As I left the plaster room – complete with horrible pink cask and all – I was met with the striking sight of Dr. Cullen. I sighed, how could nurses here perform their job with someone like this walking around?
‘Miss River, I would ask you to come with me.’
I nodded, though a thought popped into my head. ‘Dr. Cullen, I..-’
‘I’m not going to hurt you. But I need the others to confirm something for me.’
‘I just wanted to say that I should inform my parents, so they know where I am.’
Dr. Cullen smiled warmly at me. ‘I already asked Alice to tell your sister what happened and that we’ll bring you home later.’
Again, I just nodded. These vampires really never forgot a single detail, did they?
I followed him as he said goodbye to some of his colleagues and the answer to my earlier question presented itself to me: they couldn’t. Literally every nurse, female doctor or other person of the fairer sex was staring at him, almost ogling him – the term “Doctor Dreamy” etched on each of their faces. As perceptive as he seemed in covering things up, he clearly was completely unaware of the drooling females. Which was good, or I would have to kick his ass. Mrs. Cullen seemed like a nice woman.
As soon as we had said goodbye to every single person in the hospital (no wonder everyone liked him; he was handsome and well-mannered), we made our way to the black Mercedes. Admiring the car, I waited for him to automatically open it and then took a seat in the chic, leather chair. I sighed, if I got to share in car heaven, becoming a vampire would be totally worth it..
Dr. Cullen took out of the parking lot in a calm manner and I immediately felt a lot safer with him behind the wheel than with Alice. Perhaps the fact that he actually paid attention to the road helped with that.
‘Is this still about the blood thing?’ I asked, stupidly, not sure what else to say.
The Cullen patriarch smiled at me comfortingly. ‘It’s nothing to worry about, I assure you. I simply want to test a theory with my family.’
That sounded fair enough. ‘Wait, but didn’t you just call them? At least, that’s who I presumed you were calling.’
‘Very observant,’ he complimented me, smiling once again.
‘However, none of them has ever been in such direct contact with your blood before. I called them to inform them that I would bring you with me.’
I nodded, not really understanding why he would need to inform them, or what use it would be to bring me there even if they had never smelled my blood out in the open. Well, apart from Emmett of course. I decided not to ask him, though, if only for the sake of looking calm and collected. Although I trusted him, the idea of having people smell me somehow just seemed… weird.
Sometime during my ponderings we’d entered the clearing where the Cullen house – mansion – stood. I admired the house again silently, realizing that I would never get used to the grandeur.
I followed Carlisle – I was going to call him Carlisle now, since I couldn’t think of the word Doctor anymore without “Dreamy” behind it – into the house. I was in the middle of imagining him calling out “honey, I’m home”, when a dark-haired pixy appeared before me.
‘I told you to be careful!’ She called out, shaking her head as if it was my fault that I had not understood the meaning behind her cryptic message.
‘What she really means to ask is whether you’re alright,’ Jasper smiled at me, putting an arm over his wife’s shoulders.
I laughed ‘It’s fine, Jasper. And so am I, by the way. Although next time you try to warn me, Alice, it would be nice if you’d actually tell me what for.’
In the meanwhile, the rest of the Cullens had also entered the living room. Edward had taken a seat on one of the comfy looking couches, Carlisle and Esme taking the other. Emmett and Rosalie were still standing a bit off, though the look on Emmett’s face told me there were no hard feelings. At least not from his part.
Looking around me, I somehow was still not used to the utter perfection that met my eyes. Their facial features, their skin, their hair, even their sense of fashion was perfect. And here I was with my far from blemish free skin, my ginger hair that didn’t do anything and my clothes that.. oh God. Through the hassle of everything, I had totally forgotten that I was actually still in my PE clothes. Wonderful. The only luck that I had was that I hadn’t done much, so at least I didn’t smell like sweat. Apart from that, life obviously hated me.
‘As you probably all know, the reason why we are here is because I noticed something was different about Dalia’s blood. However, to find out what exactly is going on and whether it only affects me, I needed to bring her with me.’
‘What are you trying to say, Carlisle?’ Rosalie asked, ever the one to be straight to the point.
‘He can’t smell her blood,’ Edward answered ‘And he wonders if we can.’
‘Did you smell it when she was in the car with you, Emmett? She had an open wound on her leg.’
The burly vampire frowned – something which looked rather uncharacteristic. ‘I didn’t.’
‘It’s why I don’t have trouble being around her,’ Jasper said, pondering. ‘I thought I was the only one who wasn’t affected by the smell of her blood.’
In the meanwhile, I felt like how you feel as a kid when you accidentally are stuck in the living room when your adult family members argue: you have no idea what’s going on and, what’s even worse, you’re presence seems to be completely forgotten. The latter was especially bugging me, since I was the actual topic of the whole conversation. Really, why did Carlisle bring me along in the first place?
‘You didn’t just want to determine whether others could normally smell her blood, did you Carlisle?’ Edward said and I furrowed my eyebrows. Why was the word ‘normally’ emphasized in that sentence?
‘You’re right, Edward.’ The blond vampire turned to me, his face all friendliness – though I noticed an underlying uneasiness. ‘Dalia, I will do nothing against your wishes.’
And then I understood why I was here, what he was asking of me and strangely.. I was okay with it. Standing from the couch, I made my way to Carlisle, very aware of the gazes that were on me. Rolling up the leg of my sweat pants – and silently thanking the Gods for making me shave my legs the day before – I stared at the innocent looking Disney band aid that was perched on top of my knee. I hated pulling band aids of because… well, it just freaking hurt. It was like waxing, but worse, because sometimes you’d rip the wound open again. Which was exactly what we were now aiming for..
I looked up one last time, meeting Carlisle’s reassuring, chocolate brown eyes and then closed my eyes, firmly ripping of the band aid. The short sting quickly faded and I counted the seconds that passed mentally. When ten seconds had passed – and still none of the vampires had lunged at me – I thought it was safe to open my eyes.
Firstly, I ascertained myself that I did, in fact, open up the wound again and that I’d drawn blood. Which I did, so I guess that was good.
Secondly, I looked around me, reading each of the attendees’ faces. The Cullen patriarch’s face was all fascination and perhaps even a bit wonder. His wife’s expression was a mixture between friendliness (like always) and relief, probably because none of her children had attacked me. Moving on to the two vampires who were still standing, I decided to start with the easiest. Emmett face hadn’t really changed much. It was still as friendly looking as ever, a big smile on his lips. The blonde, too, was her usual self with an expression of disinterest and perhaps some disliking. Alright, perhaps a lot of disliking. I moved on, not wanting to dwell on it. Jasper was looking relaxed and content and I was glad that he wouldn’t have to look as pained around me as he did at school. I was glad that I gave him a sense of normalcy. Judging from Alice’s face, she agreed with me and on top of that, she was excited to move on from the serious subject. Lastly, I studied Edward’s expression, which could be easily described as amused, and when his eyes met mine I knew what caused it. My thoughts. Jerk.
‘Are you hungry, Dalia?’ Esme asked suddenly and I was pulled out of my thoughts. ‘We made Caesar Salad, Edward said it was your favorite.’
I didn’t even bother to ask how he knew this trivial detail about me. Instead, I noticed how my stomach churned at the prospect of food and I realized that I actually was.
‘You really didn’t have to, Mrs. Cullen. But I am, I suppose.’
‘Welcome to the freaks.’
I turned my head, only to find Edward standing there, a crooked smile gracing his lips. ‘Thanks, Fitz.’