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 1014 Review this Chapter
February fourteenth. Nineteen twenty-nine.
This was a day that was usually known and remembered as an opportunity to pronounce declarations of love to one another. It was a time to spend with the one you loved.
I should have spent the day with Bella.
Beautiful, oblivious Bella.
Instead, I had been among the few chosen to do Capone’s dirty work – whilst the man himself conveniently travelled to Florida.
The event itself was horrific. There was blood, gunfire, screams …
And a vampire – myself – driven crazy with thirst and the rationalisation that these men were criminals.
The accused mobsters – though what they are actually guilty of, I couldn’t say – were lined up against a wall and shot at with a machine gun.
I stood and watched as seven men died before my eyes. And I did nothing to stop it.
I merely watched as more and more blood was spilled before my scarlet eyes and the scent wafted aromatically towards me.
It was all I could do to not attack the three men standing beside me and feast upon them as well.
Instead, I waited for them to leave before I turned on the dead men and …
I did things I never wish to be repeated.
I am, truly, a monster.
The worst thing was knowing that Bella was back waiting for me, praying for my safety, all whilst I slaughtered injured men for my own benefit.
Her beautiful brown eyes were the first things I saw upon my return, wide with anxiety, and a wide smile at seeing me well came a close second.
Shame rushed through me like the stolen blood in my veins.
“Edward!” Her voice called to me lovingly. “You’re back.”
Her smile didn’t falter, not even for a second, when I raised my head and revealed to her my vivid red eyes and the blood smearing my face.
Her voice, amazingly, held only a hint of confusion, as she reached a hand towards me.
The powerful scent that was hers and hers only hit me, begging me to drink in spite of the feast I had only recently consumed.
“Bella, don’t.” I told her, ashamed. “Stay away.”
“But, Edward –”
I cut her off by darting forwards quickly and slapping a hand over her mouth.
And, whilst my proximity was threatening her life, it was the only way I could think of to get her to leave. To save her life.
A paradox, if ever there was one.
Her eyes that had, only seconds ago, been full of love and adoration, now showed fear and confusion.
Sighing, I cupped her scolding face in my own icy hands, not missing the shiver that ran through her.
It was just another sign that our worlds couldn’t merge.
“Bella, dearest,” I muttered deeply into her hair, inhaling the rich scent of her one final time. “I love you, always remember that.”
She nodded slowly, her face twisting in apprehension.
“I love you too.” Her voice was quiet, even for my ears.
“And that, my love,” I whispered in return. “Is why I must leave.”
She froze and, for once, it was not in thanks to the chill of my skin.
“I don’t …” She paused, searching for the word she wanted. “Understand.”
I kissed her forehead, smiling.
Bella was truly unaware of what I was – blissfully unaware of how thin the line was between life and death whenever she was with me.
And I now had to shatter whatever vestige of hope she had left in a perfect, fairytale world.
“Bella,” I’d not foreseen how horrible this would be. “I’m not who you think I am.”
“Of course you are,” her eyes were glistening with unshed tears. “You saved me – you’re my hero.”
“And that, darling, is where you’re wrong.” I shuddered in a breath. “I’m not the hero. I’m the bad guy.”
“Edward,” she cried. “Be serious! The bad guy?!”
I remained silent and Bella responded with a wry laugh.
“The bad guy?” She repeated, raising a hand to smudge the blood on my lip. “So, you’re, like, Dracula, or something?”
My eyes fell shut and I unwrapped her from my embrace, stepping far enough away from her that she couldn’t hurt herself if she attempted to lash out at me.
“Close enough.” I muttered.
“No.” Her voice rang with disbelief and finality as she processed what it was I was saying. “NO!”
She stepped away from me. My Bella had finally seen me for what I was … and she was scared of me.
It broke my un-beating heart.
“You can’t be.” She was shaking her head, firmly in denial. “You’re a …?”
I nodded slowly, opening my eyes and letting her fully comprehend the reason behind why my eyes were so differently coloured.
She gasped before – unbelievably – taking a step closer, and reaching out to trace the skin around my crimson eyes.
“Why is this?” She muttered, unaware of how her touch was affecting me. “Why this colour?”
“This is what happens,” I told her, “After I … feed.”
As expected, her hand wrenched away from my skin.
“You kill people?” Her voice was laced with betrayal. “I’m in love with a murderer?!”
There was nothing to say in response. It was, in all actuality, true.
Bella’s eyes screwed up tightly, heart-wrenching drops of tears sliding silently from behind the closed lids.
Each tear was like a vampire bite to my skin – the only thing to leave a scar on our bodies.
I had to leave. I couldn’t stay here, not now.
“Bella,” I whispered, trying one final time. “I love you. Remember that.”
The fact that she said nothing hurt a thousand times worse than if she’d replied with ‘I hate you’.
It meant that she’d really given up on me.
“Only if,” she countered after a long moment. “You remember that you are a thousand times worse than any mobster.”
I nodded my head acceptingly.
I deserved that, and so much more.
“But I still love you.” Her voice broke on a sob and I wanted nothing more than to take her in my arms.
“I apologise for hurting you, Bella.”
They were the last words that she would ever hear me speak.
For, at that moment, I vowed that Bella would never again see my face, or hear my name.
At least until I felt that the name Edward Cullen was no longer synonymous with ‘Monster’.