Transcription

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftStephenie Meyer - twilight 5 - Midnight Sun draft1. First SightThis was the time of day when I wished I were able to sleep.High school.Or was purgatory the right word? If there was any way to atone for my sins, thisought to count toward the tally in some measure. The tedium was not something I grewused to; every day seemed more impossibly monotonous than the last.I suppose this was my form of sleep-if sleep was defined as the inert statebetween active periods.I stared at the cracks running through the plaster in the far corner of the cafeteria,imagining patterns into them that were not there. It was one way to tune out the voicesthat babbled like the gush of a river inside my head.Several hundred of these voices I ignored out of boredom.When it came to the human mind, I'd heard it all before and then some. Today,all thoughts were consumed with the trivial drama of a new addition to the small studentbody here. It took so little to work them all up. I'd seen the new face repeated in thoughtafter thought from every angle. Just an ordinary human girl. The excitement over herarrival was tiresomely predictable-like flashing a shiny object at a child. Half thesheep-like males were already imagining themselves in love with her, just because shewas something new to look at. I tried harder to tune them out.Only four voices did I block out of courtesy rather than distaste: my family, mytwo brothers and two sisters, who were so used to the lack of privacy in my presence thatthey rarely gave it a thought. I gave them what privacy I could. I tried not to listen if Icould help it.Try as I may, still.I knew.Rosalie was thinking, as usual, about herself. She'd caught sight of her profile inthe reflection off someone's glasses, and she was mulling over her own perfection.Rosalie's mind was a shallow pool with few surprises.Emmett was fuming over a wrestling match he'd lost to Jasper during the night. Itwould take all his limited patience to make it to the end of the school day to orchestrate arematch. I never really felt intrusive hearing Emmett's thoughts, because he neverthought one thing that he would not say aloud or put into action. Perhaps I only feltguilty reading the others' minds because I knew there were things there that theywouldn't want me to know. If Rosalie's mind was a shallow pool, then Emmett's was alake with no shadows, glass clear.And Jasper was.suffering. I suppressed a sigh.Page 1

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftEdward. Alice called my name in her head, and had my attention at once.It was just the same as having my name called aloud. I was glad my given namehad fallen out of style lately-it had been annoying; anytime anyone thought of anyEdward, my head would turn automatically.My head didn't turn now. Alice and I were good at these private conversations.It was rare that anyone caught us. I kept my eyes on the lines in the plaster.How is he holding up? she asked me.I frowned, just a small change in the set of my mouth. Nothing that would tip theothers off. I could easily be frowning out of boredom.Alice's mental tone was alarmed now, and I saw in her mind that she waswatching Jasper in her peripheral vision. Is there any danger? She searched ahead, intothe immediate future, skimming through visions of monotony for the source behind myfrown.I turned my head slowly to the left, as if looking at the bricks of the wall, sighed,and then to the right, back to the cracks in the ceiling. Only Alice knew I was shakingmy head.She relaxed. Let me know if it gets too bad.I moved only my eyes, up to the ceiling above, and back down.Thanks for doing this.I was glad I couldn't answer her aloud. What would I say? 'My pleasure'? Itwas hardly that. I didn't enjoy listening to Jasper's struggles. Was it really necessary toexperiment like this? Wouldn't the safer path be to just admit that he might never be ableto handle the thirst the way the rest of us could, and not push his limits? Why flirt withdisaster?It had been two weeks since our last hunting trip. That was not an immenselydifficult time span for the rest of us. A little uncomfortable occasionally-if a humanwalked too close, if the wind blew the wrong way. But humans rarely walked too close.Their instincts told them what their conscious minds would never understand: we weredangerous.Jasper was very dangerous right now.At that moment, a small girl paused at the end of the closest table to ours,stopping to talk to a friend. She tossed her short, sandy hair, running her fingers throughit. The heaters blew her scent in our direction. I was used to the way that scent made mefeel-the dry ache in my throat, the hollow yearn in my stomach, the automatictightening of my muscles, the excess flow of venom in my mouth.Page 2

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftThis was all quite normal, usually easy to ignore. It was harder just now, with thefeelings stronger, doubled, as I monitored Jasper's reaction. Twin thirsts, rather than justmine.Jasper was letting his imagination get away from him. He was picturing itpicturing himself getting up from his seat next to Alice and going to stand beside the littlegirl. Thinking of leaning down and in, as if he were going to whisper in her ear, andletting his lips touch the arch of her throat. Imagining how the hot flow of her pulsebeneath the fine skin would feel under his mouth.I kicked his chair.He met my gaze for a minute, and then looked down. I could hear shame andrebellion war in his head."Sorry," Jasper muttered.I shrugged."You weren't going to do anything," Alice murmured to him, soothing hischagrin. "I could see that."I fought back the grimace that would give her lie away. We had to stick together,Alice and I. It wasn't easy, hearing voices or seeing visions of the future. Both freaksamong those who were already freaks. We protected each other's secrets."It helps a little if you think of them as people," Alice suggested, her high,musical voice too fast for human ears to understand, if any had been close enough tohear. "Her name is Whitney. She has a baby sister she adores. Her mother invited Esmeto that garden party, do you remember?""I know who she is," Jasper said curtly. He turned away to stare out one of thesmall windows that were spaced just under the eaves around the long room. His toneended the conversation.He would have to hunt tonight. It was ridiculous to take risks like this, trying totest his strength, to build his endurance. Jasper should just accept his limitations andwork within them. His former habits were not conducive to our chosen lifestyle; heshouldn't push himself in this way.Alice sighed silently and stood, taking her tray of food-her prop, as it werewith her and leaving him alone. She knew when he'd had enough of her encouragement.Though Rosalie and Emmett were more flagrant about their relationship, it was Alice andJasper who knew each other's every mood as well as their own. As if they could readminds, too-only just each other's.Edward Cullen.Page 3

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftReflex reaction. I turned to the sound of my name being called, though it wasn'tbeing called, just thought.My eyes locked for a small portion of a second with a pair of wide, chocolatebrown human eyes set in a pale, heart-shaped face. I knew the face, though I'd neverseen it myself before this moment. It had been foremost in every human head today. Thenew student, Isabella Swan. Daughter of the town's chief of police, brought to live hereby some new custody situation. Bella. She'd corrected everyone who'd used her fullname.I looked away, bored. It took me a second to realize that she had not been the oneto think my name.Of course she's already crushing on the Cullens, I heard the first thoughtcontinue.Now I recognized the 'voice.' Jessica Stanley-it had been a while since she'dbothered me with her internal chatter. What a relief it had been when she'd gotten overher misplaced infatuation. It used to be nearly impossible to escape her constant,ridiculous daydreams. I'd wished, at the time, that I could explain to her exactly whatwould have happened if my lips, and the teeth behind them, had gotten anywhere nearher. That would have silenced those annoying fantasies. The thought of her reactionalmost made me smile.Fat lot of good it will do her, Jessica went on. She's really not even pretty. Idon't know why Eric is staring so much.or Mike.She winced mentally on the last name. Her new infatuation, the genericallypopular Mike Newton, was completely oblivious to her. Apparently, he was not asoblivious to the new girl. Like the child with the shiny object again. This put a meanedge to Jessica's thoughts, though she was outwardly cordial to the newcomer as sheexplained to her the commonly held knowledge about my family. The new student musthave asked about us.Everyone's looking at me today, too, Jessica thought smugly in an aside. Isn't itlucky Bella had two classes with me.I'll bet Mike will want to ask me what she'sI tried to block the inane chatter out of my head before the petty and the trivialcould drive me mad."Jessica Stanley is giving the new Swan girl all the dirty laundry on the Cullenclan," I murmured to Emmett as a distraction.He chuckled under his breath. I hope she's making it good, he thought."Rather unimaginative, actually. Just the barest hint of scandal. Not an ounce ofPage 4

Meyer: Midnight Sun drafthorror. I'm a little disappointed."And the new girl? Is she disappointed in the gossip as well?I listened to hear what this new girl, Bella, thought of Jessica's story. What didshe see when she looked at the strange, chalky-skinned family that was universallyavoided?It was sort of my responsibility to know her reaction. I acted as a lookout, forlack of a better word, for my family. To protect us. If anyone ever grew suspicious, Icould give us early warning and an easy retreat. It happened occasionally-some humanwith an active imagination would see in us the characters of a book or a movie. Usuallythey got it wrong, but it was better to move on somewhere new than to risk scrutiny.Very, very rarely, someone would guess right. We didn't give them a chance to test theirhypothesis. We simply disappeared, to become no more than a frightening memory.I heard nothing, though I listened close beside where Jessica's frivolous internalmonologue continued to gush. It was as if there was no one sitting beside her. Howpeculiar, had the girl moved? That didn't seem likely, as Jessica was still babbling to her.I looked up to check, feeling off-balance. Checking on what my extra 'hearing' could tellme-it wasn't something I ever had to do.Again, my gaze locked on those same wide brown eyes. She was sitting rightwhere she had been before, and looking at us, a natural thing to be doing, I supposed, asJessica was still regaling her with the local gossip about the Cullens.Thinking about us, too, would be natural.But I couldn't hear a whisper.Inviting warm red stained her cheeks as she looked down, away from theembarrassing gaffe of getting caught staring at a stranger. It was good that Jasper wasstill gazing out the window. I didn't like to imagine what that easy pooling of bloodwould do to his control.The emotions had been as clear on her face as if they were spelled out in wordsacross her forehead: surprise, as she unknowingly absorbed the signs of the subtledifferences between her kind and mine, curiosity, as she listened to Jessica's tale, andsomething more.fascination? It wouldn't be the first time. We were beautiful to them,our intended prey. Then, finally, embarrassment as I caught her staring at me.And yet, though her thoughts had been so clear in her odd eyes-odd, because ofthe depth to them; brown eyes often seemed flat in their darkness-I could hear nothingbut silence from the place she was sitting. Nothing at all.I felt a moment of unease.Page 5

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftThis was nothing I'd ever encountered before. Was there something wrong withme? I felt exactly the same as I always did. Worried, I listened harder.All the voices I'd been blocking were suddenly shouting in my head.wonder what music she likes.maybe I could mention that new CD. MikeNewton was thinking, two tables away-fixated on Bella Swan.Look at him staring at her. Isn't it enough that he has half the girls in schoolwaiting for him to. Eric Yorkie was thinking sulfurous thoughts, also revolving aroundthe girl.so disgusting. You'd think she was famous or something. Even EdwardCullen, staring. Lauren Mallory was so jealous that her face, by all rights, should bedark jade in color. And Jessica, flaunting her new best friend. What a joke. Vitriolcontinued to spew from the girl's thoughts.I bet everyone has asked her that. But I'd like to talk to her. I'll think of amore original question. Ashley Dowling mused.maybe she'll be in my Spanish. June Richardson hoped.tons left to do tonight! Trig, and the English test. I hope my mom. AngelaWeber, a quiet girl, whose thoughts were unusually kind, was the only one at the tablewho wasn't obsessed with this Bella.I could hear them all, hear every insignificant thing they were thinking as itpassed through their minds. But nothing at all from the new student with the deceptivelycommunicative eyes.And, of course, I could hear what the girl said when she spoke to Jessica. I didn'thave to read minds to be able to hear her low, clear voice on the far side of the long room."Which one is the boy with the reddish brown hair?" I heard her ask, sneaking alook at me from the corner of her eye, only to look quickly away when she saw that I wasstill staring.If I'd had time to hope that hearing the sound of her voice would help me pinpointthe tone of her thoughts, lost somewhere where I couldn't access them, I was instantlydisappointed. Usually, people's thoughts came to them in a similar pitch as their physicalvoices. But this quiet, shy voice was unfamiliar, not one of the hundreds of thoughtsbouncing around the room, I was sure of that. Entirely new.Oh, good luck, idiot! Jessica thought before answering the girl's question."That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date.Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." She sniffed.I turned my head away to hide my smile. Jessica and her classmates had no ideaPage 6

Meyer: Midnight Sun drafthow lucky they were that none of them particularly appealed to me.Beneath the transient humor, I felt a strange impulse, one I did not clearlyunderstand. It had something to do with the vicious edge to Jessica's thoughts that thenew girl was unaware of. I felt the strangest urge to step in between them, to shield thisBella Swan from the darker workings of Jessica's mind. What an odd thing to feel.Trying to ferret out the motivations behind the impulse, I examined the new girl one moretime.Perhaps it was just some long buried protective instinct-the strong for the weak.This girl looked more fragile than her new classmates. Her skin was so translucent it washard to believe it offered her much defense from the outside world. I could see therhythmic pulse of blood through her veins under the clear, pale membrane. But Ishould not concentrate on that. I was good at this life I'd chosen, but I was just as thirstyas Jasper and there was no point in inviting temptation.There was a faint crease between her eyebrows that she seemed unaware of.It was unbelievable frustrating! I could clearly see that it was a strain for her tosit there, to make conversation with strangers, to be the center of attention. I could senseher shyness from the way she held her frail-looking shoulders, slightly hunched, as if shewas expecting a rebuff at any moment. And yet I could only sense, could only see, couldonly imagine. There was nothing but silence from the very unexceptional human girl. Icould hear nothing. Why?"Shall we?" Rosalie murmured, interrupting my focus.I looked away from the girl with a sense of relief. I didn't want to continue to failat this-it irritated me. And I didn't want to develop any interest in her hidden thoughtssimply because they were hidden from me. No doubt, when I did decipher herthoughts-and I would find a way to do so-they would be just as petty and trivial as anyhuman's thoughts. Not worth the effort I would expend to reach them."So, is the new one afraid of us yet?" Emmett asked, still waiting for my responseto his question before.I shrugged. He wasn't interested enough to press for a more information. Norshould I be interested.We got up from the table and walked out of the cafeteria.Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper were pretending to be seniors; they left for theirclasses. I was playing a younger role than they. I headed off for my junior level biologyclass, preparing my mind for the tedium. It was doubtful Mr. Banner, a man of no morethan average intellect, would manage to pull out anything in his lecture that wouldPage 7

Meyer: Midnight Sun draftsurprise someone holding two graduate degrees in medicine.In the classroom, I settled into my chair and let my books-props, again; theyheld nothing I didn't already know-spill across the table. I was the only student whohad a table to himself. The humans weren't smart enough to know that they feared me,but their survival instincts were enough to keep them away.The room slowly filled as they trickled in from lunch. I leaned back in my chairand waited for the time to pass. Again, I wished I was able to sleep.Because I'd been thinking about her, when Angela Weber escorted the new girlthrough the door, her name intruded on my attention.Bella seems just as shy as me. I'll bet today is really hard for her. I wish I couldsay something.but it would probably just sound stupid.Yes! Mike Newton thought, turning in his seat to watch the girls enter.Still, from the place where Bella Swan stood, nothing. The empty space whereher thoughts should be irritated and unnerved me.She came closer, walking down the aisle beside me to get to the teacher's desk.Poor girl; the seat next to me was the only one available. Automatically, I cleared whatwould be her side of the desk, shoving my books into a pile. I doubted she would feelvery comfortable there. She was in for a long semester-in this class, at least. Perhaps,though, sitting beside her, I'd be able to flush out her secrets.not that I'd ever neededclose proximity before.not that I would find anything worth listening to.Bella Swan walked into the flow of the heated air that blew toward me from thevent.Her scent hit me like wrecking ball, like a battering ram. There was no imageviolent enough to encapsulate the force of what happened to me in that moment.In that instant, I was nothing close to the human I'd once been; no trace of theshreds of humanity I'd managed to cloak myself in remained.I was a predator. She was my prey. There was nothing else in the whole worldbut that truth.There was no room full of witnesses-they were already collateral damage in myhead. The mystery of her thoughts was forgotten. Her thoughts meant nothing, for shewould not go on thinking them much longer.I was a vampire, and she had the sweetest blood I'd smelled in eighty years.I hadn't imagined such a scent could exist. If I'd known it did, I would have gonesearching for it long ago. I would have combed the planet for her. I could imagine thePage 8

Meyer: Midnight Sun drafttaste.Thirst burned through my throat like fire. My mouth was baked and desiccated.The fresh flow of venom did nothing to dispel that sensation. My stomach twisted withthe hunger that was an echo of the thirst. My muscles coiled to spring.Not a full second had passed. She was still taking the same step that had put herdownwind from me.As her foot touched the ground, her eyes slid toward me, a movement she clearlymeant to be stealthy. Her glance met mine, and I saw myself reflected in the wide mirrorof her eyes.The shock of the face I s