Peaches Chapter 1

-oOoOo- Monday -oOoOo-

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Well, my first day of school hadn’t gone too badly so far, despite the damp, chilly, drippy, gloomy day, but it was only lunch time. My mission for the day was to just survive the new-kid-first-day ogling.

It sure looked like I’d already picked up a friend. Jenna … Jennifer … Jessica!

She’d latched onto me in the last class before lunch, and her mouth had run a mile a minute, but that had been okay. Mostly. Her chatter had kept me from having to actually speak.

She was a perky thing. Just a little ray of sunshine in cloudy, damp Forks. Her light brown curls bounced around her shoulders as she rambled on, chatting about this class and that student, and how this teacher and that teacher were about assignments and homework. I didn’t think I’d have too much trouble with the classes though. Most of the stuff I’d done already back in Phoenix.

I’d have to say the best part about Jessica attaching herself to me like a barnacle was at least when she looked at me she wasn’t fucking me with her eyes; unlike that Mike Newton boy. Noodles was in my first class and was up my ass the second I walked into the room. Granted, I wasn’t half-bad looking, and I had great hair—even if I did say so myself—but you would have thought the disinterested stare and the multiple layers of clothes I was wearing would have put him off.

Nope.

Seemed he liked girls who wore two T-shirts under their two-sizes-too-big Green Bay Packers sweat shirts and were rocking the bag lady look.

I thought I nailed it with the royal purple backpack, the navy pea coat, and burgundy desert boots with the broken down heels.

Unfortunately, the jersey had given him an opening.

“So, you’re a Packer Backer?” he had asked brightly as he escorted me to my chair.

I had just blinked at him and said, “No. I bought it because it was green.”

He had appeared confused for a moment, shook it off, and the big grin was plastered back on his face.

I might need to adjust my mission.

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I sighed as Jessica dragged me over to what I assumed was her usual lunch table that was nearly full already. I groaned as I recognized the spiky blond hair on the one guy.

Noodles.

Swell.

I slumped in the chair at the end of the long, rectangular table as my new buddy Jessica bounced to the seat across from me.

“Bella, this is Angela, Ben, Tyler, Lauren, Eric, and Mike.” Jessica waved her hand at each of them. “Everybody, this is Bella. We have trig together.”

I gave them a little wave, dropped my lunch bag on the table, and tried to ignore Mike, and that Tyler dude who was leering at me.

You’d think he’d never seen a girl with a Ren and Stimpy lunch bag before.

The dark-haired boy named Ben leaned toward me and asked, “So, how’s your first day been so far?”

“Moist,” I answered as I pulled my ham and swiss sandwich and green grapes out of the bag.

“Would you like a drink, Bella? I could get you one.”

Mike was up on his feet already, and his blue eyes looked so eager, I said, “Sure, if they have lemonade. Let me get you some money.” He was gone before I could even reach into my pocket.

I shrugged my shoulders as Jessica and the quiet girl Angela rolled their eyes.

Jessica giggled. “You’re the shiny, new toy.”

I just nodded resignedly as I took a bite out of my sandwich and looked around the crowded cafeteria. They would all get used to me soon. In a little town like Forks, I was big, big excitement.

It was kinda sad, really.

I was pleased to note I wasn’t the only one who looked kinda damp.

The doors opening again at the far end of the cafeteria caught my attention and this humongous dude with short dark hair and adorable dimples strutted in. Right beside him was a tall blonde chick who looked like a model for the classic pin-up girl pictures the sailors taped up next to their racks.

“Who are they?” I asked.

Jessica took a quick peek over her shoulder and turned back to me with a devilish grin on her face.

“They’re the Cullens,” Angela said timidly from my left.

“They’re Doctor Cullen’s adopted kids,” Jessica added, raising her eyebrows up to her hairline. “He’s a surgeon at the hospital.” She leaned over the table and whispered, “They moved here about two years ago from Alaska. He and his wife can’t have kids or something so they adopted five. Can you imagine?” She brought her hand up next to her mouth as if there was any chance the adopted people could hear us as they walked by. “The big guy is Emmett Cullen and the girl next to him is Rosalie Hale. See how she looked all around the room? Just checking to see if everyone was looking at her.”

“Well, she is beautiful,” Angela said softly. She pushed her glasses up her nose and brushed her long, deep brown hair over her shoulder. “Actually, they’re all very good looking.”

“Good looking? They’re gorgeous!” Jessica hissed as she looked quickly over her shoulder again. “The short girl with the spiky, black hair is Alice Cullen, and the blond guy right behind her is Jasper Hale. He always has that grumpy look on his face. He’s Rosalie’s twin. Oh!” Jessica squealed and slapped her hand over her mouth. “There’s Edward Cullen,” she gushed.

My first thought was that they were all really pale. Really, really pale. Even more so than I was.

Then my eyes were crazy glued on the disgruntled blond god that was practically floating across the room.

“Fuckin’-A. I’d tap that in a heartbeat,” I muttered.

“Bella!” Jessica’s baby blues were about to pop out of her cute face.

Apparently, she’d heard that. “What? Look at him.”

“Edward?”

“Edward? Pfffffft. The blond.”

He was … he was fucking hot. I could just eat him up and leave nothing but fingernails behind—if I didn’t choke to death first on my own drool. He was even sexier than my last fuck buddy boyfriend back in Phoenix. That guy had been pretty hot, and he didn’t come close.

Jasper. Kind of old fashioned, but it had a sexy sound.

He had on a charcoal grey V-neck sweater over a navy blue collared shirt, blue jeans that were just tight enough to show the flexing of his thigh muscles as he walked, and hiking boots. My whole body quivered. I realized my mouth was hanging open and snapped it shut.

I never even heard the rest of what Jessica was blathering on about, though I wondered briefly if she had mentioned anything about why Mr. Crankypants was cranky.

*Whew* I could crank that shaft.

I would ask Jessica later. She’d be only too happy to tell me.

I watched the five beautiful pale people move gracefully across the room and when that blond beauty’s back was to me I nearly dropped my teeth.

Would you get a load of Grumpy Guy’s ass? And those shoulders?

It was a good thing he sat down because I damn near fell out of my chair. I shook my head to clear the stupor and tried to refocus on my food.

It was inevitable that they would look over toward our table. I was the new girl, and it wasn’t like I hadn’t heard people talking about me and whispering all day. Then there was Jessica who was practically hyperventilating over the scrawny, pretty boy she called Edward.

Not that there was anything wrong with being a pretty boy, it’s just that I preferred my men to look like … well, men.

Then, you know, Noodles was sort of hovering, and Laurie … Laurel … Lauren was getting louder and louder trying to keep Tyler’s focus on her.

What was the fascination? I was just fresh meat, I guessed.

I forced my attention back to Jessica, finished my sandwich, drank a bit of the lemonade Noodles had bought for me, and stared down at the grapes that remained. I thought I should finish them off. Waste not, want not and shit.

After picking up and licking the third one before putting it into my mouth, I had the strangest sensation that someone was watching me; though that, in and of itself was odd because people had been staring at me all day. I rubbed at the weird, prickly tingle at the back of my neck and picked up another grape. I tapped it on my lips as I tried to nonchalantly scope out the cafeteria.

I had expected people to try and get a look at me. My dad was the police chief and, apparently, he’d been crowing it from the roof tops that his little Isabella was coming to live with him. Couldn’t fault him for his enthusiasm. He’d even bought me an old truck. “Vintage” or “classic” some would have called it. “Decrepit old piece-of-shit tank” is what I called it. Ugly as it was, I loved that damn old, rusty, bucket-of-bolts.

My main problem with Charlie was he had insisted on telling everyone my name was Isabella. I pushed the grape through my lips and crushed it with annoyance. I’d been correcting people all day about it because I preferred to be called Bella. Sighing, I figured they’d all get it eventually.

Otherwise, I’d hardly even seen Charlie. It was almost like living alone. Which was cool.

I picked up another grape, licked a drop of juice from the end, and as I was about to put it in my mouth my eyes had worked their way around the room and landed on the pretty people again.

I noticed that there were empty tables next to them. The room had seemed fairly packed to me, so why wasn’t anyone sitting next to them?

When Jessica paused for a breath, I dove in with my question. “Jessica? How come nobody is sitting next to the Cullens? Do they stink?”

Through all the jabber and noise in the cafeteria, I thought I heard a snort and a throaty chuckle from across the room.

Jessica’s pretty blue eyes flew open wide. “Wha…? Oh, my God, no! They smell wonderful! I wish I knew what kind of cologne they wore—I’d buy it by the gallon,” she answered, her hands fluttering as she spoke.

She’d probably be swimming laps in it, too. She overdid it a little with the eau de toilette.

Angela cleared her throat next to me like she was embarrassed about even talking. “They … um, it sounds kinda weird, but they put off a vibe.”

That nice boy Bill … Bob … Ben leaned in front of Angela and whispered, “Yeah, it’s like they have a force field around them that keeps you from getting too close. Even the teachers don’t bother them.”

“They never get in trouble,” Tyler muttered. “They turn in all their homework, too.”

The boy with the long, straight, black hair grinned. “Yeah, they do smell really good, but then their shield repels you. It is creepy. I bet they’re, like, way advanced, super-smart aliens, and they have some sort of tricorder thing that sends out a pulse to keep the humans away.” His hands were darting back and forth. “You know, like, they came here from another solar system or galaxy, and they’re studying the indigenous humanoids, but they have to abide by the Prime Directive. They can’t interfere with the natural evolution or development of the native species so they play it real cool and aloof and don’t fraternize.”

They’re all pale and pretty; they smell good; they have a vibe; never get in trouble; turn in all their homework. They probably pass all their tests, too.

They must be aliens.

Lauren, with the stick-straight platinum blond hair that she couldn’t manage to keep from flipping at Ty-leer, sighed in exasperation and rolled her eyes. “Eric, their parents are absolutely loaded—they’re not aliens. Do you have to make everything about Star Wars?”

Rich kids—aliens. Kinda the same thing.

Noodles frowned at her. “That was Star Trek, but yeah. Bella, they are kinda creepy. Especially the tall blond guy. He hardly ever talks and is always just off to the side or standing in corners … watching people.” He shivered a little. “They don’t belong to any clubs or play any sports. They don’t even go to any of the dances. They seem kinda stuck-up. You should probably stay away from them.”

I wouldn’t mind ol’ Jasper getting stuck up in my …

“Huh,” I murmured noncommittally.

“They’re so perfect, I bet their father does experimental plastic surgeries on them or something.”

“If that’s the result, he can do a little work on me.”

I wouldn’t mind a private consultation with that blond babe Jasper. He could do a little work on me.

I turned back to peruse the creepy, pale, technologically advanced aliens that were smart enough to cross galaxies but were too stupid to join the chess club or go to the homecoming dance so they would fit in properly with their research subjects. Being aliens would certainly account for them being stunningly beautiful and not having any acne, or wrinkles in their clothes.

Of course, being the surgically altered children of a rich doctor would account for all of that, too.

The girls were busily chatting with each other, but the big one was grinning, showing damn near all of his shiny white choppers, the golden-haired god was looking right at me, and the scrawny one with the rag mop ‘do was glaring at me. What the hell was his problem? My built-in Asshole Proximity Sensor was going off.

Back to the god wearing the fuck-hot boots and low-rise blue jeans—had he been watching me eat the grapes?

My last boytoy had liked it when I would eat an ice cream cone, and living in Phoenix? My mother Renee had never questioned all the times I went out to the ice cream shop. I had never gotten past the first few licks but …

I glanced down at the little light green fruit and looked back at him from the corner of my eye. I licked it again and pushed it through my lips with one finger. I made sure to pull my finger out of my mouth very slowly.

Then I turned to the quiet girl on my left. “Angela, what’s your next class again?”

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