Murder on the Moonlight
AU, All Human. There’s been a murder and it’s up to Bella Swan to discover whodunit. On this cruise ship, there’s plenty of suspects. Was it the honeymooning newlyweds, the young fashion designer or, perhaps, that brooding, handsome stranger? You decide!
2. Green Eyes and Pink Luggage
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Green Eyes and Pink Luggage
The first thing I thought was that I was dreaming. That I’d imagined my fall being stopped and that, in all actuality, I’d fallen hard and smacked my head on that fake wood floor. Smacked it so hard, in fact, that I’d passed out and was currently hallucinating that some strong someone had caught me and, in the most musical voice I’d ever heard, was now teasing me. No guy could have a voice that sounded as velvety smooth as that and be real.
My hallucination seemed to be waiting for me to say something, to thank him maybe, because he didn’t say another word. Instead, he just stood there, hovering behind me. He must have been quite strong—or, at least, I must have imagined him to be a present day Hercules—because he was able to, by gripping me under my arms, keep my body positioned in a nearly horizontal position. If I crossed my eyes, I could almost see my panicked reflection in the shiny floor.
He—and it had to be a he—chuckled under his breath as I, most definitely panicky, struggled to get myself to my feet. I was eager to give myself a pinch and, when I came to again and my hallucination disappeared, assess the damage. Being clumsy was something I was (unfortunately) used to. I just hoped I didn’t break my nose again. No matter what anyone says, the third time is not the charm.
"Here, let me." His touch was light on my arms and, before I knew it, he’d helped me get back on my feet. "There. No blood, no foul, hm?"
Even if I was dreaming, my mother had instilled enough manners in me that I knew it was bad form to ignore someone when they were addressing you so clearly—especially after they had done so much to help you.
And then I turned around and, for the first time, got a glimpse of my savior. All words fled from my head and I’m pretty sure I was gawking.
If I hadn’t been before, I was even more certain that he was a figment of my overactive imagination. There was no way someone who looked this good would even stop to give me the time of day, let alone save me from cracking my skull. Shoot, I didn’t think that guys even existed who looked like him!
He was taller than me but, considering I was only five four myself, that wasn’t saying much. Still, I had to tilt my head back a bit to get a full look at his face. And what a face it was! His face was pale, probably even paler than mine, but it was simply beautiful. My first impression was that this guy was a piece of art brought to life. His every feature seemed to have been chiseled from the brain of one of the masters; his green eyes were the deepest green I’d ever seen in my life. Even his hair—a bronze color that seemed to suit his pale coloring perfectly—was gorgeous.
There was a crooked smile on his face as he looked down at me. There was an undeniable humor written on his face; his green eyes seemed to glitter in amusement.
I couldn’t help it. Maybe it was the way this… this god seemed to gaze down at me or maybe it was because I sincerely believed that I was really laying passed out just outside my cabin, but I really couldn’t help it. Sometimes my mouth betrayed me before it got the okay from my brain.
"Are you… are you for real?"
I don’t know what it was that I said. I hadn’t meant to offend him and, yeah, I probably should have offered my thanks for his aid before I said anything else, but I really couldn’t help it. And I honestly can’t say that I expected my question to cause the reaction that he had.
His smile immediately slid off of his face and I saw that his jaw locked. His eyes narrowed and, while I couldn’t be sure whether he was looking at me or something just past me, there was a darkness there that made them look closer to black than green.
I swear, if this guy could growl like a dog, he would’ve been. He looked that intense all of a sudden. Not to mention scary.
My breath caught in my throat. I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him.
"Goodbye," he said flatly, turning his head so that he wasn’t looking anywhere near me at all now. With a jerk of his chin and a small nod, he spun gracefully on his heel and, faster than I would have imagined, he was gone. Disappearing around the closes corner, my hallucination vanished right before my eyes.
I only noticed then just how fast my heart was beating. Chewing lightly on my bottom lip, I stood staring at the spot where he had stood long after he left.
Now, what was that about?
I had no idea…
As soon as I had some chocolate in me and half of a bottle of Coke, I finally came to terms with the fact that I really wasn’t dreaming. I didn’t know if I was sad or happy about that.
On the one hand, it was pretty nice knowing that I was currently on a cruise with one of the most beautiful boys I’ve ever seen in my entire life. But, on the other hand, if I accepted that, than I had to accept that I’d made a class A idiot out of myself by tripping right in front of him; that, and that he obviously was angry at me about something.
In the end, I decided it didn’t really matter. As far as I was concerned, I was a klutz. Falling flat on my face was just something that I did on a nearly daily basis. So what if some random stranger saw me do it? I was lucky that he’d had quick enough reflexes that he prevented me from actually getting hurt an hour into this cruise.
Besides, I was only going to be on this cruise for four days. When I was done, there was still my relationship to Jake to deal with. The last thing I needed was a chance encounter with a handsome guy to ruin anything and everything I had with Jacob Black.
I nodded to myself before taking another swig of my soda. I was pretty proud that I was able to find the vending machines without getting lost or asking for any help. It wasn’t that far and I only took a wrong turn once. At least now, if I needed to know where there was an elevator to the lower levels, I could find it.
My sense of direction wasn’t so bad that I had trouble finding my way back to my cabin. I admit, I did dally a bit along the edge of the cruise ship. Not surprisingly, the ship still hadn’t started moving yet. When I was lingering along the edge, I saw that people were still boarding. I guess I hadn’t realized how early I’d gotten to the pier.
The crowd around the gangplank had thinned considerably as I watched, eating my candy bar and chugging my Coke. I know that I was probably acting childish but, in the back of my mind, I knew I was taking my time because I was a little wary of running into that green-eyed stranger again. I don’t know where he’d gone after he left me in the hallway or if he was even supposed to be in that part of the ship to begin with but I was being careful.
I hadn’t forgotten that strange look in his eyes. I never wanted to see it again.
Tapping my fingers absently against the side of my jeans, I finally made it back to my room. There was no sign of him hanging around the hallway, or anyone for that matter. I was alone and I was glad. Maybe Jake was right—maybe I did like my solitude.
I was alone for a grand total of five seconds. Five seconds, the amount of time it took me to use my room key and open my door.
I don’t know what I saw first: the garish pink luggage cases that took up much of the room or the short, smiling girl who seemed to be attached to ten pounds of big, black curly hair. Either way, I was pretty darn surprised to see them both.
"Oh, hi there!"
"H-hello." I lingered in the doorway, my brown eyes opened wide in surprise. For a second, I was almost positive that I was in the wrong room. But then I glanced down at the key in my hand and realized that that was simply wishful thinking. I really didn’t think a fancy ship like the Moonlight would have the same lock and key for every one of their doors.
She was standing in the center of four or five large pink suitcases. Before I interrupted her, I think she’d been in the middle of wondering where she was going to keep all of her cases. I didn’t pity her the task; I was praying that there was room for my duffel bags.
As if I needed further confirmation that I was in the right room, I could see the edge of my blue bags sticking out from behind this girl’s pile. No doubt about it, this was the right place. But what was she doing here?
Before I had the chance to ask her myself, she shot her hand out in front of me and bounded forward, nearly jumping over one fallen case in her hurry to reach me. "You must be Isabella Swan," she said, extending her hand out towards me. Her nails were perfectly manicured and she made my stubs look rather homely in comparison.
"Bella," I corrected automatically, hesitantly offering her my hand in return.
"Bella? I love your name, it’s so pretty!" She took my hand and, after giving it a vigorous shake, promptly let go. I felt the vibrations all the way up to my shoulder. "My name is Jessica. Jessica Stanley, actually, and I guess I’m going to be your roommate for this cruise! Isn’t this so exciting? I could just die!"
"My… my roommate?"
Nodding as she retook her place at the center of her luggage altar, she smiled brightly at me. "Yup! It’s so great! I got the call this morning that a vacancy opened up on board and of course I jumped at it. I mean, who could pass up a ride on the Moonlight?"
As her gushing voice washed over me, I could think of one person.
Hmm… I wonder if the boat has gone out to sea yet.
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