My version of Midnight Sun starting with the meadow scene.
This starts after the cafeteria scene when Edward introduces Alice to Bella, and he has just told her he is leaving school early to hunt before they go to the meadow tomorrow. (page 247 in the small paperback, chapter 12)
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“Well, thanks for finally introducing us! I thought I might have to do it myself. I mean, she is going to be my best friend, you know” Alice said in her beautiful, sing-song voice. I was already glum and missing Bella. “You still haven’t made up your mind, have you?” she asked with trepidation as we walked out to the parking lot.
“Hmmm?” I replied, ignoring her. I was still wallowing in the last of Bella’s scent. Yes, it would be a long night after all. I could still feel the heat from her cheek on my fingers, the warmth radiating up my hand like the softest of breezes. “We have to get her truck and bring it back so she doesn’t have to walk home” I said.
“I know…the key is in her jeans pocket at the bottom of a pile of laundry,” Alice sang to me with a smirk on her face. She loped off in front of me to my car. For being so small, she could be hugely irritating.
After we dropped off Bella’s truck, we headed for the park at the edge of town. We were walking slowly and quietly. I was thinking about Bella. Her scent, her hair, her beautiful skin. It was all too much for me. How would I ever be able to be alone with her for any amount of time without hurting her, or worse. The monster was quiet, listening, waiting for me to make a mistake…waiting to take over and end her life. I love her more than I ever thought possible, yet here I am, still unsure of my control.
“You are strong enough, you know.” Alice pulled me out of my reverie. “You have been denying yourself for so long now; you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I love her too, you know, and I don’t want her hurt. You can do this, Edward.” She said it with such finality, without a trace of doubt. I knew she believed it, her thoughts said as much. Did I believe this about myself?
“I love her more than my own life, Alice. What can I do except stay away from her. I will let her choose to be with me or not. I have to let her see me for who I am and then she can decide. I am a monster and she deserves so much more than what I am. She deserves a life, children, and no fear of being killed every time she is close to the one she loves.” I was quiet again, wondering to myself again how I could be so selfish as to put her life in danger like this. She surely didn’t understand what could happen to her if I lost control, how easy it would be. She was much too innocent of such terrors. I would have to put the monster into the farthest corners of my mind, far away from her, far away from me.
We walked quietly again, catching the scent of some wild deer, many miles ahead. “They’re small does, no bucks, but they will do for now” Alice said. “Let’s go!” And off she went, at the speed of light. The does never had a chance. I followed close behind, but not quite as enthusiastic as she. I was thankful to have her here with me. Her confidence in me gave me hope for tomorrow. I smiled in spite of myself, feeling lighter. Alice’s pure heart worked better on me than Jasper’s talents. I needed her faith in me more than she knew.
When we arrived home, I started up to my room to be alone. I had glutted myself on deer blood, and could almost feel it sloshing around in my stomach.
Rosalie was glaring at me again. “Why are you risking all of us for a human” she sneered in her mind. I just shook my head and ignored her. I didn’t want to fight with her again. Emmett didn’t bother to look up from the book he was reading. Carlisle was at the hospital and Esme was at her desk working on her latest remodel. I blocked out their thoughts, all of them, needing the quiet to sort through the myriad of emotions flowing around my mind. Alice was looking at me with an unspoken question in her eyes.
“I need to concentrate and think about what tomorrow will bring” I said to Alice. She ran thru several scenarios in her mind of what might happen; they all had happy endings. She lifted her kind, beautiful face to smile at me. I loved her very much for the all encompassing faith she held in me. I smiled and laughed quietly as she strode up to her room where Jasper was waiting for her.
I envied them. They’ve had each others love for so long, and I have had no one. I was just beginning to understand what that kind of love felt like. Just starting to get a glimpse of what it would feel like to have someone all to myself. I have been in my own world for so long, thinking I was complete in myself. It was hard for me to understand these human feelings I was having. I missed Bella very much, but I didn’t want to visit her tonight…I needed this time to relax, to steel my resolve, strengthen my self control. I spent the rest of the long night listening to “Madame Butterfly” and thinking of her, her scent, her fathomless eyes, her soft hair.
When the morning sunlight finally started to flirt with the sky, I knew it was time. I quickly dressed and headed out the door. I was at Bella’s house in a few minutes, hiding in the woods across the street. Charlie was leaving out the front door with his fishing implements. I watched him quietly, listening for any change of plans he might have today, but his thoughts were only on fishing. After he left, I walked across the road casually and sat motionlessly in the woods directly behind her house. I could hear her heartbeat and the blood pulsing thru her veins.
This would be the biggest test I would ever face. All these years of denying my thirst, the first time I smelled her, barely making it thru the hour in the small, heated classroom, and again in my car after her encounter with the would be assailants in Port Angeles…all of those other trials pale in comparison to the temptations I was now about to face. We would be alone, far away from any other humans. I could kill her so fast she wouldn’t even have time to scream. Her blood would be so intoxicating, so delicious, so…STOP! I screamed at myself. I resolved to lock down the monster, to keep him banished to the depths of my soul, if I even had one.
She’s awake now, and I can hear her in the shower. Her scent wafted over me. She hasn’t been out here in a few days, but I could easily find it without trying. I needed a small dose of her scent before the shockingly painful aroma her closeness brought with it it’s own temptation. I can do this…I can and I will…I wouldn’t hurt my Bella, my love. With some trepidation of what this day might bring, I walked up the porch and knocked. I could hear her heart racing as she opened the door.
“Good morning,” I chuckled. Her floral scent assaulted me, and left me breathless. She was beauty redefined in the early morning light. I assessed our outfits, and shook my head.
“What’s wrong?” She said with slight worry in her voice, eyes wide.
“We match,” and I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. Light tan sweater stretched over her smooth figure, white collar peeking out from the top, blue jeans that fit her just right…she looked so beautiful, so fresh. My hand ached to touch her soft skin, feel the heat from her blood under that skin. ENOUGH! I turned and walked to the passenger side of her truck, needing the fresh air and to clear my thoughts. My head shaking, I waited by the ancient automobile.
“We made a deal,” she said and climbed in, reaching over to open my door.
I climbed in and braced myself for the onslaught of her aroma. I took a deep breath, quietly so as not to alarm her, and felt my throat burn with the fire of her essence.
“Put your seatbelt on, I’m nervous already” I said. More nervous than she could ever guess. I was dangerous. I was a monster. What in the world was I doing here alone with her? I had given her the choice, but did she really know all that one choice could encompass?
“Where to?,” she asked with curious eyes.
“Take the one-oh-one north” I instructed. As she started to drive, I watched her. The muted sunlight illuminated her skin and reflected in her hair. How could I ever hurt such a lovely creature. What did I do to deserve her attention. I have been so alone for so long, and to finally find someone I want to be with. The knowledge of this truth filled my heart with pure happiness. I know with every fiber of my being I have to be with her. Was there no end to my selfishness?
I watched her as she drove, studying her profile. I took in another deep breath, quietly, and reveled in the burning that raced down my throat.
“Were you planning to make it out of forks before nightfall?” I was attempting to distract myself from her heat, even though part of my mind would always be attuned to it.
“This truck is old enough to be your car’s grandfather—have some respect” she bantered back.
“Turn right on the one-ten” I instructed. “Now we drive until the pavement ends” I smiled at the thought of where we were going, and the long hike to get there.
“And what’s there, at the pavement’s end?” She said with some trepidation
“We’re hiking?” I could hear the fear creeping into her voice.
“Is that a problem?”
“No” She was lying, but I let it pass. I would watch over her while we walked to our hidden destination.
“Don’t worry, it’s only five miles or so, and we’re in no hurry” I watched as another round of fear flickered across her features. She continued to drive in silence, battling her emotions and controlling them only slightly. I waited what seemed like an endless time before I could stand the silence no more.
“What are you thinking?” I demanded. Her silence was infuriating. I wished again her mind was not closed to me.
“Just wondering where we’re going”
“It’s a place I like to go when the weather is nice” I watched the thinning clouds and smiled at the soon coming sun.
“Charlie said it would be warm today”
“And did you tell Charlie what you were up to?” I wondered.
“But Jessica thinks we’re going to Seattle together” Since she didn’t tell Charlie about her trip, Jessica would be my motivating reason to bring her back. The monster would have no excuse to hurt Bella, knowing what that would mean for my family. Why was I still struggling with my decision to return Bella safely home?
“No, I told her you cancelled on me—which is true” She said flatly
“No one knows you’re with me?” I was infuriated with her. The monster mocked me from his cage. My steel resolve faltered ever so slightly at the knowledge no one knew where she was.
“That depends…I assume you told Alice?” Her voice rose ever so slightly. Maybe she was beginning to see the stupidity of her reasoning.
“That’s very helpful, Bella” I snapped at her without thinking. My anger rose in accordance with my irritation at the utter nonsense coming out of her mouth.
“Are you so depressed by forks that it’s made you suicidal?” I spat at her. Why was she ignoring the danger? Why was she tempting me so? The monster laughed at me. I tightened the chains around his cage, attempting to control him.
“You said it might cause trouble for you…us being together publicly” She was genuinely concerned for me. She should me more concerned for herself.
“So you're worried about the trouble it might cause me—if you don’t come home?” The animosity in my voice registered on her face. She stared ahead, not looking at me, hiding her eyes and the thoughts they held.
“Of course you didn’t tell anyone. Why can’t you see how dangerous this is for me? How tempting you are to me? Alice showed me I was strong enough, showed me the outcome. But am I? Can I do this? Can I keep you safe from me?” I was talking to myself, to fast for her to hear me, of course. Her human ears wouldn’t be able to decipher my blurry words.
The anger was good for me. It kept my mind off the maddening scent of her, but only partially. I steeled myself against the burning that never ended. We sat in silence until the road came to an end.
I removed my sweater before I got out of the truck and slammed the door. I embraced my anger, keeping it close, like a protective shield against my need for her sweet blood. I saw her flinch a little when I looked at her over my shoulder, my back to her.
“This way” I let her see my annoyance as I walked ahead.
“The trail?” She asked in a panic stricken voice.
“I said there was a trail at the end of the road, not that we were taking it” I was being rude for no reason. She didn’t deserve this.
‘No trail?” Her panic stricken eyes raced around the edge of the forest, wondering where I was taking her.
“I won’t let you get lost” I was mocking her, hoping she would see the pain hiding behind my anger.
But when I turned and looked at her face, she gasped and her heart took off in a frenzied pace. She stared open-mouthed at me. Her pain stricken face all too easy to understand. She wanted to go home. I had been angry and rude, and now she no longer wanted me. A pain I was not willing to feel curled itself around my stone heart at the thought of her leaving me.
“Do you want to go home?” I asked in a whisper, not wanting to hear the words I feared she would say.
“No” She said as she crossed to be closer to me. I closed me eyes at the joy that now filled my being. I sighed softly as I breathed in her scent..
“What’s wrong?” I asked, her closed mind was maddening to me. Would I ever get used to her silence?
“I’m not a good hiker, you’ll have to be very patient” She said in a small voice.
‘I can be patient—if I make a great effort” I smiled a gentle smile, wanting to make her happy again. I resolved to make this a perfect day for her, my love. I would do everything in my power to keep her sheltered from the dangers my world posed to her.
“I’ll take you home” I would not harm her. My whole being cried out at the enormity of this statement and the emotions behind it. I was strong. Alice was right. I can do this. I can keep her safe and alive.
“If you want me to hack five miles through the jungle before sundown, you’d better start leading the way” She didn’t sound thrilled as she pondered the forest floor.
I lead the way, deftly watching out for any dangers that might hinder her tread. The slow human pace was good for me, for us. It would give me time to bolster my resolve. I pondered the beauty of her as she walked by me.
Several times I assisted her over fallen trees, touching her burning hot skin with my ice cold finger tips. I released her instantly, not knowing if I was ready for the touch of her skin, the closeness I so longed for. Her heart sputtered at my touch, and I quickly looked into her eyes, trying to decipher the emotions they held. Was it fear that made her heart quicken at my touch? Or was it something else. Joy enveloped my silent heart as I hoped against hope for the latter option.
The need to reach out and hold her hand was overwhelming. I found myself slowing, just slightly, so she could catch up and our hands could entwine. I couldn’t hold her hand, though, and I was awash in pain for a moment. I was still a monster, and she was so fragile. My love was so strong for her, it pulsed thru my dry veins. It colored every thought I had since the night she breathed my name in her sleep. I desperately needed her to be with me, and yet I longed for her to run the other way, to save herself from the monstrosity that I was. My conflicting thoughts were driving me to the brink of insanity.
I distracted myself from the pain of my reality by asking Bella more questions. She answered them while keeping her eyes to the mostly flat ground. Apparently she was terrible at taking care of fish, she had killed three in a row. This amused me, and I laughed loudly in spite of myself. The thought of Bella killing animals was utterly absurd.
“Are we there yet?” She was getting impatient, and pretending to be irritated. She was more beautiful in the forest than I could have ever imagined. The sun was starting to peak through the canopy of trees. I was as anxious as she was to see the meadow.
“Nearly, do you see the brightness ahead?” She was happy again, her forlorn mood from before vanished like the thin clouds from this morning’s sky. I was elated and smiling and laughing. She was the remedy for my meaningless existence.
“Um, should I?”
“Maybe it’s a bit to soon for your eyes” I teased her.
“Time to visit the optometrist,” she retorted.
And with that, we were there. The meadow. Our meadow.
As Bella walked into the sunlight, the rays reflected off her alabaster skin and made her dark brown hair shimmer with a beautiful auburn tint. She took my breath away. Trepidation kept me from walking into the light. What would she think of me when she saw my skin. Would she think me even more of a freak than I already was? I don’t want her to be scared, but then again I do. Curse my selfish heart for not being able to leave this most precious of souls alone. The monster laughed quietly from deep inside. I quickly shut him up, willing him deeper into his cage.
As Bella drank in the sight of the flowers all around, I watched her. She looked for me, then, finding me hiding like a thief in the forest. She took a step towards me, inviting me out into the sun with her hand. She took another step, and I motioned for her to stop. Her heart was pounding, and her breathing picked up. I closed my eyes and took a deep, ragged breath.
I stepped out into the golden rays of the late-morning sun and waited for her response. She gasped and stared at me. I looked deep into her eyes, waiting for the screaming, the running. But, as always, Bella startled me with her responses. She smiled wide and sighed.
“You’re beautiful,” she said simply. I smiled in spite of myself. I should have known she would not be frightened of my glittering skin.
I laid down on the meadow floor, enjoying the radiant heat that I no longer could make. I hadn’t been to the meadow in almost two weeks and I missed it. It’s funny how you can become so attached to a physical location. How such locations could bring back strong memories and a flood of feelings. I knew this place would forever remind me of Bella from now on, no matter what happened today, the meadow now belonged to both of us.
I relaxed and let my thoughts drift as Bella stared at me with wanting in her eyes. Oh, how I wished I could hear her thoughts. It would forever frustrate me that her mind was closed. She sighed and continued to ponder my skin. I could hear her blood pulse, her heart beating. Her scent was even stronger in the sun and the slight breeze was blowing it towards me, encompassing me with her essence. My throat ached for her blood. I could taste it on my tongue. The monster whispered unconscionable thoughts to me….thoughts that made me angry with myself for thinking them. I distracted myself from the closeness of her blood, and her body, by humming the composition I was working on for her.
“What are you saying?” Bella asked
“Oh, I’m just singing to myself” I replied. I hoped she couldn’t hear the edge in my voice.
She reached out then, with a slightly shaky hand, and touched my hand with one finger, and the sensations were indescribable. She traced the outlines of my veins, my marble hard muscles, my fingertips. The softest of touches sent a new kind of fire through my body. Though I was struggling with the smell of her, this new warmth was something entirely different. I could feel the heat from her hand racing up my arm and thru my chest. It was getting hard to control my thoughts about her warm, soft body so close to mine. I struggled to control my thoughts as I looked at her with a longing in my eyes.
“I don’t scare you?” I asked, hoping for the answer I didn’t want to hear.
“No more than usual,” she said. My stone heart was joyful, and unbearably sad, at the sound of her truthfulness. Her eyes gave no hint of lie. She continued to stroke my arm, becoming braver with her touches of my ice cold skin.
“Do you mind?,” she asked me.
“No, you can’t imagine how that feels,” I answered, and lost myself to the sensations her electric touch sent thru my whole being. I have never felt something so strong, so tantalizing, so lovely as her soft fingers slowly stroking my arm. I took in a deep breath and wallowed in the burn it caused. I cannot hurt her. I will not hurt her. The monster waited, patiently.
She was trying to turn my hand over. I turned it for her, a little too fast, her startled heart skipped a beat, but she recovered quickly. “Sorry, it’s too easy to be myself with you.”
“Tell me what your thinking. It’s still so strange for me, not knowing” I looked deep into her eyes, willing her thoughts to come to me, probing the silence that confounded me.
“You know the rest of us feel that way all the time” she teased.
“It’s a hard life,” I said, with a bottomless sadness. “But you didn’t tell me”
“I was wishing I could know what you were thinking,” she was quiet again.
Her silence was more than I could take. “And?” I said, impatiently.
“I was wishing that I could believe you were real. And I was wishing that I wasn’t afraid” She kept her eyes steadily on my arm, afraid to show me the truth of her emotions in her eyes.
“I don’t want you to be afraid” I was telling her the truth, and lying at the same time.
“Well that’s not exactly the fear I meant, though that’s certainly something to think about”
I sat up quickly and looked deep into her eyes, holding her warm, soft hand in mine. She was speaking in riddles and I needed to see the truth of what she was feeling in her beautiful brown eyes. I was very close to Bella, using the full power of my gaze to extract the answer from her.
“What are you afraid of, then?” I desperately needed to know what she was thinking.
As always, Bella never reacted as she should. Most humans were too afraid to be in such a close proximity to my kind. Bella never seemed to be bothered with the unspoken fear the other humans naturally felt. As my breath washed over her face, she leaned in, taking a deep breath.
A multitude of emotions and scents bombarded me all at once. Her blood, her heartbeat, her soft, beautiful lips parted ever so slightly. The monster was out of his cage, raging, wanting her, taunting me with the flavor of her scent I knew would taste so good. My mouth filled with venom at the thought of her taste.
I was gone before she was done with that deep breath.
“I’m..sorry..Edward” she said in a whisper. The pain in her voice was unbearable.
I had almost hurt her. The agony I felt was unrelenting and all encompassing. I watched her face as the shock slowly faded; replaced by sadness. My still heart ached to comfort her. The monster was angry. But that is not what unsettled me the most. I knew why I could never hurt her, never taste her blood, never let the monster out again. I made up my mind up, right then. I was stronger than the monster. My love for her had baptized me of the need for her blood. I banished the monster into a lake of fire. He would not tempt me again.
“Give me a moment” I took my time regaining my composure. I walked towards her, in a slow human pace, and sat down. Several feet still separated us, an ocean of anguish between us. My beloved Bella. I watched her as she watched me. A wave of fear crept into her perfect features. She understood what I was, finally, and the realization was beginning to sink in.
“I am so very sorry. Would you understand what I meant if I said I was only human?”
I could smell the adrenaline pulsing thru her veins. I had frightened her, and the core of my being grieved with the knowledge.
“I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I?” I said in a derisive tone. “Everything about me invites you in—my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that!” I was finally free. I was no longer tortured by my obsessive need for her blood. I had battled the beast of my nature and won. I ran around the meadow, in the blink of an eye. The feeling of freedom surged in my dry veins.
“As if you could outrun me” My bitter laugh filled the silence of the meadow. Suddenly, I grabbed a tree branch and broke it in half, needing to release the energy building within me. Bella’s wide eyes brought me back to my senses, showing the depth of her fear of me. A cold dread wound it’s way around my spine, and I was instantly remorseful.
I crossed over to her, in less than a second, and stood watching her, listening to her haggard breaths. I wanted her to be afraid of me, and had accomplished my goal. I regretted ever wanting her to fear me, my beloved Bella.
“As if you could fight me off”
She sat stiffly, barely shaking her head in response to me.
“Don’t be afraid…I promise…I swear not to hurt you”. I never wanted to see that look in her eyes again. I had conquered the monster in me, and there was nothing left to fear. I was free to love her, and she me.
“Don’t be afraid” I moved ever so slowly towards her. She watched my every move with cautious eyes. I had acted reprehensibly. I had no excuse for my conduct, and needed to make amends.
“Please forgive me. I can control myself. You caught me off guard. But I’m on my best behavior now” Bella regarded me with cautious eyes. She was still afraid.
“I’m not thirsty today, honestly” I winked at her, gave her my most gentle smile, and found her weakness. She laughed, a shaky, unreliable laugh, but a laugh none the less.
“Are you alright” I asked. The fear was less, but I could see she was shaken to the core by my actions. I slowly, tenderly, placed my hand back in hers. I needed to feel her heat, needed her to accept me for what I was, totally and completely. Her soft hand sent those same electric pulses thru my arm. I concentrated on them, reprimanding myself for acting so foolishly.
She quietly began to retrace the hard planes of my forearm. I breathed softly, thankful to God for her existence. If I had been able to produce tears, they would be flowing down my still face.
“So where were we, before I behaved so rudely?” I was repentant for my earlier behavior, and she softened ever so slightly.
update on page 4!!