A/N: Yes, this is a new multi-chapter story, but I can't help where the muse takes me. And this is a superheroward, so give him a chance. This was a twificpics drabble challenge I wrote that was 1,000 words. That lasted for an hour and then by the time I arrived home I had expanded it to so much more in my head, so this is what I've been donating to charities. This will update 30 days after the compilation the chapter was a part of is sent out. If you have the NKH compilation Volume 2 can be found inside of it. I hope you enjoy.
Title: Her Personal Sentinel: Volume 1
Author Name: lizmondaine
Word Count: 2933
Summary/Disclaimer: Bella gets roped into covering the soccer team at UDub, she finds herself fascinated by the power forward. However, when she gets a chance to really know Edward she finds out he's a man of many secrets. Can she brave his world?
Bella watched him from her perch on the bleachers. This had become one of her favorite places to study in the last few weeks. Not that she got much studying done. She may not be accomplishing anything on her physics work or the article for the paper, but the knowledge of Edward Cullen she had gained could never be taught in a classroom. Words weren't available to explain just how good his lean, muscled body looked without his shirt on, or the way his forehead wrinkled as he concentrated just before he took a shot on the goal, or even the way he cheated up the field and tugged on his hair when his defense was doing a poor job of keeping the ball away from the goal.
He was Coach Clapp's prized player, a transfer student from New Buckinghamshire University and the rock Coach had rebuilt his winning reputation around. When she had drawn the short straw and been stuck writing for the sports department of the paper she thought it was the proverbial nail in her journalistic career. She had spent her entire life avoiding sports, and here she was with no way out. However, the first time she arrived at the soccer field and spotted his mussed up hair do as he yelled encouragements out in his accent and pulled his shirt up to dry the sweat off his brow she'd been a goner. She'd all but begged Mike to let her stay on soccer all season and he'd been more than happy to have football and cheerleading all to himself to cover. Bella had been at practice at least twice a week since then and at every home game. Not that he'd ever noticed her or talk to someone like her, but she couldn't seem to talk herself out of this attraction.
A chime of Bella's phone alerted her to the time and she closed her laptop . Practice would be wrapped up soon anyway and if she didn't get going she wouldn't be able to make it to Golden Age and back home before dark. She sighed with one more lingering glance at Edward as she watched as his adam's apple bobbed while he drank his water, his eyes closed in what appeared to be pleasure shielding their green depths from her.
She had always assumed her father was exaggerating about crime rates outside her small hometown, but she had begun to think that Seattle rested on its own personal Hellmouth. One thing was for certain though, she was not nearly as bad ass as Buffy had been; therefore, she tried to avoid being out after dark just to air on the side of caution. All thoughts of Sunnydale, vampires, or other assorted creatures lurking in the shadows fell aside as she stepped into the nerd den. She hated that Emmett's name for the backroom of the comic store had stuck, but somehow it was fitting.
It had started her freshman year when Mike had brought her to Golden Age to see if her comic knowledge and superhero tastes stacked up and made her possible girlfriend material. Apparently, his last girlfriend had been a Green Lantern fan and he found that completely unacceptable and he wanted to be sure not to make the same mistake twice. Instead of perusing the aisles quietly and pointing out her favorites to Mike she'd ended up in a heated discussion with the assistant manager. Which of course had expanded to include a group of the regulars there to pick through the new arrivals on Wednesday. After the third week of finding regulars perched on random shelves and and hollering across the store at one another Mr. Banner had ushered them all into the small employee break room and let them have at it. By the third week they were ordering in pizza and sneaking beer in inside their backpacks.
Stepping out onto the street after tucking today's treasures into her messengers bag, she was laughing again at the idiocy of Mike's argument that female superheroes were all only popular, because of their sex appeal and no one took any of them seriously. She was really glad she'd dodged that bullet of dating that brainless wonder. She'd been happy to agree to go their separate ways after his disdain of her fondness for lesser known comics, because the truth was he kissed like a frog and smelled like a dog. It was then she decided it was one thing to be a little displaced from reality so that you forgot to go to bed at night, but forgetting to shower for a week was a hard limit of hers.
She slid her hands into the pockets of her jacket as she pulled it tighter against her as she walked against the wind, her fingers wrapped reassuringly around her pepper spray. She'd gotten so caught up in arguing with Emmett she hadn't even noticed the sky blackening outside.
"Well, well, well what do we have here?"
She glanced up and stumbled back two steps. The eyes she was staring into could only be described as inhuman. The figure before her was hooded to hid its face, but it seemed the black eyes were glowing as they narrowed on her.
"Sing." She mumbled to herself. Renee had forced her to watch Miss Congeniality a million times claiming she had flawless technique, and Bella needed to know how to defend herself. Especially if she was going to insist on hanging around the seedy parts of town to support her comic habit. Charlie's alternative was to teach her to shoot, so she had learned Mary Lou Freebush's sing method to her mother's satisfaction.
However, before her assailant had time to grab her, so she could attempt to implement her method she felt a breeze hit her face as her assailant flew backwards and she gasped, stumbling back a few steps.
"Stay back." An authoritative voice ordered as he sailed past her in a blur of black and silver. She couldn't help, but gape as she peeked out from the stoop of the business she was hiding in.
The hooded creature had recovered in the blink of an eye. The hood fell to reveal a lumpy colorless face housing the creepy eyes as they seemed to zero in on her again.
The blur that had saved her seemingly gone as the eyes locked on her again. The lumpy creature launched himself at her again. The illusion of the human voice gone as he growled and grumbled incoherently. She started to shrink back in fear. She knew fear was a weakness, but she failed in finding any strength when staring into the soulless eyes in front of her.
Without warning the creatures arms wrapped around himself and he let out an agonized groan, his eyes rolling back in his head as a silver blade pierced his middle and cleaned him in half. Her eyes locked with her hero's. Green warring with brown neither of them speaking, neither of them moved seemingly entranced with one another.
Suddenly, there was a fresh batch of voices from The Golden Age as the stragglers from her group appeared, and as quickly as the nightmare before her eyes had played out it was gone. Her masked hero along with the lumpy creature
"Bells, what are you doing? Surely nothing back on campus is bad enough to warrant this kind of hiding out."
"I thought I heard something. I may have overreacted a little." She joked lamely trying to sound as normal as possible with what had just occurred in front of her.
"Walk with us then. "
She nodded accepting Angela's soft spoken offer. Not that Ben made her feel much safer, but she couldn't hide out on the stoop all night. She fell into step with them and pretended to join in their conversation. Her mind still focused on the emerald eyes of her savior.
She had, of course, heard the rumors of a Batman style vigilante on the loose, but as a journalist in a town filled with crazed college students she rarely put much stock into rumors.
However, having seen him in the flesh and in action she had no doubt that Seattle had it's own personal sentinel keeping watch over the things that go bump in the night.
Bella spent the next two weeks so busy she didn't even get to indulge herself in her favorite past time at soccer practice. Catching the games and writing adequate articles about them for the paper was hard enough for her.
She loathed that in a moment of danger she had been Lois Lane, because if there was one thing in comics she hated it was the damned helpless damsel in distress. She refused to be one, not that she wanted to be Mary Jane to Spiderman, no matter how many of her dreams he had starred in. It seemed the more she threw herself into her new kickboxing class the more he returned to haunt her.
Naturally, she was sure it didn't help that suddenly news of him was everywhere, the news media had taken to calling him Vanquish. If anyone had asked her she'd have told them just how stupid she thought the name was, but of course she was a quiet no name sophomore that everyone gave their grunt jobs to. So she kept her opinion on her hero's nickname a secret, not that she didn't understand their dilemma it did appear the very best of the best names were taken for superheroes were taken.
She jumped, cursing her poor control of her own limbs as she nearly fell out of her chair at the bellow that erupted from behind her. "Yes, Jake?"
"I want a piece on the soccer team going into mid-season, are they living up to their potential? Is Cullen everything coach promised in your original article? And make it good your last piece on the game felt flimsy and detached."
She sat gaping at him as if he'd grown a second head. He had to be kidding her right? The last piece she'd written had been about a game that got rained out and rescheduled. She was unsure just what kind of indepth reporting he expected under those circumstances.
"Your impression of a fish is quite impressive. Now get a move on, I have nothing more to say." He waved his hand dismissively as he shouted some other poor underclassmen whose name as he stalked them across the news room.
"I'll show you flimsy and detached."
Bella shoved back away from the desk and yanked her bag up. Screw this be prepared and seen in the office shit she was giving up and going back to practice. The last thing she needed was Jacob riding her ass and if she was being perfectly honest she missed being able to watch Edward practice. Game films did not do that boy justice. A glance at her phone put a little extra speed in her step. It was Wednesday which meant that they'd scrimmage and if she was lucky it would be his week to be skins.
As she climbed onto the bleachers she nodded to a few familiar faces, not that she'd ever spoken with any of them, but she was used to seeing them. She pulled out her laptop in order to maintain her ruse of focusing on an article as she watched them in the huddle.
There was a sudden burst of clap and they broke up the group and shirts were pulled off; her eyes were glued to the copper headed Adonis was pulling his jersey up and making the trek around campus worthwhile. She watched him run across the field as her fingers worked mindlessly over the keys of her laptop pulling up the docs she had on stats and the list of improvements and changes that Coach Clapp said they were implementing this year. She wanted to be able to compare this mid season practice to the first one she'd attended; however, in her eyes not much had changed Edward was still the most electrifying player to watch on the field.
If you could take your eyes off of him, it's only because you were trying to ensure that the goalie wasn't going to blow the lead he had given them. She was fully aware soccer was a team sport and she was going to have to report on the team as a whole, but it was hard to pull her eyes off of him. He moved with such grace and speed. Every other man on the field seemed to be exerting all of their energy into making it back and forth and following the ball. Despite the sweat starting to slide down his bare chest and the concentration that caused his forehead to crease there were no signs of fighting to make it up and down the field. Not even a hint of fatigue as if he were built for something more.
By the time practice was wrapped up she had finished a rough draft of the article Jake was demanding. She dug through her messenger bag in search of her recorder in hopes of catching Coach Clapp for a mini interview. Cursing under her breath she started pulling items out of her bag and tossing them on the bleachers in front of her with little care to the chaos she was creating.
"The newest, 2000 AD did you order that from Amazon?"
The warm British voice shocked her to the core as she jumped, her legs that had been crossed under the bleachers tangled as she was trying to catch her balance. A pair of steady hands reached out to stop her.
"Whoa there, pretty girl."
Bella blinked at him wide eyed, sure she must have resembled an owl-ish creature in some state of confusion. "Did you ask me something?"
His laughter warmed her through like a drink of whiskey in a snowstorm, his eyes seemed to dance with glee as he watched her try to gather herself back together. "I asked if you got that copy of 2000 AD from Amazon, because I was going to have to file a complaint letter, because I haven't received mine yet."
"2000 AD?" She tried not to sound like too much of an idiot as she tried to figure out what the hell he was talking about, she followed his line of sight and spotted her new comic book. "Oh! No. Wes carries them down at The Golden Age. Gets them the Wednesday they're released, because he has a deal with the vendor."
"The Golden Age?" He seemed to test the name out on his tongue, as if it were a foreign language.
"It's a comic store not far from here. I meet with a couple of others on Wednesdays and have pizza and go through the new deliveries. If you wanted to join us sometime you'd be more than welcome to."
"Wednesday. As in today? I don't really have any plans could I tag along?"
"Now? Today? Well-"
"Oh. It was one of those polite offers. Nevermind, I will google it and find it on my own. Thanks for the insight at least.."
"No!" She sat up straighter at the force in her own voice as she shook her head. "I was just surprised. Yes, you're absolutely welcome to come along with me tonight. I generally head out straight from here, but if you need to do anything else before hand I completely understand."
"No. I'm ready now.. Lead the way."
She took his offered hand and stepped down the bleachers and smiled. "I generally walk, it's only a couple of blocks."
"Is that safe with all the occurrences that have been going on lately. It sounds as if there has been a serious spike in crime recently. It would be a shame if something happened to you."
"It's no big deal. I generally try to get back on campus before it gets dark. Things have been a lot more seedy recently."
"It's not like this back home. Not that there isn't crime, but the level of crime in this town seems to be off the charts. It would be a shame to see you get caught in the middle of something."
Bella could feel the blush heating her cheeks as she shook her head. "That's very sweet, but I promise it's safe to go just a couple blocks alone."
She could feel his eyes boring into the side of her head as he proposed his question. She felt compelled to look up at him as she swallowed as their eyes met she could feel something between them a sense of deja vu.
"I just want you to be careful, Bella. It would really be a shame if something happened to you. I would be more than willing to be your escort on Wednesday nights."
His fingers came up to touch her cheek and she tried desperately to search through her mind for some instance where he would feel this comfortable or familiar with her.
"Is this it up ahead?"
She pulled herself out of her own head and smiles "Yeah, this is The Golden Age. I know it doesn't look like much from out here, but I promise it's the best comic store in the area."
"As long as they sell 2000 AD without the two week shitty shipping of Amazon it sounds bloody brilliant." He told her as he pulled the door open for her as they stepped inside.