Chapter Twenty Two
Eventually the trip has to come to an end and Bella's back in Forks after the five day trip sooner than she thought possible. But she's not standing outside of her house. She's standing inside the Cullens. Bella stands in the middle of the Cullens living room, awaiting the decision to start. The one on where they decide if she's going to become a vampire or not.
She's just spent a good chunk of her time here, going over her points. She'd even written it down on paper. They're all really good points, she likes to think, and she's made a compelling argument. Now, she just has to await their decision.
"Thank you Bella. We appreciate your transparency on the matter," Carlisle, the mediator of this whole affair said, hands clasped behind his back. "Now, we also know that Bella was given an ultimatum, either to turn into a vampire by the Volturi or risk being killed. Not the best two options, but we are also willing to run away and hide Bella for her own safety." This last part he directed at Bella who shook her head solemnly.
"I've made my choice. I'm fine with this. Now, you have to make yours."
"Everyone in favor of not turning Bella into a vampire?"
Predictably Rosalie's hand goes up. Bella knew the blonde would vote this way, but it's still a bit disheartening that Rosalie doesn't want Bella as a vampire. Is she really committed to having Bella become old and then dying? Wouldn't she rather have an immortal eternity?
"Everyone in favor of turning Bella into a vampire?"
Esme's, Jasper's, Emmett's and Alice's hands go up. Carlisle isn't voting in this.
"Very well," the blonde doctor hums. "It seems the results are clear. Bella, you will be turned into a vampire."
Bella doesn't know an appropriate way to celebrate this moment so she doesn't. Instead, just standing there awkwardly in the middle of the room as they sit on couches. Rosalie scoffs in disgust at what her family has chosen and then zooms off to go brood while the family plans. Bella tries to not let that hurt her. "What now?" she asks.
"Now, we discuss the process of turning you," Carlisle says. "It's very painful."
"I know that. And I want Rosalie to do it."
Carlisle looks mildly surprised by this. "You do?"
"Yes," Bella nods her head. "She's my mate, it only seems fair."
"Did you ask her about it?" Jasper pipes up. "She doesn't quite seem...all that likely to do it."
"She'll do it. She just won't like it," Bella said.
"Or she might like it too much," Jasper murmurs. "It's only natural for vampires to want to sink their teeth into something living and breathing, and inject it with their venom. It's kinda like the human equivalent of seeing cake in front of you and wanting to try the icing. So, Rosalie's not worried about having to do it, she's worried she might like it too much. She's...never bitten someone before. Or drank their blood. Unlike the rest of us."
Jasper had a point there. Bella hadn't even considered it. "Oh, damn. I feel bad now. I shouldn't have asked."
"You didn't know," Alice soothed.
"Carlisle, will you do the change then?" Bella asked him, brown eyes hopeful.
"Naturally. I will make it as painless as I can."
"I'll ask Rosie if she's coming down to watch," Emmett makes to get up but Esme places a hand on his chest. "No, it might be better if she doesn't. It will hurt her to see Bella in pain."
"She can't stay by my side to help me?" Bella inquires, slightly panicked by this fact.
"No, I think it's best if she doesn't. She might get aggressive with us for 'hurting you' or she might not let the change happen," Esme explained. "Alice and Carlisle will stay with you to make sure you're okay. And once everything is over, we'll allow Rosalie to come in."
"Can I...can I see her one more time before I turn?" Bella asked.
"Of course," Carlisle said, nodding his head. "I'll get the room ready for the turning." He left to do so.
Esme commented to Jasper and Emmett, "you keep Rosalie occupied while the change is occurring. We can't have her storming in here."
Alice gave a nervous Bella, a soft touch on the shoulder. "I can't wait until you're a vampire, Bella. We'll finally be true sisters." Then she flounced off to help Carlisle.
Bella went up the stairs, hoping Rosalie was in her room. "Rosalie?" she called tentatively, and knocked on the door. It was quiet, so Bella assumed Rosalie had left the house. As she swiveled on her heel, the door opened. Rosalie was there, and her eyes were scrunched up, like she had been trying to refrain from crying and failing even if no tears came from her eyes.
"I hope you're happy with the choice." There is no bitterness in the blonde's voice but Bella feels the words cut through her all the same.
"I wanted to see you before the transformation," Bella said, clearing her throat a bit awkwardly. "One last time as a human."
"I won't change you if that's what you came to ask," Rosalie says, arms crossed over her chest.
"I won't ask you to do that. I realize it would be wrong of me to do so," Bella said, shoving her hands into her pockets. "I just wanted...I just wanted one more kiss."
Bela watches as Rosalie's stoic facade crumples and the woman reaches out and grabs Bella's face greedily to hers and kisses hard. It's a needy kiss and Bella gasps into it, her sound getting swallowed up by Rosalie's hungry mouth. It's like she's trying to convey all her worry and love for Bella into the span of one kiss.
When she pulls away she leaves Bella dizzy, lips swollen. Rosalie's hands haven't left Bella's cheeks, still cupping them as a thumb traces her lips. "I...Don't think that just because I don't want you changed doesn't mean I don't love you," Rosalie says softly, a break running through her voice. "If I had a choice I'd want us to both be human and to have spent our life, loving as humans do. Messily, and with no immortality, just us growing older side by side. Even now, I feel the urge to just snatch you up and run away with you so that you won't get turned. But, this is your choice. And I won't- can't- take it from you. Because I wouldn't want my choice to be taken from me."
Bella gives a sad smile. "I'll see you on the other side," Bella says, before they allow themselves to separate.
Carlisle tells her it'll be a three day process. First, he drains her of her blood, but not nearly enough that she'll be drained dry. Just enough so that he can inject her with his venom, and then offer his own blood to her for her to drink. She barely remembers this part at all, delirious with blood loss and all that. All she can hear is the murmur of his voice and Alice's as her vision swims black and she tastes blood on her lips.
Day two and three are pain. No other way to describe it. As she sleeps, her body feels like it is being forged in fire. Liquid flames running through her veins and making her scream in pain. She's sleeping but she feels everything and she can't wake no matter what. She just hopes it will be over soon, her bones creaking and popping as they rearrange inside her, becoming strong as concrete.
They weren't lying about the pain. But all she can do is grit her teeth and let it happen.
Eventually, she opens her eyes and a kaleidoscope of colors greet her. The pain is gone, all but a mere vague memory and she sits up, feeling stronger than ever before. She's not breathing nor can she feel the thrum of her heart. It's disconcerting, but she barely has time to think on it, when Alice barrels into the room.
She has a wide smile on her face. "Bella, you did it! Welcome to being a vampire!"
The rest of the family crowd in and her heads starts spinning from all the new sensations. Everything is so bright and loud. And she can smell things strongly. She clamps a hand over her nose and growls loudly. She surprises the family. Carlisle is at the head of it. "Everyone, out. You're overwhelming Bella. She is newborn. We can't have her agitated."
They listen to him, though sulkily.
"How are you feeling?" he asks when they've left and it's only him and Bella in the room.
"Um...weird?" she says and even her voice is different. It sounds more smooth. Seductive almost. Speaking of seductive, where is Rosalie? The thought of the blonde sends a sharp pang through Bella's chest which must be the mate bond. She wants her. Wants to see her mate. Before she knows it, she's off the bed and on her feet, sniffing to pick up her mate's floral scent.
Carlisle steadies his hands. "Relax, Bella. Rosalie will come to you."
She's been growling out Rosalie's name without even knowing it. She shuts her mouth, a bit mortified.
"Let's get you some blood." Carlisle insists.
But she doesn't want blood, not now. She wants Rosalie. As if drawn to her, as if hearing the pull of their mate bond, Rosalie enters the house. Bella knows this because the door slams open and Rosalie is striding in, not even attempting to be quiet. Bella is vibrating with excitement. Mate! Her mate is here!
Rosalie goes into the room, standing in the doorway, just as they assess one another. Tension hangs in the air. Want. Need to hold one another. Carlisle seems to sense this. He scoots his way around them. "I trust you will be able to handle...Bella. The family and I will be leaving." He says to Rosalie as he dips out.
Bella opens her mouth, flashing her fangs. The animal part in her is starting to take over, but she still has enough control left to allow Rosalie to make the first move. The blonde strides up, pushing back a strand of Bella's hair with the back of her hand. "Hm, you make a decent vampire," Rosalie says once her eyes have finished examining Bella's new form. She's teasing, one side of her mouth quirked up.
"I make more than a decent vampire," Bella growled out, the animal inside her challenged by this. She kissed Rosalie hard, hard enough to make her stumble back. Bella didn't know her own strength yet, but Rosalie didn't seem to mind. She pressed back harder, hissing into Bella's mouth as Bella's hand went up and wrapped around her shoulders. Rosalie began backing her up until Bella's knees hit the bed and together they went down, collapsing on top of each other.
"Of course, the first thing Bella does as a newborn is fuck you," Emmett said, smiling when the family finally could come back to the house. For once, Rosalie looked a bit disheveled in all her decades of flawless existence. She had fading bruises where Bella couldn't control her strength, red marks where Bella's nails had dug in, and her hair was a mess.
Rosalie closed the door softly behind her. Bella was still in the room, getting dressed.
"Oh shut up," Rosalie grumbled. "We did not." She was insistent on the first time being special, still. And wouldn't let even newborn hormones get in the way.
"Uh huh, sure," Emmett popped a brow. "So, can we make the welcome party or not?"
"Bella's fine now. We're both fine."
"I bet the room's not fine," Emmett said and ducked out of the way when an unimpressed Rosalie tried to kick his shin. Laughing, he went down the stairs.
Rosalie went to go fix herself up and ten minutes later the two of them were ready to join the rest of the family downstairs.
"How do you feel?" Rosalie asked Bella who looked so much more confident and poised as a vampire now. It was like all the awkwardness she had had as a human was gone. In her place, only grace. She could be a model now.
"I don't know how to feel. I'm...I'm trying not to think about it."
"It can be a lot," Rosalie said. "But you're doing pretty great for a newborn. You're more controlled than any I've ever seen."
Bella would be blushing if she could. "Even if I did destroy the room?"
"You didn't destroy me," Rosalie pointed out.
Bella laughs. "Why would I want to? You're my mate."
"Not every newborn would be able to control themselves and would get too excited," Rosalie commented.
"Dweebs, hurry up and come on down. Alice is going to explode if she has to wait any longer for you to come down," Emmett called up with his booming voice.
"Shall we?" Rosalie held out her hand. They were both dressed in casual clothing. Jeans, and a plain tee. But as Bella took Rosalie's hand, she couldn't help feel like they were royalty, descending down the stairs. Bella knew she looked good, perfect now. And Rosalie was a stunning figure too. Bela could barely contain her joy and her smile. She had eternity with Rosalie now. Eternity with her new family too.
She'd given up a lot to be here, but she had gained even more.
When she got to the bottom step, she saw the downstairs had been outfitted into a party of sorts. There was a banner with her name on it, balloons strung up, everyone wearing a party hat, with Alice popping the confetti.
"Welcome to the family," Esme said, smiling softly at Bella.
And Bella smiled softly right back.
A/N: I've decided to end the story here. I can't see where else to take it and I don't quite want to remove it from too far from it's original roots. That said I hope you enjoyed the story. I'll be writing more Rosella stories soon.