For Your Eyes Only
Edward Cullen didn't even see the car coming.
He'd heard the sounds of engines revving, but that was it. One minute he was crossing the road, completely oblivious to any danger and deeply emerged in his own thoughts, the next he was on the floor, gasping in shock and pain.
The impact took all the air out of his body and he felt bones breaking and skin tearing.
He rolled over several times, internally screaming all the way, and eventually ground to a halt, blinking wildly. The road was cold and damp, and he vaguely heard the sound of a car door opening. There were voices, and two large, hooded figures suddenly bent over him.
He squinted up, the effort to do so completely staggering. His whole body ached and pain prickled along every part of him; his leg was causing him the most misery. Although his vision was fastly becoming blurry, he made out a man with long hair and a muscular build, and his skin was tanned. He had a long, ugly scar down one side of his cheek, but by the time he moved his green eyes towards the other man he could hardly see anymore.
Suddenly, he felt a horribly warm breath by his ear and the murmured sounds of voices. Hands frantically invaded his pockets and he protested limply, his words sounding pained and weak.
He was going to die.
The men took everything in his possession and he desperately tried to reach out, knowing just how important his belongings were. He groaned once more, fear flooding his thoughts. He was alone and he was going to die.
How long would he lie here like this before it ended?
The men quickly backed away and left in their car, wheels screeching loudly, and everything around Edward went silent. To his surprise, his eyes stung and a single tear trailed over his nose and onto the floor. He tried to curl into a more comfortable position, but the effort caused pain to shoot up and down his legs and stole the little air from his chest.
He froze, lying there completely crippled.
He knew he was slowly losing consciousness and he gasped for help. His voice was barely audible over the wind and, slowly, he closed his eyes, escaping the pain and the world.
Chapter One – When They Met
"So," Rose suddenly said, sounding a little suspicious. I looked at her warily, raising my eyebrows.
We were both in school, putting together a list of ideas for our art project, and the classroom was full of chatter, making it very hard to concentrate. I was glad that Rose had decided to speak up, actually; I was slowly turning insane from the background noise and needed a distraction. It was like a continual buzz from a fly.
"So?" I repeated, quickly jotting something unimportant down.
"Are you or are you not going to the party tomorrow?"
I groaned. I just knew that this was going to come up. I'd been waiting all morning for her to say something and it hadn't taken long. Practically everyone in the school was talking about it already. "Rose, my mind is made up." I took in a deep breath, bracing myself. "Sorry, but I am most definitely not going to the party."
Almost instantly, Rose's lips moulded into her trademark pout. I rolled my eyes in response. "Don't even bother, Rose. In case you haven't noticed, I don't have a penis so that trick isn't gonna work on me."
Mike Newton and Eric Yorkie, who were working as a pair in front of us, simultaneously turned around, both raising their eyebrows in surprise.
"Yes, boys?" Rose asked innocently. "Do you want something?"
"No, no," Mike murmured, still looking a little dazed. They both spun back around, leaving us alone and continuing on with their work.
"I'm still not going, Rose," I added after a while.
Knowing this, she proceeded to fold her arms and try out another of her signature moves; the death stare.
"Don't do that either!" I retorted. "The party would, for me personally, be worse than an arrow in the neck."
Her eyes widened at that; she actually looked a little hurt. Maybe it was a bit harsh...
"Oh, I'm sorry, Rose," I sighed, chewing my pen lid. "It's not anything to do with you... I just-"
She didn't look convinced. I sighed once more.
"Rose, nothing that you say or do is going to make any difference. I just can't go to this... thing and I don't want to either!"
"Why the hell not?" she snapped.
I could tell that she was struggling to keep her voice down; if we weren't currently in the classroom she would have most definitely shrieked at me. Her mood swings and temper are things that need to be approached with caution.
I shifted about uncomfortably in the plastic seat and half heartedly flipped through my notebook. "Well," I took a deep breath, "firstly, tomorrow is Friday, which means that it's visiting day for Charlie."
Charlie, my father, had been sent to a rehabilitation centre when I was seventeen, due to a severe addiction to alcohol. It hasn't been easy for him - of course it wouldn't be - but he's gradually improving and has been there for a whole year now. I'm allowed to visit him every Friday and each week there's a slight improvement, something which warms my heart.
The other six days of the week are a little tough, though.
The specialists are saying that he might be out in a few more months and, although that's good news, I'm dreading it. He might not be able to cope out of there without professional help and it terrifies me to think that it might be my fault if he spirals out of control again.
But that's not something to worry about just yet.
Snapping out of my thoughts, I noticed Rose's face falling and her eyes slowly softened. I rambled on, continuing while I still could.
"And secondly, I absolutely detest parties. In fact, I hate socialising in general. People being forced to make conversation with each other isn't exactly my idea of fun."
Rose's face was still sympathetic. "I'm sorry, I forgot about the day." She paused. "How is he? Charlie, I mean."
I knew full well who she was on about and shivered a little in response. "He's... he's okay, I guess. Thank you."
"Okay?" she repeated, sounding a little sceptical.
"Yeah," I murmured. "Okay is the appropriate word."
Rose quietened and began doodling on her paper. I was incredibly grateful for the silence; it really showed how well she knew me. She can tell whenever I'm happy, sad, or if something's bothering me, or when I just need some space.
We first met each other in kindergarten. She was playing in the sandpit and I desperately wanted to as well, so I stormed over and demanded that she stepped out, mainly because she'd been in there for over half an hour. We, inevitably, had a nasty argument (involving some inappropriate use of a plastic spade as a weapon), but soon afterwards I offered her some of my peanut butter sandwich and we instantly bonded.
"But I'm sorry," I continued, removing myself once more from my thoughts. "I really, really just don't want to go." I hesitated. "I hope you understand."
She sighed heavily. "I guess I can cope without you." She smirked and I realised I'd won. Just. "I'll have to hang around with some other people instead."
"There's always Emmett," I offered, causing her to grin.
"I don't think what we get up to is legal in public, Bells."
"Eww." I wrinkled my nose, relaxing a little. "Swift subject change please..."
The day dragged by fairly slowly following that and, after lunch and registration, Rose and I parted; she headed towards the woods with Emmett while I proceeded to English. I had a fairly good idea of what they would be doing and several disturbing mental images came to mind. Ugh.
I walked silently towards class on my own, secretly looking forward to the lesson. English was a subject that I could really relate with, mainly because I spend my spare time writing in notebooks and reading novels.
Taking into consideration my complete lack of social life, that's basically what I spend most of my life doing. It's better than drug dealing or something.
But, despite this, I do find it incredibly comforting to just sit on my bed and lose myself in a story. It sounds pathetic, but it's wonderful to escape from what's usually happening on the outside. On a bad day I usually find myself wondering how Charlie is coping on his own in his little cell, wondering what he feels when each day goes past without any alcohol...
Completely lost in my thoughts, I was shocked to find myself suddenly slamming into something hard. I automatically blinked a few times and the breath caught in my throat when I recognised the familiar mess of blond hair. He quickly turned around in clear irritation but his features soon softened when he noticed me. His lips turned up into a small smile and I nearly melted.
"Oh, hi Bella," he murmured, in his honey-coated voice. (Another lame cheesy line. My God.)
"S-Sorry, Jasper," I stammered. "I- I didn't... I wasn't looking where I was going."
"I guessed that," he chuckled.
I had sort-of, kind-of developed a tiny crush on Jasper Whitlock during high school. I know, it was really unwise, shallow and stupid of me, considering his popularity and crazy good looks, but, being me, I had to act like a ten year old and almost oggle ridiculously at him during any given opportunity.
But, I wasn't like the other people who obviously crushed on him like me. I kept my feelings private and I didn't constantly drop to my knees in front of him. Believe me, many people did that, and it wasn't just to worship him.
"Uh, well, I guess I'd better get to Biology, now," he murmured.
Talk about awkward.
I coughed and tried my hardest not to stare at the hand hovering awkwardly by his hair. So, I'd been gawping again. I'd probably even drooled in the process.
"Sorry," I muttered. "S-Sorry. Enjoy class."
He laughed. "I'll try my best."
He then disappeared around the corner, leaving the distant smell of his aftershave in the air.
Why couldn't I act normally around him? It was just so ridiculously... ridiculous!
With a heavy sigh and trying desperately not to dwell on that exchange, I walked into the classroom and took my normal seat at the back. I became immediately comfortable and stared out the window for a bit, making random shapes out of the clouds (it's an old habit from childhood.) I then watched the people running around the school, taking in the different expressions on their faces. They ranged from stress to panic to downright boredom.
I soon snapped out of my trance and began unpacking my things. I was just reaching for my notebook, when I suddenly turned icy cold.
It was odd; my body immediately seemed to freeze and I frowned automatically, feeling goose bumps slowly spreading along my arms. I glanced at the radiator next to me and slowly pressed my hand on the top.
It was warm.
There was absolutely no reason for me to feel a chill. I didn't feel ill and the room was, otherwise, heated and comfortable.
I involuntarily shuddered. Weird.
Settling back into my chair, I twiddled with my pen, feeling a little excited about the lesson. I had decided to put the strange coldness to the back of my mind (everyone gets random chills every now and then, anyway) and had a quick glance through my book. We were doing poetry today and I found something strangely satisfying about deconstructing lines and finding the hidden meanings.
Like I said before, lack of social life.
The teacher, Miss Williams, soon entered the room and stood promptly behind her desk. I couldn't help smiling towards her; she knew of my enthusiasm for the subject and was always lovely to me. She was the motherly type and always invited confidence when it came to contributing to the lesson.
Motherly type. My throat turned a little thick and I pushed down the pain with all my willpower.
"Good afternoon," she greeted warmly. "Now, as you know, we're starting our poetry module today, so please take out your books and look over page three. Make some annotations if you can."
After scanning through the poem and making a brief few notes, I glanced ahead towards the front of the class, unable to write anything else. I looked to the right at some posters on the wall and then, growing increasingly impatient, my eyes dragged to the left side of the room.
I almost screamed at what I saw.
My whole body stiffened in shock. I was almost instantly trying to reject what I had seen, telling myself that I was imagining things.
Despite this, I still stared.
Whatever he was, he was beautiful. I could just about make out a head of untidy bronze hair which lay messily around his pale, smooth face. His green eyes were striking, the most prominent feature; I could see them clearly, even from the distance.
He had defined cheekbones and a strong jaw, all with a straight nose and small ears. He was wearing dark clothing, items which made his light skin seem to sparkle.
Surely my imagination couldn't conjure up something so... oddly perfect?
I shifted in my seat, blinking rapidly and waiting for him to disappear. Nobody else around me seemed to be aware of his presence, which was a worrying thought. At this moment, Miss Williams began speaking, but her words sounded like a distant mumble to me; I was too busy being enthralled with this... person. This thing.
Was he real? Maybe it was only me who could see him...
But he was almost transparent, like an apparition of some kind or a... a...
I gulped. Or a ghost.
He just hovered over there silently, looking around the classroom in a strange desperation. He was quiet and a little eerie, but in a strangely good way.
His eyes suddenly flickered to mine in a blur of emerald.
I immediately jolted backwards, alarmed by the prickle of intensity. My mind was racing; had somebody spiked my drink during lunch? Was this a crazy hallucination? Was I overdosing? Having a nervous breakdown?
No. Don't be ridiculous, Bella. Not everybody takes drugs here, they wouldn't pick on you. You're just having a strange turn, that's all. Calmly ask the teacher if you can be excused and then...
We stared at each other for a long time and I couldn't seem to find the strength to breathe, let alone raise my arm. My whole body was in shock. Nothing was responding.
Things didn't improve when he started gliding effortlessly towards me.
I tried to drag my eyes away from him but just couldn't. He completely enthralled me with his presence; he was weirdly and dangerously intoxicating.
Whatever he was.
He drifted past the other desks and nobody even stirred; they just continued looking bored and scribbling things absently into their books. I closed my eyes for a long time, hoping he would disappear and that this would be a bad memory.
I needed him to leave so that I could stop questioning my sanity.
I took a long, deep breath and suddenly heard a voice coming from somewhere.
"Bella? Are you feeling alright?"
My eyes immediately snapped open and I gasped loudly; the ghostly thing was just a few inches in front of me now. I somehow managed to pull my eyes away from him and towards the teacher and nodded rigidly, all the time feeling a strong tingle across my skin.
This was not right.
She gave me a long look, then carried on reading and I glanced towards the thing in front of me, feeling even more staggered than before.
Close up, he was even more beautiful. No, he was flawless. Inhuman.
My head was swimming. I was slowly losing myself in the startling green colour of his eyes. He remained completely still all the time, not even seeming to breathe, but his gaze was so bewildering that I nearly swayed on the spot.
Then, he spoke.
"Can you see me?"
I shivered, unable to believe what was happening. It just couldn't be real. It couldn't be.
His voice was like silk and was incredibly rich. At the same time, it was barely above a whisper and held a strange sadness.
He does not exist. Bella, you're hallucinating. This isn't real. Ignore him.
I couldn't answer. Couldn't even move.
"Can you see me?" he repeated slowly, emphasising each syllable by leaning closer. His palms seemed to be pressing on the table, even though that was impossible, and I could see that his shoulders were tense.
Somehow, he seemed so human too.
At that moment, his eyes changed. To begin with they were curious, full of despair and loss, as though he had given up.
Now I saw hope. Happiness. Light.
"You can see me," he murmured, and it was a statement of truth. He smiled crookedly and his whole face lit up beautifully. "Finally! Somebody can see me!"
I found myself nodding along, causing him to laugh aloud, a glorious, wonderful sound. I still couldn't understand what was happening but went along with it, hoping it would all end soon.
I started to worry about what was happening, fearing that I was turning slowly insane. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
It all became too much for me to handle after a few moments and, without warning, I promptly fainted, slumping onto the desk with a painful thud.