Edward and Bella were standing in the doorway of their bedroom, lost in each other, caught up in the beginning of their forever together and they were about to start another night in each other’s arms. Their daughter, Renesme, was asleep in her room.
I stood outside the door of their small cottage in the forest. It was only a short run from the main Cullen house and I had been in this very spot a half dozen times before, but I could never bring myself to knock.
I stood there in silence, my mind blank, just listening to Edward’s thoughts then Bella’s, then back again. They loved each other so much and I had been here to witness it bloom from the very beginning. Since the first time they laid eyes on each other, they were in love. They would never admit that, but they had been destined for each other from the very first second their eyes met.
I hoped in some small way that I had sped up the process because even since I saw Bella, I felt that she and the Cullens were to be a big part of my life. But first, I had to talk to them…
I knocked on the door quietly and took a step back. Half a second later Edward was opening the door cautiously.
“Edward?” I said, the words sounded weak and distant.
“Yes?” he said. I know you, he thought. “Lily? Lily Honeycutt?” he said. “Wha… What are you doing here? How did you kno…?”
Bella was standing behind and slightly to Edward’s right.
“Are you lost?” Bella asked, confused. She thought, Are you crazy? Do you have any idea how…
Edward thought similarly, Do you have any idea how much danger you’re in, human?
“No I’m not crazy, Bella,” I answered Bella’s thoughts and Edward looked at me strangely, then to Bella. Then I answered Edward’s thoughts, “Yes, Edward, I do know that you are vampires. And I know I shouldn’t have come here…” I stared at the ground and my voice got quieter with every word. I was beginning to totally lose my nerve. At least I had knocked this time.
They looked at each other then to me, their heads tilting slightly to one side.
“You aren’t the only ones who have talents,” I said to them, slowly looking up to meet their confused gaze.
Their minds were a total blank. They had no idea what was going on or what in the world I was doing there. There was obviously no fear, just utter confusion.
“Lily? Are you okay?” Bella asked. I wonder why I, well, we, never talked to her in school? She thought suddenly. It almost feels like I know her.
I wasn’t sure what to say. My head was a jumble of a million thoughts at once, barely coherent, and none complete. Edward’s eyes narrowed as he tried to make some sense of the jumbled mess in my head.
“Slow down! It’s okay,” Edward said and reached for my shoulder. I cowered away from his hand, closed my eyes and bowed my head. I had almost taken two steps backward when I felt Bella’s hand on my back and I jumped. It wasn’t in my nature at all to cower to anyone, let alone completely let my guard down. But it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would’ve been. I had no fear of Edward or Bella, although every ounce of my being should’ve been on high alert. My eyes should’ve been burning red, my senses should’ve been picking up the slightest motion or sound, but they weren’t. I was calm. Two vampires were touching me and I was completely calm. I wanted more than anything to be here, to belong here.
My past raced through my head. I didn’t know where to start. I wanted so bad to tell them everything, but I didn’t know where to start.
“Lily?” Bella asked me, rubbing my back slowly. What is it, Lily? What’s wrong? What could’ve possibly brought you here? After dark even. Glad I’m not thirsty. She looked at Edward and subtly shrugged her shoulders as if asking what he could make of it?
I didn’t know what to say. My thoughts were barely coherent even to me. A rush of emotion took over me and I started to speak… “I have so many questions. I have never actually known a vampire and I wanted to because maybe you can help me answer some of the questions. I’m half vampire but I don’t know how. I never knew anything about how I came to be. I was born.” I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. “My mother was already dead by the time I was out of her and there was no one else around. It was dark and wet and I was hungry and alone so I fed on my own mother to stay alive.” Tears filled my eyes and overflowed in a steady stream down my face. “I killed and ate my own mother…” I was crying now and I felt sick. Bella wrapped her arms around my shoulders and I pushed away from her. I didn’t deserve her compassion, though I desperately wanted it. I looked into her red eyes and wanted so badly to cry in her arms. “I shouldn’t be here… I shouldn’t have come here…” Tears still streamed down my face as I looked to Edward and turned toward the forest. “I’m sorry,” I said as I ran away.
“Lily! Don’t…” I heard Bella say. I could see myself running away in her thoughts and then in Edward’s thoughts.
“Let her go,” Edward said. “She’s afraid of what we’ll think of her. She knows about Renesme, but doesn’t think of herself like that. Like she’s worthy of love, because of her mother.”
I’m sorry Edward. I thought as I listened to Edward talk to Bella. I thought I was ready to face the two of you as myself, to ask questions, to be with someone more like me. But…
I heard someone or something running behind me. I knew it wasn’t Edward or Bella because they hadn’t moved from the doorway of the cottage. The footfalls got closer and closer. I felt my eyes burning and before I knew it I had stopped, turned into a crouch and growled in a low rumble at the approaching footsteps.
In a half of a second I realized it was the wolves, Jacob and Leah. I could see myself in his thoughts, eyes blood red, standing crouched on the balls of my feet, fingertips on the ground, teeth bared and ready to pounce. My heart thudded hard in my chest.
In a panic I called back to Edward in my thoughts, who was still standing outside the cottage with Bella. He was holding her against him, kissing the back of her neck and explaining some of the things he had seen in my head.
Edward! I gasped and thought as fast as I could. Please! It’s…
Jacob growled back at me and before I had time to explain he lunged toward me.
“Jacob wai…” my plea was cut sort as Jacob’s jaws closed around me. I felt his teeth close and penetrate both layers of my skin. Then I felt suddenly weightless and I soared through the air for a brief moment. I saw trees and limbs and ferns fly past me.
Everything went black.