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Changeling

Summary:
A post-eclipse story of Bella's journey into the dark world of Vampirism, and the unexpected difficulties she encounters.


Notes:
Disclaimer: The recognisable characters, vampiric laws and werewolf rules all belong to the Goddess Stephenie Meyer. Though the setting and plot ideas are all mine. So nobody copy it or I'll decapitate you with a wet fish.


1. Beginning

Rating 0/5   Word Count 2427   Review this Chapter

There wasn’t any sleep, but I knew there wouldn’t be, once I was turned, when I was no longer human. But still, I longed for consciousness to leave me, even as I became more alert and increasingly aware of everything around me. It was like the objects before me blurred and were now finally coming back into focus, except the attention to details didn’t stop, and things became more overpowering by the second. Sounds, sights, and smells all were more intense until I was almost overwhelmed by them.

I lay utterly still, for the first time in three days. I tried to tune it all out; it was too much to process at that moment. I just wanted, needed to relax. Eyes closed to cut off my oversensitive vision, I realized suddenly, that there was no air passing through my lungs. I’d unconsciously cut that off too, trying to escape the bouquet of scents that assaulted my nose.

Hearing was a little harder to tone down. I frowned as I concentrated on tuning out the incessant scratching, scuffling, and murmured conversations that were surrounding me, making me feel claustrophobic. Finally, not silence, but quiet encapsulated me and I breathed a sigh of relief, cringing suddenly as my nose was assaulted again by the air moving again through my lungs. This time, there was one scent that I knew and recognized, more prominent amongst the others.

“Edward?” My voice sounded different to my own ears, but felt croaky in my throat. I knew he was there, I could feel his presence in the room where I’d spent the last three, hell filled days in way that was weird and alien to me, but somehow instinctive and natural. I heard him move around the bed, which was strange to me now, he had always moved so silently.

His scent surrounded me, familiar, but stronger than it had ever been to me as a human. “Bella,” my name was not questioned back, but the sharp, clear ring of his silky voice in my head granted me instant gratification.

I opened my eyes then, it didn’t startle me that his face was inches from mine, not the way it would have three days ago. I examined his hard expression, glorious lips pressed into a hard line on his angelic face.

About to speak again, I stopped. I was slowly becoming aware of the dry ache in my throat and an empty, hollow feeling in my stomach. I had a good idea what it was, and tried to ignore it, focusing instead on the man in front of me. The angel face, that at the moment, looked far too strained.

His golden topaz eyes were fixed on my face, as if expecting me to jump forward and make a run for it.

“What is it?” I asked, a tingle of fear slivering down my spine. With an eerie fluidly, I sat up straight and waited for the rush of blood, the dizziness to hit, but it never came. It took only a few seconds for me to realize that it wasn’t going to come, not only now, but ever. I would never have to deal with that weakness again.

There was a small thrill of excitement that accompanied that realization, but also a small quiver of uncertainty. There was an eternity of life laid out before me, only now did I feel intimidated by it.

My gaze flicked over Edward’s rigid form on the bed next to me, he still hadn’t answered my question.

“Edward? What is it?” I asked again, the tingle of fear becoming stronger, spreading to constrict my lungs and tighten my muscles. The new muscles that felt strangely coordinated.

His eyes never left my face. He must have read the panic in my expression because the tension in his carved feline body eased slightly. A small smile curved his perfect lips, “Your eyes,” he offered in explanation. He slowly reached out to me as if approaching a wild doe, and brushed his fingertips against my cheek.

Confusion sparked. They didn’t feel cold, not like I remembered, and they didn’t feel warm. I reached up a hand to take his, twining our fingers slowly without taking my eyes from his. There was no coldness; his skin didn’t even feel particularly hard.

There was an uneasy feeling in my gut that was warring with the increasing feeling of emptiness. “What’s wrong with my eyes?” Panic rose in the back of my throat. Had something gone wrong?

Maybe my voice wasn’t as composed as I thought it was, because he chuckled and shook his head, his hand tightened on mine. It felt strange now, in its neutral temperature. He didn’t answer, instead pulled me to my feet.

We crossed the room and he stepped ahead of me to open a wardrobe door, revealing a floor to ceiling mirror which he pushed me in front of.

An involuntary gasp escaped my lips as I laid eyes on what was not only one of the most beautiful but the most terrifying creatures I’d ever seen. Her skin was moonlight pale, flawless and almost translucent, like ivory except for beneath the eyes, were a dark purple shadow made her look haunted. Thick, deep brown hair shimmered to her waist, impossibly luxurious and soft. The creature’s body was streamlined, efficient and lithe. She looked deceptively slight and soft, not particularly athletic, but enticingly slim. It was like looking at a portrait of a night angel, but the most disturbing feature by far was the crimson red eyes that shone with incredible intensity from the perfectly formed face.

I saw something in them that scared me and it was that one feature that had me stepping back involuntarily.

The reflection stepped back also. That person was me.

The crimson eyes widened in astonishment, but I didn’t get a chance to voice my surprise. My throat ached and my stomach suddenly clenched painfully. The feeling made me cringe. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I flicked a glance over my shoulder at Edward.

He was watching me, and looking concerned. “How are you feeling?” There was a guarded edge to his words that made me blink with confusion. It seemed like he was asking more than what his words initially indicated.

I stared blankly at him, but my stomach gave a particularly painful protest. I couldn’t help the hiss that escaped my teeth and almost startled myself with the feral noise.

I caught the understanding on Edward’s face and didn’t have time to respond before he was gripping my shoulder again and guiding me quickly from the room. I followed passively, all my attention centered on the horrible hunger that was churning in my gut, rapidly becoming the centre of my existence. I had to ease it, I had to eat. The sudden cool breath against my ear made me jump. It seemed my nerves were scraped raw tonight.

“Hold on,” Edward murmured soothingly to me, his grip tightening on my shoulder.

Snapped out of my brooding, I noticed he’d brought me outside. I didn’t consciously realize I was sniffing the air until I caught the scent of another vampire. It was rapidly becoming more difficult to calm myself, but I tried to anyway, stilling my unconscious restless prancing and focusing on the small figure of Alice that walked toward us now. I wondered briefly why she didn’t just appear next to us as she always did, she was taking too long to make her way over.

I glanced up at Edward again, surprised at the hard set of his jaw as he also watched Alice approach. The aching dryness in my throat seemed to expand and shot downward to my stomach, making me shudder.

He had to let me go.

Suddenly, the hunger was all I could think about, I had to get free of his grip so I could go and… ease the pain I was in.

My muscles bunched, but I found my way blocked by Alice, no doubt she saw what I intended to do. In that moment I realized that Alice had been moving as fast as she always did.

I was changed, I was a vampire. I could move faster, and now was stronger than I ever thought possible. My dream came true; I could finally be with Edward.

But I couldn’t focus my thoughts on anything but my hunger. What was it I’d been told, about newborn vampires? I was faster, stronger than the Cullens were, they couldn’t stop me.

The feral growl that escaped my throat didn’t surprise me this time and I leapt to the right, trying to avoid Alice’s interception.

She shifted to accommodate, her concentration apparent on her face as she kept track of my choices. I tried to feign to the left, but she caught that too.

“Bella,” Edward sounded pained. It seemed he still didn’t have access to my mind, but he could read Alice’s mind and see my choices through her and knew what I wanted to do

He wasn’t important right now; the only thing I could think about was filling my stomach. So hungry, I was so hungry.

Another part of me stood back, strangely detached. I could feel astonishment, disgust and disbelief at the way I was acting, but the vampire instinct was quickly drowning out even that small amount of conscience. But it was Edward, and because his pain made a kind of tenderness bloom in my chest, I stopped, and I looked at him, taking in his familiar, movie star face.

In the gloom of night he looked at home, and more like a mysterious vampire than ever.

I swallowed, to try and rid myself of the dryness. “I’m hungry,” I voiced, sounding more than a little annoyed. “Let me go.”

“I know, and we’re going to take you hunting. You only need to wait a little longer,” his tone was cool now, his amber eyes smoldering.

I glanced between him and Alice, shifting restlessly. I knew they followed every small nuance I made. In an effort to curb my red stained thoughts, I tried to take in where we were.

Carlisle and Esme had moved the family to Alaska, following Edward and I after the wedding that was held in Forks. We settled well outside of Juneau, close to the sea and surrounded on all sides by lush, prey-filled forests It was also the location of my future academic endeavors, because in an annoying fashion, despite everything, Edward still insisted on my attending. There were miles and miles of land, giving a new vampire plenty of room to maneuver and learn the ropes.

The family gave us a week to ourselves, at Edward’s request, to take care of certain parts of our agreement. Then all too soon after, they moved in, for the three almost delirious days of pure torture that would make me a part of their family.

The house was on the very outskirts of the town itself and I stood in the clearing behind the house, looking into the beginnings of the dark forest. It had been forbidding and intimidating before, but now, I found it only inviting. I didn’t even feel the cold of the biting wind as it lashed across my face.

“Why?” I asked, my eyes now fixing on Alice, waiting for an opening. “I don’t want to wait.” My voice took on a desperate edge which wasn’t lost on him, or on Alice. I knew why we needed to wait. They were waiting for Esme, Carlisle, Rosalie, Jasper and Emmett to join us. Strength pumped through my body, I was aware of it, almost acutely aware of it, and found it invigorating.

“Catch her!” I was only aware of Carlisle’s voice behind me in passing, already breaking free from Alice’s iron grip on my arm.

I sprinted forward, giving myself over to the stronger, seductive instinct that wanted to relieve my pain.

“Bella stop!” Edward’s own voice registered, but I wasn’t listening, driven by mechanistic hunger. I was dimly aware that he leapt after me, following close behind.

It didn’t matter; I would get what I wanted before he could catch me

The speed only experienced before on Edward’s back was no longer terrifying, but exhilarating. Trees flitted past on either side of me, my reflexes too fast to risk hitting anything.

Why had I ever doubted Edward’s ability? Now it just seemed silly.

I was breathing in the air, great gulps of it. Scents, multitudes of them met my heightened senses. I tasted them all on the air, sifting through them and pinpointing the one I wanted. I grinned, pleased with myself before changing directions and heading back toward the human town.

***

The light was getting brighter, which signaled the dawn of yet another day. Already the sky was turning a pale grey, sunlight casting its dulled rays on the landscape. It had been a very long time since the sound of footsteps behind me dissipated but I lost track of the passage of time. I suppose my newborn speed was serving me well. The clouds overhead were too thick for the sun to penetrate and so it posed no danger to me. But it definitely was not where my mind was in any case.

My vision was stained red. My hunger was the only thing I could think about, it gnawed at my mind, filling my mouth with a strange tasting liquid and making my stomach yearn for sustenance. I lurked outside a tidy, red brick house. There were four humans in there, sleeping.

I breathed deeply, taking in their scent, letting it take over…

“Isabelle stop.”

Why did he want me to suffer? Why wouldn’t he let me eat?

I turned around to face Edward behind me, and as it happened, the rest of the Cullen family. My eyes flicked between the glorious faces, suddenly angry.

“I’m hungry.”

“I know you’re hungry, and we’ll go hunting, but for now, you have to come with us.” His tone was beseeching, and filled with pain.

It wrenched at… well, whatever it was I had in place of a heart.

My face must have shown my reluctance, because he took a step forward. “Come on, Bella. You don’t want to go in there.”

But I did, I wanted to go in there more than anything, and I knew with a piercing clarity, that no matter what any of them did, they weren’t going to be able stop me.