Shadow of the Moon
1. Back to Normal…Sort of
Jacob Black. He was the cause for my accumulation of oppression this evening.
"…not fair." Bella mumbled in her sleep while knotting herself into the comforter. Her face was creased with vexation while a frown eclipsed her features.
At this present moment I loathed him. And for more than one reason. First, he was the one provoking all her frustration and anguish. Second, he was a werewolf, a new werewolf, who protected her from Victoria. The one I tracked and tailed for nearly half a year while she was devising her own plan to come back to Forks (which I had no knowledge of). Third, the wolf pack annihilated Laurent, who I previously had in my possession yet let him go in my desperation to eliminate Victoria. Both in my grasp, and both times it was him who kept Bella from harm. Fourth, Bella cherished him tremendously and had expressed it in little bursts of fury when he refused to return her phone calls or letters. And fifth, he was dangerous.
Charlie, though he thoroughly despised me and sometimes it was down right painful to be around him when he was thinking about what I did to Bella, was secretly on my side. By keeping Bella locked up, in other words, grounded, he was keeping her away from the one I loathed.
"…answer the phone…" Bella tossed again, her lips pursed in anger.
It was hard to hear her talk about him in her sleep. Those times when it was my name she mumbled was now tainted by his presence. It was entirely my fault, so of course Bella didn't know how I struggled with her new found friendship with my only enemy.
Her hand reached out and clutched at the air before she brought her fist back to her chest. She frowned. Instantly her eyes opened, blinking several times as she focused on my still form in the corner of her room. She beckoned me forward. I didn't hesitate as I seized her into my firm grip. She smiled before her eyes closed again, her heart pounding evenly in her chest.
The sun broke over the horizon long before I was ready for it to. The purple tinged grey clouds began lighting as the sun rose behind them. The echoing sound of Charlie pounding on his alarm clock and muttering incoherently about fish had reminded me it was time to disappear.
When I reached the edge of the window I looked back at Bella's sleeping form. Her silhouette was rising and falling with each breath. Her long tangles of black hair was scattered across her pillow, the soft pink color of her skin gave her the right touch of color and her lips were perfectly parted as her breath filled the room with the most glorious aroma I had ever had the pleasure of breathing in.
I disembarked from her room; the flowing step I took out her window was
effortless, like the ground came to my feet and not the other way around. My eyes roamed the dark quiet street in my view as the silent town still slept peacefully. Picking up this habit again was natural, like I'd never left in the first place. My chest no longer burned violently; licking at the charred remains of what was. Instead, it was suffused
with an inconceivable fervor, my heart squarely there in my chest, full of a deep devoutness of her godlike perfection.
Soon, I was darting through the low tangles of vast vegetation in the extensive growing forest. The brambles of green whipped behind me in my wake, the animals scurrying out of the way as if I were a lion searching for my prey.
It was distressing to leave her; much more difficult than it should be. The few weeks that followed my return to the Olympic Peninsula were healing; though the lacerations threatened to rip wide open when she gazed at me with her unfathomable eyes every time I had to leave. It was like the depth of her sadness returned whenever I left, like a black hole was sucking the benevolence from her very soul.
It was only a matter of minutes before the road before me was the drive that led to our house in the deep woods of the north. Just like always, Alice was waiting on the top stair, her face crinkled in a smile, her teeth gleaming.
"How…" I didn't finish my question.
It was effortless to see the memory of her previous divination. It was odd to see the profound frown that was etched into my face as I watched myself listening to Bella's spoken thoughts.
Alice followed me to my room on the third floor.
"She loves you, you know." Alice shrugged lightly as I turned to look at her once we reached the landing. We all love you.
"I know." I said suspiciously. None of my family talked like that to me anymore, not after my return to Forks, and ultimately to Bella. "Are you trying to butter me up for something?" My eyebrow rose.
Not at all. The truth was deeply hidden in her small white lie as she began to count the blades of grass out the window.
"Will you just tell me?" I sighed, pulling my clothes out of the closet.
…not going to like this. She grabbed a baseball from my dresser. Of all the things he could have asked for… She was juggling the baseball along with her cell phone now.
"Enough with the cryptic thoughts please."
She placed the ball back. "Okay," she pursed her lips while hanging my clothes back up and choosing something different from the vast ocean of fabric. "Charlie is going to ease up a bit."
"Crap," I muttered. This could only mean one thing…
You're going to have to tell her eventually. Alice flopped down on my bed, holding out a white shirt. The werewolves are dangerous. The fact I can't see her when she is with them makes me very nervous.
I nodded in agreement. Our estrangement during the time I was away had not broken the bond I had with my littlest sister. The silent conversations were just as easy as before.
It gets worse. She brought her legs onto the bed, crossing them. Charlie is going to be more lenient, but there are…conditions.
My hand automatically met my forehead as I shook my head in horror at what those possible conditions might be.
Yes, one of which will include spending time with Jaco…
Alice's thought was cut off as I threwmy belt across the room. Her hand flicked up and caught it right before it made a deep dent in the wall.
…Esme… Alice gave me a disapproving look.
"And what will Bella have to say about these…conditions?" I glared unseeing out the window.
"Just spit it out, Alice. Please."
Okay. "Jacob might be . . . difficult." Her mental voice sounding identical to Bella's.
"Well, that's not so bad. She didn't say yes…"
I wasn't finished, Alice interjected into my spoken words. My stomach clenched tightly as I waited to hear the dreadful words I feared the most, "I love Jacob."
"I miss him a lot." … but there's more! Alice thought quickly before I punched my hand through the glass. She saw it coming. Bella will also tell Charlie that there is "no competition" between the two of you. She choose you. Remember that.
"Great," I muttered.
Don't worry. She prompted apologetically. You'll see her at school and tonight. Alice watched my expression, her useful and annoying gift of foresight working for a solid future. Would you make up your mind all ready?
I shook my head. She sighed.
Sitting in the cafeteria at lunch was like being on a different planet. There were no supernatural creatures or mythical werewolves and no more 'Cullen' table here. The thoughts did not surround the glory of our relationship like it once did. Now the thoughts surrounding Bella were fiercer than ever, though this time they were attacking me and not her. Each one of her friends glared at me in turn for a whole week after my homecoming. Disbelief still colored some of their feelings when they saw Bella, day after day, her hand intertwined with my own like the past eight months never happened.
It was not complex trying to recognize where their thoughts were coming from because I speculated over the same things. Sometimes it was dispiriting to witness the imagery of her face before her heroic rescue in Italy. But the atrocious of all the thoughts were about the new male in her life. Jessica habitually compared Bella's face after my departure to Bella's face after Jacob Black's arrival into her life. Was this…Jacob Black going to take her away from me? Her cheeks had become less sunken after spending several weeks with the mongrel. At least that is what Jessica remembered in her mind, though she was mentally subnormal.
It was hard to keep a straight face all through school. Bella never noticed my internal divergence, though Alice had to kick me a few times under the table at lunch.
Pull yourself together, Edward.
I smiled halfheartedly. Bella's answering smile was dazzling. The warming sensation rushed through my body as she brushed her arm against mine; her hand finding my palm under the table. Alice grinned at us and Bella's answering blush was a brilliant pink.
Her scent, the most delicious fragrance imaginable, was no longer the cause of my internal torment. The normal dry ache was nothing short of painless now. It was only all too easy to just swallow the venom that pooled in my mouth and bring her aroma into my lungs deeper, expanding my lungs wider than ever. The memory of when I thought she was no longer amid the living and abruptly she was there - flying towards me through the crowd of pedestrians - I realized that my body and the extraordinary essence of my psyche would perpetually reject to ever undergoing that kind of hell again.
Victoria, who had failed to be seen for weeks now, was still searching for a way between the Quileute wolves and my family of seven vampires. That would be adequate enough to keep a sadistic vampire like her abroad, for now. It was inevitable that she would show up again. Hatred coursed through me like poison.
There were other elements, besides the threat of Victoria's return that my family was worried about. There had been numerous vicious slayings in Seattle, bringing the total to four. My family had been suspiciously scrutinizing the news. The patterns were all there, the negligent body drops, the jarring disappearances with no evidence to be found and they were all at night. There was a newborn vampire lose on the streets of Seattle.
The day flew by, and too soon I was escorting Bella to her truck. The rest of the afternoon would be spent trying to keep Emmett appeased with my non-social attitude and trying to keep Alice from restocking my closet, not the two most engaging of tasks.
The ride home was uneventful as Alice flipped through the music on the CD player, singing with the flowing melody. She was continually picturing the shopping trips that Bella and her would go on now that she was freed from her perpetual prison (even though Bella didn't know it yet).
The boys are planning a football game. Alice thought randomly before turning to me. You know, I really do miss that Porsche. Her fingers rubbed along the dash of the Volvo. This car just doesn't have the class of that beauty, she did a small drum beat along with the music on the dashboard. Oh! She gasped.
"What is it, Alice?"
Her eyes were staring forward, absent of any life. Bella got into Alaska University.
"Really?" I grinned widely.
I swelled with pride. This was her first college acceptance, though Alice had informed me that she would receive others during the summer.
"So…has Bella said yes, yet?" Alice asked conversationally.
I sighed. "Why do you keep asking me?" I was irritated by her reminder that Bella had denied me when I asked for her hand in marriage. "You'd probably know before I would." I continued.
Well…maybe if you brought it up again…she trailed off in thought. The image of flowers and white bridal dressed danced through her head.
"I'm not going to annoy her to death until she says yes." I said through clenched teeth.
Nice choice of words. She smirked at me, but dropped the subject.
We pulled into the garage. Rosalie's head was stuck under the hood of Emmett's Jeep while Emmett flashed between Rosalie and the tool box.
"Hey, Edward!" Emmett bellowed. "Jasper and I were thinking about going hunting this weekend. You're invited if you aren't up to anything else," he winked at me. Besides doing whatever it is you do every night in Bella's bedroom.
"We'll see," I ignored his sex jibe. Emmett just couldn't help but make fun of the lack of physical contact between Bella and me.
Inside the house Esme was sitting with her head on her fist staring unblinkingly at the news caster on the TV screen.
…another death. That's five now. She looked up when she saw us enter the living room. "Edward, Alice. How was school?"
Alice immediately sat down and started chatting animatedly about her day. I could hear Carlisle in his office. It was odd he was home at this hour. Leaving the two of them on the couch, I flitted up the stairs.
Come in. Carlisle called from his mind. He never failed to know when I wanted to talk to him about something. His office was the same as always; rows of books, some as old as he was, others fairly new and many of them medical. He was sitting in the big brown leather chair behind his desk. He stood when he saw me.
How are you doing today?
I ignored his thoughts. "I think we need to go to Seattle."
He sighed. I thought you might say that. He shut the book that was in front of him. It's not our place to get involved. This has nothing to do with us.
"But it does," I said, exasperated. "There have been five deaths now. It is obvious that whoever the creator is has either set them lose to feed or cannot control him."
Edward, Carlisle placed a hand on my shoulder. The murders are horrific, but it is still not our place to get involved. He gestured for me to sit down. If the Volturi –
"That is exactly why we should get involved," I threw my hands up in agitation. "If the Volturi come to Seattle, what will stop them from journeying here to check on Bella?"
Alice will tell us if they decide to come here. He frowned. If we have to turn Bella before her graduation to save her life, we will, he offered.
"So that's it? We are going to sit back and do nothing?" I shouted, swelling with inexpressible anger. "Wait – no – our plan is to turn Bella into a vampire!"
I promised to transform her into a vampire. He reminded me. This is something she clearly wants. He turned away from me, looking out the window at the smooth black glassy surface of the river. If she didn't beg to be a part of this existence I wouldn't do it. But she has wanted this from the beginning. He turned back to me, looking extremely tense. I know it's hard on you.
"Her soul…" I mumbled weakly. "It's the best part about her. If she lost it -"
Carlisle cut in. She doesn't believe that. I don't believe that. I couldn't believe my ears. He sat back down in his leather chair. Let me ask you a question. His eyes were level with mine now, the gold depths searching mine for an answer to a question he hasn't asked yet. When she's changed, are you going to think of her as soulless? Do you think that the Bella you know will forever be lost and will be replaced by a soulless being?
I stiffened. To think of it like that, it was hard to imagine that anything would be able to take away her soul.
"No," I whispered.
Just remember, if she stays human she will die one day. He patted my hand. And remember what happened last time you thought she had died.
I flinched at the memory of our time in Volterra, the lacerations threatening to tear open again. "That's what is supposed to happen."
It's different with her. She has you. This is her choice, and I don't blame her for choosing it. Carlisle smiled serenely at me. She wants to spend forever with you, in the literal sense of the word. Most people and vampires would cut off their right leg to have what you two have.
I smiled a little at his thoughts. "Thanks…now back to the subject. We need to find out what is going on in Seattle, and fix it."
It's too early to decide on anything. We'll keep an eye on the news like we have been. If anything drastic happens we might need to step in. But for now, we must let it be.
It was obvious he wasn't going to budge on this subject. He bade me goodbye as I left his office.
It was twilight again, though this would not be the end. Bella would become a vampire; the horrible truth sunk like a stone. The image pained me, but at the same time was something that sent shivers of satisfaction through me. The soap bubble…finally becomes impermeable. I was grateful that our future no longer hung in the unknown, but in the pit of my stomach a feeling of uneasiness ate at me.
I pulled my car into Charlie's driveway, my headlights flooding the house, though the lights did not interrupt their conversation. It was not about Jacob Black, though there were several hours of missed conversation time.
"We should talk about tuition. I've got some money saved up -" Charlie began.
"Hey, hey, none of that." Bella interjected. "I'm not touching your retirement, Dad. I've got my college fund."
"Some of these places are pretty pricey, Bells. I want to help. You don't have to go to all the way to Alaska just because it's cheaper."
Alaska…well, it wasn't the college I was hoping she would pick, though I knew her reasons behind it. During her earlier years as a vampire she would have to be in the isolation of the north. Alaska was where we had planned to go.
Rain drops splatter noisily across my windshield, breaking me of the images of time alone with a more impervious Bella in the extensive forests of the north.
In the passenger seat were several college applications in a manila envelope. The one on the top was Dartmouth. If she was accepted into a prestigious school like Dartmouth then maybe she wouldn't mind waiting a little longer before her transformation process. It was difficult to imagine why she would ever want to be forever encaged in her thirst. I'd asked her before.
"So I can spend forever with you," she explained one evening.
Charlie pulled me from my reverie when I heard my name. …"Just wondering what . . . Edward's plans are for next year?"
Maybe he'll go far, far away, like Africa, Charlie mused in his clouded mind.
In a fluid movement I was out of my car and only inches from the door.
"Well?" he persisted when Bella only answered with 'oh'.
I was tired of being on the other end of the door. All I wanted was to be on the other side. My successive knocks on the door saved Bella from Charlie's insistent stare.
The swift footsteps approaching the door were obviously Bella's.
"Coming!" Bella announced.
"Go away," Charlie mumbled under his breath.
Bella had jerked the door from between us, her intense stare met with my own feelings of fervent longing. Relief spread across her face and seeped through my skin. My lips twitched up automatically into a smile as her breath caught in her throat. Her answering smiled made my heart turn over.
She reached out, her hand warm and inviting to my own. Our hands intertwined, the heat of her skin warming mine I felt the heat spread like wildfire to the tips of my fingers and toes. The hours felt like days, and the relief of our braided fingers felt like she was sharing her soul with me. The soul that Carlisle tried to convince me would still be there, even after she was a vampire.
"Hey," her voice was low and a smile was playing on her lips.
Refusing to let go, I raised our hands, the back of mine brushing lightly on her soft skin. I was in heaven, all other thoughts forgotten for a time.
Go home. Charlie thought irritably.
"How was your afternoon?" I questioned, ignoring the steady current of uncomfortable insults radiating out of Charlie.
"For me, as well."
It was hard not to relish in the fact that I was here with Bella. Each day I made every effort to remind myself of what I had once left behind. I brought her wrist to my nose, delighting in the fragrance. My nose had lightly moved across the delicate skin there as I closed my eyes to help concentrate the scent. My smile was involuntary.
Enough all ready. Charlie's advancing steps were deliberately heavy against the wood floor.
My eyes opened as I let our hands fall between us, our fingers still twined together.
"Good evening, Charlie." I said politely. He did have every right to hate me and wish me to the deepest pits of hell for what I did to his only daughter.
He grunted. What's tonight's plan? Charlie crossed his arms; his thoughts were more decipherable than usual. I refuse to watch my daughter making out with him. He continued to stare between us, obvious belligerence in his stance.
"I brought another set of applications," I answered his internal question, holding up the manila envelope from the car, a roll of stamps on my littlest finger.
Well… Charlie contemplated. …I guess that's not so bad.
Bella groaned. It was obvious what she was thinking. Just because it was this late in the semester, though, didn't mean that she couldn't at least apply for some more colleges. Alaska had accepted her and that was enough for her, but not for me. She always made it difficult to give her things, or to offer her opportunities. I smiled at her sour expression.
"There are still a few open deadlines. And a few places willing to make exceptions." I explained.
She frowned. Her brows creased in annoyance while her look became skeptical. The look was quite comical. I laughed. If only I could read her mind.
"Shall we?" I asked, hauling her toward the kitchen table.
Charlie huffed. Why does he have to stay here while she fills out the applications? He followed after us.
Bella seized the dishes on the table, shoving them in the sink while I pulled the forms out of the envelope and placed them neatly on the table, Dartmouth on top. There was a book on the table, clearly torn, the edges worn and faded from being read several times. Bella quickly grabbed Wuthering Heights from the table and placed it on the counter. I raised an eyebrow at her. She had only read that book a hundred times. I didn't see the interest, really.
"Speaking of college applications, Edward," Charlie spoke, his irritation breaking through his speech. "Bella and I were just talking about next year. Have you decided where you're going to school?"
It was rare for him to address me, so I took this opportunity to be courteous and smile. "Not yet. I've received a few acceptance letters, but I'm still weighing my options."
"Where have you been accepted?" Charlie pressed. Don't say Alaska…don't say Alaska, he chanted in his head. This made me smile wider.
"Syracuse . . . Harvard . . . Dartmouth . . ." I began listing.
Yes! Not Alaska! …wait …Harvard?
"…and I just got accepted to the University of Alaska Southeast today." I turned to wink at Bella whose lips grew into a tight line like she was suppressing laughter. It was amazing how easily she accepted that she had a boyfriend who could read minds and a friend who could see visions of the future. She was truly amazing.
"Harvard? Dartmouth?" Charlie garbled, unable to mask his admiration. "Well that's pretty . . ." his speech was inarticulate. Those aren't in Alaska… "That's something. Yeah, but the University of Alaska . . . you wouldn't really consider that when you could go Ivy League. I mean, your father would want you to . . ."
"Carlisle's always fine with whatever I choose to do," I answered placidly.
"Hmph." He wouldn't…not Alaska.
"Guess what, Edward?" Bella chimed in.
She pointed to the thick envelope on the counter. "I just got my acceptance to the University of Alaska!"
"Congratulations!" I grinned. "What a coincidence."
Charlie's eyes narrowed and he scowled back and forth between the two of us. They're playing me. He knew…he must have. His eyes grew into the tiniest of slits. "Fine," he muttered after a minute. "I'm going to go watch the game, Bella. Nine-thirty."
"Er, Dad? Remember the very recent discussion about my freedom . . . ?"
So they did have the conversation that Alice predicted.
He sighed. "Right. Okay, ten -thirty. You still have a curfew on school nights."
"Bella's no longer grounded?" I asked. Bella's eyes lit up just a little bit at the excitement in my voice.
"Conditionally," Charlie rectified through his teeth. "What's it to you?"
There was that word again: conditionally.
"It's just good to know," I justified. "Alice has been itching for a shopping partner, and I'm sure Bella would love to see some city lights." I grinned down at Bell.
"No!" Charlie growled. Not Seattle. …too dangerous.
"Dad! What's the problem?" Bella started at him, abashed.
…dangerous, he repeated in his mind. "I don't want you going to Seattle right now." His jaw was tight.
"I told you about that story in the paper - there's some kind of gang on a killing spree in Seattle and I want you to steer clear, okay?" Charlie ordered while staring daggers at me.
Bella rolled her eyes. "Dad, there's a better chance that I'll get struck by lightning than that the one day I'm in Seattle -"
"No, that's fine, Charlie," I interrupted her. Knowing her luck, the newborn would find her in the city. "I didn't mean Seattle. I was thinking Portland, actually. I wouldn't have Bella in Seattle, either. Of course not." I agreed wholeheartedly.
The newspaper from today was sitting on the table and I seized it and began reading the article on the front page, Death Toll on the Rise. Police Fear Gang Activity.
I read through the article quickly, the details of the earlier murders were now outlined perfectly in today's article. There was no doubt, it was definitely a vampire.
"Fine." Charlie grunted while turning around and stalking off towards the TV. His works only interrupted my reading for a second as I stared back down at the black and white picture showing police tape around a dumpster.
"What -," Bella started to ask. I had finished reading, but Charlie was now listening into our conversation. The ballgame hadn't started yet and he used the few minutes before tipoff to eavesdrop.
"Hold on," I cut her off, sliding the Dartmouth application towards her. "I think you can recycle your essays for this one. Same questions."
She sighed, picked up her pen and began filling out the form.
Author's Note: Hi loyal followers and new fans. This is the first chapter of the third installment of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer from Edward's point of view. For those of you who have not read my stories before, Midnight Sun Continuation is finished and New Moon from EPOV is on chapter 18!
I hope that this story won't disappoint you. I worked very hard on writing this first chapter and I hope that you will add me to your alert list so you will know when I update again. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. Lolafalana is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Eclipse. No copyright infringement is intended
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. Lolafalana is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Eclipse. No copyright infringement is intended