Disclaimer - All recognisable characters belong to their original owners. I do not make a profit from writing this; I simply do it for my own amusement. No copyright infringement intended.
Chapter One: Edward Masen
The world had changed a lot in the last three years; vampires had come 'out of the coffin'. Since the development of synthetic blood, they didn't need to hide anymore - humans were safe, they no longer needed to feed on them. Crimson Twister they called it. Forks was only a small town and as far as Bella Swan was aware, there wasn't a vampire in Forks… not one who frequented Black's Bar and Grill anyway. She wanted to meet one, serve them a bottle of Crimson Twister and just chat to them. She found the occult fascinating.
Maybe it was because they were rare or maybe it was because she was one… who knew? Bella was born with the innate ability to read people's minds. She shared it with her cousin Rose and both of them lived with their Grandpa Charlie. Rose's parents had abandoned her when she was younger, citing her mind-reading as the reason. They said they 'couldn't cope with it'.
"Are you daydreaming again?" Jacob asked as he dried a glass and put it under the bar. Jacob and Bella had been best friends since they were five years old - he knew everything about her and she him, including the mind-reading.
"Isn't that what she always does?" Rose asked as she walked behind the bar and placed the tray down that she had. She threw Bella a cheeky grin and Bella smiled back. She loved spending time with Rose and working at the same place meant they got to do that a lot.
"Bella baby," a voice called across the bar and Bella had to resist the urge to roll her eyes and choke back her dinner simultaneously. "You want to get me another beer?"
"Not really," she replied. His thoughts entered her head. I wish she would let me between her legs, I'd show her a good time… Images of the two them together flooded her mind and she quickly blocked them out.
Next to her, Rose pulled a face. Even pulling a face she still managed to look beautiful; maybe it had something to do with her dirty blonde hair and captivating purple eyes.
"I got it," Jake told her, getting a beer for Mike and taking it over to the table.
Bella smiled gratefully at him and sat down at the counter. They only had a few customers in, so she pulled her book out from under the counter from where she had stashed it and turned to the dog eared page. It was her old copy of Romeo and Juliet, not her favourite play but a good one none the less. She was more of a fan of Much Ado About Nothing.
Roughly an hour later, Bella was buried in her book when someone cleared their throat in front of her. Embarrassed, she looked up to see one of the most handsome men she had ever come across. He had pale skin with green eyes and copper hair. His body was lean and not overly muscled but he had an air about him, something drawing her to him.
"Hello sir, what can I get for you?" Bella asked, trying not to stare but failing miserably.
He smiled and for the first time in her life, Bella wanted to call the man beautiful. His pale skin was perfect, not a blemish or pore. His lips looked smooth and soft coupled with a definitive jaw. The urge to kiss it and trace the edge overcame Bella and a blush bloomed on her face.
His large hands come to rest on the counter and even his fingers fascinate her. They are long and slender and before she can even register the thought, she imagined they would feel amazing inside her.
The thought makes her blush and she looks down at the top of the bar to hide it.
The stranger's eyes dart behind her to the cooler and then back to hers.
"Do you sell… Crimson Twister?" The nerves are obvious in his voice and Bella is shocked. She's never received that particular request before.
"Uh, yeah, yeah we do…" There was a pause where no one spoke.
"Can I have…" he began just as Bella asked, "Do you want…" They both laughed and Bella desperately tried to calm her thudding heart.
"Ladies first," he told her, gesturing towards her body with one hand and rubbing his sharp jaw with the other.
"I was just going to ask what type you wanted." Bella wanted to pull her bottom lip into her mouth and chew on it, but it wasn't a very attractive thing to do when a handsome man was stood directly in front of you.
"AB positive, warmed up?" He phrased it like a question and Bella nodded, standing from the chair and trying her best to not trip over as she went into the back to get one.
Rounding the corner, she saw that Rose was leaning over the freezer, clearly looking for something and Jake was leaning against the wall. Bella was excited so she ran over and gripped Rose's sides hard.
"What?" Rose asked as she jumped back, my approach a surprise.
"There's a vampire here!"
"Seriously?" Bella nodded.
"Where?" Jake asked.
Bella tried to discreetly point around the corner to where Edward was standing, one hand back on the bar as he looked around the place.
"He wants a Crimson Twister - AB positive." Rose nodded and handed Bella a bottle.
Bella thanked her and turned but Rose's thoughts pushed into her mind.
Try not to stare too much. Bella shook her head and shot Rose a look. It wasn't every day a man caught her attention. Jake had gone very quiet, his eyes squinting.
"You alright, Jake?" Bella asked.
"Yeah, just thinking."
"Don't think too hard," Rose chipped in. "You may pass out if your one brain cell gets overused."
Jake fake laughed.
Knowing she had a customer to get back to, Bella returned to the front of the bar and placed the bottle in the microwave, setting it for two minutes.
She busied herself, tidying already tidy napkins and pushing the salt and pepper pots around in a bid to look busy.
When the microwave pinged she went over and took the bottle out and placed it in front of the vampire.
"Here you go."
"Thanks," he pulled his wallet out and handed Bella the money.
Bella turned around to put it in the till and when she turned back again, she didn't expect him to still be there. But there he was, sat at the bar. Bella tentatively sat back on the stool which was coincidentally in front of him.
She wasn't sure what to say so she got her book out and began to read once more.
"What do you think of it?" His voice cut through the silence and Bella lifted her head. "The book," he clarified.
"Oh…I like it. I don't know how I feel about the deaths though. I mean I understand that if you loved somebody so much not wanting to live without them… but it all could have been avoided."
He nodded. "Have you ever been in love?"
It was such a personal question. Bella shook her head. "I don't think so."
"If you're not sure then you haven't."
"Have you?" She was curious.
The corner of his mouth quirked up. "Not yet." The way he looked at Bella had the blush returning to her face.
When silence surrounded them again, Bella felt herself feeling uneasy. There was never silence, not true silence when you were a mind reader.
Bella looked at Edward subtly, trying to lock onto his mind but there was nothing. Complete silence.
She felt herself start to lean closer and at one point she almost touched his hand, trying to get some sort of connection with him.
It's not you, Rose told her. I can't get a read on him either.
Bella looked to her right where she saw Rose taking someone's order.
Good to know she told her cousin.
"How long have you worked here?" The man suddenly asked, dragging Bella away from her mental conversation.
"Since I was eighteen… do you have a job?" This seemed to be the flow of their conversation - he asked her a question, she asked him one.
"Nothing exciting. I'm an accountant."
For some reason that surprised Bella. It seemed like such a mundane job for a vampire to have.
"You can say it," he began. "It's a boring job."
Bella shrugged. Her job wasn't the most exciting. "If it pays the bills who cares?"
He smiled and took a sip of his Crimson Twister.
As he swallowed down the liquid, his eyes stared deeply into Bella's. She found herself looking at him and wondering what he was doing.
"Do I have something on my face?" she asked hesitantly, reaching up and touching her cheeks.
The look on his face changed and he leaned back from the bar. "No." He shook his head. "Do you work here every night?"
Edward nodded, quickly drank the rest of his blood and then stood from his stool. "I have to get going now…" He paused. "Are you working tomorrow evening?"
"I'll see you then… what's your name?"
"Bella - Bella Swan."
"It was very nice to meet you, Bella Swan. I'm Edward Masen."
The name rang through her head. "Masen? As in the same people who used to own the Masen Manor?"
Edward smiled at her and nodded.
He turned and left and Bella's eyes stayed on his back.
Rose came and stood at her side as they watched him get into his car and drive off.
"So… he's a vampire?"
"Yep." Bella nodded her head slowly.
Rose considered her for a moment and then shook her head.
"You've got it bad!"