Just your fanfic fairy updating, business as usual. Sorrynotsorry for cockblocking.
Alice was waiting for me in the driveway, arms crossed. Such an asshole, getting into all these dumbass situations because he doesn't have any self-control.
"Like you had such great self-control when you met Jasper," I said from my car as I pulled into the garage, knowing she could hear me.
"Jasper wasn't a human," she retorted. "I swear to god, if you ruin my friendship with her, I won't talk to you for thirty years."
"You haven't even met her yet!"
"But I will! And we're going to be good friends."
"I don't give a fuck about that, Alice! All I care about is trying not to kill this girl because I'm probably in fucking love with her and I pose the single greatest threat to her life, so fuck you if you think this has anything to do with you!" I roared, slamming the car door shut behind me, prepared to face off.
"Eddie's in luuuuuurrrrve," Emmett sang mockingly from somewhere inside the upper level of the house.
"Don't be such an adolescent, Edward," Alice continued, ignoring the interruption. "This girl is going to be a part of all of our lives, not just yours."
Isabella Swan blinks open her eyes, shockingly red, her skin unnaturally pale and flawless. She is a new vampire, flexing her hands in front of her face, eyes flicking around the room haphazardly where each member of the Cullen family awaits her.
I growled, pulling myself out of the vision. "No, Alice. I'm not going to do that to her."
"It's going to happen eventually," she snarled, before collecting herself and sighing. "Listen, I realized why my visions about her have been so varied. All of the short term visions change rapidly because she changes her mind all the time, but the long term? That's set, Edward. She's your mate."
"And what about the other future? The one where I kill her?" I demanded, not allowing myself to react to her confidence. Part of me wanted to rejoice in that cemented bond, knowing that Isabella truly was mine, at least in the future. However, nothing came for free.
Alice was immediately on the defensive, trying to distract herself with some Korean sign language, but it wasn't enough to hide the flash of the horrific scene I received.
Isabella is pale, but not like a vampire. Her skin is waxy, contrasting sharply with the scarlet blood from the wound at her neck. She lies dead in her own kitchen.
"Fuck, Alice!" I groaned, tortured by the second vision she had tried to hide. "You can't just proclaim shit like that and not show any regard for what might happen if I try to pursue the first option."
"Why do you think I keep intervening when you need it? It's to prevent that from happening!"
"Even you aren't all-knowing, Ali," I sighed, deflated now. "I know what I'm doing is putting her in danger and I'm probably going to do it anyway, but don't try to make light of it. She could die."
Rosalie's face appeared out of a window overlooking the front of the house. "Hey, fucktard, just leave the girl the fuck alone. How about that? She won't die and I won't have to hear about it. Alice, stop encouraging him."
"Rosie, stay out of this, baby. If Eddie wants to bang her, he should at least get to try," Emmett boomed.
Jasper's voice sounded from behind the house where he was probably caring for his geraniums, carrying to our vampire ears. "Seconded."
"This isn't about just sex. This is about true love," Esme said from the living room.
"There's something interesting going on there biologically, actually. Something beyond the normal definitive confines of love," Carlisle said casually from his office. The dirty bastard was probably looking at more Catholic themed porn.
This was the thing about trying to have a conversation in a house full of vampires. Nothing was private and everybody had two fucking cents of wisdom to share.
I threw my hands up and tugged on my hair, desiring nothing more than to scream at my own house and all the occupants inside. But, I was Edward fucking Cullen and had much more self-control than that.
Instead, I gripped a nearby hunk of shrubbery and ripped it from its roots, shredding it into something that could have passed for salad, letting out a Hulk roar as I dominated the poor flora. Yup, so much fucking self-control.
"Oooooh, Jazzy is going to be pissed," Rosalie sang, watching from her window like some kind of bitchy Rapunzel.
"Did you just attack my bush?!" Jasper growled, breaking away from the usually calm exterior he possessed.
"Ha, you said bush," Emmett laughed. "I'll bet he's going to attack someone else's bush tonight."
"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, fuckwads," I groaned. Christ, could I never get a moment's peace? I wanted to go back to Bella's house, away from the insanity. Well, away from one kind of insanity to a different kind altogether.
"That's enough, everyone," Carlisle said calmly. "Edward's been through quite an ordeal."
I hope you're more polite when the Denali clan comes to visit, Alice thought, pursing her lips.
My head jerked in her direction. "What?"
"You've been bitching at everyone so much that you didn't give me a chance to tell you. They decided to visit from Alaska. They're arriving soon."
"What the –? Why?" I demanded. This was so not what I needed right now.
Alice shrugged. "No idea. I just know that they're coming and bringing three guests."
Sighing, I thought of my last run-in with Tanya. She had become increasingly more forward in her propositioning to the point that I, frustrated and embarrassed, had tossed a freshly massacred elk at her and took off running mid-hunting expedition. Not my finest moment, I knew.
"I don't want them anywhere near Bella." This was probably overkill (get it?) considering that the Denali coven was the only group aside from us that abstained from human blood, but I didn't want to take chances. I'd never felt this sense of possessiveness before, but I wasn't about to ignore my instincts – even if I was able to.
"They're bound to be curious. I can smell Bella all over you," Alice noted. I knew it was true because I burned despite our distance, but I was still pleased, knowing that my scent, undetectable to her, was similarly all over her hair and skin and clothes. "Besides, it's their friends that you should worry about. They're not vegetarians."
"Fuck," I hissed, protective mode engaged. "No hunting within one-hundred miles of Forks. When are they getting here?"
"In an hour."
"I'm going back to Bella's house to protect her."
"Nothing will happen to her, Edward," Alice assured me, which I could see was true.
"You're right. It won't." Despite my plan to wait until the Chief was asleep, I found myself running back towards the center of my universe, prepared to protect her at all costs – except from myself, apparently.
In what I now thought of as my spot, I perched in the large fir tree outside of Bella's window, shamelessly peering in. She was wearing my white t-shirt again since I had left it on her floor, mindlessly twirling her hair around her fingers as she typed and clicked at her ancient computer. I wondered what she was doing, unable to see the monitor since her body blocked it. She paused, taking a moment to write something down in the very notebook I had stolen. The lines of thin musculature in her back looked tense somehow, her head dipped over her work, the white bandage at the base of her skull stark against her dark hair.
Getting a brilliant idea, I pulled out my phone.
Please open your window. – E
I heard her phone vibrate and she startled, picking up the device to stare at the screen. I could tell the exact moment she read the message because she whirled around in her chair, standing abruptly. She came to the window and looked below at the darkened lawn as if expecting to find me with pebbles in hand.
Knowing she already was aware that I was odd, I figured I'd push my luck and edged forward from the branch I occupied, waving a bit to capture her attention, grinning. I knew my white skin glowed slightly in the dark, reflecting the light from her open window – I must have looked like a ghost, my face extending out from the shadows.
She gasped and took an automatic step back. The expression on her face seemed blank with the exception of the wide-eyed chocolate stare that never left my face. That was, of course, before she became angry, leaning as far out of the window as she dared, cheeks flushed.
"Are you out of your fucking mind?!" she hissed as quietly as she could manage while she seethed.
"Hey, this was your idea," I reminded her.
"This wasn't exactly what I meant," she grumbled.
Tensing the muscles in my body, I coiled before springing through her open window, landing neatly on my feet mere inches from her. Watching her wearily, I wondered if I'd officially shocked her too much today.
However, she shook her head. "Let me guess. Another day?" I laughed before she clapped a hand over my mouth. "Hey, shut it. My dad is still awake."
I nodded, properly contrite, though I didn't want her to move her hand. The warmth of her soft, delicate skin . . . lovely. I felt the tingle of electricity that always flowed between us moving slowly across my cheekbones, along my jaw, down my neck, and I shuddered ever so lightly.
"Sorry for scaring you," I apologized.
"It's fine. I just . . . I forgot that you're a mutant."
"Mutant?" I chuckled, though I saw she was watching my reaction carefully.
"Ok, not mutant," she murmured as if checking something off her list.
"Are you . . . trying to guess?" What an absurd human. My absurd human.
"Would you tell me if I guessed right?"
I pursed my lips, silent.
"I'm not going to run away screaming, you know," she told me in a whisper, her head angled up to stare into my eyes.
I was the one shaking my head now. "You'd be crazy not to."
"Look," she breathed, "I don't know you that well, but I feel like I will at some point. At least give me the chance to choose."
I considered this. Wasn't this the whole point? To let her in on the big secret so she could choose freely? Part of me whimpered in fear, unwilling to sacrifice whatever semi-relationship we already had. But then again, she was not an average girl by any means and Alice had foreseen her being accepting of my . . . condition.
"This weekend," I promised in a low voice, struck with inspiration. "I'll tell you everything."
"Why not now?"
I quirked my mouth. "Some of the . . . things that I need to show you require less of an audience."
She chewed on her lip for a while, thinking this through. "Ok," she agreed more confidently, that spark of fire from before still present. "So for now, I am going to be purposefully ignorant towards the fact that you are something more than an entitled teenage boy?"
I smiled. "Blissfully so."
"In that case, you're an entitled teenage boy in my room at night without parental permission. I'd say this was a booty call," she teased.
I wished, though the rational part of me was frowning. "Somehow, I think head trauma disqualifies you from sexual activity at the moment." She did not seem to have any regard for her own safety.
I expected her to laugh, but she muttered, "Not like you'd touch me anyway."
She sighed. "It's fine. I know you're a virgin and you got nervous because I came on so strong earlier, but I promise I'll be good now. The drugs are wearing off now anyway so I'm not quite so crazy. Unless you don't want me at all. . . ," she trailed off, her gaze falling to the floor as she blushed.
Perhaps she was not as self-possessed as her fiery exterior made her appear.
However, I wanted to laugh that this was what she seemed put out about. Grinning, I pulled her into my embrace gently, pressing a chaste kiss to her jaw. "Isabella Swan, now I know you're crazy." The notion that I didn't want her? Ridiculous. Every cell of my body (sperm cells in particular, god help me) yearned in her direction. "I want you just as much as any normal entitled teenage boy . . . actually, that's a lie," I admitted. "Definitely more. I want you more than that." I had over a hundred years of desire etched into every action around this girl.
I heard her heart beat faster.
"Then why did you go into panic mode before?"
My mouth opened and I floundered. "It . . . it isn't in your best interest." And maybe that was the moment that I realized I truly did love this girl. Nothing short of love could have swayed my unflinching desire to have sex with her. For even now, when I might have had a fighting chance, I hesitated for fear of her safety. What if I hurt her? Killed her? The thought seemed intolerable; not see her blush creep up her nearly transparent skin anymore? No.
She raised an eyebrow, waiting for a more elaborate answer.
"I might hurt you."
She sighed. "Back to this again?"
"You'll see," I said darkly.
"No, no, we're pretending we're totally normal right now, ok? Let's just . . . talk."
"Talk?" I asked skeptically, before smirking and straightening up into a formal position. "How about this weather we're having?"
She glared, smacking me with a pillow. I could have dodged her, of course, but I figured it would make her feel better if I let it happen. Of course, given that it was her pillow, it was like being smacked in the face with a ball of fire given how mouthwateringly delicious it smelled. "That's not what I meant. How about twenty questions?"
I grinned. "Is that your first question?" You sly fox, you.
"Is that yours?" she said defiantly.
"Touché. Ask me anything. I may not answer, but I will not lie to you," I vowed.
"Fair enough. I'll start out easy. What's your favorite food?"
My lips twitched as I fought my smile. If only she knew. "Next."
"What? Seriously? That was easy!"
"Shhh, Isabella," I warned as her voice grew in volume, hoping her father had not heard. "Next," I repeated.
She huffed a breath, hugging the pillow she had smacked me with close to her chest. "Favorite movie?"
"Bambi," I responded casually. I loved that little fucking deer, feeling a twinge of regret over killing that one in the clearing.
Her eyes lit up with amusement. "B-Bambi?" she tittered. "Why?"
"Because Bambi is fucking adorable, that's why."
She rolled her eyes, smiling now. "Easy there, Sparky. What's your favorite smell?"
God, she had a knack for trouble. "Next," I repeated, though my teeth were gritted just thinking about the answer.
"Come on, Cullen. Work with me here." Despite her cajoling, I could see she was genuinely mystified by my clamminess.
"Don't I get to ask you some questions as well?" I evaded.
"Well . . . yeah, I guess."
"What is your favorite food? And smell, too."
"Lasagna. The authentic Italian shit, not the kind you throw in the oven from a cardboard box. And my favorite smell is freesia."
I made a mental note of this and continued on. "When is your birthday?"
"September 13th. You?"
"June 20th." Without missing a beat, I asked, "Why do you call your father Charlie?"
"I grew up with my mother. I didn't see my dad very often except during summer. I guess it's just a habit because she always called him Charlie, too." Her hand tentatively reached out towards mine, stroking my cold, granite skin. "Do you miss your parents?"
"In a vague way," I murmured. "I don't remember them very well, so it's harder to mourn. But Carlisle and Esme . . . they're wonderful. I'm lucky to have them. What about you? Do you miss your mom since you're living so far away from her now?"
"This is going to sound awful, but not really. I love her dearly, but she was always . . . she's kind of like a kid. When I lived with her, I was the adult more often than not. It's kind of a relief to not have the responsibility anymore."
"I can imagine." Our hands were laced together now as we sat next to each other on her bed, marveling at the difference in our skin temperatures.
"I'm sure you won't answer this one, but screw it. Why are you so damn freezing?" She was half-teasing, though there were goose bumps along the flesh of her arm.
I debated before finally exhaling, staring her down as I carefully said my next words. "I don't have a pulse."
"You literally don't have a pulse?" she repeated doubtfully. "Or is that figurative?"
I pressed her palm flat to my chest, willing her to feel – or rather not feel. She held her hand there for a moment before her fingers sought the space at my neck right below my jaw. This lasted longer before she went to my wrist, pressing her fingers into what should have been a pulsing vessel. The whole time, her eyes were trained on mine as I stared calmly back, though her expression morphed from skepticism to disbelief to wide-eyed uncertainty.
Her face paled and she swallowed. "Ok," she breathed. "So you don't have a pulse. I guess there are worse things."
"I've shocked you," I observed.
"I'm fine . . . surprised, but fine. I guess it's just weird to have concrete proof that I've kissed a zombie." She peeked up at me.
I shook my head.
"Not a zombie either? Huh." She paused and went for a casual tone despite her voice still being shaky. "Why do your eyes change color? They're kind of reddish now."
I swore internally. I had forgotten to replace my contacts earlier, swiftly looking away from her as if that would undo the damage of my earlier human blood binge. "Let's stick to safer questions," I suggested wearily. "You'll have plenty of time to be 'surprised' later."
She cleared her throat and seemed to compose herself. "I'm not scared. Truly. I'm pretty happy actually."
"I don't believe you."
"You literally can't hurt me," she insisted, rolling her eyes and punching her pillow.
"Yes, I can! How on Earth can you say that when you have a bandage on your head? When I literally had your blood on my hands earlier today?" I wanted to shake her, to make her feel fear. It would be better if she was afraid of me, if she ran.
"I'm serious about –," she argued.
"So am I," I hissed.
Her eyes blazed. "You're not the only one with secrets, Edward Cullen."
While I doubted she had any secrets even close to comparable to the depth of mine, there was something in her expression, something in the magnified wave of electricity between us that convinced me the skeletons in her closet were unorthodox as well.
"Well, I guess that makes us quite the pair, doesn't it?"
She snorted. "We'll certainly find out."
"These secrets of yours . . . ," I prodded, curious now. Had she killed somebody? I wouldn't even be surprised at that one. Whatever it was, was this the baggage she had mentioned earlier?
A brief, bitter smirk flitted across her features. "Another day."
You're playing Twenty Questions with a mysterious Edward Cullen. What do you ask him? The person with the best answer gets the next chapter three hours early. I will be accepting answers until the 13th at 6:00 pm, central time. (God, I feel so official.)