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Edward Cullen is a human. Bella Swan is a vampire. This is their story. It's only my second fan fiction, people. Please feel free to criticize it.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this... I think it'll be long, though.

11. Familiarity

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1480   Review this Chapter

Angel – Chapter Eleven


I slept fitfully that night. I kept waking up and thinking about… Bella. I was sure I’d never seen her in my life. Except for Esme, of course, I’d never met a woman so beautiful or so perfect. Bella’s attractive face and body almost didn’t seem real – a medical and scientific impossibility. But she was real enough, and Edward seemed to be madly in love with her. That was fine. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that that was all wrong.

Somehow, I felt like I knew Bella. Rationally, if I knew her I would have remembered her. And I didn’t remember her, so I must not have known her. But something about her made me feel something I hadn’t felt in ages. A sense of familiarity that made me shiver, caused me to wake up every half hour. Having her sleeping only a few rooms away from me felt right, felt comfortable. As if things hadn’t been right before she came.

And come she did. Showing up with a bang, covered in blood, white as a sheet, and pulling an awestruck Edward behind her. Sweet Esme almost had a heart attack, at seeing Edward in such a state, and at wondering what on earth had gotten to Bella.

She’d confided in me before we retired that she and Charlie Swan had been talking a lot, when they ran into each other at the grocery store.

“Poor man,” she said, shaking her hair out of its ponytail. “He seems really nervous. Something is stressing him out. It can’t be healthy for him.”

“Do you think it’s Bella?” I asked.

“I don’t know. He didn’t want to talk about her. Did you know she’s not actually living with him? She’s gotten herself a house on the other end of town. It’s a little weird, I think.”

“Strange. I hadn’t realized that Charlie had enough money for that.”

“I don’t think he does.”

So now, as I lay awake, I could worry about Chief Swan, too. There was something wrong with the Swan family. Charlie had been perfectly normal until Bella came. Now he seemed jumpy. Distant. Like he was running for something at the same time as he sat waiting for it. I, too, worried for his health. He wasn’t exactly young anymore.

And Bella. If only I could figure out why she seemed so familiar. She didn’t seem like she belonged to Charlie – that was for sure. I supposed it was none of my business.

But wondering about Bella, wondering about Chief Swan, was better than the alternative – dreaming. Strange, dark dreams that didn’t seem to belong to me.

I stood in the middle of an empty room, in what seemed to be a warehouse. It was dark, and cold. There were people around me – people I didn’t know, people I didn’t understand. All I knew was that they were getting closer, and that I had no place to back away. I’d been chased here. There were no windows, no doors on the other end of the room. I was really, truly stuck.

Pain. I remember that there was pain. It came at me from all sides, and the screaming that didn’t come just from my mouth but from my whole body. I had to hold out for the angel who was coming for me. She would be here soon, I knew. And once she was here, the terrible ordeal could be over. I could be safe back at home. All of this behind me.

And it was over, eventually. The other figures fell, one by one. Almost all of them. I thought I saw one get away, but I could barely see through the black haze over my eyes. I caught a glimpse of the angel’s face, though, before the black curtain fell. She smiled at me, her teeth glinting cruelly and dripping red with what must have been my blood. I almost laughed.

And then the dream ended. My eyes opened to see Esme sitting up in bed, her knees pulled to her chest, watching me. “Carlisle. Are you okay?”

I realized I was shaking. I sat up, too, and took a few deep breaths. “Yeah. Just strange dreams.”

“Do you want to tell me about them?” She took my hand and smiled at me sympathetically. My heart twinged.

“I –” I did. But all I could remember was the blackness, pressing in at me. “I don’t remember them.” Strange. I tried to remember. I closed my eyes and searched. But all I could find was blackness, like an oppressive blanket masking the bad memories. And again, a feeling of familiarity, of remembrance. Like I’d had the dream before.

She pulled me into her arms, kissed my forehead. “Let me know if you remember.”

“I will.”

She held me until the sun pushed tentative fingers under the blinds on the windows. “The children will be up soon.”

“Yes.” Although…. “Maybe not, since Alice isn’t here.” Had she been here, we’d all be down in the breakfast room now, bleary-eyed, trying not to imagine her choking on her cereal. No, I didn’t mean that.

“ Well. Let’s see how late Edward can sleep with Bella here.”

My stomach twisted uncomfortably at Bella’s name. “She’s a strange one, no?”

Esme’s fingers faltered, falling out of the rhythm with which she stroked my hair. “I did do the right thing asking her to stay, right? I couldn’t let her stay out by herself.”

“Of course you couldn’t. I’m sure that Charlie will be very grateful. And it seemed like Edward won’t mind a little extra time with her.”

“I hope she doesn’t hurt him.” Her lips quivered. I understood her attachment to Edward – the only son of her dead sister, Elizabeth. “He’s so lonely.”

I reassured her that spending time with Bella would be good for Edward. That she was a sweet girl with a good father. I only needed someone to reassure me, to help me shake the nagging feeling that this was no different from last time, and that Bella’s reappearance only meant trouble.

Last time? Reappearance?

There was a soft knock on the door. I went to answer it, and Esme sat up straighter in bed. Edward’s pale face looked up at me, and I stepped aside to let him in. He seemed shaken, and a sheet of paper trembled in his hand.

“Edward, what is it?” Esme asked, standing, while I said, “Where’s Bella?”

Edward let Esme wrap her arms around him and gave me the paper wordlessly.

Dear Carlisle, Esme, it read.

Thank you so much for your hospitality last night. I am deeply sorry for any inconveniences my appearance may have caused.

I also apologize for leaving you like this. I don’t mean to worry you, but I simply cannot stay here. I found a ride home – someone trustworthy, I promise.

I suppose that I will see some of you on Monday.

Thanks again, B. Swan

“She’s gone?” Esme said, startled, looking up from the note.

Edward nodded. “She wasn’t there when I woke up.”

Esme and I looked at each other over his head, neither of us doing a good job of hiding our panic.

“Oh, great,” Rosalie said from the doorway. “The beauty deserted the beast. What did you do, Edward? How’d you scare her away?” There was unmistakable hostility in my daughter’s voice.

Bafflingly, Edward’s cheeks turned faintly pink, and he glared back at Rosalie defensively.

“Don’t mind Rose,” Emmett said lazily. “You’re just jealous, right babe?”

“Jealous? Of what? Of her? Oh, yes, Emmett. So complimentary.” She pushed his face away from her neck, scowling.

“It’s probably true,” Edward murmured. “You don’t like her much, do you, Rose? Just, could you maybe not take it out on the rest of us?”

“Edward, just because you have a creepy infatuation with Bella doesn’t mean that the rest of us –”

“Enough!” Esme looked just as confused as I felt. “I’m going to call Charlie Swan to be sure that Bella got home safely. Why don’t you three run down to breakfast? Carlisle, you could go with them…”

“In a minute.” Emmett, Rose, and Edward disappeared, and I sat down on the end of the bed, reading through Bella’s note again. It was nothing special – just a collection of generically polite, reassuring phrases, peppered with apologies and thank yous, and assuring Esme that she hadn’t driven off with a kidnapper.

Nothing remarkable.

“What is it?” Esme sat beside me, phone in hand. “Is something wrong?”

“No.” To prove it – to myself – I crumpled the paper into a ball and dropped it into the trash can. “I’m going down to eat.”

“I’ll be there soon.”

As I walked down the smotheringly quiet hallway, I shivered. Everything was not okay. I didn’t know if it was the handwriting, the blood, the cool distance and impeccable manners, or just a strong sense of déjà-vu, but I was one hundred percent positive I’d lived through all of this before.

I also knew, somehow, that, starting with the note, everything was going to go downhill.