Summary: Edward has spent his entire existence as a vampire hearing the thoughts of others. Just when he feels he can't take it anymore, he discovers Bella. Not only are her thoughts a secret to him, but her presence silences the thoughts of everyone else as well. He decides the only way to maintain his mental peace is to keep her forever, but he quickly discovers that creating a vampire isn't as easy as he originally thought. Bella finds herself in the middle of a nightmare when she realizes that it doesn't whether Edward succeeds, she's losing her life either way. Along the way feelings change, and while Edward is struggling to secure his future, Bella is devising a plan of her own. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Edward/Bella ~ AU ~ Rated MA/NC-17 for dark themes
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, situations, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Please do not repost my stories elsewhere. A lot of time and effort went into writing stories that revolve around characters I didn't create in the first place. I don't take credit for them, so don't take credit for what's mine. Let's play nice, okay?
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy it. :D
"Pick up, pick up, please pick up!" Alice chanted as she listened to her brother's phone ring. After what felt like an eternity, it dropped into voicemail. There was no greeting, only the beep indicating the recording had started. "Shit," she mumbled as she hit the red button on her cell. She dialed again with the same outcome.
Not knowing what else to do, she called the only one who she knew could help.
"Alice, what's going on?" Carlisle's concerned voice came over the line. It was unusual for his family to call him while he was working at the hospital, and he was immediately worried that something was terribly wrong.
"It's Edward," she answered in a panic. "He's gone. His future just vanished!"
"Come on, Edward. I don't want to be late."
"Have you seen the way I drive, Alice? You won't be late." Edward grabbed his car keys and met his sister at the door. "Why do you insist on me driving you to class, anyway. You have your own car."
"I like to be chauffeured," she said. Her mind, however, was honest.
If you see the campus, there's a good chance you'll decide to enroll.
"Sure you do," Edward replied to her verbal answer.
Alice knew Edward had figured out her ulterior motives for wanting a ride and shrugged. Trying to trick a mind reader was futile.
Edward sighed and wrapped his arm around her as they walked to his car. "I'm sorry, Alice, but I can't do it anymore. You know that. I need a break. I don't know if a vampire can go insane, but I don't want to be the one to find out."
I've never had to do this alone before.
Edward didn't like replying to things that weren't spoken aloud. During conversations like this, it was hard for him to tell whether the other person wanted to communicate their thoughts to him. Being a mind reader was a heavy burden, something that had become too much for him.
"You'll be fine. It's only for a couple years. Four at the most, right?" He nudged her shoulder playfully. "Besides, someone has to keep up appearances."
"I know," Alice sighed. "It's going to be boring by myself. Are you sure you won't reconsider?"
"Honestly, Alice, I have no desire whatsoever to continue the human façade. I understand why we do it; it's important to blend in if we want the luxuries of society. But I'm tired of being something I'm not. I'm tired of the monotony of pretending to be a high school or college student. Besides, you know better than anyone what it's like to be burdened with a gift," he scoffed. "At least you can be selective about yours. I have to hear everyone around me. I know you wish you could turn yours off, too. I would do anything, anything, to be able to put a stop to it. You know that better than anyone."
Edward laughed humorlessly as Alice recalled the handful of visions she'd had of him putting an end to the voices. Putting an end to himself. With her gift of foresight, she had been able to intervene each time. It was a secret between the two of them.
You won't get silence at home.
"Listening to Jasper's and Esme's minds all day is a much better option than an entire student body. Emmett and Rosalie are gone, and with you in school and Carlisle working . . . I won't get another chance like this. Not unless I want to go off on my own."
They sat in silence for the drive to the university. Edward listened to Alice's internal voice process everything he had said. She understood why he wanted to be alone, why he wanted to silence the voices that were forever plaguing his psyche, and she knew he wasn't bluffing about leaving. Or worse. Attending college by herself was a much better option than losing Edward.
"Thanks for understanding," he said as he pulled up to the main entrance.
"Pick me up at two. I'd walk, but it's going to rain. I wouldn't want people to think I was weird," she said sarcastically.
Edward laughed as his sister got out of the car. He sped away, excited for the first of what would hopefully be many quiet days.
The only downfall of closing his mind off to others was the physical distance he had to put between himself and his family. He couldn't have both silence and companionship, so he would have to settle for a little of both.
The house was empty when he arrived home, and Edward relished the silence in his mind. After over 100 years of being privy to the thoughts of everyone around him, anytime he was wholly alone was a refreshing and much welcomed change. Their house was deep in the woods, too far away from civilization for his mind to pick up the thoughts of others—another reason he wanted to take a break now while they still lived here. He felt bad for asking Alice to attend college by herself, but it would be years before an opportunity like this would arise again.
He may only be getting part time peace, but it was better than nothing.
The afternoon passed quickly; two o'clock approached faster than Edward would have liked. As he drove back within city limits, the voices invaded his mind. It was always hardest for him to deal with his unique ability after getting a short reprieve.
As he waited impatiently for Alice to emerge, he was hit with the most delectable aroma he had ever experienced. Existing alongside humans always held a thread of temptation, but this was different. The burn in his throat extended outward, filling his entire body. His mouth began to water, the sickly-sweet venom doing nothing to squelch the flames burning inside him. His muscles coiled reflexively. His instincts took over, demanding he devour whatever was emitting such a powerful scent.
Without a second thought to what he was about to do, he flew out of his car—keys still in the ignition, engine running—and toward the scent he so desperately craved. He had enough wits about him to keep at human speed, although barely. He inhaled, sniffing the air and following the fragrance to its source. Deep down he knew what he was about to do was wrong; he just didn't care. He was letting his inner demon take over. The monster had been repressed for too long, and now it was demanding his attention, demanding to be allowed its true nature.
It didn't take him long to pick his prey out of the crowd. It was a female, slight, brown hair, and in the middle of a congregation of students exiting the building. Surprisingly, he had enough coherency to know he couldn't attack here; there were too many people. After years of keeping his existence a secret, it became second nature to him. He would lure her away from the others and drink in solitude so he could thoroughly enjoy the kill.
Edward filtered through the voices in his head, looking for the one that belonged to his prey. He had to know the right thing to say so she would go with him peacefully and not raise suspicion. The monster inside him itched to hear his victim's thoughts once she realized death was certain. The begging, the screaming, the fear; it would be beautiful.
He concentrated harder as he approached, unable to pick the mental voice out of the crowd. He was mere feet away when he put every ounce of concentration into hearing it.
He was not prepared for what happened next.
The first day of college was a stressful event for Bella Swan. She got lost on campus, was late for her psychology course, and lost her most expensive text book. She also shared three classes with the sleaziest man she had ever met, who never wasted an opportunity to hit on her.
It was 1:50 when her last class of the day ended, and she couldn't wait to get home. As she approached the doors closest to the parking lot, she caught sight of Mr. Sleazy. She turned abruptly and headed in the opposite direction. She would rather walk outside than risk him flirting with her again.
When Bella stepped outside, she had to work her way through a large group that had gathered below the overhang. She quickly discovered why—it was pouring. She stood there and contemplated if becoming a soggy, wet mess would be better than the unwanted attention.
She decided she was tough enough to handle the rain.
As Bella stepped into the downpour, a man suddenly appeared in front of her. Under normal circumstances, she probably would have found him attractive. However, one look into his feral, black eyes sent a chill racing up her spine.
"Come with me," he demanded. His voice, smooth and velvety, caressed each word in a way that shot fear through her body. Bella was frozen, too terrified to move. The man's fingers wrapped around her arm tightly. "Now."
Bella wasn't naïve to the danger of the situation. She planted her feet firmly and took a deep breath, preparing to scream. A sudden rush to her head took her off-guard. When the dizziness subsided, she found herself in the middle of the woods, face to face with the strange man. He breathed heavily as he stood before her, wearing a furious scowl on his face.
"What do you want?" She hoped to sound strong, but her voice was only a whisper.
The man shook his head slowly. "What did you do to me?"
"How are you doing it?" he asked frantically. He started walking toward her. She immediately backed away.
"Leave me alone!"
Bella screamed as the man lunged at her. The pain was instantaneous. He held her tightly enough to push the air from her lungs, making breathing—and screaming—impossible. And when she didn't think the pain could get any worse, he leaned down and sunk his teeth into her neck.
Between shock and blood loss, Bella began slipping out of consciousness. She didn't have the comfort of her life flashing before her eyes. Instead, she only experienced intense pain while her mind repeated over and over again, I can't believe this is really happening.
As she was holding on to life by a thread, a strong vibration shook her body. She heard a loud growl like a large cat at the zoo. Something warm began trickling down her neck.
"Don't!" The voice from earlier threatened. It sounded muffled and distant, as if she were listening from underwater. "Don't come any closer."
There was another vibration, another loud rumble, followed by a long silence.
"Son," said a soft voice in the distance. "Alice said that your future vanished from her vision. What is going on?"
"I don't know."
"Give me the girl, Edward."
"Yes, Edward! You bit her; she's losing too much blood. I could hear her bones breaking from across the parking lot. She needs medical attention."
"You can't take her from me." There was another loud, ferocious growl. "I said don't come any closer!" the man holding her shouted hysterically.
"Edward, I would never hurt you."
"I don't know what you're thinking."
Bella tried to understand the voices around her, but what they were saying didn't make sense. It was too confusing, and her mind felt slow and weighed down. As everything faded to black, she heard the man holding her say one last thing.
"I can't hear you, Carlisle. I can't hear anyone."