This is my first fanfiction. Let me know what you all think. I apologise in advance becaus the first 3-4 chapters will be set up chapters with limited dialogue so they will be long and take time to read. pls stick with it and enjoy. it will speed up after ch.2 i hope.
I want to of course thank project team beta for their time and all their help. I seem to be completely illiterate when it comes to punctuation. I took this chapter down and had it beta checked and improved which I hope to do with all my chapters shortly. Thank you so much PTB and especially the beta for this first chapter: anythingzombie – mod edit.
The drizzle continued to fall, splashing like a drum beat off my little Chevy's windscreen as I sat watching the multitudes of new college students swarm around the car park and wash over my sanctuary.
That's how I thought of Washington state university now. It had been my home for two years. It had become my refuge, my place of safety. I had lived all over Europe: Ireland, France, but mainly Britain and Russia in the last eight years. Since Edward left, so much had changed. I ran. I ran from my life, from my pain, from my friends, from my family and from my home. From everything and everyone who could be put at risk simply because of my presence. "Danger magnet," that's what I was. I giggled in a choked sort of way as I remembered that phrase. How he always saw me as some delicate flower, to be protected by him, my guardian angel. What a crock of crap that turned out to be.
My lips turned down as the familiar hole in my chest rippled under its many layers of camouflage. As I said, a lot has changed: I learned to cover up that pain, to forget it, to hide it...to ignore it so it was like it didn't exist...nearly.
I sighed loudly and gathered my briefcase and started to climb out of my car, it was time to start work and to ignore the memories of him, of my brothers, my sisters and Esme and Carlisle. Their names I could think; they were like parents, always a comforting memory...
With ruthless efficiency, I buried those thoughts, climbed out of my red and black Chevy and squared my shoulders.
When he left and everything changed, when I had to run to survive, had to hide to protect my family, I buried myself in education. It'surprising how education, reading books, critiquing them and sitting exams, can help you cope with thoughts of homicidal vampires tracking you; how "distracting" education can be. I suppose that's why the Cullen's kept repeating school and college...
I winced at the thought and, for the third time this morning ,cut them from my mind.
When my new protectors hid me, when I ran to the places I had dreamt of travelling to with him, I studied, I attended universities, wrote papers. After Laurent found me in the woods, and the truth of the protectors around me was revealed, I first ran to Florida where I completed my undergraduate degree in English literature. There the sun offered safety, where my protectors could catch a break. My masters in communications and written language was done on the hoof between France, Russia and Ireland. A different university and identity every few months made it difficult... that and the closeness of those who hunted me which required the movement obviously. When most of the threats passed, England offered relative peace; it was there I finished my doctorate. It was there that I rediscovered pain, where I and my protectors paid the price for my infatuation with a vampire.
But it was also England that gave me the inspiration along with Clara to write my dissertation, an analysis of Romeo and Juliet's communications with a strictly feminist interpretation. The paper made me something of an academic celebrity. No one else, it seemed, had ever dared to so blatantly tear apart the iconic lovers of romantic literature. But being hunted by vampires and being a broken shell of a person had given me a unique outlook. I saw the classics with colder eyes, no longer impressed by age and unafraid after the troubles of my life, to say so.
It was this outlook that got me my job back here in Washington University. I taught a range of courses, gender studies, modern poetry interpretation, and communication studies. Mainly theoretical classes for PhD students or basic introductory 101 classes. I enjoy it; it's a life, it's a distraction.
Being in Washington means I can visit Charlie and the wolves after my long absence, something my poor, long suffering father and friends deserved after my near six years on the run. Yet I'm still far enough away that if any danger comes creeping out of the woodwork he's far enough away to hopefully be safe.
The courtyard of the university is thrumming with new students laughing and joking. Pathetic humans. I can see now why vampires think so little of us; we are just so ignorant of reality, our concerns so pathetic. No one here truly knows pain or suffering.
"Good morning, professor Black-Swan" Anita, the receptionist at the entrance to the humanities building, waved as she buzzed me in.
"Hi comes my blunt reply as I try to smile back but my melancholy mood, my sad memories and the fact the rain has made me look like a drowned cat in my black pencil suit has made my mood sour at best.
"Your new schedule is on your desk and I e-mailed all the TA students, so they should be at your introductory classes. Mr. Wood from the English department wanted to speak to you about your new Shakespeare course, something to do with 'not being too hard on the classics.' You know he just doesn't want the bad publicity. Also he wants to discuss the gender and communications discourse curriculum so if you could e-mail them ASAP that would be great."
Anita smiled hesitantly as she dragged in a deep breath after her speech. The two professors must have been hounding her about this. The douche bags were always lazy and last minute with their classes and it annoyed me. I like Anita, though, she tried and was polite. She minded her own business too.
"Sure, sure, Anita, I'll e-mail them. You know Woody, he's just blinded by age. If Shakespeare was modern, his books would be in a 99cent bin. And as for Keane, well, he's still pissed I turned him down for the end of year dance in may." I smiled, feeling more human already. These little interactions always made me feel 'normal'.
I heard Anita laugh and call a "thank you" as I marched down to my excuse of an office. The timetables and notes were on my desk as Anita had said. The old building of the humanities department reminded me of a maze in a bad horror movie: it was all key code doors, dim lights and bland mirror image corridors of pale yellowing paint.
The class schedule was nothing of interest, with the new year starting I had five 101 classes to teach in English, feminism and communication. All broad topic classes to give mindless unsure freshers an idea of what college could offer. I would go to the class, give my usual no nonsense welcome to my class, be prepared to work, these are your TA's so don't bother me, talks. I smiled faintly at thinking of scaring the new students. The years had hardened me and it showed. I was no longer above taking a little cruel pleasure in scaring my new students into working had. I didn't get the reputation as a cold hearted aloof professor just by wearing black suits and a sharp tongue.
I never interacted with colleagues outside of the university. I worked hard, published numerous critiques on my subjects and readings and had bounced more lazy students from my class than any other professor. If a student worked, they did well, if not I had no time to deal with them trying to "find themselves," switching classes every two minutes while drinking and partying on daddy's dime.
I sighed heavily and lifted my bag. I had to get to lecture theatre 301. I had two hundred students to introduce to modern critiques of Shakespeare English class and assign to their new TA's.
I weaved my way through the narrow corridors of the humanities buildings that acted as a labyrinth. A person in the know could move right across campus to the newest buildings without once going outside; if they knew where to go in the basement levels.
I climbed the stairs quickly, my heals clicking as I marched across the foyer of the new lecture theatres building to room 301. New students like sheep bleated and followed one another into the room. I entered with haste, keeping my eyes fixed to the front of the room.
I made it to the front of the room to find my four TA students waiting as Anita had said. I smiled at them and at Anita's organisation.
"Good morning, here are the class lists, the seminar plans, the test objectives and my contact details. I will do a quick introduction, you can then call out the lists of who is in each class group and then this lot can skedaddle back to bed and you can get off to work on your PhDs." I smiled warmly at the four students before me. I had known them all for two years, they were the best of my students and knew that I worked like this. No nonsense, no pleasantries: professionalism all the way.
I walked to the microphone and cleared my throat as I called for silence and my eyes wandered the class.
"Ok ladies and gentlemen, silence please, this is..."
I began telling the room the name of the course, gave those in the wrong room a chance to escape and was about to state my name when my eyes landed on a pair of golden orbs, wide with shock.
"My name is Pro...pro..."
Oh my God! It was him. It was the damn marble Adonis God of my dreams.
The hole in my centre ripped wide open, my careful disguise fell apart as I felt my mouth gape open and my voice dry up. It was him. Oh god! how flawed my memory was, among all these bland students: he sat! He sat, cutting a figure of pure masculine beauty that the gods of Greek myth would have called a sin. His eyes wide in shocked awe, locked on me. They swept up and down me.
Why was he shocked, surely Alice...
"No!" I scolded myself. He doesn't care, they don't care. Of course they wouldn't have given you a thought, never mind a vision. He was surprised: because like him, I was no longer meant to exist.
He shut his mouth and his face became stoic as emotions I would easily mistake for pain, longing, anger and sorrow washed over his face, before it became blank. Of course he was angry; the distraction was back. He was sorry he would have to see me. The human that was 'no good' for him.
My TA's were whispering to my left as I struggled to not swallow my tongue and beat back tears. He didn't want me.
I whirled around to the white board and lifted a pen. Feeling more composed with my eyes fixed only on the white of the board even as I felt the amber eyes burn into my back.
I coughed, "excuse me." I smiled painfully as I sounded almost normal. "My name is Professor Black-Swan and I will be your course co-ordinator...
I wrote my name and began explaining the class, how I was a feminist, how I used this view to examine the flaws of Shakespeare's work, how I would expect them to use their views to independently find flaws of their own in Shakespeare and to analyse it but also to use scholars critiques to back up their views or to at least show how very different their view was.
I rambled with my back to the class, even as I heard them and my TA'S whispering. My face heated to a faint blush for the first time in maybe five years. I had to escape; I had to get away from here.
"Now my TA's will introduce themselves and split you into your classes. I will teach two lectures a week with all of you here, you will also have one seminar in smaller groups of twenty or less once a week with a TA and I will take each TA's seminar class at least once to check in on your progress in a more personal manner."
'Personal manner'...my mind screamed, oh crap...damn my off the wall teaching style, I was going to have to see him at least twice a week and then in a small group, in a small room at least once. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit!
Escape! Is all my brain could scream.
I whirled around still trying to stem the salty water building up in my eyes, "If you will excuse me then I have some appointments I need to take care of."
As I took my first step toward the door, he stood! What the hell was he thinking...I didn't need another talk...there were no damn woods here! I had to escape. I summoned every ounce of strength I had fought for in eight years and turned my gaze to him. I fixed him with the hardest look I could and growled out in my sternest steeliest voice, "All students will remain here until their TA has assigned them to their class. No distractions allowed." In the brief glance of him I got before I nearly ran out the door I could swear it looked like he had been punched.
Glad I had outgrown my clumsiness I ran back to my office. I ignored all the stares, ignored Prof. Wood calling after me, I ignored Anita's concerned look as I stormed back to my office telling her I would be expecting a visitor shortly and she should let her through.
I slammed my office door and collapsed on the floor letting the tears come unabated. The hole tore and writhed as I cried out the sorrow, loss, pain and heartbreak which I had hidden for eight years. Between the tears and quelled screams, I pulled out my phone hitting speed dial one.
Before a word could be spoken when the phone answered I gasped out,
"Clara, I need you, the...C- C-Cullens... they're here. Plea-se Clara I need you –gasp- please!"
There was a soft grunt and the sound of something metal hitting the floor before a familiar rough gravelly voice came down the line, "I'll be there in a minute Izzy hold tight petal."
I gave in then. I dropped the phone and curled up on my floor in the foetal position. I mirrored the very eighteen year old girl I had come to despise in the past 8 years. I cried and heard and felt nothing but the loss of my one time love. So much for feminism.