Being Mrs. Black
Edward/Bella, Implied Jacob/Bella. Imagine that the Cullens were late in returning to Forks. Bella arrived on schedule, but her life proceeded normally. She and Jacob become the best of friends and with no vampires to awaken them, the wolves don't mature. When he turns 18, Jake and his friends enlist, going to look for adventure in Iraq. He proposes, and Bella can't imagine ever loving someone more than she does her best friend. They quickly marry and he leaves for war. Two months later she gets some news that will turn her life upside down. And on that same day, a beautiful, dangerous stranger appears. From the moment their eyes meet, Bella begins to question those solemn vows she made. Will Bella Black do the right thing? Banner art and banner by Seisei
2. The Monster Under the Bed
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1677 Review this Chapter
Imagine that you are dying of thirst, but you float on a cool, blue sea. It surrounds you, pervades your every sense; you can feel the water, hear its liquid song as it laps against your cheek, you can even smell it. What you cannot do, by any means, is taste it. No matter how great your thirst, how fierce the burning in your throat, regardless that a moment more of the agony will render you to dust... not one single, cooling drop can pass your lips. One drop, and it begins.
It's so sweet at first, so deliciously satisfying. They practically flaunt it at you, baring their wrists and their throats, flashing their veins with the most casual of gestures. So tempting it seems, so siren, so incredibly, beautifully simple to reach out and pluck just one from the throng, to slake your thirst. That first swallow is all it takes, as the bitter salt begins to eat you away inside. One drink becomes a hundred, and the corruption works its way in deep, turning pleasure into greed. Truly, to feed is an addiction, for as soon as you take one hit, you're hunting for the next. The satisfaction is hollow, and meanwhile the salt becomes acid. Feasting on the tattered remains of your soul, it corrodes away the last remnants of humanity, until at last all that's left is the perfect shell. A hunter who lives for one reason and one reason only. To hunt, to feed, to kill.
Many years had passed since I'd last looked that monster in the eye. Naive, I thought it gone for good. My hubris was such that I imagined myself a wholly successful convert to Carlisle's peaceful way of life. No human could be so tempting as to make me risk the disappointment of the man I loved like a father. My lovely illusions gave me such comfort. I was a civilized being, a rational entity. My meals of animal blood were an ascetic's rations; an austerity of sustenance to allow for clarity of the mind. Such beautiful constructs idealism builds, when left to fester in the absence of true temptation.
Temptation, it seemed, was unassuming. Pretty, in a natural fashion. I admit to an embarrassing dearth of the details, none of them mattered. Temptation's scent was what damned me. Human language fails to adequately convey the complexity of her scent. To call it sweet would be an insult, such a simple word was nothing compared to reality. I was the dying man, and she the cup. The water of life ran beneath her skin, rapture and delight distilled within her life's cordial. The rich aroma of it staggered me, tearing away at my false constructs of control and civility. All I had to do was take her, bring her to my lips. Her warm, soft flesh would yield so easily, giving me access to the ecstasy that ran in azure rivers beneath her pale skin.
I stood there, transfixed, unable to move for fear that the slightest twitch would give my body permission. Once I gave in even that much, the outcome was inevitable. The girl who stood in the doorway, looking at me as though she'd never seen a man before with her liquid brown eyes, would die. I'd seen those eyes before, in the elegant face of a doe, innocent eyes that had never seen the true ugliness of the world. Deep and velvet eyes that dreamed of innocent pleasures and measured the days in shafts of sunlight and the night in fallen stars. I'd ruthlessly torn the light from such eyes, more times than I could count.
Not again. I would not let this insignificant woman be my undoing. Yes, I would dispose of her quickly... No. This would not, could not, happen. I wouldn't let it. I made the mistake of taking another breath, and the air carried her scent to me yet again. Never have I experienced anything like it. The perfume of the ripest, most succulent of fruits, the most fragrant flowers, the scent of pure, cool water to a man parched with thirst... I wanted her with every fiber of my being, the need pulsed through me with every beat of her unsuspecting heart.
Hearts? Twin beats. One a mere echo of the other, so soft I had to strain to hear it. That was when I made two impossible discoveries. The first, that the girl who stood in the doorway, mere inches from her death, sheltered a life inside of her. The second, that her thoughts were a mystery to me. So rapt was I with her scent, I had not immediately noticed the silence that greeted me from her mind. Horror warred with confusion, and then anger trumped them all.
None of it mattered. None of it. The only thing of consequence here was that I would not allow this confounding creature to erode decades of control. In that moment, I hated nothing as I hated her. If I could have reached out and wiped her from existence, I would have. If only it had been within my power, I would crumble her to dust.
Edward, don't do this. I clung to Carlisle's warning like a lifeline. A hold that was bolstered by his voice. "Edward." His concern was foremost, both for me and for the girl. He couldn't know my motivations, but he knew me, and our kind, well enough to interpret my reactions. "This is Bella Black, one of my patients." He gave the frightened face a name, laying weight on her surname. Black. So she was connected to the dogs somehow, and connected to him, as his patient. If something happened... With painful effort, I tore my eyes away from her, my hands clenched into tight fists that could have crushed stone. "Don't test yourself," Carlisle murmured, in a voice pitched for my ears alone. Then he moved past me to comfort her. Bella. She seemed shaken. She should be. If she had even a shred of self-preservation, her instincts should be screaming at her to run.
I turned on my heel and began pacing, trying to master the excitement at that thought. If she ran, I don't think I could keep myself from pursuing. If anything, the monster that lurked inside me roared its approval. It enjoyed the idea of the chase, toying with her, breaking delicate bones, delighting in her screams, all seasoned with the intoxicating power of her scent. The animal that looked out through my eyes calculated the distance to be traveled were I to snatch her from beneath Carlisle's protective wing, carrying her away.
Distantly I was aware that Carlisle was trying to comfort her. He said my name, but whatever else he might have said was lost on me. I was wallowing in the filth of my bloody orgy, indulging in the possibilities of my most base desires once I had her to myself. How could I have ever imagined myself a man? I was human in form only, a twisted, stunted abomination cloaked in an angel's marble skin.
EDWARD. I rocked back on my heels, staggered by the force of will behind that silent shout. My head snapped up, my darkened eyes meeting his golden ones. The intent in them, in his thoughts, was clear. Even at the risk of his own life, he would not let me harm Bella Black. For my own sake as much as hers. He knew me better than anyone, my father, mentor, guardian, and though he was uncertain of what forces were driving my actions, he understood the consequences. To break my promise, to him and to myself, to kill a mother and her unborn child... I would be lost.
"Edward," Carlisle repeated aloud. "Please leave."
The fever left me, and all I could feel then was cold. Shame was foremost, that he had witnessed my disgrace. Chagrin, at a situation that, even now, could spiral out of control. Sadness, I could feel it in us both, at the knowledge that the monster still lurked and was so easily brought forth.
"I'm sorry, Carlisle." I could only hope that my words conveyed what I felt in my heart. "You're right. Of course. I'll see you later, then." Without hesitation, I moved to the door. Even without looking at her, I could have lifted my arm and pointed at Bella Black. Her thoughts were closed to me, but I had never been so incredibly aware of someone in my long life. Carlisle was grateful that he'd gotten through to me, but still wary, I noticed he kept his body between me and Bella as I made my escape. Probably wise. I couldn't guarantee that, had I seen an opening, I wouldn't have taken it. Yes, I was truly that pathetic.
The white hallways were a blur, I wanted to be outside, to drag in deep breaths of air that were free of Bella Black's scent. I burst out into the muted daylight and stood leaning against the rail, breathing like I'd just run a marathon, trying to banish her from the inside out. The silver Volvo waited for me, a trusty steed in my moment of desperation. I got in, slammed the door, let my head fall back against the head rest. Already I knew I couldn't go to the house my family shared. I needed to feed, I needed distance, and I needed time. Otherwise, the moment darkness fell, I would go on the hunt again, drawn to her blood like the flame gone in search of the moth.
Turning the key in the ignition, I backed up and then accelerated out of the parking lot. As soon as I had open road, I put my foot to the gas and did everything in my power to leave Forks, and Bella, behind me.
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