Several years after Bella has been changed, she runs into an old acquaintance who brings out the dark side of her nature.
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Now that I was here, there was little point in going back. There certainly wasn’t enough time, even if I ran at vampire speed. Edward would be meeting me at the airport shortly. I looked around the dark street, the shops had already closed and the only sign of life, however bleak, seemed to be emanating from this bar. With a shrug, I walked in, deciding to use the little time left before Edward arrived to see if there were any shreds of La Bella Italia that remained.
The inside of the bar looked just as horrid as the outside. It had dark paneling and multiple televisions, all showing different sports channels. The entire place reeked of sweat, smoke, and blood heavily laced with alcohol. The cozy private booths were gone and replaced with small high top tables. I quietly walked to the table at the back that I approximated was on top of the spot where Edward and I had sat so many years ago.
As soon as I sat down, a waitress appeared to take my drink order. I declined, saying that I would wait for my husband who would be arriving shortly. Once she left, I wasted the time assessing the bar and its occupants more thoroughly. While it was nothing to look at, it was obviously relatively new. But there was nothing unique or even attractive about the bar to bring in a decent mix of clientele. In fact, the place was practically empty. Besides myself, there were only three older and unattractive men sitting at the bar.
As I stared closer, I realized that one of the men looked familiar. Something about the stocky build, dark hair, crooked nose and broad chin. He laughed. A harsh, wicked laugh. And then it came to me.
A dark alley many years ago. There were four of them then. And I was another person, a mere shell of the being I am now. I could barely remember the fear I held then. The terror of my impending demise.
I did remember Edward. He came to my rescue like a knight in a shining silver Volvo. But I didn’t need my savior now. And I wasn’t afraid. I felt powerful and more alive than I ever had when my heart was still beating. Moreover, I felt confidence in every fiber of my being.
I smiled at him even as he leered at me. Would he recognize me? My skin was paler, my hair was more lustrous and fell in perfect waves down my back. My muscles were toned and my curves were more sensual. If I was attractive to him then, I was irresistible now – I could see it in his eyes. I didn’t need Edward’s ability to know exactly what he was thinking. But he wouldn’t attack me, not as he did then. He craved fear in his victims, and that was the one thing I couldn’t offer him.
Still, he would have his way with me, or so he thought. He smirked at me as he sauntered across the bar. He thought I was attracted to him. It was truly laughable. Compared with the true beauty of my immortal brethren, he was astoundingly hideous.
A sudden surge of anger and hatred overwhelmed me. My muscles tensed and venom flooded my mouth as my body craved action and demanded revenge.
I held one finger up and beckoned him to follow me out the back door. Low and behold, we were in another alley, one that was even darker, quieter, and more sinister than the one he trapped me in so long ago. This time, I truly did laugh. The irony of this moment was tragically hilarious.
It would be so easy now. His blood called to me. Revenge called to me. I could so easily drain him here and no one would ever know. The world would not be at a loss for this one despicable human. I would in fact be doing the women of Port Angeles a favor.
“You new ‘round here, sugar?” he asked. “Don’t think I’ve seen you here before. I know I’d remember a babe as hot as you.”
Did he consider this flirting? If this was how he spoke to women, it was little wonder that he had to resort to attacking helpless teenage girls.
I stepped closer to him, still smiling. I leaned in far enough that my scent and the power of my eyes would dazzle him. In a sweet, clear voice, I replied seductively, “Oh, we’ve definitely seen each other before. But you had a few friends around then – three to be precise. It’s too bad they couldn’t join us tonight.” There was no falsehood to the disappointment in my voice.
He looked at once confused and enthralled. No doubt, I thought with repulsion, he was contemplating a fivesome. But the confusion soon replaced the excitement as he wondered where we would have met before. To ease his obvious apprehension, I wrapped my arms loosely around his neck and leaned closer until he could feel my breath on his face. It only took a second for his eyes to glaze over as if he was in a trance.
I could so easily do it now. The anticipation was there, I could feel the venom dripping and burning down my throat. One quick bite and the thick, rich blood I smelled rushing through his system with lust would be coating my parched tongue. It was tempting – indescribably tempting.
Would it be so very wrong? This was my natural food source, every pore of my body craved it. And this was an evil man. He would not be missed – no one would mourn the loss of this vile creature. Some might even rejoice. I would be doing the world a favor, relieving it of an unsightly blemish. I was all powerful, and yet, I was no god.
I fought my desire forcibly. I was better than this. No human had died at my hands yet, and I would not allow this worthless piece of excrement to be the one that carried away my soul. He wasn’t worth that. And he wasn’t worth hurting my beloved.
His hands snaked around my waist, venturing towards parts of my anatomy that only my husband was allowed to touch. I snarled quietly at the invasion. My molester took that as a sign of encouragement and leaned in to kiss me. I turned my head quickly and took a step back. The brick wall was behind me now. I was cornered, but I wasn’t afraid. There was no need to be. For this time, I knew I held the power in this match.
“You little minx. Playing hard to get, eh?” He smirked. “Lucky for you, that’s my favorite game.” He stepped toward me again, pressing his body against mine. “Come on, sugar, I saw you looking at me in there. I know you want me.”
I smiled again. Maybe I wouldn’t kill him, but vengeance could still be mine. First, he would have to earn it though.
I leaned in slowly placing my lips beside his ear. I could hear his heart thumping erratically and could smell the blood rushing through his veins. “No,” I whispered in a plain even voice, a voice which would nonetheless sound alluring to human ears. “Take your hands off me now or you will regret it.”
My words only threw him into a lust-filled frenzy, as I knew they would. He wanted his women protesting and fighting. Well, this would be a fight he wouldn’t soon forget.
His hands were immediately on my blouse, tearing at the buttons. Before he could so much as damage a single designer thread, I brought my knee up hard into his groin. There was a loud crunch, the sound of multiple bones cracking, and I smelled the blood before I saw it staining his jeans.
“Think about that the next time a woman tells you no,” I spat as he screamed.
I hurried away from the scene before any witnesses could appear. I wasn’t worried. He would lose consciousness quickly from the pain. By the time he revived, I would be long gone. Even if he remained alert, the bar and alley were dark, he would never be able to identify me. But still, it wouldn’t be best to linger on the deserted streets. I ran until I reached the airport where Edward was waiting for me.
“Bella, there you are. I was beginning to get worried about you,” Edward said as soon as he spotted me. I rushed over and kissed him.
“Sorry, darling. I bumped into an old acquaintance,” I said uneasily.
His brow furrowed with concern. “They didn’t recognize you, did they? Are we going to have any problems?”
Although part of me knew it was wrong, I couldn’t help the small smile that broke on my face. “I can safely say that he won’t be causing any problems for many years to come.”