A/N: Another one-shot...procrastinating while I should be updating one of my other fics. Don't kill me. I just got one of these really fun-to-write ideas...Personally I don't think it's as good as Trick or Treat, but hopefully you'll like it. :)

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns everything.


Wonderful, warm, delicious blood, flowing down your throat, eliminating the worries and the pain of control. The magical world of forgetfulness, of satisfaction, of finally feeling whole.

Paradise. A paradise of blood.

You're aware that it's terribly masochistic of you to wonder what would happen if you let your control slip, only for a few seconds, and be yourself again. What would you do?

You remember the girl that passed you only a few days ago, her arm brushing against your shoulder, and you could feel and hear the pulse, even through the fabric of her sweater. It called you, tempted you. Emmett had put is arm around you in pretense of a brotherly hug and had held you there, punching you lightly to remind you that he was there, and that you did not kill human beings.

But what if Emmett hadn't been there?

You would have stood up slowly and smiled at her. You remember her hair; it was soft brown, curly, and very long. She would have looked up at you in amazement, flattered that one of the usually distant Cullen boys had decided to flirt with her. You would have brushed a lock of hair from her face and taken her away with some excuse.

And then you would have killed her.

Or would you have waited so long?

Probably you would not have done all of that. You would have flied to your feet, grabbing the girl so violently you would crush her bones and probably kill her without noticing it, even before your teeth sank into her vital vein. You would have drunk from her then and there, forgetting Emmett, forgetting Edward, forgetting Rosalie, forgetting Esme, forgetting Carlisle...even forgetting Alice. In those seconds, as you drained the blood from the girl's body, you would have no notion of who you were.

And good God, how you longed to forget who you were.

Edward looks up from the piano, the music stopping abruptly. You're sitting in the living room, stealing a few moments before you have to leave to go to school with your brothers and sister. You're sitting on one of Esme's precious sofas, alone for once. Alice had been longing to go to a fashion show in another state and though she had tried to hide it, you quickly sensed her wish. After a lot of arguing, you managed to convince her that you would be okay, and that she could go without worrying about you. You're aware of how much it exhausts her to worry, and you know that she suffers every day as she watches you struggle against your instincts.

Your thoughts turn to the girl again. Your almost-victim.

Edward frowns. You shake your head dismissively.

I was just thinking. Nothing serious. You tell him.

"I know." He turns back to the piano, pale hands flying over the keys, and the music begins again.

But that's just it.

He doesn't know.

None of them do.

It wasn't the same for them. Of course, being a newborn is always a horrible experience, full of bloodlust and desire. But they grew out of it, and with Carlisle's loving advice they became what they are now. Almost human.

But it isn't so with you. An old dog can't learn new tricks.

And you are older than any dog in the world.

Alice, however, is an entirely different situation. She was no longer a newborn when she awoke from the darkness, and with help from her visions, she learned to control her thirst. She even learned to follow the Cullen's diet from afar, and though naturally it took a great effort on her part, it wasn't as hard as it is for you.

Oh, Alice. Sweet, cheerful, loving, Alice.

Edward rolls his eyes at you, and you make a face. You don't tend to act so childishly, but the thought of returning to school truly bothers you. As your brother leaves the room, no doubt to tune out your thoughts as well as find his schoolbag, you slowly get up and head the other way, towards the front door.

It isn't only the blood that bothers you. It's the noise.

The pulse of human hearts, the blood pumping through the veins, the breathing, the clothes against the skin, the footsteps, the sniffs...all those tiny noises of ordinary human life that, when all put together, amount to chaos. Such cacophony drives you mad and you feel the pressure of everything on you: the worry of your family, the scars that line almost every part of your body, the memories of your victims' pain, and above everything else the thirst for blood...and your own broken expectations.

You meet Rosalie beside the Volvo. She's waiting for Emmett. Your relationship with Rosalie is mostly silent; you hardly ever have conversations, but you know that she's as worried about you as everyone else is. You also know that she will stand up for you, and from Rosalie, that means a lot. She smiles with a tinge of sympathy, and you smile back wryly.

And in the background, it's there. The noise. The chaos. As Edward parks the car in the school driveway, it gets even louder. You feel like covering your ears with both hands like a child, trying to block the noise out. You ignore your mind-reading brother, and frown at yourself as you walk through the school hall.

Why did it have to be so hard? And so loud?

The voices of the students seem to ring everywhere, even when you try to seek refuge in the bathroom between classes. The noise is burning you inside out, and your mind feels disorganized, out of place. Your thoughts are uncontrolled, and it takes every ounce of your self-control to stop yourself from killing the student that sits beside you in Physics.

God, how you miss Alice.

You lied to her when you said you would be okay. You had known perfectly well that you wouldn't. But you owed Alice a lot; much more than she would ever know you owed her. You owed her your very existence. If it weren't for her, you probably would have gone and begged for María to kill you...maybe even the Volturi.

The seconds that day pass slowly, and you are in agony. Lunch is probably the worst. The noises of dishes, forks, spoons and knives...the voices of the children as they speak together, the laughter, the yells, the skin brushing against their clothing, the sound of their teeth cutting into the food, the chewing...the pumping of blood from hundreds of hearts around the room.

So much noise. And they don't even realize how loud they are.

In Spanish, Rosalie frowns worriedly as you clutch the side of the chair, holding your breath as the students move around the room.

"Are you sure you want to stay? Maybe you should go home for the day."

Her voice is gentle as she whispers; gentler than it usually is. But you don't look at her, and shake your head shortly. You have to stay, because you don't want Alice to feel guilty for leaving you behind...and you want to prove to yourself that you can make it through the day without killing anyone.

But in History you almost give in. The class begins with the teacher clapping you on the shoulder for doing an excellent job on your Civil War essay. Normally you would have grinned and found it extremely amusing, but today you hardly hear his words. You only hear the noise of the throbbing of his heart and the rushing blood through his veins. Mr. Gonzalez will never know that he saved his life by stepping away quickly that morning. You have enough time to control yourself again and calm down. Normally Alice is with you in this class, but even when she is gone you refuse to skip it. You must make it through.

The student in front of you shifts uncomfortably, as if sensing your eyes on his back. You hadn't realized that you were looking at him all the time, listening to the chaos of the classroom. The snuffles of a student who was catching a cold, the noise of paper brushing against other paper, the scratching of many pencils, the squeaks of a marker, and the countless creaks of chairs and tables.

And above anything, of course, is the blood.

You find yourself clutching the desk again. Forcing yourself to think of the humans as people, you analyze the boy. He has dark hair and of medium build. His name is Victor. You try to look away, but another human catches your eye. A short, plump girl. The vein on her forearm throbs invitingly.

You can't think clearly. The chaos of the noise around you is falling onto you, blocking any thoughts that remind you of why you have to try to be like Carlisle. You long for blood, but over everything else you long for peace.

You long for silence.

The boy in front of you moves his head slightly, exposing his neck above the edge of his sweater. Your golden eyes must be black by now. His scent hits you, hard, even though you tried to stop breathing. The sweetness of his blood calls, and the monster inside you smiles, exposing his teeth.

It would be easy...only one bite. You could easily do it...you had decades of practice. Human skin was soft, and human blood was sweet and satisfying. Your entire being aches with thirst.

You need this.

Your hand almost breaks the chair, your nails digging into the wood. Venom floods your mouth, and you try to swallow it down, but it keeps coming. Nothing can stop you. Your legs prepare to stand up and your teeth are bared...

And at that moment, the door of the classroom opens, hitting the wall behind it. The new noise makes your eyes glance towards it, and to your surprise, a slight and short figure is standing there, apologizing to the teacher for being late.


Your eyes are wide as she walks gracefully towards you. Her golden eyes smile at you, and you know that your weakness was immediately forgiven. She sits beside you, prying your icy fingers off the wood of your chair and holding your hand in her own. You wrap your fingers around hers and bring her hand to your face, drinking in her scent and erasing the smell of blood.

You look at her, enraptured. You feel her love towards you and her pride at your strength.

The chaos is gone. In her eyes you find silence.

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