A/N: Just a quick note. My Edward is not a doctor nor has he been to medical school. Thank you.
Chapter Two: Edward
Four more hours until we would arrive in Forks. Four more hours until we start over. I suddenly wanted to drive slower.
Rose was still ahead of me by a mile or so and she thought she was going to beat me there. HA! I gave the pedal a little push and smiled at the sound of the engine. I'd let Rose stay ahead of me for long enough. I put a bit more pressure on the accelerator and soon I was just close enough to hear her thoughts. A slew of profanities entered her mind as I attempted to pass her. She jerked the wheel to the left as I moved to the right. She veered slightly to the right and I to the left. I could see the cell phone at her ear.
I don't care what Alice saw. I am going to beat you, Edward.
I had let our little game of cat and mouse go on for about forty miles, and let Rose get far enough ahead of me so that she could no longer see me in her rear view mirror, before I took a sharp left. I'm sure Alice knew that I was going to take a little short cut, but Rose had no idea, and I couldn't wait to see her face when I beat her home.
As quick as I wanted to get there, the prospect of starting over was so depressing to me. We would be starting the high school charade again and I was not looking forward to it. The thought of the boredom that I was about to endure was making me cringe. The crude, immature thoughts of all those children that I would struggle to ignore. The hours of mindless lessons I would have to sit through. Another monotonous season of purgatory was upon us.
My thoughts kept creeping back to Alice's visions. The tone of her thoughts was sorrowful and intense whenever those eyes pierced her mind. The dark haired girl intrigued me. She was so still and her face was pained. She was covered in dirt and her eyes were haunting. The black overtook her irises and seemed to be seeping into the whites of her eyes. If Carlisle was right, she hadn't fed in months.
At first, I had wondered if she was dangerous, but... if she hadn't fed in months than she would be too weak to pose much of a threat to us. I was sure that we would encounter her at some point, and the sooner the better. It was risky to have another vampire in Forks. It was bad enough to have to keep an eye on Jasper as he battled with himself and his urges. Alice assured all of us that he would be fine attending school, but I had my doubts. Whenever he was around humans, his mind was filled with morbid fantasies. He visualized his attack and his lips over the pulsating flow of blood. Why couldn't he just stay at home? Why must he continue to put himself in the path of temptation? My thoughts were now interrupted by my buzzing cell phone.
"You are going to beat her for sure and by a good twenty, no
Thirty two minutes. Oh, and you better stop for gas soon."
I looked down at the fuel gage and sure enough, it was almost on empty.
I was leaning against the car as Rosalie pulled up the drive way and I couldn't hide my grin. Scowling, she jumped out of the car and slammed the door.
"What took you so long? I have been waiting for 30 minutes." I scoffed.
She looked toward the house and stalked off.
Piss off Edward! Always the god damn fastest...
I chuckled and moved the car into the garage, grabbed a few bags from the trunk and ran into the house. Alice and Jasper would be here soon, and Emmett should be arriving shortly after. The moving trucks wouldn't be here until tomorrow morning, so there would be no unpacking until then. I grabbed my ipod player from my bag and headed into the house. I avoided Rose who was in the kitchen painting her nails and breezed through the living room and out the back door. The music that filled my ears was unfamiliar and before I could look down to see what this was, my phone vibrated in my pocket. Alice.
"I thought I told you to stay away from my ipod."
"Listen to Pyramid Song. You'll love it." She laughed before hanging up on me.
In a flash I scaled one of the ancient cedar tress almost to the top. I rested my back up against a branch and sighed as I took in the scene around me. Our home was set along the Calawah River amidst the forest of Forks. It remained a beautiful place with hundreds of acres of dense wilderness, amazingly not much different than when we lived here previously.
I glanced down at my Ipod. Radiohead? Although I have an aversion to new music, I decide to give it a chance. I put in the ear buds and listened to Pyramid Song. A simple piano-laden start prompted me to close my eyes.
I jumped in the river and what did I see?
Black eyed angels swam with me
The music was mesmerizing. The bass player was using an upright bass. The guitar drifted in with layers of delay. A siren-like Ondes Martenot created eerie wavering notes. Wow... I haven't heard anyone play an Ondes Martenot since the 1930's. Interesting.
And I saw her face again. The beyond pale heart-shaped face with eyes black with sadness.
A moon full of stars and astral cars
All the figures I used to see
The song was filled with crescendos. The constant rise and fall of the music reminded me of waves. The song had a calming effect on me.
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
The time signature was unusual. 8/8, no 16/8? There was a complex rhythmic pattern in the piano that was quite simply amazing in comparison with most modern music.
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt.
Once again, Alice was right. I was thoroughly enjoying the music of Radiohead. As the song ended, I heard the sound of my Volvo pulling up to the house and Emmett's Jeep not far behind. I jumped from the tree and ran to the front of the house. Everyone had arrived except for Carlisle and Esme.
I knew you would love it! She grabbed Jasper's hand.
"What do you all think about going hunting?" I asked.
Emmett bounded away from the Jeep. "Yes! After that ride, my legs could use a good stretch."
He zipped into the kitchen to collect Rosalie and we took off running. We jumped and sailed over the river into the vast forest. The hours in the car had been stifling and it made this run seem exhilarating. Jasper and Alice headed east trailing a herd of deer. Emmett and Rose headed north in hopes of finding a grizzly. I followed the river northwest, knowing my siblings mating habits and wanting to be far enough away to not hear anything. It wasn't long before I spotted an elk drinking from the river. I moved in closer and froze in a crouch as I approached it. I heard the thud of its heart beating and my muscles began to tighten, venom dripping from my teeth.
I jumped at Alice's scream in my thoughts. I started running in the direction of her scent. It took just three seconds before I found Jasper holding a shaken Alice in his arms.
"She's here," Alice whispered. Her eyes closed as the visions came on strong. The girl, her eyes widening in fear inside Alice's mind.
Jasper lifted her head with his finger. "What do you see? What should we do?"
Alice opened her eyes slowly. "She needs our help. We're going to find her." She sprang away from Jasper and followed the river to the north. It was only minutes before Alice slowed her pace and began sniffing the air. Her head popped up as the wind blew and a new scent filled the air. "I can smell her."
The scent was light, somewhat floral. I listened intently, but the only thoughts I could hear were that of Alice and Jasper. He looked at me, sensing my confusion. If I could smell her, I should be able to hear her too.
Can you hear her Edward? Jasper silently asked.
I shook my head no.
I nodded and tried concentrating harder but nothing came. After a few moments, I took a few steps forward hoping to bridge the gap. I began to hear a whisper, but as I looked at Alice and Jasper, I realized they could hear it too. Alice was the first to move slowly toward a sweeping redwood. She stopped a few yards away and turned to look at us as the whispers started again.
Jasper gasped and put his hand to his chest. She's suffering. The pain she is feeling is...
"Run from me."
He winced and closed his eyes. It is not physical pain, it's emotional. "Guilt, shame, loss, separation... it's agonizing. Alice... It is too much. I can't stay here. I can't help you do this"
The whispers were now more of a murmur. "Run away before I hurt you. Run. From. Me."
Alice took Jasper's hand. "It's alright Jasper. I need you to get back to the house. Carlisle will be home very soon. Please go and tell him to be ready. We are going to take her home." Jasper bounded from us into the forest toward the house.
I shook my head in frustration, hearing her whispers but not her mind. "Nothing, there is nothing."
Alice stepped toward the massive redwood and began to move around toward the other side. The murmur was growing louder.
"Run, please. Run! Don't come any closer. I don't want to hurt you. Please."
I was at Alice's side when I saw her. Her crumpled body lay in a fetal position at the base of the tree, her face pointed toward the ground. She continued to speak soft warnings to us. She wanted us to run. She didn't want to hurt us. Her long dark hair was strewn about, the locks dingy and tangled, sticks and mud intertwined in the thick curls. Her skin was not pale, but white. It would have glowed had it not been caked with dirt. She started to stir and began to sniff the air.
"What... Who's there?" As she spoke, she lifted her head from the ground and slowly opened her eyes. I recognized her eyes from Alice's vision. Jet black, like ink had been poured into them.
Alice slowly approached her. "My name is Alice and I want to help you." She crouched down a few feet from her and with a deliberate calm, reached out her hand. "My brother Edward is here. We can take you somewhere safe."
I shook my head again and continued to stare in fascination at this woman who seemed to be trying to move, but was still struggling. Why could I not hear her? Was her mind empty?
"You can't help me."
Alice crept a bit closer. "What is your name?"
The women recoiled. "I said leave me! I don't deserve to be helped." She gritted her teeth and her body flinched. I stepped in front of Alice.
"Leave me." She put her hands on the ground and tried to prop herself into a crouch, but she did not have the strength.
Edward, we need to get her back to the house, and we need to do it soon.
I knew we should do something. We couldn't leave her like this. I looked down into her odd eyes. With all of my concentration, I attempted to penetrate the murky depths of her thoughts, but there was nothing but silence. I knelt down next to her. "Please listen to me. We will not harm you. Can you tell us your name?"
Her lips never moved. I heard her name in her thoughts. I was getting through!
She turned her face toward me, her black eyes pleading with me. "I can't be saved. I've taken too much. I am no longer Bella. I have become something evil."
She can't hurt us Edward. We can argue with her later. Now let's go!
I took one last glance at her. Bella... She started to shake. She laid her head back down to the earth and began to sob. Alice scooped her up in her arms and ran toward the house.
She writhed in Alice's arms, arching her back and swinging her arms around wildly. She may have been exhausted, but the slowing of Alice's pace made me realize that she still had strength left in her. I leapt to Alice's side and grabbed onto Bella's wrists. She turned to the side the clutched my shirt. As she looked up at me, her penetrating gaze stunned me. I couldn't look away. Her lips trembled.
"Your eyes.." she whispered to me. I felt her body relax and she loosened her grip on my shirt. "Golden
like honey," she murmured shifting toward me. Alice placed her in my arms and motioned toward the house before sprinting away.
I stilled, lost in her eyes and the silence that surrounded her. I was mesmerized by how small and fragile she felt in my arms. I felt a strange impulse to protect her. I did the only thing I could. I ran.
For our first day back in Forks, this was proving to be very interesting to say the least. It didn't entirely surprise me. Alice had been having visions of Bella for months, and had been thinking that this woman would have a significant effect on our lives somehow. Carlisle was waiting for us when we arrived at the house. I laid her down on the sofa in my room and left her to speak with Carlisle and Esme. Carlisle asked me in his thoughts to get his flask and fill it with blood for Bella. He wanted to try and get her to feed as soon as possible. I hurried back to the forest, keeping close to the house.
After seeing her, Carlisle began to remember his own struggles as a newborn. He had once tried to starve himself, acting from depression and he felt that Bella was doing the same. She was despondent but calm as he spoke to her of his personal battles. She said nothing and looked into his eyes with bewilderment. Our golden eyes were a mystery to her. Esme joined Carlisle and began to tell Bella about how we survive. Bella looked astonished over the mention of our "vegetarian" lifestyle.
I made quick work of filling the flask and I knew I could be back at the house in less than a minute, but something was making me hesitate.
"You don't have to rush. Jasper has a handle on himself now. He's calming her." Alice smiled up at me. "She is going to be a great addition to our family." In her mind, she saw scenes of herself sitting with Bella laughing. The site of her in Alice's mind made me gasp slightly. Her eyes were dark golden orbs. Her body was slender and her chestnut locks fell around her shoulders. Her skin was glowing slightly and her laugh was angelic.
"You can't hear her yet?" Alice asked.
"No." A slight grimace came upon my face. "Yet? You think she is blocking me?"
"I'm not sure, but you did hear something in the forest didn't you?"
"Her name, nothing more. Perhaps I just need to focus harder. If she is blocking me, it can't last. No one has ever been able to keep me out for long. We should get going. Carlisle is going to suggest that she feed soon."
As we ran back to the house, the thoughts of my family were excited. Alice had filled in Emmett and Rosalie about Bella. Emmett smirked at me as I came into the doorway.
You brought dinner for her?
He laughed. "What's up? Are you still pissed about your piano?"
Alice smacked him on the arm. "He's anxious because he can't hear her thoughts."
Emmett laughed even harder. "Now you know what it's like for the rest of us."