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A Shadow of the Midnight Sun

Summary:
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!


Notes:
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.


15. Safe

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2873   Review this Chapter

Safe

Friday went by quietly as Emmett and I wandered along the mountains. He loved this area and the bears were abundant so he had lots to keep him occupied. But once he had enough fun for the day we found a clearing and sat.

Emmett, never one to mince words, gave an exasperated sigh. “What is it Emmett?” I knew it was unnecessary to ask because he would tell me soon enough.

“Are you going to snap out of this?” he asked. He had been grumbling about my problem since we left the house.

I had willingly let him drive us and even listened to the music he picked. I was being very accommodating. “Snap out of what?”

“Come on man, you stare into space like you have lost your mind. I get it; you like the girl, but the goo-goo eyes have to go, it’s disturbing!” It was my turn to sigh.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” I told him. “I am thinking is all.”

He laughed now. “Please, I know what you look like when you think,”pout, “this isn’t that. You look like a love sick puppy.” I only shook my head at him. “Edward, what’s going on? We have established you like her, fine. You also would have liked to have her for lunch,” he chuckled again at his own joke, “but we both know you wouldn’t do that – no, not perfect Edward.”

I raised my eyebrow at him; did he really think that I didn’t still want Bella’s blood? “What?” He asked innocently, “you did get over the whole best smell ever thing, right?”

“No, quite the contrary,” I told him honestly. “Every time she is near me it is like that first day. That is part of the problem.” I don’t know why we were having this conversation. Maybe with Alice, possibly with Carlisle or Esme, but Emmett? “Never mind, it isn’t important.”

“Come on, if I have to hang around with you all weekend, give me a clue.”

“Fine, I am worried…”

“About?”

I was going to regret this. “She is going to the beach tomorrow, and…well, she is slightly accident prone. What if something happens to her?”

He looked at me incredulously. “Seriously? This is what you have been thinking about? You are thinking she might get hurt? Edward, she would just as likely get hurt with you, well, much more likely when you finally lose control,”

I closed my eyes. At least he was thinking about it logically, something I have been unable to do. “I know. That is the other problem…” This was getting all too serious for Emmett.

“You’re in deep brother,” he was done with the conversation. “Let’s go get us some dinner!” and he was gone.

The rest of Saturday when much the same. I wanted to be home – with her. I wanted to be sure she was safe. But I also knew I needed to hunt, that was important for her safety as well. If something were to happen, surely Alice would call, I reasoned. Emmett would get angry with me intermittently when I wasn’t paying enough attention. I knew I was bothering him, but I just couldn’t focus. Finally, early Sunday morning Emmett had enough and we were headed back.

“Ok, Edward,” Emmett growled after a particularly long period of silence, “let’s talk about this.” I was really annoying him if he wanted to talk.

“Nothing to talk about,” he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Dude, if there was nothing to talk about, then I sure as hell wouldn’t be trying to talk to you. Talk to me about this human – Bella –,” he said her name with a sneer. I want to understand if I am going to have to deal with Rose. Now I understood, he wanted to know what side to take, or how bad it was.

I owed him an explanation I suppose; I was putting us all in danger because I wanted her. “Fine Emmett, what do you want to know?”

He looked over at me surprised, “Okay, so if you still would like to snack on her, but you seem to want to keep her alive, why the heck aren’t you avoiding her like the plague? I mean, you had her in your car for God’s sake! Are you just torturing yourself? Is it some sort of sick game you are playing?”

“I honestly don’t know, man,” not really a lie. He didn’t like this answer.

“Whatever, you asked me what I wanted to know, I want to know why?”

I shrugged, “don’t know.” I was not ready to admit my revelations about her, he would tell Rosalie and then she would put me through hell. I didn’t need that, not until I was sure what I was doing.

He tried a different tactic. “You almost blew it for us that day in the parking lot, why did you feel you needed to be her freakin’ hero? We have seen things like that happen, it wasn’t anything new. You have never tried to save someone before. And you acted like you didn’t want to be tempted by her anymore, so it would have been over if you had left it alone.”

I flinched at the thought. “I just couldn’t…” we were getting dangerously close to the truth. He looked at me expectantly. “Emmett, I couldn’t watch her die. I had to try to save her, I…”

“Why?”

I closed my eyes, the words were not coming, I didn’t know how to answer his question. “I just couldn’t…” He was going to protest further but the cell phone rang.

“What?” he growled at the caller.

Awesome, no school for two days! Good weather. Sunshine. Great. When did not going to school become a negative thing? At least I would be able to know Bella was safe, I would be close enough to check on her.

As that thought passed through my head I realized we were very close to her house, if I left from here it was that much sooner I could be there and be sure she had made it back.. I looked over to Emmett who was in a much better mood with the new development; he was thrilled about two extra days of video games and whatnot.

“Hey, I am going to run from here, I need to clear my head,” I told him. He looked at me suspiciously, but I did not give him time to answer.

It was almost afternoon now, the rain was steady, there was no worry about being noticed as I ran through the woods. I was close to her house when I caught the scent. My mind whirled, the venom pooled in my mouth; perfect, delicious, and strong. I had not been ready for it, not here in the mist of the trees. I stopped, crouching to attack; I needed it, the blood.

No! I would not let myself move. I held my breath, I would not do this. Slowly the urge to seek her out and satisfy my every craving subsided. I could control it. I knew I was fine, I could see her now. Be near her. I moved quickly, shaking off the intensity I had felt seconds before and saw her walking out of the forest off of a trail. My body relaxed. She was safely home.

But why had she been in the woods? And what if I had not been able to control myself? She shouldn’t be out there alone, she attracted too much trouble. I would have to speak with her about this. I chuckled to myself, she wouldn’t listen.

But what if…? I should leave. The temptation was too much.

I stood in the silhouette of the forest, watching the house, trying to talk sense into myself, but after seeing her…so close, no matter how close I had come to taking her in that second, I knew I did not want to leave. I just wanted her to be safe. Alive. Happy. With me…though I knew it could not be, I knew I would just watch her life from afar, making sure she was safe. It was all that mattered. But I wanted so much more, could I possibly have it?

I had stood watching for hours, no sounds coming from her house, her thoughts silent still, but I knew she was safe inside and it made me feel better to be sure she stayed that way. Once Chief Swan arrived and she began cooking dinner I felt that I could leave without concern, and could return when they slept. I was euphoric in the prospect of being able to be in her room again, to watch her.

I arrived home quickly, intending to avoid the family, but Esme was waiting for me on the porch swing. I smiled as I approached, nothing but love and understanding in her thoughts. She immediately pulled me into an embrace. I began to feel badly that I had not spoken to her about Bella, not like I had Carlisle. She was hurt by this but still was here trying to reassure me that everything would work out. She truly was the best mother that someone could have, much more than I deserved.

I pulled away and moved to sit with her. When you are ready, you know I am here for you Edward. I only want you to be happy. I could not help but look away, ashamed for leaving her out of so many things. Everything was happening so fast, I was so lost. If I really talked about it, to her, to anyone, I was afraid I would finally make the right decision. I would have to leave and I did not want to. As if she could read my mind, I don’t want you to leave us Edward, please. We can figure something out so that you don’t have to leave. Just talk to me before you make any decisions that would entail such a change. I reached out and took my mother’s hand and let her know that I would not leave, not again, not without warning.

“I am…confused right now, but I promise that when I figure it out, I will come and talk to you and Carlisle about it. I just need some more time,” I hoped that it might put her at ease to know that I would eventually come to them. She squeezed my hand tight, thanking me for my promise. Do what makes you happy sweetheart. With another weak smile and nod I left her sitting outside while I retreated to my room.

I ignored the thoughts of my family, letting them have their privacy. Besides, I had other things on my mind. I couldn’t argue with myself any more, I had spent the past eight hours struggling with one decision and another, the mental strain had made me feel tired, drained. I couldn’t find the resolve to leave then and I wasn’t going to now. I would accept it for tonight; I was jubilant that I would be seeing her again, even if she were asleep. I hoped she would talk and let me know what she was thinking, give me a fleeting glimpse of her mind. A scrap.

Before I knew it, it was time, and I could be there again. I was in her window, soundlessly sitting in the small rocking chair in the corner, watching her chest rise and fall with her breaths, listening to the steady rhythm of her heartbeat. Her father’s dreams were the only intrusions to my peace and I found it easy enough to block them, let them fade to the back as I never let my eyes wander from the small, fragile human asleep in her bed. Her blood taunted me relentlessly but the other need held me back. I felt like I could sit here forever, nothing would make me happier, nothing could be more perfect.

As I hoped she began mumbling in her dreams. At one point I was concerned because she said her mother’s name and I could hear both worry and longing in her voice. But soon enough she settled back and it became quiet again. As the rain picked up the restlessness returned and she started again, this time she mentioned Phoenix and the sun.

Finally, as if she knew it was all that I had been waiting for she said it, my name. It was like a breath, but I heard it and it took everything not to move beside her, let her know I was here.

Morning was coming very quickly and I knew the sun would be showing itself. I was happy for Bella, because I knew she missed it. I left when the sun came up, making my way, once again to the dense edge of the trees and looked up at her window, wondering when she would wake. I stayed there until I saw her in her window, she smiled as she threw the small window open and took a deep breath, as I had thought, she looked genuinely happy at that moment. Her happiness made me smile. I headed home knowing that I would see her very soon.

As I had watched her sleep I had thought about that melody that had been manifesting itself, it had become clearer as I took her in. It was something for her. I sat at the piano and took a deep breath. I began playing the song that I had written long ago, it was something that was familiar, easy. Beautiful, my mother added from behind me, it was her favorite. I nodded towards her as she sat and watched me. I didn’t mind.

I was lost in my own head as I began to play the new song. It flowed effortlessly as I thought of Bella, it was soft and it had the cadence of her breath while she slept. It told of the peace I felt while in her presence, but just as I knew that it was not a happy situation – wanting her, needing her – the music seemed to work towards a very haunting end, the notes became lower, almost foreboding, but still soothing and sweet.

I worked through it for most of the day until it was perfect, everything about it made me think of her, my Bella. I wondered if I would ever be able to play it for her or if she would even want to hear it. If she has inspired such beauty, Edward, you must pursue it. I have never heard so much love in one piece. Esme came up behind me as I played it through one final time and placed her hands on my shoulders. You deserve this. I wished I believed her, I wanted to be deserving of the joy she brought me, but I was nothing but a monster to this girl, whether she realized it or not.

I looked over at the clock and knew she should be home, it was almost dark. I wanted to be sure she was safe so I made my way on the now familiar path to her door, but I did not sense her inside. Her scent, it was in the open. I made my way around the house and found her stretched out on a blanket, sleeping in the grass, a book by her side. I imagined she had been enjoying the sun, the warmth. She looked happy. This made me smile. This was something I loved as well. I stayed in the shadows watching her but all too soon Chief Swan arrived and she woke with a start. She seemed to be uneasy when she surveyed her surroundings.

“Charlie?” she called into the darkness. I pulled back, afraid that she felt my presence, that I had been caught. But she moved in to the house without another word and I listened to her cooking dinner for her father once again. She moved around the kitchen while he watched television. I listened to his thoughts, trying to see what he was seeing, see her. While he sat across from her, having dinner I watched his mind, he was thinking of her and how she was taking care of him. He was worried about her, her happiness. He knew she wasn’t content, and he worried. He was also grateful for her. He loved his daughter.

I continued to watch and listen to her father’s thoughts, a voyeur in a world where I didn’t belong, but desperately wanted to be a part of. A part of anything she was. She sat with her father this night in the family room; they sat in silence, a television show on that he didn’t care for. I wondered if she did. As the evening wore on, me never moving, just watching Chief Swan’s thoughts, intruding into their lives, I heard a conversation.

"Dad, Jessica and Angela are going to look at dresses for the dance tomorrow night in Port Angeles, and they wanted me to help them choose... do you mind if I go with them?" She did not sound as if she were actually asking permission, merely giving her father the information. He was fully aware. He questioned her as any father would; who, what, why, and finally conceded. I could hear his hopes, hopes for his daughter to finally be happy with her life in Forks. Be a teenager.