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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.


28. Chapter 27 Breathe - LAST CHAPTER REWRITE

Rating 4/5   Word Count 4287   Review this Chapter

(this is the edited last chapter. It's about 4x as long as the other one.)

Ch. 26: Breathe

The brilliance of the flames clashed against the black sky and as we fell back - at the edge of the forest - all we could do was stare on in awe. The fire seemed to reach the heavens as the single tornado in the skies met it and together, they mingled as one, terrible, beautiful funnel of reds, yellows, oranges.

My hand clutched at Edwards and he wrapped both arms around me as I struggled to get closer to him.

Beside me, Tanya was staring, open-mouthed, disbelieving at the flames powerful enough to demolish an entire city, an entire world.

We couldn't look away. It was impossible to tear our eyes away from such an entrancing sight - the forest gone up in an angry monster of fire.

"It's over," I whispered to myself, not really sure if it was or not. I felt cool lips press lightly against the back of my neck.

"Not yet," Edward murmured, "But soon."

As soon as the last word escaped his mouth, the fire disappeared, the thundering silenced, and the rain ceased. The hell on earth vanquished itself and everything was as it was. The suddenness of the change shocked me. What just happened?

And then I realized. Either Dorian had released his control of our delusions or…

I didn't have to look towards Tanya to know that she had fallen to the ground.

"He's gone."

“I don’t understand,” Sam repeated, a growl emphasizing each syllable. “What do you mean there was a storm? And fire? Did I miss something crucial, here? Have you all gone completely mad?”

As the last of the fire vanished before our eyes, the wolves had bounded forth from the forest, angry and demanding explanations. When Carlisle had told them that it was done, they were skeptical.

“I went over this all quite thoroughly,” Carlisle kept his voice level as he looked the wolf pack leader in the eye. “Dorian’s power destroyed everything, all of them. In their minds, they have died in the virtual firestorm. In other words,… they are gone.”

Sam paused, taking a long minute to digest Carlisle’s words. And again, he shook his head.

“Tell me,” he said, baring his front teeth, “Does this Dorian’s power destroy his body? I suppose him and those other blood-thirsty killers just, what, vanished into thin air? Did you check to see if their bodies are lying there? Are they truly dead, Carlisle?”

Silence waded in and out among us. Everything had happened so quickly, I hadn’t stopped to think that there might have been…

“So you don’t know,” Sam declared, glancing back at his pack members, who nodded in agreement.

“I thought we made it clear – “

“Oh yes,” his voice rumbled, forehead wrinkling into a glare. “You’ve made it very clear, Carlisle. You’ve made it excruciatingly clear that the lot of you took off the instant things got heated. You’ve made it perfectly clear that you don’t know for sure that those other blood-suckers aren’t about to rise and rampage through my town.”

Carlisle looked away, speechless, and my heart fell an inch. I looked around at what was left of us. Scratched up with ashen faces, bags extra dark and heavy around our eyes… I looked over at Emmett…

Emmett, who was standing dumbly beside Rosalie, not moving. That familiar glisten in his eyes was dimmed and for the first time in all the years I’ve known him, he looked exactly like a corpse. A stone dead body.

Sam’s growl broke me away from my thoughts.

“This is typical,” he snarled, and I could see the hair growing from his arms as he started his transformation back to a wolf. “You dirty bloodsuckers march around, leaving this town in chaos, and look who’s going out to do the cleanup. You’ll know when this is truly over.”

With a snap and a short howl, he bounded on four paws into the forest, leading his pack of werewolves to finish what we had started.

Tanya stared after them. “Are they going to…” she started, voice cracking.

Rosalie glanced at her and nodded, her own voice flat and monotonous: “They’re going to rip them all to shreds.”

“Fix him.”

Those were the first words Rosalie said to me when we stepped foot into the house.

“I’m not sure if that’s – “

“Fix. Him,” she repeated, emphasizing both syllables. I looked at Emmett, then looked at Rosalie, who was currently clutching at his arm. Her eyes silently pleaded with me.

“Look, dear, I don’t think Bella can do much for Emmett,” Esme put a hand on Rosalie’s shoulder, but Rosalie jerked away from her.

Don’t touch me,” she hissed, teeth clenched, eyes locked on mine. “She can do something. She’s the one with all that power, right?”

When I didn’t say anything, her gaze darkened. “You must have known,” she growled. “You should have known it would come to this. You can try.”

Finally, I nodded, knowing that it would be useless to argue with her.

Edward’s steady hand on my shoulder was a small comfort as I directed Emmett into the living room with my mind.

Sit, I instructed, and he immediately sat on the sofa.

The rest of the Cullens gathered around me as I kneeled in front of Emmett, taking both of his hands into my own.

Emmett, please look at me.

His head lifted slightly and his eyes rolled around until they met mine. I bit back my gasp. His eyes were looking into mine, yet there was nothing inside.

“What’s he doing?” Rosalie gasped, seeing his tiny shift in movement.

“I instructed him to look at me,” I told her, and she deflated.

Emmett, please, we need you. Be yourself again, I thought as hard as I could, pressing my thumbs into his palms. His eyes remained vacant, an empty shell of what used to be so lively…

"Come on, Emmett," Rosalie whispered into his ear, sitting down next to him. She brushed his hair away from his eyes and squeezed his broad shoulder.

Emmett, be yourself, you're not frozen anymore!

Nothing.

Emmett, break free. Please break free.

He didn’t even blink his eyes as he stared blankly at me.

"Come back," Rose's voice cracked as she pleaded with him. "Come back to me. Please? Please come back."

She turned to me, “Are you doing anything?” her voice rising slightly.

“I’m trying!”

She turned back to Emmett. “Can you even hear me?” her voice dropped to a hoarse whisper and she ran a finger down his square jaw.

Emmett, can you hear her?

No reaction.

"I don't think this is going to work, dear," Esme said softly, shaking her head as she rubbed Rosalie's back.

“Alice!” Rosalie’s neck almost snapped from the speed of it’s turn. Alice looked up, surprised.

“What? … Oh,” she realized what Rosalie was going to ask her and her shoulders slumped. Her small frame seemed to cave inside itself as she shook her head. “Believe me, I tried. I didn’t see anything.”

“What do you mean you didn’t see anything?” Rosalie screeched. “Are you telling me he’s nothing? He’ll be nothing for the rest of eternity? No!”

"What if we found somebody with Iris's power?" Jasper interrupted, looking towards Carlisle. Rosalie shifted her attention to Carlisle, who was rubbing his chin, thoughtfully.

Carlisle chose his next words carefully. "That might work,” he paused, “But is it probable? It could take ages to find somebody with her exact power and who’s to know if it would even work correctly?"

"Since when would that stop us?" Rosalie snarled, visibly frustrated. "We have forever, don't we? I will do whatever it takes to bring him back."

"So would the rest of us," Carlisle spoke softly, gently, trying to comfort her, but it didn't pacify Rosalie, who's fist was clenched tightly.

She ignored him and focused her eyes on me. My chest tightened at the intensity of her glare and I couldn't help thinking if some part of me were to blame for Emmett's condition. Her nose flared as she glared. "Try something else!" she demanded, clenching Emmett's hand. "Anything, try something."

"I am trying," I sighed, tired both physically and mentally.

“Why is nothing working?

“I don’t know, Rosalie!” I threw my arms up, dropping Emmett’s hands into his lap. “I’m sorry, I just… don’t know.”

Her eyes softened and her next words were whispered. "I just want to know that there's some part of him still inside. That he's not completely gone."

I nodded, racking my mind. My eyes drifted back to Emmett, who was still looking straight at me.

Can you even see me? I asked him, not expecting a response. I racked my brain. My eyes narrowed as they stared into his. A small flicker. Was it? Emmett, are you there?

And though he didn’t say anything, didn’t do anything, I somehow felt as if I already knew the answer. Always knew the answer.

And out of the blue, a thought drifted into my mind, a thought as fleeting as the wind and before I could doubt it, I pushed myself forward.

Emmett, if you can hear me, tell me what you want to say.

“Emmett, please,” I whispered, repeating the thought again and again, pushing it into his mind with everything I had.

At first, nothing happened.

Then, his mouth moved and a strange noise came from his lips.

Rosalie’s eyes widened.

“Did you say something?” she inhaled sharply, grabbing his chin and forcefully tilting it towards her face.

Say it again, say it louder.

His eyes met hers and he opened his mouth.

"I love you, Rose."

I was standing out on the porch, trying to get away from the mess that was inside the house. Jasper’s arm had been badly injured and Alice was fussing over him. Carlisle was contacting the Volturi, most likely telling them that they had officially lost their guard. Rosalie was tending to Emmett, who was still just as frozen as ever.

There was a nagging feeling in my head that there was a way to help him and that the answer was within me, but no matter how hard I tried to grasp at it, it was still out of arm’s reach.

The screen door opened and I turned in time to see Tanya swiftly walking down the porch steps with her luggage in hand.

"You're leaving?" I asked and she stopped in her tracks. She turned around to face me and shrugged, eyes hidden behind mirrored sunglasses.

“Looks like,” she answered, putting her suitcases down and pushing her sunglasses up to the top of her head. “Battle’s over with and all that jazz.”

“The wolves haven’t come back yet,” I told her, shifting my weight from one foot to another. “You don’t want to wait?”

A soft snort came from her nose, and she rolled her eyes slightly. Her head turned to face the oncoming sunrise. “Would there even be a point?” she asked. “I don’t need them to confirm what I already know. To tell you the truth, if they don’t tell me, I can at least...”

Her voice trailed off. In the distance, we heard the victorious howling of a wolf and some happy yips following it. I almost thought I recognized Jacob’s playful snarl, but then dismissed it. As if I could tell actually make out his snarl from all the others. Tanya glanced at the forest and for a second, it seemed as if she was about to change her mind, but then she shook her head.

“No,” she sighed, pursing her lips. She took her sunglasses off her head and pushed a hand through her thick, golden hair. The sunlight gleamed as it bounced off of her skin, casting ghost reflections everywhere. “Hell with this place. I just need to get away.”

I nodded, understanding.

"Are you going to be alright?"

“Of course,” she answered. I raised a skeptical eyebrow.

I don’t believe you, I projected to her, shoving my hands into my pockets.

Her forehead scrunched together and she glared at me.

“What’s it to you, anyways?” she asked, raising her chin.

“Look, Tanya, I know – “

“No, you really don’t,” she interrupted me. “We’re not friends, Bella. You don’t understand the half of it.”

I’m sorry.

Tanya looked at me for a long second, then laughed softly, ruefully. “You’ve got to stop doing that,” she said, then pointed at her head, “It’s really trippy having someone else’s thoughts in here besides my own.”

Sorry… “I mean, sorry,” I corrected myself, grinning a bit.

“Nah, it’s all good,” she grinned back, then quickly sobered. “And you’re right. I’m not going to be alright. My heart's in a million pieces right now, but I guess that’s life, you know? I’ll manage."

"I'm sorry," I told her, feeling like a broken record for a split second. "So sorry."

"Yeah," her voice was soft. "So am I."

She picked up her suitcases and straightened. "Dorian and I - we were never meant to be," she said, giving me a small smile. Her eyes sparkled and for a moment, she looked almost human. Then, she put her sunglasses back over her eyes, ruining the illusion.

"I sat in front of the mirror for hours when we got back, trying to make myself cry," she told me. She bit down gently on her lip, as if deep in thought. "I don't know how to let everything out. I think when I get back home, I'm going to go hunt up something fierce."

"Will that make things better?" I asked, already knowing that it wouldn't.

She hesitated a split second before shaking her head, biting down harder on her trembling lower lip.

"No," her voice broke as she turned to stare out into the open space ahead of her. "But it'll feel damn good."

And with that, she turned around and headed towards her car. A hint of sun brushed along her hair; her bare arms and her pale skin matched the glitters of the sunrise.

I knew he was behind me before he even tried to speak and I couldn’t help the inevitable smile from crawling up my lips. I turned to see Edward sigh and lean against the door leading into the house.

“Hey, you,” I greeted him, my voice soft, almost hesitant. His face was tired and something about him seemed withdrawn. The circles under his eyes were dark and everything about his stance screamed weariness. And yet when he turned and saw me smiling at him, he smiled back.

He walked across the porch in two long strides and wrapped his strong arms around me. I sighed, content, trapped between him and the metal railing of the porch. My entire body shivered as I breathed in his sweet scent.

“I can’t believe it’s over,” I sighed, pressing a light kiss on his neck.

“Yes,” he chuckled and the rumbling of his chest made my heart expand. “One battle fought, an entire war to go.”

Now, that made me frown.

“Well excuse me, Mr. Pessimist,” I muttered, trying to push him away. His arms tightened and he pressed me closer against him.

“Just a joke, my Bella,” he smiled, lifting my chin with a finger.

Our lips met and I closed my eyes, savoring the taste of him. It wasn’t a long kiss by far, and when it ended, I kept my eyes closed and my arms clasped around his neck, unwilling to let him go.

“Can I tell you that I love you now?” I asked, remembering his words before the fight. I could feel him smiling against my skin. His lips brushed against my jawline until they reached my ear.

“Tell me,” he commanded in a whisper and my entire body trembled when the cool air from his mouth hit my skin.

His hands moved from my waist to my hips, then up and under my shirt, feeling the skin of my back.

Before I could say the words, his mouth was back on mine and this time, the kiss was desperate, needy. Lips smashed against lips, tongue’s entwining, teeth colliding. The metal rail dug against my back and my fingernails dug against the skin behind his neck, pulling him closer and closer to me.

The metal railing groaned and squeaked from our combined weights and the next thin I knew, it had given way and we were tumbling to the ground below the porch.

I laughed as my back slammed against the dewy grass and I could feel Edward’s own mild amusement reverberating from inside him.

He lifted his head up for a second and turned, surveying the damage we did from the porch.

“Must have been some kiss,” he commented, turning back to me and grinning. His sparkling amber eyes searched mine and I lightly traced over his brow with a finger.

“I love you,” I said, smiling up at him. “More than anything.”

He didn’t say anything at first, taking his time looking at me. I could see the happiness and wonderment in his eyes and cupped the side of his face in my palm.

“You know,” he started, lifting an amused eyebrow. “We never did get married yet.”

I rolled my eyes and groaned.

“Don’t mention this to Rosalie nor Alice,” I said. “They’ll go crazy.”

He just kept staring at me with a stupid smile on his face. I laughed again, feeling relief billow out from within me.

“What?” I asked him, still laughing.

“I love you, too, Bella,” he said before leaning down to kiss me again.

The werewolves called us out in the afternoon with loud yelps and howls outside the house door. The rambunctious pack was sizzling with excitement and pride, running around, chasing each other’s tails.

When we opened the door to see what the ruckus was about, they stopped and immediately transformed into their human forms.

Carlisle stepped forward first, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Did you find the bodies?” he asked.

I felt a pair of eyes on me and looked over to see Jacob staring straight at me with a slight smile. When our eyes met, he grinned at me and I grinned back. I could sense Edward tensing up beside me, but he didn’t say anything or do anything to object. Realizing how hard he was trying to be okay with my friendship with Jacob, I reached out and weaved my fingers through his. He glanced over at me and I gave him a reassuring smile.

“We found four full bodies,” Sam answered Carlisle, an animalistic twist to his mouth. “And yes, we took care of them.”

I shuddered, not wanting to imagine what he meant by “took care of.”

“Only four?” Carlisle asked, sounding surprised.

“Yes,” Sam confirmed. He paused, apparently in thought. When he finally spoke again, he was chuckling, “I guess I can’t say full bodies. Two of them were beheaded, a red-headed female and a long-haired male, it seems. Very nice. Heads twisted clean off. Must say I’m impressed. The other two were still in-tact. One was a blonde female and the other was a male.”

“But there were five of them,” Carlisle pressed on. Sam looked puzzled.

“Five, you say?”

“Three males, two females.”

“We found only - ”

He was interrupted by Jacob, who took a step forward.

“Actually, there were five,” Jacob said softly. Sam turned to face him, seeming surprised.

“How - ”

“The fifth one… we didn’t need to do anything to it,” he shrugged. “It was shriveled up. Nothing but a layer of skin and a pile of bones.”

Dorian.

“Ah,” Sam seemed to remember what Jacob was talking about. “Yes.”

He turned back to Carlisle. “Yes, there were five. The last one… I don’t know what happened to the last one, but we wont need to be worrying about it.”

Carlisle nodded and smiled, wanly.

“So, I suppose the danger’s over now,” he said.

Sam narrowed his eyes and suddenly, all the werewolves were staring at me.

“We’re still keeping an eye on that one,” he told Carlisle, never taking his gaze off me.

With that, the wolf pack turned and leapt into the air, turning into wolves before even landing on the ground. I watched them bound away.

“Bella,” Jacob called my name and I realized he hadn’t left with them. I watched as he drew closer.

“Hi Jake,” I smiled down him from where I stood on the porch. He stood there for a good while, just looking at me. Finally, he broke out into a grin and shrugged.

“I’ll see you around then,” he said, beaming, before turning around to catch up with the rest of his pack.

Carlisle and Esme were the first to turn around and head back into the house. Rosalie wasn’t far behind them, most likely heading up to her room to be with Emmett.

Alice, Jasper, and Edward hung around with me and we all stood there on that porch, gazing at the setting sun, realizing all that was said and done.

“Well,” Alice was the first to speak. “That was something, huh.”

“More than something,” Edward agreed with her.

“I don’t know about you, but I have this sudden urge to splurge,” she giggled, catching my eye. “How about tomorrow it’s me, you, mall, and Edward’s car?”

I squeezed Edward’s hand and pulled him closer to me so I could rest my head on his shoulder.

“Sound’s like a plan,” I agreed, too exhausted to argue and tell her to save her money.

“What about you guys? What are your plans for tomorrow?” she asked. Jasper and Edward shared an exasperated, yet content look.

For a while, we stayed there on that porch, talking freely about plans, the future, ideas and topics that would’ve seemed unimportant just a day ago. A burden had been lifted off of our shoulders and as I listened to my new family members laugh among themselves, I couldn’t help but bask in the wonder of it all.

It was hard to imagine that just twenty-four hours earlier, we weren’t even sure if there would be a tomorrow.

I didn’t even notice when Alice and Jasper left us until Edward buried his nose in my hair and breathed in slowly.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked, his voice a cold sort of comfort.

“Mm,” I exhaled, leaning into him. “Everything. Nothing.”

“Cryptic as always, then.”

“As always?” I gave him a look as I sighed. “Isn’t that your department?”

“Perhaps.”

I lightly pinched his arm and he yanked it away.

“Hey!” he seemed affronted. “What was that for?”

“That hurt?” I asked, surprised and a bit pleased with myself.

“Well, obviously! You’re a vampire now, please remember.”

The juvenile glower on his face made me laugh.

“Aw, you big baby,” I pulled his arm back and caressed it, laughing. I brought it to my lips and kissed it gently. “Better?”

“Much,” he relaxed again, nuzzling my neck affectionately.

A long minute passed by and I sighed, happy to be exactly where I was, in the arms of the vampire who loved me. I must have made a sound, because Edward looked at me, and asked “Did you say something?”

“No. I’m just happy.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. We won, didn’t we?”

And his answer was lost in the beauty of the setting sun. Inside of my heart, I knew that the answer wasn’t really yes. But at the same time, it wasn’t really no.

In a surreal, victorious way, I knew that everything would always work out as it was supposed to. There were so many problems ahead, yet there were so many things that would be okay. There would never be enough time, and yet there would always be enough time.

And in that middle zone, where the balance sometimes tipped right and sometimes tipped left, Edward and I were together. And fantastically, that was just fine with me.

Author's Note: So that's it! I can't believe it either. I do like this ending a lot better than the other one. Yes, we still don't know what happens to Emmett. The epilogue will take place about a year or two after this chapter and you'll know how everything resolves.

I just feel that the extraneous stuff that I need to resolve, yet haven't yet, is just that... extraneous. Do you really need me to spell out what happens to Charlie? No. It'll be explained in the epilogue because I do feel that people need closure, but I don't think that it deserves it's own chapter in light of everything that's happened in this story.

However, I do have this inspiration to write how Emmett gets better and I will write it... just not in this story.

I'm going to write a one-shot titled "A Walk in The Garden" (well, that's what it's titled right now... it IS very likely to change) that will probably be about the length of "For You, my Love" (for the people who've read that) and it will be about Bella's "walk" in Emmett's mind, finding a way to cure him. In that one-shot, you'll find how Bella's power develops into something that is truly great and how she can use it to help Emmett.

I'm super excited. It's just... too long for this already very-long story and it really doesn't fit. Maybe you can think of it as a very short sequel.

Okay, so be looking out for the Epilogue in a few days!