Author's Note: And here is the new story! More Like Her. The story is just starting out and I like to just write and see where the characters and story takes me. And now, so that I don't give anything away, I stop babbling so you guys can get into the new story!
Stephenie Meyer's the genius, I just got inspired. Again. Please review! It keeps me writing.
It had been three years. Three agonizingly long years since the biggest mistake of my life. Or rather, my existance. The term life no longer applied to me and hadn't for a very long time.
There were things about me, as well as my family, that people weren't allowed to know about. Secrets so deep and horrifying that keeping to ourselves was the most important part of our existance. There were so many rules in my hidden existance, but they all seemed to fall under one, very important heading. The secret must be kept. And for the most part, the secret had been kept.
We always moved before people could notice how different we were from them. It was imperitive that no one lace the connections together. Our absence from sunny days, our unchanging appearances, eyes that changed color, and how inhumanly perfect our features were. To the public, we were simply outcasts. A large family that was connected by a terrifying secret, which had been strengthened by bonds of love. There was the traditional bond of love, one that I hadn't known until eight years before, but my family knew well. Until two years after we moved to the rainy town of Forks, Washington; I'd never known the emotions that held the couples in my family together. I couldn't have even fathomed how it felt for my mother and father, in all ways but biological, to spend their eternity together. But when a seventeen-year-old human girl had walked into my life, I caught my first real glimpse into the world that my siblings had constructed around themselves. True love, in its purest form. But it was only a glimpse, I was not meant to bask and thrive in it as my family had. Denying myself happiness and pleasure had become like second nature, and eight very long years before, I had denied myself once again.
It hurt to leave her, to leave the frail human girl that was a danger magnet in every single way. But by having me in her life, by choosing to love me and being enveloped in the world she was supposed to know nothing about, the dangers had mounted against her. Several times, her life had been threatened until I finally made the agonizing decision to take myself out of her world. She didn't belong in the same life as me. Her humanity and everything that lit her up as the most glorious creature I'd ever seen didn't give her enough strength to remain in my world. I was too dangerous for her, my love too toxic for someone so innocent and perfect.
But that hadn't made my choice any easier. It had hurt to sever all ties with Bella Swan as my family moved out of Forks and relocated to another dreary town that would hide us better. The wounds hadn't even begun to heal from the disasterous conversation that had been my last with her. Making her believe that I no longer loved her had been easier than I could've ever expected. I could still remember seeing the spark leave her large, chocolate eyes as her intriguing mind made the connections my lips could not formulate verbally. I had lied to protect her, to save her from her death, and she had believed me so absolutely.
I had been keeping tabs on the young girl that had awoken a very dormant part of my being until recently. At first, it had been difficult, to see the level of pain that I had unknowingly inflicted. But I couldn't let myself waver in my decision. Her safety and well-being were much more important to me than my own happiness and I was determined to never force her to make the choice no one in my family, myself included, had been granted. I would not, could not let her turn her back on humanity just so that I could be selfish enough to have her with me as my parents and siblings had their soulmates. It didn't seem fair, not to someone like Bella. She could do better than me, she could find someone that loved her as healthily as I'd never been able to. And just three years before, the last time I visited Forks to see her progress; it seemed she had done just that.
While it had been my wish, my hopes for her to gain a normal and happy life, it still hurt to see the smile light up her face; knowing that I had not been the one to transfix her lips in such a gesture. The culprit, a young man that caused jealousy to flash-burn through me like a hot fire; was Jacob Black. I knew a little of him, but only from the conversations I'd had with Bella. He was the son of her father's best friend, from the neighboring Indian reservation of La Push. Watching them together, I wasn't sure if I could have hand-picked a better match for her than him. He was abnormally tall and muscular, easily looking like he could serve as the kind of protector I wanted for Bella. The kind of protector that I could not be. All because he was human. His heart beat strongly in his chest, blood flowing freely through his veins with a future stretched out endlessly in front of him. A future bright with all the possibilities granted to someone like him. Possibilities that had been placed in Bella's future when she became Mrs. Jacob Black.
I had forced myself to be there for their nuptials; lying to myself that I needed the confirmation that she was safe, loved, and would be well taken care of. Even if she would never know that I had been there. And as the year that followed stretched out, I realized that I had been right. Seeing Isabella Marie Swan happy and radiant on her wedding day had given my unbeating heart a sense of relief. If I could not be with her, I was grateful for the knowledge that she had someone to walk through this life with. She had moved on with her life, gotten over me and found someone more healthy to love.
Of course there were supernatural myths that surrounded the boy she had chosen to marry. Some of those myths, actually more like histories, tied with my own. But as I stood there, watching her glide through freshly-cut grass on the arm of her father, I could not force myself to act on those histories. To use them as my defence for crashing into her life to reclaim her as my own. I'd tossed that claim away, not lightly, but it had been done nonetheless. It wasn't fair to Bella for me to disrupt her life for the second time, only to agonize endlessly about my change of heart.
All of that felt like a lifetime ago, if it could even be discribed as that. Now things were back to the simple lifestyle my family and I had adopted before moving to Forks. Before that tiny girl with expressive brown eyes and chestnut hair made me feel alive for the very first time in over a hundred years. We were settled in a small town right outside Hanover, New Hampshire. It had originally been my idea to move as far away from Bella and her new life as possible, in hopes of easing the urge to disrupt everything she had now. But my family readily moved with me, and my 'oldest' siblings were even enrolled in the prestigious Dartmouth College.
The rest of us, myself; Alice and her other half Jasper, were again pretending to be high school students, the adopted children of Dr. Carlisle and Mrs. Esme Cullen. Rosalie and her mate, Emmett were basking in the rare treat to enter into the scholastic world as college freshmen while the rest of my siblings and I adopted the roles of high school juniors. It was a bit of a stretch, once someone saw us all together at one time. But that had been the reason for living just outside of town. We were less conspicous this way, able to blend in more easily and stretch out time out a little further. My gift, a true blessing among my kind, did preview me to the speculation that surrounded us. But with a brilliant doctor like Carlisle Cullen settling into his new life, no one raised those thoughts into actual words. It was all in their thoughts whenever one or a few of us would meander around town. Always on a gloomy, overcast day with rain just around the corner. That was how we preferred it, it was detrimental to staying as invisible as possible in this new town.
A quiet sigh passed through my lips as I walked through the brightly lit hallway of Carlisle's new place of residence. My father was never happier than when he was in the ER, saving lives that would otherwise be lost in the hands of other doctors. Then again, Carlisle was no ordinary doctor, unlimited with the same gifts and senses that he had bestowed on his family. My stride held as I crossed to the nurse's station, smiling when a woman with firey red hair looked up from the book that lay open in front of her. Just one glance at the paperback told me it was a favorite of hers, the binding so destroyed that it needed no assistance in laying flat on the page she had just been reading.
"Hello Edward, here to visit your father?"
"Yes." I managed in a polite tone, the invisible lines around my mouth feeling strained as I stared into her flat brown eyes. Bella's expressive eyes had tainted the eye color for me, never letting me see another pair of eyes quite the same way again. I briefly cursed the thought and banished it to the back of my mind as I rested my forearms on the low counter and pretended to peer over to see what she was reading. A trashy romance novel, of course. The woman's thoughts gave her away as soon as I was within hearing range. She had been daydreaming of acting out the last scene she'd read when I approached. I forced the grimace to keep from passing my features when her thoughts gave her away, placing me in the role of her romancer as she gazed up at me. "Could you tell me where he is? My mother asked me to stop by after school so I could ask him something."
"Of course." She followed her words with a flurry of movement, her thoughts breaking from the daydreaming I'd caught her in into disarray as she tried to remember where Carlisle was located. I had long ago perfected my patient smile as I watched her consult a nearby chart before looking back up at me again. "He's with a new patient. Poor dear, young girl left right outside the entrance. I believe he's up in the ICU, trying to stabilize her. I could page him if you want."
"That's no problem." My smile felt foreign on my face as I shook my head and raised back up to my full height. "I'll just go wait in his office for him. Thank you."
Her smile wavered a little as I turned my back and swiftly disappeared out of sight. It was probably a little too fast to pass for a human's pace, but I was desperate to get away before her thoughts once again set my empty stomach churning. I did not want to stand by and watch as I starred in her unoriginal daydreams. Bypassing Carlisle's office, I made my way up to the ICU and repeated the same performance with the nurse up there. Thankfully, I encountered a male this time, George; who I had caught worrying about his pregnant wife. She had been brought in not long ago with complications and was now confined to bedrest. But in my haste to see Carlisle, I couldn't bring myself to ask how things were at home. He simply let me fold myself into a chair so I could wait for my father to emerge from the young girl's room.
Eternity had also perfected my waiting skills but my agitation was so strong that I began to bounce my knee as I forced myself to look around. The gestures were simply for show, I didn't need to move. There was no relief to my actions anymore, the only repreive I felt came from running at my full strength through an endless maze of trees. Something I had, thankfully, not lost when the course of my existance changed course.
Carlisle emerged, looking worried and thoroughly upset as he exited a dark room and slid the glass divider closed. I could only guess the condition of the patient he had just left. I was on my feet at once, an acceptable pace this time, and crossed the space to stop at my father's side.
"Edward." He sighed when he finally looked up to see me standing in front of him. His smile was weary as he set the clipboard he'd been holding down and rubbed his forehead. "What a happy surprise, what brings you up here?"
"Esme asked me to come by and see what you would like for dinner." I lied, only to keep up the charade that we were an actual, normal family. It was probably weird to bystanders that I addressed my mother by her first name, but that was why we claimed to be adopted children. Sometimes adopted children felt more comfortable addressing their parents by their given names. And the story in this town was that I had been orphaned at ten, later adopted by Carlisle and Esme at thirteen. It was all ludicrious and made me laugh darkly to myself as I recounted my real history. I had been seventeen when Carlisle adopted me and started our family. I had been the first, a boy he could not leave to die in a hospital in Chicago, Illinois as the Spanish Influenza raged through the town like a wildfire. My own parents had died, first my father, then my mother; just hours before my heart beat for the final time as I passed from the human world into the supernatural darkness of vampirism.
"Let's go to my office so we can call her and bounce ideas back and forth." Always one for appearances, Carlisle continued to smile tiredly at me and escorted me to the fourth floor, where his office was located. Once inside with the door closed, all masks were dropped as my father fell into the high-backed, leather chair behind a wide oak desk piled with papers and dozens of patient folders.
"How's the girl?" I asked, even though I didn't need to. He was still worrying about her, silently of course, trying to piece together her mysterious appearance in the hospital.
"Not well, I'm afraid." He sighed and seemed to sink even deeper into his chair as I lounged in the wide chair across from him. "We haven't been able to locate any family and she hasn't become lucid enough for us to obtain her name. At this point, she is simply Jane Doe." Carlisle sighed again and shook his head as he stared at a spot just over my left shoulder. "Such a waste too, if it weren't for the bruising and abrasions, I'm sure she would be a very pretty girl. Someone out there must be missing her."
"You shouldn't worry yourself about her." I replied casually, hating how calloused I'd become since reuniting with my family. Walking away from Bella had left deeper scars than I'd originally thought. "I'm sure you'll find someone to take care of her."
"I hope so." His smile grew a little more genuine that time as he finally looked at me. "We don't know how old she is, but guessing from her dental work, she is around the age Rosalie was." Almost as soon as he said those words, a deep frown settled onto his features. "And she has apparently suffered the same fate as your sister."
Though I tried, I couldn't completely fight back the cringe that shook through me. I hated to remember the actions that had brought Rosalie Hale into our family. She had been welcomed in after Esme, who had joined us just a couple of years after my rebirth. "Well if that's true, maybe she's better off with no one to claim her."
"I'm half-tempted to have her released into my care." Carlisle joked with a wan smile, but I could see he was seriously contemplating it. Something that intrigued me. He hadn't thought about bringing anyone into our lives so officially since Bella. Though his thoughts betrayed no move toward immortality, I knew it wouldn't be too far off if this girl was brought to live with us.
"Esme would burn you to ashes if you tried." I teased and smiled sardonically at him. There was no real threat behind my words. Esme would welcome the girl in with open arms and never want her to leave. The maternal instincts that had driven Esme to end her life hadn't dulled when she crossed that same invisible line as me. She had just learned to make due with my brothers, sisters, and me.
"Maybe." Carlisle mused with one of his patient smiles then suddenly leaned foward onto his desk. "Now, onto the real reason why you're here. You never come to the hospital unless you have something important to talk to me about."
"I was just in the neighborhood." I admitted with a casual shrug of my shoulders. It was the truth, I just didn't feel the need to explain why I was in the neighborhood. My loss, if it could even be called that, had put a strain on my family. They all had experienced the sudden departure from Bella as I had, though not quite to the level I had. But after taking some time to myself, to let myself wallow and be miserable, I came back with the silent vow to not burden them with my sorrow. This was my cross, one of many actually, to bare and I wasn't going to inflict anymore damage on the perfectly matched couples of my family.