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.
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 3964 Review this Chapter
Gym could be a more tolerable class for me. Athletic activity comes easy for us, but to try to remain unnoticed we had to suppress our talents in front of the humans. We were playing basketball at the moment. My fellow classmates were eager to have me on their team because while I worked hard to seem normal, my acute reflexes and speed could not be ignored. As the game started, my teammates throwing me the ball each possession without hesitation, I let my mind wander.
I thought about her. I thought about seeing her in Biology, being near her again, only one class and lunch before I would be sitting next to her for an entire hour, I would get to look into her impossibly deep eyes and smell the enticing scent that would someday drive me over the edge. Biology; once my least favorite hour of the day, because after several stints in medical school, high school biology was rather boring and predictable, was now something I looked forward to. I realized now that I had been looking forward to it on most days for almost the same reason, even when I was trying to stay away from her.
Biology! I suddenly realized how stupid I was being. I couldn’t go to biology today. Blood typing. Why had this not crossed my mind before? I was very distracted. Not only did I not have blood nor could I possibly puncture my finger to draw it if I did, but while I would be able to resist the smell of the other small amounts of blood, I would not be able to resist hers. I could not imagine what would happen if I sat next to her as she drew her own blood, though the thought of watching that, being that close was very alluring. The monster would win that fight, there was not enough will in the world to stop it.
My morale was low now; I almost allowed a passed ball by. Why did this matter so much? Why did I feel I needed to see her? I scolded myself again for the childish way I was acting. She would be no different tomorrow, I could wait. It would be better, maybe I could convince myself to leave her, to ignore her, to stop being narcissistic and think about her safety if I stayed away from her for a while. It was worth a try, for both of us, for all of us.
I knew this wouldn’t work, I was too weak. I wanted to be near her, to talk to her, to understand her, to find out if she felt anything for me like I did her, or if the way I felt was just a curiosity. If I were strong I wouldn’t be in the situation I am in now, I knew that. But how?
My siblings wouldn’t like it, I would put on a display for the entire school if I were to act on my desires and ask her to sit with me at lunch. Walking with her before class, minimal eyes would notice us; joining her on a trip to Seattle with only the two of us, no one would have to know; but sitting in a crowded lunch room, right across from her, acting normal, this would bring scrutiny. And then if anything were to happen to her – when something happened to her – it would be remembered and could hurt my family.
Being as selfish as I had been for the past twenty four hours I knew it wouldn’t matter. Not anymore. I was in too deep. I had let it go far enough and as long as I was putting us in danger, I might as well make it count.
Lunch period finally arriving, I made my way to the small cafeteria hastily. I looked over at my normal table, the four of them already in their places, unnecessary food in place. I walked towards the other end of the room, all of them staring at me in disbelief. What are you doing? You wouldn’t…Rosalie’s thoughts were angry as she stared daggers at me. She wasn’t the only one, the others, save Alice of course, were just as incredulous realizing what I was planning. Stupid Edward, Rosalie’s going to kill you, come over and sit in your seat like a good boy…Emmett was afraid of his wife’s rage.
I sat, looking towards the door, paying no mind to their grumblings. I could smell her before I even saw her, a gust of air blowing the enthralling scent through the door as she entered. I saw her eyes flicker toward my family. Was she looking for me? I willed her to look over but she did not. I watched her patiently as she walked with the ever blathering Jessica through the line.
Is Edward looking at me? No, he is looking at her… Jessica noticed me as they came out and paid for their lunches. I heard her tell Bella I was staring at her, bringing her attention to me. I was staring; looking directly into her eyes as she looked up at me, she looked relieved. Could that be what I saw? I beckon her to me with a gesture and a wink. Her eyes widen, the brown pools becoming deeper if possible.
I can’t believe this, he wants her…Jessica and Rosalie would get along well. “Does he mean you?” I heard her ask, incredulously, for once her tone matched her thoughts. Annoying girl. Bella only mumbled something about Biology and made her way towards the table where I sat.
She didn’t sit, just stood behind the chair, waiting for me to explain why I had asked her over. The allure of her blood was overwhelming, but I continued to take it in, let it burn the back of my throat, as if a punishment for this misstep. “Why don’t you sit with me today?” I tried to maintain a comforting smile, hoping it was enough to get her to stay. She said nothing, but sat down as if forced. I waited for her to speak.
“This is different,” she said after a short time, her voice timid and curious.
“Well…” I started, wanting to explain myself, to try to make her understand how wrong this all really was, “I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.” There was no better way to explain it.
I could almost see her mind puzzling over my response. Finally realizing I would offer nothing further, she replied, “You know I don’t have any idea what you mean.”
“I know,” I said. I am not sure why I found it so entertaining to annoy her.
Why is Cullen all of a sudden paying attention to her after all of this time? Newton’s thoughts were distraught. Suddenly Edward Cullen wants her to sit with him and we aren’t good enough anymore, she just comes in and messes everything up…the Lauren girl; I wondered what her issue with Bella was. “I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you away,” I told her after hearing all of their resentment being tossed her way and mine.
“They’ll survive,” she shot back. I could tell she felt their stares; she shifted uncomfortably in her chair.
She was a marvelous creature. I watched her closely. I saw no fear in her eyes as she looked at me, but there was something; I wanted even more to understand her. “I may not give you back, though.” I told her. There was more truth to that statement that I had meant it to have, she must have heard it in my voice because I heard her gulp, blinking her eyes. “You look worried,” I couldn’t help but chuckle at the expression on her face, though I still could not read it clearly.
“No, surprised actually…what brought all this on?” her voice betraying her.
“I told you – I got tired of trying to stay away from you. So I’m giving up.” Giving up. But not giving in. The longing for her blood was intense, but I would not let the evil win, I smiled at my self-control.
“Giving up?” her tone still confused. I wished I could see what she was thinking, I wondered if my vague statements would drive her away, I wished to tell her everything, bare my – figurative – soul to her.
“Yes – giving up trying to be good. I’m just going to do what I want and let the chips fall where they may.” I just hoped they wouldn’t end in her death, with the taste of her blood placating my thirst, my desire.
“You lost me again,”
Why was I telling her these things? I couldn’t help some of the things that came out of my mouth in her presence. “I always say too much when I’m talking to you – that’s one of the problems.” I told her, being too forward with my thoughts once again. Was it because I could not hear her thoughts that I felt the need to say everything I was thinking out loud?
“Don’t worry – I don’t understand any of it.” I winced at this slightly, thinking of how much I hated when Alice was cryptic and I had the advantage of seeing her mind.
But I knew I had no choice in this situation. “I’m counting on that.” If she ever did understand, she would leave, run, flee…I wouldn’t blame her. I knew I should make her.
I watched her as she puzzled over all that I had said and some of what I had not. “So, in plain English, are we friends now?” I thought she sounded almost hopeful.
“Friends…” as much as a cat can be friends with a mouse.
“Or not.” Was she disappointed? Possibly I only hoped that it was disappointment in heard. Being able to hear her thoughts would make this much easier.
Despite myself I told her we could try, but reminded myself and her that I was not someone she should befriend.
“You say that a lot.” She observed, still no hint of her heeding my warnings.
More than a small part of me was relieved. But I knew I would keep trying, regardless of what my heart or the monster wanted, “Yes, because you’re not listening to me. I’m still waiting for you to believe it. If you’re smart, you’ll avoid me.” If she had any sense of self preservation…
This made her angry, “I think you’ve made your opinion on the subject of my intellect clear, too.” Remembering my early comment on her absurd notions, I smile repentantly at her, willing her to forgive my rudeness once again. To my relief she continued. “So as long as I’m being…not smart, we’ll try to be friends?” Her expression told me she wanted some closure to this discussion, I was happy to oblige.
“That sounds about right.” As soon as she wised up and realized how dangerous I really was it would be over, or as soon as I gained enough strength to walk away. I already knew, spending time with her like this, I would have a difficult time doing that.
She still sat across from me, a perplexed look in her eyes as she seemed to be drifting from the room into her own head. I stared at her, hoping that talking to her would open her mind to me, getting to know her. “What are you thinking?” I finally just had to ask, the quiet becoming too much to handle while her eyes said so much that I could not understand.
“I’m trying to figure out what you are,” she divulged quietly while searching my eyes.
Edward, you are being stupid, tell her to go away, she suspects something…Rosalie needed to mind her own business, I ignored her but tensed at Bella’s choice of words though attempting to remain calm I asked, “Are you having any luck with that.”
“Not too much,” chagrin in her voice. I knew she had to have some thoughts on the matter, she saw what I had done to save her that day. She had seen the monster on the first day. She saw something in my eyes.
“What are your theories?” I laughed almost nervously at the idea of knowing what she thought of me. I wanted to know, but I was afraid as well. What if she knew, or was close?
A delicious shade of red colored her cheeks as she looked at me, not willing to answer my question. Venom pooled in my mouth, the scent was crushing, I thought the monster would win this battle. But no, I was stronger than it, “Won’t you tell me?” I pressed, smiling in a way I hoped would entice her to answer.
She denied my plea, her eyes moving down to the table. “Too embarrassing.”
Ah, she isn’t going to just test my inner strength but my sanity as well. She was the only person I had ever found that I could not hear and I have never wanted to hear someone more than I did her, the fates were cruel. “That’s really frustrating, you know.”
Her reply was jarring, unexpected to say the least. “No, I can’t imagine why that would be frustrating at all – just because someone refuses to tell you what they’re thinking, even if all the while they’re making cryptic little remarks specifically designed to keep you up at night wondering what they could possibly mean…now why would that be frustrating? Or better, say that person did a wide range of bizarre things – from saving your life under impossible circumstances one day to treating you like a pariah the next, and he never explained any of that either, even after he promised. That, also, would be very non-frustrating.”
I shrunk back a bit. I knew I had annoyed her, but I had no idea…yet in spite of all of this she still sat in front of me. I hadn’t expected it, though I knew I deserved it. Maybe this would be enough, she would walk away now. She said her piece. Her dream, saying my name with such desire, meant nothing. The sound of her voice from the night before flooded my senses; I had wanted it to be true so badly. But now she would get up and go to her friends, leaving me here, still unable to understand the attraction I had for her, or why I knew she belonged to me…it felt as if the world was crashing down on me. I tried to remain calm, “You’ve got a bit of a temper, don’t you?”
“I don’t like double standards.” I knew she was right. I could only stare at her and wait for her retreat.
Bella and Cullen are arguing, I could feel the relief in the boy’s thoughts, maybe I should go over there; bring her back to our table. She would be grateful if he is being a jerk…but if not, it may make her mad at me…or he may get mad, those brothers of his are a little bit scary…I looked over to the table the voice came from, Newton – I snorted at his dilemma.
“What?” the anger from before still very present in her voice. But she was still here.
“Your boyfriend seems to think I’m being unpleasant to you – he’s debating whether or not to come break up our fight.” Come on Mike, go save her from him…I snickered at his internal battle again. I chastised myself for teasing her. Some part of me knew what it was doing; driving her away was the right thing.
Her eyes narrowed again. “I don’t know who you’re talking about,” she sneered at me, “But I’m sure you’re wrong, anyway.”
“I’m not. I told you most people are easy to read.” I said matter-of-factly, the joy that she was still speaking to me radiated in my voice. Once again, I said too much, it was out of control.
“Except me, of course.”
“Yes. Except for you.” Oh, if only I could hear her. None of this struggle – pain – would be necessary. “I wonder why that is?” I asked aloud.
As I sit looking at her, still trying to break into her mind I noticed that despite her going through the lunch line she had nothing but a drink in her hand, “Aren’t you hungry?” I asked her, thankfully able to change the subject.
“No.” she said. “You?”
“No, I’m not hungry.” I couldn’t suppress a small chortle as I thought we would both be in trouble if I were.
She looked as if she had something she wanted to say, but seemed to hesitate. I stayed silent while she decided. “Can you do me a favor?” she finally asked.
Oh, this could be bad. I didn’t want her to be angry with me if I had to refuse her. “That depends on what you want.”
“It’s not much,” she started, making it feel like it may be, “I just wondered…if you could warn me beforehand the next time you decide to ignore me for my own good. Just so I’m prepared.”
Again, something I didn’t expect. I don’t know why she would want the company of someone like me but I didn’t want to question it anymore today, not now. “That sounds fair.” I tried to suppress my delight. Of course, still not entirely sure I could keep that promise, but I would try, even if I decided it was too much, surely I could tell her…couldn’t I? I heard her thank me for agreeing to her request.
My mind was reeling; I believed that we were still going to try to be friends. I thought back on our conversation and still wanted an answer to something from earlier, “then can I have one answer in return?”
“One,” she seemed to relax after I had made the promise.
“Tell me one theory.” I pressed again.
She was taken off guard by my request, the blood pooling in her face again, “not that one.”
“You didn’t qualify, you just promised one answer.” I smiled at her, sensing from our previous discussions that promises were important to her.
“And you’ve broken some promises yourself,” she reminded me.
“Just one theory- I promise I won’t laugh.” I almost begged.
She was unmoving, “yes you will.”
I wanted to know. I knew how to get her to answer. I wasn’t sure if it would work on her, not really. I had not wanted to use my charms on her, but for this, it seemed harmless. And besides, I should know, in case she is close, it is my duty to my family. I would use that as an excuse anyway. In truth, I wanted to see her mind so desperately; just this one small glimpse would make my day. I put on my most pleasant smile and looked at her, letting my eyes search hers. “Please?” I beseeched again.
“Er, what?” I think it worked.
I did not release her eyes, “Please tell me just one little theory.”
“Um, well, bitten by a radioactive spider?” she asked.
Okay, maybe I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from laughing. “That’s not very creative.”
“Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.” She shrugged, still embarrassed by her admission.
I shook my head at her in mock disappointment. “You’re not even close.”
“And no radioactivity?”
“Dang,” She was very beautiful when she teased. I shook off the thought, remembering that I was not supposed to be encouraging these thought in either of us.
I still had to chuckle, her comic book theories were a safe distance from the truth. “Kryptonite doesn’t bother me either.”
She reminded me that I promised not to laugh, but then added, “I’ll figure it out eventually.”
Why? She was a stubborn one. “I wish you wouldn’t try,” I told her seriously.
How could I explain? Tell her once again she should run from me? “What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” I am the bad guy, everyone else can see it, but doesn’t she. What is wrong with her?
“Oh. I see,” she seemed to be getting a grasp of what I had tried to tell her each time we spoke.
“Do you?” Did she finally understand? Get up and run, my mind was willing her. My still heart could not muster the same conviction, my face had to register the panic I felt that she would at last understand my warnings.
“You’re dangerous?” She finally understood. It was painful knowing that she would be gone from my life in the matter of seconds as she realized how right she was, but the part of me that knew it was for her own good felt triumph. I felt like two halves of a person, neither able to agree on an emotion.
I could see something in her eyes, resolve maybe? She whispered now, almost as if convincing herself of the truth of her next statement. “But not bad.” She shook her head again, the whisper more concrete, “No, I don’t believe you’re bad.”
Relief coursed through my veins as I realized she was still sitting here with me, that she hadn’t run screaming. But the other half, the rational half, the part of me that wanted everyone to be safe was angry, disturbed at the change in events, that part of me took control, though I stifled it as best I could, “You’re wrong,” I said, almost low enough that I thought she might not hear. I was selfish, but I wanted her.
She said nothing else. Her eyes were on me as I sat and spun the lid to her drink that I had picked up at some point, not wanting to meet her eyes. I was ashamed of myself. I couldn’t decide if I was upset that I had not scared her off or that I almost had. The temptation of her blood seemed irrelevant at the moment; though I knew it was the most important part of the puzzle. As if fate was teasing me, lunch had ended and she suddenly stood up.
“We’re gong to be late.” We…why was this so hard?
“I’m not going to class today,” I told her. Another cruel twist of fate.
“Why not?” She sounded as if she was saddened by my absence and I tried not to be elated by the emotion.
I looked up at her, standing there, her deep eyes looking into mine, her quiet mind taunting me. I forced a smile. “It’s healthy to ditch class every now and then.” In this case, it was healthy for her…
“Well, I’m going.” She still seemed hesitant, the part of me that still wanted – needed – her, wanted to ask her to stay with me…but the reasonable half won.
I looked back at the table as I told her goodbye and she was gone.What had I been thinking? Reality had not hit me until she finally understood the danger I posed and then dismissed it almost as fast. I was ruining things – for all of us. We lived among the humans, but it was a hard and fast rule to interact as little as possible, both for our safety and theirs. But here I was, chasing a young girl, trying to make her mine. Every part of my body knew how wrong it was; my head chastised my foolish heart. But nothing had changed, not yet. The internal battle I was having was not over, my heart would not surrender. I was still planning that trip to Seattle with her. Both pieces of me hoped that would be the turning point, where I could make that final commitment. Which side would win? Would I chose to be selfish and put her in danger or would I save us all and walk away? Somehow I knew it may not be in my control, but I refused to see it, I was always in control, this would be no different. I just had to be strong. For my family. For myself. For her.
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