To call me 'giddy' would be a false accusation in and of itself. I was completely elated as I retreated to my bedroom for the evening. I realized that it was a completely selfish thought but, I silently hoped that the Edward she was searching for would never arrive, if he arrived then she would leave me and she was much too beautiful and interesting of a creature to just let go without question. And didn't her kiss prove that this mystery Edward was not her boyfriend? Maybe he was a cousin, or just a friend, but Bella did not strike me as the person who would be unfaithful which led me to believe that whoever this Edward was he was nothing more than an acquaintance.
It was difficult for me to fall asleep. I laid in the darkness listening to records for what seemed like hours, simply imagining Bella's lips against mine. It was hard to believe that I had only met her that morning, but there was something so overly interesting about her that it was impossible for me to even remotely attempt to ignore her, I was drawn to her, I was smitten. I secretly wondered if I had moved to fast for her liking and made a mental note to apologize in the morning if my actions were out of line. I couldn't help it, my internal voice had been screaming that Bella was different, she was unique, something about her told me that she was more aware of the world around her than any other girl her age. Not only was she interesting she was beautiful, her hair shimmered and smelled amazing, her skin was soft and seemed to almost glow, and her lips, every time I thought of her lips on mine it made it that much more uncomfortable to turn over. I found her clumsiness to be an adorable trait as I watched her try and dance that night, she may have stumbled several times but in my eyes she had moved with an exquisite grace that I was sure no one else in the room had noticed. And that is what made it all the more special.
Life, for me, seemed so simple and yet so interesting. People were easy to read which made it all the more simple to make acquaintances that could potentially benefit me in a business sense. People tend to respond well to my ability to, almost, know exactly what they were thinking. I would eventually work my way into a company, maybe go to university and become a lawyer, then I would be able to buy a nice home, provide for my parents, and get married. Or I could go off to war, it seemed like a certain, unspoken, ability to fight for the country. I had spent many a night dreaming about enlisting, of fighting for a good cause, of making my father more proud of me than he already was, but now, as I began to drift off to sleep, my dreams were filled with images of a woman I had just met.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I wouldn't, in a million years, mistake Carlisle (or any of the Cullens for that matter) for anyone else. His unique features were the same now as they were in the present. He had stopped in his tracks and turned toward my window. I needed to speak with him, I needed to know if he knew me or not. I tugged on the window as hard as I could and it eventually gave in and I was able to lift it up,
"Carlisle!" I called again in a slightly louder whisper, I knew very well that he could hear me. He turned his head slightly and strode a few steps closer to the house, after analyzing my face for a few moments he spoke,
"Do I know you miss?" He asked, his accent was a little more pronounced than my Carlisle's. Fuck! I thought, he didn't know me either, what was I doing here? Why had I been jettisoned back to this time if even Carlisle didn't know who the hell I was. Screw it, I thought,
"You will." I told him simply. I didn't worry about freaking him out too much, he was, after all, a vampire, he could probably believe anything, "In about ninety or so years you'll know me. I think, I hope." I said. He seemed very intrigued, and a little shocked, at my words,
"I'm listening." He said simply. I leaned a little farther out the window and prayed that Mr. and Mrs. Masen didn't plan on leaving the house for a late night something or other.
"Look, I know what you are. I know who you are. Dr. Carlisle Cullen, you're a--…" I looked around and dropped my voice an octave or so, "vampire." He seemed to wince a bit at the words, "You moonlight at hospitals, you spent time with Caius, Marcus, and Aro in Italy, you will one day move to Forks, Washington with your wife Esme and your "children" Emmett, Alice, Rosalie, Jasper, and…Edward. That's when you'll meet me." I must have sounded like a crazy person to anyone other than Carlisle. Carlisle had the ability to listen to anyone and not judge them on the crazy things they rambled about,
"I travel alone." He stated simply,
"Not for long. Edward…Masen will contract the Spanish Influenza, his parents will die, leaving him alone and near death…you'll change him to save his life and to give yourself a companion." I said,
"Are you a--…" He wouldn't allow himself to say the word,
"No, I mean, isn't it obvious?" I motioned to my eyes and less than stunning skin, "No I am 100 human." He was obviously confused, join the club, I thought,
"How do you know me in ninety years then? Even with ever increasing advancement in modern medicine I doubt that you would live too far into you nineties…" He questioned,
"I'm not from this time. Look, I don't know how I got here or why but trust me. Please Carlisle." I pleaded with him. He took all the information in,
"How are you going to get back to…well…your present?" He asked me. I shook my head,
"I don't know. I was obviously sent here for a reason, I mean, it's too specific of a time and place for there to be no ulterior motive. I don't know how I'll get back but, if something happens in the present, please, please remember who I am. Tell Edward who I am, to wait." I told Carlisle. To be honest, I wasn't sure if altering something in the past was going to alter the future or not, if this was a dream it was a very intricate one and I didn't want to run the risk of royally screwing up, unless I had to. I didn't know if it was like the movies where if you step on a bug it alters the flow of time, but I didn't quite want to find out,
"What should I tell him? What should I tell you when I encounter you again? How will you know?" He asked, I hadn't thought about that possibility, that if something did change and I no longer recognized Carlisle or my Cullen family what could I possibly remember,
"Tell him, and tell me, 'and so the lion fell in love with the lamb'." I said, it was one of the most vivid memories of Edward that I had, "But you'll see me around here, for awhile, at least I think. Unless I wake up in the morning and I'm instantly back in Forks in my own time, you'll be seeing me. He nodded and with that he was gone, instantly, typical I thought.
After the interaction with Carlisle, and my shock of how accepting he had been had worn off, I tried my best to fall asleep. I succeeded and dreamed of Edward, this Edward, with his green eyes and warm skin. I dreamt of his lips on mine, how they had quivered just as mine had, how he was just as nervous around me as I had been around him, how, in a lot of ways, we were equal.
I woke her gently as the sun rose over the towering buildings of Chicago. She was beautiful when she slept, she was beautiful when she was awake, she was beautiful all the time. I felt my palms sweat which made me scowl, I didn't want to appear to be a complete imbecile when it came to women, but Bella made me nervous. I wasn't able to read her as well as I could the general public, which, in a way, made her even more appealing,
"Edward?" She mumbled. Her eyes opened slowly and she was a little shocked to see me,
"Hi there sleepyhead." I said. She smiled sheepishly bringing her blanket up around her. I smiled back,
"What time is it?" She asked glancing around her,
"Probably a bit after six in the morning I suppose." I responded. She nodded and ran her hand through her brown hair. "There's something I want to show you today, if that's alright, if you'd like to continue to look for Edward then, we could do that." I secretly wished she wouldn't. I hoped that she would come along with me and we could spend a real day together. I knew I was moving too fast but, for some strange reason, I didn't care, for some reason it almost felt as if time were running out. That was an eerie feeling that I did not like and I quickly pushed away the idea that Bella may be taken from me,
"No, I don't think Edward number two is going to show up for quite awhile." She chuckled a bit then bit her lip. She appeared to be deep in thought about something I longed to know what she was thinking about,
"Are you alright?" I asked her. I reached out, without stopping myself to think, and pushed a bit of her hair away from her eyes,
"Yes, I'm fine….just a little warm." She half smiled to herself.
"Ah, it's a little hot up here, even for September, I apologize. But, I have somewhere nice I'd like to take you." I repeated,
"Of course, and where would that be?" She asked, she seemed more awake now that she had dismissed whatever it was that had been troubling her in her thoughts,
"Get dressed, you're welcome to use my sister's clothing it's in the closet right there. It's right outside the city, we can take a trolley to the edge of town and, if you don't mind, walk the rest of the way. It's a clearing, by a stream, in a small patch of woods, I go there a lot to think and read. I guess it's kind of a meadow. Do you feel up it?" I asked. Her eyes were instantly large and bright, "Bella?" I asked slightly worried at her expression,
"Let me get dressed." She said with a smile,
"Perfect! Oh you won't be disappointed, it's absolutely beautiful, not as beautiful as you but it's still gorgeous." I said. She blushed instantly and felt my cheeks color as well,
"I'll be down soon." She said. And with that I let her be, I was determined to get to know Bella that day, I was determined to make her smile and laugh, I wanted to be able to sit with her and speak with her, I had so much to learn about this woman who had so immediately appeared in my life.