Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | By: Drotuno

The Student Body Chapter 2 & Pic

Chapter 2 – Sacrifices
Edward
“Hey, you handsome thing,” Mrs. Cope greeted when she looked up from her desk.
“Mrs. Cope,” I said back with a grin, but she was up and out of her chair to hug me. “My dad hasn’t driven you off yet?”
“Oh, pooh, Edward. He’s a perfect gentleman, that father of yours. And he’s just finishing up with a consultation. Have a seat,” she told me, taking her place back behind her desk. “Did he know you were coming?”
“No, probably not,” I sighed, setting my backpack down and gazing out the window.
Tampa General Hospital was big, sitting right off Bayshore on Davis Island. The view was beautiful – the glittering water from the bay, the extraordinarily expensive waterfront homes, and the bright-blue sky with the warm Florida sun. All of it was so different from home. Chicago would’ve been freezing and snowy this time of year. And despite the cooler weather, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt to class most days. In the far distance, at the opposite end of the bay, the planes from MacDill Air Force Base could be seen taking off and landing.
In the last six years that I’d been living here, I’d gotten to know the area. The thought made me smile, because it had been trial and error learning the city that was truly spread out. Of all the friends I’d made at school, Bella was my closest, and it was with her that I’d tried to figure this whole town out. We’d gotten lost so many times, I’d stopped counting. And that was simply trying to find places we’d needed, never mind bars and restaurants.
“Son?”
Turning around, I saw my dad. We were nothing alike in looks, but our builds were similar, and he was my biggest support when it came to my choice of vocations.
“You here to take me to lunch?” he asked, grinning my way.
“No…well, we can, but…” I said nervously, raking a hand through my hair and then rubbing the back of my neck.
He knew my habits so well that he immediately sobered. “Okay, c’mon in.”
I picked up my school bag, hitched it up onto my shoulder, and followed him into his office, setting the bag down in an empty chair. He took his seat, tilting his head at me.
“Everything okay at school?”
Nodding, I sighed. “Yeah, great.”
“Bella okay?” he asked, smiling up at me.
My parents loved Bella Swan. They simply adored her. My mother wasn’t as subtle as my father. She’d be over the moon if there was more than friendship to it, but my dad continuously told her to let it go.
“That’s kinda why I’m here,” I hedged, grimacing a little. “I just… I need your help with something.”
“If you’re finally asking that pretty thing out, then I can’t hold your mother back, son,” he teased me, merely trying to lighten the mood, but he sobered when I flinched a little. “Sit, kiddo. Talk to me.”
I took the chair across from him and wondered why I was so damned nervous. Sex wasn’t an off-limits conversation with my parents. They’d always been pretty open about it, even when I was a kid. When I’d started dating in high school, Dad had taken me aside and told me to be careful, always. With Dad, I could tell him just about anything.
Maybe it was because I’d promised Bella I could get this done. She’d seemed devastated that she’d lost her male subject for her thesis. I knew for a fact that if I’d needed her, she’d have busted her ass to help me. We’d been that way since we’d met in the dorms our freshman year.
I met my dad’s now worried gaze and said, “You know Bella’s thesis is on human sexuality, right?”
He nodded, his brow furrowing, but he smiled a bit when he spoke. “I do. We’ve spoken about it quite a few times. It’s a smart idea, though a little edgy for some uptight college professors. In the long run, it’ll help her with any papers she decides to publish or with couples in the future, not to mention her internship. She’s hoping to help couples conceive. That’s her specific goal, if I’m not mistaken. Her secondary is sex therapy. But a lot of times that goes hand in hand. It’s an honorable and much needed avenue of medicine.”
Nodding, I smiled his way. He’d told me more than once that I’d been a miracle baby, that without someone working with them, Mom might not have conceived me. He said they’d tried numerous times prior to me, and it had been heartbreaking. He truly respected Bella’s choice.
“She…She lost her male subject, and I promised her I’d help. How fast can you get a full blood screen back?” I asked him, reaching for the paper Bella had reluctantly given me before we’d gone back to our apartment building yesterday.
My dad’s eyebrows shot up high, taking the paperwork from me. He opened his mouth but then quickly shut it.
“I know!” I groaned, shaking my head. “I know it’s essentially sex on film, but it’s just…”
He grinned. “Edward, it’s sex on film with a stranger.”
I raised an eyebrow back at him. I wasn’t exactly the pope when it came to my sex life. Though, in the last few years of med school, I’d been so damn busy that I’d had no time for relationships. If I wanted to have dinner with someone, I simply ordered it and showed up at Bella’s apartment with it. She was the best, because she understood just how busy I was; hell, she was under just as much pressure.
“Son, are you sure?” he asked, leaning on the last word.
“Yeah, I mean… She’d do this for me. She’s been my damn test subject for everything I’ve learned. It’s only fair…”
He glanced back at the paper, seemingly noting every test that she needed. “I could probably have a rush put on this. So possibly forty-eight hours? Three days at most, because this is a pretty thorough screening.”
“Yeah.” I sighed, shrugging my shoulder. “I’m clean, but I guess she needs it on record. She’d asked for a physical, too, but waved it off.”
He studied me for a second. “I can do that, too.” He set the paper down, tenting his fingers. “You like her, son.”
I knew it was coming, but I flinched anyway. “Of course. She’s the closest friend I’ve made at USF.”
“That’s not what I’m saying, Edward, and you know it.” He held his hand up when I started to speak, but he wasn’t angry. Hell, my dad hardly ever got angry. “Let me tell you something, okay? And hear me out, because you’re about to take on something that could change things. You and Bella are as close as two people could be. I’ve seen it. You’re in and out of each other’s homes. You’re the very best study partners for each other – which is excellent support, by the way. And you’re fiercely protective of one another. You don’t see it, but I do. You care a lot about Bella. That being said, you’ve both also dated, but you rarely shove it in one another’s faces. This…” He held up the paper. “This isn’t practicing massages or studying for an anatomy test. This is…”
“Just sex.” I said it without much conviction, but I nodded.
He smirked, something I’d gotten from him. “How long since the last time you’ve been out with a girl? Someone other than Bella?”
Wrinkling my nose, I mumbled, “Two years.”
“Why?”
“I’m busy, Dad!”
He laughed. “I know you are, but that never stopped you before.”
“I tell you too much,” I grumbled, folding my arms across my chest, but his words were starting to make me think things I wasn’t sure I wanted to think. “Jesus, Dad… What do you want me to say? That I think Bella’s the prettiest girl on campus? She is. That hanging out with her is easier than any date I’ve ever been on in my life? Because it is. And what? What do I do about it? Because she’s as busy as I am, and I don’t want to mess up her thesis. You should’ve seen her! She looked scared to death that she was about to lose all her hard work. Her subject flaked out on her at the last minute. And if I push for more and it fucks it up all to hell? Shit, I’ll have lost the best friend I’ve ever had.”
Leaning forward, I tapped the paper I’d given him. “I have the capability to get this for her, where the next subject couldn’t, so I can do this for her so she won’t lose everything she’s worked so damn hard for. It’s just sex. I’m no virgin, Dad. You and I both know that.”
Sitting back in his chair, he sighed. “But she’s going to watch you have sex with someone else, son. This is different.”
“This is science.” I knew the argument was thin, and if this was any other person on the planet, I’d let them sink or swim, but it wasn’t. This was Bella, and I couldn’t let her fail.
He laughed, his head falling back. “Okay, you know what? You’re a big boy, so I’ve said my piece. It’s all on you two, then. C’mon. Let’s head down to the lab so we can get your girl her blood tests. Then we’ll hit an exam room so I can give you that physical.” We stood up, and he gripped my shoulder. “Then you can take me to lunch, and we’ll discuss how to keep this from your mother.”
Chuckling, I nodded. “Yes, sir.”
~ooo~TSB~ooo~
The sound of Velcro sounded loud in the quiet, cool morning of the park. I shook my head, eyeing the knee that had stopped me from playing soccer after my sophomore year. Wrapping it tightly, I took a deep breath and stretched out. There had been no surgery, not one second of rehab, and I didn’t really miss playing, but I knew guys who’d been devastated at the prospect of never playing sports again due to injuries, not to mention everyday people who needed to learn to reuse muscles after surgery. My own minor sprain had given me my career goal.
I glanced up when I heard the sound of sneakers shuffling through the grass. Jasper Whitlock gave me his trademark grin, all lopsided and lazy. He’d been my roommate in the dorms for a few years. While I’d been pre-med, he’d been pre-law.
“Cullen,” he greeted, nodding once.
“Jasper,” I said with a chuckle and a fist bump. “You ready?”
“Definitely.”
I waited until he’d stretched out, and then we both took off through the long, winding path of the park at a comfortable run. We didn’t say much, though we never did. Jasper was a quiet guy and calm. We usually saved our chats for the bench after all was said and done.
The air was crisp, but the sun was beaming down on us. We ran our usual path for about an hour, eventually slowing down for a slow walk to cool off. As we made it to the bench, Jasper finally spoke up.
“I can’t stay long.” He took a seat, wiping the sweat off his face with his shirt.
Smirking his way, I dropped my own shirt on the back of the bench before I rubbed my knee. “You gotta date better than this?”
He grinned and nodded. “Yup. As appealing as you are, Ed, I’ve actually had my eye on this girl for a while. And I’ve finally found the balls to ask her out. We’re having breakfast.”
“Anyone I know?” I asked, falling down to the bench across from him and raking a hand through my sweaty hair.
“Alice Brandon. She’s a Kappa Delta.” He laughed at my raised eyebrow. “Yeah, the sorority life was never our thing, but she’s different, Edward. A tiny thing. Smart. She’s in her senior year, and she’s hoping to get a teaching job somewhere here in Tampa next year. Elementary education.”
Smiling, I studied his face. “Good for you, man. Hope it works out.”
“Me, too. She’s been holding back, but I finally got her to say yes.” He grinned, wiping his face again with his shirt. “What about you? How’s Bells?”
“Bella’s great. And I’m not seeing anyone, Jasper. You know that.”
“You keep telling yourself that, bud,” he drawled, rolling his eyes at me. “You two have more chemistry than the labs you guys have to work in.”
I barked a laugh, shaking my head, but I frowned down at my knee brace. I reached down to toy with the Velcro strap. “Fuck, my dad said the same thing.”
Jasper chuckled, sitting forward with his elbows on his knees. “Edward, we’ve been friends a long time, so I know you pretty damn well. You’d fight tigers for that girl. And I know for a fucking fact you haven’t gotten laid in like forever. And it’s not like you don’t have offers.”
Snorting, I nodded but then grimaced. “That shit gets old, Jazz. The date, the shallow chatter, the hope that there’s more, but there never is. Then comes the disappointment when I have tests and homework and labs to do. It makes me the asshole when we’ve fucked around and then I don’t have time for more.”
My friend cracked the fuck up, shaking his head. “That’s because the more lives across the hall from you. You’re there more than you’re home…when there aren’t tests, homework, and labs. Fuck, dude, I’m surprised you two haven’t—”
“No.” I laughed, but I met his gaze. “We came close one time. Hell, I doubt Bella even remembers it. Shit, I barely remember it. We were drunk off our asses!” I chuckled again, shaking my head. “It was senior year. We’d just gotten our acceptance letters into med school. We celebrated just a little too much and ended up passing out on her sofa.”
It hadn’t been the passing-out part that worried me but the waking up. We’d been watching TV but fallen out after a few too many drinks. I’d woken up with my hands everywhere on Bella, and she’d been wrapped around me. Bleary gazes had met, and the realization crashed down on us quickly. She’d felt amazing pressed against me, face to face, her lips so fucking close. Though reality was a nasty bitch, because she suddenly pushed away from me and darted into the bathroom. We spent the next day nursing some seriously ugly hangovers.
“She’s hot, Edward, and you flirt with her like you want to… Don’t you ever think about it?”
“I’m not fucking blind, Jasper.” I grinned and rolled my eyes. “And Bella pushes back just as much bullshit as I send her way. It’s what we do.”
“I think you’re lying to yourself there, Pinocchio.” He gestured to his nose, and I flipped him off.
I actually opened my mouth to tell him what I’d volunteered to do for Bella, but then I shut up. I wasn’t sure what I could say about Bella’s thesis, and I was pretty damn sure I didn’t want to hear Jasper’s mouth about it, either.
He didn’t stick around much longer. He was way too excited for his date. By the time I started back to my apartment, the sun was completely up and burning away most of the crisp January air. I kept my shirt tossed over my shoulder as I opened my apartment door. And I almost tripped over the manila envelope that had been shoved underneath it.
My dad had left a Post-it note on the outside of it. Son, here’s your results of your blood work and physical. Give Bella my best. –Dad
Without even setting foot into my apartment, I slammed the door closed, spinning around to head to the door down the hall. I knocked, trying the knob, but it was locked, which wasn’t unusual for her this early in the morning.
Grinning at a grumpy, just-awakened Bella, I said, “Hello, Swan. Aren’t you a ray of sunshine this fine morning?”
Despite her bleary-eyed glare at me, she was utterly adorable in baggy sweats she’d stolen from me, paired with a long T-shirt. I hadn’t seen her since our chat in the library almost three days prior. We’d been in class and labs.
“Cullen, it’s too early for your half-naked, sweaty, overly cheery self,” she muttered, stepping back and letting me inside. “What do you want? I was up working on my paper until like two o’clock.”
I held up the manila envelope my dad had pushed underneath my door. Her eyes narrowed but then widened when she saw the hospital logo in the corner, even more when she saw the note from my dad.
“I got your results, Swan,” I stated, chuckling when she snatched the envelope out of my hand.
“You haven’t even looked?” she asked, ripping open the seal. “I can’t believe you got this back so fast!”
Folding my arms across my bare chest, I smirked her way. “I told you I would get them. And no, I haven’t looked. I know I’m clean. It’s you who needed proof.”
She read through my results, her eyes wide. “Your dad rushed this shit. And he got everything!”
“Yes,” I said with a laugh. “Yes, he did. He also thinks I’m crazy. Used a big fucking needle, too.” I held out my arm where the needle mark was barely visible. “Wanna kiss it? That shit hurt like a son of a bitch.”
She rolled her eyes up to mine. “No, you big baby.” She knocked my hand away, but she sighed deeply as she read my results again, only to look me over. Her brow furrowed, but she stayed silent for a minute.
“Let’s do this, Bella,” I told her softly. “You won’t lose all your work.”
“I told you if you got the results quickly enough, we’d talk about it, Cullen.”
I gestured to her sofa, wearing a smirk. “So let’s talk, Swan.”


5 comments:

smook said...

YES - Let's do this Swan. Now all we need is for the 2 females to drop out. Leaving Bella to fall in place. Thank you.

LoLo-50 said...

They need to wake each other up to what could and would be better that any science experiment.I can't wait for their ahha moment

Kelly said...

My stomach hurts thinking about her watching him have sex with strange girls....

Kelly said...

My stomach hurts thinking about her watching him have sex with strange girls....

aelita48 said...

Bella hesitates, what is that she is afraid of seeing Edward with two other girls?
I believe that I shall not like it!
Kisses

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