A new score of vampires threatens the inhabitants of Forks. The Cullens barely escape the massacre but are forced to return to help save what is left of the town. But with Emma on the fritz and Bella's own conflicts of right and wrong, vampires or werewolves, the future of Forks does not look very promising. The worst part… vampires that don't know when to quit keep popping up. And people keep dying. This is the much anticipated sequel to Nightshade. It will be finished before Breaking Dawn is published!
All of this belongs to Stephenie Meyer. If you know what is good for you, you will review.
7. Chapter 6 - A Natural Lust
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I suppose that I have gone far enough into the story to realize the folly of trying to writing it from the third person- trying to disassociate myself from it. As if somehow, it will make these memoirs less painful, as if somehow, it made it not my story but someone else’s entirely. It is isn’t and trying to hide from it is not healthy. I suppose that one day I have to face all of this, and the sooner the better, now matter how much it hurts. And trust me, it will hurt. I’ll survive though. I survived actually living through it, and writing about it is less physically life threatening. Emotionally, it’s a killer. I suppose that I have reiterated that fact quite enough. I have my husband of nearly five years now to help me get through it. I do love him dearly, with all of my heart. Sometimes, I wonder how I could have ever imagined that I loved another when this type of devotion and adoration was not present in the relationship. That is just one of the many things life as a vampire has taught me. And yes, I shall write vampire, boldly and true. I will not hide who I am, what I am, and I should not have to. There should be no law that forces me to keep my identity a secret. Another rant for another time. You will have to bear with me. I do tend to go on little tangents. That’s why I tried to write this from third person, it is nearly impossible to ramble then. But, in third person, the emotion of the experiences was lacking, and that emotion is the only reason that I am writing this. Hence the problem. Finally, I am ending this paragraph.
But not the entire thought. Or whatever. Izzie has tried these last five years to convince me to write down my transformation experience and the events that followed shortly thereafter. She seems to think it an epic adventure or an important piece of vampiric history. Personally I fail to see the significance of it to anyone besides me and maybe, my little ol’ coven. Yet here I am. Izzie can be a very persuasive person, after all. She never shuts up. Obviously, I do not know every little minute detail to the story. Others have volunteered to help me, to write down what they remember so I can recopy it in handwriting that kills Edward’s penmanship any day. If you ready something written by dearest friends or my darling husband, that is why.
I still think this is foolish, even with everyone urging me to write this story. I wish almost that I had never told them in the first place.
I walked down the road alone. I wanted time to think, time to sulk. That used to be one of my favorite activities, I remembered. I used to take my i-Pod and go on the trampoline out back and jump around for hours. There I could loose myself in the music and in the rhythm of the jumps. It seemed like I had always been happy during those times.
I wanted so badly to be tired. To sleep. Mentally exhausted was the correct term I believe. Physically fine, mentally retarded. Something like that anyways. I hope I just didn’t offend anyone. I trudged along the path in the forest that only vampires could see my thoughts scrambled. Did I love Embry? Did I hate him? No, I didn’t hate him. What did I want out of this relationship? No. Definitely not. I did not know what I wanted or what to do. I just wanted something to happen. I wanted someone to do it for me, just to wake up and for everything to be all right.
“Hello?” I shouted out as I walked into the great mansion that was the Cullen household.
“You don’t need to shout, Emma. We all here you perfectly fine,” Rosalie said just above a whisper.
“It feels funny to whisper,” she muttered under her breath.
“Get used to it,” Rosalie answered in a singsong voice. Emma rolled her eyes. Walking boredly to Edward’s grand piano, she plopped down on the bench. For once, Edward and Izzie were absent from the house. Alice was gone as well. I could only come up with the idea that they were at Charlie’s house planning the wedding. Ha. Poor Izzie.
“Emma!!!!!!” Emmett ran down the stairs two at a time. Or for at a time. I didn’t like to keep count with the menial stuff. That was Edward’s job, as boring as he is.
“Yes, Emmett, dear?” I asked mildly as I tinkered with the ivory keys.
“Let’s go hiking!” he exclaimed.
Emma looked up, startled. “What?” she asked.
“Hiking!” Emmett was so excited that he almost was clapping his hands together. “It’ll be fun!”
“Hiking?” I wrinkled my nose. That sounded so drab. All I wanted to do was sulk and be miserable. Yet all the Cullens wanted to do was be perky and happy and drag me and everyone else miserable down into their infinite pit of happiness. I would put a smile on my face and act as if I did not have a care in the world. But, I did. There is only so much acting one can do before your character becomes who you are. In my case, it was happy or at least, content. I found myself happy more and more, when all I wanted was to be sad. What did that make me? Bipolar. That was just great. Who had ever heard of a bipolar vampire before? I really screwed everything up. That was so not fair. Of course, hiking sounded wonderfully fun. Normally, I would have had jumped on the idea of hiking, but I wanted to be alone. I wanted the world to be painted in hues of gray and black, maybe the tiniest hint of white- nothing to abstruse though. Straight and narrow, drab and dull, so I would not feel so alone. No, wait. So, I would feel more alone. That’s what I was going for.
“Yeah! Come on, Emma. It’ll be fun!” Emmett was behind me. “Please! Oh, please oh please oh please!”
“I don’t wanna go,” I whined through my nose. I crossed my arms over my chest and tucked my head in a pout. I tightened all of my muscles while keeping my legs locked beneath the piano bench. No. I wasn’t going. I wanted to be left alone and be happily unhappy that way. Emmett was having none of it.
“Let’s go!” He grabbed my waist just under my elbows. He lifted me up easily, bench and all. I did not uncurl in the slightest, nor did my pout diminish. I was too annoyed at the fact that I was being touched to play fun. I did not like being touched- I still don’t- unless it is by someone that I trust implicitly. Yes, I do love Emmett and yes, I do trust him. But, no, I do not want him to touch me. I have my personal bubble and he was invading it.
“Emmett,” Jasper’s voice rang out authoritatively- not that normal tone that you use when someone is a few feet away from you- no, it was a loud statement. He appeared at the top of the stairs, “Put her down.”
Still holding me and the bench, Emmett turned to face his brother. “Why?”
“Just do it, Emmett.” Emmett hesitated. I almost when bitch ninja on him. “Now,” Jasper clarified. Reluctantly, Emmett set me down right where I had been point four-six seconds before. I still am amazed at how fast we can move and talk. We move too fast, we say too much to have any meaning. We are too advanced to appreciate the little things in life and I think that is why Rosalie hates being a vampire so. There is no end to anything. It all drags on in one continuous day. There is no respite, no relaxation, just endless workings and drummings.
I nodded my head in thanks to my rescuer. He had felt my distress and had saved me. If I was one of those pathetic heroines in the silent movies, I would have swooned with love. As I was not, I just let the gratefulness roll off of me in waves. He inclined his head in acknowledgment of my gratitude. I could like Jasper very much; we were similar. He was much more taciturn than I, but we thought the same ways.
“Do you want to go hiking?” Emmett was not to be deterred.
There was no way that I was getting out of it. Honestly, I was glad that I was invited. I wanted to go. I bobbed my head excitedly. “Let me change!”
“Rosey? Are you coming?” Emmett boisterously yelled up to his gorgeous wife.
“You are forcing me to, Emmett!” Rosalie replied in her normal tones. I did not understand why Izzie always thought that Rosalie was a vocal person. Whenever I was around her, she preferred to use the same volume and rarely yelled. Unless it was at Edward or Emmett. For different reasons, though. Oh great. Now I have dirty images in my head from that thought. Eww!
I bound up the stairs all the way to my room on the third floor. I quickly pulled on a I had just recently de-Bella-ized myself. I was back to smelling how I had always smelled. That was very nice. Not my smell, I meant just being back to being my old I self, you know. I did smell good, I supposed. It is not like I was pungent or anything. I threw on a pair of short jean shorts and a black tank top that looked wonderful with my dark hair and pale skin. As I stepped into my only pair of tennis shoes, I pulled my hair in pigtails. Lately the style had grown on me, much to Alice and Rosalie’s dismay.
Rosalie walked a second after that, ready to go. I grinned and waltzed down the stairs, having recently decided that she was going to mimic Alice’s grace. I had not told any body yet, but had a strange feeling that both Alice and Edward knew. If they knew, the rest of the family would know. I grimaced at the thought before quickly dismissing it. Who cares what others thought of you? That makes life too short, even for the immortal.
Immortal. What an odd word. I never thought that a person could be immortal. Yet I was living proof that I was wrong.
“Don’t show off,” Rosalie mumbled. Though graceful, she lacked the poise and finesse of Alice. Rosalie strutted dominantly wherever she went, like a supermodel or the Queen of England.
“Hmm?” I turned around. That was one thing that you could not do, get me distracted. Then, I did not pay attention. It was not clumsiness, simply me being dumb. I ran into the wall. Rosalie stopped and laughed loudly. I managed to free myself from it before every one else came to see what was so funny. I sent my friend a death glare. She rolled her eyes, but was merciful and kept silent.
We did not drive, but once every one was assembled in the living room, we left. Emmett took the lead, his muscular legs fell into a comfortable rhythm. He quickly remembered the natural motions that he loved so much. Rosalie and I fell into pace behind him. Jasper the final one.
“Do you want to go shopping tomorrow?” Rosalie was asking I, “There is a new mall opening up in Seattle. I want to get there before every one else.”
“Sure!” I smiled, “That would be fun! I love window shopping!”
Rosalie glared at me. I giggled. She was so much fun to play with! Emmett and Jasper laughed around us. Rosalie’s glare turned deadly.
“I meant to buy things while we were there,” she snapped.
cocked my head to the side playfully, “Really?” This was too easy. I loved Rose, but she was even easier than Edward, and that is saying something. I mean, that poor guy literally walks around with a target on his back. Two, technically, because he takes any insult aimed at Izzie- real or play- even worse than he takes a jab at himself.
Rosalie groaned and rolled her eyes, “I, what am I going to do with you?”
“Go shopping,” I answered.
Rosalie smacked herself on the forehead. I grinned and started to skip. Rosalie gave me a quirky look and matched my pace. Curious, I sped up and started bounding higher. Rosalie’s lithe frame pushed high up off the ground. She skipped over Emmett and off into the forest. Determined to not be undone, I followed her and then past her, grinning and humming loudly.
Rosalie laughed a beautiful rippling laugh. She skipped by, waving to me as she went. I had to go along. We were going pretty fast by now. I laughed. In a merry mood that clashed with my dismal one from earlier, I started to sing Everything Back But You by Avril Lavigne.
Rosalie giggled and joined in.
“The post card that you wrote with that stupid little note! Something wasn’t quite right about it! It smelled like cheap perfume and it did not smell like you! There was no way you could get around it.
“Because you wrote: I wish you were her! You left out the ‘E’! You left without me. And now you are some where out there with a,” they both took deep breaths and screamed, “BITCH! SLUT! PHYSCO BABE! I hate you! Why are guys so lame? Everything I gave you, I want everything back but you!”
What was that? I froze. The world turned red, my vision grew blurry yet intensely focused. I saw every minute detail and miniscule cell. I could smell every scent. One in particular called out to me, like sweet nectar fit only for the gods of Greece to drink. The ambrosia called out to me, ensnaring me and luring me like a sire lured a sailor to his death. Insanity swept over me as my body was no longer mine to control. A void that I did not know I had became my only focus and I rushed as swiftly as I could to the only thing that could fill this consuming need.
Rosalie followed behind me. I sensed her presence, but did not see it. She only caused me to increase my speed. No. It was mine, that wonderful smell. Mine all mine. I would kill her if she tried to impede me in any way. Rosalie was my friend, but her death was an easy price to give for that scent. Blood.
“EMMA!” I thought she screamed. I couldn’t be sure. I needed that smell desperately. It was my only focus, the only thing in the world that I would ever need. It seemed vaguely familiar yet all together new.
Arms encircled my waist. Someone was trying to steal my prey from me! How dare they! I did not even look behind me to see who the traitor was. I dug my nails into his face and he let me go with a surprised yelp of pain. It must have been, Emmett, I decided. Only he was stupid enough to try to touch me.
There! It was so close! I burst into a clearing but did not stop to observe. I had no need. I saw everything instantaneously. The coniferous trees as their needles blew in the warm wind, sending the delightful aroma towards me, calling to me, enticing me even further. I saw where the animals had disturbed the dirt- scared away by the boy’s harsh screams. How had I not heard them before? That became irrelevant. The boy lay towards the bushes- not in the center of the clearing like in some silly human movie. Humans, they had no concept of originality. They tried to be suspenseful and ended up turning the movie cheesy. All of this I thought in less that a millisecond, for it too was irrelevant.
The next thing I saw was the most disturbing. Crouching overtop my prey was another. A vampire. His scent hit me full on. Musky and slightly sweaty with the distinct scent of pineapple. I wrinkled my nose in disgust as I let out the most feral growl I had ever dared try. Predatory instinct took over as the dominance in me flared to life. I fell back onto my haunches, and bared my teeth. The threat before me looked up, startled from his meal. He had ivory hair and ivory skin, and the bloodiest eyes I have ever seen. His skin was as colorless as milk and his hair seemed to be eternally coated with a thick snow. Those cold, calculating eyes drank in my sudden appearance. I believe what startled him the most were my golden eyes. I doubt he had ever seen a professed “vegetarian” before.
“May I help you?” he asked almost pleasantly.
My eyes flickered to the two figures lying around him. They two were boys, and in their mid teens, perhaps. I did not care. They were empty husks, drained of their sweet nectar. I had no use for them. I did not answer him. He sensed my threat and stood, leaving the boy still partially filled with blood. Another wave of desire washed over me. Oh God, how I craved that blood.
The ignorant foreigner seemed to think that he had a chance of defeating me in a battle. I would win any fight with a hand tied behind my back. Especially for blood as aromatic as that boy’s. The intruding vampire snarled at me in return. He lunged at me, arms outstretched, ready to shred me. I was prepared for him. After having dueled with Emmett for countless hours on end, I could handle anything the wiry little vampire could throw at me. His hands touched the skin of my shoulder and he thought that he had triumphed. Wrong. So swiftly that he could not see it, I grabbed ahold of his wrists and turned them opposite ways. I heard the echoing snaps of his wrists being broken. He howled in pain, but did not halt his attacks. Why would he? He would be healed in a matter of minutes.
A roar from behind shattered the silence. Emmett threw himself into my fight. He grabbed my assailant by the waist and threw him against the tree. Rosalie and Jasper flew in right behind him. The snowy vampire took one glance at the four golden eyed freaks and bolted. Wuss. Emmett cracked his knuckles threateningly, as if he was daring the random vampire to return to the fight.
I myself did not care. I had more important things to attend to. Like the fact that the boy stood alone and weakened before me with nothing blocking my path. Yes. His precious blood was mine. All mine.
As if sensing my intentions, Jasper suddenly lurched and dropped to the ground. He was one his knees, struggling with his own bloodlust and mine, obviously placing him between me and the boy. He shook and snarled and tried to calm me down, as if my reducing frenzied need would lessen his own. No! I couldn’t back down! No! It was my kill. Mine. Do you hear me, everyone? Mine! Screw the vegetarian lifestyle and those who practiced it! It was my life and I was going to live it how I wanted! Yes! Selfish and careless, mine. Me. Mine. All for me. Only me. I was the only one who mattered. Yes. That was how I would be forever.
I stepped towards the boy. His blood oozed out of his neck, glistening against his tanned skin. He was a handsome boy- young and still developing- just enough maturity to give the blood a little kick without taking away the sweet innocence that children held innately within them. Jasper snarled and I flinched, taking a step backwards in the process of doing so. Rosalie and Emmett finally turned their attention away from the edge of clearing where they watched, waiting for the foreigner to return. Stupidly, they left the two of us who struggled the most with the bloodlust in it unwatched with the bleeding boy. They rushed to us though far too slow.
Time stopped. I looked at Jasper and he looked up at me. Our eyes locked, black upon black, both fighting to remain golden. We both faced the same internal struggle; we both needed the blood more than we had ever needed anything else. Yet here I was, ready to surrender my very soul and finish draining the boy, while Jasper stood his ground against me. I knew from stories that he had the least control out of all those unnatural vegetarians. I did not understand why he was so ready to defend the life of the already dying boy. His life was forfeit already so why not let me finnish the deed and spare him from this torturous life? Jasper was having none of it. He dedicatedly stood before me, daring to defy my wishes. Deep within me, I knew that I was the more powerful vampire. I knew that some how, if I needed it, the hidden talent that the Cullen’s whispered about would surface and allow me to conquer all in my path.
Jasper said no words in those milliseconds that stretched on forever. From the corner of my eye, I saw Rosalie and Emmett barreling their way toward us in an ungainly manner. I paid them no heed. My mind assessed no threat from them. In Jasper’s eyes I focused my intention. ‘You don’t want to do this,’ they seemed to say. ‘You will regret it,’ So? my mind screamed. What did I care about that? I had lived my entire life with regret, I could finish out my existence in it.
I took another step closer to the boy. I did not want to drain him. No. I really did not. I did not want to hurt him in the least, but I could not control my body, my instincts. The next few moments were an out of body experience. My mind screamed for me to stop. My body ignored it. Instinct separated from consciousness and ruled supreme. My soul was useless in this fight. I could do nothing to save the poor boy or myself, just watch as I took the final lunge to rip into his delicate throat. Midway in the air, I looked into his eyes. They were open and looking into mine. I saw the fear and the terror in them, and reveled and hated it all at once.
Suddenly, a hard body slammed into mine. Arms wrapped around me and held me tight. I breathed in Jasper. I felt his body jerk and realized belatedly that I had struck him. It took me that long to realize that I was fighting against him, still desperate to get to the boy when I should have clung to Jasper for dear life, to keep myself from doing the wretched deed. It was all mind over matter. In a decision that I would question for all eternity, I threw my arms around Jasper and pulled him tight against me. His arms tightened around me while one hand moved to hold my head against his chest. I sobbed tearlessly onto him. Now, when vampires cry, we do not shed tears. However, we produce excess amounts of venom that secrete from various ducts. One does happen to be the eyes so we appear to shed human tears, but only to our kind. To the human eye, we are not crying, the venom is so faint. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, terrified of myself, of what I could be, of what I had almost been. I was indebted to Jasper for saving me forever. I did not want to become that monster.
Jasper clung just as tightly to me. He stopped breathing for a time, a sign to me that the pain flaring throughout my body from the need would lessen if I did so as well. I could not stop breathing. I needed to breath to cry and I needed to cry to feel better. It was the least I could do for almost killing the boy and almost succumbing to the beast inside of me. I understood why the werewolves feared us, and why Edward called us soulless. We certainly had the potential to be.
Rosalie and Emmett, seeing that I was no longer a danger to the boy, moved over to him. They touched his face, felt his pulse and gingerly tasted his blood. Rosalie- who tasted his blood- quickly spat it out before she swallowed. Emmett did not have the self-control to take the burden from his wife. “It’s too late,” Rosalie whispered, “The venom has penetrated too much of his circulatory system to be removed without draining him.”
I flinched and momentarily ceased my sobbing. “What does that mean?” I whispered, terrified of any answer they would give me.
“We take him back to Carlisle,” Rosalie said. “That is the only thing to do?”
“Can’t you just…” I gulped as I remembered one of Brady’s rants against bloodsuckers, “…end it?” I finished in a whisper. “That’s what the wolves would do?”
Rosalie looked at me chastisingly. “I would never dream of committing such an abominable act as murder! And you do well to remember that, the next time those filthy mutts dare utter a sin such as that!”
I did the only logical thing. I started to sob all over again. You don’t yell at someone who is hysterically crying. That saved me from being rebuked for my weakness for the time being. It also demonstrated my deep regret. I truly wished with all of my heart that I had not been tempted, that none of that had happened, but it all did. Outward signs of remorse possible might lessen the consequences of my reaction to the blood.
Emmett was the only one strong enough to carry the boy who thrashed about and screamed incoherently. Rosalie ran with her husband. Neither paid any mind to the fact that their blurring pace jostled the boy and put him in more pain. Jasper and I followed several seconds behind them, trying to clear our heads. We would need to hunt before Izzie came back for the night. We didn’t want her to be changed until after the wedding…
Carlisle returned home as soon as he got the news. We telephoned Emse who was in Olympia giving a speech to a group of interior decorators. My adopted mother was world renowned for her impeccable taste and style. As soon as Alice heard, she rushed to Jasper. I think she was slightly disgruntled by the fact I still clung desperately to her husband as he sent out soothing waves. I did not feel much better, just a little bit. Still, I tried to loosen my grip and put some space between us so that his darling little wife could comfort him. Jasper needed it desperately. Whenever she asked what happened, Jasper downplayed is role, forcing me to interrupt and tell the truth. No embellishments or adjustments. I confessed my own great weakness and Jasper’s reliant strength despite his own temptation. The entire family was impressed and they should have been. Jasper was slowly leaving his position as the weakest-willed person in the family. After all, he had fought of not only his own bloodlust but mine as well while keeping a sound mind. That was one heck of an accomplishment.
Izzie and Edward came home a little while later. Only when I saw that they were all right did I steal away. I needed to be loved then and there, and he said he loved me. It was time to prove it.
He was at football practice. One of the few that he actually made. That put the coach in a good mood. Only he had no idea how quickly that mood would go sour. Decked out his heavy shoulder pads and helmet- though he needed neither- as he lined up, squaring against Becker, a friend and sophomore at school. Becker grinned at him as he said, “You’re goin’ down, Call,”
“We’ll see about that, Becker,” Embry returned. He crouched down just a little lower and squared his shoulders just a little more. He could take Becker down no problem at all, but he had to put on the act that it actually took some effort on his part. Otherwise, people might get suspicious, Sam had warned him.
The whistle blew. Embry lunged forward, arms crossed in a perfect block. Yes, he was the quarterback, but he had to be a good lineman, just in case something happened. Becker pushed with all of his might against Embry with no avail. Embry easily pushed him back away from the line, far back from the others in fact. The first seven or eight times he had done this, the entire team felt the need to stop and watch. Now, they all marveled as they played. That was good. Embry’s strength surprised the other team, giving his teammates the opportunity to push the line back even farther.
Coach blew his whistle again. They all stopped. Embry pulled his helmet off to wipe his forehead. Though beating any opponent was easy, it was ridiculously hot being in the useless uniform and having to compete with the burning temperature of being a werewolf on top of it. “Huddle up! Huddle up!” the coach called, waving his clipboard in the air. Deciding that his players could use a quick water break before the meeting that customarily ended practice, he announced the five minute break. His boys hurried much faster to the water than to him. Coach almost chuckled. Almost.
Embry splashed his first cup onto his face. It felt frigid and amazing. He swore that he could feel the steam leave his body. It almost felt as good as Emma’s hand did against his face. He wasn’t even sweaty then. He shivered at the thought of Emma’s frosty skin against his own now.
“Dude, you cold?” Kiley scoffed in disbelief.
Embry shook his head. “Nah, dude. Heat shiver. Too hot for my own good,”
“That’s what you wish she said!” Brad joined in. They all laughed. It was good to know that you could take the mickey out of the starting quarterback at school and not get the crap beaten out of you the next day. If he liked you, that is. If he didn’t, watch out. Otherwise, not only would you have the big burly football team to contend with, but those freaks in Sam Ulley’s gang as well. Not a single one of them understood why Embry had joined up with them in the first place. Whenever they questioned him about it, he either diverted their attention or ignored them completely. Even Coach had tried to talk to him on several occasions and Embry had ignored those. It freaked everybody out.
“Dude! There’s no she for him to wish it!” Martin chortled.
Embry grinned roguishly. “Dudes, if only…you…knew…” The wind had blown as he had spoken. Her deliciously tender scent wafted to him across the air. It encompassed him, wreaking havoc on his senses. She was all he knew. He had to get to her, practice be damned. She was there and infinitely more important. He turned to stare across the field. There, at the opposite corner away from them and the school, she stood, looking so lost and forlorn. She wrung her hands nervously in front of her and he knew something was wrong. He had to comfort her.
“What? Is Mickey or Katherine stalking you again?” Kiley joked. They all laughed loudly. Embry didn’t hear them. He dropped his helmet to the ground. It rattled on the cement that was the track around the field. All noise ceased as they heard it.
“Embry, what the-”
He did not hear Becker finish his sentence. He was already running across the field. He heard his teammates and his coach call out to him, try to get him to stop. He paid them no heed. She was there, and she needed him.
“Dude, I thought you said there wasn’t a girl,” Becker whispered to Kiley.
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