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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


3. Bliss, interrupted

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1982   Review this Chapter

Chapter 3: Bliss, interrupted

EPOV

What an incredible weekend. What had I ever done to deserve this beautiful, wonderful creature? Bella never ceased to amaze me. She was utterly absurd when I had told her that I was ‘kidnapping’ her for the weekend; at first she seemed angry - the strangest looks kept crossing her face. Then she assured me that she was completely happy with this turn of events...sometimes I believe I will go absolutely mad if I can’t read her thoughts.

Pacing the floor of my parents’ home, I waited for Alice to come home so I could get return to Bella. Alice had said that Charlie wouldn’t be there when she dropped Bella off, and begged me to let her drive Bella anyway so she could catch up with her. My sister missed spending time with Bella this weekend, so I had grudgingly agreed. Aside from this, Bella would probably want to eat and take a shower; I was trying to be patient and not make her feel rushed. It really was incredibly difficult to be away from her, even if it was only for an hour.

I was still pacing when the front door flew open, a gleeful Alice bouncing in from outside. "Thank you Edward!! I think I’ve convinced Bella to go shopping with me next weekend!"

"You’re welcome Alice, although I am not quite so certain of that." Bella detested shopping at a regular, human pace - shopping with Alice was more like an Olympic event.

"I’ve been waiting for you. Did you have a nice time with Bella?" Jasper had appeared quite suddenly, as was custom in our household.

"Yes, I did! I’m sure you heard me telling Edward that -" Alice suddenly broke off in mid-sentence, gasping and doubled over, her hands clutching her hair.

"What is it Alice?! What are you seeing?" Jasper frantically asked. The rest of the family was suddenly surrounding us, all with worried expressions.

The image from Alice’s vision flashed through my mind. What I saw made the darkest kind of terror and rage rip through me. Terror, because I couldn’t possibly understand how Alice would not have had more warning than this horror of a vision, and rage because I knew I was too late. "NO!! No, no, no, no!!"

"Edward! What’s happening?" Esme exclaimed, frightened by our behavior.

There was no time for me to answer. Keys in hand, I ran to my car. Frantically fleeing the driveway, I desperately wanted to deny the atrocities I had seen in Alice’s mind. Vicious growls ripped from my throat as I remembered seeing the feral monster attack Bella. Alice’s next image was even worse - my Bella on the edge of death, lying on her bedroom floor, almost entirely drained of blood. Having seen him in Alice’s mind, I vowed that I would never forget him, and I would not rest until I destroyed him. This fiend must have meant to kill her - she had such little life left in her, that it would be a miracle if she didn’t perish before I reached her.

My mind raced as I sped towards Bella’s house. I had so frequently struggled with Bella’s desire to join me in immortality. In truth, I wanted nothing more than to have her to myself for all of eternity, but how can one allow themselves to give in to such selfish desires? This is exactly why I was against it, of course. She should live a full life, as a human should.

Pressing my foot down on the accelerator, familiar desperation coursed through me, forcing my mind back to when James had attacked Bella. First I had feared that I was too late to save her, that he had killed her. Then I realized he had bit her and I became even more fearful. When Carlisle suggested I try to suck the venom back out, I was horrified that I would kill her myself. That was not the case though, and it had worked; I had saved my Bella.

Then I had left her after that awful 18th birthday party at my parents’ house. Shuddering, I remembered what it felt like to experience that kind of loss, that kind of pain. I winced as I remembered what I had put Bella through, knowing that I would unequivocally never forgive myself for causing that kind of devastation. Thinking I had been helping her, protecting her, I had made my one true love suffer more than anything else in her life. Ridiculous.

As I tore through town I knew what my intentions were. These memories, combined with numerous conversations with Bella made my path incontestably clear. I knew what she wanted, what she had always wanted. Although previously against it, having experienced the utter nothingness that comes with her absence, I knew that I could never endure an existence without her again. All that I could do was to desperately try to reach Bella before she died, my only hope being that I could override her system with more venom, and that it would overpower the tiny amount of blood in her system, causing her to turn into one of us instead of dying. It may not work - the bites would have to be very quick, so as to merely inject the venom, and not to take the little blood that she had left. In addition, the venom would have to reach her heart before she let go.

Slamming on the brakes, I swerved into her driveway. Charlie’s cruiser was there; I wondered if he had any idea what had happened. Quickly listening for his thoughts, but hearing nothing, I surmised that he must not be here; maybe one of his friends had picked him up. At least he was safe. As I flew out of the car, an onslaught of mingled scents hit me instantly. Despite this, I picked up on two that I recognized immediately - Bella and Charlie. There was no sound of a heartbeat - for either. Perhaps his fate was not as I had hoped - the smell of the blood was intense.

Refusing to let myself think further as to why I didn’t hear Bella’s heartbeat, I ran through the yard toward their scents, my eyes searching. As I got closer, I picked up another scent I recognized - Victoria. There had been another with her - likely the one that had bitten Bella. When I reached the side yard, I saw the saturation of blood in the grass. Horror coursed through me as something caught my eye and distracted me for a moment - Charlie. His body lay on the lawn, void of life. Both of his arms were bent at very odd angles; Victoria must have broken them before she killed him. He’d also been shot in the leg. I couldn’t hear him not because he was safe, but because he was dead. My eyes followed traces of blood that reached up to Bella’s window. I had to check to be sure - this is where Alice had ‘seen’ her. Scaling the wall, I entered her bedroom, and was assaulted by his scent mingled with her blood. He had attacked her in this room. More growls tore through me as I turned back to the window - the window that I used to get into her house - and jumped back through, my fury rising. Upon landing, I immediately focused on Bella’s blood. Her scent formed a trail leading into the woods.

There were distant voices approaching. My family had followed me, and they were coming down the street now. Surely Alice had already discovered Charlie’s fate and filled my family in. Thankfully I had my cell - I dialed Alice, but Carlisle answered instead. "She isn’t talking to anyone Edward, she had a few more visions after you left, and she seems to have gone into a state of shock over Charlie. None of us understand -"

Interrupting, I spoke quickly. "I don’t have time - just do something with the body, and tell Emmett and Jasper that Victoria’s trail leads off to the north. There’s another one with her, I don’t recognize his scent. I have to find Bella."

"Yes, Alice had seen - " Carlisle started, but I snapped my phone shut so I could begin searching.

There were traces of her blood all along the trees, and even on the ground, so it wasn’t a hard path to find. My mind reeling, I stopped when the trail stopped. Looking frantically all around, I still didn’t see Bella. Where was she?! There was no time for this - I may already be too late. My head whipped around as I caught a strong wave of her scent, and I flew in the direction it came from. Approaching a giant boulder, I rounded the corner, and saw her.

Bella was strewn across the ground behind this massive boulder, leaning towards it with one arm outstretched. My horrified gaze followed the path of her arm, and I saw she had tried to scratch something onto the rock with the pebble that remained in her hand. It read, "Edward, I’m sorr..."

BPOV

I lay on the ground, begging for death. I had wanted, even pleaded, for immortality before. Knowing that Edward would be there for me when that change was made had given me comfort that I would make it through the transition. This was entirely different. Whoever had attacked me had intended to kill me. There had been enough blood taken from me to not allow me to turn immortal, but to draw my pain out, causing my death to be long and miserable. I had heard from Edward’s family that the more venom, the faster the transformation. I also knew that although more venom would make it faster, too much venom and very little blood would draw a very fine line. I had too much venom, and very little blood - my heart would give out before the venom could reach it, and I would die. As that reality hit, I grasped a small pebble, and reached up to the boulder in front of me to scratch a message to Edward. "Edward, I’m sorr," I managed, before I couldn’t function anymore. My thoughts screamed, "Edward, I’m sorry, I love you!" but my arm dropped back to the ground, unable to do anything more.

I could faintly hear something in the distance, and quickly I recognized the beautiful sound - it was my angel, Edward. "Bella?! Bella, no, no, no!! Wake up Bella, open your eyes, please!" This whole scene reminded me so much of that afternoon in Phoenix, when Edward had found me after James’ attack. Somehow, I didn’t think the outcome would be as good this time.

Of course I couldn’t deny my own personal angel my last minutes on earth. He was everything to me, and even though there was horrific pain throughout my body, I opened my eyes and focused on him. Suddenly I felt light, like I was floating above the earth, the pain seeming to lessen. Even the burning was decreasing to intervals. "Edward. I love you. I’m sorry," I barely managed. It didn’t matter - he would hear me.

"Bella, no - you’re going to be alright," Edward fought to say, even though I could see he was lying.

"Edward, we both know that I’m dying," I whispered.

I watched as I saw Edward’s expression change. His face went from horrified, to grief-stricken, then drastically to determined.

"No. You will not die Bella. No." Edward took a deep breath as he pulled me to him, and then I heard him utter, "Please forgive me Bella." I felt his teeth break my skin and tear through me right above my heart. Searing pain ripped through me again, as his teeth continued to break the skin at my ankles, then my wrists. Suddenly, soothing ice poured through me, putting out the rest of the fire. Everything went black.