DISCLAIMER: Don't own "em.
The hour was approaching ten o'clock the following night when I returned to the brothel on Rue Royale. My plan was simple, I would purchase Bella's companionship for the night and once I had her alone I would propose an offer impossible for her to refuse.
Even existence as a vampire had to be better than life as a whore.
I knocked on the door, dressed impeccably in a dark blue shirt, a grey coat and trousers that matched. I looked the part of a wealthy gentleman and, in truth, money was no object for me.
The door to the establishment was opened by a middle aged man wearing a pristine suit that was reminiscent to that of a butler or doorman. He looked down his nose at me and I mentally heard his cursory inspection expecting that I was far too young to afford the accommodations offered. He was expecting to refuse me service and I bit back a condescending smile.
I nodded my head politely, businesslike. "Good evening."
He stepped aside and ushered me into to an extravagantly decorated parlor. "Good evening Mister…?"
"Mr. Masen it is a pleasure." he said mechanically, "I'm afraid I must inquire as the nature of your business here."
I pressed fifty dollars into his hand and grinned. "I'm sure you know exactly why I am here, though I insist upon the utmost discretion."
His jaw nearly dropped at the outrageous amount of money and in his thoughts he preened over his good fortune, already deciding how much he could pilfer without his boss finding out.
With a more genuine attitude to cater to my pleasure, he bid me to follow him through another sitting room before unlocking a set of double doors and leading me into a large gathering room. Plush couches and silk covered chase lounges were scattered about the room all occupied with a variety of gentlemen and their choice of companion for the night.
I took in the scene with a measure of distaste. I was certain some of these men were waiting for an available room upstairs but a few couples were oblivious to their audience as they shifted clothing and participated in sex right in the open. At the moment, I was not particularly interested in observing humans having sex and the general scent of arousal hung too heavily in the air. Though I had to admire the flexibility of one woman as she contorted her body to take one gentleman in her mouth as the another thrust into her from behind.
I took shallow breaths, fighting not wrinkle my nose at the thick, sweet door of opium mixed with the harsh scent of burning tobacco and the resinous smell of patchouli incense. I suppose to a human none of this was exactly unpleasant, but to my enhanced senses it was stomach turning.
I wanted to get Bella upstairs and alone as quickly as possible. I turned to the butler and asked, "Is Izzy available tonight? I was told to request her specifically."
It was a blatant lie but the confident delivery worked like a charm.
"Have a seat Mr. Masen and I will inquire for you." The butler replied, before turning and heading down a back hallway.
I did as he suggested and stiffened as pale arms wrapped about my shoulders from behind. It annoyed me that I had not noticed the female presence behind me due to sensory overload surrounding me.
"Hey sugar," a soft voice purred seductively, "You feeling a little tense. I can take care of that for you real quick. What do you say, handsome?"
I tuned my head and found myself face to face with the strawberry-blond from the speakeasy the night before. Her pupils were dilated and I could smell the absinthe on her breath. Her blue eyes twinkled a little too excitedly. Her convoluted thoughts were circling too quickly and I didn't bother to sort them.
"I am waiting for someone." I replied, gently prying her arms from around my neck.
I quickly disentangled myself and stood as the butler returned with a perplexed frown. I knew what he would say before he uttered, "I am sorry Mr. Masen but is seems Izzy has already been reserved for tonight. May in interest you in another lovely selection. I see you are acquainted with Tanya-"
"I will not except a substitute." I reprimanded coldly. Handing the man a hundred dollars, ten times the mount of any prostitute's normal fee, I said, "I am not a patient man. You will retrieve her and secure her schedule for the rest of the night."
Damn near ecstatic, the butler was over eager to appease me. "Yes Sir, I will get on that right away Sir."
Tanya glared at me with a playful pout as she placed her hands on her slender hips. But her thoughts told a different story. She was jealous of Bella and feeling the effects of too much absinthe.
I ignored her and waited impatiently for the butler's return. After a few moments he appeared by the flight of stairs to my right and motioned for me to follow him. He led me to the fifth door down the hall and unlocked it for me, allowing me to enter.
There was Bella, sitting before the vanity table brushing out her long mahogany hair dressed in a simple sheer sleeping gown that clung to her supple figure. Her eyes met mine in the mirror and they widened, the brush clattering to the marble vanity top as she lurched to her feet.
She waited until the door closed and the lock sounded before attempting to speak.
"What are you doing here? Do you have as death wish?" she asked, twisting her hands nervously.
I still could not read her thoughts but I had a good idea as to why I was not welcome here.
"I take it James was not happy with my little surprise, was he?"
If it was possible, her porcelain skin paled further. "Oh god! You are the one that killed Felix and Demitri, aren't you?"
"I could say no but you wouldn't believe me, would you?"
My angel lowered her eyes and whispered, "It doesn't matter. It's not my place to ask. Forgive me."
It was different, seeing Bella in this setting, in this excessively opulent bedroom designed to give a false sense of extravagance. She had looked like a made up little girl last night, but here she looked more woman than child. My cock stiffened as I caught the floral scent that was her, no soaps and no perfumes. I wanted to smell her on every inch of my skin.
I stepped closer and noticed her shoulders tense. She was skittish and she had every right to be. I was going to take the last of her innocence. I was going to damn her. Desecrate her. She should be wary and very afraid.
But I didn't crave the scent of her fear. So I thought it best to move slowly and induce a false sense of comfort. I needed her to trust me and she would not do that without feeling safe.
I removed my jacket and tossed it on a nearby chair, followed by my tie and then my suspenders. Hearing the rustle of my clothing, Bella began watching me with unreadable eyes. I kicked off my shoes before unbuttoning the top two buttons of my shirt and rolling up the long sleeves. I might as well get comfortable because I was planning on this taking all night.
Bella's stare moved with me as I walked over to the four-post bed and sat down. She didn't flinch away but she made no move to come closer either. I set about to remedy that.
"Bella." I held out my hand and waited, striving for patience which had never been my strongest trait.
She swallowed hard, braced herself and then tentatively stepped toward me placing her warm hand in mine. If the unnatural cold of my skin bothered her, she made no comment as she sat beside me.
I pressed my index finger to her lips, silencing her.
"I like hearing you say my name Bella." I felt compelled to explain.
Bella's bottomless brown eyes softened making my cock that much harder. Against my finger she smiled sweetly, grasping my wrist to lower my hand to her lap.
"You came to see me?" she asked and I was unable to deny it so I nodded. She tilted her head in question which caused her dark hair to brush my hand sending a jolt through my arm and down my spine.
I aimed to be truthful. "You make me feel alive Bella, something I haven't felt in a long time."
It was something I intended to keep at all costs.
Bella's tiny hand slipped into mine, teasing me with her warmth. Her eyes sparkled, as she admitted, "I couldn't stop thinking about you. All night I was terrified they'd murdered you. And when word went around that authorities had found the bodies, I was relieved. I shouldn't have felt that, but I hoped it meant you were still alive. But I never dreamed you were mad enough to come here."
"You're mine now," I said simply.
Her smile turned sad and it was like watching day turn to night across her face. Her serene mask cracked and I caught a glimpse of the pain and hate that churned inside her soul as it flashed in her eyes. Her sweet voice was sharp as nails when she finally spoke.
"James owns me. I can never belong to anyone else."
Anger, cold and biting, filled me as I fed off of her guarded feelings. My little angel had fallen, she knew the worst that existed in her kind and she was strong enough to survive it. She could endure what I could offer. The hate that burned in her would consume her either way. Freedom was her choice.
"What would you give to leave here?" I asked, taking advantage of the opening presented. "What price would you be willing to pay?"
She laughed mirthlessly. "I've no money to buy my way out. And even if could amass a small fortune, this was never about money. Would you like to know how James acquired me? My father was a drunkard and gambler. He owed James a steep debt and for a time James was content with the paltry payments that my father would make. Until the day he saw me. I was seven years old when he took me, from my home at gunpoint telling my father that he was claiming me as payment. And my father didn't put up a fight. He let James take me and I've been James' property ever since."
Her reality was a cruel place and, perhaps, equally as unforgiving as mine. I couldn't give her redemption. I was not a being designed to offer comfort. But I could give her revenge and means to seek it on her own. Bella would finally have the chance to inflict the pain, not endure it.
My price for that gift would be her loyalty, her body and her life. For nothing in this world was free.
"How badly do you want out?" I asked again, my voice deadly soft.
"I'd give anything."
I pressed further. "Would you sell your soul?"
Her eyes narrowed. "This is hell. I'd say we're all beyond saving."
I laughed at her words though it wasn't a pleasant sound. How right she was, my fallen angel. I took her hand and lifted it to my lips, letting her feel the coldness of my skin, the unnerving sensation of my touch.
I was going to make her mine, despite her choice. Yet I preferred her to come willingly.
"I did kill Felix and Demitri," I confessed, my lips moving against her skin. "I did it with my bare hands."
Her breath caught.
"I can make you that strong too. I can give you the power to crush James and truly be free of him…" Bella's fingers clutched mine and I smiled slightly, "but its not without its cost."
"What do you mean?" she asked, confused.
"You feel it in my cold skin."
Her brown eyes widened.
"You see it in my black and soulless eyes."
Her body trembled.
"And here…" I whispered, jerking my shirt open as she hung on my every word and pressing her hand to my chest, "...my silent heart."
Bella's eyes fell from mine to look at her hand, taking on a look of horror as she processed my meaning. Her heart began to beat frantically and I wished I knew what she was thinking. I'd give my soul for it, if I still had one. Still, I knew this was the moment she realized that I was not humoring her. That I was not human.
"What are you?" she managed to choke.
The very thing that makes you afraid of the dark.
"A vampire," I replied.
Bella's reaction surprised me. Her delicate brow wrinkled as her fingers curled against my chest. She took an unsteady breath and then looked up at me, her expression guarded but her eyes fearful. "Vampire?"
"As in blood-drinking-demon-that-can-turn-into-a-bat vampire?"
Caught completely off guard by her asinine bat theory, I eyed her warily. "Don't be absurd. Why in the hell would I want to turn into a bat?"
Bella blushed, her heart increasing double time as the scent of her fear became stifling. "I read it in a book?" she squeaked.
I wasn't quite sure if she was asking me or telling me. It triggered my frustration that I could not simply lift her worries from her mind so that I could assuage her terror. While the scent did appeal to me, I was not in the mood to be tempted and it only annoyed me further.
I released her hand and shifted away slightly, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Do you believe everything you read?" I asked sarcastically.
"Once I believed there was a god, but I don't anymore. So I suppose not," she admitted softly. Twisting her hands together, she swallowed hard. "Are you going to kill me now?"
My eyes jerked to hers and I very nearly hissed in rejection to her tragic assumption. I had to struggle not to snap at her and frighten her even more. "No, Isabella."
"No you won't do it now or no you won't do it at all?" she breathed with barely a sound.
"Are you trying to provoke me?"
She looked away from my blazing eyes and shuddered. "I'm trying to believe that this is real. I am afraid of you. Everything in me is screaming for me to run but… despite what I feel when I look at you.."
Her voice trailed off, teasing me, but I needed to know what she was going to say. "What Bella? What do you see?"
"A boy… not so very different… from me."
Though I tried, I had no witty reply to diffuse her painful honesty. Her word touched a piece of me I thought long dead. It invoked the memory of feelings I could not hold onto and remain sane. Yet I could not deny her perceptiveness. Perhaps she was a witch and not an angel at all.
And I knew, though Bella was a living, breathing person, she was not alive. She had died a long time ago. In that, I saw myself.
I reached out slowly to trace the appealing hint of pink that alighted her pale cheek. She did not flinch away, but remained still as stone following my movement with her eyes. As I touched her skin her lips quirked with the hint of a smile.
A simple question. I gave her a simple answer.
"I am selfish, and I wish keep you with me."
There was definitely as smile playing about her lips as Bella became lost to her thoughts. I let her weigh her options as I trailed my fingertips down her jaw and along her neck. My desire for her had not waned, but as I felt her pulse rapidly throbbing under her skin, my body was riddled with growing tension, hot and churning.
I watched the swell of her breasts rise and catch as she sucked in a sharp breath. Licking my lips, I hooked a finger into the top of her thin gown and gently pulled her closer. She came willingly, leaning into me as I began to pop open one button after another down the front of her nightgown.
I wondered how many men before me had done exactly this? Though I'd wager none of them had offered her eternal damnation. I chuckled darkly at the thought.
My voice returned her to the present and she leaned back just far enough to meet my eyes.
"How do I know I can trust you?" she asked, her pretty mouth twisting bitterly.
"You don't, but if I had wanted to harm you I would have by now," I reasoned, striving for patience that I didn't feel. My hard cock was beginning to hurt.
"That's not what I'm referring to. I meant after… when I'm… like you. How do I know you won't use me as James has?"
And there it was, her most vulnerable fear. I was waiting for that, and so I gave her the response she needed to hear. "If I wanted you at my mercy I would keep you human. I don't want a slave Bella, I want a companion."
And that was the truth. I wanted Bella on her knees for one thing, and one thing only. Well… maybe a few others too, but I felt it safe to assume that her idea of subjugation and mine were two very different things. I was confident that she would come to enjoy my methods very, very much.
I was pleasantly surprised when Bella relaxed into me, her brow coming to rest against my collarbone. The panic in her scent dissipated greatly but I could feel the tremors that continued to run through her.
"Edward…?" she asked hesitantly, her voice small and almost child-like in her need for reassurance.
"Will it hurt?"
"Yes," I admitted with a wince. "When your body undergoes the change it is extremely painful, but it only lasts a few moments. The pain is brief."
I felt her nod as she accepted my explanation. She fell silent again as I raised my hand and weaved my fingers through her hair, needing more contact than this. The anticipation of her choice was making my desire damn near unmanageable, and her next question just about fucking broke me.
"Will I still feel pleasure?" she whispered. As she asked Bella placed her small hand on my thigh and gently squeezed.
"More intensely than you can possibly imagine," I groaned.
Bella giggled nervously and took a deep breath, bracing herself, I supposed. Shifting slightly, she sat back on her heels and faced me bravely, her eyes glinting with reckless determination. Blushing prettily, but not looking away, she let her partially open gown slip off her shoulders, baring her pert breasts and flat stomach as it pooled around her waist. I drank in the sight she made, the perfect contradiction of innocence and sensuality. She was the most erotic vision I'd ever seen.
But her smile told the truth, and it was positively wicked.
"I trust you Edward," she said with far more conviction than I deserved. "I want you to make me a vampire."
My need for her snapped my restraint, and with a pained growl, I lunged.
A.N. - Cruel place to stop, sorry lol.