A Shadow of the Midnight Sun
My take on Midnight Sun after reading Stephenie's first chapter...begining with the return from Alaska Chapter 15 posted!---- NEXT CHAPTER...PORT ANGELAS ---- Just a note: This story is getting increasingly difficult, but I will try to update regularly...Edward is just so complicated!
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me in any way, shape or form. They are Stephenie Meyer’s fantastic creations and I am only writing this for entertainment purposes, my own and yours if someone else is reading this. In addition, if there is any dialogue Bella is in earshot of, or involved in, it is all Mrs. Meyer’s genius and some of the internal dialogue may be taken from words that Edward will later say or paraphrase to Bella or another character.
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In the same manner as each day since the accident I sat at the far edge as she sat down at our table. I felt the burn in the back of my throat as her scent wafted into my lungs and I took it in, enjoying it a bit. Newton had taken to roosting himself on the edge of the desk talking to Bella everyday before class, both of them pretending as if I did not exist. Being so close I couldn't help but hear their conversation and his thoughts, always on her.
I just need to ask...just ask...just ask her...of course. "So..." he started hesitantly as he began to file through different scenarios of posing his question. "Jessica asked me to the spring dance." Please understand, I don't want to go with Jess, I want you to ask me...
"That's great!" she sounded like her happiness was forced, is she jealous perhaps? "You'll have a lot of fun with Jessica." Mike's thoughts wavered momentarily, but he found hope. She just doesn't understand, maybe Jessica didn't tell her...
"Well...I told her I had to think about it." I couldn't say yes if there was a chance. I wanted to laugh out loud at this boy's persistence, but maybe she really didn't see how much he liked her. She doesn't seem to understand much any of them like her.
She was suddenly stern in her reply, "Why would you do that?" Is she angry?
His embarrassment got the best of him now, turning the brightest of reds. Great, now I will just have to ask her. "I was wondering if...well, if you might be planning to ask me."
With his intentions finally verbalized, I found myself as eager to hear her answer as he was. The sudden need to know what she was thinking was unbearable. Did she desire his attention? Would she allow him to accompany her to this dance? I suddenly realized that I knew what I wanted her to say; I wanted her to say no to this boy; no to any boy. The intensity of my thoughts startled me. My mind raced, a different monster that I did not recognize rose inside of me, say no...no you don't want to go with him...no you will not be his...you're mine. I did not understand this, where had it come from? I knew it was wrong, I knew that I could not really feel this way. She was just a human, insignificant. I was only a beast; I wanted her blood, nothing more.
Finally she answered, "Mike, I think you should tell her yes." The monster quieted, but still lingered.
He was crestfallen, I'm too late; she's asked someone else...him maybe. His eyes flash on me.
Better me than you, I thought angrily. He needed to leave, the monster wanted him to leave, but then I reasoned that he could elicit some understanding of her rejection that I could not, that is what the fiend inside of me wanted, what I wanted. I waited for her to answer him after voicing his silent question.
"No, I'm not going to the dance at all." I detected no hint of deceit in her voice, but could not be sure. Maybe there was someone else, my thoughts matching Newton's. I did not pay attention to the rest of their conversation. I was trying to see inside her head, the inability to hear her was pushing me to the brink of insanity. How could I placate this new monster if I could not give it what little it desired?
When the instructor began his class, Newton was forced to leave us for his own seat. My full focus was on her, I was trying to penetrate her thoughts. She turned to me and I held her eyes, hoping that if I gazed hard into the deep brown abyss her thoughts would expose themselves.
"Mr. Cullen?" I heard the teacher waiting for as answer to question I hadn't heard. The Krebs Cycle, he thought. I voiced aloud his answer, having to give up on my quest; I turned to look ahead at the instructor. When I allowed her eyes to leave mine she quickly shifted herself, using her hair as a fragrant barrier between us. I listened to her heartbeat slow and quicken throughout the class, my desire to understand her never wavering. I found Mike's voice in the effort. Its okay, she wasn't going to the dance either way, so there is still a chance...he had convinced himself of her truthfulness. Why did she HAVE to go to Seattle that weekend? I guess I can give Jessica the good news after school, she will be happy...
There was the possibility that Bella had said no so that Mike would go with her friend - that wicked Jessica Stanley. She did not know what an awful person Jessica was and counted her amongst her friends. Bella seemed like a selfless person, sacrificing herself like she did for her mother's happiness, this was definitely a possibility.
What could I do? I had to continue to honor my promise to my family; I could pay her no mind. She was a small human, who I happen to feel - well, I don't know what it was that I felt. I knew I wanted her, again, but for what I was not sure. I wanted her blood, but there was something else, the other monster, the unfamiliar need. The bell rang.
"Bella?" What was I doing? What could I possibly want to say to her? I couldn't...
"What? Are you speaking to me again?" A hint of anger or annoyance in her voice, she was angry with me.
My head whirled at the thought; if she cared enough to be offended by my behavior she must feel something for me. The new monster liked this. But was I speaking to her, could I? "No, not really."
More annoyed by my answer, she seemed to be concentrating on something, her eyes closed. She was making herself very vulnerable in my presence, more than I would like her to be. She continued, "then what do you want, Edward" I felt a stirring inside me when she said my name.
But I could not dwell on this, I needed to explain, I didn't want to be the source of her pain. And I could see in her expression that I was. How could I explain? "I'm sorry. I am being very rude, I know. But it is better this way." I am not sure that would help any, but I needed to apologize, needed for her to understand that I wasn't trying to hurt her, quite the opposite. By not getting close to her I was actually protecting her.
"I don't know what that means," she said, confused by my vague declaration.
How could I explain, when I myself did not understand how I felt? Could I tell her, could I just simply say I can't speak to you because part of me would just assume kill you and feast on your blood than smile and enjoy your company? Though a part of me wanted that too, but it was not enough. No, I could not say this, but I wanted to...felt like I needed to bare my soul to her, make her understand. "It's better if we're not friends, Trust me." I said trying to convince myself of the very same fact.
This elicited a reaction I hadn't expected from her. "It's too bad you didn't figure it out earlier," she was speaking through clenched teeth, "You could have saved yourself all this regret."
What? "Regret?" What could she possibly mean by that? "Regret for what?"
Without hesitation she shot back, "For not just letting that stupid van squish me."
Is she daft? Where did she get regret from? This made the odd pain in my chest flare worse that before. She was absurd, completely irrational, why was I even having this conversation? Frustration flowed from me to cover the hurt I felt at her insinuation. "You think I regret saving your life?" - Far from it. I only stay away to keep her safe, denying myself what I really want so that she can live, and she tells me that I regret my actions? She is infuriating!
"I know you do," her voice full of conviction.
"You don't know anything," I almost growled, anger blooming in my chest. I had been thinking of this girl nonstop for weeks now and this is the response I get when I speak to her? I should have tried to explain this earlier; it might have prevented her from coming to this flawed assumption. She must truly think I am a monster, which is not that far from the truth.
Bella picked up her books, looking like she may have had more to say but then she turned to escape from the room, obviously thinking better of it. I almost chuckled when she tripped and her books scattered on the ground outside the classroom. I moved quickly, more quickly than I should have, to gather her books from the ground, already handing the pile to her by the time she decided to retrieve them.
A hard "Thank you," was all I received for my efforts.
This girl is ridiculous! "You're welcome," was the most I could manage to say without attempting to drag out our argument, but it would do no good.
The emotions from the past hour were flaring in me as I decided that I would skip Spanish today. I didn't want to hear the childish and hormonally driven thoughts of my classmates, I needed to be alone. I headed to the parking lot deciding whether to wait for my siblings or simply run home leaving them to drive themselves. I would wait. I needed the hour, I need to think...and maybe see her again...
My mind went over the conversation I had just had, the anger, hurt, and the complete lack of understanding frustrating me more ever time I replayed it. And then there was the other voice, the unknown one, and I was beginning to understand what it was. It was not what I had been expecting, not that I had ever expected to feel this particular emotion. Jealousy. So much more powerful that I could have imagined, I had read it in other humans an infinite number of times, in Rose on occasion, but to feel it in your body was so much more. But why? Why had this human emotion taken over?
Taking a deep breath I leapt out of the car, the day would soon be over and I was safe from any prying eyes. I began to pace the length of the parking lot, attempting to clear my head. I had to forget about her, never talk to her again. I needed to push her from my mind or my brothers and sisters might see my betrayal.
The last bell rang and the classes began to empty. As I was passing by the furthest building from my vehicle, looking as if I had just left a class myself, I heard an excited thought; I only paid attention because of her name. Bella said no to Mike...that means she might be waiting to ask me, I will make sure I make myself available to her. No, I will just ask her, she is shy; it would be easier for her if I just ask. Eric Yorkie was picturing them at the dance, it looked like a scene from one of those estrogen pumped high school dramas.
This made me chuckle, lifting my spirits slightly, but the jealousy flamed in the back of my chest again. Was this it, was she just looking for the right boy to ask her? Was Yorkie the right one? Since he decided to stand at her truck to wait for her to leave I slowed to almost a stop, I was anxious to hear her answer. I stepped to the side of the walkway far enough that no one would suspect that I would be able to hear the conversation I was waiting for, and began shifting through the books I had carried as if looking for something. And then I heard her name again, this time another boy,
She said no to Mike! Maybe it was just an excuse. She is so pretty, but maybe she likes me. I will have to find her and ask her. I will. The very next time I see her, maybe tomorrow. I closed my eyes and let the alien feelings subside as Crowley went on with his fantasies. This girl was very powerful, I wondered if she had any idea.
"I was just wondering...if you would go to the spring dance with me." She had arrived at her truck and was moving to get into it as he asked. Damn, that was harder than I expected. I hope she didn't hear that.
"I thought it was girls' choice?" She sounded as if she hadn't expected the question. I waited with baited breath, moving very slowly towards my car, only two spaces from hers. Oh, maybe she wanted to ask me...now I have ruined it.
"Thank you for asking, but I am going to be in Seattle that day." My mind relaxed as she dismissed him and I was amused by the sheer aggravation in her voice and in her face. As long as she was still saying no, I could enjoy this. I laughed quietly as I walked past her truck, suppressing a smile so that she might not notice. She put her foot on the gas; possibly in response to my expression.
As long as she was indeed not planning on going to the dance, I thought I may as well extend this fun and give Tyler a chance as I found his voice. Oh man, she is alone, but I can't get over there before she drives away. I could help him out. I jumped in the car and pulled out before she had time to pull away, leaving her stuck behind me. I had a valid excuse for waiting, my siblings had not made it to the car but I could see them, I would simply wait for them here.
He thought he had never been so lucky to be in a traffic jam. Ok, here I go...as if we had planned the event, he jumped out of his newly acquired car and ran to her window. She was not paying attention to what was happening, I could not tell where her mind was. She jumped as he knocked. She had to work to get the window only half way down on her decrepit truck.
"I am sorry, Tyler, I'm stuck behind Cullen." Almost spitting my name and sounding increasingly exasperated. I liked it better when she said my first name I thought almost dreamily. Shaking this off I began to listen again, wondering if Tyler would manage to ask her.
He had. "I'm not going to be in town, Tyler," she was hardly trying to keep the anger out of her voice anymore.
"Yeah, Mike said that." He smiled at her. There was no hint of amusement or patience in her expression as I watched her in my rearview mirror.
"Then why - "
"I was hoping you were just letting him down easy," he was still hoping. Her expression became dark as she finished the conversation and my family slid into the Volvo.
The conversation over, Crowley began moving back to his car, "That's cool. We still have prom." At this, I began laughing despite myself. I drove away quickly when I detected that she was glowering at me, noticing my reaction, though she couldn't know that I had heard the exchange. I hadn't had so much fun at school in a long while.
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