Poco a Poco Summary and Chapter 1
Ok, this story is about a girl named Lianna, who's family was attacked by vampires. She barely got away with her life, but she's so scared of them coming back for her, she hasn't spoken a word since. As an orphan, her only friend became her violin. As a junior in high school, she's seen as a weirdo, but she is amazingly good at violin. Edward, being all musically talented and all, gets a job in that area as a music tutor for the school. He becomes her private tutor, and she recognizes that he is a vampire, scaring her. When he finally figures it out, (he can't read her mind, she's like a special less whiny Bella) he explains everything to her, and she meets the family. And we will go from there…^^
"Lianna, mind getting the burgers from the fridge?" My dad asked me, lighting the grill. We were having an outdoor barbecue as our 'Family Sunday' activity. I grinned as the grill lighted with a whoosh, sending flames careening upward. I went into the house, humming the new piece I had gotten at violin practice yesterday, and opened the fridge. Suddenly, there was shouts outside, my older brother bellowed something, Mom screamed, and Dad let out this mangled, shuddering gasp.
I darted through the house, and then quickly ducked behind the door as I peeked out the window. Beautiful, sparkling humans had tackled members of my family and were biting them. I squeezed my eyes shut as Mom started to scream again.
"Please stop! It burns! Please! Have m-mercy-" Her shriek was cut off abruptly with a sick sounding snap, making me lurch.
"Whiny, pathetic humans," A smooth, velvety voice crooned, but it sounded disgusted.
"You really can't blame them." A Mexican voice purred, and I heard someone gurgle and then there was another snapping noise. I pressed my fist to my mouth to keep from screaming, terror building inside me.
"But they did taste delicious, I'm sad that it's gone." The velvety voice said smoothly, and I bit my fist until it bled, trying not to make a sound.
"Oh, but what is that tantalizing scent? Did we miss someone?" The Mexican voice questioned, but it sounded rhetorical. In a blink of an eye, I was suddenly suspended by my throat, a beautiful Mexican woman watching me curiously as I gasped for breath.
"How did we miss you, weakling?" She asked, and tightened her grip until I saw black spots.
"I-" I started, but ran out of air. Then I was pushed against the door, staring into her cold, red eyes. She had a finger pressed to my lips.
"Not a word now, and I'll make it quick." She raised a hand, as if to slap me, and I noticed that her nails were long, and were stained red. Somehow, I knew it was blood.
"Maria! People coming, make it quick!" Another beautiful in-human man appeared in the doorway, and behind him, I could see my brother's body. It did not have a head. I lurched at the sight of it.
"Oh god," I whispered hoarsely, feeling tears boil over my face.
"I thought I told you not to say anything? I'll make you a deal, mortal." The Mexican woman suddenly had her hand in mine, and was examining the bite mark I had made over my own fingers, and she suddenly chortled. Then, she licked the blood off, and she groaned with satisfaction. Her eyes swirled to a heartless black color, and the bite on my hand seemed to sear with pain.
"If I don't find you again, I can remember what you taste like." She pressed her fingers to my mouth. They were cold and hard. "But remember, not a word…or I'll hunt you down."
"Lianna!" someone was shaking me. I bolted up out of bed in horror, my face wet from tears. Helen, the lady who was my foster parent was looking at me worriedly. She wrapped her arms around me and rocked me until my shudders stopped. "Are you alright now?" She asked lowly after awhile. I nodded into her arm, and she let me go. I gave her a ghost of a smile and got clumsily out of bed. For foster care, Helen wasn't so bad. After being kicked out of four different homes and one state orphanage because I wouldn't talk, or eat, and had weird nightmares, I had ended up with her, halfway across the USA. Helen had taught me sign language, but I rarely used it.
Trying to shake off the memory that had haunted me for 7 years, I got ready for school, then went downstairs. Helen forced me to eat a granola bar, despite my reluctance to eat much of anything these days, and saw me out the door. I rode my bike to school and sat quietly in a dead-end hallway like I always did before school actually started. I hated school. I was placed in the special needs wing even though I didn't have a developmental disability. Kids loved to make fun of me for it. They would all try to talk to me, and when I wouldn't talk back, they would insult me right in my face.
The only high part of my day is orchestra, right after lunch. I could get away from the screaming loud noise and the boring class-work and got to play for 45 minutes. As I walked into the orchestra room, Ms. Sanyer, the only teacher who seriously understood me smiled hugely in my direction. She was definitely my favorite; she recommended music that always challenged me to do better. As I unpacked, she came over.
"Lianna, I have a surprise for you, and I think you'll love it." She said, smiling.
Is it a new Beethoven piece? I signed, and it took her a moment to figure it out. Even though Ms. Sanyer was the only person I communicated with besides Helen, she was still slow at ASL.
"No, not a new piece, even better. There is someone I want you to meet." She said, and then rolled her eyes at me as I frowned. She knew that I hated meeting new people. "Oh come on! He's really very nice, and he's a private violin tutor." She said, and took my arm and steered me to her office. A young man was waiting, looking at some of the pictures on the walls, back to us, oblivious.
"Mr. Cullen? This is Lianna." Ms. Sanyer said proudly, and when the man turned around, I felt the blood leave my face. He was tall, handsome, and pale. His eyes weren't black, but gold. But it was obvious that he was like the woman Maria. His skin had the same smooth whiteness that I was sure would sparkle in the sun.
"It's a pleasure." He said, and his voice reminded me of the other vampire's voice, the smooth, velvety crooning that had echoed in my head every night. He looked at me quizzically as I stood stock still, watching him with wide, frightened eyes. Had Maria sent him to hunt me down? I hadn't said a word, I had kept her condition, this wasn't right-
"Lianna is always shy meeting new people, and she's also very unique. Lianna doesn't talk." Ms. Sanyer said firmly, a reassuring hand on my back. What if he killed her too? What if this Mr. Cullen killed her in cold blood going after me? He frowned at me, looking confused as sudden heat flushed under my skin. I would do everything I could to hurt him if he even touched Ms. Sanyer.
"Not a word? Is she mute? Deaf?" He looked incredibly confused, but behind the act, he looked almost angry. I couldn't fathom why, but my own anger was building at his appearance.
"No, she just isn't comfortable talking out loud." Ms. Sanyer raised an eyebrow at him, almost expecting him to storm out in disgust, or ask more ridiculous questions.
"In any case, I've heard great things about you, Lianna." Mr. Cullen addressed me, still looking a little surprised at my frightened posture. I'm sure you have. I thought wildly, trying to think as he extended a hand for me to shake. My hand was trembling as I took my bow and violin in one hand and when his fingers touched mine, I lurched slightly. They were the exact same texture, smooth, cold and hard, like ice. He looked at me worriedly, he had noticed the lurch, but Ms. Sanyer hadn't.
I nodded quickly and took my hand back, looking away from his eyes. They were concerned, but he was like that Maria woman, he looked the exact same. The almost too-perfect beauty, the pale cold and hard skin, the quick graceful movements… I looked at Ms. Sanyer, and she smiled too-brightly at me and beckoned to Mr. Cullen and led us to a practice room, and dread filled my veins. A small, warm room, stuck in a stuffy room with a man who could possibly want my blood.
"Lianna has been working on…" Ms. Sanyer went on and on about all the fabulous and challenging pieces I had already played, plus all the honors orchestras I had played with and then took my folder from me and handed it to Mr. Cullen, still blabbing. Leave. I willed her. Leave so he doesn't kill you too. "Well, I'll leave you two to it." She said finally, smiled at me, and then closed the door with a foreboding click. Dead silence descended. At any second I expected him to leap up and bite at my throat like Maria had almost done.
"Well, Mr. Cullen makes me feel much to old, so please, call me Edward in your head." He said and chuckled slightly, making me want to punch him, even if he could kill me before I got over there. He looked at me and awkwardly rubbed his neck. "Usually I would get to know you a little, but since you won't tell me anything…I'll just share, and then we can get started." Edward leaned back a little and studied me. "If I look young to you, that's because I am. I'm twenty, and fresh out of composing school. Ms. Sanyer was looking for tutors for you, so when she called, I was interested. My favorite instrument is piano, my favorite color is blue, and my favorite food is peanuts." He ended a little flatly, and sighed.
I never said that I wouldn't share. I signed, and he blinked, looking bewildered. I felt satisfaction; I could mess with his mind before he killed me, or tried to.
Then share. He signed, and inside I smacked myself. I hadn't been counting on this possible murderer to know sign language. A few nasty and creative words flew through my mind. If he was sick enough to play with me, then I'd play back.
My name is Lianna. I've been playing since I was four. I signed, looking determinedly at the treble clef on my music.
"Anything else?" He said out loud, sounding almost disappointed. Yes, I would like to add that I know you aren't human, you might want my blood, and that I'm not afraid of you, or Maria. So piss off, sparkling blood drinking creature. I doubt you've had a peanut in your life. I thought in my head.
My favorite composer is Hans Zimmer. I signed flatly, meeting his gaze unflinchingly. I had decided that it didn't matter if he killed me, or if he took me to Maria. I would hopefully be with my family again without too much pain.
"Really? I love Hans Zimmer!" Edward said, but it sounded so off, that I looked at him with a slightly sarcastic expression, and he sighed. "Alright, he's not, I just wanted to…nevermind. Will you play for me?" He asked, and I sighed. Damn, I hadn't scared him away after all. I lifelessly lifted my violin to my shoulder, and just started to play. Like always, the rest of the world faded to white and all I focused on was the music, my fingers flying over the fingerboard, my bow strokes sure and strong. It was a relief, not to be thinking about Maria, Edward, my family…life in general.
I finished and set my violin down as Edward stared at me in shock. "That was amazing." He said finally, sitting limp in surprise. "No, that was exemplary. I've never heard that played with such focus, such determination." He sat up and studied me, and I raised an eyebrow and studied him back. His bronze-ish red-ish hair caught the light in weird ways. He had deep bags, as if he had never slept before. All of his features were absurdly handsome and straight, angular. He looked muscular under his blue dress shirt, and his skin was that pale white color that put me on edge.
"I'm trying to figure you out, Lianna." He said abruptly.
I've already figured you out. I knew what you were like as soon as you turned around. I signed harshly, before standing up, taking my music and instrument and stalking out of the practice room without another word.