Something I've been working on. The first section is from MS. The story starts from there.
Thanks to my regular girls, OCD, AG & Bethaboo. Also HOL who really helped me get this together in my brain. Also my new beta and comma helper Lts929
Daedalus In Exile
When I slid into my Volvo, the others were already there. I tried to control my breathing, but I was gasping at the fresh air like I'd been suffocated.
"Edward?" Alice asked, alarm in her voice.
I just shook my head at her.
"What the hell happened to you?" Emmett demanded, distracted, for the moment, from the fact that Jasper was not in the mood for his rematch.
Instead of answering, I threw the car into reverse. I had to get out of this lot before Bella Swan could follow me here, too. My own personal demon, haunting me... I swung the car around and accelerated. I hit forty before I was on the road. On the road, I hit seventy before I made the corner.
Without looking, I knew that Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper had all turned to stare at Alice. She shrugged. She couldn't see what had passed, only what was coming.
She looked ahead for me now. We both processed what she saw in her head, and we were both surprised.
"You're leaving?" she whispered.
The others stared at me now.
"Am I?" I hissed through my teeth.
She saw it then, as my resolve wavered and another choice spun my future in a darker direction.
Bella Swan, dead. My eyes, glowing crimson with fresh blood. The search that would follow. The careful time we would wait before it was safe for us to pull out and start again...
"Oh," she said again. The picture grew more specific. I saw the inside of Chief Swan's house for the first time, saw Bella in a small kitchen with the yellow cupboards, her back to me as I stalked her from the shadows... let the scent pull me toward her...
"Stop!" I groaned, not able to bear more.
"Sorry," she whispered, her eyes wide.
The monster rejoiced.
And the vision in her head shifted again. An empty highway at night, the trees beside it coated in snow, flashing by at almost two hundred miles per hour.
"I'll miss you," she said. "No matter how short a time you're gone."
Emmett and Rosalie exchanged an apprehensive glance.
We were almost to the turn off onto the long drive that led to our home.
"Drop us here," Alice instructed. "You should tell Carlisle yourself."
I nodded, and the car squealed to a sudden stop.
Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper got out in silence, they would make Alice explain when I was gone. Alice touched my shoulder.
"You will do the right thing," she murmured. Not a vision this time - an order. "She's Charlie Swan's only family. It would kill him, too."
"Yes," I said, agreeing only with the last part.
She slid out to join the others, her eyebrows pulling together in anxiety. They melted into the woods, out of sight before I could turn the car around.
I accelerated back toward town, and I knew the visions in Alice's head would be flashing from dark to bright like a strobe light. As I sped back to Forks doing ninety, I wasn't sure where I as going. To say goodbye to my father? Or to embrace the monster inside me? The road flew away beneath my tires.
My hands were busy moving the paddle though the thickening cement. I wove it round, careful to mix thoroughly, adding water sparingly for the correct consistency.
I paused, letting it set for a second before I began using it, and heard the footsteps behind me.
Back to work? He asked while cataloguing the area before us.
I met his eyes, a swirling, bright topaz and nodded. "Yes, I'm going to try to finish off this section this week, before the snow comes."
I reached out and moved the paddle a little, not wanting the cement to become too firm, Carlisle spoke aloud, "Well, things seem good here. You seem good."
Turning to face him, I realized he had changed his clothes for his trip home. He was holding a small travel bag, I assumed, with his hunting clothes packed neatly inside. I smiled lightly and agreed, "Yes, things are good here."
The situation between us now was always tense. Although he tried to mask it, I knew he worried and prayed that I was following the right path. I was. But he couldn't read minds so, he had to have faith that I was telling the truth.
Carlisle's curious eyes flicked to the bin next to me and he walked over to peer inside. Reaching in he pulled out one of the old soda bottles I had stored inside. He grinned at the sight. "Where did you find this?"
I smiled with him, and took the antique from his hands. "I found it in an old barn outside of town. I'd passed it many times; the property is abandoned. I went in and there was a whole crate of these shoved in the loft."
He looked at the bottle in my hands and, then, over my shoulder at the project I was in the middle of. "These will be a nice addition to your project."
I would have blushed at his sincerity but only said, "I think so."
My hands found the paddle again and I began stirring. I picked up my trowel and dipped it in the gray mixture, pulling out a large scoop.
Carlisle continued to stand over me, watching my movements, the questions rolling around his head. Unable to bear the hovering anymore, I turned and raised an eyebrow in offering.
"The urges…." He wondered aloud, ashamed to fully ask.
"Are under control," I stated. My hands had paused on the paddle, and I thought about how this was part of my penitence, that no matter how much time went by, trust would always be an issue.
"Good." He replied, a small, proud smile on his lips. "I knew it would be. Okay, well, I'll see you next month then, Carlisle said, when he realized I had begun working.
"Next month," I agreed and watched as he retreated towards his car. Just before he opened his door, I dropped the tool in the bucket and ran over to him. I wiped my hands on my jeans and dug in my back pocket, extracting the envelope. "I almost forgot," I said, although we both knew this wasn't even close to the truth.
The face of the envelope was blank, but he knew who it was for. He reached for it and tucked it in his coat pocket. "I'll make sure she gets it," he promised. Carlisle paused, his hand on the door. He reached out and squeezed my shoulder with reassurance. "She'll forgive you some day."
I shook my head and laughed weakly. It had been five years. I doubted that day would ever come, but I tried in the only ways that I knew how. "Tell the others I said hello and that I miss them, I begged and reached around him to open the car door.
It was time for him to go and time for me to go back to my routine. I walked away before he drove off, bracing myself for the silence and solitude of my existence.
I closed the door behind me. It was heavy and clicked into place with a solid thud. The air was cold enough around me that even I felt the distinct slap of winter on my face as I crossed the weathered boards of the porch and walked into the yard. It was late afternoon. Late enough for the sun to have slid behind the trees, but early enough to still see clearly.
Not that I needed either--the obstruction or clarity of the sun. My home in the woods was completely isolated. No living soul had trespassed over this land in dozens of years. I could walk around buck naked and sparkle like a diamond on display at Tiffany's and no one would ever see it. I could also hunt in the dead of night and track my prey easily and effectively with my keen eyesight.
I considered what I wanted to satiate my hunger. It was a challenge of mine. I could, of course, go for the easy route--to capture a deer or coyote, neither of which was much of a sport. Since I only fed sporadically and always hunted alone, I tried to make it more engaging, more of a game. The hills of North Carolina were filled with black bear and wild boar. Unfortunately, my preferred choice of mountain lion was endangered in this area, although it was possible to run across a bob cat. I settled on looking for a bear or boar and tried to catch a trail for either while walking over my small yard and disappearing into the thick surrounding woods.
I started out walking but soon succumbed to the faster pace I craved. I loved to run. I always had. Even before this life I had been fast and agile. I would climb and jump and push my body the only way I knew how.
A smile pushed across my face as my feet trampled the dry leaves on the ground, snapping dead branches lying underfoot. Inhaling deeply, attempting to find a direction, I finally caught a faint whiff of animal.
Over there, my senses told me, and I leaned down to sniff the bark on a tree next to me. Something had definitely passed this way recently. Running my finger over the brittle grayish-brown bark, I noted the odor was placed too high to be a boar, but didn't smell like a deer or bear exactly. Looking closer, I couldn't find the tell tale hairs usually left by animals when they brushed against the coarse side of a tree. There wasn't enough scent remaining to determine what it was, so I shifted my direction east to get a better idea.
I patiently followed the weak trail though the woods and realized after a while the direction was off--confused. I'd crossed my own path several times, circling around, which was a bit erratic, even for an animal. I eased my feet and paused, standing silently as I patiently listened for something-anything to clue me into the whereabouts of my prey.
So I waited more, the only sound coming from my soft inhalations, the birds in the trees and the typical creaky moans a forest makes.
And then I heard it.
Although it was faint, I could hear the wildness and throbbing of the beat. It was bigger than a boar, smaller than a bear and thumping with such vengeance that it held my attention rapt. It was familiar, but wrong. So wrong that overwhelming feelings of dread and horror filled my mind, but so quickly, before I could even decide which direction the lure was coming from, the wind shifted just a fraction and it hit me like a slap across the face--
I tentatively inhaled again, sure my impression was wrong--that somehow, I was confused.
My nostrils were assaulted by the scent and my tongue was lit on fire. Panic consumed me.
No, because I'd done this before and failed. No, because I didn't have the strength to resist again. No, because my mouth immediately filled with pools of slick, wet venom and my nostrils flared and my feet were moving before my head had a chance to respond to my mind screaming No! over and over again…
No, because there was no way life could be so cruel, that all my hard work had been for naught, and that Alice had been right all along.
I'd left Forks that day and never returned. Alice and Carlisle brought my belongings and my car to Denali. It was the hardest goodbye of my life. I wasn't ready to go. But as Alice's hands clenched the back of my jacket, trying to convince me it would be okay, her mind showed me the twisted images, murky and waffling, waiting for me to make my decision.
Isabella Swan dead. Her lifeless body tossed disturbingly in the forest behind her father's home.
Isabella Swan happily, living her life safe and sound in the distant future.
Or a third, most confusing vision of Isabella Swan standing before me with red eyes, pale skin and a comforting smile.
There was only one answer, the second one, and I knew what I had to do to make this a reality. Only I could change the outcome of this situation.
I felt ill watching my mentor and sister drive away-leaving me hopeless and lost in the driveway of our friend's home. In our family, although I was technically the oldest, I was typically viewed as the youngest. I was considered immature, moody, and accused of being coddled. Esme and Alice doted on me. Emmett and Jasper picked on me and Rosalie ignored me, at best. And for me to walk away from it all was heartbreaking.
And as the days passed, in the secluded home in Alaska, my heartbreak turned to rage.
I stayed with Tanya and her family for only a week or so. I kept to myself in Tanya's isolated home. Avoiding the thoughts of my hosts, with Tanya and her eternal fantasies of us together frustrated me to no end. Her sisters wove their voodoo magic in my direction, attempting to distract me with hormones I no longer possessed. Instead, I hid in the guest room they offered and struggled everyday for the strength to return home and resume life as normal. To not return and kill that girl. But I was completely and utterly fixated. I compulsively thought of her hair and her face. I obsessed over the redness of her cheeks and the way her blood coursed though her veins. I imagined myself taking her over and over again, draining every last pulsating beat of life out of her body, until the rush of her blood filled my own veins and pounded through my ears.
That simple day in a simple biology class in the non-descript town of Forks, Washington was the beginning of my end.
Eventually the desperation drove me from my hiding spot. I left Tanya's in the middle of the day. I just packed my things and got in my car and drove, without as much as a thank you or goodbye. It was unlike me to be so rude. I had manners instilled by my mother and Esme. But it was really just a prediction of my future behavior and a clue that I was no longer the man I had been before I left Washington.
I had no idea how far removed from myself I had become.
I drove the opposite direction of my family and their home. I could feel my resolve weakening and I knew if I went back I wouldn't resist. But I also knew I would have to face the six members of my family in order to satiate my need. They wouldn't let it happen. And if I could give them anything it would be the peace of never returning.
I drove for miles, burning daylight and pavement under my tires, putting as much distance between myself and everything else. By necessity, I stopped in a small town in the middle of nowhere, Alaska to refuel and pulled up to the two tank station and parked the Volvo. It was almost sunny and I could see the glimmers of my skin reflecting on the silver of my car. I didn't care. I was tired and hungry and lost. No one was around anyway.
Rolling my eyes at the ancient nozzle—it required me to press the lever the whole time and not just click the lock in place--I focused on the mindless thoughts of the station attendant inside the little store behind me. She was watching soap operas and unpacking boxes of candy--hardly aware of my presence.
Zip… The noise echoed oddly in my ears, filling the void, but causing me to flinch like nails on a chalk board. I was on edge. I looked to the thoughts of the cashier, combing her mind to see the source of the offending sound. It was the sound of a knife's blade, running though the tape on the top of a box.
I sighed, and wished for her ignorance, of the easy life of a monotonous job and--mind numbing distractions. Brought out of my musings when the lever jerked, signaling my tank being full and I finished. I shoved the nozzle back in its holder and screwed back on the lid, flipping the little gas door closed and made my way to the shop.
As I walked to the door, my phone vibrated excitedly in my pocket. It was my family or possibly Tanya finally realizing I'd flown the coop. They would spend hours trying to get me to return. It was futile. There was no way I could ever go back. I was one step short from gone already. So I silenced it, without ever looking at the screen.
I caught sight of myself in the narrow area of refection between the cigarette ads and soda promotions and grimaced at my appearance. My hair was on end. It no longer held the casual disarray that made women swoon. I looked like an escaped inmate from an asylum. My eyes were pitch black, with huge purple blemishes underneath, and I was so pale I could have passed for a zombie in a horror movie.
I flung back the door, erasing my image and heard the loud clang of a cowbell. I turned the corner, prepared to throw the money I already had out of my wallet onto the counter and leave.
And then it happened.
The girl before me held her finger up, thrusting it into the air, revealing a long straight cut, with thick, red blood oozing down the side. My eyes flicked from her finger to her face and her hair. Long and draped. A thick curtain of mahogany. Then her flesh. Pale and white. And then, because I had lost sight of myself and reality, nothing else mattered except I had transposed Isabella Swan's face over the girls. All I saw was dark eyes, red lips, and pink flush cheeks. I could smell her and hear her thumping heart and feel her and….suddenly I was back in Forks, back in that classroom and I broke.
She never saw it coming. For, certain she never saw me coming.
In an instant, she was incapacitated, her neck broken under the pressure of my fingers, and I tore her shirt down her back and bit into the soft flesh of her shoulder. Sucking and draining her to the very last edge of her life. The taste in my mouth wasn't the sweet blood of my fantasies but it was still good, better than an animal and it had been so many years since human blood had passed over my lips.
When she was drained and useless to me I realized, with disappointment, it had been one step short of the ecstasy I had been searching for. I looked at the girl and realized it wasn't her. That I truly had killed an innocent and that I had broken my resolve over an inferior substitute.
I saw my reflection again, this time in the security mirror behind the counter. My eyes were warming from black to a sudden and startling ruby red, their madness matching the rest of my look. I felt so empty but for, once full. I was satiated yet, starving. My tongue ran over my lip, tasting the residue of my meal.
What had I done?
Confused and overwhelmed, I left my victim draped un-ceremoniously over the counter of the convenience store and realized I hadn't filled the hole that tore open that day in Forks. But it was close-- this random girl's blood had at least dampened the boiling desire.
I left the way I came, dismissed by the clanking of the bell over the door, and I walked to my car. My phone vibrated again, pressuring against my leg. I reached in and tossed it in the trash by the gas pump.
At that moment, I began the next phase of my life. I had no idea at the time, but I would spend the next two years trying to extinguish the fire lit by Isabella Swan and almost losing myself entirely in the process.
I'm not gonna lie. This fic has been hard to write so far and i have been more than worked up. I hope it turns out okay. It's a little darker. It is all EPOV (YES, ALL EPOV), and well, if you didn't like the pacing of COH you may want to wait a bit to read or jump ship now.
I will update again this week and from then once a week.