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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.


16. Protector

Rating 3.8/5   Word Count 2489   Review this Chapter

Protector

I reasoned with myself that she would be fine. There was no logical need for me to follow her and her friends to Port Angeles. She had been taking care of herself for seventeen years without my intervention. There wasn’t much trouble that someone could get into in such a small town. But then, this was Bella. I would follow her. I had to. It was my job to be sure she was safe. I was her self appointed protector. I owed her this.

I stayed a good distance away. There wasn’t a lot to worry about. I curiously listened to Jessica and Angela’s thoughts on the way out of Forks. Angela was a very quiet girl, even in her thoughts. I wondered if Bella’s mind would be similar. Jessica’s thoughts were much more typical, erratic and mostly spiteful of her two friends. I could tell she was intimidated by their apparent maturity. Interestingly I heard something I hadn’t expected from Angela’s mind. Maybe I should warn her about Tyler telling everyone about them going to prom. It is only right. She probably doesn’t even know. It doesn’t seem like her to have said yes to him, she didn’t seem interested. I chuckled to myself; Tyler had assumed Bella’s attempt to get him away from her had been confirmation of his prom invitation.

Nothing more interesting than that was said so I began to ignore them when Jessica started thinking about the details of her and Newton’s date. I had to admit, I was very happy to see that he seemed to be dating this girl; maybe he would stay away from Bella.

After the hour long drive into Port Angeles, I stayed outside of the department store they went into. I couldn’t remain inconspicuous if I hovered, someone would notice. Besides, the sun was still threatening to show itself through the sparse clouds so I needed to remain in my vehicle until dark. I drove around, keeping my eye on the department store. I would be able to see them leave, or at least hear them so I decided it was safe enough.

I parked after a while and listened. It wasn’t long before I caught the sound of the Stanley girl’s mind. Now she was picturing herself and Newton at the dance, in her newly purchased dress I imagined, getting close. I shuddered; I needed another way to keep track of Bella.

Bella? I watched her mind carefully, trying to see Bella between her silly fantasies. I could see Angela. I could see the department store. Then I saw a book store. But they were not headed in the direction of the bookstore. I realized that Bella must have left them. I scolded myself, I should have been watching closer.

But I didn’t panic. It was Port Angeles, not even she could get in trouble in such a small town. I drove over to the bookstore I had seen in Jessica’s mind. I looked into the window, hoping to see Bella, but she was not there. I couldn’t leave the car, the sun was still out. I stared into the window, searching the shop keeper’s mind. Had she seen her? I focused. Nothing, she wouldn’t be thinking of her if she had not gone in.

I rolled the window down and sniffed the air. It was faint, but I could smell the taunting scent. I closed my eyes and I could sense the trail. South. I could wait here. I knew she would return soon, there was nothing south of here, just warehouses. I parked the car and waited. Still too light out for me to get out, I decided to watch the minds of the pedestrians, I wanted one of them to show her to me, confirm that she was fine. As the minutes passed I was becoming impatient. Where was she?

I tried to reason that she would come back soon, that I did not have anything to worry about, but something was telling me that I should find her. I pulled away from the curb and began to make the block, then a couple of more blocks. No sign. No one thought of her if they had seen her. Could she be lost? The sun was finally beginning to get low in the sky and I was anxious to be able to get out of the car and possibly follow her scent. I needed to find her, know she was safe.

Just as I was going to turn around and start at the bookstore on foot I heard something. I remembered thoughts like these, thoughts of evil deeds and disgusting desires. I once sought them out, using them as an excuse to unleash the monster. I had not expected to hear the voice of monsters like these in Port Angeles. There was more than one I realized, and they had someone in their sights. I was no hero, but I watched none the less. But then the panic surfaced, it was her; I saw the angelic face in his mind. It would be the last thing he thought of…

An involuntary snarl came from my chest and I drove toward the voices quickly. I should have run, I should have jumped from the car and tore them apart. I would. I would kill them all for thinking those thoughts about something that belonged to me. They wouldn’t live another second after I found them.

I saw her in their thoughts again, she knew she was being hunted, she was trying to escape. They were very strategic in their pursuit and knew she didn’t have an escape. Wouldn’t they be surprised when I arrived? They wouldn’t have long to think about it really, just a split second to realize where they had gone wrong, just a minute moment to look into the face of an evil a hundredfold theirs. Or would I make it slow? Show them what their sins have wrought.

I heard one of them address her. “Don’t be like that, sugar.” Mmm, a fighter. No doubt slow and painful will be the way to go. I hit the gas; I would be right on them in mere seconds. Bella would be safe and the world would be rid of the filth.

As I began to turn the corner I took in the scene before me. A man, his back to me was standing in the street, his friend against the wall. Two other worthless beings were at the far end of the block walking towards them. They had circled her like a pack of wolves, the innocent doe their prey. Bella looked…I couldn’t understand, she did not look scared, more like she was determined, or in deep concentration. Was she not going to try to run? Instantly I realized I had to get her out of here. I could not attack because my efforts would be for naught if I lost control and hurt her anyway. I had to get her in my car and leave. Then I could come back for them…

Speeding around the corner I almost hit the big one in the street. It had not been my intention to miss him, but it would have been too easy, he deserved worse. Get her out of here. She seemed to know I would stop, or she was going to make me stop. I slammed the break and skidded to a stop. Resisting the urge to take care of the situation my way, I threw the door open and yelled to her, “Get in.”

Don’t stop, you can’t kill them, you can control this. “Put on your seat belt.” She is safe. Carlisle would want you to control yourself. I looked to her, her breathing was hard, heartbeat fast, but I couldn’t focus on her, I had to keep myself from fulfilling my darkest desire. Her blood was not making it any easier. Edward, you can’t. Images of Carlisle filled my head; he would be disappointed if I took their life, even the scourge of the earth like those monsters.

“Are you alright?” I heard her ask, her voice was strained.

“No,” I answered honestly. The need to go back and make sure something like this never happened again. If they had hurt one hair on her head, there would not be any question of what I would do. If…did they? I hadn’t asked…

The strain of being calm was evident in my voice when I spoke. “Bella?” She only confirmed she heard me, her eyes on my face. I had a sudden pang of guilt that she had to ask me if I was okay when she was the one that had been the one who was almost attacked.

“Are you alright?” Just tell me no and I will make sure they pay.

“Yes.” It was barely a whisper, she sounded shaken, I would worry about her going into shock, but at the moment I was more concerned that I was going to have to kill the men who had done this to her. I had to compose myself so I could take care of her and not just scare her more.

“Distract me, please.”

Her expression was confused, “I’m sorry, what?”

Come on Bella! I need you to help me here. Exasperated I explained, “Just chatter on about something unimportant until I can calm down.” I put my hand to my face, closing my eyes, willing myself to stay calm, collected. Don’t scare her; she has had enough for tonight.

“Um,” she paused, seeming to be trying to find the right topic, I knew she had to have so many questions, but I could not handle them now. “I’m going to run over Tyler Crowley tomorrow before school?” Her voice was matter-of-fact. This girl was perfect.

I wanted to smile, but I couldn’t, I still needed those animals to be dead. “Why?” I urged her to continue.

She didn’t hesitate to launch into her explanation. “He’s telling everyone that he’s taking me to prom – either he’s insane or he’s trying to make up for almost killing me last…you remember it,” or he sees that you are beautiful, I thought despite the fog I was currently engulfed in, “and he thinks prom is somehow the correct way to do this. So I figure if I endanger his life, then we’re even, and he can’t keep trying to make amends. I don’t need enemies and maybe Lauren would back off if he left me alone. I might have to total his Sentra, though. If he doesn’t have a ride he can’t take anyone to prom…”

She was good at this. I felt myself listening to her and becoming calmer, her voice and presence worked on me like Jasper’s powers would... And she was so unaware of the affect she had on people. I wanted to tell her that Lauren would always dislike her because she was threaten by her and that no matter how even she tried to get with Tyler he would still want to take her to prom…“I heard about that,”

“You did?” her voice was incredulous, as if she couldn’t believe that anyone else knew, “If he’s paralyzed from the neck down he can’t take anyone to prom.” Was she more upset because someone else had heard or because I had heard?

I sighed; I couldn’t believe what she brought out in me.

“Better?” she asked when I opened my eyes.

I was slightly composed now, because she was with me, but still…“Not really,” I answered her truthfully.

She was concerned; her next question was a whisper, almost as if she were afraid of my answer, “What’s wrong?”

“Sometimes I have a problem with my temper,” the understatement of a lifetime, “But it wouldn’t help matters for me to turn around and hunt down those…” monsters, “at least that’s what I keep telling myself.”

“Oh,” was her only response. I believed I had scared her. I hadn’t wanted to, but I needed to. She should be afraid of me, but not while she is stuck in a small vehicle with me in the middle of no where.

After a bout of silence she must have noticed the time. “Jessica and Angela will be worried about me. I was supposed to meet them.” I headed back to town, knowing that once I was there, it would be too easy for me to find them…it was still my desire to alleviate society of their burden.

I took her to the small restaurant I had seen in the girls’ mind earlier. “How did you know where…?” I heard her begin, but she only shook her head deciding against her question I am sure she knew I would not answer. “What are you doing?” she asked, I was getting out of the car.

“I’m taking you to dinner,” I needed to stay with her, not only to ensure she was safe but to keep me calm, I was too close. I heard the other girls; they were both becoming worried about the absence of their friend. “Go stop Jessica and Angela before I have to track them down, too. I don’t think I could restrain myself if I ran into your other friends again.” I did not need another reason.

She called to them and at the sound of her voice their minds relaxed. “Where have you been?” Jessica asked; her eyes were on me, Edward Cullen?! Did she plan on meeting him here? Why didn’t she just tell us instead of making us worry? She was angry but curious at the same time thinking Bella had done this on purpose.

Bella kept is simple and told them she was lost and then ran into me. “Would it be alright if I joined you?” I asked them.

“Eh…” Wow, Edward wants to have dinner with us? We already ate, but who cares. “Sure,” the Jessica answered despite her thoughts.

Angela was a bit more composed. “Uh, actually, Bella, we already ate while we were waiting – sorry.” We thought you just got caught up in the book store.

“That’s fine – I’m not hungry,” Bella said, she shrugged and looked like she was planning on going with the two girls. I couldn’t let her. She could go into shock. And selfishly, I needed her.

“I think you should eat something.” I told her quietly, giving her no doubt that I wanted her to stay. I looked up at the two girls, Jessica was thinking about Bella and I and was slightly jealous about our closeness but also curious about our relationship. “Do you mind if I drive Bella home tonight? That way you won’t have to wait while she eats.” I asked her friends.

They took their leave after Bella gave them the okay. I was relieved when I saw in Angela’s mind that Bella had given her a silent okay. She will tell me everything…Jessica’s curiosity won out on her jealousy as Angela dragged her away.

“Honestly I’m not hungry,” she told me.

“Humor me,” I told her as I walked to the door, holding it open, giving her no choice but to go in.