Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Twilight

Author's Note: Hey kids. This is a one-shot that I wrote for my un-romantic life partner, lifelesslyndsey, for her birthday, which was yesterday. I'm posting it here for the public with her permission, so thanks, Lynds!

The fabulous KittyCullen03 edited it.


Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car

Pairing: Bella/Peter

When I first saw her, she was sitting in an old, broken down Winnebago on the side of some random highway, smoke billowing from under the hood. The winding road was deserted, little used, and surrounded on all sides by thick trees; deep ditches, weeds and bright orange ditch lilies growing up wildly. Somewhere in the southern half of Indiana, the sky a stretch of midnight blue overhead, stars dotted through. I could see each one individually; I'd heard others describe the night sky in terms so poetic it would have made the Bard himself weep- they reminded me of bullet-holes punched through velvet cloth.

I was driving- just driving. A bag strapped to the back of my Triumph as it grumbled through the country. When you've lived as long as I have, the usual distractions become mundane. The blood lost its flavor; the women were all faceless, nameless, meaningless. The world had no color- though I could see every hue, every facet; it had all dulled into shades of gray. The vampires that I was meant to walk amongst were to me grotesque monsters, disgusting in their glory. And the humans. The humans we couldn't live without, our very life source were hardly tolerable. Shit-encrusted worker ants, scrambling and scurrying, trying to fulfill a desire that they didn't even understand. I'd had no idea that vampires could feel things like depression, but there I was. For a while, I'd contemplated ending everything- more than two hundred years of life gone with the flare of a match. But my brother and his all-knowing meddling wife had stepped in, and, in the end, I'd decided on a much safer course.

Now, coasting to a stop on the shoulder of US-30, I think it was, the thick thunk-thunk-thunk of the unfortunate motorists heart was calling out to me, my mouth filling with venom, its scent enticing me like nothing had done in ages. I'd smelled the smoke and burning oil a few miles back, and hadn't planned on stopping, but now I just couldn't help myself. The Winnebago was gray and white- a model popular in the late 1970's. The tires were bald, only a few thin strips of tread left, rust eating out the wheel wells. It was surprising that this thing even started, let alone got very far. Its candy-apple scent was nearly visible in the air, drawing me along, to the window of the vehicle. As I neared, I noticed that the inside of the early-model R.V. smelled of cabbages and cats. It was nearly strong enough to overpower the blood. Nearly.

I'd intended to make it quick. Grab and drain, eat and run on the side of the highway. Fast food, if you will. That was until I saw it, saw her. Not much surprised me, or gave me pause. In my years, I'd pretty much seen everything. Supernatural and the mortal world. I'd seen werewolves, famously beautiful women, witches, natural disasters, shapeshifters, wars. The list went on. But this human caught me by surprise. Like her scent, she herself was like a blinding white light in an endless stream of monotony. She was like a pagan angel- beautiful, but somehow not pure enough to be of God himself.

Her hair tumbled down over bare, pale shoulders, dark mahogany with the barest shimmer of red. Her skin was nearly as pale as my own, nearly luminescent under the moonlight. She hadn't noticed me yet, standing just to the right of her window, peeking around the metal frame. Staring ahead, her chest rose and fell slowly, almost like she was asleep. Her heartbeat was steady, peaceful, like she was sitting in a park, not stranded on the side of a dark highway. I raised my hand and knocked on the window.

Her heart picked up to a delicious speed as she jumped in her seat, and looked over at me, a strange man standing right beside her. She simply stared at me for a few moments, brown eyes wide with surprise and a twinge of fear I could taste. Then she slowly cranked down her window, and a shudder stole over me as the peculiar smell of the human, cabbage and cats hit me like a fist. She was still staring at me, heart pounding in her chest so hard I could see it against her skin and through her fragile breast bone. I could see myself splitting her open, tearing the very heart from her chest, hands slick and warm with blood, bringing it to my lips, drinking straight from the source. But no. I could feel my thirst already slaking, and I didn't know why. I wanted the blood, I needed it. I had to have it. The venom was leaving my mouth though, drying up, as I stared at her, and she stared back. I knew she was terrified, looking at me with my obvious red eyes and my intense scrutiny.

I shook my head. Now, I should do it now, just grab her and sink my teeth into that soft juncture of her long neck. Instead, I heard myself asking, "Do you need some help?"

She stared for a moment longer, before finally answering. "Y-yes." Her voice quivered, full of fear. "I-I think it's finally died." Her eyes cut to the smoking hood.

"Where are you headed?"

She gave a vague shrug of her shoulders. I smiled, and her pulse shot up again, and I cursed myself when I realized that I had shown teeth. Snapping my mouth shut, I backed away from the window a few steps.

"Lucky for you," I said, keeping my voice pleasant, "that's exactly where I'm headed. Can I give you a ride somewhere?"

She cut her eyes away from me, back to the windshield, taking slow breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth, fingers white-knuckle tight on the steering wheel. Slowly, very slowly, she nodded. Twisting in her seat, she came back with a red backpack clutched in one hand, then she popped the door open and I backed up even farther as she slid out of the driver's seat, sneakered feet slapping the asphalt. She turned away from me, shrugging on her backpack then slammed the door shut, locking it up before slipping the keys into the pockets of her blue jean shorts.

"Peter," I said, offering my hand. She took it in her own shaking one, pulse speeding up at the touch of my cold skin.

"Bella," she returned quietly.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was going with him. Maybe I did have a death wish after all. Maybe it was the fact that he didn't immediately go for the throat. Oh, I recognized what he was, all right. Once you'd known one vampire, it was pretty easy to pick them out, and his crimson red eyes were telling.

My backpack was heavy, and I leaned forward as I watched him shift things around on the back of his motorcycle. Then I was climbing on, wrapping my arms around the waist of a human drinking vampire.

It was now official, I was completely insane.

I'd had severe doubts on the diagnosis that that pretentious doctor with the fussy goatee had given. Not me, but Charlie. I'd been busy, being strapped to a bed in a white room and all, drugs pumping through my system from a needle stabbed into my arm.

The bike came to life with a roar, and then we were soaring away, my hair whipping long behind us like a banner. The night was pitch black around us, my eyes unable to take in much more than the faded white lines marking the road. I could feel Peter make a few feeble attempts at breathing, but they were jagged and short, and he gave up. His chest and stomach were rock hard, and the cold penetrated my arms and fingers through the thin t-shirt he wore, chilling me to the bone within minutes, despite the warm summer breeze.

Peter smelled sweet, like I knew he would, the sugar-cookie smell bait for the prey, which was me. I wondered if he planned on killing me, then I wondered if he knew the Cullens. Their name was comfortable on my lips now, after nearly a year of therapy in the oatmeal-bland psychiatrist's office of Dr. Ruskov, esteemed Chief of the Shady Acre's Rest Retreat; a name meant to make it sound more like a vacation, instead of eighteen months of involuntary commitment. The phrase, as full of bullshit now as it was then, was still fresh in my mind, had been my ticket out.

Yes, the Cullen family was real. No they were not vampires. Vampires aren't real. Edward was a boy that I loved, not a 104 year old vampire that I loved. Vampire's aren't real, Dr. Ruskov.

I knew it was bullshit, but session after session of repeating it in a tear-filled voice, just the right amount of quiver and vulnerability had convinced both Charlie and the doctor. I'd like to thank the Academy...

The ink on the release papers had still been wet when I'd taken my college savings that had remained miraculously untouched during my confinement and bought the old Winnebago from an old woman with 32 cats who lived in Port Angelus. Before she'd sign the thing over to me, I'd had to sit in her afghan-draped living room and look at precisely 82 photo albums dedicated to Mrs. Atkinson's babies, and by the end I knew them each by name.

Without saying goodbye to anyone and wearing the first pair of actual shoes I'd seen in a year and a half, I'd packed up and took off. I didn't care where I ended up, as long as it was far, far away from the Olympic Peninsula. Now, on the back of a Triumph, snuggled into Peter the Human Drinker, I kind of wished I'd at least hugged Charlie and said goodbye to Jake before leaving. The resentment I felt toward my Dad was still fresh, but somewhere deep down, I understood that he hadn't known what to do with a daughter who was having hallucinations and hearing voices. My convoluted and damaged mind had scared him, and he'd reacted like a police officer instead of a father. Instead of talking, he locked me up.

I shook my head out of the past, looked around; still driving, still dark on all sides of us. Riding on a motorcycle was fun and relaxing when you could actually see what was whizzing past you. At night it was just boring. I heaved a sigh against Peter's back, where my face was level between his shoulder blades, and I laughed when I saw a light mist of fog waft from his t-shirt- his cold skin reacting to my hot breath. The shirt had Cheap Trick printed down the back in a tight column, and I sat up straighter, and pulled the back down at the neck, exposing a small part of his back. He gave no indication that he realized. Sucking in a breath, I exhaled against his neck, like you would to a pane of glass, watching the steam rise up.

A long, weary sigh came from Peter after I'd done this at least six or seven more times. "Could you not do that? It feels weird."

"Sorry," I mumbled, slumping down, my hands moving back to grip the sides of his shirt.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

The sun was peeking over the tops of the trees when she spoke again.

"Wait! Peter, can you stop for a second?"

I did without a word, pulling the bike onto the soft shoulder of the same highway, and she scrambled off the back. The ditches weren't as deep here, but the wildflowers still grew up, dots of purple, orange, white and blue in the thick green grass. We were still surrounded on all sides by trees, and after wading her way through the ditch on our right, I watched Bella as she scrambled up one, perching herself on the thickest, lowest branch. Her white-canvas sneakers were soaked through from the dew clinging to the ditch grass, and she had a few small holes in her loose blue tank top where it had gotten snagged on tree bark. I sat on the bike, wondering what in the hell she was doing, and whether I should just leave her there. Or if I should climb up the tree and eat her. Leaving her wasn't an option, but as I watched her sit, swinging her feet like a child, I decided that eating her definitely was. That's why I'd picked her up, wasn't it? Her blood that I could still hear rushing from where I sat? Sure it was.

I turned the bike off, and swung off of it, crossing the still empty road, climbing up the tree with ease that I should have hidden, but I didn't see the point. Bella didn't look at me as I sat next to her. She was staring up, through a gap in the trees across the road, at the sky, watching the colors change. Her head was tilted back, neck stretched, and I watched the thick vein that ran down the side, blue under her paper-white skin. I leaned toward her, inhaling deep, thick venom coating my teeth. Bella turned her head to look at me as I leaned even closer, her dark brown eyes with the specks of gold and green darting down to my parted lips, then away.

"That was beautiful. I'd never seen a sun rise before. So..." she trailed off as I slumped back, closing my mouth, "thanks."

I just grunted as I jumped down, landing several feet below, asking myself why I'd hesitated again. It was brighter now, and it didn't look like there was much chance of cloud cover, which would be a problem when the sun was high in the sky. While I didn't much care if Bella saw me fucking sparkle, if we by chance passed by another motorist, it would be a mess. I crossed to the bike, and started it up, waiting for Bella who was still climbing down the tree. That same candy-apple scent flooded all around me as her hair brushed my shoulders as she straddled the bike behind me, the horrid stenches from the Winnebago now completely gone, blown away during the night.

"We're going to have to find a place to stop for the day," I told her, still idling on the side of the road. "I need to... uh... sleep." I wasn't sure why I was lying to her, when I'd already decided that I didn't care if she knew what I was or not. I was going to eat her later anyway.

"Yeah, sure," she said, dragging the words out sarcastically, as if she already knew. It wouldn't surprise me if she did.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

We wound up stopping at a road-side motel somewhere close to the Kentucky border. It made me think of the Bates motel, and I was glad for a split second that I was currently traveling with a vampire, just in case the desk-man wound up having severe mommy-issues. Peter pulled the bike into the dusty gravel parking lot, and I pulled my back pack on, and then followed him into the small office. The bleary eyed man behind the desk hardly noticed us as Peter jotted down a name on the register then slid some cash across the counter. A key was tossed in our general direction, and as I passed the desk on the way out, I looked down at the register curiously. I snorted when I saw the name Edward Norton jotted down in small, cramped handwriting.

Room 1-A was so vividly bright it threatened migraines, with lime green walls, hot-pink bedding, and electric blue lamp shades. It was stupefying to think that someone had purposefully designed this room, had looked at it, and thought, "Daaamn, that looks goood." The carpet was thick orange shag and my feet sunk with every step. There were two double beds, one long, low dresser made of the same type of pale imitation wood as the single night stand that stood between the beds and the small dining table for two. Despite the hotel's outer seedy appearance, the room seemed clean enough; I didn't see any roaches skittering up the walls, and it smelled fresh. The door closed with a soft thump behind me, and I looked to see Peter eyeing the room, military-type duffel thrown over his shoulder. He was wide-eyed and gaping, taking in the tasteful d├ęcor.

"Holy fuck," he muttered. To his heightened vision, it must have been blinding.

I claimed the bed closest to the bathroom, tossing my backpack down. Peter dropped his duffle on the other bed, and I looked over to find him hands-in-pockets, staring at me. This had to be awkward for him. Human drinkers probably didn't normally spend a lot of time with their food source.

"I'm going to take a shower," I said, awkward myself. Zippering my bag open, I dug out a clean pair of panties and a big t-shirt, and then retreated into the bathroom, kicking the door shut behind me. The t.v. turned on in the other room, and I sat my clothes down on the long counter. There was a sink set in the middle of the puke-green fake marble counter and an enormous mirror hanging on the wall above it, directly across from the yellow toilet. Great place for a mirror, because everyone wanted to watch themselves taking a shit. Vanity bulbs above the mirror lit the room, with a smaller light set into the ceiling of the shower stall. Yellow and brown tile with a frosted-glass door, I poked my head inside and was pleased to see the mildew build-up was minimal.

I stripped out of my dirty clothes, dropping them to the linoleum floor, and reached in the shower to turn the water all the way hot. The shower was already steamed up when I stepped inside, and immediately reached for the standard tiny bottle of two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. The muscles in my butt and thighs were stiff and sore from riding on the back of the bike, and the hot water did wonders. I stuck my head under the spray, rinsing the lather out, and that's when I saw it. Enormous, hairy and brown, crawling slowly up the tiled wall right in front of me. Its little beady eyes seemed to glare at me with malicious intent, and I let out a scream that put horror movie actresses to shame. Instead of running out of the shower, like any smart person would, I shrunk back into the far corner, screaming my head off.

The bathroom door was kicked in, and the shower door was yanked open by a freaked-out looking Peter.

"What? What is it?" he yelled, looking around the shower.

"Fucking spider! Huge, spider! Kill it!" My voice had taken a pitch I didn't even know it could reach.

He slumped against the shower door, eyes shooting to the spider, then back to me, and my very naked body.

"Are you fucking kidding me? Jesus Christ. I had a fucking Psycho flashback." With one hand, he reached into the shower and slapped the spider. The crunch was audible, and the thing splattered against the palm of his hand. I was still cowering in the corner as he stuck his hand under the shower spray, rinsing spider guts off his skin. His hand was very close to my naked breast, and I could feel his eyes on me. I looked up from his still outstretched hand and saw his blood-red eyes were roving over my body, the pupils quickly dilating with hunger. He was half leaned into the shower now, water soaking his short dark hair. The hunger was reflected in his features, and I stayed perfectly still.

Should I play dead? Like during a bear attack?

Peter was eyeing my chest, eyes blazing against his chalky white skin, the telltale purple bruises shadowing them, saying he hadn't fed in quite a while. Hewas the only vampire I had seen that had facial hair, with an untrimmed goatee and a few days' worth of stubble. It made me wonder if other vampires shaved, or if this was one of the universe's ways of saying haha! leaving him with an unkempt appearance forever. Then there was the mole. Right by his mouth, and I wanted to push it like a button, but thought that it might be considered rude.

Peter was reaching for me, and his ice cold hand was trailing down the side of my left breast. I sucked in a breath at the contact, and he snatched his hand back, slamming the shower door shut before I could blink. His outline was hazy but visible through the frosted glass, and he just stood there while I slumped back against the shower wall. I could still feel where he'd touched me, like a mark down my breast, degrees cooler than the rest of my body. The bathroom door clicked shut again, and after a few minutes I turned the water off, stepping out of the shower.

When I stepped out of the bathroom in my pajamas, dirty clothes balled up in my hands, Peter was laying prone on the bed, still fully clothed in his Cheap Trick t shirt and worn jeans. Even his boots were still on his feet, legs crossed at the ankle. He looked like a dead man lying there, with his pale skin and still chest, and, I reminded myself that he was, technically. I dropped my clothes in a pile next to my bed and peeled the covers back, crawling into the surprisingly clean sheets, and sank into the bed. This was much more comfortable than the hard cot I'd been sleeping on in the Winnebago.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

Bella was fast asleep, and I was arguing with myself. I needed to feed, and I knew that I could find someone easily- the man at the front desk would be nice, and I'd get a little high while I was at it- but why go out, when I had her here, sleeping in the bed right next to me? Curled up on her side with the covers pulled up under her chin, snoring. I turned away and headed for the door, pulling it open and poking my head outside. My bike was still the only vehicle in the parking lot. The motel was on a curve, tall neon sign blinking vacancy. I slipped out the door, closing it softly behind me, and made my way around to the front office.

The small television set was now blaring The Price is Right, the same bleary eyed man zoned out behind the desk. With thinning hair combed across a bald pate, a bulging stomach and thick bug-eyed glasses, he looked a man who had enjoyed the sixties entirely too much, and was still stick in the limbo between eras. He'd barely had time to blink his glassy eyes up at me before I was snapping his neck, sinking my teeth into a soft, fleshy part, right over where his pulse thrummed lazily. The blood was unsurprisingly bland, flowing thick and hot down my throat.

When I pulled away, licking a little blood from the corner of my lip, I felt a tingle in my fingertips and toes, whatever drug that was coursing through his blood stream now filling me. The front desk man sat at a funny angle in the old office chair, neck turned at an unnatural angle, snapped neck bones jutting through skin. I didn't know what to do with him, and by this point, I was unable to think straight.

A stack of newspapers lay on the ground by the chair, and I snatched up the top one- the funny pages- and tented it over his upturned face. Tufts of hair stuck awkwardly over the top of the paper, but I figured it was good enough.

The sun was shining brighter when I stepped out of the office, rays hitting my face and arms directly, making me look like some mockery of a disco ball. Darting to mine and Bella's room at top speed, I slipped inside, taking care to shut the door quietly.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

It was dark again when I finally woke from the best sleep I'd had in nearly two years. A soft bed- finally, finally a soft bed- no more hard RV cot, spartan hospital bed with the carefully rubberized corners, small child size twin bed. My thighs still ached, but I figured that I'd grow used to it. Soft moonlight filtered into the room through the now open window, bringing with it the earthy smell of the woods around the hotel. Peter was laying in the bed next to me, exactly as he was when I fell asleep. Had he been there the entire time?

Then he looked over at me, and I saw very clearly that he hadn't been. His eyes, instead of rich burgundy, were now nearly ruby red, the shadows under his eyes gone. He'd left and fed. On a human. I waited for the feeling, the disgust, the revulsion, to come over me, but it didn't; I was just happy it wasn't me. The fact that he'd left the room and fed from some poor, hapless schmuck and not the tasty bit of Bella (bet it tastes just like chicken) laying in the bed right next to him showed that he didn't plan on eating me, and I couldn't help but wonder why.

I sat up in bed, stretching, pushing back the covers. Scooting to the side, I flexed my toes into the thick shag rug, and grabbed my back pack off the floor. I didn't hear a rustle of movement from the vampire across the room as I stood and walked into the bathroom, but I could feel his eyes following me.

"I'm getting dressed," I said over my shoulder, not bothering to raise my voice. "Then I need coffee. And french fries." Still not a word, so I shut the thin door behind me, and started pulling a clean set of clothes out of my pack. I only had one other besides this set and the dirty ones laying on the floor of the no-tell-motel. I'd have to find a laundry mat soon.

Pulling a pony-tail holder out of a side pocket of the bag, I made a tail high on my head, and reached over to turn on the sink, letting it run hot. I quickly washed and dried my face, and changed out of my sleep shirt into a clean set of cut off jean shorts and a faded Black Sabbath t-shirt that I'd picked up somewhere along the line. The worn fabric was soft against my skin, and it had too many holes to count.

Peter was still laying in the same spot, and I dropped my pack onto my bed, and walked around to his. His hands were now in his pockets, and he was watching me walk up to him. He didn't say anything, just laid there and stared, and I found myself wondering again why he wasn't eating me.

"C'mon," I said, nudging his mattress with my knee. "Let's go get coffee."

He still didn't move.

"Peter?"

Nothing.

"Hey," I poked his shoulder with my finger. "Are you alright?"

Slowly, a shake of the head.

"You're not?"

"No," his voice was low and floaty, and it surprised me. "I am... I don't know what I am."

"I'm confused."

"So am I," Peter said, and that's when I noticed that his eyes were dilated widely. He was doped to the gills.

"Are you high?"

"No, didn't you hear me?" I jumped when he was suddenly sitting on the side of the bed, looking up at me, having moved to quickly for me to see. "I'm confused."

"Okay," I said, backing up half a step. His hand shot out and caught the hem of my shirt, stopping me from moving any farther. I swallowed thickly. "What are you confused about."

"You. Why can't I eat you? You smell so good," He lifted the fabric of my shirt to his face and inhaled deeply, exposing my stomach. "And I want to. I want to rip into your pretty little neck and bathe in your blood, but I can't. Why can't I?"

I was terrified, he was still clutching my shirt tightly, looking up at me with those blazing, glazed eyes, and I wanted to cry. Then, before I knew it, I was flipped over onto my back on my bed, Peter hovering over me, pressing me down into the mattress, running the tip of his nose down the column of my neck and over my chest. He hovered over my pulse point, lips parted, barely touching flesh, inhaling and exhaling deeply.

"I should," he said, voice so low he could have been talking to himself, "I should do it right now." The edges of his teeth scraped gently against my skin, not nearly hard enough to break it.

Tears pooled in my eyes, and I knew I should have been screaming my head off. But it wouldn't do any good. No one was here, no one for miles, and even if someone heard me, there wasn't much they could do against Peter.

But he wasn't biting, he wasn't even applying pressure, he was just hovering there. His chest was stone against mine, cold radiating through layers of clothes, chilling my skin. I allowed myself a gasp of air, realizing I'd been holding it in. Peter pulled back sharply, jolting to his feet off the bed.

I collapsed back onto the mattress, gasping in relief. Peter shifted, and I sat up quickly, watching him warily. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, leaned over his knees, eyes on the ground. I could still feel his lips on my neck, teeth scraping, and the tears I'd been holding back began to fall.

What was I supposed to be feeling right now? Fear? I'd certainly been scared enough when he'd had me pinned. Righteous anger? Certainly some natural survival instincts should be kicking in right now, but all that I could feel was that same relief as earlier, relief that I was still breathing.

"Bella, I-" Peter started to say, his voice different, now raspy and low.

"Don't ever fucking do that to me again," I said, cutting him off. Peter nodded, eyes still on the ground.

I stood, and he looked up, and I was relieved to see that his pupils were nearly back to their normal size. Whoever he'd fed from must've been pretty fucked up.

"Let's just... just go. I still need my coffee." I snatched my pack up and shoved my dirty clothes inside and zippered it shut. After a moment, Peter grabbed his untouched duffle and slung it over his shoulder. Moving to the door, I slid my bare feet into my sneakers, and walked out of the motel room.

(Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car)

We found some seedy, open all night diner a little further down US 30, and as we slid into a booth with cracked leather seats, the disgust was evident on Peter's face. He could probably smell everything, and, according to the Cullens, human food smelled little better than feces. I couldn't hide my smirk- good, make him uncomfortable.

The waitress came around, a pretty little thing, stomach round with pregnancy. She looked to be around five months, and her smile was tired as she took my order. The steaming coffee was served right away, and she took the little green ticket back to the kitchen. I dumped some sugar into the brew, stirred vigorously, and took a long drink. If there was one think that I'd missed the most during my confinement, it was coffee. Shady Acres hadn't allowed the stuff, siting that the caffeine was an addictive substance.

"This place is revolting," Peter muttered from across the table. His eyes were hidden by an old pair of sunglasses, his forearms braced on the table top.

"Get over it," I told him, taking another sip of coffee. There were two red and white checked placemats on the table, and I unrolled my silverware, arranging everything just so. Fork in the middle, spoon on the left, knife on the right.

The waitress, Susie, according to her name tag, brought my plate out, and set it in front of me with out ceremony. She turned to Peter, that tired smile stretched across her face. "Are you sure there's nothing I can bring you?"

Peter turned toward her slowly. "No," he said, sneer evident in his voice. The girl looked frightened, hands fluttering to her distended stomach on instinct.

"He's on a special diet," I interjected, turning the girl back toward me. I leaned toward her, and whispered conspiratorially, "it's supposed to help with his... little problem." Raising my eyebrow suggestively, nodding my head toward Peter, my meaning was clear. Susie looked at Peter, giggled, and shuffled quickly back to the kitchen. I watched her go, then reached for the bottle of ketchup, squirting some over my steak fries. Peter was looking at me grumpily.

"What?" I asked, pausing in my ketchup-squeezing.

"Was that really necessary?" he asked, sulky.

"Was it necessary to scare the poor girl to death?" I asked back. The silverware was cold in my hand as I picked up my fork and stabbed a fry, devouring it quickly.

Real food was another thing I'd missed. Shady Acres offered three, nutritious, perfectly balanced meals a day, heavy on the cardboard flavoring. In comparison, the fries were like deep-fried crack.

"You knew what I was all along, didn't you?"

That was a question I hadn't been expecting right then, and it caught me off guard. I finished chewing my fries and swallowed slowly.

"Yes," I answered guardedly, unsure of what he would do now. According to Edward, it was a big no-no for my kind to know of their kind.

"How?" he asked, leaning back in his booth.

"It's pretty easy to pick you guys out," I told him. "The skin, the unnatural stillness, and the bright red eyes are usually a big clue. You haven't exactly been trying to hide it."

He shrugged, "Most humans will believe anything their minds come up with, most think the eyes are some type of freak medical issue."

"Well, not me. Then again, I kind of have an unfair advantage- I've mixed with your kind before."

"And survived?"

"Barely." I chewed another fry, washing it down with cooling coffee. "the family themselves weren't a threat, well, at least most of them weren't. There was one, but..." I trailed off, thinking of Jasper for the first time in a while. To be honest, I kind of missed the quiet vampire- he was one of the only ones out of the entire clan who didn't make me feel like I was less. "Anyway, they didn't hunt humans. Vegetarians, they called themselves."

Peter was quiet for a moment. "Denali's or Cullens?" he finally asked, catching me off guard again. "Those are the only two 'Vegetarian Families' I know of, and I know quite a lot."

"Cullens," I told him. "I dated one of them in high school.'

He snorted. "Edward? I don't think Edward even counts as a vampire. "

"How do you know them," I asked.

"Jasper's my maker, and my brother," he answered simply. Maker? Brother? Well tonight was just full of surprises.

"What do you mean 'brother'?"

"Another story for another time," he evaded, which only made me more curious.

"Jasper tried to eat me once."

"I'll kill him," Peter burst out with, drawing a funny look from the waitress. I just raised a brow at him.

"Sorry, I'm not sure where that came from," as if he'd merely burped, or something.

"It was my own fault," I told him. "His wife threw me this god-awful over the top birthday party, and I cut myself in front of him. And with his gift..." I trailed off with a shrug of my shoulders. Peter nodded that he understood, and started staring at my food in disgust. He had to look away when I took a large bite of the burger.

"Have you decided where you're going yet?" he asked after a few minutes of silence.

"Eh, I think I'll stick with you." I answered around a mouthful of masticated cow.

"Why?"

I shrugged vaguely. "Why not?"

He made a noncommittal grunt in the back of his throat. Reaching up, he slid his sunglasses off, keeping his eyes cast downward, I figured in case the waitress looked over. I shoveled down some more fries, and he absentmindedly stuck the ear of the shades into his mouth and started nibbling on it. The tip of the ear piece snapped off at the first nibble, and he gagged before spitting it back out onto the table top. He looked up as I snorted loudly, and by the sheepish expression on his face, I could tell he would be blushing if he could.

"Like I said, why not?"


Now leave a review, or Peter will eat you. And happy birthday, lifelesslyndsey!