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The Most Precious Gift

Edward and Bella can't help but notice each other. Bella sees this gorgeous boy who, at first, seems to hate her, and then his gaze softens into a wondering expression. His gaze holds something she can't seem to read. Edward sees a girl who's mind he can't read and who's blood sings to him like the sweetest song. He's intrigued. Edward has been given so many amazing and cherished gifts in his existence. But could this strange girl be the most precious gift of all? Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

This is kinda an AU version of Twilight. Edward and Bella have not talked at all. He has been familiarizing himself with her scent. So . . . enjoy! I own the books in hardback, but I do not own the story. Everything is Stpehenie Meyer's.

2. A normal day . . . so far

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1268   Review this Chapter

Isabella Swan walked into the room, holding her backpack and humming a favorite song. 'Edward' by Shannon Thomas had been stuck in her head since she heard it the day before. She didn't even try to pretend that she didn't know why. The classroom was noisy with people talking animatedly about the latest gossip.

Bella, as everyone called her, wasn't one to gossip. So she sat in her seat next to her friend, Jessica Stanley, and pulled out Wuthering Heights. Jessica was talking to Bella's other friend, Angela Weber, whom Bella knew wasn't a gossiper, either, yet puts up with Jessica's talking, anyway.

This day is going to the same as the rest, Bella thought. Trying to pay attention in class, listening to people's random thoughts and ideas for conversation, assignments . . .

Trying not to stare at Edward Cullen. It never worked before.

Edward went through most of the school day in a daze. Everything seemed to be blurry, though that was impossible. He didn't truly see anything around him. His siblings had gotten used to this, his attitude was usually the same these days. Edward knew they knew about his obsession with Bella Swan. Even some humans had realized, but suspected he just watched her for entertainment after he made no move. But they didn't see what he was truly seeing.

He watched through the minds of various students as they glanced her way. He even stooped to the low level of listening to Mike Newton's thoughts. The boy could think the most disgusting things, yet he was one of the people that watched her most often. Edward was desperate.

He was practically bouncing as he walked into the cafeteria. Jasper sent waves of calm towards him – which was probably the only reason he wasn'tbouncing – and the rest of his family gave him either dirty looks – Rosalie – or worried glances. They had never seen him like this. And he was practically sending Jasper bouncing off the walls.

“I'm okay,” Edward mumbled, and apologized to Jasper. He just nodded his head back and answered with 'it's okay' in his mind. Edward could barely pay attention, though because Bella had just come out of the cafeteria line, and was walking his way.

She looked as if she was purposely casting her glance at her tray – she was – as if there was something very interesting about her pizza. Once again entranced, Edward stared.

Suddenly, she turned to the right, swerving to head in the direction of the table that her friends were seated at. Edward's face dropped. His heart, once again, on his sleeve.

Alice followed him as he turned to go to their table. It was the only table they sat at, and had practically been claimed by them when they came. No one but the Cullens sat at the Cullen table. Of course, they didn't need it. It was only to create a human facade. But Edward was too preoccupied with his nerves and grief to truly care. Alice must have seen that coming.

Edward barely ever showed sadness. He wanted to seem strong, wanted to be the kind of man that his family could lean on during anything. Only now did he realize that he couldn't be that man all the time. Sometimes he needs them, too.

Edward sat with his head in his hands, Alice rubbing his back lightly. He didn't cry – not all of his sense had gone. He knew his own limits – but sat there throughout lunch. He never left that position. He barely heard the questioning thoughts from the students. He barely heard the pitying thoughts from his siblings. All he heard in was the sound of humming.

Sweet-sounding humming. Humming from a young woman. Humming that sang the tune of 'Edward' by Shannon Thomas. Humming from Bella Swan.

And it gave him hope.

When lunch was over, Edward separated from his siblings to go to the only class he had with Bella. Biology. Sadly she did not sit with him. They had had a substitute that day and he had been warned about the Cullens. That they were smart enough to be in college. So – thinking that if he put the new kid with the smartest person in the class Edward would do all the work for her – Bella was with Angela, and Edward was stuck with another girl. Though the girl seemed to enjoy it most of the time, Edward hated it. He knew it was probably a smart choice. When Bella had first come to Forks, Edward had almost attacked her. He hated her. The anger soon faded, for he knew she didn't deserve it. It faded and curiosity and awe took it's place.

Soon Edward had gotten used to her scent, even stooping as low as to sneak into her room at night – which he now did for his own personal reasons. He loved to watch her in such a peaceful state. And she mumbled his name a lot.

But, after all this time, it still surprised him when he saw her looking at him. And that's exactly what she was doing when he looked her way.

Bella was about to sit down when she finally caught him out of the corner of her eye. Gorgeous. She stood there with her bag half-hanging off her shoulder, gaping at him. His bronze hair moving in the slight breeze the air conditioner brought. His lips were full and pink - accented by his pale skin. His eyes shined a gold she had never seen before.

She especially noticed when he turned towards her.

Edward could hear the annoyed thoughts of Mike Newton - vile, young teenager - and almost laughed at him. The boy would never give up. Instead he did his best to hide his staring from the teacher as he entered the room. Edward watched as Bella did the same. Every day went on like this, and today was no different. So far.

Bella's truck hadn't been so cooperative lately, moaning and groaning when she tried to drive it. Her friend Jake was giving it a look - he was free, and her all-around favorite mechanic - so Bella walked home from school every day until he could get it back to her. She popped her earphones in her ears and listened - finally - to the song that had been in her head all day. ShannonThomas' beautiful voice flowed through them.She loved the song, but it killed her inside sometimes. So she went about her walk wondering what she would do if her truck needed a new engine. Or tires. She went about as normal. Until she felt someone tap her shoulder.

Bella squealed and turned sharply, sending her flying. Luckily two strong arms were there to catch her.

The arms were the first thing she noticed. They caught her quickly, wrapping around her torso. The arms were hard, but held her softly. She noticed the rippling muscles - not huge, but enough that it would scare almost anyone. (She thought back on that. No. Even an extremely scary man would be terrified of those muscles. There was just . . . something . . . about them.) Then she noticed the veins in the crook of his arm, and found herself wanting to trace them . . . .

"Bella," she heard a voice call. The voice of the man that was holding her. A voice that had never been directed at her before.

The voice of Edward Cullen.