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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.


5. Retribution

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1528   Review this Chapter

(Previously)

EPOV

"Where is everyone else?" I asked, sighing heavily.

Carlisle spoke softly. "Rosalie is with Alice upstairs. She’s not well, Edward. She won’t talk to anyone. None of us know what to do...she ran upstairs when we heard you arrive. I think she was afraid to see Bella..." he shook his head sadly.

"I will try to talk with her. I think I might be able to reach her. What about Jasper and Emmett? All that I can hear of their thoughts now is growling..."

Carlisle’s head snapped up. "Oh. Yes. They have something for you in the backyard. You might want to go out there now." For a moment, a fierceness that I had never seen cross my father’s face took over his features, before he focused his attention back onto Bella. "Go Edward, we will watch Bella."

Chapter 5: Retribution

EPOV

Bella was in good hands, and as much as I hated leaving her side, I wanted to know what had happened with Victoria. As I reached the back door, I heard Emmett’s thoughts. ‘About time, brother. We’ve been waiting for you.’

A few seconds later, a fierce growl from Jasper echoed through the yard.

Walking into the backyard, I looked around. They were standing far out, near the edge of the forest. Jasper had his back to me, growls continuously ripping from his throat. Emmett was holding someone in place. Immediately I recognized his scent and his face - this was the monster that had attacked Bella. Automatically, I started to growl lowly as I approached them.

"We caught up with him in the forest. We couldn’t catch Victoria, but apparently she wasn’t too concerned about keeping this trash with her. Emmett has been arguing with me, but I made him wait. I thought if anyone deserved this honor, it was you, Edward," Jasper said seriously.

Emmett spoke next. "What can I say? I was more than willing to take care of this..." Emmett looked at Riley and spoke very softly. "You almost killed my future sister-in-law. That is unacceptable. Oh, you caught that, did you? No, she’s not dead. She’s in that house right now, becoming one of us. You failed. You will have wished that you were so lucky to have me finish you. Instead, my brother here will have the honors, and you will suffer greatly."

Riley knew that he had met his end. It was clear in his expression; it was full of fear. Emmett and Jasper already had him outnumbered, but now there were three of us. He didn’t even look as though he wanted to fight. I looked at him steadily.

"Why do you not try to fight? Are you so willing to die? Explain yourself," I demanded.

Riley looked up at me, and determination replaced the fear. He looked almost...smug. "I love Victoria. I would do anything for her, and I’m not sorry for what I did. I’m only sorry that I upset her, that I didn’t stick to her plan. She will win, you know. No matter what you do to me, she will win. You’ll see," Riley said.

Needing no further encouragement, I looked at my two brothers, who stood waiting to see what I wanted to do. "Thank you Emmett, Jasper. I think I can handle things from here. Although, if you would like to stick around and see how things play out, I won’t deny you that."

Both nodded at me, acknowledging my wish. Jasper started back towards the large deck on the back of our house.

Emmett met my gaze, and silently said, ‘I’m letting him go. You can take it from here.’ With that, Emmett released Riley, and started to follow Jasper.

Riley immediately tried to run, but I was too fast for him, and caught hold of him mere inches from where Emmett had released him. "Now, Riley - you weren’t trying to get away, were you? Just for that, I might have to make things more unpleasant for you than I was planning..."

The next few hours were intense. Never had I imagined wanting to inflict so much pain on one individual, other than James, and my brothers had the privilege of taking care of him.

Even when I had given into drinking human blood, I purposefully sought out only people with corrupt souls - deplorable people. Even so, I had killed them quickly, and made it as painless as possible for them, despite their vile character traits. This was something entirely different. This hatred was fierce.

The hours were spent slowly tormenting him, speaking of how much Victoria must not care for him, having left him to fend for himself. Then I continued on about how all of this came about because she loved her James so much, and that Riley had merely been a pawn to her. In between verbal assaults, I tore small pieces from his body, and threw them aside. Finger by finger, toe by toe, I pulled Riley apart. His cries shook through the forest, but I paid no attention. If anything, it stirred the monster within me even more. Every time I thought of my Bella, lying broken on the ground, and her father Charlie, and how he must have suffered in his last moments alive, my rage grew.

At one point, when nothing was left but his torso and head, I stepped back, watching him flail around on the ground. "Riley, do you feel remorse yet at what you’ve done?" I asked.

"No," he hissed. "Even though this Bella did not die today, Victoria will find out and she will end this."

"Is that so? See, I’m not worried about Victoria, Riley. I’ll take care of her. However, I do wish that you felt some sort of remorse for hurting Bella, and essentially setting things into motion for Charlie to be killed as well...he was, in a way, family to me..."

Sinking slowly to the ground, I leaned back against the lawn, and reached for some randomly discarded fingers and toes, forming a pile in front of me. I pulled out my Zippo lighter, and one by one, I lit the stray appendages, holding them out in front of me to burn slowly. Horrific screams filled the air, mingling with putrid violet smoke.

"Now, you’re going to tell me something, Riley. You’re going to tell me exactly how Victoria was able to get around my sister’s visions." I waited for a minute; he seemed to be struggling with his thoughts. It would have been a truly disturbing image, had I not been so consumed with my desire for revenge. When he didn’t answer, I lit another finger aflame.

"Alright!" Riley gasped. "She said she had figured it out back when she was helping James," Riley spit his name out. "She said by watching your ‘family,’ she had overheard some things and was able to determine that your sister’s abilities only worked when a precise decision was made, and even then if the person changed their mind, then the vision would change." He paused, so I picked up another finger threateningly, and he started blubbering again.

"She said if she just focused on continually changing her thought pattern, then even if the psychic saw anything at all, it would just be flickers of conflicting thoughts - they would be continuously changing. She figured that she would be the one you were all looking for, watching so closely, and not me, unless I came in contact with the girl or something that would connect me with her. I didn’t even know I’d be so directly involved until today - she kept a lot from me. That’s all I know!"

Nodding my head, I stored this information away for later review. There was something to take care of now that required my attention.

"Riley...are you sorry yet?" I asked softly. He just stared back at me, his eyes wide. I resumed my previous activities, and the wailing began again.

As I was reaching the end of my pile, Riley howled, "I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hurt her, and I’m sorry for all that happened following my mistake!! Please, let it stop!!"

I got up and walked over to the pleading disfigurement. All that was left was to rip off was his head. Looking down at him, I gave him a half smile. "Too late." I leaned over and sunk my teeth into his neck, beheading him. Then I gathered all of the remaining pieces, and added them to my burning assortment. Re-lighting the pile, I closed my eyes.

When I opened them minutes later, I looked up and saw my entire family, except Esme and Alice, standing from above on the large deck, watching with fierce, solemn faces. Looking further up, I saw Alice standing in front of one of the windows on the back of our house, watching with the same expression. I was full of gratitude realizing that Esme must have stayed by Bella’s side. Only then did I grasp that every member of my family felt the same searing anger that I did, and I was ever grateful to have them all in my life. As I met each individual gaze, I knew that we were united in hatred for our enemy, but that we would never speak of what had just occurred again.