Silence wrapped around the Cullen house like a suffocating fog. No one dared speak as they waited. Hours had passed since they had returned from Phoenix but not enough for a typical transformation to end. However, Anna was not undergoing a typical transformation. According to Carlisle's estimations, she would be asleep for another hour, max.
In the kitchen, Carlisle and Esme eagerly awaited the new addition to their family. The fridge had been stocked full of blood bags. After ensuring Anna was situated comfortably, Carlisle had rushed down to the hospital and snuck out a few bags to ensure Anna had something to eat the moment she woke. Being a Newborn had challenging obstacles to overcome. Therefore, none of the Cullens expected her to become a vegetarian right away. Human blood could be the only way to keep her lucid until the remnants of human blood left her tissues.
Alice had taken Jasper out hunting the moment the blood bags had entered the house. Once she began feeding, they would leave again but Jasper had been adamant that he wanted to be there when she opened her eyes. Ashton had chosen to go with them but Rosalie had opted to stay behind. Realising all that she had lost would be a devastating blow for Anna, and Rosalie knew she could provide comfort through it.
Resting atop the navy sheets in Emmett's bedroom, the Changing girl remained immobile. On their journey home, her eyes had closed and her limbs stopped flailing in agony. To those who lacked supernatural knowledge, Anna Swan had died before they had even reached Forks. No blood pumped through her heart or reached her brain. Her lungs didn't inhale oxygen or dispel carbon dioxide. She was merely a body, yet Emmett didn't weep as he sat by her bedside. Instead, despite the remorse he felt for what was about to befall her, the majority of him was excited. No longer would he need to worry about ripping out her throat if they touched. Fragile bones wouldn't break if he attempted to hug her. Emmett was free to be as affectionate as he desired. He wouldn't have to know of an existence without her bedside him. Anna wouldn't grow old or fall in love with someone else. Selfishly, Emmett had never been happier as her scent began to change. As always, she smelled alluring but it was no longer in a way that would be dangerous to them both. Pressing a kiss to the back of her hand, Emmett was still slightly startled at the temperature difference. Heat no longer radiated from her skin.
Just another difference for us to adjust to.
Both of them would learn to navigate the new nature of their relationship. Anna would have to learn how to adjust to her new species but Emmett would be there to help her get through it, just like Rosalie and Ashton had done for him. Emmett stilled, pulling away from her so that Anna didn't become overwhelmed. His touch would feel foreign to her now that he was no longer cold. He didn't dare move.
Dark eyelashes fluttered open before brushing the tops of her cheek. Wincing at the harsh light, Anna squinted before forcing her eyes open once again. A lamp stood brilliant and bright in the corner of the room. Dust particles spun around her, and she was surprised that she didn't need the aid of sunlight to see them. White paint decorated the ceiling and despite having long since dried, Anna could see each individual brushstroke.
Deep in the forest, she heard the snap of a twig as it broke underfoot a deer. The honk of a car horn sounded from the freeway. Birds chirped from the treetops, conversing with one another across a far distance. Anna could hear it all. Footsteps sounded from the kitchen; Anna counted ten steps before deducing that the weight of them matched Carlisle. Why is he pacing, she pondered.
Moving herself into a sitting position, she was taken aback by the fluidity and swiftness of the movement. Instantly, she was aware of Emmett's presence. Previously, she had been drawn to him. Now, it felt as if he was the very gravity rooting her to the ground. He was her very reason for existing.
"Hey, you." Anna said, surprised at the musicality of her voice.
Only a day ago, she had spoken with a croak from the lack of hydration. When she got passionate or overly emotional, her voice was prone to crack. Currently, it was soft and soothing – and completely alien. Glancing at the muscular man, she was taken aback by the beauty of him. He had always been breathtaking but she had never truly seen him before. Unable to help herself, Anna surged forward and pressed a kiss to Emmett's lips. Winding her arms around his neck, her hands tangled their way into his hair. Grunting at the unexpected impact, Emmett reluctantly had to ease himself out of her grip. Pecking her lips again, he warned her that she was the stronger one and now he was breakable.
"Looks like you get to see what it's like to be the irresistible one." Anna laughed, kissing him once more.
She couldn't help herself. All she wanted to do was pull him close and never let go. Emmett smiled at her. Words couldn't describe how beautiful she had looked before but now she was ethereal. In awe of the woman across from him, he pressed another kiss to the back of her left hand. The scar that had once resided there had vanished, replaced with smooth marble skin. A mirror hung on the wall across from Emmett's bed and Anna caught sight of an unfamiliar woman in it. Before Emmett could process that she had moved, Anna was staring at who she had become.
Where there had once been a chicken pox scar on her temple, there was now unblemished skin. The spatter of freckles that had once dusted her nose had cheekbones had been covered over with perfectly pale skin. Pink stained her full lips and as she bared her teeth, the crooked canine that had been on the left side was completely straight. Tilting slightly so that she could inspect the rest of her body, the light bounced off her body. No sunlight leaked into the room. The moon was high in the sky so it wasn't her skin that glittered in the lamp light.
A dozen scars littered her body (and that was just on the skin she could see). Lifting up the comfortable sweater she had been placed in – the large size indicated that it was Emmett's – Anna spotted another bite mark on her hip and her side. Barely aware that she was flashing her underwear to Emmett, horror deformed her face as she turned to face the man behind her, eyes wide.
"Typically, the transition takes a few days and the venom passes through the body before the skin starts to turn. Your skin, however, was already beginning to harden before the venom had time to leave the bites and... well, it left scars."
Shoulders shaking, no tears welled in her eyes even as the immense grief hit her. She was no longer alive. Being a supernatural creature was bad enough but her body would bear reminders of the ballet studio for all eternity.
James had robbed her of life, of a future, of any chance to have children. College was out of the question for a good few years. Living with her family would be dangerous and so she would have to let them go. Eventually, her father would die and she would move on. Perhaps in a few hundred years, she would forget about him. She didn't want to. Of course, Bella would know the truth but she wouldn't be allowed to visit. Anna wouldn't see the girl she had once shared a womb with, she would only be a body full of tempting blood. Normality no longer existed.
"Oh, baby. It'll be okay." Emmett kissed the top of her head, whispering reassurances into her hair.
"Why can't I cry?" She exclaimed in frustration, chest heaving with dry-sobs.
Explaining that they didn't have tears, Emmett rubbed soothing circles on her back. Leaning into his touch, a sigh of despair escaped her mouth. A shrill ring cut through the heartfelt moment and Anna turned in search of her cell phone. Flipping it open, she was greeted with the voice of her mother.
How unfortunate am I, scowled Anna, of all the times she could call.
Amusement sparkled in Emmett's eyes as he watched the irritation on her face grow. Sniggering, he grunted in pain when she slapped him on the arm.
"Mom, please stop yelling at me." Anna demanded, a scowl plastered on her perfect face. "Seriously, Mom, not now."
"Not now? Your sister is lying in a hospital bed. You should be here! Where are you, Annabella? Huh? You're being extremely selfish."
Seated on the couch in the living room, Rosalie was on her feet and heading to the door. Grabbing her arm, Ashton pulled the furious blonde away from the stairs. This was Anna's fight, and Rosalie had no business getting in the middle of the mother and daughter. Even if Ashton himself wanted to storm up there and inform Renée of just how 'selfish' her daughter was. As sad as it was that Bella was in hospital, (in medical terms) Anna was dead. She had sacrificed her life and her future in order to protect her twin sister. No one would ever dare voice it but Bella was the reason Anna had been turned into a vampire. Selfish wasn't something the Cullens could ever accuse her of being.
"Selfish?!" Anna's shriek echoed around the house. Esme winced. "I'm the one that drove all night to ensure she got to the hotel safely! I was going to stay with her until she got on the plane but Edward showed up. I knew she was safe and she said I should go home. I did my part! Where were you? By your logic, you're to blame as well! If anything bad happened after I left, it's not my fault!"
For the two seconds that the phone had been ringing, Emmett quickly briefed Anna on the version of events that they had fabricated. A believable explanation had been needed to explain the injuries Bella had sustained, and whilst it painted Anna as a bad sister, it was better than the truth. She would accept the judgmental looks from people once they found out she didn't visit Bella in hospital but it was preferable to people knowing she had been attacked by a vampire.
"You should never have left! My baby is broken."
"She'll live," seethed Anna. "Not everyone is as lucky."
Ending the call without another word from either of them, Anna released her grip on the phone. Crumbled pieces of plastic and metal fell to the floor.
Burning raced down her throat as hunger cramped her stomach. She was so sick of fiery sensations. Trees surrounded the couple as the female took in the forest with her newfound sight. Colours that she had never witnessed before blossomed before her very eyes and Anna developed a reinvigorated love of the forest. After the conversation with her mother, Anna's thirst had raged only slightly wilder than her anger. Startling red eyes had greeted her reflection in the mirror, reminding her that the only meal she would be feasting on was blood. Instantly adverse to the idea of drinking human blood, she had begged Emmett to take her hunting properly.
Due to the minute amount of human blood lingering in her tissues, she was faster than he was. Whether that would remain once she was no longer a Newborn was yet to be seen. Sneaking through the trees, the Newborn delighted in the silence of her footsteps. No longer would she stomp around. A few moments ago, she had snuck out of Emmett's grasp and disappeared from view. Unbeknownst to the searching vampire, his Mate was faux stalking him, waiting for the moment to pounce. Frantic that he had lost the baby vampire, Emmett obsessed over the verbal thrashing he was sure to get if he didn't find her soon. Rosalie would have his head, and he would suffer Carlisle's disappointment.
"Sweetheart?" Emmett called out again, turning on the spot.
He could smell her but she was somehow everywhere at once. Grinning once he realised she was toying with him, Emmett exclaimed as the clearing whirled in a blur of green and he was knocked off his feet. Spinning them as they fell, Emmett ensured that he landed on his back and she atop his chest. Peals of laughter rang in his ears as she beamed at him, face lit in the moonlight. Hunger momentarily forgotten, all that mattered in that moment was the two of them. Brushing back a brunette curl, the broad-shouldered man traced the outline of her face before pressing his lips to hers. White-hot desire watered down her thirst when he brushed his tongue against hers. Pressing herself against him, she moaned into his mouth when his hand trailed down her back. A gentle spring breeze wrapped around them when his hand came to a stop on the curve of her backside. Anna moved away from him. Attention pulled elsewhere, she disappeared a fraction of a second before Emmett registered the smell.
"Shit," he cursed, sprinting after her.
Stood on the outskirts of a circle of five tents, Anna just watched. People sat on logs as they warmed themselves by a small campfire. They laughed, they talked, and they breathed. As a group of ten, the smell of them was overpowering. For the rest of the night, Emmett knew he would be depositing bodies in order to cover up a massacre. Even Jasper would've had a hard time resisting the feast before him. As a Newborn, she would no choice but to sink her newly-formed fangs into the soft skin of the ignorant humans. Venom pooled into her mouth as she stared at them.
She should've moved by now, Emmett pondered.
Confusion marred his features as he watched her watch the campers. Typically, all of them should've been drained of blood and torn apart by now. Instead Anna just stood there, staring at them. Marshmallows hung over the fire and cans of beer littered the ground. All of them were fresh-faced; teenagers simply enjoying a weekend away from the watchful gazes of their parents. Wrestling between her hunger and her conscience, she could feel the golden eyes watching her.
If he was a sensible family member, he would've dragged her away before any damage could be done. Alas, he was known as the risk taker. He liked anticipating what would happen next and then seeing if he was correct. She had resisted them for so long already. Would she slaughter them in the next few seconds?
Pull her away, Emmett's mind ordered his body.
"I shouldn't be here." Anna gasped, voice strangled.
Wrenching herself away from the campsite, Anna fled in pursuit of an animal. Immediately, she could smell the difference between the blood. Animals smelt far more bitterly than the delectable aroma of the humans, but they were the option that would incite less guilt. A snarl ripped through the clearing the immortal couple inhabited. Head snapping up at the sound, the bear locked eyes with the predator. Before he could decide whether to attack or to flee, teeth sank into the bear's neck. Blood poured down her throat but instead of being disgusted by it, Anna drank greedily. Draining the bear, the pain in Anna's throat soothed slightly before flaring up again.
Mouth open in awe, Emmett paid no heed to his own hunger. He was amazed, he was aroused, and all he could do was stare at her. Emmett couldn't help but find irony in the situation. He had become a vampire because he had been sliced open by a black bear in the Tennessee mountains. For her first feed, Anna had ripped open a black bear. She was amazing. Edward had telepathy, Rosalie had beauty, and Anna had self-control. A most helpful gift as she adjusted to life as a vampire. In the sum of an hour, Anna had woken as the most beautiful creature Emmett had ever had the pleasure of seeing, she had resisted ten bodies full of warm blood, and she had fed on his favourite meal. He couldn't wait to tell Carlisle – no, to tell the whole family – about the wonder that was his Mate.
"Done?" Emmett asked, swiping a thumb through the blood coating her chin.
Tongue darting out to lick it from his hand, Anna nodded. It was not enough. It would never be enough but for now, it would have to do.
Four days had passed since she had woken and the extent of Anna's control was being rigorously tested. All around the Cullen house, blood bags had been placed in ways that Anna would happen across them at random moments in the day. Occasionally, Carlisle would open one but only for a few moments; long enough that it would tempt a Newborn without impacting the other vampires. Yet she did not falter. Each time, she turned away from the crimson liquid, not touching a drop of temptation.
"She may match your record, Carlisle." Emmett teased, pride shone on his face.
Over the centuries, Carlisle had never sampled a drop of human blood, and it would seem Anna might be heading in the same direction. As the days passed, her hunger would become easier to tame. If she had managed to avoid human blood so far, Carlisle saw no reason as to why she wouldn't be able to manage it for the rest of her days. So far, Emmett had taken her hunting every morning and night. The vivid red had dulled slightly. The acceleration of her vampirism was extraordinary.
Perched on Emmett's lap, Anna listened intently as the Cullens discussed how they would explain her transformation to the Forks community. As the daughter of the Chief, she was well-known throughout town. She had friends, family, and people who cared about her. The Cullens knew that if they were to take her away from Forks, their excuse had to be airtight. There could be no cause for doubt, no reason for questions.
Anna cut in. "You cannot tell my father that I died!"
"Anna, you can't go home." Carlisle reasoned. "It isn't safe. If we were to tell Charlie that you've somehow moved, he'll expect to hear from you. Even worse, he'll want to visit, which means seeing you."
"How many blood bags in the face will it take for you to believe I've got this? I've been around people, I've been around wounds. I don't know what else you need from me." Anna exclaimed before reigning in her temper. Everything was heightened now. "Look, I won't be in the house all the time. I'll spend the day hidden away here. I'll make appearances in the morning and around dinnertime so it looks like I slept there. I won't stay the night until I'm stronger but please, you can't tell him I'm dead. I've never lied to my father before and since meeting you, I've lied more than twice. I am definitely not lying about whether or not I'm deceased!"
"It's not really a lie." Emmett muttered, momentarily forgetting that she could now hear him. The brunette scowled ferociously at him and he sunk in his seat a little.
"Carlisle," pleaded Anna. "This will break him."
"At the moment, the house is empty. I can't see the harm in letting her stay the night to adjust to the smell. If she can survive the night and be near humans tomorrow without her thirst taking control, it looks like she can stay with her family as long as she spends minimal time around them. Emmett and Jasper can wait outside if it gets out of control." Alice suggested, knowing Carlisle trusted what she had seen.
"It's still risky." Esme warned.
"If Alice says it's safe then it's better than the alternative." Jasper weighed in, offering support to Anna and Alice.
Agony was all he could feel rolling off Anna. A small amount of relief had begun ebbing in after Alice's vision. Anna's agony wasn't something he wanted to feel for the next decade. So far, her self-control had been enviable. Out of all the Cullens, Jasper had been the one that struggled the most with the vegetarian diet. He'd believed that having a Newborn around would've been a reprieve from the being the one under scrutiny. However, instead of being bitter over Anna's excellent restraint, Jasper was grateful. He hadn't wanted her to suffer the way he did. And, if she still had the chance to be around her family, Jasper would try anything if it meant she didn't have to leave Charlie. None of the Cullens had been given the opportunity.
"Carlisle, please." Anna begged.
Sighing, Carlisle pinched the bridge of his nose before relenting. For now, there was no risk in simply trying. Nobody was in the house but the scent still remained for Anna to grow accustomed to. Agreeing that Emmett could go with her, he was banned from entering the house as his scent was likely to overpower her. Jasper, whose scent didn't call to Anna in the same way, would be allowed to sit downstairs so as to monitor her reaction. Buzzing with joy, Anna threw her arm around Carlisle's neck in gratitude.
All she had wanted was the chance to prove that vampirism hadn't rendered her a monster.
A mere two weeks had gone by since Anna had passed Carlisle's test but time could not catch her now. Only the faintest traces of red lingered in her honey-gold eyes. Contacts irritated her but she only needed to wear them for short intervals. Both of the twins had been given time away from school in order to deal with 'home issues' so long as they attended their examinations.
After Bella's return, Emmett had whisked Anna into the forest every night so that they could hunt whilst the Swans slept. Despite her thirst being easily manageable, Anna found herself wanting to be out of the house. Aside from the leg brace and some bandages, Bella was almost healed, yet Anna found it difficult to look at her.
Not only were Bella's injuries a physical reminder of the betrayal her sister had attempted to commit, they showed that she still possessed human flesh. Scabs were an indication that Bella could still bleed and that her heart still beat. Anna was devoid of blood, she had no pumping heart, and no pulsing veins – she had nothing remnant of a human other than the vessel she inhabited. Bella's broken leg was a reminder that Anna had no bones to break. She was pure stone. Anna didn't snap and splinter; she crumbled.
Having washed the dinner dishes, Anna retired to her room under the pretence of studying. Ignoring the dark-haired girl on the couch, the older sibling flitted up the stairs and slammed the bedroom door behind her. Barely a few words had been exchanged between the twins. Books littered Anna's desk but she didn't move to sit at it. Studying was futile as her memory was practically perfect, prepared to hold centuries of memories. Back resting against the door, she let out an unnecessary exhale.
Just a few more hours, she reminded herself, looking at the clock to see how long was left before she could escape to the Cullens.
Since her departure that morning, her room had been entered. Folded neatly, a dainty white blanket had been placed on the bottom of her bed. Pink stitching had been sewn into the bottom right-hand corner. Cursive letters spelt out the name 'Annabella'. A small note lay atop it. One glance at the signature informed Anna that it was from her mother. It started with 'sorry' and then a few meagre sentences followed after. To those who didn't know any better, it looked like an apology for her absence over the years. But, Anna did know better.
Renée had simply been throwing things out for her move to Jacksonville and had come across an unused baby blanket. It must've been accidentally swept up with Bella's baby things during Renée's swift departure from Forks. There was no sweet gesture behind the blanket, just empty words and a blanket that should be grey but was still pristine white. Clutching the material to her chest, Anna curled into a ball on a bed that she no longer slept in.
Time passed. Eventually, the sun sunk below the horizon. One aspect of her new species that Anna struggled to adjust to was the ability to solidify. Vampires who didn't make any motions, stopped moving altogether. If they sat still, they froze. Humans twitched and blinked and breathed. Vampires became the statues they were built to be.
Hours had gone by and Anna remained huddled in the foetal position, blanket still in hand. Lack of sleep meant more time alone with your thoughts. Anna had yet to find the positive side to that. Adjusting to movement as she shuffled slightly, the honey-eyed girl heard the ungraceful steps of her father assisting Bella up the stairs. The large cast meant the girl was more unbalanced than usual and so Charlie helped her safely to her bedroom before turning in for the night.
"Night, Sweetheart." Charlie said softly through the door.
Anna didn't respond so he assumed she was asleep.
Possessing knowledge that her father lacked, Bella knew better. Light poured into the dark room. Bella's strong scent wafted in through the door and cramps seized Anna's stomach. Thirst raced down her throat and she knew that if she spoke, Anna's voice would be hoarse.
One of the rules that had been implemented with Anna being home was that no human entered her bedroom. Bella, for whatever reason, had chosen to break that rule twice in one day. When she returned to her own bedroom, she was likely to suffer Edward's wrath.
Refusing to inhale, Anna stilled once more and waited for her sister to speak. Due to her newfound speed, the Newborn had begun to understand the frustration vampires had over the slowness of humans. It took far too long for Bella to reach Anna and then seat herself on the edge of the bed.
She really is pushing it, groaned Anna. Tears formed in Bella's throat as she finally opened her mouth.
"Anna, I'm so sorry. I never meant for-."
The human girl recoiled, hand sliding off the vampire's shoulder. She was shocked at the sound of the voice. Not because of the musical nature of it but because she had never heard such venom. Bella had never heard a voice so cold.
"Leave me alone. I have no desire to talk to you."
A/N: I know it's predictable that she has self-control but other than the Witch twins, not much is known about twins and vampirism so I thought I would make it so that Anna and Bella have a gift the same. If you wish to read a story where the OC struggles with control, it will be shown in my upcoming Jasper Hale fic.