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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.


13. Chapter 13

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 2613   Review this Chapter

Ch. 13: Reasons

Edward frowned at me.

"Don't change the subject," he said flatly, dropping his arm from my waist and letting it hang loosely by his side. I widened my eyes, surprised at the anger glaring out from his topaz irises.

Alice saw the tension that had suddenly risen up between us and stepped forward, opening her mouth to speak.

"Not now, Alice," he interrupted her before she could say anything. "I already know what you think. I want to know what Bella was thinking."

My arms folded across my chest and my jaw tightened. He noticed my annoyed expression and his face turned icy.

"Just because you're a vampire now and stronger than before doesn't mean you can be so careless!" his voice was steadily rising and his fists were tightly clenched. "Do you know how close the werewolves were to killing you? Do you care?"

"Of course I care," I snapped.

"Then why, Bella? Why couldn't you just let Alice bring you back something? Why did you have to hunt so close to Quileute territory? You're not grasping the danger you're putting yourself and everybody else in! You never have and now I'm starting to think you never will."

"Stop it, Edward," Alice cut in, her voice just as chilling. She rested a hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed. "I could've easily told her to wait, but - "

"Then why didn't you?" he shouted. His beautiful face was openly livid, his bright eyes shooting sparks. I looked at him quietly, trying to stamp down my own irritation.

"Because it wouldn't have been the right decision!"

"Of course. Superb decision-making skills, sister dear," he spat out. "What a brilliant situation you put us all in. Surrounded by five salivating werewolves. Couldn't have done better myself."

"Cut the sarcasm, Edward," she glared up at him, "This isn't the time or place."

"Then when do you think is the right time to talk about this, oh great decision-making one? When Bella's torn to pieces by some werewolf who couldn't control himself? When she accidentally comes across a human being and kills him because she can't - "

His rant brought back the not-so-distant memory of the UPS man and I guess Alice was thinking about the same thing, because Edward suddenly grew silent. His mouth opened but no sound came out.

I shifted, bringing his attention back to me.

"Who are you going to blame for that, Edward?" I asked, quietly. "Me? Alice? Tell me, who wasn't there when I needed him the most?"

"Bella - " his voice was strained and I saw his hand reaching out for me. I wanted to step into his arms and stay there forever, but restricted myself.

"Don't touch me!" I choked out, frustrated. His apologetic eyes hardened. "You suddenly show up out of nowhere and when we're finally - " I broke off and took a deep breath. "The first thing you do is yell at me? I was wrong, okay? Maybe I should've waited, but if I had to do it all over again, I'd still beg Alice to teach me how to hunt and - "

My voice stopped for a second time. I hated confrontations and my eyes felt like they were burning. I wanted to attack him for leaving me, for not being there for me, for accusing me of something I had no control over. The werewolves would've shown themselves sooner or later and though we were all hoping for later, I was glad it happened when it did.

Apparently, Edward wasn't and I couldn't say anything to change that.

Suddenly, my frustration mellowed out and I took a deep breath, relaxing. I cast a quick, suspicious glance in Jasper's direction.

"Damn it, Jasper," Edward muttered under his breath, but I could see the relief in his eyes.

"We shouldn't be fighting," Jasper returned. I was so exhausted from the argument, I could barely manage a grateful smile. "Especially not out here," he added, glancing in the direction Emmett and Carlisle had gone.

I hadn't even realized they'd left until he pointed it out.

"Let's go," Alice smiled, shooting Edward a warning glance before taking her place beside Jasper as they made their way through the woods.

Edward and I stood there a moment longer, him staring at me and me staring at everything but him. The intensity between us was so strong I could almost touch it, but right now, it wasn't the intensity I wanted.

A squirrel scampered up a tree, breaking off a small branch and making the leaves float down. To my left, I saw the sliver of orange and red through the trees. Sunrise. Edward was five sunrises later than what he promised.

His silence unnerved me and when I finally looked into his eyes, I froze. The brightness in them burned me and I wished he would say something. Anything.

The shimmering morning light cast shadows over Edward's perfect features and I saw the frustration lined in his forehead and mouth. His copper hair gleamed, slightly rustling in the light breeze. My fingers itched to run through the soft locks.

I counted down the seconds for this agonizing tension to dissolve.

He made the first move, taking a half-step in my direction.

"Bella," his voice was soft, apologetic, and I found myself rushing forward into his arms. He caught me and lifted me up off the ground, crushing me against his body.

"I'm sorry," I cried, my throat a bit scratchy. "I'm sorry for being so reckless. I really wasn't thinking… I don't know what…"

His arms around me were a welcome vice and I sighed when they tightened. I pressed my face into his neck and closed my eyes, finally content.

"Don't apologize," he said into my hair and I felt him shake his head. "I was wrong. I'm the one - God, Bella."

His voice cracked and I relaxed into his embrace.

"When I saw that werewolf leaping at you - " his breath tickled my skin when he paused. "It was one of the single most frightening moments in my life," he confessed. "One werewolf couldn't do much damage, but there were four of them. I would've died if something happened to you."

I cringed. Did we have to go through this again? My fingers trailed down the side of his face as I clung to him. His jaw tensed and when he opened his mouth to speak again, I pulled back and kissed him.

My eyes fluttered shut as the fireworks started. I realized how long it'd been since the last time we kissed and decided that I never wanted to wait that long again. A familiar heat rushed through my body and I gasped dizzily, pulling back slightly.

"I feel drunk," I murmured in his lips. My eyes opened to lock with his. I felt his mouth curve against mine and a self-satisfactory twinkle shine in his darkened pupils.

"I have that affect on people," he teased, changing the mood completely.

"People?" I raised an eyebrow, shifting away. He held on tighter and laughed.

"I can't help it," he smirked. "It's part of my irresistible charm."

"Irresistible," I repeated to myself, shaking my head.

"You said so yourself. I dazzle people, remember?"

Arrogant bastard, I thought to myself, fighting a smile.

"You remember that?"

"Of course."

"Oh. But by that, I meant human girls," I grinned. I ran my hand up his neck then traced the curve of his ear with my index finger. "I'm not a human girl anymore, Edward. Your so-called charm has absolutely no affect on me whatsoever."

His head drew dangerously close to mine and the sweetness of his breath overtook my senses. I shivered involuntarily.

"Is that so?" his soft voice was a whisper against my skin and I peered up at him with half-hooded eyes. No. Absolutely not so.

"Yes." I was setting myself up for punishment.

"I'll have to rectify that," he murmured, leaning in. The split second before his lips touched mine, he suddenly jumped back, nearly dropping me.

"What's wrong?" I asked, alarmed. He shook his head and sighed.

"Emmett called me," he pointed at his head and rolled his eyes. "He told me to 'stop canoodling and get my butt over to the house because we have important things to discuss'."

I laughed lightly and pushed off of him until I felt the ground under my feet.

"So, I guess we have to go."

"Yes," he pulled a face. "We're always getting interrupted."

"I can't wait until this is over," I muttered to myself, reaching out to take his hand.

His expression suddenly hardened as if he remembered something but he didn't say anything. I gave him a curious glance then shrugged it off.

"So, what took you guys five days," I asked as we made our way through the woods.

"You'll find out," he answered distractedly. I decided not to press the issue and just squeezed his hand.

He squeezed back.

………

"Finally!" Alice greeted with her hands on her hips when we slipped in through the back door.

I looked up, surprised at her sudden appearance.

"I'd ask where you two were, but … " she trailed off with a smirk. Edward shook his head at her before leading us into the living room where everybody else was waiting.

Alice trailed across the room to sit next to Jasper, who was studying the cracks in the coffee table - Carlisle had fixed it since Edward and Felix's brawl, but sometimes, even the best workmanship couldn't make the million pieces of splintered wood smooth over completely. Emmett was pacing across the room and Rosalie was sitting on the couch, watching him intently. Carlisle and Esme were standing together, their expressions grave and tense.

I sensed the mood shift immediately and stiffened.

Emmett spun around and sent Edward a slight glare.

"Took you long enough," he raised an eyebrow.

Edward shrugged. "We're here now, so why don't we get to the point."

I turned to him. "Did you guys find out anything about Felix?" I asked, taking his advice and cutting to the chase.

His expression immediately darkened. Jasper lifted his eyes and immediately, the tension settling around my shoulders lifted.

"Yes," Edward answered and the hand holding my hip tightened. "We tracked him."

I lifted my eyebrows. "I thought you said you weren't any good at tracking."

Emmett snorted.

"Edward can speak for himself," he said, smiling wryly. "Jasper and I happen to be excellent trackers."

He shared a glance with Jasper and they laughed. Edward sent them both a glare.

"Oh, shut up, you two," Alice cut in, her eyes twinkling. I peered down and noticed she was squeezing the life out of Jasper's hand. "Tell me what you found out. This whole thing's driving me insane. I can't see anything Felix's planning. Maybe it's because I don't have a very good hold on him, but - this has never happened before."

"We know," Edward grumbled. I stroked the back of his hand with my palm, trying to relax him. He barely even noticed as he looked straight at Carlisle and started talking.

"We trailed up upstate, near the Canadian border," he said, his face ashen. "Felix met up with Victoria."

"Victoria?" Carlisle straightened at the name. Edward nodded. His entire body was trembling and I heard a low growl start from his chest as he repeated the name.

Emmett spoke up, his voice uncharacteristically lethal. "I wanted to run in and tear that good-for-nothing bitch to pieces, but these two buffoons held me back."

"Good thing too," Jasper retorted, leaning back. "The story gets even better."

I groaned. Alice and Rosalie looked just as miserable.

"Better?" Rosalie's voice was meek.

"Yeah."

"Wait, why was Felix with Victoria anyway?" I asked, dreading the answer.

Pause.

Edward released my hand and ran his hands roughly through his hair, messing it up even more. His mouth pressed into a tight, angry line.

"Victoria's out for revenge, Bella," Jasper answered for him. His voice was light, but his entire demeanor was on edge. "Apparently, she intercepted Felix on his way to Forks. While he was here, she was just a few towns away, waiting for him to report back to her. She'll stop at nothing."

"They're mates now," Edward spat out, clearly disgusted. "She knew his connection to the Volturi and turned it against him. She played on all his insecurities. Told him he would amount to nothing, he'd be a Volturi guard for eternity if he stayed with them. Propositioned him into joining her and her vendetta."

"What, and he just accepted?" Alice sounded surprised. "He turned his back from his clan of hundreds of years… for her?"

"Because he's weak," Emmett's voice was condescending. "He's that type, too. It didn't take her long to convince him to follow her."

Alice squinted and after a few seconds, let out a frustrated growl.

"Why can't I see this?" she cried out, throwing her hands up in the air. Jasper reached out to touch her shoulder and she just shrugged him off, opting to stand and pace around the room.

If possible, Edward's expression darkened even more.

"There's more," he said, voice flat. "Victoria wasn't alone when she recruited Felix. She was with the Aurelius clan."

"The Aurelius clan," Carlisle repeated. I saw Esme's alarmed look as she glanced up at Carlisle. He shook his head, tiredly. "So. This is worse than I imagined. Was it the same lot? Dorian, Iris, Adrien, and Jasmine?"

"No. Only Dorian, Iris, and Adrien. We don't know what happened to Jasmine."

"Of course," Carlisle rubbed his forehead, furrowing his brow. "Of course," he muttered again. "The weakest link gets eliminated. Jasmine never could make it with the likes of the Dorian."

Rosalie and Emmett were the only two who looked as bewildered as I did. Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Alice, and Jasper all had similar grim expressions clouding their features.

"Well," Alice mumbled, tugging at her short hair, "That definitely explains why I can't see them."

For a while, nobody responded. I was too confused to say anything. A million questions flooded my mind, but I had a feeling they were all about to be explained. Finally, Carlisle spoke again. "Do you know what Dorian's planning?"

Edward opened his mouth then closed it again.

Jasper answered for him with a quick shake of his head.

"No," he muttered. "We didn't stick around. We needed to warn you - we can't stay in Forks anymore."

I stared at him, shocked. The look on Edward's face confirmed what Jasper was saying and my jaw nearly dropped to the ground.

"You can't be serious," I gaped. "What about - "

"We are," Edward said firmly, leaving no room for questions.

"But - "

"No buts, Bella. We need to leave tonight."

AN: Yay! So, I finally introduced the Aurelius clan: Dorian, Iris, and Adrien. The name of the clan is entirely taken from BtVS - the clan Angel, Spike, Drusilla, Darla, the Master, etc. were in. The only relation this clan has with that one is the name. The vampires are completely original characters with completely original powers. For some very good reasons, Dorian's my favorite character. You guys haven't met him yet, but I promise you you'll like him, even though he's the villain. I'm excited about next chapter… and even more excited about the chapter after that because you-know-what will be introduced. Wait… you don't know what? Well, you'll find out! [cheeky grin]

I'm excited about Spring Break. Lots of writing will get done!