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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.


9. Chapter 9

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 2781   Review this Chapter

Note* For those of you waiting for Ch. 10,... there IS another chapter added already. Just wait until March 3rd when Kaiwynn gets back from her vacation and validates it! Or look for me on fanfiction.net =]

Disclaimer: Ah, if only I could own such a fine specimen as Edward, my life would be complete. Alas, it is not so =[

A/N: Sorry for the little delay - this chapter wasn't very easy to write. There're parts that I hate and parts that I love, but oh well… here it is.

Ch 9: Felix

Edward bristled and a low growl rumbled from his throat but Felix didn't even bother to cast him a bored glance. Instead, he seemed perfectly content circling me and running raucous eyes over my entire body. I felt like throwing up.

"Oh my," he sneered, noticing the death grip Edward had on my waist. "You know, back in Volterra, I thought you were an imbecile for keeping her rather than draining her. She wasn't even very attractive; maybe acceptable at best. But now…"

His voice trailed off in a derisive laugh and his taunting eyes swept up and down my figure once more. Edward's warning rumble climbed up a trembling crescendo as Felix drew closer until he was only a few feet away. Felix raised an amused eyebrow and kept talking as he continued his assessment of me.

"Ah, now," he chuckled. I twisted as he made another circle around me. I was determined to keep my sight on him at all times. "Even I wouldn't mind having such a fine specimen in my arms."

He stopped directly in front of me and, very slowly, raked his eyes down my torso, pausing at my chest and hips. I resisted the urge to cross my arms over my chest and block his wandering eyes. Instead, I lifted my chin, putting on a show of proud confidence. It wasn't easy. He looked back up to meeting Edward's eyes. His voice was leering, "She's rather enthralling, is she not?"

I took a step backwards and collided into Edward's chest. He secured his arms around me as Felix raised an amused eyebrow.

"But you would know everything about her charms, right Edward?" Felix's smooth voice hinted at something that made me want to lash out and blush all at the same time. "What is your stance on sharing? Such a female as she is isn't meant for just one - "

The implication in his sly words infuriated me and I hissed. I would've leapt at him if Edward hadn't been holding me back. At my offensive sounds, Felix straightened and bared his teeth, impressing his authority over me. Instinct told me to back off. The vampire I was facing was older, stronger, and came from one of the most powerful vampire families in the world. I knew all this, yet my hisses grew louder and more terrible.

"That's enough," Edward's voice was icy, breaking through the tension. Felix's gaze snapped to his.

"It's best you rein her in, or else - "

A calm voice interrupted his threat. "Edward's right," Carlisle was making his way towards us. "That's quite enough."

His presence immediately dissolved the tension and I relaxed my shoulders. Felix regarded him for a moment then nodded. When he spoke, it was in a constrained tone of faux politeness.

"Carlisle. I'll presume you know why Aro has sent me."

"Making sure Edward held up his end of the deal, I would gather," Carlisle smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes.

"That is correct."

"Come. Let's bring this discussion inside before unwelcome ears catch our words."

With that, Carlisle turned and walked back towards the house. We followed him without a second thought. As we walked, Edward's jaw ticked and I looked up to see the hard set of his eyes. I squeezed his hand and snuggled closer to his side. His eyes shifted to meet mine and softened marginally before he swept down to land a swift kiss on my forehead.

"Don't worry," he whispered in my ear. Then raised his voice a bit, "Felix knows enough not to cause trouble. Aro wouldn't like that."

Felix heard him and snorted. I just really hoped Edward was right.

Alice and Jasper were sitting on the loveseat in the living room, their backs rigid and tense. Rosalie was perched on Emmett's lap on the opposite sofa. All four sets of eyes were stony and fixed on us as we entered.

Jasper murmured something in Alice's ear, but she shook her head sharply. Edward looked in their direction, slightly surprised, but he kept his composure nicely.

"What?" I asked, quietly. He dipped his head to whisper in my ear.

"Apparently, Alice sees that there's going to be some… trouble in a few minutes. Nothing to worry about right now," he paused and slid his eyes in Felix's direction. "Right now, he's wondering what your ability is."

As if right on cue, Felix lifted his eyebrows, quickly scanning everyone's dark, unreadable expressions, and spoke.

"Let's skip the formalities, shall we?" he smirked, drawing to his full height and standing on the balls of his feet. He came an inch or so above Carlisle's head and was apparently trying to appear intimidating, but Carlisle merely raised an amused eyebrow. Emmett growled slightly and suddenly stood up, too, dumping Rosalie to the side.

Emmett was clearly superior and Felix took a bewildered step back, but after a moment's contemplation, the smile crawled up his face again.

"Now, now," Felix raised a hand slightly, "There's no need for hostility. Aro wants to know what the girl's ability is."

All eyes were on me and I stiffened.

"I don't have one," I told him, narrowing my eyes. The thought alone was disappointing. "Not that I know of, anyway."

Alice opened her mouth to protest, but Jasper touched her arm and she sat back, sending him a dark glower.

"Ah, how interesting," he rubbed one hand with the other and seemed to be deep in thought. "Aro seemed pretty certain that you would have a gift. He's seldom mistaken, but maybe - "

Carlisle cut him off. "Oh, I have no doubts that she will develop an ability."

"I see. And why are you so sure of this?"

There was a slight pause.

"There are some things that are just known."

With those words, Carlisle closed the door to any further questions regarding my so-called, highly anticipated, special power. Felix's mouth snapped shut and he slowly nodded. Esme chose that moment to enter the room, carrying with her an ornate, silver tray of tea. Her presence immediately calmed me and I felt Edward let out a small breath.

She set the tray down on the mahogany coffee table, nodded at Felix who was eyeing the teapot with disdain, and proceeded to stand by Carlisle. For a moment, nobody uttered a sound, then suddenly, Alice reached out to grab a teacup and drained it in one gulp. She made a face and turned to set the cup back on the tray.

"Truly domesticated, are we? How absolutely revolting," Felix scoffed, watching the display. Jasper's eyes narrowed and a fierce sound ripped from his throat. A unexpected surge of anger shot through my body and clouded my vision. The next thing I knew, I was growling along with every single other vampire in the room besides Carlisle.

"Jasper, enough," Carlisle commanded, his voice sharp. Jasper widened his eyes and the foreign rage abated.

"Sorry," Jasper muttered, quietly, then set his eyes on Felix.

Alice leaned into him and whispered something in his ear. He sat back, but the hard, cold look in his eyes stayed strained on Felix. Although Jasper withdrew his prompted fury, the tension in the room was still thick.

I must've stiffened up because the next thing I knew, Edward was rubbing his hand up and down my back, trying to calm me down.

"Interesting," Felix commented, looking at Jasper. "You can force riots? Create chaos?"

"No," was the short reply.

"No? You just stimulate anger?"

"I'm an empath."

"Ah. How mediocre," Felix sounded bored and turned his attention back to Carlisle. "Aro wants to know when you're planning on returning to Volterra."

I heard Rosalie's quiet gasp and saw Alice's hand shoot out to grab onto Jasper's arm.

"What?" I murmured, completely shocked. As far as I knew, I would never, ever pay Volterra another visit for so long as I lived. Which now seemed to be close to forever…

Edward must've had the same idea, because he was tugging on my arm, clearly wanting me to stand behind him. I shook my head fervently and sent him a tiny glare.

"I don't have any intentions of traveling to Volterra any time soon," Carlisle said, his voice as smooth as ever. Rosalie visibly relaxed and from the corner of my eye, I saw Emmett sit back down beside her and wrap an arm around her shoulders.

"It wasn't a request."

Esme drew a breath at Felix's ice-cold tone as he took a step forward. Carlisle wasn't fazed.

"If Aro has a problem, he's welcome to call me himself anytime he wants."

"He'll want to know the girl's power," Felix countered, clasping his strong, pale hands together.

"And when we figure what her power is, we'll be more than happy to phone him our - "

"He wants a personal demonstration."

Edward suddenly let go of me and strode forward until he was nose to nose with Felix.

"She will not go to Volterra," he snarled, violently. "And you will not even think about laying a finger on her, you miserable bastard, or I'll - "

"Edward!" Esme exclaimed. At the same time, I stepped forward to seize his arm. I couldn't believe his stupidity. He did not just threaten a Volturi! Hadn't he learned his lesson yet?

Edward yanked his arm out of my grasp, refusing to budge.

"You didn't see what he was planning to do!" he shouted at us, keeping his eyes on Felix. Felix's mouthed twitched up into a lazy grin and when his eyes slowly glided to my body, I felt my face burn up.

"I was instructed to use whatever means necessary to make sure she reached the city," the vampire smirked, apparently entertained by Edward's outburst. "As for what I imagined doing to your girl…"

His voice trailed off suggestively. Edward let out a ferocious growl and lunged. His attack forced them both against the coffee table, which snapped under their combined weight and collapsed. The china teacups crashed to the floor, shattering and sending hot tea everywhere.

I shrieked and instantly, everyone in the room was on their feet, shouting. Alice jumped up and the loveseat she was sharing with Jasper tumbled backwards against a lamp. Carlisle pulled Esme out of its path as the ornate, century-old artifact plummeted to the floor.

The most atrocious noises were coming from Edward and Felix as they bore their teeth and slammed into each other. Edward punched Felix's face as Felix twisted and attempted to throw him off. I started forward to break the fight, but I felt Rosalie's hand clamp around my wrist.

Jasper and Emmett were already there, pulling Edward up and sending Felix flying through the air. He crashed into the opposite wall, bringing an eighteenth century painting to the ground. I clamped my hand over my mouth as I looked around the room.

The hard-wood floors were dented down and the furniture was all destroyed. Edward was straining against Jasper and Emmett's hold, still growling and curling his lips over his glistening, white teeth. Felix slowly stood and aimed his dark, red eyes at Edward.

He crouched down and clenched his fist, looking ready to attack. The entire room froze as he took a threatening step forward. Before I could blink, he was suddenly charging again. I wasn't exactly sure what I was thinking, but the only thing my mind could process was, Edward! and I rushed out to block him from Felix's path.

"STOP!" Carlisle roared. His voice reverberated around the entire room, overpowering the growls.

I braced myself and closed my eyes for the inevitable impact of Felix's body on mine, but it never happened. When I opened my eyes, I was looking straight at Felix's feral snarl. Apparently, he had been able to stop his attack less than a foot in front of me.

His eyes were glued to mine and I found myself unable to look away from the dreadful blood-red irises. An unwelcome chill crept up my back and I fought against the urge to gag at the unpleasant taste that suddenly filled my mouth.

Finally, Felix wrenched his eyes away and turned towards Carlisle. Relief flooded my body and I felt Edward's strong hands touch the back of mine. I took a step back closer to him and silently sighed when he weaved our fingers together and squeezed.

"Be warned now," Felix bit out slowly and sinisterly. "Aro will know of this and he will not be pleased."

Carlisle's stony expression didn't look affected and he listened to Felix's warning in a dangerously calm silence. The rest of us didn't dared to move as the older vampires sized each other up.

After what seemed like forever, Carlisle decided to speak.

"Are you planning to stay for long?"

Felix blinked, then smiled a deadly, saccharine smile. "Oh yes. This town is far too entertaining for me to leave so soon."

My grip on Edward's hand suddenly tightened as I tried to decipher the meaning behind his words. Edward apparently had the same idea as he suddenly stiffened. I looked up to see his scowling face concentrated on Felix's back, intent on picking up his thoughts.

"Well, then you're welcome to stay with us until - "

"No need for the false courtesy, as much as it is appreciated."

Felix sounded as if appreciation was the last thing in his mind as he continued, "But, I've already found a traveling clan to stay with. We're a few miles north of Forks, so it works out quite well, I must say."

The more he spoke, the more the unsettling feeling in my gut bothered me. His words sounded foreboding and calculating… and I was undeniably thrown off by them.

Carlisle paused. "Traveling clan?" he carefully masked his surprise and Felix's smile grew to epic proportions.

"Yes, that's what I said."

"I was under the impression that the only vampire clans were settled down. I wasn't aware that traveling clans of your kind still existed."

"Oh, but they do," Felix said, clearly enjoying the troubled look on all of our faces. "Nothing to worry about, though. I'll make sure they don't do… much damage to Forks."

Emmett lashed out at that.

"You'll make sure they do no damage to Forks," he hissed. Carlisle raised a hand, motioning for him to back off. Emmett glowered in his direction and quieted… marginally.

"Now, why would I want to do that?" Felix sang, sounding delighted. "I really have no say in what they do or don't do, do I? I'm not their clan leader, now am I?"

"And Aro knows about this clan you've allianced yourself with, I presume?" Carlisle asked.

Felix didn't even miss a beat as he shrugged, "No, but he wouldn't object. I'm using whatever means I can to get my job done. I doubt he would really care."

Then, he turned to read the grandfather clock at the far end of the wall - the one piece of furniture that remained unscathed in the room.

"Will you look at that," Felix grinned, "It's about time for me to take my leave. Now, don't look so disappointed - I'll be coming back."

With that, he turned and made his way to the front door. Before he stepped out, Carlisle called him back.

"Just how long are you planning on staying?"

Felix paused and if possible, his smile grew even more lewd.

"Oh, not so long. Just until I've sated my appetite - "

And with that, he disappeared out the door.

A/N: Thanks for the reviews, guys! I'll try responding to them one day, but college applications and interviews are really taking up most of my time. The good news is that I've got every single chapter until chapter 15 already outlined, so the updates shouldn't be too slow. But, with teachers being completely horrible and colleges being even more horrible… updating might be a little spaced out now and then, but I'm hoping to fit in an update at least once every week.