Edward is forced to change Bella. WARNING! ECLIPSE SPOILERS!!!
Bella deals with the after effects of the change. AU but there are ECLIPSE SPOILERS incorporated.
Rating 4/5 Word Count 2654 Review this Chapter
I knew one thing for certain. I had expected heaven in my death. I had expected angels, and clouds, and eternal happiness. But this was not heaven. I had done something terribly wrong and this excruciating pain, this constant burning was my hell.
I noticed at some point that my heartbeat had increased further. It was straining now and adding a pain of its own, an ache that was different from the burning sensation I felt. It strained and the intense pain flooded my body.
Then it stopped; the burning, the pain, the unrelenting agony. It just stopped.
I lay still, waiting, terrified the pain would return.
But it didn’t.
Slowly I opened my eyes. They focused instantly and what they saw was a creature so beautiful, he couldn’t possibly be human. His odd bronze-coloured hair fell into his brilliant red eyes.
“Bella?” he croaked, realizing I was awake.
“Edward.” I whispered.
He cradled me in his arms, holding me tightly to his chest as though he were afraid that I would disappear at any minute.
“I’m sorry Bella. I’m so sorry. I had to do it. There was no other way,” he said softly, almost as if he were trying to reassure himself as well as me. “I couldn’t bear to lose you again.”
“I win,” I whispered softly, not even meaning it anymore.
Edward held me tightly, still whispering apologies under his breath. I looked around trying to get my bearings on where I was which became increasingly difficult. It seemed the more I tried to move, the tighter Edward held me. He had cradled me in his arms so cautiously and tentatively before but he was assured that I was no longer breakable and let his guard fall. I pressed tightly into his chest and noted that while it was still hard, its icy feel no longer affected me. Looking down at my arm, wrapped tightly around his waist, I saw it was pale and marble-like. It looked like his. I was contemplating the newness of my body and my eyes when it began.
It felt like nothing at first, a small twinge of discomfort. I held my breath half expecting the fire of transformation to come racing back. I braced myself for the pain but it wasn’t what I had expected. The twinge grew rapidly until it became flames burning my throat and twisting my insides. I gasped sharply at the sudden pain as my throat threatened to collapse in on itself. I clutched Edward tightly and pressed harder into his chest as I nearly doubled over in pain.
“You need to feed. Now.” He muttered as he effortlessly scooped me up and carried me swiftly through the house. If I had been paying attention I would have noticed the great speed we traveled at, and that my eyes were strong enough now to perceive every motion that would have once been nothing but a blur to my human eyes. Instead, I kept my eyes squeezed shut as I tried to mentally calm the pain I felt, the inferno seemed as if it was burning through every vein.
We stopped very suddenly and my eyes flashed open as I sensed why. We were in a clearing lit softly by the moon. An owl hooted softly in the trees overhead and the blades of grass and leaves danced in the slight warm breeze of the night. This was not what had caught my attention though. Standing on the other side of the clearing was a large deer grazing in the moonlight. The silvery rays of light caught the slight motion of the pulse in its strong neck and I stared at it as it stood peaceful and blissfully unaware. My mouth watered but this only seemed to fan the fire.
“Don’t think about it. Use your instincts,” Edward whispered in my ear as he hovered just behind me.
I closed my eyes and smelled the strong scent of rust and salt as the breeze wafted the smell of the deer’s blood toward me. The smell that once repulsed me, causing the room to spin, was enticing now. I open my eyes and lunged forward catching the deer before it had even had a chance to note my presence. I drank deeply and quickly. The deer had felt no pain.
Edward crept up behind me, completely silent in the moonlight, his pale skin almost glowing as it caught the light. The deer lay completely still in my arms and I looked over to him, as if asking him what I should do now. He reached down towards me and helped me up from my crouched position beside the fallen beast. A faint smile crossed his lips as he used a finger to wipe the single drop of blood that had escaped to my lips. He licked the droplet from his fingers and chuckled softly.
“With a little practice there will never be a droplet gone astray,” he said, a concerned look suddenly replacing the playfulness that had been there just before, “Did that take the edge off?”
While I still felt a discomfort, the inferno seemed to have subsided. I sighed with relief and a brief wonder if that was how Edward had felt when I first met him flickered through my head.
“That’s better,” I said, surprised at the tone of my voice. It was still my voice but it somehow seemed smoother with silvery overtones that had not been present before. I turned back to the creature that lay silently behind me and felt guilty. It had been so peaceful… it was so beautiful in the moonlight and now it lay there, still for all eternity. My brow furrowed as I wondered what to do now. Edward had never explained to me what he did after the hunt.
“Leave it be Bella,” he replied, seeing my distress written across my face as I stared at the lifeless body, “we are not the only two hunting tonight.”
Sure enough I could hear other creatures making their way towards the clearing.
“Come on, let’s leave them to it.”
With that Edward picked me up and began running through the woods once more. The trees whipped by us and my hair flew around my face as we covered a considerable distance before I realized what was wrong.
“Edward Cullen, put me down this instant!”
He stopped quickly and put me down, obvious concern and incredulity on his expression. His eyes questioned me, shocked at the sudden harsh tones, not knowing what he’d done wrong.
“I can run just as fast as you now. I don’t need to be carted around like a baby.” I said seriously feeling a flicker of frustration as Edward suddenly burst out laughing.
“I am sorry Bella, I forgot. Old habits I guess,” He apologized jovially, “I didn’t expect you to be so stubborn so soon.”
I glowered at him but stopped when I realized that that would only increase my appearance of stubbornness. He laughed again and its velvety rich sound filled the forest around us. His laughter filled me with a contentedness and joy that made me feel warm inside my icy exterior even though I knew I was cold through and through. I shuddered at that odd thought. My heart would no longer beat, no matter how fast I ran. A sharp sadness cut through me as I realized my heart would no longer race at Edward’s touch nor would it ever threaten to stop beating from his kiss.
“It’s just a bit further, you can see the lights just through the trees ahead,” Edward said, breaking me through my melancholy reflections. His face was smooth and calm as he looked at me now but there was a trace of concern in his eyes. It was unusual to look at his eyes now, their strange garnet colour almost seemed to glow in the moonlight and caused him to look far less human than his beautiful topaz eyes ever had.
Looking ahead I saw that the golden glow of the lights he spoke of. Something was off though, the lights weren’t right.
“I thought… didn’t we come from the other direction?” I questioned uncertainly.
Edward raised an eyebrow at me and the corners of his mouth twitched.
“Observant. We’re going elsewhere now.” He looked at me solemnly. “I bit you. The treaty is officially broken. We can never return. Alice and Jasper have stayed behind to set up a camp so we can watch your reaction for the first few days and the rest are relocating. The Cullens cannot return to Forks until the memories of our presence are no more than a passing dream. Maybe not at all if the werewolves remain.”
He tried to pull me, tugging on my arm then, urging me to continue on but I tried to turn the other way, struggling to break his grasp. I would have succeeded if not caught off-guard by the fact that I now actually possessed the strength to break his grip. This did not stop me for long but it gave him enough time to grab me from behind, holding me tight against his chest.
“LET GO EDWARD!” I cried, “Charlie! I have to say goodbye to Charlie, and Renee! Let GO of me!”
I sobbed as I strained against his grip but he had been prepared for this. Collapsing to the forest floor, Edward’s arms never left me as he crouched beside me, holding me protectively, comfortingly. I tried to picture Charlie now but all I could see was the pain on his face when I had told him I was leaving. It was the exact same pain that had been on his face when Renee had told him she was leaving. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.
“Charlie…” I choked out, my shoulders shaking with my sobs, “Please Edward, I have to say g-g-goodbye.”
“I’m sorry Bella, but you know you can’t do that.” His voice was calm and careful.
“He needs to know where I am Edward! He doesn’t know! He must be worried sick!” I was almost hysterical now. I knew I should calm down, I knew my tears were no use, but I couldn’t stop.
“Alice and Jasper took care of that,” he replied, his voice sounding hollow and flat. I couldn’t look at him, I was afraid to see what his eyes were sure to show. “Come with me, we can talk about it when we get to the camp.”
“Yes, Alice and Jasper have set up a camp nearby. We’ll stay there through the day and give you… some time… and then we’ll continue on tomorrow night to something a little more permanent.”
I still wanted to see Charlie but the tear I felt was threatening to break free, leaving me shattered on the forest floor. I got up slowly and then allowed myself to be carried by Edward the rest of the way to the large tent set up in a nearby clearing. Jasper and Alice were awaiting our arrival having heard our conversation just now. Jasper avoided my eyes and muttered something about hunting as he sauntered off into the forest. Alice took me from Edward’s arms and carried me into the tent after exchanging a meaningful glance with Edward. She sat me down on a soft pile of cushions and then sat back, pulling her knees to her chest as she watched me. I curled myself into a ball and lay staring, unable to move, or speak. Edward soon entered the tent and sat beside me, gently stroking his back. He shared another glance with Alice and I saw him nod subtly out of the corner of my eye. Alice nodded in return, taking that as a cue.
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions Bella. Questions like what your father and the people of Forks think have happened to you.” She paused then, as if waiting for me to respond and continued on when she realized I wasn’t going to speak a word. “Well, we… uh, we staged your death, Bella. They think you’re dead. A car accident on your way home.”
I continued to lay unseeing on the floor, a numbness filling all of me but not touching the hole that tore apart my chest.
“We knocked a tree on to Edward’s car, crushing the passenger side of the vehicle. We managed to use some make-up to make you and Edward look bruised enough and the Carlisle used medication to slow your heart and put you into a coma-like state long enough to pronounce you dead and hold a quick funeral the next day. We then left Forks as soon as possible for the benefit of Edward who feels an enormous guilt for being responsible for your death.”
I felt Edward tense at this and heard his jaw clench shut. Something told me that this idea of guilt and responsibility was alarmingly close to the truth, maybe too close.
“Charlie,” I murmured, feeling the shards of my own guilt piercing through me now.
“He’ll be okay, Bella,” Edward muttered softly, stroking my back gently, “Billy Black knows what’s going on. He’s furious at us and hates us for what we’ve done to you but he’s a good friend to Charlie and he’s going to help him through this.”
She nodded at me and closed her eyes tight, rocking slightly as she tried to see what would happen with Charlie. I don’t know how long we sat like that, in total silence, unmoving except for the gentle rocking of Alice’s body, but eventually she opened her eyes and looked at me, a deep sorrow visible in her eyes. Edward looked at her and understood, holding me tighter in his arms.
“I won’t lie to you Bella; he has a rough time ahead of him. Billy is a good friend. He’s going to take care of Charlie and he’s going to be all right. Renee is going to help out as well. Phil is moving her to Forks for a few months to grieve with Charlie. She will leave soon and continue her life and eventually, with the help of his friends, Charlie will be able to carry on. You touched him more than you could have ever thought Bella. He cares so deeply for you.”
Alice closed her eyes and began to rock once more but I didn’t care to see what other visions she would have. I could only picture Charlie broken and hollow as he looked into my empty room, fixed his own breakfast in the empty kitchen, and stared out at my red truck which would sit abandoned in front of the house.
“It gets easier after a while,” Edward whispered as he stroked my hair, trying to comfort me, “The memories begin to fade with time and it gets easier to move on. Soon enough you won’t even remember your human friends and eventually there will be no one left to remember.”
I knew he meant the words to be comforting but they sent a chill through me. I knew the humanity of my existence would fade over time but to hear Edward speak so passively about those he had once known infuriated me.
“I will never forget Charlie and Renee! Never! I can’t!” I screamed. I wanted to tear the tent to shreds now. I wanted to do something reckless and destructive, anything to take my mind off of the pain. “I can’t forget them, not ever! I won’t! I can’t! Not ever!”
Edward and Alice both worked to restrain me and Jasper came rushing into the clearing then, alarmed at the screams echoing through the woods. He helped the others restrain me as I kicked and fought to get away. I just wanted to run back to Forks now, to say goodbye on my own terms.
I calmed eventually, knowing the others would never allow me to go free, and I wrapped my arms around myself as I stared unseeing into the dark woods. The others spoke to me but I didn’t take note of their words.
I was a stone in the forest, hard, cold and unfeeling.