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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.


5. Chapter 5

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 2729   Review this Chapter

Ch 5: Kisses

I was walking down a dark hall. But if it was a dark hall, why did I see, smell, and feel the fire surrounding me, covering the walls, the floor, the ceiling? Why was the darkness so black, but the sparks of the fire so visible? Why was the heat getting closer, deceptively gentle at first like a loving caress, then lashing out a scorching punishment? I screamed, yet no sound came out of my mouth. This couldn't be anything else but hell.

Edward. Edward…

An icy relief blew across my face and I gasped, reaching up, trying to find where it had come from. Edward. I couldn't move my arms.

The shackles circling my wrist were heating rods, promising to leave burn scars. I threw my hands forward, yanking, pushing, pulling, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't free myself. I desperately twisted my sweat soaked head, gasping at the torrid air and tried calling for him one last time.

Edward, where are you?

Flashback

I didn't want to close my eyes, not even for a second. I didn't dare to blink, or else I'd miss something. I'd miss a small quick quirk of his upper lip or maybe a twinkle in the black, blue, and white shades of his eye. We were laying side by side on my bed, facing each other, both over the covers. The moonlight streamed through my window, mercilessly casting shadows here and there, bringing out my flaws, accentuating his perfection, and distorting reality.

"I don't know what you were so worried about," I said in a low voice as to not wake Charlie up. My hand wandered up to his brow, smoothing it out and traveling down his cheek. "Charlie's reaction was … not that bad."

All things considered, his reaction was actually good. There had been some yelling, a lot of shock, useless threats, then a resigned sigh of acceptance followed by an ultimatum. "I wont be the one to tell your mother," he had warned me. The small smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth had given him away as he told me what I was going to do. "Renee arranged for you to go to Jacksonville next weekend. I'm expecting you both to be there. Make sure that when you tell her the news, you have a camera ready. I don't want to miss the look on her face"his expression had almost been dreamy. "She'll be horrified!"…

Edward held my hand where it rested on his face, tilted his head a little and kissed my palm.

"That wasn't what I was worried about," he told me. The gentle breeze of his breath cooled me and I shifted closer to him, not wanting another inch to come between our noses. He rested his arm on my waist and pulled me in until our bodies were almost pressed together.

"Then what was it?" I asked, frowning a little. Edward shook his head.

"It's irrelevant," he kissed my forehead, then took my left hand into his. "It didn't happen."

He started to play with my ring, studying the tiny glints of moonlight reflected off the topaz stone. He pressed a kiss where my finger met my hand and smiled, clearly hoping to distract me.

"What didn't happen?" I insisted, watching his face intently as he pretended to be preoccupied with my finger.

"Nothing you should worry about."

"Edward…"

I pulled my hand away and he pouted, making me giggle a little. His hand ran up and down the side of my tank top, and I couldn't keep back the shivers. With a raised eyebrow and a wicked grin, he attacked me, tickling mercilessly.

"Edward! - no, no, no! - Stop!" I gasped and laughed intermittently between protests and scrambling around, but I never got real far. His arms held me prisoner and just as I was about to plan my escape, he propped himself up over my body and rested his forearms on either side of me, successfully locking me into place.

I glared, trying to be sufficiently angry. It didn't faze him at all. Instead, he swooped down and kissed me lightly on the lips, smiling the entire time.

"Your shampoo smells divine," he murmured into my ear, then kissed it, burying his nose in my hair and inhaling deeply. "Not as good as you, though. Not nearly as delicious… enticing… intoxicating…"

He peppered kisses down my jaw until he reached my chin. My heart was pounding uncontrollably and it took a great deal of effort on my part to remember how to breathe. In, out, in, out.

"And you don't feel like biting me at all?" I tested, moving my arms to loop loosely around his neck. Edward scoffed and rested his cheek against mine.

"I always feel like biting you," he whispered. "But I like doing other things better. And to do those other things, it would be in my best interest if you remained unbitten."

I frowned.

"Wait, does that mean you aren't going to - "

"Eventually I will," he sighed and I could feel his forehead start to crinkle, probably frustrated with me. "I just want to enjoy this now. You here, alive, breathing, blushing, … I love you."

"Not as much as I love you," I clung onto him tighter, not ever wanting to let go. He rolled back onto his side, then pulled me in so my head rested on his unbeating chest.

I played with the buttons of his ivory, button-up shirt as he ran his hand down my long hair.

"I can't believe you asked me to marry you," I grinned up at him. He smirked, looking proud of himself.

"I can't believe it took you ages to say 'yes'."

"It didn't take ages!"

He rolled his eyes and we lapsed into a contented silence. I closed my eyes and buried my face in his shirt, taking in his insanely mouth-watering scent.

"You should sleep," he spoke softly, his velvety voice caressing my ear.

"Not tired." I suppressed a yawn.

He chuckled and took my hand again, bringing it in front of his face. I smiled as he twisted the ring around my finger, testing how it looked at different angles.

"Maybe I should have gotten a diamond," he muttered, sounding unsure. I gasped, horrified at the idea.

"Stop that," I yanked my hand back and glared up at him, resting my chin on his chest. "I love topaz. I love this ring!"

He laughed softly, satisfied with my reaction.

"I have impeccable taste, then," he teased, taking my hand back in his. I relaxed again.

After a few moments, he spoke up.

"Did you know that the Jacob boy loves you?"

This was the last thing I expected to hear, especially coming from him. I lifted my head again, meeting his hard, annoyed eyes, glaring vaguely in my direction as if it were my fault. The small smile on his lips softened the look, marginally.

"Is that what was bothering you before?" I asked, incredulous. His look darkened and the smile disappeared. That told me all I needed to know. "You are beyond ridiculous!"

"I didn't like what was on his mind."

I rolled my eyes at him.

"That's rude, you know," I informed him. "What people have on their mind is private. How would you like it if I wormed my way into your brain and unlocked your deepest, dirtiest secrets?"

"I don't keep secrets from you."

It was impossible to contain the very unladylike snort. "And I'm the Queen of London."

"England," he corrected.

I shot him a look.

"You didn't seem to mind when I told you why he showed that absurd motorcycle to Charlie," he reminded me. He was right, of course. His mind-reading capabilities were incredibly useful. Edward frowned. "And it wasn't just something he was thinking. It was what he was going to do if I hadn't been there to stop him - "

"What?!"

"He was going to kiss you!" Oh. Oh…

"I wouldn't have let him," I tried to erase the look of absolute anger on his face at the mere thought of Jacob even planning to kiss me.

"What could you have done?" he raised an eyebrow. "Jacob's a werewolf. You're a human. If he wanted to do something, there would be nothing you could do to stop him."

I couldn't say anything to that. Instead, I wondered, "Why would he do that if he knew you were back? He knows that I care about you. He's always known it."

"He doesn't understand what you see in me," Edward looked at me through perplexed eyes. "Sometimes I don't even understand what you see in me."

"I'm only in it for the money," I joked, not wanting to touch that one with a ten-foot pole.

"Gold-digger then. I should have known," he muttered, his expression relaxing into a playful smile. "Albeit, gold-digger who refuses to let me buy her a car or spend anything on her for that matter. You're not very good at it."

He laughed at the scowl that appeared on my face.

"Jacob's my friend," I said, bringing him back to the more important topic at hand. He made a face, obviously not pleased with the subject change. "He wouldn't just kiss me like that if he knew I didn't want it."

"Did you want it?"

My jaw dropped open and when I indignantly tried to push away from him, he grabbed my waist.

"Are you serious?!" I hissed, angry. "How can you ask me that?"

"I'm sorry," he sounded distressed and his dark eyes bore into mine. His hand circled my wrist and I tried to yank back, still furious. "Don't be upset."

"Upset? Oh, I'm not upset. That's the understatement of the century for what I feel right now."

"I know you didn't want it," Edward sighed, holding fast to my arm. "I just couldn't - when I saw what Alice was seeing… I never thought it would hurt so much."

"Alice saw - "

He nodded, releasing me and moving to rub his hand over his face, taking a long, shuddery breath. I tried to picture Edward with another girl in my head and found that I couldn't.

"Remember that first night back from Italy?" He asked me, suddenly. "You thought you were having a nightmare when you woke and saw me here - "

"I didn't think it was a nightmare," I protested. He gave me a look and continued.

"I said something about me being okay if you ever outgrew me - that I wouldn't stand in the way. I said I wouldn't stop you if you moved on," He paused.

"And," I prompted.

"Well that's not entirely true."

"What do you mean - "

"I thought that if you ever outgrow us, outgrew me, I'd let you go. I - I realize I was wrong," he reached up to press his knuckles gently against my temple and slowly stroked up and down as if memorizing everything he touched. "I can't let you go. It would be impossible. I love you too much; I don't know what I'd do. I mean, if you really couldn't stand me anymore, I wouldn't stand in your way. But - "

"Shh," I pressed a finger against his lips, stilling their movements. "I'm not going anywhere."

For a long time, he just looked at me, his eyes shining with something more than love, but darkened by some unexplainable sadness that only he would ever know. After an intense few minutes, he pulled me back towards him and held me close.

We didn't talk much after that and I couldn't deprive myself of sleep any longer. With my back pressed up against his chest, my head tucked under his chin, and his arm over mine, wrapped around my waist, I drifted off, feeling safer than I've felt in a long time.

Sun streamed through the tall, stained glass windows, casting colorful gleams here and there, dancing off the pews, the alter, the cross. I walked down the middle aisle, dragging my fingers across the wooden seats on either side of me. Something about the church made it seem familiar… as if…

There was Edward, less than fifteen steps away, looking like he had stepped out of a melancholy painting left behind in the Romantic era, beautiful in a black suit with coattails. His arms were clasped behind him and his eyes were shining brightly, a light amber color, almost yellow in the light.

"Edward…" I think I whispered.

"The wedding's started, love," my Edward smiled, gesturing at the large, medieval clock next to him. The pendulum started to swing and deep chimes echoed suddenly across the sanctuary, reverberating off the stone walls and glass windows, shaking the world.

"No!" I cried as the chiming grew louder and louder. "Make it stop! NO!"

"Bella!" a familiar voice shouted out behind me and I whirled. Jake?

There he was, standing tall, his face as warm as ever. His arms were held out and he smiled widely when I caught his eye.

"Bella," he took a step closer to me. "I need you…"

"No!" I whirled around as Edward shouted. "Bella, come here right now!"

No. Not here… not now…

"No, Edward… let me talk to him."

Jacob growled. "Yeah. Let me talk to her."

They simultaneously took a menacing step closer to me. I looked at both of them, desperately; Edward at the prayer table, Jacob blocking the exit.

"Come on, Bella. I just want to talk."

"No, Bella! He's not stable! He's not in control…"

"Bella - "

"Don't go. Don't leave me - "

"Please, Bella."

I screamed, burying my face in both hands and shaking my head, trying to jar myself awake from this very obvious nightmare.

"NO! STOP!" I shrieked.

Why were my hands burning? When had it gotten so hot? I looked up and both of them were gone.

All I could see was fire…

"Bella…"

No…

"Bella! Bella, wake up!"

I opened my eyes slowly and saw two faces in front of me. I recognized Edward's right away. His forehead was creased and his topaz eyes were filled to the brim with frantic worry.

The other face took me a few seconds longer to process.

"Bella?"

"Alice?"

"Yeah," she nodded. I tried to focus again, but the entire world was starting to blur. The room around me started to fade again as I closed my eyes, but something was shaking my shoulder, jarring me awake.

"I'm sorry, Bella," Alice said gently. A soft urgency lined her voice and I sat up slowly. Edward put an arm across my back, steadying me. They shared a look. One of those looks.

"What's the matter?" I asked, frowning.

Alice took a deep breath and Edward looked away, pained.

"Bella, the Volturi are on their way - "

"What?!"

"We thought Aro would send Demetri - the hunter, do you remember? But he changed his mind and decided to send Felix instead," Alice started explaining. "I saw it just this morning… Felix has already left and he's on his way. When he gets here, he'll expect you changed - or else…"

"How long do we have?" I asked, my voice a hushed whisper. Edward's jaw twitched and Alice glanced at him before returning her ocher eyes to my face.

"One day, give or take an hour or two."

I froze. I should have been ecstatic, but all I could feel was panic. There wasn't enough time. Charlie… I was supposed to fly to Jacksonville next week to tell Renee about Edward and … the timing was all wrong. Charlie was expecting me to be around until the end of the week! He was expecting to fly with me to Florida… he was… I was…

"Bella," Alice's voice broke me away from my silent panic. "It'll have to be tonight."

End Flashback

Whenever I breathed in, the fire would lash out at me, cutting up the insides of my nose, so eventually, I stopped breathing. I held my breath and waited for death to take me over like a blessed storm cloud. I was alone in this godforsaken place. Alone in the middle of this fire and all I wanted to do… was die.