Chapter 1: Maelstrom
Surprise! My readers were expecting a sequel to 'I Hunger' next (It's coming, I'm working on it, don't eat me). But this is a prequel to the whole Unforeseen Events Series. I'm sneaky, right? New readers will find the stories listed in consecutive order on my Profile. Yeah, it's a saga. It pwns me.
'Midnight Sun': Don't expect SM canon. I have mixed it up a lot, and it's on purpose.
Thanks is due to my phenomenal Beta, 2old2care, who always challenges me. Without her, this story would not have been written. She sent me the inspiration for this. I think we're looking at at 50 chapters.
Thank you to Room340C for research assistance.
Thank you to my pre-readers, Room340C, and mimozka
Look for the 'Dove' playlist on the jmollytwilight2 Youtube. The link is on my Profile. This chapter's selections start (obviously) at #1:
'Gravity of Love', by Enigma
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, 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. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is merely coincidental.
Turn around and smell what you don't see
Close your eyes ... it is so clear
'Gravity of Love' -Enigma
Monday, January 5th, 2004, 4:31pm (sunset):
I never cried before today. Not in this body. Not when I woke up to this life. Not when my former best friend got blown up in the War. Not the time I made my father cry. Not when I ran away from home. Not even when I crawled back, and they took me in like the Prodigal.
"Go away! Just let me alone!" I yelled, my voice cracking as the sobs wracked me. I hugged my knees and rocked in the blackness, wishing for everything that was impossible. Everything that had been denied me. Everything that I must forever do without, because of what I had become.
No rest for the wicked: I cannot sleep. I cannot die. I will be alone forever.
"Leave me be! Go away!" I snarled and then muttered, "Just go 'way go 'way go 'way go 'way." Rocking. Rocking. Rocking.
Light flooded the dark space and I scuttled back from it until I hit wall. Then, her small form blocked the doorway, and knelt down before me. She stroked my head. "Hey, honey, it will all work out, like I told you. It's nothing to be upset about, I promise. Everything's going to be okay." She's the loveliest girl I've ever seen. What a beautiful gown! And her eyes look so kind, and you look so happy. See?
I raised my head, gawping in utter disbelief. "Be okay? Are you trying to be funny, Alice? I wanted to kill her." Strawberry. Lavender. Freesia. The earth after it rains. Ambrosia. The blood the blood the blood the blood the blood...
Don't be afraid.
I didn't think Alice even heard what I said. Her eyes black, and lips parted, she put her hand on my cheek, and ran her thumb over it, examining my tears. She brought her thumb to her mouth, curiously, and tasted them, freezing in disbelief. "Oh my god! You've never cried before."
I wrapped my head in my arms and hid my eyes, whimpering. "Go away. Just go away. Please." But of course she didn't. She crawled in beside me, tripping over shoes, and shoving aside the clothes I'd knocked down. Alice put her little arms around my shoulders, and patted me. I held my breath, frozen and furious. Why wouldn't she let me alone? She knew I didn't like to be touched!
"Let it out. Just let it out. You've soldiered on long enough." I don't know how you stay sane.
It was enough. I had finally reached my limit. My walls crumbled. I tipped over and put my head in her lap, and let the sobs drown me. I may have had a few hysterics, but Alice never said a word. She just let me. Eventually I quieted, the tears continuing to flow, while my sister of choice comforted me. "There's no shame in crying."
"Back in the day, men didn't cry," I snuffled against her knees. She tugged my hair teasingly.
"Back in the day, men were idiots," she decreed. "Our fathers were famous for repressing their emotions, but tears are healthy. There's really no need to be hiding on the floor of your closet."
"My father never cried," I argued.
I couldn't argue with that. I had caused his tears. "These will be my last tears," I moaned, staring out of the closet, into the gorgeous, red and purple light. Outside the glass wall of my room, a blue jay flew, dark against the backdrop of the setting sun. Bluebird of happiness? Nah, there was no such thing. Not for me. What bull! Well, at least if I was going to use them up, I was doing it over something worthwhile.
We only have a small number of tears stored, perfectly preserved: one of the last, precious vestiges of our humanity. And soon, mine would be gone, joining everything I missed, in oblivion. I pulled in a shaky breath. I hated feeling sorry for myself. Mother never would have stood for it. She always made the best of things. She would be up there on her puffy cloud now, waggling a finger at me. My eyes welled. How I missed Mother. I wanted to see her. It was one of those things I would never get to do.
"You have to be prepared. It's going to burn," Alice told me softly. "When the venom hits, it seals the tear ducts forever."
"I'm tired, Alice. Why didn't he just let me die?" I asked gruffly, pressing my lips together, so that I tasted the perfectly preserved, purified salt water, memorizing it before it could vanish.
"He loved you, Edward. He couldn't let you die. He's always loved you. We all do," she told me.
I pulled in a deep breath, looking out at the sunset. "I hope you won't think that I don't appreciate that. I do. But it's not the same. Not like what you and Jazz have, or Rose and Em. It's..."
"Lonely. I know, hon'. That's why I congratulated you this morning," she said, finger-combing my hair. It was odd to be touched. It had been so many years since I had allowed anyone to touch me in this manner. It was ... nice.
"Show me again," I directed her.
The redwoods are massive, and their canopy rises green and gold to touch Heaven. Peals of laughter, male and female, like the singing of water over pebbles in a brook, permeate the air, and the girl runs, looking back over her shoulder. Her dress is filmy white, more suited to a night out to the symphony than a run through the rainforest. Her small, bare feet skip daintily across the forest floor. She turns to face 'me', her heart-shaped face incandescent with smiles, revealing lustrous, inhuman eyes: bright red, yet somehow alluring.
"Do you realize how long I've been alone?" I whispered, looking at the vision. So beautiful. So tempting. Minxy Isabella. Isabella: My God Is a Vow. Bella. Bella: Beautiful.
"How long?" my sister murmured, stroking.
"Eighty-six years, four days, seventeen hours and fifty-six minutes," I bawled.
"So you were counting," she lamented, sighing. "You did want a mate."
I pressed my hand to my forehead, bringing my knees to my chest. "Of course I wanted her."
I run out of the trees, sweep her up in my arms, and bury my burgundy eyes in her thick mahogany tresses, and she wraps herself entirely around me. Her hands are in my hair, which curls on my collar, and I hitch her up gently, bracing her against a tree. She is wearing my mother's ring, and a wedding band. We kiss lovingly, with increasing ardour, smiling tenderly all the while. I tip her back and she arches, gasping. We are joined, her skirts covering our modesty, unashamed. Happy.
My pants were uncomfortably tight. I hoped Alice wouldn't notice.
"My Bella. Mine. Forever!"
"I want her," I howled, cursing my weakness. "God, I want her. It's not fair."
"What's not fair, honey? There's nothing wrong with that. She's your mate."
"She's not one of us!" I laughed insanely. "She's God's, Alice. She's not for me. He hates me. He's sent her to torment me. Dangling the carrot. I'm going to go mad. I should just go light myself on fire."
"Don't you dare! Stop talking like that, or I'll tell Esme. Of course God doesn't hate you. You're wrong. You've waited eighty-six years for her, Edward. Of course she's for you," Alice asserted.
"You're an atheist!" I laughed incredulously. How dare she tell me what God had planned!
Alice growled a little. I am not. I'm agnostic.
I snorted. Big difference! Alice excused it in light of my current unhinged state, but she still thought I was a loon.
"She's for you. Look at her: she's perfect for you. You look so good together. Happy. Don't even try to resist this. She's going to make everyone so happy. It's time to come out of your closet, and start living."
"By killing someone perfect?" I countered, and yet, as I stated it, I knew I would. Alice's eyes morphed black.
I am covered in blood. I have a beard. Blood is on my mouth. On my shirt. Splatters. Pooled on the floor around the narrow bed upon which the girl lies, shrunken and still. I am pounding on her chest, and the drops fly everywhere. "Stay with me Minx!" There is no response. She is emaciated and pale, like my mother was when she died. "Bella! Don't leave me! You keep fighting, do you hear?" I compress Bella's chest, watching in terror. Her heart stutters and her eyes flicker open, searching blindly for me. Her hand finds my head, and touches my hair.
"Love you," she murmurs weakly.
"Oh, no! NO Bella. No goodbyes. Don't you dare die on me. Not after all this. You stay here, Bella. You stay here for me!"
But Bella fades. Fast. Her heart stutters, and peters out.
I whale on her chest, frightening the Native boy standing beside me. Twice. Three times. Four. Nothing oh my God oh my God oh my God this can't be happening.
I start more compressions.
"NO!" I bellow. "No, Bella! Don't you leave me! Get! Back! Here! Right! Now!"
"No!" I screamed, and my last tears sizzled in their ducts, searing my sensitive eyes. I screamed again, in pain this time, clutching them, wishing the venom would sear Alice's vision away, rather than blur my eyesight. "No! No! No!"
"Edward!" my sister said sharply, trying to get my attention. Calm down! I lurched out of the closet, hands pressed to my stinging eyes, and banged into my shelf unit, sending CD's flying. God hated me! He wouldn't even let me run away without impediment.
It doesn't necessarily mean that she dies!
Panic trumped logic. I tripped down the stairs as fast as my feet would carry me, silver venom dripping down my cheeks as I blubbered like some pathetic baby. I threw open the glass front door and ran smack-dab into Carlisle's chest. He steadied me, his eyes black with shock.
Christ aid! What in perdition-
"I have to go. I have to go," I babbled, throwing my arms around his neck.
"Edward! Whatever is the matter?" he asked softly, peering into my eyes as though he shared my talent.
"I can't! I can't, I'm sorry. I love you. Kiss Esme 'good-bye' and tell her I'm sorry." I writhed, trying to break his hold.
"Edward!" he gasped. "Tell me!"
I pushed against his chest, but he held me like our continued existence depended on it. "Let me go! I'm going to kill her if I stay! And I can't. I just can't. I love her, Dad. I love her."
He was so surprised he released me. I backed up hurriedly, hoping nobody else was going to show up and attempt to stop me. "I have to go. Alice showed me. I'm going to bite her. I'm going to take too much, trying to change her. She'll die. And all the light will go out of the world. I have to save her. I have to go away until she's gone. If I stay away from her, she'll survive. She'll be everything God intended her to be. As long as she's without me."
He needs time to think this through. There's no sense trying to talk to him now. "Call me?" Carlisle asked softly.
"Of course. I won't make you worry. I have to get away from her before I get too attached. I would be her death. It's driving me mad. You're right, I need to think." I paced in the drive, clutching my head. The blood the blood the blood the blood the- Maybe I should go to her. No!
"Go, dear boy. And let us know where you are. Your mother will worry."
My mother? Oh. Esme.
I suddenly realized that I had never called Carlisle 'Dad' before, except as part of a charade.
I nodded curtly, stepping smartly to the Volvo, which I had left parked haphazardly on the edge of our private road. I ripped open the door, slammed it, and gunned the engine just as Em pulled in, in the jeep, with Rose and Jasper, all of them staring worriedly. I accelerated madly, and spun the wheel fast, kicking up gravel as the car did a sharp one-eighty.
I floored it, breath scything in and out of my heaving chest, out of town. Terrified.