You Make Me Retch
Chapter Eighteen: Vampire
"All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary."
"I am a vampire."
What a word. I remember feeling this sort of chill explode inside of my body, my eyes seeing stars as his hands almost crushed mine while he squeezed it. His eyes were on fire, burning, turning black? Or maybe I was just crazy, because at that moment my brain was dead, not sending me signals, not giving me any type of answer or reaction in how to deal with this kind of situation.
"Are you speechless?" he muttered coldly, still as close to me as ever, "Why do I find that hard to believe? All this time you have done nothing but talk; and now ironically enough when I want you to speak, you refuse."
I wanted to open my mouth. I really did. But my tongue was glued inside my head, and it was as if my body was shutting down—not from fear, but from something else.
I was in shock, simple as that. His face was beautiful—angry, anxious, expecting, relentless. The way he was breathing, the shape of his eyebrows as they expanded across his forehead, even his breath blowing on my face made me weak kneed and dizzy, and all I could do was stand—not even if he wasn't holding me up—and take it all in. He had me wrapped around his finger like honey to a bee and he didn't even know it yet. Or did he?
In any case he didn't move from his position on me, his eyes still piercing into mine, until they flickered to my chest for just a second. Under normal circumstances I would've punched somebody, but I couldn't seem to move.
"Listen to your heart fly," he murmured softly—thankfully? "It's about time you had a normal reaction. Under all these conditions you have tried to remain strong…you will not believe how wonderful it is to smell your fear."
I almost couldn't breathe, because he was absolutely right: My heart WAS flying, so fast in fact, that I couldn't keep up with it. Maybe he could hear my heart beat. I mean, that wouldn't be such an amazing feat compared to being able to disappear in split seconds or breaking trees in half and being able to throw them fifty miles into the distance. I shuddered with the thoughts of what else he could accomplish.
And then as my brain tried to take in all the shock of the moment, it began to do some processing.
What exactly did that mean? In all the myths and legends I have heard, vampires were evil. Seemed like a perfect fit, I thought bitterly. They were blood drinkers, primarily from humans, killers, heartless, cold…..dead. My heart skipped a beat. As I looked into his eyes he seemed more than alive to me. Yes, his skin was icy cold, and I was sure that he didn't have a heartbeat, a pulse, anything to show that he COULD be alive, and yet there he was right in front of me. So beautiful.
Never did I hear a tale about a vampire being some kind of attractive being. My mind tried to fight the claim, but ever since I arrived in this palace I had been surrounded by these creatures, these amazing creatures basking in beauty, in wonder….he seemed to suck up my being with his eyes, so piercing, so perfect. It was frightening.
A person being that exquisite, that striking, to be mistaken for an angel….what powers could he hold over a person? The wonder of an angel, the beauty, the innocence….only to cover up the inside, the real him, the demon, the evil, the fear. All these contradicting ideas swirled around him, MADE him, and they all came together in this perfect way in forming his being.
Prince and future king of the nation, of the world.
It was only a matter of time before he sought total conquest.
"Say something." He whispered, demanding, "You're afraid of me….aren't you?"
His eyes were roaming over me, staring into me, not budging. I could tell he was trying to read me, concentrating, but to no prevail.
What happened next I couldn't be sure of, couldn't be sure of how my body was able to speak after these intense moments of silence, but I was able to.
"No." I said, defiant, "I'm not scared of anything."
For a second he didn't say anything, didn't react, but after a while he smirked, as if he had just discovered something oh-so-clever. "Then I guess we're going to have to fix that…." His face pushed forward gently, and he came closer and closer to me. I held my breath, my lungs were bursting, my mind frantic, and all I could think was 'Oh god…he's going to kiss me.'
But I didn't try to fight it. I couldn't. I didn't even want to. I closed my eyes and waited for it, his presence getting closer and closer to my lips before….
The door pounded, and as if on cue, he immediately let me go and turned around in surprise. "Damn it to hell." He muttered.
I automatically slid unto the floor, my legs jelly and unable to support me.
"Who is it?" Edward called, his voice strangely rough, "Did I not ask for a minute alone with Isabella?"
My eyes were in a haze, but my ears heard the faint sound of chiming bells. "You certainly did, brother, but the grand thing about asking is the ability to decline. You asked for a minute alone, not whisking her away into some secret little room."
The door creaked open, and in came Alice, Edward's sister, bouncing. And as she did I seemed to notice how beautiful she was, and how my mind was screaming the word vampire at me when I saw her, and how I knew in my heart that that would be the reaction I would have for as long as I stayed in the palace.
She seemed to notice.
As she stared at me on the floor, unable to get up, panting, breathing, she seemed to know. In fact, it was like she already knew what would happen, because instead of the happy smile she usually seemed to dawn, her face became bleak.
"Isabella, dear," she whispered, reaching for me, "I believe that after breakfast we shall need to talk…I'm sure that's what you would want."
She gave a cold stare at Edward whose bitter face refused to change. As she reached for me I flinched, and the look on her face was more pained than anything else. After she grabbed my arm and pulled me up gently, I realized that my body was still jelly.
"I hate to ask you for favors Isabella, especially since you have just arrived, but I'm afraid that if I drag you into the hall, questions will arise. I need you to stand tall."
I could hear the double meaning in her words.
How pitiful, I thought, I must have looked as I just stood there with my knees buckling. And then I felt a burst of fire within me as I realized that he must have loved it. I took a few seconds to breathe, just a few moments so I could clear my head, and it was in those few moments where I forced myself to gather any last bit of reason and strength that I could muster. "I just need to get away from him for a moment," I croaked, blown away by how parched my voice sounded, "Just until I can…can absorb all of this."
I heard him scoff. "And what good will it do you if I leave?" he hissed, getting irritated, "You cannot run from your problems all the time—" he suddenly stopped, examining me as I kept my stare, and then he jeered, "But I guess that's asking too much of you. After all, running is what you thieves do best, isn't it?"
"Edward!" Alice whispered, horrified.
"No." I said, finding strength, "No he's right. I do run all the time. That's how I've had to live for as long as I can remember. But the difference is is that I'm living. "
The room was quiet for a time as his eyes flickered down. Cursing, he reached for the door knob but before he left whispered, "…and do not ever take that for granted, girl."
The door closed behind him, and as it did my heart stopped dead.
"The difference is that I'm living."
She had caught me off guard, her words ringing inside of my head over and over again. Of course technically she had been right. I have been alive for centuries now, long enough to have grown a tolerance for immature mortal minds, long enough to know that fighting back and bickering was nothing but a waste of time, of everlasting time.
But somehow…this girl, this Isabella, she brought out the worst in me.
The worst…or the real.
I could feel Alice's stare on my face as she tried to imagine what I would do next. But what this girl failed to realize is that yes, I have been alive a very long time. But in those years I have also been exposed to so many things, I have been denied the one thing I wanted most, the one thing she took for granted. Even with all these amazing powers and abilities, we were still weak, still unable to grasp the treasure that I would willingly and happily throw over all my immortality for.
I cursed under my breath at how foolish I had been, how I had let this new found anger burst out of me, how I had told this girl our secret, this family secret in which we had been hiding for centuries, for as long as I could remember, and in a matter of a day I had let it go, to someone I barely knew, someone I didn't want to know.
How pitiful. How disgustingly pitiful.
I reached for the doorknob to leave, but before I did I couldn't stop myself from saying one last word.
"Do not take it for granted, girl."
I had to warn her. To let her know how precious life was.
And then I was gone.
The dining room became deathly quiet as my footsteps could be heard walking on the marble floor, my attitude turning from bitterness to despair. In my view I could see every person in their chairs, all watching me, waiting for some kind of explanation.
I was sure Alice didn't say a word to them, for she knew my actions even before I did. Even though I didn't want to admit it, if it wasn't for her coming in, I don't know what would have happened. That girl, she brought out this side to me I didn't know even existed. This arousal, this fear, this excitement. It was utterly confusing.
In any case I didn't stop as I reached the table, walking past all the anxious stares to the nearest exit.
"I'm terribly sorry for the interruption," I said quickly as I left, "But I seemed to have lost my appetite. But please, feel free to celebrate without Isabella and I."
I could hear Tanya let out a breath as I closed the door behind me.
Hah, what a hoax.
As if she could really let out something she could never have.
I don't know what exactly happened after Alice came into the room, but I soon found myself inside a beautiful space filled with exquisite furniture, all white, and it seemed to be glittering.
"Gold dust." She chimed as if reading my mind, while walking across the room with a teapot, "I simply had to have it all around. It's so beautiful."
I didn't say anything, found myself unable to, and yet it was so much easier being around her. I couldn't explain it, but her aura was contagious.
"Here," she said, taking a seat next to me, "I asked the maids to make a very special tea. It'll make you stronger, I swear."
She filled the tea cup in front of me full, and I couldn't help but stare at it in hesitation. She seemed to notice this. "It's not poisoned." She smiled weakly, "I promise. You mean a lot to me, Isabella. I hope you can understand this, believe it. Edward has been in need of something—someone like you for a long time now. I can't excuse his behavior, but you must realize that it's been a while since we've had…such intimate company with a human."
My heart skipped a beat as my head shot up, but Alice's face was still unchanged. Human?
Not her too.
It was getting more difficult by the second to pretend this vampire business was all just a joke. But at the same time, I knew it wasn't.
"Edward's told you already. I know. And there is no point in trying to hide it once you've heard it. I will not deny what we are, not anymore."
My hands were shaking, not from fear, as I reached over the table and grabbed my tea. I took a long sip, surprised by how strong it was. But I figured it was better that way: At least I knew I was still able to feel.
She smiled. "Drink up. I've noticed how frail you've gotten since you've arrived. And that's not good at all considering you're fragile to begin with. Mortals can break so easily."
I coughed. "Oh…"
We sat in silence for a few seconds, Alice staring me down, and of all the dumb things I could've thought of, the one thing on my mind was if she could hear my heart beat or not.
"You must have so many questions," she suddenly said, unconscious, "And I guess I must answer them all. I want you not to be afraid. It's absolutely vital you aren't."
Her eyes were pleading, and I found my guard coming down more and more each second. I felt like I could trust her, and even if I didn't, what other choice did I have? She was the only one who offered to talk to me—without the chances of death, anyway.
"I'm not scared." I assured, "I'm just…taken back. This has never—I would never have imagined people could take a joke this far, is all."
Her eyebrows rose. "Joke?"
I scooted closer to her. "Yes, a joke. I mean…do you really expect me to believe that you guys are a bunch of vampires? That picture of demon boy…it must have all been a joke. Vampires don't exist, they're nothing but old wives tales."
She bit her lip. "You best be wise not to say such things without feeling. How do you know vampires are nothing but myth? I suggest you start believing in these tales, Isabella, because this is real. And who…who is demon boy?"
"That snot brain of a brother of yours."
At this she laughed, but I was far from such an emotion. I felt sick. I tried to put this off as some kind of sick trick, an initiation of some kind, but it was getting harder and harder….especially since deep inside of me I knew the proof was there.
"He is usually the quiet, polite one." Alice spoke, her eyes thoughtful, "You just cause him to feel emotions he never knew he had, and because of this he feels resentment. Isabella, my dear, Edward is falling in love with you, and he doesn't even realize it yet. But believe me, I know."
The tea I was sipping spit out of my mouth and back into the cup, and if I didn't have my hand down I would've just let go of the plate altogether. What did she just say? Had she lost her mind?
"Your brother tried to kill me. And that crazy red head at the table. I don't know what kind of love you're referring to, but back in the village, we call that hate."
"Tanya…" Alice murmured, "She is a witch, that one. Never liked her. Jealousy is her strongest emotion, but she will not dare to hurt you while we are here. Vampires have a strict code of conduct we all follow, and even she is not immune to it, dear, not at all."
My head buzzed. "Stop." I said.
Alice looked up. "Excuse me?"
"Stop acting. Enough. I played along, but stop this whole vampire crap you keep spoofing out. Please."
"I assure you, I'm telling the truth."
"Oh ya?" I replied hotly, "Telling the truth? I may not have had some great education you could afford or whatnot, and I may not be the richest girl in the nation, but I'm not stupid. Vampires are legend, myth. They don't exist. It's not possible."
"Anything is possible, Isabella. You may be surprised what other 'legendary' creatures are actually reality.:"
"You're not going to quit are you?"
"I can't. Because then I'd be denying who I am. And I shall not any longer. It's ridiculous enough."
My heart pumped, and I wanted to leave the room. She was not letting this go. And each time she denied me, I felt my sanity slowly breaking little by little. "You have no proof.." I whispered, dizzy, "Nothing."
She sat quiet for a while, looking at me, and then smiled. Standing up, she reached for the table and pulled the knife she had used for the sandwiches. I put my guard up. Now SHE was trying to kill me? "Stab me with this." She gave me the knife, beckoning me, "Go ahead. As hard as you possibly can."
I trembled. "You're crazy," I spat, "No way."
"Really, Isabella, it's no trouble. And this is the only way to prove it to you."
"I'm not stabbing you."
Sighing, she pulled back the knife with a head shake. "And here I thought you would be courtesy." Without a warning, her hands flew wide, the knife aimed at her heart, and then she stabbed herself.
"NOOOOO!!" I shot up from my chair and rushed to her, pulling the knife back, only to find it was crumpled into a piece of scrap metal. Alice remained unhurt, seeming untouched, and she smiled. "Oh Isabella!" she laughed, "You seem to have doted on me already! The look of horror on your face was priceless my dear!"
Her laughter was like the sound of church bells ringing and ringing, beautiful church bells, but I stepped back, horrified. The knife laid a crumpled mess on the ground, and not even a scratch was on her. I trembled. I knew that would happen…and yet I did not want to believe it.
"Hold my hand." She ordered, reaching for me. She grabbed it, and I winced. She was ice cold. And hard. Like a rock. "No silly piece of metal can hurt me. I'm delighted to say that something really special must be used to take me down. And even then, it wouldn't be so easy."
The knees on my legs buckled, and I couldn't stand. I fell back unto the couch, my breathing coming out in short gasps. No, I thought, this couldn't be. It was impossible. Impossible. "Now do you believe me?" she chirped, glowing, "Now, no more of your nonsense about vampires not being real, please. You're hurting my feelings."
"Feelings?" I breathed, still not catching my breath.
"Of course!" Alice seemed outstounded by my apparent ignorance, her big eyes getting larger and larger. "Isabella, my dear, I wish nothing more but for us to be great friends. I know it is possible, I am in love with you already. Believe me, you will make an excellent addition to this family."
My arms steadied myself, and I had to close my eyes and breathe. Alice smelled like champagne, sweet bubbling champagne, with a sort of sugary floral scent. It was mouthwatering. In my mind I imagined all the sorrows I had been through, losing Jacob, my father's trust, my physical and mental pride, my dignity…all of this, and I was to become a part of this family? How could I let myself? My heart was already overpowered. In all the chaos of the moment, I felt a tear fall onto my hand. And soon enough after that, I began to cry. I tried to stop, tried to move my eyes up and down and left to right of the room to hold it back, but I couldn't stop water from falling. I felt a cool touch. Looking up, Alice's beaming face became soft, and I could tell she really wanted to make this work. "I can't speak for Edward," she whispered, soothing me, "but I can speak for myself. Isabella…I have the power of seeing the future. It may not always be accurate, but ninety five percent of the time it is. My family…we have been in the dark for a long time now. And when I saw you in my vision, you were this beaming light that we have needed for a long time now. If you leave now, I fear the worst."
Her hand on mine was really refreshing, since my body became unbearably hot with anxiety, and my eyes were glued on hers. It seemed as though she was the one that needed my help, not the other way around. "What do you fear?" I muttered, "What can you possibly be afraid of?"
She became hesitant, and her grip became tighter. "I'm afraid of losing everything." Was her simple reply, "Isabella, the Cullen's are nothing more but our family itself. And I see a dark future ahead of us. I believe you were sent to save us. I cannot go through this world alone, not for an eternity of restless wandering."—her eyes became weak—"At least at some point you will die, and your pain will leave with you. But for us…we must carry the pain of loneliness till the end of time. And I could not bear for that to happen to me again. Please. Tell me you will at least stay for a bit longer, and make your decision then."
What a compromising decision. Even though I had just met her, Alice was already my strongest ally. Inside of my heart, I knew what she was saying was true, genuine, and I could not argue with her. She did not ask me to stay forever. Just until I made up my mind. "Only for a little while," I blubbered, not seeing clearly, "I can only promise you that."
"OH ISAISABELLA! THANK YOU!!!" Alice pounced on me, hugging me into a tight grip, and even with my tears I managed to cough out a laugh. Her joy was so contagious. "I will not leave your side." She determined, after the joy, "But I already know Jasper and Emmett will adore you. Rosalie…maybe you will need to work on that, but Carlisle and Esme will love you instantly!..."
Alice kept going on and on, but all I could do was sit stiff, taking it all in. It was about time I asked her some real questions, about time I wrapped my mind around this whole vampire thing. "Oh Isabella," Alice chirped suddenly, remembering something very important.
"Will you let me choose your ball gown? I would simply adore it if you did!"
My heart stopped. "Ball gown?" I said, "I could never afford one—wait. Why do I need one?"
She smiled. "For the presentation ball, of course! We have not had one in over centuries now!"
I felt sweaty, the word centuries pounding in my brain. I was still going to have to get used to this. "Can I pass this up?" I pleaded, "I'm not good at dancing."
"Of course not! This ball is in your honor. You must be there!"
"My honor? What for?"
"For being the next queen of the nation! Of course!"
I threw up in my mouth a little, feeling dizzy. Oh no, this could not be happening. Not only did this mean I would be the pin up princess I never wanted to be, but it also meant that EVERYBODY would see me. My mother, my friends,…and Jacob.
"Oh he hasn't made the announcement yet," Alice cheered, bouncing on her bed, grabbing my hands to join her, "But I already see it in the future. OHHHHH Isabella believe me you will be INCREDIBLE!"
What happened next I couldn't be sure of. Next thing I knew I was inside of the bathroom, door locked behind me as Alice knocked and knocked. "Isabella! Isabella!" she yelled, getting worried, "Are you Ok?"
I had to be alone. Not just because I was going to go crazy, but because being alone made it possible for me to believe I was still normal. That outside of that door was my room, and my friends, and my Jacob. That my life was what it was. But with each pound that Alice shot through the door, my dreams broke into millions of tiny pieces.
"Alice!" I snapped, and as I did the door fell silent instantly, "One thing."
"Yes?" she asked, hesitant.
"Call me Bella."
Author Note: Please don't kill me. If you love my stories, then you won't. Sorry for dying for like five months, but give me a break. It's summer vacation. Next chapter I will upload is the seven seas. It'll switch off from story to story to keep it fair.