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.
4. Chapter 4
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2512 Review this Chapter
"I heard you the first fifty times, Rosalie," I growl, turning in my seat to face her.
"Woah, woah, woah! Can you keep your eyes on the road?" Bella hisses.
"Calm down Bella," Alice says perkily. "He won't crash. And even if he does, we'll be fine."
"I should've ridden with Esme and Carlisle. And Emmett," Rosalie mutters under her breath.
"Oh, you'll be fine for one hour with us," Alice says. Everything still looks fine, she thinks.
"Maybe I should've ridden with them," Jasper says from beside me. We're driving out to a remote forest to hunt. "Bella, can you stop feeling so thirsty? And Edward and Rosalie, whatever silent feud you're having is really annoying."
"Sorry," Bella apologizes from the back seat, where she's sitting in between Alice and Rosalie. After a long silence, Bella asks, "Hey, what happens if I don't know how to hunt?"
Rosalie lets out a laugh. "It's instinct," she says.
"Well, yeah, but what if my instinct doesn't work?"
"It'll work," I promise.
"I mean," she continues, ignoring me, "everyone keeps saying I'm odd. Anything could go wrong. What if I trip?"
"You won't trip," I say.
"Or what if I get attacked by...I dunno, a rabid squirrel or something and my vampire strength hasn't kicked in? Then what?"
"A rabid squirrel?" snickers Jasper.
"Hey, it could happen!"
"A rabid squirrel is no match for a newborn vampire, or any sort of vampire, for that matter," Alice says. "You're being silly."
"And what if I--?"
"Bella. Relax. It's instinct. A stupid squirrel isn't going to do anything to you, you're practically made of steel," Rosalie says firmly.
"She's right," I agree. "Don't worry so much about it." I turn on the radio, but there's only some whiny new pop song by some teenage one-hit wonder, so I change it over to the CD player. Bella gasps.
"Clair de Lune?" she asks. I look up at her face in the rear view mirror.
"Yes," I say, surprised that she recognizes it. "You know Debussy?"
"Well, no," she admits, glancing down. "But my mom...she liked to play classical music, and this was one of my favorites." I can't help but smile slightly.
"It's one of my favorites, too." The music seems to have a calming effect on the entire car--or maybe that's just Jasper. Either way, the ride is silent from that point on, except for Alice's occasional thoughts reminding me that everything is all right. We park in the woods, just a few yards from the road.
"I wish I could sleep," whines Bella as we all get out of the car. "That was a long hour."
"You just wait until we go to Alaska," Alice says.
Bella groans before asking timidly, "So...what's for dinner?"
"Deer," Emmett sighs when he steps out of the Mercedes, followed by Esme and Carlisle. "It's so boring. It'll take about twenty seconds for us all to catch one."
"Not if we get attacked by rabid squirrels," Jasper jokes. I laugh a bit before seeing embarrassed look on Bella's face.
"Sorry. It was funny, though; you'll understand better after you've seen what it's like to hunt," Jasper assures her. We began to advance into the forest.
Edward, remember what I told you; take care of your newborn, Rosalie reminds me. I roll my eyes.
Edward, dear, please do help Bella, Esme tells me. It's times like these that I wish people would just speak out loud to avoid this sort of repetition.
Edward, if it doesn't make you feel too guilty, do you think you could look after--? Carlisle begins, but I cut off his train of thought by turning to Bella.
"Don't be so nervous; I'll help you," I say before Alice and Jasper can remind me that Bella's my responsibility. It's a silly idea, really; what kind of vampire needs a babysitter? The others take my statement as an opportunity to run through the forest, leaving us behind.
"Wow," Bella whispers in awe.
"Would you like to run, too?" I ask. Please say yes, I beg silently.
Her eyes go wide with fear. "No, I'm not a good runner; I'll fall."
I can only laugh. "Vampires don't fall."
"Trust me, if there is a single vampire on this planet who can trip and fall, it's me," she says dubiously.
"Oh." Even I can hear the disappointment in my voice.
"You can go ahead...I mean, I can smell the deer, I can go find them," she says.
I know it's foolish to leave a thirsty newborn alone in the middle of a forest, but I need to run, to feel myself going impossibly fast. "All right," I say a bit too eagerly. "Just call my name if you need me." And then I take off running; it's the best feeling in the world. All of my worries and all of my guilt disappear, as though I'm so fast that they can't catch up with me. I feel suddenly giddy as my feet fly over the earth and the wind blows into my face.
The scent of fresh deer blood hits me and I halt, taking a deep breath. Someone's already caught their deer, and I've been running around like an idiot. Another scent mingles in the air; it's more blood, but it has not yet been spilled. I can feel my thirst returning, dominating my thoughts as the sour venom pools on my tongue. There is no reason to fight it now, and so I allow it to manifest itself. It has been far too long since the last time I was able to hunt so freely.
I am no longer able to think; instead, the demon to whom I've relinquished my body controls my every action. It creeps into the clearing; it sees a large buck. It hides behind the trees until the creature is completely off guard. I feel my legs bend, ready to spring onto the creature, to feel the warm blood in my mouth, to take away this burning desire for just one instant...
A wail tears me from my fantasy, scaring the buck away. I am fast enough to catch it, but I cannot shake the curiosity that has overcome me. There is another scream and I race toward the sound.
"Please--please, please, calm down!" Emmett begs.
"Why? Let go of me, let go! Don't you smell that? He's only a few miles away!" I recognize Bella's voice.
"Emmett, we've got to carry her to the car--"
"Rose, are you crazy? Unless Jasper's here, we'll never be able to get her away from here; she's too strong!"
I find the three of them on the ground. Bella's legs are pinned down by Emmett and Rosalie has her shoulders. There is only the faintest smell of human blood in the air, so faint that it must be far away and unspilled. "Edward!" shouts Emmett when he sees me. "Rosalie, go get Jasper." I can tell from his thoughts that he wants me to take his wife's place, so I rush over to Bella and push her shoulders into the ground as Rosalie disappears into the forest. Bella screams again.
"Just--just, please, one taste!" she pleads, "I can hear his pulse, it's killing me!" Jasper suddenly appears, my sisters at his side.
"Calm her down," I tell him.
"I'm trying," he says, a puzzled expression on his face.
"Damn it, Jasper, try harder!" Emmett barks.
"I am! Nothing's happening!" Jasper says between gritted teeth.
"Why didn't you see this coming, Alice?" Rosalie demands.
"I don't know, I don't see everything," Alice replies in a seemingly cool tone, but I can hear her frustrated thoughts.
"Emmett, Edward!" I look up to see Carlisle. "Take her to the car. Someone else needs to drive straight home."
"All right, on three," I say, my voice strained. "One, two, three." We lift Bella off of the ground. She's flailing in our arms and screaming at the top of her lungs.
"Ow!" cries Emmett as she kicks him in the face. "Why do I have to carry her legs?"
"Let--go--of--me!" she orders, moving her hands to my chest in an effort to push me away; my grip on her body tightens.
"Stop pushing me, Bella," I say, trying to sound calm.
"I'm stronger than you!" she reminds me, pushing so hard against me that my knees buckle.
"I know, but...we've got a present waiting at home for you. A human. Young, too, with sweet blood. More than one, Bella, we've got five," I lie desperately. My bluff, though unrealistic, works; she stops pushing and settles on grabbing handfuls of my shirt.
"F-five?" she repeats.
"Yes. You can't have them if you kill that person, though," I tell her. "You'll be too full."
"But he's so much closer..." she whines.
"And he's also old. I can smell his age in his blood; you see, older humans have sour blood. It's not as good," I explain. "Hold your breath and you won't be tempted to waste your time on him." She follows my instructions just as Emmett and I reach the car. Alice opens the back door and Emmett slides inside with Bella's legs; I follow and close it behind me. The doors click as Alice locks them from the front seat and the engine hums softly as we begin to drive.
Bella starts breathing again, but she seems to have calmed down; she does not move from her awkward position, her feet in Emmett's lap and her head in mine, her fingers still curled around the fabric of my shirt. Guilt washes over me; how could I be so stupid, abandoning her in the forest like that? If Emmett and Rosalie hadn't gotten to her...
A few whimpers escape from her shaking body, but she does not speak until we're back in Forks. "Edward?" she whispers.
"Yes?" I ask timidly.
"There aren't any humans, are there?"
"No," I say truthfully. "There aren't."
Back at the house, Bella locks herself in my room and everyone else gathers in the den. "Esme," Carlisle says, "you've got to take her up to Denali early. We'll be up soon."
"Of course," Esme replies.
"Carlisle, I just don't understand," Alice states. "I should have seen this, but every time I looked for anything, all I saw was myself hunting. I assumed that meant nothing eventful would happen."
"Don't blame yourself," he tells her. "Maybe the man made a last-minute decision."
"He couldn't have; I checked nearly every five minutes." Jasper enters the den and puts his arm around Alice's shoulders.
"It's not just you. I couldn't get her to calm down," he admits.
"Interesting," comments Carlisle.
"Wait," I say suddenly. "I can't hear her thoughts, Alice can't see her future, Jasper can't calm her down...is it possible that that's her 'special ability' in this life? Maybe she can resist our abilities."
"You couldn't hear her thoughts when she was human, Edward," Emmett points out.
"Maybe she's always been able to do it, then," I guess.
"No, she hasn't. When you attacked her, I saw it," Alice says.
"It's possible that she's simply a very private person, and that, by default, her thoughts were private as well. Maybe now that she's a vampire, she can resist any sort of sixth sense. After all, Emmett's strength was still present today," Carlisle says.
"But I could sense her feelings, I just couldn't change them," Jasper says.
"Do you think that maybe she has the ability to turn other people's powers on and off when they try to use them on her?" Esme asks. "Remember that vampire we met a few decades ago that could do that? Maybe Bella can, too."
"There's only one way to find out," says Bella, who has suddenly entered the room. "Sorry, I couldn't help but overhear."
"Bella, try your best to completely relax; allow yourself to feel comfortable," Carlisle tells her.
And her voice joins those of my family in my head. I hope this doesn't work, I'd hate to have Edward hear my every thought.That'd be awkward; what if I think of something weird or personal? She then begins to giggle loudly. "Jasper--stop!" she says between giggles.
Alice has a vision of Bella and Esme climbing into the Mercedes; the image flashes vividly in her mind. "Esme, you're right," she says. Bella's voice abruptly stops and her giggles cease.
"Wow, Bella! You really are a freak!" exclaims Emmett. She rolls her eyes.
"If I'm going to Denali," she begins, "then what am I going to wear? All of my clothes are at Charlie's house, and I don't want to wear this outfit for the rest of eternity."
"You can borrow my clothes for now; Alice, you wouldn't mind getting some of her things from her father's house, would you?" Esme requests.
"Of course not," Alice replies, racing out of the room.
"We'll buy you new clothes, too. Just be sure not to tell Alice, she'll get carried away with the shopping," Esme tells Bella.
"Thank you, Esme. Your family has done so much for me," she says gratefully.
"We're your family too, dear," my mother states as Bella pulls her into a hug. After a few seconds, she lets go and Esme says, "I'll go and pack."
Bella timidly hugs Carlisle, Jasper, and Rosalie, thanking them each before turning to Emmett and me. "Thanks for keeping me away from that man." She hugs my brother before turning to embrace me, her newborn strength nearly squishing me. Despite the pain, I can't help but inhale deeply, her faint lavender scent still just as pleasant in my nostrils as it was when she was human. The hug seems to last much longer than the others did, and she must be feeling relaxed because I can hear her thinking, This is nice.
Then Jasper's voice asks, What's with the giddiness? Bella releases me then and goes upstairs with Esme, almost as though she can hear him. Rosalie eyes me suspiciously. Wait...do you like her, or something? It's a ridiculous notion, really; she just smells nice.
"Shut up," I murmur, going up to my room.
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- 22 May 08
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