Chapter 8

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The strange atmosphere between Bella and Edward persisted for the rest of the week, going from hot to cold from one second to the next.

"I don't get it, if he wants me out of his business why does he keep talking to me?!" Bella threw her arms up in exasperated defeat while I fixed my make up in the bathroom mirror. "I don't approach him, he approaches me! What's with that?"

In his defense, it's not like she'd stopped trying to figure out the accident situation. Not that I thought she was wrong for trying to figure it out, but it was his secret so I couldn't blame him for trying to dissuade her. Though I wasn't sure his ominous conversation tactics were working, they seemed to have the opposite effect so far, just riling Bella up even more.

Unfortunately, we weren't any closer to figuring anything out. No one else saw him before the accident, so we had no proof. Alice and Jasper for sure knew something, but they were one uncomfortable question from me away from pretending they didn't even know who Edward was, so we dropped that lead. And all logical answers were getting us nowhere. Adrenaline rush? Could explain the speed, but not his apparent invisibility. Stress induces illusions? Off the table since Alice confirmed he was there. The more we looked into it, the crazier the story sounded. And none of the Cullens we were on speaking terms with were helping themselves in this situation. They just seemed more and more suspicious.

But something changed over the weekend. Bella had found something out, and if her attitude was anything to go by, it wasn't good. I woke up to an ominous text from her.

-Don't go to school, I'll explain later-

I almost didn't listen, but something in the back of my mind did. Bella was a practical person, mostly. She wouldn't make this sort of request for no reason. And the implications of that were making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

I feigned terrible period cramps and was willfully left alone at the Brown household. And not ten minutes after everyone had left, I heard the doorbell. Imagine my surprise when Isabella Swan was there, at seven in the morning, looking like she hadn't slept all weekend.

"Were you waiting for everyone to leave?" It was hard to hide my disturbed surprise.

"I needed to talk to you" She pushed past me, closing the door and locking it. Strange.

"And this couldn't wait for a reasonable hour?"

"No" the finality in her tone killed any amusement I might've had.

"Okay, let's talk in my room then" i led her up, and once we were there she made sure the windows and curtains were closed. Looking outside, as if she was afraid someone was watching us. "Bella, you're freaking me out. What's this about?"

She took a deep breath, and then brought out a notebook. "This is gonna sound crazy- but, i found something out and i need your help"

I nodded slowly, "Okay, show me"

She thrust the notebook into my hands, its pages were filled with writings about a Quileute legend. The "cold ones" they called it. Creatures that were cold to the touch, unaging and incredibly beautiful, who used those traits to lure people in so they could feast on their blood.

"Vampires?" The disbelief in my voice was obvious.

"I know it sounds crazy, but it makes sense!" she took the notebook from my hands "I talked to a friend of mine from the reservation, he said his family totally believes these legends. The Cullens aren't even allowed on Quileute lands because of these legends!"

"Wait, all of them? I thought this was about Edward" Bella was silent after that, I think she could tell what my question implied.

"He said all of the Cullens, so" She didn't have to continue.

"Wait, wait. This is ridiculous!" I turned around, not able to look at her, "We can't actually be considering this! Vampires? I mean ugh!" I let out a frustrated sigh.

"I know how it sounds, but think about it!" I really didn't want to. "What Edward did couldn't be possible for a human, he stopped the van with his bare hands!"

"I thought you said he pushed you out of the way" I faced her again.

"I wasn't sure you'd believe me if i told you, but now- with this" she gestured at her notebook "I thought you might- i don't know" she sounded almost defeated, my reaction wasn't what she was hoping for. But how could i? I mean, vampires? Maybe she imagined him pushing the car, but she didn't imagine him, and I didn't either. So something isn't adding up. But vampires aren't real, right?

"What other proof do you have?" I didn't want to encourage this line of thinking, but I needed to know for sure. And if Bella believed it, then there has to be proof.

She perked up after that "They're never around when it's sunny. And his hands are cold, Edward's i mean, really cold. Like they're-made-of-ice cold. Have you noticed that? with, um, you know-"

I felt like I wanted to throw up after hearing that. Alice and Jasper always missed school when it was sunny. Every time it was sunny. Everyone knew that. And they did have cold hands, I always thought it was because Forks was cold. Or maybe they had bad circulation in their hands. I thought back to the accident, where Jasper had covered my eyes, or the day I told them about my hallucinations, when Alice held my hands. It felt like ice.

And sure, maybe that wasn't enough to convince me of them being vampires. But so much about them would make more sense now. Alice always knew what was and wasn't going to happen, with terrifying accuracy. Jasper always knew what I was thinking. And Edward, I thought back to all the times he just stared at me after I thought something about him. How he stared at me after my episode the first day Bella showed up, like he knew something was up when not even my lab partner noticed. More and more instances started piling up, and I felt like I wanted to scream.

Bella must've noticed the way my attitude changed, because she continued as if I had answered her question.

"The legend also says that these, uh, "cold ones" are different"

"How different?"

"Like, they don't eat humans. That's why the Quileute's let them stay, and why there aren't a bunch of dead bodies lying around."

"Well, at least they don't want to eat us. I think." I really hoped not, vampirism I could forgive, probably, but eating me? No. I buried my face in my hands, I could feel my heartbeat picking up. I was on the verge of having a full blown panic attack. I hated how much this made sense. So, so much.

I laid down on my bed, my face still covered, and I felt Bella follow suit. I turned my head to face her, finally lowering my hands. She looked as terrified as I felt. It dawned on me that she expected my help to figure out what to do about this information. I didn't know how to tell her that I'm a probably-schizophrenic-coward who is currently just trying not to have a meltdown. I was literally the worst person she could've been stuck with to deal with this.

But we were stuck together in this, weren't we. And maybe it was my lack of sanity that had me believing her, but it made sense.

"Okay, say they are actually vampires" I started.

"Uh-huh"

"What do we do with this information?"

"I don't know"

We laid there for so long we eventually dozed off, the weight of the revelation hit us like a ton of bricks. My phone's ringtone woke us up around noon.

I held the phone in my hand, just staring at it as it continued to ring. Bella woke up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

"What is it?"

I didn't answer, just stared at the phone. I could feel my blood freezing in my veins. Eventually Bella looked over my shoulder, and she too became still as a statue as she read the caller I.D.

Alice.

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