The Sandbox Presents: Things That Go Bump in the Night
Cross My Heart, Hope To Die
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Disclaimer: All characters associated with Twilight belong to Stephanie Myer. No copyright infringements is intended at any time.
I sat in English class and watched the time tick away. I was sick of school, and wished I hadn't allowed myself to be tricked by Edward into attending a year of college. Somehow, he used my own reasoning for not wanting to get married right out of high school, and talked me into waiting a year before we married and I became a true Cullen. As he cleverly put it, I would still be in my teens, and since I was already older than him, what was another year. Now, I had to come up with a plan on how to change his mind to let me only serve half of the year I had promised him.
It was October and Halloween was tomorrow. Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, was decorated with skeletons, scarecrows and witches. If they only knew who I hung out with, I thought as I exited the classroom and went to the parking lot. I walked out into the cold, wet air and looked for the silver Volvo. Edward stood leaning against the passenger side of the car, waiting on me, and smiled as I approached. He was so perfect, at times I had to pinch myself when I was with him to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
"Missed you. How was class?" He opened the door for me to get in, and I welcomed the warmth.
I waited for him to join me before I replied, "Boring. I have notes for you, like you will ever need them," I mumbled. We had the same classes together, but he didn't attend today. "How was your hunting trip with Jasper?"
"Fulfilling, thank you." He pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to Forks. A trip that should take about an hour or so took him less than thirty minutes. "Do we have any plans for Halloween?"
I looked over at him curious as to why he would ask such a question. "I thought that maybe we could either sit at my house, or yours, and pass out candy. Why, has something come up?" The Volturi always hung in the back of my mind. I, we, had promised them that I would soon become a vampire the last time we saw them a few months ago in Forks. I knew they wouldn't forget, and every moment that I stayed human put the Cullens in danger, even though they assured me they weren't. I didn't think it was wise to push our luck.
"There is a fundraiser Halloween party in our small city, and we have been asked to join." He glanced over at me to see my expression since his mind reading ability didn't work on me.
"I think I'll pass. I'll just stay home and pass out candy to the kids, you can go to the party." He knew how I felt about parties, and should had known that my answer was going to be no.
"I've already volunteered us to help with the activities. The Police Chief is your father and Carlisle is on the board at the hospital now . It wouldn't look good for us not to attend." I glared at him showing how unhappy I was that he took liberty to speak on my behalf.
I didn't say another word as he pulled up in front of my house. He got out and walked with me inside, then sat down at the kitchen table while I took something out to fix for supper.
"Am I forgiven, or is this something that is going to take a while?" he asked watching me intently.
I sighed, sat down next to him and held his ice cold hand. I loved the feel of his skin against mine. "Where am I going to find a costume at such short notice?"
"Alice has already taken care of it."
I nodded my head, of course she has, I said to myself. I'm sure she saw this coming months in advance, and they waited till the last minute to tell me so I couldn't come up with reasons (like not having a costume) to get out of it. "Do I get to know in advance who, or what, I am going as, or is that a secret too?"
"Well, I sort of picked it out for us." I sat and waited for him to tell me who we were going as. He was stalling and that wasn't a good sign. "You are going as Belle and I am going as the Prince from Beauty and the Beast. I thought that seemed appropriate. I had played with the idea of you being Mary Reilly and me going as Mr. Edward Hyde, but I just couldn't see you as a servant."
"Please, do not tell me I am going to have to wear a big, freaking, 18th century, yellow dress?" I remembered the dress Alice got for me to wear to my Junior prom, and I could feel a panic attack coming.
He avoided eye contact and frowned. "It's not yellow. I have it at the house and you can get it tonight."
I slowly got up from the table and started supper. Edward was my helpful chopper (he didn't like me handling knives), but he went to the living room and left me alone to sulk. Supper was ready and on the table when Charlie got home.
"Smells good, Bells." Charlie walked into the kitchen and stuck his finger in the gravy bowl. He went in the living room and greeted Edward before he sat down to eat.
"What are you two doing for Halloween?" Charlie asked taking in a big bite of steak.
"Unfortunately, going to that Halloween party. Edward has volunteered our services." I glanced at my dad expecting to see him smiling, but his features looked as panicked as mine when I found out what I was going to be wearing. "You okay, dad? Is there something wrong?"
"I guess I'll see you there." I was speechless. Charlie hated social events as much as I did. "Sue Clearwater asked me if I would escort her and the kids. I thought it would be good for them to get out and have some fun for a change."
"That's sweet of you, dad." He just grunted and poked more steak in his mouth.
Supper was finished, and Edward helped me clean up. I told Charlie that I was going over to the Cullens to get my costume for the party.
We pulled up to the house which Alice had reconstructed into a mausoleum. It was usually open and bright, but now it was now dark and gloomy. I cautiously went inside and passed several coffins on my way to the stairs. I put my hand on the banister when something cold reached out and grabbed me. I screamed and tried to run, but the hand wasn't letting me go.
"Trick or treat?" a voice boomed happily.
"Dammit, Emmett!" This was my first Halloween with the Cullens, and Emmett enjoyed scaring me to death every time I came over. He was always hiding in the shadows, or in one of the coffins, waiting on me to pass him before he jumped out at me. One time, he was hiding in the kitchen, and he attacked me with a play butcher knife.
"Bella," Emmett laughed, "this will be the last Halloween you will have with a heart. Might as well enjoy it while you can."
"I want to keep my heart until after I get married, if you don't mind! So, will you please stop trying to kill me." I was trying to get my heart rate under control and breathe normally.
"Emmett," Edward scowled at his brother, "I told you not to be doing that to her anymore. If you want to scare someone, dress up and go down to the cemetery and scare the teenagers."
"Bella is much more fun. This will be the last year I can scare her. I have an eternity to scare the teenagers." He smiled showing his big, white teeth and headed out the back door.
"Bella!" Alice trilled and embraced me as I entered her room. "I heard you scream. Emmett scared you again, didn't he?" She shook her head and sighed. "Rose doesn't pay him enough attention. You should give her some lessons on how to keep your man entertained." I felt my face turn red and looked down.
"Alice, Bella came to get her Halloween costume." Edward said with a warning in his tone.
"Oh, so you know about the party?" She didn't wait on a reply, and skipped to her closet. She pulled out a long plastic dress bag, and dread came over me. "Shoo, Edward. You can't watch her try it on. Don't worry, I will safely escort her downstairs when we are finished." She placed the bag on the bed, and Edward gave me a kiss before unenthusiastically leaving me in Alice's hands.
I watched as she unzipped the bag and pulled out a beautiful, royal blue gown. It was Rococo style from the 18th century, and there were threads of gold set in the silky material.
Alice saw my face and smiled. "Gorgeous, isn't it? Edward picked it out. I know it isn't the same dress that Belle wore, but he said yellow wasn't your color, so he settled on this. Don't worry, I got you some flat, gold dress shoes to wear. With this dress, you won't be able to see your shoes anyway." I tried the dress on, and it fit perfectly. Alice went over the hairstyle I should wear, and how to apply my make-up so I would be in character.
Edward took me home early, and followed me up to my room carrying my costume. He hung it in my closet then sat on my bed.
"Charlie will be up here in a minute to see what we're doing. Better head back down stairs." I reached for his hand and he pulled me down to sit next to him. Quietly, he reached in his coat pocket, pulled out a box and handed it to me. "What's this?"
"It goes with your costume." He opened the box, and took out a gold necklace. I took it from him, and stared at the beauty of it. "Do you like it? I got it from an antique website. I have to admit, I didn't necessarily order it for your Halloween costume. I was just looking for an excuse to give it to you."
"It's breathtaking." I couldn't seem to take my eyes off it. A flaming heart rested in the center, and there were a pair of arrows that crossed piercing the center of the heart. Surmounting the heart was a filigree canopy of gold work.
Edward left but promised to return, and I got ready for bed. I walked over to the dresser to marvel at my Halloween gift. I put it over my head, and walked to the mirror to see how it looked on me. My eyes were transfixed on the stone. Immediately it felt like I had been thrust into another time.
I found myself standing in a great ballroom with people dressed in Rococo-style attire. My eyes drifted down, and I noticed that I was wearing a beautiful red and white sack-back gown and petticoat, the same style as my Halloween costume. There was music playing all around with everyone laughing and talking. I have to be dreaming, was my only thought. Curiosity overtook my panic, and I started to walk and mingle in the crowd.
"May I have this dance, chere bein-aime?" I turned to face a very attractive man. He had blond hair that was curled up on the side and tied in black ribbon. His dark eyes bore into my soul and made me speechless. As he reached for my hand, there was nothing in me that wanted to reject him.
Somehow, I managed to find my voice and faintly whispered, "I don't dance."
He smiled, "You do tonight, chere." He led me to the center of the ballroom, then gently pulled me close to him and we began to float to the music. All my worries and fears of dancing seemed to melt away while I was in his arms. I couldn't seem to pull myself free from him, though somewhere in the back of my mind I was screaming to run. I knew this wasn't right, that something was terribly wrong, but there was a power in him that made all my logical thinking dissipate. We danced for what seemed like hours. If people were dancing around us, I never noticed.
"My sweet, Lavinia. Do you promise to stay with me like this forever?" All I could do was nod as tears slowly fell from my eyes.
The music stopped, and he dropped my hand as he backed away. "I have to go, but I will find you again, chere, that is a promise. We will be together, always." He was gone, and I collapsed on the floor in tears.
"Bella? Bella!" I opened my eyes but didn't see the dark eyes I was expecting. Instead, topaz eyes were looking at me frantically. I looked around and saw that I was back in my room, wearing my pajamas.
"I must have been dreaming." I mumbled, brushing the tears off my face.
"You mean sleep walking." Edward still had a hold of my shoulders with a concerned look on his face. "What were you dreaming about?"
I thought of the blond Frenchman and immediately blushed. I was not going to tell my fiancé that I was dreaming of another man I had never met before. "Halloween party jitters." I gave a short laugh and looked in the opposite direction of his stare.
We sat on the floor for a while until he decided I was okay, and helped me up. I was still a little shaky from my … what exactly? I looked over at the clock and saw that only thirty minutes had passed though it felt like hours. I felt exhausted, and walked over to the bed with Edward holding on to my elbow.
"I see you tried on your necklace. Do you like it?"
My hand mechanically touched the pendant. "Yes, it is very lovely. Thank you." I unclasped it and went to store it in my jewelry box. As I lifted the lid, another piece caught my eye. I gently lifted the silver bracelet and held it in my hand. The crystal heart was impressive but that wasn't what held my attention. My finger traced the small, hand carved, wooden wolf. Suddenly, I felt much older than I was. My poor Jacob. Hot tears dropped onto the little figurine, and I shut my eyes to try and block out his face. I hated for Edward to see me like this, but there was no stopping the flood of emotions I was feeling. Where is all this coming from? I asked myself out of anger. I threw the bracelet back in my jewelry box and turned around. Edward was standing right behind me, didn't say a word but just held me tightly in his arms.
"I'm sorry." I cried into his chest, "I don't know what is wrong with me tonight."
He kissed the top of my head, "It's fine. I know you miss him, you don't have to be ashamed to show your feelings. I would rather you be honest than to keep anything from me." Though he said he understood, I still knew that deep down, it hurt him. He would always blame himself for my close relationship with Jacob Black. "If you want to talk about it, I'll be honored to listen."
Before I pulled away from his embrace, I breathed in his sweet smell that always seemed to relax and steady me. When I was with him, I knew everything would be okay. "I'm just really tired all of a sudden. Promise me you will stay the whole night with me?"
I got beneath the covers and Edward laid next to me, pulling me close to him. He didn't seem to mind the silent tears that fell on his shirt. It had been months since I had spoken with Jacob or any of the other werewolves besides Seth Clearwater. I knew why Jacob avoided me, for the same reason I avoided him. Edward was my future and Jacob was my past. Jacob could not agree with the plans and dreams I had, and we argued about it every time we spoke. So, we just agreed to quit speaking. I dearly missed his friendship and spontaneous character. He and his friends were fun to be around, until they started with the vampire remarks. They had saved my butt on more than one occasion, and I felt like I owed them something. What Jacob wanted, however, I was not able to give.
After our last battle with Victoria, Edward had agreed to let me visit La Push anytime I wanted, though I could tell he was reluctant. I went a few times, but found it harder and harder being around Jacob. Eventually, I stopped going. Edward never asked why, though I'm sure he knew.
Jacob, at times, was much easier to talk to than Edward. I knew that if I told him about my encounter with the blond Frenchman, he would joke about it and calmly go over ideas. Jacob wouldn't panic and call a coven meeting to discuss a plan of action against a dream. He wouldn't place a 24 hour watch team on me, which is what Edward would do if I told him. I knew what I had to do in the morning. With my mind settled, I was able to fall asleep peacefully with my rock next to me.
Morning came too soon, and I opened my eyes to see Edward laying in the same position he had been in when I fell asleep.
"Good morning, brown eyes. You seemed to have slept well." He kissed me on the top of my head before he got off the bed. "I'll pick you up in a few hours for school."
"I'm not going to go today." I got up and could feel him staring at me. "There are some things I need to do before the party. Why don't you go and take notes for me?" I grabbed my robe and went to the door.
"Fine. I'll pick you up tonight around five." I nodded in agreement, and when I turned to say bye, he was gone. I hoped I hadn't hurt his feelings, but I didn't see any reason for him to panic. I knew how protective he was of me, and he knew how I attracted danger.
I showered, then threw on an old pair of jeans and sweatshirt. I walked over to my dresser to put on my engagement ring, then thought of where I was going and decided against it. I jumped in my old Chevy truck and took off for La Push.
I followed the familiar road, and pulled up to the Blacks residence. I didn't see Jacob's Rabbit, but it could have been parked in the garage behind the house. As I got out of the truck, I saw the curtains move from inside, then Billy appeared at the door.
"Bella, what brings you by?" he asked not welcoming me in.
"I need to talk to Jacob, is he home?"
"It's Friday, Bella. He is at school, shouldn't you be? Does your fiancé know you're here?" he asked with a note of bitterness in his voice.
"Edward doesn't care if I'm here, and I didn't think about Jacob being in school. Could you ask him to call me when he gets home? I've got to go to a Halloween party tonight, so I wont be there after five, okay?" I looked pleadingly at Billy, "I really need to talk to him." When I saw the angry expression on his face, I knew Jacob would never get my message. "Bye, Billy. Thanks." I jumped back in the truck and headed home.
I hung around and did some chores. I don't know why I thought that Jacob could help me. Maybe it was just the thought of having someone listen. Time slowly ticked by, and I decided at four o'clock that I should start getting ready. I went in my room and took out my costume. "This is going to be a disaster," I said to myself. The costume fit me snugly, and I was a little timid at how low the neck line was. I heard the phone ring, and Charlie huffing and puffing down the stairs to answer it.
"Bella, it's for you! Jacob's on the phone!"
I stopped what I was doing, half my hair in rollers, the other half down, and cautiously went down the stairs. Charlie handed me the phone and I waited for him to go back to his room.
"I'm going to finish getting dressed. I promised Sue I would pick her up around six." he turned and left me alone.
"Jacob?" I whispered in the phone.
"Bella, what's up?"
It felt good to hear his voice but at the same time my heart felt like it was breaking all over again. I glanced at the clock and realized I didn't have much time before Edward would be picking me up.
"I . . . don't worry about it. It was nothing. I don't have much time to talk, I've got to go to that Halloween party tonight."
"I heard Seth talking about going. So, Charlie is taking the Clearwaters, huh?"
"Yeah, I was shocked too. I hope Leah doesn't give him a hard time. Dad is nervous about going as it is."
I heard him laugh and couldn't help but join.
"Since when do you party?"
"Since I was volunteered. I wont be partying but working."
"The leech must have volunteered you. I know Charlie would have never recommended it." It never failed. I thought that maybe this conversation, after all these months, would be different than the others and he would abstain from derogatory comments about the Cullens.
"Jacob, I've really got to get ready. My hair is going flat."
"Sure, sure. What was so important that you had to break away from your bloodsucker and come to La Push today?"
"Maybe I'll tell you later. It was nothing really. Bye, Jacob." I didn't wait for him to respond. I hung up the phone, picked up my dress and stomped back up the stairs. So much for thinking I could talk to him, I fussed with myself.
I was in the process of securing my hair on top of my head with bobby-pins when the doorbell chimed. I yelled out the window for Edward to come in, touched up my make-up, and took a deep breath before leaving my room. I was at the top of the stairs when I looked down and lost all body functions. Edward was standing at the bottom wearing a royal blue coat with gold threading in it like my dress, a white shirt with ruffles of lace on the front, royal blue breeches and white stockings. I had to laugh when I saw that he was actually wearing a white wig. I picked my dress up and slowly made my way to him. He bowed low then took my hand and gently kissed my wrist before turning it over and breathing deeply.
"You look absolutely amazing." he smiled with a twinkle in his eye. "It is going to be very difficult to resist you tonight."
"Then don't." I whispered and moved a little closer to him.
"Who are you two suppose to be?" Charlie came bounding down the stairs wearing his police uniform.
"Have you got a call?" I asked eyeing his outfit.
"No. This is what I'm wearing tonight. Sue wanted me to dress like a pilgrim because she is going as an Indian. I couldn't bare to see myself in that ridiculous outfit." He smirked as he looked Edward up and down. Then he looked at his watch as he headed out the door. "See you kids there."
Edward grinned at me and held the door open. "Shall we?"
I smiled back and started to leave when my hand flew to my throat. "I forgot my necklace."
"I'll get it." He rushed up the stairs and was back in no time. He clasped it around my neck and let the pendant settle on my chest. "You also forgot this." I looked down as he took my hand, and easily placed my engagement ring on my finger. "After you, my lady."
Most of the way there, Edward talked about what I had missed at school. "What did you do today?" he asked innocently.
"Caught up on some house work. Not much." I figured he knew that I had went to La Push, but didn't say anything about it. I pulled the visor down and looked at my pendant. I lightly ran a finger over the flaming heart and watched it sparkle.
"I can't believe I got you a gift that you actually like and didn't pitch a fit over how much money it cost." I forced myself to look away from the pendant and to acknowledge Edward. He stared into my eyes and quickly reached over and flipped the visor back up. "We're here." I looked and saw Forks High School sitting in front of us.
We walked in, and was immediately blown away by the decorations. The Cullens had managed to transform the small gym into a replica of a dungeon. At one end there were sacrificial altars set up for the food. Punch was to be served out of a witches caldron. Cages containing skeletons were hanging from the ceiling as well as streamers, while black and orange balloons floated freely on the floor. There was a coffin filled with artificial snakes and plastic bugs at the entrance to the gym.
I saw Carlisle and Esme, dressed as Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, standing by the altars.
"Looks like you all have out done yourselves." I said.
"Alice's idea." Esme smiled and kissed my cheek. "Glad you could make it. I told Edward he shouldn't have volunteered you. I hope you aren't mad."
"No, I'm actually glad he did. I wouldn't have come otherwise."
Edward and I walked to the cafeteria where the rest of his family was busy working. There was no sense in trying to keep up with what they were doing. Their hands were moving in record speed and everything was prepared before I could even ask what they needed me to do.
"Don't you look spectacular!" Alice shrilled running over to embrace me. She was wearing a French maid costume and Jasper stood beside her wearing a butler's uniform. My eyes flicked to where Emmett and Rosalie stood. With the outfits they were wearing and the artillery that hung from their waist, it was easy to see they were Bonnie and Clyde.
Carlisle poked his head in the room, "Guys, people are starting to show up. Time to head to your posts."
Edward kissed me, "I'll be right outside if you need me."
"I'm sure I can handle watching food." He grinned at my joke, and slowly followed his brothers out the door. I turned to see Alice looking at me.
"Missed you today," Alice said nonchalant.
I walked over and picked up a vegetable tray. "I was at home."
"Yes, but you didn't stay home, did you?"
I stared at Alice. "I don't think I need a babysitter anymore. Where I go is my business." I turned and headed back into the gym.
It didn't take long for the party to heat up. I waved to Charlie and Sue as they walked in. Sue had worn her Indian costume and walked over to give me a hug.
"Where is Seth and Leah?" I asked.
"Seth is outside hanging out with Edward. Leah didn't come." I could tell she was upset by her daughter's decision to stay home.
"It'll get better with time, Sue. She just really misses her dad, I'm sure."
Sue Clearwater was an attractive woman. It was clear that Charlie was interested in more than just her cooking. "You're right. I'm not going to bug her about it." She smiled as if the matter was settled. "You look outstanding, by the way. Edward said that no one would be able to miss you, and he was right."
I blushed, "Wearing this dress, how could they. Edward has a tendency to exaggerate when it comes to me."
"Not this time." she whispered. Charlie came up behind her and led her to where some of his deputies and their wives were seated.
I took a seat against the wall and watched some of the kids bob for apples. Esme was having fun giving out prizes to them and Carlisle was there with towel in hand to dry their faces.
"Something stinks." I heard Rosalie growl at my left and saw Jacob Black standing two feet away from me.
"Yeah, tell me about it." he snarled back at Rose.
"Jacob," I said jumping up, "what are you doing here?"
"It's for a good cause and why miss out on all the fun. Besides, it's better than going trick or treating. They don't give out a lot of candy to people our size."
I glanced around the room and saw Quil and Embry over at Charlie's table. They were wearing normal clothes when I suddenly realized what Jacob had on.
"You've go to be kidding me. Dracula, really?" I couldn't help but smile.
"Hey, I thought since you were into this kind of stuff. . . ."
"Only in your dreams, dog." Rosalie glared.
"Want to dance, or do they have you tied down doing their dirty work?" Jacob's eyes never left Rosalie's. I could feel the tension in the air and figured I didn't have any other choice.
"Rose, can you and Alice take care of this while I dance a few songs with Jacob?"
Jacob didn't wait for a reply, he grabbed my arm and dragged me to the dance floor. The last thing we needed was a fight on our hands. Rosalie disliked Jacob and his pals more than she disliked me. Jacob still held her partly responsible for me almost getting killed by the Volturi. Of course, Edward was the ultimate reason and the rest of the Cullens just fell in behind him, excluding Carlisle and Esme.
Once we were on the dance floor, I had no idea what to do. Jacob took my hand, put his arm around my waist and held me close to him. I could feel the heat coming off his body. I was so use to the cold, I forgot how good the warmth felt. I glanced at the ring on my left hand, resting on Jacob's shoulder, and immediately felt guilty.
"Now you have plenty of time to tell me why you came to La Push today."
"I don't know. I guess I was just thinking about you and wanted to see you."
"That iceberg causing you problems?" Jacob's voice shook.
"Edward, Jacob. His name is Edward. Not leech, not bloodsucker, not iceberg, not human killer, not what ever other ugly name you can think of!" I started to pull away, but Jacob held on to his grip.
"Sure, sure. Edward causing you problems?" he still had to clench his teeth when he said his name.
I hesitated. It all seemed so silly now. "No. It has nothing to do with him. It's just, there are some things I can't talk to him about. His temper sometimes . . ."
Jacob stopped and I could feel his muscles quivering. That was why Edward didn't want me around him. Werewolves could be dangerous.
"If he has laid a hand on you, so help me God, I will kill him!"
"Jacob, calm down. That's not . . ."
"Problem?" My worst nightmare was unfolding before my eyes. I felt Edward's hands around my waist. Before I knew it, Quil, Embry, Jasper and Emmett were all surrounding us.
"Yeah, there's a problem! Bella was just telling me about you and your temper! About how when she talks to you about things you don't want to hear, you go flying off your pedestal!" Jacob was still shaking.
"Jacob, that's not what I . . ."
"I wouldn't worry about my temper. I would never hurt her. Your temper, however, has been known to maim people in the past. So you need to back away." Edward said in a calm but deadly tone.
"Edward, he wouldn't . . ."
"I have an idea. Why don't we take this conversation outside so both our tempers can have a go at it."
"Fine by me. As long as when I break you in half, there wont be any hard feelings amongst your kennel."
"I hope you two enjoy ripping each other to shreds!" I couldn't take it anymore. "Just both of you know this, there is no prize for the winner." I looked over at Jacob. "I wanted to talk to my best friend, not to listen to you try and degrade Edward and the Cullens with every other word." Then I spun around and faced Edward. "I'm tired of being treated like a child instead of your fiancé. I appreciate your concern, but sometimes you go overboard. This," I gestured to Jacob and Edward, "has got to stop! You are both making me insane."
I pushed my way through the circle, and ignored the looks that we were getting. I heard Alice call my name, but I kept walking out the back door. Outside, Alice had set up like a graveyard, and I took a seat on one of the benches enjoying peacefulness. I put my head in my hands and sobbed. There was no way they would ever be able to get along. Not only because of me, but because of who they were.
"You're too beautiful to be hiding out here, chere."
His voice. I quickly looked and there he was. He was wearing the same outfit he had in my dream. I sat still, afraid if I moved he would vanish. Afraid if I didn't move, I would later regret it. I felt the pendant warm against my skin. He slowly walked over to me and bowed.
"Mademoiselle, may I have the grace of your company?"
I stood and allowed him to take my hand. He lightly placed it on his arm as we walked past the make-believe cemetery. I couldn't keep my eyes off him. There was something about him that made me want to run to, and from him at the same time.
"Lavinia, you look exquisite tonight. I was becoming jealous at the other brutes attention. I didn't think you were ever going to attend to me."
"My lord, I didn't know you waited." Is that me talking? I wanted to panic and stop everything, but it was as if I didn't control my own body anymore.
"Ah, my precious Lavinia, you don't know how long I've been waiting." He stopped and turned to me. I felt his strong arms pull me close to him. His scent was invading my every sense. I felt his cool hand on my warm cheek. Felt his fingers slowly move over my lips, down my neck and stop at the pendant resting on my chest. "I've been waiting too long to hold you again. To be able to kiss you again." He bent his head slowly and I waited to feel his lips against mine.
"Bella, are you out here?"
I opened my eyes and saw my Frenchman just inches away. His dark eyes took on a red glow.
"Bella, it's Sue. Esme said you might want to talk. Is everything okay?"
"Lavinia, our time together is running short. You will be lost to me at midnight, at the ending of the Samain Eve. I can not, will not, risk the chance of losing you again, chere. You must get rid of this nuisance."
"Yes, Claude, I'm ready to be free, anyway possible." I reluctantly pushed away from him and walked towards the voice that was calling. Bella is my name, I don't know a Lavinia, but even as I thought it, I could feel my pendant pulse.
"Bella, there you are." I saw Sue Clearwater standing there with her hand on her chest. "You scared me. Esme said that I may need to check on you. You feeling alright?" I nodded, looking back over my shoulder. "You know, some girls would die for two handsome guys fighting over her."
"Yes, well, I'll be fine, don't worry. Tell Esme I thank her for her concern, but I just want to be alone right now, you understand?"
"You're missing a great party. Looking the way you do, you should be on the floor having fun."
"Maybe if you paid Leah the same attention your paying me, she wouldn't be home right now wishing she were dead." I heard my voice, but those were not my words.
Sue stared at me as her face turned pale. "You have a point, Bella. I'll leave you alone." She placed her hand over her mouth as she turned to leave.
I stood there looking at the empty space before me, wondering what was happening, what was I doing.
"You did wonderful, chere." I turned and went into his arms. He held me and I could take the craving no longer. My fingers wrapped around his head and I pulled his face down to mine. As we kissed, I could feel the pendant getting hotter and hotter, as if it was about to exploded by our own passion.
"Lavinia, my love." he breathed when he was able to free from my grip. "Now is the time. We must not tarry any longer. I have wanted you all my life. You were born just for me, to have for eternity." I leaned back and felt his kisses slowly move from my lips down to my neck. I felt a small prick, then he quickly released me.
"Who the hell is this?" I turned, and saw someone that I should have known but couldn't place a name with his face. He walked carefully towards me, "Bella, is this what you needed to talk to me about? Yeah, Edward's going to lose it." He was addressing me, but his eyes were focused on Claude.
"Monsieur Black," Claude sneered. "Leave us, or die."
Jacob stood defensively, eyeing Claude. "Your smell is different from the others, but it still carries the same stink!"
I watched him quiver, and just as quick as he started, it stopped. In less than a second, Claude had drawn his sword and run through Jacob. I heard Jacob howl in pain, but he still managed to land a thunderous punch to Claude. Claude didn't waver but withdrew his sword and stabbed Jacob again, slicing open his leg sending him to the ground. Claude whirled to me and his hypnotizing dark eyes were now bright red.
"We've not much time before others show." He walked up to me. I pushed him to the side and stared at Jacob, bleeding on the ground.
"Bella, what the hell are you doing?" Jacob said trying to stand. "Did you know he was a bloodsucker?"
Tears fell from my eyes as I shook my head. "I'm sorry, Jacob," I wept. "I'm just so tired."
"Hold on, Bella. Just fight him off a few seconds longer." Jacob begged through his pain.
I felt Claude behind me. He wrapped his arms around me, pinning my arms to my side.
"Lavinia." he whispered in my ear. "Lavinia, it is time chere. Time to be together forever."
"Bella." Edward's voice demanded my attention. I looked straight ahead and saw my Prince. "Bella, it's going to be okay." When he said it, I knew it was true.
"She is no longer Bella, but my Lavinia!" Claude spat. "She is suppose to be with me, and she will be with me. Do you think I will just give her up after waiting for two hundred fifty years?"
"And do you think that I will give you a choice after being without her for just a second." Edward snarled back. "I don't know who this, Lavinia is, but the life you are endangering is my Bella, and I want her back."
I heard Claude chuckle behind me. "Do you honestly believe you have a say in this matter, boy? I am not leaving this time without her. I've tried others in the past whom I thought were Lavinia, but they were just replicas, not worthy of her heart. This one," Claude held me tighter, "is the real deal. She called to me to come and get her. She was waiting for me to come and rescue her. How she yearns to feel my lips upon hers, to feel my hands caress her soft body."
Edward was growling so loud, I closed my eyes so he wouldn't see how much of what Claude was saying was true. I let guilt take over me and hung my head in shame. Then I heard Edward laugh.
"You really thought that she wanted you. It wasn't you she was in love with. Lavinia was running away from you. She was terrified of what you were. The only reason she was willing to be with you, was because she feared for the safety of another. Lavinia was only attracted to you because you made her attracted to you. Us vampires have that kind of power of persuasion. Even though you had that kind of power, she was in love with Philip. You will never be satisfied because Lavinia will never truly be yours."
"You lie!" Claude yelled. "She never loved that human! She loved me and vowed to be with me forever until that. . . human killed her. He never loved her like I did. He bed whomever would have him. He tricked her into drinking that poison, and for that, I took his life slowly. Then I found a powerful druid that helped me come up with a way to reunite me and Lavinia, forever." I could feel his breath on my neck, "She loved me for who I was, there was no force to it. She was the only one who didn't cringe when I touched her. The only one who didn't make me feel like a monster."
I felt his cold lips on my throat, then suddenly, something jerked me down. I fell to the ground and saw Jacob had grabbed the hem of my skirt and yanked me on top of him. My eyes rested on his face and I could see the pain he was in. He had lost a lot of blood. I felt hands pull me off of him and Carlisle was there, doing what he could to stop the bleeding with Seth and Esme assisting him.
"Werewolves are fast healers, Bella." but as he said it, I knew he was doubtful himself.
I turned and saw the Cullens, Quil and Embry fighting together against the lone Frenchman. It will be over very soon, I thought to myself. To my surprise, Claude was able to break free and once again I found myself in his grasp. Edward went to reach for me but suddenly stopped when Claude brought his sword up to my side.
"You fools! Did you think that you could lay waste to someone that is already dead?" he laughed. "There is no way you can defeat me. All you have managed to do is anger me by stopping me from reuniting with my Lavinia, seeing that Samain Eve has elapsed. Since you have taken something precious from me, it only seems befitting that I take something precious from you. All it will take is one hard bite, the only way to get her away from me will be to rip her throat out yourself." He gave a bitter, sadistic smile towards Edward.
It was then that I was clear on who I was. I looked at the family that I belonged to anxiously standing in front of me. I glanced down at the crumpled body on the ground that was my best friend. Then, I looked into the frantic eyes of the one I wanted to spend the rest of my days with, who I belonged with. There was no other power of persuasion but my own that made me love him with all my heart. I felt my Halloween pendant waiting to be released. It pulsated against my skin as if begging to be free. I saw Livinia's heart and an arrow from each of her lovers going through it. Claude, the one who wanted her to be with him forever that she didn't want. The other, from someone she wanted and promised to be with forever but who didn't love her back. Such a beautiful pendant that held so much pain.
I looked back into the eyes that I knew I would never forget. I mouthed the words, I love you, that I took for granted from him so many times. I glanced over at Alice to see if she knew what to do, and when she nodded her head, I was at peace. Lavinia, I will give you the rest you deserve. I jerked the necklace off from around my neck and threw it to Alice. When she caught it, her fingers never stopped squeezing, and the stone shattered.
"NO!" Claude yelled as he jabbed the sword into my side. As I fell to the ground, I closed my eyes waiting to feel the pain, but it never came. In a matter of moments, I felt Edward holding me, felt his kisses on face.
"You're okay, Bella. It's over."
"Jacob?" I was able to cry out.
"Carlisle already has him inside. He will be fine." His voice was soothing and calm though strained.
I looked down at my side and saw a large gash in my petticoat that Claude's sword must have ripped. My eyes looked back towards the wall where a large crack now appeared. It looked like someone had run a small car into the side of the building.
Edward followed my eyes, "He vanished before we made it to the wall." It dawned on me that what I was looking at was Edward's impression.
"Are you hurt?" I tried to pull away from him to look and make sure he didn't have any broken bones or bleeding. He only laughed at my frantic hands touching him, looking for injuries.
"No, I was able to slow down some momentum when I realized he was no longer in my grasp." He put his hand through the hole in my petticoat and his smile melted. "Once again, I have brought bad luck to you."
I turned his face to mine, "And once again, you have saved me. I'm as much to blame as you. Thursday night, when you found me dazed in my room, was the first time I met him. If I had told you what had happened, maybe we would have been able to figure out why. I just felt ashamed for feeling the way I did towards him." I looked down, unable to meet his stare. "I just didn't want you to panic. I knew that you wanted my last Halloween as a human to be fun. It wouldn't have been if you thought I was in some sort of danger." I laughed at the irony, "Looks like I was in danger."
We sat there for a while just holding on to each other. Then, he helped me off the ground and led me into the gym. I walked over to where Jacob laid on the altars.
"He will be fine." Carlisle said when he saw my face. "His wounds are already healing. He's just going to be a little groggy and weak." Carlisle put his instruments back in his bag and left me alone with Jacob.
"Bella," he moaned. "Either I'm still alive or we're both dead."
"We're both alive. Thanks for saving me out there. Just for the record, I didn't know he was a vampire."
"I didn't think so." He reached for my hand and I gladly took his. It wasn't as hot as normal due to the blood loss. "Since you're by my side, I assume Edward is unharmed."
I smiled and nodded. "But I would still be checking on you, you know. That is what best friends do."
"Best friends; I'll try. You know your not going to make it easy when that time comes?" I knew he was referring to two different occasions; my wedding and my transformation.
"Alright, Jacob, Quil and Embry are going to take you home."
"Thanks Doc." Jacob released my hand and I stepped out of the way. I watched Quil and Embry help Jacob up and walk to the door. Jacob stopped and looked back at me. "Call me or come by when you can."
"Sure, sure." I said as I waved goodbye.
I helped the Cullens as much as they would let me on cleaning everything up. Esme assured me that no one at the party had a clue as to the battle that was going on outside. Matter of fact, when the climax of the fight had started, most the people were gone. I mentioned to her about my harsh words to Sue Clearwater.
"Jacob was standing there when she mentioned about what you said. He knew then, as did I, that something was wrong because that wasn't like you. That was when he went to check on you himself."
"How did they know that Jacob was in trouble? He wasn't in his wolf form, so they couldn't have known what was going on."
Esme smiled, "Edward doesn't need for Jacob to be in wolf form. They seem to work very well together when it comes to protecting you."
"Glad I could help in some way. This time next year I wont need protection."
"I hate to see that day come." Emmett said stepping up beside me and placing his heavy arm over my shoulder. "This has been one of the best Halloweens I have ever had! Fighting a vampire ghost sure helped give me a workout."
"Come back to the house and I'll give you another one." Rosalie said as she walked out the door. Emmett placed a quick kiss on my cheek and ran after his wife.
Edward came up behind me and put his coat over my shoulders. We walked outside and the night was cold and clear. The full moon shone brightly hanging high in the sky.
"What did you think when you heard Jacob?" I asked stopping to look at him.
He was quiet in thought before responding. "That I might lose you, and the last time we were together wasn't a memory that I wanted to keep, for ever how long I lived after you. Jacob said that you didn't appear to be yourself, and first I panicked thinking I was already too late. But when I saw you look at me when I said your name. . . ."
"How did you know what happened between Lavinia and Claude? Did you read his mind and make up her side of the story out of desperation?"
"I read both their minds." I looked at him confused. "She was sharing your body and mind. True, I can't read yours, but hers was an open book to me. She replayed her thoughts, fears and the last moments of her life. The other man she was in love with gave her that pendant, but at the time there was only one arrow. She loved him with all her heart, but when Claude appeared, she had those feelings for him also, at first. He, apparently, wasn't preparing to fall in love with her. When he did, he wanted her to be with him forever and told her what he was. She was repulsed but still had that yearning for him she didn't understand. She went back to her first love, Philip, and told him of Claude. She explained that he was going to take her whether she wanted to or not, and she would rather die than become a vampire. Philip said he couldn't live without her, and he was the one that came up with the plan for both of them to commit suicide by poison. Philip either panicked or never had any intention to drink his poison, so Lavinia died alone. Claude found her, and thought that Philip forced Lavinia to take the poison, so he killed Philip. He took the pendant from her and had another arrow placed through the heart, then took it to a druid who enchanted the stone. It had to be worn on Halloween, or Samain Eve as it was known then, in order for him to reclaim Lavinia as his love. Her spirit has been trapped in that stone for over two hundred fifty years."
"Saying is, on Halloween the curtain that separates the living and dead vanish and the dead are able to walk among us." I shook from a chill that went down my spine. "I don't believe that, but that would explain why they chose Halloween night. They could have chosen Valentines Day if the curse was strong enough." His explanation didn't help calm my nerves.
"Claude said that there were others. Has he killed other women in the past to try and claim Lavinia? Why did he think I was the one?"
Edward sighed and took me in his arms. "He thought you were the one because you didn't flinch from his touch, or kiss." I trembled remembering how normal he felt to me. "The other ones that have worn the pendant must have shown fear and distaste."
I laid my head against his chest thinking about what he said. "But you said that when he told Lavinia what he was, she was repulsed. He had to have known she didn't love him."
"She never showed him her true feelings. She was terrified that if he knew she didn't love him as he did her, he would end her life quickly. She was buying time, trying to find some way to escape."
"Hmm, he never knew she didn't truly love him. What would have happened if he would have been successful and taken my life?"
His growl was deep and onerous. "You would have died, but Lavinia would have still been trapped in that pendant. The druid's curse was made for Claude, not for Lavinia. It allowed Claude to be with her every Halloween. The druid never made it where Lavinia would be free."
Tears spilled from my eyes at the thought of being trapped for so many years, having to endure the same punishment over and over again. "Did Claude know she would never be free?"
"I don't know. I think if he found out she was still trapped after he took your life," he paused to compose himself, "he would just have thought that you weren't the one after all, and would try again next year." I shivered and he held me closer. "I'm glad you knew that it was the pendant that was causing the curse," his lips moved against my hair. "I was going crazy trying to think of a way to get it off your neck without hurting you."
"It was Lavinia that told me. She was weary and wanted to be free. Alice was the only one I could think of that would have a clue as to what needed to be done. How did you know when to charge?"
"Alice told me," he chuckled. "She said that you were going to fling the necklace to her and when she caught it, I was to run as fast as I could into Claude. When she crushed the stone, she vanquished Claude."
I pulled back to smile at him. "Thank God you're fast."
"Thank God that petticoat has a lot of layers," he said looking again at the hole in my dress.
"Now you see why I don't do parties?" we laughed together.
"I'm thinking of the holidays we have left and as long as you don't choke on a turkey bone, don't get attacked by a crazed Santa, stay clear of fireworks, don't fall in love with someone else, don't get lost hunting Easter eggs, I think we will be safe."
"Ha, ha. You left out the part about dodging the Volturi in the mean time. Why don't you just change me now and be done with it."
He shook his head and laughed, "And miss out on all the fun?"