Edward has to decide between being a monster and being a man.

And again, not mine :P

Chapter 1


by: jellybab
She was sitting next to me. So close - so easy to... NO! I told myself, there were far too many witnesses. I did a quick headcount. Fifteen, seventeen with her and the teacher. Too many people to die for one silly little girl. Still, I found myself mentally figuring out how long it would take me to kill everyone. Less than one minute, maybe even half a minute, but still long enough. Long enough for someone to scream and attract attention.

The average human's reaction time is 0.25 seconds. Even I would take too long.

She let her hair swing over her shoulder and fall down around her face, forming a curtain between us. I had to stifle a groan - the first time in over eighty years - as the movement sent another whiff of her delightful smell over to me. I watched her carefully out of the corner of my eyes. How I longed to...

No! I told myself, clenching my fists around the rim of the lab table we sat at, and feeling the wood start to splinter under my fingers. I barely loosened my grip as I boxed up my previous thought and shoved it firmly to the back of my mind. I couldn't do that. I couldn't sink my teeth into...

I sighed, and tried again to forget about the unknowing temptress sitting beside me. Stupid, stupid girl.

I did my best to concentrate on what the teacher was telling us, but my thoughts kept escaping their confinements and drifting back to the forefront of my mind. Thoughts surrounding her.

I started planning what I would do at the end of the lesson, the steps I would take to avoid the temptation she was providing me. I would leave the classroom as fast as possible - screw witnesses, this was much more important - and I could take the car and leave. Jasper, Alice, Rosalie and Emmett wouldn't mind; Alice would have seen it already anyway. I could drive north, take the week off to go hunting, maybe not come back at all. Or I could switch classes. I had taken this one before already, so it would be nice to do a different one.

Somehow, I knew I wouldn't be carrying out any of the scenarios I had just imagined. I couldn't leave. I would always come back. I couldn't be without my family.

My eyes drifted, and I forced myself not to look at her, instead focussing on the clock. Five minutes to go... Four... Three...

The bell sounded with a shrill, piercing ring.

"Class dismissed," the teacher muttered wearily.

The classroom clock was slow, I noted as I shot out of my seat, gathered my books into my bag and left the classroom all within seconds of the teacher dismissing us. Making a split second decision, I leant against the wall opposite the door I had just come out of, instead of running away immediately. I was prolonging my decision for as long as possible, which I knew could be dangerous. When she came out, I was going to have to make a choice.

Monster or Man?

I watched the door, my unnecessary breath catching every time it opened. Still, there was no sign of her. She must be chatting with her friends in the classroom. I crushed the part of my mind that told me she was hurt by my reaction to her.

Finally, she left the classroom, followed by a girl and a boy - I knew them, I was sure, but right now I was focussed solely on her, on my prey.

It didn't sound so great when I thought of it like that.

Monster or Man? Monster or Man? The chant repeated itself over and over again in my head, the words mocking me, until it was all I could think of. Could I resist the temptation?

A small part of my mind was wondering if Alice was seeing this right now, seeing me as I made the choice between becoming the monster I was, or retaining a small part of my humanity.

I gave in.

"Bella?" I was sure that was what she went by, and when she glanced over to me in acknowledgement, I was proven right.

"Can I have a word with you?"

Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it! I was mentally yelling at myself, berating myself for letting the temptation get so near to me, when I had so little control.

She detached herself from her friends and followed me as I walked away. I didn't know where my feet where taking me; my mind was focused on stopping this horrendous act, but my feet were disobeying and firmly continued on, carrying me towards an unknown destination.

I felt myself stop, and saw her walk round to stand in front of me, leaning casually against the wall. Then I realised where I had brought her. We were behind the storage sheds, at the back of the school grounds.

Oh no.

In a sudden, swift move - one which she could never have prevented, with her mere human abilities - I had her pressed up against the wall, trapping her there with my body, and my arms braced on either side of her head.

"What... what do you want?" she questioned hesitantly.

"Hmm..." I whispered, blowing gently onto her exposed neck. I chose not to reply to her question, fearing I might give something away.

I was not going to go through with this.

No way.

I trailed a finger down her neck, laying it against the point where I could feel her pulse beneath my fingers. She shivered, and I could hear and feel her heart rate speed up.

I could never forget the effect I had on humans - my prey - especially the girls.

I laid my head down at the joint of her shoulder and neck and breathed a sigh, listening contentedly to her pulse.

She froze still for a few moments, and I could feel her staring at me in shock, before suddenly she came to her senses. She started to wriggle violently.

Her actions brought me back to my senses too, and I jumped away from her in sudden realisation. At that moment, I made my choice.

Without glancing back at her, I turned and ran, away from her, away from the school. I jumped into my car, so fast no one would see, and started up the engine. Before anyone could realise what I was doing and try and stop me, I was pulling out of the parking space and speeding away, at speeds that were extremely inappropriate for a town like Forks.

I had made my choice. I had chosen to be a man.


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