A/N I have to thank Heather for encouraging me to post this and, besides being a beta, being an all around supporter. She's pretty special. I'd also like to thank Mac who freely gave me her time and advice and Erin, who sealed the deal for me.
Vampires have come to Forks, and only one person can possibly stop them. That would be me. I am Eric Yorkie, the Van Helsing of Forks. The True Adventures of a Vampire Hunter.
Vampires, by their nature, are creatures of night. They shy away from attention, trying to exist in the shadows of society. So, just like with serial killers, don't look for the loud, aggressive bully. It's the quiet ones, the ones everybody always describes as 'nice' and 'kept to themselves' that are the dangerous ones. – From The Diary of a Vampire Hunter by Eric Yorkie
The red lights of the ambulance pull away while the rest of the student body mills around like sheep. Bella Swan is in that ambulance, along with Tyler Crowley and Edward freaking Cullen, or should I say freaky Edward Cullen?
It had to be him that saved her, of course. Mr. Sears Catalog model. He's good looking enough to be one, all gelled hair and cheekbones that small dogs could sleep on. He's certainly as stiff as one. He'll sit in class for a whole freaking period and not move or cough or pick his nose once. I've watched him in Biology. I've seen corpses more animated than him. And I'm not just making that up. My dad runs Yorkie Funeral Home. I've seen plenty of stiffs. Just not that many that walk around Forks High School.
Angela Weber comes up to me. She's in her Clark Kent mode, all thick glasses and hair pulled up. I've seen her, though, in gym class when she's in those shorts, and she has a bod made for love. She wants me, she wants me bad. But I've been playing it cool, hard to get. A man has to keep his options open, so I act like it's no big deal when she comes up to me. She's got that yellow sweater on that shows off her boobs real well, and between that and the thoughts about the shorts, I have an instant woodie, so I put my hands in my pockets for camouflage and let the camera swing on its strap around my neck.
"You should take some pictures of the parking lot. You know, for evidence," she says.
"Well, yeah, I was doing that." Actually, I wasn't, but it's a good idea. I'd just been taking pictures of Tyler's van where it was smashed in, thinking I could use it in part of the storyboard I am making up. I'm designing a video game, and it's going to be so rad. I have a lot of the character studies completed and the storyboard is almost done. It's based on that Van Helsing movie with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Except there's a lot of girls running around in leather corsets, not just one, and the vampire girls all run around nude, like the succubi in that vampire movie with Keanu Reeves.
"Alright, people," Mr. Pederson calls to the kids clumped into their cliques. "Everybody back to class. The excitement's over." There's a bunch of collective groaning and grumbling, but gradually most of the kids drift back up the stairs to the school building. "That means you too, Mr. Yorkie."
I grab the camera hanging around my neck and start pointing it. "Getting some pictures for the school paper," I tell him. It's for just this reason I joined the school paper. It's like a free pass to wander around the halls when you're supposed to be in class.
"Make sure it's for an article on safe driving habits," Mr. Pederson instructs, before turning away.
"You bet," I say while mentally rolling my eyes. He is such a tool. I walk around the parking lot, clicking the shutter, getting a few shots of the ice patches and puddles. The gasoline makes interesting swirls on the water. I sneak in a few more shots of the van before the tow truck takes it away.
I go back to the computer lab, load the pictures and start flipping through them. I have a couple that I took right before the accident, when I was getting shots of the school sign for the yearbook. There's a really cool sequence I got of Tyler's van rounding the corner coming in off the street. You can see, in the corner of the next shot, Bella standing by her truck, totally oblivious to the impending doom that is skidding towards her.
The next one would be a really good one if it wasn't all blurry. Edward Cullen is like this streak at the back of her truck. I take another look and realize he's the only thing that's blurry. I check the setting on my camera−yeah, it was at 1/500. You can take sports photos at that setting, so how the hell did he get so blurry?
I take a look back at the earlier photos and realize Edward isn't there with Bella like he claimed. It isn't until I go back to my school sign shot that I see he is standing on the other side of the parking lot. It's nearly impossible for him to make that distance so quickly.
Unbelieving, I flip back through the pictures. Yeah, there's no mistake. In the approximate two seconds it takes Tyler's van to come skidding around the corner, Cullen has moved fifty yards. That's fast. That's really fast. Like why isn't he on the track and field team?
In fact, I want to ask him that when I see him in the hall when he finally shows up back in school. I want to interview him as a hero for the school paper but he turns me down.
"Come on," I say, trying to persuade him. "People want to know. You're a hero."
"No. No, I'm not, and no, I won't be interviewed for the paper." He's glaring at me, all dark and brooding, like some old-time troubled movie star. I can't see the appeal, but the girls at school are all gaga over him. I can see Jessica and Lauren over at their lockers looking at me and him. They're practically salivating. Boy, if he'd just show a little interest in the ladies, he'd be swamped with more pussy than he could handle. I'd be his best friend just for his cast-offs.
"Eddie, it's all good. It's just a couple questions…" I trail off because he's staring at me like he wants to bite my head off. Okay, maybe he doesn't like Eddie.
"Leave it, Yorkie," he hisses at me and turns away.
Well, that's pretty fucked up. The article would be much better if I could get some quotes, but I'll write it without him if I have to.
"I wish you wouldn't write it at all," he says over his shoulder before striding down the hall. I hadn't even said anything.
George Yee, the assistant editor of the school paper, comes up beside me with his hands on his hips. "Guess he shut you down, eh, Dorkie?" I hate that nickname.
"Shut up, Yee," I snap at him, watching Edward's back.
But I'm a journalist, and sometimes you have to be persistent, so two days go by before I see my next opportunity. I sidle up to Cullen while he's at his locker. He's got it open, and with all the noise in the hall, I don't even know how he knows it's me, but from behind the open door of the locker, I hear his voice. "What is it now, Yorkie?"
He closes the locker, and I'm staring at him. I'd never spent a lot of time with Edward Cullen; he's entirely too 'I'm such a golden boy' to be anyone's friend, and his nickname when he's not listening is 'Sullen Cullen'. But as he stares at me, I realize his eyes are yellow. Deep yellow, like a cat or a wild animal. You don't see that in humans. "Listen," I say, "I can appreciate that you don't want a fuss made but−"
His expression suddenly changes, going from his habitual scowl to smiling friendliness. It surprises me so much, I forget what I'm going to say. His smile is, well, hypnotic. Time slows down and I feel like a rabbit mesmerized by the unblinking stare of a hawk; I can't even move, unless he tells me to. "Eric," he says, putting a hand on my shoulder, "you don't want to write about me."
Now I'm confused, because I remember very much wanting to write about him. But as he says it, it's like it just now occurs to me. "I don't?" I ask, confused.
"No, you don't," he says, staring into my eyes.
"I don't," I say. I can't believe I am agreeing with him, but somehow when he says it like that, it makes perfect sense. Of course, I don't.
"You'll write an article on safe driving." Inexplicably, I am nodding with him, watching his yellow eyes because they're all I can see. The school corridor has dropped away; nothing exists but Edward Cullen's eyes and his mesmerizing voice telling me what I need to do.
"Safe driving. That's a great idea," I say, nodding my head, while inside me a little voice is yelling, What the fuck?
"You're going to forget I−" He's interrupted because Mike Newton and Ben Cheney are horsing around in the hall, and they slam into him and nearly knock me off my feet, but Edward doesn't move at all. Mike literally bounces off Edward, ricochets into me, throwing me back against the lockers, and falls at my feet.
I'm shaking my head, feeling like I just came up from underwater, and Edward glares at Ben, who is standing in the middle of the hall, his books at his feet. People are veering to go around him.
"Watch where you're going," the effervescent Mr. Cullen snarls.
His sister, Alice (and she's another weird one), comes up and puts a hand on his arm. "Come on, Edward, leave them be." They walk away and I can hear her when she tells him, "It wasn't going to work, anyway."
What wasn't going to work? What just happened? Why am I feeling this sudden urge to write about safe driving?
As Edward walks down the hall, Ben wiggles his fingers behind his back, like 'Ooo, so scary', while Mike gets to his feet. The mocking makes Mike laugh, and he punches Ben's shoulder. They're just about ready to start again when I hiss at them to cut it out. They then start in on me, but I shake them off, and after telling them what douche bags they are, we make plans to hit the new Russell Crowe movie this evening. I head out to Algebra, still trying to figure out what just happened with Cullen.
In Advanced Algebra, I sit behind Bella Swan. She looks relatively unscathed from the accident, and is shaking off anybody who tries to talk to her about it. I don't know whether I believe her when she says she's from Phoenix. People there are supposed to be tan, right? She is almost as pale as the Cullens, and although Forks is the rainiest place in the US, she makes the rest of us look like Miami beach bunnies. But still she is nice enough, if a little shy. Mike's already been salivating over her, but he salivates over anybody with a cup size bigger than double A. That boy has a porn collection that would put Hugh Hefner to shame.
If I can't get Cullen to talk to me, maybe I can use Bella's point of view for my article. "Hey, Bella," I say, tapping her on the back as the other students are finding seats.
She looks at me over her shoulder. "What?"
"I want to write an article about the Tyler's van thing out in the parking lot."
"Why're you talking to me? I was just standing there."
I shrug. "I wanted to interview Edward, but he ain't talking."
She turns back to the front of the room. "Well, you're not the only one he's not talking to."
"So, I can interview you?"
She shakes her head. "No, really, Eric. I don't want to be in the paper."
"Geez, Bella." This does not bode well for my journalism career. "Don't you want people to know how he saved you?"
She looks back at me, and her expression is some mix of sad and mad. "I don't think he meant to save me."
"What do you mean? He flew across that parking lot like Jesse Owens."
Her eyes suddenly become guarded. "I don't know what you're talking about." Color starts to rise in her cheeks. It's like watching one of those stop-action sequences where a flower goes from bud to bloom in ten seconds.
"Oh, come on. You must have seen−"
"Leave it, Eric," she hisses and pointedly turns away. Why is everybody telling me this?
Mr. Varner calls the class to order, and Bella studiously avoids talking to me the rest of the class. She even bolts from the room afterwards so I don't have a chance to talk to her. I wind up interviewing Tyler Crowley for the newspaper article, but all he wants to talk about is how it wasn't his fault and how we never get ice in Forks, yada yada. Mr. Agney, the newspaper faculty advisor, makes me put in a bunch of stuff in there on how to drive on ice and snow, so it does, in fact, turn into an article on how to drive safely.
But my suspicions have been roused now. Edward Cullen doesn't want to talk about miraculous feats of derring-do. Nobody is that self-effacing, are they? Really, what's his deal? And why is Bella Swan covering for him?
Over the next few weeks, I take to watching Edward closely. But he's careful, he's very careful. He has taken to totally ignoring Bella in Biology, but sitting behind them, it's so obvious that they're painfully aware of the other's presence. They studiously avoid looking at or touching each other. You might think they hate each other, except for the fact that they watch each other intensely when they think the other person isn't looking. I wonder if there might not be some kind of a secret relationship there.
The spring dance is coming; it's a Sadie Hawkins type where it's ladies choice. Tyler and Mike are making bets as to who Bella will ask, but I think they're both full of shit. We finally agree to chip in ten bucks apiece, with Bella's date taking the money. I'm pretty sure Bella's not the dancing type, but I would love to show up Mike and Tyler, so I agree to the pot. Secretly, I'm thinking there's no rule against asking Bella to ask me, but apparently, I'm not the only one this particular loophole has occurred to, as I hear Mike talking to Bella about the dance. I pounce on him later.
"That goes against our bet, you know," I complain, sitting down next to him on the picnic table in the school courtyard.
"Fuck, Yorkie. What are you talking about?" he says, brushing me off.
"Asking Bella to ask you," I answer. "Telling her you'd cancel Jess to go with her. Not fair."
"Well, she blew me off," Mike says, looking around at the other kids. Probably looking for Jessica. "That's women for ya. They stick together, well, like…stickers."
"Did she say why?"
"Some BS about going to Seattle. I hope she's not taking that truck. It'd probably shake itself to pieces on the highway." The period bell rings and he jumps off the bench.
"Yeah, well, it's a step up from having to drive your mother's minivan," I call to his back.
He flips me the bird as he heads back indoors. Snickering, I head off to my locker.
My next class is gym. As luck would have it, it's volleyball. I hate gym. The teacher, Mr. Clapp, is like some mutant reject from the NFL, all muscle, no brains. He wears the whistle around his neck like it's a Medal of Honor. Really, I've seen him in town on Saturdays, and he is still wearing the same damn whistle. I want to yell at him, 'Hey doucheface! It's Saturday. There're no kids to torture. Get rid of the damn whistle'.
The only thing he cares about is the Forks football team. One day last fall I was headed to the nurse's office because of another bloody nose. As I rounded the corner quickly, Mr. Clapp was on his knees begging Emmett Cullen to join the football team. For a moment there, I thought he was going to blow Emmett, but he got up, all embarrassed-like, as I passed them, muttering about the greater good. Emmett just smiled at me and shrugged as if to say, 'Whaddya gonna do?'
I don't know why Emmett doesn't join the football team. He's built like a professional wrestler. Usually guys with hardbodies like that can't wait to show them off. Not Emmett. But then, of course, he doesn't have to. He's hooked up with the freshest piece of meat to hit high school since Cindy Crawford started modeling: Rosalie Hale.
Rosalie is so fine, it should be criminal. You can hear the IQ dropping of the guys she passes in the halls as they sprout woodies. Really, it's like a military salute; Rosalie walks by, high school boys' dicks stand up in honor. She has this pink shirt she wears sometimes; it's kind of low-cut and you can just catch a glimpse of the paradise of those tits. Makes me wanna holler, um hmm.
All of the Cullens and the Hales live together with their foster parents, a situation weird enough that even usually clueless people of Forks comment on it. There's a big debate as to whether these so-called foster kids are boinking each other at home, right under the noses of Dr. and Mrs. Cullen. My thought is Fuck Yeah! If Emmett isn't tapping that, then I'm turning in my Man Card because that would be too fucking shameful.
And a terrible waste of natural resources.
Back at gym and I'm standing next to another member of the freak squad, Jasper Hale. If Edward is all dark and brooding, Jasper is all light and deadly. He reminds me of an albino rattlesnake. He is all tightly coiled, and when you're next to him, you get the feeling like he's barely holding on, like if you made the wrong move, he would just turn around and Snap! You'd be dead. Tyler hates him because of some unknown slight that happened last year. Tyler says Jasper looks like he's always holding back some massive bowel movement, like he's trying really hard to keep all his shit inside.
Anyway, a bunch of us are duffing the volleyball around, back and forth across the net, waiting for class to start. Jasper is standing next to me, and I swear every fucking shot the guy hits is like perfectly controlled. I can see him planning the shots when the ball gets over to him, and he's even planning the fucking mistakes, like sending the ball four inches to the left of center so Trevor has to move a step before taking the set up. It's like he has to try not to be perfect.
But it's what happens next that gets me. The ball goes sailing towards Jasper just as I hear his phone beep. Now, you're not supposed to carry cell phones in gym that's one of Mr. Clapp's big rules but Jasper whips it out to check the screen. The ball comes screaming at him, he just puts a hand out, and without even looking, hits it sailing across the net to hit the floor just on the inside corner. I mean, this guy should be in the goddamn Olympics because that is just crazy.
Mr. Clapp catches a glimpse of Jasper, cell phone in hand, and of course, blows that mighty whistle. "Hale! Get over here!" he yells from the sidelines.
Jasper sticks his phone in his pocket and trots over to where Mr. Clapp is turning a bright red, meaning he's all steamed up over one of his precious rules being violated. I'm sure Hale is going to get it good and will probably spend the rest of the class doing laps. I watch as Clapp demands the phone, and Jasper reaches in his pocket to get it. I turn my head away just in time as Jasper looks around, so he doesn't catch me watching. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Jasper bringing his cell phone out of his pocket and placing it in Clapp's outstretched hand. But he doesn't let go if it; instead he starts looking intently into the gym teacher's eyes and murmuring something. Clapp goes from all tensed up to relaxed in like zero seconds. He drops his hand and leans a shoulder against the gym wall, all informal and friendly-like. Jasper says something, and the gym teacher throws back his head and laughs, just like a real person. The only laugh I've ever heard from Clapp was a sadistic chuckle, so this is like magic.
Magic. There is something going on that is distinctly unnatural, and I'm talking more than just some foster kids boffing each other. I'm beginning to think it's more than just Edward Cullen. It's the whole goddamn family.
Mike has struck out with Bella, so it's my turn to try. I wait for her by her truck when school lets out. She shuts me down quicker than a geek with a computer virus, so I head back to the school. I catch Tyler's eye across the parking lot, and he raises his eyebrows at me. I shake my head, making a face. Nope, another strike out.
I get home from school, and my mother is in the kitchen. She's from Japan, very old country, if you know what I mean. She gives me milk and cookies, for chrissakes, because she has some outdated notion that it's what American mothers do. I'd much rather have Doritos and a Dr. Pepper, but, noooo, we do it old school. So after a snack, I head upstairs to my room. I better get started on that history project. We're studying the Middle Ages. Inquisition. Black Plague. Hundred Years War. Good times, people, good times.
I open the door to my room, and my heart drops into my shoes. My younger brother, Danny, is sitting on the floor with all my drawing pads and the game designs I've been working on for weeks scattered around him. It's all the stuff I've been working on for the video game about Van Helsing that's been occupying every moment of my spare time. I feel sick when I see the magic marker lines all over my character drawings.
"Danny! Goddamn it!" I throw my knapsack on the bed and snatch the marker out of his hand. He looks at me like a wounded puppy. Danny is only five years younger than me, but right now it seems like a lot more than that. He's got Down Syndrome, so he attends a special school in Bogachiel. "Mom!" I yell. "Danny's in my room!"
"Oh, Jesus," I murmur as I pull all the scattered pictures together. Danny'd gotten into my whole portfolio of stuff and it's everywhere. "Damn it, Danny! How many times do I have to tell you! Leave my stuff alone!"
Danny's bottom lip starts to stick out, and he looks like he's going to cry, but I don't fucking care. I worked weeks on some of this stuff. Picking up more papers, some of them crumpled and torn, I yell again. "MOM!"
She appears around the corner and leads Danny away, who's starting to sniffle and cry. I feel like crying, too. I look at the pictures of the succubi I had drawn. There are big black lines drawn across them. Jesus, I worked on those heaving bosoms for hours.
I pick up the picture of the vampire leader. It's got a big rip in the corner. Well, I hadn't liked this one anyway. I'd made his eyes golden, and it was just not working. He'd looked too human; I mean, a vampire king should be pretty awesome looking, right?
I go to put the picture down, and it's, like, stuck to my hand. Something about it is tickling in my mind, scratching at me. I look at it again. It reminds me of somebody, but I can't say who. I go to put it down again, but once more, my hand stops before completing the action. I'd been thinking of Pierce Brosnan when I'd drawn it, not that it looks like him−I'm not that good−but that kind of dark handsomeness. I stare at those yellow eyes for a moment longer, trying to think what there is about it that seems suddenly familiar.
It's not going to come to me, so with a sigh, I toss it with the rest of the stuff back in my portfolio. I have homework to do.
That night there's a big thunderstorm. I'm lying in bed, having been woken by the thunder, and I watch the intermittent lightning illuminate the room. After an especially loud clap, the door to my room is flung open. I see my brother's silhouette in the doorway.
"Eric? Eric?" It's Danny. "I'm scared. Can I sleep in here with you?"
He has never liked thunderstorms. "Sure," I say resignedly. I slide over and hold the covers up for him as he crawls into the bed next to me.
"Thanks, Eric," he says as he snuggles up. He smells like Ivory Soap.
"Just don't wet the bed," I admonish him.
"I won't. I promise," he tells me.
Two minutes later, he's fast asleep, and I'm lying on the edge of the bed trying not to fall off. I listen as the occasional growl of thunder moves further and further away. Gradually, I relax and am almost asleep, when suddenly I bolt upright. If I were a cartoon, I'd have a light bulb over my head.
The vampire king. Yellow eyes. Edward Cullen.
Edward Cullen is a vampire.
DUN dun dun. More to come soon.
DUN dun dun.
More to come soon.