Twilight from Edward's point of view.
I won't compete with Stephanie Meyer, she's the fantastic writer who came up with this whole world. This story starts just after the first chapter of Midnight Sun which is posted on her website. Enjoy!
1. First Week
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The temptation, the need, the desire; it clawed at me even now. The monster inside me howling at the thin restraints I had bound it to. The image I had seen in Alice’s mind of Bella in her father’s kitchen burned behind my eyes. I fought to replace it with the face of my father, reminding myself of what I had to do. Somehow, I knew, if I could only speak to Carlisle, I might have a chance.
The road flashed past me, the engine of my Volvo only hesitating when I passed the street I knew would take me to Chief Swan’s house and Bella…
I growled and slammed my foot down on the accelerator with enough force to crack the casting in half. I would need Rosalie to take a look at that later, but when would that be? When would I see my family again? Could I ever come back to Forks? Or would they have to join me in Denali?
What had I done to deserve this exile? I hated Bella, hated her for her frailty, her humanity, and most of all her blood. Why shouldn’t I just end her life, and drink her dry? It would be so pathetically easy, and so deeply satisfying. With her gone, all of my problems would end. Without her, there was no temptation. I wouldn’t have to leave. Besides, why was I the one who had to flee? Hadn’t this been my home first? Hadn’t I been the one struggling to protect my family, to create a life for us here? She had done nothing to earn a home in Forks. Nothing.
But she didn’t have to. She was human. She wasn’t a beast, like me. She didn’t have to lie, to pretend, and to listen in on other people’s thoughts just to fit in. Of course I was the one who had to leave, I was the one who didn’t belong here, not her. I was the monster.
Normally I was able to handle the stench of blood, and death hung within the hospital walls. But in my state, I knew I could tempt the monster no more today. Instead I called Carlisle from the Volvo, dialing his number as carefully as I could on the thin silver phone. I would already need a new car to make my trip; I didn’t want to add a new phone to the list as well. I didn’t need any other reason for delay.
“Edward.” Carlisle picked up on the third ring.
“I’m outside.” I tried to keep my voice as level as possible. I didn’t want my father hearing the bloodlust and menace in my voice.
Still, he knew me well enough to know something was wrong. “I’ll be right there.”
I only had to wait minutes before my father was knocking softly on my passenger door. I reached across and let him into the car, not wanting to stay here any longer than necessary. Now that I had made my mind, I just wanted to leave. Leave forks, and put the al this behind me.
“I’m going, Carlisle,” I said, my voice sounding plaintive, even to myself.
What has happened, my son? Carlisle’s thoughts, followed by a brief picture of how he saw me flooded into my mind. I hissed away from the image, ashamed at my rigid posture, cold expression, and pitch black eyes. It wasn’t how I wanted him to see me; it wasn’t how I wanted to see me.
“I—I don’t know,” I answered. “There was someone at school, a girl, some…” I struggled to describe the experience. “Some simpering, useless, human, girl.” All this power at my disposal, this strength, and I am reduced to no more than an animal over some schoolgirl. The idea made both the monster and I grimace in disgust. What was the point of holding back when there was so much to unleash?
Carlisle sighed. It never gets easier, does it? “It happens to all of us, Edward, I do not fault you for being effected by it.”
The desire in me retreated. I hung my head. As usual, my father knew the root of my problem. I hated to shame him, hated to be seen weak in his eyes. All these years, and I still couldn’t fend off the monster within half as well as he could. “I’ve never felt so tempted,” the smell of her was burned into my senses; my mouth salivated at the thought, the venom pooling between my teeth. “She was intoxicating, the bouquet…the blood…”
The monster reared its head again; I barely had it hiding beneath the surface. I felt my lips pull back at the thought of tasting the most delicious blood I had ever come across. Panicked at the picture I was creating in my head, I clenched my jaw, and fought the monster back. No, I was better than that. I had control.
“Breath, Edward,” my father reminded me, calm and understanding as ever. “You didn’t act upon your impulse that’s what…”
I didn’t need his words or his thoughts to finish the sentiment. “I know!” I roared, tired of the same mantra over and over again. I’d had eighty years of listening to Carlisle’s sermon, but now more than ever the bloodlust was harder to resist. Harder, but more necessary. I would not disappoint my father again.
I am only trying to help, Edward.
If anything, his calming words hurt me more than anything. Even if I had killed Bella, even if I had killed them all, he would still love me; he would still do anything to help me.
“Sorry,” I said, holding the monster back and regaining some control. When would my calm return? Having him near did help, as much as my instincts tried to override my mind, my father’s presence would keep me in balance. “But it is as if she existed only to damn me further. My own personal demon.”
You are not damned, my son. I could almost hear the internal sigh. “You will find control, you will find peace. I know you, Edward. You would not do harm to an innocent, no matter how tantalizing her blood may be.”
I wished I could believe it, but Carlisle didn’t know how close I had come. I never wanted him to know how close I had come. “I’m not ready for this test, Carlisle,” I said, feeling ashamed at having to admit it. “I can’t think. Not while I’m in Forks.”
Then go, do what you must, Edward. Carlisle gave me a gentle, knowing smile. “Just make sure that you let us know of your decision. The family will support you if you decide we must stay away.” I will need to speak to Esme, she won’t like…
I shied away from hearing the end of his thought. We had only been here a little over a year; Esme had barely even begun settling in. I couldn’t make her move again, any of them.
“Alice will let you know what I decide,” I said, already knowing that I would rather live in isolation than force my family to move now.
“Where will you be Edward?” he asked.
The image of the ice tundra’s in Alice’s vision crept back into my head. “Denali.”
“Very well,” said Carlisle. Then he placed his hand upon my shoulder and waited until I was looking him in the eye. You will find your answer, you will do what’s right, and you will always be my son.
Great feelings of shame, and pride filled me at once. If Jasper had been here I know I would have given him a headache. What had I done to deserve such a father?
“I’ll need your car,” I said, already handing over the keys to my Volvo. “And you’ll need to have Rosalie take a look at my accelerator.”
Wordlessly Carlisle passed over the keys to his Mercedes.
There was no need for a goodbye after that, not with Carlisle. We looked at one another briefly, and then I was gone. Running across the parking lot, jumping into Carlisle’s Mercedes, and racing off the long stretch of road for Denali, and what I hoped would be relief.
The trip should take longer. Even driving all night, as I had, the journey still should have last at least another day. Still, as hour after hour passed, and Alaska drew nearer and nearer. I would be there soon and I would have to explain to all of them why I had left my family.
It seemed so insignificant now. Was I really so weak? I hadn’t hunted in two weeks; I had been focusing on Jasper, and calming down Alice. There must have been some other factor, some small unlucky series of events that had tested my resolve. There was no way that after all of these years I could have been brought to such a low over one irrelevant human.
But she wasn’t irrelevant. Even if I could explain away the circumstance, I knew her blood was something special. I would have given up my secret, and my family to taste it. I had planed her death, planed how I would draw her away to some secluded corner… I had planed everything but the actual act it self. It was the only shred of humility I had left. At least I hadn’t pictured her skin beneath my teeth, torn away to release the torrent of the fluid I longed for so much.
And oh, I felt the longing. I felt it in my dead, unmoving heart. The command of it surpassed every instinct I had ever had. It was more than when Carlisle had turned me and I had felt that first all encompassing craving for human blood. It was even more than the passion that had overtaken me when I had tasted my first cannibalistic meal. I knew now, having discovered it, that I would never be ride of the desire I had for Bella Swan’s blood.
I could be strong. I would be. No matter what the need was; I could overcome it. Hadn’t I been doing just that for so many years now? Bella Swan would be dead and gone before I lived beyond twice my current age. Her blood would not be around forever, it would not outlive me. But I was trying to fool myself. Even if I live for ten thousand more years I would still yearn for her blood.
There was no choice for me then. I would need to curb the desire, to harness and control it. If Bella truly were my test, if she had been placed on this Earth just to entice me, then I would accept the challenge. I would prove to myself, and Carlisle, that there is no doubt, no hesitation in my heart.
My head felt clearer already. My thoughts were returning to normal. The beast still lingered, as it always did, and as it always would, but slowly I was taking charge of myself again. The sharp cold of the Canadian winter whipped my clothes around me as I drove; the snow seeped in from the open windows.
I was sure that by the time I reached Denali, Bella and her blood would be washed from my body. And I would be beholden to no longing then.
Tanya watched me with a superior little smile. She was enjoying my pain as if it were a great gift to her. I heard her taunting thoughts, no matter how I tried to ignore them. She shouted them in her head, biting at my mind, pecking at all the weaknesses within me.
All twisted up over a human. She laughed aloud at my pained expression. I always knew a female would soon bring you to your knees, Edward. Though I admit, that I had always hoped it would be me...Does your weakness so control you? Haven’t you gained resolve yet? Will you run from her, Edward? Will you run from a frail, little girl? Or will you succumb? Will you taste her life flow between your lips?
I growled, deep and low in my chest, warning her not to push me. My retreat was less successful than I had planed. I had expected to find peace in Denali, somewhere to rest where I would be able to think and sort out my thoughts. I hadn’t anticipated Tanya’s obvious glee with the situation.
Who knew, perfect Edward would lose control? You always did think you were so superior, didn’t you? You always thought that you could prevail, even when your brothers and sisters occasionally lost their way. Did you ever think you would fall so far?
I clamped my teeth down and ground them together tightly.
Poor, dear. I wish there was something we could do to help.
Kate’s thoughts broke through her sister’s jeering. At least the others had given me the space that I desired. They hadn’t understood, but Carlisle had asked them to allow me distance in order to gain perspective over the situation.
Perhaps we should invite him to live with us for a while, to get away from Forks. Carlisle can be so judgmental. His sterling record is too much for anyone to live up to. It will break Edward apart.
At least Kate’s thoughts didn’t make my ache. I didn’t agree with her, but she was easier to listen to than Tanya.
“Are you ignoring me, Edward?” Tanya slinked further into the room.
I turned to glare at her, baring my teeth instinctually to warn her away.
She ignored me, as she had when I had told her to give me peace, and when I had placed a closed door between us, and when I had asked her to go.
Suddenly her mind bombarded mine with pictures of her clad in various stages of undress. Such passion, Edward, must be put to good use.
I concentrated hard on notes of a Rachmaninoff concerti, reciting the chords off in my head, pushing Tanya’s thoughts from my head. I had forgotten how forward she could me, and how persistent. Usually I had my family around me to act as a buffer between us, and to give her less opportunity for her to corner me alone.
“Just stop,” I commanded, now tapping the notes onto my leg. A piano would be best. Tanya was at least right about me needed something to pour my pent up passion into.
The images retreated, as Tanya pulled back. “Come on, Edward,” she said, not giving up on her coy tone. Just give in to me, do us both some good. I promise I’ll make you forget…
I roared, pushing her aside with force I would never usually apply to a female, even if she were a vampire of equal strength. She slid back, looking as surprised as I felt; yet another aspect of my nature for me to be ashamed of. When would it end? Where would the line be drawn?
Disgusted, I fled again, until I felt the hard Alaskan tundra pounding beneath my feet.
The blood gushed down my throat, the sweet surge instantly filling my veins, and curbing the desperate edge of my hunger. It would never satiate the beast. I would never be able to feel true satisfaction. Still, I drank deeply and eagerly, taking down an extra buck when two would not do.
I was gorging, I knew. Taking much more than I needed, but I couldn’t stop myself. Perhaps, if I drank until my body would burst I would gain just a shred of my formal control.
The monster in me growled at Eleazar. It wasn’t getting the blood it wanted, but it finally had something to fill the void. It did not want to be denied again.
He will drink himself to death if he continues on like this.
The disappointment in his mind grounded me. I finished off the animal beneath my teeth and drew back.
“I shouldn’t take so much from your hunting grounds, I’m sorry,” I said, knowing he would hear me even from a distance. Quickly, I disposed of the evidence of my feast before rejoining Eleazar.
He was patiently waiting for me a ways away, having finished with his own hunt, and wishing to give me privacy with mine. “You are welcome to whatever you need, Edward,” he said. I just don’t want you to do yourself harm.
I snorted, licking the last traces of blood from my teeth. “Why worry about the condemned?”
Eleazar raised a brow. I am not, Carlisle. “You know I have no head for your spiritual debates, Edward.”
I shrugged. It was not a debate to me.
“Walk with me, and tell me what you’re thinking,” he motioned for me to continue with him back towards the house. We had not hunted far, preferring to stay close to Denali, rather than take a trip to a more distant location.
What can I say that could be a comfort?
“I’m not looking for comfort,” I growled. Creatures like me didn’t deserve comfort.
“Then what will make this easier for you?” he asked.
“I don’t want it to be easy either.” Why couldn’t anyone see that? “It isn’t meant to be easy.”
“Oh?” asked Eleazar, clearly skeptical. Why is everything such a struggle with you, Edward? Will you never be pleased?
There was no way I could make him understand. Carlisle would, or maybe even Alice, but certainly not Eleazar. Abstinence wasn’t supposed to be easy. It was a battle over indulgence, and of sin. It was self-denial, self-restraint, and self-discipline. It was how I tested myself, and kept myself balanced, and whole. I would never again be an innocent, but this much I could do. It was no less than what I deserved. My eternal penance. My perpetual damnation.
“I’m going back tomorrow,” I said, rather than try to explain.
Really? “So soon?” he asked, genuinely surprised.
I nodded. “Yes. I never should have left. I just needed to get some focus, to put some distance between Forks and myself.”
Eleazar turned to me with a steady amber gaze. “You’re sure?” There’s no way he can be ready, not yet. “Perhaps you should stay a few more weeks, or indefinitely, you know you’d be welcome to.” A picture of Tanya’s face materialized in his mind; all the more reason for me to leave as soon as possible.
“I am sure,” I said. “I need to be with my family. It was foolish to think that I should leave them.”
Very foolish, I missed them now more than anything. I needed Carlisle’s level head, Esme’s devotion, and Alice’s utter conviction in me. Even Rosalie’s vain distraction, or Emmett’s blissfully pure mind would be welcome. And I could only imagine how much Jasper’s calm presence, and gift could have helped me. No, it was a mistake to try to leave. I belonged with my family, and right now they belonged in Forks. The decision beyond that was simple.
“So you will remain in Forks? You will not ask Carlisle to move?” Perhaps I should call Carlisle myself, and tell him to start packing up. I would be more kind.
“We will not be relocating,” I said firmly, wanting to destroy any thoughts he had of persuading Carlisle to do something drastic. “I will not loose perspective again. I know what to expect now.”
Eleazer remained doubtful. But can you be sure you won’t loose control with temptation so near?
“I won’t,” I growled fervently.
At least, I hoped I wouldn’t.
I thought of Bella as I drove. I thought of her blood, I would always think of her blood, but I also thought about her. I needed to humanize her, so I wouldn’t think about her as just the most delicious meal I could ever hope for.
Bella Swan. How had she caused this struggle within me?
I forced myself to analyze every minute second of the day I had nearly killed her. I combed through every thought I had overheard, every absurd fantasy that had played through the boys’ heads, and every second I had spent restraining myself from ripping out her throat.
It wasn’t until I made it back into Washington that I remembered one key detail. I hadn’t heard her at all; I hadn’t been able to listen in on her thoughts. She had been a blank slate, it had annoyed me at first, but I had expected to be able to spend my time around her dissecting the enigma that was Bella Swan. I hadn’t been expecting on having to focus all of my energy on keeping myself from literally dissecting her.
Were my bloodlust, and her inaccessibility somehow linked? Had I craved her blood over all other’s because I was unable to imagine her as a person?
Usually my gift distanced me from the humans around me, and helped me to control my thirst. It was difficult to kill someone when you knew all of their innermost thoughts. The only time I had succumbed to the beast, I was still unable to kill people I knew were innocent. Even the sinful men I had killed, had haunted me. I had heard their internal monologues right up to the point when they lay lifeless in my arms.
If I hadn’t been reborn as a vampire with this gift, would I have become something detestable? Would I have surrendered fully to the monster within?
How had this happened? I had never heard of a vampire reacting so strongly to any one human, but I had also never met a human I could not read. Perhaps Carlisle would know more about it, or Jasper. Our gifts were similar enough, that it’s possible that he had come across a similar scenario, and his past was bloody enough that he would understand.
Yes, once I was among my family again, things would feel right. They would help me sort things out, we would stay in Forks, and that would be that. I would not let Bella Swan destroy what we had. But would my family feel the same way? Would they be able to trust me to walk back into that Biology class again? Or maybe they were so disappointed in my lapse that they would insist on relocation themselves. Could they hate me half as much as I hated myself?
My phone beeped once, letting me know a call was coming through. Thankfully my family had left me alone until now, but there was no longer any reason to ignore them anyway. I had already made my decision to come home.
“Edward?” Alice’s voice bubbled even through the speaker. It was good to hear something so cheerful and pure again.
“Alice,” I said, grateful, as always, that she was my sister.
“You’re forgiven,” she said. “And I just love the present you’re going to buy to make up for giving us all the scare.”
I chuckled. “I hadn’t even made my decision yet, Alice.”
“No, but I saw all the options, and any of them will do,” she said. “You always give the best gifts.”
“At least save the surprise for the rest of them,” I pleaded.
“Of course, we’re looking forward to having you back, Edward. We missed you,” I didn’t need to be able to read minds to hear the love in her voice then. “Jasper and Emmett will be on a hunting trip when you get back, you should make the detour to join them.”
“Soon, Alice,” I said.
“Soon,” she agreed, then hung up the phone.
Well, I had to stop for gifts, and apparently to hunt again, but home was already in sight. And Bella, as well as her blood, was pushed to the far recesses of my mind.
Emmett tackled me to the ground, pinning my chest beneath one broad shoulder. I slid out from beneath him, swiftly jumping on his back and angling my teeth towards his neck. I saw his intent to reach up and throw me from him in my mind, so I slid away just before his arm could wrap around my waist.
I skirted back, teeth bared, feeling exhilarated and strong.
Rolling his eyes, Emmett straightened and called the truce. It was an unusual act for him. He enjoyed wrestling more than any of us, and besting his brothers was one of his favorite things.
“Enough,” Emmett said. We can’t spend all day pretending nothing’s happened.
I bristled at the thought, my nerves still on edge, and my strength still buzzing. “Nothing did happen, Emmett.” It was childish of me to throw his faults back in his face, but we had had to move than one occasions due to my brother’s mistakes.
Stop being petty. Jasper joined us, laying a thick blanket of calm over us both.
I resisted, even though I knew it was useless, and then let it envelop me.
“Its enough that it almost happened,” Jasper said. And for once it isn’t me everyone’s worried about.
There was no argument to that. Jasper was right. It was enough that it had almost happened, and I had caused everyone nothing but worry.
“Don’t go all melodramatic on us, brother,” said Emmett. You aren’t exactly a martyr, Edward.
I rolled my eyes, I hardly thought of myself as a martyr. “I know,” I said, answering both Jasper and Emmett together. “You’re both right, I nearly slipped.”
“What happened?” Jasper asked. I could hear his fascination in his mind. He had really thought that I was as controlled as Carlisle, even though he knew of my own bloodthirsty phase. I never thought I would see the day.
I clenched my jaw.
“You were fine all that morning,” said Emmett, as he tore a tree from the ground. He laid it on its side, and fell heavily down upon it until he had made himself a perfectly fitted seat. You didn’t seem hungry.
“I wasn’t,” I said, and ran a hand through my disheveled hair.
“Alice told us it was about that girl, the new one,” Jasper said, sounding almost like he was saying something he shouldn’t. He, more than the others, always felt guilty about sharing the secrets our gifts revealed. In his own way, he was trying to grant me privacy that I would never really have.
“Bella,” I sighed, resigned now to my personal demon. “I don’t know what came over me. One minute I was sitting in class, and the next…” I remembered how her smell had hit me all at once, the most desirable and pleasing scent I could never have imagined. “It was so sudden. I couldn’t live without her blood in me, it…”
“Sang to you?” Jasper finished. I know.
I looked at my brother in surprise. “You do?” I said.
“What?” asked Emmett. I could hear his annoyance at having to ask. I’m never in the loop on these things.
“I’ve experienced something like it,” he answered. I caught the scene in his mind, and more than ever I was glad that I had not unleashed the monster in that biology classroom.
“Like what?” Emmett growled his frustration.
I took pity on him. “It’s like Jasper said. Her blood just sang to me. Like it was meant, or created for me.”
You should have tasted it. I knew Jasper was trying to block his thoughts, not wanting to make my situation worse. Still, there was no hiding the absolute pleasure he remembered from draining his singer. He remembered the meal even now, and a part of him longed for the experience to repeat itself. If I came across it again, I know I would…
“You wouldn’t,” I told him. “You wouldn’t do that to Alice.”
Jasper hung his head, ashamed at being caught.
Emmett made a snorting noise.
“I was thinking that I would not have control if it happened a second time,” Jasper filled Emmett in. “It was ten times stronger than the allure of a normal human.”
“A thousand times stronger,” I corrected.
“A million,” Emmett threw in.
Jasper and I glared at him.
“What?” Emmett shrugged his shoulders. See, I can do it too.
Together, Jasper and I sighed.
You’ll give in. It’s too hard to resist. Please, don’t let me the weakest anymore.
I tried to ignore Jasper’s thoughts, and turned instead to Emmett. “I was blindsided,” I told him. “I never knew something like that existed, but now that I do I’m prepared. I’ll know what to expect next time.”
“Next time?” asked Jasper. “Are you so torturous that you’re going to put yourself around her?”
Emmett agreed. “Maybe it would be best for you to start ‘home schooling.’” It was out way of withdrawing from the humans when things got to difficult. Usually Jasper was the one who had to make the retreat.
“No,” my voice was fierce. They would not change my mind. I had to prove myself. “I can handle myself.”
Lies. Jasper turned his steady gaze on me. You’ll need our help. You’ll need all of our help.
Despite my strength I had never once damaged any of the pianos I have had over the years. Only when my fingers are skating across the keys am I sure of my control. I do not feel restrained, even though I have to tone down every bit of my natural strength in order to play pianissimo. I am gentle; I caress the ivories, and unleash my heart upon the music.
That’s lovely, Edward.
I don’t turn as Alice comes into the room, I can see in her head the picture of us sitting side by side at my piano as I play. I move down the bench to make room for her, and don’t look up when I feel her weight settle against my side.
Are you going to go to school tomorrow?
I’m glad she isn’t questioning me, as the others have. I can hear the rest of my siblings upstairs discussing whether or not they will let me leave the house tomorrow. Esme too is worried, though she won’t actually resort to keeping me home. Only Carlisle truly believed me when I assured them that I would be able to resist. He understands my need to prove myself at least.
Nothing is going to happen. I can see that now. You won’t do anything to her.
I transition into a sonatina, something light and fanciful. Alice rests her head against my shoulder.
It’s going to be hard, but you know I’ll watch out for you.
Of course I knew. Alice would keep me strong, she would keep us safe.
Something wonderful will come of this. I can feel it.
I turn to look down at Alice, a small smile on my lips. Only she would see a happy ending to this scenario. Only Alice.
Do you doubt me, Edward? Her own return smile was mischievous.
I raised a brow. Who am I to doubt Alice?
She giggled and settled back into my shoulder. I thought so. You’ll see, Edward. Even you will find a happy ending.