"Bella smiled warmly at me then, unaware of my secrets and the silent threats they made on her life..."
Bella Swan is a highly eccentric art student in Seattle...Edward Cullen is a mind-reading vampire, who is instantly drawn to her creative and colorful thoughts. (Yes, he can read her mind! Sort of.)
. . When devious little Alice catches a glimpse of their future, she'll do anything to get them together, including moving Bella in behind Edward's back! This story is rated Adult for drinking, violence, crude language, etc. etc.
This Bella is very OOC. You have been warned.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2363 Review this Chapter
People have treated love like the ultimate destination.
‘I love you’ was definitive. Expected. Some said classic.
How else would one explain the feeling that occupied both head and heart?
When I heard ‘I love you’ I laughed, and not for the reasons that you imagine.
Cynical of me, you say? Perhaps… but in all of my life, I'd never had such overly processed, sickeningly saccharine, and entirely endearing words directed towards me.
Jaded, undoubtedly, but never jealous.
Mine was a life of detached observation. Moderate solitude allowed a mind’s devotion to studies rather than love sonnets; expanding the mind while neglecting the heart. The sciences, arts, and music were the things that occupied my time for the better part of a century.
My family grew, and with each new addition I felt myself becoming more ostracized. Though never the intention of my beloved family, it was that love that marked me out amongst them. I was alone in a home of three perfectly matched pairs. I saw the happiness and fulfillment they brought to one another, and never really imagined such a thing for myself.
So I read. I played my piano. I hunted. I read some more.
There was just so much time.
“PANIC!” was the button that should’ve replaced “snooze” on my alarm clock.
I whirled frantically around my room, late AGAIN, as neon orange and yellow yelled sharply in my mind.
I shoved everything within reach into my portfolio, halting the frenzy when it resembled a large black pierogi, and ran for the door. I stopped when I noticed myself wearing nothing but a tank top.
I streaked (not funny) to the bathroom in a blur, and brushed my teeth while hopping into jeans. I donned boots and a jacket, and then I was off.
I ran the three blocks to school, caught the morning ice on my heel more than once and fell hard. One couldn’t actually break their ass, right?
The class was settled when I arrived, so I hurried to an open spot, not needing to garner anymore attention from the rather unseemly Professor Newton.
I unzipped the top and sides of my portfolio in a fury while he stood a little too close, and inquired about my latest project’s status. I reached to grab a sketch pad when, to my utter horror, I saw a pair of lacey pink skivvies atop the over-stuffed mess.
“MORTIFICATION!” my mind shrieked.
I crammed them in my pocket, and felt the blood rush to my cheeks.
As if on cue, Alice glided into the room. She was a vision of perkiness despite the ungodly morning hour, with two large Starbucks cups in a cardboard carrier. She flitted over to me, winked... and took the easel beside mine.
“So, Bella,” she exclaimed, drawing my attention away from the professor entirely, “do you have plans for tonight?”
I did my best to not to let my frazzled state overtake my smile.
“G’morning, Alice,” I said in a soggy tone.
She saw right through it and handed me one of the coffee cups. It had enough espresso in it to righteously bitch slap anyone awake, and I thanked her with a hug.
“And no, I don’t think so, why?”
She was practically bouncing in her seat at this point, and I knew by the look in her eye that it had nothing to do with caffeine.
They had insisted.
They said something about socializing “for normality's sake”.
How could I not laugh?
I could see that Alice would not allow me to avoid their little outing. She would stand in my room all night nagging... her angel’s voice a trill of insults.
I consented; it would certainly be less aggravating than a night of Alice’s misplaced coaxing.
Alice skipped along Jasper's side, holding hands as we walked to the garage.
I trudged along, ever the willing victim.
"So, Alice... To which wretched circle of hell are we being damned tonight?" I grinned wickedly at her as I slid into the driver’s seat of the Volvo.
Emmet and Rose had opted out of the college scheme this time around, instead taking up a trip through Europe. Romance ad nauseam, no doubt. That left no one but Jasper and me to accompany Alice on her wild socializing whims.
"You know, you might try enjoying yourself at least once in awhile,” she chimed.
She kept her tone light, but I knew she was seething.
Never know what will happen, she added internally.
Before I could pry, her mind was awash with next season’s newest couture designs.
We arrived at “The Perk”, and I was thankful for the day’s earlier hunting trip. Surely it would make this experience much less painful, if only physically.
We stepped out of the car, and mingled with the indie-esque clichés that flowed inside. I couldn't help but groan.
Jasper shot me an understanding glance. At least we'll suffer together, he thought. I nodded.
The pungent, woody smell of coffee wafted against my face, and I braced myself for the long night of horrible, broken poetry that would surely follow.
"If someone breaks out a set of bongos," I glared at Alice as I spoke through my teeth, "so help me, I will bludgeon you with them."
Her only response was a sly smirk.
Live a little, brother, she thought.
The three of us sat together on a brown leather couch; out from under the glare of the track lighting that did noticeably horrific things to our skin.
I smiled to myself as I thought of Alice's use of the word "socializing", and how none of these people even dared venture near us. Some long-lost evolutionary senses must bubble up whenever they approached. They avoided us like the plague without ever knowing why.
I loved my dear sister, but really, social observation would be more accurate. I was about to bring this up to Alice when I saw her.
She floated through the door alone, stopping a few steps in to pay the beefy man behind the podium her entrance fee. She turned her face up to smile at this stranger as she handed him the money, and I noticed that she was quite short, just under five foot four.
“Bella!” I heard someone squeal mentally.
Her eyes were mahogany with streaks of black, and sparkled in the dim light, as beautiful as they were big. Their color helped pronounce her pallid tone. Bits of her long dark hair stuck out at odd angles around her face and head, breaking free from the restraint of an untidy bun. The black taffeta and white tulle of her knee-length skirt shifted and danced with her as she moved. I noticed absently that her hair was held in place with a pencil. Her feet were clad in black ballet flats, her torso in a tight plain black t-shirt. As I watched her beautiful half-dance across the room, I was reminded of a master painter at work- his hand sleek over the canvas, loving.
I watched as she glanced over the room, eyes alight, almost child-like in their appreciation.
I listened… her mind was vibrant, to say the least. Her thoughts flowed, almost chaotically, around swirling colors. Images of absolute beauty grew to points of astounding definition before another could take their place; they spilled over with sound and ... feeling?
The intricate colors of each image left deep chasms of longing inside of me. No words were used within her mind, however odd, it seemed all too appropriate. The feelings within her mind were too intense for mere words.
I watched as she danced between familiar faces. I took note of how each face registered in her mind, always embellished, always more beautiful than reality could possibly withstand. As she came to each new face, waves of memories washed over me, the strongest of emotions from each relationship she held threatened to drown me. Such terms as love and admiration seemed flimsy definitions, harshly inappropriate and underwhelming in comparison.
I noticed Jasper pick up on the girl, mentally turning towards the positively lovely atmosphere around her. I then saw that Alice had turned into the cat that ate the canary beside him.
I found that I had moved several feet away from where I had been sitting, closer to her whirling steps, and mentally nailed myself to the floorboards.
With closer proximity I found myself feeling mentally warmer… and brighter, as if she held a portion of the sun itself between her small hands.
I stayed nailed in place as she spoke with another girl. Judging by the way she held this girl's hands, leaned unconsciously closer as they spoke, and the overwhelming sense of bright affection that radiated from them both… They had to be very good friends.
The other girl's face was suddenly overcome with a monstrous grin as she whispered something in Bella’s ear. The girl let out a peal of joyous laughter.
Bella's mind was suddenly flooded with a radiant image of two small children bustling through a high patch of grass and wild flowers. The sun reached down to both in a warm embrace.
Ah, very old friends, then.
I sighed in relief, shocking myself. Why had I been so concerned with the extent of their relationship? Before I had a chance to question my reasoning, I noticed that she was moving across the room again.
Bella arrived at a small group of cold-faced friends… I suppose you could call them that, despite the obvious physical repulsion they all held for one another.
She bounced to a stop in front of a hard-faced girl with rumpled white-blonde hair. They exchanged a smiling greeting. The blonde girl took me by surprise here. I would have surely thought that her face would crumple to dust with such an exertion of emotion!
Then I was surprised by the emotional tenor that took hold of Bella’s mind.I could only describe it as guarded.
Her mind was still rabid with color, but it was as if a light bulb had been let out above the left corner of the image. Her glowing internal light retracted from the touch of this cold empty space, and I found myself stricken with a mix of fear and fury as I watched. I mentally worked more nails into my feet.
Bella’s body began to lean away infinitesimally from the source of her mental chill. I followed the gap with my eyes until they fell upon him.
Inexplicably, I felt the urge to hurl myself at this boy; he could surely not be called a man. Although he was enormously tall, bulky in a way that belied his true age, his round baby face gave him away instantly.
I saw the sneer he directed towards the angel, and watched her mind's light dim in response. Intent, I searched for a reason behind this interaction, combing through the thoughts surrounding them, until...
"Can't see why he's still acting like such a JERK,” the blonde mentally shrieked the last word. "It was his own fault he came on so heavy... should have never tried to push her like that..."
AH! I felt my teeth snap together as I realized too late that my feet had ripped themselves free, and I was only two paces away from her. Something reminded me of vibrant autumn; her scent? It was like an orchard on a cool night... apples and the dying earth… a hint of smoke… I took another step, yearning to see those vibrant images again, to feel the warmth of her elation rolling over me...
Alice's placid mental tone still felt like a slap in the face as it pulled me from my reverie.
You must be careful…
I shook my head, turning back around to see the side of Bella’s face, talking over her shoulder, as she walked right into me.
Her body smacked off of mine, and I caught her by the waist before she had a chance to fall to the floor.
Her cold autumn and smoke scent surrounded me, enveloped me…
I smiled down at the fragile thing in my arms as she stared back wide-eyed.
"I... I'm so sorry!" she fumbled.
I continued to smile as her mind was awash with new images. I held back an amused laugh as my face became the focal point of an array of beautiful flowing designs.
Though reluctant to distance myself, I set her back on her feet with a slight smile, keeping my arm around her waist.
“Quite alright,” I soothed her as I swallowed back the venom seeping into my mouth.
I met her eyes, and I was lost. I had never before seen a creature of such immense beauty…
By means of a soft smile, she was bearing her heart and soul, and I drowned under their profound weight.
Like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time, I didn’t know how long I stared. It could have been mere seconds… or years for all her eyes conveyed.
In that instant I knew her. Not the superficial favorites and pet peeves, no those could wait...
In that instant I knew of the intensity with which she lived, of her love, and infinite kindness… Surely nothing wicked could live in eyes as soft as hers…
I watched as her smile intensified, her eyes widened slightly in confusion, eyebrows lifted.
I smiled back before gathering from Alice’s mind that I had been silent for four-and-a-half seconds.
Just long enough for silence to creep in… Oops.
“My name is Edward Cullen.” I let my arm drop from her waist, saddened by the lack of contact.
“I’m Bella. It’s nice to meet you, Edward. I’m very sorry for trying to tackle you like that.” Her cheeks turned a beautiful rose as she blushed.
“The fault is all mine, really…”
“So, Edward, I see you’ve met my friend, Bella!” Alice chirped.