Yes, this was posted here once upon a time. Yes, I'm reposting it now because I thought that the timing was appropriate. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I tend to base my stories all or in part around dates (ie holidays, weddings, graduation, pregnancy calendars-I really like writing based off of pregnancy calendars-, & other various dates that you can circle on your calendar) and this short story was no exception. This story was originally written for last winter's Twilight Gift Exchange and was a gift for ReadingMama/VampireMama. Shug & I have not yet decided if we will run another exchange later this year, we will make a decision on that sometime later this month. I will repost the link to the gift exchange on my profile if anyone is interested or is looking for more information. I am posting this story in its entirety now, it is complete in four parts. Thank you.

Disclaimer: These are not my original characters and are the property of SMeyer, et al.

Summary: Edward Cullen had found that life as a vampire was one tedious day after another ... until one tedious day never ended. Twilight-AU, Edward/Bella


Causality

Causality: n. the principle of or relationship between cause and effect.—New American Heritage Dictionary 2006.

Part I

The red haze in my field of vision was slowly dissipating. The delectably sweet blood that was soothing and coating my forever burning throat was slowly working its way through my body, creating a warm sensation of relaxation and contentment, much like a post-coital glow. Not that I'd ever experienced post-coital anything before, but I knew from the thoughts of my family members that this sensation was vastly similar.

But just as the bloodlust cleared and rational thought began to eke its way back into my mind, the guilt slithered in and grabbed hold. I looked down at the lifeless body strewn across my lap as I kneeled on the kitchen floor. She was—had been—a very plain girl. Brown hair, brown eyes, small build… nothing exciting, nothing special, nothing to write home about. But what had made her stand out to me from all of the others had been the siren call of her blood. Then as if that hadn't been enough, I couldn't hear her. That was what had ultimately led to her demise.

Isabella Swan was a nobody whose only claim to fame in this tiny little town was the fact that she'd just moved home to live with her father. She was nothing more than a shiny new toy for the gossip mongers of Forks to sink their sharp, silver tongues into. This heinous act on my part would give them plenty to talk about over the next weeks.

Thinking about the family that would be left behind because I couldn't control my thirst, I winced.

After seventy years of sobriety, I'd fallen off the proverbial wagon in the worst possible way. Rationality and critical thinking were definitely coming back to me as I took in the macabre scene in front of me. Her shirt had been ripped in my frenzy and her neck snapped. The large bite out of the side of her neck revealed muscle and sinew, but not an ounce of blood was left in her body, just as there wasn't a single drop on the floor. In hindsight, it likely would've been best to have left some smatterings of blood on her clothing; however I couldn't bear the thought of having allowed any of it to have been wasted in such a way. We'd have to come up with some other way for this to look like an animal mauling.

Quickly glancing around the rest of the room, I was rather proud of the fact that there was very little evidence to clean up. I'd been in such a consuming haze that really I could've taken out over half of the house and not even noticed, but there was nothing out of the ordinary here, other than the tipped over chair, the dropped water glass, and, of course, the dead girl in my lap.

Pulling out my phone, I felt the telltale vibrations of an incoming call before I could even flip it open to dial.

"Alice, if you saw, why didn't you stop me?" I asked by way of greeting.

"I didn't see. I'm so sorry, I didn't see. Not until just a moment ago when I saw you carrying her body out into the woods behind the house." There was a brief pause before she hesitantly asked the question she obviously already knew the answer to: "So, she's already dead then?"

"Yes."

I heard Alice's sigh through the phone and waited for her to tell me what else we needed to do. She would make decisions and then look for a vision to tell her if it was the best course of action. We needed to get this right if we were going to be able to leave Forks without suspicion or questions. It would make things much easier if I could see the visions in her head as she was having them; however, that was not something that we could do over the phone.

After a few minutes of silence from her end, Alice detailed out the plan. Dump the body several miles into the surrounding woods, add some deep gouges and scratches, rip her clothes more, and so on. No one had seen me come into the house, and my car was still parked back on Cullen property. There was no evidence that I'd been here. I'd add a few footprints heading into the woods just to be sure that when the Chief started his search, he had a direction to go in. The faster they found the body, the better. Alice said she'd have Carlisle swipe a bag of blood from the hospital and he'd take care of the rest. She didn't think that anyone would bother with actual comparison DNA testing between her and the blood; she thought that at most they'd just test to see if there was any animal blood mixed in. We wanted her body found quickly before anyone had any chance to point fingers at people because of Chief Swan's daughter's disappearance. I was certain that my initial reaction to her in class didn't go unnoticed; I'd already caught a few stray thoughts from Mike Newton. In another week or two we'd leave town quietly, citing that Esme and the girls were frightened that it was no longer safe to live here.

Granted, the residents of Forks thought that my entire family loved the wilderness, but it would be easy to play off a fear of bears and mountain lions to the masses—especially if it was thought that such a wildly violent animal was roaming these woods so close to civilization.

I followed Alice's instructions to the letter and left the lifeless body of one Isabella Swan about five miles into the forest that bordered her home, before I ran back to the house to face my family.

After an uncomfortable meeting with my family members, I took off in an attempt to get as far away from everyone as possible. I found my way to a small meadow that I frequently visited when I longed for privacy and solitude. My family, of course, knew of it. However, they also knew that when I was there I wished to be alone. While standing in the middle of the open field—which in only a few weeks time would be filled with wildflowers—I took a moment to pause and recall what I had done. Isabella's dead eyes stared blankly at me, her muted cries of pain as I attacked, the simple nod of her head in acquiescence when I announced her fate…

She had only been cold for a few hours, but she was haunting me. I could hear and see it all. And I wanted nothing more than to be able to take it all back. Wishing, praying, wanting, all in senseless futility, I felt a sense of guilt like no other. When I could take it no longer, I took off in a run.

Running was one of the few things in this life that I truly enjoyed doing. It was freeing, and with my speed, it was almost like flying. Before I'd left the house for the meadow, Alice silently reminded me that I had to be in school the following morning to help keep up pretenses and then also reminded me that I would have to wear some of the colored contacts we all kept on hand, until the redness faded from my eyes. Of course, I'd already known what I had to do to keep up pretenses. However it made my sister feel better to be involved, especially since her vision had been faulty all evening.

I ran most of the night. In part to get away from my family, but it was more in a vain effort to deal with my own guilt. Even though I knew that this was part of the curse of the non-life that I led. However, this run didn't help to clear my mind. Instead, I saw the Swan girl's dead eyes at every turn. She was my own personal demon that followed me wherever I went.

The sun was rising when I made my way back toward the house. I was more than a little bit shocked to find that I was closer to home than I'd anticipated. It was a rare thing for me to be caught by surprise by anything. Not even bothering to stop to greet any of my family, I rushed up the stairs to change for school, remembering the contacts I kept in my closet, and then grabbing my school bag.

Then it was back to high school hell.

During the drive, I tuned out my family's thoughts as much as I could. The last thing I needed was to listen to Rosalie whine about how she was being forced to be uprooted over a year ahead of schedule. However, just as it always did, when someone so much as thought my name, it was hard not to focus my thoughts onto what they were thinking.

Edward, what's up with the eyes? Emmett asked silently.

Turning my head slightly, I glared at him, only to be met by a look at confusion on his face.

No, seriously. Why the hell would you wear contacts? Those things irritate the hell out of my eyes. I hate the damn things.

I gave him a minute shake of my head and decided to wait until we reached the school to answer his idiotic question; both to save me from having to have the discussion of my failings with my brothers and sisters again and to save Emmett some of his dignity. Emmett was far from stupid, but sometimes he made the strangest comments. I knew it was his way of trying to lighten the mood and decrease tension, but this time it wasn't making any sense.

Turning into the parking lot at the school, I pulled into our regular space and everyone got out of the car as usual. With a sigh, I got out, as well. It was time to put on the Cullen performance and time for me to see if I could get any clues or information about the status of the Swan investigation.

I was rather stunned to find that it wasn't the first thought on everyone's minds. I stood on the sidewalk for several minutes longer than usual as I listened and after another moment, simply shook my head and walk toward the school. Emmett was standing a few feet away from me, the rest of the family having walked through the doors to their lockers already.

Now will you tell me what's going on? Emmett held up his hand to stop me from entering the building.

"That's a really stupid question, Emmett. Don't you think these children would notice if I came to school with red eyes?"

"What in the hell are you talking about?" he said aloud, his thoughts mirroring his tone of confusion, curiosity, and some blatant thoughts questioning my sanity.

I opened my mouth to tell him when I heard a god awful sound coming from the parking lot. Looking up, I spied the rusty old red pick-up truck I remembered seeing at the Swan house the afternoon before. But before I had a chance to try to discern what the driver was thinking, I saw her.

The ghost that had been haunting me since yesterday afternoon opened the door to the truck and slid out, looking more than a little bit lost as she tripped slightly and headed in the direction of the administration building.

"Is that the new girl?" Emmett asked.

"You see her, too?"

Emmett raised an eyebrow at me in question. It was then that I began to focus on the thoughts around me as the other students noticed their new classmate. They were all thinking as if they were seeing her for the very first time.

I wonder if that's Chief Swan's daughter.

Wow, she's pretty hot. Better than any of these other girls I have to look at all day.

She sure doesn't look like she's from Arizona. Look at how pale she is.

You're seriously starting to scare me. The last thought was from Emmett, and I turned my eyes back to him as my apparition opened the door to the office.

"What's the date today?" I asked.

"February 2nd."

That wasn't possible. Vampires couldn't sleep and therefore couldn't dream. We also didn't suffer from hallucinations unless we were coerced by a talented vampire, and I was certain that if there were any other vampires in the area, then one of us would know. I knew what had happened yesterday. I remembered the moment that I first smelled Isabella's intoxicating scent, the very minute that my fingers dug into the tabletop in my attempt to maintain my control so I didn't take out the entire classroom of students. I could still visualize very clearly when I'd found her in her kitchen, and if I thought about it, I could still taste and feel her sweet, warm blood flooding my mouth and running down my throat.

But yesterday was February 2nd.

Ignoring Emmett's questions, both silent and aloud, I walked back to the car and tossed my notebook on the seat. When I moved back toward Emmett, I handed my keys to him, then I strode in the direction of the forest. Once there, I did the only thing I could do… I ran.