By: Runs at Dawn
Chapter 4: Crossroads
Summary: Bella Cullen has been alone for over a century, sure she'd never find her soul mate. What will happen once she meets him…but he's a 17-year-old human boy, and her singer? Will she give in to fate; will he continue loving her once he finds out what she is?
Rating: Mature for sexual content, swearing and fabulousness :P. There will be lemons later, just be patient ;)
Playlist: Wake Up! Wake Up!- Everyday Sunday, Show me the Meaning of Being Lonely- Backstreet Boys, Shiver- ColdPlay, Mission Impossible theme song, New Drug- Thousand Foot Krutch, I Want you- Savage Garden
Check it out in: http://www(dot)playlist(dot)com/playlist/18551081483
"Edward," I asked, trembling, "are you all right?"
"I don't know," he replied, opening his eyes with a grimace. He groaned and tried to sit up.
"No," I commanded. "Stay down. You'll hurt yourself."
I wanted so badly to check him over for injuries, but that would just make things worse. I continued to stare at him and he blushed furiously. His eyes were moist with tears, which I knew would start spilling down his cheeks. He took a deep breath.
"You saved me."
"You know I love you, don't you?" Bella asked me, looking at me through those ridiculously long eyelashes of hers. Her brown eyes sparkled mischievously. She hadn't worn contacts since our first date. I liked them better this way.
"Of course," I replied, amused. I touched her warm skin, brushing my hand over the flawless skin of her lovely face, awed by her beauty, her sensuality.
I laughed, a bit shaken by my intense emotions. I couldn't believe I've only known this goddess for two weeks. "Could you be any more beautiful?"
"I don't know," she said, teasing me with her smile and her blush. "I might be happier, though."
I grinned. "Happier, how?" I grinned even wider when she kneeled next to me and began unbuttoning her pretty blue blouse from the bottom up. Dear Jesus, I loved blue on her. She bit her lip and slowly exposed her gorgeous, skin inch by torturous inch. I was mesmerized and pretty much drooling. Holly hell, my girlfriend was almost to hot for me to bear.
Taking advantage of my distraction, she launched herself at me, and I fell back on the soft grass of our meadow. Bella lowered her lips to mine, and I savored the moment of anticipation before our mouths devoured each other. My hands shot up to cup her breasts, brushing her nipples over the delicate fabric of her bra. She shivered and fisted her hands in my hair, driving me absolutely insane…
I woke up with a start, feeling completely disconnected from reality, my dream still haunting my consciousness. My senses returned to me slowly. First it was sight. I looked up at the white ceiling and squinted at the bright lights above. Next I felt the scratchy fabric of a loose garment I'd never worn before. I was lying on a small bed and I smelled antiseptic alcohol and some type of hardcore cleaner. My mouth was dry, parched.
Hearing was the last of my senses that came back to me. I heard soft voices, beeping noises and feet shuffling.
Blinking hard, I gazed forward. A woman dressed as a nurse was fussing around with a chart, staring at me. Two other people were in the room, the two most beautiful girls I'd ever seen. One of them was wearing a cast and her cheek was bruised.
My eyes opened wide and all the recent events coming to me in a rush of fevered memories: Tyler's truck crashing against my car; Bella pushing me out of the way, and then passing out.
Looking again at the two girls, I realized one of them was Bella. I must have still been woozy; she should have been the first thing I noticed. She was standing there, deep in conversation with her tiny sister –the nice one-, wearing baggy jeans and a black t-shirt, and the cast of course. She looked lovely, and I must have looked a mess. I looked down and noticed my arm was on a sling but at least no there was no cast. I hated broken bones.
I was about to clear my throat to let them all know I was awake. Before I could do that, Alice turned to me and smiled widely.
"Bella, he's awake."
Thank goodness I timed this perfectly. She needed to see him awake so badly.
"Did you say something?" I asked, staring at Alice intently.
"No," Alice said, tilting her head and giving me an assessing look.
I blinked in confusion. Where had those words come from if no one had said anything? This happened once in a while, specially when I was feeling particularly emotional. It was scary as hell. I wasn't sure if I was hearing other's thoughts, if it was an internal voice of sorts, or just voices, period. I usually did my best to ignore it. I didn't want to feel different, maybe even crazy. Only crazy people heard voices in their heads, right? The scariest part was the voices always seemed to be right when they made their spooky appearance.
Bella speak, her features carved in stone. "How are you feeling?"
I considered the question. A grimace escaped my lips when I moved my. "Everything hurts."
"We're so happy you're okay," Alice told me, grinning brightly. Bella took her hand and she squeezed back comfortingly. Something was going on, a silent communication I couldn't tap into.
Her expression was twisted in pain, and I felt an overwhelming need to comfort her, erase those somber lines from her face.
"I'm okay though. Bella…I can't thank you enough. You saved me, I could have…died." Shuddering, I picturing my parent's pain, not being able to go to prom, have sex for the first time…
She nodded and Alice whispered in her ear.
"I'm glad you're okay, don't thank me. I was close enough to push you away. I'm sorry you got hurt."
"Yes, but, you…if you hadn't, I can't imagine…"
Bella smiled slightly, but it didn't reach her eyes.
An IV needle was hooked on the back of my hand but nothing was attached to it. That was pretty retarded. Maybe they had given me something for the pain? I was certainly feeling woozy. Maybe it was the near-death experience, or perhaps it was the fact I was in Bella's presence.
"How long have I been out?" I asked.
"Only a couple of hours," the nurse replied. I'd totally forgotten she was still in the room. "Dr. Cullen examined you before and we ran x-rays among other tests. You dislocated your shoulder and have a concussion. Besides a few bruises, there isn't much more damage."
"Doctor Cullen?" Turning to Bella, I raised my eyebrow in quarry.
"He is my father," she told me.
Perhaps it had been Jessica who had told me that her dad was a doctor, but I never thought he would actually ever treat me.
"So when can I leave?" I asked the nurse, eager to go home.
"The doctor wants you to spend the night, just to make sure."
I nodded, resigned. What a drag.
Bella was standing there, her attention not wavering from my face. How should I thank the girl who saved my life? I opened my mouth, not really knowing what to say when her golden gaze regarded me. So many emotions flitted through her expressive face: Relief, guilt, confusion and some anger.
Whoa, this is one intense chick.
"I..." she started and then stopped, seemingly out of words.
I didn't understand any of this; well, I was concussed, after all. And I had just finished dreaming I was making out with her. What were the possibilities of that happening? Yeah, it was possible I was still dreaming.
"Your parents are outside, we should tell them you're awake," the nurse told me. "Visiting hours are almost over," she said, addressing my unlikely savior and the pixie.
How long had they had been here, watching me? Had they known I would wake up at this exact moment?
I smiled at my Bella, and she turned away from me.
Man, she has a juicy ass.
I glanced up and saw that Alice was smirking at me. She'd noticed. Great, now she probably thought I was a pervert.
"Feel better," she told me as she followed Bella out. A minute later my parents came in. Mom was crying and she flung herself at me.
"That went well," Alice chirped. She was driving us home. I hadn't said a word since we left the hospital.
"I timed it so perfectly," she spoke again, obviously waiting for a response.
"Yes you did. Thank you for being the only one who doesn't want to scream at me."
She scoffed. "Oh, come on. Rose is ready to scream on cue any given moment. I doubt Emmett will be anything but entertained. You know you are Carlisle's favorite. And as if Esme is able to get mad for more than five minutes."
"You left out Jasper," I pointed out.
Alice remained silent for a few seconds, which was about ten minutes in human time. "Don't worry about him."
"Oh, so you have your man in check, do you?" I teased, trying really hard not to wallow. Not to break down and scream. Why was this entire mess happening? Meeting my singer, my possible human soul mate, saving his life in front of dozens of children and endangering my family.
"Bella, I can tell you're beating yourself up. You did the right thing and you know it. You wouldn't be you if you hadn't saved him."
"Well, sometimes I wish I wasn't me." I sighed and looked out the window, willing time to slow down, wishing I could curl up in a little ball and sleep for days.
"Please don't say that. I love you, Bells, and I'll support you no matter what happens. Although, I have quite a good idea about what will happen, so I'm very excited about Edward." She started clapping, while driving. Typical Alice.
"Ugh, don't start. I need time to process this. I just came back from Denali; I should have stayed there." Groaning, I dropped my face into my hands.
"Processing is the last thing you need. You think too much as it is. If you hadn't returned in time, he would be dead now. How would you feel about that?"
The very idea twisted my insides. God, the mere thought panicked me like nothing had in a very long time.
"That bruise looks pretty convincing, huh?" Alice teased, changing the subject.
"It sure does, your make-up skills have finally resulted useful," I replied, chuckling at her outraged expression.
"Well, isn't that nice. Is that the thanks I receive?"
"No," I said seriously. "I owe you a big one Alice. You warned me about the accident, calmed me down at the hospital, even came up with the idea of the cast and the bruise."
"You're welcome, Bells."
We smiled at each other until I realized we were almost home.
Sensing my mood Alice said, "Look, I see tonight's showdown not going so well at home. Why don't you run to the cottage on the outskirts of Seattle? You'll get away with skipping school tomorrow. Edward isn't going for a few days anyways. His parents will make him rest even after he gets released."
"As he should."
She pulled over a couple of miles away from home and sent me a sly look. "So, are you going to face the music, or are you going to go get some peace and quiet?"
Rolling my eyes, I pointed in the opposite direction.
"Heh, I thought so. I'll hold off the wolves for a bit. Rose is going to leave several very nasty voicemails in three hours. Don't bother listening to them. She doesn't really mean it. You can call me tonight if you want. Carlisle will call tomorrow morning and it will go well enough."
Stepping out, I took a few of deep, unnecessary breaths and rounded the car to the driver's window.
I leaned in and kissed Alice on the cheek. "Thanks, Ali, for being the best sister ever."
"I know," she replied, smirking. "I saw you the clearest after Jasper when I was searching for my future."
Too bad vampires couldn't cry, because I really felt like it right now. I turned to go but she stopped me.
"Wait, take this."
She tossed me a plastic bag. It contained some type of clothing.
"Um, I thought we had clothes in the cabin."
"You'll understand later tonight."
"Of course I will," I grumbled. Opening the bag, I saw it contained an official-looking lab coat. Pinned on the pocket was an ID with the picture of a brunette woman who very vaguely resembled me. Anyone who glanced at it cursorily wouldn't bat an eye.
"What the heck?" I snorted, amused despite myself. "Do I want to know where this came from?"
She laughed. "Like I said, you'll understand later. Now go. Rose is pretty worked up."
Alice took off, and I stood there at the edge of the forest for several minutes, clutching the lab coat, feeling confused and lost. I took off the fake cast and stuffed it in Alice's bag. Eventually, I shook myself out of my stupor and dashed away.
As I ran, a thought crossed my mind. Not once had my blood thirst bothered me while standing close to Edward in that horrible tiny room.
A few hours later, I found myself pacing back and forth in the cabin, unable to relax. There was a TV and movies, books, and a laptop, but nothing held my attention. My thoughts kept returning to Edward, how vulnerable and lost he'd looked at the hospital. Simply picturing him dying, his blood spilling on the pavement…
My musings were tormenting me. Was Edward okay; was he safe? Was he thinking of me?
Cut it out, this is not heading anywhere good.
I ignored my good judgment, opting to continue torturing myself. Standing next to the window, I gazed outside. It was twilight. Soon, most humans would be in bed, sleeping and dreaming, and I would be here, eternally awake.
They were holding Edward under observation for the night 'just to make sure'. Did that mean he was in was in a delicate condition? I'd pushed him too hard, I had dislocated his shoulder, hurt him. What if my attempt to save him ended up being futile?
Hospitals were dreadful places. How did Carlisle stand his profession? It wasn't because of the blood. It was all the suffering he saw every single day. He got to save many lives, but also had to endure seeing those breakable creatures die practically in his arms.
Edward is fine. You saw him, he was awake, and the nurse said he was fine –other than his injuries. Carlisle told you he was fine. Get a hold of yourself!
The torment wouldn't stop though. I wasn't going to be able to have any semblance of calm until I saw him again.
Abruptly, my attention flew to Alice's bag.
She'd given me a lab coat, ID included.
Of course! I could go into the hospital and check on him myself. Why had it taken me so long to figure it out?
The cell vibrated and I glanced at it, hoping it wasn't another text from Rosalie. She was pissed off, more pissed off than she had ever been with me. Sighing in relief, I saw it was from Alice.
Feeling much more cheerful, I zipped to the closet eagerly riffling through the clothes. I found a pair of black slacks and a white-collar shirt. It should work. There were no tennis shoes or anything that screamed "doctor", so I settled for low-heeled pumps.
Grinning like an idiot, I took off, running with abandon. I arrived at the hospital in less than an hour and slowed down once I was within human visual range.
With a confident air, I entered the hospital through the employee entrance and walked by nurses, doctors and patients. Some stared at me, as humans are wont to do when seeing one of us beautiful predators, but I was otherwise ignored.
His room was on the second floor. Practically shaking in anticipation, I opened the door and closed it behind me carefully. A wave of his scent hit me hard, and I recoiled against the door. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and gritted my teeth, fighting my instincts, battling the monster inside. How I hated the monster.
The pain lessened somewhat after a bit. My attention returned to the scene in front of me. Edward was fast asleep, hugging a pillow, his long legs dangling off the bed. I hadn't noticed the sling before and winced at the reminder of how I'd hurt him. Sighing, I attempted to stop self-recrimination, like Alice had suggested. I had saved him after all.
Creeping towards the small bed, I wondered if this was considered stalking. He was sleeping, not aware someone was looking. Would he be extremely upset if he knew I was here? Did it really matter?
He turned in his bed and I held my breath. His heartbeat was still slow and steady, so I could tell he was still asleep. I felt like I was a bad actor in a B action movie. It would be called "Mission Neurotic".
I reached out slowly and without thinking, not considering the consequences, I touched Edward's cheek softly, running my knuckles softly over his warm skin. He had some stubble, but it was not unpleasant.
Snatching my hand away, I stepped back and took another breath. I shouldn't have touched him. The feel of him was burned on my hand now.
God, he smelled so delicious! I wanted to jump on top of him and ravish him, making him scream my name before clamping my teeth in the soft skin between his neck and shoulder, drinking until I was satisfied. Which would be never.
Dammit, how clichéd and wrong was that? Did I desire more than his blood? Was this the reason I was at his side, wearing a lab coat, acting…so out of character? After countless minutes of staring I went to the corner of the room and sat on one of the chairs, watching him breathe, knowing he was safe and alive.
It was all I needed for now.
Rosalie greeted me at the door. "You pathetic, disgusting, creepy stalker. I can smell him all over you. What the fuck is wrong with you? You are going to make us move again!"
"Again?" I raised an eyebrow and crossed my arms. We both knew she and Emmett had "made us move" far more times than I.
Rose narrowed her eyes. "Whatever. The point is; what the hell were you thinking? You should have let him die. Now, when you eat him, it will be linked back to us, especially after you start spending time with him."
"Who said I was going to start spending time with him?" I asked, seething.
"Oh please," she scoffed, tossing her hair. "I'm a woman, and your sister. I can tell these things. You are going to feel awful when you kill him and then you're going to depress the rest of us, even more than usual."
"More than usual?" I repeated, shocked at her nerve. "I can't believe you!"
"Rosalie, she just arrived. Calm down and stop making assumptions," Carlisle said. He walked into the foyer with Esme at his side. She smiled sadly at me, but her eyes held something they hadn't ever held when regarding me. Hope.
"But Carlisle," she whined. "Look at what she did. She went into his room and did who knows what…"
I wanted to hurt her so bad. Carlisle spoke, stopping me mid-stride. "Rosalie, we can speak of about the situation as a family later. You all have to go to school."
"But she already skipped out on us, what's stopping her from doing it again? Coward," she spat at me.
In a lighting quick move, I kicked her legs out from under her. She fell back, eyes wide and I lunged, pinning her with my body and spoke threateningly right into her face. "Shut the fuck up, you little bitch!"
More curses had flown around in this whose within two minutes than the previous two months.
I was stronger than her. All she did was stare at herself in the mirror, bitch and have sex with Emmett. I often trained with Jasper, wrestled Alice and Emmett. I could take her. I grabbed her fists hard, holding them behind her head. She struggled under me, growling loudly, her teeth bared. I smirked.
Esme's hand flew to her mouth. Carlisle snatched me up before I could start scratching the flawless face she was so proud of. I was too mad to feel ashamed at the moment.
"Cat fight!" Emmett yelled, running in excitedly. When he saw that Rose was standing up and Carlisle was holding my arm, he pouted. "Aww man! Came in too late."
Rosalie didn't even bother smacking him or berating him. She turned around and blurred away. Carlisle shook his head at him. Emmett shrugged and followed her.
"You know, she is right," Jasper said as he, too, appeared. Alice was nowhere to be seen.
"She went for a quick hunt before school," Carlisle said, sensing my thoughts.
"Great," I grumbled and looked Jasper in the eye. "What do you mean Rose is right?"
"You should have let him die."
I glared at him. "So all of a sudden, you are abdicating murder?"
"It wouldn't have been murder; he was meant to die," Jasper murmured.
I snarled loudly, and Carlisle held me back again.
Jasper crossed his arms. "Alice has spoken to me about her visions and has tried convincing me, but the safety of our family comes first. We are already skirting the boundaries of what is safe by being around humans and all it would take is one big slip. What if you drain him right in the middle of the cafeteria?"
"That sounds more like you than me," I hissed at him, furious. We usually didn't fight like this; this was simply horrible. I wanted to turn around and go to the cabin again, run away from this madness. Better yet, I wanted to be sitting close to Edward again, drinking in his scent, feeling pain and desire.
"I'm sorry, Bella, but you need to look at the situation objectively."
"Objectively? If you lay one single finger on Edward, I swear, I will do anything in my power to make you pay, even if it makes Alice suffer."
He shook his head. "I seriously doubt that. You would choose him over Alice?"
I was this close to launching myself at him as well when Esme cried out, "Bella, Jasper, please stop it right now."
"Get ready for school. Both of you. Now," Carlisle said in a severe tone, one he seldom used. "Tonight, we'll have a family meeting. Until then, make an effort to be civil. A fight between you in the presence of humans would cause the same amount of damage Jasper and Rose are so concerned about."
We both nodded, staring daggers at each other.
"Carlisle, I'm not going to school today," I told him, running my hands through my hair. Jasper stood there, and I did my best to ignore him. One word from him and I would go for his throat.
Carlisle pondered my words for a second. "Yes, that's a good idea. It would be in character for a human to stay home after a fall like that."
Jasper went up to his room and I went to mine. I changed my clothes, not bothering to shower. I looked in the mirror and sighed. I had washed away the bruise makeup before sneaking in to see Edward.
Grabbing my cell phone, I dialed Alice. I would scream at her later for having let me all alone to confront Rosalie and Jasper. She better have had a good reason. At the moment, I needed her makeup expertise.
"Sure thing Bella, I will be there in a minute. I wasn't there this morning because…"
"Later," I uttered, still seething from the confrontations. "I'm not in the best mood right now."
"Okay," Alice said, her voice a bit small.
I waited for her, wallowing in my misery.
Finally, I was going back home. This was so stupid, I was fine. I'd had worse injuries before, thanks to my love of sports. Spending a night here was so not necessary and extremely annoying.
The nurse had returned my personal items, so I gratefully took off the ugly gown and changed into my clothes. They were all wrinkled. It was around midday and I wished I could be in school, eating lunch instead of standing in this sterile room. Oh well, I shouldn't have been complaining, I had a lot to be thankful for. I was actually alive and able to complain.
Someone knocked on the door, and I ran my fingers through my hair. It's not like there was much I could do about it, anyway; it was always messy.
"Come in," I said, expecting the nurse again, or maybe my mother, anxious to take me home so she could fuss over me. The woman was happiest when I was sick.
To my surprise it was Bella that entered. I winced when I saw her bruise and cast. She was dressed for comfort; in sweatpants and a hoodie. I gaped at her, as usual and she gave me a small smile.
"Bella, hi," I said, trying to swallow my nervousness.
"Hello, how are you feeling?" she asked.
"I'm fine," I told her sincerely. "It was so unnecessary for me to spend the night."
"I understand," Bella replied, giving me another smile. Then she grew serious. She twisted her fingers and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Finally, her eyes met mine.
"I thought we should talk before you were released."
I blinked. "Um, okay, sure, what did you want to talk about?"
"Edward, I want to ask you- don't blow what happened yesterday out of proportion. No one needs to know any details. I am glad I was able to help you out and I …"
"Help me out?" I laughed. "Bella, you saved my freaking life."
"Yes, well, call it what you want. I do not wish for this whole incident to become…more than it needs to. Please?"
Bella gave me a penetrating look, and I swallowed. If she kept looking at me like that, I would do and give her anything she wanted. She struck me speechless.
"O-okay," I eventually stuttered. I understood what she was telling me. Don't spread rumors. Don't make things more difficult for our ostracized family.
"Thank you, I appreciate it." She looked relieved.
An idea occurred to me, and I couldn't believe my own audacity when I blurted it out, "I want to thank you properly, would you let me take you to dinner?"
She shook her head. "Um, I don't think that's a good idea, Edward. I'm…I wouldn't make a good friend for you."
I looked down for a second, thinking hard and completely ignoring that last comment. She was obviously trying to blow me off. My self-esteem took a deep dive.
Trying to be optimistic, I thought of reasons why she wouldn't want to go out with me; reasons that didn't have anything to do with me. Lauren and Jessica had said she didn't date. Maybe she'd been burned before. Mostly likely she was scared, or hadn't found the right guy.
I didn't want to accept defeat.
"Well," I said slowly, "what you're asking of me, it's sort of hard. People are going to be asking me about the accident quite a bit for many days, I'm sure. I think I want to speak more with you…over dinner."
"Are you blackmailing me to go out with you?" Bella spluttered, and I blushed deep red.
"Um, not exactly, but I…Er…never mind, I mean, I'm sorry, I didn't…"
I trailed off, feeling foolish. Bella smirked, and I held my breath, awaiting her answer.
To be continued…
-giggles- omg, what's going to happen now! Sorry for the cliffy, I'll make it up to you next chapter. There will be some sexy stuff, even if only one-sided (poor Edward…)
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