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Emmett Cullen was changed in 1935 by the Cullens. But there was another, Isabella, who was also changed....but by another. Caught walking alone near the woods weeks after her brother's death, her life is changed for the rest of eternity.[AU]

I know, I should probably finish everything else, but there's a fire under my tush, and it doesn't go out, not to mention the copious amount of ants in my pants :) So sue me. The plus side of the fire? My bottom is never cold....

3. Into the Dark

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2952   Review this Chapter

Bella POV

I was sitting in my room watching the sun set, while the rest of my family was in one room together. They were wondering if they should go out and search for our brother. He went out early in the morning on his own, but he wasn’t back yet. He’d never been gone that long before. What if something happened?

I left the confines of my room and went to join my parents and older brothers. They looked up when I entered, and I quickly made my way to my mother’s side, with Nathaniel, the second oldest at twenty-three, on my right. He brought he arm around my shoulders while I leaned against him as support.

“What have you been discussing?” I asked the group.

My father sighed, brushing his brown hair out of his eyes, while everyone else shifted uncomfortably. Everyone in my family had my father’s color of hair except for John, the oldest, who had our mother’s darker color, almost black. “Your brothers and I are going out to look for Emmett. You will stay home with your mother. Be safe, Isabella.” He kissed my forehead as my brothers walked out the door.

He made his way over to my mother and took her into his arms. “Watch our daughter at all times. Make sure she’s doing well and not worrying too much.” She nodded and kissed his cheek. I’m sure he didn’t plan on my overhearing, but we didn’t plan on searching for a missing son and brother either.

I sat on the couch and rested my head on the back of it. My mother sat beside me and took my hand while grabbing one of her books.

I’m not sure how long we sat there, but I eventually drifted off, falling into a light sleep. While I slept, I had a strange dream about the woods my brothers always went hunting in. Everything was dark around me, with nothing sticking out more than anything else, and the moon and stars weren’t casting any light. I wasn’t even sure if they existed anymore. I was wandering aimlessly through the woods, tripping over my own two feet. Suddenly, I tripped and fell, but nothing stopped me from meeting the ground. The strange thing was, there was no ground at all. It was like I was thrown into a bottomless pit.

The rest of my sleep was dreamless, until I woke to the voices of my family coming from the dining room. I left the comfort of the couch and slowly walked towards my family.

They were trying not to shout at each other, so I stayed back. None of them noticed my presence. I had hoped that they had found Emmett, and that they were reprimanding him for staying out so late, but my hopes were crushed as that was not the case. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

On the table, was a piece of one of Emmett’s shirts soaked with blood. The smell of the blood was making me sick and dizzy. I wanted to vomit, so I tried breathing through my mouth to lessen the scent. If the blood weren’t almost dry, I would have been lying on the floor unconscious.

My parents and brothers were staring at something John was holing. “Where did you find it?” my father asked him.

“It was laying by one of the trees, not ten feet from this his piece of clothing,” John said.

“There weren’t any signs of where he could be? If he ran or was dragged off?”

“No,” John replied exasperated, “nothing. It was like he simply disappeared. If he ran off to go somewhere else, he wouldn’t have left his knife!”

My father nodded in agreement. “What else did you find there?”

There were bear tracks, and mixed blood,” Nathan said.

“Bear tracks, but no bear?” my father clarified. Nathan nodded. My father paused. “What do you mean by mixed blood?”

“There was some bear blood and…human blood.”

“The knife? Maybe Emmett wounded the bear and ran off out of fright, being wounded himself.”

“We searched everywhere!” John shouted. “Besides, the knife isn’t splattered with animal blood, it’s human…most likely Emmett’s,” he said brandishing the knife.

“Murder?” my mother asked through her tears, finally speaking up after all that time. They all nodded their head simultaneously.

I gasped, my eyes going wide, alerting my family to my presence. NO! The world began to tilt sideways, and my vision became clouded.

“Isabella?” John asked. “Bella?...BELLA!”

That was the last thing I heard before everything went into complete and total darkness.

Nathaniel POV

Murder. That’s the conclusion we all came to. His body was probably buried or dumped somewhere. Damn it!

John was still holding the knife in the air visibly when our mother asked her question. Her voice was weak and the tears fell more heavily when we nodded our agreement.

Suddenly, there was a tiny gasp from behind us, which could only mean one thing. I turned around in shock, my eyes going wide at the sight of my little sister’s horrified expression. She was frozen in place and didn’t look like she would remain standing for long.

“Isabella?” John asked. “Bella?...BELLA!”

Before she could hit the floor, I rushed to her, knocking a chair over in my haste, and caught her in my arms. I picked up her limp form and carried her to the couch, laying her down gently.

“Damn it!” Henry shouted. “How did we not notice her standing there?”

“I suppose we weren’t paying attention. I thought that she was still asleep on the couch,” John responded quietly. “What will we do when she wakes up?”

My father looked at Bella, while our mother brushed some hair out of her face. She took hold of one of her hands, sitting next to her. “Well she already knows, I’m guessing from listening in. There’s no use in lying to her, just be gentle. You all know how close she and Emmett were.” We nodded.

“How much longer do you think she’ll be out?” Henry asked.

“I’m not sure. She was in shock, so maybe hours, perhaps less. There’s really no way to tell.”

“I’ll take her upstairs to her room,” I volunteered.

My mother stepped aside, letting me pick Bella’s tiny body up. “Will you stay with her?” she asked.

I nodded. “I think it would be better if someone were there when she woke up.”

As I was walking up the stairs, I heard my family speaking again. “How do you think she’ll take this?” Henry asked.

“Hard. We’ll need to watch her and help her get through this,” John said. It became silent until my father spoke up.

“We should start planning the funeral,” he said softly.

I sighed sadly and walked into Bella’s room, placing her on her bed slowly, so as not to wake her too soon. I sat down in the rocking chair located in the corner of her room, facing her bed. It had been there since she was a little baby.

I remember when my mother and father brought Isabella home from the hospital. We were all so excited to have a little sister, since all of us were boys, Emmett most of all. He was happy to no longer be the youngest. He’d always wanted to be the older brother. When she was born, John was seven, I was six, Henry was five, and Emmett was three years old.

She was always smiling, not to mention always tripping. I remember the four of us swore a pact, that no matter what, we would always protect our little sister. No one would lay a hand on her. It’s somewhat amusing that we kept true to our promise so strictly. But it’s true, I would rather die than see harm come to her. We all love her so much. She was such an adorable child, and now she’s a beautiful grown young woman.

I knew this would be very hard for her; she and Emmett were the closest to each other. There was only a three year separation for them, even if the three oldest were closer in years, but they were just glued to the other. I smiled as I remembered how Emmett would do all sorts of crazy things just to get Bella to smile and laugh.

I looked over at my little sister, wondering if she would ever laugh or smile as hard as she did with Emmett. I may be second best after Emmett in making Bella laugh, but I’m not as good as him. I’m just not Emmett.

I saw her beginning to stir slightly. She slowly opened her eyes and took in her surroundings, realizing she was in her bed. I watched her from my position in the room as what she heard earlier sank in. Tears began falling down her pale cheeks.

I rose and quickly made my way to her bed, enfolding her in my arms. She sobbed into my chest, clinging to my shirt as if I would disappear as well. “Oh, Nathan! It’s not fair! Emmett didn’t do anything!” she sobbed.

“I know, Bella. I know.” I tightened my hold on her. “Shh. You weren’t supposed to hear what we said, not like that.”

“I wish I didn’t hear it.” She held in a sob. “I wish Emmett never went out into the woods,” she told m quietly. “If he didn’t, he would be here right now.”

There was nothing I could say. I knew she was right, but Emmett wanted to go out, so he did. No one could have stopped him, and now he’s gone. What’s done is done, I suppose, no matter how much I want to undo it.

Bella’s sobs quieted and were reduced to silent tears. I held her close as I sat in bed with her, and watched as she fell into a deep troubled sleep. She tossed and turned often in my arms, occasionally mumbling things like “no” and “come back, don’t leave.”

My father came in with John later on in the night looking as tired as I felt. I didn’t dare fall asleep in case Bella needed me.

“How is she?” my father asked softly.

“Not so good. She keeps flinching in her sleep and she doesn’t stay still for long, She also keeps mumbling while she sleeps,” I answered him just as softly.

As if on cue, we heard her. “No, he can’t be dead,” Bella murmured, pushing back in my arms.

John dropped his head, running a hand through his hair. “This is going to be harder than I thought for her.” He paused and looked at Bella. “Is she…awake?”

I looked down at Bella to see tears streaming from Bella’s closed eyes. I shook my head. “No, she’s been crying ever since she woke up and into her slumber. It’s been going nonstop.”

My father walked to Bella’s bed and took the hand that wasn’t clinging to me. “Our beautiful little Isabella. I’m not sure how much help we’ll be to her.” He bent over to kiss her forehead, then looked at me. “You should sleep, Nathan. You can’t stay up all night.”

“I can’t. I should be up when she wakes up. If this is show she is when sleeping, she’ll be even worse conscious.” I sighed. “I’ll stay awake, but you should all get some rest. I will only sleep once Bella’s up as well as the rest of you.”

My father nodded. “Alright, then we’ll go sleep. But Nathan, if she’s anywhere near hysterical, wake up one of us.”

I nodded my head in agreement. They left the room to go to their own and I hear three doors shut. I looked back down at Bella, taking in her silent tears once more. I leaned down and kissed her forehead, then settled back down to watch her for the rest of the night.

Bella POV

When I opened my eyes, I felt someone holding me close. I looked up and saw that it was Nathan. My eyes begged him to tell me it was all just a dream, a horrible nightmare created by the darkest corners of my mind, that Emmett wasn’t dead. When he shook his head sadly, I broke out into heavy sobs.

He tightened his hold on me and pulled me closer, letting me cry into his shirt. I buried my head in his chest, hoping that if I could disappear, the pain of lose might stop. Maybe it would all go away, I wished it really would.

We sat there for hours, until about noon, when the rest of the house began to stir. My parents and brothers were stating to get up. I guessed that they to bed in the early morning hours if they were just beginning to wake. Since everyone else was getting up, I decided that I should as well.

I extricated myself from my older brother’s arms and stood. I looked over at him and took in the dark shadows below his eyes.

“Nathan, didn’t you sleep at all?” I asked him.

He shook his head. “No, Bella. I was watching you all night.”

I looked at the floor. “You didn’t have to, Nathan. You should have gotten some sleep.”

“You’re right, I didn’t have to, I wanted to. I can sleep once we all have breakfast. The others will keep you company.” He got off the bed and embraced me. “I love you, little sister. If I have to go a whole week without sleep and stay with you to make sure you’re alright, I would. We all would.

I nodded as more tears came to my eyes. Nathan stepped back and wiped my tears away. He smiled for my sake then left the room so I could wash up and change.

When I had gone through my morning routine, I left the safe haven that was my bedroom and went downstairs. We ate the meal in silence since nothing could be said to take our minds off of our missing family member. We were all grieving, though the men hid it better than my mother and me.

As we finished eating, Nathan told us he’d be down later after he rested. The rest of us walked into the living room and sat in various places on the couches. I was in between John and Henry, each of them holding one of my hands. Our parents sat together on the other couch, holding hands as well.

My father sighed and looked around at all of us. “Today, we need to start making the…funeral arrangements.” My father paused as I took in a sharp breath. My brothers squeezed my hands and I let the breath out slowly. When my father thought it was okay, he continued.

“Your mother and I have already decided everything. We just need to call the church for a date and time. We’ve already ordered the empty casket. There won’t be that many people there, just close family.”

We nodded, tears making their way down my cheeks once more, as well as my mother’s. my father left the room to call the church and Henry went to comfort our mother. John pulled me closer to his side, wrapping his arm around my shoulder.

As I laid my head on his shoulder, he kissed my forehead, running his fingers through my hair knowing it would soothe me. I stretched out on the couch since Henry wasn’t sitting there, my head ending up in John’s lap.

He continued to run his fingers through my hair as we sat there, or in my case laid, and I began to calm down. By the time my tear flow had stopped, my father walked back into the room. We looked up at him while he took in our positions and stayed standing.

“When is it, Richard?” my mother asked.

“In two days time, Eden.” She nodded and looked at the floor. “I’ve already called the family. Nothing else needs to be done.”

I sat up and rose from the couch slowly as my father enfolded my mother in his arms. John looked at me questioningly.

“I’m going to go upstairs for a little while,” I told them all, but kept my eyes trained on John.

He nodded and stood as well. “I should call my fiancé and tell her.” He swiftly left the room and I followed, but unlike my brother I went up the stairs.

I stopped at the entrance to Nathan’s room and opened his door. The room was dark since his curtains were drawn. I walked up to his bed and saw that he had a shirt on. Before I could do anything else, I tripped.

A startled Nathan looked over the side of his bed to see me sprawled out on the floor. He chuckled quietly, then got up to help me off the floor.

“Are you okay, Bella?” I nodded. His small smile fell and a look of concern replaced it. “What is it?”

I looked down at the floor then back up at him. “I’m sorry I woke you up, Nathan. I didn’t mean to.” He nodded, signaling that he didn’t mind. “I just…I came to be upstairs but…I don’t want to be alone,” I whispered quietly.

“Oh, Bella,” he sighed, “you don’t have to apologize.” I nodded. “Come here.” I walked over to him and he pulled me into a tight hug.

Nathan led me over to his bed and told me to sit down. “I’ll get another blanket, you take this one.”

He pointed to the one on his bed already. He left the room for a moment then came in with another blanket as I was about to lay down.

He got on top of the covers that I was under and threw the second blanket over himself. He kissed my forehead then leaned back, ready to sleep again. I relaxed as well, allowing sleep to claim me.

Before I drifted off, Nathan turned to me and smiled. “If I fidget too much, feel free to use a heavy object to hit me.”

I chuckled then turned over, letting the darkness claim me.