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Small Smiles and Lies

“I love you,” murmured Tanya’s mind, gaze and lips as she slowly leant forward. When Edward told Bella that Tanya had shown "an interest" in him in Denali, what exactly did he mean? Did it go further than Bella could have percieved? Edward battles once more with his concience before the wedding day. When he has so much to lose, can he decide whether hurting her is better than lying to her?

Hey, I haven't written a story with chapters for a while... so bear with me! I should have the rest of chapter three up within a few days. I only intend to write four, but it all depends on how I end the next two... So enjoy!

2. c. 1963, Denali

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c.1963, Denali

Music kept me sane. I knew of those who grew mad with limitless age and nothing to fill it with. They looked into the future and saw a yawning, empty chasm with their destiny spiralling off into the distance with it. When I looked into mine, I saw music.

Decades of sleepless nights, endless days and evenings that melted and moulded themselves en masse to make one memory. I had spent days with the doors closed, hearing nothing but the pealing echo that resounded around the near empty room. It was sparsely furnished- whitewashed walls, the battered black piano and an iron bedstead and an uncovered mattress on top. It was not made- I had no use for bedclothes. A single dangling bulb kept the room lit. It could be dark for months at a time outside, and my room was at cellar level anyway. If I stood on the balls of my feet, I could peer out of the window and see the snow stretching away into the white horizon.

Of course, I couldn’t keep my family away- or the thirst. When I wasn’t hunting, or exchanging pleasantries with my family and the friends we were staying with, I would return to my lair- and my muse.

It was the same as any other night. It was summer, and the sun had spent its sweet time sinking below the icy horizon. It seemed to be dreading it, extending its pink and yellow rays across the ice like ropes it could use to right itself. Finally, it gave in- gracefully sinking below my final line of sight, letting up a sigh of colours into the twilit heavens. I had watched all this, and then settled myself on the short stool in front of the piano. Its short legs stuck out beneath me in protest. I ignored the creaks, and pushed back the piano lid. The row of ebony against ivory played tricks against my eyes, waving and switching until I splayed my fingers across them to end their games. I closed my eyes for a moment, though light still filtered through the almost translucent lids to kill any hopes of sleep. I then lifted my eyes to the page in front of me.

All at once, a torrent of noise hit me. A shiver that started in my stomach built its way up through my muscles, and settled comfortably in my hands, ready to begin.

My senses were abandoned, left to their own devices. The magical, undulating, ceaseless stream of notes that was this piece reverberated around the room and on my heartstrings. Even if I had wanted to sing, I would have been struck dumb by the sheer beauty of this sound. It was a sound so hopelessly beautiful, I have only found one thing that can compete with it. That sound is your voice, my love.

Still, it seemed perfectly natural. Like the singular flakes of snow, eddying their way down from the skies to make the mantle of white covering the ground outside. In the same way my unnaturally cold skin allows me to examine each snowflake, and my perfect vision lets me see a side that a human would be unable to see without a microscope, my senses worked on the music too. I could hear each singular note; see how it contributed to the piece as a whole. Imagine, Bella, the time it would take to do this to every single note in the works of all the works of famous composers! A lifetime! Several lifetimes- lifetimes I had to spare.

I moved onto a different part, my fingers striking the keys in staccato. I marvelled in the ability to play at a fantastic speed, but without ever touching a wrong note or repeating a line. For this, I would put up with Emmett and hunt Arctic wolves. For this, I would look every day at the flat, lifeless landscape and lock myself up in this cell. What could I do but smile, as the gods had so obviously smiled upon me?

It was then that I heard the knock upon the door.

I pulled my fingers from the keys, begrudgingly I must admit, and slowly lowered the case over the keys. My fingers balled into my fists, anxious for a rest. I turned in my seat so that I was facing the plain, white door.

“Come in,” I called; trying not to sound like the person behind the door had disturbed me. It could be Alice, with some vaguely interesting news titbit. Or Emmett, trying to get me to play another round of cards with himself, Rosalie and Irina. After Irina won fifteen games of blackjack in a row, I had rather given up. With my talent, I could have cheated and read her hand through her mind- but after a thousand games of that, I had found it rather defeated the point of it.

Anyway, it was neither of them at the door.

“Don’t stop playing on my account,” Tanya smiled, as she put her strawberry blonde head around the door. She shook the tresses surrounded her face nervously, and then stepped into the small room. Quickly, as if she expected she was being followed, she closed the door behind her. Its resounding click was the only sound for a few seconds, before she spoke again. “I was listening to you play, actually. It was beautiful.” She continued fervently.

I nodded in vague agreement, trying to be polite by not listening to her thoughts straight away. “It’s a lovely old piano,” I commented wistfully. “You get a really pleasant tone out of it.”

Tanya couldn’t agree fast enough. “I’m just glad someone’s making use of it,” She babbled absent mindedly, as she stepped forward to straighten the mattress. “It was here when we moved in, and it didn’t seem right getting rid of it, so…” She continued talking about something or another. I watched her as she bent forward to move the bed slightly so it was centred. I didn’t object, as she was obviously just babbling so that she could build up to saying something. Hopefully the stream of noise erupting from her mouth would end soon. A strand of light red hair fell forwards, paling when the light from the fluorescent bulb hit it. Tanya nervously tucked it back behind her ear, but not before Edward noticed that something looked different. Her hair was shorter, with softer curls instead of the usual frizz that surrounded her pale features. In fact, she looked a lot more formal than usual. She was wearing a beige coloured skirt, which looked odd against her pale legs, and a long sleeved blouse with an intricate pattern around the wrists in gold.

“Are you going somewhere?” I enquired politely, wondering if it had something to do with what she was building up to ask me. Tanya’s cheek muscles tightened slightly. I could imagine the blood rushing up to her face to form a blush, if she’d had any in her system that wasn’t being digested. Her golden eyes lifted up to meet mine- and then stayed there. I waited, like a fool for her to answer my question. For some absurd reason, I even thought that she’d managed to miss what I had said, even though we’d been half a metre apart in a silent room, and started to repeat myself…

Bella, I was naïve. It’s a poor excuse, but I was dumbstruck when it hit me. Tanya was like a form extended family, in my eyes. She was several years my senior before she had been changed, and she had been bitten a while before me on top of that. I was flattered that she was interested. Flattered to the extent that I didn’t fully realise what was happening until she had moved. She was kneeling, so she met my exact height whilst I was on the piano stool. In the end, curiosity killed the cat. I opened my mind, and let her thoughts flow in.

“I love you,” murmured Tanya’s mind, gaze and lips as she slowly leant forward. She kissed me with a thirst I had never felt in my entire existence, and a hunger I had never experienced. My bodied stiffened. I smiled, as I wondered whether the rigor mortis had just set in, and then screamed at myself for making imbecilic jokes at the most impossible times. Tanya’s mouth opened hungrily when she felt my smile- a token of extreme passion in her eyes. With Carlisle’s diet, I was used to never quite having my thirst slaked, never quite feeling completely full and satisfied but this was different. We had been kissing me for well over a minute, but there were no signs of her having enough. She worked her way into my arms, entwining her fingers between mine as her mind screamed out her thoughts detailing every second of the rest of ours lives. We would spend them endlessly together, she told me happily, now I had said yes.

I finally broke away, as my young, overwhelmed mind caught up with the seriousness of my actions. I was never a one to fear commitment, but to keep this up any longer would be cruel. She tugged at my chin, pulling me back to her and somehow… I was kissing her back.

I was lonely. She repeated the fact in her mind. Tanya had never seen someone so alone, even when I was upstairs with everyone around me. Even for one of our kind. I filled my life with music, not with another of my kind to spend the rest of my days with. I nodded as I kissed- I was so alone. I wanted what Carlisle and Esme had... have. I wanted to wake up in the morning and know that there was someone there who couldn’t live without me in the same way I couldn’t last a day without them. I wanted to be part of a couple. No, I wanted more than that. I wanted to be part of a soul. I needed to be half of someone, and have them to be half of me and the same time. I wanted to complete and be completed. I saw now that I was fooling myself, hiding away with instruments and sonatas.

Worse than that, I saw that I was fooling myself by thinking I held my existence in my arms.