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Burn Beautiful

Summary:
Spoiler warning. Continuation of New Moon. Being a vampire comes with it's own problems: newfound bloodlust, untried strength, neverending fights between natural vampire will and human conscience. Edward and Bella's relationship takes a completely new turn as challenges fly their way. Namely, a pack of furious werewolves and a certain vampire named Victoria, who's still set on vengeance and, this time, gains some powerful followers determined to end Bella, vampire or not, and do as much damage to Forks as possible.


Notes:
I just finished New Moon and I know I SHOULD wait until Eclipse comes out, but I had to do something to pass the time! Especially since I had about a million ideas running through my head, mainly around how much could happen once Bella IS a vampire. What happens with Victoria, werewolves, Volturi? What's her special ability, if she has one at all? How does she go about realizing her ability? How does she deal with vampire instincts? What about her parents? AHH, idea overflow! I've outlined this entire story and it's turning up to be pretty much novel long, which is exciting. I'm not new to writing, I've just never done this particular "fandom" before and I hope I do it justice.


10. Chapter 10

Rating 3.3/5   Word Count 3226   Review this Chapter

Disclaimer: I own nada.

Author's Note: The Twilight Awards nomination Round 1 has ended and the voting period will begin shortly. =]

Ch. 10: Panic

"We can't stay," were the first words out of Edward's mouth as soon as Felix was gone. I whirled around to face him, shocked. His eyes were locked on Carlisle.

"What do you mean 'we can't stay,'" I backed up, pushing him away. The certainty in his words scared me. Edward didn't answer immediately, and I prodded his arm. "What's he planning? What does he want?"

He refused to meet my gaze and kept looking at Carlisle, whose normally calm features were hardened and worried. Emmett pushed away from the couch and made his way forward.

"I'm with you, man," his voice sounded beyond serious. "That guy's no good. Especially with - "

"No, we can't leave!" Alice's clear voice pierced the air. We turned to face her, surprised. Her head was bent and both hands were woven into the short strands of her dark hair. Her entire body was trembling.

"What is it?" Edward squinted. "Did you see something just then?" His eyes flickered to mine for a split second before returning to Alice's face, "I wasn't paying attention."

The suffocating silence hovered, suspended in the air. Jasper was rubbing Alice's back, trying to calm her down. Alice finally looked up and sighed.

"Not really," she finally admitted, rubbing her dry eyes. "I saw … Felix. He was - "

" - killing Bella…" Edward finished, his entire face suddenly darkening. "And he's not alone. He's with - wait, I can't see the - what is - Alice?"

The entire room was silently staring at the exchange. Edward's attention was focused on Alice and her eyes were squeezed shut.

"Everything's blurred - " Edward murmured, dipping into her mind. "What's wrong, Alice? Why is this happening?"

Jasper sent Edward a quick look.

"Don't pressure her," he said quietly. The tension in the room was heightening - had been heightening since the moment Felix arrived and didn't dissolve with his departure. I was too afraid to move.

Alice let out a furious shout of frustration and sprung up to her feet.

"I don't understand!" she shouted, pacing the length of the room. "I've never not been able to see clearly. Yeah, sometimes my visions aren't accurate, but I've always been able to see the faces involved!"

"Except werewolves," I inserted, biting my lip as soon as the comment came out. She stopped mid-step and twirled around, her amber eyes darkening slightly.

"Well - "

"That's impossible," Edward shook his head. "The only werewolves in this immediate area are the Quileutes and they wouldn't align themselves with Felix."

"No werewolf would align themselves with a vampire," Carlisle added.

"So, what is it, then? Is there any other explanation?" I cried out, exasperated. I noticed something in Edward's eyes and tensed up when Jasper and Emmett stepped forward.

"There's only one way to find out," Edward said, quietly, tearing his eyes away from mine. Something about the rigidity in his shoulders spoke volumes to me and my throat was suddenly constricted.

"Felix. You're going to track him," I deadpanned, fighting for control over my voice. Edward shot me a sideways glance and looked away, again.

"There's no other way - "

"Find another way," I ground out. I was by his side in less than a few strides and touched his cheek. The dull, topaz eyes met mine and held.

"I have to," his voice was strained and his eyes were pleading, and all I wanted was to grab onto him and hold him forever.

"It's dangerous," my own voice was weak. Somehow, I knew that no matter what I said, his mind couldn't be changed, but I had to try anyways. "Felix isn't even by himself. He's with - other people. Probably other vampires. You saw what was in Alice's vision and you said yourself, he isn't alone. It's not safe!"

"I know," the emotion was heavy in his tone and if there were tears in my body, I would've shed them all at that moment. I buried my face in his chest and trembled.

"Edward - " What could I say? He tilted my chin up to look into his eyes.

"Don't you see? That's why I have to do this. If I don't track him, who knows what can happen to you? You didn't see what I saw him doing. It was - "

He broke off and pressed his forehead to mine. Everybody was in the room, quietly listening and looking at us, but this didn't register as I tiptoed slightly and pressed my lips to his.

"I don't want to lose you."

"You won't," he promised.

An idea suddenly entered my mind. Not a good one, but still… an idea.

"I'm going with you."

At my declaration, he shoved me back, squeezing the life out of my shoulders and growled, "No, you are not."

My voice was just as deadly as his when I refused to relent, "If you think I'm going to let you walk out that door and throw yourself to the wolves, then you've got another thing coming."

"I'll chain you up to this house itself if it keeps you from coming with me, so help me God, you are staying here."

I knew then that my case was lost.

Emmett took a step forward, too close to us. "I'll go with him," he announced, "Nothing will happen to us. Not with me around, at least."

I heard Rosalie's sounds of protests across the room and squeezed my eyes shut. Edward's arms wrapped around me and I pressed my nose against him, breathing in his reassuring scent.

"I'm going, too," Jasper's quiet voice added.

The entire room was silent, until Carlisle cleared his throat.

"Time is of essence," he said and suddenly, Edward was gently pushing me away. I looked up at him in alarm.

"Now?" I whispered, miserable.

"By now, he's probably past the town's limit," Emmett observed, already heading to the door. Jasper was whispering something in Alice's ear and she was nodding, quietly.

"I have to go," Edward said, pinning me with his intense gaze. "It wont take long. I should be back before sun-up."

With that, he was gone, leaving me in the living room staring out at the empty parlor with an equally empty feeling in my stomach. I've never been more desperate for the sun to rise.

………

"How are you feeling?"

The question shook me out of my frozen stupor and I squeezed my eyes shut. I felt Alice's hand rubbing my back, trying to soothe me, but all I could think about was how my heart was shredding itself apart.

"Like a knife was just wrenched into my gut and whoever's got the handle is twisting it," I spoke, my voice flat.

"They will be fine, you know," she tried to reassure me. I should've just let her be, but the fear that'd been subtly beating up my insides suddenly needed somewhere to vent.

"How would you know, did you have a vision?"

My tone was hard, but I couldn't bring myself to care. I was hurting way too much to think. Alice's hand froze on my back.

"As a matter of fact, I did."

"And we all know how well those always work out," I muttered, instantly regretting my words. I quickly turned, just in time to see the hurt look fleeting across her delicate features. My gut twisted itself repeatedly, "Oh God, Alice, I'm sorry. I'm just - "

"Don't worry about it," she said, quietly, "I know how distressed you must be feeling."

Oh no, I remembered with a sinking feeling. Jasper was gone, too. So was Emmett. How could I be so selfish? A distinct guilty sensation rose up from my stomach, nearly overpowering the pain that Edward left behind.

Without speaking, she led me up the stairs and into her room, where Rosalie was waiting at the vanity table.

"Hi," Rosalie turned, smiling stiffly. I smiled back and let myself fall into the black, leather couch.

We were quiet for a little while and I found myself closing my eyes, trying to reach Edward. I couldn't get rid of the feeling that he was just getting farther and further from me in all senses of the words and it was breaking me to pieces. Edward, I tried to reach him with my mind. For a brief moment, I thought maybe I could. Maybe it was my gift.

Edward, Edward, are you there? I'll - I'll jump off the roof, I threatened in my head and pathetically waited for a response. None came.

"So, how do you like it?" Rosalie's voice broke my thoughts and I glanced up. She was regarding me with a wary look and her mouth was set in a straight line.

"Like what?"

Her lip curled up slightly, "Being a vampire. What else? Is it everything you thought it would be?"

My first thought was to retort Yes, it's everything I've wanted since meeting your family. But then I thought about the past twenty-four hours and the time before then - what felt like eternity in hell. I didn't know how to answer her.

Alice, who'd been pacing the length of the room, froze, staring at the two of us. Rosalie's expression was bitter and she shook her head.

"It's not everything it's cut out to be, is it?" she asked, softly, her dark, orange eyes holding mine.

My response died in my throat. I wanted to tell her to shut up, because it really wasn't what I thought it'd be, but at the same time, it was. I did it so I could be with Edward, and now I was, so what else mattered?

Rosalie's pale, slender hand reached up to her blonde hair and fingered the fine strands almost lovingly.

"You know," she started, her voice strangled, "Ever since I've been turned, I've wanted to change this hair close to fifty different times. Sometimes, I want it to grow, other times, I want to cut it. But you know what? I can't. I can't.

"I've tried once. I tried to give myself one of those adorable bob cuts, but - "

"Rosalie, shut up," Alice's quiet voice cut her off.

"No, Bella needs to know what this life is like," Rosalie insisted, her gaze jumping from me to Alice and back. "Emmett is one of the only people I truly care about in the world. I'd be happy with him for eternity - but he's truly an idiot. He can't go a week without looking for trouble. Why do you think he takes on grizzly bears? It's a challenge for that lunatic. And now he's off gallivanting about, stirring up trouble with Felix. Felix! He doesn't know the meaning of danger!"

"None of them do," Alice sighed, gracefully dropping down on the sofa beside me. "It's a cheap thrill to them, sometimes."

I was confused.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, furrowing my eyebrows, "How Edward, Jasper, and Emmett are tracking Felix? Edward said that was the only…"

The rest of my sentence trailed off. I was reminded again of Edward's abrupt disappearance.

"Well, he was right," Alice said, "Edward and I didn't really explain it all that clearly downstairs. The vision I was getting - I saw that Felix had companions, but their faces were fuzzy and blurred. It was almost like they were censored from my mind, if you would believe it. The only way to figure out what we're up against is if they track Felix and see what he's up to."

Rosalie let out a short laugh, "But that doesn't mean they don't enjoy the chase. It's all about the chase for them. They'll say it's the only way and it may be, but they enjoy it, those sick bastards."

I remembered back to the time when Edward was telling me about tracking Victoria… all the way to the wrong continent. The thought suddenly scared me.

"Edward's not a very good tracker though," I frowned. Alice and Rosalie rolled their eyes and grinned.

"His tracking skills leave much to be desired," Alice giggled, despite the hard tension in the air. "But don't worry. Jasper and Emmett have more experience and Edward's mind-reading gift will definitely be an asset."

I nodded, half-listening to what she was saying and half conjuring up Edward's face in my mind. I couldn't get rid of the image of him in the shadows that day in Volterra, chest bare and arms out, ready to step into the glaring sun.

Oh Edward, you can be so stupid sometimes, I felt like crying. Then I remembered the last look Edward cast at me before disappearing into the dark to run after Felix. You better come back to me.

My fingers were twisting his ring around on my finger and when I realized what I was doing, a onslaught of emotions swarmed up again in my chest.

"We were supposed to get married, first," I sighed out and brought my hands up to rub against my temples. According to Charlie, Edward and I were taking a road-trip out to Jacksonville to break the engagement news to Renee. I briefly wondered how long it would be before both him and Renee got suspicious.

Alice regarded me silently for a moment.

"It'll happen," she reassured. Then, her face lit up with a thoughtful smile. "It's about time for Edward, anyways. He's been a bachelor for, what, about a century?"

Her lilting laugh lightened the mood and I managed a small grin.

"At first, the idea of getting married was so odd," I sighed, fiddling with the leather of the sofa, "But… it's Edward."

"I know what you mean," Rosalie spoke up. "It's that way with Emmett. Every single time we get married, it's so special."

Alice snorted.

"You're a marriage fiend, Rose," she teased. Rosalie's eyes softened and she laughed.

"Yeah, I am," she admitted, sighing dreamily. "My goal's to get married at least a hundred times with Emmett."

Alice lifted an amused eyebrow, "How surprising. You actually have goals."

"I've never been married in China before," Rosalie ignored her, "That would be marvelous. We can be married by the Great Wall of China, or under a pagoda, or - "

"And we'll all wear rice hats," Alice jibed, sending me a joking look, "It'll be lovely."

Rosalie just scowled and shrugged. She turned to me with an unusual elated expression. "Where are you and Edward getting married?" she asked.

I was hesitant to answer.

"Well, I - don't really know," I said, finally, "We never really discussed it."

"Oh, I suggest Paris. It is so absolutely beautiful there. Romantic's paradise, I'm telling you - "

Alice cut her off. "What about Las Vegas?" She asked. At Rosalie's disdainful expression, she frowned slightly, "What? Everyone needs to have a Vegas wedding once in their lifetime."

Rosalie scoffed, flipping her long, silky hair over her shoulder. "This is coming from Miss One-Marriage-Is-Enough-For-Me," she told me, "Las Vegas is overdone and cliché."

"Uh, I'll be sure to remember that," I said, hiding my smile. Alice just rolled her eyes at us and dropped down to sit on the floor.

For a while, we talked about one random subject to another, trying to pass the time until the sun rose again. Every once in a while, I'd look outside, hoping to see the sliver of light peeking from the horizon.

Alice must have noticed, because at the seventh time I did that, she commented, "The sun rises from the east, Bella. That window faces west."

"Oh," I muttered. "Maybe that explains the lack of light."

"No, that's because it's only two in the morning," she chuckled.

"Oh."

She noticed my fidgeting hands. "Well, if they keep doing what they're doing, they should be back within a few hours," she told me, looking briefly into the future. I lifted both eyebrows, suddenly reminded of something Felix had said earlier.

"Alice, what if I don't get a power?" I asked.

Alice thought for a moment, "Well, you'd - "

"Just go on like the rest of us," Rosalie interrupted, smoothly. "I don't have any power and quite frankly, I'm thankful. It's too much of a hassle, don't you think? I mean, who really wants to see the future or hear other people's nasty thoughts?"

"Rose's just jealous," Alice quipped, stretching out her thin legs. "But really. It's not quite the burden she makes it out to be, but it doesn't matter all that much, either."

"What doesn't matter all that much?" a deep, fluid voice asked from the doorway. We all looked up to see Carlisle leaning on the doorframe, smiling warmly at us.

"Oh, Bella's just miffed she hasn't got a power," Rosalie chimed up, happily. I frowned a bit, but shrugged when Carlisle's eyes met mine.

"I was about to tell her how most of our ability kicks in after a little while," Alice added.

"That's true," Carlisle nodded, stepping into the room. "Some vampires don't even realize that they have a gift until a year or two after they're turned. And most talents only make themselves known when the host is in danger. After you realize what your talent is, then you can work on controlling it."

I thought about that, then sighed. "So, I guess if my so-called ability doesn't appear within a decade, I can stop hoping, right?"

Carlisle appeared surprised and widened his eyes, slightly.

"Oh, I have no doubt that you have an ability," he smiled, "And judging from past experience… it'll be a great one, too."

After that, Esme popped her head in and Rosalie changed the subject back to marriages.

We stayed up talking until dawn.

At around five thirty in the morning, a bird started chirping in the backyard, telling us that morning had finally broken. As I trained my eyes at the lightening sky, I realized that Edward still hadn't returned.

Author's Note: Sorry for the delay - school's been really hectic. Hope you guys liked the new developments, and don't worry, Edward'll be back very soon.

Brief Synopsis so far: So, Bella has changed into a vampire. Shortly after, Felix makes an appearance, scaring everybody out of their wits, especially when he leads on that he's not quite finished with business in Forks and furthermore, is traveling with an unusual band of vampires - something that rarely occurs in the vampire world. Alice gets a vision of Bella being killed, which freaks everybody out. Then, she tries to get a vision and see who these people (vampires) that Felix is hanging out with are, but in her vision, their faces come out blurred. Edward reads Alice's mind and also sees the blurred vision. This upsets him and after some discussion, he, Jasper, and Emmett decide to go track Felix and see the band of vampires for themselves. Bella wants to come, but reminded of Alice's initial vision, Edward refuses to let her leave. He disappears, promising that he'll be back before sunrise. During his absence, Bella talks to Alice and Rosalie about some useless stuff - and when dawn finally arrives, Edward still hasn't returned.