Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thank you to kikk7 for pre-reading. A super massive THANK YOU to Vintagejgc and BookishQua for their awesome Beta assistance. I couldn't have done it without the help of these awesome ladies!
A Scarlet Night
Edward pushed the doors open and allowed himself to breathe for the first time in forty minutes. The air was fresh and clean, clearing the scents and easing the burn.
During lunch, he sat at a table outside, a book in his hands. Bored, he stretched back into the seat and pretended to read, taking notice of what was happening around him, invading the minds of those who dwelled in his vicinity.
A laugh broke his concentration. A girl was sitting under a tree with a book in one hand and an apple in the other. She wore a wide smile and a large knit cap that covered a crown of long dark hair. She was pale, flushed, and giggling at the words on the page. He wondered what she was reading.
She turned her head, her eyes slowly meeting his and she smiled shyly. Stray hairs blew around her face gently, yet he felt no breeze and he couldn't hear anything. She was silent, her mind told him nothing.
She rose to her feet and walked to him, a grin playing on her lips as she approached.
The scent of human encompassed her in a mouth watering aroma. He heard her heart beat, saw life running through her veins, but there was more. Barely beneath her skin was the scent of something completely unrecognizable. His senses were beyond keen, but still he struggled to identify; somehow she was different, something new...
There was a natural fragrant balm with a hint of earth. It was organic. No chemicals, no drugs as a mask. Luscious, floral, appetizing, mesmerizing. He wanted to drink her, wanted to take her in his bed.
Edward stared unabashedly. Looking at her jean clad legs, the fabric hugging the curves of her thighs and hips, he imagined her legs bare and open for him. Her form fitting top accentuated her small waist and full breasts that he pictured fondling and biting. His mind ran wild with fantasies and his pants became uncomfortably tight. Placing his hands in his lap, he looked away and gulped.
She placed her herself down in the seat next to him. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Have I?" He asked, looking into her eyes once more. He swallowed, savoring her scent.
She grinned and held her hand out in invitation. "I'm Isabella."
He was spellbound and paralyzed yet he could feel her hand in his, her pulse beating like a drum. There was a moment of locked gazes, her brown to his golden irises appraising each other silently. Her curious expression intrigued him, and when she took her bottom lip between her teeth there was an energy that he swore passed through her fingertips before she slid her hand away.
His eyes dilated as he took her in, wide eyed and innocent, she was a vision, simply beautiful. Still he could not hear her, fascinated; he focused on her, willing her to let him in.
She leaned in, put her lips to his ear and whispered, "You're a telepath too?"
He pulled away suddenly, his chair scraping loudly against the floor. She knew... He was terrified and breathing hard but he stayed seated. What was she?
"A telepath. Like you." She whispered so low only he could hear the words.
He glared undecided on whether he should try to deceive or test her. What an utterly inopportune moment for the loss of his gift. He found himself bemused and speechless. The corner of her mouth twitched, threatening another grin. Without moving a single muscle, he thought, I can't hear YOU.
She chuckled. "Of course you can't. I'm a better at it than you. I can shield, you could say my gift is a tad higher evolved than your own."
He gaped, dumbstruck. She stood and backed away slowly, stumbling over her own two feet only to giggle and wink at him before she walked briskly into the building.
As classes dispersed, his eyes combed the throng of students leaving for the day. He caught a wave of her scent moments before she skipped down the steps, two other students by her side. They said their goodbyes and waved casually as they parted ways, and she made her way across the lot.
She glanced in his direction, meeting his eyes and giving a nod toward the back of the campus. He followed, nothing more than curiosity guiding his footsteps.
At the edge of the trees she stood waiting, her arm stretched out reaching for him.
Her impatient hand opened and closed, a gesture of welcome, of urgency, and he couldn't resist an invitation to touch her. She pulled on his hand and led him into the forest. Their steps were few before she stopped to face him. Turning slowly, she stepped around until she was behind him, a tentative finger running down his back. "Take me there."
Placing her palm flat on his back, heat raced from her fingers, and he saw the place he had stumbled upon not long ago deep in the forest. A place where the trees broke, opening to a view of the mountains shrouded in mist. Where the water had run down forming a still pool surrounded by bright blue larkspur and yellow glacier lilies.
"Carry me?" She whispered and he knelt to accommodate her, a smile on his lips as he realized that he hadn't pictured that. She had. He had seen inside her mind for one precious moment. She jumped on his back and held tight, her legs squeezing around his waist.
Edward was frozen, a marble statue. Afraid, aroused... He relished the feel of her body pressed up against his, but her hands gripping any part of him was almost too much; her scent too heavy and too delicious. Another part of him, the beast, wanted to crouch, to throw her off; to slice open the femoral artery in her thigh and bask in what he knew would be the sweetest thing to ever grace his lips. He was taken aback by her actions, putting herself in the path of the ultimate predator. She was vulnerable, his for the taking.
She snickered. "Vampires, always so arrogant. You've never met a creature more powerful than yourself, have you?"
He growled in response, part of his brain nagging at him, warning that she could be a threat, she could be dangerous. She knew far too much. His lips parted showing just a bit of teeth, a subtle show of aggression.
She hummed and nuzzled his neck, "I am no threat to you as long as you can behave yourself. Now run, fast."
Feeling her smiling into his neck he stood. He had the urge to move, to let the wind lesson her scent. He reached back, cupping her thighs and ran. His mind working a mile a minute, he wondered if she had some sort of power over him, commanding him to run, intoxicating him with her scent. Was she a succubus? Was there such a thing?
She laughed at his musings, she was no succubus. Gripping him tighter as he picked up speed, the entire world rushed by them in a blur. He was running quite slowly by his own standards but it didn't matter because she was enjoying this. She squealed and squeezed him and marveled at the feel of his muscles working under her hands. She tucked her head down into his shoulder as he ran against the wind with sheer power coursing through his body. As her head rested against his, her body became completely relaxed, she trusted him not to drop her.
They stopped at the break in the trees then she jumped from his back and walked to where rays of sunshine beamed down creating a kaleidoscope reflection on the water. Slowly she stepped into the sun, the mist from the mountain almost parting for her, the flowers standing at attention in their beds which seemed to get longer and wider with each step she took. It was as if nature itself was bending in her wake.
"What are you?" Was all he could say. Brow furrowed, he wracked his brain for an explanation. He could hear her heart beat from where he stood. Human, he told himself, she must be human.
She turned and lifted her hand, her finger curling upward, motioning for him to join her in the sun. He walked to her, slowly, and with purpose, he didn't want to become distracted again. He wanted answers.
"What are you?" He repeated.
"Human, of course." She rolled her eyes.
"What else?" He demanded. "There is something else in you." He took her hand and brought it just under his nose, inhaling and again coming up with no answers.
"You never told me your name." She slid her hand away, but not before brushing her finger across his cheek.
"You already know my name." It was a guess on his part, he knew nothing of what she knew but she was a telepath, a powerful one at that.
"And?" She shook her head in disappointment. "Don't you have any manners?"
He scoffed then stammered an explanation, "Well... You... How am I supposed to react to something like this? What is happening right now? What are we doing here?"
She reached up and took hold of his arm, pulling him down to sit.
"Let's try this again," she said, holding out her hand. "I'm Isabella, and you are?"
"I'm Edward, the Arrogant Vampire." He tilted his head and gave her a tight smile.
Isabella narrowed her eyes and poked him in the forehead. "Yes, and a smart ass too."
She sighed and reached into a small bag he hadn't noticed her carrying before. She pulled out a golden delicious apple of perfect shape and size. To his surprise, he thought it smelled... wonderful. He had the urge to taste it. He started to reach for it, but she pulled it away, clutching it to her chest. "It was a gift." She paused and then held the apple out again. "From Alice."
"Alice?" He asks.
He looked away from the apple, confused.
"Alice sees things," Bella whispered.
"What kinds of things?"
"All kinds of things."
Edward huffed, irritated, and looked away. "Can you ever give a straight answer?"
"You've never heard of her?" She asked, attempting to change the subject.
"No." He replied.
"She's a vampire, like you."
He worried at the prospect of another immortal being so close to him. Others drank human blood, and they were wild and unpredictable, always trying to lead him into temptation.
She sighed dramatically. "You don't have to fear her. Her eyes are golden, and her mind, Edward! The things she sees! It's so fascinating."
"What does she see?" He spat out impatiently.
Isabella brought her hands down into her lap, still holding the apple. She smiled up at him. "Alice can see our paths and the way our choices dictate our future."
Putting the apple aside, she lifted herself onto her knees before him, her hands drifting to his shoulders, "I saw myself in her mind and I saw you."
She traced the shell of his ear with her finger. "She's worried about you. Worried you will choose the dark path."
Edward grimaced. "What happens if I choose the dark?"
She whispered, "There would be no more light- for either of us."
Taking the apple in hand, she licked her lips, her voice sultry and smooth. "Do you want a bite?"
He growled and pushed her to the ground, hovering over her with his eyes closed, fighting the demon nagging in the back of his mind who craved her blood. He laughed at her question. Of course he wanted a bite.
"Ug. Focus, Edward." She sighed, "I meant the apple."
He snarled at the thought of biting that stupid apple, he wanted something far sweeter. He took the apple and tossed it over his shoulder. Forming a quick plan to seduce her, he leaned in to kiss her. She responded by smacking him on the forehead, a loud THWACK ringing out that startled him. Wincing, he squeezed his eyes shut muttering obscenities under his breath.
"What was that for?" He rubbed his head and then in a delayed reaction his eyes went wide in sheer awe. Running his finger over the skin where she'd hit him, he could still feel a sting.
"That hurt!" He blurted out, flabbergasted.
"This will too," she said as she flicked his ear, twice and she may have pinched his thigh.
"Stop." He grabbed her wrists and checked over her hands for injuries. There were none.
She gave a tug and pursed her lips. "I'll stop when you stop fantasizing about draining me. Deal?"
He let her go instantly, both of them scooting away and standing.
"Fine," he agreed. He was trying his best to banish those thoughts regardless, and if he did think about it, he deserved to be slapped. He looked away, disgusted with himself, with his loss of control. Why? What was it about her? Who was this Alice character and what was with that fucking apple? A sign? A symbol? A temptation from Eve to Adam? She was a temptation indeed, one like no other, full of life and heat. He had never missed his own warmth until he felt Isabella's. His mind raced with questions and he closed his eyes and stopped breathing. Trying in vain to ignore the raging burn in his throat and it was only getting worse. Her scent was everywhere, her breath saturating the air. God, her scent... Her Blood...
He fell forward when Isabella landed another smack on the back of the head. He recovered quickly, turning he stepped closer to her. Part of him was angry; she had hit him and caused him to stumble. He didn't stumble, ever. Embarrassed and annoyed he said nothing. He had thought about feeding from her again, he supposed it was only fair.
Isabella stood tall, head up and looking impatient as she took a step bridging the gap between them and grabbed his chin. "Look at me," she ordered.
He was already looking at her, his eyes black and hungry. She brought her other hand to his cheek, "Focus on me. Not my beauty, not my blood, me."
"Relax," she whispered trailing her fingers down his chest and then taking his hands. "Focus on the feel of my hands."
Soft and so delicate he took the greatest care to be gentle. Inter-twining their fingers together, palm to palm, she radiated.
Edward thought he might be dreaming. The skin of her wrists was so thin, her pulse so close, right in his hands. All he could think of was how precious it was, how he could feel as if it were his own. Warmth and breath, simple and content. He felt alive. He had to be dreaming.
"Vampires don't sleep," she whispered. He opened his eyes and she was smirking at him. "You're not dreaming. I'm right here." She squeezed his fingers and then rubbed her thumb on his palm.
He closed his eyes again, held his breath and tried to clear his mind and just feel. Sadly, Edward could not do this. He was too busy being in shock over the fact the he was... touching Isabella. Edward Cullen was touching a beautiful woman. Being brought into immortality at the age of seventeen in 1918, Edward has never experienced the joy of women as a human. His Victorian virtues carried over into his vampire life, never marrying or mating. He had been at Carlisle's side as a companion since the beginning, but they never touched, ever. The simple contact with another both terrified and soothed him.
He took her hand and with light brushes of his fingertips traced every inch of hands and wrists. His touches just right, ghosting over skin and sometimes tickling her. When she laughed, he felt good, proud. His hands were curious little devils, snaking down to her waist and giving a poke or two, causing her to giggle like a mad woman. Both of them laughing, his arms casually draped around her hips, he didn't know what to say or do, but he definitely wanted to keep tickling her. Her laugh was addictive.
He lifted her head and kissed her softly, slowly and carefully. He didn't want to hurt her.
Short and sweet, he pulled away looking down at her lips, he had never felt anything so soft.
She slid her finger over the collar of his shirt and up his neck into his hair. "You are a beautiful creature, Edward."
His lips drifted, lightly grazing her cheek. He placed slow, open mouthed kisses below her ear. Inhaling, his lips fell upon her neck, her jugular pulsating, and singing for him. Her scent intensified as did his urge to bite. His body charged, tensed in anticipation, he wanted to move, to sink his teeth into her.
He had never wanted to drink human blood so badly.
"Ah uh," she chided, making a tsk tsk sound. She slapped him lightly across the cheek, hard enough for him to feel it but not painful. She tapped his nose and scolded him again but this time, her lips never moved. Her inner voice was soothing, surrounded by bells. He felt it move through his mind like a warm wind.
You mustn't bite. Behave.
He could hear her. The words wrapped around his mind and had their way with him.
I want your lips on me again. She shifted her hips closer to his.
His mind spun in circles, trying to make sense of this woman. He tried not to fantasize, aware that she was listening but he could not deny he wanted to ravage her. He wanted to feel her body slick with sweat as he took her, but he was petrified to even try.
Her grin grew mischievous as she leaned her head to the side, exposing her neck.
Your lips... Her inner voice murmured. No teeth, Edward. Just your lips. Please?
His movements were torturously slow, his will bending into hers. He kissed her jaw and then brought his lips up to meet hers. Drawn out, yet chaste, an immeasurably beautiful kiss.
And he could hear her no longer.
"I must go," she spoke as she stroked his cheek again. "I'll see you tomorrow."
He was stunned at the ease of his own hands releasing her. He didn't want to release her; he wanted to be surrounded by her fragrance, to be at ease with her touch. You've bewitched me, he thought.
He growled and pulled her close, their bodies pressed against each other's. He could feel her heart pounding, so strong he could feel a vibration in his chest with every beat.
Rubbing her hands up and down his arms as if to comfort him, her expression was a mix of concern and curiosity. "Edward, I need for you to go. Please, I need you to prove to me that you can do this."
He wasn't satisfied, tomorrow was too far away. He sucked in a few greedy breaths, afraid for any kind of separation from her, "No, I... I want you to come home with me."
Tears sprung to her eyes. "Why? Why do you want me?"
Something was happening. Edward was at a loss for words but the feel of her heart thundering, warmth spreading in every place she was touching him; he only knew he wanted her. He would swear that she was glowing, her very being shining through her eyes. It made him feel weightless and dizzy.
A single tear slipped down her cheek. "Tell me why."
He couldn't. There was nothing logical about this, it was all instinctual. He just knew he needed to be with her. Everything about her called to him, her beauty, her silence and her blood. He needed all of it.
She pushed against him hard, surprised at the force he released her and jumped back. Slowly she raised her hands, palms out in a warning to stay away. "I have to go. Now." She took two steps backward than ran. Edward gasped at the cold creeping back into his body in her absence.
"No!" He cried as she disappeared right in front of his eyes.
A/N: Thank you for reading. Please leave me a review. *blinks innocently* Pretty please? I would love to know what you think!
I am firmly committed to updating once a week. Until next week!