Author's Note: Well, I had planned to update before now, but it's been a doozy of a week. Anyway, this chapter is a shorty, but… it's in Edward's point of view! The story is going to be told primarily from Bella's point of view, but I thought we should at least get an occasional glimpse into Edward's mind. It was fun to write, and since it is short I'm hoping to have another chapter out very soon (perhaps tomorrow). Reviews fuel the writer, so drop me a line to speed up the process! Also, I have another alternate universe Twilight fic posted. It's called Take The Money And Run, and I'm very excited about it. Check it out, if you don't mind that there aren't any zombies. Edward features as a rather snooty FBI agent, and Bella's got her hands full… what with her mother being a fugitive and all.
So she had finally recognized him. He'd wondered if she ever would.
He hadn't believed his eyes when he'd caught his first glimpse of her in the Visitors' Center. It had been something like five years since they'd last seen each other, and they'd both changed, grown up. But her eyes were the same. Big doe-brown eyes. Those eyes had always managed to do something funny to him, and all it had taken was one second of staring into them and he'd known that it was her.
It didn't seem possible. When the world went to hell he'd thought of her, wondered where she was and if she was surviving. He had hoped that she was with her father, a sheriff and a relatively competent man who had the very least had access to weapons. He had dreamed of her more than once in the weeks after the outbreak, imagined her frightened and lost. He had assumed that she was halfway across the country, either with one of her parents or at Stanford. It had never occurred to him that she might be nearby. If he'd known...
A million thoughts had gone through his mind when he'd realized that the half-feral girl who'd attacked him was Bella Swan. He couldn't imagine how she had survived on her own. She'd been one of the most delicate girls at their high school, all pale slender limbs and shy whispers. He couldn't picture her fighting her way past walkers, or surviving in the wilderness. Yet there she was. She was shaking and paler than usual, but she was alive.
And very, very sick. Then he'd had the horrible thought that she might have been bitten. It was only as he was scanning her for bites that something strange occurred to him: she didn't seem surprised to see him. Oh, she was surprised to have encountered another person alright, but she didn't seem surprised that it was him. She didn't seem taken aback, there was no...
How could she not recognize him?
She did look at him oddly, and after a moment of staring she finally asked if they had ever met before.
Well, there was nothing quite like the object of your high school obsession politely inquiring if you'd ever met before. For a split second he prepared to reintroduce himself, and then he stopped.
No. Why do that? Why remind her of who he was? He knew what she'd thought of him in high school. In most circles the rowdy Cullen brothers had been thought of as no better than animals. Bella in particular had avoided him as though he was a rabid dog. She'd never been confrontational, never told him off publicly, but there had always been that silent disapproval, maybe even pity, in her eyes when she looked at him. Not that she'd looked at him much. She was the sort who went for the boy next door type. Edward was not, nor had he ever been, the boy next door. It was one of the reasons why he and his brothers were still alive when so many others had been devoured.
But for a few hours it had seemed as though he had a clean slate. She didn't remember him, so it was like they were starting over. Even if she did eventually remember, at least he'd have a chance to show her that he had grown up, that he had matured into something more than some trailer trash kid who was always looking for a fight.
Now, when he watched the expressions on her face as she realized who he was, he had to scoff at his own naiveté. How could he have ever hoped to change her opinion of him? They'd gone to high school together for three years. Already he could see that old look returning to her eyes. That wary, cautious look, as though he was a beast, easily provoked and impossible to contain.
Well, no use trying to hide his accent now. She knew who he was.
And as she took a step away from him, he couldn't help but feel as though she had punched a hole in his chest.