"…ahhh…ughhh…oww!" I writhed in pain. "Edward?"
"I'm here Bella, it's okay. Carlisle is here to help." His velvet voice sounded so faraway.
"It hurts…my hand…" I whimpered. I felt the cool touch of vampire fingers, Carlisle's or Edward's I didn't know which, and heard their low mutterings to one another, much too low for human ears. Then Edward growled, a deep guttural sound.
"Bitten?!?" His velvet voice turned harsh and dismayed. "He bit her?!?" Edward's voice scared me and I wished to comfort him, hating for him to be so upset. Just then the pain in my arm intensified until it felt like my skin was going to boil away.
"Edward…oh…my hand…Edward my hand…it's on fire!" I was having trouble breathing as the fire in my hand spread slowly to my lower arm. It was unbearable. Then suddenly his voice was in my ear, I weakly opened my eyes to see my angel's perfect face hovering above my own. He attempted my favorite crooked smile, but for once he couldn't mask his anguish.
"This is it Bella, it's your choice now, it's what you've been waiting for; here's your chance."
I tired to keep up but the emotion he couldn't mask made his words come out in a rush. "I don't understand…what?"
"Bella," Edward's eyes smoldered with a different type of passion, "James, the vampire who attacked you…well…" He trailed off uncharacteristically. I couldn't bear to see him so distressed, especially since I was this whole mess was my doing. If only I hadn't believed the story that James had fed me on the phone about kidnapping my mother. What had I been thinking, running off to face a terrifying vampire alone? Well, I know exactly what I had been thinking now, and for once it wasn't about Edward; it had been my mother, and the terrified sound of her voice on the phone. Pain tore through my arm ,I gasped quietly and as always, nothing went unnoticed by Edward. He continued for my sake it seemed, although I could tell it pained him immensely to do so.
"Bella," he murmured, "James bit you and the pain you feel in your arm is his venom working its way through your blood stream." I was panting as he continued. "Carlisle and I have decided that this is completely up to you." I was to distracted by the pain to comprehend.
"This?" I asked hating to sound so stupid.
"This, meaning whether or not you want to become a vampire." He spit out the last word with bitterness. "Carlisle and I could easily suck the venom out of your blood right now and everything, all the pain would stop immediately." He emphasized the word pain, remembering his own agony and what he went through, and I suppose, trying to persuade me to make the choice to stay human.
"Bella," I recognized Carlisle's voice, "realistically speaking, you have two or three minutes to decide what you want to do, but after that, the venom will have stretched to far along in your body and Edward or I would never be able to suck it all out without harming you. If you so choose, your life goes back to normal, but should you choose the alternative," Edward choked back a snarl but gestured for Carlisle to continue. "…if you choose the alternative, Bella, Edward and I will be here for you the whole time. You will undergo three of the most excruciatingly painful days you have ever, or will ever experience, but I promise you , both of us will make you as comfortable as you possibly can be during that time. I will leave you know to decide for about two minutes, and I'll return to hear what you've decided." He turned to Edward and muttered something to him along the lines of "it's her choice," but I couldn't be sure, and glided silently into the next room, perhaps to talk to the rest of the Cullen family who couldn't be far.
Edward solemnly turned and gazed deeply, directly into my own eyed with an intensity so great it chilled the fire in my blood for the briefest of seconds. "Bella," he breathed, his eyes sad.
"Edward, I need a minute to gather my thoughts," I managed to get out. He grimaced in what I imagine was supposed to be a smile.
"Ok," he agreed.