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Guardian Angel

Summary:
Edward Swan willingly removes himself from the Vally of the Sun in favor of Forks, to live with his father, Charlie in a sunless town completley opposite to his taste. He intends to remain anonymous; to suffer in silence and make his mother, Renee, happy. Bella Cullen is a hundred year old vampire with a rather mundane existence. She loves her family; her sisters Alice and Rose, her brothers, her 'parents'... But she can't shake the feeling that something's missing... When Bella meets Edward, both of thier lives are irrevocably altered. The trouble's in admitting it...and wether Edward, fragile and frustratingly human, will survive the journey before Bella gives into temptation. ** I know this idea has been done a thousand times over, but I just couldn't help myself! This actually follows the Twilight plotline really losely; I figured a LOT would be different if Edward was the human one. [banner removed per site regulations]


Notes:


17. Chapter 17; Revealing

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3565   Review this Chapter

"And now, time for the grand finale," Alice announced, a wicked smile on her cherry-red lips as she sneakily hid whatever she had intended behind her back.

"Oh no," I moaned, dropping my head into my hands so I wouldn't have to look.

"Oh yes!" Alice chirped.

I didn't even dignify that with a response.

It was seven thirty in the evening; the approximate time that most of the human citizens of Forks would be eating dinner or working on homework. But as for me, I was trying on God. Damn. Lingerie.

We'd gotten home from the mall – and the 'epic' Victoria's Secret sale – at three. That meant that I'd spent four and a half hours repeatedly forcing myself into items of clothing that weren't made of enough fabric to modestly cover a Barbie doll, let alone a seventeen year old girl.

Alice pulled my hair lightly, making me look up at her – and the death trap she had dangling from one finger. I was completely stunned into silence for exactly twenty three milliseconds before -

"Alice! What is that?! I don't wear stuff like that –"

"Shut up, Bella, you sound like she's trying to kill you. It's just underwear. It's not like anyone's going to see it," Rose said from her spot on my bed – the only spot in Rosalie's entire bedroom that didn't look like playboy bunnies had used it as a warzone. Pale pink Victoria's Secret bags were literally waist high on the floor; white tissue paper covered every available surface.

Alice froze at Rose's words.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that," she said with that god-awful I-know-something-you-wish-you-knew smile that usually accompanied her having 'seen' a future event that pertained to me.

"So sure about what?" I asked nervously.

"So sure about whether people will see you in this," she said, Mona-Lisa smile still firmly intact as she shoved the new piece of lace she was holding into my hands.

"WHAT?!"

Rose grabbed one of her pillows and covered her head with it.

Alice ignored me, pointing towards the bathroom with a silent order for me to go change 'clothes', if you could even call them that. Sighing in resignation, I trudged onward. There was no refusing Alice when she got like this.

Despite my embarrassment over the whole situation, I just couldn't help myself from checking my reflection in the bathroom mirror – once I'd safely closed and locked the door behind me, of course. The purple bra and panty set I had on at the moment actually looked quite good on me, I had to admit. It gave me more cleavage than I was used to having, and accentuated the fact that I actually had curves in the way it clung to my skin and –

"HURRY UP, BELLA!!" Alice demanded, pounding on the door with ferocity equal to Jasper's mood swings when he hadn't hunted for a few too many days.

I groaned, not even acknowledging her anymore; but I did as she asked anyways. Bending to her will was usually much easier. And this was the last thing I had to try on, after all…

It was seven thirty five when I pulled off my current outfit and pulled on the new one. It absolutely defied description.

And I wasn't sure just how I looked in it.

I examined myself from every angle in the mirror – and if I looked objectively, I looked…well…sexy. I didn't normally feel like that, even though I was technically designed to be the human male's opinion of perfect. And my body was perfect. That wasn't arrogance – that was cold, solid, inescapable fact.

But despite that, there were always those nagging thoughts in the back of my head: you're not as pretty as Rosalie. You'll never find someone who would look twice at you when she's there.

But now, there were new things to add to my list of self-degradation:

You're so pale.

I obviously wasn't normal…

Deadly teeth and sharp hunter's eyes.

Made to kill. The humans were scared of me, and they should be.

No heartbeat. No need to breathe. You don't eat, you don't sleep. All you need is that which you can't have – blood.

Edward's blood. So delicious…

I bit down on the inside of my cheek, swallowing compulsively the venom that was flooding my mouth at the mere thought of him… I snapped my eyes shut against my reflection in my mirror in disgust.

Such a monster…

He'd hate me if he knew. We shouldn't be friends.

I could kill him; and it would be so easy. In the heat of the moment, in my moment of weakness and selfish desire, I'd probably even enjoy his murder. I clutched the marble countertop behind me for support, trying to escape the crushing grief that his death could so easily be delivered by my all too willing hands…

The countertop should have been cold to a human. I didn't feel anything.

Ice cold skin.

He'd never want to touch me.

"BELLLLA! I have a schedule to keep and you're ruining it!" Alice's voice shattered my inner conflict and I scrambled to get the door open, twisting the lock and pushing against the wood – checking my strength at the last moment so that I didn't dent it with my shoulder.

I tried – so, so hard – not to think about Edward Swan as I stepped into the room with my sisters.

Rose sat up on the bed, and Alice squealed something along the lines of 'it's PERFECT!!', and I managed a weak smile and a run-way style twirl.

While Alice flitted around the room picking through the debris of bags looking for something, Rosalie gave me an odd look from the bed – I knew she'd sensed my suddenly depressed mood. I shook my head infinitesimally at her, and she nodded once; our silent communication that yes, there was something up, and no, I wasn't going to talk about it.

"Hey, Alice," Rose suddenly called.

"Hmm?" Alice answered distractedly – she was apparently too focused on the sizeable pile of lace and satin in front of her. Furrowing her eyebrows in concentration, she muttered to herself under her breath for a moment. Rose rolled her eyes at me.

"Alice," Rose said again.

"White…just right here… If I go to the left? No. Right?" Alice considered the pile before her, paying Rosalie and I absolutely no attention as she apparently shifted through the future. And then, without warning, her hand shot out and back with a flash, and she was instantly at my side, something white clutched in her palm. "Wear this to school tomorrow," she told me with conviction, shoving it into my hands –

"ALICE BRANDON!"

Rose's yell finally snapped the little pixie out of her fashion-daze.

"Are you talking to me?"

"Yes," Rose huffed out, exasperated. "I have been for the past five minutes. Now, if you please, I would very much appreciate it if you vacated my room. Emmett just texted me and we haven't had any significant alone time since –"

"Too much information," I mumbled under my breath. They both ignored me, and Rose continued like I hadn't spoken.

"Yesterday," Rose finished, like going so long without was a travesty.

Apparently, Alice agreed with Rose on that last point, because she immediately started throwing everything into bags, which she scooped up in her arms with a sigh.

"Fine. Bella, we can just go to my room and –"

"You know," Rose cut her off, not looking up from her cell phone as she tapped out a message, "I bet Jasper's getting some serious sex vibes from Emmett…"

Alice practically dematerialized on the spot, taking all the bags and clothes with her. "I'm putting your stuff in your room!" She called from down the hall, and I heard her do exactly that before scampering downstairs to find her mate.

"Thanks, Rose," I sighed in relief, glad to have escaped a few more hours of Extreme Makeover – Bella Edition.

"No prob, sis," Rose grinned. And then she looked up from her phone's display for a moment, eyeing my hands curiously. "What's that thing she gave you, anyways?"

"What? Oh, right." I glanced down at the soft white object in my hand. It was tiny, barely there, and I turned it over in my fingers, trying to understand –

"Silly, innocent, naive little Bella," Rose laughed.

And then I understood. If I were a human, I would have been blushing scarlet by this point.

"She wants me to wear a thong?" I asked in disbelief.

Rosalie was still laughing as she hopped off the bed and gently guided me towards the door. I let her lead me, too paralyzed with shock to do anything else.

"But – but –" I stuttered. "How do I put it on?"

"You'll figure it out, I promise," Rosalie said through her laughter. And before I knew what was happening, before I had any time to consider why I'd want to stop her, Rose pushed me out her bedroom door and shut it behind me.

I stood, bewildered, in the hall for a moment, trying to remember why exactly I felt like I was forgetting something important…

Emmett interrupted my thoughts as he bounded up the spiral stairs, singing the lyrics to an old Justin Timberlake song at the top of his lungs. He burst into the hall with a flourish because he knew I was here – that he had his favorite sister as an audience to his childish, hilarious antics.

His gaze landed on me.

And Emmett – cool and confident, unruffled by anything Emmett – froze in his tracks, his jaw dropping like he'd just seen something miraculous.

"What?" I asked. He didn't move. His eerie silence was starting to scare me, and his gaze made me feel exposed, vulnerable... "Emmett!" I demanded. "What's wrong with you?"

He finally found his voice, but it was choked, and he only managed to stutter a few words. "Bells. I – er – you – and – holy shit, JASPER COME HERE!" The last words were a strangled sort of yell even though a normal tone would still have brought Jasper running…

And then Jasper was there, his hair looking windswept and his clothes disheveled. "Em, I swear, I was in the middle of something and if this isn't important I will tear you to –"

Emmett grabbed Jasper's chin and jerked his head so he'd look at me.

"Whoa," Jasper murmured, his eyes appraising and…appreciative?...as he stared me up and down, licking his lower lip quickly and…

The reason for their behavior hit me in a wave of horror and embarrassment; my breath accelerated and my dead heart almost seemed to beat as adrenaline – the vampire version of it, at least – flooded my system, kicking in that human fight or flight reaction.

This cannot be happening this cannot be happening this isn't freaking happening.

"My first reaction was more like 'Sweet baby Jesus,' actually," Emmett stated casually. "But whoa works too."

I was frozen, a deer in the headlights, caught in the gaze of my goddamn brothers who were staring at me like they'd never seen me before. And I was wearing lingerie. As in see-everything-omg-she-actually-has-curves sort of lingerie; the midnight blue contraption that Alice had last forced me into, the one that I was still wearing when Rose shoved me out of her bedroom, knowing that this would happen –

ROSALIE CULLEN I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL MURDER YOU AND TEAR YOU INTO PECIES SO SMALL NO ONE WOULD BE ABLE TO PIECE YOU BACK TOGETHER!

Is what I wanted to say.

But instead, my words came out as a squeaked and hesitant "Rose?"

She apparently decided to have mercy on me for once. I heard her bedroom door open behind me, and then she was there, holding out a silk bathrobe for me like the good sister she was, waiting for me to slip my arms through the sleeves. I did so, gratefully. And I hurried to tie the strap around my waist, making it into a goddamn Olympic sport.

Emmett and Jasper were still staring – Emmett's eyes in the general vicinity of where my cleavage had just been exposed, Jasper's gaze centered on my legs instead… Oh God oh God oh God I did not just get ogled by my brothers.

Denying it was getting me nowhere though, because they were still blatantly, mindlessly staring, their dark eyes making it apparent that their thoughts were far from innocent. So I cleared my throat as strongly as I could manage, and two sets of eyes immediately snapped to focus on me.

"Show's over, boys," I stated, sounding reasonably calm and confident, considering what had just happened. "Go back to your wives."

And with that, I turned on my heel and sauntered down the hall to my bedroom. I looked back once over my shoulder, and they were both staring after me; Emmett looking like he'd been recently hit hard in the head, Jasper seeming completely stunned. Rose gave me a killer smile.

I winked. Winked, and calmly walked into my room, shutting the door behind me with a snap. I leaned against the wood and took deep, calming breaths.

"What the hell happened to HER?!" Emmett demanded from the hall after five silent seconds.


Alice and Rosalie laughed thier damn hearts out.

* * *

Ten minutes later, I was holey old sweats and a plain t-shirt, my iPod headphones on full blast as I attempted to drown out the noises of two happy couples that I really did not need to be hearing.

Block it out, Bella, I told myself calmly, trying to get over the residual embarrassment of having been caught, like that, by Emmett and Jasper. Plus, now, there was the added embarrassment of being the only one alone at this exact moment. My brothers and sisters were always going on about their 'alone time', but their alone time was with each other. I was actually alone.

Painfully, noticeably, achingly alone.

I groaned, flopping back onto my chaise lounge heavily. Since when had it bothered me that I was by myself? It didn't seem too long ago that I'd been complete in myself…hadn't been so long ago that I'd cast off their alone time as a minor annoyance…

But now… Now it was so much different. And I couldn't come up with a catalyst for the change – I couldn't even remember when this change had occurred.

I kicked my legs in frustration, and accidentally dented the wooden legs of my lounge. Damn. Sometimes I hated being so strong. Everything around me was so breakable, and I had to be so careful…careful that I didn't break my car every morning when I opened the door, or that I didn't snap my pencils in half, or that when I sat down at a school desk I didn't grip the edge too hard.

It took me a few minutes of this train of thought before I realized it wasn't the everyday objects I was mad about being able to break.

Edward.

I let out a little squeak of dissatisfaction at the thought of him; about the spun-glass strength of his bones, about the fragile silk that called itself skin… So breakable. Surely, I would destroy him.

I rolled over restlessly on the lounge, almost catapulting myself accidentally off the side because I wasn't paying enough attention to my movements. My hands twitched at my sides; I felt too hot and too cold and the music on my headphones was too loud but too quiet to drown out my dangerous thoughts…

Fidgety. Restless. I wanted something to make the strange feeling go away – wanted a distraction – wanted…wanted…

I still hadn't figured out what it was I wanted for, but I was already on my feet without thinking about it, and I was racing through the house, sprinting down the stairs. I shoved running shoes onto my feet and laced them up quick and tight.

The front door slammed shut behind me. And then I was running, running faster than I ever had. My mind didn't know where I was going. But my body sure as hell did.

And I couldn't stop. Not for the life of me.

I darted on autopilot through the thick woods, avoiding effortlessly any obstacle, my feet lighter than air on the mossy forest floor. I ran and I ran, the wind whipping my hair in my face so I could hardly see… But I didn't need my sight in the almost-dark forest, because this was all instinct, anyways.

After a few minutes that felt like an eternity, I stumbled through a break in the trees, onto a lush, freshly mown lawn. I glanced up.

Holy mother of God I don't want this I swear I don't –

The smell of fresh cut grass and evening dew and the barbeque that someone was having down the street faded immediately as I stared up at the back of the house before me, because there was a much more important scent just beyond those walls.

I inhaled deeply, and that signature Edward Cullen scent assailed me like a tidal wave, dragging me under, getting me high…

His blood called to me like a siren, and I knew exactly how to proceed; how I could scale the side of his house in one quick climb, how I'd carefully slide up his window and pull myself inside. In my fantasy, he was doing homework on his bed. He wouldn't hear me until I was at his bedside, and by then it would be far too late.

Don't do this – can't have him – please –

The monster in me ignored the human side; focusing instead on how I'd surprise him, how I'd lean in close before he managed to yell and sink my teeth into the butter-soft skin of his perfect neck.

Stop.

I – I couldn't –

Don't hurt him.

So sweet…

I don't want to be a monster.

The part of me that was forever a seventeen-year-old, innocent girl spoke up through the haze my thoughts had become, persuading me. Surely, his blood couldn't be that good…not worth blowing our cover, not worth killing for, not worth the agony I somehow knew it would cause me if I ever hurt him.

I took a step across the lawn, intent on moving forward.

I still wasn't sure what part of me won out.