The wind whipped at the curtains, I couldn't remember leaving the window open. I groaned as I got out of bed, then my hands were on the window pulling it shut. As I turned to go back to bed I saw Edward Cullen, pale face glowing in the moonlight. I turned to look back into the window, the dark glass reflected my flushed face and open lips but no Edward.
Turning back he was right in front of me, black eyes an inch from mine, then he kissed me. It was a deep heated kind of kiss. When he broke away from me he rested his hand on the side of my neck and bent his head down as I to kiss the other side. I waited eagerly for his lips but instead felt a sharp pain in my neck.
I woke up with a start. I could still feel the pain in my neck; I reached up to run my fingers along my neck half expecting the warm stickiness of blood. Knowing I was in one piece I looked around the room, heart beating in my ears. The windows and curtains were closed, the room undisturbed. It was only a dream I told myself but I knew I wouldn't be getting any more sleep tonight.
I laid back trying to figure out the dream. Most dreams I have are just weird, they have absolutely no meaning but I understood most of this one. I had freaked out completely today, to anybody else my reaction would have seemed strange, a boy had offered to take me to the nurses office and I had shouted at him, what had I shouted? I can't remember. I was lucky that nobody had been around to witness it, hopefully Edward would not tell anybody outside his strange family. The images of blood from Edwards mind his ripping my throat out with his teeth, it had terrified me and my overactive sleeping mind had kindly remained me.
He was not Jasper Hales true brother so my traumatic childhood theory was out. Other than that all my sleep deprived mid was only coming up with one thing but the idea that they were a family of serial killers who had fled from their previous home when people grew suspicious, and that was ridiculous.
The kiss, why did he kiss me. Why in my dream had I wanted him to kiss me? No, it was nothing. I'm not going to obsess over nothing.
The next day I was exhausted after two nights of not sleeping. A boy called Mike sat next tome in English, he talked almost none stop despite me trying to ignore him and was already imagining asking me out, and all kinds of scenarios that could result from that. His mind was very insistent and however hard I tried to concentrate on what the teacher was saying images of me kept seeping in from his mind.
People seemed to already be getting used to me, they didn't think about me as much as they did yesterday and I found that even though I still found my self with a headache it was no where near as bad as yesterday. Only Jessica Eric and Mike were still interested in me enough to try and talk to me. I found myself answering their questions and listening to their conversations despite my better judgment, perhaps it was because I was so devoid of teenage company.
Despite the fact that the day seemed better in many respects it was worse in one. From the moment I woke up till the moment I entered the cafeteria was wrecked with nerves. I was anxious about seeing Edward Cullen again, hearing his dreadful thoughts, I wish I had been able to come up with a good excuse to avoid school, some illness perhaps, but I hadn't thought of it till I had parked the van in the school parking lot. Would he actually try anything? Not at school, as long as I made sure I was never left alone with him. But what if I bumped into him in Forks? Some out of the Way Street where nobody was likely to walk along, given the chance would he try to hurt me?
I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica, my eyes sweeping around the room looking for the Cullen's and finding them at the same table they had been sat at the day before.
Edward wasn't there. I saw the other four siblings, The Cullen's and the Hales but no Edward. Where was he? Was he just late to lunch? I mindlessly followed Jessica and sat down at the same table. I searched Edward's sibling's minds trying to find where he was and whether he had mentioned me. Jaspers voice came into my head first, because I had listened more to it the day before it was easier to sort it from the others.
I don't know why Edward wouldn't let me silence the girl, she has her suspicions even if she has no evidence, and she wouldn't have used that word if she didn't. I wish Carlise would consider moving, they're not taking this seriously. Just because Edward assures them he didn't say or d anything to cause her suspicions. I could feel his emotions on the drive back; he was so out of his mind with thirst how could he know that h didn't do anything. Hmm, Alice?
I saw him looking across at the little brunette girl who was supposedly his girlfriend, she seemed to be staring blankly into space.
"Bella?" I looked down the table, I had no idea who had called me or why. Mike was looking at.
"Um..I'm sorry I zoned out for a minute then, did you say something?"
"It's alright, we were just talking about going to the beach when the weather gets better.
I tried to pay attention to the conversation going on at the table, Edward had mentioned me, and the family definitely had a secret.
There were E-mails from my mom waiting for me when I got back that night. I left them wanting to read them when I had unlimited time, I had to go shopping, here was very little food in the house. I wrote down a shopping list, took some money from a tin in the cupboard and set out to the store.
That night Charlie and I ate in relative silence, I watched the clock waiting for a time when I could pretend to go to bed and read my E-mails. I gave up at half –seven and told Charlie that I was really tired, he grunted but he was worried I might e coming down with an illness.
My Mom was worried, she wanted to know what I thought of Forks and whether I had made friends. Making friends was always something me and my Mom disagreed on she wanted me to have a group of close knit friends, people that I might one day trust enough to share my secret with I couldn't see that ever happening.
The E-mails made me miss my Mom, and I went to bed crying knowing that I was about to have a third sleepless night.
Edward wasn't in on Wednesday, or Thursday, thing's were getting weirder by the day as was my thirst to solve the mystery of the Cullen's and Hales.
I don't know why I had overlooked Charlie for so long. As the chief of police he would know of any crimes or misdemeanors committed by the members of the Cullen's. I was used to cooking, my Mom wasn't the worlds best cook so I had learnt myself out of necessity. I didn't know what Charlie liked to eat but so far this weeks meals had consisted of deep fried foods and T.V dinners. I was cooking Steak a potatoes not my favorite but I thought Charlie would appreciate it. I heard him come I and shouted out to him.
" Hey Dad welcome home."
"Thanks." I listened to him as he hung his gun up and undid his boots, his mind was running through trivial things that he'd done during the day. Forks wasn't exactly in the middle of a crime wave but a domestic abuse case was hanging on his mind. When he came in the kitchen he was looking very weary, almost as if I was going to hit him with a frying pan. He was remembering some of my mothers more inventive meal, I could kinda see her point If you have mango chutney with curries why not have a mango korma?
" What's for dinner?" I could see the look of suspicion on his face.
"Steak and potatoes." He looked relieved.
Should I offer to help, ask how her days been, I don't want to seem like I'm being nosey, I'll ask her later. The recaps from last nights games on.
He wondered back in to the front room. Dinner was done ten minutes or so after and I called him in. I'd decide to ask hi about the Cullen's directly, I didn't think he'd be suspicious, I was just trying to get to know my class mates better.
" Smells good Bella."
Where did she learn to cook? Wasn't from her mother that's for sure.
"Thanks." I wanted to add that Moms cooking had improved significantly in the last couple of years, but knew It would seem odd. Sometimes it was difficult to respond purely to what people were saying and not to what they were thinking.
It took Charlie a few minutes after we'd sit down to decide that a father was allowed to ask his daughter how her life was going, I was happy a sit seemed to give me a better opportunity to ask about the Cullen's without it coming out weird.
"So how do you like school? Have you made any friends?"
" Well I have few lessons with a girl called Jessica, I sit at her table at lunch. And there's like boy Mike who seems nice." Admittedly Mike spent to much time thinking about me naked for me to actually like him but other than that he did seem to be quite pleasant.
"Everyone seems pretty nice." I finished, it was a thought that had struck me during the day, everybody was really nice I was trying my hardest to keep my distance but I couldn't actually be mean to them. They seemed to like me even though I was trying to act quiet and disinterested.
"That must be Mike Newton. Nice kid- nice family"
Nice boyfriend wouldn't mind him around the house much, compared to some of the other kids.
"His Dad owns the sporting goods store just outside the town. He makes a good living off all the backpackers who come through here."
"Do you know the Cullen family?" A face I didn't recognize past through his mind, a man perhaps in his mind twenties, he was blond and insanely beautiful with strange golden colored eyes.
"Dr. Cullen's family? Sure. Doctor Cullen's a great man."
The face must belong to Doctor Cullen himself. I wondered what to say next, that the kids were weird, no that sounded judgmental, perhaps that other people acted like they were weird, stayed away from them.
"They.. the kids….are a little different. They don't seem to fit in very well at school."
Images flicked through his mind disconnected voices making complaints about the Cullen, nothing solid, just vague comments;. Suspicions, the kids are too polite, too clever they must be cheating somehow. The doctor is too good looking ,their wives are becoming hypochondriacs.
There was something wrong with the Cullen's, everybody knew it but nobody knew what it was, there was something strange about them, unusual, nobody ever saw them out and about they saw the kids in school and the doctor at the hospital they never saw them in town and people so rarely saw Mrs Cullen that they couldn't say what exactly she looked like just that she was extremely beautiful. A lot of the suspicions came from the Cullen's being such a young couple to have adopted five teenager, people had hinted to Charlie that they thought things weren't quite right in that house, wherever that house is.
Charlie himself though liked Doctor Cullen he had spent quite a lot of time with him apparently, only ever on a case, a few initial causes of death a few domestic violence cases. He was always very caring, very professional and generally nice. He had explained how he came to adopted his teen children with alt of affection in his voice, he had a photo of them all together on his desk and a small well done portrait of his wife on the wall.
Bella was able to tell this all in a split second before Charlie answered, when she concentrated on getting information from people it flowed unaided into her brain as if the memories and thoughts were her own. She opened the gate and took it all in and then would go through it and think about it later.
"People in this town, Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon who could probably work in any hospital in the world, make ten time the salary he gets here." Not that he needs it. "We're lucky to have him."
"Why did they move here?" Bella cut in.
"His wife wanted To live in a small town, apparently thought it would provide a stable place for those teenagers, what with them all being foster children." Not that they've found a stable place what with all these rumours and nobody trying to get to know them. "I had my doubt when they first moved in, thought the kids might be a little troubled, might make trouble but they're all very mature, all polite, I've never had any trouble from any of them. And they're a really close family.. Like families should be" like ours should have been, "always going on camping trips together. Just because they're newcomers people have to talk."
Charlie seemed to feel strongly about the way people treated the Cullen's. I knew that I wouldn't be able to tell him about my suspicions about the Cullen's, It's not like I could ever tell him exactly how I knew anyway and people had a right to think what they wanted as long as they didn't act on them. I back-pedalled; I'd get more information with sympathy than accusation.
"They seemed nice enough to me. I just noticed they kept to themselves. They're all very attractive." I added trying to be complimentary.
"You should se the Doctor." Charlie said laughing, not knowing that I already had, in his mind. " It's a good thing he's happily married. A lot of the nurses at the hospital have a hard time concentrating on they're work with him around."
And a lot of students have trouble concentrating on they're work when he's kids are around.
We lapsed back into silence as we finished our meals; Charlie had given me a lot to think about. There had never been any complaint about them but they had kept themselves to themselves over the last few years, perhaps it was because they didn't want any attention, maybe they really did have their secrets. A small voice in my head whispered, like me. But I don't think about killing people, I silenced it.
I felt the tension building in my stomach as I walked into my Biology class on Friday. My table was still empty, relief spread threw me. Despite wanting to solve the mystery of the Cullen's I didn't want to sit next to the boy who had vivid thoughts about killing me. I sat down and started to doodle, concentrating on the pattern helps me to block the voices I'd learnt a few tricks in the last few years. I may not have heard the thoughts but I definitely heard the chair legs scrap across the floor.
Keep your cool, you can do this.
He was nervous about something. I kept my eyes down on the paper, ignoring him.
"Hello." I looked up. Edward Cullen was even more stunning than I remembered, his hair was dripping wet and dishevel so that it fell into his eyes. He was looking at me with a friendly expression but there was weariness behind the surface. It was almost as if he was scared of me.
"My name is Edward Cullen, I'm not sure if we were properly introduced last week." Their was no accusation, no mention of my unusual behaviour but I felt as if I'd have to say something to cover my back, what would be a good explanation, I couldn't think of one in the time I had so I had to go for a bad excuse instead.
"Yeah, Um sorry about that. I was having a really stressful day and had a migraine." It was a half-truth.
She's hiding something.
"It's understandable, first day in a new school, I know how stressful that is. Your Bella? Aren't you?"
"Yes, how do you know my name?"
Because everybody's saying it.
He laughed it was a very appealing sound. I could easily listen to it all day.
"Oh I think everybody knows your name. The whole town has been waiting for you to arrive.
Duh, small towns love gossip, I was new gossip of my arrival as eagerly awaited.
Have to breath, brace yourself you can do this. God she smells so good.
I stared t him blankly. Thankfully the class started at that moment. I tried to concentrate on what was going on but the running commentary from Edwards mind was too interesting. It was like I couldn't shut him out, he as suddenly my favourite TV show, I couldn't miss an episode.
This again can't they come up with something new?
Strange images flicked by of him sat with a microscope in various outfits and with various lab partners.
He couldn't possibly have taken this class that many times he'd have to be in his thirties at least and his boyish face was definitely that of the 16/17 year olds that were in my class.
Why was I sitting here talking to this guy perfectly normally? If I had the sense I'd run, appearances or no. My life was in danger but it didn't seem real, I didn't seem to be able to accept that for fact. I didn't truly believe he would hurt me. The lab was on identifying different phases of mitosis looking at onion root tip cells under the microscope. We had twenty minutes and weren't meant to use our textbooks. When the teacher Mr. Banner told us to get started I looked over at Edward. He pushed the microscope towards me.
"Ladies first, Partner?" He gave me a crooked smile that was so beautiful I moment ally forgot how to speak. His smile faded.
She staring at me, what did I do? Did I scare her somehow?
"Or I could start if you wish."
"No, I'll go ahead." I said ducking my head to hid the flush in my cheeks.
She's blushing, quite a pretty colour actually, the contrast between her pale skin and that red tint. Actually with the contrast between pale skin and dark hair she's quite pretty even when she's not blushing, how strange that I thought her plain.
I blushed even harder knowing how carefully he was scrutinising me.
"Prophase." I said quickly hoping to distract his thoughts. I had already done the lab in phoenix so it was easy for me.
"Do you mind if I look?" He asked as I echoed to remove the slide, his hand caught mine to stop me. His fingers were ice-cold as if he had held them in a refrigerator. But that wasn't all when his skin touched mine I felt a sting in my hand, as if a bolt of electricity had passed between us. I pulled my hand away quickly.
Stupid, just stupid, she noticed how cold I am.
"I'm sorry," he muttered, pulling his hand back immediately. I stared at him, still shocked, he briefly glanced into the microscope.
"Prophase." He agreed neatly scrawling it in the blank box on the work sheet. He switched the slide and glanced at it for a spilt second.
"Anaphase." He said. I was surprised at the quickness and confidence in his answers.
"May I?" I asked pointing at the microscope, if he had the indecency o check my work I would check his. He smirked.
I have three separate degrees in Biology and a medical doctorate it's been a long time since somebody checked upon my high school work. He grinned at me and pushed the microscope in my direction.
I gaped at him for a second, how could he have a doctorate, his mind didn't seem that of somebody who was delusional, it lacked the confusion and lack of confidence. He stared at me again and I gaped blankly at him.
Why isn't she checking the slide?
I glanced at it not actually noticing what was on the slide; I nodded and held my hand out to him.
I nodded. He handed it to me, being careful not to touch m skin again. I gave it the most fleeting glance I could but it was still twice as long as Edward had given the second slide.
"Interphase." I pushed the microscope towards him, he checked it again and I felt my skin blush again but this time with annoyance. He was not just a delusional psychopath but also an annoying delusional psychopath. But even as I thought the words my mind battled it, whatever proof I had that he was insane a part of me didn't want to accept it.
We had finished with in ten minutes, I looked around the class to see everybody else still staring with puzzled expressions into their microscopes and taking sneaky glances at their text books under the table. It was awkward as it left me with two things to do talk to him or ignore him. I went for the second one bending my head back to my exercise book and continued with the scribbling, Edward didn't seem to notice my anti-social behaviour, perhaps people had been treating him in that manner for so long it now seemed normal to him, I couldn't help feeling a little sorry for him. After three minutes of tying to concentrate on my pattern I gave up, even if I wanted to ignore Edward my eyes didn't they kept on glancing back up to his face and I would find myself taking in all the little details of his nose and lips, such a perfect face except for those harsh black eyes, I allowed my self to look a little higher up his face hoping Wouldn't find him staring back at me. I had to stifle a gasp, his eyes weren't black, they were a strange light brow that was almost golden except nothing in nature allowed for golden irises. In my memories his eyes were very clearly black, I could remember them staring at me, he had stared at me with hard black eyes as he thought about ripping out my throat and drinking my blood.
"Did you get contacts?" I blurted out unthinking.
Contacts? What's she talking about?
"Oh, I thought there was something different about your eyes."
DANM! First the skin now the eyes, what's wrong with me today? Why is the girl so observant? Most Humans see my eyes changing from one colour to another and neve rever seem to notice, they're so stupid.
He Just shrugged in an off hand manner but his hands clenched into fists on the table.
The boy definitely had a secret.
I tried to look anywhere except at Edward, he was too confusing, too insane, and admittedly too beautiful. I sat looking straight ahead to the front of the class. Mr. Banner was glancing around the room trying to catch people out looking at their books, but he seemed to be failing. His eyes met mine.
Poor girl probably never had a chance.
He stood up and strolled over to our table.
"So, Edward, didn't you think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?"
"Bella." She doesn't look like an Isabella, it's too stiff name for somebody so pretty and she must prefer Bella, she introduced herself to everybody as Bella.
I was surprised that he had noticed, and that I had gone from quite plaint to so pretty in under twenty minutes.
" Actually she identified three out of the five."
Mr. Banner looked at me sceptically.
I worked hard to choose a challenging lab for today; I doubt she would have got the answers sop fast… unless.
"Have you done this lab before?"
"Not with onion root." I answered a little embarrassed that I had been caught out.
" Whitefish blastula?"
"Were you in an advanced placement program in Phoenix?"
"Yes." It was Edward opinion that came first into my mind, Followed by Mr. Banner who must have been slightly slower of thought.
So she must be above average intelligence, that's good, I hate having lab partners who just look to me for the answer without trying themselves.
What is it with all these advanced kids, their hard to teach they get bored because it's all to easy for them, perhaps now that there are six of them the school will authorise a small advanced class, perhaps during homeroom.
I got a sudden pain just above my left ear, my brain was complaining over the fact I was concentrating on two inner voices at once. I sighed and let my guard down for a few seconds, allowing all the voices in the room to flow into my mind in an unhindered mess.
Too hard, is it interphase or metaphase, Mom hates, salad for lunch, she likes me, horror movie, ask to the prom, microscope must be broken.
Carefully I closed my mind to the voices again relishing the peace.
"Well." started out loud unaware of my mental fatigue and sudden distraction. " I guess it's a good thing you two are lab partners." He walked away and I was glad that I only had to concentrate on one mental voice.
I wan to know her, why did she have such a strange reaction to me when we frist met, and she called me vampire, that move almost got her killed, it wouldn't be the first time Jasper has taken things into his own hands.
Thoughts of me being killed again, I was almost getting used to it. This time it was by Jasper and there was sadness with it though a slight anger, the images were gone inn instant, as if he was shying away from them.
No, she doesn't know, I'm sure; she wouldn't be sat s calmly next to me if she knew. Must try to appear normal anyhow, what would be a normal thing to say?
A part of me wanted to laugh at his trying to act normal, a part of me wanted to cry at the fact that the thoughts of killing came so casually to him. His delusional I reminded myself.
" Sham that it stopped snowing, isn't it?"
"You don't like the cold."
"Or the wet."
"Forks most are a difficult place for you to live."
" You have no idea."
I wonder what she means by that, I guess something must be bothering her, something other than the weather. He looked absolutely fascinated.
"Why did you come here then?"
"It's complicated." I really didn't want to get into a personal conversation with any of the people in Folks, distance equals safety, and of all the people I didn't want to have a personal conversation with Edward came last on the list, I was surprised that he was the first person to ask me though. Everybody knew I had moved in with Charlie after living solely with my mother for fourteen years, nobody had asked my why. They all had their own assumptions though; my Mom didn't come out looking to well in most of them. Angela was the only one who didn't seem to have a theory; she had wanted to ask but was to shy to.
"I think I can keep up." He pressed.
My first thought was to say " I really don't want to talk about it" but I didn't. If I opened up a little to him, he might open up a little to me andI would find out whether he was truly insane or if a part of what he was thinking was real.
"My Mother got remarried."
She doesn't like the guy, because he stole her mother's affection or he wasn't very nice to her.
"That doesn't sound so complex." His voice was symphetic. "When did that happen?"
"Last September." My voice came out sounding sadder then I meant it too. I missed my Mom and Phil, I issued them a lot. I was so alone here and it felt like the only thing that was keeping me from bursting into tears a dozen times a day was the mystery of the Cullen's. Sad but true, I needed something to think abut something to take my mind of how much I hated Folks, and this strange family with their murderous thoughts offered the perfect thing to occupy my mind. I found myself wanting to talk about them, wanting to tell somebody I was miserable.
"And you don't like him."
"No. Phil is fine. Too young perhaps but nice enough."
"Then why didn't you stay with them?"
He was staring at me with those gorgeous golden eyes, totally interested his mind had been on me for the entire conversation, listening and taking in every word that I had said.
"Phil travels a t, he plays ball for a living."
"Have I heard of him?"
"Probably not. He doesn't actually play well, he's strictly minor league."
"And your mother sent you here to live with your Dad so she could go travelling with him." The assumption made me a little angry, I had not been packed off and sent anywhere; I was not a loose end child, a tag along in mother's life. She was my best friend and I was hers, we looked after each other, I cooked and cleaned and remembered to pay the bills and she kept my secrets and took me shopping and tried to persuade me that Ice cream was a sensible breakfast food.
"No she did not send me here. I sent myself."
" I don't understand." Part of me felt happy to have confused him, even if it was just a little.
"She stayed with me at first, but she missed him. It made her unhappy … so I decided it was time to spend some quality time with Charlie."
Wow, that sounds quite selfless. He looked at me very seriously for a moment, a shiver ran down my spin it was almost as if he was trying to look through me. How could I have ever thought of killing her…she's a good person. She still looks so sad though.
"But now you're unhappy."
"It doesn't seem fair."
I laughed but it was without humour, a lot of things went fair and the fact that my mother had left a town where she was happy and had to keep secrets from her husband, her family and everybody she knew wasn't fair.
"Hasn't anyone ever told you? Life's not fair."
Soo Bitter. Life's unfair, the child should try death, long boring lifeless days and she thinks she knows what unfair is. Poor Lonely child, I hope things get better for you at least you have a chance to grow, to live, maybe even love one day.
The mixture of sympathy and jealousy was strange but the emotions and tenderness in the thoughts shocked me. I had been seeing Edward as a monster, insane and a puzzle that needed to be solved the tenderness and sympathy in his eyes and mind did not fit into that picture.
"I believe I have heard that somewhere before."
"So that's all." I insisted as he continued t stare at me with his deep seeking eyes.
"You put on a good show, but I can tell your suffering more than you let on." He leaned in whispering.
The smell shouldn't have done that. Not thirsty, I saw a picture of a deer, its head shooting up from where it was drinking startled.
I looked away from him, it was not the thoughts or images that bothered me but what he had said. I looked away, my eyes welled up with tears and I tried hard to blink them away before anybody noticed. It's one thing to know that your suffering but something entirely different for other people to know your suffering, once it's something that can be seen outside your own mind it's far more real.
"Am I wrong?" He pushed.
I tried to ignore him. I could reach up and wipe the tears from my eyes but that would alert him to the fact that I was crying, well almost crying.
"I didn't think so."
Poor girl, but what can I do? I could try to be her friend, No to risky, you can't make friends they'll find out. And the smell, could you really resist, if there weren't so many people, if you could hid it, could you resist. No, you couldn't, you're a monster she would be far better if you left her alone.
I gasped, and turned looking him straight in the face, he looked startled by my sudden attention. He had a secret, and he couldn't make friends because they would find out. He was like me.
"Why does it matter to you?" I asked truly curious.
"That's a very good question. He answered, he was truly wondering about it.
"OKAY! Time's up guy's." I jumped. I had forgotten about the class. Mr. Banner was stood up front again writing on the blackboard. I took one more glance at Edward before blocking everybody out and concentrating on the class.
"Have I annoyed you?" Edward asked as I copied down the notes from the board.
I thought about it for a second and decide to be truthful.
"Not exactly, I'm more annoyed at myself. I'm usually better at hiding my emotions."
"So am I." He muttered.