Okay, this is a totally random idea, so PLEASE review with your thoughts, good or bad, so I know whether to continue it or not.
Really hope you like it, and it's late, so forgive typos etc :P
Riley Biers was shaking, but I could feel no sympathy. None of the compassion Edward and the others seemed to have – all I saw before me was the vampire that had tried, and very nearly succeeded, to kill us.
'Do you need anything?' Carlisle murmured, breaking the silence in the Cullens' home and making me jump slightly.
The boy shook his head and resumed his trembling, making me sigh and pull out my phone. 'I need to call Charlie,' I muttered to Edward, and he kissed my forehead gently, his fingers tracing my cheek.
'Don't be long,' he whispered, 'I need you.'
I nodded, stepping out into the hall and dialling Charlie's number, wondering if I could steady my voice enough to offer a convincing lie. 'Hey, Charlie,' I said, trying to sound as bright as possible.
'Hey Bells, it's late – where are you?'
Why hadn't I thought of an idea before calling him? I cursed myself mentally for a second before inventing: 'Alice went a bit overboard with the make-overs, I'm gonna stay an extra night if that's okay?'
'Sure Bells, you feelin' alright though? You sound a little like you've been cryin'!'
'I'm fine, it's just all this mascara's making my eyes sting,' I laughed falsely, 'I'll see you tomorrow, Charlie.'
'Okay Bells, take care.'
'Bye,' I hung up quickly, flipping the phone shut and looking around the hall. It was white and airy, and though it was dark outside it felt like daylight with the softly glowing lamps. I took a deep breath before opening the living room door again and stepping back inside. 'Hey Edward,' I tasted his name on my lips, cherishing the fact that he was mine. It was difficult to ignore the slight whimper of pain that escaped Riley's lips as Edward pushed my hair behind my ears.
'Nice phone call?' Edward asked.
'I think he bought it,' I shrugged. 'What's with the shaking?' I added in a whisper, although I knew of course that Riley would hear me.
'It's hard... being in the same room as you,' Edward drew me back a little.
'So now I have to leave?'
'Did I say that?' his lips curved up into an irresistible lop-sided smile.
'How can you be so nice when he just tried to kill us?' I hissed, not meaning to sound as aggressive as I did.
'Because I can feel everything he's feeling,' he replied quietly, 'his thoughts are crying!'
Carlisle walked slowly over to us, as Esme sat beside Riley and went to take his hand, which he snatched away before she could touch it. 'Edward, you're hungry – you should hunt,' Carlisle said softly, and I looked up into my love's black eyes, knowing he was right. 'There's nothing you can do here for now.'
'I'm not leaving her alone with him,' relied Edward, his voice cool.
'She won't be alone, Edward. None of us are going anywhere, and it would only be a couple of hours.'
'Carlisle's right,' I hugged him gently, 'you should go now, otherwise you'll just spend another day being thirsty.'
'Okay,' he sighed, looking very reluctant. 'I'll be back as soon as I can,' he added, kissing me before disappearing at full speed.
'Are you okay with being here, Bella?' Carlisle asked me seriously, and I tried to look as indifferent as possible.
'I'm fine – do you guys have any food at all in your house though? I'm starving!'
'There's a fruit bowl in the kitchen,' he smiled, 'for show, but I promise it's all edible.'
'Why do you guys need stuff on show? You're the only ones who ever come in here!' I laughed.
'You never know what's round the corner,' he winked, 'can you get a bottle of blood from the fridge while you're out there?'
'Sure,' I said, forcing a smile and sparing a glance at Riley, who was sitting on the black leather sofa, still drenched with the rain that had hammered down on the way back to the house (travelling at human speed for my benefit). He looked up and caught my eye, still quivering, and his lip curled back a little from his teeth. I quickly looked away and hurried off into the kitchen, opening the silver fridge and finding it packed with glass bottles and little blood pouches. 'Ew,' I muttered to myself, grabbing a glass bottle with a chink and quickly closing the door again.
On my way out of the kitchen I took an apple from the full fruit bowl, still marvelling at the Cullens' constant human charade. 'Here,' I handed Carlisle the bottle the second I was back in the room, but he gave it back immediately.
'Why don't you go and give it to him?'
'Err... because I'm human and he just tried to kill me,' I pointed out, but under Carlisle watchful gaze I sighed and walked over to the leather couch, holding out the bottle without looking at Riley. But to my great surprise, as I tensed for an attack, he slowly took it and muttered a thanks. At this, I couldn't resist looking, and saw that he was tracing patterns on the dusty bottle, his fingers black from dirt and blood still on his knuckles from the one feeble punch he'd thrown at Edward.
'Thank you,' he repeated, looking up at me with a clenched jaw and agonised eyes. I knew he was thanking me for more than just the bottle. Esme gently squeezed his shoulder, and he took a tiny sip from the bottle, shuddering.
'You'll get used to it,' she murmured, and I sat down on the armchair beside them, watching in fascination as Riley's eyes changed to a shade lighter under the influence of just a few drops of animal blood.
'Will I?' his voice was croaky, and for a split second I recognised the boy in the "Missing" posters, an intelligent kid my age without any cares in the world par graduation worries. For that second he was the real Riley, not the one who'd seen horrors beyond his years; been a part of them.
'And it gets easier,' Jasper cut in from behind the couch, where he was standing, arms crossed, shoulders back, eyes watchful. He nodded to me, 'I know how you feel.'
'You don't know anything of how I feel,' Riley growled, but his eyes were still sad...terrified.
'Oh don't I? Raising an army of newborns under the order of someone I loved...someone I thought loved me. Being in charge because I had the strength to not die. Killing the weak ones and training the strong ones until they started killing each other... created to kill. Sound familiar?' he raised his eyebrows.
'I d-don't understand,' Riley shrank back a little.
Jasper pulled up his sleeves to show the hundreds of crescent scars patterning his skin, 'look familiar?'
Riley pulled up his own sleeve with trembling fingers to show matching wounds, only redder...fresher. I winced, tracing my finger along my one vampire scar, rising above the skin on my wrist, and imagining the pain of hundreds. I looked slowly up into his bright crimson eyes and saw the tiniest of sparkles in them, little spots of light. I watched as he blinked and looked away, and jumped when I felt Edward's breath on the back of my neck. 'Having fun?' he smiled, and I dragged my thoughts from Riley and back to him.
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