Disclaimer: All the characters appearing in this work are copyright Stephenie Meyer and are not used with permission. No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and all original characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No financial gain is being made by this work. Quotes taken directly from Stephenie Meyer's work are in italics. No copyright infringement is intended by the use of these quotes.
This is a companion fanfic to 'The Dark Dance of Temptation'. This fanfic, is in Bella's POV, and runs parallel to TDDOT although, not from the last line of 'New Moon'. There are a lot of details in this fanfic that are not in TDDOT because Bella was not with Edward every second of every day. So, if you have read 'The Dark Dance of Temptation' and suddenly feel as though you're reading the same story, but from a different perspective... you are.
Eternal thanks to s'blue, (somethingblue on the Lex and the Host), who joined me as my beta reader at chapter 13 of TDDOT. Thank you so much for putting up with my seemingly endless changes, your inspired suggestions, your willingness to go back over both this fanfic and the beginning of TDDOT and help me correct all those pesky mistakes. Your encouragement is appreciated more than I can ever say!
We had finally reached the last week of school. YES!! Only one more day and I would be walking up to the podium to receive my diploma. Alice said the sun would be out in full force so they wouldn't be attending. It was hard to believe since it was pouring outside and had been all week.
I had worked my butt off and had gotten straight A's; of course Edward got all A's, and my SAT scores were great. Edward actually tried to not score so high, but still scored within the top two percent of the country. He did tons of research into different universities and colleges and came up with a final list. He sent out, God only knows, how many applications that I filled out at my kitchen table, reminding me that when and if he changes me, eternal life gets really boring if you don't have a plan. I was afraid Edward still had the idea that I would be going to college before anything else happened, but, before I would go to any college, Edward and I had a few things to take care of, one being, getting married, (I never actually said the word 'yes', but he has always known I would …eventually). It was part of the bargain, my part. The second was his wedding gift to me, not that he ever thought of it as a gift, making me immortal, and the third is taking a nice long honeymoon. That's my plan.
With my great grades and excellent behavior, Charlie had let up on most of the restrictions, (I'm not allowed to ride any kind of motorcycle yet though). He had finally accepted the fact that Edward and I are madly, truly and hopelessly in love and totally devoted to each other. Well, that and the fact that he had a long chat with Esme.
I guess Edward had been sulking at home after the crazy restrictions Charlie had applied. After Jacob told Charlie about my dirt bike day, my life was pretty miserable. Well, except for all our little secret rendezvous'. So, Esme intervened and made a few promises of her own to Charlie. Besides, he had no chance against her charm. And so, he became fully aware of our plans of getting married and lifted my restrictions.
Edward hadn't been at school the whole week and not because of the weather, but because the student body excitement level was more than he could stand. He had to concentrate so hard on blocking out the voices that it made him really grumpy. I didn't blame him at all, besides he wouldn't be participating in the graduation ceremony anyway, so why bother being there. They had made the excuse that they were going out of town for a couple of weeks due to some family situation.
Just a few weeks ago, he had remarked on someone's thoughts to me. It became a huge discussion about whether he should share that sort of information or not. I had asked him, if he knew someone was going to hurt someone else, wouldn't he try to intervene? He told me "only if it involves saving you." Otherwise, no, he would not. He had already done the "God" thing.
Nevertheless, it had reminded him of who he is and what he had done in the past. He fell into a deep depression for a while and not being able to spend any time with me outside of school or when I was even awake for any length of time, didn't help his sulky mood. He did find little ways to be with me though. I never knew when he would appear out of nowhere to cover my face with kisses, touch my face with his icy fingers, or just plain dazzle me with his smile.
I made every excuse to go into the backyard, take out the trash, or anything just to get out even for 2 minutes, long enough for Edward to steal my breath away. It was almost worth being on restriction.
But, I guess he was getting carried away with all that time on his hands and his daydreams were traveling into dangerous territory. That's when Esme talked with Charlie and convinced him we were seriously talking about college and marriage, among other things. Edward's depression lifted and we have been gloriously happy since then.
I missed not having him by my side throughout the day, but he had warned me. Near the end of every school year, he would check himself out, usually due to an illness, he would then finish out his finals at home. The rest of the Cullen family would leave shortly after, but their departure was usually because of the weather. The only reason he was able to stay in school so long this time was because I was such a pleasant distraction.
Unfortunately, the ceaseless babble at school was more than he could handle. The random gossip of who was in love with who, which college people where planning to attend, the nasty back-stabbing among so-called friends and one day in the cafeteria he just blurted out "pregnant?"
I told him "I don't even want to go there." He decided at that moment it was time for him to leave.
We went to the office and he signed himself out with the excuse that he was suffering from a migraine. He even snapped at poor Mrs. Cope, which surprised the heck out of me! In the parking lot, I had asked him what it was all about and he replied, "That woman had a filthy mind". Apparently, she had been wondering if we were sleeping together, which gave me a good laugh. God, if she only knew!
The noise level in the gym was getting to me also. The only way to get a break from all the noise was to go outside or take a bathroom break. Because of the rain, we had been practicing for the ceremony in the gym all week. With a senior class this small, you would think the teachers could get these guys organized!
Everyone was on edge because the warm summer rains. The humidity just made me feel sweaty and gross. In Phoenix it was a nice hot 112'F with maybe 10 percent humidity. At least the teacher's left the doors open so we could get some fresh air, but it didn't do much good when you already felt as if a warm wet towel was stuck to your face.
Yearbooks had been distributed at lunch and they gave us a half an hour free time before we had to go through practice one more time. I had been sitting on the bleachers with Angela watching everyone run around like crazy getting their book signed and hugging and kissing each other as if they would never see one another again.
In my case, that was very true. I didn't bother buying a yearbook. After I joined Edward's family, become one of their kind, a vampire, it would only serve as a reminder of what I left behind and I didn't plan to ever look back.
I looked through Angela's yearbook, but only for the sake of trying to find a picture of me, Edward or Alice. I was the only one of us to have senior portraits taken and only because Charlie and Renée insisted. I picked the smallest possible package that consisted of an 8X10 for Renée and a 5X7 for Charlie, to go along with all the other 5X7's he had framed of me.
Angela leaned over to me, "I think Tyler wants you to sign his yearbook."
I looked into the crowd and there was Tyler Crowley trying not to look at me. The second he caught me looking his way he looked everywhere but at me.
Poor Tyler, he was such a goof.
I leaned over to Angela and asked, "Do you think that's all he wants?"
"Well, if it wasn't for him almost killing you, you may never have gotten together with your hero, the man of your wildest dreams, your savior, your knight in shining…"
"Okay! I get it!" We were both laughing. "Well, I guess I'd better go sign his yearbook." I stood and started carefully down the bleachers when I heard Angela yell behind me.
"Bella, give him a kiss for me!"
I made a beeline straight to where Tyler stood in the middle of the gym. When he saw me coming toward him, he looked to either side of him, obviously wondering whom I was coming to see because it couldn't possibly be him.
I walked right up to him.
"Hi Tyler." I gave him my sweetest smile.
He stood rooted to his spot, but at the same time he looked as if he wanted to run as far and as fast as he could to get away from me. I just continued to smile and wait.
"Hi..hi.. B..Bella!" His voice was all squeaky and nervous. I looked down at his yearbook waiting for him to ask me to sign it, but all he could do was shove it in my face.
Without taking it from him, I looked around the book to see his face. "Do you want me to sign your yearbook, Tyler?" I batted my eyes at him and watched as the poor guy turned five different shades of red as he nodded. He could give me a run for my money in the blushing department!
I took the book from him and signed with a flourish. Then I handed it back to him. He smiled and I couldn't help but notice that he was really kind of cute when he smiled. I put my hands on his shoulders, stood on my tiptoes, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I was glad Edward wasn't there to see it. I would have some explaining to do if he ever found out, but I was pretty sure he would understand.
I watched Tyler for a second and realized that he had stopped breathing.
God, this is exactly how I react to Edward's kisses.
"Tyler, you really need to breathe buddy, okay." He nodded his head at me never even blinking.
Then, finally, he took in deep breath and relaxed.
I turned back and saw Angela laughing her head off in the bleachers. "Thanks Tyler and I don't think I ever told you, but I'm really sorry about the prom mix-up thing last year."
"Ah…naw…don't worry about it." He smiled.
I needed to get out of there. I couldn't wait until the end of the day to be out of that noise and with Edward again
I walked toward the hallway leading to the girl's restroom. The door at the other end of the hall was open to help with the airflow through the gym.
I pushed the restroom door open and let it close behind me. The noise level immediately dropped giving my ears a little break. I glanced into the mirror before I stepped into a stall, closed the door behind me and did my thing. As I was pulling my jeans up over my sweaty skin, I heard someone come though the main door. The noise from the gym rose then, fell dramatically when the door slipped closed. I flushed the toilet and there was a knock on my stall door.
Geez, there are about 10 stalls in this bathroom, all empty except mine!
"I'm almost done." I called out, and then I saw a hand at the top of my door. The door crumpled and then came off the hinges and flew across the room, smashing into the mirror above the sink. All I had time to see was her flaming red hair in the mirrors reflection and a thought flashed through my mind; all those vampire movies got it wrong about the reflection thing. Then her hand was on my throat and I was slammed up against the back of the stall, my feet dangling on either side of the toilet.
"There you are my dear sweet Bella." Victoria's smile chilled my blood. "Where has your lover-boy gotten himself off to? To busy to baby-sit his pet, huh?"
Her hand was crushing my throat closed and I could feel myself beginning to lose consciousness. Blackness started to fill the corners of my eyes. Feebly, I grabbed at her hand trying to loosen it just a bit, but I knew in my heart, this was it.
I was going to die right here, right now.
This can't be happening! How freakin' cliché!
Pulling at her hand, I tried to loosen her grip on my throat, but it was useless. Reaching toward her face, I tried to scratch at her eyes, but I could see that it was having no effect. She was just standing there, smiling that hideous smile watching me struggle. And, I had to struggle. I had to fight for my life when the wrong vampire was trying to take it from me. She wasn't planning on changing me, she was going to kill me.
"Ah, Bella, you know I'm not going to choke you to death, don't you?"
She took one of my groping arms in her free hand and brought it to her lips. As I watched, she slowly licked the tender skin of my wrist, closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of my blood. The touch of her tongue was like an electric shock traveling up my arm.
"What kind of vampire is he, that he could subject himself to this mouth-watering scent and not drain you dry, savoring every drop?" She pressed my wrist to her icy cheek. "Really, I'm glad James didn't kill you. Even though I miss him terribly, I feel lucky to have the pleasure of enjoying you all to myself. And your poor, poor mate. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Oh, how he'll suffer your loss, for we do suffer Bella, we suffer horribly."
With her hand squeezing at my neck, the blackness was closing down around me until I was able to see only a small area directly in front of me, as though I were looking through a long dark tube and my arm and her mouth filled in the entire tunnel. I couldn't even scream when her razor sharp teeth sliced into my flesh.
Oh Edward, I'm so sorry.