Yes, I know I have another Twilight story that's out there. I'm not giving up on that yet at all. But this here is simply an experiment at this point, to see how much of a demand it gets, because I got the idea in my head for it after watching the Lifetime movie Girl Fight with Jodelle Ferland (Bree Tanner from Eclipse), a movie about a teenager who gets brutally beaten by a group of girls who record it for the world to see.
This is set somewhere between New Moon and Eclipse, and it'll loosely follow the concept of that film, because unfortunately, with Bella in the books, I could see something like this happening. We all know Jessica Stanley was a fake friend and that Lauren Mallory despised her. But how far would those girls really go? How nasty could they be?
If you want more, leave reviews and I'll see if I'll continue it. But the idea for this story just wouldn't leave me alone. I had to write out at least a beginning for it. And this is my beginning.
Chapter 1: Red
My teeth sunk deeply into the flesh of the grizzly, the bear's blood quenching the burn in my throat. Looking over at Rose, she'd tackled a mountain lion moments after I attacked the bear. I grinned at her; Rose never ceased to impress me with how she managed to put mountain lions to shame.
Edward was still out hunting with Emmett and Alice. Rose and I were about finished. Esme and Carlisle had already hunted last weekend, and we've all been hunting more frequently, determined to keep track of Victoria's movements. Knowing she had a penchant for Bella's death meant we all needed to keep a closer watch on her.
This weekend, however, Bella urged Edward to hunt. She knew how much it bored us to stick to the easy prey. And given that she was still on house arrest after putting her dad through living, breathing hell two weeks ago, she was safe in the confines of her home, which only marginally put Edward at ease as she convinced him to start the weekend early with all of us.
But I knew Edward was missing his mate. It gave him separation anxiety, being away from her; it had been the way ever since he saved her from Tyler Crowley's van a year ago. However, he needed to hunt a lot more than Rose and I did.
I sighed as Rosalie rose off the carcass, breathing deeply.
"You got your fill?" I asked her.
She nodded, smiling back at me. Easily, I was her favorite brother – playing the "twin" charade for years, the two of us had grown close. We protected each other's secrets – only I knew that Rose at times experienced the terrible flashbacks of the last night of her life, and she knew of just how deep my suffering had been before I left Maria, probably even more so than Alice knew. Edward knew because he could read my mind like an open book, but I knew he never said anything, not even to Carlisle, he didn't want to feel as though he were invading my privacy anymore than he already was, something I was eternally grateful for.
I often shuddered thinking what would happen if Alice learned the truth. I loved her, so much, but I always feared she'd never understand, that she would leave when she realized exactly what had happened to me. It took me years, centuries, to grasp that what had happened to me hadn't been my doing, much like how Rose had to realize that what happened to her hadn't been on her.
Rose, somehow knowing what I was thinking, said, "Jazz, you know it's over, right?"
I nodded. "Still . . . I always worry that I'll end up back there again."
Her smile and eyes were grave. "And you won't. We'll stop her before she ever tries again."
I smiled back at her weakly. "Let's get back home."
"I'll race you, brother." She took off before I could even get a start.
"Hey, hardly fair, sister!" I yelled after her, watching as her pale gold hair flew behind her like an angel's wings. But I laughed all the same as I finally caught up to her in stride, past the Canadian boarder and into the Olympic Peninsula. But as we entered the outskirts of Port Angeles, I sensed Rose's mood souring slightly.
"Rose, if you don't mind my asking, why'd you vote 'no' to Bella joining the family?"
Rosalie sighed. "You know I'd never choose this for myself, Jasper. She's making a mistake throwing her whole damn life away!"
I shook my head. "What she wants is Edward, Rose. You gotta accept that the two of them – they complete each other. The first night I met her, I've never felt either of them so happy before. When I walked in on them, Edward wrestling her to the couch, you should've seen it . . . felt it. It was so pure, I couldn't resist it."
"But there's so many possibilities, like moving forward . . . and . . ."
"Did it ever occur to you Bella might not want kids?"
"Of course, she does. Every girl does!"
"Not every gal. Bella's different. You gotta accept that. Her whole life, she's been taking care of her mother. Then she moves up here and is taking care of her father. She's never had anyone take care of her, it was always her being the caretaker, the one who pays the bills, the one who cooks, cleans, worrying about everybody else and putting everyone else first."
"So what's your point?" Rosalie looked at me incredulously.
"That maybe it's Bella's time to put herself first and decide what she wants," I said firmly. "It's her turn to be taken care of and to have a chance to only worry about one thing: being the child she never got to be. She never had a choice. And now she does. She's earned it. And if she chooses to spend eternity with Edward, you need to accept that that'll make her happy."
Rosalie seemed to consider this for a moment. But the stubbornness reflected in her eyes remained as we crossed towards the outskirts of Forks. However, before we could continue much of our conversation, an overwhelmingly sweet scent overpowered my every move.
The venom pooled in my mouth, my throat suddenly feeling as though pure acid were being poured down it. But I swallowed it back the best I could as I tried to trace where the blood was coming from. I knew it was Bella's, she had a scent unlike any other's out there, more addictive than any drug out there.
But I remembered her birthday, how I'd caused her to get hurt. I would never hurt her, ever again. Nor would I allow her to feel as though it were her fault. Because it was all on me, and my lack of self-control; she'd done nothing wrong. And I had to make it right. I swallowed the venom back again and I held my breath, determined to be in complete self-control before facing what I knew Rose and I would probably find.
The worst-case scenario flooded my mind: Victoria got to her. Or maybe one of those La Push wolves lost control around her. But there wasn't a scent of Victoria in the air, let alone one of those mutts. So what else could've possibly caused her to get so badly hurt that she was bleeding?
I glanced at Rose. I hoped she would set aside her animosity and be mature enough to make sure Bella got help. But as we drew nearer, I caught the sight of three individuals, someone lying on the ground in a fetal position, another person knelt down and someone else on a cellular phone . . . it sounded like Ben Cheney, Angela Weber's boyfriend, why did he sound panicked?
I'd always liked Angela; the emotions I read from her were always sincere, kind, gentle. I knew Edward liked her all the same. It was because of Edward that she and Ben were together at all, because he felt the need to return the favor for all the times Angela had been a real friend to Bella, unlike Jessica Stanley, whom I always sensed hostility and jealousy from, even more so than Lauren Mallory – I knew Jessica only hung around Bella because Bella was something new and interesting to look at. And I damn well knew that when Bella got depressed after we left, Jessica dumped her like a sack of garbage – Alice had filled me in on that.
The thought of that girl caused a snarl to build in my chest, which I suppressed with great effort. But as Rose and I drew nearer, what I saw caused my dead heart to clench.
Angela was knelt over Bella, who lay on the ground – there was a blue tint to her skin, a sign of lack of oxygen. To make matters worse, I saw the red pooling around her, staining the ground liquid ruby. A deep, dark purple bruise surrounded her right eye and the right side of her forehead. Her lip and nose were bloody, swollen with dark red soaking her face. Blood trickled from her mouth . . . coughing up blood, bad sign.
Oh Jesus, I thought as I released a gasp I hadn't realized I'd been holding in as I slowed to a human speed, which felt too slow for my liking as Rose and I raced towards Bella's body, which was shivering with each moan that went past her swollen lips.
Angela, who heard my footsteps approaching, swung her head around, seeing us. The tears that flooded her eyes were ones of worry and dread as she whispered, "You're – You're Edward's brother and sister, right? You're supposed to be up at Dartmouth?"
"Spring break," explained Rose quickly.
"What happened?" I demanded, kneeling quickly beside Angela to get a better view of Bella, who just stared back at me blankly, not responding.
"I don't know. Ben and I – we were driving up to Port Angeles for a date and . . . and we just found her like this! She's not talking, she's cold . . ." It was then I saw Angela had taken her jacket off in vain attempt to get Bella warm. Quickly, I slide out of mine and draped it over Bella.
"I called an ambulance," Ben said shakily.
"When the paramedics get here, tell them to request Dr. Cullen," Rosalie said sternly. "Our dad'll take better care of her than anyone else can."
Ben nodded in agreement, staying on the line.
"And call the police, too," I added. "Chief Swan'll need to know his daughter has been assaulted."
"You think someone did this on purpose?" Angela's voice was colored with horror.
"It's the only thing I can think of." I turned to Bella, who moaned painfully. I reached a hand over and touched the top of her head. My fingers stained with red that came from the back of her head. "Shhh . . . darlin' I'm here, we've got you. You're going to be fine. You hear me?"
I heard the sirens in the distance, and I sighed with relief at the thought. The ambulance arrived seconds after, and I recognized one of the medics. I turned to her, demanding, "Radio my dad, now."
"You're Dr. Cullen's son, right?" she asked.
I nodded. "I'm riding with her." I made it clear that I wouldn't take no for an answer.
The young medic nodded in agreement as she ordered Angela and I to move out of the way. She and the other medic loaded Bella onto a stretcher, putting her on a neck brace and an oxygen mask before sedating her and getting her into the back of the vehicle. I climbed in after them, yelling at Rose, "Ride with Angela and Ben! We'll meet you there! And call everyone!"
I didn't have time to see her response as I turned my attention to Bella, who looked horrible, just horrible. Her shirt was torn open, revealing her bloody, bruised torso . . . oh God, was that her rib jutting out through her side?!
My worry was replaced with nothing but fury that rushed through my veins like poison. Whoever had done this . . . I didn't care about our treaty with the wolves. I'd kill whoever did this to her, human or not! Whoever would just beat someone this badly and just leave them beside a road in the cold to die . . . that was a type of evil I never imagined anyone to be humanly possible of. No, Rose's story proved how evil humans could be, her ex-fiancé had beaten her, raped her, and discarded her for dead. But I'd never before seen anything so horrible . . . this was my first time, witnessing something so sickening. Not even James beating her and tossing her around in the ballet studio had been this bad.
We arrived at the hospital in minutes. I jumped out of the ambulance to meet Carlisle halfway, who was flanked by one of the nurses. His eyes silently asked me how I was even controlling myself now.
"I was only worried about her, nothing else," I replied, too quickly and quietly for human ears to hear as Carlisle ran towards Bella, looking her over.
"We'll need to prep her for emergency surgery." His tone was grim as police sirens could be heard, and Chief Swan jumped out of his cruiser before he even cut the engine. Edward's car arrived seconds afterward.
It was both Charlie and Edward calling to her as I ran my bloodied hands through my hair, shaking my head. Edward's face was sculpted into horror as he took in her condition. I held my hands up and placed them on his shoulders as Alice and Emmett both held his arms in place.
"Let Carlisle take care of her. She's going to pull through," Alice whispered. "I can see that. Trust me."
But Edward was barely hearing her even as I tried sending him waves of calm. But he was overriding it as Angela, Ben and Rose arrived and Carlisle rushed Bella into the hospital, determined to do whatever necessary to save her.
Well, what do you think? Let me know in the comments.