Ch1. Accidental meeting
The night was dark, your senses enhanced. Our paths would cross, a meeting perchance? To start a flame, a burning desire. You lifted my spirits, only you took me higher.
Forks Washington was possibly the worst place on the planet! I was absolutely drenched from the continuous rain coming down from the heavens and the mist bouncing up from under my feet. My mood was black and the sky was turning the same ominous colour. I was beginning to regret storming off and away from Charlie and our argument, but not because I was sorry for the things that were said, only that I hadn't stopped to take the damn car!
I hunched my shoulders and kept on walking, my mood was calming but with that I was gaining sudden clarity. I was soaked, starting to feel the cold and only just noticing the many trees lining the road and further beyond. It was dark in the woods around me and the road was quiet and I had a sudden fear that a family of bears would smell my honey & cinnamon bath soak and decide to come find the delicious smelling feast! I hadn't seen a car in all the time I was walking and in my dark mood, I hadn't paid attention to how far from Forks town, I had walked.
The wind picked up and with it my imagination.
Damn it, was that a wolf?
Don't be stupid Bella! I tried to calm my nerves. It was the wind, just the wind. There it was again...
My steps faltered as I spun round towards the eerie howling sounds emitting from the trees behind me, I stumbled and walked through a puddle only to find it was actually a puddle with bigger ideas. The muddy water splashed happily up my leg, leaving me knee deep in cold, slimy mush.
"Damn it" I heard it again. But I could also hear a car. Oh thank goodness. I lifted my foot out of the puddle, and stepped towards the centre of the road, it was dark and chances are I would blend in with the background of trees when the driver whizzed past me, I didn't want to take a chance on them missing me.
The car was getting closer. I could hear the thrum of the engine and the forced gear change. Man, they were driving fast. They were taking some chance in weather like this. For goodness sake, Bella, you just thought you heard a wolf or a bear or a combination of both and you're suddenly worried about some random driver and their breaking distance? I stepped over to the other side of the road, I didn't want to take a chance on them smashing into me as they hurled round the corner. I could see their headlights and lifted my arms above my head.
"Hey" I shouted "Stop"
The car was driving at break neck speed and probably wasn't going to be able to stop and help take me back to town. I decided to drop my arms and took a step back towards the grass verge. I wasn't counting on the other car coming towards me in the opposite direction from where my attention was focused. It smashed into my hip just as I turned my head into the blinding headlights. I was momentarily flung into the air and crashed into the windscreen. My head hit the glass, as my arm hit the bonnet and the road greeted me with a very hard and very sudden thump.
I thought that would hurt more, were just some of the random thoughts going through my head along with half the windscreen and a very wet but hard road. The car continued its journey towards a nearby tree. Enveloping it like a hug. The bonnet crumbled and wrapped itself around the base. The horn started blaring. I turned my head towards the other car, hoping it had stopped to assist, but was greeted with the red of their tail lights, disappearing into the distance. I turned back towards the crashed car. The door was hanging open and I could make out the side profile of a male, slumped over the steering wheel. The rain was making my eyes blurry. I couldn't make out much else. I closed my eyes and gave only a second's thought to the other possible cars hurrying home, down this deserted road, in the rain and possibly ploughing into my sleeping form in the middle of the road, before unconsciousness finally took me.
The warmth emanating from the huge blankets wrapped around me tightly was seeping through my wet clothes and starting to warm my frozen bones. I felt a hand on my wrist and heard the crackling of a fire. The fingers on my wrist where cold and were ruining my warm rush but finally they released my hand and let it rest under the blanket again.
"Is she ok?" I heard someone ask. They sounded anxious but I didn't recognise the female voice.
"Well, she hit the road pretty hard I guess, so she's gonna have some bruising, and nothing's broken. Her pulse is strong, but she's pretty cold. Go ask Esme to make some tea" The owner of the cold hands instructed the voice.
Footsteps echoed away from the room.
"Hmmmmmmmm" I moaned. The more alert I started to feel, the more my head protested. "My head hurts" I mumbled.
"I'm not surprised, you dented the car" cold hands chuckled at me.
"And that's funny, how?" I asked. My head and my hip suddenly not the only things hurt.
"Your clothes are wet, you should get changed into something dry" Cold hands sounded like he was still smiling at my predicament.
I opened my eyes and winced as the sudden light in the room made my head throb. I squeezed my eyes closed and when the throb eased to a dull ache, I tried again. The throb protested once more, but not as strongly as before, I squinted around the room. It was a large room and decorated like a stately home. With lots of large furniture, dark colours and an open fire place snapping and crackling by my feet. I was lying on a sofa, covered with heavy blankets and propped up slightly by pillows. I took a peep at cold hands. He was sat on a foot stool by my side, elbows on knees and looking like he belonged on an episode of Grey's Anatomy rather than in this old fashioned lounge. He was blonde with quite prominent features, strong jaw and cheekbones. His skin was pale but flawless and his mouth was fighting back a smile.
"Are you a model"? I asked, blushing. What a ridiculous question.
He laughed, "No, I'm a doctor. My name is Carlisle"
"Hello" I replied. I took another sweeping glance about the room and pushed myself back against the pillows. Dr Cold Hands was watching me, waiting. "Oh, Gosh, I'm sorry, I'm Bella. Bella Swan. Dr Co...Dr Carlisle, where am I"?
"You're in my home. We were rather concerned about you. You stepped out into the road and gave Edward quite a scare. He swerved but still clipped you slightly; you hit your head on the road".
"Edward"? I asked. "He was the driver?"
"Yes" Dr Cold Hands answered, "My son". As if that explanation made it any clearer for me. I took another look at Dr Cold Hands as he stood and walked away from my chair. When he turned back to me he was carrying a glass of something brown and handed it over to me, obviously expecting me to drink it. I looked up at him but my question lodged in my throat. Dr Cold Hands had the strangest eyes I had ever seen. They were dark but around the pupil was a golden brown iris that almost seemed to glow. I realised I was staring.
"Thank you" I mumbled as I took the glass. It smelt strong, possibly brandy, people always gave brandy in times of crisis, shock or accident. I suddenly remembered my question.
"Edward?" I asked, feeling panic, "is he ok, he was unconscious, he wasn't moving at all".
"Edwards fine Bella, he wasn't hurt at all".
"But he was, I saw him, he was unconscious..." Dr Cold Hands was shaking his head. "No, I promise, he's fine. You must be confused, the bump on your head possibly. I recommend you take a few sips of this, it'll warm you up and make you feel more human". Dr Cold Hands handed me the glass, I took it and lifted it to my lips. The smell was so strong, I grimaced. Dr Cold Hands laughed, "Trust me, I'm a Dr, now... sip it slowly"
I did as he suggested but the drink was harsh in my throat and made me gasp for air. Shit! That stuff really did bring you back down to earth. Dr Cold Hands laughed again and got up to leave the room. I put the glass down and felt heat rush through my tummy and had to admit, it did make me feel slightly better. I was still confused about Edward. He was slumped across the steering wheel; the car was wrapped around a tree and had done more than "slightly clip me". I was confused, bruised and sitting in a strangers lounge.
"You ok?" I spun my head round to the doorway and immediately regretted moving so fast. My head screamed at me to slow the fuck down. "Shitshitshit" I muttered, holding my throbbing head in my hands.
"Stupid question?" My visitor asked.
"I'll say" I muttered. My visitor sat on the stool recently vacated by Dr Cold Hands. "I'm Edward, Carlisle tells me you're Bella. Pleasure to meet you"
"Is it"? I asked, peeping up through my fingers only to discover Edwards's features were even more stunning than Carlisle. His hair was long on top, and messy like he'd run his fingers through, leaving some strands pushed back from his forehead and some falling forward towards his eyes. I resisted the urge to reach out my hand and stroke the stray strands back into place. Edward's eyes had the same golden brown glow as Carlisle's, his cheekbones were also strong but Edward's lips were full. The perfect pout, inviting any observer of their shape, further in, possibly to taste their hidden........I mentally shook myself, Jesus! I'd hit my head harder than I thought, I was mentally undressing the first two males I had noticed upon gaining consciousness! I tried to continue my observation with a little less female hormone. He was undeniably gorgeous and much to my relief, showing no signs of injury. His head tilted to the side and his brow furrowed. I realised I was staring, what the hell was wrong with me? These people will start to think I'm rude as well as a walking accident. I cleared my throat
"I'm really pleased your ok, I was worried about you, you looked so badly inj...So bad, but Col, I mean Carlisle said you were ok, I didn't believe him because you were against the steering wheel but I guess he was right...." I trailed off, realising I was sprouting verbal bullshit. I blushed.
"Against the steering wheel? No Bella, I'm ok, as you can see, hardly a scratch on me. You, on the other hand, had quite a bumpy landing. Hows your bottom?"
"I beg your pardon"?
"Your bottom? You landed on it, after your head of course. Bet its...tender, your bottom, that is." Edward finished his sentence with a smirk and his grin widened as my cheeks flamed again.
"Tender"? I echoed, what the hell was he referring too? "My bottoms fine" I replied.
"Hmmmmm" he stood up off the chair as Carlisle entered before I could question that mumble further. Was he insinuating my bottom wasn't fine?
Carlisle was carrying a tray of food which he placed on my lap. "Eat and then we'll show you your room, there's a bathroom next door to it, so I suggest you get out of those wet clothes and warm yourself up with a shower. I'm still concerned about your head, so best not to have a bath. Alice has left you some items to change into then you should get some rest." I glanced at Edward and blushed again, who was Alice and why did Carlisle have to talk about me getting undressed and showering in front of Edward? The guy was hot and I was nursing a bruised bottom and ego. What had happened earlier tonight was still confusing me, I wasn't getting the answers I needed and I was sure the story would remain the same whomever I asked.
"A room and shower? No Carlisle, I need to call my Dad and have him come and get me, he'll be really worried, I have no idea how long I've been gone but I'm sure he's going to be pretty panicked by now"
"The phones are all down, right now Bella, the storm." I hadn't realised there had even been a storm, just the usual wet weather that I had come to expect from Forks. "Emmett and Rosalie have gone into town and explained to Charlie that you got lost and wet and are now going to stay here with Alice, she goes to Forks High too. They all do. Someone will drive you home in the morning."
"If they could get to my Dads house, then maybe you could take me home?" I was getting more confused by the names being dropped into the conversation, like I should know them. I didn't.
"That not a good idea" Carlisle continued, " Your head injury needs to be observed"
"I'll ask my Dad to take me to the emergency room"
Carlisle was shaking his head, "Bella, I feel sort of responsible for you", He glanced over at Edward "Emmett didn't mention to Charlie about your accident as we didn't want to worry him unnecessarily, let us take care of you and I promise you'll be home first thing in the morning".
Protesting seemed futile, so I nodded and gave in. The food was delicious and helped warm my aching bones. When I finished, Edward took the tray from my lap and held his hand out for mine. I wasn't used to such gentlemanly displays so just sat staring at him rather blankly.
"Bella" He simply said. I put my hand in his and was met by cold skin. His hands were just as cold as Carlisle's. Cold hands, unusual eyes, the family genes were seriously bizarre. Edward gently pulled me to my feet then steadied my wobbly stance with an arm about my waist. He smelled so good I had to stop myself from pressing forward and inhaling more deeply. The scent was neither artificial nor was it a masculine smell that usually emanated from the male body. It was sweet and intoxicating and I stood pressed against his side suddenly mesmerised by the strange but perfect boy stood next to me. His hair, his eyes, his lips, his smell, I was giddy at the mere touch of him but he was a stranger to me. I was sure. You couldn't forget meeting such a person. However, there was something in me that cried out in recognition, he was so familiar to me, like we had not only met before but had touched, had laughed maybe even been friends and I had possibly even run my fingers through his hair and leaned in towards him for a kiss......
"Whoa, I've got you" Edwards's voice startled me. I had started to lean forward, eyes half closed, but he had thankfully misunderstood my clumsy, dazed moves as giddiness from the accident. I blushed, ducked my head and felt the sudden urge to sprint from the room and hide. I was so confused, the accident had seemed so much worse than they were telling me it was. I remember the windscreen rushing up towards my face, I remember the bonnet connecting with my arm, why wasn't it broken? Why hadn't my landing on the road concussed me? Why wasn't I in a hospital instead of standing in a hallway of a house that would be perfect in an Austin novel/movie with a boy that drew me in, I couldn't concentrate anymore and fought the sudden overwhelming urge to cry. Much to my relief we reached the bedroom door. I allowed Edward to open it for me, assist me inside and quickly list the facilities before he bid me goodnight.
"Bella" he said as he reached the bedroom door "I really am sorry I hit you with my car. I'm so glad you're ok, you had me quite worried for a while there. "
"Accidents happen" I mumbled, I just wanted to be alone.
"Even so, I'd like......" Edward stopped mid sentence, I turned waiting for him to finish but he just frowned, cleared his throat and closed the door behind him. I knew I should get undressed out of my damp clothes, as Carlisle had advised but I was exhausted. I turned off the light, leaving the curtains open, moonlight filling the room, and fell onto the bed, pulling the blanket round my shoulders in tighter. I closed my eyes but the image of Edward was still before me. His eyes were magnetic. He was magnetic. I was amazed by him and fell asleep dreaming of cars spinning past me, wolves howling at the moon and of a strange boy with cold hands lifting me and moving through the air.