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The New Kids

Summary:
The Cullens start high school for the first time since Bella has been changed and Renesmee has been born. Will Nessie learn to love Jacob the way he wants her to? Or will she meet someone at school and repeat the history that brought her Mom and Dad together? The sequel to this story - Nothing But Time- should be up ASAP! Keep a look out for it!


Notes:


13. Chapter 13

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2835   Review this Chapter

The rest of our weekend in Forks flew by, and before I knew it we were in the car headed back home. It's amazing how many places felt like home to me; our house and Grandpa Charlie's in Forks, Jacob's old place in La Push, and in the past few weeks our new house had begun to feel like a home, too. My dad smiled at the rear view mirror in response to my thoughts.

"What time will we be back? I was planning on going to Wren's to do some homework."

"We'll be there in about 15 minutes," he replied, "would you like me to drop you off on our way?"

"That'd be great! Thanks!" I pulled out my tiny blue cell phone and dialed the number programed under WREN, "Hey girl! Is it okay if my brother drops me off to work on homework?"

"Um.." she said quietly on the other end of the line, "would you mind if I came to your house instead? My Grandma is here for a surprise visit, and I'd rather get away, if you don't mind."

I knew I couldn't keep my friends away from my house forever. "Sure, we'll be there in about 5 minutes."

I groaned after I hung up. Jake laughed and Mom looked at me sympathetically.

"Behave," I hissed at him as we pulled into the driveway and Wren ran down the front steps.

"Hey guys!" she said as she slid into the car. It was a tight fit, Jacob could take up the whole back seat himself, so Wren ended up half on his lap. They both looked so uncomfortable, and my father could hardly contain his laughter, so I guessed that their thoughts were just as awkward.

I braced for the reaction to our house as we began down the winding drive, but nothing came. No gasping or bugging eyes, no incoherent questions...I couldn't figure it out. People knew we were wealthy, but our palatial home would have come as a shock to most of them. Only one person outside of my family had been here. Had he talked about me to Wren? I glanced at Dad for conformation and he nodded. Interesting.

Everyone else was already there and scattered around the house. I introduced Wren to those she hadn't met yet and then took her up to my room and shut the door.

"Okay, spill. Owen must have said something to you about the house."

"No, why would you think that?" she replied too innocently as she turned to look at the pictures on my walls.

"Oh come on Wren! Please tell me what he's said to you! I'm dying for information here!" That wasn't exactly true, my father had told me plenty. But what was he telling our friends? That might mean significantly more.

"Well...he didn't specifically tell me not to say anything..."

"See! It's fine then, and I promise I won't tell him you said anything!" I told her as I kicked my shoes off and bounced onto my unmade bed.

She fed off my excitement and came to sit next to me, "Okay," she started, using her hands to gesture wildly as she talked, "so he was asking me all kinds of questions about you and mentioned spending time over here. I was surprised because, well...you never seem to want to hangout here. He told me that you seemed uncomfortable about the size and everything, so that's probably why we'd never been invited. That's why I played it so cool when we drove up. But good lord, Nessie, this place is amazing!"

I laughed, at this point I couldn't care less about the stupid house. Owen had been asking questions about me! "Okay, on to the good stuff. What was he asking you?"

"Well, he wanted to know if you'd said anything to me about him. He looked really disappointed when I said no, but perked right back up when I told him that it was pretty obvious to all of us that you like him. You do don't you?"

"Uh yeah...I don't see how he missed that one. And I know he likes me, but I'm just not sure how much."

"A lot!" she beamed at me. A new trait of Wrens' was starting to show itself, she loved playing the matchmaker. "I mean, I figured that after he took you home Friday night, the next time we talked, you two would be a couple."

"Don't be ridiculous," I scoffed at her, "we've never been on a date or even held hands! You are getting way way ahead of yourself."

"I don't know...he said that he wanted to ask you to the hospital benefit next month..that seems pretty couple-y to me."

My totally blank stare prompted her to continue, "The benefit? You know..the big formal dinner and dance fundraiser the hospital has every Halloween. I figured you'd know about it, your uncle is a doctor there!"

I had heard Grandpa Carlisle say something about it, but I figured it was something that he and Grandma Esme wanted to attend alone.

"Why would Owen be going?" I asked her.

"His dad is donating a sculpture for the silent auction."

That made sense, I guess. "When is he going to ask me?"

"I think he was planning on doing it tomorrow actually. It's a costume thing, I think, so he wanted to ask you before you got one together with your family. He assumed that you would all be going."

A costume party, that could be fun! I wouldn't even mind if my family was there, a costume party on Halloween was about the only time we wouldn't stand out. I made a mental note to ask Grandpa Carlisle about it later.

Wren continued filling me in on her conversation with Owen, "He also wanted to know about you and Jake. I had no idea what to tell him about that! You've told us all, repeatedly, that you are just friends, but the way he looks at you sometimes makes me think that he wishes it was more."

She paused, waiting for me to confirm or deny her astute observation. I had to answer this very carefully. I didn't want to lie and tell her 'Oh goodness, no! It's strictly platonic!', she'd see right through that. But the truth wouldn't work for obvious reasons.

"He and I have a very...complicated...relationship. He would like it to be more than friendship, but I don't want that and he knows it. We really are just best friends. Do you think it bothers Owen that I'm so close to Jacob?"

"Nah," she said lightly, "Owen is a pretty cool guy, I don't think he stresses about who you are or aren't friends with."

We lounged on the bed and talked for the next several hours, totally forgetting the pile of homework that sat undone on my desk. It took me by surprise when my mom knocked on the door and reminded us that Wrens curfew was only ten minutes from now.

"Edward is out front waiting to take you, why don't you go with her, Nessie?"

We ran downstairs and jumped into the waiting Volvo.

"Thanks for driving me home, Edward! My mom won't be happy that we didn't get any homework done, but oh well, we can do it at lunch tomorrow!"

"Sure, good idea." I glanced at my father out of the corner of my eye, his lips were pursed and he looked irritated. All because of a little late homework assignment? We sat in silence for a couple minutes, then he surprised me by bursting out laughing.

Luckily, we were in Wren's driveway before she could start to think he was too crazy.

"Bye, see you guys tomorrow!" she shouted as she ran up her front steps at 9:56, 4 minutes ahead of her school night curfew. Dad made it here in record time, I can't believe she hadn't noticed the speed.

"DAD! What was that about?!" I said as we pulled away.

He started laughing again, "Wren...Jacob....Rory..." He could hardly contain himself, I'd rarely seen him so tickled. I growled a little bit and he started talking in coherent sentences again.

"After you told her about Jake liking you as more than a friend, she decided to take it upon herself to find someone else for him. She thought about herself for a moment, but decided she didn't like him that way either. But Rory...she has expressed interest, I've heard it in her head. Wren is very observant to pick it up."

"Oh no! She going to try and set up Rory and Jake?!" I shrieked.

"Does that bother you, Ness? The idea of Jake with someone else?"

I thought for a second. Did it bother me? No, not for the reason my dad was implying. I was bothered because I knew this would hurt Rory. She was so kind, and Jake would never reciprocate her feelings. I doubted she ever would have made a move, but now that Wren was involved...

Dad nodded, "I'm concerned about that too. I only laughed because Jacobs reaction will be priceless." A Cheshire cat grin consumed his face.

"Should we warn him?"

"No, not yet. Her thoughts are still very chaotic. She might not do anything about it at all. If she makes her mind up, I'll tell him."

I got out of the car and set off to find Grandpa Carlisle, wanting to talk about this hospital dance business before I went to bed.

"He's in his study." Dad said as I walked away.

I went up the stairs and to the familiar room knocking softly on the door, "Grandpa? May I come in?"

"Of course," his soothing voice said softly.

I breathed in deeply through my nose when I swung the door open, the smell of this room was one of my favorite things in the world. It was like the smell of a library, only more intense because the books were older and packed tighter together.

"What's on your mind tonight, Nessie?"

"Well, I wanted to ask you about the Halloween party for the hospital."

He looked a little confused, "What about it?"

"Owens dad is donating one of his pieces for the auction, so his whole family is going, and I think Owen is planning on asking me. I heard you and Grandma talking about it, and I didn't want to butt in on some big evening out of yours or anything."

His lips turned up into a kind smile, "Of course we wouldn't mind if you came! Its an obligation for me to go at all, or I wouldn't. I usually ask the rest of the family if they want to come to these sorts of things, but Alice is the only one who ever gets excited. I figured I'd spare the rest of them from having to dress up in formal attire."

I heard a loud crash come from downstairs and Grandpa Carlisle rolled his eyes, "I thought she was still out hunting with Jasper. I hope you don't mind the rest of the family coming to the party, because now that Alice knows, there is no way around it."

At that moment Aunt Alice burst through the door looking wild and half crazed. "You've been holding out on me Carlisle Cullen! A formal party and only a month to plan the wardrobe for the whole family!!! How did I not see this? I never miss parties!"

"Esme and I have known you long enough to know how to work around your talent when it is convenient."

Alice hissed her discontent, but quickly recovered. "When is this little shindig? And what is the appropriate attire?" she asked coolly.

"It's on Halloween. It's black tie, and most people come in some kind of costume. Like a masquerade ball, I suppose. I've seen a few pictures from last year and people go all out, so this should be right up your ally. Here is the invitation."

He handed her a black square of heavy cardstock, with silver lettering engraved into it.

Pacific Regional Hospital

Cordially Invites you to their

24th Annual Halloween Benefit Auction

for dinner and dancing

in the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Hotel

the 31st of October at 7:30pm

Formal attire, costumes optional



"Thanks Carlisle!" Aunt Alice said, dashing out of the room with the invitation gripped tightly in her hand.

He shook his head and looked back at me, "I hope our presence there isn't going to upset you. We'll behave, I can promise you that."

"I don't mind at all. I'm actually very eager to see what Aunt Alice comes up with."

"As am I," he laughed.

Alice hardly talked at all the next day in class, she was bent over a sketch pad and looking up designer websites on her phone all hour. I looked over her shoulder in science and saw Owen's name at the top of one of her drawings.

"Alice, why are you making a costume for Owen?"

"I see him there with you..or you with him actually. You're sitting at his table."

"So Jake must not be going then?"

"I guess not."

Alice could see my future, but it was generally so tangled up with Jake that she only got mundane things, nothing major or definite. If she could see me clearly at the event, then Jake wasn't there.

"You don't have to do that Alice, we'll plan our own costumes."

"Ha! You would never deprive me of my fun!"

I sighed, "You're right...can I at least see what you have in mind?"

"No way! A week or two before we'll do a fitting and you'll find out then, just like everyone else."

Two hours later, lunch was uneventful, like I was expecting. Owen wouldn't ask me in front of all our friends. My nerves started getting the better of me the closer I got to 7th hour. I was going to get asked out on my first date....hopefully.

I wasn't disappointed. As soon as I sat down in my seat, he turned around in his chair to face me. I felt the blush coloring my face.

"So, you've heard about the hospital benefit right?"

I only nodded. Speaking was beyond my ability at the moment.

"Well, my family is going and I was wondering if you would like to go with me. I know that your whole family is probably going, so if you'd rather go with them that's fine. I just thought it might be fun, somebody cool to sit with at dinner. Not that your family isn't cool...I was talking about mine. But they're cool too, I think you'll like them." He took a deep breath when he'd finished.

I couldn't help the giggle that escaped from my lips. He was more nervous than me! I'd never heard Owen babble, he was usually so composed. I must have hurt his pride with my laughter, he looked away quickly and started shuffling papers on his desk. I grabbed his arm and turned him back to face me, keeping my hand there as I spoke.

“I would love to go with you Owen. I can't wait.”

I looked into his eyes when I said this, taking in the emerald green that they were today. I think I liked them best when they were this color. They lit up as he registered that I was saying yes to his question.

“One thing though,” I added, “we have to let Alice do our costumes.”

“If that's the only condition for getting to spend a whole night dancing with you, then it's worth it!”

If I thought I had been blushing before, it was nothing compared to the red covering my face now. I would get to dance with Owen, and the fact that my family would be there only slightly dampened my enthusiasm. “You dance?” I asked. I loved to dance, and had been taught by Aunt Rose and my father, the two best dancers I had ever seen.

“Not well, but my mom used to take ballroom lessons, and I was her practice buddy most of the time. I picked up enough to fumble my way through. I might need a refresher course before the big event though. Do you dance?”

I started to answer, but he interrupted me, “What am I saying? Of course you dance! How could you not? You do everything else.”

I laughed, “You think far too much of me, but it just so happens that I can hold my own on the dance floor.”

“See, I knew it. I think I'm starting to get you figured out.” He grinned, and the oddest sensation came over me. I felt like I wanted him to figure me out.