Hi! This is a new project that I am starting! I got this idea and I just kind of went with it. I'll still be writing Rock Bottom as my first priority. So tell me what you think!

The sun was just coming up as I walked through the front door of the house. It was quiet inside; I couldn't place anyone in the house. It was cool out, so I assumed that everyone else had gone out to hunt and I really wouldn't expect them to wait for me. They never knew where I was and I was off on my own most of the time.

I walked to the stairs and climbed them, taking my time. I could tell that the others had just left, so I had a good 15 hours to myself before anyone came home. I liked the silence. It was peaceful, reliable. No one clouding it with thoughts of death, murder, sex, money or anything else that I didn't want to hear. This kind of silence let me enjoy the music I listened to, or the books I read. I could even hear myself think; that was always the nicest change.

I reached my bedroom, closing the door softly behind myself and I made my way to the bed and lay down. I sighed. Even though I didn't use the bed to sleep, sometimes being sprawled out on it and just letting my mind go was one of the best feelings I could ever have. I looked at the ceiling for a few moments, tracing the patterns with my eyes and just letting my mind relax. I heard the birds outside, and the wind rustling the trees. I finally let my eyes droop closed and let my mind go into auto-pilot.

It had been getting harder and harder for me to be around people. I stopped going to school with the others, opting to stay home or just take off for somewhere secluded for days at a time. After over a hundred years of hearing the voices, things were starting to take a toll on me. Carlisle said that this was probably good for me, the seclusion, and even suggested that I take some time for myself away from the family completely. We had enough houses in the world that I could live comfortably away from people to be happy. But I chose not to. Even though I didn't see my family as often as I once did, the thought of being away from them completely didn't sit well with me. I liked having them around, available for advice or even just the simple companionship.

I tried to stay out of the house during the night as much as possible. Being the only single member of the family, listening to them having sex was the worst thing for me. I couldn't block it out and I had often forced myself into physical pain in attempts to get away from it. I was hardly a prude, either. I'd had my share of women throughout the years, just to stave off the loneliness. Hearing the thoughts of a lover had its advantages and disadvantages, but I always felt the most intrusive in those moments. It was awful to hear that they didn't like it, or even that they did, when it was something so intimate inside ones own mind.

It had been so long since I had been with someone. But recently, it had been too hard to be around anyone let alone a companion. Knowing their thoughts at all times began to wear on me, and I rarely had anyone for very long. They always found it difficult to be with me as well. Knowing what they were going to say before they said it, all the insecurities they felt when we were together, they all began to resent me for it.

I sat up and made my way over to the audio system I had in the corner of my room. I hit the disk changer a few times and let it play, wanting to be surprised by the music that would fill the room. The machine clicked a few times as I made my way back to my bed and reclined once more. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.2 began to float through the room and I sighed happily and settled in to my bed a little more deeply and let the music wash over me. I could spend hours like this, just listening to piece after piece. Music was another reliable constant. It never judged or resented, it just danced through the air, sounding the same to every person, regardless of preference.

I spent my nights out wandering or hunting. On clear nights, I usually went to small clearing near a rock face that looked out over the river. I would lay in the grass and read, or simply listen to natures music; the rush of the river, the sound of the crickets, and how they all blended together to create their own symphony.

The clearing by the river was my favorite spot. I spent most of my time there. I usually went at night, but on a rare sunny day, I would go there and lie in the grass and let the sun warm my skin. It was in those moments that I felt like a normal man; enjoying the sun while my thoughts wandered. There were no voices, there was no blood lust, just a man lying in the grass enjoying the sunny day. I loved the way the heat felt on my skin, for I had been cold for far too long. I barely noticed the shimmer in my skin anymore, and I mostly ignored it; it was just another reminder of how abnormal I was, of how alone I was. Sure, there were others like me, but it was hardly a comfort. I couldn't be near any of them any longer.

I must have been musing longer than I thought, because my silence was broken by Alice's light thought.


I sighed. My calm was coming to an end as the others were about to return. Alice usually came ahead of the others to alert me to everyone's return so that I could prepare. I got along with Alice the best of all of my family. She saw the future, visions of what was to come. She understood the turmoil that I was under, a prisoner to my own gift. I saw her visions too, which wasn't always bad. It was a nice change to listening to Emmett thinking about ways to get Rosalie to have sex with him on the hood of his car. The visions were always unexpected and slightly exciting on occasion, and it was a nice break in the monotony.

I stood from my bed and shut off the CD player. I made my way back downstairs and to the back door just as my family entering the back yard. I stepped out onto the deck as Alice began to ascend the stairs. She smiled softly at me.

Hello, Edward. How are you feeling today?

She walked to me and rose up as far as she could to kiss my cheek. She couldn't quite make it, so I smiled and leaned down a bit for her to reach. She kissed me and leaned back, raising her eyes for an answer to her question.

"I'm all right. Not too bad today. At least not yet." She smiled sadly and waited next to me for the rest of the family to join us.

I felt like my family walked on eggshells around me, as if I was some sort of H-bomb that threatened to explode if handled too roughly. They all treaded lightly around me, trying to control the volume and content of their thoughts when I was around. They tended to forget when I left the room that I could still hear them. For the most part though, they tried not to address me with their thoughts. They tried to speak out loud when in regard to me, Alice and Carlisle being the only exceptions.

"Hello, Edward, dear. Did you have a nice day to yourself?" Esme was in front of me now, smiling at me kindly. She struggled the most with my unhappiness. I was her first "child" and she desperately wanted me to be happy. I tried to assure her often that I was okay, even though both of us knew it wasn't true.

"Yes, Esme, it was very relaxing, actually." She smiled brightly, knowing that I was telling the truth, and she smoothed her hand over my cheek.

Rosalie went into the house without greeting me, which didn't surprise me. She had taken to just ignoring me since I began to struggle with my gift. Everyone worried about me, thought about me, tried to make me the most comfortable. Rosalie had loved being the center of attention, but that had ended, so she regarded me with distain. I hardly cared. One less mind I had to worry about, as I had recently been able to, for the most part, block her out. When I knew what her thoughts were going to be, it was easier to anticipate and ignore them. That fact comforted me slightly.

Emmett greeted me with a squeeze to my shoulder as he followed Rosalie into the house. He didn't like the way she regarded me, but she was very headstrong and he was eager to please. Emmett and I had gotten along the best of my brothers, he was always there to cheer me up of make me laugh in an effort to get my mind off of things. But the harder it got for me to suppress the thoughts of the others around me, the farther we drifted apart. He was still my favorite brother and still made attempts to make me happy, but he tended to stay away from me, knowing that his thoughts were the easiest to set me off. He tried the hardest to censor himself, but he couldn't change who he was. I didn't blame him, I wasn't even angry with him, but he didn't understand that. He thought I hated him for the thoughts he had.

Jasper smiled at me, feeling my sense of ease at the family coming home. Jasper could sense emotions and had been one of the first to alert that family that there was something wrong with me. The tension I felt was reaching a breaking point, and Jasper had alerted Carlisle that there was something very wrong with me. Even now, he was usually the indicator that things were getting hard for me, and I needed the time alone. He often suggested times when I needed to get away from every one; he could feel my tension better than I could at times. Jasper took his place next to Alice.

"You didn't hunt last night." Carlisle observed, glancing at me.

I shrugged. "I didn't really come across any game last night, so I didn't go out of my way. I'll do it tonight though; my throat is starting to burn."

Carlisle regarded me for a moment before nodding. "Edward can I speak to you in my office?"

I wondered briefly why his mind was closed off and he had asked me verbally, but I shook it off. Carlisle turned to go inside and I glanced at Alice. She rolled her eyes.

He's going to ask you if you want to leave again. You are going to tell him no.

I smiled at her.

"Alice." I heard Carlisle's stern voice. We both glanced up to see him looking at Alice, slightly perturbed. "I told you to refrain from communicating mentally with Edward. It's not good for him."

I stared at him, my anger growing.

"I'm standing here, you know. I'm not a complete invalid." My head began throbbing, and my anger began to boil. "Just, Jesus! I understand that it's hard to be around me but I'm not a fucking atom bomb. You don't need to treat me like glass."

"Edward," Carlisle started his mind reeling with apology, but I cut him off.

"And, I'm not leaving. I don't care. I like it here, and I want to be around this family, and yes, it is difficult, but I would rather endure it and have everyone act normal than every treating me like I'm going to explode if you think too loud. But, you want rid of me, than I will go."

With that, I stepped off the stairs and headed for the woods. I wouldn't actually leave, but I just needed to get away from the situation. I knew that Carlisle was just trying to be helpful, to make my life easier, but he just wasn't. It was making me feel worse, like I was a burden to everyone, and I didn't want to be.

"Edward," I heard him call.

"Let him go, it's not worth it. He will be back in the morning." Alice assured him.

I took off through the woods, attempting to put as much distance between myself and the house. My own thoughts were whirring through my brain and I was desperate to get away from them as well. 15 minutes ago I had been perfectly calm, my mind relaxed and the thoughts of my family had left me unaffected for the first time in a while. But now it was all gone. My head throbbed, and even though I was alone, my ears rung as if someone was screaming in them. I ran until the sun was setting behind the trees. I assumed I was somewhere in Canada at this point, and I knew I should hunt and start back. I wanted to spend the night in the clearing in an attempt to relax my mind.

I located a herd of deer, taking 3 down quickly and drinking from them. I leaned against a tree once I was through and closed my eyes. I inhaled deeply in an attempt to calm myself but it didn't seem to be working. I was still angry, but not as much. A dull ache seemed to linger, the feeling of always having to restrain myself, of always having the others walking on thin ice with me. An eternity of that seemed less and less appealing, even after a century.

I hoisted my self up off the ground smoothly and made my was south once more. I didn't run as fast this time, not really caring when I got to the clearing and then subsequently when I got home. Alice would know where to find me, but she wouldn't divulge that information to others. She knew I wouldn't want to be found, especially not tonight.

When I reached the clearing, the moon was high in the sky, the air slightly humid and the wind was blowing softly, rustling the trees gently. I felt myself calm considerably the moment I broke the tree line. The clearing was bathed in moonlight, so I made my way towards the center and lay completely on by back. I just shut off and tried to clear my brain.

How had things blown up so quickly? Why did Carlisle suddenly feel the need to reprimand Alice in front of me? He had always understood the way Alice and I got along. I was never really bothered by her thoughts of visions going through my mind, unless I was already having trouble handling the thoughts around me. And Carlisle had seen that I was in a good mood when he had returned home. I grew slightly angry at him again. I wasn't some sick child that didn't understand my illness. I understood what was happening to me better than Carlisle ever could. I went to him for guidance, but I didn't need him treating me like he treated me today.

I'm not sure how long I was there before I smelled the scent of another approaching. I couldn't smell it distinctly, it wasn't close enough, but I simply assumed it was Alice, coming to check up on me. I sat up and waited for her to get closer.

But as the creature approached, the scent was unrecognizable. It was softer, more flowery, and I tensed, sensing a stranger and waited for them to make themselves known. I waited a few moments before I saw her, standing slightly off my left, in a closer patch of trees. Her red eyes locked mine and she seemed terrified at the sight of me. I didn't move, just gazed at her, still as I could get. She seemed to grow curious as she watched me, looking me over before sitting down in the grass just inside the clearing.

I didn't hear any thoughts from her, and I assumed that maybe she was too frightened to be thinking much. I couldn't understand why she looked so terrified; she was just as strong as me. Nomadic vampires were rarely frightened of coming across another. It tended to be a good thing, finding some sort of interaction for the first time in a while. I decided to introduce myself in an effort to calm her.

"I'm Edward." I offered softly, not trying to startle her.

She sat silent for a moment, and I grew more confused. Why couldn't I hear her? She surely had to be thinking something.

Finally she responded; her voice soft but lovely.

"I'm Bella."

I couldn't help but be openly gaping at her now. Not simply because she was beautiful; dark haired with alabaster skin, but I heard completely nothing from her. I was so confused and delighted, but at the same time, almost put out that I couldn't hear her thoughts.

"Why are you staring at me like that?" She asked, her voice wavering slightly. She seemed afraid to begin with but now I was scaring her more with my staring.

"I'm just confused by something. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to upset you."

We sat in silence for a few minutes, and I began to relish in it, in a completely different way that I had in the past. I wasn't alone. There was another one of my kind not 50 yards from me and I could still be at peace. No blaring thoughts to overwhelm me, just silence and still in the company of another.

"Why are your eyes that color?" She asked suddenly. I was so lost in my thoughts that her question caught me off guard. I wasn't used to being surprised when it came to questions.

"I don't drink human blood. I live off the blood of animals." I was used to having to explain this concept to nomadic vampires. None of them understood.

"You can do that?" She sounded genuinely curious, and I almost smiled at her. Few were interested in why we drank animal blood; they just thought we were insane.

"Yes. It's not as satisfying, but it suits me just fine."

There was silence again as I could see that her brain was trying to work that over, but I couldn't hear it. It was still in complete amazement.

"Am I bothering you?" Her voice seemed shy, and she had her bottom lip between her teeth.

I nearly laughed. Bothering me? How could she ever bother me when I felt so at ease? I never wanted her to leave my sight.

"Hardly. I more than welcome your company, Bella."

She smiled softly and got up to move slightly closer to me. She was still about 15 feet from me when she sat down again, but it was close enough. I noticed as she moved closer to me that she was petite and she wore a soft blue dress, whose gauzy material both floated and clung simultaneously. Her skin glowed in the moonlight, her long dark hair spilled over her shoulder haphazardly. I let my eyes linger over the soft swell of her breasts and my mouth watered slightly. It had been far too long since I had know the company of a woman. She wore no shoes and looked like she had been traveling for few days, but she still looked like Aphrodite in the flesh.

When I looked back to her face, she seemed to be regarding me in the same was I was regarding her. I smiled at her when her eyes found mine once more. She looked down as if in shame. That confused me.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to look at you like that with out your permission. I didn't mean to upset you if I did."

I was utterly perplexed. Why would I get upset with her? I wanted, and not for the first time since she appeared, to read her mind and understand it.

"Why can't I hear you?" I mumbled to myself, slightly annoyed.

Her red eyes snapped to mine and now she was staring at me in a rather bewildered expression.

"Hear me? What do you mean by hear me?"

I looked away, not really sure if I wanted to divulge my gift. She seemed sweet and innocent enough, and I was eager to keep her company.

"I have the ability to read minds. I wouldn't call it an ability, more of a curse at most times. But I cannot read yours."

"You can read minds?" She scooted a bit closer.

"I can, except for yours. It's very relaxing actually."

She smiled at me now, her face lighting up in her happiness.

"I have a gift, too. It's why I was changed I think. They thought I would be gifted, and I was."

She seemed proud but at the same time, when she had mentioned 'they', there was a distinct fear in her voice.

"What is your gift?" I was curious now. I had never met another vampire, outside of Alice and Jasper, which were gifted.

"I can shield others with my mind, from other vampire's abilities. It took me a long time to realize I had it. It made them unhappy when they thought they had been wrong."

She mentioned 'they' again, and I was growing curious as to the fear that intruded upon her voice when she mentioned them.

I was about to ask when my cell phone rang, startling Bella.

"Shh, it's all right, it's just my cell phone."

I answered it quickly, so the ringing would stop frightening her.

"Yes, Alice?"

"Will you please come home as quickly as you can? I won't say why, I just need to you to come home."

"Is everything all right?" I was alarmed now by her tone.

"Everything is just fine; I just have some news for you that I won't tell you over the phone."

"Ok, I'll be home soon."

We hung up and I was really confused now. What on earth could be going on?

"Who was that?" Bella asked; her voice soft and almost sad.

"My sister. She wants me to come home for some reason."

"Home? You have a home?"

"Yes, I have a family of 6 others, whom I live with there. Would you like to come back with me and meet them?"

I saw sheer terror strike through her eyes. She backed away from me in her fear.

"That many others? I won't go with you, please don't take me with you!"

I was startled by her fear and quickly tried to calm her.

"It's fine! You don't have to come with me. I was just trying to make you feel welcome. I won't make you do anything that you don't want to. Bella, please?"

She stopped moving and relaxed. Her chest seemed to be heaving and she was still eyeing me warily.

"I'll go. It's fine."

She seemed to be afraid again.

"Wait! Please, would you see me again? Here?"

I stood and moved towards her slowly.

"That would be lovely. I promise I won't hurt you."

She stood as well, looking into my face for a long moment.

"I know that."

I smiled gently at her, pleased that she seemed to trust me a bit.

"We can meet here tomorrow night if you'd like?"

She gazed around the clearing before looking up at the moon. It made her skin twinkle softly. I was becoming more and more drawn to her by the moment.

"Please don't tell anyone about me. I'm just not very trusting of others of our kind."

I nodded but asked, "What about me? Why did you stay?"

She smiled at me, and the look she gave me made me feel warm.

"You looked kind."

I also am going to need a beta for this story, if anyone is interested!