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 1212 Review this Chapter
Weeks passed slowly, turning into months as I grew to despise myself more and more every day.
I was truly a monster.
What I did with my days was unpredictable, for I never knew what the sun would decide to do and I couldn’t allow them to see the way my skin glittered in the sunlight.
I’d managed to convince myself that all the crime I was participating in was justifiable at first; I was merely killing criminals – people who deserved to die for how they spent their lives.
The only problem was that I was being ordered to kill so many.
My eyes had turned a vivid scarlet thanks to the amount of human blood I had consumed in my months of service.
And Bella – beautiful, innocent Bella – knew nothing of what I was, what I did.
Which was how I hoped it would stay.
I accompanied her on her frequent trips to collect the illegal moonshine. The others had agreed I should go to protect her, should anything like what happened on the night we met happen again.
My hand was clasping hers always, tightening whenever I heard a thought of her run through a stranger’s head – which was with infuriating regularity.
Bella had no idea of the effect she had on men. Nor the effect that she had on me.
Just being in the same room as her was completely torturous. Whenever she was near me the thick, heavy scent of her blood attacked me, daring me to drink. It was impossible to resist, but resist I did.
Resist was all I’d ever do.
Every time she blushed, the thirst would immobilise me. When I touched her soft, pale skin the urge to kill was overwhelming.
But I could never kill her, or allow any harm to come to her.
I love her.
It was completely selfish of me, of course, and completely unfathomable as to how it happened. But, I couldn’t exactly not love her.
Bella was perfect.
And there was no doubt in my mind that she didn’t reciprocate my feelings.
It was probably better that way.
For, if she was to return my sentiments, I knew that I’d never be able to leave her. And, if that were the case, then one – or even both – of us would most likely end up seriously injured in order to protect the other.
The world of Chicago gangsters was a ruthless one, indeed.
Bella was trapped in a world of monsters – and the person she trusted most was the biggest monster of all.
… What I wouldn’t give to spend some alone time with that Bella chick …
… If only I could get Cullen out of the way for just an hour, maybe two …
… Tonight, when he’s asleep, then I’ll make my move …
The thought belonging to the last person almost made me laugh.
If only they knew that I don’t sleep – I can’t sleep.
I focused my attention on the object of everyone’s thoughts, desperately scanning for something I knew that I would not find.
Bella’s thoughts always remained stubbornly blank. She was the one exception to my ability, and it both frustrated and intrigued me.
As if sensing my eyes on hers, she turned and smiled at me brilliantly, the rush of blood to her cheeks forcing me to clutch the table in front of me in desperation.
I smiled back, as if my inner monster wasn’t telling me to massacre everybody in this room right now – they were, after all, all criminals – saving the best until last.
I could imagine how good Bella would taste …
Her scolding hot fingers burned a soft trail against my cheek as she pushed my face back up towards her. I let it move, eventually, interested in the reasons why she was acting so … caring.
Though her fingers had left my cheek, the effected skin still tingled pleasantly. The feeling only disappeared when Bella’s hand fell easily into my own, the familiar touch searing through my skin with a burning intensity that I’d learned to deal with.
“You’re always so cold.” Bella complained as I stood up and asked her to walk with me.
Away from the prying eyes – and thoughts – of the criminal-ridden world we lived in.
She laughed, her head falling back and her hair wafting her delicious scent over to me in a greater concentration.
“Don’t apologise.” She tilted her head to catch my eye. “It’s not like it’s your fault.”
Should I tell her? I didn’t know.
It was an opportunity, a good one at that. I could so easily tell her that no, it wasn’t my fault. And that I was a vampire, and was that way because a doctor ten years ago had decided to make himself a companion. I had had no choice in the matter.
“I guess you’re right.” I admitted finally, chickening out and cursing myself immediately.
I longed for her to know what I was, and then decide whether or not she still wanted to spend time with me.
But, at the same time, I lived in fear of her figuring out my deepest, darkest secret. And I knew it would happen – Bella was nothing if not incredibly perceptive. Already I’d answered difficult questions about the constantly changing colour of my eyes.
Her voice was quiet, composed yet, there was a trace of excitement laced in her tone also.
“I think …” Words failed her as she stopped, took a deep breath and started again. “I think I’m falling in love with you.”
My frozen, shocked features were helped none by the fact that Bella had ducked her face behind her hair, hiding from both my reaction and her embarrassment, whilst simultaneously tempting me in ways she could not imagine.
The unthinkable had happened.
Bella returned my sentiments of love, and had doomed herself in doing so.
But it was too late – the damage had been done.
And I couldn’t leave her now.
“Say something?” Her voice, as light as musical chimes, broke into my head, jumping me back into alertness as I realised I had been silent following her declarations for a substantial amount of time already. “Please?”
“Bella, dearest,” I dipped my head to be level with hers as I lifted my hand to cup her cheek. The sensation was pleasantly unbearable. Then, I forced her eyes to lock with mine, her beautiful brown orbs wide in anticipation. I sighed as I opened my mouth to continue, making sure that she knew I meant every word. “I love you.”
Poor, naïve Bella. Still so young, so afraid and unaware.
It only added to her charm, I realised with a smile.
“Really.” I pressed my cool lips to the heated skin of her forehead, closing my eyes and savouring her complete faith and trust in me, not knowing how unbelievably close I was to killing her. “God help me,” I laughed sardonically, fully aware of the irony of that statement. “But I do.”
Her blinding smile was comforting, more so than the hand nestled in my own.
But it was also a reminder of the recent complication between us.
In the words of Shakespeare’s character of Lysandar; ‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’
And, I was quite certain that what Bella and I shared would grow to be true love.
Just as I was sure that many other complications would also arise.
For how could they not?
I was a vampire and, as such, I was damned.