Exhausted, I dropped myself on my bed, too tired to even settle comfortably under the covers. In hindsight, I completely understood the look Mrs. Cullen had given me. Alice was an inexhaustible source of energy, determined to work through her entire schedule whatever the costs. Although I’d had a good time, it had been quite intensive. I hadn’t really minded, though, for at least it meant she harbored no bad feelings towards me.
On top of Alice’s busy schedule, there had also been the nerve-wrecking conversation with the entire Cullen family about my knowledge of what they truly were.
‘Sit down, Dalia.’ Mrs. Cullen smiled. ‘Can I get you anything to drink?’
I shook my head, knowing I would probably choke on it. ‘No thank you, Mrs. Cullen.’
‘I suppose you already know what we want to talk about?’
‘I do, Dr. Cullen.’ I tried to seem relaxed, at ease, but couldn’t keep myself from being hyperaware of the gazes of the seven vampires on me. One of which was burning holes in my head.
‘Enough with making her feel at ease, Carlisle, you’re forgetting what she is.’
‘I won’t keep quiet about this, Emmett. You’re all forgetting what she is, how she can ruin our family with one word too much. I don’t understand how you can all act like she’s not, like she’s your friend,’ she directed that last bit at Alice and I knew I should feel hurt, but strangely enough I didn’t. I had already known Rosalie didn’t like me.
‘Enough, Rosalie,’ Carlisle spoke and by the tone of his voice, I knew he dared anyone to defy him. Looking around, I could only guess everyone else knew it, too.
‘She won’t tell anyone. Otherwise I would have seen it,’ Alice said confidently, unconsciously taking a step in front of me in a protective manner.
‘Dr. Cullen, if I may,’ he nodded at me, so I continued. ‘I don’t know how I came to know your family’s secret and in that department I suppose I don’t have anything to prove my sincerity to you.. I can only tell you that I view Alice as my friend and that I would never betray a friend.’
Dr. Cullen seemed to ponder my words. ‘So you really have no idea how you’ve come to know our secret?’
I shook my head. ‘Not at all. They are just things that pop into my head. I can’t force them up either, they just appear at random.’
‘And this has happened your whole life?’
’No, it has only happened a couple of times. All of them here in Forks.’
They exchanged some thoughtful glances, obviously not sure what to make of my explanation. I didn’t blame them, though, for even to me it sounded fishy – and I was the one actually experiencing it.
‘Do you think.. that it has something to do with us?’
‘I don’t know, Alice. It could be, I guess, although I wouldn’t know why.’
After that the conversation had pretty much run dry. It had been clear that I was as much in the dark as they were, that I wouldn’t betray there secret and that even if I would try, they would kill me before I got to it. So nothing too shocking.
Alice had then pulled me out of the living room, practically bouncing with glee over what we would do next. Although she would not tell me what it was, I knew it would be something horrible judging from the excitement in her step. And I was right. Soon she had forced me back into her car and we had driven off to Port Angeles, a neighboring town.
When we arrived, she took me to get some dinner – for me, at least – then we went out on a late night shopping spree. In all honesty I had never liked shopping, partly because I was just not that into fashion, but Alice made sure I didn’t feel bored for even a second. Hell, I could even say that I enjoyed myself.
The small pixy was the kind of person that was filled to the brim with joy, so much that her joy infected me and I couldn’t help but laugh along with her. She told me about her life as a vampire, how she met Jasper and about all of the other Cullens. It made me all warm inside when she told me each of their stories of how they met their soul mate – well, apart from Edward of course. It was also kind of interesting to learn about the backstories of the individuals and of Jasper’s awesome power.
All in all it had been a great day and although I was tired off my ass, I was glad that I had finally gotten to know more about the mysterious Cullen family. I had just taken a quick shower and was now ready to jump in bed. I planned to not get out until at least one pm.
A flicker in the corner of my eye caught my attention and I sighed, sitting up in bed. ‘Are we going to make this into a nightly thing?’
A soft chuckle sounded from the shadows beside my wardrobe, the door closed and then he was casually sitting at my desk. Show-off. ‘I figured we could have a sleep over. Paint our nails, braid each other’s hair, talk about boys, that sort of thing.’
Although I tried to dislike him, I couldn’t help the giddy feeling he gave me by just being so proximate. ’That does sound wonderful, Edward, truly.’ I was glad at least my sarcasm hadn’t left me. ‘So, why are you here this time?’
He held up a bag – one that I had not seen until now – and he rolled his eyes. ‘Apparently I am not just forced to do Alice’s bidding, I am now also her messenger’s boy.’
I laughed at that. Damn him. However, soon I wrinkled my eyebrows in confusion. I hadn’t bought anything in Port Angeles, had I?
’You didn’t. But “it was so gorgeous and would look amazing with her hair and so I had to buy it”. Hence, the other reason why she sent me, or otherwise you would surely refuse it.’
Alice did know me quite well.. ‘I still refuse it.’
‘You do know that if I return home with that bag, Alice is going to hate me, right?’
I shrugged my shoulders ‘The worst she can do is cause you an eternity of suffering.’ I grinned. ‘Must suck to have siblings when you’re a vampire.’
‘Especially when they can see the future,’ he sighed dramatically.
‘Especially when they can read your thoughts,’ I retorted, satisfied when he closed his mouth, defeated. ‘Speaking of siblings by the way, aren’t you supposed to be scheduling the next meeting with Rosalie?’
‘Of your we-hate-Dalia-club,’ I said, casually.
Edward shook his head, laughing softly. ‘You know, sometimes the things you say are so incredibly idiotic that I don’t even see them coming – even when I read your mind.’
I shrugged. ‘I try.’
‘So, you are not going to get all nervous and quiet around me anymore?’
Lord. No. My head grew red like a tomato – as I guess had been the intention behind his remark – and I struggled finding words. ‘You noticed?’
‘It was hard not noticing.’
Looking away from his dazzlingly handsome face, I breathed in, trying to calm myself down and get the blood to leave my face. ‘Well, that was before I knew you. Now your ugly inside outshines the outside,’ I said, teasing.
‘And then you wonder why I don’t want anyone to get close to me,’ he said in a dramatic voice.
‘You’re an idiot, you know that?’
‘I try,’ he shrugged, completely stealing my amazing comeback.
We fell into a silence and for the first time since we’d met, it wasn’t uncomfortable. Even though he was kind of a stranger. Who was a boy. Who was sitting in my bedroom. At night. Nope, totally not uncomfortable. I listened to the rain ticking against the window. It was a soothing sound, although I already dreaded the moment I’d have to step outside. ‘It really never stops raining out here, doesn’t it?’
‘Rainiest place in the entire US,’ he stated and in the dark I could make out the smile on his lips. Of course that would make him happy, the little sun hating vampire.
‘So, hypothetically, what would happen if I accidentally exposed you to sunlight?’
He cleared his throat, almost seeming… embarrassed? ‘I eh.. I’d sparkle.’
’You sparkle?’ I repeated. He had to be kidding me right? ‘Well that’s a bit disappointing. I’d at least hoped for some Buffy the Vampire Slayer special effects. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, that sort of thing.’
‘Yes well, I am sorry to ruin your hopes of seeing me burn.’
‘Hypothetically,’ I reminded him, holding up my index finger ‘And purely accidentally of course.’
‘Of course,’ he sighed ‘Everything for science.’
I sighed contently, glad that we could now at least jokingly talk about killing each other. It was a big step forward from simply glaring daggers at each other and an even bigger step forward from actually wanting and planning to kill each other.
‘Alice will be so proud of us..’
‘Yeah well, you’re sort of tolerable if you try.’
He righted his back and tilted his chin in the air. ‘“You’re tolerable, I suppose. But you’re not handsome enough to tempt me.“’
Quickly slamming my hand on my mouth, I smothered the laughter before it would wake my sleeping family members. ‘An Austin fan, what a surprise!’ I said, smirking, then tilted my own face up. ‘“From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.“’
Edward now openly smiled back at me. ‘Are you sure you are not an Austin kind of girl?’
‘Those were actually just my feelings towards you, Edward,’ I said matter-of-factly, trying to keep a straight face. ‘No need to build up defense mechanisms to protect your precious ego.’
‘Hmmm, well I am still fairly certain that you quoted that straight from Pride and Prejudice.’
Rolling my eyes, I laughed. Who knew he could be such fun? ‘Very well, I might have seen the BBC series. Once.’
‘Once,’ he repeated, as if that were the biggest lie in history – which it was. ‘Well, you know, since we’re already having a moment anyway, I must admit that you are tolerable, as well.’
‘I try,’ I said, lazily. Perhaps Edward and I would be able to get along, after all. Who would have thought.