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Age Before Beauty

Summary:
Bella is eighteen years old and she is crushing on Edward, Alice's older brother. Edward's twenty-five and he's always noticed Bella Swan. Edward's the new doctor at the hospital, thanks to his father working there, and that only makes Bella become even more attracted to Alice's brother. Bella's kind of skittish about dating since she had a horrible breakup a year ago when she caught her ex in bed with another girl. Can Edward be the man that gives her life full of happiness and joy?


Notes:


1. How good can it get?

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2650   Review this Chapter

September 13, 2007

BPOV

I really hated birthday parties. I honestly thought that now that I was officially fifteen years old and no longer a kid, Alice would stop with all these crazy birthday parties. But no, she went overboard with this one, just like the others. My best friend had decided to have my birthday bash at her family's house, a gesture for which I thanked Carlisle and Esme. They had simply shaken their heads and said this was my home, too. My father had lately been working longer shifts at the police station so he appreciated the Cullens' treating me like one of their own.

I had met almost everyone in Alice's family – Esme, Carlisle, and Rosalie. They had all met my family too. It was just Charlie and my two brothers, Jasper and Emmett. Alice was crushing on my brother Jasper, who was a year older than us, and Emmett and Rosalie had met during college down here in Forks. The only person I had never met was Alice and Rosalie's oldest brother, Edward Cullen. He was older than us kids, and had already gone off to a special high school by the time my brothers and I had moved to Forks. But now he was all graduated from college – he had finished his pre-med degree – and would be coming home, just in time for my birthday. I was intrigued at meeting my best friend's mystery brother. Alice and Rosalie were always talking about him like he was a genius with amazing medical super-powers. Sure, I had seen pictures, but they were like a few years old. He looked quite good-looking in them, though.

"Are you having fun, Bella?" Alice chirped and she hugged me from behind, startling me. "I hope this is a good birthday party."

Alice knew that I didn't like anything too fancy. Fortunately, I knew Esme had helped control Alice's party planning. It was just a barbecue with people swimming, along with a birthday cake and presents. It was the type of low-key birthday I liked.

"Actually, I am, Alice. Thank you so much for not going all out," I replied and I turned around to hug her tightly.

Alice rolled her eyes and she shook her head. "Blame my mother for that outcome. I wanted to decorate everything but she wouldn't have it. Can you believe it?"

I just giggled and I stepped away. Alice was too much but I loved her, despite her tendency to go overboard with her enthusiasm. Even Charlie loved her, so much so that she convinced him to allow her to redecorate my room. I mean, really? I didn't need a fancy bedspread or a brand new carpet! However, Alice was a big part of my life. Without her friendship and support, I knew that everyone in school would only walk over me.

"No, whatever could have been going through your mom's head, to interfere with your unbelievable party planning skills?" I drawled out sarcastically as I looked around, seeing that the party was in full bloom. "So, your brother is coming home after how many years?"

"Eight years," Alice commented with a laugh. "He got this special scholarship to a really great high school, and then got another one for college. He's always been so smart, he couldn't pass up those opportunities. You're going to like him, Bella, and I even made him get you a gift too."

"Ugh, Alice, why?" I whined and I crossed my arms over her chest. "He doesn't even know me. He doesn't need to get me a gift."

"If I didn't, she probably would've killed me. You know Alice, her wish is your command."

When I turned around, I gasped. Oh my God. He was so gorgeous I couldn't help but want to jump him claim his as my very own birthday present. Was that so bad? I looked at him, and tried to control my pounding heart and crazy staring. He was so beautiful. He had the most beautiful bronzed hair that I just wanted to run my fingers through. His eyes were so green, looking so bright in the sunlight, and I felt my heart thumping against my chest. I just wanted to touch him.

"Y-You're Alice's brother?" I squeaked and I heard him grin over at me.

"Yeah. I'm Edward. Doesn't she talk about me?"

I looked at him and he gave me a wink before he thrust a bag with gift wrapping paper inside, along with a card. "I may not know you but celebrating birthdays is pretty big to the pixie right here."

"Bella is my best friend and she deserves the absolute best. Can you blame me?"

I bit my lip and I looked at him some more after Alice's words about me deserving the absolute best. I couldn't imagine anything better than him, though. I never wanted to wash my eyes if it meant I could continue to stare at him as long as I wanted. Oh yeah, I knew what I was feeling. I was officially crushing on Edward Cullen. To make it worse, he was Alice's brother, and I knew it was wrong on so many levels. She would kill me if she knew how I felt, right? Besides, he was in college, and I was still a teenager.

EPOV

There was no way in hell that my sister's best friend was fifteen years old! She looked to be at least eighteen and I honestly wanted to give her a birthday kiss. These were dangerous thoughts that I was my sister called me on my way to the house, she told me to get her best friend something for her birthday. I didn't know this girl but I also knew that if I didn't get her anything my lovely sister would kill me.

I had stopped at a convenience store to pick up a birthday card before heading off to Best Buy. Every teenage girl loved music, right? I bought her an IPOD Touch and I hoped that this Bella girl would like it. Like I said, I didn't know her, but if she was a friend of Alice's, she ought to like it. I know Alice loved the one I had gotten her. Now that I was face to face with her, I was hoping that she would love the gift that I had bought.

The feelings that I had for this girl were confusing and exciting me, and it was kind of scary because she was my sister's best friend. I had always thought that my sister's friends were crazy would be as crazy as she was. This Bella didn't seem to fit that assumption. But she was only fifteen.

"Yeah, she does deserve the absolute best. Fifteen is a great age," I told her with a charming smile on my face. "I hope that my sister isn't being selfish on your special day, Bella."

When I heard that beautiful laugh escape her lips, I just smiled. She had the most beautiful laugh and I wanted to do more things to make her laugh, just so I could hear it again. I saw Alice notice Jasper, and nodded as she excused herself. I knew she had been in love with the guy since she was twelve, but she never once made a move. Guess there were some things Alice didn't go into like a tornado. I chuckled to myself.

"So, has Alice been treating you good on this special day?"

I watched her grin and she nodded her head. "Yeah, she has. I had to talk to Esme the other day to make sure that Alice didn't go overboard. I am really not one for birthday parties but it makes her happy. And, if it makes Alice happy, I'm happy too."

"You're lucky this time. She's probably going to persuade our mother to let her throw you a bigger birthday bash next year, for your sweet sixteenth," I said with a laugh, remembering all the parties Alice had organized for me at the boarding school I had been attended before going off to college.

"Esme knows I am not one for birthday parties, though. If it weren't for her, there would be even bigger decorations everywhere and probably a clown or a fortune teller," Bella said with a shake of her head and she looked at the bag in my hand. "Is that for me?"

I laughed and nodded my head, handing her the bag as we walked to a table full of wrapping paper from other presents. "I really wasn't sure what to get you, it's been a little while since I was fifteen, but Alice told me I better get you something special or she would kick my sorry ass."

Bella giggled. "Yeah, that sounds like her, but you really didn't have to get me anything. You don't even know me, at least not well enough to what I like."

Oh damn, she was so adorable, especially in that white mini skirt and that yellow bikini top. I was surprised that no guy was around her, though. Was she even single? Why was I even thinking about her relationship status? She was just a kid, for pete's sake. I really didn't know her that well but I knew I did want to get to know her.

I watched her open up the small birthday bag, moving some of the wrapping paper to the side, and her eyes went wide in surprise. I looked at her, a nervous chuckle leaving my lips.

"Seriously? You really got me an IPOD? Was this Alice's doing?"

I laughed at her choice of words and I let my eyes linger over her body before bringing them back up to look into her eyes. Was she mad that I had got her this?

"No, no… it's just I didn't know what type of girl you were. I wasn't sure if you were into makeup or books. I mean, everyone loves music, and if they don't, that's a damn shame. I thought you could put your music on here. If you don't like it, Bella, I could –"

"No, no, I like it, but it must have cost you a fortune, right?"

I grinned over at her and shook my head. "No, not really, but you don't get to find out how much I paid for it. I could help you put music on it later since, let's face it – Alice just isn't good with electronics."I smiled as I heard Bella laugh that beautiful laugh again.

June 15, 2010

BPOV

I just could not believe that it had almost been three years since I had met Edward Cullen. Man, what a hunk. He was a damn god in my books. With those emerald green eyes and that head of bronze hair…! I just wanted to run my fingers through it all day long. I just wished that our circumstances were different. From what Alice had told me, Edward only dated older woman, and, well, let's face it, even though I was now an adult, I was still seven years younger than him. I had no chance with the oldest Cullen child.

Alice knew that I thought that her brother was hot but she didn't know how much I liked him. Who was I kidding? This was Alice Cullen, for crying out loud - she probably knew how I felt. The more I thought about it, yeah, she knew. Alice had always given me odd looks the few times her brother was around when I was there. It was like she knew what I was thinking. Alice was the smartest person I knew, too. Yeah, I'm sure my best friend knew that I had a thing for her brother.

"Edward's coming home, Bella," Alice told me, sounding nonchalantly and I simply nodded my head.

Of course I was ecstatic that her brother was coming home. After he had finished up his pre-med degree, he had gone away again. He had worked as an intern in a teaching hospital somewhere in Chicago but was now coming home to do his residency at the hospital in Forks, just like his father. I'd only seen him a few times after my fifteenth birthday party, so I was definitely looking forward renewing our friendship. Edward and I had talked, but only a few times when he had stopped home. I was never bold enough to ask Edward Cullen for his phone number. Why would he want to talk to a kid? But now I was eighteen, and wasn't a kid anymore. And the thought of talking to the hottest Cullen sounded so delightful, so maybe I should just ask for it now. It wouldn't hurt, right?

"Oh, that's cool. When is he coming home?" I asked Alice as I sat down on the couch in my father's home.

"He should be home in a few hours," Alice said softly and she glanced over at me with a little smile. When I saw her smiling like that, I raised an eyebrow. Oh no, I knew that look. Alice Cullen was up to something and I didn't know what was going on in that head of hers.

"What, Alice? What is going on in that crazy head of yours?"

I heard her laugh and she looked over to me with a little smile. "I was thinking that since you've had a crush on my brother since you met him at your fifteenth birthday party, we should –"

"Hey, how did you know that?"

"Bella," Alice said with a laugh and she shook her head. "Nothing gets past me. Do you not know who the hell I am? Now, before you interrupted me, I was thinking that we could make you look hot for his arrival."

"Hey, now – are you saying I'm not hot?" I frowned and I looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "I know for a fact that I am hot, so what are you getting at, Alice?" I tried for a disgruntled look, but failed.

"Bella, I think you're beautiful. All the guys in school think so," Alice told me with a little smile before it broadened into a bigger one. "I know you want Edward to notice that you're a sexy adult now, but –"

"Hell no, Alice! There is no way in hell that you're changing my look. I look fine," I said with a roll of my eyes and I looked over at her. "Look, I do think your brother is smokin' hot, but I don't see why I have to change my style to impress him. Besides, you bought me this outfit, and I thought you told me it was sexy then!" I waved my hand over the cute tennis outfit she had bought me on one of our extravagant shopping trips.

"Well, damn, you got me," Alice muttered under her breath, causing me to roll my eyes. "You're no fun, Isabella Marie Swan."

I laughed at her words. "And you're just realizing this now?"

"No, I'm not, but I was kind of hoping you'd let me give you a makeover. You would be a total knockout, Bella."

I shook my head. "I'm already a knockout, Alice. I've grown up in the last three years since he met me." I tried to make myself believe this, but, the truth was that I was a little nervous about seeing Edward again. I knew I had grown up, and I knew all the guys thought I was good-looking, but would Edward? Would he see that I wasn't just his little sister's friend, and see me for the woman I had become?

I then heard Alice's phone vibrating in her pocket and she smiled over at me. She looked at her phone for a moment before she turned to me. "Edward's home."