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.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1350 Review this Chapter
I froze for a moment before nodding acceptingly and inwardly laughing wryly.
Bella was a Gangster Girl.
Of course, considering that it was nineteen-twenty-eight, and that we were in Chicago, it shouldn’t have been that surprising. I suppose it was just the thought of Bella - who was too innocent to even be aware of the word Gangster - actually helping them in their illegal activities that caught me off guard.
I cleared my throat quietly, disguising the sound as a cough.
“Was that man,” I stopped and gestured in his prone direction, hating the fact that I had to bring Bella’s attention back to the man I’d murdered. “Was he supposed to have it? The alcohol?”
She focused her eyes on the seemingly unconscious man for a full minute before nodding slowly.
Though what she had done to ‘deserve’ the torture of almost being raped, I still didn’t know.
The ‘Stupid little girl’ comments, however, I begrudgingly saw as true. For anyone as young as Bella who had already gotten involved with the shadier aspects of life could only be called ‘stupid’.
“Come on,” I sighed, the heated skin of her cheek scorching my palm as I brought her attention towards me. I could resist the temptation. Barely. “You should go back to wherever it is you’re staying.”
Her eyes widened in beautiful fear and she shook her head quickly, causing me to silently groan at just how hard she was making this for me. Her scent travelled the short distance to my nose and I swear I could feel my eyes darken further in hunger. Hunger for Bella.
I needed to get away from her.
“I need to get the alcohol.” She repeated firmly, eyes locked on the dead man who had yet to keep his end of the deal.
Anyone would hardly believe that this is a time of Prohibition - where alcohol is banned as it was blamed for the many things wrong in society. Though, I suppose the desperate need that America had for alcohol now proved just how destructive alcohol could be upon a country.
“I’ll get it.” I suggested, more out of self-preservation than chivalry.
If Bella was to discover that I had killed a man, then this would surely be the last time I was able to spend time with her.
I couldn’t decide whether that was a good thing, or not.
Cautiously, I made my way over to the would-be rapist, fighting the urge to kick him out of shame for having treated a woman like that. It gave the other males on the earth a bad name. Given his current lack of a pulse, however, I suppose that I wasn’t much better then he. The only difference between us being that I succeeded with my crime.
My search of him came up empty.
He had no alcohol.
The thought made my anger rise and if I had had a pulse it would be racing with fury.
He hadn’t intended for Bella to return from her journey.
I wanted to kill him all over again - only more painfully this time around.
“Edward?” Bella asked softly. “It’s not there, is it?”
I shook my head slowly. Once to the left and once to the right before glancing backwards over my shoulder towards her. She was biting her bottom lip in worry.
“It’ll be okay, Bella.” I closed my eyes when I heard my voice. It seemed I was determined to put myself through more torture. Any other person and I’d have left them to fend for themselves. I’d have only of thought of myself, and my secret. “Surely you could explain what happened, couldn’t you?”
“I guess…” She seemed hesitant, and her bottom lip looked raw, any second now and - “Ow!”
Bella had succeeded in drawing blood, whilst also succeeding in putting herself in even more danger from me.
Her scent I could deal with, me not breathing would protect her from my survival instinct of killing her.
Her blood was another matter entirely.
I wasn’t strong enough to ignore the sent of her blood.
“Oh no,” Bella spoke faintly, her words sounding distant. I risked a glance upwards - towards her and away from the interesting ground my attention had been focused on - only to find her swaying, eyes drooped halfway shut, dangerously close to unconsciousness.
“Bella?” I asked in horror.
My question, not surprisingly, went unanswered as she fell to the floor - thankfully still conscious - and let her head fall behind her onto a wall, bearing her pale white neck to my sharp eyesight.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear she was taunting me on purpose.
“Bella?” I asked again, my voice raw. I needed to eat something. Now. “Are you okay?”
“It’s just … the blood.” She told me. “The smell of it makes me dizzy.”
Puzzled, I chose not to reply, instead I turned away from her and screwed my eyes shut, fists clenching by my sides as I willed myself to not harm the innocent girl needing my help at the moment.
My hearing, however, was still focused on the immediate area around me. Whilst I may not be watching, no one was getting close to Bella.
Her blood called to me above that of simply a meal. But that wasn’t to say any other vampire passing by could resist the awful temptation she unknowingly presented either.
“I think we should get you back now, Bella.” I repeated when I finally felt calmer.
“Yeah.” She agreed faintly. “Okay.”
“Good.” I nodded to affirm myself of this fact. I couldn’t keep Bella with me for all of eternity. I had to get used to saying goodbye. “Where do your parents live?”
“Not with me.” She responded quickly, jumping off the ground quickly and almost stumbling over some loose stones on the ground.
I caught her before any more of her blood escaped her body.
Her face was less than an inch away from mine.
“You don’t live with your parents?” I asked collectedly.
She shook her head, her bottom lip pulled into her mouth, as she looked up at me in awe, her ever-wide brown eyes appealing to me.
I stepped backwards and Bella composed herself enough to respond.
“No,” she told me. “They don’t approve of my lifestyle. Originally, my mom had loved it, until my father - he’s a fundamentalist - discouraged her of the idea.” She shrugged slightly. “It was already too late for me, so I ran away.”
She turned away from me, hiding. It didn’t stop me from picking up the salty smell of her tears, however.
“I tried to go back, apologise and offer to change my ways.” She continued. “But it was Charlie, my father. He said the damage was done and I already had a place in hell for behaving as I had done. He would not host a sinner in his household.”
I took in her story with a brief nod, maintaining my composure and temper so as not to scare her.
The anger of a vampire can be a terrible thing.
“So, where do you live?” I hesitated to even ask.
“With the gangsters.”
Those three words were barely audible to me as a vampire and I just knew that, had been human, I wouldn’t have heard them at all.
My jaw clenched in frustration. Frustration which Bella obviously noticed.
“They were the only people who’d put a roof over my head,” she defended herself. “It’s not like you were there to help.”
But I am now.
Bella Swan would not come to any harm ever again.
“I know.” I sighed. “I’ll take you there.”
Her beautiful, heart-shaped face spread into a small grin as her small body walked towards me and she gently raised her hand to entwine with my own.
The touch was as hot as a thousand suns that threatened to burn my hand to ashes, yet I wouldn’t pull away. Not even if the world ended at that very moment.
Only one thought stood out in my mind at that moment. Above, even, my hunger for the small girl clutching my hand like a life-line.
She hadn’t shied away from my touch. She hadn’t flinched at the cool skin which set me aside as being less than human.
She accepted me.
Even if she didn’t fully know what I was.