Stay calm. Zůstaňte v klidu. Dr. Joseph Cole. He knows about us. What we are. He knows we’re dangerous, different.
We planned to confront him. Carlisle wanted to be as moral as possible about this. The Cullens have all been around for a long time. They have experience with keeping what they are a secret. They have had no choice. I, on the other hand, was worried… no, I was scared to death. What would it mean for my family if humans discovered what we are? What would it mean for the humans? It’s a battle I didn’t want to think about. I forced the thought from my mind, which left me with nothing but the painful awareness of my almost debilitating thirst.
At first, all I could think of was protecting my family. Edward. Renesmee. Charlie. Jake… all of them. Even Rosalie. My entire body felt like dry, scorching hot coals. My throat was a blazing, out of control fire, becoming wilder with each passing moment. A wildfire.
My thoughts drifted, painfully, to the memory of the burning version of myself that laid ablaze, scorching… silently. The memory of the day I was turned. Immortalized. I was bewildered by pain. The venom, Edward’s venom, and the morphine left me paralyzed while I was charred alive.
I had not hunted since meeting Dr. Joseph Cole and knew that in order to protect my family, I needed to hunt, and fast. I needed to be strong, but careful at the same time. In that very moment there wasn’t much holding me back from finding Dr. Joseph Cole and completely removing his knowledge of our kind, along with his life. The scorching in my dry throat had become impossibly painful. I lost a little more compassion with each passing, bloodless second.
“I’m going to spend some time with Dr. Joseph Cole during my night shift. Ask him a few questions.” Carlisle’s eyebrows knitted together, his face concerned.
He planned to play with Dr. Coles mind a little bit. Vampire as old as the Cullens can read people, very well. Even though Carlisle isn’t able to read minds, he is smart enough to get the information he needs through good old fashioned manipulation.
Before leaving for his night shift at the hospital, Carlisle promised he would call if he needed our help, or if anything went wrong. I could tell Esme was worried about Carlisle. At first she hesitated when he went in for a goodbye kiss, then her walls came down. Esme grabbed his head strongly, with her perfectly elegant porcelain hands, held him firmly in place and kissed him with more passion than I have ever witnessed in my life. She was inhaling him, breathing him in, and pressing her body into his as if wanted to disappear inside of him, become one with him.
“Ex… excuse us. There is a young one present you know.” Alice put her arm around Renesmee to remind Carlisle and Esme to cool off. Edward grinned, that impossibly perfect crooked grin, and I noticed his eyes were almost black. We needed to hunt.
As soon as Carlisle left, Edward and I went hunting. I wanted to bring Renesmee, she wanted to come, but until I knew what Dr. Cole’s intentions were, I really didn’t want her to leave the house.
I caught the scent of humans and my thoughts became malicious, untamed. My imagination went places I never wanted it to go. Just one drop of the sweet, aromatic human blood. My throat burned like a roaring fire, as the fragrant scent of human blood danced through my nostrils, teasing me. Challenging me. I knew that in just a few inhumanly quick seconds I could find the weak, mouthwatering humans and put out the dry, scorching flames in my throat. The innocent humans…
I lost all trust in myself for the first time. I didn’t know what I was capable of. My instincts were telling me to get it over with, to satisfy my thirst. My instincts were drowning out my compassion, my logic. There were many deers that I could have had already. I wasn’t craving their blood, though. In that moment, I felt weak, like I needed the strength that vampires get from human blood, not animal blood.
I could hear the humans laughing. It was a couple, a young couple. They probably went into the woods to get away, to have some alone time, like normal teenagers. They sounded so happy, so alive. For a half second I wondered what they looked like. I just wanted to see what they looked…
“Bella! No!” Edward’s roar sounded like thunder, especially to my heightened sense of sound. I was fast, but something stopped me from going as fast as I knew I could. I wanted Edward to stop me. I needed him to.
I felt a hand jerk me back and I smashed half into the ground and half into Edward’s granite body, which caused another thunderous sound. I felt raindrops now. They started off slowly, and I could hear them crashing into the leaves on the tress surrounding us. The rain sounds even more beautiful now that I have the ability to hear things so much more clearly, and from much farther away. Within seconds the rain was barreling down on us.
Edward did not release his hold on me. We didn’t talk for a good five minutes. We just laid there, in the dark forest, with the rain washing over us, soaking our clothing. Somehow, the rain began to tame my violent thirst, washing away my bloodlust. I felt too ashamed to look at Edward, and apologized without looking at him, still laying on my back with him under me.
“Edward, I… I don’t know exactly what happened. I caught the scent of those humans and my mind, it… no matter how hard I tried to shake the thought, I couldn’t. I’m so sorry Edward.” My voice was a whisper, too low for human ears to catch.
Edward pulled himself up off the now muddy ground, pulling me up with him, then rested his cheek against mine. “This will make Jasper feel a little bit better…” He grinned and it just touched his eyes. I could tell that he wasn’t mad. Edward, if anyone, understands the strength it takes for a vampire to fight their instincts, to control their thirst.
In one swift movement, Edward pulled me around so I was facing him now, my legs straddled over his, my arms around his neck. The rain got heavier and pounded into our granite-like bodies as our lips met, first softly, so softly. Then, as the guilt I was feeling began to wash away, I kissed Edward harder, pulling his face up and pressing his torso into mine. Consuming him. Breathing him in. I let him into my mind so that he knew what I wanted from him. He met the thought with his perfect smile and laid back down into the mud, pulling me down with him…
The rain let up after about an hour. We both hunted more than enough to extinguish the blaze that almost led me to do something I would forever regret. After I hunted, and was satisfied, it became painfully clear what had almost happened. I almost killed innocent people. It is going to take a long time for me to forgive myself, if I ever do.
Shortly after the sun had risen, Carlisle pulled up into the driveway. Edward read his mind as soon as he could hear his thoughts then his golden eyes widened while his face somehow remained expressionless, a look that confused me.
Before I had a chance to ask Edward what he heard, Carlisle was in the door, meeting all of our curious faces with a smile. “He knows we’re different.” Carlisle didn’t waste any time getting to his point. “Dr. Joseph Cole is a very wise, kindhearted man. His only mission in this world is to help people. He is also very ill.” Carlsile’s mouth pulled down into a frown and he looked at the ground before continuing. “He hasn’t told anyone of his illness yet because he doesn’t want to have to stop working at the hospital, helping people.”
Rosalie interrupted, her patience wearing thin.”What does all this have to do with him knowing what we are, and what about our safety?”
“After much consideration, and hearing Dr. Cole’s pleas, I have agreed to change him, so he can continue doing what he loves to do. He’s a smart man and has been studying our kind for years. He knows the consequences of immortality. He knows the discipline required to feed only off animals. He knows about the pain, the burning.” Carlisle’s eyes shot in my direction, then Charlie’s. The memory of charring alive is still very clear for Charlie & I, the newborns.
“What about his family? Carlisle, you can’t just give out immortality like it’s Christmas and you’re the immortality Santa.” Emmett had a point, although he could have worded it better.
“This isn’t something I take lightly and I hope you all understand and respect my decision. He doesn’t have a family. He has chosen to devote his life to his work, instead. I cannot deny someone who could do so much for the world. Who is so intelligent and wants to help find cures for human illnesses.”
Carlisle took in a deep, but unnecessary breath, as if to brace himself for what he was about to say next. “The change will start tomorrow night, in our basement. It’s the only sound proof location I can think of. It is likely that the pain, the burning, will cause him to scream.”
For the longest moment, no one said anything. We all stood there, frozen like statues, trying to understand. But Carlisle made up his mind, and without another word, he took off up the stairs in a blur, Esme following behind.
The truth is, I get Dr. Joseph Cole more than anyone. I understand their doubts, but I don’t doubt that Dr. Cole knows what he wants. He may not being doing it for love, like me, but he’s doing it for passion. For his passion to continue saving lives. Who are we to deny him of that.
I, however, feel bad bout the pain he is about to feel…
June 4th, 2010:
I love the rain. Will write more when I have time…
June 5th, 2010:
“I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.”
-Bella Swan, Twilight.
I love when it rains. I love overcast days, like today. I love the algid, biting winter, too. The cold. Not only for the reasons you’d think. Not because I have more freedom on overcast days, although that is an undeniable bonus. Not because I can’t actually feel the cold, which is admittedly a nice advantage to being what we are.
The best way for me to describe it is, you know that feeling that washes over you when you smell something that reminds you of a happy time from your childhood, or maybe it reminds you of someone you love? That’s what the cold and the rain does to me. If Forks wasn’t cold and rainy, then the Cullens would have never moved there – and I would have never found my perfect, beautiful Edward.
I owe the rain everything, my existence, for bringing my life to me. My Edward.
Dr. Joseph Cole is currently charring alive in our basement. Poor guy. I’ll write all about that in my next entry!
After this summer, Edward and I plan to go back to school. And to be honest, I’m more excited than I ever imagined I could be about attending boring, repetitive classes.
When you’re human your time is limited. You are only on Earth for a very short time, and as a human you have to sleep for about eight hours a night–so the last thing you want to do with the few short hours you’re awake in a day is sit in class after class listening to the teacher ramble about stuff you know you’re going to forget anyway.
When you’re an immortal, though, it seems as though you can’t find enough to do, enough to keep yourself busy, entertained. After I was changed, I seemed to become more patient by the day. I’m a hunter now, after all. An immortal. Patience is an inevitable quality for the undead.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t get bored. I do. In fact, the boredom is worse now because I have all this strength, power and energy. We could be doing so much more with what we are, but instead, because we are dangerous, not normal, we have to take every precaution possible to be sure no one suspects anything. Instead of using my new strength, I have to hide it. Act human. Alive. We have to fit in. Something that’s much easier said than done.
I’m worried mostly about drowning in my own lies. I can’t lie. I do lie . . . a lot, but I’m bad at it. To the town, Renesmee is known as my little sister. Adopted, like the rest of us, by Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. Charlie is known as my Uncle, and although I’m getting more used to the script and learning my lines for this play we put on daily for the public, I still have an almost unbearable urge to scream the truth about everything to the world.
I want to be able to adore and love my Nudger in public. I don’t want to have to check to make sure it won’t be sunny before I make any plans to venture outside because my skin will sparkle like thousands of embedded diamonds. What am I supposed to say to that? I took a glitter bath?
The hospital Carlisle is working at here in New Hampshire had a spring gala for all the employees and their families. They do four per year; one for every season. It was held inside a ballroom, at night–so we were safe to go. We had to go, for Carlisle. It is thought to be extremely rude not to attend these galas unless, of course, you’re scheduled to work.
Carlisle tried to get out of it by offering to stay at the hospital to work his usual night shift, however because Carlisle is new to the hospital, they insisted he attend. They wanted to get to know him more outside of work. They wanted to meet his family.
Renesmee didn’t come. I explained to Carlisle that I wasn’t ready to be around so many people at once while trying to pretend she was my sister. Jacob stayed back at the house with her. He didn’t want to come anyway, but asked that we bring him back some food.
“Well, on top of me getting some good food, you guys’ll look more human. They’d never suspect you’re a bunch of leec–vampires if you’re all smuggling food out of there.” Jacob grinned and I opened my mouth to say something, but laughed instead.
Charlie stuck in a pair of brown contacts and threw on his best dress up attire and came along. He wanted to see if there would be any single ladies there who he could lure in. I think his new enhanced exterior is getting to his head a little bit. Anytime we’re out in public women tend to gawk at him, their mouths hanging open. Charlie isn’t as awkward and quiet as he used to be, before he was turned. It’s funny watching him interact with Emmett especially. Emmett brings out a whole different side of Charlie that I never knew existed. I like it. Charlie is happy. He’s having fun with what he is.
Once we entered the large ballroom I began to feel more relaxed. The lighting was very dim with spotlights of red, blue and purple dancing over the ice sculptures on either end of the oversize buffet table.
There were literally mountains of food, and I was already dreading having to pretend to eat and enjoy it. Human food tastes like dirt to vampires, but we can pretend to eat it when we have to.
We all hunted before going to the gala, of course, but my throat still burned. There were hundreds of mouth watering humans all gathered in the hall, each one so fragrant, so sweet-smelling. I could almost taste them. My eyes swept from human to human, watching the veins pulse in their throats, the carotid arteries. I counted every pulse:
One…two…three…four. It was somehow lulling.
Each beat seemed louder than the last, scorching my throat deeper and deeper. I felt like someone was holding the barrel of a curling iron down my throat to torture me. I needed fresh air immediately, or something bad was about to happen.
I moved faster than any human could, and I was aware of my unnatural pace, but I didn’t care. I needed to get out, that’s all I knew. I pulled myself away from Edward’s grip and was out the door, deeply inhaling the fresh, crisp air, trying to shake the vision of the pulsing, fragrant necks in the banquet hall.
I felt overridden with guilt for seeing them as nothing more than a meal. They were human beings. People with families, loved ones . . . yet there I was, blinded by the pulsing, the scent, the desire that almost overtook me. I was a monster.
It only took a few short minutes for Edward to calm me down, to melt away the guilt. He placed one long, smooth hand on each one of my cheeks and stared intently into my eyes, that crooked grin creeping up on one side.
“Bella, love, it’s okay. I wouldn’t have let anything happen. You didn’t do anything wrong. You fought your instincts and there’s nothing harder than that, but you did it.” His eyes were liquid gold, his breath icy and sweet.
“Edward . . . I . . . ” I closed my eyes tightly, trying to find the words, the right words to emphasize how sorry I was for ever coming that close to potentially exposing what we are. “I… hunted before and I didn’t feel thirsty– until my eyes locked on their necks, and they were pulsing. There are so many people in there, I just–”
Edward interrupted, his grin now pulled down, his face grave. “Please Bella, don’t apologize for what you are. This is what you are now, what we are. We are hunters. Even though you weren’t thirsty initially, once your eyes locked on their necks, that was it. The hunt was on. You became fixated on it, and that’s why it was hard to look away, to prevent yourself from attacking.”
The door half opened and Alice poked her head out of the small opening, trying not to be too intrusive. “Is everything okay out here?” Her voice was musical, comforting.
“Yeah, except for the fact that the gala was almost turned into a slaughter house.” I wanted to suck the words back in as soon as they left my mouth. I was overreacting.
Alice slipped catlike through the small opening in the door and crouched down next to me on the ground. “Bella, before big events like this I try to always look and see if anything will go wrong. I didn’t see anything to worry about this evening. Of course my visions are subjective. Your birthday is a perfect example of that. You’ll be fine, though. I promise. Are you two coming back inside? The dinner is about to begin.” Alice’s eyes shifted furtively between Edward and I as she stood back up.
“We’ll come back in. Just give me a few more seconds in this fresh air.” I realized my eyes were closed tightly again and I opened them, now squinting, to glance in Alice’s direction, but she was already gone.
I knew I didn’t have a choice. I had to go back inside. This was Carlisle’s night and he doesn’t ask for much, if anything at all, from us. I opened my eyes fully to take in one last look at Edward, those warm golden eyes, then sprung to my feet and was back inside before I had a chance to think about it. Edward was right behind me, his hand wrapped lightly around my waist.
I scanned the room quickly, not actually looking at anyone, and found the table we belonged to. Edward and I sat down, his long fingers now laced through mine. Everyone was already sitting, pretending to eat.
At the exact same time, everyone at our table shot me a knowing glance, almost as though they’d rehearsed it. I bet they did, too. “Way to not make things awkward,” I mumbled under my breath as I loaded my plate up, pretending to look excited about the food.
Dinner went as smoothly as it could have. It felt like a real human family sitting down to eat dinner. It’s not often you see all of the Cullens gathered around a table eating. I actually liked it. We talked and caught up with each other how a regular family would at dinner time. I wished Jake and Renesmee could have been there, but pushed the thought out of my head.
We didn’t forget about Jacob’s request, either. I grabbed three of the takeaway containers they had, and loaded them up. I thought we were going to make a smooth exit, and we almost did, until Carlisle got stopped by one of his colleagues just as we were almost out the door.
The man was taller than Carlisle, with shaggy light brown hair and a very thin frame. He wore small, stylish reading glasses and looked extremely young. His smile was captivating, friendly, and he had a hint of an accent, though barely detectable. He introduced himself to everyone as Joseph, and threw in a quick, “but my patients call me Dr. Cole.”
Dr. Joseph Cole was about to throw Carlisle a curve ball. “I just wanted to stop you before you left and ask if you and your family would all like to participate in the blood drive we’re hosting tomorrow. It’s taking place right in the parking lot. You seem to have a large, healthy family here. Think you could come out? Donate some blood?” Jospeh’s face lit up in anticipation as he scanned all of our expressions. I felt my jaw drop and snapped it back shut, biting my lower lip to keep it from dropping again.
Vampires giving blood? Vampires don’t give blood . . . we take it. But how do you say no to donating blood to people who need it, without coming off as . . . well . . . a bunch of jerks.
They would know we are different, instantly, if they even got close enough to touch us. I could hardly even think of the fact that we would be surrounded by blood . . . do I even need to elaborate on what’s wrong with that? Plus, the drive was being held in the afternoon, outside in the parking lot, and it was supposed to be sunny.
Carlisle was still composed, his face graceful and calm. “I’m sorry but we have a very important previous engagement that we are unable to miss. We would love to participate in the blood drive, really, but won’t be able to attend this one. Please accept my apologies.”
“Well that’s okay. Maybe next time. We try to organize them as often as we can so I’ll let you know when we have our next one.” Joseph nodded his head and smiled, though it didn’t touch his eyes.
“That would be wonderful.” Carlisle’s smile was forced. “Have a great night, Joseph.”
“Thanks, you too. It was nice meeting all of you.” His eyes darted to each of us, then he walked away quickly and joined a large group of people who were lingering, finishing up their drinks and catching up on gossip.
Edward’s face was vacant, and I knew that something was bothering him. He waited until we were back in Carlisle’s car before he said anything, though. Esme was in the front seat, and Charlie was in the back with Edward and I. The others were in their own car.
As we pulled out of the parking lot, Edward’s eyes swept around in every direction. I had never seen him this nervous. He looked out the back window one more time before telling us what was bothering him.
“Dr. Joseph Cole knows I can read minds. He wouldn’t exactly let me into his head. He kept repeating the same thought over and over so that he wouldn’t think of anything else. It was in a different language, too. He kept repeating ‘Zůstaňte v klidu.’” Edward’s eyes were hard now, his skin glowing under the street lights and headlights of passing cars.
“Stay calm. He was saying ‘stay calm’ in Czech.” Carlisle was talking to himself, in deep thought. His lips began to move, but no other words came out.
“Carlisle, he knows what we are.” Edward hissed and I thought I felt my still, lifeless heart jump out of my chest.
To Be Continued . . .