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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.


2. Chapter 2

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2213   Review this Chapter

Ch 2: Graduation

I think I've gone blind. It's possible, isn't it? The fire's reached my head and I can feel my eyes start watering. My vision's been lost for a while.

"Edward," I scream. At least, I think I scream. At this point, I don't know what I'm saying. I can barely hear myself or feel any part of my body. No. I can feel… I can feel the pain killing me from the inside out.

Something frozen strokes my neck. Edward. It's a temporary relief.

Now the pain's set in again.

………

Flashback: Graduation

Graduation was a glorious day. I had made it through high school, which turned out to be quite a relief. Renee and Phil couldn't make it up, but she had sent a long, excited email the night before detailing plans for the summer that apparently included Jacksonville, traveling, and boats.

I was just happy I made it through in one piece.

The cloudless sky was the only thing that dampened my mood. It meant that Edward and Alice couldn't make it to the outdoor graduation. They didn't seem to mind - what was one more graduation out of a bucketful? - but I did.

"Take pictures," Edward had just shrugged as I complained that morning. He ignored my glare and grinned, "It's not all that important anyway. I've graduated more times than I can count."

I shot him a scathing glance. "It's important for me. It'll be my first one."

His face suddenly darkened and I knew he was contemplating what would happen after graduation. Probably searching for a way to change my mind.

Graduation itself went smoothly. I even walked up the stage and received my diploma without stumbling over the podium. Edward would have been proud of me.

Charlie kidnapped my camera and it became a permanent fixture over his face as he snapped picture after picture of nobody but me.

"That's really enough," I complained, getting annoyed as the flash blinded me for the millionth time.

He shook his head and snapped another. "You only graduate once."

His words made me freeze and I smiled, stiffly. The guilt hit me as suddenly and as swiftly as an icy snowball. This could quite possibly be the last time I saw him as… a human. Just thinking about that made my stomach churn.

"I love you, Dad," I blurted, tripping over my gown as I moved to hug him. He steadied me and looked at me curiously which only made me squeeze him harder. I could feel the tears coming and held my breath trying to control them.

"Your friends are watching," he chuckled.

"I don't care."

"Oh. Are you feeling okay?"

I laughed and nodded. "Perfect, actually."

A voice shouted my name. I twisted around to see Mike making his way through the crowd, waving a yearbook and a pen in his hands. Charlie stepped away from my embraced and patted my shoulder awkwardly.

I didn't want to leave him, but I turned to Mike anyways.

"Hi," he grinned and held up his yearbook. "Sign? I need hard evidence that I actually knew you once upon a time."

"Evidence?" I furrowed my eyebrows, not sure what he was talking about.

"Of course. My kids will never believe me when I tell them that I was friends with the prettiest girl in school."

My blush reached my ears and I gaped at him, completely flustered. His smile told me he was teasing. "Hardly," I muttered, scrawling a quick message inside the front cover.

I gave it back to him and we stood there, facing each other for a few uncomfortable seconds.

"Well…" I started, then stopped. I had no idea what to say.

"Well," he agreed with a short laugh. Then he stepped up and wrapped an arm around me in a quick hug. "Keep in touch, Bella. Okay?"

"Sure."

I doubted that I would keep in touch, but there was no need to tell him that. He waved and jogged off to find somebody else.

"See, there's a boy I wouldn't mind you seeing," Charlie spoke up from behind me. I rolled my eyes and started towards the parking lot.

"Bella!" Jessica called and I turned, a little surprised. I saw her walking towards me with Angela and Lauren in tow. Her face was frozen in a smile and for a few seconds, I wasn't sure what she wanted. She hadn't even bothered trying to speak to me that last semester.

"Jess," I greeted.

The three girls stopped in front of me. Angela grinned easily at me and I relaxed. It didn't matter that Lauren was as stony as ever and was glaring holes into the back of Jessica's head.

"There's a party at Tyler's tonight," she said, keeping her smile plastered on her face. "You have to come, last get-together before graduation and all. Can you make it?"

I knew Charlie was listening in and wasn't sure how to answer. There was no chance that I would show up, but "no" didn't seem like an appropriate enough answer.

"I'll try my best," I said carefully. Jessica seemed to accept that and she flapped her wrist in my face as she bounded off.

"Alright then, bye!" she called over her shoulder. I could have sworn I heard Lauren whisper, "Ten bucks says she's a no-show."

Angela touched my arm for a brief moment and we shared one last knowing glance before she left to follow the two of them.

By now, I was anxious to get to the Cullens and I hurried to my truck. My graduation gown twisted around my legs and I pitched forward, landing on the pavement of the parking lot.

I heard Charlie sigh as I picked myself up.

"You still haven't grown into your feet yet," he chuckled. I snorted, a bit miffed, but he was right. I doubted that I ever would.

………

It was still light outside when I reached the Cullens. My truck groaned to a stop and coughed when I cut the engine, making me wince at the dismally loud sound. It would only be a matter of seconds now…

"How was it?!" Alice appeared by the driver seat's window, opening the door for me.

"Relatively painless," I carefully jumped out, then shot her a pointed look. "Of course, it would've been better if you guys were - "

Alice's glittery laugh cut me off mid-sentence. "Right. It would have been better," she said in a cheery voice, twirling around in the afternoon sun. Her brilliant skin sparkled and flashed, threatening to blind me, but nonetheless, it was hard to not look at her. "If I went, the townspeople would be chasing me down with pitchforks and torches by now."

I sighed and smoothed down the wrinkles in my jeans. I hadn't really thought about my clothes after graduation - I just threw on whatever I could reach first. Now, comparing my drab T-shirt and old jeans to her fluttering sundress, I wish I had.

"Where's Edward?" I asked, frowning. He should have been down by now.

"With Emmett," she answered, "Hunting."

"I see."

It made sense, too. Suddenly, I was nervous. He was hunting early, which meant that I was really about to be turned. Really, really.Tonight. Possibly by him. Hopefully by him. My palms were unreasonably slick with sweat and my stomach was doing all sorts of dances.

Alice stopped her spinning and looked over.

"Are you nervous?"

"Not really," I lied. At her look, I relented. "Okay, yes. I'm terrified. Not in the way you think, though."

"It's okay," she linked her arm through mine and led me to the house. Well, dragged me to the house. "If you weren't scared at all, I'd be worried."

The house was strangely quiet when we walked in and I wondered where everybody else was. I could practically hear my footsteps echoing in the front hall.

"It just feels so surreal," I murmured, following her up the stairs. "It's like a fantasy."

She looked at me harshly, her golden eyes suddenly darkening.

"It's nothing like a fantasy," her voice was sharp and I flinched. "It's like a nightmare. Worse, even."

I assumed she meant the process. Edward told me there would be pain. I remembered how my hand had burned when James had bitten it. It was absolute agony. I stared down at it, skimming the scarring and feeling its coldness.

Alice noticed.

"It's like that," she said, her voice suddenly low. "Except all over. Or, so I heard."

"Fantastic," I muttered, stuffing the hand into my pocket. I just had to remember that this was what I wanted. This was exactly what I wanted. "And I'm guessing a great big dose of morphine is out of the question."

Alice laughed and the mood lightened considerably.

"Nah, you're a big girl," she slapped my back and I nearly fell over. She smiled apologetically. Then she teased, "What's three days of endless torture and pain, anyways?"

"Of course. Piece of cake."

When we reached the top floor, Rosalie poked her head out of her room. Her gorgeous blonde hair hung perfectly over her shoulder and her perfect lips curved slightly into an unsure smile. In times like these, I was happy that she had Emmett, otherwise, I would probably have less faith in Edward's love for me. To think, he could have had her…

"Hello, Bella," she said, her voice soft.

"Hi," I answered. Months later and she was still feeling guilty about nearly sending Edward to his death. It was evident, in her careful attitude towards me, no longer angry, but cautious, as if I were a china doll tipped precariously over the ledge of a shelf.

"Emmett and Edward should be back soon," she told me. "Everybody else is setting up."

"Setting up?"

Alice shifted her feet uneasily.

"Just precautions," Rosalie continued. "It's not a big deal. Really."

It seemed like a big deal to me, but I decided not to push it and just nodded.

"Can I see what they're setting up?" I asked. Alice and Rosalie exchanged a quick glance. I wouldn't have caught it had I not been keeping an eye on both of them.

"Well - "

"Bella, dear!" Esme's gentle voice floated towards me. She appeared at the end of the hall and made her way towards me in human speed, stretching both arms out for an embrace. I eagerly hugged her hello.

"Rosalie and Alice were telling me you all were setting something up?" I spoke up, immediately. A trace of a frown appeared on Esme's forehead, but it was wiped off in less than half a second and replaced with a kind smile.

"We are," she sighed. "Come with me, you might as well see it."

As we walked down the long stretch of hallway, she bombarded me with questions about graduation. "How was it? Did you take pictures? Who was the speaker, it wasn't that dreadful Mr.Reeny again, was it? Was the sun too hot? Surely, those caps couldn't have been comfortable in the heat."

I answered what I could and was in the middle of telling her about the excessive photos Charlie had taken when we crossed the threshold into Carlisle's office. The sight I was greeted with shut me up right away.

"What's this?" I questioned, taking in the queen-sized bed next to the wall, the mahogany desk shoved to the side, shackles hanging from the ceiling, rope dangling from the bedposts. "Are we holding somebody prisoner?"

Nobody answered.

"Are we holding me prisoner?"

"Precautions," Rosalie mumbled behind me, repeating herself from a few minutes before.

Jasper finished knotting the rope to the last post of the bed and hovered next to Carlisle at the far side of the room.

"It's for the best," Carlisle smiled kindly.

"Oh. Of course."

I was still puzzled and perplexed, but at that moment, we heard a stampede thundering up the stairs.

"Emmett and Edward," Esme shook her head, disgusted, "Racing again, I suppose."

Edward appeared at the doorway and his face brightened a decimal when he saw me. His bronze hair was disheveled and his white face was unusually flushed.

All too quickly, his warm butterscotch eyes hardened. Whether it was the desperately S&M/Prisoner sight laid out before him or the thoughts of everybody in the room, I couldn't know.

"Edward," I breathed and he was at my side in an instant, sliding a cool arm around my waist.

He pressed a kiss to my forehead and my eyes fluttered shut briefly to savor the feel of his smooth, marbled lips against my overheated skin. He, on the other hand, had his eyes fixed on Carlisle and Jasper.

"What is all this?" his voice was threateningly low and I shuddered. Carlisle straightened.

"It's necessary, Edward. You know that."

"But…" he paused, "Tonight?"

"Yes. As was planned."

Edward dropped his gaze, and lowered his mouth to my ear. "Come with me," he whispered, trailing a finger down my bare arm. I shuddered again, this time for a completely different reason.

I nodded mutely, completely incapacitated of any and all ability to speak. He led me out of the room, ignoring the looks his family members were giving him.