My take on the classic "What if Edward hadn't kept his thirst in check the day he met Bella" story.
1. Chapter One
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 1682 Review this Chapter
“How did your first day go, dear?” the receptionist asked maternally.
“Fine,” I lied, my voice weak. She didn’t look convinced.
I managed the tiniest hint of a smile, attempting to reassure her, and then turned on my heel to leave. Exiting the office, I took in a deep breath of damp air, trying to calm my thoughts. It didn’t work.
My footsteps faltered as I rushed to my truck, which was now one of the two cars left in the parking lot. My tear ducts threatened to release tears, and I hurried even faster to my car; I wanted to wait until I reached the house for my emotions to get the better of me. Much to my dismay, as I reached the old pick-up, a few salty droplets betrayed me and slipped down my cheeks.
I brushed them off hastily and rounded the truck bed, then stopped in my tracks.
A figure was leaning casually against the cab, their back to the front door, arms folded across their chest. On a closer look, the person was revealed to be none other than Edward Cullen. His body was in the shadow of the truck, but his extremely pale skin and striking black eyes I could identify easily.
I did my best to stifle a surprised gasp and then sniffled, hoping to wipe away any remnants of my brief emotional breakdown. It was bad enough to let Edward affect me this way; it would be even worse to let him see it in action. I could only imagine how he would treat me if he realized that my traitor tears were dropped because of him.
I stepped toward him, shoving my hands into my jeans pocket for the key. “Um…” I mumbled, unsure of what to say.
Edward walked toward me and stood directly in front of me, his face no longer hidden by the pick-up’s cab. I was shocked to find that a crooked grin was gracefully placed on his face. His eyes, though, I noticed, were still curious. They even looked pained, like he had just received an awful wound. But their darkness and depth smoldered me, and I found myself at a loss for words and my thoughts in a jumble.
“Hello, Bella,” Edward said to me. His voice sounded like melted honey. I saw him close his eyes and inhale deeply through his mouth, but instantly his lips clamped together into a tight line. His eyelids opened, looking at me, as he tried to smile again.
The fury and aggravation that I had seen in the cafeteria made its way back into his pitch-black orbs. I took a small step back, suddenly startled by his change in attitude. My thoughts, free from his previously gorgeous eyes, were able to sort themselves out. What was he doing waiting for me by my car? Why was he talking to me? He’d spent the entire day avoiding me like I was the Black Plague, and now he found me to be worthy of his time?
“What are you doing here?” I asked him, putting as much steel into my voice as possible. I hoped that my alarm was transparent in my words. I shifted my weight onto one leg and placed my hands on my hips defiantly.
Edward seemed to find amusement in my indignation, and he laughed. The sound was like deep bells chiming. “I was wondering if you’d give me the satisfaction of an amble in the forest.”
I eyed him speculatively. Another abrupt change in demeanor? What was with this guy?
If he wasn’t bipolar, then surely he had a multiple personality disorder.
Faintly, I recognized the sound of a car starting and, out of the corner of my eye, saw a blue sedan pull out of the parking lot. Ms. Cope had just left; Edward and I were now the only ones left at the school.
I continued to stare into his eyes, trying to see what he was thinking. No such luck.
So what if he wanted to walk with me? He’d treated me awful all day; he didn’t acknowledge me at all in biology class. Why even bother with him?
Because you find him interesting, the voice in my head told me calmly. I compressed that thought immediately. While I did find Edward, and all the Cullens for that matter, exceptionally graceful and alluring, I wasn’t about to put my trust into someone who treated me with such ignorance. I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Why?” I asked him.
“Because I’d like to get to know you better,” he told answered casually, as though we regularly chatted every day for our entire lives.
“What? Why?” I asked him again, anger replacing the curiosity in my voice. “It’s clear that you don’t like me. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that you hate me. You didn’t speak to me all day. So, why now? Why take interest in me now?”
He stepped toward me once more; there was now less than a foot of space between us. The sudden close proximity between him and I made me anxious.
Edward closed his eyes and sighed, letting the air through his nose. His mouth was still shut. Unthinkingly, I inhaled the sweet scent of his breath. It smelled heavenly. “Please forgive me for my rude behavior. There were some issues I was dealing with, and they bothered me. I stupidly let my irritation out on you, and I’m deeply sorry for that. I ask for your forgiveness, and hope to know you better, as well.”
He opened his eyes again and stared straight into mine, in deep concentration. I felt like he could see straight into my soul. They were drawing me in. I unconsciously leaned forward, becoming lost in their depth. My breath went out with a whoosh.
And just like that, the attractiveness I had been drowning in just a moment ago transformed into a flat, black revulsion. A loathing much stronger than anything I’d ever seen. My own eyes grew wide and I took a step back, fear stirring in the pit of my stomach. I heard my conscience yelling at me, and I knew I should run. Run away – far, far away.
But I couldn’t.
It was like there was a magnetic force between Edward and I, keeping us together, and keeping me from escaping. Internally, I scolded myself; how could someone I knew so little have such an effect on me?
“I don’t want to walk with you,” I said, praying that he would leave.
Edward cocked his head to the side and stared at me curiously. It looked as though he was figuring out a difficult problem in his head.
The look in his eyes changed from intrigue, to anger, and then hunger. Not the hunger of attraction – a hunger of someone looking at his food. His prey. He was looking at me like I was his prey.
A shiver rippled down my spine and I took another step back. But this time, he mimicked me.
This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good, at all.
I took another step back and he followed once more, the hunger still prominent in his eyes. My heartbeat was throbbing deafeningly in my ears, and all the blood drained from my face.
Just as I turned to run back to the main office, it registered to me that there was no one there. Ms. Cope had left just minutes ago. I swung back around to see that Edward was a couple inches from me. I could feel the chill of his body upon me, and I instantly shivered again. But not only because of the temperature.
He stepped forward slowly, still staring into my eyes. I looked up at him, seeing my frightened reflection in his coal orbs, and backed up in return.
I hurriedly began reversing, my feet tripping over each other, until my back pressed against a cold, rough surface.
The side of my truck bed.
Edward, who had been following my every move, suddenly took a large step forward. We were now separated by only a couple inches of air. His hands, which had been in his jacket pockets, placed themselves on either side of my shoulders. He had made himself into a cage.
And I was stuck in it.
My breathing became shallow and my heart raced. I put my hands on his chest and pushed forward as hard as I could, throwing all of my weight against him.
He didn’t budge.
I beat my fists against his chest, his arms, his abdomen, trying desperately to force him away from me.
He just continued to stare at me.
I wondered what he wanted me for. What was he? Why was he treating me this way? Why did he look at me like I was his dinner?
“Why are you staring at me that way?” I asked him. My fear decided to resolve itself in one way that all my emotions do – tears. Instantly, there were fat tears rolling down my quivering cheeks. I knew that it was dumb of me to show weakness to such a… predator. But I couldn’t help it.
I saw a flash of remorse run through his eyes. I let out a sad huff of breath, and the hunger returned harshly.
“Why me?” I yelled, the tears coming faster. “Why me?” More sobs escaped me and I continued to thrash weakly against him. “What are you going to do to me?”
He took one last look at me before calmly inclining his head toward my neck. As his icy lips made contact with my throat, my breath caught and my heart skipped a beat.
“I’m sorry,” I thought I heard him murmur, his lips brushing my flesh. Two sharp objects punctured through the skin at my neck and I gasped at the pain.
I made out the shout of someone else before the fire engulfed me.