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Home > Midnight Sun (Twilight #1.5)

Midnight Sun (Twilight #1.5)
Author: Stephenie Meyer

1. First Sight

This 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, this ought to count toward the tally in some measure. The tedium was not something I grew used 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 state between 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 voices that 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 student body here. It took so little to work them all up. I'd seen the new face repeated in thought after thought from every angle. Just an ordinary human girl. The excitement over her arrival was tiresomely predictable - like flashing a shiny object at a child. Half the sheep-like males were already imagining themselves in love with her, just because she was 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, my two brothers and two sisters, who were so used to the lack of privacy in my presence that they rarely gave it a thought. I gave them what privacy I could. I tried not to listen if I could help it.

Try as I may, still...I knew. Rosalie was thinking, as usual, about herself. She'd caught sight of her profile in the 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. It would take all his limited patience to make it to the end of the school day to orchestrate a rematch. I never really felt intrusive hearing Emmett's thoughts, because he never thought one thing that he would not say aloud or put into action. Perhaps I only felt guilty reading the others' minds because I knew there were things there that they wouldn't want me to know. If Rosalie's mind was a shallow pool, then Emmett's was a lake with no shadows, glass clear.

And Jasper was...suffering. I suppressed a sigh.

Edward. 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 name had fallen out of style lately - it had been annoying; anytime anyone thought of any Edward, 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 the others off. I could easily be frowning out of boredom.

Alice's mental tone was alarmed now, and I saw in her mind that she was watching Jasper in her peripheral vision. Is there any danger? She searched ahead, into the immediate future, skimming through visions of monotony for the source behind my frown.

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 shaking my 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'? It was hardly that. I didn't enjoy listening to Jasper's struggles. Was it really necessary to experiment like this? Wouldn't the safer path be to just admit that he might never be able to handle the thirst the way the rest of us could, and not push his limits? Why flirt with disaster?

It had been two weeks since our last hunting trip. That was not an immensely difficult time span for the rest of us. A little uncomfortable occasionally - if a human walked 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 were dangerous.

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...

This 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 it - picturing 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?"

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