What if Edward had been unable to resist the temptation of Bella's blood on that fateful day? What if it resulted in her transformation? Would their love story be the same?
Even though I say this is angsty, I'm not generally an angst writer. I tend to try to have a good balance, so this isn't anything too hardcore. I'm not completely sure of whether or not there will be more angst in future chapters or what.
11. Chapter 11
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2164 Review this Chapter
"A quick warning," Edward whispers, entwining his fingers with mine, "Tanya can be jealous. And she may already know about us." He looks up at me from under his lashes.
"What...she...what?" I stammer, trying to focus on something other than his topaz eyes. He frees his fingers and holds my face between his hands, kissing me gently.
"Bella. Please listen to me."
"I would if you stopped doing that!" I grumble. He raises an eyebrow.
"Doing what, exactly?" he wonders, puzzled. I look away from his eyes as I search for the word.
"Dazzling me," I say. He chuckles and lets go of my face, putting his arm around my waist.
"Well, Tanya's coven is coming over and...I just want you to be prepared. She's not a bad woman, but..."
"The word 'losing' is not in her dictionary," he says simply, pulling me downstairs. Since my confession last week, Edward and I have been inseparable. I haven't told him that it's because I'm afraid to let him out of my sight; part of me is sure this is a dream, and I want to spend every moment of it with my angel.
I collapse onto the sofa, stretching out so that my toes graze the arm rest. Edward, who is still standing, looks down at me. "Honestly, you newborns have no manners," he scolds mockingly. In response, I stick out my tongue before lifting my upper body. He sits and I rest my head in his lap.
"You're not a very good pillow," I complain.
"I'll move, then."
"No!" He smiles just as the door flings open.
"Hello!" Carmen's voice rings out.
"What, do people not knock in Alaska?" I call out.
"They do, but vampires don't," she retorts, entering the room to find Edward and I. "Oh! Hm. Well, this is new," she splutters, gesturing at us.
Irina glides in behind her, grinning widely. "Good afternoon to my favorite monsters, the fabulous Cull--" she breaks off when she sees us. "Damn."
"Such foul language," booms a male voice. Eleazar moves to stand beside his wife. "Hello, Edward. Hello, Bella. Still immune to mind control?"
"Yep," I reply. "Where are Kate and Tanya?"
"They got in a silly argument about--well, it doesn't matter. But they're still in the car, fighting like children," he says.
"So make them stop," I say simply. Irina shakes her head, her long, white braid bouncing. "If only it were that easy," she says, looking down. Edward scowls just as Kate storms in, her brown hair flying around her. There's a bump as the sofa sinks on one side so that my head slides toward the arm rest.
"Katrina! You're breaking Esme's furniture!" barks Irina, grabbing her sister's elbow.
"Sorry," Kate apologizes. "It's just one leg. I can fix it later."
"Now, calm down," Carmen instructs, placing a hand on Kate's shoulder. Tanya barges into the room and glares in our direction.
"Go on, take Kate's side, just like everyone always does!" she shouts at Carmen.
"Will you two stop it? You would think that after a millenium of living together--" Irina begins. Jasper and Alice are now standing at the foot of the stairs. A vase on the table shatters.
"Kate," groans Carmen.
"Tanya, you just have to accept that--" Katrina begins.
"I don't have to do anything! You always--" Tanya stops yelling midsentence and sits in a chair, her eyes glossy.
Thank you, Jasper, I think. Kate walks slowly to another chair and sits, staring into space.
"What's all this about?" I ask Edward. He sighs, leaning down and kissing my forehead, causing Tanya to flinch despite her calm trance.
"You," he whispers as Esme appears at the bottom of the stairs.
"Tanya," she says, "why don't you come upstairs with me? You can lie down if you'd like to." She walks over and helps Tanya up, leading her upstairs. When the two are gone, Kate looks at me.
"I don't understand," I mutter, avoiding her intimidating gaze. Her eyes travel to meet Edwards and I know that she is conveying some secret to him, something neither of them wants me to know.
"Tanya always gets what she wants. And when she doesn't, she gets angry. I tried to convince her that it's none of her business, but it only resulted in a fight." As Kate speaks, the shards and gritty debris of Esme's vase swirl up from the floor, sparkling in the light like stardust until they form a cloud that floats into the kitchen. A gentle tinkling sound fills the air as they fall into the trash can. "Sorry about the couch. And the vase. My temper's just as bad as Tanya's."
Even when we lived with Tanya's coven, I never saw Kate use her power. Everyone told me how it was special, something they'd never quite seen before. They raved about how she could use her mind to move things around; "telekinesis" is what they always call it in science fiction novels. I cannot possibly imagine what sort of human abilities she must've had to gain this skill in her second life, and neither can she, due to her fuzzy memories about being human.
If the Denali coven could be fairytale characters, then I imagine that Irina would be Rapunzel, with her flowing white hair. Katrina is more like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, with her dark hair. Carmen and Eleazar remind me of Cinderella and her prince, or Sleeping Beauty and her prince; either way, they've got their happy ending. And Tanya is...well, I don't know who she is. When I try to think of her fictional counterpart, I can only imagine the queen from Snow White, bent on getting her way.
In the Grimm Brothers' version, the queen chokes to death on wine when she sees that the prince is marrying Snow White. Does that make me Snow White?
Is Tanya choking now?
"Bella?" Edward calls my name, a worried look on his face. "Bella?" I adjust myself so that I'm sitting beside him.
"I asked if you needed to hunt." For a moment, I consider this.
"No," I reply, staring into space.
"Are you all right?" he asks.
"Yeah," I murmur. "I need to be alone.
I'm lying on my bed when the door flings open to reveal Tanya, who is holding a small wooden box. "What're you--?" I begin.
"I don't understand," she says.
"I don't understand why you and your coven have yet to master the art of knocking," I grumble, standing up.
"How can you be so foolish? Don't you see? He has resisted me, my sisters, Rosalie, and countless others, all of whom are more interesting than you!" she spits, her words stinging me.
"Is that why you're here? To insult me?" I demand.
She takes a deep breath. "Of course not. I came to warn you."
"You and everyone else."
"Edward has his faults, just like any else. At one point, he led me to believe that his feelings for me were stronger than they actually were. I fell in love with him, and I thought..." she trails off sadly. Her voice hardens and she says, "Anyway. I came to give you this." She flings the box at me and I snatch it from the air.
As soon as she's gone, Edward's in her place. "Bella," he says, "don't listen to her."
"So she's lying?" I ask.
Sighing, he replies, "We used to be friends. Close friends. But she got carried away. That box has some of the letters I wrote to her a few decades ago. At the time, she was severely depressed." He reaches into his pocket to pull out a stack of letters tied with a poece of string. "These are the letters she wrote back to me." He hands them to me before turning to leave.
As the bedroom door shuts, I lay down on my bed and open the letter box.
When we visited you in Denali, you seemed upset. I don't want to press the matter, but we're all worried about you. Also, the way you kept reciting poetry every time I tried to hear your thoughts was very uncharacteristic. Are you all right?
I untie the stack of letters and unfold the first one to find that they'd been kept in the order they were written in.
Don't worry about me. It was just that...seeing your family made me feel so lonely. Esme and Carlisle are so close, and so are Rosalie and Emmett. I've got my sisters, but I can't help but want the sort of relationship that Carmen and Eleazar have. I am so envious of them. Anyway, I'm better now. I realize that some things are not meant to be.
It does get lonely, doesn''t it? Rosalie and Emmett are getting married again. You'll probably get the invitation soon. Around here, the wedding is all anybody thinks about. Flowers, dresses, music...it's driving me mad. Poor Esme is planning it, but she's overwhelmed.
The letters start getting much longer, so this short one sticks out.
I'm afraid I won't be able to write for the next month; we're taking a trip to town. Carmen and Eleazar will stay behind, though, so if you send anything, they'll make sure I get it.
I know you won't receive this letter for quite a while, but the strangest thing has happened. Emmett and I were out hunting and we came back to find that all of my things were in the garage. When we went inside, a tiny vampire came up and to me and she said, "Hi, Edward."
"Do I know you?" I asked.
"No," she said, laughing, "but you will."
It turns out that her name was Alice and she stole my room. She and her mate, Jasper, came looking for us. You see, she has visions of the future. The only thing is, she doesn't remember much of her past. Ironic, isn't it?
Anyway, one thing led to another and she's now planning the ever-important wedding. You'll meet her and Jasper there.
The next letter is from Tanya, describing how she'd saved a human from death. She found him in the street, bleeding from knife wounds. The letters go on and on until I can see that they'd become very good friends. Then I find the last two letters in the stack from Tanya, but I can't find a corresponding one from Edward.
I feel that it's necessary to confess something to you. I love you. Yesterday, it struck me that we could become like Carlisle and Esme or Alice and Jasper. Neither of us would be lonely anymore; wouldn't that be marvelous?
The next one is more bitter.
Fine. I suppose there's no need to write to you anymore, then.
"Bella?" Tanya is in my doorway again, holding a crumpled piece of paper. "I forgot to give you this one." She places it on the bed before darting from the room.
I apologize if anything I've written has led you to believe that your feelings are reciprocated. I am terribly sorry, but my feelings for you are of the same nature as my feelings for Alice or Rosalie.
I look down at the letters on my bed. "Edward?" I call softly, knowing he'll hear me. In an instant, he's lying next to me. "Why didn't you tell me?" I ask.
"I didn't think it was necessary. I'm sorry."
"Didn't you realize you were giving her the wrong idea?" I demand. He looks at me incredulously.
"No. Why, did you?"
"Well, look at what you said!" I pick up a random letter. "Here. 'Tanya, I can't wait to see you. It's torture being away from you so long.' Or how about this one? 'I can't stop thinking about you.' What did you expect her to think?" He looks away guiltily.
"I got carried away. Part of me wanted to love her, just to love someone, but...I couldn't. It didn't work. So I apologized to her. I didn't know what else to say. Please don't be angry with me," he whispers. I don't want to be upset. I take a deep breath, trying not to feel hurt that he hadn't told me about Tanya, but I can only think of how insensitive he'd been with her.
"I'm going for a walk," I say, my voice shaking with the emotion that newborns are infamous for.
"Please don't go."
"I won't go too far. I'll stay away from humans." I leave him alone in the room, racing out of the house until the frigid night air hits me, clearing my head as I trudge through the snow.
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