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!
2. Bella Swan
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They were keeping me distracted, and despite my attempts to remain in my melancholy, it was working.
Alice laughed, and lobbed a snowball at the back of my head. I heard her intent, and saw the picture in her mind of me ducking and the snowball catching Rosalie square in the back. I dropped to my knees.
“Ugh!” Rosalie cried in disgust, turning around to face us with her arms spread away from her body. “Alice!” Her face pinched as if she were in pain.
“Oh come on,” Jasper joked, joining his wife. “It’s not as if you feel the cold.”
“No, but she’s ruined my shirt! I just bought this!” She turned her back to Emmett. “Is it bad?” she asked him; sounding so heartbroken we just had to laugh.
I’ll show Alice. I heard Emmett think, so I turned to see whether or not he would succeed in catching my sister unawares. Then I felt the cold trickle leak down the back of my collar.
“No fair,” I turned on my brother as I shook the snow from my neck. “You were lying in your thoughts.”
Emmett was smirking, another heap of snow between his two fists. It wasn’t a snowball he was getting ready to throw; it was a snow heap. I bared my teeth at the challenge, ready for a fight.
“Boys,” Alice chided, strolling between us. “We are in school, remember?”
I didn’t bother to look around. I knew we were, and we wouldn’t give ourselves away, but that didn’t mean I would let Emmett get away with it. Or maybe I just had to distract him…
On a split second decision I darted forward, hoping I was quick enough for Alice. I wasn’t. She sidestepped me just before I ran into her, and I had to stretch my arms out to knock her into a snowdrift.
She sat up giggling and knocking snow from her jacket. Rosalie snorted in disgust. Honestly, how childish, I heard her think.
Jasper reached down to help his wife up, shooting me an amused glare. At least one of us can get away with that.
“You know you wish it was you,” I told him, smiling.
Nah, too scared.
I looked at tiny Alice with her spiky hair drooping form the ice that melted within it. “You’re right. She’s a terror, isn’t she?”
Jasper and I shared a laugh, while Alice righted herself. We were so preoccupied that neither Alice nor I caught Rosalie’s plan. Emmett’s high-pitched squeak made us whip around.
Rosalie was standing, her arms crossed, looking at us in surprise. “What?” she said. He deserved it. He shouldn’t have made fun of my hair.
Emmett was sprawled into the snow, his own monstrous snowball somehow piled around his head.
We laughed together, and then bent over double when Rosalie scoffed and headed for inside. I offered Emmett a hand as we passed. We were all quite thoroughly wet, and Alice was right, it really wouldn’t do to continue where the humans could see our antics.
This isn’t over. Emmett was thinking. After school and they’re all going to get it…
I flashed him a smile to show him I agreed wholeheartedly. I hadn’t begun the day with much hope, but perhaps things would turn out as well as Alice had told me they would.
“Don’t think you’re in the clear yet, oh brother of mine,” Alice said, but her smile revealed her humor. “I’ll make sure you pay for this. Right, Jasper?”
I looked at my brother, lips twitching. “Is she right, Jasper?” I asked, putting him on the spot.
“Absolutely, Alice,” he responded instantly. I am not getting involved, but I’ll buy you 50 new CD’s if you get her like that again.
We strode into the cafeteria, as carefree and happy as a group of vampires could be. We weren’t the only ones who had enjoyed the snow, the humans were all laughing, and shaking wet stuff from their clothes and from one another as they ate.
The five of us went through the line to collect our props, and then took to our usual table. Rosalie was still trying to figure out how to make herself presentable, and Emmett was wondering how he could get his wife back without bring her ire down upon him. “Never going to happen,” I told him when he started thinking about hiding her cosmetics. “She’d kill you.”
“I would,” said Rosalie, even though she couldn’t know what Emmett had been thinking.
“I hope its still snowing after school,” Jasper said wistfully. He glanced at Alice for affirmation, but she shook her head sadly.
The snow would turn to rain and wash away what had already fallen; I could see it in Alice’s mind as the vision came to her. We shared a sullen look that the rest of the table picked up on.
Emmett’s good mood was not to be stifled. “Lucky for you guys, I was about to really bring on the pain…” His grin was wolfish.
We smirked. Rosalie scoffed. “You had better not be including me,” she said sternly.
“Aw, of course I am, baby,” teased Emmett. “You don’t get exempt just because we’re married.”
My sister’s lips twisted, but I could see the humor in her eyes. “Emmett,” she warned.
His smile was broad. “Well, maybe there’s something you can do to persuade me…”
Pictures of my sister doing things I hoped I would never see my sister do tickled the edge of my mind. I groaned. “Emmett!”
The couple’s laughed, used to having even their fantasies play out in my mind. If only they knew how disturbing it was…Sure they got used to it, but me?
“Cut the man a break, will you?” Jasper laughed, even as his own thoughts of Alice started rising up. He was trying to suppress it, but I knew now that the topic was out there he couldn’t help it.
I shivered in repulsion. Weren’t they supposed to be the only ones who saw their wives like that? Where was the modesty? At least Alice and Rosalie weren’t imagining…
“Oh come on!” I threw my apple between my sisters, hoping to distract them.
The girls laughed and exchanged truly evil looks.
I’ll save you brother. Emmett thought as he leaned across the table and shook the saturated snow from his hair.
Rosalie and Alice shrieked, leaning away from the drops, even though there was no way to avoid the amount of wet that clung to Emmett.
“Thanks,” I told Emmett dryly.
Is she looking at the Cullen’s again? Is that Edward? My good humor vanished when I heard Jessica Stanley’s ‘voice.’ I glanced across the room to see Bella Swan staring directly at me. I met the gaze head on, trying to determine what she was thinking. Why couldn’t I hear her? Why hadn’t I even known she had arrived to lunch? What was wrong with me?
Oh my god, he’s starring at her!
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Great, this is what I am now reduced to. Sneaking peaks into the minds of a high school girl.
“Stop looking at him,” I heard Bella hiss.
Spoilsport. Jessica thought. At least he’s looking this way, wish he would look at me…But her thoughts quickly turned to Mike Newton with the frivolous concentration that teenage girls possessed.
I continued to stare at Bella, pondering her, trying to find some crack into her mind. There was nothing, she was an absolute blank slate. Not one thought escaped through the cracks. What a puzzle.
“What’s she thinking?” Alice asked.
I didn’t remove my gaze, and I didn’t answer. My family would change topics, and ignore me if I didn’t explain myself. I wasn’t ready to tell her my gift was failing me, I couldn’t bare to tell any of them that I didn’t hear Bella Swan. At least not yet.
I had biology with Bella next, and when my attitude had turned contemplative at lunch, my siblings began to worry.
I don’t know about this, Jasper was thinking. Maybe we should just skip.
I’ll be looking out for you, Edward. That was Alice. I saw her jab Jasper in the ribs, reminding him that he would me monitoring my mood as well. Great, now I was the one who needed the babysitter.
Emmett walked with me to my class, still grinning like a man possessed. He at least was more focused on how he could get Rosalie without getting in trouble himself.
“You never will,” I reminded him. Emmett was a big baby really; Rosalie would best him every time.
My brother rolled his eyes. “There’s no need to ruin my fun, Edward.”
I smirked. “She has you wrapped around her finger.”
Emmett shouldered me. If I had been anything but a vampire I would have gone flying into the set of lockers that lined the halls. “You’re just jealous that you don’t have a girl to tell you what to do.”
“Exactly, Emmett,” I said, stopping outside the biology class. “All this time I’ve really been so jealous of you. I really wanted Rosalie to tell me what to wear, what to do, what to say…”
He snorted. “Whatever, brother.” His smile was wide. “You know you are.”
His parting thought was a picture of how he and Rosalie had spent their night. I winced away from the image. “Low blow, Emmett,” I whispered, knowing he would hear me.
I sobered instantly as I turned to face the classroom. The room was slowly filling with students and Mr. Banner was passing out materials for today’s lab. Bella Swan was sitting in the seat beside my own.
I took a deep breath before I moved any further, needed to taste her scent just once more before I resigned myself to this fate. It was even more wonderful than I had thought. The monster salivated within, but as I exhaled I realized it was bearable. I had hunted twice since I had last seen Bella, stuffing myself, curbing all but the worst aches of the thirst. I could do this. It was only one hour. She’s only one girl.
Her head stayed bent away from me when I sat down, her hair parted down to cover her face as it was when I had been last week. What would be the best course of action? Should I ignore her or engage her? The monster ripped at my throat, panicked at the thought of being denied the bloodlust.
I was in control, I thought to myself. I was, not the monster. I would prove that to myself. I could prove that.
“Hello,” I said, needing to show myself that I was better than the monster.
She looked up, her fear and astonishment plain on her features. Could she see my hunger? Did she know I wanted to kill her, even this very moment?
I could barely remain seated. Her blood was calling to me, singing to me, as Jasper had described it. I was only breathing when it was necessary to talk, and holding my face away from her scent, but it wasn’t enough. She was still plainly terrified, so I forced myself to calm my expression. It wouldn’t do to frighten her.
“My name is Edward Cullen,” I said, smiling to put her more at ease. “I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself last week. You must be Bella Swan.”
I could see her confusion, knowing it wouldn’t match even a tenth of the confusion I myself felt. “H-how do you know my name?”
I laughed to put her more at ease. “Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town’s been waiting for you to arrive.”
She grimaced. “No. I meant, why did you call me Bella?”
Internally I winced. What a stupid mistake. Isabella. She hadn’t told people to call her Bella until after they had been introduced. I decided to lay it on a bit thick, and turned up the vampire charm. I would play up my confusion. “Do you prefer Isabella?”
“No, I like Bella,” she said. She had shifted closer to me as she explained, her smell wafting through the currents of the classroom, holding me paralyzed. All it would take is a few more inches and I could have her. I needed her. “But I think Charlie—I mean my dad—must call me Isabella behind my back—that’s what everyone here seems to know me as.”
“Oh,” I said, distractedly. I needed to reign myself in. I looked away, waiting for Mr. Banner to start the class and explain the lab.
Every moment I was aware of Bella beside me. My body called to her, as her blood called to me. I could control this, I reminded myself. I wasn’t a monster. I could handle this. I took a few experimental breaths when she wasn’t looking, taking in her scent and familiarizing myself with it. It became easier and easier, but it was still torture. Every time she moved I was awash again and had to start from scratch.
Mr. Banner had finished talking. I couldn’t distance myself any longer.
“Ladies first, partner?” I asked Bella, pushing the microscope towards her. I didn’t quite trust myself to move yet, and a twisted part of me wanted to see her bent over the microscope, vulnerable to my deadly teeth. I smiled, hoping it would come off charming rather than menacing.
She gaped and my smile faltered.
“Or I could start if you wish.” Maybe the reason I couldn’t sense anything from her mind was because she was simple. Maybe there weren’t any thoughts in there.
“No,” she said, and I watched in horror as the blood drained from her cheeks. I followed its retreat sadly, willing the blush to come back. “I’ll go ahead.
She pulled the microscope to her, parted her hair over her back, and leaned over to examine the first slide. As she examined the specimen, I examined her neck, tracing the veins with my eyes.
“Prophase,” she said, sitting up much too quickly. She pulled her hair back over her neck, hiding my view.
“Do you mind if I look?” I asked, desperate to replace the repulsive image in my mind. I couldn’t let myself loose control.
Without thinking I reached out to stop her from removing the slide, she jerked away, as she should. I felt the shock as her skin had made contact with my own, but I also felt the shame. Of course she wouldn’t enjoy being touched by something like me… “I’m sorry,” I muttered. So, sorry, I thought.
Needing the distraction more than ever, and hoping that an onion root would provide it, I reached for the microscope again. I glanced in the eyepiece, noted the phase, and pulled back. “Prophase,” I said. She was right. I replaced the slide. “Anaphase.”
I turned and smirked at my partner, sensing the superiority. So, she thought she knew better than I did? I could practically see the disappointment on her face when she discovered I was right.
“Slide three?” She held out her hand.
My gaze lingered for only a second, examining the spidery veins in her palm. Remembering out last brief contact I dropped the slide in her hand as carefully as possible. She examined the slide, and I could tell she was trying to be quicker than I had been.
“Interphase.” I confirmed her answer with a glance half as quick as hers, feeling strangely amused at my competitiveness. I wrote out our answers, watching her from the corner of my eye as she pulled her books to her, trying to find something to occupy her time.
I watched her as she fiddled with her pencil, trying to guess what she was thinking. Was she afraid of me? Was I making her anxious? I felt oddly torn. I had never so desperately wanted to know a human’s thoughts. Could she sense the monster? I remembered her reaction from our touch, and it pained me. I didn’t know why, but I knew that I didn’t want her to be so afraid, I didn’t want her to be repulsed.
“Did you get contacts?”
Where had that come from? “No,” I said shortly.
“Oh,” she said, looking confused. “I thought there was something different about your eyes.”
I fought the urge to freeze, and shrugged instead, turning my face and my body away. My fists clenched in my lap, my nails digging grooves into my unbreakable skin. So she really had noticed my bloodlust last week. Was she aware of how close I had come to killing her?
Mr. Banner picked up our lab, looking it over disdainfully. I knew he didn’t care for my siblings or me. There’s got to be something wrong on here…His thoughts were always so superior. As if teaching high school science in Forks, Washington was something special.
“So, Edward, didn’t you think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?”
“Bella.” My correction was automatic. “Actually,” I said, letting some of my surprise show in my tone. “She identified three of the five.” It was nice to give someone else the credit for once, no matter how competitive I felt.
Not another one. Mr. Banner thought. That’s the last thing we need in this damn school. I am not going to spend any more time on accommodations; she can just deal with the lesson plans I’ve already written.
I listened to his thoughts rather than the conversation, though I was interested to hear that Bella was in an advanced placement program. At least the object of my interest and desire wasn’t a simpleton.
Let them have each other, Mr. Banner thought as he walked away. Maybe they’ll find a way to keep out of my hair.
I rolled my eyes at that, and focused my attention on Bella again. She was doodling in the margins of her notebook. For the hundredth time, I wondered what she was thinking. It was so frustrating not knowing. How did people do it all the time?
“It’s too bad about the snow, isn’t it?” I asked, trying to draw her out. If I couldn’t hear her thoughts, at least I could hear what she had to say. Maybe somewhere in the midst of small talk she would reveal herself to me.
I saw the lack of conviction on her face. It was strange, having to study her body language. I never realized how many faces humans made. Did Bella realize she scrunched her nose up when she thought? “You don’t like the cold,” I stated, wanting to confirm my guess.
“Or the wet.”
She wasn’t offering me much. “Forks must be a difficult place for you to live.”
Bella continued doodling as she answered. “You have no idea.”
Oh, but I did. I watched her expressions now, looking for any clue as to what was going on in her mind. She continued to peak at me periodically, obviously trying not to be noticed. What did she think of me?
“Why did you come here, then?”
This seemed to stop her; maybe I was getting to the root of the enigma that was Bella Swan. Maybe by understanding her, I could understand what was happening to me.
Another short answer. I needed more. “I think I can keep up.”
Her eyes met mine, and I reached into their depths, willing her mind to open. “My mother got remarried.”
What a trivial answer, it was almost disappointing. “That doesn’t sound so complex.” Was that too harsh? Is that the kind of thing a human boy would say? “When did this happen?” I said, instead trying to sound sympathetic.
Her voice was wistful and sad, her eyes looked distant. “And you don’t like him.”
“No,” I was surprised how vehemently she disagreed; I was so sure I had her expression correctly interpreted. “Phil is fine. Too young, maybe, but nice enough.”
I continued to question her, soaking in every answer, committing it to memory. I knew I would dissect the conversation later, and I would analyze every emotion, every response that flitted across her face. What was it about her…?
“He plays ball for a living,” I perked up when she said this. Baseball!
“Have I heard of him?” It wasn’t any fun watching humans play, but I still knew what was going on in the sports world, thanks to Emmett.
“Probably not. He doesn’t play well. Strictly minor league. He moves around a lot.”
Ah. I caught the resentment on Bella’s face. So that was why she was really here. “And your mother sent you here so that she could travel with him.”
“No, she did not send me here. I sent myself.” Strangely I was reminded of Rosalie. So, Bella did have a backbone after all…and I was wrong again.
Why couldn’t I get her expressions right? I had been so sure. “I don’t understand,” I said slowly, it was so maddening. It had been a long while since anything had so confused me.
I had to understand.
I listened as she tried to explain, watching as her cheeks fell, and the corners of her lips stiffened. She hated it here. “But now you’re unhappy,” I said, needing confirmation.
I watched her intently. She was angry with me again, or annoyed, I wasn’t entirely sure which now. “That doesn’t seem fair,” it didn’t. Though, I knew I understood in a way. I would have moved to Denali to give my family what they needed. She had moved to Forks to give her mother the same thing.
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you? Life isn’t fair?” she looked positively righteous.
How amusing. I had never believed a human could be so fascinating. “I believe I have heard that somewhere before.”
“So that’s all,” she said. Her face became calm once more.
I looked her over; trying to find what was hidden behind her mask. There was so much there that I hadn’t expected…she really was more than just a meal. There was reason, and emotion behind her words. Were all humans like this?
“You put on a good show,” I said, not really sure of what to say. What could I say? What would be appropriate? “But I’d be willing to bet that you’re suffering more than you let anyone see.”
I knew I was right this time. I had to be. I had seen the shadows lurking behind her eyes. They were familiar shadows.
“Am I wrong?” I asked, strangely needing the validation.
She didn’t answer, and instead returned to doodling on her notebook.
I smiled wide. Finally I had her. “I didn’t think so.”
“Why does it matter to you?”
My smile faded. Why did it matter? “That’s a very good question.” I listened to the sigh that parted her lips, saw how they fluttered as it escaped her mouth. “Am I annoying you?” It was a pleasant turn of events. If only she knew how much she confounded me, how she was now the most frustrating thing I had ever encountered in all my eighty years.
“Not exactly. I’m more annoyed at myself. My face is so easy to read—my mother always calls me her open book.”
My smug thoughts came grounding to a halt. “On the contrary,” I said slowly, meaningfully. “I find you very difficult to read.”
“You must be a good reader then.”
I bared my teeth in a smile. “Usually.”
Mr. Banner called the class’ attention to the front, and Bella turned so quickly that her hair flew over her shoulder, blowing a fresh assault of her scents in my direction. And I had been doing so well…
I clenched my hands against the table, and angled my body as far away from her as possible, angry with myself for responding this way. I could feel the edge of where I had destroyed the pulp last week, and willed my fingers to relax. If I tore anymore from the bottom of the table, the school would have to replace it, and I wasn’t sure I could explain tearing the thing in half in my current condition.
By the time the bell rang again, I was out of my seat and through the door before Bella even had a chance to realize I had gone.
This time I didn’t feel guilty for hiding in my car. I knew now that I could control myself around Bella, that I could fight away the demon and talk to her like I was normal. Instead I took the last hour of the day to compose my thoughts, and to revel in the power I felt at being able to withstand this newest temptation. My brothers and sisters weren’t likely to give me any solitude tonight, not with everything going on, so I would want the peace while it lasted.
I was glad she was so interesting. Now that I had talked to her I knew it would be easier to control the monster. I had humanized her; she was real to me, and more than just a possible dinner. She was just a new girl, moving to be with her father to give her mother and her stepfather peace. I couldn’t relate to that, but I could understand it. She was just a normal teenage girl.
Then why did I feel this way? Why did I feel so exhilarated? How had a human created this response in me?
But how couldn’t I feel like this? She was so interesting. It was so impossible not to want to know what she was thinking when she blushed, or hid behind or hair. Worse, I had to know what made her stare back at me so confidently. I had to know what she thought about me. Could she sense my struggle? Did she have as difficult a time reading me as I did her?
I wrestled with myself, my emotions ranging wildly. I wasn’t sure what to think, or what to feel. I didn’t even bother to play music while I sat in my Volvo, something that would have astounded my siblings. Instead I wrapped myself in the blissful quiet, and waited for school to finish.
When the last bell rang I jumped out of my car to lean against the door. I told myself I was only watching the front doors of the school to look out for my siblings. My real intent was thinly veiled; I was really waiting for Bella.
She came from the gym, huddled inside her jacket, her face angled towards the ground. She was thinking intently, not paying attention to the people passing around her, or me. I studied her as she walked, watching as she jumped into her truck, and shook the rain from her hair. What had her so occupied? Was she thinking of me just as I was thinking of her?
Then her eyes met mine through her passenger window. Hers widened then she looked away, her truck quickly moving into reverse.
Man, what is wrong with this girl? I caught Lauren Mallory’s thoughts as Bella nearly backed into her car.
I couldn’t help it. I had to laugh, my mirth only intensifying as I caught sight of Bella’s expression as she passed my Volvo.
Well at least he’s smiling. I caught Jasper’s thought.
There is something wrong with my brother. Rosalie was thinking. Definitely mentally unbalanced. I think all those voices are finally getting to him.
I ignored their judgmental thoughts, unable to shake my amusement for some reason. Bella Swan was certainly doing something to me.
Crazy, Alice thought. Perfectly crazy.