One other thing—would you guys like to see a little sample of the next installment? Mrs. Hyde has rewritten the first chapter of Twilight. In true Hyde fashion, she took two chapters to say what Meyer said in one (granted, Meyer’s sucked). It’s subject to change, but it is a roughly completed version of the introduction to the next installment of our revamp—“The Blue Hour”. Do you sense a theme? Keep in mind we don’t know when it’ll be done, not even if it will be done. As the vast majority is unwritten, we’d like to know what you think of our first glimpse of Bella—yes, we keep to canon names, sorry—and let you all see Edward again, even if it is brief.
Again, thank you—you have no idea what your comments have meant to us, especially Hyde (she was bouncing up and down in her seat when she found out you all love Laveau, and keep in mind he does have a serious backstory. All of our characters do. Hyde was quite pleased with herself when she decided to make Laurent Laveau’s mother Marie Laveau, which is a fishslap. RESEARCH, MOFO! CAN YOU DO IT?! *slap*).
Thanks, all. If I could, I’d buy you all chocolate.
Edward sat quietly on the floor, his legs crossed beneath him. The room was empty; the furniture gone, the carpet rolled up. The floorboards gleamed a mellow gold, dust motes twirling lazily in the last rays of the setting sun that peeked in through the window.
Everything was gone. The furniture was in the back of the truck, all their belongings packed tightly in boxes, their clothes neatly folded in their suitcases. The house stood empty, not a trace of them left to say that they had lived there at all. Just Edward, sitting still and silent in the empty room that had once been the library.
He didn’t know how long he’d wandered aimlessly across the country, hiding in swamps and woods, avoiding cities and roads, shying away from anyone who might cross his path. All he knew to do was to stay away from the people—a wild animal had no place among them. So he had no one, no place to stay, nowhere to call his own.
But he did. There was one place he would be welcome. But how could he go home, after what he had done?
But there was nowhere else for him to go.
It hadn’t really been conscious, his slow but steady migration northward, the balmy air and wet swamps giving way to tree-covered mountains that flattened slowly into rocky forests. But even then he’d stayed away, too cowardly to face them, to let them see what he had become. Stayed away, until one night, driven in close to the city by a raging storm, he’d found himself standing on the front step of Carlisle and Esme’s house in Bangor.
Edward had just stood there, wet and dripping on the porch; his heart was still, but it managed to find a way to jump into his throat all the same, suffocating him even though he had no need to breathe. Until finally, he knocked.
They were home; he knew they were, could hear them inside, and yet no matter how hard he had tried to ready himself, nothing could have prepared him for when the door swung open, and there stood Carlisle, neat and clean and surrounded by the warmth and light of the house.
He’d looked, his expression a mask of shock, and Edward saw through his eyes—saw himself, wet, filthy, his hair plastered to his head, his eyes deadened holes in his face. And he saw Carlisle’s astonishment melt not into the horror and revulsion that he deserved, but into pity, into concern, into compassion (oh my God, what has happened to him?), and he said, “Edward?”
He collapsed. Carlisle caught him as he fell, his knees giving out, and he yelled for Esme. The two of them bundled him into the sitting room; a fire was cheerily burning, the house warm and snug and dry against the torrent outside, and Edward crumpled on the carpet, and they just held him, their minds whirling with horrified love and concern, and Edward couldn’t even force his lungs to work to tell him that he didn’t deserve it. And so they just held him, and he clung to them both like a lost child.
Esme eventually took charge of the situation, hauling him upstairs and putting him in a hot bath, getting him scrubbed and putting him in clean clothes. He shuffled downstairs afterwards, cleaned and dressed, not knowing what else to do, and so simply sat down with them by the fire. He didn’t speak, and neither did they.
Edward didn’t speak for days. He spent his days shut up in the house and his nights roaming the forests like a ghost. Always staying away from the people—he could never get close to the people. Ever.
Carlisle and Esme didn’t ask him anything, didn’t press him, and in his cowardice and selfishness, he couldn’t bring himself to tell them.
It was Carlisle to whom he eventually spoke. He hadn’t intended to—it had been a Sunday morning, Edward sitting in his room staring out at the low clouds blanketing the sky, when Carlisle had come in and told him that since it was cloudy, they were going to church. Esme had gone on ahead, and he asked him if he would like to come along with them.
Edward looked at him, at his open, caring face, seeing no judgment or condemnation, feeling his wordless concern and worry and care—and he’d simply broken down. Everything came spilling out of him in a torrent—Chicago and Reggie and St. Louis and Froggy and James and Nancy and the hospital and Mary and everything, and through it all Carlisle held him, held him tightly against his shoulder and rocked him as he howled, his sobs all the more painful for having no tears.
Carlisle didn’t say a word for all of it, just kept him tightly in his arms while Edward blubbered out his story, and then, wonderfully, horribly, when he had no words and no sobs left, he looked up—and saw no horror, no disgust, no hatred or repulsion. Just that same soft, quiet pity, and a deep, forgiving sorrow.
He didn’t deserve it. He didn’t deserve pity, or forgiveness, or their love at all. He was a madman. A monster. A murderer.
At the sound of Esme returning from services, he’d drawn away, back into himself.
One evening not long after, Carlisle had gathered them up in the sitting room and suggested that they leave Maine. That they move away, somewhere else—somewhere new. He could get a new job, and Esme could too. Edward didn’t have to go to school—a good many young people didn’t. He could even get a job himself, if he wanted to—they could all move away, out west somewhere, maybe, and all start anew.
Esme agreed at once. Edward simply nodded, not caring what became of him.
And so the house was packed up, anything they wished to keep loaded up in a trailer, the rest sold off. Esme threw herself into the preparations, directing the moving, the sales, finding a buyer for the house, looking for a new place to settle.
They were going to Wyoming. Out away from the east, from all the forests and hills, and out into the open west, on the high plains of the frontier. A new start for them all.
But not for Edward. He’d been given his chance for a new way of life—and he’d sold his soul for a meal.
And now there was nothing left.
But he would stay with Carlisle and Esme. He may not have deserved it, but they cared about him all the same, wanted him to stay. And he knew that he couldn’t be trusted on his own—so for the safety of all the other Marys and Nancys and Rockos and Reggies of the world, he would stay.
He looked up. Carlisle was standing in the doorway, golden and pristine and beautiful in the last light of the day. “The sun is down. We will be leaving soon.”
Edward nodded, and Carlisle hesitated, wanting to say something, and Edward heard the swirl of half-formed words of reassurance and forgiveness in his mind, but in the end, he just nodded in return and went back downstairs.
Edward looked at the floorboards beneath him, and then slowly rose. The sun had set; the light was soft and dim outside, and he went and stood by the window. Lights were winking on in the surrounding houses, and he could hear the warm, contented thoughts of those inside. Happy, human thoughts, of love and laughter and life, untroubled by worries of monsters stalking them from the shadows.
The way it should be.
Edward turned away and crossed the floor, taking one last look at the empty room before walking out, down the stairs, and out into the blue light of dusk—it was time to go.
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ETA: Be sure to check out the next fic in this series, "The Thorns Remain," a sequel/aside where we see where Edward goes from here and how he meets Rosalie.