A/N: So this is another one of those fics that's pretty short, kind of quick, and sort of lacking a point. But this being one of my first Twilight fics, I wanted to to start out extra small. See if people wanted more, what they liked and disliked, what they wanted to see next time. Please review! :) It helps me get better at writing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
The sting in my arm didn't elicit quite so much pain as the sting in my heart did.
I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. The look Edward had given me was burned into my subconscious. As was the case with many of his facial expressions, I couldn't quite describe it. Fear was evident, but so was disappointment. I cringed at the thought. Everything had been one big accident. Accidents happened, right? Everything was fine now, and yet, for some reason, Edward couldn't see that.
I winced slightly as Carlisle pulled a small shard of glass from my arm.
"I never wanted to have a party," I muttered.
"It's not your fault," he answered softly. "Jasper hasn't been away from human blood as long as the rest of us."
I lightly bit my lower lip, not quite believing it. It had been my fault. If I had been a little more careful, perhaps gone a little bit slower, none of this would have happened. As though to challenge his excuse, I spoke up again.
"How do you do it?"
Carlisle flashed one of his famous, charming smiles.
"Years and years of practice."
I grimaced as he began stitching up the gash on my arm. "Did you ever think about... just doing it the easy way?"
A slight pause followed. I wondered if perhaps he was seriously thinking the question over. It was always hard to tell with him.
"No... I knew who I wanted to be. I wanted to help people... Brings me happiness. Even if I am damned, regardless."
I looked up to meet his eyes, giving him a questioning expression.
"Damned? Like... Like 'Hell'?"
Carlisle gave me a quick glance before going back to his work, his body language giving me the answer. It was surprising, and a bit unsettling, to hear the last person on Earth deserving of Hell to speak so surely of going there.
"Carlisle, you couldn't be damned," I told him, smiling softly (something I reserved for the most serious of moments). "You couldn't... It's impossible." I looked down at the floor, now a bit embarrassed for speaking up.
"Thank you Bella... You've always been very... gracious... about us."
Confusion was written all over my face. "Do I have a reason... not to be?" It came out a bit more sarcastic than I'd intended it to. I was genuinely curious as to what reason I would have to hold any sort of grudge against the Cullens. What reason would anyone have for that matter? Aside from their introvert tendencies at school, there was no reason to have much of anything against the family.
Carlisle chuckled, as though what I'd asked was endearing. "Most people wouldn't ask such a question of a blood-thirsty monster."
I took the this opportunity to chuckle back at him. "There's your problem, Carlisle," I muttered teasingly. "You're... You're using the wrong terminology. 'Damned', 'monster'... You're describing those stereotypical, relentless, bat-transforming, coffin-sleeping vampires you see on late night trash TV." I paused a bit, trying to gather my thoughts. "It's almost as though you don't believe you have a soul," I thought out loud. Another pause once again indicated Carlisle's agreement with me.
"Carlisle... Monsters, soulless beings... They wouldn't be able to help people like this. They wouldn't raise a family out of the pure goodness of their hearts... They wouldn't so easily accept a perfect stranger into--"
I cut myself off, turning my head away from him again. The thought occurred to me that it wasn't my place to go assuming I was so easily welcomed into the family. Carlisle seemed to pick up on this right away. He smirked.
"If you think Esme and I see you as anything less than our own daughter, it seems you may have hit that wall harder than we thought."
I couldn't help giving him a quick pity chuckle. "No, I'm fine. If anything, I think it knocked a little sense into me. Maybe... Hanging out around here isn't such a good idea..."
Carlisle's expression became slightly more serious, though he still avoided my eyes. "For someone who's so convinced of the existence of souls in vampires, you seem to be overlooking Edward's."
I looked down, feeling a bit guilty. I had been feeling uncharacteristically selfish lately as it was, I didn't exactly need him to remind me.
Carlisle smiled again, clearly still reading me like a book.
"Don't get me wrong, dear. We'd miss you too. Edward's not the only one in this family allowed to grow an attachment to a human."
I smiled back at him, hoping he was catching on that I was thanking him without words. "I won't leave. I promise. Having people that--"
"Love you?" he offered for me, knowing I was still too shy to bring it up.
"--Love you... That's really... valuable. Not everyone has that. I won't go wasting it, I promise."
Carlisle nodded and went back to concentrating. A look of realization came across my face.
"So that's it... That's why he won't change me?" I asked, referring back to Edward again.
Carlisle finished up his stitching, now going about cleaning up. "Imagine the situation in reverse," he spoke softly, tapping my chin affectionately. "If you believed as Edward does... Could you take away his soul?"
I bit my lip again, nervously swinging my legs back and forth. "It's frustrating. He has a soul... I know he does... I'm not... I'm not being biased in his favor, I swear..."
Despite me going a bit off the deep end, he remained his composure, simply smiling and helping me off the table. "I believe you, sweetheart."
The feeling of an intense stare boring into the back of my head stopped me from responding. I turned around to see Edward waiting in the doorway. His earlier unreadable expression now seemed to be a lot more melancholy than before.
"I'm... assuming you're gonna take me home?" I asked, sounding more eager than I'd meant to. A chill ran down my spine when he started into my eyes, but didn't respond. The awkward silence hung thick in the air for several minutes until he finally turned around and walked out of the room. I sighed heavily. After turning back to Carlisle for a quick hug and a thank you, I hurried after him. Not sure how to break the tension between us, I came to his side, grabbing his arm as I walked with him. His only response was to shiver and twitch the side of his mouth slightly. The moment reminded me heavily of our first meeting in Biology.
I blinked back a few tears as I got into the passenger side of my truck, choosing not to argue with Edward when he headed straight for the driver's side. I looked out the window subtly waving goodbye to the house. I had a feeling I wouldn't be seeing it for a while.
At least I'd still have Edward.
Review please :)