AN: Ok, I can't even tell you how sorry I am for the delay in chapters. But for those of you who follow me you know what a hard time these last 6 months have been for both me and ohdisco, there was moving (twice), a wedding, and two major losses in both our families. But please know that we are committed to finishing this and now that life has sort of calmed down, updates will be more frequent.
"I kissed Edward," I said in almost a whisper as Alice just stared at me.
Her eyes grew wide in surprise. "What? When?"
I leaned against the headboard as I explained to Alice what had happened. She gasped as I told her how we'd wound up on the bed and then how we were interrupted by the door. I closed my eyes as I finished up, trying to calm all my thoughts. My mind was racing, constantly pounding me with images of Jake, the police officer, Quil, and of course, Edward. Vividly, I saw his green eyes as he looked from the cop to me. Once again, I was confused by the expanse of emotion I saw there.
Everything was going wrong. This was supposed to be our last summer of sorts, the last time we were all to be together. But now Jake had left, Quil was missing, there was a cop downstairs talking to someone who was almost a complete stranger to me, but yet I felt an unnatural pull towards him. Almost as if part of me recognized him, which was ridiculous because I had never seen him before this week.
"Bella?" Alice's voice brought me out of my haze. I blinked and looked at her. "Are you ok?"
I let out a laugh, "I feel like I'm in some twisted version of the Twilight Zone. With everything that's been happening between me and Edward, and you and Quil. I mean, what the hell?"
Alice nodded. "I think it's this house." I gave her a skeptical look. "No, really. I've felt off since I got here. There's some, I don't know, presence here."
"Alice," I said.
"I know you don't believe in that stuff, but I know you've felt it too."
I shrugged, not really wanting to get into it with her right now. Alice sensed my lack of enthusiasm and stopped pressing the issue. We sat in silence for what felt like hours, both of us just staring off in different directions, lost in our own thoughts. I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, I was blinking against the light. The sun was high, shinning through the room. We were wasting time. We needed to get out of here and figure out what's been going on. I turned towards Alice, ready to tell her we needed to leave, only to be met with her sleeping form. I smiled to myself and covered her with the comforter. I'd let her rest and then when she woke up, we had to leave.
I couldn't explain the tightening in my chest at the thought of leaving Edward. I sighed in frustration. Making as little noise as possible, I climbed over Alice and made my way out of the room. The house was eerily silent as I walked down the stairs, my footsteps echoing loudly. I paused at the bottom step, looking around. No sign of life anywhere.
A loud thumping came from my left and I turned to see a frantic looking Edward running towards the front door. His hair was disheveled, face flushed and it looked like he was mumbling to himself.
"Edward?" I asked, cautiously.
Edward whipped around, fear masking his face. When he finally noticed me, he took a deep breath and visibly calmed himself.
"Bella," he rasped out.
"Are you okay?" I took a step towards him.
He held up his hand, shaking his head. "Please. I have to go out. Just promise me – please be here when I get back."
"I'll explain everything. I promise. Just please be here."
His eyes pleaded with mine and I couldn't deny him. I nodded, slowly. He smiled at me, but it was a sad smile and then he was gone. I sunk down onto the bottom step, staring at the closed door.
"Was that Edward?" Alice asked, sitting down next to me. I nodded. "Where's he going?"
"I don't know," I answered, a bit dejectedly.
Alice patted my back and then jumped up, clapping her hands together.
"Well, let's get all of our stuff together. Edward has to have a car, or something. Maybe he can get us to that store that we stopped at, then we can call and finally go home – or well, New York. Somewhere that's not here."
I followed her back up to our rooms. I closed the door behind me, glancing around the room once again. Scenes played before my eyes, like almost from a movie. Jake and that night…the night that started all this. But all of what? I was so confused. I pushed myself off the door and began shoving my stuff into my suitcase. My mind wondered to Edward; what he was doing, what he would think of me leaving. Would he even care? I threw my sweater down. Why did I even care?
Leaving everything in a pile on the bed, I went and sat down on the bench in front of the window. It was raining again. I could barely make out the trees that surrounded the house. I just sat there, thinking. Thinking about everything and nothing at the same time. I would speak to Edward privately before we left. It was probably a stupid thing to do, but I wouldn't leave without knowing what he felt about all of this. With my mind made up, I stood to finish packing.
"Bella! We have to leave! NOW!"
Alice burst into the room, panting. She quickly glanced around before running towards me. Her eyes were wide, face white with terror.
She grabbed my hands, pushing me away from the suitcase and began shoving my clothes into the luggage at record speed.
"There's no time. We have to get out of here!" She turned toward me then. "Please, trust me."
And just like that, I did.
When Alice saw that I had packing under control, she headed back to her room to get her bags, instructing me to meet her downstairs in no more than ten minutes. My heart was beating frantically as I zipped up my suitcase and made my way to the door. I paused, taking one last look around. I couldn't shake this feeling that I was missing something - something important. I shut the door, and with a sigh, began heading down the stairs.
"Just move, Edward! We're leaving!"
I froze at the top of the stairs. Alice's tone was one that I had never heard from her before.
"Alice, please. You don't – just stay. I need you to stay." Edward's voice was panicked and I could vaguely make out the image of him pulling on his hair. I was about to intervene when Alice's next outburst stopped me in my tracks.
"Stay? So you can chop us up like Jake and Quil and that cop guy!"
What? No, no, no. Edward would never…Alice didn't know what she was talking about.
"I found the cops hat, Edward. It's covered in blood."
"Alice, please –"
"What did you do to him? What did you do to Jake?"
Edward was pacing back and forth in front of Alice, his head gripped tightly between his hands. At the mention of Jake, he rounded on Alice, his arms hanging stiffly by his side. From my position on the stairs I could see Alice's reactions perfectly, Edward, on the other hand, had his back to me.
"Jake? What I did to Jake? What about what he did to Bella?" Edward's voice was no longer weak and begging, it had taken on an entirely different tone entirely. He was practically growling at Alice. "He deserved everything he got."
Alice's gasp hid mine. "And Quil?" Alice asked, meekly.
"He was weak." Edward responded, almost nonchalantly. His voice was completely different now. It didn't sound anything like the Edward I had come to know. "But you," he took a step towards Alice, "you and your friend just had to come here and ruin everything. I almost had him! Oh yes, he's tried to fight me before, but it was always just child's play. But now, he fights and it's all because of her!"
Me?"Bella?" Alice's face showed the confusion that I felt.
"Bella," Edward sneered. "And to think, you thought this would protect you." He reached into his pocket and pulled something out, dangling it in front of Alice. My necklace! My hand flew instinctively to my throat and was met with nothing. I could feel my heartbeat speed up. When did he take it? Was it during the time that I fell asleep? I couldn't stop the chill that moved through me at the thought of Edward watching me as I slept.
It seemed that the confirmation sparked something within Alice. She pushed her shoulders back and jutted out her chin. "You will not touch her!" Alice reached her tiny hand out and tried to grab my necklace back from Edward. Her hand wrapped around the charm and she pulled. So fast that I didn't see him move, Edward's hand wrapped around Alice's wrist. She fought against him and the thin chain of my necklace snapped. Neither seemed to care as the chain fell to the ground. I knew I should move. I should go down there and place myself right next to Alice. But I couldn't will my legs to move. Instead, they defied me and I found myself sitting on the top step, hands gripping the banister as I peered through the bars. My best friend was always a spry little one, never really thinking of the consequences of her actions. She acted more on impulse, like she was now as she raised her free hand and smacked Edward across the face.
Edward's body hardly reacted to the attack, almost as if he didn't feel it. But he knew what had happened as he forgot all about trying to get my charm and focused all his attention on Alice. His free hand was suddenly around her throat, pulling her body closer to him. Alice's little body struggled as she tried to break away. The hand clutching the charm opened and it fell to the ground with a clunk and rolled away, hiding under an old sitting desk, almost as if it were protecting itself. Little gasps of air drew my attention back to the fight and I finally found my voice.
"Alice!" I shouted, standing up.
Edward's head whipped around at the sound of my voice. His eyes, what were normally a vibrant shade of green, were now the deepest black that I had ever seen. I let out a gasp, almost falling back down. My hand found the banister, clinging to it for support. Edward blinked and a shudder ran through his body. His face contorted, almost as in pain and his grip loosened slightly on Alice, allowing her to call out to me.
Her outburst drew Edward's attention back to her. I watched as the hand around her neck began to shake. Very slowly they opened, allowing Alice to to break free. Her hands flew to her neck as Edward doubled over almost as if in pain. Alice looked up, meeting my eyes, and took a step towards me as I began to descend the stairs. Edward struggled on the floor, some internal battle raging within. In the split second that Alice turned to me, Edward had crawled to the panel next to the door, his hand making quick over the buttons before slamming down on the final one. A loud groan erupted from the house, small vibrations moving through the walls. I froze and noticed that Alice did too. We both were looking around trying to figure out what the noise was. From his broken position, Edward reached a hand out and grabbed Alice's arm, whipping her back to him.
"Get out," he gasped. "Go now!" He began pulling her towards the door, the humming growing louder.
Alice tried to fight against him, but he was too strong. I took another step down when the house started to gradually get darker. My eyes were pulled to the windows and my heartbeat sped up as I realized what was happening. The noise…the darkness. The house was shutting down. My breathing quickly sped up. This couldn't be happening. No one's house just shuts itself up. This was straight out of some horror movie. I loud scream brought my attention back to the floor. Edward had all but lifted Alice and carried her to the door. With one hand he threw open the door as the other shoved Alice toward the opening.
"Bella!" she screamed again.
"You have to go!" Edward was shouting, his tone sounded scared now. I could see the top of the metal prison slowly descending, about to lock us in at any moment. "Please," Edward begged. "Go!"
With one last push, he succeeded in getting Alice out – just as the metal prison closed it's final gate. I stood, frozen, on the stairs. Panic rising quickly as I tried to figure out what to do. Edward was standing at the door, his forehead resting against the metal.
"Edward?" I asked, hesitantly.
His shoulders stiffened when he heard my voice. My knuckles were white with the force that I was gripping the railing and I realized that I probably shouldn't have reminded him that I was here. His hand slid down the door, leaving the imprint of his fingers as they left the wood and the door shut with a thud. Edward turned then, looking up at me. His eyes were back to green, but a deep green that held anger and pain. His body sagged against the door with an invisible weight as he struggled to speak.
"Bella," he finally forced out. "I'm sorry. I couldn't –" He doubled over as if in pain, his eyes squeezing shut. His arm flung out, searching for anything to grab onto. It finally settled on the table by the door and I watched as the wood turned to dust under his grip. "Go! Please, get out of here!"
I can't explain what made me take another step toward him. "Edward, what's going on?"
He lifted his head then, eyes still shut. "Bella, please. I can't hold on anymore. It's…too strong." His eyes flew open and I covered my mouth trying to stifle my scream. His beautiful green eyes were now being overtaken by darkness, growing more black with each passing second.
"Run!" he screamed at me and this time I listened. I turned quickly and ran up the stairs. But of course, my foot caught on a step and sent me falling forward, landing painfully on my palms, my knee slamming into the lower step. I glanced behind me and all I could see was the black that was now Edward's eyes. An evil smile spread over his lips and I knew I was out of time. Pushing myself up, I sprinted up the stairs, running in the opposite direction of my room. Grabbing the first door handle I saw, I threw myself into the room and then let out a cry of frustration as I realized there was no lock. I was in a linen closet.
"Fuck!" I shouted, then quickly panicked. Had he heard me? I leaned up against the door, straining to hear anything. Hopefully, he would assume I ran back to my room, or even Alice's. The only sound was my frantic breathing and I struggled to get that under control. And then I heard it, the heavy footsteps signaling his arrival on the second floor.
"Bella?" My name came out in a sing-song voice that sent chills down my spine. "Why don't you just come out? Save us all the trouble" I heard him open a door, followed by a loud crash, then he was back in the hallway. "You can't hide from me. There's nothing here to protect you." Another door opened, farther away from me this time. "It's almost comical how Edward thought he could save you. How he thought he loved you. I'll show him when I rip that beating heart out of your fucking body!" A loud crash sounded and I clasped my hands over my mouth, trying to silent my whimpers.
I was trapped. I had nowhere to go. Nothing to do but sit here until he found me. I shuffled backwards until my back hit a shelf. I slid down to the floor, cowering in the open space under the shelf. I leaned against the wall and then suddenly I was tumbling backwards.
My head smacked against something cold and hard and I pushed myself up in time to see the linen closet disappear behind a hidden door.
Another hidden door. I looked around, seeing nothing but darkness. I held up my hands and let out a cry when I couldn't even see them. I reached out blindly, feeling a cold wall next to me. I gathered I was in a hallway, not even tall enough for me to stand. Scooting myself until my back was against the wall, pulling my knees up to my chest. Logically, I knew I should keep moving. He would find me. This was his house. He had to know all of the passages. But I couldn't move, not yet. I needed to rest. To think. I reached for my necklace, realizing that it wasn't there. And that's when the tears started.
Jake and Quil were dead. He killed them. I let out a choked laugh as I realized He was Edward. They were the same person…weren't they? I thought back to the nights I'd spent with Edward, trying to figure out any clue. Nothing came. He was so sweet and caring…and now he was trying to kill me. But he had saved Alice, didn't he? He pushed her out before the house could lock her in. But why did he lock the house in the first place?
A new set of tears flowed. Was she okay? Was she circling the house trying to find away to get in? Or did she leave, go to get help? Hopefully she could navigate her way in this storm. If she could just get to that convenience store.
A loud bang to my right, where I had come through the mystery door, and I knew that he was in the closet. Scampering to my knees, I began to crawl away from the door using my hands to feel my way. I reached a fork a few feet down and quickly turned to the left, hoping this would take me somewhere safe. The passageway began to decline at an angle as the noises behind me fell into the distance the farther down I crawled.
My mind was reeling faster than I could keep up, just trying to make sense of it all. The one thing I kept going back to was my necklace. What did it mean and more importantly what did he think it meant?
"I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but notice your necklace. What is is?"
"Oh this? My mom gave it to me for graduation. It's some family heirloom or something."
I paused as I remembered that first real conversation with Edward. He had always been interested in my necklace. I shook my head, I needed to keep moving. I turned another corner and was suddenly overwhelmed by the most putrid smell I'd ever encountered. It was like hitting a brick wall of garbage and I wondered if I was heading toward a garbage shoot. I sucked in a deep breath, vowing only to breath through my mouth and pressed on. My eyes began to water, signaling that I must be closer to the orgin of the smell. My hands blindly searched in front of me, tracing out my path. I couldn't stifle my cry as my hand bumped against something that wasn't the wall. Recoiling slightly, I tentatively reached my hand back out, closing it around the new object.
My hands fumbled quickly until I found the button and then the hall was filled with light. I let out a cry of happiness as a loud bang echoed through the walls. I turned behind me shinning the light down the hall. Keeping one hand holding the flashlight, I began to crawl backwards. My heart was pounding in my ears, but I never took my eyes off of the hall, expecting to see Edward appear.
My free hand moved back, reaching for the ground, but instead of ground it was met with something soft…something wet.
My body began shaking as I slowly began to turn around, bringing the light with me. I couldn't hold the flashlight still as it slid over the walls, illuminating the spots red that was covering the walls. I didn't want to see what was behind me. But I knew that I had to. This was the only way out. I could do this. I drew in a shaky breath and turned the final way around…and found myself staring into the lifeless eyes of Jake.
And that's when the screaming began.
AN: Soo….who's still with us? What do you think? Thoughts? lol