Home > Eclipse (Twilight #3)(5)

Eclipse (Twilight #3)(5)
Author: Stephenie Meyer

A pained look tightened his face. "Bella?" "Don't start. I agree that I need to go through the motions for Charlie's sake, but we both know that I'm not going to be in any condition to go to school next fall. To be anywhere near people."

My knowledge of those first few years as a new vampire was sketchy. Edward had never gone into details?it wasn't his favorite subject?but I knew it wasn't pretty. Self-control was apparently an acquired skill. Anything more than correspondence school was out of the question. "I thought the timing was still undecided," Edward reminded me softly. "You might enjoy a semester or two of college. There are a lot of human experiences you've never had." "I'll get to those afterward." "They won't be human experiences afterward. You don't get a second chance at humanity, Bella." I sighed. "You've got to be reasonable about the timing, Edward. It's just too dangerous to mess around with." "There's no danger yet," he insisted.

I glared at him. No danger? Sure. I only had a sadistic vampire trying to avenge her mate's death with my own, preferably through some slow and tortuous method. Who was worried about Victoria? And, oh yeah, the Volturi?the vampire royal family with their small army of vampire warriors?who insisted that my heart stop beating one way or another in the near future, because humans weren't allowed to know they existed. Right. No reason at all to panic.

Even with Alice keeping watch?Edward was relying on her uncannily accurate visions of the future to give us advance warning?it was insane to take chances. Besides, I'd already won this argument. The date for my transformation was tentatively set for shortly after my graduation from high school, only a handful of weeks away.

A sharp jolt of unease pierced my stomach as I realized how short the time really was. Of course this change was necessary?and the key to what I wanted more than everything else in the world put together?but I was deeply conscious of Charlie sitting in the other room enjoying his game, just like every other night. And my mother, Renee, far away in sunny Florida, still pleading with me to spend the summer on the beach with her and her new husband. And Jacob, who, unlike my parents, would know exactly what was going on when I disappeared to some distant school. Even if my parents didn't grow suspicious for a long time, even if I could put off visits with excuses about travel expenses or sturdy loads or illnesses, Jacob would know the truth.

For a moment, the idea of Jacob's certain revulsion overshadowed every other pain. "Bella," Edward murmured, his face twisting when he read the distress in mine. "There's no hurry. I won't let anyone hurt you. You can take all the time you need." "I want to hurry," I whispered, smiling weakly, trying to make a joke of it. "I want to be a monster, too."

His teeth clenched; he spoke through them. "You have no idea what you're saying." Abruptly, he flung the damp newspaper onto the table between us. His finger stabbed the headline on the front page:

DEATH TOLL ON THE RISE, POLICE FEAR GANG ACTIVITY

"What does that have to do with anything?" "Monsters are not a joke, Bella." I stared at the headline again, and then up to his hard expression. "A?a vampire is doing this?" I whispered. He smiled without humor. His voice was low and cold. "You'd be surprised, Bella, at how often my kind are the source behind the horrors in your human news. It's easy to recognize, when you know what to look for. The information here indicates a newborn vampire is loose in Seattle. Bloodthirsty, wild, out of control. The way we all were." I let my gaze drop to the paper again, avoiding his eyes.

"We've been monitoring the situation for a few weeks. All the signs are there?the unlikely disappearances, always in the night, the poorly disposed-of corpses, the lack of other evidence?. Yes, someone brand-new. And no one seems to be taking responsibility for the neophyte?." He took a deep breath. "Well, it's not our problem. We wouldn't even pay attention to the situation if it wasn't going on so close to home. Like I said, this happens all the time. The existence of monsters results in monstrous consequences."

I tried not to see the names on the page, but they jumped out from the rest of the print like they were in bold. The five people whose lives were over, whose families were mourning now. It was different from considering murder in the abstract, reading those names. Maureen Gardiner, Geoffrey Campbell, Grace Razi, Michelle O'Connell, Ronald Albrook. People who'd had parents and children and friends and pets and jobs and hopes and plans and memories and futures?. "It won't be the same for me," I whispered, half to myself. "You won't let me be like that. We'll live in Antarctica."

Edward snorted, breaking the tension. "Penguins. Lovely."

I laughed a shaky laugh and knocked the paper off the table so I wouldn't have to see those names; it hit the linoleum with a thud. Of course Edward would consider the hunting possibilities. He and his "vegetarian" family?all committed to protecting human life?preferred the flavor of large predators for satisfying their dietary needs. "Alaska, then, as planned. Only somewhere much more remote than Juneau?somewhere with grizzlies galore." "Better," he allowed. "There are polar bears, too. Very fierce. And the wolves get quite large."

My mouth fell open and my breath blew out in a sharp gust. "What's wrong?" he asked. Before I could recover, the confusion vanished and his whole body seemed to harden. "Oh. Never mind the wolves, then, if the idea is offensive to you." His voice was stiff, formal, his shoulders rigid. "He was my best friend, Edward," I muttered. It stung to use the past tense. "Of course the idea offends me." "Please forgive my thoughtlessness," he said, still very formal. "I shouldn't have suggested that." "Don't worry about it." I stared at my hands, clenched into a double fist on the table. We were both silent for a moment, and then his cool finger was under my chin, coaxing my face up. His expression was much softer now. "Sorry. Really."

"I know. I know it's not the same thing. I shouldn't have reacted that way. It's just that?well, I was already thinking about Jacob before you came over." I hesitated. His tawny eyes seemed to get a little but darker whenever I said Jacob's name. My voice turned pleading in response. "Charlie says Jake is having a hard time. He's hurting right now, and?it's my fault."

   
Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)