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Fallen

Summary:
Edward is forced to change Bella. WARNING! ECLIPSE SPOILERS!!!


Notes:
Bella deals with the after effects of the change. AU but there are ECLIPSE SPOILERS incorporated.


2. Life From Death

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1910   Review this Chapter

For the past few days, Bella’s transformation had been the hardest I’ve ever had to see. It was hard enough watching her writhe and scream in pain as the venom burned through her body, but it was worse because I knew I was the cause of it. Still, a small selfish part of me watched with fascination as the girl I love drew new life from death. Her skin grew pale and perfectly smooth. It was cool to the touch like polished marble. Her features sharpened as she took on the traits of our kind - angular, angelic, and alluring – we were to draw innocent people in with our angelic visage and then unleash the demons within. Unfortunately, her physical strengthening brought about a new fragility in spirit. It was too soon for her life to end and everything had been torn from her. Changing had been okay when it was on her terms and she could properly sever her ties and start anew. Everything had changed when Victoria had attacked and I was forced to act. Her life ripped apart, frayed at the ends – there was no clean break for Bella Swan.

She had been beautiful as she had hunted, her instincts and her body strong. It was nice to see her eat something appetizing for once. Human food was a little more than mildly repulsive to me, causing me to grimace as I watched her eat it. Perhaps it was the monster in me, but the deer she had fed upon looked so much more appetizing. The enjoyment of the hunt had been lost all too quickly. As she fed I could see her brilliant red eyes darken as she contemplated her situation, her new life, now that she was no longer burdened with an undeniable, burning thirst. The frayed edges of her life’s end were more pronounced and she realized what had truly happened to her. She had immediately asked Alice and me about Charlie, eventually dropping me from her focus knowing I would not speak anything to hurt her further - including the truth. Alice had behaved herself, telling Bella exactly what I had instructed her to.

“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.”

I frowned as Alice repeated the words I’d told her mechanically. She was supposed to have humanized them, made them more comforting to Bella. Instead, her cold words of comfort were the breaking point and Bella had curled up in a ball and now lay there, silent and staring as she mourned the loose ends she would never be able to tie. Alice glared at me as Bella’s face fell, her emotions and pain written clearly for all to see.

There. I told her. She deserves the truth though. You know it.

I shook my head subtly and knelt behind Bella, softly stroking her hair.

You can’t lie to her forever, she’ll find out.

I glared back at Alice, my expression cold and hard, and I shook my head again. Bella lay still on the floor, unaware of the silent battle behind her. I could see Jasper growing uneasy as he picked up the tension around us. Before I could ask him not to, I felt calmness wash over me. Bella reacted well to Jasper’s influence, her body relaxing just slightly.

“Bella, there’s something I need to tell you,” Alice whispered softly.

A low, threatening growl escaped my chest before I could control myself and Bella sat up, immediately interested now that she knew that Alice had something to say that I disagreed with.

“Alice. No.” I commanded, narrowing my eyes, but neither was going to listen to me.

Alice snorted at my protests.

“What is it Alice?” Bella asked, her eyes flickering back and forth between Alice and me as she tried to piece together the cause of the tension between us.

“Bella, honey, it hasn’t happened yet, but Charlie’s going to be in an accident. When he drives home from work, there’s going to be… a car accident,” she whispered softly as she crouched beside Bella.

“Charlie? Accident?” she whispered hoarsely, her eyes growing wide, “What do you mean ‘accident’? Is he going to be okay Alice?”

“I haven’t seen that far yet…” she mumbled, casting her eyes to the floor.

Bella whirled around to face me, her eyes furious and enhanced by the brilliant garnet colouring.

“You knew about this, didn’t you?” she accused. From the corner of my eye I saw Jasper close his eyes in concentration and soon felt waves of calm washing over me once again. Bella’s posture relaxed and her face calmed but her eyes remained fierce.

“I knew a bit,” I admitted, “but I didn’t want to say anything until we knew for sure what was happening.”

Bella looked fiercely at Alice and me. She cast a wary glance at Jasper, who remained still with his eyes closed, then turned back towards us. Without another word she turned quickly on the spot and began to run out of the tent and into the dark forest beyond.

“Bella! Bella wait!” I shouted, running behind her. She was faster than I had anticipated and had managed to run a fair distance before I could catch up to her. Eventually I managed to grab a hold of her arm and stop her.

“Let me go Edward,” she said icily but her eyes were more worried than angry, “I have to find Charlie, I have to help him.”

“You can’t help him yet because the accident hasn’t happened yet,” I replied softly making my words as comforting as possible. Her eyes pleaded with me to let her go but I held tight. “Besides, the treaty is broken, remember? I bit you. The treaty is null and void. Even now we’re too close to their territory.”

I looked around quickly, scanning the shadows around us for signs of the werewolves, realizing we were now far closer to the Quileute pack than I had anticipated.

“Please Bella, come back with me to the tent,” I asked gently and was relieved to see her eyes soften. I stroked her cheek gently with the back of my hand, enjoying the fact that even as a vampire, her cheeks had remained subtly warmer than mine.

“I don’t know Edward, I just don’t know about anything anymore,” she whispered but her resolution to escape to Charlie seemed to be dissolving. She stepped forward and pressed her face into my chest. My arms cradled her protectively. I wanted to comfort her more but was too edgy about our surroundings to concentrate fully on Bella.

“Come on Bella, let’s go back to the tent,” I suggested, pulling away from her tight embrace. It was difficult to do as Bella had figured out how to use her full strength. I felt the corners of my mouth twitch as I fought to smile but let myself grin at the enjoyment clearly written on her face.

“Gotcha,” she said lightly.

“Enjoy it while it lasts,” I countered, “Alice has a whole bag of things to distract you with before we move on tomorrow.”

Bella frowned and I chuckled lightly, relieved to have avoided a meltdown. I realized soon enough that I hadn’t entirely won. Bella kept stealing quick glances in the direction of Forks and I thought I could see her tense slightly as if contemplating running. She kept herself in check, thankfully, and we ran back to the tent quickly, Bella seemed to have picked up on my unease with the forest around us.

Alice sat snuggled up to Jasper when we returned to the tent. She glanced quickly at me when she saw us approach.

Everything okay? Is she alright?

I nodded once and Bella caught the motion out of the corner of her eye. She looked at me with an irritated glance and sat down to the right side of Alice. I remained just outside, keeping watch over the area, only retreating when the light of the early morning sun had risen and began to shine directly overhead. Alice kept Bella busy, much to Bella’s dismay, with a homemade makeover kit she had created.

She’s a lot calmer now

I nodded towards Jasper, happy that his talents could give me a small glimpse into the workings of Bella’s mind. We remained in the tent until twilight before we moved again. While we worried about werewolves stumbling upon us, we were much more worried about other human hunters in the area. Even in the dense cover of the forest, the sunlight that fell around us made us sparkle and cast rainbow-like fragments as the light refracted off of our skin. While we weren’t worried about the hunters, we were worried about the stories and how they might give away our location to the werewolves, not to mention other vampires.

Travelling through the forest the next day we made good time and got to our final destination before expected. Bella was still angry at me for keeping Charlie’s possible future from her and her frustration allowed her to charge more resolutely through the brush. When we finally reached the clearing I heard her gasp as she laid eyes on the cabin. Alice’s silvery laugh rang delicately through the trees as she danced towards the door delighted by Bella’s reaction. I couldn’t help myself from chuckling as she stared at the large stone building before her.

“I thought you guys said this was a cabin!” she exclaimed, still rooted to her spot at the edge of the clearing.

“Maybe ‘cabin’ was the wrong word,” Jasper mused with a grin.

“Cabin is definitely the wrong word. I think woodland manor or castle even, would be more appropriate.”

Alice and Jasper disappeared inside the large wooden door and I walked up to Bella, taking her hand in my own, noting that they seemed somehow more elegant now.

“A castle? Well then come along Princess Bella, you castle awaits you,” I joked, feeling lighter now. The reality of our new life loomed ahead of us, tall and elegant, surrounded by the ancient forest, and its open doors seemed to create a fortress to protect us from the drama that had surrounded us.

The house was made of stone and was two stories tall. Though it was smaller than the house in Forks had been, it was still considerably large. Dark vines of ivy wound their way up the walls, encircling the white wooden doors and window frames, nearly covering the whole face of the house.

We walked slowly towards the open door and Bella stared in awe at her new home as cheerful laughter sang out from inside.