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Heart and Soul

Summary:
Edward is nearly broken when he loses a dear friend in an accident. When he meets Bella at Forks High, not only is his heart healed, but his soul as well. However, Bella has a secret that could make or break them. AU/AH Twilight meets Return to Me!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I once said ‘what’s the point of an AH Twilight story? Wouldn’t it be better to change the names and make it original?’ Then I read a few that were pretty good. Then, I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny…it had sharp, pointy teeth! So, if you’ve ever seen Return to Me, you may recognize certain key story lines :) Read on, and let me know what you think! Rest assured; this is Edward/Bella :)


5. Chapter 5

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2652   Review this Chapter

All night long, all Bella heard was rain hitting the roof just over her head. She had nothing against a little rain, but, when it came down for twelve consecutive hours, the wet gray dreariness got a little old. It was never very surprising to Bella that her happy-go-lucky live-by-the-moment mother couldn’t handle living in Forks. Bella was determined, though, that she would let Renee have some peace with Phil after all the years of worrying her.

Bella was startled by her alarm clock going off. She wasn’t used to waking up before the alarm. With a muffled groan, Bella rolled off the bed and started for the bathroom that she shared with Charlie. After she was showered and more awake, she went down the stairs in search of Charlie and some breakfast.

Charlie said very little at breakfast, but grunted, “Good luck,” as he ambled out to his cruiser. Bella gathered her things up and donned her new massive jacket that would have caused heatstroke in Phoenix. She would be early if she drove too fast, so she took her time, not wanting to tax the deafening engine of her newly acquired truck either.

Forks High School was easy enough to find, Bella could have found it even without the vague gestures and detail-lacking descriptions of Charlie’s grand tour of Forks as they drove in yesterday. The never ceasing rain was still present, though it was more of a mist than actual drops. Bella found a parking spot and turned off her truck; she didn’t get out right away. Instead, she sat there with her hands still resting on the wheel as she took in the brick buildings in front of her. Bella let out a deep sigh and gathered her bags and headed into the office.

“Can I help you?” said the middle-aged woman at the desk in the front of the office. Out of habit, Bella reached down to her chest to make sure that her scar wasn’t showing. Then she remembered the bulky sweater and hoodie that she was wearing.

There’s a silver lining,’ thought Bella. No one would notice her scar and handle her with kid gloves if it was covered by the many layers required for winter survival here.

“Um, I’m Bella Swan; this is my first day…” Bella bit her lip as she trailed off, waiting for what she said to register with the woman standing in front of her.

“Bella? Bella Swan? By chance do you mean Isabella Swan?” the woman looked like she had just had a major epiphany. Apparently, Charlie called her Isabella around town. Bella sighed, knowing she was in for a day of correcting everyone she met.

“Yes, I go by Bella actually,” she said.

“Of course dear, here’s your schedule, and our school handbook. This is a form that all of your teachers need to sign; you’ll need to bring this back at the end of today,” said the receptionist. Bella smiled and nodded, taking the packet from the woman and walking out of the office in search of her first class. She wrinkled her nose when she saw her schedule and remembered that Forks High School required PE for every grade. ‘The silver lining just got a little tarnished,’thought Bella.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward sat at the lunch table his family usually occupied, waiting for the crowd to come streaming in. He picked at the food that sat in front of him. Lunch was never an easy time for him, since there was such a large concentration of unfocused minds; it was easier for him to get his food down before his head started buzzing with the trivial details of his classmates.

Edward had been dismayed to discover upon his return to public schooling that he had become, to many of the girls, a ‘hot commodity.’ He was now the unwilling recipient of the affections of most of the girls at Forks High School. Some girls merely pined from afar, others such as Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory had been uncomfortably forward. Edward had wasted no time informing them that he was not interested, but his disinterest did nothing to curb their fantasies. Edward found it rather disturbing; Emmett thought it was hilarious. It was usually here, in the cafeteria, that he found it the hardest to block out the worst of his admirers fantasies.

“Are you going to just sit there and scare everybody with your evil glares, or are you actually going to be friendly today?”

“Ah, Rose, I love watching Edward scare off his fan girls. Don’t take away the only entertainment we have before it even starts!” Emmett was grinning as he said it, egging both Rosalie and Edward into glaring at him.

“I don’t glare,” said Edward.

“Dude, you could melt glass back to sand with some of the looks you’ve fixed poor little Jessica Stanley with. I’m surprised she didn’t run home crying when you said you wouldn’t go to homecoming with her,” said Emmett, laughing. Edward glared at him again for bringing up that painful memory.

“Hey, guys! Have any of you seen the new student?” Alice said as she skipped over to the table with Jasper in tow. “I have a really good feeling about her. She’s going to bring change to our family!” Alice said, while practically jumping up and down. ‘Meaning you Edward,’ she thought to her brother.

Edward scoffed, “Every last guy at Forks High School thinks that they’re in love with this girl; she’s no different than any other, merely a shiny toy to the infantile masses.”

“We’ll see,” said Alice in a sing song voice. Edward glared at her.

“Whoa, calm down, Edward; you could cut the tension you’re exuding with a rusty spoon,” said Jasper.

“Edward exudes plenty that you could cut with a rusty spoon. It must be all the angsty vibes that he sends out that have all the girls wanting to heal his tender heart,” Emmett teased. Edward growled in frustration, causing Emmett to laugh harder than before.

That’s Edward Cullen…’

Hearing his name spoken in someone’s thoughts always brought all his attention to that one mind; his brothers and sisters had seen him do this often enough that they didn’t question what was happening. They simply waited for him to fill them in.

“What now? Which student has declared their undying love for you this time? Ooh, maybe it’s that pimply sophomore over there; I think she just dribbled her milk down her front trying to lean farther forward to see Fabio here,” sniggered Emmett. Rose just smacked the back of his head, eliciting a, “What?!” from Emmett. Alice and Jasper hid their smiles behind their hands, so as to avoid Rosalie’s wrath.

Edward had heard this particular person whisper his name longingly so many times before that he almost didn’t pay attention. Jessica Stanley was dutifully passing all the best gossip on to Forks High School’s newest student, and creating a new rumor of her own by supposing that Carlisle had required each of us to undergo plastic surgery in order to be adopted by himself and Esme. Edward’s eyes glazed over as he scoffed at the drivel that spewed from Jessica’s head. He focused on Angela Weber’s thoughts, trying to get a brighter outlook on the situation, but all he heard was, ‘Trig, Spanish, and English…I hope the twins aren’t sick again…I have so much to catch up on.” Edward gave up listening to Angela; she just wasn’t one to gossip.

Edward begrudgingly switched back to Jessica and listened to her spill the dirt on the ‘scandalous’ Cullen family, a mirthless smile across his lips. Jessica was still bitter over his refusal of her attentions, yet she was still eager to gain his admiration. Edward grimaced, and then he tried to focus on the girl that Jessica was shamelessly gossiping to. There was nothing. Empty, echoing silence reverberated back to him. Edward turned his head slightly to glance over at their table, taking in the petite brown-haired girl sitting there between Jessica Stanley and Angela Weber. Jessica’s thoughts had confirmed that the girl was indeed the anxiously awaited Isabella Swan, though she preferred Bella. Still, Edward could hear nothing from her. She may as well have not been sitting there. Edward frowned; no one had been so blank to him since before the accident. Was his gift fading? He furrowed his brow, concentrating harder, which only succeeded in giving him a headache. He huffed in frustration, and turned more fully in his chair, staring unabashedly at Bella in concentration. Jessica giggled when Bella realized she’d been caught staring and blushed before looking down at her hands. Jessica wasn’t laughing on the inside though; she was jealous of the apparent interest Edward had shown Bella.

“Edward?” asked Jasper. Edward blinked several times while he turned back around and focused on his family sitting before him. They all wore anxious expressions, save for Rosalie. She seemed annoyed that they were once again focused on Edward.

“Edward, what is it?” asked Emmett. He was being uncharacteristically serious. Then he grinned and said, “Crushing on the new girl?” Alice suddenly looked smug. She knowingly nodded her head and smirked as she leaned back in her chair and folded her arms over her chest.

“I did have a feeling, Edward,” Alice said with a smile as she nodded her head slightly towards the table that Bella was sitting at.

“I…I’ve got to get to class,” Edward said. He pushed his chair back from the table and left for class ten minutes early.

“Hi, Edward, having a good day?” a coy Lauren Mallory said, while thinking, ‘I could help you have a good day.’ Lauren stepped in front of him in an attempt to get Edward to stop and talk to her. Edward merely grasped her shoulders, holding her at arm’s length before murmuring, “Not now, Lauren.” Then he neatly shifted her to the side and quickly walked past her without a second glance.

I can’t possibly be losing my ability…everyone else is just as loud as they were before,’ he thought, grimacing at Lauren’s blatant advances and her lascivious thoughts. Edward was half way to the biology lab before he realized that he had thought specifically of the accident while trying to hear Bella Swan’s thoughts and he hadn’t even realized it.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Bella had had a fairly easy morning, her classes were routine, easy even, and she had met several people that truly had no idea that she’d had a heart transplant the previous year. Mike Newton had taken to following her wherever he could, since they had a handful of classes together. Bella fought the urge to pat his head and offer him a scrap of food. Jessica Stanley had to remind Bella of her name a couple of times before she remembered it, though she was friendly enough about it. Angela had been very sweet. She seemed just as reserved as Bella was herself.

“Here’s the cafeteria,” Jessica said. Bella was embarrassed to realize that Jessica had been talking to her the entire time they had been walking, and she hadn’t truly heard any of it. She blushed and smiled sheepishly at Jessica as she walked through the door that Mike Newton was holding open with a grin.

“Thanks,” Bella said. She didn’t want to encourage him any further.

“You’re sitting with us right?” Jessica asked.

“Uh…sure,” Bella said. She had no other plans, so she might as well. Bella followed Jessica and Angela through the line and got a tray of food. Nothing and nobody seemed very remarkable in Forks; Bella was starting to wonder how thoroughly she was going to be able to blend in with so few people in the tiny, soggy town. Then, as she was sitting down at a nondescript table with Jessica, Angela, and a few of the others who had introduced themselves within the course of the morning, Bella saw them. Easily the five most beautiful people she had ever seen outside of the glossy magazines that littered her doctor’s office waiting room back in Phoenix.

“Who is that?” Bella asked Jessica without taking her eyes off of the youngest looking boy at the table. He had messy bronze hair, very fair skin, and though he was sitting down, Bella could tell that he was tall. He had a lean, lanky but still muscular frame, though he was still not as large as the massive curly-haired boy sitting at his table. The others were also very attractive, though the bronze-haired boy was the most attractive of all of them at the table. A tiny pixie-like girl with short black hair was holding hands with a tall blond guy, and a tall blond girl was leaning into the bear-sized boy. The blondes could easily be twins.

Jessica followed Bella’s gaze over to the table occupied by the Cullens and the Hales, then she smirked when she realized who at that table had drawn Bella’s attention.

“That’s Edward Cullen. That’s his adoptive family…all of them were adopted by Doctor Cullen and his wife; apparently they couldn’t have any by themselves,” Jessica said the last in a conspiratorial whisper, as though everybody in the town wasn’t already familiar with the Cullen’s situation, and adoption was taboo.

“They’re really nice, but very private,” added Angela. “They tend to keep to themselves. Edward was homeschooled last year, after he had a bad car accident, so he’s kind of a loner…”she stopped when Jessica cut her off.

“But the others are together,” Jessica whispered again. “I know they’re not all really related, but is that legal?”

‘Well, it’s not illegal,” Angela said. “Only Edward, Emmett and Alice are actually adopted by the Cullens. The Hale twins are Mrs. Cullen’s niece and nephew, and they only joined their family since they moved to Forks, so it’s not like they were all little kids together…” Angela trailed off at the look on Jessica’s face.

“He’s staring at you,” Jessica said incredulously. Bella blushed. She could hear the envy in Jessica’s tone, and wondered when Jessica had tried to woo Edward unsuccessfully.

“He doesn’t look like he’s admiring; looks more confused or frustrated to me,” Bella said, her cheeks still a rosy pink. She looked down at her hands resting on the table, breaking her eyes away from Edward’s. Jessica relaxed slightly.

“Anyways, don’t even bother with Edward. He’s been Mr. Moody ever since his little Russian friend died in the car accident he had last year. No girl in Forks is good enough for him,” Jessica said confidently. Angela hid her slight smile behind her hand, and shared a look with Bella, who gave her a smile in return. ‘Jessica definitely crashed and burned,’thought Bella. Despite her friend’s admonitions, Bella couldn’t help but be drawn in by Edward’s troubled expressions. It seemed fairly obvious to Bella that he was hurting; she felt compelled to help him.

“Don’t worry, I hadn’t planned on it,” Bella said to appease Jessica. It wasn’t in her nature to throw herself at guys; but she couldn’t deny that something about Edward Cullen definitely made her want to understand why he was hurting; she wanted to ease his pain. She looked up from her inspection of the tabletop when she heard a chair scrape loudly and abruptly across the floor. Edward Cullen was leaving the cafeteria in a hurry, casting one last look at Bella before rushing toward the double doors. He was intercepted halfway to the door by a flirtatious blond twirling her platinum locks around her finger before demurely glancing up at him through her lashes. Bella smirked; the leggy blond was laying it on thick, and Edward was not looking pleased. Bella stifled a laugh when she saw Edward grasp her arms at the shoulders and move her bodily to the side before blowing past her without another glance. ‘Another burning wreckage’ thought Bella wryly as she watched the blond raise her nose to the air and stomp out the doors opposite the ones Edward had taken. Bella couldn’t explain why her heart was suddenly beating as quickly as it was when she watched Edward’s quick, graceful lope out of the cafeteria, but whatever the reason, it didn’t hurt.