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Comets That Collide

Summary:
Comets are known to attract one another during flight, and on occasion collide to make one powerful explosion. Geekward and sweet, beautiful Bella meet through Riley one night in college- the story of a girl who always cared, and a boy who learned to love.


Notes:
WARNING! VERY "AU".


1. Everything That I Wanted

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2478   Review this Chapter

There she was again; her shiny, soft-looking brown hair that smelled great, like strawberries when she passed me in the halls. I looked down at my Chemistry outline that was due in three days. It was far too easy for a group of three, but my other two partners made up excuse after excuse not to help- it was a benefit that I had not much of a social life and was able to do all of my homework on my own, no matter the assignment. My mother often remarked how that was a gene passed down from her own father- the ability to do anything I set my mind to. I just wished that were true with girls. No matter how much I admired the beauty I often encountered in the library, I could never approach her. From the way she smiled, no lip gloss on but somehow her lips still shined to the way she wore her trendy clothes. Today it was a snug-fitting hoodie with our University’s name and mascot blasted across it, and those complimenting jeans. Her name was probably something regal, and unique. Because that’s exactly what she was.

Not that I was some kind of creepy stalker, or anything. I had come to this library for an hour after the last class of my day since I started at this school- she just barely began arriving at the start of the new semester. Sure, I wasn’t completely thrown away by society- my father was an important man in the industry of buying and selling big businesses and my sweet mom had been with the big shot lawyers until she began working with Cullen Enterprise- from them, she became a mother. I had one sister and one cousin I came to call brother… but that was for another time. I had a paper to ignore and a girl to sneak looks at. “Ed, man!” Riley Briers slapped down on my shoulder roughly, and it was a good thing that I had body-builder Emmett to grow up with- else I would have crumbled with a series of winces. “How’s it coming along?” he looked over my shoulder at the paper I filled out last night before I went to bed. My little sister urged me to create a profile on the more popular social networks, DotCom- while I was attempting to add one of the many friends she had suggested to me, I figured I may as well continue with homework that wasn’t due. It was far more entertaining.

“Fine.” I murmured, hating that he was peering over my shoulder. Why was he talking to me? Sure we had a few classes since Freshmen year, but I didn’t see what made him actually socialize outside of class with me. People like Mike Newton and Tyler Mewry used me for answers and then moved on. I was not popular. I was not cool. I was not even existent in most people’s eyes. So why the hell did Riley keep bothering me? Why didn’t he just spit out and be blunt about it like they were?

“Hey, look, man- I got this paper due in Ag tomorrow and I was wondering-” He began quietly.

“If I could do it so you won’t have to call home and say you failed yet another class in your college life?” I finished for him, biting the side of my cheek spitefully.

Riley had an odd look on his face as he sat across the table from me and tossed his backpack on his lap, scrounging through his few folders. “You need to chill, Ed.” He sighed and finally fished out the article he was looking for and handed it over to me. It was a paper filled with words and paragraphs. “I was wondering if you could look over it and be like an editor for me, or something.” Riley shrugged, a coarse hand rubbing the back of his neck. “If you’re not busy.” The blank look he had in eyes told me that he said the last comment with pure intentions- he actually assumed that I had something to do on a Wednesday night? He didn’t think that just because I was a mega-brain that I had no other components to my life? Maybe Riley was different.

I nodded slowly. “Sure.”

Riley’s smile was sort of big, like it was trying to overtake his face. “Perfect, thanks, man! I don’t get paid until Sunday, so I’ll slip you some money then…” I didn’t quite hear him as the beautiful girl shifted in her seat, rubbing her palm against her forehead in some sort of frustration. She had been obsessively leaning over a textbook since I got here. I wondered what it would be like to be that frustrated over something- how it would feel to touch on a new subject and not immediately understand it. I supposed I would never know. Riley’s mouth moved quickly, but I didn’t hear a word. I only saw her for the moment- she was tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and grimacing at something on her desk.

I quickly looked away before the tent in my pants became noticeable. What was I, sixteen in high school still? Jeez, I needed to get a life! “Oh, no, Riley. It’s just some short editing.” I shrugged, not wanting it to a fuss.

Riley looked behind him, obviously trying to follow where my attention had been held. “Do you know her?” He asked casually.

My brain reeled. What was he up to? I knew Riley was real popular with the girls- who could resist a man on a full-ride scholarship for Soccer, with a dusty, old Camero and a minimum wage job? If he got a hold of this girl and realized just how beautiful she was, I could never fantasize about her anymore. She would be categorized as one of those girls. I knew I would never actually have her, but I still wanted to forever fantasize about the life we could have had, had I not been such a little coward! “No.” I shook my head pointedly, looking back down at his paper.

“Hey, Bella!” Riley called out, quiet enough to not stir the snoozing librarian but loud enough to get the attention of a few people around us. The beautiful guy looked instantly, looking around at who called her name. When her eyes landed on us, a bright smile erupted on her face. It almost felt like she was smiling at me, but when she gathered her things and approached our table, her attention was set on Riley. “Hey, girl, sit with us.” He pointedly threw his backpack on the chair next to him, making her maneuver around the table to my side.

“Can I sit here?” Her voice was softer than I imagined, and I loved it. I nodded and rudely looked away. What else was I supposed to do? I fantasized about kissing her, not actually talking to her! “So, what are you guys up to? Going to Drake’s birthday party tonight?” Her eyes were a lighter shade of brown than I thought, and the way she leaned on her elbows against the table was just adorable.

“I don’t even like that guy, and I hear the beer won’t be free tonight.” Riley scrunched his nose in disgust. “Dated his older sister last year. That whole family’s got problems.” He laughed easily. “Are you going?” There was a deadly undertone in his voice; how dare he speak to Bella like that? She was delicate and sweet! I doubted her was her boyfriend; else he would have socked my lights out the first time he caught me staring. The possessive way he asked about her plans made me think they were somehow together… I sighed at that.

“No.” Her voice sounded deflated. “I’ve got a hot date with an overdue math assignment tonight.” She rolled her eyes regally. Bella suddenly turned to me with her had out. “I’m Bella, by the way. What’s your name?” I looked down at her hand and gulped, stuck on a moronic mode for a few extra seconds. She was offering her hand to me? Boy, I was so naïve! I finally took her hand and shook it.

“Ed-…Edward Cullen.” I choked out, waiting for a dawn of realization to strike in her eyes. But there was none; she just kept smiling and released my hand.

“Are you going to Drake’s party?” It was amusing that she would even ask such a thing. I felt like saying, “just look at me!” My plain grey zip jacket and dark blue jeans weren’t quite so stylish, and the lack of a tamed expression in my hair made me unruly in the fashion world. Did I look like I dressed up for parties?

“Nah, Edward’s not the party type. Look, I gotta get going. Are you sure you’re cool with looking it over for me?” Riley looked at me pointedly.

I heard Bella’s high-pitch squeal of protest. “Oh, honestly! Jeez, Riley, you don’t know how to use spell check? What, you don’t think Edward has his own stuff to do?” My face turned a bright pink when she said my name. Was she somehow… standing up for me?

“Cool it, firecracker. Ed is a buddy of mine- he’s way better than spell check.” The scruffy blond winked at me. We were… buddies? I never had a “buddy” before.

“Uh! And you didn’t think of asking me?” She tipped her head in an angle to better glare at him.

“Why would I ask a girl? That’s just dumb.” He shrugged and walked off, a wide grin plastered on his face as Bella angrily spluttered.

“Oh, yeah? Well, I hope your piece of shit breaks down!” She called after him. Wow… just what kind of a relationship did they have with one another? I hoped they weren’t exes, and I hoped they weren’t best friends either. I wanted Bella to be my little secret. I wanted her to be my little gem that I only I got to enjoy. Bella turned and rolled her eyes, a goofy smile on her face. Mood swings? “My cousin is such a loser.” Oh, well that indentified it. Cousins were a lot like brother and sisters- except, when they fought their rebound time was cut down by half. Alice had been the same way with Jasper, our cousin from Texas. “Look, Edward, you can give me that essay if you want. I know you probably sympathize for Riley, but I swear, he’s not as dumb as he looks.”

“No, I don’t mind it.” I held the paper firmly in my hand. “Do you think you will… need

any help with your work?” I gestured to the notebook wedged in-between her Trigonometry book.

She shook her head stiffly. “No, I’ll figure it out.” She added with a small giggle of her own. “I’ve seen you here before. I’m sure you haven’t noticed me.” Her slim shoulders sagged lightly, and I wanted to touch her face at that moment more than I wanted to take my next breath. Of course I’ve noticed you, who wouldn’t? “Are you a senior here, or what?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I’ll be graduating soon enough.”

She nodded in understanding. “I’m a sophomore. I wish someone would have told me how quiet this place was, I would have had some easy study peace a lot sooner.” Bella’s shy laughter made me ease in my seat. It was so comfortable talking to her; she was the easiest person in the world to have a conversation with it. She let me babble on about my Major in Business and my father’s company, while she sat in content silence and popped an odd question or two. Once I began to drabble on with my universe chaos theory, I knew to stop. Either I had to shut up or I was going to lose her. I didn’t want the conversation to end so soon- I never wanted it to end. I sent the broad spectrum- “what about you” question, and for a minute she stared at my face in concentration. “I was undecided my first year, but now I’m a Linguistic Major. I’m planning on minoring in public relations or child development. I haven’t decided which yet.”

“You want to be a bilingual kindergarten teacher?” I didn’t outwardly scoff at her choices, but I made a mental note to filter out some of my opinions. The slightly crestfallen look on her face made me cringe at my sudden asshole-ness. “I didn’t mean to offend you, Bella.”

She shook her head. “Its fine, I understand.” Bella forced an awful, strangled chuckle out. “I can understand why my Major and Minor sounds so stupid, compared to the extravagant line of study you’re going into. And I don’t want to be a teacher- I want to be a part of a big company one day. But I want to be able to care for children and understand their developing minds. My counselor said that it wouldn’t look good on my transcript and that I should just stick to Public Relations- learn how to speak in front of crowds and work in a professional setting.” There was a flat tone when she began to talk about that aspect of her career.

“Then I say pursue your Child Development Minor.” I just wanted her to be happy- I wanted to see her smile. I wanted her to laugh- I loved that sound. It was addictive.

“You think so?” Her sideways smirk made me nod and blush- why was she looking at me like that, as if I was the first person to appease her attention? Her phone vibrated loudly, and it felt as if it was in my pocket and not her own. Bella attended to her text message and looked up at me with a reserved expression. “My roommate just texted me, she needs me to pick her up from practice.” I opened my mouth to tell her something, like “stay”, but I couldn’t find the strength. I had been Superman long enough for today. I needed to remember that I was here for an education before I went on to Grad School- I was never interested in the ladies of USC. But Bella… she was so different.

Her hands were quick in shoving everything in her leather shoulder bag as she got up from her chair and towered over me- well, not necessarily. I was almost a foot taller than her, so I at a sitting point didn’t even begin to give her the height advantage. “Well…” She cleared her throat roughly. “I guess I’ll see you around?” I nodded, not wanting to spoil the moment as she walked away with my clumsy words.

What just happened?