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Zero Hour

Chapter Text

"Edward, what's wrong?"

"It's nothing!"

Edward lay on the couch in his room. Anger and unease were flooding through him, and he could barely stand it. His sister, Alice, stood beside him, her arms crossed, delicate fingers tapping anxiously. She wore her blue dress and little ballet flat shoes, which she tapped against the floor, waiting for him to give up and give her a straight answer.

Edward grimaced as he saw the frown cross Alice's face. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap. Just, let me be alone for a bit, okay?"

His sister smiled and nodded her dainty little head. The dress she wore swished as she turned around. Before she shut the door to his room, she looked back, asking, "Does it have to do with Bella?"

Edward grumbled in annoyance. "No."

He saw a curious look cross her face but ignored it, and then she finally shut the door.

It has nothing to do with Bella at all. If ONLY it had to do with Bella, this would be so much simpler! But it's not Bella. It's not her smell or something she did or some danger she's in, for once. I've learned to resist the temptations that Bella presents me. I thought that would be the hardest thing I would ever have to get used to. But now there's this smell...His nose felt like it was on fire. It had taken an effort not to stretch his jaws in front of Alice, but he hadn't wanted any memorable gesture for her to ponder over. His mouth was thick with venom, and he finally lay back and stretched, opening his jaws wide. That smell was making him salivate like nothing before. Every time he closed his eyes he imagined his body crouched over the person, his mouth open wide and drinking in that sweet, red blood...

Edward groaned and turned over, burying his face in the pillows of the couch. This was awful. He had smelled the scent on Bella last night before she went to bed, and as she slept, wondered which werewolf it was. Usually when he told her she smelled bad after visiting the wolves, he meant it. But last night it had been a lie.

It didn't feel good lying to Bella. It made an odd twist in his stomach. And even though he was vampire, if any smell ever made him feel heat, it was the smell that had covered Bella last night. What had Jacob Black been doing, rubbing his body against her? His smell was all over the girl. And it was driving Edward made him dizzy if he inhaled too deeply, so he had stopped breathing after a while.

He imagined what he could do to solve this problem. He could leave, and not come back. He could tell Bella not to hang around Jacob Black, thereby hurting her feelings again. He could figure out some way to not be around her right after she returned from the Quileutes from now on, so that by the time he saw her again, that delicious smell would have faded.

It made his hands shake just to think of that sweet smell. It made his breath harsh, and he had to swallow a lot to stop from frothing at the mouth, and the venom was always there, waiting for him to drink this rich blood. He wondered, what would happen if he DID drink Jacob Black's blood? The werewolf could not turn into a vampire. Would he just die? Would he turn into some weird hybrid? Edward laughed. Jacob Black was the person least likely to want to be near Edward. He would hate any hint of Edward, touch or smell; even the sight of Edward made Jacob Black cringe.

Edward brought his hands up to his face, laying one on his fevered forehead and pinching the

bridge of his nose with the other. He was a cold creature, he wasn't supposed to feel this heat. But he felt it, burning at him, racing through him. If he had a heart, it would be beating wildly right now.

"Jasper? Please leave." Edward sat up abruptly, and stood to face his brother. Jasper hadn’t even had a chance to calm Edward down before Edward had heard him. "I'm going hunting. Alone."

With that, Edward raced out of the house. The hunting part was a lie to them, really. He wasn't going hunting, even though his eyes were black as midnight. He was going to his meadow, where he might feel peaceful.

Jacob did not feel like being at school. There was a restless something gnawing at him, and he couldn't stand it. When Quil asked him what was wrong, he told him simply that he needed to run.

He left the school grounds, and went into the forest. As soon as he transformed, it felt better. The racing of his heart did not need an explanation when he was a wolf. He rushed through the woods, smelling the scents of the trees, the animals, hearing all the sounds. It felt good to leave everything behind like this.

Suddenly, Jacob smelled something new. He would recognize that smell any day, because it was always all over Bella. He had sat extra close to her yesterday, scooped her up in his arms, because it had started raining and she had been cold. He had leaned his shaggy head over hers, and his hair had sufficed to guard her from the rain, a little.

The smell was that bloodsucker, Edward Cullen. What was he doing out here? This was not far enough away for the Cullens to be hunting. Maybe the guy was hungry and wanted a little snack? Jacob blanched at the thought. Disgusting. He could just see it now, that bloodsucker gnawing on some innocent rabbit. Or perhaps a cougar, he had heard the vampires liked some fun sport in with their hunting, and had seen signs of it way up in the mountains.

He transformed back, and pulled on his pants, stepping out from under the trees.

There, in the middle of the meadow, lay Edward Cullen. Jacob stopped as he saw how the vampire's skin glowed. So that was why they didn't go out into the sunlight? Wow. Despite himself he stayed crouched where he was, staring. The sparkling was a beautiful effect. He couldn't take his eyes off that brilliant pale skin. It almost hurt to look, because it was too much beauty staring him in the face. Wait, what was he thinking? Beauty?

Jacob gulped. What was wrong with him today? But there was no denying it. All the vampires were beautiful, even the men. And Edward was the most beautiful of them all, which was one reason Jacob hated seeing Bella with this bloodsucker. Jacob's eyes roved over that form. The arms splayed out in the grass, head tilted back, those black eyes closed. The bronze hair waved in the slight wind. Jacob could see the muscle in the arms, in the shoulders, the abs. He wondered, could he really run faster than this guy? Jacob smirked at the thought. It was a fact that werewolves ran faster than vampires.

Jacob Black was watching him.

Edward could smell him, and with the boy crouched so close by, the smell was nearly unbearable. How had he never noticed it before? The boy's scent was sweet, thick and heavenly. It was not as sweet as Bella's scent, it was more earthy and rich. Edward wondered, what would that blood taste like?

He bit back the growl of want that threatened to come out of him.

What was Jacob thinking? Probably some hateful, jealous thing. Edward was too curious; he just had to have a look into Jacob's mind. He listened for a moment. "Edward is the most beautiful of them all."

What? Edward opened his eyes, sure he had misheard, or heard someone else's thoughts. But no, that was definitely Jacob Black's voice. He knew that voice.

Edward lay there a few moments more. The boy's scent burned in his nose and venom trickled in his mouth. It took all his resolve to not just leap up and sink his teeth into Jacob's neck. But Jacob was a werewolf. Such actions would cause a fight. He doubted he would even reach the boy's neck before Jacob hit him.

"Jacob Black. What are you doing here?" Edward remained lying down, but he could hear as the boy stood up and walked towards him. Edward stopped breathing so the scent wouldn't devour him.

The voice was surly. "I could ask you the same thing." Hmm. No "bloodsucker" added at the end?

"I have a question for you, Jacob. What were you doing with Bella yesterday? Your scent is all over her." And it's driving me crazy.

Jacob sounded angry now. His feet stomped on the ground, and Edward could hear his knuckles cracking as he clenched his hands into fists. "Don't make me start a fight, leech. My pack isn't here today to stop me. I was only carrying her! It was cold and started raining. At least I can keep her warm."

Edward digested this information and then stood up. "Thank you," he said. It was time to leave. The boy was able to deliver his words as vehemently as usual; the wolf did not have the other's scent tickling his nose, agonizingly sweet and sumptuous. Edward was turning to leave when suddenly a hand grabbed him, fingers wrapping firmly around his wrist.

The wolf's touch was so hot, like it would burn Edward's flesh. But it was a nice change from the cold.


Edward looked back at Jacob. That tall form was shaking. The boy's bare, twitching feet tore up grass as he fidgeted. His dark eyes stared at Edward uncertainly, with restlessness deep in them. The boy wasn't what could be called handsome, but he had attractive features and a shapely face, Edward thought. And those lips...

Wait, what am I THINKING? This is Jacob Black, not Bella. But then why do I find him attractive? Staring at making my hunger leave me. Would giving in to this lust stop my thirst for his blood?

"What's wrong today?" Jacob's voice cut through Edward's thoughts. "I feel...strange. Restless. Is anything different today or your family?" Edward could hear the nervousness in Jacob's voice. He let himself into the boy's mind again, and heard him thinking, I want him close. No...I want him. He's gorgeous. I never got the chance to look at him like this, because he was always with Bella. Whoa, he's so cold to touch. I want to run my fingers through his hair...

"Do it," Edward said sharply. He wanted those fingers to touch him more.

"What?" A note of panic was in Jacob's voice now. Edward smirked, flashing his bright white teeth. His smirk widened, smug, as he saw the boy become stunned by his beauty.

"Do it. What you're thinking. I can hear your thoughts, remember?"

Jacob swore under his breath. "Shit. You heard everything?" He was trembling, and his body was getting even hotter. He was biting his lip, over and over, and Edward feared that it would start bleeding and he would be forced to feed on the boy. The right hand not holding Edward's wrist was clenching and unclenching. Edward raised his brows. Was Jacob going to phase?

He placed his free hand over Jacob's that still held his wrist. "Calm down. I didn't listen to it all, just a couple things. I won't do it again."

Against his common sense, which told him to leave right now, Edward turned to face Jacob and let his hand sidle up the boy's arm. That skin was so smooth beneath his, the hard muscles twitching as Edward's fingers trailed over a firm bicep. He smiled softly as his fingers trailed over the smooth shoulder and then rested lightly on the boy's neck. Immediately, as soon as his fingers were on the neck, Jacob gulped audibly and a choking gasp came from his throat. Edward kept his touch there, waiting for the boy's urge to run to go away. He could feel it in the tension in Jacob, the way those feet scraped at the ground. That heart was pounding so hard, so fast. Edward had to look away from those eyes as he listened to that fast heart. He coughed, trying to swallow the venom as it came up again. The blood was traveling so quickly, smoothly through those veins...

In his tension, Edward lost control of his fingers and they pressed harder against Jacob's neck. The boy's eyes widened and he let go his hold on Edward's wrist. "Cullen, what are you doing?! Stop touching me!"

Instead of listening, Edward simply smiled. Jacob was always so stubborn. Slowly, softly, his fingers trailed up the boy's neck, and he let his index finger trace the soft curving shell of Jacob's ear. He tucked a strand of unruly black hair behind the boy's ear, and then pressed his thumb over the boy's bitten bottom lip.

"Good," he said. "You're not bleeding."

Jacob's eyes widened, and he seemed to catch on to what Edward meant, to Edward's thirst. His voice came out a whisper as he said, "You drink But...I'm a werewolf. It just doesn't work like that!"

The vampire shook his head. "I know. Strange, isn't it? Me and you. We deny the rules of our families. Come now, do it. Your wish. I'm waiting."