What if Edward had been unable to resist the temptation of Bella's blood on that fateful day? What if it resulted in her transformation? Would their love story be the same?
Even though I say this is angsty, I'm not generally an angst writer. I tend to try to have a good balance, so this isn't anything too hardcore. I'm not completely sure of whether or not there will be more angst in future chapters or what.
7. Chapter 7
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2445 Review this Chapter
After borrowing one of Carmen's romance novels, I find a long sofa to stretch out on in the living room. A week has passed since my conversation with Edward, and the two of us haven't spoken since. I'm unsure if this is due to lack of interest on his part or if this sort of behavior is normal for him; it's possible that he simply has nothing left to talk about with me. Maybe he wants me to speak first, or maybe he's noticed how awkward I've been around him lately, or--
There I go, thinking about him again. I try to bring my attention to the book in front of me but my mind fails to comprehend the opening sentence. Honestly, Bella, I think to myself, what's so great about him that you can focus on nothing else? Well, his smile, for one. And his voice. And his scent, so uniquely sweet. And the way he--
Stop it! I've never been prone to obsessive crushes, and I will certainly not become some giggling fool over one abnormally gorgeous vampire. I look down at the page again, struggling to focus on it.
"Is something wrong?"
I jump, looking up to see Edward standing before me. "No," I grumble.
"I didn't mean to startle you," he says apologetically. I glance down at the book, pretending to be engrossed. "Esme worries about you," he murmurs, sitting in an armchair.
"Oh." I nod, feigning interest in Carmen's novel.
"She believes that you're having trouble fitting in," he continues.
"Then she must be fairly observant," I note, flipping the page.
"You hardly speak to anybody, and she thinks you may be feeling depressed ever since..." he trails off. I can practically feel the guilt radiating from him.
"And did she tell you this, or did you use your freakish talents to discover it?" I ask, putting the book down and gazing up at him. He grins crookedly.
"Those of us with special gifts must utilize them, or else they are wasted," he says, shrugging innocently. I roll my eyes.
"Being overly nosy is not a gift," I inform him. "Although, I guess it would be nice to make more of an effort to socialize. For Esme, you know. I have no idea why she's worrying about me already."
"Well...you know how she is. She opens her heart easily," he says. He looks away from me, lost in thought.
Eager to change the subject, I say, "No one ever fully explained to me why you guys came up early. Something about werewolves...?"
"Oh, right. The Quileutes--the people who live at the La Push reservation--have legends that say they are related to werewolves; some of them turn into wolves in order to protect their people. Vampires and werewolves are natural enemies, but a while ago, our coven made a treaty with the Quileutes: as long as we stayed away from their territory and didn't bite anyone--not just kill, but bite--they would stay away from our territory and wouldn't reveal us to the humans," he explains. "We had no idea that there were any of them left."
"And when I was bitten," I say, careful not to mention him, "the treaty was broken."
"Right. Carlisle managed to work out a compromise. We had to leave Washington forever, or else--"
"--they'd expose us," I finish. He nods. "So, that means that I can't...I can't even visit Charlie after I'm...older?"
"That is precisely what it means," he says, looking at me cautiously.
"Well," I say slowly, "there's always...there's always Renée, right?" I try to smile, though I'm sure he can see through it.
"Bella," he says softly, "it would probably be wise not to visit either of them."
"I don't mean 'visit'," I tell him. "I mean...'check up on'. As in, I just sneak to her house to make sure everything's going well, you know." I can tell he disapproves of this, but he remains silent.
Alice dances into the room then. "We're going shopping," she chimes. "Esme wants to buy paint and furniture for the house, you know. I'm going to buy some new clothes for Bella, and maybe something for myself. Edward, you're coming, but you'll be looking for--"
"I know what I'm going to look for, Alice," her brother grumbles.
"All right, all right. Personally, I think you should pick the one with the blue case. Right now, you're planning on getting the one with the red case, but all I see is you complaining about how bad the lead singer sounds," she rambles. I gave up on understanding the conversations between Edward and Alice a long time ago; they have a tendency to disregard the non-psychics in the room.
"Who else is coming?" Edward asks.
"Looks like Rosalie, Tanya...her sisters....Carmen's dragging Eleazar...Carlisle is going because Esme insisted that he has some say in the color of their bedroom..." Alice says, her expression distant.
"So Jasper and Emmett aren't coming?" wonders Edward.
"No; they're staying here with Bella," she answers.
"I hardly need babysitters," I mutter.
"It's for your own good," Alice informs me. "I can't see your future unless you want me to, and that means we need to take extra precautions."
"If I let you see my future, will you take less precautions?" I ask her.
"Maybe," she says. "You know, on the off chance that you would..."
Rolling my eyes, I try my best to relax. "No mind-reading," I warn Edward. Alice's expression goes blank for a brief moment before a small grin illuminates her face.
"What?" I ask, leaving my relaxed state.
"It doesn't matter," she replies, shrugging casually.
"So...do I need babysitters?" I inquire.
"But I thought you said--"
"Regardless of whether you need them or not, Emmett and Jasper hate shopping. They'd stay either way," she explains. I notice Edward sending her a dark look. "Sorry, Edward, but you'll have to wait like everyone else," she says.
"Alice..." he growls.
"Goodbye," she sings, dancing out of the room.
"What was that about?" I ask.
"Nothing," he responds, looking frustrated.
"Let me guess: she won't let you see her vision, either?"
"No. And she's singing Japanese showtunes in her head to keep me from finding out." He stays quiet before speaking again. "What's the book about?"
"Oh...uh...well, I only just started it. From the summary, I'm pretty sure it's a Victorian love story," I say.
"Don't tell me you actually enjoy those books with their contrived love scenes," he says, making a face. I know my cheeks would be flushed if I were still human.
"I borrowed it from Carmen; I was bored," I reply defensively.
He chuckles and remarks, "Were it not for Eleazar, Carmen would be no different than her sisters." He does not elaborate, but he doesn't need to; I know plenty about the Denali coven to understand his statement.
"Any idea what Alice saw?" I ask, trying to change the subject.
"No," Edward answers calmly. Despite his efforts to mask his thoughts, I see through his bluff.
"Tell me," I prompt him.
"Honestly, I didn't have enough time to see more than a brief flash before she started singing," he insists.
"But you saw enough to know what it's about. You're lying, I can tell," I accuse. He stares at me for a long moment before sighing.
"Fine. I saw enough to know what it was about," he admits.
"All right, now tell me what it was," I say.
"I'll tell you what one of the things I saw was," he agrees.
"What?" I demand eagerly. He smiles.
"You. But Alice's visions aren't set in stone; what she saw was simply one possible path. The odds of the event actually occurring are slim," he says.
"Aw, man. That just made me even more curious," I mumble.
"Regardless," he continues, smirking, "we're leaving in ten minutes."
"Keep an eye on her; don't let her out of your sight," hisses Esme to Jasper and Emmett.
"Relax, Esme, everything will be fine," Emmett assures her, though the mischievous glint in his eye does nothing to help convince her of this. "We'll have her tucked in by nine, just like you said." With one last glance at me, Esme bids us farewell and walks out of the house, where everyone else has already piled into their respective vehicles; after a moment, the engines can be heard fading off into the distance as the cars drive away. "Don't worry, Bella, that last part was only for Esme's benefit. We'll let you stay up till ten," Emmett jokes.
"Ignore him; it makes things so much easier," Jasper advises me.
"Aw, don't listen to him! He's just bitter because I beat him yesterday at practically every video game ever created."
"Why on earth would I care about your moronic video games?"
"Why wouldn't you? You know, Jazz--"
"Ugh, don't call me that!"
"You don't say that to Alice..."
"You are really pushing me," growls Jasper.
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry! Just don't use your Jedi mind tricks on me! Anyway, I was going to say that I'm open to a rematch, and--" Emmett begins.
"Absolutely not," his brother interrupts, beginning to walk away.
"No! You cheat every time!"
"I promise, this time I'll--well, I'll cheat a little less."
"Sorry, Emmett, but I've got something important to do upstairs," Jasper says as he leaves. Crestfallen, Emmett turns to me.
"Bella...normally I wouldn't ask you this. But will you please play a game with me?" he asks, pouting.
"Uh...well, I mean, I've got this book that I'm really into..." I lie, unwilling to be stuck playing some idiotic video game.
"Oh. Well, that's okay. I understand. I'll go find something else to do. I just thought..." he trails off.
"You thought what?"
"I thought that having a new sister would be fun. Alice is fun sometimes, I guess, but she's always with Jasper," he continues. He begins to walk away, his head hung in disappointment. I bite my lip, watching him, before finally giving in.
"Fine," I sigh. "I'll play." He turns to face me, grinning widely.
"Aw, thanks, Bella!" He grabs my hand and drags me out of the foyer, leading me down the hallway until we reach a room with an open door; inside, there is a large, flat screen television with two sofas facing in its direction. As Emmett turns on his game console, I sit down. "Okay, basketball, football, baseball, wrestling, or racing?"
"Um...which one's easiest?" I ask.
"Racing," he answers.
"All right, let's play that one," I decide. He tosses a steering wheel over his shoulder; surprisingly, I manage to catch it.
"Oh, and you'll need these." He walks over and hands me pedals, then sits beside me with his own equipment.
About five minutes into the race, I realize what a mistake it was to agree to this. "Why do I keep hitting the stupid wall?" I demand.
"Don't be so gentle when you steer; you have to really move the wheel," he tells me.
After taking his advice, I manage to at least stay on the track, but Emmett skillfully weaves through the other cars, easily making it to first place while I lag behind the rest. The third time he passes me, his car crashes into my rear. "Hey!"
"You did that on purpose," I accuse, anger bubbling up inside of me. "You cheated!"
"It's not against the rules," he says impishly. A growl rises in my throat as I fling my steering wheel across the room and storm out. "Wait!" Emmett calls, following me into the hallway. "I'm sorry!" I turn around to face him.
"You're just saying that so I'll play with you; you don't mean it!" I grit my teeth, all reasoning gone from my mind as I lunge at him, yanking his hair.
"Ow, ow, ow!"
"Bella, what's the matter with you?" Jasper's voice asks. I feel him trying to pull me away from Emmett. "Come on, it's only a game," he reminds me. I stop struggling and allow him to pull me away; Emmett backs away from me as I sit down on the floor. Taking a seat next to me, Jasper places his hand on my shoulder. "Let me calm you down," he says. As soon as I follow his command, logic returns to me.
"Oh. Uh. Sorry, Emmett. It--it wasn't that serious," I mutter, feeling embarrassed.
"It's okay. I forgot how temperamental newborns can be," he says.
Relief washes over me. "You mean, I'm not going crazy? That was normal?"
"Well, not normal, so to speak," Jasper says, smiling, "but not odd enough to classify you as a freak." He removes his hand from my shoulder, but, despite the fact that he is no longer keeping me calm, I don't feel angry.
"It probably has something to do with thirst, too," Emmett says as I get up. "We should go hunting before the others get back."
"All right, all of your things are in these bags,"Alice says, pointing to twelve large shopping bags that are lying on the floor.
"How much money did you spend on me?" I wonder, my eyes wide.
"Um...it doesn't matter," she tells me. "I got this really cute dress for you, too, because you'll leave the house eventually, and you may end up going somewhere nice. Oh, and I bought some...er...unmentionables. Didn't want you running out of them. You'll love the shoes..."
I reach into one of the bags and pull out a blue blouse which is mysteriously missing its price tag. After rummaging through the rest of the (tagless) clothes, I see a sharp corner in the bag. "What's this?" I ask. Alice, who is distracting herself by trying on a pair of new heels, peers into the bag.
"Looks like a book," she mutters.
"You got me a book?"
"Nope," she replies, looking back at her shoes.
"So, where'd it come from?"
"No idea. But if it's in that bag, it's yours; someone else must've put it there." She turns to leave the living room.
I pull the book out; it's a large, leather-bound volume with its title written across the front in gold; The Complete Works of Jane Austen. I reach into the bag again and pull out another book; this one's smaller, but it's also bound in leather with gold writing. Wuthering Heights.
"You said you got bored," a musical voice states, "and you mentioned how much you liked those books. Now you won't be stuck with that nonsense Carmen reads." I look up to see Edward. Interpreting my surprise as shock, he asks, "You did say you liked them, right?"
"Uh...yeah." His brow is furrowed.
"Then what's wrong?"
"You--you didn't have to..."
"I know." He grins crookedly. "You're welcome."
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