The beginning of the End
"Day by day
Night by night
Kiss by kiss
Touch by touch
Step by step
I fall in love
A love so incomprehensible
So wild, that not even the reign of God could control
A passion so deep
A need so necessary
A want so strong
The universe can't handle
I love you today
I'll love you tomorrow
I'll love you forever."
My body was exhausted, yet I pushed myself forward stupidly, trying with ferocious movements to remove myself from this situation. My body trembled, and my legs felt completely numb. I wouldn't be able to go on much longer.
The fresh snow fell on my face in tiny plops, the first snow of the season. How ironic that the time of year I hated most would be the last season I'd live.
I tripped over a branch and fell, stupidly, onto the wet ground. I stayed there, not even bothering to get up and move. I was terrified, scared beyond control, and I felt my body shaking.
It wouldn't be long before they found me now. I was actually surprised that they hadn't found me already.
"Well, well, well," I heard the familiar voice and cringed into the ground "What do we have here? Trying to run, are we child?"
I couldn't fight as the cold stone arms embraced me, carrying me through the forest with blinding speed. I was so tired. So, so tired. Death would be a relief at this point.
I screamed out in pain as I felt the arms release me, not understanding why he couldn't just be quick about it. What had I done to deserve the death this man was torturing me with?
I heard a snarl, and suddenly the sound cut off. I opened my eyes to see another one. Another vampire. He was standing in front of the evil one, his red eyes darting from me to the man. He was beautiful, of course, just like the rest of them.
"Let her go, James." He commanded, his voice hoarse.
So that was his name. Great.
The one named James chuckled darkly. "I see you've given in, Edward."
Edward lowered his head in shame as James continued.
"It's about time. Now you can join us."
Edward let out another snarl, and I felt the throbbing pain in my leg. I'd hit it pretty hard.
I whimpered and flinched as Edward turned to stare at me. Then he growled again.
"Let the girl go, James."
James chuckled. "Too bad for her, I was just hunting. I'm very thirsty. I'm sure you understand. You can smell her, can you not?"
Edward hissed, shutting his eyes in concentration.
The fear engulfed me, and I knew now that both of these creatures wanted to kill me.
I couldn't seem to wake up. Couldn't seem to find my eyes. My dream tugged at my memory, trying to tell me something, I was sure.
"Isabella? Is that your name?" A velvet voice asked.
I recognized the voice and I almost screamed in terror.
I fluttered my eyelids, trying to focus in on his face. This may be the last thing I saw before I died. I wondered what Jacob would do. What Charlie and Renee would do?
The tears came to my eyes, and I blinked them back furiously, trying to see something. Anything.
When I finally saw his face, his lovely, beautiful face, I flinched back. His expression was tight, but still curious. He was close, close enough to touch, and I felt the genuine fear course through my veins.
"You're alright now." He mumbled, taking a few steps back from me. "He won't hurt you."
I stared up at him through wet eyes, trying to comprehend. My mind was jumbled, like a bunch of mashed-up memories smashed together. I had a headache so bad that my ears were ringing. I'd never felt so much stress, and I was surprised that I was able to stay conscious.
He took in my expression. "Seriously." He whispered sullenly. "I'm not going to hurt you. You can sleep now. You must be tired."
I took in his bright red eyes, his jaw clenched in what I assumed was restraint from draining my blood, and I knew that I was not safe.
I watched him warily, and he sighed loudly.
"Tell me what you're thinking." He exclaimed, frustrated.
I wasn't able to speak for a few moments, but when he gave me a deadly glare; the words tumbled out "I'm trying to understand why you're doing this right now."
"What?" He asked.
"I'm trying to understand why I'm not…dead. Why you haven't killed me."
He sucked in a breath, and then winced. "I'm trying to understand that too." He said, so quietly I wasn't sure I was meant to hear.
I knew that the strange creature in front of me was not safe. And yet, I couldn't help but feel slightly calmed by his presence. I had no idea why, and it scared me.
My thoughts flashed again to Jacob and Charlie.
"I think you should sleep." He said, cutting me out of my memories.
There was no way in hell I was going to bed near this monster. I could see his eyes. He was not good. He was not innocent. He wasn't Jacob.
My heart let out a disjointed beat. I wondered if Edward could hear it.
Anger flashed briefly in his eyes and I flinched.
Jake had told me about vampires. One touch, one snap of his hand and I was dead. One wrong move and I'd be done. I thought he was exaggerating. But not now.
Because the man before me was not human. He was a demon. A monster. Straight from hell. It was amazing that I'd managed to stay alive this long. Maybe he planned to torture me. A slow death. It was exactly what I'd expect of these creatures.
"No thank you." I whispered, barely audible.
"Please?" He whispered, tortured. I didn't know that dead eyes were capable of holding so much emotion. His eyes smoldered, almost hypnotized. I looked away.
"No." I ordered, louder again.
He sighed, getting up from the chair he was in and walking from the room.
I took a moment to look at my surroundings. I was in a dark room, almost homey, but I knew better. The bed I was lying upon was huge and luxurious, and the walls had pictures on them. The windows had bars and the blinds were shut. The door, I realized, was locked also. From the outside.
A moment later the door opened, and he walked back in, I took a moment to study the creature in front of me.
His hair was tousled, windblown, as if he'd stepped out into the storm. His eyes were a dull red now, almost brown. Almost. His cheekbones sat high on his breathtaking face, his nose strong and perfect. He had a full set of lips, so inviting… his jaw was prominent but subtle. He had the face of an angel. And he was the exact opposite.
I looked down to his chest, illuminated by an informal button-up shirt and jeans. He was dressed as though he was human. All part of the façade.
He was carrying what looked to be clothes in his hands, and the second I felt grateful I pushed the feeling back.
"Since you will not sleep I've brought you some clean clothes. The bathroom is to your left," he pointed a stone white finger towards a door, "And you can wash up in there. If you need anything…well, I'm sure you won't." He smiled sheepishly, and walked out again.
I let my mind wander to safer places, like Jacob and Charlie and Renee. If I ever got out of here, which I wouldn't, I was never going to be ungrateful again.
It sent a chill through my bones at how quickly I would die now.
I still had no idea why this creature had saved me. He was exactly like them. It hurt my head to even think about it, and I wished that he would just get it over with.
I looked to the clothes he'd left me on the stand, and then to the door. A shower may clear my head. I picked up the clothes and walked into the elaborate bathroom.
It had marble sinks and a tub with those jets in them, and a separate shower. It was fantastic. And I would have been impressed. If this was not probably one of my last showers. There are no windows, I thought sarcastically, what a surprise.
I showered slowly, taking time to let the water run down my body. I was hostage, plain and simple. I didn't know how long I had left, and I sure as hell wasn't going to anger him-Edward.
I took a minute to wonder why god would create such a creature. It must have been an experiment gone terribly wrong.
It also confused me as to why he was letting me live in such fantastic conditions. Shouldn't I be in a dungeon somewhere? Huddling up in a dark corner?
I stepped out of the shower, drying off and putting on the clean clothes. I ran my fingers through my hair, I couldn't find a brush, and stumbled out into the bedroom. I flopped on the bed, my mind swimming with confusion and terror, and I finally felt unconsciousness come. I didn't know if it was from hunger, or stress, or just plain fear, but the darkness finally consumed me, and took me deeper than I'd ever been.
I knew I must have been sleeping for a very long time. My arms and legs ached, and my back was screaming in protest. I felt like I hadn't moved at all since I'd fallen asleep, except that now I was under the covers instead of on top of them.
"You've been asleep for a long time." He mused, and I jumped at the sound of his voice.
I opened my eyes to see him sitting in the same chair as yesterday. The room looked different, and it took me a moment to realize that it was no longer dark outside. The sunlight shone behind the dark curtains, trying to come in. It wasn't getting very far.
He smiled warmly at me, but I didn't react.
"Why are you keeping me here?" I blurted out.
He stared at me for a moment, calculating. "I saved you, Bella. You should be thankful." His voice had a tint of annoyance.
"How do you know my name?" I nearly growled.
He frowned. "I read James' thoughts. Of course I could have just read yours, but it seems I'm having some difficultly with that." He looked at me curiously, "I wonder why that is."
The way he was assessing me made me uncomfortable, and I pulled the bed sheet higher so it was covering more of me.
"You…" I started, shocked. He read minds?
"Yes." He answered before I finished. "I can read minds. I can read every mind. Apart from yours."
"Why is that?" I asked, wondering.
"You tell me." He said, and his voice had a joking edge to it.
I couldn't understand this. Jacob had told me these creatures killed mercilessly, and they had no emotions. Edward sure looked as though he had emotions, watching me with curious eyes that seemed to be getting less red and more yellow by the day…
I shook my head, blushing slightly. I had no idea why.
"To answer your question," He said, clearing his throat, "I'm keeping you because if I didn't, I'd have to kill you."
A shudder ran down my spine at his seeming indifference.
"So you're not going to kill me now?" I asked, shaking.
He shook his head as though the idea was absurd. "I will not hurt you, Isabella. Not unless you disobey me. James, the one I killed in the forest, he would have hurt you."
I stared at him, shocked. "So you killed the other one?"
"Yes." He said, his voice uncaring and bored.
I calculated for a moment. "Not unless I disobey you…?" I repeated, dazed.
"If you try to escape me, which let me assure you, you will find no way out… but if you try to escape me, Bella Swan, I will not hesitate to kill you. I've put both of us in danger by letting you know what I am, and I'm not about to get in trouble with the law."
"Law?" I whispered stupidly. Why would a vampire have to obey the laws of humans? It made no sense.
"The Volturi. If they ever found out what I'd let you see in the forest," He shook his head. "They'd punish me. They'd kill me."
I shivered again. Jacob had not known about a Volturi.
"I've made you some breakfast." He muttered, breaking me out of my reverie. "It's just some bacon and eggs…you humans like that?" It was a question.
I nodded my head, taking in a whiff of the air. Delicious. My stomach growled. I hadn't eaten since yesterday morning.
He smiled, and suddenly he was beside me, holding the plate out to me.
I flinched at his sudden proximity, but took the plate away from him with greedy fingers.
I pushed the warm food down my dry throat, scarfing it down with vengeance.
Edward watched me the entire time, frowning slightly.
"You are starving." He whispered, reaching out to me and snapping his hand back when I cringed, "And it is my fault. I'm sorry." He hung his head. "You must tell me the next time you get hungry. I won't hesitate. I want you to be comfortable."
I scoffed, almost choking on the toast I was basically inhaling.
"I know this is cruel. But it's the only way. It is plain and simple. If I let you go, the volturi will kill you slowly. And if you escape and I kill you before they get to you, I can make it painless. There is only one other way." He said madly, "And that is to keep you with me."
"I wouldn't tell anyone." I whispered. "I promise. If you just let me go…."
He slammed his fist down on the table, and I jumped, scooting farther away from him.
"They would kill you anyway." He growled. "People cannot know about us."
With that, he got up and walked out of the room.
I didn't speak to him for a few hours after that.
The next few days went by slowly, torturously. And I knew that if this was how I was going to spend the rest of my life, I was going to have to ask him to kill me.
He never really said much, just gave me the supplies I needed and walked away again. I'd always end up sleeping on top of the covers, and I'd always be under them in the morning. No doubt that was Edward's doing.
He was taking care of me. And it felt…nice.
I never thought that I'd feel comfortable around a vampire, and I wasn't completely, but by the fourth day I was getting used to his presence. He would often sit in his chair reading as I watched the large TV, and sometimes I'd read a book as well. He had many.
His patience was endless, and I guess that being immortal did that to you.
In those four days I began studying him. The way he walked, the way his lips moved over his teeth as his smooth words flowed out. The way he would flick one piece of hair out of the way constantly, how he ran his fingers through his hair when he was nervous or uncomfortable. The way his eyebrows would lower over his eyes when he was frustrated, and his eyes were a honey color now. Not so intimidating now. He was beautiful, I'd realized with a jolt.
He was absolutely gorgeous.
"Would you like to go for a walk?" He asked on the fourth day, putting down his book.
Wuthering heights, I'd discovered.
His question caught me off guard and I hesitated. "A walk…?"
He sighed. "Yes, you know, like moving your legs outside…"
"I thought I was hostage." I teased, and it amazed me how easily it came on. I should not be teasing with a creature of the devil.
"Oh, trust me; I could catch you if you ran." He was only joking, but I shivered anyway.
"Sure." I answered, willing to do anything to get out of the room. "I'd love to."
He'd blindfolded me before he opened the door, spinning me around a few times so that I had no idea which direction he was taking me. It was unnecessary, and he knew it, but he was being careful. I could find it nowhere in me to detest him for it. And that scared me.
When I finally felt the cool winter air on my face, I shuddered; glad he'd instructed me on wearing the coat he'd brought me.
The blindfold came off and I blinked a few times, trying to get used to the light. When my eyes adjusted, I looked around. We were on a cement pathway in what looked to be a garden. But I knew better. This was a maze.
It felt amazing to have some fresh air though, and Edward walked beside me, matching me step for step.
"My father is probably looking for me." I muttered. I was perfectly comfortable with silence, but it was nice to hear his voice.
"I doubt it." Edward muttered.
I looked over to him in shock. "You don't know that! My father loves me and he's probably worried sick! How dare you?" I growled.
We both stopped walking, glowering at each other.
"Bella, it's been four days, after tomorrow, everyone will just assume you're dead. People go missing all the time." There was an emotion burning underneath his cool reserve, but I couldn't detect it.
The tears came to my eyes and flowed down my cheeks miserably. "This will absolutely kill my father." I whispered, choked by sobs.
I got down on my knees in front of him, clutching at the ground. "My mother, my father, my best friend…" I trailed off. "It will kill them. Especially Jake. He'll know I'm not dead. He'll know the truth."
He was on the ground now too, trying to get me to stand up. He wasn't using his vampire strength either, he was just trying to comfort. But something about the action was too human. Way too human to offer me any sort of comfort. What I felt now was rage. Blind, red hot rage.
"STOP!" I shrieked at him. "STOP IT NOW! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! YOU DON'T HAVE A HEART! YOU WILL NEVER FEEL WHAT IT'S LIKE TO LOVE!" I thrashed against him wildly, but he was too strong.
"Stop, Bella, Honey, you'll hurt yourself." He wrapped his arms tightly around me.
"STOP!" I shrieked again, the sobs cutting off my screaming. I let the breakdown come, not even caring if he was watching. My body shook with sobs of terror, pain, and most of all grief.
He sat there all the time, gently rocking me back and forth as I caught my breath, and my body stopped shaking.