The day that it all began was just like the day before. The sun rose and quickly fell behind the clouds. Then came the rain. People worked, laughed, cried, lived and died. Just like every other day. Until there was her. I am nothing. I am no one. I am just a mirage...
1. Send the Rain
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Send the Rain
The day that it all began was just like the day before. The sun slowly began its ascension from the Eastern horizon. And as usual, in the small town of Forks, a think blanket of clouds turned the sky grey and showered the land with lavish raindrops. People worked. People laughed. People cried. People lived. And people died. Just like every other day. Almost.
The rays of the sun were blocked behind the thick gray clouds but with my advanced eye sight I could see the faint halo surrounding the clouds and knew it was there. I always looked forward to mornings. Nights were so long and boring. I almost missed being able to sleep. I don’t remember much of my human life so I really don’t know what it was like to be able to spend the nights curled up in my bed allowing my mind to fill with dreams. But when I watch the humans do it, it always looks so peaceful. They look happy and serene. And I wish I could have that back. My moments being peaceful and happy and serene were almost nonexistent. Especially at night.
My family of vegetarian vampires we worked so hard to keep up the appearance of being human. That meant spending the nights looked inside the house with little to do. Well, little to do for me. The rest of the house was filled with couples that liked to spend the nights the same way humans do, in bed together celebrating their love for one another. I was left in a dark and pretty much empty house.
I had spent the night like I did on most nights, at my piano. I was trying to compose a new song but seemed to be lacking the proper motivation. I hadn’t been able to write a new song for a while now. And I know my lack of interest in the piano has had Esme worried. Even if she isn’t my biological mother, she still worries just as much. So I had decided to help appease her and spent the long nights seated at the piano, my fingers lazily plucking at the keys. Once upon a time it came so easily to me. I could compose a new piece almost every night. But for the past few weeks…months…years… (You being to lose count after awhile) nothing was happening. The music wasn’t coming. My mind couldn’t do anything more than play the tunes that I had already committed to memory.
So when the sun finally began to rise and my family began to, for lack of a better word, ‘wake’, I released a heavy sigh. And then it quickly became like every other morning in the Cullen household. We kept a hold onto what was left of our human existence and began the morning ritual as if we would have before we were changed. Without even trying (my gift for hearing thoughts can be both a blessing and a curse) I could tell exactly how the day was beginning for the rest of my family. Carlisle and Esme embraced lovingly as they both prepared for work. Rosalie stared at her reflection in the mirror, reveling in her remarkable beauty. Emmett and Jasper quickly moved into the living room with me and again began playing their video game system again. And lastly, Alice was standing in the middle of her closet (that was close to the size of a small house) admiring her collection of clothes and contemplating on what to wear. And just as her petite fingers reached for a powder blue dress she froze, her eyes glazing over as a vision overcame her. And just as she watched it play out in her mind, so did I. A small girl wandering around a thick patch of woods. The same vision that has been plaguing her all week. "She’s coming," the words roughly fumbled from my sister’s lips softer than a whisper but it was still able to catch the attention of everyone in the house.
"More like she’s here," Rosalie snickered, not moving away from her reflection. "You’re a little late, Alice. I can already hear her rustling through the woods."
Emmett and Jasper abandoned their game and moved towards the window, one small stray ray of sunlight filtered through the thick blanket of clouds and illuminated Emmett’s pale skin as he scanned through the trees looked for her. "What’s taking so long?" he questioned. "Alice has been seeing this for weeks. I want to know what the big deal is."
"It’s probably nothing," Jasper said with a sigh. "You know how Alice’s visions go. Last week her mind was so focused on the drought in Texas that she missed the best storm of the year so far," He joked, still trying to sound angry.
"And I said I was sorry," Alice defended as she ran down the staircase. "I don’t always have control over these things. Sometimes I don’t control the visions, they control me. You should know that by now," she pouted. "And I’m so glad that you’re still not bitter about it." She made a face at her husband.
"She seems to be in no hurry to meet us," Rose said jumping down the long flight of stairs and gracefully landing on her feet, not a hair on her head out of place. "She is moving at a slow human pace."
"Is she being followed?" Carlisle asked as he joined the gathering group at the window.
Alice shook her head appearing behind everyone. "I would have seen that," she insisted, standing on the tops of her toes to peer out the window and scan through the trees to find the mystery woman.
"I still don’t see what the big deal is," Rosalie sighed. "We get visitors all the time." She sat down on the sofa and stared at her freshly painted blood red fingernails.
"She’s different," Alice chirped.
"She scared," Jasper added softly.
"Scared?" Esme questioned, finally joining the large group at the window. "What on earth for?"
It was amusing how sometimes my family got wrapped up in so many little trivial things that they forgot to look for the bigger things sometimes. They all depended on Alice’s visions so much that they forgot how inaccurate they can be sometimes. I chuckled and everyone turned to face me, finally realizing that I was in the room with them. My fingers nipped casually at the piano keys, trying to find the appropriate music for the current situation. I settled on something soft yet dramatic as I spoke. "She’s human," I announced. A heavy silence filled spread throughout the room. My family held their breathing and listened intently for the proof that they needed. First there was the soft falling of raindrops. Then there was the scurrying of small animals in the distance. Next came the gentle whispering of the wind through the trees. Followed by the slow and heavy feet trampling through the think and damp fallen autumn leaves. But lastly, and most importantly, they heard the soft and steady rhythm of a beating human heart.
"That’s not possible," Alice whispered, falling from her tiptoes. "I saw it. She was…" she trailed off as another vision took over her mind. "Sometime changed."
"Yes," Rosalie sneered in disgust. "We now have a human wondering around our yard."
Emmett smirked and looked over his shoulder at his family. "I hope no one’s hungry."
Rosalie rolled her eyes at her husband. "You’re really not that funny." Her attention returned to her perfectly manicured fingernails. "How do we get rid of her?"
We all ignored Rosalie, that was always the easiest thing to do. She was typically a little bitchy at times. But when it came to humans she could be downright nasty. It always made me question how Emmett could put up with her all the time.
"Human?" Alice mused again, her face drawn in a sad pout. "How did I miss it?"
"Even you can be wrong sometimes," I smirked, standing from my piano bench and wrapping my arm around Alice’s petite shoulders.
Slowly my family began to lose interest in the mystery woman and scattered. Emmett sat beside Rosalie and offered her an apologetic look. He's so whipped. Jasper started to back away but Alice gripped him tightly. "We should help her," she said quietly. "It’s raining. And it’s cold. She must be lost. And you said she was scared," Alice tried to reason.
The gentle roaring of approaching thunder sounded through the room. "Help her? How about we forget about her and ready for a ball game?" Rosalie suggested.
"Hell yeah," Emmett chimed in.
"Jasper," Alice softly pleaded with her husband. "Please?"
"Ha," Rosalie snickered. "He looks a bit peckish. He hasn’t hunted in over two weeks. I don’t think he’ll be much of a help. Unless you want to kill two birds with one stone," Rosalie shrugged and plastered on a large grin. This isn’t going to be good. Rosalie doesn’t smile like that very often. "Kill being the keyword. Get rid of her and satiate Jaspers eternal thirst for human blood." She again shrugged when we all glared at her. But that is just Rosalie. She speaks her mind. "What? We all know he’s going to slip up again. It’s just inevitable. He lacks… the willpower or something."
Jasper inhaled deeply and I felt a wave of anger quickly ripple through me. His mouth was set in a firm line and his black eyes glared at the empty space in front of him. I hate it when Rosalie gets to him. We all suffer because of it. The anger was quickly replaced with a short burst of calm and Jasper offered me an apologetic look. I gave him a small nod in return. We all know what it’s like to lose our temper around Rosalie. She just does that to people sometimes.
"It’s okay," Alice reassured her husband. "I know it will be." She smiled at him and leaned into him, offering her body for comfort. "We will go hunting tonight," she spoke softly, her mind torn in two. Should she stay and help her husband? Or go and help the strange woman outside? She settled on both. "Maybe you can just send her some calming vibes?" she suggested. "I think that would be a big help." Jasper compiled with a quick nod of his head. Now Alice returned her attention back to the girl. "I’m going to help her," she stated affirmatively as her face spread into a very large smile that only Alice could do.
"Why do you always insist on helping them?" Rosalie sneered.
"You were once a human in need of help," Alice reminded Rose bitterly. Alice paused for a moment, hoping that someone would volunteer to help her. I knew I should. And I knew she was expecting me to. I was always the one to go along with her crazy plans. But my legs brought me back to the piano bench and my fingers again began to dance across the keys, trying to find the perfect soundtrack for the moment. Maybe something dark and depressing to go along with the sad and dejected smile that Alice now had. Or perhaps something whimsical and mysterious for the girl outside.
I was ready to stand and go with her as she took a step towards the door. I hate to see my sister look so sad. But Esme beat me to it. She was always trying her best to please everyone else. I often wondered if that was how she made herself happy. Maybe she found her happiness in making others happy. Because that is all she seemed to be capable of doing. It was like her special gift.
"I will help you, dear," Esme spoke, her hand falling to Alice’s shoulder in support. Alice’s smile broadened as the two women stepped outside slowly being careful to use their human pace. I paid attention to them, listening to the conversation and keeping tabs on their thoughts. I don’t know what about the situation had my curiosity peaked but I just couldn’t turn away. "What do you see?" Esme asked Alice.
"I’m not sure," Alice spoke softly. "It keeps changing. First, she’s a vampire. Next, she’s a human. And then it changes again, to something completely different. It won’t stop changing long enough for me to focus on anything." And she was right. I focused on her thoughts and felt dizzy and the images quickly flittered through my mind. I quickly tuned them out and again just listened to the conversation. They paused when they were about 500 feet in front of her. "Hello," Alice called. The woman froze but didn’t offer a response.
She was close enough that I should be able to hear her thoughts. I tried to focus all my attention on her. But nothing happened. I closed my eyes and tried again. Still nothing.
"Hello," Alice called again taking a few more steps towards her. "Do you need some help?"
I tried to block out Alice and Esme as they continued to call out to her and focus on nothing more than finding her thoughts. I tried to convince myself it was so I could give Alice some answers as to who this woman was and why she looked like a deer caught in headlights. But it was more than that. From the very first vision Alice had of her, she had my attention. She wasn’t breathtakingly beautiful at first sight. Her beauty was much more subtle. Her beauty slowly crept up on you until it consumed you. Gentle waves of long brown hair, with just the smallest hint of red. She wore a dirty white tank top and jeans that fitted to her small frame, showing off her petite curves. She had small features that looked well on her. But what stuck with me the most were her eyes. In the first vision they were a deep scarlet. Compared to the soft golden amber of my family hers were red, tainted with the blood of her kills. But I couldn’t hate her for that. I was once weak and feasted on the blood of the humans. It’s just in our nature. But they looked beautiful against her pale skin and dark hair.
But the last vision Alice had those eyes like rubies turned to something different. A dark brown. They would have been beautiful if it weren’t for the empty expression that they held. Her long waves of hair straightened, weighed down by the rain that clung to her. Her body shook and shivered in the cold and I began to pity her. And in this current vision the most disturbing thing was the scars. Most of them would be faint and to human sight. But for a vampire like me, it was very noticeable. Scattered across nearly all the flesh visible were white and pink lines. Some jagged. Some neat and clean. There were even a few fresh wounds, rusty red with dried blood. Nothing too fresh and still bleeding, and nothing that should bother my family. The only thing free from scars was her face. Scenarios played out in my mind as to how she obtained those wounds. Did she do it to herself? Was she attacked? Was it an accident?
But from the beginning the image of this girl wondering onto our land intrigued me. I was mystified by her. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to meet her. Until I had found out she was human. Were Alice’s visions out of order? Did the girl’s eyes start out vacant and brown as she came upon our land? Did her eyes change because of one of us? Were one of us tempted by her blood? Would one of us take her mortal life and give her this immortal damnation? Or was she supposed to be a vampire to begin with? Was her change interrupted? There were wolves nearby… The possibilities were endless.
I kept close tabs on my families thoughts. If one of them were going to be tempted, I would stop it. I would let this girl keep her innocence. The vampire life isn’t nearly as glamorous as Hollywood makes it out to be. I think all of us would trade away our immortality for a second chance at life. And I would make sure that this pretty young girl would never have to know that kind of pain.
It wouldn’t be Carlisle. For all the years…centuries that he’s been a vampire, I don’t think he has even once been tempted by human blood. Rosalie had a strong willpower as well. Along with Esme and even Alice. It was mostly Emmett and Jasper that I had to worry about. Emmett occasionally slipped up, always placing blame on some mythical legend of the singers. But it was Jasper that struggled the most with our diet of animal blood. But I really couldn't blame him. He spent decades drinking human blood and was new to the ‘vegetarian’ diet we kept to. And then there was myself. I wasn’t often tempted by the smell of blood. I was able to suppress any urges that did surface. But I did spend years traveling the globe and drinking on the blood of the wicked. I was sort of a vigilante vampire. Trying to keep humans safe by feasting on the blood of criminals. But that was a long time ago. And I had never bitten anyone that didn’t deserve it. And I don’t think this scared girl was a criminal.
Since I was still coming up empty while trying to read her thoughts. I made my way out the door and hoped that by being able to see her, I would be able to concentrate on her thoughts. I sank into the chair of the wicker patio set and watched the interaction take place in the faraway distance. Alice and Esme kept beckoning for the girl and she was still not responding. And I still couldn’t hear her thoughts. It was a first for me. I could always hear people. I guess she didn’t just have a blank expression. She also had a blank mind.
Another minute passed and Alice and Esme were standing in front of her. I began to tune them out and focus all of my attention on the girl. I forced myself to strain to hear her thoughts. But I still found nothing. I closed my eyes and tried to focus. But still nothing. And as my frustration mounted I decided to give up. I stalked back into the house and forced myself to stop thinking about the situation. Its not like it mattered. Soon enough Alice would provide all the help the pitiful girl needed and she would forever be out of our lives.
I found myself seated at the piano in a flash, my fingers finally finding some motivation to play. It was a good way to vent my frustration. It was a good way to block out Alice’s ever changing visions. It was a great way to block out Rosalie’s vain, selfish and downright rude thoughts. I closed my eyes and became lost in the music. I didn’t think about it. I just let it happen. I hadn’t felt like that in a long while.
I was almost so wrapped up in my composition that I missed the front door open. But nothing could stop what happened next. With that one breath that I took in, my mind switched off all logical thinking and instead became nothing but instinct. Nothing mattered but the source of that smell. That wonderful and delicious aroma. A low growl rumbled from deep inside of me that I couldn’t control. I took in another deep breath that brought me to my feet quickly. Another breath and my throat burned and ached. One last breath and I pounced, needed to get to that scent. My legs propelled me into the air and I landed right in front of my target. I took the hand in mine and brought it to my face. I needed to allow the scent to fill my lungs and stay there forever. I wanted to bask in it. I wanted to taste it. Venom pooled in my mouth as I raised the hand to both my lips and nose. I inhaled and opened my mouth. I needed to taste it.
"Edward!" Alice’s shouted, still from outside with the mystery girl. But Alice’s words pulled me back to reality. A full second hadn't even lapsed since the door opened. "Jazz, stop him before…" I didn’t hear the rest of her words as Emmett and Jasper pined me up against the far wall.
I halted my breathing and took a few moments to calm myself (I’m sure Jasper was helping with that too). I stared at the source of the smell that over powered me. Standing in the doorway was Esme, a look of horror on her face. I hated myself for giving her that look. She didn’t deserve that.
I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, giving me harsh questioning glances. I had one too. "Esme?" I growled and questioned at the same time. I know Esme’s scent. That was nothing like it.
She quickly regained her composure and raised her hand to her face. Sniffing out the scent that had sent me into such a frenzy. "I touched her. I’m sorry," she apologized, hiding her hands behind her back, as if that would cover the scent. And as if she had anything to apologize for. I’m the one who nearly attacked her. She was just trying to be helpful as always. "I touched her. Just one hand on her shoulder lightly. Just a second. There wasn’t even any blood," she stammered softly.
There was a long silence. Emmett and Jasper didn’t release their strong grips from me. Well, for everyone else it was silent. For me it was a chorus of questions and shouts and laughter all aimed at me via everyone’s thoughts. The worst was Carlisle. I have never seen him be so… I can’t even describe it… Confused? Disappointed? Disgusted? All the above?
"Alice," Carlisle finally broke the silence, talking just loud enough for her to hear. "Keep the girl far away from the house. Esme, will you help her?" he suggested, just wanted to get the scent away from me again.
"We…she…" Esme stuttered. "I don’t know. She needs help. She needs a doctor."
"Is it serious?" he asked. Esme shook her head. "I’ll be there as quickly as I can."
"I was wrong," Rosalie said with an impish smile. "This is proving to be very interesting."