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Breathe for Mercy

No one knows her real name. But everyone calls her Mercy. And she's running from a world of pain and fear, desperately searching for a place to hide from the monsters that haunt her footsteps. But she's found again-this time by Dr. Carlisle Cullen, who takes her under his wing even though he's vampire and she's human, and takes her home to live with the rest of his family, unaware of the wicked web she's caught in. But they don't know who she is, what she's done, what she's capable of. And the voices just won't go away. This is my story. My nightmare. And now I'm putting you through it. *Rated for some graphic violence* What the heck, why is no one reviewing? Is my story that bad?

Her real name is unknown. But everyone calls her Mercy. She's running from a world where there is nothing but pain but she is looking for a new life, a new way. That's when she runs into the Cullen family and they bring her in and take her under their wing, even though she is human. But they don't really know who she is, what she's done. And the voices just won't go away. This is my story. My nightmare.And now I'm putting you through it.

3. A touch of hope

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5031   Review this Chapter

Does anybody know how I feel?

Sometimes I'm numb

Sometimes I'm overcome

Does anybody know what's going on?

Do I have to wear my scars,

Like a badge on my arm?

For you to see me

I need release

We used to watch a lot of zombie movies, along with a bunch of other horror movies-mostly at Kyle's suggestion. I never liked them, and Chad and Aimee made fun of them, always pointing out how the makeup and props were designed to make it look real. They'd go to one of those super bookstores and browse the movie magazines for articles or pictures showing how the movies were made. Once they even created their own set, with Aimee lying on the couch, fake ax in her forehead, blood everywhere, and Chad crouched behind the La-Z-Boy, waiting to scare us half to death. Kates didn't speak to them for a week after that.

I was never sure if Chad and Aimee exposed the movies' secrets because they found the photography a bit too believable, or if they just wanted to kill Kyle's morbid love affair with them. He'd talk on and on and on about the latest horror flick until we told him to shut up or pay. We had some interesting ways of making him pay, like setting him up with Mandy, a blind date that turned out to be a dog-literally. That was Jason's idea. Instead of making out with some girl dumb enough to agree to go out with him, Kyle ended up dog-sitting for a trophy-winning Shih Tzu that was due to have puppies any moment. The dog was such a purebred fluff ball, she couldn't see to get the puppies out, or at least that's how it looked to Kyle. So he loaded her and about fifteen blankets into a wheelbarrow, since he didn't drive, and started rumbling off the vet's. Jason happened to see him, and he had to drive both Kyle and the dog to the vet's, help with delivery, and then explain to the ticked-off owner why Kyle was watching the dog instead of him. So it all sort of backfired on Jason.

But later, after Aimee and everything, while I was rotting on the shrink ward, I kept thinking about Kyle's zombie movies. It was the feeling of unreality, of being the only one with any sanity, that haunted me.

Because that's how I felt during the trial-like I was the only one alive. The only one who knew the truth. All the other people who could have helped were dead or changed. Aimee was obviously gone forever, but Kates, Kyle, and Jason, even Chad, had returned as zombies. My parents were always borderline zombies, but they hadn't and everyone else I knew had turned to real zombies.

They stood when the judge came in; they hadn't changed that much. They listened to the testimony of the first people to find Aimee and me-Aimee's family and neighbors, then the police. They listened while the doctors talked about what was wrong with me. Of course, the defense's and prosecution's shrinks had different diagnoses, but neither considered that I was okay, at least before all this happened. They never thought that if something was wrong with me it had to do with the trial and why it was taking place.

It's hard to act normal when you're accused of murder and no one believes that you didn't do it. Not my parents. Oh God, no. that would be a social gaffe-to support your daughter when she's on trial for murder. Not my friends. They didn't even come for the trial, except when they had to testify, and maybe when the verdict was read, but I didn't see them there. They didn't stand up for me or meet my eyes once during the whole thing.

The closest anyone came to really looking at me was when Chad had to point at me, which he did with a red face and anger in his eyes, whether at me or the way the prosecutor had phrased his question, I may never know. But he didn't meet my eyes. Not even when he left the stand. I think Kyle winked at me as he left the stand, but then again he's always twitching something when he's nervous. Could've been that. Kates cried, but she didn't look at me. Jason sat so stiffly I though he was held in place with a backboard, but it was probably his father's eyes on him the whole time that made him try so hard to look respectable.

So I stood alone. I stood without Aimee because she couldn't stand with me.


"Her heart's beating so fast, the poor thing," a soft female voice spoke somewhere above my head and what felt like smooth tips of ice brushed my cheek.

"I know," someone answered in what sounded like frustration, a man with a gentle, concerned voice despite the anxiety.

"I still can't believe you brought her here, Carlisle," another male voice said sharply with a barely tolerable tone that I didn't like. "What were you thinking?"

"I had to," the first voice whispered softly and I felt smooth ice again, this time on my forehead where it stayed, resting on my skin. The chilly touch sent a shiver down my otherwise immobile body.

"You had to?"

The first, female voice cut in, a quiet, almost shy voice: "I think Carlisle did what he thought was best considering the circumstances."

The circumstances?

There was a silence.

I tried to move, I tried to lift my head but my body seemed to not want to cooperate with my mind. Even my eyelids felt heavy as lead and I couldn't understand the reason why.

There more voices now; several of them, whispering above me-so soft that I couldn't understand what they were saying...maybe they weren't even talking, but humming to each other. It was a lulling melody, dulling my senses even though I could feel strength slowly returning to my body. But the sweet humming only lasted a few minutes for suddenly one humming voice grew angry and the hum morphed into a spiteful hiss that sent a violent shudder rattling through my body.

My body jerks when I open my eyes to see a room full of strangers. A young man stood slightly away from me, with his face turned away, and his stance angry. The yellow light overhead made his coppery colored hair shine and blinded me momentarily as my eyes adjusted. I tried to lift my head again, to fully access the situation I was in, but it hurt too much and my body didn't seem up to it quite yet. I concentrated on lifting my left arm, which had a spider web pattern of stitches on it, instead to touch the smooth railing on either side of me. Like a hospital bed. But the room around me was not a brilliant, sterile white and there were no bars on the nearby window. My fingers twitched slightly, but, other than that, I couldn't move. I closed my eyes again; the light hurt too much.

I felt drugged.

I tried again to move my arm again. And when I managed to curl my fingers around the cold metal, I sighed in relief. It was something that I was familiar with, something that I knew too well. Though the familiarity of the smooth bar was more horror than comfort, it was something I could remember, something I was used to and didn't have to be terribly afraid of in the darkness behind my closed eyelids. And the voices were seemingly held at bay-I didn't hear them whispering in my skull or pricking my mind with their sharp taunts. I released my fingers and let my hand fall limply to the sheets.

The cold stone suddenly left my forehead. I opened my eyes again, slowly, and I had to squint to see for the light flooding the room. Why was it so bright?

Through slightly blurred vision, I saw the bronzed-hair boy looking down at me, his almond-shaped eyes a honey gold. "Are you all right?" he asked sounding annoyed, as though he was required to ask me that question.

"Edward, you're scaring her," a girl reprimanded him quietly. He only narrowed his eyes at me, as though trying to pull some sort of information out of me that he couldn't seem to gain access to.

"No, I am not."

I couldn't speak even if I wanted to; my mouth felt like cotton. What I wanted I really wanted to do was to shout, to ask them who they were and what they were doing to me. But I couldn't. I closed my eyes again, not wanting to look at the stranger glaring at me. But whatever medication these people seemed to have given me was quickly wearing off, quicker than I was used to it doing. I gathered the strength and carefully, painfully lifted my left arm and run my fingers down the length of my arm, feeling the tender ridges of my sutured gashes until I reached my wrist where I felt the tube of the IV inserted.

That was where they were pouring the drugs into me and that was where it was going to stop.

Here I was, in some stranger's house lying practically immobile on this bed surrounded by people who didn't even look like people at all but like ghosts with their white skin or some enchantments with their overwhelming beauty.

So this was my hell, my punishment. I stared at the thin, plastic tube running into my arm filled with bubbly, yellowish liquid and at the web of tiny, black sutures. I contemplated on whether to yank the tube out. I had done it before. It wasn't complicated. Sure it hurt some and most of the time I end up tearing my vein. I continued to study my arm not wanting, or maybe fearing to look anywhere else. Some of the stitched gashes were oozing puss and blood and the skin looked irritated and red.

I felt close to panic, watching the growing shadows creep across the room and the silvery moonlight falling on the carpet, like someone had tossed a handful of glitter across the floor. With both hands I grasp the railings on either side, an effort to hold myself together, to keep myself from losing it all together. I grip the cool metal until my knuckles turn white and the bluish veins pop out. I squeeze my eyes shut and silently whimpered, feeling like a trapped animal amidst a room of deadly vipers.

Maybe I had died and gone to Hell.

When I opened my eyes, the man called Edward was gone and the room was darkening as though I was being lowered into the abyss. I felt cold and wondered why it wasn't warm-besides, this was Hell, wasn't it?

But the man suddenly sitting silently beside me did not look like a demon. Instead, he looked like the exact opposite. With white-blond hair that glinted pale gold in the moon and candle light and with eyes the color of dark honey, he looked like a prospective angel coming to rescue me, not like a demonic spirit coming to pull my soul down to a fiery pit of torture that I rightly deserved. But his face was pale and his eyes were shadowed with bruise-like circles, giving him to the appearance of exhaustion through beauty.

I looked away quickly. Not matter how nice he looked, I couldn't trust him. I couldn't trust anybody. I just had to find a way out and that was all that was mattered. If anything, the guy had assisted my escape by at least getting me past the security of the hospital. Why? I didn't know and it was creepy that he had taken me out at all.

"Are you frightened?" he suddenly asked as though he could read my thoughts and he shifted, almost looking uncomfortable.

I didn't answer. I never answered anyone. I couldn't actually remember the last time I had actually spoken to another human being except the voices within my head. Then again, they could just be a figment of my imagination, an inclusion to this Hell on earth, or it could constitute that I was truly insane. Crazy. Mentally unstable.

The man cocked his head and watched me with unwavering eyes as though searching for something specific. "Do remember who I am? At all?"

I narrow my eyes at him, trying to mask the fear radiating through me but I don't think I was doing a very good job at all. I could tell the man was reading me like a billboard.

"You can call me Carlisle," he spoke with a sympathetic smile.

I clasped my hands together and stared as the skin turned white when I squeezed, almost as white as Carlisle's skin. I didn't acknowledge him or offer him my own name. My eyes pricked from the pain it cause but I ignored it, feeling the blood pulse within my own skin and watching how the skin around the knuckles fill with a bright red.

I look at Carlisle again, at his motionless figure tensed with stress and at his face which no longer supported a warm smile but an almost grimace. I saw him raise his hand slowly, carefully as though he were to touch my arm but then he drew back and he seemed to deflate.

"You have no need to be frightened, young one," he spoke in a firm tone and for a moment I felt as though I had offended him.

But what did I care? I just continued to watch his hand. I didn't like it when people touched me. I remembered when once I was sitting on my bed with earphones in. My mother had slipped up behind me and put her arms around me as if she wanted a hug.

I jumped. I hadn't heard her come in. Besides, the last time we'd hugged we'd been posing for a picture in front of some character in Disney World, so I wasn't expecting physical contact.

Before I could gasp out a surprised, "Oh, it's you!" she had snatched her arms back like they'd been burned.

I tugged the earphones out of my ears as she straightened.

When she saw that I could hear her again, she said," Don't you think you should take a shower after today? And put your clothes in the hamper. I want to wash them. They stink." She turned on her heel and stomped back.

For a moment, I wanted her back. I wanted to apologize for no knowing how it felt to be hugged on the spur of the moment anymore. To know what if felt like to have her hug me at all. But then I thought of the ice in her eyes when she'd pulled away, and I let it go.

She wouldn't change. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't.

But what if I had heard her coming and hadn't jumped? Would she had been there, hugging me in the hospital rooms instead of leaving me there alone night and day? Would I even be here now?

I didn't care that Carlisle was watching. I lifted my hand that did not have an IV stuck in it and pressed it to my aching forehead, scrunching my face to hold back any tears that might feel the need to leak out.

Carlisle immediately stood and hovered over me. "Are you in pain?" he asked quickly, tweaking the tube going into my arm and pressing a dry towel to one gash that was oozing blood-spotted fluid. He checked his wrist-watch, scrunching his eyebrows together as he thought. "I gave you the amount that was advisable for your weight. I can't give you another dose for another half-hour."

I flinched away from his hand and lowered my own, watching him ponder.

"I'll get you some food...soup maybe?"

Immediately my stomach gurgled as though it answered for me. He looked at me with appraising eyes and I knew he had somehow heard it. "I'll get you something light...make sure your stomach can handle it, than if you're still hungry, I'll get you more."

He paused.

"Stay here." He spoke firmly and studied me briefly. "I'll be right back."

I counted to ten after he had shut the door than sprung into action as though it was a well-rehearsed skit that I was doing...that I had done a hundred-thousand times before. Without really thinking, for I had done it a million times before, I yanked the tube out of my arm, ignoring the flash of pain and the swell of blood. I expertly unhitched the rail and let it fall back, allotting me room to slide down.

I felt a sweep of nausea after my feet hit the floor and the room spun around me; for a moment, I feared I would pass out. But I didn't. The feeling passed after several moments and I limped across the thick carpet, my leg muscles stiff and aching.

I see my duffle bag sitting by the dresser across the room. Apparently they had found it and brought it here for me. It was lying, unzipped. Nothing is in it.

My bag was empty of everything important to me.

I grab the bag, turn it upside down, and shake it until even I notice the panicked squeaks coming from my mouth as I put more and more force into every shake.

I stop shaking the bag, although my hands can't stop trembling, and turn the bag inside out. Nothing. I fling myself around strange room, pulling open drawers, dumping under out their contents on the floor. Everything flies, I didn't care that this wasn't my house, my stuff, but still I see nothing that I want.

My heart is racing. I toss books off shelves, dump out the pencil holder onto the floor, rip clothes from hangers.

But I find no ash tray, no photos, no razor blade.

Did that doctor take it all? Did Edward? What about that voice I heard...that female voice? What had they done?

I go to the oak door and try to jerk it open, only to find it locked. I look as my hands as they twist the polished brass knob, watch my bare, scratched feet dig into the carpeting, feel my body throw itself against the door.

And all the while a little voice inside me is saying, They've taken Aimee away to get even with me. For what? I didn't know. I just rationalized this in my head-thinking that was the answer. The voice grows louder as my body bangs into the door harder and harder. My shoulder caves into the wood, but it's my flesh that's giving, not the wood.

My heart pushes bile into my mouth with each slamming beat. There's sweat on my hands, blood running down my arms and blood soaking through my pants where my knee caps are where I've smashed them into the door. I tear off the poster of a waterfall, but there's still a door underneath. No peephole like at the psych ward, the last time I found myself caged.

Then everything explodes.

I hear myself shrieking every ugly word I know, every vile phrase. My head whams into the door once, twice, three times in a rhythm that I can't stop. Aimee. Aimee. Aimee. My heart pounds faster and faster, then becomes a constant flurry of motion indistinguishable as a beat. My breath catches, jerks, grates my throat raw as I scream.

"Give her back," I snarl, my first words since I came here. There is nothing human inside of me.

There was no answer.

I back away from the door, chest heaving. I wish I could see Aimee, but I can't. Or maybe I won't. Maybe she's here, and I won't see her, won't take her hand.

She'll never come back for you.

My body felt as though it had been shocked. I looked around wildly for a moment-at the back of the door, at the watercolor painting hanging from the wall, than at the ceiling which had begun to lurch and sway.

It was them.

I whimpered softly and shut my eyes away from the glaring light, from the glaring world, retreating to my darkness where I felt safe. But they were still there, soft than loud, soft than loud.

Please just leave me alone!

Their voices were grating, sickening. They echoed, screeched, pulled at my insides, trying to suck me in, to rip me open

"I don't think I could have come this far without you as my friend. Will you stay with me tonight? One last time?"

One last time.

My breathing dragged my shoulders up, then down. My head clears, then fogs. Yellow slides across the back of my eyelids, first in dots, then in waves. But they won't shut up and fade away. I whimpered again...this time louder, the sound gurgled in the back of my throat.

They'll use you just like everyone else has done. They'll lock you up, experiment with you, than throw you away. Remember Meg? Remember what the doctors did to her?

And I saw the pictures in my head...the mangled body, the streaks of blood.

NO! My entire being cried out and I shuddered.

I lurch towards the window and bang my fist against the shivering glass, find the latches and push the frame upward. I feel the rush of cold air, the wetness of the rain against my face. I see the failing light of the coming twilight and look out at the mountains in the near-distance, purple and gray in the evening.

This is what I should have done long ago. Instead of Aimee, it should've been me.

Hands grab me from behind, pulling away from the window, lifting me off the ground. I screamed, fighting the cold hands, my entire body flailing for release. And they release me. I crumble to the ground, still for only a brief moment before getting on hands and knees and crawling across the floor.

Carlisle slammed the window shut almost causing the glass to shatter from the force. He grabs my left arm from behind, apparently trying to calm me, to stop my hysteria.

"No!" I shriek, sobbing, kicking and twisting like a rabbit caught in a snare. "You took her away! You took my things away! You took her away from me!" I strain against his hold, writhing on the floor and using my free hand to pull at the threads of carpet, ripping them out in a desperate attempt to pull myself away. "LET ME GO!" I shriek clawing out his clothes. He immediately released me and I dodge towards the door way.

But he was suddenly there, blocking me.

"STAY AWAY!" I screech, flinging the empty bag at him.

Carlisle didn't flinch.

I take the glass candle holder resting on the mantle and hurdle towards him, my rage sending a veil of red over my eyes. The holder somehow missed him and hit the opposite wall and shattered into a thousand shards and they glisten as they hit the carpet, sparkling in the light.

"WHERE DID YOU TAKE HER?" I demand, my voice coming so loud that it tears my throat painfully. I lower my voice, but not the intensity. "Where is she?"

"What are you talking about?" Carlisle almost begs me, circling me until we are diagonal. He seemed as though he were holding his breath and he didn't blink as he stared at me with dark eyes and a pale face. "I did not take anything away from you!"

The animosity gorges through my veins and turns my skin hot. "Liar!" I accuse. My hands come out and I grab the antique-looking lamp and hurled it towards the doctor. It smashed to floor, harmlessly several feet away. The bulb bursts and plunges both of us into silver darkness.

The only sound was my breathing, ragged and fast. In, out, in, out. And it goes on like this for several minutes. I make out his pale outline several feet away. He hadn't moved. My breath came raw in my throat. Finally:

"Give her back," I whisper, my voice pathetically thin.

"I didn't take her," Carlisle replies solemnly. "I didn't take anything from you. Everything that was with you remains the same as how you brought it."

"Liar," I indicted again, my voice weaker still. I suddenly had the feeling I was navigating through an emotional minefield. One wrong move and I would explode. I could feel spasms of nausea from the grief striking me like hammer blows.

Aimee. Aimee. Aimee.

My voice comes as first a soft moan. I sink to the floor and curl up in the dark corner. My entire being dissolves into tears of pain-filled sadness. My body wracked with convulsions of the grief. She was gone forever now. I had no memory to cling to anymore but all she was to me was what that small, blue duffle bag had held for me. Through blurred vision I see the doctor slowly sink to the ground as well.

And in the quietness of dark, he let me cry, my sounds of despondency echoing off the walls of the large room.

My original plan, to have Aimee sleep over, would have saved her. Maybe Aimee would have done it some other time, but I don't know that. I will never know it. She said she couldn't do it alone, and I didn't understand until afterward that she meant she couldn't die alone.

But she did die alone. I gave her nothing but arguments during her last few waking moments, and I left her alone for much of the time when she was unconscious.

I drop my forehead on the windowsill where I had tried to get out earlier. Its cold roundness presses into my flesh. The feeling of the trim digging into my forehead is concrete. It is discomfort but not pain. It is something I know. I can prove it. But Aimee? I can't prove any of what she said was true. Ever. I want to bang my hands against the window until it breaks and sets me free, but I can't.

I can't.

Friends don't commit suicide. They just don't die.

I have no more tears. My face is dried taut and my wounds are throbbing. I slowly draw myself away from the window and sit up, drawing my knees to my chest and staring at the figure only a couple feet away. I have no emotions left in me at the moment and I feel drained, like someone who had taken a soaked rag and wrung it until it got threadbare and crinkled.

"Are you all right?" Carlisle asks me in a soft voice.

I was surprise he hadn't thrown me out or had gotten angry. He seemed calm enough despite my melt down and the rampage I had taken to the room.

"Do you mind if I sit with you?"

I found myself shaking my head without even thinking about it, without even thinking about what I was agreeing to. And somehow, he had seen the gesture and complied.

I watched as he slowly crawled his way over to me. He stops right next to me and leans back against the wall. The feeling of someone so close frightens me. My body is tense like a stiff wire and my fists are curled in my lap and I lean my body just fractionally away.

He didn't seem to notice though, or care. He just sat silently, patiently until:

"May I ask you your name?"

I hesitate than my voice slipped out, barely a whisper. "Mercy."

He a moment he didn't respond. He didn't move. "Mercy," he whispered, as though contemplating my name and not sure how to react to it. "Are you hungrary?"

I shook my head.

"Would you like to get into bed?"

I shook my head again.

"Well, I'll just sit with you then for a while."

I freeze. I suddenly feel his heavy hand on my shoulder and it jolts my system nearly sending me into shock. I feel him draw to his side but don't register the fact. Never had anyone touched me in a manner that wasn't supposed to cause harm. At least no times that I could remember. I half expected him to push me or maybe pinch the skin of my arm.

But he doesn't do either. And slowly, but surely, I begin to relax. His embrace was suddenly a place of protection and warmth where no one could touch me. Where somebody actually cared for me. Despite my flaws.

And for once, the voices held no presence in my mind and Aimee wasn't even a shadow hovering nearby.

But it couldn't last for long. Could it?

Tell me that it's going to be okay

Tell me that you'll help me find my way

Tell me you can see the light of dawn is breaking

Tell me that it's gonna be alright

Tell me that you'll help me fight this fight

Tell me that you won't leave me alone in this.