Bella's graduation changes everything...
1. Chapter 1
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Rosalie shrugged, pushing some of her long blond hair behind her ear. "Maybe. She hasn't invited me, though." She turned a page.
"You're a Cullen, I'm sure it's a given," he told her casually, "Anyway," he added as an afterthought, "it's Alice's and Edward's too."
Rosalie looked unsure as she faked reading the book. She remained silent, as if thinking over what he said. "I've been to Edward and Alice's graduations before."
"Not Bella's, though. I'll ask her if you can go," he offered.
She shook her head. "No thank you."
"Then you ask her. Putting forth an effort to be part of her life wouldn't be a bad thing you know."
She smiled softly. "I know that. Maybe I will ask her…" She turned her attention back to the textbook completely.
But probably not, Emmett finished for her silently as he turned back to his chore.
Alice grinned up at Jasper, putting her arms around his neck. "I can't wait to go!"
He grinned down at her, loving the pure enthusiasm in her expression. "Why are you so excited about a high school graduation?"
"I've never been to one unless it was one of ours. And that's not really the same thing you know?"
"This is one of ours- well, yours anyway." He leaned down and brushed his cold hard lips over her forehead, being rewarded with a sigh of contentment.
"It's just not our one and only graduation. We do it every so often. It's just—" She shrugged her delicate shoulders and smiled up at him thoughtfully, "—it's just not the same."
"She'll probably have more than one graduation when she joins us," Jasper pointed out.
"But this is her first one – her real one. It's important. It's different," Alice insisted.
He smiled down at her, finding her unadulterated excitement contagious despite his anxiety about going to a crowded graduation. He still didn't trust himself around humans.
Alice frowned up at him suddenly. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he replied quickly, hating himself for being so transparent to her.
"It's the graduation ceremony isn't it?"
"No." He answered a bit too quickly.
"Jasper, you don't have to go. Edward, Carlisle, and Esme are going for certain. I'll have company if you'd rather stay home with Rosalie," she offered genuinely.
"No, Alice, I'm coming. I already told Bella I would. And it's your graduation, too," He tried to smile reassuringly at her, but she continued to frown.
"Alice…" He drew out her name. He loved the fact that she cared so much about his feelings, but he also knew she really wanted him to go with her. He had already promised both her and Bella anyway and he was a man of his word.
"If you're sure…" She leaned up and pressed her lips to his gently.
Esme looked up from the book she was reading when Carlisle entered their bedroom. "How was work?"
"Fine," he answered curtly, clearly preoccupied.
"What's wrong?" She laid down her book on the table and looked up at his beloved face in concern.
"Oh, nothing." He waved her off. Then sighed, "Bella, Alice, and Edward's graduation is in two days."
"I know." Esme grinned at him. "I'm honored Bella invited us. The other two wouldn't be going if she wasn't."
"So am I. But… Rosalie isn't going and Jasper is having second thoughts—"
"About being around a crowd of humans," Emse finished with a frown.
"Yes. Edward and Alice are excited to go. I'm wondering if you and I should go." He stopped in the middle of their room, waiting for her response.
"Of course we should go," she said seriously, "We already said we would, and we love Bella, we need to show her our support."
He nodded, but he was still unsure. She saw his uncertainty reflecting in his eyes. Standing up, she walked to her husband and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine. She won't ask you right then," she whispered as she laid her head on his shoulder.
Carlisle stroked her hair as they stood there.
"Why aren't you coming with us?" Alice asked Rosalie with a slightly annoyed edge to her voice. When she had entered the kitchen, Alice hadn't even greeted Rosalie before asking her the probing question.
"I wasn't invited," Rosalie replied in kind, not bothering to feign ignorance to what Alice was talking about. Her tone was just as irked as Alice's had been.
The dark haired girl glared at her. "Of course you were invited. We all were. It's my graduation too."
"No. No one invited me. The rest of the family is merely tagging along to something they wouldn’t have gone to anyway," Rosalie said in a voice that contained an air of superiority.
"Rosalie, we all were invited. If we weren't she wouldn't have told us about it," Alice pointed out, crossing her arms over her chest.
"And how could we not know, Alice? You and Edward are graduating too." Rosalie scowled.
Exasperated, Alice asked pointedly, "Rose! Why can't you two just get along?"
"We do. But face it, Alice; we will never be best friends or really, friends at all." Rosalie swung around and walked out of the kitchen before Alice would reply.
"Are you excited?" Bella smiled at Jacob.
"Of course I am. I'm so glad you'll be there." She swung her legs as she sat on the stool in the garage, watching Jacob work on a car.
"Too bad the blood suckers will be…" Jacob always seemed to change when the Cullens came up and Bella frowned at him.
"Edward's my boyfriend…"
"I know, I know." He sounded angry now.
"Jake, don't get upset. What are you doing to the car? Working on the engine?" Bella tried to change the topic quickly, not wanting this to end up in a fight like it always did. She was happy that Jacob had agreed to go to her graduation when she'd asked him the week before. She was even happier that he then invited her to visit him at La Push, but she really wasn't sure what she expected from their strained friendship. She hadn’t really expected anything at all.
He ducked back under the hood, not answering her for a moment. "Be sure the blood suckers stay away from me, Bella," he said in a gruff tone that seemed threatening.
"They will," Bella whispered, nodding slowly.
"I'm trying to fix the carbonator."
She smiled grimly, happy for the change of topic finally. "What's wrong with it?"
Edward pulled Bella down in his arms, pulling a blanket over them out of habit to try to keep her from getting too cold. She sunk back against him in contentment.
"So, who's all coming?" she whispered, knowing that he would know exactly what she was talking about.
"Alice, Esme, Carlisle, Emmett, Jasper, and I," he ticked off the names easily.
"Rosalie still won't come?" Bella frowned. She hated the rift that was between herself and Rosalie. She couldn't quite understand the animosity the girl felt towards her, especially now.
"No." Edward didn't seem happy about Rosalie's choice either.
"Jacob is coming," Bella whispered. She hadn't told Edward she had been planning to invite Jacob, but she knew he'd find out the next day and thought it best if she told him beforehand.
Edward stiffened beneath her. "Is he?"
"I invited him."
"I hope you don't mind. He's my friend. He was there for me when…" You left me, she finished silently. "When I needed him," she finished aloud.
"I know." Edward relaxed again. "Don't worry, I understand."
I wasn't worried, Bella thought but she knew it was a lie.
"Congratulations!" Renee exclaimed, pulling Bella into a hug, nearly knocking off her mortarboard.
"Congratulations, Bells!" Charlie said from beside her. Bella could tell that he was trying to be nonchalant, but his tone conveyed both his pride and excitement for her.
"Thanks Mom. Dad." She pulled out of her mom's arms and turned to give Charlie a small hug. The gesture wasn't common between the pair, but he hugged her back tightly.
"I love you," he whispered before releasing her.
Bella grinned at him. "I love you too, Dad."
Then, the Cullens joined the family.
"Congratulations!" Alice called by way of greeting. She was grinning from ear to ear and seemed almost as excited as Bella herself was. She was holding her cap in the hand that was hanging down at her side.
"Thanks," Bella said modestly.
Edward walked over to her and pulled her against his side. He kissed her temple gently before saying, "Congratulations, Bella."
The congratulations continued until all the Cullens had said theirs. Bella basked in their pride and excitement for her but the nagging question of her conversion plagued her mind.
Someone cleared her throat behind the group suddenly and they all turned in unison to see Rosalie standing here. "Congratulations, Bella," she said softly with a restrained smile.
"Thank you Rosalie. I'm so glad you came."
"Emmett did you know she was planning to come?" Alice questioned curiously.
"Yes. She just didn't want to drive with us though."
Alice turned to Rosalie quickly, demanding, "Why not?"
Rosalie shifted on her feet uncomfortably. "I just didn't feel like it."
Bella grinned. "I'm really glad you came even if you didn't come with everyone else."
Rosalie smiled again, her smile awkward. "Thank you. I'm glad I came too."
Bella grinned at the girl's arrogance.
Bella turned to the sound of Jacob's voice. He was stood to the side, keeping as far as way from the Cullens as he could while still being able to talk to Bella.
"Thank you, Jake. I'm glad you could come," she said with a smile, stepping toward him.
"Me too." He nodded to Charlie. "My dad said to say hi. He would have come, but…"
"It's okay," Charlie said, "I know he doesn't like to come into Forks normally."
Bella smiled as Jacob wandered away, clearly not wanting to be around the Cullens any longer than he had to in order to offer his congratulations. At least he came, Bella thought. That's certainly something.
Edward slid his arm back around Bella's waist as the conversion started up again around the pair. Bella wasn't listening, though. "Edward?"
"Tonight's the night," she whispered, glancing importantly between him at Carlisle.
He stiffened, but then relaxed after a moment and whispered, "Enjoy the day, Bella."
"So why did you come?" Alice asked Rosalie for the tenth time.
"I was bored," Rosalie finally answered with a sigh.
"No you weren't."
"What? Did you have vision and forget to tell anyone?" Rosalie glared at Alice.
"Well—" Alice started. "Yes. Yes, I did. I knew you were coming. I didn't know why you had to make such a big deal about it."
"I didn't want to go."
"Then why go?"
"I had to," Rosalie shot back angrily.
"Rosalie! Why did you have to go? Why did you go at all? You were being so stubborn before, and then you just show up. What happened?" Alice insisted, aggravated.
"I just had to. I was there, didn't that make you happy? I got to see you and Edward graduate again. Isn't that enough?" Rosalie's eyes showed her stubborn nature and told Alice she wasn't going to be straightforward.
"No, no, that's not enough," Alice whispered.
Rosalie shrugged her shoulders and turned, walking out of the room.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?" Emmett whispered as he pulled Rosalie down onto his chest.
"I got bored, okay? It was lonely here without anyone," Rosalie whispered stubbornly. It was the same story she had been telling everyone else, but he didn't buy it for a moment.
"You didn't get lonely, Rose. Tell me the truth."
She sighed heavily. "I just… felt I had to go. It was like something was calling me there. I wanted to be there, Emmett. For Edward, for Alice… Even for Bella. They are my…"
He smiled into her hair. "They are your family," he whispered.
"Yes. They all are. Even her. I don't want her to make this choice though, Emmett. It's good for you and me, and the rest, because we didn't have a choice. You were dying. I wasn't even asked. But she… she has the choice and she just refuses to walk away. Why won’t she just let it go?" Rosalie's frustration was clear in her voice.
"She loves Edward."
"But how much does he really love her? He won't change her."
"He will." Emmett kissed her hair, wanting to comfort her and soothe her frustrations but not knowing how to. "He will. He loves her, and he won't let Carlisle do this."
"Thanks for coming to my graduation, Jacob," Bella said into the phone. A smile had been plastered on her face all day, partly for show and partly because she was excited about the night and her conversion, albeit a bit scared as well.
"I wouldn't have missed it." He sounded annoyed.
"Is something wrong?"
"No. No, it just… I hate them, Bella. I really hate them," he whispered harshly into the phone.
"They didn't even talk to you," Bella protested, annoyed by his behavior.
"But they were there and I couldn't do anything."
Bella sighed. "Look, Jacob, I have to go, but I'm really glad you came today. It's nice seeing you." Especially since this is the last time you'll ever come near me again, she thought to herself.
"You should come to La Push tomorrow. Come to the beach with me and Quill. It's supposed to be nice out," he invited her.
"I might," she said, knowing she wouldn't. "I'll call you tomorrow if I can come. You know my mom is still in town…"
"Oh right. I understand. Call me when she leaves okay?" He sounded genuinely disappointed.
"I will," she lied. "Bye." She hung up the phone before she said anything else.
"She won't tell me why she came," Alice whispered to Jasper.
He looked up from his place on the couch, and stared at her. "Did you expect her to?"
"No, not really. I wish she would have though. I hate having visions and not understand all the reasons." She dropped down on the sit next to him.
"She'll tell us when she's ready," he tried to comfort her.
When he put his arm around her shoulders, she leaned on his chest with a sigh. "I want her to be ready now."
Jacob stood awestruck at the vision before him. He couldn't tear his eyes away no matter how much he wanted to. It was as if a nightmare had come to life.
Rosalie, the bloodsucker, had her arm around Bella, introducing her to someone as her sister with a laughing voice. Like she was one of their twisted, cursed family now.
There was no denying. Bella was one of them now.
Fury coursed them in him all the sudden, replacing the shock of the sight and he found himself walking up to the pair.
"Congratulations, Bella," he said in an angry tone before walking away without waiting for a reply.
The words of a reply formed in Bella's mouth instanteously, but Jacob was already walking away. A sharp pain stung in her chest as she watched for friend walk away.
"Bella?" Rosalie whispered, her voice concerned. "Are you okay?"
Bella turned to Rosalie, who once she was changed had welcomed her with open arms, and forced a smile. "I'm fine. Well, I'll be fine."
The blond girl's eyes flickered to where Jocab was bearly visual. "Jacob Black right?"
Bella nodded; the other girl frowned.