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Rising Sun

Nessie has graduated High School and looking forward to her new life at Yale. With Jacob by her side and Edward and Bella's encouragment, Nessie faces life, adventure, and possible threats to her family as she finds herself.

I do not own these characters...just borrowing them from Stephenie Meyer.

8. Chapter 8

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Chapter 8 – Butterflies and Hurricanes

As the days carried on, I fell into a routine of going to class, being with Jacob, and spending time with my parents. Most of the time I was as happy as I ever had been, but there felt like there was a dark spot that was constantly in the corner of my mind. After hunting with Edward and Bella, I had to get away; I was mentally exhausted from keeping my wall up surrounding him. I could see the half sad half panicked look in Jake’s eyes when I told him I had a lot of homework to do before class. Really, I just needed to sort out my thoughts; I had to make sure I could do it without worrying anyone. Not Edward, not Jacob. I went to my room and mindless looked over books until Edward and Bella left, I wanted to be sure that I had all the mental air open to think whatever I needed to think.

I couldn’t explain my fascination with Him, he never said anything to me, occasionally he would stare at me with those icy eyes. His stares were empty, not the looks that I would get from other people. Everyone else was perfectly open and warm, but He always was so cool. There was something there that made me want to ask him what his problem was, but I could never do it. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just brush him aside and stop thinking about him. But he had tattooed himself in my mind, and I couldn’t escape it. His cold eyes pierced the warm dreams that filled my sleep. I begged my mind to go back to my happy dreams filled with Jacob and Forks. I wanted to dream that I was flying through the air with my parents. I wanted to dream about Alice and Jasper and Rose and Emmett, anything that would bring peace. But all I could se where dark figures looming, mist swirling around the cloaked silhouettes, and His eyes, harsh and blue, looking at me as though I was nothing, nothing to worry about, nothing to give a second thought to when I was gone. The feeling on impending doom suffocated me.

After yet another night of restless sleep, I knew I had to do something about Him. I had to talk to him, I had to see if all the anxiety I created was just in my head. I was determined to talk to him and put all this to rest, get back to my happy life and dreams once again.

I felt the tension build on my drive to the school, as I slide the car into a parking space I breathed heavily. Just breathe, just focus, this is nothing, you can do this. I walked to class forming my plan. He always sat in the same seat; he was always 5 minutes early. I was worried that if I got there before him, and sat nest to where he usually did, he would sit somewhere else. But he wouldn’t move if I happened to sit next to him, would he? It was the best chance I had so I walked around the building until I was sure he was there. I opened the door, and sure enough, just as he always was, he was sitting in the same chair. I gave a weak, apologetic smile to the group of people I usually sat with as I headed toward the empty chair next to him. I felt him move ever so slightly away from the chair I was going to sit in, it wasn’t a move a normal human would have noticed, only something a half-vampire could sense. I could also feel his shoulders tense slightly, as though he was preparing himself for something uncomfortable. I set me things down and took a deep breath. His scent was different from other peoples, there was something familiar about it, but I couldn’t really grasp what exactly it was. Maybe if I had Jacob’s sense of smell, or if I had the full vampiric sense of smell I could decipher what it was exactly, but my slightly heightened sense of smell wasn’t enough to dissect it.

I looked at Him without turning my head, just to observe his body language, his demeanor. He seemed to un-tense slightly, and I took that as a good sign. I turned to him, and with the most genuine smile I could muster, I spoke.

“Hi, I’m Renesemee, I’ve seen you in class the past couple weeks, and I just wanted to say hello.” I waited for his response.

He turned toward me, his eyes still cold, but with something behind them, a false warmth he was trying to bring forward.

“Hello, I’m Xander. It’s nice to meet you.” His voice matched his eyes, cold and smooth. I fumbled for what to say next. Conversation usually came so naturally, but something about Xander made my thoughts jumble slightly, I wasn’t used to it.

“Err, so did you get to the assigned reading? What did you think of it?” Always a safe subject.

“Yeah, I have read Browning before, she should have stuck to her love poems as her political pieces seem contrived and lack a certain understanding of the issues.” His cool voice added harshness to his words.

“Interesting, I feel like Elizabeth Barrett Browning had a great understanding of the issues as a woman who lived and worked in that time period.” I tried to respond coolly, but Browning was a favorite of mine, and it was hard to hear someone think of her great works as contrived.

“Poetry is meant for the dreamers. People who feel like all the bad in the world can be changed.” He responded, and while his voice maintained the same tone, his eyes hinted at a sadness that I couldn’t understand.

Before I could respond, our Professor entered to begin the lecture. I wanted to ask Xander what he was if not a dreamer. My goal for the day was to find out if he was the person I conjured in my mind, an empty body. His last statement and the look in his eyes as he said made me hunger for more of him. Beneath his cool exterior I could tell there was something, and that something wasn’t bad as I had imagined. And the fact that he had an opinion about poetry, even if it was callous, it was an opinion. Most men I know, except for my father, don’t think about poetry enough to form an opinion.

As class was dismissed, I quickly put my books away and caught Xander at the door.

“Hey, I don’t know if you have another class to get to or not, but I was just wondering if you wanted to go grab some coffee or something, I usually have class, but it was cancelled today.” That was a lie, I did have class, but I didn’t want to let this chance slip by.

“I actually need to head out, maybe another time. Can I walk you to your car, is that alright?”

“Yeah, sure sure.” I smiled a defeated smile but winced when I thought of Jacob. He never got mad before when I would go to study groups or out with friends, so why would this be any different? I tried to tell me there was no difference, but the knot still twisted in my stomach.

“Renesemee, you don’t seem like you are from around here. You seem more like a California girl; you are too bubbly, too friendly for the East Coast.” The iciness seemed to melt away from his voice the more we talked and I noticed a slight, hidden accent that sounded European.

“Ness, you can call me Ness. My full name is a mouthful. I am not from California though; I was raised in Washington actually.”

“Washington? I am surprised. I thought the rain made it all doom and gloom.” He asked, eyebrow raised playfully.

“Well, it might seem like that, but I guess when you have no sun, you learn to make your own. Where are you from?”

“All over I suppose. My father is in the military, so I’ve lived everywhere.” His tone made him seem almost sad that he didn’t have a defiant answer.

“Where in Europe?” I asked

“I didn’t say anything about Europe.” He half smiled.

“You have the slightest accent, but I am not sure I can place it. France, perhaps?”

“Ah, oui oui. I didn’t realize I had any sort of accent.” His half smile spreading. As I watched his face light up with a smile, I took in his beauty. His skin was a perfect contrast to his dark brown hair, not too pale, but not quite olive skinned. His blue eyes seemed to be all wrong for his face, the color was so light and stunning, yet they fit so perfectly.

“Well, it’s nothing to charming, it’s very slight, so I wouldn’t worry about it.” I teased. We laughed as we walked toward the library and I realized that I was flirting. I felt a pink flush go to my cheeks as I thought about Jacob and what he would think.

In an instant Xander seemed to return to his previous self. His coolness covered his expression. I realized we were standing next to my car. I wondered how he knew which was mine.

“Well, Ness, I am sorry I couldn’t join you for coffee, but I really would like to. Perhaps we could meet for lunch and discuss our assignment this week.”

I was concerned by the quick switch in personality, but the image of his face in full smile put those concerns to rest.

“I would really like that, I would love to hear which poet you feel isn’t, what did you say, contrived.” I smiled. “How about Thursday, my class get out at 11:45 AM?”

“Thursday would be great. How about we meet at Louis’.”

“That works for me, I’ll see you there.” I slid behind the wheel of my car waiting for the rush of emotion. I was excited, I was anxious, I was worried, I was guilty. I knew I couldn’t continue to keep this from everyone, I couldn’t always pretend. But I wasn’t sure how everyone would take it.

I knew that I could show Bella first, get her opinion. I hoped that she would be home when I get there. I stepped on the gas, feeling more light hearted then I had in weeks.