AN: This is it! The very last chapter of Undisclosed Desires. Yes, I know. It's only four chapters long? Really? That's it?
Yes, I could write more. Do I want to write more? I'm not sure. I kind of like this story just the way it is. . .we see that Edward and Bella come to some sort of understanding, but not what happens afterwards. That, I think, is up to you. . .
"I want to reconcile the violence in your heart,
I want to recognize your beauty's not just a mask.
I want to exorcise the demons from your past,
I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart."
The dream had been so incredibly real that for a moment, I'd almost believed that Edward was next to my bed, watching me sleep. As I blinked the sleep from my eyes, I didn't see him, but I'd been so incredibly sure that it had been his face I'd looked into.
I dropped back onto my pillow, letting my breathing reach its normal level again. And that was when I looked over at the window and saw it was open.
My heart rate accelerated back again and I gripped the bedsheets. I began to realize that seeing Edward hadn't been just a dream. He'd been here, in this very room, standing next to my bed, staring at me.
I'd been right before—there was definitely something going on with Edward Cullen.
I dreaded going to Biology, even more than I had before. I didn't think I could sit there, while that freak sat next to me, staring.
I wanted to tell him exactly what I thought of him, but I knew I wouldn't be able to get the words out. So instead of going, and sitting there, wordless and seething with fury and horror, I skipped class for the first time in my entire life and sat in the bathroom wondering what I should do about what I knew.
Nobody would believe me, of that I was certain. I'd been in Forks for less than a week but it was already fairly obvious that the entire Cullen family held the entire town in their thrall.
I couldn't deny that it had occurred to me, after catching Edward in my bedroom, late at night, that perhaps his convenient rescue the other night had also been planned. Maybe, I thought with growing anxiety, he was stalking me for real.
After school, I went straight to the police station, not lingering for a minute in the halls to give Edward a chance to find me so he could continue stalking his prey.
"Bella, what a surprise," Charlie said as I stood in the doorway of his tiny office. "Is something wrong?"
He knew me well enough to see the concern shadowing my eyes and creasing my forehead. I'd debated long and hard about confessing my suspicions about Edward, but I knew deep down, it was the right thing to do. Maybe Charlie's occupation would trump the Cullen propaganda.
"No. Well, yes. I saw something... weird... last night."
"Weird?" Charlie was toying with what looked like a taser on his desk. He'd told me a few nights ago that the police station had just purchased a few of them to test. Charlie said he liked the idea about having a weapon at their disposal that would merely incapacitate a suspect, instead of injuring them.
I sat down in the chair opposite the desk. "I saw Edward Cullen. I woke up and he was standing over my bed."
I couldn't have said anything that would have surprised Charlie more. He dropped the taser onto the desk and looked at me in shock. "Are you sure, Bells?"
I nodded. "I'm sure. And the window was open too—he escaped so fast that one second he was there, and the next, he was gone."
Charlie's brow furrowed and that's when I knew I'd lost him. "You're saying that Edward was standing over your bed and the next second, he was gone, out the window? So fast you couldn't see him move?"
"Yes," I said as firmly as I could. As if wasn't saying something completely ludicrous.
"Are you sure you weren't dreaming, Bells?"
"Yes," I repeated. "Absolutely sure. The window was open. I had to close it."
"You could have sleepwalked or something. I really doubt Edward would be able to sneak into your bedroom."
"There's that tree outside my window," I reminded him. "He could have climbed up the tree, opened the window—remember, the lock broke on it?—and slipped inside."
"Bella." Charlie said it patiently, interrupting me. "I'll look into fixing the lock, but I think it's better you don't go around accusing decent, nice boys of being Peeping Toms."
I crossed my arms over my chest, growing more annoyed. "I'm not making this up. I wasn't dreaming. It happened. And the night before, he just happened to be behind me as I drove up to the reservation, you know, when my truck slid into the ditch."
"You were really lucky he was there, Bells. He helped you." Charlie wasn't saying that I was being ungrateful and ungracious by accusing Edward of such things after he'd helped me, but I didn't necessarily believe that what he'd done excused him from creepiness.
I opened my mouth to argue, but before I could, a deputy stuck his head into the doorway and interrupted us. "Charlie, we've got a situation. Looks like a dead body."
I shuddered as Charlie rose to his feet, slipping his jacket on. A dead body. "I've got to go, Bells. I'll call you if I won't make it home for dinner."
I nodded as he left, the front door of the police station shutting behind him. I waited for a second, until I was sure the station was quiet—empty, I thought with a tiny smile. Standing up, I leaned over Charlie's desk, until I was face to face with what he'd left behind.
I picked it up and slid it under my jacket. Edward wouldn't know what hit him, I thought with a growing satisfaction, if he ever decided to bother me again.
Charlie came home late, exhausted from spending hours at the scene. "Wild animals," he'd said succinctly, when I'd asked him what or who had caused the death. "It was just a bum, passing through. Not expendable... necessarily... but not a member of the town."
I'd gone upstairs after heating up a bowl of chili for him. I needed to do research on how to operate the weapon I'd stolen from Charlie's office. I googled the model name and found the online manual in .pdf format. I downloaded it and paged through it quickly. It seemed pretty straightforward, though my nerves protested at the idea of shooting those projectiles into him—even if he was a creep. So I decided to use the other setting, where I could simply hold it against him to cause the involuntarily muscle spasms. No shooting required.
I went to bed at 11, and stared up at the ceiling, willing myself to stay awake so I could catch him if he snuck in again. It was hard enough for me to stay up late if I was reading or doing homework, but with the lights off, it was difficult. My eyelids kept drooping, and I gripped the hard plastic handle of the taser tightly.
Finally, when I thought I wouldn't be able to hold out any longer, I heard the distinctive screech of the window opening, and then a soft thunk as someone dropped to the ground in my bedroom. My heart rate accelerated, my throat grew dry, and I felt decidedly nauseous. Faced with the prospect, I wasn't sure I could actually do this.
I opened my eyes a little, but was startled to see that Edward wasn't even trying to look at me—instead, he was searching through a pile of books and papers on my desk. He wasn't looking for me, he was looking for something completely different.
Weird. As if he wasn't weird enough already.
He went through every book in my room methodically, clearly looking for one particular item. I wondered what it was, but he clearly didn't find it. I heard him grunt a little in frustration, and then turn towards the bed I was in. I barely closed my eyes in time, but I heard him come close, his feet making almost no noise on the carpeted floor as he walked towards me.
"Not talking tonight?" he asked, so low that I barely heard him. I was momentarily confused before I remembered my lamentable habit of talking during my sleep—he must have heard me the other night when he'd snuck in. And then it hit me. How many other times had he snuck into my room before the other night? Had he done it every night since we met? A surge of anger rushed through me. How dare he be so weird and creepy? Didn't he realize how wrong it was to do this?
I moved quickly, shoving the taser up and pressing the button hard. I felt it connect with something hard and my eyes flew upon and met his, but contrary to what the instruction manual had said would happen, there were no muscle spasms. I could feel the hum of the electricity in the weapon, but Edward, who stood gaping at me, didn't react at all.
My eyes widened and my brain froze. What the fuck was Edward Cullen?
show me how it's done.
you are the one."
I knew from the expression on Isabella's face that I was supposed to be doing something that I wasn't doing right now. She had a weapon of some kind jammed up into my stomach, but like every weapon, it was pretty useless against a vampire.
"What the fuck are you?" she whispered, her dark eyes huge in her suddenly paste-white face. She lowered the weapon and stared at me as if she expected me to slaughter her any second. Which, considering the situation she was in, wasn't probably too far from the truth.
I knew I had to tell her, but the words seemed stuck in my throat. How was it that Alice had not seen this? Had she seen it and chosen not to stop me? Surely, she couldn't have wanted me to divulge the one secret that we weren't allowed to ever reveal to a human.
"I... uh..." Usually it was Isabella who stammered when we were together, but tonight, with her staring at me with vengeful, angry, terrified eyes, I couldn't seem to form a sentence.
"Tell me or I'll scream." If I'd expected Isabella to fall apart upon discovering something that was obviously not a human in her bedroom, in the middle of the night, I was wrong. There seemed to be a stronger core to her that I was just discovering. Maybe, I thought with trepidation, she was more of a my equal than I'd ever thought.
Her threat, I knew, wasn't in vain, and I didn't want to have to explain to Chief Swan why his gun didn't work against me, so I reached out and covered her soft, warm mouth with my cold, marble-hard hand. She squirmed beneath me, her eyes shooting daggers at me.
"Promise that you won't say a word. I need to... tell you some things. Things that might seem... fantastic in nature. But I won't hurt you, Isabella, I swear."
She glared for a moment longer, her expression distrustful. Finally, she nodded reluctantly. I moved my hand, disappointed that I couldn't keep touching her. No doubt when I told her the truth, she'd never let me near her again. This would be the end of any possible relationship I'd have with Isabella Swan. She wasn't my miracle after all—only a chimera that evaporated as soon as she saw through me.
I sat down gingerly on the bed and she scooted up towards the headboard, as far away from me as she could get. And really, who could blame her?
"I'm... I'm not what you think I am. I'm not... human." Her eyes grew even wider as I spoke. "I'm a vampire."
"A vampire," she scoffed. "You expect me to believe that?"
I nodded. "I do. I know it's hard to accept, but I am. I don't eat or breathe or sleep. I don't eat human blood though—my family and I aren't vampires in the traditional sense. We choose to be as human as we can by only drinking animal blood."
Isabella still looked fairly unconvinced, and I discovered that I liked this side of her. She was much smarter than much of Forks realized. And it was incredibly unfortunate that just as I realized this fact, I was losing her forever.
"You want proof?" I asked, sure that that was what she was waiting for, and to my shock, she shook her head.
"No," Isabella said, "I believe you. I haven't understood what was so different about you, but it makes sense. The odd behavior, the way you look, the way you talk, the way you were able to push my truck out of the ditch."
I nodded, agreeing with her. No matter how we tried to fit in, some suspicious soul always saw through us.
"Now," she continued, "tell me what the hell you were looking for in my room."
I was afraid that she had seen me searching through her things, and now my fears were confirmed. I briefly considered lying, but then I realized why I was here at all. Alice hadn't said anything, though Isabella and I both had clearly planned out our own actions in advance. She had seen this conversation and knew it ended well. Maybe I should have some more faith in my sister and her ability to keep us safe.
That settled it; I would tell the truth and take the chips as they fell. "I wanted to find your journal and read it."
Isabella gaped now, more so than when she'd discovered that I wasn't human. "What?" she exclaimed. "Why?"
"Some vampires have special gifts. My sister Alice can see the future; Jasper can control people's emotions. And I can read thoughts. Every person, human and vampire, that I've ever met since I was changed—every single person except for you."
"Why not?" she seemed rather put out, as if she wanted me to read her thoughts. Not exactly a typical reaction—but then, I was beginning to realize that Isabella Swan was definitely not what I would consider a typical human girl.
I shrugged. "I don't know. Carlisle—my father—he wasn't sure. But that wasn't all that was special about you, Isabella. Not only could I not read your thoughts, but I also couldn't smell you."
Her nose wrinkled. "What do you mean?"
"Your blood," I confessed, "I couldn't smell your blood. You're... protected... from me. From my kind."
"Thus your interest in me," Isabella said matter-of-factly, as if this explained everything. I couldn't understand how she could so easily accept everything I was saying, as if this was routine and commonplace for her to have a vampire in her bedroom, confessing that she was blessed with protection against us.
"Now what does that have to do with my journal?" she asked, and I almost regretted how smart, how bright she was, when she wasn't busy blushing or stammering with nerves.
If I had been human, this was when I would have blushed. Confessing this to her was going to be one of the more difficult things I'd ever done, but when I'd told myself that I wanted to know what it was like to be in a relationship, to interact with a female that wasn't a relative, I'd signed up for this. Things didn't always go well in those situations. Sometimes you had to confess your deepest, darkest secrets. It just happened that I had a few more of those than the normal teenage boy.
"I wanted to know what it was like to... be with someone. To be with a girl. I've never had anyone before. Not in over a hundred years. I'm the only one of my family who isn't with someone and you were safe. Safer, anyway. And I wanted to know what you were thinking, what you wrote so much about."
Isabella was silent for a minute after I said this, clearly digesting what I'd confessed to her.
"So, you're saying that you... you... liked me because I wasn't a normal human. Because you couldn't hear my thoughts and because you couldn't smell... smell my blood."
I nodded. "You were quiet. Mysterious, even. And I didn't have to worry about killing you."
"It's hard then, to survive on animal blood?" She seemed genuinely curious and not nearly as terrified as I would have been, had I been in her shoes. Isabella Swan was, unarguably, one of the most interesting humans I'd ever met—regardless of the gifts she carried in her body.
"Yes. It's like having half a meal—you're not hungry, but you're also not necessarily satisfied."
"So that was why you talked to me." Her statement seemed like more of a question, so I nodded in agreement.
She leaned back against the headboard, her expression calculating. Not for the first time, I wondered desperately what she was thinking of so intently. It struck me that between the two of us, she definitely held all the power at this point. A novel feeling for a powerful and century-old vampire. Finally, she broke the silence.
"I need to... think. To process. And sleep. I'm tired."
Of all the things I'd expected Isabella to say, this was not even on the list. I'd expected her to demand that I leave, that I never contact her again—I'd half-expected her to say she was going to go to the police. But she said nothing like that. It was almost if she thought there was a decision to be made, which made no sense.
"I confess; I'm not sure I understand."
She set the taser on the bedside table, next to her copy of Pride and Prejudice. "I need to think about what you've said. If I could... do what you want me to do."
I gaped at her, shock running through me like ice water. "What I want you to do? I don't want you to do anything."
Her gaze narrowed. "I thought you were saying you wanted to be... involved. Because it was safe for you to be involved with me?"
"Well yes..." I said, thinking I would explain that I understood that now that she knew what I was, it was obviously out of the question—but instead of letting me finish, Isabella just interrupted me.
"And I need to think about that. Is that okay?"
I stood, my brain whirring with the sudden possibility that what I was, while still abhorrent to me, was somehow not abhorrent to Isabella. "Yes, of course. Naturally."
"I'll see you tomorrow then, at school." She was so contained, so ridiculously dignified, as she sat there in her bed, staring at the inhuman creature that I was. I was beginning to realize that the protection that Isabella carried within her wasn't the true prize that she could bring to me.
"Goodbye." I turned and gracefully leaped out the window, aware that she was staring at me the entire time. I hit the ground and turned back to see her in the open window, looking down at me, her hair falling around her face. I smiled up at her, and then turned towards home.
This time, I didn't have to lay in wait for Isabella—she lay in wait for me.
I'd just pulled into the parking lot the next morning when she approached the Volvo, her face determined and shadowed with sleeplessness. She clearly hadn't gotten much rest last night, but she'd obviously made her decision.
"Edward, good morning." She said it clearly, with no hint of embarrassment. I wondered if my confession had really helped eradicate her fear of talking to me. That seemed ludicrous, but perhaps, considering everything else that had happened, it was possible.
"Isabella, good morning."
"Do you have time to talk?"
I almost said I had first period, but she was so decisive, so sure this morning, that I just nodded. I could skip a class after all. It was only high school. Every other student skipped on a regular basis.
Isabella took off for the forest next to the school and I followed her, wondering what it was that she was going to say to me. Though I'd been sure she would tell me to leave her alone completely, I couldn't help feeling the thrill of anticipation that perhaps, her answer would be just as unexpected as the rest of her.
She stopped once we were hidden from sight and turned to face me. "I'm shy," she said. "Terrified of talking to men."
"But for some reason, I'm not scared of talking to you anymore. Is it because you're not a man? Is it because I know you could kill me at any moment and so the idea of me saying something stupid means quite a bit less? I'm honestly not sure what it is. But I feel weirdly... comfortable around you, since we talked last night."
This was indeed odd. I almost suggested that maybe such a revelation would be better addressed to a therapist, but I wisely shut my mouth and let her continue.
"You say I'm safe with you," she said. "I want proof."
"Proof before I agree to... this." Isabella gestured at the space between us as she sat down on a log.
"What proof would you like?" I asked with trepidation.
She looked at me directly, with only a hint of a blush staining her skin. "I want you to kiss me."
I almost laughed. "Kiss you? Kiss you?"
Isabella frowned. "Is that not something you can do?"
"No, no, no." I ran my hand through my hair, feeling a weirdly nervous thrill for the first time in my entire life. "I can, I suppose."
"Okay then," Isabella said, so calmly, that I almost wanted a return of nervous, stammering Isabella. That person I understood.
I had never really thought about kissing Isabella before this moment, but now that she'd mentioned it, kissing was something I'd always been curious about. Why was it something that everyone wanted so desperately? Did magic happen when two pairs of lips met and touched? It seemed unlikely to me, but I wanted to do what I could to prove to Isabella that I wouldn't hurt her.
I took a step closer to her, and her eyes drifted close, her lashes fluttering over the buttermilk of her cheek. I smelled the strawberry and freesia from the first day I'd met her, and as we drifted closer, they grew stronger, until the scents wove around me, enthralling my senses.
I let myself touch her, gently, my hands just resting on her arms, as I closed my eyes and our lips brushed together. Be gentle, I ordered myself, convince her that you can be trusted to keep her safe. But I wasn't expecting the lightning bolt that shot through me at the mere taste of Isabella. Her lips were soft and warm and intoxicating.
She whimpered a little bit, and I leaned into her, our lips pressing together, until I thought if anything could start my heart beating again, it would be Isabella.
We broke apart, and I could feel the panting breaths that Isabella was taking. Clearly, she'd enjoyed the kiss just as much as I had. And, I thought with triumph, she was safe. I'd done what I'd set out to do.
She looked up at me, and I was sure the surprise in her eyes mirrored my own. "Was that your first kiss?" she asked quietly and I nodded. "Mine too," she added. "I'm glad it was you."
"Me too, Isabella."
She smiled then, her small hand wrapping around my arm. As she did so, something new and completely unexpected blossomed inside me. "Then," Isabella said, "I suppose you'd better start calling me Bella."