"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 4836 Review this Chapter
I thought about fire in the sky.
I thought about love burning in your eyes.
It hurts that drops of fire would fall so precise,
and how everything else would lose its meaning.
What a beautiful, what a painful surprise.
“So Alice, I hope I’m not putting you on the spot here, but I can’t help but ask.” Bella leaned closer to her, grinning. “Have you seen anything interesting in my future?”
Alice’s answering smile was positively fiendish.
I shot her the most menacing glare I could manage and she giggled innocently in response.
I looked into Alice’s mind and was assaulted with a pulsing techno beat. She sang at the top of her mind’s voice, Buy it, use it, break it, fixit, trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it-
“What are you up to, Alice?” I snarled at a frequency inaudible to Bella.
Snap it, work it, quick erase it. She paused her singing. You told my secret, Edward Cullen. Now I get to tell yours!
“Alice,” Edward spat in warning.
She put up a tiny hand to silence him, a rather exasperated look on her face. They had some silent conversation with their eyes; after which he gave her a curt nod, and slightly relaxed his tense posture.
Alice turned to me, practically shaking with excitement. “Bella, in order to answer your question, I’ll first have to tell you a little bit more about Edward.”
With that he tensed again, clamping his clawed hands on his knees.
I had the strongest desire to go to him… To run a hand across his clenched jaw, to take his hands in mine and kiss away all of his fears.
Tiny Voice opened her mouth to speak, but closed it quickly; deciding that she was just as curious about how Edward’s seemingly perfect lips would feel. Only in the most platonic of ways! You know, for the sake of science, she added quickly.
I let out a loud “Hah!” and Alice and Edward both shot me quizzical glances.
“Edward, here,” Alice began slowly, as if gauging my stability. “Edward can read minds.”
The intense, icy prickling of utter shock ripped through my body. Blinding neon lights stabbed through the deepest recesses of my brain, pulsating with each frantic beat of my heart. I recalled his earlier words… ‘What if I could see you, Bella? Really see you like no one else has.’ He… was telling me that… he could see … my thoughts?! The madness that I had hidden from everyone I had ever known… and now he knew…
Wailing sirens erupted in my head. One minute to core meltdown! Tiny Voice was distraughtly whirling about a chaotic control room, flipping switches and pushing buttons. Mid-stride, I tripped her. You’re not helping! You’re just being a big fat distraction! I seethed.
Damn it! I really hope he didn’t hear that. Altercations with imaginary friends were probably a sure sign of madness.
Wait a minute! Tiny Voice exclaimed.
She wiggled a tooth dramatically, glaring at me. You’d be wise to not let that fall out.
She huffed before continuing, you don’t even know that it’s true. They might be messing with you! Make him prove it!
She had a point… And though I didn’t relish the idea of Edward verbalizing any of the craziness in my head, I had to know for sure…
I sighed heavily before beginning. “Prove it,” my words came, with surprising composure.
He smiled at me in reassurance, but the sly glimmer in his eyes caused my heart to stutter.
He rose from the couch and stood arm’s length away from me, leaning the upper portion of his body closer seductively.
His velvet and honey voice began singing slowly, “The time to hesitate is through, no time to wallow in the mire. Try now we can only loose, and our love become a funeral pyre…”
My heart leapt into my throat and I choked.
Oh dear God no! My Edward has Jim Morrison fantasies… SHIT!
He began slowly rolling his hips in time with the words, and I felt the blood rush to my face with such force I think my toes went numb.
Well, if that isn’t the hottest thing I’ve ever seen… Leather pants be damned!
I had to make him stop… A few more moments of this, and I couldn’t be held accountable for my actions.
“ASS!” I shrieked, hurling a couch cushion at him.
When it connected with his head, Alice and I broke out into hysterical laughter.
Alice leapt gracefully from her couch and began dragging me into the kitchen.
“Put on some music, Edward!” She called over her shoulder, then added quickly, “And no Doors!”
I dug out a bottle of tequila from the cabinet as Alice grabbed a set of shot glasses.
Tiny Voice opened her mouth to protest, but I was quick to silence her.
Don’t you start! My head is about to explode! I sneered at her, and being a creation of my mind, you know you’d be along for the ride! I smiled to myself at the image of Tiny Voice at the center of a very large mushroom cloud.
I had a feeling Edward would be asking me about the colorful goings-on in my head. That conversation would, undoubtedly, go more smoothly with slightly lowered inhibitions.
The first lines of Muse’s Time is Running Out drifted into the kitchen as Alice and I knocked back our shots.
I tucked the bottle under my arm, grabbed the glasses, and headed into the living room.
Alice began washing dishes intently, giving us some privacy. I wondered what sort of mortifying, entirely embarrassing vision she must have had. As much as I loved her, I had to admit that she was usually incredibly nosey.
I followed along with the lyrics intently, not wanting to divulge anymore inappropriate thoughts, and flopped onto my favorite couch.
I poured another shot and downed it quickly, singing along in my head I wanted freedom, bound and restricted. I tried to give you up, but I’m addicted.
I continued my careful singing as I asked, “So that’s how you found me, isn’t it?”
He nodded stiffly, and said “When I saw… Alice’s vision… I’ve never felt so panicked in my life, Bella. I nearly lost my mind in that parking lot.”
“Why?” The words tumbled from my mouth before I could stop them. Stupid, Bella!
He took in a deep breath. “I feel very… protective… of you.”
The thoughts ran through my head at an unbelievably fast pace, punctuated by painful jabs of color. What in the hell does that mean? Does he like me? No, he must just be… being nice? Fuck! What is going on?! But I want him to like me. SHIT! SHUT UP, BELLA!
Noting my silence, he smiled that fucking gorgeously crooked smile.
“By the way, Alice,” he called into the kitchen, “thank you for fixing the door.”
“It wasn’t me. Thank Tanya.”
I felt my eyes narrow into tiny slits as I clenched the shot glass.
Alice was suddenly beside me, her tiny hand prying mine away from the glass.
I swear I heard her mutter a quick “I’m sorry,” to Edward, but I couldn’t be sure.
“Please be careful, Bella. I really don’t want you to cut yourself.”
With that she went back to the kitchen.
I very carefully poured another shot and offered it to Edward; he swiftly declined.
I tipped the glass back and set it back on the table.
Danzig’s gravelly voice filled the room as he wailed out the words to Mother. I resisted the urge to start singing along.
Tiny Voice gaped in horror. Control yourself, you drunkard! A few more shots and you’ll be dancing on that coffee table! I snorted in response and turned my attention back to the devastatingly handsome man sitting before me.
“So who is Tanya, anyway?” I couldn’t help the venomous tone that leaked into my voice.
He gave me a sad little smile. “She’s a family-friend of ours. She lives in Alaska with her sisters, but she called a few weeks ago, and told us that she’d be visiting for a few days. She said something about looking into the schools out here.”
She’s a lying bitch, she just wants in his pants! Tiny Voice was irate.
Sometimes you’re not so bad, you know. I gave her a pat on the back as she began flipping through a large leather-bound book entitled Medieval Torture Techniques.
“Bella,” he spoke softly, his voice laced with pain and regret, “I need to apologize for what happened. I need you to know… that I never meant to make you feel the way I did.”
Damn Strawberry Bitch. I’d love nothing more than to break both of her hands for that little stunt in the kitchen. All the colors of fire roared through my mind; they blistered against my skin and made my mouth run dry, consuming me in their terrible fury.
Edward stiffened and shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
I shook my head to clear it. “Can you… Can you see that?”
“I can feel it, too Bella. How do you stand it? Being subjected to such… intensity all of the time?”
I lifted a full shot glass in the air and gave it a gentle wave before swiftly downing it.
I folded my hands in my lap and began to wring them furiously, unable to even look at him as I spoke. “It’s just… That was quite the mind-fuck, Edward. Why on earth would you… I mean, you just stood there and did nothing. If you were trying to upset me, you did a hell of a job.”
“No, Bella. I would never do that on purpose. I can’t even express to you how remorseful I am for not being more attentive. It hurt me more than you could ever know to cause you such anguish. I was just so consumed with what you were thinking that I didn’t even hear her.” I could feel his pleading eyes on me, but I couldn’t bear to meet them. “I was so shocked and so fucking angry with her, I couldn’t move without… harming her.”
“Someone needs to,” I seethed.
He gave me another sad smile. “I’m not asking you to forgive me, Bella. My actions were far too reprehensible to expect that. I just need you to understand that it was never my intention to hurt you.”
I finally looked up at him, only to be met with a look of tormented agony that mirrored my own. I would give anything in the world to never see that look on his face again.
It’s his own damn fault! Don’t let him trick you again! Tiny Voice was right… but I ignored her anyway.
“So what, did you guys used to date or something?” I tried to appear nonchalant… tried and failed.
The idea of him actually enjoying her touch was positively nauseating, but the idea of him having any sort of feelings for her was even worse.
“Absolutely not. I don’t date,” he said firmly.
I gave him a quizzical look.
“Ever? I find that hard to believe,” the sadness in my voice betrayed the disappointment that I felt.
“Not that I wouldn’t,” he rushed, earning a barely repressed smile from me. “It’s just that most women don’t really appeal to me, especially mentally,” he groaned.
I almost felt bad for him… Given his godlike appearance, I was sure that the thoughts of most females around him were… less than pure. I then felt a sudden rush of jealous anger. Damn bimbos ogling what’s mine! Or what should be.
“Tanya is a trifling wretch. I’m more of a … conquest to her than anything else.”
I giggled at his assessment.
His features darkened, and his voice was intense with emotion as he spoke, “I need you to know how terribly sorry I am, Bella. I’ll do anything in my power to make it right, even if you say that means keeping my distance.”
“NO!” I shouted much too loudly. My face contorted into a mask of horror at the very thought of him being away from me.
He smiled slightly, and gave me an affirmative nod.
The notion of a world with no Edward was positively horrendous! I realized then that I needed him, the importance of his presence ranked right alongside air and water; it was in that moment that I forgave his every transgression.
He was still an ass, but I knew that I couldn’t live without him.
“I also need you to know… that I’ve never been so enthralled with anyone as I am with you. No other woman could ever compare.”
WAIT, WHAT?! My mind was reeling… did he actually just confess to liking me?! Worst of all… despite his dickish actions with the Strawberry Bitch… I was far from opposed to the idea.
I took long, ragged breaths of air, and dug my nails into my palms, trying so damn hard to bring myself back to reality; to save myself from the weight of his statement as it threatened to drown me.
I needed a distraction or I was going to spontaneously combust.
“So what exactly can you hear from me?” I asked, pointing at my head.
He paused a bit longer than I liked before beginning. “Everything that you can… All of those colors, and their associated feelings and sounds.” He paused again. “I can’t hear your thoughts, though. Any actual words are completely lost.”
“Oh thank god,” I mumbled softly, eliciting a chuckle from him.
“I think that’s because your mind operates on a more image-oriented level. It’s so much different, so much more distinct than any other mind.” His eyes locked with mine.
“So my brain doesn’t work right?” He just confirmed what I had always known.
“I tell you that I can read minds, and you think you’re weird?” He asked, incredulous.
“I’m glad that my crazy mind amuses you,” I scoffed.
“It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he whispered, almost reverently.
You’ve obviously never looked in a mirror.
His smile was triumphant.
“Hey!” I yelled. “You said you couldn’t hear that!”
“I can hear the words that you say aloud, love.”
Son of a bitch! It’s his fault for being so damn… dazzling.
“Do you know why?” he asked gently.
“Why your marvelous mind works in the way that it does. I’ve met plenty of artists, but their minds pale in creative comparison.”
“I’ve… looked into it. A little…”
I never went to a doctor. I was certain that admitting to my internal goings-on would result in a one-way ticket to the loony-bin. So why was I confessing this to him?
It’s because you trust him, silly. Oh, right, that!
“I figure that I’m somewhere in between synesthesia and madness. I don’t really care to know anything more specific than that.”
He took on a thoughtful look and I felt suddenly stripped naked by my confession.
“I need to step outside for a moment.” I stood and dug the cigarettes from my pocket.
I turned to the front door, and he was already there, opening it for me.
“Damn it! Don’t… don’t do that. You’re going to give me a heart attack!” I wailed and stomped my foot.
He pressed his lips into a thin line to hide his smile.
I took a glance at the door, and saw the shiny new hinges, and slightly mangled door handle. “W-what did you do to the door?” I stammered.
He grimaced, “I was a bit careless in my dispatch…”
“‘Careless’ with a door usually means that you slam your hand in it, or hit yourself in the face.” I blushed slightly, recalling self-inflicted door injuries of my own. “Not rendering it free of its frame, and doing whatever in the hell you’ve done to the handle.”
He opened his mouth to speak but I put up my hand and mumbled a quick “never mind.”
Maybe he’s got some crazy biomechanical thing going on. That would certainly explain the icy, hardened skin. Whatever, I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough, but first I need a freekin’ smoke.
I'd do anything to have her to myself,
Just to have her for myself.
…She is everything to me,
The unrequited dream,
The song that no one sings,
She's a myth that I have to believe in,
All I need to make it real is one more reason.
I was totally consumed by my panic. I would have to reveal my true nature to her soon; which meant my greatest fears were about to be realized. She would certainly run, screaming from the house the moment we told her. What other reaction could be expected? Of course, that beautiful mind of hers is always full of surprises.
No. It was best to not get my hopes up and simply prepare for the worst.
You’d best savor these last moments with her, then. My damn sensible side was smug.
“You shouldn’t do that,” I mumbled as Bella lit a cigarette. “It really is bad for your health.”
Though it does wonders in masking that delectable scent of yours…
She shot me a frosty glare, but the hues of her mind remained placid.
I heard Alice banging about in the kitchen, occupying herself with mediocre tasks to give us some semblance of privacy.
Of course she heard our entire conversation, anyway. I heard her squeals of delight when Bella had, essentially, called me beautiful. I doubt she’ll see me as such when she learns of my… dietary habits.
Edward! Alice’s voice chimed in my head. We’re going to tell her when she comes back inside. Don’t worry, it should all go smoothly. Then she was back to singing, rather obnoxiously, the words to Technologic.
SHOULD?! Since when did Alice use words like “should”?!
“That’s rather rude, you know,” Bella said playfully.
“I’m sorry, what is?”
“My mother always told me that whispering was rude. I have to think the same can be said for those little silent conversations of yours.”
My mouth dropped open in surprise. Clever girl.
“I can’t get anything past you, can I?”
“Nope,” she said, popping the ‘p’, as she stooped to put out her cigarette.
I opened the door for her. She brushed past me and I felt my skin tingle at the minuscule contact.
Excess began playing as she made her way to the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but be entranced by the way she unconsciously swayed her hips in time with the song.
She and Alice made their way to the living room and sat down.
Bella took a long drink from a bottle of water, tipping her head back, exposing the slender column of her throat as she swallowed.
God. Something so simple shouldn’t be so incredibly erotic.
She licked her lips and I found myself stifling yet another groan.
Alice shot me a devious grin before turning to Bella.
“I imagine you have a few questions left for us,” she stated simply.
Bella nodded slowly, almost cautiously. “I’d have to be incredibly dense to not notice… certain things. I’ve been living here for a few weeks, but not once have I seen you eat or drink anything. Your skin is pale white and ice cold. Your physical strength is obviously immense, and then there are your various… talents. You always stay inside when the sun comes out, and your eyes change color.” She counted our oddities on each finger, as if she was simply recalling a grocery list. “I’ve known that there was something... odd… about you and your family since… Well, since we met, I suppose. But I’ve held my tongue, because I figured you would tell me eventually. Though, I must admit, my curiosity has been very hard to control.”
Alice was bouncing excitedly in place, “Why don’t you tell us some of your theories?”
Bella blushed and looked down at her feet. “They’re not very original. Very Marvel-comicy, like X-men and radioactivity…”
I couldn’t hold back my laughter. “Oh, Bella! I would have expected something much more creative from you.”
“So why don’t you tell me the truth, then?” she huffed indignantly.
I willed my face to remain stoic, despite the fear rippling through me.
“We’re um,” I let out a nervous chuckle. “We’re vampires, Bella.”
“Vampires,” she said softly. “Like coffins and dungeons and motes?”
I cringed as I met her wide, expectant eyes. She looked to me, as if waiting for me to renounce the claim, to laugh it all away as some poorly-planned joke. Her mind was positively electrified with shock, and no doubt fear.
This was it… I was one little ‘yes’ away from the love of my existence running from me; screaming in fear of the monster I had always known myself to be.
If I was still capable of tears, they would’ve surely been pouring down my face. The laws were clear, humans were never to know our secret if they couldn’t be trusted. So would we have to restrain her, in order to save her life? How will she ever trust me, then?
Then her voice echoed throughout the otherwise silent room. “Then how can you go out in the daytime?”
Alice and I exchanged shocked glances. I didn’t see that one coming, she admitted.
“We- that is… our skin…” I shook my head at a total loss for words.
“The sun doesn’t hurt us, Bella. But it does reveal us for what we are.”
Noting Bella’s look of confusion, she added, “Edward will show you sometime.”
“Uh-huh,” Bella nodded slowly. “So do you drink blood?” She wrinkled her nose delicately.
“Yes. But our family- we’re different from others of our kind. We only hunt animals.” I spoke slowly, reassuringly.
“Oh good!” She let out the breath of air she had been holding.
“You still should have told me earlier. It’s rather unnerving to learn that I’ve been living in a house full of vampires!” Alice sat next to her, and Bella nudged her playfully. “But I think that’s better than robots. It’s more interesting, anyway!”
My eyes widened in shock. No amount of speculation should have been able to prepare her for this, yet there she sat, joking about it! I had to make her see the danger she was in. The danger Alice had put her in.
“We don’t drink from humans… But we still pose you a grave threat. We arekillers, Bella. Never forget that.”
Alice hissed at me in annoyance.
Her voice rang firmly in my mind, Stop being such a DUMBASS, Edward! Don’t you see how well she’s taking this? Do you want her to run away?!
“It’s okay, Edward. I trust you both,” she smiled at Alice. “So, Rose and Emmett, and Carlisle and Esme…” she trailed off.
“Yep! Carlisle changed us! Well, all accept Jasper. We were all-” I cut her off with a soft growl.
I didn’t want Bella to hear about that… She didn’t need to know anything about our transformations. Ever.
Alice huffed at me.
“Do you all have special talents?”
“No. You already know about Alice and I, and Jasper can feel and manipulate emotions; but gifts like that are more the exception than the rule.”
Her eyes widened in recognition. “That day you came back! And I felt so calm despite the situation… That was Jasper?”
I nodded as Alice spoke, “We each carry our strongest traits into this life, where they are greatly amplified. Jasper was very charismatic in his human life.”
“Is there anything… else that I should know? Or, maybe, be careful of?” Bella asked quietly.
“Just try not to, you know… open up a vein or anything. Especially around Jasper. He’s still new to our way of life, and his self control is not where it should be,” I said, ignoring Alice’s icy stare.
Bella nodded, but otherwise remained silent. She poured herself another shot.
“Oh! What happens when you drink, Alice?”
Alice made a disgusted face, “Nothing happens... Save for having to gag it back up later. Human food to us is… rather repulsive, kind of like eating dirt.”
Bella giggled, “I ate dirt once, on a dare.”
“You are a very, very strange creature, Bella Swan,” I breathed.
She smiled shyly, and then gave Alice a hug and a meaningful look before standing.
“I um, I have something to show you, Edward,” she motioned to the staircase that lead to the second floor.
Alice’s silent giggle echoed through my mind as I picked Bella up and ran with her upstairs.
“Sorry,” I mumbled as I set her on her feet. “It’s too easy to be myself around you… and I’m just so… I’m excited?”
In that moment, I could have never accurately described the feeling… I was swimming in a sea of elation. Happiness I hadn’t felt in so long consumed me, completely disrupting my usually eloquent speaking abilities… There wasn’t another creature on the planet that could have made me feel that way, and it was in that instant that I knew, without a shred out doubt, that I loved her.
I smiled to myself. If Jasper had been home, he’d probably be bouncing off the walls, giggling like a schoolgirl.
“You didn’t run, Bella,” I marveled, barely above a whisper.
Her answering laughter was glorious… as if fearing me was the most ludicrous concept ever conceived.
“Why on earth would I do that? I told you, I trust you.” She grabbed my hand and entwined our fingers.
I raised our joined hands to my lips and carefully brushed a kiss across her knuckles.
I paused, and watched in amazement as the hues of her mind intensified. They grew brighter, swelling to consume her every thought as a tangible sense of sheer bliss radiated from her. She smiled, and the frantic pulsing of color became noticeably louder… or was that her heart?
She stood on the tips of her toes and gently bounced up to plant a quick kiss on my cheek.
She shot me a shy look before staring intently at her feet; she then drew her lower lip between her teeth and began gnawing at it. I smiled down at her and ran my thumb across her lip, freeing it from those abusive teeth.
If it takes the rest of my existence, I will make myself worthy of this strange, glorious creature.
She looked up at me, and I was locked in her starry-eyed gaze. “I still have something to show you,” she breathed.
She moved to open the door, but before she could reach the handle, I swiftly repositioned her. With her back pressed flush against the door, I pinned her there with my body. She was looking at my eyes, but her mind was totally occupied with images of my lips. A small version of Bella was halted mid-stride, shouting and gesturing wildly at my mouth. I chuckled softly; I should have known Bella’s conscious would have a visual representation.
I moved in slowly, ensuring total control over the monster within, and lightly brushed my lips against hers. I skimmed my nose along her jaw, torturing myself with her scent. I lifted my lips to her ear and softly whispered, “You’re going to have to get used to being treated like a lady. At least as far as doors go…” before snaking my hand around her waist, and opening the door with the other.
She gave me a cute little pout before disentangling herself from me, and walked into the room.
The air was heavily saturated with her autumnal scent; somehow I only caught the briefest hint of smoke. I choked back the venom that began seeping into my mouth.
Just ignore the fact that you’re in her room… Her wonderfully scented room. Just the two of you.
I preoccupied myself by mentally cataloguing everything in sight.
Her room was oddly decorated in a mixture of contemporary and baroque pieces of furniture. A large collection of vinyl records and CDs were scattered in stacks around the room, along with an array of different art media. It somehow gave the room a comforting note of chaos. Gingerbread Coffin softly tinkled through the stereo sitting atop her dresser, where the drawers were slung open, and stuffed with papers, rather than clothes. Several beautiful paintings adorned the dark purple walls, but my eyes were instantly drawn to the one hanging above her bed.
A mix of blue, amber, and white swirled around an incredibly intricate filigree-style pattern, flecked with bits of gold and streaks of copper paint. It was almost like a sunset, but colored in cool tones, and embellished in a way that only Bella’s mind was capable of. The piece was abstract in nature, but I instantly knew what it was. I had seen the same image flash through Bella’s mind many times...
Her voice came softly from the opposite corner of the room. “It’s what I see when I’m with you.”