A/N: This was an FGB piece that was one by icrodriguez during the New Moon auction, and because I had not completed it yet (far from it), had been hesitant to post it. As you all can probably tell from a glance at my profile, canon Twilight is not my strong suit, and I've never quite been able to capture the magic of the supernatural/vampire aspect of the characters.
Hopefully, I have at least made a suitable attempt at capturing them in this EPOV of the New Moon movie. And as you'll notice below, there will be instances that I use the deleted scenes from the DVD, since I really enjoyed what most of them brought to the situations they were in. I have two more parts written of this, that are in another round of editing phases, and will post once they are ready. And I will *knocks on wood* hopefully be able to finish the entire movie sometime soon.
Last night was quite possibly one of the longest of my entire existence. From the moment I arrived home after leaving Bella's room, once she had fallen asleep, I was bombarded by Alice's racing thoughts about her plans for the following evening; Bella's birthday.
Even without the ability to read her mind, I knew Bella would not be happy about these 'plans', having spent the entire summer observing her dreading the arrival of her birthday. She'd made me promise not to buy her anything, though I could not even begin to imagine why. She confounded me, as I had always thought that women enjoyed receiving gifts; though my experience had been limited to Esme, Alice and, of course, Rosalie, for the better part of a century. All of whom were complete polar opposites of Bella, even without the addition of vampirism.
After what seemed like forever, I decided that I needed to leave for a while. Not only to part myself from the inner workings of my sister's mind, but I also wanted a quick hunt before school. Although it had become less difficult to be around Bella for the usual periods of time I spent with her, it was by no means easy. And since a majority of my day—and evening—would be spent in her company, I would not take any chances. She was far too precious to me.
I could hear the increasing number of voices as I pulled up to the school; the mundane thoughts of a few hundred kids, until I finally weeded out those that contained the only thing of real importance.
The fact that she was still at the forefront of Mike Newton's every waking fantasy while in her presence, or incurred the superficial musings of Jessica Stanley, did not bother me nearly as much anymore. Particularly when I saw her face at times like those.
"Oh good, Cullen's here," Mike said, doing nothing to mask his disdain. Nor did Yorkie, but Bella instantly glanced in my direction at the sound of my name.
She barely turned to acknowledge her friends' departure before her attention refocused on me, and there was no mistaking the hint of a smile on her face as I began making my way across the lot toward her.
Everything about her gaze at me told me all that her mind did not, and while I sometimes wished she had more of a sense of self-preservation, it still made me happier than I had been in over eighty years. I was as much of the center of her world as she was mine. Our connection was something that no one in this town, or this world for that matter, could ever comprehend. I had difficulty understanding it, at times; since the two of us, being what we were, defied every law of nature. She was a human, I was a vampire. A predator and his prey. The blood that enticed and lured me in more than anything had in decades, yet I would destroy anyone or anything that ever tried to harm her. I was the one thing she should fear most in this world, yet she loved me unconditionally and unfailingly stood by my side; albeit, foolishly.
The situation was so tragic, it was almost comical. And all because I was far too selfish to let her go.
"Happy birthday," I said as soon as I was close enough for her to hear me.
"Don't remind me," she instantly replied, shaking her head slightly while still keeping her eyes focused on me.
The look of adoration in her eyes as she gazed at me was something I did not believe I would ever grow accustomed to, nor ever feel that I deserved. Yet, as I rested my hands on her waist and pulled her closer, I selfishly relished in it nonetheless.
However, more than that, her reaction at this moment actually amused me. "Bella, your birth is definitely something to celebrate."
My hopes in reviving her smile were diminished as a look akin to despair crossed her features. "Yeah, but my aging's not."
"Your aging?" I replied, unable to restrain a chuckle at the seriousness of her tone, but it quickly faded due to the direction that I knew the conversation was about to take. The entire reason she had been dreading that day for the duration of the summer, unwanting of the attention it brought about, and not only to her person. "I think eighteen is a little young to start worrying about that."
However, even the sobering of my expression as I gazed down at her did not cease the discussion. I could see that much in her eyes before she could even move to respond.
"It's one year older than you," she pointed out, making her view clear. The fact that I was permanently frozen in the body of a seventeen year old while she continued her life, growing and aging as a human, was something that she never allowed to escape her consciousness, nor myself to forget it, either.
Yet, she never took one simple fact into consideration.
"No it isn't. I'm a hundred and nine," I reminded her in an attempt to alleviate her tension, and fortunately—that time—it seemed to have worked. I could see the subtle relaxing of the faint creases around her eyes and forehead that she acquired whenever she was needlessly worrying about something and the slight shift in her gaze at me.
"Well, maybe I shouldn't be dating such an old man. It's gross. I should be thoroughly repulsed," she replied sarcastically and I could not help but to laugh softly as I moved closer to her.
"Uh huh," I replied a moment before I tilted my head to brush my lips gently against hers.
If there was one thing I would never accustom myself to, nor ever tire of, it was the soft, warm feel of her lips against mine. The way her heart would begin accelerating the moment we touched, her breath fanning in short bursts over my skin or her soft whimper against my lips as if she could not get enough of me, or close enough. It would be so easy for me to lose myself in her completely; if only I could believe as fervently as she did that I would never hurt her.
However, it was not the case, and that thought alone gave me the strength each time to pull back, though not enough to break away completely. The warmth of her body against the granite cold of my own was intoxicating, but the innocent gesture of our foreheads resting together also helped me to ground myself. It was something far more intimate and soothing than anything I'd ever experienced, and it helped me to keep my perspective and focus of just how important she was to my very existence.
"We have to go to class," I said softly, anticipating the dejected look on her face only seconds before it appeared, regardless of how well she tried to hide it from me as she agreed and stepped away.
What the hell does she see in him? Haven't been able to catch her once this summer without him permanently attached to her. I'm not going to steal your precious girlfriend.
The thoughts of Jacob Black echoed loud in my head before he was even fully visible, and it took everything in me to keep my face neutral, both with his inevitable presence and for Bella's sake.
"Wait a second," I stopped her by catching her hand, nodding in the direction of the approaching boy. "Someone wants you."
"Bella!" he called out, his jovial tone and bright smile a sharp contrast to his preceding thoughts as she turned.
"Jacob," Bella replied, surprised by his presence but her smile in return was unmistakable, and to say I was unaffected by it would be a lie. That there was another that could make her smile that instantaneously tore at my heart, though I tried not to show it as she nervously turned to look at me.
It was not difficult to detect the awkwardness in her gaze as she silently asked me for a moment with her friend, and that, I could not deny her. Regardless of my personal feelings, which she had easily picked up on the year before at prom, and no matter how much it hurt, she at least deserved that. "I'll leave you to talk."
"Hello, biceps," her voice carried across the lot as I moved away from her.
Ah, she likes the muscles. Well, that's one thing I've got over Cullen, his triumphant thoughts echoed in my head, even as I tried to block them out. You're way too good for him, Bella.
As their conversation continued, they began to run more rampant.
If only we could hang out more without him lurking around every moment of the day. God, he can't even let her have a conversation without him present. Insecure much? Back off and let her breathe.
"I'm alright. I prefer the res school's exclusivity. They let any old riff raff into this place," he replied to her suggestion, and I once again had to restrain a growl at the insinuation, however subtle it might have been to I could not resist the urge to roll my eyes.
"I see. Why're you slumming it?"
My car is as good an excuse as any. Can't let her know I came all the way out here just to give her the present I've gotten her. And inviting her to La Push is as good a way as any to ensure she'd be alone.
I drew in a deep breath, if only to calm myself as he marveled at her laugh, much as I did every time I heard that glorious sound, and her, so oblivious to her effect on him. Moreover, the ease and comfort she felt with him as they spoke radiated off her. Their conversation and interaction was so effortless, in contrast to how everything needed to be with me; complicated, guarded. I could honestly say that I was envious of Jacob Black.
Then his thoughts shifted again as he got around to the real reason behind his visit; her birthday. His mind was running at a rapid pace as he witnessed her annoyance at the mention of it, praying that she would at least enjoy the gift he had so painstakingly and diligently chosen for her.
To his relief—and my dismay—she seemed nothing less than sincere when she expressed how perfect it was and thanked him.
"No problem," he replied, trying unsuccessfully to hide his triumphant smirk.
Fortunately, it was shortlived, as he glanced over to me where I still waited for her to join me inside.
You don't know how lucky you are, Cullen, he mentally chided as they said goodbye and he took her in his arms, glaring at me over her shoulder.
I myself was not above causing a scene when it came to her, but I did not want to spoil any part of her birthday, despite the low regard she held for it. If I could not give her an actual gift, I could at least grant her that much.
However, even that did not seem to quell the overwhelming emotion churning inside me. Since the moment Bella walked into my world, I actually felt like just another seventeen-year-old male for the first time in nearly a century. And at that moment, I wanted to figuratively rip the head off the guy obviously flirting with and laying his hands on my girlfriend. The fact that I could literally do so was entirely beside the point.
The power of jealousy was more consuming that I'd ever thought possible, and also, completely ridiculous. Bella loved me, rationally or not. It was me that she was walking away with. Yet one thing continued to eat away at me.
"So how come Jacob Black gets to give you a gift and I don't?" I asked challengingly, returning my gaze to her as we walked down the hallway toward class.
Her features shifted uncomfortably, while still replying in a tone that indicated how obvious she felt her answer was. "Because I have nothing that I can give back to you."
I had come to expect answers like that from her, but it never became easier to hear or handle. She never could grasp the concept of what she meant to me, and somehow, I doubted that she ever would. "Bella, you give me everything just by breathing."
Her gaze left me and she looked down in embarrassment. "See? Like, that's all I want."
I chuckled slightly at her response, marveling at how easy it was to please her at times.
"I mean, that's not all I want, though, and you know that. So I'm not even gonna go there," she continued pointedly and I sighed heavily, the mood between us shifting abruptly. I'd foolishly hoped that we could at least get through the remainder of the day without any more uncomfortable discussions between us. She knew, if not completely understood, my feelings on the matter of her becoming one of us. Yet, she never relinquished her persistence on it, and every time, it only reminded me of how different her life would have been if I hadn't become part of it.
She would be with someone like Jacob.
As usual, she was more perceptive to my moods than I would have liked, though my inability to mask myself with her probably did not aid in my efforts. "Jacob's a friend, you know? Something maybe you're not too familiar with. It's a person that you don't want to kiss or kill, but enjoy their company nonetheless."
"Mmm-hmm?" I replied as she looked up at me almost defiantly. "Well, your friend just spent two weeks trying to find the perfect dreamcatcher."
Petty, Cullen. Extremely petty,my subconscious scolded, and I honestly couldn't agree more. Though, at the moment, it was becoming exceedingly more difficult to rationalize.
"If you don't like his thoughts, then quit reading them," she stated and I drew in a deep breath. His thoughts were not the only thing kept looming around in my head. The images conjured in his fantasies continued to torment me long after he had already departed the school grounds. Her lips against his, her arms wrapped around him... among other things that I would sooner forget.
"It's kind of hard not to," I replied honestly, and for once, I was actually thankful for the fluttering thoughts of my sister as we stepped through the double doors, calling out her name as she not so subtly leapt over the railing.
"Happy Birthday!" she announced as she engulfed Bella in a hug, while she quickly hushed her. Alice meekly pulled away with a small smile that hinted that she was not apologetic at all, and handed her a box.
I'll bet you anything she'll pull it off, Jasper's thoughts echoed through my mind, and I couldn't help but smirk.
If anyone could, it would be Alice. Watching my sister with Bella was always a comfort and a delight, having welcomed her into our family with open arms. The bond that had formed between the two of them was unparalleled by any other member of my family aside from myself, regardless of how much they loved— or in the case of Rosalie, despised— her. Alice had in Bella what she had been missing for so long as well; a little sister to dote upon and spoil in a way that Rosalie was always far too bristled for.
I knew that if that had been me, Bella would have given me an earful; though the thought had occurred to me on more than one occasion over the summer. A new car to replace the beast she insisted on keeping was one thing that consistently ran through my mind. However, I doubted even Jasper's help with manipulating her emotions as he was doing right at that very second would have saved me for long. Therefore, I finally decided to simply let it go.
My sister, on the other hand, I knew would not relent so easily.
Any second now, Edward. She will relent. I can already see her breaking down, Alice's thoughts carried over to me, and I fought against the smile that was threatening to break through.
"Okay, alright," Bella finally surrendered and an excited squeal left Alice, confirming the time of her party before bouncing back to Jasper. The sudden dawn of realization crossed Bella's face and her gaze returned to the couple. "Jasper, no fair with the mood control thing."
Alice shamelessly laughed and even Jasper, the most withdrawn and cautious of us all, could not contain a smile as well. "Sorry, Bella. Happy," he paused, watching her tense and feeling the anxiety rising in her that even I couldn't miss, without his gift. "Nevermind."
She sighed heavily in defeat, realizing that she had just agreed to be the center of attention for the entire evening, and smacked my chest lightly with the box in her hand. "You can't trust vampires," I said and she gave a slight roll of her eyes as she began to walk away. "Trust me."