Chapter 14

Playlist selection: Somewhere I Belong - by Linkin Park

Edward POV

“Who was that girl?” Jasper thumbs behind us in the direction of the library. We’ve barely made it to the corner before he starts with the twenty questions.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? Well, apparently you do; she said your name. There was so much shock and disbelief going on in there...”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Okay, so first you don’t know, and now you do know, Edward. Stop talking in circles; you’re making me dizzy.”

I roll my eyes at him as we step off the curb, crossing Division Street. “I’ve never met her before, Jazz.” I stare at the ground, trying to rack my brain for where I might have come across her. My vampire memory is incapable of forgetting, so trying to figure that shit out is a waste of time.

He extends his hand out to grab my arm, halting my quick pace. “Dude, you’re killing me with all the confusion. Talk to me. What’s going on, man?”

“I don’t know! There was this voice - a fucking woman’s voice - talking about me in my head. When we passed the desk to leave, the girl standing there said my name.” I shake my head, trying to clear out the jumbled thoughts. “It was like she recognized me.”

Jasper nods. “Yeah, I got that vibe... What else?”

“I’m not sure. She obviously knows me, but from where? How? I definitely don’t recognize her. What feelings did you pick up from her?”

“Honestly, I couldn’t tell which emotion was coming from you and which was coming from her; everything was so jumbled together. I’m not kidding about the dizziness, man. I’m surprised I didn’t topple over right there at the circulation desk.”

I ignore his weak attempt at a joke and shake my head. “I just can’t figure it all out. Her voice in my head...”

He seems to sense the sudden spike in my anxiety and tries to lighten the conversation. “Yeah, well, you’re one of the mysterious Cullen kids, remember? She’s probably seen you with Carlisle at the hospital or something. Maybe she was a patient there. She probably knows you’re the only single one in the family, and she’s looking for a ‘good time’.” He waggles his eyebrows suggestively. I don’t find it funny at the moment.

“No, dick. I’m telling you... it was like she remembered me but couldn’t believe what she was seeing. It was the weirdest thing...”

“Well, let’s go back and talk to her.” He whips around and starts walking back in the direction of the library. I grab his arm to stop him, not sure if approaching this girl is what I should do.

“No, not yet. I need to talk to Carlisle about this shit. Can vampires hallucinate?”

We laugh, but thankfully, he drops the subject until we get back to the house. Alice is waiting for us on the porch when we arrive. She tells us that she had a vision of me wanting to talk to the family, so she gathered them in the living room to await our return.

“What’s going on, Edward?” Esme says, concern written all over her face.

“I’m not sure,” I tell her. She pulls me to sit on the ottoman in the center of the room and waves her hand to indicate I have their full attention. I focus mostly on Carlisle as I speak. “So, Jazz and I were at the library - just hanging out for a bit - you know? Well, all of a sudden I kept hearing this woman’s voice in my head.”

Emmett chuckles and I glare at him, giving him my middle finger. Esme chastises me with a warning look, then clears her throat to speak. “Then what happened, sweetheart?”

I give them the play-by-play of the events from the library, and then they discuss the possibilities of why I can only hear her. Could she be my la tua cantante, whatever the fuck that means? Or that maybe I’m developing mind reading abilities and somehow her mind was the easiest to infiltrate?

Alice argues against that theory. “Vampires are known to have abilities from the day they wake up, not ‘develop’ them. Our bodies are never changing... how can we develop anything? He either had this talent from the time he transformed and has been hiding it from us, or there’s something else going on.”

“Well, damn, I always thought your lame-ass talent was that you were a fast runner, Edward. I mean, whoop-tee-fucking-do! We’re vampires; we’re all fast. But if you reading our minds is going to be half as annoying as seeing our future, then I may consider going rogue,” Rosalie chides, casting a fleeting glance in Alice’s direction. I roll my eyes at Rose, hiding a smirk. She’s such a bitch sometimes, but I love her sarcasm.

Alice huffs, but otherwise stays quiet.

“Look. I’ve never had this happen before today. Never! I don’t understand what’s going on. That’s why I wanted to talk to all of you, to get your opinions. What if she really knew me in my human life?” I look at each of my family members, taking in their pensive expressions.

While they are lost in their own thoughts, I play that last scenario on a constant loop in my head... what if she really knew me in my human life?

But if that were true, and we met face-to-face again, she would notice the differences, if she hadn’t already today at the library. I don’t know if I was always pale or if I had a nice tan. Either way, my pallor is abnormal to humans. If she were to ever touch my hand, she’d feel the cool temperature of my body, and probably flinch from the unexpected texture of my skin.

What about my eyes? I know it’s characteristic of my family’s diet, but I’m one-hundred percent sure my human irises were not this golden color. I’ve never seen a human with eyes like ours. Would she have known me well enough to know what color they used to be?

And then there’s the clincher: I didn’t recognize her. She said my name. My name. She knows me... or knew me; I’m sure I’m not the same guy she had once known. I groan in frustration. I don’t know what I should fucking do - ignore her completely? Find her and get answers to the questions I’ve been asking myself since they day I woke up in this life? Would that be risking my family’s secret? Should I just pack some shit and leave Forks like I had been considering lately?

Carlisle says I should wait and keep an eye on her, see if something triggers any memories, but I just don’t know if that’s something I should do or not.

So, I do nothing.

For a few weeks, I go about my usual schedule... of nothing. I hunt, hang out with my family, and contemplate the nomadic lifestyle. Thoughts of this mystery girl cycle through my mind constantly, but I still can’t make a decision about what to do. Should I go back to the library in hopes of finding her again? Should I ignore my thoughts of her and pretend it never happened? I’m so fucking unsure.

So, in keeping with the theme... I do nothing.


Early one morning in February - nearly two months after the incident in the library - I’m at the lonely, useless traffic light in the sprawling metropolis of Forks when the voice registers through my mind.

“C’mon! Shit! I’m going to be late!”

I glance in the rearview mirror at the car behind me, noticing a burly logger lighting a cigarette.

“Ah, damn. Hurry up!”

There’s no one in the turning lane beside me, but in the on-coming lane, there’s a white sedan behind a delivery van.

“Go, lady! Jesus...”

I can’t see the driver, but once the light turns green, I gently press the gas pedal and creep through the intersection slowly, trying to get a good glimpse of the person inside. To my disappointment, it’s a scrawny teenage boy, probably headed to the high school.


As I drive past the white car, the voice goes silent, so I turn down the next street and begin to zig zag around the blocks near the intersection, hoping to catch the voice again, but it’s gone. I wonder if she was in a nearby store? Was she in another car headed in the opposite direction? I must need to be within a certain range to hear her. Giving up on my search after a few moments, I head back to the house.

I try to push the voice to the back burner of my mind, not wanting to obsess over it or her. I try to think about what she looked like, but I wasn’t really paying attention to those details at the time. I remember the basics: she was short with long brown hair and had on black and gray tennis shoes, jeans, and a green t-shirt. Other than that, I didn’t really get a good look at her face. I was too absorbed with deciphering the voice to focus on the person before I darted through the exit doors. I don’t even remember catching her scent; I think I held my breath the entire time I was in the library.

In April, I hear the voice again, but this time I’m driving past Tillicum Park. I make a U-turn and pull into the parking lot just as families are piling into their minivans after a soccer game. Her thoughts are vague and don’t help me locate her in the mass of humans milling around the lot. I crack open the rear window, not wanting the sunlight to reflect directly on my skin, and allow the various aromas of the people to waft into the car. I recognize several from being around the residents of Forks for the past year and a half. But unfortunately, nothing triggers any memories from the library.

By now - the end of May - I’ve caught her voice in my head two more times. Once in the mall in Port Angeles and today at the grocery store.

Esme has sent me on an errand for items from the hardware store. In a small town like Forks, it’s common to have a grocery/hardware store combo, I guess. I wouldn’t know, really. I only remember living in San Fran and Forks. I have no fucking clue if it’s normal or not... Anyway, at the Thriftway, I head straight to the section containing the hammers and mallets, perusing the shelves, when I’m struck with her voice again.

“Wow! Chicken breasts on sale for ninety-nine cents a pound?”

I spin around, looking for the girl, but quickly realize she wouldn’t be looking for that shit in the hardware portion of the store. That means she’s just on the other side of the wall from me! Suddenly, I’m really nervous about seeing her. I need to be all stalker-like and shit, because I can’t risk a scene in public. What if she faints? What if she screams? What if I do?

Deciding to stop asking “what if’s” and just to scope her out, I place the items in my hands back on the shelf and casually walk toward the opening that separates the two stores.

I’ve never been in a grocery store - never having a need to go there - so I’m feeling a tad bit out of my element, but I’m a man on a fucking mission to follow the voice. But when I get to the meats section, she’s not there. Fuck! Please tell me that I didn’t lose her already?

“Eggs, milk, butter. Eggs, milk, butter.”

Thank you very much, I silently reply back, appreciating her clues as to where she is headed in the store. I see the large refrigerator doors across the back wall, and maneuver around the produce section, trying to get a good perch to watch for the girl. The smell of the overly-ripe bananas in the bin next to me is extremely revolting, so I move over to the open buckets of potatoes and wait.

And there she is.

And she’s beautiful. How did I not notice this before? Her hair is pulled up into a loose ponytail and she’s wearing shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. She’s with another girl and they seem to be chatting about plans for the weekend while she places items into a handbasket, but surprisingly, her thoughts are about me.

“Should I tell her about seeing Edward, or not?”

The girls proceed to shop for other items, and I listen in shamelessly, wondering if she will mention me again. However, she decides to revisit that thought later on tonight when she’s alone with her friend.

Oh, I’m definitely going to listen in on that conversation...

Now that I’ve gotten a good look at her, I decide to leave the store and wait until she gets into her vehicle. Just as I’ve turned from the display of potatoes, my cell phone rings. I don’t have to look at the damn display to know it’s Alice.

“I’m not going to do anything, Alice. Stay off my back!” I growl into the receiver.

“You don’t know that, Edward. I haven’t seen what you are going to do because you haven’t decided on it!”

“I’m just going to follow her - see where she lives. I’m not going to approach her now!” The automatic doors slide open and I rush to exit the store. My car is parked at the far end of the lot near the hardware store entrance. I walk at a swift human pace and climb in, completely ignoring Alice’s rant.

“...anything stupid, Edward. Okay?”

“Yeah, alright. I’ll be home in a little bit. I just want to see where she lives.” She starts to bitch about something else, but I hang up on her and turn my phone off.

A few minutes later, the girl and her friend exit the store and trot over to a gaudy, red pick-up truck. Jesus, what a piece of shit! The beast roars to life, sputtering noxious fumes into the air, and pulls out onto the 101, headed north.

There’s not much traffic on the highway, but I allow two other cars to pull out onto the the road in front of me, and I follow the vapors from her truck. I don’t want her to know I’m following her. Two turns later, I find that monstrosity parked in front of a large Victorian home. There are three metal mailboxes next to the front door. I assume the house has been divided into apartments. Which one is hers?

Her voice rings out in my head, mentioning how happy her friend seems and whether or not she, herself, would ever be that happy again. The timbre of the voice is sad and somber. I wonder what happened to her.

“Tonight. I’ll tell her about seeing him tonight... after of wine... or two.”

I waffer with my urge to stay in front of her house, listening in on her thoughts, or to come back later this evening under the cover of darkness like the creepy voyeur that I’ve recently become.

Turning the car around in a neighbor’s driveway, I get a moment more to listen in before I’m too far out of range to hear her. I head straight home, thinking about what I plan to do now that I know where to find her. I need to figure out who she is...

When I arrive later that evening, the girls are completely drunk and singing karaoke in the apartment. Her thoughts don’t mention anything about me, only which song is next to sing and if she should eat something before she pukes.

I park my car along the poorly lit curb in front of her house. The dark tinted windows of the car keep me from being spotted easily inside, and I listen intently as their slurred speech turns into mumbles and eventually falls silent as they pass out from all the alcohol. I drive home in the wee hours of the morning, determined to finally take Carlisle’s advice. I’m going to watch her.

Creepy voyeuristic vampire.

For the next several weeks, I scope out this mystery woman. Not wanting to alert the neighborhood watch of a strange guy sitting in a car for hours on end, never getting out to visit one of the nearby homes, I start out by hiding in the forest just beyond her home, watching for a pattern to her routine.

She rises just after dawn three days a week for classes at the UW campus in Forks. On those mornings, I wait until her truck leaves her driveway before I sprint through the forest toward the campus. I hide out in the heavily wooded forest around the Center until she pulls into the lot and makes her way into the classroom. And in true stalker fashion, I wait for her to leave in the early evening and follow her home.

Two days out of the week, she meets her friend Jake at the diner for breakfast before traveling all around the Olympic Peninsula, collecting data and specimens for their lab courses.

At first, there’s a surge of jealousy and protectiveness that passes through me, knowing she’s meeting and spending time alone with a man. Who the fuck is this guy? Is this her boyfriend? Why are they meeting at the diner? He doesn’t even meet her at her truck to help her out of it. What if she fell in the parking lot and twisted her ankle? What if a runaway car came barrelling toward her? Surely, this pansy-assed human can’t safeguard her like I can.

And why the fuck do I even care?

The first morning I learn about her meetings with Jake, I follow her truck through town and stand in the rain, watching their conversation through the window. My mind is too clouded with emotions, and so I don’t consider the consequences of barging through the restaurant doors and dragging her away with me until I reach the hostess stand, and suddenly I worry how she’ll react once she recognizes me again.

The young girl at the counter eyes me suspiciously, so I politely ask for a to-go menu. As she’s digging though a stack of papers beneath the register, I hear the dynamic duo’s conversation. She asks what his plans are for the weekend, and he invites her over for a barbeque... with his wife. Well, halle-fucking-lujah! At least I won’t have to kill him... yet.

On the weekends, she wakes late - usually sleeping in until ten o’clock - then studies at the library - sometimes with Jake, sometimes without him. I prefer the times she’s alone; she mentions my name in her mind more often, but quickly chastises herself and pushes those thoughts to the side.

“God, I miss Edward so much. NO! Forget him. He’s apparently forgotten you.”

Then on occasion, she thinks about some motherfucker named Riley. “Am I going to run into Riley someday too? I don’t think I could handle that. One return-from-the-dead encounter is enough for this lifetime.”

What the fuck does that mean? I make a mental note to find out about him.

After a few weeks of watching her at a distance and learning her daily schedule, I start to circle closer to her like a goddamn predator to his prey. Not that I want to kill her, but like, I want to know more about her... more about us - our apparent history together. I want to spend some time with her.

The irony of it all makes me laugh. I mean, it’s like a fucking human wanting to be best friends with a cupcake. Just doesn’t happen. That’s usually when I get a phone call from Alice.

I visit her apartment mostly at night, trying to avoid detection by lurking in the darkness. I listen to her conversations with friends and what music she likes. She prefers hip hop while she’s cleaning and easy listening tunes while she’s relaxing. But only classical music will do when she’s studying. “I can’t concentrate if I’m singing all the damn lyrics!” she says to herself. It’s kinda cute.

I learn that her name is Isabella M. Swan - formerly of Phoenix, Arizona - owner of one very annoying bird, an overdue cable bill, and subscriber to Cosmopolitan magazine and the Washington Environmental Council newsletter. She recycles and carries reusable bags to the grocery store.

Late at night, after she’s fast asleep, I peer into her windows and through her sheer curtains to catch a glimpse of her home. In the living room, she has a collection of cacti on the mantel of the fireplace and a book shelf full of textbooks and novels with a scorpion in a small display case situated on top.

My family disapproves of me spending so much time just watching this girl, Isabella. Some think I will slip up and be discovered hovering around her apartment, drawing attention to me and our family. Others feel it’s only a matter of time before I snap and hurt her. Alice is frustrated because I can’t make a decision on whether or not to approach her, so she can’t see how things are going to turn out. It’s pretty damn hilarious watching her get all giddy one minute and twitchy-nervous the next. She either sees me as being happy because I’ve gotten all my answers from Isabella and she’s alive and well, or still being happy because I’ve gotten all my answers, but Isabella’s dead, and we’re on the run.

Esme is confident that things will be alright, but Carlisle is apprehensive. He tries to be secretive about scoping potential places to move our family should something bad happen. I highly doubt that will be the case, but I guess it’s good to err on the side of caution.

It’s not like I’ve never interacted with a human before, but definitely not of this caliber. Not with the possibility of ruining my family’s life here in Forks or murdering the only person who may give me a glimpse of who I used to be. If I do actually talk to Isabella, there’s no telling what could happen after the confrontation.

Jazz worries that I’m not hunting enough to maintain the veggie-vamp level of civility and to keep the bloodlust at bay if I plan to be close to her. I argue that it’s ridiculous to feed so regularly, since the constant burning in my throat is always there whether I hunt routinely or not. I’m already used to the scorching flare ups when I’m closer to humans, so I don’t see the point in gorging ourselves on wildlife if it’s unnecessary. He always has a come back, saying stupid shit about using protection with random hook-ups or whatever. He can be such a freak sometimes.

Rose and Emmett find this all very amusing and tease me relentlessly about my “sweet, little human crush” and all the time I’ve spent following and watching her. Assholes! It’s not a crush. She’s just... just... fascinating to me.

And really pretty...

It’s a warm, overcast evening in the middle of June, and as per my usual routine, I creep along the shadows next to Isabella’s house and settle next to the open window of the living room. Usually, I listen as she shuffles around her house, having conversations with the bird and with herself, and even while she just watches TV. It’s somewhat comforting just being near her. Her voice is soft and gentle, and once in a while, she mentions my name.. but usually it’s combined with a few curse words.

Her mind becomes a flurry of anger, a long string of profanities flood her thoughts, and then just as quickly, she thinks about how much she loves me. Not loved - past tense - but that maybe she still does. My question is... what kind of love? Romantic? Platonic? Familial? Please, Lord, don’t let her be my sister...

She never lingers long enough on that particular emotion for me to figure it out, so I keep returning to her window every night in hopes of solving this never ending mystery.

On Wednesdays, I like to eavesdrop on her weekly phone conversation with her friend, Angela. Tonight, the girls are chatting about celebrity gossip while Isabella chops something in the kitchen. She giggles into the phone, and I can’t help the smile that spreads across my face. Her laugh is so damn cute.

There’s a gentle gurgling sound coming from inside, so I assume she’s cooking herself dinner, but it’s hard to see what happening through the bird’s cage that is blocking the window.

I stand on my tip toes, trying to get a better glimpse inside the kitchen. My movement catches the attention of the bird, and it suddenly squawks loudly, startling Isabella and causing her to slice her finger. And that’s when I smell it...

Human blood.

In a fraction of a second, my muscles tense and my fingers clench into claws, ready to pounce and strike at my prey. The familiar metallic taste of venom floods my mouth, and I prepare to burst through her window to feast on the crimson ambrosia dripping from her finger, when the goddamned bird screeches in a frantic alarm and breaks me from my thirst-induced trance just long enough to make me suddenly aware of the situation.

I’m about to kill Isabella.

The bird continues to carry on with it’s loud warning cries, but I’m frozen in place, afraid to move a muscle until I’ve settled my urge to hunt. I don’t dare breathe while the delicious aroma still lingers in the air.

As Isabella attends to her wound, I slowly back away from the window - not wanting to make any sudden movements until I’m far enough away to turn and run. And run. And run.

Alice calls my cell phone before I leave the yard, and I apologize profusely.

“I’m so sorry, Alice. Please tell them I’m so sorry,” I beg, not wanting to face my family right now, shame surging through me.

“It’s okay, Edward. It was bound to happen at some point. Just be happy you didn’t go through with it.”

“I know. I am.”

She’s quiet for a few seconds then she sighs. “Please, don’t be gone long.”

“I won’t.” I turn of my phone, stuff it down into my pocket, and continue to run.

Two weeks later, I drag my sorry ass back home. I still feel guilty for nearly murdering the one person who’s held any interest for me since I woke up from my transformation. The one who holds all the answers to who I was in my former life.

Emmett, Jasper, and Carlisle meet me at the door wearing matching smiles.

“Glad to have you back, son.”

“Thanks.” I hang my head, ashamed of running away like a fucking coward.

Carlisle pulls me into the kitchen and leans against the counter to face me. He reiterates one of the first conversations we ever had about bloodlust, the necessity for frequent hunting, yadda yadda yadda...

I consider myself properly scolded.

He leaves me to my brothers, their devilish smirks alerting me to something I’m probably not going to like.

“What’s up, guys?” I raise my eyebrows, waiting for a fucking answer.

“Oh, not much,” Emmett says, elbowing Jazz in the ribs.

“Okay, okay... out with it! What are you assholes not telling me?”

Jasper reaches out and wraps his arm around my shoulder. “We have a little present for you.” I eye them both suspiciously, recalling every one of the practical jokes they’ve played on me.

“No, thanks. I’ve had enough of them over the past four years.”

Emmett’s smile gets bigger. “No, dude. Trust me, you’ll like this.”

I volley my eyes between the two douchebags before surrendering with a sigh. “Alright... what is it?”

Emmett pulls his arm from around his back and hands me a flimsy plastic storage container. “Here’s some sweets from your sweetie,” he laughs.

“What the fuck is this?” I ask. The plastic is semi-opaque and hard to see through, so I pop open the lid and glance at its contents. What the...? When the stench from inside fills my nostrils, I whip the container across the kitchen where it splinters a cabinet door. “Holy Jesus! What is that shit?!”

“Your girlfriend made them for you, asshole!” Jasper says, picking up the remnants of plastic and treats.

I look over at him, then at Emmett, confused. “She made them... for me?” How did she know...? Why...?

With Jasper now scouring the floor to collect all the particles of chocolate that scattered when the container busted, Emmett grabs me in a headlock and tells me what happened while I was away, “First, she shows up one night and snoops around the property, trying to look in windows and shit, then comes back the next day with a container of treats, saying that they used to be your favorite.” He’s quiet for a moment while he studies my face. “You know what you’ve gotta do, right?”

I look from his face to the mutilated container of cookies that Jazz put on the counter and whisper, “I have to go talk to her.”

I fret over this for the next two days. Now that she’s made the first move to contact me, I don’t know if I really want to talk to her. What would I say? “Hi, I’m Edward Cullen. Do you know me?” It makes me feel like a little lost puppy looking for his home or some shit. Wasn’t there some kind of identification at the cabin where Esme, Alice, and Emmett found me? Couldn’t they have spent an extra two minutes to find out where I was from?

How does she know where I live?

Isabella had left a card with the cookies: Please call me. Bella 602-555.9655.

An Arizona area code? How do I know it’s an Arizona area code? I’ve never called Arizona! Jesus, this whole situation gets more and more twisted...

I was found in Arizona, and she did mention something about Phoenix at the library. Is she from Phoenix? Am I from Phoenix?

Finally, I make a plan to approach her. Alice says the meeting will be informative, but she doesn’t give me any more than that.

I pick up a little gift for her at a bookstore in town - a peace offering, of sorts - and make my way toward her apartment.

I pull into the driveway, parking behind her behemoth truck, I exhale sharply before pulling in a deep lungful of air, my anxiety increasing tenfold. This is it, buddy boy. This is what you want... answers.

The rain is pouring down in sheets, and I exit the car, making my way toward her door like I was walking the fucking “Green Mile”. I step onto the tiny porch, listening to her thoughts inside, measuring her mood.

“Red or white? Hmm, definitely red.”

She seems to be in a mellow mood, so I take one last deep breath and knock lightly against the metal door. The damn bird squawks loudly until Isabella - Bella, as her note indicated - shushes it and pads toward the door.

If my heart was still beating, it would be pounding furiously. Why am I so damn nervous? I’m higher on the goddamn food chain! She should be nervous of me!

The locks click softly and the safety chain slides across the catch, but the second the door cracks open, I stare down at my shoes, too anxious to look her in the eye.

Her breath catches in her throat and I can hear her swallowing several times, her heartbeat thumping wildly. She doesn’t say a word for a few seconds, but it feels like an eternity to me.

Slowly, I raise my eyes to take in her long, exposed legs, short denim shorts, tight red tank top, plump lips, adorable button nose, and deep, soulful brown eyes. The same eyes that look like she’s trying to dismember me with a wicked glare.

“Nice of you to grace me with your presence, Edward,” Bella sneers.

Oh, this is not good...
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