My body was
exhausted, yet I pushed myself forward stupidly, trying with
ferocious movements to remove myself from this situation. My
body trembled, and my legs felt completely numb. I wouldn't be
able to go on much longer.
snow fell on my face in tiny plops, the first snow of the
season. How ironic that the time of year I hated most would be
the last season I'd live.
over a branch and fell, stupidly, onto the wet ground. I stayed
there, not even bothering to get up and move. I was terrified,
scared beyond control, and I felt my body shaking.
be long before they found me now. I was actually surprised that
they hadn't found me already.
well," I heard the familiar voice and cringed into the ground
"What do we have here? Trying to run, are we
fight as the cold stone arms embraced me, carrying me through
the forest with blinding speed. I was so tired. So, so tired.
Death would be a relief at this point.
out in pain as I felt the arms release me, not understanding
why he couldn't just be quick about it. What had I done to
deserve the death this man was torturing me with?
I heard a
snarl, and suddenly the sound cut off. I opened my eyes to see
another one. Another vampire. He was standing in front of the
evil one, his red eyes darting from me to the man. He was
beautiful, of course, just like the rest of them.
"Let her go,
James." He commanded, his voice hoarse.
was his name.
The one named
James chuckled darkly. "I see you've given in,
lowered his head in shame as James continued.
time. Now you can join us."
out another snarl, and I felt the throbbing pain in my leg. I'd
hit it pretty hard.
and flinched as Edward turned to stare at me.Then he growled
"Let the girl
chuckled. "Too bad for her, I was just hunting. I'm very
thirsty. I'm sure you understand. You can smell her, can you
hissed, shutting his eyes in concentration.
engulfed me, and I knew now that both of these creatures wanted
to kill me.
I couldn't seem
to wake up. Couldn't seem to find my eyes. My dream tugged at
my memory, trying to tell me something, I was sure.
that your name?" A velvet voice asked.
I recognized the
voice and I almost screamed in terror.
I fluttered my
eyelids, trying to focus in on his face. This may be the last
thing I saw before I died. I wondered what Jacob would do. What
Charlie and Renee would do?
The tears came to
my eyes, and I blinked them back furiously, trying to see
When I finally
saw his face, his lovely, beautiful face, I flinched back. His
expression was tight, but still curious. He was close, close
enough to touch, and I felt the genuine fear course through my
now." He mumbled, taking a few steps back from me. "He won't
I stared up at
him through wet eyes, trying to comprehend.My mind was jumbled,
like a bunch of mashed-up memories smashed together. I had a
headache so bad that my ears were ringing. I'd never felt so
much stress, and I was surprised that I was able to stay
He took in my
expression. "Seriously." He whispered sullenly. "I'm not going
to hurt you. You can sleep now. You must be tired."
I took in his
bright red eyes, his jaw clenched in what I assumed was
restraint from draining my blood, and I knew that I was not
I watched him
warily, and he sighed loudly.
"Tell me what
you're thinking." He exclaimed, frustrated.
I wasn't able to
speak for a few moments, but when he gave me a deadly glare;
the words tumbled out "I'm trying to understand why you're
doing this right now."
"I'm trying to
understand why I'm not…dead. Why you haven't killed me."
He sucked in a
breath, and then winced. "I'm trying to understand that too."
He said, so quietly I wasn't sure I was meant to hear.
I knew that the
strange creature in front of me was not safe. And yet, I
couldn't help but feel slightly calmed by his presence. I had
no idea why, and it scared me.
flashed again to Jacob and Charlie.
"I think you
should sleep." He said, cutting me out of my memories.
There was no way
in hell I was going to bed near this monster. I could see his
eyes. He was not good. He was not innocent. He wasn't
My heart let out
a disjointed beat. I wondered if Edward could hear it.
briefly in his eyes and I flinched.
Jake had told me
about vampires. One touch, one snap of his hand and I was dead.
One wrong move and I'd be done. I thought he was exaggerating.
But not now.
Because the man
before me was not human. He was a demon. A monster. Straight
from hell. It was amazing that I'd managed to stay alive this
long. Maybe he planned to torture me. A slow death. It was
exactly what I'd expect of these creatures.
"No thank you." I
whispered, barely audible.
whispered, tortured. I didn't know that dead eyes were capable
of holding so much emotion. His eyes smoldered, almost
hypnotized. I looked away.
"No." I ordered,
getting up from the chair he was in and walking from the
I took a moment
to look at my surroundings. I was in a dark room, almost homey,
but I knew better. The bed I was lying upon was huge and
luxurious, and the walls had pictures on them. The windows had
bars and the blinds were shut. The door, I realized, was locked
also. From the outside.
A moment later
the door opened, and he walked back in, I took a moment to
study the creature in front of me.
His hair was
tousled, windblown, as if he'd stepped out into the storm. His
eyes were a dull red now, almost brown. Almost. His cheekbones
sat high on his breathtaking face, his nose strong and perfect.
He had a full set of lips, so inviting… his jaw was prominent
but subtle. He had the face of an angel. And he was the exact
I looked down to
his chest, illuminated by an informal button-up shirt and
jeans. He was dressed as though he was human. All part of the
He was carrying
what looked to be clothes in his hands, and the second I felt
grateful I pushed the feeling back.
"Since you will
not sleep I've brought you some clean clothes. The bathroom is
to your left," he pointed a stone white finger towards a door,
"And you can wash up in there. If you need anything…well, I'm
sure you won't." He smiled sheepishly, and walked out
I let my mind
wander to safer places, like Jacob and Charlie and Renee. If I
ever got out of here, which I wouldn't, I was never going to be
It sent a chill
through my bones at how quickly I would die now.
I still had no
idea why this creature had saved me. He was exactly like them.
It hurt my head to even think about it, and I wished that he
would just get it over with.
I looked to the
clothes he'd left me on the stand, and then to the door. A
shower may clear my head. I picked up the clothes and walked
into the elaborate bathroom.
It had marble
sinks and a tub with those jets in them, and a separate shower.
It was fantastic. And I would have been impressed. If this was
not probably one of my last showers. There are no windows, I
thought sarcastically, what a surprise.
slowly, taking time to let the water run down my body. I was
hostage, plain and simple. I didn't know how long I had left,
and I sure as hell wasn't going to anger
I took a minute
to wonder why god would create such a creature. It must have
been an experiment gone terribly wrong.
It also confused
me as to why he was letting me live in such fantastic
conditions. Shouldn't I be in a dungeon somewhere? Huddling up
in a dark corner?
I stepped out of
the shower, drying off and putting on the clean clothes. I ran
my fingers through my hair, I couldn't find a brush, and
stumbled out into the bedroom. I flopped on the bed, my mind
swimming with confusion and terror, and I finally felt
unconsciousness come. I didn't know if it was from hunger, or
stress, or just plain fear, but the darkness finally consumed
me, and took me deeper than I'd ever been.
I knew I must
have been sleeping for a very long time. My arms and legs
ached, and my back was screaming in protest. I felt like I
hadn't moved at all since I'd fallen asleep, except that now I
was under the covers instead of on top of them.
asleep for a long time." He mused, and I jumped at the sound of
I opened my eyes
to see him sitting in the same chair as yesterday. The room
looked different, and it took me a moment to realize that it
was no longer dark outside. The sunlight shone behind the dark
curtains, trying to come in. It wasn't getting very far.
He smiled warmly
at me, but I didn't react.
"Why are you
keeping me here?" I blurted out.
He stared at me
for a moment, calculating. "I saved you, Bella. You should be
thankful." His voice had a tint of annoyance.
"How do you know
my name?" I nearly growled.
He frowned. "I
read James' thoughts. Of course I could have just read yours,
but it seems I'm having some difficultly with that." He looked
at me curiously, "I wonder why that is."
The way he was
assessing me made me uncomfortable, and I pulled the bed sheet
higher so it was covering more of me.
"You…" I started,
shocked. He read minds?
answered before I finished. "I can read minds. I can read every
mind. Apart from yours."
"Why is that?" I
"You tell me." He
said, and his voice had a joking edge to it.
understand this. Jacob had told me these creatures killed
mercilessly, and they had no emotions. Edward sure looked as
though he had emotions, watching me with curious eyes that
seemed to be getting less red and more yellow by the
I shook my head,
blushing slightly. I had no idea why.
"To answer your
question," He said, clearing his throat, "I'm keeping you
because if I didn't, I'd have to kill you."
A shudder ran
down my spine at his seeming indifference.
"So you're not
going to kill me now?" I asked, shaking.
He shook his head
as though the idea was absurd. "I will not hurt you, Isabella.
Not unless you disobey me. James, the one I killed in the
forest, he would have hurt you."
I stared at him,
shocked. "So you killed the other one?"
"Yes." He said,
his voice uncaring and bored.
I calculated for
a moment. "Not unless I disobey you…?" I repeated,
"If you try to
escape me, which let me assure you, you will find no way out…
but if you try to escape me, Bella Swan, I will not hesitate to
kill you. I've put both of us in danger by letting you know
what I am, and I'm not about to get in trouble with the
whispered stupidly. Why would a vampire have to obey the laws
of humans? It made no sense.
"The Volturi. If
they ever found out what I'd let you see in the forest," He
shook his head. "They'd punish me. They'd kill me."
I shivered again.
Jacob had not known about a Volturi.
"I've made you
some breakfast." He muttered, breaking me out of my reverie.
"It's just some bacon and eggs…you humans like that?" It was a
I nodded my head,
taking in a whiff of the air. Delicious. My stomach growled. I
hadn't eaten since yesterday morning.
He smiled, and
suddenly he was beside me, holding the plate out to me.
I flinched at his
sudden proximity, but took the plate away from him with greedy
I pushed the warm
food down my dry throat, scarfing it down with
Edward watched me
the entire time, frowning slightly.
starving." He whispered, reaching out to me and snapping his
hand back when I cringed, "And it is my fault. I'm sorry." He
hung his head. "You must tell me the next time you get hungry.
I won't hesitate. I want you to be comfortable."
I scoffed, almost
choking on the toast I was basically inhaling.
"I know this is
cruel. But it's the only way. It is plain and simple. If I let
you go, the volturi will kill you slowly. And if you escape and
I kill you before they get to you, I can make it painless.
There is only one other way." He said madly, "And that is to
keep you with me."
"I wouldn't tell
anyone." I whispered. "I promise. If you just let me
He slammed his
fist down on the table, and I jumped, scooting farther away
"They would kill
you anyway." He growled. "People cannot know about us. The
Volturi take no chances."
With that, he got
up and walked out of the room.
I didn't speak to
him for a few hours after that.
The next few days
went by slowly, torturously. And I knew that if this was how I
was going to spend the rest of my life, I was going to have to
ask him to kill me.
He never really
said much, just gave me the supplies I needed and walked away
again. I'd always end up sleeping on top of the covers, and I'd
always be under them in the morning. No doubt that was Edward's
He was taking
care of me. And it felt…nice.
I never thought
that I'd feel comfortable around a vampire, and I wasn't
completely, but by the fourth day I was getting used to his
presence. He would often sit in his chair reading as I watched
the large TV, and sometimes I'd read a book as well. He had
His patience was
endless, and I guess that being immortal did that to
In those four
days I began studying him. The way he walked, the way his lips
moved over his teeth as his smooth words flowed out. The way he
would flick one piece of hair out of the way constantly, how he
ran his fingers through his hair when he was nervous or
uncomfortable. The way his eyebrows would lower over his eyes
when he was frustrated, and his eyes were a honey color now.
Not so intimidating now. He was beautiful, I'd realized with a
He was absolutely
"Would you like
to go for a walk?" He asked on the fourth day, putting down his
caught me off guard and I hesitated. "A walk…?"
He sighed. "Yes,
you know, like moving your legs outside…"
"I thought I was
hostage." I teased, and it amazed me how easily it came on. I
should not be teasing with a creature of the devil.
"Oh, trust me; I
could catch you if you ran." He was only joking, but I shivered
answered, willing to do anything to get out of the room. "I'd
me before he opened the door, spinning me around a few times so
that I had no idea which direction he was taking me. It was
unnecessary, and he knew it, but he was being careful. I could
find it nowhere in me to detest him for it. And that scared
When I finally
felt the cool winter air on my face, I shuddered; glad he'd
instructed me on wearing the coat he'd brought me.
came off and I blinked a few times, trying to get used to the
light. When my eyes adjusted, I looked around. We were on a
cement pathway in what looked to be a garden. But I knew
better. This was a maze.
It felt amazing
to have some fresh air though, and Edward walked beside me,
matching me step for step.
"My father is
probably looking for me." I muttered. I was perfectly
comfortable with silence, but it was nice to hear his
"I doubt it."
I looked over to
him in shock. "You don't know that! My father loves me and he's
probably worried sick! How dare you?" I growled.
We both stopped
walking, glowering at each other.
"Bella, it's been
four days, after tomorrow, everyone will just assume you're
dead. People go missing all the time." There was an emotion
burning underneath his cool reserve, but I couldn't detect
The tears came to
my eyes and flowed down my cheeks miserably. "This will
absolutely kill my father." I whispered, choked by sobs.
I got down on my
knees in front of him, clutching at the ground. "My mother, my
father, my best friend…" I trailed off. "It will kill them.
Especially Jake. He'll know I'm not dead. He'll know the
He was on the
ground now too, trying to get me to stand up. He wasn't using
his vampire strength either, he was just trying to comfort. But
something about the action was too human. Way too human to
offer me any sort of comfort. What I felt now was rage. Blind,
red hot rage.
shrieked at him. "STOP IT NOW! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! YOU
DON'T HAVE A HEART! YOU WILL NEVER FEEL WHAT IT'S LIKE TO
LOVE!" I thrashed against him wildly, but he was too
Honey, you'll hurt yourself." He wrapped his arms tightly
shrieked again, the sobs cutting off my screaming. I let the
breakdown come, not even caring if he was watching. My body
shook with sobs of terror, pain, and most of all grief.
He sat there all
the time, gently rocking me back and forth as I caught my
breath, and my body stopped shaking.