Hey guys it's me again. I had this idea for a story, and it won't leave me alone, so I'm going to try my best to write both of my stories at the same time (Let's see how that works out), but my stories are like my babies, and this one is ready to be born, so wish me luck.
Chapter 1: The One I've Been Looking For
"Edward, are you sure you don't want to come with us?" Esme asked me for the sixteenth time. Being a vampire, I remembered every time she had asked me with perfect clarity, and that was just out loud. The number of times she had asked me mentally was far more plentiful
"I'm sure, Mom. This is something I need to do for myself. Please don't worry," I assured her. We were getting ready to move to Alaska. We were currently in Forks, Washington, but it was time for us to move to a new destination, and the Denalis had invited us to stay with them for a year or two. I, however, would not be traveling with my family. Seeing as I had no desire to be in the presence of Tanya, I would be staying in Washington, claiming to be going to college for medical school. I pretended that Tanya's advances were the only reason for my wanting to separate from the family, but in all honesty, I was hurting. Every day I was bombarded with thoughts of love and desire. I was surrounded by happy couples, yet I was completely alone. I could only take so much.
"Son, exactly how long do you plan on being away from us?" asked Carlisle.
"Just a year, Carlisle. I will also visit during breaks and long weekends. It's not as if I'm going to just disappear for a year," I did love my family very much, and I had no arguments about visiting them, but I did need to distance myself for a while.
"Well, we will be leaving in an hour, so I just want to make sure you have everything," Esme fretted. She was such a sweet mother.
"I'm fine, Mom, I promise. All my things are already here. We've lived in Forks for two years, please relax," though I was the first Cullen that Carlisle had changed, Esme still considered me the baby of the family, and dotted on me every time the opportunity presented itself.
"Esme could you please help me with these clothes?" Alice asked. Esme kissed my cheek before dashing up the stairs. I walked over to the window and gazed at the dark cloud filled sky. It was early morning, but you couldn't tell because of the lack of sunlight. Carlisle used this time to ask me the question that had weighing on his mind.
Son, this isn't really about Tanya is it? I shook my head in response. Carlisle sighed. Edward, I'm sorry that you feel hurt being around us.
I was about to protest that I enjoyed being with my family when Emmet came bursting through the door quickly followed by Jasper. "Edward! What does this mean? I heard you're not coming with us," he bellowed. He was clearly enraged.
What the hell, man! What happened? Why aren't you coming with us?
"It's complicated, Em," I tried to calm him.
"Yeah well, I'm sure you can find a way to dumb it down for me," he challenged, obviously not satisfied with my answer. Jasper sent a wave of calm over Em which only served to enrage him even more. He glared at me before stomping out of the room.
Jasper sighed looking in the direction that Emmet had gone before facing me, "I have to agree with him, brother. Why didn't you tell us you weren't coming with us?" Jasper understood the pain that I sometimes felt around couples, but the thought that I wouldn't be coming with him saddened him greatly.
"Dear, let us leave them to talk," Carlisle convinced Esme and left Jazz and me to be alone.
Is it really that awful being with us? Is it so painful that you need to leave?
I felt so guilty hearing the pain in his thoughts. I didn't want to be away from my family. I adored my family, and we were all very close. Carlisle was my father in every way that mattered, and I don't know where I would be without him. Esme was the most loving mother I could ask for. Emmet was loud and silly, but he was a good brother, and I knew I could always count on him. Rosalie had a temper and could be very conceited sometimes, but she is always there when I need her. Jasper is the person I can talk to about anything, and I know he'll understand. Alice is my loving, overly perky, annoying, bossy little sister whom I love with all my heart. I couldn't ask for a better family, but I still wasn't happy. I was content, I was comfortable, and I was wealthy, so I didn't understand why it hurt so much for me to be alone. There were people all over the world who were looking for "The One", but they didn't feel the emptiness that I felt. I honestly think that something is wrong me.
"I don't want to leave, but I feel that this is something I have to do, for my sake as well as yours. I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I never imagined that I would actually have the nerve to do it," I explained to him.
What do you mean for our sake? This seemed to aggravate him quite a bit.
"Don't think that I don't notice it, Jazz. I am a mind reader after all. We do all these family activities because you want to include me, but I'm just a seventh wheel. I know that you want to spend time with your mates, and that having me around sometimes hinders that," I wanted to explain this to him in a way that would cause him not to feel guilty, but I know I wasn't doing a very good job.
Avery distressed Alice came down the stairs, "You're really doing it? You're not coming with us." She looked as if she would cry any moment now, "I know that you had been thinking about it, but I always saw that it was only a fleeting thought, but now you're really serious about this."
"Yes, I am. I need you to understand that this is something that I believe I must follow my instincts on for the first time in decades. I'm always thinking about facts and probabilities, but this time is different," I struggled to convince her that this was the path that I felt I had to take. There was something inside me that demanded that I remain here, that I shouldn't leave, and had the call not have been so strong, I would probably be leaving with my family right now.
At first it was just a feeling. Like when humans think they should bring an umbrella because they think it might rain despite the news report, and they turn out to be correct. It was instinct, a tug that told me to stay, but lately I had begun heard a voice. Very faint, as if the owner was miles away, but it was there, gentle voice, soft and sweet. The voice begged me to wait, to stay. It said that it was coming to me, and it asked me to wait for it.
"Way to go, Edward. You made Emmet cry," Rose strutted into the room, pulling Emmet along the way.
"I'm not crying!" denied Emmet, his voice cracking.
Do what you have to do. I'll back you up. You know that. I nodded thank you. Rosalie and I fought quite often, but we understood each other.
"You're not going to claim to be sweating from your eyes are you? Because we don't sweat," Jasper joked as he ruffled Em's hair. Emmet batted Jasper's hand away.
"Ed, why aren't you coming with us?" he pouted. It seemed he had calmed down and was now very sad.
"Because you called me Ed," I retorted. I hated all these god forsaken nicknames: Ed, Eddie, even E. Was Edward such a hard name to say?
"So if I promise never to call you Ed again, will you come with us?" he asked hopefully.
"Sorry, brother, but I'm staying," I told him.
"Kids, it's time to go. Stop harassing your brother," Carlisle chided as he re-entered the room.
"I'm staying with my little brother," cried Emmet. He threw his large arms around me and squeezed me.
"Emmet, kiss Edward good bye and let's go," Rosalie ordered.
"Never!" cried Emmet, still clinging to me. Rose rolled her eyes before pulling her mate off of me.
She kissed my cheek, "I'll miss you, idiot. If you don't visit, I will cremate you, you got that?" It was a touching farewell and a threat all wrapped in one. That was my Rose for you.
"Yes, Rose," I kissed her cheek before patting Emmet on the back. "Calm down, brother. I will see you soon. I promise."
He gave me a bear hug before saying, "I'll help Rose kill you if you don't visit." What kind of sadistic good byes were these?
Take care, brother. Don't stay away too long. Jasper hugged me. I smiled at him and was then attacked by a pixie.
"Come visit soon, okay. You have to promise," she ordered.
I chuckled, "Yes Alice." I kissed her spiky hair before turning to my father. This would be the first time I lived without him since my change.
Be safe, Edward. If you need anything, or if you change your mind, please don't hesitate to come to us.
"Yes, Dad, I know," I hugged him good bye. This just kept getting harder. I was saying good bye to the man that I had taken care of me for almost a century. My father, mentor, my role model.
"Visit us whenever you like," he finally released me, and I turned to see my mother crying.
"Oh, Esme. Don't cry, Mom," I pulled her into a tight hug which she returned with far more force than necessary. I was making poor Esme cry. What was wrong with me?
"I'm sorry. I can't help it," she cried into my shoulder. Call if you need anything. We're always there if you need us. It's not too late to come with us if you want to change your mind. The offer sounded so tempting, and the more I thought about, the more I wanted to go with them.
I kissed her head, "I'm fine, Mom. You guys should get going. The Denalis are expecting you." We finally separated, and I hugged everyone one last time before seeing them off. I watched as the cars drove off, and I marveled at how stupid I was being. I was letting my family drive away without me. I was about to chase after them when I heard it.
Don't leave! Please don't go! That same soft, sweet voice crying out for me. It pleaded with me in a beautiful voice. It was a high voice, definitely female and almost child-like. Wait for me. I'm almost there. Please wait!
I won't leave. I'll wait; I promise. I tried to respond to the voice, not know if she could hear me. She sounded so distressed, as if she was truly terrified of the idea of me leaving her. A part of me had wondered if I was going mad. I was hearing voices in my head after all, but this time was different. The voice was louder and clearer; it sounded so close. I was now positive that it was real, that there was really a person looking for me for whatever reason.
Really? You won't leave? The voice asked timidly. So she had heard me! The voice was even stronger. I could actually hear what direction it was coming from. It was deep in the forest.
I won't leave. I'm going to try and find you, alright? I asked already starting towards the path that the voice pulled me.
Find me please. I want to see you. She begged. I realized then that it wasn't just curiosity pulling me towards her; I wanted to see her as well. Before I knew, I was running through the forest, searching for the owner of this beautiful voice. I could feel her in my mind; I could sense her as if she was a part of my own body. She was close, and every step I took was a step closer to her. I picked up speed, and finally stopped running when I had reached my destination. It was my meadow. The beauty was not diminished by the lack of flowers and grass. The snow made it look just as lovely. My little sanctuary where I went to relax and clear my thoughts, but now I wasn't alone.
On the opposite side was the most exquisite creature I had ever seen. I didn't know if I should call her a girl or a woman. She had the body of a woman, but the face of a child. She couldn't be more than an inch taller than Alice who was five feet. She had a slim curvy figure that was clad in a green dress that flowed down to her ankles and may have once been beautiful but was now shredded and stained with dirt. She was practically naked and was shivering in the cold air, but she was still trying to make her way over to me. I unconsciously had been walking towards her, and we now stood three feet away from one another. I took a hesitant step towards her, but she took one step back. She was frightened. Her lovely little face looked scared and confused. She had soft creamy skin, with the rosiest lips and cheeks I had ever seen. She had large doe eyes that were a dazzling mix of sky blue and light green. They were filled with an innocence and brightness that entranced me. Her chocolate brown hair was filled with streaks of lighter and darker shades of brown and curled down to her small waist. She nibbled nervously on her red lower lip, and her arms were wrapped around her trying to shield her from the cold. She smelled of flowers: roses, freesia, and lavender; a heavenly aroma, but as delicious as she smelled, I didn't thirst for her blood; I couldn't even smell blood inside her.
I once again took a step towards her. She didn't back away this time, but she did flinch. Her thoughts were as child-like as her sweet face. She was battling with herself. She was scared to be in the presence of a stranger, but she knew that I was the one that she was looking for and wanted to come to me desperately. I stepped towards her for the final time until we were only a few inches apart. She whimpered, but didn't back away.
"Shh," I tried to comfort her. "It's alright, little one. I won't hurt you," I slowly raised my hand as not to frighten her and stroked her rosy cheek. She calmed at the sound of my voice; she found it to be soothing which made me quite glad. Her skin was so soft; I could feel just how delicate she was, but she was cold, and I could tell this wasn't her normal body temperature. I had to get her out of this snow. She relaxed into my touch and held my large, hard hand in her two small, soft ones. She let out a sound similar to a purr, and a small smile graced her beautiful lips as she rubbed her cheek against my hand. She then followed down the path of my arm to my chest where she curled up against me. She inhaled my scent and continued with her purring. Her thoughts were content as I wrapped my arms around her.
My mate. Mine. Mine. I made out these words, but I mostly felt emotions: love, happiness, comfort, security. She felt safe with me. She was happy that she had finally found me after all this time, but she was also terribly cold and tired from her journey. I unbuttoned my shirt, and she looked up at me curiously, wondering what I was doing, but happily rested her head on my chest once again when I placed the shirt over her small body. I had so many questions, but my top priority was getting her warm. I swept her up into my arms and was pleasantly surprised when she giggled. It was a lovely sound, like the singing of birds or the chiming of bells. I smiled at her and kissed her forehead. She cuddled against me and began to fall asleep. I held her tightly to my chest and ran home as quickly as I could. I don't believe that I had ever run so fast before, and I was the fastest vampire in my family as well as the fastest when it came to other vampires who challenged me when they just so happened to be passing by. So far I was undefeated.
When we reached the house I gently laid her on the couch in front of the fireplace. I swiftly lit the fire and raced upstairs to turn on the heater. I then grabbed some comfortable clothes for her to change into. She should be able to fit into Alice's things. I had searched in Alice's remaining clothes until I had found some soft pants, clean underwear, and a pretty cashmere sweater when I heard tiny sobs, like a crying baby, and ran back downstairs. She had awakened and was frantically looking around the room, searching for me.
"There now, little one," I swept her into my arms. She immediately began to calm down, "There, sweetheart. I'm here. I'm right here." She enjoyed hearing the sound of my voice.
Stay here. Stay with me please! She pleaded with me mentally, her sparkling eyes begging me silently. How could anyone resist such a face?
"I'll stay with you, my little one. I promise," I kissed her head and stroked her hair. She soon became relaxed and sleepy in my arms. The fire was crackling, and I needed to get her out of the ruined dress. I convinced her to wear the pants and underwear, but she refused to part with my shirt. I set the sweater aside and stretched out on the couch. She rested on me, her head on my chest, her soft hair fanning out onto me. I had placed a soft blanket over the both of us, and I stroked her silky chocolate brown locks; she began to purr again. She soon fell asleep, and after about an hour, her body temperature seemed to have returned to normal. She was relatively warm, though a few degrees cooler than a human. Her skin was amazingly soft.
I saw into her innocent thoughts; she was dreaming of me. She dreamt that we were in the forest. It seemed to be spring, and the flowers were blooming, and it was sunny. She was wearing only my shirt, and I was wearing only jeans, the same pair I was wearing currently. I was chasing her through the forest, and we were laughing with one another. She would hide behind trees and giggle when I found her and chased her. It was a wonderful dream, and I swore that I would make it a reality one day. The sound of my cell phone ringing broke through the dream. I felt groggy and disoriented which was extremely odd for a vampire. It was almost as if I had fallen asleep along with my little angel. I answered the phone quickly not wanting the ring to disturb her sleep.
"Hello," I whispered.
"Edward, why are you whispering?" Alice asked. I could hear the others in the background.
Emmet's booming voice exploded through the phone, "Ed! We have only two more pit stops left before we reach Alaska!" They must have been driving illegally fast. They had left only three hours ago.
"That's wonderful, Em. Could you please lower your voice?" I pleaded. My little one had begun to stir. She nuzzled her little head against my chest before drifting back to sleep. She must have been exhausted. How far had traveled looking for me? Her voice before hadn't even been a voice; it had been a slight tugging in my mind. How far away had she been when I first felt her?
"Edward, are you there?" asked Alice impatiently. " And I would like to know why you were rummaging in my room for my cashmere sweater." This was not working out well. They were making far too much noise in the background. Emmet was fighting with Jazz over the radio station, and Rose was yelling at the both of them.
"Listen, Alice, I'm sorry, but this is a bad time. I will call you later, alright? Bye," I hung up on her. I put my phone on silent and rested it on a nearby table. I felt badly about shutting out my family like that, but they were far too loud for me to continue talking and even so, I didn't want to tell them about my treasure just yet. There were so many questions I wanted to ask her, but I contented myself with cuddling with her on the couch and fell back into her dreams once again.
She had been sleeping for almost eight hours, and I knew that she would be hungry when she woke. She seemed warm enough, so I moved her to the bed in my room before heading downstairs to prepare something for her. I didn't know what she would like, so I played it safe. I made her sandwich and fruit salad with some orange juice. I had just finished chopping the fruit when I heard her voice in my mind once again. She was looking for me again. I placed her food on a tray and raced back upstairs. She was rubbing her eyes and yawning but also trying to look for me, ignoring her fatigue. The most amazing smile lit up her lovely face when she saw me enter the room. I rested the tray on the nightstand before sitting down next to her.
"Good morning," I kissed her forehead. She crawled into my open arms, "Are you hungry?"
Hungry? Food! She nodded her head rigorously. I chuckled; she was so adorable. I gave her the tray. She munched happily on the fruit; the strawberries seemed to be her favorite. Then she hesitantly sniffed the sandwich; she ate the bread, lettuce, and tomatoes, but left the cheese and ham. She seemed to enjoy the orange juice and licked her lips when drank it. So she was a vegetarian; it was truly ironic. When she was finished, she wore a satisfied look on her face. I went to bring the empty dishes down stairs. She tried to follow me, but the pants seemed to bother her. She frowned down at then before she took them off and gracefully danced after me. My shirt went down to her knees, so I guess it could fashion as a dress for now. She gazed in awe at the house. Her green-blue eyes filled with wonder. It was a fairly large house after all. Once we were in the kitchen, I washed all the dishes while she sat on a chair, waiting for me patiently. She made a perfect picture of innocence. I walked over to her and sat in the chair next to her. She moved to sit in my lap, and I opened my arms for her.
When she was comfortable, I began asking my questions, "What is your name, little one?"
Name. Isabella. Bella. She said in her mind. Isabella; Bella must be her nickname. It suited her, beautiful Bella.
"Bella. That's a very pretty name," I complimented her. She blushed happily; her already rosy cheeks only became pinker, and she looked so adorable. I kissed the soft, flushed skin. She smiled and placed her little hand over the spot I had kissed.
Kiss? She asked mentally.
"Yes, love, that was a kiss," I told her. She nodded her head in understanding.
Your name. She held my hand in her tiny ones.
"My name is Edward," I answered her.
"Edward," she repeated softly. I gasped. I had only heard her mental voice, but listening to her actual voice, hearing for the first time. It was the most beautiful sound. "Edward," she whispered again. "Edward, Edward, Edward," she chanted excitedly. I chuckled, she was too cute.
"Yes, Bella." She flushed in delight when I said her name and shyly buried her face in my chest. I was glad for the little things I was learning about her: she was a vegetarian, she didn't like clothes that confined her legs, she preferred Bella to Isabella, and she was shy. I knew for certain that if I didn't love already love Bella, then I was falling in love with her, and I was falling hard and fast. Another thing I was certain of was that she wasn't human.
"Bella, what are you, love? You're not human are you?" I asked hoping that she would understand.
"No. I'm not a human. I'm a dryad," she replied in her tinkling voice. Dryads existed? I knew from studying that dryads could control nature.
"A dryad?" I said questioningly. She nodded. "So you can control plants?"
"Yes, they're my friends. They protected me while I was looking for you," she explained to me.
"How did you know where I was. Did the plants tell you?"
"No, I found you because you are my mate. I dreamed about you every night, and then every day I would follow my dreams and look for you," she told me.
"Am I your mate, Bella?" I asked hesitantly. I knew I wanted to be.
"Yes!" she cheered. "Edward is my mate, and I love him very much!" she stated happily as if it the most normal thing in the world. Bella had just confessed that she loved me, something that I was still trying to wrap my mind around. "Does Edward love me too?" she asked me anxiously. I already knew the answer to that. I leaned down and kissed her soft cheek.
"Yes, I love you very much," I whispered in her ear.
She blushed once again, "Really?"
"Really," I promised. She smiled bashfully
I decided to ask her the question that was troubling me, "Bella, how long have you been looking for me?"
"Three months," she answered cheerfully, not understanding the extremity of what she just said. Three months!
"Where did you come from?" I asked.
"I don't know what humans call it," she said, struggling to voice her thoughts. Instead she showed me images in her mind that seemed to be northern Canada. She had come all the way from the top of Canada to find me.
"It's called Canada, love," I told her for future reference.
"Canada," she repeated.
"Did you live alone?" I asked her. "Don't you have a family?"
"No, dryads are born from trees, so we don't have parents," she told me. "I didn't like being alone, but then I started dreaming about you, so I looked for you, and now I found you, so that makes everything alright," she said cheerfully.
I kissed her forehead, "Then I'll be your family from now on."
She smiled her enchanting smile at me, "Can I have another kiss?"
"Where would you like me to kiss you?"
"Here," she pointed to her cheek. I kissed it. "And here," she pointed to her other cheek. I kissed that one as well. "Here," she pointed to her little nose. I kissed it. "And here," she pointed to her rosy lips. I kissed those as well. Her lips were so soft and warm against my own, and she tasted of strawberries. She sighed happily into our kiss, and I used the opportunity to explore her mouth. My tongue tangled with hers, and she moaned against me, a sweet, gentle sound that made me kiss her deeper. Her tiny fingers tangled in my hair, and she shifted her body so that she was straddling me. She whimpered in disappointment when our lips separated. Her eyes were slightly glazed and unfocused, and I imagined mine looked similar. Her lips were red and puffy and her cheeks were bright pink. She looked as if she had been thoroughly kissed.
"I think that one was my favorite," she whispered shyly. "That was my first kiss."
"It was mine as well," I confessed to her, softly brushing my lips against hers before pulling back. "Now love, I need to make a phone call. I'll be right back," I said lifting her off my lap. I kissed away the sad expression that she now wore on her angelic face.
What's a phone, Edward? Bella asked me. Her little head cocked to side in a confused manner.
"It's something that people use to talk to each other when they are far apart," I explained to her. I went and retrieved my phone from the living room before returning to the kitchen. I leaned against the counter and sighed when I saw the twenty three missed calls. Bella, seeing me distressed, came over to me.
What's wrong? She asked me, concerned. She seemed to prefer speaking to me mentally.
I picked her up and placed her on top of the counter. Her small legs dangled and she giggled when I picked her up, "I'm fine, sweetheart." She blushed at the endearment. I put my finger to my mouth, the signal to be quiet. She mimicked me obediently. They should have reached Alaska by now. I called Carlisle believing he would be the most calm; I was wrong.
"Edward, do you have any idea how worried we've been? Your mother is beside herself; Alice is having a panic attack because she can't see you." Alice couldn't see me? I looked over to Bella. Alice couldn't see Bella, who was worried about me.
Why is he yelling at you? She asked concerned.
It's fine, love. He's just worried. I assured her.
"Is that Edward?" I heard Esme ask. "Edward," she had taken the phone, "we are coming home."
"No, Mom, stay in Alaska. I'm fine really." It would not be good if they came here.
"But Alice can't see you, and you weren't answering your phone. Edward do you have any idea how worried I've been?" Oh no. She was going to use guilt on me.
"Alright Mom, how about this, winter break is in two weeks. I will take the time to withdraw from the college and pack my things, and then I will join you in Alaska," I tried to appease her. All the reasons that I had wanted to remain here didn't matter anymore because Bella was here, and I could manage Tanya if Bella was with me.
You're leaving? Bella asked panicked. She misunderstood.
No , love. I'm taking you with me, of course. I would never leave you. I stroked her cheek. She caught my hand and held it gently to her face, her eyes sparkling.
"Fine, I can agree with that, but two weeks exactly. No longer than fourteen days, alright? I will be counting," she warned.
I chuckled at her overprotectiveness, "Yes, Mom, I understand. I'll see you then. Bye."
"Good bye, dear. Be safe," she told me before we hung up.
Where are we going? Bella asked. She was still holding my hand and was playing with my fingers.
"We are going to be with my family," I explained to her.
Your family! She squeezed my hand excitedly. Are they like you?
"No, not really," I answered her. She pouted, "But they are very nice. You'll like them," I assured her.
"What if they don't like me?" she whimpered.
"They'll adore you, angel. I promise, but they won't come close to loving you as much as I do," I kissed her sweet lips, overjoyed that I now had this privilege. As I expected, she was blushing when I pulled away. I kissed her nose before lifting her off the counter. "If we are going to Alaska, Then we need to get you some clothes."