|Edward Cullen; FHS/Junior (dazzlinglion) wrote in beyondwonderlnd,|
@ 2008-09-10 20:31:00
|Entry tags:||bella swan, edward cullen, forks high school|
RP Log: Bella & Edward!
Who: Edward & Bella
When: Wednesday, September 10th
Where: Biology Class
What: Edward attempts to be charming and resist the urge to kill Bella. Bella's silent mind still frustrates the living hell out of him.
Rating: G/PG - it's low.
It was already a hard pill for Bella to swallow, realizing as she did how violently her body was reacting to the presence of this Edward Cullen. Nausea had managed to grip her for the better part of her lunch, and she suspected that come gym, she'd regret not eating. As it was, her stomach was far too busy partaking in a series of complicated acrobats to notice the gnawing hunger she would later endure. Instead, as she walked through the vaguely familiar halls of Fork High School, her mind was completely engaged in guessing whether or not she'd be relieved or terrified to see the Cullen boy sitting in Biology class.
As Mike chattered happily in her ear, Bella's breath caught involuntarily as she stepped across the threshold of the classroom -- and audibly left her when she saw her table was still empty. The sigh of relief (answering her question, apparently) was loud enough that Mike turned to her with a quizzical look and a 'what?' before continuing on without hesitation about a proposed Lord of the Rings marathon. He was just launching into the time they'd need to begin to final installment as Bella wondered at her own reaction. Was she relieved? Edward's absence sent a tiny shiver of left-over fear down her spine.
Had he dropped biology? Because of her? She hadn't, after all, made last Wednesday up. Even Mike had noticed.
Pulling at her pale blue sleeves, Bella tucked a piece of brown hair behind her ear and attempted to smile and nod enthusiastically at Mike as she put her books down on her table, slipping a hand in the pocket of her dark blue jeans. The blonde boy perched himself across from her, and was asking about her choice of snacks when she began to occupy herself with mindless doodling, adding only a well-placed 'red licorice' and 'sweedish berries' when directly called upon. She realized that, without Edward present, an obvious weight had been lifted off her chest. Seeing him in the cafeteria had been one thing -- spending an entire hour next to him would have been much worse.
During lunch, Edward had attempted - and failed - once again to break into Bella's mind. He had never, in his entire existance as a vampire, had to work so hard to hear someone's thoughts. It had given him a bit of a headache, and lunch ended on a particularly frustrated note. There was no way around it, if he wanted to know what Bella Swan thought, he would have to speak to her.
Which disappointed him slightly, if he could have told his siblings that "just kidding, I can hear her thoughts today" perhaps the tension would have eased slightly off his shoulders. That would not be the case, as Edward knew that there was no other way around it. He loved Alice dearly, but he would not send her to figure out the puzzle that had presented itself to him.
Perhaps, Edward realized as he walked toward Biology, he was just looking at it wrong. For the first time in decades, Edward had a real challenge - a test of character and strength. In both the mental aspect, and the ability to restrain his urges. Why should he look at it as if it was his own personal hell, but, rather, look at it as finally something to change the dull-drum pace that high school usually is. He smirked, when he realized that Alice had entered his head with all her infectious positive attitude, and he figured Jasper was probably using his ability to relax him. If he was right, then he'd clearly have to thank them later.
He entered the classroom, quietly, his eyes immediately falling upon the girl sent here to torture him. He could do this, he would do this. He listened to their conversation through Mike's perspective, hating every moment being in such a predictable mind - and yet, relieved he could hear her thoughts somehow even through his.
How interesting, he thought. He was drawn so strongly to figuring out this puzzle, that it was now more than just because his siblings had pushed him to do so. He took a seat, her scent having just as strong a reaction as the last eventful day in class. Despite being as satisfied as possible on the blood of animals, Edward longed to taste the blood that smelled so sweet to him. He would not, however, he was strong enough.
"Hello, Bella," he said in the low soothing voice he had practiced over the years - one that would sound pleasant to humans. Edward looked sideways at her, forcing a small smile on his lips. Charming. He could be charming. Despite what Rosalie might think, he could - and would - handle this. What other choice did he have?
As Edward entered the room, Bella's attention was elsewhere. She'd nodded her assent, assuring Mike that she'd be present for his movie marathon before gently suggesting he return to his table. He'd barely shifted in his seat when a soft sound beside her caught her by surprise. Immediately upon hearing Edward approach, Bella's interest -- lacking as it already was -- in conversation with Mike evaporated. She didn't seem to notice him linger at the table a few moments longer, or even shoot a look of daggers at Cullen as he passed by.
No, the musical quality of the voice had captured her attention all too entirely. Her head lifted, brown eyes widening in surprise at being addressed -- and being addressed by 'Bella', no less. She awkwardly attempted to move her books off his side of the table, but was nervous to cross what felt like an invisible barrier. The tips of her fingers, staying on her side of the table, pulled gently at the edge of notebook, sliding it safely into more neutral territory.
It took Bella a few moments to respond, her lips parting though no sounds initially could be made. Something was different about him, she realized as she studied his face. More than the obvious fact that he seemed suddenly friendly -- open. But even with the smile, the cool ease of his voice, she could sense there was something guarded in his face. Some sort of struggle concealed under the exterior of casual calm.
Resisting the urge to hide behind her hair, Bella managed only stupidly, "I...um--" Faltering, she stopped, her eyebrows stitching together in a sudden confusion. "How do you know my name?"
Edward rose an eyebrow, and looked at Bella curiously. It was an odd question to ask - didn't everyone know her name by now? He tried, again, to read her thoughts, and found himself once again stuck in that same frustrated state. She wasn't going to make this easy on him.
"Oh, that's right. We've not been formally introduced yet," Edward laughed lightly, shrugging it off as if it had only been a simple mistake to address her so informally. "My name is Edward Cullen, and I believe that the entire school knows your name by now."
Edward looked, well stared to be more accurate, into her deep brown eyes. Partly out of desperation, and completely in vein, Edward tried to unlock the mysteries of the girl's mind through her eyes. He hated himself for feeling such an intense curiosity when he had resolved to keep his distance, though, truth be known, it was that curiousity that kept his intense thirst for her at bay.
He was staring at her funny. Did she have something on her face? Surely Mike would have been a gentleman and told her -- and heck, it wasn't like she'd had anything to eat at lunch. Still, Bella struggled to keep her hand from brushing across her face to be sure, fumbling to remain coherent under his gaze. How was it that a sixteen-year-old high school student could possibly look like that? She still couldn't quite place what was different about him -- probably due to the fact that her thoughts were too jumbled to put together a coherent hypothesis.
"Oh, heh, yeah." She offered a small smile, though her nose crinkled at the reminder. "I just get the sense that Charlie -- I mean, my dad -- has some weird vendetta against me. Everyone keeps calling me Isabella, and I think I have him to blame, so..." Her voice trailed off, and she looked curiously at him. "You just called me 'Bella'."
She drew her hands into her lap, clasped them there and began to fiddle with a sterling silver ring on one of them. From the corner of her eyes, she saw Mike staring at them, but turned her eyes back to Edward, as if awaiting an answer. Her cheeks flushed under his steady gaze, and she wondered for the thousandth time in the past two minutes why he was even wasting his time on her -- especially after their meeting the week prior.
Ah, so there was his mistake. He had forgotten that his talents often led to him knowing things that he shouldn't, such was the case of knowing her preference for the name Bella. Edward clenched his hands, trying once again to regain his composure and control. He had to make certain that she didn't think anything was out of place with him and his family, despite his previous odd behavior. Yet, here he was, slipping up already.
He had noticed that she called her father by his first name - was that common these days? Hm. "Oh... If you'd rather I called you Isabella..." he let his voice trail off looking at her expectantly. He, of course, knew the answer to that, but he had to act as if he didn't.
Edward couldn't help but notice the blush in her cheek, how it contrasted against her pale skin. She looked so vulnerable, and he wondered how such a fragile girl could be such a temptation to him. It was hardly fair, in the grand scheme of things, and yet unavoidable. He'd have to breathe again soon, as he was quickly running out of enough air to continue their conversation. The logical answer would be to cease talking to her, but his curiosity was not yet satisfied. Did he deny his curiosity in order to lessen the temptation, or would his curiosity be strong enough to keep the temptation at bay. He knew he was about to find out the next time it was his turn to speak, and Edward tensed up trying hard to mentally prepare. Would it be as bad as it had been the week before? Certainly Alice would have stopped him if she had seen him unable to handle it - and that was the only thing giving him confidence that he could control himself.
Bella's eyes widened again, this time in total confusion. She even chanced a glance behind her back, stupidly, to see if he was talking to someone else. Call her? So, what, this was going to be some sort of on-going arrangement? Sure, polite introductions were necessary -- they were, afterall, destined to be lab partners -- but why did it matter what he called her? That suggested conversation, casual inquiries. As far as she was concerned, someone that looked like him could easily get away with 'hey you', and no one could complain.
"Oh. No, that's cool. I mean -- no. Yes. Bella works." Excellent. Now she sounded like a bumbling idiot. She inwardly chastised herself for coming off like such an idiot or, more to the point, such a teenager. Here she was, usually the picture of poise and maturity, stumbling on her words because some cute -- okay, major understatement -- boy was giving her the time of day. Annoyed at herself, the annoyance surely visible on her easy-to-read face, she squared her shoulders and straightened her back, willing herself to take better control of the conversation.
But everytime she met his gaze, her confidence seemed to falter. Still, she maintained the dignified posture as she stitched her eyebrows again. "I'm sorry, but...do you want my notes, or something?" It seemed the only logical reason for his introduction. Bella bit her lip and raised her eyebrows quizically.
Edward's eyebrows furrowed again, attempting to figure out why that had gotten her to give him such a wide eyed expression. It was just a simple question, wasn't it? Then she began stammering on a bit, and he couldn't help but snicker in amusement. He attempted to stifle his laughter, but like most things around Bella, he failed at doing even that. What was with this girl and her strange power over him?
Notes? Why would he need her notes? Oh. He had missed a week of school, so, if he were an ordinary human, he'd probably need them. Or, perhaps she was wishing he'd stop talking to her - he'd probably terrified her beyond repair that first day. Maybe that was her way of brushing him off.
Should he take them? They probably had her scent on them, all be it faintly, something that would drive him crazy later. Would it help desensitize him? Would he look arrogant if he said no? Would he look like an ass if he said yes? Acting human was far more irritating when he couldn't figure out the right answer according to her thoughts. Maybe they would hold a clue to her mind, somehow? Would she offer him her notes if she was afraid? Did she offer because she was afraid? Edward had no idea, but he only hoped he was answering in away that made him seem normal.
"I hadn't thought of that," he answered truthfully. "I hope I didn't miss anything too difficult," he smirked at his own inside joke about missing anything he didn't already know. "Perhaps I should borrow the notes just in case."
The notes were the furthest from his mind when he finished speaking. He was forced to inhale, at that point, and her scent hit him just as strongly as the previous week. His thirst was quenched as best as possible from the animals he hunted, but even that wasn't enough to keep from thirsting for her. Edward shifted his chair away from her, fists clenched. He was grateful for the interruption of their conversation when their teacher walked in, at least it would provide him a pause long enough to regain his composure.
Bella's eyes shifted forward to the front of the classroom, as grateful as Edward for the distraction afforded them. Mr. Banner was calling the class to order, and she hadn't wanted to apologize for the scratchy scrawl she'd never been able to shake off. Edward probably had perfect writing, she thought with an annoyed, immature impulse to make a face. Life would have been a lot easier if she were paired with Mike; inadequacy like this could really do a number on a girl's self esteem, and Bella didn't exactly find herself very interesting to begin with.
She brushed her hair behind her ears and placed a hand casually on her neck as she listened with only mild interest to the lesson. Bella had yet to decide if taking AP courses had been a good or bad thing -- she was months ahead of some of her lessons, and though it meant easy A's, it also meant a year of boredom. Academics, the challenge of school, was something Bella had thrived on in Pheonix. In Forks, school was becoming hum-drum, just like everything else.
Well. Almost everything else.
Stealing a glance out the corner of her eyes, Bella saw Edward's posture and flushed more deeply. Did she smell bad? She brushed her hair across her nose, feeling stupid as she did so. The movement was clandestine, but angered her, tired as she was of acting like such a moronic teenager around some obviously over-cocky, arrogant jerk. Only, she couldn't quite believe what Jessica had said. Not with him sitting right next to her. And she felt herself feel a stab of pain at the way he leaned away from her, as if she were some sort of...some sort of monster.
As the instructions for the lab were given, Bella felt trepidation and anxiety well up in the pit of her stomach, but brushed it away. She wasn't going to cower in front of this stranger. All that resolved, she still wasn't going to be the one to strike up any conversation again, and settled instead on standing silently to go and gather a microscope.
Edward took the time she spent up gathering the microscope to inhale a deep breath and held it. He had enough air to continue on a conversation, all be it briefly, while they conducted the lab. He only hoped the girl had sense enough to do the lab, as if he had to take time explaining things to her, that one breath would be used up rather rapidly. Edward could see, unfortunately, that things were going to be difficult. While he knew he should stop talking to her, he was drawn to her... drawn to figuring her out. Perhaps, it was just an ego thing - he had to crack the one and only mind that was locked to him.
By time she returned, though his chair was still at the edge of the desk - not toward the middle - his posture had begun to relax. Act human, he reminded himself. He gave her a charming smile, being extra careful not to show his teeth too much (as he really didn't want to frighten the poor girl anymore than he had - and humans instinctively shied away from the perfect, extra white vampire teeth).
"Ladies first," Edward said easily, holding out the first slide to her. It was so much easier to be around her if he didn't breathe. Though her scent still filled his mind with thoughts of bloodlust, it was much more tolerable when he wasn't inhaling it directly.
Bella had prepared herself; she knew this lab, she knew herself, and she wasn't going to shrink in front of Edward Cullen any longer. Her head was held high as she returned, and when she sat down, she flashed her own, slightly more confident smile at her lab partner. She may not have been able to do what he did -- which was momentarily daze her -- but it showed a bit more self-assurance, faking it though she may well have been.
Taking her seat, she reached across the desk and gingerly took the slide from him, slipping it under the microscope lens. "Thanks," Bella replied comfortably, shifting in her seat and lifting one leg under her so she could prop herself up to better see. As she leaned over the microscope, she brushed her hair out of her face and down her back as her vision was momentarily clouded by a strand of errant hair. It took her a few brief moments of study before she pulled back and said, in a confident voice, "Prophase."
It was the first time Bella had managed to appear assured around him, and she felt a small rush of elation at the accomplishment.
Watching her return, with a smug confident air about her, Edward wondered if she was the same girl who had left his table. Of course she was, he knew that in the literal sense, but figuratively.. well there was definitely more confidence now.
"Mind if I take a look?" Edward asked, trying not to seem condescending. He was curious, had she gotten it right so quickly? Or had she merely guessed? Was her new found confidence stemming from her academic ability. He was rather impressed, most of the humans her age struggled with their labs... again, interesting.
Edward only waited a moment before he reached for the microscope to check her answer. It was a mistake, he realized, when his hand brushed against hers - the warmth from her skin felt incredibly hot against his icy hand. So much for appearing normal. Edward quickly jerked his hand away, "Sorry," he muttered, as he more carefully brought the microscope to him. A moment later he merely nodded and wrote prophase in the first blank, before moving on to the second slide. He was purposefully trying to avoid her gaze after accidentally touching her - worried about the horror that would likely be present in her eyes. "Anaphase." Edward said, sliding the microscope toward her, trying his hardest not to glance up.
Bella felt another small surge of annoyance when he questioned her answer, though she wasn't exactly sure when she'd turned this into a competition. Of course Edward Cullen would have to be smart, too: having expensive clothing, fast cars and a model-perfect face couldn't have been enough of an advantage as it was. Feeling plainer by the second, Bella scowled eyes falling on his forearms as he held the microscope; he wasn't as thin as she'd initially thought. Anyone would be, compared to the bigger Cullen. The sinewy muscles were surprisingly large and taut.
Great. He worked out, too.
But all these musing were lost the moment his fingers brushed against hers -- his skin was cool, but that wasn't her immediate response. Instead, she felt a thrill of electricity pulsating in her hand and rushing through her. She watched him carefully, saw him keep his eyes averted and felt another flush colour her cheeks. Obviously he was disgusted with her, but she wasn't going to waste anymore time wondering why. Mike liked her well enough -- not that she cared about that sort of thing. But obviously this Cullen boy thought her below him.
"Oh? You don't mind if I check, then." Her voice was slightly arrogant, and clearly a little miffed. Taking the microscope, she attempted a haughty sniff (it failed) before looking down into the microscope. "Anaphase," she agreed. She moved to write it down, but realized that her own chicken scrawl would look far worse in comparison to his.
Taking the next slide from him, wanting to brush her fingers again over his own, she slipped it under the lens. "Interphase." Now knowing their rhythm, she simply slid it back toward Edward's side of the table. "You can check."
Edward watched in amusement as she seemed frustrated that he had gotten the answer correct. Was she hoping that her lab partner was an idiot? Hm. He glanced at the slide, now unsurprised to find she had identified it correctly. Edward filled in their answers on the sheet, and realized that they were the only ones to have finished the lab so far - which didn't surprise him. He was simply relieved that Bella seemed to know her stuff, he could only imagine how torturous it would be to be partnered with someone like the simpering Jessica.
When his thoughts were interrupted by those of Mike, surprising him at the newly founded dislike Mike harbored toward him, Edward found himself looking once again at the girl who sat beside him. It seemed that her arrival was turning his entire world at school upside down, it certainly was making it interesting.
Edward studied her face carefully, following the curve of her jaw, the shape of her lips. He avoided glancing downward, afraid what thoughts might happen if his eyes lingered on her neck - and instead took it upon himself to memorize the way her face looked when she blushed. He knew exactly why the boys seemed to be drawn to her, she had an uncommon beauty - but somehow he doubted that she was alluring to them as she was to him. Edward had hardly realized that it was rude to stare, lost in his thoughts of the girl, when he glanced toward her eyes - her big brown eyes that he felt he would lose himself in.
More than anything, Edward really, really wished that he could hear what she was thinking. He could only assume that she was repulsed by him - by his cold, icy touch, by his strange and odd demeanor. His assumption was hardly enough to satisfy his curiosity, however, he wanted to hear her.
With their science lab completed, Bella was oddly compelled to hide behind her hair, but didn't. She had, afterall, completed a good half of it herself, and dreamy model or not, she felt that deserved a little bit of self-pride. But under Edward's gaze, she felt uncomfortable; uncomfortable and gooey, like his eyes might cause her to melt right then and there.
This. Was. Absurd.
As she lifted up her eyes to meet his, the realization struck her -- that's what was different about him! Without giving it much thought, she blurted out, "Did you get new contacts?" her voice laden with genuine surprise and curiousity. But once the words had fallen out of her mouth, she felt incredibly stupid. "I mean...it's just that, they look different, today." Yes. Much better. Because now it sounded like she'd been watching him obsessively on Wednesday. The colour rose again in her throat, her cheeks.
Well, not that she hadn't been. But the last thing she needed was to sound like some creepy stalker. Ugh.
Of everything that Bella could have blurted out, Edward couldn't think of a single thing that would have caught him more off guard than her question. He wanted to laugh, the idea that a vampire - with better vision than humans could dream of having - would be wearing contacts. However, he couldn't laugh, as the question was so odd and out of the blue it was alarming. What possessed her to ask something so silly.
Edward looked at her puzzled, "No," he answered and looked away from her, shrugging. "I don't wear contacts, or need glasses for that matter," Edward answered stiffly. Suddenly he was aware of the fact that he wasn't the only one trying to obtain information about the other person - and that alarmed him.
Edward was becoming all too aware that Bella was more observant than her peers. Adding to that, the fact that he couldn't read her mind, and Edward had a reason to worry. He had know idea what she thought of him, if she feared him or suspected anything. He knew it was more important than ever to make a better impression on her - to erase the one from their first encounter.
"How do you like Forks, so far?" Edward asked pleasantly. That's the sort of friendly small talk he had heard from many of his peers in the past, so he was only hoping that it was normal and not out of place. Perhaps, in her answer, he would be fortunate enough that she would reveal her opinions and thoughts of the Cullen family. Not likely, but he still listened intently for any clue.
Upon his response, Bella only let out a deflated "Oh," and a quickly mumbled "Sorry," before staring off at the chalkboard. Though not a social creature by nature, the depths the conversation had plunged to were an all-time low, even for her. Never before had she managed to seem so stupid, so stilted, and for some reason that bothered her more than it should have. Loathe though she was to admit it, even to herself, she was hoping to make some sort of favourable impression on Edward. Disgusting.
And yet, not. It felt oddly comfortable, feeling for him the way she did. It felt right, like slipping on a pair of soft, well-worn jeans--
Was she making clothing metaphors, now?
Brushing her hair behind her ear again, she inclined her body ever-so-slightly toward him, twisting in her chair so she was facing him. "Not really," she replied simply, her shoulders shrugging. "I mean, no offense. I know it's your town, and all, and everyone's been--" She paused, looking out the window and grimacing at the grey sky. Terrifying? Overwhelmingly enthusiastic? "Really welcoming. It's just not what I'm used to." It was perhaps the longest speech she'd given to anyone in Forks to date, and she couldn't explain why words were spilling from her mouth. A polite 'yes' would have sufficed, but she felt the urge to be honest with him. As if he demanded it, and she happily obliged.
Must she constantly twist and twirl her hair? Every time she brushed her hand through her hair, it seemed to send her sent towards him, he only had so much self control, after all, it was hardly fair that she insisted on torturing him so. He watched as she leaned toward him, twisting in her chair to face him - wasn't she frightened? That was odd behavior for a human, her instincts should have had sent her running, not draw her nearer.
Was she really worried about offending him by her opinion? Hm. "No offense taken... Where did you move from, if you don't mind me asking?" He was telling himself that the only reason he kept asking so many questions was trying to get a feel for her opinion of him. He tried to justify it by saying that he had to give her a favorable impression to make up for the less than favorable previous impression. No matter the many ways he could justify it in his head - ones he'd likely have to use on his siblings later - Edward simply wanted to keep her talking.
t was odd, this sudden sense of ease. As a rule, Bella didn't talk much -- not unless forced with a barrage of intrusive questions, a tactic her mother like to surprise her with in the middle of homework, dinner or cleaning. But as Edward spoke, she found herself increasingly wanting to tell him more. And, as if there was a magnet between them, she found herself leaning slightly closer, resting an arm on the table.
"Phoenix," she replied, a smile on her face as she spoke the word. "I mean, I was born here, but my mom moved us to California when I was really young. And then it was off to Phoenix, which seems like it's been home for...well, forever." Why did he care? It suddenly dawned on her that this was probably some weird, practical joke, perhaps set-up but his equally (well, not equally) good-looking brothers and sisters. The thought made Bella clamp down on her words for a few moments, and she shifted back a little, suddenly wondering why she was saying so much.
"I miss the sun."
While Edward didn't want to appear to be rude, exactly, he was afraid of just how close the human girl was going to get to him. There was a very good chance that he wouldn't be able to control himself from that level of temptation. Edward made a quick, fluid movement away from her, though still turned toward her as they were having a conversation - and he was eager to know more.
"So, why did you come here, then, if you're so fond of the sun?" he asked, puzzled. He immediately thought that he shoudln't have asked, he was being rather nosy. However, without the use of his talent, he'd have to rely on this method for getting to know her.
The movement may have been fluid, but it caught Bella's eyes, and she felt uncomfortable -- embarassed. She shifted back too, her hands gripping the edge of her stool as she tried to appear casual. Crossing her ankles, she remained intent on the conversation, though she could feel the heat in her face again. Why was he still talking to her? It was probably entirely obvious to everyone in the room -- taken though they were by their labs -- that he was indulging her, or making a joke of her. She just couldn't figure out which it was; or which was worse.
"My mom remarried," she replied simply, shrugging her shoulders and leaning against the edge of the desk. It was as if that explained everything. "So I guess it seemed like the right desicion for everyone." Bella squared her shoulders, as if standing by the choice. Martyr or not, she wasn't going to act as if she'd been sent slinking off to Forks.
Watching her with such intensity, Edward noticed when she shifted away. Had she noticed his movement? He'd tried so hard to be discreet about it, after all. Just how much was she noticing? That could be problematic. He would discuss it later with Alice, but refrain from telling the others just yet. He wanted to be certain there was a cause for worry, before getting them worked up too. Who knows what they would come up with as a solution to the problem.
"Ah, that explains it," Edward said with a slight nod. "Your mother got remarried so you were sent to live with your father," he assumed. That made sense, and was something that seemed common enough. Maybe she wasn't so strange and complicated after all...
He gave her a small, reassuring smile. "I'm sorry you had to be sent here, but With any luck you will learn to like Forks."
Nerves flew out the window as Edward assumed her so-called fate, and a sudden anger washed over her. It must have been visible on her face, as she could feel the muscles in her cheeks tense, her eyebrows lower in a glower. Sitting up straighter, she gave him an annoyed look, clearly not impressed with his statement. In a voice more clear and more dignified than she'd previously managed to speak with, she settled on making sure he knew exactly why she was in Forks.
"I was not sent here. I made the desicion to come to Forks, I sent myself, if anyone did any sending." She paused, and looked heatedly at him. "Which they didn't. I knew it was the right desicion for everyone's happiness, and so I decided to come live with Charlie more permanantly. It's not like my mother exiled me, or anything. As far as she's concerned, she thinks I'm crazy for picking Forks over Phoenix, or Florida."
Was she angry with him? She was, wasn't she? Though, despite the fact that he found it absolutely incredulous she was so angry with him, it was rather amusing in a feisty but, well, adorable sort of way. He couldn't keep himself from smirking in amusement for a moment before he was able to control his expressions better.
"I don't understand," he admitted, "If you don't like it here, how is it better for everyone's happiness?" What was the missing piece to the puzzle that he couldn't see? Would Edward be this clueless if he had attempted to talk to other humans without the ability to read minds? Had it become a crutch of sorts, having the talent for so long?
"Forgive me, I'm being rude and asking too many questions," he added quietly, and then glanced toward the clock. They still had twenty minutes left. How was that possible? He had to sit there for twenty more minutes and attempt to not make a bigger ass of himself, attempt to act like a normal human, all the while ignoring the ever increasing thirst. Did time slow down for the sole purpose of messing with him? It would seem so.
Bella stared down at her fingernails, feeling an unanticipated well of emotion rush up inside her. She realized in that moment how much she missed her mother, and she bit on the side of her cheeks to keep the feeling from showing in her face. Glancing to the side, concentrating on the brick patten of the wall, she pulled herself together despite the tight, restricted feeling in her throat. Composed, she kept her eyes forward so as not to let him see any trace of pain in her features.
"That's not what I meant," Bella said, her voice still somewhat thick. "My mom's husband plays baseball and he travels all the time. She's head over heels for the guy, and staying in Phoenix for me wasn't fair." She shrugged, keeping her hands clasped in her lap. "I knew she wasn't going to be happy unless she went with him, back and forth from Florida to Phoenix. So I asked my dad if I could move in. He always hints about it, anyway. I guess it was a win-win situation for both of them."
Interesting. She wasn't selfish like most humans, most teenagers, especially. Rather, was she really as selfless as it appeared? It only made Edward feel even guiltier for how much he had longed to kill her that very first day he met her. He was certain, of anyone he's ever met, there wasn't a person in the school that deserved that fate less than she did. If only her scent didn't call to him so strongly.
Edward noticed that she seemed uncomfortable for a bit. Had he frightened her? Or merely upset her? Was he bothering her? Did he really have to ask to find out what he had done wrong? Oh, this was so very frustrating. "I have upset you," he noted. "I apologize," Edward said sincerely. It had to have been his fault she seemed so uncomfortable, and she didn't deserve it, really.
Edward rested his chin in his hand, leaning against the table - a position that he noticed many of his classmates do from time to time. A human thing. He was frustrated he couldn't figure Bella out, and it seemed every time he made a guess he got it wrong. It was making him question just how perceptive he was without his little way of cheating. That was something he was NOT going to admit to the others - they would be teasing him well into the next century for his weakness, considering how often he accidentally used his talent against them.
Bella sighed lightly and shook her head. "No, it's okay. I upset myself. I guess I just haven't really spoken about it, to anyone. I'm not entirely sure why I'm still talking about it, quite frankly." She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced at him. "And I'm annoyed that I'm such an open-book. My mom always jokes that I'm her open-book, because my expressions give me away." Here Bella offered Edward a half-smile. She was happy to be able to talk about her mom.
Shaking her head, she folded up her notebook. After all, the lab was finished, wasn't it? "Anyway. I'm probably boring you to death." Self-consciousness returned, and she wondered for the umpteenth time why Edward was still even speaking with her.
Edward shook his head. "Actually, you are wrong on both accounts... I find you neither boring nor easy to read." Quite the opposite he thought to himself, and barely managed to stop himself from saying. Admitting that he found her utterly fascinating and completely frustrating right off the bat was a bit too much information. Why was he telling her this, though? Odd that he felt the same pull to open up to her, as she apparently did to him.
"I'm usually far more apt at reading people," yet I keep getting things wrong with you. Edward looked once again into her eyes, hoping to find the answer there. The definition of insanity is to try the same thing over and over and expect different results, and yet, here he was, trying to find the answer in her eyes again. Perhaps Rosalie was right - maybe he was losing touch with his sanity.
Edward's response surprised her, and the glance Bella gave him made that apparent. She raised an eyebrow, then drew it back down over her eyes, a very slight smile playing about her lips. Shaking her head, she only shrugged a little bit and shuffled in her chair, not sure exactly what to say in response. Maybe he was just being polite -- but there was something genuine in his face that made her think, perhaps not. But then, his speech indicated he was all about manners. There was a formal, old-movie lilt to it that both confused and, well, dazzled her.
He really was a little bit too perfect for Forks High School.
"Oh. Well, thanks. I guess." She stole another glimpse at him, as if to ascertain that he wasn't laughing at her. When she did, she realized Mike's eyes were boring into her, and that the class was beginning to look restless. The blonde boy was mouthing something at her from across the room, but she couldn't make it out -- something about walking her to gym class?
Watching her fidget, her attention darting around their classroom, Edward realized that he was bothering her. Of course he was bothering her, he had forced her to talk to a monster for their entire biology class, when she probably didn't want anything to do with him. He turned his face toward the clock and and attempted to ignore Mike's very loud and disapproving thoughts about Edward's conversation with Bella. As if it were any of his business. Naturally Edward and Bella would speak, they were lab partners.
When the bell sounded to notify that the class was over, Edward briefly hesitated. Should he say goodbye? Of course not, he'd bothered her enough. His pause was hardly enough for most humans to even notice he'd hesitated, funny how time seemed to work so differently with vampires. Edward had his belongings gathered, and was hurrying out the door before he could change his mind.
As the bell rang, Bella turned in her seat as she gathered her books and her bag. "I guess I'll see you--" But the words hung in the empty air, the seat Edward had occupied moments before suddenly vacant. She caught the briefest of glimpses of his back as it retreated fluidly out the door of the classroom, leaving the rest of her sentence a mumbled embarrassment. Her cheeks flushed red, humiliated that she'd honestly thought Edward Cullen was interested in what she had to say.
Standing, she found she was almost instantaneously met by Mike, the ever-faithful companion now by her side. "So. You and Cullen, huh? He seemed friendly -- bit of a change since Wednesday, huh?"
Tucking her hair behind her ears, Bella did her best to look bored and confused. "Oh? I didn't notice." Her answer seemed to quell whatever anxieties had been plaguing Mike moments before, as his face opened up and was instantly sunnier.
"So! The Lord of the Rings--" But Bella didn't hear the rest. Her mind was, and would be, occupied only with the past hour of her life for quite some time.
Edward had succeeded in not killing the girl, which was a feat to be proud of. Edward was mostly certain that any thoughts about him and his family that she might have were normal curiousity - nothing to be alarmed of. Mostly certain, but not entirely. More than any of that, Edward was frustrated that his curiosity was no more satiated than his thirst. Torture.. Bella was here at Forks to torture him until he had no sanity left.