Like a Wolf

Chapter Three

He's not here. Again.

Edward's not here again. His whole family is still here. Every day I sneak a glance at their table, hoping to see him there, but nevertheless, everyday, there's only four. And his bronze hair is never there. But every day, when I look over there, the little pixie girl is looking back.

Day five without Edward. Friday. Where the fuck is he?

These past four days have been hell. I keep worrying about his absence. It's not exactly him that I'm worried about, but more the fact that he might've run off because he went on a mass killing spree or to kill some other innocent person.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Charlie hasn't heard anything about any deaths recently, so no one's died in the Seattle area, which is good. It makes me wonder why he ran off though.

Today was no different from the past three days. I entered the lunch room and cast a swift glance from beneath my lashes over at the Cullens' normal table. I sighed when I saw that he wasn't there. But the Alice girl was looking at me again. It was incredibly unnerving.

By now, almost two weeks later, the Cullens were old news and most people avoided them like the plague. I figure it's because of the creepy vibe they give off. The feeling that they'll kill you if you get too close – especially that blonde guy – tends to keep people away. I guess it's good for them though.

"I wonder where Edward is," Angela mused as we moved through the lunch line when she noticed my staring, "He's been missing all week."

"Yeah," I nodded and picked up a sandwich and a lemonade, "Hope he's not sick."

"Mmm," She hummed and we paid and walked over to the table. Angela kissed Ben hello and I smiled at everyone. They nodded and continued eating and talking. For the rest of the period, I spent my time between sneaking glances at the mysterious Cullen family and putting in my two cents when necessary with the conversations.

The thing about the Cullens is that they are terrible at playing human. They get all this food to eat and then don't even touch it. People are either going to look at that and think that they aren't human or that they're anorexic. Neither are good options because both will bring up questions. The other thing is that they never talk during lunch. They all just sit there in stony silence. Sometimes they'll have short conversations, but otherwise they're completely silent. Human teenagers are never that quiet. At least not every day they aren't. Someone needs to teach them how to act. Seriously. You'd at least think the pretty blonde chick would be able to act. She's got the looks to have been an actress in a previous life. Who knows?

I finished the sandwich and threw away the wrapper before sitting down and grabbing the lemonade bottle, sipping it until lunch was over. There was still a fair amount left in it so I brought it with me to biology, even though we're not really supposed to have food in the science labs.

Even though he hadn't been at lunch, I found myself hoping that Edward would be in biology today, you know, to quell my fears about dead people…not that I was worried about him or anything. He's a vampire, how could I miss someone I'm supposed to hate?

So imagine how shocked I was when I walked into the biology classroom to find Edward Cullen sitting in his seat like he had never left. I try to keep myself from staring blatantly at him and gaping like a fish. When Mr. Banner threw the tests he had apparently just finished grading down on his desk, I snapped back to reality with a little jump and scurried over to my desk.

I desperately wanted to ask him where he had been, but pretty much stapled my mouth shut so I wouldn't say anything stupid. As I had the last time I shared this desk with him, I kept my eyes ahead while I waited for Mr. Banner to hand back our tests. Thankfully, Edward was helping me by not even looking at me. That made this so much easier and I greatly appreciated it.

Mr. Banner eventually came to our desk and plopped my test in front of me, "Good job, Bella. You really have a knack for science," I smiled up at him, proud of my 94%. I had studied hard for this, "Oh, and Edward, I'll need to see you after school to make up this test. Glad to have you back. Had me worried that you had died," He was obviously kidding, but I couldn't keep in a quiet snort at his comment. He didn't know how close he was to the truth. I quickly glanced at Edward to see that he was smirking too.

Near the end of the period, Mr. Banner finished up his lecture early and told us we could have the rest of the period to socialize or start on the homework. Most of the class turned to who they were sitting by and just continued to have the conversations they had been having the whole period without him noticing.

For the better part of the period I had been able to avoid talking to or even looking at Edward, but now it became much, much more difficult.

The silence stretched on and on until finally I blurted out, "Where were you?"

Obviously shocked at my outburst, he just stared at me. I don't blame him though, especially after the last time we talked in class. I had about ripped his head off. The bloodsucker sighed and shook his head, "I…went away for a little while."

"No duh," I snorted, "I kind of figured that out since you can't get sick. What I want to know is why?"

"I was having issues, sort of," His words were chosen slowly and deliberately. Guarded. He was hiding something, but I don't blame him.

Something occurred to me then, "Wait, are you saying you're new?" If he was a new vampire, that changes a whole lot. I froze in my seat, my eyes wide and questioning. Subconsciously I inched away from him. I hadn't realized just how close I was.

He smirked and shook his head, "No, I'm not. I was just having a difficult time and needed to clear my head," His eyes narrowed, "Why are you asking?"

Shrugging, I answered, "Was just making sure you didn't go on a killing spree," The bell rang then and I hurried out of the class. Luckily, the blush didn't start until I was out of his range of sight.

Honestly, I don't know what came over me to ask the questions or why I was so goddamn curious. The stupid vampire kept invading every thought I had to where I was starting to avoid the rounds I was assigned, claiming I was on my period and not feeling well. And that excuse only lasts so long.

Gym was torture as usual and when I left for the parking lot, I saw that Edward was already there, leaning coolly against his silver car, arms crossed and staring right at me. His expression was confused and very frustrated. When he noticed me staring back, he didn't look away, nor did his expression change.

Another student passed closely to him and I held my breath for a moment, but Edward didn't flinch, nor did he close his eyes in ecstasy like other vampires sometimes did. This surprised me because his eyes were nearing the darker gold stage that meant they were getting thirsty. Out of nowhere came his little pixie friend…well according to their story she's his sister.

They exchanged a few words and Edward broke eye contact with me, climbing into his car. I frowned and then the small vampire turned and stared at me as well. Her expression was curious, although I don't know what she would be curious about.

Someone bumped into me from behind and I stumbled forward, realizing that I hadn't moved that whole time. Quickly, I made my way to my truck, tripping a bit along the way. When I looked back, the silver Volvo and all its supernatural passengers had disappeared. I shook my head and drove home.

No one was home so I had the house all to myself. I contemplated calling Jacob, but I knew he was doing something with Quil and Embry. Some kind of male bonding time that I'm sure involved cars and conversations I wouldn't want to be a part of. Paul and Jared were on their watch and I wasn't too keen on calling up Sam because he was with Emily. As desperate as I was to get my mind off the vampire I should not at all be interested in, being a third wheel was not high on my to-do list.

"Homework," I mumbled to myself and went up to my room. For a about an hour and a half math equations and an English outline had me busy and my mind on safe subjects. For an hour and a half, I was Edward-free. Then I came upon the biology notes I had to take for tonight. Dangerously I thought of the fact that I had been sat next to the vampire and would probably be sitting there the rest of the year. In my mind I tried to picture him human, but try as I might, I kept imagining the pale skin and topaz eyes.

Stupid, stupid. I quickly stood up and backed away from the biology homework in front of me. That was not helpful. Sure the guy was handsome, but what exactly about him intrigued me so much? Yeah, he was nice at first, but we hadn't exactly had that many conversations. I could count on one hand how many we had had and that made me wonder why exactly I was judging him.

Because he's a vampire. They kill humans. Innocent humans who have families and lives and hopes and dreams. I nodded to myself and decided it was late enough to start dinner. At least that distracted me enough to only think of him now and then. It really is insane how frequent my thoughts turn to the bloodsucker.

But Edward wasn't the only vampire that I thought of. What was with that little one's staring? It was kind of starting to freak me out. The way she looked at me was insanely disconcerting. She was always either angry or confused. I had never even spoken to the girl. Vampire. Whatever.

The oven dinged and I went to take out the lasagna I had made just as the front door opened and Charlie walked in. I heard him kick off his boots and hang up his jacket and belt.

"Bella?" He called from the front hall.

"In the kitchen. Hot, hot," I mumbled and set the tray on the stove to cool off, "We just have to wait for it to cool a little before we can eat, I just finished."

"Oh, that's good, I'm starved," Charlie's head popped in the doorway, "I'm just going to go upstairs for a moment, okay?"

"Yeah, okay, Dad," I started getting down the plates and silverware needed. Suddenly the phone rang and I nearly dropped a plate. I heard Charlie yell from upstairs that he would get the phone and I set the plates on the table gently. Checking on the lasagna, I found that it was at least cool enough that it wouldn't burn any tongues.

I felt like such a housewife when I shoveled some of the pasta onto each plate and tried to get the silverware perfectly straight while I waited for Charlie to get back downstairs.

"Sorry, Bells," He said when he finally skipped down the stairs, "It was just Harry Clearwater letting me know about a fishing trip he and Billy decided to take this weekend," He looked sheepishly at me and I smiled knowingly.

"Go ahead, Dad. It's not a big deal," Charlie always felt bad when he went away for a weekend, but to be honest, I liked having the house to myself, even when a certain vampire plagued my mind. He grinned his thanks and I shrugged.

We ate in near silence with questions about each other's day popping up at certain moments. It wasn't awkward or uncomfortable because neither of us felt the need to fill the silence with unnecessary chatter.

The weekend came and went with no weird activity or whatever from the bloodsuckers. By now we're pretty used to them and sure that they aren't going to break the treaty and that they'll stick to their diet. Sam let us know that our watches won't have to be as frequent, just every now and then. I guess having me go to Forks High was actually good. I could keep an eye on them and watch to see if they get a little too thirsty. Warn the guys. You know, stuff like that. Kind of like an undercover spy. I liked it.

Since Charlie was out all weekend, Jacob, Quil and Embry had come over to my house to keep me company. It was comforting because since the coven was so large, the whole pack had worried about new wolves. I wanted to keep an eye on Jacob because right now, he was the most likely to become a part of the pack. It kind of scared me, but whenever I saw him he was no warmer, no different than the happy sunshine I had come to know and love. All the same, I watched him just as much as I did the leeches.

Soon the two weeks became a month and a month turned into two and before we knew it, it was November. Over the weekend the first snowfall had occurred and now the whole town was covered in the white fluff. I knew though that in only a couple days the seemingly lovely snow would turn brown and slushy under the tires of cars. But, I mean, I'm not going to ruin their fun.

After waving good-bye to Charlie, I finished up my cereal and went upstairs to brush my teeth and get my backpack. When I was all ready to go, I carefully picked my way to the truck, only slipping a little bit. To me, that's a great accomplishment. Checking my tires, I found the snow chains that Charlie had put on during the weekend and was very grateful for them. Without them, I'm sure my truck would be slipping and sliding on the road just like I normally do on my own two feet.

On my way there, it had started snowing again so I sighed when I got out of the safe, warm truck and into the sticky snow that would inevitably melt in my socks. Don't even ask me why I still live here. The weather sucks, but the people are great. Who knows where I would've been if I still lived in Arizona? Would I be a wolf? How would my life be different?

I slowly made my way around the car, careful not to slip and fall, clinging to the side of my truck for balance. Winters in Forks really suck. The ground was icy and I could feel the snow seeping into my boots. When I looked up I noticed Edward staring at me with the most horrified expression. Then I noticed that everyone else was looking at either me or the vehicle coming straight at me.

Wait what?

"Oh fuck," I could've just moved out of the way but that van is huge and I just didn't have the time to react. The other reason I couldn't have moved out of the way, may be because before I could react, I was pinned to the ground, my head cracking against it. Something was above me, holding me where I was.

Carefully, I picked my head up to see Edward above me, and the car coming at us once again. At that, we both swore and Edward sat up to brace his shoulder against the van. The van creaked and then he swung my legs around and gently set it down, the glass in the windows popping as he did so.

He now turned to me with concern in his eyes, "Are you alright?"

"Nothing I can't handle. I'm nearly as indestructible as you," He frowned and I rolled my eyes. Right, I should thank him. I bit my lip, not exactly keen on saying thanks to a leech, "So, uh, yeah. Thanks."

It was awkward as hell but he just looked at me and chuckled. He stood up and I followed the motion, the two of us beginning to be swamped by the people around us. I could see various people on their cell phones dialing 911, although they shouldn't all call at once, that would just jam the lines.

Repeatedly, I told people I was fine, and soon enough an ambulance came along. I managed to convince them I was perfectly fine, but they had Edward and I get in the ambulance to get checked out at the hospital. I guess as long as it wasn't a vampire looking at me, it was alright with me.

Of course Charlie was there, looking worried as ever. From afar, I reassured him that I was fine. He was still needed, though, to escort the ambulance to the hospital and we made it there quickly.

When we got there, Tyler was their main priority; thank God the attention was diverted from me for a little bit. They had me sit on one of the hospital beds while they took my blood pressure and listened to my heart. Edward had used some excuse that he would have his 'father' check him out later. Yeah, just doesn't want them finding out he has no heartbeat. I guess that's the perk of having one of their kind working at a hospital. How the doctor does it, though, I have no idea. They're supposed to be like sharks when it comes to blood.

I was sitting on the cot in the hospital room when the door suddenly burst open and I was being tackled on the bed.

"Holy shit, Bella," Came the muffled voice of Paul, "You scared the shit out of us!"

"Get off me, you big lug!" I shouted and they all piled off me. I noticed that Jake and Quil weren't there. It made wonder if they knew yet. Embry seemed to notice me looking for them.

"They're downstairs, actually. They had just arrived and were stopped by a nurse."

I nodded and didn't even ask how they had managed to sneak up here if the other two were stopped.

Sam had a look of concern on his face that mirrored the others', "Are you alright?" The question mirrored Edward's exactly, yet it was different coming from people on two opposite ends of the spectrum that I almost laughed out loud at it.

I sighed loudly and sat up on the edge of the bed, "Fine, actually. Perfect."

"What exactly happened?"

Although I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate Edward being involved or the fact that we would 'owe' him in their eyes, I knew they should know, "Well, I was walking around my truck, you know it's icy out, and I was being careful, going slow. All of a sudden I looked up and Tyler's van was coming right at me. I didn't have time to react when Edward had pinned me to the ground and then caught the truck from squishing me," I thought about it, "Though I'm not sure how much damage it really would've done."

Everyone was silent for a moment, their expressions ranging from scowls to worry to downright confusion. Sam kept opening and closing his mouth and Jared looked like he was about to break something. Paul's face was turning a lovely shade of purple while Embry just looked sad. Everyone but Sam was shaking slightly from the tremors that would transform them into giant wolves.

"Come on, guys. He saved my life, we can't exactly be mad at him," I begged, not exactly sure why I was pleading his case.

"Fuck, now we owe the damn, dirty bloodsuckers," Paul nearly exploded, and Sam sent him a sharp look as Tyler stirred in the bed beside me. He had fallen asleep after relentlessly apologizing and the nurses dressing and cleaning his wounds.

A throat cleared at the doorway and a voice floated through, "Maybe I should come back later."

All five of us whipped our heads towards the door to see a pale, blonde, outrageously handsome doctor standing in the doorway. I suspect this to be Carlisle Cullen. Smells like a vampire, too.

Jared and Paul growled while Sam and Embry looked like they were trying to refrain from shifting right here in the hospital. This room was not big enough to fit two large wolves. Definitely not. Tyler would be stepped on. They weren't as used to being around vampires as I was. Unlike me, they weren't near vampires for eight hours a day, five days a week.

"I'll take that as a yes," He murmured and started to back out of the room.

"No! Wait," I said, before he could leave and everyone stared incredulously at me, "Can you just tell me whether I can leave or not?"

He chuckled, "Well, actually I have to check out your vitals, quickly. Then you may be released."

"Didn't the nurse do that?"

"No, well she did some, but there are more specific things I'd like to check," He looked calm, but hesitant, not sure whether to stay or leave.

"Just do what you have to do, these guys will let you do your job," Sam looked like he was about to protest, "Sam, chill. We all know I'm perfectly fine, and you all can stand there and watch in case he decides to kill me," I knew he wasn't complacent, but he huffed and they all moved out of Carlisle's way.

After there was a path cleared for him, Carlisle swept into the room quickly, his smell permeating the air and I tried my best not to show how much it burned my nose. He quickly went over my vitals, letting me know that none of my bones were broken, no concussions or anything else of the sort, although we all kind of already knew that.

"Is that it, then? Can I go?" I asked, impatient to leave the hospital I didn't even really need to be at.

"Yes, you may go now. I saw some of your friends in the lobby who looked pretty anxious to see you," He smiled warmly, apparently the fact that I was a werewolf didn't faze him, "You're absolutely fine, though I'm sure you already suspected that."

Hesitantly, I bit my lip and asked, "Dr. Cullen?" He looked at me expectantly and the other four rolled their eyes at me addressing him as so, "Why are you- I mean, how come you're…" I huffed, not exactly knowing how to put this into words that wouldn't sound rude.

He chuckled lightly at my stumbling, "Why am I treating you as I am?" I nodded, blushing, "Well, you're a patient, Bella, and werewolf or not, I need to treat you as one," And with that, he glided out of the room as only a vampire can.

I hopped off the bed and together we all made our way back towards the front door to find only Charlie and Quil waiting in the front room. Frowning, I walked over to them, wondering where Jacob went.

Charlie got up and walked quickly over to me, "Bella, are you alright? I just got off the phone with Renée and-"

"You what?" I nearly shouted, eyes wide at the fact that he had called mom, "Why would you do that?"

Charlie looked sheepish and rubbed the back of his neck, "I thought she should know, Bells. And you didn't answer my question, are you okay?" And then under his breath, "Tyler won't see that license of his for a long, long time."

"Relax, Dad, I'm fine," And then for Tyler's sake, "And it wasn't even really Tyler's fault. He hit the ice wrong, could've happened to anyone, right?" He grumbled some more about revoking his license before going outside to get the car.

Quil had hopped up and was standing near me. Again, I noted Jacob's absence, "Hey, where's Jake? The guys said he was here earlier," The other four shrugged but Quil looked a little worried.

"He said he was feeling warm and went outside. The guy was burning up a fever," Oh motherfuckingshithellthefuck, "Charlie called Billy who came and took him home. I thought I'd stay and see how you were and tell you where he went. I think it's just the flu, though, bunch of the kids at our school came down with it."

I shared a panicked glance with Sam and Embry before turning and running out the door with Quil still yelling behind me, "Bella, don't worry, he's probably fine!"

Oh, but he most definitely wasn't.

Charlie had just pulled up in his cruiser where I hopped in, "Dad, go straight to Billy's and nowhere else along the way. Put on your lights if it'll get us there faster."

"Figured you would want to, both Billy and I were a bit worried about him. You know what could happen. What most likely will," Good thing Charlie was so well informed, "And also, good thing you've been excused from school the rest of the day."

I nodded in response, my mind flooding with the thoughts and worries for my best friend and brother. I really hope I get there before it happens.

The rest of the car ride was silent as we went as fast as legally possible to the Black's house. As soon as we got there, I burst out of the car and into the house where Jacob sitting outside of it, looking worse for wear and shaking like he had a violent case of the chills.

As much as I love being a part of the pack, it's also such a burden. Your innocence is stolen when you learn the monsters are real. You have to face the parents' disapproval when you can't explain the late nights and unexplainable ripped clothes. The fact that the only reason you are what you are is because of the creatures you battle.

A/N: Aaaaand here's the next chapter. Hope you like it. And lemme know if you did. :)

Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. I really really really really appreciate it.