Many of you may have already seen Stephenie Meyer’s website and seen her blog concerning Midnight Sun. She wrote a first draft on this book, basically Twilight from Edward’s point of view, and somehow it was leaked onto the internet. It’s a horrible thing when something that important is stolen from you. Being the amazing person she is, instead of condemning the curious readers who have read it, she posted the draft on her website. It is not a finished story but you must read it before continuing with my story because this is my feeble attempt to finish Midnight Sun. I hope you enjoy it.
3. Chapter 13. Confessions
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This is in 2 parts because it is too long...
Disclaimer: I don’t not own anything Twilight, although, I have an itching feeling that SM will be calling any minute to sign over the rights to her books. While we wait, read this…
You're the kind of girl who can take down a man,
And lift him back up again
You are strong but you're needy,
Humble but you're greedy
Based on your body language,
your shouted cursive I've been reading
You're style is quite selective,
though your mind is rather reckless
Well I guess it just suggests
that this is just what happiness is
Hey, what a beautiful mess this is
“A Beautiful Mess” Jason Mraz
Chapter 13. Confessions
I knew that my skin would come as a shock to Bella. I lay in the middle of the meadow, the sun warming my cold body. I knew that she would be stunned, but what I didn’t expect was her intense fascination. It was only human to be curious, but Bella stared at me with…well, reverence. I closed my eyes, feeling almost at ease. She didn’t run. The realization kept running through my brain, I was increasingly amazed every time I thought about it. Even with my eyes closed I could feel her curled up next to me, watching me. I didn’t even realize I was singing to myself until she asked.
I could feel her scent wrap around me, mingling with those of the forest. A small family of rabbits had passed through the meadow not fifteen minutes before our arrival. An elk had grazed here recently, it could have been yesterday. The amazing thing was that all these aromas, especially Bella’s, would normally set the burn growing in my throat, yet they did nothing. The only thing I concentrated on was that she didn’t run.
It was then that I sensed her reaching out to touch me; I laid stark still. I felt her lightly stroke my hand. It was divine, like nothing I had felt before. It was Debussy making love to Haydn. It was as if, with that one touch, she was able to penetrate every part of my being. I opened my eyes and watched her as she gingerly traced the contours of my hand with her own. She brought her eyes to mine hesitantly.
“I don’t scare you?” I asked softly, knowing on some level, that despite her brave front, she must have been somewhat afraid.
“No more than usual,” she replied.
I could not help the wide grin that replaced my normally somber face. At this moment in time I was happier than I’d ever been in all my years. Rapture was mine and her name was Bella Swan.
She brought her trembling fingers back down to my arm, hesitating slightly and asked if I minded.
I could see her silhouette through my eyelids, “No, you can’t imagine how that feels.”
She began tracing her fingertips across my arm. I could feel her pulse through her index finger, quickening by the second. The light scratch of her nails on my rock hard skin sent a thrill through me that words could never explain. She reached down to turn my hand over, to inspect it closer I assumed. Lazily I flipped it over and felt her pause. Damn Edward, remember, take it slowly.
“Sorry,” I said, “it’s too easy to be myself around you.”
A moment passed and I felt her take my hand again. I hadn’t realized how much I had tensed until I relaxed into the soft grass again. I opened my eyes to watch her inspecting my hand. What I wouldn’t give for just a momentary glance into that mind. If there was ever a time I wished I knew what she was thinking, it was now.
“Tell me what you’re thinking. It’s still so strange for me, not knowing.”
She cocked her head to the side, looking intently at my face. “You know, the rest of us feel that way all the time.”
What I wouldn’t give to feel that way, to never read a person’s thoughts, to be human, to love Bella, not just with my heart but with my soul.
“It’s a hard life,” I replied, trying to keep the bitterness from my voice, “But you didn’t tell me.”
“I was wishing I could know what you were thinking…”
I glance over at her hesitation, “And?”
“I was wishing that I could believe you were real. And I was wishing that I wasn’t afraid.”
I tried to keep the pain that ripped through my entire being from reaching my face. Of course she’s afraid Edward, she is in the middle of nowhere with a MONSTER.
“I don’t want you to be afraid.” I tried to relax my body, physically assuring her that she didn’t need to fear me. I would never hurt her…right?
Yet again she surprised me, “Well, that’s not exactly the fear I meant, though that’s certainly something to think about.”
In a flash I flipped to my side, cradling my head in my palm, never moving my other hand from hers. She was mere inches away and I fervently ignored the burning sensation that tickled my throat. “What are you afraid of, then?”
What happened next, I was completely unprepared for. All in the same moment, a light breeze blew by, Bella leaned in, and I took a deep breath. The burn of her staggering aroma crashed into me and seared my throat, heartily arousing the monster that longed for Bella’s blood. Before I even realized what I was doing, I was across the clearing. I stood there attempting to drain the thoughts from my mind; I saw myself softly taking Bella’s neck in my hand, running my thumb along the line of her jaw. She trusted me so completely, it would be easy. I shut my eyes as I envisioned lowering my head to her neck, breathing in her intoxicating bouquet, and then moments later plunging my teeth into the sensitive skin and drinking her in. I would take all of her into me, make her mine. She was MINE.
That was it; she broke me from my spell. Trusting, beautiful, sweet Bella was apologizing as I stood mere feet away, fantasizing about her demise.
“Give me a moment,” I answered.
Monster…soulless, evil creature.
With my fists clenched, I attempted to regain my composure.
After what felt like an eternity I turned back toward Bella. I walked back to the center of the field, willing my muscles to move as slowly as possible. I sank into the grass as close to Bella as I dared. Conflicting emotions ravaged my mind. I wanted so much to be near her, but I was so afraid of losing what little control I had. What was I doing there? With her? Why had I put us both in such danger?
“I am so very sorry,” I said, “Would you understand what I meant if I said I was only human?” She looked thoroughly uncomfortable and I could smell her fear as strongly as the scent of morning coffee.
“I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in – my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that!” I was losing control over my anger. She still had no clue what a danger I was to her. Even without my bloodlust I could still snap her in two without even the intention of harming her. I bounded around the meadow in a mere moment, not even showing her my full speed.
“As if you could outrun me,” I laughed in disgust.
She needed to understand the limitless strength I possessed. I grabbed the branch of an adult oak tree, tossing it across the field, where it shattered with a deafening crack. Imagine what I could do to her; her bones were as fragile as a young sapling. I wished that she could comprehend how truly dangerous I was. If she could, then maybe she would leave me alone to pine away for her. Because, for all the strength I encompassed I still had one unmitigated weakness; I could not leave Bella alone.
I stood in front of her, barely moving, not daring to breathe. “As if you could fight me off.”
I slowly realized that she was terribly afraid, yet she didn’t move. Remorse washed over me, I just needed her to understand.
“Don’t be afraid,” I asked her. “I promise…I swear not to hurt you,” I vowed, not only to her, but to myself. “Don’t be afraid,” I murmured a second time as I slowly moved closer.
“Please forgive me. I can control myself. You caught me off guard. But I’m on my best behavior now.”
I could still smell the fear and adrenaline coursing through her body and I tried to lighten the mood, “I’m not thirsty today, honestly.” My laugh was shaky at best.
As I sank into the grass in front of her I reached my hand to place it back in hers, “Are you alright?” My concern was slowly suffocating me. I needed her to be alright, I needed her to say something.
She began running her fingertips lightly over my palm, giving me a shy smile. I relaxed immediately; I heard her heart slowing down to its normal pace and breathed a sigh of relief.
“So where were we, before I behaved so rudely?”
She looked up at me with uncertainty written all over her features, “I honestly can’t remember.”
Of course I knew exactly what we were speaking about before the monster inside me ruined it, “I think we were talking about why you were afraid, besides the obvious reason.”
She didn’t answer me and it was almost infuriating that I couldn’t hear her thoughts. The one person I was so eager to understand and she remained a complete mystery. It was almost as maddening as my bloodlust. “How easily frustrated I am,” I sighed.
She looked up at me, almost relieved, “I was afraid…because, for, well, obvious reasons, I can’t stay with you. And I’m afraid that I’d like to stay with you, much more than I should.”
Maybe she did understand what a danger I presented to her, “Yes,” I agreed. “That is something to be afraid of, indeed. Wanting to be with me. That’s really not in your best interest.”
I tried to convey to her frowning face my internal struggle. “I should have left long ago. I should leave now. But I don’t know if I can.”
She kept staring down at our hands, unable or unwilling to meet my gaze. Her words slipped slowly from her lips, “I don’t want you to leave.”
“Which is exactly why I should. But don’t worry. I’m essentially a selfish creature. I crave your company too much to do what I should.”
“Don’t be!” I extracted my hand from her grasp gently, not wanting to scare her in my agitation.
It was so easy for her to forget my actions from only moments ago. If this had, even a remote possibility of working, we both had to be constantly vigilant. “It’s not only your company I crave! Never forget that. Never forget I am more dangerous to you than I am to anyone else.”
She sat there looking at me as I concentrated on looking anywhere but those beautiful brown eyes. I knew I was wrong to bring her here. I knew that she would have forgotten about me if I had just stayed in Alaska, as miserable as I would have been. She might have even gone to the dance with one of those fools from school. I willed myself not to think of Newton, Crowley or Yorkie. My jealousy was already beginning to ebb to the surface.
Hesitantly, she spoke, “I don’t think I understand exactly what you mean – by that last part anyway.”
I smiled, letting myself relax, of course she didn’t understand. No matter how weak she was physically, Bella was a strong individual. I couldn’t imagine her being unable to control herself. “How do I explain? And without frightening you again…hmmmm.” I softly placed my hand in her warm hands. It felt like home. “That’s amazingly pleasant, the warmth.”
I could not think of any way to explain the depth of my draw to her scent. The only analogy that sprung to mind was frighteningly gauche. “You know how everyone enjoys different flavors? Some people love chocolate ice cream, others prefer strawberry?”
She nodded, without even blanching.
“Sorry about the food analogy – I couldn’t think of another way to explain.”
I tried to ignore her uncomfortable smile and continued explaining, painfully…”You see, every person smells different, has a different essence. If you locked an alcoholic in a room full of stale beer, he’d gladly drink it. But he could resist, if he wished to, if he were a recovering alcoholic. Now let’s say you placed in that room a glass of hundred-year-old brandy, the rarest, finest cognac – and filled the room with its warm aroma – how do you think he would fare then?”
I stared into her eyes, realizing, even without reading her mind, that she doubted the extent of this bloodlust. My comparison seemed too menial.
“Maybe that’s not the right comparison. Maybe it would be too easy to turn down the brandy. Perhaps I should have made our alcoholic a heroin addict instead.”
Her eyes lit up with mirth, “So what you’re saying is, I’m your brand of heroin?”
I smiled at her ability to make me feel a little better about the situation, “Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin.”
I felt the need to open up to her. I was so indescribably drawn to her, as I knew she was to me.
She began playing with her hair, her curious nature, which I adored, taking over, “Does that happen often?”
“I spoke to my brothers about it. To Jasper, every one of you is much the same. He’s the most recent to join our family. It’s a struggle for him to abstain at all. He hasn’t had time to grow sensitive to the differences in smell, in flavor.” Regret hit me full force as I realized what I said, “Sorry.”
“I don’t mind. Please don’t worry about offending me, or frightening me, or whichever. That’s the way you think. I can understand, or I can try to at least. Just explain however you can.”
I took in a deep breath. Never in my life had I met such a fascinating creature. I knew that it wasn’t ill-regard for her life, but a need to empathize with my situation. I could truly say that I had only met one person who could equal her, and that was Carlisle.
“So Jasper wasn’t sure if he’d ever come across someone who was as,” I stopped myself from making the same mistake I had made only seconds ago, “appealing as you are to me. Which makes me think not. Emmett has been on the wagon longer, so to speak, and he understood what I meant. He says twice, for him, one stronger than the other.”
“And for you?”
The silence between us was palatable until she asked the question I dreaded answering.
“What did Emmett do?”
My hand involuntarily clenched into a fist. I ground my jaw, looking anywhere but her face. There was no force on this earth that could have made me answer that damned question.
I could smell her fear, although her heart beat stayed beating in its steady thumping rhythm. “I guess I know,” she breathed.
I stared into her eyes, willing her to understand. I needed her to forgive, not for Emmett’s sake but for my own. Although the atrocities that I had committed were egregious, I needed Bella’s compassion. “Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon, don’t we?”
Her eyes squinted and her voice grew sharp, “What are you asking? My permission?”
I knew I deserved her anger, of course I did. I was a monster and she, well she was perfection personified.
Her voice lost its edge as she whispered, “I mean, is there no hope, then?”
Panic grew inside of me, “No, no! Of course there’s hope! I mean, of course I won’t…”
How could I finish that sentence? Of course I won’t kill you! How could I possibly look her in the eye and lie to her, because I most certainly could kill Bella. That line between loving her and lusting for her blood was as thin as a single hair from her beautiful head. But this was Bella, she was different.
“It’s different for us. Emmett…these were strangers he happened across. It was a long time ago, and he wasn’t as…practiced, as careful, as he is now.” Why was I making excuses? I knew what I wanted her to say; I wanted her to tell me that it was okay, that she loved me in spite of all this.
I didn’t have to ask what she was thinking because she volunteered the information readily, “So if we’d met…oh, in a dark alley or something…” she trailed off, letting both our imaginations go wild.
I couldn’t help but tell her the truth. If I hadn’t, nothing would have been right between us. “It took everything I had not to jump up in the middle of that class full of children and –“ I thought about that day and what it would have cost Bella, my family, myself…
“When you walked past me, I could have ruined everything Carlisle had built for us, right then and there. If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.”
There it was out in the open, she knew the type of monster I was. It wouldn’t have been fair to her otherwise; she had to know what she was getting herself into. The love and devotion of a fiend was worth nothing at all, but the love of an angel...well, Bella’s love was worth the world.
“You must have thought I was possessed,” I said quietly.
“I couldn’t understand why. How you could hate me so quickly…”
“To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me. The fragrance coming off your skin…I thought it would make me deranged that first day. In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone. And I fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to each of them, I had to run out, to get away before I could speak the words that would make you follow…”
She couldn’t mask the shock on her face as I told her, “You would have come.”
I tore my eyes away from her face when she answered me, “Without a doubt.”
Everything in me screamed for silence. I didn’t want to tell her anymore. I didn’t want her knowing what a monster I was. I wanted her to think only pleasant things about me, I wanted her to adore me the way I already adored her. But I knew…I knew that she had to know everything.
“And then, as I tried to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there – in that close, warm little room, the scent was maddening. I so very nearly took you then. There was only one other frail human there – so easily dealt with.”
I could feel her shiver, her heartbeat quickened as she took in the fact that she had so nearly died at my hand. That long dead human inside me roared, she had to know that I was able to resist!
“But I resisted. I don’t know how. I forced myself not to wait for you, not to follow you from the school. It was easier outside, when I couldn’t smell you anymore, to think clearly, to make the right decision. I left the others near home – I was too ashamed to tell them how weak I was, they only knew something was very wrong – and then I went straight to Carlisle, at the hospital, to tell him I was leaving.”
I paused, taking a deep breath, while she urged me to continue with her eyes.
“I traded cars with him – he had a full tank of gas and I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t dare go home, to face Esme. She wouldn’t have let me go without a scene. She would have tried to convince me that it wasn’t necessary…by the next morning I was in Alaska.”
I was ashamed to further reveal my weakness to her. It was only because of my carefully cultivated diet that I was able to snub my baser instincts. Even in that field it was a trial to keep the monster at bay. I was showing her my weakness, not only for her blood but for her.