+82 Kristen Stewart
+68 TMI: City of Bones
THE OLYMPIC VAMPIRE CHRONICLES
"Vol.1 - Blood and Candy"
She was different. I had known it the moment I realized that I couldn't read her mind. The moment I had first caught her scent. Her delicious scent that had almost driven me to forget everything that Carlisle had taught me in our nearly two hundred years of friendship. Her blood that smelled like pure sunlight, sweeter than candy and richer than chocolate, not only affecting me but the rest of my siblings as well. A temptation that none of us had ever come across before. With Alice and Jasper having to leave, just as I did, to escape the tantalizing hunger that the girls scent invoked.
None of us had wanted to hurt her. To kill her.
Her scent being even more irresistible to me than to the others, it taking all of my restraint – restraint that I had accumulated over my nearly five hundred years walking this Earth, to stop myself from draining her dry. My will being almost at its breaking point until something unbelievable, something unexplainable happened, causing me to momentarily forget all about my bloodlust. The flickering of the lights, followed by the complete shattering of the classroom windows, suffocating me in fresh air and allowing me to breath in something other than Isabella Swan's mouthwatering scent.
That was when my stunned eyes met hers for a second time. The first time it feeling as if she was trying to reach into the depths of my soul and pull out all my secrets. Her own shocked eyes, quickly transforming into a look of horror when the glass then fell down around us. A look of horror that I had seen many times on people who had unknowingly caused an accident and I couldn't help but wonder if it was somehow Isabella who had caused the windows to break.
Her subsequent fleeing from the room and then the school, only adding more weight to my suspicion. But before I could follow her further than the school parking lot, I was stopped by Alice. Alice who with her visions showed me exactly what would happen if I followed her home. I would attack her. Kill her. Her sweet blood being too much for me to resist and convincing myself that my suspicions, were just that, suspicions. Carlisle's own thoughts on the subject helping me to let it go and believe like the rest of the school that it was entirely just a freak accident, caused by the wind. The two of us not being able to come up with a logical explanation, for how Isabella, or Bella as I had heard in the thoughts of others that she preferred, would have caused the windows to shatter in on themselves.
Least of all without a bat or some other heavy object in her hand.
Alice, Jasper and I, then taking the next three days to hunt, far away from Forks and Isabella's scent. Alice and Jasper heading back before me, for despite how confident Alice was that I wouldn't hurt her if I went back with them, I decided to take the rest of the weekend just to be on the safe side. Knowing from experience just how quickly Alice's visions could change.
I also wanted a few days on my own where I could think over everything that had happened in that classroom, not being entirely convinced that Isabella wasn't somehow behind it. The logical part of me agreeing with what Carlisle had told me, but there was another part of me, a smaller part, that couldn't shake the feeling, that Isabella was responsible. The look of pain on her beautiful face, as she looked deeply into my eyes, followed by the look of absolute relief on her face, right before the shattering of the windows. It all leading me to believe that it was all somehow connected.
It was just the how, that was escaping my grasp.
“She's not here.” Alice announced at lunch. “She's helping Angela with the preparations for the carnival on Friday. They're in the empty English classroom.” I nodded.
“Agh! I don't know why the two of you are so hung up on this pathetic human.” Rosalie then spoke. “Either Edward will kill her or he won't.” She then glared at me. “And he better not, because I don't want to move yet.”
I rolled my eyes. I loved my sister, I did, but with Rose everything was about her. A trait brought over from her human life when she was the star of the show, the main attraction.
“He won't.” Alice said confidently, her visions showing me that both Isabella and I made it through the lesson just fine.
It eased some of my worries, but not all, as just the memory of her sweet scented blood and the way it burned my throat alive, urging me to sink my teeth into her neck, was enough to make me thirsty. Ravenously thirsty.
The rest of lunch passing with Alice assuring me again that I would be fine, that my self-control would be fine. Reaching the classroom before Isabella, where an unexplainable need arose in me to make her forget about my atrocious, or maybe more accurate homicidal, behavior last week. My polite introduction taking her off guard – so she hadn't forgotten, how could she with the way I had glared at her. She must have been terrified, most humans would have. But her eyes were curious. Not afraid. Everything in me, yearning to know what she was thinking right at this moment, but she was, just as she was last week, silent to me.
It was something that I had never come across in all my years, with no human, vampire or supernatural being, able to hide their thoughts from me as completely as this one human girl was able to. Sure there were ways to block me by thinking or reciting something else such as songs, speeches, passages from a book, but no one had ever been completely silent to me before. With their mind appearing empty, blank, as if it wasn't there at all, just as Isabella's did to me now.
It was peacefully refreshing. And welcoming.
Telepathy being more of a burden than it was a gift, like so many idiotic humans thought it was. None of them understanding the lack of privacy that was stripped from your own thoughts and from others. They also didn't understand how nauseating it was to see yourself in other people's sexual fantasies. Or how uncomfortable it was to live in a house of three perfectly mated couples, while also being able to hear and see everything that passed between them.
It was why I would spend most nights on my own, somewhere secluded and far away from the house.
Mr Banner then beginning the lesson, instructing us how to carry out the experiment he had selected for today. I barely paid attention. There was nothing that a high school chemistry teacher could show me, that I hadn't or didn't already know. The life of an immortal being long, at times tedious, with endless hours for learning or indulging in, anything that I so desired.
My eyes instead watching Isabella as she carefully paid attention, before putting on her safety glasses and picking up Solution A, to follow the first instruction.
I copied her.
My eyes taking in the back of her right hand, and the strange covering that was there. My perfect eyesight picking up, what appeared to be the numbers – 348, written in an elegant gothic, black script. Briefly wondering why she was covering them, before taking then the chance to speak again. The fire in my throat roaring in protest against my inaction to savor the sweet and delectable meal seated right next to me. I had been careful not to breath so far, unless absolutely necessary, her scent being just as inviting as it was last week and I knew that if I hadn't spent nearly two hundred years denying my baser instincts that she would already be dead.
Offering, uselessly, my condolences for her mother. She had passed, towards the end of August was the local gossip, and I knew both from experience and my gift, how hollow the words were, but it was still polite to offer.
“Thank you.” She replied softly, while pouring out the Solution into the beaker. “So what was with the disappearing act last week?” I tensed at her question.
Feeling the strangest compulsion of not wanting to lie to her, but also knowing that there was no way that I could tell her the truth. Not only would she think me crazy, but it wasn't really an acceptable part of civilized society for supposed seventeen year old males to confess to wanting to bleed out and drink a fellow students blood.
I also didn't want to admit my cowardice in running away.
Instead lying and saying that I had left for personal reasons, not missing the flicker of doubt that appeared in her dark chocolate eyes. Eyes that appeared so much deeper and older than those of the classmates around her. They were also guarded. Especially when I then brought up last week's accident. Her body tensing in response, as her heart started to beat faster in her chest, making her scent even stronger.
Deciding then to push her on what she knew about the incident to see if my suspicions were correct, the nervousness and slight fear that were coming off her, leading me to believe that I had been right. That she was somehow behind it.
“I don't know.” She answered me. “I just know that I don't want it to ever happen again.”
The honesty in her words when she spoke, intriguing me. Could she really not know how the windows shattered, how – if I was right and it was her, she had caused them to break in on themselves. The plea in her voice also telling me that it had scared her, immensely, and that this might have been the first time something like this had ever happened.
But it wasn't the last.
Being taken off guard when we both reached for the striker to light the bunsen burner at the same time, our fingers coming to rest over each others and feeling a spark, a current, spread from her touch, up my arm all the way to my long dead heart.
It had felt, as if for a moment, like it had started beating again. The sensation of the flame that felt as if it was burning its way through my body, so much different to the venom that had brought me into this life and feeling comforting. Like home. Rather than painful.
My eyes then meeting hers, the thoughts of the rest of the classroom fading away and swearing with everything inside me, that whatever it was that I was feeling, that she could feel it to. With the longer our gazes held, the hotter the flame within me, within her, seemed to burn. Neither of us seeming capable of looking away from the other, until a different kind of heat seemed to register. Isabella looking away first, her face turning into one of shock, when she caught sight of the bunsen burner, burning hot with a bright red flame that was swallowing the entire beaker.
The sight startling me as well, as I knew that neither of us had lit the burner. Isabella then pulling her hand away from mine in fear at the sight, the action of her moving quickly away from the desk and to her feet, being one that I copied. Fire on it's own may not be enough to kill vampires, without us being ripped apart first, but that didn't mean we still weren't wary of it.
It really wasn't a pleasant sensation to burn. The flame in front of me, feeling hotter than it should be.
The sounds of screams then filling the classroom, when in the exact moment that Isabella's hand separated from my own, the beaker shattered. Sending shards of broken glass, raining all over our desk.
One part of my mind registering that Mr. Banner was speaking to us, asking if we were okay, but I couldn't turn my focus away from Isabella. She was frozen. In shock and fear, her heart racing in her chest, her gaze stopped on the pieces of broken glass on our desk. Doing my best to ignore the loud and equally as shocked thoughts from the rest of the room. A barely audible growl leaving my mouth when I heard Mike Newton's, his vile thoughts centered on Isabella's gracious assets.
But it was the conclusion that I was quickly coming to that I was focused on the most. It was her. Isabella. The glass not breaking from the heat of the fire, but from her. She had caused it, I instinctively knew it, just like I somehow knew that she was the one to light the bunsen burner and the one to shatter the windows last week.
Isabella's eyes then turning to meet my own, her name falling from my lips in awe and wonder, before she threw off the safety glasses on her face and fled from the room, just as she had done last week.
No, go after her, a part of me screamed. Ignoring Mr. Banner when he tried to speak to me and following her out into the hall.
“Bella! Bella, wait!” I pleaded with her and being grateful when she stopped.
“What?” She choked out, as she turned to face me.
The lost and hopeless expression on her face, making something deep inside of me ache. I didn't want this angel to be in pain, any kind of pain and that included being afraid of what was happening to her.
“What do you want – to stare at the freak that somehow can make glass explode. Maybe take a picture?” She spat out sarcastically and I could both see and smell the tears that were threatening to pool in her eyes.
Her words making the ache in my chest worse and I could hear that there was more behind her words than what she was saying. Assuring her that I wasn't here for anything else other than to make sure that she was okay. A kindness I was fairly confident only a few people in her life had shown her.
“Why?” She then asked me. “Why do you care whether or not I'm okay, you don't know me and last week you looked as if you were ready to kill me, so tell me, please, why do you-” I heard her breath then catch, when I made the snap decision to offer her comfort in the only way I could think of, by showing her that she wasn't alone.
Closing the distance between us, faster than humanly possible, her eyes going wide in disbelief when I, in less than a second, appeared directly in front of her.
Edward, what the hell are you doing? I could hear Alice's frantic thoughts screaming at me, but I ignored her.
“Because you're not the only one who's different, Bella. The only one with secrets.” I whispered to her.
My hand yearning to reach out and take hers, to touch her in some way, as a desire I had never felt before, burned through me.
“You don't have to be afraid of me.” I told her, in hope she would trust me, but as I reached for her hand, she pulled back.
The hurt of her rejection being quickly forgotten when I saw the overwhelming emotions play out in her eyes. Eyes that I could spend forever, happily getting lost in and eyes that were swimming in overload and in questions. Not being able to stop myself from asking the question that had been floating in the back of my mind for the last week.
“What are you, Bella?”
“I don't know.” She answered me so brokenly, that I couldn't help but silently promise her to help her in any way I could, to find the answers that I suspected she had long searched for.
The ringing of the bell then making her jump and letting her go when I heard the footsteps and thoughts of approaching students. None more louder than my five foot one, little pixie of a sister.
“You know Rose is going to skin you alive.” She warned as she approached.
I just rolled my eyes. “She'll get over it. Bella won't tell anyone. Especially not after another accident, one I'm certain now she caused. Although I don't know how and neither does she.”
“There was another accident?” Alice asked, not having seen it.
The two of us deciding to skip the last lesson of the day, heading out to my car. It wasn't as if either of us needed to attend school at all, but it was unfortunately a necessary part of our cover. Telling Alice everything that had happened in Chemistry, from the strange charge I had felt when Isabella and I had touched, to the bunsen burner coming to life on it's own, to the shattering of the beaker.
Alice was just as stunned as I was.
“How is she doing this, I've never heard of a human with such power?” She asked me.
I had. But those who I had met, with power similar to Isabella, were something else. Something that I knew Alice and the rest of my family hadn't heard of. The ones who like to call themselves nature's servants, having a strong dislike towards all vampires and had worked hard over the centuries to keep themselves and their existence hidden. Very few of my kind, knew of their existence and those that did, knew better than to tell others.
They also, at least the few I had met, didn't smell anywhere near as enticing as Isabella did, nor could they block me out. Leading me to believe that she was something different to them entirely.
I shook my head. “I don't know and she doesn't either, which is scaring her, I think, more than the accidents themselves.”
It was scaring me. Not having seen or smelt anyone like Isabella in all my long life. My fear not only for the power she seemed to wield but for her. She was already vulnerable to vampires because of her sweet, candy smelling like blood and I dreaded to think what would happen if any other vampires, other than my family, ever learnt of the power that was hidden within her. Aro for certain would seek to claim her as his own, as his pet and would no doubt seek to turn her, to make her power stronger. Just like he had tried, with those that now hate all vampires, their power being tied to their humanity and lost when Aro attempted to change them.
But he wasn't the only one.
Others would seek to take her, even use her to consolidate their own power or take that power from another. There was also simply those, who would take her and bleed her, just for her blood alone. A practice that many of the older vampires took part in, keeping what they labeled as 'special' humans alive, for years, decades even, to enjoy the gift that is there blood. It was a practice that personally sickened me and my family.
And something that I could never let happen. I wouldn't.
Isabella deserving more, far more, than to be nothing but a vampire's blood bag, a pet and I vowed to die before I let anything of the sort happen. She deserved to be worshiped like the beautiful and angelic creature she was, to be treated like a queen, not a pawn.
Taking out my phone and calling Carlisle, letting him know that we needed to talk.
“What's wrong son?” He asked me.
Even though I was older than he was, in one sense, I still looked to him as my father figure.
“There was another accident today and this time I'm certain that Isabella is the one behind it. Behind both of them.” I said, before giving him the details of what had happened, just like I had done with Alice.
“Amazing.” I could hear the awe in his voice. “I've never heard of such a thing being possible before, least of all by someone who is human.”
“That's just it, Carlisle, I'm not entirely sure she is human. Between her blood and the power she seems to wield, she's... different.” Was the only thing I could find to say. “Something more than human.”
“I can't say I entirely disagree with you.” Carlisle admitted. “And I'm sorry for doubting you last week.”
That didn't matter to me.
“There's more.” He waited. “After the incident today, I showed Isabella that I wasn't exactly human myself.”
His silence telling me that he hadn't been expecting that. Especially when next to Rose I was usually the most careful about hiding what we were.
“Edward, I trust you, you know that, so I'm assuming you had your reasons for whatever it is you did.”
“She feels alone.” I told him softly, my voice heavy with emotion as I remembered the broken and hopeless look on her face. “Lost. I needed to show her that she wasn't.”
My god, he's in love with her, does he even realize? Alice's thoughts causing me to look sharply at her, as Carlisle promised that we would talk more later with the whole family present, her words, one in particular making me stop to think.
Was I in love Isabella Swan?
It was something I had never experienced either as a mortal or a vampire, despite all the opportunities I had, had. I knew how attractive I was to women and to even some men, but I had never found myself attractive to any of them. Until now, I thought, recalling with perfect clarity Isabella's beautiful face, her warm chocolate brown eyes, her flawless clear skin, her full kissable lips. Then thinking back to everything I knew, everything I had witnessed about when vampires fall in love. Something that only ever happened once in our immortal lives, with mating for vampires being more absolute, more definite. With some vampires having to wait decades, even centuries before finding their other half.
Looking at my sister and remembering her own memories of falling in love with Jasper, even before she had ever met him. Carlisle's connection to Esme had been instantaneous, as had Rosalie's to Emmett's, something that had been completely unexpected, especially with the violent nature in which Rosalie had been left to die.
Could I be in love with Isabella Swan, is that why I desired to protect her so fiercely, to find the answers I knew she so desperately longed for and why I felt so sure, so comfortable in dropping my guard and revealing to her what I truly was? The echo of the spark, the flame that had burned through my veins bringing my long dead heart to life, feeling as if it burned red hot for a moment, as if in silent confirmation to my thoughts. As if it would only ever beat for her.
She's your mate, you've found her, she's yours... my entire body seemed to hum at the realization. The spark that had passed between Isabella and I being something that I couldn't recall any other mated pair sharing. My thoughts being distracted from thinking on that path further when Alice's tinkling laugh filled the interior of the car, as she watched all the emotions play out across my face.
“Tanya's going to be so heartbroken.” She jested. “And this might just stop Rose from killing you, too.”
I rolled my eyes, ignoring her and her excited thoughts of shopping trips with her new best friend. My mind, subconsciously, then reaching out, my forever still heart practically dancing inside my chest as I watched through the minds of others, my Isabella in gym. Not being able to stop the ungentlemanly like behavior of appreciating her lean and ever so spectacular form in the tight training clothes she was wearing. Growling quietly when I heard Mike Newton's thoughts, his eyes never seeming to leave her and her perfect form.
Mine, my heart and mind raged and it took everything in me to not race into the gym right then and gouge his eyes out. Spending the rest of the hour like a 'creepy vampire stalker', as Alice dubbed me, while watching Isabella slowly go through the motions of the lesson, her eyes seeming far away and I knew that what had happened in Chemistry, as well as what had happened afterwards was still weighing heavily on her. The not-so-whispered speculations of the students around her, only making things worse.
Hearing Emmett, Rose and Jasper's approach before I saw them, the whispers and rumors about what had happened in fifth period already having reached them.
“So what happened this time?” Rose asked, when we arrived home, finding Carlisle and Esme waiting for us in the sitting room.
“A beaker exploded.” I told them, confirming at least a part of the rumors that they had heard.
“That's it?” Emmett asked, confused as to why a beaker breaking is such a big deal and wondering, just like Jasper and Rose, why Carlisle had been called home from work for.
“Not entirely, but yes.” I said.
“Do we know how?” Jasper asked, knowing and trusting his wife and me, that we wouldn't be talking about this if there wasn't a need to be concerned.
“Isabella Swan.” I spoke her name, Jasper then looking at me sharply as I did so, not missing the rise or temperature of my emotions as I did so.
What the... brother your emotions, it's as if... as if she's your... He asked me silently, picking up on everything I was feeling instantly and sharing a look with his beaming wife, when I slightly nodded my head. I'm happy for you, man.
“Oh come on, not this again.” Rosalie groaned. “Edward I don't know what your fascination is with this girl, but you need to forget about her and this obsession you seem to have. It's pathetic.”
Jasper chuckled. Yeah, I don't see you doing that anytime soon, bro.
“Rose.” Esme cautioned her.
“Okay, I think I'm missing something, why do you think this girl is responsible for breaking a beaker and why are we so fascinated by her if she did. Humans break things all the time?” Emmett asked me.
“Yes, they do. Ordinary humans break things all the time.” Rose stressed. “Just like freak wind storms are strong enough to break windows.”
“The beaker didn't just break, nor was it knocked from the desk or dropped. It shattered. Just like the windows did last week and not from some freak storm. But by Isabella, who not only shattered the beaker but also lit the bunsen burner with no starter, although I don't know how she did it and from her reaction,” And from what she had told me. “neither does she. But she was the one responsible regardless. Oh and one more thing,” I looked meaningfully at Rose when I spoke. “I never said anything about her being an ordinary human. In fact, I never said anything about her being human at all.”
That had everybody's minds racing. Everybody's that is except for Alice and Carlisle.
“Not human?” Emmett didn't know what to believe, his mind cataloging everything he had seen and more importantly smelt about Isabella. “Is that even possible?”
Alice snorted. “So asked the vampire.” My lips quirked.
“You know what I mean.” He told her. “You've seen her, she's alive, she has a heartbeat, you've smelt her-”
“We all have.” Rose interrupted him. “And Emmett's right, she's human, Edward. A deliciously smelling human, but still a living, breathing, human.”
Someone who has the chance to live the life I never had. Rose thought with disdain. The opportunities that humans had to grow old, to have a family were just some of the many reasons that Rose had a low tolerance for humans.
She envied them.
“Is she though?” Jasper asked, his own mind cataloging just as Emmett's was, but he was coming to a different conclusion. “I mean you said it yourself Emmett, we've all smelt her and in all my years I've never come across a scent as sweet and inviting, as...” I growled lowly. Sorry, brother. “I've never come across such a temptation before, have you?”
That had everyone thinking and everyone drawing blanks. The only two without an opinion being Carlisle and Esme who had yet to catch Isabella's delightful scent.
“Son you said she lit the bunsen burner without any assistance are you sure?” Carlisle asked me, not having heard that particular detail when I had spoken to him earlier.
It was something I had intentionally not mentioned to him at the time.
“Yes.” I answered him. “One second we were both reaching for the striker, the next we couldn't look away from each other and then there was a suddenly flame, burning hotter than it should be able to and encompassing the entire beaker. It was only when she pulled her hand away from my own that the beaker broke.”
Curious. He thought, his mind analyzing everything I had told him.
“Couldn't look away from each other, why is that, bro?” Emmett asked me teasingly.
I mean I can understand, she does have an absolutely banging body... I growled, loudly this time, catching him off guard. Even more so when I was suddenly in his face, my hand around his throat as I pinned him to the nearest wall.
“Don't ever think about her like that again.” I told him menacingly.
I may not have been able to do anything against the irritating humans such as Mike Newton, but there was nothing stopping me from putting an end to those kind of thoughts from my oaf of a brother.
Holy Shit! His thoughts screamed, never having seen me like this before.
“Edward Anthony Masen Cullen! You let go of your brother right now.” Esme ordered me, just as shocked by my behavior as the rest were.
They had never seen such a fierce reaction from me. The only two not shocked by my sudden actions being Alice and Jasper, the two of them knowing the reason behind it. Sending a warning a growl then, towards Rose, when I heard her thoughts, her need, to defend her mate take her over. Her own shock quickly giving way to anger, but she made no move to attack me, despite her wanting to, as she knew that in a fight she was no match for me.
Slowly I came back to my senses.
I let Emmett go. “Sorry Em.” I apologized, sincere in my actions.
My instinct to protect and defend my mate, overriding everything else. It being even more intense since it was so newly awakened.
“No big deal.” My big teddy bear of a brother, immediately shrugged off my behavior. “But do you mind explaining?”
You've never attacked me over a stupid thought before? Especially one regarding a human.
I sighed. She wasn't just a human.
“She's my mate.” That caused silence to envelope the room.
Both Esme and Carlisle's thoughts being ecstatic at the news, the both them hating how alone I had been for so long. Something that Carlisle himself understood having waited more than two hundred years to find Esme. My mother being even more overjoyed, as she had been worried that I had been turned too young and that there had been something missing, something not yet developed. My preference to being on my own and never seeking out a companion, truly frightening her.
She had been terrified for the longest time, that I would always be alone.
“Well, shit.” Was Emmett's eloquent response. “Sorry bro, you know I didn't mean anything by it. No disrespect.” And you know I meant it as a compliment right, because she really is a looker.
I didn't answer him. Ignoring him. My focus on Rosalie, knowing that as happy she could be for me, she was also horrified at the fact that I had mated with a human. She still didn't see anything in my claim that Isabella was something more. To Rose, she was and always would be just a plain human, whose life Rose saw as precious, as a gift. A human that she could see no attraction in and couldn't understand just what I found so beautiful about some lowly human, when I had seen nothing of beauty in her.
“You have to be kidding me.” She finally erupted. “A human? You've mated with a human, is this why you're so obsessed with her and why you can't let what happened last week go and just accept that it was an accident.” She ranted. “Or maybe you're just looking for something to make yourself feel better at ruining this poor girls life, because if you pursue this Edward, that is exactly what you'll do, you'll ruin her. And if you think I'm going to just stand by and let you condemn that girl to this miserable existence then you have another thing coming.”
I growled at her, my eyes glaring at her in warning, at the thought of her coming between me and my mate. I wouldn't allow it. Nor would I condemn, as Rose had put it, my Isabella to this life. She was better than this.
“It's not like that, Rose.” Alice told her. “He loves her and she'll love him and their connection to each other will be like something none of us have ever seen. It'll be stronger. Unbreakable. And no matter how you to try to stop it, to stop her, one day Bella will be one of us.” She spoke confidently.
My eyes then going wide when I saw in her mind, what she spoke of. Isabella, paler and even more beautiful than she was now, her eyes a sparkling gold, with a radiant smile on her face as I spun her around in my arms. The sight leaving me speechless and stunned and more than anything hopeful. Hopeful that she would love me back like Alice said and hopeful that I would have her forever like a part of me so strongly desired.
Not that this life would be anything I would force upon her. The only way I could see my Isabella becoming one of us, being if she was hurt, gravely hurt and my heart couldn't take losing her.
“What!” Rose cried in outrage. “What do you mean she'll be one of us?” She turned to me, furious. “If you think, for one second, that I'll stand by and let you rob her of her chance to-” Alice interrupted her, myself still too stunned by what I had seen in Alice's vision to speak.
“You won't have a choice Rose, because that is exactly what it is – not your choice.” Alice told her strongly.
She knew why being human meant so much to Rose, but in Alice's mind, that was how Rose felt and not everyone else. Something that Rose had a hard time accepting, believing that her opinion on the subject was the right one, the only one.
“I can't see how or why Bella becomes one of us, only that she does, but if it is by her choice. Her conscious and informed choice to spend forever with Edward, than you will respect that because of exactly what it is – her choice.” Alice continued, stopping Rose before she could speak again. “I know this life isn't one you chose Rose, but not everyone feels the same way you do and you don't have to like it, but you do have to respect it.”
Rose fumed. Emmett attempting to put his arm around her in support, but she shook it off, standing and storming out of the room. Her footsteps being heard taking her out to the garage, her sanctuary. Emmett debating whether or not he should go after her, but Alice shook her head, telling him to let her cool down.
Carlisle than asking Alice what she meant about the connection that Isabella and I would share and how it would be different and stronger to anything we've ever seen. Esme and Jasper voicing their curiosity on the subject as well.
“I don't know.” She sounded frustrated by that. “I just know, I just saw, that there is something physical to their connection. Like it will be painful for them to be apart, physically painful, but I can't see what causes it. What's the catalyst. It might also have something to do with what Bella is, or wherever it is that her power comes from that makes for a stronger connection.”
My heart feeling as if it gave a lurch inside my chest, every time someone said my love's name. A reaction that Jasper had not missed, commenting how strong our connection seemed to be already and asking his wife if he could see whether or not Isabella felt the same.
“She does.” Alice confirmed, my heart sighing in relief. “But she hasn't yet realized what it is that she's feeling. She's confused and lost as you said Edward. Everything that's happened last week and today have her afraid about what's happening to her. But the bond that will grow, that will strengthen between you two will help her. As did you showing her your speed today, that helped her and I think it will help her to figure out what we are, what you are, unless you decide to tell her first.” She said, not being able to see how it is that Isabella discovers what we are, only that she will.
The detail of me showing my speed to Isabella today, being something that other than Carlisle and Alice, the others didn't know. Everyone being shocked and confused why I had done so, with one being more than anything angry.
“You what!” I heard Rose screech from the garage, her thoughts not being able to believe what such an idiotic moron I could be and I knew, just from the way she was cursing me out in her head, that tonight was going to be long.
Jasper sharing some of Rosalie's concerns, but having enough faith in his wife when she said that everything would be alright, to trust her. As did Carlisle and Esme. Esme who thought it was sweet and kind of me, what I had done, once I had explained why it was that I had shown Isabella that she wasn't the only one who was different.
And putting my own faith and trust in Alice's visions, that by doing so, I hadn't scared away.
THE OLYMPIC VAMPIRE CHRONICLES
"Vol.1 - Blood & Candy"
I didn't stop at my locker. Nor did I care about whatever class I had next, or the form I was supposed to hand in at the office. I needed to get out of here. Pulling my car keys from my bag and practically running out to the parking lot. Ignoring the curious thoughts and stares I was garnering on my way.
I didn't know what had happened back there, only that there was a small voice inside of me telling me that I was the one responsible.
My hands shaking as I leaned against my Lebaron, taking a moment to catch my breath and looking up to find, Edward Cullen, standing at the edge of the parking lot, looking straight at me, with that same expression on his face. My heart beginning to race again, the longer we held each other's gaze, until finally – just as he had taken a step forward. The small pixie girl I had seen earlier, stepped to his side, taking his arm and I immediately looked away. Closing my eyes to steady myself, before slipping quickly into the driver's seat and starting the engine.
My mind as I drove, trying to understand what had just happened and if it was really possible that I was responsible.
“No, it was just a coincidence. Just the wind. It was nothing more than a freak accident.” I told myself, not wanting to believe what the small voice inside of me was still whispering.
Turning the radio on in my car, in an attempt to drown it out and lose my thoughts in whatever song was playing, but it was useless. The frightened screams of my classmates still echoed in my head, my thoughts thankful that no one had gotten hurt, as well as the entire encounter between Edward Cullen and I, playing out in my mind.
Edward Cullen who had made my heart race and my fingers tingle and who, despite how hard I had tried, was somehow blocked from me. I couldn't hear him. Not a sound. Just a blank void where a person's mind should be. Something that I had never encountered before and something that I might have thought of as a blessing, if I hadn't been purposely trying to get into his mind, to see what it was that had caused his reaction to me. And I knew that it was me. Just like I was starting to suspect it was also me, that drove his sister from my English class that morning and then again from lunch.
None of it made any sense.
My bag being dropped on my bed, before I then began to pace. The shock of not being able to hear him, having then being taken over by the shock and fear of the windows shattering. Something that, as I paced in my room, I still couldn't find an explanation for. Not to explain how it happened, or if I was the one responsible, how I had caused it.
It just didn't seem possible. Didn't seem fathomable. And it terrified me more than anything, the possibility that I could be a bigger freak than I already was. My pacing being interrupted then, twenty minutes later, when I heard the front door close downstairs, followed by Charlie's voice.
“Bella?” He called out, his footsteps echoing up the stairs.
“Dad?” I was confused that he was home. Being so absorbed in my own thoughts, my own panic, that I hadn't heard anyone approach the house. “What are you doing here?” I asked as he came into my room.
“The school called.” Oh, right. I had just up and left. “They said that you ran off after an accident in the science lab.”
“Yeah, sorry, I guess I was a little freaked out, with all the glass and everything.” He pulled me into a hug.
“Your friend Angela explained that might be the case and said that you weren't feeling well at lunch?” He asked as he let me go.
“It was nothing. Really. Just a headache.” I brushed it off.
Just a headache, that I'm pretty sure is somehow responsible for the accident. I pushed that thought away. Thinking that it was kind of Angela to speak up for me. Not many others would have.
“Still I'm glad that you're okay.”
He hugged me again, making me promise to come by the Boathouse for dinner, before heading back there himself. He had been worried when he had gotten a call from the school about my abrupt leaving and then terrified when he had been informed about the freak accident that occurred. He was scared that I had gotten hurt and was thankful when he found me at home, unharmed.
Trying fruitlessly to distract myself with homework and all the work I needed to catch up on, but it was no use. I couldn't concentrate. My thoughts continuously straying back to the accident and throwing the pen in my hand across the room in frustration. Giving up then on trying to distract myself with school work, instead picking up my camera and deciding to try my luck outside. Taking photograph after photograph, of the deep green forest that surrounded Charlie's backyard.
It was beautiful. Other worldly.
My feet carrying me along a small dirt trail, deeper into the woods. My camera capturing everything from fallen logs covered in moss, to branches dripping with raindrops. It was amazing. So different to the desert that I used to call home and not realizing how late it had gotten until I noticed how dark it had become.
I guess my distraction worked.
Being lucky, that in my wandering, I hadn't strayed from the trail, easily finding my way back to Charlie's and being happy that at least for a few hours I was able to forget about what had happened. Not that it didn't all come rushing back, the moment I stepped inside. But the small reprieve was still nice. Dropping my camera off in my room, before grabbing my car keys and doing just as I promised Charlie I would, which was to come and visit him at the Boathouse.
The lights outside, all being lit up, the deck filled with people and I couldn't help but groan quietly as I was assaulted by their thoughts. My walls being down, after spending so much time alone in the woods this afternoon and it taking me a few minutes to put them back up. Making sure that they were stronger than they had ever been before – I didn't want another repeat of what happened in Chemistry.
Not that I was admitting, even to myself yet, that it had in fact been me that had caused the windows to shatter. Too afraid of what the implications of that could mean, if I even for a moment, admitted it to myself. But not being able to stop from entertaining the idea, as well as the possible connection the accident had with the numbers on the back of my hand.
Nothing like today had ever happened before. Not before they had appeared.
“Bella!” I heard my name called, as I walked up the steps to the entrance to the restaurant.
Turning my head in the direction of the sound and finding Angela making her way towards me.
“I'm so glad to see you.” She took me by surprise when she hugged me. “What happened this afternoon, you just left?” She asked when she pulled back.
Picking up from her thoughts that she had been really worried about me, as well as, I could hear, worried about something else. Something that I couldn't quite make out and was just outside of my reach. The image of what appeared to be a small book, a leather bound journal perhaps, being the only thing that I could pull from Angela's mind.
“I don't know. After the windows shattered, I guess I just freaked.” That wasn't a lie.
I had freaked out, just not for the reasons she was currently thinking of.
“You weren't the only one, trust me.” She smiled reassuringly at me. “I didn't think my heart was ever going to stop racing after the glass, literally exploded. I've never seen anything like that before.” She shook her head in wonder.
I hope to never see anything like that again.
“I mean, I've seen on TV, during freak storms when the wind can uproots trees and everything, but I've never seen anything where the wind just shatters a window. Especially with how it came out of nowhere, like that. I wonder what caused it?”
Well I'm pretty sure the answer to that question Angela, is me. Not that I want to, or was ready, to believe that just yet.
“I don't know.” I told her. “I just know that I hope it never happens again.” I then thought of something. “Was Mr. Banner upset that I just left?”
Angela shook her head. “No. He dismissed us pretty shortly after that and if it makes you feel better, you weren't the only one to abruptly leave.” I gave her a quizzical look. “Edward Cullen, left a few seconds after you did. At first some of us thought, that he might be going after you, but he never came back. Guess he was just as freaked out as the rest of us.”
“Yeah, maybe.” I said, not quite able to shrug off his behavior like Angela.
Not when Edward Cullen had come and found me in a sense, and not after my suspicions that Edward Cullen knew somehow what I had done. What I may have done. His eyes when they looked at me, having felt like they were piercing my soul, leaving laid out bare all of my secrets.
It had been unnerving. As well as something else, that I couldn't quite identify.
“You know a group of us are here.” She gestured to the deck. “And you're welcome to join us if you want.”
But not really feeling up to much company tonight, I declined her offer.
“I kind of promised Charlie that I'd eat with him, but next time for sure.” I assured her, saying that I'd see her tomorrow, before walking inside to find Charlie behind the bar.
“So how was school?” Charlie asked, as we sat down to eat. “You know besides the exploding windows?” I couldn't help but laugh.
The smirk on Charlie's face contagious and it felt good, if even only for a moment, to laugh about what had happened this afternoon, instead of fearing it.
“It was fine. I met a couple of people.” Not to mention one person in particular who I couldn't seem to get out of my mind. “Do you... know the Cullen family?” I asked a little hesitant.
Charlie looked up at me sharply.
“Of course, why – people talking about them again?” It took me by surprise to hear the anger both in his voice and his mind.
“A little.” I admitted. “They... the kids... don't really seem to fit in very well at school.” Something that I could relate to.
Only that it appeared that their exile from the rest of the student body, looked to be by choice. Their choice. And not from everyone else ostracizing them, like I had been back in Phoenix. Or though from what I had picked up from a few random thoughts, mainly Jessica and Lauren, there was a common perception that the Cullens were freaks. A word that I hated and always made me sick to hear. The label being thrown over them, after seemingly nothing more than choosing to keep to themselves.
“People in this town.” Charlie muttered. I had thought we were passed this. “Listen, it's only because they're newcomers. The Cullens have been nothing but nice since they moved here and Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon who could work anywhere, making ten times the money he does here in our podunk little town. Something the people around here, sometimes seem to forget. We're lucky to have him. Lucky that his wife wanted to live in a such small town and his kids... his kids have been nothing but polite. Not an ounce of trouble from any of them. Which is definitely more than I can say for some of the other hell-raisers around here. And the Cullens, they stick together too, the way a family should – hiking and camping trips whenever the weather is good...” He took a sip of his drink.
I guess you can really can't take the chief out of the man, I thought. Charlie's little speech having taken me by surprise.
“I don't like narrow-mindedness, Bells.” He added, seeing my expression.
“Neither do I.” I said, having been on the receiving end of it. “I was just curious.”
Curious about a beautiful boy, with bronze hair, who had glared at me with more hate, than I had ever seen. And a boy that sent my nerves racing when I thought about what he might know. What he might suspect.
The benefits of eating in a restaurant where your father is the owner, being that you get to eat as many sweets as you like. Charlie shaking his head at me as I devoured my second slice of cheesecake – it was a white chocolate, cookies and cream, that was just absolute heaven. It was one of Charlie's grandmother's recipes. Some of Charlie's friends coming over to introduce themselves as we ate, all gushing aloud and silently, over how beautiful and sweet I was.
It was something that I wasn't used to.
Saying goodbye to Charlie a short time later and heading home. Loading all the photos I had taken that afternoon onto my macbook, before finishing off my homework and heading to bed.
I was back in the Chemistry lab. My headache worse than ever and the taunting and harsh silent whispers of my classmates, making me feel anger like never before.
...she's such a freak...
...should never have been born...
Each word only serving to increase the anger I felt, the pain in my head being made worse and wanting more than anything to make it all stop. My hands balling into fists and concentrating, as I tried to will the pain, the anger, everything away. The lights then exploding all around me, the screams of my classmates filling the room and getting louder when in the next second, the windows beside me shattered.
Feeling a smile then, start to grace my face, as everyone in the room cowered in fear. Hurt and afraid.
Everyone but one.
“I knew it was you.” I heard a voice whisper, turning around to see the black eyes of Edward Cullen staring right at me.
That was when he lunged.
And that was when I woke up. My breath coming out in short gasps, as I sat upright trying to catch my breath. Not knowing what frightened me more – what I had felt in the dream or the fact that Edward Cullen knew that I was somehow responsible for the accident.
It seems that even though I wasn't ready to accept what had happened, it appears that my subconscious was.
Feeling a shiver then go down my spine as I remembered how I felt in the dream and more than anything how a part of me wanted to hurt those, who had in the past hurt me.
It wasn't something that I was used to feeling, nor was it something I ever wanted to feel again. My usual emotion to those who had made fun of and taunted me growing up being that of apathy. I usually ignored them or felt pity for them. Even sometimes hating myself and wishing that I could be just like everyone else, but I had never once wished any of them any harm.
Walking into my bathroom to splash water on my face, hoping to erase the images from my mind. But I couldn't. Not when I knew the dream, or at least part of it, was merely a reflection of an event that had already happened. An event that I knew, no matter how much I wished, I could no longer deny that I was the cause of.
Not that acknowledging that it was me who caused the windows to break, told me anything about how I actually managed to break them. It was simply just one more thing that made me a freak. An oddity.
“I'm not sure I really want to know.” I muttered to myself as I got ready for school.
My stomach tying itself in knots the closer I got to Forks High and the closer I got to Edward Cullen. Would he have told anyone what he suspected? Would they believe him if he had? And just why wasn't I able to hear him? Questions flooded my mind, making my anxiety worse. My heart feeling as if it would burst right out of my chest, as I made my way to lunch. My eyes immediately searching out his bronze hair and feeling a strange mixture of relief and disappointment when he didn't show. Momentarily afraid that he was simply skipping lunch, or eating elsewhere, but when I walked into Chemistry I found he wasn't there. Nor was he simply late.
And that's how the rest of the week followed.
Waiting each day to see whether or not he would show and listening to hear if he had said anything to anyone, or if anyone else had their own suspicions. But there was nothing. No rumors, no suspicions and no wary, frightened stares, from my classmates as they tried their best to figure out the freak of nature.
A part of me being grateful for Edward Cullen's continued absence, as it meant not having to face his probable inquisition. But there was also another part of me that found it strange, weird, that he had left at all. After all, it was me who had nearly harmed a room full of people and it was me who clearly had something to hide, but yet it was me who didn't run. Didn't hide. Not being able to shake the feeling that his mysterious leaving had something to do with me and more specifically something to do with his reaction to me.
Even his sister and adopted brother had been absent for a few days, but by Friday they had returned. Catching them both more than once, along with the rest of Edward's sibling's watching me curiously. They also seemed to be doing their best to avoid me. Alice Cullen making sure to sit as far away from me in English as she could, just like her family did at lunch.
Both actions only making me all the more curious.
Something that started to reflect itself in my journal, as page after page began to display different features and attempts at drawing Edward's perfect face. His eyes having been drawn over and over again, as I shifted between remembering his black, hate filled gaze and that of the piercing stare that felt as if he was seeing into my very soul.
I had also finally met the infamous Mike Newton of Jessica's almost non-stop fantasies. His blond hair and bright blue eyes, making him the quintessential all American boy and it wasn't difficult to see why Jessica was infatuated with him. My first impression of him however, being tainted when he couldn't keep his eyes away from my breasts. Jesus, she's got a nice rack. Even better than Jessica's. He had thought, moments after I had accidentally hit him in the back of the head with a volleyball. His thoughts being as perverted and sex oriented as every other horny teenage male in America, and I was quick to make an excuse to leave.
But Mike was persistent.
Sitting by me the next day in English and then joining Angela and I, at our table for lunch, much to the displeasure of Eric. But to the joy of Jessica who didn't take her eyes off of him the entire hour. Unfortunately his attention was focused mainly on me, something I tried my best to discourage by helping Angela with the preparations for the upcoming school carnival.
It was apparently a school tradition, put on every year by the school and the students, with this year all the funds raised being used to replace the shattered windows in the Chemistry lab. As it stands now, they had simply been boarded up with large sheets of wood.
“It's not just to raise money for the school and other projects around town. It's like a mini fair.” Angela was explaining to me. “There are sideshows and rides and a lot of people open their own stalls. Some even coming from neighboring towns.”
I normally avoided events such as carnivals, as they were nothing but a giant headache to me, even with my shields up. But Angela's excitement, despite the guilt I was feeling, was contagious.
“Just tell me what I have to do to help.” I smiled as I volunteered, thinking that even though this won't make up for what I somehow did, it was a start.
It also provided me with a good distraction. Something to keep my mind off of my missing lab partner and the mystery of why he had left. As well as the mystery of how I somehow caused a classroom full of windows to shatter in on themselves.
The weekend passing with homework, taking more photos and helping Charlie out at the Boathouse. I had wanted to make a start on the diaries I had found in the attic. But one of Charlie's waitresses was sick, so I offered to fill in for her. It wasn't all that different from my job back in Phoenix, the only drawback being the uniform – black shorts and a plain white tee, that acted like a neon sign for every male I served. Their eyes, when I took each of their orders, looking straight up at my chest and I had to fight the urge every time I delivered an order, not to pour it all over their heads.
It was a difficult task to accomplish.
Helping Charlie close up Sunday night, as well as open Monday morning, before leaving for school. Doing my best to avoid Mike, until first period where it was impossible for me to do so and finding Angela standing at her locker, with a clipboard in her hand. The carnival was this Friday, with Angela in charge of practically everything. The look of stress on her face, hard to miss.
“Oh good, you're here.” Angela said in relief when she spotted me.
“So it would seem.” I said, catching a glimpse of the list that she seemed to be going over. “I'm guessing you need some help.” I asked, as I grabbed the books I would need for the first few periods.
“Oh my god, yes.” She pleaded. “Sally Ames, the Senior class president, was supposed to take care of confirming each of the rides and sideshows, as well as the tickets and prizes for the raffle, but her grandmother died over the weekend, so she had to leave. Leaving me with taking care of all her tasks, on top of my own and I only have four days to make sure that everything is perfect and goes off without a hitch.”
No wonder she was stressed.
“Well, then just call me your willing slave and put me to work.” I smiled, holding out my arms.
Angela throwing her own around me in thanks and I couldn't help but laugh at how many times she thanked me. The two of us then parting ways when the bell rang, with a promise to meet up and go over everything at lunch. Being surprised with a pop quiz in English, something that wasn't much of surprise for me as I had heard Mr. Mason's plan for the quiz on Friday. Unfortunately the rest of the class wasn't so lucky, with aggravated groans filling the room at the announcement and innocent pieces of paper being glared at, from those who didn't find the quiz so easy.
Finding Angela waiting for me at my locker after Spanish, the two of us then quickly grabbing our lunch before finding an empty classroom to work in. A double benefit for me, as it gave my head a reprieve from all the voices. It taking me an entire week, before I could sit comfortably through lunch without my head feeling like it was going to explode. Or being afraid that I was going to accidentally shatter anymore windows. The shields in my mind that had taken me years to control, finally becoming accustomed to my new life in Forks.
“What prizes do you normally have?” I asked, referring to the raffle that needed to be set up.
Angela had just finished confirming all the rides and sideshows, as well as having already organized for the tickets over the weekend, using the budget provided to buy plenty of ticket books. But we still needed to sort out the prizes themselves.
We needed three.
“Donated gift cards, gift baskets, sometimes even a free romantic dinner.” She listed off.
“I don't know how romantic it would be, but I could ask Charlie if he wouldn't mind donating a free meal for two?” I suggested, hoping that if Angela liked the idea that Charlie wouldn't mind.
“That sounds perfect, do you mind asking.” I shook my head, pulling my phone from my bag. I might as well call him now. “Everyone loves Charlie's food, so if you can get him to say yes, I swear I will kiss you.” I laughed.
“Boathouse Bar and Grill, this is Charlie.” He greeted.
“Hey dad, it's me.”
“Bells?” He sounded confused. “Aren't you supposed to be at school?”
“I am, dad.” I rolled my eyes.
“Uh-huh, then why are you calling?” He asked me, suspicion clear in his voice.
“Because I'm helping Angela with the preparations for the carnival on Friday and was wondering if you wouldn't mind donating say... a free meal for two, for the raffle?” I waited, Angela's anxious face and thoughts, making me anxious as well.
“Sure, Bells.” Charlie laughed. “It's not a problem.” I gave Angela a thumbs up, making her dance around in her seat in triumph.
Unfortunately that was only one prize sorted. Angela deciding to make the free dinner at the Boathouse the first place prize, and then making notes to ask her mother and other businesses around town for other donations. Angela's mother owning and running the local coffee shop, The Java Hut. Making a note of my own, to prepare a few dishes for the bake stall that was being offered. My Gran Marie having been an amazing cook, her recipes being left to me when she died.
There was then also the matter of organizing a replacement for Sally as the school's newspaper photographer. Something that I had no problem volunteering for, as it was something that I was most likely to do anyway. Walking around the carnival and taking numerous pictures of all the different stalls and rides.
Angela again, thanking me profusely, for all my help before we headed off to Chemistry when the bell rang and finding as we walked in, all the lab benches set up with bunsen burners, beakers, safety glasses and different chemicals. But it wasn't the apparent experiment that we had today that made me stop, it was the person sitting in the seat next to mine.
He was back. His eyes looking up to meet mine, as I carefully took my seat. His gaze just as piercing and just as curious as it was last week, causing my heart to race with all the possible questions that could fall from his lips. Questions that I had been dreading. Taking note as I sat down, that he was seated as far away from me as the bench would allow, as well as being just as silent to me, as he was before.
So it wasn't just a one time occurrence. He hadn't just been inexplicably blocking me. Feeling the same empty void, that I had felt before and afraid of causing a repeat performance of last Monday, I didn't push any farther.
That was when he spoke.
“Hello.” His accented voice took me by surprise. The sound like dripping honey to my ears.
I hadn't thought it possible that any sound could be more beautiful than his sister's voice, but I was wrong. The british accent that coated Edward's words being downright swoon-worthy and totally unexpected.
“I'm Edward Cullen, I didn't get the chance to introduce myself last week. You're Bella Swan.” It wasn't a question.
His politeness taking me a little off guard, as was the careful, guarded look in his eyes. I had expected the same curious and piercing gaze from last week, not the gaze of a person who looked as if they had something to hide.
I also hadn't missed how he called me Bella, instead of Isabella, like everyone had done last week. Not getting the chance to reply before Mr Banner began his lesson.
“Okay let's get started, with the first thing I want everyone to do is to put their safety glasses on. Very important.” Mr Banner instructed. “Afterwards I want you to pour 300 milliliters of solution A and then two drops of solution B, into your beakers.” Everyone began, Mr Banner cautioning how toxic the chemicals we were using are, before going on to explain what it was he was hoping us to learn from this experiment.
Picking up the clear white bottle, labeled solution A, just as Edward spoke again.
“I heard about your mother, I'm sorry for your loss.” He told me, his words sincere. “I know how hard it can be to lose your parents.” And remembering what Jessica had said about the Cullens being adopted, I knew what he spoke was the truth.
I also didn't find the words as irritating and hollow as I had done last week, when everyone else had spoken them.
“Thank you.” I replied, measuring out the solution in the beaker. I then decided to take a chance. “So what was with the disappearing act last week?”
He tensed slightly at my question, adding the two drops of solution B, once I was done.
“I had to leave for a few days. Personal reasons.” I nodded, not able to shake the feeling that he was lying to me. I still believed that his disappearance had something to do with me. “How about you?” It was my time to tense up. “You ran from the lab pretty quick last week.” My heart began racing. “I had been afraid at first, that the glass from the window had cut you, but you seemed fine.”
“I was, the glass didn't touch me, I was more freaked out than anything.” His eyes never left mine.
His gaze piercing, appraising, as if he was searching for something.
“I know what you mean. I've never seen anything like that before, I wonder how it happened. What caused it?” I looked away.
Not needing to be able to read his mind to hear the silent, who had caused it question, that went unspoken between the two of us.
“I don't know.” I answered him honestly, trying to focus on the experiment we were supposed to be doing. “I just know that I don't want it to happen ever again.”
Still able to feel his eyes on me, but not turning my head, for fear that if I did he would be able to see everything I was trying to hide. The next step in the experiment being to light the bunsen burner, both Edward and I reaching for the striker at the same time, our fingers coming to rest over each others. My breath then catching in my throat and not from the coldness of his touch, but from the spark that I felt as soon as his skin touched mine. It feeling as if an electric current had passed between us, creating a rush of heat as it traveled through me.
My eyes lifting up to meet Edward's, our hands still joined and my gaze searching his for any sign that he felt it too. Felt the current that was traveling through me like a living flame, with the longer our gazes held, the hotter, the more intense, that it burned. Neither of us breaking eye contact, until I felt a different kind of heat, my eyes then going wide when I saw that the bunsen burner was lit up in a red flame that was swallowing the entire beaker. The shock of seeing a flame where none previously existed, causing me to pull my hand away from Edward's in shock, my whole body then following, bringing both Edward and I to our feet, when the beaker suddenly shattered, sending glass and solution all over the desk. The sound of shocked screams again filling the classroom and the flame growing higher.
“Is anybody hurt, Edward, Bella?” Mr Banner asked us, immediately coming over to inspect what had happened.
But I couldn't speak, couldn't believe it. My eyes frozen wide on the sight of the now broken pieces of glass that was once a beaker. My heart racing as the stunned and shocked thoughts of everyone in the room, did nothing but make the guilt and horror I was feeling worse.
...whoa, what the hell happened...
...what is it with exploding glass in this classroom...
...man her breasts look amazing, heaving up and down like that...
I shook my head in disgust at that last thought, the horror at what had just happened, what I had caused, making me feel as if I couldn't breathe. My eyes then finding Edward's who was looking at me, just as he had done last week, only this time his gaze held that of confirmation. He knew now that it was me who had caused the windows to shatter, just as it was me who had somehow made the bunsen burner come to life, before shattering the beaker.
“Bella.” My name fell from his lips in wonder and in question, but before he could say anymore I shook my head, slowly backing away and ignoring once again the loud calling of my name, as I ran from the room.
Barely making it five steps down the hallway before I stopped when I heard a musical voice call out my name. His footsteps not far behind me.
“Bella! Bella wait!” Edward pleaded with me and against my better judgement my steps slowed to a stop.
“What?” I choked out, as I turned to face him, my emotions haywire over what had just happened, what I had just caused.
Having no more clue how I had started the bunsen burner and exploded the beaker, then I did the shattered windows. None of it making any sense, as none of it should be humanly possible and it all just confusing me more.
“What do you want – to stare at the freak that somehow can make glass explode. Maybe take a picture?” I asked sarcastically, doing my best to keep my tears at bay.
The kindness and understanding that I could see in his eyes, catching me off guard and making me feel even more unprepared for the next words out of his mouth.
“I wanted to make sure that you were okay.” He said with such sincerity that I couldn't help but believe him.
Something that only added to my already overwhelmed emotions.
“Why?” I asked him. “Why do you care whether or not I'm okay, you don't know me and last week you looked as if you were ready to kill me, so tell me, please, why do you-” My breath then abruptly caught in my throat, when Edward moved faster than I could have ever imagined, faster than humanly possible.
The movement causing my hair to fly around my face, as if by the wind, his body nothing more than a blur as he came to a stop directly in front of me.
“Because you're not the only one who's different, Bella. The only one with secrets.” He whispered.
His eyes, that I could now see were an enchanting liquid gold and not the coal black that I had seen last week and spent many a night trying to recreate in my journal. His closeness making me feel things that I never had before, my insides burning up as if there was a fire inside me.
“You don't have to be afraid of me.” He told me, his hand reaching for mine, but I pulled away.
It was too much. Everything that had happened in the last fifteen minutes was too much, my emotions, Edward's revelation, I couldn't seem to process it all. My head filled with more questions than I could sort out and Edward leaving me with another one. One I had been asking myself my entire life.
“What are you, Bella?” He asked, not being able to stop myself from answering him.
“I don't know.” The three words fell brokenly from my lips.
Edward not being given the chance to say anything more as it was then that the bell rang, the sound making me jump. The heavy thoughts and footsteps of other students quickly joining us in the hallway and I took my chance to escape, being grateful when Edward didn't try to stop me and thankful when I found Angela who was kind enough to have grabbed my bag.
I had fled so quickly from the lab that I had left it there.
Assuring Angela that I was fine and that I had just needed some air, the two of us then parting ways to our separate classes. Doing my best to avoid Mike in Gym, my thoughts distracted the entire lesson as I tried to process everything that happened and all the new questions I now had. Questions that were centered around the mystery that Edward Cullen now presented, just as much as they were centered around me. Not at all paying attention to the game that was taking place around me, more focused on the four little words that Edward had asked me.
What are you, Bella? They echoed in my mind, four words that had plagued me whole life and never once having found an answer. Not that I had ever really put much effort into finding out, as I had always been too afraid of what the answer may be.
Perhaps I really was an alien, I thought.
The possibility being one I had entertained before, one I had written about in my journal, as was the theory that I wasn't human. Something that had never felt more real to me, then right now and something that had me more desperate for answers than I had ever been before. Even more than the mystery appearance of the numbers on my hand. Answers that I didn't even know where to begin looking for. A part of me still afraid of what I might find. But another part, a bigger part, was even more afraid of ignoring what had happened and then hurting someone. Being lucky that no one had gotten hurt today and that it was only mine and Edward's beaker that had exploded.
It could have been worse. Much worse, if last week was any indication.
Ignoring Mike again, when he tried to talk to me after class. The news of what had happened in the lab already having spread around the school. Their curious and speculative thoughts about what had happened, only making my need to get home stronger. Especially when I started hearing about how I was cursed, another possibility that I had at one time considered.
My thoughts on the drive home being consumed with two questions... what the hell was happening to me and just what secrets was Edward Cullen hiding?
THE OLYMPIC VAMPIRE CHRONICLES
"Vol.1 - Blood & Candy"
I should be happy to be leaving. Happy to be getting away from all the ones who had teased and made my life miserable growing up. But as I drove out of the city limits of my beloved Phoenix, I couldn't help but remember why it was, that I was I leaving. Why it is was, that I was now making a two day drive, to where my father lived to start over new.
I miss you, mum. The four words echoed in my head just as they had, every moment, since the police officer had informed me of my mother Renee and her new husband Phil's death. They had only been married two months. Their honeymoon ending, when Phil lost control of the car on their way back from one of his teams away games. He was a minor league baseball player. The police officer assuring me that neither of them had suffered, that it was quick, painless.
It was a lie. One I didn't believe and one I knew that he didn't either.
The car when found, being nothing short of an inferno, their bodies next to unrecognizable – even dental records were out, and if it hadn't been for them driving their own car, the police wouldn't have had any idea who the charred remains belonged to. The blaze itself, being just another piece of the crash that didn't make sense and not only to me. With the police officers investigating the crash all sharing the same thought of that it didn't add up. Didn't make sense. Not one of them being able to explain how Phil had lost control of the car or how the inferno that the car became started in the first place, or why it was so intense. One of the officers thinking that foul play had been involved in the crash, but there was no evidence to back his claim, so the answers went unsolved.
Answers that I honestly had no care for, as they wouldn't bring back what had been taken from me. Nor would they keep me from having to move to a new town. A new town that I couldn't help but wonder – would it be any different? Sure, it was smaller and no one there knew about my abnormality, as I called it, but it was only a matter of time, right?
My thoughts then being interrupted as I heard the disgusting leering of a group of men, as I stopped for gas.
...my god, check out that ass and that rack....
...damn she is fine...
...god I hope she bends over...
...those legs, those legs could wrap around my waist anytime...
I tuned them out. Doing my best to focus on what my hands were doing, instead of the group of horny college aged kids behind me. None of which were talking. Their mouths hanging open, their eyes trailing over my body as if I was a centerfold in Playboy Magazine, when I walked passed them to pay for my gas. But just because they were too busy leering at me to speak, didn't mean that I couldn't hear them.
I can always hear them.
Making sure to grab myself a drink and something to eat, before heading back out on the road. Deciding to give Charlie a call before I continued on.
“Hey dad, it's me. Just calling to let you know, I'm fine and that I'll be stopping for the night once I reach Sacramento. I'll call you again then.” I left a message.
Charlie, my dad, hated the idea of me driving from Phoenix to Forks, the small Washington town that lived under a near constant presence of clouds and rain. But I eventually calmed his worries, promising that I would call him at every chance I had, to let him know that I was okay. Preferring to drive, alone, then to have to sell and leave my beloved car in Phoenix. Or to have to sit on a plane, in a confined space, with so many people.
It would have been torture for me.
The open road offering me peace and silence, as well as the company of my own thoughts. Something that was a rarity when I was constantly being assaulted by everyone else's.
I was a telepath. Or at least that's what all the books called it.
My mother Renee, being one of only two people that I had told about my abnormality, other than the doctors that my mother had taken me to when I was a child. It had frightened her. Worried her. And no matter how hard she tried to hide it, I knew. My unexplained ability to read minds and the thought that there might be something wrong with me – a thought that I shared, scaring her beyond anything. Renee's way of dealing, of coping, with what I could do, being to pretend that it didn't exist at all. To ignore it.
A decision she made after more trips to so called 'specialist doctors' than I could remember, with not one of them finding an explanation or believing that I could actually hear what was passing through their mind. I was just observant they had said. I was looking for attention, their diagnosis and their recommendation being that I needed 'specialized' help. Help that I could only receive from inside a mental health facility. My Grandmother Marie – Renee's mother, and the only other person my mother had willingly told about her daughter's little quirk, besides the doctors I was taken to, being the one to talk my mother out of sending me away.
Not that she wanted to. She was just scared. Frightened.
My Gran Marie, seeing what I could do as a gift, something that I knew she wanted me to see it as, as well. But I couldn't. Not when I knew how terrified of me, of how terrified for me, my own mother had been when I was a child. Or how scared and wary the other kids and teachers at school were, when I would accidentally slip, answering the question before the teacher could even ask. Or seeing a secret inside one of my classmates mind that they had never wanted shared.
Not that any of them really believed it. Convincing themselves just as the doctors did, that I was merely observant, merely a freak. An oddity. My teachers learning to ignore me and passing me off as slow, due to how hard I found it to focus. While my classmates took great delight in tormenting me, a fact that I had done my best to keep hidden from Renee.
Well maybe... maybe my new school will be different. Be better, I thought, though not really holding out much hope.
It was only a few hours later that I reached Sacramento, grabbing myself some In-N-Out Burger before pulling into a motel for the night. I didn't have much with me in my car, having already shipped most of my belongings to Forks, last week. Along with all the things of Renee's I wanted to keep. Having made sure to ship all of Phil's things to the address his family had left after the funeral.
Deciding to take a shower to wash the long day of travel away and not missing as I did, the foundation on my right hand washing away to reveal three black numbers in a gothic-like script, appear on the back of my hand. Between my thumb and index finger.
(How the numbers look on Bella's hand)
The numbers had appeared six days ago, at exactly midnight, September thirteenth. My birthday. The sensation of feeling as if something was being burned into the back of my hand, waking me up. I had no idea what they were or how they came to appear, came to be branded, into my skin. But each day the numbers would change, counting down a day and from the way they were counting down, I knew that whatever the numbers represented, whatever it was they were counting down to, it would happen on my eighteenth birthday.
Having spent the entire day after my birthday looking for answers, but finding none. I had even spent hours searching through all of my Gran Marie's old boxes – boxes that were now in storage, hoping that I might find an old diary, or journal, or anything, that might be able to explain, or shed some sort of light on, whatever it was that was happening to me.
But I found nothing.
The numbers just making me a bigger freak, bigger oddity, than I already was and scaring me, perhaps more, than my unexplained telepathy did. The not knowing what would happen when the numbers reached zero leaving me on edge and I had taken to covering, hiding, the numbers each day, as a way of taking my mind off of them.
Not that it worked.
I still thought about them. I couldn't not. But not seeing them every time I looked down at my hand, made it so that I could believe, if even only for a moment, that they were only part of a dream. Part of my imagination. Not needing another reason for people to stare, as they wondered what the numbers on my hand meant, once again reminding me that they were there.
I was happy, at least for the time being, living in blissful ignorance.
Making sure to wake early the next morning, wanting to get on the road no later than dawn – it was roughly a thirteen hour drive from Sacramento to Forks, and if I was lucky I would be able to make that drive today. Making sure to once again cover the numbers – 358 they read today, as well as making sure to dress warmer than I had the day before, knowing that the closer I got to Forks, the cooler the temperature was going to be.
But even that wasn't enough to stop the motel clerk's eyes from straying to my chest, as I checked out.
“Do you mind?” I asked him, gesturing to where his eyes were looking and he quickly looked away, apologizing.
I just rolled my eyes.
I was used to it. Not because I wanted to be, but because I had to be. There used to be a time when I wished that everyone else could read minds, just so that they could know how awkward and disgusting it was to see yourself in other people's sexual fantasies. It's why I mostly used to dress to hide my figure as I got tired of people – teenage boys and even some fully grown males, always talking to my breasts instead of my face. Not that they talk to me much anyway. There also being a time that I wished that there was something I could do about my full lips as well, to stop the numerous male oral fantasies, that I'm constantly bombarded with. I mean honestly, could teenage boys not think about anything else, it was sickening.
Not that men twice their age were any better.
Even Phil, had been guilty – although he didn't know about my gift, of a fantasy or two. Something that had made it almost impossible for me to look him in the eye, until his fantasies, thankfully, switched to my mother, only with my body. Still awkward, but at least a marked improvement and something I would gladly endure again, if it meant that I could have he and Renee back.
Calling Charlie, as I left, to let him know that I was just leaving Sacramento.
The next several hours passing peacefully, with the music I had playing through my iPod being the only noise I could hear. Making two more calls to Charlie along the way as I stopped for gas. My second-hand little Lebaron that I had paid for myself, finally pulling to a stop in front of Charlie's house, just after nine. The house I knew, being the one that he was raised in after his parents had died when he was barely a year old and the house I knew that used to belong to his grandparents, before they passed away. And the house that he hadn't moved into until after he and my mother had divorced.
The two story, white and off-grey house, being almost a complete stranger to me. The summers that Charlie and I had spent together, always being spent in California. The last time I could recall being here, being when I was ten. It was right after my Gran Marie had died, long before Renee had met Phil and she had sent me here for two weeks, while she took care of all the funeral arrangements.
She didn't want me to see her grieve.
An excuse I had used myself recently, when I told Charlie that I could handle all the arrangements for Renee's and Phil's funerals on my own. As well as getting everything together to sell the house. Although for that I did need Charlie, as I was only seventeen and couldn't sign all the paperwork that needed signing. Charlie making sure all the money from the sale of the house then went into an account for me to pay for college.
I was actually surprised that Charlie hadn't been waiting out the front to greet me, as soon as he heard a car pull up. My eyes then taking a cursory glance at the driveway to see that it was empty. Lucky Charlie had given me a key on his last visit, I thought, pulling the few bags that I had brought with me from the trunk before heading inside. Taking my time to open the small iron gate, using the sleeves of my sweater to do so. I was oddly allergic to iron. Being thankful that Charlie had the forethought to leave the outside porch lights on – it was something that Renee always forgot, so that I could see what I was doing.
Dropping my bags in the foyer, next to the stairs – they were on my left as I walked in.
“Hello?” I called out, but received no answer, confirming that there was no one home.
Seeing a light on at the other end of the hall and following it into the kitchen, where I found a note from Charlie.
If I'm not here when you arrive,
then I'm down at the Boathouse closing up.
And you're room is on the second floor, last door on the right.
The Boathouse. A little bar and grill restaurant, that Charlie had opened a few years back, after being forced to retire from the Forks Police Department – he used to be the Chief, after getting shot on the job. He had been helping out a neighboring town when the kid he had pulled over for speeding, had shot him in the leg. The bullet had, thankfully, been removed without any complications, but Charlie saw it as a sign that it was time for a change. A time to do something he had been wanting to do, ever since he graduated High School, so he bought the old bar down on the waterfront, overlooking the docks.
Forks was a small town, barely five thousand people and it made most of its revenue from the sailors and tourists, that passed through here.
Charlie's instructions to my room were straight-forward and easy to follow, not being able to stop my mouth from dropping open when I pushed open the door. It was large. At least twice the size of my room back in Phoenix, with hardwood floors and three different windows. Two that I could see, looked out over the side of the yard to the edge of the tree line, with the last looking out over the front yard. My eyes also not believing that I not only had my own ensuite bathroom and walk in closet, but my own fireplace as well.
There was even a cute little window chair that looked out over the front yard, that I knew I would spend many a day there reading.
It was unbelievable.
The hardwood floor being broken up by two large off-white, almost cream colored rugs – one underneath what looked to be a queen sized bed and the other just in front of the fireplace. With all the furniture around the room looking to be old antiques – I wonder if these used to belong to Charlie's grandmother or his mother, all in shades of white, matching the trimming on the walls and the fireplace. The old rocking chair that was in the corner I recognized from a photo of when I was a baby and the two desks that I could see would give me plenty of room for all my photography.
Actually with all the space I had, I could focus an entire corner of my room, just for my photography, I thought. Making a mental note to ask Charlie if he would mind if I painted in here. I absolutely loved the room, it was more than anything I could ask for, but I wasn't a big fan of the light cream walls. I needed color.
Oh good, she's here. I heard Charlie's mental voice, moments before I heard a truck pull into the drive.
Charlie didn't know about my abnormality. My mother having fled from Forks when I was still a baby, long before my little quirk had ever manifested and once it had she had never made a move to tell him. I was just lucky that until recently, the only time I ever saw Charlie was for two weeks, during my summer vacation.
It had made hiding what I could do easier.
“Bells?” He called out, as soon as he opened the door.
“Here, dad.” I answered him as I made my way back downstairs.
Charlie looked a lot like me, both having the same dark chocolate eyes and hair. Although I knew that most people thought that I took after Renee, something that I personally didn't see. The rugged, unshaven look that Charlie was sporting, making him look ruggedly handsome and it wasn't hard to see why my mother had fallen in love with him so easily.
Nor as I remembered my mother, with her long dark hair and piercing green eyes, that he fell in love with her.
Charlie pulling me into a hug as soon as I reached him and I could hear, that despite the circumstances that had brought me to Forks and I knew that Charlie wished they were different – wished that Renee was still alive, I could also hear how happy he was that I was here.
It was always impossible for me not to listen, impossible for me to block out, the thoughts of others, if my skin was touching theirs in some way.
“It's good to see you made it in one piece, kiddo.” He told me. “Although from your phone call earlier, I was expecting you a little sooner.”
“Yeah, I know.” I nodded, thinking back to a few hours ago, when I had called after refueling. “And I would have been, but I caught a flat.” I explained, telling him how my tire blew out, only a few hundred meters from the gas station.
“Well at least you weren't too far from help.” I rolled my eyes.
“I know how to change a tire, dad.” And I did.
It was a skill that I quickly learned after my classmates decided that their favorite method of torment was to keep slashing my tires. The owner of a local scrap yard, then being kind enough to always keep his eyes out for any tires that would fit my Lebaron.
“Well either way, I'm glad that you made it here safe and sound.” He shook his head. “Still can't believe you convinced me to let you drive.”
I smiled, teasing. “I'm charming that way.”
He chuckled in agreement. “It's good to see you smiling again. I know your mum would want it that way.” I nodded, knowing that he was right.
It still hurt that she wasn't here, but it was true what they say about it getting slightly easier every day.
“So I know you must be hungry.” Charlie moved on. He was never one for the deep emotional conversations, although I knew I could turn to him if I needed to. “So I had Cora whip you up something.” I followed him into the kitchen, watching as he removed a small take-away box from the plastic bag he was holding.
It was a burger and fries and it smelled heavenly after a long day of driving, not wasting anytime before digging in.
Charlie laughed at me. The two of us talking while I devoured the delicious meal, Charlie not minding at all about me painting the room and telling me that I was right when I assumed it used to belong to his mother. It being her bedroom when she was younger and later her art room, before she died. She was an artist, a passion Charlie said that I inherited from her, despite our preferred mediums being different. I was into photography, where as she preferred a canvas and paints.
Not that I hadn't been caught sketching, a time or two myself. My sketches, much like some of my photography, being too private to share with anyone and storing them away from prying eyes, in an old vintage chest that I had bought at a flea market. It was where I kept anything and everything that I wanted to keep private. Including the journal's that I used and had kept since I was a child, as a release for all my thoughts, my dreams, as well as my fears. Such as where my ability to read minds really came from and what it truly was that the numbers on the back of my hand were counting down to. Page after page being filled with scribbled ideas, such as lab experiment gone wrong – test tube baby, alien abduction, crash landing from another planet, the end of days, my own death...
I had speculated I think nearly everything.
The long day of driving finally catching up to me, when I yawned. Dead tired. Kissing Charlie on his cheek, causing him to blush – a trait that I had inherited myself, although thanks to my abnormality, it was a trait that is rarely seen now a days. I used to blush all the time, whenever I heard someone think anything flattering my way, or anything sexual, but I had eventually grown out of it. Too tired to unpack or to change any further than pulling off my jeans, sweater and shoes, before crawling into bed with my headphones and iPod. A sleeping necessity when you were a telepath.
I would worry about unpacking everything in the morning.
Waking later than normal – it was after eight, and digging around in the box I had marked bathroom, before pulling out my fluffy robe and heading downstairs.
“Morning Kiddo.” Charlie greeted me and I was surprised that he was still here. “I'm taking the late shift this morning. Perks of being the boss.” He explained, as I helped myself to a bowl of cereal. “Any plans for today?” He then asked.
I swallowed before answering. “Hardware store for some paint and brushes, some tape and if I'm lucky enough to finish today then unpacking. If not I'll take care of that tomorrow. Oh, and do you have any old newspapers or sheets that you wouldn't mind getting covered in paint?” I asked.
It was only Saturday and I didn't start school till Monday. Something that I was not looking forward too.
Charlie shook his head at me. So organized. Determined. I don't know where she gets it.
“There's a stack of old newspapers in the garage that I've been meaning to get rid of, that you're happy to use. Old sheets can be found in the laundry room.” He pointed to a door just off the kitchen. “The hardware store is just off main street, you can't miss it, but you should check the attic before you leave cause I know my mother used to store a lot of her art supplies up there, so you might get lucky.” I nodded, finishing off my cereal before heading upstairs for a shower after assuring Charlie that I didn't need any money.
Gran Marie had left me, not a lot, but a pretty substantial – at least to me, inheritance when she died. Not to mention all the money I had earned working at a coffee shop back in Phoenix.
It didn't take me long to shower and unpack everything labeled bathroom. I wouldn't be painting in there, deciding to leave the room as it was, an off white. It taking me just over ten minutes to dig around in the boxes marked clothes for something to wear that I didn't mind getting covered in paint. Finding an old oversized plaid shirt and pair of shorts.
Moving then, all the boxes and all the things I could, into Charlie's spare room, while my bed and the rest of the heavier furniture I pushed into the middle of the room. Hearing Charlie yell from downstairs that he was leaving, just as I started to empty the walls of any decoration they had, as well as taking down all the curtains.
It didn't take me long.
Nor did it take me long to find the old sheets that Charlie had left out for me, or the newspapers that were in the garage. Making quick work of covering all the furniture with the sheets. I wasn't painting the ceiling and everything in the center of the room should be safe from any stray paint, but I wanted to be better safe than sorry.
Quickly taking a look in the attic like Charlie said for any old paint, but not finding anything useful except for an old wooden art case, that was filled with various paints and different sized brushes, that gave me some inspiration for later. As well as taking note of a dusty old box filled with things that used to belong to Charlie's parents – photo albums, yearbooks, jewelery boxes, diaries... The diaries catching my attention, there was dozens of them and having found nothing on my mother's side to explain where my telepathy came from or what it was that was currently happening to me. I carried the box marked Helen – Charlie's mother, downstairs, hoping that maybe one of them would hold the answers that I had spent my entire life looking for.
Dropping off the box in the spare room, with the rest of my things, before grabbing my car keys and heading out. The drive to the hardware store not being far and just as Charlie had said, off of main street. Passing Forks High on my way as I crossed over the bridge. The parking lot, a lot more crowded than I would have thought and it taking me a few minutes to adjust to the loud static noise that filled my head. Something that I would have to do again, on Monday and something that would be harder with so many more people. I was also glad I had brought a jacket, as it was in typical Forks weather, raining.
Doing my best to pretend that I didn't notice how everyone's eyes all turned to look at me, their thoughts immediately following.
...that must be Charlie's daughter, he said she was coming to stay with him...
...so tragic, loosing your mother at this age...
...such a beautiful young woman, let's hope she's not as flighty as her mother...
...damn, who knew that the Chief's daughter was so hot...
I winced slightly, doing my best to block out all the voices, as I made my way over to the paint counter. One of the expected downsides to living in a such a small town, being that everyone knows everyone else, meaning that a fresh face instantly stood out. Not to mention everyone knowing everyone else's business.
Not that I was really surprised.
I had been expecting for my arrival to generate talk, especially considering the circumstances in which Renee had left and that I was now returning. But I didn't take that to mean that everyone would openly stare – I thought that they would at least try to hide it. Not that I wouldn't notice one way or another, but I thought it was just more polite. And it wasn't as if I was new to being stared at either, I wasn't. It was just usually people stared because they were afraid of me, or because I was the freak that they wanted to point out to their friends.
Being able to save time, due to already knowing what color I wanted – I just needed to find it, or at least one close to it and being in luck when they had the exact dark shade of purple that I wanted. It would match my bedspread that I had brought with me from Phoenix. The elderly man at the counter, being helpful enough to then show me where they kept their paintbrushes and their masking tape. His thoughts, although curious about me, were nothing other than respectful, but I was still thankful when I made it back to Charlie's and the silence that it offered.
A bonus even more, was that Charlie lived on a pretty empty street. With the surrounding forest making it so that the houses were evenly spaced, with plenty of privacy between them. Meaning plenty of silence for me. A downside however, being the nearly constant rain that had made steady work of washing away the foundation on my hand. The numbers being almost completely revealed, after the two trips that it took me to get everything upstairs.
It then taking me just over the three hours to paint the entire room, it being just after three when I finally finished painting and then cleaning up. My arms only being slightly covered, with a few drops and swipes across my face and in my hair. I would need to have another shower later. A thick line of purple paint lying across the back of my hand, as a way to hide the numbers while I painted and keeping them out of my mind.
Debating once I had cleaned myself up a little, about going to see Charlie at the Boathouse, but ultimately deciding against it, when I remembered my trip to the hardware store.
I think I'll wait till Monday, before willingly, putting myself on display again.
Instead deciding to make myself a sandwich before curling up on the couch in the living room with a copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl. It had been my favorite story as a kid. Renee having to read it to me every night before I learnt to read it on my own. The story about a girl who was different, who a had a gift, always making me feel like I wasn't alone.
Not even noticing that I had fallen asleep on the couch, until I went to roll over and ended up on the floor.
“Oof!” I groaned, the air being knocked out of me, just as Charlie made his way through the front door.
His feet coming to a stop, an amused smile gracing his face when he saw me lying on the floor.
“Should I ask, why you are on the floor?” He asked, not bothering to hide his amusement, as I righted myself.
“Fell asleep on the couch. Then fell onto the floor when I rolled over.” I explained, hearing him chuckle. “What time is it?”
“Just after six.” So I hadn't been asleep that long, only a couple of hours.
It was then I noticed the food in Charlie's hands.
“Is that lasagna?” I asked inhaling the delicious aroma.
Charlie nodded. “Your Great-grandma Swan's recipe.” He said, chuckling when I stood enthusiastically to grab it.
Charlie wasn't much of a cook, despite now owning his own Restaurant – that's what he hired Chef's for he would say, but there were a few dishes that he could make – all recipe's from his mother, that were just simply to die for. His lasagna being one of them.
“I don't know where you put it all, Bells.” Charlie said, with a shake of his head, after I had finished my third helping.
I had always had a hearty appetite, something that I had inherited from Renee. The both of us being big foodies.
“Ah, the blessing's of a fast metabolism.” I jested, before heading back upstairs to check on my room.
The paint was dry, having left all three windows open to help and to ventilate, but I decided against moving everything back in until tomorrow, just to be sure. It would also give me something to occupy my time tomorrow as well. Going to bed early, to get an early start the next day. My Sunday then passing by in a blur of moving furniture and unpacked boxes, the last of which I unpacked being that of all the photo's of Renee and I – including the solo ones of just her that I had taken, that had always been my favorite and that I laid out on display, on the top of my fireplace. Painting above them on the wall, in silver acrylic paint that I had found yesterday in the attic, one of Renee's favorite quotes that she used to recite to me all the time – every song ends, baby girl, but that's no reason not to enjoy the music.
It made a few tears fall from my eyes reading over it, once I was done, as I would never get to hear her say it to me again.
Being woken by the light sound of rain come Monday morning and feeling nostalgic for the days when I was woken by the gentle early morning rays of the sun on my face. Charlie wishing me a good first day over breakfast, before heading out to The Boathouse. Making sure that I packed my iPod, macbook and camera in my messenger bag, so that I would have something to do at lunch. It was my old routine back in Phoenix and from the short drive I had taken on Saturday, I knew that with the lush green forest that surrounded Forks, that I would be able to get some really beautiful shots.
Taking my time as I drove to Forks High, not at all enthusiastic about the headache I knew I would be developing before the end of the day. It was why I always carried Tylenol. Some days being harder than others to block out the thoughts of others and with it being a new school, with new minds, today was going to be next to impossible. Even more so with knowing, that I was sure to be the topic of discussion and probably had been the entire weekend, meaning that their thoughts wouldn't be generic, they'd be about me. Making them harder again to ignore.
Wishing more than anything that this day could pass, with me losing myself in the crowd but I knew that I couldn't. Not in a school where the total number of students, was less than my entire junior class back home. Or when due to everyone growing up together, they would spot a new face instantly.
As it was, all their heads turned to stare and gawk at me, as I drove into the school's parking lot. It was already busy. Doing my best to block out the sounds of their thoughts as I found a parking spot that I hoped was out of the way.
...so that's her, nice car...
...I guess Mike wasn't lying when he said he saw her at the hardware store...
...I heard she was hot, with a great ass...
...wonder if I'll have any classes with her, it's so sad to hear about her mum...
I groaned, pressing my fingers to my temples, in a useless attempt to calm the loud voices. It taking me nearly five minutes to dull them enough to leave the confines of my car. My strange behavior already earning me curious looks and I knew that it was probably only a matter of time before the rumors started.
“I guess Forks won't be that different after all.” I muttered to myself, as I made my way across the parking lot and inside.
Ignoring while I walked all the eyes, whispers and curious thoughts that followed me and praying that I didn't trip – I could be rather clumsy at times.
...damn, he was right, she does have a great ass...
I cringed, doubling my effort in putting up my walls, as I thankfully found the office at the end of hall. All the students inside who hadn't seen me yet, stopping to stare as I walked by them. Their thoughts, if possible, even louder than those who I had passed outside.
This must be Charlie's daughter. My god, she looks just like her mother.
“Hello dear, you must be Isabella.” The receptionist greeted me, as I entered. I just nodded. “Oh we're so happy to have you here, Charlie hasn't talked about anything else.” She said enthusiastically. Typing something into her computer. It was then that I noticed her name tag – Mrs. Cope. “And I'm sorry to hear about your mother, dear. No one should ever have to lose a parent so young.” She offered me a condoling smile and I did my best to copy.
I really didn't want to start talking about my mother, but I knew that I was likely to receive a lot of this today.
The receptionist then stepping away from the computer to retrieve the documents that she had just printed off.
“Okay, here we go.” She said, placing four sheets of paper on the counter. “We have your schedule, locker combination and a map of the school, so you won't get lost. Although if you do, I'm sure someone will help you out.” She pointed to each piece of paper as she talked.
Taking me through each of my classes and highlighting where each one was on the map, before pointing out where my locker would be located. According to the map it was in the next hallway. The combination, being handwritten out, on a yellow post-it-note. The last document being a green slip that I was to have all my teachers sign, before bringing it back at the end of the day.
“And here is a list of all the textbooks you will need for your classes, just take this to the library and Miss Donaldson will be able to help you.”
That was when the bell rang. Saying a thank you to Mrs. Cope for all her help.
“It wasn't a problem and dear, if there is anything you need, anything at all, don't hesitate to come to me.” She encouraged. “We all want you to feel at home here.” I smiled back at her, as convincingly as I could.
I hadn't truly felt at home anywhere, it being hard to when you were so different from everyone else around you.
The bell having, thankfully, cleared out most of the hallways, so it was easy to find the library. Miss Donaldson welcoming me with a smile as she retrieved the books she had already prepared.
“We've been expecting you.” She told me.
Thanking her for her help, before heading next to my locker, my first class then only being just down the hall. With everybody looking up to stare at me as I entered, late, their thoughts drowning in excitement and curiosity. The teacher, a tall balding man, whose nameplate identified him as Mr. Mason looking slightly annoyed that his lesson had been interrupted.
“Ah, yes, you must be, Isabella.” I responded by nodding again, just as I did in the office, before handing him the green slip he needed to sign. “Take a seat.” He said once he was done, handing me back the slip as well as the years reading list.
Making sure to keep my eyes on the list, as I made my way to the back of the classroom, instead of on the eyes I knew were following me. It was hard enough to block out their minds. The list comprising of Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner, Dickens and even Stephen King, listed under contemporary writers that we would be studying. That was comforting, the list being made up of mostly books that I had already read or studied back in Phoenix.
It would also makes things easier for me to follow in class, especially on days when it was harder to focus than normal and being thankful now for my habit, of keeping all my old essay's saved on a USB.
They would no doubt come in handy.
Doing my best to ignore the curiosity that was floating around me and follow Mr. Mason's lesson. A lesson that was interrupted, not even two minutes later, when a small, pixie like girl, with deep black hair, cropped short to her scalp, raised her hand.
“Mr. Mason, I'm not feeling very well, may I be excused?” She asked, her high soprano voice, probably the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
Mr. Mason being once again upset, that his lesson was again interrupted. But when he took in – I learnt the girls name was Alice from his mind, tense posture and almost frantic eyes, he excused her. The girl named Alice not wasting anytime in packing up her things. Her eyes meeting mine briefly, I could have sworn they were black, and an unreadable expression on her face. The curious minds around me too loud, for me to hear what it was that she had been thinking.
She then quickly left the classroom, her hurried steps more graceful than that of a ballerina's.
The rest of the lesson passing with no more interruptions, until the bell rang, signaling the end of class. The rest of the students, packing up their things slowly as they watched me. Only one of them being brave enough to come and speak to me. A short, Asian boy with sleek black hair.
I can do it. It's only Hello. I can say Hello.
The pep-talk like mantra, repeating in his head, being what alerted me to his approach.
“Hi, you're Isabella Swan, the new girl.” He rushed out, nervous.
I was momentarily shocked that he was talking to me. Even more so that he was being polite and not making fun of me like my classmates back in Phoenix did. I guess I was so used to being treated like a freak, an oddity, that I had forgotten that some people could actually be nice.
“Just Bella.” I corrected, slinging my bag over my shoulder.
And seeing everyone halt their steps as they stopped to listen.
“What's your next class?” He asked, seeing in his mind that he was hoping it was the same as his.
“Um...” I paused, having to check my schedule. “Government, with Jefferson.”
He was disappointed.
“My class is just down from yours, I could show you the way, if you like?” I was beginning to think that he was the overly helpful, chess-club type. He was certainly dressed the part. “I'm Eric Yorkie, by the way.”
I thanked him, accepting his offer. His intentions I could see were straight-forward and it was nice that he hadn't once, looked anywhere other than my face as he spoke to me.
I also didn't want to be rude.
“So, ah... I'm sorry about your mum.” He said, earning a confused look from me. “It's a really small town and the Chief is pretty popular.” He explained nervously, hoping that he hadn't said anything to upset me.
“Oh, right.” I had been holding out hope that it was only the adults that Charlie had spoken to, about my mum's passing. Guess I was wrong. “And thanks.”
He smiled. I had caught on pretty quick, that despite not holding the position anymore, most of the teenagers in town still thought of Charlie as 'the Chief'. Something that I knew amused Charlie to no end.
“So I bet this is a lot different from Phoenix, huh?” He asked, making conversation, as we made our way up a flight of stairs.
You have no idea, I thought, choosing only to reply with a short “Very.”
“It doesn't rain much there, does it?”
I shook my head, purposefully keeping my answers short and my eyes down. I didn't need to see everyone watching us, to know that they were. Or to know that nearly every guy I passed, all took the time to check out my ass. Replying to Eric's question that it rarely, if ever, rained in Phoenix. Eric being stunned by my answer and even more so that I wasn't tanned, like he was now picturing someone from Phoenix should be if it was that sunny.
“Yeah, I guess that's why they kicked me out.” I joked, Eric being unsure whether he should laugh or not, knowing the true reason as to why I moved here.
This was why I didn't try to make friends. I didn't know how to talk to people, even with what some might call the advantage I had. Not that once they learned how much of a freak I was, they would still want to be my friend anyway.
Eric dropping me off at my next class, with a 'good luck' and I could hear that he was hoping that we had more than one class together, today. The rest of my morning classes passing the same way as English. Trying my best to focus on the work I was given and not the excited and curious thoughts that were being thrown at me from all directions. Thoughts that by lunch time had my head throbbing and my answers – to those few brave enough to talk to me, short. Very short.
They were also mostly lies.
My head yearning, pleading for silence. For peace. While my heart, more than anything else, wanted everyone to stop telling me how sorry they were for my loss. Didn't they know that having everyone remind me of who was taken from me, only made me feel worse not better.
Stopping in the bathroom to splash cold water on my face, checking to make sure that my hand was still covered – it was, and to take two of the Tylenol I had brought to school for my headache. The empty stalls providing a small moment of relief, while I decided what to do next. Knowing from experience, that the library would be the quietest place in the school and making the decision to head there. A decision that was changed however, when on my way there I was stopped.
“Hi there, I'm Angela Weber, class president.” She introduced herself, with a bright smile.
She had the same dark hair as I did, although hers was a couple of shades lighter.
“Oh, hi, Bella.” I replied a little taken back.
So distracted by my ever increasing headache that I hadn't heard her coming. Nor was it often that I came across someone with thoughts as genuine and soft as Angela's.
“Charlie's daughter.” She was still smiling. “Sorry, curse of a small town. I just wanted to welcome you and see if you needed anything. Maybe even ask you to sit with us at lunch?” She asked, her thoughts and her smile both hopeful that I would.
I was torn.
I didn't want to be rude. Especially with how nice Angela was, but my headache hadn't eased any – not even with having taken the Tylenol, and I really didn't welcome the idea of sitting in the busy and most certainly going to be boisterous, lunchroom. My head longing instead for some place quiet, some place alone. But seeing the look on Angela's face, as well as the pleading that was her thoughts, I couldn't help but say yes.
Angela then leading me away from the library that was going to become my sanctuary and into, just as I knew it would be, the loud and last place I wanted to be, lunchroom. My face cringing from the onslaught, the moment we stepped through the doors and the collection of thoughts became nothing more than just a white noise of screeching static. Angela leading us over to pay for our lunch first, before dragging me over to a full table in the center of the cafeteria, where she instantly introduced me to the rest of her friends. Most of whose names I forgot as soon they were introduced, their minds all raging with curiosity.
It was daunting. And painful.
Trying my best to smile, knowing that the headache I had before lunch was going to be even worse, by the time lunch was over. My arms then crossing protectively over my chest, as I heard exactly where every male mind at the table was staring. Just as a girl named Jessica, who I remembered from both my Trig and Spanish classes, sat down next to me, introducing herself. Much to the displeasure of a blonde headed girl named, Lauren, who was sitting across from us.
She didn't like me.
I had picked up that quite easily from her thoughts. Both her and Jessica reminding me of girls back in Phoenix who longed to be the center of attention, something that my arrival was taking away from them.
They were jealous.
Jessica's thoughts being more filled with envy, however, rather than any hate or malice, like Lauren's were. I could tell instantly from hearing Lauren's thoughts that she would be the one I would most have to watch out for here. While Jessica was mostly interested in capturing the attention of some boy named Mike, who I had yet to meet.
It made me wonder how someone like Angela could be friends with them. But then I surmised that Angela was just that rare type of person who could be friends with anyone. Doing my best to block out as many voices as I could, while still paying attention to the conversations around me, until I caught sight of the small, dark haired pixie girl, that I had seen earlier that day in my English class. I thought she had gone home. Something about her and the people that she was sitting with inexplicably catching my attention.
There were five of them.
All sitting at a table far away from everyone else and the furthest away from where I was seated. The small one known as Alice – who reminded me of Tinkerbell, with her small delicate features and razored bangs, looking up to meet my eyes, her own filled with emotions, that from here I couldn't quite read. Nor could I hear, with the static that was filling my head, what she thinking about. Her eyes breaking mine first as she turned to talk to the tall, lean, honey blond male, with his arm wrapped around her shoulders.
The two softly talking, before they both stood, sending a wary glance in my direction before leaving the cafeteria.
It was strange.
“Who are they?” I asked Jessica, Angela busy helping someone with an assignment and gesturing with my head in the direction of their table.
Jessica turning her head to see to who I was referring.
She mentally laughed. Didn't take her long I see. My brows furrowed in confusion.
“The Cullens.” She answered, their name and her tone, being spoken as if I should automatically know what that meant. “Or at least some of them.”
My eyes not being able to stop themselves from drifting back to the table, where only three remained now and meeting as they did so, the curious gaze of a tall guy, with dark curly hair and built, I could see from here, like a serious weightlifter. His eyes meeting mine for a moment, before turning away to talk to the striking, amazon-like, blonde girl, he was seated next to. She was beautiful. Absolutely stunning. Her long, light blonde hair falling over her shoulders as if it were made of silk and her figure, one that I could see from here, would have men of all ages dropping to their knees in front of her.
I imagined that even Helen of Troy, would find herself coming up short if they stood next to the beautiful flawless blonde, as it wasn't just a great beauty she carried. She was captivating. They all were, I thought. None more so than the last lone figure at the table and I found myself unable to tear my eyes away from him. He was simply enchanting. Appearing to be just as tall as the other two boys – I would guess that there was only an inch or two between them, although he possessed a slightly more boyish look than the other two. With hair that appeared to have a mind of it's own, in a unique shade of bronze that I had never seen before.
He was even more beautiful, than the blonde he sat across from. His face appearing as if it was, like the rest of him, carved out of stone by the gods themselves. Not even Adonis, I'd wager, could stand next to him and still hold his title.
“The Cullens?” I finally asked, managing to tear my eyes away.
“They're ah... Dr. and Mrs. Cullens foster kids. They moved down here from Alaska, like, two years ago.” Jessica explained.
Something inside of me being drawn back to the table in the corner, my eyes taking in the three people that were seated there and noting that despite how different they were from each other. They were also, strangely, exactly alike. With each having the same ghostly pale skin, paler even then me, the girl who couldn't tan to save her life. Their eyes – a pair of which were staring at me in disdain, being dark, appearing almost black at this distance. With the purplish, bruise like shadows beneath all three of their eyes, making them look even darker. It was almost as if they were all suffering from sleep deprivation.
But not even that apparent imperfection, could take anything away from the devastating, almost inhuman, beauty that they carried. I don't think anything could take away from that. Especially from the beautiful, bronze haired boy, that my eyes found themselves constantly being drawn back to, who was the only one who had yet to look my way.
At least while I was watching him.
His mouth then appearing to be moving very quickly, his perfect lips barely opening and his words whatever they were, getting the stunning blonde haired girl, to drop her gaze. The thoughts of the cafeteria still too loud, for me to even attempt to overhear what he was saying through his mind.
“They like to keep to themselves.” Angela then joined the conversation.
“Yeah, because they're all together.” Jessica jumped in then. “Like together, together.” She said it like it was some type of scandal and picking up from her thoughts that to some people in town, it had been. “Emmett Cullen – the big dark haired guy, is with the blonde girl Rosalie Hale. Rosalie's twin Jasper is the blond guy who left earlier and always looks as if he is in pain and he's with Alice Cullen, the little dark haired girl who left with him – who is also really weird by the way.”
I frowned. If she thought that Alice Cullen was weird, from what I could see in her mind was nothing, then I dreaded to think what she would think of me if she knew what I could do.
Not that she would ever find out if I could help it.
“Jess, they're not actually related.” Angela spoke again, her tone slightly exasperated.
Must everyone in this town, be so small minded. She thought and I could see that this had been a highly talked about subject and not just amongst the students of Forks High.
Jessica rolled her eyes. “They live together, Ange, you can't tell me that it's not weird?”
Angela shook her head, thinking that it didn't matter what anyone else thought, it was their business. Not ours. She also thought it was secretly kind of sweet.
“So who's the boy with the reddish-brown hair?” I asked, giving him another glance from the corner of my eye.
Oh, good luck idiot, E.... I heard her thoughts broadcast, causing me to wince as the steady pain in my head spiked and missing clearly the end of what she had been thinking, as it faded back into static. But not missing as he – the boy with the unruly bronze hair, looked up in Jessica's direction for a fraction of a second, before his gaze turned once to me and then away.
He had looked bored. Uninterested. Not at all like the curious gazes that the rest of his family had held. Almost if... I thought, but then shook my head of the thought. That was impossible. It was almost as if Jessica had called his name and he had looked up at her as an involuntary response, already decided not to answer.
But that couldn't be.
The act of shaking my head to clear it, making me groan as the pain worsened and I closed my eyes, rubbing my temples. A useless action that I tired in a vain hope, would help to strengthen the wall I had built in my mind in an attempt to block out the voices and dull my headache.
It wasn't working. Not when I was in such a crowded and concentrated area. And not when all the thoughts around me, were somehow in some way centered on me.
“Bella are you okay?” Angela asked concerned.
I opened my eyes. “Yeah, sorry, just a small headache. It's fine.” I lied, not needing or wanting anyone to worry.
Angela looked unconvinced.
“Are you sure, I can take you to the nurse?” She offered.
I refused. “No really it's fine. I just didn't sleep much last night and then today...” I trailed off.
Jessica rolled her eyes. “She's fine, Ange. Now back to what you asked. That's Edward Cullen.” She spoke the name with a hint of longing in her voice and I could see in her mind, from all the fantasies that were there, how much she wished Edward Cullen was hers. “He's totally gorgeous, obviously, but he doesn't date. Like ever. Apparently none of the girls here are good enough for him.” She said with a clear case of sour grapes. “Like I care you know.” You do, I could hear it. “So, I wouldn't, just to warn you, waste your time or get your hopes up.” She told me.
Having to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling, when I saw just how many times Edward Cullen had turned her down. My eyes finding his table again and from the way his cheek appeared lifted it looked as if he was smiling too.
I mean really, she's not even that pretty, and if he said no to me, then he will definitely say no to her. Jessica was telling herself, trying to make herself feel better. Her thoughts carrying a meaner edge then what I had heard from her earlier and the smile quickly faded into a frown. God knows why Eric is staring so much, or Mike. There was that name again. I had still yet to meet this Mike, but from Jessica's upset thoughts it was obvious that her crush had seen me. It's like friggin kindergarten all over again, everyone wants the shiny new toy. Although... with the way everyone is staring at her and by association me, I could be able to use this... I turned away.
I knew when she had first sat down, that Jessica was a slightly jealous girl, but I didn't think she could also be vicious. Her thoughts carrying a razor sharp edge when she thought about me taking Mike from her. Not that I wanted him or even knew who he was.
Distracting myself by turning my attention back to where Edward Cullen and his siblings of sorts sat.
“It's nice of them.” I said quietly, not really meaning for anyone to hear me.
“Nice of what?” Jessica had heard me.
“It's nice of Dr. and Mrs. Cullen to take care of all those kids, when they don't have to.” I explained.
This was a view of the Cullens that Jessica had never thought of.
“I guess so.” She admitted, albeit reluctantly, a moment later. “Jasper and Rosalie have apparently been with them since they were eight and Mrs. Cullen is like their aunt or something. Both her and Dr. Cullen are really young, like late twenties or early thirties and I don't think that Mrs. Cullen can have any kids.”
Like that should lesson the act of their kindness.
Turning my head to examine the three of them again and catching as I did so, his eyes. Edward Cullen was staring at me, this time with blatant curiosity in his expression and the pressure in my head getting worse as I tried – really for the first time, as it was usually something I never wanted, to hear the thoughts of the beautiful boy who was looking at me. No appraising me it felt like. His eyes holding some kind of unmet expectation. But between the rest of the voices in the cafeteria and the distance that was between us, I couldn't hear him.
Or maybe I was and I just wasn't recognizing his voice, buried amongst all the others. The two of us not looking away from each other until the bell rang.
I flinched. The loud ringing not helping my headache at all and being thankful that it went unnoticed by Angela. No doubt she would have tried to drag me to the nurse's office, something that I really didn't want. I only had two classes left for the day. Angela it turns out, having Chemistry, with me the next hour, her locker also being located next to mine, so we walked to class together in silence. Angela keeping an eye on me as we did, wanting to make sure that I was okay.
It was sweet and I found myself really liking Angela. She was genuine. Nice. And had no ulterior motives, other than wanting to help out a friend. The fact that in the very short amount of time we had known each other, she already viewed me as that, made my heart clench. I had never really had a friend before and I was slightly unsure if allowing myself to be friends with Angela was a good thing.
Friends liked honesty. And I didn't know, regardless of how close Angela and I may become, if I could ever share with her my secret. I also didn't know how long any of this – people wanting to be my friend, would last. For in my experience it didn't.
The science labs being located on the second story of the school. Angela immediately going to her black-topped bench in the back of class, as soon as we entered. She already had a partner. In fact, all of the lab tables were full, except for one. Sitting next to the window, on the left side of the room, next to the only available seat was Edward Cullen.
He wore a bored expression on his face, not looking up at my entrance – like the rest of the students in the room had, until I had walked past the fan that was blowing, on my way to the teachers desk. That was when he suddenly went rigid in his seat, his eyes appearing even darker than they were at lunch and his bored expression giving way to one of hostility and fury.
I quickly looked away. Confused and hearing that no one else had yet to notice, Edward Cullen's swift change in behavior. Mr Banner, then signing my form and handing me a book without having me introduce myself, like Mr. Varner had in Trig, before sending me to my seat. My steps deliberately cautious as I approached, something – a long buried instinct perhaps, telling me that I had to be careful.
I couldn't explain it.
Nor could I explain the look of absolute hatred on Edward Cullen's face, as I sat down. Or the fact that now that I was close enough to make out, I could see that his eyes were in fact black – coal black. Placing my book gently on the desk and slipping my bag under the table, just as carefully, as I sat down. Edward leaning as far away from me as he could get, his action not only confusing me, but angering me.
Something that only confused me even more.
Doing my best to focus on the lecture that Mr. Banner was giving, but failing. My eyes constantly being drawn back to the strange but beautiful boy next to me, who never once relaxed his tense position on the edge of his chair. His right hand clenched in an iron fist on his leg, showing off the toned muscles of his arm and I had to wonder as I watched him, if he was even breathing.
And why it was, or what I had done, that had caused this severe reaction.
It also didn't help in my focusing, that my head was throbbing from my headache. Deciding then, as I tried to block out everyone else's thoughts, that I would instead focus on just one person's. On Edward's. It helped sometimes if I was only focusing on one mind, instead of the static, white noise of many. Turning my head towards Edward, his black eyes catching mine, the dark look in them sending a shiver down my spine and I felt something deep inside of me begin to grow.
Determined not to look away and listening harder than I ever had before, to anyone, as I focused all my attention, all my concentration, on Edward.
But there was nothing.
Not a peep. Or a whisper, of a thought coming from Edward's mind and confused at what was happening I listened harder. Not caring about the pressure that was currently building in my head. I wanted answers and I had never come across someone that I couldn't hear before. My eyes staying locked with his and feeling, the longer I tried to penetrate his mind, a warm feeling begin to spread in the tips of my fingers, as the anger and confusion inside me spread. Barely registering that the lights in the room had began to flicker. The pain in my head worsening the longer I tried to listen, until finally it all became too much, and I looked away.
Closing my eyes and focusing on trying to push, to will, the pain in my head away. Faintly hearing, but not paying attention, as Mr. Banner and the students around me talked about the, again, flickering of the lights. My breathing then beginning to speed up, just as the wind outside and the white hot pain inside my head became heavier, until finally – I don't know how, I opened my eyes and pushed the pain away. At the exact same time that the wind outside gave an almighty howl, screams then filling the room when in the next second all the windows shattered. Glass raining down around me, as everyone in the room tried to cover their heads.
Everyone having frozen in shock and fear at what had just happened. My own shocked eyes looking up at the now empty window panes and the glass that covered nearly the entire left side of the classroom. A small voice inside my head whispering – had I somehow done this? It didn't make sense that I had, it couldn't be possible. But then again, neither could people read minds either and yet here I sat. The wind, the flickering lights, the exploding windows, none of it had happened until I had tried to read Edward Cullen's mind. Until the pain in my head reached a level I had never felt before and in desperation I had tried to push the pain away and somehow succeeded.
My heart then beginning to race in that moment, as I looked around at all the people who could have gotten hurt. My horrified eyes then catching the shocked and speculating eyes of Edward Cullen.
He was looking at me like the doctors my mother had taken me to as a child had, when they were attempting to figure me out. And not being able to handle his stare any longer, I stood, grabbing my bag and racing from the room, much to the confusion of Mr. Banner and everyone else. The only thought passing through my mind as I raced down the hall, being... did he somehow know?