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Chapter 26 - Feeding Time

I walked into the room reluctantly. The girl was lying on the bed exactly where she was before, when I had comforted her into sleep. She looked so innocent with her face peaceful and her eyes closed.

Carlisle's idea made sense, but I didn't want to be the one to test it out. What would she think of me if Alice was wrong? She would think I was a monster, surely. After all, I was going to be feeding her with blood.

Carlisle had gone to the hospital early that morning and had managed to sneak away some of the donor blood that was kept in supply for patients in need. I felt kind of bad for taking it away when it could potentially be used to save someone's like, but if it would help this girl, then wouldn't it be worth it? I hoped so.

"Angel," I whispered softly. She opened her eyes slowly and gave a small smile when she saw me. "We've got an idea that might help you," I told her quietly. She blinked and tilted her head curiously, obviously wondering more.

Instead of answering and telling her like wanted to, I bent down to her level and scooped her into my arms, handling her very gently. She protested immediately as I lifted her to my chest, twisting her body weakly against my restraints.

"Shh, Angel," I soothed, freeing my hand to carefully cup her cheek. My thumb stroked along her cheekbone as I quietly sang her lullaby. Almost instantly, she calmed, though never once did she relax, clearly still not comfortable with this close contact.

I carried her to Carlisle's medical room, hesitating as I wondered how she would react if she recognised this room as I was sure she would. She showed no reaction, her head remained turned towards me, her eyes watching my face tensely.

"It's okay," I reassured her as I looked down at her in my arms. She squinted in response, but stayed silent. Slowly, I placed her on the examination table she had laid on upon her arrival. She lay still, staring at me curiously as I watched her with a measuring look. It seemed she was fine, lying on her back as I had placed her without complaint or any attempt to curl into herself.

It occurred to me that that was strange because usually she would fight any attempt to lay her on her back vehemently. I took a breath and moved over to where Carlisle had placed the container filled with blood. I filled a bowl with hot water and placed the container in it to warm the blood. Carlisle had told me that this would be sufficient.

While I was waiting for the blood to heat, I moved back to the bed to observe the girl. She lay still except for her eyes which darted about, taking in the sight of the room, but I could see a flicker of uncertainty lingering in her eyes. She was worried, I realised. Softly, I touched my fingers to the back of her hand, catching her attention. When she looked to me, I murmured, "It's alright." She didn't seem entirely convinced, but she did relax slightly.

Knowing that the blood had had long enough, I went back to the counter and lifted the container from the water. I found a small mug that had been left out for this purpose and filled it with blood until it was three quarters full.

When I turned back to the table, I was surprised by the intense focus of the girl. She was fixated on me with an almost primal glint in her eyes. I was reminded of our species when we gave into our instincts. That was what she looked like now.

She didn't move as I approached her cautiously. Her eyes followed my movement and I caught her distinctly sniffing at the air. Probably catching the scent of the blood, I thought. But that confused me. Did that mean that Alice was correct? She usually was, but this seemed so absurd I couldn't believe it; or maybe I hadn't wanted to believe it. Well, I guess I would soon find out, I thought, bracing myself as I took a seat next to the bed.

"I have something that might help you get better angel," I told her, not knowing if my words were getting through to her or not. Her eyes were trained on the glass in my hand, and it looked as though she was ready to lunge at me. "I know it may seem a little unorthodox, in a way, but seeming this is our last effort to get you healthy and well, I am willing to try anything."

With a steady hand I made sure not to make any sudden movements to either scare her or have her lash out at me, I slowly raised the glass closer to her face, and a deep rumbling growl of an animalistic nature rumbled in my angel's belly. I had planned on helping her feed, as she may have been too weak to feed herself, but to my utter astonishment, the girl snatched the glass out of my hands and began gulping down the warmed blood. Not taking my eyes off her primal and radiant form, I saw a shiver of what I thought could be one of two things—pleasure or disgust—but seeming the reaction that had originated from her to begin with, I was going with pleasure.

After all the blood was gone, my angel looked different. Not a bad different of course—though I ma not sure she could ever look bad doing anything...ever, I gently pried the empty glass from her surprisingly strong grasp and filled the cup with more of the warm borrowed blood and she took it just as eagerly as the first time.

"Do you think you can drink more?" I asked her, eyeing her carefully for any signs of distress or sickness. The girl thrust the glass towards me, wordlessly and I filled it half full again, handing it back to her. She drank more slowly this time, as if she were savouring the taste. I had to squash down a shiver, in hopes of not giving the girl the wrong impression.

The now half empty bag of blood, sat upright in the fridge, until she was ready to feed again.

Edward, do you think that I would be able to come up and examine the girl? Talk to her? My father asked eager and excited to have found out that this girl was indeed half vampire and half human.

How did I feel about that? What does this mean? Does she have a human family? Does she have a vampire family? Is she alone? Does she have a mate that was searching for her? The latter two questions swirling inside my mind sent a jolt of sharp pain through my chest, my heart felt as though it could possibly break. Impossible, my heart was dead. How could something already dead, break?

Pushing aside my inner turmoil, I noticed the girl watching me intently, as if she were trying to figure me out. I managed to paste a gentle smile on my lips, shaking my head to clear the painful thoughts and let her know that it was nothing for her to worry about.

"Angel, my father would like to come up and speak with you, and check on your injuries." I assessed her growing fear, as her eyes went wide and her eyes darted towards the door, as if waiting for him to come walking through at any moment. Unconsciously, her body shifted towards me as her attention never left the door. I felt a thrill flow through me at the prospect of knowing the girl would come to me for comfort and protection.

"He is not coming in," I explained gently, reaching out to her for the first time we had been in the room together. "Not unless you want him too," I added to reassure her again. "But I think it would be a good idea angel," My hand swept down her tiny fragile arm, trying to get her to focus her attention on me. And I was right. Her head jerked around to face me and our eyes met. I could feel the heat of her gaze locking with mine and I smiled to again reassure her. "You know I won't let him hurt you. I will be by your side the entire time."

Her gaze broke mine when she blinked, her eyebrows mashed together, and the small V shape creased her beautiful face, and again I found myself aching to smooth it away with my fingers. Glancing at the door over her shoulder, she turned back to me with a sigh, nodding her permission. Taking one of her hand in my own, I gently lifted her hand to my lips tenderly giving the back of her hand a kiss. Her eyes never left mine as I did this, and I am more than sure we could have stared into each other's eyes all day, but a knock on the door broke us out of our forms and the door opened.

Carlisle came in smiling brightly, only leaving enough room to squeeze his body through the door and closed it tightly behind him. "Hello," He greeted the girl happily walking with a slow but steady pace to her bedside. "It seems that my theory was correct," He said, taking a jab at me in the hidden meaning behind his words.

My angel looked to me for a moment, trying to get a feel of how things would play out. I nodded to her, smiling at her for encouragement. With another deep sigh, my angel nodded her head at Carlisle's words.

"I just wanted to come up to make sure that your wounds have been healing nicely," He said to her gently, sweeping into doctor mode. Though the excitement racing in Carlisle's thoughts were racing like crazy in his mind, his outward appearance gave nothing away. He was good like that, after spending centuries perfecting his craft and his actions and words to his patients.

I had never heard my father speak so openly to the girl before. Maybe it was because he knew her better now—biologically speaking, of course—he knew what we were dealing with and that was the hardest part of this whole battle with the girl. Though the girl was still very weak, Carlisle decided to take the calm approach—just because the girl was still weak, did not matter any longer. She was indeed half vampire and still had a vampire's nature and maybe even some of vampire abilities.

The sudden thought caught me off guard. It was something I would have to speak to my father about after the girl was asleep for the night. I felt calmer and less annoyed with the silent workings of the girls mind. Was this her possible gift? A shield—a protection of the mind—something extremely useful towards any vampires that wished to cause her harm, physical or mental. I had to bite back the growl forming in the pit of my stomach. The thought of anyone or any thing bringing harm to my angel stirred black rage inside me. I would bring a rain of terror down on anyone who would try and harm her or even think about harming her!

A tiny whimper broke through my internal chattering, and my attention snapped towards the girl, Carlisle had managed to get the girl to hold still while he assessed her wrist wounds. I instantly felt guilt wash through me. Here I had promised her that I would be here for her, comforting and protecting her, when I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts to warn Carlisle or give her the support she so desperately needed.

"Amazing!" My father whispered sounding stunned and amazed. "Her accelerated healing must have already kicked in." He mused out loud. "Her burns and cuts are nearly healed. I think after a few more days of steady feeding and more rest, she will be fully healed—physically of course."

"I think rest is a good idea," I agreed, telling my father in the nicest way possible to stop treating my angel as a science experiment. Gently brushing my father aside, I reached for my angel and she came willingly. "I am so proud of you angel, "I murmured gently in her ear as I carried her off towards her room. "And I am so happy that you are finally healing."

By the time I had reached her room, she looked as though she could barely keep her eyes open. Pulling back the covers, I gently laid her in her bed and covered her tiny body up to her chin. "I will let you rest, if you need me, I will be downstairs." I knew it was pointless to tell her I would be downstairs. I knew she wouldn't call out to me, yet I wanted to give the reassurance she needed, to let her know I was never out of arms reach.

I waited a few minutes by her side, until I knew she was fully asleep, and then darted out of the room, gently closing the door behind me. Taking the stairs at rapid speed, I stopped at the bottom and casually strolled into the dining room where the rest of my family was already waiting for me. Taking my seat I first turned my attention toward my father. "If you ever treat her like one of your science experiments again, I will rip off your arms, Carlisle." My family balked at my threat towards my father, my mother gasped at the possible thought of me harming her mate. "I know you are excited, but that gives you no right to treat her like a chimp in a lab!"

"You're right," He sighed. I could see the regret in this eyes and the guilt in his thoughts. "I got carried away with myself and the excitement of the situation. Please forgive me, Edward."

I nodded, sweeping my hand in his direction to start the meeting.

"So it seems that our little mystery girl, isn't so much of a mystery now."

"I wonder how old she is." Jasper murmured.

"I have no way of knowing," Carlisle sighed disgruntled. "But maybe in time, when or if she can speak, she will be able to tell us or Edward. On a brighter note, the blood that she has ingested has been working wonders. Her wounds are healing at a rapid pace and I am almost positive that her internal bruising will all but disappear in the next few days to a week."

"What about human food?" Esme asked looking hopeful, already in mother mode.

"I do not think that introducing human food back into her system would be a good idea at this point. I think her body needs to heal more, and get the lack of nutrition back into her body. When she wakes up Edward can feed her again and we can go from there."

"Sounds like a good plan, doc," Emmett chuckled at his own humour. I, on the other hand rolled my eyes at his attempt to be funny.

"I think I figured out another piece of the puzzle," I said looking pointedly at my father. "Seeming she is in fact half human and half vampire, don't you think it would be plausible for her to have a gift? Her mind is silent to me. Almost like a shield, maybe that part of her is more suited to vampuric nature than her human nature."

"A shield!" Alice gasped stunned. "It would make sense as to why I can't really see her, but then again, I have never been a half breed..."

A threatening sharp growl ripped out from me before I had the chance to rein in my actions, but it came natural to me at this point. "What did you call my angel?" I hissed, glaring at her in fury. "She is not a half breed!"

"I'm sorry," Alice whispered. "I didn't mean it like that, Edward. Truly I am sorry. But I meant what I said about not being half and half. It makes even more sense now as to why I have such a hard time seeing her."

"A very interesting theory, and very plausible as well," Carlisle carried on the conversation with ease trying to focus my attention on something else. "But again, it would only be by word of mouth that we could get the full aspects of the girl. It would make sense, seeming she would not be as strong or as fast as a full vampire. It gives her, a silent edge, to her arsenal. Maybe she can hear us or even turn it off. Maybe she doesn't know how or that she even has it to begin with."

"Well if our meeting is adjourned, I suggest those of us that need to go hunting do it soon, a wicked thunderstorm is about to hit by late tonight, and I for one don't feel like ruining my new outfit." Alice sniffed glaring at the gathering of blackening clouds in the sky.

Alice, along with Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett took off towards the forest at full speed, anxious to out run the rain. I on the other hand took advantage of the four less minds in the house and decided to tinker with the lullaby I have been working on for my angel.

Emptying my mind, I let my fingers fly gingerly across the black and ivory keys in hopes of getting closer to the finished product in my mind. The image of my angle looking primal and radiant as she stared me down in her need to consume her nourishment, popped into my mind. My fingers flew to the lower scale notes as I tried to figure out how to put image to notes.

It was some hours later that the four minds that had been missing from my mind had reappeared and had stopped at the mouth of the piano room. Opening my eyes, I noticed that my parents were sitting on the lounge by the far window wall with content looks on their faces.

"It's getting sweeter and sweeter every time I here it," Esme smiled rising to her feet, pulling my father along with her.

"It truly is a beautiful piece Edward," My father agreed.

"One more time?" Alice begged me, her tiny face slipping into her signature puppy dog eyes pout.

"I will play something else for you," I told her, as she flitted to my side. I was only two bars into 'Chopsticks' when the sky opened up, hammering everything with rain, and a brilliant flash of lightening filled the sky. Another two bars played effortlessly from my fingers when a loud boom of thunder filled the night sky and a cry of fear came from my angel's room.

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A/N: So sorry it has taken me so long to update. It took me a better part of my day to get this chapter finished. I know my last chapter was really short, so I am hoping that this one will make up for it! I do not know when I will be able to update next so please be patient with me.

PS. This chapter is not Beta'ed...so yeah.

LouLouCullen.