Something unusual for this site - a straight up, old-fashioned Twilight fanfic. Not New Moon, not Eclipse, not Breaking Dawn.

But actually, it's kind of Midnight Sun.


The Tape

I'm always fighting urges. Resisting blood temptation, trying not to push myself too far with Bella, trying not to do the unthinkable. But this was just ridiculous, what I was trying not to do. Did I want to lose my temper? Did I want to punch a hole through the wall of our living room? Again? No. But also yes. Just almost thinking of what I didn't want to think of was enough to drive me over the edge of calm and right back into the hysteria, rage and pain.

But then I realized: I deserved it.

I deserved every ounce of pain that tape held, that square black tape on the floor in front of me. I knew it. It would make me suffer, it would make me angry, but most of all it would put me in such agony that I don't think I could stand it. But I deserved it. I deserved all of it for all that I had done to Bella. I was a monster. And this was my punishment.

I put the tape in the VCR.

"I would just like to rub it in, just a little bit. The answer was there all along, and I was so afraid Edward would see that and ruin my fun. It happened once, oh, ages ago. The one and only time my prey escaped me

"You see, the vampire who was so stupidly fond of this little victim made the choice that your Edward was too weak to make. When the old one knew I was after his little friend, he stole her from the asylym where he worked - I never will understand the obession some vampires seem to form with you humans - and as soon as he freed her he made her safe. She didn't even seem to notice the pain, poor little creature. She'd been stuck in that black hole of a cell for so long. A hundred years earlier she would have been burned at the stake for her visions. In the nineteen-twenties it was the asylum and the shock treatments. When she opened her eyes, strong with her fresh youth, it was like she'd never seen the sun before. The old vampire made her a strong new vampire and there was no reason for me to touch her them. I destroyed the old one in vengence."

"Alice." Bella looked as astonished as I was.

"Yes, your little friend. I was surprised to see her in the clearing. So I guess her oven ought to be able to derive some comfort from this experience. I get you, but they get her. The one victim who escaped me, quite an honor, actually.

"And she did smell so delicious. I still regret that I never got to taste...she smelled even better than you do. Sorry - I don't mean to be offensive. You have a very nice smell. Floral, somehow..."

He took a step toward Bella, so close to her face, so dangerously close. He lifted a piece of her hair and smelled it gently. He then put it back into place, his hands brushing her throat. He put his hand on her face and I was anxiously squeezing my hand against the couch where I sat, watching in horror.

"No." He murmured. "I don't understand. Well, I suppose we should get on with it. And then I can call your friends and tell them where to find you, and my little message."

Bella looked like she was going to faint and I wished she did, so I didn't have to see the look of hopelessness in her eyes. She was shaking and that was very evident, even watching from the screen. He began to circle her like a tiger circling it's prey - or better yet, a vampire circling it's human. James crouched in front of her, his grin growing into a snarl of his teeth.

I felt like I was dying and the worst was yet to come. She was running toward the emergency door. He flew over her head, landing in front of her on the wooden floors, the sound of his landing echoing through the large room. He struck her in the chest with his fist and she flew backward into the mirror. Glass shattered and skittered across the floor. Bella looked more shocked than in pain.

"That's a very nice effect." He looked around at the mess he caused as if he were proud. I heard myself growl slowly and quietly in the building anger and pain. "I thought this room would be visually dramatic for my little film. That's why I picked this place to meet you. It's perfect, isn't it?"

As perfect as me tearing his throat out. My thoughts were malice and turmoil and remembering his dismemberment made me laugh sadistically. For a fraction of a second, I was humored by remembering his limbs being thrown to a pile and burned. But the amusement was killed by the thoughts of rage, helplessness, guilt and sorrow. My mind was screaming.

Bella was scrambling on her hands and knees, crawling toward the door in a pathetic attempt to escape. He was over her in a nanosecond, stomping down on her leg.

I heard the sound of her bones snap and Bella screamed in agony and torture, and I was screaming with her. No longer in my mind screaming. Screaming out loud. Something between a scream and a snarl and a growl of rage. It wasn't anger so I didn't punch anything. For now it was only torturous pain that would haunt me forever.

Literally forever.

He smiled. And if I could go back in time and relive any moment again, it would be the moment we killed him. Only this time I wished I could be the one to rip his head off, ripping the pleased smile off of his face. He didn't deserve to touch her, look at her, be in the same room as her. He didn't deserve life, or air, or blood. He deserved nothing. The one thing we had in common.

"Would you like to rethink that last request?" He asked happily. His foot just barely nudged her broken leg and she screamed louder than I had heard anyone scream. I was on the verge of trying to dismember myself. "Wouldn't you rather have Edward try to find me?"

"No!" She yelled hoarsely. "No, Edward, don't -"

His foot collided with her face and she smashed back into the broken mirrors. The broken glass shattered again, along with her bones, along with my ability to not break down into tearless sobs.

His eyes turned black with uncontrollable thirst as the blood seeped through her shirt, creating a puddle on the floor beneath her. He couldn't hold back anymore. And she knew it. Her eyes, half closed, still trying to hold them open, held a shred of hope. She was glad it was ending. She knew her life was over and she would gladly take that over the horrible pain.

"No, Bella." I yelled. "No!"

The camera flew from his hand as his feet left the ground. The camera skittered across the floor, slightly damaged but still working, the angle the camera was at facing the broken mirrors and not at what was happening. But I knew. I was there. And I could hear it, the sound of James' face colliding with my foot as it was his turn to crash through the mirror.

"Bella!" I heard myself yell from the TV.

Jasper and Emmett were on James, I didn't need to see it to know it. I was no longer looking at the screen but seeing from my own memory: Carlisle and Alice were standing next to me as I knelt over Bella's broken, bruised, half-dead body. My Bella. My love. My life. Beaten. Tortured. Almost killed. For what? For nothing. For my selfishness and foolishness.

"Bella, Bella, Bella' I was chanting frantically. "Bella, can you hear me?"

Her lips barely moved as she answered me. But it was an answer. A response. And that was one of the worst and best moments of my horrible hell of a life. I was the reason of her slipping toward death but someone up there granted undeserving me the experience of seeing her come back, seeing life come back to her eyes again.