Disclaimer: All Twilight characters and core personality traits are the property of SM. I own nothing, nor do I plan on profiting from using her work. No copyright infringement is intended.

Ok. For some of you this story is going to be familiar as it was posted a few months back before I pulled it. I was having some serious academic issues and wasn't sure I'd was going to be able to continue writing it. Not wanting to get more people invested in reading a work that wasn't going any where, I pulled the story. So please forgive me, any of you that found it missing, and know that I have resolved my problems and will be seeing this story all the way through in a timely manor. Guaranteed.

The previous chapters were just significantly too long and difficult to read in one sitting so I halved most of them and will begging posting every other day, starting with the first 3 chapters. I think the start of this story lacks some of the maturity I would expect in my writing had I written it today but a lot of people seemed to have been enjoying it so I'm going to look the other way and try to pull it together the best I can. Thanks so much for all the support.

January 20th, 2011- Nise7465 has been kind enough to not only Beta my new chapters but also volunteered to painstakingly read her way through Thicker Than Blood's old chapters and make the needed corrections. This chapter has been beta'ed by her and I will be switching out old unedited chapters as she gets them to me. Hope you all appreciate her work to make this story more enjoyable as much as I do! If you haven't come across her stories yet they are worth seeking out. -JD


Dr. Edward Cullen groaned in frustration as he stepped out his front door and was immediately greeted by comforting warm air. It was only 7am, too early for the sun to have possibly battled its way through the thick Seattle cloud cover, but he'd bet his Mercedes it would be absolutely beautiful by midday.

The thought made his blood boil.

There were two reasons the lovely weather had Edward ready to punch a hole in something, the first being the fact that this rare sunny day would be entirely lost on him. The only rays his skin would be absorbing today would be cast from the harsh florescent bulbs of a depressingly filthy clinic.

Many of Edward's co-workers would insist that this was his own fault, that when you ignore the hospital's required service hours until the administrator finally notices, you end up spending your whole day off working at the most undesirable location as punishment. But Edward didn't buy into that. He'd spent three years starving in college, barely sleeping through med school, and making a bartender's salary paying his dues as a resident, just to finally end up doing what he'd set out to do 10 years and 120 grand in tuition later. As he saw it, he'd already done his part. This was an injustice.

The accompanying reason for his grudge against the sun was due to the individuals who he knew would be taking advantage of the storm cloud's ceasefire. He had learned, from previous involuntary -volunteering at this women's clinic, that bright skies brought out the anti-abortionists by the busloads. They'd have the place surrounded by the time he arrived for his shift.

Edward was an OB/GYN. He'd never preformed any part of an elective abortion in his life, nor did he plan to in any foreseeable future. The women he treated in his usual practice were typically extremely pleased to be expecting mothers and Dr. Cullen happily assisted them in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. He was just volunteering at the inner city free clinic 'out of the goodness of his heart', or for the image of his hospital, depending on whom was asked. The clinic depended on volunteers from sister hospitals and he'd no doubt spend his day prescribing birth control to already sexually active teens and performing physicals on low income women who wouldn't be able to afford to see a doctor any other way.

This fact meant nothing to the activists outside. It didn't matter whether one was there for a completely unrelated treatment. If they were going into the building they were crossing a line, and if they were a doctor going into the building they were the sworn enemy.

Edward hated passing through the rowdy protesters. He swore to his co-workers it would be just his luck that on the day he'd gotten stuck volunteering at a clinic that happens to perform abortions there would be an activist bombing. The possibility made him nervous. Not to mention how much he hated to see them heckle the women that needed to go into the building to receive care. He got it… stand up for what you believe in; but don't force your views on others with scare tactics and accusations. These women didn't need that.

He rounded the front path of his expansive driveway to his garage yielding the pair of keys he seldom utilized. He bypassed his Benz, the Beemer, and the Audi and eased him self into the leather seat of his silver Volvo. Cars were one of Edward's indulgences and even the Volvo, his commuter car, wasn't cheep, but he didn't feel comfortable taking his other babies into the part of the city he was being forced into today. Even if the clinic's staff were offered under ground parking he thought he might want to make a lunch run and had no intentions of going any where on foot with the hawks waiting out side.

His drive into the city was a taxing commute as always. He was young, single, and had more money than he'd ever cared to have so his friends and family frequently chastised him for purchasing a home in a neighboring community and not utilizing the convenience that a large loft in the city would bring him. But Edward loved his home, it was too large for just him but he felt he needed a retreat at the end of the day, even if he had to drive an hour to get to it. Some day, when his hours weren't so demanding, he hoped to get a dog. A canine companion sounded infinitely better then his mother's constant suggestion that he find a wife.

As he approached his destination he eyed the clock on the dashboard hopefully and hissed when he realized there wouldn't be time to stop for a decent cup of coffee. He was sure the slush from the clinic staff room was going to make him need medical assistance…

He scanned his surroundings with distaste. The area wasn't the best, the streets were dirty and the establishments that lined them reeked of poverty. His hospital was in a much more desirable part of the city and he seldom ventured down this way. As he pulled up to a stoplight and got an eye full of grimy looking pedestrians he tried to inconspicuously check to make sure his car doors were locked.

His heart raced lightly as he turned on to his desired block.

The group outside, graphic signs included, was visible from the opposite corner.

As he neared he tried not to look at the impressive crowd, but they were hard to ignore.

It was a Tuesday morning and it aggravated him to no end to see that the people gathered were not working nor searching for employment, they found it more prudent to stand along the side of the road with signs that read 'Honk if you think its wrong to kill babies'. He wondered acidly how many of them were collecting welfare or unemployment.

He pulled up right in front of them, stopped by a long line of cars halted at a red light that were keeping him from reaching the driveway at the end of the block. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, having never been so happy to not be a recognized regular at that clinic. They were so close he felt like a fox that ended up within sniffing distance of the searching hounds. He shifted his gaze out of nervousness, whether he expected one to suddenly run at him, he wasn't sure, but when he looked over he was relieved to see that their attention was directed elsewhere…

Relived until he saw what had been caught in their scorn.

She was beautiful.

More than that, even from a distance, she was absolutely stunning. The young woman was tiny with perfect pale skin and striking, long, red-brown hair. She was wearing the loveliest red coat, despite the warmth of the day, pulled tightly around her little body like it would protect her from harm.

Edward knew she didn't belong here. In fact, for a moment, he thought he had imagined her. A divine little angel in a blood red coat, put there just to brighten his dreadful morning.

Then they descended on her.

It happened fast. While at first he was rendered uncomprehending by her glow, he was suddenly aware of the scene playing out beyond his window. She was alone and visibly uneasy, trying to work her way through the crowd without incident but they were hell-bent on confronting her. Even from the safety of his warm car he could hear their heckling, their taunting.

His mind shifted quickly between self preservation and the sudden impulse to rescue this tiny, defenseless stranger.

Then he saw them touch her. Careful to not outwardly lay a hand on her, a few shouldered and bumped her when she tried to make her way through the mob without heeding their attempts to engage her.

He lost it.

Before he could think better of it, he pulled his car out of the line up and into the tiny space allotted for a bike lane, one front tire rammed over the curb. All eyes turned away from the girl as he threw him self out of the Volvo. His first focus was on a pair of devastatingly lovely brown eyes that grew instantly large with shock and relief.

"Get in the car, sweetheart," he told the stranger softly, trying his best to not frighten her further. To his relief and utter shock her little form, clad in red, brushed past him immediately and retreated into the still-running Volvo.

Once he knew she was safe his anger was over whelming, and the protesters did nothing to improve their situation.

A portly, middle-aged man with a huge 'pro-life' sign eyed the doctor's hospital scrubs in a quick assessment. He looked comical in comparison to Edward regal form. "Well this is new. I didn't know you killers offered a pickup service. Are you going to take her inside or just cut her open in the parking lot?" he chided nervously, drawing strength from the group who murmured in agreement behind him.

Edward walked up to him quickly, stopping only a foot away from his offensive girth. His fists balled at his sides, fighting the desire to swing, he wasn't an impulsive man but a man all the same. Edward was easily a half a foot taller than his sudden rival and radiating hostility out of his every pore. The man recoiled noticeably.

"Listen you useless pieces of trash, I'm already going to call the police the moment I get inside but if any of you so much as thinks about touching any of the women that come through here looking for help between now and when they arrive, I'll personally come out side and snap your mother fucking necks." he seethed with undeniable venom.

The threat that his words could earn him a law suit only registered after the sentence had left his mouth. Thankfully the man immediately backed into the group, mindful of the warning and Edward's impressive build. He pressed on, still angry.

"I hope I've made my self clear. I suggest you get the fuck out of here before the cops come and detain your miserable asses for man-handling a defenseless little girl but if you're too fucking stupid to save your own goddamn necks then stick around. I'd love to see them drag your 'God fearing' asses off for assault."

The group was silent as he turned to leave. He felt uncomfortable bearing his back to them but was sure they were all too big of cowards to pick on anything larger than a 110lb girl.

The girl.

She was sitting in his car.

Edward's heart faltered as he climbed in next to her and slammed his door shut. The traffic was just as bad as it had been when he got stopped in the first place so he pulled into the line of cars and waited for the light.

"Are you ok?" he asked her, trying to calm down. He looked over at her and almost gasped. If he had thought she had been an angel from a distance she was nothing short of a goddess when viewed closely. Her eyes were huge, chocolate brown and impossibly deep as they examined his features tentatively with no small amount of awkwardness.

She looked a little shaken and visibly flushed, whether from being accosted by a group of people who accused her of being a whore and a child killer or from suddenly ending up in a car with someone she could assess as mentally unstable, Edward wasn't sure. The gentle pink of her cheeks was painfully beautiful over her ivory skin. If he hadn't been so worried about her he would have been shocked by his instant attraction to her. He was positive she was the most perfect little female he'd ever seen, like a doll.

She blinked rapidly at him with his now favorite pair of eyes. He gave her a reassuring grin. Her answering smile was breathtaking.

"I'm fine now. You saved me," she beamed with a touch of admiration. He almost laughed because her voice was so sweet, like music, her appeal was almost humorous in its intensity. He needed to hear her speak again.

"I'm sorry you had to go though that. Bunch of useless wastes of air, the whole lot of them," he apologized a little more forcefully than necessary, still appalled by their actions. She smiled kindly.

"I guess they're just fighting for what they believe in," the perfect girl said diplomatically. "I don't think I can really blame them for that," she added in a softer voice, more to her self than Edward.

"I guess not. I've never seen them touch any one before. They're normally just full of unsolicited opinions but that was one of the larger gatherings I've seen and I think they tend to feed off each other. It's not safe."

"Mhmmm… probably not good circumstances to evoke a pack mentality," she mused as the traffic started moving. "I am trying to go into that building though so if you could just drop me off at the entrance that would be more than kind of you."

"I'm going into that building too. Personnel parks inside, for obvious reasons, I'll drop you off at the elevator before I go sign in," he reassured her while pulling into the drive way.

Part of him wanted to know why she was going into a free clinic in an underprivileged part of Seattle. It was daft of him to think that beauty would exempt one from poverty but she was far too precious to not be well cared for. Perhaps she was looking to volunteer…

"Oh, so you're a…"

"Doctor. Yeah. I don't normally work at this clinic though; I'm an obstetrician at much larger hospital downtown. We have certain amount of hours they like us to give back to the community, so they send me here every few months," he offered, hoping his openness would invoke her own. He unexplainably wanted to know more about her but once the words escaped his mouth he realized that he sounded like he was bragging, not to mention more-or-less renouncing the clinic she could very possibly be working at… That would have explained the protestor's aggression.

"Well I'm very glad today was your day," she smiled sheepishly, complementing but giving nothing away. "Thank you again, Dr…"

"Cullen. I'm Edward Cullen. You can call me Edward…" he rambled, feeling like an idiot. Her presence made it difficult for him think and he suddenly wondered if it was even safe for him to be driving while under the influence of the little angel. He thought that if her sweet strawberry scent that filled his car wasn't considered a mind altering substance, it should have been.

"Bella Swan."

Edward smirked. "So are you ready for the line?"

Bella laughed lightly and he knew she knew exactly what he was referring to.

"Hit me."

"Bella…that means beautiful in Italian. It suits you…" he drawled in the sleaziest voice he could muster, and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

She snorted adorably. "You have no clue how often I get that…"

"I can only imagine. It really is a beautiful name though. Don't let cheesy pick up lines ruin it for you," he said with complete honesty.

"Thank you."

He pulled into an available spot as a troublesome thought occurred to him.

"You can do me a favor. To thank me," he told her, turning off the car and angling his body to look at her closely. He instantly regretted the combination of words and actions.

She looked at him wide eyed and shifted nervously. "Oh?" she inquired with a small voice.

"Yes. Please don't hop into cars with strange men. I'd never hurt you but you didn't know that, Bella. You're far too lovely to be so trusting," he plead.

Her face burned red with embarrassment while simultaneously grinning with relief. He was happily taking in the sight when he saw her hand move for the door handle.

She was leaving him.

"Well thank you for the rescue Edward, and a double thanks for not killing me and chopping my body into unrecognizable bits," she teased with a grin, then lifted her self from the car and began to walk away from him. "Bye, Dr. Cullen," she smiled through the door.

His ability to form a coherent sentence to stop her failed miserably as he panicked. He'd never had to try to get a woman's attention before. He seldom wanted all the attention he did get. The wrong kind of women flocked to good looks, money, and power and he had all those things. Edward Cullen spent too much time turning down even the most attractive members of the fairer sex, normally not willing to waste his patience on unfulfilling relationships, but he had just taken a rare and immediate interest in the most exquisite little beauty and she just walked away from him without a backwards glance.

Was this karma?

Her absence felt like a loss but he was now running late so Edward forced him self out of the car and walked reluctantly to the back elevator. He knew he was pouting; he wanted to see her again. Bella Swan. She'd given him her full name; did that mean he had permission to look her up?

Was there a Mr. Swan? He groaned outwardly at the thought. He hadn't considered looking at her ring finger; he hadn't been able to peel his eyes off that flawless face, those deep chocolate eyes. Of course someone like her wasn't available. She was some else's angel. Some one out there adored her.

Dr. Cullen walked grudgingly into the empty service elevator and used the solitary 30 seconds to compose him self. Today would not be good.


January 20th, 2011- Nise7465 has been kind enough to not only Beta my new chapters but also volunteered to painstakingly read her way through Thicker Than Blood's old chapters and make the needed corrections. This chapter has been beta'ed by her and I will be switching out old unedited chapters as she gets them to me. Hope you all appreciate her work to make this story more enjoyable as much as I do! If you haven't come across her stories yet they are worth seeking out. -JD