With A Rebel Yell
AU. Chicago, 1928. Edward Cullen is living his life of rebellion, feeding only off criminals. Then, he stumbles across someone seemingly innocent who appeals to him in ways that could force him to reveal his secret and scare away the girl he's grown to love.
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I could feel the taste of her blood soothing my burning throat, as I could hear the sound of her rapidly beating heart - beating in her fear as she realised she was saved from one form of torture, only to be faced with death.
Of course, it was only in my mind. The demon, or monster - both terms are equally as horrifying, in my opinion - inside of me was begging me to kill the young girl looking up at me curiously, yet not having stretched out from her protective stance.
Wise human, I had chance to think fleetingly. She’s wary of me; As she should be.
It didn’t help that the girl was also extraordinarily beautiful. Or that I couldn’t hear her thoughts.
If I could hear what she was thinking, I would be able to tell if she was a criminal herself and, if she was, I could allow myself to go through with the temptation of killing her and tasting her sweet-smelling blood for myself.
I knew, however, that this girl was not such a criminal. She was just a lost girl.
Not to mention a curious one, for my silence had prompted her to stand up and send another tsunami of enticement upon my head.
“Why aren’t you answering me?” She demanded, taking a hesitant step towards me.
Not quite as wise as I first thought then.
I let out a small, almost inaudible, frustrated groan and stepped back. Her proximity to me was already life-threatening enough - she must have a death wish.
“You just saved my life,” she trembled noticeably, be it against the cold of the night or the thought of what could have happened, I wouldn’t know.
And that infuriated me.
“It was nothing.” I finally managed to choke out, startling this, as of yet, un-named girl out of her stupor. “Now, if you would excuse me, I have to go.”
The meal I had secured for myself was forgotten as the more appealing would-be victim endangered herself, just by standing around idly. It was too dangerous for me to unleash my monster around her. As it was I was taking quick breaths in and long breaths out, only to keep up the pretence of humanity, and so as not to scare her.
With a last longing glance, and my monster growling at me in fury, I turned to walk away.
Then the girl did the worst thing she possibly could have in this situation.
“Wait!” She called out, as she reached out with her hand to halt my movement, her hot skin coming in contact with my own freezing arm.
She touched me.
Albeit, innocently and with nothing other then the best intentions. But that didn’t matter to me at this point.
The desire to just kill her, and savour her, was at the forefront of my mind, the monster and the man warring within me to either kill her, as was my right as a vampire, or let her go, as was my duty as a man.
It was her next words that finally united the two parts of me with one decision.
“You haven’t even told me your name.”
Her voice sounded so lost, how could I leave her alone in this crime-riddled city? That was just … un-gentlemanlike.
Her hand was still wrapped around my wrist; She hadn’t even shied away from the coolness of my skin. A fact which I had to admire her for, in spite of her stupidity with the action. She had lasted longer than most humans would have.
“Nor you, yours.” I muttered finally in as calm a voice as I could manage.
“I’m Bella,” she told me, happy relief evident in her voice. “Isabella Swan, but I prefer Bella.”
I nodded in acceptance and finally turned around, carefully studying her face as she took in my too-beautiful appearance - a hunting weapon for us vampires.
“I’m Edward,” I replied. “Edward Cullen.”
Foolishly, Bella stepped towards me again. Perhaps even more foolishly, I didn’t step away.
“I’m sorry, Edward,” she began in a soft voice. “Just … your eyes. I’ve never seen eyes so dark, so black before.”
It was funny really, in an ironic sort of way, that the only thing she would notice on my entire being is the thing that showed my hunger for her the most.
I was quite certain that my eyes had been a lighter colour earlier this evening.
“Bella,” my voice caught as I breathed - no pun intended - life to her name for the first time. It felt oddly right for her name to be on my tongue.
Isabella. Bella. Bella Swan.
“Bella,” I said again determined not to allow myself to get distracted by such a trivial thing. “What are you doing here?”
It was a simple enough question - one I couldn’t believe had taken me so long to think of. It was past midnight after all, she couldn’t have been older than sixteen, and we were in an alleyway, surrounded on both sides by towering walls.
“I … er, got lost.” Whilst her words were explanatory enough, her voice was rushed and nervous. Though the real give-away of her lies was the rush of blood to her cheeks, staining them an embarrassed pink, and causing me to stop my breathing altogether.
Which I hoped she wouldn’t notice. Isabella Swan was to know nothing about my identity as a vampire. I couldn’t let her know that she was conversing with a monster.
“Again, please.” I mumbled, staring at her. We, actually, were standing now more then ten inches away from each other. Dangerously close, and I wanted to get even closer. “With the truth, now.”
“I was told to come here.” She admitted quietly as though she hoped they’d be carried away by the wind without my ever hearing them. As it was, my vampire ears picked the words up quite clearly.
I felt anger slowly accumulate within me. First, my chest tightened then it raised to my throat and I couldn’t breathe, even if I wanted to. My fists clenched and unclenched periodically at the thought.
My reaction, of course, was irrational and bewildering. Why I felt the urge to protect this girl I didn’t know - first from the now-dead rapist, then from myself.
Always from myself.
And now the people that sent her to this man.
“By whom?” My voice was eerily calm.
“My, um, landlord.” She stuttered, an adorable confused expression upon her face, no doubt wondering why exactly she was telling me all of this. I could be very persuasive, if it’s called for. “He sent me to collect something for him. He said I was to meet a man in this alley.”
“What, exactly, was you meant to collect?”
She glanced over at the seemingly unconscious man - and I hope she never found out that I had murdered him, from this angle, he looks almost as if he’s heavily sleeping- before bringing her wide brown eyes back to me and something in them changed.
“Why should I tell you?” She snapped.
Ah, she was starting to defend herself. I smirked widely even though frustration filled me, almost as prominent as the anger racing through me.
I took another step closer to her, letting her become flustered by my presence as I ignored the roaring of my demon. If I had been alive, my heart would be pounding within my chest. It was practically killing me to be this close to her, and not taste her. The venom on my teeth gathered in my mouth at the scent that was fast overpowering me.
“Bella.” I breathed out, sending a gush of my breath towards her - another hunting technique I felt ashamed in using against her. “Tell me. Please.”
“I don’t know how you’re doing this to me.” Bella admitted in a whisper. “Why I’m …”
Her head, which had been staring at the floor, raised to look at mine, her brown eyes ever-wide with curiosity. She reached up a hand to touch my face, but I caught her before she succeeded in her task.
It was too soon.
If she did that, surely I would kill her.
“Alcohol.” Her voice was strong, although quiet. “I was sent to collect alcohol.”
I froze for a moment before nodding acceptingly and inwardly laughing wryly.
Bella was a Gangster Girl.