Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

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.


21. Chapter 21

Rating 3.8/5   Word Count 3115   Review this Chapter

Ch. 21: Sight

A raindrop the size of a quarter landed on my nose and I blinked, surprised. My hands were still wound through Edward's hair and his arms were still tight around my waist.

"What?" I asked Tanya, knowing the answer and dreading it at the same time as I turned my head to the sky. The sun was completely gone now, replaced with an endlessly gray and blue sky, outlined with black clouds.

She opened her mouth, but just then, the water that had been dangerously swirling around the cliff suddenly shot up, leaping for the sky and towering millions of miles above us.

Tanya screamed and jumped back.

Edward shouted something incomprehensible and pushed me backwards until I fell into Tanya's stiffened body. He rushed us away from the cliff as all the ocean's water flew into the air, roaring as it went.

"Get back!" he commanded, shielding us with his body, as if he were a match for miles upon miles of raging rapids. Lightning cracked down from the sky, scorching through the risen waterfall.

I felt Tanya trembling against me and I stepped even closer.

"Don't worry," I whispered, even though I was shaking to my toes. "It's not real. It's just an illusion."

She swore.

"Feels pretty damn real to me," her teeth chattered.

"Well," I paused for a moment. "It's not."

The wind howled, deafening me for an extended moment before swirling back and dying out to a torrent of rapid raindrops. I caught the tail end of her sentence.

" - we ever know?"

"What?" I shouted, raising my voice to carry over the angry sounds of the storm. Glancing over, I saw Edward scanning the vicinity, crouched in an attack stance.

"How would we ever know what's real?" Tanya asked. I blinked at her, swiping at the wet hair that clung to the side of my face.

"We just know."

She shook her head, disagreeing.

"No, the only thing that's real is what you see," she objected. "Because what you see is what's in your mind and there is nothing more real than the mind. When you die in the Matrix, you die in real life. Whatever that is."

My mouth dropped at her off-hand comment. It seemed so odd coming from her, more than a century year old vampire, to be referring to recent pop-culture as she stood in the middle of a dark storm too violent to be natural. A tree branch snapped and she glanced at me, catching my surprised expression.

"What?" she demanded, seeming irritated. "Just because I'm a vampire doesn't mean I can't enjoy the luxuries of 20th century human entertainment. And anyway, the guy who plays Neo is a vampire."

"No way," I widened my eyes, blinking quickly as a large piece of hail hit me. "You're kidding."

"Most definitely not," she glared. "I met him myself, back when - "

A wide streak of lightening blazed through the sky and struck down a particularly tall oak tree, interrupting her. The ground trembled and slowly, the sound of wood cracking overtook the air.

"Watch out!" Edward shouted, pushing both of us back as the huge tree fell to the ground. He roared, flinging his head up and shouting to the opening sky, "Damn you, Dorian! It hasn't been a week yet."

Then there was that voice again. That smooth, beautiful, electrifying, yet terrifying voice.

"I got tired of waiting."

It didn't surprise me, the nonchalance and ease of his tone. My eyes narrowed as he stepped out from behind a particularly wide bush. It was as if he'd just stepped out of an ad shooting, with his dark, wet locks sticking to his alabaster skin. There was an easy smirk on his lips as he carefully flicked a water droplet from the tip of his straight, elegant nose.

Edward stood taller, shifting so his body was shielding both me and Tanya from Dorian's view.

But even then, I could still see him, black, button-down shirt hanging half-tucked from black pants, the top few buttons undone, giving the world a glimpse of his muscular chest.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Tanya's eyes widen as her eyes traveled over his body. Her lips moved and I thought I heard her whisper a name, but the wind was so loud, I couldn't be sure.

"That wasn't the deal, Dorian," Edward was saying.

Dorian shrugged, evidently not caring.

"Like I say, I got tired," he repeated before tilting his head and casting me a toothy smile. "And it seems like I'm the one with the upper-hand here, yeah?"

Stony silence met him for an answer and he chuckled.

"So, what'll it be, mate?" he asked, taking a step closer to Edward. "Do you accept the challenge?"

"We accept," Edward responded, his velvet voice low and even. "Just give us a time and a place and we'll be more than ready to send you right where you belong."

"Is that what you think?" Dorian sounded amused.

"Oh, it's what I know."

"And, from one man to another, where exactly is it that I belong?"

From where I stood, I saw a smirk to match Dorian's crawl up Edward's face.

"To the ninth circle of hell."

Dorian's smile froze on his face as his eyes iced over. "I'm a lot of things, Dante," he said, a low growl accentuating his words. "But if I recall, the ninth circle of hell is for traitors. And the one thing that I am not … is a traitor."

"Treachery isn't always black and white. You're a traitor to mankind just by existing the way you do. Besides, it was the hypothetical hell."

"Ah," Dorian nodded, smile still in place. "Pity I don't believe in hell."

Edward slowly bore his glistening white teeth as the mixture of hail and rain pouring down from the sky mellowed down to a drizzle. The upside-down waterfall receded and fell back down over the cliff where it belonged.

"After we're done with you, you'll be praying to a God you never thought existed and asking for his mercy," he sneered. Dorian laughed, eyes flashing.

"We'll see about that in three days. Sunset. Right here."

Edward raised an eyebrow. "This is Quileute territory."

"And?"

"We're not permitted on their land."

Dorian snorted, rolling his garnet eyes. "You think I care?"

Edward stared at him for a long moment before slowly nodding his head. "Fine."

"Now that that business is taken care of," Dorian side-stepped Edward and fixed his eyes on me. "How have you - "

His words trailed off as he transferred his gaze from me to Tanya. It was as if he'd seen a ghost - his eyes widened, his jaw slackened, and there was that little flare in his nostrils that made it seem like he was holding back … everything.

I peered at Edward and saw him watching the exchange between Dorian and Tanya as well.

What was going on?

Dorian was the first one to break the silence, muttering a soft, almost tender, "Tanya…"

Tanya swallowed and I saw her eyelids flutter down for a short second before she looked at him again and gave him a small smile.

"Finleigh."

The tips of his ears tinged the faintest pink. At the same time, the rain completely stopped and the dark thunder clouds overhead seemed to lighten marginally.

"It's Dorian now, actually."

"Dorian."

He nodded, looking a bit flustered. He shifted his weight between his feet and his fingers were clenching and unclenching one moment then fiddling with the hem of his shirt the next.

"Yeah, I, uh, changed it when I … came over to the Americas," he faltered and ended with a hopeful little smile that made me realize that whatever had happened between Dorian and Tanya must have been very, very personal.

I backed up a step and absently held out my left hand, reaching for Edward. His hand caught mine and held it tight, drawing me closer to his side as we silently watched the spectacle before us.

"You know, Irish and English relations and all of that," he continued on. "Didn't need anybody suspecting me of - "

"You changed your accent, too."

"Oh yeah, that. Yeah, I did. They - they wouldn't have let me on the boat if they realized I was Irish, so I - "

"I didn't know you needed permission to board a ship," Tanya's voice was light and calculated, her eyes narrowed. "You were a vampire for God's sake."

"Well, I - " he paused, biting his lower lip. "I was young."

She let out a short laugh. "That you were."

"Tanya…"

The silence overtook them again. By now, the clouds had cleared completely and the sun had already set below the horizon, leaving us under a sheet of stars and a solitary moon.

I studied Tanya's face and recognized the conflicted emotions that flitted across her features for a split second before her expression become stolid again.

"Well, if that's all," she straightened, looking Dorian directly in the eye. "I should probably - "

"No!" he cried out, impulsively reaching out to grasp her upper-arm. "Don't go. I - we…"

She stilled and stared at his hand. I felt Edward's arm snake around my waist and I leaned into him, closing my eyes for a moment to breath in his comforting scent.

It was too easy to read Dorian's desperation in his body language and features. It didn't surprise me, really. He didn't seem like the type to keep things in.

But the things that I read confused me. Love, hurt, pain, longing, hope - all emotions I didn't realize he had. They were emotions I thought had been washed out of him.

"What do you want with me?" Tanya asked him quietly, refusing to meet his eyes.

"You - you ran away! It seems like a lifetime ago, but - "

"Two."

"What?"

She sighed. "Two lifetimes ago. Two generations," Tanya breathed out, then shrugged. "But who's counting?"

"You - " he swallowed hard. "What are you doing here? Now?"

"I'm helping out old friends. Giving them a lending hand in some big, upcoming fight they're supposed to be having in apparently three days. I guess the fight is with you and yours, huh?"

"You're helping them? But, they're - "

"Just like me, Fin - Dorian," she filled in, looking back up. "They live the same lifestyle as I do. The same lifestyle you just couldn't seem to stand, which is why I left you."

He was quiet for a long moment.

"Did you know you'd be fighting me?" he finally asked. Tanya laughed at this, a hard, raucous laugh that held no humor.

"I knew they were fighting Dorian. How could I have known that their Dorian was my Finleigh?"

"But, you must have heard of me before! The Aurelius - "

"Oh, I've heard of you, yes. Wanted to meet you even, once upon a time. I guess I never connected the dots that linked Fin and Dorian. How could I? You never bothered to keep in touch."

"I didn't know you wanted me to."

"Part of me didn't. Part of me hated you," she looked away again and he snorted in frustration, taking her chin in his other hand and tilting it up. She yanked her head away and took a step away from him, throwing off his hands. "A part of me still hates you. But … part of me hoped that you cared enough to try and run after me."

His brow furrowed. "I did care! How was I supposed to know you still wanted me?"

"I'm a woman, Fin! Jesus! With all the womanizing you did as a human, you'd think you learned something about reading us. Sometimes, saying 'go away' means the same thing as 'I need you'!"

"You pushed me out of a moving train's window as you were leaving, Tanya! That screams 'leave me alone' to me!"

She let out a frustrated growl and made a move to shove him back, but he caught her wrists before she could cause any real damage.

"Let me go!" she hissed, twisting around.

"No! I let you go one hundred and twenty eight years ago. I'm not making the same mistake twice."

"I hate you."

"And I love you," he pulled her against him and wrapped both arms around her, pinning her arms to her side. She started shaking and writhing against him, fighting off sobs and trying to get away at the same time.

"No, you don't," she snarled. "You don't even know me anymore!"

"Sure I do," he buried his head against the crook of her neck and shoulder. His words were slightly muffled against her skin, but I could still make them out. "You're Tanya. You're beautiful, you're bold, you're vicious, you know what you want and you take it, you're selfish, you're conniving, but at the same time, you're the most loving, caring woman in the world, and you drive me absolutely mad.

"You're compassionate - what else can explain your revolting diet? You fight for your own, you stand up for yourself. Sometimes, I think you're the most infuriating bint I've ever had the misfortune to meet, but at the same time, I can't help but wonder when you're in my arms. You're the only bloody woman for me. The only one. You're the only one I've ever loved, the only one I'll ever love. I don't care how much you say you've changed. That's one thing that I know will never change."

She had stopped moving around and was now completely still, resting her forehead against his neck as he rocked her.

"You - " she said quietly, her voice a little scratchy. "You're a jerk."

"Tanya - "

"No," she suddenly pushed him away and wrapped her arms around herself. "No."

"Tanya, please, love."

"What, you think you can spout out some pretty words and suddenly everything'll be okay? It doesn't work like that! You think I don't know about what you do to people? When I heard about Dorian, I was completely sickened. Yeah, maybe I was a little turned on too, but mostly, I just wanted to kill him! I may be a bitch, but at least I have a heart. You never had one, Finleigh."

"Wait a bloody minute here. That's not fair, Tanya."

"It's not - " She stopped and snapped her head in my direction.

Her scowl deepened. "Some privacy please?" she snapped.

Dorian looked over at us and seemed surprised that we were still standing there.

"Let's take this somewhere else," he grabbed onto her and suddenly, they disappeared completely.

I looked up into Edward's eyes and saw that his incredulous expression matched my own. It was shocking to see this other side of Dorian and Tanya. On a baser level, it worked. Tanya was manipulative and Dorian was evil; it was a perfect match. But on a much deeper level, listening to their reunion was almost… touching.

"And I thought love stories like that only existed onscreen," I murmured, leaning back and resting my head against his chest as he held me.

"Apparently not," he sighed into my ear, kissing my earlobe. "I love you."

I pushed him away, playfully, placing my hands on my hips. "You think you can spout some pretty words out to me and - "

"Oh, you stop it," he rolled his eyes and swiftly kissed me, shutting me up.

"Mmm," I hummed against his lips as I wrapped my arms around his neck, pressing my body against his. "I hope we never get like that. I don't think I can last a hundred years without you."

He laughed lightly and nudged my nose with his. "Their situation is a little bit different from ours. And I can't last one hundred hours without you, let alone a hundred years."

"Oh, yeah? Well, I can't last one hundred minutes and - "

A familiar voice cut me off and sent chills right down my spine.

"Ugh, please stop. This is absolutely sickening."

Author's Note: So. How's that for a plot twist? Dorian + Tanya. That's how I planned it all along; it's going to play a major, major role in this story. I personally love them together. It's such an epic love story and you will see their relationship play out (partially) in this story. There are a lot of loose ends right now, and I'm thinking about having a one-shot summarizing their past or something. I'll think about it. But, their relationship is actually one of the things I'm most excited about and I really, really want to blurt out my brilliant idea, but I'm working hard to keep my mouth shut. But here's this: Remember when I said that there might be a potential sequel centering around Dorian? Well, his relationship with Tanya will be ONE of the main themes. Will they stay enemies? Will they get together? Will they be one of those "I love you but I can't have you" couples? Haha, who knows?? Well. I do, but I don't count. Anyways…

Everything's unraveling slowly… and I'm hoping that everybody's on the same page as me. Do you see Dorian's dilemma? He wants Tanya, but she's one of Carlisle's "types" of vampires. He's fighting against her… and does he really want to? It all factors in.

This chapter was full of hints and foreshadowing. I don't want to give anything away, but just pay attention to the words they say, etc. One thing to think about is Tanya's Matrix comment. If your mind thinks you're dead, do you die? Just something to think about =]

And no. I'm pretty sure that Keanu Reeves isn't a vampire - in our universe or the Twilight universe. I just wanted to add it in because I thought it was funny. It reminded me of this scene in Buffy when Spike is still with Harmony and she's watching Interview with a Vampire and suddenly asks "Is Antonio Banderas a vampire?" and Spike's like "No, Harm" and she's like "Oh. Can we go make him a vampire?"

It was cute.

So… after that epic-long author's note… I just want to thank EVERYBODY for their support. Sorry it took so long to crank this chapter out. It was actually written in two days - but I was in NY for about a week and didn't get a chance to write.

R&R!!

(And don't you love Dorian?)

(Oh yeah, and sorry for the cliffhanger. The next chapter will be awesome :) )