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"I am Anthony Mason, Edward Anthony Mason Cullen for that matter, and those books are not only stories, not fiction nor fantasy, they are my journals, my life and all of my horrid mistakes."-Bound Edward Cullen is a world renowned author of the famous Dusk series. His haunting stories tell the tale of Anthony Mason, a young boy living in Chicago in the early nineteen hundreds, who is turned into a vampire while dying of the Spanish Influenza.In reality his books retell his life story.Edward thinks has hidden his, and his family's, secrets well until one girl finds the connection between author and character and turns his life upside down.

Disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyer and do not therefore the owner of any of her characters. I do not own the rights to People oe Teen Vogue Magazine either.

6. Wounded

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I watched the angel as she slept, hair splayed across the pillow, lips parted in silent murmurs. I had hoped that her mind might be more open in rest, with her defences down, but it remained as impenetrable as ever. “Still, I continued to stay beside her. She calmed me, and I felt the absurd need to protect this magnet for danger.”

This had become routine over the past few days: when Bella fell asleep, our masks came off and everything returned to normal. My family continued with their regular nocturnal activities while I volunteered to watch Bella. Nights were easy; it was the days that were difficult. We were forbidden to be outside because of the continuous snow – not that it would have stopped a vampire, but we were forced to keep up appearances for Bella’s sake, pretending to distract ourselves with inane human activities. We watched TV and movies, played video and board games, and force-fed ourselves human food. Bella seemed to be content with watching us squabble over who won or curling up in the corner with a book. She spent some time with her laptop as well, typing up her article I suppose.

The shy girl fit well into our family. Her fiery side came in handy and proved to be quite comical. It was as if a kitten was trying to be a lion.

The other day, when our activities had come to a lull, Alice had decided it would be fun to give our guest a makeover. After much begging, she finally succeeding in convincing Bella that it would be fun. They spent an hour having ‘girl time’ before I thought that I should check on the poor girl.

I found them in front of Alice’s closet. Alice was upset because Bella was refusing to put on a very small dress. I watched in amusement as they argued.

“I’m not putting that on. Why would that fit when nothing else did?” demanded Bella.

“That’s not fair Bella. It will look great on you!”

Bella shook her head persistently.

“Life isn’t fair, Alice!” she exclaimed, “You’re just going to have to build a bridge and get over it.”

With that Bella stormed out of the room, leaving a very confused Alice. My sister turned to me expecting an answer for our guest’s behaviour. I shrugged with a laugh before leaving in search of a very mad Bella.

Yes, everything seemed to be going wonderfully. The only fly in the ointment was the expression Bella made at times, like she was trying to piece something together but was missing one crucial detail.

These are the things I thought about as I watched her the first few days of her stay with us. After a while, she began to stir restlessly, and I left her and ran up to my room . I changed my clothes and sprinted to the kitchen making her some breakfast before she had made it out of bed.

She sauntered into the kitchen half an hour later, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, and took a seat at the bar.

“Good morning.” I smiled from the stove as I flipped a pancake. I had picked up a few useful things from the Food Network in the last few days in regards to cooking.

She scrunched her nose, “How is it possible for you to be so awake this early?”

I laughed. “Just a talent I guess.” She leaned in closer, scrutinize me.

“That looks delicious," she said, nodding towards the pan in my hand.

“I hope you like pancakes,” I said, “because that is the extent of my breakfast repertoire.”

She nodded and eagerly began to eat.

“Where is everyone?” she wondered out loud, fork midair. “Should I have waited for them?”

“Unfortunately the rest of the family appears to have caught Rosalie’s bug, so they are resting in their rooms. It is just you and I today.” In truth we had gone much too long without hunting. Our eyes had darkened to a deep brown, which was far too dangerous with a human in the house. I had insisted that the whole family take the day to go on a hunting trip under the pretence of an illness. It was the least I could do to thank them. I was to go tonight, after they had returned.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“They assured me that they just needed to rest. Why don’t you go and get dressed, and we can find something to occupy ourselves with.”

She scrambled to her feet and up the stairs to her room.

Sighing, I washed the few dishes at top speed and went to take a seat at my piano beginning to play. Playing the piano had always been one of my favourite things to do but new inspiration had hit and called me over to the ivory keys.

The melody was sweet yet sad, a lullaby, but I had not been able to find a proper ending for it. The haunting notes filled the empty house, taking my mind for themselves as I tuned out of the world. I was so rare that I had the opportunity to relish this kind of mental silence.

My concentration was broken when I came to the unfinished end.

“It’s beautiful!” a voice exclaimed “What’s it called?”

I had forgotten about Bella.

“I’m not sure.” I admitted, earning a confused look. “I wrote it, but it’s still incomplete so I have not named it yet.”

“You made that?” she asked in disbelief. “You, Mr. Cullen, are a man of many hidden talents and secrets, I feel.” She looked to the floor, suddenly shy. “Do you think you could teach me?”

I was stunned at her request but agreed, sliding to the far end of the bench to make room.

She sat down next to me, and I turned my upper body to face her. “What would you like to learn?” I queried.

“Do you know Clair de Lune? It’s one of my favourite pieces.”

I nodded, the notes of the piece flowing though my mind as soon as she spoke the name. Like for most pieces, I did not have sheet music for Clair de Lune. I played almost everything from memory, but this would be impossible to cover up if I agreed to teach Bella. She would need it to be able to play. “I’ll have to grab the sheet music from my room.” I lied, before heading up the stairs after I had received her consent.

I ghosted through the room in search for any unused sheet music I possessed, finding a few loose papers in the bottom of a drawer. I drafted the entirety of Clair de Lune on the cream paper and ran back down to the piano bench. Placing my hands lightly on the keys I showed her the first position.

She was a fast learner and soon was able to play what would have been equivalent to the first few pages of sheet music with little mistake. We played together - I was the bass and she was treble, our hands dancing from key to key. Her concentration was admirable and her laughter contagious.

“Do you play an instrument?” I queried.

“I’ve played around with a few but nothing ever really stuck.”

I nodded in understanding. “I have tried a couple different instruments as well but I always find myself coming back to the piano. I always liked the way you could portray emotion in the different undertones of the music. It is like telling a story.”

It was well into the afternoon when we jolted to a stop, hitting a foul note. Her fragile and delicate hand had bumped into my own frozen granite, causing her to tear hers away with a quick intake of breath.

We stared at each other, wide eyed, as she cradled her hand to her chest.

“Are you alright?” Concern edged into my voice.

She nodded almost dazed as a concentrated look came over her.

“Are you sick? You're freezing and your eyes...” She reached her hand towards my face before catching herself halfway into the motion. She withdrew it again, cradling it to her chest, deep in thought.

“Do you mind if I ask you something?”

I nodded, foolishly encouraging her without knowing where my consent would lead us.

“Does all your family wear contacts?”

“No, none of us do. Why?”

“You all have the strangest colour of eyes, almost a gold or topaz., I've never seen before, and half of you aren't related. To top it off, today your eyes are like onyx and it looks like you haven’t slept in years.”

She was very observant.

“It's because of our diet,” I blurted unthinkingly. “We are a special type of vegetarian and the excess amount of certain vitamins in the foods we have to eat tint our eye colour.” I spoke quickly hoping I was sounding even the slightest bit convincing. “And I did not sleep very well last night.”

She seemed to think that over momentarily before deciding to swallow the lie.

We sat on the bench awkwardly as I tried to grasp at straws for something to say. A glint of light off Bella’s wrist caught my eye and I focused my gaze on the metal links that encircled her thin arm. It was a simple charm bracelet with a carved wooden wolf swinging from one side. I could see etchings in the wood but her fingers covered too much for me to decipher the scrawl.

“That is a nice bracelet.” I commented, indicating her wrist.

A small smile played on her lips as she fingered the charm. “Thanks, my friend made it for me for my birthday.”

“Your friend?”

“Yes, I mentioned I grew up in the area right? The wolf is kind of an inside story for us, a joke from our childhood.” She looked at the wolf lovingly and then paused, her brow puckering. “Do you think I could use your kitchen? I want to make soup for everyone.”

“Would you like some help?”

I followed her to the kitchen, reminding her that I did not know how to cook very well. She instructed me to put on a pot of boiling water as she began to chop vegetables.

“I think we are ready over here,” I announced when the water came to a steady boil.

“Excellent,” she said, picking up the vegetable covered cutting board and a knife before making her way toward the stove.

Then she tripped.

Out of instinct I dove out to catch her, afraid that she would injure herself. I wrapped my arms around her fragile form as she crashed into me, doing my best not to jostle her.

I held Bella closely to steady her and her frantic heart beat. She pulled away after a minute, keeping her hands on me for balance, looking down to check that all was well. She hadn’t been impaled by the knife, to my relief. I was proud that I had managed to catch Bella without harming her.

A horrible gasp of panic tore from her mouth, filling me with worry. I followed her gaze downwards. I thought at first she was upset because her vegetables had been thrown all over the floor due to her fall but then I noticed the true problem: the handle of knife was sticking out through my shirt at my lower abdomen. I hadn’t even felt it touch me.

I looked up at a watery eyed Bella whose hand was covering her lips in horror.

Holding her gaze I said as gently as possible, “Bella I think you need to sit down.”

Bella shook her head and with a small hiccup moved towards me.

I raised my arms in a way that was meant to say ‘stay away’ and took a step back. “Isabella, I assure you I am fine just please…” She cut me off with a yell.

“Help, please help! Carlisle!” she ran for the stairs trying to find Carlisle so he could help me. Why did we have to tell her that he was a doctor?

Pinching my nose, I sighed and removed the knife. The metal blade had been no match for my skin and had folded on impact. I hadn’t even been scratched. I restored the blade to its previous glory with my hands, sliding it back onto the counter. As a last though I stripped off my shirt and threw it into the trash. Knowing Bella, she would not believe me and try to find a tear in my shirt. It was better to dispose of any evidence. I ran after her then because it would be unfortunate, to say the least, if she discovered my family was missing.

I found her at the top off the stairs, voice hoarse and skin blotchy from tears.

“Bella, Bella,” I murmured when I caught up. “Shh, what’s wrong? You are going to wake everyone up.”

She did not turn around to face me.

“I think you should sit down Edward, I need to go and get Carlisle. I can’t help, I’m terrified of blood.” I almost broke my cover because I was stunned by the irony. At least that explained her refusal to look at me.

“Why?” I asked, playing confusion. She was losing her patience now.

“Because I just stabbed you, that’s why. I’m pretty sure a doctor is the bare minimum requirement when someone get’s stabbed.”

“Are you feeling ill Bella? Maybe you should rest for a while. I can manage with the soup.”

“I’m fine and I am not about to leave you like this,” Bella seethed as she turned, jabbing her finger towards my stomach. Her rant cut short as I looked at her curiously. “But I thought… I saw…” She stuttered slumping onto the satires in what I hoped was defeat. Carefully averting her eyes from me she sat evening out her breathing before mumbling, “Where is your shirt Edward?”

“The vegetables stained it I was going to change. Are you sure you are alright?”

She nodded so I continued my way down the hall.

“Edward,” Bella whispered. I stopped dead in my tracks even though I was out of a human’s normal hearing range. “I know what I saw.” With that she stood and returned to the kitchen. I really hoped she had been talking to herself.

The rest of the day was awkward. Bella was trying to put on a normal face but I could tell that something was bothering her. We ate our soup in silence and then Bella annouced she was tired and went to bed early after I assured her I would take soup to my family.

She was infuriating! Why could she not just accept the lies I fed her? She wanted so badly to be right, and she was, but we were both too determined to submit to the other.

I could tell she knew something was off. That we were not normal. She had probably picking up traces of the truth from my books. It wouldn't be long before she connected the dots. I really hoped she did not find the missing piece of the puzzle before she left. I could only imagine what it would mean for both us and her.

Of course out of all my readers, it had to be innocent Bella who figured it out. I would truly mourn her if she did not survive because I could tell I was becoming attached.

I tried to justify the actions that had lead to this impasse by reminding myself that I had saved her life once again. It seemed to be becoming a habit. She could have cut herself, I thought, and I would not have been able to resist her blood. This did not exactly reassure me.

Something was off. I may not be able to read her mind but I could tell that much. It was silent upstairs and Bella’s breathing was even so despite my better judgement, I went to her.

Something had clearly been frustrating her as well because she turned uneasily in her sleep, tangling the sheets. I went around to the far side of the bed and loosened them to cover her body properly with the thin cotton. The bracelet caught my eye again and I leaned forward to inspect the charm ignoring my better judgment.

It read: Jacob

Fury rose inside of me. Irritation that someone had staked a claim on my Bella let alone a boy. I flew from the room and back down stairs.

She was taken. Not mine. Once the snow passed Bella would leave and I would most likely never see her again. Isn’t that what I had wanted?

A growl erupted from my chest, one of anger and agitation. I was mad at dog boy, even if he was her friend. He clearly had her admiration and an importance in her life. What was I in comparison to that? An acquaintance at best, but I suddenly felt the need to have more.

The girl was maddening but there was something about Bella that drew me to her. She was clearly an attractive girl and the silence that followed her was relaxing but there was more than it to that. Something in her laugh and that line between her brow, something that made me wish that the bracelet that claimed her wrist was mine. Something that made me pull at the roots of my hair in frustration and confused me to the point of no return.

Her strange mood was clearly getting to me and I threw things around the kitchen violently in attempts to clean, until everyone came home soon after midnight, eyes golden and smiles plastered on their faces. Their thoughts were content. They found me sitting cross legged on the counter.

“Glad to see your feeling better. Soup is in the fridge, enjoy.” I bit out.

And then I ran.