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It all started with a boy. LIfe is tough enough for Bella Swan as she struggles to acclimate to college. When she meets a certain topaz eyed boy.....it only gets tougher. E/B


1. Chapter 1

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Chapter One: Dazzled

I sit with my mom, Renee, listening to the soft piano music. We are sitting at The Drake hotel, dainty tea sandwiches at our fingers accompanied with the strongest tea I have ever tasted in my life. She is looking at me with worry, the tiny lines by her eyes crinkling as I continue to remain silent.

I hate being here, sitting with her in the overly fussy room, overly fussy waiters taking our plates without being asked and filling our teapots without a word. I know she is only trying to make up for leaving, and it isn't enough.

You don't just up and leave and then try to fix it all with tea and some scones.

Doesn't work.

"Bella, are you going to ignore me the entire meal?" She asks lightly, a smile that I deem completely inappropriate on her beautiful face.

I scowl and stir my tea furiously.

"Yeah, if possible." Her smile fades, drooping into a frown.

I also deem that as inappropriate.

She has no reason to be disappointed in me. I am not the one who skipped town and thought that high tea could fix it.

I guess she didn't grow up at all since she left.

"Bella, I don't know what else to do. I'm trying here,"

"No, you're not." I tell her, pushing my untouched scone around its plate.


"How is Rui?" I interrupt cruely; referring to the twenty four year old designer that she had run away to Spain with. I remember the morning she left, a paltry note left on my desk telling me that she loved me. I found it a bit hard to believe. Especially since it was scribbled in a hurried hand.

She doesn't answer my question and I look up with raised eyebrows.

"Trouble in paradise?"

"Rui left."

I snort, leaning back in my chair.

Of course.

It is so like my mother to ruin her entire life for a tryst with a man who only ends up leaving her.

Of course.

"How long ago?"

"A month."

"And now you are here." She doesn't respond and I know the answer. "Dad and I aren't taking you back."


"You left and we have moved on."

"I just wanted to see you." The pain in her voice surprises me I struggle to keep my face smooth and hard. She sounds sincere. She actually sounds like a mother missing her daughter.

I go to say something but stop. All through tea there had been soft piano music in the background.

It had stopped..

I glance back at the piano, startled o find the pianist looking right at me. I look away a moment later than I should have, my eyes drawn to his beautiful face. He had pale, almost translucent, skin, shadowed bruises underneath his eyes, which were a light caramel. Those eyes had been looking at me incredulously, his mouth hanging in a soft o. I can feel his gaze on my back, an electrical current now seeming to buzz through the air, making my skin tingle.

My mom notices the distraction on my face and uses it as a chance for her to plead her case.

"Bella, I've missed you. I love you, you're my daughter after all."

"Uh huh," I am too caught up in the look that was on his face to really listen.

What was he thinking?

What is he thinking now?

The piano is still silent and I prepare myself to steal another glance.

"I made a mistake" my mom laments, "but I realize that there is no going back. I don't expect you and your father to forgive me, not yet at least."

"Yes." She rambles on, her words nothing but incessant chatter now. My entire body is focused on the pianist. He still hasn't resumed playing and I swear I can feel his eyes on me. I gingerly turn my head and steal a glance at the piano.

His seat is empty.

"Bella," My attention snaps back to her and I raise my eyebrows in question.


"Have you even been listening to me?"

Someone walks out of the hotel, the door closing swiftly in the distance behind my mother. I lean forward and watch the pianist slip past the window.


"Would you like to do this next week?" I ask suddenly.

Her eyes brighten and she smiles, nodding.

"Bella, nothing would make me happier."

"Good, well, I need to go."

"Okay," she says quickly, startled by my sudden exit. I stand up and pull my arms through the sleeves of my coat, the tune from the piano playing in my ears. I give a quick wave and then leave.


"How was your lunch?" My dad, Charlie, asks. He is seated in front of the television, flipping through the channels undoubtedly for some sports program. My assumption rings true when he stops on a football game.

"She tried to apologize."

"And?" I hear the amusement in his voice and laugh.

"And I didn't accept it, of course."

"You are very stubborn, Bella. Do you know that?"

"Born and raised," I retort with a grin. Charlie is the most stubborn person I knew.

"You should give her a chance." My mood changes swiftly, his words touching on the sore spot that has refused to heal since she first left.

I sit down next to him, crossing my arms over my chest.

"She hurt us too much."

"But we survived." He says simply

"We're doing pretty well." I agree, propping my feet up on the coffee table which ironically enough is never used for coffee. "And that is precisely why we don't need her. She'll just ruin it."

Charlie put his arm around me, squeezing me gently.

"Bells, you're being a bit too pessimistic for a seventeen year old girl. We're doing fine and no one, not your mother or anyone else, will change that. Don't hold a grudge against your mother. You deserve to know her. She was an amazing woman." He pauses for a moment, adding, "a bit flighty, though."

I laugh, moving away from him.

"Dad, that was the worst joke I have ever heard." He laughs heartily and shrugs.

"I never have been good at jokes, now, have I?"

"Nope, you take the cake for bad jokes." He kisses the top of my head lightly, the fatherly manner of it making me grin.

"So, will you give your mom a chance?"

"We're having tea again next weekend." I deadpan.

"Good, I'm happy that you're trying,"

While I nod my head up and down, I can't help feeling a bit guilty of my ulterior motive. I am not exactly going to tea to see my mother. I have someone else in mind.

Someone with liquid topaz eyes.