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When is enough truly enough to avenge the women you love? The beast that is retribution consumes Edward's mind, body, and soul. Everyone will pay - Edward Cullen has no limits. Will Bella? Could she be his salvation, his angel - the one who stops him from spiraling to the darkest depths of hell? NC-17 for dark lemons, sexual manipulation, and allusions to torture. Ultio is a submission for the Darkward one-shot contest and is, obviously, OOC. [banner removed by admins - banners must be 300 x 150 or smaller] A collaboration between 22blue and MacThank you to Annamorphos for the gorgeous banner!


1. Ultio

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5157   Review this Chapter

He was neither a hero nor a villain - not in his mind, although to everyone who knew him or he had come in contact with he was one or the other and most often considered the villain. But not to her. Never to her, despite what he had done to her, the terrible things he had put her through and made her think. He kept expecting her to break, to turn into an empty shell just like him, yet she never did. She loved him. She was in love with him. It never failed to both amaze and humble him.

Edward gripped the black leather steering wheel of the Volvo tightly, careful not to tear it off the steering column. The sleek, silver car maneuvered tightly around the corner and passed the tall evergreens lining the road, the golden rays of sunshine filtering through the trees and glancing sharply off the hood of the car. When he thought back over the last thirty years, the rage and bitterness still filled him. His sister's murder had been bad enough to tear the entire family apart, but his wife's... evisceration had sent Edward spiraling into a dark tunnel of fury and vengeance. He growled as the mongrel's thoughts of that day came back to him in rush, reliving the terror, the brutality. Perhaps a better man would have grieved and learned to live again, as Jasper had. Now, a lifetime later, he wished he could have allowed Carlisle to comfort him and convince him to stay with the family.

He pulled the car next to the lush clearing where it first began. So many years later, it was grown over with fir trees that had replaced what the loggers took, the rich smell of blood and death no longer heavy in the crisp November air. The lingering odor of something burning far off to the east came to Edward as he sniffed deeply. He realized he could also smell the girl, the girl who loved him, all over his car and his clothes. He winced, the reminder of her also a reminder of how unworthy he was of her. He didn't deserve her love or the spicy, floral smell of her sweet skin and hot blood.

Sometimes when Edward felt the faint rushes of his compassion seep through the thick wall he had built around himself, he would come here to the clearing to remember, refilling the well of his manic malevolence and stirring him to continue the torture and blood-soaked mayhem. Today he came to say goodbye to the past, determined to leave something for Jasper so he could understand the full extent of the damage Edward had wrought, the pain he had caused, all in the name of avenging the two women who had meant the most to him. He had shamed and tainted their memories and blackened his soul; he was nothing but a monster and sure he would be judged appropriately. He wanted it more than he had ever wanted anything else. He could practically taste it.

The brown leather journal was still smooth under his fingers, the cotton linen page Edward had turned to was blank and inviting. He settled himself onto the soft blanket of fallen pine needles and tipped his fountain pen into the murky black ink well he had set carefully on the ground beside him. It was a familiar routine, one that never failed to both comfort and excite him. Even after the first two kills had deadened his spirit, his initial completion of the threat to take the dog's loved ones – an eye for an eye – even then, the act of journaling was cathartic.

Putting pen to paper for the last time, Edward's pain and shame flowed out in elegant, precise cursive.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My demons torment me as I think about how this all began. That innocent trip to thin the deer herd and a boy who didn't believe the legends of his tribe, so shocked when he transformed for that first time. I was shattered after the murders - we all were. Perhaps I can use that as an excuse for the malignance that grew in me, although I know deep down in my soul that there can never be an excuse for what I have done. I wonder now if I had any right at all to blame the dog for his actions - Billy was no more able to choose his destiny than I. I have not always been so responsible about my actions, and I tortured that poor soul for a decade for something he did on instinct.

Forcing myself to remember his wife is my penance, forcing myself to remember her thoughts, her pain - it only serves to prove that I am a monster just as surely as Billy was that night. Even now I want to crawl out of my skin and weep with the contempt I feel for myself. She was a good, pure soul but I crushed the delicate bones of her hand as if she were nothing more than a thing. I took delight in her terror. Yes, I felt slightly guilty when I severed her neck but I did it. I felt justified, right, as I dismembered her, splashing her red blood all over the house. Thinking back, I'm surprised I didn't drink her blood. I was tempted, so tempted. I could nearly feel the warm, viscous liquid pouring down my throat, sating my barbarous wickedness... as if that were possible. I'm thankful for my desire not to be polluted by the blood of those I hated, but it wasn't their blood that polluted me - it was my mind that had become contaminated, every facet of my life devoted to the ruthless pursuit of retribution. I wanted that woman to suffer... and she did. God help me, she did.

If only that was the worst thing I had done.

Billy's best friend suffered as he did, all because I was able to justify the virulent vindictiveness that lived in my heart. By the time I committed my next murders, all in the name of vengeance, my heart was hardened, my humanity all but shriveled to a tiny, helpless thing in me that I no longer cared about. I was pure rage, pure punishment. I had become the very thing I hated, although I couldn't see it. Perhaps I just refused to see it. I enjoyed plotting against Billy and Charlie. I did - I loved it. It exhilarated me and very nearly made me happy, or what passed as happy for me, to watch and wait, showing myself and backing off, cat and mouse. The look of horror on Billy's face when he'd glimpse me only for a second in a crowd gave me the most immense, dark satisfaction that, at the time, even rivaled the feel of my wife's body under mine before he took her from me.

I'm ashamed to say that I enjoyed it – the game and the violence. I gave in to the most basic nature of a vampire - to kill without conscience. Jasper, I know you will read this. While you have had some idea of my plan all along, you have no idea of the full extent, the depths to which I have allowed myself to sink. Whether you choose to tell the story to Carlisle and dear Esme, to Emmett and Rosalie, I can never know. In some ways, I never want them to discover my true self and what I am capable of. Selfishly, I want someone to remember me as I was instead of the savage demon I have become. I know I don't deserve that, though. Know that I could never think ill of you, my brother. I love you and do not blame you for choosing the road that has led you to peace. You have suffered in ways that drove a lesser man - namely, me - to acts of violence that I never would have imagined were possible.

Still, nothing compares to the contempt I feel for myself over what I have done to her. I remember the day I met her for the first time, spoke to her. The way she cocked her head to the side and smiled at me, so reminiscent of a gesture I had once loved in someone else. She was just a child at the time, so innocent and pure. Knowing that I plotted against her from that very day is the worst kind of treachery. I ruined her life, Jasper. I wanted to ruin her.

You can never fully know the things I did to her, the things I wanted to do. I had no intention of stopping until she hated her father, until the man I blamed and hated would not recognize his lovely, sweet daughter. The callous calculation with which I waited for her to grow to womanhood, the way I manipulated her life... 'ashamed' is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel. I could say that I am sorry a thousand times and it would not ever be enough.

I made her think she wanted me to take her virginity. I made her think she wanted the pain and degradation I put her through. She thinks she's unlovable and unworthy... all because of me. That woman is the most beautiful creature I've ever seen - truly selfless, truly good. I was intentionally careless with her, a rough and cruel beast. Somehow she managed to see beneath the depraved vampire and rediscovered who I used to be. She stripped my soul naked and now I am bereft, left to understand exactly how low I have sunk in my quest to destroy those who destroyed me.

It's times like these that I hope Carlisle is right, that there is a god who will judge us in the next life. I will surely be punished, and I want it as certainly as I wanted to take everyone from Billy that he loved. An eye for an eye, Jasper. And yet I cannot bring myself to truly wish it, as you and the rest of the family have suffered enough. How many times over the last week I wished that I could be Prometheus, doomed to be punished each day for eternity. I may get my wish if there is a just god.

Jasper, she delivered me from evil. All the pain I have inflicted, all the mayhem and murder... she sees nothing but a man who deserves to be loved. I cannot look at her, so determined to make me whole, and allow her to waste her life on me. I must, for her own good, set her free.

I have nothing but regrets.

Edward finally put down his pen and blotted the page carefully before closing the leather book firmly. He wanted Jasper to understand but he could not bring himself to detail all the horrendous things he had done in minute detail. He was too ashamed to give Jasper a full accounting of the things for which he was penitent.

The late afternoon sun was changing now, turning the gold light into a cerulean-hued dusk. A light snow began to fall, the first white flakes coming to rest on Edward's copper-colored hair. He worried that the pages in which he had carefully bared his wretchedness would be ruined, so he walked to the car and quickly leaned in to store the journal away in the glove compartment for safe keeping. The crumpled receipt from the piercing shop mocked him from the glove box's depths. He remembered it with perfect clarity - how her discomfort had pleased him, the lovely blush on her face as she bared her body and waited, scared and nervous, for the pain. Edward pressed the heels of his hands hard against his eyes, wishing he could forget the perverse delight he had taken in her sharp intake of breath and the fire that had raced through her body. Before he could stop himself, he was caught up in the memory of that night.

~ *** ~– —

He heard snatches of her thoughts as she shuffled quietly down the hall toward his apartment. She was thinking about how oddly her father had been acting, trying to talk her into taking an extended vacation far, far away. He had been acting twitchy and wouldn’t answer her questions. Edward smirked, grateful that his plan to torture the man was taking its toll. That man would suffer as Edward had, as Billy surely had.

The timid knock at Edward's door came a few seconds later. He didn’t move from his spot on the couch for a few moments as he thought about what her nipples would look like pierced. Her breasts were small, but her nipples were large and perky. Edward couldn’t quite imagine them with the addition of jewelry, but a rush of sexual desire made his dick harden in his pants as he tried.

Finally, Edward moved slowly to the door and opened it just as the slight brunette was turning to leave with a horribly disappointed look in her large, brown eyes. He arranged his face into the cocky smile he always wore around her and positioned his body languidly against the chipped door frame.

“Leaving so soon?” Edward crooned. “But I have such plans for us tonight.”

She turned around with a hopeful smile on her full lips. He could feel the extent of her infatuation with him; she was thinking that maybe he’d take her out for a nice dinner, perhaps a walk along the beach.

“Oh?” she asked sweetly. “What are we doing?” She was dressed conservatively, as usual, in a floral knee length wrap dress; she had pinned the v-neck closed to avoid displaying too much cleavage. She looked beautiful, fresh-faced, and still alluringly innocent. Before his wife had been murdered, the girl's naïveté would have appealed to Edward very much. Even now he could appreciate it, even if his heart was dead and black.

“It’s a surprise,” he replied, leaning over to lick up the delicate line of her hot neck. He could smell the fecund blood under her skin, feel it pumping through her. For only a fraction of a second, he thought about sinking his venom-coated teeth into the fine skin on her throat and ending it. Draining her dry. Arranging her body in her father's favorite ratty recliner and training her unseeing eyes on the front door so he would see the girl right away.

But Edward was a patient man. He could wait. He could spend the time to break her, to humiliate her, to hurt what was her father's pride and joy. He would crush the man in exactly the way Charlie and Billy had crushed Edward and destroyed Jasper.

Her brown eyes looked up at Edward through long eyelashes, and he grabbed her small hand roughly after locking the door of his apartment. He dragged her down the hallway quickly as she stumbled clumsily after him and buckled her into his Volvo when they reached the garage. He could hear her thinking about how much he had hurt her hand, wondering why he felt it necessary to be so rough with her all the time, and then immediately she felt contrite for thinking badly of him, thinking about the pleasure he brought her when they made love. She had convinced herself that he could grow to love her, if only she could somehow be good enough for him, although she couldn't quite understand herself why his love was so important to her. Edward was disgusted. She was pathetic yet perfect. He adored her and hated her. He wanted to do nothing but love her forever and destroy her immediately. He pushed his confused feelings aside and instantly felt guilty for daring to think of another woman with tenderness other than his dead wife. They were on the road shortly, driving quickly toward Port Angeles in silence.

“May I put on some music?” she asked politely. He nodded his permission and she reached out to press the play button on the CD player. Johnny Cash came softly out of the speakers. Edward loved the American IV album, particularly Cash’s version of “Hurt.” He listened to the song often, reveling in Cash’s gut-wrenching vocals. He hummed the words silently in his head: I will let you down, I will make you hurt. I wear my crown of shit on my liar's chair, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair. Beneath the stain of time the feeling disappears. You are someone else, I am still right here. What have I become? My sweetest friend... everyone I know goes away in the end.

He felt a kinship with this human, both of them emotionally broken. Instead of wallowing, Edward had chosen vengeance. He recalled making his vow: he will suffer... they all will.

Before long they arrived at their destination. Edward parked in a deserted lot and opened her door, always the gentleman, even when his goal was to squelch the lovely light in this girl's heart.

She was confused when he helped her out of the car and she took in the dilapidated neighborhood they were in, looking at the seedy building next to the parking lot.

“Red Region?”

“I made an appointment for you to get your nipples pierced,” Edward told her, smiling his cocky smile at her. He twisted her nipples cruelly through the thin fabric of her dress and bra. “I just think you’ll look so sexy and it will please me so.” He breathed lightly in her face, making her eyes glaze over, her mouth parting slightly.

The girl shook her head to clear the fog. She was apprehensive, afraid of the pain. Her father wouldn’t like it. The Bible didn’t really say anything about tattoos or piercing, but Father McMullen didn’t seem to think highly of those who had either.

“I don’t know,” she hesitated. “I’ve never been interested in that sort of thing.”

Edward knew her weaknesses. The wound of seeing her ex-fiancé with another was still fresh, her ego wounded and self-confidence shattered. He went in for the kill.

“Didn’t you tell me that the person you saw your fiancé with had pierced nipples? I wonder if maybe he found your breasts lacking and that’s why he went elsewhere.”

He could pinpoint the moment when her heart broke again, not just from the pained look on her face. Jasper would have been disappointed that Edward was able to be so callous to such a tender, beautiful woman but he could not think on it. He just had to do it in order to soothe the rage inside of himself.

“Do… do you think there’s something wrong with my… breasts?” she asked him with tears in her lovely eyes. He picked up on her discomfort with saying ‘breasts’ out loud.

Without realizing it, Edward couldn’t bear to meet her gaze.

“Well, they’re a little small,” he said, keeping his voice devoid of emotion. It was blasphemy - her breasts were perfect. “I think you’d look sexy with nipple piercings.”

She tried to hide it when the tears overflowed down her cheeks but Edward knew they were there. He had to fight the hard laugh that caught in his throat as she nodded sadly.

“Okay,” she conceded. Her thoughts were loud in Edward’s head.

No wonder he needed another to satisfy him. I’m ugly and deformed. No one else will ever want me, and Edward is too good for me.

Edward was delighted that he was able to make her feel so small and insignificant but a small part of him was ashamed. She was everything a man could want and he was ruining her, making her doubt how wonderful she was. He pushed the thoughts away. He pictured his dead wife's sweet face and recalled seeing her and his sister slaughtered through Billy Black’s thoughts and the rage returned.

He nodded curtly at the girl and pulled her into the shop. The man behind the counter was burly and covered in tattoos, his scraggly beard a contrast to his bald head. His nose ring glinted off the yellow-ish overhead lights of the shop.

“We have an appointment. The name is Cullen,” Edward said, indicating to the small brunette behind him.

The man looked dubiously at her, smirked, and then looked down at his paperwork. He was thinking that the girl would scream like a little bitch and refuse the second piercing.

“Read this and sign the release at the bottom,” he said to her as he handed her a clipboard. “Do you want barbells or a ring?”

Edward answered for her. “She wants barbells. 10 gauge.”

The man quirked an eyebrow. Standard gauge for nipple piercings was 14 gauge; a 10 gauge piercing would only hurt more.

She read the paperwork and signed her name, handing the clipboard back to the man without looking too closely at him. She sat down in the shabby waiting area and clutched her hands nervously on her lap. Edward stood and watched her, enjoying her nervousness and uncertainty.

They were led to the piercing room, a clean, white room with a reclining chair, a wall of mirrors, and a silver tray with various instruments. A tall, thin man with stretched earlobes beckoned Bella to sit on the chair. Edward stood quietly in the corner, arms crossed over his chest.

She climbed up onto the chair, sitting and staring at herself in the mirror opposite her on the wall. She looked lost, her delicate features drawn in sorrow and confusion. Edward tuned to her thoughts and was gratified to hear her warring with herself internally, a voice telling her to run, that Edward was not worth this torture. She considered telling him to go to hell and fleeing from the shop. Almost immediately she reconsidered and felt ashamed for thinking it. He had helped her, comforted her when she was sad, taught her about the pleasure capable in her body, and told her the truth when others wouldn't. She needed him to love her. The girl felt empty and incomplete without him, and she wouldn't risk disappointing him. She loved him.

Edward felt sorry for her and ashamed of himself for only a second before he remembered why he was doing this. A red haze settled over his mind as he focused on the girl's father and on the mongrel who ruined his life.

“I’m Greg,” the piercer announced, extending his hand to her. She shook it timidly, swinging her hair over her shoulder to hide her face.

“Would you like the piercing vertically or horizontally?”

She looked at Greg, perplexed. He might as well have asked her how to perform open heart surgery.

Edward cleared his throat unnecessarily. “We were thinking about a horizontal piercing.”

Greg glanced at him and nodded. The piercer's thoughts were dull, although he was excited to see the girl's breasts. As far as Greg was concerned, the never ending parade of female body parts was the best part of the job.

He busied himself at the surgical tray, unwrapping the hollow needle, barbell, and clamp.

“I’ll need to examine your nipple,” Greg muttered over his shoulder at her.

She stared at Edward in the mirror as she untied the front of her dress with shaking hands, undid the safety pin holding the neck together, and removed her arms from the sleeves. Edward’s eyes were focused on her bra. He was delighted to see that it was plain cotton, white, and a little dingy. The mortification in her eyes as she unclasped the bra in the back and slid it down her thin arms lit a fire in Edward’s belly.

Greg snapped on a pair of latex gloves and turned around to see what he would be working with. Edward lips rose slightly, baring his venomous teeth, as he bit back the involuntary growl that threatened to escape his throat. Greg ogled her breasts and fantasized about burying his face in her cleavage, something Edward found offensive in the extreme.

She is mine!

Edward fought his own internal argument as he struggled to see the girl only as his plaything and the mechanism by which he would completely destroy her father.

Greg gently disinfected her nipples and studied them to determine the best placement. Edward focused in on her thoughts again; they were disjointed and panicked. The piercer marked both nipples with a felt tip marker to denote where he would pierce her and studied her again to make sure the barbells would be even and level.

He indicated to the mirror. “Does that look good to you?”

“Yes,” she squeaked. The demons in Edward’s head were excited, turned on by her fear. He could smell it coming off of her waves.

Greg applied the forceps to her left nipple, clamping it so tightly she jumped a bit. He positioned the needle on the side of her nipple.

“Take three deep breaths, in and out,” Greg commanded, getting a semi-hard on as he watched her gorgeous breasts rise and fall with each breath. Edward gripped the edge of the reclining chair that Bella was sitting on to keep himself from tearing the man's head off, and he visualized crushing the skull and wiping his brains on the wall.

“Take one more… all the way in… and push it out.” As soon as the last word was out of Greg’s mouth, he pushed the needle through the girl's pink nipple.

A pinch of white hot pain flashed through her mind, so intense Edward wanted to groan in satisfaction. As quickly as it happened, the pain subsided, leaving the girl breathless and wide-eyed. She looked down as Greg slid the barbell through and attached the ball on the end. Edward studied her flushed face, ignoring the compulsion to cup her cheek with his cold hand and comfort her with the small, sweet words that welled up from deep inside of him.

He sniffed the air as a new but familiar scent assaulted his nostrils. She was growing wet; Edward could just imagine the moistness in her panties and he resolved to reward her for her submission when they got back to his apartment.

Greg repeated the process on the girl's other nipple. All the while she never so much as uttered a sound, even though her arousal was now swirling thick in the air. She locked her eyes with Edward's in the mirror, a heart-breaking smile ghosting on her lips.

Handing the girl a brochure, Greg explained aftercare tips to her as she got dressed. The feel of her hot nipples against her bra was comforting. Her breasts had started to throb, and Edward knew that he would need to handle her breasts roughly to make the discomfort last. He looked forward to it, his own erection pressing firmly against the zipper of his pants.

She crushed herself tightly against him as he escorted her back to the car, thinking about the delicious ache in her nipples. She wanted Edward's hands on her and in her. As much as Edward loved the feeling of her body sliding smoothly over his, he was torn - he wanted tonight to be all about her humiliation. He wanted her to suffer. The fleeting pain of the piercings had not been nearly enough to satisfy him.

He pushed her into the back seat of the Volvo, sliding in after her. He quickly unbuttoned his pants and shoved them down to his knees, his thick erection springing out and slapping the skin of his belly with a dull thud. Without a word, he grasped the back of her head, his hand fisting tightly in her hair, and shoved her face into his dick. As always, her thoughts went to just how cold and hard his skin was but never once did she wonder if he were anything other than human. Her hands, so hot against his skin, gripped his hips so lovingly he nearly ripped her away from him in shame. He forgot that, though, the second her soft lips touched the tip of his cock.

“Your mouth feels so good,” he groaned, his voice intentionally cruel and cold. “So good now. You’re quite a good pupil.”

She was at once proud and humiliated.

Edward was lost in the heat and the texture of her tongue licking up his length and the look in her large dark eyes as she watched him from between his legs. She slid her hands to his thighs and used her thumbs to massage Edward's balls. He moaned deeply and then remembered that this was not all about him. He reached for her tender breasts and pinched her nipples cruelly. Her mind was thick with the pleasurable pain, and Edward wondered just how far he had to go to truly hurt her.

Slipping his hand back into her hair, he gripped tighter, again amazed at how it only turned her on more. His free hand grabbed his dick and he forced her lips around him. She moaned in pleasure and swirled her tongue around his head, eliciting a wave of pleasure in him so intense he had to be extra careful not to rip her hair out by the roots. She sank down on him, her mouth licking and sucking slowly, as she fondled his balls. Her mouth teased him, tonguing delicately at the sensitive underside of his head. Edward sucked in a deep, ragged breath - it was nearly more than he could take. Her thoughts came unbidden into his mind. She was thinking tender things about him, happy that he seemed to be enjoying himself.

His anger came flooding back, tightening his balls and setting his skin on fire. He thrust hard into her mouth, the tip of his cock hitting the back of her throat. She gagged and eased him out a bit, embarrassed that she wasn't able to take him in the way that he wanted. His rage eased just a bit at her humiliation. She sucked him with renewed vigor and enthusiasm in an attempt to appease him, to please him. He watched her lips moving up and down his cock and he groaned again.

"Your mouth feels so... god, harder!" he cried. She increased her speed and moved her hand his perineum, massaging and pressing with her fingers. Within moments he was coming, and he had to fight to the urge to pull her body to his and nuzzle his nose into her fragrant neck.

~ *** ~

Remembering the scent of her now, Edward clutched the receipt from the shop. He wanted nothing more than to go to her but he couldn't. He couldn't do that to her. She was better off without him.