PLEASE READ THIS:

The voting for the contest as a whole has started! It's what's shown below, of course. Google it if you would and decide who to vote for. Hopefully, that person will be me, but who knows? Just wanted to let you guys know. And, also, maybe if I do get a good turn out...I might add to this fanfic after the contest. So, yeah. Please? Or you could tell me about a new slash fanfic you'd want me to write. I don't know. I'd just love to get into round two, you know?

Anyway, new readers and old twice-readers, continue on. :p

SLASH BACKSLASH ONE-SHOT CONTEST

Story Name: Betrayal Isn't a Sin
Pen name: Th Ghst f Slss Frnc
Pairing: Edward/Carlisle
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, the Twilight phenomenon, of any of Edward's rabid fan-girls, even if I do know one (and she'd cringe at this, even though this isn't exactly M-rate worthy).

To see other entries in the "SLASH BACKSLASH" contest, please visit the C2:.net/c2/68069/3/0/1/

Note: Since I don't exactly have the best memory when I need to remember something out of a book, please don't blame me for any inconsistencies. I'm trying to carve out a life for Edward, who doesn't have much of a background and seemingly doesn't have a life before Bella. This is Pre-Twilight and I'm trying to actual give Edward a personality other than "overbearing" and "musically talented". People aren't two-dimensional so I hate it when they're referred to as so, even if they're characters. Anyway, just know in this Twilight never happened and things might be slightly confusing for people who want everything to match up perfectly. It's an AU, of course, but they're all vampires still—don't worry.

Claimer: I did write the unnamed song at the top of this fan-fiction. No, I have never been cheated on. No, it does not have any regard to me in any form. Oddly enough, I was able to right it even if my croaky deep voice will not match up with the gravelly, Bluesy voice with a country twang that popped up a few times that was in my head. I probably should worry more about the fact I have a voice now in my head than the fact I can't sing (more or less), though.

I'm not sure the song matches up to Betrayal Isn't a Sin, but I hope it does well enough. And if it sucks I've never written a bloody song before so ignore it.


Inside out, inside out

My heart is gone

Everything's been turned inside out

The pain is too much

A gaping hole where it was

Inside out, inside out

Fraying at the edges, getting larger every night

Every time I see you with her

I should have realized love was a game before now

But what can I say? I'm easily mollified

I forgot love is a funeral waiting to happen

A ticking time bomb that ends in sorrow, one way or another

Maybe if I wasn't torn, flipped, inside out, I'd realize it was worth it

But for now, I'll just forget—let me forget

Stop flaunting, stop sneering—stop looking so smug

You know what you did, you broke me, you made me bend farther than I could, shattered me

We're only meant to handle so much

Good thing I know you were never worth it, pity I listened to everyone who thought you were

And you seem so disgusted, like I'm somehow beneath you—you think she's better than me?

Well, buddy, I'm afraid you have another thing coming. The girl who helps you cheat will always cheat again, and then who will you be crawling back to?

Will you admit you were wrong then?

When you've been turned inside out? Flipped upside down?


Edward's POV—

I hadn't been sure for a while whether or not vampires, as the monsters they were, could feel anything. I'd learned, quite after I was turned, that that wasn't the truth. We were made of stone, but we were emotional stone.

I felt hatred right about now. A snarl was actually rising in my throat, but I kept it in. Below me, Carlisle and Esme were sitting outside on the grass, leaning against the house and sharing sweet nothings. Esme was giggling. I could hear them and see them, right out of the corner of my eye.

Why?

Was he trying to torture me?

The snarl actually came out then, and Carlisle looked up, eyes wild like he was surprised I was here.

Of course he was he was wrapped up in his homey, sweet wife—too wrapped up in her to notice little, old me. I scoffed, also aloud. My brain worked through the mess of the past month. She'd be gone soon. I hoped she'd be gone soon. Why did you have to break your arm? Why did you jump off a cliff because your baby died? You can have more babies, you idiot woman! Everything was perfect before you ruined everything!

I mentally screamed that all at her, but I knew she wouldn't hear it in her thoughts. I hadn't meant for her to. I just wanted to scream, but I couldn't, so I settled for yelling at no one. Outwardly, I stayed perfectly calm and composed. I figured my eyes were black, though.

I'll get you back for this Carlisle, you know I will. I don't play games. You used me.

I actual sent that thought out, not keeping in only in my mind. I let the thought drift to his. Over the years, I'd figured out how to use my gift and now it was like a finely tuned instrument—just like my piano. I could do with it as I wished, without a leak, without a thought escaping. Carlisle used to know me, because I couldn't keep it in. Now he knew nothing.

I watched as he winced, just a bit—a delayed reaction. A crooked grin took to my face, one I hadn't used before.

I didn't use you, Edward. You know what we had been was wrong. We were just lonesome. Now I've found my soul mate. You'll find yours.

He said it all, perfectly calmly and briskly. He was in doctor mode. He didn't care. There was no emotion to his thoughts, except maybe regret. He'd learned how to pretend to.

You said you loved me.

It was like a whisper, what I let creep into his subconscious. He had said that, again and again, and not just in his thoughts, aloud, too—especially when we were intimate with each other. But even when we weren't, he'd said so. I'd believed him. But maybe he'd always been good at pretending.

Edward, a man can't love another man.

I winced at, the once again calm tone, my walls crumbling. I stumbled—actually stumbled—back away from the window and sat on my couch. I felt like I was being shaken apart, even if I was perfectly still, and my chest hurt. For once, I wished I could cry. Maybe he'd realize what he'd done to me if I could. But maybe it was a good thing he'd never know. He was happy. His thoughts spoke of it, with an openness he'd never shown with me. He'd been appalled. I knew that. But, when we were alone he'd hold my hand; kiss me—even if he had been pretending to be brothers.

Then why do I love you?

That wasn't real. It was nothing. Like I said, we were lonely. It was sinful, Edward. I've repented. I've done what I'm supposed to do—find a woman I love and take her as my wife.

I was only still a second, before I bolted, merely a blur as I raced down the stairs and blasted through the doors of our house. No, it was his and her house. I didn't belong here anymore.

Goodbye, Carlisle. Tell Esme I hate her.

Three days later, I was sleeping, alone, at the docks. They reeked of fish, brine, and more, but I hadn't cared. It was my own personal place of torture. But, I didn't care. I'd always been masochistic. Ever since I'd become a vampire, anyway. Or maybe before that. My memories were fuzzy before I become a vampire.

Carlisle, why didn't you let me die? If you'd let me die, you'd never have made me forget my own childhood memories, forget my parents. You'd never of had the chance to break my heart.

I remembered a few things, though—luckily. I remembered I'd always hated the ocean, I'd played piano before I died, I'd had my mother's eyes and fathers hair, and I'd never liked girls. Carlisle was wrong. He'd been lonely. I'd always been like this, wanting the companionship of men.

Didn't you know me at all?

I knew he couldn't hear me. I wasn't even sending the thoughts out, but it felt good to berate him for all the times he'd wronged me, healing, almost. I said almost because I still had a gaping hole in my chest; like the blast from a cannonball.

I just sighed and watched as the last of the sunlight of the day made the skin of my arms sparkle slightly.

Since when did vampires sparkle?

I'd figured that monsters were supposed to be terrifying, and true to the legends; that I'd burn in the sunlight, hate garlic, and not have a reflection. I remembered that, at least. It was a thought when I'd first turned—well, a week or so after. A fleeting thought during my wild bloodlust period in time. Instead of all that, though. I gleamed in the sunlight like a million miniscule diamonds had been scattered across my skin.

What a joke.

I was only beginning to think about how vampires looked anything but terrifying, when I smelt it—fresh blood pounding around a body, human sweat. I heard a heart thumping, steps plodding against the pier. I didn't have time to think.

I hadn't eaten in a week, my first mistake.

Once again, I was a blur. This time I wasn't a wrecked blur, though, I was a fatal blur. Bones crunched as I slammed the human into the dirt beside the pier, him falling into a stony, dank ditch. Blood was everywhere. Everything else was fuzzy. My thoughts were screaming out a loud no, but I couldn't pay attention to them. I was moaning aloud, slurping down the older man's blood. It tasted so good—plain, like he hadn't eaten in a while, but so much better than animal blood. It filled me.

I'd drained him in less than two minutes.

My thoughts began to clear then, slowly.

What have I done?

I glanced down at the man, noting the twisted angle of his neck and how torn up and bloody one side of his body was, along with his right shoulder and that side of his neck. I let out a whimper, as I closed his unseeing pale blue eyes and swiped his wispy white hair out of his face. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," I mumbled. I knew it didn't matter, though. I'd killed him. There was nothing I could do now.

I stood, dressed in solid black, and watched as everyone gathered around a coffin. It was the end of the funeral and a few people had already talked. He'd been a husband, a father, and a grandfather. I felt horrible. But, I'd had to know.

I heard sobbing, and looked over to see a middle-aged redhead with eyes achingly familiar—like mine—and an older woman, with the same eyes. They could've been related to me, distant cousins down the line. The younger woman's son looked exactly like me.

I'm so sorry.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and tensed, eyes widening, before I turned. I thought I'd blended in nicely along with the black umbrellas and black outfits on this dreary, dark-skied day, but someone must have noticed me.

I turned around, seeing a girl, probably about fifteen, with startling red curls and hazel eyes. "Hey, I've never seen you before. Who are you?"

"Edward Cullen," I said, very quietly. I twirled the silver ring I wore on my finger again and again, the one from the first time Carlisle had married me. We hadn't had a preacher do it, but we'd given each other rings—not meant to be worn in the outside world, of course. Just for when we were at home. Just to show we cared for each other. I'd had sweet words inscribed on the inside of Carlisle's. He'd done nothing special.

You were ashamed of me then, Carlisle, weren't you?

"Yeah, I have never met you. I'm Darlene. Darlene Masen," she informed me.

My dead heart clenched in my chest. They were relatives, somehow. I'd killed a member of my own family.

"Nice to meet you," I said, almost coolly.

You need to go away, girl. Before I kill you like I killed your granddaddy.

"Are you married?" the girl asked, as if she was a little disappointed, while pointing at my hand. Maybe she figured I was just an old friend? Who knows? But she'd obviously noticed my nervous tick.

"Yes."

"You seem a little young to be married," she told me.

I just shrugged my shoulders.

"What's her name?" she asked, curious.

"His name's Carlisle."

"Oh." Her eyes were wide as she looked me over, seemingly in shock. I felt a little bit of triumph rise in me. She was lucky; she was the first person to know our dirty, little secret.

"I know. It's wrong. It's sick. It's a sin. I've gotten over it," I snapped.

She shook her head, curls bouncing. "I don't think so."

My neck almost snapped as I looked over at her, maybe a little too fast for a human. "You don't?"

"Of course it's not. I mean, you can't change how you are right?"

I didn't say anything, just watched as the people here scattered, heading back to their cars as the service came to an end.

"I have to go," the girl said. "Will I see you around again? You seem nice."

"No, probably not, I live far away," I said quietly.

She just nodded. "Goodbye then, Edward."

She left then, heading away to a pink Cadillac with her mother—another older woman, but a brunette.

I'm sorry, Darlene.

I had surprised myself, though. I'd manage to block every single one of her thoughts, except one. She'd known I was a vampire, somehow. She knew I was to blame. But she'd said nothing.

Thank you.

It had been months, years—I wasn't even sure anymore. I'd hunted bad humans for a while, finding ones who needed to be gotten rid of: unfaithful husbands, pimps, serial killers, rapists, child molesters, murderers, etc.

Carlisle would die if he knew I was playing God. I didn't think I was trying to be more than what I was a monster and a vampire. I knew he'd see it differently, though. He'd tell me I was doing this for revenge. I'd tell him that was the truth. This was my revenge. I wasn't playing God, but I was making plenty of people go up and see Him. I suppose I was trying to be a hero, when I was the villain, but I was hungry and I could've been eating babies instead. It was a far trade. They'd meet their ends in other ways.

But guilt was seeping into me, no matter how I tried to tell myself I was in the right. I was saving lives. I knew Darlene would see this differently, too. I couldn't say how, but I just did. I knew she'd be disappointed in me, so I'd stopped hunting humans, actually. I'd just killed my first deer in a long while, mere minutes ago and drained it.

I had decided to stop hunting people and return to animals. My eyes would stay ruby-red for another while. I'd wait and bide my time. But then I would be returning to the fold. I was lonely. Carlisle was right, we'd both been lonely. He'd been lonely, so he'd made me. I'd known I'd be lonely if I left, so I stayed.

Love wasn't built off of loneliness, though.

I sighed, as I silently built my resolve as I stared at the river I'd discarded the spent body of that white-tailed deer in. The river was muddy and quick moving—and it did nothing to help me. I needed to go back. I needed to see if Esme was gone and Carlisle was back to his old self. I needed to see if once he caught sight of me he'd run to me, hold me in his arms, kiss me, and take me back. I still loved him. That hole in my chest hadn't healed, just grown old and became my normal. I was used to the pain now. It was nothing.

I stood up slowly and brushed the damp, dead leaves off me. My jeans were stained in spots from lying on wet grass and my button-down shirt still had a blood splatter from my last human victim, a creep that had been about to attack a thirteen-year-old girl as she'd been walking home from school.

I figured I didn't need to do anything to impress anyone, so I did nothing about it as I began the long walk back to the home they'd set up. I'd kept tabs on them over these long months alone and I believe they'd moved to Tennessee. I didn't quite remember which state, but the town's name was imprinted in my brain, along with which way I'd have to walk to get there.

It would be a few days until my eyes went back to normal, but for some reason I'd decided I didn't care to wait. I'd go like this, force Carlisle to show what he made me become—even if it was more of my own personal choice than his. I let out a breathy sigh, the first human reflex I'd used in a long time, as I berated myself. This wasn't his fault, entirely at least.

I'd hunt a few times along the way, but I was headed home. I just hope I won't be treated badly. If Carlisle is disgusted by me, that whole in me might just might get bigger and split me in two. But, hopefully I was stronger than that. Hopefully he couldn't hurt me again.

He wouldn't have been able to hurt you if you hadn't been weird enough to fall in love with him—with another man!

I pushed the tiny voice aside. I didn't need to be told I was a freak of nature. I'd realized that a long time ago.

"Edward?"

Carlisle's voice was incredulous, as he glanced up at me. I towered over him, from where he sat on the porch. I'd smelt him from almost two miles away and I guess he had smelled me. But he still seemed surprised.

"In the flesh," I responded dryly. His eyes were moving all over my body. Before I would've been flattered, but I noticed how his eyes jumped from my dirty, soiled jeans to my blood-stained shirt to my amber-colored eyes.

"Edward, what did you do?" he asked, standing up and feeling the crusty nature of my shirt. He shuddered and took a step back.

The hole stayed the same.

Thank goodness.

"What I had to do," I replied, not offering much else. "Where's Esme?" I asked.

"Inside," Carlisle replied, eyes still searching my face—for what, I didn't know. "She's with Rosalie."

I've been replaced.

I shoved that thought aside. "And who is that?" I asked, hackles rising. Well, if my body could do much I'd probably feel that tingling sensation between my shoulder blades like I would've. It was almost the same at least, like ice was falling down my back.

"That would be me," a sugar-sweet voice said. I didn't like the sound. Something about it set me on edge.

How could I not smell another vampire?

I glanced up and saw one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen. She had long legs, wide hips, a large chest and a toned rear, along with long, wavy strawberry-blonde hair. Most men would drool, their eyes bulging out as they took her in. I just glanced over her. She was perfect, flawless. But she was still a vampire and not my type. I liked blondes, sure. But I liked blond men.

"Interesting," I said, not saying much else. "Did you jump off a cliff, too?"

Rosalie pulled back, looking shocked—probably at my lack of interested. "What?"

"I asked if you jumped off a cliff," I informed her.

"I didn't jump off a cliff." Her mind showed me what else I needed to know—she was raped, almost killed, turned into a vampire by Carlisle, and then she attacked and slaughtered the people who had raped her—all in all, boring and the average vampire drama.

"Right, you were raped and beat to death," I said after her last comment. Her eyes widened and her fists clenched. She looked like she might attack. I stood my ground.

"How did you know that?" Rosalie asked me, after hissing once.

Carlisle sighed. "I told you he was a mind reader."

"You didn't tell me he was creepy!"

I sighed. "Do I have a room here?" I asked, glancing at Carlisle.

"No," he whispered.

I nodded. "I'll find another place to stay, then."

He isn't all over me like Carlisle said he'd be. He said he was lonely, unsatisfied. Why isn't he doing anything? And why does he seem so dead?

Rosalie's thoughts made me snicker. I stopped as the she-beast of the house, Esme, stepped out. How could someone so nice be hated? They could be hated when they unknowingly stole your man.

Sometimes I wish I could tell her why I disliked her, why I always brushed her off and didn't want to talk to her. Maybe someday I would. I had enough of a heart left to not tell her now, though. She seemed happy.

"I heard what you were all talking about," she informed us all, looking sheepish.

You're embarrassed now? I'll tell you how embarrassed you'd be if I told you Carlisle and I used to sleep together, if I told you you're sleeping with a man now that has made love to another man.

"Okay, good. You can tell me if he's always this weird," Rosalie snapped.

Carlisle tugged at the ends of his hair, looking concerned.

They were supposed to hit it off the bat. They both love cars, they like music, they're beautiful. They've both had a hard time. Why do they seem to hate each other? Maybe they'll grow on each other.

I hissed, glancing at Carlisle.

You tried to set me up! I screamed at him, letting loose the floodgates.

I got no response, so I reined myself in after a minute as everyone watched me, warily. My shoulders slumped a little, eyes turning downcast.

"See? What was that even about?" Rosalie complained, pouting.

I was not impressed. I think he forgot smart to add to his list. I married (well, more or less) a doctor. I want a smart person at least—if I were to get over him, of course. Vampires don't get over things easily. Our emotions are set in stone. I'll love Carlisle for a while yet. Eventually, the feelings might fade away. I could only hope so.

Esme shook her head, sadness fleeting across her face. I felt bad for making her feel upset, but not too much, honestly. "I was just going to say he could stay in the attic. He doesn't need a bed, but there are plenty of books and an old record player up there. He could add more to it if he wanted to."

I frowned. I didn't exactly want to stay with them, but unlike Carlisle I didn't have the control to go to college (much less med school) and become a doctor. He'd always provided for me, so we could live like normal humans. Maybe I'd put too much of a strain on him? But then why didn't he say anything about it?

I sighed. "That would be nice Esme." I didn't feel the need to say anything else, but I dug into my pocket and pulled out my worn, brown leather wallet. "I'll be gone for a while," I said. Luckily, over the years I had managed to get some money in my banking account. I intended to make myself look more human—basically, buy some new clothes that were blood-spotted.

It was barely four months later (going from when I showed up) when Emmett showed up. Rosalie, amazingly enough, had drug him out of the woods after a bear attacked him, and brought him back to Carlisle to ask to for him to change him. The amazing part wasn't because Rosalie had drug back a man the size of a decent-sized Black Bear, but because she hadn't let the bloodlust cloud her vision. She could've killed him, put him out of his misery, or just let him die, like Carlisle could've done for me. But, she'd wanted a partner. I didn't fit in that spot and I guessed she was the kind of girl who was nothing without a man. She didn't seem like it, but then who knows? Maybe it had been love at first sight (something I didn't believe in). Hate at first sight? Yes, I was sure that existed. I'd hated Carlisle at first, for making me into a monster.

People say hate and love aren't much different, though, and love and indifference are exact opposites. So, maybe love at first sight is possible? I wouldn't know. I'd never felt it.

I was currently tapping out a tune on the high-gloss black piano Esme had bought for me. I knew she'd used Carlisle's money, but I'd kept it anyway. I'd missed playing, so much—I'd been gone for over a year, I'd learned, and it had been almost another year since I returned here.

I wasn't sure what I was playing now, though. It was just a haunting melody, something that repeated over and over.

I heard a clunking down the stairs and curious thoughts about what was going on, Emmett's curious thoughts. I could tell his deep baritone easily apart from any other mental voice, now.

Of course, I knew Emmett already slept in Rosalie's room, which was upstairs, so it wasn't such a big surprise I'd bothered him somehow. I tended to bother everyone here.

But there was one thing. Unfortunately, where I spent most of my time (in the attic), was directly above Emmett's and Rosalie's room. Needless to say I had to leave to go hunting a lot more than normal. Those two were like a pair of horny jackrabbits. It was probably one of the most revolting things I'd ever sympathetically heard while constantly reading people's minds—at least, in vampires' minds. Plus, I heard everything with my ears, too. Needless to say, being fast as lightning is good when getting out of the house. The ability of jumping out of a two-and-a-half story window without getting hurt also helps.

"Eddie? What are you doing?" Emmet asked me, as he continued to clomp down the stairs. For a vampire, he wasn't very graceful—or maybe he was just better at playing human than me. He actually seemed to be emotional, like everyone else was. I just wasn't.

I really did hate that he felt like he had to give me nicknames, though. Ed, Eddie, sometimes Eddie Boy. It drove me insane.

"Playing the piano, what does it look like?" I asked, after a pause. I didn't stop playing and the melody didn't change.

"I didn't know you could do that," Emmett announced, coming up behind me.

"Well, you don't really know much about me," I snapped.

He took a step back and then huffed. "What's your problem? You're always so mean to everybody. I mean, I understand Carlisle planned on you and Rosie hooking up but she's mine now—get over it."

I clenched my teeth together, a muscle in my jaw twitching. "I never wanted Rosalie."

"Wait, what? She has a rocking body. You'd have to be blind not to want her."

"Let's say selectively blind, then," I said, my hands clanging down on the black-and-ivory piano keys, harder than normal.

"What are you even talking about?" Emmett asked me.

I sighed and turned to face him. He was giant, much more muscular than me, with curly close-cropped brown hair and the golden eyes that marked vegetarian vampires and he was just as pasty pale as normal vampires were, too.

"Just leave me alone, Emmett. I haven't been in the best place in a while and I'm not ready to deal with all this," I said, very softly.

"So you're like depressed then?" Emmett straddled the piano bench next to me, facing me, and I immediately scooted over to the far side.

"I suppose you could say that," I said, as I scratched at the barely visible bite mark on my neck, a remnant of Carlisle in its own way.

"Like, kill-yourself-depressed or just sad?" Emmet asked, his eyes unnaturally curious.

I hissed at him, before standing up.

"Sorry, sorry! No need to get testy, I'm just worried. We're like a big family and you're acting like the emotional black sheep and it's just sad. Esme worries a lot about you."

"That's supposed to make me feel better?" I spat out the words, fists clenching, my nails digging into my stone-hard skin.

"Well, no, but we have reason to be worried, with those bite marks on your back and all," Emmett said.

I froze, stiff as a board. "What?" I'd never showed them those. That was one part of my past even I couldn't dredge up.

"Rosalie saw them one day when you had your shirt off, facing the stairwell down to the upstairs. She had been about to ask you to go hunting but they scared her off. She went to Carlisle and said you hadn't had them before." Emmet was looking at me now with darker gold eyes, worry in them.

I was still tense. "That is none of your business or anyone else's. Just leave it alone."

"But you were always with Carlisle, except for that one year they said. How did you get in so many fights? Were they wanderers, or newborns? What? Did you win those fights?" He asked me, standing up and walking over.

"Leave me alone!" I snarled, before dashing away.

I tended to always run when I had trouble, but that made sense in its own way—since most times I was going hunting, or running. But now I just really needed to bite a cougar's head off. Hunting would calm me down, it always did. I suppose it was like some people eating when they were upset. I just drank down pints of warm blood instead. And running always cleared my head, too. It made me feel free for once, not trapped in a cold body, or stuck being someone who wasn't me.

I could just exist, without worry, or fear, or hurt.

Running was definitely my favorite past time, truly—almost better than hunting. When hunting you lost your sense of self, with running you didn't, but your worries just melted away.

I hoped mine would today.

It was years before Alice and Jasper arrived, and years after when they did. I didn't care much when they came to Forks; I'd sunk so far into depression. I'd hoped at first maybe Jasper could understand me slightly, he'd had bite marks all over his exposed skin, but I'd acted especially cruel to the two just because of that. Plus, their gifts made me nervous.

What havoc could Jasper wreck if he asked me, in front of everyone, why I felt lust for Carlisle when I saw him hunting, or shirtless, etc.?

And then there was Alice, bright and friendly to the point it was physically painful. She had visions, she said, of the future. I'd asked her once what my future was, but she'd just shook her head and told me she'd seen me ahead of time asking her and that when she'd looked I'd been beside myself.

I wasn't sure how that was supposed to make me feel any better. At least I would've known what would've had me upset if she'd told me.

I'd figured out now, more or less, that she'd just seen me alone, still alone, and that I'd been depressed, like I was now. I was always depressed. Every time Carlisle tried to get me to date another vampire, a female vampire, I'd said no—and when one of the said female vampires (Tanya) had gotten too close for comfort, I'd killed a polar bear, drained it, and then returned home, back to my piano. If I had a lover, I'd say it was my piano. I'd played every song I'd ever heard on it, I believe, ever since Esme had gotten it. I'd acted more polite around her since then; it wasn't her fault after all. It was Carlisle's fault—and my fault, for not being enough.

I bit down on my lip hard and just reclined stiffly back onto the roof of the house. On one of the eves there was a place, a flat spot, I came out to sit on. My skin reflected the sunlight, tiny rainbows, and it made my day. It was sad something so basic made my day, but somehow the beauty of it kept me grounded, kept me from running to Italy and asking the vampires there to kill me, or force them to. I had four things to keep me grounded now—running, hunting, my piano, and being able to enjoy the sun.

I had no one who I could love, though. I needed it, craved it. I just wanted Carlisle back, more than ever, even if he had hurt me again and again.

I let out a breathy sigh and just lay limp as I heard a scuffling, the approach of very guarded thoughts.

Hello, Jasper.

I heard him freeze, the wall being thrown up to block his thoughts. He'd mastered that fairly early. But I'd learned he was a survivalist first and a family man second. His scars were a testimony to that. He still made everyone else wary, but I wasn't the least bit afraid of him. I'd asked him to kill me once, when I was extremely depressed, and he'd said no. If he had been truly evil he'd have taken up the offer.

"Hello, Edward," he said in a calm down, as he sat down beside me. I glanced over, catching him sitting Indian Style. His blue striped dress shirt and worn jeans fit him perfectly and his black-and-white checkered vans gave him a boyish appearance. If I didn't know he loved Alice with all his heart I'd call him cute. I didn't want to risk it; even the thought was dangerous.

I just grunted in response finally and tilted my head back, staring at the sky, at the whitish-gray, puffy clouds that blocked the sun and the slivers of pale blue between them.

"Esme wanted me to check on you. She said you haven't hunted in two weeks," he said quickly, quietly while looking away. It was like he was ashamed of me. I didn't blame him. I was looking more and more like a zombie rather than a vampire nowadays, a very skinny, very unhealthy-looking zombie. Turns out our bodies could change.

"I'm trying to starve myself," I responded dryly. "Isn't that obvious?"

"Edward, they're all worried about you. Alice, Emmet, Esme," he said, glancing down at me. I noticed he didn't say Carlisle, Rosalie, or himself.

I whimpered, very softly.

"Edward? What was that?" Jasper asked, eyes narrowing.

"That was me being a wimp. Just go away, Jasper."

He huffed, standing up. "Fine, be like that. I'm just trying to help."

"You're not helping anyone!" I snarled, finally sitting up. I was tired of them pretending they cared. "You're doing this because Alice, Esme, and Emmett just don't like feeling pity, it makes them upset."

Jasper clenched his fists. "I feel what you do Edward. Do you think your constant depression is easy on me?"

"Then ask me to leave," I whispered. "Tell me to. Tell me to go."

Jasper shook his head. "They all do care for you."

"Carlisle doesn't," I muttered.

He blinked, rapidly. "What are you talking about? Carlisle cares for everyone. He's a doctor, he fixes people, makes them healthy. He let Alice and I join him, even though I'm more of a monster than any of you."

"That's not true," I said, standing up as well.

Jasper's eyes narrowed again. "What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, in Carlisle's mind you're not a monster. I'm the monster."

"Why would he think that?" he asked me, warily.

"Because I won't repent," I hissed, eyeing him up and down. "You're trying to be a vegetarian, go against what you've been told all these years. That's repentance in his eyes. I never repented."

"But you don't kill people anymore either," he said, looking extremely confused now, blond eyebrows drawn together.

Why does he have to be a blond?

I shook off the thought, thinking of an answer. I decided just to be cryptic. "My sin isn't murder." I leapt off the roof, landing on the balls of my feet on the rolling, mossy grass. Forks, Washington was beautiful. But it wasn't any different from anywhere else.

"Just go hunting before the next school year starts!" Jasper yelled after me.

"Whatever," I muttered, walking off with my hands in my pockets. We went to Forks High School, all of us—except Carlisle and Esme, who took the parent roles, since they were eldest. I didn't see why we had to. Why pretend to be human if you're not? Why not push the boundaries? Walk across the bottom of the ocean, climb Mount Everest? We could do anything, but we decided to play house. Maybe it was for the best, so at least we were still amazed when we did things that were spectacular. I just don't know. I wish I just had more of a purpose. I wish I could not only come out to all the vampires living here, but also to humanity. Just show them what we were, make them accept us so we wouldn't have to hide or live in fear anymore.

I knew both of them were never going to happen, though.

I was sitting in Biology Class, maybe pretending to be a sophomore or a junior. I couldn't remember which, I didn't even care anymore. Everyone around me looked the same as they had decades before, when I'd come to this school—there were just slight differences, even if they were the descendants of the same people. The class room also looked exactly the same, just more worn. The only noticeable differences were a slightly overweight Asian decent girl sitting the back row—from what I gathered her name was Akemi Ito—and there was a new chart, one randomly placed that was about Nuclear Reactors. It was just the same boring stuff, honestly.

I took a breath in, as the teacher called role. I almost choked on the sudden venom in my mouth. I swallowed and glanced around; trying to figure out which person this new smell was coming from, the smell of blood and very delicious-scented blood at that. I saw a mousy girl, rather boring too, with a heart-shaped face, wide brown eyes, and long and wavy, darker brown hair. She was almost as pale as a vampire, too.

I hissed, too high for humans to here, and clenched my fists. She came and sat down right beside me, I noticed. Why did she have to end up my partner?

Right, because no one ever sits by me if they have to. I don't understand why we tried to keep things secret—after all, everyone noticed we were freaks. I guess we pretended under the pretence that there were plenty of freaks in high school and college.

I just decided to try not to breathe and pretend everything was okay. I tried to make my chest rise and fall without breathing but it didn't seem to be working. I mentally cussed, while glancing over at the girl who managed to almost make me attack her from my bloodlust alone.

I should've drained another deer like Emmett suggested.

I kept glancing over at the girl, who blushed once she noticed me. She swept her hair out of her face and smiled at me. "I'm Bella Swan."

I just nodded, trying to keep my venom in my mouth. My hands were clutching at the fabric of my blue jeans, knuckles turning white.

Why'd you have to sweep your hair? Now I have a full view of your neck, girlie.

"Who are you?" she asked me, whispering. "I didn't have time to hear your name called," she said.

I just shook my head and stood up.

"Are you okay?" she asked behind me. I glanced back to see her looking worried but I shook it off. I stalked over to the desk and talked to the teacher—Mr. Banner is I remembered correctly, which I probably didn't—whispering and telling him I felt bad, that I had a stomach ache.

He just nodded and waved me off. "Go see the nurse, son."

That's probably the first anorexic boy I've ever had in my class. Brittney, from last year, she was the same—always pale, sickly-looking, and stick-thin. What a poor guy. Probably should send him to the guidance councilor and see if she can figure out what's wrong with him.

I heard his thoughts and a muscle in my jaw twitched. "Thanks," I mumbled, before walking off and quickly going out the door. I looked both ways once I was surely out of sight of anyone in my class before bolting, running at pure vampire speed.

I was in the silver Volvo I'd treated myself to in seconds. I was shaking and panting, horrified.

How am I going to be able to not attack her? Or better yet, how am I not going to use her?

Now I understood why they were all so worried about me drinking blood before the start of the school year. Alice must have had a vision about this. That's probably why she kept shooting me cheeky grins, too. She'd figured I'd liked this girl for some reason. Maybe that's why Carlisle had been a little nicer to me recently, even if his thoughts had been jumbled and broken-sounding.

I didn't like Bella Swan, though. But I'd just hatched a plan to get back at Carlisle. I'd be this Bella Swan's boyfriend from heck, show her what I was, almost kill her again and again (pretending to lose control, of course, I did have quite a bit of control), and more. I'd make Carlisle wish he'd never let me mix with humanity. I'd do something. I'd pretend to love her, so I could break Carlisle's heart. He was still attached to me, right?

I mean, with how good she smelled and the fact I couldn't read her mind she'd be the perfect candidate for the plan I'd hatched in those few minutes in class—those ones I hid in the back corner of my mind, the ones I could hide from Alice somehow so she couldn't have a true vision about me.

I blinked, shocked. I'd just realized I hadn't been able to read Bella Swan's thoughts. I'd been too caught up in everything else to truly notice and just now was it hitting me straight on.

How very interesting.

I waited a few hours, sitting in my Volvo, until school let out. Emmett came up to my car and tapped on the passenger window.

I rolled down the window. "Yes, what is it?" I asked, trying to sound ticked off.

"I heard someone's going to have a girlfriend—finally—from a certain someone," Emmett said, grinning at me like a Cheshire cat.

"And who is that, this girlfriend?"

"Bella Swan of course. Alice was so excited when she had a vision of you two together. You have no idea how hard it was to keep you out of all our minds. Jasper showed us how."

And Carlisle told Jasper how, to make sure he'd stay. After all, he'd been scared of me, scared of my gift, ever since Rosalie told him about my like scars. It was ironic that I'd been more scared of him.

I just nodded, not saying anything. How could Emmett—well, all of them really—be so gullible?

Because, Edward, you're the ultimate pretender.

I shook off that thought and gave Emmett a meek smile. "She's pretty isn't she? Isabella?"

His face lit up and he started babbling, telling me lots I didn't care about. I just nodded at the right times.

I'm sorry, Darlene, wherever you are. I need this.

I don't know why whenever I did something I knew was wrong I mentally said sorry to Darlene. It just felt right. After all, she was still the only person who knew me—and hadn't hated me.

And I'm sorry, Bella, you're just the perfect pawn is all.

I didn't send that mental message out, either.


A/N: R/R anyone?