“Welcome to Cullen Castle, Miss…” A blonde man smiled at me from a dais. He was waiting for my name; I struggled, trying to recall it. I remembered bronze and white, then burning pain… I looked around urgently; my eyes drifted to a patch of bronze. AU ExB
2. You Missed a Spot
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1809 Review this Chapter
“Ah, Bella dearest, finally you’ve awakened,” I watched the once-thrashing girl flutter her eyelids, then glance around in confusion. Her eyes were a terrifying shade of red, brighter and more intense than blood.
She propped herself up on one arm as she took in her surroundings: my bed chamber, though indeed I had no need for sleep. Part of the charade, just in case… She was sitting up now in the oversized bed, and she watched me with unguarded eyes as I hastened to open the curtains. I had ordered that no servants bother me with their presence after Bella had been lodged in my chambers.
“Why are you calling me ‘Bella’?” she questioned, her voice musical, but not as high-pitched as most vampire women. The faint glow of twilight bounced off her icy pale skin in odd ways, and made her eyes glow slightly.
She motioned to quit the bed; she threw the sheets off and twisted her frame till her bare feet touched the floor.
“Perhaps you should remain in bed whilst I explain, love,” I said hurriedly, rushing over to her side and sitting down so I was blocking the light. I didn’t want her to see her new appearance quite yet; it was much different than she would remember.
“Where did I get these clothes? Why is everything so…defined?” she asked, and I mentally cursed myself. Of course she would have noticed that change in her appearance, and in her senses as well. Instead of the cream peasant’s dress she now wore a satin nightgown with large, puffy sleeves and lace trim. “Who are you? Why am I here?” Her questions became more frantic as she stared at me. Not in fear or anger, but in confusion.
Finally it clicked: she’d lost her memory. Because by now, I was certain, she would have kicked and yelled and ran – and been able to do so, due to her strength – and I would have run after her futilely. I had to stop calling her Bella, I realized sadly. Such a shame, since it suited her so well; she was very beautiful. I would have to call her something…
“Excuse me sir, what is your name? I demand to know it.”
“I’m terribly sorry miss, I was preoccupied.” I smiled at her, and she returned the gesture meekly. “My name is Edward Cullen. What is your name, darling?” I didn’t bother with the pretenses and titles to mine; they would only intimidate her…
“I… I don’t know,” she looked down at her interlocked fingers and I was glad their pallid complexion was masked by shadows made by my torso. “You did call me ‘Bella’…
I laughed to mask the truth of her words; I would have to find an excuse… and I would need to explain quickly. I was surprised she’d been able to bear the thirst this long… she hadn’t even cried out yet…
She hadn’t noticed my mental deliberation, short as it was, and I continued, “Bella is but a mere adjective, and there is so much more to you than your beauty alone. We must find a name for you that embodies every quality you possess. If I address you as ‘Miss’ or ‘Lady’ or ‘love’ or ‘darling’ until that time, would you mind very much?”
She shook her head no and I sighed inwardly. She had lost her memory after all. That made things easier; but how did she happen to lose it?
“Edward, where am I? Why is my throat…burning? It isn’t as bad as the fire I was in before… what was that?” Suddenly, she got up and moved like a blur to my dressing room mirror, where she looked upon her reflection with horror.
“Why are my eyes red? What’s happened to my skin? What am I? I can’t even remember my own name…”
She began dry sobbing into her hands, horrified and distraught as she was. Stupid, stupid, stupid, I cursed myself. I should never have bitten her; she doesn’t deserve this!
I put on a brave face for her. “Shh love, I’ll explain, it’s alright,” I whispered soothingly as I wrapped my arms around her thin waist from behind. She could throw me off if she wanted to… Slowly she raised her head away from her cold hands and studied my face in the mirror curiously. Occasionally a sigh would escape her lips, but she never paused in her appraisal.
“Your eyes are golden,” she breathed as she stared deep into the aforementioned.
“As yours will soon be as well,” I assured her, stroking her cheek softly. “Give it a few months.”
“My eyes will change color?” she raised an eyebrow speculatively, and I chuckled softly.
“Obviously you’re wondering what you are – so silly of me not to explain right away. Perhaps you should sit down.” I gestured towards the haphazardly strewn bed.
She heeded my suggestion and was over to the bed in a fraction of a second, her eyes alight with eagerness and curiosity as she gazed up at me.
I came and sat beside her, slowly and deliberately, as I explained, “You are a vampire now, dearest; do not be frightened by what you have become, because we are not as monstrous as you may have previously believed.” I winced, but she didn’t say anything. I wasn’t quite ready to tell her just how she had been created.
“So you – I mean, we – don’t drink the blood of humans?” she was still staring at me, her eyes full of wonder, but a little V had formed itself in the middle of her forehead, as if she didn’t quite understand…
“No, love, we try very hard not to. However, it is very tempting, and you might give in to the desire easier than I would at the moment.”
“Why? What do we drink the blood of instead?” Her questions seemed purely inquisitive, now that she was getting answers, but I could detect a note of… repulsion?
“Animals,” I murmured softly, and looked up after bowing my head to see her smiling. “What?” I asked, but I smiled as well.
Her bright crimson eyes sparkled and she replied, “That’s very sensible of you – us now, I suppose. I never expected a vampire to be sensible, but then again I never even expected their true existence. Nor did I expect them to be so beautiful. Even with all these new expectations, though, my throat is still burning. Does that mean I’m…thirsty?”
“Yes sweet, it does. Would you like to go hunting?”
“You mean with like a bow and arrow?” I had to laugh, and she looked at me as if I’d told her some private joke she wasn’t in on.
“Oh, we have weapons dear,” I flashed my teeth at her and she giggled.
“Alright Edward, please, show me how to hunt.” She was on her feet soon after speaking, and she took my hand swiftly.
With a sickening feeling, I realized something: she was so quick to trust me; to believe me. And just three days previous, I had been quick to want to end her life…
I was an abominably terrible monster.
“I’m terrible at this, aren’t I?” Bella looked at me with saddened eyes; her nightgown was a shambles, dirtied with blood and dirt, her hair was a tangled mass of brown, and blood dripped from her mouth. Overall, she looked quite macabre, a true vampire.
“It’s your first time,” I reassured her with a chuckle, but she still looked at me doubtfully. We had just had our fill of a pack of ravenous wolves, and yet my tunic and breeches were exempt of any dirt or grime. My hair and face was just so as well.
To appease her, I reached down towards my last kill, stroked its bloodied neck with one finger, then reached back up to my face and brushed my soiled finger from my mouth to my chin, all the while keeping my eye on her.
She giggled once, then quickly licked most of the blood off her chin with one swift motion of her tongue.
“You missed a spot,” I informed her after sweeping the blood off my own mouth with my tongue and hand.
She was a good fifty yards away from me, still in the same clearing deep in the forest, and she gestured for me to come to her, taunting, “Help me get it off then, Edward.”
She seemed to speak my name excessively, as if making up for the lack of my speaking hers. I would have to give her a name soon, and present her at court… So far only Emmett and Jasper – and Alice, I added as an afterthought – knew of her existence.
I ran back to where she stood grinning and found that I had to grin back.
“What spot did I miss Edward? Show me.”
I brought my clean hand up to her face and wiped the very bottom of her chin with one finger. Then I very deliberately licked my own finger; the whole time I smiled at her, watching her reaction.
“Oh Edward,” she laughed, a highly musical and entrancing sound, “I think you missed a spot…”
“Where?” I asked incredulously, but I smiled at her all the same.
Instead of replying, she crossed the now very short distance between us in one stride, locked her arms around my neck and brought her lips up to mine.
The result of this action was earth-shattering. Vampires were very permanent creatures, and rarely underwent change. Bella was the change in mine, and right then I knew my decision to keep her alive was the right thing to do, even living this abnormal half-life as we all did, and that my decision to marry her was genius.
Bella was heaven on Earth; her kisses sent ridiculous desire flooding through me like an electric current that I had no idea a vampire could experience, setting my long-dead heart on fire. Never before had I felt so drawn to a person – mortal or immortal.
“Edward,” she whispered into my ear when we stopped to catch our breath, “You are… amazing.”
She was it. This vampire I had created by mistake, nearly ending her entire life in the process, was to be my wife for all eternity.
All my earlier guilt washed away as the change swept through my body; it was replaced by elation and desire as I whisked Bella off her feet, covered her in my cloak (to disguise her still-morbid appearance), and ran out of the deep forest where she had been created all the way into my bedchamber through the back window.
“You live in this castle?” she asked, awed by its size. On the run into the forest, she had been too amazed by her agility and speed to notice it.
I was about to answer when I heard an errant thought screaming, We must rescue Bella!
The thought had the same tone to it as the boyish faced traveler with the long blonde hair. Apparently he was going to be more trouble than I had anticipated.