In all his decades walking the earth as a damned creature of the night, Edward Cullen had never been so completely taken by the scent of a human. Isabella Swan most definitely had not intended it, but between her sing-song blood and hidden mind she stirred something in Edward that he had thought long dead: his heart. At least in the metaphorical sense. Physically it moved no more than in the past near-century, of course. Yet being the poetically-minded being he was, Edward couldn’t help entertaining the thought.
Sitting through class with Bella Swan (he took note of her preferred name during roll call), proved to be quite the feat. How dearly his wished to plunge his fangs into her then and there. To do so would both sate his thirst for her delicate bouquet while all at once silencing the nagging question as to why he could not hear her thoughts. Of course there were several things keeping him from doing so – not the least of which included the laws of both mortal and immortal society.
But there was a third factor that held him at a distance. Something that both repelled his higher functioning faculties and damned his instincts…
Bella Swan, without a doubt, was the most fascinatingly gorgeous creature he had ever laid eyes on. In fact, he found it quite difficult to take his eyes off of her at all. As if her scent and guarded mind weren’t enticing and insulting enough, she had the audacity to be a heavenly being walking among common rabble.
“Um, hi,” she spoke. Edward froze. “Is something wrong? You look kind of sick.”
Damn it all! He had been staring. So wrapped in the wafting essence of Bella had Edward been that he allowed himself to gaze upon her beauty without restraint. Parting his lips slowly as he tried to think of an answer, he did not miss the sudden shudder that came over her as she looked into his void-black eyes. As if whatever higher powers at work had heard Edward’s silent pleas for mercy, the bell rang.
Wordlessly, the vampire gathered his things and headed swiftly out the door before the crowd of students could block his way.
The rest of the school day passed without consequence. Edward did not see Bella again, but he smelled the faint sweet trails she left in the hallways she had traversed. The student population wasn’t at all large, so picking her sweet scent out of the crowd proved quite easy. Though nothing more happened, Edward saw to it that he was in his Volvo as soon as the last bell of the day rang out.
There he sat waiting for Alice and Jasper to join him. He had almost completely forgotten about his siblings, but then again he had forgotten the world in the presence of Bella.
It wouldn’t do. It just wouldn’t do. To have Bella so thoroughly engrained in his senses and woven into his thoughts so seamlessly and suddenly was surely retribution for one of his many past sins. How was he supposed to go on as if all was well? What saving grace could he pray for to save him from the mortal whose blood called to him with its siren song? As if on cue, his spiraling thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door opening. He paid no attention as Alice and Jasper climbed into the backseat, not thinking it odd that he was playing chauffer while Jasper and Rosalie settled their tiff.
Alice wore her usual perky façade, Jasper his own of hunger pains.
“You can start the car any time you’d like, Edward. But please, don’t rush on our account,” Alice practically chirped.
“Sorry,” Edward said as he set the engine alive, finally focusing on his surroundings rather than the near memories of Bella. A feeling of focused calm washed over him, and though part of him wished he could glare at Jasper, he didn’t feel so inclined.
“I’m perfectly fine to drive without assistance,” Edward said as he pulled out into the parking lot and into the lane of cars attempting to leave.
“Consider it a precaution,” Jasper said as politely as he could manage.
A silence came over the car until they were out on the road. Alice and Jasper of course held hands, and Edward eventually found the calm lifting from him and that sense of having been betrayed by his own senses and the world overtaking him. Jasper raised a brow and glanced at the driver, but said nothing.
Alice on the other hand had something to say
“You two are going hunting for the rest of the week,” she announced as if issuing royal decree. “The both of you need to feed, and Edward-“ she silenced herself once she caught sight of his eyes in the rearview mirror. After clearing her throat gently, she continued. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the safe side. And a little time away from…Rosalie would do Jasper some good. You can clear your heads and come back fresh as daisies.”
There was a pause as Edward mulled the situation over. Maybe in the time it took to nourish himself, maybe when he wasn’t so hungry he wouldn’t be so greatly, insurmountably affected by…