I have been toying with the idea of creating a story like this one for a long while now. However, I have not read any other Twilight fanfiction, so this idea does not derive from someone else's story. Please, for my sanity, don't write a review about how so-and-so wrote a story similar to this one and that I must have read her/his story and stolen the idea. If I get a review such as that, I will gladly point out how, as a student, said reviewer must not have read the directions on anything very well and therefore I am to assume that this reviewer is incompetent.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of its characters or ideas. Stephenie Meyer and Brown & Co. are the sole money-makers. If I had created these characters, I sure as hell would have "Weird Science"-ized Edward Cullen and brought him to life to be my own hot vamp.
I knew I was a monster, but I did not know I was capable of feeling this way. How was I to rectify my behavior when my own redemption stared wildly into my own eyes?
How was I to know? How could this have ended up differently?
What have I done?
It was burgeoning on nighttime, the perfect time of day for someone such as myself. It was a crisp spring late April night, the kind where I knew I should be cooler than I currently felt. I looked at the animated faces of those around me, their breath coming out in little white frozen crystals from their smiling, laughing, talking mouths. Men, women and children alike had on light jackets, blazers, and scarves, their cheeks stained a pretty pink from the blood rushing to their faces in an effort to keep them warm in the chilled air. They huddled together in groups in the stands, waiting impatiently for the first sign of darkness.
I was alone. As I should be.
It was a rather monumental night in Independence, Kansas. Never before had a game of baseball been played in the night, but that was all about to change. Along with the changes of the automobile and politics, electricity was being manipulated into various fantastic ways. The crowd became hushed as the sun dipped lower in the sky. I was as excited as the rest of the crowd, though I had no one to share it with. Carlisle was the only one I had associated with since my creation, which made sense since he was my creator.
I had not talked to Carlisle since 1927—three years ago. I knew he was still in Chicago, tending to the sick as a doctor, so if I wanted to go back to him, I could. But I was not done with my experiment. I was not sated, and I still was not completely sold on his vegetarian idealism. Carlisle had let me go, and I sent him letters occasionally to let him know where I was.
The people in the stands were tangibly excited. A few whistled here and there, and a couple of whoops sounded as some were unable to contain their exuberance. I waited patiently.
The sun sank away, leaving blue and purple bands to stain the sky. Stars began to dot the darkening sky, barely perceptible in the early twilight. Suddenly, the stars disappeared in a shocking display of bright, white light. The crowd in the stands erupted into awed and exuberant cheers as the night was banished with the flip of a switch.
The baseball players filled the field, and the very first night game began.
I had loved baseball since I was a young boy. My faint human memories reminded me that my father used to throw a ball with me in our small Chicago backyard, my mother smiling as she watched closely. I could barely remember what they looked like; my frail human eyes coupled with my young mind made the memory fuzzy and dim. I knew that I looked like my mother; Carlisle had told me that much.
I became engrossed in the game, doing my best to block out the inner voices of those I was sitting near. I had listened enough to know that those sitting on the right of me were unnerved by my presence; I could almost taste their fear. That was good. They knew a monster when they saw one. I had conveniently gotten an aisle seat; I could slip away easily after my prey.
I knew better than to be amongst this many people starving. My eyes were darker than the scarlet they would soon be after I found my next meal, and most people would more than likely not look twice into my eyes unless prompted by me in an effort to lure them. I was safe, and the people around me were innocent enough to be safe as well.
The game began to lull, though. In the third inning, the two teams were so deadlocked that they went through two more innings without either team making a run. The people in the stands began to talk instead of paying attention to the game.
I began to listen to their thoughts, hoping to catch the stray strand of a person whose intentions were less than honorable. If I could single that person out, I would be able to stalk them without a guilty conscience—or so I told myself. I had to believe that I was doing right by the world.
Suddenly, a pop-fly sent those around me fumbling for a safe place to hide, or for a glove in order to catch the stray ball. To my left, three rows down on the other side of the aisle, a group of teenagers who looked to be about the age I had been when Carlisle created me, were making a lot of noise. Three boys and four girls stumbled about—the girls attempting to get away while the boys were keeping them in place. One girl broke away and scrambled up the aisle towards me, just as the ball smashed into the spot she had been rooted. One of the males in her group snatched the ball and triumphantly held it into the air. I saw the crowd around them erupt into cheers.
I heard nothing, however. Time had stopped.
The sweetest, most mouth-watering scent had filled my senses, knocking my brain into overdrive. I had never, in my twelve years of existence, felt something so dizzyingly addictive. I craved this smell more than I had craved anything in my short new life.
My head snapped in the direction of the alluring scent, and if my heart had been beating it would have stopped in that instance.
The girl. The girl who had run up the aisle had stopped next to me and was catching her breath, sitting on the stairs and leaning towards me as she held her left hand to her racing heart and breathed heavily—white crystals marked her breath on the air. Her cheeks and lips were flushed a deep red, beautiful and alive and filled with delicious blood.
Her heart was begging for me to drink from it with each rapid beat.
Venom filled my mouth in anticipation.
I wanted her.
She turned to me and smiled sheepishly, her soft brown eyes twinkling in the bright white lights. If it was possible, more of that delicious blood filled her cheeks and neck, and her heartbeat seemed to skip a beat as her eyes met mine. My breath hitched in my throat.
She was beautiful.
I wanted to consume her in that very moment. Lure her away by breathing my sweet breath on her face, saying tender nothings to get her to follow me to a dark area in the parking lot...
"What a hit, huh?" she said, her eyes breaking away from mine with a strange light. I saw a chill shake her shoulders and travel down her back, and she paled slightly as she glanced up at the sky. "I almost didn't see it because of the lights..." She looked at me and smiled again, that gorgeous red blush lighting up her pale skin better than those paltry lights could ever try to beat the night away. I felt a thrill glance through me as our eyes met, and her lovely beating heart skipped once more.
I smiled at her, a plan beginning to form in my frantic mind.
"You were lucky to get out of the way," I breathed softly, blowing just enough on her to move a few tendrils of her flowing brown hair. Her eyes widened fractionally, and she leaned forward, just a little bit closer to me—
"Bella! What're you doing up there? Come back down!"
Our eyes broke contact, and we both turned in the direction of the boy who had caught the baseball. He was glaring openly in my direction, his eyes darting back and forth between me and the girl whom he had addressed as Bella.
And then time caught up with me. I felt myself hold my breath as I realized what I had been attempting to do—destroy the life of an innocent.
But her scent was enough to tempt the very gods! How could a being like this exist!? Was she a test from God?
"You'd better go," I said quietly, making sure to exhale just enough to keep my breath from drawing her in again. I did my best not to make eye contact with her as she turned in my direction, her mouth hanging slightly ajar. Her heart skipped a beat again, and she reluctantly turned in the direction of the boy waiting three rows down.
"Okay. Well, see ya," she said softly, moving away. The wind moved just enough that I felt it brush by my face; I wanted to breathe deeply the scent that had captured my senses and sanity, but I knew that doing so would be the end of the girl—and of me.
I honed my thoughts to listen to those of the boy who had called to Bella, and found that he had disliked our closeness. He wanted Bella for himself, though he hadn't had the nerve to ask her out on their second group date.
I couldn't seem to find Bella's thoughts anywhere; that unnerved me quite a bit. I continued to focus on her with my mind as she moved closer to her group of friends, but it was as though I was hitting a blank wall—there was nothing for me to find. I frowned, unsure of what to think of this new phenomenon. I have never not been able to read someone's mind. That was how I found my prey.
I watched from the corner of my eye as Bella reached her male friend. She turned slightly to look back at me one last time; he put his arm around her shoulders and turned her away from me.
I was shocked when I found myself holding in a vicious snarl. The people around me shifted uncomfortably at my change in demeanor, and the man I was sitting next to was wishing he had brought his Swiss Army Knife to fend me off from hurting his family.
If he only knew who the real target was.
I had to get away. I was going to kill this girl. I wanted to kill this girl.
But I couldn't move. I was rooted to my spot.
I was barely aware as the game finished itself, the little group of teenagers growing more and more drunk on the liquid they had brought in little canteens; Bella was the only one not partaking in the drinking. The boy that had called Bella away from her doom was annoyed that Bella kept refusing the alcohol. I heard in his thoughts as she repeatedly claimed, "No, my father will smell it! He'll kill me if he catches a whiff!"
If only that were the least of her problems...
Prohibition kept many from drinking due to the fear of being caught, but for the most part white lightning was a common brew that was drank by just about everyone. I had had the pleasure of taking a few lives of drunkards who were corralling about, causing problems for some women—I had stopped a few husbands from beating their wives, and a couple of rapes never occurred thanks to my intervention. I had congratulated myself on keeping the peace. I was still clean. Guilt-free.
Oh, Bella. What am I going to do about your allure?
The game ended. The crowd cheered and began to exit. I waited patiently as the crowd around me left the stands; I followed silently, keeping tabs on the thoughts of the boy who was hanging on Bella's shoulders in an attempt to keep himself upright. I was still unnerved by my inability to hear Bella's thoughts.
Why? Why couldn't I hear her thoughts, and why did she smell so fantastic? Was she truly a test sent by God to see if I would devour an innocent?
I exited through the front of the stadium into the parking lot, flanking her friends closely. I stayed to the shadows as I watched them pile into a new, shiny red 1930s Ford pickup truck. A guy and a girl got into the front, the boy obviously drunk on moonshine but apparently still able to drive. Bella, the boy with his arm around her shoulders, another male and two more females piled into the bed of the truck.
I moved closer. I couldn't break my eyes from the girl whose scent alone sent my head twirling in ecstasy.
And I watched in disbelief as she clambered out of the truck bed. I cursed my luck as I heard her calling her goodbyes to her friends. I heard several discombobulated thoughts of her drunken friends as they processed her words—three blocks away, home, she'd walk. Was she crazy!? Didn't she know about the boogie man who lured little girls who smelled delicious into dark alleys...
She smiled and waved as they drove recklessly away, the boy in the bed of the truck who had had his arm around her calling out that he'd see her at school on Monday.
...If she was lucky...
Before I had even enough sanity to process my actions, I found myself following her across the parking lot. She walked deftly, keeping to the lighted sidewalks that lined the streets. I stepped silently behind.
I promised myself I was doing this to keep her safe from other evils, such as myself. I was following her to make sure she made it home without any issues...
About a block and a half from the stadium, Bella took a left onto a street that the city had not yet put lamps on. The half moon barely lit up the sky enough to see five feet in front of oneself. I heard her breath quicken, and a quick utterance spoken softly. Her heart began to beat faster, and her steps hastened to match the new tempo. A small wind carried her magnificent scent back to me, and I felt my thoughts twist darkly without warning.
Oh yes, Bella. Fear the dark. The boogie man is behind you.
She began to run, and my instincts kicked in without a second thought. I quickly cut down the distance I had carefully been keeping between us in several quick, silent strides.
Bella tripped and tumbled to the ground. The smell of blood—alluring, absolutely addicting—filled my nostrils and venom flooded my mouth. However, something small and insignificant cut off my instinctual chase. Nothing I had thought would have ever caused me to stop in my tracks, to bring me back to the sanity I had lost in those few precious moments.
She had cried out in pain and fear, curled over on the sidewalk in the dark. One hand was holding her other wrist, blood oozing down the sides of both hands. An elbow was scraped, and I could hear the blood throbbing in her knees from the fall.
I stopped, standing as still as stone. Her cry of pain and surprise had broken the spell that the chase had thrown upon me. Bella turned and glanced wildly about, and I heard her muttering under her breath, "Don't throw up, don't throw up... ugh."
Throw up? Why? Was it because of...
Without warning, I let out a laugh. A real laugh, one of humor and relief.
I heard Bella gasp and turn sharply to look behind her, her faulty human eyes narrowing in an attempt to see me standing ten feet behind her. "Who's there?"
I strolled lazily up to her, going slow enough so she wouldn't be too alarmed by my presence. Her heart rate jumped as she realized that there was someone behind her, and she scrambled to get to her feet but quickly fell to her knees and one elbow.
I held my breath; it was just an old human reflex, after all. Nothing I truly needed to do.
"It's just me," I murmured, placing my palms out in a show of no harm. I stopped a foot from her kneeling form and hit one knee gracefully. Her wide, alarm-filled eyes softened and bewilderment slowly took place.
"You..." she whispered, her brown eyes finding mine. I wondered what she saw there—why was she so unafraid to look me straight in the eyes unlike most other people? This train of thought was quickly halted when she hissed in pain, doubling over.
"Are you all right? You took quite the tumble," I stated softly, humor filtering into my voice a little at the remembrance of her clumsy tumble.
"I'll be fine as long as you stop laughing at my expense!" Bella retorted. Then she swooned. I caught her right before her forehead had the chance to acquaint itself with the sidewalk.
"I truly don't believe you," I muttered as she came to. I set her down gently so that she was sitting rather than crouching. Still holding my breath, I ripped the bottom of my shirt off into strips and began to bind her hands with the fabric. She hissed a little in pain, and I realized that I had been handling her rather roughly.
"Did I hurt you?" I asked gently, slowing my first aid to make sure that my strength didn't unintentionally break her hands.
"No," she claimed, gulping and breathing heavily out of her mouth.
I was angry with her. I had no right to be, but I was angry with her. Why was she lying to me?
"Why are you frowning? You don't have to do this, you know," Bella stated, a strange edge to her voice that I couldn't seem to figure out. Was she angry with me? For helping her? Of all the ungrateful things—
"I mean," she continued as if I had spoken, "I'll probably trip three more times in the next couple of blocks from my home. I'm pretty much a magnet for trouble, as my dad says."
Her angry tone had changed and lightened some, and I felt myself relax as I tied the last knot. I continued to hold my breath, making sure to check that I wasn't breathing several times a second. I did not just fix this girl only to kill her now.
And it would go against my personal policy of killing the innocent, no matter how enticing they smelled.
"Which is why I am going to walk you home," I stated in one breath. I looked from her hands to her face, and immediately regretted it. She was staring openly at me, her mouth slightly ajar. I couldn't seem to break my eyes from hers; what was it about this girl? Would I be this way with any human? Was it because of her delicious scent?
"But you don't even know me," she said, framing it as if it were a question. Did I know her? She wanted to know.
"Someone can't just help another person out? Is there no such thing as a Good Samaritan anymore?" I smiled genially, standing up. I held my hand out for her to take so that I could help her up.
She continued to stare at me for a moment before re-situating her feet for easier standing, and awkwardly placed her hand in mine.
It was instantaneous. We both felt it—the electric shock that zapped our fingers, only mine chose to travel to my spine and tingle its way down to my toes.
Bella looked astonished and snatched her hand from mine, falling back to the ground with a soft gasp.
We stared at each other for a few heartbeats, her face flushing beautifully while mine remained impassive; I didn't want her to know how much it had truly effected me. In truth, I was disturbed at how I was feeling for this person. Each moment with her was becoming far too complicated. I needed to get out.
"I guess... we should be more careful about static," Bella stated softly, cradling her hands carefully. Her blush deepened and she looked down to the fabric that lined her hands, toying with the corner of a knot.
"I guess so. Maybe you generated some from the crazy tumble you took earlier," I stated, a smile ghosting around the corners of my mouth.
She shot me a glare that would have melted ice. "It must have been," Bella sharply replied, and I watched as she stood to her feet in one fluid motion.
I dashed forward as she started to fall backward, and caught her around her shoulders. I steadied her and quickly let go.
The blood that had rushed from her head had sounded ridiculously delicious. Not even holding my breath was working anymore. This needed to come to an end.
"Stupid blood loss, and stupid smell of blood," I heard her mutter, and I laughed quietly.
If she hadn't been so disoriented, I'm pretty sure she would have sent me another death glare. However, before her eyes could narrow into slits, she swooned again. I caught her again, but instead of allowing her to attempt standing once more, I picked her up. She cried out in surprise, and kicked slightly as I settled her into my arms.
"Which way to home?" I asked. My voice was strained, but not because of her weight. I had taken an accidental breath and the sweet, tangy, allure of her blood had filled my senses once more. It took all of my effort to keep from taking her life in that very moment. I could envision my fangs piercing her thin little neck, sucking gently on the punctures my teeth would create—
"A little hurried to get rid of the cripple?"
I was shocked to hear the hurt in her voice, but I couldn't let that bother me. She could be hurt all she wanted—physically and emotionally—by my coldness, but it was all I could do to keep her alive at that moment.
I stayed silent and began walking in the direction she had been running. She sulked in my arms.
We were quiet for a few moments before she muttered, "Take a left at Cypress."
I remained silent, wondering how to keep from killing her every moment I was in her presence. Her mere heartbeat, that beautiful, moist sound, made the venom fill my mouth once more. I knew that the blood that had run down her arms was wiping itself on my shirt. How was I going to keep her alive if I was lusting for her blood even after she was out of my vicinity? She was just so damned close...
"So, you don't like the smell of blood?" I asked, hoping that the sound of her voice would remind me that she was an innocent human being who did not deserve to die.
Bella was startled by my voice. "Oh! Yes, the salty, rusty smell really bothers me." She wrinkled her nose. "I generally get really dizzy or pass out. Good thing you were here, I guess. I could have been in for a heap of trouble if I basically bled to death because I kept passing out from the smell."
I frowned slightly, wondering aloud, "I didn't think most humans could smell blood..." I felt my insides freeze, knowing that my phrasing would sound odd to someone who was a human currently. To my relief, she didn't seem to catch my strange wording.
"Yeah, I don't know many who are as affected by the smell as I am. I guess I'm just different in that way." Bella finished the end of her sentence softly, as if being different was what made her bad or something.
I wanted to tell her that her scent had the most magnetic, enticing aroma I had ever smelled in my small existence. I wanted to tell her that she was beautiful, though I only noticed it after being so attracted to her scent. And I wanted to growl out my displeasure about how the boy at the baseball game constantly thought about wanting to kiss her and believed her to be the sweetest girl in town.
But I couldn't say any of that. If I did, it would complicate matters far more than necessary.
I was trying my best to walk at a fast human pace, but I knew I was failing. We reached Cypress, more than three blocks away from where she had fallen, in less than two minutes. I turned left, following the sidewalk.
"Whoa, Cypress already? That was fast," she murmured in surprise. She settled into my arms a little more, relaxing. I watched from the corner of my eyes as she surreptitiously took a sniff of my shirt.
If I could have blushed, I would have. I knew that I smelled good to humans, but I couldn't help but wonder how I smelled to her.
I banished that thought immediately.
"For someone who's walking—really fast, might I add—with a girl in his arms, who weighs well over one hundred pounds, you're not breathing very hard. In fact, it feels like you're not breathing at all. Are you okay? Really, I can be set down now."
"No," I answered briskly. I quickened my pace a notch.
"No to being okay, or no to letting me down?" Bella asked, frowning. I could tell she was not feeling all that well; her head kept landing softly against my chest, and each time it bumped there, she left it there just long enough to keep from getting too dizzy. However, I could hear her gently breathe in my scent, her breaths lingering warmly on my chest.
"Where to from here?" I asked, anger at the situation seeping into my voice. If I hadn't been stalking her, she might not have started running then tripped and fallen... but then what if she had started running out of childish fear of the dark and I hadn't been here to help her and some other vampire had been around...
My tone seemed to snap her out of her stupor, and her sharpness truly surprised me. Her head whipped to look mine square in the face, and she puffed her chest out in anger. "Look, mister. While this is really rather kind of you to carry me three blocks—even though I told you I could do it myself—you getting snappy with me doesn't quite cue me in on Good Samaritan. So if you're truly bothered by having to carry me, please, do me a world of a favor and just set me down."
I laughed a little, but found myself attempting to rein in my anger. "You're seriously getting angry with me for asking where else I'm supposed to take you? Is this the street you live on or not?"
Bella slumped down, crossed her arms petulantly, and stated forcefully, "Put me down."
"No," I responded, gritting my teeth.
"I don't want a stranger manhandling me any longer! Put me down!"
"Bella, don't be difficult," I stated, and I felt her freeze in my arms. Warning bells rang, and I couldn't believe I had just—
"How do you know my name?" she asked, her voice trembling.
I was silent for a moment, and carefully stated, "Your boyfriend back at the baseball game had called you Bella when you were sitting near me on the stairs. Is that a nickname and not your real name?"
I stopped walking. It made no sense to keep going if I was going to have to double back.
Bella visibly relaxed, and the warning bells dimmed a little. "Oh, he did, didn't he?"
We were quiet for a minute or so. I stood there, not knowing if I should keep walking or not. She wasn't heavy; to a vampire, not many things were. I just needed to be careful I didn't unintentionally crush her in some way.
"He's not my boyfriend," she whispered, and her pretty blush returned to her cheeks. She peeked her eyes up at mine, and then glanced away quickly.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I just thought—"
"I know, he asks me out all the time, but he's just not my type," she stated plainly. "He's so possessive. It just drives me crazy."
We were quiet for a another heartbeat or two before I decided to venture the question again, asking, "So, do you live nearby?"
Bella seemed to come out of her thoughts and look around, gasping suddenly. "We're right in front of my house! How did you know?"
"Lucky, I guess," I stated, relieved and unhappy at the same time. I stood there for another moment, wanting so desperately to take in the breath of air I had been denying myself since my break of the chase, but I knew that doing so would ruin any chance of her walking into her house alive. And wouldn't it be ironic that I had kept her from harm—for the most part—only to kill her in front of her own home?
But how many times had I done that before? Taken the lives of who I deemed to be murderers and rapists, believing myself to be the protector of the innocent. How many lives had I saved for drinking the blood of those individuals? Or, could it be that I had just taken the life of an innocent person thinking dark thoughts, or re-hashing the latest mystery novel they had read? Could those people have been innocent too?
Carlisle might be right after all. You couldn't kill humans without a conscience, innocent or not.
"You can put me down now. I can walk into my own home, you know," she laughed. I looked down at her, not sure that I could let her down.
But I did. I slowly, gently, released her into a standing position. However, I couldn't seem to keep my hands from her. She was a little wobbly, so I led her up to her doorway with my hands on her shoulders.
"Uh, well, thanks for taking such good care of me," Bella stammered, her blush lighting up her face. Her beautiful brown eyes unwaveringly focused on mine, and my hand of its own volition tucked a stray hair behind a fragile ear. She shivered slightly as my finger strayed to outline the shell of her ear.
"What are you going to tell your parents when they see the blood on your hands?" I asked, shifting to my other foot.
Bella matched my shift, and continued to stare into my eyes. "Well, like I said before, I trip and fall an awful lot, so really they're just going to wonder about the nice person who helped me. What should I tell them?"
I smiled a genuine smile, and I heard her heart skip a beat in her chest. What a beautiful sound. I knew she was playing with me, wanting to know when she was going to see me again. But we couldn't see each other again. I don't know if I would have the strength to deny myself her allure if I saw her—or scented her—again.
"Tell them that a Good Samaritan was passing by, and happened to be going the same way you were. Tell them that he hopes that you stay safe when he's not around."
Her eyes were pained. "Is this Good Samaritan coming around again?"
I wanted to say yes. Desperately. "The Good Samaritan has to go back home to his family."
Bella nodded sadly, but managed to not break eye contact with me.
We gazed at one another for a few moments longer, and I came to a realization. I knew I was a monster, but I did not know I capable of feeling this way before meeting this girl. How was I to rectify my past behavior—all the blood on my hands of potentially innocent people—when my own redemption stared boldly into my own eyes?
How was I to know? Could all of my past kills have ended up differently if I hadn't been able to hear their thoughts, like this one lone girl?
It didn't matter. She had saved my soul.
I leaned forward, and breathed into her face, "Stay safe, Bella."
I bolted, traveling too fast for her dazzled mind to comprehend. As I ran, I quietly thanked the small girl who had just changed my life.
I took in a deep breath, and her scent hit me like a wall. I was covered in it, and the wind whipping past me could not dispel its potency.
It mattered not. If anything, it strengthened my resolve to go back to Carlisle, to continue with his non-human-killing way of life.
I would no longer have blood on my hands.
My question I just answered is: What would have happened if Bella and Edward had met during his rebellious years? What had caused Edward to suddenly revert back to Carlisle's way of life?
On April 28, 1930, the very first night baseball game was played in Independence, Kansas. Since the Cullens love baseball so much, I just thought it was a fitting atmosphere.
Yes, I do know that Bella was in Arizona before Forks, and not Kansas. That's the lovely thing about fanfiction—I can do what I want with the placement of the characters.
Also, Prohibition was in full swing in the 1930s, so white lightning—or homemade liquor—was secretly drank by many people. It was also called moonshine because the majority of the time people brewed it by the light of the moon in order to escape detection by the authorities. If I'm wrong about this, do please dispel my apparent myth-making.