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A Second Chance at Love

Summary:
Bella dismisses Edward when he returns in New Moon. She moved on with Jacob, and promised Edward that he would find happiness and love someday. With the letter she wrote him in hand, he believes her and moves on with his life, in search of his love. Forty years later, he and the rest of the Cullens re-enroll in High school. Two new students throw his world out of orbit and he’s faced with the reality of the promise Bella made him. AU after New Moon. Edward is a little OOC because he doesn’t want to repeat history, otherwise, canon couples with the exception of Edward of course. Note: Jacob was a werewolf, but Bella wasn’t necessarily all human herself. Rated NC-17 for language and content in later chapters. Yes there will be lemons but not at first.


Notes:


2. Chapter 2. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?

Rating 0/5   Word Count 5752   Review this Chapter

Edward POV

At home, I explain to Carlisle and Esme the marvel that is Arbie Bentley. I start from the beginning of the day and how she reminded me so of Bella. She still does in a few ways, but Arbie and Bella do not belong in the same hemisphere of types of people. Arbie possesses the same subtle yet stunning beauty that Bella did, but she is much more confident and way less shy. Time will tell if she’s as selfless as Bella or if she ends up being conceited as Rosalie or half the female student body. Somehow, either way won’t matter in the least to me.

“What about the brother?” Esme asks.

“Hmm…?” I ask in reply.

“You mentioned she has a twin brother. What’s he like?”

“Er… I’m not really sure. I didn’t spend much time talking with him. He’s able to thwart our abilities just like Arbie is. He seems nice, kind, slightly protective of his sister, just as any brother should be.”

“Ah Edward. You didn’t have to deal with any brothers with Bella. I can guarantee that you won’t get to her without befriending him as well. If she’s half as beautiful as you describe, you can bet that her brother is very protective of her.”

“There’s no need for that,” Emmett interjects.

“How do you mean, son?” Carlisle exacts in return.

“Well she’s five-eleven for one thing. Her arms are crazy muscular, and she has that ‘I don’ta takea no shit froma nobody’ type attitude,” he quips imitating an Italian accent.

“Well that’s certainly the opposite of Bella, isn’t it!” Esme muses. I nod in agreement.

“As will my actions be. I’m done being the sole decision maker, doing what I think is best. We all know where that got me. I lost Bella with my foolishness. I won’t make the same mistakes twice.”

“And when she asks you to turn her?” Rosalie chimes in from the top of the stairs.

“Then I’ll probably do it,” I reply. Everyone gasps.

“You’d just take away her humanity?”

“Like I said, it’s her decision. For all I know, she’ll run away screaming when she learns what we are. I have no idea how she’ll react. I’m trying not to have any expectations and let things fall where they may.”

“Wow,” Emmett guffaws. “So the man with the plan has no plan. That’s a first.”

“I repeat. I won’t make the same mistakes I made with Bella.”

Arbie POV

When I get home I throw myself onto the couch. “What am I gonna do?” I say into the pillow.

“You know I can’t hear you,” Jeb replies. I groan in response. “So those Cullens are sure… interesting.”

“To say the least,” I mumble into the pillow again.

“What’re you gonna do?” he asks.

“I have no idea. I should tell Bree, Hwin and Shasta, but I just don’t know what to do. I feel if I let it go too long, it’s all gonna blow up in my face, and Edward will leave.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that” he replies. I lift my eyebrows at him. “Edward is smitten with you. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have sat next to you in all the classes you had together, now would he? Also, you didn’t see the look on his face when you kissed his cheek. It was like you’d just given him a puppy for Christmas.” Could it be? Could Edward actually be into me? Sure I’ve had guys interested in me, but never anyone like Edward. He’s beautiful inside and out. Smart, funny, honest, kind, talented. Everything I could ever ask for and more. Not to mention his looks, oh goodness gracious his looks. That head of bronze hair is out of this world and his deep golden eyes are enough to make me forget to breathe. When he pulled me close during our dancing in gym class, I very nearly forgot my own name. Which reminds me.

“Did you catch his siblings’ names at all today?” I ask him.

“No, why?”

“His sisters are Alice and Rosalie,” I start. His eyes grow wide. “And his brothers are Jasper and Emmett.” His deep gasp is the exact reaction I would liked to have had when Edward told me their names. But I knew better than to let him see my real reaction.

“Do you think they know?” he asks. Which is the same question I’ve been asking myself all day.

“If they do, they didn’t mention it. I don’t think we have a reason to be afraid of them or to worry. I think they’re just as kind and compassionate as our family.”

“So. Other than this new development, how was your first day of school?” he asks.

“Great,” I reply. “But only because Edward was there. It probably would have been rather dreary and dull without him.”

“Don’t tell me you’re already falling for him, Arbie. You know better than that.”

“That pertains to every other guy, not Edward, and you know it.”

“So you really think he’s honest, that he doesn’t have some horrid secret?”

“I really believe that, yes,” I reply. “How was your day?” I say, trying to change the subject.

“Fine. The shop department could use some major funding. Their resources and equipment are out of the stone age.”

“And the Raven or Robin person who invited you to lunch? How is she?”

“She’s cool, and it’s Raven who invited me. I guess she has a twin sister named Robin. When I told them I was a twin, too, they all but had heart attacks. When I said it was a twin sister, you could literally see their hearts sink. It was hilarious. But they’re cool. I’ll probably ask one of them out at some point. You know, for something to do.”

“Yeah, I know exactly what you mean,” I insinuate.

“So are you gonna ask Edward out, or wait for him to do it?”

“I’m not sure. I was thinking of inviting him over for the meteor shower on Friday night.”

“You’re such a nerd,” he teases, mussing my hair.

“Yeah, and you’re a man-whore. Deal with it,” I reply trying to smooth out the snarls he just created.

“You gonna call the moms?” he asks nodding his head at the phone table across the room. I take a deep breath, but agree with him. I grab the phone off the cradle and dial her cell. This time of day, she should be available.

“Hello?” she answers. I don’t respond right away. “Hello? Arbie? Jeb?”

“Hi Mom,” I whisper.

“Hi sweetheart. I don’t have great reception right now, so I might lose you. What’s wrong?”

“Have you ever heard of the Cullens?” I ask. The only thing I hear before the line goes dead is a gasp.

Edward POV

I’m suddenly very thankful that I don’t know where Arbie lives. I have no intention of resuming my stalker tendencies of watching her sleep like I did with Bella, but being away from her is painful. I can tell that she is something special, very special. The hours don’t go by fast enough. My homework takes less than an hour to complete, leaving me another eleven hours to wait until I see her beautiful face again.

My piano has moved with us all seven times in the last 40 years, but I haven’t touched it since Bella. I haven’t felt the inspiration to compose and I still wonder if I do. Every time I think about playing again, Bella’s lullaby comes into my mind and it’s the only song I can think of. I barely remember how Esme’s song goes anymore. As I stare at the keys, Arbie’s peal of laughter pops into my head from when I made the joke about ESP pills.

I try to replicate the sound but come up short. Nothing sounds like her voice. It’s more attractive to me than any vampire’s voice to any human. Her smile draws me in like a moth to a flame. When she concentrates hard on something, she pouts her lips and her nose twitches ever so slightly. No one could replicate her beauty, not even Rosalie. Perfectly bronzed skin, ebony hair, deep chocolate eyes that see into the depths of my soul. This girl has captivated me in a matter of hours. I thought I was a changed man when Bella stumbled quite literally into my life, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the way I’m feeling now.

Arbie even had Rosalie wrapped around her little finger. Rosalie! Who doesn’t like any humans, especially human girls. The fact that Arbie drives a Bentley definitely works in her favor in regards to Rosalie. She would give anything to get under the hood of one of those, just to see how it’s put together. The last time anyone in the family owned a Bentley, Rosalie wasn’t allowed anywhere near it. Jasper can be very particular about his cars, and that one never saw any mechanic other than the ones provided at the Bentley dealership. I had tried to reason with him, saying that Rosalie was way better than any of them could ever hope to be, but he ignored me, and suffered the wrath of my golden haired sister.

“You’re not going to play?” Esme says from behind me. I was so engrossed in my thoughts of Arbie, that her thoughts signaling that she’d entered the room hadn’t even registered. I jumped when I heard her soft voice. “Don’t tell me I just snuck up on Edward Cullen,” she muses.

“I can’t come up with anything that even comes close to describing her,” I say, staring at the keys, with a still blank slate in my head.

“Well, you’ve only known the poor girl one day. How could you know enough about her to compose a whole new song? How old is she anyway?”

“She’s must be at least 16, since she drives a car,” I reply.

“Oh yes, I thought I heard Rosalie gushing about a Bentley? Does her family own it or something?”

“She told me they’re the major stock holders, so yeah pretty much set for life.”

“Well at least she’s not a gold digger,” Emmett calls from his bedroom.

“She said the same thing to me when she saw the Porsche,” I reply. Emmett’s guffaw of a laugh reverberates through the house.

“I think son, the one thing you need to remember is that she’s not Bella. And while her mind may be just as silent to you as hers, she probably doesn’t think the same way. She may not be nearly as accepting as Bella nor as understanding. You remember how Bella welcomed us all in her life without a second thought. The fact that we are blood drinking creatures that belong in mythology never phased her. This may not be the case with Arbie. I just want you to keep that in mind as you introduce her more and more into your life, and our lives. I hope that she’s as open minded, but there are no guarantees.”

“You’re right Mom,” I reply. “The only thing I have going for me on that front is that she wasn’t afraid of me or any of us today, and she didn’t flinch when I shook her hand. Same for everyone else. In fact, the only thing I noticed that she did have any kind of a ‘shocked’ like reaction to was when I told her the names of my siblings. Her eyes grew wide and she drew in a short gasp. She changed the subject before I could press the matter. But that has been in the back of my mind all day, wondering why she reacted that way to hearing names. Granted most of us don’t have names that are often heard these days, but that’s hardly a reason for such a reaction, don’t you think?” I ramble. Esme takes in each word deeply, pondering every possible aspect of Arbie’s reaction, just like I did earlier.

“I guess time will tell, my dear,” she says, kissing my cheek before leaving me to my own devices for the next eight hours. I close my eyes and let thoughts of Arbie fill my mind even more. Her face is everywhere, her eyes deep pools of mystery, waiting for me to dive in. All too soon, I’m pulled from my waking dreams of her, and summoned to get ready for school.

The drive to school passes in a blur. I allow Jasper to drive as my head is elsewhere. I only hope that seeing her face again will pull me out of this dreamlike stupor.

Jasper pulls in right next to Arbie’s Bentley. She’s talking on her phone in hushed tones, clearly not wanting anyone to listen in. I divert my stellar hearing elsewhere so as not to eavesdrop. She lets out a sigh of frustration that I’m not able to tune out, before she gets out of her car. I mirror her movements, and when her eyes meet mine, my whole world changes. Again. She has changed me irrevocably in a way that Bella never did. Now I truly believe that Bella was right. She was great for me at the time, opened my eyes to new possibilities; it was a necessary step. If that chapter in my life had never happened, I may never have opened my heart to this possibility. Especially with a human.

“Good morning Arbie,” Jasper says, breaking the silence, probably sensing the tension filled mood. “You must be Jeb,” he adds, offering his hand to greet Arbie’s brother.

“You’re Jasper?” Jeb asks in return, his eyes showing similar shock to Arbie’s yesterday when I told her my siblings’ names. Had they heard of us before?

“Yep, and this is Alice,” he replies, gesturing to his pint sized mate. “And those are Rosalie, Emmett, and that broody guy back there is Edward.”

“Nice to meet you all,” Jeb replies making eye contact with each of us, his eyes still filled with shock, though his face remains calm.

He’s not afraid of us, Jasper thinks. I can’t feel him either though. All I have to go off of is the expression on his face, which is not one of fear.

“We better get going,” Arbie says to me and Jeb. “Or we’ll be late for calc,” she adds as she strides past me gracefully. Her expression is masked, I have no idea what she is thinking, of course, but her expression scares me a little. I hope she hasn’t realized how head over heels for her I already am, and is closing me off.

“Are you coming?” she asks me turning around, waiting expectantly, a shy smile on her face, her hand extended, beckoning me. My smile broadens as I catch up to her, pulling her arm in mine, her hand resting in the crook of my elbow. “How was your night?” she asks.

“Fine, did you finish all the homework?” I answer.

“Yeah, crazy they gave us that much homework on the first day. I was banking on like a week with little to no new assignments.”

“Wishful thinking,” I joke. We enter the classroom arm in arm, gaining a few stares from fellow classmates and the teacher. She pulls her hand from my arm to make her way down her row. She’s only a few feet away, but I feel the loss of her touch down to my toes. It’s not a pleasant sensation. Once the bell rings, Mr. Branson begins the daily lecture of math that I already know. I doodle absently on my notebook, only to glance over and see that Arbie is doing the same. She takes a few notes here and there, but the majority of her page is filled with stars. Lots and lots of stars.

“Are you getting excited for the meteor shower?” I ask once Mr. Branson has released us from lecture and to work on the assignment for the last few minutes of class. She looks at me in confusion, then I point out the multitude of stars on her notes.

“Oh, yeah I guess so, but I like drawing stars when I’m bored out of my mind,” she whispers, not wanting to offend the teacher. I wonder when it will be appropriate to invite her over to my house, or to the meadow to watch the meteor shower. The open space free of trees would be far preferable to her roof, which if anything like the picture she painted, may be tainted by trees blocking the view.

Between the two of us, we finish the assignment. “Good. One less thing to deal with this evening,” Arbie muses. On the way to art class, she drops her calculus things in her locker, I do the same, and before we head away, Raven Sharpe stops her dead in her tracks.

“You’re Jeb’s sister, right?”

“Yep. The name’s Arbie, and you are?”

“Raven Sharpe,” she replies, jutting her hand out in greeting. Arbie takes it tentatively, for the first time I’ve seen, almost afraid to shake someone’s hand. Raven flinches at the contact. Holy warm hands! Just like Jeb. What, do they both run a fever all the time or something? Raven thinks.

Huh. I hadn’t noticed that her hands are warmer than anyone else’s. Perhaps she truly is something altogether different. “So, Arbie,” Raven says taking Arbie’s arm in hers and walking away in the opposite direction of the art room. Arbie shoots me a pleading glance to which I shrug and lift my hands in indifference. I am not about to get involved in some high school drama involving either of the Sharpe twins. “Can you put a good word in for me with your brother?” she asks.

“What do you mean?”

“Well I know you’re his sister, so you probably don’t notice, but he’s super hot,” Raven gleams. Arbie sighs audibly. “And my sister Robin is already trying to dig her claws in him, and I want to get to him first.” There’s a strong hint of malice in her tone. No one is unaware of the glaring jealousy that’s always spewing between the Sharpe twins. MTV could write a reality show about them and would make millions.

“Whoa,” Arbie says stopping, noting Raven’s tone. “I’m not about to let you put my brother in the middle of your sibling rivalry with Robin. You can forget about that. I’ve seen him hurt by girls like you before, and I will not let it happen again.” She stands to her full height, towering over the quivering Raven, forget the fact that Raven is wearing four inch heels, she still shrinks under Arbie who is glaring into her eyes with fire behind her irises. “So you can tell your sister that if either one of you even try to dig your ‘claws in him’ as you said, I will dig mine in you. That’s a promise,” she threatens, curling her hands into claws, which look like they could do a good amount of damage, then turns on her heels stomping back to me.

“You’re a load of help,” she hisses grabbing my arm and pulling me towards the art room. Emmett strolls past us and makes a “whipped” sound effect under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear. Though I’d swear Arbie heard it too because she shot him a death glare that had him retreating into a random classroom. Any look that can scare Emmett is not a look that I want directed at me ever.

I glance back at Raven who is frozen in place, a look of sheer fear planted on her face. I doubt she’ll be going after Jeb any time soon. Though she has no intention of passing Arbie’s threat along to her sister. Let that wench find out the hard way she thinks.

“You saw what she’s like!” I defend. “Why would I want to get in the middle of that?”

“You could have helped me,” she retorts.

“Arbie, I hardly think you needed my help. She’s shivering in her Uggs right now, and it has nothing to do with the weather.”

“Do you really think I scared her?” she asks, not showing any remorse, but rather pride.

“Yes. Definitely. Though I doubt she’ll be passing your warning onto Robin. You may have to repeat yourself.”

“I hope this doesn’t garner me the reputation of scary bitch though. She looks like she gossips to everyone. Well, I guess I’d rather have them afraid of me than make fun of me.”

“Why would anyone make fun of you?” I gape. She is beautiful, smart, funny, intimidating. I can’t imagine why anyone would dare make fun of her. Emmett is a fan of practical jokes, I may need to reign him in on that front.

“One, I’m the darkest person in this school, so there’s bound to be at least one prejudiced prick. And two I’m sixteen years old and six feet tall. Freak Show is a nick name I’ve gotten quite used to. And three, girls are cruel, conniving and bitchy to each other by nature. It’s a competition, so opposite the animal kingdom, it’s ridiculous.”

“How do you mean?” I ask confused.

“Take tropical birds for example. Most of the really flashy and colorful ones are males. They have to do some crazy dance and mating call to attract a mate, and in the end, it’s up to the female whether or not she’s interested. It’s much the same for many species. The males have to be the attractive ones, and the females decide. In our world, it’s much different. You don’t see men putting four inch stiletto death traps on their feet, wearing braziers to make the ‘ladies’ perk up that are much more uncomfortable than they’re worth, or oodles and oodles of make up that make women look even more like tropical birds that it ought to. So who’s doing all the work?”

“You have a valid point. I’d never considered that. It takes me all of five minutes to get ready in the morning, when I know that some girls take hours to do it.” She’s making me consider things I never thought of in over a century. Which is quite the task for someone who has nothing but time to think.

“I’m glad you agree. Granted, I take pride in my appearance, and I like to look nice, but I don’t go out of my way to get all dolled up every day, and I certainly don’t spend hours in front of the mirror. Furthermore, I don’t do it to attract guys. That’s for sure.”

“You wouldn’t need it anyway,” I say honesty. She quirks an eyebrow at me. “I can personally guarantee you that every male in this school had his eye on you yesterday and today. They all want you.”

“All of them?” she asks.

“With the exception of my brothers, who are already paired off, yes.”

“Oh? Who are they with?”

“Er, Jasper is with Alice and Emmett is with Rosalie.”

“Oh… OH! I get it. So you’re foster siblings but not actual siblings, thereby making that okay.”

“Yeah I suppose. Can’t help matters of the heart right?”

“I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t include yourself in the exceptions list,” she muses, smirking slightly.

“Oh please, Arbie. You have to know the effect you have on everyone. And that most definitely includes me, if not even more strongly than the others,” I admit. Her eyes widen in response, but she doesn’t say anything. By now we’re seated in art class preparing to vote for the best paintings from yesterday. Ms. Swenson has placed all of the paintings on a display board at the front of the room and ordered them anonymously. We are to scrutinize each work, then write our top five paintings on a list, and then Ms. Swenson will inform us of the top five. I spare a glance at Arbie’s paper, noticing she voted my painting first and didn’t even vote for herself. Small sign of selflessness, I note.

Once we’re done voting, she allows us to talk amongst ourselves while she tallies the votes. “The feeling’s mutual, you know,” she says.

“Meaning…”

“What you said about the effect I have on people. It goes both ways. I can tell that all the girls here want you, and I’m not excluding myself in that estimation,” she admits back, blushing slightly. So, she is attracted to me too. Well that certainly is good news.

“Arbie, may I ask you a question?”

“Ah, sure.”

“Would it be presumptuous of me to ask to accompany you on Friday night for the meteor shower?”

“Er, no, it wouldn’t be presumptuous,” she replies, sliding her bottom lip under her teeth in a very Bella like fashion. I almost wait for the little ‘v’ to appear between her eyebrows, but it never appears. “But um, I was just planning on sitting on my roof for it.”

“That could be fun, but if your painting is any indication, the trees would block part of the view right?” She nods. “Well, my roof is unobstructed by trees, and the meadow I described is definitely big enough to see the full night sky.

“I vote the meadow,” she states matter-of-factly.

“Well alright then. It’s a date,” I reply flashing her my best smile. Her pupils dilate slightly and her heartbeat stutters. I smile wider to which she responds with her own winning smile, freezing me in my chair. Completely perfect, brilliantly white teeth that look like they could cut through a steel beam as easily as butter. They look nearly as sharp as mine. What is she?

The rest of the morning passes in a blur, I watch Arbie through Jasper’s thoughts once more. It’s so frustrating not being able to sense her! He thinks. Now I know how you felt with Bella. He has truly no idea how frustrating it was not to hear Bella’s thoughts, but nowhere near as frustrating as not hearing Arbie’s. Her mind is a deep pool of secrets and unknown pasts that I am dying to learn about.

At lunch, Robin Sharpe corners Arbie in the cashier line. “So Arbie. Do you think you could put in a good word for me with your brother?” she asks.

“Nope,” Arbie replies, popping the “p” on the end.

“But why not?” Robin whines. “He’s so hot, and I just want a chance at him before my sister tries to sink her teeth in him.” Conniving bitch she thinks after. Why anyone would consider their own sister a conniving bitch is beyond me. These two have the worse sibling rivalry I’ve ever seen. It’s as if they actually hate each other.

Arbie pays for her meal, sets her tray down at the nearest table and turns around to glare at Robin, the fire returning behind her eyes. “Let me make something very clear to you, Robin. My brother is my best friend. And I’ll die before I see him settling for a promiscuous harlot like you. If you so much as think about my brother that way again, you will have me to deal with.” She grabs Robin’s wrist in her firm grasp and squeezes. Robin winces at the pain, realizing that while Arbie looks incredibly strong, she is much, much stronger. “My brother deserves far better than the likes of you, and believe me when I say I will destroy you.” Robin gulps loudly and considers briefly running to the principal’s office to tell her that Arbie threatened her. But then thinks better of it when she sees the flames virtually spewing out of Arbie’s eyes.

Instead, Robin sprints out of the lunchroom heading for her car. Intent on racing home and begging her parents to let her and Raven transfer to a different school. She, like her sister, is truly afraid of Arbie. They appreciate the gravity of Arbie’s threat, and know she would make good on it if provoked. Neither of them would shoot so much as a passing glance at Jeb again. I’ve never seen anyone so fiercely protective of their siblings, other than Rosalie.

Speaking of Rosalie, she strides up behind Arbie, giving her an approving smile before following her to our table. Moments later, Jeb walks up to our table, eying Arbie angrily. “What did you say to Raven and Robin Sharpe?”

“They were talking about digging their claws in you and sinking their teeth into you, so naturally, I let them have it,” she replies, her tone full of nonchalance. “Besides, have you heard the rumours about those two? Trampy strumpets R us.” Earlier she used the words promiscuous harlot. Now she’s using strumpet? It’s as if she’s from my own time. No one talks that way anymore.

“Arbie,” he warns.

“Oh, don’t Arbie me,” she replies. “You know full well that you could have your pick of any girl here. You don’t need to be wasting your time with tarty slags like those mangy birds,” she spits. Jeb relents, realizing he isn’t going to win and sinks down in the chair next to her, picking at his lunch. Tarty slags? Is she British now?

“Didn’t you say you were going to bring your lunches with you from now on?” Rosalie states, trying to change the subject.

“Yeah, I didn’t get a chance to go to the market last night.” Market? Who says market? She spears a bite of pizza with her fork and pops it in her mouth. She grimaces at it much in the way one of us would grimace at human food when we’re forced to eat it. “Blech” she says, spitting it out into her napkin. “Is nothing here edible? Jeepers!” another word for the list of odd vocabulary that comes out of this amazing creature. Like yesterday, she gulps down her milk in record time. She thought ahead to buy a second milk probably preparing for inedible food. She sips the second one more slowly, reengaging in the conversation. Jasper and Emmett are currently arguing over which car is faster, an Aero SS or a Bugatti Veyron.

“Bugatti,” Arbie and Jeb chorus in unison.

“I told you!” Emmett muses, pointing in Jasper’s face.

“And how do you know?” Jasper asks Arbie and Jeb.

“Being the major shareholders of Bentley, we’re privy to a lot of test drives of various cars, from various brands,” Arbie explains.

“In fact. We have an Aero and a Bugatti in our garage,” Jeb adds. Arbie kicks him under the table and shoots him a death glare. Apparently that was information that she didn’t want shared aloud. “I mean never mind. We have boring cars like Fords and Chevys in our garage,” he jokes, but our family sees the warning in her eyes and does not bring it up again.

The rest of lunch passes in easy conversation about cars and school subjects. Arbie and Jeb have promised to let Rosalie take a look under the hood of the Bentley after school, and a veiled promise to invite her over to check out their collection of cars. For some reason I’m getting the feeling that Arbie is not so quick to invite us to her house. I already invited her to mine for the meteor shower. Granted she’d chosen the meadow instead, but it was an invitation nonetheless. Why wouldn’t she extend the same courtesy to me? Is she ashamed of her house?

If her family truly is the Bentley family, they probably have a beautiful mansion that rivals ours. Or maybe it’s her parents she’s wary of. She has two moms, maybe that is the reason. Perhaps she isn’t sure of how our family would react to that situation. What she doesn’t know is that homosexual relationships in the vampire world are even more common than in the human world. The lust is so strong in many of us that once we’re done feeding, we’ll attack the nearest vampire we find, regardless of gender.

I’ve never experienced said phenomenon, but I know it happens. It even happens within my family. Alice and Rosalie have lots of fun together when they go hunting. The Denali sisters are no stranger to it either. And there may or may not have been an incident between Carlisle and Eleazer, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy on that. It seems silly if that is the case. America as a culture has come a long way in the last 40 years. Gay marriage has been legalized in all fifty states, and has been written as an amendment to the constitution to be a constitutional right between two people, not just between a man and a woman. No, that can’t be the reason. There’s some other reason that she doesn’t want us coming to her house. Just a glimpse into her mind, that’s all I’m asking for!

Our choir teacher is out sick today. He has a poor immune system and the shock of a new school year filled with all the germs all the students are carrying around ensure that he will be out probably for the rest of the week. So rather than learning songs or doing any singing at all, concert choir has turned into a veritable movie theater, and we will be watching movies under the supervision of the orchestra director for likely the rest of the week. Arbie sneaks over to my section once the lights go out and plants herself next to me.

“Movies keep getting worse and worse,” she muses once she sees the title. A movie based on a reality TV show that takes place in New Jersey. “The TV show was several kinds of awful, why on earth did they make a movie about it?”

“Beats me. And I agree with you. Movies started going down hill once 3D became huge.”

“Totally,” she replies. She’s only sixteen years old. Movies have been in 3D her entire life. They hardly make regular movies anymore. “I’m a movie buff, and any movie made after about 2010 is just crap for the most part, with very few exceptions.”

“You should check out our collection some time. We have thousands of movies, from pretty much the very beginning,” I offer. Her eyes light up at my invitation.

“I’d love to,” she whispers back.