"Have I found you, Flightless bird? Jealous, weeping." They meet, each no more than a shell filled with hate, pain, and misery. They fall in love, slowly opening up to each other and learning to trust again. They part, betrayed and hurt. The rest they cannot decide - first they must come to terms with their own past. Takes place mid-Twilight, for reasons I cannot divulge yet. Inspired by "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine from the Twilight Soundtrack - though this story began before I even bought it.
4. Chapter 4: Triumph.
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I managed to swipe the note from the teacher at the end of the period, and I read over it as I sit through my History class. The teacher is talking about World War I, but I don’t listen. I lived through WWI.
I realize that I’m going to have to explain one of these days. Lunch is next period, and I wonder if she’ll be there. Part of me hopes she will be, with this unreasonable hope that swells inside me, as if it would mean the end of the world if she wasn’t.
The bell rings and I’m out of my seat in a flash, hurrying out the door and into the hallway where I merge with the students. The lunch room is crowded, with nearly every table filled, aside from a rickety, circular table in the back of the room where a girl cranes her neck in anticipation. The part of me that was hoping she wouldn’t be here curses.
As soon as she catches sight of me, she waves me over to her and I do so with a strange feeling in the pit of my gut. When I reach her table, she is strangely calm, and stares at me with penetrating, ice blue eyes.
“You owe me an explanation.”
“I saved your life – I don’t owe you anything.”
“But you said you would answer me, didn’t you?”
“No – I never did.” I am harsh with her, though I don’t necessarily want to be.
“Please?” She asks, her voice raspy and weak.
I sigh, and fish for an excuse.
“Not here. Meet me behind the school after it lets out.”
I leave, silently cursing myself for being so rude.
You’re going to have to explain at some point, idiot.
I watch him leave with sad eyes, and withdraw inside myself, secretly anticipating the end of the day with eagerness.
Finally that time comes, and the bell ringing is like an electric current running through me. My heart races as I nearly run out of the school and circle around to the back. I see him leaning up against the brick wall – true to his word – and my heart slows as I automatically relax.
“You came,” I choke out in my raspy whisper.
“I’m nothing if not a man of my word,” he smiles a breathtaking smile that nearly stops my heart completely.
I wait impatiently, and his smile vanishes as he sighs and closes his eyes.
“Take a walk with me?”
Without even considering, I nod, and follow him across the baseball field and into the waiting forest. Darkness falls over us within the dense shroud of trees, but his pale skin glows like a nightlight. He slows his pace to match mine, and I watch as his face contorts with different emotions. Finally he settles on a terrifying look that makes him more like a monster than a human. His features are cold, and his voice comes out low and hard as he speaks.
“First, promise you won’t tell.”
“I promise,” I say before I consider it. He stops and spins to face me, locking his eyes on mine.
“I’m not who you think I am,” he says harshly.
I don’t reply.
“You think I’m…some kind of hero, but I’m not. I’m a monster, Caydence.”
“No-” I begin, but he stops me.
“You shouldn’t be alone with me. I’m dangerous.”
“Please,” I beg, “just tell me what happened.”
“What do you think happened?” He retorts, glaring at me.
I look down at my hands, formulating a response. “I…I don’t really think I know. One minute you were there, and the next minute you were saving my life. It was like you magically appeared beside me – like you flew or something.”
He laughs once, a cold, hard laugh.
I look back up at him, and something in my eyes breaks his resolve. His cold expression falters for a minute.
“I think you’re a vampire,” I blurt without thinking. His gaze returns to its icy coldness, and I’m suddenly frightened.
“You think I’m a vampire.” He says it like a statement, rather than a question.
“Yes,” I say confidently.
He pauses, measuring my expression.
“What if you’re right?”
My heart nearly stops.
He stares up at me, frozen. I cannot believe I told her, but there’s no backing out now.
“I’m right?” She breathes, and I suddenly fear that she’s going to black out.
“Maybe you are.”
“But that doesn’t explain…” She trails off, and then her eyes grow wide and terrified.
“You’re not gonna kill me, are you?”
I laugh once more.
“No. We don’t prey on humans.”
“My family and I.”
She looks relieved, rather than terrified – as she should be.
“Are you afraid?”
She pauses, looking up at me and searching for the words. Her eyes stare straight into mine, attempting to find further answers in their depths.
It’s dark. I run through the black forest, searching for something. I call out, but I can’t hear my voice. Suddenly I hit something, and fall back onto the ground.
Edward glows like a star in the penetrating dark, smiling down at me. His teeth are bright white and perfectly straight. He reaches his hand out to me, and I take it, allowing him to help me to my feet.
He continues to smile at me, and says something I still can’t hear. He leans in, pressing his lips to mine.
I am jarred awake, stolen from my pleasant dreams. I am being shaken, and my eyes flash open in shock. I look up, and see my Daddy’s blood-shot eyes staring at me greedily.
This time, I start screaming. I’m not sure what compels me to fight back this time, but I do. I kick and scream and end up punching him square in the nose. He curses and flees, and I fall back onto my bed, victorious. I’ve beaten him this time.
Edward meets me in front of the school, and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. Years. However, he seems to want to ruin it. His expression is cold, detached.
“You’re still not afraid, are you?”
Yesterday when we took that walk, I felt like I could really talk to some one. I didn’t go deep within myself and spill my guts, but he did, and I felt like I really knew someone.
“Of course not.” My voice is clear today – he notices. I’d been talking more frequently in the past few days
“Your voice sounds beautiful,” he says quietly, triggering a blush that reddens my cheek. I smile and look down, bashful.
“Why are you so shy?”
I avoid his question, and ask another of my own. “Drink any good blood last night?”
He laughs – an actual laugh that causes heads to turn. “Not really.”
“Well…what did you do last night?”
He seemed like it was a personal question. “Mmm…I don’t think so.”
“You don’t think so, what?”
“I don’t think I’ll tell you.” He was playfully mocking. “What did you do last night?”
I freeze, and his expression changes as he sees mine shift.
“Nothing.” My voice comes out low and raspy.
“What is it? What did I say?”
“Nothing. It’s fine.” I turn away from him.
“I’m sorry,” he apologizes, even though it’s not his fault.“It’s okay,” I say, turning back towards him. “I won anyways.”