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A Dark Adaptaton of New Moon

Summary:
It's been a year since Edward left Bella. Strong ties bond Jacob and Bella together, but one night of surpise and misfortune will forver change the lives of these three people. What would you do when all you love is violently taken away?


Notes:


24. Chapter 24 - Damnation

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Chapter 24 - Damnation

A knock on the door followed by Alice's voice broke my chain of thought.

"Edward? May I come in?" came her voice through my head.

"Please" I say aloud as she enters my room.

"Edward, I think I saw something just now" and I turn to find her face much paler than before.

"What's wrong, Alice?"

"I'm not exactly sure but it has to do with Charlie" she says nervously.

"Charlie?" I ask, unable to find any connection with his name and her anguished expression.

"I can usually see him when, of course, Bella is not around, but I haven't been able to see him since yesterday. Then, just a few minutes ago, I got a flash... and it was him, but..." her voice trails off and I can see her mind is elsewhere. I follow it only to find Charlie's lifeless eyes staring back at me, face pale and frozen in horror. I jump back out, startled by her vision.

"Edward, we have to get to Bella" she says urgently.

Her vision has rocked my senses. The only thought on my mind, is Bella.

"Alice?" says Jasper from the doorway. "Aro calls us."

She turns to look it at me anxiously.

"Edward, whatever you do, don't trifle with him, and try not to touch him. From what I've gathered, he doesn't suspect that we're hiding anything. He simply wants to convince us to join his guard."

She turns and walks out and I follow close behind her. Alec and Carlisle both wait for us by the door. We begin to follow Alec down the long corridors leading to Aro's shrine when a sudden emotion crashes into me like a tidal wave.

Pain.

The news of Charlie's death has reached her and I wish more than anything that I could be there for her right now. It appears that I'm never around when she needs me the most and the thought brings another painful blow. I need to get back to her. I need to be by her side.

We reach the doors to Aro's room, Alec motions us inside, closing the door behind us. Once again, Aro has dismissed his party, leaving just the five of us alone.

"I hope your stay has been a comfortable one" he says thoughtfully.

"Why, yes. It has and we thank you for your generous hospitality" replies Carlisle.

"Have you given any thought to our discussion yesterday?" he asks, straight to the point.

"Yes, we have. We also have a request."

Aro raises his brows and gestures with a finger to continue.

"Aro, as you know, we have lived practically as neighbors with the wolves for many years. We've never crossed each other's path and have respected the truce made many years ago. If you would allow me a chance to talk with them, to try to reach a resolution other than war, I feel confident that we can continue to live peacefully."

"Carlisle, Carlisle" he smiles grandly. "Your gregariousness astounds me. However, the wolves are not peacemakers. They despise our kind and have harbored a hateful desire to avenge themselves for their sufferings in the past. They are not a reasonable species, my friend. See, in the past, when they were only wolves, they fed upon human blood as we do. They began to devour our resources forcing us to retaliate against them. As the centuries passed, they began to evolve into what they are today... half-breeds, part human and part wolf. They no longer thirst for blood and now, they want to wage war against us for the blood of a human. So, as you can see, there is no point in reconciling with them. They are a contradiction to themselves."

"They want to fight us over a human?" asks Carlisle skeptically.

"Yes. It appears so."

My mind takes off quickly, piecing together possibilities. I feel the answer hanging off the tip of my tongue. The death of Charlie, the tracker, the wolves.... The revelation stuns me, my body stiffening in apprehension. Demetri and Charlie... the truce... the wolves... This war is for Bella.

"Are you all right, Edward?" asks Aro.

I look up at him blankly. "Yes, I am." He continues to stare at me curiously.

"You look as if you've seen a ghost" he says.

"I'm sorry. I'm just thirsty is all" I lie.

"Well then," he smiles subtly and calls out Caius's name. Within seconds, Caius is by his side.

"Bring me a virgin for our guest" he says to him. Caius bows his head and exits as I ball my hands into fists at my side.

"I don't mean that I want human blood. I can wait until we're on our way to go hunt" I say spitefully.

"Oh, I insist. You can't compare the blood of a virgin to that of a scrawny deer."

"Aro, we feed exclusively on animal blood" says Carlisle in a serious tone.

"I'd be truly offended if he didn't accept my generous offer" he says in mock horror.

Alice looks at me, on the verge of tears, if she could even conjure them. After a few moments, Caius returns dragging along a young girl, no more than sixteen. Her face is marked in terror and tears are streaming down her cheeks. I curse myself for lying so stupidly. I turn to stare coldly at Aro. Caius pushes the girl to the ground before my feet and leaves the room once again.

"Bon appétit" he says, smiling widely.

The girl curls into a ball, covering her head, sobbing uncontrollably.

"Aro, please..." starts Carlisle before he is interrupted by Aro's hand gesturing him to silence.

I stare back at him, furiously holding back the urge to grab him and rip him to bits.

"I will not kill her" I say definitively.

He stands and begins to walk towards me with a malevolent stare. I can hear Alice in my head, screaming at me. Do it Edward. You must! Don't let him touch you. Please, Edward. Do it for her!

The sick irony of her request - to end the life of this poor child for that of another human. But Bella isn't just another human, is she? No, she's so much more than that. For a moment, I picture her precious face, tilted to the side, a dream-like expression in her eyes and Aro's long skeletal fingers wrapped around her delicate throat as he bears his teeth over her exposed neck. At that instant, I grab the girl by her arm, just as he closes in on me. She looks up at me beseechingly saying, "No, no, no."

"Please forgive me" I whisper to her as I push aside her golden locks and sink my teeth into her flesh, letting the blood flow thickly against my lips. Her blood is not as sweet as my Bella's but exquisite nonetheless. I feel the heat of it trickle down my chin and swarm deep within my chest. After a minute or so, her body gives a final twitch and hangs limply in my arms. Instantly her blood begins to lose its sugary taste leaving only a trace of iron. I look up at his gleeful face, my body trembling in hatred for this monster.

"Fine wine, isn't it?" he smiles. He turns to Carlisle.

"I can see that you stand firm on your decision and I regret that you do. However, my friend, I will not force you into anything you don't want to do. You are free to go. My warmest regards to your lovely wife and the rest of your coven" he says amiably and turns and walks away, leaving us alone, with the dead child.

I drop my head onto hers and sob tearlessly and uncontrollably, rocking her back and forth against my chest. Alice's kneels to the side of me rubbing my back.

"It's ok, Edward. It's ok" she says softly. "She was bound to die anyway. You were merciful enough to end her life quickly."

It's been over a hundred years since I've taken a life, and even then, it was hardly a life for he was sick and dying and all I needed was just enough to get by. I remembered the way he begged for his life, even knowing it was near its end. I was taken aback by his desire to live, being all withered and old but I was much too young to understand the reason why he struggled. What God gives, only He can take away and I was no God and I had no right to take away his life as I had no right to end the life of this child. I am a damnation, a mockery of all that's good, a selfish and abominable deformity of God's creation... so far from what Bella deserves.