The pain was easing. I sighed in relief. It was dark around me. Could something have gone wrong? Could something even go wrong?
"Bella?" The soothing voice I had been hearing for days spoke softly to me. "Bella, can you hear me?"
I nodded weakly.
"Open your eyes, Bella."
Oh, my eyes were shut. That explains it. I struggled to open my eyes, and I gasped.
Edwards eyes were anxious, searching my face. "Bella?"
Everything was so…..clear. I could see the glaciers off in the distance, sparkling with snow wrapping around it. The jagged edges of the tip of the ice mountain, each one extending toward the sky. Fine details too weak for human eyes were now as clear as if they were under a magnifying glass. The small creatures roaming the barren lands, although 500 yards away, I could pick out even the smallest of details. This new eyesight shocked me.
"Bella, are you alright?" His voice was strained.
I swallowed. "Im fine." My eyes opened wider. My voice sounded strange to me. I expected it to be raspy, after the endless days of screaming……I shuddered, remembering. My voice was silky, like I was deliberately trying to make it sound attractive.
My new expression made Edward turn skeptical. He composed himself quickly, and looked down, almost ashamed. I didn't understand it.
"Are you thirsty?" He bit his lip.
I wasn't sure. How was I supposed to know, anyways?
"I don't know." I sounded confused, but in a way that would make someone want to do anything to help me.
His mouth twitched, but he continued to look ashamed. "Ill show you." He stood up slowly, and still he didn't look at me.
I didn't move. "Cmon, then." He gestured for me to follow.
I stood up cautiously, tensed as if waiting for impact. I don't know what I was expecting, but everything was so different.
He smirked. "Race?"
I threw him a disbelieving look, "Are you kidding me? I can hardly walk, let alone run! Ill fall down!" Was he insane? He knew my balance problems, and Ive seen him run. Hes super fast, and Im a super klutz.
He raised his eyebrows. "Maybe not."
What? Why would it be any--oh. Right. That. He saw the realization hit me, and his expression changed from one of smugness to one of triumph.
I deliberated for a moment. My previous experience with running for any amount of time kept me from being eager to test my possible new vampire speed. Maybe I could run faster? Ha. Maybe I could run. But, Edward is the fastest, faster than Alice, or Emmett. And they were fast. There was no way I was faster than Edward.
I looked down, uncomfortable. "You will win, you know."
He grinned widely. "Oh, I know."
"Then why bother?" I asked acidly. Edward wasn't really one to gloat, so I wasn't sure what he was getting at.
He raised his eyebrows at my change of tone. "Arent you curious at all? On how fast you are now? If you have any abilities out of the norm for—" He paused suddenly, and frowned briefly, before he continued, "for our kind?"
I wondered why he had seemed glum for a moment, but dismissed it, since he seemed to have gone back to his former mood. "I am. Kind of. But—" I trailed off.
He sighed, his eyes filled with sadness, and he looked down. "But youre frightened?" He glanced up at me through his long lashes, and his expression was regretful.
"No, no, that's not it." I struggled to make my lie sound convincing. He saw right through it.
"Bella, its okay to be nervous, to be afraid. I just wish you had realized that sooner, because now there is no going back. Its a one-way street, Bella. There is no turning back, no refunds. Whats done is done. Im sorry, Bella. Im sorry for doing this. I never should have, I should have—"
As soon as I understood what he was saying, I cut him off. "Edward," I smiled, "I don't regret my decision." I don't regret becoming a vampire, was he- vampire. I was a vampire. I realized that neither of us had said that sentence, put those words together. Now I knew why. The words seemed so….final. I knew that it was what I wanted. It would be worth it in the end. I wouldn't regret my decision, not a chance. Would I?
Suddenly, I felt a hunger that was so strong, so unknown, and I found myself frightened at the intensity of it. This must be the thirst. The thought of the thirst made me shiver, though I was not cold, despite the cold climate of Antarctica. My eyes blazed.
Edward chuckled softly, but the sound was grim. "Shall we?" He held out his hand, and I took it reflexively. "When I say go, follow me, or try to get ahead, alright?" He smirked at me, knowing I wouldn't be able to keep up.
I sighed, and met his eyes. They were eager, and buried within, I could see the curiosity in them. He wanted to see how fast I was now. Well, I suppose he was about to find out.
He grinned, and looked forward, shifting his position into one of a marathon runner. It was unnecessary, of course, and I giggled. He threw a sideways look at me, and I could see that atleast one half of his face was twisted up into a smile.
He let go of my hand, and my arms swung down to my side, imitating his position. I took a deep breath, suddenly nervous. Time to race Edward. That's one sentence human Bella never would have said. Ever. I don't even think….I struggled to even think the word, vampire Bella would. Oh, well. Ill humor him.
"GO!" And we took off.