If I Sing...
Bella Cullen has been waiting over a century to find the happiness and love that her family shares. When the blood of a dying boy sings to her, can she find the strength to turn him without draining him dry? And if she does, can they overcome the hurdles, both human and immortal, that separate them from the greatest love they've ever known?
2. Chapter 2
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Sweet, hot, sticky, tangy. The thick liquid glided over my tongue like silk. My head was maelstrom of swirling emotions and colors and feelings and life. Animal blood had been off-putting at best--I needed it for strength, but I still never thoroughly enjoyed it. Nor had I ever had an attraction to the blood of a human. But this human, this man, whose blood rang like the sweetest tune, consumed my entire being, until nothing else mattered but indulging in more of the precious liquid.
I continued sucking, drawing in the blood as if it were the sole purpose for my being. Venom filled any excess space in my mouth, forcing its way into his veins.
“-lla…. Bella, you have to stop now.”
Vaguely, I registered the voice as Carlisle’s, but I ignored him. Stop?! Why would I stop? I never wanted this moment to end!
Sweet, hot, sticky, tangy, heaven.
“Bella, you’re killing him,” Carlisle continued, his voice beginning to aggravate me. “Listen to his heart, Bella! He’s dying. Can you bear to lose your singer?”
Sure enough, I could hear the steady beating of his heart, each one a little weaker and slower than the last. But I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from his neck, where his smell, his taste, his very being overwhelmed me.
“You have the power, Bella! I know it.”
But I didn’t. As much as I couldn’t bear to lose this sweet, sweet human, I couldn’t bring myself to stop. He tasted too good; my mind was too frenzied. I was going to kill him, and I knew it.
His heart gave a loud thump and I jumped off of him as if I’d been shocked.
I stared at the twitching boy with unfocused eyes, his movements simply the reaction of venom coursing his veins rather than conscious movement.
My hand immediately flew to my mouth as my body trembled, begging for more of his blood while simultaneously repulsed by the idea that I nearly took his life. I backed as far away as I could stand to be, watching as Carlisle checked that the boy was still alive.
His blood was still strong on my lips, and I licked them, my body stilling completely as his head rolled to the side. Bright green eyes locked onto mine and I couldn’t look away. I was drowning in the pain of those gorgeous eyes, and I was powerless to stop it. I heard a familiar screech, watching as both Esme’s and Alice’s cars skidded down the alley.
That’s when the screaming started.
The sound was that of a soul in despair, the kind of scream where the pain is beyond physical and mental endurance. The kind of scream where you’re screaming because it’s the only thing you can do.
My body choked out a tearless sob at the sound, and if I had a beating heart, I’m sure it would have torn in half. I didn’t even know the boy, this… Edward, but I felt to my very core that I needed to do everything in my power to protect him. He was my singer, Il Tuo Cantante. It wasn’t love, but I knew it had the power to be. The fact that I didn’t kill him while sucking his blood proved as much. Not every singer meant love for a vampire--too many humans were killed as soon as a singer was discovered. And many vampires fell in love with someone other than their singer. Alice and Jasper, for example. They had both been vampires when they met, there was no blood to sing between them.
Though I knew they never acknowledged as much, I was pretty sure Esme had been Carlisle’s singer. After having heard how he had treated her medically ten years before turning her, and the sparkle in his eye whenever she was mentioned, I was sure of it.
I didn’t love this boy as I rushed forward to try and comfort him, but a part of me wanted to. Besides his blood, my body and mind wanted more of him. I wanted to know him, to care about him, and to have him care back.
I hadn’t taken more than two steps when rock solid arms locked around my waist.
“I’m so sorry, Bella!” Alice cried, holding me tight. “I’m sorry I couldn’t see anything! It‘s always so hard with your shield, I hardly even bother trying anymore. I‘m sorry!”
“Please let me go, Alice,” I whispered, watching as Carlisle held Edward’s mouth to muffle his screams as he and Esme moved him into the back of the car. “I need to see him.”
Alice didn’t let go, but looked at me as if I had gone mad. She probably thought I wanted to finish him off. I still hadn’t ruled it out as a possibility, or at least, the vampire in me hadn’t. I, Bella Cullen, wanted to comfort him and do whatever I could to make the searing pain that was sizzling his nerve endings a little more bearable.
“Please, Alice,” I whispered, beginning to struggle again.
“Bella, what- ?”
“She‘ll be fine, Alice,” Carlisle said, closing the door of the car. “He’s her singer.”
Alice froze with her arms around me. All of my present family did. Rosalie and Emmett must have been keeping Jasper calm in the car, because I could hear a cease their rustling as they watched our exchange. Esme turned to stare at me with wide eyes, an expression so soft I’m sure she would be crying if it were possible.
“Bella!” Alice exclaimed, now hugging me tightly. “I’m so happy for you!”
“Don’t be,” I said flatly, moving toward the car as she finally let me go. “I nearly killed him.”
Esme put a hand on my shoulder as I neared. “But you didn’t kill him, Bella.”
I simply nodded, what else could I say? It was true, I hadn’t killed him, but that didn’t make me feel any better about the fact that I nearly had.
I opened the car door, my knees almost buckling as I watched him twitch and tremble, his face grimaced in pain.
“Bella,” Carlisle said gently, placing a hand on my shoulder. “I think you should ride with Alice.”
What? No, I needed to ride with Edward! I opened my mouth to protest, but he cut me off.
“Just until we get home,” Carlisle said, trying to assuage me. “You know the first hour is the worst. Do not torture yourself this way, Bella. Ride with Alice.”
On reflection, I think I growled at Carlisle. How dare he suggest that I ride with someone other than my Edward? He hardly even flinched however, just looked at me with those golden eyes that were full of understanding and comfort. Slowly, the discontent began to recede and I smiled apologetically at Carlisle.
“Sorry,” I muttered. “I’ll ride with Alice. But I don’t like it.”
Carlisle gently patted my head. “I know, Bella. I know.”
Alice was at my side again, this time taking me by the shoulders and leading me toward her car. Rosalie and Emmett passed us as I stared longingly at Esme’s SUV. I stepped into the backseat, only to find Jasper staring at me apologetically, guilt permeating the vehicle like an oppressive cloud.
“Jasper, what…?” I asked, placing a hand on his arm.
His voice was strained. “I wanted to kill him, Bella. He’s your singer, and I wanted to drain him dry.”
I let out a harsh laugh. I knew Jasper still struggled with our lifestyle, but the irony in him apologizing to me was too much. I starred out the window at the passing scenery.
“It’s okay, Jasper,” I promised him, my voice low. “I wanted to kill him, too.”