Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
I walked into the vast foyer, pleased at the fact that it seemed deserted of everything –
-- Everything but the sound of her voice.
She giggled a little at her own teasing, she was hiding from me, and the musicality of the sound was more perfect than any note I had ever played.
I mumbled the question more to myself than to her as I darted around one of the many thick pillars, pausing momentarily to appreciate the warmth and color of the usually barren and chilled cavern. The white marble was illuminated in the glow of hundreds of candles of varying widths and heights. The white votives lay strewn over nearly every surface, save for the wide berth of the meticulously drawn pathways, made in anticipation, I'm sure, for this most intriguing game of cat-and-mouse.
"—Edwaaaard", she broke into my thoughts and the beauty of the room was quickly forgotten. Surely, it was her beauty that was beyond compare.
I was eager to play her little game, I was eager for anything that had to do with her.
"Where are you?" I chanced the question, though I knew she would not answer. I knew she liked to tease me.
I could not see her, but I could feel her moving around the room. The sound of her bare feet dancing carelessly on the perfect marble floor, the swishing brush of her fingertips along the gauzy material of her dress, the sweet smell of freesia lingering in the empty spaces in her wake, she pleaded and pulled and dueled with every one of my senses. But most of all, I could feel her. She was reverberating passionate heat all around her, leaving traces of her everywhere she went… I tried to follow them, but as soon as I seemed to be standing where she might have been, she was gone. But I did not need to see her to know, to be certain, that my heart was so completely full. And it was full of her. The empty, echoing chamber of the foyer played games with my patience, making it even more difficult to reach her, and the frustration of being unable to touch her was suddenly too much.
"Enough games." I growled.
Again, the tinkling sound of her laughter wafted through the air, first from the far left corner, then immediately from the northernmost point of the room. I flitted back and forth, knowing that even the flames of the candles perched in the sconces along the pillars were too slow to mimic my movement.
"Amore mio, per favore…" I begged. It wasn't noble or at all dignified, but it was in my flawless Italian and that somehow made it better.
I was tired of chasing her, I had been chasing her for far too long. Mere moments, a lifetime? I only knew that with her at my side, I was sure of who I was, that years upon years of emptiness were not quite in vain, that with her the sadness that grated against my soul came to halt. I could rebuild myself with her. And no, not piece by piece, but entirely. All at once. To have her would be to have every part of humanity that this life had to offer. To have her would be to have everything.
"Close your eyes," she whispered from somewhere behind me.
I did as I was told feeling relief that she was here to save me, yet desperate that she not give chase again. The moment her delicate hand found mine, I felt the longing die in my chest. Finally, she was here, I had been waiting so long. She was here, she was mine and it was as if every invisible bond that chained me to this world of suffering was severed.
With closed eyes and trembling hands, I felt the warm touch of her perfect fingertips along my cheek, her breath on my lips, her body pressed into mine.
"Edward…" she purred.
"Mmmm," I groaned, savoring the way my cold body came alive under her touch.
"Edwaaard," her voice came out in the singsong tone as it had earlier, but now that she was in my arms it was not so much a tease as it was promise.
I kept my eyes shut, taking her into all of my senses.
"Edward, open your eyes…"
I shut my eyes tighter, not wanting to live outside of exactly this moment. Just standing there, with her in my arms, I was more at peace in that moment than I had ever wished to be…
"Edward…" she moaned, trailing kisses from my closed eyes, over my cheeks, along my jaw line, down the side of my neck…
I shook my head, afraid of what might be the reality of the dream.
Her voice grew heavy with the telltale roughness of seduction. She wanted me just as I wanted her: Passionately… Completely.
She worshipped me with every breathless whisper of my name. The lips that had only just trailed fire along my face and neck were at my ear …
"Please, Edward. Please."
There was nothing sanctimonious in her tone now. Gone was the piety and the reverence. All that was left was desire. I still could not bring myself to open my eyes, petrified to challenge my good fortune.
Insistent hands pulled at the linen hem of my shirt and she discarded it easily. Open-mouthed kisses peppered the skin on my chest and the only action I could muster was to sigh contentedly.
I wanted to see her…
I wanted to open my eyes…
I was panting in anticipation of the moment of release…
Her voice trailed into a whisper just as I allowed my eyelids to flutter open…
The room was suddenly washed in black. That voice didn't belong here. It was cold and rough and bothersome in its insistence.
"Edward, they're waiting for you in the main chamber."
I knew the emptiness was already returning tenfold as I tried to ignore the offending voice and refocus my thoughts on her. I chased her into the recesses of my mind, willing the mirage forward. No, come back… Please, don't leave….
I grunted in response, throwing an arm over my face and squeezing my eyes shut as tightly as I could muster.
"They've been waiting, Edward."
I sat up quickly, grabbing the closest thing I could find and lobbed in the direction of the offending voice. The candelabra that was only just sitting on the bedside table was shattered into a million pieces at his feet before I could even open my eyes. I glared at him as he picked a stray piece of the invaluable antique out of his hair nervously, unsure of whether to run or to genuflect.
"I was having a good daydream," I growled menacingly with narrowed eyes, "VERY good."
"I-I-I'm sorry, S-sir. It's just that you…. I think they said y-y-you…"
"Y-y-you WHAT?! SAY IT, BOY!" I bellowed, mocking him.
My lack of patience was a thing of significant notoriety, surely he knew that, and it was particularly thin today.
"They have an assignment for you."
I nearly barked at him for his insolence, but he frantically corrected himself as soon as the words left his lips.
"I-I meant … I meant that they seem likely to request your… services."
I pinched the bridge of my nose, the telling sign of my frustration, "I'll be there in a moment.
He stumbled out the door with a bowed head and shut the door in front of him, unwilling or afraid to turn his back to me, I had no idea.
I rose and felt uncharacteristically unsteady on my feet. I took a moment's pause, throwing the few belongings I had into a worn leather satchel. It had been my home for years, but I did not look back as I shut the door behind me.
As the sound of my hollow steps filled the cold foyer that had only just been washed in the amber candlelight of my daydream, I steeled myself with the pretense of composure I knew would be expected of me. It was only after having these fantasies that I had to pretend at all. This life came naturally to me, easily even. But lately, these illusions were becoming frequent in occurrence and significantly vivid. I had never had much of an imagination before. Yet these dreams felt more that just machinations of the subconscious mind. I knew not who she was, nor what she looked like, even what she was… But I was sure that in the reality of this life, I would never have her. It was not even a possibility. It was with this liberating grief that I walked confidently into the receiving room where I knew that they would be waiting. Knowing the guarantee of this half-fulfilled life was the only source from where I might draw strength, for how could I fear any challenge when there was nothing to lose? The room quieted upon my arrival and soon I was listening to the tedious formalities I had come to know and expect. As I stood obediently and listened, I let my mind wander. Already I was dreaming of when I would be able to escape to the safe haven of my mind... To be alive… To be free…To be with her again.
I felt the cool burst of air break through the gap between my lips. Though the act of breathing was hardly necessary it still felt…. Arduous. I recited the tenants of behavior that I so vehemently championed: discipline, deep concentration, structured and regimented behavior, obedience. At the moment all of it, my entire existence, felt so… Tedious.
The second moment of hesitation in a single train of thought shook me from the ennui that threatened to distract me from my goal. I stiffened against the rigid pine chair knowing that neither my own skin nor the timber would sacrifice any give. I scanned the room with a newfound alertness, trying to pick up bits and pieces of conversation that might help me complete my task. I couldn't disappoint my family. I couldn't go home empty-handed, if I went home at all. No. That would result in the only thing worse than the boredom: Loneliness.
And I knew loneliness. I knew her all too well. She was the bitch-mistress that had plagued me for decades before I found my family. From the dawn of my second birth she was my constant companion, the only assurance I had that I was indeed still alive. Or perhaps, infinitely dead was a better characterization of the existence I had. In either case, she was like a lover who had overstayed her welcome.
When I rose as an immortal covered in blood that was unrecognizable, it could have been mine, it could have been anyone's, and overwhelmed with a thirst that I have never since experienced, loneliness was my only cohort. At first, she gave me something that reminded me of a long-lost mortality. She was the greatest distraction from the thirst that I tried to deny… in the beginning. In those stages of infancy in this life, I clung to her more tightly than anything else. I indulged her for months at a time, sequestering myself to the most remote and harsh conditions on earth, denying myself nourishment and companionship. For her, I denied myself any humanity. Surely, I thought at the time, the overwhelming desire to kill and feed must have meant that I was no longer human. But eventually, who could possibly know how many months upon months it took, I found myself back in the world of the humans.
Slowly at first, after I discovered that animals' blood helped to satiate the thirst and curb the desire to kill, I reintroduced myself to a world that I did not recognize. But even with the sights and sounds and smells of this new world, I couldn't elude her. Loneliness. She chased me as I ran from city to city, continent to continent, as I sought something, anything, to make this everlasting existence just minutely more bearable.
And finally they found me. Family.
I could know neither why, nor how, they happened upon me that day, but I was grateful. They cared for me as much as they could, as much as any of our kind could, for surely love was impossible for those like us. I was certain that we were incapable of love, but we had companionship, and that might just be enough reason to claw through this existence. For if it did exist, who could possibly guess what kinds of hell and misery awaited us on the other side…
"That's so funny!"
Wow, that's really not funny.
" I know! I can barely believe I did it either… I don't know what came over me!"
The discrepancy between what the two humans were saying and what they were thinking was unusual, even for children, and it caused me to glance in their direction. I could tell by their smell that they weren't what I was looking for, just regular human teenagers. I took a quick sniff of the air. Too much perfume and cheap aftershave, I could smell it mingled with the scent of human food even from across the crowded room. They were probably on the first of many hormone-addled dates.
"Well, I'm glad you can find ways of entertaining yourself in Forks. Sometimes I think I might actually die from the boredom…"
But getting a boyfriend might even make Forks bearable…
Just as I tried to block out the internal monologue of the predictable brunette girl, she finally said something worth my attention. Forks.
What were the children from Forks doing all the way in Port Angeles? It must be a more boring than I thought, but it was also likely that it was closer…
"Yeah," the flaxen-haired boy answered wistfully, "Only two more years and then it's off to college and, like, actual civilization…"
… And SEX!
I fought the urge to roll my eyes at the boy and leaned further into their direction, though my senses were more than capable of picking up anything they might or might not say.
"We better get going if you want to stop at that music store," the girl said suddenly as she started to gather her things. "Otherwise, we're going to be late."
Like I really care…
"Yup, you're probably right."
The boy inched himself out of his booth in a quick and jerky manner though he was still a little too late to help the girl with her coat. He raised his hands and patted her hesitantly on the shoulders as she settled into the light fabric. It was unusually breezy for an evening in August, even in this part of the Pacific Northwest.
"Uhh, thanks anyway."
"Y-yeah. No problem."
Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.
I followed their forms as they ambled out the door, the boy trailing slightly behind the girl.
I let another unnecessary breath struggle against the insides of my stone mouth before throwing some money on the table and getting up to follow them. Though the door had closed behind me, I could still hear the audible sighs of relief from the restaurant's owners. I waited until I turned the corner before I chanced a look at my reflection in a shop mirror. I thought I had mimicked a human demeanor sufficiently enough to not scare the people in the sleepy town.
I rolled down the sleeves of my shirt and threw on the coat that had previously been slung over the back of my chair. I pulled the collar up around my neck and loosened the disciplined stiffness of my shoulders in an attempt to look more believable. I had had enough forays into the human world without consequence to assume that I was getting better at replicating typical behavior. Based on the pointed stares and quickened paces of those around me, I must not be as good as I thought.
I scanned the bustling street, filled with tourists and locals alike, enjoying the last days of summer despite my imposing and ominous presence. I always half expected them to scurry like cockroaches whenever I was among them, their subliminal fight-or-flight patterns always veered towards the flight. I spotted them almost immediately, the loud fuschia of the girl's coat marking them as my prey. I stayed immobile as I watched them disappear behind a storefront across the street, two blocks down.
I picked up my feet to travel into the opposite direction, knowing that I could keep an ear on them even from several blocks away. Opting to do some reconnaissance should my assignment bring me back to Port Angeles for either save haven or departure, I meandered along the streets, keeping an ear in the boy's thoughts. The foot traffic of the coastal town's main street quickly dispersed leading me into the more industrial guts of the city center. I rounded a corner and spotted a huddle of men, clearly the underbelly of the cheery town. I neared them, unbothered by the smell of stale liquor on their breaths and the slightly feral look in their eyes. I brushed against one of them as I passed the group on the sidewalk, my eyes trained on the ground as I had been taught to do.
"Hey watch it, Man!"
I looked behind me to see the largest of the group eyeing me with what I had to assume was contempt, though to me it was no more intimidating than an errant fly that only had to be swatted away.
"Sorry…" I heard myself mumble automatically.
"Yeah you better be, Dick…"
Maybe I should show him just how sorry he should be…
I heard his internal monologue deliberate over whether or not to give me any trouble. He was nervous at my size and demeanor, but was quickly placated at the numbers in his favor. 5 against 1? As if they even had a chance…
I heard the others snicker behind him as he mumbled his plans to them, thinking I couldn't hear. I turned around abruptly to walk in the direction that I came from, eager to avoid the fight. It would only highlight my previous feelings of boredom, highlight the fact that even subduing this group of scum was without a challenge. I was already several paces beyond them before I caught a stray thought from one of the others. It was thrown out with a nonchalance that led me to believe that thoughts like this were common to men like them…
If we can't get a fight out of this guy, maybe we can find a girl to entertain us.
I felt the familiar pool of venom in my mouth that accompanied a particular brand of irritation. Just a quick distraction, I thought to myself, something to kill the time. I focused in on the thoughts of the boy in the shop a few blocks away, he was still perusing the racks of CDs with the girl at his side, I had more than enough time.
Is this guy mental?
I heard another one ask himself as he noted the sudden hesitation in my step.
He must have a death wish.
"I'm sorry?" I growled, still facing away from them, "Did you say something?"
What the hell?
"No, Man," another answered, "We didn't say anything. Why? You got something to say?"
"And if I do?" I answered with bone chilling calm.
"You don't got nothin' to say," the biggest one answered.
I twisted toward them and bared my teeth, the familiar growl escaping my throat.
I watched as the group took a tentative step backwards, eyeing me with the cautious apprehension that they should have had before I showed them a more accurate version of myself. I took three long strides towards them and was within an arm's length before they realized I was on the offensive. I quickly distinguished the offender who had made the comment about a girl and grabbed him by the neck knowing that just the flick of my wrist would have pulverized his trachea.
"You should be more polite," I insisted as I held him by the throat, his friends too stunned to disperse or defend.
"A… aghh…" the beginnings of a word I could not decipher fell dead on his lips as he struggled to free himself from my infallible hold. I raised my other fist and brought it down swiftly on the bridge of his nose, smiling sadistically at the sound of bones splitting underneath his skin. The overpowering smell of blood filled the air before I saw the first drop spill onto the concrete. Slowly by my own standards, but within the space of a human second, three of the men were attempting to subdue me with feeble kicks and punches to my body. When I did not even sway from their weak onslaught, they backed away, faced with the realization that I may be more than I seemed. I swept them away with my free arm and watched delightedly as they flew through the air. I released my hold on offender's throat and let him crumple to the ground in complete and total agony. He was still writhing on the ground as I watched the other four scurry away around corners into empty streets. I watched the man on the ground for a few more seconds, the ever-present bloodlust threatening to turn this distraction into an exercise of self-loathing and contempt, before turning on my heel and walking back into town.
I let myself back into their thoughts. Two of them were considering going back to check on their 'friend'. As if the notion of friendship could reside in any of those vessels. If I was without a soul, surely the powers-that-be would not be so cruel as to grant those monsters any sort of reprieve.
I knew that my brand of justice would not incapacitate them for long and it would be too soon before they were back to their ways, but for the moment they were punished and I was less bored.
I was so deep in my thoughts that there were barely 100 paces between us before I smelled her. I stopped dead in my tracks as I felt my body seize, then tense for attack. The dispersing venom in my mouth was quickly met with a torrent of fresh supply as every instinct within my body called, no screamed, KILL. Fire scorched through my limbs and stopped in my throat and I knew nothing but the thirst. I knew not my mission, not my family, not even my own name. All I knew was that I had to have her, feel her blood flowing hot under her translucent skin just before in flooded into my mouth uninterrupted by flesh… Uninterrupted by her struggling attempt to free herself. Because surely, surely, she would be dead the moment I reached out and took her…
AN: I'm not sure if people will be into the premise of this story. I don't even know if it's been done, there's so much fic out there! Everything is a little AU, though I'm trying for canonized pairings since I love them so much. Read and Review? It is greatly appreciated and will encourage a little continuity. Isn't it always the way? Thanks!