He was watching her again. This time it was in the supermarket.
Seven-year-old Bella Swan scowled at the man with the penny colored hair. The man always seemed to appear whenever she was about to do something wrong. He loved to ruin her fun.
A few moments ago she was in the midst of floating a chocolate bar into her unsuspecting father's shopping cart. Just as she was about to drop it into the cart, the man floated it back over to the shelf she had mentally lifted it from.
Now he was staring her down, seemingly expecting some sort of explanation. No one else noticed him doing so, of course. No one ever did. Bella was the only person who ever saw him. She knew he was not an imaginary friend, though. Her imaginary friends would never stop her from stealing a candy bar. She had decided long ago that he must be her very own angel. He was certainly handsome enough to be one.
Staring at him was like staring into the sun. She lost their staring contest because she had to look away. I'm hungry. Why can't I just take it? she asked with her mind.
Her and the man always spoke mind-to-mind. He was the only person that she did it with. She often played around in the minds of others, but they never got into her mind. This man was the exception to that rule. He could enter her mind, but only when she allowed it. Like she was now.
Little Bella, you know better than that. Stealing is wrong. These powers that you have are meant for much more than that. He gave her a mental tap on the nose.
She rolled her eyes at him. Oh yeah, mister man. What's that?
He smiled back at her. You can use them to help people. To make their lives better.
She thought about that. Like a superhero?
She felt his chuckle in her mind. Just like that. He looked at something behind her and his expression became solemn. Your dad is pretty far ahead of you now. You better catch up.
Can you at least tell me your name this time? she pleaded.
He shook his head. You can call me Batman, he retorted playfully. And I will call you Batgirl.
She was about to argue with him (an angel could not be called Batman!) when she heard her dad call her name. She turned to tell him to wait. By the time she turned back the man was gone.
Edward Cullen saw his "brother" Jasper standing on the outskirts of the supermarket parking lot. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
Jasper frowned at him. "I came here to try to talk some sense into you. You wouldn't have to make these trips to see the girl if you would just allow her to come live with us and let us train her."
Edward shot him a nasty glare. "She has a family who loves her. I cannot take her away from that."
"She won't have a family left if he finds her. You'd be better able to protect her and her family if you would allow Carlisle to mentor her. "
Edward scoffed at that. "No one is going to do anything to her or her family. I am here to watch over and protect her, as is my right. And she does not need Carlisle to mentor her. Her control over her powers is almost as good as mine is. She only needs guidance on which causes to use those powers for."
"You cannot intervene in her life forever, Edward. Eventually she is bound to figure out what you are before she reaches adulthood. If you want her to have a normal childhood, then you cannot keep appearing out of thin air," Jasper argued.
Edward sighed, knowing his brother had a point. Edward knew from decades of reading Jasper's mind that his adopted brother always thought in a measured, logical manner. "I will slowly ease my way out of her life and continue to watch her from afar. Would that satisfy you, brother?" It would pain Edward to do so, but he knew that he would get to reconnect with her once she was an adult and came into her full powers.
Jasper shrugged. "Not really, but I know it's the best that I'll get out of you. We'll be having this argument again, though, I'm sure." He huffed out a breath and plastered a smile on his face. "Esme wanted help redecorating the dining room. Care to lend a hand?"
"Sure." Edward and Jasper began walking towards his car when he caught a glimpse of Bella and Charlie Swan getting into a police cruiser. Charlie was helping Bella buckle up while tickling her at the same time. Bella and Charlie were both laughing.
No, Edward could certainly not take that away from her.