Disclaimer All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Beta'd by Sjdavis84.
Edward, for the very first time, was at a loss. No words seemed right, no apology big enough, and no explanation could account for what Bella had just witnessed.
"What were you doing in there? I told you to stay in that room. I told you I would only be thirty minutes," Edward said.
He stepped once towards Bella. She stepped back.
"Do not come near me," she warned.
"Please, let me explain."
Edward took another step towards her. She once again took a step back, only this time she had backed right into Emmett's hard chest. She was stuck, she has nowhere to go and no one to help her.
Oh God Alice, she thought. Was her friend still in there? Did she know what was going on? Had she witnessed the event?
"Where is Alice?" Bella asked frantically. After what she had just witnessed, she needed to know Alice was okay.
"Alice is fine. She and Jasper left before the event," Edward lied. Jasper and Alice had been there and had witnessed every detail.
"I don't believe you."
Edward reached out. He stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers. Bella tried to not let the sensation of his fingers affect her. The hot and cold sensation that he created was too much for her to bear. She failed miserably. She hated herself that she was so weak in front of him. She hated that he could have such an effect on her.
"I want to go home," she said with a deep sigh.
"No," Edward said firmly.
Bella pushed his hand away. Her anger only grew now. He could not keep her here. She was not his prisoner.
"I said I want to go home and I want to go home now. I do not want your Goddamn mind tricks. I don't want you to manipulate me into staying. I just want to leave," Bella said. She was amazed with herself that she was able to get the words out, especially when he looked at her with such intense heat and hunger in his eyes, it made her stomach flutter.
Edward regarded her for a moment. It was very clear that she wished to leave, yet it was also very clear to him the effect he had on her. He could smell the desire she had for him, the lust and the want.
"Very well Miss Swan," he said, tucking his hands into his pockets.
"Emmett, please take Miss Swan home, and see to it that she makes it inside safely."
Edward watched Emmett escort Bella to the Maybach.
He watched the car drive slowly out of sight, he watched her move further and further away from him. He would let her go for now, after all, she had received quite a shock tonight. He knew that it had been fruitless to ask such a curious creature to stay put, even if it was only for such a short amount of time. What Edward was wondering though, how had she found that room. The estate was big, filled with hallways and doors that intertwined and often the cleaning staff found themselves lost. How had Bella managed to find the one room that was most hidden?
Back at Alice's apartment and in her room, Bella expected to feel relieved that she was now home safe and away from that horrible place and those monstrous people. She felt nothing of the sort, in fact she felt empty as if she had left a part of her behind.
"This is ridiculous." She said out loud.
She had spoken to Alice. As soon as the car had driven off the estate, Bella called her. Alice assured her that she was well. She said that she and Jasper had left a while ago and that she tried to find her and say goodbye.
There was something in Alice's voice that Bella didn't quite trust. Was Alice lying to her? She could not think of any reason why she would.
Maybe it had nothing to do with Alice. Maybe she was trying to make something out of nothing. After witnessing what she had, she was starting to question every little thing.
What the hell had happened in that room?
Bella was not stupid, she knew what that man had been doing. What Bella wanted to know, was that girl dead? Had the older man killed her in some kind of sex crazed ritual?
She realized that the mystery that was Edward Mason was too much for her to bear. She found him strange from the very start. She knew he harbored a deep and dark mystery, but nothing could have prepared her for what she had witnessed tonight.
Bella tried and failed miserably to fall asleep. It seemed no matter which way she turned or how many useless objects she tried to count, sleep would not come. When she noticed the sun start to rise she gave up on sleep altogether.
Back at the Estate. Edward had not slept all night. Images of Bella's fearful face haunted him. The look of pure fear in the eyes of the weak and vulnerable has always driven him wild. He loved it, craved it. But seeing that same look on Bella's angelic face, it was not something he wished to ever experience again.
He could have made her stay last night. He could have rendered her powerless, taken away every thought that she had, had. However, that was not what he wanted to do. He had held her captive so many times but last night was different. She needed to get away and he understood that, he would give her that time but he would not stay away for too long.
Bella sat in the back of the vintage church. Farther Carlisle spoke away in the language that she could yet understand. She felt at ease being here, it was as if a big weight had been lifted off her shoulders the moment she set foot inside.
She stared at the crucifix high above the altar. In her head, she spoke silently to God. She asked so many questions, wishing that she somehow might be able to receive an answer.
Why do you allow people like that into the world?
How could you let an innocent person walk into the path of people like that?
Did they really kill her?
Why was it her fate to meet Edward Mason?
Bella sighed deeply. She closed her eyes and bowed her head, her hands came together in prayer.
She prayed for her father back home, that he stay safe and well. She prayed for Alice, that she was safe and Jasper had no involvement in last night's activates. She prayed for herself that she may have the strength to deal with all of this, and that somehow her mind would be able to cope with it all. She prayed for Father Carlisle, who as he looked around the mass room seemed troubled, she prayed that he found peace within himself.
Lastly, she prayed for Edward. She prayed for his soul, she prayed that despite all his sins God would welcome him into his kingdom when his time came.
Mass had finished. Bella was ready to leave, she gathered her bag and made her way out.
"Bella," Father Carlisle called out. He ran across the church until he reached her.
Bella smiled at the now out slightly out of breath father.
"Father Carlisle, how have you been?" She asked.
"I have been well Bella, thank you, and yourself?"
"I have been better," Bella said, however she held her smile.
"Whatever is the matter?" Father Carlisle asked with concern.
"It's nothing important," Bella said, brushing his concern off. It was also not the kind of conversation she could have with father Carlisle.
"I am glad that you are here Bella. I did not think I would see you again."
"Why is that father?"
"Can I ask...The gentleman you left with last week, is he a friend or perhaps a boyfriend?"
"Mr. Mason?" Bella questioned. "He is...Well I don't really know what he is."
Why would Father Carlisle think such a thing? Bella thought. She remembered the strange behavior the Father displayed last week. At first thought he had suddenly gotten a severe headache, she now realized it was something more, something deeper.
Father Carlisle had been perfectly fine, happy in fact, until he had laid eyes on Mr. Mason.
What was it about Mr. Mason exactly that caused that reaction in Father Carlisle?
Was it possible that he knew who Edward was? Surely not, Mr. Mason seemed to be a very private person, yet he was recognized by quite a few, Bella thought.
"Forgive me, I don't mean to be nosy but he seems a little...intense," Father Carlisle said.
"Yes, I suppose he can be intense," Bella said. If only Father Carlisle knew how intense Edward truly could be, she thought.
"But we...We are not together," she said. "We are not even friends. Acquaintances maybe. That sounds right."
Father Carlisle smiled at the sweet girl sitting beside him. He did not think that Bella knew much of what that man truly was or is.
Father Carlisle never in his most sinister dreams thought that he would meet such a demon face to face. It sent a chill through him, all the way down to his core.
He had never questioned why he felt such a strong need to come to France. He had never questioned God's intentions at all. But right here and now, he knew this had to be it. This had to be why he was called to Paris, to save this sweet and innocent child from the monster that is the demon himself.
"He seems more than intense Bella. He does not appear to be a very nice person at all," Father Carlisle said.
The concern in Father Carlisle's voice did not go unnoticed to Bella. The Father knew something about Mr. Mason and Bella wanted to push him, ask him questions, but she felt it was not an appropriate conversation to have. Besides how does one talk about what she had witnessed last night? How could she possibly talk to someone else about it. when she herself was having difficulty believing that what she had witnessed was in fact real.
"No need to worry Father, I don't think I will be seeing him again," Bella said.
'Why not?" Father Carlisle's curiosity perked up.
"You are right Father, he is not a very nice man at all."
Father Carlisle breathed a sigh of relief. He was grateful to the lord all mighty above that he had shown this child the light. God was truly watching over her he thought, and he had pulled this innocent child from the demons grasp just in time.
"I very glad that is Bella. I truly believe that there was something sinister about him."
Why was he telling her this? Bella thought. The Father knew more than he was letting off. Bella felt odd and out of place all of the sudden. The way that Father Carlisle was looking at her now, was not helping her comfort one bit. There was nothing perverse in his look, he was simply concerned, too concerned it appeared.
"I should really be going," Bella said, standing up rather quickly.
"Yes, of course. Would you like me to give you a ride home?" Father Carlisle asked.
"No, but thank you for the offer Father. It is such a nice day, I think I would prefer to walk," Bella said.
All she wanted was to be alone, to think and sort out the mess in her head.
"Very well," the Father said a little disappointed. "Please stay safe, and I look forward to seeing you again next Sunday."
The walk back to Alice's apartment was horrible. Maybe she should have agreed to Father Carlisle's offer and let him take her home, Bella thought. The heat was ridiculous. Bella could swear that her shoes where getting stuck to the pavement with each step she took.
When she was approximately a block away from the apartment, Bella felt eyes on her. She had felt as if she were being watching from the moment she exited the grand church, but the streets were busy and she thought nothing of it, until now. Until the mass crowds thinned out. Alice's apartment was in a very upscale neighborhood and there was not much traffic, only a few pedestrians, who were either walking their dogs and in some cases even cats.
That feeling intensified. Bella felt a strong heat on the back of her neck. Eyes boring into her, begging her to turn around, to take notice of their owner. What was the point? She knew who was following her, still she hoped she was wrong. She did not need nor did she want to see him.
She ever so slowly turned around. She prayed she was wrong. She prayed she would not see the one person she so desperately did not want to see again.
Her prayers were not answered. There, on the opposite side of the street stood none other than Mr. Mason himself. He stood tall in his crisp white linen pants, white dress shirt, black suit jacket and black loafers. His hands were tucked into his pockets. He leaned against the Porsche Panamera. Hiss eyes fixed only on Bella. They were hungry and determined. He had come here with one purpose and one purpose only, for Miss Swan.
Bella stood motionless as she watched him. She took in all of his features, and paid attention to every move he made, hoping that maybe somewhere deep down she might be able to unlock a little of the mystery that was Mr. Mason.
She noticed the way he crossed the street. He never took his hungry eyes of her. He never looked left or right to make sure no vehicles where coming. He crossed confidently and safely.
Now here they stood face to face for the first time since the events of last night.
Bella did not know what to do. She wanted to stay, but at the same time she wanted to run as far away from him as possible, leave and never look back. Her feet would not move, but she was expecting that.
Now that they were so close, she noticed his eyes were pitch black. Darker than the night sky and scarier than a black hole.
"Bella," Edward said with caution.
But Bella being as stubborn as she was, she refused to answer.
"I need you to listen to me," Edward continued. "And I need you to understand."
"Understand? Understand what? That you are a sick and twisted pervert, you and all those people there last night. Understand that you probably bought me there for the same reason as that poor girl was?" Bella said, her voice a little louder then normal.
"You were never there for that reason," Edward said angry. The thought of someone touching her like that sickened him.
"Then why was I there? Why did you ask me to come there?"
"Because I wanted you there."
"Why?" She asked. Yes, Mr. Mason was an expert at twisting conversations around when things did not go his way, but she could not let this go, not after what she had seen last night.
"Because I..." It had been a very long time since Edward was at a loss for words.
How could he possibly finish that sentence, when he himself did not know why he had asked her to attend in the first place?
Did he feel something for the sweet creature? Yes he did, but what that was he did not know.
He knew he had to be next to her. She had to be with him. He needed to see her, smell her, and feel her next to him.
Being in her simple presence had stirred something deep inside of him. It is as if his eyes have been opened for the first time, and he saw everything in a different light when he was around her.
He never intended for her to witness what she had. She was supposed to stay in the room where he had put her, why was it she had to disobey him on that one simple thing.
"I am waiting Mr. Mason, and my patience is running very thin today. So, I suggest that you either spit out whatever bullshit lie you are about to say, or leave," Bella said with confidence taking both of them by surprise.
Edward was very surprised. No women ever had spoken to him that way, this was a first.
"Miss Swan, you sure know how to intrigue a man," Edward chuckled.
"If you have a point Mr. Mason, make it already," Bella said. She was becoming more and more frustrated and angry with each passing second.
"I wanted you to attend because somehow...I can't seem to stay away from you, nor do I want to," Edward admitted. "It was a stupid idea, I know that, but you should have stayed where I put you and not have wondered around," he add, cheeky.
"What was that last night?" She asked, her voice softer, gentler now.
"It was exactly what you saw and it wasn't," Edward said rather cryptically.
Bella narrowed her eyes at him. He has to do better then that, she thought.
"That makes no sense Mr. Mason. Either it was, or it wasn't?" The clear annoyance was back in her tone.
"I cannot give you anymore then that Miss Swan."
Bella let out a loud and frustrated humph.
"What about the women at your feet?" She spat out in disgust.
"What about them?"
"They were naked and kneeling at your feet."
"Yes they were," he shrugged, not really seeing the problem.
"Do you fuck them?" Bella asked boldly. She folded her arms across her chest.
"Goodbye Mr. Mason," Bella said.
She turned to leave. She was surprised she could move her own feet. She was glad that whatever little mind trick he used to keep her in place so many times before, he was not using them now.
But Edward was not about to let her get away that easily. He was a man who always got what he wanted, and he wanted her by all means necessary.
He followed after her, catching up to her quickly. He grab her hand and spun her around right into his waiting arms. He had her right where he wanted her, trapped in his arms.
Bella did not fight back, she surrendered into his arms willingly. Stupid her. Why was she not running away? Why was she allowing him to hold her prisoner in his arms?
She knew why, that unusual sensation of hot and cold that only he offered. The smell of him and just him, it all affected her in ways she did not want but could not help.
"You did not let me finish," Edward said.
Bella licked her dry lips waiting for him to finish whatever it was he was about to say.
"Yes I have slept with those women, all three of them," he admitted.
"Please let me go," Bella said dryly. Did he like this? Did he take joy in telling her these things just so he could see her reactions?
"However, since the first day I laid eyes on you Miss Swan, I have not been with anyone other than you."
"Me?" They were never intimate.
Edward raised his eyebrow.
Bella blushed a bright red. Yes they did share some intimate moments. She felt a little relieved knowing that he had not bedded anyone since they met, but there were bigger issues here then the topic of infidelity.
"Is it some type of a cult?" She asked.
"Please Bella. I can't tell you anymore then I have. What you saw last night you were never meant to see, and I am very sorry that you did."
"What about that girl? She was bleeding. She wasn't moving. Was she dead? Did that man kill her while a room full of people watched?" Bella asked, although she did not want the answer to that question. She did not think she could handle it.
Edward laughed. Oh how she had hit the nail right on the head, he thought. Of course he was never going to tell her the truth.
"Yes, she was bleeding, but you didn't notice, so was he. It is a tradition, a ritual to swap blood," he shrugged.
It was not exactly a lie. It was an ancient tradition of the society's. At all initiations a blood offer was made. The offer had to be off pure blood, a virgin. After the ritual, the blood of the sacrificed would be collected and all who had bared witness would drink.
"That's...disgusting," Bella said trying to break free from his arms. She felt that she had heard enough.
"Please can we not talk about that anymore? It is making you sad, I do not want you to be sad," Edward said stroking her cheek with the back of his fingers. Bella unintentionally leaned into his touch.
"I can't, I have so many questions for you."
"Then ask me," he whispered.
"I should...we should not be here. I promised myself last night that I would stay as far away from you as possible and now here you are," Bella said, her voice pained.
"I will never let that happen," Edward said, seriously. His eyes grew darker with each word spoken. She was his now wherever she knew it or not.
"It's not your decision to make Mr. Mason."
"Come with me, I want to show you something," Edward said. He removed his arms from around her, but grabbed her hand in his and proceeded to lead her over to his car.
"I don't think that is such a good idea," Bella said trying to pull away.
"Please Miss Swan. After what you saw last night, I can only begin to imagine the things that must be running in through your head about me. Please give me a chance to redeem myself," Edward begged.
"You can redeem yourself by telling me exactly what that was," Bella said.
"All in due time Miss Swan. I cannot simply blurt everything out to you, as much as you want me to, we need to be realistic and cautious here."
"Cautious about what?"
"Not now Miss Swan. Please, all I want to do now is somehow redeem myself in your eyes."
No...No this is not right. She should not be going anywhere with him. She promised herself. But her legs where moving on their own accord, and before she knew it she was in the car with Edward.
They drove in silence. Edward never took his eyes of the road but Bella could feel him burning a hole through her.
"Where are we going?" She asked. She could not take the silence anymore.
"You'll see," Edward said with a smirk, still not meeting her eyes.
Traffic became heavy as they turned from the Rue Arsène Houssaye to Av. De champs-Élysées.
He was taking her to the Arc de Triomphe. This would be his surprise for her. This would hopefully be his redemption. He could have manipulated her, cleared her mind, made her forget it all, but that would have been taking the easy way out.
He hated the look she had last night. He hated that fear in her eyes and he knew that he had placed it there. He was so stupid to bring her there. It was no place for someone like her.
For the very first time he hated himself, he hated what he was and he would never be able to forgive himself if she couldn't forgive him.
Edward pulled the car right next to the Arc.
"You're not allowed to park here. Some people are shouting at us," Bella said. Although she found it refreshing. It was a nice change to see some people yelling at Edward instead of bowing their heads to him.
Edward shrugged, not looking apologetic one bit.
He climbed out of the car and quickly jogged around to Bella's side. He held the door open and offered her his hand. She refused to take it and climbed out by herself.
Bella walked past Edward. She looked up at the Arc admiring every little feature. Every design, every crack. It was exquisite, truly magnificent.
"Beautiful isn't it?" Edward asked coming to a stand behind her. He swept her hair to one side. She was hot, she had a light sheen of sweat covering the back of her neck. It was a very hot day.
"Do you trust me?" He whispered in her ear, sending a cool chill down her spine. It felt good, she thought.
"No," she said with a small laugh.
Behind her back, Edward took out a red silk blindfold. He wrapped his arms around her, holding the blindfold in front so she could clearly see it.
"NO," Bella said firmly.
"Look at how many people are around. What could I possibly do to you in such a crowded place?" Edward asked. "I told you, I had a surprise for you."
"I thought bringing me here was the surprise?"
"I have more," he smiled.
Bella looked at the large amount of people wandering around the Arc. Some were focusing on them, wondering what the two were doing, while others were too busy taking pictures and enjoying the sight to even notice they were there.
Reluctantly, Bella nodded. Edward placed a tender kiss on her cheek before lifting the blindfold over her eyes.
The world went dark for Bella. She wondered what possible surprise Edward could have. She hated surprises.
With her sight gone, she could no longer feel Edward next to her. Bella relied on her sense of sound. She heard voices, so many voices talking in a vast of different languages. There were cars honking, engines revving and tires squealing and then...Silence. There was no sound, no voices, no cars, nothing.
Bella felt a cool breeze on her skin, it was a big change from the hot summer air.
"Edward?" She called out. She was starting to panic slightly. Why was it so quiet, where had everyone gone?
Edward stood in front of her with his hands in his pockets. He admired her, he could not take his eyes off of her. The vision that she was standing there surrounded by pure white and yet she was the purest.
"Take it off," he said.
Bella was very quick to follow.
She gasped loudly. This was not possible, she thought.
Everything was covered in snow. The mass of people and cars that filled the streets and surroundings were all gone. It was just the two of them, and the falling snow.
"How..." she trailed off.
No this was not at all possible. It was July. It does not snow in July in Paris. She was dreaming, she had to be. Bella pinched herself to make sure.
Edward laughed. "What are you doing?"
"This is a dream," she said.
"No, no it's not," Edward said.
He came to a stand in front of her.
"How is this even possible? Where is everyone?" She asked somewhat scared and somewhat in awe.
"It is possible," Edward said.
"You did this," she stated. "Why?"
"I remember you saying you loved the snow, so I bought you snow," he shrugged.
Bella, for a brief moment stared at him in total disbelief. All trace of whatever fear or anger she harbored towards him was now pushed aside.
He did this for her, why? My God it was beautiful, cold and utterly beautiful. Each snowflake fell perfectly from the sky in a calm manner. She held her arms out and her palms up catching the flakes as they fell.
She smiled, the smile turned into laughter and Edward watched in awe at how something as simple as snow could bring her so much joy. That bright light once again radiated off of her. Her eyes no longer held fear for him or anger and confusion. They held wonder and pure joy. The corners of his mouth lifted up. He had bought her this happiness, he had bought her this joy.
"This is amazing," Bella squealed as she walked around the Arc.
They were truly alone, it was as if the entire city had been abandoned and they were the only ones left. She turned to Edward. The snow fell around and a gentle wind blew. How was it possible for him to look any more handsome than he already was? She always knew there was something unusual about him from the very first moment their eyes met. She knew he possessed some type of strange power from the moment she was rendered motionless in the Louvre.
In this one moment she could not bring herself to care. This moment was so perfect, so utterly breathtaking.
Bella was so lost in her complete fascination that she had not realized that Edward was now right in front of her.
"This is so beautiful," she said.
Edward shrugged, not seeing where the beauty in the snow was, but it made her happy and that was all that mattered.
"It's alright I suppose. But I have seen much greater beauty. I am looking at one right now," he said running the pad of his thumb over his bottom lip.
"Why did you this?" She asked.
Edward took her face in his hands. He held her gently, cradled her face as if she were made of porcelain.
"What is it that you do not understand Miss Swan?" He said.
"All of this is for you. I want to make you happy. I want you to have everything that your heart desires and so much more. I want to give it all to you." He said.
He stared at him, not really knowing what to say. It was probably one of the nicest things a man had ever said to her, as sick as that may sound.
"Edward, no," she said, because somewhere deep in her she was able to push through the beautiful fog that he had created and see the truth.
"Let me give you everything you deserve," he said. No was not an option for him.
"I don't want your money, I don't want gifts. I don't think you could ever offer me what I truly want."
And what she wanted was love. No amount of money or outrageous gestures would ever compare to the feeling of being loved by someone.
"I can give you everything and more," he said, never once letting go of her.
"But I don't want everything."
"I want you and I will do whatever it takes to have you...I can't explain it, but since you have come into my life, for the first time ever I feel like I am seeing the world in a whole new light. It's all your fault and I don't want to let that feeling to go." He admitted, and it was all true.
Bella was a little struck by his words. Did he really mean it or was this some type of game to him? He was not the kind of man that you say no to and simply walk away. No, he always got what he wanted.
"No." She said trying to sound firm, but her voice was breaking as too was her resolve.
She was trying with all her might to resist him but he was proving to be too powerful. This was a battle that she would and could not win.
She could not deny that she wanted him too, she wanted him in those very same ways that he wanted her.
"Say yes," Edward whispered, bring his face closer to hers.
They were so close now. Bella could feel his breath fan over her face, she could smell him, practically taste him. His pitch black eyes held hers. While they may have been frightening to some, Bella felt no fear as she looked into them. It was that easy, that simple. All the careful resolve she had melted away and in the end she gave in to what her heart and not her mind was telling her to do.
"Yes," she whispered in a voice so low.
But Edward heard her quiet whisper.
"Thank you," he whispered back.
He drew closer till their mouths were one. His hands came around her, holding her body as close as he could to his.
There in Paris, in the middle of summer, the demon and an angel shared an intimate moment as the snow fell over them.