Chapter 13 Balancing As I sped down the winding road I knew what lay ahead for me. My home.

As the woods thinned out I knew what I had to face. My family. I’m sure Rosalie had informed them all in her own colourful words of my recent revelations to this human girl. The human girl that she could never be. The human girl that had been materialised out of my own personal hell. The human girl that was my punishment for being a monster. The human girl who’s delectable scent still lingered with me. The human girl… Bella that actually had accepted the fiend beside her for the entire day. Bella who’s touch had not been a mistake on my ice cold hands. Bella… As I parked in the garage I shot a side glance at the red car next to me. Any happiness from the day had gone. I had left it on Bella’s doorstep as I drove away only a short while ago. In hope she’d keep it safe, and welcome just as she had today. NO! I growled to myself. No. I hope she doesn’t welcome it into her home. For her own good. She deserves better than me. I locked the car and just as I thought everyone, except Alice, was waiting for me. Their thoughts reached me before I had even walked through the door. The loudest was the string of profanities from Rosalie. Then Jasper’s quiet laughter. My father had a confused sense of relief in his eyes but his thoughts were worried. I mirrored his worries. About my sanity. Maybe Emmett’s right. I thought Maybe I am losing it. Esme looked like she would have tears of joy if she could. Her thoughts were a buzzing humming song. A dance of happiness and the only words I could catch were She’s special, son. ‘’Oh crap, common ref’’ Emmett boomed from next to the TV before silently adding; You started this so you deal with Rose now. ‘’Did you want to talk, Edward?’’ Carlisle asked me in a tone that would be used on someone who’d just recently lost his mind. I stared blankly at him, ignoring Rosalie’s glare, trying to concentrate on his thoughts. The same ones he had on the night I had taken him back to Port Angeles to show him those… I felt anger seep into me… those brutes. My fury trickled down my arms and to my hands. I clenched them into fists as if to stop it from leaking further. Causing any more damage. Justifying the fact I was not good enough for her. I tried to see through the haze and listen again to Carlisle’s thoughts. Edward, she’s special. Esme thinks so too. Look at the effect she’s having on you. I loosened my firsts slightly. The change that we all see in you is absolute. Turning back from this now would only hinder everything you are and everything you have worked to be. Unexpectedly lost focus on his thoughts and snapped my head up at Rose. My fury hadn’t completely waned yet and she had just ignited it higher. I growled at her unsaid words and her smug smile told me that this is the reaction she had wanted from her sick thoughts. Thoughts of taking a pure innocent life of a girl who was only a danger to herself. ‘’How typically Rose. You should…’’ My words fell short as I dropped to my knees and cried out ‘’NO! No. Not, Bella, No.’’ Blood soak through her clothes, from her still, now lifeless cold body. Turning whiter. I couldn’t stand to look. I threw my hands over my eyes but vision still plagued me and I let another cry of agony slip from my mouth. The pain was unbearable. As if my heart was trying to rip through my chest. Like it had come

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alive and started to beat only so I could feel it breaking inside me. The ache was almost too much… Another cry left my mouth as I saw myself beside her. Bloody hands and lips. A smile on my monster’s face ‘’STOP THAT, ROSE’’ I heard Alice say in a final tone. ‘’Pathetic’’ Rosalie answered and the visions ceased and I heard her footsteps going out the door. I got up in a quick, lithe movement and before I could follow her I felt Emmett’s heavy hand was on my shoulder. ‘’Cool down, kid. I’ll talk to her’’ his voice was low and concluding. ‘’I wasn’t going to talk to her’’ I murmured to him. Alice was at Emmett’s side now and she gave a indifferent look. I scoffed at her but Emmett was already following Rosalie’s footsteps out the door without another response. Alice slowly turned to look up at me ‘’ I don’t have to guess what she was thinking’’ she whispered to me ‘’But Edward if you only could…’’ ‘’Not now Alice’’ I cut her off abruptly still trying to control my irritation. I turned on my heel and as I darted towards the stairs I gave Carlisle and Esme a small, discarded look. Within a second I was inside my room hearing the door close behind me as I went to stand by the grand window. I tried to block out all thoughts but instead was greeted by an unwelcome intruder Almost tasted that blood, her sent the ruby pouring from her the brute whispered from within. At that moment my throat was set aflame and I closed my eyes imagining, welcoming the venom filling my mouth. I shot open my eyes and reached in my pocket for the bottle cap and as I touched it I felt the flames from my throat subside and move to where she had touched my hand. A fire that I could stand. The heat still unchanged Without a seconds thought I went to turn on my music system in hope to drown out the bloody thoughts completely. As music filled the room I mindlessly started to hum out of tune. No, not out of tune… The quiet lullaby of the beautiful sleeping girl drowned out the music in my own head. Not long before I could see her again. Of course she didn’t know this. I could imagine her face if she found out that I watched her sleep. She would go running and leave Forks for good. Part of me hoped for that. For her sake. Only for her sake. There was a quiet knock on the door and before I could tell her to go away Alice let herself in. I turned to gaze at her as I slid the bottle cap back into my pocket. ‘’You’re going to see her again tonight aren’t you’’ she said morosely. I sighed ‘’What do you want, Alice?’’ She smiled at my failed attempt to sound aloof. ‘’Well…’’ She started walking towards me ‘’I think it’s very unfair that you’re keeping my future best friend all to yourself’’ She whined. I rolled my eyes and turned back to looking out of the window. ‘’Your future is becoming more solid, Edward’’ She continued ‘’Every time I have a flash of Bella Sawn being hurt, that hazy image is quickly replaced by a much more solid one of her… with you. Always with you’’

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Of course she would be with me. I was her protector. For now. For as long as it was justifiable. In my head. Or until she runs from me, screaming as she goes I thought less hopefully. ‘’What do you want, Alice?’’ I repeated for lack new of words. ‘’Nothing right now’’ She began in a mischievous tone ‘’I can see you’re aren’t ready for that yet.‘’ Then her voice became serious ‘’But the more you try and run from her, the more you can’t. So why not just stop, Edward. Stop and just accept…’’ ‘’…that I might kill her one day’’ I finished for her. ‘’No’’ She said is a louder more sarcastic tone. I saw her eyes narrow in the reflection of the window and I let my head drop. She was standing next to me now. ‘’ You won’t do that. And you know it. You would have done it already if that was the to be, Edward. And I was going to say that you need to accept her as part of your life now.’’ I said nothing. ‘’And mine’’ She added quietly ‘I have to go’’ I said abruptly. I didn’t even wait for her response as I ran out of the house. Racing through the woods as fast as possible. I was halfway to her house when I realised the irony of it all. I should be running away from Bella Swan. Not towards her. Running far far away from her. Leaving her to a life she was worthy of. Not obliterating it with every stride I took. It’s as if I had no control over myself. Right and wrong. It was all a chaotic blur. Completely tangled with one other. Just like Bella and I. Two opposites that were being thrown together. She was right, beautiful and pure. I was wrong, monstrous and tainted. I stopped my thoughts in front of her house. My mind was telling my body that each step I was taking was wrong and I should turn back. But that voice was fading the closer I got to her room. I quietly slipped through the window and just as if she knew, she welcomed me through her slumber with a light mummer of my name. All the happiness was back. She bought it inside with her. It was here in her room. I stood very still and waited for her stirring to ease while saying my name over and over. It felt like I was home. This is wrong. So wrong. I growled. I waited another moment before I heard her steady breathing. Relaxed now I was conflicted between walking towards her or going to take my usual place on the rocking chair. No more mistakes I reminded myself The rocking chair won. As I sat there her scent swirled all around me. Encroaching me all over again. But it was getting a lot easier, even the monster was quiet. I wanted to go over and stroke her cheek. Just to feel her soft, warm skin for one last time. And then again for the last time. And again… I was weak and greedy when it came to Bella. I just wanted more and I knew I wouldn’t… Couldn’t stop myself.

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But I would probably just make it worse. To hold her. She really wasn’t peaceful this night. Bella could wake up and see me right here and I wasn’t even thinking about leaving anytime soon. Had she really seen me? Was I really being so careless? She whispered my name again and threw her arm over her covers and encircled them with a small smile on her face. At that moment I remembered what Rose had said. I was undone. ‘’Pathetic’’ This truly was pathetic. Happy now? I thought to myself angrily Bella sat up in her bed and rubbed her eyes. Yes I was greedy. This time much more than before. To ease whatever agitation that wasn’t allowing her to sleep. But all logic. And I thought she needed to be in a facility for her health? She tossed around some more. I shook my head. Sleep. ‘’Edward?’’ She said in a questioning tone. I looked at the window. Oh no! Did I wake her? Not only was interfering with her everyday life I was disrupting her sleep as well now. I wanted very much to lay next to her. Throw her dreams of me into nightmares. As right they should be. I thought. A monster like me had no place in the dreams of an angel‘s creation. And I let my back slide down the edge of the wall as I made preparations to watch her sleep until the sun disturbed me. I tried to slide under bed discreetly in case she got out. Sleep my sweet Bella.Before I knew it I was walking over to her bed slowly and was about to reach over to caress the side of her face when she stirred again. I shouldn’t even be here. I froze. I should have gone out the window. all reason was beyond me now. She was awake! I threw myself on the floor and lay very still. I heard her slump back down and I very quickly and quietly shifted to a shadow near the corner of the room. I had to leave her room right this moment. 4 .

I parked on the corner of her street and watched Charlie go pass in his cruiser then swiftly pulled into his spot on the drive. Alice threw me the keys of my Volvo. Giving them all a quick icy look. I wondered how long I could continue this bizarre routine with her… This should end it now. Refuse to ride in my car. But that small part was getting smaller with each day. All she could think about was whether or not to give her shiny car a once over before parading it in school today. As I caught it she gave me a solemn look and put her hands on her hips. I almost hit the locks and bolted out of her drive but as she got closer I couldn’t stop her. hoping to know more about what had kept her so restless. I thought remembering my anger at the similar words she spoke to me the other night.Chapter 14 . I wasn’t yet rinsed of my blissful mood so instead of answering her and ruining the day before it began. “Neither could I” I replied to her casually 5 . Her face still had the pout firmly in place. The same as yesterday. Trying to make right of a very wrong situation with no hope in sight. Reject being next to me. I saw her steal a look through it. I looked down and walked towards the back of the house. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. “Good morning” I said through a smile I didn’t even know had formed.Division It had been only less than an hour since I slid out of Bella’s window and raced through the forest to get to my home. She was changing more than just that though. thank you.” she replied. Oh not riding with us again. I watched her carefully. as she closed her front door and walked towards the passenger side of my car. Thankfully her vanity was my saviour today. My eyes focused straight up to her room window. I signed and shook off the thoughts. A small part of me still hoped she would decline my invite. Closer to having her near me again. Or even think it for me to know what she wanted. from opening the door and climbing in. without making it apparent. faintly hearing her heart skip half a beat as a lovely blush filled her cheeks. Edward? Emmett asked me. She didn’t have to say anything. I watched her tuck her long brown hair around her shoulder. Before it’s too late. Trying to conceal her neck? Bella was trying to ease my temptation?! I shouldn’t be amused by the thought. A small part of me wanted her to keep her distance. “I couldn’t sleep” she said simply without further elaboration. I had freshened up and changed for school. Rosalie was already at her car. I said nothing but my mood was souring pretty quickly. to silence their judgments. Funny I had never been eager for school before but Bella had abruptly changed that. but I couldn’t help it. She was obviously hoping that I would be here again. To ignore me. “How are you today?” I looked over her face and remembered how poorly she had slept. Her eyes bright but the circles underneath contradicted them “You look tired” I pushed. How frustrating that I would never know. or rather I didn’t want to stop her. How frustrating this still was. I climbed into my car and backed out of the drive. Half growling to myself I was uneasy now because I couldn’t find that comfortable spot I had been in just recently. My mood started to lift slowly the closer I got to Bella’s house. Slightly disgusted with myself and more so exasperated at her complete off sense of self preservation I let it go and started the engine instead. “Good. I turned around to look at him walking into the garage with Jasper close behind him holding Alice‘s hand. It already is too late.

To watch her lips move as she talked. She rolled her eyes as if she had expected much worse “It changes from day to day” “What’s your favourite colour today” I pushed “Probably brown” What an odd choice. To smell her scent as she played with her hair. Instinctively my hand reached over towards her. Safer to continue my quizzing. dirt it’s covered up with squashy green stuff here” I was staring into her eyes now as I listened. what did you do last night?” “Not a chance. Stop it. there was too much I didn’t know about her. “Brown?” I mused with doubt in my voice. No common ground I mused… 6 . I wanted to look into her eyes some more. Bella belonged in the sunlight. any common ground between us. And I wanted to know everything “It’s my day to ask questions” “Oh that’s right’’ she replied her brow creasing for whatever unknown reason this displeased her “What do you want to know’’ “What’s your favourite colour” I started off quickly. as always. I couldn’t help but feel a little smug at proving myself wrong.She let out a small laugh as she responded “I guess that’s right. I turned back to look at Bella again. rocks. and never will be. “What music is in your CD player right now?” As she mentioned the name of the band I let a half smile reign over my face and my recent thoughts. I miss brown. That was the problem. I wanted her to stay in this car with me. Ignoring the burn that formed now at the back of my throat I knew I didn’t want her away from me for even a moment. easily pulling into a parking space.I was bounding out of control and I needed to be reigned back in. the way she smelled to me…She should be running from my car right about now. I fought with myself again.” I interrupted. do I really need to push this any further. Exiled. flipped through the CD’s to find one in particular. She shouldn’t have to worry about anything. The way I stared at her.tree trunks. I belonged in the darkness. There just wasn’t. But before I could even ask why it was like she read my mind. Stop starting at her I scowled at myself. I suppose I slept just a little bit more than you did” “I’d wager you did” Before I could speak again her questions were back “So. Captivating. Why did I question her choice of colour? It was beautiful. Deep. As I drove into the school. It’s already gone beyond the realms of sanity. This was going to spin out by itself whether I pulled or pushed. Where my true self could never seen. I didn’t want to have to part and go to class. “Sure brown is warm. The irony was.No I wouldn’t need to push. Everything that’s supposed to be brown . She shouldn’t have to worry about my temptations. I wavered for less than half a second before brushing her hair back behind her shoulders. I reached into my CD compartment. “Brown is warm” I concluded out loud. just on time. “You’re right” I composed my thoughts and looked away.

leaning against a wall outside of class.” She looked anxious as she added “I suppose if you asked me in two weeks I’d say onyx” Brushing it off completely. It didn’t help. I resumed with the next question. As usual her silent mind gave me no answers so I asked question after question. It was about if I could. to feel the warmth of her hand in mine. She answered all my questions. She hadn’t travelled very much but she yearned to explore the world. But I never bored. I discreetly slid my chair a little further away from Bella in anticipation of that strange electricity that seemed to intensify in the darkened room. I watched Bella in the dark as she leaned forward on the table resting her chin in her folded arms. As the video ended and the lights were back on. Trying every angle to get a better view of her face. I asked about her favourite books. I stood and was about to walk out the door and never look back but my feet refused to move. Playing with her hair she spoke quietly “It’s the colour of your eyes today. The fire never ceased to shock me. She looked at the cover and recognised it. repetitive pattern. The hour dragged on the same as before and same as before I had the urge to reach over and touch her soft skin. Hey kid. and touched her face with the back of my hand. I could not. I had no will left. My quizzing paused in Biology as Mr Banner had decided to finish the video we were watching on Photosynthesis. mostly with a perplexed uncertainty. At all. I began to rummage through the minds of Bella’s classmates and teacher. This annoyed me greatly mostly because his hostility was misplaced. I wanted nothing more than to go over there and snap his frail racket holding arm… Hey Edward what’s wrong. This seemed to enthuse her. though. She had a lot to say on what a good book should be like and what she had read. She was the center of every thought I had now. And in this moment. “Tell me” I demanded after her reluctance to answer. made her blush. I turned without a word and walked to Spanish. Now I was intrigued as to why a simple question about her favourite gemstone. How could I escape that? We stopped in front off the gym I reached out. Some. Revelling in the fascinating details whilst walking her to her classes. you look a ton better than this morning. “What kind of flowers do you prefer?” She seemed just as pleased for the subject change. through to the lunch hour. The day continued in a lazy. Emmett was waiting for me. That boy Newton was still in a hostile mood towards Bella. He assumed “Thanks” I mumbled quietly. I was frozen on the spot. I realised now that it was not about if I would walk away from Bella. It was the same CD she had just mentioned. I knew that it would open a flood gate. I started at her face for a long moment before my eyes wandered over her hair noticing her hands clenched over the table’s edge just like mine. I didn’t know how to respond to the word better. We settled into class. before I started to get irritated at her close observations. I looked at Emmett and I realised I was almost out of my seat. This would amuse me and I pressed the subject further just so I could watch the colour in her cheeks deepen. 7 . it was clear. which she said was topaz. Every ounce of energy I was putting into keeping my distance from her was futile. had reddened her cheeks so quickly. with no second thought or any hesitancy. I gathered the kind of movies she liked. Several times I almost did but stopped myself. No common ground I thought again without humour.“Debussy to this?” I handed Bella a CD. As I walked Bella to her gym class in silence I folded into myself. But nothing was stopping me from making mistake after mistake. She looked away from my face and sighed in defeat.

“Charlie’s round the corner” I said grimly. “Not good” I said quietly “What is it?” Bella asked a little shocked I looked at her bewildered expression and said “Another complication” I let the door fly open and quickly moved away from her. unless you want to tell him you’ll be with me on Saturday…” “Thanks. A dark car pulled up on the curb. but no thanks” She started gathering her books. Without the dark. every scent and every detail from her life in Phoenix. “The easiest time. My control wasn’t going to last. I wanted to know about her life before Forks. I looked across the horizon as I wondered whether to continue that sentence. didn’t I?” “What more is there?” “You’ll find out tomorrow. I had to calm myself from almost ripping the door handle off. 8 .but your father will be home soon” “Charlie!” She said loudly. But also the saddest. I noticed the time as she finished off the description of her old messy room. “I told you I wasn’t done. Class was finally over and I gave Emmett a defeated look and hurried to the gym. So. “So is it my turn tomorrow. Then I signed quietly. in a way… the end of another day. Bella needed to get inside her house. I didn’t allow too long of a silence before my questions began. “Are you finished” She asked at my silence. The first raindrops started to give way to heavier ones as we sat in front of her father’s house for hours while she told me every scene. In the midst of hearing her heart starting to race I heard a car nearing the house and another voice. as if she had forgotten where we were. the return of the night. I looked back at Bella. I glared back at the car and sped out of there without another word. don’t you think?” “I like the night. Before me. A wide smile spread across her face and she sighed quietly to herself. To Bella. Although that wasn’t a pleasant thought it was as if I was trying to compensate for not being able to see into her mind. “How late is it” her eyes widened slightly as they found the clock. Now. “Charlie will be here in a few minutes. This time I wanted the whys and hows of her answers. “It’s twilight” I said mostly to myself. And I listened to his thoughts coming out with a dozen reasons and conclusions to this ‘mess’ as he called it. then?” “Certainly not!” I scowled with a smile. I smiled back just as wide and relieved. How long was I going to keep this muted barrier up against my siblings? “It’s Mike Newton” I added “He’s really beginning to bother me” Emmett didn’t think anything more on that. “Not even close . Darkness is so predictable. she was staring at me like she knew there was more “It’s the safest time of day for us” I caved.“Nothing” I whispered climbing back in. Not that you can see them here much” She answered and I laughed at her continuous findings of faults for Forks.” I concluded and reached across to open her door. She instantly climbed out and into the rain. we’d never see the stars.

I was sure of that. This was fast becoming routine but I had never left in such a hurry. But I tightened my fists and clenched my jaw shut. ready to run home.Chapter 15 . Jacob Black. Sliding quickly into the shadows out of sight. Focusing again on Charlie’s thoughts. I stood statuesque for the remainder of the game until finally Billy and Jacob were heading towards the door. Hunting trip. He was still thinking of Bella beside me. I wanted nothing more than to continue my nightly pattern and climb into Bella‘s room when her lights went out. He was right after all. Always for her. I heard Charlie and Billy talking about some fishing trip. in my car. But right now I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. Bella’’ Billy said. I reached the house in record time finding a place in the shadows near the side. I slackly parked the car in my front lawn and in the same breath almost ripped myself out through the door. I kept very still. I would be able to hear clearly enough from here. trying to see if there was any concern in his mind about my family. I was greeted with the realisation that I was standing in Bella’s room. His thoughts were more of a severe warning than his spoken words. At that moment I was a danger to him.Hah! A danger to Bella. I was seething as much as I was speeding towards my house. Again. About us… There was no us. Charlie had just left and I parked in his spot. But before I could slip through her fingers again. About me. I sighed quietly. I had to fight every single fibre inside me to not rip the front door open… and his deluded head off. But Bella’s vague unfocused answers to him made me calmer. Of course he was. not at that moment. The morning was the same as the last. I was smiling instantly as Bella climbed in beside me. I couldn’t help but smile with gratitude at my little sister. “How did you sleep?” I asked. Alice had reminded me that I was to leave school early with her today. And I could. He was positive that I was a danger to Bella. Usually I waited until Bella was asleep. I thought grimly Well Charlie seemed fixed on the game now as Bella came through to the room with that boy. But Billy’s thoughts were not entirely focused. Every one of his erratic thoughts were a crazy spinning frenzy on how to keep Bella’s attention. changed and then drove back to Bella’s. Letting my head drop and closing my eyes I waited for them to leave. Bella and I were two very separate entities. Fear not for myself but for her. made it easier to control the urges to annihilate the irritating boy. After this evening. after seeing myself as the monster through the eyes of someone else… it made me fear. About Bella and me. slightly confused by the tiny skip in her heartbeat. I almost growled. And something told me that if Billy had been the one in the drivers seat instead of his son. I ran to my house. her scent filling the car again. 9 . I listened. Like a predator. Immediately his mind hit me like a bulldozer. he would have done the same thing to the back of my Volvo. I don’t know how long I stood there thinking about right and wrong once again but as I refocused my eyes. Contrary not complimentary. but the image was wrong. In his mind I looked dangerous. As the car drove away and Charlie closed the front door. I’d have to explain to later. He was looking at her almost inappropriately. A killer. So my sudden rush had left Emmett wide eyed as I disappeared into the forest so fast that I didn‘t even catch his thoughts. This time I turned off my engine and rolled down the windows. Only for her. Had Bella not been there I would have reversed back into his car… I remembered the look on Billy’s face. “You take care. locking it. I shook my head and gave up.Back and Forth Billy Black’s thoughts were insulting at the very least.

Because I just can’t I thought almost painfully “No. I left the last part out but I knew that this was going to be dangerous. “I should have let you drive yourself today” “Why” she almost looked angry. I was however startled at her lack of romantic history but also comforted at the same time. Bella. The truth just came out automatically with Bella. “Your truck will be here. “So where are you going?” Bella’s voice was slightly hesitant “Hunting” I never even thought about what I was saying. Surrendering I murmured “Perhaps you’re right” 10 . And more about her relationships with them. We’ll go get your truck and leave it here for you” I snapped irritated by the thought. I felt a little conceited.” Otherwise I’ll end up killing you. Tell me you are scared of the monster inside me. I really don’t mind walking” I was shaking my head before she even finished. that’s okay. no big deal. “If I’m going to be alone with you tomorrow.I couldn’t help but be a little smug because I knew the answer already. Just so you know.unless you’re afraid someone might steal it” I laughed and she finally agreed “All right” she said in an almost challenging tone. How asinine of her to think I was just going to leave her to walk home. She seemed anxious as she answered “Not in Phoenix” Argh this isn’t good I thought but contrarily I felt pleased. I wanted to know why that was the case. Tell me you don’t want to be alone with me. Again this day was the same as the previous. But my questions differed. and the key will be in the ignition . Do it. She was going to miss me? My dead heart almost started thumping right then but her answer broke my jovial moment “Oh. you know” Please cancel. of course. It’s always helpful to have a little sister with an uncanny ability to find things. I’m going to take whatever precautions I can. I can’t” Bella echoed my thoughts. it’s not that far of a walk” “I’m not going to make you walk home. “Fine how was your night?” she asked “Pleasant” I replied “Can I ask what you did?” She continued “No today is still mine” I smiled fully now. Let your human senses lead you away from me. He face became confusingly poignant “I don’t have my key with me. She bit into her bagel when this reminded me of my own appetite and my errand for this afternoon. Do the right thing. I wanted to know more about the people in her life. In the cafeteria now. “You can always cancel. “I’m leaving with Alice after lunch” I answered her quietly and watched her face drain of anger only to be replaced by what looked like disappointment. For I could not fathom any reason for a girl like Bella to have lack of suitors “So you never met anyone you wanted?” I tried not to sound pathetically hopeful.

She was just impossible. She grimaced at me as if asking me to challenge her some more. Another answer I would have to modify “Incredulous. he knows I have been meaning to do the laundry. was that wretched truth that keeps slipping from me.” “I told you . We aren’t going far” I managed to say “Why are you going with Alice?” Because Alice loves you like I do. Hopefully this was warning enough for her to finally back away. now you really do sound like a creep.” I asked “Will Charlie be there?” Maybe her father being at home was going to help me anchor my need. again. Rosalie thought and I focused on blocking her out Emmett was laughing as he tried not to look over I never knew watching you fumble over a girl would be so much fun! “They don’t like me” Bella interrupted my scowling at Emmett. I frowned and opted for a less open response “Alice is the most… supportive” That worked. what will he think?” Oh yes.you don’t see yourself clearly at all. Maybe he‘ll think I fell in the washer” Impossible. for that matter. “Whatever we find I the park. for the most part” She looked behind at the table where my siblings sat.“What time will I see you tomorrow?” Bella asked casually “That depends… it‘s Saturday. Might as well tell her that you sneak in through her window when she’s sleeping. startling me with her casual tone at such non-standard subject. She seemed nervous when she continued “And the others? What are they?” They’d rather I killed you and got this over with. he’s fishing tomorrow” The monster inside me peeked out “And if you don’t come home. I tried my best to comfort her insecurities. But her face was unchanged as if she had no idea of my insinuation.” And there. You fascinate me. She seemed hurt by this thought. however rightly placed they might be “That’s not it. Her answer seemed triumphant “No. Idiot. don‘t you want to sleep in?” “No” she answered almost overlapped my question I muffled a smile unsuccessfully at her eagerness. She answered steady and casual “I have no idea. 11 . then. “Where are you hunting tonight” Bella asked. They don’t understand why I can’t leave you alone” Frowning now she turned back to face me and replied “Neither do I. just glaring back. You’re not like anyone I’ve ever known. “The same time as usual. But I remained silent.

“Edward” Alice replied and then silently added Quit being so dramatic I decided to introduce them “Alice. You always take me my surprise. remembering what class we had next “We still have fifteen minutes of that wretched movie left to endure in Biology . Making my mood perk up. Do you have any idea how dangerous all this is? Rosalie’s thoughts came at me loud and fast. “I’m sorry about that. You see… it’s dangerous for more than just me if. Bella turned back to me as confusion and fear washed over her face. And she had a right to know what her fate might be.I growled under my breath silencing her thoughts abruptly. I’ll meet you at the car” Without response. Of course I couldn‘t refuse her. Alice walked out of the cafeteria. She was overstepping the mark “Hi. She thought I was being false. Alice” “Hello. But she turned her head back to my family.“ Oh. that’s right tell her everything. But there’s more… and it’s not so easy to put into words . But you… you never do what I expect.“ I started. Bella wanted to… console me? “And you have to leave now?” She asked in a nonchalant tone “Yes” I replied and as I raised my face. I thought that this would be it. Now I had to explain Rose’s behaviour too.” Now I was confused by her look of resentment and embarrassment. “Are you ready” Alice directed her question to me Still irate at her I answered curtly “Nearly. She turned to glower at Bella now And you’re risking it for this insignificant human girl. She’s just worried. 12 .Reading Bella’s face was becoming a little easier. after spending so much time with you so publicly…” I couldn’t look at her anymore. Staring down at the table I wasn’t sure if I could finish that sentence “If?” Bella persisted. Alice” Bella said timidly. “Having the advantages I do” I tapped my forehead quickly to remind her “I have a better than average grasp at human nature. Edward. Maybe you just need a little push or maybe I can… . Bella” Alice trilled and smiled widely at her “It’s nice to finally meet you” I gave Alice a warning look. People are predictable. “If this ends… badly” I let my head drop into my hands. Bella . her big brown eyes looked disheartened at the thought of my departure. “It’s probably for the best.Bella.I don’t think I could take anymore” Alice crept behind me silently “Alice” I said without looking away from Bella’s face. I didn’t move. I decided to keep going to help her understand more “That part is easy to explain. Slightly stunned I felt her hand come towards me but she let it drop on the table. These words would be all she needed to start grasping the danger she was in. This made me smile and I watched as her expression change.

Bella followed suit and sighed “I’ll see you tomorrow” She looked unhappy and I knew why. as I approached. “I’ll be there in the morning” I said and reached over to touch her face.” I urged “I promise to try to be safe. I shouldn‘t… “We’ve got to go Edward.that ought to be fraught with peril” “Don’t fall in” I said keeping with her mocking tone “I’ll do my best” I stood up.“ Alice chimed in “Do you really think I would let you be alone with Bella if I saw you hurting her? I wouldn‘t be able to bear it almost as much as you” “I guess you’re right Alice but…” I couldn’t bring myself to say my uncertainties out loud. not able to meet their gaze I stared at the tips of my shoes.” she tried to reassure me “You are stronger than you think. When I realised what I was doing I turned and walked away without another word. how could I tell them when they had such faith in me? I couldn’t break that. grinning. son” “She’s right Edward. It looked agonised.” How little she knew herself “Promise. They didn’t speak but their thoughts were almost identical. “It seems like a long time to you. Neither of them saw me making a mistake.what a challenge” She said sarcastically “For you it is a challenge. And then they both turned to look at me. She was ecstatic to have made contact with Bella today. I parked the car in the garage and made my way into the house with Alice just a step behind. She was by my side in an instant. But I knew if I said anything it would just worsen the images in her head. No I couldn’t. doesn’t it?” And she nodded confirming what I thought. Looking at Esme’s clear. I grimaced at her thoughts I drove home in silence… on my part anyway. pleading almost. Alice was at the car. Through her mind I saw my face. I‘ll do the laundry tonight . Because I felt it too (though I knew I would see her before she saw me). Bella will have finished class soon” Alice cut through my thoughts 13 . determined face and then at Alice’s. Esme was in the dining room and Alice skipped around me to kiss her on the cheek. I shifted on the spot and put my hands in my pockets. her hand on my face “You won’t fail. And you try to be safe” I cautioned “Safe in Forks . brushing across her cheekbone. As if that was a green light for her. I wouldn’t. She didn’t have free reign yet. My fingertips found the bottle cap in my right pocket as I looked up at Esme. “No ’have fun’ works as well as anything” I said grinning at her candidness “Have fun then” “I’ll try. They were sure I wouldn’t undo Carlisle’s teachings.“Should I say ‘have fun’ or is that the wrong sentiment?” Bella asked turning back to look at me. They didn’t think of it that way. Edward. I couldn’t control Alice’s thoughts.

” She was silent for a moment as she thought about Rosalie “Rose’s hostility towards me doesn’t bother me as much as her thoughts towards Bella” I retorted back at her thoughts “Hmmmm yes Rose. you know. She was back in an instant “Ready?” She asked in her high voice. She beamed back openly. I sighed and headed out the door “Don’t forget to put the key back under the eave. I got into the drivers seat and Alice handed me the key as she slid in beside me. I love Bella too. tore a piece off and threw it back behind me. Then I pulled out my pen from my inside jacket pocket and looked for paper in the glove compartment “On the floor behind your seat“” Alice helped. Be safe I folded the note. Alice and I reached Bella’s house and she gave me a wink and she flew to get the key from under the eave and let herself in. I found the note pad. She’ll come around soon. She just needs… time. but he means no harm. I lingered in the hallway waiting for Alice to find the key. And hurried out the door giving Esme a half smile. He doesn’t understand but he won’t step out of line. We were halfway to the school when Alice spoke “Edward. 14 . I trailed right on her heel but once inside I didn’t follow her upstairs to Bella’s room.“ “Yes. She just doesn’t see it yet but obviously I do” She didn’t sound convincing and her thoughts betrayed her. That’s all. got out of the truck and placed it on the seat. I looked at the inside of the house one more time. Rosalie was going to be a problem. I’d only seen it in the dark before. I turned the engine off and left the key in. I thought about what to write but decided that there was only one thing I needed Bella to do for me before I was able to see her again. sure.“Yes of course “ I said too formally. Alice but maybe Emmett and Rose…” She cut me off “Oh Emmett thinks you’re crazy. We reached the school and I parked the truck easily. That much was certain. Alice jumped out and waited for me. I looked at her half scowling but she just smiled back innocently. And I couldn’t possibly let anything happen to her” I didn’t speak “And you know how Jazz feels now. Alice” I called behind me but her answer came from near Bella’s truck “All done” she smirked at me.

come on. I wasn’t as eager to follow but I figured I might as well get it over with. You need to change before you go to her house don’t you? Reaching the house before her. sheepishly I cleaned the side of my mouth. 15 . “I’m finished. He turned to look at me which only made his laughter more boisterous. I really think that’ll be enoughI looked up and met her eyes. “Not true…” Emmett began stifling a laugh “He’s with her alone in her room most nights or don’t you know?” “Thanks. And this trip was for Bella” I narrowed my eyes and murmured “For Bella. Just watched me most of the time.Chapter 16 . As I hesitated by the door I heard Emmett talking “Rose. he’s done well so far give him some credit” “That’s only because there were always too many witnesses” she hissed back. Doing this for as long as we have.” She accentuated the word ’perverse’ making me cringe “I like it here. Emmett… But I’m not worried about his creepy. Jasper’s waiting for me and… everyone else is waiting for you” “Sorry” I felt guilty for making her come with me when she didn’t need to but I wasn‘t looking forward to another round with my family. perverse behaviour. of course.” I replied “Good.Ready or Not Elks never seemed to satisfy me. Finishing off my fourth meal of the evening. but I didn’t want to go very far. I wouldn’t think of that now. She had a small crease between her brows. And fruitless because no matter how many elks I slayed it would be in vain the moment Bella’s scent caught up to me again. She didn’t actually hunt much. I leaned back against the wall to wait. grinning when she finally caught up “Slow coach?” I said feigning innocence She squinted her eyes at me and darted into the house. I shook my head trying to rid myself of his thoughts. they won’t be too much trouble. that’s all” Emmett was too busy laughing. She wasn’t thirsty. Bella will be sleeping soon and I didn’t want to miss a moment.” She laughed her bell like laugh and started to run back Come on slow coach. “Shall we go back now? Or did you want to test the theory that vampires can‘t get sick?” She teased me. “It’s okay. when I finally walked in. just accompanying me on this very necessary and fruitless trip. Necessary because I couldn’t allow myself to be thirsty tomorrow even the slightest. Pulling back. I really don’t want to have to move again so soon. it was an art form of sorts and we seldom made much of a mess. And in the park that was all Alice and I could find of substance. I felt full to the brim when Alice put her hand on my shoulder Edward.

I looked like… like a vampire. just confused. “Emmett you should go after her” Alice said. in Emmett’s arms. lunging for Rosalie. I was about to fly up to my room when Carlisle spoke “Will you be bringing Bella to… meet the family. that all” she said with a ring of innocence in her voice and eyes wide. Rosalie stormed out of the room in the blink of an eye and Emmett let me loose. Esme.” Rosalie shrieked at me I looked at the floor. He hated choosing sides. to frown at Alice. He wrapped his huge arms around to restrain me but I couldn’t stop my own snarls ripping through me. Before I knew it I was airborne. But he wasn’t angry. I immediately slumped. It was impossible not to believe her. He’s chosen her over his sister. He sighed heavily and then went through to the kitchen. almost limp. it’s called faith. “Yeah. “I was just telling Carlisle the few possible futures I saw for tomorrow. Edward?” I glanced at him for half a second before slowly turning. with accusing eyes. My eyes fluttered to Jasper for a second as I answered Carlisle “I don’t know” There was a ear splitting smash from the kitchen. I was ready to try and fight off Emmett when I felt a hand on my chest. She was looking at me with concerned pleading eyes. not out of embarrassment but to control my anger. Jasper was trying to defuse the situation but it wasn’t enough to contain my anger. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself if she said anything about Bella. “Edward don’t!” Alice shrilled but it was too late. making it worse until it‘s…” she narrowed her eyes refocusing on me “Until it‘s meal time” That did it. In her mind I saw my own face. Over all of us” “That‘s not the case here” Carlisle continued his voice hardening. “Rosalie please…” Carlisle began “Oh what’s the point Carlisle? He’s made his choice. “If you decide to bring Bella here I’d be more than happy to welcome her” Carlisle continued 16 .“YOU are going to ruin everything tomorrow. I heard a snarl rupture from her as I collided with Emmett who had darted between us. her face twisted up in apprehension “Now Emmett… I don’t think Esme wants her entire kitchen destroyed” Emmett looked at me for a long moment. Glaring solely on Rosalie‘s blazing eyes as she bared her teeth but made no sound. I became aware that a calming wave of serenity was washing over me. Rose” Alice’s joined in “You’re all just placating him.

“Oh stop being melodramatic. “Sorry” I whispered while fleeting to my room and slamming the door behind me. Juggling my family and Bella. Edward” Alice cut in bitterly “Just keep your distance” I snapped at Jasper ignoring Alice’s glare. Edward” Alice walked in without consent “I just wanted to see you before you left. that‘s all” I turned to glare at her as she sat herself on my long black leather couch. “Hurry up. I wondered if I should turn it off. But decided against it. I shook my head. I watched her steady breathing and took in her scent every so often with exaggerated deep breaths. I found a white shirt and blue jeans as there was a light knock on my door. Jasper’s thoughts filled my mind. My anxieties seemed to melt away when I watched her sleep. It burned. 17 . The speed and the wind made me feel free of all the weight I felt in the house. I hurried to freshen up and change. Bella seemed more peaceful as the night moved forward. Partly because I didn’t want to wake her and partly because that was just excuse to touch her. I thought about leaving in the morning and cancelling the trip. Then she chuckled blocking out whatever thought that amused her just then and flitted out of the room. Could I really be alone with Bella for that long? No witnesses… An echo of the monster inside me reminded. Bella was fast asleep but her body didn’t look entirely relaxed. Sometimes I didn’t know if I was protecting Bella from my family and myself or protecting my family from Bella? I was shaking my head as I looked for clothes in my closet. Instead I sat quietly in the rocking chair thinking of the day ahead. But he was still there. and as soon as you realise just how much you’ll stop all this over done brooding stuff” she quipped.“And I would love… like to meet her too” Esme began as she started to walk to the back of the house “but right now I’d like to salvage what’s left of my kitchen or Emmett for that matter” she smiled warmly and disappeared. Deal with it I told myself and breathed even deeper. Eyeing my clothes I wondered what that was about. I couldn’t take anymore of this. It wasn’t as strong as before. I needed to get out of here. folding her hands over her chest tightly. I don’t know about bringing Bella here Edward… I’m not sure… He was scared that he wasn’t strong enough. Everyday was a chore. Racing out of the house and running through the forest alleviated me almost instantly. The unneeded air was welcome in my lungs and I breathed it in deep. winking at me. “You love her. I couldn’t help giving her a half smile. I needed to be near Bella again. She had headphones in with the music still going. I concluded wryly. I was rather doom and gloom lately. I looked at him through narrowed eyes “Give him some credit. The monster was getting weaker. If I ignored her she might go away. she’s almost asleep…well she trying” Alice told me whilst eyeing my chosen clothes. I thought as I picked a tanned sweater out.

still ready to go through the day as planned. This wasn’t the strength that Esme had seen in me. 18 . that way she would have no choice but to allow me to get my car. I shuddered. As his car vanished down the road I looked back to the sleeping beauty not too far from me. I didn’t know if I should be here. I truly was a monster.I ran through the conversation in my mind. Of course I am. I heard her footsteps coming down the stairs and I before I knew it I was facing the door and my hand lightly tapping Knock knock knock No turning back now. Or even Tanya’s words when I had run to Denali not long ago. Bella would know I had something to do with the disabling of her truck. But the words seemed hollow. but I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to use any one of them. My eyes stopped at Bella’s truck. I would tell her the age old ‘something came up’ reason. Was that all really buried now. Or the faith that Alice had. But that it wouldn’t fool her. In that. Some which I had had when I first encountered Bella Swan’s scent. I told myself. I wanted to keep Bella safe and I am still so undecided about her being safe with me? This made me feel weak. concede. I would of course. not completely. The urge. This helped my mood considerably and I chuckled as I spoke “Good morning” “What’s wrong?” she replied anxiously “We match. I could go through every justification in my mind. How much less. I am stronger. She wouldn’t be able to see me at this angle from upstairs. The world was still asleep. I smiled at myself. But it was less. I didn’t want to be the reason Bella ceased to exist. Less? I questioned myself. The next few hours were spent running through excuses and then deciding what reaction Bella would have to each one. She was going to be driving tomorrow. Enough to last the day? I didn’t know the answer to that. I should leave. I slid out of Bella’s window and was now standing against the wall beside her front door. She locked the door as I began walking to her truck. And. the sound was melodic. I was getting quite good at guessing what she might say or do. listening to her hurrying around. But I couldn’t make my legs move. Wanting to occupy my mind away from guilty thoughts I looked out of the window. I should go down there now remove the rotor. I looked over her and realised instantly why Alice had laughed at my choice of clothes. She would wake soon. And most of all. I didn’t want to let Bella down but I didn’t want to disappoint my family either. Wincing slightly as I remembered the deal I had agreed with her in haste. But I knew Bella would be eager to cash in on the rain check that particular reason would involve. No. It was very still outside. the uncontrollable desire. A short while after dawn had broken Charlie was pulling out of the drive. The lack of care to what happened after I had devoured her. I shouldn’t endanger her if I wasn’t a hundred percent sure that… I trailed off in to many different scenarios in my mind. There was a small delay while she struggled with the dead bolt but as soon as the door was open I met her eyes and they were wide and excited. I stood beside the passenger door regretting my decision about not hindering it.” She laughed with me. I was still in a gloomy mindset.

have some respect” she snapped back. She seem anxious. “What are you thinking?” I broke the silence almost rudely. nervous. But I couldn’t tear my gaze from her. I was staring her face as she drove. “Just wondering where we’re going” “It’s a place I like to go when the weather is nice” I looked out of the window at the same time she did. This was going to drive me insane. I realised how much slower than usual she was driving. Was it because she finally realised that she didn’t want to be alone with me. at the pavement’s end?” she questioned “A trail” “We’re hiking?” “Is that a problem?” I knew she’d not be too pleased “Don’t worry.Bella had a tinge of smugness to her face as she spoke “We had a deal” she reminded me. Just the reaction I had predicted. trees and underbrush. “Take the on-oh-one north” I instructed. and we’re in no hurry” She didn’t reply. “Turn right on the one-ten” I instructed again and smiled as I purposely added “Now we drive until the pavement ends” I watched her eyes slightly widen and her knuckles whiten just faintly over the steering wheel. I climbed in silently when she unlocked my door from the inside. She kept focus mostly on the road but every so often her eyes would just slightly jerk to the side at me. Not in a empty forest anyway. “Put your seat belt on . “Were you planning to make it out of Forks before nightfall?” “This truck is old enough to be your car’s grandfather . We drove silently now and I watched her face intently. She still didn’t speak. “Where to?” she asked. The clouds were retreating “Charlie said it would be warm today” “And did you tell Charlie what you were up to?” 19 .I’m already nervous” She narrowed her eyes at me as she did so. Finally we had left the town borders and the conventional houses had been replaced by greenery. To check if I was still looking. it’s only five miles or so. “And what’s there.

“The trail” Bella’s voice was frightened.which is true” “No one knows you’re with me?” How could she be so stupid. She hadn’t told her father? “But Jessica thinks we’re going to Seattle together?” At least someone knew that she was with me.” she replied unhappily 20 . Why would she be upset? “Do you want to go home” I asked quietly. but turned my face to look over my shoulder as I spoke “This way” The annoyance was still clear in my voice and I began to walk into the forest. “I’m not a good hiker. She was actually reacting as she should. not that we were taking it” “No trail” the same panic in her voice. Climbing out. “What’s wrong?” my voice calmer now. “I said there was a trail at the end of the road. You’ll have to be very patient. She didn‘t reply and I just got harsher “Are you so depressed with Forks that it’s made you suicidal?” “You said it might cause trouble for you… us being together publicly” “So you’re worried about the trouble it might cause me . I removed my own sweater but placed on the seat. “No. “I won’t let you get lost” She seemed like she choked on whatever she was going to say as I turned to smirk at her now. Bella parked the truck on the edge and got out. Then I slammed the truck door to catch Bella’s attention. Neither of which I wanted Bella to hear. I shook my head quickly and looked up at the sky. I told her you cancelled on me . We arrived at the beginning of the narrow marked out trail. We drove silently for the rest of the journey. and didn’t turn to look at me. I couldn’t slip up now. I didn’t want her to go but I couldn’t let her be this frightened “No” she replied and then walked beside me closer as if to affirm her answer. I waited a moment and watched her remove her sweater and tie it around her waist. She had on a sleeveless shirt. didn’t she understand what I was capable of? “That depends… I assume you told Alice” “That’s very helpful. He ivory skin looked soft. I kept my body facing forward into the vast forest awaiting us. Bella” What an apt time to make jokes. The sun was beginning to shine brighter now making the day much warmer. “Of course you’d make this as difficult as possible for me” I murmured so slow there was no hope of her catching that.if you don’t come home” I tried hard not to raise my voice Bella just nodded.“Nope” she replied. Warm. Her eyes met mine and I was confused by the sadness I saw in them. if I spoke now it would only come out as a growl or profanities.

So fully. It didn’t bother me to take it this slow. into the bright yellow shades. I held up my hand quickly. “I’ll take you home” I finally promised hoping to relieve her doubts. Walking ahead. I could hear the rhythm of the gentle stream.“I can be patient . I frowned at her but she offered me no answer. lifting her gently by her elbow. She turned her head to find me and then spun her whole body round until her eyes rested on mine. She told me she had killed all her pet fish and this made me laugh loud. Okay it was time. So openly. and see the white. you’d better start leading the way” she said sourly. She seemed to relax once we got deeper and I didn’t want her falling so I would hold aside all the damp ferns and moss webs for her. should I? “Maybe it’s too soon for your eyes” “Time to visit the optometrist” She was much happier now. I took one last unneeded deep breath and walked out under the bright glow of the midday sun. It was such a relief to be able to laugh this way. I grinned at her ease. I stayed behind under a dark shade watching her warily. To my surprise she took a step towards me and smiled. It just meant more time with Bella. Maybe it was out of fear. So I began into the forest and she followed. I didn’t want her to get too close. And I could hear her heartbeat accelerate. violet and yellow colours of the wild flowers ahead. trying to ease her fear. almost eagerly. 21 . “If you want me to hack five miles through the jungle before sundown. We carried on walking mostly in silence unless I offered a question. The warmth of her skin stunned me every time. but to see it… would it be too much? Would she allow me to take her back to the truck before she started screaming? I sighed almost silently to myself as Bella watched. I was lighter with the quizzing today. “Are we there yet?” Bella mocked That made me smile to hear that her mood was more lifted. It felt so good. We carried on walking through the green maze at human pace. do you see the brightness ahead?” She squinted “Um. Anticipation on her face. She knew of course. Her eyes were sad whenever I caught her looking at me. “Nearly.if I make a great effort” I stared down at her face smiling. And whenever we would encounter obstacles such as fallen trees or rocks I would help her. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. We were close to the meadow now and the sun was beginning to shine down on the murky green. I couldn’t understand why she would be angry now. After another a few moments Bella began to over take my stride. I didn’t move. brightening it vividly. The ancient trees continued to bound out around us as we continued on my path. She walked through into the perfect round meadow looking around at the beauty of it. Again another step towards me as she gestured with her hand for me to come closer. Could I do this? Could I show her what I am.

Instantly the fire was back in my hand climbing up arm. Whatever it was she carried on exploring my arm. I had not expected such a calm reaction. “Tell me what you’re thinking” Her silent mind always staggered me “It’s still so strange for me. gazing up through the tall trees surrounding the meadow. If I was still before.Chapter 17 . My open shirt showed every facet shimmering back the sun’s own reflection with perfect clarity throwing rainbows in all directions. With her other hand she began to reach for my hand. “Sorry. That made me feel… Well I wasn’t sure what this feeling was. I felt her fingers pause infinitesimally as I flipped it over too quick for the human eye. the granite marble transformed into diamonds cut of the highest quality. And if they did it would probably be the last thing they would ever see. I closed my eyes. As she sat there. Her eyes met mine when I opened them and I forced a slight smile to cover the anxious tone in my question “I don’t scare you?” “No more than usual. I was statuesque now except for the motion of my eyes opening to watch Bella as she slowly reached out to stroke the back of my hand with one finger. My hands threw tiny rainbows all over her face.Confessions Bella’s eyes had not faltered from me in the hours that I lay on the soft grass. My skin in the sun was not something a person would set eyes on in their lifetime. As if with one. I always forgot my charade with Bella. 22 . her hands hugging her legs to her chest. Mind? Why would I mind? To me it felt magnificent. It’s not a good thing I tried to convince myself. Or such a quiet one. The gentle breeze played through the strands of Bella’s hair and carried her scent towards me over and over again as I lay motionless my eyes still closed. Either option didn’t please me. it’s too easy to be myself with you” I said softly. soft. I closed my eyes again and felt her hand tremble as she stroked along my forearm with her fingertips. She was still examining my hand. warm touch she had set me alight. In the sun. “No. I opened my eyes to watch her inquisitively bring it closer to her face and felt her breath on my skin. but the elation I felt was almost over powering. the touch of another as warm as her was out of this world. Making it light up. Well out of my world at least. “Do you mind?” she asked quietly.” This made me smiley fully and Bella edged closer to me. not knowing” “You know the rest of us feel that way all the time” She teased me. The rest of us? She had pushed me out of the normality circle in one sentence. you can’t imagine how that feels” Was she just curious about the foreign texture of my skin or did she actually like it? I sighed. I wonder if that was because my skin was too cold for her or because she was sacred. But it wasn’t pleasant.

“It’s a hard life” I continued “But you didn’t tell me” “I was wishing I could know what you were thinking…” She asked wearily “And?” “I was wishing that I could believe you were real. No. There was no safe distance for her. Smiling my most human smile I began “I am so very sorry” Was there any normal way to apologise for being a vampire? “Would you understand what I meant if I said I was only human?” No there wasn’t. As if I need any of that!” I jumped to my feet arrogantly and ran out of her sight. But she didn’t move back. “I’m the world’s best predator. Take it. my face.my voice. Pain? No… Hurt. I stared at her from this distance. then?” I pressed But instead of answering me she moved closer still. I thought I saw the glimpse of another emotion. I didn’t dare get that close to her again so soon. Fear. Fear raced across Bella’s face. Her scent found it’s way to me. I had seen it so many times on the faces on those that met their end with me. This was the chance you wanted. thought that’s certainly something to think about” That surprised me. “I’m… sorry…Edward…” she whispered quietly. “Give me a moment” I said back just loud enough for her to hear me. Instead I stopped a few feet away and sat back on the grass. 23 . Keeping my eyes on her face. This was almost a ‘safe’ distance between us. aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in . at edge of the meadow. careful not to alarm her again I started walking back slowly. Within half a second I left a trail of wind behind me. Take it. that’s not exactly the fear I meant. Her face was almost touching mine and her breath almost drove me completely insane right then. As she inhaled I tore my hand from hers and within a blink of a human eye I was standing in the shadows. My eyes locked on hers as her scent hit me stronger than ever at this proximity “What are you afraid of. Though I continued to smile at her but it began to feel more sardonic now. Make her run. of course. The pain Bella’s scent caused me would be insignificant compared to what I would feel if I was to ever hurt this frail girl. Make her run away from you. Bella focused on me with blatant shock on her face. I had hurt her feelings even after my resolution before. I growled at myself. So much so I half sat up and found myself closer to Bella’s face than I expected. I knew right then that that pain would be far greater that what I endured everyday. And I was wishing that that I wasn’t afraid” “I don’t want you to be afraid” And as I spoke the words I realised how true they were. Inhaling deeply a couple of times I welcomed the burning back. This emotion I knew. This distance…is what I should have kept between us from the beginning. even my smell. I could hear her heart thudding harder and the blood coursing through her veins with a rush. “Well. This reaction I was familiar with. as I circled the entire meadow twice and stood back at my ‘safe’ distance under the shadows of the fir tree.

I sat down. Show her you’re the monster. “Are you all right?” I said warmly as I placed my hand back from where I had snatched it from before. I was going to have to do better than that to put her back at ease. “So where were we. Showing it off I let it sit in my hand for a moment before throwing it so fast I’m sure Bella didn’t see it fly but only heard the noise it made when it shattered into another tree which almost bowed over by the collision. You’ve done it. I spoke again.She needs to know what I am. and looked down at my hand in hers and then back up into my eyes. She didn’t answer me still.” A hostile laugh escaped as I ripped a thick branch from the tree. honestly” I half lied with a wink to add effect to my failed attempt of humour. She must have seen something in them to relax her a bit as her heart began to set itself back into a slower rhythm and she carried on tracing her warm fingertips across my cold hand. I couldn’t move and with every passing second I realised it was me who couldn’t break from her gaze. Before the noise faded I was already standing only two feet away from her. 24 . “I can control myself. very slowly I began to step closer to where she sat. “As if you could fight me off” I said much more quietly. This seemed to make her further afraid. I promise…” That wasn’t enough for her or even for myself “I swear not to hurt you” Slowly. but the colour from her face was almost drained and her eyes unable to break from my hostile gaze. A gloom set around me. “I think we were talking about why you were afraid” Back to this subject I thought feeling guilty “Besides the obvious reason. “Please forgive me” The words sounded official somehow. Unbeknown to her I saw her hands were slightly trembling. I hated not knowing what went through her mind. “Well?” I pressed She didn’t answer me. Now just go. Leave her here. You caught me off guard. our faces less than a foot apart now.” “Oh right” was all she offered. She exhaled and began to laugh still taken aback. When she looked up again she answered my earlier concerns with a slight smile and I grinned back openly. “As if you could outrun me. Bella did not move. slightly rehearsed even. “Don’t be afraid” I wasn’t sure if I was talking to her or myself at this point. Oh this was going to drive me mad by the end of today. before I behaved so rudely” “I honestly can’t remember” she finally spoke. Instead her focus was back on my hand as she was lost in her private thoughts. But I‘m on my best behaviour now.” Bella’s heart was thumping at the same speed. Did I want her to be back at ease? “I’m not thirsty today. much more softly “Don’t be afraid.

I smiled back slightly apologetic. I should know by now. “Which is exactly why I should. this time she held it with both hands and much tighter. “Some people love chocolate ice cream. the heat in her face back faintly. That’s really not in your best interest” Bella’s browed puckered slightly at my words.I couldn’t think of another way to explain. I don’t know why I keep expecting her to be afraid. I felt the same. Wanting to be with me. “That’s amazingly pleasant. This frustrated me a little.” she looked down at my hands seeming slightly embarrassed and she continued “And I‘m afraid I‘d like to stay with you.” She was silent for a moment. I can’t stay with you. Inquisitive. indeed. I thought. “I was afraid… because. “Sorry about the food analogy . “It’s not only your company I crave! Never forgot that. Never forget I am more dangerous to you than I am to anyone else. the warmth. Wanting her when I knew I shouldn’t. I’m essentially a selfish creature. “Yes” I began quietly “That is something to be afraid of. But don’t worry. Confused. Gently this time I slowly took my hand from hers “Don’t be!” I had to say it bluntly for her to understand. Was she finally afraid now? “I don’t think I understand exactly what you mean . Same every time. I looked away from her face and into the forest so I wouldn’t falter when I spoke again. she’s sitting fully aware and alone in a forest with a vampire it‘ll take more than words.” Keeping my eyes on her face I placed my hand back into her.” I sighed but carried on telling the truth as I always did in her presence “I should leave now. much more than I should” Ah.” She smiled as she understood what I meant. “How do I explain? And without frightening you again… hmmmm.“How easily frustrated I am” I sighed and Bella looked up and whatever she found in my face seemed to calm her further. This thought had me smiling and I looked back to her face. “I should have left long ago. 25 . others prefer strawberry?” She nodded. But I don’t know if I can” “I don’t want you to leave” she said almost incomprehensibly. well. I understood very well what she meant. I crave your company too much to do what I should” “I’m glad” she said.by the last part anyway” Of course.” I looked down at our hands. for obvious reasons. “You know how everyone enjoys different flavours?” This was the best I could think of right now. I tried to think of the best way to explain her draw for me.

or frightening me. is there no hope. or I can try to at least. “What did Emmett do?” Bella asked. I should have made our alcoholic a heroin addict instead” “So what you’re saying is.how do you think he would fare then?” She stared into my eyes as I tried to find an answer in hers. Please don’t worry about offending me. I can understand. once stronger than the other” “And for you?” Her question startled me. Perhaps. has a different essence. I looked out at the treetops and recalled my talk with Jasper and Emmett. Just explain however you can. Now let’s say you placed in that room a glass of hundred-year-old brandy. “Sorry” I apologised “I don’t mind. “So Jasper wasn’t sure if he’d ever come across someone who was as” . My words flowed more freely now. He’s the most recent to join our family” I struggled with the last bit. or whichever. then?” 26 .“You see every person smells different. in flavour. I sighed heavy and looked away from her again. He says twice for him. if he wished to. Which makes me think not. Nothing. He hasn’t had time to grow sensitive to the differences in smell.“appealing as you are to me. he’d gladly drink it. I didn’t want to let too much out about Jasper “It’s a struggle for him to abstain at all. don’t we?” was all I could think of to say in defence of Emmett. There was no way I could explain this to her. and he understood what I meant. My hand became a fist in hers and I refused to break the silence that lingered now. But her face softened immediately and her voice was kinder when she added “I mean. But I didn’t let that slip. If you locked an alcoholic in a room full of stale beer. “Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon. I’m your brand of heroin?” Bella answered in a mocking tone.and filled the room with it’s warm aroma . the rarest finest cognac . “Yes. I didn’t want to tell her this. you are exactly my brand of heroin” “Does that happen often?” her question was one I was expecting long ago. After a few moments I had gathered myself and I looked back at Bella.” I quickly looked back at Bella’s face to see if I had offended her in any way.” She was far too relaxed. “What are you asking? My permission?” she said abruptly. so to speak.” Bella finally said. “Never” I answered simply and the silence took over. But he could resist. That’s the way you think. Emmett has been on the wagon longer. She knew we were monsters but she didn’t need to know what us monsters did. “I guess I know. “I spoke to my brothers about it” I began “To Jasper.what would I say? What word would best describer her without offending her? . if he were a recovering alcoholic. I smiled. every one of you is much the same. “Maybe that’s not the right comparison” I thought out loud “Maybe it would be too easy to turn the brandy down.

I don’t know how. no!” I spoke fast now “Of course there’s hope! I mean of course I won’t…” Won’t I? Was I this sure? I just stared at her and left that sentence unfinished.” I made myself stop then and tore my eyes from her face. “When you walked past me. I decided to take another way round. not of this magnitude. Emmett… these were strangers he happened across. in a dark alley or something…” There was a question that. the scent was maddening.I looked up at her and smiled widely knowing how this would sound to her . Who were you. If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last for the last. and the rest of them. I wanted to be honest with her again but I didn’t know if this would be a little too much information. not to follow you from the school. “And then. “You must have thought I was possessed. “By the next morning I was in Alaska. not even close.Is that was she though? I was just biding time until the end. “It’s different for us.I was too ashamed to tell them how weal I was. “Without a doubt. I didn’t want to think about that one nearly bloody day not so long ago where I had almost lost everything I had become over the years. my adapted family.” I recalled the guilt I had felt that day and grimaced. I left the others near home . So I came back…” I stopped there. The sun was warm so I knew it wasn’t because she was cold.and then I went straight to Carlisle. I looked down at our hands.. “To me. to tell him I was leaving. summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me. warm little room. to get you alone. Looking back at her now I tried to lighten the tone in my voice. It was easier outside when I couldn’t smell you anymore. There was only one other frail human there . In that one hour I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me. But I got nothing and I continued to explain myself further. “So. I forced myself not to wait for you.so easily dealt with” I felt Bella shiver slightly. “You would have come. as I tried to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you. “It took everything I had not to jump in the middle of that class full of children and -” No I wouldn’t be able to tell her that. to make the right decision. at the hospital. too many years. I spoke regardless.” she began “if we’d met… oh. Softening the blow that I would eventually kill her? I couldn’t let her think that! “No.“to chase me from the place I wanted to be. Seeing that first day through my eyes. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself. Her face had not left me for even a second. The fragrance coming off your skin… I thought it would make me deranged that first day. but I was strong. It was a long time ago. Bella was a little shaken. With my eyes closed or open. Waiting for her response. And looked away into the depth of the forest. well. I’d dealt with temptation before. you were there . right then and there. If I’ve started I may as well continue I thought grimly. to get away before I could speak the words that would make you follow…” I watched her as she processed everything I had just said to her. The words almost inaudible to a human. I had to run out. In the pure air of the mountain it was hard to believe you were so irresistible. as careful as he is now” I watched her face. the only knew something was very wrong . I was angry with myself.” “I couldn’t understand why. what I could do to them. “I convinced myself it was weak to run away. And I fought them each back. it was like you were some kind of demon. to think clearly. an insignificant little girl”.in that close.” I promised her. How you could hate me so quickly…” I interrupted her and began speaking all too quick again. I still didn’t look up and continued “But I resisted. trying to read it.” I left out the bit where all I could see was her face.” she said trying hard to hide the alarm in her voice. I so very nearly took you then. I hated knowing I’d upset Esme. and he wasn’t as… practiced. I could have ruined everything Carlisle has built for us. I spent two days there with some odl acquaintances… but I was home sick. thinking of my family. 27 .

“The thought of you still. It was a long moment before Bella spoke. “Isabella” I said as I ruffled her hair and the warmth of it coursed through me again and her scent was stirred hitting my senses. It was all extremely irritating” I paused and remembered the laboriousness of having to stay in Jessica’s mind longer than I usually liked. roughly translated means I would rather die than stay away from you. Emmett and Jasper when they suggested that now was the time… the worst fight we’ve ever had. I couldn’t believe I had put us in danger after all. She did the same. “It was unquestionably a complication that I couldn’t simply read your thoughts to know what your reaction was to me. hunting. “Bella. What an odd and completely wrong situation. here . feeling embarrassed. then you were nearly crushed to death in front of my eyes. “You are an idiot” I had to agree but my laugh lightened the words and as I did so she joined in with her quiet laugh looking at me. put myself In your power . to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretences… it would be unendurable. trying cover that moment “But it had the opposite effect. ‘Not her’ ” I was silent now. “You already know how I feel. cold… to never you blush scarlet again. 28 . I continued urgently. “Esme told me to do whatever I had to in order to stay. “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” I said quietly. But I only thought of that excuse later. if your blood had been spilled there in front of me. if possible. white. And everyday the perfume of your skin. The most important thing to me ever” I waited for her to tell me what she thought.I were to hurt you. “I wanted you to forget my behaviour that first day.” She frowned and kept her eyes low. And then I couldn’t know if you really meant what you said. As if I needed another motive to kill you. so I tried to talk with you like I would any person.” “Why?” she asked I was amused suddenly with such a candid question. “I’m an idiot. She blushed and looked away.” I frowned as Alice’s visions flooded my mind once again. I fought with Rosalie. I don’t think I could have stopped myself from exposing us for what we are. Nothing could be more perfect. I couldn’t live with myself if I ever hurt you. your breath.you of all people. I found myself caught up in your expressions… and every now and then you would stir the air with your hand or your hair.” I looked up at her face and finally had the strength to say the words I needed her to hear “You are the most important thing to me now. My eyes closed. “I was appalled. Later I thought of a perfectly good excuse for why I acted at that moment -” I half paused at what I what I was about to unveil and continued “because if I hadn’t saved you.with no witnesses and nothing to stop me . Whether she chose to accept it or not. I needed to know. You don’t know how it’s tortured me” I looked down again. of course. I was eager actually. Whatever it would be. I wasn’t used to having to go to such circuitous measures.“I took precautions. than if now.” I recoiled as soon as the word slipped from me. and the scent would stun me again… “Of course. listening to your words in Jessica’s mind… her mind isn’t very original. I did my very best to stay far from you as possible. feeding more than usual before seeing you again. your hair… it hit me as hard as the first day. “And for all that I’d have fared better if I had exposed us all at that first moment.” she finished off. all I could think of was. I was sure I was strong enough to treat you like any other human. At the time. I was arrogant about it. But you were too interesting.” I looked at her now with such fondness and affection. I’m here… which. and it was annoying to have to stoop to that. Carlisle sided with me and Alice. “All that next day I eavesdropped on the minds of everyone that you spoke to shocked that kept your word. hoping to decipher some of your thoughts. I didn’t understand you at all but I knew I couldn’t become more involved with you. “In the hospital?” I looked up at her.

I moved closer to her my eyes holding hers. “Yes?” I urged her to continue as the afternoon sun hit my face again. and not wanting to now. But my hands didn’t stop moving until they rested on her shoulders. But my actions had no hesitance and I took my other hand from hers and brushed the side of her face. but again I was surprised that it wasn’t in the way I had come to expect. “It was just how close you were. Not just to me. exactly what did I do wrong? I’ll have to be on my guard. “Be very still” I said. I wasn’t sure what this was and without thinking again I let my hands slide down her neck very slowly. so I could fell the warmth of her skin for longer. “You didn’t do anything wrong. Although my pain would never be… “Why…” Bella interrupted my thoughts. “Tell me why you ran from me before” Not a question I wanted to hear. perfectly fine” I felt her blood rushing and a beautiful scarlet race up to her face. Not knowing if I wanted her to hear. I wanted more than anything to touch her lips with mine. so I better start learning what I shouldn’t do. “No throat exposure” She finished tucking her chin. I knew there was no way I could hurt her. arte repelled by our alienness… I wasn’t expecting you to come so close. And she seemed to believe that too. Unable to know instantly like I could with everyone else. you see. not knowing how to control my body. “You know why” I answered. So instead I softly I placed my cheek at the base of the throat.“What a stupid lamb” she replied. I mean.she stroked the back of my hand with a finger . But my family.“seems to be all right” That made me smile again. And then held it in-between both my hands. Trying to make my actions mirror my words of reassurance. Bella. Her soft skin felt wonderfully warm. But still… If I ever was to make a mistake. “You see. It was my fault” “But I want to help. really. Concealing her neck from me. A hunger I didn’t know what to call. it was the surprise more than anything else” I think… Slowly I raised my free hand and placed it on her neck. This made me laugh when I responded. Finding that it was a different kind of hunger I felt when I was this close to Bella. I turned back to smile at her. but I wasn’t sure how and I didn’t know if that was a step too far. Her smell was overpowering. 29 . masochistic lion” I upped the idiocy stakes. to not make this harder for you” She was hanging in the balance here and she wanted to not make things harder for me? “Well…” I began wondering how to phrase the next words. “What a sick. my smile fading. Bella shivered delicately and I stopped breathing immediately. “Okay then” Her tone was dismissive and cut through my fears quickly. The cost would be great. Was I giving her false hope or myself. Breathing as evenly as I could. “The blush on your cheeks is lovely” I said quietly. Was that too much? I waited for her reaction as usual. if I can. This for example” . And the smell of your throat. No.” I stopped abruptly. Most humans instinctively shy away from us. “No. Adding the perfect amount of colour.

That you could understand” My hand brushed across her hair and face. “Tell me” she pressed “I don’t think I can. “Not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. “I wish. As if the potent scent of her was not as great as I first thought. The quiet stream was melodic. This I wasn’t expecting.that.the thirst . And you?” “No. you probably can’t empathise completely” She kept her eyes on me as I reached up to touch her lips gently and continued “But there are other hungers. Wanting more than anything to reach over and take her in my arms. deplorable creature that I am. For her hand to never leave my face.Turning my face to the side. “Here” I took her hand and placed it on my cheek “Do you feel how warm it is?” Bella didn’t answer but looked at me with a undecipherable expression on her face. Hungers that I don’t even understand. the feelings I had felt before returned. she backed away. Her hand touched my face and it almost shocked me. Though “ . it wasn’t bad… for me” “You know what I mean” I smiled at her answer. And then finally I tore myself from her and leaned back. I listened to the rapid uncertain beat of her heart slow down and the burning in my throat subside to barely a tickle. I became a statue instantly closing my eyes. I feel for you. But I restrained from this. I was trying to control my breathing. I opened my eyes not liking the distance between us. the hunger . I didn’t know what had come over me. that are foreign to me” “I may understand that better than you think” 30 . I couldn’t still name them and I wanted more than anything for this moment to last. As her fingertips traced across my cheeks. Something I had never needed to do before. I felt the heat of her breath on the top of my head. “It won’t be so hard again” I said “Was that very hard for you?” she asked almost sounding confused. “Don’t move” she said in the same tone I had used with her before. I felt an ease creep up on me. It was becoming rapid and I couldn’t understand why. I’ve told you on one hand. the sun glorious. But if I had a heart I know it would be beating faster than hers was not so long ago. “Ah” I finally sighed. over my eyes and along my nose. Everything was peaceful. And we didn’t move again for a long time. Her fingertips moved slowly across my lips and my mouth opened slightly exhaling. I tried to blank out the burning in my throat completely and concentrate on the beating of her heart as my face now rested gently on her chest.” I began almost inaudibly “I wish you could feel the… complexity… the confusion… I feel. She just smiled back without another word. Then too soon. And I think you can understand that. the insects tuneful. to an extent. But much stronger.a smile spreading across my face “as you are not addicted to any illegal substances.

“I’m not used to feeling so human. Oh how I wish it were true. inhaling the scent of her hair. Is it always like this?” “For me?” she hesitated a little “No. but they’re there” We sat like that as I watched the sun fade away. never. Protected. Excited me. I’d never let anything harm this beautiful girl in my arms right now. “Like I haven’t heard that one before!” “Right I’m sure you get that all the time. And then something occurred to me.they may be buried deep. I leaned down and put my face on her warm head. Never before this” Holding her hands in mine I told her yet another uncontrollable truth “I don’t know how to be close to you. Showing her my speed. Least of all me. Was I smelling strawberries? It was faint but it was there. Now the sky began to dull into a more grey and Bella sighed. “You’re better at this than you give yourself credit for” she interrupted my musing. “Don’t worry. Her breath stirred the air around us. Just to have her so close. Louder than I can ever remember laughing. And then surprising me Bella leaned towards me and placed the side of her face against my chest and murmured “This is enough. you’ll be very safe. “I have human instincts . I realised it must be time for her to head back “You have to go” “I thought you couldn’t read my mind” she said “It’s getting clearer” I mocked. I don’t know if it was Bella’s face as she asked me that or the sheer anticipation of having a non vampire to share this with but I laughed loud.” 31 . The last part I couldn’t say aloud. I never want you to be away from me. I don‘t know if I can” But I want to. But her mind was just as silent as the first time I encountered her. The sky changed from a deep yellow to a musty orange. She looked up at me with confusion at my sudden exhilaration “Can I show you something? I asked “Show me what?” “I’ll show you how I travel in the forest” I was thrilled at the idea of showing her how I ran. I pulled her shoulders back. Now Bella looked even more bemused and slightly fearful. And darker still. “Will you turn into a bat?” She asked quietly. and we’ll get to your truck much faster” I half smiled at her. I boomed with laughter.” She was right… This was enough.

32 . Then I began to run. “Hah!” I exhaled. climb on my back” She looked at me as if I had just told a bad joke. So without wasting more time trying to convince her I reached out to pull her on my back. She wasn’t getting out of this one. inhaling deeply. I took her hand and pressed my face into her palm. Her face next to mine. Her scent whirled around me as she secured her arms and legs around me tightly. little coward. Her breath on my neck. I felt her heart fluttering like a butterfly. “Easier all the time” And it was true. “I’m a bit heavier than your average backpack” she warned.“Come on.

33 .

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