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Open Hearts

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Edward’s Pov:

Love is something I've seen for many years. In my home, in the media, in books, on the street, in the minds of both human and vampire and shifter. I haven't experienced it, romantic love. In my human life, I could have wanted to court a lady, a life that was so long ago. Yet, all I remember, from that life is very minute, like playing baseball with a few neighborhood kids. The taste of milkshakes after every game,  how my birth mother kissed my forehead at the end of each night. If I did have a love in that life, wouldn't she be worth remembering? Even so, in this life, no one interests me enough to want to pursue a relationship. Or it might be, that after killing so many, I am no longer deserving of a love. Either way, my life is fine without a romantic love in it. One would think that having the gift to read minds would make finding a mate, easier. It only revealed how shallow some girls can be. Whether they are human or vampire. Even those few vampires whose minds are silent to me don't catch my interest. I suppose I have been cursed into a life without romantic love, even if that is my own personal theory.

 

Carlisle and Esme, haven't given up hope, that someday I, might find a love of my own.  Until that day, which I am not sure I even want to come, may in fact come, I felt complete in myself. I have accepted that I am a soulless killing monster, yet it doesn’t mean I must act like one. Or at least a stereotypical one, like in books or the pictures in the theater. I suppose that’s why I didn’t object to going to school every now and again, it was good practice at being, acting normal. Or, rather the human version of normal and I have kind of been, addicted to collecting a few degrees. That’s why I decided to go back to college for a degree in photography. It all started when Emmett gifted me with a polaroid camera this past Christmas.  It was, hidden under a pile of photos of myself looking ‘Emo’, his words not mine.

At first, I dismissed it as a gag gift and laughed with no hourmor in my tone, while telling Emmett to jump off a cliff. Which I regretted seconds after the words left my lips. Since that was the exact way Esme, my mother in this new life, intended to end her life. Her thoughts revealed that she already forgave me before the words left my lips. Yet, I still said them, full of shame and remorse. One day, however, I felt the urge to take a picture of the twilight blanketing the trees in the backyard. As times moved on, my urge to take more pictures grew. I enjoyed it more and more to the point where I decided to go back to school. I brought up the subject with Carlisle which sparked the idea of my siblings wanting a new degree as well.

 

Which is how it leads us to the current event, the first day of college. I ran to school for the simple fact that I could, I wanted to feel the wind and cloaked sunlight. I stopped a few times to take photos, I ended up at school a few minutes after my siblings, who rode in Emmett’s Jeep. The voices of the students filled my mind and I tuned it out with eased practice that I gathered over the years since my new life began. With that same practice I ignored the scent of blood pumping through people’s veins. Even though it had a certain pull to it that donated and animal blood didn’t, I focused on getting to my first class rather than blood.

 

My first few classes went fine, that is until I had Chemistry class. I sat at one of tables, most of the students that filed in paired off with each other. A young woman came up to me, I already knew what she wanted because I read her mind. Her scent made the burn in my throat flare up as much as any other human that came too close, but I knew I could handle myself.

 

“Is anyone sitting there?”, She asked with an inflection, that I realized was flirting.  This girl didn’t know what she was getting into, and she didn’t hold much interest to me.

 

“Not all the students have arrived yet, we should keep as many seats open as possible”, I told her in a bored tone. Not even looking at her as I spoke. I did this for the simple fact that rudeness usually doesn’t grant a second conversation. I knew if I looked at her I would encourage her somehow to strike up a conversation with me again.

 

“Oh right, Yeah”, She agreed and chuckled. Thinking about how fast I rejected her offer before she continued with an akward sounding, “I’ll go.”

 

More students piled in and so did the professor, then a demon in the form of another young woman. The smell of her blood traveled through my nostrils and filled my lungs like hot lava. I felt completely suffocated by it. My throat burned almost to the point of when I first awaken from my three days of excoriating burning. I stared at her, trying to focus on her appearance rather than the blood pumping through her system. Pale skin, long chestnut hair that flows a bit past her shoulders. Deep brown eyes, steady heartbeat, I could kill her with much less effort as it took to breathe.

 

She was walking over to me, no the desk. I looked around, in desperaterotion hoping that there was any other seat open for her to take. All I saw were the faces of the other students, a body for every chair aside from the one next to me. I shifted in my seat, pushing it to as far left as I could before she reached her seat. I needed space between us. If we were close, I could say a few words, have her lean in, unguarded. I would sink my teeth into the fragile column of her neck, tearing the skin away enough, for my fangs to sink in. Then, I’d taste her blood. It would trickle into my mouth, bathing my tongue red. Soothing the raging fire that is my throat as it went down to settle in my stomach.

 

Her scent walfed in my direction pulling me deeper in my murderous thoughts. I looked at her from the corner of my eye as she took the seat beside me. She pulled out a notebook and pen, then she turned to me, giving me a better view of her face and smiled in a friendly manner. Her voice came out quietly and charming like little bells, “Hi, I’m Bella.”

I avoided staring back at her, I moved my eyes to the front of the room. Out of sight, out of mind, right? With that saying in mind, I said nothing in response to her, rudeness would be best. I placed my right hand under the desk, curling my hand in a fist in an attempt to keep my hand still on top of my thigh. I stopped breathing as well, not wanting to get more tempted by her scent than I already am. The scent of this demon, that must be sent to torture me for all the lives that I have ended, is too tempting.

“What’s up with pretty boy?”, Someone thought and I listened if only to distract myself from the demon beside me.

“Does he know that other girl?”,The same person thought seconds laters.

“Is she an ex?”, This mental voice sounds a bit familiar.

“I’m prettier than she is. I wondered why he shot me down. It must not be fully over with her. She looks clingy. No wonder he looks ready to bolt. Wait, is the pretty boy not breathing? She must stink or something”, Her thoughts became faster as I focused on her. She must have been the girl that talked to me before.

 

I lost my focus on her thoughts, once she mentioned my breathing. How could I be so stupid, and forget to make it look like I am breathing? I moved my chest as if I was breathing, I need to stay acting normal. I glared, with burning hate that almost matched the burning that this demon's scent causes to my throat. How can this demon, be too distracting for me to forget to do the most basic things that should come second nature to me. I should kill her and get rid of this temptaion. First, the professor than I’d block the only exit. I‘d kill the other students, saving the best for last. To show this demon who, the real monster is in this room. It would feel so good and be so easy to do. I would have to deal with bloodied clothes and someone would find the bodies with enough time. I could burn them all in secret. Yet, still there would be questions about their disappearances. I’d tell Carlisle of my downfall, with shame. Then we’d have to move again and it would add to the guilt I already feel from my murders.

 

I needed to change my focus from killing her to anything else. So, I was trying to listen to the professor as she went over what the entire semester would look like in this class. It was working a bit, yet that changed in an instant. The demon was mid-stroke of whatever word, she was about to write when she managed to knock my pen off the blacktop table. I could’ve caught it with my right hand, but it was the hand closest to her. I couldn’t make up my mind soon enough, and  this demon beside me was already moving to pick up the pen she caused to fall. She placed the pen, closer to me than it started, closing the distance between us for a moment.

 

“Sorry, for the pen”, She spoke with less enthusiasm than she used when she introduced herself. Her expression showed a mix of emotions that I couldn’t read very well. Since the blood rushing to her cheeks in a faint pink blush took most of my attention.

 

As she pulled back her hand to her side of the table, she parted her lips as if she wanted to speak. She drew her lower lip into her mouth, and bit at the flesh in a gentle embrace before she released it. The thought of myself biting her lip came into my mind. I would most likely end up ripping her lip off, making her bleed. I’d lap up the blood as it poured down her chin, trying to get every last drop.

 

“Did I do something to offend you?”, Her tone is defensive yet curious, and, took my attention. Distracting me from my murderous thoughts again.

 

I didn’t want to answer her and thanks to the professor saying that class has ended, I didn’t need to either. I shoved my things into my bag and moved as fast as possible without causing suspicion out of the class. I moved through the students, heading for the exit as fast as possible, I rushed through the door. Now outside, I sped up my pace even more so that I was creating more distance even quicker between myself and that demon. I was so focused on getting as far away from that demon in the form of a human girl that I didn’t notice my mother. Esme calling for me mentally.

 

“Edward!”, The sound of Esme’s soft mother like tone, reach my ears as she spoke aloud, which caused me to slow in my pace. She had a free hour before the next class she had to teach and wanted to spend it with me if I was free as well. It didn’t take long for me to follow her string of thoughts. Within seconds, I spotted her. Walking towards me in her dark blue pants suit with a worried expression on her face.

 

I didn’t bother to stop. I called out the code phrase we made up, years ago when I first went back to school as a vampire, “I have a very bad stomach ache.”

 

Once those words left my lips, I ran the last corner that would lead into the woods. I needed to clear my head of this demon’s scent before she dragged me through hell on earth. I wasn't eager to burn any more than I already have.