Chapter 23: Endings

I really couldn't decide on one ending; I could see it ending two ways equally, so I decided to write them both. Hope everyone gets what they wanted, and if not now, then later on! Read, review, and send me your LOL moments!

Ending the First: In Which Everyone Gets What They Want

Seventeen-year-old Isabella Swan was pronounced dead that day at 4:13 pm by visiting physician Carlisle Cullen, said the local papers. "Cause of death was smoke inhalation, from the fire that burned down the dance studio where her body was found. Investigators believe she was caught in the fire after debris fell and it broke her leg. Police suspect that this was an arson fire, but there are no suspects at this time." She was survived by her parents, Charlie and Renee Swan.

... ... ...

I hung out in the background during her funeral. It was held during the late afternoon into early evening, but for reasons of my own I attended anyway. If I stood west of everyone, they would think my skin was an optical illusion caused by the setting sun.

Her parents were in attendance of course, as well as a few other extended family members. Some kids from her school in Phoenix were there, too. Poor Charlie; he really did look pretty pathetic, standing there quietly sobbing. All he could think about was their last conversation, her declaration of hatred for the town he loved, and by association, him. Her mother kept crying and saying how she didn't know what could have possessed Bella to go to her old dance studio, she didn't have any business there—I was glad when she and that guy she was with finally left.

Then it was just me and Charlie. He noticed me standing there after a moment, and came over. "Hey."

"Hello, Chief Swan."

"So, uh, I guess you really liked her didn't you?"

"Yes, sir, I did. She meant a lot to me. I never meant things to end the way they did."

His gaze went far away. "I loved her so much. I thought that when she moved in with me we'd finally have the chance to…" his voice broke. Guess he still wasn't done crying. If he only knew.

It was growing dark. We exchanged a few more funeral-we're-sad words, and Chief Swan wandered back to his rental car.

And none too soon. My sensitive vampire ears picked up the sound of stirring down below. She was waking.

I thought back to the pivotal moment a few days ago….

Carlisle and I hurried over to Bella.

"Hold on," I told her. "This will hurt, and for that I'm sorry, but it will only be for a while. Do you understand?"

She nodded, and her eyes were full of pain and fear, but there was longing there, too. She was ready, if I did it now.

I bit her again, concentrating this time on giving fluid instead of taking it, and whispering in the back of her mind, so she thought it was herself, things like, 'I want you, Edward, I will get through this for you, so I can be with you, I would do anything for you…' until she took up the mantra herself in her own mind, and all she knew was the pain, and that the key to ending her pain was me…

Now I heard a distinct pounding from beneath the freshly-piled earth, and the skritch-skritch of nails scraping on wood. Bella, I called, My pet, it works better if you just punch straight through. A second after I spoke to her, I heard a crunch of splintering wood, and the earth over her coffin depressed a little. She was through.

Help me, Edward.

You wanted to be a vampire, show me you deserve it by climbing out yourself.

It took her a few minutes, but she finally clawed her way up through the grave dirt. When she had cleared up to her waist, I gave her a hand to get the rest of the way out.

She stood for a moment, looking at her body in the moonlight, feeling her skin and her face with her hands, touching her new teeth with her tongue.

"Is it always like this?" she asked, twirling around and flaring her burial dress around her legs. She moved her hands up and down her body, essentially feeling herself up.

"No," I said, stepping forward to take her in my arms. At that moment a man stumbled by the cemetery, about half a mile away. We both turned to look. "Sometimes it's even better." I watched Bella as her pupils dilated, her eyes became black, and her focus narrowed in on the man lurching by. She had been dead for days now, and she was hungry. I whispered in her ear, "Go for it, my pet."

She darted away-and promptly stuck her foot in a gopher hole, doing a face-plant and probably eating dirt. I struggled not to laugh, or do anything that might make her angry at me. She was a newborn, a hungry one at that; I didn't need her pissed off at me.

I watched as she circled around the man, deciding how to go about feeding off him. She finally went with the direct approach and tackled him from the side. He didn't stand a chance. Within two seconds she had her fangs in him, draining him of his lifeblood. She finished and looked up at me, running her tongue over her lips. God, she was beautiful there in the moonlight, teeth tinted red with the blood of her first victim.

She raced back over to me. "Did I do good?"

"You did better than well. You did excellent. C'mere." I held out my hands to her, and she jumped at me, embracing me with her arms and wrapping her legs around my waist. She kissed me full on the mouth, and I didn't hold back anything this time, I kissed her right back. She tasted of freesia, and of the blood she had just consumed. The combination nearly drove me wild with need, and I kissed her more fiercely than before. She responded enthusiastically, thrusting her arms into my shirt and popping buttons, roughly running her hands down my back, raking it with her nails. She groaned in disappointment when I released her mouth, and gasped when I bit her neck. She smiled a challenge at me and bit mine right back. I couldn't help but cry out at the intense feeling that generated.

"I want you inside me, now," she gasped out.

"What a coincidence; so do I," I practically growled, and threw her to the ground, pouncing on her. She tugged urgently on my suit pants, trying to free the rest of me. I quite happily obliged, baring my entire body to Bella whoever the hell else wanted to see, I didn't care.

Then I impaled her with my alabaster obelisk, and she screamed in ecstasy, loud enough to wake the dead (almost).

Her shrieking laughter and my grunts of pleasure filled the restive cemetery with sound, almost until dawn.

"Tell me you want me, Bella."

"I want you, Edward."

"Tell me you need me."

"I need you, Edward."

"Say you'll never leave me."

"I'll never, ever leave you."

Her words filled me with intense, sadistic pleasure. With those words, she sealed her fate. Her everything belonged to me, I was the main object of her affection and her desire, and now she could never escape me, even if she should want to, later on.

She was, "unconditionally and irrevocably," mine.

...(change to 3rd person POV)...

They weren't alone in the cemetery, though neither knew that. A watcher was standing under a copse of trees near the edge of the graveyard, smoking a clove cigarette and watching the young'uns play, with a tolerant smile on his face. When he heard those symbolic words, his smile grew wider, and it wasn't what one would call 'nice.'

"And so another member is drawn into the fold," murmured Carlisle, and he turned and walked down the street in the predawn darkness, whistling a jaunty tune.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ending B: In Which We Have Only Just Begun

I rushed over to where Bella lay, prone, weak, and fading.

"Bella!" I grabbed her shoulders and shook her a little. "Bella, can you hear me? Can you understand?"

I felt a hand on my shoulder. "It's too late, Edward," Carlisle said. "She's already gone."

Panic set in. "You mean she's-"

"Of course not. Humans are more resilient than you think." He went over and began applying first-aid to her battered body. "She's unconscious, though; I don't think anything you try to say to her-in any medium-will get through to her conscious mind." He set her leg and Bella moaned, even unconscious.

"So she'll survive?"

"Yes, as long as we can get her to a hospital." He gestured down at her. "Pick her up and get her out of here. We have some evidence to destroy."

I looked around, and noticed Jasper and Emmett carrying in cans of gasoline and other extremely flammable substances. I got to carry the injured girl. Damn it! I never get to do anything fun!

Carlisle looked me in the eyes. "Patience, Edward. Sometimes these things take time. It's just going to take longer than we hoped, that's all. Dealing with disappointments like these are something you learn to do after you've lived as long as I have."

Great.

... ... ...

The four of us "kids" lounged on the roof of the Phoenix hospital, waiting around for word on Bella's condition.

"This day completely sucked!" said Alice. "First I had to babysit little miss self-sacrifice-ooh-I'm-so-clever-watch-me-outsmart-a-vampire, then I miss out on the whole fight. I didn't even get to pull the Wish Vampire!" She pouted.

I sulked. "Believe me, you did not get the raw end of the deal today," I objected. "I got beat up by James, manhandled and slapped around by Carlisle, saved the girl, so to speak, but still didn't get the girl."

"At least you had a decent battle cry," said Emmett.

Jasper sniffed loudly and turned his head away. "There is nothing wrong with my battle cry. I maintain it is honoring a beloved pet."

"Whatever Spazzper, it's still lame," Emmett mocked.

"I think you'll be wearing that name for a long time, Spazzper," I teased.

Jasper got sulky and deliberately turned his back on us. Alice sidled up to him. "Y'know, if you wanted some that bad, you didn't have to beg for it so loudly," she said suggestively. "You know I'm always up for a good time."

A smile stole across Jasper's face. He looked over and Emmett and me. "Uh, I'll catch you guys later; we're gonna...find an empty room somewhere." He and Alice took off.

Emmett looked at me. "Hey, what's the creepiest place for them to get it on?"

I thought for a moment. "A bathroom?"

"A public bathroom."

"A public handicapped bathroom."

"Vacant bed in an occupied room!"

"The cafeteria!"

"The MEAT LOCKER!"

"So they can both get their meat!"

Then we were laughing uncontrollably; I mean, possibly died laughing if we weren't already dead.

Later Carlisle called me inside; Bella was awake. And she was sulking. As soon as I walked in I found out why.

"Edward, I'm going to die," Bella announced.

Oh, what an over-dramatic princess. "Really, Bella. You'll be out of here in a few days. Two weeks, tops."

"I don't mean now, but someday, as I am now, I will die. I get closer all the time. I'm going to get old."

Vain, are we? Yes we are! "And you want me to change you."

She brightened. "Would you?"

"No. You don't know what you're asking, what it means to be what I am." Yeah, I was beating around the bush, but I couldn't tell her the real reason why: because she was no longer at death's door, and might wake up a proverbial "free agent." The whole point of this exercise was for her to be bound to me by the end, and that probably wouldn't happen right now. At least, the odds were slim.

"Then stay with me, " she begged.

"As long as you want me to." And maybe when you don't.

The nurse came then, to administer another dose of painkillers. Bella drifted off to sleep, and I made plans. How to pay this bitch back for all the trouble she put me through. I went through all that, then she had the audacity to fall unconscious, right when I would have turned her? Who does she think she is? Then it came to me. What does Bella hate the most? Crowds, functions, and doing what is expected of her. What could be more perfect than Prom? A fancy school function where everyone dresses to the nines, simply everyone attends, and she can see all her "friends" from school. Ruin my opportunity, will she? We'll see how she likes Prom!

My thoughts suddenly halted. That sounded wrong on so many levels. Then again, nothing was going as expected in what might be called my "wooing" of Bella Swan.

Oh, well. How did that phrase go? If at first you don't succeed...

"Play time again," Carlisle called.

Oh, hell...

Three updates in three days...that has to be some kind of record or something. I just wanted to get this done, I didn't want to look at that book anymore. I think I'm happy with how this turned out, though.

That poor boy, I put him through so much. He just can't seem to win, although I guess in the first ending he did. And Carlisle! See who Edward learned his stalking skills from?

I'm getting to love these characters. They are SO BAD! How they SHOULD be, though. I really struggled to find an ending for Ending B. There always seemed to be something more that should happen. And then Carlisle had to say his piece, and it was over.

What does it say about Carlisle that he always seems to get the last word in? He's CREEPY! And you all love him for it, just admit it. I do too.

In case you were wondering the "obelisk" idea came from "literaryridealongs(dot)wordpress(dot)com." They are a couple of people reading through Twilight chapter-by-chapter. One does summary with some snarking, the other does commentary with lots and lots of snark. Fun read! Recommend it highly.

Finally, I'd like to give a heart-felt shout-out to all my regular reviewers: Simply Ali, Tori Scanga, Thriving on Eternal Chaos, GeeNeeMeanie, cullen-gal1983, 0Rii, and jacobwllfuxulikeAnanimal. Thank you so much! Without you all, I might have just given up on this project.

Separate thanks to anyone else who has ever dropped me a line or reviewed my story. Thank you!

REVIEW PLEASE!!