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Sunset of Hearts

Summary:
As the sun sets, it is the ending of a life. Sure, lives end every day, and new ones begin. But on this twilight, the sun was setting on the most important life in my world. But, it was also dawning on a new life as well. The only catch was, those two lives were both the same. What if Bella had come to Forks, and Edward and his family were human? What if they were like every other family? But, what if they were unfortunately pulled into a dark situation, that was to transform them into the thing of their nightmares, and inconsequentially, something darker than they had ever dreamed of? And what if Bella was the one to keep Edward going through all of this? Basically, what if Edward and his family were human in Forks? (Were being the key word.)


Notes:
Okay, I know that, if you read my previously completed story, Daylight, I promised an entirely different story. But, I felt a different inspiration to write this one. So, here it is.


15. Chapter 14: Vampires Will Never Hurt You

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2192   Review this Chapter

“I don’t see why you’re so shocked. I’m no different than those monsters you live with,” he said calmly.

“You’re nothing like them,” I fumed. “How dare you talk about my parents that way!”

“They aren’t your parents,” he retorted.

“They’ve done a hell of a lot better than you have.”

“No, I’d say that was all your mother’s fault. I tried to convince her to get an abortion, but she wouldn’t listen. I never wanted you.” His words were like a knife through my chest. “She didn’t know how to raise you anyways – she barely knew how to raise herself. At any rate, she was a whore. A waste of space.” He said it dismissively, as if it was old and no longer important.

“HOW DARE YOU!” I screamed, throwing myself at him. I extended my hands before my, reaching out to strangle him, to make him take back what he said. But I’d only forgotten one thing.

With one hand, he struck me square across the chest, sending me flying back into a tree. The breath left my lungs in one quick whoosh, and I was left scrambling to get breathing again. Bella’s scream stuck in her throat, and she stumbled to her feet, about to run. My father put a restraining hand on her arm.

“DON’T TOUCH HER!” I yelled, as soon as I found my breath once more.

“And who can stop me?” He turned halfway so that, through his peripheral vision, he could see me, and gently trailed his fingertips down her delicate cheek. She shivered, eyes flashing back and forth between his face and mine. My blood boiled under my skin.

He traced his fingers along her jaw line, then down her neck. My fists automatically clenched, as if ready to fight – even though I knew I could never win. He traced the contours of her left shoulder, trailing his dirty fingertips down her thin arm. Suddenly, he changed directions, moving back up her arm the way he came. Instead of moving to the right shoulder as I’d thought he would do, her slowly traced along her breast. I saw her tense, and take in a shuddering breath, closing her eyes.

I took a step forward, warning him not to go farther. But he simply grinned malevolently and chuckled darkly under his breath, continuing to trace down her slim body. He stopped at her waist line, and I saw her tense further at his proximity to her belt. I feared he might go farther, but instead he stopped, drawing his hand back. Bella and I exhaled at the same moment.

“Hmm…decisions, decisions…” he brought his hand up to tap his chin with his index finger, looking up in thought.

“What decisions?” I demanded almost rudely.

“Now, now, Edward; be patient.” I heard him use that strange way of speaking yet again, using unfamiliar cadences and formal articulation.

We waited for what seemed like forever – but what I was sure was only moments – before he seemed to reach his decision. Ever so slowly, he started to lean into the soft skin at the base of her neck where it slowly curved into her shoulder blade. It took me a minute to realize what he was doing, and the realization hit me like a battering ram. I knocked her out of his grasp, and she fell to the ground, out of his reach. His eyes remained closed, and I was surprised he didn’t realize her absence. He inhaled, and then leaned into my throat. I felt his teeth pierce my flesh.

BELLA

He leaned into my neck, inhaling. I wasn’t sure exactly what he was doing, and even when Edward pushed me out of his grasp, I still could not fully comprehend. I had thought he might react to my sudden absence, but he seemed unfazed. He now leaned into Edward’s throat, and pressed his mouth to his neck.

And then it hit me.

He really was a vampire. What he had said before was true. And now he was sinking his razor-sharp fangs into my boyfriend’s neck. I scrambled up from the grass where I’d fallen, and took in the ghastly scene. Edward’s eyes were wide, his mouth hanging open in a round “O” of shock. I heard him gasp – a strangled, choking noise – and claw at the hands that held him firmly.

Moving around to the side, I took a few steps back to prepare myself. Then I ran forward, launching myself onto the vampire’s back. I pounded my fists against his back, but it was like beating against a rock. Still I persisted, though I knew without a doubt that it was useless.

But then the vampire let out a horrible yell – sounding like an enraged beast – and threw Edward away from him. I fell back onto the ground, the breath escaping from my lungs in a single gasp. Edward collapsed to the ground as well, hands clutching at his neck. The vampire stood assessing the scene for a few moments before slowly turning on me, eyes wild with thirst and blood leaking from the corner of his lips.

I felt my eyes go wide, and my breath caught in my throat. He began to advance on me, and I thought for sure I would die. With all my strength, I prayed desperately that Edward would make it out alive, and the vampire would stop at me after his thirst was satiated.

As if by a miracle, a rustling in the bushes made the vampire turn away from me. I saw a figure emerge from the shadows, but for some reason unknown to me, I felt safe. As if I had a sixth sense that told me the newcomer was a friend, not a foe.

Using the vampire’s distraction to my advantage, I took the chance to put a good two or three yards between us – not that it mattered much. I ran to where Edward lay, shaking and clutching at his neck in agony. I knew he was in pain, but I was at a loss as to how I could help him.

At my touch, he gasped and frantically grasped at my shirt, pulling me to him. I wrapped my arms around his shaking torso and whispered soothing words in his ear. It didn’t help of course – he continued to shake and his muscles remained tense.

For the first time, I remembered the vampire’s distraction. I lifted my gaze a scanned the meadow to find him. And suddenly, there he was. But he wasn’t alone. Standing approximately twenty or so yards away were two figures whose faces I couldn’t distinguish. All I could tell was that it was a man and a woman – one had long, flowing, caramel colored locks; the other had much shorted platinum blonde hair – and that they were tensed, as if for battle.

The vampire stood undecided, clearly aware that he was out numbered, but unsure as to whether or not he would flee or fight. The woman glanced over to where Edward and I sat in the grass, and I saw her hand fly up to cover her mouth in horror. She must have known he’d been bitten.

But I was fairly sure he wouldn’t change into a… (it hurt to even think the word) vampire. In order for that to happen, the person would have needed to drink the vampire’s blood, too. Right? That’s what happened in all the books. It felt sort of strange to relate this to a work of fiction – but that seemed to be the description of my life at this point: fiction.

“If you leave at once, we will not kill you,” the male warned in a polite tone that did no good to hide the threat.

“What?” The female spun around to glare at the male. “He bit him! He bit him, Carlisle! We can’t just let him get off!”

Carlisle? The name sounded oddly familiar to me, but I couldn’t think of where I’d heard it before. Someone somehow connecting to Edward, I was almost sure of it. But I couldn’t place my finger on it. His family, maybe?

“Calm now, Esme,” Carlisle soothed, placing a pale hand on her shoulder.

It clicked then.

He’d told me of his adopted parents once before, addressed them as Carlisle and Esme and also as his father and mother. “My mother and father – Carlisle and Esme, for that matter – have been very good to me. I couldn’t have asked for better parents. They’re all I’ve ever known, so it really feels like they’re my real parents.”

A thought occurred to me suddenly. Were Carlisle and Esme…vampires? The vampire had said something about it before. I don’t see why you’re so shocked. I’m no different than those monsters you live with. Monsters? That must mean he knew…and that they were like him. But not bad, I thought. Certainly not bad.

“I will not leave,” the vampire snarled. “You interrupted my supper.” I shivered once.

“Do not forget you are out numbered, Edward,” Carlisle warned. I flinched, not having thought of the vampire as Edward Senior in a while, just because he was no longer the same sort of monster that Edward had told me of before. He certainly wasn’t the same at all – more of a beast than a human now.

“But I’m stronger than both of you,” he gloated, grinning malevolently.

“Be gone or I shall have to dispose of you,” Carlisle repeated, as if for the last time.

“I dare you to fight me,” the vampire growled, widening his stance until her was crouching in a surprisingly cat-like position as if ready to spring.

“Carlisle,” Esme cried, placing her hand on his forearm to stop him, “he’s a newborn! You can’t stop him.”

“I can try,” he said with a sigh. “Just get them to the house and safe. Don’t worry about me,” he declared, selfless.

“Don’t,” she choked. “Don’t do this alone.”

“I’ll be fine,” he assured her, giving a weak smile. Then he lowered himself into the same feline stance as the vampire had, and waited as Esme watched on in horror. Suddenly the vampire took off into the woods, and Carlisle was right on his heels. They both disappeared into the night, the noise of their passage disappearing along with them.

Silently, Esme appeared beside us. She pried Edward’s fingers from my shirt and quickly assessed his wound and felt his forehead. Then she lifted his body in her arms and cradled him against her chest. Then she looked down at me apologetically.

“I’m afraid I can’t carry both of you at the same time.” She looked around, then back down to me. “You should be fine here by yourself for a few minutes.”

“I can walk,” I said, although my voice shook with the emotional stress of the situation.

I seemed to have missed something important, because she shook her head and said, “Stay here. I’ll be right back.” And suddenly she was gone, and I was alone in the dark meadow.

It was not a good time to be alone. I curled up into a ball with my arms around my knees and glanced around nervously, the smallest of noises startling me. A squirrel scurried up a tree, causing me to scream. A rabbit hopped across the meadow, rustling the leaves and making me jump. A tree branch rustled, suddenly obscuring the moonlight and making the meadow even darker then before. But the branch returned to its place and I once again saw the empty barrenness of the grassy plain that stretched around me.

Esme returned surprisingly within minutes of her departure and wordlessly scooped me off the ground. When I protested, she shook her head and ran into the trees at a frighteningly alarming pace, reminding me of the previous run through these woods.

I wasn’t sure where we were going – if we would be taking a car or not – but suddenly we came to a halt inside a rather large living room. She set me down gently on a cream colored sofa that had three off-white pillows. I pulled one onto my lap, holding it to my body tightly as possible.

I was alone in the living room – Esme had gone up the staircase as soon as she’d set me down. I had no idea where I was, and I was surprisingly edgier. A scream from somewhere upstairs made me jump, but before I could make the decision to go up and investigate, Alice came in from what I took to be the kitchen.

“Oh, Bella, I’m so glad you’re okay!” She exclaimed, streaking across the room and pulling me into her thin arms. The pillow fell to the ground as she pulled me to her, and a strange ripping noise filled the room. It took me a while to realize the noise was coming from me.

“Shhh…it’s okay,” she whispered, tightening her arms around me.

Sometime later I drifted into a dreamless sleep – exhausted.