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When Twilight Ends

Summary:
Something is happening in the small, sleepy town of Forks, Washington. Something unexplainable. Something dangerous. Something evil. Under the cover of darkness it strikes without warning, killing in the most savage fashion. No one knows where it comes from. No one knows when it will happen again. Bella's transformation is slowly slipping closer, no longer shadowed by visible danger. But something has been overlooked-a loose end had been left undone, an error gone unnoticed. And now, it has been set loose. The Cullens, the Werewolves, and Bella are now racing time to stop the destruction reeking havoc upon the little world of Forks. Only one knows the key to unlocking the deadly secrets, only one knows the truth. As the seconds tick by, Edward finds himself amidst a dangerous plot and he is forced to make a decision that could change the path of destiny and forever. But will he make the right choice? Even if it meant sacrificing what is most sacred to him? Author's note: Look guys,I've been trying really hard to work on this story....but I've been sick alot lately. I have an immune deficency that causes me to have to go to the hospital often...its hard to type when i'm all tubed up on a hospital bed. I'm sorry....but i've started working on it again, so it should be up soon.


Notes:
This is my first actuall Twilight story and I hope you enjoy it! It is what I think should happen after the events of Eclispe and some. Please read and review! *Rated for further chapters*


6. In the Beat of a Heart

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4864   Review this Chapter

For the first time in over a hundred years I felt as though I was burning up-literally-as though a fever raged my body, sending my usual cold body temperature soaring above average human body heat. Addy's soft touch to my skin, though she meant well, felt unbearably icy and I yanked my arm away from her hand, growling from deep within my chest. Beside my boiling temperature, the pain was now incessant, devoid of any sort of intervals of relief. Though the pain faded now and then, I always felt it, lancing through my rib cage or sparking down the length of my spine.

We had arrived at the cabin, large yet tucked away in the tangle of thickets, carefully keeping us inconspicuous. Alice and Jasper had successfully warned the Quileutes and Esme and Rosalie had arrived several hours before us, thanks to Emmett's inability to refill the gas tank of his jeep. The gasoline that Arthur Dean had generously given us had barely held out the rest of the journey, though it was just enough to send us sputtering to a stop only feet from the trail leading to the cabin.

Right now the pain had faded slightly and I lay with a cheek pressed to the cool ceramic tile of the kitchen, with shivering shadows fallen over me, cast by the icy crescent moon hanging like a curved icicle in the clouding sky. Twilight was ending, though the light of a new dawn had barely penetrated the snow-laden clouds. A darkness had fallen over our secluded piece of earth-a menacing shadow that all forms of light fled from.

In the murky kitchen, Carlisle sat only inches from me, patient and unconditioned, allowing his soothing presence to calm me. I could feel Addy on the other side of me, silent as a kitten and as still as a stone. But I knew she was watching me with her strange eyes, never once looking away. Bella was with Alice and Esme, away from me. I think Carlisle had sedated her, giving her a few, precious hours to slip into a deep, dreamless sleep, unbothered by the chaotic world around her. I didn't know exactly where the rest of my family was convened but I was almost sure that they were hovering outside the kitchen door, anxious yet silent like wraiths. One...two...three... I began to count the seconds until another wave of agony hit. I pressed my hand against the squared tiles, letting the coldness soothe the burning. Six...seven...eight...ni-

Hot and cold flashes ripped up and down my spine like passing freight trains. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell for help. But I could do nothing more than open my mouth and suck in ragged bursts of air. The red-hot fire exploded in my skull and my eyes rolled back in their sockets. And Carlisle was right there beside me, speaking mollifying words and I vainly strained to understand what he was saying to me, to make some sort of sense out of the turmoil. But his words were like the buzz of a badly tuned radio, crackling with static. I rocked my head back and forth, cursing myself into oblivion. Addy's frozen hands were on my arm again, tight-almost frantic; I didn't try to push her away this time, I didn't seem to have the strength to. Then a sudden, violent shudder coursed through my body and the spasm diminished again to a dull sensation.

I sagged against the floor, gasping from bitter relief. I opened my eyes carefully, tentatively; unsure if that simple motion would trigger the pain again. It didn't. Instead, I found that the world around me was rotating slowly like a kaleidoscope. My ears were ringing and my head was spinning, but for now, for the one brief moment, the horror was over. I was weak and trembling, curled into a ball. My hands were shaking and my stomach felt as though it was playing tug-o-war with the rest of my insides, but the pain was dull now so that I barely felt it. And for me, it was heaven.

"We're almost there," Emmett's voice broke in above the rumble of the jeep-he sounded too serious to be Emmett.

"Did you hear that, Edward," Carlisle had asked me, "We're almost there, just hang on."

Of course I heard. What did he think I was-stupid? The pain wasn't sending me into that deep of a stupor. I could still grasp at tidbits of information around me-like the way Bella's heart was beating so frantically, it was as though it didn't know for sure of what to do. Or the way Emmett fingers tapped the steering wheel in an offbeat, nervous way and how Addy kept touching my forearm to offer comfort. I also caught Carlisle glancing at me every few seconds, alarm and fear written clearly across his face. And I could hear my own breathing-erratic, hard and each breath I dragged in I could almost taste the vile smell of Addy's bloody vomit hanging in the air. ...fifteen...

The pain started again-excruciating, unbearable. It was intense, like icy fire crawling up my arms and slithering down my ribs and, finally, pooling in my stomach. I recoiled from it, shuddering, gasping. When I squeezed my eyes shut, I saw pinpricks of white light spiraling in my vision and a groan, deep and unearthly, broke from my throat. I curled my hands into tight fists and my neck twisted so that my forehead brushed the smooth surface of the floor.

And then it stopped, as quickly as it had come. Nauseated, I went limp, trying not to move, not to add any effort or energy to this tumbling universe around me. I clamped my eyes shut. Everything around me had become overwhelming-the gentle touch of Carlisle's hand on my back, Addy's fingers on my arm, the sound of my struggled breathing and the clock hanging above us, ticking in the respired measures-never-ending, unremitting. My senses had gone haywire and everything came at me in swirling, kaleidoscoping sounds, images, and sensations, pulsing, pounding, surging, and throbbing like a swollen thumb.

I could feel myself slowly sinking into a dark precipice, a place that only existed in the deep, unknown recesses of my mind. A place that was free of pain, of confusion, a place where I could forget about reality and become surrounded by nothing...

"He told me one..." she hesitated, her face growing white than pink.

"Go on," I urged softly, keeping my eyes on the road and clenching the steering wheel in apprehension.

"About vampires."

Alarms went off in my head, but I willed myself to remain calm. Calm. "And you immediately thought of me?" was I that obvious? Or was she just brilliantly observant?
"No."

What a relief.

"He...mentioned you family."

Oh. I continued to stare at the road. I didn't respond, didn't do anything. Calm...

..."I did some research on the Internet."

"And did that convince you?" I made my voice sound impartial, nonchalant. But inside felt like World War III was raging. I grasped the wheel iron-knuckled, curbing the urge to do anything irrational.

"No." she spoke softly, looking down at her hands in her lap. "Nothing fit. Most of it was kind of silly. And then..." her voice trailed off and I waited but she said no more.

"What?" I asked, flaring my nostrils.

She looked out the car window, at the objects flying by. Bella's voice came barely as a whisper. "I decided that it didn't matter."

The voices came muffled, as though they were spoken on the other side of a window. I couldn't find the strength to pull myself out enough to open my eyes or respond to the questions.

"What should we do? He's been like this for over an hour now-I could kick him and he still wouldn't move."

"There's nothing we can do, except wait. We'll take it as it comes."

"We can't just leave him lying there like a corpse. If Bella saw him, I think she would go into full cardiac arrest." Replied another voice, familiar but my mind was too foggy to distinguish the multitude of voices floating above me.

"Maybe we could move him to a bed, that way he'll look like he's only sleeping."

"That would be convincing-oh, Bella, don't you worry, he's only sleeping!"

"Leave it to you, Rosalie, to down-play everything that doesn't issue from your own mouth."

"Enough, you two. This is not the time, nor the place. Now lets please act civilized." There was a pause, then: "Alice, do you have anything?"

The voice that responded was distressed and absolutely miserable. "No, Carlisle. All I see is darkness."

Anger, surprise, and confusion engulfed me all at once. I couldn't keep my voice from becoming raw. "It didn't matter?" Bella's head snapped up and she looked at me, her eyes widening slightly at the tone of my voice and at the incredulity on my face.

"No," she said softly. "It doesn't matter to me what you are."

Unintended, a hard, mocking edge entered my voice. "You don't care if I'm a monster. If I'm not human?"

"No."

My emotions overtook me and all I could do was to stay silent, coldly staring straight ahead at the black pavement.

"You're angry," Bella sighed, breaking my stiff silence. She sounded regretful. "I shouldn't have said anything."

"No," I said in a hard, flat voice, grinding the words through gritted teeth. "I'd rather know what you're thinking-even if what you're thinking is insane." Insanely right.

"So I'm wrong again?" Bella challenged me, her tone indignant.

For a moment I struggled with the right words to say. I threw out: "That's not what I was referring to. ‘It doesn't matter'" I quoted, clenching my jaw tightly.

"I'm right?" she gasped in shock and my chest tightened. In the darkness of the car, I heard she heart sputter across several beats.

"Does it matter?" I spat the words back at her...

Voices came again, penetrating through my hazy mind and pushing back the memories as though they were dust. I tried to open my eyes, to lift my head, to do something. But every ounce of strength seemed to have drained from every inch of my body and I was void of the ability to move at all. I was vaguely aware that I was no longer lying on the cold tile of the kitchen floor, but, rather, in a bed with my head limp on a pillow.

"Carlisle, I think you should come and look at Bella,"

"What is it, Alice?"

"I think she might have a fever...I'm not sure, her skin is always so warm, but she smells a bit funny. She won't stop crying, either. Can a human become dehydrated from crying too much? I tried to get her to drink water but she refused...I think she's going into shock."

Someone was rising from a nearby chair and I briefly felt the presence of a hand on my arm. "Stay with him, Alice. I'll be back shortly."

"You might have called," Bella's tone was reproachful. It made me puzzled.

"But I knew you were safe," I countered, looking at her.

"But I didn't know where you were. I-" she hesitated, averting her eyes from mine. A blush began to creep up her neck.

"What?" I urged, suddenly anxious.

"I didn't like it. Not seeing you. It makes me anxious too." The blush crawled up her neck to her cheeks and then burst like a sunrise across her perplexed forehead.

I didn't have an answer for this. I felt ecstatic yet extremely pained. The latter outweighed my happiness. Bella looked at me, waiting for me to speak.

"Ah," I groaned, the only thing I could manage for a moment. "This is wrong."

Bella's eyes filled with confusion and hurt. "What did I say?"

"Don't you see, Bella? It's one thing for me to make myself miserable, but a wholly other thing for you to be so involved." I turned to her. It was imperative that she understood this! "I don't want to hear that you feel that way." I lowered my voice, unable to hide my urgency. "It's wrong. It's not safe. I'm dangerous, Bella-please, grasp that."

"No," Bella squeaked, her voice hinting at rebellious.

"I'm serious," I growled out at her, no longer trying to restrain myself.

"So am I." she retorted back. "I told you, it doesn't matter what you are. It's too late."

Panic flared in my chest and my voice whipped out, low and harsh." Never say that." I demanded.

Bella bit her lip and stared at the road in front of us. I took in several deep breaths, suddenly feeling desperate to hear the mysterious thoughts revolving in her mind. "What are you thinking?' I asked in a raspy voice. She only shook her head and I turned my head to look at her. I studied her for a moment before horror and guiltiness washed over me like a tidal wave.

"Are you crying?" I asked, appalled as I watched the tears, glittering like diamonds, as they sprinted down her pale cheeks.

She quickly rubbed her hand across her cheek, sniffing.

"No." she said, but her voice cracked. I realized how hurtful my words were to her and I felt the wild urge to draw her into my arms and comfort her. Hesitantly, I reached my right hand towards her, but I stopped, my stomach suddenly queasy, and placed it slowly back on the steering wheel, feeling miserable and weak.

"I'm sorry," I whispered, my words burning with regret. So sorry.

It was light when I opened my eyes. Broken shafts of yellow rays streamed through the crude shutters, illuminating swirls of dust clouds hanging in the air. I blinked once, taking a moment to gather my bearings. Slowly, tentatively, I raised my head and waited. There was no pain, no burning sensation. I flexed my fingers and shifted, my left arm brushing something soft and warm. Relief filled me.

Bella laid next to me, curled up on her side, her face flushed. As I moved, she stirred, her eyes flittering open. She yawned than sat up quickly when she saw me.

"Edward!" she exclaimed but then seemed at a loss for words. Her hair stuck out in all directions and her eyes were wet from grogginess.

I smiled at her disheveled appearance. "You look awful. Are you are alright?"

She threw her arms around me and buried her face in my chest. "I am now." For a moment, we sat like that until she broke away from me. Her large eyes scrutinized me.

"You look like a mess, too," She reached up and patted down my hair. "A very good looking mess." Her smile seemed somewhat forced.

"Thanks," I threw my legs over the side of the bed and rotated my shoulders. "Was it just a dream?" I wondered aloud without even thinking.

Bella didn't answer, so I turned to look at her. But I knew it hadn't been a dream as my eyes picked out the stitched abrasion on the side of her neck, her wrapped wrist, and the two black eyes I had given her as a result of my carelessness. They had faded slightly, but they were still there-a severe contrast to the ivory color of her skin. "How's your nose?"

She knew I was trying to distract her. "Fine." She glared. "How's your chest?"

That threw me for a minute. "My chest?" I asked finally, giving her a speculating look.

Bella faltered ever so slightly. "Well..." she bit her lip.

"What?" I demanded, a scowl replacing my smile.

She looked at me cautiously. "Well, yesterday, you kept telling Carlisle that your chest hurt."

"I did?"

Bella nodded and turned her eyes away from me. It was an awkward silence, then, and I stared at the opposite wall where the boarding was chipped and faded. The last time we had been in this house was when Emmett had lost control, forcing us to hide for more then thirty years. I remembered that time as not a very enjoyable period we spent together. We were cramped and forced to share rooms. After a few years, everyone had grown extremely irritated and we snapped at each other often. Only Carlisle and Esme managed to stay intact-maybe because they were granted their own room. Anyway, it was pure heaven when we were able to move back to the mansion in Forks and for several weeks we isolated ourselves from the rest of the family, reveling in the alone time we had been forsaken at the cabin. I never knew we would be back here, with two extra persons along.

I slid out of bed then and studied Bella. She sat with the blanket piled in her lap. She wore a large, over-sized tee-shirt with the sleeves hanging to her elbows. It was wrinkled and looked like it belonged to Carlisle. Even it her pitiful, banged up state, she looked utterly beautiful.

"What?" she stipulated when she saw me staring.

I only smiled at her then said: "I think I should change my clothes," I gestured to my rumbled mess.

Bella started to crawl out of bed, "I'll leave."

But I shook my head. "No, you should stay in bed. I'll go change in the bathroom; I'll only be a moment."

I gathered up some clean clothes and walked slowly to the bathroom at the end of the hall, giving me a quiet moment to think alone without Bella's intuition breaking through my charade.

What had just happened? Had all that pain, all that terror been for nothing? Had I suffered those unbearable hours without a just reason? So would I be back to normal for now on...well, as normal as a vampire could get? Darkly, I wondered how long I had been in my vegetated state and what the others had done about it. Surely I must have terrified Bella more that what she was showing. Or had I somehow made all that up? Had my sanity finally run out, leaving me to wallow in the pits of insanity? Is that why Aro is the way he is? Because he had lived so long?

Quietly, I opened the door to the tiny bathroom and shut it behind me. There was no use dwelling on something no longer existent. If there was no more pain, who was I to grumble about it? In fact, I should be rejoicing at my relief now, not speculating about it. What a masochistic I was.

With precise speed, I dressed quickly into a collared, buttoned tee shirt and jeans, throwing my discarded clothes in a corner. I didn't bother with shoes; I decided t wear only socks-what was the point? I combed down my unkempt hair with a wet comb then froze when I looked into the mirror.

My eyes, well to be more specific, my irises were a pale gray, no longer the usual gold or black. Like dull pearls, they glared back at me and I spat out a profanity at them, cursing them and myself with no just reason. Unconsciously, I touched the smooth glass and my reflection mimicked me, still scowling deeply. What hadn't my eyes retained their usual color? And why hadn't Bella said anything about them?

Then I pulled my hand away, rolling my eyes and turning away from the mirror-when it hit me. Violent, intense-it was an agony that made what happened before seem like a breeze. Pain hit me like a battering ram, and I gasped for breath. I dropped like a rock to the wood-planked floor and I instinctively rolled into a ball, clenching my eyes shut. Pain raged my entire body. I felt as if my flesh had been neatly filleted and packed with salt; each organ stuffed with burning coals; my bones drilled open and filled with molten lead. It started at the tips of my toes and pushed its way up my veins, like thick, fiery lava. Something like an electrical shock pulsed through me, bursting out from my dead heart and jolting my entire body. The agony drove even deeper, tearing its way through every particle of my body, choking my lungs and blinding me as a red strobe of light exploded in my vision.

Let me die! I heard my mind shriek out hysterically. Let me die!

I clawed at the wooded floor, as another shock flowed through me, stronger this time and I convulsed, my head buzzing loudly. Stupid! I inwardly hissed, banging my fist weakly on the ground out of anger and pain.

A nausea swept into my stomach, overwhelming and potent and the pain faded slightly. I pulled myself to hands and knees, gulping fast as my stomach made a rapid excursion up to my throat. I gave in without a fight, and, much like Addy before, convulsed once than violently vomited a globule of dark blood. It pooled on top of the carpet, bubbling acid from my venom. The planks hissed and steamed from it, the color around the edges turning instantly white. My stomach lurched forcefully and the contents of my insides seemed to shove its way out of my throat. I clapped my hands to my mouth but that didn't stop the thick animal blood from gushing out. It spilled in between my fingers, burning as it slid down the length of my arms. Everything I had hunted for the other day, my entire being was now rejecting vehemently and it hurt like hell. I swiped at my mouth and a cord of dark blood followed my hand away. The panic, the terror immersed me completely until I was breathing so fast that there wasn't even a point to it. My stomach and abdomen seared and squeezed until I thought I could throw-up no more.

It was as though my entire body was rejecting everything about my existence, about my being and it was now trying to push it all out until I was completely empty of everything within me. My insides contracted in on themselves and I had the feeling of being compressed and unable to breathe. I retched again, this time only venom came up, spotted sparsely with blood.. I shivered, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end and a prickling sensation traveled down my shoulders and rounded around to my chest cavity. My back arched. My spine stressed to the snapping point. The flaming feeling continued to thrust its way through me.

"Carlisle!" I coughed, choking, suddenly desperate for my father figure to be near, to offer his familiar assurance, to feel his calming touch on my shoulder. For the first time in a long while I felt completely alone-something I usually didn't mind. "This...isn't...right...!" I banged my fist against the bathroom floor in an effort to alleviate the burning. I'd always hated throwing up when I was a human, when I had been a teenager-I suddenly remembered that. I hated it to the point that the nausea usually had me hyperventilating in a full panic attack before the vomit had even come up. My mother used to come and sit by me and bathe the back of my neck with a cool cloth. That was before she caught the influenza as well.

Weakness was dragging me down and I vaguely felt my head hit the wood. Blistering heat came in waves through my body and the floor suddenly felt icy as it pressed to my bare skin. Desperately I sucked at the oxygen but found I couldn't draw a breath in as blood curdled in my throat. My skin was on fire, melting like wax off my bones. My body crawled with the fire, as though every last synapse, every last cell revolted. And it should. A voice whispered in the back of my skull. For one wild, frantic moment, I though I would literally melt into a puddle in the middle of the bathroom and seep through the cracks of the floorboards, disappearing without a trace.

And then the pain faded and the heat cooled. Something unfamiliar, something warm pounded its way through the veins of my body. I was on my stomach, my hand pressing to my chest, my cheek on the planks. My lungs were screaming for a breath of oxygen-something I couldn't give. I continued coughing, gagging, spitting out the last drops of venom and blood. Until I was only gasping for breath.

And then I felt it...it was so foreign yet so natural. So frightening yet so comforting. I felt it against my hand as it was pushed against my chest from the floor and it resonated in my ears and vibrated my chest. Though it was weak, it was the strongest thing I had even heard.

Thu...ump.

Gasping and shaking and despite everything else, I struggled to hands and knees, my palms sliding in my vomit. My mouth gaped open as I swallowed great gulps of air. Something sticky, clear, and hot dripped from the tip of my nose and slid from behind my ears to my neck, dampening the collar of my shirt. I grappled with the edge of the marble sink, my hands slick.

The throb within my chest increased tenfold, forcing me to breathe faster. I pulled myself up with weak, rubbery arms until I could peer over the top of the sink. Alarm blasted through me with shrill intensity.

Two brilliant, startlingly green eyes stared back at me in terror. They were large and framed perspiration. Those green eyes stared back at in me in utter perplexity and stricken panic. I dropped back to the floor, oblivious that I was sitting in puke, the ceramic tile was cold even through my clothes. I lifted a hand to my chest and I could feel the thing inside, thumping furiously against my ribcage, like the beat of a drum, fast and hard.

"Oh god..." the voice that escaped my lips was raspy and broken. I closed my eyes and willed myself to breathe deeply and evenly.

"Edward?" there was a hollow knock at the door, startling me, breaking my controlled breathing. It was Bella, I think, but her voice sounded normal. "Edward, are you alright? You've been in there forever."

"I'm fine!" My voice came out strangled and raw with terror. For a moment, Bella didn't answer. I saw the brass knob twist slightly as she fought the lock.

"Are you sure?" she sounded frightened now. "You sound different...do you want me to get Carlisle?"

"I'm fine!" I repeated, my heart pumping spastically in my chest. "Just go away!" I attempted my voice to come out as a growl by only succeeded in sounding maniacal.

I heard the pounding of her footsteps and I knew it wouldn't be long before someone arrived. Trembling and with my knees knocking together, I stood again with the help of the sink and gawked at my reflection in the mirror. My face was stricken and ashen in color. I looked slightly younger with a rougher look about my face and I could even see a hint of freckles sprinkled on my nose. I stared at the wild looking teenage boy in the mirror, sweat shining on his face. Bloody vomit spotted the collar of my once clean shirt and spattered garishly on my front, my chest heaved laboriously and my nostrils flared.

I moaned, staring with numb, horrified fixation at the human in the mirror. Nauseating spurts of what felt like adrenaline spurted through my veins. I couldn't believe my eyes-this couldn't be happening to me-someone or something must be standing behind me. Without thinking, I pressed a palm against the cold glass and my reflection imitated me flawlessly.

A sudden, hard knocking sent me leaping about a foot in the air. "Edward?" demanded a musical voice. "Edward, what are you doing in there?" It was Carlisle-his velvet-sounding voice upset.

"Go away!" My voice broke as I said this. What would he say when he saw me like this? Would he kick me out? Would he totally reject me? I grew angry and anxious at the same time at that thought.

"Edward, don't make me break down the door."

I didn't respond to that; I looked back at the mirror, my eyes picking out a faded scar right under my chin. As I leaned closer, my breath fogged the glass, clouding out my reflection for a brief moment.

"Edward!"

Slowly, as my body was engulfed in numbing shock, I stepped away from the mirror and sank to the floor, like a man ran through with a sword, my hand leaving behind a bloody-print on the mirror. I closed my eyes, silently coaching myself not to lose it. Instinctively, I raised a hand to my chest and waited, feeling the pulse beneath my skin.

Thump, thump.