A/n This is a one shot, totally unrelated to anything else I currently have going. It's darker than my usual stuff so don't expect happy fluffy bunnies. Having said that, this is probably more like Diet Darkward, because let's face it I've never written Darkward before.
A huge round of thanks to XxenvyxX42 for reading this over and giving me some encouragement. You rock!
Twilight is the property of Stephanie Meyer. I'm not Stephanie. My name's Kat, it's nice to meet you.
"In The Dark" Contest
Pen Name: wuogkat
Title: Biological Compulsion
Summary: Edward can't decide whether to love Bella or to kill her. He does lure her away from school during Biology class. Will Alice rescue her in time, or is Bella's sanity permanently compromised?
Word Count: 5,027
I was hyper-aware of Edward Cullen's body next to mine. He was tense but it didn't feel like normal tension. I could taste and feel violence and sex and rage rolling off of him in waves. It made my heart beat faster and my breath falter in shaky bursts when I exhaled. His fingers white-knuckled the black lab table. The white against black of his slender fingers on the pitch-black industrial counter top looked like the keys on a piano. With fingers like that, he probably played.
Jessica Stanley ran through all of the dirty Forks gossip on his family at lunch. I wondered what she planned on saying about me. Thinking about the way that she swooped in like a vulture and passed judgment on the entire family made me feel protective toward him and his siblings. I wanted to get to know them and prove her wrong. Edward had obviously made a wise choice in rejecting the town gossip. She was outwardly pretty but inwardly repulsive. I silently applauded Edward's taste in women.
There was a bit more to it that that though. I hadn't spoken to this boy yet and I could feel his body next to me, like it was part of me. He was almost a missing appendage. I smiled at my possessive train of thought and blushed. I felt his eyes on me and shook my hair over my shoulder. He tensed up and I scrunched my eyebrows together in confusion. Why should he be more tense because I moved my hair between us? Maybe Mr. Banner had said something. I glanced up at the front of the classroom and sensed no change. I had to be imagining things.
Listening to Mr. Banner's lecture was already a lost cause. Fortunately, I recognized the material as something that I had learned years ago. It sounded like he was lecturing on cellular anatomy, but I had long since tuned him out. For the first time in my life, I decided to talk in class. I gave the classroom a furtive glance before turning my attention to the obviously tortured Edward Cullen beside me.
I pushed my hair back over my shoulder and turned my face to look at him. I found him mere inches away. His eyes were blacker than the counter, blacker than coal. I opened my mouth to exhale and he moved closer. Edward Cullen was close enough to kiss me, and I wanted him to kiss me. I recoiled at the thought. This wasn't a typical reaction for me to have with regard to an average teenage boy. However, something about Edward told me that he was no mere teenage boy. He exuded danger.
A hand made out of ice clamped firmly around the small of my back. I stopped breathing. Edward Cullen was touching me. He slid his hand up the back of my shirt and I jumped. He shocked me! His hand shocked me! Then, he growled and pulled away. He was still staring into my eyes but his expression softened slightly from the feral look he had been giving me. He cocked an eyebrow and I couldn't help but mirror him. A wicked smile crept across his face and his hand found it's way to my back again. He was less gentle this time, and part of me loved it.
My stool clattered to the floor but I wasn't paying attention to that. My attention was focused on the frighteningly sexy boy who held me between his legs while he sat on his lab stool. Both of his hands slid up my shirt and I hissed at the iciness and the electrical sensation. A loud breath escaped from my lungs and my head tilted into his shoulder.
"I need you," he growled into my ear.
"Mr. Cullen and Miss Swan!" My head shot up to look at the front of the classroom and warmth spread across my cheeks. Somehow I completely forgot that we were in a classroom surrounded by other students in the middle of a school day. My blush deepened into a shade of purple. Edward hissed and crushed my body closer to his. He smelled edible, like wild honey, wild honey made from lilacs. I groaned.
"This is a classroom, not your bedroom Mr. Cullen. I suggest that the two of you put some space between yourselves and head to the principle's office!" Mr. Banner held up two blue slips, blue notes. I had never received a blue note.
Edward's chest rumbled and he released my back. I didn't know that he held me a few inches off of the floor until my feet touched down. My knees buckled on impact and I was forced to grab his arms for support. Electricity arced between us again and he moved swiftly. Before I knew what happened, we were in the hall and he clutched the two slips of paper in one hand with my wrist clenched in his other.
"Let's finish this." He dragged me to the outer doors away from the office. I didn't know where we were going, and I didn't care.
The ice-cold air outside snapped me to my senses and I stopped walking. He pulled on my arm once and stopped. His body whirled around to face mine.
"The office is the other way," my teeth chattered but not entirely from the cold.
"We're not going to the office." He crumpled the slips of paper into on compact ball before dropping them on the ground.
"I need my jacket," I protested.
"No, you really don't."
His free hand covered my mouth and he turned to look over his shoulder. "...And now we've been caught, you're going to pay for that," he whispered.
"Brother dear," a light chirpy voice sang from round the corner of the building. I followed Edward's gaze to the delicate looking pixie of a girl who was coming around the corner. "You don't want to do that."
"She's mine Alice." He placed himself between us. Alice, his sister, seemed very calm and non-threatening, unlike Edward.
"Do you remember Chief Swan?" She asked. "We don't have anything against him, do we? Look at what will happen to him if you do this to her."
"I don't care, she's mine," he reiterated.
"This is a mistake Edward."
"No! She belongs to me. She wants me!" He shifted slightly and scooped me up into his arms.
"Edward, we will fight you on this," she threatened and turned her head toward the school. "Emmett, Jasper, Rose, we have a situation. I'm near the woods with Edward, come now."
"I'm faster than all of you. You'll never catch me." We were gone before the words left his mouth. Wind and trees and leaves flew past us faster than I could recognize them and I clutched his shirt.
My mind reeled in a desperate attempt to make sense out of the past fifteen minutes. The inexplicably handsome, terrifyingly sexy, very dangerous Edward Cullen stared at me in the lunchroom, nearly made out with me in class, and then kidnapped me while his sister calmly argued with him. When I added the insane speed at which we were moving through the forest I knew that I had to be home in Phoenix in bed. There was no way that that could actually happen. I was too straight laced to kiss a guy in private, much less share an embrace with that kind of heat in class. We hadn't even kissed but I couldn't imagine anything more intense. Hot guys didn't kidnap plain girls like myself, nor did they have to do so. However, the nail in the coffin was the speed. It was physically impossible for someone to move that fast.
My original assessment of Edward was correct; he was not an average high school boy. He wasn't human. I shivered without my coat in the wind and curled closer into his body only to find that it gave off no heat. My frozen skin was warmer than his. What had gotten into me? Where was my common sense? Where was my self-respect? Did I leave them in Phoenix?
"Stop," I pushed my hand into his chest.
"If we stop, they'll catch us," he growled.
"Why are they chasing us Edward?"
"They mean to stop me and I will not be stopped," his voice sent a chill through my body and the hair on my arms stood on end. I blinked back tears and tried to pull myself together.
"What are you going to do to me?" A tear slipped down my cheek. He groaned and stopped running. I found my feet on the ground. A breeze blew past and I was alone. My heart threatened to beat out of my chest and I couldn't breathe. I sunk to my knees on the mossy ground and sobbed. My heart felt like it would break and I couldn't explain it. Edward Cullen scared me but I didn't want him to leave. He must have done something to me; that was the only logical explanation for my complete lack of sense. I was ruined.
Eventually, I heard voices. One of them was adamant that I should be disposed of swiftly because I knew a secret. I wanted to tell them that I was safe, to bring him back, but I couldn't. Instead, I lay on the ground curled in the fetal position and prayed that he'd come back.
I woke up in a strange place. The smell of leather filled my nose and I opened my eyes to find white leather under my fingertips. I could hear the electrical charge of a TV set that was turned on but set to nothing. My arms pushed up from the smooth surface slowly and I craned my neck around to see where I was. The couch was definitely in someone's living room. I could hear voices and they were familiar. So, I held still and listened carefully.
"She needs to be home with her father." That voice was unfamiliar and carried kind of a motherly tone.
"We can't take her back, she'll talk," another female voice, the one that advocated getting rid of me earlier, argued.
"Do we know that she'll talk?" A deep bass voice buzzed.
"I don't think she will." I recognized that as Alice Cullen.
"We need Edward to read her mind so that we know she's not a threat." This one had a slight southern accent and had argued with the one who wanted to kill me in the woods.
I found myself unwillingly longing for Edward at the sound of his name. This was absolutely insane. I shook my head. He mentioned that Edward could read my mind. Blood rushed to my face. He must have thought that I was such an idiot if that were true. I spent what little of the class that we sat through thinking about him like some little girl with a crush on a celebrity.
"Well, that's not exactly possibly since Eddie-boy decided to cart her off as a snack or some such crap earlier, now is it?" Bass argued. "He's gone completely off the reservation, no pun intended."
What did he mean by a snack?
"If she's not going to reveal our secret then there's no reason to keep her here any longer." This was a third male voice, baritone. I needed to get out of there. There had to be a way to get to Edward.
"There's not a good option. If we send her home and keep watch we risk her telling our secret and if we keep her here Edward could come for her at any time. He can hear our thoughts and he knows how to get around Alice. She's not safe, we need to move her at least until this is over," Southern spoke up.
It sounded like I had a better chance of being found if I stayed at the Cullen house. I needed to convince them that I might tell Charlie that they were superhuman and creepy. If I could do that and wait long enough for him to come get me... I shook the thought back out of my head. What had he done to me?
"I think she's awake," Alice interjected.
"Why?" Baritone asked.
"Because she's plotting to get away. She wants to find him," Alice sighed.
"I say that we let him have her."
"Rosalie Lillian Hale!"
"It's likely that the child doesn't understand what's happening. Edward can be quite charming when he wants to be." Baritone defended me again but in a backhanded way. In my opinion, I wasn't a child.
"I'm just saying that if she's one of these shallow Forks girls who fawns all over him, then maybe we should just let him have her, chalk up his mistake and move on to greener pastures." That particular voice had to belong to Rosalie Hale, the blonde bombshell from Edward's lunch table.
"The two of you are really ticking her off." How the heck did Southern Accent know that?
"Well, if she's eavesdropping anyway, why don't we just go in there." Bass finally seemed to have a good idea because before I could blink there were six sets of eyes on me. They were identical dark eyes that were almost black with a hint of a warmer tone underneath.
Waking up in the Cullen living room and coming face to face with the entire family was disconcerting. They were all ethereally beautiful with pale skin and odd dark eyes. There was also something ever so slightly off about them. It took a moment it place it but none of them were moving. Jasper, the blonde boy that Jessica pointed out at lunch wasn't breathing. However, every single last one of them stared at me unblinkingly.
"Bella, I don't believe that we've been introduced properly," Alice started.
"You're Alice Cullen. These two are Jasper and Rosalie Hale, they're Mrs. Cullen's nice and nephew. Which leaves Emmett and Dr. Cullen. You and Jasper are together. Rosalie and Emmett are together, and Doctor and Mrs. Cullen are obviously together. For some reason Rosalie wants to kill me or in the very least leave me for Edward, which I'm not opposed to by the way, and one of you has a southern accent." I had no clue what I was saying. Something just rambled out of my mouth and I had no control over it. "Oh, and you and southern accent both have some sort of weird supernatural thing going on because you seem to know that I'm planning something better than I do and southern Accent seems to know what I'm feeling. Did I leave out any disturbing details other than the fact that I'm pretty sure that I can't live without your brother who apparently reads minds?"
No one moved.
"Yeah, I'd like to wake up now and discover that I never left my mom's house," I paused. "Any time know would be great."
"Welcome to the other side of the looking glass Dorothy." Emmett was Bass. I groaned at his tactless comment.
"She's observant, we should get rid of her." Rosalie's eyes narrowed.
"Stop it Rose. We are not going to kill an innocent child just because she had the misfortune to tempt Edward." The Doctor was Baritone. "How are you feeling?" He turned to me.
"Other than utterly confused, I'm fine." I sat up a bit straighter. "What are you people anyway?"
"I told you so... We should just let her go to him."
"Shut up Rose." Alice's temper flared and she barred her teeth at Rosalie.
"Girls!" Mrs. Cullen warned them.
"Look, you're obviously not human or in the very least not normal. Rosalie already wants to kill me. I don't get what the harm is in telling me the truth."
"Can you see where Edward is going?" Jasper turned to Alice and completely ignored me.
"No, I can't. He's purposely staying places that I can't identify easily. He's also oscillating between running for good and coming back for her."
"I thought that he was just thirsty. Shouldn't that have been solved by his little hunting trip earlier?" Emmett raised his eyebrows.
"There's definitely something more at play here. The thirst should have abated enough for him to come to his senses and stop plotting to get the girl." Doctor Cullen ran a pale hand through his blonde hair. "We're missing something."
"I have an idea, why don't we let him have the girl?" I suggested and was subsequently ignored, again.
"Okay, what is wrong with her?" Emmett glanced at me before turning to Jasper and Alice. "You did some research on her, didn't you? Is she not quite right in the head or something?"
"I think that it has something to do with Edward," Alice narrowed her eyes. "She's a straight A student, in the honors program, and there was no history of psychological illness in her files."
"She's smarter than this but there's some sort of connection between the two of them. I felt it during class before he went crazy and tried to carry her off like a caveman."
"Could someone please clue me in here?" I was very close to shouting. I was being discussed like I wasn't present, Alice and Jasper had apparently been off researching my life and here I sat stuck in the middle on a white leather couch. They chattered on for a second completely ignoring me, once again.
"Just wait one freaking minute!!!" I bellowed and they all got quiet. "I've been kidnapped and I'm evidently being held here against my will for my own good. You can't get away with this without my cooperation for very long because I'm the police chief's daughter. So, I would like to know exactly what the heck is going on here and what Edward intended to do with me? In addition to which what in God's name are you people?"
"It seems like a fair request," Mrs. Cullen lowered her eyes before glancing up at her husband. He took her hand and stroked it lovingly before he looked at me.
"I'm sorry that you've been dragged into this Bella," He started. "Let me begin with some introductions. You may call me Carlisle, and this is Esme, you seem to already know our children. We're not quite a traditional family."
"That's obvious but it requires further explanation and I think that you owe it to me." I folded my arms like a petulant child.
"We think that Edward was going to kill you," Emmett blurted out and received a smack on his chest from Alice. I stopped breathing for a second. Did he really want to kill me?
"Bella, we don't think that he wanted to kill you but that perhaps he couldn't help himself at the time," Jasper gently rubbed Alice's back while he spoke.
"I still don't understand. He didn't want to kill me but he was going to do it anyway? Is he some sort of sociopath?" I paused, "for goodness sakes what are you people?"
"We're vampires Bella." Every eye in the room turned to Alice. She had spoken quickly, like ripping off a band-aid but I caught what she said. It took a moment to sink in.
"Okay.... I'm going to go home and wait for the psychopath to kill me now. It's been fun. Really." I got up to leave and found my way instantly blocked in all directions even though I didn't see anyone move.
"Just settle down Bella so that we can talk about this..." Carlisle started.
"Vampires?" I started to panic but instantly felt calm. My breathing and heart rate evened out of their own accord.
"Do you want me to put her out?" Jasper turned to Carlisle.
"She's easier to deal with that way," Rosalie smirked.
"No, just take her to Edward's room and lock her in. She can't handle much more right now. So, let's give her some time to digest what's going on and we'll talk again later."
Emmett startled me by picking me up and flying up the stairs. I bounced on a firm black leather couch twice before I could steady myself. I looked up at Emmett, and he smiled at me. I really did need to wake up from this dream.
"Vampires?" I asked him. My hands had started to shake because this had to be a dream even though it didn't feel like one.
"Don't worry, you're safe. So far the only one of us who wants to drain you dry is Edward, and he'll come around eventually."
"This is not happening." I dropped my head into my hands and sighed heavily.
"I know it's some surreal and freaky stuff, but you'll get used to it." The couch lowered slightly under Emmett's weight.
"I think I need to be alone."
"I'll be downstairs with the others, if you need something just speak up." He was gone.
I checked the door and found that I had indeed been locked in. Something about the windows seemed to call me. They ran from floor to ceiling along an entire side of the room. My feet carried me over to them, slowly and carefully. It was starting to get dark out and neither Emmett nor I turned on the lights. Just as I reached the glass, I withdrew quickly in fear. There was something out there in the trees watching me but I couldn't make it out. I drew a deep breath and shivered.
I backed into the couch and stopped. I was just freaked out and cold. Nothing could be in those trees. Edward had to have some warm clothes. There was a door on the far wall away from the windows. I opened it and found a walk in closet. A deep black wool sweater stood out bout an inch from his other folded clothes on the shelf. I pulled it over my head quickly and returned to the window.
My fingers brushed the condensation on the glass. A white figure appeared on the other side. I jumped and nearly screamed but he put his finger to his lips. It was Edward. I took a deep breath and flattened my hand against his. We stood there, me on the inside and him balanced on the ledge, for several seconds before he slid the window open.
"They're not keeping you very safe," he barely whispered.
"Are you here to kill me?"
"I might be. I haven't decided." He moved closer to me. I could feel my skin scream to touch his. I took a step toward him.
"You're not going to hurt me." Two more steps…
"I might." He stepped closer. "I'm not safe."
"Maybe I don't want safe." I reached a hand out to him. My fingertips brushed his chest. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to him. I breathed him in and smiled. He came back for me. He wanted me.
"We need to leave now," he murmured into my ear. "They're going to be up the stairs in a second. Make your decision now."
"I made my decision when we left the biology classroom this morning." That was all the confirmation he needed.
He swept me up onto his back and jumped from the window. I gasped for breath when the air rushed past us. We were on the ground quickly and he ran. The wind whipped past us and I felt nausea growing in the pit of my stomach. I ducked my head into his shoulder and closed my eyes to ward off anything else. My hair flew out behind us like a dark curtain in the wind or a sail.
He ran for what seemed like an eternity before we came to a parking lot. He stopped and set me on my feet. My legs refused to hold my weight and I crashed into a car. I looked over at him and noticed that he did something fast with his hands. The car door opened and he put a hand on my hip to slide me inside. He was in the drivers seat when the passenger door clicked into place. My seatbelt was fastened before I could reach for it with my shaking fingers and the car hurled down the road at a sickeningly fast clip. Edward rolled down the windows and pressed his foot harder into the gas pedal.
I refused to allow myself to feel fear. Fear was something that I had given up when we jumped out the window. At least that's what I kept telling myself. In truth, I was terrified and excited. In seventeen years of life I had never done anything so impulsive and stupid. I ran away with a vampire.
We didn't talk. He barely breathed. The only discernible movement he made was the gentle turning of the steering wheel or a shift of his foot from the gas pedal to the brake.
The car ran out of gas and we abandoned it at a dingy service station off of I-90. I knew that we were on the other side of Seattle but other than that our location seemed to be the middle of nowhere. I followed Edward into the woods behind the station. We walked in silence for several minutes before he disappeared.
"What are you?" The chilling voice came from behind me. I held perfectly still in fear. I couldn't comprehend what he was asking or how to answer it. Instead, I tried not to breathe.
"Isabella Swan, I asked you a question. What are you?" He was closer this time.
"I- I don't know what you mean." My knees shook.
"You're a mystery." His breath was on the back of my neck and then gone. "Right now I find myself not liking mysteries. So you should give me some reason to keep you alive child." He appeared a few yards in front of me and casually leaned into a tree.
"How am I a mystery? I'm an average teenage girl." I cocked my head.
"You, Isabella Marie Swan, are anything but average. No one keeps secrets from me, not even my family. I can read everyone's thoughts save one person. Would you like to take a guess at to whom that is?" His lips curled into a sneer.
"I don't know what you're talking about," I whispered.
"Yours Bella... I can't read your thoughts. Couple that with the fact that I want to simultaneously kill and protect you, and I'm beginning to wonder if you're my own personal demon summoned from hell to torture me for the murders that I've committed." He pushed off of the tree and paced between it and another.
"I'm sorry, maybe I'm slow but I just don't understand."
He was in front of me in the blink of an eye. His body crushed mine into a tree. I panted and a whimper escaped from my lips. That terrifying, yet thrilling sensation worked it's way through my body. His skin was unnaturally cold but seemed to make heat bloom to the surface of mine.
"I mean that I want to drink from you but I also want to drink you in." He roughly pulled back his sweater and my shirt from my body before running his nose from my collarbone, up my neck, across my jaw, and behind my ear. "I want to kill you more than I've ever wanted to kill anyone. However, I want you alive so that I can make love to you." His cold breath caressed my ear and I felt like a string being pulled tight across empty space. "Does that clear things up, my dear young Miss Swan?"
"It does," I managed to pant a response.
"The fact that I can't hear your thoughts just makes you even more desirable and irritating," He growled into my ear. "I want to know what's going on in here." He touched my temple. "I want to know if me pressing you against this tree is having the same affect on you that it is on me. I want to know if anyone else has ever done this," he licked the rim of my ear, "so that I can kill him. I want you to be mine."
"I can answer some of those for you," I whimpered. His breath continued to flow across my ear; it made me tighten in unfamiliar ways. "I think I like you pressing me into this tree a bit too much to be entirely comfortable. So much so, that I can't catch my breath. No one else has ever done that to me, and I am inexplicably, permanently yours."
His mouth covered mine before my lips were finished moving and I didn't protest. There was nothing that would ever make me regret that moment. The tree scraped my back and his lips and body were freezing cold but I wanted more. I tucked my hands up his sides into his shirt and felt a vibration move through his body. I wrapped a leg up around his hip and jumped slightly without breaking contact to wrap the other. Heat coursed through my veins and up to the surface of my skin. He pulled his mouth back from mine and arched his neck with his face to the sky. When his head fell back down his mouth passed my lips and went straight to my neck. I gasped as he sucked the tender skin there and I cried out when his teeth sunk into flesh like a burning razor. It was my turn to look through the tree branches and into the dark black of the sky. The stars shone like tiny flecks of fiery glitter or embers in the dark. They were intense and so was the pressure on my neck. I became completely unraveled. He was either ending me or recreating me and I didn't care. I relished in the feel of him against me until it overtook everything else in the universe. I was his.