|In Your Sleep
Author: byhelenahandbasket PM
Alternate Universe with vampires. Bella and Edward meet under different circumstances. With nothing to stop him from taking what he wants, will he find the strength to overcome his bloodlust and fall in love?Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 4 - Words: 8,361 - Reviews: 103 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 123 - Updated: 02-08-09 - Published: 11-02-08 - id: 4631406
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It took surprisingly little time to wrap up twenty five years of her parents' memories and prepare to close up the house she had grown up in. Bella and Renee had sorted through Charlie's things shortly after his death and there was simply not much left to take care of. She preferred to sell the house before she moved, but figured that if it took time to settle, she'd be fine financially without the profit.
She put the house on the market, packed up boxes with the few things she wanted to keep and opened the house to the neighborhood for a garage sale. The day of the sale was as much a wake as a sale, with the neighborhood coming out to offer kind words before taking a few obligatory discount items as a tangible proof of their sympathy. After she'd cleaned up the last few things that remained behind and divided them into trash/donate piles, she sat down in Renee's favorite chair, feeling the oppressive silence gather around her. She wouldn't miss this house. Without her family, it had become simply walls and windows.
Making her way into the bathroom, she swallowed a dose of the sleeping pills her doctor had prescribed. Over the last few nights, she'd not slept much at all, mostly laying awake and thinking out her plans (or lack of) for the future. She hadn't availed herself of the pills on those nights, and as she tossed and turned she had been bothered by a feeling that she was not alone in the house, which, given the circumstances and her extreme loneliness, made no sense. She knew with complete certainty that everyone who had been important to her was gone. It must be an extreme case of wishful thinking.
Whatever it was, tonight she had no patience for it. She needed to sleep and sleep well. She planned to leave for Forks in a week and wanted to use the next few days productively.
The pills were very effective. She only woke up one time, and even though she felt the presence of another person more strongly than ever, it did not disturb her. For some reason, it made her feel safe.
Edward had returned to Forks with Jasper and Alice in order to hunt and pack up. His 'family' had an apartment in the city that they used from time to time, and he had decided to base himself there while keeping track of Bella Swan. Alice was obliging him by keeping him apprised of any new visions of danger heading Bella's way. She seemed to be deeply amused by Edward's instant and irrational attachment to the girl and had made more than a few passing remarks about a new sister.
He found himself unable to keep much of a distance. Nights found him lurking around her house, keeping out of sight. It had been both challenging and aggravating to be with her on those nights, since she was not sleeping soundly at all. Keeping as quiet as was vampirically possible, he'd gone through her collection of books and music, looked at her family photo albums and watched a few home videos. He'd rifled through her fridge and medicine cabinet and closet. He'd gone through her cellphone messages and calls, her email and browsing history, and her finances.
Basically, he had behaved like a crazed, obsessed stalker.
He was a crazed, obsessed stalker.
He rationalized that he needed to be here with her for her sake. She was in near constant danger, fated to die in one of a myriad of different ways before he could manage to get her to Forks. Alice had informed him of the way that the ceiling of Bella's bedroom was going to collapse just before she left Forks, so he had arranged to buy her house silently from the realtor, offering a slightly higher price with the condition that he take possession three days before her intended departure date. The realtor was set to inform her the next morning.
Even though Alice hadn't informed Edward of any new threats, he still felt uneasy being away from her for more than a few minutes at a time. Emmett had volunteered to come up and 'do guard duty' as he'd called it, the next night and the night before Edward was going to drive Bella to Forks so he would be well fed and less likely to be tempted by the call of her blood while they were in a confined space together.
Edward sat back in the chair in the corner of Bella's bedroom, tilting his head back to look up at the offending ceiling, the vision of the disaster as Alice had seen it clear in his mind. It would have been an accident truly bizarre in its bad luck. Most of the house suffered from termite damage, but the heavy support beam just above Bella's bed was going to be the first to give way just minutes before she would wake up and move out of the way.
So he'd arranged to buy the house and get her out of the way.
Much like he'd heard the thoughts of the scum in the garage on the day of her interview and moved to dispose of that threat.
Alice had shown him that the brakes of Bella's car would fail just before she arrived in Forks. The car was old and slow and if it didn't fail then, it was sure to do so sometime in the near future. He was going to be sure to do more than just cut the brake lines. He was going to make sure the car was mangled beyond repair, perhaps make it look like the car had been damaged in a hit and run. Emmett might enjoy doing that for him.
Perhaps he could somehow manage to get her to accept a car of his choice. A nice Audi? Perhaps, given her track record, a super safe Volvo. He might be able to get Alice to work it in as a new perk of her contract.
However he managed to handle that, he was looking forward to being able to meet her on the morning of her move, soothe her distress over the destroyed car, and offer her a ride with him.
To spend time with her while she was awake.
Not that he minded this time with her, while she was asleep and vulnerable. Tonight she had taken sleeping pills; he could smell the bitterness of the medication in her blood. He didn't like to have have her sweet scent polluted, but it did mean that she was deeply asleep and he was free to sit by her side and watch over her. As she lay cocooned in warm blankets, her scent grew slightly stronger, burning his throat with pleasurable agony. She dreamt as she slept, sometimes spilling the secrets of her worries and sadness as she spoke in response to whatever she was seeing in her mind.
Her closed mind.
It should bother him more that he couldn't hear her. A closed mind meant danger; someone might figure out their secrets and he wouldn't know in time to divert them. But he intended for this girl to know his secret, to know what he was. He wouldn't try to hide his nature, choosing to trust in Alice's visions that she would want him anyway, and would be his. He looked forward to the challenge that was Bella Swan, even if he was surprised at how difficult it was becoming to keep one specific human alive.
Alive for now, he thought. Once he made her fall in love with him... keeping her alive wouldn't be important. Then he could make her indestructible. Not that it would mean he would leave her alone.
Not at all.
When Bella awoke the next day, she made a full pot of coffee, hoping to shake off the lingering drowsiness of the sleeping pills. Just as she'd poured her second cup, the realtor called her to inform her that she had a buyer for the house who had two unusual but not unheard of requests: anonymity and immediate possession of the house. Bella only had four days to move out. She hesitated for a bit, finding it hard to mentally adjust the finely honed schedule she'd planned out, but decided that it would be best, after all to get all of her loose ends tied up here before she left. She'd take the conditions.
She placed a call to Alice, inquiring if she could move in a few days early. Alice assured her that it would not be a problem, and offered her brother's help with the moving.
Bella was torn. She could not deny that she craved being around Edward Cullen again. What woman in her right mind wouldn't? But he made her think and feel things and she wasn't ready for that. She liked the numb. Instead of giving a definite yes or no, she waffled and said she would let Alice know when she figured things out.
After hanging up the phone, she sat down to look at her finances, seeing that things looked significantly more sorted out than she thought she had left them. With the sale from the house going through so smoothly, she had a bit of extra cash to burn. She got dressed and headed out for a morning of book shopping and, most likely, more coffee.
Two hours later, she was halfway through the stacks at her favorite cozy bookshop, balancing a pile of books with one hand and a cup of coffee with the other. As she started to head around a corner, a book caught her eye and distracted her from her walking, causing her to lose her balance for a moment.
A pale arm shot out and steadied her, her books and her coffee cup, pulling her close and holding her still until she caught her balance. She looked up into the face of Edward Cullen.
Breathtaking, stunning, dazzling, magnetic, gorgeous... a host of adjectives went through her mind and failed to be adequate for his description. He was simply... Edward Cullen.
He smiled kindly at her, keeping his arms around her for slightly longer than seemed strictly necessary and tucked a bit of hair behind her ear before stepping back into a normal semblance of personal space.
Despite how overwhelming his presence was, they fell into easy conversation about the books she held and the title that had caused her misstep. Their conversation transitioned into talk about what she could expect from shopping in Forks (not much) and what she was moving with her. That allowed Edward to bring up the subject of when and how she was moving.
"Coincidentally," he told her, "I will be in town on the day you're moving. I have business to finish here and won't be going back until the day you are going to Forks. Alice asked me to go to your house while the movers are there to be sure they knew exactly where to take your things and make sure the arrangements go smoothly. She wants to be sure there aren't any complications in getting you to Forks. She's really quite eager for you to be one of us; one of the staff of the Volterra School."
It was in Bella's nature to protest receiving help. She was usually the one to make arrangements, to look after details. She was the caretaker.
Edward seemed to sense her reluctance and he smiled gently. "You'll get used to the way that Alice takes over the planning process for anything she's involved in. She's very good at... predicting problems that might occur and taking steps to eliminate those problems. Plus, she pouts. If you don't give in, she makes you feel very, very guilty. She means no harm, and like I said, she's simply very excited to have you join us."
Bella gave in with a sigh, accepting that her life was changing in every way whether she wanted it to or not. This was such a small detail in the larger scheme of things that agreeing to spend more time with Edward shouldn't bother her.
More time with Edward.
The thought of it made her uncomfortably aware that she was starting to wake up again, and she was not sure she was ready for it.
The following Wednesday found her in the passenger seat of Edward's very expensive car, gripping the sides of the seat in a double effort to brace herself for impact as he sped down the road at ridiculous speeds, and to keep her hands from making their way over to stroke his face or run through his delicious hair.
How had she gotten here? She should have been sitting in her own car, listening to her crackly radio, traveling at a reasonable speed and hoping that her GPS would get her to Forks without incident. She should not be here in this car, battling lust like a teenage girl waiting for her first kiss.
The day had fallen apart spectacularly, and she had not yet decided if the way it had worked out was better or worse than the way she had planned it.
She woke up, got dressed, packed up her last few things and had breakfast while waiting for the movers and the realtor to arrive. When she opened the door for the moving crew, they looked distinctly uncomfortable.
"Is something wrong?" she had asked.
The simply pointed out towards the street and mumbled something about her car.
She looked out the window and decided that what she saw could only properly be described as 'what was left of her car.' The trunk and back seat were smashed so completely that they were now in her front seat. She was glad she had decided against packing her trunk last night.
The movers got started, casting her looks of pity as she called the police. The police and the realtor arrived just as the movers were loading up the last box and waiting for the go ahead to drive away with her things. She couldn't decide which of the three should get her attention first and the stress of the morning left her ready to scream or cry, or both.
Just then, Edward Cullen pulled up in front of her house. Like a force of nature or perhaps a knight in shining armor, he handled everything, getting the movers sorted out with the final directions, sitting the realtor and Bella down with the last paperwork and taking her insurance information for the police. In a short time, everyone was gone but Edward and Bella as she made one last pass before locking up.
"When I was five, I fell down right here and knocked out my front teeth. When I was twelve, I fell down here again and broke my wrist."
"Good memories," he laughed. He decided just then that he would get the house fully repaired and give it to her later. It might help her retain some of her human memories after the change. Bella hadn't yet mentioned her car, other than to thank him for his help with the insurance. Since the damage to her car was his fault after all (Emmett had truly enjoyed himself last night), he had wanted to take care of as much of the process as he could for her.
"Bella, the insurance company will pay for a rental car, but you really won't need one for the first few days in Forks. Alice and I will be taking you around for orientation and any shopping you need to set up house properly. Would you consider riding with me? I'm sure that Alice would be more than glad to help you go shopping for a new car later. She's an excellent bargainer, and would be very helpful in getting you a deal."
That was how she ended up here, in a car fit for James Bond, driving at an obscene speed down the wet highway, the air filled with the alluring scent that was part and parcel of Edward's presence, sitting on her hands so she didn't molest him.
Sitting next to Bella in a confined space was an exercise in contradiciton for Edward. It was pleasant agony, delicious starvation, delightful torture. He burned with thirst unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. But as much as he wanted to drain her, he was overwhelemed with the need to protect her against every danger, including himself. It was going to be some time before he'd get inured enough to her scent to be able to safely bite and change her. He would do it, though, and hoped he didn't have to wait too long. He wanted her soon. As soon as possible.
"We're just about to enter Forks," he said, slowing down slightly. "Here is the main street... all three or four blocks of it." He pointed out the supermarket, the bookshop, clothing stores, etc. They soon passed out of the town and drove down a road that wound through thick forest, eventually pulling into a clearing. Bella could make out the shape of a large, well lit building against the gloom of the forest behind it before Edward continued down towards a cluster of cozy looking houses and pulled up in front of one of the smaller ones.
"Welcome home, Bella."
A/N: A few of you have asked more questions about the 'rules' of this AU. I'm keeping a lot of Meyer's rules. Edward does sparkle, and you will see how that gets worked out later. They do have bloodlust, but more like traditional vampires, they can drink from someone and not turn or kill them automatically. Edward just finds himself a little too overcome by Bella's blood. He might not be able to stop from killing her, whereas he easily could with an average person. These vampires carry some incubus traits, so they cause and feed off of the lust of the humans around them. The Volturi here are not quite like the canon Volturi. They are nicer, but what they gain from the students, the town and the school still serves their self interest above all else. They've just found a nicer way to do it. Edward here is very much Stalkward. He's going to be throughout the story. If that squicks you out, you might want to stop here, because it's going to get more intense as the story goes. Also, this Edward has absolutely no resistance to the idea of turning Bella into a vampire. In this story, at this point, it is a foregone conclusion for him. She will be one, he will do it and she is his mate. He's just waiting for her to be ready. Thanks for reading.