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.
6. Chapter 6
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2256 Review this Chapter
Tanya is a relentless woman. She will stop at nothing to try to con me into making love to her; her favorite method is walking by and just happening to imagine our naked bodies tangled under her bed sheets, groping at each other desperately--it's absurd. The idea of living with her while Esme searches for another home is frightening, for lack of a better word.
This is what I'm thinking as we walk into the mansion that she and her coven share. The strawberry-blonde in question strolls casually into the foyer. "Hello," she greets us, extending her arms to pull us each into hugs. When she reaches me, I can't help but notice the way she presses her body against mine; she imagines me kissing her neck, cupping her breasts...
"It appears as though neither of us has changed," I say pleasantly, knowing that she understands the point I'm trying to get across.
Still a prudish waste of good looks, then? she thinks. I am too much of a gentleman to tell everyone the things about her that have yet to change, so I move to a different subject.
"Where are the others?" I ask her.
"Out hunting with your newborn; will she never be satisfied?" She looks annoyed as she speaks.
I feel strangely defensive and say, "You know how it is to be a newborn; surely you remember the thirst? Besides, she's not 'my newborn'."
Why so rude? I ignore her thoughts.
"Tanya, I just want to thank you and your coven for allowing us to stay in your home," Carlisle says gratefully.
"Oh, nonsense. It is a pleasure to have old friends around," she tells him, grinning widely. Quite suddenly, the door behind us swings open to reveal Kate, Irina, Carmen, Eleazar, Esme, and Bella all standing in the doorway.
"Stupid snow," Bella mutters, her shoes squeaking on the hardwood floor as she walks inside. She looks up and sees everybody. "Oh. Hi."
"Hello. How are you?" Carlisle wants to know.
"Everyone keeps asking me that," she grumbles. "I'm fine."
"Well, there's no sense in standing around in the doorway," Tanya points out, leading us into the spacious living room. "Please sit down," she says, motioning to the furniture.
I sit down in a beige leather armchair in the corner of the room. It faces the other matching furniture; two sofas, two loveseats, and two other armchairs, all centered around a large, glass table.
"I've found a house, but its owners aren't moving out for another two weeks," Esme announces, sighing as she sinks into a sofa beside Carlisle.
"That's wonderful," Alice remarks from a loveseat that she's sharing with Jasper.
"What's it look like?" Emmett asks curiously, his arm draped around Rosalie's shoulders in another loveseat.
"Well," Esme begins, turning to Tanya, who sits beside her. "Tanya's seen it, she may be able to explain it better."
"It's actually very similar to your old mansion," Tanya says. "But it's a bit larger since Bella is with you now." Bella, who is sitting awkwardly on a sofa with Carmen and Eleazar, looks up sharply upon hearing her name, as though she hadn't been listening to the conversation up until now. "How do you like it?" Tanya asks her.
"It's huge," she murmurs, looking down at her hands, which are folded in her lap. "And beautiful."
"Which room do you want? I want the room with the walk-in closet, unless you decide that you want that one," Alice says.
"When I first saw that room, it was with you in mind," Esme tells her. "But Bella, you can choose any other room you want."
"Um...I liked the small one," she says uncomfortably. "I don't need much space; I don't have half as many things as you've accumulated."
The conversation continues as everyone catches up with one another. When they finally run out of things to say, Alice observes that there will be a thunderstorm next month and suggests a baseball game, to which we all heartily agree, and a long silence falls over the room once more.
"I'll be outside," Bella says abruptly, leaping up from her seat. Her eyes are wide as she hurries out of the room.
"Someone should follow her," says Alice.
"Why? Is something wrong?" Esme demands.
"I don't see anything bad happening, but she may try to find a human..."
I feel everyone's eyes land on me expectantly, accompanied by thoughts of, Take care of your newborn. "Don't all volunteer at once," I say, walking out of the room and into the hallway, where a glass door looks out into the forest. Bella is sitting perfectly still on a log, her arms hugging her knees as she concentrates intently on the pine trees before her. Her head snaps up as I open the door, her body tensing up defensively and then relaxing again as she sees me. In an instant, I am standing in front of her.
"I'm sorry. They thought you might go try to go on a rampage," I tell her. She smiles.
"No, I'm just thinking." I realize how crippled I feel around her, unable to know exactly what's going through her mind. "It's so boring to be a vampire," she says. "You would think that being a blood-sucking monster would be slightly more exciting."
I laugh, sitting next to her on the log. "Well, when you live forever, things tend to become a bit mundane. Especially if you attend high school multiple times." It's quiet as she looks up at the night sky. "Days begin to melt together. It's better if you have something to do."
"Well...a hobby, I suppose."
"So, what, do vampires collect stamps or something?" she asks, laughing at the absurdity of the idea.
"Not quite," I reply. "What did you do in your human life?"
"Um. I read a lot. And I liked cooking, but I obviously can't do that now. I mean, I can, but it would be pretty pointless."
"Anything else?" I inquire, unsure of why I actually care.
"Not really. Most of my time was spent taking care of Renée, my mom," she explains.
"Was she sick?"
"No, just...capricious. I have no idea what she'll do without me. I guess Phil will take care of her." She appears to be lost in thought. "What about you?" she wonders suddenly after a few minutes have passed by. "What did you like to do in your human life?"
"I can't remember much. I remember that I liked playing the piano; I still do. I believe that my mother taught me, because I vaguely recall one time when I was very young, sitting next to her at our grand piano. The only things I remember are the way she smelled like lilac perfume and the way she said, 'No, love, you can't play a song until you learn your scales.'"
"How badly do the memories fade?" Bella whispers, pulling me back to the present.
"It depends on how badly you try to hold onto them. Rosalie still remembers her last night vividly."
"What about you? What happened when you were changed?" she asks, looking into my eyes with curiosity.
"I was dying of the Spanish influenza in 1918. Carlisle was a doctor at the hospital, and the disease had already claimed the lives of my parents. He bit me to save me; I was the first one he did that for."
"What about everyone else?"
I go on to tell her how everyone else was changed, leaving out the details of Rosalie's rape and Esme's suicide attempt, and glossing over Jasper's previous lifestyle. I can tell by looking into her red eyes that she suspects my half-truths, but she thankfully does not press the matter. When I finish, she still has questions.
"You act like you dislike Tanya; why?" she wonders.
"I don't necessarily dislike her, but she has a tendency to be overly friendly." She understands, giggling to herself.
"Carmen mentioned that you keep resisting her attempts," Bella says.
"She wasn't lying," I say. Neither of us speaks for a while, and I realize just how much I enjoy talking to Bella; we may actually become friends someday.
"Have you ever tasted human blood? Besides when you attacked me, I mean?" she asks. I look away from her eyes, which are free of accusations, finding it easier to speak while focused on the forest.
"Yes," I admit. "When I was younger, I went through a rebellious stage; I didn't understand Carlisle's resistance to blood, and I didn't think it was worth the pain just to spare a few lives. I only hunted the most evil of people, using my ability to stop them from harming others. I told myself that, if I was ridding the world of those people, then I was less of a monster. Even if it didn't make me a hero, at least I wasn't a villain."
"How...how does it taste?" she asks, closing her eyes as if to imagine the sensation.
"If I tell you, it will only make it harder to resist it."
"That good, huh?" she says under her breath. "Well, go ahead. Continue your story."
"Eventually my guilt caught up to me, so I returned to Carlisle and Esme." She nods in understanding.
"What happened to all of your CD's?" she wonders.
"When I woke up, I saw them in your room. Did you leave them behind, or did you take them with you?" she clarifies.
"Oh, I brought them with me. I managed to fit them into three suitcases. They're all in the Volvo."
"What kind of music do you listen to?"
"A wide variety." I don't have to be able to read her mind to know what she's thinking. "Do you want to see them?"
"Please?" she begs. I stand up, leading her to my car. As we walk, she has more questions.
"Do you never tire of interrogating me?" I ask teasingly as I unlock the car.
"Sorry," she apologizes.
"Don't be; I like talking to you," I say, opening the passenger door for her. She slides in, careful to avoid my gaze as I sit in the driver seat. I twist around to pull a small suitcase out of the back seat, setting in on my lap and unzipping it swiftly. A small gasp escapes her mouth as she sees how many CD's there are. Her scarlet eyes land on one and she chuckles, grabbing it.
"Linkin Park?" she snorts.
"Phil bought me this CD for Christmas," she says.
"How do you like it?"
"Uh...they're a bit too noisy for me," she confesses.
"Did you even listen to the whole album?"
"Well...no. Just the first two songs," she tells me sheepishly.
"See, that's what I thought, too, the first time I heard them. But then I re-listened to them, and I liked them. You should give them another try," I urge.
"Fine," she sighs. "But only if you tell me more about when you were a human."
"All right," I give in, turning the key so that the CD player works and inserting the disc. I tell her what I can of my human life, describing my parents in as much detail as possible. She asks about school, and what I'd wanted to do with my life, to which I respond with a story about how foolishly I'd wanted to be drafted for the war, despite my mother's worry over the matter. She asks me if I'd ever fallen in love, and if I'd had any other family to miss me after I was transformed. With every word I speak, she grows more transfixed, firing questions at me rapidly. What were my human friends like? Did I miss being human? The CD has repeated itself twice when she finally grows quiet, satisfied at last.
"I like this CD," she admits as the first song plays for the third time. She begins to hum along and I grin widely.
"I knew you would. Now, you must be tired of asking me questions."
"No, I've just run out of them," she says.
"Well, then, you won't mind if I ask you a few things?" The CD repeats itself twice more as I ask her about her human life, which is still clear in her memory. What was her favorite color? What were her friends like? What kind of books did she like? What were her favorite movies? She answers them all, certain questions triggering entire stories or rants, to which I listen eagerly. Neither of us realize how long we've been talking until the sky begins to brighten with fuzzy pink light. I observe that we've been speaking for hours, but we don't move to get out of the car. A long silence falls between us as the sun rises. She looks over at me and I notice that she is barely breathing, as though she is afraid she'll shatter the peace. My eyes meet hers and I can't help but notice the way her lips are slightly parted, like she wants to say something, but all words have escaped her. I lean closer to her, hardly aware of my actions as I tuck a few stray tendrils of dark hair behind her ear. My hand lingers there for a moment as I really see Bella for the first time, truly comprehending her beauty like never before.
Both of our heads snap around to face the house as we hear the front door open; my hand finds its way to my lap as Tanya steps out into the dim light of dawn. "We were wondering what the two of you were doing," she says softly, thought we both hear her clearly. I take the keys out of the ignition, stepping out of the car. Bella and I walk to the house in silence, neither of us quite sure of what has just occurred.
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