Although Edward and I had bonded over our mutual wishes of killing each other and our knowledge of Jane Austin novels that Saturday night, I still didn’t consider us at that stage in which you willingly spend time in someone’s company. That being said, I suppose you can imagine my shock when a silver Volvo stopped in front of our house that Monday morning.
I was still in the process of stuffing some toast in my mouth, completely disregarding the disgusted look on Veronica’s face as she watched me, when the doorbell rang. Since I didn’t really have a lot of friends in Forks, I figured it would be one of my sister’s friends and thus, forced her to go.
‘Good morning,’ Alice’s bell-like voice had sounded from the hallway and I choked on my toast. Once again. One day these Cullens were going to kill me. She stepped into the kitchen, eying me in what looked like a mix between amusement and concern. ‘Are you alright, Dalia?’
Still coughing, I nodded at her, then took a sip of my water. ‘I’m good.’
She sat down gracefully and waited as I shoved the rest of my breakfast into my mouth. ‘We came to pick you up,’ she said, answering the question that had been burning in my mind.
‘Yes, well, we couldn’t all fit into one car, so Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper drove with another car. And since Edward wouldn’t let me drive his , he came with me. So,’ she bowed forward, smirking. ‘How did you like the dress?’
Throwing my plate in the sink, I turned to frown at her. ‘You shouldn’t just buy things for me, Alice..’
She waved it away ‘Nonsense! Now, let’s go, Edward is getting bored.’
I awkwardly trailed behind Alice as she made her way to the Volvo, not sure what to do or say when we’d get in. I mean, what if Edward had suddenly decided that he still didn’t like me? ‘Good morning,’ I greeted, as I took the backseat.
Edward nodded in return as he started the engine and I didn’t know whether to be disappointed or not. I saw this coming.. ‘How are you fairing this fine morning, Miss Bennet?’
Okay so perhaps I didn’t see this coming. ‘I eh am f..- I am very well, kind Sir. How are you, yourself?’
Alice gave me a look that clearly said ’what the hell?!’, but I shook my head. She really didn’t want to know.
Besides that small snippet of conversation, the car ride was silent. I didn’t really mind it, though, for I wasn’t really a morning person. Besides, I still wasn’t really used to the whole I’ve–got-friends sort of thing. Especially not the kind that would pick you up in the morning.. I thought that sort of thing only happened in teenage drama series.
‘Are you coming?’
I looked up, only to find we were already at the Forks High School parking lot and that Alice and Edward were already outside the car. ‘Yeah, sorry,’ Embarrassed, I swung my bag over my shoulder and joined them.
As we entered the school, I could literally feel people watching us. Or well, the Cullens. Alice and Edward didn’t really seem to notice – or care – and I figured this must be normal for them. To me, however, being stared at was something completely new.
It was at that moment, that Derek appeared. Walking up to us, I could see he was intimidated by the sight of Alice and Edward flanking me. Not as much as he should – or as much as I wanted him to, though.
‘Hey Dalia,’ he nodded at the Cullens ‘How was your weekend?’
I sighed ‘It was nice.’ Turning to Alice and Edward, I gave them a wave - and a tortured look. ‘See you guys later.’
‘By Dalia, see you at lunch!’
‘Good bye, Lizzy.’
I nearly choked on my laughter, but managed to keep a straight face. ‘Later, Fitz.’ Turning away, I was ready to follow Derek to my first hour of torture, when Alice’s voice called me back.
‘Be careful in PE, okay?’
As my body hit the ground painfully, the meaning behind Alice’s warning dawned on me. Too late, of course.
‘Are you alright?’
I looked up through watery eyes to see Georgina standing over me, a look of concern etched on her face. This was the second time in Forks that I found myself on the floor in PE in a little over a month and I found that thought to be a bit disconcerting. What was more pressing, though, was the arm that was throbbing violently. Rolling over on my side, I checked the damage.
My arm had several grazes on them – none too deep fortunately – and a sharp pain emitted from my wrist. Biting my lip, I carefully tried flexing the muscles, more pain erupting.
She was now crouched down next to me and I realized I hadn’t answered her question. ‘I’m alright,’ I choked out, trying my best not to cry. God knew I already looked like a pussy. Ignoring the pain, I scrambled to my feet, swaying for a moment.
‘Is everything okay, Miss River?’
If I hadn’t been in so much pain, I’d have probably thrown a shoe at his face. Of course everything wasn’t okay. Instead, I shook my head. ‘My wrist hurts. I’ll go to the nurse’s office.’
Coach Clapp just nodded and offered someone to walk me. I declined.
Making my way to the locker rooms, I used my good arm to stuff my clothes into my bag. Then, after having wormed my way into my sweater, I made my way outside.
As fast as I could, I ran through the rain, hoping to get back inside as fast as possible. What I hadn’t counted on, though, was that the moment I would enter building three, someone would want to leave. It felt like colliding with stone.
I almost fell again, but a strong, cold hand grabbed me by my upper arm and righted me. ‘Wow, watch where you’re going, shortie,’ he laughed.
If it were not for the pain in my arm or the chaos that his touch caused, I might have laughed, even be surprised that he was nice to me.
‘Hey, are you okay?’
I tried nodding, but a tear fell from my eye.
‘Did something happen?’
‘It’s just my wrist,’ I said, trying not to let my voice break.
He furrowed his big, brown eyebrows and – much to my dismay – felt my wrist. ‘I think it’s broken. I’m going to take you to the hospital, okay?’
‘Thank you.’ I was relieved when he let go of me, for although the physical pain didn’t lessen, the chaos in my mind died down a little. Suppressing a shiver, I followed him to the Jeep.
During the short car ride, we didn’t say much. And even in the hospital, where he’d forced me into a wheelchair – even though I repeatedly told him that wasn’t necessary – we didn’t talk. I didn’t really mind, though, since I barely knew him. Hell, I doubted he even knew my name, since he kept calling me ‘shortie’.
‘You really didn’t have to bring me here, Emmett,’ I said, at last.
We were currently sitting in the waiting room of the Forks Hospital and after ten minutes of deadly silence, things were getting kind of uncomfortable. I mean, I had to say something, right?
He laughed. ‘You’d have fainted within minutes, shortie. Besides, since the others already had their chance for intimidating you, I suppose it’s my turn now.’
‘Yeah, about that, Rosalie doesn’t really like me, does she?’
’She doesn’t trust you. There’s a difference,’ he said in a fatherly tone and tapped me on the nose.
Somehow, despite the situation and even despite of myself, I laughed. ‘And here I was being afraid that you would be a big, mean tough guy.’
‘I am a…-’
Looking up, I saw a blonde, pale, but mostly drop-dead gorgeous young man in a doctor’s coat, a clip-board in his hands. Dr. Cullen. I stood to follow him, giving a short wave to Emmett, who wasn’t coming along. Probably to keep away from blood or something.
‘So Miss River, what happened?’
Turning red, I looked at the floor. I really didn’t want to go into this, especially not to Dr. Cullen. Therefore, I just offered a ‘I think I broke my wrist.’
He opened a door, leading me into a small room. ‘Please sit down, then we’ll have a look at it. So you said you think it might be broken, how did you hurt it?’
I had wanted to avoid this.. No such luck. ‘I eh.. fell over a hockey stick..’
Carlisle gave me the interested doctor nod - as if that was the most fascinating thing he’d heard all day - and sat down on the desk. ‘Please move up your sleeve, Dalia.’ As he examined my arm, I did my best not to move. My head was running wild and all I wanted was to rip my arm from his grip and move away from him. The feeling of his fingertips grazing my arm was maddening and I was starting to breathe harder, my heartbeat quickening.
‘Are you nearly done?’ I asked through clenched teeth, trying not to sound rude.
Letting go of my arm, he looked at me curiously. ‘You don’t like being touched, do you?’
‘Very well,’ he sighed ‘You were right about your wrist; it is broken, though it’s only a small fracture. I will put it back in place and then we’ll put it in a cask. Are there any other places that hurt?’
Looking myself up and down, I only now noticed the dull pain in my knee. Rolling up my sweat pants, I scrunched my nose. I didn’t like blood. It was only a superficial cut, though, so I would be fine with just a band aid. ‘Nothing that needs to be taken care of, Dr. Cullen.’
I waited for him to say something, anything, really, but he never did. I looked up to meet his eyes, but found they were staring at my knee in a look of confusion.
‘Eh.. Dr. Cullen, are you okay? I mean, if the blood bothers you, I can leave..’
He shook his head, still with that look of confusion etched on it. ‘Did Emmett seem bothered by the blood?’
Thinking back to the silent car drive, I couldn’t really say that I had noticed anything out of the ordinary. I mean, he had not tried drinking my blood or anything, so I guess that was a good sign. Then again, I had never before spent time with him, so I wouldn’t really know if that was anything to go by. ‘Not that I know. Why do you ask?’
‘Because I don’t smell it.’
Silence followed and I frowned ‘Is that bad?’
Dr. Cullen sat back, rubbing his face with his hand. ‘As a vampire, I can smell the blood of every human and animal in my surroundings. I might be accustomed to the smell from working in the hospital for hundreds of years, but I still smell it. Only, with you I don’t.’
‘What does that mean?’
‘I don’t know, Dalia. I will put the bone back in place and will then bring you to the plaster room. I have to make some phone calls.’
Nodding, I held my arm out for him and closed my eyes. As much as I was okay with blood and gore in horror movies, I couldn’t even handle a single drop of blood in real life. I was such a hero..
A sharp pain shot through me and I knew it was done. Only it didn’t feel better. Like at all. The sting soon died down and returned to the throbbing – only worse than it had been before. Wonderful. Opening my eyes, I noticed Dr. Cullen was examining me, probably gauging my reaction, and I forced a smile on my lips. ‘Thank you, Dr. Cullen.’