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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.


8. Chapter 8

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 2759   Review this Chapter

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Of course.

Ch. 8: Blood

"Bella," Carlisle's voice was gentle and even. I couldn't tear my eyes from the terrible visage of me. The only thing I could see was the redness of my eyes. They were haunting. I vaguely registered his strong hand wrapping around my arm, pulling me away from the window. "All new vampires have eyes like that. It's not unusual."

I finally turned away to face my new family. "I look so evil," I murmured, reaching up to cover my eyes. Then I remembered the way I acted and was promptly horrified. "Oh god, I'm so sorry! I am evil, aren't I?"

"What, no!" Edward cried out and a chorus of other protests followed his.

"Of course not!"

"Don't be silly."

"Absolutely not," Carlisle said firmly, removing my hands from my eyes and giving me a reassuring smile. "What you're going through is normal," he continued, easing me over to the kitchen table. "In fact, I think you're taking it rather well. Most newly made vampires go insane for the first week, either from the blood-lust or the anger."

"I did go crazy," I muttered. Then I looked up, "What anger?"

From the corner of my eye, I saw Edward twitch and turn away, sighing. Carlisle paused, then spoke again.

"Do you ever wonder how a vampire can bear to feed upon humans and maintain a clear conscience?" He asked me. I wasn't sure how to answer. I had wondered on occasion, but never really dwelled on the thought. He glanced over at Edward's rigid stance, "Some people believe that the reason is because vampires don't have souls. They call vampires the damned and that notion is almost just - we are among the most wretched creatures to walk the earth. But, maybe not. I can't be so inclined to believe that any of us here are soulless. Needless to say, I have another theory.

"All humans have emotions - strong ones. You feel love, happiness, and joy, but with the good always comes the bad, the anger, hate, and jealousy. When somebody wrongs you, you feel a need to even the score, but the entire notion of being human and living in society is to go by society's rules. That is why human beings don't run around carrying on vendettas. The second you become a vampire, those rules don't apply to you anymore. You aren't bound by conscience, humanity, or society. Nothing is holding you down."

His long fingers moved thoughtfully down his cheek and he shook his head, looking sadly at my face. "There is nothing more perilous than a living being with no constraints. A man without control is a - "

At that moment, the pain in my stomach intensified and I cried out, doubling over, clutching my abdomen. I felt an enraged growl rise to my throat and no matter how hard I tried to keep it back, it ripped out, thunderous and terrible.

"She needs to feed," Edward shouted, at my side in an instant. His arms wrapped around my body and he pressed me tightly against him. I panted, trying to control myself, burying my head against the curve of his neck.

"Edward - " I groaned and yelped as another sudden jab of pain hit my body.

"Now!" he snarled.

"Take her to the back yard!" Emmett took control, pushing us both in the right direction. "We brought her back a deer. A big one."

My arm flailed out, trying to block the spasms of electrifying sparks coming from inside. I felt like a desert in a thunderstorm without the sweet, cooling water. Like ice so cold it burnt. This was nearly as bad as the eternity of fire before I woke up. Edward tightened his hold and I took a deep, measured breath, inhaling his sweetness. Alice grabbed my hand and squeezed - a small dose of comfort.

I vaguely registered shoving through the back door and was surprised at the drop in temperature. The change of scenery made me freeze for a moment. The night breeze was chilling, even against my ice-cold skin, and I renewed my struggle, but this time, for a completely different reason.

With the breeze came the delicious smell of the one substance I loved to hate. Blood. I couldn't stand it as a human and I sure as hell couldn't stand it now. But, how could something so repulsive be so enticing? When I had caught the first whiff of that horrible new scent, my very first thought had been to kill and drink. It had been instinctive, something I didn't even need to think about. For some reason, I already knew how my teeth would feel, sinking into the rough hide of the deer, knew how the adrenaline rush would kick through me when the deer tried to buck me off, knew how I would relish the struggle and the heat of fresh blood sliding down my throat.

And the human part of me was absolutely revolted. It was a horrendous struggle and both sides were losing horribly.

My eyes snapped to the side and instantaneously connected to the wide, bewildered eyes of the terrified doe. No, I can't do this, I screamed to myself, silently.

"Edward!" I cried, gripping onto his arm. He pressed his head against mine and squeezed me harder. "I can't do this - I can't."

"Don't think about it," his voice was soothing, gentle and encouraging. "Just do what your body tells you to do. Give into that instinct, Bella. It's okay. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere."

I hadn't broken eye contact with my prey yet and though it wasn't tied down, it didn't even attempt to flee. It just stayed where it was, legs splayed, as if it was frozen with fear. It probably was. The doe's ears were standing tall and erect, completely aware of what danger I was. And yet, it didn't do anything. It couldn't do anything.

"Run!" I shouted at it, tightly holding onto Edward's arms, trying to keep myself from charging at it. It didn't move a muscle. "Damnit, why won't you run?"

Emmett moved towards the deer as if to catch it in case it did run. It was then when I heard the low, growling sound coming from the back of my throat. The more I tried to stop it, the more vicious it became and soon, I was holding my breath in an attempt to control myself.

Edward was right. It was no use. I knew at that moment that no matter how hard I resisted, it was inevitable. I had to drink, there was no choice.

Run… back away, please, I begged the deer, closing my eyes for one last time.

Three things happened at once. The deer miraculously took a timid step back, Edward released his hold on me, and, before I could stop myself, I attacked. With wide, frightened eyes, the doe whirled around and tried to escape, but it took me one leap to land on it's back and one swift motion to sink my teeth into its neck.

It was like nothing I've ever tasted before. I wasn't sure what I was expecting - wait, no - I was sure. I was sure the taste would be a rancid mixture of something metallic and something salty, absolutely abhorring. But, this was not it. This thick, aromatic blood pooling into my mouth was sweeter than the best candy.

Moreover, it was soothing. It calmed the hunger inside my stomach and quenched the thirst in my entire body like the water had failed to do. At first, the deer thrashed, trying to buck me off, but I held on and soon felt its bones crushing beneath my fingertips. It collapsed to the ground with a heavy sigh and I buried my teeth in deeper, desperate for more.

How much blood was in the human body? How much blood was in a deer's body? Half of my mind grasped onto the questions; the half of my mind that was still sane. That same half of my mind was rapidly losing hope and succumbing to the monster. The funny thing was that I couldn’t bring myself to care. All I could think about was this lifeline running into my mouth and through my throat, waking me up in ways I never knew were possible, and how there wasn't enough. I heard the once-rapidly beating heart slow and finally stop.

When there was no more blood, I stood, dropping the lifeless body to the ground.

That same second, I collapsed and fell into Edward's comforting arms.

His hands clasped around me and I leaned against his chest, trying to smell his sweet, calming scent, but there was another kind of sweetness sticking to the roof of my mouth.

I looked into his eyes.

"Am I a monster?" I murmured, barely hearing myself. He dropped his head to the curve of my neck and sighed.

I felt his cool breath against my skin followed by the smoothness of his lips, kissing up the column of my throat.

"Hardly," he whispered when he reached my ear. "You're beautiful."

At first, I wanted to retort that I wasn't beautiful and how did that have anything to do with being a monster? But then I remembered the number of times he'd called himself a monster and realized what he meant.

"You're not a monster, either," I told him and sighed, closing my eyes, listening to the stillness of his heart.

Without looking up, I knew we were alone. The rest of his family - my family - had gone back into the house the second I was done feeding.

"Edward?" I asked suddenly, realizing something.

"Yes?"

"You haven't kissed me yet." His body stiffened slightly and if I still had live blood running through my veins, I would've been beet red. As it was, the little blood still left in me rushed to my cheeks.

Edward lifted his head and studied my face with unreadable eyes. Unconsciously, I licked my lips and grimaced at the trace of blood still staining them.

"Well," he drawled and I caught the hint of a smile creeping up one side of his mouth. His eyes sparkled in the darkness. "Do you want me to?"

"What kind of question is th-"

Before I could finish talking, his lips were on mine, freezing cold yet scalding hot. Who would've known that ice could burn?

I wasted no time holding back. My fingers wound in his soft hair and I felt the hard lines of his body pressing against mine. He whispered my name and it came out muffled in my mouth.

I was the first to pull away. I wasn't sure how I did it exactly; I was usually never the one to pull away, but for some reason, I felt breathless. It was ridiculous because I didn't really need to breathe, but somehow, it was hard to remember. Edward was panting too, his face inches away from mine and his eyes staring into my own with such a fierce intensity that I almost melted away.

"Bella," he choked out and rested his forehead against mine, letting our noses skim pass each other.

"What is this?" I mused, shivering when I felt a strange heat surge through me. It was euphoric.

"You just fed," Edward answered, matter-of-factly.

"What do you mean?"

His chuckle rumbled from his chest and through my body, making me gasp softly.

"I didn't tell you, did I?" he asked, keeping his tone light and rubbing his hands up and down my lower back.

"Tell me what?"

"What comes with the hunt," he whispered in my ear and I found myself shaking again at the touch of sensuality in his voice. There was that heat again. It felt so good. Exhilarating. He started kissing the edge of my hairline, slowly and deliberately.

"Wh- what?"

He didn't answer me immediately. Instead, I found myself getting backed up and nearly stumbled over the dead body of the mauled deer. That in itself should have killed the mood then and there, but strangely enough -

"You want me," he pulled back and grinned, a full-fledged smirk stamped on his smug face. "It's a side-effect of feeding. Perfectly natural. And also very convenient for me - "

And with that, he playfully shoved me backwards again. Before I could protest, I was pinned between him and one of the trees surrounding the back yard. The poor sycamore had no chance, what with two voracious vampires pressed up against it and it groaned under both of our weight combined.

A voice inside told me that I was being ridiculous. That this was no time to be exploring the benefits of kissing Edward now that I was some sort of unbreakable vampire instead of a fragile human. You still have to talk to Carlisle, the voice chided, he didn't finish telling you about the… anger… and the control. Fleeting thoughts of furious werewolves, Felix, Volturi, and angry vampire clans fluttered around listlessly then disappeared altogether. All I could think about was how his lips felt on mine.

I didn't have time to wonder about what I was doing. Not really. Not when I was pushed up against a tree with my legs wound around his slim waist. Not when, out of the one and a half years I've known him, he was finally letting me in instead of pushing me off.

And what was this about a side-effect?

In some ways, it was understandable. Drinking the deer's blood was… invigorating. It woke up my body and the hot blood filled me up… Well, it was only expected that it'd heat other places up, too.

My hand crept under his shirt and felt the cold stone muscles of his back.

"Bella," he groaned, breaking away, yet keeping himself right there. Good thing, too, because if he had pulled back, I would've fallen straight to the blood-stained ground. "You're killing me."

"I'm sorry."

He scrutinized me for a moment.

"It's a good death," he decided, then leaned in and was kissing me again.

Suddenly, the temperature dropped and the symphony of sounds that always accompanied the night halted. I shuddered. Edward's lips froze against mine and I felt him stiffen. There was a strange smell in the air - a scent I didn't recognize - and a chill raced down my spine. I couldn't see anything, but something, or someone, was intently staring at me.

Edward slowly pulled away and turned around, using his body as a shield as he planted himself in front of me. I tried to look over his shoulder, but he moved, blocking my view.

"Felix," he greeted, voice low and even. I stopped shifting around when I heard the familiar name tumble out of Edward's mouth. "What an unexpected treat. May I ask what brings you here?"

His tone was deceivingly cordial and I knew that Edward knew exactly why Felix was here. Edward's stance prevented me from actually seeing him, but his sickeningly sweet smell stung my nose stronger than ever.

It made me feel uneasy, not being able to see a potential threat, and I struggled to push past Edward. He would have none of that and pressed me even firmer against the tree.

"Surely, you must know why I'm here," Felix purred and the grossly smooth sound grated my ears. "Aro did tell you, did he not? How else would he know if you were true to your word?"

I pushed Edward again and this time, I succeeded. His body gave way and I emerged, focusing my eyes on the Volturi guard.

His thin lips curled up in a condescending sneer as his eyes - eyes that shone a deep maroon even in the dark - settled on me.

"Ah, and here is that delicious snack you almost gave your life for," Felix took a dangerous step closer and I fought to stop the trembling. He directed his next comment to me, "Though, you're not exactly a snack any longer, are you?"

I felt the remnants of my blood boil in my veins and a trace of fear trickled down my back as he slowly took another step. Even though I was a vampire, I couldn't shake off the peculiar feeling that he was a predator and I was his… prey.

AN: So… This story's picking up, finally! R&R! Questions, comments, whatever are welcome!