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.
4. Continuation of Chapter 13. Confessions
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“I spent two days there, with some old acquaintances,” I mentally shook my head, thinking of Tanya, “but I was homesick.” I knew that wasn’t the entire reason I came back, it was Bella, she had a pull on me like I had never felt in my life. “I hated knowing I’d upset Esme, and the rest of them, my adopted family. In the pure air of the mountains it was hard to believe you were so irresistible. I convinced myself it was weak to run away. I’d dealt with temptations before, not of this magnitude, not even close, but I was strong. Who were you, an insignificant little girl to chase me from the place I wanted to be? So I came back…”
I wanted so badly to tell her that it was her. She pulled me back to Forks. The intensity of these feelings, that were so foreign, scared me. I held back, but continued talking about my blood lust. It felt awkward talking to her about this when I couldn’t even bring myself to speak about feelings that were so…so human.
Because you are not human Edward.
I sighed, “I took precautions, hunting, feeding more often than usual before seeing you again. I was sure that I was strong enough to treat you like any other human. I was arrogant about it. It was unquestioningly a complication that I couldn’t simply read your thoughts to know what your reaction was to me. I wasn’t used to having to go to such circuitous measures, listening to your words in Jessica’s mind,” I groaned at the memory of her childish thoughts, “…her mind isn’t very original, and it was annoying to have to stoop to that. And then I couldn’t know if you really meant what you said. It was all extremely irritating.”
I couldn’t help but frown when I thought about Jessica’s petulant thoughts. How Jessica thought that Bella couldn’t measure up to her. How she felt Bella’s friendship would increase her popularity. Bella was beautiful and shy and…well, much too good to befriend Jessica Stanley, but I could never tell Bella these things. I knew it would hurt her too much, and despite my aptitude for putting her in harm’s way, I wanted to shield her.
Shaking my head slightly, I resumed my story, “I wanted you to forget my behavior that first day, if possible, so I tried to talk with you like I would any person. I was eager actually, hoping to decipher some of your thoughts. But you were too interesting, I found myself caught up in your expressions…and every now and then you would stir the air with your hand or your hair and the scent would stun me again...”
Only when you let your guard down Edward.
I continued, “Of course, then you were nearly crushed to death in front of my eyes. Later I thought of a perfectly good excuse for why I had acted at that moment – because if I hadn’t saved you, if your blood had been spilled there in front of me, I don’t think I could have stopped myself from exposing us for what we are. But I only thought of that excuse later. At the time, all I could think was, ‘Not her.’”
My head sunk as I closed my eyes. I hadn’t even meant to tell her how strongly I felt. But it was impossible for me to keep silent around her. I felt far too comfortable just being who I was while I was in her presence. I could hear Bella’s breathing, slow and steady, like a metronome keeping the time of our music. Ever so softly, she spoke, “In the hospital?”
I looked up at her, remembering the consummate fear I felt at the time. “I was appalled. I couldn’t believe I had put us in danger after all, put myself in your power – you of all people. As if I needed another motive to kill you.” I shut my mouth abruptly, I hadn’t meant to say it. Truth be told, I knew that I had spent our entire time in this meadow trying to say that word without actually saying it. I was eager to erase it from her mind, so I continued quickly, ignoring both of our reactions, “But it had the opposite effect. I fought with Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper when they suggested that now was the time…the worst fight we’ve ever had. Carlisle sided with me, and Alice.” I grinned, knowing how much Alice longed for the friendship with Bella that she foresaw. “Esme told me to do whatever I had to in order to stay.” I shook my head, of course Esme refused to think that I would harm Bella, but the thought of losing another child was unbearable to her. She would have sooner given up her own life…again.
Unbelievably, Bella had not told anyone what had really occurred, “All the next day I eavesdropped on the minds of everyone you spoke to, shocked that you kept your word. I didn’t understand you at all. But I knew that I couldn’t become more involved with you. I did my very best to stay as far from you as possible. And every day the perfume of your skin, your breath, your hair…it hit me as hard as the very first day.”
My hand strayed to the bottle cap I kept in my pocket, her bottle cap. “And for all that I’d have fared better if I had exposed us all at that first moment, than if now, here – with no witnesses and nothing to stop me – I were to hurt you.”
“Why?” I looked up at her when she asked that. I wanted to touch her, but I didn’t want to scare her.
“Isabella,” I said as I playfully ruffled her hair, never wanting my hands to let go. “Bella, I couldn’t live with myself if I ever hurt you. You don’t know how it’s tortured me.” I was ashamed; ashamed that I had to struggle with refraining from hurting this magnificent creature. She was like no one I had ever known. “The thought of you, still, white, cold…to never see you blush scarlet again, to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretenses…it would be unendurable.” I looked into her beautiful brown eyes, attempting to convey the depth of my promise. She was my world, nothing was right, nothing was good without her. Without Bella, I, Edward Cullen, was nothing. “You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever.”
I watched her carefully, tried to ascertain her reaction. Nothing. It was unnerving, I had never felt so helpless in front of a human before. In fact, I don’t think I had ever felt so helpless period.
“You already know how I feel of course. I’m here…which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you. I’m an idiot.”
I laughed, of course she was, but I was happy that we both decided to take this risk. “You are an idiot.” We both laughed at the hopelessness of our situation, this beautiful mess that we had found ourselves in.
I looked down at my hands and had a vague recollection of my former life. Human Edward fidgeted a lot. But they were perfectly still as I made my confession, “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”
She sighed, “What a stupid lamb.”
“What a sick, masochistic lion.”
I was staring into the forest, noticing the light begin to fade, wondering what it would be like to kiss her when she broke my reverie by asking, “Why…?”
It was difficult, not knowing what she was thinking…I smiled at her, encouraging her to continue, “Yes?”
“Tell me why you ran from me before.”
I gritted my teeth, she knew why. Why did she want me to say it again? “You know why,” I answered, returning to my darkened state.
“No, I mean, exactly what did I do wrong? I’ll have to be on my guard, you see, so I better start learning what I shouldn’t do. This, for example seems to be alright.” She stroked my hand ever so lightly and it felt as if my skin was on fire.
A smile crept across my face, “You didn’t do anything wrong, Bella. It was my fault.”
“But I want to help, if I can, to not make this harder for you.”
If it were possible to fall deeper in love than I already was, it happened at that moment. Bella was everything I wasn’t; she was completely selfless.
“Well…it was just how close you were. Most humans instinctively shy away from us, are repelled by our alienness…I wasn’t expecting you to come so close. And the smell of your throat.” I struggled to keep from frightening her again.
“Okay then, no throat exposure,” she said as she tucked her chin down to her chest.
I laughed heartily, I never knew what to expect from Bella. I couldn’t even be upset that she was being so flippant about her welfare. Her humor put me completely at ease.
“No, really, it was more the surprise than anything else.” Before I could stop myself, I reach up to place my cold hand on her neck. I could feel the blood racing through her veins, making its way to her lovely cheeks. I felt every breath as it passed through her lips. “You see, perfectly fine.”
I could see that she was embarrassed, she had no idea how beautiful it made me feel that I had this kind of effect on her. “The blush on your cheeks is lovely.” I took her face in my hands, the warmth overwhelming every other sensation. I had no desire to ever remove my hands from her. I wanted to give her the same warmth that she gave me, but I was so very cold, “Be very still.”
I lowered my face to her chest, placing my cheek against her smooth skin. I could hear her heart beating wildly, I felt her pulse quicken. I listen to her erratic breaths and closed my eyes. She remained uncannily still for a human and I inhaled deeply, bracing myself for Bella’s full assault on all my senses. I could feel the fire pierce my throat and run its course through my body but I never moved. It wasn’t nearly as torturous as I expected. Her warmth enveloped me in a feeling of complete bliss. Her soft, white skin felt like silk as I let my hands run down her face, nearly lingering on the nape of her neck, passing over her shoulder blades to rest on her shoulders. I heard her gasp slightly and I turned my face, brushing my nose against her collar bone, inhaling her scent as I rested my other check on her chest.
The scent, while still burning inside me, was amazing. She smelled of sunshine and freesias. I sighed, keeping my eyes closed and thinking how deliciously confusing this moment was. My body was torn between kissing her and sinking my teeth into her skin. It felt as if I were ignoring every physical instinct by not feeding on her, but my physical instinct to kiss her and feel her was just as strong. Jane Austen wrote of love/hate relationships between two people, but she could never understand the true meaning of it.
My heart, though, was completely of one mind…I knew I loved Bella and I held myself there until her pulse quieted. I didn’t want to draw away from her but I couldn’t sit here like this any longer without moving my hands over her body. I pulled away from her, looking into her brown eyes.
“It won’t be so hard again.”
“Was that very hard for you?”
“Not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. And you?”
“No, it wasn’t bad…for me.”
I chuckled at her less than subtle meaning, “You know what I mean.”
I took her hand to place it on my cheek, “Here, do you feel how warm it is?” Her hand felt perfect as I held it to my face.
“Don’t move,” she breathed and I held stark still, closing my eyes. Every sense I had was pulling me in such different directions as she traced my face lightly with her fingertips. The hunger was there, I knew that it would never completely dissipate, however, feelings broke to the surface; feelings that were so alien to me. She stirred something deep inside me that I had never felt before. My limited experience with women had left me at a loss for this moment. Even when Tanya…well, it was nothing compared to the feeling of Bella’s caresses. All too soon she withdrew her hands and I opened my eyes to see her guarded stare.
I never wanted her hands to leave my face. I wished that she knew, that she could possibly fathom what I felt for her.
“I wish…I wish you could feel the…complexity…the confusion…I feel. That you could understand.” I had never been at such a loss for words before. I, Edward Cullen, confident in everything I did, was completely tongue-tied. I traced the line of her jaw lightly, wishing that I knew what she was thinking.
“Tell me,” she whispered.
“I don’t think I can. I’ve told you, on the one hand, the hunger – the thirst – that, deplorable creature that I am, I feel for you. And I think you can understand that, to an extent. Though, as you are not addicted to and illegal substances, you probably can’t empathize completely.” I couldn’t stop myself from touching her lips, longing to feel them with more than just my fingers. I was out of my depth, feeling so utterly helpless against this urge that was growing inside of me.
“But…there are other hungers. Hungers I don’t even understand, that are foreign to me.”
She smiled as my hands dropped back into my lap and she said quietly, “I may understand that better than you think.”
I felt so wholly torn and vulnerable, which I was completely unused to, “I’m not used to feeling so human. Is it always like this?”
“For me?” she answered. “No, never. Never before this.”
I took her hands in my own, being so careful to be gentle. I never wanted to cause her discomfort, even though every confusing moment with her, I was caught between pain and bliss.
“I don’t know how to be with you. I don’t know if I can,” I admitted.
She lowered her head softly to rest on my chest and I was distinctly aware of my non-existent heartbeat, wondering if it would scare her. She sighed as she nestled her head, “This is enough.”
I drew my arms around her fragile body, inhaling the scent of her hair. The burn was there, yes, but something stronger that I knew I had felt with her before. I didn’t understand this desire at all, but I did know that I never wanted it to go away.
“You’re better at this than you give yourself credit for,” she said, as the vibrations of her words reverberated against my chest.
“I have human instincts,” I explained, “they may be buried deep, but they’re there.” I held her to my body, never wanting her to leave. I knew that I could have stayed like that for hours but I also was acutely aware of the waning light, as well as her human frailties. She sighed into my chest and I felt her fidget. “You have to go,” I said, resigned.
“I thought you couldn’t read my mind,” she joked, pulling me from my disappointment.
“It’s getting clearer,” I joked back, a grin spreading across my face.
A thought occurred to me; I wanted to show her…
I took her by the shoulders, pulling her away and looking into her eyes in excitement. “Can I show you something?”
“Show me what?” she said, curiosity written across her face. I loved how she got a slight crinkle in her forehead when she was thinking. The only thing more endearing was when she would bite her lip. Those beautiful lips…I mentally shook the thought from my head.
“I’ll show you how I travel in the forest.”
She looked as though I suggested a light snack for myself before we left, and I tried very hard not to laugh. “Don’t worry, you’ll be very safe, and we’ll get to your truck much faster.”
She looked apprehensive, “Will you turn into a bat?”
There was no way I could contain that laughter any longer, “Like I haven’t heard that one before!”
She rolled her eyes at me, “Right, I’m sure you get that all the time.”
I tried goading her into coming, “Come on, little coward, climb on my back.”
I took her by the hand and seamlessly slipped her onto my back. It was as if she weighed nothing at all. She wrapped her legs and arms around me, sending a thrill through my body.
“I’m a bit heavier than your average backpack.”
“Hah!” I laughed, silly Bella, she had no idea.
I ran my lips and nose along her hand. The burning remained weakened from her constant exposure to me, “Easier all the time,” I murmured.
I took off into the forest, feeling her heart race. The exhilaration I felt as I ran through the forest was immense. I loved freeing myself from the confines of my human façade. Gracefully and easily avoiding every low hanging branch, I smiled, wondering how amazing Bella must have felt to fly through the forest like this. Even after all these years, the feeling of utter elation never went away. It felt exactly the same as my first run as a vampire, with one enormous exception. I was able to share this with Bella. My beautiful Bella, I wondered what it would be like to kiss her lips, to feel her kiss me back. I could not stop thinking about what it would be like to try. And if I felt like I could even possibly lose control, I could still stop.
We reached her truck all too soon, and I slowed as we came out into the clearing. “Exhilarating, isn’t it?” I asked with a smile plastered on my face. She never responded and didn’t move; I panicked.
What was wrong?
“I think I need to lie down,” she said with urgency.
“Oh, sorry,” I didn’t realize that it would be such a jarring experience for her. I waited for her to release me from her grip but she held steadfast.
“I think I need help,” she said and I chuckled as I gently released her grip and held her in my arms, never wanting to let her go. I sighed as I begrudgingly set her on the grass.
“How do you feel?” I asked, genuinely concerned. I couldn’t understand why Bella could be so brave, and yet so frightened; she was a complete contradiction.
“Dizzy, I think,” she said as she held her head in her hands.
“Put your head between your knees,” I instructed.
She complied and I stood in front of her as she calmed herself. I had to admit I did feel a bit guilty, “I guess that wasn’t the best idea.”
She barely lifted her head from between her legs, “No, it was very interesting.”
“Hah! You’re as white as a ghost – no, you’re as white as me!”
She groaned at my joke, “I think I should have closed my eyes.”
I looked down at her, listening to her heart slowly return to its normal pace. “Remember that next time.”
“Next time!” she exclaimed, shocked that I expected her to do that again.
I laughed at her reluctance as she muttered, “Show off.”
I bent down to put my face level with hers, “Open your eyes, Bella.”
She lifted her head and looked into my face. Her face was still white as…well me, but I could see the color slowly coming back to her cheeks. Her blush was lovelier than any flower on earth.
“I was thinking, while I was running –“
“About not hitting the trees, I hope.”
I chuckled, “Silly Bella. Running is second nature to me. It’s not something I have to think about.”
I was showing off and she called me on it, repeating what she said earlier.
I smiled, but then paused, and in a serious tone said, “No. I was thinking that there was something I wanted to try.”
I took her face in my hands, pausing to inhale. I ignored the blaze in my throat, when all thoughts of altruism escaped me. The need to feel her lips was greater than any need I had for her blood. The human in me needed her much more than the monster.
I lightly took my lips to her own, feeling at peace for the first time since I could remember. But Bella, in a show of strength that I could never have imagined, forcefully thrust her hands into my hair. I felt a need, an urgency that was completely unknown to me. I wanted to crush my own lips into hers. I wanted to take her into my arms and passionately show her just how much I wanted her. As she crushed her mouth against my own I inadvertently gasped in time with her own gasps. My throat was searing with her scent and I froze, tenderly moving her face back. I looked into her eyes, attempting to quell both needs.
“Oops,” she whispered.
“That’s an understatement.”
I felt her try to move away from me, “Should I…?”
But I held her face still, despite the aching, I knew I was in control. It was the human longing that I was battling to suppress. I was not human, and if I let myself go, even for a moment the repercussions would have been disastrous.
Realizing that I didn’t answer her, I spoke, “No, it’s tolerable. Wait for a moment, please.”
I held her face there softly, and looking into her eyes, both my desires slowly subsided, “There.”
I smiled, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Tolerable?” She blushed as she spoke.
“I’m stronger than I thought,” I laughed, “It’s nice to know.”
She turned her eyes downward, biting her lower lip slightly, “I wish I could say the same. I’m sorry.”
“You are only human after all.”
Sarcasm dripped from her voice as she answered me, “Thanks so much.”
I couldn’t help but be elated at the effect I had on her. She wanted me, almost as much as I wanted her. The thought was inescapably delightful. I jumped up, reaching out to help her from the ground. I pulled her up and felt her waver.
“Are you still faint from the run? Or was it my kissing expertise?” I couldn’t help but make fun of her a bit. However, in all honesty, I longed to hear her confirm that it was my kiss which had her so rattled.
“I can’t be sure, I’m still woozy. I think it’s some of both,” she answered.
My face broker out in a smile, that one sentence had me elated. “Maybe you should let me drive,” I suggested.
“Are you insane?” she asked.
I couldn’t understand why she would be so reluctant to let me drive.
“I can drive better than you on your best day,” I teased. “You have much slower reflexes.”
I could see the resignation in her features, “I’m sure that’s true, but I don’t think my nerves or my truck, could take it.”
I rolled my eyes as she kept her hands firmly in her pocket, “Some trust, please, Bella.”
She looked as though she might give in, but then grinned, “Nope. Not a chance.”
I couldn’t believe that she was so willing to put her life in my hands, but was actually afraid of letting me drive her truck. I knew that I could spend the next hundred years trying to understand her, and I still wouldn’t break the surface.
She attempted to side-step me to get into her truck when her legs buckled slightly. I jetted out my arms, catching and trapping her from moving. There was no possible way that I could let her drive in her condition.
“Bella, I’ve already expended a great deal of personal effort at this point to keep you alive. I’m not about to let you get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you can’t even walk straight. Besides, friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” I laughed at my own joke, because at that moment Bella did look drunk. Her eyes were slightly out of focus and she teetered in my arms.
“Drunk?” she asked.
“You’re intoxicated by my very presence.”
I couldn’t help the things I was saying to her. Her reactions to me made me feel almost human. The woman I loved nearly fainted at my kiss, what man wouldn’t feel overjoyed?
She gave me a painful look, holding her keys in the air. “I can’t argue with that,” she said, dropping the keys as I reached out in a flash, to grab them.
“Very sensible,” I answered.
She looked at me, narrowing her eyes. “And you are not affected at all? By my presence?”
She had no idea of the hold she already had on me, my desire for her was beyond anything she could fathom. I would spend every moment I had, from that day forward, just making her happy. I brought my face to hers, softly nuzzling her cheek, dragging my lips across her fiery skin. I felt her tremble beneath my lips; I could taste her soft skin and it was completely intoxicating.
“Regardless,” I whispered, “I have better reflexes.”