“Do you know what’s wrong with it?” I asked as I sat atop a hospital gurney.
Chris was beside me, kneeling down by the bottom of a large white box, the X-Ray machine.
His tools were laid out beside me on the gurney; it was my job to hand them to him.
“Well, I think they may have cracked the radiation cap” said Chris, his voice strained from concentration, “You hand me the Phillips Head screw driver?”
“Yep” I said grabbing the tool in question I sighed and lay down on the gurney, we’d been here for an hour, and I was growing slightly board.
I lay with my eyes closed for a moment, peaceful, yet despite that I could see his face, the way it had been all day.
I liked hospitals.
No being in hospital myself; as being sick wasn’t something anyone liked, but the people in them were always… interesting to say the least.
The Nurses and Old People were of particular interest to me, they all had stories to tell that were always unique and intriguing.
I’d already gained the favour of one old man named Chilli as soon as I stepped in the door, he was complaining that the Nurses weren’t giving him any chocolate, due to diabetes.
I couldn’t help but be sympathetic to his cause, I had tried many times to die by chocolate and this man could actually do it but wasn’t even given the opportunity!
There was also vaguely familiar about the man, a strange sense like we’d met before, his deep brown eyes were familiar somehow, I wanted to help him.
I’m not one of those girls who carries around a giant handbag, I just love jeans with a lot of pockets in them, I happened to have a mini Mars Bar in my front pocket, so as I walked past I had quickly dropped the bar into the open pocket of his dark blue dressing robe.
He had looked down into his robe in shock, then he’d looked up at me, I had smiled and simply winked.
He smiled, a crinkled smile, one that made him look younger, but older at the same, before he’d quickly shuffled off.
I was ripped from my day dream as I heard the door open and two sets of heavy footsteps entered the room.
I heard Chris stand up, “You must be Dr. Cullen” he said.
“Yes, and this is my soon Edward” said a strangely familiar voice, “you’re the new mechanic, Chris Del’Evaga?” asked the man.
“Yes” said Chris, “Isabelle, wake up and meet Dr. Cullen”
I smiled and sat up, I turned to see a man with pale skin and blond hair, then I saw his gold eyes, they locked with mine.
Then it happened, again, the small sharp sting and I was plunged into another memory reel.
The blond doctor was standing in a long white coat, facing a light board where a head x-ray was being examined, he smiled “I’ll think you’ll be just fine” he said.
It abruptly shifted, he was standing in an elegantly decorated house, he was wearing a suite and his face was smiling, “Call me Carlisle” he smiled.
The vision changed again, in the same house, but the lighting was different, his suite was different, his look was thoughtful, “Could you take away his soul?” he asked.
Then it was over, quickly, and yet my head burst with the new knowledge that had been forced upon me, I felt slightly dizzy.
My expression must have given away as to how I was feeling because the Doctor’s eyes lit up in concern, “Are you alright?” he asked stepping over to me.
“Your name is Carlisle” I said placing my hand back over my eyes they were hurting again.
He seemed stunned, but recovered, “That’s right” he said, “how did you know that?”
I made up a quick lie to cover my tracks, “Name tag” I said pointedly, I removed my hand from my eyes and looked over his shoulder, his son, Edward, the man I had been dreaming about almost all my life, was standing by the X-Ray machine, his expression was black.
“So you’re planning to talk to me on the way back are you?” I asked as I closed the Volvo door, Carlisle had been silent the entire car ride into Winchester, his mind preoccupied on how to best bring up the subject.
He laughed, “You tell me?” he challenged.
I smiled half-heartedly at Carlisle’s attempt to make a joke as we entered the hospital, it was always hard to pick up a human’s scent, or a coherent thought in hospitals they were always so hectic and filled with fresh blood, and it was easy to ignore when the memory of Isabelle’s blood was fresh in my memory.
“I figured I’d let you start, Rosalie wasn’t exactly forthcoming on details” explained Carlisle as we walked.
“Of course not” I grumbled sarcastically as Carlisle pushed open the door to the X-Ray room.
Her scent slammed into me for the second time today, just as strong as the first time, I snapped my head to look into the room.
I could see Isabelle lying down on a hospital bed, her expression was peaceful, as if she was sleeping, irrational fear gripped me, taking control over my body before I had time to register I stepped quickly into the room intent on finding out what exactly was wrong, then I froze as my mind caught up with me, I could see the mechanic bent down at the X-Ray machine, and tools were beside her on the bed.
And I quickly and very forcibly reminded myself that there was no reason at all for me to care about Isabelle. I didn’t even know her.
I stood safely by the door as I reassembled my thoughts.
Why on earth had I been so abruptly and violently worried?
“Isabelle wake up and meet Doctor Cullen” said the mechanic; whose name I barely registered was Chris before I was assaulted again with memories.
Memories of Carlisle forced themselves upon me one after the other, pouring from Isabelle’s mind; they were once again from Bella’s perspective.
Then as quickly as they began, they stopped and I snapped my eyes open, her mind was once again as silent as before, she was looking at Carlisle in shock, her eyes brown eyes were wide as the searched his face.
‘She looks as though she is going to pass out’ thought Carlisle in alarm, “Are you alright?” he asked aloud, stepping forward slightly, ready to catch her if she did indeed pass out.
The irrational fear clawed back through my body and I found I was paying close attention to the sound of her heart and the colour of her face, she was indeed quite pale, not her normal olive complexion.
“Your name is Carlisle” she said shakily as she placed her hand over her eyes, hiding them from me gave no indication to how she was feeling, just like Bella, her eyes were the only clue I had to what she was thinking.
Carlisle was stunned, but somehow pleased, the fact that she was talking meant recovered, “That’s right” he said, “how did you know that?”
She seemed to speak quickly, almost as if she was making an answer up on the spot, “Name tag” was all she said.
She then removed her hand from covering her eyes; I could see she had black painted nails.
Her brown eyes locked with mine, I wasn’t sure what my expression was, but hers was clearly shock.
“Hey Bells I’m gonna be a while why don’t you go and get something from the vending machine?” asked the mechanic, turning to her and smiling, was this her Farther?
I immediately tried to read his thoughts, ‘how much money do vending machines cost these days?’ he thought, clear as a whistle, odd, with Ben I had only ever been able to get the tenor of his thoughts.
“Yes, I’m sure Edward can take you” said Carlisle brightly, gesturing to me.
I kept my expression blank, but I was for sure going to be talking to Carlisle later.
Isabelle stepped of the gurney easily catching the old brown wallet that was thrown at her by Chris, she then approached me, her expression was blank, unreadable, just like her thoughts.
I held my breath, not daring to inhale her scent when she was standing so closed to me, I leaned away slightly.
“Shall we?” she ask smiling brightly as she pushed through the door, I caught the door before it closed, giving Carlisle a meaningful look I followed after her. Her walk was quite bouncy, rhythmic, not like Bella’s who was always so cautious and clumsy.
We walked in silence for a moment.
“Funny seeing you here” she said turning, stoping so I was to walk beside her.
“My Father works here” I explained thrusting my hands into my pockets to hide the tight fist I clenched my hands into, her scent wasn’t as strong out in the open corridor of the hospital, but it was still potent.
“So does mine!” she said happily as she walked, “well not really, he’s not my real Father, but close enough” she shrugged.
My interest piped, I took another breath, flames irrupted down my throat, but I ignored them “You’re adopted?” I asked.
“Technically yes, but it’s not by the Del’Evagas, my actual adoptive Mother is in Italy working” she explained, the way she said ‘Del’Evagas’ was affectionate; she clearly considered them family, even if that wasn’t the case.
I nodded my head, not quite understanding, why was she over here, with another Family, if her adoptive Mother was in Italy?
“So what about you? Carlisle looked pretty young, you look too old to be his son” she said pointedly.
“I’m adopted as well, my parents died when I was very young” I said robotically, it wasn’t technically lying, I’d used up the last of my oxygen, if we were to continue talking I was going to need to take another breath.
“Sorry” she said sympathetically, her brown eyes looked up at me with so much sincerity, I had to look away, they reminded me too much of hers…
We walked in silence for a moment, her heart beat the only sound breaking the silence.
“What happened to your parents?” I asked suddenly, her story couldn’t possibly be as tragic as mine, and I found myself wanting to unravel her secrets, just as I had with Bella, my curiosity over-powered my thirst.
She shrugged, seeming completely at ease, I wondered if she would feel the same if she knew she was walking through the halls of a hospital with a vampire, though I doubted she would, Bella never had.
“I was with my Mother and Father a while when I was little, but my Mother died and my Father took off, and I was left alone” she said in a matter-of-fact tone, “I was just out of the streets one day and my adoptive Mother found me, and took me to live with her and her family” she said simply.
I nodded as I let the information absorb into my mind, I hadn’t spoken this much to a human being since Bella, and I found it almost… liberating, to talk to someone that wasn’t my siblings, who didn’t know the loss I had experienced.
I watched her out of the corner of my eye as we walked, she was perfectly content to walk in silence, but I could tell she was in deep thought, a longing look on her face, was she thinking about her Mother?
The urge to ask what she was thinking was maddening, but I controlled it, instead I leaned against the vending machine as she selected a drink.
“So why are you in America, if you’re Mother is in Italy?” I asked, my curiosity was now defiantly over-powering my thirst.
“Change of scenery” she shrugged as she bent down to grab the drink from the bottom of the vending machine.
I frowned, that was definitely a lie, why would anyone move half way across the world, with a family that wasn’t their own for a scene change?
I eyed her speculatively; a small smile tugged at her lips as she took a long swing from the can of drink, there was definitely something she wasn’t telling me.
“Is there any other reason?” I asked, fishing for the truth wasn’t something I needed to do so much, normally I would just read a person’s thoughts, but as was the case with Bella, I couldn’t, and my frustration flared.
“Oh that and I want to meet Britney Spears” she smiled, laughing slightly as she headed back towards the X-Ray room.
The sound was delightful, almost contagious, I liked it, I quickly shook off the feeling too and returned to the matter at hand, “You’re not telling me the truth” I said pointedly, hoping that by pointing this out, she would tell me the truth
“Maybe I forgot! Some asshole hit me with his car this morning” she said swinging her long brown curls over her should to look at me pointedly, her brown eyes captured mine.
It was strange what looking in her eyes provoked in me, feelings that I thought were long burred, wonder, curiosity, mystery, they were all burning inside me as she we stared at one another.
Wait, did she just call me an asshole?
I snapped my teeth to stop from growling at her.
She laughed at my furious expression, “its ok, I forgive you” she said brightly.
“Technically I didn’t apologize” I said pointedly, though that thought didn’t particularly appeal to m at that point in time.
“True…” she mused, she then turned to look at me, “would you apologize?” she asked.
What kind of a question was that? I had almost killed her! Of course I would apologize! I wasn’t a monster… in that sense anyway.
“I’m very sorry I hit you with my car” I said, my voice burned with sincerity, I don’t think I could live with myself if I had killed this girl, with a car, or other means.
There was something about her, something that was quite endearing, she looked so untouched by the world, it would be very easy for me to fall into protecting this girl, she seemed extremely helpless.
She shook her head, fighting back a smile, “Don’t worry about it”
How quick she was to forgive. She was like Bella in more ways than one, within a few minuets of talking to Bella I knew she was a good person. I knew the same was with Isabelle.
“Who doesn’t like a near death experience on their first day of school?” she asked lightly.
My lips twitched at the joke before they pulled up into an uneven smile, one I hadn’t done in a long time, the one that had always sent Bella’s heart wild.
Though Isabelle’s heart reacted like I expected, she had better control of her face, she simply smiled back, a surprisingly beautiful smile, before she turned on her heel and skipped down the hall.
For some reason, I didn’t like her walking away from me, my curiosity was nowhere near quenched, in fact it flared so badly right then I was tempted to call her back.
As if reading my mind, she swung her hair over her shoulder to look at me, “My name’s Isabelle by the way, but everyone calls me Bells” she said pointedly, “In case you were wondering” she shrugged before disappearing back into the X-Ray room.
I stared after her in shock, who was this girl?
I couldn’t help but smile the entire ride home.
Edward hadn’t re-entered the room after our little chat, I had obviously made an impression for the way he stared at me half the time, it was strange though, it was like it wasn’t really me he was seeing all the time, like he was looking at someone else…
“Your awfully quiet” said Christopher.
“Am I?” I asked in surprise as he pulled me out of my thoughts.
“Did you and Edward get along?”
“Yep” I smiled, “I think I made an impression”
“You always do” smiled Christopher.
“What does that mean?” I asked curiously, surely I wasn’t that interesting.
“You’re very sure of yourself Bells, you know who you are, your own person, it’s something a lot of people can pick up on right away, it’s quite an endearing quality”
“Well I doubt I impressed Edward beyond anything than shock” I said firmly, there was something about Edward that made me think that there wasn’t a lot that could shock him.
I felt strange saying his name, a small jolt of some sort of adrenalin coursed through me when I did.
“So did Skye tell you?” asked Christopher.
“Tell me what?”
“Apparently there is some boy at school selling his car, it’s an old truck and apparently doesn’t run very fast, so she thinks it will be safe from the likes of you and Ben”
“No she didn’t tell me”
“Well she will, she’s going to ask you for money” said Christopher fighting back a smile.
“I said to her if she can raise half the money we’ll pay the other half, but I don’t want you giving her a dime!” he warned.
I laughed, “Alright” I agreed, I wasn’t about to undermine Christopher’s authority.
I had seen him be quite menacing, and considering my family, that was quite a compliment.
“And you can’t read her mind?” asked Carlisle as we sat in the living room.
Alice was out hunting, refusing to be a part of the debate, hiding from me, as soon as I saw her I was going to force whatever information she had out of her.
Emmett, Jasper and Rosalie were with her, only Carlisle and Esme were part of this conversation, which was better, as I didn’t need everyone else’s opinions to confuse my already fuzzy mind.
“Not a whisper, though I can see the memories she gets whenever she sees one of us, but apart from that she’s completely silent”
“Is her scent the same?” he asked speculatively.
“Its potency yes, but it’s a completely different smell” I said pointedly.
“Strange…” he mused.
Suddenly Carlisle looked down at his name tag, I read it with him, ‘Dr. Cullen’ was all it said not Carlisle.
‘How did she know?’ he mused.
“Exactly” I said pointedly, “I’ve been asking that question ever since I laid my eyes on her”
“What are you planning to do?” asked Esme calmly.
“I want to get to know her, to understand why she is the way she is, but I’m afraid to…” I trailed off unsure how to answer.
“Are you afraid to fall in love again Edward?” she asked quietly
I sighed; “Yes” I don’t want to feel the pain I went through with Bella ever again.
“Edward you don’t even know her” she implored.
I pursed my lips, true, I didn’t, but in our one conversation together, and what I could observe, I knew she was good, too good for me, just as Bella had been.
‘Oh this is wonderful’ thought Esme.
I resisted the urge to scowl, “I’m going to stay away from her, I don’t need to have anything to do with her, she’s already suspicious of what we are, spending any more time with her would be a mistake”
“This conversation would be a lot more productive if Alice were here” said Esme pointedly.
“Alice doesn’t want Edward to know anything, she says it will interfere” said Carlisle calmly.
I rolled my eyes, I was going to get the truth from her, it was only because Carlisle requested this little family gathering that I didn’t tear into the forest after her as soon as I got home.
“What do we do?” asked Esme.
Carlisle began pacing, his brow creased, deep in thought, “We continue on exactly as we have, don’t draw attention to ourselves” he said firmly, “If Isabelle is having visions of us its only a matter of time before she has one of us that doesn’t cast us in the best light, that is why Edward, we need to stay to know exactly when she does”
“And if she does?”
“We’ll have no choice but to leave before she can gather evidence” said Carlisle.
“What is she doesn’t?” asked Esme.
“Edward may have a chance to unravel the mystery she presents” he said.
I snapped my teeth together in aggravation; I didn’t want to unravel her secrets… did I?
“Only if you wish to” amended Carlisle.
I did want to, but it was much too dangerous for me to do so, and I was afraid of what I might find.
Carlisle opened him mouth but at that exact moment his phone rang, “Hello Alice” he said with a sigh.
I raised my head to listen.
“Jazz and I aren’t coming home tonight” said Alice simply.
“Why ever not Alice?” asked Carlisle, he was confused, but like the rest of us, he knew there would be a reason.
“I’m not going to have Edward screwing up the future… again. There’s some things he needs to realize for himself and the course he’s on now that’s not going to happen” she said matter-of-factly.
“When will you be home?” asked Esme anxiously.
“Tomorrow Night, when I’ve had time to make sense of my visions, then I’ll tell Edward everything he wants to know” she said simply.
“Have you had a vision Alice?” I demanded, it was a stupid question, of course she had.
She was silent, “Tomorrow Edward. Give me time to figure it out!” she said before the line was disconnected.