A/N: Hey everyone! It seems that oneshots are all I manage to get done these days, but I guess it's better than nothing. So here's another missing scene in three parts, taking place in that unexplored period between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn (pre-wedding, pre-Renesmee, before all hell breaks loose). Possibly spoilers for little things throughout the Saga, but I'm assuming you wouldn't be here unless you read it (several times lol).
Disclaimer: The character and certain elements throughout the plot are the property of Stephenie Meyer; I mean them no harm. The title and a few references are from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Creature of the Night Part 1
Creature of the Night
This can't be happening.
"No, no, no, no," I moaned, gripping the steering wheel of my ancient – and by the feel of it, dying – truck. I stupidly thought that if I held it firmly enough, I'd be able to control the vehicle's movement better, but it seemed nothing would be able to help it now. The truck managed a few more yards forward before it let out its last dying sound, and slid a short distance further before it came to a final halt right in the middle of the deserted road.
"God damn it!" I yelled, my hand coming down hard against the transmission box. I snarled as pain seared through my entire arm, freshly recovered from a certain punching incident. Worst day ever.
It's not that I hadn't expected something like that would happen soon, but I hadn't anticipated it would be that soon. In the past couple of weeks or so it had been more difficult to start the truck, especially in the mornings after a full night exposure to the crisp Olympic Peninsula air, but I'd gone with the easiest, more cowardly option and dismissed it. I guess I should have seen it coming.
Moaning in frustration again, I climbed out of the truck. It seemed pointless to examine the engine and see what was wrong with it. I kind of knew the answer to that; everything was wrong with it, and old age was on top of that list. I decided that instead of falling into deep despair, I'd better try and make out my surroundings. The trees towered above me, vast and intimidating; it felt as if any moment now, the forest would come to life and swallow me whole. Every now and then a single sunbeam would penetrate the heavy vegetation. Despite my growing frustration, I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness it didn't happen on nighttime, or during heavy showers.
I had a vague idea as for how far I got since I'd left Charlie's house, which didn't make me feel any better about my abysmal circumstances. It wasn't that great a distance; I wasn't even close to the edge of the forest. It eliminated the possibility of walking towards my destination – it was still too far away, and knowing me, I was sure to lose my way at some point. I didn't want to turn back and return to my dad's house, just in case I had miscalculated the distance back there. I loathed my final option the most, but concerning the current look of things, it was my only way out of here.
Grumbling inwardly, I climbed back into the truck and shut the door behind me. Then I reached to the passenger seat and pulled my bag onto my lap. I'd hardly ever used the sophisticated looking cell-phone I now pulled out of the outside compartment. I resented having to carry it everywhere, let alone having to use it, so I avoided it so long as I could help it. Unfortunately, the person who had given it to me couldn't care less about what I thought in the matter. It was a gift, he had insisted, for our acceptance to Dartmouth. Our miraculous, unlikely, last minute acceptance, if I might add. That alone was a subject I didn't like lingering on.
I clicked a button, and the evil thing buzzed into life. I tried to ignore the constant glimmer that came from the ring on my fourth finger as I accessed the speed dial menu and found my fiancé's number.
"Well, that's the end of that piece of crap," Emmett announced as he and Jasper appeared in the Cullens' living room about an hour later. I'd foreseen the verdict before they went over there to assess the damage. The news upset me all the same. It was like hearing a beloved relative had just died. I buried my face in Edward's shoulder to hide the tears that now blinded me from his siblings.
"Hey, now…" he murmured, tightening his grip around my shoulders. His voice was so soothing it brought more tears into my eyes. I felt them staining my cheeks, soaking his shirt. There was this tightness down my throat.
"Is she crying?" There was disbelief in Emmett's question. Jasper sniggered, but didn't comment.
"Oddly enough, she was quite fond of the old thing," Edward replied. He was now stroking my hair. I sniffed in response.
"It kind of makes sense. She seems to have a thing for ancient things," Emmett mused.
Edward's low growl vibrated against my ear. "Tasteful, Emmett."
"Maybe…" I croaked. I pulled myself away from Edward's embrace with difficulty. I looked up at him through a veil of fresh tears, trying to ignore Emmett's amused expression. "Maybe if Rosalie looked at it…"
"Rosalie isn't home, Love," Edward replied, gently tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
"When she gets back, then," I insisted. Rosalie and I hadn't been the best of friends, but surely she would do that for me if I asked…?
"The thing is, though, that both Rosalie and Alice are away for the entire weekend," he told me. This came as a surprise. Alice didn't tell me she had planned a getaway. And being Alice, wouldn't she know of such thing in advance?
"Where did they go?"
Edward's expression suddenly turned blank, but there was this strange glimmer in his eyes he seemed unable to contain. "They didn't say."
I frowned. Surely they didn't have to say anything for him to know where they had been headed. I eyed him suspiciously. "What are you not telling me?"
"Ah, no worries, Bella," Emmett slumped on the seat next to me. For a split second I pretended to see a similar glimmer in his eyes as well. "You'll know soon enough."
My grumble had very little effect on the Cullen boys. Jasper was still hovering in the background, and I knew he was probably using his soothing spells on me. Emmett just kept grinning. And knowing Edward, he probably thought my entire act was adorable. He did his best to conceal his own grin when he next spoke, but I saw right through it.
"How about I'll make you a cup of tea while we try to work out the truck situation?"
"I don't want a cup of tea and I know you have the truck situation all figured out," I retorted, suddenly irritated. He was trying to appear sympathetic for my sake, but I knew how smug he must have been inwardly. I didn't need to be a mind reader like him to figure out as much.
His impassive expression was a little more convincing now, but just about. "Surely I don't know what you're talking about."
"This is all very convenient for you, isn't it? The next stage in your grand scheme? Did you do something to it?"
"Bella, sweetheart, you're upset." He cast a glance at Jasper, and I felt a new wave of calmness washing over me. I fought it with all my might until I felt it diminish. "You're not thinking straight."
"It wouldn't be the first time you've tried to mess with my truck!"
"This is getting interesting," Emmett muttered from somewhere behind me. I didn't even bother to turn and glare at him. I was too busy glowering at his brother, who looked hopeless against my sudden outburst.
"That time was different. I was trying to prevent you from going to La Push. I was trying to protect you. I would never harm your truck on purpose just so – "
"The ring, Dartmouth, the cell-phone – they just weren't enough, so you had to go and do that to my truck!"
"Bella, calm down," he pleaded, and in my paranoid turmoil, I pretended to see regret in his eyes.
"I don't want to calm down! This sucks! I don't want a new car! I don't want you to spend more money on me! Why do you have to be so difficult? I don't need all that! The only thing that I do need is the only thing you won't…" My voice trailed gradually when I suddenly became aware of the complete silence that suddenly dominated the room. Both Emmett and Jasper were listening to me with interest, and didn't even have the courtesy to pretend they weren't.
"I think we'd better discuss this matter privately," Edward said quietly, clearly much more aware of the nature of his brothers' curiosity than me. Of course, they would know nothing of our twisted deal, our compromise, whatever the hell it was. So far I had felt I had more to lose than gain from it.
"I don't feel like talking anymore anyway," I snapped, jerked out of my seat and stormed up the stairs.
I found refuge in Edward's bedroom, which was probably sort of contradictory since he was the one I'd been mad at. I just really needed to be alone. With the wedding looming closer, I'd been an emotional wreck recently. My truck's demise was the final straw. But to my great annoyance, as soon as I shut the door behind me, I didn't feel like throwing myself on the bed and cry my eyes out. I climbed onto the bed with a huff, a mass of self pity. I couldn't even throw fits properly.
I traced a finger along a seam on the golden comforter that covered the enormous bed. I crawled up towards the headboard and curled into a fetal position, my head sinking comfortably against the soft pillows. They carried his scent faintly; I closed my eyes and tried to memorize it. Already I was regretting my outburst. He didn't deserve it. Sure, I didn't like the way he was coddling me, even though he thought there was nothing strange or unusual about it. But today, he was only trying to help. I shouldn't have acted so rudely, especially not in front of his siblings. He should be my anchor, not the victim of my emotional rollercoaster.
I wouldn't have heard him coming after me if not for the creaking of the door; even then, I suspected he had done it on purpose. Edward could sneak in anywhere unnoticed if he so wished. Unable to face him, I maintained my position with my back to the door.
"Bella, Love? Is it alright if I come in?"
It sounded as if he was standing on the doorway. I liked the fact that he was willing to give me space, that he was asking permission; always taking the blame, even when it was completely unnecessary. It only made me feel worse about directing my anger at him. Slowly, I rolled on my back and turned to face the door. My eyes met his, very briefly. "Come in."
I sat up and watched him as he shut the door and came towards me, all in human pace. He sat on the bed next to me, keeping a small distance between us. He didn't try to pull me into his arms, as if he thought I might shove him off. "Are you alright?" he asked after a moment's hesitation.
"No," I whispered, and the tears were suddenly back. "I'm sorry I yelled at you. It wasn't fair of me." I laughed as soon as I said it, but the sound was broken on a sob. "I can't stay mad at you for long, as it appears."
"That's solely my personal benefit," he said, and there was a shadow of a smile at the corner of his lips. Then he shifted and opened his arms a little. "Come here."
I didn't need to be asked twice. I scooted closer to him as he scooped me in his arms. I leaned my cheek against the soft fabric of his sweatshirt. It had the same irresistible scent as the pillows, but the scent was more potent. I let it fill me; strangely, it calmed me down in a way Jasper's attempts were unable to.
"Contrary to your belief I have damaged the truck, I am sorry about what happened."
"Just tell me you had nothing to do with it."
"Do you honestly believe I'd do something to deliberately hurt you?"
He uttered the words with earnest. I looked up and found all the answers I needed in his stare. I said nothing, but he seemed to have guessed my reply.
"I know it upsets you so I won't insist on discussing a… replacement just now." Hearing the word made me flinch. "But perhaps… you should think of it as a sign."
Instead of replying, he took my left hand in his and traced the contours of his mother's ring with his finger. "You'll be starting a new life in just a few weeks. In more ways than one usually does. The truck has been part of your old life. It's time to look forward, Mrs. Cullen."
Hearing the name had much more gravity than I had prepared myself for. I didn't know if I agreed with any of the things he'd just said, but it didn't matter all the same. I leaned closer and our lips met halfway with similar intention. His kiss was hesitant, as if he feared another tantrum. I kissed him back, wordlessly assuring him I got over it. And then I remembered the other thing I had blamed him of, and slowly pulled away.
"I meant what I said down there, you know," I told him seriously, but tried not to sound too aggressive. I wanted to make a point, not to offend him.
"I know," he sighed, looking somber all of a sudden.
"Although I shouldn't have said it next to Emmett and Jasper. Did they give you a hard time?" I knew Emmett must have.
Edward frowned. Somehow it didn't reduce from his startling beauty. "It isn't that difficult to guess what it is I'll deny you. Emmett mostly thinks me a fool, and he made sure that I'd know it."
"Well, you are a fool," I conceded, but pulled myself closer to him to drop another kiss on his lips before he could argue his side again. "And I don't want to talk about it today," I murmured when we pulled away a moment later, just in case he attempted it.
"What do you feel like doing?"
His voice was husky, getting right through me. I thought it was safe to tease him a little. "I feel like you taking Emmett's advice in understanding how ridiculous this is."
"Do you really want our first time to be with Emmett on the other side of this door?"
"You have an answer to everything," I complained, poking his chest, while secretly agreeing he had a point there.
"It's necessary with you around."
"Do you still feel like hiking?"
I sensed that he wouldn't let go until he managed to distract me from what was really on my mind, and so I climbed out of bed. We might as well stick to our original plans for the day. "Sure, why not. So long as Alice isn't around, I'm willing to do anything that is not wedding related."
He let me lead the way downstairs. Both Emmett and Jasper raised their heads as we crossed the living room, but neither said anything. "Going out?" Jasper called after us as soon as Edward opened the front door for me.
"Hiking," Edward replied briefly, barely casting a glance in their direction. His furrowed brow implied that a lot had been left unsaid. I lowered my gaze, not wishing to face them myself. I thought I'd better not know what was going on in their heads just now.
Emmett, as I should probably have predicted, didn't attempt to control his thoughts, or even conceal them. "Well, they have to do something with all that inexhaustible energy," he said. "Apparently, there's nothing appealing enough indoors for these two."
"Just ignore him," Edward murmured into my ear, promptly turning his back on his brother. "He'll get tired of it… eventually."
I chuckled darkly as we stepped outside. Ignore him. Right.
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