“So are you gonna tell me what this morning was all about?” asked Skye as she stretched her leg in gym class.
“Nope” I said looked absently at the wall, we were the first ones out of the change room, probably because I had claimed not to be hungry at lunch in an attempt to avoid Edward and his brother Emmett, so we’d gotten to class earlier than everyone else, by the time the others were coming into get changed we were out in the gym, which looked mysteriously deserted while all the other students were getting changed.
“What is it with you? As soon as you locked eyes with that guy you went all weird” she complained.
I shrugged, “I had a headache” I said non-caringly as I stretched, I wasn’t exactly lying, I did have a headache, but she didn’t need to know I was scared.
Scared of what happened to me whenever I was around one of the mysterious Cullen’s.
We were silent for a moment as I stretched my arms, Skye turned her head absently to the doors bathroom as the students started filling the gym, changed into their clothes.
“Well don’t look now, because that headache you’ve been avoiding just walked in” said Skye nodding to the boys bathroom.
I frowned and turned to look over her shoulder; sure enough Edward Cullen had just come out of the bathroom, and was staring at me incredulously, but the way he set his jaw made it seem like he was angry.
I swung my hair back over my shoulder and looked down at my feet as my breathe caught in my throat, I had always thought the expression of someone being breath-takingly beautiful was a load of crap, but he certainly was, and my heart reacted by trying to jump out of my chest.
Skye was smiling smugly, “You are blushing!” she said pointedly.
“Shut up!” I growled.
“Alright listen up everyone!” called the teacher Coach Smyth.
The class filed into a group, I made sure to keep myself as far from Edward as possible so he couldn’t see my face, or more the blush that burned at my cheeks.
“We’re going to continue on with Volleyball” said Coach Smyth.
“Thank you captain obvious” I murmured to Skye.
“The fact that there are Volleyball nets all set up kind of gives it away don’t you think?” she hissed back sarcastically.
“So you all need to split into teams of seven if you want to play Volleyball” Coach Smyth continued.
“So we are actually playing Volleyball! I never would have guessed!” snickered Skye, I snorted slightly.
We both tried to smother our laughter, we then shuffled to one of the nets, taking position, we both stood in front of the net, making up the offensive line, still smiling and laughing at each other.
“Ok, get started by serving the ball!” called the Coach blowing her whistle.
Again Skye and I turned to each other and burst out laughing.
“Alright that’s it! I’m separating you too!” said the Coach striding over to Skye and I, “Skye switch with Cullen” she barked.
It wasn’t uncommon for Skye and I to get separated in class for mucking around, she shuffled to the court up the other end of the gym before a small, pale girl with ink black hair took her place.
Wait, did Coach Smyth say Cullen?
It was stupid, I don’t know why I expected different, but I turned my head and didn’t see Edward, like had expected, out of the corner of my eye I could see he was at the opposite end of the court to where Coach Smyth had pointed, so who was this?
She had chiselled beautiful, pixie-like features were exactly like her Edward, Emmett and Carlisle’s… except completely different.
But she turned her head, her gold eyes locking with mine, and it happened, again, just like I knew it would, the sharp pain, then the memories:
She leaned back from a hug, her face pleasantly surprised “Oh! You do smell good!” she smiled, her voice trilled like a bird.
The scene switched, her eye weren’t golden now, but a black colour, and she looked mad “Why the hell would you try and kill yourself?” she demanded loudly.
Again it switched to the familiar looking house, her eyes were golden again and she was positively beaming “This hostage thing is fun!” she laughed.
It was over again, and I was still staring at her, “Alice” I gasped.
She smiled at me brightly, I couldn’t tell if she heard me, but something told me she had, even though I said the word in barely a whisper, “Hi, you must be Isabelle” she smiled, her voice sounded exactly as it had in my visions.
“Yeah, everyone calls me Bells” I said, the pain in the back of my head throbbed a little as we stood, ready for the game to start, Alice and I would be the defenders by the net, “How come I’ve never seen you in class?” I blurted out.
“Oh I haven’t been well, and I don’t like coming without my brother” she said brightly.
“Edward?” I asked, saying his name was like a jolt up my spine, “is he” I took a deep breath so I could continue “is he your brother?” I asked working hard to keep my voice casual.
“Yep! I have another brother called Emmett, I believe you met him this morning” she smiled.
“I did” I said, I then corrected myself, “well Skye did”
She nodded “So where are you from?” she asked as the other team served the ball.
“Volterra, a small town in Italy” I said as I touched the ball with the tip of my fingers, sending it back to the other side of the net.
“Oh ok, what are you doing here then?” she asked.
“There’s a school I want to audition for in Manhattan, but my Mum wanted to see if I could cope in America by myself” I said watching as Alice hit the ball lightly over to me, “I think she just wants to see if she can live without me for a couple of years” I laughed as I smacked the ball over the other side of the net, the ball hit the ground with a loud smack, I just scored a point.
“Oh nice one!” said Alice, sounding mildly impressed.
“Change positions!” called Coach Smyth
Alice raised her hand as she passed and I slapped it in a dainty high five as I passed, I was now serving.
I held the ball in my hands before I hit it towards the net, unfortunately it didn’t get that far and hit a girl on my team in the back of the head, she had bright blond hair, but I could tell it wasn’t natural, she originally had mousy brown hair that was growing through, she turned to me and glared.
“Sorry!” I called, I turned to Alice who smiled at me brightly, and I couldn’t help but smile back, it was very easy to talk to her, and the gym session passed quickly, pretty soon we were heading back into the change room.
“Hey, I was talking to Matthew during the game and hey says he’s gonna knock a grand off the trucks price!” said Skye ecstatically as she skipped over to us.
I smiled at her, “Skye, this is Alice” I said, Skye smiled politely, “She’s Emmett’s sister” I whispered, I watched as her eyes instantly became alight with interest.
“Hey I’m Skye” she said brightly thrusting her hand forward.
“Nice to meet you” said Alice shaking Skye’s hand briefly.
“Wow, you have cold hands” said Skye lightly.
She did? I hadn’t noticed, “Alice was just saying how we should organize a shopping trip sometime soon” I said referring back to what Alice had been saying not moments ago.
“Oh yeah that would be fun!” said Skye.
The two of them were away, talking about the latest fashions while we dressed in the bathroom, they talked so much that I was ready to leave way before them, “Skye I’ll meet you outside” I called as I swung my bag over my shoulder and headed outside, I had barely taken two steps out the door before I smacked into something hard, I looked up, it was Edward.
“Hey!” I said in shock as I gazed at him.
He gazed back, seeming to be as shocked as I was that we had run into each other, again.
I frowned as I realized something, “were-” I began, the idea seemed stupid, but I couldn’t help but ask it, “Were you about to go into the girls bathroom?” I asked working to keep the smirk off my face.
I watched in satisfaction as Edward’s golden eyes grew wide with shock, “No, of course not!” he said dismissively, his voice was too casual, I immediately didn’t trust it.
I laughed lightly as I headed to the gym exit, “Well that is weird” I said.
“Weirder than coming out of the boys bathroom?” he challenged pointedly, I was surprised that his voice was quite close, and realized her was following me.
I pursed my lips, thinking for a moment as I stopped at the door, “Yeah I definitely think a guy about to go into a girls bathroom is worse than a girl coming out of one” I qualified.
He gazed at me for a moment, staring down as he was quite taller than me, but he smiled a beautiful crooked smile and I smiled back.
I then heard a loud wolf whistle and I turned to see Skye and Alice staring at Edward and I with knowing expressions, “Did we miss something?” asked Skye cheekily.
“Yes, your fly is undone!” I said cheekily.
I had the satisfaction of watching Skye look down self consciously before she looked up at me glaring, I giggled.
“Edward this is Skye, and you already know Isabelle” said Alice smiling in an oddly smug way.
“He does?” demanded Skye.
“Yeah he tried to run me over with his car remember?”
“Oh that’s right, the Volvo driver” said Skye knowingly.
“The very same one!” I said brightly, I looked up at Edward and watched him roll his eyes before I pushed open the door and headed out into the school parking lot.
“We’re planning a shopping expedition next weekend Edward, we’re using your car” said Alice brightly as we walked, I couldn’t help but notice how graceful Alice was, I bet she would be a wonderful dancer.
“Since when did I agree to this?” asked Edward.
“Since now!” I added brightly as we approached the car in question.
“What? No way am I being seen in a Volvo!” complained Skye.
“Oh Skye don’t be such a princess, it’s not like you-” I began but stopped as I looked at Edward’s silver Volvo, Emmett was standing there with a beautiful blond, she looked like a model for some kind of car company as she leaned against the Volvo, her blond hair fell down her shoulders, her pale skin looked strange against the Volvo’s silver, her lips were pursed in an angry scowl, I knew right away this had to be a relation to Edward with her beautiful features, but I locked my eyes with her gold ones and it happened all over again, the pain, then the visions.
“It’s a necklace, Alice picked it out” she said awkwardly with an angry purse of her lips, she was clearly uncomfortable with what she was doing.
The vision changed, she looked sad this time, as if her face should be red and puffy with tears, but I doubted that a face that beautiful could possibly be capable of producing something as ugly as tears “I wish there had been someone to vote no for me” she half whispered.
The vision changed again, she was bathed in glowing moon light, half of her face was hidden in darkness “I envy you” she said sincerely.
I was then shoved back into reality, “Rosalie!” I said.
Her eyes narrowed as she looked at me, as if she’d heard me say her name, but she couldn’t possibly, I was at least ten meters from her.
But the others heard me; both Edward and Alice were staring at me with slight frowns on their faces.
“What did you say Bells?” asked Skye curiously.
I was still in shock as I stared at the absurdly lovely blond girl, I suppose this was how boys felt looking at Skye, but I had never experienced two episodes of visions slash memories in one day, my head was throbbing, I wanted to be as far away from Edward, Alice, Emmett and Rosalie as I could possibly get.
“Nothing” I breathed, my voice coming out in a short gasp, “Lets go” I said quickly, almost rudely, I turned around and bumped straight into a tall, hard chest, I looked straight up, just long enough to register pale carved features and blond hair before I looked up into his eyes, they were golden, a small startled scream escaped my lips before it happened again.
He was standing in the familiar house, standing across a room looking slightly sheepish, yet still serious, “You are worth it you know” he said seriously.
The vision shifted to him standing in an airport, staring very intently at Alice, somehow the moment felt very romantic, even though they didn’t embrace or kiss or anything like couples did in sappy romantic movies.
It shifted again to him standing under a modern looking lamp, it illuminated small silver scars all over his body, they were cresset moon shapes, but look suspiciously like bite marks “How much do you know about me?” he asked, a slight Southern accent seeped through his voice.
The visions ended and I felt as if my head had exploded, I put my hand to my head, I don’t know where the name came from, like all the other times it just bubbled to my lips and I just blurted it out, “Jasper” I said before I felt my knees give out and I dropped to the ground.
“Bells!” said Skye in alarm, suddenly she, Edward and Alice were at my side, then Maddi dropped down in front of me, I hadn’t seen where she’d come from.
“Bells! Are you alright?” asked Maddi.
I held my head as pain ripped through my skull threatening to tear it apart, I had remembered too much today, I’d had too many visions, too much information thrust upon me without my say-so.
My head was throbbing, I didn’t feel in control of my own body, and that was a horrible feeling, “Bells?” asked a tender voice, a voice that was so alluring it sound like an angel, and it was the only voice I ever wanted to hear.
But I couldn’t answer it, my mind was spinning things weren’t right, they weren’t clear, I had no control over them, and black shapes were currently darting in front my vision, classic signs of a migraine, “Skye get me home” I whispered.
I didn’t hear any noise; all I knew is after a moment Skye hauled me to my feet keeping a firm grip on my shoulder.
It was hard for me to concentrate on words but I heard a deep voice.
“We should take her to Carlisle” said a deep voice; I assumed it to be Emmett.
“No!” I said in panic that was the last thing I needed! To be around another Cullen, I turned to Skye desperately, “Get me out of here!” I pleaded, every moment I spent around them threatened to crack my head in two, and I wasn’t sure I could cope with anymore visions today, I didn’t want to risk looking at one of them.
Skye didn’t need to be told again, she saw the fear in my eyes, the pain; she simply hooked her arm under mine and lead me away without another word.
I could help but be annoyed with Alice, she knew Isabelle was in our sports class, and she didn’t tell me!
I was having very severe problems if people could be keeping secrets from me!
As soon as I saw her, stretching with her friend over the other side of the gym I was shocked, but then realization kicked in, Alice was deliberately withholding information from me, and that made me mad, but also, how was it that I only found out today I had a class with this girl? Was it now becoming impossible for me to avoid her? How could I not avoid one small girl?
“You’re Blushing!” I heard Skye say, ‘She looks so embarrassed! It’s SO cute’
She was blushing, over me?
Annoyingly enough I cared, but more so I wanted to see what her cheeks looked like, how the easy pooling of blood on her cheeks made her skin shine…
I turned away angrily, we would be playing Volleyball today, if I stayed on the opposite side of the room to Isabelle, chances were I wouldn’t have to speak to her, which was the way it should be.
But also I could avoid her scent, which was barely potent right now, but I knew when she started running around the Gym it would be everywhere, tainting all of the breathable air.
I forced myself not to listen as she and her friend spoke, I stared determinedly at the wall.
“So just so we’re clear, you don’t want to speak to Isabelle?” asked Alice in a low, yet still light and happy voice.
“Absolutely” I snapped.
“Just checking” she said before skipping down the other end of the court, then I saw it, why Alice had gone down the other end of the court.
She knew Coach Smyth was going to separate Bells and Skye and she wanted to be the one to replace her.
What happened next should have been excepted, yet it still knocked me off my feet, Isabelle once again saw small visions of Alice through Bella’s eyes, then I heard her voice loud and clear, as if she was standing next to me and whispering in my ear instead of standing across a gymnasium, “Alice”
What happened next was completely unexpected, Alice began talking to her, asking questions like any other human would, but that wasn’t the most surprising thing, what surprised me was that Isabelle answered with perfect ease, she even told part of the reason as to why she was here, but somehow still leaving out a critical piece of the puzzle.
She could talk to Alice but not to me? Why did this frustrate me?
I could see it now in her head, a vision clear as day, Isabelle and I standing in the meadow, Bella and mine’s meadow, the sun was shining, her face was leaning delicately against a chest, arms holding her that sparkled like diamonds, my arms.
The way she held me and leaned her head against my chest was content, happy, unafraid, and the way I held her, it was protective, like she was my life force, I didn’t need to glimpse at the vision long to realize the tenor of this vision was romantic.
Isabelle was to become my new Bella.
I immediately gritted my teeth and resisted the urge to growl at Alice from across the room, she was wrong, I would change the future, I wouldn’t condemn Isabelle to a life of pain that would ultimately lead to death, just as it had with Bella.
And how could I love her anyway? How could I love anyone that wasn’t Bella? The thought was impossible, and Alice was wrong.
I waiting in the Gym after class for her, I had successfully avoided Isabelle for an entire session together, I felt rather accomplished, but I wanted to speak to Alice, I made my way towards the girls bathroom, what could she possibly be doing in there?
I immediately strained my extra hearing so I would find out exactly what she was doing.
‘Please say he’s single please say he’s single!’ chanted a familiar ‘voice’ Skye.
“No Emmett has a… girlfriend” said Alice lightly, ‘I wonder how Rosalie would feel if she knew she had competition’ she searched the future… the image of Rosalie breaking a tall tree in half was almost comical, almost.
I had been so focused on Alice and Skye that I didn’t notice Isabelle wasn’t with them, but something bumped into my chest and I looked down, it was Isabelle.
I stopped my breath so as not to inhale her scent, I immediately stepped back as she stared at me, fate was cruel, was their truly no escape from this girl?
“Were-” she began seriously, but a small smile tugged at her lips, “Were you about to go into the girls bathroom?” she asked her smile becoming even more pronounced.
I stared at her in shock for a moment, what an odd thing to ask… “No, of course not!” I said dismissively.
She laughed, clearly not believing me, her laughter was almost contagious, “Well that is weird” she called as she headed towards the door.
“Weirder than coming out of the boys bathroom?” I challenged pointedly taking three long strides to keep up with her, once again my thirst.
She stopped at the door, thinking… would I never get over the frustration of not being able to hear her?
“Yeah I definitely think a guy about to go into a girls bathroom is worse than a girl coming out of one” she finally replied.
I stared down at her for a moment, before an involuntary smile pulled at my lips, I didn’t want to smile, I didn’t want to be around her… but when I was… it was like my pain was gone, the part of me that had been lost was back.
‘Wow hotness must run in the family!’ thought Skye as she wolf whistled to announce her presence.
‘Knew you wouldn’t stay away!’ thought Alice smugly.
My smile faded instantly as I glared at her. She was wrong.
I tried to ignore the inane chatter of the girls, but found myself being caught up in the conversation rather than being apart from it like I had wanted.
“We’re planning a shopping expedition next weekend Edward, we’re using your car” said Alice brightly as we walked out into the car park.
“Since when did I agree to this?” I asked, when did I agree to love someone else? When did I agree to any of this?
“Since now!” added Isabelle brightly, she didn’t appear to notice the hostility in my voice as I glared at Alice.
“What? No way am I being seen in a Volvo!” complained Skye.
“Oh Skye don’t be such a princess, it’s not like you-” Isabelle began but stopped, I looked up to see her staring at Rosalie, who was leaning by my Volvo before it happened.
More memories, these one’s centred around Rosalie came from her head, the whole procession lasted only a moment before they ended and her mind was silent again, “Rosalie!” she whispered, her voice oddly strangled.
‘How does she know my name?’ thought Rosalie, her thoughts were curiously, but shrewd.
‘Did she just have one of her Bella memory things?’ asked Alice as she stared at her, I nodded curtly as I stared at her, my frustration and curiosity piqued their ugly heads.
Isabelle turned to Skye, “Let go” she said sharply.
‘Go? But I didn’t even get to flirt with Emmett!’ complained Skye mentally.
‘What is going on here?’ thought Jasper, I looked around too late as Isabelle smacked into Jasper’s chest.
Visions, more visions, things only Bella should know, yet Isabelle experienced them as if they were her own memories.
As quickly as they stared they were over, she put her hand to her head, as if in pain, the word “Jasper” escaped her lips before she crashed to the ground.
My concern was overwhelming, she was clearly in pain as she sat on the ground and I knew it was because of me, because of my family, and that just caused all the more guilt and worry.
It was maddening to have to move at human pace, but Skye was closest to her and got there first, Alice was right beside me while Jasper backed up a few more steps, seeming almost frightened of her.
“Bells!” said Skye in alarm, ‘What the hell is wrong?’
“Bells! Are you alright?” asked Maddi, as she flitted to Isabelle’s side, having seen her fall from the other side of the parking lot.
She held her head tightly, as if holding it together, her brow creased in pain, I stepped closer, my thirst all but forgotten as my concern for her took over.
“Bells?” I asked, I knew like Bella she didn’t like being referred to by her full name, but saying her name, it did strange things to me, I felt a small jolt of tender emotion as I did and I was sure my family could hear it in my voice.
I knew she could hear me, but instead she held her head tighter, “Skye get me home” she whispered in an almost pleading voice.
Skye didn’t hesitate to pull her to her feet, her thought were in chaos, but clouded with worry, if home was what she wanted then home was what she would give her, but I couldn’t allow them to leave, “What’s wrong with her?” I demanded standing up, if I had to I would stop them.
“Nothing you need to worry about” said Maddi venomously, ‘who does this guy think he is?’ she thought before grabbing Isabelle’s other arm.
I turned to Skye, she would give me more information, she took one glance at the pleading look on my face before she spoke, “I think she’s just got a migraine” said Skye quietly, ‘I think, though this is happening a lot more since we moved here… I wonder if it’s got something to do with her weird dreams’
“Well then she shouldn’t be moved” I said, if she was suffering from a migraine she needed to go to a hospital before her brain went into failure and produced symptoms of a stroke.
‘She does not look good…’ “We should take her to Carlisle” said Emmett.
“No!” said Isabelle, her voice loud and wild with panic, and I couldn’t understand why, if she was in the amount of pain a migraine produced, surely she would want to see a doctor?
She turned to Skye “Get me out of here!” she pleaded, her voice was desperate.
‘Home, got it!’ thought Skye before she hooked her arm underneath Isabelle’s and pulled her away.
“What the hell was that?” demanded Rosalie.
“Alice?” I demanded.
“She’s gonna be ok, though I think she’s a little confused… she’ll be at school tomorrow” she said firmly, not just for my benefit, but for Emmett as well as Jasper had picked up on his concern.
“Edward what is going on?” demanded Rosalie again.
I ignored her as I turned to the Volvo, the sooner I got home the sooner I could rid my thoughts of her.