Predators, protectors, and prey.

Predator against protector with human lives in the middle as the prey.

Everything about their blood, their bodies, her breath, and his absence of breath – all of it was created specifically to be at unending war with one other, a war that would never cease as long as they both should live.

Edward looked down at the young girl at his feet, his eyes black as pitch.

He should have never allowed it to get this far once he found out about her Quileute blood. That was a line that he should have never crossed.

He could have stopped this. He should have stopped this.

Edward should have never let it get as far as their first date, their first kiss. He absolutely should have never let it get as far as claiming her virginity, reaching the most intimate and sacred part of her with the accursed venom that had triggered this curse in her.

Bella would never be able to go back to the innocent, untouched girl she was before Edward.

Not now that she was burning.

Bella writhed and screamed with a pain that was as ancient as the existence of the new creature she was becoming. Edward sighed, stepping back from her enough that she could not reach for him as the burning came to a fever pitch – and her body started breaking, bending, changing.

"There is nothing I can do for you, Bella. This has to happen."

Through a mangled scream that would have stopped his heart if he still had one, Edward heard her plead for help.

Sadly, he shook his head.

"I'm fully aware that it burns but I have to let you burn. Otherwise, if I don't let you burn – how am I ever going to be able to keep loving you?"