Chapter Notes:

Hey guys! Soooo it's been like 2 months since I last updated... first of all, let me apologize for it being so long... I have loads of excuses... all of which are bad!!! I'll explain more about those later... for now, onwards!! So this chapter is not my favorite... I know I say that A LOT, but this one shouldn't even exist, so I kinda pouted about that for a while (half of it should have been in 6 the other half was going to be part of what is now going to be 8) but... it DOES exist and so I need to get over that :) There were parts of this that were like pulling teeth and I'm hoping it flows well enough and doesn't feel rushed. It's pretty much a continuation of Chapter 7... wait... no.. it IS a continuation of 7, it leaves off directly after 7 so you may need to read the end of that one to refresh what's going on... since it's been so freaking long! (sorry again!) Enjoy... and please don't hate me for taking so long!

Chapter 7

My reflection continued to sneer at the young doctor. I watched as my words found their mark, causing his already troubled expression to deepen. His eyes fell away from mine as his voice filled my head yet again.

It was right to save him... wasn't it? But can this... this life that I've forced on him, be considered saving him?

"No," I answered gruffly. "It can't." I turned from the mirror and faced him. "You actually think you saved me?" I snarled, feeling as my lips pulled back more, showing my disdain. I knew it was cruel of me to torment him. I could hear the anguish in his voice as he continued to battle within his mind as to whether or not he had done the right thing. However, I didn't care. I didn't want this. I didn't ask for it. And I wanted to make damn sure that he knew that.

So many times I've thought about this; doing just this... and yet I never did. Why now? Why him? It was for him, right? To save him.... or did I selfishly cave into my own loneliness?

I listened as the civil war inside Dr. Cullen's mind raged on as the beginnings of one crept within mine. I hated what he had done to me; hated what he made me into. However, I couldn't bring myself to fully hate him. The remorse he was feeling was for me, for my pain and heartache, causing him to turn on himself. The internal battle he was fighting was ignited by my harsh words. I should have felt bad for this, knowing that he was a good man. A doctor who saw an opportunity to save someone. There was no true regret to his actions and yet he allowed guilt to befall his heart. He blamed himself for not being able to save me in my human form. He blamed himself for me not being fully aware of what had happened to me. He blamed himself for feeling joy in not being alone anymore. He shouldered all the blame for everything that had transpired. And yet, knowing this, I could not allow him any peace. Like a petulant child I pressed on.

"Why me?" I asked roughly. I waited for him to answer me. I waited for his voice to enter my mind in one form or the other. No sound was made, but my question did not go unanswered.

Quick flashes of images entered my mind. Bronze hair, ashen skin, pale lips... and green eyes. My mother's eyes. Wide, frightened, demanding. Dark circles surrounded her piercing green orbs, contrasting abruptly with the chalky blue tint of her skin. "Save him!" She pleaded in a way that would make denying her an impossibility. My mind quickly scrambled to understand what I was seeing.

It was my mother's final moments.

Useless breaths remained trapped within my throat as I began absorbing every minute detail. A feeling of unease snaked its way to the back of my mind as I realized that my memories of her were clouded and unclear. She looked different through his eyes and it wasn't just because of how sick she was. I tried desperately to remember her my way. I struggled within myself, attempting to draw upon memories that should have come so easily. However, everything that came to mind was shrouded in doubt. Were my recollections real? The haze within my mind troubled me more than anything else that had happened thus far. Who would I become, if I couldn't remember who I had been?

My mother's final moments left my mind as quickly and suddenly as when they had first appeared. I bore my eyes into Dr. Cullen, fiercely trying to tear the memory from him. My efforts yielded nothing of use, as the only image that filled my head was that of a wall, a brick wall. The young doctor was blocking his thoughts from me, literally hiding them behind a wall.

A spark of rage ignited within me. I lunged at him, grabbing him by the lapels of his opened dress shirt and yanking him towards me. I glared at him while his expression stayed soft, unworried. How dare he block his thoughts of her? He's taking her away from me again, I thought bitterly. I was ready to tear him limb from limb; ready to make him rip down that wall he had built around his memories of her.

You don't need to see her that way. His velvet voice was filled with concern as it flowed into my mind.

As his words sank in I released his lapels, but held onto the scowl that I cast at him. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that his actions were not malicious. However, this did little to appease my growing anger. I needed someone to blame and his already present guilt made him an easy target.

My animosity for him got a momentary reprieve as I suddenly became very distracted by a delicious scent that filled my nose and reawakened the burning sensation that had been in the back of my throat.

"NO!" Dr. Cullen screamed, grabbing onto me and pushing me towards the wall, attempting to hold me in place.

A euphoric feeling took me over as it moved from my nostrils and down into my throat. Opening my mouth slightly I inhaled deeply, relishing in the sensation that met my tongue, as though I could taste the air that I drew in. It permeated every bit of my being, inside and out, consuming me. I felt my eyes rollover ever so slightly, as the rest of my muscles constricted, a dormant instinct taking control. A light, constant fluttering; a repetitive thump filled my ears, calling to me; tempting me. I didn't know what it was, but the sound of it intensified the burn at the back of my throat.

Within a second I snapped into motion. I headed for the door, easily pushing aside Dr. Cullen, eager to find the source to this all enveloping desire. I didn't know what it was, but I wanted it. No. I needed it. My throat ached as I opened the door, causing the scent to intensify. Standing in the open doorway I paused to inhale again, allowing the deepened aroma to take me over.

Suddenly I was thrust backwards. My body collided with the far wall of the cottage with a loud cracking sound as it gave way to my impenetrable skin. Dr. Cullen closed the door quickly and stood guard before it.

"Move," I commanded.

"Stop breathing Edward," he said evenly.

"What?" I asked, my annoyance showing through.

"You can fight this. Stop breathing."

"Fight what? I just want to go see-"

"What you smell is a human. Stop breathing."

I did as he said while a feeling of disgust took me over. How could I smell a human when I couldn't even see one? And why, even with halted lungs, did my throat continue to burn? The scent still lingered on my tongue, tantalizing me. Weak from desire, I dared another breath, hoping that small surrender would help alleviate the pain that had encompassed my entire body.

As a fresh wave of the ethereal fragrance filled me, I felt all my resistance give way as I made another attempt to leave; my feet gliding gracefully along the floor without any conscious command. I moved quickly, very quickly, to the door. However, Dr. Cullen thwarted my attempt yet again, momentarily pinning me to the wall. I pushed back against him, feeling that I was able to move his body. I'm stronger then him, I thought.

I smiled sardonically as I pressed against the doctor again, gaining inches towards the door with every push.

"Edward, remember who you are." He said, attempting to push me back again.

"I can't," I snarled at him as I pressed on.

"Yes you can!" Dr. Cullen bellowed. He said it so forcefully that I stopped my pursuit for the door. His black eyes pleaded with me. "You don't want to do this! If you give in, if you allow these instincts to win, then you will hate yourself. You can hate me all you want, but I will not allow you to hate yourself! You're stronger then this!" He urged, the usual evenness in his voice gone, replaced with a demanding edge. "Now, stop breathing!"

I did as he commanded, feeling my dislike for him grow. Because of him, because of what he had done to me, I craved to taste human blood. He made me into something unnatural, unholy. And although I couldn't bring myself to hate him, I wouldn't allow myself to forgive him.

I don't know how much time passed by while I waited to be told that I could once again breathe. I knew it was an unnecessary action, but the elimination of one of my senses was becoming uncomfortable. Dr. Cullen had released me, trusted me to withhold my sense of smell so I could avoid temptation. And although I didn't inhale, I stood in the doorway, anxious to not have to restrain myself any longer.

"Okay," he said with his voice as soft as velvet again. "They're gone."

I stepped out from the cottage, breathing in deeply, secretly searching for that forbidden smell again. I knew it was a pointless effort, for although I didn't know Dr. Cullen well, I was certain he wouldn't have released me if there had been any possibility of someone being harmed.

A quick glance around at my surroundings told me that we were in the woods, isolated from the rest of civilization. Isolated. The word had new meaning for me. Every moment I would be on this Earth, I was doomed to be in isolation. Whether it was to protect the innocent from my new, uncontrolled instincts or because I loathed the world I had suddenly been thrust into, it didn't matter. The ending result was the same; solitude. I was alone, forever. It was a fate I considered worse then death.

I strode a few more paces from the cottage, while Dr. Cullen followed with an air of trepidation about him. It took a moment before I noticed the clearing at the forest edge. The sun shone down gently, illuminating everything to an entirely new brilliance. The thick canopy of the trees that surrounded us prevented the rays from casting through to where we were. Silently, I gazed at the bright light, feeling the whisper of memory attempt to make it's way through the haze that had become my mind.

Struck by a sudden realization, I darted for the clearing. That whisper had revealed to me something I hoped to be true; a way out of this waking nightmare.

"Edward!" Dr. Cullen called after me.

Ignoring him, I raced on towards the daylight; I raced towards the sweet release of death.

In the few seconds it took me to get to the forest's edge I found comfort in the fact that I would not have to remain this monster I had become. I longed for the beautiful finality of death. I didn't care if it would be painful, I just wanted it to be real. I wanted it to be over. I wasn't sure how long I had been this... this thing, but one second as this unnatural being was too much. As the open field grew nearer, a thought crossed into my mind; is it suicide if you're already dead?

I burst forth from the woods like a bullet, anticipating the feeling of my body searing and turning to ash as the rays touched my skin. I closed my eyes and turned my face towards the sky, waiting for the end to come.

Feeling nothing, but hearing Dr. Cullen step into the clearing with me, I let my lids slide open. I was momentarily transfixed as I watched the sun dance over his skin; noticing that the slight gleam that had been there before now shimmered like diamonds. Confusion consumed me as I raised my hands up, noticing as they too sparkled inhumanly.

"There are more myths then truths when it comes to our kind," he said softly as I stared at him with questioning eyes. "We can't be destroyed easily. Trust me," he glanced down at this feet before meeting my gaze again. "I know." Quick flashing images of Dr. Cullen came into my mind; knives, guns, ropes... and so many more, all failed attempts at ending his own life. I stared at him, wondering how he could turn me into this abomination when he himself obviously didn't want to become the creature that he is. I bore my eyes into him, demanding an answer to an unasked question. However, he simply turned from me and with the same smooth, even voice said, "There are deer near by, can you smell them?"

With annoyance, I drew in a deep breath as if by command. My nostrils filled with familiar, yet intensified scents, as I searched for a particular one; one that I'm guessing I had never noticed before. I became aware of an earthy musk with a sweet undertone. Closing my eyes, I turned my head from side to side, trying to pinpoint which direction the smell came from. As I concentrated on this, my other sense came to life. My ears perked at the sound of a fast paced thump and the rustling of leaves. My eyes snapped open and I became aware of just how keen my sight had become. Nearly a mile away I saw the slightest bit of movement, a small brown mass walking amongst others like it.

I stood there, feeling my throat burn and wondering if there were some other way. Can I do this? I thought to myself. The lingering taste of the human scent was still on my tongue. Animal or human, it was my choice. Is it okay to commit one act of evil to prevent another?

Within a second I was off, heading for the poor unsuspecting herd of deer. I was amazed at how quickly and silently I moved. I was the worst kind of predator because I was the best. They had little hope of escaping me.

I stopped a few yards away, watching them graze. They were oblivious to my presence. I chose my prey; a small doe further away from all the others. There was nothing particular about this one, she was just unfortunate is all. Like me.

I heard Dr. Cullen behind me, keeping distance between us. He spoke so softly the herd did not hear him, but to me he sounded so clear that he could have been directly beside me. "Edward, there is no need for them to suffer. Be quick."

I snapped into action, moving quickly towards my selected target. My sudden movement did not go unnoticed. The herd began to run, but this did little good for my small doe. She noticed too late and any chance at an escape attempt was immediately demolished as I grabbed her around her rib cage and tugged her to the ground. I felt fluid fill my mouth as I yanked her head to the side. I stared down at her struggling body, watching her legs kick as she tried to free herself. Do I just bite?

I glanced back at Dr. Cullen who was watching me with cautious intensity. He nodded slightly, as if knowing what question danced through my mind. I turned back to my victim, feeling her squirm beneath my vice-like grip. Closing my eyes, I brought my mouth to her neck and felt my teeth slide into her flesh. The motion was smooth, as though there were no hide to combat with; almost as if the doe's skin were thin as paper.

For a sliver of a moment I was alive again as the warm, red fluid gushed into my mouth. There was a heartbeat within my body, though faint as it may be, it was still there. It didn't matter that it was not my heart that was beating, for the action remained forever imprinted into the fibers of my being. I understood then why it had to be blood that we needed to survive; it was the heartbeat that lay within the blood. Those beats are the essence to life. We didn't need blood, we weren't going to starve to death. Our bodies longed to live; to feel those reverberations of life within it's boundaries again.

With this realization, I drew the animal closer to me as I took in more of it's blood. The small doe's legs kicked out helplessly; there was no real fight left in her. I could feel the life drain from her body as I fed, noticing as the blood continued it's course down my throat, that the beats grew ever more dim until the echo that had been in the red stream dissipated completely, leaving me longing for more. Her body stilled, save for a shiver that ran through her in her final moments. With a final beat, her heart stopped and her blood cooled. I could taste her death.

I pushed the carcass off of me as I stood. I was horrified at what I saw before me, at what I had just done. My first kill. I took little solace in the fact that it was not human as I looked down at the mangled form of the small beast. I tried telling myself that it was okay, I had eaten animals as a human. But I knew it wasn't the same. I hated that I longed to do it again. That I licked my lips and tasted it's blood and that made me ache to feel those heartbeats inside of me once more. I could feel the blood as it lay within my stomach, slightly quenching the foreign hunger that encompassed me. I was not yet satisfied, I would have to kill again. And again... and again. I had become a plague of death for all creatures that lived.

End Notes:

1. So once again, sorry for this taking so long to get to you... I mean it's not like it should have been a difficult chapter to write... like I said, I have loads of excuses... and here are some of the major ones! First I got sick, real sick... then once I was better I got totally enthralled in decorating my apartment (which still isn't done by the way)... then... then I just got plain lazy! I got a new computer and found that I have pretty strict rituals when it comes to writing... and so I had to convert back to the lap top, which meant I had to get a flashdrive to send things to be proofed... and blah blah blah... mostly it comes down to me being lazy though! I mean, technically I started this story in November of last year, Chapters 1 and 2 that is.. but I didn't post it till January and that was because one of my girls that does my proofing was convinced I'd never post it, so I did it to shoosh her :) (love you Kathy!) so.... I do have tangents where I go, "nah... i'm good" soooo, if this happens again and nothing is posted after like 3-4 weeks... start harassing me! Cause I swear, the pms of "hello... where's the next chapter?!?!" made me go "oh snap! okay, focus!" lol... so yeah, I am truly truly sorry guys!! Please Please Please forgive me!!!
2. Chapter 8 has already been started!! So hopefully that will keep the tomatoes from being thrown!
3. Another boo-boo from previous chapters... So once again, in my pursuit of staying true to the story I have to say where I went awry... In chapter 1 I have Edward's dad as a banker... I wanted to be different from everyone else that was writing stories about pre-Bella Edward and everyone seemed to have him as a lawyer... and I couldn't find it anywhere in any book... so I basically said "screw it, I'm doing my own thing"... little did I know, twilight lexicon had asked that question to Stephenie Meyers and she herself said his dad was a lawyer... so my bad, but I'm not as angry at myself for that one cause that was learned through Personal Correspondence and not in the books... but still, I thought it was worth mentioning to you guys :)
4. So, once again, music came into play for this chapter. The song "Hazy Eyes" by the band "Fightstar" was my inspiration for this chapter (actually this song is going to be in other chapters as well... I listened to it a lot when I was setting the chapter outlines when I originally decided to take on this monstrosity of a project) Particularly the lyrics "I wish I knew where I came from, I wish I knew where I'd been. I don't need you." It's very EMO, very awesome... totally recommend the song in general (but they do say a naughty word *wink* just wanna give a heads up)
5. I honestly don't know where I stand with this chapter, it really was a haaaard write for me, I just hope it's not a hard read. Any and all input is, as usual, appreciated... even if it's a "dude, what the HELL was this chapter anyways?!?!" lol hopefully I don't get any of those, but if it needs to be said, then it needs to be said and I'm cool with it :) Next chapter I'm a little excited about... it has one of the main bits that when it came into my head I was like "I soooo wanna write this story JUST so I can write that part!" So even if this chapter sucked, maybe you'll stick around for that :)
6. So it was brought to my attention through one of my proofers that I make a couple references/homages to the movie... the only INTENTIONAL one was Carlisle wearing the blue shirt in Chapter 4... all others are by accident... or just proof that I've watched the movie waaaaay too many times!! (If you're wondering what I'm talking about, in this chapter Carlisle says to Edward "Remember who you are!" and He says that to him in the ballet studio in the movie... When she brought this to my attention I was like "crap! but I like it!" ... so it stayed.. i'm sure there are others.. actually I know there are others, I just can't think of them right now, lol)
7. Okay so here is where I thank you repeatedly and bow down to you if you have decided to forgive me for my 2 month hiatus and have come back to this overly-ambitious story :) I try and tell you guys how much it means to me that you read this, but I'm sure I don't do a sufficient enough job of thanking you so..... THANK YOU!!!! *hugs*