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Tragedies and Sins

In an alternate universe, the Cullens are human. The beautiful boy that sits next to Bella in Biology is cold, hard, and not exactly friendly. He doesn't speak to her; she doesn't speak to him. These two human beings resort to minimum interaction with each other. And yet, she finds herself falling for the man that she knew never had a clue. Slighty OOC.

Hey guys! This is Tragedies and Sins, my second fanfic. Read, review, enjoy!

4. Chapter 4: Our City is at War

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1715   Review this Chapter

Edward’s PoV

That exasperatingly stunning woman was standing in the middle of her kitchen, dressed in only a sports bra, and the most virginal looking underwear/shorts thing. There was no doubt that I had witnessed women in less attire while merely working out at the gym, but there was also no doubting the effect seeing her in the outfit had on me. I could feel my already too tight pants grow even tighter as I awkwardly stood there, caught in that embarrassed abyss between looking at anything beside her body, and openly gawking at Bella.

I desperately tried to avoid the latter while stumbling out a greeting. “Um, hello, Bella.” She simply glared at me. “I did knock. But you were… uh, singing,” I ended stupidly.

Her eyes widened momentarily, and that too familiar blush swelled across her cheeks. I followed the length of her forearm with my eyes when she brought her hand up to lightly dust the redness on her face. I couldn’t help but notice that the flush also spread along her inner shoulders, collarbones, and leaded onto her upper chest, barely covered by the sports bra.

We both stood facing each other for the longest time. She would alternate between looking at her toes as if they were the most interesting artifact the kitchen had to offer, and partly glaring, partly biting her lip at me. It was impossibly hard not to shift my weight, or tap my feet, or do any other of usual fidgety qualities.

I coughed uneasily, trying to break the self-conscious lapse in conversation.

Bella flinched at the noise, almost as if she had become accustomed to the uneasy silence. She mumbled something, and then turned her eyes to study the tile floor. Her eyes slowly traveled up her body, and she realized that she wasn't in quite the proper attire for entertaining company. She made some sort of sound, one that could only be classified as a squeal, and rushed off to a door in the side wall of the kitchen. Slamming the entrance shut, she left me as pile of male teen hormones in her wake.

After a few moment, she hesitantly stepped back into the room, now dressed in an old t-shirt and jeans, and finally spoke to me.

“Hi Edward. Sorry about that. I was… yeah.” She smiled timidly, and it seemed like she was asking my permission to be cordial. I tried chuckling, an easy sound, I thought. It came out more like a scoff.

“Did Alice tell you to come? I told her not to. She never listens to me. I mean, you think that someone you’ve spent nearly what, nine, ten years of your life with would at least have the decency to respect your wishes! But I guess that’s just Alice, I suppose. I mean, she never respects anyone’s wishes!”

I raised my eyebrows, just teasing, but I don’t believe she caught the jesting part of my gesture.

“Oh! I don’t mean it like that! She’s my best friend, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that she can be a bit, erm, forceful sometimes. Like if she ever doesn’t get what she wants! Ugh! It’s hell. I never hear the end of anything! Like this one time, her dad, well I guess your dad, too, said she couldn’t go to a concert with Rosalie, and she freaked. Well, you were there.”

I nodded and smiled at the memory.

“But I’d hate to be Jasper in this situation! I mean, like what if they got married and he came home late one day from work, she would have a meltdown. Then she would call me, and I would have to sit and listen to her for hours. Not that I would mind. She’s fun to listen to most of the times.” I bust out laughing at this point, and she bit down hard on her lip, not saying another word.

Was it cruel to think that her metaphorical word vomit was completely adorable? I tried to restrain my laughter, but it was just too dumbstruck. I had waited since the end of fifth grade to hear Bella say more than a dozen words to me at once. This wasn’t how I had imagined it. I entirely abandoned all hopes of keeping in my laughs, and doubled over into a chair.

“Well thanks. Just laugh at my awkwardness. Beat down the ole nerd’s self-esteem.”

I desperately attempted to swallow my snorts. Coughing a bit to disguise the remaining sniggers, I sat up, crossed my legs, and looked at her through narrowed eyes. Imitating the prim voice of the stereotypical therapist, I spoke. “Alright, darling, take a seat. We’ll sort out all your problems, right here.”

She furrowed her brow, and yanked the chair sitting across from mine out from underneath the table, and delicately sat in it. I didn’t like the look of her with crossed arms. “Ha-ha, very funny. Let’s make fun at Bella, just like old times. Just like middle school,” she said bitterly. The mood in the room had changed from light teasing, to serious, in just a few words. I immediately sobered, noticing the harsh tint to her words.

“Listen, Bella. I know, I know, I god damn know I’ve been an asshole to you since sixth grade. I don’t even know why. You were just you, and I was just me. I thought we weren’t going to work out as friends anymore. I thought you would go on and just forget me. I didn’t want to be abandoned.”

Bella made a disbelieving sound. “You didn’t want to be abandoned, so you went and abandoned me first? You do realize that Alice was my only friend in middle school, and we had no classes together? We even had different lunch periods. You were in four out of six classes, and we had the same lunch. I don’t think you said a kind word to me once. You were my second best friend until other people started caring.” She, at last, looked into my eyes, and I saw them watering.

I scooted half way around the table, so she was within my arm’s reach. Hesitantly raising my hand in the air near her left ear, I tried to explain myself. “Bella. I’m so sorry. I truly had no idea. I just… I thought you wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. Especially when we got into high school. You just looked at me like I was dirt under your feet and I didn’t want to pester you.”

“You didn’t want to pester me? God damn it, Edward. You’re Edward fucking Cullen, ‘king of the high school,’” she mimicked in a high pitched voice. “You could and do have any girl you want, and you think that I didn’t want to be your friend.”

“Don’t say that.”

“What can’t I damn say?”

“That I can and do have any girl that I want.”

“It’s true.”

“No it’s not, Bella.” I moved my raised hand from the limbo position it was in, and I placed it on the soft hair over her ear. It was the first time I had touched her. Even in that summer before fifth grade, I didn’t dare contact her, or she might have disappeared right under my fingertips, being the angel that she was. A gigantic breath escaped from my lungs, through my throat, and out my mouth, one that I hadn’t even realized was being held. I felt the soft skin of her neck through her hair, and I passed my fingers through the silk, marveling at its quality. My hand moved on to her cheek, where her infamous blush spread across the smooth skin.

“Oh yeah,” she almost whispered. “Name one girl you can’t have.”

I could think of a million responses in my head. The sexy girl in front of me. The infuriating woman in this room. The beautiful one who haunts my dreams. Bella. You. But not a single one floated to my lips.

“That’s exactly what I thought.” She brushed my hand off the side of her neck. I only returned it to her face to wipe off the renewed tears that were falling from her gorgeous brown eyes. She sniffled a bit and shook me off. “I don’t know why the hell I’m crying. In front of you, for god’s sake.”

I moved over closer until I was close enough for our lips to touch, but, to my frustration and dismay, they didn’t touch. Not even close. “It’s okay. You look beautiful, by the way.”

She snickered in my face, pushing me away and looking away. "Why did you come here today?"

I hesitated, knowing that telling her I wanted to proclaim my devoted and undying love for her would send her running in the other direction. "I wanted for us to be on good terms. You were my best friend, and I missed it."

She smiled. "I still have those shells you gave me, you know." A surge of happiness ran through me. I had never forgotten those long summer days spent at my family's beach condo, with Bella at my side. She would read to me every night we stayed there. I still remember every single book she read. The Secret Garden was the first, a bit juvenile, but a book read well in Bella's quiet voice. The next was Coraline, creepy but quirky, and it was my favorite. The last was the first Harry Potter book. I never enjoyed Harry Potter, but she seemed to like it. I refused to let her read any of the classics she loved, but she was perfectly content with leaving the book selection to me.

"Really?" I tried to keep the glee out of my voice.

She nodded, biting her lower lip. In a motion of sheer spontaneity, I grabbed her hand and held it. It was warm, soft, and delicate. It was trembling.

A look of shock passed across her face, and she slyly removed her hand from mine. Turning her face towards the fingers placed in her lap, she rose from the chair. “Friends again?”

“No duh, Sherlock!” I grinned and draped my arm around her shoulders, absolutely reveling in the feeling of skin to skin contact. I could get used to being friends.