teenager…well, not yet, anyway. Knowing me, I'd do something to reveal it later this year. Probably at one of the dances I knew American schools held regularly. We got home at the usual time, told Charlie and Bella we’d gotten a lift from a friend, and spent the rest of the evening wondering if and what we should tell Bella, and what Bella had been told by Edward Cullen.

As it turned out, Bella had been fobbed off at the hospital. He hadn’t told her anything to do with what he was, and they were completely silent during Biology. I was a little surprised, and then irritated. How could he be so stubborn?! I found myself grinding my teeth by the end of the class, and it was only Nara’s silent warning that stopped me from going after Edward and demanding to know what his game was. And that I would probably give myself away if I did.

I took out my frustration on the ball in Gym – we’d moved onto volleyball, and although Bella was on my team, we won. Predictably. The only person who didn’t get hit with the ball from the other team was Nara, and only because she would slyly manipulate time and brush of my mental apologies for the almost-strike. She understood as no one else could. After all, she could see my mind.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The silence between Bella and Edward lasted about a month. She was growing more and more frustrated with him, but she was saying his name in her sleep almost every night. She had it bad for him and she knew it, even if only subconsciously. I just wondered what it would take for her to realise it, and for him to realise he felt the same. And what would kick things into motion.

The Spring Dance was coming up in a couple of weeks. It was girls’ choice, but that didn’t stop at least ten guys following me and Nara around. Each. We were going to go, but not with a date from the school. We were going to go together. I'd be in a semi-formal pants-suit, Nara in the cute little white dress she brought with her from Australia. She hadn’t had a chance to wear it yet, and was excited that she would this time. It looked great on her, I had to admit, and the strappy silver heels she was going to wear made her a few inches closer to my height. I would definitely not be wearing heels around her…I hadn’t worn heels ever since I got three inches taller than her when we were thirteen. She’d stopped growing at twelve, and I was still getting taller. I expected it would stop soon, though. I mean, how many girls got to six foot by the time they were sixteen? Not many, that was for sure.

“Hey, um, Alma, is it?” a boy asked, distracting me from my thoughts. I looked absently towards the voice. It was some random boy I knew was in my Chemistry class.

“Yeah. So?”

‘Now now, Allie, play nice,’ Nara giggled mentally. I glanced at her quickly and she grinned at me.

‘Do I have to?’ I asked resignedly as the boy talking to me fidgeted.

‘Yes. Now listen to the boy, and see what he wants to say. Otherwise he'll probably follow you around all day.’ I sighed silently and listened to the stuttering teenaged boy. They were all the same…well, mostly. The Cullen boys were one example of the few exclusions.

“Are you going to the dance next Saturday?” the boy, Alex, blurted out. I blinked, pretending to be surprised.

“Yes. But I already have a date…sorry,” my voice was cold, factual. I didn’t sound sorry at all. Alex grimaced and headed off to his own desk without another word.

“Nice one, Allie,” Bella laughed when we told her about it at lunch. It was good to see her genuinely happy, but I could tell she was still thinking about the main thing that was bothering her; Edward’s cool attitude after he had saved her life. It was like a thorn in both our sides. Nara, on the other hand, wasn’t fussed. I couldn’t understand why, but I guessed it had something to do with something she could see in his past. But…why wouldn’t she tell me? We shared everything…

‘Allie, I'll tell you later,’ Nara said softly in my mind. ‘I just don’t want you confronting anyone.’ I gave a short, inaudible sigh as I picked at my lunch, wondering just what it was Nara had seen.

In Biology, Mike was perched on the edge of Bella’s desk, as usual, but he was fidgeting, anxious about something. Comparing his behaviour to that of Alex’s earlier, he was going to ask Bella about the dance. I wasn’t disappointed.

“Uh, Bella?” She looked at him, and I was gauging Edward’s reactions, barely listening to Bella and Mike’s conversation. It was only when I heard Bella's excuse that I payed attention again. Edward was so jealous right now.

“Sorry, Mike, but I’m going to Seattle that day.”

“Oh.” I almost laughed at how Mike’s face fell. “Can’t you go some other weekend?”

“Sorry, no,” Bella said firmly, her voice almost harsh. She didn’t dance. I could tell that from her lack of finesse in Gym. “You really shouldn’t make Jessica wait any longer for an answer; it's not polite.”

“Yeah,” Mike mumbled, hopping off the desk and ambling to his seat. Bella sighed and pressed her fingers to her temples, leaning forward on the desk. She only liked Mike as a friend, I knew, and I also knew he wanted to date her. Typical teenaged boy. Bella took her head out of her hands a few minutes later, and it was then she noticed Edward staring at her. He had been ever since she brushed Mike off. Ooh…things were going to get heated. Well, they would have if Mr. Banner hadn’t decided at that moment to ask Edward a question.

“The Krebs Cycle,” the vampire replied, and I could tell Bella was flustered. She looked down at her notes, and didn’t look at Edward – or tried not to, at least – for the rest of the lesson.

At the end of the lesson I waited with Nara by the door for Bella. We waited for her to finish getting her books and get out, but Edward stopped her by simply saying her name. Pretending we couldn’t hear, Nara and I eavesdropped on their conversation.

“Bella?”

“What, are you talking to me now?”

“No, not really.” Bella sighed at his cryptic response.

“What do you want, Edward?” she asked through her teeth. I felt my lips twitch and focused on the scene outside the classroom. Simple scenery…

“I'm sorry. I'm being very rude, I know. But its better this way, really.” Bella seemed confused. I knew I was. But then I remembered – again – that he was a vampire, and she was his Singer. It would definitely be better if he kept away from her.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Bella said slowly, frowning slightly. Oh, she definitely didn’t know.

“It's better if we're not friends,” Edward explained – although not very well – and Bella's eyes narrowed. “Trust me.”

“Too bad you didn’t figure that out earlier,” she snapped, although it was more of a hiss. “You could have saved yourself all this regret!”

“Regret? Regret for what?” He was definitely surprised by that, and I groaned internally as I understood Bella's reasoning. She thought he regretted saving her life?! How oblivious could she be?! But then, she was only human…

“For not just letting that stupid van squish me.” Yep, I was right. She was so silly sometimes… and now the vamp was angry.

“You think I regret saving your life?”

“I know you do!” Bella snapped. I shook my head slightly. Now they were going to fight. Fantastic. Just fantastic.

“You don’t know anything.” Bella turned her head away from him, picked up her books and marched towards us determinedly. I caught her as she stumbled, Nara caught her books when she dropped them, and we all left the classroom, me throwing a warning glance at Edward over my shoulder as he frowned after us.

We’d moved on to basketball from volleyball now – yes, we were plating basketball again – and Bella nearly tripped about ten times. Each time either Nara or I managed to catch her, and by the end of it she’d only actually fallen over once, taking Nara and me with her. But that didn’t stop our team from winning – I scored seven three-pointers and won the game 21-nil.

When we got to Bella's truck, she froze when she saw someone waiting for her. I glanced at Nara and we both grinned as we realised who it was and who she had thought it was. It was just Eric, but she had been afraid it was Edward. Typical. She couldn’t get the vamp off her mind, and yet she didn’t want to talk to him or see him. I rolled my eyes at Nara as we both climbed into the truck and listened to Bella gently brush off Eric’s invite. She was irritated when she got in the car though, I knew, and it didn’t help when Edward cut her off to give Tyler a chance to ask her the same thing Mike and Eric had. He was so jealous, and he wanted to find out her reaction. I could tell he was relieved when she brushed off Tyler as well, and I tried my best not to laugh the whole way home.

I somehow managed to contain my mirth, and Bella banged around the kitchen as she was preparing dinner, muttering to herself about stupid attractive bronze-haired boys and their cryptic behaviour. She was very put out with Edward, that was for sure. Nara was giggling as we did our homework and left Bella in peace; she needed to get the irritation out of her system. The rest of the night was fairly uneventful, and we told Charlie we’d all be going to La Push’s First Beach with some of the kids from school on Saturday. Nara was looking forward to some surfing, and it would be warmer indefinitely on Saturday. Definitely alright for surfing, anyway. I was looking forward to seeing the envy on the boys’ faces when we showed them what we were capable of…I knew we were already the envy of our Gym class. Charlie had no problem with us going to the beach, and so it was all set. I just didn’t count on a slight complication that arose later that night.