A section of the meadow scene -- from Edward's point of view. One-shot.
1. Chapter One
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2966 Review this Chapter
As I strolled to Bella’s door, I couldn’t help the wave of anxiety that crashed over my head. I was still quite apprehensive to being in Bella’s company for the entirety of the day. What if something were to go wrong? What if I wouldn’t be able to control myself as I thought I would? What if I was to hurt her?
No. I shoved those thoughts out of my mind with conviction. I wouldn’t – I couldn’t – allow myself to put Bella in danger. The possibility of it alone was terrifying enough to haunt me. But if I were to actually go through with it… to take the life from an innocent human being – and Bella, nonetheless… I couldn’t live with myself.
I snorted. I couldn’t live with myself, regardless. I couldn’t live at all! So I shouldn’t live in company of someone so excruciatingly… alive.
Sometimes, the irony of life – or existence – truly astounded me.
I gently knocked on Bella’s front door, while repetitively countering my actions in my head. The noise of my knuckles tapping the wood, Bella’s extremely quick footsteps – perhaps she was quite eager, I thought to myself dimly – and the lock on the doorknob turning all battled with the silence in my head, like resounding reminders of my intentions. Was this truly right? Should I have offered her my company?
The uneasy combats with my conscience only magnified when Bella’s mouthwateringly sweet scent struck my nose. And along with the fragrance came the usual, only now extravagant, reactions of my body. The dull ache grew in the pit of my stomach; the back of my throat burned with thirst; I could feel my muscles tensing in anticipation…
But, as I looked over Bella’s charming appearance in the doorway, I couldn’t help but push aside my predatory inclinations and laugh. Though I chuckled not at her enthusiastic brown eyes, her cherubic lips, or her slightly disheveled hair. It was, in fact, her clothing which brought such amusement.
She and I were dressed exactly alike.
“Good morning,” I greeted her, low laughter still apparent in my voice.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, worried. She looked down at herself. I presumed she was making sure she had remembered all the necessary qualities of an outfit.
“We match,” I informed her, chuckling once again. Bella was adorned with a sand-colored sweater, a white collar peeking out from beneath it, and a pair of blue jeans, as was I. Though, she looked quite a bit more presentable. She was a vision of an angel on Earth; I, on the other hand, exuded alienness and abnormality.
Relieved, Bella stepped out of her house and locked the door behind her as I walked to her ancient vehicle. I almost entered the driver’s side when I remembered that I’d agreed to let Bella have her freedom behind the wheel today. So I instead waited by the passenger door – a rare occasion.
Bella laughed at my pained expression as she opened the truck door and took her place in front of the steering wheel. The sound was like a melodious river of sugared honey.
“We made a deal.” Her smug voice was slightly distorted as she unlocked the passenger door for me.
Once I had unwillingly complied and situated myself in the cab, Bella asked, “Where to?”
“Put your seatbelt on – I’m nervous already.” I snorted inwardly. Nothing would put her in danger outside of the car… of course, there is a blood-drinking vampire sitting directly next to her. That might be cause for strife.
“Where to?” she sighed as she followed my order.
“Take the one-oh-one north.”
I watched Bella throughout the entire drive – it was unbelievably difficult not too. My eyes hungrily found the jugular vein on the side of her neck. They followed each separate river of temptation that separated from the main pool of blood. I’d admitted to myself that being in an enclosed space with such a fragrant being as Bella was steadily becoming a less difficult task. So, I took my time following the proof of Bella’s life through the translucent skin.
I knew she could feel my eyes on her; her body language said it all. Her back was stiffly straight, and the muscles in her arms were unconsciously tense. Her chocolate eyes were surprisingly concentrated, which opened up a floodgate of questions in my mind. Was she finding it difficult to follow my road directions? Was it too tempting for her to look at me? And if so, for what reasons?
My thoughts continued on and on, echoing in the silence that was only present while I was with Bella.
“Were you planning to make it out of Forks before nightfall?” I joked. Her car was following the road at an agonizingly slow pace.
“This truck is old enough to be your car’s grandfather – have some respect,” she retorted. And I was old enough to be her grandfather. The irony of the universe really was cruel, sometimes.
“Turn right on the one-ten,” I said to her. She followed my instruction.
I smiled when I realized that I’d be able to use a classic human phrase. “Now we drive until the pavement ends.”
“And what’s there, at the pavement’s end?” she asked with thoughtfulness.
“We’re hiking?” The concern in her voice was tangible. I knew this would be a struggle.
“Is that a problem?” I asked.
“No,” she answered, trying to convince herself of her answer as much as she was trying to convince me.
“Don’t worry, it’s only five miles or so, and we’re in no hurry.” She didn’t reply, and I could only assume that it was because she was too upset for words. A part of me hoped she was upset, and didn’t want to go hiking; that would prevent any sort of slip up in my control. But another part of me – a greater part – hoped she would overcome her fear so she could spend the day with me. And it was unbearable not knowing which part of me was right.
“What are you thinking?”
“Just wondering where we’re going,” she told me.
I could tell she was lying, but decided against pursuing her true train of thought. “It’s a place I like to go when the weather is nice.” I glanced out the window at the same time as Bella. The sun was beginning to show behind the thinning clouds.
“Charlie said it would be warm today.”
Ah, that brought up my worries from the other day. “And did you tell Charlie what you were up to?”
That concerned me for a moment, until I remembered Bella telling Jessica of our plans for today. “But Jessica thinks we’re going to Seattle together?”
“No, I told her you canceled on me – which is true.”
“No one knows you’re with me?” Not only was I angry with Bella for lying to her father, I was furious at myself for allowing Bella to be in this position.
“That depends… I assume you told Alice.”
“That’s very helpful, Bella,” I told her bitingly.
She didn’t say anything.
“Are you so depressed by Forks that it’s made you suicidal?” I asked, distraught. I thought Bella understood who I was – what I was! But clearly, it didn’t seem to faze her.
“You said it might cause trouble for you… us being together publicly,” she answered me coolly.
I didn’t say anything for a moment, trying to get a hold of my emotions. If I would have been with a member of my family, I would’ve roared in fury. But I had to at least attempt to keep with a façade while in the presence of Bella.
Decidedly, sarcasm overruled the rage in my tone. “So you’re worried about the trouble it might cause me – if you don’t come home?”
She nodded, her eyes staying on the road in front of her. I assumed that my eyes were most likely flat black by now. I muttered a few choice cuss words, making sure I spoke them much to low and fast for Bella to comprehend. The only way to keep control of the vehemence and anger I was feeling was to not speak. So that’s exactly what I did, and she as well, for the remainder of our car ride.
As we reached the end of the pavement, Bella parked the car on the shoulder and stepped out quickly. I did the same; the cool air helped, though not completely, to relieve some of my infuriated emotion. I took off my sweater, basking in slight warmth that was apparent in the atmosphere. It felt lovely.
“This way,” I informed Bella, turning to glance at her. I saw that she had removed her sweater as well, and it was now tied around her slim waist. The curves of her body looked absolutely beautiful in the fitted white shirt that she wore, and I could feel my annoyance slipping through my fingertips. I turned away and began walking toward the forest. Her light footsteps approached me.
“The trail?” she asked. The panic in her voice was poorly concealed, if at all.
“I said there was a trail at the end of the road, not that we were taking it.”
“No trail?” she asked. Now there was a frantic edge to her voice. She was standing directly behind a vampire, yet her worries were about how we traveled through the woods. I almost laughed out loud at the order of her priorities.
“I won’t let you get lost,” I told her mockingly as I turned toward her, a small smile on my face.
To my surprise – or maybe, not to my surprise, seeing how I should always expect to be surprised where Bella is concerned – a pained expression filled her face. Perhaps she had finally realized who she was with. Perhaps she had finally understood what I was. Perhaps she had finally come to terms with the danger of which she was in at this very moment. In any case, the look on her face was one that I would never want to see again; I had to relieve it, her beautiful features looked much too distraught.
“Do you want to go home?” I asked quietly. I heard the subtle pain of rejection in my voice, and I hoped Bella didn’t hear it also.
“No.” She stepped toward me. Her tone, though, didn’t infer that she was completely at ease.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, trying to make my voice calm. The sudden proximity of her scent was making that an extremely difficult feat.
“I’m not a good hiker. You’ll have to be very patient.”
I’d waited almost one hundred years for someone as delightful as her to be with, and she tells me to be tolerant. The irony laughed at me, once again. “I can be patient – if I make a great effort,” I joked with her. I smiled, trying to alleviate the sudden sadness in the air.
Bella tried to smile back as well, but it didn’t reach her eyes. It was clear that she didn’t want to be here. Or be with me. Or, perhaps, both.
“I’ll take you home,” I told her.
But, as usual, Bella did something I completely did not expect. “If you want me to hack five miles through the jungle before sundown, you’d better start leading the way.” Her voice was full of such venom – once again, the irony – that I frowned at her. Because her mind was in absolute oblivion when it came to my talent, I had to comprehend her thoughts by studying her expressions and words. I found nothing, so I decided to lead her into the forest.
We spent most of our trek into the wilderness in silence. Sporadically, I would ask her one of my interrogations that I may have forgotten on the previous days. But, for the most part, we were separately consumed in our own thoughts. On occasion, Bella would stumble, and I would take hold of her elbow in order to keep her steady. When that would happen, her heartbeat thumped erratically and her face blushed. As soon as she was on her feet safely, I’d let her go. The pooling of blood to her cheeks combined with the pumping of veins beneath the skin of her elbow was too much for me to handle at one time.
“Are we there yet?” Bella joked, with an amused scowl on her face.
I was overjoyed to see her sudden change of disposition, and took advantage of the moment. “Nearly,” I smiled. “Do you see the brightness ahead?” I looked toward the meadow I was leading her to; it was in focus, and continually growing larger.
She followed my gaze. “Um, should I?”
“Maybe it’s a bit soon for your eyes.” I smirked at her annoyed expression.
“Time to visit the optometrist,” I heard her mutter. My smirk almost exploded into a full-grown grin.
A couple minutes later, Bella’s footsteps began to quicken, so I assumed she had seen the lightening of the forest. I followed behind her.
As she stepped into meadow, I stayed in the darkness, wary. I knew she had inquired about seeing me in the sunlight, but I still was unsure of what her reaction might be. Honestly, I was still expecting her to realize, all of a sudden, exactly what I was, and leave me behind and alone.
Bella took her time strolling through the vividly green grass. I followed her eyes as she took in the wildflowers, the musical babble of a brook, and the hazy glimmer of the sun, directly overhead.
She looked behind her, her expression becoming confused, before whirling herself into dizzy-looking circles. Her eyes found mine, and I realized that she had been searching for me. Bella reached out her hand and took a step toward me, silently urging me to join her in the lushness.
She wanted to see me. She truly wanted to see me. I put up my hand, letting her know to stay where she was. Her intention about my interaction with the sun was clear, but her reaction was still unknown. I still wanted to give her room away from me, if she felt frightened. A shard of anxiety pierced my heart as I anticipated the thought of her running away from me, a monster. It would, after all, be completely understandable.
But there was something in her eyes… something about the way she regarded me, that told me she wouldn’t leave.
I took a deep breath to calm myself before stepping out into the sunlight.
I couldn’t feel the difference in my appearance. The only way to tell I was radiating shimmers of sparkle was to look at the surrounding objects. The grass, the trees, and Bella were now immersed in the physical diamond of my being. Ah, Bella.
She looked at me with such shock, with such admiration, that I found it hard to describe her reaction with words. Still allowing her the chance to turn and run, I lay on the forest floor. The soft blades of grass gently massaged me with each breeze that blew. As I relaxed, I sang to myself, mostly as a distraction from Bella’s scent, which found me eagerly with every wind that came and went.
“Are your lips trembling, Edward?” I heard Bella ask softly, almost hesitantly.
“No. Actually, I’m singing to myself,” I answered her with my eyes still closed, smiling. Still waiting for her to leave, screaming, terrified by what I am…
Then, as the breeze began to pick up again, I felt one soft, fragile finger gently stroke the back of my hand. All of my senses were immediately sent into frenzy as the warmth that radiated from Bella was soaked into my lifeless skin. I opened my eyes and found Bella. She was sitting next to me, her eyes extremely focused on my cool, hard hand.
I was shocked, to say the least. Bella was not repelled in the least by the alien-like qualities of my body. In fact, she was embracing them, touching them with such gentleness, it was almost as though she was the strong vampire, and I was the breakable, frail human. It was ludicrous; absolutely astounding.
I smiled at her when her deep chocolate orbs met my golden ones. “I don’t scare you?” I asked her jokingly.
“No more than usual,” was her response. As my smile grew wider, I closed my eyes, and completely forgot about everything.
I forgot what I was, what I should be, and what I was supposed to be. I forgot how Bella was my complete opposite, a vivacious human. I forgot how small and fragile her body was. I forgot about my flaring thirst, the yearn in the pit of my stomach. All of my thoughts revolved around the amazingly pleasant feeling that was caused by Bella’s sole, warm finger upon my hand.
Sooner than expected, I heard the grass beside me rustle as Bella shifted closer to my body. I felt her hand stretch out completely over the back of mine. She began following the divots and muscles of my forearm. I felt her fingers slightly tremble as she took in what I truly was. And yet, though her hand was unsteady, there was defiance to her touches that let me know this was where she wanted to be.
I could feel the blood pulsing beneath her fingertips, even though she was barely in contact with my skin. The warmth from her veins seeped through her pores and into mine. Each part of my skin that she tenderly touched became overwhelmed with heat. My senses melted into a fusion of satisfaction and hyper-activity. With each tremble came a jolt of fire; with each pressure came a fury of flame. It was as though her life was spreading throughout me, with just the simplest touch.
“Do you mind?” her soft voice asked, breaking my reverie.
“No,” I replied. “You can’t imagine how that feels.” I sighed contentedly. I never wanted her to stop. I never wanted her to leave. I wanted her and the fire she caused in me – always.