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Juxtaposition

Summary:
Edward/Bella. Edward POV. Reality turns on its ear and you have no choice but to forget everything you think you know about Twilight. Is it AU? I guess you'll just have to read to find out.


Notes:


13. Into the Fire

Rating 5/5   Word Count 916   Review this Chapter

PART THIRTEEN: Into the Fire

[POV Shift: Isabel]

Small prey made for a meager meal, but I couldn't take the time to search for something larger. Being gone this long was already making me nervous. That I had wasted much of that time wallowing in self-pity, listening to a voice in my head, just made me feel ashamed. At some point, Bella had gone quiet, as though she were trying to give me privacy. Part of me appreciated that, part of me felt strangely lonely left to my own thoughts.

When I neared the edge of the woods, I found a very contrite wolf waiting for me. He lay with his huge head on his paws, watching me with fathomless dark eyes. How many times had we done this? Come back to one another to make peace for hasty, hurtful words? It was hard to stay angry with the wolf, and he knew that. Right now, I had no will to fight it.

Suddenly weary, I let go of my pride and went to him, sliding my arms around his neck. I remembered the first time I'd had this pleasure, curled close to him, my hands lost in his thick, soft fur. Closing my eyes, I hid my face against his neck, breathing in his scent. Emmett said he reeked like a wet dog, but I'd always thought he smelled like a musky Christmas tree. Warm and woodsy. And that was perhaps the strangest enigma of Jake's gift when he wore his wolf form, he was warm. I indulged myself for just a few moments, soaking up the heat of his body. Then I pulled away, pausing by his head just long enough to lean my cheek against his.

"You don't have to come with me," I said quietly. "I know you've been waiting this whole time. Go feed." He growled, expressing his opinion. "Okay, go feed, and then come back." He considered this for a moment, tilting his head. Hunger won out in the end, and I watched him lope off into the darkness.

I continued on my way and slipped silently into the hospital. Technically visitors hours had ended hours ago, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. In a lighter moment, it would have been a fun game, playing hide and seek with the hospital staff. Instead it was mildly annoying. But it wasn't until I stepped out on Edward's floor that I caught her scent. Lips pulled back from my teeth, I dropped into a crouch, lifting my head to test the air. She'd been here recently.

I crept slowly down the hallway toward Edward's room. As I approached the nurse's station, a grim sight came into view. Two nurses lay on the floor behind the desk, their throats torn out. The work was neatly done, with hardly a drop of blood spilled.

She took her time, Bella whispered in my mind, voicing my thoughts.

"I can't believe she just left them here. She's Volturi." Although what concerned me more was wondering where my brother and his wife had been when it happened. I left the bodies behind, forcing myself to move cautiously when I wanted to run. As I'd feared, Edward's room was empty. Did she have them all, then? Had she come with reinforcements?

I found droplets of blood on the floor by the bed, Edward's blood.

Edward...

"It's alright," I murmured. "I'll find him." But the words were useless, she could feel my fear as strongly as I did. Taking a deep breath, I made myself focus. He'd left me a faint trail, every few feet another drop of blood like a crimson breadcrumb. From the scent trail, he'd been alone, moving under his own power. "That damned idiot," I swore, feeling sick. "What was he thinking?"

He's Edward, Bella said quietly. This is what he does.

"He nearly died." The trail ended at the elevator. I looked up at the status bar. Roof level. Pressing the button did nothing, it didn't even light up, and the elevator stubbornly stayed on the roof. I turned, looking for another option, and my eyes found the stairs.

Three flights up, and I hit a dead-end. The roof was just above us, but the stairs didn't give access to it. "Dammit," I swore softly. I went out into the hallway. This level appeared to be mostly offices, empty at this time of night.

Hurry Isabel, please.

"I know," I whispered desperately. There had to be a way... At the end of the hallway was a large window. It was one of those sorts of windows that weren't designed to open, just one large pane of glass, but there was a ledge outside. "Alright... we'll do this the hard way."

Backing up a few steps, I charged forward at full speed, throwing up a forearm to shield my face and eyes by instinct. The glass shattered on impact, and I scrambled quickly to save myself from my own momentum. Clinging to the ledge, I reached for the now-empty window-frame, pulling myself upright again.

I looked up, I was going to have a climb ahead of me, but the need to be on that roof was thrumming through me like a live thing. For Edward, for Bella, for myself, I found the first handhold and began to move upward.