Disclaimer: I Do Not Own Any Of The Twilight Series
A/n: I've grown tired of reading all these "Edward never returns, but Bella gets bitten anyway" stories. They are all the same. Bella meets with Edward again and loves him as if nothing. That is not human nature, and definitely not the nature of a woman who was abandoned for x amount of years, endured the pain of transformation, survived the self-hatred of becoming a vampire, and the forever stinging words of "I don't want you." No, that is not what I see happening. So here is a short excerpt I wrote a few months ago. I don't think I'll turn this into a story, though. This is from Isabella's point of view. Read the background if you do not want to get confused.
Background: Forty years have passed since Bella was bitten by Victoria. She now finds herself a valued member of the Volturi guard -what with her astounding power to relive a person's worst memories with a single touch- with her "Mother" and creator. Recently, the Cullens have moved to Alaska, in with the Denali Clan. Aro doesn't like how large and powerful the two Covens are together, so he sends Isabella and Victoria to give them his message. But, of course, this is a bittersweet reunion. For Bella has lost all her memories of her human life. Why, you ask? Because she couldn't stand to remember anymore. The human mind is an amazing thing. If something so painful -so traumatic- happens, it can be suppressed. It's not a difficult feat. Especially when the party does not wish to remember…
"Stop it!" I had heard enough. Enough of her lies and trickery. Enough of a life I know couldn't have existed. Enough of a love that was purely fantasy. All lies! I pulled fiercely, but the tiny girl's arms refused to budge. Appearances were certainly deceiving. She was much stronger then I would have given her credit for.
"Bella," she squeaked, golden eyes wide. "Listen! You must listen!"
I growled menacingly. "My name is Isabella. You will address me as such." The venom in my words shook her enough to allow me to free me arm. I took a step closer, bringing my face dangerously close to hers. From the corner of my eye, I spotted the blonde haired teen being restrained by his much larger companion. His brother, I believe he called him. Clearly me invading the spike-haired female's space was enraging him. I could feel the rage building within me via the empathic vampire. Not helping matters. "And I am tried of you lies!" I hissed.
The girl collapsed to the floor, her body shaking with tearless sobs. It was a heart breaking sight, but my heart had long since been hardened. I was a soulless creature, recruited by the Volturi. I had been trained long ago to carry out my missions, not allowing anything to get in my way. So let this tiny female cry. These strangers with their unusual eyes would get no sympathy from me.
"Why? Why don't you believe me?" She sobbed, her words becoming broken with each convulsion. "Am I no longer a friend to you? You once counted me as a sister! Could that be erased so easily?"
But I wouldn't hear of such nonsense. "More lies. I have never met you in my entire existence. So do not try to shake me with false memories."
The beautiful boy with the bronze hair took a step to me. I have no idea why, but I instinctively took a step back. Of all present in the room, he seemed the least hostile. Yet I could not fight the building fear that he would hurt me. Completely irrational. Imagine how strange that must look: I, Isabella the ruthless, backing away from an animal drinker with pain in his eyes and regret etched all along his face.
Nothing about him looked frightening. He seemed almost docile. He alone among his coven had not spoken a single word. While his brothers and sister greeted me by name upon my arrival to their clan's territory, the silent boy just stared. Not as if he was scared of me -like he should be- but as if he was looking into my very soul. Unnerved further, I dropped my gaze to the floor.
With that one word, sung in the most breathtaking voice imaginable, I lost all control. Agony! Such agony! I joined the tiny vampire on the floor, shaking my hair around me as I too dry heaved. I hurt! I hurt so much! Was this the bronze-haired one's power? One similar to Jane's, if not a thousand times worse! What power could this be? A power that brought me to my knees from merely uttering my name? Immediately, my mother jumped to my rescue.
"What have you done to her?!" She hissed, her ruby eyes dropping three shades in an instant. I felt my body being lifted into the air as my mother gathered me in her arms. This was a first for me.
While I had always addressed her a 'mother', she had never once fulfilled the qualities of the title. Mother was harsh. If I flinched, she grew angry. If I sobbed, she grew disgusted. She would send my flying and call me weak. For I was weak. I was an embarrassment. I could never be a daughter with being proud of.
But I wanted to be.
I wanted my mother to be proud of me. I wanted her to grin as I successfully stalked and killed my own feed. I wanted her to brag to my own sister about my flawless execution and stealth when tracking down morsels. I wanted mother's eyes to flash wildly as my fangs pierced flesh without a second thought. I strived for her approval.
But I was weak. Mother was right. Even now and again, I slipped up. I would foolishly look into my victim's face and feel guilt. Dread. Pity. Weakness. So I would leave them there. I wouldn't be able to kill them, as was expected from me. Too ashamed to show my darkened, unfed eyes around my coven, I would simply rob a blood bank upon returning.
Too bad for me I was a horrible liar. Mother always knew when I had let my prey go free. And she was merciless when she discovered my failure.
But now, Mother gently caressed my face, her eyes shifting to soulless black as she returned her gaze to the Cullen coven. No, the Cullen family. That was how they had addressed their group. Such strange creatures.
"Leave her be!" Mother shouted with fury. "She is mine. My daughter. I saved her. And you will not take her from me!"
The blonde female who was clearly the largest males' mate crouched, preparing for attack. "You do not own her! Saved her my ass! You clearly meant to kill her! What's wrong Vicky? Get cold feet at the last moment? Or were you simply too full from draining her father to finish her off?!"
Now I was angry again. No one spoke to my mother that way. "Do not speak that of which you do not know. She did save me. I was dying until mother found me that night-"
"Probably because she attacked you!" The blonde countered.
"If she truly meant to kill me, then I would be dead," I replied. "She saved me. If not for her, I would be rotting prematurely in my grave." I was about to continue, but then the tiny girl stood up again.
She was still shaking, but seemed determined now. Her eyes were as dark as Mother's, but while Mother's held an air of fury, the girl's held sadness. Deep pools of sadness. "How would you know? You said you couldn't remember what happened in your human life. How do you know she saved you? How do you know our story is not true?"
I scoffed. Mother released me, letting me stand on my own feet. "What a ludicrous question. But I shall answer you nonetheless. How do I know your story is false? Simple: if I truly did know a coven of vampires while I was still human and I was supposedly in love with one of you, why was it Victoria who changed me? Why am I just meeting my 'family' now, 40 years after my transformation?"
The petite girl closed her eyes. In a small voice, she said, "We left."
I laughed sarcastically. "How convent. So I'm sure you can predict my next question: why did you leave me? Huh?! Why was I all alone!?" My voice was on the edge of hysteria now.
The girl looked at her brother -the one with those tortured eyes- but didn't answer for a while. She wrung her hands together. Finally, as if struggling for the right words, she replied, "We… we had to leave. We wanted to keep you safe…"
"Pardon me? Keep me safe?" I rolled my eyes. "I see now. My supposed supernatural protectors left me so I would be safe. They, with their inhuman strength, lightening fast speed, and abilities, couldn't protect me." I snorted. "That makes complete sense."
I hissed again. "Do not call me so informally. You don't have me convinced. We are strangers."
"How can I prove to you that with my family is where you belong?" She pleaded.
"You can't," I stated. "My mind is made up. And do you know why?" She shook her head. "You told me that you also recall nothing of your former life. Nothing but the darkness. Perhaps that is because your life was so traumatic that is it painful to remember. You subconsciously block unpleasant memories." I grinned wildly, tapping a finger to my forehead, reminding her of my power. The power to drag out a person's worse memory. "Trust me, I would know.
"So it stands to reason," I continued, "that my life was less then perfect. While I have forgotten all my memories, I do recall one thing. Pain. Wretched pain. Unmatched by anything I've ever felt before."
I sighed, the feeling returning to me. "Before you ask, it was not the pain of transformation. While that is clear in my mind, the burning fire ripping my body apart, this pain was different." I shivered. "So different. It was not my body that took the impact, but rather my soul. My heart." I pounded my fist to my unbeating chest. "I believe the easiest term to describe it is heartbreak. But it's insufficient. This was my heart being ripped cruelly apart while still in my chest. Trampled until it stopped moving, stopped feeling, and bled cold right before my eyes."
I chuckled humorlessly. "I remember… just wanting the pain to stop. Just wanting to end it all. Not having to feel anything anymore. Not to have to ache with every movement. Not having to take in one more pitiful breath. Wanting to end… everything. Not waiting to exist at all.
"So I guess that brought me to that cliff.
"When I recovered from the change, I was very confused. You see, I had thought I was dying as I had slowly drowned and then burned in hell when the fire had set in." I smiled sheepishly. "Close, but not quite the truth. Mother told me how she had found me. She was eluding some werewolf vermin when she saw me. When she smelled the blood in the water. The currents must have been too strong for my human body, for they swept me into the nearby rocks. I was clearly dying from both the pressure of the waves and the jagged rocks ripping away my flesh.
"She told me she had intended to kill me. I can't blame her for that. A dying human just falling into your lap like that? Too easy! But she saw something in my face. You see, Mother had lost a mate. He was taken from her. She didn't want to exist anymore. She wanted all the world to stop in mourning of her loved one. But she realized I could be her follower. She could create me from a weak human into a powerful vampire. She could train me and I could fill the whole where her mate once was. Never fully, but at least ease part of the pain.
"So now I ask you this, dear little vampire: why could I have wanted to die?" I cocked my head to a side, a teasing glare upon my features. "You claim I lived a fairy tale. I had a handsome prince. I had a promising family. I had happiness. Honestly, I know nothing of my past life before my suffering. What drew me to the cliff where my agony grew to much to handle? Was I heartbroken? Did I give up the will to live? Was I suicidal?" She flinched at that, as did the bronze-haired boy. "No doubt about it."
"I-I honestly don't know why! We weren't there when it happened! How could we know you would go to such measures? Please-"
I folded my arms behind my back. "I was miserable in my human life… I don't know why but I know it to be true. Why? Why did I feel there was no escape? Why did I want to kill myself? If my love was so great, then how could I feel so dead inside? So empty." I paused to take in an unneeded breath. "There. Now you have my story. Compare it to yours. Realize how ridiculous your tale of young romance is by comparison. And then leave me be." I turned my back to them.
Mother stepped to my side, her pale hand resting on my shoulder, a mocking smile on her lips. "You poor dear. Life just was not fair to you. But never fear, my sweet, sweet Isabella. Mother is here." She pulled me into her embrace, her mop of red curls engulfing my as it fanned around my body. So cold, yet so warm.
"Wait." This voice I did not recognize. I turned my head to see the leader's mate step towards us. Her caramel locks swinging about her, half hiding her face. "I have heard your story. Now let me regale you with mine. I will be brief do not worry."
My mother sighed, annoyed. She waved her hand about, telling the woman nonverbally to get on with it.
"Isabella," the female said, addressing my kindly, "did you know I too died jumping from a cliff?" She smiled quickly before continuing. "I was in a loveless marriage. Sold to him in my early twenties, many years ago. He was cruel. He hurt me. Terribly. I wanted to run away, I recall. But I was his to do with whatever he pleased." I noticed her mate tightening his grip around her waist.
"In due time, I came to realize I was expecting. Me, a mother? It was frightening and exciting. I do love children. But I feared for my baby's safety. So, long story short, I ran away from my husband.
"Months pasted and my baby was born. Never was there a more beautiful son then my own. He was perfect. I loved him so." She sighed, her eyes losing their glow. "Naturally, I was devastated when he died. Poor little thing. Barely five days old. Seems that my ex-husband had puncture the baby's lungs when he pushed me down the stairs during the early stages of my pregnancy. Imagine my heart break."
I was getting drawn into her story, word for word. "Strange as it may seem, this is actually your second time hearing my story," she added with a tiny smile.
"Anyway, after that, I had no reason to live," she stated matter-of-factly. "That baby was my everything. After being forced into a marriage and raised in a home where my father was unkind and my mother uncaring, I had never experienced love. Sure, I loved my parents as well as I could. I loved the few friends I was allowed. But when you really love someone, when you let him or her into your heart and know they hold you dear as well… It's a wonderful thing.
"Then in contrast, it's torture to lose someone so close to you. To feel them being ripped from your very being. To know you will never again see their smile, hear their laugh, nor feel their skin softly touching yours… It's a hell all it's own. It can drive a person to extremes. Exhibit A, my jump. I just wanted it all to end. I was so tired of being alone. I was always alone. It just didn't seem fair." Her sad smile frightened me. This woman was no one to me, yet she seemed a kindred spirit. We were one in the same.
"I wanted to die. We have that in common. So here is how it relates to your own freefall." She took two quick steps, standing now in front of me. My mother stiffened as the female took my hands into her own. "Did you ever think… that our two tales could interweave?
"You remember your heart aching, wanting the pain to end. Well, when you love someone, you open yourself up to the greatest pleasure possible, but also the greatest pain. When they get under your skin, you feel as one. When they are gone, to have them forcefully removed, it is such as pulling you apart. You lose part of yourself, for together you make a whole being. Naturally, pain of that magnitude can drive you to the brink of insanity. And you stated yourself that it is human nature to repress the most unpleasant of memories."
She lifted her head to look into my eyes. "Why what, dear?"
"Why are you hurting me so? Why are you making sense? Why do I want to believe you so badly?" She dragged me into her arms. "I have been hurt enough for a lifetime. Why can't you just let me live this life? One where I don't have to feel anymore. I don't want to feel anymore. Don't you understand? I still want to die…"
I pushed her away roughly. "Leave me alone! Leave me alone!! Maybe I don't want to remember! Maybe this is my form of self-preservation from getting hurt again! If I don't try to remember why I was hurt so deeply then I can stop the bottomless pit of hurt from pulling me in. If I just stop trying to go back to my old life… if I let myself become heartless and cruel, then my pain will go away! I won't have to feel anything! Why can't you understand!? I want my pain to stay away! Don't hurt me again! Don't rip open the wounds I've forcefully shut years ago!"
It all came flooding back in the instant. That helpless, painful feeling. A gnawing inside my very core. I felt as if I was falling apart before my very eyes. I wrapped my arms around my whole being, trying to keep myself in one piece. "You don't know anything! No one understands this! Don't even try! I have a new life now, a new chance to start over. I can't even remember what hurt me so badly! I shouldn't be affected by the pain from a past I don't know, but I am! I am! I still want to die! I just want to die!!" I shrieked, falling once more to the ground.
I curled up into a ball on the ground. My arms pressed around me so tightly, I felt like I would pop. But it still wasn't enough. I was still falling to pieces. "Make it stop! Make it all stop! I don't want to feel! I don't want to think! I don't want to exist!" I could feel someone kneeling beside me, trying to calm me.
But I didn't want to be calmed. Didn't they hear me! I didn't want to have to live with this unnamed agony anymore. I clawed fiercely at my stone skin. I tore at my flesh, ripping what I could. It wouldn't kill me, no, but it would distract me. This fresh pain would make me forget the pain from my past. Just for a little while longer. Let me forget my only memory from a life I couldn't remember living. Just for a little while, let me delude myself. Just for a little while.
I screamed as my impermeable skin was removed from my body. I shoved away the icy hands trying to restrain me. I needed to feel this! More, more! I twisted my neck to bite at my shoulder. My yell was muffled against my flesh.
I became aware of voices. Shouting at me, calling me name. But they all seemed so far away. Subdued as if by thick walls, letting me only get garbled versions on their voices. One voice, however, stood out from the rest.
"Bella! Bella, please! Stop it! Stop hurting yourself!" The voice was near hysterical.
Even though I was the one hurting, I felt the need to comfort the voice. I wanted to soothe him. It was heart wrenching to hear the bronze-haired boy sound so… was there even a word for the sound? Beyond desperate. More then anguished.
Dulled, I lifted my razor-edged teeth from my flesh. A crescent scar was left behind. My venom still pooled in my mouth. I swallowed hard.
My head started to clear, piece by piece. I realized a body pressed against mine, quivering uncontrollably. His tuff of strangely colored hair marked him as the boy whose voice had brought me to my senses. He held me tightly, in a vice grip. Oddly enough, it comforted me. And it vaguely tugged in my mind. Like a melody, half remembered but never fully forgotten.
At that moment, something slammed in place. His close proximity and my daze activated my power without my knowledge. A forest. Lightly raining. Two figures, both half hidden in shadow. The pain waves doubled as four words raced in my mind. You. Don't. Want. Me.
"Don't," he whispered. "Please don't… don't hurt yourself. I can't stand it. It kills me to see you like this. To see what I've done to you. So please… don't hurt yourself."
I drew my lips against his ear as I spoke, savoring the words on my tongue. "What is it to you? It's not as if you want me. I'm not good enough for you. After all, you don't love me, remember?"
He pulled away from his embrace long enough to stare at me with fearful eyes. Before he had time to process what I had said, I shoved him away and bounded to my feet. "I may not remember my past, Edward, but you do. Tell them. Tell them the words you said that led me to my death. Tell them what I saw in you mind. Tell them the memory I pulled from you." I grabbed the front of his shirt and then pushed him, in a rage. The spiked-hair girl -Alice, my mind recalled- grabbed me from behind, holding me from attacking her brother. "Tell them!"
His gaze dropped to the floor. "You saw?"
"Tell them, Edward!" I shouted.
"Edward? What is she talking about?" Alice held on tighter as I thrashed in her arms. When he didn't respond, she asked again, "Edward? Tell us what is going on?"
"I told her I didn't love her."
His reply was so quiet, I almost couldn't hear it. Almost. But I did. We all did. I hissed in his direction.
Now it was starting to make sense. Thanks to Edward's memory, I know knew why I had been suicidal. It was so simple: I was madly in love with a vampire who played with my heart like a toy. I must have been head over heels for him. What else but the truest of love could drive a girl to such drastic measures? After all, how many ways can one heart be mangled and still be expected to keep beating?
I should have seen it coming.
Alice sure didn't. "What? What did you say?"
Edward refused to meet his sister's gaze.
I pulled out of Alice's grip, turning to face the shell-shocked vampire. "He told me he didn't love me. Well, that clears up a few things, now doesn't it?" With a little effort, I forced a smile over my face, although I can only imagine it came out as a smirk. But I couldn't let him see what that memory did to me. I wouldn't fall apart again. Not again. Not now that I knew why I had hurt for so long. Now that the reason was standing three feet away. He wouldn't have that satisfaction.
Masking my anguish under a face of mockery, I paced slowly around Edward. He stood frozen in that very spot, a perfect statue. "What's wrong, Edward?" I purred, stoking his face with a single pale finger. "You look like you've seen a ghost. But no, it's an ex girlfriend. Much worse." I flicked my head sharply, smacking him with my dark hair, before sashaying back to Mother's side.
With a wide smile, she welcomed me into her arms. "There, there. My Isabella." I leaned my head onto her chest, closing me eyes. How I had longed for that look! The look of a mother's pride. Being praised by someone. It was like… saying I wasn't useless.
"No." My eyes flashed open as Alice spoke up in a tiny voice. Her voice grew louder now. "No! No! You're lying! You must be lying! Edward loved you- still loves you! He would never say anything so cruel, so hurtful!" I turned my head to see her tightly gripping the front of her bother's shirt, as if to shake the truth from him from him. "Tell us the truth, Edward. Say it isn't true! Say it! Say you never told Bella that! You would never-"
With that one word, he sent her over the edge. She collapsed back to the floor. But she didn't cry this time. Instead, it was as if she had slapped her. Like his words, tainted by loss and pain, he stabbed her right in the back, sapping her strength.
I detached myself from Mother, stalking into the center of the Cullen clan, just behind the smallest female. I pressed my hands onto her shoulder. "Believe it," I hissed. "He said it. He told me that he didn't want me. He left me. And, in essence, he killed me." I slightly dug my nails into her skin. "He is the reason I am what I am right now." I kneeled now, my chest just touching her back, placing my face on just beside her neck, yet looking directly into her brother's eyes. "My blood is on your brother's hands, dear Alice. As is every human's blood that I have killed. Oh yes. He can brag that he drinks from animals now, but in the past forty years, hundreds of deaths can be lead back to the man before you." I chuckled darkly. "Stings, doesn't it?"
"Stop it," she whispered half-heartedly.
I stood. "Why should I? You don't like hearing the truth. It's a harsh thing, but I think you can handle it." I was mocking her again. "So here's another nasty reality for you to face: Edward kept it all a secret from you." I waved my hand to the rest of the Cullens. "All of you. He hid it all. His guilty little secret." I tapped my finger to my cheek. "One must wonder… what did you think he had told me to get me to stay still while you all... left?" I hissed.
I folded my hands behind my back. "So, Esme, was it? I guess you were right. I am the… Bella Swan? Is that what my names was? Yes, the Bella Swan you all knew, though didn't love. Congratulations, you got it right!" I clapped my hands shrieking with laughter. I held my hands up to the air. I dropped my lithe tone now, adopting a harsher one. "Such a fun little family reunion it has been. It's been a blast, truly, but I must be reporting back. Master Aro will be curious about this little… development."
"Yes," Mother added. "We should be going. But I have enjoyed meeting the… in-laws. Keep in touch," she snickered, blowing a kiss to the bronze-haired statue with the lifeless eyes. He still didn't move.
But Alice did. She jumped up, running to me, tugging on my arm. "No! Please, Bella, don't go! W-we can work this out. We've only just found you again don't go! Don't leave us!"
I focused as much ice as possible in my ever word now. "Why would I bother? You are nothing to me, and I the same to you. We are not family."
"Please!" She looked around pathetically, searching for some way to try to convince me to stay. "We need you! Edward… Edward hurt you, yes. I-I can understand if you wouldn't be able to forgive him. But stay! For us! For me." She sobbed into my shirt now. "Because we love you, too. If not for Edward, stay for us! We love you too, Bella!"
I ripped her hands off of my shirt, yanking her upwards so our faces were face to face. "Listen to me, you little bitch," I spat into her face. "Nothing you nor pretty boy over there could say would make me stay. Face it." I shoved her backwards. The tall blonde male caught her effortlessly. I followed Mother to the doorframe, but then stopped.
Without turning back around, I whispered harshly, "The Bella Swan you once knew has long since been dead. I am not your sister, your daughter, not anything else to you. I am Isabella Of Volterra." And I slammed the door shut with a swish of my pure black cloak.