Joined: 28 April 2008
Chapter 5: Burn
I waited for death to come. The pain didn't stop, but it did no good to scream. I held it in to suffer in silence. There was nothing anyone could do anyway. The burning continued. The fire raged through every cell in my body, consuming everything in its blazing intensity. I knew I wasn't alive. Not anymore. But the pain was the only thing that made me realize I wasn't dead.
Joined: 11 May 2008
Joined: 01 August 2007
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Joined: 28 April 2008
Chapter 6: New Life
All life ends. The pain began to fade from my fingertips and toes as the fire consumed the last of the life left in my cells. I found I could concentrate on the world around me, although the fire still burned through my head and torso.
"It's almost done."
That was Carlisle.
The voice I really wanted to hear didn't speak, but I felt him there. I felt his hand on mine. I knew he had never left my side.
The fire continued to fade. I felt its intensity battling with my still beating heart. Neither could win. As my heart beat its last, the fire, devoid of any life left to burn, flickered and perished.
I was suddenly aware of everything. There was a dry thirst in the back of my throat. All seven Cullens were in this room with me. Edward's delightful scent came distinctly from my right. A wren sang outside the window. Someone was driving on the highway.
I took a sharp breath out of habit. My lungs were useless, but the air brought heightened sensation and awareness.
"Bella?" asked my favorite voice in the world.
I opened my eyes. The first thing I saw was the loving concern in his liquid amber eyes. I couldn't help but smile. Edward smiled back, crookedly, perfectly.
"Hi," I trilled. Even in that brief syllable I could hear the change in my voice. It was more fluid, like a song.
"Hi," he said back, his voice as velvet as always.
I tried to remember how I got here, but everything was fuzzy.
"What happened?" my new voice sang. "I was on the beach with Jacob…"
Edward's face fell.
"We had to do it, to change you," he said regretfully. "I'm so sorry, Bella. There was no other way. You were going to die."
I sat up too quickly. I wasn't expecting this speed, but I should have known it would be like this. Edward was still holding my hand. I noticed my skin was the same alabaster as his.
"Your hand is warm," I said, shocked.
He smiled. "It's like that with us."
I looked around. We were in Carlisle's office. I was sitting on his desk. Several books on local wildlife and reptiles lay about, all open. The rest of the family looked at me expectantly.
"I'm okay," I said to them, hoping to quell any fears. I jumped lightly off the desk. At least, it was meant to be lightly. My new mind realized mid-fall it wasn't going the way I wanted it to, but my body reacted instantly. Instead of a face plant, I managed to only slightly stumble.
Emmet broke into joyful laughter. Rosalie shot him an acidic glare, but he shrugged it off.
"Leave it to Bella to be the only clumsy vampire!" he laughed.
"Clumsy? This is a huge improvement for me!" I joked.
The rest of the Cullens, even Rosalie, laughed with me, knowing it was true.
Edward gave a meaningful look to Carlisle.
"We'll let Edward explain everything to you, Bella, but we'll be nearby if you need anything," Carlisle said and ushered everyone out of the room.
Edward gently spun me to face him.
"Are you alright?" he asked, hands on my waist.
I leaned forward to embrace him gently. I was unsure of the limits of my new body and I didn't want to test them on Edward.
"I'm wonderful," I said sincerely.
"Before, you said you wanted more time… to be human."
"I know but-"
"There wasn't any other way. You were dying, and I couldn't lose you."
"Shh… Edward, it's alright. We're together now. That's all I've ever wanted anyway."
"Stop, Edward," I interrupted him. "Really, it's okay. Just tell me what happened. I can't remember anything," I said, frustrated with my lack of memories.
"Jacob called me from your cell phone. I was already hunting, but I wasn't far. He said a snake bit you. I knew he wouldn't have called if it was harmless. He said it bit you by your heart." He touched the place below my collarbone that I remembered hurting in that past life. "He said he couldn't get the poison out. I was already running to the treaty line. Jacob couldn't phase while carrying you and it would take him too long to get you to me. He told me to cross the boundary, so I did. You looked bad when I saw you. You were barely conscious. Jacob said, 'save her. I don't care what you have to do, just don't let her die!'"
His eyes burned into me as he continued.
"I brought you here, to Carlisle. The hospital wouldn't have done you any good anyway. Even if they had a good supply of anti-venom, it was too close to your heart. It was spreading. We were so close to losing you…"
"How did you do it? How did you change me?"
"I didn't bite you. I was afraid it wouldn't be quick enough to save you. I pumped a needle full of my venom directly into your heart. I think it was a good idea. It only took you two days to change instead of three."
"So it is your venom that's in me, that changed me." I was silently thrilled the choice and the method were his. I would forever be tied to him in a unique way.
"I'm so sorry I had to change you this way, without your full consent. You can blame me if you're unhappy."
"Edward," I said quietly, "you've always had my consent. And how could I be unhappy when I'm with you?" I knew I should feel upset in some way, but I couldn't. Not when I looked at Edward.
"Before… you said you wanted more time to be human. I'm sorry I couldn't give that to you."
"It doesn't matter now, Edward, because we're together. It's better this way. I would have always wanted a little more time. One last good bye. I'd never be fully ready to give it all up, but I've always been ready to be with you forever. I can't have both, so I choose you."
Edward looked at me. He studied my face and my eyes and saw nothing but the truth in my countenance. And then he kissed me.
This was unlike anything we had ever shared before. Gone were his careful ways. There was no fear of harming me now. I was as indestructible as him, stronger even. I kissed him back and our mouths moved in ways they ever had before. There was nothing to restrain either of us from attaining our greatest satisfaction. I gently pulled at his hair, finally strong enough to elicit a slight moan of pleasure from him. My hips, as if willed by themselves, pressed against him, demanding more. His fingers traced down my spine and I quivered. My kisses increased in tempo, my mouth commanding his to meet my need.
He abruptly pushed me away.
"Oh," I groaned in disappointment.
He looked at me quizzically. "Aren't you… thirsty?"
I was suddenly aware of the hot ache in the back of my throat; the thirst that I knew would be there for the rest of my existence. And then I looked back at him. I fully noticed the perfection of his arms, and chest, and lips…
"It can wait," I said, reaching to kiss him again.
"We should get you acquainted with what you can do now," he said, breaking my embrace. Then he flashed me his crooked smile and whispered in my ear, "and then we'll really see what you can do now."
I frowned, I didn't want to wait, but I knew he would be impassive on this point.
"Shall we take the window?" he asked. "It's the quickest way down."
"Are you sure?" I asked, "I don't know if that's a good idea."
"You'll be fine. It's easier than it looks," he assured me. "Just watch me first."
He opened the window, and in one swift, smooth motion he was out and landed on the ground. He looked so graceful when he did it, it almost broke my heart.
I hesitated at the sill, but finally decided I would have to jump sometime. The ground rushed at me fast, but not more quickly than I could respond to it. My feet touched the earth, but I felt myself slide. I tucked into a ball and ended up somersaulting next to where Edward stood.
"Impressive," he admired with a raised eyebrow.
"It would have been if that's what I intended to do," I grumbled. "Okay, what do I do now?"
"Hunting is easy," he explained. "It's all instinct. Just feel it. Breathe in. What do you smell? What do you want to do?"
I closed my eyes. I breathed in deeply and was suddenly aware of all the living things around me. Rabbits hopped to the left. A sparrow was building a nest above and behind. I could hear a hive of bees a mile away. And six miles due north a heard of elk were crossing a stream. I smelled their scent and venom filled my mouth in anticipation of feeding off their blood.
Edward was watching me.
"Do you know what to do?" he asked.
I grinned at him, more than ready for this.
"Watch me hunt."
Joined: 28 April 2008
Chapter 7: First Hunt
The speed of running was incredible. I found I was able to react more quickly than expected to all the obstacles that came up through the thick woods. And the ones that surprised me didn't hurt. I began to love my new body. The speed and the strength, the absolute limitless power I now had. It was a fantastic high. I wanted to run forever.
I heard something behind me. Before I could question what it was, Edward grabbed my waist and grappled me to the ground. I ended up on top with his arms around me, no doubt by his concession. We both laughed in joy. I would have been content to stay in his arms forever. Then I smelled it again. The warm coursing blood of the elk. My instincts demanded I follow the calling and hunt and feed on the elk.
But I couldn't tear myself away from him. I didn't want to leave the arms that encircled me with unconditional love. I fought my baser instincts and leaned to kiss Edward.
He pushed me back.
"Don't you smell that?" he asked. The same quizzical look was on his face as before.
"The elk? Yeah, I smell them," I sighed. I wanted to kiss him again, but he was still holding me off. I knew I could break his hold now if I wanted to, but I wouldn't.
"Why aren't you hunting them?"
"I don't want to. I'd rather be with you. Now will you let me kiss you?"
"You're not hunting them because you don't want to?"
"Is that a problem?" I asked.
"No, it's just… unusual. Usually newborns can't control, well, anything they're doing. But you seem to be doing impossibly well."
"I could do worse if you'll just let me kiss you!"
He laughed at me.
"One kiss, and then we really need to get some food in you."
He finally let me lean down to his level. Our lips danced briefly. It was over too quickly and he was forcing me up, insisting I listen to my instincts and hunt.
I listened to them. I followed them, and I brought down a large bull elk easily. My teeth tore at his throat and his warm blood filled me. I felt stronger and even more energized than before, but the thirst wasn't satiated. I brought down a smaller female and fed on her, letting myself enjoy the taste, the vitality, and the thrill. The ache in my throat was not completely gone, but it was quieted.
I wiped my mouth and looked around for Edward. He was finishing off a kill of his own. I eyed him longingly, admiring every inch of him. There was dominance in his stance. A raw power in the way he fed from his kill. He pushed the carcass aside and turned to me. I could still feel the intensity of his strength pulsing out of him. I wanted to go to him, to run to his arms and give myself to him, but I couldn't. I was frozen in the gaze of his topaz eyes. I knew my body had the power to match his, but not my will. He would get his way no matter what I wanted.
He strode to me, slowly, at human speed, but with an unmatched power in his steps. He grabbed me in his arms roughly.
"I'm not going to be careful any more," he growled. "You're mine, Mrs. Cullen. No matter where you go or what you do, you'll always be mine, and I'll have you whenever I want you."
This new, fearless, forceful side of Edward thrilled me. I knew I had to comply with his authority. I knew I was no match for his dominance.
"You can have me," I said breathlessly, "if you can catch me."
I ducked out of his hold easily. It could have been because I was stronger than him now, but I knew it was because he let me go. I ran. He would find me wherever I went, but still I ran. I sensed him behind me moments before I smelled his sweet scent. He was gaining on me. I leapt into the nearest tree, pleased at the agility I now had. I crouched in the branches until I saw him pass me. I jumped easily from my perch into another tree and then another. I moved laterally from the line he had chased me in for almost a mile before heading back to the direction we started from. I jumped to the ground and darted through the trees once again. I stretched my legs to their limit, sprinting with a velocity I never imagined.
And then I was tumbling, his arms locked around me in an unbreakable hold. There was no laughter now. Edward had hunted me with the ferocity of a predator, and now he had caught his quarry. There was a hunger in his eyes that was only matched by bloodlust. The desire in him, like a soul on fire, seemed to scorch my willing skin. What I felt in him I felt in myself too. There was no reason to keep control of myself, so I lost it completely.
His mouth met mine and battled for dominance. His will was stronger than mine and he won. He bit my lip, not hard, but hard enough to give me a taste of what he was capable of. His hands seemed to be everywhere. They pulled at my hair and held my hands above my head. They wrapped around me too tight, but not tight enough, and ripped at my clothes. I alternated between pulling him closer, unable to have enough, and pushing him away, fighting for a freedom he wouldn't grant me. His skin felt warm next to mine, almost unnaturally hot with our ardor. His lips deserted my mouth as it sought to conquer the rest of my body.
"You're mine," Edward whispered into my left ear as his teeth grazed my earlobe.
"Always," he said against the skin of the right side of my neck. I was powerless to repress the quiver of enjoyment that passed through me.
He urged my legs apart and they complied, eagerly wrapping themselves around his perfect body. He made me his like I had never been before. Not like this. There was no caution in his actions and no remorse. He held me down, unable and unwilling to break free.
"If I let you go will you run away?" he asked, voice heavy with the weight of passion.
"Yes," I cried as a wave of ecstasy swept over me.
"I'll hunt you," he threatened. "I'll catch you."
"I know. I want you to."
"Then you'll always run?"
"I'll run as long as you chase me."
"I'll always chase you. I'll always catch you. You'll always be mine."
I couldn't say any more. My body betrayed my voice as it gave itself over to the frenzied rapture.
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