Disclaimer: The characters of Twilight are owned by Stephenie Meyer. The content, ideas and intellectual property of this story and the 'American Vampire Series' in its entirety are owned by Just4ALE.
Note: This is the fourth story in my 'American Vampire Series': An American Vampire in Chicago, Sleeps with a Vampire and Call of the Vampire. If you're new to the series, I'd recommend reading the others first.
For all past readers, welcome back... and we're off!
Chapter 1: Two American Vampires in Chicago
It was yet another cold November day in Chicago. Luckily, having lived in Chicago for the past few years, I was no stranger to cold days. Once upon a time, when I lived with my mom in Phoenix, snow was something I only saw in the movies and on TV and the cold was a nightmare to me. But now, the cold no longer bothered me, and truthfully, the colder climates were better on my pale skin; I had to sit under the shade whenever I spent any length of time outside or I'd get really tired.
I was excited as I approached the building, looking forward to adding something new to my overall routine. I opened the heavy door to the gothic-looking Ida Noyes Hall and quickly got my bearings once inside. Students were milling around but it cleared out rather quickly. Glancing around, there were empty benches in the alcove to my right. Along that wall, there was some frosted glass that looked into a large dance hall-type space. There above the heavy double wooden doors, I saw the sign: Great Hall.
I found a patch of the frosty glass that was worn away and peeked inside. There they were as anticipated: a sea of bodies in white, moving in tandem. Wow.
I heard the thoughts before the voice actually spoke.
"Are you going to go in?"
I smiled and looked to my right. A guy was sitting the bench that had just been empty not 20 seconds before. He was looking down at some papers he appeared to be redlining. Grading them, maybe. I ignored him and turned back to peek into the room.
The velvety voice spoke again. "Well are you?"
I turned my head back to the right and now saw the grading papers man looking at me.
"I'm thinking about it," I said, turning back to the room.
"What's stopping you?" he asked.
"Um, just assessing the situation," I responded quickly. Can I do this?
Yep, you bet your ass I can.
"Are you a student here?" I heard. I looked at him briefly. He was looking down at his papers again and smirking. Smirking!
I once again focused on the room. "Nope," I answered. The students in the room had grabbed pads and were now taking turns kicking.
"Are you a teacher?" I asked back.
"PhD student, but I'm a Teaching Fellow as well."
I continued to watch the activities in the room. Wow, these folks need work.
"So, what's stopping you?"
The voice was now closer to me than before. He was standing next to me, peeking in as well. As near as he was to me, I took in more of his amazing smell… the smell of sunlight-warmed honey and lilac. Mmmm, so nice. But I also noticed that he was very close... Just a touch in the unaware of personal space category. I moved over a little, a step away.
And then his arms were wrapped around my waist, his nose nuzzling behind my ear and his lips and tongue moving down my neck. He squeezed me tighter to him and I could feel the beginnings of an erection pressing into my backside.
"Um, hello! Someone is a little excited to see me," I said.
"That's not the next line," he murmured, his mouth still on my neck.
God, he knew what that did to me! "Well, my friend, touching me wasn't part of the script either… I don't recall you touching anything but my hand that night," I said leaning into him and wiggling my butt against his growing 'problem.' He groaned. I knew what THAT did to him. Heh, heh. I chuckled.
He growled. "Bella, I will take you right here, right now if you don't cut that out."
I whipped around and faced him, wrapping my arms around his neck. "Promises, promises…" I whispered. And then I tangled my fingers in his crazy mussed-up copper-brown colored hair and pulled him toward me. "Just kiss me, Edward," I demanded, pressing my body into his.
"As you wish," he said. His hands grabbed my hips roughly and pulled me toward him in an effort to be even closer than we already were. Then he crushed his mouth on mine. Man, Edward's kisses were like paradise. He wasn't teasing before. If we didn't cool it, he'd start to undress me in a second right here in this lobby.
Just then the door to the great hall opened and Edward groaned against my mouth. He stopped kissing me, pulled back an inch or two to look at me and roll his eyes. A man in a gi and black belt with red writing on it stepped out of the room. He looked around and saw me in Edward's arms. "Bella Swan!" he said.
I looked at Edward and winked. "Cullen," I corrected. "Bella Cullen," I said, looking back at my old karate teacher, Renshi Clark. I had to use some force to get Edward to let go a little bit more as we were still embarrassingly joined at the hip. Luckily, I no longer gave off the tell-tale signs of embarrassment by blushing.
"Renshi, I don't know if you remember Edward… my husband?"
I could see Edward's big grin out of my peripheral vision. Two years married and he still loved hearing me call him that. Hell yeah! he thought. Husband. That's right.
"Yes, I remember seeing you with Bella after training when she was in the business school here. Nice to meet you officially, Edward," he said, reaching out to shake his hand.
In order to shake the Sensei's hand, Edward had to actually let go of me. He sighed in a tone that only he and I could hear and he reluctantly stepped away from me to take Renshi Clark's hand.
"Well Bella, are you ready to get started on learning how to teach these students?"
Hell yes, I'm going to kick their asses up and down this room! Ah, don't look too confident Bella. "I hope so. I'm a little nervous," I lied. I pointed at my attire. "I'm afraid that I'm not dressed for much more than watching tonight… I've just returned from a business trip and I didn't have time to change out of this suit."
The Sensei smiled and nodded. "We'll just use the remaining half-hour to let you get a feel for their individual skills and to figure out your intended training style," he said, motioning for me to follow him into the room.
I turned to Edward and decided to finish off our little interrupted recap of our first meeting. I grabbed his hand and shook it quickly. It never ceased to amaze me how any little touch from him could still send a small jolt through my system. I looked back up into his smoldering green eyes and said in our low tone, "Well, it was nice meeting you, Edward."
Edward raised an eyebrow. "It was a pleasure, Bella. I know that I will run into you again." I love you sweetness. Have a great class. But watch out: your body is mine the minute you get done with class tonight, I heard.
I yanked on his hand to pull him closer and gave him another slow, deep kiss. "My body is always yours, Edward," I whispered, nibbling on his ear. I turned to go and then stopped, looked back at him and said, "Happy anniversary! I'll see you in about an hour."
As he turned to leave, I heard him again. Bella comes back home to play, Edward fucks her night and day…
Wha! That one shot a wave of desire straight through me. "Promises, promises, Mr. Cullen," I whispered, knowing he'd hear me as I followed the Sensei into the class.
I could hear him chuckling as he walked out the building door. Ah, Love, you know that I always make good on my promises...
It had been exactly four years since we met right in this very spot and Edward, being the romantic that he was, liked to relive the events to celebrate the day that he met his 'soul mate.' Soul mate: odd choice of words considering that for a long time, he didn't believe that he had a soul. Heck, when we first met, he didn't even believe in God. But after our reunion in the studio above the garage in our house in Forks back in August 2005, his whole perspective on the matter changed.
In the words of ye olde Talking Heads, 'well, how did I get here?' Here's TheMovieSpoiler-dotcom cut-to-the-chase version:
Boy meets girl. Boy watches girl. Boy falls in love with girl and eventually asks girl to marry him. Boy and girl have a lot of sex. Girl gets pregnant but miscarries. Boy loses control, bites and starts to drain girl – almost killing her – and leaves her, devastating them both.
'Boy' was a 17-year old… who had been a vampire for almost 90 years, by the way. At the time that all this went down, he had been on the planet for 104 years. And this boy was basically a superhero. Like most civilized vampires, he refrained from drinking blood from live humans, instead sustaining himself via the vamp network of blood banks or drinking animal blood. Like all vampires, he had super hearing, speed and strength. He could manipulate weak minds with just his sultry, luring voice. He also had other talents. He had telekinesis; essentially, he had The Force. Moreover, he could read all minds, except for one.
And then there was 'Girl,' whom they shortly discovered in their time together was a vampire magnet. Not only had she attracted the attention of one Mr. Edward Cullen, horny vampire extraordinaire, but also a number of nomadic vampires, Edward's old 'friend' James, a clan in Paris and a different clan in Volterra. After a series of "unfortunate incidents", there were a number of times when Girl – 26-year old University of Chicago Business school student-later-graduate Bella Swan – had to drink vampire blood in order to survive.
Before that fateful day when Edward abandoned me in the middle of the night, he used to bite me. A lot. And it was fabulous. A 'love bite' as it is called, is conducted in the heat the moment and is ecstasy for the human. Drinking my blood in such a fashion addressed his two basic needs: food and sex… at the same time! Kind of like breakfast in bed, I guess, but for the fact that we weren't physically in a bed half of the time that we were intimate. One night he went too far and got scared. That's when he left.
Drinking Edward's blood for me, on the other hand, was not about sex at the time, but rather survival. Vampire blood has the ability to heal a human. So he, and later his 'brother' Jasper, saved me three times over those first two years. I healed from my wounds alright… and I also gained something else. Their powers. I was able to read Edward's dirty little mind. I was able to manipulate energy like he did... and I absorbed the feelings/emotions of others around me, thanks to Jasper's blood. Give me a tight little spandex costume and I could have been one of the X-Men.
Edward and I were apart for three months until one steamy, emotionally-charged night when we reunited in a house his family had built for me in my hometown of Forks. On that night, he turned me into a vampire via blood sharing. Let me tell you: that was one freakin' painful process, but at least it was completed in less than half a day!
We got married twice later that year… twice because we needed to compromise over the type of ceremony that each of us wanted. The first ceremony was held in Las Vegas exactly two years after our first meeting. Just me and Edward. No one else around. That was MY ideal wedding.
The second ceremony was held just under two months later, on New Year's Eve 2005 at our house in Forks. Edward's 'sister' Alice arranged the whole event and thankfully kept it relatively small at around 35 guests, but reining her in took some work.
No sooner were we back from Vegas when Alice hounded me about the guest list. And the flowers. And the food, which was a joke because most of the guests were going to be vampires. I spent a lot of time with her on our vampire Batphone internet video connection 'discussing' the details.
"Alice, you know I don't give a shit about any of this girly stuff. I'm good with whatever you and Edward plan. All I ask is that you don't put me in a poufy dress! I'll even wear what I wore in Vegas. That was lovely."
"Isabella Marie Cullen!" she began, the impish grin rapidly dissolving off of her face. "You will not wear that simple dress for a black tie affair. How can you not care about your wedding day?"
I will not growl, I will not growl, I will not growl. "I had my wedding day last week," I reminded her.
"Okay, how can you not care about Edward's wedding day?"
I'm gonna growl, I'm gonna growl, I'm gonna growl. Deep breath. Woo-sah. "Alice, that's hitting below the belt. A) He had a wedding day last week as well. I should know, because he was there with me. B) You know that I care about making it special for him, but I'm not good at this. I never dreamed of my wedding day. The one in Vegas was all I ever wanted. So I defer to you two. My only request: make the day about him, not me."
"Bella, you're the bride. It centers around you whether you like it or not."
I'd had it. "Ok." I said curtly. "Forgive me dear Jasper for what I'm about to do…" I heard Edward's 'brother' and 'sister' Emmett and Rosalie snickering in the background.
I growled at her.
"ALICE! It centers around Edward – or, if you must, the both of us – or I'm not coming!"
4,000 fucking flowers, a three tiered cake, an Alice Cullen original A-line dress with custom beading and 35 attendees later, we had a wedding. And I will admit, it was classy and elegant.
Our guests came from all over the world to be there. From my family, I had my mom Renee and her husband Phil and my dad Charlie and his girlfriend Sue and her son Seth. I also invited three business school friends: Leah, Eric and Ben. While Leah and Eric brought dates, Ben came alone... which was actually a good thing, because he hit it off with my former BCG cubicle-mate and good friend Angela that night. Rounding out my side of the guests were my college roommate Nicole and my former BCG manager, mentor and maid of honor Serena and her boyfriend Marco. Sisters to the end, I took one look at Serena when she showed up and she at me and we just laughed. I guess Serena decided that she wasn't going past age 28 for the rest of her life, choosing to become a vampire to stay with the gorgeous Italian vamp Marco.
Then there was Edward's side. Obviously, the entire Cullen family was there, with Edward's 'father' Carlisle serving as Edward's best man, Jasper and Emmett acting as ushers seating people and Alice and Rosalie and his 'mother' Esme fiddling about making sure I looked okay and that the last minute details were in order. It was nice to meet so many of the Cullen family's civilized vampire friends, several of whom had helped Edward through our time apart. In attendance were Peter and Charlotte, who were residing in Buenos Aires at the time, Liam, Siobhan and Maggie from Ireland, and Benjamin and Tia from Egypt. Moreover, Kate and Garrett joined us from Denali, bringing two other friends who relocated up there, Eleazar and Carmen. Lastly, but probably most surprisingly, two of Edward's old… 'conquests': Irina and Tanya attended as well.
I found that I couldn't hold a grudge against Tanya, despite the fact that she and Edward had been involved more than once over their years and that she tried to take him from me soon after we'd started dating. In the end, she was one of the driving forces convincing him to come back to me after he tried to make a booty call with her in San Francisco.
I don't EVEN want to go into it with you about what happened when I learned about that little escapade. I'm trying to tell you about my freakin' happy second wedding day! I will not say the fuck word, I will not say the fuck word, I will not say the fuck word.
Suffices it to say that a little poem I made up for Edward turned out to be prophetic; Edward's hand did become his best friend there for a little while.
The only one who I really wished could be there was my old friend Jacob Black. We owed a lot to him for contributing to our reunion since he essentially stepped aside for Edward to make me happy, but I felt it was too soon and I didn't invite him.
The wedding had all the traditional events: father walking daughter down the aisle and handing her over to the most stunning and ecstatic groom ever to walk this earth. First dance to the song Edward sang to me during my conversion: Genesis's "Follow You, Follow Me". A father-daughter dance where Charlie claimed his watery eyes were due to allergies. A mother-son dance with Esme beaming at Edward, overjoyed to see him with his match at last. The cutting of the cake, which 2/3 of the guests pretended to eat. The removal of the garter belt, with Edward on all fours pulling it off in his typically horny fashion, practically crawling up under my dress to get it as he thought his nasty thoughts at me:
There once was a vampire named Eddie,
Who needed to hold his wife steady.
As he crawled underneath,
Removed the garter with his teeth
And licked her until she was ready.
Great. I thought, as he grinned at me with the garter in his mouth. He's added limericks to his poetic repertoire.
During the course of the reception, I spent time getting to know some of the other vampires, in particular Eleazar and Carmen. Well, actually, Eleazar spent time trying to get to know me. At first I found his stare to be very disconcerting. Looking at Edward, I mentally asked him what was up with this guy. Edward chuckled and clarified the situation.
"Eleazar has powers too, Love. He can determine the powers that others have."
Eleazar looked around and then down at me again. "Carlisle has amassed quite a powerful family. He already has a telekinetic mind reader, an emotion manipulator and an oracle, and now you've married a shield!"
"A shield?" I repeated.
"Yes, I think so. You're mentally blocking me," he said, smiling. "Edward, she must be doing it to you too, no?"
"Well, I never was able to read her mind even when she was human. Okay, that is not quite true. Only when her energy level was escalated to a high enough point could I hear her. But she was always so controlled." Edward beamed at me, his eyes looking at me with pride and love. "She's amazing. She was able to walk among humans within two weeks of turning."
Eleazar's eyes widened. "Impressive."
I smiled. "Nah, not really… not with the blood bank product." I shrugged. "Anyway, so what if I can block thoughts? I'm not doing it intentionally!"
"But Bella, you can control that," Edward pointed out. He looked at Eleazar. "She can willingly stop blocking me." Then he looked back at me and smiled. "She got her other powers from me."
Eleazar's eyes narrowed. "She acquired your powers? How?"
Edward grimaced, not wanting to remember what happened. "Blood intake after some accidents. She can read my mind all of the time and she can read others as well."
"But I tend to shut the others out," I added, "for the sake of their privacy and mine."
"And telekinesis too?"
"She's REALLY good at that," Edward said, looking at me wickedly. "Her power to read emotions came from Jasper."
"This all came through ingestion? You do know that that isn't typical, don't you? I turned Carmen through blood sharing," he said, looking at his wife with love, "but she didn't gain my abilities." Eleazar ran his fingers through his hair. "A very powerful vampire indeed," he said looking at me with a mixture of respect and curiosity.
I looked around the room at the guests. All in all, it was an impressive consolidation of vampire superpowers, with Kate, Marco, Maggie, Benjamin, Siobhan, Jasper, Alice, Edward, me and Eleazar. Shit, all we were missing was a Hall of Justice and the Wonder Twins. "Well," I said, "I'm clearly in good company here in this room." My mom and dad beckoned to me. "Please excuse me."
After the wedding, life went on as per normal. Edward continued to work at the biological research lab and was finishing up his PhD in Biology. I continued to work at my consulting job at BCG. As my mind was so much faster now, I progressed quickly and was promoted twice in the two year period.
However, the job was boring me and I wanted more. I found that my time in my studio at the house helped as I boxed, did Karate and worked on dance routines. Of course I had ample time to spend with the man-who-kept-on-going-and-going, his crazy Green-Eggs-and-Ham horn-dog poems and his sneaky attempts to anger me working in his favor to get me aroused.
And that was how I ended up back at University of Chicago, taking on some of Renshi Clark's Karate class schedule… as something to add variety to my daily routine. After the class ended, I made my way home. The house was dark when I parked in the driveway, but Edward's car was parked there as well. Picking up his scent as I made my way up the stairs to the front door, I knew that he was home.
I stepped into the house, set my suitcase down and let the door shut behind me. Then I heard a voice.
"Take it off, Bella," he said in a low sultry tone.
A/N: Oh my, indeed. What is Edward up to now?
So, they're baaaaccck. And so am I. Thank you to all of you who 'favorited' me or my stories and/or who put me on author alert after COTV. Again, it was a surprise to learn how many were reading the stories. Sooo many more than who actually reviewed! (I will not growl, I will not growl, I will not growl. LOL.)
Thank you to Irritable Grizzzly for not only convincing me to try a Beta but also for volunteering and for going back to my past three stories and performing her Beta magic on those.
Unlike our dynamic duo, I have to ask to hear your thoughts! Please tell me!