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Before The Dawn

Summary:
And maybe tonight, We'll fly so far away,We'll be lost before the dawn...--'“I’m…sorry,” I whisper. My voice breaks. “I’m sorry,” I repeat. I spread my arms out like an eagle, letting another tear trickle out. There is pain—lots of pain. And regrets—too many regrets. I drag in another gasp of breath and let my foot take the last step back. My body tips over, and I let go.' ----- It's another new year, and Carlisle is hunting in a secluded forest spot when he comes across the scent of a human. He finds a beautiful girl, lying mangled on the ground in a pool of her own blood, coming closer and closer to being pulled into the ocean by the growing tide. Her heart beats are slowing, and she is muttering just one word. "Sorry." He is reminded of Esme, his true love, when he had rescued her directly from the jaws of death. Acting on instinct, he picks up the dying girl and bites her. Basically, what if Bella had joined Carlisle's coven earlier? Before she ever met Edward? And once they do meet, what the hell happens?


Notes:


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Rating 5/5   Word Count 1493   Review this Chapter

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean
Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box
Religion is the smile on a dog
I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean, yeah

Choke me in the shallow waters
Before I get too deep

What I am is what I am
Are you what you are or what?
What I am is what I am
Are you what you are or…

-----

Vampire? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The woman stepped up, a sad smile on her face. “I know it’s hard to believe, but that’s what we are, Bella,” she said softly.

“But first,” said the man. “I think we should introduce ourselves. I’m Carlisle Cullen, and this is my wife, Esme.”

I nodded to them, speechless. Obviously, I still didn’t believe it, but… my wounds? My voice? I should have been rightfully dead by now, shouldn’t I?

Maybe I was in hell.

I looked up to Carlisle, the blonde god. He seemed to hear the skepticism in my silence, and approached the foot of the bed. His movements were slow, exaggerated – but I could still see the outwardly grace that he carried. I watched him, following his progress with my eyes. I was still swathed in the satin sheets, and I could almost feel every single thread against the bare skin of my limbs.

Esme came and sat on the bed, near my legs. She looked down, biting her lip, while I waited for someone to say something. “Well?” I questioned eventually.

Carlisle looked at me, his face apologetic. “My family and I are… vampires. Three days ago, I… bit you. Please know that I didn’t mean any malevolent intent… but I don’t regret my actions.” He hung his head, averting his eyes. “You were dying. I don’t think anyone should die that way.”

I bit my lip, looking down as well. Should I believe this? Vampires were myths. Yet as I looked down at myself again, I couldn’t deny the tiny flicker of doubt that ran through me. I was either, option one – dead, or option two – a vampire. Dead was the likely option, but the angels in front of me didn’t belong here, in hell, with me.

Carlisle was looking at me again. “It’s very hard to take in – vampires are a myth, but that’s from us. Technically, you are dead, but not exactly. Each of our senses become… enhanced, in our… second life. The fire that you felt was the transformation—“ I winced, but Carlisle continued. “And… your heart doesn’t beat anymore. You don’t have the human necessities, either – food, water…” He trailed off, and I smiled half-heartedly.

“I may know that better than you think,” I said.

He smiled, but it wasn’t a happy one. A sudden, very important thought hit me, and I voiced it aloud. “But… vampire… don’t you drink blood?” The disgust in my voice was poorly disguised.

He smiled this time, a real one that reached his eyes. “See, Bella, our family is different in that way,” he said. “We drink animal blood, unlike the… others.” His tone became hesitant, and he was looking at me cautiously.

I frowned. “How many are there? Of you… us, I mean.” I still couldn’t grasp the concept, but it was getting clearer. The way I could hear every rustle of the sheet, how I could see every little detail on the carpeted floors, the feeling of each individual stitch of clothe on my body… And most importantly, the new, almost hollow sensation in my chest – as if my heart was… gone. I pressed my hands to my chest, trying to push away the uneasy sensation. Carlisle saw my distraught expression and explained.

“Your heart doesn’t beat anymore,” he explained. “It takes a while getting used to that… sensation. And breathing is not a necessity,” he said. My eyes widened in surprise, and I stopped my breathing instinctively. It wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling, and I wasn’t in any physical discomfort, but it felt like living without a sense of smell. I resumed breathing evenly, like before. “As for how many there are of… us,” resumed Carlisle. “Many. Not a lot, but still, quite a few. All over the world. So far, we’ve only found one coven like ours—“ my curiosity pricked at the word ‘coven’ “—that live in Denali, Alaska.”

I ducked my head, looking down. Carlisle and Esme were both quiet. “So…” I said. “Now what?”

Carlisle chuckled, a sound strangely like a violin. “Well, we were mainly waiting for you to understand the… situation, if you will.” I looked at him, waiting for the rest. He gauged my expression for a second, and then continued talking. “There are more important things. Like the fact that we are immortal.”

I gasped. I had only planned to end my life because I wanted to end the pain that I lived with. The pain of being rejected – the pain that attacked me constantly like battering waves, slowly and painfully killing me from the inside. But now… to live with it for an eternity? It was a bit too much to take.

“And,” continued Carlisle. I listened to him, feeling numb, while inside I was fighting to repress the pain. I was getting better at it, and I hadn’t thought of… him, even once, since I woke up. After all, what could I say? Carlisle was talking again, and I made myself focus. “Bella, see, you are a… newborn. And even though we’ve resorted to a life of living on animal blood, it doesn’t stop the natural… bloodlust. The animal blood satiates our thirst for times, but our instincts, our natural predatory sides thirst for the human blood. And, being a newborn, the thirst is much, much stronger. It takes years to practice the self-restraint.”

“Oh,” I said, wrinkling my nose in repulsion as I took it all in. “I never really liked blood. It made me faint.”

Esme laughed quietly, a sound like the chime of bells. Carlisle walked to the door and stepped out quietly, leaving it open. Esme turned to me, talking for the first time since I had accepted the fact. “I think you should look at yourself, first, Bella,” she said lightly. “And then you can come downstairs – there are others.” She left gracefully, throwing another motherly smile that I was already getting used to. I felt a prickle of a mixture of fear and nervousness as she mentioned the ‘others’.

I got up experimentally, pushing myself off the bed. The springs creaked, and like Carlisle had said, the amplified high squeak made me wince. There was a bathroom door that was slightly ajar in the side of the room, and, taking a deep breath, I walked towards it.

I could see very clearly where the light switch was, even in the dark, but I wanted to see for myself my new face – which, by all rights, should have been distorted, but wasn’t.

I flicked on one of them, not wanting the light to blind me, if that was possible. If I could see so clearly in the dark, it would take longer to adjust to the light.

Even as a small a small, dim bulb flickered to life, I squinted against the glare and put my hand protectively over my eyes. Yes, it would take a lot longer to adjust to the light. I made my way blindly over to what I hoped was the mirror, following the tiled floor. As soon as my eyes got accustomed to the light, I looked at my reflection, and gasped loudly.

In the mirror, a woman stared back at me, but that wasn’t what held my attention. It was me – and I was surprised to see my face totally unblemished, unmarked. My skin was paler than it had been as a… human. I tried not to dwell on the fact that I wasn’t human, choosing to face my current dilemma. I could see myself clearly – but I looked a bit different. My lips looked red – fuller – and my brown hair shone in the light, flowing down my back, longer than it had been. Somehow, impossibly, my figure had blossomed out into curves that had never been there. But that wasn’t what had caught my attention and held it.

I stood, looking at myself in the mirror, horrified. I stared at my eyes, and they were already so wide with disgust that it didn't help.

They pulsed blood red, glowing brightly. I stared at my reflection, my hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.

But, I couldn’t say or do anything else, because just than a loud crash echoed from what I expected was downstairs. It was followed by a loud shout, and, although the voice was beautiful, it was harsh enough that it stung.

“Carlisle, what have you done?!”

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