Twist of Fate
AN: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyers. TotalEclipse & IsabellaMCullen just wanted to take them on an alternate journey. Enjoy.
Twist of Fate
Twist of Fate
Chapter 1 - Bella
I already had the compass and map in my truck. I was getting pretty good at understanding the process of trekking through the woods, so I probably wouldn't even get lost. All I knew was that I was not staying alone in the house today. Charlie would be fishing with Harry all day, and when I was by myself, I thought too much about things that I shouldn't be thinking about.
Charlie would be worried if he knew I was heading into the woods, with the mysterious bear sightings and the missing hikers. But, I ignored the twinge of guilt.
I wasn't even sure what I was hoping to find at the meadow, our meadow. Maybe the feeling of déjà vu would bring on the voices. Well, not voices, his voice, Edward's voice. Maybe I'd feel some sense of peace for the first time in who knows how many months.
I drove my truck along the familiar dirt road, where Edward had taken me all those months ago, and parked it near the start of the trail I wouldn't be following. I was fairly certain I knew where to start, so I followed the line of the web Jacob had drawn on the map which made it easy even for me to follow, and set off into the woods. The forest noises were all around me, birds chirping, insects buzzing. I began to feel a sense of unease as I made my way deeper into the trees. I was starting to have trouble breathing, though not from hiking. The hole in my chest was throbbing again. Not only did I have the large hole that was created when the Cullen's, my future family, along with what I thought was the love of my life, had left me, but now there was this new hole forming since it seemed Jacob was leaving me now, too.
Distracted by my thoughts, I was startled at just how far I'd come. I stepped through a low arch made by two vine maples, pushed past the chest-high ferns, and entered into the meadow.
I knew it was the same place, it was just as I remembered it; it was as if someone had created the flawless circle of the clearing. To the east, I could hear the stream bubbling. It was the same place… but it didn't hold what I had been searching for. There was nothing special about this place without him. It was empty of everything, just like everything else in my life. Just like in my nightmares. I was alone.
I curled my arms around my chest to keep the hole from tearing me apart. There was too much pain in this empty place, I had to escape.
As I began to pull myself together to leave, a figure stepped from the trees. I didn't know who could possibly be here, far away from any trail. My eyes took in the graceful gait, and the pallid skin, while a rush of hope pierced me. I quickly glanced to the face that wasn't the one I was hoping to see. This wasn't the face I longed for, and yet this was no stray hiker.
"Laurent!" I cried in irrational pleasure.
Fear would have made more sense, but the meadow now held the magic I was looking for, even if it was a darker magic than I'd expected.
"Bella?" He grinned. "I didn't expect to see you here." He strolled toward me, bemused.
"I thought you were up in Alaska?" I smiled.
Laurent looked exactly the same, of course. But, I was expecting a little change since he had been living with vampires who didn't feed on humans. I was expecting the golden eyes of civilized vampires. Suddenly, I realized he was too much the same; his eyes were a dark red.
"I did go to Alaska, I've never stayed in one place for so long before, and I enjoy the advantages, the novelty of it. But, the restrictions are difficult…sometimes I cheat." He smiled, amused.
"Oh, Jasper has trouble with that, too."
"Is that why they left? The house seems empty, like they have been gone for awhile. I'm surprised they left you behind, I thought you were a pet of theirs."
"Lie," said the beautiful voice from my memories.
"They come back every now and again- I'll have to mention to Carlisle that you stopped by. He'll be sorry he missed your visit." I was starting to babble.
"Hmmm" Laurent took a casual step toward me.
"So, did you ever find Victoria?" I asked, breathless, desperate to distract him.
But this question did not distract him. He took another, more deliberate step toward me.
"Yes," he sad, taking another step. "I actually came here as a favor to her." He made a face. "She won't be happy about this."
"About what?" I asked, hoping he'd continue.
He smiled at me like a black-haired angel. "About me killing you," he purred.
"She wanted to save that part for herself, she's sort of put out with you, Bella."
"ME?" I squeaked.
"She thought it would be more appropriate to kill you, since Edward killed James…mate for mate. She asked me to get the lay of the land, so to speak," he murmured, as he shifted his weight slightly.
I took a slight step back, and stumbled.
He frowned. "I suppose she'll be angry just the same."
"Then why not wait for her?" I choked out.
A grin lit up his face. "Well, you've caught me at a bad time, Bella, I was hunting, and you do smell… simply mouthwatering."
"Beg," my hallucination pleaded.
"No, please Laurent," I gasped.
Laurent shook his head, his face kind,. "Look at it this way, Bella. You're lucky I was the one to find you."
"I am?" I mouthed.
"Yes," he assured me. "I'll be very quick. You won't feel a thing. If you knew what Victoria was planning for you, Bella…" He shook his head in disgust. "I swear you'd be thanking me for this."
"Don't move an inch," Edward's voice whispered in my mind. I tried to do what he said although the instinct to take flight was nearly uncontrollable.
Laurent closed in the final step, bringing him directly in front of me. He picked up a strand of my hair and inhaled the fragrance coming off of it. "Mouthwatering," he repeated.
I tensed, my eyes squinting as I cringed away. Edward's growls echoed in the back of my head. Edward… I was going to die now… Edward, I love you.
He ran one hand through my hair and smiled at me seductively. As his fingers became tangled in my hair, his other hand stroked my arm gently, up and down. He leaned in as if he were going to kiss me, inhaling deeply. With the hand in my hair he tilted my head sharply, exposing the skin of my neck. His grip tightened on my arm, and he placed his lips on my neck as lightly as moth's wings. With one final breath, I felt the sharp teeth break through my skin. I couldn't even scream I was completely stunned. The pulling sensation of my blood nauseated me as he drank heavily from my neck.
Laurent's head snapped up suddenly. His eyes widened as his nostrils flared.
"It can't be…" he murmured. His eyes darted back to me, his expression torn. I felt his grip loosen on my arm as his fingers disentangled from my hair. With one last look into the looming forest, he was gone. I felt my body fall to the earth, but it was as if I were dreaming. My brain couldn't register what was happening… was I already dead?
Through my tears, I saw movement all around me. Large, dark, unfocused shapes were rushing past me. I wanted to sit up so that I could make out what they were. Numbness overwhelmed my whole body- as if I had overdosed on Novacaine. I managed to pull myself up to my elbows and watched a handful of enormous animals rushing into the trees on the opposite end of the clearing. The bears!! Why would Laurent abandon me, his prey, even for such large bears? As I contemplated this, I saw another of these giant beasts- I realized it wasn't a bear at all, but rather some form of enormous wolf! It was now hovering directly over me. Its eyes were very dark, almost
black, it's fur, a reddish brown hue. As it stared at me, I was reminded of Jacob, and I was grateful he wasn't here with me. At least Jacob wasn't going to die. From the trees came a low growl, and the russet wolf whipped its head around, and he disappeared into the trees.
It wasn't until I was alone that I felt it. It was like a red-hot poker was at my neck searing my skin deep down into my veins. I knew all too well what was happening. I wasn't dying, I was changing. Memories of the ballet studio flooded back to me, but there was no one here to save me this time. I wished Laurent would come back and finish me off… or was it too late? The fire was spreading from my neck to my chest and arms. I knew I couldn't stay here. Charlie would look for me when I didn't come home. My truck would be found at the trail head. I couldn't let him find me like this. My legs were numb and heavy, but I willed myself to get up. The burning pain took my breath away, but images of Charlie flashed in my head, pushing me on. I had to move fast, before the fire in my veins consumed me. Where could I go?
I stumbled through the trees, tripping over vines and rocks, but I kept going, pushing my dull body to respond. I heard the stream and followed it, not knowing what else to do. Even the dim light of the forest stung my eyes, and I knew I couldn't go much further. The stream was getting louder, echoing in my ears. I could make out a rocky gray form as I collided with a hard stone wall. The waterfall roared beside me, and I stumbled toward the opening of a small, obscured cave. I didn't care what was in there. I actually hoped there was something that could kill me, to put out the fire. I fell to the cold wet ground hoping for death. My whole body was on fire now. Each beat of my heart increased the pain. The entire world went black.