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Written before the publication of Breaking Dawn...MY ENDING TO THE TWILIGHT SAGA ----- "Edward, what's going on?" He didn't respond. His golden eyes were far away, like he wasn't seeing me. But then something flashed across his face. An expression of anger... "Matt...ew..." Edward managed to get out through clenched teeth, as if he were fighting something internally. "Or maybe he just takes control of your body. That might be it." Jacob had guessed. "Edward!" I reached out a hand to touch his cold skin, but I stopped--my hand hovering in the air between us. The cold distant look had consumed his face. He then spoke in a voice that had pain and fear shooting through me. "Goodbye, Bella," he hissed as he advanced towards me.
24. Chapter 23 - Reflect Effect
Word Count 2373
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CHAPTER 23: Reflect Effect
I was flying.
I could see why Edward loved this.
My legs felt so swift and powerful—I could feel the muscles on bones pulling together as I ran. I could feel every part of my body simultaneously. Feel the wind my speed created (although I was sad to find I could not feel its coldness or warmth). With my crystal clear vision, I could see every tree, every stick, and every stone as I rocketed past them, weaving in and out of trees. The tastes and smells were almost the same. I could taste the air—the scents of moss, and dew, and animals. There was also a new sense—I could not quite feel, but sense where every living thing around me was.
The new sense was not so much added on, but a combination of all of the others. I could hear, crystal clear, the heartbeat of a chipmunk scrambling through the brush, feel the vibrations in the air as it squeaked, taste it’s scent on the air, and see the flash of brown as I flew past it.
Everything around me was alive.
I realized in a flash, this was the way Edward had seen the world for some eighty-odd years. How dull the world looked through human eyes in comparison. It was as if a wool blanket had been lifted from over me.
I looked down at my arms. The sunlight streaming through the trees made them glitter brightly. I held my arm closer to my eyes, trying to see the hidden facets where the sparkles on my skin originated from.
“Bella!” A voice called softly from behind me, but I heard it. “Wait for me.” I slammed to a halt two inches from the tree I was about to go rocketing into with almost no effort at all. I saw Edward in crystal clear detail as he flew up beside me in a motion that would have been blurred to my human eyes. He caught me in his arms. They no longer felt incredibly cold and stony, but just a neutral temperature and very muscular.
It was something I would miss.
“Well, I had to beat you at something, someday,” I explained. He smiled. Even though I was immortal and my vision was clearer, his smile did not change. It was still the single most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed.
“Is that it?”
“Of course.” He shook his head.
“You are one of a kind, Bella Swan.”
“Bella Cullen, thank you very much,” I corrected. He chuckled and smiled again. And then his lips were on mine. This would be the first kiss after I’d been turned immortal, since we’d had to go hunting right away. Every nerve ending in my body seemed to be on fire. Everything about our kisses was amplified. I was glad I was stronger now, or I would have fainted.
He did not hesitate like before, his lips were urgent on mine. I sighed, and opened my mouth on his, and he did the same. I felt his tongue trace the lines of my mouth—the insides of my cheeks, my teeth. It was incredible. His hands moved greedily over my shoulders and slid down my arms, then to my waist, and I mirrored him. Everything he was doing, everything I was doing—I could feel it all, and it was absolutely amazing.
For once in my life, I was the one to break away first. I was getting too thirsty.
“Sorry,” I apologized. “I just really need something to eat.”
“It’s all right.” He took my hand. ”Let’s go find something for you now, shall we?”
And we were running together, in perfect sync, legs, arms, all one fluid motion, our hands never parting. Suddenly, I could feel a very strong heartbeat not too far off.
“What is that?” I asked him.
“Grizzly,” Edward answered. I could almost hear the blood rushing through its veins.
“Grizzly?” He chuckled when he saw my nervous expression. “What do I do?”
“You’ll see,” he answered with a smile in his voice. “Just follow your instincts, and it won’t get away.” I was nervous, to be honest, although my new strength coursing through my body soothed my worries some.
I could hear the heartbeat growing louder as we approached, and we were in a clearing. The bear was at the other end, plucking berries from a twig. The thirst flared, the venom forming in my throat burned. I wanted to fly at the creature and sink my teeth into it. I could almost feel it—the sensation of piercing its skin.
I gasped, horrified.
“What’s wrong?” Edward whispered.
“It just…feels so…”
“It is strange, I know. You can see why it disgusts us to take human lives.” I shuddered, my eyes widening at the thought. How could other vampires not feel guilty about that desire towards a human? It was sickening.
“Yes,” I managed.
“You’d better hurry, or it’s going to get away, love,” Edward advised. I squared my shoulders, and took a deep breath, closing my eyes.
And I opened them, letting the thirst drive me.
I sprang, letting my body do what it was made to. I crossed the clearing in a fraction of a second. The bear growled, and I was surprised to hear a fierce snarl rip from my own chest as well. My hand shot out of its own accord to block the bear’s paw as it swiped. And suddenly, my mouth was at its neck. I buried my head in the soft fur there, and bared my teeth.
And there was the sickening, yet blissful feeling as my razor sharp teeth pierced its skin. The bear roared, and with a quick, but powerful smack, I felt the bear’s neck snap. It crumpled to the ground, and I followed it, my mouth never leaving its throat. I felt the blood flowing out of the wound and into my mouth.
It was like ice cold water after crossing a large, very hot desert. I could feel it flowing into my body and begin to circulate through my veins. The feeling was like adrenaline, only intensified. And the taste! I could not describe it—only that it was addictive.
And through the frenzy of blood, I felt another presence next to me. I immediately knew it was Edward. There was a wild part of me that had the urge to kick him off my kill.
I was horrified at myself that I was thinking that. So I ignored it and just kept feeding, until I felt as if I were so electrically charged, if I drank anymore I would explode with the energy coursing through me. I lifted my head up, and looked over at Edward.
His face was buried in the bear’s fur, just as mine had been. I could see his eyes were glowing a bright red as mine probably were. He was crouched in a predatory position. As a human, this might have frightened me. But now there was a feral side of me that saw him as a dominant hunter. He looked strong and wild—a side of Edward I had never seen.
I just watched him, until eventually he lifted his head.
We just sat for a minute, looking at each other. And suddenly, I heard a voice in my head. It was like the one I heard when I had jumped from the cliff in La Push, only a bit different. This time the voice wasn’t talking to me, but about me.
I shouldn’t have expected any different. Of course I can’t read her mind. The change wouldn’t have affected that inability.
“Edward?” His eyes suddenly were focused on me, as opposed to the distant look they’d hosted a minute ago.
“Yes?” The voice in my head cut off.
“Did you hear that?” His eyes were wide.
“What?” I concentrated.
“I heard your voice in my head.” Edward only stared.
Is she joking? What’s going on? Maybe it was a coincidence. She wouldn’t have that power. That’s impossible—she showed no signs of being sensitive to people’s thoughts while she was human—
“I can here you, Edward.”
“This is not feasible.” He was shaking his head in disbelief. He jumped up fluidly and I followed him. “We need to go see Carlisle,” he muttered, and I only nodded.
We were flying through the trees, almost faster than before. Edward did not let go of my hand, but his expression was confused, not angry, and that comforted me some. Sooner than I expected the house was in view, and we raced to the door. Before Edward wrenched it open, I noticed something in the window glass.
My usually matted, unruly hair, now looked curly, and disarrayed in a stylish way—the way supermodels’ hair looks when they let it air dry in a commercial. My usually too long-looking face now looked narrow in a delicately pretty way. My nose looked thinner and straighter, and my cheekbones were more defined. And my eyes. Although they were bright red, they were huge, shining—mysterious. It was as if the change had brought out my best features, while my less attractive ones had faded into the background. I wasn’t stunning like Rosalie, but I was defiantly gorgeous.
Most importantly, I looked like someone who belonged at Edward’s side.
We hurried through the door.
“Carlisle?” Edward called. I saw him glide effortlessly down the stairs and into the front room.
“What is it, Edward?”
“Bella was hearing my thoughts.” Carlisle’s eyes widened.
“Can you read mine?” He asked me. I concentrated, but Carlisle’s calm voice did not speak in my head.
“No,” I answered.
And then Alice spoke, her voice tinkling clear as a bell.
“What’s going on?”
Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw Alice, standing in the front room beside Carlisle—Edward and I in front of them. “Bella can read minds?” She questioned. I opened my eyes, and Alice was down the stairs.
“Bella can read minds?” She asked.
“Apparently only Edward’s.” I gasped.
“What is it?” Carlisle asked.
“Alice,” I whispered. “I saw you saying that a second before you said it.
“What?” She questioned, her voice equally shocked.
“In my head, I saw you standing there, and then you said “Bella can read minds?” and when I opened my eyes, you went over, stood in that spot, and said it.”
“That’s how mine works.” Alice’s voice was hushed with wonder.
“What does this mean?” Edward asked, voice incredulous.
“I have no idea,” Carlisle said, an expression of shock on his face. Edward’s thoughts were racing so fast that I couldn’t separate them.
“Let me try something,” he said and called: “Jasper.” He was beside Alice in a split second, although I saw every leonine movement he made since he appeared at the top of the stairs.
It was strange. I felt as if I could feel waves of…feelings rolling off him. At first, the wave made me confused, and then, as he laid eyes on Alice, the same contentment I felt near Edward.
“What’s going on?”
“Bella can hear my thoughts,” Edward explained.
“And see my future,” Alice added.
“Bella,” Carlisle inquired, “can you feel anything around Jasper.”
“Yes,” I answered, “it’s like…waves of feeling—like pulses, or radio waves. They all are the same, and then they changed. Like Jasper was confused, and then it changed when he looked at Alice.”
They all stared at me.
“How can this be, Carlisle?” Edward asked incredulous. All I heard in his head was:
Impossible…this is impossible. Insane impossibility…
“Can you try to control the waves coming off of Jasper?” Carlisle asked calmly. I focused on the waves, and tried to change them, thinking mad thoughts, and sent them directly at Japer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stiffen.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“I suddenly got…very angry.” I nodded.
“What power does she have?” Alice’s voice was skeptical, “if she can use all of our own powers against us.”
“Perhaps,” Carlisle suggested, “she can…reflect powers back at the one who uses them.”
“Is that possible?” Jasper questioned.
“It’s certainly not impossible. There’s no way to know for sure.”
“Wow,” I said, my head spinning. I could read Edward’s mind, see Alice’s future, control Jasper’s emotions. I could reflect vampire powers. “Does that mean the Alice’s and Jasper’s talents don’t work on me anymore?”
Everyone looked at Alice. She closed her eyes, and concentrated. All was still for along minute.
“I still see Bella’s future,” Alice said with a nod. She turned to Jasper. I sensed calming waves directed at me, and I felt the tension in my body slowly recede.
“It still works.” I was the one who answered this time.
“This is incredible,” Carlisle said, impressed.
This is absolutely amazing, Edward was thinking Impossible, but amazing… But then, in Edward’s head, I heard other voices talking.
I wonder if it applies to all vampires... that was Carlisle’s voice.
Can she only see my future? –Alice.
I wonder… if she wanted to resist my powers, she might be able to. I wonder who would win out –Jasper. And then Edward again.
So much we don’t know…
“I can hear you all through Edward,” I told them. The words sounded strange as they exited my mouth. All eyes were on me.
“I wonder if it works like that,” Carlisle mused, the first to recover. “If you hear everything that’s going on in Edward’s head, so, through him, you can read everyone’s mind. Then if he’s reading Alice’s mind, he can see what she sees, and therefore you can. How strange…”
“I’m a pro at strange.”
I know you are, Bella, Edward though at me. I smiled back at him and giggled.
“This is so cool.”